Inform, Inspire, Embolden. Reconcile!

Etiyopia Hoy, May You Rejoice!

If not for the Ethiopian-Eritrean border war of 1998, the Eritrean ruling party (PFDJ) would have continued harassing anyone who criticized or expressed resentment towards its exclusive relations with Ethiopia. Instead of healing the old wounds between the two peoples, it used Ethiopia to expand its selfish commercial interests and bolster its security might. Between 1991 and 1998, the PFDJ made Ethiopia its backyard and chased away opposition elements and organizations from the country. During the seven bloody years, it assassinated, kidnapped, exiled dissenters and opposition elements—many of whom were made to disappear with no trace. On the other hand, its operatives and affiliates were prospering in Ethiopia.

During that period, the collaboration between the two governments seemed to be a never-ending honeymoon. Trade flowed across the boundaries freely. Eritrean investments, overt and covert, poured into Ethiopia. Huge wealth was created and a new class of entrepreneurs–either blessed by or affiliated to the ruling parties–flourished. In Eritrea, the entire politics of the country and its economy became the monopoly of the ruling party.

In March 1999, the Alliance of Eritrean National Force was established in Ethiopia. That umbrella has gone through many developments and currently, the situation of the opposition forces has reached a despicable stage. To this date, after eighteen years of struggle, the opposition has little to show as an achievement. However, it is also important to note that the Eritrean opposition suffered from lack of independence, lack of funds, and lack of understanding. It was not given a chance to either succeed or crumble under its own weight, not the weight of others. Unfortunately, those who are supposed to support it, or be its allies, were busy stoning it. Having said that, however, at the center of the opposition’s problem is the absence of a clearly defined nature of cooperation between the Ethiopian hosts and the Eritrean guests.

The unrest that Ethiopia witnessed

The Eritrean opposition has a clear position on the political situation in Ethiopia: pollical forces that are allied with the PFDJ are its enemies. In the absence of a legitimate government in Eritrea, and while Eritreans are denied the right to live freely in their country, the PFDJ is nothing less than an enemy. It also follows that its allies are enemies, and there should not be any mincing of words.

The Ethiopian government faces a serious opposition from groups that are being nurtured by the PFDJ government. Of course, some were incubated by the likes of Anna Gomes, the notorious Hanna Gobezie of the European Union, who in 2005 played a destructive role in the agitations that led to bloodshed in Ethiopia. As far as justice seeking Eritreans are concerned, it must be clear to all the forces allied with the PFDJ regime are by extension enemies of the forces of justice. Therefore, the Eritrean opposition doesn’t have to explain itself as where it stands in respect to the Ethiopian opposition who are allied with the PFDJ.

Despite that, a country that have no opposition is a sick country, and Ethiopia has its own local opposition, with demands of democratic issues concerning all its citizens. It faces opposition to some of its policies that has serious ramifications on the lives of its citizens, mainly the land law and the nature of its federation–which may boil down to power sharing. These demands are legitimate and vital for stability and for democracy to flourish in Ethiopian.  In addition, there are a host of other issues that concern Ethiopians and we hope their system would continually improve and expand to accommodate the grievances of its citizen and strive to resolve them.

Since the unrest started in Ethiopia in 2015, justice seeking Eritreans were worried and hoped for a quick resolution of the problems. On the other hand, the Eritrean ruling party and its affiliates have been fanning the conflict and working hard to see raging fires engulfing Ethiopia. Understandably, if Ethiopia was on fire, there is no telling where the fires would have stopped. And only the naive would think that Eritrea wouldn’t have been burned by it.

We do not believe Ethiopia must be destroyed for Eritrea to prosper; we abhor such thoughts. The destruction of Ethiopia can only satiate the ego of the PFDJ and its supporters who live to see only mayhem and violence . They will stop at nothing to make that happen, however, their satisfaction would only be limited to a smirk! They are willing to see a nation destroyed for the sake of a cheap smirk they would sculpt on their faces for moments. Imagine what is befalling Eritreans under the grip of tyranny with such a thought!

On the opposite side, though not accentuated, there are Ethiopian elements who embody ill wishes for Eritrea. At least they foresee a weak Eritrea that cannot stand on its own, a country that they wish would kneel down under their feet and live in perpetual fear and instability. It is as despicable a position as that of the PFDJ.

Despite that, the general Eritrean opposition wish is for the era of bloodshed and destruction to be over. The region should not foolishly destroy in a year what it built over decades. The culture of peace and mutual respect and coexistence should be promoted by every caring citizen of the two countries.

In short, we are confident that Ethiopia has established a working system that can confidently accommodate its opposition and its dissenters. If changes are required in any existing arrangement, it should be changed. Nothing is etched in stone, and so far, Ethiopia has proven it can resolve its problems peacefully. We hope the government officials, social leaders, business people, and the intellectuals would summon their wisdom and contribute positively in pursuit of a resolution to their problems instead of feasting on them for personal, sectarian, and partisan considerations. At the end, neither the government nor the opposition should undermine the stability of the country and endanger the lives of the common people. It would be an unforgivable crime against the nation to jeopardize the successes that were so far registered on the economic, political and governance fields.

The situation of the Eritrean opposition

Eritreans believe the Ethiopian policy towards Eritrean opposition is still clouded in secrecy and intelligence activities. That feeling is nurturing unhealthy suspicions and anxiety. Considering the volatile region where the two countries are located, reckless politics might lead to catastrophic results. And recklessness should be shunned firmly. The fears, suspicions and the poisoned atmosphere that is crippling the Ethiopian-Eritrean relations must be cleared. It must be discussed openly and understood, to help in ameliorating the situation. However, that requires a proper platform for discussion. So far, the nature of the relations lacks serious intellectual input due to many internal and external factors. It’s understandable that Ethiopian officials who manage the Eritrean portfolio must be executing some sort of policy, whether it is drawn by the Foreign Ministry or the security and intelligence sectors. Whatever it is, nothing can be said about it except it is not working; it is time for a real assessment and evaluation of the experience. The unclear policy is one of the main reasons that has crippled the Eritrean opposition.

There are several initiatives that wish to address this problem—we know of one that is different from all the past initiatives. Such an initiative should keep away from partisan, factional, regional, and sectarian loyalties. It should address the issues from a strictly nationalist perspective without ignoring the serious local and regional interests of Eritreans. However, the focus should be on ways to help rejuvenate the opposition by pinpointing the problems that thus far has made it weak. It is also important that it should aim at helping the Eritrean opposition to primarily rely on its own political devises to either fail or succeed. In addition, the initiative must take into consideration the Ethiopian fears, suspicions, and national interests that must be addressed to develop a common, mutually beneficial strategy.

Finally, we hope to see the initiative see the light of the day so that the Eritrean opposition can get a new lease of life. It is time it is taken out the coma state in which it has been bound for over a decade.

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  • Yoty Topy

    Hello Awate readers,

    Here is a quote by Rene Leforte on his recent article on the current Ethiopia’s political crises, which I beleive has a ring of truth to it;

    “Ultimately, what might possibly occur is a classic scenario in Ethiopian history: the demise of one strongman, followed by a period of great disorder until a new strongman takes up the reins.”

    • Dear Y.T.

      Please, do not take for granted what the author says, that “the demise of one strongman, followed by a period of great disorder until a new strongman takes up the reins”. That is what ferenjis want for third world countries; i.e. permanent dictatorship, chaos and poverty. They never entertain the possibility of democracy, peace and prosperity. They want us to believe that this is our fate. The cycle of chaos-strongmen(dictatorship)-chaos, which he envisions for ethiopia is part of this plan for third world countries, although he knows very well that the only way for a politician to be a strongman is through bloodshed. Those who are said to have some merits (let me call them benevolent dictators) were equally authoritarian and blood thirsty.

      Look what he says about amharas. He presents them as chauvinists, revanchists and obsessed with ethiopian-ness. He tells them to dump the essence of ethiopia and concentrate on their amhara-ness. About the oromo ethnic group, he tells us that it must rule ethiopia due to its number and economic contribution to the country. Power should at last move to the center from what he calls abyssinian power center. Not really a bad idea; but, the oromo ethnic group should clean its house and tell the ethiopian people in unequivocal terms what it really wants, by discarding those who stand against the essence of ethiopia if they really want to rule a country called ethiopia, those who want to create the republic of oromia on the demise and ashes of ethiopia, people like jawar and other olf leaders.

      That the party has dwarfed the government and the constitution and has become the law of the land by itself, is not far from the truth. If these peripheral parties and their functionaries could do what they are doing under a federal arrangement, one can easily imagine what else they could do if they acquire their own independent enclaves. Just imagine the so many mini and not so-mini dictatorships, and the chaos that would follow in the region, if these people have their way. That the government has failed to rule is not far from the truth, and it is doomed unless it changes itself and brings chainge to the country asap is also true.

      Accepting the essence of a country called ethiopia, with its diverse people living under one common home in peace, equality and prosperity, is the only choice available. Dumping the ethiopian state, which the author indirectly insinuates, without being so clear about his stand, is a recipe for disaster. We live in the age of fake stories and sugar coated sinister messages. Ethiopia should be in the hands of her citizens, and her fate will be positively decided to create a peaceful, democratic, united and prosperous country, and not by any ferenji, because “ከባለበቱ በላይ ኣውቃለሁ ባይ ቡዳ ነውና ።
      Regards.

      • Yoty Topy

        Hi Horizon,
        While I agree very much with the overall spirit of your message i.e everyone should pull together to strengthen the state of the union, I think the author’s comment does stand scrutiny if you qualify it against the backdrop of history. For example , the ERA OF MESSAFINTS is one example where the nation was in wilderness. But also if your look at Meles’ reign, I am always amazed how much ,forget the rural part of the country but the urbanites revered him. Some might have to do with his savvy political skills but I think most of it in my opinion has to do with his heavy-handedness. I know many people in Addis who hated anything that has to do with TPlF, EPRDF or any entities affiliated with EPRDF but would speak warmly about him. Yes, PMHD is as qualified and a more consensus type of leader , yet we know the dogwistles and derogatory remarks directed to him.

        There is nothing wrong with the diagnosis of the strong-man syndrome. It is not unique to Ethiopia . You can look next door neighbor, Eritrea or even to the north , Egypt. We jus love men with big sticks 🙂 Of course who could forget Menge.

        • stewie

          I second that, i knew many ethiopians that about issais too….

  • said

    Greeting,
    The 50th and 60th founding fathers for Eritrean independence likes of Woldeab_Woldemariam , Ibrahim Sultan and Abdelkadir Kebire, and many others ,devoted elite and iconoclasts group of the myths of conventional wisdom and the veneer of liberal intellectualism, eye openers to a world mired in myths and make believe. They epitomize the ultimate in independent intellectualism in the search of the truth in the service of the general good and humanity’s genuine welfare. Their credo, is that of meaningful, constructive and generally useful human thought: i.e. “Intellectual Integrity & Courage of Conviction” as the rudder and guidance to the ultimate truth. in today Eritrea , many remained glued to the selfish, sellout Eritrean self-declared political experts and analysts on major Eritrean tv or local newspaper of the present media, today we are appalled by the commentators’ dearth of intellectual aptitudes, simple reckonings; limited and grossly faulted Eritrea and worldview with scant exposure and knowledge about the true complexity of existence. I and many, too, as a layman join the ranks of luminous founding father in doubting, most seriously and profoundly, the world order made far more chaotic and meaningless by groomed pseudo intellectuals and pseudo liberals serving as the smoke screens of inapt and inept wielders of power in this little Eritrea. the Italians built Asmara, in some ways, Eritrea seems frozen in time. when one visit Asmara, Many old decaying buildings are in the Modernist and Art Deco style of 1920s when the country was colonized by Italy and it seems nothing have changed and at seem goes that imperial Ethiopia by far more feudal system, more primitive of 15th century, agrarian society, not yet industrialized, less developed, and ruled by ruthless king and no hope for democratic state in the horizon . Let me present a world to you, let me present a point of view, you may disagree, you may agree, that’s perfectly your prerogative. But you might just want to know more.
    After 25 years of independence, suppose you are an alien coming to earth from out space. You look around, you see the Eritreans as they are in their present situation. You look at the other side and see what the Ethiopians are doing for themselves. Which side would the alien support.
    Eritrean people Without an informed public, there is no resistance in the name of freedom, democracy and justice. the economic crisis and the misery it has spurned has not been matched by opposition organization,with an ideological crisis, a crisis of ideas, knowledge, education, and values benefits – we can adapt two official language and along English language, the langue of science, rule of law, education,medicine and technology.

    Of course, power is never entirely on the side of domination,even if it seems,people do have power , and in this coming era of acute repression, we will have to redefine politics, reclaim the unity for the struggle to inspire and educate, change individual and collective consciousness, engage in meaningful dialogue with people marginalized and left out of the political landscape and power sharing , and build broad based social movements.
    This is a time to both talk back and fight back. It will not be easy but it can happen,if there is sincere and good will and there are historical precedents for this. The main vehicle of change and political agency has to be young people. They are the beacon of the future and we have to both learn from them, listen to them and support them, contribute where possible, and join in their struggle.
    The lights are going out and the time to wake up from this nightmare is today. go on for the change no matter what,Forget fear, over come oppression and subjugation, look ahead, get energized, read, build alternative public spheres, become justice’s fighters. There are no guarantees in politics, but there is no politics that matters without hope, that is, with educated and detected positive hope.change comes

  • ‘Gheteb

    The Antiphon Of ‘The Lands Of Ahbashat’

    Greetings!!

    Yes, in this weekly note, I am going to talk about the antiphon, I mean the national anthem, of ‘the lands of Ahbashat’ or Abyssinia or Ethiopia or whatever Biblical or other names mentioned in other Holy Books that the rulers or overlords of Ethiopia misappropriate and cynically manipulate to legitimize their rule and occupation of other peoples and their lands. From the Axumite Kingdom to Abyssinia and finally the name Ethiopia, they have been at it pilfering all manners of names. Yeah, as if there are no other “burnt faces” in that part of the world, they took the name Ethiopia and claimed it to apply to their lands.

    I am pretty sure many do NOT know or do NOT remember the national anthem during the reign of Atsie Haile Selasie. Many thanks to Wikipidia, one can easily find the national anthem of Ethiopia and thereby even help in jogging the memories of those who still remember a line or two from the lyrics of that national anthem. Here is the Amharic/English rendition of the Ethiopian national anthem 1930-1975.

    ኢትዮጵያ ሆይ ደስ ይበልሽ ……….. Ethiopia, be happy

    (Amharic) …………….. (English)
    ኢትዮጵያ ሆይ ደስ ይበልሽ ………….. Ethiopia, be happy
    በአምላክሽ ኃይል በንጉሥሽ …………… thanks to the power of God and your ruler
    ተባብረዋል አርበኞችሽ …………… Your brave citizens are unanimous
    አይነካም ከቶ ነጻነትሽ ……………… your freedom will never be touched
    ብርቱ ናቸውና ተራሮችሽ …………….. as your mountains are defiant
    አትፈሪም ከጠላቶችሽ ………………….. and your natives do not fear any enemy
    ድል አድራጊው ንጉሳችን………………… Long live our victorious ruler
    ይኑርልን ለክብራችን ………………….. to the glory of our country
    ብርቱ ናቸው ተራሮችሽ ……………………Your mountains are defiant
    አትፈሪም ከጠላቶችሽ …………………… and your natives do not fear any enemy
    ድል አድራጊው ንጉሳችን…………………. Long live our victorious ruler
    ይኑርልን ለክብራችን……………………. to the glory of our country

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethiopia,_Be_happy

    Yeah, that was the whole lyrics of the Ethiopian national anthem during the Emperor’s times and it even evoked certain memories from my days back in Keren’s Atsie Dawit Secondary school. Firstly, I remembered the stories that I used to hear about how Keren’s high school was named “Atsie Dawit” and how the Emperor came to Keren in the mid sixties for it’s inauguration and baptized it the name Atsie Dawit Secondary School. According to the narrations I have heard, the Emperor did not stay in Keren for too long and returned hastily back to Asmara in mid-afternoon and the reason being that he was too scared to stay overnight because the ELF (Jebha) may have taken some measures against him.

    I attended my junior high school or middle school in this Emperor Haile Selasie baptized school of Atsie Dawit. When I was in 7th grade, 1974, I remember that all students use to line up in front of the flag post for a flag raising ceremony and sing/recite Ethiopia’s national anthem. Quite often, I was in the middle of the line of our 7th grade class and I don’t recall if I sang/recited the anthem or I kept quiet or I mumbled something else.

    As hard as I have tried, I could not exactly remember what I did/say during the flag raising ceremony.
    What I vividly remember, on the other hand, is what those at the end of the line of my class said or did at the very end of the anthem.

    They would recite or say the last part of the lyrics of the anthem in a different way that was funny/irreverent it induced snickering and giggling in the lines of the students. The last line that the students deliberately mangled was ” ይኑርልን ለክብራችን” [ may he (the emperor) live long for our glory and dignity]. I guess, one can say that was the students way of showing resistance or opposition to Ethiopia and the emperor’s rule over Eritrea.

    Now, I am sure you are wondering why I have to go the whole nine yards and talk about the Ethiopian national anthem during the emperor’s times and what all of this has got to do with the topic at hand and the title of the article. Well, I have my own reasons and I will for now restrict it only to the title of the article.

    I will go out on a limb here and state that the title of this very article is ONE and THE SAME with first line of the lyrics of the Ethiopian national anthem during the reign of emperor Haile Selasie. Need to see it in balck and white?

    “Etiyopia Hoy, May You Rejoice! ” is the title of this article and “ኢትዮጵያ ሆይ ደስ ይበልሽ ……. Ethiopia, be happy” is the first line of the lyrics of Ethiopia’s national anthem 1930-75) and rejoice is another way of saying be happy. Therefore, the title of the article, from where I stand, is the same as the first line of the antiphon of the lands of Ahbashat.

    • Amde

      Selam Gheteb,

      I thought that was the point?

      Amde

    • Solomon

      Selamat Gheteb,

      Coffee QiTTQaT worth and raging against that machine… Weld Kerennnn!
      😉
      tSAtSE

  • Dear All,

    Is mistrust and living in this age of individualism the main reasons why eritrean refugees do not want to fight their nemesis, and they choose to suffer in silence in different refugee camps, more than fatigue and may be other reasons?

    From the age when human beings could kill and die for their religion, followed by the ages they could do the same thing for the sake of country and ideology, we are at the age of neoliberalism and individualism, to be followed by the dangerous and frightening age of hyper-nationalism and fascism. In the last case history seems to repeat itself.

    Eritreans of the 60s and 70s (the fathers and mothers of contemporary eritreans) were ideologists, as the whole world was at the time, and they fought and died for what they believed. Unfortunately, the product of their sacrifice ended up serving the selfish interest of few eritrean elites, and instead of making Eritrea a home, the elites turned it into prison, where eritreans lost their freedom and their humanity, and they were forced to end up refugees in other lands risking their lives.

    Are the new generation of eritreans angry with the incumbent eritrean regime for destroying their lives or not? Of course they are, except the few who benefit from the system. Nevertheless, after risking their lives to free themselves from the grip of the regime and they reach safe destinations, what could be the things that revolve in their minds? Is it revenge or survival. I think that it is the second, survival of the individual and not ideological and national duties. Is it far fetched to say that these refugees may be thinking and saying to themselves, “you deceived our parents and made them sacrifice themselves so that you could ascend to the citadel of power from where you could rule and benefit. But, we, their children, we are not naive to sacrifice ourselves to get the same result. Leave us to shape our lives, the way we want it and could. When we are in the same comfort zone as you are, then we can discuss the matter”.

    Who could then move the mountain (DIA and the PFDJ system)? That is why I say that the solution is found in the Eritrean military barracks, in the hands of young officers and their soldiers, who I believe feel the pain of their people by living in the heart of the Eritrean society. What is the opposition doing to bring them to their side? Just thinking loud.

    • Saleh Johar

      Hello Horizon,

      Until recently I was frustrated by the silence of our youth who throw their guns, leave their country, and then go through worse risks. It is depressing. Then it hit me when I talked to one of them. He told me, “look, we didn’t even know the concept of opposition and resistance, we were raised on an environment of fear and obedience…” That encapsulates what many of them say in different words. They are in a different emotional and psychological situatins and they reflect and think they should have done something else. They an’t be blamed.

      As for those who sign apology letter and go back home, it is only human that they miss their country, their relatives, and the streets they grew up in. So, in a moment of weakness they do the unimaginable. I would do anything to go and walk on the streets of Keren, it is so painful to live exiled from your own country. But THE COST IS VERY HIGH; I am not willing to submit to a cruel tyrant and his cult for that.

      • Nitricc

        Hey SJ it is impossible not to know the concept of resistance. It is an innate built on us, humans. When you feel you are wronged and dealt with injustice the idea of resistance, revenge and lastly hopelessness is
        the first thing that comes to every human mind.so, who ever told you that they did not even know the concept of resistance is simply stupid excuse for their coward-ness and a way out of taking responsibility. The issue and the reason is different. One more information; The Eritrean refugee are allowed to leave the refugee comp and go any where cites of Ethiopia as long as they paid the bribe, normally around 10000 birr. I can tell you more if you need too.

        • Saleh Johar

          Hi Nitricc,

          If the concept of resistance is in built, then why do you insult people who react to their natural predisposition to resist ? Please do not answer that.

          Concepts are acquired/developed from the envaironment that surround us as we grow up and learn they are not biological but psychological. If that was not so, you would have been as religious as your parents 🙂

      • Berhe Y

        Dear Saleh and all,

        When I was in Eritrea I met this little boy, he was in grade 3 I think. He was showing his parents his report card and he did good so everyone was praising him. My sister was with me, and said to him “eway kitneFe nAmeta dma blcha twesid eKa”, you are good and next year you will get a prize. His reply was “entay gedushini, SiHgir SiHgir keblo eye nAmetas”, next year I will not bother I will just scrap on it. she said, ewE nmtay dAe. Why would you do that.

        His reply “swa keyterkubeni”, so I don’t get to reach Sawa. At the time, students were failing on purpose so they don’t finish high school in order to avoid going to sawa. The government figure this out and made it mandatory to go finish in sawa high school. The also do not allow to repeat class anymore.

        When they go to Sawa at tender age of 16, the average they made them submit and they become obidient and submissive.

        Most of them they decide what becomes of them:

        1) either accept the situation and live with it
        2) they take advantage of the situation and become spy for them
        3) they plan their escape, and reach destination.

        They are all brainwashed to believe that Eritrea has the whole world against it, and they have to sacrifice to save the country and future generation.

        Berhe

    • Hameed Al-Arabi

      Selam Horizon,

      In a nutshell, required a well funded and united opposition with a national program. The time these conditions are materialized there will be tens of thousands of recruits within a short period. Or if above terms are actualized the regime in Eritrea will crumble by itself.

      All opposition bodies should conceive well old ways of approaching our people will not work. Our people were beaten many times and are not ready to be beaten again. The era of a single group wins hearts and minds of our people has become history. I hope any entity that thinks in the old way to make quick brainwash and become on the right side of history.

  • Dear All,

    -somebody was asking, why would white american women vote for a misogyny and a person who has said before an audience that he enjoys groping women?
    -yg was asking, why would an eritrean choose to throw away his gun and run for the border as he is being shot at from behind, and he does not dare defend himself?
    -let me ask my own questions; why is it that eritrean opposition could not mobilize and form a fighting force, when about 50% of the more than >150k refugees in ethiopia are trained soldiers from the eaf (unless of course one says that ethiopia is against it)? Has the eritrean opposition reached a consensus on how to handle the pfdj regime, after about 15 yrs of discussions: weed-out, uproot the system, or trim and reform it? What are the chances that the eritrean opposition can function from inside the country, when there is no constitution it can call upon? It cannot force the the door open itself, nobody else is going to do it for the opposition, and no magical word like “open sesame” is going to do the job, what then?

    Eritrea hoy, may the Lord help you and protect you. You are torn between the things you love and the things you fear, you are not sure of your love/hate feelings, and you refuse to accept your weaknesses and failures, and you do not try to achieve what is in your reach.
    Tied together by geography, history, culture and even through kinship, out of arrogance and ignorance, they chose to be enemies and rivals. When they could live together in peace and prosperity, they chose war, destruction and poverty, and when by standing together they could be a great nation, they prefered to be weak and at the mercy of their enemies and those who prey on poor and small nations. Do not ask me who these people are. All of you know them. They are the famous people of the horn, the so-called habeshas.

    Eritrea hoy, do not look for friends in far away lands and beyond the sea; for they can never be true friends, and your true friends are south of the mereb. Do not try to find peace by cooperating with the enemies of ethiopia (egypt, ksa, gcc states), for your peace is tied with the peace of your southern friends and relatives. (The ksa and the gcc leased their peace and security from the americans, and today they are having a restless sleep, because they are afraid that the usa may dump them and leave them prey to the iranians). Do not look to find prosperity from beyond the sea, simply because they have a lot of petrodollars, for nobody gives a free lunch, and there is always a price to be paid.

    As the author rightly said, what the eritrean opposition wants and what the ethiopian government wants must be clear. No action, no change which leads to stagnation. One should not ask for a helping hand while itself does nothing. Let eritrean opposition own its inactions and indecisions and its outcome, and then let us give to ethiopia what is due.

    • Simon Kaleab

      Selam Horizon,

      I am going to comment on the first four lines of your post.

      The analogy you are trying to make between the two events is illogical, or feeble at best.

      1) Some American women voted for Trump because they realised that he committed no crime other than making macho, alpha male type of remarks about women in his unguarded moments [which most of us, including women, do]. On the other hand, Bill Clinton molested many women while Hillary harassed these victims.

      2) Eritrean youth throw away their guns and run across the border because, as individuals, they realise that in a divided society, their chance of staying alive while trying to resist the government is nil, while the probability of staying alive while crossing the border, although small, is non-zero.

      • Dear Simon Kaleab,

        A self-respecting woman (a lady) who respects her body and she does not see herself as a sex object or a commodity does not allow any alpha or whatever male to grope her without her permission. Not even in our society is such a thing allowed. Some of our men have long arms, as one of our sisters wrote last time about it on awate.com to show that it is not right and not to approve it. A self-respecting women does not accept such things, because she believes that she deserves respect. Groping is the first stage of rape. If there is a woman who says she enjoys to be groped as trump enjoys groping women, then my mind goes to worst things about that woman.

        Here was the biggest chance ever, when a white american women could free themselves from being an object of pleasure for men like Trump (an alpha male as you said) and emancipate themselves and show that they are equal to any man by electing a woman president. They blew it unashamedly. They had to be part of the white supremacists, represented by D. Trump. They would rather choose to lose their right rather than become possibly equal with black women under a Hillary Clinton presidency.

        Yes, a calculative white woman with economic benefit in mind kept her skirt in a refrigerator for months to save biological material for DNA test, in order to incriminate Bill Clinton, when the right time comes. This of course does not make her a decent human being, because she did it on purpose. The act was consentual. Of course, bill clinton was a fool for not respecting the office of the president of the usa.

        • Simon Kaleab

          Selam Horizon.

          So, you wrote paragraphs but you are unwilling to defend your poor analogy?

          On Bill Clinton, here is a partial list of women who he forced himself upon and Hillary harassed: Juanita Broaddrick , Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey, Carolyn Moffet, Elizabeth Ward, Paula Corbin, Sandra Allen James and Christy Zercher.

        • iSem

          Hi Simon and Horizon:
          Regardless of the election of the most profane, rude, bigot and loose cannon D. Trump, I think the last USA election showed Americans that are not that shallow and, although a republican was elected it looks like the European liberal mentally was at play: we do not care about your personal womanizing, just we need change. As Simon said, many women voted for him, not even a single woman, apart from his wife and daughter should have voted for him, but the sophisticated American women do not vote for someone just because she is a woman, the same way that all the black Americans did not vote for Obama because he is black.
          So this was good for democracy, the 4 years that Trump will be at the helm will not destroy America, I am almost sure of it, but the supreme court appointment, repealing Obama care, ore the changes to Roe vs. Wade and will have lasting impact on the USA and it looks like the demographic that will be hurt most by this, the women wanted to give it a shot.
          Horizon; Come on now, Monica Lewinsky is a victim, I think Clinton should have bean impeached and humiliated, it was the result of power he exerted that the then young, smart girl to become a victim of the predator that Bill Clinton was. She may have been infatuated but the power of the leader of the free world was what did it. I think She was self respecting girl that fell into the tentacles of an accomplished predator
          Calculating? NO! She was excited to touch the leader of the free world, and that conniving, shrewd, calculating Linda Trip was the one who betrayed Monica’s confidence
          I am delighted that Hilary lost, not only lost but lost to the person who she could easily to beaten. She lied about Libya, she lied about the bombs and bullets that she said she was showered with when she visited the Balkans, flowers were what she was showered with. She has the email scandal and I enjoyed when she was summoned to be interrogated.
          Time for the democrats to go to the wilderness for 4 year or even 8 years, the way they treated Berni S, so cocky about their assured clinching the helm, they have lost and lost bad
          It was good day for democracy

          Simon: Eritrean youth throwing their guns is a misguide, they are brainwashed by the lies of this is “bret swuuat”, the martyrs are not going to use it, it is theirs and they should use it to defend themselves. This is the very reason, one untrained Rashaida can herd hundreds of strapping, military trained young men and harvest their organs. That should not have happened. And it is mind blowing that the misguide youth throw away their guns, no one will hold them accountable in future free Eritrea but that is what they think. Then they go back and sign that forgiveness paper that says I have wronged/betrayed my people and my country, coerced by PFDJ to admit to crimes they did not committe, but that is something that any future government can ask them

          • Dear iSem,

            The problem is assigning Trump, the type of man you very well described, as the torchbearer of change. He knows how to make money, although many doubt even that, otherwise, most people who write about him say that he is intellectually inferior to Hillary Clinton, has no experience in diplomacy, international relations, etc. He has already assigned to important posts in the upcoming government, people with far-right views and even relatives. One can say that indeed he will bring change, but not for the better.

            I doubt that accepting insults and sexist innuendos, from a man who sees women as subhumans, shows the sophistication of white american women. On the contrary, it is the sign of their class and racial affiliation and belief. They voted irrespective of his insults for a person whom they believe is a defender of white race supremacy.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Hi Sem,

            You prefer Trump than Hillary? I think we are in the era of oddity and strange to accept racist, misogenist, and sex predators. Wow! God save this planet.

            Regards

          • Solomon

            Aya,
            Come on now, President elect Mr. Donald Trump is a Good Fella. Forget about it. Call it The Good Fellas Successful Revolution. Adeso Casa Bianco Nostra. Mi casa su casa.

            Paging Saay7, is there no no . .. Is THE Dr. In Da House? Brookly Brooklyn in Da House!

            Daffy Duck the Don Diddy… Abidy abidy that’s all folks. Looney Tunes and Buggs Bunny…
            tSAtSE

          • Thomas

            Hey Sele,

            Kekawis metsien mish? hahaha

          • Solomon

            Dude,

            I don’t even have a TV. Haven’t owned one for years. My first decade in the USA I was glued to it, but for the past two decades and a half the breakdown is as follows:
            – Sports Bars… Swallowing and being swallowed by the Bar. See, Saay7’s comment
            -Desk abd Lap Tops
            -Hand set.

            Yo Honky boyyy cracker… Nice try, but “that’s just your opinion.” Dude!

            THE Dude!
            tSAtSE

          • Solomon

            To iSEM (SEMi),

            Not quite the U-Turn I expect from a dude of your caliber. Forget my asking Horizon “what part did you play.” You know you played a part. Awate!!! Now, you are asymptotically close to a good analysis. Particularly the part where you mention European liberalism. It takes one to know one, is it a case off. But I will differ to our good friend the Doc! A true conservative to tell us both where we are short in gaining any converts. Is America now more conservative or liberal? You do hit it on the nail about Bernie Sanders and the Democratic Established…, Though you get an A- for it’s timing. I do believe you thought it earlier. Well, time to swallow our own SEMi or cyanide I suppose. Visa gdaa n Ottawa knatwawwaa, EwaEE Otilowuwwaaaa ewe, sponsors kunulna esikhann berhennnnn.

            Be bu bi mlesssss. Captain Saay7 alekha doh?

            tSAtSE

          • saay7

            Ant Man:

            Yeeeees? Ayi Khidma? Mn ltazez?

            saay

          • Solomon

            Captain Saay7,

            A fortune cookie if you please. It should read:
            “Some day you are the pigeon, some day you are the statue.”
            Kinda like: Al Dunya: WaHid yowm bessel waHid yowm AAsell.

            Though it ryhms with the Awassa and Kessel, I rather not say whether I am feeling Pigeon or Statue like at the moment. How about you?

            tSAtSE

          • saay7

            GI TsaTse:

            Sometimes you eat the bar and sometimes the bar eats you, -/ the narrator of the Big Lebowski explained.

            Of course a better one is The Dude’s all-season argument-ender “well, yeah, that’s just, like, your opinion, man.”

            saay

        • hanishisl

          Dear Horizon
          Don’t be so naive to think that women voted for Trump on inappropriate sexual conducts alone, they weighed other issues that are equally important to them. You are talking about a self respecting women, what about you a self respecting man should have voted or supported Bill Clinton when he took advantage of many women in the white house and LIED about on National TV. I remember that like yesterday.
          But the main point is that the DNC inappropriately chosen a women who was under the FBI investigations on two separate accounts to be the president of the USA.And i glad the american voter put that women to sleep, she should be in jail to be honest with you, she is a highly corrupt individual.Next time present a decent women as a candidate and may be then we can vote for her.

          About the racism and other labels against trump, you come from a country that is deeply divided by tribalism, regionalism,, christian-ism/Islamism, and all the ism you can think of so save your preaching to someone else.
          ciao

    • Nitricc

      Horizon;! The simple answer for your inquiry is that there are no Eritrean oppositions. There are no
      oppositions who are legit in representing the aspiration and the heart bit of the Eritrean people. You don’t have to take my word, you can analyze their last 18 years progress and the answer should be crystal clear. In case you need a reference point; 18 years is the time for on person to be born and join the army to carry and a gun and shoot to kill. I ask you what have the Eritrean oppositions have done.Absolutely Nothing!

      Why?
      In every case be it criminal or civil; motive is everything. Once you determined the motive; rest assured to solve the crime or whatever the dilemma you have on your hand. i.e. the Eritrean opposition motive is not to
      bring peace, stability and democratic governance to Eritrea or to free the people of Eritrea. Their main motive is grudge, settling the old scores and get even with PIA at any cost. The Eritrean oppositions don’t give a flying hoot about Eritrea and the people of Eritrea. This is true and this is the reason not only they lacked going forward progress but regressing all together. This is the reason why they are neglected not only by silent majority
      but by thousands of trained Eritrean army members all over neighboring countries. The other main reason to become an Eritrean opposition is that there are great benefits and incentives that come with it, from free hotels, food and air tickets to financial gains. Again the motive is not for what is good to the people and the country. Your government is awarding all those benefits to who ever declares to oppose the Eritrean government, so what is the surprising factor if this Eritrean opposition thing is nothing but an absolute joke?

    • Yoty Topy

      Hi Horizon,
      ‘Let me ask my own questions; why is it that eritrean opposition could not mobilize and form a fighting force, when about 50% of the more than >150k refugees in ethiopia are trained soldiers …’

      I don’t blame them and if I were in their situation I would do the same. The simple reason is FATIGUE. After a brutal 30 years of arm struggle followed by nonsensical brutal boarder , it is no surprise that no one has the appetite to mount a guerrilla-warfare. That’s why most have resigned to running out the clock.

      • Saleh Johar

        Dear Yoty Topi,

        One thing that might help you understand more about the problem:

        In the seventies, the refugee camp in the Sudan was open to the Eritrean liberation forces, they could organize, agitate and recruit and provide modest services (most of Awatistas here are graduates of one or another such school). Therefore, the support and resources were very helpful and the they acted almost a government in exile.

        The Eritrean opposition doesn’t have free access to the camps and there are other problems I would rather not say here. But believe me, the reasons you mentioned make a tiny fraction of the problem. There are bigger issues and I am convince there are other to be blames (most of the blame) compared to the Eritrean opposition.

        • Yoty Topy

          Hi Saleh Johar,
          You are probably right. Strong support from friends and allies alike would go a great length but let me ask you this, looking back , do you think the sense of patriotism was the same as today’s? I could be wrong but the kind of burning patriotism that motivates soldiers to clear mine fields with their body comes ones a generation. Then again, I may be projecting my lack of bravery:)

        • Ismail AA

          Ahlen SJ, Aman and others,

          I agree that some fatigue could be felt on broader support base; the families had sacrificed a lot of blood and resources over a prolonged period of time. Moreover, lack of trust which Amanuel has mentioned is real constraint. The regime, since its days in the bush had reinforced the social and cultural fault lines that divide our communities. It is at core of the strategy of maintaining its predominant social-cultural power base. Beating on the cord of mistrust was also lucrative propaganda factor during the imperial and Derg eras. The ELF during its initial years did also suffer from rampant mistrust among major sector of our population, as the opposition now does.

          But seen in the light of those who are already committed, and as well as those potentially cherish freedom and therefore antithetic to the prevailing oppressive conditions, I believe there is no lack of patriotism and commitment. As SJ has mentioned, the paralyzing hindrances to the opposition resides much more beyond domestic handicaps.

          The fact that the refugee communities during the era of armed and political struggle were vital sources of support to the liberation fronts SJ had mentioned is telling instance. We know that families were uprooted from their livelihood resource back home and were very poor depending on meagre resources and hand out from donors. But they believed in the cause and the authorities of the host countries did not keep them under siege; they had reasonable space to do what they could to help the fighting sons and daughter in the field.

          After the exit of the Ethiopian forces in 1991, the authorities in Sudan began to strangle the movement of the opposition. Their policies vacillated in tune to their relation with the regime. At the present, the opposition is totally banned and denied access to the refugee camps. Imagine the ordeal one would face to pass a message across the border to someone inside Eritrea escaping the sight of the spy network run by the authorities of both countries.

          The situation in Ethiopia is no better as far as access to the camps goes. The refugee camps in Northern Ethiopia are strictly insulated from any access by the opposition save the few marginal organizations that are ideologically connected. Since these groups get priority status treatment, they do get limited access. But the messages they propagate are not sellable among the audiences: reason those organizations could not grow in spite of the support they enjoy in comparison to the mainstream opposition organizations that are the extension from the liberation war era, and mutual trust between them and the host is rare commodity. Actually, one of the key failures of the Ethiopian authorities vis-a-vis the opposition lies in the ideological element.

          They hinged their hopes on the groups who accepted from early on the ideological convictions of the ruling coalition with the TPLF and its party at the helm, and embodied in the constitution which is designed on the basis of fulfilment of the nationalities question. The priority task of the Ethiopian hosts concentrated on facilitating the ground for the ideologically affiliated groups to acquire central role in the opposition, and sit at the driver’s seat. Herein lays the true reason why the umbrellas of the opposition at the various stages did not succeed. The last attempt was at Hawassa in 2011, at the Sana Forum did not win the day by installing the nationalities organization at the driving position of the ENCDC.

          But in relation to Eritrea and the opposition, the nationalities set up could not stick. The groups, old and new, that accepted the idea, and organized themselves accordingly have remained small. It seems that the authorities have become aware that the bet on these groups has become a burden. This could be surmised from the hints the Awate Team latest Pencil edition has provided.

          Regards
          Ismail

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Ahlen Isnailo,

            Leaving aside the situation of the opposition before the Awassa congress, let me come to your specific critic which says “the last attempt at Hawassa in 2011, as the Sena Forum did not win the day by installing the nationalities organization at the driving position of the ENCDC.” I do not know whether you had participated in the congress or not. But myself as a participant and active in the delebration of the issue at hand at that time, the problem wasn ‘t the sena forum and the nationalities, rather it was the archiac alliance named the “EDA ” (an alliance of the nationalities and non nationalities) couldn’t reform themselves in order the congress to be succesdful. Reform in its essence, l mean, that they do not need EDA umbrella once the big umbrella ENCDC is formed. Keep in mind they want to retain EDA even when the council gave them the entire executive body. Now if ENCDC is to survive EDA must dissolve. They took EDA umbrella as a structure that protect their intetest, but in realities it doesn ‘t. In fact it is a structure that paralize them and alinate them from the genetal public. As long as they want to maintain it, they will not have any influence in the Eritrean political landdcape nor in the geopolitical reality of our region. I am sure my friend SGJ will oppose my assessment. But as the binaculars of history is focusing at them, to see all their ailments that defy treaments, their path will surely be the path of a slow natural death. In short unless they understand the unnecessary umbrella within the umbrella, there will not be a condition the public to recacitate them from the path of slow political death. So all the excuses and scapegoating will not help them to survive and be formidable political opposotion. Let them clean their house and correct their own failures before they complain external forces, that enable them to know how to resist external pressure, if there is anything at all. I haven ‘t seen extetnal pressure in the years I engaged with them. None at all. It is all assumption.

          • Ismail AA

            Dear Aman,
            Your assessment from the vantage point of the on-the-spot political jockeying at Hawassa could be reasonably correct. But tracing developments from the time the opposition organizations were forced to migrate from Sudan to Ethiopia right from 1991 up to the immediate run up period to the 2011 congress at Hawassa would deliver more clearer picture of the agendas the player had been trying to promote at the congress. The host country through the Sana Forum could not had been neutral by stander; it actors who represented its views.

            In other words, looking at the situation merely from the alignment of the players at the congress venue may not provide adequate ground for conclusive assessment. For example, the sudden decision of the EPRDF government to sponsor and fund the Akaki conference in 2010 was considered measure aimed at changing the possession of the then ongoing process of building up towards an Eritrean national conference on the basis of the Kassel Manifesto of 2004. I assume you are aware of the background study the Kassel Manifesto Liaison committee had prepared and published.

            Ismail

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Merhabs Ismailo,

            Yes I am fully aware about the Kessel Manifesto and the liason committee lead by Dr Tesfazion Medhane. I am aware the fight made to form the committe and the rsistance of EDA members. Even after the formation of the committee EDA members haven ‘t failed to highjack the process and form their own committee to facilitate the national conference. EDA leadership and its members have never advocated for national conference. It was the pressure of the Eritrean people and civil societies that made them to accept the concept in Kessel but didn ‘t take them to highjack it and create a situation to control the process. EDA is the culprit of all the problem from the start of the process in Kessel. One lf the defiant against the participant of independent intellectuals and civil society was Hiruy Tella who never stop dreaming to be the head of state of Eritrea till he dies. He sees civil societies as servant of political organizations.Was Dead wrong. I wrote an article during the formation of the committee at messel and criticized Hiruy and his allies who were working hard to kill the process ( I hope Saay or SGJ will pull the article from the old archive). I will look the hard copy from my files and add the title to this comment.

            Therefore again, Ethiopia has nothing to do with highjacking the kessel outcome but the archaic EDA does. Do you know what I wish: The Ethiopian officials to kick them out (EDA) in order to eliminate these all excuses and scapegoating and to remove the cancer of the opposition camp once for all. I once support EDA during its formation and I start to dispise them when they become the obstacles of ENCDC at every turning.

            Regards
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • MS

            Hi Emma

            I have found close to what you are looking for. Interestingly, you were swinging towards EPDP, you praised EDA heavily in the following link.
            goo.gl/DO7HgK

            Then when you became disappointed with EPDP and EDA wrangling, you penned this:
            goo.gl/EeSJ2q

            When you were feeling REALLY, REALLY happy about EDA you showered it with praises generously.
            goo.gl/DO7HgK

            Once when you got pissed off with EDA, you wrote this
            goo.gl/pzouBq
            And many more similar articles. Your wish to find a solution and your frustration is palpable in all of your articles. That’s the good part. However, many of them either skip or over gloss the influence of Ethiopian intrusions. They may not be visible to you when you interacted with them as a guest attendant of the conference they worked so hard funded to convene, but many who passed through these experiences say that the day to day, or month to month, engagements of Ethiopian officials are based on clear criteria. They will fund, host, arm, support organizations and entities who serve as the tip of the spear of their imperial ambitions, i.e, at the national level. On the regional level, Tigray, they will invest in organizations that will become a natural extension of their ideologies (ethnic federalism that stoke regional and ethnic tensions and rivalry which, at the end of the day create a weakened Eritrea that replicate the 18-19th Century Bahri Negasi where Tigray lords are once who call the shots.,
            In one of these articles, you observed that “Even the so-called secular organizations, as baptized by the highland elites, which by the way is for their own convenience, do they know that these organizations are also characterized by regionalism (EPP=Serae, EDP=Hamassien, and EPM=Akeleguzay)! These illnesses do not afflict certain groups only. It has become a systemic societal illness used as norm to ostracize each other.” medhanit tereKibwo’do? Have they found a cure for it?

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Merhaba Mahmuday,

            Thank you for the links of my past articles and understanding my frustrations on the reality of Eritrean politics. On the relation between Ethiopia and the oppositions it is all on the assumptions that a host country can not render help or make “a partnership project” that does not include the interest of the host country. I get that part of the argument. But why do we make our own guess as to what “the may be” the nature of their agreement until we find any written document. No one can argue with substantiate documents as to the partnership of the two. Though, Saleh portrayed me as naive to the reasons of the formation of “Sana forum” and the relationship with our opposition, it isn’t away from my grasp, as one who is following religiously the geopolitics of the horn. So Mahmuday, I do not argue without document that enhance and support it.

            Take care,
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Ismail AA

            Ahlen Aman,

            Thank you for your rather broad response. My mention in passing of the EDA and ENDDC was not intended to open debate on this topic. It was in fact a casual digress to underscore a point. I understand issues pertaining to these matters are controversial nowadays due to the reasons we all know.

            But I would like to scribble a few things regarding issues about the Kassel Manifesto, its genesis and fate because volumes of water had flown under the bridge regarding the issue. You may take the few things I am going to tell you as testimonies from an eye witness because fate had let me be involved from the beginning. I just happened to take part in developing the idea of the Manifesto, the debate of forming the Liaison Committee of which I became its secretary general under the chairmanship of Prof. Tesfatsion.

            To make this feedback brief, the Manifesto was issued from the podium of the Kassel Festival 2003 because it was developed and recommended by the ELF-RC on the morrow of the disastrous spit of the organization. This was an attempt to establish a common platform between the novel myriad civic societies groups and the ENA, precursor of the EDA under the leadership of our brother Herui. There was difficulty evolve understanding on the need of convening of national conference. I mean to there was no resistance on the part of Herui and the late Dr. Osman Abubaker who was also present at the Festival venue. He was head of Foreign affairs of ENA. The problem was who was eligible to gather the resources in terms of logistics and the run up to the conference tasks. The civic societies had no means and experience. They therefore agree to give the responsibility to the ENA.

            At the Festival of 2004, the ENA dialogue committee under the leadership of the late Ahmed Nasser which was formed by the ENA to lead the process to the aspired national conference had reported that it could not do much for reasons it detailed at the venue.

            On that score, meeting was called at the Festival site that included the ENA represented by Herui, the host (ELF-NC) and members of the civic society groups. From the meeting a motion was tabled by the ELF-NC representatives calling for forming a liaison committee which was unanimously approved, and a five-man committee was named.

            The committee organized itself by sharing responsibilities and immediately sat in a meeting with ENA and its dialogue committee, Herui as secretary general of the ENA and Ahmed Nasser as chairman of the ENA dialogue committee. At that meeting, a common working scheme of cooperation and coordination was agree upon between the two sides.

            The Liaison committee began its work and focus as priority on the doing a study on what the national conference in the context of the Eritrean environment entailed. The committee worked under difficult conditions regarding resources and support, but makes tremendous effort and sacrifice in time and material and within a year the study draft was readied and reported at the Festival of 2005.

            Now, let me say by concluding remarks that Kassel Manifesto and the process towards the aspired national conference faced hurdles and resistance not really from the ENA or the EDA later, but early on from the organizations that were not part of its on the one hand, and some civic society groups that so overwhelmed by simplicity and shortage in understanding of the intricacies of the opposition arena at the time, and wanted quick result. This was the time when the reformist groups of former EPLF members began to take form as opposition organizations. The neighboring countries – Ethiopia and Sudan – had pinned exaggerated hope to what personalities like Mesfin Hagos and Abdalla Adem could do. So, they started to put a lot pressure on the ENA to open the door to them. At a meeting in Khartoum (2005) the groups of Mesfin Hagos and EPM joined the alliance almost on their term.

            At that meeting Mesfin Hagos’ group presented their own draft regarding the national conference and demanded that each member organization do the same within specified time frame. It was at that point that the Kassel Manifesto and the work of the Liaison Committee were knocked down.

            Apologizing for this usually extended feedback, I hope these cursory points would help to set the record straight. The issue is broad and this might not be the right place to dwell on it in detail.
            Regards,
            Ismail

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Merhaba Ismailo,

            Thank you for your feed back. Just for you info that the civil society I was part with (EIDM) has participated twice in Kessel. At least EIDM I was was lead and participated by veteran of the armed struggle and could not be “overwhelmed by simplicity and shortage in understanding of the intricacies of the opposition arena at the time”. Besides, I had frequent communication with Dr. Tesfazion Medhane during that time for the sole purpose to create a united opposition by orchestrating grass root movement to challenge the calculated mischief of the leadership of the umbrella. But why the Kessel manifesto didn’t become the basis and footprint of the national conference that was held in Akaki in 2010? You have my reason in my previous comment and what do you think by your side as a member of the committee who drafted the manifesto?

            I could not pull my articles from the wayback archives of awate. They are not restored yet. The following are the articles I wrote regarding Kessel conference and my assessment on the failuree of the leadership of the opposition;

            (a) “Get the cure without the nasty effect” awate.com May 23, 2004
            (b) “The juvenile delinquency of Eritrean politics and diplomacy” awate.com April 11, 2005.

            Finally, enough is said about the archaic organizations. Let us focus on what should be done at this stage of our struggle.

            Regards
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Hameed Al-Arabi

            Selam Emma,

            (Besides, I had frequent communication with Dr. Tesfazion Medhane during that time for the sole purpose to create a united opposition by orchestrating grass root movement to challenge the calculated mischief of the leadership of the umbrella.)

            Your comment above exposes plainly that you were busy to topple the opposition than unite them. I think it is high time to change your strategy, because all your plans to topple the archaic organizations failed. Your comment above clearly explains that you were the mastermind of dividing the opposition into youth and old, and that is too bad. We know the old inherit the young, but the young topple the old is alien to Eritrean culture.

          • Ismail AA

            Dear Aman,
            I appreciate you input in this unintended return to issues that had taken their fair share of the debate though I did not take part in this outstanding forum. I feel a bit regretful for incidentally raising the issue by way of trying to underscore a point. I apologize to the moderators for coming in with this burden. Of course I am talking about timing, and not the eligibility and essentiality of of the issues for discussion.

            Now, to clear the point that appeared to have created confusion, my comment could have been taken as unqualified reference to the civic society. My comment concerned the many groups (23 groups -some were even one-person formation), that came for the first to attend 2003 Kassel Festival. The podium space could not even accommodate them. From the realities I witnessed amid the interactions with the audience on the floor, many did not even acquaint themselves with what place and role as civic societies group was in the regime versus opposition equation at the time. Their focus was the good will driven aspiration to quickly deal with the regime, and, the opposition organizations under the ENA should work to remove the regime or else leave the arena for the people. Of course by the people (hizbi) they meant that they represented the people, and therefore by extension they were going to be more qualified to lead since they thought the leadership of the ENA and its member organization had failed. You can see how nasty the dichotomy was becoming. Instead of the mistrust thawing, it was taking the path to reinforcement. The members of organizations who were in the field doing what they could ever since “Nay widibat hashewiye yelen” years and never dropped the banner, felt bad when they were put on deck and judged by new comer civic societies whose role and place was not yet clear to them and the general public.

            Thus, dear Aman and others, my comment was trying to cite this very early discrepancy between the civic society groups and the ENA organization. Thus, I hope the comment should not generate unintended tilt.

            As to the EIDM and its participation in the Kassel Festivals, (assume you meant 2003 and 2004), I think you are referring to compatriots like Asmerom Berhe. Yes, they were present and I was graced to hear their views in the meeting that produced the Liaison Committee though there were some minor differences that made them not very happy, if my memory helps me. If you are referring to others than those I mentioned, I stand to be corrected.

            Finally, on the point why the Kassel Manifesto did not become the basic material at Akaki in 2010, I think I have dealt with that in my previous comments. To just reiterate, I told you yesterday that the Manifesto was dropped at the meeting of Khartoum in 2005 when the new members of the ENA (EDP and EPM) came with their own draft on the projected national conference. These new members had unequivocal support from the governments of Ethiopia and Sudan for the reason I mentioned in my earlier feedback. Thus, they were accepted as new members with their proposals included. The conference draft the EDP tabled was endorsed with new caveat: all the other members were also obliged to present their own individual drafts from which a draft with unified views of all would emerge. From that point on the Kassel Manifesto was put aside.

            By the way, the Liaison Committee had already got possession of the EDP draft that was written by their people in the USA. The idea was conceived after the plan of the study by the Liaison Committee came to the awareness of the EDP. Since it was grooming itself to join the ENA as strategic to open bridges with the governments in Sudan and Ethiopia, I assume that it did not want to be part of a national conference that it did not lead. In this it was joined by the EPM and ELF-RC that had re-joined the alliance at the same time with the EPM and EDP.

            A final word to end this extended feedback, I agree that we focus on issues and tasks of this time, reminding you though that very humbly decline to be party to terming any organization to “archaic” since at least I have obligation and decency to respect the people they represent as members and the communities those members hail from. Let us be magnanimous towards fighters who had sacrifices their lives to old age and stil leading those organizations.
            Regards,
            Ismail

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Merhaba Ismailo,

            Thank you for your extensive feed back. I could see your academic training as a historian serves you well in stitching the nitty gritty otherwise very important part of Eritrean history. I encourage you as historian to put your memory of Eritrean history in a book for our young generation. On the EIDM issue, I was referring those compatriots you mentioned who represented us at Kessel Festival, when we get the official invitation by the preparatory committee.

            Regarding the word “archaic” it is not an insult, rather in the context of my argument, it only mean old in style and method of engagement that doesn’t incorporate new ideas and appeal to young generation. Just to make it clear. Thank you again.

            Regards,

          • MS

            Hayak AllahUstaz IsmailAA
            Firstly, many thanks for connecting some outstanding dots.
            Secondly, reading your feed, “that Kassel Manifesto and the process towards the aspired national conference faced hurdles and resistance not really from the ENA or the EDA later, but early on from the organizations that were not part of its on the one hand, and some civic society groups that so overwhelmed by simplicity and shortage in understanding of the intricacies of the opposition arena at the time,” and wanting a quick result,
            it appears that you are substantiating Al-Arabi’s allegation that Emma and some civic activists tried to undermine the process.
            Thirdly: Could you elaborate on how was it that the preparation of a draft for the envisioned national conference, by Mesfen Hagos’ group, and asking others do the same “within a specified time frame” affected the process adversely.

          • Saleh Johar

            Ahlan MS,

            Until you get more clarification from Ustaz Ismail, let me share with you the following:

            Most of the members of the so-called civic societies, who were always aspiring to lead the opposition through crooked ways, have now ended up being the nouveau political organizations. If you ask me, they never believed in civil activities. They thought their job was done when, at a later stage, they were “teHatsiom” (where is ummal Arous!) to lead the other unwanted, untamed, unyielding opposition groups who are taking the scorn on behalf of the general opposition to this date. The qal kidan was finally signed in several events. As we speak, some of them are preparing to deliver their bkr, bukri qolAa 🙂

            These are the ones Emma says this about : “Do you know what I wish: The Ethiopian officials to kick them out (EDA) in order to eliminate these all excuses and scapegoating and to remove the cancer of the opposition camp once for all.

            I wish Emma could tell us who who among the opposition he wishes to be kicked out!

            By the way, there are groups in Ethiopia who think Ethiopia is their natural sphere, and would like to see everyone else kicked out, or dead. Ironically, they are the ones who would not survive a day if the Ethiopian power is unplugged from their cranky engines. Unfortunately, many tight political workings which includes intelligence designs, are common to the keen observer. Show me the document, on stuff that goes underground, is a no excuse. Even if there are documents, one cannot simply release them or state what they know publicly, for many restricting reasons. Only journalists with no or little stake in the struggle can be that reckless about that. For the rest, let’s hop there is time for writing memoirs 🙂

            See Mahmuday why I always get mad at you when you lambaste all the opposition as if they are one and the same? There are more colors within the opposition than you can find in a Home Depot paint shop; lambasting two very different groups as one, simply because they are loosely identified as an opposition, is not fair. Honestly, if you knew, some of them can only summon sympathy, Hshaaka: zellewuwo y’akhlom 🙂

          • MS

            Ahlen SGJ
            I’m retiring my WMD (no more carpet bombing, ha…ha:)
            I’ve become more keen when I see Emma demanding that people produce documents to back up the observation/suspicion…that we have towards how Ethiopia deals with the opposition. Unfortunately, I’m not understood, and worse, I make myself misunderstood, otherwise, when I say a united front, an opposition that stands on the viability of summoning Eritrean potential…linking diaspora with domestic change potential, I’m speaking of similar vision. But, for now, that’s a byway issue.
            On Amanuel’s insistence that people should produce documents to show that Ethiopia favors some more than others is unattainable, and frankly, it’s unfair to make that demand. How is it possible for ordinary people to produce (steal) possibly top secrets. Isn’t it a glaring fact, and very reasonable, at that, that Ethiopia has been favoring organizations whose programs and strategies align with its own? Isn’t practical experience and empirical observations of the past decade self-evident that the above is true? Why are some organizations refusing to join the rest of ENDC in holding the next conference? Dear Emma, I have exchanged with you in the past in relation to this point. At times I called you bad names, such as “Ethiopia’s tamagne watader, etc” which I really regret. I just want to make the point that you have been blindsided on this aspect of the issue. I’m not saying Ethiopia should change its behavior, I know it would not and should not. But we have to be aware of the facts on the ground and try to be as realistic and accurate as possible in studying the underlying problems. At the end it will be up to Eritreans how to factor in Ethiopia’s policy. However, understanding it and describing it accurately will solve many of the confusions.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Abu Salah,

            I thought you rest your case on the issue. But if you reopen it, let me ask you a question? Suppose your accusation is correct. And let us assume you are articulating the content of the agreed document of partnership without citing and referring or mentioning about it, like a legendary history that goes from mouth to mouth. What makes that in itself any different than exposing the document to substantiate your accusation? After all from the signatory point of view they will understand that one of them has leaked the so called confidential agreement. Then, don’t you think the feared repurcation is already happened but not understood by the responsible journalist? Isn’t it this reckless in itself but not yet understood by the one who did it. Again, on the flip side of it, wouldn’t it the job of responsible journalist to tell the truth to the concerned public to find a solution for it?

            As to your position on the role of civil society I understood it. I know the history what makes you to be so and I will leave it as is for history to account it correctly.

            Regards

          • Saleh Johar

            Hi Emma,

            Indeed, I decided to move in but then I saw your “kick them out” democratic wish. You didn’t think I was never going to discuss the issues again, Did you?

            Branching out of the main topic is a problem. My question was , what’s your view on the role of the Ethiopian side on the failures. You absolved that side from any wrong decisions and actions and heaped your blame on the would-be kicked out. I moved on from that specific question. You replied it by not replying it. Now you bring the word “document” , not my word. Partnership is implied and not necessarily a signed document and I explained the nature of the partnership which you do not accept unless there is a document. I have nothing to add to what I explained so far. Still, you consider the opposition as a mere guest and the Ethiopians as mere hosts. I would think you know better that such simplistic argument.

            That’s all, for now.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Abu Salah,

            When you use the word ‘partners or partnership ‘ I thought at least they have document of memorandum of understanding. So your argument is on personal observation. I am sure you know personal observation is subjective which is the same like me but different. So let us close our case here.

            Regards,

          • Saleh Johar

            Emma,
            You can read what you want, I just explained that not all partnerships need documents to be proven. Some have, others don’t. A;so, some have but are not made public. Some are agreed upon on, in many ways. For example, do you find a written agreement between different parties when they were acting in partnership in Hawasa? No written agreement but very obvious, and you know it. When the TPLF and EPLF attacked ELF, it was a partnership but I am afraid you cannot produce a document (doesn’t mean there are or otherwise). The way the opposition is aligned, at all times, you can not produce any document but one can only explain it in many other ways.

            The above is not necessarily what applies to the partnership of the topic at hand. It is to explain my views on how different partnerships are formed.

            I think I have said enough already, can you please help me with the following, please:

            Please explain the nature of relations between the different opposition groups and the Ethiopian government.

            I hope this will not face the fate of my earlier question regarding your views concerning the role of the Ethiopian government on the a failure of the opposition, which you refused to answer. I understand that. But please don’t swerve on this one, it is a straight forward question.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Abu Salah,

            I told you I haven’t any document on the relationships of the organizations with the Ethiopian officials. But if you want me to give my guess or assumptions, here are as follows; and you could take it or leave it. I will give with some back ground.

            First, during the honeymoon of TPLF and EPLF after the Eritrean independence and the removal of derg, the two provisional governments have signed the “Ethio-Eritrean defense and security agreement in 1993” (fact not assumption) they start to hunt the political organizations (I lost many former comrades). When their relationship soured and rifted, then the political organizations slowly moved from Sudan to Ethiopia. It is around this time that the three countries (Ethiopia, Sudan, Yemen) signed an agreement known as “Senaa Forum” also known the “Senna cooperation summit,” a joint defense agreement against any war provocation by the Eritrean regime. It becomes quit natural that the “Senna forum” to give financial support to ENA an alliance of the Eritrean oppositions that was formed in 1999 at Khartoum that was transformed to EDA later on. Since the opposition made their head office in Addis Abeba, Ethiopia, it was the Ethiopian security was the liaison between the “forum” and the Eritrean oppositions.

            Now back to your question: my assumption and observation from the activities of the relationship between the protocols is (a) the opposition get limited assistance for their offices, conferring conferences, convening congresses in an effort to unite the struggle of the oppositions and expedite the fall of the Eritrean regime that become the threat to their stability (b) get security assistance in the movement of the oppositions. Do they have an agreement to this kind of assistance that binds them? I don’t think so in my opinion. The rest is is history that you and me have a divergent view on it. Second regarding, the TPLF/EPLF alliance, I think if I am not wrong T.Kifle had indicated that they had some kind of written memorandum of understanding how to persecute the war against ELF, during the debate on the issue.

            regards
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Saleh Johar

            Emma,
            So, does it mean you are allowed to argue based on your assumptions and reading of developments but others are not allowed? That is the contradiction that disturbed me now you said it yourself. I rest my case on this one

            Does it mean you can bring T. Kifle’ s testimony/views when it serves your argument but I and others cannot make conclusions based on our experiences and reading? This is also another contradiction that bothers me. Now you said it yourself. Here also I rest my case.

            Dear Emma, if after years on involvement in an issue one cannot form an opinion, that person should by extension forget what his name is. Exchange of views in a forum like this should not always be treated as a court case. Sometimes people do not want to say some things because of many reasons. And that should be understood as a legitimate right. If this was a court, you would see all sorts of testimonies, real an circumstantial evidence presented, and witnesses called. However, this is a political issue and as such the “where are documents” argument is a debate stopper. I am certain you are not divulging several critical evidence from the Hawassa debacle. I understand the reason and I am not going to go beyond that, for the moment.

            Finally, let me emphasize this: what we have in common is way bigger that this hiccup that pops up occasionally. I will live with that until it is resolved. The only thing is that I hope some groups do not go for the kill using real politic mechanism because the outcome will be disasterous.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Merhaba Saleh,

            You pushed me to give you my assumptions not for purposes of a debate as fact, but to satisfy your question, and I did. I have indicated several times that I will not use “assumptions” in a debate for public consumptions. I clearly stated in my comment that it will not be taken as fact but as an assumptions from an individual observer. If I was of the opinion that assumption can be taken as verifiable arguments, I would have answered you when you asked me several times. I strongly believe verifiable issues are the only thing to be given for public consumption.

            Second, I did not use T. Kifle’s assertion for my argument not now and not back then. Again if some people do not want to say something they know, what ever the reason might be, let them stop from giving us un verifiable story. If they want to do it, and sure they have all the rights, I could tell you only that it is not a scoop of info for writers. On the Awassa issue we have debated enough and we have different optics at it. And let us take it as one of our difference. And if you are worried about the public, let them take what ever it gives them a flavor to their political believes. Like what you have said “what we have in common is way bigger that this hiccup that pops up occasionally.” I absolutely agree. In fact we are in the same page in all the main issues and that why you are a comrade in our current struggle. Abu Salah, have peace and I will reciprocate it right after you read it.

            regards
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Saleh Johar

            Dear Emma,
            Okay, fine. Writing has many facets. Please don’t jump and request documents every time one writes something you do not like. It’s just a friendly advise. If you want me to stop writing and expressing my views, that will be impossible to do. I hope you think about what you are saying on that respect. People write for public consumption; what they write in public is not a love letter to a sweetheart, or a family member. We should understand and live with it. If you agree with what I write, fine. If you don’t, also fine. If you want to debate it, also fine. But every time you don’t like what I write, please don’t ask me for documents like an attorney. Take into consideration the possibility that I might not be willing to divulge more than I did. You are free to debate and challenge my views–asking me for documents in a debate is not a challenge. What if I know of closed door secret meetings in hotel rooms and secluded places and I do not want to say anything about it? What if I know of commitments, promises, influences, and pressures exerted behind closed doors? What if I know of secrete messages that are passed to select groupies? Do you really think I do not understand and cannot tell what’s cooking when I smell burned food? You can smell such things from miles away. And I am blessed with good smelling sense 🙂 And when I see an occasion, I write about them. Strangely enough, I always write and have not changed my writing style since you knew me, did I? However, when you agree with what I write, you say nothing and it’s natural. But when I write something you do no agree with, you wear you courtroom hat. That is also natural and understandable. But people here also observe and they ask why the selective reaction on certain points only! And why consistently!

            That is the problem Emma. I can only divulge information I want to. Nothing else. And please don’t think as if that will stop me from writing, I can only censor myself if I see a reason. I do not allow others to censor me whenever their interest is exposed or at stake. As you know, through the years I have experienced such bold gestures from many entities and individuals. I just hope people would act as rationally as they try to portray themselves rational people–myself included.

            Emma, I already made my point, but if you insist on having the last word, go ahead. I closed this earlier with the sentence you quoted. I hope it is the final thing I say on this regard. So, with the same spirit I repeat: “what we have in common is way bigger that this hiccup that pops up occasionally.”

            With respect
            Saleh

          • Ismail AA

            Hayak Allah Ustazna Mahmoud,
            Thanks for the feedback. If you kindly allow me, I abhor words being put into my mouth. Having said so I would like to state unequivocally that I did not say or insinuate that Emma – a man for whom I have utmost respect for his personal and intellectual integrity, “… tried to undermine the process”. I just smelled rat in this statement as though there is an attempt to fish in dirty waters, as is the popularly said.

            Moreover, I am not aware of the statement you termed as “Al-Arabi’s allegation”. Please, correct me if I have misunderstood you and overstepped my boarder.

            As to the elaboration you have asked, may I kindly refer you to the response feedback I jotted to my brother, Aman.
            Thanks again,
            Ismail

          • MS

            Selam Ustaz IsmailAA
            hA…HA…I feel no desperation to “fish in dirty waters” my friend, I live next to a vast Ocean, i.e., I’m trying to understand a point, and I’m using yours and Emma’s words, which are full of material I would want to backup my statements. Therefore:
            1. You could be as diplomatic as you want to be, and as partisan as you want to be, you may want to rearrange and re-explain yourself (as you did in your follow up reply to Emma), but those quoted words are yours, and I have no motive to try to irritate you to the point you smell rat. No Ismailo, relax, the air is fresher than you sense.
            2. I’m not trying to create wedge here. I respect Emma for the fact that he never changes his behavior based on how each of us stand on issues in this forum and how we deliberate them (I could say I know him as well). When we enter this forum we keep our individuality in issue raised and interact as two independently minded persons; when we are off the forum, we are two good friends. I know his heart, and his passion.
            3. Emma has every right to formulate his opinion regarding processes. Even if he concludes the “archaic” organizations are failures and look for substitutions, as he told you point-blankly, still that does not make him wrong. I just wanted to grasp the whole inner dynamics of that period.
            In addition to how he described the traditional political organizations- as archaic-,here is how he saw the Kassel conference process:
            Even after the formation of the committee, EDA members haven ‘t failed to hijack the process and form their own committee to facilitate the national conference. EDA leadership and its members have never advocated for national conference. It was the pressure of the Eritrean people and civil societies that made them to accept the concept in Kessel but didn ‘t take them to hijack it and create a situation to control the process. EDA is the culprit of all the problem from the start of the process in Kessel to the convening of the congress at Awassa. One of the defiant against the participant of independent intellectuals and civil society was Hiruy Tella who never stop dreaming to be the head of state of Eritrea till he dies. He sees civil societies as servant of political organizations” Add to that the point Al-Arabi raised where Emma said, “I had frequent communication with Dr. Tesfazion Medhane during that time for the sole purpose to create a united opposition by orchestrating grass root movement to challenge the calculated mischief of the leadership of the umbrella.” Emma was trying to make the point that the civic societies, which he was a part of, made a good footprint that would help in the Akaki Conference, and he asked why it was not used. By the way I don’t have any objection to community and civic based political pressures.
            Of course, now, you are blaming “Mesfun Hagos and his group” stating that they ” had unequivocal support from the governments of Ethiopia and Sudan…”
            To conclude: It’s written all over the wall, ya ustazna almuHtarem. You have every right to walk a tight rope and be as sensitive as you feel you should be towards any person of your choice. As far as Emma is concerned, he is as tough as the toughest nugget could be. He does not mince words. Even if he believes that civic societies should be given more of a say, that does not necessarily make him wrong. Even if he wanted to undermine any process (by the way he was clear it was EDA which was trying to undermine or as he put it “hijack” the conference), that does not make him wrong. Undermining a process that will eventually lead to failure could be right. I was trying to understand the process before I pass a judgement as to who could have been the culprit.
            Regards.

          • Hameed Al-Arabi

            Selam Mahmud Saleh,

            The worst persons who stand on our unity way are entities like Mahmud. They always pour fuels on our disagreement. It is beneficial to our unity to disregard ideas of such odd guys who pant for their personal interests.

          • MS

            Ahlan Hameed Al-Arabi
            Shukran Ala Aljewab, wo laken…..
            Thanks to the creators of the forum, Mahmud will continue writing what he makes out of his surroundings, friends, media….get used to it. I’m not here for praises, and I got used to the condemnations and false allegations and criminalization….I have seen so many self-righteous persons in my life, my friend. Yours are actually easy to dismiss because they are way off the norm, your language is raw and I don’t want to go down the drain chasing you. Why are you responding to me while advising others to ignore me? Talking about “self-interest”, it just shows how loose a person you are; otherwise, there is no personal interest you can point to. I’m just mesmerized by how expert you guys are at making acrobatics. I’m just using your words. If you want not to be quoted, then watch what you say. In case you forgot, I was referring to this part of your reply to Emma.
            “Your comment above exposes plainly that you were busy to topple the opposition than unite them. I think it is high time to change your strategy, because all your plans to topple the archaic organizations failed. Your comment above clearly explains that you were the mastermind of dividing the opposition into youth and old, and that is too bad…You lecture us about democracy, but your works speak contrary to what you feign.”

          • Hameed Al-Arabi

            Selam Mahmud Saleh,

            You have to know how to differentiate between a forum and your home. When I come to your house and knock at your door, then you have the right to tell me, why you reply to me. I always consider myself discussing with the forum that is open to all Eritreans. May be I use you as a sample, but you are not my direct target.

          • MS

            MarHab Al-Arabi
            I ‘m alluding to the attitude. You advised others to ignore me while you did not hesitate to engage me. That’s the point, my friend; it’s about the condescending attitude. The forum needs no explainer-in-chief.
            Have a wonderful Sunday.

          • Ismail AA

            Ahlen Ustazna Mahmoud,

            Thanks for the feedback.

            But first thing first: I thought you understood the phrase I used in its literary sense. The intention was its idiomatic usage – meaning that there was something wrong (or misunderstanding in our case). The sense you surmised was not intended, and I hope you won’t take me for playing diplomatic this time, too; it is sincere.

            As to your attitude and relationship with Aman, what you stated is very much admired; that is how mature people should be related to one another. Furthermore, Aman, you and I have all the right in the world to understand and formulate opinions on issues in the way each of us understands them. There is no case here for one walk a tight rope, another a loose one. No one should mince words either for something one says or writes. I believe we are not arguing issue at a courtroom. The only golden rule is to say something with dignity and decency. The deal is to inform and benefit from what we say to one another.

            I hope you got what you were looking for so that you would be able to formulate an opinion you wish on the issues we were discussing.
            With due respect,
            Ismail

          • MS

            Hayak Allah Ustaz IsmailAA

            No, I understand the idiomatic intent of you proverbial saying, but I wanted to add chew-berbere (a bit of spice and twist حبيت ان انور نهارك اين ما كنت يا استذنا الغالي ); I was just making the point that had your words and I did not have to wonder as what they meant; I didn’t have bad suspicion or motive at all, and I was using your words, which were clear, anyway. I really was trying to understand the process that had led to the conferences. Although I don’t claim to be well informed, I’m better today than I was in those days in issues related to the opposition.
            Regarding the rest of your comment, I do respond in kind. You are a gentleman, and rest assured that I communicate with you as clearly as possible. I have read Emma’s last comment, and I concur with him. All I can say is the following. I will try to do my best, but let’s all please rise above the old sentiments. Let us judge people by what they say now, and not by where they belonged decades ago. Any way, according to my observation, most of the unpleasant exchanges are triggered by sentiments that the experience of our armed struggle left behind. That part is now history, and let history treat its own part. Amanuel Hidrat is a good man, he is a good friend, I have just had phone conversation with him (about an hour ago); and we are fine. Regarding IsmailAA, although I can see few differences on how we see things, and most of them have to do with Ethiopian relation visa-vise the Eritrean opposition and Ethiopian relation to the change we aspire to see in Eritrea, I have great respect for your personality and ideas.
            Regards.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Ismailo & Mahmuday,

            Why are “good people divided by politics ? ” a question that cringes me day in day out. What is politics to our lives other than the fact that it should be an engagement in trying to have the same understanding on the plight of our people and share the probable solutions. As good men as you are, still politics divided your goodness. And it pained me when our collective effort is lost in the unknown Eritrean political mixes. But I know good men are always good men and will come to some common understanding. Mahmuday, let emphesize this: you might think I am trying to walk in a tight rope as you have said it to Ismail, but that feeling is from deep of my heart and dictated by my instincts. Politics divide good people. Sad.

            Regards

          • Peace!

            selam Emma the great,

            Thank you I am enjoying the on going great discussion, and with regard to your above reply – politics divide good people, the differences you are blaming for that do not seem ideological rather pretty much technical. Don’t you think learning from past mistakes helps future performance?

            Peace!

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Peace,

            Good people could be divided by politics and their goodness eventually bring them together. But there is also a division between good people and bad people in politics, and it is up to you to identify who is who. Of course learning from your mistakes help to device an alternative path, and it is applicable in every aspect of human lives.

            regards

          • Peace!

            Selam Emma,

            Obviously the discussion is within the wisdom of the quotes you just shared. The thing is your responses are raising more questions than answers, and with that, it is hard to restore trust, if there was any, and promote unity.

            Peace!

          • Hameed Al-Arabi

            Selam Emma,

            The ENCDC is composed of many bodies and a group has become one body under ENCDC. If the remaining bodies also become one body or two bodies under the same umbrella, then we will have two or three bodies under the umbrella of ENCDC. I think squeezing the many to two or three groups under one umbrella is not undemocratic and bad. The only problem is we failed to understand and manage diversity. I think our main aim is to survive only on the ashes of others.

          • Amde

            Selam IsmailAA

            This comment probably deserves to be an article.

            Personally, I thought Eritrean refugees were free to live outside the camps, rent, setup businesses etc.. Is that not true? And can the opposition not recruit from those outside the camps?

            Amde

          • Thomas

            Hi Amde,

            There are actually many restriction on Eritrean refuges in Ethiopia. This does not mean we don’t appreciate what Ethiopia is offering, but I would say not enough. You can only leave the refuge camp if you have an immediate family member and files for reunion of the family. The other two options would be if you have a pending immigrant visa process and want to stay in hotels/rent a condo. I don’t think any Eritrean refuge is allowed to open a business and work. The only thing that is permitted is to pursue college if the student passes the matriculation.

          • Saleh Johar

            Hi Amde, Ismail and Emma

            Indeed, refugees do get the chance to leave the camps provided they have sponsors, or more correctly, places to live in. Others also sneak out in many ways. But it is not an open camp where people can move out at will. However, this should not give the impression that they are interned.

            Some Ethiopians complain about the ethnic enclaves in their country–Unfortunately, that is how the refugee camps are structured. Each ethnic/regional group has a corner within the camps, a sort of a ghetto inside a ghetto. But that should not be understood as an entirely a planned exercise or structuring, but it is also the nature of Terso Mondo (and mainly African) social order (or disorder, if you like).

            The opposition cannot openly recruit and organize inside the camps. But some organizations are better positioned to do that compared to others. Of course there are security considerations, but that is not the only reason.

            The Eritrean opposition is mainly stationed in Addis, a few have branches and heavy presence in Tigray, not others. Trying to find out why gives you a glimpse at the problem.

            I have suggested many times that the opposition should only be allowed to be present in the border areas from which they can gradually improve their activities and be lose to their country. No one heeded my advise and those who agree could not implement it for many reasons. But those who are able to do it, have been attempting humble presence and sporadic operations in the region. Still, not must to show for it, even in terms of growth or influence.

            Now for the main problem: I believe the Ethiopian strategy on how to deal with the Eritrean opposition is not clear at all. At least not to me and I envy those who do, yet I wonder how and why! It has always been a haphazard strategy (at least to the knowledge of many of us though they might have one the officials and Eritreans in the know keep to themselves)

            But the vital problem is, as I think, the fact that if there is a strategy, it is more of a Tigray region strategy, not a pan-Ethiopian one. Of course, the situation in Eritrea concerns Tigray the most, other Ethiopians (Southern nations, BeniShangul for example) are not effected as much. Nevertheless, it is a critical issue and my concerns can be illustrated by the views of some veterans who still live in the seventies–for example, Abbay Woldu’s frozen-in-time speech during the 40th anniversary of the TPLF .

            Amde, if I do not stop here, I can go on for the entire day. But then, some people will get more itchy–that happens when one criticizes Ethiopian policy–they seem to believe we should not say anything at all but take it or leave it. The irony is that when I meet Ethiopian officials, I must admit I find them very calm and understanding. They do not show any irritation at all, and I have to admire them for being open to criticism. The problem I have can be explained by a Tigrinya saying, for which you have to find your own translator: tehagwamay ‘enkelo Tahaz lbbi…( the last word is missing, your translator will surely fill the gap :-).

            If there is more I can explain, please o not hesitate to ask.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Merhaba SGJ,

            If “the Ethiopian strategy on how to deal with opposotion is not clear ” to us, then on what basis can we criticize them other than knowing their stratrgy? That is why I oppose criticism without having tangible knowledge as to what is their strategy on dealing with the opposition. Saleh, I do not have itching you in criticizing the Ethiopian government (because l am the one who questioned your sssertion). What l always challenge to those who criticize is to come with justifiable facts. But What I am seeing rather is a general assumption that Ethiopia must contribute to the failure otherwise the opposition could not fail the way they failed miserably. What I learn from the opposition that they are incompetent to solve their own problem and went to ask the Ethiopian officials to solve their internal problem, which they refrain to interfere in the onternal problem. As a matter of fact they request

          • Saleh Johar

            Ahlan Emma,
            I thought the non existence of a clear strategy is enough reason for criticism! If there was a known strategy then I would have given my views on it. But before we go in a circle like many times before, let me ask you a question:

            Since the Eritrean opposition and the Ethiopian government are partners, we can assess the partnership during the last decade and half. The opposition has been weak, unperforming and not up to the task. Too much bickering, failure to create a united front to face the PFDJ and deliver, though all are my criticisms of the opposition is not limited to this comment, there are more. I also criticize those who claim to be in the opposition but refer to the opposition in the third person, I criticize them for not being decisive in where they belong. I also criticize those who want to lead the opposition from their place of exile based on when their vacation time is or when they get a sabbatical. They are the seasonal opposition. I can refer you to many criticisms that I leveled on every aspect of the struggle and those who revolve around and within it. I recognize you have criticized the opposition in many occasions, in fact abundantly. My question to you is this: if you objectively assessed the situation, and if I agreed with you on all your criticism of the opposition and it’s circles, would you tell me where and on what you would criticize the Ethiopian government?

            If you answer is similar to the last time, “there is none”, I will understand and move on like I have been doing so far.
            Thank you

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Abu Salah,

            I am completely tied up now. I will get back to you after work. Thank you.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear SGJ,

            Okay buddy, let me try to answer your concern and your questions. First, because we don’t know their strategy we can not conclude there isn’t clear strategy by their side. Rather we have to question to the leaders of the opposition as to what their common strategy is with host country. We can’t say Ethiopia has a role without knowing what exactly the role is. I didn’t see anyone who comes with a concrete proof as to what the strategic relationship between the Ethiopian government and the opposition so us to make the necessary critics. What I saw is power struggle based on mistrust within the organization’s. I am telling you point blank my friend. I can say that I am fortunate enough to get th opportunity to engage with them for few years to know them exactly.

            Second, to say that “the Ethiopian government and the oppositions are partners” we have to exactly know the nature of the partnership and what it is. So far no body know their partnership if they have a signed agreement of partnership at all. What all of us know is the Ethiopian government is hosting them, helping them financial aid from their limited resources, and secure their safety when necessary. Again it is a fundamental question that must be posed to the opposition leaders if they have any agreed partnership. So until we know exactly the nature of their partnership there is way we could make assessments. If you know by any chance you could share with us so we can make debate based on our individual assessment.

            Third, regarding our critic on the opposition being part of them or out of them, in general we do not have that much differences, except I do not support the Existence of EDA after the formation of ENCDC, and if I am not wrong you do. EDA as an umbrella inside ENCDC becomes the cancer of unity of the opposition. ENCDC was an Ideal umbrella of our rainbow and a prototype of “national political structure” of its kind that could help us to build trust a base of reconciliation. Big deal we lost great opportunity because of EDA.

            Fourth, you have said that you criticize those who claim to be in the opposition but refer the opposition in the third person. If I am part of your critic (which always refrain to make direct critic). If you are referring the word “opposition” to the “organized political opposition” then my answer will be, when I was part of them I refer the opposition as in the second person, and when I am not part of them I refer them as in third person in the way I communicate in this forum. But if you are referring the word “opposition” the oppositions that also include non organized citizen and civil organizations then I never attempt to communicate in the third person.

            Fifth, You also criticize those who want to lead the opposition from their exile place on vacation bases. I assure you that critic will not refer to me b/c I declined two nominations during the Congress of ENCDC. I wish you could make direct accusations, as your accusation is always “blanket accusation” which frankly I hate it.

            Sixth, you asked me if I have something I could criticize anything related to the relationship between the opposition and the Ethiopian officials. I could only give you my first hand knowledge in my three year tenure in the ENCDC council. In those three years what I saw was power mongering and bickering based on mistrust of each other that paralyzed the council and the ENCDC. I did not see the so called inteference by the officials rather instead they were helping us to extend our meetings in order to resolve our deadlocks everytime in our meetings. Any period before and after my those active engagements, they are a second hand and third hand rumours and I do not make assessment on rumours. If there are real problem the leaders of the opposition should come with an open release and tell the public as is. Otherwise it is not fair for the opposition and the Ethiopian officials to be criticized on their relationship by political pundits without any substantial proof. This is my position as clear as crystal unless a new official info came from the leadership’s of the opposition. I only debate a document base argument not on “yebehal allo.”

            Regards
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Saleh Johar

            Hi Emma,
            As I expected, you swerved too far instead of simply saying I do not want to reply. That would have been easier.

            I know that your knowledge of the opposition working in Ethiopia is limited. In fact Hawassa was your first close encounter with the devil of the project. But just like you claim to know the ills on the side of the opposition, I would have thought you could claim equal knowledge of the Ethiopian side (or by its misnomer, Sana forum). It seems you studied 50% of the equation and made a conclusion. I don’t know if that would be considered objective.

            At any rate, you asked me to share with you what i know for you to debate the issue. Emma! I don’t believe you are forgetful. I have written tons about the issue stretch as far back as more than a decade ago. We had a heated argument because I wrote of what I know after Hawassa and you debated what I shared. Do you want me to repeat everything I wrote? It is not possible. Do you want me to provide you with links? They are there on Negarit that I wrote, and on the Pencil that I co-authored and some on other occasions. C’mon Emma. I have explaine it enough and you know it, otherwise you wouldn’t have debated with me on the issue for a long time.

            One question I plead with you to ponder about:
            The Ethiopians government and any other, considers even tourist its guests. They don’t accompany them in their hiking, nightclub trotting, or meetings. In short, their role is limited to the normal security and service due to a visitor or guest. You know the relations of the opposition is not like that (and let’s not confuse it with the issue of refugees and other charitable deeds that are mainly governed by international protocols and humanitarian consideration)?the relation with the opposition doesn’t fall in that category and you know it. However, if you consider the relations as a host just hosting the opposition, your argument I am afraid, is illogical. But who am I to to ask you don’t walk outside the circle of the question? And it’s time to move on.

            Dear Emma, I have great admiration on all you positions, particularly your determination in the struggle, your position regarding the PFDJ, and your staunch stand on diversity. One serious difference is something I can live with.
            Have a nice weekend

          • Ismail AA

            Dear Amde,
            Thank you for you feedback. I just saw your comment and question after I read the comments brothers such as SJ had already adequately responded to your question. I just do not want to repeat what you might have already read from the brothers.
            Thanks again.
            Ismail

          • Solomon

            Selamat Mr. IsmaEilAA,

            I doubt your poignant point embedded in this, YES “Worthy to be an article” as Mr. Amde put it, is missed by some playing dumb and stupid. Fortunately, hdaEE/seburr we zblle Qolo netti naHrii Zar teKioUo. That and a few time constraints… But I shall pickup on your point of ideology to feed it from a different angle… Apparantly, THE Dr. ain’t interested in this one. Dr. House the best in the field of Oncology will deliver, I am sure

            tSibuQ yesembtena. Yom Barikha ya JemaAt Al Khier.tSAtSE

            Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s Workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God created in advance for us to do.

          • Ismail AA

            Tena YisTln Gash Solomon, yet Tefu semonun/
            Though you give hard time to decipher the gold from wax in you comments, I miss the glamor of it all when you take leave without pay and disappear from the forum. I am slowly becoming more addicted to your difficult to discern statements than with you normal flawless English – a bribe from me of course.
            Have a fine weekend.
            Ismail

      • Solomon

        To Yoty Topy (Topsy Turvy or grmbiT Maui nAQeb TuUm uwanu..:-)

        FATUGUE. You got something there. Fatigued to fight their brethren the Ethiopians. And fatigued to fight their brethren the Eritreans. And vice versa I believe. But should war be imposed on anyone, fatigue no longer applies. Especially when borders are shutting tight everywhere or are simply nonexistent anywhere.

        That is my jibirisish contribution as an Oppisition to none and to all.

        tSAtSE

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Hi Yoty Topy,

        Yes you are right. It is one of the two major problems in the politics of the oppositions, and the other being the mistrust within our society that hindered them to make a united effort against their common domestic enemy. The other minor problems are surmountable but are still remained as scapegoats for the political practitioners.

        Regards

  • Berhe Y

    Dear AT,

    Without really knowing all the involvement of Anna Gomez other that what was reported and from what I recall, I think it’s unfair to blame her for the outcome of the political problems.

    “Of course, some were incubated by the likes of Anna Gomes, the notorious Hanna Gobezie of the European Union, who in 2005 played a destructive role in the agitations that led to bloodshed in Ethiopia.”

    This sounds to me that you are taking sides and try to absolve the government from its responsibility. Wasn’t she invited as an observer to the election? What is she suppose to do and say when the government stole the election, (Melles announcing TPLF won the election before the votes were counted, he made illegal any peaceful demonstrations, and eventually putting all those opposition members who won election to jail (even most who have nothing to do with the violence) and made most of them to go into exile.

    That was a missed opportunity for short term gain, they are paying long term pain. If that sharing of power has happened with good will, I don’t think the political crisis today would have reached to the point today.

    What she suppose to do in her capacity as an observer then, just rubber stamp and look the other way and report “free and fair”, when many young people were shot and killed, because of the government exesive use of force.

    Ok, EPRDF may better choice for Eritrea interest but they were not exactly Angels either.

    Berhe

    • Dear Berhe Yeman,

      Don’t you think it’s better to refrain from commenting “without really knowing all the involvement of Anna Gomez”?

      Here is where we think your comment has nothing to do with the editorial, generally speaking. She was not mentioned in her capacity as an observer but the agitation she was involved in DC and other places. We believe she didn’t act as an observer, but as a mother defending her children, and we don’t think she had a child in the fight. We are sure you wouldn’t want Thomas mountain involved as an observer even in an imaginary Eritrean election, even if he was supporting your side.

      Secondly, the election was not our topic, not its outcome or fairness. We only raised her agitation and bullish attitude—we are not fond of that. As for our views on the election, we had written about it at the time and there is not need for it here. Indeed, it was ugly and the EPRDF didn’t handle it well, it was foolish. But at the same time, we cannot overlook the provocation and agitation by the opposition. In short, you are wrong: we didn’t blame here “for the outcome of the political problems.” As you know, there are many aspects of the election and it’s not limited only to the outcome. We still believe her role didn’t help the situation and we do not believe it was only the EPRDF to blamed. Do you?

      There is not need for us to take ”sides and try to absolve the government from its responsibility.” Such judgement is not fair, nor sound. And the editorial was not about the 2005 election though you made it seem so. Read it again.

      We would understand if you had the ideas that you expressed sitting in your mind and you wanted an occasion to air it. If so, it’s unfortunate you used the editorial as a springboard.

      You might believe the “EPRDF may [be] better choice for Eritrea interest but they were not exactly Angels either.” Take note: it is you saying all of that, not us, at least not the editorial. And that is so irrelevant to the topic of the editorial.

      Finally, why this lengthy reply?

      Simply because you are Berhe Yeman, and we value your views highly. Also, because they say, “The folly of the wise is ten-fold”.

      Thank you for the comment

      • Berhe Y

        Dear AT,

        I know and I appreciate you value my views. I hope you don’t mind to be criticized when the occasion calls for it.

        “We would understand if you had the ideas that you expressed sitting in your mind and you wanted an occasion to air it. If so, it’s unfortunate you chose to use the editorial as a springboard.”

        እሉኽሲ የብለይን:). I commented because I didn’t think your statement with regards to an elected member of EU was appropriate and AT worthy. I will try to explain.

        Here is what caught my attention:

        “Of course, some were incubated by the likes of Anna Gomes, the notorious Hanna Gobezie of the European Union, who in 2005 played a destructive role in the agitations that led to bloodshed in Ethiopia.”

        I agree the side comments, re: Ethiopian election or that I thought you are taking sides, was not appropriate.

        However you calling her as being notorious and going as far as playing a destructive role in the agitations that let to the bloodshed, I thought a bit too much in my opinion.

        When I said I didn’t know here involvement, I mean I don’t know to what degree she was involved in Ethiopian politics before the election. As far as I knew she was an observer to the Ethiopian elections representing the EU.

        I would not compare here role as EU election observer to that of Thomas Mountain and his role in Eritrean politics. It’s really unfortunate you have to use him as and example to compare to her. In my opinion, I would compare her to Antonio Bandini, for his role during the arrest of the G15. As and Eritrean who oppose the Eritrean regime, it would a pleasure to see him involved with Eritrean opposition and our events.

        Berhe

      • Nitricc

        Greetings AT; well, for what is worth, give Berhe his props. He caught you while your pants down. Finally the toothless Berhe growing some bones. lol, good for you Berhe. What is even disturbing is AT’s futile answer to Berhe’s take. They had to go as low as comparing Anna Gomoze who stood up to the weyane’s and sided with the people of Ethiopia with Thomas, how do you even try to do that? AT didn’t stop there; here is what they have to say ” We don’t think she had a child in the fight” what if her child is her principal. what if her child is the right thing to do? what if her child is to side with poor people of Ethiopia? what if her child is simply seeking the truth? You see, AT, because those values they may be nothing to you but for some they are more than a child and values to die for. It is obvious your blind support for the Ethiopian government is naked for everyone to see. unfortunate!!!!!!!!

        • sara

          Dear nittrik
          quickly find a good place to hide for a while.

    • Thomas

      Hi Berhe,

      Remember, the enemy of my enemy is my friend. If Eritrean interest is #1 in your agenda, Birhane Nega never believed in Eritrea’s sovereignty yet, he is sitting with DIA. Moreover, he was the main person during the 2005 violence. If there is to be another Badme like war, he would be the first to say, “Zeraf”. Thinking of comparison between the current ruling and the likes of Birhanu’s/Prof. Mesgin government is stupidity.

      • Berhe Y

        Dear Thomas,

        I am not a supporter of Ginbot 7 or any other Ethiopians opposition who are stationed in Eritrea and collaborate with the dictator in Eritrea, so I hope that’s clear. As an Eritrean, I don’t think we should hold our breath and our faith and our future, on who becomes Ethiopia’s next government or next leader.

        The only guarantee we have and we need is, having a country that’s governed by laws and in full co-operations with International norms and standards. If we have a true peaceful nation, a true democratic nation, a true free country…there is no body who will come and touch us. At the same time, we build our defense and our security so that, we are ready for any adventure that comes our way, from anyone violating international norms.

        As to Birhanu Nega and other oppositions groups, I think it’s Ethiopian internal problems and I hope they find a way to solve their problems. As a politician he can say what ever he wants, including actions against Eritrea interests, and we should not really care much (at least act) unless he is a president of the country. Sure we have to pay attention, but we shouldn’t lose sleep about it.

        Berhe

        • Thomas

          Hi Berhe,

          I wish I can relax and say tomorrow will be a better day with next Ethiopia rulers be friends of my country. It is not that easy to make friends my friend. The weyanes were the only friend we had because they saw what we saw during the derg and mengistu regime. These people can relate with us than any remotely located Ethiopians. So, I wonder if you are seeing things from that prospective. Furthermore, the international community will only respond when it is too late. We are not ready to gamble this time. The only gambler who would like to see that coming would be those who are cornered and want get out of their current status by doing anything, again anything in the horizon::)) As they say desperate times call desperate measures:)

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Dear Berhe,

        I sensed from your comment that you are absolutely optimistic, that if Issayas is gone that we have not an uphill to climb to normalize our nation. You also are optimistic that the PFDJ members will set our country in a peaceful and inclusive transition path. I wish, but there is no historical precedence to prove your assertion. If PFDJ members were not historically inclusive, there is nothing that makes them at this time. Just to make it clear my position. Then we let history to take its own course.

        Regards

        • Berhe Y

          Dear Aman,

          My optimism is that those card carrying members of pfdj, majority of them are forced members who have no choice to be members in the first place.

          Berhe

          • Thomas

            Hi Berhe,
            I wrote a reply to your comment on my comment and it appeared to mysteriously disappear in 5-10 minutes. I wish I was that patient to rewrite what I wrote:) Anyways, I firmly believe the only Erirean’s friendly that is to exist in Ethiopia is the EPRDF. How do I support this claim:
            a) I have heard of King Haileslassie’s ruling
            b) I went through Derg’s ruling
            c) I have heard Drs. Nega, Mesfin and many intellectuals asking the weyanes never to support our self-determination/referendum. Also, these people and majority Ethiopians asked the wayene to recapture Assab and the rest of Eritrea in the 1998 war.
            d) Done a survey asking random Ethiopians what they think of Eritrea? Some think we will join them and others don’t care if we join them, but they were surely telling that our ASSAB is theirs and soon they will get it back. All think, the weyanes are the cause for their loss of Assab.
            e) Having a-d, the current ruling/EPRDF would have again ignited war with Eritrea to just prolong their power, but they choice development to eliminate hunger and peace with neighbor countries to safeguard their nation.
            f) I don’t want to gamble with 100 million people and the reckless leaders and I have seen the current rulers in Ethiopia for 25 years. I made my mind to choose the current devils rather than the devil I have no clue about:)))

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Thomas,

            Sorry for short reply but I don’t disagree with your reasoning.

            The only I would say is, why Djibouti doesn’t feel the same threat as Eritrea? Are we to assume EPRDF will be reef for ever to help safe guard our sovernighty?

            I think we have to believe and find ways no matter what happen in Ethiopia that we are safe. We can’t hold our faith and our future with any foreign entity.

            Berhe

          • Thomas

            Dear Berhe,
            Djibouti is not being that threatened by Ethiopia because there is no short time history of Ethiopian occupation of Djibouti that I know. Remember, we were under Ethiopian occupation and that was for 30 years. I would like to see this as some ethiopian guy born to seeing Eritrea and Ethiopia as one country and then have two children of his won on this period. In short, it is like a half life of person who is made to think that Assab belongs to Ethiopia and no one can change that. Also, imagine this guy being from the Oromo or Amhara ethnic ethiopian might have never set his foot in Eritrea. He only knows Eritrea and Eritreans because his father or T.V. of mengie told him so. That is he was not told that Eritreans were fighting to take back their country and lots of lives were lost during the fight. Now, which Ethiopian ethinic group are better informed for us to trust and work with?

  • Eyob Medhane

    Hello All,

    In that spirit,

    I invite you all to this new song.

    (I know Gash Saleh is going to hate the song, not because of the songs sentiment, but I know he will find it a bit cheesy.. 🙂 Sal is going to scoff at it, because he just scoff at everything. He is just like that. 🙂 )

    Berhe,

    I think, you really misjudge me. But, that’s ok. Enitareq beqa.. 🙂 In the words of Kokheb “I love you” 🙂

    I think this song is very telling, not because it is a good song, but because who sang it. This young man is the most listened to and watched Eritrean singer. He is a sort of Teddy Afro of Eritrea. He also was a PFDJ singer for a long time, until he broke the shackles few months ago by going on tour with Teddy Afro. To me this is a sign that the chapter of undue chiqchiq start to be closed. And that should be welcome.

    http://youtu.be/mV_vajYPb7M

    • saay7

      Hey Eyob:

      Are you talking about the Robel tune? Ummm, I haven’t heard it yet. I can tell how bad a song is going to be by the number of people who recommend it 😂

      As for your “this is it! The sign of the thaw, the beginning of the end…”, I remember you saying the same when Qorchach did his trying-too-hard-to-pass-for-an-Ethiopian tune, which was so unnecessary given his immense talent

      We will pick up the topic over the weekend.

      Meanwhile, did you hear that Russia withdrew from ICC? PFDJ-istas attributing this to the influence of Isaias Afwerki in 4…3…2…

      Saay

      • Eyob Medhane

        Sal,

        You have to watch the song..and yes. It’s Robel Michael that I am talking about. (The new Wardiya at awate needs to be bribed somehow to let the link slide 🙂 ) The song is one of the most watched, so it can’t be that bad.

        Russia, yeah. I heard. I never knew that Isu Chisu and Putin are friends…. I guess the next county to refuse to ratify the Rome Statue by its “parliament” will be Eritrea. Can you please check with the Speaker of the house of Eritrean parliament Honorable Isayas Afeworki and some of of the MPs, especially from Semanawi Debubabwi and Misraqawi Zoba, coincidentally, all of whose names are Isayas Afeworqi, why they would reject to ratify it? 🙂

        • saay7

          So Eyob:

          There was a band called “Masinko” who was doing a cover of Wardis “emdemnachu”, an Arabic-Amharic mix song. Wardi to his credit memorized an entire sentence in Amharic “endemnachu letenach’hu: ke sudan meT’ten lnayacchehu” then sings in Arabic. These Masinko guys didn’t know a single Arabic word so to cover it up they would just say, once in a while, “Aiwa!”

          So your boy Robel thinks that if you say, once in a while, “Abiet! abiet!” you are singing in Amharic 😂 The problem with people who get by on their looks is they get lazy: if you are going for a crossover song (Amharic Tigrinya) make a damn effort and learn a few more words in Amharic and then practice them over and over so your accent doesn’t create a scene.

          Also, I haven’t seen so many white suits since John Travoltas “Saturday Night Fever”. That was 1979 for Gods sake. Unless they are going for the Navy look.

          When I watched the video, the upvote to downvote was 2k: 1k. I did my part to turn the tide 😂

          saay

          • Eyob Medhane

            Sal…

            First of all, you didn’t do justice to Wardi. Wardi did sing, endeminachihu, not only in Amharic, but in Afan Oromo and Tigrigna… He was amazing…

            Now Robel. He did a little more than “Abet Abet”…He actually had few lines in Amharic. But the Amharic lyric is so bad, it is so cheesy and somewhat cringe worthy..I liked the Iskista, though. That was ok. In terms of viewers, I think more Eritrean singers will learn now how to get more hits. Because, his song was uploaded on November 8th and in a week he has about 400K viewrs…That’s about 50K a day… Not bad. Not bad at all…If the trend goes like this, I assume all Eritrean singers start doing same kind of songs and drive a lot of ultra nationalists bananas… 🙂

          • saay7

            Hey Eyob!

            The weekend is here! And my favorite awatistad are discussing the two most boring initials ever (EDA, ENCDC: don’t ask, you really don’t want to know.). Let’s discuss your boy: you do the honors of introducing the terrible video.

            [insert boring video link here]

            So, um, just when u thought there couldn’t be something even more boring than the video, the artist opens up the Cliche/Platitutdes Warehouse and he says, among many other boring things:

            Language is only a means of communication
            Music is a universal language

            Mind you. I would have forgiven his terrible music. His terrible white suits. If only he had been bold and told the PFDJ and YFDJ (two more contenders for the most boring acronym): “I will sing whatever I want to sing and if you don’t like it, get lost!” But no. He had to try to win them over: the same people who have mobilized to destroy him, he has no answers for except for the most boring useless cliches. Dear Lord Almighty: whatever happened to the Eritrean rebel? Everyone is just kowtowing to some boring initial.

            Herewith the message of Mr Boring: Robel Michael

            ፈጣሪ ፍቕሪዩ ፡
            መጀመርያ ንኩሉ ኣፍቃሪ ስነጥበብ ሃገርና ልባዊ ሰላምታይ የቅርብ። ብምቅጻል ኣብዛ ኣብዚ ዝሓለፈ ቀረባ እዋን ዝዘርጋሕክዋ ንጽል ደርፈይ ንዝቀረበ ሃናጺ ሪኢቶን ነቅፌታን ብክፉት ልቢ ርእየ ንኩሉ ዝተዋህበ ሪኢቶ እንታይ እዩ ብዘየገድስ ልባዊ ምስጋናይ የቅርብ ።
            ብምቅጻል ክብሎ ዝደሊ ኣሕዋት: ኣብ ኣተሓሳስባና ኣውንታዊ ኣተሓሳስባ ክነዕቢ ሰናይ ነገር እዩ: ንዓና ክሕሸና ማለት እዩ። ንኹሉ ዝስራሕ ብኣሉታ ክንጥምቶ ግን ጽቡቅ ኣይመስለንን ካብ ጽልኢ ቅርሕንቲ ዝርከብ ረብሓ ስለ ዘየለ ንሰናይ ንሕሰብ ሰናይ ክኾነልና ።
            ንዓይ መምህረይ ሕብረተሰበይ እዩ ንሱ ካኣ ጽልኢ: ቅርሕንቲ: ትዕቢት…. ኣይመሃረንን: ፍቅሪ: ሓልዮት: ትሕትና: ምክእኣል: ምጽውዋር እዩ ሚሂሩኒ ስለዚ ነዚ ኣነ ዘቅረብክዎ ሙዚቃዊ ዕዮኸ ገለ ገለ ሰባት ስለ ዘይትሰማምዕሉን ዘይተቀበልክሞን ባህልና ክብርና ኣባላሽዩ እናበልኩም ጸርፍን ዘለፋን ዝተሰነዮ መግናሕቲ ክትውርውሩለይ ቀኒኹም፣ እቲ ጽርፍን ዘለፋንከ ባህልና ኮይኑ ድዩ ንስኹም ዝተጠቀምክሙሉ? ብጣዕሚ እዩ ዘሕዝን!
            ነቶም ነዚ ስራሕ ንፖለቲካዊ ሃልኪ: ክጥቀምሉ ትህቅኑ ዘለኹም ድማ ኣነ ኣብ ናይ ሃገረይ መሬታዊ ሓድነት ዝኣምን ኤርትራዊ እየ: ኤርትራ ርእሳ ዝኸኣለት ሃገር እያ: ኢትዮጵያ ድማ ከምኡ: ሃገረይ ድማ ኣሕሊፈ ኣይህብን እየ። ልኡላውነት ሃገር ካልእ እዩ፣ ፍቅሪ ምጽዋዕ ድማ ካልእ እዩ፣ ህዝብታት እዘን ክልተ ሃገራት ድማ ክፋቀርን ክተሓላለን ሰላም ክረክብን: እብህግን: እሓልምን ስለዚ፣ ንስለዚ ፍቅሪ እዚ ብቋንቋ ኣምሓርኛ ምስ ቋንቋ ኣደይ ሓዊሰ ምድራፈይ ድዩ ንሃገረይ ኣሕሊፈ ከምዝሃብኩ ዝውሰድ ዘሎ? ንፍቅሪ ንሕውነት ንሰላም፣ ምጽውዐይከ እንታይ ኣበሳ ኣለዎ? በቲ ቋንቋ ዝተደርፉ ደርፍታትከ ኣብ ነፍስወከፍ ከብሕታትና የለውንዶ ኮይኖም? ኣይንሰምዖምን ዶ ኮይና? ካልእስ ይትረፍ ቅድሚ ሕጂ ብኣምሓርኛ ምስ ሕዋስ ትግርኛ ዝተደርፉ ኣይሰማዕናዮምን ዲና? ኣብዛ ዝቀረበት ስራሐይ ድማ ብዘይካ ንፍቅሪ: ንሰላም ምጽዋዕ፣ ካልእ ዝኾነ ይኹን ስውር መልእኽቲ የለቦን። ካልእስ ይትረፍ ቋንቋ ኣምሓርኛ እኮ ከምቲ ካልእ ቋንቋ እዩ ትግርኛ: ኪሲዋሂሊ: ኢንግልሽ: ዓረብ….. ቋንቋ ከኣ መረዳድኢ ኢዩ ካልእ ትርጉም ክወሃቦ ኣይክእልን እዩ እሞ ኽኣ ኣብዚ ምዕቡል እዋን። ምናልባሽ ከም መግለጺ መንነት: ባህሊ: ክብሪ ካልእን ኣብዝብሉ ሰፋሕቲ ዓንኬላት በቶም ኪኢላታት ክትንተነሉ ይኽእል ይኸውን! ዝኾነ ስርሓት ስነጥበብ ግን ንጽልዋ እቲ ቋንቋ የዕቢዮ እምበር ኣየንእሶን:ቋንቋ ኣምሓርኛ ከይዕብልለና ኢልና ስግኣትና ንዛረብ እንተድኣ ሃሊና ኮይና እቲ ምስኡ ዝደርፈሉ ዘለኹ ቋንቋ ዓደይከ ነዖኦም ኣይጸልዎምንዶ ንብል ወይ ቅድሚ ሕጂ እቶም ናቶም ደረፍቲ ንቋንቋና ሓዊሶም ዝደረፍዎ ትግርኛ ቋንቋ ከይ ዕብልሎም ኣይሰግኡንዶ ትብልዎም? ናቶም ጥራይ ድዩ ዝጸሉ ናትናኸ ክጸሉ ዓቅሚ የብሉን?
            እንተቲ በሰላ ኲናት ኣብልዕለይን ኣብልዕሊ ስድራይን ኣብ ልዕሊ ማንም ኤርትራዊን ዘሎ እዩ ስለዚ ተቀንዛዊ ናይዚ በሰላ ልዕለይ ክኸውን ዝኽእል ወላሓደ የልቦን ካልእስ ይትረፍ በሰልኡ ክሳብ ሕጂ ኣብ ምስሊ ታዘፍቅራ ኣደይን ወላዲየይን ስለ ዘሎ
            ካልእ ውን ሙዚቃ ዓለም ለኻዊ ቋንቋ እዩ: ብእኡ መጠን ኣነ ከም ኤርትራዊ ተፈላጥነተይ: ወይ ሕልመይ ብደረጃ ሃገረይ ጥራይ ዘይኮነ: ብደረጃ ከባብየይን ዓለምን ጽልዋይ ከዕቢ ተፈላጥነተይ ከዕዝዝ ይምነን: ይጽዕረን ናተይ ዕብየት ዕቤት ሙዚቃ ሃገረይን ባህለይን ምኻኑ ውን ስለ ዝኣምን ስለዚ ነዚ ከተግብር ድማ ብቋንቋይ ጥራይ ዘይኮነ ብናይ ካልኦት ህዝብታት ቋንቋ ምስ ቋንቋይ ብምዝማድ ከቅርብ ይደሊ እዚ ድማ ልሙድ ኣሰራርሓ ስነጥበባውያን ዓለምና እዩ። ስለዚ ኣባይ በጺሑ ድኣ ንምንታይ እዩ ካልእ ትርጉም ዝለብስ በቲ ዘተጠቀምክሉ ቋንቋ ድማ ንሕውነት ንፍቅሪ እየ ጸዊዐ ንጽልእን ቅርሕንትን ኣይኮንኩን ጸዊዐ እሞ ምስ ጽልእና ክነብርዶ ድኣ ተደልዩ? ኣነ ነዚ ፍቅሪ ወይ ሕውነት ብዋጋ ልኡላውነት ሃገረይ ብዋጋ ክብርታተይ ኣይጸዋዕኩን ብዋጋ ባህጊ ሰላም እየ ጸዊዐ ፍቅሪ ንኩሉ እያ ትሽፍን ስለዝስ ንፋቐር የሕዋት።
            ናትኩም ስነጥበበኛ ሮቤል ሚካኤል።

          • Eyob Medhane

            Sal,

            I think you are being very unfair to this guy. (As usual) First of all The song is not that terrible. He needs a better Amharic lyrics writer and his Kebele Iskista coach has to go.. 🙂
            Other than that, not everyone has to be a firebrand activist. He just wants to be a bridge builder. He probably realized that he is famous and that fame should be used to be a peacemaker. Probably in his mind, that is what he is doing. I actually find him to be a bit courageous given the beating up that he must have known, he would get from PFDJites, he even dared to do this. You have to remember. Shabia rared this kid. I heared he was the original member of Osman Saleh band. (Eritrea must be the only country, whose foreign minister was doubling as a band leader with his foreign ministry duties) So, I think you should look Robel with a fresh eyes again. It must not be easy for him to come out of that shell.

            So, it will help you to reevaluate your opinion of him, I invite you to re-watch the video again. If you do, and have a better opinion, I will show you another one you probably will like for real… 🙂

            http://youtu.be/mV_vajYPb7M

          • saay7

            Hey Eyob

            I am sorry, I wasn’t paying attention: are you still talking about Mr. Boring?

            I already moved on: I am watching an Ethiopian video that I want Amde, Horizon to comment on:

            https://youtu.be/3aeFpyo7OSI

            PS: Robel is unforgivably boring. He is unfit for the moment. Hope he has enough Mr. Tides for his white suits. Tell me what you think about my link (“sorry gunfan yzogn: le’ekulnet sy’hon le’belayinech”) All the years they keep mentioning using the Ethiopian calendar: can’t you guys use the Ferenj calendar? By the time I am adding 7-8 year from the years these guys mention I am losing content.

            PPS: Robel is boring.

            saay

          • Eyob Medhane

            Sal,

            Are you serious? You want me to watch a video of an hour and some change minutes to start my weekend? You must be joking.. I could watch ten Robels with weird Iskista wearing white pajamas, instead of watching your video. Sorry. Not fit for Friday night, bro… 🙂

          • Eyob Medhane

            Sal,

            Forget the video. What? Ferenj calendar? Why should we? Seriously? Just because some Catholic pope decide to dictate the world how they should count the day we have to follow what he says? That is just unacceptable.. 😀

          • saay7

            Eyob:

            I got one phrase for you: “kray sebsabinet”:)

            All that specialized calendar that nobody cares about it fears that criteria. How? I have no idea. Mrcha 97…oh, he is talking about election 2015, but his kray sebsabinet demands i have to add 7 to 8.

            Also, I am sure what you said is bigoted against the Roman Catholic Church and upon this rock I will build my church. Racist*

            saay

            * lib dems call anyone they disagree with racist and I am playing lib dem:)
            Also, the second half of the video is much more interesting than the first half. So fast forward.

          • Eyob Medhane

            Sal,

            Mircha 97 is election 2005 not 2015. Kiray sebsabinet is one of the dumbest direct translation I have ever heared… True story. A locally elected highschool graduate in Debarek (Gonder) few years ago asked me..”What do these people mean, when they say “kiray sebsabi” are they talking about landlords, who collect rent from their tenants every month? They seem to be hating “kiray sebsabi” they probably are planning to repossess private property like Derg did”… 😀 I was about to burst in laugh, but the dude was very serious…..

            I hate some direct translations with passion…

          • saay7

            Haha Eyob:

            So this dude from Gonder, what did he think of Meles Zenawi (RIP) talking about “Bonapartism” when they had the big TPLF split and he was purging them😄 Bonapartism is obscure in French history, and according to Karl Marx and Engels (Meles Zenawi’s heroes), the term refers to the military hijacking the cause of revolution . How the heck did that even apply to the TPLF dissidents? Only God Almighty knows and he is not saying much about the Horn’s dysfunctional politics.

            DO you see now how everyone hates TPLF/EPRDF?

            saay

          • Amde

            Saay,

            Every time a friend and I remember “bonapartism”, we imagine Melles laughing his guts outs after the fact, incredulous that the fools bought it as a legitimate agenda topic, and then WE burst out laughing.

            TPLF: “You are accused of taking Eritrea’s side during the war, how do you plead?”
            Melles: “Yeah yeah.. let’s talk about that later.. take a look at THIS!! ain’t it cool?”
            TPLF: “Oh wow yeah.. so shiny.. what is it…”
            Melles: “Yeah .. it’s the latest thing… think it’s called Bonapartism..”
            TPLF: “oooo… wwwoooowww….soooo mesmerizing….”

            Melles: “Just look at it….how bright…it’s the latest thing …”
            TPLF: “… very niiice…”
            Melles: “So I get to kick out the half of you trying to push me out?”
            TPLF: “Ok”

          • saay7

            funny Amde:

            Bonapartism had no legs, but “rent-seeking”, has entered the Amharic body politic in the vocabulary of the intelligentsia, with all its inaccuracies and imprecision. For one thing, shouldn’t it be “Kray flega” and not “kray sebsabinet”? For another, it appears that in Ethiopian politics, you are either in power (EPRDF) or you are a terrorist, a chauvinist, or a rent-seeker.

            If the definition of rent-seeker is someone who wants to use the state apparatus to gain an unfair advantage over his/her competitors (by using his/her connection to pass legislation, regulation or fiat that gives one clear and unfair advantage fiat), shouldn’t that term apply to the entire nouveau-riche of the EPRDF?

            And thanks for the Rene Lefort article, wow: he painted a long, dark tunnel and all you hear is a ticking bomb.

            saay

          • Amde

            Ahh Saay,

            But I posit to you that the Amharic term is more accurate. The purpose of seeking is getting. Seek and ye shall find. ፈልግ – ትሰበስባለህ። From aspirational to operational.

            A classic of this genre is an official giving you favors, and in turn he seeks – not a one time payoff – but a share of the company and its profits ” in perpetuity”.

            EPRDF cadres being Randians.. haha… The Rene Lefort piece is quite clear about their own view of themselves as the politically indispensable Atlas Who Shall Not Shrug. And their very conception of themselves as being indispensable is their personal license for cronyism and personal enrichment – they see it as their due. ሲሾም ያልበላ ሲሻር ይቆጨዋል is the motto.

            Amde

          • saay7

            Well played Amde:

            I understand why economist use the term economist because they can relate it to their special field which has theories on sources of income. I don’t understand why the average Yosief can’t use more common words like corruption and croniyism. Unless the whole purpose is not to solve a problem but to mystify it.

            (I once taught a communications class and was addressing how each occupation creates its own vocabulary sometimes as short hand sometimes to obfuscate. The triage codes in American hospitals are different from Europe, although they all agree with what Code Blue means:)

            I re read the Rene Lefort piece again to see if I was being unduly alarmist. Nope. The only thing that changed is that my editorial instincts kicked in and I started thinking of better headlines for the piece:

            We Are All Screwed
            There Are No Good Options
            Too Late Or Too Damn Late?
            The Tick Tock You Hear Is Time Bomb

            I specially like the paradox of waiting for a Strong Man to emerge to reform the system. This will be shocking to all patriotic Ethiopians but: you have become Egypt.

            saay

          • Eyob Medhane

            Sal,

            After reading Rene LaFort’s “article”, I was reminded that how amazingly satisfying and GREAT it was that Donald Trump has won. The Globalist, internationalist far left liberals, who most of them, are self appointed democracy teachers to African people get to be irrelevant with the new appointees in state department and 1600 Penn. Corridors. Look, we all know that the Rene LaFort’s of the world, the HRW, and their entire cabal, don’t even think that we Africans are fully evolved human beings. They think that we are talking monkeys, who have potential to be their favorite pets, if they “teach” us to speak act and live like them. One of those globalist, internationalist a** h*****s named Eliot Cohen went to Trump to look for a job and was told, “you lost”. Then he came out of the meeting and tweeted, “Stay away from applying for a job with trump team”. That gave me hope that now such people will get their B*** S*** gets called out. Ufffffff…great. Now I ranted, I feel better… 🙂

          • saay7

            Hey Eyob:

            Now tell me how you really feel about Rene LaFort?😄 Leaving aside the Trump phenomenon for now, allow me to prove to you (yes, proof) that the conclusions of Rene LaFort (“it is too late”) are exactly the same as the people of Tigray.

            Aigaforum, which has been accused by nobody of being anti-TPLF, did a man-on-the-street interview in Mekele about the umpteenth promise of “Tehadso” of TPLF. The number of people interviewed who believe that this Tehadso Version 17.0 will actually result in actual change that meets the aspirations of the people of Tigray was exactly…and let me round this up….Zero point zero zero zero.

            The interview was not just of common folk but TPLF Mass Organizations members (I know this because they too use the phrase “rent-seeking”. Sigh.)

            I think your anger is misplaced Eyob. Rene is not saying “its too late for Ethiopia”: he can’t; he is an Ethiopianist. He is saying it is too late for EPRDF: it has lost the confidence of the people. This is not the end of the world: every day, dozens of governments all over the world lose the confidence of the people; some get the message and do the honorable thing; some ignore the people and rule by brute force.

            And, MaHmuday, you know what’s coming from iSem: the TPLF, to its credit, was able to nurture a culture where its fans criticize it openly (giving their full name and address) whereas your org, EPLF, never could. Go for it iSem: give it to him:)

            http://aigaforum.com/interviews/TPLF-Tehadeso-Mix-111816.mp3

            It is less than 12 minutes long: I demand that you hear it. It is Tigrinya Tigray, so your Amharic ear will be able to understand it:)

            saay

            * In these times, the voice of Dr. John Young is sorely missed. But he is, understandably, knee-deep in the South Sudan clusterf**k.

          • Eyob Medhane

            Sal,

            I don’t give a flying freak if it is too late or too early for EPRDF. I just don’t trust the Rene LaFort’s type of analysis and their arrogance assuming that they know better than we do about us. But other than that, I agree with you that EPRDF, TPLF or what ever you want to call it has to be reformed, changed or go away for a while. As long as it’s done orderly, without a “revolution”, I am all for it.

          • saay7

            Well…Eyob:

            If not a flying freak I was hoping you would give a frigging fly since EPRDF dominates all the political economic and social space of Ethiopia.

            The TPLF and EPLF have always attracted Communist Internationale think tankers politicians and journalists. That goes with the territory. Just like PFDJ is now attracting the anti-neo-liberal wing of the West, the socialist and the commies. The question is: is their report based on facts or their ideology. And I found the reportage of the man who won’t be mentioned (I don’t want to give you a heart attack) mirror-imaged in reports done by the most pro-TPLF website: aigaforum which gives him instant validation.

            Ethiopians next federal elections are in 2020 (4years from now an eternity in politics.). Will the regional elections of 2018 be a safe harbor enough to give people hope? I don’t know. Rene doesn’t know. And you don’t know.

            But good for you Ethiopians, with your 90 million population and 100s of ethnic groups, feeling secure enough to discuss this openly. Over on the other side of Mereb River, with our 4 million people, and only 9 ethno-linguistic groups, discussing what u are discussing is a crime punishable by disappearance torture and death.

            count your blessings.

            Saay

          • Eyob Medhane

            Sal,

            Well, the protests actually did put EPRDF on notice that it’s aging and getting rotten. To me, the 2018 regional elections should be time for the opposition to leave extreme shrill politics behind and start getting into Kebeles and weredas administration to organize the grass roots and show the people that they can govern by administering two or three Weredas or even Kebeles in the country. Now, since the scrapping the first past the post law will favor them to get In to the parliament they can capitalize on that and use the regional election 2018 to be strong challengers to the ruling party. I believe they can make this their time. I also believe that the rulers of the other side of Mereb are running out of steam…they may not last more than couple of years.

          • Amde

            Selam Eyob,

            I think the 2020 elections is more likely. It is already too late for the 2018 one. For a couple of reasons:

            1. The EPRDF member parties get their legitimacy and their right to strut on the federal stage by demonstrating potency in their regions. So it is not a matter of giving the people what they want – it is a matter of looking invincible to the other parties.

            2, The possibility of losing regional – and crucially, the local elections – will have real life injera-and-weT consequences to the thousands of cadres actually do make their living running the qebeles and weredas. Since they are cadres for the regional parties, their bosses are not going to insist on the being completely impartial.. far from it. See Reason 1.

            3. Harrassment of the legal opposition, free media, bloggers etc has stepped up, and my guess is the opposition is at the weakest it has been. The 2018 elections is not 2 year away, it is more like 1.5 years away. Organizing and holding rallies under the State of Emergency is a no – no and we don’t know how long that will be.

            It is possible that a genuine reform of the election system may make a big difference. We will see if this will actually transpire. As far as I can tell, it is an aspiration on Hailemariam’s part. The regional party bosses have little to gain from it.

            Amde

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Amde,

            Why do they need qebeles and weredas? do they have kefteNat too in Ethiopia.

            You know in Eritrean the EPLF kept the same system that it inherited from the Derg. Kebele and kefteNa but they changed their names and the call them different now I think. Zoba this or Zoba that etc.

            Why do they need to keep that system anyway. Why can’t they just have an official system of government that is the same as in the west were the members are elected. Municipal, provincial and federal system of government.

            Then for the rest you have the ministry to take care of business..like ministry of transpiration, education, heath, finance, interior, foreign etc…

            Thise kebele, kefteNa are setup to control the people by appointing the insiders of the party.

            Berhe

          • Amde

            Selam Berhe,

            There are no Kefitenyas anymore. The qebele is the smallest unit of government. They do a lot of things… a lot of necessary things which I am glad we dont have to go to City Hall to for example.

            It doesn’t bother me to be honest. It is just that the officials are not really beholden to the people. They are defacto appointees.

            Within the political system as it exists, opposition parties have really just focused on winning legislative seats. Winning and running qebeles and Weredas would be crucial executive experience for them and the people.

            Amde

          • Berhe Y

            Hi Amde,

            I am sure they do a lot of important things but you said

            “It doesn’t bother me to be honest. It is just that the officials are not really beholden to the people. They are defacto appointees.”

            This is where I see the problem in having such system of government which is not accountable to the people. This breeds corruption, favoritism and eventually incompetency in the system. Are they paid public servants or suppose to volunteers, like use to be?

            I don’t to make this very simplistic but I really could not understand the need for such system. For example, I live in a very big city her in Canada, probably the same size as Addis and for the life of me, I don’t need believe there is anything that I need from Kebele system that there is non in Canada.

            May be my needs are different from an average person, but I can’t imagine and justify their existence.

            Passport, you go passport Canada.
            Health card: You to ministry of Health
            Driver License/car ownership: you to ministry of transpiration
            Education: you go directly to the school (if issue then you go to the ministry of education)
            Pay Rent: You pay to the land lord, or who ever owns the building.
            Permanent Resident Card: You go to immigration
            Pay Tax: You deal with Revenue Canada
            Birth Certificate: Ministry of Health I think if born in Canada (usually done) at the hospital and mailed within days, because it’s required to get health card.

            I am sure they are qualified and the do important work, but should all their work being under certain ministry which is responsible under certain minister who is accountable to the people.

            Can you please give example, what would they be needed for? Avoid line up is not the right answer as the government can open branch all over the city as needed specific to certain functionality / ministry?

            Berhe

          • Amde

            Selam Saay,

            Egypt? Bah humbug.

            Egypt is nothing without our water. And so it doesn’t hold a candle to our traditions of strongmen…we have always had Pharaohs. Its a fine Ethiopian traditiion. Note: Please see Asmara, Eritrea.

            Amde

          • saay7

            Ok Amde,

            I will try harder in the Egypt-Ethiopia similarities:

            1. Both brag endlessly about their ancient civilization. Egypt used to say without any sense of irony: “Um- Adunya”;
            2. Both have strong attraction to Strong Men who present themselves as reformers/modernizers;
            3. Both have State of emergencies
            4. Both are quick to declare opponents as terrorists
            5. Both rely heavily on the largesse of the West for their annual budget.

            Until October Egypt also used to rely heavily on Saudi subsidies for oil; but Egypt inexplicably voted with Russia on Syria. An irate Saudi Arabia cut off the subsidies and now Egypt has cut off all its subsidies to its people.

            Agree, Isaias Afwerki is in the worst traditions of Ethiopias strong men.

            Saay

          • Amde

            saay,

            There is an ardent EPRDF guy on twitter who says he supports revolution in Egypt. He might be a bit apoplectic with your comparison. It might be entertaining actually.

            Some of his greatest hits

            Abdulbasit Abdusemed ‏@AbdulbasitHr Oct 28
            በግብፅ አቢዮት እንዲነሳ ለምን ትመኛለህ? ላላችሁኝ ወዳጆቼ! መልሱ ይሀው::
            ******
            በመጀመሪያ ደረጃ ህዝባዊነት ድንበር እንደሌለው የማምን ግለሰብ ነኝ:: ለማንኛውም ህዝቦች… http://fb.me/1sYpCkdfN

            Abdulbasit Abdusemed ‏@AbdulbasitHr Oct 26
            እኔ በግሌ: የግብፅ ህዝብ የልማትና ዴሞክራሲ ጥማቱን የሚያሰማበትን የNovember 11 የተቃውሞ አቢዮት እደግፋለሁ:: እኔ የሚቆመው ከግብፅ ህዝብ ጎን ነው::
            ~ እናንተ… http://fb.me/3BwxrOBa4

            Abdulbasit Abdusemed ‏@AbdulbasitHr Oct 25
            #መልካም_ዜና:
            1. November 11 በግብፅ ታላቅ ህዝባዊ የተቃውሞ አቢዮት ተጠርቷል:: ግብፅ አንድ አቢዮት ይቀራታል:: ምዕራባዊያን ወታደራዊው የግብፅ መንግስት ላይ ፊታቸውን… http://fb.me/8byNd9oZX

            On Trump

            Abdulbasit Abdusemed ‏@AbdulbasitHr Nov 7
            ነገ Trump አሽንፎ ለGreen Card ሲባል የአሜሪካ ጎዳናዎችን በስልፍ የሚያጭናንቁ ውሾችን በግላገለልኝ!!!
            – ደግሞ Trump ባንዳ አይወድም ሲባል ስምቼያልሁ። አለቀልሽ እንግዲህ!!”

          • saay7

            Amde:

            I love apoplectic -easy guys almost as much as the apocalyptic guys: with a little more effort I can make this a Top 10. Here’s # 6:

            Their self-image for being super heroes requires they have super villains. For Egypt its Israel (“we fought then to a draw!”) and for Ethiopia its Egypt (“they incubated Eritrean sesessionists, Arabists, Islamists!”)

            Saay

          • Amde

            Hello Saay

            I love to see you on a contrarian streak, but surely, even Eritrean food starts with browned onions? Or is brown taken by the hated Ethiopians, therefore requiring a true blooded Eritrean onion to take a different patriotic hue? …
            …hmmmmm….?
            ..What say you?

          • saay7

            Haha Amde:

            But you won’t hear me bragging about Eritrean cuisine either:)

            But I will remind you that the Egyptians love onion so much that they eat it raw. Another similarity, me thinks, of eating stuff raw that God intended to be cooked?:)

            Saay

          • Berhe Y

            Hi Saay,

            Sorry if I appeared like that, it was not my intention. I just think the US two party monopoly system is not good for a healthy political discourse and allow room to do for the better good of the society. None of the countries in other developed world, Germany, the Scandinavian, Japan, Canada and others have the social support system because they are better, but they have a political system that is not controlled by very few group of people with special interests and the politicians are controlled by them and their donations.

            And what’s worst is they US do not have a publicly funded broad cast (government funded) that has equal power or more as those privately owned media who can work for the better good of the society and hold the companies and governments accountable without fearing the wrath from their sponsors and employers. Like the BBC from the UK, ABC from Australia, CBC from Canada, and I am sure there are plenty of others in Germany and France etc..

            I know they have PBS, but all you hear is go to the phone, get your credit card, please send your donation…at least when I use to watch is…

            As to our PM, yes he has pretty hair but he has lots of substance to offer and I don’t think the name of his father was the main reason he was elected. You asked what he said in the last year, how about what his government did in the last year:

            here is my list and I am no journalist:

            Increased child care subsidy a lot for low and medium income family and cut off to the wealthy
            Increased corporate taxes,
            reduced tax for law / mid income families.
            Increase budget for infrastructure spending…
            Introducing cap on carbon emission …
            signed free trade with EU (started by the previous government)
            Signed the Paris environment accord
            Increased refugees coming from Syria and from around the world.
            increased unemployment insurance

            And there is a talk that..

            He is going to legalize marijuana (I don’t really care much but it saves the burden of the legal system).

            He is planning to increase parental leave to 18 months from current 12 months

            May be people call it socialism but, I think everything what Bernie was talking about..it’s done in Canada without anyone knowing / saying anything about it.

            And how much is Canada’s government budget for election…300 million and in Canada we only have three televised debate.

            Berhe

          • saay7

            Hey Berhe Y:

            I am sorry I included you with iSem; you are too nice to argue with whereas he is a nasty hombre to quote you-know-who:)

            Well, then, O Canada is becoming a socialist nirvana: no wonder all the American lefties want (and by “want”, I mean offer empty threats) to migrate there.

            But here’s the deal, Berhe Y: whenever I talk about Canada (or China or any other country in the Top 20 of world GDP), I am talking about their FOREIGN policy, not their domestic. Canada’s GDP is as big as Turkey’s, and Turkey has more presence in the world–for good or bad–than Canada. Unless sacks of grain count as foreign policy, not that there is anything wrong with that, to quote Seinfeld:)

            saay

          • iSem

            Hi Sal:
            hahha
            I am waiting for an apology from you for lumping me with BY when it comes criticizing the US electoral system. I am wondering how come my good friend, BY, who always says to me, adka( your country) did this or did that when telling me about his USA misgiving is quite about how I love the USA.:-)
            You did not see my comment about how giddy I was about the election of Trump, I took the risk to pick a fight with my friend Emma:-)
            You did not see my tsibqti article about how silly the liberals were when trying to bring a white woman on the top and a white man on the bottom, reversing the roles and thinking their are party of the disadvantages. So if you think I am a left, think again
            🙂

          • saay7

            Hey iSem:

            You are *NOT* going to drag me into discussing American bresidential election 2016. I made the mistake of making a forecast of who will win, and then another one of how the winner will govern vs how he campaigned just to reassure our shell-shocked beoble. And all our super-sensitive and heavily-invested beoble heard was that I was rooting for someone to win. It was boundless to tell them that in every election my candidates never get 10% (much less win)

            I am now patiently waiting for the inevitable: someone to tell us that Isaias Afwerki had prophesied the election of Trump. I expect it to come in EriTVs annual interview of the prez.

            Saay

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Saay,

            When I first come to Canada I was working as parking attendant and our boss a retired man from Canadian armed forces took us for Holiday dinner. Two things he said at the dinner I still remembered. Being most of the employee were Eritreans, so he asked us to choose and we went to Habesha restaurant what else called Red Sea.

            So he know Eritrea geography and it’s location. And when he got the menu, he asked the waiter, can you please give me the fish menu? We were puzzled and wondered why he was asking for fish. And he said, the restaurant is called Red Sea and you guys come from Eritrea and it has huge costal presence. I don’t know what they told him but he enjoyed Injera anyway.

            During our conversation, I asked him, how much is the Canadian armed forces, in numbers. He said, 5000. I thought I heard it wrong, can you repeat please. And he said 5000, I was really shocked and said really? Yes, including those who work in the office, it’s about 70 K but those deployed are about 5,000 and most them are (more than half) in peace keeping forces.

            Canada enjoys being a neighbour to the two most powerful countries, United States and Russia. So if it has anyone to fear, it would be one of these countries…

            In the 1990 there were lots of cuts in the military during Canada’s long recession. And when I check today at wiki it says, deployed 2000 and and active 68,000.

            And I checked Turkey just for comparison and the number of active on duty is 639,551 as per wikipedia. It’s 10 times more, for a population just double it’s size.

            What’s even shocking to me is that both countries have about the same budget in military spending, so in Canada there are a lot of fat cows doing nothing and I suspect the reason why Turkey has more presence rather Canada.

            Generally speaking, Canada policy I think it is, live and let live. It doesn’t have an agenda, it doesn’t favour people based on religion, ethnicity or “Canadian Value” or has any agenda to push it’s agenda. It’s foreign policy is primary based on mutual respect and understanding without analogizing anyone. And it knows clearly it’s limits and it’s place in the world what it can do. Having said that, it’s involvement at the world stage, really depends who the government of the day is and what they value most. For example, during the Apartheid, it pushed to expel S. African from common wealth and it pressured the S. Africa government by the sanctions. Mandela visited Canada and addressed the parliament before he was become president, and I believe if I am not mistaken the first country to visit Canada when he become president.

            It had played a great deal during the 60 as part of the UN and setting up peace keeping forces. in the middle east conflict, during Israel / Egypt, Turkey / Greece etc.. but lately specially our last government had lost all trust it eared over the years by his staunch support to Israel, very biased.

            I think with current government, it’s getting back slowly the prestige it lost and hopefully it will get to fix it.

            Here is a quote from Trudeau (the father) speech.

            Uniformity is neither desirable nor possible in a country the size of Canada. We should not even be able to agree upon the kind of Canadian to choose as a model, let alone persuade most people to emulate it. There are few policies potentially more disastrous for Canada than to tell all Canadians that they must be alike. There is no such thing as a model or ideal Canadian. We should be more absurd than the concept of on “all-Canadian” boy or girl? A society which emphasizes uniformity is on which creates intolerance and hate. A society which eulogizes the average citizen is one which breeds mediocrity. What the world should be seeking, and what in Canada we must continue to cherish, are not concepts of uniformity but human values: compassion, love, and understanding.

            – Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Remarks at the Ukrainian-Canadian Congress, October 9, 1971.

            Berhe

          • Solomon

            Hey Doc,

            Here you are. Is ntSil Derfeyy my single song? Yeah it’s just my opinion man.

            tSAtSE

          • adarob

            Merhab Saay,
            Haha Aiwa! Kufinokom with a prologen Aiiiiwa. It sounds like selling banana att Wello Sefer market, Allah Yerham said kalifa

          • Hameed Al-Arabi

            Selam adarob,

            Tibdawiya tiktenya. Barok na tiberiya?

          • adarob

            Debaa abuhmeed,
            No! not much only mhalagat kiha If you ask med för a dollar:))

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Dear Saay,

        If US is not one of the signatory of the 1998 Rome Statute that create the Hague based tribunal, then Russia has the same reason as US not to be responsible on the crimes they committed on other countries? So these powerful countries they want to make responsible for small and weak countries for any crimes while they exempted themselves from being accused for crimes they committed. The Hegue court is not an impartial and independent judiciary court that exempt powerful nations. So if US and Russia are not signatory actually is hard to call it ICC. Just my personal view.

        regards,

    • Berhe Y

      Dear Eyoba,

      I love you. All is good. Thank you for reminding Kokeb.

      Dear Kokeb Selam,

      I hope you are doing well and I wish that you are hiding to finish your book.

      Berhe

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