Inform, Inspire, Embolden. Reconcile!

Europe Targets Eritrea’s Natural Resources

Europe’s recent rapprochement with the government of Eritrea was the outcome of an elaborate politico-diplomatic campaign spearheaded by the EU. In an earlier posting, the writer stipulated that the push by Brussels for normalizing relations was driven by Europe’s political and economic agendas on Eritrea. He further argued that the political agenda is one which seeks to ensure Eritrea’s subservience to the West. The present article proposes the corollary: control of the country’s natural resources is at the center of Europe’s economic agenda.

Mending fences with the Eritrean regime was made possible not just by EU’s own endeavor, but also by parallel efforts of an activist group of member states – a group comprising Italy, Britain, Germany as well as the Scandinavian countries of Denmark, Norway and Finland. The European Parliament recently censured the EDF Committee, European Commission  for having approved an aid package for Eritrea in complete disregard of parliament’s recommendation to the contrary.[1] In light of this amazing revelation, it is not illogical to suspect that members of this group may be the main driving force behind, if not the chief architects of, Europe’s new policy towards Eritrea.

The Role of EU’s Activist States

A high-level Italian delegation which visited Eritrea in March 2015 concluded bilateral cooperation agreement with the regime. Doubling as EU’s proxy for the mission, the delegation also provided impetus to the reconciliation process thereby enabling the EU to unveil, shortly thereafter, its Eritrea engagement plan.[2] Over the one-year period that preceded approval of the aid package, delegations of three more countries of the group had traveled to Eritrea seeking similar bilateral cooperation arrangements.

In the seven months leading up to the EU announcement, a different subset of four countries of the group dispatched their respective immigration officials on copycat “fact finding” missions to Eritrea. The orchestrated, fraudulent conclusions of these missions were identical: the majority of refugees from the country are economic migrants; people who fled the country to escape indefinite military service would not face persecution if they returned. The motive behind these claims was not so much curbing migration as it was serving ulterior political objectives, namely (i) appeasing the government by reversing policies of automatic asylum for Eritreans and returning deportees to its “custody”[2], and (ii) rehabilitating the government by whitewashing its record of brutality, so that their hoped-for “partnering” with the regime to plunder the country’s resources would be palatable to the rights community.

Eritrea’s Extractive Resources

The existence in Eritrea of considerable mineral resources had been suggested for decades by a growing body of geologic information. This was subsequently confirmed by the extensive mineral exploration of the last twenty years. Today, the country boasts a world-class mine in operation, three others poised to go into production in less than two years and a dozen exploration projects that are yielding promising results.[3]

Of these, the mine development enterprises are managed by Canadian and Australian companies although some have lately been acquired by Chinese investors. The exploration projects represent an assortment of Asian business interests.  Conspicuously absent from Eritrea’s growing mining sector, however, have been European investments. The only exception is a small UK-based company, Andiamo Exploration Ltd., which has been exploring for gold and copper since 2009.[3]

In contrast, public information on possible oil/gas resources in the country was until recently scanty and largely speculative. Results of offshore exploration drilling projects of varying scope undertaken sporadically over the period 1921-1977 have remained inaccessible to the public. But, a subsequent compilation of limited, fragmentary information from these historical records suggested possible presence of oil and gas reserves in the country. Likewise, the findings of similar post-independence efforts undertaken by such companies as Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (USA), ENI (Italy) have yet to see the light of day.[4]

Things began to change in 2009 when President Isaias Afewerki revealed to a Middle Eastern newspaper the presence of  a “large reserve [of oil]” in the country. Similar assertions were subsequently made in media interviews and at energy conferences where regime officials declared the government’s prioritization of the petroleum sector in its economic development plan and promised incentives for foreign investments.[4][5] This series of pointers has recently culminated in government confirmation of the presence of commercial quantities of oil and gas in the country.

The Scramble for Eritrea’s Natural Resources

It is these booming minerals sector and untapped oil/gas reserves of the nation that the EU and its activist states seem to have their eyes on. And the political machinations outlined above are the tools with which they intend to ultimately attain control over them. This is a complex imperialistic scheme that is driven by a tripartite alliance between the EU, political establishments of its activist member states and transnational corporations.

The potency of this alliance is personified by Lapo Pistelli, formerly Italy’s Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and a member of the Italian and European Parliaments. In early 2015, he brokered the restoration of Eritrea’s relations with both Italy and the EU. Few months later, he left government to become the vice-president of ENI, an Italian oil giant which has declared enthusiasm about Eritrea’s “interesting oil reserves”![2][5]

Britain is taking the lead in what is expected to be a rush by Europe for resource grab in Eritrea. In January 2014, a British exploration and development company, Ortac Resources acquired a substantial stake in Andiamo Exploration Ltd.[3] This move injected additional capital into the latter’s exploration effort thereby boosting British interests in the country’s mining sector.

About a month later, the chairman of Soma Oil and Gas, Lord Michael Howard led a group of  British businessmen on a trip to Eritrea to explore investment opportunities in the country’s hydrocarbon sector. Lord Howard is not just an oil company executive, but also UK’s former conservative leader.[5] Curiously enough, at the time of the visit, a delegation from the EU was also in the country to discuss “development partnership, regional peace and security.” It is therefore obvious that what seemed a simple private-sector initiative was perhaps a larger economic agenda being pushed by the concerted efforts of all three legs of the triad!

Perhaps reacting to calls for foreign investment by the Eritrean government, Tullow Oil Plc’s vice president for Africa traveled to Eritrea a year later. It is known that, in his meetings with relevant government officials, he expressed interest in acquiring some unspecified offshore exploration blocks.[6] Just about a month ago, a German delegation composed, not surprisingly, of government and business representatives visited Asmara to discuss bilateral development cooperation with the regime

Conclusions

The UN Security Council has imposed international sanctions on Eritrea’s government for the last six years. On the other hand, the EU recently concluded a cooperation agreement with, and channelled funding support to, the regime. Many observers view these international responses as being at odds with each other. But in the context of the geopolitics of Western powers, these seemingly conflicting measures are, in fact, complementary aspects of their “carrot and stick” strategy of domination and exploitation.

References

[1] European parliament takes strong stand on Eritrean repression
[2] Italian visit cements European ties with Eritrean dictatorship
[3] Ortacs decision to invest in Andiamo should be closely looked at by investors
[4] Does Eritrea have petroleum oil
[5] Eritrea EU aid package oil human rights
[6] Tullow in prospecting mode

Pinterest
  • tes

    Dear Readers,

    After 30 years of war, Eritrea became a free country from foreign occupiers. Then after 25 years of PFDJ dictatorial system, the country has no doctors to look after patients.

    25 years of slavery!

    Yes Eritrea is not self-reliant but a dependent on foreign medical doctors. Thanks to Sudanese doctors

    http://www.shabait.com/news/local-news/21831-sudanese-ophthalmologists-group-conduct-eye-surgery

    tes

    • Abi

      Hi Tes
      You are exaggerating big time! Yes, there is at least one doctor in Eritrea. His name is Dr Eyob Frezghi. You didn’t read the link or missed the name.
      “Foreign occupiers ” is funny. There were no occupiers and there were no foreigners. The thing is you love to exaggerate . I get it . It is a cadre thing.

  • sara

    Dear Readers
    I asked a friend where saay is this days, she said probably busy organizing Eritreans silver jubilee celebration probably not too far from the Bay area.
    happy independence day to all eritreans!

  • Tzigereda

    Dear Awatistats,
    Kemey qeniKum?
    I thought this vidieo clip might have some interesting points on the ongoing discussions:
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=XD3tQR7u6gQ

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Selam Sis Tsegereda,

      Thank you for the link. This is another document that support Yohannes ‘s argument. EU’s war for business in Eritrea in particular and in the horn in general is real and intensive this days. In the light of this reality, that all the states in the horn will face with the challenges of political stabilities in the region to promote economic intergration. It saddens me when our nation is not in a position to play its role in the overall strategy of reginal economic integration. And without Eritrea, there will be no strategy for it in realistic sense. Thank you anyway.

      Regards
      Amanuel Hidrat

  • tes

    Dear Readers,

    Today I visited shabait and came to learn that DIA gave his usual hallucinating speech on the occasion of greening campaign meetings. In his stupid speech he sounds as if COP21 Accord is useless and wanted to go far beyond. To put his speech:

    “It cannot be seen from the perspectives of global warming (as articulated by others) alone and by the perceived need of participating in international “conferences” to sign conventions aimed at reversing the trend.”

    Ah, a dictator who played a great role in devastating remaining trees across Eritrea is now coming with his hallucinating speach. I know he is dump to understand what he is doing but his policies of depending on firewood as a main energy source is the main reason of deforestation in Eritrea.

    Almost 100% Eritreans are still dependent on firewood to cook their daily food. I have raised this issue several times in this form. Just to highlight, if one person needs about 500 g of wood to cook his daily food, then

    500g x 6,000,000 (eeitrean population) = 3000 tonnes of wood are cut/burned on daily bases, which amounts to

    3000 tonnes of firewood /day x 365 days = 1,095,000 tonnes of wood are consumed per year. This is because of the wrong policy of PFDJ that let people depend on wood.

    Of course he is regretting on his mistakes (as today is his usual confession) but trying as if he is way beyond COP21 Accord is a sign of his belittling approach to all International Agreements.

    For this the International Community need to look seriously on the devastating policy of PFDJ that is playing a dangerious role in the deforestation process of the already deforested country.

    http://www.shabait.com/news/local-news/21811-address-by-president-isaias-afwerki

    tes

    • Kokhob Selam

      Dear Tes,

      true. the problem of PFDJ is they are old styled (they don’t know how to administrate and they don’t even know their tasks + are busy repeating mistakes to solve the fist crime, that makes them busy and unable to think properly

      but hey, I think your calculation is wrong. do you think we have 6M in Eritrea? now he is talking about wood as if he cares but where are the people in first place! and if there are 3M did they have even enough food? your advice in early stage is valid but now it is PFDJ that should be removed to have our forests and people back.Lollll

      • Dear K.S.,

        All countries of the region should worry about desertification. It is said that the Sahara Desert is growing at the rate of about 50km a year in to the Sahel. Fortunately, there is this phenomenon of expansion and regression of the desert according to the overall condition of the weather in a given year. Both Eritrea and Ethiopia should carry out extensive reforestation and soil conservation works, because a regional effort could be more effective to stop the advance of the Sahara Desert. Otherwise, the future is going to be bleak, as the weather is going to get drier.

        Tree planting campaigns during the rainy season have been advertized in Ethiopia over the years; but I do not know how much successful they are. Leaders of the horn should know that they are in power to serve and protect the people and the land, and not to rule over them.

        http://edugeography.com/content/image.php?pic=../images/sahel/sahel-03.jpg

        • Kokhob Selam

          Dear Horizon,

          This is the most important point we should all care. I wish every political games stop here and now with out looking back. Ethiopia has done a lot of job on this part but yet more has to be done without hesitation. PFDJ, if they make miracle considering this tragic only and call everybody in urgent bases, and accordingly ask for transnational era secured for their life and others things dramatically will change and they will walk free, I am sure. I will be the first to support them and forgive everything that history recorded. reason? continuation of life is more important than the past. unfortunately they will not care of the future end of nature all whole and they may even politicize the case.

          Here love should work , unconditional love without thinking of political lines and boarders. We Ethiopian and Eritrean people should show our united effort in facing natural disaster. no single man in horn should ignore this problem.

          really thank you Horizon., imagine today Ethiopian and Eritrean government will call each other and start talking, imagine every talk of our time will be in saving life and nature at large, nature will come with light taking care of us all..God please help us in understanding each other.

    • Yohannes Zerai

      Dear tes,

      Thank you for bringing up an important issue that we need to be aware of (and really discuss) regarding the realities in our country. I am particularly appreciative of your “little” calculation above that has helped concretize the level of destruction that is happening to the country’s vegetation cover. While deforestation is a phenomenon with which nearly all Eritreans are familiar, many of us are unable to visualize the scale of destruction that is associated with it. Your calculation has quantified that destruction and thus illustrated the monstrosity of the devastating impact of the government’s energy policy – if, at all, it can be called a policy! I thank you for that.

      In your remarks, you stated that “he is regretting his mistakes”. Regret is really a concept that is alien to the guy’s destructive bent. But, surely, he does deliberately fake it from time to time! It is his way of dispensing his venomous “compound pill” to the population – a sedative to make them calm while he carries on with his evil mission; an analgesic to make them feel less of the pain caused by his cruel and destructive actions; and a hallucinogen to make them euphoric about what he deceptively claims the future holds for them!

      So, his apparent regret is nothing to be taken seriously!

      • tes

        Dear Yohannes Zerai and Kokhob Selam,

        Since the time of my awareness on Soil and Water Conservation Engineering concepts and practical means to combat desertification, I came to conclude that the Socialist(hence the Derg and PFDJ) way of campaigning is simply void and destructive. No matter how they intensified their programs, the very essence of deforestation will rather increase than to be diminishing.

        Just imagine – 100,000 soldiers are living in the front lines who cut trees mercilessly for their energy needs. Not a single rule and regulation is respected by them (and how?). And the most strange thing is that the same numbers are forced to work on plantation activity.

        In plantation, there is a saying, ‘if you want to cut one tree, at least plant two’. But these soldiers are simply cutting.

        Ah, I remember the summer works that started since 1994. Was it really for afforestation to just to keep the youth occupied?

        I remember also all the “work for food” campaigns that were carried all over Eritrean villages which resulted nothing but wiping of existing trees.

        And now, they have established a Cooperation that looks after aforestation and wildlife conservation.

        Hmm;

        Cooperation, a fashion now that is meant to deceive funding agents.

        Until Eritrea shifts its dependency on wood as source of energy to 100% other means, what ever measures is taken, it is impossible to recover the lost trees and forests of Eritrea. Above all when a paranoid dictator leads such works, the outcome becomes devastating.

        tes

  • Mahmud Saleh

    Dear Yohannes, and Kburan Awatista

    The following article supports my argument that EU re-engagement plan which includes the much talked about 250 million Fund allocated to Eritrea is indeed a desperate action to lessen the flow of immigrants. The scramble is for creating a catchment scheme for the migrants flooding Europe, not as the article argues, a scramble to devour Eritrean resources.
    http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/670550/EU-secret-deal-war-criminal-Sudan-migrant-crisis-Africa

    Contrary to mounting news items, almost in real time, explaining why Europe is acting desperately to stop immigrants, in order for me to believe that the EU funds were the result of Europe’s scramble for controlling Eritrea’s resource, the author should have told us why Europe wanted to suddenly scramble for this fund. Wouldn’t normalization do it? Because, as a a poor nation, I think it is Eritrea that needs Europe more than Europe needs Eritrea.. At least you should have informed us if Eritrea has denied any European investment. Dear Yohannes, does Eritrea have a protectionist economic policy, or discriminatory economic hurdles that affect European investment unfavorably? The scramble of European leaders to curb the flow of migrants does not stop at European funds allocated to Eritrea, but it includes all frontier countries. You know the deal made between Europeans and Turkey. The above news item makes it clear that Europeans are in desperate mode. In addition, you have noted that Eritrea’s handling of mining agreements commendable. That means Eritrea has not shown to be in a rush to seal deals. I would criticize the GOE for being slow, cumbersome and one that exhibits extreme cautiousness. I think I have spelt some more beans.

    • Dear M.S.,

      The EU is facing multiple problems as the result of the refugee tsunami, especially since the summer of 2015; and it wants to stop this from continuing by all means possible; and one might say, even by working with the devil. The issue of refugees has helped right wing fascist parties to mushroom all over Europe and get stronger, and they have won a number of seats in their national parliaments and in the European Parliament as well. A week or two ago, Jean-Claude Juncker, the President of the European Commission, was talking of “part-time Europeans”, with which he meant that the very essence (existence) of the European Union for which he worked tirelessly all his life is in danger. He had in mind not only the ultra-right-wing parties of Western Europe, who have gained power and are hell bent to annul the Union, but also the recently admitted Eastern European countries, who have refused to accept refugees, have raised fences at their boarders and their governments are more or less right wing fascist regimes, reminiscent of their pre-WWII governments. In addition, economic crisis since 2010 has made refugees much less attractive to Europeans. Therefore, presenting EU’s economic aid to Eritrea more or less as a bribe to the regime in order to gain access to Eritrea’s mineral resources cannot be supported in any way possible.
      Regards.

      • Mahmud Saleh

        Selam Horizon
        That’s a precise point. Here is the fact:
        1. We do have an issue of immigrants (involving host countries (Europe), source countries (all the countries where the majority of refugees come from, including Eritrea, and transit countries such as Sudan, Greece, Libya and Turkey. The activities of re-engagements have picked speed with the increase of refugees and, as you stated, with the rise of right-wing movements. We have the news items 24/7, we can support this claim substantially.
        2. Eritrea has not turned back investment proposals from companies originating in Europe. There are no laws, policies…that discriminate against Europe.
        3. It was Europe that withheld the rightful portion of development fund for political pressure ( to which Eritrea, like any other developing nations and blocs, has the right to access).
        3. There is no indication that Eritrea has changed any of its stances except to agree to cooperate with EU on curbing immigrant, and this is not new. Fairness demands that we mention that Eritrea has been telling Europe and Israel that their automatic asylum granting policy to Eritreas was not sustainable. This is on record. Therefore, misguided policies of Europe, and unrealistic expectation of the effects of those policies have made Europe to wake up untimely, and with a grand reckoning of reality. In the winner, well, it’s PFDJ. Some of our colleagues don’t want to swallow this reality.
        4. There are legitimate asylum seekers and unfortunately, they will face tough screening.
        PS: Happy May 24 to you and to Talaqu abi and the rest of dear Ethiopian friends. tes is mad because I used Eritrean flag as my avatar. Could you please tell him that when Ethiopians died under HS, Durg, and EPRDF (all had slightly different symbols) they were not dying for a piece of cloth but for the symbol it represented which is Ethiopia. I have no problem using any Eritrean flag that may come in the future, because at the end I’m holding the entity/concept that the flag represents.

        • tes

          Dear Mahmud Saleh,

          You wrote, “And the winner, well, it’s PFDJ. Some of our colleagues don’t want to swallow this reality.”

          Then you want us to swallow the tyranny’s success. No one is denying that they are are holding the power. However we are rejecting it. No sane Eritrean can swallow PFDJ except the pseudo justice seekers who dwell on their dreadful crime. I hope you are not one of them.

          tes

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Dear tes
            Peace and love.

          • tes

            Dear Mahmud Saleh,

            Let peace and love prevail when the true and genuine voices of the oppressed people are heard.

            tes

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear Mahmuday,
            Put first love then peace..Lol. and if so use love flag not war flag. What makes that colored flag legal Mahmuday? I have never seen peace in Eritrea since I saw this cloth. I call it flag of killers (ባንዴራ ቀተልቲ ) – I am not really happy to see it to be honest but it is up to you.what makes it different from the flag of ISIS is the color. the first claims to be Eritrean freedom flag and the 2nd Isalmic flag.

          • tes

            Dear Kokhob Selam,

            The flag of killers – as you have clearly put it is now totally rejected by genuine justice seekers. I congratulate for those who carried the true Eritrean flag tirelessly.

            Today, the youth have come to realize that the flag imposed (Ms’s Avator) is part of the tyranny’s legacy. They have rejected it. Thanks to Kiros Asfaha, by now we have reached into its final rejection phase. Even recent demonstration in Norway came with the true Eritrean flag.

            As for Mahmud’s choice he knows what he frustrated from. When justice prevails no legacy of PFDJ but people’s bitter struggle to raise the flag that they carried throughout the struggle days.

            The flag of killers and those who carried it must be rejected without hesitation.

            tes

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Dear KS

            You openly told us here in this revered forum that you belong to Eritrean National Salvation-Hidri. Guess what? Hidri is flying the Eritrean flag, or “…flag of killers (ባንዴራ ቀተልቲ )…” So, my friend, per your words, Hidri is flying the flag of ISIS. OK, I can make a deal, you make Hidri erase it, and I will change it. How about that?
            http://hidri.net/
            This is without mentioning that there are many Eritrean opposition organizations, and media outlets that fly the Eritrean flag. Until Eritreans change it through democratic process, this is the only flag representing Eritrea in international forums; I respect it. I don’t consider it the flag of ISIS.
            I do love you too; at least, we should not go to that extreme if we really believe in the principle of the right of freedom of expression. Remember, we are justice seekers. We respect the right of self-expression. Don’t we?

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear Mahmuday,
            yes I openly said it when the gentle man ask me which party I belong. but yes also in the same post I said I still have differences with them. do you notice that? see, even in old struggle days when I was in ELF armed fighting I had big arguments. one of arguments was the way we deal with EPLF leadership.. I was so bad it was me who asked before the war broke .. strongly that action should be taken over the leadership and they has to be killed. Look, and I openly said there is no contradiction that has base between two fronts except the leadership of EPLF and I describe them most of them are ignorant but there is a secret movement that is killing our revolution – and yes if we don’t do it today ELF will become history ..I am know for this speech. again during referendum I said Eritrean people should force EPLF leadership not to lead that era by any means. no referendum should be done before putting temporary leadership at all as otherwise EPLF will continue without allowing transfer of power to the mass – and yes ended I was right. but I was helpless and continue with the mass to say yes to referendum. again during Constitution days I am among few who said that will not be materialized and yes it wasn’t. I can give you lot of examples. now while I am writing those who don’t know who I am can find out who I am by reading this post ( those around me).

            Now, recently we were discussing about our constitution of 97..remember? my stand was constitution was not born to say it is dead. imagine now, all professors and doctors including great fighters like you still believe constitution was drafted. most of Hidri fighters believe so but not me. and I am sure you are going to be convinced one day all jobs done on that constitution is going to be history. legality maters. so don’t ever associate this flag with our referendum..there is a wide possibility of national death if we talk too much about the flag and EPLF leadership and PFDJ and it’s signs all. in fact the continuation of PFDJ is so danger and that is what IA is doing. to let Eritreans stop thinking of our national identity.

            recently there is a dramatic change of this flag in the mind of people. open everywhere on this net and you will see people calling the blue flag and recalling ELF’s era. I prefer everybody concentrate on removing PFDJ and wait for transnational era for legal decision. even though I am allergic of the combination on this colored flag, don’t worry I will give priority to our common ground and leave you in peace for the sake of love. thank you.

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Selam KS
            Thanks for the background, and I wish you success in your crusade, I have already given a brief answer to Horizon regarding how the current flag was adopted. Whether it will continue to be Eritrea’s flag or not will depend on how Eritreans decide. Let us leave it to the people. Now, that’s not the point. The point is this: you called it the flag of killers and ISIS, and thus you asked me respectfully to take it down. I said, “well your organization is flying it, would you bewilling to tell them to take it down and have them do so if it is the flag of killers and ISIS?” I promised I would do so if your organization takes it down. Otherwise, it just shows a double standard. If you volunteer, I would like to ask you this too: Do you believe Eritrean National Salvation-Hidri is a follower of the killers and ISIS?
            Kokeb selam, I’m not really pushing this to you. You brought it, and I have the right to make sure I’m doing the right thing if I decide to take it down. Thousands of Eritrean youth in Israel were proudly flying it while commemorating their annual national celebration; all major opposition meetings include both the historic Eritrean flag (semeyawit lemlem) and the current one. Are you arguing all those opposition gatherings and organizations are promoting the flag of killers?
            PS: My dear friend, it’s one thing not to accept it, but it’s a different thing to call it “the flag of killers and ISIS.” That’s the point. I expect to the point answer to my questions. This is a deal making process KS. DO the right thing and I will keep my promise.

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear Mahmuday,

            why I brought some examples of my back ground is to show you only my stand. Yet, it is mostly personal stand. I have suffered and affected my life and those innocent guys with me in doing so. But I never leave the mass and I was always around. I am just one man and you can forget about me but talk about the mass and truth.

            the debate you and me did last year and now is already the debate of the mass. I think you have got what I mean. Hidri members are also talking about it today. If I will only follow my stand I will never be a member of any party in Eritrea. The only thing I can do is choose who is the best and who can represent me at least with wider common ground.

            the worst time I face was the war of 80 between ELF and EPLF.. for someone who knows that the war will broke and EPLF has secret agents in ELF and who cried earlier the war was very very very bad. the feeling is too bad to the level I could have left the front. really it is painful to see EPLF leadership let TPLF inter in our national struggle issue and let them fight armed.

            see. I always think soul is the most important thing and by allowing that nonsense leadership to be in the field we have seen death of thousands of Eritrean, not yet but Badme’s war was also the credit that should be paid and thousands paid for it ( it is just an extension- but the time was chosen by EPLF leadership ) . Yet I am still here with you gentle man. still crying.

            Hidri should remove this flag but if they don’t I will still continue with them. it is the same as I told you I was not convinced to see referendum while PFDJ is on power but I still stand for -yes – as there will never be choice since the mass is not really hearing. that is the point where I said to you there is no such thing as mass to die for — there is such thing called truth to die for. and you still told us “victory to the mass” which mass? if the mass for truth then yes – the slogan works. is the front who shout so really for truth or cheating the mass? EPLF can’t and should not use this slogan and if they use it, here is the opposite result. victory for truth. truth is bigger than the mass and mass should join the truth not the truth should join the mass. if that mass is not for truth knowingly or without knowing nature will still give the result. we Eritreans paid high price because we were not for truth. we only pretend and then we keep dancing trying to hide our nature. the truth comes after us and penalize us where ever we go.

            Now you came with the flag and we saw you recently with “awet N’hafash” the mass who is in tragic and who is not willing to say the truth can continue to be in wrong side with this slogan. the slogan of cheaters.

            so is the mass still waving the flag of killers? Yes. it is again the same – is the mass following the killers in the past ? Yes my friend yes. do you think those killers on the top can kill me? I promises you – none of those you record in your mind as heroes – the will send me one stupid to kill me. those are the worst killers I will never forgive them. can IA or Al’amin or Mesfen any of them kill my leader Said Saleh? Never Mahmuday ! they cant even stand in front of him. If I bring them the dead body of this man they will run thousand kilometer Lol, I wish you know him and you know them all. ISIS are killers and are their in the field themselves. PFDJ leaders are hidden in side national identity sending animals to die for them.

            The colored flag will be history but I don’t know about the blue flag. there is no way you ask to have a legal nation and still hold the illegal flag. take my words. but I will still continue to be with those who believe it is a flag. I will respect you stand- I don’t know how you feel when the prostitute women wearing a cloth in the same color saying “Nihan Nisu” as your are gentle and advanced and cultured man. for me no problem – I have been programmed to have long birth and I remain proud of my stand fully leave my life till the end.

          • Ema Abdu

            Eritrea belongs for minority tribe tigrigna under dictator man big tribe like tigra saho afar they dint have any position in Eritrea they have potion in horn africa only more than 10 minsters in Djibouti they are shao and afar in Ethiopia 7 ministers are saho and afar more than 10 generals in Ethiopian are saho and afar 15 ambassadors are saho and afar working representative in abroad for Ethiopian government this is democratic government

        • Dear M.S.,

          I wish happy May 24, to you and to all Eritreans who celebrate this day as the date of Eritrean Independence.

          As much as the date of Eritrean Independence, the Eritrean flag and many other disputed points (e.g. implementation of the constitution, the judiciary, investigations of crimes committed by the regime, the possibility of reconciliation, etc) are concerned, they will all be tackled by the Transitional Government, which would follow the fall of the dictatorial regime. After broad discussions by the legitimate stakeholders, a common solution would be reached on all the points of contention. A. H. I think tried to point out this in his article. Therefore, even though the Eritrean flag does not seem to have been yet agreed upon, (not really unexpected, as long as it was unilaterally decided by the regime) nevertheless, it is your right to use it as your avatar symbol. Tes may not agree, but I do not think he would insist, and as you said you have no problem in adopting any new flag the Eritrean people choose to have in the future.

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Selam Horizon
            It’s a reasonable feed back, thanks. Regarding the flag and other contentious issues, tes may not know it, but it was EPLF tegadelti who opposed the automatic and hasty designation of the flag, the automatic transfer of EPLF central committee members to the legislative body, etc. There were fierce and open resistance. The answer of the leaders was that there was no time since the declaration was to follow the result of the referendum (about a month of time), and with declaration of independence we would need to have a head of state and a flag, etc. Of course, this is what was given to us. Since we were looking at a normal transition period ahead, most of us were relaxed thinking the expected process of transitioning to democracy would solve whatever contention we had. The rest is history. Now, what I care about is the sovereignty of my country; the flag represents that, and I have no problem if it’s changed, hopefully, not more than once.

    • tes

      Dear Mahmud Saleh,

      Symbols do matter and hence is a flag of a country.

      I don’t know if I am going to say more but your choice of Disqus photo is indeed a clear sign of our political differences. For me, the symbol you have chosen is a symbol of tyrant, dictator and totalitarian regime called PFDJ. I don’t want to put you on the same wagon as that of PFDJ but your photo choice will not make me free of such categorization.

      Dear Mahmud, If you had chosen the flag of EPLF which is now used by PFDJ, may be I could have respected your choice thinking that your were veteran fighter of EPLF. But having the current imposed flag of the authoritarian regime is non-respectiful for the 30 years struggle of the people. Hence, I reject your choice.

      I hope you listened Kiros Asfaha’s speech In Israel. If you don’t let me know so that I can share the link.

      tes

    • Berhe Y

      Dear Mahmud and all,

      I have said my views to Yohannes article but today I come across this article below. I am not saying I believe this story more becuase someone else (non Eritrean saying it) but either this guy has read Yohannes article or he seems to have the exact information Yohannes has shared.

      http://www.nasdaq.com/article/highlighting-eritrea-as-an-investment-destination-cm621362

      Berhe

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Hi Bethe,

        That is precisely what Yohannes argued in his piece, though the refugee issue is part of the overall strategy. So Yohannes has it.
        Thank you for the link, it helps to understand the strategy of EU and other international regarding their rush to investment in our nstion.

        Regards
        Amanuel Hidrat

      • A.Osman

        Hi Berhe,

        I tend to sway to your original position as it is difficult to analyse the decision of EU like that of one nation, with so many players it is difficult to talk about hidden agenda. I was dissapointed that Yohanned looked irritated by your position and did not want to engage you further as it would have given us a balanced perspective.

        The article that you provided does not say much, the website that he linked http://www.amoraview.com/eritrea-horn-africas-imploding-country/ that is apparently his source of information is full of hate. Don’t count too much on his input…he is just trying to look expert on emerging market.

        Regards
        AOsman

        • Kokhob Selam

          Dear A.Osman,

          But it looks correct for someone who don’t know about Eritrea. The credit goes to our PFDJ – someone can say “here is PFDJ” as evidence. ውርደተኛ ወገን ተዋሪዱ የዋርደካ !

        • tes

          Dear A.Osman,

          Here I see a different approach of yours than I am familiar with. Of course Yohannes seems to be an expert on International Relationships and an Expert in the area of Economics. We are lucky to have here and share his expertise. And I don’t see any problem if he appears to be an expert on emerging market. In fact these experts are what the justice seeking camp is lucking.

          coming back to the attached link, imaging what Nasdaq works for, the article shared by Berhe Y is very important.

          For me EU’s engagement with PFDJ regime has three objectives:

          1. To stop Eritrean refugees as EU is in a refugee crisis.
          2. To protect its Maritime Trade Interest – as they have witnessed what a failed state meant – Somalia case
          3. Assuming the potential of terrorism(wrong perception) – Eritrea and Ethiopia are assumed as allied countries to protect any Islamic insurgents – EU’s engagement with PFDJ on South Sudanese separatism movement is a living witness. And today, the FEAR of ISIS.
          4. Possible Resource exploitation and Monopolizing their existence – competition with emerging markets.

          tes

          • A.Osman

            Dear Tes,

            So I am not misunderstood, I was referring at the nasdaq article writer when I said he wanted to look expert on emerging market and not impressed with what he used as source of information on Eritrea.

            Regards
            AOsman

        • Berhe Y

          Dear AOsman,

          Thank you for your comment. There was another article that I read, that says the EU official from Italy that went to Eritrea and may be facilitated the aid package, he is now director / some leadership with one of the oil companies who is doing oil / gas exploration in Eritrea. The article also mentioned that, if the official visit to Eritrea constituted as conflict of interest.

          So I think there may be that element but I think the main concern is the refuge issue in Europe.

          If we look at the Eritrea issue from EU interests, I think their option is limited in how to solve this issue.

          1) Help remove the Eritrean dictator. Problem with that recent such action didn’t work well for EU, specially in Lybia. It opened the floods for the refugees, may their supply of oil affected etc. There is no clear successor from ERITREAN opposition that would take over.

          2) work with regime and create economic opportunist for the population and eventuall the regime will be replaced within the time table of the Eritrean people. Who knows may the regime can be convinced to change its Human Rights records, like for example Burma and fend it’s ways and help it transition.

          Given the options, I think EU would choose the second option.

          Not to mention if Eritrean government fell and follow the faith of others, Yemen, Lyibia, Eritrea being located in the strategic Red Sea region, is the last thing Europe needs to deal in defending that 1000 km access to the sea.

          Berhe

          • A.Osman

            Dear Berhe,

            Italy and maybe UK may have been courting Eritrea to seek mining opportunities and I have no problem with claim that some EU members have been trying to change EU policy for ulterior reason. My difficulty with lumpimg the block which has to negotiate on behalf of all its members trade deals. I think the EU allocated 1.8b Euro as aid to African nations to reduce migration, the 200million for Eritrea falls under that objective.

            Regards
            AOsman

      • Yohannes Zerai

        Dear Berhe,

        I read the piece at the link you provided in a complete state of bewilderment regarding both its contents and the timing of its publication. I am grateful to you for directing us to that article.

        I was thrilled to read the contents of the article which are in congruence with what I had presented in my article. I was thrilled not because I believed I scored points in an “I told you so!” game that I intend to engage in – trust me I am not, at all, into playing that or any other “game”! My only ambition is to do my part in the search for the Truth, whatever that truth may be! And it was that process, and nothing else, that got me thrilled.

        Now some uncontested facts of the matter: I could not have possibly borrowed my points/arguments from that article because it post-dates mine (it was published on May 16th, and mine was posted on May 11th). Having carefully read the article, it is obvious that the author of the new article is unlikely to have prayed on the contents of my article. His article includes important facts and details on Eritrea that were not even touched upon by my article. It is, therefore,obvious that the author of the article has done his own independent research and apparently utilized some of the same sources I had consulted OR he extracted the same FACTS from other sources.

      • A.Osman

        Dear Berhe,

        I saw the same article in EastAfro but they decided to omit a full paragraph.

        http://www.eastafro.com/2016/05/16/highlighting-eritreas-oil-as-an-investment-destination-nasdaq/

        Regards
        AOsman

    • Yohannes Zerai

      Dear Mahmud Saleh,

      Sorry Mahmud, I was away for a little while but it’s good to be back and good to hear from you again, brother! I remember the two of us having had a brief debate on the issue the last couple of days. However, neither of us having been lucky enough to convince the other, we agreed to disagree and “parted ways”, so to speak, on the issue at least for now. But not even a day had elapsed before you came back “running carrying an article” that you thought unequivocally supports your position on the issue! I very much appreciate the enthusiasm and the intensity of your conviction in the correctness of your position on the issue. This is not a joke, and I am saying it with all sincerity.

      But having said that, let me state that proving the EU aid package to Eritrea was awarded with the sole objective of stopping migration is gonna take you a lot more than that! My friend, let’s take a look at some of the relevant hard facts of the article;

      1. The fact that Europe is “scrambling” to put a stop to the flow of refugees from Africa and the Middle East does not, by any means, indicate that the aid package was given to Eritrea just to stem the exodus from the country. On the contrary, although the EU had announced the planned aid to Eritrea in March 2015, it was only in January 2016 that it signed the agreement for the aid package – nearly a year later! If you believe that such a time-frame indicates any “scrambling” by anyone for anything, then no wonder we could not agree on the issue!!

      2. In a discussion of an EU plan that was agreed upon in Malta in 2015 specifically to curb the flow of refugees from Africa, the 200 million euros given to Eritrea “supposedly” for that same purpose is not even mentioned! Oh, sorry, sorry, I forgot that the EU had referred to that amount as “development assistance” when it was signed in January 2016!!!

      3. To stem the flow of African refugees from countries whose citizens try to reach Europe THROUGH SUDAN – and there are eight of them: Sudan, South Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia, D.R. Congo, Central African Republic – the EU allocates 40 million euros to be shared by all. But, outside that arrangement, it channels 200 million euros to ERITREA ALONE for, according to you, the same purpose! And funny enough, Eritrea is also going to have a share in the 40 million! Common now! Let’s be honest with ourselves!

      4. The EU, via its strongest member state (Germany) is trying to have Sudan use its EU-refurbished border patrol network to stop refugees from neighboring countries AS WELL AS FROM ERITREA entering the Sudan!! Wow, what happened to the Eritrean government? Didn’t it get “paid 200 million euros a few months ago specifically to accomplish that very task”!

      We really do not have to scour the forest to find the answer to the question: “What for did the EU grant the aid package to Eritrea?” If we are willing to use a little intuition, we have already gotten an indication of the answer from the “horse’s mouth”! I have the feeling that you do not have much respect for the European Parliament. But, while Europe as a whole is in such desperation trying to stop the flow of refugees, do you think the European Parliament will strongly and unanimously oppose giving the 200 million to Eritrea AND publicly castigate the European Commission for having gone through with the aid? I will let you answer that question for yourself.

      You know what Mahmud? If an issue (such as ours) is not resolved one way or another after a reasonable amount of debate, the best thing to do is to let TIME be the judge. It is just a matter of time before the truth about the purpose of this 200 million aid package will be revealed. So, let’s “leave the stew simmering”, so to speak, for a few more months; and if the truth comes out on your side, I will seek you out to congratulate you on it! I promise! How about that as a fair deal!!

      Take care of yourself, brother!

      • Mahmud Saleh

        Selam Yohannes (Please those who don’t appreciate lengthy replies skip this; I wish I could make it shorter, but some ideas need lengthy replies)

        I do agree that we sort of parted away recognizing that we may disagree on the motives of EFD to Eritrea. You asserted that EU made that grant in order to get access to Eritrean resources, and particularly to the booming mining sector. I asserted that the motive was to curb refugee flow. In both of my major comments under your article, I contended that the primary driving motive of this latest grant of fund was stopping the flow at its source. I brought that news for a purpose, it wasn’t meant as the result of “Eureka!” moment. The purpose, and I hoped you and the readers would get it, was:

        (a) The urgency with which Europe is seized. It’s a real scramble to stop refugees my dear Yohannes and not to partition Eritrea’s resources. The hint: imagine Europe resorting to mounting cameras…scanners…watch towers….along the border of Sudan (because Sudan has been identified as the major transit of refugees originating as far as Somalia, and other east and central Africa countries. Just for a thought: could you imagine cameras mounted on camels, and the bigayt cows…Arkokebay trees…along that frontier! Donkeys are said to be in quarantined in Ethiopia per Horizon’s latest news about the quality of donkey milk, and how Ethiopia could exploit it to feed its people…..
        (b) The second point was to hint that Europe is not funding only Eritrea in regard to such a scheme, but many other countries of the region, the Horn of Africa central Africa, West Africa. Even Zimbabwe was to get hundreds of millions according to The Guardian.com: “The EU has offered a €234m (£174m) olive branch to Zimbabwe, with insiders privately acknowledging that 12 years of sanctions on President Robert Mugabe’s regime HAVE FAILED.” (Emphasis mine). This shows you EU’s reviewed attitude towards its policy of using its funds as a political weapon (I raised this point yesterday as related to Eritrea). I also included EU-Turkey engagement, The Khartoum Process (that’s when EU countries really came to their senses and got down to business in engaging African countries which are believed to be the major source of refugees. Then you have the Malta meeting of EU leaders and African head of states. The Economist reported that EU “…Countries that arrest people-smugglers, and accept the return of migrants whose asylum applications have been rejected, will be given aid—€1.8 billion ($2 billion) of it, says the European Commission—as well as more access to European markets and more visas for their citizens.”

        There are many news reports from credible media sources, tons of them. I do have about 20 updated news sources, listing them here will be redundancy. Interested readers could simply search for key words in search engines (google), or use their “research” libraries’ accounts if they really want to go beyond news reels.
        I would only say the following. I thank you again, but you have not answered the key challenge BerheY pointed out, and I rephrased.
        1. EU doesn’t need to bribe Eritrea with 250 million dollars in order to get access to Eritrean mining sector. Eritrea is calling it free. All EU corporations need to do is play by the book. PFDJ might be terrible in areas of democracy and human rights, but certainly it has not been an entity you could push around when it comes to money, and respecting its rules. Eritrea has never denied European investment from investing in Eritrea, hence, EU would not need to spend this much money to enter the race to Eritrean resource.
        2. EU while giving this grant admitted that past policies did not work, and that it’s futile to try to change the Eritrean government through the use of the stick. They have realized that the only thing left is the carrot; and they did offered a big thick carrot for the ever hungry PFDJ. But would the mothers of Mai Dema who got solar energy through the funding of EU care? Would the people in AdobHa care if they get pumped-up water delivery?
        3. The focal point of your rebuttal was why EU waited for a year if it was an emergency. Well, funds need time to get finalized. Plus the main contention was Eritrea’s insistence that it would be the one which administer the fund and not NGOs, this is one of the main reasons why EU cut its funding in the first place. Finally, EU succumbed to Eritrea’s demand.
        4. Your latest reply to BerheY tells me you have not followed the thread. Tell you what, Berhe actually believes now that EU fund is more to do with refugees, Aosman pointed out the source of the “Nasdaq” article. It was “Amoraview”, well you know what you get when your source is amoraview.net.
        Thanks again for the civil exchanges, I find your vigor and style educating.
        Regards.

        • Hope

          Well said Vet Mahmud.
          The awate team should have allowed you to expand this comment of yours in an Article format vis-a-vis Yohannes’ Article, as a kind of a Follow Up Article to that of Yohannes.Moreover,you have enough links and facts.

          • Saleh Johar

            Hi Hope,
            Please think of what you are saying before you type your comments: You wrote, “The awate team should have allowed you to expand this comment of yours in an Article format vis-a-vis Yohannes’ Article…”

            You are implying that the Awate Team has prevented Mahmoud from writing an article. Kindly check what you are typing, particularly when you implicate others.

          • Hope

            Selam Ya Ustazna:
            My bad.
            I take it back.
            I am going to finish my ESL in 6 months and hope I will communicate better then.
            Please read it as following:”Mahmud,your comments on this Article should be compiled together and posted as an Article”!

            I know that the AT wil never turn down the Field Marshall,no matter what!
            Btw,where is Cousin Prof Dr Salih AA Younis now-a-days?
            I hope he close to compiling the necessary documents for the initial proceedings for the Prosecution of te Dictator and his few colonies !
            I heard that the Three Minstries including the top Scurity Chiefs are included.
            Good job Cousin.

          • Hope

            [from the moderator: we have advised you time and again to please stop engaging the moderators, but you keep doing that. It was an advise since you said it is because you are working on your ESL. Kindly have mercy and keep us away from your duels. Saleh Johar has told you repeatedly you cannot debate him as a moderator but in his individual capacity. Kindly observe that]

            Hmmmmm:
            Dear Moderator (Is it a name,or a Title,btw?)

            Is it part of the Posting Guidelines not to mention the Moderators and the AT in the comments or exclusive to Hope’s Comments?

            My response indicates to be directed to Mr Salih Johar.

  • George

    Dear Yohannes Zerai,

    I am writing to you because i notice you are prematurely pat your own back when you have not clearly and unambiguously defended your position. As Johar said you have engaged the audience and it is commendable.

    Your command of English is enviable. But, I wish i can say the same about the content and intent of your article. As you may have noticed even the die hard haters of the anything GOE have informed you that your article is much ado about nothing. I will spare you why, for, the ever humble, vet Muhamud,have eloquently outlined it.

    Now this brings us to a question, what was your intent? In other words what is so compelling that you tried to make a case about EU engagement with GOE. Remember Eritrea has been open for business for the last 10 years. It is EU that wrongly assumed that by disengaging from Eritrea will subdued the Eritrean people. To their dismay they failed and came back to listen and learn from GOE the real truth. And found out among other things that most of the people that migrate to EU are in fact Ethiopians.

    Don’t get me wrong some are Eritreans and this should not surprise anybody. Eritrea is a developing country and most people from developing countries given the change will migrate to the greener pasture give the chance.

    My unsolicited advise. Not everything the GOE is bad and not everything the GOE does is good either. But where GOE does well go ahead and say so instead of making unnecessary and sadly wasteful effort to discredit GOE.

    Your fellow Eritrean.

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Dear George,

      My eyes are stuck to this statement of yours: “Not everything the GOE is bad and not everthing the GOE does is good either.” Can you please enlightened us where the GOE does “bad” as a defender of GOE? And I will volunteer to do the the opposite or role reversal, to state what the GOE does “good” as an opposer of the GoE. Could you please? Or, if you would prefer to compare and contrast on what the GEO does “good and bad” will also be appreciative, to spare us from doing what you feel – us doing bad in criticizing the GEO. Otherwise you sound very angry for what Yohannes stated or did – and that what the obvious critics are.

      Regards
      Amanuel Hidrat

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Dear All (awatistas)

    Please read a report linked below a snapshot from “Economic Freedom” – the stand of Eritrea in the Sub-Saharan countries and in the Glob. I brought it, because it will help in the current debate on the article posted by brother Yohannes Zerai.

    http://www.heritage.org/index/country/eritrea

    regards,
    Amanuel Hidrat

    • Yohannes Zerai

      Hi Amanuel,

      Very interesting and useful set of statistical data for some key sectors of the Eritrean economy, and valuable snippets on the overall state of the Nation. Thank you for sharing Amanuel: I am sure many of us will find the source you have identified handy in future communications, engagements and activities of our movement.

    • Kokhob Selam

      Dear Amanuel,
      This eye opening article is pulling a lot of subjects. I am reading more and more to learn our 25 years experience. thank you for the link.

  • Mehari the ferrari

    I know Papa Isaias will have enough funds to wage indirect war against Ethiopian government so that he can rule the whole Ethiopia (that includes the daughter Eritrea)..ShaIbiya fought to put Papa Isaias in power to rule Ethiopia,that was not the intention of the tegadeltis ,but that is what happened.

  • Dis Donc

    Dear Georgy,
    Please read our discusión from the beginning. I wish I have time to engage you, though.

  • T..T.

    Hi all,

    When I first read the article I thought of it as an article of conciliation that reflected Medrekh’s or EPDP’s view or position and expected it to promote pro-regime rhetoric or at least the regimists would not use language of hate. But the expectation turned out to be wrong on some levels, especially on the part of Hope and Peace, who thought the article, was biased towards the regime because it sounded to be exaggerating the strength of the regime.

    The sensing of the ongoing discussion appears to hint that the article tempted many of the discussants to make a quick diagnostic analysis that the author of the article believed that the European Union (EU) was in a desperate need for Eritrea’s mining products and oil. And, because of the neutralized EU position, soon all the UN sanctions will be lifted. Here, it should be emphasized that EU did care about the vast wealth of Russia when they decided to side with the USA. Unless the USA chose silence to appease the Arab Gulf countries that might have allowed Isayas to enjoy a 10% commission for four years on their yearly purchase of 500 million euro of weapons and military equipment.

    The author might have reasons to believe so because of the references he used to back up his presented facts. Indeed, in evaluating the references that the article used, one may find them not to infer any truth about the economic and political realities in Isayas’s Eritrea other than the regime’s prospects for post-lifting of the UNSC imposed sanctions.

    Thus, it is the regime that is scrambling for excessive deceptive information to support its exaggerated evidence that Isayas is successfully shaking off all the USA and Ethiopian conspiracies. This time, the Isayasists are saying or declaring that they almost secured success against their enemies and, therefore, no fears or prejudices against Isayas because EDF (Eritrean Defense Forces) = EDF (European Development Funds). But the UN still believes that Isayas cannot convince the world with lies.

    • T..T.

      Hi all,

      Correction: inserting “NOT” as to read EU did not care…..
      Here, it should be emphasized that EU did NOT care about the vast wealth of Russia when they decided to side with the US

  • Yohannes Zerai

    Selam Ayneta,

    1. True, the government’s insistence on owning substantial stakes – 40% versus Nevsun’s 60% – in the Bisha Mine project is commendable. This has resulted from a bold mining agreement that many African governments are beginning to emulate, and the government must be given credit for it. But you should not be overly impressed by this singular positive element in the face of the fact that (i) this annual revenue is not known to the country’s national treasury! (ii) there are important social and environmental factors that have been (and are being) neglected which may come back to haunt us in later years!

    The substance of the article provides a useful backdrop for subsequent consideration and debate of the issues outlined above. As such, it does have tremendous “relevance to Eritrea at this junction”!

    2. As to your question of where the mining revenue might be going, let me save time by reiterating a response I gave to another commenter who asked a similar question earlier today. Here it is: Tough question to answer! But perhaps the only way we could find out is if (i) some skillful, dedicated “investigator(s)” unveil the secretive and illicit financial dealings of the regime, or (ii) the regime is removed from power. The latter brings us to a fundamental question: “How can the regime be removed, and what are we ALL doing to make it happen?”

    Finally, the issues that the article raised and/or provoked are definitely NOT a distraction to anyone not even to YOU! The ongoing constructive discussion of those issues has so far generated 81 comments and ONE OF THEM IS YOURS!

  • Mahmud Saleh

    Selam Hope and the rest of Awatista
    Note: (This was meant to be a limited response to Hope, but the flow took its course. I apologize for those who are annoyed by my Hateta, skip it.)
    Let me spill some beans here:
    Berhe Y, our Aman (not AmanH, sorry body), Semere Tesfai got the gist of the matter. Generally, speaking of scrambling for Eritrea is reminiscent of the 19th century scrambling for Africa. Nineteenth century scramble for Africa was real, and Europeans did scramble; they partitioned Africa according to their might and capacity to reach and pacify regions. Africa is still reeling from the effects of that colonial mindset and the action it unleashed on Africans. Today’s economic relations and the relation governing Eritrea and Europe and its tagging tango could best be described in some of the sentences the above commenters penned. Due to time constraint, I will jot some ideas (I could not reread and opine on the piece). Before I do that though, I want to thank Yohhans Zerai, and please keep stirring the discussion; please keep your composure; you started it really well, and I kind of enjoyed your interactions with commenters more than the article, but then you seemed to lose it when you engaged BerheY and Hope. No, question you have made your point, and you are an excellent writer, I just don’t agree with the way you framed it.
    Here is why I differ.
    1. Framing it as if Europe embarked on a scrambling sprint to grab Eritrea is an old colonial mindset when nations sent off their armadas to conquer regions and extract resources for her/his highness. Today’s multinational corporations are multinational; they are owned through shares by world citizen; and they don’t need that much of a “softening gesture/measure” from the policy makers where they head quarter. The only thing EU could do at that level is making laws of trade and investment that could affect those multinational corporations. EU would not need to give 250million to do that. EU left Eritrea because of political decision and it’s coming back because of political decision. What’s different is factors that drove those political decisions. The pushing factors for EU to live Eritrea had to do with their disagreement with PFDJ politics. For some, it was to comport with their own domestic and foreign policies, for others it was a pressure tactic, and yet for some it was in the tradition of following what the USA does. The fact that EC and EP had a fight in the latest granting of fund says the complicated relations between the elected body which consists of representatives of individual countries, and which legislates- European Parliament- and the European Commission which is an independent executive body. The EC tables proposals for approval by the parliament and executes European functions based on the laws passed by the parliament. Apparently the parliament was angry and fussy about measures the commission passed regarding the funds based on laws the parliament had passed. That fussiness was nothing but showmanship just to tell their folks back that they are against dictators, and for human rights….because they want to get reelected when the time comes. But the commission doesn’t really care, after all it’s the main political body in the European Council which also include all heads of European States. Therefore, the executives of European policy are acting one way (because they know what they are facing and they are gauging the temperature of citizens of Europe who are leery, weary and out-rightly angry at the rate their countries are flooded by refugees. They must say to their citizens that they are doing something.
    2. EU funds to Eritrea have not sprouted out of the blue. There have been continuous attempts to curtail the flood of refugees at the source and transit countries. The EU basically asked a number of countries to cooperate in curbing refugees outflow in return for EU funds for refugees stranded or who might be thinking of migrating (http://ecre.org/component/content/article/70-weekly-bulletin-articles/911-khartoum-process-eu-and-african-union-launch-initiative-against-smuggling-of-migrants.html).
    Episodes of bilateral and multilateral engagements ensued. Of course, Italy has been in the forefront of this “renewed” endeavor since it’s positioned better given its historic ties with Eritrea. There is one bitter pill that every truth seeker should not avoid mentioning. And that’s PFDJ’s answers to all EU complaints about refugees. PFDJ had and has told Europe and Israel that their generous granting of automatic asylum of immigrant from Eritrea was not sustainable. This is true and is recorded. When Europeans came back engaging Eritrea, PFDJ simply said:

    a/ we told you so, now deal with it; we can’t keep hundreds of thousands of young people who have no job opportunity because of your policy of appeasing Ethiopia, which impacted Eritrea’s job creation prospects negatively. PFDJ is basically saying “It’s not our faults that these young people could not get respite from indefinite military service because “Eritrea has not option but to employ every available means to ward off a massive threat from its neighbor which EU and its partners encouraged it to ignore agreements it signed; it is a matter of life and death for Eritrea.”

    b/ You create the jobs and opportunities here; and we will help you curb the out flux.

    Just as a gesture for time saving, I know how terrible PFDJ is, and the fact that, as a government, it is the responsible party for ensuring the safety and future of our young people; I get that.

    Conclusion: There is no doubt that EU has primarily driven by the urgent need to curb the floods of migrants, not the need to scramble for the resources of Eritrea. BerheY placed a challenge which the author side-swiped. Although Eritrea has the potential of becoming a modest destination for mining industry, to date, it’s not been identified as the richest real estate on earth where EU would re-enact its 19th century scramble for X region. The current international economic model and international configurations/laws, including EU’s own laws would not allow that. We can talk about international corporations or entities such as rich Arab countries, India and China which are “leasing native lands” and whose domestic laws don’t necessarily conform to international standards for fair trade and monitoring corrupt deals, could be the next threat for the real scramble.

    Positional Statement:

    1. I support any Fund whose application is clearly detailed and which has the potential of creating opportunities for our young people.

    2. I support any opening up of Eritrea, because I believe international engagement, investment…have the potential of pressuring the Eritrean regime to be mindful of a world watching over it; it has the potential of moderating its laws…These in turn have the potential of creating a breathing space for domestic opposition.

    3. I believe Diaspora opposition could do better by advocating that donor countries apply maximum pressure on the regime, and not by opposing and obstructing Funds to Eritrea. The Diaspora can pressure companies and countries engaging the regime to make sure their dealings are fair, and their Funds go to the intended targets. The Diaspora can do this by using laws that exist in their adopted countries.

    4. Work and work in becoming positive, and hopeful; trust your Eritrean compatriots inside the country, isolate the few bad actors;towards unity and reconciliation among justice agents.

    5. Channel positive influence into the country; encourage emergent positive ideas of the NiH of “we can do it again.” Diapora energy could impact the internal dynamics of the country positively. Have you noticed people say openly to France 24 reporter “We are not paid; we are soldiers…” This is the first time to see people defying threats of imprisonment. Check it out and Horizon post.

    Wodehankum.

    • tes

      Dear Mahmud Saleh,

      You wrote,

      “Just as a gesture for time saving, I know how terrible PFDJ is, and the fact that, as a government, it is the responsible party for ensuring the safety and future of our young people; I get that.”

      I can only say, ” Really?”

      Yah

      • Mahmud Saleh

        selam tes
        Really.

        • tes

          Dear Mahmud Saleh,

          Ok lets see it again.

          “… it is the responsible party for ensuring the safety and future of our young people…”

          Hmmm, can’t you make a conclusion that “an alternative force must come to ensure the fate of our young generation? ”

          It is not a surprise but reading you still putting your faith on PFDJ as a responsible part says a lot about you than about the real situation.

          tes

          • Abi

            Hi Tes
            I advise Vet Mahmud to translate his comments in Blin language. Your comprehension is embarrassing to say the least.
            Where did he say the government is being responsible for the safety and future of the youth? I couldn’t find it.
            Hey, blame it on the Ale.

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear Abi,
            Wow! what a good day. I told you don’t sleep long like my president. otherwise the rumor will be …..Haha ! so now you are alive and your are talking about Bilen. Tell me do you know how to talk Agewenya?

          • Abi

            Hi Kokobe
            Which president are you talking about? I’m sure it is about the future president Mohamoud Saleh. Definitely you need a camel herder for president to gather you back from around the globe. He makes sure to bring you home. A good camel herder doesn’t let his animals go astray.
            Mahmud for President!
            Kokobe, I’m busy with the boys. It is AP exam season. It is a very critical time of the school year.

          • Kokhob Selam

            Thank you Abi,

            I was worried and I was asking about you recently. if you are busy it is ok.. so now you thought you have posted naming us Animals! Lol. we are camels. now I will not disturb you since you are busy. just to put one -ከ ኣህያ ግመል ሳይሻል ኣይቀርም – Ha ha ha. please be around when the exam ends. we are all in similar situation for example now I came more than 80KM to bring my daughter for university exam and I am waiting for her to come out. So I am using the chance to reply e-mails and reading everything here. I mean using the time to the maximum. we love you Abo !

          • Abi

            Hi Kokobe
            I’m sure your daughter will do great on her exam.
            Why do you choose to be a camel? It is the only animal that is not created by God. As the saying goes ” a camel is a horse made by a committee “.
            I love you, Kokobe!

          • Kokhob Selam

            Abo,

            Lol,, but really do you know that the steps of camel is different from all animals? try to find out and you will wonder. normally animals move by using opposite legs one from front and one from rear but not camel,, it is possible Eritrean president takes steps different from all world leaders..Ha ha my God! I hope Hope is not reading this.

          • Dear Kokhob S.,
            Good luck to your daughter and good luck to Abi’s boys.

            I think that I have read somewhere that 50% of the world donkeys are found in Ethiopia. The next largest number is believed to be in China. Donkey milk is of such good quality that it can replace human milk. With about 4m donkeys in Ethiopia, here is a reason to think about how to exploit this untapped food resource in the future, as you said.

          • Abi

            Hi Horizon
            Thank you for the good wish.
            This donkey milk is promising. Now Ted the milkman has at least 2m donkeys to take care of. He will be busy milking them.

          • Kokhob Selam

            Abye,

            Hey, don’t awake the sleeping lion …. do you forgot that once upon a time Eritrea was exporting coffee without having single tree? Ha ha ha

          • Kokhob Selam

            Thank you brother,

            Ethiopia has a lot of things to exploit. regarding Donkey milk I am sure Ethiopia will benefit lot in exporting. I don’t know if there is any culture of drinking Donkey milk in Ethiopia and Eritrea. When you have a government that listens, there is a wide chance of business.

            Eritrea has also good resources but it is unfortunate that we have childish group leading. Lol, I don’t know why they are jealous when they see someone who comes to the nation to work. do you know that the honey that Ethiopia and Eritrea owns is unique and the best? But what can you do! by the way Tazma Mar (ጣዝማ ማር ) is found only in four countries in the world. Ethiopian Tazma that you find in Gojam to ward Shiwa is the best. if you are interested to know more contact me at kokhobselamone@gmail.com.

          • Abi

            Kokobe
            How do you walk? Like a camel or a horse?

          • Kokhob Selam

            Abye,

            It depends on the mission.

          • tes

            Dear Kokhob Selam,

            The most expensive cheese in the world is made from donkey milk. I came to know about this when I was studying cheese and cheese making. Most donkey cheese comes from Serbia.

            http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2248431/Donkey-cheese-At-1-000-kilo-expensive-world-But-I-getting-milk-donkey-make-ass-anyone.html

            And of course, France has the highest number of cheese varieties – about 400 types. In France, there is a saying that “for everyday of a year, there is a new cheese on a table.” – Just for your knowledge.

            tes

          • Kokhob Selam

            Thank you Tesfa Hawey,
            that is interesting information.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Kokobay,

            I wish her good luck to you daughter in her exam. What a father expect is the success of his kids.

            regards

          • Kokhob Selam

            Thank you,
            True. that is also part of struggle. There was a time when I totally lost control of my life due to deep participation in politics where I couldn’t give enough time to those innocent young kids. All the credit goes to my wife – as one of Eritrean fighters she understand the suffering of all our Eritrean children and stands with me when I go crazy fighting for justice.

          • tes

            Hi Abi,

            Endemin Aleh! Tefa bakh.

            tes

          • Abi

            Kemey Tes Wedey
            DehanDo? Geza kemey?

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Kubur Mahmuday,

      Your “position statements” are only for/with governments that are open for engagements with foreign and domestic forces, in order to bring peace and stability for their people and their neighbors. Unfortunately, the regime we have is anti-people, anti-peace, anti-development, anti-cooperation, anti-constitutionalism, and anti-rule of law. Certainly, any economic aid or foreign investment will not modify the behavior of the regime, as surely you know it very well. Economic assistance can’t mellow or soften the arrogance of the regime. And as a result any economic assistance to the regime will not curve to the current exodus of our youth. You know as I know, that the main push factor is not the economy, but it is the “endless serfdom” in the name of national security. It is the total control of people’s life by the regime. In the eye of the regime, softening its grip is losing its power. Whatever you wish from the current government, it is unrealistic to say the least. And surely you fall to the trap of the regime’s argument.

      Mahmuday, can I ask you one thing? Where did you shelve our unclassified “Roadmap” we agreed upon, as a strategy for our bilateral effort in the fight? I hope it will not face the fate of the 1997 constitutional document. Come on my dear friend. [ make your argument short crisp. Long hateta will throw your readers to the unknown forest]

      Regards,
      Amanuel Hidrat

      • Mahmud Saleh

        Selam Emma

        This is out of respect to both you and tes, otherwise, your judgmental replies deserve nothing.
        tes, thanks for leaving the the phrase “as a government” out of the portion you quoted. It is a naked dishonesty. Yes,” …as a government, it [PFDJ] is the responsible party for ensuring the safety and future of our young people.” It is inferred from the context that PFDJ has not done that; it’s also quite clear I’m criticizing it for that. Again, this is not to clarify for you, no, and not at all. This is for other readers who did not read my original comment. Nothing new in your false and misleading mischaracterization. It’s your choice to keep it up, but be assured, as long as the owners of this site allow me, I will stay being myself.
        Dear Emma, What roadmap are you talking about? Ha…ha…our People’s Democratic Coffee Talk Party? Come on now, I’m going to Asmara, already filled up my TaEsa wereQet, don’t put me in trouble. But seriously, Emma. I know the size of my feet, and am good at buying the exact size of shoes. Remember the Tigrigna saying “chamaKa maEre egrKa?” I never try to fit in something I don’t feel comfortable in. I have no grand illusions; I don’t pretend to be other than myself. This is my opinion it’s not new. As far as who is the true fighter, take it Emma. You are. Feel good. The reason why I’m going out of my way, is because you guys have already displayed your judgmental conclusions. There is no point in engaging you.

        • Kokhob Selam

          Dear Mahmud,

          My I ask permission to put my say ? I was following the discussion. I think there is very simple equation there. you see, if someone from other part of our planet want to talk about PFDJ he will start by saying ” Eritrean government” even if I don’t consider this group as government. so I will not have choice except to talk with him by saying “our government” unless I want to explain that is not really government. what ever the case when you said “Eritrean government is responsible ” you are also right. who is then responsible for all those crimes if it is not this group? here when tes asks you a short question from you long HATETA your answer was short too. “really?” really Lol things were complicated here. you are supposed to reply him with more illustrated way I think Mahmuday.
          again when the above post of Amanuel came you destroy everything. It is simple actually how can a man with such high knowledge Mahmuday came with this answer. Amanuel is honest always and everything you and him discussed is completely trusted by him. for him what you said over phone or electronic massage is valid always. He then follow the same.

          now come and clear everything. Remember you are Mahmuday.

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Selam KS

            Thanks for the reply. For instance , look at the following. tes quoted the following from my comment:
            “Just as a gesture for time saving, I know how terrible PFDJ is, and the fact that, as a government, it is the responsible party for ensuring the safety and future of our young people; I get that”
            Then he added “I can only say, ‘ Really?”
            He finished it with an ecstatic “Yah”; you up-voted it. So, before even we can carry out any intelligent exchange of information, you guys have already made up your mind. It could be inferred that tes is thinking I’m pretending in opposing PFDJ. Of course I would ask him why would I pretend if I didn’t mean it? I would say more, but I will restrain myself.
            Then Emma comes and says “Whatever your wish from the current government, it is unrealistic to say the least. And surely you fall into the trap of the regime’s argument.” Well, you see the judgmental attitude. Emma would simply pick certain areas which he thought put me in the regime’s trap; or statements that showed I was expecting unrealistic results from the government; or any part that he opposed and comment on them. Look how Yohannes replied to my provocative comment.
            Of course tes continued the pattern with the following : “It is not a surprise but reading you still putting your faith on PFDJ as a responsible part says a lot about you than about the real situation” So, why would you dear Kokebay want me to be gentler when you could discern what’s pushing me to the edge. The good thing about me, I want fall off the edge.
            On your comment regarding Emma’s and my off line relation, we enjoy good mutual respect, and that’s in place. There is no private talk that I divulged here. I was joking when I said “People’s Democratic Coffee Talk Party.” There is no such a party.
            Thanks.

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear Mahmuday,

            It doesn’t mater who will get the ” megnaHti ” what I care is you will come united. But I think the “megnaHti” thing should be done from you to you as he has already said it “(hinqel-hinqilitey) wondering what has gone wrong. If you were just adding kind of joke Aman is not good on that type of jokes. He hardly understand those type of jokes. since I know him let me just tell you Aman lives life complete and practically.

            we human beings are divided in to three categories 1.Mental centered 2.physical centered 3,emotional centered. Canadian telecom thought us once. while all those characteristics are in all of us the center and how much circle space holds is important. there is nothing wrong to be one of the above but the case behind knowing all behavior of each character was to show us how to jump from one to the other when needed. again by learning this subject we were able to find out what centered each customer owns. then we know how to deal with the him. People are nice generally speaking. everybody is important.

            do you notice, this experienced and educated man wondering when discussing with Saay7? Saay7 can simply jump and is flexible. then there is a moment to lough. “ኣታ እንታይ መዓቱ እዩ ላግጹ ኣይፍለጥ ቁም ነገሩ ኣይፍለጥ ” would be the reaction of Amanuel. Saay7 runs simply from the discussion closing the post by saying something which is not connected with the subject.

            When Amanuel says something he mean it. if he has to ask he will ask and will not go round to examine you. That is was his nature and he is the same. ጥቅው እዩ : ንላግጽን ዋዛን ብዙሕ ቦታ ኣይህቦን እዩ ::

            tes examines everything, he is the laboratory ( I think he copied it from saay7 ) and when he wants to know what really in your mind is, he comes in different sides. but trust my words he is bold and practical young man. you don’t need my advice and I know you will come to your balanced mind to handle things.

            sorry Mahmuday, why I am doing so long Hateta when you are more advanced than me!

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Ahlan KS, Emma and tes
            Kokebay: I have known Emma for sometime now; and we do have mutual respect, I know how serious he is. I know I should not mix jokes, but as you have figured it out the “megnaHti” was a joke, sort of chew-berbere (spice). Also, I will what annoys him: long Hateta. OK, I will use that weapon conservatively. All in all, he is the most charming and gentle man.
            Speaking of jokes and Saleh Younis, I miss his presence in this forum, but it would be good to assure you that he is doing really well; hopefully, we will see him up here (I read one you asking SGJ about the wellbeing of SAAY).
            On the human condition, and the wisdom of respecting each individuals perspective without rushing to judgement, that we come with slight different perspective of life…(your Canada example), I totally agree with you. That’s why many theorists believe that the traditional IQ is obsolete. One can be intelligent in intellectual rigor, another in hands-on mechanics; yet another on studying donkey milk (Horizon) and milking donkey (abi)…and a different set of people may be exceptional in exploiting what little desert could provide them, they excel at thriving in those harsh environment…The topics we debate are of diverse content and we can’t possibly have mastery in all. That’s why intelligent mellow and inviting attitude is needed.
            In one of my short Hatetas, I suspected that the lack of paying attention to personal taste, experience, background….generally, the need to understand that once we cross personal boundaries unreasonably, particularly in areas of moral stances, as in “you are this / you are that…” things could go in unintended direction. Instead of debating substance, I’m forced to explain myself where I owe no explanation. That takes its toll. And when these subtle accusations come from people you think they know you better than the others, its challenging. And let’s face it. You can’t have a debate when you have already passed your judgement, plus debaters have written and unwritten rules part of which is to stay on OBJECTIVITY and topic, rather than going personal. I know this has been already too long and Emma is counting word for word/line for line. Let me stop it here.
            Regards.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Bitsay Mahmuday (I really mean it),

            All is good and well, and there is nothing that rift to our mutual understanding – stamped with five fingers in our bilateral agreement, though you still have to remember and come with it. Habibi, I am not counting your words. I take what I need and that is assurance of our “mutual respect.” Viola!! my dear friend.

            regards,
            Amanuel Hidrat

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Dear Mahmuday,

          What part of my comment has irritated you? I thought I was cautious on the sensitive issue that tickels you .Really I mean it. It means I shouldn ‘t say my disagreement to your view.

          Second, from your response, the bilateral agreement is not only shelved, but also forgotten and lost from your memory. If that is the case, it will remain a riddle (hinqel-hinqilitey) for you. I will let it to resolve yourself. Take it easy my friend, we are sharing our views only.

          Regards
          Amanuel Hidrat

        • tes

          Dear Mahmud Saleh,

          I think you are biting my remarks too much. Lets remember that here no one is engaging anyone by choice. Whether we like it or not our current circumstances will force us to engage with one another. It is not in our control unless we want to escape from the voices (be it for justice or against) and hide somewhere that we think is a safe landing place.

          Coming back to the point at hand, the difference we have is on the way we see the legitimacy of PFDJ as an Eritrean government.

          Here is my take: PFDJ is not a legitimate party to govern Eritrea. It is there without an approval of the people and hence a regime that is irresponsible for the future of Eritrea in general and Eritrean youth in particular. Therefore do not be surprised if I picked your remark and reject it.

          I didn’t talk on the rest as Yohannes Zerai is doing really good in clarifying his stand and the article he has.

          This is all I can say for your biting remarks.

          tes

      • Yohannes Zerai

        Hi Amanuel Hidrat,
        I had just posted my response to Mahmud Saleh’s commentary when I saw your comment about the need to make comments “short and crisp”. I absolutely agree with your suggestion, but I may have already violated it. I stand accused! But, I hope to improve in the future. It is just that Mahmud’s commentary was heavily loaded, and I felt I should provide clarifications for some of the critical issues in the exchange.

    • Yohannes Zerai

      Selam Mahmud Saleh,

      I thank you for your thoughtful comments, as well as for the many interesting issues raised and thought-provoking ideas presented therein. You sure did spill lots of stuff (beans, as you put it)! in you eloquent commentary. Having read your comments intently, I find myself in agreement with a few of the points you made. Others are points which I am ready to take in with an open mind as “food for thought”. But there are still others which (i) I disagree with, and (ii) I believe resulted from a misunderstanding, on your part, of a statement/word contained in my article. I will try to speak briefly to the main points in the third category. Before I do that, however, let me say that your comments regarding the prefered manner of responding to comments from the readership are well taken, and I do appreciate the advice.

      1. Your commentary dwelt quite a bit on my use of the word “scramble” in a sub-heading of my article, and you tried to impart to it meaning and significance that were certainly not intended by the writer. As you know, the simple everyday meaning of “scramble” is “to rush to do or to get something”. A more formal, but short definition of the word as given by Merriam-Webster Dictionary is “to move or act quickly to do, find, or get something often before someone else does”. It was in this sense and precisely with that definition that the word “scramble” was used just once in my article.

      There is nothing in this definition of that word that should in anyway conjure up “19th-Century Europe” or the adventurous conquest of the African continent and plunder of its natural resources by Europe’s constituent countries of the time! Simply because historians commonly used the word “scramble” to describe the competitive rush of the countries of 19th-Century Europe to seize colonies in Africa, hence divide up the continent among themselves, it is wrong to assume that its use in present-day writing somehow connotes a mental throwback to that ugly period of human history! If we are to have a correct understanding of the true sense portrayed by words (as by expressions), we must rely on their “root meaning” instead of their “associative meaning”.

      It is therefore unfair to characterize my use of the word “scramble” as reflecting an “old colonial mindset”. If that harsh characterization is meant to also apply to my statement that “Some European countries are jostling, if not rushing, to try to secure themselves benefits from Eritrea”, I would like to indicate that I stand by the accuracy of that statement which I will back up with facts in some of the items that follow.

      2. It is really redundant to state/argue that the way countries do business, interact with each other or the tools & strategies at their disposal today are astronomically different from those that prevailed in the 19th Century. Who can argue with that, and who would be unaware that we are in the 21st Century afterall? So, let’s not waste our time on this!

      3. Your comment contains the remark that ”…. multinational corporations; and they don’t need that much of a “softening gesture/measure” from the policy makers where they headquarter. The only thing EU could do at that level woulb [sic] be making laws of trade and investment that could affect those multinational corporations”. I strongly disagree with both of your contentions in the above remark. The EU is not limited in its mission to just “making laws of trade and investment” as you claim. Its very raison d’ê·tre is, in fact, expanding trade and investment for its member countries through building trade/business partnerships, developing foreign businesses, securing new markets and expanding existing ones. Remember, the present European Union is an outgrowth of what started as the “European Common Market” some fifty or so years ago! Europe’s recent engagement with the Eritrean government is a case in point. It is only after the EU (as represented by an Italian high delegation) reached an understanding with the government in March 2015 that many European countries followed suit and signed bilateral development cooperation agreements with Asmara.That fact is a good indication of EU’s leadership in promoting Europe’s economic interests abroad. Also, the EU was the one that put together the trade sanctions regime that was imposed on Russia to show Europe’s “displeasure with Russia’s behavior in Ukraine”.

      The second part of your remark above is that multinational corporations do not need “softening gesture/measure” from the policy makers. Oh, yes they do! Oh, yes they do! What I have already stated above ought to suffice in showing that they, indeed, need and enjoy that support from the EU. But let me add that one of the main functions of the EU is to use its political, diplomatic and financial instruments to entice, cajole, coax and (if necessary) pressure actual and potential partners into accepting general “trade and investment principles/frameworks” on behalf of their member countries and their local holdings of multinational corporations. In EU’s parlance, this role is called “creating a favourable trade/investment environment” for European businesses!

      4. Referring to the recent disagreement between the European Parliament (EP) and the European Commission (EC) regarding the awarding of development funds to Eritrea and the former’s public criticism of the latter, you state “That fussiness was nothing but showmanship just to tell their folks back that they are against dictators, and for human rights….because they want to get reelected when the time comes.” Gosh! Let’s see what is really involved here. The EC talks about partnering with the Eritrean government and hopes that the aid package will encourage the recipient to implement the recommendations of the UN’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) on human rights in Eritrea. The EP, on the other hand, not only publicly criticised the EC for its having awarded the aid, but put out a resolution in which it strongly condemned the Eritrean government by listing some 20 cases of major human rights abuses and referring to some half-a-dozen UN resolutions that condemned Eritrean government policies/actions as well as other resolutions that the government continues to defy. The Parliament then unequivocally stated that “Eritrea cannot be an appropriate partner of the EU”. It is beyond me how this major policy declaration by the EP can simply be dismissed as “fussiness” unless one expects the parliament to otherwise “declare war” on both the EC and Eritrea!!

      5. Finally, a short remark on the aid package itself and its significance: It is now known that 175-million Euros (out of the total aid of 200 million) is slated for improving the country’s energy supply and the remaining 25 million will go to such things as capacity building of the public sector and improvement of essentially the government’s financial accounting and record keeping. As beneficial as these planned projects are to the country’s development, one wonders how on earth they are going to “stem the flow of refugees out of the country”. Vittorio Longhi of The Guardian hit the nail on the head when he wrote in his paper “According to the statement, the €200m fund will be used in part for the energy sector, allowing more space for private investors” – European investors, that is!!

      • Mahmud Saleh

        Selam Yohannes Zerai
        I really want to thank you for your time and for volunteering to elaborate on areas you thought I need some clarifications. Surely, your reply is helpful to connect some dots and loose thoughts. As I said before, I firmly believe that EU’s renovated heart is primarily related more to the curbing of the flow of immigrants than to scrambling for Eritrea’s resources. Now, people could arguably differ on how they read history, and how they interpret flow of data and events. By the way, the 19th century was used on my part to create a shock effect, and sure it did; you came up with an excellent reply. I just want to reiterate one more thing: I’m really benefiting from your exchanges with the forum, please keep it up.

        • Yohannes Zerai

          Dear Mahmud,

          Yeah, it was a very interesting exchange; wasn’t it? I believe that, at the very least, we both came out of it with a understanding of each other’s beliefs and viewpoints.What more can we wish for! We cannot possibly expect to draw more than that from such a brief exchange!

          More importantly, I must give you credit for having been instrumental in boosting both the number and frequency of comments exchanged in the last 12 hours or so. For obvious reasons, I was keeping a reasonably close eye on new postings and I could see that early on Saturday, the debate seemed to be waning. Then around noon, your rather long-winded Hateta came in and, all of a sudden the debate/discussion was rekindled and comments kept flowing in for the rest of the day and most of the evening. I therefore thank you for having reignited the discussion; not to discount your own contributions to it!

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Dear Yohannes,

        Few things I took notes from the above comment of yours: a) your impressive engagement with the forumers b) your full preparation to argue on the subject – and hence admirable c) in finding the point of contention with those who tried to debate with you in a long hateta d) your ability to circumscribe the objective of your message e) at the end of the winding, your message was encapsulated and nailed in your final remark, in point-5. Keep up your engagement.

        With respect,
        Amanuel Hidrat

        • Yohannes Zerai

          Selam Amanuel Hidrat,

          I thank you for the complement and for the encouragement you offered. I greatly appreciate both.

          I find the ongoing expansive discussion on some very important national issues – conducted with reasonably high level of maturity and civility – a very exciting experience. That’s what kept me going; most of the commenters like yourself kept coming back with intelligent, challenging and provoking ideas and arguments. These factors kept the passionate exchanges going! Therefore, the credit for the resulting outcome is to be equally shared by everyone that chipped in a comment or two on the debate.

          Thanks again, Amanuel.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Yohannes,

            There are always new nuggets to chew on, in your comments far more than in your article. Amazing! To my surprise, unlike on other issues (topics or subjects), the forumers who participate to debate on your piece, are passionate with clear distinction in what they want to convey, within the norms and debate ethics generally. Good for you and the debators. Keep up.

            Regards
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Yohannes Zerai

            Dear Amanuel,

            Thank you brother for sharing your observations and for putting out ideas that would enhance the quality and efficacy of debates on this forum.

          • Saleh Johar

            Selam Yohannes,

            I am amazed by your commitment to engage your readers and debtors. That is an excellent trait and I didn’t want to pass this opportunity without appreciating your dedication to continuous and timely engagement. Good job.

          • Yohannes Zerai

            Dear SGJ,

            I thank you very much for the kind words. As I pointed out in a comment I addressed to Amanual Hidrat, I only did my part and the credit goes to all those who cared to share the concerns, views and positions they have on critical issues facing our country. Let me finally say that a big chunk of that credit goes to you for continuing to provide such a wonderful forum as Awate and therefore for having made such an exciting debate possible. Thank you so much, Saleh.

      • Hope

        Yohanness:
        As an Economist,as you seem to be one,developing the Energy Sector will create major collateral advantages:
        They have done enough study to prioritize the need for development in Eritrea and the Energy Sector, ,Vocational Schools and Creation of Job Opportunities are few of those top priorities/ targets.
        Hence those priorities will help:

        -Create Jobs directly

        -The Private Sector Investment will directly and indirectly create plenty of Jobs in Tourism,Fishing and Salt Industry and other Medium and Small businesses.

        -As you suspected,the Oil and Gas Exploration might be on the top priority and if successful,that sector will change the game positively over night as happened to/for the UAE and Qatar.

        -the more than $300 Million annual expenditure for crude oil only by the GoE will be diverted to other infrastructure development thereby create more jobs and develop Human Resources.

        -the remaining more than $30 Million EU Fund will be more than enough to create other Jobs and Vocational Schools.
        Over all Net Outcome:

        You guessed it right!

        -The Youth Exodus will be minimized in the short term

        -The Eritrean Infrastructure will be developed and that will further minimize the Exodus

        -The over all Eritrean Economy and the standard of living will improve

        -Eritrea will be integrated to the International Community socio-economico-culturally and politically/diplomatically.

        -The Ethio-Eritrean Border will be demarcated as the EU has “threatened” Ethiopia to change its attitude through the Italian Diplomat.

        Finally,by hook or crook,the Regime in Asmera will be forced to make concessions to improve governance and Human Rights; and finally, will implement the Constitution.

        Fair enough?
        The Opposition needs to be stronger than ever in view of this development..

  • Peace!

    Selam Yohannes,

    ከምትፈልጦ ጉይይ ካብ ምዓል ክሳድ ምሓዝ ዝብሀል ኣሎንድዩ I think the obvious question should be where is the government channeling the revenue otherwise it is a plain business. This is another sad thing to notice that the regime is managing to find ways to breath while our opposition groups keep mortifying themselves endlessly.

    Peace!

    • Yohannes Zerai

      Hi Peace,

      Tough question to answer! perhaps until (i) some skillful, dedicated “investigator(s)” unveil the secretive and illicit financial dealings of the regime, or (ii) the regime is removed from power. The latter brings us to the question: “How can the regime be removed, and what are we ALL doing to make it happen?”

      • Peace!

        Selam Yohannes,

        Good. The issue is now about removing the regime, not about the scramble of Europeans, which as you may sound would support any deal with Europeans if the people represented by a democratic government. I do not know if you would still call it “Europe targets …..”

        Peace!

        • Yohannes Zerai

          Dear Peace,
          You sure get a kick out of the practice of going in endless circles, don’t you?

          • Peace!

            Dear Yohannes,

            Excuse you, ወይለከ ናጤባ እንታይ ተረኽበ! I asked you a question that you admitted was tough to answer and thats it. What endless circle are you taking about? Well, my friend, take it easy and keep up the good work.

            Peace!

          • Ted

            Hi peace, when you play with tes, you get burned;-)Ethiopian terrorists in Eritrea are getting paid by EU fund, classic tes.
            Europeans paying attention to Eritrean resource after 25 yrs that Eritrea is known to have natural resources since a colonial times doesn’t make sense to me. Besides Eritrea has clear and proved mining arrangement on place taken after Australasian mining law.
            My regret letter is accepted, thanks to the reference people i submitted;-) i am off to celebrate 25th year. After Abi denied me cow meat,( ሳይደግስ አይጣላም) now am into the healthier sea food. When my family insisted i pack canned tuna, my pride couldn’t let me do that. When you decide to show up, i know the Great MS is contemplating, let’s meet at meda Ethiopia;-)
            Happy independence day to ya all.
            Awet n’ hafash.

          • Abi

            Hi Ted
            Stop complaining about the cow meat. I found you a healthier option in donkey milk. Enjoy!
            Happy anniversary

          • Ted

            Hi Abi, It is not complaint, rather gratitude.
            Donkey?not enough milk for the work with those tiny mammary glands. As you well know by know, We Eritreans only pursue worthwhile endeavors.
            Ethiopia having larger population of Donkey, i will let Kokeb Selam(the man you love) take care of it. I bet he can milk a chicken too.
            I will bring you unadulterated version of Eritrea so you can make sound judgement about the “sleep walking people”

          • Abi

            Hi Ted
            l know Eritreans pursue only worthwhile endeavors whether it is self determination or self evacuation .
            The sleepwalking people are wide awake these days because of the nonstop guayla 24/7
            All over the globe. It is not the time to sleep. It is time to rejoice, dance and sing, and dance and sing and dance and sing and…..

          • Peace!

            Abish,

            Come on Abish! keep your Morton’s coffee straight!

            Peace!

          • Peace!

            Hi Ted,

            I get used to unfettered and often ridiculous comments by hawuna tes, but hey! his exchange of jabs with Abi is my favorite appetizer (calamari) here in this forum.

            Peace!

    • tes

      Dear Peace!

      Are you asking by saying, “where the government is channeling the revenue otherwise it is a plain business..?”

      And when it follows by usual belittling of the opposition camp, it says a lot about your take. When are going to approve even one day the positive developments within the opposition camp?

      Regarding the fund channel, of course it is not a secret. Ethiopian terrorist groups who are stationed in Eritrea and doing occasional terrorist attacks inside Ethiopia are the prime beneficiaries of such funds. When I say this I didn’t forget your hate on Woyane and your wish to see them vanish by all means (which is ok even terrorists did that).

      tes

      • Peace!

        Selam tes,

        ምንድነው ተሳችን ሞቅለው እንዴ? ኣይ ይመችህ የኔ ወንድም ነገ ጥዋት እናወራለን።

        Peace!

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Dear Peace,

      Please be the alternative than a complaining to others of not doing well. People are trying their best with their limits. If you can excel them please, show us please. Otherwise it does not serve to the change you expect to see.

      regards
      Amanuel Hidrat

      • Peace!

        Selam Ustaz Amanuel,

        That was my brief take on the article, and I also stated a fact that the weakness of the opposition groups is the main reason for all this mess. Now, since you are a figure of the opposition groups, you should take full responsibility and try to evaluate your approach and embrace reality. I am more than happy to follow you.

        Peace!

        • Kokhob Selam

          Dear Peace,

          I miss you man where were you ! Ok, now you said “.,,,.you should take full responsibility ….” only when someone takes responsibility you will follow.. but what about taking responsibility you yourself !
          if everyone will wait someone else to take responsibility no single job will be done my dear.

          • Peace!

            Dear Kokeb selam,

            I am just an individual and do not represent anyone therefore I do not mind to follow people with right vision and great experience. Of course I feel guilty for not doing enough, but addressing leadership crisis and taking responsibility is beyond my capacity.

            Peace!

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear peace,
            That is it! see, you have said it. whatever you do still there is more to do..this is what I learn. I should take full responsibility in what I have done. Opposition is what you have seen..but there is no way to shoulder all responsibility if you are not part of the opposition. some individuals have done more than you and me. Amanuel is one of them and he was there not 10 or 20 years but even longer fighting for justice. He can do what he can but at the end of the day it is you and me and all who can do the job. If it was for those strong few who stand for truth I think even PFDJ wouldn’t be there in history. Yet, they never complain and are still there for us. It is long struggle and we should not just complain for our small effort that you and me has done. Let us learn from their wisdom and say we are here.

          • Peace!

            selam Kokobai,

            Where did I say I am not part of the opposition group other than that I agree with most of your points. I just said I don’t mind to follow people with twenty some years of experience such as Amanuel Hidrat. My believe is those with experience must step up and lead the young to end the crisis.

            Peace!

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear Peace,
            I think it is over. The points are clear now for you and me.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dera peace,

            I do not know from which generation you are. The current stage is for young generation. My generation has done their share whether it is satisfactory or not. At this time the contribution of my genetation is limited to sharing experience and giving advice if possible. The stage is for you peace and your generation. I wish Eritrea was peaceful nation that embrace its sons and daughters.

            Regards
            Amanuel Hidrat

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Haw Peace,

          First I am a simple Eritrean citizen who share my view with justice the seekers. One who want to see the emancipation people.

          Second, those who are organized and fighting against the regime only represent themselves and you can accuse them as if they represent you and others. They are only doing their share in the overall struggle against the regime. And hence just ask yourself whether you are doing your share. If you have a share in the struggle and doing something, then accept that you are part of those who are not doing well. If you are from those who waits success from others, you better know your responsibility to do your share in the struggle.

          Third show us the reality that we should embrace and be in the lead. You do not need to follow me, have the steering wheel in your hand as far as you know the reality and should be done. Gebito, my brother.

          Regards
          Amanuel Hidrat

          • Peace!

            Merhaba Emma,

            May be I had miconception otherwise I feel mesfe gerka aynei zenkorkani koinu tesemieuni: “First I am a simple Eritrean citizen who share my view with justice the seekers. One who want to see the emancipation people.” I thought you are more than that given you attended many opposition meetings and the connections you seem to have. As for myself, I just said it clearly that of course I feel guilty for not doing enough nor have the capacity to lead others. I can’t talk for others but obviously the opposition needs a strong leader.

            Peace!

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Hi Hope (me-egergeri),

    What do you mean when you say the following: “as much as we accept and endorse PFDJ ‘s messy and fight against “. Can you endorse PFDJ ‘ mess and fight against it at the same time? This is a typical unsettled ambivalent mind that lets to leak unprocessed thoughts to the public. There is no one who endorse PFDJ ‘s mess and fight against it at the sametime in this forum, may be only you. Let your thoughts evolve and develope before you say them in this forum.

  • Dis Donc

    Dear hope,
    – International community, USA, sanction, the Dévil, Jesús, Mahoma, etc: Lets take things one-by-one. Begin with the negative policy of the internacional community. First and foremost, the internacional community does not pick and choose individual nations and their gorvernments to abuse and discriminate. Having said that, it has always been a human nature to attack and inslave weak and divided countries or groups. It has always been a dog eat dog world. Question is who begged us to be divided and be weak? Wouldn’t it be better to involve the people or create alliances that caters Eritrea’s interests? Fighting everybody at every turn, just to have your way, is not even practiced in military anymore, let alone in governance. The world has envolved from many harsh forms of system to what we now have called alliances and intereses. If one leadership failes, it is only natural for another leadership tries. War and belligerency is sóooo 1st century.
    – TPLF: I have no idea what you expect they should do? Not play politics and not beat you up? They have their interest at their heart and work hard for it. You expect them not to? Or do you want them at your whim? At least they realize that their beef is with IA and his minions so that they leave civilians alone. Sadly, however, PFDJ does not see it that way and instead they take the land and everything in it as a hostage.

  • Kokhob Selam

    ክቡር ሓው ሳልሕ ጆሃር

    ኣብ ከም’ዚ ዝኣመሰለ ውዕውዕ ኣርእስቲ እቲ በርቂ ሓውና ሳልሕ ዮኑስ ከይተኻፈለን ርኢቱኡ ከይሃብና ክሓልፍ ፍጹም ኣይሕሰብን እዩ :: ንምዃኑ ጥዕንኡ ከመይ ኣሎ ? በጃኻ ድሃዩ ሃበኒ ::

  • Dear All,
    This is an interesting piece of information. I came across it by chance. I think that those who have not seen it may also find it interesting.

    http://www.france24.com/en/20160513-video-reporter-eritrea-dictatorship-migrants-ethiopia

    • Sarah Ogbay

      Hi Horizon,
      More than the young girls take on the Eritro-Ethiopian relation ship and the need for peace, there are very good signs of hope and bravery in that report. The young people have started to speak out the truth while Eritrean soil! They said everyone is on military service, they are not paid, they want help. I don’t know what PFDJ might have done to them once the report became public. You see, no matter how the thugs try to hide it somehow the truth find a way out. This is a GOOD SIGN!!!!!
      Thank you horizon for posting the link. A lot has been said and implied in the report!

  • Hope

    Selam Yohannes Zerai:
    Good analysis.
    I think Berhe and Sem Tesfay made enough arguments.
    Why surprised about the Eri-EU Engagement?
    Isn’t that the Modus Operandi between Nations?
    Why should be a taboo or wrong when Eritrea does it?
    My opinion:
    Your Article sounds more of an opinion rather than a typical Article.
    Remember that your Audience included both the Opposion and the Regime Supporters and as such,you could have done a better job to satisfy both Audience.
    Hint:
    You conveniently ignored the following facts:
    -The negative role of the EU during and after the 1998-2000 Ethio-ERITREAN War directly and by proxy through the Italian Embassy and through supporting the TPLF Gov
    -The silence and indifference as well as through direct support of the TPLF Gov
    -The unfair preferential treatment of the Erotrean Refugees,which aggravated the Pull Factor and sabotaged the Eri ID ,when every Refugee became or applied as an ERITREAN !

    -The Economic sabotage by the German Gov for withdrawing its Funds for the Mining in Eritrea through the CIA pressure and through sabotaging the Eitrean Airlines and the Nacfa Currency.

    -You also ignored the negative role of the TPLF Gov to block the EU Fund for Eritrea but only to get twice as much EU Funds(the TPLF Gov).

    Worse,you did not argue about this Ethio-EU Engagement!,where the TPLF Gov got $480 million without preconditions.

    -You also conveniently ignored the positive role of the EU Fund for Eritrea and ERITREANS.
    Etc….

    Hence,based on the above facts,your Article seems to be,at least in my opinion,biased,one-sided,partial and devoid of ethics and Truth,for whatever reasons,with all due respect,Sir!

    I am not even sure as to why you chose this kind of grossly biased approach in an ERITREAN website that does not consider the Long Term Interest of Eritrea through a positive engagement of the EU with Eritrea.

    You only care about the PFDJ hatred and totally ignored the constructive aspect of this Eri-EU engagement for Eritrea after 15 years of brutal isolationist and Containment Policy of the biased world against Eritrea and,by default,against ERITREANS.

    You also completely ignored that National Interest is that mattrs mainly as there are no permanent Friends but Interest.

    How can you expect the EU just to fund Eritrea for the sake of doing it and for nothing?
    It is mutual !
    Absolute naivity or a naive Politician,if at all you are one.

    The core of the debate should be as to how and why the PFDJ succeeded in engaging the EU and as to why we the so called Justice Seekers failed to bring the real change we are hungry for. in Eritrea.

    The debate also should focus on the pros and cons ;the short and long term benefits vs risks of this Eri-EU engagement for Eritrea and Eritreans
    .

    • Amanuel

      Hi Hope
      Please stop mixing up Eritrean (Eritreans ) interest with yours (pfdj) interest. Right now the 1st enemy of Eritreans and Eritrea is PFDJ.

    • Yohannes Zerai

      Dear Hope,

      1. I appreciate the novelty of your classification of articles into (a) articles in which opinions are expressed and (b) articles that are just articles!

      2. The contents of my article were kept, as they should, within the bounds set by the title of the article. Unlike you, I do not claim to have the luxury and liberty of being “all over the place”, so to speak. I focused my writing on a single important topic, and I tried to back my statements up with established facts and/or credible sources.

      3. You engaged in a number of assertions, assumptions, innuendos, etc. almost all of which are nothing more than biased opinions and perceptions. But, do you see the beauty of the notions of Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Expression? Your rights to these freedoms enabled you to write whatever and however you pleased! I only wish you and the forces that you represent would extend the same rights and privileges to others, or at least if you would stop denying and interfering with the rights of others.

      4. You branded the article as being “devoid of ethics and Truth”. No surprises there! The disgusting tendency to misrepresent, blackmail, smear, tarnish and slander any opinion not to your liking is, sadly enough, deeply ingrained in your psyche and that of your sponsors.

    • Dis Donc

      Dear hope,
      I see your repeated complaint and this time I could not pass. Repeated complaining about EU’s, TPLF’s, US’s, the Devil’s, etc negative role would not solve Eritrea’s problem. Under normal circumstances or a reponsible government would consult its people in trying to come up with the best posible way forward. Better yet, the most natural thing to do (or what most states-men do) is to go to the people and vanquish power as they simply could not solve the country’s burdgening problems. Alace! As it stands IA & Co not only own the land but also the citizens in it, for simple wanton destrución. IA & Co mess things up and all his minions do is bang their trumpet as to why the world did not bend for them! Guess what? The world never did bend for no dictator nor to a bélicos country. It is like when Hitler used to fart Himmler and Goebbels used to make sure that the world knew about it. Currently, Eritrea and Eritreans are despised all around the world, contrary to what you want us to believe. Travel around with an Eritrean passport and you will see what I mean.

  • Kokhob Selam

    ክቡር ዮሃንስ :-
    ተገሪመ ንሉዝብ ህዱእን ፈረ ሓዘልን መልስታትካ :: ክሳብ ዝምለሰካ ድማ ነዛ ናይ ፍረሰላም ዜማ ጆባእ !

    “ህዝብና ግን ተወጺዑ ባእሲሱ መኺኑ

    ሓደ ክንዲ ሚልዮን ይትረፍ፡

    ሓደ ክንዲ ሓደ ዝሕለቐሉ ስኢኑ።

    ኣብ ዓድና ሓሲሙና

    ምድረ ጓና ኣይቀደወና፡

    ከም ሹም ዘይብሉ ንህቢ ፋሕ ኢልና

    ፈቐዳኡ ንስደድ ኣለና።

    ኣብ ዓድና ብስዉር ሃሊቕና

    ብስደት ሳህራ ከኣ ‘ናጸነትና፡

    ሓውና ይፍረድ ብናይ በደው ካራ

    ገለን ሰጊርና ዓለምና መቂራ፡

    ግን ትርሳዕ ድያ ናይ ባሕሪ ቅልውላው

    ኣየ’ወ ሽዑ ጃልባ ክትነዓው፡

    በሰላ ልብያ መዓስ’ከ ክሓዊ

    ዝገደደ ንዘክር ናይ ሲናይ።

    ደው ንበል ንመሰልና

    ንለዓል ንመሰልና

    መታን ዓለም ክትፈልጠልና

    ንዛረብ ጸገምና ዓው ኢልና

    ሎሚ እንተዘይ ሓቲትና

    ጽባሕ ንግሆ ብገዛእ ታሪኽና

    ተሓተትቲ ኢና።”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NpObgD7TJdQ&feature=youtu.be

    • Yohannes Zerai

      Salamat Haw Kokhob,

      Eta zsededkaley ziema semiEya. TiHiztoA neti ab lbey sefiru zelo smiEt kemzdereO kgelXelka efetu.
      YeKenyeley, kibret yihabeley!

      • Kokhob Selam

        Selam Selam Hawey,

        ሕቶ ኣብ ልዕሊ ሕቶ – ርኢቶ ኣብ ልዕሊ ርኢቶ ክዘንበካ እንከሎ :- መልስታትካ ንዕምቀት ዓቅምኻን ሰናይ ምንዮትካን ከንጸባርቑ ተዓዚበ :: እቲ ኣብ ከይዲ ‘ዚ ዝገጥመኒ ዘሎ ሓያል ስምዒት ድማ እዩ ነዛ ዜማ ኣዘኻኺሩኒ:: ልብና ብሓደ ኣሎ ::

        • Yohannes Zerai

          Selam Haw,

          Thank you for the kind words, brother!

          I thoroughly enjoyed the poem you posted for me yesterday (or was it this morning?) and the one you posted for Sarah. They are exquisite and eloquently expressive; the talent behind them too comes across unmistakably!!

          Thank you for both the entertainment and educational value of your fine literary works.

  • Berhe Y

    Dear Yohannes,

    I don’t sound to be too rude, but your title if the article and some of its content, I don’t find the credible and hold to be true.
    Y
    The title:
    1) Europe targets Eritrea Resources
    :
    Here you are indicating the reason Europe provided development aid to Eritrea is because it wanted to target / access to Eritrea’s natural resources.

    I beg to differ and here is why.

    First when you say Europje we are talking about the EU. It’s made up of 20 or some countries and it’s a union of millions of people and by that thousands of independent and private corporations. I know once in a while government defend their private companies interests (in rare occasion), but the EU organs of government that deals with development aid and political aid, really have nothing to do with private corporation and their agendas. For example if it was a trade policy that affects the whole EU countries, like ban of certain products / exports / imports, I can see the relevance. But in case of Eritrea there is hardly any economic interest that warrants the EU to act in such was (giving aid) in return of resources.

    Does the Eritrean government needs any AID to grant exploration license to any EU companies at the point or ever before? My guess is NO and I have never heard they denied any company that wanted to come. So why then EU would spend 250 million to gain access to the Eritrean economy that the Eritrwan government was promoting “as one of the best place to do business in Africa”. WHY?

    As far as I know, any company can go and setup exploration business in Eritrwa today. The Eritrean governments do not ask anything except, 10% ownership / royalityan and at the time of giving licence (like taking out) they have the right to negotiate a better deal at the market value (to purchase upto 30%) ownership. That’s what they did with Nevsun, that’s what they did with Sunridge and another Australian company. I don’t know why it would be different for EU companies.

    What kind of companies really do the exploration:

    Although Eritreans think and believe, that Eritrea is hidden with Gold and Oil and what have you, there is little evidence to suggest that. I do think there is huge potential but nothing that is under the surface, just seating. With Busha, the most advanced mineral exploration in the country history, Nevsun was able to extract Gold for the first 2/3 years of operation (at 1000 ounces per day / average) and all is done. It’s doing other metals such as copper and zinc, still good amount but nothing like we wanted to believe.

    So one looks at all those companies in Eritrea, are really ONE operation shops, nothing if the world class miners that we know. In all of them, including Nevsun, they got some seed money to go and explore, which in most cases (be it Eritrea or anywhere else)has very little chance of success.

    If Europe’s grant of 250 million is so that EU companies to gain access to Eritrea resources (which they can do today anyway for free), it will be the worst business decision.

    My personal believe is, EU is overwhelmed with the refugee crises from Eritrea and it doesn’t know what to do. I believe it is convinced that, the issue in ritrea is that of lack of opportunity and by paying the national service higher wages (3800 is it), it’s a very good deal considering what they managed to do with the exchange rate, that’s like 250 US compared to 10 dollars US, I am not saying the government of IA will implement the change, but with the promised 18 months military services, I think it may cut down on the migrants. That’s to be seen but I think EU is at least thinks it needs to try, engaging instead of forcing the regime to change.

    But as far as the political pressure to the regime, it will be there like most other western countries. And when we see the upcoming COI report we will see where EU stand is going to be. My guess is they will support the UN recommendation / resolution. What this means, EU and any other country / region for that matter, the decision process is NOT in the hand of ONE individual or party, it’s made up of many entities and its issue based decisions.

    Berhe

    • Yohannes Zerai

      Dear Berhe,

      Thank you for your comments. Unfortunately, your remarks are based on outdated information, fragmentary second-hand narrations, hearsay about the mining sector and its activities, and (by your own admission) outright guesses. To illustrate/justify my characterization of your remarks as such, let me point to just two of those raemarks:

      1. You wrote: ”……. but with the promised 18 months military services, I think it [the EU aid package] may cut down on the migrants.” What are you talking about? It has been almost three months since the Eritrean government officially declared through its Minister for Information that the National Service will remain indefinite in its duration and there will be no demobilization of conscripts. That news was all over the papers!

      2. The Bisha mine project has to-date generated revenues of billions of U.S. dollars for its joint-venture partners; new discoveries at Bisha itself and at its satellite mine of the Harena Deposit have increased the size of proven reserves and extended the mine life to nearly 25 years; Nevsun Resources continues to spend millions of dollars on exploration drilling of potential mineral deposits in the adjacent Mogoraib River Basin and continues to obtain promising results. These are the activities of just one company in a small locality of the Gash-Barka Region.

      Let me quote for you a short statement by an expert regarding another mine that is being developed in Eritrea – the Colluli Potash Project which is scheduled to start production of high-grade potash from a 1.1 billion-tonne-reserve at Colluli in the Danakil region of Eritrea: “Colluli is the best undeveloped potash resource in the world today. It has no peer. It is the world’s shallowest known evaporite deposit, is easily accessible, has excellent diversification potential and is highly fundable. Quite simply it is a large, long life, high quality asset with access to global markets and strong diversification potential – it is positively unique.” said Danakali Managing Director, Paul Donaldson.

      These are just two examples of the present realities of the mining sector in Eritrea – a sector into which a variety of foreign investors are pouring hundreds of millions of dollars each year to support prospecting, exploration and mine-development projects – not to mention the many more companies that are jostling to secure licenses that would entitle them to join Eritrea’s “rush for gold”!

      The above is the true story of the case. But, your sense of integrity did not prevent you from trivializing, in one sweeping statement, all the efforts made and the achievements realized by the mining sector. Neither did it stop you from belittling the foreign companies who helped make the sector’s success stories. But then, like everyone else, you are entitled to your opinion!

      Finally, let me state that, for the size of its population, Eritrea has its fair share of natural resources. Trust me, Eritrea’s problem is not lack of natural resources or the means to develop them; our real resource-related problem is that those resources are presently being squandered by a cruel dictatorship that is on the eve of its demise!

      • Berhe Y

        Dear Yohannes,

        1) I may have the outdated information but I haven’t heard the news item you are talking about, if you can send me that news with regards making national services indefinite, I appericuate it. I find it really surprising, specially knowing the grounds for the COI being indefinite national service that they declare it officially, to whom benefit I don’t know. I closest I heard was a news item that says Eritrea is backing out from the commitment it made to end the national service in 18 month, and reason given was because of security concern and un demarcated boarder. By no means do I believe the ERITREAN government policy or its reason, but that’s different story.

        2) If I appear to be belitinung Eritrea mining potential or the companies that operated there it was not my intention. I agree with the potential of mining, and if it was not for PFDJ and its bad human right record and bad publicity, I think we would be having at least 10 companies the size of Bisha if not more.

        My point of argument even the only company that’s operating, Nevsun has only Bisha operation, a month ago it bought another company in Europe. Sunridge operates only in Eritrea, and now is in the process of being sold to Chinese. There was another company from Australia, it too was sold to Chinese company when it got the operation licence. I don’t know your measure, but I think this companies are small operations compared to many in the industry, but this does not mean others BIG will not follow but that’s what’s in the ground today.

        The point of my arguments was NOT if there is mining potential in Eritrea or if those companies are valuable or NOT.

        What I was trying to say is, what you are suggesting as EU engagement with Eritrea is because away wants access to Eritrea resources and for that it provided the development aid package.

        I am saying that’s that the case, because like I said Eritrea is welcoming any kind of company today and to date, I don’t know if they denied any company, so EU giving this much money when it’s already gas access does not seem to make much sense to me, in other words what you said, about EU motive does not seem correct to me.

        Do you know any company that was denied to do business in Eritrea?

        How do you explain, Eritrea government allowing Nevsun to operate in Eritrea, even though Canada imposed the harshest measure in terms of the sanctions compared to other western countries, and it’s one of the most beneficiary. Wouldn’t you think the Canadian government would be propping up Eritrea for its resources, Canada being one of the worlds leading mining company.

        Berhe

        • Yohannes Zerai

          Dear Berhe,

          The facts and statements contained in my previous response to your comments speak for themselves and I stand by them. That is that! Now, could we please move on?

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Yohannes,

            Sure we can move it, if you do not want to engage anymore. But I still do not see how you come up with such conclusion without having much evidence to support it. I am not saying Europe does NOT have interest in exploiting Eritrean resources but I don’t know if it is the reason for providing development aid.

            For anyone who is interested to the official document with regards to the aid package from EU, they can read below.

            https://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/countries/eritrea_en

            Part of the aid package says with regards to it’s governance “the implementation of agreed recommendations of the UN Universal periodic reviews.”

            I think as Amanuel said, it’s best if we choose and pick our battles carefully, and focus our energy where we will have much impact to influence the decision makers. I think keeping the EU body responsible for this aid package and accountable is probably the most we can do and hope for and in the process, they will be able to pressure the Eritrean regime to comply.

            Berhe

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Selma Yohannes,

    Both your articles (the first and this one) are very informative regarding (a) about economic aid and the politics that goes with it (b) how economic aid could influence possibly the receiving entity and (c) the elements required to make the assistance for mutual benefit to both partners. Frankly speaking until you start to clarify your opinion in the Q and A, your argument in the pieces sound as if you are arguing against foreign investement. If you are continuing to expound your argument on the same subject, please include what makes good or bad agreement to a packages of aids and foreign investment and relate them with the purported intentions of EU or any other country for that matter to educate your readers. I think you have a good grasp how aid and politics work, and please continue to write about the subject.

    Regards,
    Amanuel Hidrat

    • Yohannes Zerai

      Hi Amanuel Hidrat,

      Thank you for your perceptive comment on my article and the ensuing debate. In hindsight, and as I read some of the early comments from readers, I realized that the article did fall short of clarifying my personal position/opinion on Western investment. It simply dwelt on highlighting the potential pitfalls of poorly planned and/or feebly negotiated international investment deals to such an extent that it gave the impression that I am all anti Western business and in opposition to their investments. The cause of that problem is obvious: there is only so much information that one can fit into a short article, and I gave precedence to cautioning readers against those pitfalls at the risk of inadvertently obfuscating my position on the matter.

      At any rate, I am glad that the initial misunderstanding seems to have now been removed. I also would like to invite you to read the response I gave below to a comment by your namesake, Amanuel [no last name]. I thank you for your suggestion that I share my opinion on what makes a good or a bad foreign-investment deals. As interesting and enticing as that topic is, it is not something that I would like to address in the abstract – hypothetically, that is. I would feel much more comfortable to deal with it in the context of an actual investment agreement that ended up supporting or, alternatively, undermining national-interest prerogatives. So, I will save that “assignment” for another day when I will have built enough motivation to do it! But, thank you anyways.

  • Amanuel

    Hi Yohannes,
    Thanks for the for the well articulated article. I do agree that reducing the flow of refugee is not the reason for the aid package. EU knows that there is a shoot to kill policy at the boarder and there is no more the PDFJ regime can do to stop people leaving the country. Further more tenth of thousand have already left the country living in the neighboring countries refugee camps and on their way to Europe. Therefore, the intended goal of the aid package as explained is doomed to fail.

    Based on the above the other possible reason for awarding the regime with these package could be for having influence, and hence have some slice of the revenue from the country’s resources. I am sure you agree with me that there is nothing wrong with that in a normal circumstance, however due the regime’s nature in Eritrea it is natural that they have to disguise their approach with palatable excuses.

    Regardless of the timing European (western) investment is better as the alternative will be china’s. Western investors have ethical,moral and legal obligations to words the countries they are investing at least in theory and to some extent in practice. For the example to bribe a foreign official is punishable by law in the USA. There are also different avenues activities and pressure groups can voice their concern in time of breach of these obligations. For example in case of Nevsun in Bisha mining using conscript labor. In the last two years it has come under massive pressure from different angles and I bet if it was to have another similar project it will be more careful from repeating the same mistakes. Additionally, as the result other western investors will now pay attention and check if conscript labor is used in their investment. I suspect one of the reasons why Sunridge is selling to China’s company could be the fact that it has contracted to work with the likes of Segen Construction but has no power to tell them who they can & can’t employ, which may will result in breaching Australian law. Do you think there is a chance to challenge a china’s investor like you do with western? Where do you start and where do you go?
    The second reason I think the western investment is better than China’s is that the western will most of the time only come with the highly skilled personnel and the low skilled and manual jobs are left for the locals. However, the China’s investors are coming with their laborers and as the result nothing is left for the locals. For example if you see Zambia all the laborers in the construction are from China while the locals are unemployed. My friend from Ghana told me that “even now they (China’s) are in the country side working in the farms”. In conclusion I think the western investment is a lesser evil.

    Regards
    Amanuel

    • Yohannes Zerai

      Selam Amanuel,

      I agree with most of the points made in your comments on the current realities and future prospects of the mining sector in Eritrea. I find the prospect of further Chinese investment in the mining sector – and investments in Eritrea altogether – a terrifying prospect for the reasons you presented and more. The advantages to Eritrea of working with Western businesses/investors in exploiting its natural resources and developing its economy are big and many. You mentioned some of those advantages and there are many others.

      The thrust of my article is NOT opposition to European investments in Eritrea as some of the comments have wrongly assumed. Rather, the article advocates ENSURING equitability and fairness for Eritrea in any partnership that the country enters into with Western investors. We would be extremely naive to think that, given the chance, European investors would hesitate to push for appropriating most or all of the benefits arising from the partnership. Unfortunately, this tendency and its practice seem to be universal attributes of international business; and we are bound to encounter them with any investor from any country. So, needless to say, Western or non-Western investors are not to blame for that! All that is being argued in the article is that THE ONUS IS ON A DECENT ERITREAN GOVERNMENT OF THE FUTURE AND ON US AS CITIZENS TO ENSURE THAT ERITREA REAPS ITS FAIR SHARE OF RETURNS FROM JOINT VENTURES WITH ANY FOREIGN INVESTORS. Cheering for “ANY Western investment” and assuming everything else will be hunky-dory is an attitude unbecoming of responsible citizens!

      • Amanuel

        Hi Yohaness
        I share your hope about Eritrean Government of the future. However right now that is only a hope while the regime in power is making deals right and left. I am only being practical and wishing for the lesser evil.

        • Yohannes Zerai

          Dear Amanuel,

          I do empathize with your concern and the essence of time in regards to our country’s predicament. We are all in this predicament together and I do not believe we disagree on what options are realistically open to us:

          (1) Ideally, we (the Eritrean people) should intensify our struggle and remove the dictatorship from power. I know! I know! That is easier said than done. But it is certainly out there as a possibility and we better believe that it is doable!

          (2) There are many professionals/technocrats still in the service of the regime and who, by virtue of their expertise, take part in the processes of negotiation, drafting and finalization of investment agreements. They may play a somewhat constrained role in terms of the likely suspicion with which the regime eyes them; but they still make significant inputs. So those of us with contacts with such individuals should encourage and embolden them to set/recommend conditions that would render investment agreements more equitable and more favorable to the country than they would otherwise be .

          (3) Advocacy is one form of struggle. So we should keep doing what we are doing here – debate the issues and, in the process, enhance the awareness of our fellow Eritreans inside the country and outside.

          I am sure you agree with me that short of these and other similar proactive measures, throwing our hands up in the air and allowing ourselves to be crippled by the status quo is certainly not going to change our situation for the better.

          • Amanuel

            Hi Yohaness,
            I am not for throwing hands up, quite the contrary. When i said being practical is that I want us to put our effort where we can influence and achieve. Advocacy is good but it needs to be targeted at those who listen and have power to make change happen. For example you mentioned the many professionals/technocrats still in the service of the regime. Theses people don’t lack encouragement and wisdom what they lack is power. One example is Berhane Abrhe. It is rumored that he was frozen because he challenged the tax collection arrangements with Bisha mining. BTW Bisha mining don’t pay tax directly to the treasury. It pays the PFDJ owned bank in foriegen

      • Sarah Ogbay

        Dear yohannes,
        How can we even think, let alone advocate for ‘ENSURING equitability and fairness for Eritrea in any partnership that the country enters into with Western investors.’ when the root purpose of the partnership is unholy, in fact absolutely evil from Eritrean side? On the European side it is greed driven but on the Eritrean side it is a whole lot more than greed; muzzling the eritrean people, destroying its history and its people using their very own God-given resourses. The PFDJ gvt is desperate and the Europeans can read and smell this, so is it any wonder that they take advantage?
        Actually it us, the opposition who should be blamed. We are not brave enough, or not ready to PAY the necessary sucrifice for what is rightly ours. We are not yet ready or not brave enough to sucrifice our pride and arrogance and get to unite, to trust in the Almighty to gain the guts to trust each other, pay/ contribute time and money to fight dictatorship etc.
        Yohannes, you should advocate for us, the people as WE are Eritrea!!!!!!

        we talk about ‘

        • Yohannes Zerai

          Dear Sarah,

          I ache in my heart to “hear” the tone of frustration in your writing. I too agonize over the thought of a country being recklessly destroyed and its people subjected to untold sufferings at the hands of a few psychopathic criminals. I believe that the resulting damage to the country and the pain inflicted on its people are way, way beyond what we can bear as a people.

          But looking forward, I do not have the slightest bit of a doubt that, before long, the country will pull itself up from the morass that these ungodly thugs plunged it into. It will, once again rise up and triumph, gather its scattered people together from far and near and begin to build itself socially, morally, economically, technologically step by step – what would be a healthy, genuine nation-building process; but this time without the crooks, the thugs and the criminals messing things up!

          Oh, you got me started with spilling my pent up emotions here!!

          Metaphorically, climbing back down to earth! let me invite you to read my last two responses to Mr. Amanuel [no last name] as well as the exchange of ideas I have had with many other thoughtful readers.

          • Sarah Ogbay

            Good morning Yohannes,
            I love your optimism. I wish your dreams for Eritrea come true. By by the look of present world politics i doubt the dictatir will end without turning the country into ashes. For him it is ” No Eritrea without me” for us it is “Now or never”. We revovle in different planets. That is why he is selling the country bit by bit. Europe looks after its interest. If we don’t act now Europe will have our cheap labour (refugees and migrants) at home and cheap resources in our country. I don’t know what we eritreans call it but they call it ” looking after the interest of your people and country”.
            Thank you Yohannes

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear Sarah Ogbay,
            what a wonderful massage.. I couldn’t jump this without putting my words and here is only 2 minutes poem. enjoy it.

            ትመጽእ ዶ ሓወይ ዳግም ትምለሳ :-
            ነዛ ሓላል መሬት ሕድሪ ሓደገ’ምበሳ :-
            ክትሃንጽ ብፍልጠት ብረቂቕ ህንደሳ :-
            ከዳዕ ምስ ኣልገሰ ‘ቲ ጨካን ዘፍረሳ ::

            ዶስ!
            ሰኪሕካ ኢኻ ክቦ ደርቢኻላ :-
            ካን ረሲዕካያ ፍጹም ጨኪንካላ :-
            ኣይናተይን ኢልካ ተስፋ ቆሪጽካላ :-
            ኣይፋልካን ወገነይ ትጽበየካ ኣላ::

            ፍልጠትካ ምህሮኻ ንብርታክ ምስ ገንዘብ :-
            ሒዝካ ምስ መጻእካ ሃገረካ ክትዕንብብ:-
            ርኤካ እየ ሓወይ ክትብደል ክትዕዘብ:-
            ድሕሪ ዚ ጸበባ ራህዋ ኣሎ ዝድለብ ::

            ‘ ዛሓብተይ /ሓወይ ኩሉ ሓላፊ እዩ: ክገልህ እዩ ጸላም :-
            ዕርቂ ክስዕር እዩ ክትካእ እዩ ሰላም :-
            ሓርነት ነጊሱ ዓወት ምስ ዝዛዘም :-
            ታሪኽ እዩ ተራፊ ክበሃል ናይ ቀደም ::

            ድምጽኻ ሞ ኣስምዕ በለኒ ኣጆኻ:-
            ተቢዕካ ሞ መክት ምስ ፍትው ህዝብኻ :-
            ዓወት ናይ ግድን እዩ ኣልዕሎ ተስፋኻ :-
            መስዋእቲ ሰብ ለውጢ ዕዳ እዩ – ሕድርኻ ::

            with all my respect to you.

          • Yohannes Zerai

            Selam Sarah,

            I know that we should not be overly optimistic about anything at all. Rather, we have to admit that anything is possible and thus prepare ourselves for all eventualities the best way we can. The key is to continue and intensify our struggle for change, all the while keeping hope alive and elevating our confidence as high up as possible!

            Again, we need not be presumptuous about what the future may hold. But I tend to believe that the dictator has already wreaked all the havoc and mayhem he is capable of and, should he try to up the ante, he would only end up destroying himself!

  • Yohannes Zerai

    Dear Mek1

    The series of questions posed by you and earlier by Mr. Semere Tesfai are so fundamental that answering them fully and completely would require considerable time, energy, patience and qualifications. But I will give it a try with what I have and with what I can afford! However, as I get started with the task, I already sense that I may end up writing an “article” that is only slightly shorter than that which prompted this discussion in the first place!!!

    Yes, of course, every country needs markets for its products. Countries producing items that are in high demand would obviously find markets easily. Those whose exports face tough market competition, on the other hand, will have to use their marketing skills and the cooperation of genuine partners to win their fair share of the market. The point that needs to be made is: a country does not have to subordinate itself and its national interests to those of others in the process of engaging in joint business ventures with external investors – if the relationship is indeed a genuine partnership.

    Benefits of a cooperative relationship (or genuine partnership) are supposed to be shared by partners in an equitable manner, but not necessarily “equally” as you seem to assume. Equitability ensures that each partner receives their fair share (or rationally deserved portion) of the benefits i.e., without taking advantage of others OR being taken advantage of by others. If the investor enjoys undue advantage over the host country in terms of the size of benefits that accrues to it, then yes that would certainly be characterized as resource grab by any rational definition of the term.

    As for possible arrangements that could be made to exploit a country’s mineral resources:- Eritrea, like any other country, had (and still has) two choices for the manner in which it wants to exploit its seemingly extensive mineral riches. And as long as it is done sensibly and with the well-being of the people at heart, I would not be critical of the government for picking one choice or the other.

    (1) If it is believed that planned mining will immediately provide resources badly needed for developing other sectors, the government may want to develop the planned mines in partnership with foreign mining companies – BUT on a more equitable basis than we have seen in the case of Bisha.

    (2) Alternatively, it is possible that the government believes it can sustain a reasonable level of economic development in the short run by relying largely on other sectors. In that case, it would be preferable for the country to defer the development of new mines by not more than five years; use the deferment period to develop the national capacity for doing the job domestically; and from thereon, retain the totality of the revenues of the mining sector for the benefit of the country.

    As for the needed mine-development capital, suffice it to point out the following: (i) the government of Eritrea borrowed money from China to pay for its 30% shares in the Bisha mine; (ii) for economic reasons, foreign mining companies too borrow the needed capital from international banks even when they have the cash at hand. So, to answer your question, the Eritrean government can go ahead and borrow the capital from lending institutions or friendly governments against the value of the mineral assets slated for development – i.e., you simply do what foreign mining companies do in order to develop a mine!

    But we need to be mindful that the above are really not tasks that can be accomplished by shutting down the only university in the country; snatching young people out of school to convert them into idle, disgruntled military conscripts and manual laborers; ordering mining companies to pay Eritrean workers and professionals alike “not too high a salary” and issuing a host of other idiotic government decrees!

    If we had a government that cares about the country and its people and one that is not obsessed with placing fetters that keep its patriotic, dedicated work force from utilizing its collective skills to the fullest, we could have easily achieved what is outlined in Item (2) above. It has been almost five years since gold production began at Bisha. If, during that period, the government had developed and encouraged quality higher education and training, the output of that effort coupled with the five-year mining experience of Eritrean professionals/workers at Bisha would have earned the country the national capacity needed to run its own mine-development enterprises!

    You contend in your comment that “the core issue of pollution and its invironmental [sic] impacts” are being addressed satisfactorily at, I presume, Bisha. Any independently verified data and/or hard facts to support your contention?

    Finally, foreign markets buy your products because they need them; not because they have charitable intentions towards you! So if you (as government) are smart enough to manage production of commodities that are in high demand, and if you have taken the trouble to train and educate your citizens adequately, you would have the expertise to do the necessary marketing and networking jobs that are critical to securing adequate market-shares for your products. Thus, a country does not have to “sell its soul” in order to sell its products abroad or, for that matter, to run a purely national production of commodities and/or raw materials.

  • josef

    Mr. Zera,
    So, it is good European are in Eritrea getting natural resources and paying some money if Wedi Dejamatch Abraha knows how to negotiate mostly likely that feudal retard.. will be a bad negotiator or waste money sending the army to the Moon…
    You keep talking about European scrambling for Eritrean Resource? My question to you is Why the hell not?
    Welcome the European over please colonize the country also.. that would be great! We can finally have some proficient and educated folks running the show instead of the uneducated son of feudal lord from Tigray.
    What happened to Eritrea under ethiopians? It went backward about 30 years behind the the rest of world and what happened under 20+ years under Wedi Dejamatch Abraha it went back 20 years behind the rest of world..
    We are better off dealing with European…. Feudal Ethiopia and its garbage has been nothing but disaster for Eritrea since 1800s…
    Stop this anti-european jive or bullshit.. Who made Eritrea one of the most modern city in Africa… Italian.. where are eritrean dying to get- Europe… not China…

    If the leader of your country is uneducated son of Feudal lord from Tigray who runs the country like his fiedom… who is actually exploiting and dominating you… European?

    Brother wake up and smell the coffee.. if African get exploited or dominated it is because they have weak leadership.. European are just participating in the real world… not the kingdom of Shangri La.. .

  • tes

    Dear Yohannes Zerai,

    My scope on Eritrea Vs International policies towards Eritrea (such as EU) is almost zero. It is therefore a golden opportunity to read your articles and see beyond the internal complications. Please continue to bring Eritrea Vs EU issue to our attention and hence be strong in our fight against PFDJ.

    I thank you again!!!

    tes

    • Yohannes Zerai

      Hi tes,
      Thank you for your comment. I will try to do my part, as all of us should be – and certainly are – doing in our respective areas of interest!

  • Semere Tesfai

    Selam Yohannes Zerai

    Without expressing disapproval or being judgmental to your article, I think your article would have been more informative, and would’ve added more value to the Eritrean political discourse, had it been more specific on the very issues you raised. With all due respect, let me explain ‘some’ of the specifics your article is lacking:

    1. – “The push by Brussels for normalizing relations is driven by Europe’s political and economic agendas on Eritrea.”

    Aren’t all “normalizing relations” based on economic agendas (economic interest)? What is new that we need to know?

    2. – “The political agenda is one which seeks to ensure Eritrea’s subservience to the West.”

    How so? Can you be specific?

    3. – “Control of the country’s (Eritrea’s) natural resources is at the center of Europe’s economic agenda.”

    When does foreign investment become controlling resources of a sovereign nation? Do you see/sense lopsided agreement between the PFDJ regime and the EU? Is there any agreement reached between Eritrea and EU that do harm, the Eritrean worker, to the interest of the Eritrean people, or the Eritrean environment?

    4. – “The EU’s orchestrated, fraudulent conclusions that the majority of refugees from Eritrea are economic migrants is not intended to curb migration but to (i) appease the PFDJ government by reversing policies of automatic asylum for Eritreans (ii) rehabilitate the government by whitewashing its record of brutality, so that their hoped-for “partnering” with the regime to plunder the country’s resources would be palatable to the rights community.”

    Do you think automatic asylum for Eritreans is a good thing? How so?

    If not for a greener posture, why do you think Eritreans are crossing, multiple countries and dangerous seas, risking their lives to reach Western Europe America and Canada? And once in the West, why do you think, most of them are supporting the PFDJ regime in every way and going back home without any fear of reprisal?

    Can you please elaborate on the “EU’s hoped-for “partnering” with the PFDJ regime to plunder the country’s resources would be palatable to the rights community” part of your argument.

    When does foreign investment in Eritrea became plundering of Eritrean resources?
    Thank you.

    Semere Tesfai

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Dear Semere Tesfay,

      There are many argument you could make against Yohannes’s article as a matter of fact. But as part of your style, you always opt to ask questions while you are capable to rebut it. In any case, do you really and honestly believe that the current exodus of our youth is simply to find greener pasture? Could you see other pushing factors more consequential than green pasture to the plight of our youth? If you couldn ‘t, I can only wish to your kids the same plight to understand as a parent to feel the pains of the Eritrean parent inside Erotrea. I know you are doing this argument because it has nothing to do to your kids, because they are in save away from it. Hypocracy at its peak. Yegermal.

      Regards
      Amanuel Hidrat

      • Semere Tesfai

        Selam Amanuel

        We all are here at Awate with the intent to make a persuasive argument – not to make some one feel guilty or feel good. Meaning, bringing my children and yours to this argument is not going to help you and I to make our case.

        If you’ve what it takes to explain the unexplainable, then tell the world, why all this HAPPY phenomenon of the “Koboro Junkies”, “Nsu Nhna -Nhna Nsu” crowd all-over this planet (spare the Woyane-land) happily supporting the regime that “victimized” them on the first place.

        Could it be because they are low IQ people who don’t know any better?

        Semere Tesfai

        • Wedebat Adey

          Dear Semere Tesfai,

          Based on what are you stating that ‘newcomers’ are massively supporting the regime and hitting the koboro? Based from my own experience I would say that significant part is not returning and disassociated itself from the regime, that does not necessarily mean that they are actively opposing the regime.

          Apart from that, I do agree that it is wrong to categorize all the youth leaving Eritrea as political refugees in the classical sense. However, in my opinion, they are leaving due to the political policies of PFDJ that have negatively affected the prospects of a decent life (in all its aspects) in Eritrea.

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Dear Semere Tesfay,

          You have my reply on hold at disqus, waiting to be released. It happened after edition.

          A.H

    • abhishek

      Hey eritrean, so many eritreans enter europe and taking free money here, isnt that suppression and exploitation of the west? If you support that, then I support this, no double standard allowed in world now

    • Yohannes Zerai

      Dear Semere Tesfai,

      Let me first state the obvious: There is really not a whole lot you can write on such a complex subject in a 1200-word article — the limit that the managers of our forum have set for good and obvious reasons. As such, setting aside the limitations in my knowledge on the subject, it is not possible to address the multitude of questions that could be asked about such a big and important topic. My intent in preparing the article was certainly not to present an exhaustive analysis of all the elements/aspects of the issue under discussion. Rather, as I have indicated in my response to Mr. Kokhob Selam, my intention was to throw SOME facts and observations out on the form as a basis for a wider discussion so that knowledgeable people like yourself can raise (and elaborate on) related issues that I was forced to leave out for the sake of brevity or those that I simply lack the requisite understanding/knowledge to comment on.

      As regards the specific questions you posed, let me state two key points here: (a) As readers, we should be willing to consult relevant sources cited in the list of references and obtain a perspective on the subject much wider than can be gleaned just from reading the article alone, and (b) our discussion/dialogue cannot advance if we are not willing to accept as facts, findings that have been established by lengthy studies/investigations and facts that have been ascertained by internationally recognized experts and/or authorities.

      I will attempt to provide brief, but specific answers to your questions in a separate entry.

      • Semere Tesfai

        Selam Yohannes

        As you stated it eloquently, it is a “complex subject” that requires “consulting relevant sources and studies ascertained by internationally recognized experts”. And we all are students eager to learn.

        Thank you for your valuable article and thank you for your positive response. And please keep writing.

        Hawkha Semere Tesfai

        • Yohannes Zerai

          Dear Semere,

          I thank you for the kind words. At the risk of appearing to “pretentiously” reciprocate your complements, I too express my sincere thanks for your honest and appropriate questions/comments. They made me think, and I honestly believe I learned a lot in the process of trying to answer them. That is the true essence of dialogue and discussion!

          Nobody has the monopoly on knowledge and the truth – only modest personal opinions and understandings. The exercise of mutual respect of each other’s ideas and evolving political positions will take us a long way towards eventually solving our country’s present predicaments.

      • Yohannes Zerai

        Hi Semere Tesfai,

        I am back with my “brief”! answers to your questions.

        1. Granted, relations between nations are always based on respective interests meant to be promoted in the consummation of the relationship. What I and other like-minded people oppose are bilateral/multilateral relations that do not guarantee maximum possible benefits that Eritrea is fairly entitled to draw from the relationship as an equal partner. In other words, we seek to see a genuine partnership which pays dividends to both parties in an equitable manner.

        2. In their own interests, foreign governments/investors want to see an Eritrea that is so weak – weak in so many respects – that it is incapable of protecting benefits that rightly belong to it. In other words, a weak country that enters into a relationship in which most of the benefits go to the other side. In the parlance of your comment, this can be characterized as a “lopsided” relationship that assigns an inordinate percentage of benefits to the investor.

        3. Please see my response in Items #1 and 2 above. As for the EU, the term “lopsided” is not relevant/applicable to the agreement that the EU has entered (or plans to enter) into with the Eritrean government. Agreements can be characterized as good or bad, but not lopsided. Be that as it may, the EU is (through its interaction with the government) trying to lay the groundwork for a situation in which European investors will enjoy “lopsided” relations with Eritrea sometime in the future. Good for them! That is exactly what regional organizations are expected to do in the interest of their Member States. Let me assure you that, despite the hasty judgement of some readers in similar discussions, we are not and cannot accuse the EU or any other foreign entity for trying to do what is good for them. All we are saying is that Eritrea should do likewise! Any problem with that ? We as responsible citizens have the duty to consider the long-term interests of our nation and guard, at least at the level of ideas and principles, against any exploitation of our people by foreign interests. Never mind the awful mess the country finds itself in for the short term on account of an ugly dictatorship that is quickly approaching its demise.

        4. On this question, I can only refer you to point (b) in the first part of my response to your comment. No purpose would be served by denying facts! The facts are out there for all to see! But if you do not (or cannot) see them, we will have to part ways on this one in peace! Thank you.

        • Semere Tesfai

          Selam Yohannes

          Now we’re taking. I enjoyed your intelligent response.

          But, but, but having said that, there are difficult questions that beg precise answers. And precise answers demands/require well versed activists, armed with the latest information one could possibly have. To empower people (Eritreans in this case) information is key. Again, with all our handicap (lack of information) let’s ask ourselves the needed tough questions. You said:

          1. – “What I and other like-minded people oppose are bilateral/multilateral relations that do not guarantee maximum possible benefits that Eritrea is fairly entitled to draw from the relationship as an equal partner. In other words, we seek to see a genuine partnership which pays dividends to both parties in an equitable manner.”

          Well, no doubt “seeking genuine partnership which pays dividends to both parties in an equitable manner” is a noble idea that should be pursued for the good of our people and Nation. But again, the question that you and I need to answer is – in order to have “genuine partnership which pays dividends to both parties in an equitable manner” are we and them (EU) at the same level? And to that end and some more, let’s ask our selves:

          (a) Has the PFDJ regime made a deal with EU “that does not guarantee maximum possible benefits that Eritrea is fairly entitled to draw”? (b) Are we (Eritreans) able to MATCH ALMOST equal contribution in human and financial resources, to have equal partnership in the envisioned project? (c) In order to stand our ground – since it is a question of supply demand – does EU need our resources more than we need their investment or we are the ones who need their investment more than they need our resources (d) even at a little less than PERFECT deal – is, enjoying peace stability and economic growth, being accepted by the “international community” of nations, stopping the exodus of the young, opening opportunities for more investment in the country……. worth a shot?

          2. – “In their own interests, foreign governments/investors want to see an Eritrea that is so weak – weak in so many respects – that it is incapable of protecting benefits that rightly belong to it. In other words, a weak country that enters into a relationship in which most of the benefits go to the other side.”

          You’re right; I understand that, and I’m with you on that. I’m also well aware that there are many countries that would love to invest in Eritrea. But, but, but…. also this is the harsh reality we’re in: Without the blessing of the West, without (at least) affirmation-nod from the West – Eritrea could also end-up being another poor war-torn nation that is not worthy of investing a dime. And to avoid that, shouldn’t we be doing everything in our power to be on the good side of the West?

          Now, if you believe it is high time to revise our policy to be on the good side of the West, if you believe we should do everything in our power to earn the support of the West…. in this unfair world, in this dog-eat-dog world… even if it is less than perfect, if it serves the intended purpose – just to get us to the gates of the powerful – don’t you think, less than perfect deal it better than the status quo? Isn’t that what all “rational” poor, weak, small nations do?

          Again thank you Yohannes. It was a pleasure sharing my ideas with you.

          Semere Tesfai

          • Yohannes Zerai

            Hi Semere,

            I believe that, between them, my previous response to you and my response to Mek1 (who asked questions akin to yours) pretty much cover the issues you listed in your latest comment.

            Obviously, we cannot exhaust in this particular debate all the issues related to the topic of our discussion. Nevertheless, I hope that we both have benefited from the exchange – questions, opinions and all. I did; and I thank you for it.

  • Kokhob Selam

    ሃላ ሃላ ሓቢብና ዮሃንስ :-

    መጽናዕቲ ዝተሓወሶ ግርም ኣስተብህሎ ! እንታይ ከ ኽወጾ:: እዚ ከም ‘ዚ ኢሉ እንከሎ – ካልእ ሓቂ ውን ብ ኣንጻሩ ኣሎ እዩ ;: ከም’ቲ ሃገራት ካብ ሓንቲ ሃገር ክጥቀሙ ዝጓየይዮ እታ ሃገር ውን ከምኡ ካብ ካልኦት ሃገራት እትርበሓሎም ኣዝዮም ብዙሓት ጉዳያት ብጭብጢ ተሰንዮም ክቀርቡ ይኽእሉ እዮም :: መቸም ብዛዕባ ተፈጥዕሮኣዊ ትዕድልቲ ሃገርና ብዙሕ ክንዛረብ ንኽእል ኢና : ኣብ ሓቂ ዝተሞርከሰ :: እዚ ግን ኣመሓደርቲ የድልይዎ – ዝሓስቡ ዘመራመሩን ብተግባር ዝሰርሑን ::

    ሃገርና ድኻ ኣይኮነትን ብዘይ’ቲ ነገራዊ ሃብቲ ሰብኣዊ ሃብታ ውን ቀሊል ኣይኮነን :: እቲ ዘዛርብ ዘሎ ምሕደራ እዩ :- ምሕደራ ሰብኣዊን ነገራውን ሃብቲ :: ሃገር ልቦና ዝዓሰሎ ኣብ እሂም ብሂም – ባህሊ ሃገር ዘቶኮረ ምዕሩግ ኣሰራርሓ :: ኢሮፓውያን ኣብ ሃብትና ከትኩሩ ባህርያዊ እዩ: ዓለምና ናይ እንካን ሃባን መድረኽ እያ :: ሙዕርይን ሓላይን ተጸዋዋርን ባህርይ ዘሎው ስርዓት ድማ እዩ ዘድልዮ :: እቲ ዘገድስን ወሳንን ድማ ከመይ ነዚ እትውንን ሃገር ትህልወና እዩ ::

    ኣብ ዝሓለፋ ፪፭ ዓመታት እዛ ሃገር ብዙሃት ሰብ ክእለትን ሰሪሖም ዘስርሑ ዓበይቲ ምሁራትን ጠንጢኖምና ክኸዱ ኢና ተዓዚብና :: ኣብ ድሮ ናጽነት ካብ ኩለን ክፍለዓለማት ሃገር ንምምዕባልን:- ዘለዋ ተፎጥሮኣዊ ሃቢት ኣብ መዓላ ንምውዓልን ተበጊሶም : – ተስፈኦም በኒኑ ብስምባደ ባህሪሮም ክቦ ደርብዮሙላ ዝሃደሙ ብዙሓት እዮም :: ድሕሪኡ ውን መናእሰይ- ነዛ ብወርቂ ዝተለበጠት ኣብ ዘይቲ እትንሳፈፍ ሃገር ተተወሊዶም መዓንጠኦም ከይቋጸሩ እዮም ናብ ስደት ኣምሪሖም: ሃገርና ድኽነታ እምበ ኣር ድኽነት ምሕደራ እዩ ኣመቃሪሑ ዝመርሕ ብሱልን ፍትውን ህዝባዊ ኣካል::

    ዓለም ዕዳጋ ክሳብ ዝኾነት – ናይ ቁጠበ ጉያ ክህሉ ባህርያዊ እዩ ;: ወረ ሃገራት ባዕሎም ንዘለዎም ትዕድልቲ ናብ ዓለም ብምዝርጋሕ እንድዮም ኣብ ከቢድ ውድድር ተ ኣሊኾም ዝርከቡ ! ገለ ሃገራት ህዝበን ከም ቀድንዲ ሃብተን ብምውሳድ ቁጠበአን ላዕሊ ዓሪጉ ይርከብ :: ከም ብዓል ህግደፍ ዘባኽንዎ ዘለው ዘይኮነስ:- ክሉ ዓቅምታተን ሰብ ወዲ ሰብ ብፍሰሃ-ሰላም ቀሲኑ ዝነብረሉ መገዲ እየን ብዘይትኽስ ዝሰርሓሉ :: ሰቡ ዘሕሰረ ስርዓት ዝወነነ እንተወነነ ህልውንኡ ትርጉም የብሉን::

    • Yohannes Zerai

      Dear Kokhob Selam,

      (Apologies! I would have loved to present my response in Tigrigna; unfortunately, I do not presently have Geezword at my disposal.)

      I could not agree with you more. The problems we face as a country and as a people are obviously multifaceted. My attempt in this short article was one of highlighting some facts and general observations that are shared by many as regards the need for Eritrea to ensure its national interests are protected in its future dealings with the outside world and particularly with foreign investors (companies, corporations, etc). One of the critical factors on which this concern for national well-being impinges is the issue of human capacity – the country’s skilled-manpower base consisting of professionals, managers, administrators, trade representatives and negotiators, etc. etc. etc. Needless to say, this is a huge topic on which a lot can be written. I can see from your short comment that you have already made some pertinent observations regarding this issue and I believe that we – the readership – would all benefit if you could share, in a published article, your insight into the problem. I urge you to please do so.

      • Kokhob Selam

        የቀንየለይ ክቡር ሓው :-

        ትሒዘ-ጸኒሕ (conservative) ድኣ ከይትብለኒ እምበር :-ኣብ ባህልን ቛንቛ ሕብረተሰበይ ዘለኒ ፍቅሪ መወዳድርቲ የብሉን:: ግዳ ኩሉ ኣብ ህይወተይ ጽልዋ ዘለዎ ጉዳያት ንፍሉይ ቛንቛ ክፈልጥ ዝሓተኒ እንተኾይኑ ኩነታተይ ብዘየገስ ክመሃሮ ድሕር ኣይብልን እየ :: እዋእ1 እዚስ ቃልሲ እንድዩ! ክብርታት ህዝብታትካ ከይሃስስ:- ክብርታት ካለት ከይነዓቅካን ከየጥካዕካን ኣብ ‘ዛ ብዘየቛርጽ ምዕባለ ትሕምበብ ዘላ ዓለምና ምስጓም ! ኣጆኻ ዝሓወይ ::

        ናይ ጠለብካ መልሰይ : – ርኸብ ኣይትስኣን እዩ :: ንመን ከ ኢኻ ክትሓትት ብጀካ ወዶኖኻ: – ውዲ ‘ዛ ክብርቲ ሃገርካ :: ግዳ ሕጂ ውን ብትግርኛ እየ ክጽሕፋ :: – እቲ ዝኸበረ ስብ እዩ – ኢለ ኸኣ እየ ክፍልማ ::

        • Yohannes Zerai

          Go for it Kokhob Selam! You have my support and that of many others.

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear Yohans sure give some time. til then !

            እዛ ዓለም እቲ ቀደም ክትፍጠር :-
            ንሰብ ተባሂላ እዩ ሰብ እዩ ክቡር:-
            ሰብ እዩ ቲ ዕላማ ኣብ ራህዋ ክነብረ:-
            ሰብ እዩ ተሓታቲ ክፍተን ክምርመር::

            ጸሓይ እኳ ጸሓይ መሬትና እትዞራ :-
            ክቢ ዓንኬል ወቅቲ ሓልያ መስመራ:-
            ሓጋይ ክርምቱ ጽገ ወቅተ- ኣዝመራ ;-
            ኩሉ ንሰብ እዩ ዝሰርሕ ብጥምራ :-

            ፈጣሪ ኳ ባዕሉ ክውስን ዝፈቀደሉ :-
            ኣብ ዓለም ክነብር ስርዓት ተኸቲሉ :-
            ባህርይ ተጠቂሙ ክነብር ማዕቢሉ :-
            ምንባር እዩ ዕላማ ብፍቅሪ ዓሲሉ::

            ኣካላት ወዲ ሰብ ረቂቕ ስራሕ-ኪነት :-
            ናይ ሓንጎል ውስብስብ እስርሳር መትንታት:-
            ናይ ምሕሳብ ምዝካር ምትንታን ክእለታት:-
            ምግላጹ ነይከኣል ብጽሑፍ ብቃላት:-

            ነዚ ኣዝዩ ዕዙዝ ፍጥረት ስራሕ ኣባጅጎ :-
            ሰብ ብሰብ ከዕንዎ መሰሉ ከሕድጎ :-
            እሰሮ ቅተሎ ኣርክቦ ሕደጎ :-
            ኢሉ ክዕምጾ ከሰንብዶ ከበርግጎ:–
            ……ይግረም እዩ መን ከ ፈቀደሉ!
            ……ናይምንቲምንታይ ከ – ኣብምንታይ ውዒሉ :-
            ……ንሱስ መዋቲ ጠፋኢ እንድኣሉ – ክንደይ ክጸንሕ ኢሉ !
            ,,,,,,ንጥፍኣት ወገኑ ንዝረኽባ ባዕሉ ::

The Eritrea of “Adey Hana”!

03 Aug 2017 Ismael Ibrahim Mukhtar Comments (33)

I was born and raised in the city of Asmara. Asmara in those days was a bustling multicultural and multi-faith…

Goatskin and Hides Rot in Eritrean Streets

01 Aug 2017 Gedab News Comments (16)

The once thriving skin and hides business has declined so much that rotting skins in the streets have become a…

The Allyship Model of Anti-Marginalization Struggle

28 Jul 2017 Amanuel Hidrat Comments (255)

“None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.” Goethe Dawit Mesfin’s recent article “All about self-liberation”…

Ahl Al-Kahaf: The Sleepers of Ephesus

21 Jul 2017 Saleh "Gadi" Johar Comments (189)

Let me begin by wishing success and fruitful discussions for the organizers and attendants of the Sheffield Meeting, planed for…

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