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HardTalk: Group Rights And Identity Politics


The term “Identity politics” is popularized as a political discourse in the higher educational institutions, since 1970s. Identity politics was originally emerged as a way of consciousness raising among marginalized [social] groups and as means to empower those groups who felt oppressed by the society around them [1]. The more overtly pragmatic debates about the merits of identity politics are philosophical questions about the nature of subjectivity and the self [2]. In a nutshell, the purpose of identity politics is to raise the self-awareness of marginalized social groups to provide them with a political power. It is a force to be reckoned within the mainstream of the political discourse of a given society. Hence “political culture” will be discussed in this piece as rationale explanation referring to the deep-seated ideas, beliefs, values, and behavioral orientation, that people have to carry around in their minds towards their political system.

Myself, as a writer, I am a prisoner of my own earlier writings. I can not escape from them, but I live with them and defend them as sociocultural and sociopolitical values that help the coexistence of our diversity. You could call me the “minority guy” or a “multiculturalist.” I have written extensively about the marginalization and grievances of our social groups, the alignments of our minorities to overcome their marginalization, and the lack of equitable power sharing to maintain the equilibrium of the social make up of our society. I oppose those who undervalue culture and its explanatory power in the politics of a nation. Culture is always viewed as part of the “superstructure” not less than economics to define the politics of a nation, as long as the the existing social groups or the diversities are identified by their cultures. In multicultural society, political administration means governing and managing the interests of diverse social groups. How ever we should be careful and sensitive when stepping into the terrain of political culture. And therefore, I am here to wear counterhegemonic lens to do my argument.

Historical Background

The slogan of one nation, one culture, and one people, that has its roots in the classical liberalism (whose proponents extend from John Locke to J.S. Mills) was for culturally homogeneous nation-states [wekipedia]. Equally, the “classical Republicanism of Rousseau that was pronounced in the practice of French revolution” also infer as: that the National Assembly expressed in the deliberation of the Assembly is “the general will of the people of a homogeneous nation-state”. These kind of worldview is not compatible to sociopolitical practice for post-colonial states with multicultural components.

The notions of Western Liberalism that the bearer of self-determination is the the culturally homogeneous nation and the bearer of human right is the individual, are so restricted that they have resulted in disfranchising large number of groups and individuals in Africa [3]. If we took this Western political diet as a gospel of truth, the logic that follows is, we could claim that cultures other than the majoritarian will either have the choice of integrating with the “unitary nation-state” or could opt forming their own “culturally homogenous states”. In Eritrea, multiculturalism challenges the ideology of the unitary nation-state by organizing cultural social groups, demanding a fair share in a political power and economic distribution. I will address this issue later as I proceed in my writing.

Multicultural Liberalism

According Duncan Ivison, multiculturalism refers to broad array of theories, attitudes, beliefs, norms, practice that seek to provide public recognition of and support for accommodation of non-dominant ethno-cultural groups [and] aims to go beyond the protection of basic civil and political liberties associated with liberal citizenship [4]. Multiculturalism has five levels of descriptional explanations (a) empirical fact (b) ideology (c) policy and program (d) practice and (e) counter hegemony [5]. Ideologically, multiculturalism points to the importance of culture and group affiliations and can be seen as a challenge to the conception of individual rights [6]. Albeit, it isn’t. Multiculturalism in liberal democracy, do in fact, demands the state to acknowledge and work for cultural pluralism and be open to the possibility of legislating difference. That is what Charles Taylor called it “the politics of recognition – the feeling of being acknowledged, understood, and valued equally”. Therefore, multiculturalism increase sensitivity and response to the needs of minority social groups

More importantly, the “politics of difference” by Young is broader than “the politics of recognition” by Taylor, for it focuses not only on culture, but also on other forms of group difference. Young observed the “politics of difference” is distinct as oppose to self-assertive [7]. Both Young and Taylor emphasize on the relationship between ‘identity and power’ – focusing primarily on the ‘power of norms’ and ‘power of symbols & recognition.’ The politics of difference challenge the ideal of difference-blind liberalism and the notion that equality is synonymous with equal treatment [8]. Furthermore, many scholars have developed similar argument about the relationships of culture and choices. For instance, Kymlicka sees cultural membership as primary good which dictates the extents and limits of autonomy [9].

The cause of Identity politics in Eritrea

There was always a split in the Eritrean political soul, its psyche, its culture, and hence its identity. The basic sociopolitical fault lines are reflected between the two major religions (Christian and Muslims) and the two major regions (Highlanders and Lowlanders), since late 1940s. These “political cultures” have devolved in to “identity politics” of our “social groups” that are commonly known as the building bocks to our “national identity.” Our social groups have allegiance to their “nation” and to their own “groups” to defend the sovereignty of the nation as well as to the rights of their own groups. The rise of “group rights” and “identity politics” in Eritrea are caused by the nature of the regime of Asmara and its policy. Isaias and his ruling party (PFDJ) have keenly thought to play on these divided Eritrean sentiments and have successfully exploited it, in order to stay in power.

Nations where culture and identity are not uniformly divided, minorities employ the politics of identity as a political instrument to advance their agenda. Eritrean social groups can not be exempted from this politico-cultural phenomenon, as long as there is a marginalization of the minorities and as long as they don’t have a say in the political discourse of their nation.

Identity politics as an expression for political identity groups, are indeed the inevitable byproduct from the struggle of individuals for “freedom of association.” Hence, as long as individuals are free to associate, “identity groups and identity politics” of all kinds of forms and shapes will naturally exist, especially in multicultural societies. Reciprocate identification will then be the central to the raison d’être of identity groups.

Moral Courage in Politics

Commitment to principle is backing your words with actions. Politics demands courage. Courage in politics are exhibited by those who step outside of their comfort zone to meet the challenge, who are passionate about their beliefs and values, and never deterred by adversity or afraid of what people may think of them. Courageous people are tough but fair. They are trustworthy, objective, fair, tolerant, and they stand up against all kind of injustice.

Fighting against a tyrant in itself only does not make us courageous nor does it makes us look judicious and fair minded. The fight of fair and judicious minds are holistic in nature. While they are fighting against the tyrant, they search a solution to our socio-cultural and sociopolitical problems created by the regime’s policy, building trusts among our social groups and weaving the threads that holds our social fabric.

Recently, I have read an open condemnation, in the Eritrean social media, against “identity politics” and “group rights” as a principle and as phenomenon in the Eritrean political landscape. I was saddened, because it was perpetuated against our minorities who are organized to address their grievances based on the principle of “freedom of association” in any form or shape. Instead of becoming an alternative to the regime, who made them aggrieved, and try to address their grievances, why are those who called themselves justice seekers join to the regime’s policy of marginalization and defend the tyranny of the majority indirectly? When there is no trust with each other and unable to listen each other, Slowly but surely, will lead us to a political paralysis. In any case this writer will attempt to address their grievances. In my view, the grievances of our minorities could be addressed by “democratic representation” and by devolving “political and administrative power” to the periphery or to the administrative units of Eritrean state.

Unicameral vs Bicameral  

Generally speaking, unicameral parliament is applicable for homogeneous societies and for centralized unitary government (CUG) intended for a single party rule. Bicameral parliament is applicable for heterogeneous society and for decentralized unitary government (DUG) that allows pluralism of multiparty system. Our Eritrean diversity requires two chambers of legislative body, one by equal representative and the second by proportional representation. This system will depict depict that our minorities will get fair share in our political discourse in one chamber of the legislative body where it is designed for “equal proportion”. In the second chamber (proportional representation) where it depends on the number of the population of the electoral districts, our minorities will compete as representative of the competing parties.

Centralized Unitary vs Decentralized Unitary

Centralized unitary government (CUG) indicates that the power of the “periphery” and the power of the “center” is controlled by the executive body at the central government – as depicted in the 1997 constitutional document. The peripheries or the units of administrations are administered by unelected “delegate” from the center. Citizens in the administrative units will not be granted with the power to elect their administrators nor do they have the power to exercise politics within their administration units. Decentralized Unitary Government (DUG) on the other hand, grants power to the peripheries or administrative units – the power to administrate themselves politically and administratively. It means certain power is devolved to the peripheries. Hence, DUG is all about power sharing. According the straightforward empiricist, Arend Lijphart, power sharing means participation of representatives of all significant groups in political decision making [Lijphart, 2004].  This writer, therefore, as a proponent of Lijphart, advocates for representational democracy and equitable power sharing. In my article of Jan 17, 2014: “The Contours of changes and the Equilibrium of its parts,” I have explained it in detail, as to the difference between CUG and DUG, and why DUG will give political and administrative power to our people than CUG. 


[1} Wiards, Howard J., “political culture, political science, and identity politics; An easy alliance,” April 8, 2016.

[2] Taylor, Charles, 1989, “Source of the self: the making of the modern identity, Cambridge, MA: Harvard university press.

[3] Mohanty, Chandra, 1998, “Femininst encounters: Locating the politics of Experience.

[4] Duncan, Ivison, “Introduction of multiculturalism as public idea” in Duncan Ivison ed. The Ashgate research companion to multiculturalism [Burlington, VT: Ashagate, 2010.

[5] Augie, Fleras, “The politics of multiculturalism” (NY, NY,Palgrave Macmillan, 2009).

[6] Ulf, Morkentam, “Group specific rights as political practice”, in Ishtag SAhmed ed.

[7] Young, Iris, “Ruling norms and the politics of difference”, 1999, 416.

[8] Ibid (Iris Young)

[9] Kymlicka, Will, “Multicultural citizenship: A liberal theory of minority rights,” 1995, 76.

[10] Lijphart, Arend “constitutional design for divided society,” Journal of Democracy, April 2004.

[11] Hidrat, Amanuel, “The contours of change and the Equilibrium of its parts,” Awate.com, Jan 17, 2014.

About Amanuel Hidrat

Amanuel Hidrat, is a political activist and a passionate writer in the current struggle against the Eritrean regime. His extensive writings are focused on constitution and constitutionalism, constitutional process, nature of governments, and grievances of the social groups. His articles can be found “Tebeges”, a rich column at awae.com that archives over 150 articles. He has been writing at Ntsebraq in Tigrinya since 1998, and in English awate.com since 2000. Through his writings, , he promotes "multicultural liberalism" and "multicultural constitutionalism" that provides a fair share to social groups in the decision making process of governance. Amanuel believes it’s not individuals, but ”our social groups”, that should be the building blocks of the Eritrean nation state. Amanuel studied “Industrial chemistry" at the Poly-technical Institute in Ethiopia, and "Clinical Pharmacy" at St John's University in the US.

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  • chefena

    Selam Haw Amanuel
    I hope you don’t mind my late joining. First, I must thank you for your very resourceful contribution both in terms the theoretical input and your cogent arguments relating to the Eritrean socio-political reality. You have covered the often ignored aspect of identity politics “struggle for recognition” and the “symbolic power”. In doing so, you once more re-affirm your commitment to multiculturalism and thereby guaranteeing group rights via some structural arrangements. With reference to your descriptive explanations you mention the empirical and ideological levels. Relevant indeed to the ideological level (which is also the narrative /discursive level). Let me make this simpler and with a concrete and fresh example.

    The theme of this panel is : A secular Civic State or Subnational identities? This rhetorical question has already announced the answer. Simply asking your audience to choose between “the good” and “the evil” secures a forgone conclusion. I found its relevance to my own perspective, i.e. the discourse and ideology aspect multicultural project and group rights. The title is prejudiced by the very use of the phrase “sub-national” as opposed to the ‘civic’ and secular i.e. progressive, cosmopolitan vs narrow, tribal etc. In a self-assured programme, no hard-talks, and everyone should feel good. Don’t you think a lot needs to be done on this project to so that critical thinking is not undermined by the use of such simplistic categorization that mask real issue from being debated frankly.

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Selam Dr Chefena,

      I am glad you joined our discussion. As an academician in the field of sociology (to be specific socio-linguistic), your input on the subject at hand is very essential to shape our views on the needs of our social groups to address their grievances ideologically and structurally to maintain the equilibrium in their existence.

      Dr Chefena, I am sure you are aware that modern states are organized around the language and cultural norms of the dominant groups that has historically constituted them. Hence members of minority cultural groups (social groups) not only are prone to all kind of marginalization, but are subjected to the evils of marginalization. Our minority social groups can not be exempted from that sociopolitical subjugation.

      The panel discussion of Eri-platforum, actually, in my view, are not well equipped with the knowledge as to how “multicultural liberalism” as modern “ideology” operates in a heterogeneous-nation-states as oppose to “classical liberalism” designed as an ideology for “unitary-nation-states.” So our intellectuals have a big burden on their back to educate our society on the subject, that in the case of Eritrea the bearer of the heterogeneous-nation-state is not the culturally dominant social group, but rather the entire social groups with their respected rights in the decision making of their nation. The “individuals” are not the building block of the Eritrean-nation-state. Our social groups are indeed the building blocks with their unique cultural make ups. Second, I was shocked when I saw them having difficult in differentiating between Citizenship and Identity (meninet and zegnet).
      Third, “subnational identities” is not a state in itself to bring it as opposite choice to “Secular civic state.” Fourth, words and concepts are very important, if they don’t know them they shouldn’t bring them to their discussion. Fifth, choices of words and concepts are very important to avoid prejudice and negative connotation. Subnational has bad negative connotation. But then, they are using it purposely for their political end. Sixth, yes I agree “the title is prejudiced by the very use of the phrase “subnational”. Furthermore, the two concepts in the title can not be compared and contrasted. You cannot compare and contrast and compare “state” with “identity.”


  • chefena

    Selam Haw Amanuel
    I hope you don’t mind my late joining. First, I must thank you for your very resourceful contribution both in terms the theoretical input and your cogent arguments relating to the Eritrean socio-political reality. You have covered the often ignored aspect of identity politics “struggle for recognition” and the “symbolic power”. In doing so, you once more re-affirm your commitment to multiculturalism and thereby guaranteeing group rights via some structural arrangements. With reference to your descriptive explanations you mention the empirical and ideological levels. Relevant indeed to the ideological level (which is also the narrative /discursive level). Let me make this simpler and with a concrete and fresh example.
    The theme of this panel is : A secular Civic State or Subnational identities? This rhetorical question has already announced the answer. Simply asking your audience to choose between “the good” and “the evil” secures a forgone conclusion. I found its relevance to my own perspective, i.e. the discourse and ideology aspect multicultural project and group rights. The title is prejudiced by the very use of the phrase “sub-national” as opposed to the ‘civic’ and secular i.e. progressive, cosmopolitan vs narrow, tribal etc. In a self-assured programme, no hard-talks, and everyone should feel good. Don’t you think a lot needs to be done on this project to so that critical thinking is not undermined by the use of such simplistic categorization that mask real issue from being debated frankly.

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Selam Mez & Yohannes,

    The 1997 constitutional document, for which most of the highlanders are advocating for it, including the architects of it, was tailored not only for one party system, but also to impose injustice for our indigenous minorities by dispossessing them from their lands and disallowing their rights in exercising to use their land based on their needs and interests.

    Dr Magnet’s paper highlights as follows: “indigenous peoples have suffered from historic injustices as a result of … dispossession of their lands, territories and resources, thus preventing them from exercising … their right to development in accordance with their own needs and interests,” alluding to the plights of Afaris and Kunama social groups of being pushed out from their indigenous lands. It is such plights and other marginalization that could make us to stand with them and show our allyship in their struggle. Overlooking these realities in the name of national interest will be a grave mistake from the prospect of justice and humanity.


    • Teodros Alem

      selam aman h
      I haven’t read what u wrote except ur conversation with Mez and forgive me for jumping in the conversation.
      according to ur own logics of “different social groups”, power sharing and so on.
      is that possible to advocate on behalf of other social groups outside of ur own social group? negotiation to reach an agreement between different social groups of the country is one thing but to advocate on behalf of social groups that u r not part of it , is contradicting with what u believe about power sharing with different social groups of the country logic.

    • Mez

      Good Day Amanuel H,
      1) I saw the article you cited. It is a good argumentative writeup, but by nomeanss a court order or its equivalent which shall be adhered to line-by-line, as you are alluding to.
      1.1) its initial and boundary assumptions are insufficient and omites quite a bit of fundamentals, even for those soial groups who are frequently at a disadvantage.

      2) regarding the 1997 constitution (i think we talked qute a bit on that), it is still the best available document created by the nation.
      2.1) It will definitely may need amendments on vital articles to be more explicit, inclusive, and responsive on the go.
      3) From a historical perspective, the major episodes of eritrean history could be summerized as:
      3.1) the formation of eritrean teerritory as an italian colony,
      3.2) the war-preparation dynamics of Venito Musolony in the 1920-ies, and the rapid infrastructure creation, especially, in Asmara
      3.3) the defeat of Fashism in Italy and the subsquent federation arrangement experience,
      3.4) the war of independence and the creation of independent nation, defacto in 1991.
      3.5) the removal of the lingering and seemingly perpetuated war state between the two nations as a result of the peace agreement in April, 1918. This agreement between pia and aaa had brought a very profound change in removing the state of war between the two nations.

      4) regaring your points [from a) to d)] in your last paragraph, I guss you may want to revist them again by yourself, if they are on sound and firm assumptions to start with.

      5) in general one has to be carful not to create an artificial contradiction, while dialog and openness, in a tolerant society, could do the job.


      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Selam Mez,

        After claiming that our views are converging, now you start to retreat. Actually, you sound like the defenders of the status quo. If you are for fair share you can’t be in favor that constitution that doesn’t. But when you said the issue of minorities is not constitutional, I knew that our views is diverging than converging. You can’t even recognize that there is marginalization in the current state of Eritrea. That in itself put us to wage our fights to collide from different ends. I think our positions are different ideologically and institutionally. The struggle will continue and the minorities will create their alliance to assert their rights whatever it takes.


  • ‘Gheteb

    The Three Whistleblowers (እቶም ሰለስተ ነፋሕቲ ፊስካ): A Play [ተዋስኦ]


    ACT (III) [Final] —- ሳልሳይን ናይ መወዳእታ ገቢር

    Setting (መቃን) — Keren, Eritrea , in the early to mid seventies.

    Characters (ገጸ ባህርያት) : The characters of this play come in threes,

    The THREE Umpires (ዳኛ or ኣልቢትሮ) — 1. Admassu (አድማሱ) 2. Abdulkerim (ዓብዱልከሪም) 3. Assmerom RedAe (ኣስመሮም ረዳእ)

    The THREE Coaches (ኣሰልጠንቲ) — 1. Wedi-Ahmed (ወዲ ኣሕመድ) For Team Ansseba (ጋንታ ዓንሰባ) 2. Zerezghi (ዘርእዝጊ) For Team Estella (ጋንታ አስተላ) 3. Abdu M Nur (ዓብዱ መ/ኑር) For Team Al-Hillal (ጋንታ ኣልሂላል)

    The THREE super- fans (ልዕለ-ደገፍቲ or ቲፎዞ) — 1. Wedi-Jabera (ወዲ ጃበራ) 2. Mantuy (ማንቱይ) 3. Amm ShemEun (ዓም ሸምዑን)

    The THREE Spectators (ተዓዘብቲ) — 1. Wed-Alf (ወድ ኣልፍ) 2. Wedi-G’de (ወዲ ግደ) 3. Wed- Gileway (ወድ ግለዋይ)

    Scene (ምርኢት) — Keren’s Soccer Field and Vicinities (ጃኮ ከረንን ከባቢን)

    (It was early Friday morning. Mantuy (ማንቱይ) has to do some serious shopping [ሽመታ] today. A couple of days ago, there has been an addition to their family. His brother’s wife, his sister in law, has given birth to a boy, the newest member of their family. After getting the shopping list from the distaff of the household, he was accompanied by one of his nephews who was to give him a hand in carrying the shopped items.

    They walked all the way from Keren’s uptown [ከረን ላዕላይ] to Keren’s downtown passing through Jira Fiyori [ጅራ ፍዮሪ],The Flowers Roundabout, [ክቢ ዕንበባ]. They run into and were stopped by many friends and acquaintances of Mantuy. After passing Keren’s vegetables and fruits market, they stopped by a tailor’s shop and said hello to one of the tailors called Jemal Zibliwo [ጀማል ዝብልዎ] — he who they call Jemal.— to check on the status of his sister in law clothes. Of course, even in the middle of the transactions, the coming Sunday’s soccer match has somehow insinuated into all their conversation.

    Now they are in Shuq Bera or Bara [ሹቅ በራ or ባራ] — Open or Outside Market — Keren’s spices odds and ends market. Mantuy, stopped by one of the open stands to buy condiments and other stuff owned by a man named Sulieman Wedi-Tebah Beqli [ስሌማን ወዲ ጠባሕ በቕሊ], where he bought frankincense, kohl [ኩሕሊ], fenugreek[ኣባዕከ], caraway [ኣበ ሱዳ] and basil [ሪሓን or ጨና ኣዳም]. They then headed to the cereal market known commonly as Farshet Eikhli — ፈርሸት እኽሊ– and bought sorghum and millet. On their way back, they stopped by the shop of enda Qedaday [አንዳ ቀዳዳይ] and bought an Abusenti [ኣቡሰንቲ] — a pint of, almost— of butter.

    Finally, as they headed back home, they passed through Keren’s Sharie Paris [ሻርዕ ፓሪስ] –Keren’s Paris Street — and past Forobia [ፎሮብያ], Keren’s train station, they arrived home. After giving his nephew a couple of chichero [ቺቸሮ] candies as a tip and said attaboy! attaboy!! attaboy!!! — ሃብሮም! ሃብሮም!! ሃብሮም!!! , Mantuy headed back and hightailed it to downtown).

    Beit Shahi Ibrahim [በይት ሻሂ ኢብራሂም] was congested with patrons. The hustle and bustle was quite palpable as customers went in and out of the tea shop. The conversations and talk of the patrons coupled with the calls of orders of the waiters commonly known as Jereson [ጀረሶን] has significantly raised the decibel of the din. As Mantuy made his entry to the tea shop, the place was jam packed and there was no empty chair to sit on. Finally, he made his way to one of the tables and joined the group.

    Mantuy (ማንቱይ): Selamat Ya JemaAa — Hello, everyone! It has become awfully difficult to find a chair. I am already beat after such a long walk and the final soccer match is less than 48 hours away. I hope to get enough rest before this Sunday.

    Abdulwehab Action [ዓብድልወሃብ ኣክሸን]: making all manners of bodily gestures and movements was impatient and asked Mantuy that if he has heard any news about who will officiate be the umpire, of next Sundays match between teams Estella and Ansseba, as what is touted as Keren’s SUPERBOWL.

    Mantuy: I don’t have the slightest inkling as who will officiate this game. I hope, though, it is not that WHISTLEBLOWER,umpire, Abdulkerim (ዓብዱልከሪም). He is so partial and he favors team Estella. He is definitely an Estella fan. Most of his calls against my team Ansseba when they play against team Estella are suspect.

    Abdulwehab Action [ዓብድልወሃብ ኣክሸን]: What I don’t like about this umpire, Abdulkerim, and find it quite insufferable is he blows the whistle too hard and he seems to draw the warning cards so easily and for very minor infractions. He gets in the face of players, virtually yelling and wants to intimidate them with his reddish face and bulging eyes.Oh, he is a hand full.

    Mantuy: I don’t like that Assmerom RedAe (ኣስመሮም ረዳእ) for an umpire. I don’t think he is impartial as he seems to lean towards team Estella.

    Admassu (አድማሱ): His lunch in Hanna Berhe’s restaurant [ ቤት መግቢ ሃና በርሀ] was good. He went to the adjacent tea shop, owned also by Hanna, and ordered a cup of tea. As he sat on the chair, he was peppered with question by many a Kerenite about next Sunday’s soccer match. As he was sipping his tea, he could see in the porch, veranda of the tea shop, a group of people gathered around somebody.Before too long, he could see and hear that it was the Mehari Aleya [ማሓሪ ኣለያ] show. He was dancing as the group surrounding him sung and clapped. Someone was also using the table as a drum.

    Mehari Aleya [ማሓሪ ኣለያ] danced to the tune that went something like…..

    ማሓሪ ኣለያ ያ ባምቦ
    ማሓሪ ኣለያ ያ ባምቦ
    ማሓሪ ኣለያ ያ ባምቦ
    ኣለያ ኣለያ ያ ባምቦ
    ኣለያ ኣለያ ያ ባምቦ
    ኣለያ ኣለያ ያ ባምቦ

    Mehari kept dancing to his heart’s content, making moves synchronous with the beat and the rhythm of the tune. The man can really dance. As the tune reached a crescendo, Mehari put his right hand inside his left armpit [ትሽትሽ] and kept moving his left arm that the bodily sound produced meshed with and added to the beat of the tune.

    Admassu (አድማሱ): After finishing his cup of tea and enjoying the Mehari Aleya [ማሓሪ ኣለያ] show, he headed to Bar Estifanos [ባር እስቲፋኖስ] for an important meeting. When he arrived at the venue, all THREE members of Keren’s Soccer Federation and the other two umpires were already there. After exchanging greetings, the chairman of the soccer federation, Ustaz Ibrahim Yassin [ኢብራሂም ያሲን] went over all issues concerning next Sunday’s game and gave the assignments to the THREE as who will be the umpire and the two who will referee as lines man.

    ( It was Sunday, one PM. The final showdown is barely THREE hours away. Kerenites of all walks of life and age are flocking to Keren’s soccer field commonly known as Keren’s Jacko — ጃኮ –. The small hilltop facing the field — analogous to a bleacher– was getting crowded and every inch of it seems to be occupied by a human body. People are climbing to be atop the surrounding walls. Some have even climbed the sycamore [ሳግላ] and tamarind [ ሕሞር] trees surrounding the field to get a seat and better view of the match. Across from the hilltop and under the shed of two trees, there are a row of chairs and a table where members of Keren’s Soccer Federation will be seated and the championship cup will be placed on the table.

    Though no one knows what time he got to the soccer field, Amm ShemEun (ዓም ሸምዑን) was seating in the middle of the hilltop commanding the best view of the field. Wedi-Jabera (ወዲ ጃበራ), surrounded by mostly team Estella fans were seated on the left side of the hilltop. At the other end of the hilltop, Mantuy (ማንቱይ) and those rooting for team Ansseba were singing their tunes in support of their team.

    Save for the soccer field, the place was jam packed and literally occupied to capacity. The environment was getting electric every second with the accentuation of anticipation as the game time approached even closer. It is getting close to 3:30 PM and both teams and the game officials and all other VIPs have arrived. The place is drowned with all kinds of sound, tunes, calls, slogans, hoots, calling outs and boos. Both teams were doing warm-ups.

    At 3:50 PM, the THREE WHISTLEBLOWERS entered the field running wearing their black colored shirts and shorts uniform. They were accorded a round of ovation. The game will be officiated by Admassu (አድማሱ). Abdulkerim (ዓብዱልከሪም) and Assmerom RedAe (ኣስመሮም ረዳእ) will serve as lines men [ሰኛሊኖ]. After both teams made it to the field, the game — Keren’s SUPERBOWL — started at four PM sharp.

    Team Ansseba won the coin toss and was given the ball. After a couples of miscues and missed shots, ten minutes into the game, a pass from Aregay [ኣረጋይ] to Hammid Jemjam [ ሓምድ ጀምጃም] was handled so expertly by the latter where he made a move past the last Estella defender, Omer Verb [ዑመር ቨርብ], and kicked the ball in such a way Estella’s golie, JimAay [ጅምዓይ] had no chance of defending against the kick. Ansseba was leading the game one to nil.

    Team Estella mounted a persistent attack and it didn’t take too long to tie the game when Tesfalem Gheberemekel’s kick landed in the net. The game is tied one to one. The game continued and two minutes before the halftime intermission, Wedi-Abdelmoula [ወዲ ዓብደልሞላ ], Ansseba team’s gunner has outrun the defenders and scored Ansseba’s second goal.

    After the halftime intermission, both teams mounted strong defenses and the score was two to one. But before the half-hour mark into the second half of the game, a nicely kicked corner kick by team Estella resulted in a goal after a header [ተስታ] by Gerensei Debretsion [ገረንስኤ ደብረጽዮን]. The game is tied two to two.

    It was a defensive battle as the game seemed to end in a tie. Ansseba kept attacking the right side of the field and kept pushing inside the penalty zone. Just five minutes to the end of a game, Khalifa Saleh tried to pass the ball to Assefaw who was defended by team Estella’s Guninay [ጉኒናይ]. The ball touched his hand and the umpire Admassu blew his whistle to signify an infraction, which since it was inside the penalty zone will result in a PENALTY KICK [ፍጹም ቅላዕ መቕጻዕቲ — ሪጎለ]. With barely two minutes left, Aregay [ኣረጋይ] scored a nice goal with the penalty kick.

    It was the end of the game. Ansseba –3 and Estella — 2. Ansseba won the match. All of Ansseba fans are ecstatic with joy, jumping up and down. They have all descended into the field. They couldn’t contain their jubilation. Almost all of Ansseba players are carried up by the fans. They couldn’t even wait for their teams coach and captain to get the championship cup.

    Finally, singing, shouting and carrying most of the players, the fans walked to their team’s club site which was Beit Shahi Ibrahim [በይት ሻሂ ኢብራሂም] and the celebration continued.

    Past 6:30 PM, Asmara radio finished its news broadcast and it was time for sports news. Tsehaye Tewelde [ጸሃየ ተወልደ] announced that Ansseba won the championship game in Keren by the score of THREE to two. He was basing the news based on the report he got from Radio Asmara’s Amateur reporter, Abdelqadir Abdella Hadege or as he said it: [ኣማትዩር ረፖርተርና ዓብደልቃድር ዓብደላ ሓደገ].

    /// The End ///

  • said

    Horizon and alike
    As you know Jesus was an extraordinary advocate for peace, justice and love . despite the spread of Jesus’s teachings, Honestly I which you said the same thing that happened to innocent Eritrean lives and the disposability of human beings based on truth and justice. I want to see Ethiopia united in peace
    Ethiopia fought for their idealized version of honor and glory for century and we never heard from Ethiopia that the war was illegal and colonization was wrong and needed to end immediately no matter how detailed and horrifying, even sickening it was . in Eritrea Ethiopia regime and their Politicians supporting the war and society accepted that the young men from poor class they send into Eritrea to kill and destroy and committed war crimes. the politically unacceptable has become the political norm, today Talk of a ethnic and sectarian politics that is emerging in Ethiopia and in the rise of all sort of movements across . The “Oromo Liberation Front (OLF)” ethnic-based movements fought for recognition of the Oromo people in Ethiopia and they have become increasingly political and demanding more rights within Ethiopia, the country in transition to democracy and its federal constitution allowed for more autonomy among its regional peoples. TPLF have benefited enormously from considerable autonomy with their own powerful regional
    Province and in many regards, has emboldened and exacerbated “ethnic nationalisms” and political movements are unlikely to go away any time soon. Ethiopian ethno-nationalist movements will remain political movements, always yearning for something more.
    Ethiopia is easily and often criticized as a naive exaggeration or a misguided historical analogy. In the age of PM AA, such objections feel like reckless efforts to deny the growing relevance of the term and the danger posed by a Ethiopia society and for same time staring into the abyss of a menacing and ruled authoritarianism for all long time. In fact, the case can be made that rather than harbor an element of truth, such criticism further normalizes the very ethnic it critiques, allowing the extraordinary and implausible, if not unthinkable, to become ordinary Ethiopian citizen . Under such circumstances, Ethiopian history have a lot of graveness by many ethnic group to start with ,which never being addressed ,is not simply being ignored or distorted, it is being erased. Almost every ethnic group have being mobilizing passions of ethnic fascism have been unleashed unlike anything we have seen
    In long time , some for political reason have being propagate social divisions, tear apart social harmony and bonds, destroy little reaming social contract, many ethnic group for historical reason are against Amhara supremacy and same are against supremacy of TPLF. In doing so, they have not only tapped into the growing collective suffering and anxieties of millions of people in order to redirect their anger and despair into a language that operates in the service of violence, they have also turned critical ideas to ashes by disseminating a toxic mix of ethnic fascism, civic ignorance, and propagation of a culture of lies and the elevation of emotion over reason and logic The entrepreneurs of hate are with us once again producing dystopian fantasies out of the decaying Ethiopian communities and landscapes created by tens of years of a feral feudalism lord of kings and commonest militarized Derge and replaced supremacy of TPLF with corrupt capitalism that benefited few ,rampant cronyism, a disdain for dissent and intellectuals .All this group the have one thing in common and unprecedented convergence includes. a complete hate of justice, equality and disdain for human rights. and the rule of law Absent of democracy and Ethiopian state used and endorsement of violence against their political enemies.

    All this group of a different variation and version produce were of same Wolof cloth , they propagated ,shaped , and sustain their ethnic and political ideas, they desired , and social relations that contribute to the disintegration of what ever existed social bonds and promote a form of social Darwinism in which the large fish eat the small fish ,it is misfortune , and is seen as a weakness and the Hobbesian rule of a war of all against all others ’
    replaces any vestige of shared responsibility and compassion for others who are different ethnic . The central power of Addis Ababa as we have seen it plate prejudice and hate, ethnos centric filled eco chamber in the cultural and political sphere cannot be underestimated in terms of the venomous poison it produces and the minds it colonized of other ethnic group for century . Ethiopian live at a time in which every group is for themselves and Ethiopia state should avoid violence and a culture of cruelty ,that being used for long time and it is not badge of honor, should not become normalized, and echo a past that appears to unleash new horrors adapted for the current historical moment. PM AA should be very carful in unchecked militarism ,In this historical monument and ascendant age of unapologetic brutality that is emerging , learning to love peace and justice and be human becomes more is more difficult in Ethiopian context , especially when many ethnic feel they being victimized historically and a others were considered disposable in past and all social problems are clearly individualized and actions are divorced from realty and moral consequences.
    In Ethiopia harmony will not come easy ,sadly ignorance becomes the breeding ground not just for hate, but for a culture that represses of century of historical memory, Ethiopian should make effort and understanding of the importance of shared values, and to make tolerance a non-negotiable element of civic rights and dialogue. What Ethiopian are witnessing is a shrinking of the political space and moral and objective horizons, Ethiopian should deal with Justice for , thoughtful reasoning and collective resistance for injustice . Ethiopian should be on guard and to never reallow or re-emerge again after the horrors and death inflicted on millions by previous kings and dictators.

  • Selam All,

    Jawar Mohammed has more or less carried out a sort of coup d’etat in ethiopia by crying wolf. It is not difficult to spot a pattern. jawar, a mob boss who wants to ascend power through mob violence, is responsible for the death of about 70 innocent ethiopians.

    As an insult to injury, jawar says that he will participate in the coming elections. The aim is to get immunity from legal persecution, much more that he would win in the elections with the help of his supporters alone. He cannot stand for election with the blood of about 70 innocent ethiopians on his hands. On the contrary, he should stand before a court of law for the death of innocent people who died at the hands of his mafia force after his false call for help. He instigated violence through social media, and that is a crime.

    Sitting at the center of addis, he ordered the querro, which he controls and can dispatch at will (he had said in the past that he is the other government), to kill, burn and destroy is terrorizing ethiopians. He should face the law, and should even be evicted from ethiopia, as the citizen of the usa, let alone stand for elections. He may as well cause a genocide in ethiopia, if he has his way. He is the most dangerous person for ethiopia. His personal ambition of becoming the emperor of oromia, has made him the mercenary of tplf and egypt, and the enemy #1 of the country.

    A naive, power addicted and confused personality, has become above the law, and even the law of the land. One has to remember when he said ‘we will chop off their neck (of christians), holding a machete in his hand, because muslims are the majority in the region. Hence, christians are killed, and religious sites vandalized. He is responsible for the situation in ethiopia today, especially in oromia. I hope he will face the law for the role he played as an instigator of mass violence and mass killing.

    Jawar exploited the mob (herd/gang) mentality that is so endemic among the less educated, but unfortunately politicized young, and on their backs he wants to ascend to power. He congratulated his mob for a job well done and for sending a strong message, and he showed no remorse for the dead and the victims. His crime is big.

    If jawar thinks that he can replace the amount of blood of innocent ethiopians his mob shed, by donating a unit of blood and taking a picture of himself to hoodwink the masses, he must be kidding himself and not anybody else. The crime he committed against ethiopians will stay as a black spot in ethiopian history. The blood of about 70 (and still counting) innocent ethiopians is on his hands. I hope the law will help the souls of the victims, those killed because of their ethnicity and religion, to rest in peace, and the tears of their relative to dry.

    • Haile S.

      Selam Horizon,
      Ethiopia is victim of its ethnic federalism that has been designed to cement the quasi independence of some states and guarantee their control over the others for a long haul. What Ethiopia is experiencing now is the result of the unleashing of this snare that has been deployed since almost 30 years and especially locked since the war with Eritrea for the so called reversal of aggression and its continued containment. Ethiopian ethnic federalism was not well anchored and maintained for the right reasons. If it is to be maintained, it needs a new beggining with a frank talk. If to be abolished, Ethiopians need to see their common ground and reflect on what brings them together rather than their division and who controlled what a century or so ago. The country cannot have Lords on one side and toiler citizen on the other. ዘመነ መሳፍንት መብቃት ኣለበት።

      • Selam Haile S.

        The irony is that those who had been complaining all along that they had been barred from power in ethiopia are now at the helm of power, yet, they do not know how to handle it. Nothing satisfies them, and it seems that what they want is that ethiopia should not exist. To them, power is a zero sum game.

        I hope that african politicians and others as well, will draw their conclusion that ethnic federalism is the worst system of government that should not be prescribed for any country. It is a poison that was meant to kill ethiopia.

        In addition, one is forced to conclude that democracy seems to be a dangerous weapon when given freely to a backward country that is preyed upon by sinister elites like jawar, bekele g. and others. What matters to them is if they can ascend power with the blood of innocent citizens, and they care less to see that people are emancipated and prosperous.

        Unfortunately, ethiopia has strong enemies, internal and external, who want to see her on fire. As much as her internal enemies are concerned, their myopic vision for ethiopias future is mind boggling. Tplf can never be able to rule ethiopia again. That is out of the question. Independent oromia will be followed by wars with adjacent regions big and small, because there is no international borders. Oromo ultra nationalists will try to incorporate all the smaller ethnic groups around oromia, and they will be in conflict with everybody. It will be opening a pandora’s box, that will destabilize the whole region, and not only ethiopia. Jawar, if he cannot be the leader of oromia, he will flee back to the usa, leaving behind ethiopia on fire.

        I think that whether ethiopia will be able to cross the rubicon towards normalcy and stability or not, we will see soon, in my opinion. One can’t be a saint in this situation, and i am afraid that pm Abiy will regret that he was ever awarded the NPP, when he is the leader of a country where he is forced to tame savagery, or otherwise lose the country all together.

        • Kaleb

          Hi Horizon,
          The main culprit in Ethiopia politics is “Lie” and “False narrative about Ethiopia”, there is so much lie in Ethiopia and Ethiopia history. I think the Amhara elites has to change their false narrative about Ethiopia. The so called “great Ethiopia” has never been great in its history (160 years), however Amhara elites are narrating as if Ethiopia existed for 3000 years, they claim the last 30 years EPRDF ruined that “great Ethiopia”, honestly that narrative is BS and white lie. Menelik was a killer, Haile Silasie was a traitor (left his people and country for 5 years), deceiver (Eritrea case) and a killer, Mengistu was a butcher, so how was Ethiopia great in those years? If we are honest the Oromos are not happy about the past, thus you can’t reconcile with Oromo elites unless the Amhara elites come to their sense. If the Amhara elites are genuine to reconcile with Oromo elites they have to be honest and decisive, they should tell the truth as is. Ethiopia has never been great from its inception (1855). The last 30 years has never been great either, however it wasn’t as bad as the last 150 years by an measure.

          Axumite history has nothing to do with Oromo, southern people, most of Amhara, Somali, etc. “Zagwe Dynasty” has nothing to do with Oromo, southern people, most of Amhara, Somali etc. Thus, Amhara elites should start to tell their people the truth. Ethiopia greatness could be in the future however it has never been in its past. If we are honest about Ethiopian history, the inception of Ethiopia was by Tewodros, then Yohannes IV took it a little bit, and then Menelik solidified it. Thus Ethiopia is less than 160 years old. You can’t bring someone’s history and give it to Ethiopia as if Ethiopia was existed for 3000 years, it’s just a lie. So, my point is the very reason why Ethnic clashes you see today is the product of that “great Ethiopia”, the Oromo elites are not happy about that “great Ethiopia”. As an outsider I can see that clearly. Menelik is considered as a great leader by Amhara elites (I am sure you will jump to talk about battle of Adwa), however the rest of Ethiopians see him the reverse. Haile Silasie is seen as a great leader by Amhara elites but he was a traitor, deceiver and killer his own people (ordered help from British Royal Air Force to bomb Mekelle, Raya and Gojam). So when was that “great Ethiopia” great??

          Ethiopia has to reconcile with its history first and then political elites can reconcile with each other. Some Ethiopians can sing about that “great Ethiopia” all day long but you can’t move an inch to reconcile with your past. Even though I do agree Ethnic federalism is contributing to the ethnic clashes we see today however the root cause of that hate is because of Amhara elites narration about “great Ethiopia”. They have to admit mistakes was done and Ethiopia wasn’t great in those years. Upton Sinclair once said “Never argue with a man whose job depends on not being convinced”, the Amhara elites will never admit about the false history of Ethiopia, the main reason for that is because all their politics revolves around that illusioned “great Ethiopia”. This is the very reason why Ethiopian politicians will never reconcile and lead the country to peace and prosperity. Because of their deceiving history they don’t trust each other.

          It appears ODP doesn’t seem to trust ADP, this is because of the Amhara elites history. Amhara elites should come clean and start telling the truth, that will help to reconcile with Oromo elites. You can’t develop trust unless you admit your past mistakes. Note that the Amhara elites still controls the soft power (media, art and music) and Ethiopia Orthodox church, thus they are using those to mobilize people but the Oromo elites see that danger, thus ODP couldn’t able to trust Dr. Abiy and ADP, they couldn’t trust EPRDF’s merging into one party. Merging EPRDF into one party at this moment will be against Oromo interest. Deception has to stop first, Ethiopian history has to be corrected first.

  • Yohannes Zerai


    Sorry, I came in late.

    I thank you for yet another great input with a potential for stimulating a lively debate/discussion among forumers. This is a timely piece on an important subject that is bound to gain prominence as we pursue our vision of a constitutional, democratic order in Eritrea and embark on the task of laying down the political, social and legal frameworks for its realization. For me, it is a particularly pleasurable experience to be reading an article that expounds your thoughts on an issue that I know is close to your heart and one which I have seen you write and comment about passionately since I was first initiated into Awate Forum a few years ago.

    Needless to say, Eritrea’s history of the last 100 years or so has been dominated by a variety of major, society-wide problems that (a) befell us as ‘accidents of history’ or (b) resulted from socio-political machinations of internal and external enemies — the latter often resorting to naked military aggression. One may surmise that throughout this history, and superposed on those major national problems, there must inevitably have existed socio-political and economic inequalities among the various ethno-cultural groups of our society.

    Obviously, and quite understandably, early Eritrean efforts — and the energy and resources, both human and material, that sustained them — had focused exclusively on the overarching problems of colonialism and the struggle for national independence. But even in the post-independence era, there has been no let-up in the struggle although, this time around, its targets are the oppression, subjugation and poverty that the country’s tyrannical system has imposed on the population. This long history of almost-uninterrupted popular struggle has, therefore, had the unintended consequence of masking or obscuring the social, political and economic inequities among social groups in our society. So much so that many Eritreans have been lulled into a false ‘sense of satisfaction’ by the casual belief that marginalization of social groups is not prevalent — and according to some, not even existent — in Eritrea!

    Herein lies the value and importance of your article. The ideas it has presented would help raise consciousness about the issue among citizens who have either been unaware of it or have underestimated its potential negative impact on Eritrea’s unity and progress. The article is also expected to advance the idea that inequity among Eritrean social groups and marginalization of some is a reality that citizens must confront head on. After all, it is not difficult to see that the democracy, justice and the rule of law that we wish to see in future Eritrea cannot be realized without ensuring equality among the country’s social groups and addressing their legitimate grievances.

    Personally, I value your article both for the information/ideas it provides and the motivation it inspires — benefits that I will take advantage of in my effort to further educate myself on the subject, and for which I thank you once again.

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Dear Yohannes,

      Let me start by stating the fact that, I have benefited more from your writings than you do from mine. I sincerely do. Your writings are broader than mine and are strategic in nature that touches geopolitics and their effect on our nation. My writings are usually focused on one issue – Grievances and Governance.

      What I like in this comment of yours is, you add some historical prospect to my argument – as you put it: “the long uninterrupted popular struggle had unintended consequence of masking the social, political, economic inequities.” It is this truth you mentioned that most highlanders don’t want to accept it. I abhor the notion that says, we are all “equally oppressed.” Yes we are all oppressed, but the regime does not oppress by the same political instrument to all our components. The regime uses different technics to induce pain on our social groups to sustain his power and hence the nature of grievances varies accordingly. Thank for your input.


      • Mez

        Dear Amanuel H,

        1) your statement “…I abhor the notion that says, we are equally oppressed “… is very powerful and profound.

        2) what would be the benchmark criteria for the politicians in the upper and lower chamber you mentioned (to be there and operate as they probably should)?

        3) one has to admit, this topic is one of the least known subject matter. With all its constantly mutating, evolving, and perpetually fuzzy nature–both in content and context–your paper brought me more unknowns than conceivable answers to contemplate about the future free and fair political competition.


        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Selam Mez,

          (1) there is no such equal oppression as such, even though all our social groups are oppressed by the current regime. For instance, the grievances of the Afar people is not the same grievance of the Tigrigna speaking social group….and so on.

          (2) There is no benchmark for “direct” and “representative” democracy for candidates to compete. The upper chamber will be elected from the social groups and the lower chamber will be elected from the electoral districts of the administrative units.

          (3) since you are working in the higher institution, you should be aware about the subject more than those of us who are working in other institutions. Then I am glad that I gave to start to at the subject, for it is so important to the coexistence of our social groups.

          • Mez

            Dear Amanuel H,

            1) Since I first red your article, I was trying to reframe it as a research concept paper (very routine).
            1.1) after putting the topic “group rights in eritrean sociopolitical context” I had hard time to compile the postulates–from the perspective of “justice and equality seeker political movements”.

            2) if you are saying the political response in Eritrea shall be social group adherent, then I believe we have a fundamental initial and boundary assumptions difference. Hard to reconcile.
            2.1) I think universal human rights and other basic values shall build the basis for our discussions of the contemporary eritrean political dynamics.
            2.2) The group (grievances) political issues you raised are subsets (or sub-sub-sets) of the basic individual human rights. It just didn’t add-up..


          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Mez,

            (1) Because you are unable to postulate it, doesn’t mean others don’t.

            (2) Since the administrative units will not be structured on ethnic basis, you don’t need boundary assumptions. Hard to concile for you, but not for others.

            (3) You concern could only be “ universal human rights” but their concern is both “human rights” and “equity.”

            (4) For you the issue of equity is a sub-sub-sets to the issue of universal human rights. For the marginalized groups they are interdependent and interrelated issues that must be dealt together.

            (4) In fact minimizing their issue and throwing it to the back burner will make them look other factor for alliances that might be detrimental to liberal thoughts but also to our unity,


          • Mez

            Dear Amanuel H,

            1) I am thinking your reasonings are perfect to strengthen vibrant “civil rights ” organizations across the country. Further, working for specialized impartial advocacy groups for any social group (or groups) is also fitting here.
            2) however, if we want to apply your concept in political context, then it will most likely lead to the way of thinking of “entitlement”.
            2.1) I just want to say entitlement based political dynamics will ultimately lead to stagnation, cycle of deadlock, and tyranny at every turn-and-corner of the nation.


          • Amanuel Hidrat


            Let me ask you this questions, if it could help me to understand your thoughts better: Does fairness has both civil and political values? If so how would think applicable in our politics without understanding the aggrieved part of our society? Is there justice without fairness? Is fairness in itself entitlement? Will asking for fairness be the ground for continuation of tyranny? If so can’t we fight against the perception of tyranny of the majority? Could approach them conceptionally and pragmatically.


          • Mez

            Good Day Amanuel H,

            1) Generally political parties and all contenders–to access and excercise political power–shall have a well defined national (and also possibly geographically confined local) agenda, thereby addressing all relevant political issues (national, and at times localized regional oness).
            1.1) it is upto each political movement how it wants to address (national, or regional problems including under representation) so that it can attract support and win trust across the nation.
            1.2) for sure there can be regional or localized regional themes framed political movements, their scope will determine the size of their potential electorate size.
            2) all the question of fairness, equality, and application of rule of law are very fundamental for any–will be–political movement, and as such shall address them in its internal basic bylaws, political manifesto, action plan….
            2.1) And for sure every political movementy have to adher to the national consensus, and universal human right values, whcih will form the foundation for every political action to start with.
            2.1) those political movements with a convincing outline, would garner the support of people irrespective of culture, or ethnicity.

            3) “tyranny of the majority” is a stand alone subject by itself.


          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Mez,

            On your point (2): political parties campaign on how to hold power. If the issue of “fairness” does not help them in coming to power, hell they will not campaign for it. The issue of fairness must be addressed constitutionally. It can not be addressed locally as far as they are minorities in the local or administrational units.

            Second, if we agree on having two chambers, your argument might work on the second chamber (in the proportional representing chamber). Otherwise, if your opinion is for “unicameral chamber”, which your argument indirectly indicates, then throwing their grievances to local government does not do the job of fairness.

            I think we have different opinion on how to address fairness. While you are advocating to be addressed by the competing parties, I want it to be addressed constitutionally. The right of minorities should be guaranteed by a constitution.


          • Mez

            Dear Amanuel H,
            1) I still think Fairnrss for social groups is best served by non governmental advocacy groups and grass-root civil movements; they can be as specific and detail as the question at hand needs attention and focus.
            1.1) I admit for this to happen there has to be a political change and openness in the country in the first place.

            2) at a close observation, one has to define what social group meant to be: (probably ethnicity with region and all cultural aspects? including religion and language).

            2.1) if that is the case, why are we unique from the rest of the world, and introduce a parallel political 12-dom to to our political routine? (I think Somaliland has such an un-elected elders chamber in their political structure).

            3) since a while now, the government in Asmara is banking more on north-south divide than the famously known highland-lowland one.

            3.1) if this is the case, we would totally miss the current center of attention and friction–in fight againest pfdj political askaries and junkies.


          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Mez,

            On your point (2): why are we debating back and forth without understanding what “social group” entails? I made it clear to my readers that I prefer to call the ethnics by socio-cultural and socio-political description which is “social groups” to avoid the bad connotation that goes with it in the Eritrean politics that often used to insult them as Ethnicist. Who are social groups and who are the aggrieved social groups by now is crystal clear in our debate. Ethnic-social-groups are already defined even with in the Eritrean political standard. But keep in mind that those who call them ethnicist are ethnicist in themselves to protect their “dominant interest” by marginalizing them.

            On your point (2.1): No surprise that every society is unique and specific characteristics. Let me give you an example: the US constitution is unique for a unique nation that their constitution gives equal senate seats to the states irrespective their size of population to keep the Federal states intact. Is this common in the world? I don’t think so. It was the demand of the “small states” during their transformation from “confederated states” to a “Federal states.” They did it to avoid tyranny of the majority. Look also the Federal system of Switzerland the cantons with three national language is unique Federal type of government. So every nation should address the grievances of its Socio-cultural make up uniquely to keep their coexistence.

            Dear Mez, rather than looking a solution of other countries to fit our realities, why don’t we try our own solution that address our problems. I believe we are capable to find our own solution to our own problem.

          • Mez

            Dear Amanuel H,
            I think more or less our ideas are converging.


          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Mez,

            Just to enhance my argument, I will leave you with this link – a paper prepared by a Canadian scholar from Ottawa University, about our Afar social groups. It was in 2018 when our despot and Abiy came in to the so called peace agreement. Of course all the signs shows that it will slowly fall apart. It is a good reading for the weekend. To read all the paper download to open the PDF at the end of the excerpt.


            Thank you for engaging,

      • Yohannes Zerai

        Selam Amanuel,

        Thank you for your rejoinder to my earlier comment.

        1. The modesty reflected in the introductory remarks of your rejoinder is noteworthy and I commend and thank you for it. In truth and for most of us, the Awate-Forum experience is an educational process where we learn from each other and come out better informed on issues that matter to all (or most) of us.

        2. I believe the so-called “we are all equally oppressed” notion is one that is kept alive by some people (often with no malicious intentions) who try to fend off a real or imagined, potentially negative public perception that is perhaps unfavorable to them and/or makes them feel uncomfortable. Specifically, it seems there are people who are fearful that, without such a claim of “uniform oppression”, one or more social groups (including their own) may be viewed as being favored by the regime — or at least as being less oppressed than the rest.

        In a broad and casual consideration of Eritrea’s tyrannical rule, one might generalize and remark that the oppressive regime has “uniformly” thrown the entire population into poverty and has caused them untold pain and suffering. But in a serious analysis that seeks to: (i) understand the type and extent of oppression experienced, (ii) develop a strategy for tackling it and (iii) find ways of liberating the population from its destructive consequences, one must go beyond generalities.

        If these tasks [i.e., (i) through(iii) above] are to be undertaken properly, one must be willing to delve into the details and nuances of the prevailing regime-induced social, political and economic injustices as well as the vulnerabilities of various social groups and their abilities to withstand these injustices. Such a practical approach to the problem would certainly reveal inevitable qualitative and quantitative differences in the oppression experienced by different social groups in the country. Many concrete examples of episodes in recent Eritrean history can be cited in reference to specific ethno-cultural groups, specific government policies/actions, specific time periods, etc. which have had contrasting impacts on different social groups in terms of the scale/magnitude/extent of hardship, pain and suffering they sustained.

        Thank you

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Dear Yohannes,

          Indeed the “qualitative and quantitative nature of the oppression” will definitely disprove to an argument which says we are “equally oppressed that often we hear from our fellow citizens. This statement in your rejoinder gives a clarion to the issue at hand.

          Thank you

  • ‘Gheteb

    The Three Whistleblowers (እቶም ሰለስተ ነፋሕቲ ፊስካ): A Play (ተዋስኦ)


    ACT (II) —- ካልኣይ ገቢር

    Setting (መቃን) — Keren, Eritrea , in the early to mid seventies.

    Characters (ገጸ ባህርያት) : The characters of this play come in threes,

    The THREE Umpires (ዳኛ or ኣልቢትሮ) — 1. Admassu (አድማሱ) 2. Abdulkerim (ዓብዱልከሪም) 3. Assmerom RedAe (ኣስመሮም ረዳእ)

    The THREE Coaches (ኣሰልጠንቲ) — 1. Wedi-Ahmed (ወዲ ኣሕመድ) For Team Ansseba (ጋንታ ዓንሰባ) 2. Zerezghi (ዘርእዝጊ) For Team Estella (ጋንታ አስተላ) 3. Abdu M Nur (ዓብዱ መ/ኑር) For Team Al-Hillal (ጋንታ ኣልሂላል)

    The THREE super- fans (ልዕለ-ደገፍቲ or ቲፎዞ) — 1. Wedi-Jabera (ወዲ ጃበራ) 2. Mantuy (ማንቱይ) 3. Amm ShemEun (ዓም ሸምዑን)

    The THREE Spectators (ተዓዘብቲ) — 1. Wed-Alf (ወድ ኣልፍ) 2. Wedi-G’de (ወዲ ግደ) 3. Wed- Gileway (ወድ ግለዋይ)

    Scene (ምርኢት) — Keren’s Soccer Field and Vicinities (ጃኮ ከረንን ከባቢን)

    ( It was not even five AM in the morning and Wedi-Ahmed (ወዲ ኣሕመድ) was wide awake. On that Tuesday morning, Keren’s final and championship match between Team Ansseba and Estella is only five days away. Wedi-Ahmed was in a rush to get ready and get to Keren’s soccer field for his team’s practice. Before leaving his house and walking to the field from his house in Keren’s Hashella, he triple checked to make sure that he has all the THREE whistles in his pocket. While walking briskly, he was going over all the drills that his team will practice that morning. To his utter amazement, when he arrived at the soccer field, his players and some spectators were already there.)

    Wedi-Ahmed: Blowing his whistle hard and uninterrupted, he got the attention of all his players. Soon, he was surrounded by all the players and he delivered his famous talk and gave all the instructions as how the practice will proceed.

    (Most of the players were having a great practice. From offense, led by Aregay, Abdulahi Shekhas, Khalifa Saleh along with Wedi-Abdelmoula, Assefaw and Hamid Jemjam, they were installing their teams offensive schemes to a fault. The defense led by their goalie, Osman Shekhas, Wed-Adem, Wed-Ferej and Wed-Habash were mounting a ferocious and stifling defense against the persistent and combined attacks of Aregay and Wedi-Abdelmoula, After a ninety minute practice, all were gathering their gears and getting ready to go home.)

    Wedi-Ahmed: Not believing what he was seeing, he run into Amm ShemEun (ዓም ሸምዑን). Stunned and trying to catch his breath, he asked him what in God’s green Earth are you doing this early watching our practice. Have you mistaken us for your team. Last time I checked, you were still Team Al-Hillal’s super-fan.You are not jumping fence and changing your team here?

    Amm ShemEun (ዓም ሸምዑን): That I will switch sides will never happen even in a million years. That I am a rock-ribbed Al-Hillal fan is literally known to all Kerenites. The thing that I find very confounding is that you are not aware I NEVER miss any soccer plays, be it a practice, an actual match or even those of the junior soccer teams.

    Wedi-Ahmed: (Staring in Amm ShemEun in utter incredulity) — You mean to tell me that you love soccer more than your goldsmith work.

    Amm ShemEun: You can bet your life and your bottom dollar on that.

    (Enda Wedi-Qeshi Tea Shop (ቤት-ሻሂ አንዳ ወዲ ቀሺ) was buzzing and humming with patrons or customers going in and out of the tea shop; It was Wednesday past four PM. All of Team Estella players were present as this tea shop is site of their club and here it was that they conduct all their team’s meetings.)

    Zerezghi (ዘርእዝጊ): As the team’s coach delivered a lengthy speech about the next match and the Friday morning team practice, he yielded the floor to the team’s captain, Woldegabir Misghna (ተስፋጋብር ምስግና), who went over some other technical details.

    Wedi-Jabera (ወዲ ጃበራ): Sipping from his cup of tea and taking a good bite from the bread at his hand and with a mouthful, asked: will there be a team’s meeting this coming Saturday. Getting a reply in the affirmative, he departed the venue of the meeting and so did the rest and the meeting ended. All went their their way.

    ( Abdulaziz Anwar [ዓብዱልዓዚዝ አንዋር], Tesfalem Gebremeskel [ተስፋኣለም ገብረመስቀል], Haji Abdella [ሓጂ ዓብደላ] and Tesfagabir Misgna [ተስፋጋብር ምስግና], the four Team Estella players, were heading towards their homes located in both Geza Wereket and Hashella (ገዛ ወረቀት and ሓሸላ). They were sauntering as they munched roasted peanuts (መረሮ) that they bought from Hajiya Mererro [ሓጅያ መረሮ]. En route to their home and before they reached Bumba Abrayet [ቡምባ ኣብራየት], they could hear the loud chat or prattle. After a knowing look, they all said that the provenance of the chatter is WuEiti [ውዕይቲ].)

    ( The proverbial and favorite hangout site for Geza Wereket’s teenagers, WuEiti [ውዕይቲ], got its famous name because it was toasty and comfortably warm to sit on. After soaking all of Keren’s morning sunshine, it gets comfortably warm in the late afternoon. It is located at the front entrances pavement [ማርሻ በዲ] with four steps leading to its top cemented part. It is part of the huge house or estate of enda aboy Biseyri [አንዳ ኣቦይ ብሰይሪ], one of Keren’s well-to-do and wealthy families and Ansseba’s player Khalifa Saleh’s grandparents. Even the pavement of the next house, which also owned by the same family, is also frequented as a hangout place by Kerenites of all ages in the late afternoon.)

    Teenagers continued with their chatting, bickering, prattling, arguing and even betting and wagering about their favorite teams. Some were Ansseba’s fans while others were rooting for Team Estella. As the four players of Team Estella arrived at WuEiti [ውዕይቲ], the teenagers stopped their chitchat or bull session and directed their attention to the four players, whereupon they started a rapid fire questions and answers directed at the player. Some of the players nodded; others smiled; Tesfalem Wedi-Gebremeskel didn’t evince any emotion and simply kept walking. All were heading to Dukan Tsehaye[ዱካን ጸሃየ] –Tsehaye’s shop — as their next stop.

    Tesfagabir Misgna [ተስፋጋብር ምስግና]: Before he even entered Dukan Tsehaye and greeted the shop owner, he stopped at the entrance of the shop to talk to Dukan Tsehaye’s permanent fixture known to others by his nickname Tegile AlEida [ተጊለ ኣልዕዳ]. He asked him how he was doing to which Tegile AlEida [ተጊለ ኣልዕዳ] responded lethargically and indolently without even raising his head and without looking at his interlocutor, by just saying one word– fine. Wedi-Misgna tried his utmost to engage Tegile AlEida, but to no avail. The man is utterly bereft of even a smidgen of energy that he is incapable of even holding a simple conversation. Sitting with his back on the wall, he doesn’t seem to keep even his eyes open.

    ( Tesfalem Gebremeskel went straight to the shop and started a conversation with Tsehaye, the shop’s owner. Haji Abdella went to the other end of the pavement to join his friend Haze Wedi-Misgna [ሓዘ ወዲ ምስግና];

    Abdulaziz Anwar [ዓብዱልዓዚዝ አንዋር]: As he headed to his home in Hashella, he saw Tesfucha [ተስፉቻ] sitting alone. After exchanging a brief greetings, he asked tesfucha how things were going at his work. To which he responded by saying that his boss, Berhane Chegora [ብርሃነ ጨጎራ], kept increasing his work load and that he is always busy. All of a sudden, he started talking about other unrelated stuff and Abdulaziz realized it was time to split and he bid Tesfucha a farewell and headed home.

    (Geza Wereket’s teenagers were still engaged in their conversations and arguments concerning their favorite team still huddled at WuEiti [ውዕይቲ]. Unawares and to their utter amazement, someone was standing in front of them.)

    Aregay [ኣረጋይ]: Standing in front of the teenagers, he greeted them first, kept smiling and then pretended answering their questions with a chock-full of jests and teases. In their eyes, Aregay, was the ever humble, gregarious and a real simpatico, to boot. He was a beloved Team Ansseba’s player so much so that one of the kids, the son of Mohammed Hagos was nicknamed Aregay. If anyone addressed him using that nickname, that meant that you made his day.

    (Assmerom RedAe [ኣስመሮም ረዳእ],one of Keren’s THREE Whistleblowers, though he has officiated many soccer games, he is the rookie or the least senior among the three umpires. After finishing his day’s work in Keren’s municipality, he stopped by many stores to socialize with friends and exchange news. Finally, around six-thirty PM, he started walking home along with some of his friends. He was carrying in his hands something that one unfailingly notices — BOOKS. Assmerom was one of Keren’s bibliophiles [ፈታው መጽሓፍ].

    (Assmerom RedAe [ኣስመሮም ረዳእ],: Even as he tried to resist and ignore the persistent calls and entreaty of Gezawereket’s teenagers, he finally turned back and stood in front of them. They wanted to know who will officiate, be the umpire, for next Sunday’s Keren’s Superbowl, between Teams Ansseba and Estella. He would not tell them as he didn’t know which of the three whistleblowers will be the umpire. Though he knew as the least senior one that he will be one of the line’s man or line’s referee [ሰኛሊኖ], he wouldn’t reveal and wouldn’t let on. He said good night and went home.

    • Selamat Gheteb,

      “…he wouldn’t reveal and wouldn’t let on. He said good night and went home.”

      Doesn’t quite invite you to have anticipation for ACTIII (sounds like a prequel to ACTII, but ACTII is to III)
      The reasons the ሶኛሊኖ ኣስመሮም ረዳአ is interesting to begin with is that he is one of the three musketeers. Or አቶም ስለስተ ጡሩምባ ዝነፍሑ፡ ነፋሕቲጥሩምባ። Your utilization of the event “Super Bowl” is the built up to the big event. If only, maybe it is not too late, invent or design a soccer field with three goal posts at the ends of the three angles of an equilateral triangle. Then the game or supper bowl would preserve the apparent top three teams most popular in Keren circa 1976. The Goldsmith one of the three fans makes an appearance in ACTII SceneII whereas the dominant two characters of ACTI’s absence focuses more light to Amm ShumEun. “AlHilal for ever!….” that will not change but there is no one more than Amm ShumEun more interested and perhaps more vested in the game itself, be it a practice drill or the real game.
      But then again, the whistle blower that raises the flag from outside the FairPlay edges you tell is the least senior whistleblower. Out of three if two will be raising flag from either side of the field, then ሶኛሊኖ ኣስመሮም ረዳአ will be dispensing the same duty as the side judge “whistle blower” from the opposite field. Painting the medium in which whistle blowers blow their whistle according to their rank or seniority. But the way coach Ahmed first secured his three whistles and belched a whistle as soon as he entered Keren’s soccer field…. well… nicely done – focus on the whistle blower, he who is least senior of the whistle blowers remains as the audience’s without having a chance to gaze at a whistleblower his fast exit leaves them with the anticipation of his opening the next ACTIII with a whistle in hand projecting what his allocated number of whistles he will be instructed to remain within bound – well thats easy. It is the number of times the soccer ball gets out of bound including corners plus the fouls he sees ahead of the other two whistle blowers. Not so least senior whistle blower after all.
      It is like dividing Three by zero:



  • Kokhob Selam

    Dear Aman,

    As usual it was very educational …..I read it several times and went back to you past articles…I found it to be very informative,,,

    I think we are all arrested with old our own ideas as you you said it “Myself, as a writer, I am a prisoner of my own earlier writings.” and yes ..” Myself, as a writer, I am a prisoner of my own earlier writings.”

    What a writer ? you must have more to say I am sure…

    our Engineer has said it,,,

    “ኣማኑኤል ኴንካና ኣርኣያ
    መዋእልካ ክትቃለስ ብዘይ መሃያ
    ደሓን ሓንቲ መዓልቲ ‘ላ
    ናይ ኦስሎ መዳልያ!
    ከም መወሰኽታ ወርቃዊት ማልያ
    ኣብ ቅድሚ ኣሽሓት-ሰባት ክትወድያ
    ክትጽዋዕ ናይ ኣይታት ኣያ!
    ናይ ኣይታት ኣያ!”

    Let me end by saying thank you..


    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Selam Mehandsay & Kokhbay,

      We have the same sociopolitical values, except you are messaging those valus in different way. We are in the same fight together. Keep up.


  • መሃንድስ-ምዕባለ

    ጨጉሪ ርእስን ህግደፍን ብምንታይ ይራኸቡ?

  • Selamat Ayya Amanuel Hidrat,

    From the Akhudir at AliGdrr jemirre iti Eilal.. ilAl continues with bun finjal final report.

    The letter or the cue that was scent to you, with all due respect to you, is the basis for this allegation and a citizens arrest because with or without your knowledge you have committed and are under a citizens arrest charged with the crime of high treason against the state of Eritrea and the people of Eritrea. And the second charge of dereliction of duties entrusted for your failure to address the high priority and in dire necessities. My identity and the administration of my identity is not of the utmost importance to myself on the verge to be squandered and neglected and as a result the I in the Identity to disappear.

    Here is my question: Is it the I or the DENT or T that disappears or the Y and y?

    Way Way wAY WY wy WA WA Wa wA wa WA WA


    ጃይጻጸ ጃያ ኣንት GitSAtSE

  • From the ካ ቱ ዘ T

    ላዕልዋይ ጽሑፍ ዘመሓላልፍ ምልኽቲ
    ኣብ ኮ



    • Haile WM

      Hi Sele,

      i am bit puzzled by you, I mean I never understood fully your posts, but I tended to associate it to my slowness and some kind of gap on my faulty knowledge, but this one got me even lost on my puzzlement.
      what was this ? are you writing binary code ? is it a riddle ? is this some association of random letters

      please help me understand

      • Berhe Y

        Hi Haile,

        You are not the only one. For example, he uses 5 lines to say one word “construction”.

        And he is on a spree of handing treason.


      • Nitricc

        Hi Haile; i never thought you are that slow. hahahaha okay i will help you and tell you to the secrets of understanding Tsatse’s post. Here we go, are you ready? 30 minutes before you ready to read his posts, drink as much as whisky shoots as you can. then you shall understand him perfectly. to play a game, needs to be on the same field and to understand his take, you need to be on the same state of mind. Riddle solved. You well come, Haile.

      • Selamat Haile,

        Ask AT or SJG why they altered it. i.e. they edited the original. At least they saw it for themselves.

        whatever happened to freedom of expression?


        • Saleh Johar

          1. You have this ugly habit of accusing the moderators of editing your comment. It’s not trues but a product of your imagination. State wahat was edited otherwise desist from making false allegations. After all, be humble, your comments are not that important for them to go to the length you allege.

          2. Remember this: you have no right here but a privilage. Your freedom of expression is guaranteed here–but shouldn’t be addressing to the power that is denying you that freedom instead of a forum that provides you what the government doesn’t? Stop it.

          3. If AT was willing to sale its freedom, it would have done that to the many bidders, not you. By the way, several times you have stated that you gave “alms” (Tekhibelka) to awate.com. I have a solution for you: please return the book you paid for during the fundraising session, to Beyan. I am sure he can reimburse you for it. But that shows how cheap and how low you are.

          4. I know how to be equally nasty, but please save me. Hold it and be civil. You are pestering me everywhere, including in Negarit videos and save me that sewer discourse.

          5. Please go after Gheteb, as you usually do, and give me a break 🙂

          NB: if I see you are here just to0 disrupt discussion and disrespect me, I might be tempted to use my Veto power–I am not your punching bag, beware. If you are provoking the moderators to kick you out, just leave on your own. There is no need for drama.

          • Selamat Saleh,

            You sure do a lot of sauntering. What does pi have to do with zero? Your above post is the difference of two extremes. An extreme subtracted from another extreme. Intuitively you might think it is the null set, as in an extreme nullifies itself. As does the aforementioned.
            Don’t take my word for it, circa 2:57 mark regarding identities./

            The data;


          • Bayan Nagash

            Selam Kbur Saleh,
            I try to follow you to the extent I could on DISQUS, Saleh. Even that’s not easy to do these days. Hence for this belated reply. I will confine myself to your note above, particularly number 3. Whatever precipitated the conversation I found it very difficult to stay mum. After all, I was the middleman, as it were, who donated the dictionary, hence the money in question being at the center of your your query. Your consideration response is right on target for the money back guarantee you’ve offered to tSAtSE without consulting me.

            My virtual store beats any other stores when it comes to buyers remorse. IKEA I happen to know extends its return policy for a whole year. I will not only match it but will beat it by two fold and I welcome tSAtSE to reach out to me in private, I will gladly return the amount of money he bidder to win that fat Tigrinya dictionary – Something over 1200 pages. I am immediately sensing this nostalgia toward possessing that Tigrinya Dictionary again, especially when I noted the number of pages it contains. I may even be in a state of “sellers remorse”, if you will. So, beyan.negash@gmail.com is the e-mail I can be reached at. Feel free tSAtSE to reach out to me.


          • Haile S.

            Welcome back Beyan to Awate forum. Now we know the pheromones that attract you, we will try to talk more about books:-)

          • Bayan Nagash

            No, you got it wrong, bro Haile. It’s the dough that got me back -:)


          • Haile S.

            Okay. Stay & don’t go anywhere now ዝባን ንጉሥ ኢለካ ኣለኹ!

          • Saleh Johar

            HI Beyan,
            As you can see, many here missed you–don’t disappear again. Remember you are the Auctioneer In General and your service is needed. But you saw how some people think they can dictate AT’s editorial policies by buying a dictionary–that was so painful an insult. Not even the declared PFDJ insulted me that way.

            If the policy was for sale, we would have been the most prosperous people–but honest poverty is better that money for licking feet. Guess how many have offered their big feet to be licked and were unceremoniously slapped!

            Thank you for setting the record straight–don’t you think we deserve an apology?

          • iSem

            Hi Saleh;
            About Beyab/Bayan/Negash/nagash, speak of an angel:-)
            Also MZ and IA signed the blood bath in 1998, AA and IA did not sign the peace agreement.
            Minor but I thought would point it out

          • Bayan Nagash

            Hey iSem,

            Good to see you are still around and kicking. I see I have missed so many articles. It will take time to catch up and be on the same page with everyone here.


          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello Memhir and Everyone,

            Still extremely busy but you and Beyan poked on my wound which was almost healed: the Tigrinya Dictionary Auction!

            As Beyan may recall, I was a close second until my own brother, GitSAtSE, outbid me. So, I am here to advise Beyan The Great to bury his “seller’s remorse” somewhere deeper because I am still grinding my teeth and watching!

            I always cringe when two people I admire pull up sleeves but whatever happened between you and GitSAtSE it can only be miscommunication at best and I am sure it can be corrected. Please, both of you, try!

          • Ismail AA

            Selam Fanti and Beyan,
            Fanti, thank you; wise people speak at the right time. Beyan, you are indeed missed for too long.

          • Haile S.

            Selam Ismail,

            ወዮ ናቱ ንብጾቱ
            Missed! You too!
            Including Fantu
            ምስ ሳንዳይ ኣብርሀቱ
            The others too!
            ጠስሚ፡ ዘይብሉ ኮረሪማ
            ነዛ ባይቶ ዓወተ፡ እኮ ጌርኩማ

          • Bayan Nagash

            Thank you, Ismail AA. You know how the real world takes its prominence over one’s life sometimes where one is forced to make certain painful choices of prioritizing.


          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Fanti,

            Let me join Ismail and others to welcome you back. Your in put and your wisdom was greatly missed.


          • Bayan Nagash

            Dear Fanti,

            I didn’t realize you’re still toeing the auction line, bro. I do remember you were second runner up in the bid. I guess there is no hope for my sellers remorse idea then as you have rightly asserted your right for the item to go to the second bidder in-line. That’s only fair, Fanti. I will suspend my idea of a seller remorse.


          • Bayan Nagash

            Ahlan Saleh,

            I gravitate to where Ato Fanti Ghana was headed with his level headed approach…I am hoping it was a genuine oversight. That the fundraising we do here is, for the most part, for us to have a free medium in which we can express our concerns without Big Brother coming with a stick to scold us. Every quarter of the year National Public Radio (NPR) affiliates spend an entire week on fundraising to keep their news programing the cash flow it needs. People expect them to continue serving the public the way they have been, which is why they are still in the public radio business and going strong. I see awate in that light. I wish you get a fraction of the time and energy you have been expending in return for the service you’ve been providing for almost twenty years now. Alas, we all know you reap no financial incentive from this endeavor.


          • Saleh Johar

            Beyan and Fanti,
            I have no problem with forgetting and forgiving. But someone boastfully tell me Tokhibelka and you think he should go scot-free!!!! It’s Okay, but normally no one tolerates such foolish statements. For your sake, it is history now.

  • መሃንድስ-ምዕባለ


    ንውጹዓት ዝቃለስ ደቂሱ ይሓድር
    ጸገሞም ጸገመይ ክብል የማርር
    ፍትሒ ተዘይረኺቦም ፍትሒ ስኢነ ይብል
    ጸገም ጽቑጣት ከፍኩስ ተጊሁ ይጽዕር
    ዝገርምዩ ሓቦ ናይ በዓል ኣማኑኤል!

    መኽሰቦም መኽሰበይ
    ከይ ረሃዎም ብጾተይ
    ሰላም ኣሎ ኣይብልን ንበይነይ
    ንበይነይ? እንታይ ክዓብሰለይ

    ይርኢ ‘ንዶ ‘ሎ ክሓቁ
    የሕዋቱ ደቁ
    ሃገራዊ ባርነት ይበልዩ ኣብ ክንዲ ዝምረቑ
    ‘ንዳ ህግደፍ
    ኣብ ክንዲ ንሰባት ንገንዘብ ይበቁ
    ከመይ ደኣ ዘይሓርቕ? ሓቁ!

    ኣማኑኤል ኴንካና ኣርኣያ
    መዋእልካ ክትቃለስ ብዘይ መሃያ
    ደሓን ሓንቲ መዓልቲ ‘ላ
    ናይ ኦስሎ መዳልያ!
    ከም መወሰኽታ ወርቃዊት ማልያ
    ኣብ ቅድሚ ኣሽሓት-ሰባት ክትወድያ
    ክትጽዋዕ ናይ ኣይታት ኣያ!
    ናይ ኣይታት ኣያ!

    • Kokhob Selam

      Dear መሃንድስ-ምዕባለ:

      Well done dear..I wish this is from me…. my dear friend..All stanza was excellent but let me take home this one….

      “ኣማኑኤል ኴንካና ኣርኣያ
      መዋእልካ ክትቃለስ ብዘይ መሃያ
      ደሓን ሓንቲ መዓልቲ ‘ላ
      ናይ ኦስሎ መዳልያ!
      ከም መወሰኽታ ወርቃዊት ማልያ
      ኣብ ቅድሚ ኣሽሓት-ሰባት ክትወድያ
      ክትጽዋዕ ናይ ኣይታት ኣያ!
      ናይ ኣይታት ኣያ!”

      Keep it up,,,


      • መሃንድስ-ምዕባለ

        Selamat Kokobay:
        It is from both of us!

  • Eri.Star

    Regime played into the Division. Lol who made up their membership ? Even now, with Tigrinya infighting, they don’t call on reconciliation with the Lowlanders !? But rather cuddle tigray their true brother.. They made their bed, their fate is tied along with Woyanna and Tigray. Lowlander want our own anatomy. We fought for our tribal land and for us to control it. Regardless who in Asmara we will resist..

    • ሰላማት ኤሪ ኣርባዕተ ነጥቢ ኩርናዕ ኩሩዐ ስታር
      ናይ ጠመት ሰሜን
      ዘይምስትውዓል ዕብዳን
      መኒኻኒ መንይካ መኒኻየ ምንየኣነን
      ኣጋኒን ብሕጽር ዝበለ ሓድ ሓድ ምግናን
      ሓደ ጋንን ዘጋንን
      ናይ ጋ ኣይትጋገ ገዛ ግዜ ገዛኢ ግ’አዝ መኣዝን

      በሉ ዝን ሓንሳብ

      በላ ብ ሓንሳብ

      ስጋብ ትሓስብሉ አንካብ
      መላ’ኽቲ ተል’ኽቲ ‘ቲ ል’ኡኽ ጀዋብ

      ሃብ ዝወሃብ ናይ መልአ አኽቲ

      ኮኾብ መልአኽቲ
      ል’ኡኽ +
      አኽቲ =
      ል’ኡኸኽቲ መ ን ፊ ልተር ሪ ማአክል መልአ አኽኽቲ

      ዝን ጽን
      ዝ ሰሓቕ

      ጋ ምን ጋ ግ
      ግ ምን_ጋግ
      __ም_ን ግ
      ማ ተድሓግ ሓግ ብል ሓግ
      ምን ሓግ ሓግግ

      ምን ሓጊ ሕጊ ዝሕግግ ዳሓግ ሓጊ ሓግሓጊ

      ዘ ጋ ምን ጋ ዘ ጊ ‘ዝጊ
      ላ የድሓግ
      ግ ___ጌ_________ ዝ
      የ’ ‘የ _
      “”””አዘዪ “””””አዘየክ

      ዝሰሓሓሐቕ ሓቕ ምኑ ምን ዘመን ኣልዘምን
      ሓቕ ሓቓ መን ምኑ ምናምን ምንም ማ ንም
      የ ለም ለምን
      ዋ ላ ምን ዋ


      ጃይጻጸ ጃይ ኣን ት GitSAtSE

  • Brhan

    Hello Amanuel,
    Thank you for your article, I have to admit that I have to do reading on those refrences but to initate a disscusion at the same time to help me understand the references I am submitting an enquiry ….how do the Lebanon, Canada even Ethiopia politcal system fit in what you have mentioned
    Thanks again

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Selam Brhan,
      I am a kind of busy now. I will get back to you later this evening after work.

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Selam Brhan,

      As I have promised, I am here getting back to you to answer your questions. Before I start to answer your questions, let me state this statement to help us in understanding the answers I am going to give you,

      “All variations of Federalism are decentralizing Governments, but all decentralized Governments are not Federalism.”

      Short notes about my position on the subject: When I am preferring “decentralized Unitary Government” for us, it is not Federalism. Why not Federalism then? My reasons are as follows (a) we are small country with small population (b) our problem is not complex enough to prescribe Federalism (c) the grievances of our social groups could be addressed simply by creating bicameral parliaments one by “equal representation” and the other by “proportional representation.” (d) keeping the the power of “fiscal distribution” at the “center” we can give the administrative units political and administrative power. These powers are awesome our people to start exercising it.

      Now to your question: My article has rule out all kinds of Federalism because of the aforementioned reasons that I gave you in the above. Otherwise, Federalism is the best form of government for a big population with a complex diversity, like Ethiopia, Hence the Ethiopian or Canadian Federalism are good to their realities. We need a simple and equitable government. Hence DUG.

      The Lebanese form of government does not fit to our realities. Thanks God, We don’t have religious problems. What we have is grievances of marginalization of our minorities. So now we don’t need to frame our politics by religion, because (a) it will not give us a healthy secular Government (b) framing by religion will not also address the so called marginalization (c) It doesn’t give them a fair share in the government. The experience of Lebanese in itself was not a positive experience for them. Their civil war that resulted hundreds of thousands of death and millions of exodus is not good experience. The mistrust between the two religious divide is still alive and simmering. So Lebanese experience is not good example to emulate.


      • Brhan

        Thank you Amanuel for your explanation,
        I believe when we give examples from the reality our articles can become clearer to general readers of awate.com
        When I gave examples of the countries, I was not aiming to ask if they worked well or not, but to relate the concepts that you have raised to reality. I could have mentioned other countries like Switzerland, India and South Africa, the list can be long. The point is whenever we try to indicate concepts , we have to give examples otherwise it will be very hard for an ordinary reader to grasp the concept.
        Will continue the discussion.

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Merhaba Brhan,

          The object of my article was for those who are irritated with the argument of equitable power sharing – and thus as a concerned Eritrean was attempting to make a theoretical argument based on the literatures that are available in the academic world.

          Second, on the prescription on the nature of governance: I was based on the grievances of our social groups and our specific sociopolitical and socioeconomic realities. It is not necessary for me to bring the examples of other countries’ reality, if I saw it doesn’t fit to ours. Theoretical argument is one thing and practical applications are another thing.

          Third, any majoritarian social group do not argue as a group for the interest of minorities. Never happened and will never happen unless they get enough pressure from the aggrieved social groups. In the process, honest citizens could show allyship with the aggrieved to address their demand.

          • Saleh Johar

            Hi Emma,
            Thank you for the elaboration–but your article was so clear on its own. You have always stood for equitable power sharing and that has been your field for a long time.

            Thank you for the clarity

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Abu Salah,

            I am glad you like it. Thank you for words of encouragement.

            Here is another thing: I have a strong believe that identity politics will disappear as soon as we recognize the demands of our minorities and try to address them. The existing organizations based on their own “social group” will transform to “advocacy groups” in their own regions consistent with the liberal democracy we are familiar with. If there is a will, our problems are not complicate in their nature. We can solve them easily.

          • Brhan

            Hello Amanuel,
            To continue our discussion.Your article is credible as you are treating the issues based on theoretical arguments from academic perspective. Such kind of literature is rare in our Eritrean websites and it is worthy for a lot of discussions. I believe such kind of article can attract a lot of discussions if it had related theoretical argument and practical application. The literature that relates theoretical argument and practical application is abundant in the academic world.

            And allow me to raise my point again… the point of relating concepts to reality or as you have articulated it better as theoretical argument and practical application . The article for example did not present example/s of what you have indicated “grievances of our social groups and our specific sociopolitical and socioeconomic realities” . This can lead the reader to speculate first about the grievances and secondly and this is more important, about understanding how the concepts will cure those grievances. How many grievances are there? Can they be categorized? Which ones are legitimate and which ones are not.

            I do not want a work of an intellectual like yours to miss in saying the spade is a spade.

            Thank you Amanuel

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Brhan,

            Sorry for a belated response. And above all thank you for engaging. As I have stated earlier in my comment, the article attempted a theoretical argument to challenge against “majoritarian dictatorship” over minorities both in “principles” and “cultural equity”. Socio-political theories are usually a general framework for applications but are dictated by the “specific nature” of any given society. When applied, it takes in to account the diversity of the people, the nature of societal contradictions, and size of the population. Therefore, I believe my argument took these factors in to account to prescribe the kind of government that will address the grievance of our social groups and keep the coexistence their coexistence.

            Brhan, you are right that I didn’t mention the nature of the grievances of our social group in this piece. First, this article is limited in its scope, but is still a continuation of all my past articles of “HardTalks” and the rest. Second, you are a member of awate forum for long time to miss my writings that highlighted the grievances of our social groups. Third, if there weren’t grievances of our social groups, you wouldn’t see organizations in their names as group ( like the Afar movement, the Kunama movement…etc). Agree or disagree, their demand is to have a say in our national discourse and to have equitable power sharing. Here is a link of my article below which I wrote in support of “EASE” showing my allyship to their grievances.


      • Yohannes Zerai

        Selam Ammanuel,

        As I read the exchange that you and Brhan have been having, two items captured my interest and I would like to pursue them a little further, if I may. As I try to do so, my questions may end up being long-winded; but I want you to know that I am looking for hints/indications on the points I raise and would, therefore, be satisfied with brief answers from you.

        1. Item (c) of your enumeration near the top of the above comment states “ the grievances of our social groups could be addressed simply by creating bicameral parliaments one by “equal representation” and the other by “proportional representation.”

        QUESTION: Do you envisage these parliamentary representations to be based on administrative units or on ethnic/linguistic identities?
        (i) In some administrative regions, there are likely to exist more than one ethno-linguistic groups. So, if the representation is going to be based on administrative divisions, how can one make sure that there will be equity among the groups inhabiting a given region?
        (ii) If representation in parliament is to be based on ethno-linguistic apportionment, would this not carry with it some of the debilitating problems that are known to be associated with ethnic federalism (as was, and is being, experienced in Ethiopia for example)?

        2. Item (d) of your comment states “keeping the power of “fiscal distribution” at the “center” we can give the administrative units political and administrative power.

        (i) What exactly is meant by “fiscal distribution”? Is it the same as National Budgeting or is it something different?
        (ii) How is “keeping the power of fiscal distribution at the center” going to ensure equitable political and economic power among administrative units and/or ethno-linguistic groups in the country?

        Thank you

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Selam Yohannes,

          Your questions are very important to make clear myself to my readers on the complex nature of diversities and how multicultural social groups should be governed to ensure their coexistence and live harmoniously. Here are my answer in the order you set your questions:

          [1] Since the Executive office will be run by the winners of the competing parties, the equity of our social group should be reflected in the parliament or legislative body. Hence I envisioned two parliamentarian houses or in other words a bicameral legislative body. The first chamber (whatever we call it) will reflect “equal representation” of the social groups. The second chamber will reflect “proportional representation” depending on the population on the electoral districts of the administrative units. Here the number of electoral districts may vary in each administrative unit depending on the size of the population. In short the first chamber is from the social groups and the second chamber is from the administrative units.
          (I) Myself I prefer the former administrative units than the current, however the legislative body should determine how many administrative units required and their virtual administrational borders to exercise their political and administrational powers. (Ii) Yes in some administrative units they may have more than one social group. In such scenario the local government should constitute a structure and internal governing rules that reflect to the central government. (iii) Since the representations in both chambers are not (a) on ethnic basis (b) b/c our social groups haven’t had conflict in the past (c) since we are not going redistricting by socio-linguistic basis, I don’t believe we will go through Ethnic strives.

          [2] Yes, fiscal distribution means budget appropriation or fiscal power. In Federal states usually the powers that are devolved to the states are three (a) political (b) administrative (c) fiscal. Since I am opting DUG only the political and administrative power will be devolved to the administrative units whereas the fiscal power will remain at the center with legislative body. A government that does not give political and administrative power to the periphery is not democratic in nature. I hope I am clear whether you agree or disagree. Besides, I am always open for any proposal that gives equitable sharing to our social groups that maintain our coexistence as sovereign people of one nation that avoids coercion.


          • Yohannes Zerai

            Dear Amanuel,

            Sorry for the late reply and thank you for answering my questions. Your response has helped clear some of the ambiguities and uncertainties I had about the issues you raised and the ideas you advanced in your article. But, to be honest, I still have some more lingering questions in my mind and, interestingly, additional ones have been prompted by your response above. But, as you know, that situation — i.e., the case of a cascading series of questions — is an unavoidable aspect of discussing a new idea or concept. So, there are no surprises there!

            One has to be mindful that in the context of Eritrean politics, the attention given to the notion of socio-political and socio-economic equity among social groups has been scanty at best. But it is imperative that the concept be developed into a realistic national goal which would be integrated into the constitutional, institutional and governance frameworks to be formulated for the future ‘democratic Eritrea.’ This will require undertaking intense and sustained political sensitization and awareness-raising campaign to popularize the concept and the national benefits that its implementation will bring. Thus for now, we should be focusing our energies on building consensus around the concept, not on squabbling about the details and subtleties thereof. Those details will gradually emerge (and will be better understood) as the discussions/debates on the “equity concept” intensify and as Eritrea’s overall movement for justice and democracy continues to advance.

            In anticipation of these inevitable dynamic processes, therefore, I am satisfied with the answers you provided and I thank you for them.