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Hope From Pretoria

In a culture that is not strong on expressing gratitude the word “yeqenyeley” has evolved to mean, “Thank you,” but its initial use seems to be more selfish and self-serving. It is simply used to express a wish of re-using an item again and again. The more accurate, refined and noble word “temesgen” is used almost exclusively for expressing gratitude to God. Interestingly the word “temesgen” lacks personal intimacy indicating the God of the Tewahdos, “Our Father who art in heaven…” is indeed not that personal. But who wants to go theological today; I just want to say “yeqenyeley” to my friends in Pretoria, South Africa who afforded us a great opportunity to focus on what is important. The workshop was, for sure, a feast of intellect; a bonfire of ideas that sparked a renewed zeal for a broad-based solidarity movement that is hoped to catapult the-movement-for-democratic-change to victory. Don’t get carried away; it is just a workshop, but not just any workshop, there was something special about it. Perhaps it had to do with the spirit of Mandela; the spirit of Truth and Reconciliation. I guess it is one of those where one has to be there to know it; but one cannot help but hope that those who have been baptized will go on mobilizing the Eritrean people to stand up for justice and democracy.

But more on the workshop and my trip to Pretoria later; let me start with a story that was told by one of our gracious hosts, Asmerom Tewelde, who in our last day drove Semere Kesete, Abdurahman Seyed and me to the majestic Voortrekker Monument that celebrates the pioneer history of the Afrikaner. From the top floor of this great landmark, we were able to get a panoramic view of the scenic Pretoria; and if you are a history buff like me there is plenty of stuff to gobble.

Brother Asmerom is of medium height, of lighter complexion with a linguistic prowess aptly beautified with a sense of humor. Occasionally I pride myself with an encyclopedic knowledge of Tigrinya proverbs, but in a few short minutes, he succeeded in proving me wrong. I am not that great to be humbled, but it was the right pinch that awakened my thirst for Tigrinya wisdom. Listening to him is exactly what I did; concerned I might fit the description in his proverb, “wedi sebeyti’s zereba ykhtr imber aykhteln.” (Try translating that into English!) When I learned he will be studying law, I told him that he should be doing comedy or acting, and as a matter of fact he had a small role in the movie Beyond Borders that starred Angelina Jolie and Clive Own. He was, for the most part, the Tigrinya coach for the Namibian actors. Check him out, he is the one sitting on top of the truck and spoke in unmistakably Eritrean accent. The movie is available on Netflix.

Inda inqrbit Temen (House of scorpion and snakes)

The earthly possession of a couple included a cow, a sheep and a chicken. After some time of married life, the woman fell out of love and was scheming to get rid of her husband so she can have it all. She would put poison in the places she knew her husband will not miss; but the house-mouse will get there in time and remove it. This went on for some time and finally out of desperation, she asked her husband to buy her a mouse-trap. The mouse heard the conversation. She approached the cow, sheep and chicken and asked for their help; and all of them told her to get lost.

The unsuspecting husband bought the mouse-trap on his way from work and as they settled for the night, the wife put the trap in one of the places where she previously had the poison. Shortly after, she heard the click sound of the mouse trap and eagerly went to savor her victory. She was so confident of her prize that she didn’t bother to verify if she had the right victim. She stretched her arm to pick up the mouse-trap and was bitten by a snake which was struggling to get out. She ran away screaming and fell on the ground, quickly losing consciousness and the husband rushed her to the hospital. She received the necessary medical treatments and was asked to stay overnight for further monitoring. The next day the doctor recommended that she gets lots of chicken soup to regain her health and strength. The husband had to slaughter his only chicken and when that did not make her get better, he had to do the same with the sheep. Unfortunately, all the chicken and sheep soup did not help her to recoup her health, and finally she succumbed fighting her last breath. The husband slaughtered his only remaining possession, the cow, for her tezkar, 40 days memorial; and was left flat broke.

The husband was left alone in the house without his prized possessions. He could not stand his loneliness, deprivation and sorrow and had to move out. There was no one to care for the house that it became a haven for scorpions and snakes –inda inqrbit temen.
It is in recognition of the fact that Eritrea has become inda inqrbit temen that Eritreans from different parts of Africa, Australia, Europe and North America, as individuals and representatives of civil organizations, met on May 9-11, 2014, in Pretoria, South Africa, to discuss issues of national importance at a workshop organized by EMDHR under the theme: “Strategic Thinking on Political and Socioeconomic Crises in Eritrea: Implications, Scenarios and Responses.” The workshop was divided into four thematic categories: The Rule of Law and Constitutionalism, Socio-economic and Humanitarian Crisis, The Road to Democracy, and Transitional Justice and Peace Building. I presented a paper on the Road to Democracy and since EMDHR have not stated what they intend to do with participants’ papers; I will not be able to share it with you, at least for now.

But in the beginning was the long trip to Pretoria; an almost 16 hour non-stop flight from Atlanta. The flight from Dallas to Atlanta was short and engrossed that I was with the companion I was reading, I was surprised to notice the plane slowing down on the tarmac. This is the only time I agreed with Delta’s slogan, “You’ll love the way we fly.” Next-time, I take long trips, it better be first class; otherwise staying home or driving is the only option for me. In the last few months I put more than 6000 miles driving to East and West coasts, and experiencing Woody Guthrie’s folk song, “This land is your land, this land is my land, from California to New York Island, from the Redwood Forest to the Gulf Stream waters, and this land was made for you and me.” I found it to be a total bliss. After more than 24 years of studying, living, working and visiting in about 40 states, I’m still spellbound by the beauty of America and its endless possibilities. The beauty of its landscape, topography and vastness is only matched by the beauty of its ideas, and most of all by the crown-jewel of ideas: freedom. Having experienced it first hand, it is only natural that I wish it to the land of my ancestors and to the people I share a natural bond with. This idea is that inspires my political thinking and that animates my activism.

A prior arrangement was made where Dr. Bereket and I will meet in Atlanta. Having arrived about 40 minutes earlier I had the opportunity to charge my cellphone and continue conversing with my companion about the importance of literature and why we should care. Time quickly lapsed and as I hurried towards the escalade I saw the 80 plus year young Dr. Bereket swaggering past me. I said, “Hi, ami adictur” and he glanced towards me and responded, “selamat ya ibni,” and we exchanged hugs. We had a couple of hours to spare and as soon as we reached our terminal, we found a nice place where the good doctor had a glass of wine and the wimpish me a cappuccino. Any time with ami aldictur is time well spent. Most people know Dr. Bereket for his impressive resume, but I know him as a caring friend, mentor, and advisor, confidante who has grown to fill the roles of an uncle and father altogether for me. During our long flight, Dr. Bereket sat in the seat behind me, and at least once, he came to advise me to get up off my seat every two hours and move around. After finishing talking with my companion, I watched the movie Lone Survivor.

When our plane landed in Pretoria and were passing through customs, we saw Fozzia Hassan who hurriedly came to greet us. I’ve neither spoken nor seen her for the last few years since I resigned from my EGS chairmanship; she was a member of the board. She is a single-mom raising two kids and I could easily appreciate her commitment to the cause of freedom. This was a workshop where everyone had to cover his/her own travel expenses. During the course of our stay in Pretoria, I was struck by how much she has matured and by her grasp of issues. Her colleague from London, Biniam Debessay, was an equal delight to see him talk; his passion for defending the liberation struggle is only matched by his intense desire to see a democratic Eritrea that he bravely fought for as a member of the EPLF mechanized unit. He is pursuing a degree in Political Science and his thesis is on Soft Power. (Way to go bud; can’t wait to see more and bigger things from you and thanks for teaching me a new Tigrinya word!)

The tall, handsome, Hollywood like persona, Henok Haile was the one who drove us to our hotel from the airport in his 7 seat passenger SUV. I learned a lot about the generals and other military personnel, and how the system has emasculated them, life in military service, and the warsay-ykealo project from him. But most of all, I appreciated his insights about EMDHR and the opposition. He has an uncanny ability to simplify issues.

We had to wait for a few more minutes for Solomon Assefaw, from California, who had arrived a bit earlier, and took a taxi instead. Solomon and I have spoken over the phone once or twice in the past, and based on what I have read online and the many rumors I heard, I didn’t expect a jolly-good-fellow who I would instantly like and celebrate. If you like the Asmarino lingo and humor, he is the man. He strikes me as someone who is more comfortable with action than with words and his no-none-sense approach is quite refreshing. Solo is very caring and generous with a personality that is hard not to like. Put some red costume and a white beard on him, he would make a great Santa.

After showering up, we went next-door to a restaurant (actually few blocks away) where our hosts and other quests were waiting for us. We met with the indefatigable Human Rights advocate, Elsa Cherum, the talented and affable Abdurahman Seyed whom I had met in the Netherlands about 12 years ago, the tough and strong-willed Semere Kessete, Binian Debessay I had mentioned earlier, and the extraordinary AAW—Ambassador Andebehan Woldegirogish or simply Andy, a term that reminded him of his old school days. We also learned that Dr. Assefaw Tekeste was not able to join us for the conference. It is also here that we met most of the leadership of EMDHR: Kuluberhan, the chairman, Dr. Adane, the Treasurer Abdelwas’I, Tesfalem and others their names escapes me. It was a group of people that I immediately felt at home with.

It was after breakfast the next morning that I met Abdurazaq Kerar from Australia. I had met him before in Geneva, alongside Yassin, Elsa Cherum and Amaha Domenico, during the UPR sessions where all of us, except Elsa, came representing the Awate Foundation. Abdurazaq had translated two documents into Arabic at my request before and it was basically a reunion of old friends. It is here that I met the many people that make EMDHR. I’m not going to list their names for fear of leaving out some. But, it is really nice to meet with people of different background like the botanist Dr. Michael Bairu or the civil engineering Ph.D. candidate whose name escapes me, who seem, due to their scientific training, look at things logically and more clearly. I particularly enjoyed Meron’s Elite Theory presentation.

The opening remarks were given by the leaders of EMDHR: Kulubrehan, Dr. Adane and Tesfalem. Dr. Adane is an expert in peace building with an extensive experience in the region which proved to be an important asset in our deliberations. It looks like Adane’s and my path have crossed when we were kids in Mendefera. I’m sure the temperament and equanimity of Kulubrehan had a lot to do with the success of the organization that was led since its establishment by my friend, Samuel Bizen. I’ve always equated EMDHR with Samuel for he is the one who introduced me to it. Listening to his speech on the last day proved me that I was right. After so many emails, chats and phone-calls, it was really a treat to meet Samuel and I hope to see him soon, hopefully in Asmera.

A former minister who is a member of ANC leadership was invited to share his experience in the long struggle against apartheid as well as in the democratically elected government. I was struck by two things he said: the propensity of small countries to hatch endless number of organizations and how difficult it is to try reconciling organizations that don’t have ideological differences. The ANC was able to overcome the challenges because it was the by far the strongest and most influential organization that wisely and in a spirit of magnanimity reached out to the smaller ones and included them in the process. He exhorted that we should never enter into negotiations if we are not ready to make compromises.

The candidness with which the deliberations were conducted was a milestone. The spirit of camaraderie and solidarity was evident in the way people eagerly embraced each other. But most of all, there was an enthusiasm to be part of the solution; and expedite the end of tyranny. It looks the muddy waters are finally settling down where people can see the urgent and the important, the important but not the so urgent, the manageable and the unavoidable, and the avoidable and the unmanageable.

weriz@yahoo.com

About Semere T Habtemariam

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  • AMEN

    And to start with let the debate be between two Eritreans who know
    eachother well before and who can gice their true backgrounds
    voluntarily to the public media discussion at Awate or other.
    And who can stand behind their public ideas without hidding behind
    hidden personalities or pen names.
    Awate
    if there is one to challenge me I PUBLICLY OFFER MYSELF
    to the cause.

    • AMEN, you are violating posting guidelines. Using duplicate accounts is a violation. You have to retire “Warsay” and keep AMEN since Warsay is newer account. Everything posted under your Warsay account is deleted. If you commit another violation, your posting privilege will be cancelled.

  • tes

    Dear Warsay,

    What you did was and is doing good according to your mission. But, the mission is very far from the “people-first-concept.” Tewelide Niadeye concept killed the people and you are not free from that. I was working also as graduate assistant for the last 6 years and if I say what I did was wrong, yes, what you did is also wrong. But, this is bold decision and I am not in favor of that kind of judgment.

    The question is, we, including me worked under a totalitarian system that never helped the people and the country. For example, in my 6 years stay in teaching, almost I have seen more than 1000 agricultural scientists graduating from the college. Then where are they? What were we doing? Were teaching them to leave the country because we were not able to fulfill their dreams? Were we teaching them to fullfil the PFDJ dreams or their dreams and then the country’s dream? This is my question.

    From this perspective, YES what we do under the PFDJ system is wrong. because it is basically ENSLAVING THE SOCIETY. Come-on Warsay, watch your own image on your own fellows. Why youths like you and me are suffering? Why they are living the country? My case is different, but generally it is on the same category. let’s think for what we do and come to the Justice sakers environment. Don’t be a brutal to your own people. I tell you, when I was in Eritrea, I have seen my own students begging food in cafeterias. Graduates, having the maximum degree the country can offer and yet BEGGARS of a SINGLE bread. I was one of them, 6 years, I was eating in cafeteria.

    hakika mengsti kelibuka kemtibleni rigitsegna eye. But remember, PFDJ claims Self-Reliance, and I claim also. The difference is, he was using me to fullfil his demonic mission, but me, SLAVE who was eating in cafeteria.

    Therefore, come on brother warsay. We need you, the youths need you, the kids need you, the children need you, our fathers need you and our grand family need you. Don’t betray them in order to be a SLAVE. Fight against Slavery.

    hawka
    tes

    • WARSAY

      CHALLENGE !!
      Let’s us give our all self to the save our people
      And I offer to do that………..
      it is not a bad idea at all……….
      and I am glad to see you repent and
      admit your actions of the past were wrong wrt to the Eritrean
      people.
      But to start such a new and good job on behalf of our people
      requires dedication and openess and true sober and transparent
      dialogue and not using just pen names and shady personalities
      on an open all serving public media.
      So to make our discussion open,true and trustworthy we need
      to describe our names, adresses, schools we went,mention
      childhood or school friends first to all our friends who are following
      our discussion.
      Because there are so many Adharharis and flirters from enemy and
      woyane camp here to steal or manipulate just hiding behind pen names.
      So can you be the first one to openly come out to the public so as
      our discussion would be credible to readers who follow.
      Because I believe this or such worthy ideas can not be done just by
      using only pen names and hidden personalities. And I believe that
      our points should be guarded and protected from plagiarisms and
      manipulations and intrusions.

      • Fanti Ghana

        WARSAY,
        Never mind that the whole purpose of having this website is to share ideas but why don’t you be a good example and start with yourself anyway?

  • SEMERE

    Dear tes
    I am sorry to say this but sometimes you are like
    what is your secret, idea or plan……and then to
    take a free ride of someone’s idea non-stop
    until 2024 when new journey starts again…!
    That is not or should not be of people in struggle who are
    searching for clues and sparks by thinking so deeply about
    the problems their people and country is facing with. When
    people decide to do that it is possible only by giving all their
    self to the people and on behalf of their country and its people
    and the difficulties it finds itself with today.
    And if not carelessly wasted so many ideas were generously
    given to us by so many selfless and dedicated Eritreans so far
    and still doing so. The problem was with those political orgs.
    who mismanage it not with the people mainly our scholars at
    home and abroad who did a lot to sustain their country.

    • tes

      Dear Semere,

      If I got yor point, it is not what I mean. When I say for 10 years ahead, a strategy that can help us post two terms of presidentail elections. Very far sighted and of high quality strategy. I am not saying an ideology or something like that. Saay with all his experience is a great asset in formulating such noble ideas to be generated. It is strictly professional contribution that I am talking for, not a dictatorial idea. And 10 years from now (2014) is when we are totally healed from the current effect of totalitarian regime and already we are on the democratic way of nation building.

      hawka
      tes

  • warsay

    Hi tes
    First what I thought of you was you would be grateful for warsay for standing
    his ground to liberate you from slavery you have been into due to woyane/TPLF
    propaganda machine or threat of force. I thought warsay has done great favour
    to you and others like you from serving the woyane at tol or other sites while
    making you hating yourself and making you curse your identity to the extent of
    criminalizing any self respect and expression you have to do in the name of
    Eritrea or its past history of courage and societal values.
    But you just simply made a quick you turn and blended into the crowd with an old
    expired ID CARD that was issued 10 years ago thinking you
    are not noticed and identified because we Eritreans welcome brothers but I hope
    you do not abuse our goodwill of welcome at Awate.
    So who is the one who came as refugee to or at AWATE recently due to some technical
    reasons with woyane/TPLF in the name of ERITRAWI ?
    Warsay or tes ? Waiting your reply…………..? Also last time in our conversation you
    promised me you will come with the reply for my opinion but no where to be seen !
    Just vanished and now you converged into my point of opinion again.
    It looks like you have been into the business of woyane/Tplf’s Hidma Nkidmit for quite some time.
    Your,
    Warsay
    So how come a TOL be host to Awate on Eritrean issues. If you are talking about a tIGRAYIT
    issue may be……!

  • tes

    Dear warsay,

    Welcome for the courage you showed to join us. Hope you will be engaged further always here with us till the system you are working with is dismantled and weeded-out completely. Stay engaged.

    Hawka
    tes

    • Warsay

      How about all that what I and my friends did for over 10 years since opposition started . Does it count as positive or negative contribution ?

  • Mahmud Saleh

    ALL Awetistas the great and particularly our Ethiopian Friends;

    I present you this quote from NITRICC the great. “Trust me, at the end of the day we all die and we all going to get old and useless but the life of Tegadaly and the purpose of his life is greater than any thing in life.”
    Nitricc reminds me of characters during Ghedli era, we would call them berbere/በርበረ, krbit/ክርቢት, fenji/ፈምጂ…bareeO/ባርዕ…” They gave spice/ juicy flavor for the had life we faced; they helped their units keep its sanity and cohesion functioning like a family during duress; they were the first to criticize mismanagement and abuses. Generally, they gave our lif color and texture; And when they got killed we would mourn their passing for long time; we still remember them (Haile TG, you asked me about PTSD). If I tell you we were more open and free spirited during ghedli compared to today’s Eritrea, how could Ghedli deriding folks get it? Ghedli was where medical doctors, engineers, students, farmers, men and women lived like a family yet expressed their individual ingenuity towards a common goal. People think like we were under the barrel of gun, watched and followed 24 hours/day; they think that we did not have conflict management schemes, they think that we were blind followers of orders, my dear የኣዋተ ኣርበኞች ቡድን, you have a lot to do to keep neutralizing campaigns of defamation. Thanks to our own Yodita, both Amans, Both Salehs, Haylat, Ali-S who has finally found the U-TURN, but yet has to convince others it is the right one, Nitrric the great ( in his last reply to me, he has promised to double- check himself before touching that trigger lest not waste munition just to get one target, and to avoid collateral damage) and many more- sorry, I. am learning the Awetista Family, there are many left out, but you know what I mean, anyway. Now, Let me switch to Tigringa. I hope my great friend AMDE gets it; he has been under its (Tigrigna) rule for 23 years. It’s for Hayat Adem and whoever want to have decent exchange of views, I have three others in mind, but names withheld for now.

    ስለምታይ 30 ዓመት ወሲዱ ቃልስኹም? ሳላሳ ዓመት ምውሳዱ ድኽመት እዩ ዘመልክት እምበር ሓይሊ ኣይኮነን ዘጠቓልል ብሓብትና ሓያት ኣደም ተለጢፉ ነይሩ። ብሕማቕ ዓይኒ ክርእዮ ኣይደልን። ንሓያት ግን እዘን ዝስዕባ መተሓሳሰቢ ክህባን ባዕላ ብናጻ መንፈስ ተደሪኻ፡ ኣብ ልባ ዘሎ ተረድኦ ወይ እምንቶ ክተርጉድ ዘይኮነስ ናጻ ኰይና ክትፈልጥ ክትመራመር እመሕጸና። ገለ ካብቲ ክትርእዮ ዘለኪ ሓያት፡-ሀ. ንኤርትራውያን ሳላሳ ዓመት ወሲዱሎም ዘይኮነስ፡” ስለምንታይ ኢትዮጵያ ምስ ሓይላን ብዝሓን ኣብ ሓደ ዓመት ብዝልዝል ኣቢላ ወሒጣቶም ዓወት ዘይኣወጀት? ስለምንታይ ንኤርትራውያን ክትስዕር ሳላሳ ዓመት ወሲዱላ ኣምሳይኡ ተሳዒራ? ” ዝብል እዩ። ንኤርትራውያን ገጢምዎም ዝነበረ ዓቐብ ዘይትፈልጥዮ እንተኰንኪ፡ ክትፈልጥዮ ፈትኒ። ትፈልጥዮ እንተኰንኪ ከኣ ” ስለምንታይ 30 ዓመት ወሲዱሎም?” ዘይኮነስ “ከመይ ኢሎም ክኢሎሞ? ከመይ ኢሎም ደዪቦሞ?” እዩ ክበሃል ዝግበኦ። ለ. ገድሊ ኤርትራ ኣብት ናይቲ ግዜ ጂኦፖሊቲክስ ኣእቲኺ ረኣይዮ። ስርርዕ ሓይላን ወይ ጸለውቲ ሓይልታት ዓለም ብመንጽር ጉዳይ ኤርትራ ተመሊስኪ ረኣይዮ። ዋሕዲ ህዝቢ ኤርትራን ግዝፊ ኢትዮጵያን ከምኡ እውን ምስ ኢትዮጵያ ዝተሰርዓ ሓያላት ሃገራትን ኢትዮጵያ ትረኽቦ ዝነበረት ሓገዛትን ኣመዛዝንዮ። ድኹምን ንእሽቶን ዘራይ ዘይብልካን ንሓያል ክትገጥም ቀሊል ኣይኮነን። ነእሽቱን ድኹማትን እዮም ሓገዝ ክወሃቦም ትጽቢት ዝግበረሉ። ኣብ ኤርትራ ግን ብኣንጻሩ እዩ ነይሩ። ናይ ብሓቂ፡ ወገን ከይሓዝኪ ክትፈልጢ እንተደሊኺ፡ ክትግረሚ ኢኺ። ይቕረታ ትፈልጥዮ እንተኰንኪ። ሐ. ሓቂ እዩ ሓድነት ሓይሊ እዩ። ሰሚርና እንተንኸውን ኣብ 1977 ኤርትራ ምተቖጻጸርናያ ነይርና። ኣብ 1978 ግን ናብ ሳሕልን ባርካን ምምላስና ኣይምተረፈን ነይሩ። ኣብ 1977 ደሓን ዝነበረ፡ ኣብ 1978 ኣዝዩ ዝገዘፈን ዝዓበየን ኩነት ተፈጢሩ። ምትእትታውን ገደብ ኣልቦ ሓገዛት ናይ ሶቬት ሕብረት፡ ሊብያ፡ የመን፡ ኲባ (ሶማልያ ክትሰዓርን ሓይሊ ኢትዮጵያ ናብ “ሰሜን ጦር ግንባር” ክቐንዕ ሓጊዙ) ። ስለ’ዚ ሰሚርና ኣይሰመርና፡ ናብ ጎቦታት ሳሕልን ጎላጉል ባርካ ምውራድና ኣይምተረፈን ነይሩ። ሰሚርና እንተንኸውን ግን ብርግጽ ድሕረ ምዝላቕ ዝሰዓበ ምርብራብ ምሓጸረነይሩ፣ ብኡ መጠን ድማ ዓወትና ምተቐላጠፈ ነይሩ። ክንድምንታይ ምሓጸረ ካልእ ርእሱ ዝኸእለ እዩ። ኣብቲ እዋን ዝነበረ ምቅያር ሚዛን ዝምድናታት ሓይልታት ምብራቕን ምዕራብን ከምኡ እውን ኩነታት ተቓወምቲ ኢትዮጵያ ኣብ ግምት ዝኣቱ እዩ። ስለ’ዚ ድፍረትክን ምምርማርክን ንፍልጠት እዩ ዝኸውን ኢለ ክእምን እደሊ። ከምኡ እንተኰይኑ፡ ዝተደላደለ ዝተመዛዘነን ኣጠማምታን ውዱዓዊ(objective) ገምጋምን ክትገብሪ እመኽረኪ።

    Happy Independence week!

  • Warsay@YPFDJ

    I full agree with you AMEN ….!!
    …Because, if we carefully observe Ethiopian political organizations
    and their politics the TPLF/Woyane is more vicious to Eritreans and other Ethiopians
    who do not prescribe to its political norms and beliefs more than any other orgs. except
    may be for some now defunct factions the ESEPA .
    Vicious as it is because it prescribes and plays its politics from different views and angles
    which even others like the Dergue never dared to travel and consider them taboo ; it was able
    to be masterful in its deceitful actions and preaches to fool so many Eritreans and Ethiopians
    as it drags them to their death and burial ground.
    They were only conforming to the traditional ways of Ethiopian politics while the Woyane/TPLF
    was ahead playing a new type of political game and trick around them.
    But this was so clear and unambiguous for those of us who were in the YPFDJ and watching
    and studying the actions and methods of this Woyane/TPLF group.
    Meles was only saving his WOyanes/Tplf from total defeat by CUD in the name of Eritreans
    and by using and abusing Eritrea.

  • AMEN

    Meles only did what he has done
    to save the dying woyane/TPLF from death at the hands and expence of Ethiopians.
    And his uninformed or unwise actions of saving woyane/TPLF has become a barrier
    and a stumbling block now for peace,democracy and rule of law now in Ethiopia.
    He has been brutal and unjust to ERITREANS/ETHIOPIANS but only good for woyane/
    TPLF saving them from death, though they do not know and do not acknowledge it what
    favours he has done to them by killing Eritrea and majority Ethiopians just to save them
    from totally been wiped out from New Peoples Republic of Ethiopia.
    Had Meles not act wise and quickly admitted his TPLF organization’s mistake and
    intervened, TPLF would have been forgotten and would be on his last resting grave
    now and Ethiopia would have been on first steps of true peace, justice and rule of
    law marching forward confidently to its future. But all this is undercut by the actions
    of MELES and relegated by woyane and in full regression to its past.
    Therefore my point is that some MELES associates should not cooperate and allow
    Meles and help his organization TPLF from defeat by the CUD and other parties of
    Ethiopia.

  • tes

    Dear Saay,

    The way to solution is not possible when people are hiding themselves in the past. So far, what I see is a strong take on past and the desire to keep it as policy of heritage. Eritrean history is so clear that what it happened, happened. History has no mercy or blessing for the people who made it to happen. But, unfortunately the acts of the past influence our existence, thinking and doing.

    then what is history to us?

    In one of my lecture classes, the professor put in his slide the following statement,

    “Tradition is not just a relic of the past that has survived to the present. It is an interpretation of the past based on strictly contemporary criteria. It is, in fact, how people in the present see what has gone before them. It is not the past that produces the past but the present that shapes its past – Tradition is a selective interpretation of the past based on culturally significant criteria.” (Laurence Bérard, 15/10/2013).

    from this, we can understand that, we are the actors of the past, not the past is an actor on us. Sadly, for the Eritreans the past is an actor. It is not without a surprise to see our great elites like you, Saay, to live in the past and try to shape the future. In one your recent problem-solution proposal, you came with 2001 call of G-15. How old fashioned approach is this? We are in mid of 2014, almost 13 years ahead.

    Since 2001, Eritrea and Eritreans has gone thousand miles of change in the socio-political psycology. As a result, the G-15 proposals are changed all aspects and we need to have a new proposal. In Food quality, there is a dual check mechanism – The Traceability and Tracking. the Traceability is when going back to where it come from, the origion and Tracking is to follow the destination, where it reached after. The same concept can be applied in politics too.

    History being our reach through traceability and our today’s presence and the probable future destiny through tracking – literally, “following.” In this regard, we are in 2014 and compared to 2001, within 13 years difference, Eritrean politics has 13 folds of political dynamism and what ever proposals we did, they need to be reached objectively by making TODAY as a reference. May be for those who are aged above 45-50, this concept is not good and what I see is just like that. At this age, people want to maintain what they have achieved so far and just want to put their spirit within it to make it more ripe. But the reality is, this kind of attitude though natural, it is always challenged by new waves of actors, THE YOUTHS, who want a new resonance.

    Therefore, Saay, be young and play your role to be at present to shape the past. We, the youths, are not happy with PFDJ and we will not be happy with any PFDJ II kind of solutions. To tell you though, “we will dismantle and weed-out PFDJ by all means.

    I appreciate you Saay for many and especially your belief on the Eritreans-can-do, but I will not buy your dialectical perspective in the future Eritrean solution. Join us to weed-out PFDJ system.

    hawka
    tes

    • saay7

      Selamat Tes:

      I placed an excerpt from the G-15 call for reform only because there was a discussion on whether PFDJ as a whole is to blame or whether it, like every other institution (including churches and mosques) has been hijacked by the Isaiasists.

      I also happen to think that for change to come, it has to come from within Eritrea, by people closest to the system. Other’s share the view: when asked “by whom” or “what’s step 1”, everyone who has answered has given the same answer: a military officer (SGJ, Semere Andom, Haile the Gr8). The flaw in this argument is that it assumes (a) the military and the PFDJ are two completely independent institutions; (b) the PFDJ are going to wait passively while the military tell them “we are going to uproot the PFDJ” and (c) it doesn’t take into account other factors such the “three separate Presidential Guard units of about 2,000 troops each”commanded by Isaias Afwerki, according to wikileaks.

      Tes, I would love to hear your proposal (step by step) on how you are going to dismantle and weed-out PFDJ. The choices, as I see them, are a PFDJ/EDF democratic coup, an EDF coup, a people’s uprising, or regional (Ethiopian) intervention. But maybe you have a proposal: I am all ears.

      saay

      • haileTG

        haha very funny saay!

        So you ask “I would love to hear your proposal (step by step) on how you are going to dismantle and weed-out PFDJ.”

        OK I need:

        – some guarantees that I am speaking to my friend saay and that this is not IA’s impersonation of saay.

        – The info would have to be transmitted in a way that can’t be eavesdropped on (fiber optic encryption)

        – And requires you to be supportive of weeding out PFDJ to be privy to the idea, otherwise it would be as daft as those military telling “we are going to uproot the PFDJ”

        cheers

        • saay7

          Haile Arkey.

          Where have you been? You have abandoned your ውሽጣዊ ስርሒት (ኾብሊልካ) and you have enlisted in the “ናይ ብሓቂ ኾርየ ኣለኹ ኣውያተይ ስምዑለይ” This is a misuse of your talent and I protest! ይመዝገበለይ!

          Well, there is that danger of The Ear. But the alternative is:

          (a) we can go back to discussing declarations as we have been for 13 years (“Kbur hzbi Ertra! As we mark the 23rd anniversary of Eritrea’s independence, we in the EXYZ organization (not to be confused with EXXZ) have decided to recycle a document we wrote on its 10th anniversary…)

          (b) We can discuss the “military communique” of “Operation Pin Prick” telling us of how many “enemies” were destroyed and how the “heroic fighters of ETBA (not to be confused with EBTA)” return safely to their bases (WHICH IS NOT IN ETHIOPIA.)

          saay

          • haileTG

            Hi saay

            ሰብ ውሒዱ ኣብ ውሽጢ፡ ክትትል በዚሑና’ሎ ኣብዚ እዋን እቶ እቶ 🙂 On serious side though, I just think that the “where is the plan” appears to be a sentence with its ‘so that” subordinate clause hidden from view, as in “Where is the plan, so that I can trash it” 🙂 Surely we need to start with generally agreed goals and then work towards popularizing the drive to attain it. Weed out PFDJ vs save PFDJ and weed out the leadership are diametrically opposed. My position is always dynamic based on facts on the ground. There sure was a time that I entertained the latter section. And here I am today with my current view. The key is however to try to agree on goals first before specific plans. The PFDJ, you would agree, is highly compromised by the fact that its reformers are out and those remaining are carefully primed and deployed to subvert the nation (look at any PFDJ diaspora mahbere kom community organization around 2000 and in 2014 today it is fully occupied by closed minded individuals, look at dehai.org…) The damage has been done, they all has been infiltrated, honest members pushed out and they are all dictator’s shoe shiners. So, we either set the goal of re-habilitation or dismantling and then move to plan of action. We are divided at the goal level and makes little sense to proceed to discuss plans for a goal one couldn’t care less to attain or not.

            Haile
            ስጅን ዓዲ ኣበይቶ – ምምሕዳር ንዑስ ዞባ እንዳ ኩብላልያ 😉

          • saay7

            Haile TG:

            Funny!! One of your guys, encouraging awatistas to continue this thread, passes a message to you: “እዞም Catham House, ICJ ደይ ነዚ ንስኹም ትብልዎ ዘለኹም እዮም ኳዋሒሕሎም ዘቅርብዎ” I said, yeah, but our writing has no እግረ ጽሑፍ (that’s footnote to you, Semere A:)

            If I am coming across as the guy who has the answers, that is not the intention. I am listing options on how we can remove the Isaias Afwerki regime. I am comfortable poking holes in the arguments people make; and I am extremely comfortable when people poke holes in my arguments. What I don’t know what to do with is when somebody doesn’t make an argument but just registers his outrage. It’s kinda like a colleague coming to your office and bursting into tears: there, there. But beyond that, there is nothing more I can do and its awkward:)

            As somebody who has been in the opposition for a few years, I am happy for any victory. But an objective assessment is that what we have achieved is not enough and what is lacking is a strategy (it doesn’t even have be viable, it just has to be a strategy) on how to defeat the regime. And by defeat I don’t mean inconvenience it, weaken it, but defeat it.

            saay

        • tes

          Dear haile TG

          The good thing is, Saay’s reference is the past. We need to remind our brother Saay that proposing a change by sitting in the past is nothing but a wastage of time. With all experiences Saay has, I expect saay’s presence to be 10 years ahead of today (2024) and propose a strategic plan of an economic booming Eritrea – not an Eritrea with ALL-TYPES-OF CRISIS (you know what I mean – saay is a CEO). Unfortunately, I found him in 2001.

          Hawka
          tes

      • tes

        Dear Saay,

        My proposal s simply one; Dismantle PFDJ consciously by all means. I hope by now we have laied the background in defining PFDJ as a system. If we do so, no need to list what I may propose. By the way, it is not an exhaustive thing. If we have common definition, then, just lets dismantle and weed-out the system. I want to make clear though, I am not saying lets weed the members, this is a crime. I am saying the system in which the organization is working. PFDJ is not a party, it is a perceived set of ideas. For me PFDJ is junta, a regime, a totalitarian system.

        If you want my proposal, it is simple: “weed-out PFDJ REGIME.”

        For the technicality, We, Eritreans can do it and in fact, we are doing it. Just come across the PFDJ reaction to any opposition movement, spending millions and millions to crush any.

        have you seen, WARSAY@YAHOO.COM to my response before? That is how they are reacting and that is how we are dismantling them. PFDJ members are now spending their time to look every page of the opposition web-site and act. To click the PFDJ MIND is easy and is almost now belittled into tiny group. Therefore, lets crush them into pieces and replace the system into a SYSTEM THAT WORKS ON RULE OF LAW.

        Have you heard about PFDJ paper No.1/2014? They are already on PFDJ II. You are lagging even than the PFDJ themselves. Wake-up Saay.

        hawka
        tes

        • saay7

          Tes:

          “Weed out PFDJ Regime” is a slogan, not a plan of action:) I guess I am asking you for one of your fancy graphs: who does what, when, where, how. A Plan.

          saay

          • tes

            Dear Saay,

            For you, “Weed out PFDJ Regime” is a slogan. But for us, it is everything. Just the same as “Awet Ni’haFash.” Can you say to me that Awet Ni’haFash is a just a slogan? For an honest response, it is not for sure. the response I got recently for the grafitti I put is a FRESH TESTIMONY for us what “Awet NihaFash” mean to Eritreans (At least to EPLF figheters).

            Therefore, “Weed-out” is not a slogan, it a word that has everything within. You are living very far from it and you can not see it. We might have given you an electronic eye-glass, unfortunately, it will not be helpful for you. Come and live today at least if not 10 years ahead and make FREE Eritrea from the PFDJ system.

            hawka
            tes

          • saay7

            Selamat Tes:

            Of course, “Awet Nihafash” is ONLY a slogan. But it encapsulated a set of beliefs and values and it was the end, not the means to the end (“Weed out PFDJ Regime.”) Furthermore, what made it powerful was that it was uttered at the conclusion of a plan. And the plan was anchored on things like “the masses must be aware, organized and armed.”

            A couple of weeks ago, Papillon sent a link to a video, an old EPLF video and she was asking us to identify a woman in the video (sorry, btw, Papillon, I can’t say for sure.) In the video, the EPLF declares its beliefs and one of them is “no victory without securing a base.” Now THAT was a tangible goal.

            saay

          • tes

            Dear Saay,

            Not that way. Because you are living away from the term (actually not far), I will give you our definition of weed in our proposal.

            A weed is a system considered undesirable. Weeds are commonly unwanted ideologies, policies, strategies, programs, projects, symbols, offices, cults, worshipers, etc in society. Weeds are commonly unwanted in peace and prosperity loving democratic societies such as in economics, politics and social values and cultures. Weeds have no social, economical or political values.
            A number of weeds has been observed in modern world’s history, but the one that we have in Eritrea is exceptional for the people who sacrificed more than 100,000 lifes to make his own territory free of foreign forces. Weeds do not come from outside, they always live and grow within.

            So far, Eritreans have seen a number of weed that are grown in different behaviors but almost all are gone. Though many are gone, similar weeds (though not strong) are also growing still now (some of them are PFDJ II, medrekites, the Low landers, regionalists etc).

            * Remark: We should be clear that there are virus that attack from outside (like YG’s unionist missionaries). These are not considered as WEEDS in our term. These are viruses and these viruses are only protected when we are aware about them. Unless we welcome them, they don’t have any place to live in (like an HIV virus).

            Words matter and to know the words, you need to open your heart. (Saay ….)

            Hawka
            tes

          • tes

            Dear Saay,

            Zikre sema’tat is the end, but Awet Niha’Fash (Victory to the Masses) is the beginning and the means. Hope you will correct it.

            Hawka
            tes

          • Nitricc

            SAAY it is not even a slogan it is HOPE. And Hope is nithier a slogan nor a plan just wishfull thinking.

          • tes

            Dear Nitricc

            watch your sentence please: “I know I am alone on this one but I think we have a problem.”

            isn’t this what you are changed now into a single entity and crying loudly for your criminal act among innocent people?

            Dear Nitricc, you are our brother and we love you as you are. If you have any wrong thing you did, let the RULE judge you. Till then, you are our brother and we love you. No need to cry. but, if your deeds are knocking your inner soul to cry for, ok, let you CONFESS and apologize. No need to waste your time shouting in the heaven (Awate forum) is a heaven for us (at least – speaking cyberically) and enjoy what the FREEDOM we are enjoying here. No one is dictating. Even if one breaks the rules (I did for example), they will kindly request you to abide till the end.

            Come-on Nitricc, no need to cry in the heaven.

            Hwak
            tes

          • Nitricc

            Tes Come on my man. When I say I am alone I meant in the opinion of the majority. Meaning I am a minority. I have for a long long time. So, please don’t take it as to mean I am lonely. I said, alone.
            Relax tes all is good.

          • tes

            Dear Nitricc,

            Yes I understood. I am also talking about your opinion or views not about you, as a person. based on this, I said, “I love you and I need you.”I didn’t mean that I love what your view is. I hate that in fact from bottom of my heart.

            take it easy brother. I don’t want you to cry in the middle of the heaven when we are open to you. Just one rule we have; Äbide by the RULE OF LAW.” Do not worry though, you might get terrified by the FREEDOM that you will get here. To make a slave FREE is not easy. He needs practice. And here you are in awate forum. Just enjoy it. Drop your dictatorial behavior, at least in principle. Then, you will breath a fresh air.

            Be careful Nitric when you decide to join us; you have to be responsible for yourself. I know to be responsible for yourself is hard for you (No a[L]mighty PFDJ here. No words to be given to you, create your own words and enjoy them. You have the dreams, go with them. Do not waste time to forward what you are told to forward and report what has been said. No time to be wasted like that in our world. be conscious to the world that you are coming, the FREE WORLD.

            Hawka
            tes

          • ALI-S

            Hi SAAY,

            Just in case Tes may be busy doing other more important things than wasting time on charts, I have offered to check with you if this chart will do for now. 3rd in the chart doesn’t refer to what I was saying but as a general label for where we should be.

          • ALI-S

            Did I attach it?

          • tes

            Dear Ali-S

            No.

            But, hope it is not a U-Turn chart. I am not busy actually, I have a full chart. And, if you put your chart, it is an added-value (as far as it is not having any weed left-outs of the U-turn).

            Brother Saay is still waiting my proposal. I have started to give my definition of the term weed. Nilebam amitelu and sure Saay has extra quality for that). One thing though, let’s have a common goal as Haile TG said. And if we have common goal, we can sit together and outline the strategy (Ali-S, as an economist, you are well equiped with it, Saay, as CEO, he is better well professional in doing that. brother Haile, Mahmud, SG, Amanuel, Yodita, Ermias and many more can sit together and we can make it – kab hade riesi zibehal alo eko). Kemzi nay DIA eba keynidegim endegena (We should not repeat the same mistake as DIA in writing the Nihnan Elamanan that gave birth first the EPLF and later the PFDJ). And we have many stakeholders too.

            Actually, no need. We have many opposition parties May be we can make SWOT analysis and depending on that we can go ahead. entay amtsio eyu ke aserte shab proposal zihintsets.

            Depending on the available proposals, we can cluster them and go ahead. dro ko 37 tebegagisa ala, hji kea mebel 38 do kinweldi kona.

            As what our brothers discussed and reach into an understanding in SA, lets study the existing groups and introduce clustering to make them fewer and stronger.

            Mahtama Gandhi’s quote: “Small is Beauty!”

            hawka
            tes

            Hawka
            tes

          • tes

            Dear Ali-S,

            PFDJ, PFDJ I, PFDJ II, PFDJ III, ….

            Come-on pal. Where is your Positive and Normative economic methods? Economics is nothing but a way to think. Come-out of your U-Turn.

            hawka
            tes

          • Saba

            Hi Ali-S,
            That is so nice!

          • Ermias

            Welcome back Sabi! I have felt your absence. I like your inquisitiveness and the no free pass to the opposition and also to PFDJ (I think).

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Younis,

            Could please explain your diagram. It looks like a circular journey of the U-turners.

          • Hayat Adem

            “”Weed out PFDJ Regime” is a slogan, not a plan of action:) Slogan de’a meliu!! Eritreans are a slogan factory.”
            Sal, this is directed at Gashe Saleh, is it not? We wanted cooperation and friendship between Ethiopia and Eritrea, it is a work in progress. We wanted friendship between the Tigrgna speakers, that too is in progress. We wanted firm unity and integration between metaHit and Kebessa. I personally wanted a half-way meet between Sal and Yg and have been preaching on that. I hope, I don’t have to see any more rifting and drifting.

      • dawit

        Why you people talk here ‘Weed-Out’ when the whole world is talking planting “more weed’ from Colorado to Holland, from California to Tasmania. Seriously are you promoting GM ‘synthetic weed’. tes as an agriculturist you should promote ‘Organic weed’ the natural weed from ‘Nakfa’. We like more of Organic Weed and less Designer Weed!

        • tes

          Dear dawit,

          You are perfectly right and I thank you so much for bringing the Organic Weed. PFDJ is an artificial weed killer, chemical herbicide. I am saying for a biological herbicide or mechanical weeding out. If it is mechanical or biological, there is no residue left and the one left-out has no harm for the taker. in the other hand, chemical herbicide usually leaves RESIDUE behind. Removing DIA and living the rest PFDJ is nothing but leaving a RESIDUE behind and when inhaled or taken, assuming that nothing is left-out, it kills.

          We are well aware about the organic Herbicide and we know the wee. Join us dawit.

          hawka
          tes

  • AMEN

    Revisiting Meles Zenawi’s Actions before his death
    I hear some Eritreans preach to us that Meles has done good before his death to Eritreans. Which Eritreans ?
    By the way
    whatever Meles is said to has done……….
    Was it for his country Ethiopia and Ethiopians or for Eritrea and Eritreans ?
    In my opinion he was doing it for Ethiopia at the expence of Eritrea.
    Why should he occupy and renegade on justice and freedom of the Eritrean people
    and ask them to participate as prisoners like OPDO in his country’s politics ?
    What entitles an Eritrean to be an Ethiopian is his land
    not a handout as an alien from a president or official.
    Meles doesn’t have any mandate or power to issue or give an Ethiopian to be an Ethiopian.
    What factor decides to be an Ethiopian should not be linked with serving or being loyal to
    woyane or EPRDF. This is a worst betrayal one leader can do to Ethiopians.
    But what really Meles in his time has done is more to his party TPLF/EPRDF than to the
    Ethiopian or Eritrean people. Those who are admiring him are only those who want to save
    a spot in the power structure at the expence of their people.
    What MELES has done is to save and extend the lifetime of the then dying Woyane/TPLF
    regime at the hands of CUD,UEDF and the Ethiopian people. He has done nothing to Eritreans
    except occupying their land, undermining and degrading their freedom and struggle for his motherland
    Ethiopia whose political guidance was or is at the hands of the enemies of the Eritrean people.
    No Ethiopian leader has ever degraded the life and freedom and all the good values and history of
    the Eritrean people subtly viciously.
    So again what Meles has primarily actually did is to SAVE AND EXTEND THE LIFETIME OF THE
    THEN DYING WOYANE/TPLF AND GIVE IT A LIFE OR RESSURECT.
    Because as I said above woyane/TPLF was already done and was becoming history before Meles’ actions.

  • haileTG

    This is specifically intended to T Kifle and Amde (not sure in which of your responses to plug it in, so here it is),

    As two of the several astute Ethiopians in this forum, let me invite you to reflect on the following. Ghedli, for good or worse, was an Eritrean enterprise (at least that is what most of us believe in this side). T Kifle has in a number of posts implied or stated that most of us Eritreans share similar views when it comes to ghedli. All those criticizing ghedli appear never to have been there and all those who have been in ghedli don’t seem to dismiss it in the way that is done by the deromantic.

    Here is the bigger matter, despite the hell IA continue to rain on the Eritrean people to break them down in every conceivable way, i.e. completely banishing them off their country, blocking them off any involvement in their country, sabotaging them at home by mercilessly isolating them and completely polarizing them in the diaspora by hordes of spy, paid agents and sick and wicked carriers of his evil designs. Surviving all that Eritreans continue to shed every bit of right that they could have had as people (and paid dearly for) and make do with all the suffering. True that it has broken their spirit, it has made them to doubt themselves and each other but have so far never wavered on their solid and unshakable determination to see Eritrea to stand and stand free, independent and thriving to the best of her potential. I for one find it hopeless and helpless when people keep checking whether we have abandoned our resolution to take back our country, by measuring the temperature of our suffering and hoping our stand might have changed. It would never do.

    IA is the first line of enemy in our fight to take back what is duly ours and and become a normal nation that thrives on peace and mutual respect and cooperation. The next line of enemy to be defeated is Eritrean’s own state of mind by enabling them to reclaim their collective dignity and begin to trust one another. We will need to physically demonstrate to them that the first line of enemy is gone for good and they can breath a sigh of relief. Check my discussion with saay on this. Our final line of enemy is the easiest and wouldn’t need much effort (cake walk actually), it is to convince outsiders and those in our ranks who are understandably made to feel against it, that our independence has the blessing of overwhelming majority of our people, the ghedli sacrifices that are now serving an individual war lord were all worth it and we will never have second thoughts in that regard. If all our suffering so far failed to make us change our mind nothing would. This is probably a case of IA winning the small prizes in his gambling but now losing the biggest bet and is taking all his previous winnings as well as principal with it. He lost it all. Eritreans’ commitment to their independence has survived the gruesome horrors that were placed in front of it and things can only get better from here on with Eritreans finally coming together to dismantle the mule called PFDJ and take ownership.

    The best way I can help my Ethiopian brothers about this is to ask them if they ever doubted the sacrifices your forefathers made to maintain your country because Ethiopian unity and way of life was threatened under various rulers and dictators? Not whatsoever, same applies here. Eritreans are as sure as anything about the validity of their ghedli and the independence it resulted, even if the sun doesn’t rise ever again 🙂

    Regards

    PS: Let’s stick with things that would help us to trust each other better and polarize less. We salute your patriotism and we hope you reciprocate in kind 😉

    • Eyob Medhane

      Haile,

      I know that your post is directed especially to the two astute Ethiopians, I decided to have a say anyway.

      It seems to me that the new generation of Eritreans attachment to Ghedli and hyper active “Eritreanism” is dissipating. Take a look a post that I directed to Sal this morning and I repeat it to you. From what I see the sentiment from so many Eritrean youth and Eritrean decent is pretty much the same these days…

      http://nypost.com/2014/05/18/g

      Please, allow me to quote from the article, and shout the last sentence…

      “….I’ll be the first Ethiopian player to play in the National Football League,” said Berhe (pronounced Bur-HEY). “That’s huge for me and huge for my family and huge for the people in Ethiopia. It’s a big feat. Not a lot of people from East Africa are in the National Football League. I LOOK AT IT ALL THE SAME, ETHIOPIA, ERITREA, IT’S ALL THE SAME, JUST DIFFERENT NAME…..”

    • Nitricc

      Hey Haile if you have to shoot me go ahead but please allow me to ask you this. You said.
      “trust each other”
      Noble idea but can you ask them why they did not honored the agreement they signed under ” final and binding”
      Can you please ask T kifle and Amde
      While you are there. Again why are you side stepping the real issue ?
      PIA has no chance if the Master of deceit weyane had to honor what they have agreed for.
      Sorry for interjecting on your thread but I felt you inflected the real issue.
      Again sorry I just had to say it.

    • Amde

      Dear Haile,

      In reading your post it occurred to me that perhaps we are suffering in excessive assumption of things implied, but not actually said.

      I have openly said that, in my view, the way to reconcile the interconnected issues between Ethiopia and Eritrea is to have a set of linkages so tight that they would essentially be a confederation in everything but name (not a popular view among Ethiopians either right now by the way – most would rather lock the door and forget about Eritrea). I will honestly tell you that I thought the Eritrean independence was
      and will show itself to have been a huge mistake for Eritreans and
      ultimately Ethiopians, (I am perfectly wiling to be labelled the Awate.com resident chauvinist for that view.) That is how I feel and what I think.

      But you would never see me argue that in these pages. Why? Because I understand there were historical processes at work, which have their genesis in events that happened way before I was conceived. I accept many people made the choice to join the ghedli for what they felt at the time were very good reasons – and if I honestly put myself in their shoes, there is a good chance that I probably might have made the same decisions. Unless one is co-erced, it takes a lot for someone to leave their home and family and willingly accept a life of hardship and death. I also accept that there were many many many people that died, too much blood spilt of family members, and that kind of personal loss cannot be reasoned away. That takes time to heal.

      One huge gulf in misunderstanding between Ethiopians and Eritreans is this. I do not know how many of the people posting here have actually lived in Ethiopia proper, but for most Ethiopian, Eritreans represented the privileged class in government and business. For most Ethiopians, the poor country gave the best of all opportunities it had to Eritreans, and they in turn thought it was not good enough and decided to embark on “shiftinet”. For most Ethiopians struggling to make ends meet, these were unfathomable decisions that bordered on the arrogance of being spoilt. The TPLFs experience in the last episode was a re-confirmation of this impression. Tigrayans went out of their way to make Eritrean independence happen and what they got in return was a bombing of their children at school in broad daylight.

      On the flip side, what most Ethiopians don’t know is that for Eritreans in Eritrea proper, the war was terrible. I myself thank a gentleman I ran into many years ago, someone who was a well-to-do businessman in Addis but was then deported. I ended up asking him why Eritreans (especially kebessa) rebelled stating that as far as most Ethiopians know they were living the best life that poor country could offer them. He told me that there were many terrible atrocities by the Haile Sellasie government against the lowlanders, and that was the fuel that drove the flame. I had never thought of that and I don’t think many Ethiopians appreciate what those were like. (That is why I am 99% sure the Haile Sellasie watering Ganja article was from Saleh J lol – you hear him talk about Haile Sellasie, and you know it is the voice of someone speaking raw emotions) Once I heard it, then it was clear to me that the logic and momentum of the war made what happened inevitable.

      Honestly, my main beef with you (and Saleh J) was on trying to square what to me – an outsider – looked like a logically unsupportable proposition. Namely, how a group of people who led the EPLF could be considered angels one day and then devils once they got into Asmara. (It was interesting how over the course of the day this discussion of
      the angel/devil nature of the EPLF got very subtly switched into a
      discussion of the angel/devil character of IA – nice move )

      You can put the shoe on the other foot and see how that sounds. You know the Derg got dissolved, and the Workers Party of Ethiopia took over in 1988, when Ethiopia ceased being run by the PMAC, and became the People’s Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (PDRE), with a constitution and a parliament (shengo) to boot. If we ignore the glaring fact that the politburo of the WPE, and the Presidency and Ministers Council have the same damn people that were the governing Derg in 1984, that could be technically correct. But you and I know that was a distinction without a difference as they say. The repressive apparatus that made it possible for the Derg to survive against its competitors and impose its will in 1980 was still active and in force to the very end.

      That is basically what I am saying in the Eritrean case – the repressive mechansim of the PFDJ is not a de novo creation once it got to Asmara, but a part of the EPLF set of practices and institutions that made it possible to defeat its competitors, monopolize political and military power and win liberation. The people that were at the helm of the EPLF were also at the helm of the PFDJ.

      It is not clear to me from your comments if you served as a combatant. But I am comfortable that people could join a group for what they believe are good even sacred reasons and serve while being personally clean of any morally repugnant actions. I think most of the people here are in that category – they fought or their close family member fought because they believed the cause was just, and they personally did not do morally objectionable things. And the group they joined delivered on their dream. So, many of those
      people have very fond memories and very positive emotional ties with the
      organization.

      But why is it not possible that many others did very morally objectionable things? I have worked in a number of American corporations that are engaged in peaceful commercial activity under procedures and legal requirements designed to make what the company does as open and explicit as possible. Even with those, there are often many things happening I have no clue about. So, it is not difficult at all that an organization trying to attain its goals through secretive military means will have many activities happening that are completely in the shadows. This is in fact what guerilla organizatons may be forced to do to survive, i.e. maintain secrecy, constantly weed out informant/spies/saboteurs, create and maintain clandestine logistical, smuggling and financial resouces, create and maintain spying, sabotage, incarceration and assasination networks and so on.

      To me, it is logical and simpler to say that these practices and institutions carried from mieda to liberated Eritrea, from EPLF to PFDJ. Since we are discussing the evilness of PFDJ 2014, that may actually be
      immaterial. It is just more honest, and hopefully helpful in understanding the scope of the PFDJ problem.

      If you are reading a questioning of your patriotism or of Eritrean independence in that, then you are reading more into it than I intended.

      In fact, I would say it should be a challenge to you as to why you choose to tie your sense of patriotism to the brand name of one organization – namely the EPLF. Just like it was feasible for the anti-fascist Ethiopian patriots to fight for their country while despising Haile Sellasie for leaving the country, it should be possible to feel patriotic about Eritrea and be willing to question every aspect of EPLF.

      amde

      • haileTG

        Dear brother Amde,

        I really admire your incisive deliberations and always pleasure to read. Now let me get to work (the task of disagreeing with and poking holes in your superb delivery – gosh I hate my job sometimes -:)

        I know it is sometimes tough to keep track who said what here (unless you work for PFDJ Strategic studies center) but I once penned here that from 1991 – 1997 IA’s misrule and abuse of the his position was very much there but lurked in the background by the fervent sense patriotism and goodwill of of the Eritrean people. At the height of that time, IA’s regime was making from diaspora Eritreans far more than Ethiopia was getting from annual coffee exports. If I tell you some of the sadistic acts he was engaged in against the Eritrean people while they proved the most upstanding and happy go lucky people, it really would make for a heart breaking story of a senseless evil in person of IA. Let’s keep it for another day. You may then ask why did we support him? Well my belief at the time was that the excesses would come to an end with the progress in constitutional writing, free press and multiparty pluralistic political system. Not only that I believed that the Eritrean patriotic endeavors would (and was) render his sabotages ineffective in the bigger scheme of things. And finally, I also had taken on face value the way many senior EPLF leadership appeared to be progressive. In all, it didn’t turn out like that. IA defeated the Eritrean people following the Ethio-Eritrea border conflict and the rest is history.

        You have made a stated case to argue that there has been a long running connecting line from the ghedli time to 2014 that makes the current crisis a logical stage to be reached at given the original intents. Of course, you would need to flesh that out with a set of connected events to demonstrate the validity of your theory with factual basis. Please illustrate an event that took place in ghedli and directly linked to what happened in 2000s.

        You also make the point that “Eritrean independence was and will show itself to have been a huge mistake for Eritreans.” Now, if you’re saying that there was no organic independence struggle geared to serve the popular aspiration (as per your assertions in the theory stated above), it is not possible for us to proceed with your hearsay prior to furnishing your supporting evidences. There are two parallel theories advanced outside the mainstream Eritrean view points:the one echoed by you and others of a grand Arabaizing plan and the other one is the claim by the likes of (Dawit Meckonen) of the grand Tigranization plan where Eritrean nationalism is destroyed to eventually make way for Eritrea to re-join Ethiopia. Both sides haven’t produced tangible evidences to support either and the reason I insist on that is to help us to root the discussion in known variables.

        The reason we defend ghedli isn’t love of sacrifice, hard life or the destruction wrought as a result. We acknowledge many of its flaws, inconsistencies and short comings, but it is the only single event in history of our people where the nation came as one to achieve the feat and was also successful in its grand objective, securing independent Eritrea.

        Following independence, our struggle to make it work and have a viable Eritrea was met with huge success (from Eritrean side not the evil IA OR HGDEF – what they did in Ethiopia and else where has nothing to do with us, for the crimes were lurking in the shadows as I said). Indeed, it was a matter of balance between IA sabotage and the Eritrean people’s drive. Following the war 98/00, IA’s arguments took sinister aspect where it fully re-incarnated the historic political animosity and conflict with Ethiopia as a full fledged center of its political leverage. It was too over powering for Eritreans to resist that, and he mowed them down mercilessly, to the point that they are now dying everywhere and cramming refugee centers including your country.

        As I recently wrote, the Ethiopia factor is proving the deathbed of all that Eritreans fought and achieved for. Yet, nothing in the way you’re calculating it but rather it is easy to force many Eritreans to recoil and surrender their dignity by beating Ethiopia threat on them. Many still haven’t got the courage to admit this cardinal weakness. Other than that, give Eritreans a fair chance to live in their country with even the bare minimum rights you would find in an average African nation, and Eritrean independence would prove beyond viable in all the social, economic and political spheres. IA is a clear cut enemy of the well being of the nation and people, but that is as far as I know now. The why aspect needs to be fleshed out with factual connecting dots, and I don’t have much.

        Regards

      • tafla

        “One huge gulf in misunderstanding between Ethiopians and Eritreans is this. I do not know how many of the people posting here have actually lived in Ethiopia proper, but for most Ethiopian, Eritreans represented the privileged class in government and business. For most Ethiopians, the poor country gave the best of all opportunities it had to Eritreans, and they in turn thought it was not good enough and decided to embark on “shiftinet”. For most Ethiopians struggling to make ends meet, these were unfathomable decisions that bordered on the arrogance of being spoilt. The TPLFs experience in the last episode was a re-confirmation of this impression. Tigrayans went out of their way to make Eritrean independence happen and what they got in return was a bombing of their children at school in broad daylight.”

        25% of all the students at AAU were also Eritreansat one time, did they cheat to get admitted? So why is it strange then that they would be overrepresented in government-jobs? Where Ethiopians barred from starting successful businesses? Where Ethiopians not allowed to buy houses?

        We were not granted our independence by TPLF, they had no choice but to accept it. The bombing of the school. No sane Eritrean is happy to see defenseless children, women and the elderly die in war, but that’s the destructive nature of war. Ethiopians would understand the cruelty and barbarity of war if it had been waged in Shewa for 30 years. They have not seen or heard of the burning of villages and killing of innocent people in a far greater scale than what happened on that sad and horrific day the schoolchildren in Tigray were killed.

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Hey Nitricc,

    Please grow up and be mature with ideas. You don’t need to attack the person, attack the idea. Avoid insulting adjectives like jobless and coward. If you believe you could win with ideas, why derogatory words? please change your approach. Learn from dawit who is on your side. Be civil, it is good for you and good for those who are engaging with you.

    Hawka,

    Amanuel H.

    • Nitricc

      Hi Aman thanks for the advice. I am wondering who should ought to grow up, me or the cowards who are degrading the Gedli with out setting a foot to experience it? Why can’t you sometimes be honest and see things for what they are?
      No problem eventually I will grow up but it is disappointing when I see the grown ups mess it up to the brim.
      What does mean to be civil to you? The reason I am questioning you is I posted the article 24 hours ago why are commenting now? Do you know where I am going with it? I am guessing you did not like Bering up the point I have mentioned about the dead Ethiopian dictator. That is what I think why you saying that but who cares. I will take the positive advice regardless your motive.
      Let me give you some advice, the greatest civility is when you defend the truth. And Gedli should not and will not be degraded by a bunch cowards.
      If you don’t like my attitude you can petition for my ban from the awate forum.
      Thanks
      Nitricc.

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Hey Nitricc,
        We don’t defend Ghedli by insulting people. We defend it by the result and the success it brought. It liberated the country and that is enough and worth to defend it, at least by your standard. There are many from my generation (the generation of ghedli), we think (including me) that we have failed to bring justice, to install democratic government, and to pass the torch to our young generation ( your generation).

  • dawit

    Waw a lot of terminology to learn at AT University! “pot traumatic syndrome parapsychological
    sense; post war dissonance; Tebbib and Buda syndrom; Cognitive Dissonance etc.”

    I love this discussion of trying to define Isaias from two set of people of
    Eritreans and Ethiopians. The Ethiopian contingent, lead by Amde; T.Kifle; Kim
    Hanna and Horizon arguing IA was born in the Ghedli as a Devil and he is still
    the Devil. The Eritrean contingent lead by Saay, Saleh and Haile TG refute that
    he was not born a devil when he was in Gedli but he turn to Devil in after independence.

    Let me inject myself in this great debate with Christian theology to add some spices to the Science
    of Psychology and give my version of definition of IA and make both groups mad. I say Isaias was like ‘Christ’ the liberator of both Jews (Eritreans) and Gentiles (Ethiopians) from their tormentors the King of Kings of Ethiopia the
    decedents of the tribes of the Lion of Judah and the Dergist the direct decedents of Marx-Lenin-Stalin the tribe of Bolsheviks from Russia. He was betrayed by Judah (Meles) in 1998 for 30 pieces of silver at the garden of the ‘New
    Flower’ (Gethsemane), Crucified on the ‘Cross of Bademe’,(Golgotha) buried at sunset on the hills of Nakfa never to see the sunrise.

    For Eritrean followers of the teaching of Isaias (Nihna Nisu, Nisu Nihna i.e illiterate masses of Eritreans, nitric, caeo) they take Isaias as their liberator the Messiah who rose from the dead at sun rise. For the Romans (Ethiopians), Isaias is dead and never raised from the dead. For the Pharisees of Eritrea, Isias is alive never died and raise from the dead. He was not the true Messiah of Eritrea; they are waiting for the true one who will make their nation great to rule the world.

    What happened to Meles with his 30 pieces of silver? Well rumor has it he bought himself the finest wine that money could buy from France, Black label Whisky from England; Vodka from Russia and the finest Moonshine from America. Got drank and died in Brussels with DUI. Meles lived fast and died young. Poor old Isias still drinking sewa xeray at Abashawel, Asmara (Jerusalem)!
    Sorry SEM I am stepping on your territory of satire.

    • Nitricc
    • Amde

      Hi dawit.

      I am on record saying I love this piece. Just make me a heathen neither jew nor gentile in this parable. That 30 pieces thing has traction among many of the gentiles although I dont know what the jews would feel betrayed about.

      Amde

      • AMAN

        Hi Amde
        I used to think you were literate and well read.
        sorry brother. My fault.
        You surely do not know what the jews would feel or are betrayed ? seriously ?

      • dawit

        Hi Amde

        The ‘heathen’ is a special category reserved for special group and I have no problem to put you in that group if you have a proof of your Blue blood line noble birth or descent of the Neftegna “Eritrea woy mot” group or the Andenet party ‘Ethiopia woy mot’ Eritrean party.

        “What the jews feel betrayed about” But what about the 80,000 Jews whose property was confiscated, driven to concentration camp and deported with their underwear? Thank God you did not sent them to the ‘Gas chamber’ you just made them to walk through a mine fields.. Well that never happened in mama Ethiopia land. “It is a lie”. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. You may be talking how you made Eritrean ‘Africa’s largest Coffee Export”, or the ‘Foreign Exchange bought at the Eritrean Embassy in Ethiopia’ that should compensate them, in that case you may have a point brother Amde!

        • Amde

          Hi dawit and Aman

          I am comfortable being a member of both the Ethiopia wey mot AND Eritrea wey mot groups. don’t wanna play favorites. So go ahead – you have my permission.

          As to the “..jews betrayed about..” comment, I had honestly not thought of that. Plus the man who made the “color of their eyes comment” was man enough to apologize and more importantly allow many to come back and reclaim what they lost. On the flip side, I have yet to hear of any of the Gentiles being similarly invited back and allowed to reclaim what was lost.

          amde
          ps. dawit, you really have a possible talent in parody, keep working at it.

          • haileTG

            Just to get a balance in perspective here:

            ” An elderly woman told reporters: “We are not badly treated but we have nothing to eat. We are dirty and we sleep on the ground like dogs.” The people were taken to Sheketi about 10 days ago.

            http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/782148.stm

          • dine

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HU33HPbFQ
            haile, i wetness the whole process because of my neighbors and they were the happiest deportees ever with full care from the ETH people and the ETH GOV..and look their face and be the judge yourself.

          • dawit

            Dear haile TG, is this BBC report was to balance the scale between Ethiopia and Eritrean refugees during the crisis or a little ‘bakshis, from HTG to tip the scale on the Ethiopian side of the scale?

          • haileTG

            hahaha..dawitom fair is fair, right?

          • dawit

            Dear Brother Amde

            do you really think the man sincerely apologized for what he did to Eritreans? Or was that some public diplomacy gimmicks to destroy his enemy his ‘friend Isaias’?. He invited few so called ‘Eritrean Journalists’ including our own esteem brother SJG for interview and to spread the ward how Meles was more ‘Eritrean’ and thinks day and night for the welfare of Eritrean children. Thanks for that cheap publicity you are repeating it today.
            Brother Amde, “ኣንተም ኣራዳ እነም ኣራዳ ምን ያጣላናል በሰው ቀዳዳ”. If Meles was truly regretted he would have restored the brotherly relation of the two people with a stroke of a pen, sign EEBC paper and withdraw his army from Bademe. No instead he wanted to chock Eritrea, he goes to the end of the four corners of the world to ‘Sanction’ Eritrea with his lies. Finally that hate he has for Isaias killed him. Now Brother Amde, why are you wasting your time here at Awate, is it to reason with Eritreans, or argue the same old argument of Eritrea belongs to Ethiopia and no matter what it should not be an independent nation? Can you give me one good reason why Ethiopia does not evacuate Bademe and establish peace with Eritrea?

            Thanks
            PS: Thanks for your encouragement for the new profession I may consider as parody? I did not know English ward and that there was such a profession parody writer.

            Peace

  • AMAN

    It is undeniable fact that the first half ( 1961-1975) of the Eritrean struggle has completely succeded in its goal of defeating or removing the Ethiopian regime lead by Haile Sellasie. The fact that the revolution erupted is the center of the country is the direct result of the Eritrean reality achieved of 15 years of heroic and persistent struggle against the regime.

    And the second half of the 30 year struggle which is from 1975 to 1991 has also achieved well and successful. Some years are of course extended because the next organization EPLF has to come up and start from the bottom instead of being united with the already existing ELF to build a brand new organization in the field for many reasons. But the achievements it made and reaching its Goal is remarkable ! And as remarkable as the former one which removed HSI regime from power and replaced it with the inefficient Dergue.

  • ናጽነት ሕድሪ ሰማእታት

    ንሓልዋ ናጽነት ፡ ዝተረከብናያ ሕድሪ ሰማእታት ፡ ጽላል ሓርነት.

    Flashback: PIA voting in referendum

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4cA4SpEwQU

    • Semere Andom

      And most likely he voted no for free Eritrea

  • Hayat Adem

    Dear all,
    Sal said, ” He [Isaias Afewerki] was a great liberation army leader who became a terrible head of state”
    Was he a great liberation army leader at all? Let’s have a look at few examples:
    It took him 30 years. Could other leaders have done it in a shorter time? For example, if both Fronts continued cooperating during the first siegeon Asmara, the day of liberation could have been that day, that means about 13 years shorter. Maybe other leaders could have done it with better amicability for better results, and less sacrifice. And, strangely, I witness not few Eritreans counting the long years as a material of strength. But it is not as such strength, not always at least. The best liberation struggle is the shortest possible one. We really don’t have ways to know if the struggle could have been shortened. If it was done though, that would mean we would have longer peaceful days and less wasted resources that could be used for building the nation.
    We lost 65K lives, and about the same number maimed. Was that a very minimalist sacrifice? We still do not know if non-Isaias could’ve done it better. At least a better leader would have tried to compromise and cooperate with all other Eritrean liberation forces because they were working for the same end, and that could have sped up the struggle with much less loss. What about if EPLF tried hard to secure independence or federation or confederation from a negotiable table with the Ethiopian leaders? Wouldn’t it have lessened the sacrifice and probably for better results? Did Isaias has that kind of set of skills which are qualities you want to find in a great leader? You be the judge.
    Did he put Eritrea and the Front’s mission on the world map to win the nation all needed diplomatic and material support, while undermining Derg’s drive, and exposing the atrocities it was committing? Here too, I doubted EPLF had diplomatic success except from some countries in the Arab region where the support was out of wanting to harm Ethiopia than
    sympathy to the cause.
    Was he a visionary liberation leader? Was he visionary enough up to at least making Eritrea a better place than at the time when it was ruled by Ethiopian leaders he was leading the struggle to liberate from? I don’t think anyone would give him a fraction of a point on that.
    Where is this myth of greatest leader, greatest liberation front, greatest history of struggle claim drumming up from? I think this is typically a petty marination where smart people like Sal try to push people to forget the present pain (the NOW) and draw their pride from the past, an exaggerated one at that. Pain is even a luxury word to describe the present existential matter. The entire Kebessa people are under threat of extinction. But like you apply anesthesia to a sick person laid down on a surgery operation table to help her un-feel the pain and plays leafless until it is over, this past false claims are being fed by the romanticizes so that people don’t see the danger for what it is.

    Hayat

    • T. Kifle

      Dear Hayat,

      I would say we would have still counting had it been for this “great liberation leader”. The correct answer to the question of timeline lies elsewhere.

      • dawit

        Dear T. Kifle,
        Do you mean to say “the great betrayer leader” the wrong answer for the wrong question.

        • T. Kifle

          Dear dawit,

          I think there is more substance into it than meets the eye. I don’t see ghedli and PFDJ as a one man show. It has to do with more of the mainstream Eritrean character that is encrypted with quintessential values shaped by strong drive for de-embedding. Add to it the fact that Eritrea is a periphery that renders her disadvantageous for a military win. 30 years would have been very small compared to the toll Eritrea actually would to liberate itself solo at gun point with anyone genius you might think of. IA is an effect not the cause.

    • Kokhob Selam

      well done Hayat. You know what I will like to say to some one who complain now but think DIA was a great leader? let DIA be a king and go on crying. yes, some one should not complain if he believe DIA had bought this freedom and should join him. DIA didn’t do anything good except delaying our national freedom by killing our heroes. And worst of all,still he is killing the national freedom gained by our heroes. DIA yesterday was the same of DIA today.

    • AMAN

      Hayat Adem
      I know what you are trying to say and where you are coming from !
      But you got it wrong that when you said it took Issayas 30 years
      thet is wrong EPLF struggled only 20 yeras and the ELF for 20 yrs
      overlaping 10 years between the two.
      But also there are more reasons to expect even longer than 20 years
      had it not concluded in 20 years by EPLF due to the following rerasons.
      1- The bulk and the backbone (almost 85%) of the Ethiopian forces was
      stationed in Eritrea fighting the EPLF unlike other regions or parts of the
      country which the dergue was fighting them only with small forces most of
      which were support or territorial army brigades.
      2- As for the 30 years you mentioned the first 15 years was already succeded
      and successfull in topling the HSI regime. This first half of 15 years Eritrean
      struggle is successfull by any standard and has hit its target 100% in dismantiling
      and discarding of the HSI regime in its favour with support of some Ethiopians.
      But it is primarily success of Eritrean struggle though stolen by the Dergue.
      3- The third reason why we should expect even more than only 20or 30 years
      is that the emphasis the HSI and Dergue regimes gave to the Eritrean struggle
      risking everything to loose ( Hulum ! Hulum Neger Wede Tor Ginbar !) and
      ( And Tiyit ‘na And Sew Eskiqer dires….!!!!! ) choices not to loose sea outlet.
      So in the face of all these facts it is just nonesence to say HSI and/or the Dergue
      has fought outside ERITREA.

    • Ermias

      Selamat Hayatina. First, who gave you the weekends off? We have been working our butts off while you enjoyed your weekend in St. Thomas or something.

      That statement from Sal raised my eyebrows too. We are kind of talking out of hindsight right now but I believe our thoughts and opinions need to evolve as we learn more and more about the everyday details of meda and IA in particular. When it comes to IA and Ghedli, evolution of ideas and opinions is zipping by Sal even with his extraordinary aptitude to absorb and process complex phenomena. Perhaps we should do a DNA analysis of his gene expression to see if there is something preventing this evolution.

      If there were anything good about IA in meda, why hasn’t any traces of it come out in the 23 years post meda?

      I am actually secretly (now publicly) looking forward to IA’s Independence Day speech so I can pick up some Tinglish*.

      *Mahmud Saleh, if you are reading by any chance, Tinglish is an expression of ideas using a combination of English and Tigrinya words or a word by word translation of English words into Tigrinya as in infrastructure (tihte kirtsi). There are much more interesting ones but somehow I am blank right now and I can’t think of any. But SAAY, Rodab, and Hailte TG are the best Tinglish translators in this forum to my knowledge.

      • Semere Andom

        Ermias and Haytina:
        Ermi, first thanks for usign the correct endearment name for Hayat, Emma and Sal call her Haytom, I corrected them, but they keep calling here Hayatom “irregardless” of my corrections:-)
        Here is one Tinglish for your “kab af Feres”

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Merhaba Hayat,

      1 – All your question in paragraph-1 are sound and had feasible answers to them, if there had been leaders who think beyond self-interest and the success of their organizations. In 1977 Eritrea was almost liberated when the enemy was limited and surrounded within few miles of Asmara, Barentu, Massawa, and Asseb. It was the lack of unity of the fronts and their conflict of interest forced us to retreat to our Degens. Because of their wrong strategy and uncooperative mindset of our leaders we paid more sacrifices and history will remember it as such. At least on the side of ELF the democrats had sacrificed for unity all the way up to the end of the final retreat of the organization. So you are right Eritrean would have been independent with less sacrifice.

      2- On you second paragraph the Eritrean people were determined for “complete independence” and there were no any kind of window to entertain the idea of federation or confederation in the middle of their struggle. It wasn’t even worth for such compromise after those bloody wars and heavy sacrifice, at least for my generation at that time. Could a new political dynamics emerge after independence, that define new reality and new accommodation for both countries for cooperation and stability? Yes. There were possibilities before 1961, before the forced annexation.

      • T. Kifle

        Dear Aman,

        You mean that ELF had a group that can be dubbed as a group of “democrats”? Would you elaborate it a bit? or Is it a blanket claim that includes the ELF leadership on its entirety?

        regards

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Ahlen T. Kifle,

          If I could be spared from the bashing that might come from the “Labor partymembers” and their sympathizers, Yes indeed there were. The group known by the approbation name “falul” by ELF leadership. Their actual name correct name is EDM (the Eritrean democratic movement). They were targeted for attack and prison in 1977. I am sure you are aware about them. I don’t want to go in to details b/c it divert the current issue/debate on how to tackle the current regime.

          regards,
          Amanuel H.

    • saay7

      Selamat Hayat:

      Welcome back. I am a little pressed for time so I am asking our new tigress, Yodita, to address your questions/comments. I am hoping that, in her response, she takes into consideration that your latest question is part of a series that includes: why Eritreans waited until 1961 to wage and armed struggle (we waited too long) and did we really have to start an armed struggle in 1961 (we jumped the gun.)

      Time allowing, I will engage.

      saay

    • dawit

      Dear Hayat,
      The Liberation struggle would not have taken a day long if our enemies were not bend to destroy Eritrea by any means at their disposal including getting aid from all over the world, US, USSR, Israel, Italy, Germany, UK, Cuba, Libya, East Germany, North Korea, Yemen not to mention the AOU, UN etc. There is a lot of hidden history to unveil.

      • Asmerom

        Dear Dawit
        In your so precious God given mind you think Ethiopia getting aid from all the countries and organizations you mentioned to destroy Eritreia and they couldn’t do it . Imagine it destroy Eritreia hope you are kidding !!

    • Nitricc

      hahahha funny talking about the lion of Naqfa.
      let me tell you about your leaders Hayat from Deep in tigray. here is your leaders and tell me.

      http://ethiograph.com/album/albums/v1/Meles-Zenawi.png

    • Asmerom

      Dear Hayat
      I guess Saay was not on the right mood when he said “Isaias was a great liberation army leader ” or his definition of great liberation army is so unique that he only can understand . Saay could you please listen to what Tesfaye Temenew , Alna and so many others are saying about your great leader when he was gehdli ..A great leader who doesn’t have the a clue what you can achieve with a compromise , A great leader who invites out siders and wages war against his blood brothers …wow Saay what a great liberation leader you have

    • Yodita

      Dear Hayat.

      This is the emissaryof SAAY, the lioness and new tigress of Awate.com :).

      Jokes apart, I am jotting down what came to my mind when I read your post.

      On the surface, IA may appear as one who fills the shoe of a great liberation army leader but personally, I have come to believe that from scratch he was intentioned to craft this very important collective endeavour to serve his personal megalomaniac craving for absolute power. Of course, satisfying his very huge appetite for power and control did not come easy, he relentlessly and diligently worked hard for it and he was admired by many, mistaking his maniacal devotion to be for the people. In a perverse way, he was a genius at work. There were some intellectuals who spoke of him (then) in such an obsequious and condescending manner, it was un-Eritrean. Andebrahan Woldegherghis recently (06 May) said that we can’t blame everything on Isaias because we were there and we allowed the man to become what he is. IA was razor blade sharp, focussed and crafty and with a clear agenda. Although he appeared as a great leader to many, to some he was a very dangerous one and they paid dearly for it. Timing of major and minor events were (as you point out) manipulated not to serve the collective endeavour but his personal agenda. By far his greatest crime is not to have seized the opportunity for the unity of EPLF’s and ELF’s Tera Tegadelti thus culminating in brothers killing brothers. Is he the sole person to blame?
      No but by then he had forged enough power to sway decisions and it was not in him to apply SEMRET hat people were craving for.

      Where you find me in total disagreement with you is when you ask “Where is this myth of greatest leader, greatest liberation front, greatest history of struggle claim drumming up from?”.

      As regards greatest leader, I have attempted to reply above. As regrds greatest liberation front, greatest history of struggle, I will answer by paraphrasing someone who asked “what is Jazz?”. The reply was “if you have to ask, I have nothing to tell you”. In other words, if like YG you believe there was no great liberation front and a great history of struggle, there is nothing I can say to make you see. I was so gullible to try to reply to YG. In fact he never bothered to even acknowledge that a debate had raged as a result of my attempt to point it out. With regards.

      • Ermias

        Yodita, simply immaculate!

        You lost me somewhere in your last paragraph though.

        • Nitricc

          If she lost you and did not understand what she is saying then how is it the article is
          ” immaculate” ?

          • Yodita

            Nitricc,

            Just like your masta, you like creating wedges between people. Ermias said the last para. and in fact I know what he means, now. If you focus and dwell in flaws (real or imaginary) in the intensity you are doing in this Site, it may have an irreparable consequence in your personality. Nothing is wasted in the cosmos! Nothing! Watch out my country man, you may be messing around with your inner perect being. Sometimes be positive and creative and this will sort of chill you a little.

            PS After the above,I am waiting for your cyber machete!

          • Nitricc

            Are you people on drugs or something?
            Ermias telling you that your article is immaculate then on the same sentence he is telling you that you lost him. I interject to show him to stop kissing up. And I said if Ermias got lost with what Yodita has to say how is she immaculate.
            The you ask Ermias to explain where you might lost him.
            With same token you are telling me in fact you know what he is talking about and you understood where he lost you.
            Okay if you know what Ermias is talking about why do you ask him to explain to you?
            You don’t drink do you?
            I know I am alone on this one but I think we have a problem.

          • tes

            Dear Nitric

            You said, “I know I am alone on this one but I think we have a problem. ”
            have you asked yourself then why you are alone here? You must be then crazy to be here. Ab adi ewurat si hade aynu yinegis kemzibehal, may be you consider yourself an appointed leader (by PFDJ of course) and starting to cry. have you heard DIA in his several interviews, the all narrations of FAILED PROJECTS? Check yourself please.

            hawka
            tes

        • Yodita

          Ermias,

          Please explain where it is not clear. I wish to be worthy of your most kind words. You empower me and I bask on it. Thank you Hawey natey!

          • Ermias

            Hi Yodita,
            I left my statement rather vague because I was trying not to spoil your otherwise “IMMACULATE” description of IA’s behavior and persona.

            My impression is that YG’s main beef is of the cause of Ghedli – colonial nostalgia in Kebessa elite and Arabization agenda in the lowland elite. I am not so sure if he flatly denies that the liberation fronts accomplished some hard to believe achievements – as in the liberation of Afabet and Massawa. He says independence came at inexplicably too heavy of a price, however. Please correct me if I am getting anything wrong here but probably no need to bother.

            P.S. the best thing to do with Nitricc is to just ignore him. He will try to subotage good statements and good intentions but you and I are on the same side albeit small differences in our views of Ghedli and its side effects.

      • Nitricc

        What is wrong in calling it as is?
        This woman by the name of hayat told us in out face with out any ifs and buts that
        ” with out the help of TPLF; Eritrean independence would never has materialized”
        Now for a person who told you on your face with absolute disrespect; why on wrath will some one waste their time for this woman?
        Oh got it; you got to be civil. You got be diplomatic; right?
        The truth is, it is TPLF culture to deceive and lie.
        For anyone who wants to know the truth with out the leadership of Isaiass the Eritrean struggle would have happen similar to OLF and OPLF.
        If you need further evidence ask your self why no one is to organize and lead the good for nothing Eritrean opposition?
        He the man with titanium testicles. You wish you were half of the man he is. The truth.

      • saay7

        Selamat Yodita:

        Very well done, as usual. Two things to add to your first para, and a postscript:

        1. People seem to be confusing motivation with action. A person can succeed because he is terrified of fear, because he wants to outdo his father, because he doesn’t want to be bossed around by anyone, because he loves power, fame and fortune… those are all motivators: they answer the why and the how. But the what–the success–has its own metrics and in the case of Isaias Afwerki, his job as a revolutionary leader was to ensure that his organization is not extinguished by a maniacal enemy; that it inspires people to continue to support it (to the point that Eritreans were flocking promising careers to join the field), and to rid Eritrea of an occupying force.

        2. Terrible people can be great at their jobs. Here’s one by Gawker on Steve Jobs:

        http://gawker.com/5847344/what-everyone-is-too-polite-to-say-about-steve-jobs

        The Andebrhan comment: yes, they allowed him to be what he is but not all and not always because they were terrified that if they don’t they will be visited by Halewa Sewra. They allowed him because (and even some in the exiled opposition will say this): because he was a good decision-maker and had sound judgement.

        saay

        • Yodita

          Dear SAAY,

          I fulluy undestand and appreciate the above and I thank you. ” … because he was a good decision-
          maker..” therein lies his greatest quality, I humbly think. About the sound judgement, I think it is debatable. I have a huge confession to make, my close friends have heard me say many a time that without IA, I doubted there would have been independence. This is triggered, mainly, by the fact that in 20 years, the opposing orgnizations move sideways and backwards, hardly ever forward, inspite of the fact that they could have, unhindered, accomplished so much! Your resources are infinite and they always make a lot of sense. Ms bzuH selamta!

          • saay7

            Selamat Yodita:

            “Sound judgement” doesn’t mean “perfect judgement”; it simply means, on balance, whenever there is a decision to be made from a list of options, people felt that, after the fact, he exercised the right judgement.

            saay

        • SA

          SAAY,
          We get it that IA must have been good at what he was doing to lead EPLF to victory against a powerful occupying force. But it has been 23 long years since that victory, and what does he have to show for those 23 years except a broken and failing country? Contrary to Steve Jobs who was great at his job but a terrible person, IA has been terrible at his job for the last 23 years. Not that you believe otherwise, but I just do not like your comment about your admiration for his good judgement and decision making of decades ago to hang in this discussion as if it is relevant today.

          SA

          • saay7

            SA:

            I don’t think you have been following the thread and I don’t blame you; our threads are getting long. I agree with you completely. He was a good leader of a liberation front; and he is a terrible president of a State.

            This was an answer to some of our Ethiopian friends who are stating that the same qualities that made him a bad president made him a bad leader of a liberation army and you, Eritreans, are just complaining because he lost a war to Ethiopia. Hope you have the right context now.

            saay

      • Hayat Adem

        Yodita Haftey,

        On the last point “..greatest liberation front, greatest history of struggle” where you found me as either clueless or in denial, let me ask the following: what features characterise Great Struggles (as in our context)

  • Mahmud Saleh

    Yikalo: Where you there? Thank you very much for your reply, I feel like I have got someone who can , well, let’s say share ….Happy Independence day Yikalo,

  • said

    In the eve of the independence of celebration the majority of Eritrean Belongs to the Downtrodden disinherited Poor As some Middle Class INDULGE in the Trivialities of Existence.

    As one frequently hears and gets exposed to the sufferings of Eritreans under DIA, Falsely, gets the impression that’s the fate of all the Eritreans inside as well as outside Eritrea that Eritreans right across the board are empathetic and equally share in the plight of their people especially as nation whose people are being oppressed and subjected by cruel and coward PFDJ and the people whose national honor and identity is systematically increasingly gets obliterated.

    Equally, when one talks of the terrible plight of the Eritreans refugees, representing high percentage of the population one gets the impression that the rest of the Eritreans, foremost the diaspora, the few elite and the good number upper middle class Eritreans are reaching out and are sharing the pains, the agony, the deprivation and the inhuman humiliation of their brethren Eritreans under yoke or in the diaspora in squalid refugee camps. The horrible racist and discriminate treatment of the Palestinian refugees in Europe by the neoconservative establishment, totally unparalleled, does not prevent the greater many of the more affluent and upper middle class Eritreans of enjoying the lavishness and the peculiar life style niceties of the Eritrean diaspora in western countries in total oblivion to the plight of their brethren in the adjacent Eritreans refugee camps that they never visit or know of their existence in the first place.

    The few Eritreans elites and the greater majority of the middle class Eritreans in diaspora are nearly totally divorced, except for lip-service saloon talks, of the plight of Eritreans under dictatorship and Eritreans in the refugee camps.

    Few dictated elite and middle class among the Eritreans of the diaspora proved instrumental in the founding of their brethren and the many others, who pursued the ideal of the founding Eritreans in need with envious self-effacing single-minded dedications; others are doing everything they can to bring the regime down, contributing in every way they can, , in guiding and leading their fellow of the oppressed masses to deliverance and salvation in contrast, sadly observe the irony of the divergent interests, priorities and life-style of the regime selfish and blind supporters Eritreans elites, and middle class Eritreans . They appear, in their greater majority, to follow a life style with preoccupations mostly virtually divorced of the realities of the sufferings and humiliations of the great majority of their country people in lieu of the incumbent role usually reserved, prescribed and assigned to the privileged tiny elites in any beleaguered nation to blaze the route, set the objective,

    One observe with meeting some of the well to do Eritreans with their story telling and reminiscing of other well to do Eritreans friends and acquaintances leading life-styles and perusal of trivialities that are befitting actors in a soap opera like “Dynasty.” They remain mostly oblivion to the plight of the poor and a humiliating oppressive DIA of a home country, Palestine, that’s being steadily gobbled by PFDJ establishment.

    Without taken any rights from any one .The final conclusion that Eritrea belongs to the downtrodden poor Eritreans, the ones whose children stand for hours under the heat of searing sun to buy bisiac bread and face at never ending successions of humiliating by cruel regime; Eritreans whose children are incarcerated and tortured with bread earner of a whole family are thrown to eternity in Eritrea’s jails; Eritreans who systematically get oppressed and subjected and the future of Eritrean youth feeling out of their ancestral homes.

    • said

      Correction, Eritrean are facing similar to Palestine plight.

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Haw Mahmud,

    The 1994 PFDJ charter is the party’s program. Whether that program makes PFDJ to win or not, when it compete with other organized parties, it is any ones guess. We should not debate on something that is not reality on the ground. Besides, it isn’t worth to debate on it, until that “political product” wins on leveled plain field. Even if it would have been applied, it would have been tasteless product as the public know that you are giving them without choices. Honestly, the public doesn’t care about the internal fight for power within one the party (which happens to be true as we know lately). In short that charter is “the value system” of the party and doesn’t reflect the value system of the Eritrean people. They try to shove in to the throat of the Eritrean people without choices and the Eritrean people found it a bitter hard to swallow. They are calling for choices. Let us stop this organizational nostalgia.

    Eritrea needs a constitution that reflect to the value system of the Eritrean people. A constitution that address the grievances of its social group and allows pluralism where the parties compete on equal ground. And the effort and the talk should be centered on it.

    • Mahmud Saleh

      salam Aman (Abi seb);
      Not really, Aman. I am not nostalgic. I am not attached to PFDJ on any level, and I don’t even care if tomorrow it gets lost. The reason why I am visiting this dimension of the discussion is because it is a matter of principle and practicality; a matter of principle, because if you push for inclusiveness and PFDJ reforms itself to abide by the rule (constitution), if it becomes one of the parties, instead of the only party, then why not? And on practical level, it seems to me, you will not have an easy way of governing by dismissing people who believe on the program of PFDJ and feel equally robbed by few PFDJ nuts. I am more on to reconciliation and moving forward rather than focusing on retrospective justice; of course, I am taking it forgranted that the criminal part of PFDJ will be taken care of. The reason why I am inquiring about it is that unless you have a complete understanding of the nature of the party you are opposing (and I don’t mean you don’t have it) the strategy you plot is meaningless; I believe that’s what is happening with the opposition.

      • haileTG

        Selam Aman and Brother Mahmud

        1 – Virtually all political groupings on Eritrean landscape have unimplemented charters for the future of their country. They couldn’t implement it because PFDJ criminally blocked them and PFDJ couldn’t implement its brand because of excesses criminality that also costed us the lives of two generations. Now, from the point of view of dignity, how preposterous and undignified can it be to concern oneself about the failure of PFDJ to implement its charter because of its own faults, when we are aren’t concerned of the others who were barred due to injustice?

        2 – Brother Mahmud, you recently mentioned about “pot traumatic syndrome” of tegadelti to Yodita (may be in a lighthearted). Can you say a bit about it, since we, non-tegadelti, do observe that in the way tegadelti act and behave and only say it behind their back and not in front of them. Can we have a frank discussion? Are your friends OK 🙂

        • Mahmud Saleh

          Haile TG: on poit #1: I am not really worried about PFDJ fate, and I am not against any other party/organization; I am not doing this to gain political ground; I am not a person of politics.Yesterday, I posed a question to SJ, and its thread continues. You asked, “Now, from the point of view of dignity, how preposterous and undignified can it be to concern oneself about the failure of PFDJ to implement its charter because of its own faults, when we are aren’t concerned of the others who were barred due to injustice?”
          I am not concerned about PFDJ. I am concerned about my grasp of the dynamics. And look at Saleh Gadi and Saleh Younis, and now Amanuel’s and your answers; you can see how diverse they are. So, Haile, consider me as someone who is trying to make a meaning out of these immensely different comments coming in and not someone advocating for PFDJ, I said this before and I repeat it: I have no emotional attachment to this beast you call PFDJ; like any Eritrean, I feel betrayed.
          On #2 (post traumatic stress syndrome)= probably we do it next time for luck of time.

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Selamat Ahwat Haile-G & Mahmud,

          Haile,
          I am loving your non-partisan positioning. Your comment on point-1 clearly defines who you are unless the season of U-turns affected you. Stick with your noble position, b/c it is frank, conscious belief, judicious view, forward looking, and tenacious on the current fight against PFDJ.

          Mahmud,
          I like your position as stated in your last comment. Keep it, b/c you are conciliatory, humble and a sample of wisdom in this forum. An exemplary for civil dialogue, an optimistic man for peaceful Eritrea, may be you will be a game changer as your position gets traction.

          I have been in politics for so long not by “desire” but “compelled by history” to bring a social change to the country that costed us enormously. Out of that experience, this is what I could share in a nutshell with you: When politicians echo democratic slogans, it is always worth for some healthy skepticism. Democratic ideals are expressions of justice and equal rights not watered down by preambles to civic governance and equal opportunity. We had heard democratic slogans by EPLF and ELF politicians, but in their true sense they don’t stand for their slogans. They use them for deceit and public consumption. So for both of you, I will summon to you, to challenge to those who are making U-turns to camouflage the evils of PFDJ and its institution in order to give free ride in the upcoming transition government.

          Hawkum,
          Amanuel Hidrat

  • Mahmud Saleh

    Ghedli flash:

    Today, May19,1991, the final push started exactly at 1000 (Eritrean time) on the Afalba/Seled flank of Dekamhare Front. It was a sunny and bright day. Those assigned to break the lines on already chosen points had to move forward at dark almost close to enemy trenches through lanes cleared by land mine enginners. The battle started with hand grenades, followed by close assault combat. Some areas were captured within minutes others took hours. Our area of operation (WuTuH to Mereb) was quiet), but I would lose three of my best buddies in the next days. I can tell you it was not a ROMANTIC ordeal.

    • Yikalo

      Mr. Mahmud Saleh,

      Man you took me back on a trip to memory lane and got me all pumped-up. ቅያ nai kedemey tezekiruni. Thanks my man! Happy Independence Day to you! And everyone here on awate.com

    • haileTG

      እንታይ’ሞ ክሳብ ሕጂ’ስ ኩሉ ንብላሽ፡ ንጸላኢ’ኳ ኣይትምነየሉን! ኣዴኻ ቐቲልካ እትንየተሉ ቅያ’ስ፡ ኣይግድን። Wishing you a truly happy Independence day in a not to distant future where Eritreans could celebrate it as free people than the terrorized and brutalized herds at the hands of home grown messengers of death and destruction.

      • tafla

        Haile,

        Get a grip man, you are being very insensitive !

        • haileTG

          tafla,

          Here is a Sunday sermon for all of us to get a grip:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mglGPJ8Pmpg

          • tafla

            Haile,

            Thanks, I’ve seen it already. Don’t ever think that you care more for the Eritrean people than a fellow Eritrean. We just have different explanations for the reasons behind what’s happening to our people. If Eritrea had no enemies, it would’ve become an independent nation in 1942, it’s a shame that some of us seem to have forgotten that.

          • haileTG

            tafla

            I’ve heard it already, your “Don’t ever think that you care more for the Eritrean people than a fellow Eritrean.”, from the evil purveyor of such convoluted talks himself. He actually went further to call them “thieves” too. Yours is a kid’s glove, it doesn’t surprise anybody. We only know how we care, we can’t judge how much others do except by their words and actions. All I am trying is to open your eyes to the fact that you’re born free and are entitled to feel and think. You ain’t a slave of no one much less those who want lord it over you on account of their ordeals in remote and desolate bushes far from humanity 🙂

          • tafla

            aye Haile,

            Well, you assume to know whether I’m a freethinker or not? your presumptuous attitude has no limits. Since you are looking for a fight, I suggest you look elsewhere…maybe join SERAWIT HEDRI?

          • haileTG

            SERAWIT HEDRI?

          • tafla

            Haile,

            I’ll let it pass, you don’t seem to be in a stable state of mind now…take a rest.

      • Mahmud Saleh

        Haile TG:
        Can you read the Tigrigna part again, please. Couldn’t you have put it in a more appropriate way?

        • haileTG

          I know brother Mahmud, but can I also ask you to give consideration to how we feel, because such isolated assertions that lack recognition to our current predicament (since the direct result of what those front’s leadership ended up doing) does feel threatening to people like me whose primary focus is to agitate the Eritrean people to retake their dignity which was snatched from them. their dignity was snatched on a fraud transaction where their own history was sold back to them as a curtsy by their duplicitous and criminal oppressors. I am responding because it has relevance to my particular cause. If it wasn’t then I wouldn’t have responded. I look forward to your not only usually coolheaded and respectful manner (which is never me) but also with a degree of balance that those of us fighting for dignity have legitimate cause.

  • Mahmud Saleh

    Nitricc: Cool down, man. People like YG or the other guy- I have not read an article from him, I don’t know him- are using soft tactics; they are thriving on the current problems, and targeting young people who are disillusioned. Nitricc how do you counterbalance their poisonous doses? I would rather try to persuade those innocent citizens who are crying for solution and understandably angry at ghedli through giving information and the context of ghedli. For instance when those anti-ghedli, anti-Ertra elements send barrages of human right abuses allegedly committed by ghedli, I would not defend the fact that any crime was commitTed, but would counter it with placing ghedli within its context ( the fact that it was primarily a military resistance and every other effort was geared towards winning a war that was oddly balanced against their resources, the fact that as a society our understanding of human right abuses was and still is weak/tolerant, the time of ghedli-60s and 70s- 80s and the available rallying ideological tool of that time (leftis ideology) vs modern concepts of human right….I would ask them, ” So, was derg or Hailesellasie Ethiopia the Switzerland of that time? The point is nitricc,-and I know you have been in this fray long before I joined in, but take it as an advice- the point is you just have to differentiate between those who deliberately attack ghedli to unravel the cause of our nationhood, and those who are rightfully disappointed and are seeking a solution. You are a big gun in going after those big fish, brother, go for it, but I am afraid, some times, you are doing a blanket bombardment instead of using a targeted kill. (CHEERS HARBEGNA NITRICC!!)

    • Nitricc

      Thanks Mahmud. I got it. I don’t know why but sometimes I do things I know it is not right or good things to say, I know that but I the unfairness and the selfishness of some people gets me. How can you pass a judgement on something you have no idea what so-ever? How hard is it to show some respect for people who has done so much? How hard is it to understand the courage it took for anyone who participated in the Gedli? How difficult can be to understand and respect for some one who did something you can’t do or never did?
      Trust me, at the end of the day we all die and we all going to get old and useless but the life of Tegadaly and the purpose of his life is greater than any thing in life. So, yes I get angered and disappointed with some selfish and people who has accomplished nothing in their life taking a shoot at the greatest Gedli ever existed. I am not saying they should like it but they will respect it. As. Eritreans it is healthy we have different opinions and ideas but when it comes to Gedli; I will tell to anyone to go hell.
      Anyway; Mahmud, I will take your advice to heart and I will try to do my best till anther ignorant touches my nerve.
      Thank you sir.
      Respect;
      Nitricc.

  • ርሑስ ቅንያት ናጽነት عيد ميلاد سعيد

    سعيد الاستقلال الأسبوع

    ርሑስ ቅንያት መበል 23 በዓል ናጽነት #ኤርትራ
    Happy Independence Week to all Eritreans around the world!

    • Salina

      Yohanna! Yohanna! Right back at you 🙂

  • Pappillon

    Dearest Yodita,

    I absolutely agree with you. Elements with an extreme view (read: And’netawian) and their platform should be deferred ’till the nation stands firmly on her own feet and smooth transition is secured.

    Haft’khi.

    • Kim Hanna

      Dear Pappillion,
      CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS!!, You are a lawyer too?
      K.H

    • Yodita

      Thank you for your reply, ሓፍተይ ናተይ።

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Dear Pappi and Yodita,

      Where is your trio “Tzegereda”?. She was a good asset and an additional flower like both of you in the middle of male dominated awate forum (I mean in number not in idea).

      Hawkin,

      Amanuel Hidrat

  • Semere Andom

    Hi Nitriicc
    Thanks to Sal you were this close to unleashing your lurking talent, making Sal gazzilinoor for discovering you, but then you let him down and let us down for giving u the benefit of the doubt for ur serial stupidity by insulting our compatriots Serray and YG for their critical thinking mind and searching the truth
    Please leave ur abused and tormontedsoul by the transverstites in your day job and start debating ideas and learning from people like Serray, Yal and YG, who have trillions of brain cells that you may borrow
    sem

    • Ermias

      Thank you Sem. God bless you. You saved me a few minutes of my precious time as you have shoved it in his throat much more than I could have.

    • Nitricc

      Oh think of you leave in canada you know what I mean so forget what I have said earlier. I did not remember you are from canada. Burden of society.

  • saay7

    Ustaz Mahmud:

    Consider the following prescription for “how can the crisis be resolved”:

    ++++

    When the President is ready to be governed by the constitution and the law, and when the legislative and executive branches perform their legal functions properly;

    When confidence is placed on the members of the front and the general public, and they are allowed to exercise their right to participate in open discussions of important national issues, and when the legislative and executive organs of the PFDJ and the government hold their regular and emergency meetings and exercise their powers;

    When the PFDJ’s and the government’s experiences of the past [deleted] years are discussed and reviewed in open forums with wide public participation, and lessons learned are utilized for the future;

    When the law of party formation is proclaimed, and parties are allowed to form and are encouraged to compete peacefully and freely;

    When elections to the Fourth Party Congress are conducted freely and fairly, and the future of the PFDJ as a political party/organization, which must be governed by the same party laws to be proclaimed, is democratically decided at the fourth congress;

    When assurances are in place for free and fair national elections, and when preparatory steps (proclamation of election law, party law, and formation of electoral commission) for the elections are quickly taken;

    When the impartiality of the mass media is assured to encourage the protection of human rights, freedom of expression and political discourse; when the formation and freedom of action of civic organization are allowed and encouraged; when the Special Courts are dismantled; when those who have been imprisoned for a long time without a court order are brought before a regular court of law; when the independence of the judiciary is guaranteed;

    When participatory procedures are established to formulate clear and declared policies to address the gap in the standard of living, the lack of job and educational opportunity in different localities and communities.

    +++++

    That was from the G-15’s open letter. I deleted two words (“seven years”) so it won’t be easy to guess. The G-15, as we all know, included senior PFDJ officials (including members of its Executive Committee.) So, yes, PFDJ has “been stolen and stripped” of its founding values. And what they prescribed in 2001, remains valid in 2014.

    saay

    PS: Just saw SGJ’s message. No, Mahmud, we didn’t have a meeting to address you as “Ustaz Mahmud.” 🙂

    • Mahmud Saleh

      SAAY7:
      Thank you for bringing the G15 proposal, that makes sense now. I hope Amde and others will take a look at that and stop the line of argument that EPLF leaders automatically became PFDJ leaders, EPLF values were inherited by PFDJ, therefore, EPLF was the evil source of today’s problem. I have always felt and still feel PFDJ had derailed from its line long time ago when it cleansed itself from elements who would have had positive role in influencing it to stick to its founding ideals; once that coup was done (purging its top leadership) I can not see it as the PFDJ that was founded in 1994. It has become an instrument of one man, your “favorite” Issayas.

  • Saleh Johar

    Ustaz Mahmoud,

    Before I reply to your question, I kindly ask you to dig and show met where I compared Nazis and Fascist. I didn’t. But since you brought it, I don’t think the PFDJ is much different than the two.

    The last 23 years are enough to know the real PFDJ, with or without a charter. The idea that the PFDJ was stolen in 2001-2002 is over the limit for me. I know it stole Eritrea in 1993, immediately after the referendum. For that it used the PFDJ tool. Now, whether the tool that was used to commit the grand theft in 1993 became illegitimate only a decade later is not debatable and I cannot swallow it with all the water of the Nile. As far as I am concerned, Isaias has always been a shifta who cannot speak of values. The Arabs say,”faqd a’shei’e la Ya’Etih.” One cannot give what one doesn’t have to begin with. He can’t talk of kbretatna when he destroyed all our values and dignity.

    But what bothers me in this debate is that the PFDJ is being presented as an expensive asset that we have to keep. Well, to me it embodies everything that ails Eritrea and its people. I would throw it like off the back of Eritreans just like a hospital throws the clothing of a victim of infectious disease. Typhus, for example 🙂

    • Amde

      Saleh J,

      It is funny to see these attempts to try and pin down a date when Mr Hyde disappeared and Dr. Jekyll showed up. So the angel EPLF became the devil PFDJ? How plausible is that considering that the leadership of EPLF and PFDJ were basically identical before and after the name change?

      As they say, the simplest explanation is usually the right one. EPLF honed brutal methods to destroy its competitors in the field and defeat the Ethiopian army. Since its brutal methods worked in the field it saw no reason to change them once it got into power. Simple as that.

      amde

      • Saleh Johar

        Amde, please note my views on the EPLF/PFDJ.

        Whatever happened until 1991, is a different phase, that of revolution and mayhem which has to be seen in that light. But the struggle era is a legacy of all Eritreans and we own all of its aspects. Starting 1991, and onwards, it is different. That is when the shifta group too over. Tome me, the name is not as important as the period. 1991 is the beginning of a new era. Some say 1993, and I agree because the two years were simply period of euphoria and reorientation. The PFDJ made it easy for us when it baptized itself with a new name.

        • Amde

          Come on Saleh. Can you name names of the “shifta group” that took over? When you say “took over”, it must obviously be different from the previous “non-shifta” group.

          Unless you mean in the parapsychological sense, when collective new personalities took over the bodies of the hosts.

          It’s preposterous.

          amde

          • haileTG

            Selamat Amde and T Kifle

            Basically, I hope you would agree that dealing with the whole complex affair as Ghedli is simply as difficult as the meaning of the name ghedli itself. And to attempt to validate it or discard it in one stroke is as preposterous as things can get. Your conflict of interest in the matter aside, let us adopt Amde’s approach, i.e. “the simplest explanation is the right one” as a working principle in this case. Hence, EPLF’s promissory note had clearly and firmly committed itself to the creation of pluralistic and democratic nation state in exchange to the masses commitment and forbearance in the face of the all round challenges to go through the struggle.

            1 – History has recorded that the Eritrean people have discharged their side of the deal

            2 – History has recorded that the leadership of the then PGE and later PFDJ affirmed to live upto the promise and took tangible actions towards implementing it from 1991 – 1998.

            3 – History has recorded that Eritrea and Ethiopia went to an all out war from 1998 – 2000

            4 – History has recorded that the conduct of the war and matters of expediting the implementation of the constitution and returning to normal task of governing the nation has resulted in serious division among the leadership of PFDJ and ended up catastrophically.

            5 – History has recorded that the group lead by IA came out victorious and went on a rampage till it brought the nation to its knee internally and externally.

            context

            1 – History has recorded that the Eritrean armed struggle is fondly remembered by those who participated and born into it and it had an overwhelming support of Eritreans all over the world well until 2000 (with many small challenges though)

            2 – History has recorded that had IA went to honor the EPLF stated promise and gone to multiparty democracy in 2001, he would not been only have won in land slide after land slide by sheer popularity but probably would have gone in history by being complemented for much of a spectacular achievements Eritreans would have registered in many fields.

            3 – History has recorded that the Eritrean people have proven, to the most extent, incapable of stepping up to the plate in every challenge that came their way and probably would hold the world Guinness record for being able to live with what ever indignity thrown at them as a collective society.

            Now, to say that EPLF of yesteryear’s was the same as today’s PFDJ, you are glossing over one glaring FACT, not withstanding the above set records and contexts, which is that Eritreans use to return from abroad to join the EPLF but now days they run in droves to avoid the PFDJ. So if EPLF was the same in ghedli era and is PFDJ now, then the Eritrean people of ghedli era must have been different to the once now (even those who fought and survived ghedli and have run away from PFDJ now).

            The issue of EPLF is an issue of hijacked national glory for Eritreans. PFDJ is indeed a shifta organization whereas EPLF and ELF as well as others were popular national fronts. If all fails to convince you, I implore you not to go there (challenging the Eritrean struggle for independence in any shape or form) as it is a matter of national security for us and we might disappear you in era ero if you keep doing it 🙂

            cheers

          • Amde

            Dear Haile,

            That was a good laugh you gave me. Era Ero indeed. Watch out Kim Hanna and TKifle, you might find yourself in there with me – an old chauvinist – egzio meharenne kristos.

            So, I guess that puts you in the camp that says EPLF was an angel and even PFDJ was an angel until 2001. Saleh is on record saying that he really believes that magic year is 1991, but he can magnanimously allow 1993 to be the magic year instead. (Actually Saleh has implied he has chosen to apply the word “devil” only after independence. As a published writer, he knows the value of a word, and has taken the decision to “freeze” its usage – much as EPLFDJ uses “tedesqilom”.)

            This game sounds like such fun, I have my version of it. If we are to split the difference between Year Saleh J and Year HaileTG, i.e. 2001-1993, count my thumbs, count my toes carry the 99 and I arrive at 1997. Oh wow, how about that. That is just one year before 1998!! The War happened because the shifta group took over in 1997!!!

            I don’t know what is difficult about admitting that the ghedli methods worked really well for liberation, but have been found to work not so well when one has to run a state. I see no “challenging” the Eritrean struggle for independence in that formulation. But it is true, enquiring minds such as YG would logically keep the argument going.

            Haile, I would say BS on the example you gave. You claim the proof is in the fact that Eritreans used to run TO the ghedli whereas young Eritreans now are fleeing the country. Young eritreans are fleeing the country now in the hundreds of thousands at the rate of thousands a month. Can you boldly say that Eritreans were joining EPLF by the thousands every month? I bet you there are Eritrean returnees to Eritrea now at probably the same or higher rate than those who joined EPLF fighters from abroad.

            Haile, you know what is disconcerting? To hear otherwise intelligent
            people like you deliberately turn a blind eye to something that is
            freaking glaringly obvious. Part of me says I should feel offended that you would take us to be so stupid. The other part is in awe of the majesty of Cognitive Dissonance (The Art of Lying to Yourself) at work.

            amde

          • Semere Andom

            Btsot Hailat and Abu Selah
            Hailat:
            Good one on the Era Ero humor, these guys are “abzihome alewo” :-), but one thing going for Amde, T. Kifle and Kim is that their government, composed a former Ghedli would inquire about them and maybe raid Eraro Ero in pursuit of freeing their citizens and I would whole heartedly support this kind of incursions into our sovereign land because, it may help free the Eritreans incarcerated there.
            But we must be so fearful if on the other hand they throw you and me to their version of Era Era because no government would inquire about us
            I agree on most of your points, some of them I like their blunt truth, but your keep hammering the hijacked theme, when was it hijacked?
            Saleh:
            If the same people are calling the shots since the Ghedli by recycling their collaborators in the name of new blood and nothing has changed since IA took the helm 44 years ago, how are you delineating the EPLF and the PFDJ, I think remote observer, an Ethiopian, Amde made a more lucid, more cogent argument in an environment that you breathed daily since your teens. You remined me of IA when he said “all the heroism history belongs to the people of Eritrea, the land of Eritrea belongs to the government, and every penny belongs to the PFDJ”, IA and his bad guys won and the skills they perfected and refined in the Ghedli was primed to be implemented, the Ghedli was like the clinical trials that Pharmaceutical use, same scientists, technicians and marketing people and the guinea pigs are the Eritreans, now and then

            Sem

          • T. Kifle

            Dear Semere A.

            I like your line of reasoning. Many times I find myself a character in your writings except the superb command of English in you. Any way I am learning.

            Regards

          • Kim Hanna

            Amde,
            I asked similar question a while back when one of the commentators was piling on President IA.
            President IA was the smartest, brave, visionary, George Washington caliber leader BEFORE independence from Ethiopia. This same person, according to some anyway is a brut, stupid, uncaring to his people and the devil himself AFTER wards.
            I am curious to see the reply.
            K.H

          • Saleh Johar

            Kim, it depends who you are talking about. But not many Eritreans were hoodwinked by Isaias. Many had to endure him because they were looking at the bigger picture and preferred to endure than risk the safety of the journey towards their goal. Others were just chuckling when some showered him with all the endearments you mentioned. So, it depends who you are talking about. Whatever you do, I have never been in that crowd 🙂

          • saay7

            Kim Hanna:

            And this is surprising…how? Just because somebody is good at one job, doesn’t mean he will be good at another job.

            The skill-set required to run a guerrilla organization is vastly different from those required to run a country. Even for heads of states, a leader who is vastly popular in war time may end up being despised in peacetime, as England’s Churchill and Peru’s Fujimori found out.

            Isaias Afwerki is a classic case of the “Peter Principle” at work: the principle that people rise to their level of incompetence or, as Peter explained, cream rises until it sours. He was a great liberation army leader who became a terrible head of state. In doing that, he joins a long list of heads of revolutionary movements who could not transition to being effective heads of state.

            Among many of the challenges that the change-seekers face is that many Eritreans feel that, by demanding he be fired, they would be ungrateful and disloyal to a person whose resume shows that he is up to monumental tasks. The way they see it, he hasn’t been given a fair shake: powerful enemies arrayed against him hampering him every step of the way. Prior to the 1998 border war, the common metaphor of Eritrea (that senior PFDJ officials including those who joined G-15) used to give was that like the plane sitting on a tarmac, ready for take off.

            saay

          • Ciao

            Dear Saay,
            I think you are overlooking a gigantic event that forced PIA and the Government of Eritrea to basically take a detour from the course they were on. They had to drop everything they were doing and focus on saving the sovereignty of the nation. You know what I am talking about, of course.
            You need to remember that Eritrea is a young country. Where was the United States when it was Eritrea’s age? At 23 years old, the US was slave holding nation. You need to keep in mind that the history of countries and leaders is written over a long period of time. Given the challenges Eritrea and PIA have had to face, I would say he has done a pretty darn good job.

          • saay7

            Selamat Ciao:

            Well, no, I didn’t overlook it. I said that to some of our compatriots feel “he hasn’t been given a fair shake: powerful enemies arrayed against him hampering him every step of the way.” They have excused his suspension of the constitution, cancelling of elections, shutting down the private press, restricting civil liberties on this basis.

            Many of us have said that this is a huge mistake but the silence and/or support of our compatriots has emboldened him to suspend the national assembly, accelerate arrests, shut down business licenses, close university. He has found it necessary, as all autocrats have, to create a siege mentality where all sorts of “enemies”–foreign and domestic–are threatening the very survival of Eritrea. And, in the process, he has trapped us, and he has trapped himself: a man who could walk anywhere in the country now travels with dozens of bodyguards, has to have his food tasted before he takes a bite, has to make even where he sleeps on a given night a state secret. He has converted Eritrea into a prison. And when you have prisoners who are imprisoned indefinitely, they can’t even say I will serve my time and have a new life: all they can think of to escape and they have been escaping by the tens of thousands.

            saay

          • Ciao

            Dear Saay,
            Regarding the suspension of constitiution and rule of law, did you know that in the United States also the constitution and due process were suspended for years during the civil war? This is true. You can can look it up. Abraham Lincoln said, “I am suspending the constituition in order to save it.” Truth be told, we are still at war. Until Weyane is gone, we have a determined enemy that is hell-bent on destroying Eritrea. Once weyane leaves, things will be different. But for now, our progress toward democracy has been hijacked by our evil neighbor to the south.
            We need to be patient. I know it is personal to you because you have family members that are held without due process but the same darn thing is going on Ethiopia as well except that Ethiopia is protected by Uncle Sam so no one makes a big fuss about it. Weyane Tigray has been the greatest evil that befell the Horn.

          • Ciao

            One more thing, Abraham Lincoln did whatever he needed to do to save the Union and that is what PIA has done. He did whatever he needed to do to save the sovereignty. We are still at war. That is how I look at it. Once Weyane leaves and the threat recedes, you can bet things will be different. But for now, we have to play the cards we were dealt. We need to support PIA. There is no alternative. Besides, you see how these so-called opposition people behave. I don’t have any confidence in them. Do you?

          • SA

            Ciao,
            Since you seem to be fond of using American history as an analogy for our history, I hope you will read the following piece that was excerpted from Os Guinness’ book “A Free People’s suicide.” You will find that IA is no George Washington, but he could have been like George Washington if he had given up his power like Washington, and my guess is that the last 14–16 tragic years of our history would have been different. Here is the excerpt:

            “…., in 1782 the American Revolution had reached the stage characteristic of many republics and revolutions at which a dangerous vacuum of power had built up. The obvious way forward was for a strong man to step in and stop the slide toward chaos by wresting the situation to his will—as Julius Caesar did in Rome, Cromwell in England, Robespierre
            in France and Lenin in Russia.

            All those men did, but not George Washington. Letters and signed and unsigned papers began to circulate through the camp, stirring the restless dissatisfaction, as did whispering that the only solution to the “weakness of republicks” was a military dictatorship and that there was only one man fit for such rule.

            But the first commander in chief would have none of it. When one of his own officers, Lewis Nicola, wrote to him saying that they would be better off with him as king, he flatly turned the thought aside: “Be assured, Sir, no occurrence in course of the War, has given me more painful sensations than your information of there being such ideas existing in the army as you have expressed

            Yet the angry talk swirled around Washington unabated, and the festering mutiny came to a head on March 15, 1783, when the general surprised the conspirators by entering their officers’ assembly and urging them strongly to turn back from such folly. Using three different lines of argument, he hit a brick wall each time and ended looking out on faces as stony and unresponsive as when he began. But then, just when it looked as if he had failed, he tried to read a letter from a Virginia congressman and fumbled for a pair of spectacles no one had ever seen him wear before—“Gentlemen,” their fifty-one-year-old leader said wearily after eight years in the field, “you will permit me to put on my spectacles, for I have not only grown gray but almost blind in the service of my country.”

            Whether spontaneous or contrived, Washington’s simple symbolic act accomplished in a second what all his arguments had failed to do, and there was hardly a dry eye as the general walked out of the tent, mounted his horse and rode away. As Major Samuel Shaw reported at the time, “There was something so natural, so unaffected, in this appeal as rendered it superior to the most studied oratory.” The incident was a non-event that was more decisive than most events. The American Revolution would not go the way of other revolutions.Washington was as victorious over the temptation to Caesarism at Newburgh as he had been over the British at Yorktown.”

          • saay7

            Selamat Ciao, or should I say Ciao Ciao:

            Well…here are a few problems with your comparison of Abraham Lincoln’s suspension of “writ of habeas corpus” (bringing a prisoner to a court of law) and Isaias Afwerki’s suspension of “writ of habeas corpus”:

            1. Lincoln was in the middle of civil war–people shooting at each other and the existence of his country in danger of splitting into two. Eritrea is not facing that.

            2. Lincoln had to convince a supreme justice that his action does not violate the Constitution. The supreme justice was not convinced. The constitution says “the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion and invasion the public safety may require it” and the justice said that, even if there is rebellion and invasion, it is the Congress that has the power to do it, not the president.

            3. Lincoln then had to convince the US congress that he had the right to do it. True, while congress was debating the issue–for three years–he acted to suspend the “writ of habeas corpus” but, in the end, there was a check and balance: congress COULD have stopped him by impeaching him. Who has that power (congress or president) is something that US politicians debate all the time as there is no clarity in the constitution.

            By why even go for precedent elsewhere? What does the ratified Eritrean constitution say?

            17.5 Every person shall have the right to petition a court of law for a Writ of Habeas Corpus. Where the arresting officer fails to bring the person arrested before the court and provide the reason for his arrest, the court shall accept the petition and order the release of the prisoner.

            You say we are in a State of Emergency? Guess what: only 2/3 of the Assembly can make that declaration: not the President and his Cabinet.

            saay

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam saay,
            I think, I am more inclined to accept Mr. Johar’s below statements than yours on this subject. Yours has those suspicious American phrases of skill sets and peter principle and the like.
            My Abesha sense tells me, He, President IA was and is the same person. He got wiser, I think, as we all do with experience. He dealt with situations as he always did then and now.
            As I read my comment and your response, I wished your comment was directed to amde or Horizon who expressed similar view so that they respond with the same texture and nuance as yours. It would have been a joy to read.
            I thank you
            K.H

          • Dear Kim Hanna,

            Saay was right when he said that a good fighter might not be a good ruler. That is exactly what DIA was/is, a good fighter but the worst type of ruler that a country could ever wish to have.

            Money, fame and power need a lot of work, commitment, perseverance and even obsession. Some people are born for this. The unfortunate thing about the above three is that they often corrupt, and sometimes they consume the
            people who own them, because they change them to such a level that they become dangerous not only to themselves, but also to their surroundings.

            What I do not agree is with Eritreans who believe that change-seekers who want to get rid of DIA are ungrateful and disloyal to him, because he had once a monumental plan in mind for Eritrea, which he could not accomplish because of powerful enemies. I am sure that, especially the U.S., was not losing its sleep because developed Eritrea is its problem.

            If Eritrea was likened to a plane sitting on a tarmac ready for takeoff prior to 1998, I am afraid that that runway could have been Ethiopia; otherwise, there is no way she would have been able to take off by herself.

            DIA was a gangster, and he behaved as such, especially after the defeat of Dergue’s army and after Eritrea became an independent nation. If he had development in mind, it was parasitic and adventurous, and not even with the spirit of mutual benefit that would relieve both countries from poverty. The relation from DIA’s side was hegemonic and bullying in nature, because he was always a dictator.

            Regards.

          • dine

            in other word those who say PIA was a good ruler until 2001 are those who think he didn’t manage the war, the gangster. the bullying better after 2001, which means they agree with the bullying, the gangster but differ with the management .

          • T. Kifle

            Dine
            spot on. all the cacophony we hear here is a post war dissonance. We would have had totally different SAAYs if the war had ended in their favor.

          • Kim Hanna

            Dear T. Kifle,
            Post war dissonance. Are you saying that (accepting Horizon’s plane tarmac description above) Y.G and SAAY would have been soul brothers, if the war ended in their favor? Please say it ain’t so.
            K.H

          • T. Kifle

            Dear Kim Hanna,

            you got me right. Save few people who stood their ground and opposed the war(read: SGJ, AHT…). The departure point for the others is the outcome of the war. YG and SAAY had been doing what an enlightened PFDJite cadre could possibly does till that fateful year followed by the September 18’s debacle. While YG catapulted to an exactly opposite pole from where he had been, the vast majority of others are caught between the rock and a hard place: in their attempt of creating an aura of diversion of purpose of the current leadership from that of the struggle period.

          • dine

            KM, YG convinced after 2001 that unless Eritrea correct the value, the idea of EPLF + ELF there is no fix for eritrea’s mess.

          • Ermias

            T. Kifle, while I concur with your claim to a large extent, that fact shouldn’t be used in a way that puts everyone in the same basket. Meaning that, it’s not fair to say that they are all the same deep down. I would agree that we all started more or less from the same line. But facts on the ground change things. You need to give us a little bit of a slack here for evolving our stance once we saw who truly IA and PFDJ are. It’s like a bully in school…one guy dares to challenge him and he is not feared anymore because his true cowardice has been exposed. So it doesn’t matter where YG and SAAY would be had the war had a different outcome. It would have taken more time but YG is where he is now because he must have had a predisposition to be there.

          • T. Kifle

            Dear Ermias,

            I am aware of people who opposed to the coercive nature of EPLF even at the time when the majority Eritreans where in a state of euphoria(well before 1991) so there is no way that I put all people in a single basket. YG and SAAY, however, had been two among the vocal Eritrean nationalists who promised heaven in the “promised land”. They threw everything that can be thrown at the “evil southern neighbour” and preached the beginning of the end was in the offing had Ethiopia failed to negotiate at gun point. It’s good that YG does the U-turn at the earliest but who would miss SAAY’s vacillation in his quantum-well of ghedli? So dear Ermi, rest assured that I belive in evolution and sooner or later Eritreans would come to their senses and pick up their pieces for a new beginning.

            regards

          • saay7

            Harbeyna Weyanai T.Kifle:

            Nice touch with “evil southern neighbor” in scare quotes. Not clear from the context if I said it, YG said it, or both of us said it. Did we say it at the same time or one of us copied the other?

            I understand your rant at me but isn’t there a statue of limitations on YG? Whatever he had written, he has more than overcompensated for it now to your liking doesn’t he. I mean the man has said there was no reason for Eritreans to raise arms against girmawi qedamawi, that the Eritrean revolution against Emama Ethiopia was a fraud, that Eritrean identity is fake and its revolution founded by genoicidal bandit, that the revolution never had the support of Eritreans, and that now we need Ethiopia to help us get out of our crisis. Should he carry a rock on his back, in the grand tradition of Habesha, and ask for forgiveness? Preferably on May 24? Would that do it?

            Your certainty about things that can’t be known, how YG and I would have been in a parallel universe where the outcome of the May 2000 offensive was different, is classic Harbena Weyanai behavior: I think EPLFs frequent breakups with Weyanai were mostly likely due to sheer exhaustion of your being loudly wrong. Anyway while we are floating theories, I got one: deicide. Do you think that explains the Weyane rage at EPLF? Just a theory.

            saay

          • Ermias

            Dear T. Kifle, I have noted your comment. Thank you very much indeed!

          • Solomon Seyum

            Saay, you lost me on that last paragraph??? Can’t they demand he be fired and still remain grateful? Or is the demand the he be fired and more… there is some space uncovered somehow I feel. Kim’s George Washington is very hard to give up easily and or totaly perhaps she may be alluding.

          • saay7

            Selamat Sele and Kim:

            First of all, the reference to Isaias Afwerki as “the George Washington of Eritrea” was the invention of a Western reporter, not Eritreans. Attributing that to Eritreans is one of those myths that our Ethiopian friends like to repeat–like the claim that Eritrea suddenly became one of the largest coffee exporters in the mid 1990s.

            Never mind countries, even companies’ boards are reluctant to fire a CEOs who once saved a company from the brink of bankruptcy. Add that to the fact that at no time have Eritreans (or Ethiopians for that matter) had a say on who should govern them, then to expect a people to rise up and fire their president (for which the equivalent word is “Negus” or king) is unrealistic and all the tsk-tsking is people being a bit disingenuous. I will accept such chastising and ridicule with some humility if it comes from citizens with long histories of empowered citizens but it is a bit much to take when it comes from fellow Africans who have eons of history of being passive subjects.

            Kim:

            Please re-read what I wrote: I didn’t say Isaias Afwerki changed. Quite the opposite: I am saying he couldn’t change: the rebel leader couldn’t change to a president of a country so he decided to change the country to a rebel-held territory. We are talking about a guy who, in the 1998-2000 war, seriously considered the possibility, that if worse came to worst, he would give the order to retreat from the capital of a sovereign nation all the way to Nakfa.

            Why? Well, to paraphrase a common expression: fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly, and rebels have to rebel.

            saay

          • Abrham

            Dear SAAY
            Let me add another info, Eritreans who have strong connection with PDFJ were on their way to be in the banking service( which is exclusive to Ethiopian citizens) by the name HORN BANK at that time. Could it be another myth from us?

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Abu Saleh (saay),

            The G-15 didn’t ask to be fired, because they were still believing that there is no one who can substitute to him. They asked him only to hear their advice. Actually, It remains to be the same belief within the rest of EPLF/PFDJ still to this day. Except you are telling us different story as if PFDJ and Issayas are different. They are hand and gloves as a solid party. I believe you are hurting the current struggle by creating “new theory” and new “assumption” that is not even in the mind of PFDJites.

            Hawka,

            Amanuel Hidrat

          • saay7

            Ah, Emma:

            What the G-15 said is not a matter of speculation: they articulated their viewpoints in Tigrinya, Arabic and English when they (a) wrote an open letter to PFDJ members, (b) an open letter to the Eritrean people, and (c) gave lots of interviews to the then mushrooming private print media.

            If from all of that all you got was that “they asked him only to hear their advice”, I can’t be much help.

            saay

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Hey Saay,

            Come on buddy! Even if they came up with an open letter to the Eritrean people and to PFDJ members in three languages, i believe it doesn’t go beyond a call for meeting to evaluate the result of the border war. If it had an intent beyond that( I mean the open letter) I am open to learn. In fact a demand of meeting by open letter isn’t a matter of speculation in my view. My point was their demand doesn’t go beyond the request to have a meeting and nothing alluded in it to unseat him.

            But I have a question to you, on one of your point as a supplement to Yodita’s response for Hayat. I don’t want to misunderstood your view. When you say “They allowed him because (and even some in the exiled opposition will say this): because he was a good decision-maker and had sound judgement.” do you really believe “he was a good decision-maker and had sound judgement”? Because I took the exiled opposition’s view that is inserted in a bracket to support you view. If you really believe on that statement, you should also believe the decisions taken by him during the war and aftermath.

            hawka,

            Amanuel Hidrat.

          • saay7

            Emma:

            Since you said you are open to learn, I ask you to read the Open Letter. If it is too long for you, just go to II.B and their proposal on how to get out of the crisis:

            http://web.archive.org/web/20020211231834/http://awate.com/Documents/EPLF/intro.htm

            On his leadership skills:
            (1) you either believe that the EPLF was (a) one of the world’s greatest liberation movements, or (b) you don’t believe that it was. People can have an honest disagreement on this, so long as they are measuring the EPLF by the standards of other liberation movements.
            (2) If you believe that the EPLF was one of the world’s greatest liberation movements, then it is (a) partly because of its leadership (collectively) or (b) partly despite its leadership (collectively).
            (3) If you believe that the greatness of EPLF was partly because of its leadership, then you have two choices: (a) the leadership achieved its goals because of Isaias Afwerki’ leadership or (b) despite the fact he was its leader.

            I vote (3)(a).

            saay

            PS: I didn’t have you in mind when I was talking about the exiled opposition. I had in mind former leaders of the EPLF.

          • Semere Andom

            Hi Emma and Sal:
            Sorry for intruding between two friends:
            The G-15 did unambiguously assert that the wars should be evaluated, “gemgab ygber”, alluding that IA was responsible for much of the debacle and whimsical decisions that humiliated Eritrea and Eritreans. Even if we assume that IA was a great liberation (war) leader that was never demonstrated in the last bloodbath and if his greatness is not repeatable then it may have been a fluke: the stars were aligned.

            G-15 was too late and too little for Eritreans. Under their watch IA killed, and wreaked havoc, gambled both the sovereignty and the liberation movement. Some of the fiercest and blunt critics in G-15 who really had enough and wanted real, fundamental change, Peros and Haile and to some extend uqbe were ready to repent and cleanse themselves from EPLF/PFD and that was their crime, standing up against IA and owning up. This is praiseworthy

            It was too late, because they remained silent when he ignited the war, what was their role in trying to stop the war?, did they give it their utmost, duking it with IA to the last atom of their energy to use their pens as they were telling Eritreans that “we will throw the guns and our pens will be our fighting tool” metaphorically for sure. They rubber stamped Isaias’s war and then when he insuitated there was betrayal from high leadership and their fear was a motivation for acting, albeit tardy. Still they set a precedent (my God am abusing this word this days, Sal have you noticed ;-)) un heard of in the history of IA. For this reason our hats should be off, no matter how fickle and no matter the motivating factor. Fear can be a good motivator, and no matter their motivation, it was a good thing they did. Haile squarely attributed the colossal catastrophes to the government and the success to the people and unheard of in the annals of PFDJ he thanked the foreigners who helped negotiate and broker the peace process in his timely, timeless immortal speech of “atelaqyoman”

            It was too little because they did not go far, IA was at his weakest and they could have successfully manoeuvered “democratic coupe”, I Know it is an oxymoron, I blame Sal for introducing and coining it here, I fell in love with it. Instead they utilized their pens in the wrong war and on the wrong person. They wanted him to listen to them because he was by passing the non-existent parliament, as if this was new revelation. To my mind this was the most opportune time for peaceful transition, if they had the fortitude and foresight .But the most worrisome to me was the almost universal knack of not learning from history, they never learned from the history that they were par of, they got it wrong. The 1993 Tegadalti civilized and peaceful demonstration was not tapped into, the disabled peaceful and rightful demands was not remembered, let alone what happened in the remote deserts and mountains of the Eritrean wilderness and this malice still seems to be pandemic in any opposition to him. Eritreans, who are pedantic in fighting foreigners seem not to learn from past mistake and instead tend to make bedtime stories even from our failures. The G-15 crippled by this hereditary flaw also wanted him to listen to them by assembling them, when the fact was that he never assembled them before and when he did, he was literally “assembling” them in the assemblies that never was.

            Just to pre-empt the predictable line of romantics I will add the following tweak 🙂

            Now I know the romantics will quote and paraphrase Sbehat Epherem and say that one generation can do one thing and the rule of law must be accomplisheb by the next generation and whoever expected rule of law from Ghedli is a lazy brat.

            Sem

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Merhab Sem,

            I was trying to reply to Sal I can’t say it better the way you did. But why is Saay started to praise the brute’s leadership at this hour, I haven’t clue. Can you help me on that? According his argument, if he was a sound and strategist leader in the ghedli era, he should reflect the same thing in the border war in post independence era. In fact the credit of success in the ghedli era should be accredited to those who lead in the real battles of attrition like Wedi Solomon, Wedi Afa, Wedi Samuel, Omer Tewil and others. Ask many EPLFites will tell you, he has never in a war never lead, except in those early years (early70s) during the civil war between both fronts. So why is this all image making.
            Hawka,
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Kim Hanna,

            Issayas was brute in the struggle and is brute when he is on top of the state machine of our nation. Don’t listen to his image makers. One thing that doesn’t changed with Issayas character from the incepcion of his organization until now is his “unflinching brutality.”

            Regards,

          • Saleh Johar

            Amde, I don’t think you need to name names when you are talking about an institution, everyone in it, is IT. Now, were there people who abandoned the shifta ship in time? Yes. They have all the right to be excluded from the institutional name list the minute they declare they abandoned the PFDJ. They are citizens and have the right to do that. It is not about vengeance where if one finds himself in the PFDJ once, he is stuck forever. Remember, many ended up in it over a long time, a complicated and hard process, it shouldn’t take them equal time to abandon it or to be accepted as non-PFDJ. We didn’t do it with members of the occupational army. The minute they abandoned it, they were new people and some were even placed on high positions within the struggle era organizations. The names are irrelevant because as far as individuals are concerned, it is fluid. It is not about vengeance but about inclusive attitude, tolerance and defeating the PFDJ tyranny.

            I know nothing about parapsychology, but I think what you mentioned is really what happened! You may want to study the phenomena of Buda and how they possess the body of people. Do you know of a political equivalent of Tebbib and Buda 🙂

          • Amde

            Ayii Ato Saleh,

            Wedet sheshet sheshet as they say. It was a simple question. Actually you were the one who explicitly used the phrase “when the shifta group took over”. Unless English has changed its meaning, if you say “a group took over” there must be a “before group” and an “after group”. And if one took over from the other, these two must be different. It is that simple. And I am not asking for a full dossier, I’ll be happy to see the list of the top 10 (OK make it 5) people of the before and after groups.

            Now, in THIS response you changed your statement to say “an institution, everyone in it”. So now it is NOT a mere group but the whole institution that hijacked itself?

            I think you are better off with the Buda theory. I will play along. As you know, when a buda is approached by a Tebib, the possessed soul starts writhing about, deliriously babbling, eyes bugged out, shouting obscenities, and crying out “He is a liar, take him out of here, why do you allow him to torment me etc…”

            Well, I might know of a Tebib. Lol… His name is YG. The invocation of his name brings frothy mouthed agitation among the possessed. Evidence: the pages of Awate.com 😉

            amde

          • Solomon Seyum

            nah man awate.com can not be your evidence. frothy mouthed agitation not quite. Here is what I surmise the attitude towards YG in one sentence:
            YG is in dire need of a PYT why else is in perpetual masturbation behaving like a squirrel chasing its fulfilling daily mea. i.e the NUT!

      • T. Kifle

        Amde,

        No one is ready to swallow the pill (“with all the Nile water”) that Ghdeli and PFDJ’s Eritrea are one and the same. I understand their apprehensions of endorsing Ghdeli and at the same time rejecting PFDJ as they think the birth and continuation of the Eritrean state is hinged to the values of that blood-letting era. In their effort to protect ghedli, they ended up protecting PFDJ.

    • Mahmud Saleh

      Ustaz Saleh GJ: Here are two of your replies one to SAAY7 and the other to Semere Andom; I copied them whole so that the reader could see them within context. You are caught red handed!! I could not yet locate the Nazi, though, I might have seen it in other peoples’ comments. I understand your position; I just brought it because you were curious if you compared PFDJ to Nazi and fascist party.

      Exhibit 1: “The Brits kept the Italians after WW2. That is true, but how do you see the fact that the Brits
      dismantled the Fascist party? Since the Italians were working under a new
      system, not under their own institutions, don’t you think all able public
      servants can be accommodated under a new system after the era of the PFDJ?
      Wouldn’t keeping the PFDJ intact be considered equal to keeping the Fascist
      party intact when the Brits took over?”

      Exhibit 2: ” Semere, what are you
      differing with me about? I didn’t raise generational issues.
      Ibelieve PFDJ is an organization akin to the Fascists that cannot be qualified
      to run the country. I understand that Eritreans (based on merits not on age
      groups) will fill the needed state/public positions to run the country after
      the eventual change. Hopefully the criminals will have to pass through the
      legal system–regardless of their age– and get what they deserve, acquittal or
      conviction. Incidentally, if you just state everyone will answer for their
      mistakes, you do not need an age qualifier. I think this age segmentation
      trivializes the matter–we are not sure what age group committed the most
      blunder when it comes to personal accountability.

      To sum it up: PFDJ as an institution has committed
      unforgivable blunders and in my opinion it should not be entrusted with running
      the Asmara city park let alone the whole country. Public servants are not ”
      ##################################################################################################

      My comment: If PFDJ is neutralized due to foced removal, either by a foreign force, or a victorious insurgency, then there is no debate about it, PFDJ has no chance of survival. But if it is done by a domestic efforts like an EDF lead citizens uprizing, I don’t see why, once its criminal elements and baggages are taken care of,it should not be allowed to compete on fair ground; let the people decide if it wins seats. Debaathification was done by a foreign force after a foreign force invasion and topling Baath party rule, which would be expected to be repeated in Eritrea if the change was done through force.

  • Nitricc

    I think I have a problem.
    How do you get to be critical on something you don’t know and something you are not part of?
    I read Ermias’s article degrading the Gedli. He admits he has no knowledge of what so ever but he got his mojo against Gedli when he read The job less articles and the coward the one who run out of the country his tailes between his legs with an Ethiopian passport had to say. Mind you none of the two; YG and Serray never experienced gedli and they never break a sweat for the greatest gedli in the world. I say on the world because I challenge to show me something comparable to the eritrean gedli. So, Ermias is telling you he was inspired to hate the gedli because of what YG and Serray has to write.
    The equation you must answer as a reader is that is Ermias that weak and helpless or the two cowards are that good and convincing?
    To a sane person the first thing to check it out is the crdeblity of the writer I.e. Who is writing the article ? What is the motive behind the writer and at last why is the writer the reason writing for?
    On this case I know more about gedli than the two cowards put together yet Ermias the confused and the weak is telling us how he is inspired to hate a gedli. Worst there are people wowing how Ermias is critical and mastering the debate. Sirously people? To tell you the truth Ermias is nothing but bonless coward. How do you get inspired by people who achieved nothing to hate and disregard the people who has done so much?
    Where is the fairness ? Where is the justice? The people who went through hell they could have flee their country like Serray and the jobless YG did but they did not. They fought dice and crippled. Do you think they deserve to be degraded by cowards like Ermias? I have no problem if you don’t agree with gedli but you better respect it. It drives me crazy when people like Ermias take shoot at gedli when Ermias the greatest fight he ever has is a food fight in his good for nothing school.
    I admit gedli big and powerful enough and it won’t loss a thing because of Serray the coward or YG the jobless and Ermias the confused say so. It is bigger than life and the people who they gave it all and participated are the real heroes for life.
    Ermias shame on you! You are disgraced. Have you ever questioned what Serray, YG and you have accomplishment comparing to anyone who participated on the greatest gedli?
    Do some soul searching before you expose your ignorance and stupidity

  • Mahmud Saleh

    Ustaz Saleh Johar:
    I see people talking of dismantling “…ideas, values, prograrms, policies…structures…symbols…” of PFDJ. As a fore running ” authority” on this “weeding out” proposal, can you for sure say the the founding charter of PFDJ of 1994 is still at work? If you determine this one positively, then we can conclude those IDEAS contained in the founding charter are the ones causing the mess. Therefore, commentators who repeat the quoted (above) overture have ground to push for its excision completely. You also presented a comment ( I thik in the Tewil threads) comparing NAZI and Fascist parties to PFDJ. My understanding has been that the founding ideals and the charter upon which PFDJ was founded are not in play….meaning PFDJ itself was diverted and stolen since around 2001-2002, if you remember Issayas’ call of “returning to our old values/ናብ ናይ ቀደም ክብርታትና ክንምለስ ኣለና።” That was after the mass purge of politicians and journalists. But if we can determine that PFDJ has also been stolen and stripped of its founding values, then Saleh Younis point makes sense. I am of the last assumption, but with a need to go more than just removing Issayas, because once Issayas and his close circle and enabling apparatus (security) are removed and a fair ground is created, PFDJ will reclaim its founding ideals and play by the book (constitution) for its survival.

  • Solomon Seyum

    I have wondered sometimes whether or not Semere TH has chopped it up or hung out with Bobby Brown. I get this feeling that he was present on the River Jordan maybe even baptized Whiney ahhh Whitney what a voice of an angle…. The hood in Soweto, or should I say Tarikhawit Soweto, couldn’t be that bad. Come on not as bad as Baltimore’s hood or South Central or West Oakland ah heck even as bad as Harlem or Detroit??? Sounds like the guy is telling us as long as you stay on those boojiee Blacks side of town the ANC is as criminal as the EPLF. Why in the hell would I travel to Asmara and find my self in Nakfa hood and nakfa hoodlums in crime ridden South Africa… I love my USofAyada yada yada yada

  • Solomon Seyum

    When your paranoia was very evident when you couldn’t drive your sedan a few block to the west on 13th street, I knew then that you would resort to absolute power corruption as you are utilizing it this very minute. THIS POST WILL SELF DESTRUCT IN A FEW SECONDS. Hope you are a quick read. Let me go an listen to the pilot…After all he is from beit timihirti sewra!

  • Solomon Seyum

    I believe I my frequent abductions by aliens need to cease and desist ASAP: The more stranger yet very personal these Eritrean personalities get on my infrequent returns from outer space the more alien earth and earthlings has gotten — AND I SPEAK OF THOSE/THESE RED ERTHLINGS OF THAT RED EARTH– Yes yes yes Erithreans …. Now hopefully Gadi ain’t gona delet my amberber posting or maybe even this entire article containing this thread I have commented on. Hey Ema Go Mets RIGHT????

  • Rodab

    Hey Ermias,

    It’s Sunday so let’s have some fun,
    Speaking of Pappii, did you know she has her own ‘rating’ system (I think Yodita too)? Here is how it goes: let’s say she is addressing someone named ‘X’. And this is how she ‘grades’ comments:

    Dearest X = 5 stars – she really really loves what she is reading.

    Dear X = 3 stars – she likes the comment.

    X = 1 star – she has seen the comment.

    (Blank) = she goes directly to replying and it is a sign the comment sucks. Kabzi yedHinena 🙂

    • Pappillon

      Dearest Ermias and Dearest Rodab OR Dearest Rodab and Dearest Ermias (*****) as in five stars.

      You guys are killing me. I am still laughing. With all honesty though, you two are one of the brightest stars Eritrea should be proud of. For real. If the “Yodita and Pappillon” are one person campaign is still going on, that makes my day for I am nothing compared to the jewel of Awate forum Yodita. Love you all.

      Haft’khum.

      • Ermias

        Thank you Rodab and Pappi. You guys made my day already. Astute observation Rodab. I noted on pappi’s replies to Saba – ‘What a pity!’

        Honestly, if the civility shown here is exhibited in future Eritrea, there is a lot of hope. I will cherish my five star status.

  • Durban

    Yes! Look who is choking now. I think it’s fair to say Weyae is on its last legs. PFDJ was wounded in the process but one could argue that it may have killed Weyane.

  • Solomon

    Dear Semere,
    It’s ironic that you would go to South Africa to learn how to fight the Government of Eritrea because South Africa happens to be one of the strongest business partners of Eritrea. South African firms are active in the lucrative mining industry of Eritrea. South Africa, followed by Ghana, has the highest number of foreign nationals working in Eritrea. South Africa’s Representative to the UN was instrumental in watering down the sanctions passed at the UN by Susan Fried Rice and Woyane Tigray. Woyane, of course, wanted to choke Eritrea’s economy. But look who is choking now? It is Woyane! I believe Woyane’s days are coming to an end. Minority rule and state control by 5% of the population is about to end starting next year. Tigrays are being hunted down in Ethiopia. Could it be because they “don’t like the color of their eyes?”

  • Yodita

    Awatistas,

    Dejen’s interview is humbling and enlightening. It gives a glimpse of what EPLF spirit of service (and preparation) for a better tomorrow WAS. Those who argue that the struggle was to merely free the land from an occupier can revise their belief listening to this 100% EPLF product who seems to be inflexibly positioned to think about his people and their condition first probably for the rest of his existence. My take is that this is only the tip of the iceberg and there exists a wealth of similar accounts to be told that would denude the betrayers of a noble, albeit very costly common endeavour of the Eritrean people.

    The sincerity of Dejen’s tone is palpable! Notwithstanding15 years behind bars UNJUSTLY, the integrity and dignity shine in his narrative. Dejen is a ‘Ghedli-bred’ young man and through his account we see why the majority in the Ghedli were resolved to struggle (no matter the cost): to bring RAHWA and JUSTICE to their people, not a hollow independence (Pappillon, Amde and Horizon: guys are your listening?).

    PS – although I call it the EPLF spirit, the selflessness of Tera Tegadelti was equally rampant in ELF

    YG – Dejen is a ‘product’ of Ghedli. His story is of one who took concrete huge bites to transform the lot of the trodden and as such it will immortalise the determined historical struggle of a people for generations to come. Ghedli did incubate and hatch the betrayers (a creepy minority) but it also revealed in no uncertain terms the nobility, fierce determination, wisdom and selflessness of the Eritrean people.

    • dawit

      Where can I listen to the interview? Please provide the link?
      Thank you

      • Yodita

        It is in Assenna.com.

        • dawit

          Thank Yodita

    • Ermias

      ዝኸበርኪ ዮዲታ፤ መቸም እቲ ብጀጋኑ ኣሕዋትናን ኣሓትናን ዝተገብረ መዘና ኣልቦ ቅያታትን መስተንክራትን መስዋእትነትን ዝኽሕዶ ሰብ ዘሎ ኣይምስልንን። ንገለ ገለና ዘዛርበና ዘሎ ግን: እቲ ውጽኢት ምስቲ ዝተኸፈሎ ዋጋ ፍጹም ዘይዳረግ ብምዃኑ እዩ። ኣብ ርእሲኡ ካኣ: እቶም ኩሎም ጀጋኑ ከም በዓል ደጀን: ደቂ መን እዮም ግዲ። ደቂ ህዝቢ ኤርትራዶ ኣይኮኑን። ስለምንታይ ወለዶም ዝሕብሕቦም ስኢኖም ምስ ናይ ሎሚ መንእሰያት ኮይኖም ፍቖዶ ኣውሮጳን ኣሜሪካን መጺኦም ሎሚ ኣይምለስ ጽባሕ ኣይምለስ ኢሎም ኣብ ጽምዋ ዓለም ኣደዳ ስትረስ ዝኾኑ ዘለው። ምኽናይቱ እቶም ዝዓበዩ: የግዳስ ካብቶም ዝነኣሱ ኣሕዋቶም ብፍጹም ዘይልብሙ ደቆም: ኣብ ዕንደራን ትዕቢትን ተሸሚሞም: ምእንቲ ህዝብና ኢሎም ብንቡር ምስ ዓለምን ምስ ጎረባብቲ ሃገራትን ስለዘይዋስኡ እዩ፤ እምበር ኣይጀጋኑን እዮም ዝበለ ሰብ ሰሚዕና ኣይንፍለጥን። እዚ ትፈትውዮ እትመስሊ ህዝባዊ ግንባር ነታ ሃገር ብሒቱ ከም ኩዑሶኡ ዝጻወተላ ዘሎ: ስለምንታይ ንህዝቡ ብክቱር ንዕቀትን ብድዐን ኣቃጫጭን ዘጽንቶ ዘሎ። ኣነ ከም ዝመስለኒ ስድራቤት ስውኣት (ወለዶም፤ ደቆም፤ ኣሕዋቶምን፤ ኣሓቶምን) ካብ እቶም ብህይወቶም ዝኣተው ተጋደልቲ ዝያዳ ነዛ ሃገር ኣውፍዮሙላ እዮም። ስለዚ ንሶም ተረከብቲ ሃገር ክኾኑ እዩ ዝግባእ ኔሩ፤ ክርከቡዋ እውን ዓቕሚን ክእለትን ዘይነበሮምን ዘይብሎምን ኣይኮነን፤ ውላድ እንተዘይብልኪ፤ ምስ ወለድኪ ሽዑ እስከ ምስ ነብሲኺ ተመራመሪ እሞ፤ ነዚ ውላደይሲ ንሃገሩዶ መወፈኹዎ፤ ዝጽበዮ ዓስቢኸ እንታይ ምኾነ እልኪ።

      • Yodita

        ሓወይ ኤርምያስ

        ኣነ እውን ብትግርኛ ክምልስ ምደለኹ ኔረ። ግን ብዙሕ ግዜ ስለዝወስደለይ ብ አንግሊዝኛ ክምልስ።

        Please allow me to touch upon a very painful subject for you: the death of an 18 year old younger sibling,
        in the prime of his youth, among many other kin and friends, is hard to justify – period. That you are ‘fixated’ about the worthinessof these sacrifices is natural, particularly when you assess the mess we are in.

        Without your brother’s martyrdom, Dejen, (raised in such a violent and terrorizing premises), would not have emerged so anchored in purpose that (1) he would end up piloting fighter planes (2) smell the rat and say no to a totalitarian system and (3) escape from its hidden prisons, 15 long years later (4) put his identity to relate it to his people. Here is a man, the nature of whom, since infancy, was moulded by a cohesive drive of a people who grasped the meaning of liberty and justice and were ready to die for it. A whole family in the Front scattered where assigned!!

        For insignificant childhood traumas, in the West, at best people will see a shrink for decades and at worst they screw their lives dabbing in all sorts of narcotics and alcohol.

        Dejen and many thousands like him are demonstrations that the sacrifices of our martyrs was
        not in vain! What we are witnessing during the last two decades is the distorting of the true nature of things. PFDJ has excelled in creating and maintaining its own reality. When this passes (soonest Inshallah!), the likelihood that we will emerge stronger with the added value of the Ghedli spirit which of course blossomed because of the innate culturally benign and social nature of the people. I do feel a bit like a preacher, but I have been wanting to make this point with you (not that you had not pondered on it already and many times).

        • Ermias

          Hi Yodita,

          Please excuse me but I didn’t quite understand your first statement:

          “Please allow me to touch upon a very painful subject for you: the death of an 18 year old younger sibling,in the prime of his youth, among many other kin and friends, is hard to justify – period. That you are ‘fixated’ about the worthinessof these sacrifices is natural, particularly when you assess the mess we are in.”

          I am thinking you lost a dear brother at some point (in Ghedli perhaps). That is very touching and many people can testify as such including me who lost a brother in meda whom I never met because I wasn’t even born. He was actually younger than 18 because he was still in high school. That said, I hope one day hopefully very soon we can all look back and say in unison – ALL THE SACRIFICES WERE NOT IN VAIN.

          I would never discount your genuine desire to preserve the legacies of Ghedli (the good ones of course) given how much sacrifice was made. My only contention is that we cannot now relive it. We need to catch up with the rest of the world and the best way to do that is to have people like you in positions where of great influence and individualize our people so that they can exercise their incredible potential as you alluded to earlier. b wefera ninewih kingua’az aynikilin ena. Let people do what they are best capable of doing which is to say that leave them alone politically, economically, and socially. To gain this is why they are leaving in droves.

    • Semere Andom

      Hi Yodita:
      I would just add this to your comment to sort of make it well rounded in reflecting what went wrong to the otherwise selfless dedication that our people expended to the struggle.
      The creepy, the betrayers, the opportunists, the cowards won, In the struggle that we are proud of with its tenacity and impeccable dedications even by the children like Dejen there was always a tug of war between the true justice seekers, whose vision and intelligence transcended the daily blazing heat and death that sounded them and those creepy and opportunist. The latter won. The independence was by us but for them and that is why we have no business in dancing to the tunes of tragedy and self-degradation. Why did the few creepy, opportunities and cowards won while our eyes was wide open, because the Romantics of that Era
      So why did the minority of creepy, opportunities and cowards win while our eyes were wide open? Because of the Ghedli Romantics of that Era.
      I said it before and let me repeat again: Lumping the Ghedli together is a mistake, the distinction may not be demarcated just like our borders with Ethiopia, but we make the lumping at our own peril. But do no make mistake about it the sacrifices we so intimately familiar with was rendered “kontu” because the few creepy embezzlers won on the backs of our sweat blood and death.

      Thanks

      Sem

      • Yodita

        Dear Semere Andom,

        I agree whole heartedly. Thank you for complementing the concept. With regards.

    • Amde

      Dear Yodita,

      I don’t remember using the word Hollow. My point was that most fighters fought to free the land from Ethiopian rule. Whatever the party (EPLF) taught as to the post-independence goals, whether democracy or socialism, were too much of an abstraction for the society and the rank and file fighters left it to the leadership as they felt they could trust them to do the right thing whatever it gets called. The ones that critically asked the questions were methodically eliminated along the way.

      It really is a case of “Be careful what you wish for – you might get it.”

      amde

  • Amanuel

    Hi Semere
    As usual i have enjoyed reading your article, specially the “Inda inqrbit Temen”part, though that prover about wedisebeyti, I think, it is outdated one. However, If I am going to be honest I would have preferred to read the paper you have presented.
    Amanuel

  • Yodita

    Dear Pappillon,

    Sorry to bring it here, but in the Tewil thread, you asked me ” … Would you consider including a political party whose kernel platform is
    centered on Union with Ethiopia otherwise known as ማሕበር ኣንድነት.” I gave you my candid reply and 12 hours ago I turned the question back to you but see no response. If not replying is deliberate on your part, although it would not be a fair play, I will take my ‘reading’ into it and get to know you better (cyber world-wise). If you just did not get to it and care to reply now however, I am all ears.

    Your sis.

    • Ermias

      Okay, now let’s do some fun fact checking. For all the doubters who say Yodita and Pappi are one and the same (or hade yikona kilte yikona (or is it seleste, hmmmm hayat)), Yodita has a little bit of a temper. That is very cute, sorry if it sounds sexist but it is cute. When she first arrived here, the moderator was reviewing her post. Little did she know that it was a standard practice (Pappi had long been on the forum already) and she raised hell (exaggeration included). Pappi never shows temper, wait for her reply. She will go “Dearest Yodita haftey, I would never play wise-ass on you because you are the very best here…”

    • Pappillon

      Dearest Yodita,

      I didn’t see your reply. I was thinking the same thing. I thought you didn’t see the question I posed to you for again I couldn’t find your reply to it. Could you please repost it. Thank you.

      Haft’khi.

      • Yodita

        My dear sista Pappillon,

        My reply is right under your own query in the Tewil thread (sorry I have no disqus and you have to scroll). As regards the hollow independence part, perhaps I should have qualified the word hollow (with hollow of any other consideration of Harnet and transformation of a society) that I believe characterizes the Eritrean Ghedli.

        In your post to Horizon on the subject you state “… the objectives and mandates of Ghedli where it was exclusively to bring about independence …” and I feel this denies what Dejen narrates, i.e. although their daily lives during his infancy were besotted by air bombardment and lack of basic things like water, instead of growing up to become paranoiacs and schizophrenics, they emerged steeled men and women with a life purpose, if what he is trying to tell his people is to be given the due respect it deserves (while we are hiding deep in our nicks). I think their being that way has to do the stuff with which the struggle run its daily existence in instruction and practice. By hollow, I mean the type of Ghedli that was catered to replace Mengistu by IA,
        which would justify YG’s rage. I say it wasn’t like that.

    • Rodab

      Hahahaha Yodita my sharp and direct lady.
      If only Pappii could realize you are having none of it (your questions not being answered).
      That was funny and may I say I enjoy your comments very much.
      Brukh meAlti sis.

  • Pappillon

    Awatewian,

    “Enemy at the gates” in our midst!!! Of course as you all know it is a story of a shepherd’s son who brought about tremendous hope and a revival of vigour to the Russian army as the morale of the latter was practically deflated and in tatters when Nazi Germany was pushing hard to take Stalingrad during World War II. A young soldier with a knack for sharp shooting however reinstated the almost lost pride when Nazi Germany failed to learn a lesson from history (read: Napoleon). I just finished listening to an interview of a young man whose story is buzzing around like a wild fire in every Eritrean household in Diaspora as he not only did what is taken for mission-impossible but we the people are starting to believe in the very spirit that had once stood against all odds. He has restored the much needed hope back. He has such a poetic name (Dejen Ande Hishel) and he was born and brought up with in the fires and storms of Gedli. And that is what precisely he is. He broke out from an iron-clad prison with a remarkable gusto. And he is out to freedom to tell the world not only his stellar story but a story of a wounded nation under a cruel tyrant who is determined to finish her off. As “Red” the character in Shawshank’s Redemption has it, “….some birds are not meant to be kept in cages.” Very true!

    • Mahmud Saleh

      Pappillon:
      You are such an amazing writer, thank you for the intro.

      • Pappillon

        ክብረት ይሃብካ ማሕሙድ ሓወይ

    • Semere Andom

      Dear pappillon:
      That is good news and thanks. About his name, I am not sure, I mean his first name:-), Sal can explain why I am saying this as we both pass the pack back and forth when when we do not want to say and he will write a comment that is fit for article about this;-)

      Sem

      • Pappillon

        Dear Semere,

        I am not sure if you have listened to the interview but he elaborated on his first name where it was given to him after an anecdotal incident. I hope he contacts the UN special rapporteur on human rights so that he could walk her through a fifteen years of journey in ordeal and unspoken stories of thousands of others.

        Haft’kha.

        • Semere Andom

          Hi pappi: Thanks
          I have not listened to it yet. I was kidding, I was teasing Sal this days sal” Qumenger absiHu alo” 😉
          Sem

    • Solomon Seyum

      Especially a bird that has earned its wings. I am looking forward to part 2 of Dejen’s interview with Assenna’s and beitimhrti sewra’s Amanuel. It will be an interesting tug of war between the two. Dejen’s assessment of Eritrean Air Force thus far not to mention the irony of his first memory in this life time and his semi-chosen profession or call of duty. Maybe as the song goes Dejen mebegesit ya nab kulu kurnaAt… Dejana….
      Maybe some body can put in a motion of ShaEbna, in stead of ShaEbia, wey mot.

  • saay7

    STH:

    Thanks for this report. It is always a step forward when level-headed Eritreans get together to discuss issues and to come to some understanding and, from the topics you mentioned, it appears that the long-absent Eritrean intellectual class is stepping in. Hope to read a follow up.

    Culture-tradition being a passion of yours, I want to ask you a question regarding your intro sentence: “In a culture that is not strong on expressing gratitude….” I actually had always thought the opposite (at least traditionally.) Let me illustrate:

    1. American man buys his mother an expensive gift on Christmas. American mother: “Awww, thank you sonny. You shouldn’t have!” That’s a polite “thank you.”
    2. Eritrean man buys his mother a cheap gift on religious holiday. Eritrean mother: “May God increase your wealth! May God grant you long life! May you see your reward in raising God-fearing and obedient children! May God…” This could go on for a good 45 seconds:)

    Doesn’t the latter have a better way of expressing gratitude? Isn’t granting blessing a form of showing gratitude?

    saay

  • ALI-S

    SH,

    Thank you for the very engaging style and optimistic attitude. I am glad the event was a success and hope it translates into something good that serves Eritrea’s interests. I thought it had been a long time since you last wrote but later long after reading it, I noticed that the translator of the Eulogy by Degiga was done by you. Good job as always!

  • Pappillon

    Awatewian,

    “Enemy at the gates” in our midst!!! Of course as you all know it is a story of a shepherd’s son who brought about tremendous hope and a revival of vigour to the Russian army as the morale of the latter was practically deflated and in tatters when Nazi Germany was pushing hard to take Stalingrad during World War II. A young soldier with a knack for sharp shooting however reinstated the almost lost pride when Nazi Germany failed to learn a lesson from history (read: Napoleon). I just finished listening to an interview of a young man whose story is buzzing around like a wild fire in every Eritrean household in Diaspora as he not only did what is taken for mission-impossible but we the people are starting to believe in the very spirit that had once stood against all odds. He has restored the much needed hope back. He has such a poetic name (Dejen Ande Hishel) and he was born and brought up with in the fires and storms of Gedli. And that is what precisely he is. He broke out from an iron-clad prison with a remarkable gusto. And he is out to freedom to tell the world not only his stellar story but a story of a wounded nation under a cruel tyrant who is determined to finish her off. As “Red” the character in Shawshank’s Redemption has it, “….some birds are not meant to be kept in cages.” Very true!

  • Rodab

    Good men SaleH, Aman, Hailat & Tes,

    Ok so you didn’t like my unedited and hurriedly written comment this morning. Guess what, after reading it, I didn’t like it either. I didn’t dedicate a ‘thinking’ time resulting in some wrong statements, mainly a) I know of no Awatista that called for the exclusion of every PFDJite (btw, by PFDJite I am referring to officials and not the common person). But it wouldn’t be news to you if I say there are people with that position, elsewhere in both real and cyber world. b) contrary to what I said, I have a great respect and admiration to everyone because regardless of view differences I can affirm that our hearts are in the right place and WE ALL are for what’s good for our country.

    Dear SaleH I know you coined the word “weed-out” around here and it has become part of our political vocabulary but me using it shouldn’t lead you to believe you were one of my targets. You were NOT! How could I do that specially when only the other day you stood against generalizing the PFDJ. So rest assured I have a pretty good idea of where you stand. By the way if I may say so, I sincerely believe you are a courageous and man of integrity. These are not my words but your actions speaking.

    Dear Aman, I know you made it clear that you are tired of your position been misrepresented and you have my sympathy if that is the case. In my case, I wasn’t misrepresenting specific comments or commenters, rather the general feeling around here, if you will.

    Dears Hailat and Tes, I agreed or disagreed, you both have consistent and strong feeling against the PFDJ. I do too, the difference being you both believing in a non- PFDJ governance whereas me believing in its impracticality and betting on a PFDJ without PIA and his circle of culprits being our best option. And this only for a transitional period. This has been my position for a long while now.

    P. s. 1. The political stalemate back home is exposing folks over there to great hardship and suffering. And although to a limited and variance degree, everyone of us is directly affected by this. I know we are. This sometimes can cause us to be frustrated and say things we would’ve said differently if we had to redo.

    P.S. 2. The week ended with two positive notes: the whereabouts of our legitimate Patriarch has surfaced along with a recently taken photo. He appears to be in not such a bad shape. I think he will eventually reclaim his rightful place. The second one just in and that is Pilot Dejen finally made it out safely. His interview is an added flavor.

    Peace!

  • Solomon

    Dear SAAY,
    Go easy on these posters. They are obviously not in the same league as you when it comes to intellectual horsepower and intellect. Sometimes you don’t realize how smart you are. Cut them some slack once in awhile. Give them a face-saving exit. Don’t trap them and then watch them twist and turn. It’s too cruel my man. Then again, they are adults. They know what they are getting themselves into.

  • tes

    Dear Semere,

    I am really grateful for such very fruitful workshop and I admire the clarity of each subject matter and terms used. I read the document attached on FB by brother A-Sayed Bohasheem and before by others on EYSC. The points are very clear and very much inviting for further fruitful discussion.

    Already good questions are on discussion and brother dawit has asked important point. The point is one of the great outcomes of the discussion. Clearing the ideological differences between the various political and civic societies can help the opposition camp to come-up from the existing crisis.

    I thank you all the participants and your super minded outcomes. One more super quality is, the on-time information to people who also wait the good news. Your words are really full of HOPE and thank you so much.

    hawka
    tes

  • Kokhob Selam

    And here I am brother Semere (Smeret ) with Hope.

    . . . .ሓይሊ ተስፋ . . . . . .

    ሕሰብዋ እሞ ናይ – ወይኒ ዘለላ :-
    ፊደላ ኣይኮነን ሓንጎልና ዝስእላ :-
    ንሳ እያ ትረኣየና ‘ታ ወይኒ ባዕላ:-
    ደሚ ቓ ትቐርብ ኣብ ተስፋ ተሓዚላ ::

    እቲ ኣእምሮ ኣውንታ እንተሓሲቡ :-
    ኣብ ሸቶ ምብጽሑ ኣይተርፎን ምስሓቡ :-

    እዚ እዩ ሚስጥር ግደ ማዕበል ሓሳብ :-
    ፈጣሪ ዝፈጠሮ ዝበለ ውስብስብ :-

    ሊቅነት እዩ ወገን ፍለጦ ‘ቲ ሚ ስጥር :-
    ጉዕዛኻ ክትቅጽል ክትምርሽ ክትወርወር ::

    እዛ ተስፋ – ኣለዋ እዩ ሓለፋ :-
    እቂ ጀግና ፍጹም ነይገደፋ ::

    ሓንቲ መ ዓልቲ :–

    እኒ ሓቦ ጽንዓት :-
    ……..እኒ ጀግንነት ትብዓት :-
    …………….እኒ ፍቅሪ ሓድነት :-
    …………………….እኒ ቅዲ ስርዓት :-

    ኩሎም ምስ ተኣከቡ :-
    ጉዳይ ሃገር ካላዘቡ :-
    ህግደፍ ብዙሕ ተጻቢቡ:-
    ኣዕገርገረ ከም ልሙድ ኣደቡ :-
    ፍሕ ከብለን ብዙሕ ተጣቢቡ ::

    ንግዚኡ ኮይኑሉ ተትቅመላ:-

    ሓንሳብ ንፍቅሪ ይሓናኹ ላ
    . . . .በጊዕ ተመሲሉ ግዳ ቶኽላ :-
    ሓንሳብ ንጀግንነት ይድህላ:-
    . . . .ወካሊ ጀጋኑ እ ናመሰላ :-
    ሓንስብ ንጽንዓት የታልላ:-
    . . . ብፕሮፖጋንዳ የጸልላ:-
    ሓንሳብ ንሓርነት ይሕይላ :-
    . . .መራሕ ነጻነት እ የ ኣናበላ :-
    ብዙሕ ጉባኤታ ኣፍሸላ :-
    . . . . . .ንዳተመቓቐላ::

    ግን!!!ግን!!!

    ግን ደጋጊመን ይጸዋውዓ :-
    ኣታሓሳስበኣን የልም ዓ :-
    ንትርጉም ሓቂ ይኹልዓ :-
    ነቲ ጎባጥ መ ገዲ የቅንዓ :-
    እቲ ሚስጥር እንታይ ‘ዩ ኾን :-
    እንታይ እዩ እቲ ሓይለን :-
    ዘይዕጸፍ ዘይስበር –
    ዝጥርንፍ ዘስምር –
    ዘይመውት ዘይቅበር –
    ዳግማይ ዘበራብር –

    ተስፋ!!!ተስፋ -ተስፋ እዩ ሓያል:-

    . . . . . . . .ዘዳኸመ ወያል :-
    . . . . . . . . . .እቲ ቀንዲ ጽላል ::

    ጀግና ዝወድቀልና ህይወቱ ከፊሉ :-
    ዓጊቡ እዩ ተስፋ ተዓንጊሉ :-
    ‘ምበር ህይወት መ ዓስ ትምለስ :-
    ሓንሳብም ስከደት ፍጹም ነይትጠዓስ :-

    የግዳስ :-
    በቲ – በጃ ኮይኒ ህዝቡ ክርህዎ :-
    በቲ – ድማ ጽድቂ ናብ ገነት የእትዎ :-

    ኩሉ ተስፋ እዩ ተስፋ እቲ ስንቂ :-
    ማዕዶ ክንሱ ኩ ው ን ናይ ብሓቂ :-
    ድልየታትካ ዘቅርብ ዱልዱል ዕጥቂ :-
    ጋእ ጋእ የለን እምነት ፍርቂ ፍርቂ :-
    ምሉእ እወ ዝሕልፈላና ጭንቂ ::

    ተካል ዘመን በታኺ ሰንጣቒ :-
    ፍሉይ ህያብ ጸሓይና ኣብራቒ ::

    ተስፋ

    ኮኾብ ሰላም 17/04/2014

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Kokhob Selam,

      Yebel! Keep up please, and don’t forget to compile it for posterity.

      Amanuel Hidrat

      • Kokhob Selam

        Thank you Amanuel Hawey. yes I am processing. now there are some jobs remaining like putting them in categories and arranging them. well, i came to know the poems are enough to as book except some with similar contents. for example the bellow poem is like the above,
        ………ተስፋ…………….

        ተስፋ ዶ ትቅድም ጽንዓት :-
        ክብል ሓቲተ መልሲ ክረኽበሉ:-
        ክልትኤን ይቀዳደማ ብኡነት:-
        ነገር ዶርሆ ዶ እንቛቆሖ እንድኣሉ::

        ዝቐደመ ይቐድም እንታይ ገደሰ:-
        ርእሲ ብርእሱ ክሳብ ተሓዳደሰ:-
        ንቀጻልነት ዕላማ ክሳብ ዘየፍረሰ:-
        ኣይሰኣን ይባረኽ ይኹን ተቀደሰ::
        እዚ ማለት:-
        ‘ቲ ኣብ ውሽጥና ዘሎ እምነት:-
        እቲ ተስፋ እቲ ንያት ትብዓት:-
        ካብ ፈጣሪ ዝተዋህበ ህያብ:-
        ኣብ ኣእምሮ ዘሎ ፍሉይ ጥበብ:
        ምዃኑ እዩ ቀጻሊ ብዘይ ገደብ:
        ሓያል ናውቲ ዓወታት ዘቕርብ::
        ግን;-
        ኣብ ጉዳይ ሃገር ‘ቲ ዝስንቕ ተስፋ:-
        ነዊሕ ነይነብር-
        ተስፋ ኣቐቢሉ ህይወቱ የሕልፋ:-
        እዚ እዩ ተርታ ዝውሃብ ወረፋ:;

        ኣነስ ዝብል:-
        ኣይኮነን ዶ ሎም ኣጋ ወጋሕታ:
        ትማሊ ‘ኳ ከይዳ ‘ታ ጸልማት ከውታ:-
        ለዋህ ምስ ሓራዲኣ ኣሕዲራ እምነታ:-
        ሓፋሽ ከተሞግስ ንጨካናት በላዕታ::

        ስለ’ዚ
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v
        ስለ’ዚ
        http://www.ethiosoul.com/samue

  • Rodab

    Good Morning Semere and all,

    So it appears most Awatistas, are with the weed-out-the-entire-PFDJ-organization group. That to me is extremism. I am growing intolerant of three groups of compatriots: (a) the obvious one, the nsu-nHna-nHna-nsu group, (b) those who demean our history, specially the armed struggle of the good-hearted tegadelties and attribute all our present ills to that, and (c) those who tell us the entire PFDJ should be rooted out and with no chance for them in future Eritrea. It is unfortunate most Awatistas are in one of these groups – the latter one. Sorry but I have no respect for people with that thinking for that shows me inflexible, rigid, and unhinged mindset that needs to be weeded-out (I still respect one’s rights to his/her views).
    One clarification I need from this group is to justify the seemingly contradiction of attributing all the destructive decisions made to one man, PIA (and I buy that, that is the fact), and their calls to hunt down, prosecute, and ban future participation of every PFDJite in the planet.

    brukh meAlti

    • haileTG

      Hey Rodab,

      By your own admission the PFDJ has failed to lead (allowing one man to destroy us).What makes you trust them again to protect you? If so why don’t you re-negotiate EEBC again? aren’t you putting credibility as an argument against dialog on border? what credibility have PFDJ got to not expose us to another killer again?

      • Nitricc

        Hey Haile when you say another killer again are saying PFDJ started the border war? And what do you mean re-negotiate the EEBC? Would be king enough to elaborate on your remarks.

        • haileTG

          Hi Nitricc,

          Short answer no, I mean an IA type dictator. I will give my response to Hayat and Serray about the weakness of the IA started a war argument later today. Keep checking my section later on.

    • Saleh Johar

      Hi Rodab,
      I think you are misrepresenting the view that holds the PFDJ must be weeded out. No one believes in the way you presented it. What you attributed to this group is totally unwarranted and wrong: “their calls to hunt down, prosecute, and ban future participation of every PFDJite in the planet.”

      • Jo

        Selamat Saleh G. & Amanuel,

        I am curious, people are saying, arbitrarily, PFDJ system should be dismantled. How do you dismantle a system/idea/concept without dealing with the carrier of that concept or idea? How do you deal with them?
        Do you try to persuade them to abandon their system, to render it obsolete, or punish the system out of them?

        • Saleh Johar

          Jo, it is simple. You have to look back to history of the many oppressive parties that oppressed their people. To make it simple, to dismantle the PFDJ, all you have to do is stripe it from the public property that is snatched from the state with the help of guns. Then you push it out of the government, a power that id usurped from the people. Then you bring to court the clique that served the people the poison of cruelty. The rest of the people become equal citizens like anybody else with no unlawful competing edge. In doing all of that, you structure the army to serve the nation instead of the whims of Isaias and his clique. The carrier of the PFDJ “concept” is nothing without the usurped power.

          • Jo

            Saleh G & haileTG,

            Thanx both for your clarifications. You see, my fear is, that it is an idea that is always going to be lurking and lingering in the shadows; short of any better alternative it may resurface again. Case in point, the moslem brotherhood in Egypt and extreme right wing (neo-nazis) groups in Europe. In that light, don’t you think, first, the so called opposition groups should come up with a plan and present/show, the Eritrean people, they are a better alternative? And how willing would you be to engage and convince them, if chance presents, that their way is wrong, and convert them to become productive and progressive citizens? I am aware the situation is time sensitive, but do you think time is ripe for smooth transition without getting stuck in a political quagmire?

          • Saleh Johar

            Jo, fears are allwats there. Even in time of drought, when people are praying for rain, they are afraid of heavy rains that would destroy their farms and houses. Hlmi ferihka kedeqeska ayHeddern.

            The “so-called”? Why the so-called? They are opposition, not “so-called opposition”
            As for their programs, it is all over the place and people can accept it or reject it. But they all have programs that they believe is an alternative to the PFDJ oppression regardless whether one agrees with it or not. Also, don’t forget that some within the opposition are not after running the country, actually they are in pursuit of a better treatment and to assert their rights as citizens. Therefore, not everyone that fights the PFDJ has a program to run the country–it’s simply a struggle for different rights.

            Personally, I do not believe in any further engagement with the PFDJ after 23 years of arrogance responses and denials of any opposing views. I believe the PFDJ is a shifta organization that has usurped power and enslaved the people, and they have to be seen in that light. Of course individuals can be productive citizens, but simply as equal citizens and not be rewarded on the organizational sphere for the destruction and pain they inlificted on on the nation.

            If we face more political quagmire (I do not know what would be worse than it is) it is a result of the continuation of the PFDJ brigandage. The sooner the PFDJ is weeded out, the better chance we stand to contain the damage.

          • Kokhob Selam

            Thank you ,
            short and simple to understand. And the new on this for me is that there are organizations who are not fighting to run the country or gain power. we all know there are people who don’t fight for any post but for the future good of our people. if there are organizations who are not interested in leading as an organization then they are only interested about their principle to win, they are the once really in correct and honest path. I will start to watch carefully from now on.

        • haileTG

          Hello Jo

          I hope you don’t mind me chipping in because it is a very important question you raised. How was the Dergue’s ESEPA dismantled without dealing with the hundreds of thousands of its membership across Ethiopia? Were the members dealt with in mass execution? How were all parties that were the supporting pillars of dictatorship dismantled? Mass execution of members? No you just ban the damn organization and if they wonder why you lock them in a room and show them the graphic horrors that Eritrean youth went through in the deserts and seas while they were using hgdef owned companies mony to send their kids abroad. I hope they shut the heck up and find another job!

          • T. Kifle

            Dears
            haile TG, AH, SGJ and Jo,

            I have a question to all of you on this particular take of Jo. Is PFDJ an idea like what I am reading from the fears and concerns of Jo that it might pop up one day even if it is made to cease by legal imperatives? And even if it is, do the opposition have different ideological lines than that of the PFDJ? Is it not the fight a question of legitimacy rather than difference in ideas in the Eritrean case?

            why I am asking these questions is because, I am afraid, the examples given by haile wouldn’t help alley the fears of Jo particularly taking the case of Ethiopia. Derge was not only a mere outlaw but also carried over the legacies of the kings’ era with all the ideation of the values, identity, nationalism and patriotism of the Ethiopian state. Ethiopians differed mainly on the means, and differed vehemently at that, with which these attributes manifest themselves in. So, even if the derg’s killing machine is contained, the very ideas they sponsor are still in the market with considerable number of consumers(you have many political parties with all the attributes of the yesteryears) . So the Ethiopian revolution is still on the edge wary of two damaging forces that are lethal and capable of reversing the achievements we made so far if the revolutionary democrats don’t sharpen and clean their mode of governance. But I think Eritrea is different. I don’t see a chance of reviving PFDJ once removed from state power as it doesn’t have unique threads of identification that are much different from the mainstream aspirations of Eritreans. May be I am wrong.

            regards
            TK

          • Kaddis

            Dear T.Kifle –
            this was exactly what I was trying to ask the Eri’s in the other treds. Do the Eritrean opposition have ‘different ideological lines’ ? Its a huge factor to defeat Shabia and sustain a functioning state.
            But I was labeled as supporter of ethnic federalism .. 🙂

          • dine

            there is nothing wrong with supporting ethnic federalism(i don’t) or any ideology as long as u believe in a country governed by democracy,

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Selam Jo,

          I always like your inquisitive mind. But I will always look your in put or your view also. Back to your question. My answer to your question is, like the Polish, Romanian, Ukrainian (the first revolution), and the Russian people. From that you can figure it out how they did dismantle the system.

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Selam Rodab,

      I consider you that you are a healthy (I mean politically) and civil in your engagement. This comment (above) makes me to rise my eyebrows and to say no Rodab. Check how you characterize the 3rd group (if wee are divided into three groups BTW). I haven’t seen anyone who said “PFDJ should be rooted out and with no chance for them in future Eritrea” in this website home of political engagement. Very sad, particularly when we observe people are going by their own interpretation without further consulting to those their views are being interpreted, sometime by design, and sometime innocently by disregarding the respect of the opposite side’s view. To root out the system/apparatus of oppression doesn’t mean to root out the Eritreans who are members/supporters of PFDJ. Not at all. If you are referring the word “weed out” remarked by SGJ, I think he gave you clarification what he meant by that. So I implore you to avoid such accusations and unhealthy political engagement.

      Senay MeAlti,

      Amanuel Hidrat

    • tes

      Dear Rodab,

      You have misunderstood our stand when we say that PFDJ should be weeded-out. I, personally, am saying for the PFDJ system, the mentality, the ideology, strategies, policies, programs, structures, symbols and office systems that are targeted to enslave the entire people. I am not against individual members. People can be trained and can be brainwashed (I am talking for those who didn’t commit crime) and make them the human capital in the democratic Eritrea. PDFJ as a system is against Eritreans and Eritrea. I don’t want to reform it. PFDJ-sans-DIA is nothing but PFDJ. The values are still there and are the best nurturing ground for another dictator. To produce a dictator is within their ideology, it is their way of doing things and we want to dismantle this. There must be one dictator in every office they have. It is not only DIA, every PFDJ branch office is run by dictator. The members could be good by their own way, but the system usually turns them to be bad. Once they open PFDJ office and start to run the strategies, they turn to be DICTATORS. It is the PFDJ Ideology that make them like that. The system is very bad.

      PFDJ system is everywhere, within Eritrea and every home of Eritrean people in the diaspora community. According to my stand, I am not against the history, I am not against the past. I am against their existence in the FUTURE. PFDJ members unless they are found guilty they are ordinary citizens till then everyone is equal. We are fighting for justice and justice should be even for those who commit crimes. Justice should not against anyone. It belongs to all.

      In this line, we say, “weed-out-PFDJ not the people but the system they are working with.

      Hawka
      tes

    • Ermias

      Rodab, I always felt like you have a soft spot for PFDJ. In fact, at one point, I had said that you are a borderline PFDJ sympathizer but that doesn’t annoy me any more.

      There is one other group (at least) that doesn’t perfectly belong to the three you listed.

      I have been saying that perhaps we should look beyond PFDJ and IA. Why is there no sense of ownership among the young (18-35) in Eritrea? Is there any fluidity in kebesa and metahit? Why do the highlanders take off very disproportionately? I say let’s weigh out all possibilities. I am no more obsessed with IA and PFDJ, as they might simply be the prime symptom of our biggest disease, which is Hade Hizbi, Hade Libi.

      • Rodab

        Dear Ermias,
        To make sure of its meaning I looked up the definition of ‘soft spot’ which turned out to be either ‘a strong liking for someone or something’ or ‘a weak point that can be attacked’. Not sure which one of the two you had in mind but it doesn’t matter for I feel neither of the two towards the regime. The minute I am convinced there is a viable option is the minute I switch side instantly.

        As to why there is a loss of sense of ownership among the youth, that, I, think is one of the top and timely questions. Sharp pens can elaborate the cause and effect elegantly but in the end the cause comes to one thing and that is the lack of normal life. Simple as that!

        Now my turn to ask. From what I understand you are one of the fiercest Ghedli critics and you blame Ghedli for just about every difficulties the nation is going through, including the exodus of the use. Correct me if I am wrong and clarify your position. If not, what do you think are the positive and negative end results of Ghedli? I throw the ball back to you.

        Peace!

        • Ermias

          Rodab, thank you for the very nice reply. I actually gave you an up vote if you care for it.

          1. By soft spot, I meant you seem rather sympathetic to PFDJ because most regime critics call for a complete riddance of the regime and its highest echelon officials and most notable enablers. You seem to think that there are many good people within the regime. I beg to differ on that because when it comes to human life and the livelihoods of an entire nation of people, there is ‘guilty by association.’ Meaning that the people who can make their voices heard and lead the people out of this misery by first sacrificing themselves yet who are simply watching from the side lines or enable IA and his right hand men and women are guilty to some extent if not as much as the doers.

          2. I think the fiercest Ghedli critic is Serray (more so than YG in my opinion).

          3. I do have deep resentments on the side effects of Ghedli. Some of which is inspired by YG’s and Serray’s writings, I have to admit, but I also have to tell you that I was never fond of the means by which we earned the end results of Ghedli, which is nationhood. I am afraid I don’t want to call it independence any more. My grievances are countless.

          a. the first thing I noticed right after ‘independence’ was that there were two classes of citizens in Eritrea – tegadleti and ghebar. Without going into the mundane details, they instilled an inferiority complex among us the people. In my understanding, this is one of the primary reasons by which the sense of ownership has gradually been deteriorating.

          b. I really do not believe at all that we are capable of protecting Eritrea’s sovereignty against any perceived or real Ethiopian ‘aggression.’ I can give you the benefit of the doubt that the Ethiopians were repelled in the 1998-2000 war but can we sustain a protracted war, like one or two more salsay werrars? This leads me to blame the Ghedli products (IA and Co.) for starting the Badme war and the loss thereafter. But more importantly, national service was never ever a necessary thing. I can sympathize with the idea of every 18 year old giving 18 month to two years of his/her time to the greater cause – as in construction, farming, or whatever but military training and holding people hostage since 1994 is ultimately the cause of where we are now. This was devised to never forget the legacy of Ghedli which is to produce an obedient society who can only think in collective terms. As you know full well, collaboratively is how things are perfected by almost always individual create break through inventions in their garages. But Eritreans are only allowed to think just simply for the common good but I believe that empowering the individual for allowing him to exercise his/her potential to the maximum is the only way in this millennium. However, the inherent insecurities that are the results of Ghedli will not allow individuals to be creative and entrepreneurial.

          c. We all know about the youth exodus. Again I might sound simplistic but in this day and age, people will find anything they want elsewhere because they can see that generation after generation perishing miserably in Eritrea. Ghedli was supposed to alleviate that but it brought the miseries to epic proportions because of its flawed policies that continued even after independence.

          I am not sure how much more I can go Rodab.

          • Rodab

            Nice and elaborate comment, Ermias. You sure have mastered debates. Next time, don’t waste your time with me. Go to the big guns. Thumbs up.

            1) you are right I am not for a complete regime removal mainly because of my concern of power vacuum. Reigning on top officials, that I am for. It’s a little too complicated as to how one classifies officials as top or mid level, but yeah the idea of holding senior officials responsible is something I agree with. Needless to say every criminal should be held regardless of his/her status.

            2) I still consider you a fiercest Ghedli critic. If you volunteer and tell me how you would describe yourself in that regard (format: Ghedli ____fill in the blank with one word), I am ready to listen.

            3) yeah I had a feeling there were some influence of yg and serray in you…
            You are not fond of the means, the outcome, or both? You did a little mixed up there but it sounds you are unhappy with both. I have nothing much to say here other than to acknowledge your position.
            When a rebel army liberates a nation and enters cities, it is natural for two separate segments or classes – civilian and tegadelty – to be formed. It is unavoidable and I am sure this is something newly liberated countries passed through. The question is on how long and to what extent as compared to others, and if there were things we didn’t learn that we should have and so forth…. But as I see it, the presence of civilian/tegadelty classes is not the biggest problem at present time. It is not like one side is living better than the other. There is no distinction as far as struggles against day to day survival goes. Everyone is going through hardships. And that erases whatever distinction lines there were.

            4) As for Eritrea’s defense against Ethiopia, I am 98% sure there won’t be the need for there won’t be another war in this generation of ours. A war requires two willing parties. That is unlikely, make that strongly unlikely, in our case. But if a war is forced on one side, victims tend to survive.

            P.S. When I asked you question earlier, I felt bad because even though it wasn’t my intention, it looked like unfair and “gotcha’ question. I tried to edit it to no avail owing to Disqus stubbornness. But I am relieved you didn’t see it that way. Thanks.

          • Pappillon

            ሮዳብ ሓወይ ኣይትፍራሕ ዝመጸ ይምጻእ ፈሪሕና ንህግደፍ መንደፍ ነቃባጥረሉ ምኽንያት የብልናን ተመን ኩሉ ጊዜ ተመን እዩ ከምቲ ቅዱስ መጽሓፍ ዝብሎ ሓደ መርዚ ዝኾነ ዘርኢ ማዓር ከውጽእ ኣይትጽበዮን ኢኻ ህግደፍ ማለት ሰልፊ ኣይኮነን አንታይ ድኣ ውልቀሰባት ብጥቕምን ፍርሓትን ብሓደ ሰብኣይ ዝተገዝኡ እዮም ስለዚ ነዞም ውልቀሰባት እዚኦም ናብ ፍርዲ ክቐርቡ ኣለዎም ዳሓር ፍርዶም ሚስወድኡ ንህዝቢ ይቕሬታ ይሓቱ ዳሓር ናብ ናይ ዝኾነ ናይ ፖለቲካ ዓለም ከይዋስኡ ክሳብ ኣብ ሂወት ዘለው ይውገዱ

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Ermias: You are a man of substance and clarity; just to comment on #3:
            I believe we failed you; why tegadelti failed is another debate, but for those who have come out of age during and after independence, we failed you miserably. All our efforts and thinking were directed towards freeing the country; we (all ghedli generation, ghebar and tegadalay) had not prepared ourselves for governing. The result is clear. I encourage you to keep getting engaged and be hopeful; the chaotic storm will eventually settle down. On the PFDJ issue, I would really concentrate on solutions of getting to the point of ” what-do-we-do-now-about-PFDJ. We, the hafash deleyti fithi, and our muhurat are wasting our time debating about something that is not here, meaning onwhat to do about PFDJ. If we agree that PFDJ has been causing irrepairable damage to the country and it must go/bechanged, that’s enough to get us focus on solutions, on how to get us there, without wasting our time on slight difference of our position on PFDJ. Ermias, the opposition is facing a united (because of its exclusive policy), dsciplined (because of its dictatorial culture and well funded (again because of its autocratic nature, using public fund for its partisan purpose) PFDJ. We can not win unless we put aside our minute differences. I think it the nature of democratic relationship (like in this forum) to have difference and still focus on the big task; we can debate our differences with modest attitude and respect of each other as your comments exhibit it. Believe me, I may not agree with some of your comments, but I learn a lot from your clear flow of thought, and your English too. So, little bro, be optimistic; remember ” khalf eyu.” The reason that knocked me off my silent/ dormant state was Lampedusa, I am emotionally disturbed like any body; but I am looking in to the best solution. The magic has always been: how can you communicate with the people inside? How can you communicate with the youth? Do they perceive the opposition as a btter alternative to the current regime? if not, why? If the efforts are not bearing fruits, there is something wrong. That should be our number one priority. I am convinced unless we scrutinize the everexpanding opposition, and really take a hard look in to it, we will, unfortunately, waste time, which will elongate the misery of our people. Today what PFDJ worries is not the traditional opponents; it is web sites like awate and assenna, so what we say and do here is watched by the youth we’re trying to save. Your anxiet and agony is felt Ermias, just keep being hopeful and keep doing what you are doing.

          • Ermias

            Dear Mahmud, I couldn’t tell you how much of a pleasant addition you have been to this forum. I particularly like your ‘let’s not dwell so much on pointing out every single problem. We know we have problems. Now let’s unite and find solutions.’

            After I read your post above, I promised myself that in the next week or so, I will write a proposal for solutions because I am guilty of the blame game too. I would hope also that it will help me become a little more optimistic like you advised me but I would be immediately optimistic if the regime decided to say put Mr Mahmud Saleh as the foreign minister as a starter for reform (and improve our image) and to help them see if they are missing something.

            I appreciate your kind words sincerely and it is very encouraging for me. I felt bad after reading your apologetic post because my intention is not to put ordinary tegadelti and the honest leaders within the government in the corner. Ghedli belongs to all of us (it is probably obvious but I can explain this if needed) and we cannot disown it or erase it from our history, even the staunchest critics of it. As you alluded to, we had very high expectations of EPLF as they entered Asmara (probably a little bit unrealistic expectations given how they found the country and our limited resources). That is where our disappointment originates from.

            I was trying to be honest and I was asking myself “if EPLF had taken similar measures as in EPRDF and if Eritrea was making good progress, there was no 1998 war, etc…would the revolution had a much better legacy?” I guess I am simply asking, are the problems we see inevitable because they are ‘inherent’ (they were bound to happen) or that the ‘hijacking’ is the sole cause of our current state of affairs? I would be very happy if I can get convinced the latter is the truth and not the former. But again, I am here pointing out the problems still.

            I will now start on my proposal like you did a few days ago.

          • SA

            Dear Mahmud,
            As they say in America, “Mahmud Saleh for President of Eritrea,” if you have the aptitude for leadership. You are simply amazing.

            And Ermi, please keep on sharing your critical views on Gehdli as you work on your proposal for solutions to our problems. You are making a unique contribution to our views about Ghedli, and I personally do not want you to tone down your criticisms of Ghedli. I think most of us realize that what Ghedli accomplished in securing our independence is phenomenal, even compared to other liberation movements in the world. But the damage they caused on the country and our people is colossal, and we should be able to talk about those damages so that our solutions do not become mere cosmetic changes. Almost all of us want to be proud of our history and want to make meaning of the sacrifices we paid as a people, but the way some of the commenters in this forum (including opponents of the regime) are quick to invoke the importance of Ghedli attributes in rebuilding our nation is a bit disturbing. I read Yodita’s comment today that “we will emerge stronger with the added value of the Ghedli spirit….” Man, why do we need to have the Ghedli spirit or Ghedli virtues in order to rebuild our nation? When it was the leaders of Ghedli (EPLF) who wrecked havoc on our society and drove the country to the ground, why do we need the Ghedli spirit or Ghedli virtues in the reconstruction of the nation? Ermi, I appreciate your writing because embedded in your writing there is a partial solution to our problems, and that is we have to break free from the culture of Ghedli. If the country is going to be rebuilt, we have to look into other successful countries for inspiration, not into Ghedli.

            SA

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Dear SA:
            Thank you for the compliment; although I don’t deserve that fattening and flattering motto. I quoted here what I thought was the important part of your message, ” I think most of us realize that what Ghedli accomplished in securing our independence is phenomenal, even compared to other liberation movements in the world. But the damage they caused on the country and our people is colossal, and we should be able to talk about those damages so that our solutions do not become mere cosmetic changes. Almost all of us want to be proud of our history and want to make meaning of the sacrifices we paid as a people…” I will further add, let’sown, preserve and learn from our ghedli heritage; take values that could accelerate nation building (self confidence, dedication..camaraderie/brotherhood, inventiveness…endurance….etc and make them reflect a new era’s reality and re-orientate them towards nation building. Things like loyalty to authority, rigid discipline and confirming attitudes worked in Sahel, but they need to be changed with values that celebrate attitudes of free and empowered citizens. Unfortunately, the regime keeps applying, and without any adjustment, values that were instrumental during ghedli era in post independence Eritrea. Yodita, I think, is not too far from what you are saying, she is just a fierce critique of those who can not separate ghedli from what transpired in post independence Eritrea and, frankly, I agree with her. Her responses are specifically tailored to the deniers of the cause of ghedli, hence itself..therefore, to the nation we call Eritrea, and not to people (like Ermias, you, me,,etc) who genuinely want to learn from it, take the good values and move on.

          • SA

            Dear Mahmud,

            I think people are complimenting and/or flattering you because we are hungry for people like you who have the knowledge, maturity, right temperament as we discuss issues concerning our country. As I have noted before, I also appreciate the lack of defensiveness and belligerence on your part when EPLF and Ghedli are being attacked right and left by other commenters. For you, as a former EPLF fighter, to maintain your cool when your party and your position were being attacked is admirable. So keep it up brother, and I hope we will have more people like you in this forum and in post-Isaias Eritrea.

            SA

          • Mahmud Saleh

            SA: Thanks again, and for give me once a while if I lose that coolness; I may blame it to post traumatic stress distress, seen in many ghedli generation.

          • SA

            Do not worry Mahmud. We all make mistakes, and when you make one, we will blame it on your being human.

          • Ermias

            Selamat SA,

            As you can see in the front page (Nitricc’s incredible rant), raising any issue against Ghedli comes with great price which is an onslaught by supporters of the regime and I am waiting for romanticizers (as they have come to be known) butchering me. The only person I personally blame by naming his name is IA and I often say guilty by association to the very few enablers (like of the caliber of Yemane Monkey). I can almost guarantee that I know orders of magnitude more tegadelti and respect them by that much more than Nitricc. Yet, he always pulls out his only card which is to blame me for disrespecting the great heroes. Ghedli belongs to me as much as to anybody else. ‘You were never there and so don’t say anything about it’ – this is the driving force but I am here in this forum because of the side effects of Ghedli, which is like a good drug which cures one problem but then it brings about another disease just as bad or worse. I am here being critical of the side effects. I am critical of the system of Ghedli and the nature by which it was prescribed upon us after independence because again the side effects (the 1998-2000 war, endless national service, youth exodus, IA, PFDJ), none of which have anything tangibly positive in our country. I am not going to ever question the heroism of my brothers and sisters. You made a profound statement at the end “If the country is going to be rebuilt, we have to look into other successful countries for inspiration, not into Ghedli.”

          • SA

            Oh Ermi, it is Nitricc….his calling card is quickly losing its value and meaning, so I would not worry about him. And just as an aside, am I right that he has not been to ghedli? If he has not been to Ghedli, how can he defend Ghedli?

            SA

      • tes

        Dear Ermias,

        Reading your view on youths (18-35) against the ruling system in Eritrea is I think out of the truth. We are not as you said. the thing is, we are not exposed to political forums and debate through proper means. You can see for example between my lines such deficiency. It needs courage to come-up with all deficiency you have and discuss. I am trying to break this chain and through time I wish I will learn the skills of political debate. PFDJ killed this area. But many have it also, just let them settle. Let the well experienced debaters and writers welcome us. It is not healthy to criticize one based on his english or lack of proper lines. Living under PFDJ REGIME is nothing but SLAVERY in all. And I tell you, we are enslaved in deficiency.

        Yet the deep feelings of belongness exists even harder. What ever dimension it has (regionalism, religious, etc) we have the feeling and we are responsible (Regionalism, like that are because of exit from the darkness -a darkness posted on us by PFDJ). Just welcome people (I thank you for this to all Awatsitas, I am here because I broke the chain first and I got a welcoming forum with my deficiencies , deficiencies that I have… Oh many, anyway.

        Let me tell you one, living under the PFDJ administration is living in darkness. PFDJ members are with you and very friendly, but once they enter the office and apply their works,then they change into enemies, the same person but different behaviors. Why? It is because of the system they have, the ideology. Not the individual people but the principle they work with. In this line, we don’t blame the members, but we hate the system and any thing associated with it then after.

        Therefore, do not label us as selfish or irresponsible people. We are far beyond that. But if you say unconsious, YES I can agree partially. Unconscious to politics. You know why? You better reason it out…, anyway, it is the system of PFDJ, he nurtured youths who hate politics (future politics) but allow to speak on dead politics, the past, like YG.

        Hawka
        tes

        • Ermias

          Dear Tes, I have been reading some of your posts and you are as good as anyone or probably even better than most of us. I don’t see any deficiencies in you in particular.

          In this thread I didn’t say selfish but ‘no sense of ownership.’ I did say selfish a few days ago however.

          In any case, I am trying to point out a cause and effect here. The ‘deficiencies’ you mentioned are the effect and the cause is PFDJ. We have more or less an entire generation whose only desire and dream is to leave Eritrea. Wouldn’t you say because of IA and PFDJ, we now have problems much larger than IA and PFDJ?

  • Kokhob Selam

    What a glorious time you had man, I feel if as I was there with you after reading this Article Semere (allow me to call you Smret). good chance for you to be there with your comrades. now a bit busy but I excited to say my poem for now,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUdK2CsdZnA

    • Semere Habtemariam

      Thanks Kokheb Selam,

      I enjoyed the song and as usual I appreciate you and your art.

  • dawit

    Dear Semere T.H. I enjoyed reading you article, please could you elaborate what you wrote on the objective reality of Eritrea today. “I was struck by two things he said: the propensity of small countries to hatch endless number of organizations and how difficult it is to try reconciling organizations that don’t have ideological differences. He exhorted that we should never enter into negotiations if we are not ready to make compromises”.
    Thank you

    • Semere Habtemariam

      Dear Dawit,
      The minister was making general observations and not particularly about Eritrea, but they do apply to Eritrea and that is why they resonated with me and you. We have too many organizations with no ideological differences and bringing them together has been a big problem. kem sni adgi me’ire teseriOm and the practical thing to do is to encourage those like EPDP, EPM, Salvation, ELF to come together and lead the others. I mention these groups because they are secular and national and don’t seem to espouse divisive policies.

      As far as the readiness to compromise, it is true in every situation and it has worked well for the ANC.

      • dawit

        Thank you Semere for your prompt reply, but what was the real reason that brought the gathering of those Eritrean from around the glob except to plan a strategy to ‘weed out’ PFDJ headed by Isaias? People who might not have ideological difference but struggle for power and how can they compromise since there is only one spot at the top? Now the one holding the power will try to keep it by any means, also weeding out those who threatens its power. Where is the compromise in this struggle for power? For ANC compromise and Reconciliation worked out to reach a settlement. In SA blacks gave up economic power to stay with whites in order to gain political power. Well in today’s Eritreans we are thousands miles apart to seek any kind of compromise may be In Eritrean culture compromise is considered as defeat. What kind of compromise did you reach in the few days gathering of Eritreans intellectuals from the lessons you mentioned from ANC experience which gives hope to the Eritrean masses?

        • haileTG

          Selam dawit

          Although you and me hold diametrically opposed political view vis-a-vis our country (and no no doubt you will disagree with 99% of what I have to say due to this difference), I found something you said above particularly articulate and summarize for me something that me and saay have been discussing recently. That is when you pondered:

          “what was the real reason that brought the gathering of those Eritrean from around the glob except to plan a strategy to ‘weed out’ PFDJ headed by Isaias?”

          and reflected as:

          “…People who might not have ideological difference but struggle for power…”

          Now to the part you don’t agree 🙂

          That is indeed a deep observation. In fact a very critical question to those who are telling us that they know the ins and outs of PFDJ with many contacts and hence no one could do the job better than them. How arrogant and patronizing way of pitching to pass power to their children by standing watch and did nothing but facilitate when our children were murdered. Now when the world put its foot down and said enough, when the ship is definitely sinking, when the evil they have been part of for decades has matured to the level of mass destruction of our innocent people, they finally come out to barter power for an inside job. They betrayed the martyrs, they betrayed the Eritrean people, they betrayed their comrades and now they are proposing to betray their boss in crime, for nothing more than chasing that illusive smell of power.

          They should humble themselves to accept that they are one among equals with the Eritrean masses. They should stop trying to inherit authority from their role in a mafia cartel, they should demonstrate “ideological difference” with PFDJ in order to be considered change seekers and not power seekers. One of Eritrea’s biggest hurdle is for its people to mentally de-legitimize PFDJ, believe in that cardinal truth and and reject any claim of authority over others for being an ex-member of the PFDJ butchers. The fear must be broken. Eritreans must feel there is nothing or no one to be afraid of. Respect to our ghedli history doesn’t mean being held a mental and spiritual hostage and a slave and second to those who participated in it. The US has many veterans but they don’t demand the whole of the US population’s dignity be beholden to the whims of the veterans. They are humble people bless their hearts. The mistake we did was to worship the tegadelti as some kind of superior beings even if (their heroism in place) were mostly ignorant, brutal and backward people. The proof is in the pudding, Eritreans are dying everywhere and rotting in hundreds of unnamed jails. We made the mistake to transfer authority to PFDJ I from EPLF and we are paying like hell now. We are being asked to now transfer authority to PFDJ II from PFDJ I the payment would be even worse and hefty this time around.

          If people don’t have “ideological difference” with PFDJ then they should stick with the current PFDJ. Our ideological difference with PFDJ is:

          i) where as PFDJ despises Eritreans, we respect our people, tradition and identity as well as history

          II) where as PFDJ believes in stripping Eritreans to bare poverty to control them, we believe freeing and educating our people to control themselves

          III) where as PFDJ (I, II, III…) are made of secrecy we believe in openness

          IV) where as PFDJ believes in exacting a heavy price from the people for independence that it didn’t brought single handedly we believe Eritreans are born free and born equal and they should pay no tax for the history that they own and made.

          Demolish PFDJ for good, demolish the idea that we need PFDJ to do the job for good, demolish the concept that there are more equal Eritreans for good, demolish the FEAR for good. PFDJ can beat akaki zeraf as much as it pleases, but will have a cat in hell chance of making good on it.

          Regards

          • tes

            Dear haile TG,

            How wisely you can say what you want, I am totally inside your lines and I give my due thanks. I agree with the listed ideologies (the our ideologies…).

            Thank you

            hawka
            tes

          • haileTG

            Hey tes,

            Thank you for the kind words. PFDJ and all its mouth pieces come in many shapes and forms for one and single objective. Some are paternalizing and patronizing saviors wanna be, some are foul mouthed abusers, some are pretentious and dishonest and others are professional bridge builders or dismantlers there of. The one and single objective is too steal your dignity and unlawfully legitimize a selfish hold over you. Challenge them respectfully, mercilessly and have no single doubt that whether they fought for 30 or 300 years it gives them not a single bit of legitimacy to lord it over you. Fight them to the ground, without mercy or hesitation or any kind. your dignity is yours to defend not theirs to withhold at will. Respect tegadalay for what he did to the nation, and if he try to lord it over you or blackmail you with it, fight him and trash him down without mercy. You owe it to all Eritreans that perished at the cruel hands of PFDJ and above all you owe it to yourself. There are many decent tegadelti who are not engaged in this type of sordid act that caused our nation to be the prime example of human miseries. Respect them for all that they did but do it with your dignity intact. Let those who want to insult us with patronizing posturing march forward, we will (figuratively speaking) mow them down to their proper size.

            Peace

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Hailat,

            Well done. You put it clearly in a nutshell the differences of the opposites. You don’t give a room for interpretation even for the twisters. Take my thumbs up.

            Hawka,

            Amanuel Hidrat

          • saay7

            Haderkum Amanuel:

            Your 7-point plan for transitioning Eritrea from a dictatorship to representative democracy begins with:

            1- Call for dismantling the PFDJ-system (not the party) and advocate for an “inclusive-system” to resolve the political crises of Eritrea.

            Whom is this call being made to? Who is going to be the dismantler?

            saay

          • Tooth Fairy

            M’sieur saay7:
            For the love of God, ya gotta stop asking hard questions. People should be allowed to believe in tooth fairies. It is their God-given right.
            Can’t we just skip the “who will do the dismantling” part and talk about day 2. You know the aftermath. We need to make plans to move into the Presidential Palace you know. We need to fill cabinet-level positions and measure the drapes…etc
            We don’t need to worry about little details like “who will do the dismantling?”
            Just who do you think you’re to ask questions like that Mr. saay7?

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Tooth Fairy,

            Don’t worry, I have never faced difficulty questions in this lovely and engaging website so far. We know for what the questions are, and we know from what shelf we pull the answers for them. Thank for your concern.

          • Tooth Fairy

            Wedi Hidrat,
            So I guess you are going to dismantle the PFDJ from your clinical pharmacy in Amerika? What are you going to fight them with? test tubes, beakers, flasks, graduated cylinders, tongs, Bunsen burners, tweezers? Good luck my man.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Hey Tooth Fairy,

            No ! When I am in the game of politics, my tools are consciousness, courage, determination, persuasion, motivation, engagement to produce the wave of reactions to flood the house of cards to remove the evil at the center. By the way how do you come with that nickname?

          • Zemen

            Amanuel,

            Your English sucks. You need to work hard on your grammar. Your brilliant ideas are getting thwarted because of that.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Zemen,

            I will make you my editor. I am not here to compete in English proficiency.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Arkuye! Saay,

            (a) The call was made to the Eritrean people (b) The supposedly dismantler will be the Eritrean people. But let me ask you my turn: Are we by virtue in the opposition, because there are dismatlers somewhere? or do we consider ourselves part of the dismantlers somehow? Do we have to make U-turns because we don’t see dismantles on sight to motivate us? Your turn to answer Bistsay.

          • Tooth Fairy

            Wedi Hidrat,
            Thanks for clarifying. I get it now. You’re making the call to the Eritrean people. You see all along I thought you were asking the Sudanese to do the dismantling.
            How do you suggest the Eritrean people go about dismantling smart guy?
            Please share your strategy with the class.

          • saay7

            Kbur Harbegna Tegadalai Amanuel:

            I promise, I will answer your question, but as Denzel Washington says in the movie Philadelphia: “Now, explain it to me like I am a four year old”:) Has there ever been a change, anywhere in the world, that was engineered by “people”–a people that is not led? If so, where and when? If not, why are you proposing a plan that has never worked anywhere in the history of the world?

            saay

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Arkuye ! Saay,

            Wow! You don’t need to answer my questions buddy. When you ask me questions, I don’t felt the way you are feeling when I ask you questions. I though we are exchanging an adult talk.

          • saay7

            Ahlen Emma:

            Como? It is just an expression to ask you to break it down in a way it can’t be misunderstood. That’s all:) Now, could you please answer the question because it is important.

            saay

          • Nitricc

            Hahaha stop it SAAY
            Aman has no answers. Give the man a break. Aman is to proud to say I don’t know.
            Now he is cornerd ; give the man a break. Lol
            SAAY the forum in on fire. It is exciting to read the opinions.
            At last we are discussing what maters instead YG this YG that a total waste of time and energy.
            I would like to apply for moda position so I can delete any article YG has on it. We have wasted enough time and energy on that garbage I hope people will never revert to bull crap.
            Aman surrender it is better hahaha.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Nitricc,

            I don’t need long answer. I gave him one liner answer. see it in asterisk in my last response to him. No surrender. I have plenty of answers in store.

          • Nitricc

            Come on Aman what the probability happening that again? You mentioned one insidence in the history of the world and you wanted us to buy in to it. I admit I did not even knew about it, regardless give me more data.
            Aman you are in science collecting data means everything. How on earth do you think you can get away with one incident?
            🙂

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Hey Nitricc and saay,

            If the polish revolution is not enough example, how about the orange revolution of Ukraine, Georgia revolution, Or the Russian revolution that dismantled the communist party.

          • saay7

            Nitricc:

            Your application for MODA is being considered:
            (a) write 23 posts without insulting anybody including by making reference to our dentures;
            (b) call the NBA finals. You know, so far, Ermi has a perfect record. You are not going to let us toothless oppo beat you at that, are you?

            saay

          • Ermias

            Good one SAAY. How did I miss this post?

            SAAY, would you consider perhaps a World Cup 2014 Bracket to be filled out by Awatistas not to steal the whole debate about our beloved country but it might help Nitricc with his geography. Also you would want to have your fellow Awatistas to become a little aware of the greatest sporting event in the world.

            “The FIFA World Cup is the world’s most widely viewed sporting event; an estimated 715.1 million people watched the final match of the 2006 FIFA World Cup held in Germany and the 2010 event in South Africa was broadcast to 204 countries on 245 different channels.”

          • saay7

            Ermi:

            Better yet, why don’t you become our sports correspondent?
            Your first mission, should you accept, is to find a video of young Ghirmay Ghebreselassie crossing the finish line at yesterday’s half marathon.

            Soccer….um… I could watch the 90 in 30 special; but I don’t think I can take 90 minutes of nothing happening:)

            saay

          • saay7

            Selamat Emma:

            Just noticed that you had added asterisk. Ok, let’s consider Poland’s 1989 revolution with Eritrea 2014:

            1. Poland’s 1989 revolution (Solidarity) was a continuation of 1956, 1968, 1970, 1976 and and 1980 movements. It didn’t spring out of nowhere: it had been in the works, off and on, for 33 years.

            2. It was based on the “Third Road” approach to civil society (are you listening Ali Salim and Saba?). Civil Society (or bourgeoisie society as Marx called it) was either market-centered–like the ones in the US–, or state-centered–the “mass organizations” of hgdef. In Poland, they created the “third road”: civil society that was society centered–discussion clubs, forums (medrek, wink wink) that was about empowering the individual citizen. Solidarity argued for decades that it was NOT interested in politics–state power–but individual empowerment. The last time we had civil society in Eritrea was when labor unions were around in the 1940s.

            3. Poland does not have diversity issue: it is 86% Roman Catholic and anti-communism was a sufficient basis for organizing. The Roman Catholic Church just happened to have a Pope who was from Poland and had strong moral authority and influence in Poland. Eritrea is diverse country with no unifying slogan for the opposition, and certainly no religious authority to inspire it.

            4. Finally, Emma arkey, there seems to be a pattern with you of picking exceptions and making them the rule. Of the Arab Spring disasters, you pick at the one exception (Tunisia) and say that can be applied in Eritrea. Similarly, the Poland case was exceptional EVEN by East European stands, never mind Eritrea.

            But I do appreciate that you gave me a direct answer to my question.

            saay

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Arkuye Saay,

            I am a receptive by nature but deliberative to scrutinize good and bad ideas that comes for public consumption. Hence my engagement with my fellow Eritreans.

            Recently, you make me something to sense in your argument. That is “conditioning”. When I sense conditioning argument from you, you trigger my cognitive alert and make me to pull my thought pad. Why are my examples exceptions and yours are not? Strange!

            I will not act like a cancer that kills its host. But I will do my point just for the record. When you push your ideas and dismiss other’s ideas (eg. mine) as “exceptional,” it gave me a signal that something a “cooked product” is somewhere for promotion and sale. In a real debate you don’t dismiss argument as “exceptional” when in fact it isn’t. You want a relatively peaceful transitional process (with little or no bloodshed). I gave you the “orange revolution” of Ukraine, the Polish “Solidarity revolution”, the Georgian ” Rose revolution”, the Russian revolution of 1989 that over turn the Russian communist party, and the “Tunisian transitional” process. And all became exceptional and have no dynamic similarity with our reality. Humm!! The people create the dynamics when you give them the tools.

            Saay, if there is no sincerity in our debate, for every argument made, there are always counter argument that dismiss’ it . You don’t need long argument as a matter of fact. You just dismiss it by saying ” it doesn’t fit to our reality.”

            Hawka,

            Amanuel Hidrat

          • saay7

            Selamat Emma:

            I did not comment on any of the Color revolutions; you might be confusing me with somebody else. But, since you asked, read Ghanian author Ayittey, who was instrumental in defeating Ghanaian dictatorship (in fact he wrote a book about it called “Defeating Dictatorship” that we should use as a manual) has a good analysis about them.

            What I did comment on was the Tunisian and the Poland uprisings and yes I did say they were exceptions. I wish that was my original insight; it is not: there is a lot of scholarship on both and the consensus is that Tunisia was the exception to the Arab Spring (large, literate middle class, strong trade unions) and Poland was the exception to East Europe (Roman Catholic pope, strongly anti-communist, a strong trade union.)

            I think because we are not full-time rebels, we approach things using the skill-sets of our day job (you fired a few of them at me from your day job.) I approach things using the skills of my trade: SWOT analysis. A few months ago I was talking to an Eritrean who is a financial analyst and he convinced me (using the binoculars of his trade) that unless we come up with a solution on how to demobilize and integrate our large Agelglot, no change we bring about no matter how well planned or intentioned, will be sustainable.

            That’s what these debates are supposed to be: people with different perspectives poking holes in our arguments and presenting alternative solutions.

            saay

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Merhab Saay,

            When Nitricc told me that we shouldn’t be dictate by one example, I added those examples I mentioned before I leave home for work this morning. It was addressed to both of you. But you are right, they weren’t included in my previous response to you.

            Regarding demobilizing the Agelglot, your friend is right. But shouldn’t it be resolved immediately, at least partially, by the GNU?

          • Yodita

            Dear Kbur SAAY,

            How about Egypt, Tunisia or even Ethiopia after the emperor and before Mengistu emegrged. For me these are changes with out leaders, or not?

          • saay7

            Kbrti Yodita the Lioness:

            1. Tunisia has Arab world’s most educated and largest middle class. It had also had an extremely strong labor union and a long suppressed Islamist movement. It was the labor union and the Islamist movement that was leading the charge and, happily for Tunisia, the Islamists didn’t do what they did in Egypt. Tunisia’s army, unlike Egypt’s, did not have a battle hardened and popular military (it was not a factor in the revolution) but it did have a security apparatus that withheld support from the Tunisian dictator. Why? Because, according to Wikileaks, “more than half of Tunisia’s commercial elites were personally
            related to Ben Ali through his three adult children, seven siblings, and second wife’s ten
            brothers and sisters.” Ben Ali was not sharing the loot with the security team.

            2. Egypt: There is a documentary, documented in real time, about how the Muslim Brotherhood was running the anti-Hosni demonstrations but tactically decided not to be the face of the demonstrations. And when election time came, of course, they won. Egypt has, for 50 plus years, been a contest between the Muslim Brotherhood and The Army. (awate’s video of the month is really about that: “Sisi, yes; Mursi, no.” Later on it will be, “Mursi, yes; Sisi, no”:)

            3. The Derg. Lots of books on this, but the Derg was the classic case of junior officers (army again) complaining about pay. Remember their first letters to Emperor Haile Selasse were not complaints about his legitimacy, but the ill-treatment they were receiving from the senior officers. (Eyob won’t like this, but what the hell: the Eritrea-based Ethiopian army had, by then, been fighting wenbede for 13 years and they wanted a political solution and that was part of the grievance.) It was only Haile Selasse’s confused reaction that emboldened them and others (taxi drivers, students, teachers) to join in. But this was hardly a “people’s revolution” it was led by the military officers. If I remember correctly, it was because their well had dried up and the senior military officers wouldn’t let them use their well, or something like that.

            saay

            * for an enlightening piece on the “Arab Spring”, please refer to: “Demystifying the Arab Spring”, an article that appeared on “Foreign Affairs.”

          • Yodita

            Kubrat Ahwat SAAY and Amde

            SAAY – (Lioness? You’re spoiling me! Never had it so good as I do these days at Awate.com!!).

            On a serious note, for now I will leave Tunisia out (may revert later with my 2 cents) but I
            have a couple of things to say about Egypt and Ethiopia.

            Egypt: It is not the Moslem Brotherhood that made Hosni Mubarak budge! On 25 January 2011, over 50,000 people first occupied TaHrir Square! It was a relentless, determined, perseverant and awesome crowd that swelled to around 300,000 by 11 February 2012 when Mubarak quit officially. Before this spark that turned into a blaze (Alexandria and other towns), neither the Military nor the Brotherhood were in taking over mode.

            You say “…the Muslim Brotherhood was running the anti-Hosni Mubarek demonstrations but
            tactically decided not to be the face of the demonstrations. …” The point is this: if the Brotherhood was not openly putting its face and ‘calling the shots’, it only existed in its intention and that of the
            inner militants. The people who were heroically protesting and refusing to accept anything less than Mubarak’s resignation had no knowledge of what the Brotherhood was spinning behind the scene. It in fact came less than the aspirations of the protestors and fell. Even the army did not dare make any false moves in view of the might of the people’s determination. If this is not a people’s lead dismantling, I don’t know what is!

            Ethiopia

            Amde: Same principle as in Egypt. You say “…the derg didn’t want to reveal themselves and worked secretly from February to September of 1974 until Hale Sellasie was deposed. …”. Agitation started by taxi drivers, then I believe it was the teachers and so on and so forth. The social malaise was such that the whole country was tense. If the Derg was then in secret (and for 8 months!!), it only existed in its intention and in a limited way. The protestors that were the reasons for the spark and later the blaze were not being organized and led by this secret entity. Again, if this is not a people led dismantling, I do not know what is! (NB: It was not an educated elite protest; it was a genuine People and Power)

            My point in both cases is that why did not the Brotherhood in Egypt and the Derg in Ethiopia go for it directly by demanding the resignation of the leaders in however way they deem fit. In my view, they saw an opportunity and jumped into the bandwagon. In today’s world the dramas unveil right there in our eyes and much as these usurpers would want to mystify phenomena, they have very limited room to manoeuvre.

          • saay7

            Selamat Yodita:

            The point remains though: all uprisings, demonstrations, coups, revolutions are, anywhere and anytime, LED by someone. Without going too far, you may refer to Eritrea’s post 1991 experience: the 1992 demonstration for better living conditions by Tegadelti; the 1993 demonstration by the handicapped fighters for better care; the 2000 petition by G-13 for democratization; the 2001 demonstration by University of Asmara students for government non-intervention in their student union; the 2001 petition by G-15 for reform; the 2013 coup-attempt by Wed Ali for constitutionalism…every single had a leader or group of leaders who were, after the fact, picked by security men.

            There is no such thing as a spontaneous “popular uprising”: someone is always leading the flock, out front, or from behind:)

            saay

          • Amde

            Hi Yodita,

            Well, my take is this. There is the agitation and there is the replacement.

            There IS such a thing as accummulated public grievance that CAN express itself in spontaneous public revolt and demonstration. These may be such that the acting powers that be may find that they no longer control the situation and are in fact or in effect no longer in power.

            That is the agitation part.

            The problem is not the REMOVAL of the elite in charge, but the REPLACEMENT. Once a status quo power has been removed, a vacuum leads to anarchy. Most people can only survive in an anarchic state for a very short period of time, so something has to fill the void. This “something” has to have some kind of organization, and the means to impose order – violently if need be.

            In most places, this defaults to the military. The exceptions would be if there was another fighting group (like the EPRDF in Ethiopia, or the Sandinista in Nicaragua, or Fidel’s group in Cuba) that can come in.

            This is where the difference between the Generals and the Captains comes in. The Generals are basically part of the system, so they will do the minimum (cosmetic) change they need to placate the population, but generally don’t make fundamental changes (perhaps changes in personalities). The captains are not really part of the system (at least where decisions are made), and so they are likely to at least look for more revolutionary changes.

            In Ethiopia’s case, the derg was not an official government, but public knew that there was a “Co-ordinting committee”, to which ministers and senior figures were surrendering over the many months. That is why some people term it a “creeping coup”. The government did not really fight back, because there was paralysis in the center. Ministers and senior officials were giving themselves up for the most part because they assumed they would be there temporarily until things settled down and they felt they were personally innocent and would have nothing to fear.

            Of course, the captains ended up bringing really revolutionary change (they destroyed the monarchy and the feudal system). Many might argue that they wouldn’t have brought those changes were it not for the ideological direction popularized by the leftist student movement. Perhaps that is true, but the fact that they had really no stake in the old system made it possible for them to accept those new directions.

            Contrast that with the Egyptian generals. They pushed out an old ex-general. Temporarily replaced him with a new General. They allowed a civilian to come into power, and then when the public wanted him removed (some say the public was manipulated into it) they are now going to enthrone yet another General. Unless I miss something nothing fundamental has changed in Egypt over the past three years.

            amde

          • Amde

            Hi Yodita,

            I am not sure about the Tunisia deal, but in Egypt and Ethiopia, the military took over. The dominant personalities within the military showed themselves later. When Mubarrak was ousted he was replaced by General Mohammed Tantawi. General Sisi is a later manifestation. When Nasser took over, he made General Naguib president as well.

            In Ethiopia, the derg didn’t want to reveal themselves and woked secretly from February to September of 1974 until Hale Sellasie was deposed. Then they made General Aman Andom the public face until they fell out. By then, teh junior officers that were teh derg were confident enough to show their faces in public.

            amde

          • Mahmud Saleh

            salam Amde;
            Say, there happens a reality where there comes an opportunity of some sort of consultation period ( either as a result of internal or external factors, that’s without force) and all stake holders are invited in the process (in Eritrea), how do you see things go forward from that point? I am trying to compare it with EPRDF first years of consultation till the federal constitution was adopted where rival armed groups, including OLF, began participatring. I know it was in the aftermath of forced ousting of Mengstu, and EPRDF was dominant, hence, guardian of the state. So, let’s say EDF stays intact and the scenario I have just stated presents itself. I want you to look at the religious, ethnic.. political factions, some of them armed others not.

          • Amde

            Hi Mahmud,

            I am actually surprised you’d ask me that. I would have believed TKifle would give you a more insider (if you will) perspective of that period. I am not a fan of TPLF/EPRDF or ethnic politics, and I believe the EPRDF purposely twisted that period to impose their vision for the country, and not to honestly create a space for political consultation. So take my responses with that grain of salt.

            Anyhow, that is an interesting question, complicated by what I see Serray and HaileTG articulate about the nature of PFDJ. I will come back to that a little bit below.

            I take the way you articulated the question as being a situation where EDF as the main (or even only) military presence to impose order, while leaving the political space free of PFDJ monopoly. Is that correct? (I phrased it as “free of PFDJ monopoly” so as to make sure that perhaps you also mean to leave political space for PFDJ members who might want to continue in the political game without their current co-ercive capabilities)

            The main thing is: what would be the goal of this period? If it is to implement an administration that will consciously leave the resolution of political issues to the side, and just re-orient the country to a different direction, then a temporary committee/council with the kind of list of known specific mandate may be doable.

            I would assume an unstated but intended goal of this period would be to build goodwill among potential political actors, so the cabinet can be established so as to include member of current opposition groups.

            Practically speaking, the state machinery will have to operate with pretty much the whole bureaucracy being current members of the PFDJ. (In much the same way that most government functionaries were members of ESEPA and now of EPRDF). So whatever is articulated and practiced as policy concerning PFDJ members, it has to be in such a way to be able to differentiate the criminals from the other members.

            What gets complicated is what I see articulated by HaileTG and Serray and others about the criminality of the PFDJ, and how it has to be rooted out , weeded out, destroyed etc. Dear Mahmud, I do not believe the kind of behaviour PFDJ is accused of can be adressed without significant blood. Generally, the more repressive a state is, the more blood spilt before it can be changed. It makes logical sense, because the sheer number of people involved in the repressive machinery (spies, informant, jails, gulags, torture centers etc…) is such that they can be an effectively large body fighting back as they realize their very survival is at stake. Bureaucrats have ink-stained hands – so they are generally safe, and more importantly – needed for their skills and experiences. Whereas these guys would have copious blood on their hands, and they know they are a liability. And more than a liability, they are a convenient scapegoat.

            So what do you do with them, and more importantly how do you go about it? That is the first main question. Weeding out is the automatic choice of course, but perhaps the SA model of Truth and Reconciliation is another option as well.

            The other one is the political question of diversity etc. Obviously if there is goodwill and trust much can be done to address this as much as possible. Here, if we were to see the track record of the opposition, and its difficulty to both work together and gain traction among the diaspora. I am not sure the realistic chance of something like this coming into effect in Eritrea itself is promising.

            I hope people realize that Eritrea’s geography and demographics are features that will not change. So the Eritrean political system has to be designed in such a way as to be able to address the interests of this diversity – which if we are brutally honest, also extends into teh neighboring countries. It may come across like a platitude, but the political system can also be designed to maximize Eritrean nationalism with propaganda and social engineering (sawa, hade hizbi etc…as it currently is) and look where it ended up. It would be a huge waste if people think the current disease is due to a few bad seeds in the PFDJ and cured by the elimination of Issayas and his cronies.

            This is also where I see the EDF being the potential spoilers. Assuming the EDF is intact means also assuming that its ideology and indoctrination are intact as well. A big part of that is of course the hyper-Nationalism that denies diversity (hade hizbi hade libi), and operates under the assumption that the Ethiopia-Eritrea relationship is a zero-sum game. With that in mind, any diverse political opinion can be seen by the EDF as being against Eritrean interests, and worse as acting for Ethiopian interest. The best scenario is having an enlightened EDF officer corp that recognizes that they have to let the political process play out, and accept the outcome. Knowing human nature, that is rather optimistic. So barring that, having them involved somehow (President Johnson’s saying “would rather have you enemies inside the tent pissing out than outside the tent pissing in) is a more realistic option. The danger still would be that a junta might not like the direction things are going, and they might decide to short-circuit the political process (“for the sake of the nation” they will say). The bureaucracy would have to continue working well to forestall that excuse.

            So, no easy answers I am afraid, but with sufficient wisdom, do-able. I don’t know if you find anything I wrote meaningful. But I have to tell you that I really agree with you that things like “democracy” – especially as we understand them in the West – are really elite luxuries. People want peace, justice and a sense of hope that tomorrow can be better than today. That’s it.

            amde

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Salam Amde
            Thank you very much; it’s really helpful. I did not direct it to T.Kifle, because I wanted to have a relatively unbiased answer; I wanted the EPLF/TPLF rivalry factored out ( your are a fan of neither one); plus having read your posts as I promised the last time we did have unpleasant exchange, I thought you would be the right person. Thanks again, it gives me a visual map of possible scenarios.

  • Solomon

    Dear Semere,
    That’s a hell of a trip! South Africa is on my bucket list. I heard the crime rate is high in the cities though and you have to watch yourself. It’s like going to Brazil when it comes to the crime rate. Glad you enjoyed the trip. Hopefully, you learned a thing or two about whatever it was that you were hoping to learn from the ANC.
    Personally, I don’t think there is a parallel between Eritrean opposition groups and their fight and the ANC. Mandella’s ANC was fighting against the racist Apartheid rule. There is no apartheid in Eritrea. In fact, there is no racism or favoritism for that matter.
    Ethiopian opposition groups may have more to learn from the ANC’s experience of fighting minority rule.

    • Semere Habtemariam

      Dear Solomon,

      You’re right about Joeburg but not cities like Pretoria and Capetown, they are as safe as they can be. SA is a beautiful place and I hope to visit it again with my family one day. And yes, you’re right, I did learn a whole lot. There is a whole lot we can learn from ANC, although as you put it accurately there is no parallel between their struggle and ours. Any country including Ethiopia can learn from their experience. After all, it is about bringing peace and justice among people with a history of injustice, oppression and war.

  • Pappillon

    Dear Semere,

    ንሓደ ዓይነስውር ስብ እንታይ ትደሊ ኢሎሞ ንሱኻኣ ብርሃን በሎም ህዝቢ ኤርትራ ኻኣ ሎሚ ተስፋ እዩ ዝደሊ እሞ ዋላ እቲ ዘሕለፍክሞ ዎርክሾፕ እንተኾነ ንህዝቢ ኤርትራ ዓቢ ተስፋ እዩ

    ሓፍትኻ

    • Semere Habtemariam

      Dear Pappillon,

      In one pithy sentences, you said what it took me 4 pages to say. I’m jealous.//hawki Semee