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The Horn of Africa: From Unitarianism to Medemerism

Sifting through endless mazes of social media outlets to find a discourse that engages one’s intellectual faculty requires ample patience and restraints of the highest order. The attendant subject matter, namely, The Horn of Africa, is no exception in that it has proliferated in magnitude, in volume, proportional to the virtual world at large. When that rare intellectual gem is discovered, however, all the trouble that one goes through on a daily basis to find something worth spending one’s precious time for is quickly ­forgotten. Such rare moment of interview with Ghirmai Negash has compelled the Awate Team to bring the intellectually engaging conversation that gives historical, factual, and genuine assessment of the situation taking place in the Horn of Africa today.

Ohio University professor Ghirmai Negash was a guest in the Eritrean People’s Sovereignty (EPS Media) recently on 27 December 2020. The ongoing, complex and dramatic events are very difficult to untangle. But, as many viewers in Facebook have written, they are skillfully (and unapologetically!) analyzed; and their causes and consequences illuminated by the professor in this dialogue. Instead of seeing the contentious issues through a micro-lens, which would be solely between Tigray (a state actor) versus Ethiopia (the central government actor), Professor Ghirmai uses a macro-lens, the Horn of Africa, as a tool of sociopolitical analysis. This approach allows for a broader sociopolitical vantage point from which to view and understand the current crises in the region. Based on the available scholarship, on concepts of (1) colonial and postcolonial ‘center-periphery’ dynamics,  and the (2) the historical and geographical proximity of the main actors involved, the interviewee sheds light using as a foreground cultural, linguistic, and religious factors and dispositions to elucidate his points.

Center-Periphery Dynamics Patterns and Empire-Building

As a general principle,  Professor Ghirmai stipulates that “the peoples of the Horn” have been coexisting, intermarrying within and across religions and ethnicities, and continue to be its historical and cultural hallmarks to the present day. Cultural and historical intersections, thus mutual appropriations in one form or another, have been and continue to be one of the region’s distinctively defining features.  At the same time, at macro sociopolitical level, the most powerful group(s) also established their “power centers” by raiding the less powerful groups in this historical process. Or seen from ethnic standpoint, it can be said that the marginalized ethnic groups within the Horn of Africa were made victims of the more powerful ones. As ‘subalterns’, these groups lacked mechanisms for recourse, and were often crushed as the lesser ‘others’ by the ‘center’ at times they attempted to fight for their rights, and for cultural or political autonomy.  Theoretically, the notion of the ‘subaltern’ was developed by the Italian thinker, Antonio Gramsci. As he defined it: “In postcolonial studies and in critical theory, the term subaltern designates and identifies the colonial populations who are socially, politically, and geographically excluded from the hierarchy of power of an imperial colony and from the metropolitan homeland of an empire.” Gramsci’s concept of the term subaltern is broadly used “to identify the cultural hegemony that excludes and displaces specific people and social groups from the socio-economic institutions of society, in order to deny their agency and voices in colonial politics.” Now, professor Ghirmai does not explicitly refer to Gramsci during this interview but it is clear, at least At, that  his line of exploration is, or may be, driven by this Gramscian, critical awareness or something akin to it.  And, as I will discuss below,  the above historical drop and assumed conceptual assertion offer indeed the appropriate framework to explaining and understanding equally the content of the interview and its subject-matter–the political and military conflict between the ‘Central Government of Ethiopia’ and its ‘Northern Tigray region’.

On “Unitarianism and Medermerism”

Professor Ghirmai’s talk/interview was titled “From Unitarianism to Medemerism: Perspectives on the Past and Present”. What we see in Ethiopia today, according to him, can be clearly understood if we look back with a historical lens at the century of Emperor Menelik’s reign. Vanderheym went along with the central government during Emperor Menelik’s raid of Wolaita and Oromo documented what he saw, and what we see from his account are disturbing descriptors that were used by the Emperor and his echelons. Terms such as, savages, uncivilized, pagan groups who need civilizing were the stereotypes used to characterize the victimized groups, of whom countless lives were also lost. This was no different from the way the European colonial powers used to describe the colonized in the Continent of Africa. The federal government’s internal war that we observe today can be characterized as Ethiopia’s century old empire-building strategy that started with Emperor Menelik; in fact it should be viewed as nothing less than a continuation of the ideology and practices pursued by the said empire. There is plenty of historical evidence for this. Although “there is a hierarchy within the center as within the periphery”, as the professor states, the political map and ensuing conflicts of the Horn of Africa continue to be driven by the dynamics of the ‘center-periphery’ ideological idea and its practical implications, victimizing the ‘subalterns’ in the interest of powerful elite groups.

Professor Ghirmai Negash’s contention can be enhanced from this rare, yet an important addition that would ostensibly shed light to the mindset of Ethiopia’s elites. In this brief video clip, an Ethiopian student abroad argues the superiority of Ethiopians over other Africans to even unilaterally claiming he or other people like him were not blacks fits the bill  here.**

On Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s Medemerism

In his presentation, Professor Ghirmai threads cautiously and carefully the ‘Medemerism’ needle to its antecedent of ‘Unionism or Unitarianism’ followed by Emperor Haile Selassie when he annexed Eritrea (and of course which goes all the way back to Emperor Menelik’s era). Belaboring here won’t do the presentation justice. Suffice it to mention that those who understand Tigrinya language are in for an original, historical-political insight on our region that will enhance our understanding on some seemingly baffling events, both predictable and unpredictable. Professor Ghirmai’s analysis of Abiy Ahmed’s book Medemer  brilliantly makes the connection between the ideology of what he coined as “Medemerism,” and which he sees and explains as a contemporary iteration of the old ideology of “unionism.” The notion of ‘Unionism’ alludes to the historical political stand of the “Eritrean Unionist Party”, active during the 1950s and 60s. The party worked in tandem with Emperor Haile Selassie’s Ethiopia to dismantle the Ethio-Eritrea federation (1952-62), an act of aggression that led to a thirty-year war of liberation in Eritrea (1961-1991). In turn, the interconnections of these historically distinct but deeply interconnected ideologies—that is ‘unionism and medemerism’—are extended to provide explanations not only for what is happening between Eritrea and Ethiopia in the current conflict, but also to account for much of what is happening today with regard to Abiy Ahmed’s military raids against “minority” communities and historically “marginalized populations” in Benishangul-Gumuz, Oromia, and Tigray.

On External Interventions in the Horn

There also is the recurrent factor of ‘outsider’ intervention in the Horn of Africa. For example, Emperor Haile Selassie was aided by the British airpower in which Mekelle was bombed, previously. This took place during the first “Weyane Uprising” that started in 1943. Degiat Yebio Weldai pushed Emperor Haile Selassie out of the Tigray region, for which Tigray ended up getting bombed relentlessly by British war planes. Similarly, during the Eritrean struggle for self-determination, the Eritrean fighters and people were bombarded by the Ethiopian air and ground forces, aided by foreign powers, especially the United States, the former Soviet Union, Cuba, and former Eastern bloc European countries. These were foreign entities trying to define and redefine the region according to their geo—political interests. to their respective sphere of influence. In light of this, the military intervention of foreign powers in the current Ethiopian conflict should come as no surprise, and we will very likely see more of it in the future, the professor states.

What the Awate Team found uniquely interesting in the interview is also the scholar’s ideas for moving forward. Insisting on the need to “always historicize,” as the great American literary theorist, Frederick Jameson, always insisted, the literary theorist Ghirmai Negash also invites us to be historically conscious and critically minded, whilst warning against the dangers of “unitarian” ideologies and their rhetoric that, particularly in the historical context of the Horn of Africa, are too often constructed to conceal true intentions of aggression and territorial expansion.

Concluding Remarks

This piece is not a substitute to the vid clip being provided; rather it is a short critical summary squeezed out from Professor Ghirmai Negash’s talk.  We took the liberty to provide a critical appraisal of the interview because we felt the need to make this important interview accessible to English-language speaking readers. His words have been paraphrased where it was deemed appropriate; and we have expounded upon his ideas where it was rendered important to do so in order to furnish a comprehensive picture of the analysis. Give it a listen, consequently, your perspective will be enriched. The Awate Team’s purpose here is to highlight for readers so you put the information to a good use by discussing issues in a mature fashion.

As far as we are concerned, as Professor Ghirmai clearly explained, the key issues worth considering vis-à-vis Ethiopia and Eritrea are as follows: If the relationship between Ethiopia and Eritrea is confined to trade, economy, durable diplomatic relations, tradition and cultural exchanges, which was done before and it will be done in the near future, it won’t cause any conceivable rift. The rift can reach to an exacerbating point, however, when the center wants to control what it considers the periphery. Today, Tigray is the Central government’s periphery; tomorrow it may be Eritrea. The latter possibility is against which Eritreans should do their utmost to prevent from happening. Cooperation in itself is well and good, but it should never come at the expense of the sovereignty of the Eritrean people.

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  • Semere Tesfai

    Selam Saay7

    First thing first: good to see you around and welcome home. You’ve been missed a lot here at Awate. You’ve never stayed this long here at Awate for a long while. So, I’m glad you’re staying a little longer this time around. From the look of it, you seem ready to fire your big guns with precision, which is a good thing. And I hope you’ve some time to spare for some gun exchanges. If you do, I’m looking forward to it; and the pleasure is all mine. If you don’t, it’s no a big deal; there is always some other time. Let’s roll

    1. – ” “I *do* believe he (Isaias Afewerqi) has, psychologically, an Ethiopian mindset: nationalism with fascistic strains. That is to say: he believes, like Ethiopian rulers do, that legitimacy is acquired by total elimination and humiliation of your political rivals. He is also a man who finds the highest form of glory in military victories. And he had 30 years to inculcate this fascistic mindset (songs, curriculum, Sawa) on Eritreans. He (Isaias) and his flunkies call it patriotism.”

    Few points here:

    A. – If I’m not mistaken, Isaias Afewerqi was engineering student and most of his colleagues were (in some kind of) science majors. That being the fact, this is the first time in my life to hear people with social science and liberal arts education, calling engineering and science students flunkies.

    B. – Now, I wonder, if people in the PFDJ camp and the “flunkies” (leaders) of the PFDJ regime are impressed and envious about the academic accomplishments of the PhDs in the opposition camp? And I my self sometimes, wonder pray wish and hope, the PhDs (fathers and mothers) in the opposition, not to encourage their kids to study social sciences and liberal arts when they grow up. Because I don’t want these poor kids to end-up being like their parents.

    C. – ELF leaders has declared more liquidation wars and probably have killed more young Eritreans than EPLF/PFDJ leaders ever did – at Ella-TaEda (1966), Gereger (1972), Barka LaElay (1972), Hashenit (1979), Gardelli (1978), Mogoraib (1977/8)……. In your mind, I wonder why – ELF leaders don’t/didn’t qualify to have “psychologically, an Ethiopian mindset: nationalism with fascistic strains” – while EPLF/PFDJ leaders did? Honestly, it is not that I don’t know why you think the way you think; I’m just curious to see how you would put a spin on it?

    2. – “In Eritrea, however well or badly it’s executed, the declared focus of the Center (central gov), is that it will place its focus on the peripheries. The deterioration of Asmara, which would have been unacceptable in any other capital city, is explained using that prism. The irony: those who are recruited to execute on this vision are an over representation of the Center (Kebessa Christians).”

    Again few points here:

    A. – According to Google search, the Eritrean ethnic Tigrignas are 57% of the total Eritrean population. I don’t know what the ethnic/religious/regional composition is in the PFDJ government; and neither do you. But if you’ve concrete statistical facts, I’m all ears. But, but, but…………..

    B. – During the Eritrean Gedli years – from 1975 – 1991 – there was also “over representation of the Center” (Kebessa Christians) in the Eritrean Field. Meaning: during the journey of the second half of the Eritrean, 70-80% of the Eritrean Revolution fighters (Tegadeltis) were from ethnic Tigrignas. Back then, to remedy the imbalance, you neither raised a concern nor joined the Eritrean Revolution. Right? When did the love for Eritrea and Eritreans, and the love for justice and equal representation started? Why didn’t you join the Revolution to balance the scale then? Don’t get wrong; I’m all for equality. I just don’t like cowards draft-dodgers and opportunists lecturing me about justice and showing me selective outrages. That’s all

    3. – “the country has never had as many educated people, including PhD and EdD holders as it has now. So by definition there are a lot of highly educated Eritreans in the opposition. They are silent because they are turned off by the toxicity of Eritrean politics which, just like the rest of the world, is dominated by social media harshness, as well as by the anti-education sentiment of populism (ካብ ምህሮስ ኣእምሮ blah blah blah.) Of course it didn’t help that our leader is a college dropout”

    Again, back to your bragging:

    These are some of the reasons why Eritreans don’t have any respect for Eritreans with “PhD and EdD” academic achievements.

    A. – Eritreans with higher academic achievements from the Diaspora have never showed a sacrifice/positive contribution (in large numbers) to the Eritrean cause in the life of Eritrea – pre and post Eritrean independence. The weight (organizing, contributing money, government support during darker times) is always tilted towards the working poor – and more so towards Eritrean women

    B. – They belittle the sacrifice valor steadfastness and resolute of Eritreans who lost life limbs treasure and opportunities. They think fighting, dying, sacrificing opportunities is the job of the poor and the uneducated. They lookdown to those Eritreans who sacrificed a lot, brought the Nation, defended the Nation, and are building the Nation from ground up as illiterate, flunkies, stupid. They feel they are entitled to lead the Nation.

    C. – The great majority of them (PhDs) are not even needed. Why would you put-up with people who don’t contribute much to the betterment of society, but are impediment to nation building – call National Service Slavery; sell themselves to foreign interests; parrot Western propagandas to look and fell themselves educated; ready to implement IMF and World Bank agendas; willing to serve whenever Western powers outsource their regional policies and projects…….
    Again, yes, it is good to have PhDs. Yes, it is good to have Institutions of Higher Learning. But, but, but importing PhDs from abroad and producing young PhDs from inside is not one of the top priorities for Eritrea today. It is is not wise, it is not prudent, it is not rational, and it is not even fair. And that is what educated Eritreans in the Diaspora and in the opposition don’t seem to get it.

    4. – “In passing, for me, the war is stupid because just as civilized people don’t resolve disputes violently, civilized nations shouldn’t either. The brunt of all wars falls on the innocent. All wars teach us that. All the “operation law and order”, “sovereignty” talk is just hot air, a wasteful and criminal enterprise fueled by grudges that has an amazing tolerance for massive human rights violations and war crimes.”

    Another immature argument from a man who profess to know it all.
    Well. this is my take on that. In this world, people (Nations) who are small poor weak, but who happen to be cursed to inhabit on top of rich land, natural resources, or on a strategic trade location, or both – they don’t have to look for war. War will come to them and knock on their doors. The 300 million black Africans who were sold as slaves allover the continents didn’t ask for war; it came knocking on their doors. The poor small weak people of Africa including Eritreans, the people of Latin America and Asia didn’t start a war with White Europeans; white Europeans came to them and subjugated them. The fate of Red Indians and Aborigines is no different. The current crises in Libya, Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, South Sudan……… has all foreign powers fingerprints allover them. The point: we Eritreans are as peaceful, as stable, as prosperous, as secure…. as our neighbors and global powers want us to be. Every crises is not manufactured by internal political dynamics. And Isaias or no Isaias – Ethio-Eritrean past present and future crises would be no different.

    5. – ” The jingoistic Unitarian One Ethiopia type waving arengwade bicha qey and always finding a way to talk about their “legal, historical, moral” claim to Eritrea’s ports (Qey Bahrachn) and their frequent display of Ethiopian map incorporating Eritrea. And Isaias: we have been told by his colleagues Mesfin Hagos, and Andeberhan Woldegiorgis, and by Dergs former governor of Eritrea Dawit Woldegiorgis and by all his chest beating and treasonous speeches in Ethiopia that he, Isaias, is very much for some kind of configuration that integrates Eritrea with Ethiopia. As Maya Angelou wrote memorably “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” Abiy and Isaias told you, repeatedly, what they want: so believe them.
    So the angst you hear is: if the governments of Ethiopia and Eritrea want it, there is no power (Eritrean or Ethiopian) capable of stopping it. The Ethiopians want it, the NNNN will applaud whatever Isaias does, and the opposition is, like an old lady, too powerless to do anything but curse, and that’s when it finds the energy to do so. That is the anxiety, the angst and the fear.”

    Saleh: This is low; too low for someone of your caliber. This is offensive. This is divisive. This is un-Eritrean. I don’t mind looking the other way – pretending like I didn’t notice – when others say such offensive and divisive statements. But not when you say it. Let me tell you why:

    You know full well, the loaded language you used on your statements are intended beyond their literal meanings. You know, the Woyane manufactured, Woyane assembled, Woyane funded, Woyane armed, and Woyane inspired Eritrean opposition organizations are/were formed along religious/ethnic/regional lines. You know, the very objective of this type of politicking is to sow seeds of hatred and division among Eritreans, to pit Eritreans against Eritreans. And here you’re doing the exact same thing.

    Isaias Afewerqi = NNNN (ንሕና ንሱ – ንሱ ንሕና) = the FFDJ ethinc regime and its infrastructure = Ethnic Tigrigna. Therefore when you said “the NNNN will applaud whatever Isaias does” you’re implicating an entire ethno-religious group that paid more than its fair share for Eritrean independence; that has paid its fare share – if not more – in defending Eritrean independence sovereignty and territorial integrity; and that is building Eritrea and Eritrean identity from ground up sacrificing its time and opportunities with treason. And that is pathetic.

    To your information (I’m preaching to the choir here) this line of argument, which says “the Habesh don’t have real commitment towards free and independent Eritrea.” “If given an opportunity and power, the Habesh will sell/unite Eritrea with Ethiopia in a heartbeat” scare tactic predates Isaias Afewerqi himself. As a young Tegadalay I was thought in political cadres school, that Isaias Afewerqi was an Ethiopian agent and his organization’s objective is to unite Eritrea with Ethiopia. ELF leaders and their cadres use to call us Habesh; and they use to call EPLF leaders “Dergi NiEush” or Mini Derg.
    Right after independence (1991-1998) the ELF offshoot organizations politics was centered around a scare tactic that says “ShaEbya is going to incorporate/unite Eritrea with Ethiopia; ShaEbya is conspiring with their TPLF cousins to unite Eritrea with Ethiopia”. And here today, four generations after the politics of the 1940s; after all the heavy price ethnic Tigrignas paid for Eritrean independence, to protect its sovereignty and territorial integrity – you’re repeating the old politics Al-RabiTa Al-Islamia. Shame!!!

    Sorry: I’m tied-up now; I’ll make some editing when I get time later. Please hold your thoughts

    Semere Tesfai

    • saay7

      Selamat Semere:

      It is good to hear from you Semere! I really can’t do that you quote me, I quote you quoting me thing: it is exhausting to the reader (it is to me: I wouldn’t have read it if the author wasn’t Semere Tesfai.) Could you do me a favor and tell me exactly what is it you find objectionable about what I said: you don’t have to quote what I said, I know EXACTLY what I said.

      All I got from it, so far, is the usual Semere Tesfai “What About-ism” that I remember from days of old: tell Semere the verifiable and massive crimes of PFDJ and he will (a) minimize it and (b) pivot to ELF who, last time I checked, were not in charge of the State of Eritrea.

      Waiting for your bullet list.

      JumaA Mubarek!


  • መሃንድስ-ምዕባለ

    ዘኽታም ኤርትራ
    ኣብ ማንካ ኮፍ ኢላ
    ከኾልሳ ነዚ ተዅላ
    እቲ ተዅላ
    ኤርትራ ሃገር ኣይኮነትን
    ክምዝንሪኦ ድማ

    ዕኑዳት ምሁራትና ‘ንታይ ይብሉ?
    ከም ቀደሞም ሸንኮለል
    ሃበስ-ቀደስ ይትንትኑ
    ወይ ድማ ከምዛ ንሪኦም ዘለና
    ምስ ተዃሉ ይውግኑ
    ወያነ ‘ተጠፊኦም
    ኤርትራ ሃጽ ትበል
    ናብ ጸድፋ ኴኑ

    [መሬት ጸጥ ስለዝበለ ሰላም ማለት ኣይኮነን] ድያ ዝበለት ሎሚ ‘ዛ ጓል 22ተን ዓመት ሓቀይ!

  • Brhan

    Hello Awatawyan,

    Abiy Ahmed’s punishment to his critics: PF(DJ) Style!

    When the Catholic church of Eritrea criticized the PF(DJ), the later has to punish the church’s clients and this by closing the church clinics that serve the poor, the vulnerable and the sick.

    Now when the UNHCR criticized the Abiy Ahmed gov’t , the later has to punish the UNHCR by targeting the UNHCR clients: refugees and this by refusing exit visas for Eritrean refugees, including refugee children who are in process to resettle in third countries.

  • Ismail AA

    Selam all,

    It’s joy to read inputs from high value participants in this form. Some of them have been missed for some time for a reason or another. One gets encouraged to say something when brothers like saay and Negash join in just on time when their views are so much needed by circumstances that could have bearing on how our future as a people in a nation mighty be impacted by the unwholesomely negative events and developments unfolding next door in our neighborhood. It’s as much hoped that several who still are missed do come back too.

    Said that much, moreover, I must delightedly note that the debate got a welcome tilt towards our domestic front issues in the back drop of the ongoing conflict in northern Ethiopia, and when gauged within the framework of the multifaceted and vying interests the raging conflict has been practically drawing, and might potentially draw, can engulf the broader region. This was I fact so after the Awate Team had served the forum by posting a condensed piece on the analytical tool Prof. Germai Negash had used to tackle the dimensions and the ramifications the progressing conflict in Ethiopia can generate, and which he did in the framework of an interview with one of the social media outlets, and squared around the center-periphery governance concept. Seen in a broader sense, the views of Prof. Germai could have simply passed over as general conceptual academic affair that can be understood within the framework of normal discourse of political science element as related to distribution of power in a federal system. In my amateurish view, the only point that constituted as bone of contention was reference to the current events and developments unfolding in the region.

    Actually, the spark that ignited the debate was an expression allusion about what might happen if Tigrai as autonomous federal entity within the current Ethiopian federation would cease to exist, losing thereby being a northern periphery of Ethiopia as a whole; and hence, Eritrea also losing a buffer that might expose its status as sovereign nation to danger due to the malignant irredentist ego that nests deep in the mind of followers of the so called ultra-centrist ideology of “ethiopianwinet” in Ethiopia proper, coupled as well by the unfathomable status and power seeker ego of the despot that has been wreaking havoc to our evolving nationhood. Thus, the concern on the part of Eritreans being is more real than apparent, the esteemed debaters have weighed the matter from various perspectives and each has given us directions on things may take.

    Among several, I should mentioned a couple, perhaps more, whose views can serve us as points worth looking at. Saay, using his familiar wit and arsenal of information, has told us after all, even though relevant vital forces on which the nation should depend as insulation to negative effects the conflict in Ethiopia can generate are hopelessly docile and feeble, there can still be some bets. The first is the kind of one of traditional ethos that glory and grandeur emanate from wars and warfare Ethiopia’s traditional rulers have had to excel in; and, thus, if Dr. Abij will need to qualify to statuses of monarchs in the past, and might bog himself in what saay7 has termed as “quick sand” of prolonged conflict. The second bet is the characteristic nature of the dictator who has demonstrated more often than not that he is in fact an enemy of himself and who usually blows off advantages to losses. On his part, Beyan Negash offered another bet of possible fall out in relation of Abij and Isayas referring to what had happened to the late Meles Zenawi and Isayas, while Amanuel Hidrat went for an option that the best deal would be Eritreans to hasten to get their acts together and “neutralize” the despot. Several others like Berhe voiced concerns in one way or the other.

    Leaving aside what regime loyalist who have no views of their own except the duty of supporting what the despot chooses to do, a diligent reader like the one that I have been could not help but miss from the opinions expressed an important player, at least if the hard won independence and sovereign would be hang in balance. This is to do with the Eritrean people whose role and nationalism should not be dismissed and shoved under the heavy fog of the failure of groups and organizations that crowd the so called opposition camp. I should state in passing the potency of Woldgabriel’s point about the resilience of the Eritrean people, as endorsed by Beyan. Their past indicates the validity of this argument. The situation in 1958 and 1960-61 was not less gloomy as the present circumstances appear to project. When the destiny calls for action, the Eritrean people respond. I can say Eritrean patriotism was much lacking in the time I cited duty to the more or less sectarian divides that had split the nation. The post national liberation struggle patriotism is broader in constituency and distribution of the citizenry. So, let us not hinge our future to how Abij-Isayas alliance is going to shape up, or how the people in Tigrai would pursue their interest. The best guarantee for us is belief in the potential of our people.

    • Bayan Nagash

      Selam Ismail AA,

      As usual, without a fail, you capture not only the essence of my thoughts but it spirit as well. It’s always humbling to hear from you. Your presence dignifies this virtual forum.

      Kbret yhaballey

      • Ismail AA

        Selam Dr. Beyan,

        First, I must apologize for not addressing you in my latest entry without preceding your name with the well-earned academic attainment title. Congratulations. Having said that, besides, it me who is humbled with you,r and other high value brothers, who reserve for us precious time to grace us with their thoughts on matters that concern us all.

  • Aman Y.

    Selam All

    It seems Abiy is getting challenges from his own Ethiopian Human Rights Commission. Previously he reported police involvement in the death of many civilians during Hachalu’s riot. This time it includes the participation of Ethiopian and Eritrean troops in Tigray.

    This is an excerpt from Ethiopia’s official Human Rights Commission Report, “Residents of Humera report widespread looting of houses and businesses, a youth group calling itself “Fano”, some members of the Amhara Liyu Hayl (Amhara Special Force) and Amhara Militia, a few members of the Ethiopian Defense Force, and some Eritrean soldiers. Looters have also emptied food and grain storages. In addition, the Commission has received multiple accounts from various sources of insults and harassment targeting ethnic Tigrayans.”

    Source; EHRC Face book, Eritrean Hub.

    • Kaddis

      Selam Aman Y.
      On the surface – it seems the human rights commission is challenging whats happening in Ethiopia. Unfortunately – its part of the agents of normalization of dictatorship within the group of the election commission, the federal prosecutors office and the federal court presidency. All are ex Kinijits ( now Ezema operatives) and avid anti- federalist personalities who are making sophisticated legal moves with the help of the right wing evangelist sponsors to get rid of the federalism. Normalizing atrocities by pretending to make genuine reports while hitting federal forces, fixing elections toward outlawing the federal constitution and identity based politics.
      I wouldn’t mind all these things are changed in an open and transparent field. Nope – its being done by harsh and deliberate killings ( pure killings including throwing university students out the campus windows ) to justify the above changes and incriminate the federal constitution. The human rights commission is making reports to incriminate government opponents like the micandra killings ( just days after ) and the Shashemne ( post jawar assassination attempt ) violence months after – when it felt incriminating tplf and oromo (PP) opponents.
      I have never thought I would write against a human rights commission functioning in Ethiopia …a very important one missing in Ethiopia the last 50 plus years …unfortunately we have a killing squad collaborators

  • መሃንድስ-ምዕባለ


    ምስስል ‘ንዳ ንሕና-ንሱ
    ምስ ሰዓብቲ ትራምፕ
    ተሸንሸን ባንዴራ!
    ካልእ ‘ከ?
    ጨውዝወሓዶ ፈኸራ
    ‘ንታይ ፋይዳ ለዎ ንኤረትራ?

    ውግእ ወረ ውግእ
    ዕንወት ብርሰት ህዝቢ ክበታተን
    ‘ምበርዶ ዝጠቅም ኣሎ ካልእ?

    ቄናን [QAnon] መን መስሪቶሞ?
    መን ከ ኣማዕበሎ?
    ‘ንዳ ንሕና-ንሱ
    ተመሲሖም ዘይድረሩ
    ከም ፈላጣት ዝፍክሩ
    ዲግሪ ሒዞም ዘይማሃሩ
    ‘ንዳ ንሕና-ንሱ ይበሃሉ!

    ዓይኒ ዘለዎ ኤረትራ ‘ንዳሃደመት
    ካብ ኢዱ
    በቶም ዝኣምኖም ‘ንዳተጠለመት
    ኣላ! ይብሉ
    ዝተማህሩ ዋላ ዘይተመሃሩ
    ‘ንዳ ንሕና-ንሱ
    ክተሓዋወሰኒ ጀሚሩ

  • Bayan Negash

    Dear Awatawyan,

    The Horn of Africa, as any other parts of Africa and the world, suffers from manifold malaises of governing, one glaring aspect of which is its octogenarian leaders refusing to yield political power to their descendent citizens to a point of amending the rules, hand wringing – literally – or pushing dissidents away from the country, worst, assassinating any viable opponents. Period.

    Add to this, Intellectuals who show some promising original ideas of making their respective countries forward looking, they, too, find themselves on the two sides of the sword’s edge. For instance, the first side of the sword’s edge comes from Eritrea’s aging leader and his cohorts. They effectively neutralized the educated lot by closing the only intellectual institution that the country had. These educated lot have two choices either teach at a skill oriented technical factory that the regime concocted, which would produce people who would serve the intended purpose of the regime, which is to say, citizens who will have no capacity to challenge the system but become subservient to its will whenever it wants to wield its political muscle be it of domestic or of foreign nature, such as what’s taking place in our region today.

    The second side of the sword’s edge, one that’s hard to fathom, is the way in which Eritreans in diaspora show aversion and despise to scholars who offer their historical knowledge as a basis of their analytical tool. The aversion toward Prof. Ghirmai’s analysis was on display for all of us to read. Mind you, it’s the total rejection of it rather than challenging it the way some others did that’s difficult to comprehend, particularly, when it comes from awate university forumers that many consider intellectual powerhouse, none to be compared to. The exchange between the Eritrean Hillbilly and gasha-basha is a case in point.

    Remember ‘daddy’ Isias, who is handing the ropes by which the young PhD is hanging Isias’s own aging cousins (TPLFites), was once a young revolutionary himself. Unless the young PhD goes on political incestuous binge and gets rid of daddy Isias and marry his wife Eritrea, which isn’t farfetched to imagine, young Eritreans will be hard pressed to rid themselves of the aging ruler other than playing the waiting game that one commentator pinned his hope on, which is to wait until they expire due to the expiration date as stamped by the power of nature.

    While on the subject of intellectuals something worth adding here is this: There is no avoiding these darn European colonial powers as a tool of analysis is there? Gramcian who raised the ire of EHB, well, guess what, he has cousins next-door who gave Eritrea its name who may come handy in giving us yet another tool in our arsenal to understand the young PhD, the Greek’s Oedipus mythology might just be what history orders.

    Ugandans are sick and tired of the aging Museveni who is refusing to leave the seat of power. He is now claiming his sixth election win while his young musician opponent is under house arrest. The median age of Ugandans is something like 16 years. So, the aging tyrants are here to stay irrespective of how young their population is. Ethiopia might be the exception. But who knows the 40-year-old PhD dude might become a fixture in Ethiopia, too? Only time will tell. But the problem is, once they check in the politicians do not wanna leave even in places like the US we have seen it in real time, the old man does not wanna leave in a country with over 200 years democratic institutions, albeit, to our chagrin he is being replaced by another aging politician.

    • Berhe Y

      Dear Beyan,

      I don’t think I had a chance to congratulate you on your success. I hope I am not one of those “show aversion and despise to scholars” that you had in minde.

      Since the last war between the Abiy government and TPLF, I have my share of disagreement with Eritreans, who I was on the same political wavelength before. For me, it’s not about who was right and who was right about the war and the internal Ethiopian affairs.

      But rather the argument which involves Eritrea. Again here I am not going to details is Isayas / Eritrea is / was in the war or not, or what the Eritrean defence forces allegdly has done or not.

      My ream source of disagreement is with the assertion, by a lot of Eritreans including the professor argument, which is “If there is no TPLF, then Eritrea will be next” type of argument.

      And the concluding argument of the professor appear to mean the same “The rift can reach to an exacerbating point, however, when the center wants to control what it considers the periphery. Today, Tigray is the Central government’s periphery; tomorrow it may be Eritrea.”.

      The argument it seems, Abiy with alliance of IA, may be able to achieve this “medemer” now that the TPLF is out of the picture.

      The historical argument may have merit and it’s worthy of consideration but the times have changed since the last century and how nations are formed. With today’s world order (UNSC), I do not remember there is any country which was member of the United Nations which ceased to exist, that by any means (by force or peaceful) means decided to erase itself from the map of the world.

      How do you see the relevance of this argument? How much challenge has the Abiy government needs to face to make this a reality and make Eritrea to willingly leave it’s world place.


      • Beyan

        Thank you Berhe for your response. Will get back to you later today

        • Bayan Negash

          Thank you Berhe. Disagreements in life in general, particularly in politics, are par for the course. The problem is when the disagreement tends to be the be-all-end-all that becomes inexplicable to me. After all, one comes to this medium to test one’s ideas so that the fine minds may poke a hole in it when possible and be enriched as a consequence. I never enter to debate here. I come with a set of ideas that I wish to share. If someone finds it useful, well and good. If they point out its shortcomings, I am genuinely all ears. But discussing about wars in real time is the most difficult thing to do because emotion – rightly so – tend to run high.

          Unfortunately, wars bring out the worst in us at so many levels – the virtual medium is no exception. I, too, like you, Berhe, stay away from the rudimentary subject of who started when, where, how. Once the messy war begun the aim ought to be not to line up solely based on our political leanings. The question I try to ask myself is this: What’s the war doing to the civilians as civilians tend to receive the brunt of it all during and long after the war became history. Vietnam war is a good example that one can glean a humbling lesson from where Americans are still traumatized by it.

          We are already now hearing Tigrayans facing a real possibility of hunger. The things our region goes to war is akin to adolescent kids fights in the neighborhoods. The unintended consequences of war tend to wreak havoc for decades depleting the region from its normal existence. One of the promising areas that I used to envy Tigray for was in how within three decades they were able to show immense progress in higher education, in developments of their cities and towns. To risk all that I am still difficulty reconciling. Particularly, knowing all too well, that their neighbor from the north was salivating for any misstep on EPRDF’s part. When he announced to the world “game over” for weyane nobody took him seriously. Alas, he is still standing in power and TPLF as we knew it appears to have come to an abrupt end.

          Perhaps listening to the conversation intently has given me a better grasp. Professor Ghirmai was surveying for us using historical, political, cultural, and philosophical analytical tools so we may see it in different light as opposed to just seeing the here and now gruesome details of the war or the apprehending of Tigray leaders, etc.

          It’s the light he sheds I was thankful for. He is not saying that Tigray was a prelude for what’s to come for Eritrea in the future. Rather, he was triggering the political alarm and in politics there is no permanent alliances. Politics certainly makes for strange bedfellows. Who would’ve thought Eritrea will find a friend in Ethiopia, but it did and the shrewd Eritrean leader seized the moment just so it makes EPRDF pay for it.

          So, what was done to Tigray can be done for the leader of Eritrea. Not necessarily as you are interpreting it to mean an occupation of Eritrea. It may come in a form of destabilizing Eritrea. It may come in a form chipping a land here a port there for which there will always be a pretext. There definitely is an entry point for such a pretext. The Afars can be enticed. Given what they have gotten from Eritrean regime, which was the brunt of all bad deals; thus, it won’t be farfetched for the Afars to say enough is enough and create alliances with Ethiopia, a far stronger military capacity that Eritrea will have difficulty protecting its territories, unless, of course, the regional powers come to its aid.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Dr Beyan,

            Well said and well put. Look the disguised person behind a nickname how he trashed the authors of the piece; whereas his comment is neither a rebut with facts on the subject at hand nor does it has a substantiated elaboration to the matter – at least that makes the readers to rethink.


          • Bayan Negash

            Kbret yhabellay Aman,

            We each have our unique reasons why we enter this forum. I explained mine. I’m glad EHB explained the reason. Here it is:

            EritreanHillBilly መሃንድስ-ምዕባለ 5 months ago

            Hello Mr. MM,

            I coming to this forum for comic relief… I am always amazed with African who generally the bottom of list arguing who should be higher on the list.

            The question you should be asking is in the global village where do I stand?

            Anyway Ethiopian and Eritrean are too malnourished to perform up to any standard on IQ tests..

          • መሃንድስ-ምዕባለ

            Selamat Dr. Beyan,
            You must have a good memory…I don’t even remember EHB’s response. No wonder social science or anything that requires heavy reading without seeing a single equation hates me.

          • EritreanHillBilly

            Maybe it wasn’t Awate Team but your wrote the article. Again, the article is full of pseudo-intellectual mumbo jumbo and Gramsci was thrown in for flavor.
            What is strange is that you haven’t defend the article or try to show what is core element…
            Instead you try to personalize it.
            It is known fact Eritrean and Ethiopian have a higher malnourish rate than developed country. In the above, article which you forgot to mention the competition was between Eritrean and Ethiopian who has higher IQ.
            I found it comical.
            Nice try… the best advice is write concise clear article without too much mumbo jumbo or what I call Eritrean Papagalloism. Of course, if you chose to write scholarly articles send to a journal.
            “Unitarianism to Medemerism” give me a break…

      • EritreanHillBilly

        Hello Berhe,
        I don’t think their people that “show aversion and despise to scholars” for this article.
        I just think it is borders on psuedo-intellectual mumbo jumbo. It is not a scholarly article it attempts to be by throwing in Gramsci into the pot. Gramsci is the go to person for most of post-modern type of writers.
        If you like read google the Sokal Affair.
        The article reads me of the fact that the Eritrean mind at its core is still feudal. While the rest of world is in 21th century, we are several centuries behind.
        The author of the article reminds me of an orthodox priest who mumbles a few phrases in Geez. The believer excited nods his or her head in agreement with the priest. If you ask the believer what the priest said… he or she has no idea.. it just sounded good.
        That same approach is taken in this article… the Gramsci and unnecessary word usage is used to give the impression of intellectual depth.
        Maybe the author should send the article to one of those post-modern or post-colonial journal.
        As far as I am concern, it is an attempt at intellectual depth by unnecessary word play…
        I have no problem with intellectual or scholars.. I actually admire them. They are the Gobez of 21th century.

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Selam EHB,

          Could you pls write an article to give us a chance to judge the judge. At least you sound a good writer from your accusation, to any meaningful writers of this website. Could you have a courage to do so with full disclosure to see you what you up to.


      • saay7

        Hey Berhe:

        Ah, so, is this what you meant when you said that iSem is giving you the silent treatment: that people who were long-term comrades are on opposite sides now with respect to El Stupido War in Tigray?

        I think what those who dread a total victory by Abiy are fearing is not Abiy per se but his loud constituency that drove him to war: the jingoistic One Ethiopia type waving arengwade bicha qey and always finding a way to talk about their “legal historical moral” claim to Eritrea’s ports (Qey Bahrachn) and their frequent display of Ethiopian map incorporating Eritrea. (They did that just yesterday on the occasion of Timket.) Abiy sometimes sends them red meat (he said, for example: “never mind regions splitting from Ethiopia; even those who have left will return”) And Isaias (we have been told by Mesfin Hagos, by Andeberhan Woldegiorgis, by Dawit Woldegiorgis) is very much for some kind of configuration that integrates Eritrea with Ethiopia.

        So the angst you hear is: if the governments of Ethiopia and Eritrea want it, there is no power (Eritrean or Ethiopian) capable of stopping it. The Ethiopians want it, the NNNN will applaud whatever Isaias does, and the opposition is, like an old lady, too powerless to do anything but curse. That is the anxiety the angst and the fear.

        You appear to get your assurance from lack of precedence: no country that has been recognized by the UN has ever had a reversal. In logic, this is called the Normalcy Bias (x has always happened so x will always happen) which is the opposite of another fallacy: the gamblers bias (x has happened many times so it’s king last due for y to happen.) If the govs of Eritrea and Ethiopia were to act on their wish, even if 100% (except the Isaias Cult of NNNN) opposing it, all the UN will do is issue statements saying “we remain deeply concerned” and do nothing. Actually you won’t even get that: Europe wants it, North America wants it, Russia wants it, China wants it, even the last hold out, the Gulf Arab wants it. They want good old Christian Island Ethiopia in charge of the Red Sea. Them are the breaks.

        Thus, the fear that a triumphant Abiy will be pushed by his loud constituency to shoot for confederation with Eritrea.

        The only thing that’s saving us is (1) Abiy heard the ancient siren call for war which is part of the Ethiopian head of government description and as his predecessors did he will be stuck in that quicksand for a while and 2) Isaias will somehow screw it up: he can’t help himself.

        Some people are not opposed to the war in Tigray they just don’t want Abiy to emerge stronger than he is. For me, the war is stupid because just as civilized people don’t resolve disputes violently, civilized nations shouldn’t either. All the “operation law and order”, “sovereignty” is just hot air, as useless and wasteful as Operation Desert Storm.


        • Berhe Y

          Dear Saay and Beyan,

          I am getting special treatment, thank you. This will bring iSem back and he will scratch me from his list.

          I really like this both of your reply and I want to stay on this.

          I will do so later today or tomorrow.


        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Selam Saay,

          “ if the governments of Ethiopia and Eritrea want it, there is no power (Eritrean or Ethiopian) capable of stopping it. The Ethiopians want it, the NNNN will applaud whatever Isaias does, and the opposition is, like an old lady, too powerless to do anything but curse, and that’s when it finds the energy to do so. That is the anxiety, the angst and the fear.”

          This is precisely the cause of our anxiety. I sincerely believe that, if the two governments agree as “an act-two” to revisit annexation of Eritrea, nothing can stop them, unless we dismantle Issayas and his system before it happened. We are sovereign country and nothing could happen of that sort is the argument of the naïvetés. Eritrea is represented by the current government and can do anything in the name of Eritreans.

          Incidentally, this reminds me the position of some countries during the approval to the outcome of the referendum in the UN. Some member countries vote for independence because Ethiopia has accepted the outcome of the referendum. If it wasn’t Meles and his government and the nature of the referendum we could have an immense of hurdles to find the conclusion of it.


          • Bayan Nagash

            Selam Sal Y.,

            As in-house resident fellow who’s done yearly analysis of Isias’s speeches for many, many years your assertions about the elephant in the room is spot on. Believe what Isaias says. He means what he says, and he does what he says he will do. Period.

            The chest beating that we saw two years ago was an evil genius too elated to contain his delight because he saw the writing on the wall, at that moment he knew the end of EPRDF’s reign was approaching near. It took only two years. EPRDF took the bait by retreating and concentrating all its resources – manpower and all its arsenals – in one regional basket without alliances internally or externally there was no inkling doubt it could only be downhill from there.

            So, Sal, your analysis is right on target. If there is a man in charge in Eritrea with absolute political power who is more than willing to relinquish Eritrean sovereignty, ain’t no need to wait until the fat lady sings, the man will hand it all wholesale. End of the story.

            Of course, the only caveat that might alter the turn of events will come in a form of a fallout if it occurs between the two current leaders as it did between the late Meles Zenawi and Isayas. The rest is empty noise that would not change the reality on the ground. The diaspora is too emasculated, too irrelevant to effect any substantive changes.

          • Woldegabriel Tesfamariam

            Selam Bryan,
            Your last few posts sent some tings to my core. As you rightly put it, may be my emotions were the overriding force to my thinking faculty and convictions. Be as it may, I do not agree with your fait-accompli assertions. The first thing I would like to ask is what do you mean by “in-house resident fellow who’s done yearly analysis for isayas’s speaches for many many years”. If you don’t mind, who were you doing this analysis for?
            Apparently, to home your arguments, you give unprecedented and unsubstantiated credit to your actors. By doing so, you try to write whatever history you intend to prescribe not only on paper or cloud but carve it the stone. During the period prior to the refurendem PM Meles was not “an indespensable towering presence at the time whose unflinching support gave Eritrea what it needed”. True, he became very famous during and after the war. But at that time, isayas had more international connections than Meles. In the same token, you emulated isayas like an extraterrestrial creature who could do anything to Eritrea. You try to inculcate and build your misconceptions on “written on the wall” argument. True the oppositions have miserably failed to liberate the people, but to undermine the resilience of the Eritrean people is a historical blunder.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam WT,

            Do you take yourself “an actor” of someone? Why do you say to Dr Bayan “your actors”? Is this your decency when you demand decency from others? Why don’t make a clean argument? Can you see your image in the mirror of a decent debater?


          • Woldegabriel Tesfamariam

            Selam Amanuel H.
            Oh dear! Obviously the actors whom Beyan used to build his argument points to Meles and isayas.

          • Bayan Nagash

            Selam Woldegabriel,

            I’m digesting your last note in another thread, which requires a second and a third read because your arguments are so lucidly presented. The same with the first one by the way. At any rate, my bad for the confusion. I was referring to Sal Y., the person, in how he tirelessly used to interpret the Isias-speak for those of us who had no patience to listen to the man’s diatribe, Sal’s was the go-to articles to get the gist of the man’s yearly ህውተታ. Personally, I couldn’t listen to the man more than fifteen minutes, after which it was time to turn off the staged interview. So, I was merely expressing my appreciation to Sal Y. as someone who saved us from the painstaking yearly Isaias-speak. Few things I must clarify before the misunderstanding you seem to have gains momentum and is taken out of context by other readers.

            On the opposition’s resilience, you have rightly pointed out. I stand corrected. The relentless efforts that Eritreans continue to show in fighting the regime tooth-and-nail is absolutely commendable. Our folly in opposition is our lack of prioritization. The focus should entirely be about weakening the regime at every front instead of spending insurmountable time and effort fighting one another on issues that are seemingly irrelevant to our cause. Our focus should solely be about ridding the Eritrean people from the yoke of the regime’s absolute grip as measured by all metrices. It’s that absolute and unwavering power the regime in Eritrea has that leads one to characterize the diaspora opposition as inconsequential. Today or tomorrow if Isaias and Abiy come to agreement with a plan of economic, trade, and social integration, would there be any viable opposition entity that could stop it in its tracks? Likewise, if they would come up with political integration, would they have any entity with a tooth that can bite to oppose the move? We can make rumbunctious noises all right. We can scream and put the social media ablaze, but will it have any consequential outcome? I leave that for you to grapple with.

            As for the “written on the wall” reference was not to the Eritrean opposition but to the EPRDF being blindsided in not seeing that they were being cornered and that Isaias’s and Abiy’s peace deal would ostensibly become a political death sentence for Tigray province.

          • Woldegabriel Tesfamariam

            Selam Beyan,
            With your well-thought ideas, I looked upon you as a person of substance. What pissed me off was the in-house analysis thing, which after you explained was a complete misunderstanding on my part. In light of this, I am sorry for doubting you and being obliged to counter with strong statements. I believe, such misunderstandings occur but should not deter us from for our journey.

          • Bayan Nagash

            merHaba Woldegabriel,

            Such misunderstandings no doubt will continue to occur. In fact, it’s amazing how people who do not know each other in person could have such effective communications is what’s surprising. What matters is how we choose to handle them when they occur. In the basketball parlance, they say, no harm no foul. I appreciate your magnanimity, Woldegabriel.

          • Haile S.

            Selam Beyan,
            You bring irresistible subjects to let pass in silence. Good to see you back! Having lost my ticket, I am sneaking behind you to Cinema Keren.

            ኣንታ በያን ቃል-ዓለም ንገብር ኣሞ ድኣ ስለ-ምንታይ
            ውዳሴ ማርያም ዘይንደግም ከም ኣደይ ኢታይ
            ይንበረልና ንዘለዓለም እንዳበልና ዝራብዕና እዚ ተስታይ
            ዝሰረና ዘሎ ካይፈለየ ኣንስታይ ካብ ተባዕታይ
            ፊደል ዝቖጸርና ኮነ ዘይተመሃርና ሓረስታይ
            ብነጻ ነገልግል ዓቃይት ዓቀይታይ
            ገጽና ኩልና ሓሙኹሽታይ
            – ንዓ ነምልኮ ነዚ ዘለዎ ሓሙሽተ ክልተ ኣብ ታሕታይ

            በል ንበል ኣቡነ ዘኤረሰማያት
            ምእንተ የማነ ዖስማን ዘነብያት

            ኢሳያስ ንበር ከም ማቱሳላ
            ሓንደ እንኮ እንኮና ክኢላ
            ኣፍሪቃዊ Beaver ሃናጺ ዓበይቲ ጋብላ
            ንኹሉ ኣሸቃሊ ብዘይ ሌላ ጉሌላ
            ጽላል ናይ ሃገርና ዓቢ ጃንጥላ
            ንኹሉ ሃነን ዘብል ጉልቡት ዓላ
            መዕቀሊና ካብ ማይ ጸሓይ ገበላ
            እዛ ዓድና ብዘይክኡ ሓደ’ኳ ዘይብላ!
            ንሱ ‘ተዘየለ ኤርትራና እንድዕልና እንድዕላ
            ይኹን ፍቓዱ፡ ትኺድ መንግስቱ፡ ይኹነና መደያይቦ – ኣስካላ

            ኣሜን! ኣሜን ኣሜን

            ዜጋታቱ’ሲ ተፈጢርና ንስደት ኩብለላ
            ጃልባ ተሰቒልና ዘርጊሕና ጋንጽላ
            ንኸይድ ናብ ዝወሰደና ንፋስ ህቦብላ
            ኣብ በረኻ ‘ተተረፍና ንኸውን መፍተት ተኹላ
            ቀላይ ‘ተወሓጠና፡ መሬት ‘ተዓለብና፡ ካይንምለስ ብማሕላ!

            እቶም ዝዓሰለና ጽቡቕ ትዕድልቲ
            ንኸውን ፍትሒ ደለይቲ፡ ዘይብሎም መልእኽቲ
            ተጻባኢ እንከለዎም ነንሕድሕዶም ተጻባእቲ
            ዝኽሰስ እንከለዎም ሓድሕዶም ተወናጀልቲ
            ቃልሶም እንከለዎም ናይ ካልእ ኣቐደምቲ
            ባንዴራኦም ገዲፎም ናይ ካልእ ተዓጠቕቲ
            ዝተፈጠሩ ይመስሉ ዳስ ጓና መሳሰይቲ
            ወረ በየን መጸት! መቓልሕ ውሃብቲ ብትዊቲ
            ሸር ሸር ሸር share በሉ ክብሉ ዝውዕሉ ዜና ሰበርቲ
            ጀግንነት ‘ናመስሎም ብተባሂሉ ሃገሮም ጸለሎ ቀባእቲ
            ኣብየት ከምሕረሎም ክውንዘፉ ክዕጠቑ ንኹሉ ተጣበቕቲ
            Justice-Seekers Without Borders ሕክያ ዕላል ደለይቲ

          • Bayan Nagash

            Selam Haile,
            If my little input here brought you out of your hiatus, it was all worth it. What a fantastic poet you are. Your vivid expression is amazing.

            Many thanks, brother.

          • Saleh Johar

            Oh HaileS!,
            You will receive another ticket—absence without permission fee. Welcome home

          • saay7

            Selamat Beyan:

            Dr Negash, I presume? 🙂

            You and I have been too harsh on….us: the opposition. Consider: the only reason the entire world knows that Eritrea is governed by a criminal syndicate deserving of being tried for crimes against humanity is not because there are NGOs and correspondents in Eritrea. It’s because the opposition has been relentless at informing the world. But, yes, really objective assessment would show that the Tigrayans have run circles around us in exposing the brutality of their nemesis: that’s because they have one thing that we do not: organization and organizational discipline. They have a media outlets that daily produces a half hour content telling Tigrayans and the entire world what Abiy and his confederates are up to despite the fact that there is no internet, no electricity, and a total blackout of the region. Why? Because they have an organization that is, on the ground, fighting against annihilation. Hats off to them.


          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Saay,

            Indeed the Tigray people and their organization are fighting hard against forces of annihilation. It is heartbreaking the current plight of the Tigray people. Now the question remains: if the Tigray people prevail from this predicament, what is the possibilities that Tigray will remain as part of the Ethiopian union? The Tigray people have a good case for secession when the central government have invited the Eritrean and Somalian army (foreign forces) to join in the demise of the Tigray people. If Tigray people opted to secede, will the rest of Ethiopia escape from disintegration? What do you think Saay? Can you you give us the possible scenarios if you don’t like the prediction?


          • saay7

            Hey Emma:

            I think Tigrayans are having that internal debate now (same as they did in 1990 during the ደውታ (pause) period when they were trying to decide if they should opt for independence or revolutionary democracy within Greater Ethiopia. My guess is their elite want to be part of Ethiopia arguing that not only are they part of Ethiopia but the originators of the State. The people, understandably, are shocked at the level of indifference of the entire Ethiopian state, including its religious leaders (Christians of all denominations, Muslims….). But I think in the end the elite (and the international community) will persuade the masses that Tigray State would not be viable. I also expect the Abiy gov, after the election to modify the constitution to eliminate the clause on self-determination “up to and including secession” so they won’t have a domestic or international law as a basis for it. The world does not have an appetite for new states: every new state (with the exception of Somaliland which is not recognized) has been a basket case.


          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Saay,

            As a result of ethnic cleansing that has befallen to their people, the Tigray elites are divided on the fate of their state. However, in my view, it will be decided by a referendum on the vote “to leave the union or to stay with union. Even the elites won’t bear the burden by imposing their wills upon the population. Second I don’t think the Tigrian and Oromo elites to give up on the clause of “self-determination up to session”. Because it is a safeguard from the tyranny of the majority and to the self-rule of multicultural social groups. The long history of grievances of suppression, oppression, and injustice will not let them to relinquish to the subjugation of their people, after they practice the autonomy of self-rule. Me think.


          • saay7

            Hey Emma:

            As you know, Tigray Regional state depends on subsidies from the Central government and international NGOs to sustain itself EVEN during the good times, never mind when it’s in a state of hostilities. So, if it can be a viable “State” it hasn’t proved it: it didn’t even exist as a State until Emperor Yohannes time. Before that it was part of a blob called Semien. So, its elite know this, and that’s why no serious scholar has called for it now. Besides it’s hard to make the argument on sovereignty (that Abiy is using another country to defeat his own people) if you concede: we are not the same country.

            Secondly, there is zero appetite for another independent State anywhere in the world, but particularly Africa and most specifically East Africa. Notice how quickly they are closing in on Spanish Sahara.

            In any event they will figure it out. It’s our case, that of Eritrea, that’s more worrisome. There used to be a time when we were known as warriors. By the time Isaias is done with Eritrea, there will be no Eritrea and our reputation will be like that of Serbians after the collapse of Yugoslavia.


          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Saay,

            Your points of argument are well taken and understood. But national and international politics do evolve and devolve from time to time with the evolvement of new Identities in the form of unification and separation. The formation of the “European Union” is an example of the former and the exit of UK from EU is an example of the later. We can never know fully the driving forces of changes until it happens.

            Second, on the issue of “subsidies:” not only Tigray will depend on subsidy, even Tigray as part of the “union”, Ethiopia depends on subsidy from international communities. Tigrians have showed un imaginable infrastructural industrialization and economic development in the last two decades.

            They could be better than many African countries in governance and nation building to grow as self dependent people. Japan does not have natural resources, but they changed their nation by transforming it in to industrialized development. Why not the Tigray people could take the same economic path, once they created a well disciplined, educated, and hard working society. I saw the will and determination in them. In any case we shall see how the crises of Ethiopia will evolve and how it will influence to our realities,


          • saay7

            Selamat Emma:

            You are absolutely right that there are currents to unify and to fracture and they evolve over time. One thing that does not evolve is the world’s thirst for stability and the question the world has to answer (particularly after its experience with South Sudan and Eritrea:) does the act of secession make the region more or less stable? If I was representing any country anywhere voting on it at the UN, I would vote emphatically no for independent State of Tigray.

            On the issue of subsidies, there are net giver and net taker regions/provinces within any State, INCLUDING States that depend on subsidies for their annual budget, like that of Ethiopia. And, by that measure, Tigray has always been a net receiver, as long as Ethiopia has been a modern State. This will make the world EVEN less willing to accept its secession in the unlikely scenario that it has the military might (or allies with those who do) to secede from Ethiopia.

            I don’t think you are appreciating the international community’s reluctance to accept secession. Even Somaliland which has, by all measures, shown that it is significantly better than Somalia has not been able to receive recognition by the world almost 30 years later.


          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Merhaba Saay,

            You made a plausible argument as usual. The beauty of a true debate (leaving aside those who focus on personalities) is to give our readers different perspectives on given subject or issues that matters to their lives or/and affects their surroundings. Debates are the sources of knowledges other than reading literatures. On that effort, I was and am delighted to engage with you and few others, in the hope to contribute my perspectives that might or might induce influences in the politics of our nation and its surrounding.

            Now on this subject: I will leave it as is, until new developments appear in the volatile politics of our region. Ethiopia is on the verge of disintegration if they can not find a political solution to their predicament that was/is simmering for generations. The current un legitimate government opted to resolve everything by force as such by inviting foreign forces. They are committing genocide to the people of Tigray, not only by horrendous killing but also by disallowing the international community not to get help to more the two million internally displaced Tigrian people. God forbid from their annihilation.


          • Bayan Nagash

            Dear Sal,
            I concur in the undeserving criticism of Eritrean opposition, but it was done with “malice toward none”. Sometimes, out of frustration and desperation we say things, but it is because we care and those who understand this gently nudge us and coax us. In this case, the sharp minds like Ismail and Woldegabriel did bring me back to the straight and narrow path, if you will, and I gladly accepted their heartfelt scolding. What you captured alone is enough for the opposition to pride itself in the struggle it has been waging against the regime that has a country-size resources to countervail every attempt the justice seekers bring forth.

            While I agree with you in how “…the Tigrayans, in a very short time, have run cirlces around us in exposing the brutality of the nemesis” and you attribute it the Tigrayans’ “organizational discipline…[having] media outlets that daily produces a half hour content…”

            Allow me to take another angle that gives Tigrayans an advantage. Consider the benefit of the three decades EPRDF had been in charge of the country. Or the Derg for seventeen years before it. Just as the latter had embassy personnel filled with Amharas, the former I am sure had Tigryans in every embassy the world over had being in charge, which means establishing networking that would last a lifetime…you can see where I’m going with this. Such experience comes handy now to quickly deliver the news throughout the globe and gain an upper hand in the battle of the optics. Considering this context, do you think the comparison with Eritrean opposition groups to the Tigryans is an apt one?

          • saay7

            Selamat Beyan:

            I actually think the reason the Tigrayans are more effective than us at organizing, lobbying and getting their story out is because (a) the stakes are extremely high and they know it: they have described it as no less than loss of identity and ethnic cleansing. Abiy couldn’t even peel off the leaders of those who ran against TPLF in the September regional parliament elections and (b) they are a fairly homogenous group (95% Christian, 95% Tewahdo) and they don’t have all the luggage that comes with diversity. The luggage being the usual disagreement on priorities that we are cursed (umm, “blessed”) with.


          • Bayan Nagash

            Hey Sal,
            This is insightfully on target. These are some of the eclectic reasons and as, I am certain, there are some other reasons that we haven’t considered that are at play. Be that as it may, there are areas where we in the opposition ought to aim higher than we’ve been since 2016. Consider what you, Dr. Aseffaw, Semere H., Dr. Habtu and Dr. Khaled Beshir (these are the names I recall being involved in the matter at some capacity back in 2016) in which you were able to accomplish a great deal by getting access to a hearing in the House Committee on foreign Affairs. Dr. Khaled Beshir made Bruton Brownyn of the Atlantic Council appear amateur with the depth and the breadth of his knowledge of our region.

            It’s our continued association with only a handful foreign friends of Eritrea such as Dan Connell, Martin Plaut, Kjetil Tronvoll instead of increasingly reaching to some others who are in higher posts of American government, which in my estimate is one of our glaring shortcomings; such stagnation is limiting us from putting Isaias and his stooges in the list of countries that sponsor terrorism. If true, about crimes being committed against the people of Tigray in the hands of Isaias leadership, once solid information comes out that puts these leaders in the scene of crime, they will be culpable, then, going for the jugular, full throttle as you all did the “Hearing before the House Committee on foreign Affairs, Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations”, would have to be the way to go. That’s my hope, anyway.

          • Ismail AA

            Selam Dr. Beyan and saay,

            For one who understands how callousness and fairness make perfect antithesis of one another, there is nothing more soothingly gratifying sense to him/her than when the like minded sync on a fair judgement.

            Although no amount of rationalization would absolve the (let put it this way) traditional opposition organizations from criticism for not being able to set priorities and failed to do the right things when opportunities obtained, they have, nevertheless, been constantly and severely subjected to unjust scrutiny. Critics have been denying them at least the merit of persevering under extreme duress not to compromise the sense continuity of opposing the regime used its newfound opportunities a state and quite enduring euphoria to almost thoroughly ostracize them internally and isolated them externally.

            They had to go thorough those harsh ordeals because they were aware of the devilish nature of the regime Isayas Afewerqi was set to install when the near totality of the Eritrea’s citizens never, even remotely, crossed their mind that the country will be put on track to experience its new existence as a new nation under a regime wholly usurped a cruelest despot.

          • Bayan Nagash

            merHaba Aman,

            A lot of times we Eritreans get mired in the emotion of things. We forget the political chess games that take place behind the scene. Referencing some of the contemporary history as a reminder vis-a-vis Eritrea’s independence vote (aka referendum) came because all of the political actors, the most important of which at the time was the unequivocal support of the then Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. He was an indispensable towering presence at the time whose unflinching support gave Eritrea what it needed.

            As you and Sal have alluded to it, the reversing won’t require that much either. There definitely are precedences for this. North and South Yemen; East and West Germany, etc. The possibility is real, hence for “the angst, the fear, and the anxiety” that Eritreans are exhibiting is in its place. But are we in a position to have any influence to change the political wave – I seriously doubt it.

          • Abay

            Dear Mr. Hidrat
            Your claim of annexation or what ever you want to call the coming together of the two countries is more of a scare tactic on your part as you have no solid proof of what you are claiming. You make it sound like Ethiopia is eager and willing to unify with Eritrea and this is absolutely false. We want absolutely nothing of anything of this sort. I really don’t know which part of “Ethiopia wants nothing more than a peaceful coexistence with Eritrea” you don’t understand? What proof do you have for your unfounded claim? Waiting to hear.

        • iSem

          Hi Sal:
          Try as I might, I still could not fathom how the civil war in Ethiopia will help Eritreans. Ok for one moment let say, IA cannot go to the UN and tell them to annex Eritrea with Ethiopia, although he is capable of that, but for a moment let assume IA cannot dissolve our sovereignty. But how about our goal of creating rule of law and justice, how is it helped by this war? Now be honest with yourselves (Not Sal, but those who think this war will help us erect rule of law).
          My position about the occupation of Badme was spot on (I knw aboy Fekadu…) but it was irrelevant to our rule of law, for us to lead dignified life, for our founding fathers and mothers not to be in Ella Ero etc
          And now those of us including you who believe this war is against our aspirations we are on the right side of history and logic. Actually you are more so as before our discussion about the all scenarios are bad for Eritrea, one scenario was good for us, I thought

          Tigrayans are not saying TPLF or Woyane, they are saying government of Tigray, hint? and we may witness a Woyane 3.0, which was before 1961 was squashed by the British and Woyane 2.0 lead Ethiopia to its current form and now went to its repose (a phd question waiting there for why)
          Now Woyane 3.0 will not be lead by the old guard, and if Abiy thinks his drones and his development will abate that he is wrong. the Jets did not deter ELF and EPLF and TPLF and the drones will not destroy human WILL only elongates the goal and Tigray and Ethiopia are done, they are not into each other. But I digress
          IA got a life line, he will buy his drones, he will purge the old guard who have inkling of reform, assert his dynasty and with it in the long run the sovereignty of Eritrea will be gone, the gilded history of Eritrea is over. I know you will call me WITCH for predicting the future, but this is the other Eritrea that has chose to tarnish its heroic history. Sah? (Arabic)

          Those who say this war benefits Eritrea are so wrong, if IA emerges stronger even for a year our dream of rule of law will be protracted for decades or maybe extinct.

          Sal, please do not ask me about the irony: why am harping about sovereignty while I do not care about hills and rivers and trees, I am counting on you to appreciate the nuance.
          This was is bad for the rule of law in Eritrea, not that TPLF will give us that It is bad for the tinderbox country of Ethiopia, bad for the region, also bad for Tigray but it will be a catalyst for a Tigray nation. Forget the viability or sea access, it does not matter, because TPLF3 will spin the war as an assault on their identity

          • saay7

            Hey iSem:

            Well, that’s a lot, Sir Predicts A Lot 🙂

            The only stakeholder African leaders listen to (and that’s not always) is to foreigners: the incoming American Secretary of State today said the same thing we had been saying since November 3: the way out is cease fire, dialogue, negotiations with a focus on civilians including Eritrean refugees in Ethiopia. Abiy will either comply or he will go the Isaias path: the road towards political leper state. We shall see what he chooses.

            The war has already proven to be devastating to Eritrea (the people): 100,000 refugees in Tigray are not accounted for. Eritreans are already dying and bleeding in the war. God knows how many POWs there are. Post war: under all 3 scenarios (perpetual guerrilla warfare, total Ethiopian victory, Weyane 3.0) is all bad for Eritrea. You don’t have to apologize about sovereignty if you do, as you always do, on popular sovereignty as opposed to the one NNNN obsesses over: territorial sovereignty. So under all 3 scenarios, Eritrean popular sovereignty is not advanced.


  • Germay Berhane

    “…Today, Tigray is the Central government’s periphery; tomorrow it may be Eritrea. The latter possibility is against which Eritreans should do their utmost to prevent from happening. Cooperation in itself is well and good, but it should never come at the expense of the sovereignty of the Eritrean people…”
    We have to understand Eritrea is sovereign country. Its destiny is in the hands of it people. A people who is not ready to sacrifice to his country can not see its continuity. Leaving our difference we have to stand together against external enemies so we can preserve our sovereignty. We can not fight many enemies at one time, but we have to classify the danger ahead of us. Weyane was the imminent treat to our sovereignty by many standard. Many in this room has stood with this enemy in the excuse of democracy and human rights.
    One who does not defend his country can not stand for democracy and human rights. Why are people opposing SAWA and national service. It is the back bone of Eritrean existence. Only when Eritrea survives our dream for democracy can be realized. Our sovereignty is in the hands of our people. No one can sell Eritrea to any one. I just want to remember Abo Sibhat in his months ago interview, some one asked him “Did PIA had agreement with you he becomes Ethiopian President and Eritrea will be annexed to Ethiopia.. He strongly rejected that question and said there was nothing that kind of agreement. He continued to say Eritrea independence is the property of Eritrean people.” So we have to understand our people’s wish not useless people wish.

  • said

    Greetings .
    Joe Biden’s Optimistic Outlook

    I feel the more reason for Optimism Looking Forward having listened to a 25 minutes speech by Joe Biden spelling out a short-term 100 Plan of Action of his Administration upon assuming office. Biden’s speech and a number of other encouraging positive signs left me optimist of A Much Better World would be Opening Up.

    As I listened the night before to a 25 minutes excellent live speech by the Next American President Joe Biden on TV, Biden’s straightforward talk filled me with great optimism for the State of the World in the few coming years Ahead. The New US President who would officially assume the Presidency of the most powerful nation in the world next Wednesday, spelled out his immediate plan for the next 100 days of assuming the reins of power to help eradicate the Coronavirus Pandemic, revive and boost the American Economy with a very specific detailed plan of action that was all in the clear.

    The 25 minutes speech by Joe Biden is worth labeling as a State of the Union Plan of Action that would lift America economically and in consequence, in closer coordination, in a more open cooperative mode, stimulate the World Economy at large.
    True to his Electoral Platform that Integrated many elements of the Left Democrats’ agendas veering to more socialist equitable and humanitarian leaning, Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion Economic Stimulus Package that he hopes to rush through a Democrats Majority Congress in the next 100 days, will sure, inter alia, entice confidence and start the engine for a robust sustainable world economic growth,

    On the Eradication of the Coronavirus Pandemic, Biden is committed, and through a more effective management and vaccine availability, to cause the vaccination of 100 million Americans in the first 100 days of the start of his New Administration. This, expectedly and quite naturally, the simultaneous vaccination campaigns will be going hand-in-hand in the rest of the world.

    As with regards to the economic stimulus package aiming mostly at stimulating consumer spending by significantly raising the income of the American households, President Joe Biden will raise minimum wages to $15.0 an hour and will significantly increase social spending to support American families across the board, foremost the trailing colored and marginalized of the less privileged American constituencies.

    Having put together the best and finest most inclusive American Administration staffed with professionals of the highest calibers of the most capable and best trained officials most inclusive of fair representations of all the American minority constituencies – possibly fist ever in American history – the New Biden Administration would certainly be narrowing the wide divide among the American population constituencies, providing for a more cohesive society, thus, Opening a New Window on the World.
    The Biden Administration’s ambitious future plans are equally echoing with the recent revelations by the Noble Laureate Princeton University economics Professor Paul Krugman who ten days ago, in n column in The New York Times, estimated that the US will witness, in the coming few years post the Coronavirus Pandemic, important historic sustainable economic growth and with it the entire world. Professor Krugman, a socialist thinker, reckons with the huge pent-up demand and the huge accumulation of household savings in excess of $1.0 trillion that was caused by the low spending during the extended period of the ravaging Pandemic, the American Economy will witness in the coming few years a huge economic growth surge stimulated by consumer spending.

    Simultaneously, with Joe Biden’s ambitious plan to create 18 million new jobs in the rebuilding of the American dilapidated infrastructure; investments in new fields in promising high-value sectors, foremost, in the renewable energy sector and in new breakthrough fields of technology, good paying jobs would boost family incomes, right across the entire racial and ethnic divides, as swell as significantly improve, for years to come, the standard of living of the American Families right across the board.

    In short, I am some how optimistic, with the Providence’s Bless, that a new era will soon be ushered in for a relatively more peaceful, more cooperative and more economically prosperous world

    • Peace!

      Hi Said,

      This is the last weekend Donald Trump is president:)

      Well it is good that some how you are optimistic although Biden said to his rich donors that nothing would fundamentally change. That means his administration would be pretty much Obama’s third term. Trump may have pursued wrong policies that polarized the people, but he also deserve credit for not taking the country into another war.


      • said

        Hi Peace
        US has major Financial Crisis and Inequality, racial wealth divide? And print worthless fiat currencies.

        I’m sure you won’t be surprised to learn that there is two universe. Inequality is about the disparity between people with respect to income and wealth. The top 1% of Americans possess more wealth than the whole of the middle class, Trump tax cuts for the rich and GOP neoliberal pretend to be for the working class. Trump opposing every policy that might have benefitted workers, extreme capitalism that stands in the way of a decent existence for the vast majority of people of US. Neo-liberalism capitalist class consolidates its power over more of the financial . economy and governing institutions. And Dems abandoning completely the working class. Clinton era started in destruction of welfare, and to some extend the Clinton/Obama sabotage of single payer healthcare during Democratic Obama administration made little to no progress in bridging this divide.,

        As reported the racial wealth divide in the latter half of the Obama presidency was the largest it’s been in the last 30 years. Income inequality remained virtually unchanged, too. In 2007, Black Americans earned about 60 percent as much as whites. By 2016, that had fallen to 58 percent. Black homeownership rate down from 49 to just 44 percent, nearly 30 percentage points lower than the rate for white Americans. Whether under Bush Clinton ,Obama or Trump, Big zero progress in bridging the economic divide for Black Americans in wealth, homeownership, and real income. every administration has failed to do over the last 40 years and they failed to bridge the gap.. Trump is leaving the White House with the lowest job approval of his presidency (29%) and increasingly negative ratings for his post-election conduct. The Trump administration created no federal program for the distribution of the coronavirus vaccine and an average of almost 250,000 new cases a day of coronavirus, with daily deaths on either side of 4000. We are approaching 400,000 recorded deaths from Covid-19. Trump to call the pandemic a “hoax,” and he made wearing masks a political dividing line. Those Americans who would not have been lost to the Corona virus had Trump not offered so much lies. Trump has told, tens of thousands of verifiable lies .The GOP and Trump deserve one another. The GOP party has lost credibility.

        To repeat as mentioned above. Biden’s vision is centered on guaranteeing a fair economy for all, focusing on an idea of community that the needs of women and children and Climate change will be looked after.
        Joe Biden’s plan in his TV speech ,he calls for $50 billion to ramp up Covid-19 testing, including rapid tests, and to help schools and local governments establish regular testing systems. It calls for an investment of $30 billion in the Disaster Relief Fund to make sure it can provide supplies for the pandemic. $30 billion to help people meet payments for rent or utilities, and a $15 minimum wage. Biden is calling for aid for child care, a $3 billion investment in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and $350 billion for state, local, and tribal governments to support front line workers and $1400 stimulus checks for individuals, expanded unemployment benefits through September, an end to eviction and foreclosure, Joe wants to be a president for all Americans, not just those who voted for him, a sharp contrast with Trump, Trump offered more of the same privilege for few. Americans rejected him and chose Biden. Biden’s speech calling for higher taxes on the wealthy to fund such investment

        GOP and Dem Administrations. It is a fight between two factions of the political class of the same orientation , poor Americans do not have a skin in their power games. As saying goes. you can’t fool all of the people all of the time. Sooner or later, sufficient numbers will wise up and wakeup

        The U.S. deficit increased by $3.3 trillion during 2020. The size of the public debt issued by the Treasury Department reached $27.7 trillion. Total federal revenue was $3.5 trillion, while the corporate tax part of that was just $220 billion, or a paltry 6.5%. What that means is that in an ever more unequal America, 93.5% of the money flowing into the government’s till comes from individuals, not corporations.
        US market soared, more than 25. million Americans were the recipients of federal unemployment benefits. The S&P 500 stock market index added a total of $14 trillion in market value in 2020. In essentially another universe, the number of people who lost their jobs due to the pandemic and didn’t regain them was about 10 million.

        According to recent Federal Reserve reports, the U.S. wealth gap continued to widen dramatically as economic inequality increased yet again in 2020 thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. That’s because the health and economic devastation it inflicted affected low-wage service workers, low-income earners, and people of color so much more than the upper-middle class and elite upper class.
        in Jan 2017 Trump inherited a debt of $20trillion from Obama . Trump presidency four year after $28trillion forecast for Jan 2021. Joe Biden will inherit
        US deficit is currently $3.3trillion which is virtually equal to total tax revenue of $3.4trillion .About 50% of annual government spending needs to be borrowed. .Joe Biden will print more than $ 8trillion? 35T ,an increase from today. Keep printing fait money .A worthless paper money created with just pushing a button, created digitally out of nothing. All this $trillions or $60s of trillions debt will need to be bought by Federal Reserve. You have derivatives amount to $2 Quadrillion? Add to this medical care, social security and unfunded pensions will probably exceed $100T or quadrillion who knows . 1971 Nixon dropping the gold standard, the Bretton Woods Agreement on currencies/

        • Peace!

          Hi Said

          Biden served as a lawmaker from 1973 through 2009 and as vice president for good eight years, so he is not new to the system responsible for the social grievances you mentioned. In fact he is responsible for laws that effected severely the life of millions of African Americans till this day and shockingly, he has no regrets what so ever. And now he said to his rich donors nothing would fundamentally change and ostensibly, he has no apatite to address key social issues and even accommodate progressives and progressive agendas. In other words, his administration would be third term of the Obama presidency.

          Raising minimum wage is the right move but without fundamental change, for example reforming justice system, it would not be effective, other than survival, to overcoming financial barriers, learning curve, and to creating impetus to reverse the rising inequality.

          Corporations and potential investors and donors are too powerful for any president to ignore. In fact, how well or bad the stock market performs sets the daily mood of the president. In contrast, how many people evicted, became homeless, or left out without health insurance have never gotten attention as much as the stock market does. A bittersweet tale of capitalism at work.

          Good Weekend.


          • said

            Hi Peace
            for the purpose of this debate, as I indicated in my respond, I focused and summarized on future economic and monetary policies and will be more on stimulating consumption than on supply side economics As reported Last spring the Fed had already reduced the funds rate to the zero bound and announced unlimited quantitative easing, initially set at $120bn every month . Just keep printing money has become a permanent fixture for the Fed. A John Law policy of printing money to rig market prices. QE it has become a means of financing government deficits with the Fed funds rate at the zero. And in 2021 the rate of QE will increase significantly and markets see the value of the dollar being lower in the future. The fact real money that gold rose 26% year 2020 and the only sound money. As I mentioned above the explosive rise in the national debt by almost $7.8 trillion that occurred on his time of 4 years and trump spent $3 trillion into COVID-19-related stimulus.. Trump said in a March 31, 2016 to Washington Post, he could pay down the national debt, then about $19 trillion, the after the 2017 tax cut $21 trillion in debt that has been accumulated, much by the Obama Administration and early 2019, the national debt had climbed to $22 trillion. and by end of 2019, the debt had risen to $23.2 trillion The data according to Federal Reserve Bank of New York. It amounts to about $23,500 in new federal debt for every person in the country. Joe Biden has not yet realise how unlucky he is to have won.
            He will face a monetary to fiscal to social and political crisis.

            I am well aware of the record of Obama presidency and V.P Biden, as I highlighted above. US democracy run by major Establishment and Big Media .their donation make a lot of difference during election who get elected .Twitter and Facebook, Establishment controlled social media and the same Apple, Amazon, and Google—all faithful servants of the Establishment and serving a ruling elite’s self-serving agendas. Also throughout the Western World, nothing new . Trump give Billions in corporate tax savings, and a more lenient regulatory landscape favor the supper rich. with cash from tax cuts and deregulation. Trump era came with the 2017 Tax Cuts .The bill cut corporate tax rates from 35 to 21 percent, The Joint Committee on Taxation predicted the bill would save companies $1.35 trillion over the next decade
            corporate started to abandon GOP and Trump . Dennis Kelleher, president of Better Markets, a Wall Street reform nonprofit. “Now that Trump is merely days from leaving office, they have claimed to have suddenly found their values. It is, in many ways, hypocrisy.”

    • Simon Kaleab

      Selam Said,

      Joe “China asset” Biden’s Optimistic Outlook?

      I call your claim Moonshine, coming from an alternate Universe.

      Can you list Biden’s achievements in his career as a politician for almost 50 years?

      Facts show Biden came to politics to enrich himself and his family.

      Also, look at who is celebrating Biden’s ‘victory’?

      The gangster regime in Iran, the Communist dictatorship of China, Wall Street, Silicon valley, the corrupt UN, the War industry, and racial politics merchants.

      Enough said!

      • Berhe Y

        Hi Simon,

        I think if you can also list who is opposing Biden victory that would be great.

        Trump after all the talk and blame of China, Mexico, Canada, EU and others he was doing nothing has changed. The US has trade deficit with all of them, and I don’t know any country or region it has surplus.

        I don’t think this is a bad thing, on the other hand it’s good for the US. What it means is, the US is printing cash and the rest of the world is supplying with goods. The fact that the US has it’s currency as the currency of the world, it has unmatched advantage.

        Trump and his supporters do not understand this concept. With all it’s problems, US is the most trusted and the best country. All the rich people from those countries you listed, China, Iran or others, the believe it’s safe to save their money and ship it / export it to the US.

        The US is on a trajectory and growth in the next 10 years will go through the roof. I was skeptic but now with people like Elon Musk, the whole old economy is going to go upside down, specially in clean energy and space exploration.

        China not a match for the US, no matter what? It is not capable of producing and create stuff that hasn’t been created before.

        Tell me one thing the Chinese have invented the world didn’t have before. For example compared to Japan? All China does is copy cat what the US does….always behind..and because of the government subsidy and unfair labor market and regulation and massive population it manages to gain.

        Trump and his supporters were just a distraction… in fact I think he got in to the president thing to save his business and failing business.

        Now that everyone is ditching him, I would not be surprised he will declare bankrupt and I hope the republican will impeach him even after he left office so he can permanently keep quite and have no protection. He is banking on TV or Radio show to recover from this and he will be nothing but creating more problems for the world and the country.

        Trump supporters will be better off accepting the reality that the country is no longer theirs and they need to share it with the rest of the population who are working day and night to help the country better.

        • Simon Kaleab

          Selam Berhe,
          You have no facts, but pure speculation on Trump.

          I will leave the honour of listing those who oppose China Joe Biden to.

          On what grounds, and by what law can an out of office president can be impeached?

          • Berhe Y

            Hi Simon,

            I guess you don’t have any list of those who are opposing:).

            I don’t know the laws and I don’t know by what legal means. Either way, he was a distraction and he did nothing good.

            The problem with Trump and his supporters is always to see what went wrong for them (mostly white Americans) and fail to see what good has happened to the rest (like immigrants).

            Today the fact that there are a number of immigrants who are in control of the biggest companies in America is a manifestation that the US has changed and it’s changing for good.

            Yes there are a lot of people who were left behind but it’s because of the policy of the republican party and their tax policy for the rich, their policy against the union and labor market and their powerful lobbyist such as the NRA and the Koch brothers.

            Biden will be tough actually on China, in fact he will be really hard. He doesn’t need them to grow the economy.

            All he has to do is, manage the virus and help business and people and once things settle (in the summer), it will just be going up to the skies. He doesn’t need to do anything, things will take care themselves.

            Trump have no body to blame but himself. If he could just let the experts do their job on the virus and had he kept the back seat and do what they advised him to do, he had real chance to be re-elected.

            No country is changing their government right now…at least in the west..everyone is busy with the crisis and the last thing they need is distraction….stay the course..

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam Berhe,

            So, you don’t know on what basis the president can be impeached after he leaves office?

            You also don’t know that minorities benefited from Trump’s tax policy.

            Furthermore, you are not aware that employment among minorities increased during the last four years before China unleashed its biological warfare (China plague).

            What about Trump’s criminal justice reform? Compare this with Biden’s Crime Bill.

            And curbing illegal immigration, which affects minorities most due to pressure on wages?

            Finally, Biden, his son, and his two brothers are bought and paid for by China. Check it out!

          • Berhe Y

            Hi Simon,

            I know what he is impeached for (inciting violence that caused the death of at least 5 people) but I don’t have the legal knowledge to answer your question.

            But it sounds fair to me that, even if he not in office, the death of individuals the crime that was committed needs to held responsible.

            The rest of your argument is irrelevant.
            1) Biden was never a president before so I don’t know why you are comparing on this record.
            2) He lost the election, and it doesn’t matter how many job he created or how he benefited. He inherited Obama economic growth and job creation but he gave tax cuts to the rich as his first order of business.
            3) If Biden son is guilty, it’s upto the legal means to charge him. He has nothing to do with Biden and same goes for his dealing with China.
            4) He is over. I am glad the American legal system has prevailed otherwise, he was on path of staying over in power by force.


          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam Berhe,

            What are the exact words that were used to incite violence?

            So, during the almost 50 years of his career as a politician, Biden was sitting quietly with arms folded, or holding tomatoes in his hands?

            Have you heard of the Biden Crime Bill, his support of segregation on buses, and his proud association with KKK supporting Senators? Check them out!

            During his 8 years as a VP, Biden was in charge of the implementation of American policy in China and Ukraine. During this time, his son was being paid millions in those countries for influence peddling, with the direct knowledge and involvement of Biden. Check these out!

      • said

        Hi Simon

        My opinion above was about Joe Biden speech mainly it deals with$1.9 Trillion stimulus package My respond to you is simple .
        Trump his own party Republican Party is Finally Breaking from the Tyrannical Trumpism Tutelage
        Reading between the lines Mich McConnell’s latest statements on Trump’s Impeachment admonishing Republican Senators to vote on the Impending Trump’s Impeachment Trial in the US Senate according to each Senator’s own conscience marks a major departure of the Tyrannical Trumpism Tutelage. Giving force to that impression is Mich McConnell’s second statement that he himself, Mich McConnell – who till recently the Majority Leader in the US Senate – would on vote on the Impeachments of Donald Trump based on his judgment on the presented legal arguments during the impending Senate Impeachment Trial. Mich McConnell’s new stand marks a huge Departure, a huge switch in the Republican Party’s position at large on the continuing blind support of Trump and on the near cult hold of the Trumpism Tutelage.
        I am sure you are well aware Trump record . You can asses truth and fact from lies for yourself Trump spewed during his presidency.

        This development, in my humble view, broadly signals that the Republicans wanting to engage in a Damage Control and try Cut the Losses of the Party’s long blind backing and association with Donald Trump now that Donald Trump has lost all credibility as becoming increasingly totally out of control, unhinged and, virtually, most dangerous.
        The Republican Party’s position appears tantamount to declaring that Donald Trump is Finished for now and on shutting the gates firmly closed of any future attempts by Donald Trump for a future comeback.

        A consensus seemed to have been reached among the Neoliberal Oligarchs and their close allies of the Evangelist Christian Right, “Christian” evangelicals have done so much to perpetuate evil and hypocrites
        Evangelist supportive of Trump the like,Kenneth Copeland, the old Pat Robertson TV preacher 24/7 ,Thomas Dexter Jakes Sr., known as T. D. Jakes, Jerry Falwell, Jr,( Liberty University) Creflo Augustus Dollar, Jr. the super rich pester worth hundreds of millions Kenneth Copeland with private jets to visit poor soul across US . televangelist Reverend John Hagee , Franklin Graham the pop of protestant , Franklin G said that those ten Republicans who voted for Trump’s second impeachment were like Judas. Evangelist come to overlook the all lying, Evangelist some sow Trump as savior and second coming what a Blasphemy.
        these evangelicals have gone way out and drifted central message of Jesus, he preached love. those evangelicals who voted for about 80% and their leader lent him their support and adoration
        two formidable blocks, realizing that Donald Trump is Burned Out as the Republican Party appears now wanting to distance itself from Donald Trump the person and Donald Trump’s most unconventional acts.

        The mainstreams of the American Republican Party appear to have now reached the final conclusion that Donald Trump has now become a huge liability on the Republican Party. It also signals the Republican Party’s new strategy to cut the road on Donald Trump to contemplate any plans for a future comeback as a potential Republican Presidential Candidate in 2024.

        The Republican Party that has now been taken hostage to members of its extreme right wing of the Tea Party transforming the Republican Party into a Cult institution with Donald Trump playing the Cult of Personality leader, the Party seems now to have reached the final reckoning of the dire need of the party to start on a like-healing process of redefining and possibly the reinventing of itself after years of the following on the tracks of the anomalies of Donald Trump. Following blindly on the Trump’s tracks have undoubtedly ravaged the Party’s generally centralist ideology and the hold on the Party’s ranks and files going astray wild as hypnotized by the Trump’s cult of personality.

        This reminds me of the Short-lived era of McCarthyism of the Red Scare of the early 1950s pointing the finger against all liberal Americans as Communist Agents. Trumpism seems the exact reincarnate of that era and Donald Trump the exact reproduction of Senator Joe McCarthy that for a while dominated American politics in the early years of the 1950s.

        Finally, as now seems the case with Joseph McCarthy in the early 1950 who suddenly and swiftly vanished in the span of days as if it never existed with Joe McCarthy succumbing to a dark fate retreating to his little town of Appleton, Wisconsin in total disgrace as he shortly expired in deep chagrin and infamy only taking along with him the short era of McCarthyism as seems soon the very exact fate of Donald Trump and his revived White Supremacist Doctrine of Trumpism, as both Trump and Trumpism will both go to oblivion.

        You can find out for yourself about truth about Trump. if the main media report wrongly, Trump will sue them. Please find link to fact-checkers have had their hands full keeping up with President Donald Trump’s unprecedented level of dishonesty. While The Washington Post reported that Trump had.
        delivered more than 22,000 false or misleading claims and as of Oct. 22,

        • Simon Kaleab

          Selam Said,

          Can you list Biden’s achievements in his career as a politician spanning almost 50 years, other helping himself and his brothers?

          You can’t!

          • said

            Hi Simon
            You can call me as you wish that I am a Moonshine, coming from an alternate Universe. You are right I Can not list Biden’s achievements, it is quite a task with your one liner question . But Biden was known entity and would work hard to strike deals with Republicans in many issue.
            I leave it to GOP and Trump to undermine his achievements .I told you I supported Senator Bernie Sanders progressive policy and his agenda on healthcare, raising the minimum wage and deal with the climate issue.
            As anonymous person you are ,we must Have a decent and polite conversation . One of your favorite activities is asking big question and to be answered for you. What you ask it is a waste of time, record or no record nothing will change your opinion. I do not have access to Joe Biden record as a long time Senator and as indicated above you have his 8 years VP record, Trump and white supremacist spent eight years spewing the fervor of their racism toward Barack Obama.

            I continue maintaining what I think and right my own opinion. Expressing my opinion counter of your or their opinions, and some shared my views, they are for liberalism and progressivism, Bless their hearts, You do not have to agree with me and this gave me fairly cold comfort and idea is to believe in the golden rules and or being an acceptable human being capable of living with other human beings. Have a decent and polite conversation

            let me summarized for you Joe’s $850 Billion package of Direct Handouts to Households and not the Corporation pocket :
            Direct checks and child tax credits: $450b;Unemployment benefits: $200b;Health insurance aid: $100b;Rental assistance: $35b;Child care aid: $40b,Safety net: $20b.
            The social and economic inequalities is what got us Trump in the first place.
            And Trump corporate Tax As reported of December 8th, the Institute for Policy Studies calculates that U.S. billionaire wealth has increased by $1 trillion since March 18th. The numbers are eye popping: the total net worth of their wealth has increased by billions per day. And government rescued the rich. On March 23, 2020, the Federal Reserve, in a first-time move, announced that it will directly buy corporate debt as part of its emergency lending programme that lifted the stock market . And contrast to the general population ,many had desperately wait for a one-time ‘stimulus’ check or $600 a-week supplemented unemployment insurance? And according ,Feeding America, more than 50 million people have experienced food insecurity by the end of 2020 while millions are in lining up breadlines .and many millions are in dire need of unemployment benefits and state budgets face massive shortfalls amid a looming austerity crisis.

            The good news Joe Biden will unwind Trump agenda with executive orders as reported n a memo, Mr Klain said the Biden administration’s first actions would include tackling the pandemic and economic recovery, the climate crisis and the problem of racial inequity. He said Mr Biden would rescind the travel ban on several Muslim-majority countries that Mr Trump installed four years ago. The incoming US president will also propose legislation that would provide a path to citizenship for the 11m immigrants living illegally in the country.

            It better for you simply came up with your own information whatever it is about Joe Biden and you are mimicking what others are saying about him and meanwhile choose not to see about shameful Trump record and continue to ignore with your own irrationality. Trump is for elite rule and corporate profits and not for ordinary Americans Simply put the election is what it is really about freedom and the exercise of democracy. I have no issue with you , if are one of the supporters and have adulation for Trump, just like far-right militants, white supremacists and other long list radical groups. And GOP succumbing to far-right politics, Republican Congress who didn’t quite disavow Trump. At any rate Trump is on the way out.

            If it make sense to you Let me give you a quotation from Olympia city council member Renata Rollins just said, “Locally we’ve had a collective delusion that the violent alt right would go away if the racial justice protestors would just tone it down … It was convenient to believe that right-wing violence was coming from a desire for ‘law and order.’ That if we didn’t say anything, at least maybe they’d leave us alone.”

            choose not to see about the far-right paramilitaries and QAnon cultists are a literal threat to democracy? Rednecks and white nationalism and far right Christian nationalism, warriors, for God, for country, and for the unrestricted and an controlled right to own guns. They love “liberty and freedom ,” but mostly for white men, they have been hugely emboldened by Trump, and their numbers have grown, this are the main U.S. variant of corvid virus of the original Klansmen, you ve seen what they did the capital D.C ,right-wing insurrectionists stormed the Capitol on January 6 and was a planned effort to overturn the legitimate results of the November 2020 presidential election and the majority of Americans deplored the events at the U.S. Capitol, you know what happened in Michigan. Add to this many Texas Newspapers Call on Cruz to Resign for Promoting Election Lies and Enabling Capitol Hill Insurrection.
            the extreme rightists usually hate and fight each but are united in hating blacks , Native peoples and immigrant , we have seen what happened in Georgia election, new faces ,getting away from Nixon/Reagan’s and Trump racist Southern Strategy .The future looks bright

            The “Stop the Steal” organizer Ali Alexander(Akbar) also known as Ali Akbar Somalia born , says three Republican lawmakers helped him put together the protest in Washington, D.C., that turned into a Capitol riot. The Washington Post reports Alexander, a right-wing activist that has repeated President Donald Trump’s baseless claims of widespread election fraud, said in a since-deleted video on Periscope that Reps. Andy Biggs of Arizona, Mo Brooks of Alabama, and Paul A. Gosar of Arizona helped organize the Jan. 6 event during Congress’ vote to certify the Electoral College votes in favor of President-elect Joe Bide.
            What sick and felon Ali who lead Stop the Steal and endorsed by Republican organizers. Ali Alexander has a history of legal troubles, including previously pleading guilty to felony property theft n 2007 and felony credit card abuse in 2008, both in Texas.

            As reported, May be you may agree with top Conservative Republican Olivia Troye, a former national security adviser to Vice President Mike Pence, sent shock waves through her party when — during the 2020 presidential election — she distanced herself from the Trump Administration and came out strongly in favor of former Vice President Joe Biden and she slammed Trump Republicans as a national security threat and according to Troye, is a “racist movement” that promotes violent unrest.
            add to this reported that 13 men were charged by state and federal law enforcement for a far-right plot to allegedly kidnap and execute Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) had a sitdown conversation with leaders of three Michigan-based militias

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam Said,

            It is not you who is Moonshine or coming from alternate Universe, it is your claim.

            You need to read what I wrote again.

      • መሃንድስ-ምዕባለ

        ሰላማት ሳይሞን!
        ደሓንዶ ቀኒኻ?

        ናይ ትራምፕ ገዲፍካ ተዛረብ
        ዝሓለፋ 4 ዓመታት ተዓዘብ

        ከም ጸሊም መጠን
        ከም ስድተኛ መጠን
        ብሰዓብቱ ርእሰይ ከድንን
        ከይነግረካ ከመይ ጌረ
        ፍልጠትና ኣብ ዓዋተ ኴኑ
        ምበር ምኽሪ ምሓተትኩ

        ብ ከመይ መዐቀኒ ትድግፎ?
        ከመይልካ ‘ኸ
        ነቲ ኣሽሓት ዘለፋታት
        ዕሽሽ ኢልካ ትሓልፎ

        ኣነ ዘይሪኦ ሕቡእ
        ኣሎ ማለት ዩ
        ኣብ ሳንዱቕ
        ናይ ምሩጻት

    • Simon Kaleab

      Selam Said,

      Congratulations! Your optimism is answered.

      Joe “China asset” Biden just appointed a man (born Richard Levine) now claiming to be a woman (Rachel Levine) to the position of Health and Human Services Secretary (HHSS).

      “She is a historic and deeply qualified choice to help lead our administration’s health efforts,” Biden said in a statement, praising Levine’s “steady leadership and essential expertise.”

  • መሃንድስ-ምዕባለ


    ግን ከኣ ኣብ ደረጃ
    ዓጸቦ ኣይበጸሐን

    ክዳውንተይ ረሲሑ
    ብሰንኪ ዘይጽሬት
    ሕብሩ ተቐይሩ

    ብሰንኪ ሓመድ ብሰሪ ማይ
    ሕብሩ ተደዊኑ
    ኮምፓስ ስለዘይነበረኒ
    ተናዊጹ መኣዝኑ

    ትጸገም ግን መን ‘ዩ?
    ሓንጎለይ ረሲሑ

    ኣበይ ከሕጽቦ
    ንታይ ከ ክምግቦ?

    ወረ! ኴኑ ስመዓኒ
    ኣብ ምዕቡል ዓለም ተቐሚጠ
    ላንጋላንጋ ኴነ ‘ባ ተሪፈ

    ሓንጎለይ ጠስጢሱ
    ንመን ከልግበሉ
    ጸገመይ ግን ብሓቂ መን’ዩ?

    ኣብ ጽምዋ ኮፍ ኢለ ምስ ሓሰብኩ
    ኣነ! ‘የ ጸገም ናተይ
    ሓንጎለይ ኮፍ ኣቢለ
    ብሓንጎል ሰባባት
    ክሓስብ ጀሚረ
    ለሚሰ ተደዊነ ተደናጊረ
    እህህህም ቀደም ዝፈልጠንስ
    መዓስ ከምዚ ኔረ
    ዓለም ጠላም!

  • Bayan Negash

    Greetings Awate Team,

    What a delight to see the piece in College of Arts & Sciences Forum. Here is the link:


  • Kokhob Selam

    Dear all .

    I think, we human beings are now advancing to the other world of higher consciousness which lead us to other dimensions where nation is allowed to appear slowly. Man will manage to see how to administrate himself without dividing nations.


  • EritreanHillBilly

    Hello all,
    Is it ok if I were to say this article shouldn’t be published. It is just a lot of word play with no real substance.
    “Although “there is a hierarchy within the center as within the periphery”, as the professor states, the political map and ensuing conflicts of the Horn of Africa continue to be driven by the dynamics of the ‘center-periphery’ ideological idea and its practical implications, victimizing the ‘subalterns’ in the interest of powerful elite groups.”
    What are you trying to say?
    The article is just loaded with unnecessary and jargon ridden word play… a form of Eritrean Papagalloism.

    • gasha asha

      Hello EritreanHillbilly,
      Hoping you are Tigrinya speaking HillyBilly. If so, please give the talk a listen, then, matters will fall in place.


      • EritreanHillBilly

        Gasha Basha
        I don’t know what you are saying according to Prof. Eritrea is going to periphery next…
        “Tigray is the Central government’s periphery; tomorrow it may be Eritrea.”
        Unless, Eritrean are so tired of their independence that they want to unite with Ethiopia to get 40 year old PhD as their president.
        Ethiopia is going to be dynamic and forward thinking country. The days of dinosaurs are done. Just look at Sebhat Nega and is crew… either died and getting captured wearing pajamas with gray hair…

        The article is just fear-mongering with some Gramsci mumbo jumbo thrown into the pot to give it an impression of deep scholarly analysis…
        This is known form of Eritrean Papagalloism.

        The simple analysis is that Ethiopia is transitioning to technocrat age from autocratic age of dinosaurs….
        I am sure Menguistu Hailemariam is laughing with death of Abay Tsehaye and Seyoum Mesfin… and others…
        A Cameroon friend of mine who was following what is happening in the Ethiopia told.. it is good those dinosaurs are getting arrested or dying… unfortunately his country is ruled by 87 year old dinosaur who plans to run again in two years…
        All this analysis about center or periphery is missing the Technocrat age vs autocratic age division that is happening..

        • Aman Y.

          Selam HillBilly,

          You wrote “Unless, Eritrean are so tired of their independence that they want to unite with Ethiopia to get 40 year old PhD as their president.”
          What about if the center subjugates the periphery(Eritrea) by soliciting help from Yemen, Sudan, Emirates…in a law enforcing operation?

          • EritreanHillBilly

            You are just fear-mongering. Eritrea is country and not a Ethiopian region.
            You remind of people like Seyoum Mesfin and Sebhat Nega dinosauriwye dreaming about war and battlefield.
            I think Yemenis and Sudanese are too busy trying to feed their malnourished people to worry about Eritrea and Ethiopia conflict..
            The Ethiopia dinosaurs are either died or in jail… hopeful the same thing happens to Eritrean leadership and the opposition figures so we can new generation…
            Don’t be a dinosauriwye.

          • Abay

            Dear EritreanHillBilly
            Eritrea needs a new generation of political thinkers. It is also important to take lessons from the failed/near failed countries (Libya, Iraq, Syria and Yemen). Peace and stability is priceless.

          • EritreanHillBilly

            What TPLF has shown us is the dinosaurs in eritrea will not handover power to next generation this also includes the eritrean opposition- same coin different side.
            Fortunately death will take care of them within next 10-20 years so we can finally erase both them from history books… as a bad headache… or bad chapter.

          • Abay

            Dear EritreanHillBilly
            It is just a matter of time. Sooner or later there will be a government change in Eritrea. The real concern should be the question if the succession happens with minimal damage to society, God forbid, Libya was far better with Gadhafi with all his ugliness than what it is now. Yes, we all need better days but in seeking so we have to prepare and try to fill out the possible pitfalls. How, I don’t know. Hope you understand what I am trying to say.
            My best regards

          • EritreanHillBilly

            I don’t think there is much to worry about in Eritrea. A new energy will be released in Eritrea… I remember as youth going to Eritrea in 90’s there was a can-do spirit and people were ready to put together a dynamic country in the right footing… unfortunately the Gedhli dinosaurs came and put a stop to everything…
            As far as I know… for me Eritrea is handicapped nation… it just need to throw away its chain and it will be fine.

        • Simon Kaleab

          Selam EHB,

          But Abiy’s Ph.D. is not worth the paper it is printed on.

          • EritreanHillBilly

            Simon, I am glad you share your opinion.

          • saay7

            Hey Simon:

            This was the proposal Abiy Ahmed made for his PhD on Social Capital and its Role in Traditional Conflict Resolution in Ethiopia: The Case of Inter-Religious Conflict in Jimma Zone State


            The paper is fine; it’s his glaring lack of follow through when he was presented with a real-life case (Tigray) that’s disturbing. This in itself is not unusual: some people get a PhD just for the vanity of being called a doctor, apparently.


          • EritreanHillBilly

            Hello Saay,
            I think what is important is not the PhD but the effort and time and value that placed on higher learning.
            I admire Dr. Abiy for his effort and humbleness to know that he could learn more… compared him our semi-illiterate donkey or donkeys running asmara.
            You can’t hold Dr. Abiy at fault with TPLF. The sad reality is that African leaders don’t peacefully leave power. The TPLF were no different and they instigate the conflict. Conflict-resolution is method and approach and it doesn’t work in all cases.
            However, it is impressive an African leader presenting his PhD thesis… I hope he inspires other African leader to use their mind in such a way…

          • saay7

            Selamat EritreanHillBilly:

            Perhaps because its closer to my field, I am actually more impressed by Abiy’s master’s degree (transformational leadership) than his doctorate (which did not impress Simon at all.) Incidentally, it is the first time Isaias has ever referred to anybody by his title (doctor): I challenge you to find a single time he has said anything kind about any educated Eritrean.

            Yes, the time devoted and the disciplined required to pursue higher education is admirable. More impressive is what you do with it. And, from my perspective, he has spectacularly failed in implementing what he learned from his transformational leadership classes. But then again, I always say statecraft is extremely hard, and he is only 44. But I fear how he has managed the Tigray crisis is so insanely bad, at every step, when he had the opportunity to separate the people of Tigray from TPLF, he kept pushing them to its bosom. There is no African leader who will be inspired by him because they are all good at what he is good at: senseless war.


          • EritreanHillBilly

            I don’t think he is good at senseless war. It wasnt actually war but two countries… it was insurrection organizated by the TPLF the expert of Senseless war. Remember people like Seyoum Mesfin were responsible for the ultimate senseless war 2000. I don’t remember the exact number but 100k+ Eritrean and Ethiopian people died.
            The TPLF leadership with Issias are expert on senseless war and not Dr. Abiy.
            He came around to get rid of Dinosauriwye like Abay Tshay, Sebhat Nega, etc…
            In matter of fact the new generation of Tigray will remember Dr. Abiy has transformational leader because he got rid of those 80+ year old dinosaurs who wouldn’t give up power without conflict.
            I think given Dr. Abiy relation with Donkey Issias- you got issue with him.
            I think he is wise enough to realize that the Eritrean dinosaurs are responsibility of Eritrean people and not Ethiopia.
            Ethiopia is slowly marching ahead into 21th century… the dinosaurs are gone and sky is limit.
            Eritrea will be more like Cameroon or Equitorial Guinea with a president up into his late 80’s with one party rule…
            The sad reality is Eritrean gedhli culture produced Issias. We don’t have any 40 year old PhD either in Eritrean leadership or opposition. Just dinosaurs. You ripe what you sow.

          • saay7

            Hey Eritreanhillbilly:

            We don’t have to rush it: time will tell whether Tigrayans will be grateful to Abiy or despise him for generations to come. We don’t have to.

            Coming back to Eritrea, the country has never had as many educated people as it has now. As Mesfin Hagos said “the whole country is an opposition” so by definition there are a lot of highly educated Eritreans in the opposition. They are silent because they are turned off by the toxicity of Eritrean politics which, just like the rest of the world, is dominated by social media harshness, as well as by the anti-education sentiment of populism (ካብ ምህሮስ ኣእምሮ blah blah blah.)


          • EritreanHillBilly

            The tigrayan should be happy Dr. Abiy sent Dr. Mulu Nega to govern Tigray.
            I think Mesfin Hagos word play is just a cop-out. We know what Issias produces… what does the opposition produce? Mesfin Hagos is just an Gedhli dinosaur what can produce for the future of Eritrea… it is a civil society. God save us from wrath and ways of Gedhli generation.
            Dr. Abiy had the right vaccine for Ethiopian Gedlli disease.
            On another topic… the Eritrean anti-education is left over of Gedhli generation.
            However, on the flip side of Anti-education coin is what I call pappagalloism. I think this turn off a lot of Eritrean toward so-called intellectuals or educated. Our intellectuals are not like Bertrand Russell or Noam Chomsky or Michael Parenti or Malcolm X intellectual who write to be understood but Derrida type of charlatans.

          • saay7

            Hey EHB:

            I disagree with you on….everything you wrote above, for reasons I stated before. Abiy will forever live in Tigrayan history as infamous as Menelik. Whatever the merits or demerits of Dr Mulu, he was not elected by Tigrayans but appointed by a non-Tigrayan so he will always be a Chelebi. In my opinion.

            Incidentally, a lot of the people who equate the opposition with Ghedli generation people are living in self-deception: the opposition which wasn’t even born when Ghedli was being waged far, far outnumber those of us who were. And those who call the Ghedli era opposition dinosaurs never call the Ghedli era PFDJ criminals dinosaurs although they are from same generation and in many cases were classmates. Isaias Afwerki, for example, is closer to 80 than 70, notwithstanding the tinted moustache and hair and the proclivity of his fans to wave his placards from 20 years ago.

            The ካብ ምህሮስ ኣእምሮ proverb existed before Ghedli, so populist rejection of the elite was always a feature in Eritrean culture (at least Eritrean highland culture.) That culture cannot produce the caliber of intellectuals you are celebrating because it doesn’t have the capacity to recognize what it has.

            Anyway, enough said on this subject. We are repeating ourselves.


  • saay7

    Selamat Awatistas:

    While I acknowledge that the challenges of governance in Ethiopia are the pull-push between the center and the periphery, I would venture to say that this is not uniquely Ethiopian feature: even in the United States, some of the most contentious disputes are over the same issue: how much power should the center (Washington DC) have vs what the States should have.

    Instead, I would like to focus on something else that is routinely claimed and put on my devil’s advocate hat. This is because, I notice, there is an inverse relationship between the self-praise we Horn of Africans engage in routinely, and the reality observed. For example:

    “Professor Ghirmai stipulates that “the peoples of the Horn” have been coexisting, intermarrying within and across religions and ethnicities, and continue to be its historical and cultural hallmarks to the present day.”

    The first question is: is this anecdotal information combined with a little wishful thinking, or is it actually documented scientifically?

    The second question is: even if this is true, what does it mean for patriarchal societies who always (?) self-identify with the ancestry, ethnicity, religion of one parent (almost always the father) and not both parents.

    Anecdotally, I know people who are of mixed ancestry, but, instead of seeing their mixed heritage as a blessing, they over-compensate for it by over-identifying with one and, sometimes, to the extreme.


    • Brhan

      Hello SAAY,
      I participated in census during the Derg times in Asmara and I believe the census was reflecting intermarriage indirectly , as there was a question about the birth places of spouses or partners.
      And if I am not mistaken , in Ethiopia , your ethnicity is described in your id card, thus it is easy to see if there is intermarriage in house holds or not.
      In both cases I can say yes, it is indirectly documented scientifically.
      I hope I answered to your question

      • saay7

        Selamat Brhan:

        I am specially addressing this claim:

        “Peoples of the Horn” have been coexisting, intermarrying within and across religions and ethnicities, and continue to be its historical and cultural hallmarks to the present day.

        My question is: is there intermarriage across religions in Eritrea that is statistically significant?


        • Brhan

          Selamat Saay,
          I understand your question. I will try to answer it in three ways and I hope they address the question of statistical significance
          1) The example of the Belin ethinic group in Eritrea. As you know, the Belin have intermarriage accross religions where you can find follower of the two religions in one family.
          2) Urban settings cities or towns have more intermarrying accross religions than the urual settings. There the followers of religions learn, work and live together and this environment is friendly to intermarrying accross religions.
          3) I believe iSem mentioned in his comment, the Ghedli expreince. It empahsized being an Eritrean first and the last, and this in its turn resuted in intermarrying accross the religions.
          But Saay for the weekend I choose for your this legenary song from our legenary singer Osman Abdulrahim ፍቕሪ ዕውር ኣሚነ!

          • saay7

            Hey Brhan:

            I am not making a value judgement on whether it’s good or bad: I am not questioning the claim that there is statistically significant inter-faith marriage in Eritrea. If there is, show it to me. If there isn’t, let’s stop pretending there is.

            My observation is that contrary to ፍቕሪ being ዕዉር it peeks long enough to check what is the persons religion before checks the box. At least when it comes to marriage.

            Let’s make 2021 the year we choose truth over slogans.


    • Berhe Y

      Hi Saay,

      I think those of us who think to find sone sort of social / scientific answer to our problems, are over and exaggerating the real problem.

      I don’t believe we are even anywhere close to have about 10% of a capacity of a functioning government institutions that we can think of. In Eritrea this number is probably less than 1%, al least those involved in complicated political aspects.

      For example, Eritrea during the federation has probably achieved the highest form of functional and competent government institutions.

      The last 20 years during era of Isayas, and last 20 years during the derg is total write off.

      For example, who is this 30 something years old, Eritrea government representative in Ethiopia today, retreating the country at the AU?

      Same can be said about our representative at the UN.

      So I think before we speak about the sophisticated aspect like central or periphery, I believe is just academic exercise that doesn’t exist on the ground.

      What would be nice to see is a government with basic government institutions that deals with basic aspects. Such as taxation, budgeting, labour, education, investment plans, policies, economic growth, forecasting etc.

      Then the more complicated part like wealth sharing, distribution of power and all.

      As to the “intermarriage” etc, I don’t think we are worst of compared to others. In our case, I don’t think we shed blood defending or fighting this race, or that region or this religion or that ethnic. I am not saying it doesn’t exist but not more exaggerated than it exists even in the most advanced counties.

      What ever it is, it’s mostly at personal level and I don’t think it’s a cause for concern. With good government policy and education, it shouldn’t take long to address it.

      In India for example, with all the advances they made in economy, education, technology, I think they are a long way to go with there cultural baggage, that deals with equality.

      • Simon Kaleab

        Selam Berhe,

        Is there a pension scheme in Eritrea yet?

        • Berhe Y

          Hi Simon,

          I don’t believe so.

          I would not be surprised if they government cuts pension payments.

      • EritreanHillBilly

        Berhe you stated it clearly…when you said
        “I think before we speak about the sophisticated aspect like central or periphery, I believe is just academic exercise that doesn’t exist on the ground.”
        It is not academic… it is just pseudo-intellectual papagalloism.
        Read about “Sokal Affair”

      • saay7

        Selamat Berhe:

        Great to hear from you !

        I hope you can expound on your assertion about the irrelevance of center-periphery tension. There is a great deal of scholarship on the subject, not just within nations but also cultures, and I would love to hear more on the subject. In Eritrea, however well or badly it’s executed, the declared focus of the Center (central gov), is that it will place its focus on the peripheries. The deterioration of Asmara, which would have been unacceptable in any other capital city, is explained using that prism.

        The irony: those who are recruited to execute on this vision are an over representation of the Center.

        As to intermarriage, I am afraid you are describing a related but not altogether the same thing: tolerance. The article specially claim there is an inter-religion marriage and, with the exception of the Blin ethnic group, I don’t see a lot of that in Eritrea. Do you?


        • Aman Y.

          Selam Saay7,

          Thank you for what you do to inform, inspire, embolden, reconcile…

          I share your rhetorical question. There is no significance inter-religion marriage.

        • iSem

          Hi Sal:
          I totally agree with you on both. First the centre vs periphery control. As you said, this is one of the issue and even founding of the USA states and as you know there is a reason behind why the you guys, I mean the cons in USA opposed DC to be a a sate, and I also guess that was the reason NH was created and carved out of Mass, power of periphery in the senate.

          I also agree with you about the intermarriage. the professor is wrong. And tell me if you are sitting down because I want to announce that there is one thing I agreed with IA back in the days:) When asked about the wisdom of inter-ethnic marriages that happens in the field, he replied that: “actually the overwhelming majority of marriages occur within their own religious and ethnic confines”
          So there is of course intermarriages in the horn, but negligible and it does not spare societies from going to wars and killing each other. I always have this argument, but never here and I tell them look at the division between the Jewish and gentiles, Jesus’s ancestry is half gentile. Ruth was a gentile, so was Rebecca, so intermarriage occurred from time immemorial, and it is not something that those from the horn should brag about and even if that is true it has never helped to stop blood shed, the highlanders and Tigray intermarry but in 1998, they divorced in droves, and even the enlightened tegadalti the minority who inter-married, soon divorced. So what is the point?
          But there is one, a Tigringa married to Saho in ELF. When I run into him, I reminded him of what he told me once in Kassala and many things, of course he did not remember me and I was delighted to find out that his he was still married to his love

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Sem,

            Despite the intermarriage between the two major religion is extremely very rare in our country or our region, the intermarriage between the various Christian denominations is very common in our region. Just for the record.

        • Berhe Y

          Hi Saay,

          Sorry in the delay. Let me start with the intermarriage thing. I agree with you, there isn’t inter-religion marriage between Christians and Muslims in Eritrea. I don’t necessary think that’s a bad thing (I don’t mean you said so) but healthy way for people to live their lives for the most part where they were born with.

          The number of people who are religious is still very high in Eritrea and for the most part they stick to their own. For example, I think the inter-marriage between Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant or any other newer type of Christianity is probably higher today than it use to be say 40 or 50 years ago. The inter-marriage between the different regions of highland, such as Akele Guzai, Hamasien or Seraye is a lot of today than it use to be. So that’s what I was thinking when I responded, but between Christians and Muslims, I think that’s for the most part separate.

          I don’t much about the scholarly social studies but in Eritrea, I think it’s far from truth. The PFDJ government and their supporters can use it for the lack of excuse why they are allowing the cities to deteriorate but it’s not a good enough reason. Have they developed Keren? Have they developed Mendefera? Have they developed Deqemhare, Adi qeyiH?

          Sure we see mini dams and pictures of roads build here and there, but by no means because their focus was on the peripherals instead of the center.

          Looking at the Italian times, for the most development that took place in Eritrea. They developed Asmara, they developed Keren, they developed Teseney, Barentu, Massawa etc. they build roads, they build rail roads…. because the whole economy and development was inter related.

          How is it possible the PFDJ have build the Korean housing complex building in Asmara within few years it come to power? What has it stopped from doing the same thing for the last 20 plus years? In Keren, and other places? It’s lack of people who can afford to purchase the types of apartment? Is it the lack of funds to do so? I don’t think so…but it made the development of the country as a last priority and it didn’t care much.

          For example the Italians didn’t build a road from Massawa to Asseb. But instead the build the road from Massawa to Asmara and from Asseb to Addis Abeba. Makes a lot of sense because the ports were serving different parts of the region.

          Why the PFDJ builds a road from Massawa and Asseb? For what purpose? When we have the sea (massawa to Asseb) to travel goods and other means via the sea.

          But the PFDJ was getting money from EU and other UN agency for development projects and it wanted to show that it build something new. Also it was using the projects to keep the youth (sawa recruits) busy.

          So the point I was making is, the country and the government have a lot of very high priority government business (as a regular accountable government) to fix before embarking all this very sophisticated equatable government topics.

          As an Eritrean and I think this may be true for the most majority of Eritreans, I don’t really care if my government and my leaders is from Aqordet, BatSiE or deqemhare or Asmara. It makes absolutely no difference what so ever, and I can honestly say, the most majority of Eritreans (at least those I encounter with) feel the same way.

          For that I think, we have to praise the Ghedli and to some degree Sawa (with all it’s ills) it has established Eritrean nationalism to the youth as much as we blame them for not having it.


          • saay7

            Selamat Berhe:

            In any post-Isaias Eritrea, there is going to be political haggling IF another mini-Isaias doesn’t emerge to dominate the country and giving us Isaias II.

            And in this haggling, the biggest question will be about power distribution and there is nothing wrong with that: it’s the very definition of politics.

            Just as it’s very normal to discuss the separation of power between executive judiciary and legislative, it’s also very normal to discuss the power and the balance of power between the center and the peripheries. I have probably seen at least a dozen of Eritrean political blueprints and all the serious ones have to address this issue of centralization and decentralization. What you are addressing (who is qualified to be in charge of the center: person from Akurdet Hmeret Kelboy or Shma Negus LaeLay) has nothing to do with the boundaries and power of the regions/provinces.

            It’s not by accident that every Ethiopian leader who assumed power in modern times (Haileselasse, Mengistu, Meles, Abiy), has or will redefine the boundaries of the regions and the powers that are yielded to them. You can pretty much take that as a given in future Eritrea because it’s the natural outcome of politics.


          • Berhe Y

            Dear Saay,

            I am not saying we are better, but I don’t think Ethiopia current, or former governments can be considered as a model to what will follow in Eritrea. I don’t believe Ethiopia in it’s history has ever been able to be governed by someone who didn’t come through power. Abiy government is turning it to be heading that way as well. In short, all of them who come to power, have considerable power or acquire in the process and yield their power towards the country.

            In this case, the power to the center or periphery loses it’s valid intellectual argument in my opinion. In other words they are doing it for their own power and it is not for the balance of power sharing etc.

            In case of Eritrea, why shouldn’t a government like the common wealth countries for example would not work. That is, a government made up of parliament system where the party that wins the majority gets to govern.

            In case of Eritrea, if the map is at it is today, 4 zones + asmara or the last 8 or provinces, at least in the central government it makes no difference, because the number of seats in the parliament will be allocated based on the number of the population.

            The key problem to solve is not a political problem I think, but that of technical problem in how parliament seats are allocated to each “riding” if you call it.

            And each party will get to chose their leader.

            I think it’s worth while to study and understand and tell the true history in what went wrong in our Eritrean parliament in 1950s. To this day, I do not understand how Asfaha Woldemicheal, if I am not mistaken, a none elected (rather he was the king representative) gets to become the Chief Executive of Eritrea, which led to the annexation of Eritrea.

            And I believe this has to do with, the way the parliament was setup, there is no checks and balances that could have force him to session when he suspended the parliament, instead the parliament were appealing to the king.

            So I really believe the future Eritrean parliament needs to be a parliament that’s clearly defined without expecting any good will by the opposing party. This unity or power sharing etc.. will NOT and will not benefit anyone but those who are in power.

            The case of TPLF / EPRDF is a very good example. Had they setup a parliament and had the good intention to be governed by the rule of law with clear separation of duties, they faith would not have ended they way it did today.

            Long ago I read this article on Asfaha Woldemichael and with a lucky search I found out this article on asmarino. titled

            Past and Present, Eritrea’s Leadership is to blame. Does Eritrea really learn?


            And I think this is the kind of things we need to plan so it will never happen again…


          • saay7

            Selamat Berhe:

            I don’t think I am getting thru 🙂 The question of how much power, if any, each region will have is politics 101 and even “we are special” Eritreans can’t escape it. Like I said it’s standard language in any charter, any constitution, anywhere in Planet Earth (which I think still includes Eritrea.)

            On Ethiopia, the speculation is that Abiy Ahmed, who has been co-opted by the Gnbot-7 agenda which was influenced by the Isaias agenda of dividing Ethiopia into Northern Southern Eastern Western regions. I am not saying this is good or bad: I AM saying that, like all his predecessors, he will reconfigure Ethiopia to his image (which always coincides with the leaders desire to perpetuate his rule.)

            Related to that, our friend Samuel Emaha (PhD candidate in history of our region) was interviewed today by Yoel Lino and he says Abiy as a continuation of the same-o same-o Ethiopian strong man affliction which is based on Ethiopian nationalism which has a strong strain of fascism. Provocative but rings true to me based on what’s happening to the Tigrayan people (not front but people) right now. Well worth your time:



          • Berhe Y

            Hi Saay,

            Political science is not my thing. The only political course I took was political science I think it was called during the Derg time in grade 8, when they were teaching us Marxism, and Leninism in Amharic and I never shown interest since then and until now. This is not a good excuse but to admit my lack of knowledge.

            Most of the politics that I know is influence by the country that I live and I fail to see any relevance to the power sharing/struggle that has been experienced in Ethiopia.

            It’s not about how region are divided but rather, what each government is allowed and responsible for their governments. So the issue that arise are like, state land, taxation, wealth distribution, education, healthcare, federal institutions, city police, state police, federal police, etc…you know real daily things that is needed for governing.

            What was the power struggle in Ethiopia all about, for example between Abiy and the TPLF? It’s not a question for you….I am asking from real day to day people problem what was the power struggle all about. The state has it’s own military, sometime more larger than the federal government. That’s why I think Ethiopia was just sinE sinE and Abiy PP party and what he wanted to do is no different I am afraid.

            Thank you for the link I will listen.

          • saay7

            Selamat Berhe:

            Fine:) I will leave it to iSem to explain why, in your adopted country, Quebec was trying to do what it tried to do and why no less than DeGaulle was supportive of them.

            In your native country, EPLF was extolling the virtues of decentralized governance, very very briefly, before it decided unitary centralized govt serves its interest better. Like I said, it’s fundamental politics for any serious org trying to describe the power distribution between the center and the peripheries. But I am repeating myself so let’s move on.


          • Berhe Y

            Thanks Saay

            I think I am in iSem ignore list:), will let you know when I am removed.

            I think I get it what you are saying, and I listed to the link. I think what he was saying was relevant to Ethiopia and I hope we never go through their experience.

            What I fail to understand is, why it has relevance to our current situation, that is how Menlik and others expanded in today world order.

            I don’t see it happening. What I envision is how Singapore was able to successfully separated from Indonesia and set her own path that lead her to success.


          • saay7

            Selamat Berhe!

            What? That’s not acceptable iSem! (If true.)

            Here’s why I think Ethiopia’s case is very relevant to Eritrea: while I find the whole Birther argument about Isaias’s heritage toxic and boring, I *do* believe he has, psychologically, an Ethiopian mindset: nationalism with fascistic strains. That is to say: he believes, like Ethiopian rulers do, that legitimacy is acquired by total elimination and humiliation of your political rivals. He is also a man who finds the highest form of glory in military victories: recall his interview (Sawa’s 25th anniversary) where he glorified the role of Eritrean conscripted soldiers during Italian colonialism to advance Italy’s colonial project: victory was achieved not due to advance weaponry of fascist Italy or the relative weakness of Libya, Somalia and Ethiopia but due to the brains, guts and muscle (ሓንጎልን ሓሞትን ቅልጽምን) of Eritreans. Now, do you know of a single Eritrean grandfather or great grandfather who was proud of serving fascists Italy’s imperial project? In any normal country such a person would be removed from power as a dangerous revisionist and adventurer: I mean if you believe in that eugenics crap, why wouldn’t you just send this conscripted (just like during the Italian era) human resource of ሓሞት ሓንጎል ቅልጽም everywhere: Somalia, Djibouti, Yemen, Ethiopia, Congo, East Sudan?

            And he had 30 years to inculcate this fascistic mindset (songs, curriculum, Sawa) on Eritreans. He and his flunkies call it patriotism.

            Singapore? The country has not been in a single war. We are what, at our 7th? With every war described as the war to end all wars.


    • መሃንድስ-ምዕባለ

      Hi Saay7,
      IMH opinion, I would say this.
      1. We have been told the ሓደ ህዝቢ ሓደ ልቢ ንሕና ዶ ንልብም ከልቢ thing and we take it for granted. We have been living in a parallel universe with out alternative truth.
      2. About that mixed ancestry thingy, I think we have but we wither don’t know our history or don’t want to admit. However, this is not true for the past 100 yrs or so. Oh, about the the one parent (on father’s side only), could that be most of the commentators are men? Just saying.
      I am waiting for the string theory to materialize and maybe our problem could be then be solved with that equation.

      • saay7

        Selamat Mehands:

        Don’t wait for the string theory: check out “quantum entanglement” on the zero degrees of separation between all living things. Except, apparently, between Amhara and Tigray: lots of people working overtime to sow the seeds of generational enmity.


        • መሃንድስ-ምዕባለ

          Hey Saay:
          Quantum entanglement seems to violate relativity when it comes to between Amhara and Tigray. I would blame the Ethiopian calendar, since I couldn’t find any other explanation.

  • Woldegabriel Tesfamariam

    Selam all,
    First, I would like to thank “Aware” for availing Prof. Ghirmay’s deliberations to us all. I haven’t watched the interview/discussion of Prof. Ghirmay, but based on your summary and analysis, which I find fair and unbiased, I am obliged to toss my views.
    Prof. Ghirmay asserts that “the political map and ensuing conflicts of the Horn of Africa continue to be driven by the Dynamics of the center-periphery ideological idea”. He expounds his idea by claiming the main cause for the present conflict within Ethiopia as well as with Eritrea emanates from: 1. Colonial and post colonial “center-periphery” Dynamics. 2. Historical geographic proximity of the main actors involved.
    I fully agree that the “center-periphery” Dynamics has been and will be the core cause for Ethiopia’s destability. Of course the Amhara chauvinists are at the forefront of this ideolo for the last 100 yrs, which the author properly elaborated. But the author somehow didn’t explicitly explained the political ideology or the role & behavior of the Tigrai regimes when they held power at the “center.” A cursory look into their political ideology (I mean their actions not words) depicts a
    more treacherous and hideous “center-periphery” Dynamics. Their political moves during their 30 yrs at the helm of Ethiopian politics as well as the king Yohannes and Alula atrocities are few of their dubious mentality that one cannot easily bypass. Both the Amhara and Tigrai regimes have the same “center-periphery” mentality that doesn’t wash away easily. Nonetheless, the need for creating a better environment fire peaceful coexistence with our neighbors remains a cumbersome challenge that cannot be avoided. Our future diplomats should realize that the “tiger never change it’s spots”
    I fail to understand the second point. Intelectually and politically (international) it may appear very appealing. The Horn of Africa approach or analysis is an isayas game-plan(escape plan) to buy time and decimate Eritrea’ s sovereignty. True the ” center- periphery” of Ethiopian is the main problem to the conflict with Eritrea, which we have to deal with. But it is not true to allude that the “conflicts of the Horn of Africa continue to be driven by the Dynamics of the center- periphery ideological idea”. With the exception of Ethiopia, ” the center- periphery” ideology doesn’t exist anywhere in the Horn or East African countries or regimes. It is uniquely Ethiopian. Hence, we have to deal with it either alone or together with our African brothers. We should be cautious not to be nudged into undesired corner and refrain from appeasing Ethiopia with it’s grandeur ineffectuality that will compound our problems

    • Mez

      Good day Woldegabriel T,

      Your articulation on the topic is interesting. BUT I don’t understand why you want to escape, IN TOTALITY, the “center-periphery” healthy debate except in Ethiopia. I believe it is rampant and wide spread topic in the Sudan (both Sudans), Eritrea, Somalia, and Kenya–to say the minimum.


    • gasha asha

      Selam Woldegabriel,

      You homed in on the central issues without even watching Prof. Ghirmai’s talk, which speaks to the fact you’ve also made a point of when thanking the AT for capturing the essence of the talk.

      For brevity let’s focus on the second point to which you have a bone to contend with in that your view appears to agree with some elements of it but out of abundance of caution you go for the jugular as to deny its existence “anywhere in the Horn or East African countries or regimes”. Mez gave a succinct answer to that by pointing out the “center-periphery” being “rampant and wide spread [from] Sudan (both Sudans), Eritrea, Somalia, and Kenya – to say the minimum.”

      Of course, your reservation is understandable in that Ethiopia’s imperially driven hegemonic history affects Eritrea and Eritreans directly whereas what Mez mentioned does not impact us as closely. But denying their existence in the Horn misses the point because, as AT suggests, when seen through macro-lens it gives us a chance to be more objective. It’s that lack of distancing that leads us to resort to ad hominem attacks, red herring, and what have you. That was the brilliance of Prof. Ghirmai’s approach, once one addresses issues in a holistic fashion as he did, it is easier to constructively engage on the issues.


    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Selam WT,

      Unless you don’t believe on Frderalism, the center/periphery political arguments do always exist in any kind of Federalism. The center/periphery argument is predicated on how much power distribution is appropriated between the “states” and the “central government” -the balance of power between the states and the central government. Federalism negates the power of unitary government that centralized the entire political power at the center. So if any kind of Federalism is introduced in the countries of the Horn, then the politics of “center and periphery”is the explanation of its “form and essence” in governing the people and its institutions, based on the constructional power distribution to the states and the central government. Sometimes we have to know on what we are arguing without arguing for the sake of arguments.


      • Mez

        Dear Amanuel H,

        1) The “center-perifery” based abstraction of the horn of Africa [understanding of vested power centers and power sharing mechanisms] in general (or any other specific nation in particular) seems to miss a substantial segment of the social dynamics, hence not the best fit as a political power distribution and an inclusive social dynamics model.
        My main reasons being: 1.1) if you take the Ethiopian case up until the italian occupation the socioeconomic foundation was landlordism, surfdom. The political upperstructure seems to be estabilized aroun the concept of i) NiguseNegest and ii) Nigus. The i) being the strongrer partner in all aspects, while ii) had autonomus functionalities on all local matters. In time of peace and war ii) was providing resource and manpower to i) accordingly. 1.2) at that time there was no concept of federalism both in the economy and in the then politicos.
        2) if you see the contemporary Ethiopia, the challenge what it faces is inherently a continuation of what it was then, and it didn’t pop-up randomely here and there due to the federalism theory and its practice, (ethnicity and lanuage tilted organizational and functioning structure) or concept alone.
        3) in one or otherway the “center-perifery” concept is strongly connected to the “ethnic-group rights”. AND this ethnic-group rights may have steered more problems than it gave an amicable solution in Ethiopia (especially seen from diferent time frame stamps).
        4) it is imperative yhat the discussion should resolve around a more fundamental abstraction. 4.1) the concept of individual human-right, respect of rule of law.
        4.2) the old-new (new-old concept of the 1789 French revolution: Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, ( Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité)).
        4.3) in this fundamental concep regard, i think pfdj seems to be on the correct footage than almost all eritrean political organizations we know today.
        4.4) Plenty political forces in Ethiopia are now in a blurred fundamental outlook crisis than in any other nation of the horn of Africa.
        6) i argue that, the failure and collapse of tplf lies in its inability to embrace the concept under 4) above.

        PS: both the “center-perifery” & the “ethnic-group rights” conceps seems to an extent be piggybacked by the Stalinism, and Leninism theories than they appear, hence they are dogmatic, than scientific in nature and essence.


        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Selam Mez,

          Let me start with your last “note” at the end of your comment. You can’t be badly wrong on the concept of “center-periphery” and the issue of “group rights” to attribute them to Leninism and Stalinism. The “center-periphery” political argument actually came with existence of Federalism as new phenomenon of governance, the US federalism being the earliest experimental project of governance. Federalism as a philosophy of governance – the power sharing between “the states and the central government” has an inherent contradiction between the states and central government on how much power should devolve to the “periphery states”. Therefore, political philosophers have brought another way of explaining to the power sharing between the “states” and the “federal government” as the power between the “center” and the “periphery” which diametrically the opposite of the “unitary government” where the whole political power is centralized at the center.

          Second, in Unitarian governance there is no power to devolve. And hence the central government do govern the unit of administrations by delegating its own people – exemplified by the PFDJ government, which by the way, you call it the preferred government for the Horn countries.

          Third, “group rights” and “individual right” are two interrelated and interdependent concepts where one can not exist with the other. Separating this “twin concepts” can only serve to the tyranny of the majority. I have written an article on this issue and would like to refer you to it. The title: “ HardTalk, Group rights and the politics of identity.”

          Fourth, the concept of “equality, liberty, and fraternity” are abstract in their nature. But to actualize them needs the right “governance philosophy” – and that is the center of our debate now, as we speak. Unitary government is anti-equality, anti-liberty, and anti-fraternity.


      • Woldegabriel Tesfamariam

        Selamat Mez, Amanuel H., Gasha asha
        I was unable to read your comments due internet shutdown for presidential election for the last five days. In fact it was shutdown barely an hour after my post.
        It appears Mr. Amanuel is incapable of decent conversation without abusing or insulting people. Maybe you are so much invested on an ideology and reached to a point of no return to rationalize a way-out to your conundrum. All the same, I will try to address the points mentioned by each of you.
        1. “The center-periphery is uniquely applicable to countries that are governed by federal arrangements”. This is a wrong premise. Almost all African dictators ( Haileselassie, Mengistu, Mugabe, Gadafi, isayas, Col. Abiy, Idi Amin, etc..) didn’t not have a federal system but subjugated the periphery from the “center” surrounded by a small clique who are initiated by interest or greed or power or tribe or religion or region etc. Hence, the center-periphery is an ideology where the power at the center rules with an iron fist and subjugates all other communities (periphery) as a less than equal subjects. Who, how and what created this center-periphery is a wide subject beyond the scope of our discussion.
        2. Do I believe in federalism? My answer is it depends on which country you are talking about. In the USA, federalism was instituted to suit and lure the rich, strong and powerful colonies into the union. So there were pragmatic factors that forced them into the federal arrangements. Taking the historical factors and socio-economic relations in Ethiopia, I believe, the federal system is the only way to insure peace, stability and healthy relationship among its communities. With regard to Eritrea, I believe, federalism has no historical or genuine bearing to our reality. I believe, a “Baiyto” based democratic system with full representation of the people propelled by multi-party, decentralized democratic system that ensures individual and group rights would be the basic necessity for our nation building.
        3. Honestly, I am not comfortable to discuss about Ethiopian politics, when we have huge problems of ours to worry and discuss about. But since this was one of the points of contentions, I am forced to elaborate my point. The Ethiopian unique center-periphery ideology is basically informed and evolved out of the feudal mentality which has not changed to-date. It is enshrined on land. (a) economy- Land is considered to be the major source of wealth and power. Economic and power legitimacy of all political leaders derive from land. Menelik power/wealth came from the military campaigns of the Oromo land and it’s distribution to the Amhara chieftains. Haileselassie gained the unflinching support of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church by providing a large swath of land. His appointed administrative functionaries at all levels were given land to strengthen their economic muscle, which essentially created the tenant/Lord relationship. Even Mengistu after confiscating land Lords land and distributing it to the tenants, he relapsed into nationalising big farms into Government corporations. Likewise, Weyane reclaimed from the Amhara region and annexed it into Tigrai. Thought this may appear to fall in the realm of politics, it still explains how land relates to the political leadership. (b) politics- all Ethiopian politics is land politics. Whoever expands, reclaims or annex land to the nation is revered as an exceptional talented leader irrespective of the abject poverty or backwardness or people dying of hunger or wars, or injustice and human right abuses, or lack of basic human needs, etc. Menelik for grabbing Oromo land, Haileselassie for annexing Eritrea, Mengistu for keeping away Ogaden from Zeid Bare are still hailed in high steem despite the ravages they caused. The significant root cause for the present civil war in Ethiopia is land. Acquisition of land is the cause for the killings and forceful eviction of poor Amhara farmers in rural Gumus, Wellega, Sidama, Arssi, Shewa, Harar and Oromos region. The contentious ownership of Finfine (Addis Ababa) as well as the distribution of land and houses is a naked land politics. The disastrous and incompetent Col. Abiy’s Government still hanges to power due to his promise to deliver Assab and/or Eritrea. In the feudal mentality, the center of gravity for the center-periphery ideology is based not on democratic, economic, political or social parameters but on land.
        4. The center-periphery ideology also exists in the Horn and East Africa, but unlike Ethiopia, its origin and historical development varies from country to country. Leaderships in Eritrea, Uganda and Rwanda are entrenched with ex-freedom fighters who have overstayed in power through coercion and force. Consequently, the “center” remains in the hands of few diehard to subjugate the periphery. In other parts, limited democratic semblances are observed to cover up its religious, militaristic or tribal tendencies/undertones that defines the power at the”center”. These countries may undertake a robust democratic transition or may succumb to dictatorship. The Sudan, Kenya and Somalia may fall under this category. It hard to about Djibouti.

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Selam WT,

          Which phrase or sentence from comment is “an abuse or an insult” to you pls? I hope to oppose your opinion is not interpreted “to abuse and insult” to you. Pls help me to understand your accusation.