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I Was Wrong

Ever ordered “Chef’s Special” at a restaurant? Don’t: it is stuff the restaurant couldn’t sell. Also, two Americans opened a Chinese restaurant in China and everything Chinese was alien to the Chinese: kung-pao chicken, Mongolian beef, and definitely Chow Mein, invented by a San Franciscan chef and of course the take-out Chinese boxes (which the Chinese saw in movies and thought it belonged to one Chinese restaurant) and, of course, fortune cookies, originally Japanese—borrowed from Japanese internment camps in America. So, yeah, today’s Al-Nahda is a Chef’s Special: it is going to be that kind of article: this is your chance to run away. Short version: I was wrong about the Arab Spring; if you are a dependent you will always complain about the size of the welfare check; I am pessimistic about the Eritrean Lowland League; and, the Exiled Opposition need to know our limitations.

I Was Wrong

I despised what Zine El Abidine Ben Ali (Tunisia), Moammer Gaddaffi (Libya), Ali Abdullah Saleh (Yemen), Bashar Assad (Syria) had done to their countries and I thought taking a gamble on a revolution is the right thing to do because whatever replaces them can’t possibly be worse. Clearly, I was wrong. It was a case of my idealism sneaking up on me.

Before I specify how and why I was wrong, I need to give credit to one Eritrean political leader who told me, at the time, that my assessment is wrong. What? No, it is not kbur President Isaias Afwerki. All he said at the time was that it was “creative chaos” (Fawda Kahalaqa, borrowing an Arabic phrase he heard from BBC Arabic) engineered by CIA/Langley and as to how it will turn out “we shall all wait and see,” which is Mystification 101 for “I have no idea.” No. The guy who called it right was an opposition leader who emailed me to say that while he has high hopes for Tunisia, because it is different, (by which he meant it is a literate society, with a fairly sized middle class and a long history of organized labor) he is not so optimistic about the rest. I will share his name (in the Forum) once he gives me the permission to do so.

To see how I was wrong, let’s take one example, Libya, not least because its leader, Muammer Kaddafi, used to infuriate me mostly because the three-letter media (ABC, BBC, CNN, CBC, NBC, FOX) told me to hate him. First, let’s take a look at its former colonizer, Italy; then let’s take a look at the state that pretty much runs the NATO alliance that tipped the war in favor of those who defeated it, the United States. The process of how Italy became a nation-state was long (40+ years) and arduous and organic. The process of how the United States of America became what it is now is even longer. Imagine if in the middle of their civil wars, the European Union or the United Nations had jumped in to “mediate” and threaten sanctions and issue resolutions promising to remain seized with the matter?

The problem with Libya, as is the case with nearly all African states, is there was no organic nation-state formation: they were declared by decrees. And, when they tried to deal with critical issues of governance, all sorts of assorted do-gooders will come in to fix things. Just yesterday, Ethiopia, which is clumsily trying to mediate the conflict between South Sudan warlords Silva Kiir and Riek Machar, decided to go over their heads and address the people of South Sudan. Reuters reported that it had seen a confidential report that the African Union may just fire the two leaders and run the country. Really.

In Libya, there are now two “governments”—one in Tripoli and one in Tobruk. The one in Tripoli is run by the Muslim Brotherhood of “Libya Dawn”, the one in Tobruk is the West’s favorite kind—its General has been called Libya’s answer to General Al-Sisi. They are essentially city states. In between are new emerging city-states—Derna, Sirte–some pledging allegiance to ISIS. The United States wants “moderates” from Tripoli and Tobruk to form a unity government. Egypt wants (but can’t get) UN permission to intervene directly in support of Tobruk and to destroy the Muslim Brotherhood in Tripoli (for its own domestic reasons.) And what Egypt wants, France supports because it just sold it billions worth of Rafael fighter aircraft which just has to be test-driven. But Turkey…

The guy who was in charge of the NATO bombing (the US ambassador to NATO, Ivo Daalder), was asked if, in retrospect, the intervention in Libya was wrong. “Unfortunately,” he replied, “the way Libya has evolved demonstrates that just because you give people the opportunity to decide their own future they don’t always decide in the right or best way — in the way that we would have wanted. So the situation in Libya has gone from bad to worse and is horrific in many dimensions. The future doesn’t look much brighter.”

So, I was wrong. There are no Omar Mukhtars in Libya now; no lions in the desert: just jackals and hyenas. It is possible to get something much worse than a brutal dictator: you can get multiples of brutal dictators all reporting to foreign interests.

And Therefore?

Reporters for Ethiopian opposition TV station, ESAT, went to Eritrea to interview President Isaias Afwerki where they found His Excellency supervising our renaissance dam (small r, small d.)  You can watch the English interview, if you are sadistic, (the Tigrinya-Amharic version is unwatchable.) But if you want the summary, it is the usual: Me Only, Me Too, Me Neither. Only I am capable of extraordinary things (“we never made a mistake.”) Whatever great things the world thinks it is doing, I am doing them too. Whatever quote unquote good things I am not doing, they are either not important (elections) or the world is not doing them, either (free press, Guantanamo.)  Me Only, Me Too, Me Neither.

Actually, since this is a Chef Special (you were warned!) let me digress a bit. A lot.

After ESAT (we will get back to them), the Organization of African Trade Union Unity (OATUU) descended on Eritrea last week, and this is what we learned from their interactive session with the president:

  1. Me Only: Eritrea is the only country whose head of state goes anywhere unescorted by intimidating bodyguards and lots of pomp and circumstances said one of the OATUU delegates.  Riiiiiight.
  1. Me Neither: “I’ve had a very controversial discussion with my colleagues [whom I haven’t arrested so far]”, said Isaias Afwerki, “…The Labor and Trade Union movement in the continent have been made irrelevant or non-existent….Do we have trade union movements in our societies? Do we have labor movements in our society? I don’t see that as a reality…[So, beliekin, setikhin, Aadikhin kidaley].”
  2. Me Too: “I share the strategic view of the Americans in the region. French forces in Djibouti have been a stabilizing factor, and U.S. troops will add to that. You need outside powers to keep order here. It sounds colonialist, but I am only being realistic.” Isaias Afwerki, interview with The Atlantic magazine on April 1, 2003. I just added that to remind those who want to bestow on him the Kwame Nkrumah, Patrice Lumumba, Amical Cabral Award for Pan-Africanism that he ain’t all that.

My favorite “Me Too” story of Isaias Afwerki comes in the form of an interview he had with Hwyet magazine in 1995. Back then, the buzz in industrial psychology was Total Quality Management (TQM): the US was feeling like it was going to be overtaken by Japan which was using TQM, developed by a US efficiency expert W. Edwards Demming, who was ignored by his countrymen and found a receptive ear in Japan.

By coincidence, I was working with an American car company to help its union learn total quality management. TQM is many things, and at its core is employee cross-training. In the interview, Isaias Afwerki says that this “fashion” called TQM “is something we had developed in Nakfa decades ago when we were assigning our people from military to civilian….” Again, TQM is many things—accountability being at its core, customer services being its end-game—but those don’t interest him.

Back to ESAT. They asked many very good questions (few of which were directly answered) but what really struck me because it is so familiar is one which, paraphrased, goes something like this:

“Many Ethiopian opposition leaders in Eritrea complain that Eritrea is not interested in nurturing groups who have nationalist interests; it favors groups organized along ethnicities. Some have even complained that it uses them as toys to pressure Ethiopia, to deny it peace of mind, but the Eritrean government really doesn’t want to see the downfall of the Weyane government…”

It is striking because many say the same of the Ethiopian government. So there are four possibilities: both Eritrean and Ethiopian opposition are right; both Eritrean and Ethiopian opposition are wrong; only Eritrean opposition is right; only Ethiopian opposition is right.

What was Isaias Afwerki’s answer? Whatever it is, it will appear in the next Somalia Eritrea Monitoring Group report so you know he was circumspect. But the point is this: an opposition group, based in the Diaspora, cannot make any impact unless it has direct connection with the home country. And using the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation (ATP), the Ethiopian government has arrested bloggers so what chance, realistically, do the Ethiopian opposition have to affect an outcome? They should take a page from Kinjit and go for the non-sensational, slow, gruesome evolution in their country because there is a formidable force—domestic and foreign—aligned against their revolution. This, despite the fact that they have to accept a constitution that was never negotiated, never discussed, but rushed through to consolidate TPLF’s choke-hold.

And therefore? How does this relate to Eritrean Politics? I will get back to that…if you don’t eat your meat, how can you have a pudding as the British philosopher-king Roger Waters once wrote.

Awareness and Action

I like my sociopolitical essays to come to me in boring, dispassionate treatise with footnotes longer than the content. That certainly is not the type of document presented by the Eritrean Lowland League (ELL.) Maybe that’s my fault: I didn’t read the original version, in Arabic, and maybe some things were lost in translation. But based on my reading so far, I think they are going to have a problem at the awareness stage and the action stage. But first, crash course of post-Italian Eritrean history (corrections are welcome.)

May 1941, shortly after British Military Administration took over Eritrea from defeated Italy, Eritreans formed “MaHber Fiqri Hager” (League of Love of Nation.) Later on, it dawns on the participants that they have completely different idea of what the nation is and how to express their love, and they splintered into Al Rabita al Islamiya (Muslim League, calling for independent Eritrean state) and Hebret/Andnet (calling for union with Ethiopia.) The split was largely (almost completely) on the basis of religion. A few years later, the Muslim League creates an independence bloc by forming alliance with progressive Christians (Independence Bloc). The Muslim League splits largely (ok, completely) on the basis of geography: Muslim League (Western lowland plus highland Eritrea) and Eastern Muslim League (Eastern Escarpment/Red Sea.) As the march towards either union or federated state becomes all but inevitable, a member of the Eastern lowland advocates for lowland federation with Sudan.

1951: Eritrea is federated. 1958, Mohammed Said Naud, a Western Lowlander, founds “Hareket TaHrir Eritrea” (Eritrean Liberation Movement) in Port Sudan. In the Eritrean highlands, its first organizers were Mohammed Berhan Hassen and Nuru Abdulhai (highlanders) where its official name was “Minkiskas Harnet Ertra” but was better known by the name the Ethiopian CID came up for it based on its cell-size: “Mahber Showate.” (Group of 7.) This was the first truly diverse Pan-Eritrean organization, calling on civil disobedience to overthrow the Ethiopian government.

1962: Ethiopia annexes Eritrea. 1961: the Eritrean Liberation Front is established calling on armed struggle as the means for achieving Eritrean independence. Almost all of the founders were Western Lowlanders and one of their first acts was to liquidate the Eritrean Liberation Movement which, sensing that its civil disobedience had been rendered moot following the annexation, had resorted to armed struggle. The next big fissure was the leadership of the ELF (then still mostly Western lowlanders) declaring a war of extermination against the mostly Eastern Lowland PLF (Romadan Mohammed Nur, Osman Saleh Sabbe.) By the time the ELF decided to have its first National Congress (1971), it had, at least programmatically, wholly embraced Marxism-Leninism and the “accepted” way of stratifying people vertically was by class (working class, peasant, bourgeoisie) and horizontally by language and gender.

In fact, on the surface, all the PLF (later EPLF) did is to embrace language as the only Halal way of stratifying people horizontally—the only two things it did is drop “speaker” as a suffix (instead of “Tigrinya-speaker” for example it opted for “Tigrinya”) and it dropped a group (“Elit”) and it added a group who were mysteriously missing from ELF’s approved groups: “Rashaida.”

I said on the surface. At the organizing level, what the ELF gave PLF-2 (later EPLF) was a gift that keeps on giving: if its ok to organize people on the language level, said the young author of Nehnan Elamanan (We & Our Principles), here’s what I will do:

a. I will tell them that the geographic organizations they inherited (Hamasen, Seraye, Akeleguzai) are just inventions of colonizers to divide us. Henceforth, we are “Tigrinya.”
b. Do not be guilted by anyone who tries to tell you that you are less of a nationalist than they are: you were part of ELM (pride), and “they” were part of the movement to separate Eritrea into Sudan just like our forefathers were part of the movement to hand over Eritrea to Ethiopia;
c. They are claiming they are Arabs; and you and I know we are not Arabs. Are you really going to take that?
d. You, demographically, outnumber them: please refer to the attached exhibit.
e. They have raided your cattle, abused your women, and slaughtered (not killed, but slaughtered with a knife, feel free to use any scary image you have in your head of the Mussulman) your brother while indulging themselves with multiple wives (wink wink.) Are you really going to just take that?

The reaction to this message by Isaias Afwerki was—complete revulsion by highlanders. Herui Tedla Bairu, then the de-facto leader of the ELF, proved it to me thusly: most highlanders continued to flock to the ELF after the publication of the Nehnan Elamanan Manifesto. Sure. But, here’s what Isaias Afwerki intuitively understood… something that we now know courtesy of communications experts.   Part of the reason I call Isaias Afwerki (and it infuriates my fellow opposition when I say that) a great communicator: he can communicate what Simon Sinek calls all levels of the golden circle: the what, the how, and most, most, most, most importantly the why. This, says Simon Sinek corresponds perfectly to our brains: the neocortex deals with the what (it is the rational and analytical), the limbic brain deals with the how and why (feelings, trust, loyalty. It is “responsible for all human behavior, all decision-making, and IT HAS NO CAPACITY FOR LANGUAGE.”)

All actions are preceded by awareness (conscious or subconscious.) My question is: how is the ELL going to create awareness? I am trying to visualize an organizer addressing a crowd: what language will he or she use? Arabic? Tigre? That in itself is a political statement–either choice will antagonize a segment of the Lowlander. Now, let’s assume it’s Tigre: is the person going to say, “H’na seb meta’Het…” to the Tigre/Blin/Bedawiyet/Afar speakers? Does that have an emotional appeal that can connect at the reptilian/limbic brain level of the audience more than, say, an appeal to religion? Does anyone say “H’na seb meta’Hit”? And if so, in contrast to whom? “htom, seb kebesa”? Will s/he say, “Hna Tigre…”? In contrast to htom, Tigrinya? Wait. According to Kjetil Tronvoll (“Mai Aini, A Highland Village in Eritrea”), Tigrinya means “language of the Tigre people. Tigr(e) is the speaker, while “inya” is the suffix.”  Moreover, the late Omar Jaber says that the Tigrinya and Tigre are so inter-mingled and inter-married that it is pointless to organize politics along those lines.

If one chooses a Marxist approach to organization–by class and lifestyle–isn’t the agrarian vs pastoral a legitimate argument, transcending geography? Shabait.com is full of articles of how Eritreans who gave up pastoral lifestyle for sedentary lifestyle have received better social services. Isn’t the pastoral-agrarian divide (a fine horizontal, class-based, Marx-sanctioned divide) something worth debating? Something that also happens to be verifiably true: that the PFDJ has no clue how to develop an economy based on pastoralism and it is predominantly biased towards agrarian society? The Africa Development Bank says (indirectly) that Eritrea’s literacy rate is driven down by the very low rates in Southern Red Sea whereas shabait.com tells us that in Debub Eritrea, literacy is now at 70%. Isn’t that data-driven information something that the ELL should base its arguments on?

And once you have the “awareness” (assuming you can get the Eastern Escarpment and Western Lowland people to think of themselves as One People) what is the “action”?

I ask all these questions because I think “diversity” is terrible when it comes to nation-building. Particularly given the EPLF’s infatuation with “mother-tongue language” which is impractical (For example: a Saho-speaker attends a Saho school and when his parents get transferred to Hagaz… the kid attends a Blin school? Riiiiiight.) The less the diversity, the easier it is to build a state. Singapore, Eritrea’s idol-state, just celebrated its 50th birthday; and it dealt with its “diversity”–which was basically three groups–very paternalistically and, in my view, correctly. So, if the ELL has a formula which lets us escape from the very unjust let’s-pretend-we-are-9-ethnic-groups-on-expo-days-but-at-the-state-level-actually-concede-there-is-only-Tigrinya, I am all for it. But so far, what they have is not a persuasive presentation: heavy on sentimentalism, light on data. It doesn’t even have something as basic as demographics.

The most exciting thing about ELL is that it brought back one of the most gifted, most exciting Eritrean writers, Ali Salim, by giving him something to write about (until he gets bored.). Now if only something could inspire the other insanely-gifted writer, Burhan Ali, to come back.

And what does that have to do with the subject I have been procrastinating on: the fight to bring about change in Eritea?

And Therefore, Part II

The job, the ONLY job, of the Exiled Eritrean Opposition is to present a forward-looking non-scary alternative to the Home Based Eritrean Opposition. By that test, Addis-based opposition fails and so does the Eritrean Lowland League. Wait, you should stop slapping your knees and laughing uproariously now and asking “WHAT home based Eritrean opposition”? Ok, are you finished? Let’s deal with this, my fellow exiled Eritrean.

Since 1991 and up until this week, there has been Home-Based Eritrean opposition. Some we hear about, some we don’t. Just this week, Eritrean youth (high school students) in Adi Keyh, spontaneously stood up to the Eritrean government, overrun police stations, which was sent to demolish old homes. Shots were fired. One died, two were injured. Maj General Philipos is headed there to give them all sorts of assurances that all is good. Then some flunkie from Wedi-Kassa’s office will go to pick up all “the leaders”, although there were none and it was completely spontaneous. But there are ALWAYS leaders: this kid was the captain of the neighborhood sock-football game: off with him!

In contrast, what have we done? Really now, I didn’t say, “what have YOU done?” I asked what have WE, the exiled opposition done? We did great at the AWARENESS stage (which is no small feat, so let’s take a bow.)  But at the ACTION stage? We re-arranged the decks. We created logos. We marched. We, umm, yeah, we created Facebook groups! We consolidated! We re-consolidated! We broke up! We re-re-re consolidated!

We mistook intent for results. A friend goes to Addis Abeba and meets with the Bayto people. “And?”, I ask. And, I saw their lifestyle, basically refugee lifestyle, and here I am coming from America…and I felt guilty and I said nothing.

Another friend calls. He is a “we have to do something now! Adi tTefei Ala!” friend that my friend Saleh Gadi Johar has called “the winter project” (But it is spring now, Abu Selah.) Usually, on the phone, I am a coward: I let people talk and talk and then I pretend I have an incoming call and I disappear. But not this time: I made him pretend he had another call he had to take and flee:

  1. The Assembly/Majlis/Bayto people are meeting in Addis next week, next month, next summer? Wish them luck but nothing will come out of it? Why? Because even in this age of globalization, you can’t change time zones: they will meet, they will make friends, and then everybody will go back to his exile of origin and realize that Skype-calling someone at 2:00 am is hard.
  2. The “hager tiTefie Ala, it is a state of emergency, we only have months to act!” hyperactivity actually forces you to make rash decisions. And we have made rash decisions on the basis of “hager tiTefie” ala for 12 years now. Calm the hell down.
  3. As an exiled Eritrean, the most you can do is create or join an organization, in your exiled town, that can be an example of a functioning civil society for the rest. Something that is so good, it inspires others to create chapters in their exiled homes. In the vicinity of Addis Abeba, Ethiopia, there are 100,000 Eritreans: if the Addis-based organization (Bayto, Alliance, whatever) cannot inspire a fraction of them to attend Eritrean social events, it is not a good example to follow.
  4. A good example in the US means an organization that can replace PFDJ’s “Organization of Eritrean Americans” and “Young People’s Front for Democracy and Justice.” If you can’t “own” the city, the state, the country you live in, you are not someone that the Eritrea-based opposition can look up and places their hope on as future leaders, as a government in waiting.

He asked, why aren’t you writing this in a compelling piece? Because I am not interested in leading it. And, so, ok,  I just wrote it as part of the Chef’s Special. Change will come from within Eritrea at the pace of Eritreans. If we, the exiled Eritrean opposition want to hasten it, we have to create functional organizations–laboratories–that demonstrated we can be trusted with Eritrea’s sovereignty, democracy, justice, diversity, yes, but also with finding practical ways to help our people by presenting alternatives to the tired policies of PFDJ.

Hope you enjoyed your Chef’s Special.  Here’s your check…and here’s your fortune cookie. I fully expect you now, Habesha style, to fight over paying the bill.

About Salyounis

Saleh Younis (SAAY) has been writing about Eritrea since 1994 when he published "Eritrean Exponent", a quarterly print journal. His writing has been published in several media outlets including Dehai, Eritrean Studies Review, Visafric, Asmarino and, of course, Awate where his column has appeared since the launch of the website in 2000. Focusing on political, economic, educational policies, he approaches his writing from the perspective of the individual citizens' civil liberties and how collectivist governments and overbearing organizations trample all over it in pursuit of their interests. SAAY is the president and CEO of a college with a focus in sound arts and video games and his writing often veers to music critique. He has an MBA from Golden Gate University and a BA from St Mary's College.

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  • dawit

    Dear Saay,
    Sorry to tell you this but I think you are stil wrong with your article “Chief Special”. I must say you put too much berbere and rancid Ethiopian butter, it smells for miles. I guess the Amharic saying “ኣዲስ ዎጥ ሰሪ ጅንጅብል ያበዛል”. Your excessive accusations of PIA and the classical political document for the ill of Eritrean civil war is based on personal hatred and not based on facts. You could also have given
    credit to the man for leading Eritreans through maze of the long Independence journey.

    Anyway my comment here is not about the article, but is to respond is to the
    Woyane gangs T.Kifle, Hayat Adem and Rhahwa who have successfully dominated AT,
    with blessing of the owners of this website. As I had indicated before in my
    comments, these individuals are here at AT not to discuss of Eritrean or
    Ethiopian issues, but for the sole purpose of creating rift between Ethiopian
    and Eritrean people. When they first arrive at AT they were mouth piece of YG, disseminating
    his trash articles to AT readers, which he used to write trashing and twisting
    EPLF and Eritrean people every other weeks. I don’t know where YG is if he is dead or
    alive, but it has been a while that we heard of him. I hope he has not joined
    his mentor Legese, Zenawi. These three individuals belong to the extreme wing
    of TPLF that harbor extreme hatred to words Eritreans and Ethiopian people, and
    they make sure the misunderstandings between the two people be resolved but instead
    work hard to widen every crack they see. I believe these must belong to the same group that started
    a border war “to break Eritreans’ backbone and teach them a lesson” because
    Eritrean referred to them “Agame”! The same group that aligned themselves with
    few Ethiopian extremists DERG remnants, which they used to refer to them ‘Neftegna’ ‘Fascist’
    their enemies, but now conspiring to deport Eritreans of Ethiopian origin and Ethiopians of Eritrean
    origin, for no other reason but to loot their businesses and properties. It is
    the same group who wanted to steal the heroic Eritrean people history of
    struggle for independence. It is also the same group who exploited the collateral
    damage of a mistake of air attack, bombing a school at Mekele in the middle of
    war between the two nations, which came about as a reaction of their bombing
    Asmara. These are people who have created a museum out of the tragedy to make
    it the number one tourist spot at Mekele. Can we imagined how many such museums
    could have been erected in Eritrea, for every school, church mosque in every
    village and town, cities bombed by Ethiopian Air force bombing Eritrea day and
    night for 30 years! It is amusing Melesetold Eritrean people not to scratch their wounds for the 30 years Ethiopian atrocities and yet he keep scratching a one day mistake for ever by building a monument and a museum to remind the coming generation to think of Eritreans as their
    mortal enemies.

    Today these same groups of haters have with brand new accusations
    of Eritrean people as responsible for 100,000 drought victims in Tigreans a
    calculated move to clean their dirty history to their own people. If there was a
    single Tigrean died because of famine in those days TPLF is responsible for that.
    It was documented in a book by Mr. Aregawi Berhe, who lead TPLF at the time, when
    TPLF sold the relief aid food and pocketed the money. Let us examine the twisted
    logic, you sale the food and you want to uproot your own people and transport
    them to foreign country to a refugee camp. Which one is economical,
    transporting 100 people to Sudan or transporting 200 quintals of food from
    Sudan and distributed to the victims in their own villages? Well it would have
    been logical to transport the food the victims, but if you sold the food and
    pocketed the money, there is nothing to transport from Sudan. So you chose to move the
    people to Sudan. Ok you don’t have the food to bring, but you wanted to
    transport the people and you have misunderstanding with EPLF, but why didn’t you
    transport them through Hmera? Was it Eritrean territory the only border with
    Sudan? Was it not Hmera, an Ethiopian territory? How was 100s of thousands of
    Ethiopian Flasha people ended up in Sudan to be airlifted to Israel? “ከኣንጅት ካለቀሱ እንባ ኣይገድም” ይባላል. If TPLF was realy concerned about their people then they could have found a way. Where there is a wiil
    there is a way. The truth TPLF leaders were not and still are not interested about Tigrai or Ethiopian people. They were after power and preparing how they could reach Menelik Palace using everyone, Eritreans, Tigrians, and Ethiopians to that end. They were fighting TLF, EPRP, ELF, EPLF to eliminate everyone and be the sole power in the region.

    The TPLF gang cannot absolve itself from its bloody hand by letting their own
    people die with hanger, creating a scapegoat by bringing the blameless Eritreans. I don’t think this
    new fiction of blaming EPLF will fly, because TPLF’s crime is documented and testified
    by your own former leader Dr. Aregawi Berhe, you need to settle your history with him before
    you drag Iasias to the drama.

    • Abraham Hanibal

      Selamat Dawit;

      I think you’ve a point when asking why the TPLF had chosen to transport tens of thousands of drought strikken, weak and sick people to the Sudan instead of bringing the food-aid to their villages. What was really the rationale of going for the more difficult option of moving the people through non-existent, unsafe, and enemey (Derg) controlled areas? Doesn’t it look like suicide for the TPLF to do so, because it meant that the organization was eventually losing its base and source of support? As many right-minded observers are claiming, these accusations are nothing but a desperate attempt of seeeking a scapegoat, by putting the blame on the EPLF, and creating a non-ending enmity between the peoples of Tigray and Eritrea.

      My fellow Eritreans, please let’s not be drawn into unnecessary, and meaningless debate initiated by some evil-forces of the TPLF and their mouthpieces, aimed to derail us from our main focus, which should be on how to solve our current myriad of tragedies at home.

  • Nitricc

    AT, i see this on my post stating Removed! is it a glitch on the system or i am being over the line. i know sometimes the system acts crazy but i just want make sure if i am out of the line with new policy.

    “Nitricc saay7 2 hours ago Removed

    SAAY you asked why this thing is discused now. Well, you not following me, then. If you pay attention, Hayat hajacks the forum to ever the TPLF thugs want the Eritreans to talk. When there is a good debate going on that is productve then she comes and talk about civil war in Eritrea, then the forum go all out about nothing. When that dies then it is about Ethiopia attacking Eritrea and to over throw the Eritrean government. Again the forum goes all out bout nothing. When that dies here you have it, the forum is t s lalking about nothing.
    The point is this forum is played by paied agent. If any of you have any doubt what i am saying then you must be your name is Semere Andom.
    When this topic of nothing dies; she will come with different topic that will take you to nowhere. It is up you to set the table and talk what matters to or just played by Hayat and her handlers. It is up to you.
    When i told you she is paid agent; i wasn’t joking. It is real deal.

    see more”

    • Nitricc

      well, AT i see where the thing is going. i thank you for laterally resining me since i was, say very, very minor and i can say it was educational and you made me a better person; very exciting. but if you can’t see your beloved Dedebit is on mission to destroy what Eritrea and Erineans stood for ; then there no better way to exit for me from this i called home for so long. i only will ask one more favor; i hope you let me address Mahmuday one lats time; just to give him his props and i will be out of your way. i will always will be grateful the way you took me under your wing and i am very grateful for that. i mean that from the bottom of my heart.
      for now; thanks.
      regards;
      Nitricc.

      • Nitricc

        ” You have to stop making allegations you cannot prove.”
        AT; I am trying to exit in graceful way; but let me ask you this; can you prove that she is what she said; Hayat Adem” do you see the point?

        • saay7

          Nitricc:

          Now you are acting like every “toothless” person who storms out of awate because he can’t stand the heat. Imagine if your hero, Mahmuday, was to do that in 1980s because he read some “memrHi” that to him made no sense? Are you going to let your website, awate.com, get Dedebitized? Take a break….but come back. Otherwise you will break Mahmuday’s heart. Plus, the NBA playoffs are coming and I still need to convince you that soccer AND basketball are real sports.

          saay

          • Semere Andom

            Hi Cousin: too easy
            The self crowned truth teller and passionate advocate for Eritrea need to just choose to grow up so I would like to add to yours by saying that, his mentors like Mahmuday if they “selimom”, what was their punishment? So if he wants to quit he must be banned (like shot for surrendering) Instead I want u to relay this to him for me;
            He must heed UN’s(AT’s) new rules and use that to prove everyone wrong, to prove Hayat wrong, to prove even me wrong by becoming the tough, smart and dedicated man that he claims he is
            Taking a break to detox is good idea, like you did and like I will do soon, but to storm because of AT’s new enforcing the rules makes him something I use to call him for a long time. He is in good company of Mahmud, Gheteb and Emma and stop crying just because AT decided to revoke his insulting spree.
            If awate.com is truly “adalized” it can never be “dedebtzed”
            He says he cares about this site and Eritrea and he is Eritrean, the emblem for this alliances (please do not breath deeply, this is difference alliance;-)), is to prove his detractors wrong by his civility, by his elevated debate even when he feels he is insulted, let his detractors get the warning, get banned, that is the challenge

      • Mahmud Saleh

        Dearest nitrikay,
        I’m back to express my appreciation for the graceful way you addressed the AT and the acknowledgement you accorded them. The next thing you need to do is to keep expressing your views while observing the rules. The rules are for everyone nitrikay. The worst thing you could do is raising the white flag; no you can’t do that. Remember the honor, man. You can’t just walk away. That means you’re losing the fight. No, you can’t just run away. You stand your ground.As long as you stick to the rules the rest is up to you. No one has the right to dictate things on you. I expect you to do the honorable thing. I never read a gist that would indicate that you could just call it a quit like that; i have come to believe that running away is not in your spirit. Today’s comment was very interesting and well developed. Keep fighting for the honor of your people and for justice. You can do both while respecting the rules. You are not alone; you have awatistas who are going to watch that others also abide by the same rules.
        With respect.
        Mahmuday.

        • sara

          where to nitrikay? stay in your trench ! is what mahmoud telling you. listen to his call and keep fighting .

      • dawit

        Dear Nitricc,
        I understand what you are feeling. Think about it, it is still always the same. One Eritrean fighting against 18 Ethiopians and one Eritrean stooge, with help of UN. You did great job defending your country here at AT. Now AT is acting like UN siding with Dedebit clowns by Sanctioning Nitricc the Great! You are the Mohamed Ali of the political boxing Champion of AT forum “flying like butterfly and stinging like bee”!.
        Cheer up Champ!

        • Semere Andom

          Zeben wube ztsememb….. goes a saying in your other country. Encouraging hooliganism instead of responsibility, typical PFDJ. First, in Eritrea, which is my first and only country and your second and secondary country we respect our hosts, so instead of encouraging Nitricc while is slowing showing signs of respect, if he is able to replicate it enough times that is, you come in and encourage him to be an outlaw and punk, instead of trying to awake the humanity in him like a few are trying to do so here.
          One an solicited advice enjoy the Saw trips before they are over

          • dawit

            It is for not for Nitricc to disprove that statement “”… this forum is played by paied agent.”. There are hundreds of allegations made by AT and others in this forum, including the latest one “Eritreans responsible for death of 100s thousands Ethiopian famine victims of 1980s. AT swallowed it as fact and moved on. I have read an allegation that claims AT and many Eritreans and Ethiopian web sites financed by CIA. It is AT to prove such allegations are wrong. AT has never addressed the issue and cannot blame others for repeating the allegations. Nitricc always told the truth, but the truth is bitter and that is why the Dedebits and their stooges gang up to silence him. Sawa was there yesterday, it is there today and will be there tomorrow, because that is where Eritrean heroes are forged. PFDJ is always for discipline and not for hooliganism. Enjoy your romance with TPLF because that could end as early as May 2015!

          • Semere Andom

            Yea, there is possibility that TPLF would end in 2015, but the odds of that happening are low and the desperation from PFDJ pinning their hope and survival on the end of TPLF and Ethiopia is telling. You have no fresh ideas. If you want to end TPLF send your teenage kids to fight to make that happen.
            As to Nitricc the truth is also telling about you, prone to lies , deception and accusing people of being CIA agent based your allegation the on the siren voices that whisper to you as the end of PFDJ looms every year and the shudder you feel being left in the cold.
            As to my romance with TPLF, let me repeat that Eritreans are romancing TPLF/Woyane by breaking up with PFDJ, what you get to say about that, they are betting that TPLF will be more romantic than PFDJ, are they CIA agens, all those Eritreans in TPLF liberated land crossing the Eritrean unliberated land

          • dawit

            Sem, I never referred you CIA agent, that allegation is a lie in your part, because I know CIA is a smart organization and will only hire smart people. You only repeat what others told you to say. “IA dictator, EPLF murderers Sawa raping camp, Eritrean killed 100,000s Ethiopians, etc.” The only talent you have fabricating and insulting Eritrean who love their country. ,

          • Semere Andom

            You consider lover of your country? then Eritrea is doomed. Your head is still swollen from the heights when you thought you discovered the “znegese ngussna…” For people to love their country they have to love themselves first so you cannot qualify. You accused AT as CIA agents, you accused all Eritrean prisoners as such, I admire you for one thing though for looking people in the eye when lying

      • Peace!

        Hi Nitric,

        I feel you man! The forum has become a hotbed for TPLFgangs and bunch of sellouts. DEPRESSING!!!

        Regards

  • haile zeru

    I do not have any hard/soft facts about this issue. But From this whole discussion I have reached the following conclusion. I rather say value judgement.

    1) while I said, I am sorry, for this human catastrophe, No body can deny that it happened under the leadership and guardianship of TPLF and DERG leaders. Therefore TPLF should shoulder, as any respectable leadership would do, their primary failure and assume all responsibility of what happened to the people in the areas of their control .

    a) by not being able to look ahead to the looming catastrophe and prepare for it. No need of expertise here, any farmer would be able to foresee it.

    b) By antagonizing everybody around them and creating enemies all around. This last point is specifically is the making of TPLF leadership.

    Then in the process they might cite the DERG aggression which is true. Derg’s reaction was really heavy handed in those years. All the world saw the hoarding of people in air-planes and locating them south. Not to mention the human misery seen on the world televisions. I mean one need not be there to see how bad it was.

    2) As for EPLF leadership we know they are ruthless, and the worst a human nature can be. I would be glad also if they had done something that all of us would be proud of. But assigning them the blame for this catastrophe is rather an over reach. Humera , Tekeze routes are much closer to Sudan than trecking all the way North of Tessenei.

    • Rahwa T

      Hi Haile Zeru,

      I have no idea which area was under the control of EPLF during the 1984. But TPLF documentaries tells us that Himora was failed under the control of TPLF in the late 80s. So your statement # 2 is not true. Given the overall situation, one can conclude that taking the famine stricken people through an area where road transportation is non-existent could not be as simple as you want tell us.

      Have you read the following excerpts from the New York Times report given by Mahmud? Read it here and tell us how you understand the response from Ambassador Semere Russom.

      “…The main road that runs from Kassala in the Sudan east to
      Barentu and then south to Tigre has been closed by the Eritrean rebel group even though this had been the main route for supplying famine aid to
      rebel-controlled areas of Tigre.

      Spokesmen for the Khartoum-based Relief Association of
      Tigre say the closing of the road is causing added hardship in their region.

      Mr. Semere declined to explain the reasons for the
      Eritrean rebel action. ”We feel this is not an important issue now,” he said.
      ”They have other routes.”

      Western
      diplomats and relief workers familiar with both groups say they are involved in
      an ideological and political dispute. Both groups are leftist.”

      Here is the link;
      http://www.nytimes.com/1985/07/15/world/ethiopia-rebels-say-they-captured-northern-city.html

      • Haile Zeru

        You said:
        “I have no idea which area was under the control of EPLF during the 1984.”
        I was faraway from Eritrea at that time but I was following the events keenly from afar.
        Please read Mahmuday account of those years. That victory of Barentu of that time was short lived and a devastating defeat (for EPLF forces) followed it. In fact all the argument that EPLF at that time could have managed to secure save passage to an exodus of that magnitude is unthinkable. The Ethiopian army was in total control of the skies and it was striking at will all over Eritrea. And that is why this argument of blame from TPLF is very difficult to convince anybody who has a clue about the reality in Eritrea at that time.
        In fact none of the arguments you made absolve the leadership of TPLF for failing to manage the catastrophe and the Ethiopian army and leaders for shear cruelty.
        I think I said enough on this argument. It so sad to remember it.
        The only good lesson that could come out of this is to avoid repeating it on any people in the world. But given the reality of that region it hard to say lessons were learned.

        • Rahwa T

          Good point,
          Let’s leave it for history. Thanks

  • Semere Andom

    Oh Gonbel. I am in record in this website of saying how EPLF treated the POW not only appropriately, but humanely. But do not smirk now, I do not say that as a compliment though. It is true they did treat them humanely they cared about their mental state so much that they allowed them to create a musical band to entertain, some of them developed skills and after independence the leaders were allowed to stay in nice hotels in Asmara according to Co. Tsegu until they were sent off and one of them came back to bomb Eritrea again. That is fact, I cannot deny because I saw the POW in action. Lucky them. These may impress international obeservers and PFDJ supporters, but we know better, so not going there, it is as stupid defence as bragging about killing of the mosquitoes
    EPLF/PFDJ is capable of deciding in the blockade to punish TPLF. I believe that with every fier in my body. But I cannot say they actually did it, it is, I have no proof
    Also , I believe that they bombed the schcool deliberately, but they were not found guilty of it, not guilty and innocent are two different things. we debated this before right here.
    EPLF was made up with criminals and genuine freedom fighters, but the criminals gags were in charge and they are still, they were calling the shots, so are they now. This is not to take the good work done by people like Mahmuday and many others, but they were powerless, they let the anchiwa for the sake of the megego and the anchiwa is still doing its nasty things.

  • Semere Andom

    Gonbel:
    Where did I say that?
    I told you how TPLF, to get back at EPLF undermined our armed struggle and yet that was good to some families because of what I called the corrupted, unfair and shortshghted EPLF conscription that favoured the connected and the beautiful. I am not sure about the EPLF blockade of the starved, but I am also sure that EPLF is capable of it the same way I believe that it(PFDJ) deliberately bombed the schools during the last war. But when it comes to this, I have no recollection of any discussion about and I have no reason to doubt Mahmud, but I also know that he is biased, but I do not believe mahmud is lying, he is telling us his virsion
    I did not tell my story here, I told you the story of the TPLF and EPLF and how they did things to get back at each other and in the process the people were the victims But to the point of TPLF helping some Eritrean families to escape EPLF, the unfari, corrupted and that visionless attempt to make some families extinct was good, TPLF of course did not do it for that reason, but I like it. I am not going to paint EPLF in good light because they are “Eritrean” front.
    Your turn?

  • Kokhob Selam

    Nitricc Nebsi, as you have noted I didn’t say much about the topic. 1st I didn’t experience it and I know that was just tactical relation (not principal) 2nd part of it is over I believe and that is the TPLF side as they have accepted to unite with their people and have one central government. but what do you think if we talk about today. PFDJ is the worst part of EPLF although EPLF was not good party . they always want the world to be in mess and they want to control it.” if not let it burn” is their principle —I think you know that. before you become toothless opposition, you haven been wishing bad to Ethiopia. you use to be happy when the university or industry burns as if this will benefit Eritrea. now that you have admitted PFDJ should be removed I think you have changed your behavior.

    but tell me what do you think of this http://www.tigraionline.com/articles/pfdj-grand-plan.html

  • Fanti Ghana

    Hello Everyone,

    A lot has been said about the alleged blockade and the famine scandal in the past few days, and I hope it ends soon.
    There is really nothing to be gained from it. There will be plenty of time for self-assessment and self-criticism later.
    In many of our discussions many of us sometimes forget that there is also the human factor, and we expect only an “evil intent” of an action when we could have equally expected “poor judgment” instead. These two topics are a good example of that short coming. There doesn’t need to have been a deep rooted evil intention for some action to have taken place, especially, about events that took place during trying times in which an entire existence of nations was in the balance. Our Ancestors did not invent “siHtan MeAlti” for no reason.
    As it is possible that someone in the EPLF hierarchy to have overlooked the consequence of the blockade, it is equally possible that someone in the TPLF hierarchy may have had to decide between buying grain and saving thousands then verses buying guns and saving millions later. In either case poor judgment, lack of information, or ill preparation could have played the most role.

    I understand that we are curiosity driven beings, and occasionally we get pulled into topics we didn’t plan to discuss, but given our current situation topics such as these don’t seem to benefit anyone at this time.

    Selam.

    • Kokhob Selam

      Yep, so better talk about the real today’s situation. the past can’t justify what stand to take today. we were not created to live always in trouble, God want us to live in peace and harmony. the way out is to forgive and move on. but in fact we should not forget the lessons from the past and we should not repeat them.

  • ‘Gheteb

    Hi Nitricc,
    The whole issue of the “EPLF did not allow the Tigrayan famine victims to pass through Eritrea en route to Sudan” is an utter NONSENSE with absolutely no facts or documents to prove it. So far, what the Weyanes alleged is an allegation with no evidence. Even the 1985 TPLF Central Committee Statement did not mention that the “EPLF refused the passage of the Tigrayan famine victims through Eritrea to the Sudan”. No, it didn’t. So why this issue is being harped on by Person XY? The answer is simple. It is to guilt trip Eritreans and by extension to paint the EPLF as inhumane organization. What makes this doubly suspicious is the fact that those who stole the money for famine aid are not even mentioned and not examined or accused by Person XY. The question is why? Well, it is pretty obvious that Person XY wants to shift blame and accuse the EPLF instead of accusing those who stole the aid money in the first place. Do I find this surprising? No, as the writing in the wall is pretty clear about what motivates Person XY to blame Eritrea and the EPLF about everything and absolve the TPLF and Ethiopia on the other hand from the most heinous crimes. I have said before and I will say it again. Person XY is an unreconstructed TPLFite- cum-Abessinian fundamentalist. And, I will say that a million times!

    • Nitricc

      Gheteb, what is even more amazing is that no one in TPLF came up with numbers. This disgraced Dedebit came up with nice cozy and rounded number 100K. I asked here where she got the number and she went silent. Just like her half Dedebit brother; ask them a question they never answer it they go silent or attack you. All this drama is created once more to blame Eritrea. I do believe it never happened. If it did; there are hundreds who are former Tegadelti, who hates Shaebia and none of came out to confirm it. TPLF has to come up with its own fabrication to blame Eritreans. If they can bomb themselves on their capital city to get aid from terrorism fund; what else can be a surprise? TPLF don’t even know the names and numbers of their own fighters; this disgraced is coming up 100K .
      As far as XY; she nothing but disgraced paid agent! Don’t laugh here what she said
      “Make no mistake, TPLF/EPRDF is one of the few political parties in the region I consider to be consistent and principled on issues that matter most.”
      When a person mentions “TPLF and principle” in one sentence; you must know; it got to be like a Tigryan man dating a Muslim woman back in the 80S. go figure!

      • Rahwa T

        She was silent because you are worthless man to engage with. Sometimes, you have to understands things that way when your questions are ignored. She is too big to chat with you.

    • Rahwa T

      Hi Gheteb,

      I am one of the people who believe that discussion on this topic should come to an end as it is pointless to discuss here. But your statement “..Even the 1985 TPLF Central Committee Statement did not mention that the “EPLF refused the passage of the Tigrayan famine victims through Eritrea to the Sudan.” cached my eyes. Though I feel that you are stubborn, arrogant and sometimes ruthless man, and you don’t give a damn for whatever comment opposing your stand, I want to show you the paragraph where TPLF oppose the blockage. On page 3,
      paragraph 3 of the article given by Biniam it says

      “….At a time when the Tigrayan people were going through great suffering due to a terrible famine and the whole world were engaged in an exemplary effort to combat this problem, the EPLF, the organization that the Tigrayan masses considered as one of their co-combatants in the struggle for justice blocked the life-line of the famine victims and committed an unpardonable act which would have come as a surprise even from our enemies much less our friends. It was after this development that the EPLF announced that it had decided to severe all contact between
      and the TPLF.”

      • ‘Gheteb

        Hi Rahwa T,
        I don’t think you have followed what I have written regarding the TPLF Central Committee statement of 1985. Just scroll down this page and you will find it under the title ” The TPLF Says Unpardonable Act; The TPLF Allies With The ‘perpetrator’ Of The Unpardonable Act”. Mind you, I am the first one to bring the TPLF Central Committee Statement to make my points. Please, double check and read the post. I am sure you will see my points. If not, I will explain further. Now, here are a few things I want you to understand and explain to me:
        1) I didn’t bring the issue of the 1984/85 famine in Tigray. The person who brought it up is your friend, Person XY. Can you tell your friend to stop discussing this topic? Can you?
        2) Why are you saying that I am “arrogant”, “stubborn” and “ruthless”? Yes, what makes you say all these things about me? What did I do?
        3) Isn’t it enough that your friend Person XY has called me that I am a “hater” a “racist” of Tigray people, I “mock the Tigray slang”. This after this person said that I will beaten until my nose bleeds with bruises all over my body. This is adding insults to injuries.
        4) What do you and your friend expect me to say. Both of you are from Tigray and I am from Eritrea. I don’t expect you to care more about Eritrea than Tigray. Can you just apply the same thing when it comes to me and accept the fact that I care more about Eritrea than I care about Tigray?

  • Hayat Adem

    This issue was not about what EPLF did to TPLF and vice versa. It is about what EPLF did to needy Tigreans in the 100ks. Feel it, inhumanly insensitive boy.

  • Hayat Adem

    Position views on the 1984/85 famine vis-à-vis TPLF/EPLF:
    I was waiting for Mahmuday hoping to get his last laugh as a follow-up and response to T. Kifle’s account of the matter. But he appeared to have shifted his commitments to other treads. I thank T. Kifle, Mahmuday and all others who contributed to the discussion. So, in way of concluding the discussion on the aforementioned item, I want to advance the following working theories with regard to the 1984/85 famine vis-à-vis
    TPLF/EPLF.
    1) TPLF was denied access to transport or transfer the famished people in TPLF controlled Tigray to Sudan via the EPLF liberated and controlled Eritrean territory, and people had died as a consequence.
    2)There is no connection what so ever between what the decisions and acts of EPLF then and the wish and interest of the Eritrean people at all. Good or bad, EPLF alone is responsible for the decision of the blockage of the passage.
    3) It is very hard to justify EPLF’s decision on matters of policy considerations because policies are usually communicated and known to parties that are affected by it and there was none that is known and communicated by EPLF to its own members or/and TPLF.
    4) TPLF was ill prepared in addressing and handling the crisis and that might have exacerbated the problem and the death toll of the drought victims in TPLF controlled areas and on the lengthy and delayed travel route to Sudan..
    Hayat

    • Haile zeru

      Hayat,
      T.Kifle said sometime earlier that TPLF attacked Jebha inside Eritrea, because that was still Ethiopian territory. And you applauded him. How come they (TPLF) asked permission (visa) from Shaabia to let people cross to Sudan thru Eritra? Wasn’t that territory still Ethiopian at that time? How come? Were all the people civilians or were escorted by armed TPLF soldiers? Was EPLF asked (or had to) to station battalions to guard those corridors against Ethiopian army incursions?
      Why we Eritreans take the blame for what EPLF did? especially with regard to TPLF. They messed up everything without the Eritrean people consent. Remember we never elected EPLF leaders now and then. By the same logic(??) the Amhara also should be blamed for the crimes of the DERG.
      Even now in your summary you are putting the bigger share of blame on EPLF. I do not have any sympathy for the leaders of EPLF they were/are morally and ethically corrupt. They would do something like that without any hesitation if it service their purpose. But TPLF’s assertions are completely inconsistent.
      It is obvious they were/are playing some propaganda game that no one in his right mind can buy. They allied with EPLF before that event to do untold damage to the Eritreans and they worked together after. Only when it is convenient they (TPLF) play the blame card to justify some of their own crimes. In the mean time creating untold and unnecessary hatred between the people.

      • Hayat Adem

        Dearest Haile Z.,

        1) “T.Kifle said sometime earlier that TPLF attacked Jebha inside Eritrea, because that was still Ethiopian territory. And you applauded him.”
        No, I didn’t applaud T. Kifle on issues related to TPLF vs ELF. I never said a word about it. But I followed that discussion and read T. Kifle’s explanation of self-defense and hot-pursuit push. If you ask me for my opinion on the issue now, my view will depend on whether it was in self-defense or not. If it was, it might be justified. if it was not, it can’t be justified. I don’t know enough to call it either ways so it will be a future work for me to collect and pile up those facts and testimonies to arrive at my own conclusion. But if you can help me establish that TPLF’s action had nothing to do with self-defense, then I’ll not hesitate to condemn TPLF’s decision and action against ELF. If T. Kifle or anyone interested could help me establish the fact that what TPLF did was purely in self-defense, I’ll not hesitate to take it as a justified shot.

        2) “How come they (TPLF) asked permission (visa) from Shaabia to let people cross to Sudan thru Eritra? Wasn’t that territory still Ethiopian at that time? How come?”
        EPLF was a potent force readily protecting and defending its liberated territory even from the Derg let alone form other junior forces such as the TPLF. Permission to pass through those EPLF controlled territory was a must unless you meant TPLF should have decided to fight their path-way through. So, I didn’t understand your point here. Could the TPLF simply ventured into the EPLF territory with long lines of thousands of starving people without securing a permission from the EPLF? Is that what you are saying?

        3) “Were all the people civilians or were escorted by armed TPLF soldiers? Was EPLF asked (or had to) to station battalions to guard those corridors against Ethiopian army incursions?”
        T. Kifle said that the escorting and other protocol facilities could have been discussed and sorted by the two forces and there would have no problem. The main thing here is the EPLF’s rejection for unexplained reason.

        4) “Why we Eritreans take the blame for what EPLF did? especially with regard to TPLF. They messed up everything without the Eritrean people consent. Remember we never elected EPLF leaders now and then. By the same logic(??) the Amhara also should be blamed for the crimes of the DERG.”
        You have a good point here. Eritreans should NOT be blamed for any of the EPLF’s actions, nor should be the Amharas or Ethiopians for the Derg’s actions. I 100% conquer with you on this matter.

        5) “Even now in your summary you are putting the bigger share of blame on EPLF. I do not have any sympathy for the leaders of EPLF they were/are morally and ethically corrupt. They would do something like that without any hesitation if it service their purpose.”
        There are three sentences in the quote. If you could say the last two sentences, I don’t know how we could disagree on blaming EPLF for that particular fatefully historic decision of blockade on needy people. Look, these are farmers (men, women, kids) from next door Tigray, not from Mars. If there is the closest people to Eritreans other thn the Eritreans themselves, it is the Tigreans. If we could, we had to send humanitarian aid to them in times of their need such as during 1985. if we could we should allow them to be sheltered with the Eritreans inside Eritrea there and let them pass the bad season and return home when it passed. Those are the kind of solidarity you should show especially in times of humanitarian calls. Those are the people Baria had dedicated a song called netSela mendeQ. You should go out of your way to help such people on bad times. Blocking them from passing to a third country is the last thing that comes to mind. People’s civilized and sophisticated human values shine during such moments. Even if you don’t do them calculating rewards, they produce rewards of humanity over a long time. When you act mean on such situations, it haunts you later and no amount of excuses or reconstructed realities will save you from the shame.

        6) “But TPLF’s assertions are completely inconsistent.”

        Yes, I fully agree. I’m totally surprised by their inconsistent behavior with regard to this point in particular.

        Thanks,
        Hayat

        • Rahwa T

          Dear Hayat,
          I can’t see the inconsistency. Please show me how it is inconsistent.

          • Hayat Adem

            Dear Rahwa,
            I’ll make sure I address that later as I’m now under time crunch.
            Hayat

          • Hayat Adem

            Dearest Rahwa,
            Make no mistake, TPLF/EPRDF is one of the few political parties in the region I consider to be consistent and principled on issues that matter most. I want to be honest with you- on this one very uncharacteristically, TPLF has been inconsistent in my opinion, and let me explain why I thought so.
            From the link Beniam posted for us, we now know TPLF officially registered its disapproval of the matter with the EPLFt. But when relationships improved with EPLF, it didn’t make it a talking point. It didn’t even ask official explanation except that we understood from T. Kifle’s feeds that it kept it alive withinits own circle and TPLF cadre schools were running it as a discussion point. After Derg was removed, this remained an issue that either got a closure and settled or left open to historians to give it a sensible perspective. While it was there, 1998 came and it was picked as a propaganda lubrication again on scoring points to show the cruelty of EPLF. My understanding is that many Ethiopians heard later about it and added it to their grievances and perceptions about EPLF, some erroneously extending it to shame the Eritrean people as if it was part of the decision. TPLF is known for criticizing EPLF openly, consistently and without reservation on issues that were even less relevant, like on whether USSR must be characterized as progressive or reactionary. Here is my point- if TPLF formally asked EPLF for a passage of 100ks of people to save them from famine borne perishment (I believe, they did); if TPLF had to delay the journey for 3 months to clear an alternative way (I believe it had, and imagine how long that is for starving people); and if as a result people died in thousands (I believe they did); if I were TPLF I would always pick it as a point of talk of relationships and cooperation with the responsible party, EPLF. That is what I would think reflective of consistency. But did you feel that in 1991-1998? . But, I’m sure you are made hear it afterwards one way or another, right? That is what I’m calling inconsistency.
            cheers,
            Hayat

          • Rahwa T

            Dear Hayat,

            I fully agree with what you said. You just explained nicely what I was feeling for many years but failed to put it the way you said it. In my opinion there are many hidden or unexplained questions on the relationship of the two ‘sister’ organizations. As far as I remembered the top party leaders has never said about the denial of route so far by the top leadership other than the document presented by Biniam. Only recently, Abay Tsehaye (of course Abay Wl) has briefed mentioned in his interview with Radio WegaHta. In the 90’s maybe they might have purposely avoided it (tried to “forget”) for many reasons. So you are very correct that their inconsistency, but maybe that is
            how politics goes, although we have the desire to know everything. I think it would not have been a big topic had the EPLF avoided the mentality of being “giant” in everything.

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam Hayat Adem,
            .
            I thank you for aiming the flash light on the topic. There were a lot of loose ends tended. Your pointed questions to T. Kilfle and others was great. I for one have a little better picture of it than before.
            .
            Thanks again,
            .
            K.H

          • T. Kifle

            Dear Hayat and Rahwa and Fanti Gana

            Hayat

            I am appreciative of all you have done in this forum for brining this sensitive issue to limelight and and chanced to observe who is who when it comes the plight of the common people. I can see the rattles of few guys in their discomfort in telling the past the way it was. On the topic: I believe TPLF has been consistent in this matter. There were two alternatives at the time (1) fight EPLF 2) level due criticism, put it on record and move on. It opted for the second. (1) complicates the problem even further by worsening the humanitarian condition in the short term and prolonging the life of the Mengistu gov. as a long haul consequence. Of course expecting that they would pick the issue as a priority following the immediate seizure of power is another matter. We all know they didn’t. For Ethiopians what happened in 1991 was even worst. More than 100K people were displaced following EPLF’s all out victory. The government kept its grievances to itself and tried rationalize that it didn’t have the power to influence policies of the EPLF government in Asmara. It wanted badly that good relationships prevailed, the port services continued undisrupted because they thought the country is bigger than those 100K hapless people and many Ethiopians were apprehensive for their country was “beheaded” and they were not sure if they could survive another day without the head in place. So pragmatism decided the direction of the winds of the time. Governments choose their parlance based on the goals they look forward to achieve and dwelling in the past is the least in their priorities. But when the so-called partner is no more a partner but turned to a bitter enemy, they will have to do the explanation. But to be frank with you the anger of the Tigreans towards EPLF couldn’t be any worse than it already was. Tigreans knew 1984. They knew 1991. They also knew 1998. And they knew how Zalambessa was bulldozed into ashes by a deliberate engineering endeavour. So EPLF was consistent in its despicable actions towards people. It attained the hands on perfection on its own people and tried to export some of it and Ethiopia happened to be one of the potential markets. therefore, after 1991, it’s the government that determines the relationship with any other country. TPLF cannot go solo on external issues but keep abreast its cadres and mass base with the prevailing political situation.

            Rahwa and Fanti Gana

            Rahwa I agree your first take on Fanti Gana’s take(and disagreed of course on your second thought following his reply to you) that he seems to me showing symptoms of arrogance when he tried to invoke the moral purity while discussing the matter. He is the opinion that something thus far unexplained might have contributed to the problem more than EPLF’s blockade. He further slipped into the convenient territory of the mixing up of EPLF and Eritreans for the sake of argument. As I far as I know, no TPLFite nor participant in this forum attributed the problem in connection with the Eritrean people. This is crystal clear. If someone is worried about the future relationships of the two sides it’s incumbent upon them that they don’t rub salt our wounds. He might not even aware the activism of some people in Tigray the commemorate to victims of the famine and even voices concerning this issue are ever growing and that the discussions that might be picked for the discourse obviously wouldn’t end in the borders. As far as your assertion “they don’t talk about it”, obviously there must be a reason to talk about it. But whenever they have to discuss the milestones and the existential challenges confronted the struggle, they cannot pass it by glossing over it because it’s too big to be neglected.

        • haile zeru

          I am sorry, truly sorry for the people that perished during that time. But this game of blame between EPLF and TPLF leaders serves nothing good. These are points that they put aside when they have someone else to kill and they use them when they turn against each other.

          Now back to your points:

          HZ said: 1) “T.Kifle said sometime earlier that TPLF attacked Jebha inside Eritrea, because that was still Ethiopian territory. And you applauded him.”

          Hayat response: “No, I didn’t applaud T. Kifle on issues related to TPLF vs ELF. I never said a word about it.”

          I think you applauded T. Kifle for the expeditions of TPLF in Eritrea. Search and read your posts again. I do not have the time and/or the interest to fish it in all the posts but i remember it.

          HZ said: 5) “Even now in your summary you are putting the bigger share of blame on EPLF. I do not have any sympathy for the leaders of EPLF they were/are morally and ethically corrupt. They would do something like that without any hesitation if it service their purpose.”

          Hayat response: “There are three sentences in the quote. If you could say the last two sentences, I don’t know how we could disagree on blaming EPLF for that particular fatefully historic decision of blockade on needy people.”

          HZ: Generally, when I do not have enough facts, I can say this thing (this act) is morally so reprehensible, so abhorrent that Mr. X cannot commit it. I have some value judgement based on the behaviour and history of person/organization. I cannot say that about EPLF leaders and especially IA, I have yet to see the evil limit of this man’s character.

          But in this particular case you have to prove to some degree to assign the blame. This is a specific event, that happened in specific place and time. You cannot brash it over to one side or the other at whim. Even a guilt person has the right to fair defence/trial even at the thought level.

          TPLF leaders should shoulder some of the blame. They should come forward and say we did this.. …this… mistakes, especially in this case. You cannot paint yourself as some sort of saint and demonize everybody else. Do you see a pattern here, EPLF leaders do the same thing. In the past 40 years of the existence of the organization they have yet(!!!) to say what they did wrong. Doesn’t that ring a bell when it comes to TPLF?

          • Hayat Adem

            Dear Haile Z,
            I truly thank you for stating your sympathetic feeling of sorry for the victims. This may seem simple but it has a profound positive impact and it mostly costs nothing, only a good heart and far sightedness. I have no problem more or less agreeing with you on nearly all things you said.
            But on this: [HZ said: 1) “T.Kifle said sometime earlier that TPLF attacked Jebha inside Eritrea, because that was still Ethiopian territory. And you applauded him.”
            Hayat response: “No, I didn’t applaud T. Kifle on issues related to TPLF vs ELF. I never said a word about it.”I think you applauded T. Kifle for the expeditions of TPLF in Eritrea. Search and read your posts again. I do not have the time and/or the interest to fish it in all the posts but i remember it.]
            That is very crude, very careless and very lazy. This is very unbecoming of you. Allow me to say few things about myself please- All the things I may admit of saying them or not saying them is not from remembering everything i said in the past or revisiting my past comments. It is from knowing my views and positions about issues. I would like to think of myself as a very principled and consistent human being. My ideas and comments come from my general positions and I don’t customize them per every issue hat so ever. When I tell you i didn’t say that, what i’m saying is under normal circumstances I would never say that. It is not that I don’t make mistakes but my mistakes must be at least explainable and with a general sense of direction and mostly because of unknown and uncontrolled factors at the time. I never contradict myself knowingly and for any short gain. If I tell you that I never said it, you should just take it or otherwise the only way you could contradict me is if you could only prove it on either bringing a material evidence which is easier or by establishing circumstantial patterns (yours as unmistakable observer and mine as a person in a predictable habit of self-denying). How dare do you ask me to search my comments in search of finding something that proves my self-contradiction? If you don’t have it, leave it there. Or apologize if you are a responsible and honest man. But tasking me to look for my comments to prove that your accusation is right is mind-boggling. It says a lot about you…I cant be more agitated and angered to the extent such things can make you one!
            hayat.

          • Haile Zeru

            After all, it is not that difficult fishing things in DISQUS. Here you have it.

            Is that applauding or not?


            Hayat Adem saay7 • a year ago

            Selam Sal,
            we’re missing you and I know why as I was reading your spicy note above.

            1) I found T. Kifle to be a very cool and very collected guy. He is well attached to TPLF and he has declared that himself without hesitation for us to know. I was not possibly saying he is detached from TPLF. I was trying to indicate that although he is a declared TPLF member and he speaks of TPLF with authority, he was not very biased and trying to defend his party for the sake of it by bulldozing truth when he was telling us about the relationship between his party and other forces such as the ELF. Hence my “detachment” praise to him.
            2) Tigray, still one party field after 22 yrs: you are right and that is not a very good political growth. But you are hanging on this point too much to show that all is not well even in our neighbors to the south. Don’t forget that Tigray is just one region (not a country). Although the results don’t reflect and show a competitive process, don’t forget that elections do take place in Tigray as in the rest of the country and opposition parties compete for office. Don’t forget that regions or states that are part of even a mature democracy can be totally dominated by one party representatives.
            3) I’ve read the article on lowlanders once and repeated it selectively. And i say you can smell the wanting out in letter and spirit everywhere and you can not only blame it on the tearing scissor. The scissor was just saying it explicitly and honestly what the words in the article were albeit with a more complex way.

    • Mahmud Saleh

      Salam Hayat
      I missed this feed, I have been enquiring to get the reader the best possible answer considering our limitations. Here is where I am.
      A. EPLF never publicly spoke about this matter; it never publicly retaliated against TPLF’s wild accusations of that era, including TPLF’s open hostility and its campaign to replace the EPLF. TPLF was hosting a faction that had split from ELF in the late 70s, in addition to that, during this time, it was hosting another faction that split from Sagem. TPLF was conducting seminars in Sudanese refugees, assisting and indoctrinating Eritreans who were fleeing Durg’s national service, and who wanted to avoid being caught by EPLF while trying to make their way to the Sudan.
      – In addition to that, EPLF’s office in Kassala was constantly called to Sudanese security office for violating their “instructions’ not to allow or facilitate contrabands. TPLF trucks would pass through Girmayka (a border post manned and administered by EPLF), and would be provided with a “pass” papers. During previous years, since its relation with TPLF was more important to it, EPLF was mitigating such Sudanese calls; at times it would reach the closure of our offices, but it was something that the organization was tolerating. Once the relationship of TPLF and EPLF hit rock-bottom, and it was clear to EPLF that TPLF was bent on finding a replacement for EPLF, meaning active hostility short of confrontation which did not occur because of geographical factors, EPLF told TPLF TO CEASE using its territories. EPLF ceased any contact with TPLF. There was one seminar that WAS conducted regarding this issue; it was said that EPLF was not in a position to retaliate in kind; it was hopped time would resolve the tension. This was somewhere in August 1984 ( I believe); which means a year since TPLF disengaged EPLF joint military cooperation which was around August 1983 (I remember this because I, with some of my comrades, had to be pulled out from our regular duties to to fill a gap TPLF had vacated, and we were told the reason. We stayed there until they found a permanent replacement. Therefore, TK reason #1 that EPLF was retaliating TPLF withdrawal doesn’t hold water. (EPLF/TPLF disengagement in 1983; closure probably at the late part of 1984)
      – TK reason #2 was that EPLF did it to score a political point against EPLF because TPLF scolded EPLF’s ideological leaning. This one too doesn’t hold water for a very simple reason: If EPLF wanted to score a political point against TPLF, it would be by isolating TPLF from its people; by helping Tigreans when they were in need, by supplanting TPLF’s role, by showing the Tigrean people that EPLF was not what TPLF told them it was. Blocking needy Tigreans when EPLF could have assisted them would be the dumbest tactic it could have done.
      If you doubt this, then you would need to check for patterns. Did EPLF entertain the idea of ill-treating civilian Ethiopians in a malicious way? The answer is absolutely “No.” You don’t find that in its literature or practice. There was a strict policy regarding this and it was manifested on how it treated Ethiopian POWs (tens of thousands of them), and how it handled families of Ethiopian soldiers and Ethiopian residents in captured towns and garrisons…many to mention. there might have been shortcomings attributed to lack of administrative capacity and its poor PR compared with TPLF, but nothing of a malicious nature.
      B. So what had actually happened? No body including the accusers know. I asked TK to provide us with estimated date and at what level the “official” TPLF request was made. I asked that because I wanted to see it within the timeline, and reach to a plausible explanation. TK did not provide that, yet you had the temerity to jump to conclusion that EPLF caused the death of 100s of Ks of Tigreans. That’s of course politically motivated. I want to stay away from politics and give young people what I saw, and what I heard; readers can see for themselves, everything that Eritreans are saying with regard to this thread is backed with evidences; check SAAY’s, Gheteb’s, Haile Z, mine and others…they are supported by factual circumstantial evidences ( literature, sequence of events…) compare them with the other side’s reply. I haven’t read anything other than “EPLF refused official request”, ” Eritreans need to feel ashamed…”, nothing factual has been presented.
      Therefore, here, I had to consult with 5 people who were in different capacities around that area; and who I believe are credible; below is what it boils down to:
      1. The crossing/ passage had already been closed due to TPLF’s open hostility, it had nothing to do with famine.
      2. After the severing of TPLF ties, EPLF foiled 7th offensive, one of the most memorable offensives by its ferocity (aka salaHta wera, 1983). This is important because it pulled EPLF defense line to western Eritrea; it was also followed by the capture of Tesenei city, 1984; the demise of WuQaw Ez, 1984; Commando operation at Asmara airport. The worst engagements of EPLF in liberating Barentu, and drawing defense line around its southern outskirts (1985); the worst battles were raging from Mogolo all the way to Molqi (across Badme). Finally our defense lines were outflanked by motorized units and they crumbled, one of the worst defeat EPLF had faced. This was soon followed by another devastating offensive (the 8th offensive).
      – In all these events Sawa-Forto area, the area that would be used as a “passage” was populated with rear departments which supported these “life or death” efforts. Knowing when that “official request” was done is crucial. Anyone with some military/security experience will tell you that “there is so much one can do in a given situations.”
      3. Talking about the toll:
      EPLF pursued a two-way pronged approach.
      a/ Those who were close to enemy feeding centers were encouraged to go there. It actually made its clandestine supporters to infiltrate Kebelles so that they assured the food was directed to the needy and not to enemy soldiers which was a constant problem.
      b/ It took responsibility for those who were in its liberated area. It also delivered food to those who were in no man’s land and who could not make it to either side; The only area that was displaced to our liberated area was semienawi BaHri, they were transported to Nakfa area.
      c. TPLF transported villages onto its side without preparation. There is ample literature to suggest that both Durg and TPLF used this seriously. Durg wanted to empty rural Tigray in order to deny TPLF from man power, and TPLF looked at it from a strategic point in countering Durg’s move.
      d. There was enough time for both Durg (Ethiopian government) and TPLF Tigrean Nationalist movement to prepare for this ahead. I explained the failure of both in my previous entry. They could have cleared the alternative road ahead of time knowing their relation with EPLF was confrontational; and knowing that EPLF had been engaged in life and death battles just across MEREB to the North; while they had all the time since they had frozen major military operations in order to “strengthen’ their organizational ranks.
      e. Shifting the blame: I wasn’t in Tigray. But the situation in Eritrea, shortly before the arrival of the food aid, was so desperate; I saw walking skeletons and dying bodies. We did what we could to help out victims by sharing our ration until the aid arrived. I can picture what it looked like on the other side of the border. Perhaps, those pictures and other human degradations and carnages which resulted due to war convince me that war and the culture of war need to be abhorred.
      In the absence of objective evidence, it’s very difficult to ascertain that:
      a/ an official request to allow drought stricken people was made by the TPLF. Here the intensity and the version of the blame vary. In its official mention of the incident the TPLF central committee mentioned something to the effect of “blocking a life line” to Tigray region (mind you, it did not mention the refusal of EPLF as “disallowing the people to pass to the Sudan”, which is the accusation we are discussing here); On the intensity part of it, as Hayat observed, it has not been consistent. They ratcheted it up when things went awry and forgot about it when things went in their favor.
      Conclusion: There is little doubt that the access was denied, but all indications, including people who happened to be around that area at that time, believe the access had nothing to do with the victims of drought. It had already occurred before the issue of the severely of the drought was gauged. EPLF, as explained above, was in a dire situation; and had TPLF reversed itself from its business of replacing EPLF and asked for cooperation, EPLF would probably accept it happily because it needed a partner so badly in those years. It was outstretched; with the freezing of TPLF operations, Durg used all its might to crush it.
      Therefore, what we hear is shifting the blame. Hundreds of thousands of Tigreans died; TPLF was ill-prepared; therefore, the easy way is to find a scapegoat. And what a perfect scapegoat could it have found other than the EPLF.

      • Fanti Ghana

        Hello Ustaz Mahmud,
        Very well said. Given how little information there is about the details of what really happened, I personally am satisfied with your reasoning and explanation. I know TK is just waking up, and he will be tempted to say a word or two, but as I stated on my other post above I hope your summary is the last of this subject.

        On another note: I will be traveling for two weeks starting this Saturday, and as soon as I come back I want us to work together on an introductory article to our Club Selam. I know I am wholly responsible for its delay, but I want us to give it our best as soon as we can.

        Good work Mahmud.

        • Mahmud Saleh

          My friend Fanti Ghana
          You are more than missed; and welcome back. Please do so and safe travel.

        • Rahwa T

          Dear Fanti Ghana,

          Welcome and great to see you again at Awate. I wanted to reply to Mahmud’s comment, but I don’t have very persuasive information (evidence) to argue. So I decided to keep quite. But I was surprised at your short comment to him and wondered and tried to remember if you (Fanti Ghana) have ever agreed to comments from Ethiopians that criticizes the other side. My overall feeling of Mahmud’s post is that other than his attempts to make it logical it is easy to see clear flaws. One is on EPLF’s policy of how they treat POW and civilians. What I take from his long comment is that for him, the civilian Ethiopians and Derg army families who were evacuated in 91 are not fit to be humans. A lot has been said about on the 70K Eritreans sent to Eritrea in the 1998-2000. Obviously, their literature would not hold topics of the likes of this. But I think a lot has been written on the plights of the POW and civilians by Dergue army. I don’t know if you visit websites other than Awate. I remember reading how Ethiopian POW from Derg (together with some Eritrean Prisoners) were sent to excavate Diamond to the then Zaire (Democratic Republic of Cong) in the early 90’s and had been brutally killed in the pit excavated by the prisoners themselves so that they would not leak the secret to the outside world. My dear Fanti Ghana, the current reality in Eritrea is a reflection of its past. How can you believe Mahmud’s claim that his organization had a good policy of human rights and handling prisoners and civilians when they have thousands of prisoners of their citizens, unfortunately some of them being respected and women who brought independence. You can find the interview of EPLF’s ex-intelligence officer in you tube (Assenna.com) who discussed how many of the 5000 TPLF fighters were killed at the battle of “key kokeb” and how the TPLF leadership were unhappy with strategy of the EPLF and yet it seems that the EPLF leadership were unhappy for being criticized of their military strategy by their “students”. Here in Awate and elsewhere some have been telling us that the TPLF fighters were in Sahel for military training. I wonder if you (Fanti Ghana) have had a brother or sisters with TPLF and how you would feel if you are told that your loved ones who lost his/her life in a battle carried out outside of his region (foreign land) was there for a training? In Mahmud’s comment, the “worars” (offenses) 1st to 6th are made to appear as light offenses and I guess these are the worars where the TPLF fighters were participated. Of all worars, only the 7th worar was the heaviest one and it was done between from EPLF and Dreg (another surprise).

          Allow me to briefly touch Mahmud’s logic for blocking the hanger people. By any means, for any reason, I will not see disengagement of two political parties as reason to block tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of starved kids, women and men as an excuse for denying them to reach to the nearest station where they could get aid from other good-hearted people.

          And yet, Fanti Ghana, you are still inspired to write an article about Club Selam. With whom? I think it too early.

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Dear Rahwa

            1. “I remember reading how Ethiopian POW from Derg (together with some Eritrean Prisoners) were sent to excavate Diamond to the then Zaire (Democratic Republic of Cong) in the early 90’s and had been brutally killed in the pit excavated by the prisoners themselves so that they would not leak the secret to the outside world”

            This puts you in a poor light Rahwa. There were no Durg POWs in Eritrea in early 90s. I visit different websites, but God gave me the capacity what to believe and what not to believe. Just because I read outrageous narrations about TPLF, do you thin it would be fair to trash TPLF based on those wild accusations? I don’t think so. So, I would urge you to use your brain instead of becoming a stamping mill of manufactured allegations.

            2. What victims of PFDJ are saying has nothing to do with the specific allegation you are trying to stick on our backs. I will remind you to research it open-mindedly. Once you do that you will easily come to a safe conclusion. It’s not as easy as you want to put it: “denying them to reach to the nearest station where they could get aid from other good-hearted people.” Thank you for calling us bad-hearted people. This says it all. Obviously, you have no clue as far as events surrounding this complicated relation are concerned, the geographic area and its security implications. As I said it in my reply the closure had already occurred, it had nothing to do with famine stricken people, Eritrea had its own hundreds of thousands to take care of; it was engaged in a life and death constant battles; it was the messiest period.
            3. For your information: TPLF participated only in 6th offensive. It was courageous of them. We thanked them for that. They paid heavy price proportional to their number, they were good fighters. 6th werar was of course the biggest, but everyone will tell you 7th was the most dangerous, because EPLF was recuperating from the impact of 6th offensive, it did not expect Durg would launch such a massive offensive within short time; and it came through unexpected and thinly monitored area of HalHal. It was very dangerous. Had it gone according to its plan, Nakfa Frontline would collapse without a fight.
            4. Please stay within the topic at hand. Just because TPLF has morphed to an Ethiopian government doesn’t mean its early years was “Ethiopian”, Just because it’s entertaining a market/mixed economy, it doesn’t mean it envisioned this during its inception and subsequent years; on the contrary it was basking in a stringent and isolationist Albanian communist theories of Enver Hoxha. I bring this to give you a soothing message: while TPLF progressed, PFDJ regressed in treating its citizens and pursuing reactionary policies. Anyway, I am bringing this to let you see, it’s very difficult to judge a process by its end. You seem to reason based on your knowledge of PFDJ. The reason why we say PFDJ is wrong/or it has hijacked our ideals is simply because it veered away from ideals Eritreans embodied. When it comes to treating neighbors, there is no difference between Eritreans and Tigreans/Ethiopians in the way they treat others.

          • Rahwa T

            Dear Mahmud,

            As I said, I am not well-equipped with the necessary information. I am commenting from what i read, heard, watched. What one call a good reference for one may be pure lie or biased for the other. So you have to remember this when you comment. EPLF documentation doesn’t mean it contain pile of truth. The same is true for documents from TPLP or other sources. Let me ask you one question. Have you listened the recent interview of Tsadqan whi ch I posted few weeks ago? If yes, do you think he was talking the truth? I will not expect you to accept 20% of what he said. If that is the case, how can you expect me to believe whatever you told me as true? Why should I take whatever is written in EPLF literature or interviews? I have seen you applauding, endorsing, supporting stories posted by Nitriccs, Gheteb, and their likes which I consider as factions?

            Now I will focus only at one of point your twisted statements. This is your statment: “..Thank you for calling us bad-hearted people”. My understanding is that as there were/are bad hearted men/women in the TPLF leadership, definitely there were/are bad-hearted men/women in your ex-party. I want to put it in black and white. It is up to the reader to minimize or maximize, reduce or enlarge it.

            wo daHanka

          • ‘Gheteb

            You said that “….. Nitriccs, Gheteb, and their likes which I consider as factions?”
            How about you Rahwa T? Do you see yourself not as a “faction” but this open minded person with a keen sense of sifting truth from falsehood? Do you consider yourself to be an objective person who would call ‘a spade a spade’? Or, are you such an objective and unbiased person? I hate to disappoint you, but from what I have far seen, you are a one-sided, prejudiced and biased Weyane partisan. Referring to ‘Gheteb as a faction is akin to the pot calling the kettle black. Please remove that BIG log that is lodged in your eye before you even try to remove the mere specks in the eyes of others. Also, stop your name calling campaign here. It didn’t do any good to your friend Person XY and I assure you that it won’t do you any good, either!

          • Rahwa T

            Hi Gheteb,
            I consider myself as neutral and can call a spade a spade at the right time and space. I love people. I see the Eritrean people (I will never use a diplomatic words) especially those next to my home, not as a neighbor but as one of mine. Of course, I get irritated when some one like you and those at Tesfa news say “jir… jir keb za kelbi zre’ayu” and get emotional and but it will not terminate there. It is a belief. I can’t remove it easily. Regarding you and your types, sometimes I wonder if the webmaster of the TN is visiting Awate. If you are young, you must be the son of one of the leaders who who ordered the blockage of my compatriots. By the way, you seem as if you are going to shot at people when you warn us to “stop” this and stop that, name calling. What are you doing when you are referring to XY? Who are to say one is Eritrean, and the other is Tigray? Last point. You writing style is great. enay mo kikhewon, tekal libi hibka.

          • ‘Gheteb

            Thanks again for referring to my nick as “Ghetem” and not the correct one as ” ‘Gheteb”. Well, what would you say if I was to refer to you as “Tsebeba” instead of “Rahwa”. Go ahead and keep on your insult hurling mode. I just shared with you what I don’t like, but I can’t stop you. Regarding your friend, Person XY, there is no doubt in my mind that this person hails from Tigray around Alaje Daero Tekhli area from the mother side, but the father of Person XY is from either Seloda or Semelmoda. Person XY may have lived in Eritrea, but that alone doesn’t make that person to be Eritrean. It takes much more than that for one to be an Eritrean.

          • Nitricc

            “You can find the interview of EPLF’s ex-intelligence officer in you tube (Assenna.com) who discussed how many of the 5000 TPLF fighters were killed at the battle of “key kokeb” and how the TPLF leadership were unhappy with strategy of the EPLF and yet it seems that the EPLF leadership were unhappy for being criticized of their military strategy by their “students”.”

            Rahwa; I know you are in high octane emotionally. But your TPLF will lose 500 its fighters in one day battle to capture a worthless area while EPLF adapted in exchanging Blood with sweat. This is the reason in 30 years Eritreans causality was around 70K while yours; well, no body knows. But if I have to guess looking at your battle strategy and your weaponry; no tanks, no heavy artillery no long guns anti air jets; I can easily assume TPLF paid 120K in 17 years. So, do the maths before you open your ignorant mouth. So, obviously your source is Assena so, it says a lot to your credibility which you have none.

            “ Of all worars, only the 7th worar was the heaviest one and it was done between from EPLF and Dreg (another surprise).”
            I know you people what ever is said; you are going to spin it. You are good at it. But let me help you to understand what Mahumady said and ask you this; do you exercise? If you do then run 6 miles the 7th one is the hardest to the finish line.
            So, what Mahmuday saying is EPLF was exhausted from the past six offences and the 7th was the hardest. He did not say that to desecrated your toothless TPLF.

          • HoS

            Hi Rahwa T
            My dear Rahwa, you have the evidence. It’s on the video you posted on the TPLFs 40th Anniversary article. Pay attention, between 10.30 and 11.30 part one of the video. That all the proof you need.

          • Rahwa T

            Dear HoS,
            You are right. I have noticed that. As you you know, the topic is be very complicated and I was expecting detail information to have clear picture of the situation. The evidence we have so far is enough for us but to convince others we need additional sources from neutral writers. That was what I meant.

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam Rahwa,
            .
            On the narrow point of treatment of prisoners of war and civilians, my hunch tells me different than Mahmud’s and President I.A versions. I can understand Mahmud might not be privy to all that went down, unless he was in a senior position. There is a propaganda narrative that we all hear all the time.
            .
            In the interviews he has given many times President I.A made sure his and his group’s high moral standing is upheld. If you listen to him carefully he even goes further than that. He declares that none of the prisoners were even “insulted” during their captivity. It is not our “culture” , he adds with pride.
            .
            I tend to NOT to believe such people.
            .
            K.H

          • Rahwa T

            Dear Rahwa,
            yes, indeed, it is surprising when he and others talk about “culture”. They have no shame at all. Their history and current reality is there to be seen by the world, and yet they dare to tell us it is not their culture. You are right Mahmud would not be in a position to know every thing (even 40% of its secret). But i have sensed that he has been defending EPLF. Pride in once history is one thing, but defending crimes is different. For instance, personally, I will never dare to defend TPLF if they are criticized or blamed for some wrong doing especially if it is beyond my capacity to know about it. I may forward ideas based on my experience from different sources. But I will not confront anybody on behalf of them.

          • Rahwa T

            Dear Kim Hanna,
            Sorry I wrote my name while addressing you. It is like that when I do more than two things at a time.

          • Mahmud Saleh

            KH
            I don’t know what to say; but this is not you. Let me give you a picture as to how a prisoner is processed. The first hour is crucial for a prisoner of war; since the captors are in the heat of a battle and its horror; may be they have lost a comrade right there and then…Once the prisoner is accounted for still, he is in danger but safer, until he reaches the POWs department. Once he reaches there his rights are read for him, and the POWs governing body (formed from the pows) takes care of introducing him to the life of POWs. They had their own committees that communicated with Red Cross; Red Cross would make unannounced visits and private interviews…
            It was their government (the Durg) that denied their presence, it was their government that refused swapping prisoners…
            So, please, be informed. Life is not easy as you could imagine, it was not easy even for the free tegadelti; but relative to its resources, the organization was doing what it could do to make things easier for the POWs. It was releasing whenever possible. For instance, it released 10,000 prior to 6th offensive; it released thousands to whoever wanted to accept them; OLF was the major beneficiary; Tigreans had an organization close by and in many cases they opted to join the EPLF; many inland Ethiopian POWs joined EPLF and rose to the ranks of junior commanders. Some of them died fighting with and along the EPLF.
            There are independent accounts to support this.

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello
            Rahwa Haftey. I know I owe you a decent reply from our last engagement, and now, you happened to ask me some tough questions that need detailed explanations just a day before I am about to leave the country. So, here is the short version.

            Dearest Rahwa, you have mentioned lots of interesting notes, and as contradictory as it may sound with my reply to Brother Mahmud above, I do agree with you too. Farther more, I do agree with most of what you, TK, KH, Abinet, and many other compatriots say most of the time. That is not the problem. The problem is the timing and our occasional inability to distinguish between addressing the Eritrean people from addressing the Eritrean leadership. Sometimes inserting a qualifier before a statement clearly meant to shame or ridicule Eritreans is not enough. I don’t mean the Eritrean people, when caught, is not enough. If we are not here to try to heal our wounds regardless of who caused it, why are we here? There will be plenty of time for criticism later.

            Several times many distinguished Eritreans on this site have tried to remind us how this is a down moment for the Eritrean people whenever the lack of compassion goes higher with some folks, but instead of showing some decency and say “we will settle the score later but how can we help now” we seem to use those kind of moments to “show them” how wrong they were to declare independence, or how wrong they were to start war with us instead.

            I know most of us want to do the right thing and say the right thing most of the time, but it cannot be done without shading some “pride” occasionally. It cannot be done along with trying to prove how “good we are” and “how bad they are” mindset. In general it cannot be done without a minimum amount of compassion and decency. The idea of “we are better than those across that river or that mountain” has played a major role in our evolution, so it is understandable to feel that way, and add to that “must win to survive,” and what you get is what we are today as people. But noting the timing and learning its positive application is extremely important. We fail on that too many times.

            Please Rahwa Haftey, the shortest way I can say it what is boiling in my head is this:
            when you must say something about anyone, say it in such a way it reflects who you are.
            I had much more to say, but I am running out of time. I must go.

            With great respect.

          • Rahwa T

            Dear Fanti Ghana,
            I am very satisfied with what you said. “ytadelual inj aytagelutm” as they say in amharic entay kiwexo zerebakHa. HaQi ‘Haysh anekua TerTireka neyre eya. antazom end shaebia ay’emnenunyom gualom silzhabuwo keykonu endabelku beza lbey.

            senay megesha

          • ‘Gheteb

            ” …antazom end shaebia ay’emnenunyom gualom silzhabuwo keykonu endabelku beza lbey.”
            Which one out of the many Libis (hearts) was that? Just wondering?

          • Rahwa T

            Here you go again, the worst man. Should I tell out 12 the one out of the 15? Sorry, this will be my last reply to you,

            Dear editor,
            sorry for this one line comment.

      • saay7

        Mahmuday:

        Thanks for giving us the view from within the EPLF with context: as in what else was going on militarily. It’s priceless. I want to provide additional context but as I do I am so perplexed as to why this issue was even introduced. Many of us who complain about the policies of present day EPRDF governed ethiopia are regularly attached for being hate mongers…but this, scavenging through history not to understand what happened but to browbeat the Eritrran identity as if it’s not already under relentless assault is, to borrow a phrase from the TPLF, unpardonable.

        I have referenced John Young who mentions how this period was seen as an epic failure by the TPLF that it lost members in the diaspora in protest and that the front was ill-equipped for it. Mind you: this was not an earthquake or a tornado but famine which was seen coming for months.

        There was also a chronicle by either amnesty international or human rights watch or Indian Ocean Newsletter: I wish I had kept a copy it was from 85-87. Here’s what I remember:
        1. At the time, the TPLF was a classic guerrilla movement with no base (unlike EPLF which had a base);
        2. The strategies the Derg used in Eritrea and Tigray were different: in Eritrea the Derg then had a pacification strategy (allowing citizens to go get food at Derg occupied areas and then go back to EPLF liberated areas) whereas it had a hardline approach in Tigray. The pacification was for specific political reasons that I forget now.
        3. The TPLF was betting the UNHCF and the west would treat the matter with utmost urgency: all they had to do was move the people to sudan. The UNHCF did not recognize the Tigrayans as refugees, did not recognize the TPLF as a State and neither did the NGOs who were all conditioned to work with the State. Thousands of Tigrayans died in Sudanese camps and the only reason help came is because Sudan (a State) asked for it and because new NGOs and particularly religious NGOs bypassed the State;
        4. Remember this was during the Reagan administration and Reagan saw everything from a communist-capitalism prism. Giving him advice to deny aid to famine stricken people under the mercy of the EPLF and TPLF was RAND and its resident africa expert Paul Henze (I wonder if the late Meles Zenawi brought that up in their 1990 interview)
        5. The mass movement of Tigrayans by the TPLF was so extreme that human rights organizations were considering charging them with crime against humanity until they were informed that the people were voluntarily moving and TPLF was facilitating;
        After the famine:
        1. The TPLF reconsidered it’s military strategy and decided to have, like the EPLF, a permanent based it would never abandon;
        2. The cruelty of the Derg to the Tigrayans was so extreme that the TPLF got recruits in massive numbers, tripling its size and turning away volunteers (supporting Identity Jilted authors claim that it was Derg cruelty that pushed people to EPLF and TPLF);
        3. The TPLF never ever attempted to move Tigrayans in subsequent famine of 1987.

        If somebody loves his TPLF they can say you know in 2003 we also had a huge famine but thanks to a very caring governemnt hardly anybody died and it looks like famine is history in ethiopia. That would be praiseworthy and something to be genuinely proud of. But to speculate on maybe the denial of a passage by the EPLF contributed to the deaths (100ks no less!) when there is not a single independent source who says that about an issue that has been meticulously recorded is vile.

        SAAY

        • Mahmud Saleh

          SAAY,
          Well said, all your points could be backed by references (some of them are in some of the already linked referenced articles/sources in this thread: by you Ghehteb, me…and others)
          On the Afermath points also true.
          1. Yes, they finally understood what EPLF was trying to tell them. Remember, all the “difference of military doctrine” issue emanates from this. In the past, they did not have a real estate to defend, but when the time had arrived to defend a vital line, bases developed along the way, and they shifted to holding liberated areas/bases. And with that came a fast growing TPLF, acquiring and maintaining heavy artillery compatible waging a classical warfare; and support regiments/departments.
          2. #2 could well be true, I just have to dig into it.
          3.#3 and 4, I agree.

      • Nitricc

        Mahmuday; what an article! Thanks.
        I don’t want to mess it up your to the point comment but if I can add let me say this.
        You said …..
        “TPLF transported villages onto its side without preparation. There is ample literature to suggest that both Durg and TPLF used this seriously. Durg wanted to empty rural Tigray in order to deny TPLF from man power, and TPLF looked at it from a strategic point in countering Durg’s move.”
        That is true and to add to the above. At the same time, the Derg was moving Tigryans from Tigray to Metekel Gojam and to Assosa Welega. This move did not sit well with TPLF. Since their intention was To liberate Tigray i.e. to create greater republic of Tigray; the movement of the Tigryan population; not only seen as eminent danger to TPLF’s fianal goal but it was a real threat to TPLF’s very existence. Then Derg’s action came to collide with TPLF very intention. So, TPLF has to do something to encounter what Derg was doing and the TPLF did the unthinkable and irresponsibly start moving the Tigryan people to Sudan. As usual to cover any wrong doing; that is what Eritrea and EPLF is for, to blame!

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Hello Mahmuday,

        Correction : You have said “TPLF was hosting a faction that had split from ELF in the late 70s, in addition to that, during this time, it was hosting another faction that split from Sagem.” I would like to tell you and the rest of the forum, that there were not ELF factions in the late 70s. Sagem came in to existence in 1983 after ELF is pushed out from the field by EPLF/TPLF alliance. As to the rest of your “hateta” I am not privy to the information, hence I will leave it for those who knew about it.

        Senay MeAlti,

        • Abraham Hanibal

          Hi Amanuel H.,

          Here is a strange formulation from your reply, you say, “As to the rest of your “hateta” I am not privy to the information, hence I will leave it for those who knew about it..” You see Mr.Amanuel, Ato Mahmud is writting from his personal experience, basing his comments on the available proof as much as he can. You don’t need to leave it to “those who knew about it” when you’ve Mahmud who is writting from his personal experience. I see your problem, you don’t want to directly reject Mahmud’s comment, but instead trying to belittle his views.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Hi Abraham,

            Didn’t you see my correction. Similar corrections might come. Haw Abraham, “Ane Miwhlal yiftu Eye” I don’t give a rush judgement, especially when I found myself something to correct from any “hateta.” Honestly, I don’t want to make a historical error for the sake of political expediency. Second I didn’t deny or approve Mahmud’s assertion nor do I attempt to belittle him. There will be time to give my judgement when I collect enough info.

      • Semere Andom

        Hi Mahmud and all
        I will leave the details of how EPLF was responsible or not for the death of thousands of Tigryaneans to you guys. Here is what I know:

        After TPLF and EPLF collaborated to destroy ELF, a vibrant national front, after their intense love affair ended, after putting the Eritrean armed struggle in precarious situation by the irresponsible alliance of these two fronts their relationship soured and both give you their reasons and how they were wronged. Actually let me correct that, EPLF will give you reasons unofficially, very stupid and simplistic reasons like TPLF wanted them to say that Soviet Union was not progressive, but officially they give you even more retarded reason: “We chose to be silent.” TPLF wrote a book about that relationship, at least some sort of, some embryonic inquiry into the intellect of the mind.

        From my “headquarters” 🙂 in the Sudan I observed TPLF doggedly undermined EPLF and by extension the armed struggle. They were like, nice human traffickers. If Eritreans wanted to go to the Sudan, they had to dodge EPLF so they go the Tigray liberated areas and surrender to TPLF. TPLF will temporarily confiscate every single item and every penny and indoctrinate the escapees for 6 months, then they would drive them to Gadarrif, Sudan by giving them back every penny and item they have safe-kept. This was beneficial for the Eritrean families as the unfair and corrupted EPLF conscription method would not allow a young person, whose 5 siblings are already tegadalti to escape, only the connected to high EPLF ranking members or the young and beautiful women would make it to Sudan, driven in especial landcruisers, like PFDJ is doing now. This did not last long, as immediately the former lovers reconciled. Many Eritrean families benefited from breakup of TPLF and EPLF

        I also know that whenever the two are in bad terms they want us to love each other, and when they turn to each other they want us to insult each other. Immediately after independence, the word “agame’ was banned and when the war broke, it was back in style, when Semere Russom and Sherrifo used it in the meetings they were conducting, the two people will have unshackle themselves from the brain washing venom

        If you went to Addis in 1994 and you were Eritrean and spoke Tigrinya, you were a king, an interpreter would be summoned for your service in the airport if you did not speak English or Amhararic, but we all know what happened if you were an Eritrean in 1998

        • Mahmud Saleh

          Kbur ato/Mr. Ustaz, Assaid….Sem A

          “..in the Sudan I observed TPLF doggedly undermined EPLF and by extension the armed struggle. They were like, nice human traffickers. If Eritreans wanted to go to the Sudan, they had to dodge EPLF so they go the Tigray liberated areas and surrender to TPLF.”
          This is very true. The rest of your take is also not too far from truth, of course, minus the usual Semere’s additives and spices. Remember though, Eritrean youth, at that time, had three predicaments. Get conscripted in Durg’s national service and face your brethren in battlefields, get conscripted by the EPLF; or try to make it to the Sudan ( How did you make it, anyway?). TPLF did everything they could to exploit this. One person that I recently talked to, while locating the 5 people I had mentioned earlier, made it to the Sudan through TPLF and he was the one who told me the presence of an older Eritrean split faction, the one Amanuel is correcting. I take Amanuel’s correction until I find information that proves this gentleman’s info. Anyway, I brought it to suggest what you clearly put here. TPLF was in a frenzy mood to undermine EPLF and by extension our struggle. To their credit, they were firm on the question of Eritrea, they just wanted to place an organization of their liking in Eritrea! Familiar, my bad friend Semere? This is what they call deja vu.
          For peace-loving folks like Fanti Ghana, I want to assure you that I don’t enjoy talking about the past. But when history and people are assaulted based on one-sided information, it’s responsible of anyone, Ethiopian or Eritrean, to challenge those who ride high on unsubstantiated or poorly prodded bits of “information” in order to make a better job. At least put it in away that shows it should farther be researched. I can go with versions such as ” TPLF say so…”, but to put it as an accepted truth when you have no information from the other side; and knowing this type of allegations get heightened when the relation between the two fronts gets ugly is irresponsible. As you can glean from my comments, I am not being judgmental. I am just putting things in perspective and providing whatever supporting evidence I could get.
          Last but of course not least, as SAAY put it, this whole thing came up because we are forced to respond, it was brought by none other than your truly yours, Hayat Adem ( also known in her admirers’ circle as Gual Adem).

          • Semere Andom

            Hi Mamud:
            I do no use additives, I am organic, come on Mahmuday, ask Sal, he knows my disdain for additives, Sal vouche for me, meleheyaka is accusing me of using additives 😉

            Well, Many Eriteans were joining with their own volition, but the EPLF’s conscription policy was both corrupted and unfair and myopic that is why we have some families with 5 to 8 of their kids dead in the war, some came unscathed. EPLF had a choice not facilitate the extinction of families. If you had several siblings in the struggle you should be allowed to go to Sudan, ELF had this policy I know , I am not sure about TPLF.
            This is visionary (allowing sibling of know martyrs and fighters to go abroad) because after independence some families paid more than others as if the independence and flag belonged to them. I know it is war and priorities, but if you have a vision to build fair, free society you can afford to do that, EPLF was obsessed only with one thing, the military and to succeed at that it did everything: enslaving, prostituting, killing and bribing. that habit is also hard to relinquish is one of the problems that is still haunting us
            About the corruption, also, come on now, those connected made it, if you a re not connected you have to be a woman and beautiful, it is not by accident that the EPLF reprsentatives in Sudan and a few minsiters were married to civilians, at least for some times or had mistresses. No additives, maybe spices, iti s only “halib ensa” that can be taken without spices 🙂
            How I came? It was not via TPLF, I plan to write about it in relation to my adoration for your languange as both my arriving to Sudan at barely 13 and leaving at 19 are irrevocably interwined sebir;-)

          • Nitricc

            “my arriving to Sudan at barely 13 and leaving at 19”

            Here we go the story of Khartoum University going awry. People get your popcorn and the movie about to start. sit back relax and have fun.

          • Semere Andom

            Your dumbness:
            Hope said that I went to “Khartoum University”, not me, I old you mine version. there is one thing goign for your and it is you told us the truth about your dumbness, If you grow some cells, I can mentor how to have almost photographic memory 🙂

          • Nitricc

            hahahah funny; even worst your accept in to Candaian University with out going high school. lol

          • Semere Andom

            1101001 10101000101

          • Semere Andom

            If you are outside the ghetto you finish high school at the age of 18

          • saay7

            Selamat Semere:

            This article has over 700 comments. I was hoping it would be put out of its misery but I guess it won’t until every Eritrean carries a big virtual rock, heads on to Tigraionline and ask for forgiveness for all slights, real and imagined because when in doubt about the culpability of a particularly tragic incident, always assume: it’s EPLFs fault.

            I would have vouched for you allergy to additives but there was the post-Rome Semere who came back to tell us about the “alliance of killers.” What I find about the great un-healed wound between ELF and EPLF is that they are willing to believe every kind of atrocity attributed to the other. And because of that, they find it very hard to come to its defense when it is under attack. At the 40 anniversary speech, a TPLF honcho spoke trash of the ELF; no EPLFer would defend ELF; now some TPLF II functionaries are talking trash about EPLF about one of the most well documented, chronicled stories (1984-85 famine in Ethiopia): and no ELFer will come to the defense of EPLF.

            This is what we have to heal first before we go on running to “partner” with those who were in the middle of bleeding us and sabotaging our effort then and now

            How do u like them additives?

            SAAY

          • ‘Gheteb

            Ahlen Cousin Saleh,
            Help me out here. What was the issue about the 1984/85 Tigray famine victims in this thread? Was it:
            A) How we felt about it as human beings?
            B) Or, the whole accusatory finger and the tone of it was to lay the blame squarely on the shoulders of the EPLF for denying those Tigrayan civilians fleeing the 84/85 famine?
            C) Do you notice the shift from B) to A)? Why? Mind sharing your kilte senatim? ( your two cents?)

          • saay7

            Selamat Cousin Gheteb:

            Here are my 2 nakfa:) But it is just going to be personal observation so take it for what it is worth:

            The first time I heard about the 84/85 famine was, of course in 84/85. At the time, in the US, all I heard was how terrible we Africans are, how we use famine for political ends, how incompetent we are: the rains had failed for four consecutive years, clearly the drought would become famine. And I read up on it and the one and only one conclusion was: Mengistu Haile Mariam was a terrible human being and the Ethiopian ruling party despised Tigrayans; and it was ironic that a government that came to power principally on the failure of haile Selasse to be compassionate with the famine of Wollo hadn’t learned its lessons…

            The second time I heard about it was in June 1998, after Eritrea bombed an elementary school in Mekele, Tigray killing dozens of CHILDREN. At the time, in all the anger, the grief, the fact that there wasn’t a single military target near the school, Ethiopians specially Tigrayans said these people really must hate us….and the issue of the 1984/85 famine and how the EPLF had blocked passage and how it is responsible for the deaths of 10s of thousands surfaced. I did not address it at all: people were really and justifiably angry. In fact, what I recall writing at Dehai was, even if the Chief Commanding Officer may not apologize in terms of what kind of message it would send to his troops, some government official should apologize to the people of Ethiopia.

            Now, fast forward to now. I am perplexed. I don’t understand why it is being discussed—and the only thing I can think of is that it is a directive from TPLF Central: way too many people “fiqrom aywed’un ms Shaebia: can you remind them how awful Shaebia is?” Their problem is that this piece of history is well documented, well narrated from a variety of credible sources.

            Consider the last “summary” that Mahmouday was given on what HRW said about the topic. Now, I will bet anything that if the HRW report is shared, “the EPLF denied passage” is either a footnote or just one sentence and the rest is everything else we talked about: the cruelty of Mengistu, the unpreparedness and naiveté of TPLF, the geo-political considerations of the West, etc, etc. As Mahmouday said, nobody on the accusing side has been able to cite one SINGLE source other than the TPLF CC–which, in my view, was written by the panicked CC after its membership severely criticized it and began abandoning it in droves for its ill-conceived plans and poor execution.

            Of course, they could prove me wrong…and post a link, or the document itself in these pages.

            One of the few benefits of getting older is that it is easy to discern these things, because they are not new:)

            saay

          • Semere Andom

            Hi Saleh 🙂
            I felt it you will not vouch for me;-)
            The “alliance of killers” did not germinate in Rome. It did not spring in one day, there is no singular day or a year, just so you know. No one has convinced to retract that and I used it to select group who were allied in killing almost for fun.
            As to this particular topic, I have never encountered it in my discussions/remember before except here and my comment to Mahmud was actually how TPLF deliberately sabotaged the armed struggle and how the youth used it to dogged EPLF, but then I laced it with my other belief of how EPLF’s recruiting policy was corrupted and so on.
            About the bad blood between ELF and EPLF, you and I did not live it and is easy for us, but those who went through the EPLF prison tell horror stories and forgiving is not academic for them. But many have forgiven and actually joined EPLF after they were released and even now some are supporters of PFDJ, EPLF gave them choice to leave or join many left, but mostly the military leaders starting from merahi haili have disappeared.
            You are hankering on the “alliance of killers,” so I will ask you how do you describe IA and his groups? And, oh, it was communism, it was war, it was security are not considered honest answers. I hope you are not buying the disappearances and mass killings that we witnessed after independence is a new phenomenon.
            The alliance of killers does not lump every EPLF tegadalai even every EPLF leader, it is for those who were maneovering it behind unbeknownst to the freedom fighters and ordering killing almost for passion or hobby. We have carined to history now, but zereba zereba yemtsiO…..
            Eritreans are not responsible for EPLF/PFDJ’s crime and we should not be asked carry that rock, but weighing EPLF’s good deeds and bad deeds toward us, I have no reason to serenade if the assault to EPLF?FPD is from non-Eritrean or suspect Eritrean.
            I get it, your position is unique because you defended both TPLF and EPLF as mostly force of good, stellar disciple and the hate we hear was hyperbole and so and so on. My questions are: is there a better description to use for IA and his, let us call them handful men before and now rather than the alliance of killers? And the fact that some factions of ELF(Sagme) joined EPLF and many post-independence and before who supported EPLF is not forgiveness, given that EPLF never admitted, never apologized, even justified its action, putting the armed struggle in danger? I think its mature understanding from ELF side. Just cus the stars were allied (fine, EPLF had the vision to win, the heaves had nothing to do with it) and EPLF foiled the offensives is not justification for endangering the armed struggle?
            I am not ELF but rarely do come to defend EPLF, but I encounter a lot of ELfits defending EPLF now, and actually think that purging ELF was good for Eritrea, go figure. Should we do nhawka yehlifka aytehabo ?

          • Saleh Johar

            Saay,
            I think now you would agree with our friend Amanuel when he loses it. I am sure he is banging the table and saying, “Stop it. Focus!” 🙂 And the topic is what? Which organization is more civilized, or, more human? I think it was Dolly-I and Dolly-II in those days.

            I feel this thread wants to hug Jebena! What did you personally do to Jebena Saay? Mercy-something? 🙂

          • saay7

            Abu SelaH:

            Sem-A will appreciate this from his Khartoum days when he was singing songs of praise to Numeiri:

            Ya Har’sna
            Ya fars’na…

            agfil al bab. Just tell them ” ba’b al’ijithad magful ” and close this thread:)

            saay

          • Kokhob Selam

            Saay 7 ” I was wrong ” enabelka zfeterkayo kunat kab kunat Badme z’Abeye koynu. hiji gele gerka etsewo . kal’e article Stihifka khelsena ! haram aleyk.

          • Mahmud Saleh

            AbuNuH
            Too hot of a spicy to swallow. All the bad stuff you mentioned existed, but they were not the defining characteristics of the organization; that’s were you fail. Regarding the conscription: indeed, it was horrible, and you would not want to go through it; but you know what Americans say “U got to do what U got to do.” The situation in late eighties was different than when Jabha Abbay roamed Eritrea. The war intensified, fire power got lethal on both sides; basically it was a desperate situation. Wishing the war did not happen would be better than talking about fairness- there was no much of man power to let some go and enlist others. Just to give you a perspective. Our people paid so dearly semere, we better work harder and be serious in order to make a meaning out of their sacrifice.

          • Semere Andom

            Hi Mahmud:

            Good for acknowledging it, but it was defining the characteristics of the organization, but for sure it was not a defining characteristics of every tegadalai even of every leader, but an entity is defined by its policies and its members who call the shots, who make the critical decisions. There is no other way around it Mahmuday. PFDJ is now calling the shots and whose name is dragged in the mud? you got it, Eritrea’s, government of Eritrea did this, it denied dead Eritrea’s to return home, it ignited the war with Ethiopia, while we know we did none, PFDJ did. Did you get my drift? You glass is only sees the selfless fighters, the committed leaders, the ideals, the tenacity of your comrades, those who toiled day and night until the last atom of their blood was dropped and on their backs the bad stuff was committed and defined EPLF. Simple. But woe to them who lump these people with those who made the cause be defined by their selfish actions.

            I agree about the situation in the tail end of 1980s, but it was self-inflicted because the leaders cannot sort their stupid differences and lurched the tegadalai into useless war and then Dergi came roaring, so they rounded up (giffa) in the rural areas to train them, while 100k trained fighters were languishing in Sudan. Come on now, this is not vision it is self-destruction, even AbuNuh knows that 🙂

            If those selfless fighters and leaders defined EPLF and it still had the criminal bunch, I will not have problems, but it was the opposite.

            EPLF with its alliance with TPLF did this to us:

            1. Set a precedent so now they have no moral ground to “bitch” about it when we want to ally with TPLF 2 to get rid of them. They made it halala!

            2. They endangered the 50 year Eritrean aspiration by weakening Eritrea’s formidable clout

            3 since they cannot sit down to negotiate with Dergi for their hidden agenda from weakness a fact they realized after the fact, they recruited people by force to supplant and replenish the wasted fighters in there by endangering the family to extinction when it did not care if 8 siblings died in the war. Come on now, this is not hindsight, anyone can see it let alone IA, Ramadan and the rest.

            Six offensive was so dangerous that EPLF considered to withdraw from the base, it is rumored anyways, but then they remembered that it will be hard to come back

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Ya Abu Noah
            You remind of the Tigrayet saying, ” jefer habewo mgb Haza, ” or, that to whom you offer the edge demands the center. Kefaya (enough), or more?

          • Semere Andom

            Hi Mahmuday before I translate that to Tig, are you mad?

          • Semere Andom

            Hi Mahmuday before I translate that to Tig, are you mad?

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Not at all. Go for the translation, but not too much spices.

          • Semere Andom

            MeKormeyi zrekebes mesafihi ydeli

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Exactly. I think Gen.Nit has to revise his evaluation about you. Thanks my bad friend.

          • Semere Andom

            Mahmuday
            Actually I am blaming you, the problem with you Tigre people is too much “athaloyot”, eba, Niriccay. membaye ettc 😉 The Asmarino was tough with him and he made good progress and when he misbehaved he banned him. Ata wedi/qolla tebay giber kqelalak eye and it worked. Damn the retirement;-)
            You need to withdraw some love. Some of the things that is you are known for has hat transferred to him.

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Ahlan semere;

            Didn’t you read nitrickay’s comment of today? Here it is in case you missed it.

            “Now it makes sense what PIA did. He had two choices: one, face all the questions and the misdeeds during the war and be responsible and two; eliminate every one who can raise those questions and who can challenge him. So, he did what he has to do and eliminating every possible challenger who might ask those questions. The saddest event is even Dejen was assumed as a challenger and he had to be silenced. His crime,Dejen told the president that the Eritrean Air force was being trained by unqualified people and they were not getting the proper trained. Then, here it comes the two mig-29 who downed at the same area in the same day; Unheard of; and some one has to answer and pay for that; Dejen did.”
            I don’t know semere; by the way the love is mutual, and believe me I hate no body that I exchange views with. But I have of course favs, and you are one of them despite the difference of our views.
            The point is: the young man is smart and overpopulated with neurons, very excited neurons at that. Just talk to him with respect and he will show you his bright side.
            The love part is distributed through your cousin SAAY; our love ration (mesaref) is abundant nowadays. Gen.SAAY has already declared marshal plan “No awatista left behind.”
            Did I say this before? I don’t know; but Nitrickay brings alive characters I dearly miss. Of course, I don’t endorse his sometimes, well, nitric language. Anyway, I better not get between you guys.
            Oh before I go:
            Nitrickay, sem A and all cousins and half cousins and wendmoche at AT:
            My son is graduating tomorrow from college, so you know what that means; busy.
            Bye for now.
            Semere, read nitrickay translation above and give him a credit.

          • Fnote Selam

            Mahmud,

            Congratulations to your son and the family!

            Best wishes,

            FS.

          • Semere Andom

            Mahmuday, Congratulation!!. Good job. May many Eritrean children graduate from colleges

          • Abi

            Mahmud
            Congrats! You should be a proud father. Nothing makes me more excited than to see the young ones graduate from college.
            it must be a bitter sweet to see one son graduated while the other drop out of awate university. It looks like you haven’t spent enough time in guiding your virtual son .
            Congratulations !!!

          • Rahwa T

            ere ehitochim alen! gash mahmud.

          • Rahwa T

            Dear Mahmud,
            enqua’e des beleka!

          • Nitricc

            Mahmuday; you know it when you are wrong i am in your case.lol listen if i understand it correctly; Semere got it wrong. if the point is ” MeKormeyi zrekebes mesafihi deli” then it should be translated in to my ghetto language; as saying ” who offered an inch, demanded a mile. so, the difference between “mekormeyi and Messafihi” does not explain the whole meaning. i.e. i object sir. ir should been translated as who offered mekormeyi denamded megyoyi. as of running not mesafihi.

            Mahmuday; i told you i can beat him any where; even on his language.
            the point is between mekprmeyi and Messafihi, the gap is to insignificant but between Mekormeyi and running is huge; which the half dedebit missed. : – )
            the point i object the definition of HIM!

          • Hayat Adem

            Mahmuday,
            Thanks for getting back. You are human, and then tegadalai, and then Eritrean and then politician (politician in a sense of having an established perspective of ideas, not in the sense of seeking office). I want you to unclothe your political dress just for a moment and remain in the other three and see some numbers that I want you to run in your head and force yourself to appreciate what they represent.
            In 1983 75,000 Tigreans entered Sudan; in 1984 189,000 entered Sudan. In early 1985 about 50,000 entered Sudan as a last batch. 10000-15000 are believed to die after they arrived in Sudan camps. Many times more that number must have died before they reached there. TPLF’s REST was feeding 150000 displaced Tigrians. 500,000 Tigreans were scattered and wandering in different parts of the country in search of food. I see a horror scene equivalent of the Jurassic Park graphics happening on masses of people that were not far away from home. It is a scene of people doomed for extinction through hunger, worse than bombing them.
            You said you are human first and Eritrean 2nd. You don’t know how much I appreciated you for that very sane line. And then you are tegadalai, a symbol face of self less, people-first humanity. How do you feel about these numbers which are all from HRW report published in May 1986 in the International Herald?
            Hayat

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Hayat
            You have already read the following, and I appreciate your stress on the human loss rather than on assigning the blame.
            1. You have read from my lines that had there been cooperation between the two fronts the toll could have been minimized, Durg (the main root cause of that catastrophe could have been uprooted sooner. It’s painful It did not happen for those victims to be helped in their villages.
            2. You want to assign the blame to EPLF, and many of us want to see the whole picture in the absence of an objective evidence. Unless we have an independently verified evidence, one side story won’t be enough; I said much about this. I want you to focus on areas you are great at; It hurts your credibility when you plunge into one-sided story as a conclusive one. If you pay attention to my comments, I am not absolving EPLF leadership, but I need more than a “moody account” where it gets ratcheted up when there is the mood for zeraf…zeraf and presents a total silence when things are friendly. Please join Fanti Ghana.
            3. The numbers you mentioned are human beings, I visualize them; and that’s why this is so emotional for me. I will live with those horror scenes until I die. Just remember, initially, the scene was not that different in our side of the border. The blame should squarely be placed where it should. We were the victims of war; it’s unjust to play reverse-justice.
            4. Tigray people’s treatment of fleeing Eritrean youth attests to the fact that the people are more understanding than political cadres. The fact that the people have not reacted negatively to those Eritreans in need of help shows you the people understand the complexity of political games, and the scope of the natural disaster that engulfed that area 30 years ago.

          • Hayat Adem

            Mahmuday,
            Thank you. If we agree how grave the matter was and how innocent people paid dearly, we can come up at a reasonable blame-sharing formula and it matters less as to who takes the largest share as long as that man-made horror was accounted. For one, it is only the TPLF that is speaking about it and nothing has been heard from EPLF. Thanks to you for trying out of your way to talk to people and fill that gap. Now consider the following three direct quotes from John Young, from HRW and from TPLF-CC respectively.
            1) “At the height of the famine in 1984, the EPLF broke relations with TPLF as a result of long
            simmering dispute and were not resumed until 1988. Although the causes of the rapture were sometimes lost in the subsequent war of words, the impact of the breakdown of relationship between the former allies were clear enough and immediate. Military collaboration ended, political contacts were terminated, and the TPLF radio in Eritrea was closed down. Demonstrating just how serious this dispute the EPLF considered it to be, it went on to refuse the TPLF and REST the passage over Tigray’s manin supply link through Eritrea to Kassala in Sudan, thus causing a
            crisis in Tigray.”
            2) “Tigray during the last months of 1984 and the first half of 1985 represented the very nadir of the famine — the most intense and widespread suffering in the entire country… TPLF and REST assisted the westward migration, which took 4-5 weeks on foot. Feeding centers were set up at key points along the route, and food was brought across the border from Sudan. From 5,000 new refugees in September 1984, the inflow increased to 25,000 in October and 87,000 in December,
            tailing off during 1985. A disagreement between EPLF and TPLF in March 1985 led to the former closing the key road from Tigray to Sudan, which runs through Eritrea, forcing the refugees to use the longer and more dangerous route through Gonder.”
            3) “At a time when the Tigrayan people were going through great suffering due to a terrible
            famine and the whole world was engaged in an exemplary effort to combat this problem the EPLF, the organization that the Tigrayan masses considered as one of the co-combatants in the struggle for justice, blocked the life-line of the famine victims and committed an unpardonable act which would have come as a surprise even from our enemies much less our friends.”
            Apparently, the 1985 release from the TPLF CC didn’t reflect the kind of animosity TPLF had against EPLF then let alone about plan of replacing EPLF with another. That release spoke clearly how surprised TPLF was by the action of the EPLF, considered to be “co-combatant” by Tigreans. I think we can safely conclude the decision of blockade was used by EPLF as a policy tool to punish TPLF without a consideration of the bad consequence on innocent people and caring less for leaving bad history.

            Hayat

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Dear Hayat,

            Thank you again; I am really busy at this time and for the week end; but for fairness, please provide the link. For example, it’s obvious in number 3, appears to be a quoted quote and not that of the author. Time permitted, I will return to it unless others give you an input. At the heart of the debate is the motive. I think we can settle that there was a closure of the route; I did not dispute that. What’s contentious is the “why” part of it. Now Young put the date at march, 1985. The capture of Barentu happened in early July of that year. I don’t want to lecture that preparing for operations of this magnitude takes many months- from surveillances, to planning to preparing for that plan which includes supporting infrastructure, mobilizations of resources, etc. By that time the whole western Eritrea would have been considered a military zone. Now, I don’t know when the official request was done; were the two fronts in a position to exchange information with regard to the severity of the situation ; did the author get EPLF’s accounts or he is basing his report only on TPLF ( sorry I did not read it). Again my role so far has been to give as much info as possible and let the reader decide.

            The following tells all. In this report the closing is still there, the motive not quite clear. It passes it as ideological differences. The fact that Semere is saying it was not a priority tells you the information TPLF gave was not at par with the calamity Tigray people were facing. If not the EPLF even declared it could enter a cease fire in order to facilitate famine aids, a fact that I had forgotten to mention. I don’t see why EPLF would want to play politics when it was ready to cease fire.

            http://www.nytimes.com/1985/07/15/world/ethiopia-rebels-say-they-captured-northern-city.html

  • tes

    Dear AT,

    Big apologies. These times I am stucked with time shortages. I expected my comments to pop-up as usual. Waiting more than an hour made me to think wrongly. Now I can see my comments were not ok for disqus.

    Big sorry.

    Tes

  • ‘Gheteb

    The TPLF Says “Unpardonable Act”. The TPLF Allies With The ‘perpetrator’
    Of The “Unpardonable Act”

    Unpardonable Act? What an unpardonable act? Let’s see how it
    is defined.

    un·par·don·a·ble
    /ˌənˈpärd(ə)nəb(ə)l/
    adjective
    adjective: unpardonable
    (of a fault or offense) too severe to be pardoned;
    unforgivable.
    “an unpardonable sin”

    Yes, in its September 1985 Central Committee statement the TPLF claims the following:

    “ … The EPLF… blocked the life life-line of the famine victims and committed an unforgivable act…. “

    Now what exactly is the meaning of the word lifeline?

    “ A means or route by which necessary supplies are transported”.

    Here what I have come to understand is the TPLF Central committeeis complaining not that the EPLF has blocked the passage of Tigrayan refugees fleeing famine and seeking to get help by crossing to the Sudan by traversingthrough Eritrean route. I am pretty sure that the TPLF’s complaint/claim seems
    to be that the route through EPLF controlled territories is “blocked” that theTPLF was unable to transport supplies be it for famine relief or otherwise.

    Now here is what I don’t get.

    Weren’t those who have virtually ‘deafened’ our ears in this Forum asserting that the EPLF DID NOT allow and PREVENTED the Tigrayan refugees fleeing the famine in Tigray seeking refuge in the Sudan and not as the TPLF Central Committee statement claims that “the EPLF blocked the
    life-line of the famine victims?

    Why the TPLF DID NOT state explicitly that the EPLF blocked the Tigrayan famine victims from crossing to the Sudan through Eritrean routes? Yes, why this statement which was issued in 1985 and the statement DID NOT say anything about those Tigrayan famine victims heading to the Sudan which some have been hollering in this forumto make it look like the EPLF refused their passage through Eritreanterritories.

    Does anyone has a different take? I don’t think so.

    Then the TPLF CC statement describes the EPLF’S alleged act of blocking the life line of the famine victims as ‘an unpardonable act”. In 1985 the TPLF said the EPLF has perpetrated an offense that is too severe and too grave and too serious to be forgiven. This is something akin to a sin that can’t be pardoned. It is not like a slight or a minor offense that one passes with a “MaElesh” as Person XY is so accustomed to utter in those rare moments. Now this question is to you. By you, I mean those card carrying Weyane members, their Eritrean fellow travelers, the Weyanes who are posing as Eritreans. You need to do better to free your mind as your mind is colonized by Weyane-ism and absolute
    anti-Eritreanism. Pause for a moment and ask yourself this:

    How can the TPLF that claimed that the EPLF committed “ an unpardonable act” in 1985 has allied and joined the EPLF in less than three years in 1988? Do you think that makes sense? Does it all add up? Do you see any logical inconsistency? Do you? Now take a deep breath and leave Eritrea and Eritreans alone and go and find out what your TPLF did or didn’t do during those horrible years of 1984-85. You see, sometimes it is easy to forget the big log that is lodged in your eye if you obsess too much about others who seem to have mere specks in their eyes. I think in this case the log is lodged in your eyes and your Tigray, I mean your Kilil, again I really mean your Cinderella Kilil, has issues that you may want to address. Oh, I forgot. You want to make it more relevant to Eritreans. Then do the right thing and fess up the negative role your TPLF played in Eritrea starting in its role in the Eritrean civil war between the EPLF and the ELF bysiding with former? Can you do just that?

  • Semere Andom

    Dear Al
    Yesterday while updating Fanti Ghana on the measure events in this forum between Sal and I we summarized over 30 points and in no 29, I said that “Selam broke the news that there is an independent think tank in Asmara.” It turn out that it was not Selam, the comment was made by Milenu Bereket. I stand corrected and my apologies to Selam for the pain that this mix up may have inflicted. I hope a stroll in Asmara and a sip of caffe latte will heal the pain for smearing her good name.
    Semere Andom

  • Gonbel

    Tes,
    Few weeks ago, AT was forced to reiterate their policy because one forumer cried foul. Perhaps you missed it, but that missive has this explicit statement that says: “AT welcomes all including PFDJ supporters”. All that is required of them is to engage in ways that comport with AT standard which makes the distinction you are drawing between EPLF and PFDJ a moot point. Now, how do you plan to exchang ideas (sharing the forum) with PFDJ members while insulting them?

    • tes

      Dear Gonbel,

      I have a non-reconcilatory approach towards PFDJ and hence no sharing of ideas. At the same time, I am not AT member and hence I will not interfer in their decision to welcome PFDJtisas.

      But I resist and claim as much as I can to AT not to turn this beautiful web-site into Institute of PFDJ mindset replication Center. Hence, I have two fights, one to keep the room genuine one and friendly to all and dismantling the PFDJ mindset and the system. It is good if they read and try to fight back though they can’t except defaming. This is what selam exactly is doing and so is Nitricc.

      Therefore, my claim is in consistency of my principle to fight PFDJ. I wish AT banned PFDJ mindset holders not to put their derogatory words here. This is just my wish but this is from point of view and I will not order AT what I have. They have opened a website that can host all kinds of views and it is commendable. For this, I am on the extreme end of fighters who labels PFDJ as a Nazi Party of German, fighting to weed-them out and follow a non-reconcilatiry approach. Others may differ and it is ok, I accept it as I believe Eritrean politics should be diverse in its view.

      To recap, I wish PFDJ members were banned from this web-site but awate.com is not up to that measures unless there is a serious brake of their guidelines and this applies to me equally. having this kind of web in today’s Eritrean political landscape, I admire and appreciate awate.com, a web-site that well-comes all faces.

      tes

  • selam

    Lets drop the weird thing , because i promised awate.com moderator i will not fight back when ever a mad dog make noise.

    No you want my mam not to speak any other language to me ? I am the least person to speak Tigrina properly in our house , but i guess it will be quite extra ordinary for you if i told you that in our house we are advised to master Tigrina , how about that.

  • Nitricc

    tes, you have replied the same thing an hour ago, so, i am declaring you an alcoholic or down right bipolar crazy. ether way; i declare you non-essecentioal and useless. work on your self, you have a real personal issue. i know you are trying very hard to me smart and sophisticated but it is not there. take time and evaluate your situation. i am trying to be funny or critical but honest. the last time i advice to Semere Andom; the next day came with Idea of TPLF should keep Badime. so, i don’t mind what you can come up with, just come up with something and stop this stupidity. because you think you are smart, it doesn’t equate you are one. let it go.

    • tes

      Nitricc,

      You have said it so many times. Nothing new you are saying. Or are you still in your usual wondering? A kid!!!

      tes

  • selam

    To awate.com moderator

    Am i that much out of touch with words of insulting , ok i will throw them all to a trash and i apologize , But will the moderator help me tell semere andom that i never used the name millenu bereket . it is not me . can awate.com do that.
    or is it oky to frame people in awate.com because he accused me of changing name.

  • tes

    Dear AT,

    Am I in madote or tesfanews? Just getting bored with gual hidirtina.

    And still you are ok when she writes, “ክትዋረድ ደሊካ አዩ አምበረይ ፣ ኣታ ሃሳዊ ከታፊ ወዲ ለማኒት።”

    Well, saay7 is the moderator, I forgot.

    tes

    • selam

      what is the difference with gual hidrtina , you call my mother and i called his mother ? what is your problem then
      You are calling my mam and , i called his mam in different post . Do you want come in for him.
      He accused me and i reply .

      • Kokhob Selam

        Deares tes and lovely selam,

        Now forget everything and start new page so we the elders will have hope on our young generation.

        • selam

          You always go with this man , yet i accept your demand ,You know he keep coming after me and i have no idea what he wants.

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear Selam,
            tes has his unique quality and you have your own. when we differ in ideas, I say it openly to you and tes I never pretend as if I agree or I never play with words as some of our friends do. But we don’t have to be enemies and blame each other. we need each other.

            see, whatever your view is I don’t label you. human give his view from his experience and knowledge and should be respected. I may agree for somethings with you while I agree for some views with tes.

            But at last you are the same for me (my family) isn’t it? so please,

          • selam

            Understood , take it done. You know you always told me what you think of me and i take as it comes with no SIK MIK , lol my mam use this SIK MIK KEYBELKI . So i accept.

        • tes

          Dear KS,

          I am in shortage of time these days for good but I have stopped posting under this killers messenger lady. I posted and demanded AT to consider her post for the respect of the readers.

          Killers messenger is not shy to post what ever she wants. By the way, she is an athiest and does not have morality at all. But I believe AT has unless saay7 used her as a tool against his opponents, TPLF.

          tes

    • Nitricc

      Tes, i know the other personality must poossesed you in the moment buy sometomes things happen. At one time you were allowd to post EPLF flag with Nazi embelem so, shut your pie hole and go drink or what ever you do. I hate foult finders.

      • tes

        Even now I will post that flag. But it is not for EPLF but for PFDJ. There is no more EPLF but PFDJ. A gone-bye for good front can not raise his flaga again. EPLF era was over in 1994. selam and likes deserve the Nawi grafitti and I will do whenever I have a chance to do.

        awate.com didn’t allow that and they deleted it and so now they should about this killers messanger lady.

        • selam

          Some has the ability to snizz every were and the best medicine described for these kind of people is white horse. In a hot temperature with no ice. The possible result will be as this mad dog again.

    • tes

      Dear AT,

      Ok, Thank you.

      I respect her political stand and I have only one option, to challenge her. But she multiplies insulting, I can’t tolerate.

      tes

      • Shum

        Hello Selam & Tes,

        Your back and forth would be more tolerable if it were conducted in a different language such as Blen. That way, those of us who don’t speak it will think “oh look they’re getting along”. Try it out Tes. We want to see if her Blen is really that much better than her Tigrinya as she claims.

        • selam

          It will be very hard for him to communicate properly , thinking ordinary girl from keren or Elaored . As usual you can see women in Eritrea still need to earn our place even after the hardship our mothers paid for the independence. You can see awate.com threat us quite differently. Even in this great site i can feel the demonizing attitudes of some and him alike. yet i will not be intimidated by him , with any language.

          دعونا ننتظر إذا awate.com يمكن أن تساعد لي ان اقول andom semere عن دعواه

  • Semere Andom

    think tank

    • selam

      Dear semere .A

      It was from a name called MILENU BEREKET and i saw it late but i and you can ask awate.com about that who posted it. Until that I already asked you to correct your statement about that.
      You are a lair and idiot on top of that rubbish of your censoring quality should have been better if you try from zero.

      29. Selam broke the biggest news that there is think thank in Eritrea

    • selam

      I have no motive to disappoint people by framing to defaming and lies , i have no clue if you got this from your payers weyane. And you seem to love lying all over . For Z sake it is not fair to your children if you keep lying to yourself.

    • selam

      I have no motive to disappoint people by framing to defaming and lies , i have no clue if you got this from your payers weyane. And you seem to love lying all over . For Z sake it is not fair to your children if you keep lying to yourself.

  • selam

    I am sure Weyane cronies like XY. all of the other cronies will say every thing to discredit this .Please listen this conversation between Aregawi Berhe, told the BBC’s Martin Plaut. Here is what i found in this archaive of The hunger in 1984-5 Aregawi Berhe, told the BBC’s Martin Plaut.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_depth/8547405.stm

  • selam

    The Convention Against Torture (CAT) defines torture in Article I as “any act by which sever pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain and suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquaintance of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity.” Remeber the 80,000 people who where subjected to torture and inhuman way of deportee still some of you and i guess most of you from Ethiopia specifically the weyane branch like XY still want to lecture as about 1984 , in which in Eritreans mind has no place or what so ever . As you know TPLF was on the other end of killing ELF , do we need to go back and say so much in which people like KOKHOB.S say every thing to say the members of ELF and could not defend , that is way way bad than rewriting history.
    Ghebremebdihn Araya have told this story of TPLF and EPLF clearly so we do not need to waste time in rewriting another
    If reconstruction of history is to fail, one of the preconditions is to muzzle and discourage all those who are living testimonies and by discrediting and linking them as invaders , terrorists and name it, than admitting ones own guilt.

    • ‘Gheteb

      Hello Selam,
      Thank you for raising the issue of Gebremedhin Araya. Here I read the likes of this character using the nick Fanti Ghana making this utterly laughable claim that “Gebremdhin is medically gone and he should not be taken seriously”. For all this, Fanti Ghana has absolutely nothing, I mean NOTHING, to offer to support this bizarre “diagnosis” he rendered. Just like that it was cherry-picked by those who have been offering this forum with classic examples of what psychologists refer as confirmation bias.
      A) Professor Al Mariam, a JD and Phd and a professor at Cal State who has appeared before California State Supreme Court wrote that he found that Gebremedhin’s testimony to be a prima facie evidence. Simply put, that means the evidence presented by Gebremedhin is sufficient enough for a judgment to be made. That is a GUILTY verdict against those the claim is lodged against and here they are the TPLF leaders (Meles and Sebhat).
      B) That being the case, now here comes a certain Fanti Ghana , writing under a nick, making this weird and utterly outlandish claim stating that Gebremedhin is “medically gone” or he is mentally deranged. The person making this cyber diagnosis has just made an individual observation. That is all there is to it. Fanti Ghana made that assertion which is indeed ludicrously FUNNY. I am wondering if this character should change the nick Fanti Ghana to FUNNY Ghana.
      I take professor Al Mariam’s assessment more seriously than a character who comes across as a zany card sporting a nick that is incredibly close to the word ‘farceur’ which is even closer to the word FUNNY. Hence, at least to me, the transmutation of the nick fanti Ghana to funny Ghana.

      • selam

        The main focus of weyane cronies is to reconstruct a new history only under their umbrella , in which they want to use history on every day life to cheat, to muzzle you mention it but to discredit Ghebremedhin Araya is over the top of any .

        The trans passing of our brother i mean the TIGRAY people through eritrea to sudan is the least the Eritrean people can do. WEYANE and any one from Tigray know , all the Tigray people were welcome to any city , village of Eritrea at the time of DERGI . They know it we know it . What is missing is an honest person like Ghebremedhin Araya who can tell story as it happened.

        Weyane has used the aid to make money and starve the TIGRAY people to death , that evilness and cowardliness is not new and it can not be rewritten by some cronies and beggars again . It is done. Deal with it. OWn your own story , and we have our own which is good and bad, we have accepted with out twisting and muzzling.

      • saay7

        Selamat Cousin Gheteb:

        I actually thought the claim that “Gebremdhin Araya is gone” was made by Fnote Selam and not Fanti Ghana, my mistake. I replied to Fnote that it is hard to make decisions on somebody’s sanity remotely based on a TV interview because everyone looks bad in a badly lit Skype interview.

        In any event, what matters is what was his state of mind at the time he gave his testimony, not now.

        Furthermore, the “so-and-so” is crazy is classic CIA profiling system of ostracization. Remember how they refused Haitis Aristide return to power that he is “prone to extreme violence…spent time at psych ward….takes powerful medication to regulate his mood…” Years later it emerged that every single one of those claims was false (Aristide himself was a psychologist) but by then it didn’t matter his window of opportunity was gone.

        An into to Fanti Ghana: he wrote a powerful message of reconciliation here that it was so good it was posted in front page. Then he had powerful message from the “center” to return back to the fold and, you know….

        saay

        • ‘Gheteb

          Ahlen my dearest Cousin Sal.

          No, Sal it was Fanti Ghana who made that outre assertion about Gebremedhin. I am copy pasting it below for your convenience:
          Coz, I will get back to you on the issues you raised a bit later on.
          Thanks!

          Fanti Ghana saay7 • 18 hours ago

          Hello SAAY Hawey, kemey Kenikha?

          A couple of weeks ago, I was about to ask you a favor to summarize for me about what I missed during

          September-February, but I saw how busy you were, and I didn’t have the heart. However, now that you mentioned Gebremedhin Araya for the second time in relation to TPLF’s past, I am regretting it for not killing two birds with one stone: torture you and get my lesson at the same time!

          I strongly doubt it, but if you happened to be one of the few lucky ones, who missed his interview with

          ESAT TV regarding TPLF’s history, let me warn you that he is, medically speaking, really gone. You probably suspect that already, but just in case, please don’t take him seriously.

          Let me repeat Abinet style: “bilit Kuter silut Tafia and ale.”

          Selam

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Abu Saleh,

          When we quote someone to use for our argument, shouldn’t we seek other sources to collaborate their claims before we use them. Most of the time we relay our arguments on single source and we never check the motives of the people we try to quote them for our argument, especially in our internal politics as well as on the Ethio-Eritrean politics. That is my reading so far. The only way we can have sane debate is, to leave history aside, and focus only on the needed change in the Eritrean political landscape.

          regards,
          Amanuel Hidrat

          • saay7

            Selamat Emma:

            Your understanding of the role of history is different from me, and more curiously, it’s different from you. Emma has a curious understanding of understanding of history: if he agrees with the interpretation of history, he joins in with his “Abet ewe! Abet ewe!” (exhibit A: his support of Kokhob Selam; his support of SGJ: his support of Ghezae; his silence on the assault by Weyane II and their apologists.) If he disagrees with the interpretation, then he does his “let’s leave history to historians!”

            This is, at best, naive. The first draft of history is being written right here when apropos nothing the Ethiopian famine of 1984-85 is mentioned. Was this introduced as a discussion of famine overall? Famine in Africa? Famine in Ethiopia? No. It was specifically TPLF-controlled Tigray and the question was framed as: it is just the EPLF who is guilty or by extension all Eritreans? Then, coffee talk style (from SNL): “discuss among yourselves.”

            If a subject is esoteric and has nothing to do with present day Eritrea and specifically how we see ourselves, then I would agree. But this goes right to the heart of Eritrean identity or EPLF identity and its supporters.

            There is an awesome song by Osman Abdulrehim called “qelem” that says what I just did much better. You should listen to it.

            saay

          • Semere Andom

            You and Emma “tewedeb bellu”. I cannot wait for Sebhat’s book. I envy that TPLF2 is nervous about what he will say. TPLF’s Romadan can write a book and make his front nervous. Yea you say he not afraid cus he controls tthe security, but that would make him IA and still he makes his front supper nervous by their fear he may expose their intrigue.

          • Hayat Adem

            Sem A.,
            I doubt if this is a biography and personal recollections of Sibhat. It could be compilation of his interviews, commentaries of the past. I’m saying this because that is what I felt when I read the testimonies at the back cover. The opinions there are not about the new book but about Sibhat his interviews and articles.
            Hayat

          • saay7

            iSem:

            What is “Tewekel bellu”? Sounds like Tigrinya Khartoum and Mahmouday is going to come and yell at you.

            TPLF-II gets nervous about Aboy Sebhat because he says things like Minelik gave away Eritrea, Massawa was never Ethiopias port, Mengistu was a butcher, I was still celebrating in Asmara with my cousins when Addis was liberated and I never bothered to show up to that alien city…. Not welcome when TPLF is trying to hold on to its coalition by focusing them on how awful shabbiyah is:)

            saay

          • Semere Andom

            Sal:
            “tewedeb bellu”, is you know the EPLF dance vs the “shekortet” 🙂

          • saay7

            ISem:

            There is no “bellu”. It’s a simple “Tewedeb!” But we will let Mahmuday mediate:)

            saay

          • selam

            What makes you a lair and defame people ? . Is it from your DNA or that is given from weyane ?

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Abu Saleh,
            We always expect from you to tell us that we are naive when we oppose your account. That is just a reminder to you if you don’t notice it. That is beside the story. If I support what Kohob selam and SGJ have said, because they reflected my history (my true history). What you and others like you who were not there in theater of the armed struggle have to do is, to scrutinize my “assertion” to what KS and SGJ have said. That is your job.

            About the accusation of TPLF against EPLF, I don’t know the facts. Hence I will neither support to the TPLF accusation, nor do I defend the quietness of EPLF to the accusation. You see Saay, I don’t argue on something I don’t know. Hence I watch you guys arguing without verifying the validity of some testimonies. My truth-o-meter will evaluate you (both sides) when the truth comes up to the surface. I am just listening you.The time when I will give my verdict will come when the evolution of the truth come to an end in this matter.

            If you don’t forget you observe my position when T. Kifle want to distort the alliance of EPLF/TPLF for his self-fulfillment argument. Actually Habtegiorghis who was member of the committee from the ELF side, did an excellent expose against his distortion. One thing for fact, I want to make you aware is, that the truth will not be accounted in such format of discussion where most of the story tellers are pen names.

            regards,

          • saay7

            Ato Amanuel:

            But isnt that the point? When TPLF attacks ELF u intervene. When TPLF attacks EPLF you say “will you please stop discussing history?”

            May I remind you the the first posting to this article we are no longer discussing is you discussing history–my role in 1998? Oh yes sir there is a pattern: you want to discuss history only when it advances whatever u want to advance; when you have nothing to contribute to the subject, you tell awatistas to stop discussing history. I am calling you out on your inconsistency.

            And who is the “we”? Is that a royal we, Egna Ato Amanuel? 🙂

            Saay

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Abu Saleh,

            The “we” are – those who are characterized by you as “naive”. Don’t be niave Ghezae, Don’t be naive Amanuel…. etc. Nihna not Egna…… I think I know tigrigna.

            When we defend the position of ELF, remember we were acive ELFites. But I don’t see from EPLF except Mahmuday. And Mahmuday is still asking a documentary proof from T. Kifle. You see Saleh, if it is history “gena miwhlal iyu zedli. Ghena aytezahfen.” Especially on the Eritrean side.

          • saay7

            Haha Ato Amanuel:

            So Gebar are not qualified to comment on history only Tegadelti are? Sounds familiar talk of enda Isaias. A Gebar who interviews dozens of Tegadelti is less qualified than 1 Tegadalai to interpret history? But doesn’t that violate your admonishing against using one source? 🙂

            And u are doing that “I am so offended” routine. Again. Calling someone naive is less offensive than calling people u disagree with as “hateful” and opposed to peace.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Abu Saleh,

            You love to twist argument. That is your forte. Anyway, this is not gabar vs tegadalay. History is written by historians. And our historians either they are on compiling it or they didn’t get enough sources to come with verifiable history books. That is my argument. “Lahmet nay Tarik hizka Kolel TeQmi Yeblun.” Let us focus on what we can do in the current struggle. By the way don’t forget the task you are assigned to change politico-diplomacy of Eritrean politics.

          • saay7

            Kbur Ato amanuel:

            These discussions forums are where the first draft of history are written. Not the polished, footnoted, multiple-sourced ones but first-person and second-person accounts. You are free to participate or to refrain: I am asking you to stop ur one sided-harangue of people whose viewpoints you disagree with. They are not going to listen to you (and they shouldn’t) because they are expressing their point of view and their narrative.

            Leaving your self-congratulatory testimonies aside “ane..I…i…i…”, please note that those who are on the receiving end of you classifying anything that doesn’t give unqualified endorsement of weyane as anti-peace, and full of hateful grudges is duly noted.

            Your invitation for what you call diplomacy and what I call dependency was politely declined. I countered by inviting you to assemble a focus group of Eritrean diaspora in your social circle and to ask them why they are not active members of the Opposition and you gave me a long “al fas men sereghu?” non answer* 🙂

            Saay

            * al fas men sereghu = Hlmi derho.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            So Abu Saleh,

            Your hateful grudges is duly to me. Wow. Abyet, Abyet, “tefaEna” I hope you will not be a Judge for future Eritrea.

            One thing for Sure though, not the forums, but the articles, the essays, the reports, that are on the front page of awate.com, will be used as references as needed, for historians. Thank you for your hate until it subsides.

            regards,

          • saay7

            Anta Emma.

            You are not understanding me. What I am saying is this:

            1. There are eritreans who post messages here who don’t much like TPLF, its leaders, its role in Eritrea, past and present
            2. You, Amanuel, collectively accuse them as being hateful and anti-peace. Or when somebody describes then as anti-peace and hateful, you support the accuser.
            End of message.

            Saay

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Kubur,Kubur, Saay,

            That is not me, and is not my personality. I don’t hate people, I vehemently disagree some views, because it obstruct the possible peace process within us and with our neighbors. That is all. In any case, I rest my case.
            Thank you for the exchange, I learn something, though not good experience.

            Amanuel Hidrat

          • saay7

            Uuuuuf Emma:

            I did NOT accuse you of hating people. I accused you of casually attributing “hate” to the motives of people you disagree with. For example:

            Awatista 1: I don’t understand how eritreans admired the late Meles Zenawi because he was destructive to Eritrea.
            Awatista 2: Meles Zenawi was a great man. Those who criticize him are just closet PFDJ and they are full of hate
            Amanuel: (supporting awatista 2): you said it! You are so right! Meles was a great man.

            This is a typical exchange here at awate.

            Saay

  • Hayat Adem

    Framing the 1984 discussion- I’ll try to frame the discussion in a manner that helps us come up with possible summary and conclusions. I hate to comb through mixed matters so I have tried to separate them in two: the ones that belong to TPLF and the ones that belong to EPLF. I’ve designated W (Weyane) for the former and S (Shaebia) for the latter, so you all can comment accordingly.
    .
    Questioning TPLF
    W1) It was not prepared enough for the crisis. This is a valid point advanced by Mahmuday (and may be others, too). It looks like this is now a settled point. T. Kifle affirmed earlier that this was the case. The logical follow up question would be “why was it so? Negligence? Capacity? External and uncontrollable limitations? I’m not sure if we can answer those inferences adequately now.
    W2) TPLF was exploiting the crisis for its own benefits. This is a view advanced by the critics of TPLF. TPLF and TPLF supporters reject this allegation categorically. Mahmuday and Saay mentioned it in this tread as well. The only two sources we know of this information are Aregawi and Gebremedhin. The latter is discredited by many as a reliable source including by the respected Fanti Ghana. So, I want to write him off as credible source. All we have on this is Aregawi because Martin Plaut’s sources were also these two. Also bear in mind the NGOs involved then have rejected the accusation. Gebru Asrat has denied this in his recent book as well. I would love to hear T. Kifle and other Ethiopians in this forum on this issue and we can conclude it.
    Questioning EPLF:
    S1) Passage corridor to Sudan through Eritrea for starving people of Tigray in 1984-85 was asked by TPLF and was denied. That is the accusation by TPLF. EPLF never spoke about it. Lets clear the fogs off for clear understanding by trimming out what is highly likely and what is not and single out the most important part for further reflection. For example the passage was denied and people had died because of that decision. This seems to be true because other neutral parties like John Young and HRW had said it. The only part we may need to know is the why part. Some people like T. Kifle seem to suggest that EPLF did it for no reason other than scoring political points against TPLF for its political “misbehaving”. This argument implicates the inhumanity and unprincipledness of EPLF. Others, Saay and Mahmuday, among them seem to suggest that the blockade had happened (Saay) or might have happened (Mahmuday) but it could have happened for other policy (internal) reasons or 3rd party (external) conditions.
    S2) EPLF never uttered a word (of explanation, denial or apology) on this. This also seems to be true and nobody seems to have a sense of why. Could it be shame or guilt? Could it be the out of the usual book of “tim dibelna tim knibil slezidelena’yu”. Why are they quite? Should they continue to be quite? Should they be criticized for their policy of silence?
    Hayat

    • Nitricc

      Letkidane; this what your TPLF did to their own people. How on earth are you going to blame on Eritrea? “TPLF ordered the exodus of large numbers of victims from tigray to Sudan” for the purpose of business and profit. So what if EPLF know this and say no to save the people of Tigray? Did your dedebit mind ever thought that possibility?

      “”To magnify the severity and dramatize the gravity of the famine situation for the NGOs, the TPLF leaders ordered the exodus of large numbers of victims from Tigrai into the Sudan creating a mushroom of refugee settlements overnight along the northern Sudanese-Ethiopian border. Using different techniques and methods, the TPLF leaders stage-managed an elaborate marketing “drama” for the NGOs to deliver aid to the large famine-stricken population inside Tigrai. This was done principally by organizing a small group of their most trusted and inner circle members to pose as “grain merchants” and solicit business from the NGOs.
      The NGO deception games, or more accurately the Western NGO famine aid-sharking scheme, were varied. At the onset of the scam, the TPLF leaders used a three-staged process. In stage one, one group of TPLF/REST officials masquerading as legitimate grain merchants would approach the myriad NGOs and offer to sell them substantial quantities of grain for quick delivery to the famine victims. At the time, the TPLF had acquired hundreds of heavy trucks and stashed in secret underground warehouses grains from various sources, including NGOs, for use by its fighters. These secretly stashed grain stockpiles were in fact being offered for sale to the NGOs. The TPLF/REST “grain dealers” would make grain sales deals with the NGOs, complete the sale transaction and return back to their hideouts with the cash payment. Gebremedhin personally played a direct role in this drama as a “grain dealer”. He described his role with stunning simplicity:””

      Read it to your self; Ayyyy Letkidan?

      http://open.salon.com/blog/almariam/2014/10/28/1984_great_ethiopian_famine_tplf_still_licensed_to_steal

    • T. Kifle

      Dear Hayat,

      Obviously, TPLF as an entity for the most part depended on the people for subsistence. When famine descended upon them, the front got its share of the challenges even its share of the hunger. You would understand that it needed the involvement of many parties such as the Derg, the government of Sudan, EPLF, the NGOs etc. Dergue was out of the equation because, it made it clear it would bomb any convoy that would access western Tigray and Eritrea via Sudan. It also demanded humanitarian operations would be carried out only through its own channels. But the NGOs were concerned that the assistance wouldn’t reach the northern part of the country which means nearly 5 million people(including Tigray and Eritrea) would face the danger and started new initiative for an access via Sudan. Then came the access road issue to the forefront and hence, the role of the EPLF. The two fronts were not cooperating at the time doesn’t mean that they were in non-speaking terms. It is only meant that they were not cooperating in their war efforts against Derg.

      Now the accusers:

      Gebremedhin Araya is a man addicted to lies(I doubt his sanity). He defected to the Derge in 1981/82 E.C. He rained on the two fronts(TPLF and EPLF) as the lethal enemies of the state; one “toiling to Arabize Eritrea” and the other acting a “mercenary role” for the leftovers of the petrodollar EPLF had been “amassing’ from the middle east- the “natural enemies of Ethiopia”. Derg used him(along the side of Abraham Yayeh) tarnish the image of the two fronts from the privilege of an insider. Practically the media was occupied with narratives of the two guys appearing before countless radio and TV secessions as if they held the keys of Nakifa and Dedebit. It was the most laughable political drama that attest to the skin-deep political venture the Drege was known for. Now, people are excited over and go for fishing what this turncoat had to say to prop their arguments and further their causes.

      Aregawi Berhe is one of the bravest TPLFites characterised by his comrades as a man that never lower his head in a fierce battlefield. But over the years this man had developed a palatable anger probably for a lost opportunity and seen engaged in pointless squabbles akin to “እንተዘይበላዕኹዎስ እበታትኖ”. He is losing his ground and accused to the extent that the TPLF availed 95% of the humanitarian fund for MLLT founding celebration and other war efforts. As you correctly said it, Gebru Asrat seems in no buying mode of his ideas, Aregash Adane, one of the TPLF dissidents of 2001 and the only female central committee in the armed struggle era, also expressed her disagreement in an interview she gave to VOA Tigrigna some years back. Tsadkan G. Tinsae, the then central committee and chief of stuff of the liberation army and later Chief of staff of the Armed Forces , ridiculed Aregawi’s claims. Therefore, any one can have their opinions but the fact is that the famine happened to be in one of the least connected pockets of the world. Tegadelties did everything in their capacity carrying babies, ration and water on their back along with the kalashinkovs , providing primary level health care and everything in their capacity to save lives that could be saved. If covering that distance takes weeks for the dandies, how difficult it would be for the famished kids, women and all only allowed to travel in the nights to to push the seemingly inevitable death farther by any minute. It’s under such a situation Aregawi tells us TPLF was indifferent and worse later in that year he claimed the front squandered the money entrusted to it from the magnanimous world citizens to lessor causes. It’s actually an oxymoron to argue on $95 millions would be consumed in a celebratory tune in an organization known for its extreme austerity that used to dishout serious measures against those who crossed its by-laws like consuming the locally brewed drink called “Siwa”.

      But then, Every TPLFite at the time knew that corruption was a taboo. No one, including Dr. Aregawi, so far has produced an evidence the money was stashed away and enriched some corrupt guys in the ranks. Simply no such sort was known. What is wrong in it ,then, if some of the money is used for war inputs without affecting the livelihood of the people? Expediting the war had been in the best interest of the Tigrean people. And the accusation came after the famine got ameliorated and even significant part of the refuges were returned back to their villages in order to cultivate their lands just in the immediate rainy season. So all the hoopla this guy is making bears little sense and the fact that he is one of the few people known to us who expressed happiness and celebrated the untimely death PMMZ tells much of the story.

      • selam

        http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_depth/8547405.stm , cross road of the story .Gebremedhin Araya (L) says he posed as a merchant, but was in fact a rebel. This story is supportes by aregawi Berhe. How is Ato ghebremedhin adicted to lies , who knew better than the dealer you Mr.cronies or the man on action . YOU people can not and will not play such game under the payment of weyane. This is true history and can not be muzzled by cronies of the 21th century . Thanks to media this is not at your disposal or any . This is well documented with picture. So no lies stop it. It will cost you nothing if you people accept history as it happens.

        • ‘Gheteb

          For those who understand Amharic. here is a glimpse into Geberemehin’s testimonial.

          በዚህ ወቅት የህ.ወ.ሓ.ት. አመራር በድርቅ የተጎዳው የትግራይ ሕዝብ ወደ ሱዳን እንዲሰደድ በእዙ ስር ለሚገኘው የህዝብ ግንኙነት ትእዛዝ አስተላለፈ። በዚሁ መሰረት የቀጠና (በሪጂን) ሶስት ሀላፊ በነበረው አሸብር ንርኣዮ የበላይ መሪነት በየወረዳውና በየጣቢያው ያሉ የህዝብ ግንኙነት አባላት አማካኝነት ተግባራዊ ሆነ። አሸብር ከእኔ ጋር ኣፋር ውስጥ ወታደራዊ ትምህርት ሰልጥነን ስንጨርስ ከመጀመሪያው በሕዝብ ሥራ የተመደበ ሲሆን ቀስ ብሎ የሚናገር በታጋዩም ሆነ በሕዝቡም የሚወደድ ፀባይ ያለው ነበር። ከዚህም በተጨማሪ አሸብርን በዚሁ የስደተኛ አመላላሽነት የመደቡት ብዙው ሺህ የሚቆጠረው ስደተኛ የራያ ስደተኛ ስለነበር እሱንም ስለሚያውቁት በዚህ ለመጠቀም አስልተው የተጠቀሙበት ስልት ነበር። የህ.ወ.ሓ.ት. አመራር ስንት ሰው በስደት መፈናቀል እንዳለበትም አስቀድመው በእቅድ ይዘውታል። ስደተኛው ህዝብ ገና ጉዞ ሳይጀምር ሱዳን እንደደረሱ የሚያርፉበት ቦታዎች፤

          1ኛ. ትዋባ 250,000 ሕዝብ፤ 2ኛ. እንጉርጃ 500,000 ሕዝብ፤ 3ኛ.ሰፈዋ 350,000 ሕዝብ እንዲያርፍባቸው ጣቢያወች ተመድበው ቦታ ድልድል አደረጉ።
          ስደተኛው ከየቦታው በውዴታም አብዛኛው ደግሞ በግዴታ ወደ ሱዳን እንዲፈልስ ተደረገ፤ በጉዞው ወቅት ያቀረቡለት ዱቄት ዘይት ስኳር ለህፃናት ወተት ወይም ለሰው ልጅ የሚያስፈልገው ዝግጅት አልነበረም። በጉዞው ውሃ ጥምና ረሀብ ከሚጎዳው በተጨማሪ ጉዞው በቀን በመሆኑ የተነሳ ደርግ በሚግ 23 እና 21 እንደዚሁም በተዋጊ ሄሊኮፕተርም በታገዘ የአየር ድብደባ ብዙ ሰው ተገደለ። በመጨረሻም የሞተው ሞቶ የቀረው በ6 ሳምንት ወስጥ ሱዳን ጠቅልሎ ገባ። በየመንገዱ የሚበሉት ምግብ አልነበራቸውም። በሱዳን ፓርት ግን በየአይነቱ እህል፤ ስኳር፤ ሻይ ቅጠል፤ ለህፃናት አልሚ ምግብ ወተት ወዘተ ቀደም ብሎ የተከማቸ ነበር። በየጊዜውም ያለማቋረጥም በትልልቅ መርከቦች እየተጫነ መራገፉ እንደቀጠለ ነበር።

        • ‘Gheteb

          The persons appearing in the photo:
          Left: Gebremedhin Araya
          Center: Max Perbedy
          Right: Tekleweyne Assefa
          This photo is what professor Al Mariam is describing as an “incriminatory evidence”
          Well, a picture maybe worth more than a thousand words, but here this picture may hopefully repatriate the millions of dollars to the poor Tigrayan people on whose name many of its “leaders” have enriched themselves and even some Eritrean hired hands are trying to collect some……..

      • Abraham Hanibal

        Hi Tekle Kifle:

        There is a saying in tigringa: zeytefeswes aychinon; you’ve eyewitness accounts of people who knew the internal dealings of the TPLF at the time of the drought in 1984. In the following link from the BBC, you will find the following:
        “The CIA, in a 1985 assessment entitled Ethiopia: Political and Security Impact of the Drought, also alleged aid money was being misused. Its report concluded: “Some funds that insurgent organisations are raising for relief operations, as a result of increased world publicity, are almost certainly being diverted for military purposes.”

        It nothing but a futile attempt to trade a blame towards the EPLF when your own TPLF leaders, in fact had diverted badly needed aid money they helped to raise in the name of dying people, towards enriching themselves and their war-efforts.

        http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8535189.stm

        • selam

          Dear Abrham.H
          can you please help me why are the weyane cronies married with lies for life ?
          What is the motive apart from materialistic version ?

          You know all of them , T.kifle , Hayat put lies over lies . Can they rewrite history bythemselves or they are just using for spin factor.

          • Abraham Hanibal

            Dear Selam;

            These people are nothing more than TPLF apologists who’re hopelessly trying to conceal the inhuman actions of their organization at best, and, at least, to portray the EPLF as an evil organization which was against the Tigrayan people. The matter of the fact is no sane Eritrean would be deceived by their dirty blame game politics.

      • selam

        what is it, the main factor of rewriting history again ? can it be you are ordered from your pay master to lecture us ?, if you are worried about us , please we knew far better than your lies or false assumption about 1984 . this story is not with your weyane shelves . It is internationally recognized story support with audio, picture . That kind of documentation has no space for lies so that some fly can zoom around.

      • Hayat Adem

        T. Kifle,
        While waiting for Mahmuday to say something/anything with regard to your latest account of the 1984 drought/EPLF/TPLF, I think it is safe to say Gebremedhin is not a credible source. Therefore, all others who wrote or said things based themselves on this man’s account are not dependable.

  • selam

    To all my Ethiopian Freinds in this great site. (, Rahel , Abi , t.Kifle and others )
    We should have debate about this , not about things that matters to you and me. This dam matters to all of us.
    You see this kind of news is like a 24 news cycle all over the westeren and middle eastern shelves

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dA3zkD6yvAY&t=481

  • ‘Gheteb

    The Swindlers Of Dedebit: TPLF Heist In Broad Daylight (II)

    It is a crying shame for anyone to point a finger at the EPLF and blaming it for “refusing a passage of Tigrayan refugees through Eritrea territories” when four fingers are pointing at the TPLF leadership for pilfering aid money that was supposed to help the victimis of the famine. By my lights, this is a classic case of ሓሰኻ ደምበ ናብ ዝለምለመሉ (An earthworm barrows better in soft dirt). It is the archetypical Weyane praxis which unfailingly blames Eritrea, EPLF or ELF for any and all mishaps that may have befallen Tigray or the TPLF. When the BIG elephant in the room is the credible allegation that the TPLF leadership is standing accused of swindling aid money for the victims of famine, here we are witnessing yet again ‘the blame it on Eritrea(EPLF)’ gimmick by those who are trying fecklessly to absolve the TPLF leadership of this serious allegations.

    Here are the sources that may help in understanding not the seriousness of the allegations, but most of the evidence is damningly convincing.

    1) Dr. Aregawi Berhe’s testimony is not just any allegation made by someone one from the street. It is serious because the guy was not only the co-founder of the TPLF, he was it’s chairman. Therefore, his testimonial is not only plausible, but highly credible. I am more than sure any jury or judge will give Dr. Aregawi’s testimony more weight as they (he) would find it very convincing.

    2) The issue of TPLF leaderhsip siphoning off millions of dollars of aid money was exposed by Martin Plaut who also reported from famine stricken areas of Ethiopia in the 80s. The Photograph in his report is “an incriminatory evidence” not according to me, but according to the highly trained eyes of a lawyer ( Dr. Al Mariam)

    3) Robert Houdeck, a senior US diplomat in Ethiopia in the late 1980, stated that some top TPLF leadership told him that aid money was diverted to buy weapon, as stated in Al Mariam’s article

    4) Max Peberdy asserted that he has delivered to REST (Relief Society Of Tigray) $500,000 Ethiopian Birr for the purchase of grain. Note that this is the person you see handling the wad of dollars in that incriminatory photograph.( Stated in professor Al Mariam’s article)

    5) Professor Seid Hassen in a paper he wrote, confirmed that aid money was diverted by the TPLF for military purposes. ( per professor Al Mariam’s article)

    Finally, here is Gebremedhin Araya’s testimony which according to Professor Al Mariam is “a prima facie evidence of massive relief aid diversion and theft in 1984-85 by the TPLF is compelling and damning..”

    And another thing to ask is this: If the TPLF think this case has no merit and it is simply “rubbish”, then why an open and transparent investigation has not been conducted so far?

    For me, I don’t need to see any further evidence nor am I waiting for Ayte Sebhat Nega to walk by my house carrying a placard with “Yes, me and Meles diverted the aid money” written on it. No, I ain’t wringing my hands waiting for some big revealation to come from Weyane-land. The evidence presented is credible and knowing the very nature of the TPLF and its leaders, they are guilty as charged. But, but, but. This issue is not going to be brought up for public hearing till the day TPLF is gone from power. In ‘the West’, please don’t hold your breath as it is quite obvious ‘the West’ is in cahoots with their new “sheriff of the Horn Of Africa”.

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Gheteb,

      Let me ask you a question. Does any testimony given by an individual with high credential, make it plausible and highly credible for granted? If that is the case Dr. Ghedeon the mouth piece of PFDJ in the diaspora will be credible by the mare fact he hold the title of a doctor ( a Phd degree). Sometimes we have to be careful on how to find the truth.

      • Guest

        Amanuel,
        why U write nonesense. sometime I feel like U try hard to show your boss U doing somthing. let me tell U that U no match to Gheteb. He beter than U. let me aks U dis. Are U Eritra or Woynne? U looks lik Woyanne no Eritra. Plases git som help or tak pils. U makes me sick. Git a life.

  • selam

    IT will help for the next comment you will post. Here is it , i do not use any thing that has contaminated with politics .http://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/ethioerit0103.pdf

  • selam

    Rahwa
    Here you come to preach me about your weyane propaganda too .So it is not in your day light dream to tell me about cruel and so on. This Eritrean deportee does not belong to HGDEF or shaebia. For your understanding i do not comment from HGDEF book , if i do that , i would have advanced my vision the same as HGDEF does. What i am asking for people like you is at least know that the Eritreans do have grievances and this grievances are well and life . And if you say all Eritreans to be cruel, well i have nothing to say. I still do not want to go on your personalities , as i tend to subscribe my post in relation to historical facts. Mind you though i am not using reference for example like your foreign minster who laid so many lies. So rest in your sofa and come back with reference in which that shows Ethiopians get deported from Eritrea inhuman way.

    • Kokhob Selam

      Dearest Selam,

      you have repeatedly written about those deported. you may had some family members who were deported as you mentioned it earlier. I had also more than half of my family (direct sister and brothers) deported. I am 100 percent sure none of them hand on Politics. in fact some among them don’t know Eritrea and the language of Eritrea at all. But I didn’t blame and concluded it as criminal action for the following reasons.
      01. EPLF before being even PFDJ had secrete men and women working with high loyalty to do anything their bosses order them, EPLF and then PFDJ was specialist on this unlike today we know what every one of them think and work. TPLF knows how EPLF dangerous is.
      02. it is difficult to segregate who is who as TPLF was very much open to EPLF in all cities. only those who were hired by both or who were working for joint job were exposed.
      03. In that dangerous moment, Urgent action has to be taken and everyone whom TPLF has doubt evne 0.1 percent should be removed.

      Again it is difficult decision and that wise Meles (RIP) has said it. “this was the most difficult decision we make” that means a choice with out choice.

      ended. it was . imagine even after doing so EPLF had tried to dismiss the African Union building. I can imagine if among those deported there were only 100 PFDJ dogs, TPLF could have been in mess or even gone Lol.

      • selam

        Kokhob

        “Women, some of them pregnant, children, the elderly — even hospital patients — are now being arrested and detained in the middle of the night,” Amnesty International’s representatives said.

        “People of all ages, from babies to pensioners, are imprisoned in harsh conditions for several days before being forced to board buses under armed guard with only one piece of luggage each — if that — and being dumped at the border. They arrive hungry and exhausted, and often ill, after the three-day journey.

        I feel as bad as any thing for the families you related to experience such evil action of weyane. But to give a reason as you did is act of evil. Under no circumstance your reasoning could be credible and logical to give go a head order and snatch them .Let me say this sir , this AU building things is pure politics of weyane and i do not buy i at all. Lets move to other points you have made in which EPLF as dangerous , that idea alone can not be the reason to deporte 80,000 eritreans with out any reason, so i urge you to just jump to other reasons. Now what did meles do even to his opposition , he drafted a law that makes them terrorists so , i just say please bring another reason.

        what i would love to ask Q is do you really think your reasons are valid under any situation of security windows ?

        http://www.ehrea.org/massdeportations.htm

        • Kokhob Selam

          believe me I feel it. in fact through entire life of mine, this was the only time I openly support PFDJ at that time (I regret on that – that is emotional thing).

          But things go out of control at times. let me give you an example : one day My friend had a simple injury and he couldn’t move forward on that war. his comrades thought he should not continue with them and should stay where he is . they told him to take care of arrested (war prisoners) captured in the same ware. he was kind talking and laughing with them and giving them the only water and sugar he had. they were EPLF and TPLF fighters. since he know very well Ethiopia they are happy with him he thought and I trust them. the war was going on in f front of them so his concentration was on the war more. watching him tired and injured, they unexpectedly jump on him trying to pull his Kalashnikov. Thanks God, he was lucky enough as the bullet was ready and when the strong among them pull from front he was hit without even the plan of my friend. now others continue to move, My friend the kind and humble man , didn’t get time to save them and all were killed. it pains isn’t it. this is a choice without choice.

          the war of 1998 was not really the war of 1998. it was a bomb hidden between EPLF and TPLF. EPLF was ready to sale anything to destroy ELF, that is old story of 70’s.

          • selam

            Well i never have the chance to experience such but of course my grandfather did get killed by EPLF bullet but that is internal between ELF and EPLF . Thanks to my late birth time i can only read and listen this story . I am not emotional person , actually i have no mercy to my enemies but that does not block me to be humanistic as i guard my goal to see the helpless.Here you can actually see the hatred of Weyane towards our people. 80,000 people , i can only imagine the process of snatching people from addis streets with out due process. That act only that act is evil

          • Kokhob Selam

            how can you said you don’t have mercy on your enemies when enemies are right in your house? young should be energetic and in fact that is how we were. we were so energetic we were making mistakes. you are so slow and kind to your enemies you are giving countless excuses. PFDJ now is the first enemy of yours and mine (I am saying so if you yourself is not PFDJ). My advice to every young is if you have to go to toilet in the night you have to go instead of making it on your bed blaming the food you eat or the darkness or the child next to you etc. so please Selam, be strong and optimistic.

          • selam

            Do you expect one Eritrean to use any means and show up on Godena Harnet and say Hulla IA is evil and we need to dump him now. I actually think , i will be in the process but not on such arabic way. We are way smarter than that. Imagine we know how to use the gun more than any one yet we did not kill our enemy (IA) . Ask yourself why ? is it better to be eaten by shark MS than to snap IA and get relieve , the answer is yes , so why we at least the 324,000 Eritreans who migrated from Eritrea forget to do that ? There must be some thing quite we all the opposition of the regim forget to do. I do think that is to convince the Eritrean people at large.

          • Kokhob Selam

            you were not around reading my poems in Jebbana. please open it and feel the pain I feel about those who dead in sea and desert. saying all that, I have still problem why they chose that risky journey. I do agree with you for the process you talk about. but it has become another excuse like the lazy who say always “wait I will do it tomorrow” Selam, I am almost dead person but when I was okay and young like you I never miss a chance for something that I can do. But I have one common excuse with you I use to make and that is “the ELF leadership is not active” after all who was ELF at that time ? it is me. who is opposition today? it is you.

            If you have been PFDJ earlier I will forget advising you. I know ex-PFDJ will never take action and will only wait for someone else. leave alone the one in Asmara but even as you can see those in US are telling us “reform”. because they are pulled by their past, they are dead (ALLAH YERHAMHOM).
            But if you are not, you should be strong and you will reach your target.

            regarding IA , it is not the man it is the system. but I feel you are exaggerating and I think PFDJ is only a colored decor building with out base if you and the mass are not serving them. you are in Asmara and you know better, aren’t our people fed up. is there single person who will serve PFDJ? I need your answer on this.

          • selam

            I will open and read the poems.

            You know it is very hard for us people like me who have done nothing to defend or liberate the nation make noise but trust me the noise is creating even though the volume is small. I said long time ago that ELF was destroyed by EPLF , TPLF and also some internal failure as my mam continue to tell me.

            Again about the IA and the system , yes you are right . it is the system but i can see if IA is gone the system can not and will not be hard to the Eritrean people and the system will be soon to death as IA is gone. I do think the system should go to toilet and dump some where .

            As of my young age , and my intention i would love to stay silent on such open site. There are still people think that the problem was given by weyane and their cronies , yes there are people who feel destined to PFDJ. Do not forget the 70,000 Ethiopians who are armed to the teeth. And he has some eritreans who think he is the honest person , all the old tegadeliti are armed and you know them better than me ,how hard these people to convince . You can blame me for coming to Eritrea choose to stay but not to be under HGDEF.

            The largest who are migrating are the christian people and i can tell you IA hand is shaking now , due to the disobedience of the highlanders all PFDJ cadres are going every where telling people and giving some much excuses by that i think PFDJ time is short unless the militaristic opposition gave him some thing to mobilize

          • Kokhob Selam

            you will go higher more. stay on line.

  • selam

    The deep misunderstanding of the Eritrean refugees in Ethiopia by Awate.com commentators and alike.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2yhldbm1YA

    • Kokhob Selam

      but are you sure, this question didn’t come to your mind? why even they went out of their nation? isn’t a bit comic to ask for your dignity somewhere else when you never ask standing for your dignity right in your home? be honest.

      • selam

        This video is to show how the people in the camp think of their life and how these people in awate.com speak about Eritreans in Ethiopian camp. just A=B.This video never allowed me to give reason but i know this video is new just 20112 or 2014 . I do know HGDEF was evil in 2001 not now so , i have no reason to question their intention

        why they move to Ethiopia and demand their right from weyane is another question and for another day . Yet i can see there is some thing serious in the camp.

        Listen to the people at 1.48 just listen what they say and see how old these people are

        imagine what is the reason going out and cross to ethiopia for 8 to 9 years old . just to make sense think around you and imagine why will 8,9, is migrating ?

        • Kokhob Selam

          I understand Selam, they have their right. again this is to remind you as you said change and real life change and dignity is right in home. It takes courage to ask your right within your nation than in Ethiopia. Now, you admit that you didn’t knew PFDJ was evil thank you for that but please admit thereare still unknown to you still. I still search for those which are not clear to me. “ዘሕሞቆ ኣለኒ በትረይ ሃቡኒ ” instead of shouting in refuge camp it is worth shouting in godena Harnet.

          • selam

            I guess you are reading with small eye glasses that you did not read properly .
            So do you have familiy , i mean do you have sons and daughters ? just to be serious . let me know.
            again read properly what is up there. Because i hate IA , it does not mean i will go hulla with weyane. Weyane is evil and that should be clear

          • Kokhob Selam

            don’t go Hulla with weyane. but go a head and cleaning your house. is that fine? Lets agree on this. I wish we have the same method but nothing to worry as far as we have the same principle.

            regarding family, who is more family than those who pay their life for you and me. no alive person is my relative more than those innocent fighters who were always dreaming to see free democratic Eritrea, that is a big responsibility. They were thinking about you before you born and said to those who were around them “we are leaving the world and don’t forger us and our principle”. so now you are here “ዝነበረ ዘይነበረ ይመስል ዘይነበረ ዝነበረ ይመስል ” but Hey, we are watching them within our soul.

  • selam

    why will so many of the arrogant people waste time to tell us about TPLF and EPLF past history while they despise the well documented evil job of the WEYANE.

    The deportation of Eritreans from Ethiopia, in 1998 and 1999 was a lawless and belligerent act. In most cases, innocent citizens were detained by police or other security officials for period ranging from a day, week, or even month. Hauled to buses headed to the Eritrea-Ethiopia border where they were abandoned and forced to cross under very strenuous conditions. Deportees had no outlet to voice their grievances and no platform to demand protection of their property or liberty. Although, the decision to expel Eritreans was made by a few senior Ethiopian officials, the bulk of organization and execution was orchestrated by many junior officials.The deportation of Eritreans from Ethiopia is one of the most cruel and inhuman acts in recent history. We must look back to Adolf Hitler ‘s ethnic cleansing of Jews during the Second World War to find any comparison.Deportees report being kidnapped from their homes in several different Ethiopian cities by government officials. Ethiopian authorities practically �dumped� many of the deportees at the border without adequate food and water. Some required immediate hospitalization because of heat and stress suffered during their deportation. Many of the deportees complained of a harsh eight-day travel which has caused the separation of families and illegal confiscation of property. Most of the deportees were long term residents of Ethiopia and even worked as civil servants.

    Most of them had lived virtually their entire lives in Ethiopia and considered themselves to be Ethiopian citizens of Eritrean heritage. Much in the way Black Americans consider themselves African American.

    At the time most people believed that the act of expelling Eritreans was an act of madness never to be expected from an ordinary human being, let alone a government running a sovereign country. Ethiopian diplomats later revealed that flooding Eritrea with deportees was a calculated act to put pressure on the Eritrean economy in the futile hope it would crumble. Ethiopia used Eritrean civilians much the way a pawn is used in a chess match.

    • Abi

      Selam
      While on topic, why don’t you say something about those ethiopians who you inhumanly deport in 1991.

      • selam

        there were no ethiopian who was deported from Eritrea in 1991 in inhuman way. As you know if you find one , they were cronies of Dergi. i can not imagine you want to lecture about 1991 while you forget 80,000 Eritreans get snatched . Please give me any prove of your claim apart from dergi remnants.

        • Abi

          Selam
          I’m not sure who is lecturing who. Regarding my claim, I will get back to you after I consult with my minister of foreign affairs.

          • selam

            Dear Abinet
            Becareful though Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom is known for making claims , i mean like the 20 million dollar . I want you to support your claim out side politics.

          • selam

            Dear Abinet
            Becareful though Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom is known for making claims , i mean like the 20 million dollar . I want you to support your claim out side politics.

          • Abi

            Selam
            Good point.
            When I call the foreign minister , he referred me to his parents. Do you mind if I call them or you don’t trust them either? I need to call someone you trust. How about the honorable Saleh Gadi Johar? Why don’t you call him yourself? He might have a word or two.i hope you trust him. I do.

          • selam

            so you want the FM to be your reference ? and on that point dismiss the 80,000 people who lost every thing ? what a cheap and shame is going around .

          • Abi

            Selam
            Where are you going with this? I have never denied, I will never deny the deportation of eritreans. I even mentioned for you sometime ago the involvement of Ato Mohamed/ Ahmad? Nur ( the late elf leader) in saving 80% of eritreans from deportation.
            You can deny about the ethiopians. You are not going to be the first or the last to deny their inhuman deportation while the leaders of the two countries were sleeping together. Eritreans were deported while the two leaders were fighting. You see the difference?
            Only the honorable SGJ and kibirt Hayat Adem mentioned them . I don’t remember Ato Amanuel, kokobe or any person whom I consider reasonable mentioned them.
            My people are considered
            ” children of the lesser god ” they don’t count . They are JUST ethiopians
            Your 80,000 people are so special everyone mention them all the time.

          • Abi

            Selam
            Where are you going with this? I have never denied, I will never deny the deportation of eritreans. I even mentioned for you sometime ago the involvement of Ato Mohamed/ Ahmad? Nur ( the late elf leader) in saving 80% of eritreans from deportation.
            You can deny about the ethiopians. You are not going to be the first or the last to deny their inhuman deportation while the leaders of the two countries were sleeping together. Eritreans were deported while the two leaders were fighting. You see the difference?
            Only the honorable SGJ and kibirt Hayat Adem mentioned them . I don’t remember Ato Amanuel, kokobe or any person whom I consider reasonable mentioned them.
            My people are considered
            ” children of the lesser god ” they don’t count . They are JUST ethiopians
            Your 80,000 people are so special everyone mention them all the time.

          • selam

            I am going to tell you that very small margin of eritreans consider weyane as a friend and they are just the eshi Goytaye. I never intend the deny any thing that happens to Ethiopians on the hands of Eritreans but i deman and request you to bring prove , the last evidence you have is just not going to be one.

            References i used , would you bring any references like i did below

            Amnesty International (AI). 21 May 1999. “Ethiopia and Eritrea: Human Rights Issues in a Year of Armed Conflict” (London: Amnesty International) [Internet] URL: http://www.amnesty.org/ailib/aipub/1999/AFR/16400099.htm

            Klein, Natalie S. Mass Expulsion from Ethiopia: Report on the Deportation of Eritreans and Ethiopians of Eritrean origin from Ethiopia, June-August, 1998 (Connecticut: Yale School of Law, 1999), p. 11. [Internet] URL:

            Legesse, Asmarom. 30 March 2000. The Uprooted – Part Three: Studies of Urban Eritreans Expelled from Ethiopia, Villagers Expelled from Tigrai and Communities in Eritrea displaced by Bombardment. (Asmara, Eritrea: Citizens for Peace in Eritrea).

            Legesse, Asmarom. 22 February 1999. The Uprooted – Part Two: A Scientific Survey of Ethnic Eritrean Deportees from Ethiopia Conducted with Regard to Human Rights Violations. (Asmara, Eritrea: Citizens for Peace in Eritrea) [Internet] URL: http://www.primenet.com/~ephrem2/legesse/uprooted2.html

            Legesse, Asmarom. 26 July 1998. The Uprooted: Case Material on Ethnic Eritrean Deportees from Ethiopia Concerning Human Rights Violations. (Asmara, Eritrea: Citizens for Peace in Eritrea).

            United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Asmara-Eritrea. “Update on Deportees: 12-19 July 1998.” [Internet]

    • Amde

      Oh please get off your high horse.

    • Semere Andom

      Selam:
      I agree with you Ethiopia should have “discriminated” among PFDJ agents who were undermining the sovereign nation of Ethiopia with their mafia economy and the gun carrying embassy employee, they should have no mercy on the PFDJ agents. Simple. It is their country and they can deport any one they dislike and keep anyone they want, yes even if they do not like the way the person walks or even looks. The point is the cruelty and injustice inflicted on the innocent people.
      Now the Eritreans in Ethiopia did not consider themselves Ethiopians , that is a lie. They were proud Eritreans, at least the first generations ones and worked hard to teach their kids their language and where they came from, if they succeeded or not is a different matter. But the Eritreans who lived in Ethiopia especially those were doing good business people wanted it both ways, they helped Ethiopia economically with their garages, trucks, and all the wealth they accumulated by their hard work, ingenuity and the opportunity that Ethiopia provided them. It is my belief that these groups helped Dergi and HS with their skills, know how, and wealth. Yet they wanted to keep their Eritreans roots and helped the Eritrean cause. That is the truth. You cannot have it both ways.
      I oppose the indiscriminate abuses by Ethiopia but I also call the hypocrisy of those who wanted to have it both ways and then they want to be more Eritreans that the rest of us

      • selam

        Dear Semere.

        Thanks for at least acknowledging part of it.
        These you say who wants both ways are still there in Ethiopia in the heart of Addis Abeba. About the opportunity , i do not think dergi offered them specially thing , they were well professional and skillful people.The assertions that you make about the person they do not like his walk even looks or such is such over the top of the international rules. I hope you come back to a humanistic way of doing things.
        Remember these people , were the people who accepted TPLF with their open arms and clapp all over addis abeba .

  • Haile WM

    dear Hayat,

    can i ask you why on earth this issue is more important to you at this time? why this so called “issue” is at your heart besides the “I don’t any of it to be part of Eritrean history” type of justification, why this issue is debated here ? I mean what is the main point at this point of history ?

    thank you

    • Hayat Adem

      Dear Haile,
      I am so pained by this tone of questioning motive. Haile, give me a break. This day is as good as any day and this issue is as good as any issue and I’m as as free as you to pick up any piece and bring it to a sun-bath. I never questioned you on your preferences or the motives behind them. Like any one else, i might have picked because of a bad taste or for any million reasons. I’m not saying you can’t raise flag but this paternalistic horse you have mounted yourself on is not for me. Okay, you want to know why? Mahmuday brought it to explain my earlier comments, and I grabbed it because it is the first time I heard anything on this from the EPLF side. Do you want to know more, I don’t have any particular reason that makes it an urgent matter for a discussion now and here but that doesn’t make it a bad topic to discuss it.
      For some reason, I found it very obstructive whenever I strike political discussion with Ethiopians especially the Tigreans. They always raise this issue among the top list of crimes committed against Tigreans/Ethiopians. Some say about 100k might have died because of it. As you can note it from T. Kifle’s response, most are well aware that the blame doesn’t go beyond EPLF and it has nothing to do with Eritreans but some don’t. The fact that many Eritreans want to talk only about the return of Badime to Eritrea and never admit on the fact that PFDJ invaded Badime; the fact that many Eritreans talk a lot louder on the deported Eritreans but remain muted on the Ethiopians deported from Eritrea in 1991 and 1998; the fact that many Eritreans are outspoken about EPLF’s help for TPLF but don’t want to discuss about TPLF’s help in Sahl; the fact that many Eritreans do not want to discuss how EPLF comfortably decided on the fateful death of famished people acting in bad faith during a humanitarian situation…And this is the only topic that can’t even go worse than where it is now. All we have been hearing is one-side of the story and it is a very lethal accusation. Mahmud brought some valid points and if there are especially official explanations from the EPLF or sensible justifications, it helps water down or soften the grievance and broaden the discussion.
      If I had the power and the resources, my road map to solve the Eritrean problem and go beyond would assume three steps: 1) stop the bleeding and restore hope (that is my coinage to the continued exodus), 2) get rid of PFDJ and replace it with a normal system and 3) map out Eritrea’s development as an integrated part of the region. As you can see, the first two are prerequisites to the third where you will be challenged by so many actual and perceived history of the past. This happened in 1985. The best would have been if EPLF allowed the passage and save lives. Look how it might have been a positive tool today. It might have prevented 1998 war as well, who knows. Imagine that Tigreans telling Weyane: you can’t make us fight with a people who saved our lives in our bad time. Or simply the partied might have found it difficult to agitate and mobilize their constituencies for war and hostility. This things are not trivial issues. But, if allowing it was not possible for other reasons, then explanation is the next best necessary thing to do. The explanation part can include justification or apology or a hybrid of them. In the absence of the two best things: the remaining best necessary thing is to discuss it as citizens. That has its share of helping ease tensions and broadening understanding and appreciating positions. That where we are left with. Now can you tell why you should be mad at this? Your turn!

      • Nitricc

        Letekidan, good for you! I understand it is a pay check but you did something the TPLF thugs they can never do; attach a number to their road to Sudan blockage lie. You say 100K where did you get than number? Who said that?
        Why don’t you give a rest? Everyone knows who you are and where you belong; well, expect you know who. The IQ man! Do you really believe you are fooling anyone?
        I have no idea what kind of people are you? You are mad at the Amara because they did something to you. You hate the Oromo because they have fertile land than you. You hate the Eritreans because they blocked a road 40 years ago. What are you going to do?
        Tell them your to TPLF thugs to shave it any thing peace to their behind. You people are impossible.

        • Hayat Adem

          40 yrs is not a long past if it involved the lives of 10o of thousands of people. If it happened 40 yrs ago and is still reappearing in discussions, it tells that it didn’t get a proper closure. That is what is missing. Proper closure doesn’t always mean redressing, It also means understanding it. That is what we can only do now. Your letekidan deebit grad is still waiting for the Hawzen material.

      • Haile WM

        Dear Hayat,

        I am sorry that you are pained by my questioning, but please understand that if you discuss a matter on an open forum people (me) can have some perplexity on the motives of such discussion and could also wonder why a particular issue is being raised. Having said that I don’t think I have being paternalist on you, or at least not more paternalist than many harbegna weyanays here in the forum, who had the audacity to tell us even our “nature” as eritreans or our external (was it colonial??) driven sense of identity. Please be patient if I ask you on matters that do involve me as an eritrean and the EPLF. And please don’t put it as a personal issue towards you, nor do I have to “mount paternalistic horse” to question your motives.

        The matter at hand is quite serious, the accusation being made are even more serious, pretending the EPLF to give a passage to the Sudan at the time where the EPLF was struggling hard to relief it’s own population and its liberated areas, and then trying also to quantify the number of the dead resulting as a direct consequence of this fake “incident” is libelous in my opinion, nor it would help clear the misunderstanding on the issue.
        There were so many actors so many factors, not withstanding that 2 or 3 years before TPLF was battling some other eritrean organization.. (you know who… right ? ) to consider before quantifying the number of the dead who, by the way, died of FAMINE and not because of the “EVIL” EPLF bloked them from going to the Sudan. The fact that TPLF could have organized better and anticipate such a move is not even mentioned here.

        But if we want to make such gratuitous accusations then i think we should also question how the TPLF handled all the famine issue and the tragedy at large. Some say that TPLF was trying to score points using the famine as political tool and some also go beyond by accusing TPLF of diverting the aid to the struggle and towards the front it’s self.
        Have you ever questioned how much suffering this caused Hayat? Have ever tried to entertain mind games by quantifying the number of the dead as a hypothetical consequence?
        Some TPLF senior members accused that aid intended money was diverted to serve the purpose of the liberation, while I do not have evidence of it and never even questioned such accusations, I believe if it ever happened at the end of the day the TPLF was fighting for the liberation of the people and diverting the aid for a greater cause and a greater purpose MAYBE was the right thing to do. nobody should entertain mind games on it.

        The main point is; this is history EPLF and TPLF collaborated after these events, that means it was a non issue until 1998 and again until now… and I am not mad at this rather think we have bigger issues at hand in these trying times, revising history and muddling with it none would gain out of it.

        Regards

  • saay7

    Selamat Tesfu:

    That’s why I put “regionslist” in quotation marks to indicate that was his allegation. In much the same way that he called all Jebha leaders “jihadists” whose cause was to fight “fi sebil Allah” as the document describes their motives.

    saay

  • saay7

    Selamat Tesfu:

    I should have been clearer. I meant the so-called “Menkae”. They, Eritrean intellectuals, challenged the autocracy of Isaias Afwerki in 1973. They had a list of demands, on top of which was for democratic governance. Their call was accepted by nearly all in the EPLF leadership INCLUDING Petros Solomon and Sebhat Ephrem. For weeks, Isaias Afwerki, “deskilu neru” (frozen), sitting under a tree and contemplating his move. And his move was to tell the rank and file of PLF-2 (Selfi-natsnet), then predominantly from Hamasien area, that these were not democrats but Akele Guzay subnationalists…. when he had persuaded the rank and file, he separated the leadership…and he got Petros Solomon and Sebhat Ephrem (both from hamassien) to recant their comrades as “sub-nationalists”, and then to submerge themselves in the Stalinist exercise of self-humiliation then known as “self-criticism.”

    And just like that the leadership were picked up and arrested. Some killed, some died in prison. 1973 = 2001.

    saay

    • Semere Andom

      Hi Sal:
      I think Petros and Sebhat were not part of the leadership per se in 1973. In addition to persuading his Selfi that the menkae were Akeleguzay he went to the others, Romadan group and he told them they were anti-Islam. The later group had to make a decision to trust IA, who they knew in China (Romadan, Affa) or to go with the idealist students. They chose IA and they helped him liquidate Menkae. But then when he got the power he went after Romadan groups by utilizing the Kebessa demographic advantage sherwedly (yea, I see you rolling your eyes at my all purpose reason :-))

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Samray,

        Yes correct, Petros Solomon and Sebhat Efriem were not members of the “nine member” leadership in 1973. They were senior cadres only. You see how history could be distorted sometimes.

      • saay7

        iSem:

        I am not rolling my eyes at all because I agree with everything you said.

        By the way, I didn’t reply to you earlier but the story you reported on what Alena said that when he saw Isaias Afwerki, tall, bearded, etc he saw him as his savior, that is classic Simon Sinek advice: you sell cause, purpose, belief. Or more directly you sell: “believe exactly what you believe.”

        The much-missed Aklilu Zere had huge insight on this. It wasn’t even what the Tegadelti believed but what their MOTHERS believed for reasons Aklilu went to great lengths to describe.

        Since I have agreed with you, I hope you now agree that 80% of Eritreas problems are Isaias Afwerki. We can deal with the 20% slowly:)

        saay

        • Semere Andom

          Hi Sal:
          I am not sure on the 80% vs.20%, but IA is huge chuck of our problems, for sure. We agreed on this when we first said “shereftta’:-)
          But my issue was and is removing just IA is not guarantee for cure, let say IA is shot without any organized opposition, let say he is shot by one of the brothers of G-15, who will come to power? But if the Wedi-Ali kind succeeds in a coup (this is internal) we will have promising future. But the reform debate, IA is too much in the weed to be reformed.
          The problems that you assign 20% and me more than that can be resolved in one uniting, inspiring speech and almost over night things can slowly be reversed to the write direction.

          • saay7

            Hey iSem:

            I forgot: what “school of thought” are you in? Tes has more schools that University of Asmara:)

            Just in case you are with the dismantle, eradicate, “hikhik, fenkel, bittin” school, are you keeping up with Libya and the reason why they have two governments? The BBC had a short primer:

            “In the first election post-Gaddafi, an Islamist party did well. ITS MAIN AGENDA WAS TO EXCLUDE ANYONE WHO HAD WORKED FOR GADDAFI REGIME.

            But it soon lost support, and was heavily defeated in the House of Representatives elections.

            Those voted out disputed the legitimacy of the results, and refused to step aside.

            So there are now two bodies claiming to be the government; one in Tripoli, the other in the east. “Each side fears that their opponent will exclude them if they were to take power.”

            http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-31815616

            saay

          • Semere Andom

            Thanks Sal:
            Yea, I am following Libya, cannot help it, I am a junkie;-)
            Well my school of thought is depends according to who
            I am Fine school according to Tes, just found out
            I am T-club school according to Sal 😉
            I am Dedebit school according Nitric
            I am thankless school according to Wedi Saleh
            I am Tigrayit lover school accourding to Mahmud 😉
            And I am something nasty according to dawit

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Ya wed Andom
            Did I say you are thankless? Maalek Ya ustaz? I said Moodeer madrasat Tigrayet.

          • saay7

            Mahmuday:

            Wad Andom is from the “Ana gdm ferrerko” school of thought:)

            There was an old Egyptian play with a comedian Younis Shelebi (no relation) who had this funny line: “Ana kharig wa mush Ha’rjae!” The American equivalent of that is “somebody stop me: I am climbing over the window ledge!” iSem is soooo disappointed with our Ghedli he does his Younis Shelebi… then sees the wasteland that would have been without it, and he climbs back:)

            saay

            * tes’s school of thought is approaching LT in its ROFLMYA legend. I particularly like the fact that distinguished professor from one school visit another. Aytsa’anu, as they say.

          • Semere Andom

            Sal;
            Stop talking American English please;-)
            ana gedim ferrerko
            Debir Dedebit eglu argko
            Please both do not translate this:-)

          • Mahmud Saleh

            SAAY
            So, you mean Rome was a transit towards his Firaro, and then climbed back like the incident in Girmayka?

          • saay7

            Mahmuday

            On behalf of the School of Chavinism (Wa Rabi l’Amer me kemtu) I would like to invite Sem Andom, a Distinguished Professor from School of Firaro now visiting Fine School, to give a commencement address to our graduating class. The benediction will be given by Cousin Hope.

            saay

          • Semere Andom

            Hi Mahmud:
            Qumnegern zerbean konka:-). You did not say I was thankless. My bad, I stopped saying I am kidding 😉

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Hey wed Andom
            Remember: If I have had a bad day you are my shrink my man. I can dump whatever I have of HrKrK on you and get away with it. You see that’s one of the qualities that push you to firaro.
            I could not find Hussien M.Ali “ana gedm fererko” song.

    • Abraham Hanibal

      Hi Saay;
      Thank you for these historic lessons from the Eritrean liberation struggle. I’m following your postings with great interest; it is really helpful to know the history, in order to understand the current situation in Eritrea. And information that puts the current PFDJ-dictators in bad light is not readily available. You said Isayas Afeworki was ‘frozen’ for weeks, was he sidelined by the leadership or by his own decision, ‘koryu’? And what is perplexing is how can this guy always be the survivor of such internal crises? Did he posses some kind of divine power and he had a unique ability to persuade others, including Petros Solomon, and Sebhat Efrem who had opposed his style of leadership? Was the Eritrean liberation struggle so desperate that it couldn’t survive without this man, and his actions were the only right even though they meant that many innocent tegadelties had to be victims for advocating democratic principles?
      As you put it 1973 = 2001; these evevts are indeed exactly the same; in the way they were initiated, and ‘overcome’ and foiled by Isayas and co. The million dollar question is: why is it that this guy is always on the winning side?

      • saay7

        Selamat Abraham:

        I attempted (emphasis on the word) to answer this question in a 3 part series “Isaias & The Eritrean People” here at awate a couple (maybe 3?) years ago. I will find the links and post later. I attempted to do a little reporting by interviewing some of his contemporaries: Woldeyesus Ammar, Herui T Bairou, Adhanom G, and a newer generation like Bashir Ishaq.

        My conclusion (for whatever it is worth) is that its a combination of the values of our people (good and bad), the idealism and ideology and mogogo/anchwa of his contemporaries and lastly the unbridled ambition of Isaias Afwerki himself. There are people who cannot under any circumstances visualize themselves in any position other than the leader/alpha dog. They exist in every organization and within this group of people there are those who will do anything, anything at all, to grab and retain that post: rob, bribe, kill. I believe he belongs to this group.

        Victory/defeat, success/failure are, after a while, self-fulfilling prophesies. For example, in 2001, the calculus is like a horse race; you bet on a winner because he is a winner, not because you have done a deep analysis of right/wrong, just/unjust. And then people get perverse satisfaction that they predicted right not that the right guy won. Or they start admiring a winner even if he wins ugly. I think the artist Abrar Osman captured this perfectly in his song “Tsibah”…

        saay

        Btw: when I said “deskilu” it means for a brief period the Menkae had won. But it didn’t occur to them what it would have occurred to him: arrest him and maybe kill him because that would have violated on of their demands: due process, elimination of cruel punishment.

        saay

  • saay7

    Selamat Tafla:

    I think the problem here is context: for you and I to look at the same thing and for you to gloss over it (as many Eritreans do) and for me to find it contemptible, what is missing is context.

    Nehnan Elamanan came out in November 1971. Here’s the context:

    1. ELF side: after going through tumult, common to all organizations which experience rapid growth and find that their leadership doesn’t have the administrative depth and skill-set to manage change, there were multiple calls for reform being made for nearly two years. The consensus was that the Diaspora leadership was out of its element, incapable of transforming into a dynamic organization. This, they concluded, can be solved by charting a National Program and electing new leadership in a National Congress. Between mid October to mid November 1971, for an entire month, the ELF had its congress in Arr (Western Eritrea) and elected a new leadership. While the mostly lowland leadership felt no compulsion about taking military action against the mostly-lowland/muslim reformers, it saw the ramification of attacking a Christian reform group (Isaias Afwerki’s Self Natsnet) and said that that matter should be dealt delicately as it was a matter of national unity.

    2. Isaias side: The memoirs of Tesfamichael St Georgio (Wedi Georgio), then a low-level Eritrean administrator for Asrate Kassa’s government in the Dekemhare area are telling. As the person who was facilitating all his meetings with the Asrate Kassa government (the Haile Selasse-appointed governor of Eritrea) and Americans (including CIA agents) at the Kagnew Station, Wedi Georgio (assassinated in Addis Abeba in 1992) says that Isaias Afwerki made EXPLICIT identity politics offers to Asrate Kassa (the equivalent of “we are Christians like you; help us because the Muslims are killing us) and when that didn’t receive receptive ears from Asrate Kassa (who made counter offer: surrender, ask for mercy, and you can pursue your goals in education or military), the pitch was made to the American officers at Kagnew station (Pass # 0071; copy available at ehrea.org. Isaias, according to Wedi Georgio, was very impressed by the sophistication of the CIA. As I wrote yesterday, here were the offers and counter-offer that were made on June 30, 1970:

    The Isaias Afwerki demands:

    a. Give us weapons; because right now the ones who are heavily-armed are the ELF and they are getting it from your enemies, the Arabs;
    b. Give us weapons and we will ensure that the Red Sea doesn’t become an Arab lake;
    c. Give us weapons so your interests in the region will be protected
    d. What guarantees do I have that you are trustworthy?

    US offer:
    a. We will give you weapons but they can’t be American weapons; they would have to be Viet-Cong weapons;
    b. We are afraid of the Palestinian group called Black September: can you protect us against them?
    c. You gotta have some of your fighters surrender to Ethiopia (it is good propaganda for Ethiopia and against Islamist Jebha); they will be retrained [by Israelis] as Commando and rejoin you
    d. Never mind the Arabs; we will instigate wars with Israel to keep them too busy fixing their neighborhood to venture anywhere else
    e. There are no guarantees… politics is a gamble and you gotta take a chance.

    Did it work? Shortly after the meeting, truck loads of N3, loaded with Vietcong weapons, made their way to Alla, then the head quarters of “Selfi Natsnet”, the Isaias-led predecessor of EPLF, now PFDJ. Hundreds of Eritreans surrendered to Ethiopia; in fact, Aklilu Zere, an awatista eyewitness who was present then, distinctly remembers Isaias Afwerki telling Eritrean highlanders to surrender to Ethiopia.

    Remember, the “ambibka aHlf” Nehnan Elamanan (shared ONLY with Christian highlanders) was published in 1971, a year and half after Isaias Afwerki’s deal with the CIA agents at Kagnew Station. This “separate but equal” mobilization would continue until virtually the eve of Eritrea’s independence where, for example, Tigrinya speakers would attend one political training where they were told two things: Hamid Idris Awate was just a man who had cattle-disputes with his fellow lowlanders and the real revolution started in 1970 with Selfi natsnet and Sryet Addis, Sryet Addis, Sryet Addis, Sryet Addis. To this day every history-illerate Eritrean knows sryet addis; the non-tigrinya speakers would get political orientation in a different room where they would be taught that Hamid Idris Awate was “beTel, Fars, revolutionary.”

    Now, re-read this within THAT context. Again, Nehnan elamanan came out in Nov 1971; Isaias’s CIA deal was June 30, 1970.

    saay

    * his pass # for that day was 0071, and you can see its image at ehrea.org.

    • Tafla

      Selam Saleh, kbret yihabeley!

      Thank you for taking the time to reply. context is good, but this not very convincing. I have too much work nowadays, but I’ll get back to point out where I disagree.

      Have a good day!

  • Mahmud Saleh

    Dear T.Kifle, Dear Hayat and all

    “So his line of argument of security hardly hold water since security had been a non-issue and no entity was supposed to take responsibility beyond their means. The only thing required from EPLF was just to offer the “visa” for that odd passage way.”

    There is no question if both organizations had worked together they could have minimized the death tall, they could even have liberated a large swath, say, Teseney and Omhajer or Teseney-Barentu opening a wider corridor. I was pointing to the fact that there was no relationship between the two fronts that would have resulted in that level of cooperation. You are putting it as simple as issuing visas. I lived it T.Kifle, I saw human degradation first hand. If ever an independently verified information comes out that woukld implicate the leadership of EPLF denying access when it could have done it without a problem (without violating, for instance, Sudan’s sovereignty acting against its instructions or risking its security because of the bad relation that had existed between the fronts, or expecting the burden of thousands of migrants in the event Sudanese turn them back which could have created a unimaginable humanitarian disaster in its soil…), then I will be the first person to condemn it. What we hear is complains after the fact, when relation between the two fronts turned into open warring.

    Let me just say this: I am humanist first and political second. I witnessed the worst human tragedy and it’s not something I want to politicize. What you have said is something that you have been repeating, and something I have been hearing and reading since the border war broke out. I am not saying it didn’t happen; all I am saying is the “why” part is not as simple as you want us to believe. In the absence of official documentation, I am not going to burden Eritreans with that guilt. I will come to it but you have parties closer to you that you should blame before jumping to Eritreans, if you are really patriotic.

    For those who want to know:

    1. The famine of 1984 was forecasted, anticipated, and multiple actors prepared to minimize its impact.

    a/ Derg constituted a commission, but while millions were starving to death, it was celebrating the 10th anniversary of its abyot (revolution) and the establishment of the Ethiopian People’s Party, or ESEPA, in its Amharic acronym. Derg is believed to have spent tens of millions of dollars in that lavish celebration. Famished rural populace was blocked from entering the cities in order to keep the impeccability of those cities to impress foreign dignitaries, while millions were facing their death.

    2. The world was horrified when BBC and American journalists broke the tragedy to the world; Ethiopia has yet to clean that image. I hope it doesn’t go through similar catastrophe;

    3. Derg soon scrambles on hauling rural areas to settlement centers, refuses aid to rebel held areas (TPLF and EPLF), it clearly intended and used the famine as a weapon to deny the rebels from man power.

    4. EPLF had a long held and well defended liberated areas, and relatively well developed and coordinated infrastructure. In addition it had mobilized its relief agency and was able to secure aid to areas it held. There was a lot of diplomatic wrangling because Ethiopian government refused granting NGOs to donate aid directly to rebels (EPLF and TPLF), it also refused air dropping, but after a lengthy negotiations, many NGOs and some donor countries bypassed Ethiopian sovereign claim and channeled aid to Eritrean Relief Association and REST (TPLF RELIEF AGENCY). In the liberated areas of Eritrea, camps had already been established and famished people were getting some survival aids from the rations of tegadelti.

    5. In Tigray, TPLF followed Derg’s policy but to the opposite direction, towards areas it controlled. The plan was to transport hundreds of thousands of people to the Sudan. People were crammed in narrow strip of area without preparation; same tragedies that hit Derg established camps hit Tigreans who were dislocated from their villages, the ravage of diseases, hunger…thirsty…in addition they were subjected to Derg aerial bombardments.

    6. The NGOs that TPLF had thought were ready to accept them were not ready, Sudanese government was also not ready (I will attach additional readings). This is crucial and supports my guesstimated previous comment; it’s most likely that the refusal of EPLF had to do with Sudanes-EPLF-TPLF triangular complicated relations.

    Findings

    1. The centeral government of Ethiopia takes the lion’s share of the disaster

    2. TPLF leadership had ample time to think about this ahead (why would they think EPLF would grant them at the speed of “official request” when both fronts were not even in a talking terms? If they could clear a path/road in three months why they did not prepare that ahead, why were they hauling people to their areas without preparation? Isn’t that a leadership failure? Consider this: this is a time when TPLF had frozen major military activities and was conducting seminars that continued for the next years to purge itself from unwanted elements and to “straighten” their program.

    3. As of now, I have no evidence to believe EPLF BLOCKED the access in order to starve Tigreans. I just don’t know what communications took place between two non-state actors which were at odd with each other (TPLF &EPLF), a destination/host-to-be sovereign country, the Sudan, an uncooperative Ethiopia whose citizens we are talking about, and dozens of NGOs. The interplayers and interlocutors are multiple, the situation is complex; you can’t blame Eritreans for miserable failures of your government (Ethiopia which had condemned its citizens to despicable catastrophe, and your rebel front which had done a badly managed evacuation plans.TPLF’s cadres accusation is not an evidence for me. Independently verified evidences need to be presented in order for an accusation of this magnitude to hold up. Here, EPLF was a mere non-state actor, a guerrilla organization; controlling a very thin corridor outlet to the Sudan which it was paying heavy price to keep open for its supplies.
    Bottom line: It’s interesting to see TK blaming Eritreans without even mentioning what his government did. I will always remain appreciative for both people’s shared sacrifices, I will condemn EPLF leadership if it’s been made clear it should have saved lives when it could. Up to this point we have a loud talking cadres of TPLF and a quiet EPLF leadership. My job is to remain true to the truth-bound citizenry mission and explain the circumstantial evidences, and forces that dictated that period in our history.

    http://www.merip.org/mer/mer145/ethiopia-politics-famine-relief

    http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/1987/03/time-for-action-against-mengistus-ethiopia

    http://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/Ethiopia919.pdf
    p.183

    https://books.google.com/books?id=HzTRqYfrZfsC&pg=PA61&lpg=PA61&dq=bbc,+eplf,+tplf,+relief,+1984,+1985&source=bl&ots=qoDsa_L_cJ&sig=B6tt1Rpv5aH0YI2j1KGUD6sCmUw&hl=en&sa=X&ei=g6IFVdCaK4TnoASdhoK4Cg&ved=0CE4Q6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=bbc%2C%20eplf%2C%20tplf%2C%20relief%2C%201984%2C%201985&f=false

    • abrham

      Dear Mahmud

      This is not a response but kind corrections in some of your perceptions.

      1. “What we hear is complains after the fact, when relation between the two fronts turned into open warring.” No Sir ordinary people to the south have the information long before the last war. I remember the eplf fighters were using our land to pass into theirs for an assault around Segeneity or dekemhare. All the logistics had been through Tigrai. The wounded fighters were also hospitalized for weeks in our land hiding from surveillance of Derg planes, One of the questions from some people was why woyane is letting them pass If they had denied the starved people of Tigrai in to Sudan?

      2.”loud talking cadres of TPLF and a quiet EPLF leadership” Haha mahmuday I observed this comment for the second time from u, aren’t the PDFJ defaming the Woyanes through their propaganda machines the same as EPLF(II)? aren’t they among the EPLFites. I will not tell you what the tesfanews, the madotes, the gethebs, the serving the truth Eritv, are…. working against.

      Sincerely yours

    • abrham

      Dear Mahmud

      This is not a response but kind corrections in some of your perceptions.

      1. “What we hear is complains after the fact, when relation between the two fronts turned into open warring.” No Sir ordinary people to the south have the information long before the last war. I remember the eplf fighters were using our land to pass into theirs for an assault around Segeneity or dekemhare. All the logistics had been through Tigrai. The wounded fighters were also hospitalized for weeks in our land hiding from surveillance of Derg planes, One of the questions from some people was why woyane is letting them pass If they had denied the starved people of Tigrai in to Sudan?

      2.”loud talking cadres of TPLF and a quiet EPLF leadership” Haha mahmuday I observed this comment for the second time from u, aren’t the PDFJ defaming the Woyanes through their propaganda machines the same as EPLF(II)? aren’t they among the EPLFites. I will not tell you what the tesfanews, the madotes, the gethebs, the serving the truth Eritv, are…. working against.

      Sincerely yours

      • Mahmud Saleh

        Abraham the quiet observer
        I take your your note; on our side, as you can imagine, it was the opposite. Either we didn’t talk about you guys or we talked about you with a lot of noisy praises, songs, and news reporting. There was no serious talks. Every time some complaints come out, they would tell us that you would outgrow your”htsannet ” and indeed you have outgrown it in a big time. Haha..

    • Hayat Adem

      Thanks T. Kifle and Mahmuday,
      This issue is worth discussing. I’ve only questions for both of you for now I want to ask Kifle. My questions are not meant restriction and please reflect as widely as you can on this subject so that we have more facts and perspectives if not enough.
      Mahmuday mention that there were not officially documented accounts on the matter and he doesn’t even know if TPLF actually and formally requested permission and facilitation of the passage and EPLF denied it. My question to you is if you can establish that fact.
      The other question would be based on Mahmuday’s counter claim that the TPLF was ill prepared when it could for the crisis and the death toll could have happened because of TPLF not doing what it could, like EPLF did. I’m sure this point may not have nothing to do with blockade decision but it would be good for me to know how ready TPLF itself was.
      The other point he raised is the unfairness of TPLF trying to blame it on Eritreans in stead of itself and its government the Derg.
      Also, if you can say something on what he said that if he knew for sure EPLF decided more starving people to die instead of letting them passage when it could, he would be the first to condemn them or the decision.
      Aslo, has TPLF ever said anything about this publicly or in its official correspondences before 1998?

      hayat

      • T. Kifle

        Selamat Hayat,

        1. My understanding by his saying of “official documents” is something he know of. I am not sure if he was that privileged to access such kind of information but TPLF officially requested EPLF for the mentioned purpose. If you mean by “establishing the fact” to provide you a signed document and all, it would require some handwork from my side but it’s possible.

        2. I can’t tell that TPLF was well-prepared for the disaster. Obviously it wasn’t. But that doesn’t change for the lack of goodwill on the other side.

        3. Blaming Derg is pointless. I think fighting the Derg was beyod blaming, and TPLF was doing just that at the time. Also Derg did what it knew best: addressing the issue from the vintage point of weakening the armed resistance by uprooting the people instead of providing with assistance in their villages. Why we complain about EPLF is because we expected it would cooperate. We didn’t expect anything from the Derg. But EPLF could have made a difference in the overall effectiveness of the operation and many lives could have been saved. If we counted EPLF same as the Derg, true we would never complain about it.
        4. You think this problem surfaced only after 1998? This is well consolidated history of TPLF and was part of the curriculum of TPLF’s primary training a natural phenomenon that challenged the struggle and the contributing factors including the denial of EPLF for the passageway and Dergs policy of draining the sea.
        5.About Mahmuday’s take: I would say, as a good human being, he could have had some pent up anger, a visceral discomfort and obviously most EPLF tegadelties would have had more or less similar sentiments . But they knew the behavior of their leadership. So Mahmuday couldn’t go beyond that. Even if he were to speak out it is unlikely that the decision would be altered.

      • Binieam

        Selam Hayat

        Yes TPLF has publicly mentioned the issue in their Statement on the occasion of the 24 anniversary of the Eritrean struggle in 1986. Its on page 94.

        http://www.roape.org/pdf/3510.pdf

        • T. Kifle

          Selamat Binieam,

          you did an excellent job here. Thank you.

          • Binieam

            My pleasure.

          • Rahwa T

            Dears T. Kifle and Biniew,
            Thank you very much for the well substantiated reads of our past.

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Ahlan Tk
            Help me out please: would you tell us when the request was made ( guessed month/year will do it) and at what level was it made? If there is any mention of reasons given by EPLF leadership why it would not grant the pass.
            Thanks.

          • T. Kifle

            Dear Mahmuday,

            Two main reasons for the cut of ties
            1. The decision for withdrawal of TPLF tegadelti from Sahel
            2. TPLF released a communique that characterized the EPLF leadership not progressive , the ideological difference thereof, the limit of the relationship to tactical levels etc.

            I don’t think they had reasons except they didn’t want to for they were enraged by the aforementioned decisions.

          • Hayat Adem

            Dear T. Kifle,
            I thought Mahmuday’s questions are about the pass corridor blockade, not about reasons for the cut of relations between the Fronts.
            Hayat

    • Hayat Adem

      Dear Mahmuday, Biniam and T. Kifle
      Thank you,
      Mahmuday,
      I think we can drop four of your doubts. I think there is enough evidence TPLF had officially asked EPLF for the passage, TPLF had been raising and criticizing it publicly after wards (not just after 1998) and TPLF asked EPLF in anticipation of a positive response expected of a friend and an ally (as opposed of a Derg-like party where TPLF had no expectation for any good will on helping the people). I have discussion with other Ethiopians who see it as an Eritrean history in gnereal but at least T. Kifle sees it clearly as an EPLF problem and not Eritrean. If you agree with me, we can conclude the topic after you reflect on the T, kifle’s latest piece. Mine is not a position or not even an information but a facilitation as such.

      Relationships between EPLF and TPLF had its own life, with many ups and downs governed by several considerations and principles. The drought came independent of the nature of the relationships and it happened to happen at a time when the relationship was not at its best. But the TPLF didn’t shy away from asking the EPLF for the help needed irrespective of the relationship. This would tell me how desperate TPLF was and compared to Derg, TPLF preferred to ask help from EPLF. So how do you weigh EPLF response in light of this? Do you turn you turn your back on hundreds of people whose life is depending on the very help being asked and could have been given? A principled and wise organization would grant it on humanitarian considerations. This is purely humanitarian where even adversaries get their acts together and in agreement to minimize. Political stands are different and not be mixed with this. It might be understandable to turn your back on political issues once relationships are soured. But even here, TPLF never faltered on its position of supporting Eritrea’s independence even in times where relationships with EPLF and ELF were severed. And, even after it held power in Addis, meaning defeating the speculations that it was supporting Eritrean cause because it wanted to get Eritrean help to defeat Derg. EPLF could have granted that irrespective of the relationship at the time on humanitarian grounds. They could have even use it as an opportunity to improve the political relationships with TPLF. You don’t necessarily need an ideal relationship for availing humanitarian good will. I don’t thing the problem was the Sudanese government either. Because the TPLF and all the humanitarian NGOs would have talked to the S. government on this before hand. That is what they did after they opened their owned accessing road. But if there was they have told that as a very good excuse and externalization to TPLF. There were better times later and EPLF never explained it or justify it.
      So, Mahmuday, reflect in a way it helps us conclude it fairly.
      Hayat

    • saay7

      Mahmuday:

      Other factors to consider:

      (a) was moving peasants to Sudan a good solution and is this something that the EPLF opposed to as a matter of principle (not because it was a mean, spiteful organization) and, more importantly, is it something that TPLF itself reconsidered as a workable strategy in later famines when it had already secured a corridor to Sudan?

      Answer in John Young’s “Peasant Revolution in Ethiopia: the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (1975-1991)

      (b) Did the TPLF prioritize providing food to its suffering citizens or did it have other priorities.

      Two people who were in the know, then its treasurer, Gebremedhin Araya, and one of its co-founders, Dr. Aregawi Berhe, say: absolutely not. They say that the leadership of TPLF, particularly the late PM Meles Zenawi and Aboy Sebhat Negga, saw this as an opportunity to make lots of money to be used to acquire weapons.

      Here’s the link which appeared in the Huffington Post: huffpost.com/us/entry/489516

      A tell-all biography on Aboy Sebhat Negga (by Hailay Hadegu) is out…. and we will see if it substantiates, contradicts, or glosses over the allegations of Gebremedhin Araya and Dr. Aregawi.

      http://aigaforum.com/books/aboy-sebhat-bio.php

      saay

      • Rahwa T

        Hi Saay,
        This is one of your light-weight comments I read from you. You are way beyond this and leave such comments to the Nitriccs and Hopes. Please write a much better points as you are critical thinker.

        • saay7

          Selamat Rahwa:

          Really? I consider John Young to be *the* Western authority on TPLF… since we are looking for third parties (obviously I for one can’t take the self-serving narration of the TPLF-II cadres), I thought Young would be the go-to-person.

          But I would LOVE to hear any other third-party sources you can refer me to.

          saay

          • Fnote Selam

            Hi Saay,

            Framing Eritreans in uniquely bad light or our efforts for independence as uniquely evil by many (frustrated) Eritreans, some (Dick Cheney->NT Times->Dick Cheney) Eritreans and some opportunistic Ethiopians is quite common on the web, tire-some (as you put it) and dangerous. I want to commend you, Mahmud and many others, who have taken a lot of stick for defending Eritreans (and labeled PFDJ apologist in the process). Please, don’t get tired of defending our people, it for the good of Eritrea, Eri-Ethio relation/future and the whole region in general.

            Kudos!

            FS.

          • saay7

            Selamat Fnote Selam:

            First, kudos on picking up on the Cheney –> NYT –> Cheney closed-loop feedback that is going on at awate forum by some who underestimate our intelligence. You might want to say more on the Cheney-NYT-Cheney trick though for those who are too young to remember:)

            IF the EPLF had moved Eritreans to Sudan during the famine but blocked Ethiopians;
            IF there wasn’t a single Eritrean organization that provided help during that period;
            IF the TPLF was not seen as using famine for political ends

            There MIGHT be something to this subject which was raised apropos nothing, with the sole objective of guilting/shaming Eritreans. But we know:

            1. The EPLF did not move ANY Eritrean to Sudan during that famine; most guerrilla organizations are loathe to see the exile (with high probability of it being permanent) of their base;
            2. The Eritrean opposition group, Saghem, provided N3 trucks to the TPLF;
            3. As I indicated, the period was a shock to the system with many Tigrayans abandoning the TPLF for what they considered its flat-footed moves and its manipulation of the Tigrayans (refer to John Young’s book.)
            4. Finally, there is the allegation (not by Eritreans) but by TPLF veterans that TPLF leadership saw this as a bonanza for money.

            So, if you connect the dots, this is one in a long series of trying to shift blame.

            You know, Fnote, at this forum, even the most loyal tmali-shaebia, lomi-shaebia, tsbah-shaebia always concedes that the Eritrean revolution did many things wrong. Even a hard-core Isaias supporter like Nitricc will say “the man is a spent force; he has no new ideas.” (Although he has been vacillating on me on this one). Have you ever heard a single admission of error from TPLF supporters. I mean besides “we trusted you too much”? I haven’t; not once; not a single time.

            saay

            PS: to complete the circle, smack in the middle of the Funding sources–NGO–TPLF triangle of 1985 was…. Gayle Smith, who later on appeared as Susan Rice assistant when they gave Eritrea two days to accept the US-Rwanda plan.

          • Fnote Selam

            Saay,

            While we are on the matter of Eritrean revolution, how do you respond to things like this (link) thinly veiled (as questions) pondering (basically asking Eris to apologize for our independence) by person that I admire a lot:-

            https://dissidentdiaries.wordpress.com/2014/06/02/eritreans-dilemma/

            I challenged him to come up with a singe country/entity that didn’t use any of the methods of EPLF to acquire/defend its independence/sovereignty/interests…..

            Best,

            FS.

          • tes

            Dear FS,

            Unless you did a private chat and debated, knowing the blogger personally, can not conclude the way you described him. Of course we had a different way of seeing things but since I came to know him very well, 2006 onwards, his take was unique and firm. He may question the means to an end but he is consciousness enough to know it. Born in an educated family and raised in the heart of Asmara and witnessing a crime committed to his own father (his father was a victim of the dismissed UoA distinguished doctors) in his early ages and witnessing crimes committed to religious minorities has all contributed to shape his way of thinking.

            I remember him also sharing to us works of YG when we were working together, especially the famous work of YG, “Romantizing Ghedli”. He had a better access to internet and he was reading a lot to opposition web-sites. To some extent, theye might have an influence on him.

            Else, he is a knowledgeable person and a true citizen who always wishes good for his own people. I still have contact and he has never iterated such statements you are trying to portray.

            Redarding the article you posted, there is nothing to conclude the way you did though his questioning to the means may look odd among the chauvinists.

            Saying this, I hopefully will pick your comments and clarify his thought.

            tes

          • Fnote Selam

            Dear Tes,

            Yes I did chat with him about it. Also, as I said I admired him a lot, but on this particular topic, I think his insinuation is wrong.

            Best,

            FS.

          • Semere Andom

            Hi FS:
            Saay’s homework load has been increasing since I pulled him from his “retirement”;-)
            I see it as follows: most of the things EPLF did to remove Dergi was bad, I mean what they did to the people. If I had to do it again, we can do it better. But now there is no going back to use my tired analogy: if a child is born in a bad marriage and the wife divorces the abusive husband, she does not have to reject the child (gift).
            EPLF’s policy during the armed struggle put undue burden on our society because the leadership was so insecure and they could not afford to make any mistake. Granted things go wrong in war and people will die in suspicious circumstance, but EPLF is knows for torture, killing and cruelty. This were people who ordered killing by phone calls, kill so and so.
            I would have done the following
            1. Since it is ghedli, could have arrested dissidents to avoid splitting and infighting and treat them humanely and the release them
            2. Could have deported them, ELF and TPLF did that
            3. Could have made the struggle fair by letting young people who had more than one sibling, or father in the struggle abroad to study this way some families would not have lost 8 of their children, this will come handy after independence to ease pain of families whose entire children perished. ELF followed some kind of this policy.
            It is impossible to have expected a different result while IA and his alliance of killers are in charge and the notion he change is stupid, if he chose a better path things would have been for him and us and people would not remember his crimes, but he is not that confident and could not take the risk.

          • Fnote Selam

            Hi Semere,

            I agree with all of the things you said here. But, I will challenge you with the same question:- come up with a singe country/entity that didn’t use any of the methods of EPLF to acquire/defend its independence/sovereignty/interests…..(especial over a long (30) years of war to which Eritreans are forced).

            Why do we have to be asked to almost (adding almost to give people benefit of the doubt) apologize for our independence?

            Thanks,

            FS.

          • Semere Andom

            Hi FS;
            First, it doe snot mean because others did it we have to do it. We are relatively late comers and we had opportunity to lean from those before us.
            TPLF did not use the draconian methods that EPLF used and ELF also. ELF started bad, but immediately became national org and was headed to the right direction. I do not believe that you have to be that brutal to win.
            The USA revolution

          • Fnote Selam

            Hi Semere,

            Well, I am not saying EPLF was justified to do it. My beef is with the notion that our struggle was particularly evil (up to the point we should apologize for our independence). For example, the writer on the article I shared is referring to people like Mahmud and Amanuel (and I am sure we all know many others) as cruel and lawless bandits with no effort what so ever to make any distinction between criminals and mostly honest tegadelti.

            Also, lets not forget ELF is part and parcel of Eri’s struggle. Plus, EPLF’s crimes probably constitute a small part of out struggle for independence against a long is list of occupiers…

            On US (I am forever indebted to this country for opportunities it presented that are beyond my dreams), but just looking at the unclassified documents…. I mean, come on….

            As MZ said, TPLF (mostly ethnically homogeneous organization) and EPLF (mostly ethnically heterogeneous organization, not to mention many other different challenges each organization faced and consequences of prolonged war) are not apples and apples. Besides, if pushed, we all know what TPLF is capable of in streets (2005? elections) or in kangaroo courts….

            Again, I really hate doing this (comparing bad things different countries/societies did, as if it would make things better), but people really need to give Eritreans some break! We have bad people and good people like any other country and society, not any better or any worse.

            Thank you,

            FS.

          • Semere Andom

            Hi FS;
            It is always wrong to lump together every EPLF fighter as criminal. We are just talking about how the organization was stirred what the leadership did to solve the conflicts and managing the struggle. It is not the homogeonous nature that resulted in how the leaders were shaped, it was conscious choice.MZ was surrounded by hos friends and “ayatat”, rumor has it that Sibhat is his God father and for 3 years what they call a period of “dewta” (stagnation) they debated issues to the point of crippling the organization and then the MZ group made a decision and the decision was to dismiss the dissidents, this is not just symbolic, it was an important step, a precedent if you will. IA’s group were also homogenous and the dissedents was from this group and to IA so the heterogeneous thing does not apply.
            You cannot expect democracy total free speech during ghedli, but torture?
            Have you ever met former ELF fighters who were imprisoned by EPLF, these people were Eritreans, prisoners of war and are not dissidents and the way they treated them was horrible. Finally they released them, but no one was released who has a rank of more than “merahi mesrie.”
            To summarized:
            EPLF did not have to do that, it had already loyal people. It can do security without its heinous crimes, before and now. You do not have to push EPLF/PFDJ to kill you, they just have to suspect you and they err on side making a mistake of killing you instead of making a mistake by sparing you.
            All that is history, but after independence and when you hear Dejen’s testimony of wailing boys, women and old men in “Karcheli,” you got question the independence they brag about of bring for us. I respond and for that we have respected you, we have elevated you, we have canonized you. Habayib. Then what followed?

          • Fnote Selam

            Hi Semere,

            I think you are missing my point. As I pointed out again and again, my problem is with people (fixated on some horrible things EPLF did) and conveniently presenting the struggle of Eritreans for our independence as that of EPLF only and then go on denouncing Eritreans and their independence for crimes EPLF committed……I dont think that is fair and I will continue to resist it.

            Best,

            FS.

          • Mahmud Saleh

            FS and AbuNuH

            Fnote Selam: You are so bright; your clear ideas dazzle my eyes. What Semere misses is this: In hind sight no body will tell you ” I would have repeated everything/trajectory ghedli did/followed.” Of course, many things went horrible, many unnecessary sacrifices were made; many human rights violations occurred; a lot of resources squandered; wrong political programs were experimented; wrong military calculations were made; wrong diplomatic policies were followed….many to mention. Some tried to correct all or some of these ghedli blunders, but were made sacrificial lambs and paid the ultimate price. The whole project was based on try and error; in a fast changing geopolitical dynamism….Yes, looking at it from where you are, you could have changed a lot. But wait a minute. You won’t have the same ghedli anymore, because the situation that created that unique ghedli, and what it entails of endurance and …and what have you, is gone; today you have a different challenge. Are you using correct methods uniquely tailored to face up this challenge? That should be the question Semere wed Andom. Now, we don’t have excuses, because ghedli era experiences should serve us as a lesson.

            Yesterday’s generation did what they could within that given setting. Their understanding of the issue we are talking about such as human right, transparency, democratic governance…were not a priority.

            This is for KS not for Semere

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T31geJNkUw8

          • Abraham Hanibal

            Hi Semere A.
            I don’t believe the TPLF were angels either in comparison with the EPLF. Have you not heard of those Tigrayan tegadelties who were liquidated by the TPLF in their sleep when they were in fact invited for “unity talks” by the TPLF? I don’t have detailed knowledge of this incident, but I’ve heard Aboy Sebhat Nega admitting it in one interview he gave lately to the VOA.

          • Semere Andom

            Hi Ab:
            No way TPLF are angles and I heard and I used know some info that some tegadalti were killed in suspicious circumstance, but that kind stuff was not as pervasive as what it was in ours. And the admitting tells you something too, no one still with PFDJ admits that, not even IA

          • Shum

            Hello Saay & Fnote,

            I reflected on the points that you’re making, over the weekend. I think we spin our wheels pointing this out to our southern neighbors and some of our home-grown ones as well. And I certainly appreciate the push back, but at some point it becomes clear some people will just keep at it. There’s a lot in this article to be discussed, but then we have these side items of unfinished business that are largely irrelevant. We have two choices, let them pat each other and high five each other in the forum as we focus on what’s important or relevant to the articles or engage them on their every whim.

            I’m going to try hard to focus on the important topics of our day. I will do my level best to not get sucked into these things moving forward. I ask you and others to join me in this.

          • Fnote Selam

            Hi Shum,

            I agree, we have bigger fish to fry. I just think some things if presented and debated in a balanced way could be useful in our present struggle even if they appear irrelevant. But, yes, we shouldn’t really spend much energy on them.

            Thank you,

            FS.

          • saay7

            Shumay:

            When in doubt, please blame Semere T for dragging me from the park where I was feeding the ducks….:)

            saay

          • Semere Andom

            And smell the flowers before watering them 🙂

          • Rahwa T

            Dear Saay,

            OK, maybe you are right to consider Young’s book as one reference. I have never red his book. But citing Gebremedhin Araya’s testimony as evidence would make your point weak. It is not difficult to see Gebremedhin
            as wild accuse. Both Aregawi and Gebremedhin might have grains of truth in their testimonials, but they mix up their facts with hatred, grudge and sometimes jealousy that would add up to be test less. Having said this what alternative could you have suggested, had you been in their (TPLF) position when the whole region is hit by drought, access to get aid is closed mainly by Derg? Let’s say there might have been some political motives behind (as some accuses), but how can you as leader would expose hundreds of thousands of your people, that are the only source of your armies into danger? Don’t you think that once the people are gone, that would be the end of the organization’s existence as political entity? I saw you comment from this perspective. Let me talk about me. I believe I don’t generalize to say “what is wrong with you Eritreans?” for everything you guys defend. But yes, sometimes I wonder ask the above question whenever I see BIG men/women circling the circumference of the circle instead of going to the core of facts at hand. Otherwise, if you bring horrible crimes done by TPLF, I will be the first to denounce them. Please bring that here, if there are at all. I think I and many of my compatriots here have expressed that evacuation of the Eritreans without “sifting who is who” was wrong and many of us has missed friends (meteAbiti) and relatives because of that. The problem is that was done during the time of war and the leader from the other end was bragging he will use his civilian citizens in toppling the the leaders of its current enemy. Too many emotions, and pressures from different stakeholders.

          • saay7

            Selamat Rahwa:

            Nobody climbs to the top post of a guerrilla organization with a relentless enemy committing to his extinction unless that person is willing to make some life and death decisions that would make ordinary people like you and me very squeamish. In that regard, I prefer the narrative of detached scholars (like John Young) than devoted fans who find it impossible to believe the people they admire can be ruthless in pursuit of a larger goal.

            Your note on Aregawi and Ghebremedhin is well taken; Fnote made similar observation (Fnote: everyone comes across really bad in a Skype interview with bad lighting.) And to echo Semere A: at least TPLF exiled its dissidents instead of torturing/killing them like our front does.

            I will stand to be corrected but John Young did not absolve TPLF of flat-footedness during the famine (Mahmouds point), many Diaspora Tigrayans were disoriented
            by the TPLFs manipulation of the issue. Whatever criticisms are directed at EPLF, if they are described within the context of an erroneous policy, I am fine with. Unfortunately, I have heard the narration since 1998 and every single time it is to help the reader the conclusion “they hate us; they have always hated us.” Sometimes the “they” is “shabbiyah”, sometimes it is “Banda”, and sometimes it is “Eritreans.” (Interestingly: “shabbiyah” not “hzbawi gnbar” was the word used beginning may 1998-present. Also interestingly, some Eritrean opposition groups who use Arabic as the means of communication use “gnbar” to refer to it. Both are designed to incite fear and hatred in the audience/reader/listener/viewer.)

            With respect
            saay

          • Mahmud Saleh

            General
            You are in an all-out mode today. I’m still waiting for TK to give us the approximate date the “official request” was made and at what level it was made; what was EPLF’S RESPONSE/REASON, if any…as you said, this is not a defensive effort, but TPLF had used it in order to deflect its failure during those years and now neo-TPLFites are using it to reinforce their hatred towards Eritreans blaming us for failures that should be squared on their government first and then to TPLF. I was reluctant to believe it, but all the tough talk of “punishing” Eritreans, the expansion of the war, and the bitterness that’s still displayed could have a role to do with this burning urge of avenging the past.
            In the absence of an official explanation from the EPLF, we could only make our conclusions based on circumstances that surrounded the matter. As we dig deep into our memory and whatever is available of literature, we find it to be too complex of a time; I will say something related to those years just to give the some background showing them that things are not as simple as those are blaming us put them..
            Keep it up General, the discussion is interesting.

      • Fanti Ghana

        Hello SAAY Hawey, kemey Kenikha?

        A couple of weeks ago, I was about to ask you a favor to summarize for me about what I missed during
        September-February, but I saw how busy you were, and I didn’t have the heart. However, now that you mentioned Gebremedhin Araya for the second time in relation to TPLF’s past, I am regretting it for not killing two birds with one stone: torture you and get my lesson at the same time!

        I strongly doubt it, but if you happened to be one of the few lucky ones, who missed his interview with
        ESAT TV regarding TPLF’s history, let me warn you that he is, medically speaking, really gone. You probably suspect that already, but just in case, please don’t take him seriously.

        Let me repeat Abinet style: “bilit Kuter silut Tafia and ale.”

        Selam

        • Abi

          Selam Fanti
          Abinet style would be
          “Sew Tira bilut erasu meTa ”
          I just wanted to use this opportunity to say welcome back . Forget the proverb.

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello and thank you Abi,
            I missed your “Hantin Tiyiten” posts a great deal. I am also delighted to see that Nitricc grew an inch in the last …let me think… 259200 minutes? Yeah. Great to hear from you too Abi.

          • Hayat Adem

            Hi Fanti,
            Nitricc’s growth is noticed in all aspects. He has started varying his adjectives and nouns lately. That must be impressive, too for those who care about him, me included. For example: Hayat, Dedebit grad, full time paid missionary, chair of the eshi goytai corner, letekidan and counting…:)

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello Hayat,
            I am hanging on the idea of “exploration is the beginning of wisdom” so far.
            Selam.

        • saay7

          Selamat Fanti Ghana:

          What did you miss September to February? A lot!

          1. September: we dedicated the month to Fanti Ghana and just kept reposting your wisdom. Eyob Medhane did his Happy New Year (Justinian style) and the video is available on YouTube. The publisher said that’s it I have had it and killed Jebena.
          2. October: Tes opened 15 schools: ranging from Chauvinist School where yours truly is founder, director and chief academic officer to Good Vibes school. All the schools have reserved a seat for you.
          3. November: Sem A satirized everyone while eating Panatone cake and drinking fortified wine. He came back from Italy and he longer says “Tadias?” Or “kemey?” when he greets people. He keeps saying “alora”?
          4. December: Haile TG went to the Bermuda Triangle; he said he wanted to write a book on Emilia Earheart. Also a lot of middle aged awatistas said where has all the year gone. We did not threaten to do an Awate 8.0 and I am happy to note we delivered our non promise on time.
          5. January: those of us who are fanatic fans of American football annoyed everyone. We made bold predictions none of which came true but Nitricc was the “wrongest.” Speaking of Nitricc he retired his favorite word “toothless” for a new one “Dedebit.” I retired and closed the chauvinist school with no refunds.
          6. February: awatistas discussed with great passion issues that had never been discussed been before. And by never I mean always.
          7. March: Fanti Ghana returned quietly. This leads us to think that he has taken to heart Mengistu Hailemariams “shelko yeweta, shelko ygba.” A message that has not been taken to heart by Aman who tells us he is leaving when we didn’t know he was still around and tells us he is back when we didn’t know he had left.

          saay

          • Fanti Ghana

            You did it any way. You are the greatest. I will be back in 2+ hours.

          • Abi

            Saay
            That was clever. My website is dedicated to proverbs in every language. It is for lazy people who don’t want to write.
            Regarding my nick
            ” simn meleak yaweTawal”
            You can’t beat that!!!!

          • Semere Andom

            Alora Fanit and Sal
            8. Nitricc and history hugged. History is no more tootheless and useless
            9. Emma and Sal got back together in “shekortet esketa”
            10. Sal and Hayat are still estranged
            11. Mahmud was nominated as the awatista of the year for 2014
            12.New cousin of Sal was discovered with a striking similarity in style and intensity. He name is Gheteb.The search was mandated after Sal threated to retire and it was feared that the void will be painful.
            13. Sal half retired to find time to write his memoir titled: “I was right and I was wrong
            14. Sal lead a coup on the AT and he elevated his title to “Sheik” Saleh Al-Asmaranti the first
            15. Sem A was dubbed half “Dedebit”, Mahmud came in his defense saying “dedbitting” Sem A was a mistaken identity.

          • saay7

            Kemey kemey Fanti Ghana:

            16. Tes and Selam flirted aggressively. “get a room, you two!”, said nobody. SGJ called disqus tech support every day demanding they install anti-flood software.
            17. Awatistas who had occasionally pretended that the discussion forum had something to do with the article finally said, “what article?”
            18. Amanuel’s sighs of frustration could be heard from the East Coast where awatistas keep disappointing him by discussing irrelevant issues, which suddenly grow relevance when he expresses interest in them.
            19. Kokhob Selam told everybody “I love you all equally but more so if you are Habesha.”
            0. Kim Hanna is a man. Kim is short for Kimdlaye.
            21. Cousin hope alternated between sending valentine notes to Gonder and doing his impression of Samuel Jackson in Pulp Fiction.
            22. Amde dedicated Monty Python clip and instantly became my favorite ethiopian. Then he called Eritrea a project and was undone.
            23. Rahwa did the impossible: she made Weyane look cool.
            24. Sadly, the greatest writer who ever lived, LT, made only one appearance. And it was still classic.
            25. Ghezae Hagos quoted Jay-Z. Twice. Somewhere in the heavens Tulac smiled.

            saay

          • Semere Andom

            26. Hayat lodged complaint alleging Sal was being mentored by Niricc, she said this was a breaking the covenant of Nitricc being mentored by Sal.
            27. Nitricc and Hayat had a treaty where she will be proudly called smart dedebit girl and he be called dumb but fearless
            28. Sal revealed his other hidden talent: linguistic forensics. He was the one who authenticated Gheteb’s relation to him by analyzing his Latin laden writing
            29. Selam broke the biggest news that there is think thank in Eritrea
            30. The genesis and meaning of the word Shilu was debated
            31. Someone who calls himself Eritrean commented that Ethiopia should not withdraw from Badem

          • saay7

            32. Rodab found a funny group of Eritreans who never discuss politics and dumped us for them. They are the actors in Eritrean dramas/comedies on youtube.
            33. Semere Tesfai wrote a long, underlined, bolded, itatilcized article on Weyane treachery. An entire squad from Aigaforum and Tigraionline descended to tsk tsk him. They will be back when he writes his part 2 sometime before 2016.
            34. With Fanti Ghana leaving, the sum total of Ethiopians who call on their government to abide by EEBC and return Badme to Eritrea decreased from 1.0 to 0.0.
            35. Due to gratuituous provocations by Ethiopians at the forum, the Eich Embley School (aka Chauvinist school) was able to attract Shum and Abraham. Their assaults are so offensive, even the mild-mannered Fnote Selam is auditing classes (not fully enrolled, but testing it.)
            36. Forget everything and remember that L.T. wrote. So, at the end of the day, this is what you missed and because we like you, I am reproducing it:

            My salary is $2200 and I paid $ 500 for rent and$ 20 for electricity and train ticket is $100 and food in Sweden is not cheap and telephone and internet it cost,four children care and Tac is high ie31% of my salary.
            I have to go to” Eritrana Tirah Neana” to visit family or to marry again and it ios expensive in now time,just look to go out and danse how can it become the note?I’m dying tired of it!and famliy wants me to contirbute money to oour neighbors and relatives as they died recently and then they want to point our houses and buy one get for easter.
            Now Awate want me to give them
            a small coin.
            but I have no(KaH-KaH) broke
            panic and planks
            when I go by train..
            the poem came from Bob Dylan

          • Semere Andom

            Hi Sal:
            Just like the scriptures and good art the more your read L.T you get different meaning of what he is saying, the same sentence can be interpreted offers different meaning
            There is an old joke about Numierri, Sudanese joke that he was not that smart and Arabic is tricky with its “tenwin”. One day his assistant gave him the following note in Arabic to read on an event
            “Neshkur Ala Hussini slukohhu”
            Numierri read it as: “Neshkur Ali Hassen Selukah”
            makes less sense when written in English

          • selam

            Hi Semere .A
            Your number 29 is pure lie and it is below your intelligence to put words on my mouth .So please correct your statement . I never ever said there is Think Thank in Eritrea. That will make you a lair because you have failed to have the truth on your side.

          • Fanti Ghana

            Between yours and Semere’s updates, I am catching up with a smile. Thank you both very much. Speaking of Tes and Selam, if I can continue to manage to skip a few phrases here and there and if she continues to improve at the speed she seems to be improving I see great potential in Selam. I have been calling her “Royal Empress Tree” in private.
            I may have to write Ato Kim Hanna hundred times before I get it. Heck, I was so sure, man.
            I am proud of you Rahwa, Haftey Natey (if I may borrow a phrase from another great).
            I need someone to take responsibility for closing jebena and for making Kokhob Selam an Ethiopian.
            I am not surprised about Amde. He is gifted in everything.
            I am sorry to hear that Mr. Amanuel is still saying “aye KolEu lomi! eh.
            Sesinu sesinu…

          • Kokhob Selam

            [Moderator: You could be confused when you see Saleh Younis spreading the “Jebena is closed” rumor. It’s not, and everyone knows that. Single file cannot handle thousands of comments. We now have several files under Jebena, and the icon is still in a prominent position on the frontpage. If anyone cannot find the Jebena icon, we can provide a screen shot to help you find it.]

            Dearest Fanti,
            is Jebena closed? this is new news for me. Jebena is very expensive part of awate.com. My poems are going to be there and new book will be issued, prepare your self to buy. And if awate team love it or not Kokhob is theirs , part of them. I can’t help but I always love them even if they lose Jebena.

            Did I became an Ethiopian? who is not an Ethiopian here? Lol, but serious I will remain Habesha and Eritrean. If Ethiopia needs me at any moment I am there to serve as I have a lot to pay them. now at least I should say I LOVE YOU.

          • Fanti Ghana

            Selamat Dr. Kokhob Selam, Kemey Kenikha.
            I didn’t know I was going to be gone for so long before I screamed at you to stay away from politics. To show you how much respect I have for you and your talent, I here by pledge to buy 10 books the day they are available and sell 8 of them to my friends (I will charge them according to their personalities: the meaner the person the cheaper the book that is.) And also if you volunteer 10 books to awate.com for future library, I will match it with another 10 for the same cause.
            I LOVE YOU TOO.

          • Kokhob Selam

            Thank you.

          • selam

            Dear Fanti
            Please Fanti do not take semere Andom words because he accused me things i never said.
            This tree is very dominant , and outperform every tree around , as it is hungry for water , minerals and even sun light. Lol I will try my best.

            Nice to meet you in advance

          • Fanti Ghana

            No worries Selam Haftey, I am good at Identifying good people.
            Nice to meet you too.

          • Shum

            Hello Sem,

            Another classic! And you’ve coined a new term, Dedebitten. Definition? Eritrean Derangement Syndrome where subject is influenced or transformed to see and view Eri-Ethio politics through the lens of the TPLF.

          • Fanti Ghana

            Come stai fratello Semere?

            Last week, I was literally terrified to see what looked like SAAY’s successful
            clone of himself. Then I noticed what I thought was contamination with
            Ali-Salim’s DNA. I had to make a few tests to be sure, and I asked Hayat to
            conduct the test for me.

            Hayat: What is your name?
            Clone: Weyane.
            Hayat: Do you know where you are?
            Clone: Weyane.
            Hayat: Can you lift your right hand for me please?
            Clone: Weyane.
            Hayat (making faces): Can you turn toward me please?
            Clone: Dedebit!
            Hayat: Oh My God!
            Fanti: What is wrong Hayat?
            Hayat: All this time I thought Nitricc was bad.
            Thank you.

  • ‘Gheteb

    Ethiopia, A Failed State Documentary

     
    Here is a synopsis of the Video

    A: It is a 54 minutes video

    B: It presents evidence and analysis that shows the disintegration of Ethiopia due to increasing ethnic antagonism, corruption, political suppression and bad governance

    C: The documentary’s main thrust is what will happen when (not if) Ethiopia becomes a failed state

    D: The documentary presents compelling evidence on “genocide”, “ethnic cleansing” and other crimes perpetrated against the Amharas, the Oromos and Gambellas by the TPLF

    E: It shows how the billions of dollars are laundered through the TPLF’s “Endowment Fund For The Rehabilitation Of Tigray (EFFORT). The money is deposited in offshore bank accounts in the names of children of TPLF politicians.

    F: The documentary shows how the TPLF uses the “terrorism act” to imprison journalists, bloggers and its political oppenents. It shows how the TPLF has interferes in religious affairs of both Muslims and Christians and how the TPLF sought to incite conflict between these religous groups.

    G: It shows how the TPLF sold the country’s best land to some shady and unscrupulous land-grabbers for pennies displacing thousands of villagers with money obtained from the world bank, the British Government and others

    H: It shows how the TPLF persecution has resulted in the creation of massive refugees and a source of cheap labor in the Middle East

    I: The documentary shows how the TPLF has managed to dominate the military and intelligence sectors by controlling 95% of top leadership positions

    J: It issues a serious indictment of US policy in Ethiopia, as its principal financial backer and warns that unless the US takes action to change its policy, it will have the blood of many, many thousnads of Ethiopians in its hands

    Well, call me an Ethiopian hater or anything, but Ethiopia is powder keg ready to go off with even the slightest spark. The tension and conflict are high and the possibily of chaos within Ethiopia is even higher. Reading Ethiopia’s tea leaves ( coffee leaves, perhaps) betokens the TPLF’s endgame has commenced verily.

    • Abi

      Mr Tom Clancy
      Please choose the title for your comment from the titles of your books
      1- against all enemies
      2- the sum of all fears
      3- clear and present danger
      4- other ——–
      I never call you ethiopia hater. As you said it before, I blame ghedli 100%.

      • Kokhob Selam

        ያንተ ነገር !ኣሳስተው ኣሳሳቱህ ኣይደል? ኤርትራ ለፔትሮ ዶላር ብቻ ሳይሆን ለኮፊ ዶላርም ኣትሸጥም ብንል እንደ ስህተት ይቆጠራል?

    • Kim Hanna

      Selam Gheteb,
      .
      I have no time at the moment, I might look for this thread to add a little more later. But for now I want to console you and wipe your crocodile tears. You are a pathetic individual with pure hate and get excited each time someone says anything bad about Ethiopia. You and your kinds are so concerned about the Amharas and Oromos, it is only in the twilight zone one can see this.
      .
      K.H

      • Ted

        KS, how satirical of you. While you are basking under the Eritrean website which publishes the misery of Eritreans for you to enjoy, your taking offence by a few bad news from Ethiopia in a comment section is ironic. The documentary is about TPLF and its belligerent action in Ethiopia. Why offended?

        • Kokhob Selam

          Ted, Nebsi, you start by KS, please correct it,Lol.

          • Ted

            KS, two birds with one stone .lol. Corrected.

          • Kokhob Selam

            TED,ውይ ውይ ኣትማን ገዲፍካስ ረጋቢት ” ዘሕምቆ ኣለኒ በትረይ ሃቡኒ”

          • Ted

            KS, Abinet is good at ababale( Misela) too. May be you two collaborate for a book.

          • Kokhob Selam

            ንስኻ ወዮ ቀሊል !

    • Abraham Hanibal

      Thank you Gheteb for bringing this documentary of TPLF atrocities to our observation. The US and other Western governments policies towards the Third world has only been that of plunder and failure: we’ve lots of glaring examples: Irak, Libya, Yemen, Syria, Ethiopia, etc. The Western countries are partly responsible for the sufferings of the peoples in these countries through their destructive interference in their internal affairs. And to those who are defeaning our ears about Ethiopian democracy: is this the democracy you brag about day and night?

      Please keep your version of democracy for yourselves; and let us Eritreans build the democracy that exactly fits us, and portrays our realities and aspirations. Ethiopia has its own history marked by Ethnic dominations and inter-ethnic frictions, with the absence of a unifying national identity; while Eritrea has a history of a people and identity united through struggle against decades of foreign colonization, including a vicious occupation by Ethiopia.

      Ethiopian history is a history of domination and subjugation by one ethnic group on the rest of the others, mainly by the Amharas and now by the Tigryans. As long us this pursuit of domination exists in Ethiopia, there would not be any real democracy. The TPLF and PFDJ are two sides of the same coin; therefore, there is no need of importing TPLF style “democracy” in Eritrea, because “wocho ente gemtelkayo wocho slezikone”. And if there is anything this documentary could indicate, it is the fact that Ethiopia under the TPLF-regime is a huge time bomb waiting to explode any time.

      • Nitricc

        Aman when people say Ethiopia is stronger than Eritrea ; i have no idea how they get to that point.

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Nitricc,
          I am sure your response is to Abraham Hanibal. Since for whatever reason “Aman” is in your head, you addressed your comment to a wrong person “Aman.”

        • Olana

          What about this from Reuters

          U.N. Eritrea inquiry finds clear patterns of rights violations

          Source: Reuters – Mon, 16 Mar 2015 12:36 GMT

          Author: Reuters

          U.N. report chronicles systematic rights violations

          * Eritrea’s poor rights record fueling exodus of migrants

          * Eritrea dismisses report as “unreliable, unproven” (Adds Eritrean response, quotes, details)

          By Tom Miles

          GENEVA, March 16 (Reuters) – A United Nations investigation into human rights in Eritrea has found “very clear patterns” of violations and an absence of rule of law, an interim report said on Monday.

          Eritrea’s poor human rights situation has been blamed for a huge exodus of migrants from the Horn of Africa nation. Eritrea is the second largest source of migrants after Syria making perilous trips across the Mediterranean to Europe.

          “Most Eritreans have no hope for their future,” the chairman of the investigative team, Mike Smith, told the U.N. Human Rights Council to which the report was delivered, adding that it was no wonder so many people wanted to leave.

          “Detention is an ordinary fact of life, experienced by an inordinate number of individuals – men and women, old and young, including children.”

          Eritrea’s Ambassador Tesfamicael Gerahtu rejected the report, telling the Council it was based on “unreliable, unproven and sensational” information.

          Smith said Eritrea, which declared independence from Ethiopia in 1993, was using long-simmering tensions with its much bigger southern neighbour as a pretext to ignore human rights law and to remain on a military footing, characterised by pervasive state control and ruthless repression.

          “Hence the creation of a network of spies that goes so deep in the fabric of social life that a man employed by national security might not know that his daughter is similarly employed.

          “Hence the extra-judicial executions, enforced disappearances and incommunicado detentions aiming at silencing all perceived critics and teaching a lesson to them and others – because you are never really told why you are arrested … for how long you will be detained and where,” Smith said.

          The U.N. refugee agency UNHCR says that by July 2014, about 357,000 had fled Eritrea, roughly seven percent of a population previously estimated at five million. The numbers of those making the risky journey to Europe have increased since then.

          Smith said that in the first four months of their work, his team had interviewed about 400 people in five countries and had received 140 written submissions.

          “While we continue to travel, to collect testimonies and to go through information gathered to corroborate individual cases and incidents … we can already report on very clear patterns of human rights violations and on our systemic understanding of them,” Smith said.

          The investigation will present its final report in June. (Editing by Gareth Jones)
          Now what are the conditions for failing states?
          Don’t deceive yourself just to feel high whenever something bad is aired about Ethiopia regardless of its credibility.
          Olana

    • Peace!

      Dear Gheteb,

      Thank you for the insightful documentary, and by the way I like your no Kel’Alem / Mujamala -cut the crap- and to the point argument. The documentary is certainly not only to expose that the minority TPLF lead government is committing ethnic cleansing and other heinous crimes to keep the fragile federalism intact, but rather it is more about the hypocrisy of the staunch Abyssinian fundamentalists that they are shamelessly willing to open the backdoor to save their ally TPLF for any eventuality, and thus their struggle, which is restricted only to sanctify whatever their boss come up with, is not for democratic Eritrea, but its for TPLF friendly Eritrea.

      regards

  • tes

    A reminder

    “The chauvinist school of thought”

    I see the School of Chauvinists is marching at a very high speed supported by hardline PFDJistas.

    I am reading saay7 becoming the lead in increasing the hate between the two people.

    I am reading Mahmud Saleh becoming a mountain in protecting saay by bringing old factual histories to make their school strong.

    I am reading Gheteb, the source of hate, the source of venoms towards TPLF, the blind heavy worded but hollow approval of the legitimacy of PFDJ, the man naver ashamed of to express his extreme hate towards Ethiopia.

    I am reading the confused graduate school of chauvinist, Nitricc, as usual becoming more and more confused.

    On the other side, selam, Gual Hidirtina, the hypocrite lady of Asmara fully exposed on her mission of the killers from Asmara. She is forgetting the killers, genociders and murderers of our current time are also residing beside her ang giving her all the best internet resource to make her mission accomplished.

    I am reading Ted becoming weaker and weaker but is the real potential candidate for the school of chauvinist. He could notleave his PFDJ camp fully but is in the way of declaring it.

    I am reading Abraham Hanibal, but I can say, he is the most gentle man from the school of chauvinists. Hate is far from him just he couldn’t embrace Ethiopia within his peaceful external policies.

    Hope, the all time confused man is coming and going but no change.

    “The fine school of thought”

    Saleh Gadi needs more open minded people to make his school more stronger. He is there to take the lead but some of his school members are dragging him back to the past. I am confident for his lead but I am afraid some may keep him dragging to the school of chauvinists.

    Amanuel Hidrat, one of the prominent fine school of thought is currently in a shock wave. He has many historical wounds that is not cured well. I urge him to sterilize his past and talk on present.

    Kokhob selam, who is believed to be member of the fine school of thought is getting over stretched. His Abyssinian fundamentalism, his dream to see two countries but one, his extreme desire to see Habeshanism to become first and foremost people’s identity and his priority mission to this end is diluting his strength. And I am afraid that he may join to the school of Abyssinian Fundamentalists in the near future.

    Semere Andom, this man is a blessing to be in the fine school of thought. He has a very clear historical discourses and a clear vision to the future. Saleh Gadi must be proud of you.

    Haile TG, hope he will come soon and perform his social engineering skills to fix some minor technical problems in the fine school of thought. His service is highly needed now.

    “The Abyssinian school of thought”

    This is school is a recently identified school but it was believed to be part of the fine school of thought before it fully called Ethiopia to intervene and attack Eritrea. Their idea was there from the very beginning but it became more prominent after it tried to create a shield in protecting the history of Grand Ethiopia more than any thing. This school has no shame to open war between the two people, better called “war-mongers” and this is their typical characteristics inherited from previous Abyssinian war lords. They love war and glorify the history of war.

    Hayat Adem is the school director but not founder. This school is there since more than a millennium ago and it has never failed to hire ardent followers and professsional directors till then.

    “The Watchers schools”

    Many dedicated watchers like Eyob M., T.Kifle, Abinet, Amde, Kim Hanna, Rahwa T, are there to keep gear retarding. They don’t want acceleration within the Eritrean politics. They have to come and intervene to make sure that everything is as it was.

    “The other schools”

    I will talk later about this school as I am not able to fully define their line of thinking.

    But, but, for all of us, we have now one updated windom of Eritrea and surely all we will be interested. I urge awate.com to come up with a detailed analysis of recent BBC reports from Asmara. Within this report, Yarda Hakim has given us many sides of Eritrea.

    Health services: construction of hospitals Vs starved people being served.

    UNDP: Never ashamed of to tell us as if Eritrea is a country with limited resources. She forgets her own country Rwanda, which is 1/5th of Eritrea, able to sustain 11 million population. She forgets policies and fall down in protecting PFDJ policies. It is a shame to have such bold servants camouflaged under the name of UNDP.

    Yemane Gebreab: As usual coming with his excuses and lying.

    The evacuated city of Asmara

    The anguish that one can easily read from the face of Eritrean people. No matter how hard they try to select good faces, still, everything is readable.

    The all time controled and directed BBC programs

    The lets try persmission given to BBC and its future.

    Oh, many things to say about this about 23 minutes “INSIDE ERITREA” Report.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=alnKJtPAl8o

    • Kokhob Selam

      Brother Tes,

      you forgot one very important person in my life, tes.

      • Abi

        Kokobe
        Tes is a ghost. Never existed.

        • Kokhob Selam

          Abi,
          Lol, he must be the finest one in finest space of thought.

          • Abi

            How about a selfie with him. Sometimes you see him sometimes you don’t.
            Hit or miss

          • Kokhob Selam

            both depending.
            Abi and tes, take care there is a reporter watching our words. don’t forget he is approved by SGL.
            we may face another love song. Lol.

        • tes

          Dear Abi,

          You must be right. I am even in doubt of him. I tried to reach him but I failed. Too far from me.

          Aka, ghost, aka tes!!!

          tes

          • Kokhob Selam

            but I use to see you, only I miss your direction last week. Please come back to the physical world.

          • Abi

            Tes
            Can I guess you are a ghostly guest guessing everything?

          • tes

            Dear Abi,

            Are you talking about the ghost tes or about me?

            As for me, I am me. I am sure about me.

            tes

      • tes

        Dear KS,

        I do not know to which school he belongs. He is a wonderer. His unpredictable political pragmatism is making him a strange in today’s Eritrean political landscape. He was once a brainwashed innocent child born inside Eritrea, got education inside Eritrea. Boring most of the time as he loves to talk on ideology and PFDJ mindset. He is loaded with his Newtonian law and he never fails to apply it to anyone whom he believes is unreasonable. Sometimes he is scaring despite his cool humanity.

        If you find him, please call him to join one specific school of thought or assign him as you like. I am not in doubt for he will accept your allocation. And take him easy when he disturbs the school he joins.

        tes

        • Kokhob Selam

          I will ask Abinet to support me on this task (assigning tes’s place) you know I don’t go without asking support of Ethiopians (“as you said due to Habesha fundamentalism “). Lol. but seriously though your work above was interesting one .

          • tes

            Dear KS,

            last week was a blow to the war-monger Hayat Adem. I specifically targeted one point. I never went after her political way of analysis. She tried to be a lady governed by law but she is not ashamed to break a law. Nations intervene in others business. Currently, Ethiopia is doing by arming rebel groups and Eritrea under PFDJ is intervening in many countries issues including Ethiopia by allowing thousands of armed groups to perform their mission stationed in Eritrea. All is illegal but they are doing.

            regarding Hayat Adem, it is not unexception and her blind break to the international norms and trying to protect Ethiopian rights is more than anyting to comprehend. And I absolutely reject such tendencies.

            Concerning you and me, it is not a big issue. And since you are a cool man, you can absorb my Netwonian principle. You are not a man who absconds. Your values are always high except you are becoming overstetched and I am too specific. Else, we can make it as usual.

            tes

          • Abi

            Kokobe
            It is impossible to find Tes. You are by your own. I don’t chase UFO.

          • tes

            Dear Abinet,

            I agree with you but don’t get scared of UFO. The world scientists are in the near to be finished an eon jounrey to identify the location of UFO. And if tes happens to be one of them and still here in awate room (thanks AT), you have no option but to obey the rules of awate.com. No other option Abi. By the way, why you changed your nick-name? Are you tired of being an example? or the old ABinet is put to death by tes, the UFO, that he can’t survive after?

            tes

          • Abi

            Tes
            I got it from you . You were Tesfabirhan before. Abinet will never die. It is medicine.

  • ‘Gheteb

    A Terrific Response To All Abessinian Fundamentalists and Their Eritrean Fellow Travelers.
    Below is what I consider a great example of a response to all the Abessinians and their Eritrean hired hands regarding the final and binding nature of the EEBC. Regarding this issue which the Weyanes representing the Ethiopian government are signatories to and other treaties, I would like to give two analogies that may finally impart to those who are futilely trying to drill some sense through the cranium of the adherents of Abessinian fundamentalism and those Eritrean hired hands who have left no stone unturned in their effort to see this final and binding verdict diluted so much so that it becomes palatable to their paymaster (Weyane’s) taste buds.
    Analogy A: Trying to talk to an Abessinian fundamentalist regarding the EEBC verdict and other treaties is akin to talking to a crack head or crack addict who has signed that he will enter a rehab program who comes back to re-negotiate the plan and agreement he signed on in the hope of getting a last fix or puff. Like the crack head will talk his counselor to the end of time to get even one last joint and get high, an Abessinian fundamentalist will talk, talk and talk in the vain hope of changing, rectifying the very agreement he signed on so much so that s/he will try to ignite the hope of re-litigating an issue that is declared to be FINAL and BINDING.
    Analogy B: A child who was recently weaned would do anything to get back to his or her mothers breast and suckle from it to get his or her nouriushment. S/he would cry incessantly, refuse other nourishment and whine and do whatnot to get back to breastfeeding. You don’t get that child weaned by ‘talking’ to him or her about his or her mothers breast milk. No, what you do is get him or her other alternative till s/he give up on the very idea of breastfeeding. Even there is an old saying in Tigrigna that goes like : Kem Tub Adekha Qibtso::
    Take home message: The Eritrean Revolution was not won by endlessly talking to the Ethiopian be it in Moscow, East Germany, Aden, spain, Damascus etc. etc. It came out victorious simply because it stood steadfast and tenaciously held to the EPLF 1981 referendum proposals. It took Eritrea 30+ years to make that proposal a reality. Likewise, it may take some more years for the Ethiopian to accept the EEBC final verdict, willy-nilly, like they had no other choice but to swallow that bitter pill of Eritrea’s right self-determination through a referendum, after the EPLF decisively DEFEATED the Ethiopian forces in Eritrea and beyond!
    Below, find the response of Lord Avebury to the letter that was sent by the Ethiopian ambassador to Great Britain, Berhane Kebede and marvel at these two observation:
    1) Here is a British Gentleman and a Lord gets it, I mean he seems to understand, the mind-set of Abessinian fundamentalists and compare that to those Eritreans who are still woolgathering and daydreaming of talking some sense to the children of Abessinian FUNDAMENTALISM.
    2) The trial balloons that have been floating recently by one of the Eritrean hands who seems to have been assigned to facilitate contacts between Eritreans in the diaspora and the EPRDF( means nothing but the Weyanes).
    Hmmm…. Ethiopian ambassador in Britain pleading with Lord Avebury and the hired Eritrean hand floating the trial balloon in this Forum. Why? Well, stay tune for the next post.
    House of Lords
    March 7, 2015

    H.E. Berhane Kebede,
    Ambassador,
    Embassy of the federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia,
    17 Princes Gate.
    London SW7 1pz

    Dear Ambassador,

    Thank you for your further letter of February 27 about relations between Ethiopia and Eritrea.

    With respect, looking at the genesis of the armed conflict between the two states is not the route to arriving at a solution of their differences. The starting point should be the Agreement of December 12, 2000 between the Government of the State of Eritrea and the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. The Commission has a mandate “to delimit and demarcate the colonial treaty border based on pertinent colonial treaties (1900, 1902 and 1908) and applicable international law.”

    Paragraph 15 of the Algiers Agreement provides that

    “The parties agree that the delimitation and demarcation determinations of the Commission shall be final and binding …”

    The Commission made its determination on April 13, 2002 and the President of the Security Council, Sergey Lavrov (Russian Federation) said on April 16, 2002:

    “… Members of the Security Council express their satisfaction that a final legal settlement of the border issues between Ethiopia and Eritrea has been completed in accordance with the Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed by the parties in Algiers in December 2000. Members of the Security Council welcome the decision by the Boundary Commission, announced in The Hague on 13 April 2002, which is final and binding. Members of the Security council underline their commitment to support the implementation of the Boundary Commission’s decision and to contribute to the completion of the peace process …”

    Ethiopia initially accepted the decision, but then objected to it because the Commission had placed Badme on the Eritrean side of the line. Professor Eli Lauterpacht, chairman of the Commission, who was a school friend of mine 71 years ago, told me a few years ago that there was no mechanism by which they could revisit their decision.

    Since the determination and delimitation of the boundary is irrevocable, the first step towards normalisation of relations between your two countries must be Ethiopia’s unconditional acceptance of the Commission’s findings, as provided by the Algiers agreement.

    Your reference to the border demarcations in other parts of the world are not relevant to this case. The Nigeria-Cameroon border for instance was not demarcated by an independent commission whose findings the parties had agreed would be final and binding. There was a Cameroon-Nigeria mixed Commission, established to implement an International Court of Justice Judgement regarding the demarcation of the boundary between the two neighbouring nations, a completely different process.

    The placing of pillars, to which you refer, is not an essential requirement of the boundary demarcation in this digital age. Demarcation by coordinates, used by the EEBC, is more precise, and I should imagine it will replace the old-fashioned pillars entirely in future demarcation processes. The Iraq-Kuwait boundary was demarcated by coordinates as well as by a physical representation as long ago as 1992.

    There is no question of ‘the two parties sitting down and discussing’ the demarcation on the border between them. The decision of the Lauterpacht Commission was ‘final and binding, and futile attempts to renege on that agreement have obstructed the resumption of normal relations between your country and Eritrea, at great cost to human life and economic development.

    I should be grateful if you would convey my observations to your government.

    Yours sincerely

    Eric Avebury

    • ‘Gheteb

      Here is Lord Avebury holding the document with an explicit wording Final and Binding that even a blind person may be able to “see” and if uttered loudly a deaf maybe able to “hear”.

      • tes

        Dear Gheteb,

        You are 100% blind propagandista of PFDJ targeting TPLF. You are unique in this regard. A blessing for PFDJ for having you as their spokesperson. A lecturer with an MSc in the colleges of PFDJ junta and a visitor to the school of chauvinist as a distinguished professor.

        tes

        • sara

          tes, tes- you know there is a school of thought called chauvinista , because of hugo chavez
          i think that is a batch of honor to that person you named chauvinist.i would love to be called chauvinisticas something like that.at least for those fighting global hegomony after castro chavez
          has given it an impetus after a long lull, and chauvinista ain’t any more an insult.
          viva chauvinstas!

          • tes

            sara,

            You and selam can’t be school of chauvinsts. You are unqualified for that school. You may need to get admission but you can’t. All PFDJistas don’t belong to this school. But you have a special school called, “Institute of PFDJ mindset Maultiplication Center”. The Sal’s School of Chauvinsts” is school of reformers based on glories of EPLF struggle and don’t give credit any PFDJ accomplishments and for this DIA is responsible. A one-man accusation centered school. For this, you are unqualified dictators messenger like your sister selam, gual Hidirtina.

            tes

          • selam

            The drank man who lost every sense of him has time to tell and create categories of peoples’ understanding. I am afraid , he will find himself on the center of paris drank streets with his hair shaved to the minimum by strangers.

          • tes

            Dear sara,

            You are right about this man. But the man perfectly knows, whether drunk or undrunk, (to accept and make you happy sara shikor though he never drinks any alcohol), to which school all the awatistas belongs. And the good thing is, he never fails in his identification system.

            tes

          • selam

            Dear TESEFE.

            You know you are drunk , at the moment, i can confirm now that you are drunk and full.

            SELAM

          • Nitricc

            Selam lol he is under somthing. Or he have an issue.

          • sara

            now you are a real TES, what happen?, you are acting like someone in timbuktu not parisian
            come on tes, you made as see you now differently, a really Tes!

          • tes

            sara,

            selam is there to remind me that I am drunk. I wish I am. I could have only think of my daily drink needs. I wish I am a man who meditiates through drinking. But I am not. It is just Sunday where I have enough time to contemplate on every line said and understand the landscape. I love reading and I understand what I read.

            selam, is there, the hypocrite lady from Asmara. You two perfectly knows from where you are coming. I could have responded under her name but she is unrespected messenger of dictators, a message who promotes the actions of killers residing in Asmara, the PFDJ junta. She deserves no respect at all. She is the other side of Hayat Adem but Hayat Adem is more sophisticated and a professional messenger. This selam, is a dump and fearless messenger of killers and has all the tools to accomplish her mission including 24 hours access to internet.

            tes

  • T. Kifle

    Dear Hayat,

    Mahmuday gave possible pondering points on what he feels is right in analysing a problem in a normal situation. But the year was abnormal in many counts. First, Dergue used the opportunity for his project of “draining the sea…” and started moving people to remote distant corners with no provision of basic amenities in place and of course out of their consent. The denizens of the liberated areas were denied any help from the government unless they left their villages and camped in nearby towns under control, some did appear but then they been meted out with the same fate: either transported to the mentioned peripheries risking their lives to malaria and other ailments or died in the overcrowded concentration camps of one or another sort of epidemic. In the mean time the situation in the liberated areas evolved from bad to worse and TPLF decided to haul people to Sudan; the nearest safe place the NGOs could avail. The operation was to transport them through the said corridor under the cover of a darkness to escape the wrath of war planes. TPLF formally requested EPLF for permit but denied the access. Now, Mahmuday raised so many questions marinated with subtle justifications by depicting as if the objective condition on the ground didn’t favour for a go ahead.

    The fact is all the things he detailed could have been sorted out in the plan once the permission was secured. No guarantee for securing the passage was needed because we are talking of TPLF ,Mahmuday wouldn’t doubt, that it was more than capable of handling the situation. For all we know, the hapless people demanded no insurance nor security of their lives, had no choice except going wherever their feet could carry them to and succumb to death in an attempt of escaping it. So his line of argument of security hardly hold water since security had been a non-issue and no entity was supposed to take responsibility beyond their means. The only thing required from EPLF was just to offer the “visa” for that odd passage way. If the convoy ferrying the people gets wrecked or ambushed by enemy and deaths caused as a result, that’s solely rests on the shoulders of the people and TPLF. EPLF couldn’t in any way be blamed for that. He also said he didn’t heard of it at the time which is understandable for me for EPLF hardly shares its decisions and their consequences with its fighters. But it’s part of a consolidated TPLF history known to the rank and file in the most painful manner. In all of that TPLF remained loyal to the self-determination of the Eritrean people.

    Mahmuday in his comment also tried to trivialise that harrowing stock of existential proportion as if it is now a concern of only few “opportunist Tigreans” whatever that means. No need to pretend as if the prohibition was done in our best of safety. No, that was not the case. EPLF used that political card to score a point that become a blot in its history. Knowing left with no choice TPLF cleared new road that connects to Sudan in three months by deploying its fighters into civic works and saved some lives but couldn’t avert the disaster that could have had otherwise been avoided if that corridor was made available with just an intent of goodwill. Nothing else was demanded beyond this commitment of intent. So that era is recorded as one of the milestones that marked our struggle that showed Tigreans were left to fend for themselves and their only guarantee being to overcome that dire status through intensifying the struggle over the military regime in a fit of determination leaving EPLF’s decision out for history. Hayat, yes, you are right that is a history that well meaning Eritreans should be ashamed of when the movement they cherished most show such utter contempt levelled against the very people whose children died by their side. And yes, there is almost 100% consensus on this point that EPLF lacked the slightest soft spot for humanity as it does now reared its ugly truth before the eyes of everyone with a common sense to see. But we have come a long way attributing the problem to the nature of the caprice EPLF leadership and let bygones are bygones. It’s this colossal blunder coupled with the contempt EPLF handled its subjects made TPLF concluded that Eritrea was in the wrong hands. It clearly outlined that it would be a burden for Eritrea and its people come independence. When some veterans in the TPLF utter such visible truth, the likes of SAAY chuckles and stretch the matter beyond its context. It was a common parlance of the time that the solidarity of the oppressed masses prevail. moreover,it is rare to be good for own citizens while being bad for others.

    • Kokhob Selam

      My friend, here allow me to give my comment connected with your post but to see the other problem of today ,

      I read it. truth is painful. it was not even years to see this history happening after pushing ELF. it is always the same when some one don’t know how to solve internal problems. from this tough and bad experience (ignoring PFDJistas), I have come across genuine people who oppose the support of EPRDF to our opposition. the reason is TPLF came in Eritrean field armed against ELF which has caused not only the delay of national freedom but also the seemingly the death of Democratic elements, which were few in first place. When someone oppose me and say “internal problems should be solved internally” he is right. the only support EPRDF should give is logistical and this is only because the case of PFDJ is exceptional for being rules and illegal also it is above internal problem as it may cause chaos for the entire horn.

      remember you said “moreover,it is rare to be good for own citizens while being bad for others.” can I say it is impossible to be

      Sorry if I have gone to different topic, thank you for reading.

      • T. Kifle

        Dear Kokhob,
        It would be better to move on than hooking into the past . We have different takes on the matter. TPLF didn’t feel that it fought somebody’s war. We believe the leadership of Jbha did interfered so much in the internal affairs than you might think it did. It was upto Jebha to evaluate the objective situation of the time and make best out of it. But owing to the similar values ELF and EPLF shared, they couldn’t see beyond their noses. And if we go by your logic, it would have been only logical for the EPLF to cooperate when we needed it as we “cooperated” when they needed our help. But the truth was, we engaged in the war for our own end. I can’t say more on this matter than what I said in a year or so. Better to leave it for historians and focus on the present.

        • Kokhob Selam

          No T.Kifle, I don’t have to wait historians to tell me about this one. I have seen it myself. who can tell me more than Kokhob who suffered by interference of TPLF on Eritrean case. And wasn’t possible to support EPRP and the original TLF and do the same for ELF? No my friend this itwas ally wrong dission done by TPLF?

          • T. Kifle

            Kokhob,

            The ELF which told you “we don’t want to do that to the level you are asking Ethiopian case should be solved by Ethiopians.” were doing just that, conspiring against TPLF, though they didn’t let you know it. But because we discussed the matter some time in the past and doesn’t contribute to our future and because the question raised by Hayat is very specific humanitarian issue, it would be good if we remain focused. If you are telling me EPLF was justified in doing all of that or if you are telling me ELF wouldn’t have denied the access, you are most welcome to project your views.

          • Kokhob Selam

            I may have more experience on this than you as I have seen all those Ethiopian and Eritrean fronts carefully and right on the field. believe me ELF was better than all when comes to this subject. with all the weakness I saw, with all it’s mixed nature, ELF use to have people with good culture and ethics. if they were ready to do what TPLF has done they could have from the beginning.

            now, things are changed and we need to live in now as you said it, but it is not bad to get lessons and say it openly sometime when some one comes proud of to much TPLF’s history.

          • T. Kifle

            Kokhob,
            Feel good about your exprience, but I feel you have very little grip on the nature of ur ELF let alone on others.

          • Kokhob Selam

            Thank you T.Kifle.

            just 2 points to put here 1st ELF was Eritrea and still is Eritrea. all fronts were born from ELF and all tendencies were there up to know. that is to say ELF is multiparty type. If Eritrea fail to be advanced nation it is the ELF who failed. I don’t blame others more than ELF, as others keep blaming other extra forces but ELF do believe change starts within. so don’t think I am fully blaming other Eritrrean parties or Ethiopian parties. 2nd. it is regarding me.I feel love is the way out but languages of correspondence may differ depending to who I am talking. That is why you see me arguing with every extreme who try to tell me his front /party or nation was always correct (I don’t mean you). I don’t hate any single man and I believe even PFDJ is the result of our thinking or social make up. no one to blame and no one to make free of all those historical mistakes.

            Love, yes I mean love for every individual. We have to feel the center like the sun keeping the planets balanced. they call me “dedebit” Habesha “fundamentalist” “eshi goytay” what ever they call, I love everybody. we should work united for good of the entire world leave alone the one family Habesh . thank you very much.

    • Yoty Topy

      Hi T. Kifle,
      This is a fascinating account of one of the darkest chapters, in the history of the nation.. As someone with limited knowledge of the gedli era politics, I find these exchanges very informative. Having said that, there is always something that tickles me brain every time I come across of this conversation. Why didn’t any of this literature see the light of day prior to the start of the 1998 conflict?

      • Saleh Johar

        Yoty Topy,
        With apologies for my friend T.Kifle, let me volunteer a reply 🙂

        Before 1998 there was an exclusive PFDJ friendship with the EPRDF. Most Eritreans didn’t benefit from that relation except PFDJ members–in fact the rest were excluded as they still are all over the world. The PFDJ supporters had a swell time doing whatever they pleased inside Ethiopia. The wrra-wrra continued until 1998–PFDJ and its cronies made a killing. I do not know the impact of that friendship on Ethiopians, but its impact on Eritreans was severe. It caused imbalance and a serious resentment. It increased the level of paranoia among Eritreans. That is why many Eritreans who are totally opposed to the PFDJ are still suspicious of the EPRDF, which they substitute by “Weyane” for convenience.

        • Abi

          Ato Saleh
          ” The pfdj supporters had a swell time doing whatever they pleased inside ethiopia. … it’s cronies made a killing.”
          Very true . You can also safely say they made a killing literally.
          You see Ato Saleh, you and I know the killings and stealing were done by the cronies. It was done in the name of eritrea by eritreans. This is what ethiopians know. This is the cause of resentment.
          There was no possible way to differentiate who is EPLF/ PFDJ member or not . For us they are all eritreans .
          I blame EPRDF equally for not stoping the abusers early on before ethiopians feel it . Before we say eprdf is working for EPLF. Before we sang
          ” Ertrea esktlema ethiopiachin tidma ”
          When the war started the resentment was so high it pushed the young to the military camps to fight the abusers.
          As an ethiopian who lived in the middle of it , I did not expect eritreans to be that arrogant. Of all the things what makes me sad to this day and what I will never understand is why did eritreans armed themselves while living among us? Why?why? Why?

          • Saleh Johar

            Hi Abi, but you are doing it again! “I did not expect eritreans to be that arrogant”!!!!
            Arrogance is not the property of certain people, any race, nation, segment have arrogant people. Please put qualifiers, some Eritreans,a few Eritreans… or maybe all Eritreans,then the reader would know how wide you throw your net. We are not arrogant Abi, but we have our share just like Ethiopians 🙂

        • Yoty Topy

          Hi Saleh Johar,
          Thank you for your kind input Sir:) You know, I have read countless of opinions as to WHY the war broke out but I am yet to come across a single persuasive insight as to why the tempo was accelerated from 0 to 60 on that fateful afternoon. There were no signs of deterioration of the friendship between the two groups ( of course I am talking the eyes of the public) prior to that afternoon and then bam! Not even a 10 minute foreplay ?:)

          • Saleh Johar

            Yoty Topy,
            There were so many signs. In fact the foreplay was boringly long for those who watched it reach anti-climax. But the megaphones was with the beneficiaries and they buried all other voices. For those of us who watched, there were enough signs. Let me give you a few examples. 1) The detention and expelling of all senior opposition cadres of the ELF in early nineties at the request of the PFDJ. 2) The assassination of Zekarian Negusse in Dessie (opposition) 3) The kidnapping and disappearance of Gebreberhan Zere (opposition leader), 4) the arrest and transportation of known business people and others by PFDJ security officers from Addis Ababa to Asmara 5) the of Horn of Africa Bank fiasco. Probably you do not know any of these, but there are many reasons for the resentment that need closure–you know, for Eritreans who have been marginalized and excluded for decades, PFDJ is not the center of gravity unlike what it is made to appear in Ethiopia.

          • Yoty Topy

            Hi Saleh Johar,

            No, I did not know that and hence you live and learn;) But your statement about how PFDJ monopolizes the megaphone when it comes to the issue of Eritrean politics within Ethiopia could not be far from the truth including myself which has taken me a while to realize that judging by the opinions and articles run here, there is more than to just opposing PFDJ.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Yes Abu Saleh, you stated some of the many signals to the inevitable “border war” and to the end of the “cordial relationship” of the two governments.

          • Rahwa T

            Dear SJG,

            It is very sad to learn that dozens of ELF and Ex-EPLF veterans had been picked up from their homes and brutally killed in the heart of Addis Ababa (some of them of could have been with the knowledge of Ethiopian leaders). But I can’t get a clear answer for the question why these victims decided to remain in Ethiopia knowing the close relationship of EPRDF and EPLF in the early 90’s and the history of the Front that liberated their new nation.

          • Saleh Johar

            Hi Rahwa T.

            They were combatants, no passport, no money, and no knowledge of going about it. In addition, they were committed to fight the PFDJ hegemony from start, and not end up in exile. Sudan? Both Sudan and Ethiopia detained many senior cadres opposed to the PFDJ. To their credit, the EPRDF didn’t let them rot in jail or hand them (the major cadres) to the PFDJ. After some intervention by many diplomats and entities, they were given a choice to go to third countries–most are in Europe, Middle East, USA, Canada, Australia. Serious opposition to Isaias’ hegemony was choked back in the early nineties in both Sudan and Ethiopia, they both chose laissez faire with Isaias and broke the back of genuine Eritrean patriots. They both paid dearly.

          • Kokhob Selam

            Rahwa T,
            There were a lot who knew it and who escape or who didn’t stay there. again EPLF was expert on this and few never thought that will happen to them while there were some who thought are still in connection with bloody group who thought are smarter. even you will find people who were in connection and were serving them.

            a lot to be told still as some of the killing agents and killers no more with EPLF today although some are killed again by the same leadership so not to expose the secrete.
            By the way, all who fought against EPLF criminal side’s weakness was this action, which they never thought about it. If they use that method PFDJ couldn’t appear. May be I was criminal who didn’t put it in practice but searched the way asking ELF to do it Lol.

            this is the base of PFDJ, and there are still people trying to reform it, repair it, (I don’t know what).
            May the almighty give us extra strength to dismiss from earth this unethical collection, Amen.

      • T. Kifle

        Dear Toy Toy,

        First of all, the story we are discussing about was there before 1998, before 1991 to be proper. It’s part and parcel of TPLF’s history, well documented and in fact part of TPLF’s curriculum on the history of the struggle. please kindly read the reply to Hayat Adem in another thread.

        Sir Saleh Johar’s answer below is also nearly accurate except there were more subtle reasons why EPRDF let EPLF took the country as its backyard and mess it up all. EPRDF was in a continuous pull literally from every direction and EPLF had a very important card to play with when a push comes to shove: the access to the sea. EPRDF was silent doesn’t mean it consented to the various machinations in trade, and money laundering. It had to tolerate it since EPRDF itself was confused about the sea outlet and the longevity of its use given that caprice behavior of EPLF. But, EPLF itself spilled the beans and and we are where we are.

        • Yoty Topy

          Hi T.Kifle,
          ” Dear Toy Toy?’ Was that a pun?:)
          Anyway, while I agree with you on the factors that were responsible for the war I will have to respectfully disagree with your assertion that the public was remotely aware of the impending doom even right up to that afternoon as it didn’t even make a cut for the midday news ( it was announced around 2:00 pm local time).
          You definitely are well versed in the history of TPLF/EPRDF than I am and you probably knew that it was a matter of time before it exploded but I defy you to list even five people ( I am talking about civilians) who entertained the thought of these two countries were heading to war.

          • T. Kifle

            Dear Yoty Topy,

            I am sorry I misspelled your alias. I actually corrected it late though. On the subject: as far as Ethiopia is concerned, the war was a surprise attack. Few guys in the ranks of the EPRDF had concerns over Eritrea’s unwarranted mobilization but the government took it for the words of the PFDJ. Then, we learned our lessons in the most inconvenient way. It would be a joke If you convince yourself that a country would stay put amidst attack from another state through a border with no single regular army unit is stationed around.

  • Shum

    Hello Saay,

    I would like to issue a challenge to you. But first let me start with some assumptions and where I stand

    1. Eritreans seeking change should organize in every country, including Ethiopia.
    2. I agree with you that the groups in Ethiopia need to drive their organizations without interference from EPRDF.
    3. These groups need to be transparent about their dealings with EPRDF to the Eritrean people and give everyone an understanding of what the relationship entails.
    4. These groups are putting the cart before the horse in trying to seek armed confrontation with Ethiopia’s backing before winning over the masses.
    5. Diaspora has limitations on what it can accomplish and it should seek to influence what happens inside Eritrea.

    That being said, how do we influence change within Eritrea. I’m not for Winter projects either, but I think you’re seeing people wanting more action NOW because they fear if it lingers too much longer, things will get worse and fixing them will take longer. Now, I don’t like the way it sounds because it’s an extrapolation of fear, but the sentiment is real and felt by many.

    So, my challenge to you is can you lay out a step by step plan and strategy that folks in the diaspora can and should do. Otherwise, people will take away from this article that we can only wait for someone to take action inside the country.

    • saay7

      Selamat Shum:

      Hmmm. These challenges are like a grocery list now: (a) I think I owe Ghezae an assignment on the Dos and Don’ts of Ethiopia-based Eritrean Opposition; (b) I owe Tafla evidence for the sentiments summarized about Nehnan Elamanan in this article; (c) I owe a congratulatory letter and advice to incoming MoI Yemane Gebremeskel* (d) I owe a serious answer to Emma on his delegating me as the unelected spokesperson to negotiate in a rectangular table with EPRDF and (e) I owe you a “Step by Step Plan and Strategy”…. Hmmm.

      I will probably start with a letter to Yemane Gebremeskel. I will obviously bypass the kiddies because they are just detection takers: never counterpunch the stick but the stick-holder. By the way, and this is related, I need a link to Vittorio Bussi’s song (Rodab, where have you gone?) which has these lyrics:

      ቆልዑ ቆልዑ ቆልዑየ፦
      ኣቦታትኩም ብጠላዕ ይቃመሩየ
      ኣያታትኩም ብዊስኪ ይጻፍዑየ
      ከንፈራትኩም ብሽሮ ነቂዑየ
      ቆልዑ ቆልዑ ቆልዑየ!

      saay

      • Shum

        Grocery list? So, now im a nagging wife? Don’t worry about Amanuel, im about to issue him a challenge as well. And I’ll answer the question for you.

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Abu Saleh,

        You see abu Saleh, those are a diplomatic-do-lists. Put them in one diplomatic-equation, and you will get a blended-result of diplomatic product. How about that?

        regards,

    • Nitricc

      Shum, i know this for SAAY but i just wanted to have fun with it, so i took a shoot at it. hope you don’t mind.

      1. Eritreans seeking change should organize in every country, including Ethiopia.

      A ) As soon as you mention Ethiopia, then forget organizing or anything positive, ruined, dead on arrival.

      2. I agree with you that the groups in Ethiopia need to drive their organizations without interference from
      EPRDF.

      A ) well, so, what is for them (EPRDF) if they can’t maneuver to their liking why are they helping you for?
      You don’t believe that they care about the people of Eritrea, do you?

      3. These groups need to be transparent about their dealings with EPRDF to the Eritrean people and give
      everyone an understanding of what the relationship entails.

      A ) how can they be transparent? It is not their show. They are doing what ever are told to do. You be transparent when you have your own program and plan of action.

      4. These groups are putting the cart before the horse in trying to seek armed confrontation with Ethiopia’s
      backing before winning over the masses.

      A ) true, you need to convince the masses but when you come with Ethiopia, there no masses. This
      Ethiopia thing is not now, YG said long time ago. It just happen his foot soldiers to bring it up again. Just let them waste their time. There is no even possibility for it. I know some dumb people will even tell you the Africans will protect us, from Ethiopia,

      5. Diaspora has limitations on what it can accomplish and it should seek to influence what happens inside
      Eritrea. That being said, how do we influence change within Eritrea. I’m not for Winter projects either, but I
      think you’re seeing people wanting more action NOW because they fear if it lingers too much longer, things will get worse and fixing them will take longer. Now, I don’t like the way it sounds because it’s an extrapolation of
      fear, but the sentiment is real and felt by many.
      So, my challenge to you is can you lay out a step by step plan and strategy that folks in the diaspora can
      and should do.

      A ) the diaspora can be very effective if united. The problem is, the division is to deep to be effective. The least they can do though, demand and pressure PFDJ to release the G-15 and the journalists. There is no point holding them.

      Otherwise, people will take away from this article that we can only wait for someone to take action inside the country.

      A ) PIA knows it. Time is up and he will do something before any action is taken against him inside the country. However; there is zero threat from out side. He will do some changes very soon.

      • Shum

        Hello Nitricc hawey,

        I am happy yo have you involved in this discussion. But if you’ll allow me, i have a wish list
        1. No personal attacks against others who may chime in. If you can’t stand them, please ignore.
        2. No pictures of poverty stricken people or references to them to score points.

        Even if you feel you’ve never been guilty of doing that before, them take these as advice from your big bro. You have good questions. I will reply.

        • Nitricc

          SHUM why are the reasons that make you to lay down the preconditions? you must know something i don’t but I don’t attack people for no reason and i don’t post any poverty pictures. if i do, it must have a good reason. anyway, it is not a big deal.

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Hello Shum,
          Good advice, I hope Nitricc will accept it. Nitricc be smart, and heed his advice.

      • Shum

        1. There are plenty of Eritreans who agree with your point of view and I suppose some will never warm up to this. I don’t agree with this. My issue is the organized opposition hasn’t done anything to assure Eritreans that operating out of Ethiopia is a necessity due to circumstances. Also, there is an advantage to it because Addis is a hub for many international organizations and countries in the region. The opposition can use that as a way to be recognized internationally. They can also seek to influence the government for issues that matter to Eritreans such as the border dispute. They may not succeed, but they need to try.

        2. You have a good point about what’s in it for EPRDF. No, I’m not naive to believe that they care about the people. A part of me wonders if they like having DIA in power since he weakens Eritrea. Yes, I’m sure EPRDF has their list of demands, but it’s their right as an independent country. What the opposition needs to do is list Eritrea’s interest and see if it is something that they can reconcile. If not, then pack up and leave.

        3. I agree with you that they need a plan of action and they don’t seem to run the show. No, they’re not transparent which is why I’m calling for it. But if they continue along that lines, no one will see them as a formidable organization.

        4. Nitricc, you’re forgetting that there are masses of Eritreans in Ethiopia who just left Eritrea because of oppression.

        5. Nitricc, how do we overcome the division? It’s interesting that the main issue you raise is the G-15 and the journalists. They are important for sure, but that is not the main issue brother. The main issue is DIA. The main issue is that the youth have no future of their own to look forward to as long as this megalomaniac is in power. Now, you’re being naive thinking that he’ll make changes. He simply won’t. He’s never done that in his years in charge. Some of these people are dead. Do you think he wants that to be revealed? I’m shocked you’re still banking on him. He’s the reason why people are organizing outside of the country. You talk about the toothless opposition and how they are in Ethiopia. We wouldn’t be having this conversation if DIA treated Eritreans like human beings who have different points of view, not some subjects to be imprisoned and toyed around with. How is he better than previous tyrants we’ve had. Come on, man. The longer he oppresses people, the worse the outcome has a potential to become. He is the main problem right now. And after him, we need to address other problems he and the rest of us who went along with his nonsense helped create.

        • Nitricc

          Shum good points. I shall respond with my take.

  • ‘Gheteb

    Self-Seekers Masquarading as “Justice Seekers”

    In the seemingly unending tragedy that is Eritrea, one is not only assaulted by all the bad things that has been happening in Eritrea, but also by those peddlers (Delalas) who are posing as if they are they are genuine Justice Seekers who are fighting against PFDJ’s misrules. Their reprehensibly contemptible acts are in full dispaly as they never fail to grandstand and sanctimonously pontificate about the slightest slight that they mispercieve about those who have been bankrolling them.

    Yes, I am talking about the detestably recreant Weyanes who have been doling out moola to anyone and everyone who arrogates to himself the title/role of an Eritrean opposition figure, a human rights activist, a justice seeker or even a bottom-feeding SELF-SEEKER. The Weyanes have been handing out from their loot (pun intended) in their mission of accomplishing their own agenda against Eritrea .Even the foolest of the fool knows this fact. However, these dastardly dissemblers who are fooling no one but themselves have the effronty to malign and attack any Eritrean who they perceive as a bred-in-the-bone anti-Weyane ( you can counting me as one) without even batting an eyelash.

    Little wonder, then, some of them would go and allege that all ex-ELF and ex-EPLF fighters to be considered as ” TERRORISTS” such as in Canada in their self-serving camapign to collect money, get publicity and strength their refugee application for residency. Yeah, all this is done for self interest and then unabshedly peddled as ” human right advocay in the fight against PFDJ’s misrule and the tyranny of Issias in Eritrea”. Some would even go to such a length and try to collect some chump change from a Jewish group by asserting that a certain noboby from PFDJ has said something negative about Israel. They would even sing “By The Rivers Of Babylon” and shed crocodile tears. Not that they care about the Jewish people, but it is their praxis to get and milk even a crumb of bread by attacking anyone.They would even attack and call a Holocaust Nazi concentration camp survivor a NAZI, if that person was to say one sentence good about PFDJ and only one bad word about the Weyanes.This is how far they will go in their apple polishing postures to their paymaster, the execrable Weyanes.

    No one fits these depictions better than the galoot who unabashedly has been attitudinizing in this Forum as an anti-PFDJ “Justice Seeker” who is through and through self-seeking apple polisher who was pitching feverishly to get noticed by some Weyane wing nuts in this Forum. Of course, I am talking about that dummkopf, Ghezae Hagos Berhe. He has been maligning people by erroneously imputing that they were casting slurs against the Tigrayans. He even accused Nitricc of using the A…e word. Asked and challenged to proffer evidence, well, as his wont, this self-seeking galoot couldn’t provide even a shred of evidence. Here I am showing his modus operandi. Accuse those he suspects to be “PFDJ men” or “PFDJ minions” of slurring and stereotyping the Tigrayans. Not that he cares about the Tigray people, it is the proven tactic to extract some brownie points, ingratiate himself to the Weyanes and thereby curry favors. But, if he thinks that he can snow people by his poses and acts, I am telling him, you ain’t fooling me and by extension anyone who can utilize his/her God given mind as it is clear to see what is lurking behind that facade and veneer. That is an insatiable self-seeking urge to promate his personal interest which looks like it is congenital.

    If any self-respecting Eritrean, a fair-minded Eritrean would not want to touch this galoot even with a ten foot pole, who would blame him or her? For me, I have known this person to be a political sapropyhte who scavenges for literally everything even when he wrote in Dehai and Asmarino web sites. He was a firebreathing PFDJ supporter, long before his personal interests impeled him to change gears and become an anti-PFDJ self-seekers, of course after availing himself to all the benefits from the PFDJ and Eritrean tax payers and to butress his residency application as a refugee. Well, for me he is a self-seeking prevaricator (liar), bar none!.

    Moderator: You can remove this post as you have done so with the post/video about “The Hawzen Massacre”. You are the referee and it is your website, after all. Thanks!

    • ghezaehagos

      “…..Thus Spake GHETEB-TURA!”

  • ‘Gheteb

    The Hawzen Massacre in Tigray, Ethiopia ( June 1988)
    1. The account is according to Ayte Gebremedhin Araya, ex-TPLF treasurer/ officer
    2. The massacre occurred in 1988, on Saturday where some 5000 people were in market place. They were “consumed in a ball of fire and died a gruesome death”, when Hawzen
    3. Ayte Gebremedhin asserts that this was a premeditated ploy orchestrated by Meles Zenawi and Sebhat Nega as a media ploy.
    4. Watch the video and decide for yourself.
    5. For those who are feverishly pitching to be noticed by Awate Forum resident Weyane cadres, you are more than welcome to go ahead and sanctimoniously pontificate ( also, shed some crocodile tears) and hopefully that may enable you to collect even a chump change from the Weyane ‘loot’ (pun intended) that is earmarked to be doled out to anyone and everyone who can unabashedly arrogate to himself or herself the role/title of an Eritrean opposition figure, a Human Rights Activist, a Justice seeker or EVEN if you are a SELF SEEKER masquerading as a ‘Justice Seeker’.
    https://youtu.be/_HqSpIF8c70

  • saay7

    Selamat Amde:

    Before I engage you in the clever flip of the argument you made, can we briefly conclude the first one: that to claim that the “Eritrea Project” was a failed experiment and we have given it 50 years before we concluded it is a failed experiment when your country was part of the reason it took so long is disingenuous. It is like giving Openheimer the Manhattan Project, doing everything you can to sabotage him, and then saying, “well, Oppenheimer has failed.” No?

    Now, to the tango. Every Eritrean of my generation has memorized the UN Resolution that recommended that Eritrea and Ethiopia be federated. It is called Resolution 390(v). You can find it here: http://www.un.org/documents/ga/res/5/ares5.htm. I am also screen-capturing the relevant section. Whereas the UN is explicit in what is in it for Ethiopia (access to adequate sea), the “peace and security of the region” is formulaic, still being used to this day.

    Why successive Ethiopian governments pursued the same policy? We are talking of Haile Selasse, Derg and now Weyane. Haile Selasse wanted “Qey Bahrachn” because the Brits quickly frustrated his request for Indian Oceanachn. And he methodically, carefully worked to get it—he was (close your eyes/ears abu Selah) brilliant in his assessment that in post World War II, America was the new power and that there would be a Cold War. Smart guy, that king.

    I can’t explain Mengistu… just yesterday, somebody shared a video with me of Mengistu Hailemariam saying the Beni Amer tribes are originally from Gojjam. You mix that kind of illiteracy with the Communist International, then I guess he felt that We Are Hade hzbi Hade lbi. And he convinced himself it was a plot by petro-dollar crazed Arabs (a reliable agitation tool: even a usually calm Weyane II recently had a meltdown here and accused Arabs of being our benefactors.)

    Weyane is really easy. Weyane I wrote compelling oral and written arguments that Ethiopia’s claim to Eritrea is bunk; that Ethiopia (in the then-reviled Minelik II) had willingly entered into a treaty at Ucciale with Italians and treaties have to be honored and, in any event, Ethiopia had historically used Djibouti as its ports so all this Key Bahrachn is also bunk. But Weyane II is driven by some weird ideology which believes that it cares for Eritreans more than Eritreans (we are some errant folk whose mind has been messed up by the Italians.) Also, you know, treaties, shmitties.

    The Eritrean kid born in 2000 is not hypothetical: he is joining the exodus. High ranking government officials are exiling their own children. Within 5 years? I agree, nothing will change with Badme. But I think Isaias Afwerki will come to realize that the “National Service” will have to be changed. It will be just another proclamation that will not be enforced. I think.

    I didn’t understand your last paragraph…and I am sure it is my fault. Could you please re-write: you assume I am smarter than I am, eko:)

    saay

    • Amde

      Selam Saay,

      I don’t know if we can conclude the Eritrea Project statement, and it is not a separate argument. To me it is clear. Whatever the goals were, it is a fact that successive Ethiopian regimes found it to be a threat to them. The fact that different regimes ended up dealing with it via military means tells me they more or less arrived at similar conclusions about the impact of the project to Ethiopia. I repeat – it takes two to tango. In business parlance, it was a project that failed to take into account all the stakeholders. The project then, whatever its goals, was devised and executed in a way that assumes that the Ethiopian side is an inert entity without interests to protect and some means to do it with. Your Weyane I and Weyane II characterization is perfect to demonstrate it. Your Weyane I was a “reasonable angel” when it was still a guerilla force ready to die for the Eritrean cause. Weyane II then became a national leader having done so much to address Eritrean desires, and yet found itself in exactly the same boat the Derg was. To paraphrase a popularized saying – “Think Win-Win” wasn’t thought. “Win-Lose” is the sacrosanct formulation. And this formulation is what i call a curse because its consequences are an undue burden to the new generation.

      The current Badme issue is a perfect case in point. You agree today’s 15 year old is most likely destined for the trenches. You agree there will likely be no change in five years. You agree the issue is bad enough that the kid will probably be a refugee than serve. If this national service is such a burden that it creates more refugees than service, then it would behoove one to stop the cause that makes it so. You agree it is because of the non-fulfillment of the EEBC Badme ruling. I haven’t seen you say it, but I assume you would agree there is no Win for the Weyane to hand over Badme per the EEBC rulings. And yet it is easier to send the kid straight to the trenches than see if there is a way for a “Win-Win”.

      Were there atrocities committed during the counter-insurgency? Of course there were – show me one where there weren’t. You should hear Jimmy Carter talk about the gory details of the American Revolutionary war. (http://www.archives.gov/publications/prologue/2004/summer/carter-interview.html) But that is the reason why I said “out of respect for the feeling of those who lost loved ones”

      My last paragraph was an attempt to analyze what I thought you had concluded about post-Qadhaffi Libya in terms of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow%27s_hierarchy_of_needs)

      BTW, my favorite paragraph explaining post Nato Libya is the following from this New Yorker Essay (http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/02/23/unravelling) “In November, the official noted, three hundred Libyan soldiers being
      trained in the U.K. were expelled after half a dozen of them ran amok in
      an English village, sexually assaulting several women and raping a man.
      “The Libyans defeated everyone,” he said. “It didn’t matter whether you
      were Gandhi or Stalin. It didn’t matter how hard we tried, they
      defeated us all.” ”

      As you perhaps know, Maslow’s theory posits that most people are motivated to fulfill psychological needs that can be put in a hierarchy of Physiological -> Safety/Security -> Love/Belonging -> Esteem -> Self Actualization -> Transcendence. One way of looking at the theoretical promise of the Arab Spring was that removing dictators and their regime would allow the start of a spontaneous inclusive democratic political process. Assuming we stick to the definition of democracy as political rule by the common people, I would say that is a need best described as “Esteem” or “Self-Actualization” of a common person. In Maslow’s hierarchy, that is a higher level need. It would make no sense to lose order/safety for democracy, especially if it is a novel social feature for the community.

      Perhaps I was wrong, but to me anyway, I think most people will prioritize the safety and order that otherwise tyrannical regimes provide than risk their safety reaching out for a revolution of unknown abstractions. And I read your essay as you agreeing implicitly with this premise especially with Libya and Iraq in mind. Saddam and Qaddhafi were bad – but they provided something (namely order and safety) people only value after it is gone. Was I wrong?

      And if safety/security is basic for individuals, then it is not too much of a stretch to say it is basic to a group (such as the leaders of a nation) and by extension the country itself. That was the context I wanted to establish.

      Amde

      • Fnote Selam

        Dear Amde,

        Would you please stop saying ‘Eritrea Project’. As Shum stated out, we are not a project. We are country and people, period! Your description of us as project is offensive, ( unless that is what you intend to do).

        Thank you and best wishes,

        FS.

        • Amde

          Selam FnoteSelam

          I assure you i did not mean to offend. I was trying to establish s context for 50 year belligerency that keeps consuming multiple generations. Independence was supposed to end it but it obviously didnt. A reset is required, but it seems people make the deliberate choice to sustain EthioEritrean belligerency by supporting the Issayas regime, or attacking the few who seek to correct it. Whatever you may call the collective set of choices that sustain this belligerency, their net effect is added and costly burden to the coming generations. How the new generation sees this accummulated burden, I will let you characterize.

          Amde

          • Fnote Selam

            Dear Amde,

            Regardless of your position on Eritrean independence, what you are describing in your comments as ‘project’ are a nation and its proud people and referring to people and their nation as projects is not cool.

            Best,

            FS.

      • T. Kifle

        Dear Amde,

        Great take!

        But the current woes are Eritrea’s call. It simply flogged the ground calling the devil out and it did get it. In defiance of public opinion, Weyane the guerilla , the most friendly party Eritrea has ever seen, had been perfectly fine without the comfort of the sea outlet . Saleh’s classification of the Weyane if anything has to do with his urge to get vindicated of his failed project(not the making of the “Eritrean project” but that of the unmaking of the Ethiopian state). He repeatedly talk about the 1 year 12 years dichotomy as if it interstate war is a football game. Whatever happens after the war is the consequence of the miscalculations of IA which I suspect SAAY might had a say in it. He knows perfectly the psychological myth to the extent that Eritreans were taken to clouds to see Ethiopia, a country many times bigger than them, have surrendered, Ethiopians have felt deeply insulted to be checkmated by a tiny baby state created largely at their behest and sacrifice. There is no simply fix round it. It’s not even a security issue because Ethiopia can be secured without involving in Eritrea. Yes, Weyane can no more pay a price for Eritrea. Weyane applied its long held principle and get them a country they call it home. See the anger and hatred the so called youngsters are filled with. They hardly know that if it were not for Weyane(at many roles including first recognition), their dream of Eritrea, in its best case scenario, would have been lingering in the mountains of Nakfa. it’s this misconception of “wining against all odds” that sustains the ego. And it’s this legacy many have “proudly” inherited. In the final analysis, it has been Eritrea’s choice. It chosen to fight us; we reacted. Saleh wanted us duck our heads. They should have known better. That’s the consequence of reading from a single book. Ethiopia has paid so much in a war of not her choice. Worst, those who had choice at their tables then are accusing us now for their predicament simply because they have the tenacity to munch with both sides of their jaws. We are holding just a village called Badme which was under our jurisdiction before picked the wrong choice. We returned it back through heavy price because those who had choice to spare had refused to listen. Now, they call it “senseless” when they felt they came back to their senses after all the damages are meted out and all the goodwills are gone.

        • selam

          T.Kifle

          Since all the good will are gone , you are obliged to robe some once land and that is called what ? what you think the Eritrean people feel about that ? Forget IA and his cronies what do you as a independent Ethiopian citizen think . You sit on some once house and then want to negotiate again. Your ambassador asked if there is any possibility to change the EECB ruling just past months. When is a caw called cat ? of course i am talkig about milk (caw and cat)

        • Amde

          Dear T.Kifle

          I hope those who can read can appreciate what you said.

          I wanted to respond because i really liked that you gave me this quote.. ”
          … failed project
          Quote
          (not the making of the “Eritrean project” but that of the unmaking of the Ethiopian state). ”
          EndQuote

          I purposely left the definition of the Eritrea project ambiguous in my postings. I hope you are OK if I paraphrase what you said to “the Eritrea project was not primarily the making of the Eritrean State, but the unmaking of the Ethiopian state” I believe that is what you meant.

          To my Eritrean friends (“who ya callin’ a friend!!!). I would add the aphorism “Perception is reality” to my “It takes two to tango” From the Ethiopia point of view, as once again bitterly learned by the same Weyane who died for you, the Eritrea project looks more like the unmaking of the Ethiopian State than the making of the Eritrean state at peace with itself, its citizens and neighbors. In every one of those possible attributes, the Ethiopian perception resonates with the reality on the ground. Eritrea is not at peace with itself. It is not at peace with its citizens. It is not at peace with its neighbors. It chooses to relegate children to indefinite servitude than broker a deal to eliminate what it knowd is the core cause of the indefinite nature of the service.

          And I say “chooses” purposely because Eritrea’s current condition is 100% self created. OK Saay I will use your segmentation skills and amend to 80%: Melles offered to abide by the EEBC decision on the Western third of the border – that is 33%. He also offered to abide by the EEBC decision on the Eastern third – that makes it 66%. He said he was willing to discuss the EEBC implementation for the central sector. That would at least make it 50% of the other 33%. So Ethiopia offered to agree on 66% and split the difference on the rest. Eritrea could have gotten over 80% of what it asked for, but it insisted on everything or nothing. And instead chose to play footsy with al-shabab. Anybody willing to put a bad episode behind them would cut a deal and move on, especially if its current trajectory is obviously blinking existential red for its people.

          That is the true project – not in its rhetorical abstraction that results in wounded pride, but in its actual raw reality. Somebody in Asmara is prioritising and deciding to allocate X Naqfa for AKs rather than for schoolbooks; Y Naqfa for military rations than for health inoculation; Z Naqfas for a tank than for a college. And this has happened for at least 15 consecutive budget allocations now since the end of hostilities. As they say, Once is happenstance, Twice is coincidence, Three times is a pattern. And 15.. well obviously it must be a dedebit plot.

          Amde

          • saay7

            Selamat Amde :

            The Tigrinya speaking folks of Eritrea and Tigray use an expression that is appropriate here: “Weyo natas n’Hamata.” Since we have already established your bilingual fluency I won’t translate.

            1. The name says it all: Tigray People Liberation Front. In that era, the phrase “liberation front” was synomous with overthrowal of government and seceding to form a sovereign state. (See also Algeria, Vietnam. Close to home: see also OLF)

            2. Almost all of the feuds between the EPLF and TPLF were centered on this: (a) because the TPLF’s first goal was a sovereign Tigray state, which the EPLF opposed; (b) because the TPLF drafted an Ethiopian constitution which allows it (in theory all Ethiopian provinces, wink, wink) to keep one leg in Ethiopia and another leg ready to sprint for autonomous state.

            3. In the recent interview Isaias had with ESAT they ask him why he didn’t try to use his influence to get TPLF to dump article 39. Isaias says he tried but wasn’t heard. Is this credible? Well, let’s look at the pattern of Isaias Afwerki:

            a. He is opposed to fragmentation of Somalia including the creation of Puntland and somaliland; (multiple records)
            b. He was opposed to South Sudan seceding from Sudan. (on record)
            c. He endorses Chinas claim that Taiwan is “the Taiwan issue” (actually part of sovereign China) (every African country that has a relationship with China does)
            d. He is opposed to the Palestinian two-state solution. He thinks all the Palestinians should be absorbed by Jordan and Israel should be left alone. (I think even hard-core zionists don’t believe that.)
            e. His delegates went to secessionist Ukraine, upsetting Ukranian officials in Kiev. (weird)

            With the exception of “e”, the sum total of Isaias’ behavior is against break-up and secession. Something that shocked Eritreans in 1993 when he said, a day after they were celebrating their referendum, that co-federation with Ethiopia should not be ruled out.

            Ah, Amde, I think you have been conned:)

            Now with respect to the Eritrean governments position on Somalia, I don’t know any Eritrean who is opposed to the principle of having One Somalia….it was the execution that was wrong, not the policy.

            And you still have the math wrong. Once again:

            1961-1991: the reason Eritreans were exiled and in massive exodus was because Ethiopian jets bombed and torched villages. That is 30 years from our 50 years of existence as a “project.” The project being ethiopian policy of bombing “it’s own people.” Right there, Ethiopia is responsible for 60%.

            1991-1998: Ethiopia left us alone. There was no exodus. In fact, Eritreans were returning home.

            2002 – present: Ethiopia is giving all sorts of reasons, mostly buyers remorse, for reneging on an agreement it has signed. Remember the decision was made in April 2002, and after 5 years of plodding Ethiopia, the EEBC said we are done. The process was so long that one of the judges actually died before the termination of the mandate.

            Let’s do our math again: 2002 – 2015 is 13 years. Carrying 30, let’s see, that’s 43/50 years we have been in existence as a State.

            When in doubt about Eritrea, refer back to from 1991 (our independence day or, as Weyane II calls it, the day they “gave” us our independence, or as Abinet calls it “Ethiopia’s independence”) up to 1998 (the year that the TPLF leg that is inside Tigray got all annoyed about cross-border trade on 1Nakfa: 1Birr basis) as the beginning of what could have been for us Eritreans. No exodus, no exile, no indefinite conscription, decent economic growth, wild enthusiasm and optimism. And you better not be talking about how Eritrea was exporting Ethiopian coffee then because Dawit is here and that is his specialty:)

            saay

            PS: welcome back Fanti Ghana! Fanti’s Civilization Test Question should be used for every wanna be conquerer. paraphrased, Fantism is: “if they are my people, why am I killing them? If they are not my people, why am I dying to keep them?”

          • Amde

            Saay,

            Unfortunately someone will have to translate – that in beyond my freshly minted fluency. I hope you won’t be shocked when I tell you that it would be a hard sell in Addis for someone to propose that Issayas is more of an Ethiopia unionist than other Ethiopians. The rhetoric is known, but the perception of Eritrean policies are quite different. So too the rhetoric vs perception of article-39 as insurance policy for Tigray. None of those are new.

            What TPLF the guerilla force wishes, and TPLF the national government finds on its plate are different things. In this case, it is the example that proves my argument. The good thing about your post this time is that you at least acknowledged the validity of Ethiopian State’s sense of being threatened by trying to show a list of Isayyas’ rhetorical positions. How you can square them to Isayyas’ constant meddling in Sudan’s internal politics would be an interesting exercise.

            To allow this discussion go forward, let me agree that most Eritreans joined the independence project due to the destruction caused by the Ethiopian state’s counter-insurgency. People are people, and that is an honorable and understandable sentiment. Let me agree that this reached a logical outcome with independence. For discussion sake, I will agree with you that 91-98 were peaceful days with (almost) zero problems. Will that wipe the slate clean for the previous 30 years? Of course not, but you must agree for all practical intents and purposes it is the fulfillment of the cause, even sweeter because it was blessed by the erstwhile colonizer. It may not be year zero but pretty damn close.

            I hope with me saying this you will stop using the years of Ethiopian bombings as the basis for calculating percentages.

            Then Badme happened ending in the year 2000 with the various dispositions following soon after.

            Given what I stated earlier – the incredible Melles offer of giving up on 67% of the claims and offering to negotiate on the rest, now I am actually curious what you – Saay – would do today. Today – as in 2015 and the benefit of all the hindsight of knowing the destructiveness of the current stand-off, knowing there is virtually no chance of a military reversal, knowing that the Weyane will not abide by the EEBC ruling for the coming 15 years just like the past 15, and knowing there is a counter-offer on the table with the possibility of getting 80% and at least the closing of a chapter, and hopefully a reset to a new relationship. Perhaps leading to “No exodus, no exile, no indefinite conscription, decent economic growth, wild enthusiasm and optimism.” with the added promise of no talking about coffee while coffee drinking.

            What would Saay the business man do? What would Saay the statesman do? Would you do the deal?

            I understand completely this is not a fair question to you. I am just a anonymous character with the privilege of being as rude as I want to be. You are a political persona with the burden of having to defend everything you utter.

            But from the Ethiopian side, this is a telling question. We show who we are by the choices we make. Condemning yet another generation to neverending servitude for something with a very remote possibility of coming true sounds cruel to me, especially if you have alternatives.

            Amde

          • saay7

            Selamat Amde

            Translation of the expression is in Matthew 7:3

            I wasn’t try to prove that Isaias is more of Ethiopian unionist than other Ethiopians. I was trying to prove that the claim made that Isaias is for Ethiopian disintegration is not supported by facts. But if you want to pursue that line: the folks at One Ethiopia had Isaias on their cover, not a TPLF leader:)

            Just because something is not new does not negate its validity. Article 39 was designed with intent of allowing Tigray State to secede if it is not satisfied with Ethiopia. You could have a referendum with 100% vote for secession in Ogaden/Somali killil and it won’t be allowed to happen.

            Your question about Isaias’ interference everywhere is a good one. My answer is that, exactly like Aboy Sebhat, Isaias believes that he knows what is good for the Sudanese better than the Sudanese themselves; what’s good for Somalia better than the Somalis…This is why in his interviews, the one he asks his employees (Eri-TV) to ask him is his analysis of the world: The World According To Isaias Afwerki. This goes on and on and on…

            Sir, you are the one who started with the accounting by calling it a 50 Year “Eritrea project” and then used some choice words to describe what an abomination it was. If you want a clean slate (we did, remember, we never asked for reparations) yes, lets start from 1991.

            “The incredible Meles offer,” you say. Ummm, I don’t know how you describe someone who had given his word, Ethiopia’s word, to abide by 100% of the ruling decides to come up with a counter-offer of 67% and you call it” incredible.” That’s called bad faith; it is a blemish on your country’s history. God spare you any future conflict with any nation because your country’s words will not be trustworthy. Its “incredible” only if you believe he should have offered 0% to begin with and gone for the “finder’s keepers” rule.

            What would saay “the businessman” do in 2015? It is a very fair question, Amde. Same thing I recommended the Eritrean government do in 2007 when the EEBC mandate was over: take Meles’s deal. I recommended face to face talks; I said that there is nothing in the Algiers Agreement or the EEBC (as the judges repeatedly said) that precludes the two parties modifying changing adjusting. I think I must have written at least two possible 10 comments making that case.

            But I am not a statesman. And I am liberated from the yokes of Habesha pride and constant demand for RESPECT — attributes of Isaias and Meles: the most hard-core Habesha leaders the two countries were cursed to have in time of war. I can’t visualize this kind of stubbornness happening with, say, somebody from Benishangul, Ethiopia and Massawa, Eritrea. See, I just proved to you I am NOT a “political persona.” 🙂

            It’s Friday, so something light, but related: THE (NOT SO) DEFINITIVE LIST OF THE TOP 25 REASONS BLACK MEN FEEL DISRESPECTED

            http://verysmartbrothas.com/the-not-so-definitive-list-of-the-top-25-reasons-black-men-feel-disrespected/

            saay

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Ahlen Saay,
            Wow, it is really Friday light. My eyes were always starring in your writing and to watch, to read you, and to hear you to what you say. But let me tell you there must be a day I miss your writing in 2007. Finally, I found an area where our position look eye to eye. Since the EEBC doesn’t preclude for the two parties to modify or adjust if they agree both sides, it doesn’t hinder them from talking face to face. That was my argument for years. If Ethiopia comes with her points, they have to come with your own points at the table during the demarcation process. At last “Viola” my friend.

            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Shum

            Hello Amanuel,

            You’re kidding, right? Saay has made this point not just in that article but also in a more recent article as well. He’s also mentioned this in some of his comments. You’re a frequent commentator and author on this site. I’m surprised you missed it.

            But you also missed a good nugget in his previous post: Ethiopia’s political history of abrogating or reneging on agreements and treaties with Eritrea and God knows who else. So, yes, the Eri government should have agreed to the talks and come in with their proposals. But not because this is such a great idea. If it were, Meles would have come up with it before the decision was announced. He only brought it up because they didn’t like the decision.

            TPLF is trying to convince us that they care more about Eritrea than anyone else, but how seriously can we take them when the map they proposed looks like this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eritrean%E2%80%93Ethiopian_War#/media/File:Eritrean%E2%80%93Ethiopian_War_Map_1998.png

            Does this look like the picture of someone who cares more about Eritrean than anyone else? Does this look like the map any serious-minded sober person would propose? This is a nugget for folks in the opposition who are too cozy with EPRDF. Any decision you reach with them, you better be prepared when they break it with you. You better be strong enough to push back. And that is why the relationship between the opposition and EPRDF can not be compared to the relationship between TPLF and EPLF. They were two partners with a sense of equality in the partnership.

          • saay7

            Ato Amanuel:

            ok, if you say so. We (Awate Team) called for a dialogue in October 2003, a month after PM Meles Zenawi reneged on his 100% and offered us 67% (to use Amde’s percentages.) That is 11+ years ago.

            At the time, our argument was that the world operates on “technically you are right, but so what?” particularly as time goes by. The example we gave was that of the Palestinians “Resolution 242”: every time a Palestinian says that now, the world rolls its eyes. We said that the world will do the same with “final and binding” over time. We also said that the dialogue has to be “sober” because there are extremists who will want to disown the entire Algiers Agreement.

            Well, you heard this on March 1 on this fine forum:

            “As far as Ethiopia is concerned, the Algiers Agreement is null and void as a result of UNMEE’s kick out on ground of Eritrea’s unilateral decision.”

            So, when many Eritreans use phrases like “Eshi Goytay, Amen Corner, Abyssinian Fundamentalism” etc that seem to offend you, it is because when the TPLF-II said that, you said nothing. Not a word. I don’t expect much from the TPLF amen corner (the ones who think that Sahel is relevant because TPLF once visited it) but I did from you. And you are one of our “elders”.

            We called many things right in 2003, but one thing I didn’t count on was the radicalization of TPLF to such a degree of pomposity.

            Anyway, here’s our article from 2003: apparently, you missed that one too.

            http://awate.com/a-call-for-sober-dialogue/

            saay

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Saay,

            1- Ditto; my response to Nitrickay
            2- It is not what about we have said in 2003, it is how to handle it when we stuck where we are. I think you forgot my call to you yesterday, to break the dead lock on our conversation, with new idea, new approach for engagement (other than – the position GOE – no face-to-face talk).
            3 – The border issue is a legal issue, it will have a legal venue. Any dismissive language from individuals from our brothers in the south, like “null & void” are not worthy of my response. They are not legitimate response, and it is their individual views.
            4- So far I haven’t seen (to my knowledge) from the official mouth of Ethiopian government something in that effect. I don’t thing so.
            5- The official Ethiopian statement is what all of us know the five-point plan so far. I don’t think we have different view on how should be handled it. My view the same view to the advice you rendered to the Eritrean government.
            6- Is this comment “niMresesae ILka tigebro zeleka diyu”. I saw my call in your do-list in your last comment. Seriously, why don’t we make our conversation, as to how will be the pragmatic solution of the border impasse. You have the know how, the skills, to change the whole political theater of Eritrean politics – and that is on what should be done. In fact to tell you frankly, your stature fits for the round table rather than in this virtual world. Real politics and real diplomacy is on the round table, and that is where you belong. I am not kidding. Hisebelu DeA Saay. The ship of diplomacy is still without the captain.
            regards,
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • saay7

            Hi Emma:

            The eritreans who express themselves are also “individual views” but you get all wound up when they express themselves. But when Tewelde dee and Tewelde dum express their views, you either agree with it and if u don’t u say nothing. Yigermal.

            On the border issue, I was writing u reply but truth-teller Abinet said it best: you are weak, we are strong: don’t make a deal now. What applies for the border applies for everything else including of course the formula for change that your side wants to “partner” with Ethiopia. We are in no position to partner now. Let’s get stronger first, organizationally, let’s become credible force then we will be taken seriously. Right now to them we are just grumbling refugees.

            saay

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Merhaba Saay,

            I don’t know how diplomatic-mind or diplomatic class prioritize that, but I will agree to leave the border issue aside in the current struggle. So Saay keeping aside the border issue for the moment doesn’t exempt you in doing other diplomatic works. I am not calling you for only one project, I am calling to change to change the whole diplomatic approach of Eritrean politics. So my plea still remains in place. In diplomatic engagment the moral issue is to stick with the interest of your country. That is all. In this diplomatic endeavor I am looking your moral issue is “to stick with the interest of Eritrea and the interest of the opposition.” That is how I see the diplomatic approach will be. I hope you will agree.

            Senay MeAlti,
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • saay7

            Selmat Emma:

            You are putting the cart before the horse. It’s pointless and futile to make any “diplomatic” ventures between the opposition and Ethio government right now because diplomacy is defined thusly:

            Diplomacy (from the Greek δίπλωμα, meaning making a deal with other countries) is the art and practice of conducting negotiations between representatives of states.

            Leaving “states” aside, it is about the art and practice of negotiation. You can’t negotiate when (a) nobody authorized you to negotiate and (b) you can’t deal because you have nothing to offer now but an understanding ear. When the Ethiopian baloon is flying as high as it is now (it’s PM echoing Obama, Kerry, IMF, World Bank, AU, IGAD statements describing his government as “indispensable”, it’s cadres telling you that you got your statehood not thank to your sacrifice but their generosity and thinking u are best fit not for a chair in front of a roundtable but a chair at a shrinks office, and when everybody else never tires of telling you we have forgotten all about u: are u still around?), the priority is to strengthen Eritrea; to heal it, and yes that includes protecting its sovereignty: ability to make decisions about its own fate and refusing to be a Djibouti. For that to happen, the opposition has to stop talking and start listening to what the silent majority wants. And if they want u to talk about EEBC u should: that’s called speaking up for ur people. If they express apprehension about Ethiopia, listen. If they say the opposition as it exists now has reached a dead end and we are better off starting from scratch, u should listen.

            saay

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Saay,

            Here you goes, you just proved for me, how the basic of diplomacy work. So my call was not a call to a wall. It has got an ear to listen. All the thing you have stated in you comment only shows the current picture of regional-politics and geopolitics of the horn. It only hint its complexity when it is blended with internal problems. That is why, we need individuals who read easily the game of geopolitics in the region like you. Every response to my comment shows how an astute politician you are, more so in international politics than domestic. So why don’t we start with domestic politics which is less complicate than the regional politics. Internal politics has its own diplomatic-needs to bring all the parties (stakeholders) to make them talk each other on a round table whatever their differences are. Your task will be a facilitator for a “diplomatic-bridge” to strengthen the unity and the social fabric of our society. And along the way, to build a consensus of common goal for the current struggle. In an internal politics, a consensus builder is a diplomat – and by virtue that resume in itself will make you a candidate to a higher office. Those opportunities are hanging there for a grab.

          • saay7

            Kbur Ato Amanuel:

            I never understood why people don’t understand who the silent majority are and why they are mystified because I am better the overwhelming majority of those in our own social circles – our friends, our friends’ friends, the eritreans we meet at houses of worship and at weddings and funerals and civic organizations — are the silent majority. They are the group who consider Isaias Afwerki and PFDJ a spent force BUT are ambivalent and skeptical about the opposition groups. Instead of insulting them as selfish and self-centered (which was one of Haile TGs few but grave failings) we should maybe put together a large focus group from them and LISTEN.

            saay

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Kubur Saay,

            You know “majority” without statistical explanation is a political cheat or a regular political talk of the regular people. I don’t want to hear from an educate person like you without justifiable statistical number either to argue or to educate us. Let me reverse the question to you for the purpose of learning myself and like me who are out there, on how you come in to such conclusion. What is the pool number you use for your data to extrapolate “silent majority” figuratively, that help us to our understanding. If you can do (of course you can) to either show us graphically or statistical chart to learn and do similar effort on our side to see the plausibility of your argument. If you have that in hand, it will be a diplomatic-tool for the assignment we are looking.

            But aside to that, did you give a thought to work for the “diplomatic bridging” pertinent to our domestic politics? I assume yes. You see saay in every attempt of your explanation, you are telling us the diplomatic tools necessary for our struggle. That is why you are the “appropriate man” for the diplomatic-core of the opposition. Take the challenge, and again it is a rewarding mission.

            Senay Mishet,
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • saay7

            Selamat Emma:

            Majority: antonym, minority. The non-opposition supporters and non-Nehnan Nsu relative to the size of the Diaspora population. May also be described as Supermajority if it is 2/3 or 3/4

            Silent: not willing to say very publicly what they will say privately : Isaias Afwerki and PFDJ are a spent force.

            Cause for silence: your mission, if you accept it, is to investigate the reasons why the silent remain silent.

            Hint: over a dozen of Eritreans in Europe have gone to join ISIS; none have gone to join the 2-3 maybe 4 Eritrean Islamist organizations.

            saay

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Kubur Saay,
            You are deflecting my questions. If I could I would have done it by now. I am not a business mind who could play with data and statistics. You are from that “discipline of knowledge”. But I will assure you that, I am from the “sew Ablo Qob Keblo” mentality. By that I mean I can understand graphs and statistical data. So go ahead Abu Saleh. Make me proud by taking the challenge.

            Senay Mishet,
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • saay7

            Kbur Amanuel

            Eway kadrat Jebha Abbay shekortet ktfetwu, I say with much love.

            It is simple, really. Take your circle of friends, accomplices, their accomplices…get a focus group of 20. I am sure that they vastly outnumber those who are opposition activists, like you.

            Now, simple. Ask them one question: why are you not active in the opposition? What is your reservation? Then LISTEN. Most opposition love to talk and lecture…just listen, write it down and then share it…. perhaps in your next column?

            Much respect
            saay

          • Semere Andom

            Hi Sal
            Emma shekortet ms Saleh Mahmuday tewede ms Sem A 🙂

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Anta Saay hawey,

            All the encouragement I rendered to you, you call it “shekortet”, wey jebha zeytrekbo yeblan. But I will not give up at you. I will stick on your back like “Qurdid” to mimic you for a higher national motive. You can’t escape from that, at this dire situation. History is compelling you from the center of power “the people.” As Ted Kennedy had said once, “good intentions will be translated in to achievements” so your good intention is demand from you. You know that public service is the most honorable job, starring at your face. Have the courage to met the challenge.

            senay Mishet,
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • saay7

            Selamat Emma Arkey:

            Sometimes, I think my handwriting is not legible, so let me type it this time:)

            +++
            It is simple, really. Take your circle of friends, accomplices, their accomplices…get a focus group of 20. I am sure that they vastly outnumber those who are opposition activists, like you.

            Now, simple. Ask them one question: why are you not active in the opposition? What is your reservation? Then LISTEN. Most opposition love to talk and lecture…just listen, write it down and then share it…. perhaps in your next column?

            ++++
            best regards,
            saay

          • Kokhob Selam

            i am honest when I said we still have to learn more from you guys. I enjoyed it. please keep discussing. you may think it is simple and not that much valuable,but every single sentence from you and people like you maters a lot.

          • Shum

            [Disqus ate my reply to you yesterday, but luckily I save my posts until I’m sure they are posted. Read below]

            Hello Amanuel,

            You’re kidding, right? Saay has made this point not just in that article but also in a more recent article as well. He’s also mentioned this in some of his comments. You’re a frequent commentator and author on this site. I’m surprised you missed it.

            But you also missed a good nugget in his previous post: Ethiopia’s political history of abrogating or reneging on agreements and treaties with Eritrea and God knows who else. So, yes, the Eri government should have agreed to the talks and come in with their proposals. But not because this is such a great idea. If it were, Meles would have come up with it before the decision was announced. He only brought it up because they didn’t like the decision.

            TPLF is trying to convince us that they care more about Eritrea than anyone else, but how seriously can we take them when the map they proposed looks like this
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eritrean%E2%80%93Ethiopian_War#/media/File:Eritrean%E2%80%93Ethiopian_War_Map_1998.png

            Does this look like the picture of someone who cares more about Eritreans than anyone else? Does this look like the map any serious-minded sober person would propose? This is a nugget for folks in the opposition who are too cozy with EPRDF. Any decision you reach with them, you better be prepared when they break it with you. You better be strong enough to push back. And that is why the relationship between the opposition and EPRDF can not be compared to the relationship between TPLF and EPLF. They were two partners with a sense of equality in the partnership. You’re not.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Haw Shum,

            I really respect you, and most of the time I agree on what you have to say. Sorry, I will pass this one as no comment on perceptions. I found to be difficult to debate on perceptions.

          • Shum

            Wait, what? Which one of the main points I made is perception and which is not or are you saying all of it is perception?

            1. Ethiopia’s political history is ripe with going back on their agreements when it comes to Eritrea
            2. Meles only brought up the 5 Point Plan because they didn’t like the original decision.
            3. TPLF and the organized Eritrean opposition in Addis are not equal partners
            4. TPLF is trying to convince us that they care more about Eritrea than anyone else
            5. The map they proposed is ridiculous when you look at what they claimed was theirs in the western front especially.

            From these main points, are you saying we can’t have a debate on any of them? Also, if we can’t debate on perceptions, what can we debate on?

          • Elenta

            Selamat saay,
            In fact there are some Ethiopians who believe that Isayas Afeworki joined ELF to save Emama Ethiopia.Here is what one commentator wrote in one of the Tegaru website:

            ግብጽ ለዓባይ ውሀ ስትል ኢትዮጵያን ሰላም ለማሳጣትና መረገጋትን እንዳታገኝ፣ ለልማትም እንዳትጠቀምበት፣ ሁሌም በውጥረት ውስጥ እንድትኖር በማሰብ በቀደምቱ የግብጽ ፕሬዚዳንት ጀማል አብድልናስር ድጋፍ ኤርትራ አረባዊት ናት ብሎ የሚያምን በኤርትራ ጀብሀ የተባለ አክራሪ እስላማዊ ፓርቲ ተቋቋመ፡፡

            የግብጽና የአንዳንድ አረብ ሀገራትን በኢትዮጵያ ላይ ያነጣጠረ አደጋ የተከታተለው የንጉሰ ነገስቱ የመረጃና ደህንነት ተቋም የሁኔታውን አሳሳቢነት በገለፀው መሰረት የኢትዮጵያ ዘውድ ምክር ቤት በጉዳዩ ላይ መክሮ ‘ሀንቲ ኢትዮጵያ ወይም ሞት’ ብለው ከተዋጉ ታማኝ የኤርትራ ተወላጅ ኢትዮጵያውያን ጠንካራ ሰው እንዲፈለግና ወደ ኤርትራ ተልኮ ጫካ ውስጥ በግብፅ እየተረዳ መሳሪያ ታጥቆ በሽፍትነት በሚንቀሳቀሰው ጀብሀ ውስጥ ሰርጎ እንዲገባና ማንኛውንም መረጃ በሚሰጠው ልዩ የግንኙነት መረብ ለኢትዮጵያ መንግስት እየተከታተለ ሪፖርት እንዲያደርግ በዚህም መሰረት ጀብሀን ተከታትሎ የመምታቱ ስራ እንዲቀጥል ውሳኔ አሳለፈ፡፡

            ለኢትዮጵያ ከተዋጉ አርበኞች ወይም ቤተሰቦቻቸው ውስጥ ሰው ይፈለግ ሲባል በወቅቱ የወሎ ጠቅላይ ግዛት አስተዳዳሪ የነበሩት ደጃዝማች አማኑኤል አብርሀም የወንድማቸው ልጅ የሆነው ከአዲስ አበባ ከተማ ወደ ደሴ ከተማ ሄዶ ከእርሳቸው ጋር ይኖር የነበረው ኤርትራ ተወልዶ ያደገው ኢሳያስ አፈወርቂ እንደሚገኝ ይጠቆማል፡፡ ኢሳያስ ቀደም ሲል ለአጎቱ በተሰጠው ትዕዛዝ ወደ አዲስ አበባ መጥቶ ዘውድ ምክር ቤት (ፓርላማ) ሪፖርት እንዲያደረግ ከተደረገ በኋላ በቀጥታ ወደ ኤርትራ ሄዶ በወቅቱ የኤርትራ ክፍለ ሀገር ዋና ገዢና አስተዳዳሪ ከነበሩት ልዑል አስራተ ካሳ ጋር እንዲገናኝ ተደርጎ መመሪያውን ተቀብሎ በቀጥታ ዓላ በርሀ ወርዶ ጀብሀን ተቀላቀለ፡፡

            በዚህም መሰረት የቀዳማዊ ኃይለ ስላሴ መንግሰት እስከ ወደቀበት ጊዜ ድረስ ከዓላ በረሀ ተሰውሮ እየወጣ አስመራ ቃኘው ስቴሽን በመሄድ ለልዑል ራስ አስራተ ካሳ ሪፖርት ያደርግ እንደነበረ መረጃዎች ይጠቁማሉ፡፡

            ሻእቢያን ለመመስረት እንዲቻል ክርስትያን ወጣቶችን በማደራጀት፣ ጀብሀን በመውጋት ተገንጥሎ መውጣቱን ክርስቲያን ወጣቶችን በብዛት በመመልመል ሃይሉን ማጠናከሩን፣ ከጀብሀ ጋርም ውጊያ በመግጠም እየተጠናከረ መምጣቱን መግለጽ ይቻላል፡፡ ጀብሀን በጦርነት የደመሰሰው ሻእቢያ በአካባቢው እየጎለበተ በመምጣቱ አረቦች ቀጥተኛ ግንኙነታቸውን ከሻእቢያ ጋር አደረጉ፡፡ አብዛኛው የጀብሀ አባልም ወደ ሻእቢያ ተቀላቀለ፡፡ የሻዕቢያ ቢሮም በአረብ ሀገራት መዲና ተከፈተ::

            ያኔ ኢሳያስ ከኢትዮጵያ ተልኮ ወደ በረሀ የወረደው ኢትዮጵያን ከአደጋ እንዲጠብቅና እንዲታደጋት እንጂ በኃላ ላይ በአረቦች ተፅዕኖና ፍላጎት ተሸንፎ ኢትዮጵያን እንዲወጋ፣ እንዲያጠፋ አልነበረም

            የኢሳያስ አፈወርቂም የሻዕቢያም የመነሻ ዓላማ ሙሉ በሙሉ ተቀይሮ ኢትዮጵያን ከእስላም አክሪሪዎች የተቀናበረ አደጋ መከላከሉ ቀርቶ በፀረ-ኢትዮጵያ አቁዋም ተሰለፈ፡፡ሻእቢያም በኢትዮጵያ ላይ ታላቅ ክህደት ፈጸመ

            Have you ever come across with such bold accusation before? Its new to me.

          • saay7

            Selamat Elenta:

            Well… there was a 20-page paper written in Amharic by Tesfamichael St. Georgio (“Wedi Georgio”) then a low-level administrator for the Ethiopian government in the Dekemhare region of Eritrea who facilitated a meeting between Isaias Afwerki and CIA agents at Kagnew Station* in Asmara on June 30, 1970. The Isaias demands:

            a. Give us weapons; because right now the ones who are heavily-armed are the ELF and they are getting it from your enemies, the Arabs;
            b. Give us weapons and we will ensure that the Red Sea doesn’t become an Arab lake;
            c. Give us weapons so your interests in the region will be protected
            d. What guarantees do I have that you are trustworthy?

            US offer:
            a. We will give you weapons but they can’t be American weapons; they would have to be Viet-Cong weapons;
            b. We are afraid of the Palestinian group called Black September: can you protect us against them?
            c. You gotta have some of your fighters surrender to Ethiopia (it is good propaganda for Ethiopia and against Islamist Jebha); they will be retrained [by Israelis] as Commando and rejoin you
            d. Never mind the Arabs; we will instigate wars with Israel to keep them too busy fixing their neighborhood to venture anywhere else
            e. There are no guarantees… politics is a gamble and you gotta take a chance.

            Did it work? Shortly after the meeting, truck loads of N3, loaded with Vietcong weapons, made their way to Alla, then the head quarters of “Selfi Natsnet”, the Isaias-led predecessor of EPLF, now PFDJ.

            Wei Georgio was assassinated in front of his residence in Addis Abeba in 1992. But history remains: his pamphlet is widely distributed, translated into Tigrinya. I actually listened to an audio version of it by its author, former EPLF combatant Saleh Abdella.

            saay

            * his pass # for that day was 0071, and you can see its image at ehrea.org.

            PS: Before his meeting with the US, he had met with representatives of Aerate Kassa (Governor of Eritrea, appointed by Haile Selasse) and he had made the religious pitch. Aerate Kassa’s government told him we don’t discriminate on the basis of religion so your fighters are free to surrender and ask for mercy.

          • Abi

            Saay007
            Recently I had a conversation with an eritrean friend about the whole thing in general. He is convinced that IA is working for ethiopia , dmht is protecting him. My disagreement with him was if that is the case ,then the ethiopian govt is playing with both IA and the opposition at the same time . He said he doesn’t trust the opposition either. What do you think?
            Saay you owe me 15 Amharic proverbs.

          • saay7

            Abi:

            Erre Tew with the 007: that’s a license to kill; mine is just 7: license to chill.

            IA is working for the one boss he had always had: IA. In 1970 he saw that the obstacles to his power were Muslims, so he came up with Muslim-defamation campaign (Nehnan Elamanan.) In 1973 the obstacles to his power were Christian intellectuals so he came up with…well, he couldn’t come up with Christian defamation campaign so he came up with Akele-Guzay defamation campaign (the MenkaE). Never mind that they weren’t all from Akele-Guzay but at the time most of EPLF were from hamassien and if there is one thing he knows it is counting. He got Petros Solomon and Sebhat Ephrem to disassociate themselves from Menkae (after they had initially supported them) and to renounce them as regionalists.

            This was repeated in 2001 (G-15, “Akele Guzay: again, never mind that they all weren’t) and 2013 (Forto, Muslims.) The dmht fit into a long pattern of creating Fenj-Regach: they have to be people who have nowhere else to go, preferably because they have burned all bridges with their former allies and/or they have always felts ostracized. (Nothing original: I think Marx called them the “lumpen-proletariat”)

            I am NOT into genealogy politics*, but those who are into it have stories to tell.

            The 15 proverbs. Well, you are the king of proverbs….and is there a proverb about giving someone something that he already has plenty of? If you insist, just tell me the alphabets you prefer because it is organized alphabetically. (1 from “b”, 2 from “q”, 3 from “m”, etc.)

            saay

            * this is why Eyob Medhane is a terrible person. I was minding my business listening to Aster Aweke’s “Checheho” and of course he has to tell me every trivia about Checheho, wello, its governor, his relationship to Isaias. Now I can’t enjoy the damn song.

          • T. Kifle

            Dear SAAY,

            You see IA is a fickle man and any of the points you mention say more about his fickleness than his “consistency”.

            1. Your #1 is laughable because it is by know a public knowledge and no further efforts are required to counter it. But even if your claims were true, it wasn’t because” Ethiopia was backward” ,unpalatable to the liberal palates. It was a response to decades of deliberate national discrimination and the solutions could lie anywhere including independence. There is nothing wrong about it. But you know for fact that independence never was an objective of the struggle when the pioneers agreed in Addis for the launch of an armed resistance. It never was the Arena movement of the first Weyane movement. Individuals within TPLF, felt threatened after tasting the vicissitudes of the field, wanted the card to push parties opposed to TPLF’s existence. Were narrow nationalists within the movement? definitely! Was it a threat to the Ethiopian state thesis? it wasn’t. Evidence? you can’t call even a single man that demands independent Tigray at the moment. I said a single individual!

            2. you also said, ” Almost all of the feuds between the EPLF and TPLF were centred on this:…”, This oversimplification borders a lie. it’s an insult to say that EPLF opposed to the constitution. Why EPLF would want to have an opinion on a constitution of a sovereign state which he is not part of?

            3. your a-e are indicative of the fact that IA would jump any cliff for seeking attention. He cannot break a deal in a complex world through the practices of interstate diplomacy. He simply stand to the opposite and ingratiate his ego for being noticed in any way. It doesn’t matter whether it costs Eritrea as a state. Who would want Somalia fragmentation anyway? All the efforts were and are to bring some sort of understanding between Somalis though many countries could pull some strings in their favour. But you see you cannot paint it as if IA believes in the Unity of SOMALIA. He thinks the UIC is perfectly ok. He believes SHABAB is perfectly ok.

            The South Sudan thing is even more interesting. He helped SPLA’s efforts of war including deploying his mechanized brigades and helped Sudan bent for a deal. Once he knew he was outfoxed in the process he started opposing it. Not only that he opposed to the referendum but also played his old games in fuelling the conflict in the new state.

            Be it the “two-state solution” or the Cremia thing have nothing to do with IA’s inner convictions. He is doing it because it is through that oddity he gets the much needed attention he direly wants and if everything fails him, he settles with attracting gullible Eritreans by conducting an interview poised for manning a dam as if he was an engineer.

            My friend Ethiopia wan’t ok between 1991-1998. Those years were indeed very bad for Ethiopia and it paid a prohibitive cost for that. SAWA wasn’t built in 1998. all the hoopla for brining Singapore to East Africa on the back of Ethiopia had been orchestrated in those years. 1998 could be taken as the year of launching the first pilot project aspiring that distant city state in a mettle of Israelite armour. For me(and many who think they know the nature of EPLF to the core), central to problems has been the misfortune of Eritrea labouring beyond measure to deliver EPLF.

          • Shum

            Hello Amde,

            You said “I purposely left the definition of the Eritrea project ambiguous in my postings. I hope you are OK if I paraphrase what you said to “the Eritrea project was not primarily the making of the Eritrean State, but the unmaking of the Ethiopian state” I believe that is what you meant.” You’re not a student of history, are you? Replace Ethiopia with Eritrea and that is exactly what happened after World War 2. That’s what is known as a fact. There’s no program, initiative or factual references to history you can give me in terms of in 19XX, this happened and that happened from an independent source to show otherwise.

          • Amde

            Selam Ato Shum

            That was actually interesting – I hadn’t seen it that way before. On this one let us agree to disagree.

            As I indicated in my response to FS, I am trying to establish a context why even 20 years after independence, the Eritrean State chooses to garrison its people rather than school them when there are alternatives on hand. From what I see here on how the opposition working from Ethiopia is attacked, the number of people who agree with this state of affairs implicitly

          • Shum

            Hello Amde,

            You said, “I am trying to establish a context why even 20 years after independence, the Eritrean State chooses to garrison its people rather than school them when there are alternatives on hand.” Most people, including the editors of this site, agree that the government of Eritrea is a disaster for Eritrea. Virtually everyone on this site is against the endless conscription. We are arguing about the method of opposition. Seeing the opposition groups in Ethiopia as ineffective does not equal to we support PFDJ.

            You said “the number of people who agree with this state of affairs implicitly is unfortunately not small. So it is a deliberate choice implicitly or explicitly endorsed by numbers large enough that it may be called the dominant social/political consensus among Eritreans. How are we to interpret this deliberate choice to enslave ones own children on a quixotic venture?”

            I’m finding it hard to follow quite frankly. But if you think the majority of this site and Eritrean are signing on the the endless conscription, then I have to believe you’re not keeping up on the discussions on this site nor are you aware of the masses of Eritreans fleeing said “state of affairs”.

            With that said, have a great weekend.

        • Kokhob Selam

          I can feel it. But wisdom please. Ethiopians are not responsible for the decisions done back during Haileselase and Mengstu, and Eritreans are not responsible for decisions done by IA and his group. I and and Saay7 don’t represent Eritreans nor you represent Ethiopians. So, don’t be disappointed of what Saay said. At last, the one for peace is going to win the game.

          Eritrean and Ethiopian case is always connected. today Eritrea is in trouble means Ethiopia will be affected tomorrow. the logistical support from Ethiopian side against PFDJ is a calculated risk for most of people. till the case get settled and Eritreans know that using everything available on hand is a must, you need to be wise. I know you are up to that, but I am reminding.

          • T. Kifle

            Hello Kokhob Selam,

            I always say the “people” are out of the equation when almost everybody bluffs in their name. No struggle in history is started by the people, managed by the people and after all of the burdens of lost opportunities, the people rarely benefit out of their toils. It has always been the work of the “enlightened few” that catalyse dissent, touch soft-spots and make them ready to kill and die. Some struggles could turn popular, some bitter and against the people supposed to liberate. In most situations the vast majority have little say in the affairs that affect their lives. So no mixing at all. Whatever I write here has a target group, a group that willingly opted to take Eritrea down the drains in their hope of a failed Ethiopia.

  • Saleh Johar

    No Amanuel, more documents are coming your way, just give me a little time. I am objecting to revision of history in all shapes. The 2007 congress was part of the plan and we (the initiators of the project) shortlisted and invited people who had no idea of the project which they deformed. Efforts to create an umbrella was deformed and finally became a club of a few, a partisan tool. Some joined in the last minute. And my apprehension Amanuel, you are still trying to make it as if it was created in 2007 when you were invited. That is something I cannot ignore. It is wrong.

    By the way, thousands from the refugee camps in Sudan hand signed the petition, you are one of the thousands. And that great task was accomplished by Sewera, and its manager Yassin Mohammed Abdella. His name is probably scratched from the revised history, but he did for the entity more than anyone of the current group did for the last seven years combined. I will just set the records straight so that everyone takes his rightful size. I am sure you are all for transparency and accountability. It is a public issue after all.

  • Amde

    Selam Ato Shum

    I will just correct you and say I said “the Eritrea project” and not Eritrea or Eritreans. I hope you wil see the difference.

    It might be semantic quibble. But I regard Eritrea’s current haemmorhaging of its youth a continuum from the Ghedli years. Objectively speaking, I have the 50 year track record to support my argument. The Eritrea project may be defined in many ways, but at the very least you can agree with me that one of its defining characteristics as far as the people are concerned is the consumption of multiple generation of Eritrean youth in some war or another with the Ethiopian state. The excuses are immaterial – if it was not Badme it will be something else such as legal abrogation of a treaty, conservative monarchy, socialist dictatorship, Amhara evilness, Tigrayan treachery.

    To use Tes’ language it is a 50 year lab experiment. I think it has run long enough for us to draw conclusions.

    The courage of Hayat and Semere is that they at least implicitly understand the solution lies with the correction of the Ethio-Eritrean relationship. Compare them to Gheteb’s archaic arguments for the maintenance of the status quo, which inherently offer no solutions and from which we are to conclude everything is dandy.

    The youth who flee the land and their parents who pay to ship their children out all love their country but they obviously see no reason to stay. They have concluded whatever the Eritrea project is – it is not worth it for them to invest in it.

    Hope that explains it.

    Amde

    • saay7

      Selamat Amde:

      One of my favorite jokes is about the crazy scientist who runs this experiment: what is the stimuli response on frog when u progressively chomp all its limbs? Cuts a hind leg and orders “jump!” And the frog doesn’t move. He continues to chop each leg orders “jump” and nothing happens. He scratches this on his notepad: “a curious phenomenon: when you cut the legs off frogs, they lose their hearing.”

      Whenever Ethiopians and Ethio-romantic Eritreans speak about our 30 year armed struggle and 20 years of nation-building as if they Ethiopia was a remote observer, they remind me of the scientist. eritreans left Eritrea 1961-1991 because Ethiopia insisted on bombing and burning their villages and terrorizing them and because Ethiopia refused any solution, including, a referendum for Eritreans to decide what they want. Because Ethiopia chose the military solution for 30 years; not Eritrea, it was Ethiopia that insisted on that

      And since 2002 (that’s 12 years) the Eritrean government has argued I have to extend National Service (and therefore take the risk in mass Eritrean exodus) because we are in a state of war with Ethiopia and we fear an attack from them at any time. You can give any percentage of responsibility for this to the Eri and Ethio gov; what u can’t say is Ethiopia is entirely blameless.

      So, our “project” was a “project” for 30 years because ur governemnt had total responsibility. There was no exile and no project between 1991-2002. And it’s a project for the last 12 because ur government has something to do with that. That’s 42/50, Amde. 84% Drop the chopping knife, scientist: frogs can’t move when u cut off their legs because they need legs to move.

      Saay

    • Shum

      Hello Amde,

      What you said and your explanation are at odds. Re-read your statement. You are describing it as a project that is a grotesque curse on the people and that I will continue to be that way. We’re not a project, we’re a country with problems like any other. Projects are temporary. Our country is not a curse on us nor will it be forever (continue to be that way). We’re not a country just because out of deference to anyone dead or alive. We choose to be. We wanted it before we decided to fight for it. It’s not like we woke one day and showed up in your country and backyard killing your people. We fought in our backyard to defend what’s ours. Stop treating Ethiopia as some inert object that’s just minding its own business until we showed up. We were minding our own business until your progressive king came into the picture. Would you and I have this discussion if he stayed put where he was? I don’t think so. But, if experiencing bad times makes a country a project curse on its people. How about you tell me if Ethiopia is or was a project and a curse on its people when:

      1. It was enslaving other Ethiopians

      2. Slaughtering its own people during the Red Terror

      3. Haile Selasse used the British to air bomb Mekelle

      4. Civilian bombings in Tigray (Hawzen, etc)

      The stupidity on this forum is that there is rarely self-reflection. Eritrea is going through no doubt a dark period in our history. What we expect from others who have gone through a dark period in their history is understanding and ideas. Instead, we get this contorted misreading of what all of the trials and tribulations mean. I bet none of the Ethiopians on this forum raised a finger against Mengistu. I bet none of them contemplated or begged another country to come rescue them as well. You’d think they’d understand what it means to live under a brutal system.

      I agree with you that Eritrea and Ethiopia need a positive way forward by mending their relationship. But I’m not going to pretend it is a one way problem. And I’m not going to cosign someone telling me that the opposition needs to march in with EPRDF at their backs. EPRDF’s interest and Eritrea’s interest are not the same nor should anyone expect them to be. Every country and their governments have their own interests and they look out for those interests.

      • saay7

        Selamat Shum:

        Here’s me taking a bow. Can I retire now? Epic!

        There’s a Ted Talk video on the difference between China and USA and, if u close ur eyes and just listen and substitute China for Ethiopia and USA for Eritrea, it’s basically our story.

        I am glad u are here Shum. I always wonder if Ethiopians are so full of themselves when they are at the bottom of every measurable index how intolerable will they be when they get to the India and China level? And I always thought “humility” was a Habesha thang but judging from the extreme puffery exhibited by our neighbors in this website I guess the most defininjng characteristic of Habesha is “TiEbit”. And yes Isaias Afwerki is the most Habesha individual north or south of Mereb.

        saay

        • Shum

          Saay,

          Look (your favorite Andebrhan quote). Forget about retiring. It ain’t gonna happen. Guys like me are fickle, ask Aboy Saleh (Ma’lesh Ato Saleh). You, Amanuel, Gezae and Saleh are putting their names out there to the world taking ridicule, having their every word examined with a face behind it. We need you guys to soldier on. I will help any way I can, but I was public at one point and it was not fun, especially back in 1999. That was a tough time for anyone opposed to PFDJ.

          Humility, deference, obedience is a Habesha thing. But it has its bad and good angles. We show so much deference and obedience to authority (government, religious hierarchy, elders) we forget about the “individuals” around us and we show them “TiEbit”. It’s easy to rile us up against the “other”. I have several Ethiopian family and friends who are happy with the progress and economic activity of their country, but they also are beginning to worry about the outlook some of their countrymen have in regards to humility. Judging from the way some of the forum folks talk about their country, you’d think our neighbors were Gulf Arabs, some of the worst violators of “TiEbit”.

          I don’t think Amde’s problem is “TiEbit” though. I think he found Eritreans to cosign the “Ghedli, Eritrea is a nightmare project” mantra. Add that to his inability to see anything wrong with Progressive Haile Selasse and Megistu as it relates to Eritrea and you have medication with a whole lot of side effects for Eritreans. Mark my word, if Amde responds to my points about the bad things that happened in Ethiopia, he will present all of those things as collateral damage or dirty business of fighting insurgencies. But Eritrea, well, lay down on this couch as he puts his Occam’s razor away and provides College dorm psychoanalysis on you. Shame really, Amde is one of the brightest on this forum.

          I don’t expect Ethiopians to have our interests. It’s not realistic. But I do expect some respect from them. I mean, don’t come and sh*t on your neighbor’s house when he lets you in. Wipe your feet at the door and bring a bottle of wine every now and then. Now, queue Abinet’s (my favorite Ethiopian) recollection of Eritreans doing just that in Addis 🙂

        • Shum

          Saay,

          Look (your favorite Andebrhan quote). Forget about retiring. It ain’t gonna happen. Guys like me are fickle, ask Aboy Saleh (Ma’lesh Ato Saleh). You, Amanuel, Gezae and Saleh are putting their names out there to the world taking ridicule, having their every word examined with a face behind it. We need you guys to soldier on. I will help any way I can, but I was public at one point and it was not fun, especially back in 1999. That was a tough time for anyone opposed to PFDJ.

          Humility, deference, obedience is a Habesha thing. But it has its bad and good angles. We show so much deference and obedience to authority (government, religious hierarchy, elders) we forget about the “individuals” around us and we show them “TiEbit”. It’s easy to rile us up against the “other”. I have several Ethiopian family and friends who are happy with the progress and economic activity of their country, but they also are beginning to worry about the outlook some of their countrymen have in regards to humility. Judging from the way some of the forum folks talk about their country, you’d think our neighbors were Gulf Arabs, some of the worst violators of “TiEbit”.

          I don’t think Amde’s problem is “TiEbit” though. I think he found Eritreans to cosign the “Ghedli, Eritrea is a nightmare project” mantra. Add that to his inability to see anything wrong with Progressive Haile Selasse and Megistu as it relates to Eritrea and you have medication with a whole lot of side effects for Eritreans. Mark my word, if Amde responds to my points about the bad things that happened in Ethiopia, he will present all of those things as collateral damage or dirty business of fighting insurgencies. But Eritrea, well, lay down on this couch as he puts his Occam’s razor away and provides College dorm psychoanalysis on you. Shame really, Amde is one of the brightest on this forum.

          I don’t expect Ethiopians to have our interests. It’s not realistic. But I do expect some respect from them. I mean, don’t come and sh*t on your neighbor’s house when he lets you in. Wipe your feet at the door and bring a bottle of wine every now and then. Now, queue Abinet’s (my favorite Ethiopian) recollection of Eritreans doing just that in Addis 🙂

          • saay7

            Haha Shum:

            I think we should vote on our favorite Ethiopians:

            1. Eyob Medhane (Mr X; short dark and handsome according to his wife )
            2. Abinet (the king of one liners. There is a guy named Aman who has surpassed LT as Captain Kirk and in one of his random announcements about nothing he announced he was going to come back as 7.0. Abinet: “really? Ok, hurry up.”
            3. Amde ( for his obscure references in pop culture)
            4. Rahwa ( for her absolute pride in weyaneness)
            5. The Weyanai II who pretends he is Weyane I ( for matter of factly telling us “we won and you lost and PS go F yourself)
            6. The Weyanai II who pretends to be Eritrean (it’s fun to watch the pretzel factory particularly if the pretzel factory has no clue we have a one way mirror)
            7. Fanti Ghana: The only ethiopian in the history of Erhiopia who believes Ethiopia should withdraw from Badme
            8. The random guests who come here at the panicked invitation of # 5 (yawn)
            9. Dawit because, dammit, he said whether u like it or not I am not just Eritrean but ethiopian (because he is infinitely intriguing)

            Vote for Eyob. Vote early and vote often. Because I always get the sense that deep inside he knows the insanity of his government but is just rooting for the home team.

            saay

          • Eyob Medhane

            Sal,

            Must you have to be so cruel to tell the whole world that I am short? I am hurt… 🙂

            No. I do not believe that my government is insane deep inside or on the surface.In fact I see the Ethiopian government refining itself with the young and brightest, from time to time. I mean it. As anyone, if you get a sense some irritation in me with some policy that might raise my eyebrows, believe me it doesn’t mean that I believe the government is insane. It’s because I can, unlike those 37 people that BBC tried to interview. (Zing) How is that rooting for the home team?

            Now, who you callin’ short, again? 🙂

          • Fanti Ghana

            Selamat SAAY,
            If I don’t win the vote is rigged! There can’t be any other explanation.

          • Mahmud Saleh

            KBUR SAAY
            How about the “terrorism law”, could Ethiopians interacting with an Eritrean website face terrorism charges?

          • saay7

            Allen Field Marshall Mahmuday:

            Of course they could. The State has written an expansive language in its Anti-Terrorism Proclamation that gets you accused of terrorism if you write about the rule of law or if you give “moral support” to terrorists, who is anyone willing to commit “outrages against the constitution.” Here’s the ATP:

            http://www.refworld.org/docid/4ba799d32.html

            I have been following the case of the Zone Nine bloggers…who AT LEAST know what the charges against them are (no matter how trumped up), they have legal defense, and they will have their day in court (no matter that the State has a 99.6% rate of successful prosecution.) Then I read Yemane Gebremeskel’s diarists, Tesfa News, which basically spends one paragraph telling us who the new Minister of Information is (Yemane Gebremeskel) and then ten paragraphs about awate, CIA, arrested/released journalists (no names) and the former Minister of Information, Ali Abdu. I think the State of Eritrea was so traumatized by this it took it two years plus to fill a vacancy.

            The Tesfanews writers are kiddies. And: 50% of me says ignore them, and 50% of me says blast the whole article to smithereens because Google doesn’t distinguish between kiddies and informed people: it indexes it all. 50-50: Except the one that says blast away Tesfanews, Yemane Gebremeskel, and that whole edifice is more intense. I will make up my mind tomorrow.

            saay

          • Amde

            Saay

            You are such a fickle friend. How long did my enthronement as your favorite Ethiopian last? Two weeks?

            Eyob, dont get too comfortable, but i am happy you are a worthy candidate.

            Amde

    • Nitricc

      Amde, you are under impression your country is heaven. I am not going to tell you but if you think your Ethiopia is that all, fine, every one is entitled to their fantasy. Never use the word “curse” and “people” on the same sentence. Obviously you don’t understand what a country has to endue to free itself from the shackles of the west. I don’t blame you; look at your own country; despite being the water tower of Africa and with most fertile land there is; always, depended on hand outs; Aid, and always begging. If you want the definition of “curse” look no further but we never used it against you. we may call lazy which is true, but never “cursed people”
      One will understand what it takes through the process of cleansing to control your own destiny. The first thing on that process is to fight to change the culture, to change the culture, people has to change their mind set. To change a culture and change a mind set of a society is no easy task so it is not surprising to see people leaving their country.
      In Eritrea’s situations created the prefect storm. Eritreans never had a chance to personal aspiration and ambitions; all they had worked was for national objectives and collectively to establish a nation. Once the nation at hand, people started thinking personal objectives switched to personal aspiration while the Government pressed at the national and collective goals. Here you have it, the two different ideology clashed head-on; as a result of this collision coupled some bone head moves by the government and mismanagement created what you are witnessing. I am firm believer all this what looks doom and gloom turn out to be extremely beneficial and stepping stone and bridge to something big
      In a way it is an Eritrean project; that is to be completely different than Africa.
      Again to work hard and to want grow, to want be free and better; I am not surprised to be translated to being a curse.
      Question is, who is really cursed? The one who is dogged and bend to no end by 6 % minority! Or a nation going through cultural revolution, to rid of the culture of dependence and Aid.

      • Amde

        Nitricc

        Every Ethiopian knows the true state of his country. You don’t have to list or exaggerate it. I am one of those Ethiopians that believe Eritrea can sustain itself and thrive. But it can only do so if it learns to live at peace with its neighbors. Especially the big one.

        What do they teach you in strategy school anyway?

        Amde