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Isaias Afwerki Hijacks Qatar Airways

Qatar, which is mediating the Eritrea-Djibouti border demarcation, appears to have yielded to Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki’s blackmailing by instructing Qatar Airways to include Eritrea in its destinations.

The State-owned Qatar Airways made its announcements to schedule twice-weekly flights from Doha to Asmara on August 13, 2014, days after the Isaias Afwerki regime arrested a Djibouti official who was accompanying Qatari officers who monitor the border as part of the Qatar brokered Eritrea-Djibouti mediation.

The flight to Asmara is scheduled to commence on December 3, 2014.

Qatar Pays The Ransom

Qatar Airways’ announcement of its scheduled flights to Asmara bears striking resemblance to the one it issued on March 23, 2014 when it announced that it would fly to Djibouti beginning on July 27.

The announcement for the two destinations were almost identical:

March 23, 2014: “Djibouti route will be served with an Airbus A320 featuring up to 12 seats in Business Class and up to 132 seats in Economy.”

August 13, 2014: “Asmara and will be served by an Airbus A320 featuring 12 seats in Business Class and 132 seats in Economy.”

Since Qatar announced that it would make Djibouti a destination point in March, the Eritrean regime has been demanding that Qatar Airways include Asmara on its schedule and implying that Qatar favors Djibouti in its mediation efforts. With the arrest of the Djibouti official, the Eritrean regime seems to have gotten its way.

Last week, Olympic Airways, one of a string of airlines who had short-lived flights to Asmara, cancelled flights from and to Eritrea. Stranded passengers had to make new arrangements through Dubai.

All previous attempts of the Eritrean regime to have a national carrier have failed due to interference of the government and inefficient administration. Eritrea has virtually been denied its own national carrier or an efficient service by regional airlines. Due to lack of convenient flights, Asmara airport has been serving fewer and fewer passenger.

“Belligerent Behavior”

Gedab News has received a statement (dated August 13, 2014) issued by the Djiboutian Ministry of Defense of condemning the recent detention of one of its officers, Master Corporal Ahmed Abdullah Kamil*, at the demilitarized zone between the two countries.

The statement states that the Master Corporal was “fulfilling his duties in assisting the Qatari forces that were assigned to monitor the armed forces of the two countries.”

The Djibouti Ministry of Defense demands “immediate and unconditional release of the detained soldier.”

“Republic of Djibouti condemns the virulent new injury on Djibouti by Eritrea that once again ignored the rules and conventions governing international laws of war.”

Djibouti accused Eritrea for “its belligerent behavior” and repeatedly attempting to grab Djiboutian territory, and that it wants to “plunge the region into chaos and instability.”

In what appeared a reflection of Djibouti’s frustration over the mediation efforts, it urged Qatar “to implement all necessary steps to resolve the border dispute and to end the Eritrean occupation.”

On the Eritrean side, informed sources told Gedab News that Eritrea has accused the Master Corporal Ahmed Abdullal Kamil of being a CIA spy who penetrated the Qatari forces.

The demilitarized zone is 6 kilometer wide and is divided equally between Eritrean and Djibouti territories. Until the latest crisis, the Qatari contingent had freedom of movement and Djiboutians often criss-crossed the demilitarized zone to run errands of do services that the Qatari contingent needs.

* On August 11, 2014, Gedab News name the detained Djiboutian soldier as Lieutenant Qassim Mohammed, it should be corrected as Master Corporal Ahmed Abdullal Kamil.

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  • Hope

    Thank you brother.
    Either way,complete peace,truth and justice prevail—

  • sara

    i think this commentator is getting carried away, i hope the moderator is not napping.
    isn’t a physical threat on cyber or mail or through .any media a CRIME in the west?
    arent some of the people being watched and investigated by the …. in there, because of the same. why is it being taken easy here at awate? could we be accused tomorrow as accomplices to …. or we have a good WASTA.

    • Hope

      But those types of things do NOT apply when it comes to Eritrea including the International Law decisions ,Self-Defense Right,etc… as those things are reserved for the Puppets,the Yes Sir Mercenaries and those who are obedient to the New World Order

  • haileTG

    Sealamat Awatista,

    “The UNHCR estimated last month that around 800 boat migrants had died in the Mediterranean so far this year, compared with 600 in the whole of 2013 and 500 in 2012. However, the bodies of many victims are never found, making calculations of
    the death toll extremely approximate and probably grossly under-estimated. The interior ministry said on Friday the total of all boat migrants who had arrived in Italy this year now stood at 101,480.”

    (Editing by Mark Heinrich) C Thomson Reuters 2014 All rights reserve

  • Hope

    Turkish Airlines and Qatar Airways both announced they will start flights to Asmara

    Two of the World’s Top Five Airlines Coming to Eritrea

    Read more:

    • Hope

      Breaking News:
      PIA also “Hijacked” the Turkish Airlines.
      I hope this one is also true and will be materialized so that Eritreans can visit their families.


    couldnt agree more. and i hate the GoE

  • sara

    i did ask several times ,amee saleh to atleast give a space for the palestine cause especially to the recent events in Gaza but he is ignoring us.

    • Hope

      I agree with you but we have NOT even touched the Real Eritrean issues,other than “Inkilil” around as to who started Baduma war and ghedli Romantics,YG,Serray, and de-romantics wella kolkal,esh me esh–bla–bla—

      • Saleh Johar

        Dear Hope,
        Since you believe “we have NOT touched the Real Eritean issues,” why don’t you enlighten us about the real issues that you believe should be touched. Maybe you can list a few for beginners.

        Thank you

        • Hope

          Your Excellency,
          I listed them before and still we are stuck on and living in the PAST:
          I was expressing my frustarting with this “Obsolete ,Out-dated and Irrelevant Topics” of:
          -Them vs Us Arrogance
          -Ghedli Romantics vs ghedli haters
          -etc—unless you want more..
          In my opinion,here are the The Topics of the Day:
          -How and what to learn from the past so as to do better today and tomorrow
          -Serious debate for real Change
          -How to Unify and Mobilize the Eritreans in all walks of life for ONE Goal
          -How to put aside our egos and ambitions and to “narrowen” our difference
          -National and Regional Reconciliation
          -Talks about Coordinated Unity in Diversity–be it EDA/ENDC/Medrekh/EPDP/EYSC,Activists,Media Outlets(Awate,Assenna,Asmarino….act in a coordinated way,etc–
          -While Challenging the PFDJ,let us “Challenge” the “other enemies of Eritrea” too.
          -Debate about Ways to help our Refugees in the Sudan,Djbouti,Ethiopia,Europe,Israel,Libya–etc-in a coordinated and united way.–rather than empty barking and finger pointing.
          -Debate aboput the pros and cons of the Sanction
          -Latest war-mongoring by Ethiopia and its merits
          Can you clarify to me the purpose of non-stop nonsensical fight and arguemnt about :
          -Awate vs belay Zelek
          -The irrelevant hateftef about Baduma war hisotry
          On the same token,why are we silent about :
          -the current and potential future wars and as to how to prevent them after learning form the past devastating wars,rather than talking nonsesne about the forgone war?
          Ezi we dehanka.

          • Tesfabirhan WR

            Dear Hope,

            Let the wind blow as it wants, no windbreak. The wisdom is to use the wind as source of energy, absorb, filter and then utilize. This is how I see as awate’s quality.

            Fehamseleka meni, yidan Hope.


          • george

            Tes, could you for once comprehend what people are writing, take your time to understand in a much deeper level. You seem to respond in an impulsive way, by responding(attacking) any body that seems to support or neutral in some of the topics posted here.

          • Hope

            Good luck to you with Prof Tes .
            I did my brst to ” persuade” him to do so/ to be so .i.e.:
            -To think twice
            -To understand the subject matter
            -To avoid being emtional,ove-reaction
            -To respect other people’s opinion and stand but try to persuade them in a constructive and persuasive way
            And if applies those few common sense tricks,I think he has is more than brilliant,intelligent and ” notoriously” a big time challenger,refuter and a real Philosopher and even a Scientist by its modern definition.
            I hope you accept this as a constructive criticism though it is not even a criticism per se but a real compliment.
            I agree with your assertion that the debate will go with the flow but what I was trying to say, as a suggestion though,is that while the debate going with the wind at times, the debate in its real sense , should follow some basic constructive rules and guidelines and should focus on ” Real and Current and Relevant Topics”,rather than regurgitating on obsolete and irrelevant topics that I tried to mention and that the Forum is wasting its time and energy on.
            Again,this is my opinion,which I am entitled to!!!

          • Hope

            Pls read as george,not Heorgia.
            With apology George

          • Hope

            Please read “Frustarting” as ” frustrating”

  • sara

    dear moderator of today… why are you furious about such development, maybe this could be on the pipeline,. no one thought qatar will fly to eritrea but now it also mentioned qatar has made a huge investment in the dahlak hotels and resorts.that also could lead into eritrean/qatari business association etc.
    any way thank you awate for confirming this news that it is true because i was not sure when i heard about it lately, that means i will be traveling to eritrea come these winter holidays.
    btw, is it true qatar air ways is a 5-7 star airlines… that would be a luxury for an eritrean, but why not!

    • Hope

      sara,I will join you in visiting Asmera and Keren(Neghdi kidus Mikael Hidar)but with a different nick though so as to confuse the eritrean secuirty at the Airport.
      What about the Turkish Airlines-one of the Top 5 International Airlines?

      • abinet

        You are very proud of Turkish Airlines as if it is Eritrean Airlines. Let the Turkish be proud of their achievement. Not you . You and your adorable president should be ashamed of the news. I guess you have got nothing to be proud of except the president you adore.
        Are you also proud of your neighbour’s wife while you are abusing and mistreating your own? Just curious.

        • Hope

          Zembel ante kum-negher-albo gurregna akatari.
          Try to debate serioulsy and constructively on serious issues like Regional Reconciliation and Economic Integration,Peaceful Co-existence,etc—-
          The issue here is NOT about being proud of the Turkish Airlines.I am responding to those who wish the worst for the Eritrean Passengers.
          As to adoring people,NO, we do NOT do so but God.
          We respect PIA for his positive contribution but we will keep challenging him for his “negative contribution” and ” bad perfomance” as a Leader and as a Politician in an Eritrean way,by Eritreans and for the best interest of Eritrea and Eritreans without risking the Sovereignty,Territorial Integrity,National Secuirity and Interest of Eritrea.
          It is none of your business to sneak in here in Eritrean Business and try to cause some confusion and chaos.
          As to the Oldest Newest Eritean Airlines,just hold your breath and give it a chance and you will be shocked where it will be soon.
          Ato back-stabber,read history about Eriteans and their Achievement,not only for their right and interest but their contribution to/for your own mamma Ethiopia and Ethiopians as I told before.
          If we have to talk about Airline business It was,without a single peice of exaggeration,the Eritreans are the FIRST African Pilots and it was /has been Eritreans who built,developed and improved the Ethiopian Airlines.
          Do you want more does?We could write books about THE Eritrean Achievements and immense contributions the Eritreans have madeto/for Ethiopia but —:
          “Ain(eyes) eyalachew :mayet/mastewal alfeleghum/aifelighum:jero(ears) eyalachew:mesmat(madamet) alfeleghum/aifelighum” yilal metsahafu::
          Warning/a Final Word:
          You are advised to be cautious in your use of vulgar and “threatful” language here,otherwise,”Freedom of Speech and Expression of Opinion have limitations and abusing them to abuse others might have bad consequenses,juts an FYI.

          • abinet

            Hope, I know you missed mama Ethiopia dearly. She is a mother who gave everything she has for both her children adopted or biological. Actually, she gave more fore her adopted children to win their hearts on the expense of her own children. Although, the adopted ones conspired with her enemies and bite back her caring hands. Hope, all of you benefited from Ethiopia in one way or another. I know you achieved a lot. Good for you. My Ethiopia didn’t fall apart because you left with all your expertise. She is standing tall. She is shining. We have a long way to go. Look those arab countries that used you to bleed my country, they are falling apart including your own.
            Hope, I read so many comments in this forum. Some funny, some stupid, a lot of them educational, I learned so much in my short time here. Some commenters are exeptionally honest like Ato Amanuel, some consistently amazing(Haile TG),some amazingly resourceful(Eyobe)some amazingly courageous to go in deep in the lion’s den(T Kifle). I admire a lot of people in this forum . The women, take this place to a different level.
            There is one person who is consistently inconsistent (YOU).

          • Hope

            Mr Self-appointed Prosecutor and Judge,.
            Alkuh ekko,minim kumnegher eko yelewum yimitaweraw…You seem to be a bit articulate but why can’t you use it for some constructive debate,for God’s sake?..Waa,.entay me’at weredena abzi..
            Aighebahim endie at all?
            Why would you care about people,their opinion and stand,which they are entitled to?Plus,please develop your own mind and thought process.
            Sayterut abiet,saylikut wediet.Tigre/Tigraway kehonk degmo:”Ab zeimentebitkin ayte’etiwa idkin”…
            Why would I miss a Country,which burned my own 2 yrs old nephew in front of my eyes on a day light?
            You are the one who is missing Ertra—crying day and night for Aseb—kem tub adekha kibetsa Aseb.
            Go to your Aiga Forum ,ethiopian Review,or,man.

          • Hope

            Kibur Mr Moderator,
            You are so picky albeit selectively–huh.I was testing the waters by borrowing the “xxxxx”/word you are offended with from your own Pappi.
            Would you be so kind to clarify to me and show me your gut and courage as to why you are selectively discriminating and warning people?

      • sara

        eritrea , beating the sanction… today qatar…turkey and tomorrow.. others
        you will see the never kneel dawn people are working hard despite all the obstacles they are facing from different forces of evil. you know what, it think it takes time to learn this, and eritrea is starting to play the game well.
        Mr or Ms hope -hold the torch of hope and victory, and given time eritrea will prevail.

        • Hope

          Dear sara,
          Absolutely,and YES,Eritrea and Eritreans will prevail, as they have done/been in the past.
          Hisotryis the WITNESS!
          Tihim zibele dimma YITAHGOM ghiddi….

  • Senay

    Awate is making it difficult to be taken seriously by its readers as a trustworthy news-outlet about Eritrea. It either fabricates bad stuff, manipulate whatever news about Eritrea is out there, or purposely look for negative coverage.

  • Rodab

    Hey AT,
    So PIA disrespected the Qataris by detaining their Diboutian officer who was accompanying them. And now they are sending their air planes under pressure. All these on top of their big expenses to send and maintain their own military units for extended period. Kindly clarify what it is they are after in return for the sacrifices and abuses they are receiving? What exactly is their interest on Eritrea?

    • Mahmud Saleh

      Dear Rodab:

      Legitimate questions indeed. Now, let’s pull out the qualifying word “balanced,” you know, I have no tabooed word. I commend Awate for trying to get information from Eritrea, I know it’s not easy; but they tried and put what they have learned from the Eritrean side against the statement received from Djibouti. That’s being balanced. The best news material to get would be to pull out the protocols governing movements of forces across the border.I think that’s where we’re stuck.

      On the Air Line: I believe it’s a pure business contract. But AT analysis is also not far fetched. Qatar has a huge interest in keeping that part of the world calm because they have invested heavily in Djibouti ports management. They may be eyeing Eritrean ports too. They have been scouting Ethiopia for investment opportunities. So, keeping our man happy could be part of the wider scheme. I am glad Eritreans will get a means to get to their country. I hope to see Eritrean airline taking off; I also hope to see Ethiopian airlines coming to Asmara.

      There are similar related sources that indicate Qatar is keen to invest in the region. So, keeping partners happy could be part of the plan. I don’t think Qatar could solve the border problem. We have to thank it for calming the situation and blocking further bloodshed, but the issue is bigger than it. It needs to go to the UN.

      • Rodab

        Kef MaHmuday,
        Allow me to fantasize.

        As is the case on every Thursday, the Spokesperson (SP) of the President held press briefing this after noon with local and foreign journalists. The session covered various topics on the current state of Eritrea and the neighborhood. Some of the q&a were as follows…

        Journalist1: it has been reported that Eritrea is holding a Diboutian officer. What can you tell us on that?
        SP: Yes indeed an officer from the Djiboution armed forces has been held for few days now. We’re studying the circumstances that led to the incident. Once we have the full report, we will update you guys.

        Journalist1: When was this?
        SP: this was on the late hours of Monday morning.

        Journalist2: Could you shed some light as to what the reason for his arrest is?
        SP: preliminary reports suggest that this was in connection with violation of the standard procedures mutually observed by both countries.

        Journalist3: In what way. Could you please elaborate?
        SP: guys, guys! Again, this case is at it’s early stage. We will answer all of your questions once we have all pertinent facts.

        Journalist1: Was he alone or with others?
        SP: the preliminary reports we have received indicate there were visitors in the vicinity.

        Journalist2: So there were other people with him, but he was arrested alone?
        SP: We will answer all of your questions once we have all facts. I would’ve loved to proceed into other issues please.

        Journalist3: can you tell us where he is being held?
        SP: I don’t have that information for you at the moment..

        Journalist2: does this fall under the jurisdiction of Ministry of Defense or Ministry of Foreign affairs?
        SP: Obviously there are aspects that fall under each of the Ministries and so the issue will be addressed accordingly. We will have to wind up this topic guys…

        Journalist1: Asmeret, final question on this. Will you be releasing information as it becomes available? Hopefully we don’t have to wait a week till next briefing.
        SP: We will see what we can do for you all.

        Journalist1: Ok. Another news that has surfaced is….
        to be continued….

        • Mahmud Saleh

          An idealistic dramatization of Eritrean journalism of the future.How future? Not sure. But really good, you would beat Jay Carney.

    • haileTG

      Hey Rodab,

      Qatar – IA ties are probably the most suspect of all. Qatar, one of the US military/Intelligence hub also doubles as the dictator’s sugar daddy. Remember also that it chaired the UNSC during the passing of the sanctions on HGDEF instigated invocation of Chapter VII on Eritrea. It had never supported any of the regime’s counters to intl. censure but financed its dirty deals to the hilt. Its notable investment ventures included a multi-million dollar resort in Dahlak Island and just over $10million in road linking with the Sudan’s Kassela region. Even the current theatrics sounds bizarre, but time will tell, let’s keep an eye 😉

    • zaki

      A mafia once, a mafia always. (Wecho enteglbeTkayo Wecho.) No wonder,Bullying Arab countries is not yesterday’s born phenomenon. I bet every Eritrean such type of a misdemeano will not be even though let alone execised against Ethiopians. If they try, Ethiopia will bombard Eritrea and make it Eritrea second Gaza (Palestine). Rest assured, such demeanor from a desperado is no more than exercising barbarism.
      But this way of taking a captive or hijacking an officer a little bit different of its kind operations. Because he was taken from the demilitarized area before the audio visual of the the mediator country. In my view, there is no any interest on that save bankruptcy. Consequently, violence begets noting but violence. All what was done is no more than attracting attention of the world.