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Isaias: Too Strange to Captain Our Ship of State

Shore but only a kilometer away,
Shoes new, untraveled, for a new day,
Fire on deck,  60-foot of God’s acre.

Black dots, tearless eyes,
Slippery arms, sudden goodbyes, 
Took wing soaked in water.

Tides, tides, tides,
tiny dots in tiny crates,
Tears now to tide us over. 

Your ethics professor is an atheist.  He is describing the problem of evil, the suffering of the innocent and he tells a story of a little girl trapped in a well.  There is a salvation campaign, the whole village is mobilized, the rescue mission goes on for 3 days.  But she dies: hungry, afraid, in tears, calling for her mom.  The Professor says, “if I were the little girl’s mom, the first thing I would do when I see God is to spit in His eyes.”   You were shocked then; now twenty years later, you think of him as you see four little coffins with teddy bears.

The problem with you Eritreans is that you are not Japanese.  Or Libyans.  Or Pakistanis.  Or Kenyans.  Because all those people, in their hours of grief, got a letter from Isaias Afwerki, “on behalf of the government and people of Eritrea” expressing his condolence.  The Japanese didn’t just get a condolence letter expressing his great shock and deep sorrow” in 2011, but also $50,000 USD.  (Japan’s GDP: 6 trillion USD.)   When the Libyans had a plane crash in 2011, Isaias Afwerki expressed “deep sorrow” for Libya’s loss.  (casualty: 100 persons.)  When Kenyans were hit by Al Shabab just last month, they got a condolence message (casualty: 68.)

But here you have potentially 350 Eritreans killed and Isaias Afwerki cannot be bothered to express any human feelings.  It is even worse: the world will be sending him messages of condolences, and he will not have it publicized in any of his media outlets.  You are a nuisance, always demanding: air, water, freedom, compassion, humanity.  Give me, give me, give me.

Haben, QurAt, TiEbit, BdE.  It is all the same to him. His meter has long registered a permanent state of arrogance and his natural reaction to the humble (“weak” in his mind) is to scorn, to humiliate and degrade.  Derision is his first reaction.  A bully mocks the weak and only respects and leaves alone those who bloody his nose.

How much scorn?  Most of the Eritreans who perished are young and therefore, statistically speaking, they are part of the Agelglot—the so-called “national service,” the compulsory military service without a deadline.  Many, therefore, have bled for Eritrea and they have saluted the Eritrean flag, and fell for it.  Now, an Italian flag, a foreign flag, flies at half-mast to mark their death, while the one they fell for is indifferent and waves in full mast.  That kind of scorn.  So, to make Selam Kidane’s observation– “the fathers (and mothers) died liberating the country… the children are dying running away from it… the irony… the tragedy… the absurd reality of being Eritrean”– even more ironic, more surreal, the youth took a bullet, some nearly died, for the country that is now pretending they never lived.

The pope, a great man, said it is shameful for the world to be indifferent to the plight of refugees.  If the world is to be ashamed, what must the cause of all this suffering feel if he was a normal human being?  Be distraught? Depressed? Feel a sense of failure? Contemplate resignation?  Contemplate suicide?  But  is he a normal human being?

You don’t even want to peer into his head, but you must.   There are two parts to his “thinking.”  First part: the CIA and the UN are actively engaged in a campaign to empty Eritrea of its youth.  He has evidence.  He said so on videotape and one of his admirers was kind enough to edit it into a listenable short piece.


Thus, this is war which takes us to the second part:  Eritreans who have succumbed to this campaign to empty Eritrea out of its youth and make it defenseless are, by definition, weak.  In his eyes, they are deserters.  And they must not be spoken of.  If you must force him to speak of them, he will tell you they are on a picnic.  If the youth themselves ask him, as Eritrean university students did in July 2002 (by the way, that was before Langley’s campaign against Eritrea, in case you are keeping track) what policy changes will he make to avoid brain drain, he will tell them “When I was leaving Asmara to come here, they told me, lest you vanish, to meet with you and advise you to come back home.  I told them, “let them try!”  Globalization is Equalizer.   If there is money, there is no problem.  You can import people.  In the past, we looked for and couldn’t find laborers and construction workers.  We imported them from Sri Lanka, the Philippines and India.  Yesterday, we were looking for five architects and we brought them from the Philippines.   If we cannot find a professor, we go to India and import him.  So, if one says “I want to go to America,” let him try it.”

But, you say, the director of the presidential office (Yemane Gebremeskel) expressed his sorrow to a friendly website.  And, you say, the Foreign Minister (Osman Saleh) expressed his condolences to the families.

Well, yes.  And, no doubt, some ambassador somewhere will express his remorse on twitter (I am betting on the ambassador to South Africa) and another on Facebook.   But these are all freelancing behind the back of Isaias Afwerki (he is not a big fan of social media or, sadly for the “house negro” websites, he doesn’t read his cheer leading websites.)  That’s why the communications are small and indirect (never on audio, video, or influential media.)

What about the “We Are All Isaias Afwerki” (WEAIA) club floating different balloons to see which one flies higher? Test 1: The victims are not Eritreans, they are probably Ethiopians masquerading as Eritreans.  Test 2: Fine, they are Eritreans but they are not as many as you claim.  Test 3: Ok, ok, they are Eritreans and it is tragic, but the government is blameless, stop exploiting the tragedy.   You worked with them for a while over a decade ago and you can say with absolute certainty that they are not repeating some directive from high on up. That implies institutionalism, and organization, and there is none in Eritrea.  There is none.  It. Is. A. One. Man. Show.  It is a beanstalk organizational chart.  The WEAIA are looking for a directive, a memrHi, and none has come from Isaias Afwerki yet, so everybody is freelancing.  He, conversely, is waiting… just waiting for you to forget.  You did forget, after all, a boat which capsized in Lampedusa with 200 Eritreans and Somalis in 2011, didn’t you?

An Eritrean youth group is demanding that the bodies of the Eritreans be interned to Eritrea.  They should, they may, they probably will. And that will help the families, somehow, to know of their children’s resting place.  But there is another question: will their families be allowed to grieve for them in Eritrea by building the traditional mourning tent?  Do the math: if it is 300 Eritreans, and knowing how close-knit Eritrean families are, that is 30,000 Eritreans grieving.  And talking.  At the same time. That cannot be allowed.  Even if it is 100, that is 10,000 grieving, wailing, talking, cursing families.  So the tents won’t be built; it will be hushed cries.   To cry loudly is to celebrate the life of a deserter to what we call the EDF but what Isaias Afwerki considers his militia.  This is clearly an affront to Isaias Afwerki.

And the media?  It shall be back to quietude.  Remember, the Eri-TV news coverage about “illegal African immigrants” who are said to be “citizens of Horn of Africa” (just so they won’t mention Eritreans) that you were ridiculing?


That got coverage because it was foreign news.  Now that it is domestic news, that cannot be allowed.  It didn’t happen.  Why, you ask.  Because, you have it wrong again: it is not just that Eritreans don’t have freedom of speech; they do not even have freedom of hearing.  To hear is to be aware; to be aware may give way to act.  That is a risk Isaias Afwerki cannot take.

The New York Times Jeffrey Gettleman is its Africa correspondent.  Last month, he interviewed Rwanda’s Paul Kagame, who is created from the same mold that Isaias Afwerki is.  Kagame is so insecure about educated people, that even when they would write a speech for him, they had to say things like (a direct quote), “You are the president, and in my hands it is a stupid peasant document.  But in your hands, it is something special.”  His exiled former colleagues, some of whom survived assassination attempts in South Africa and UK, say that he used to physically beat them.  The journalist confronts Kagame with this and Kagame says, “God created me in a very strange way.”  Notice the deflection: it is not “I am very strange” but “God created me in a very strange way.”

Kagame, the darling of the West (the article is entitled “The Global Elite’s Favorite Strongman”), no doubt, will be praised for his bluntness: few in the West will say, my God, an admittedly very strange man is presiding over a state with 11 million souls.   That is the way of the West.   Bringing it home: Notwithstanding everything we know about him in the past 20 years, his actions and inaction this week alone show that Isaias Afwerki is a very strange man.  Some, regretfully too many of them, will see in this an admirable man not swayed by sentimentalism—the tough love disciplinarian dad model they seem to crave—but some, hopefully in increasing numbers, will see that this man is too strange to captain the State.  If the Eritreans who just perished in Lampedusa are not to die in vain, we must begin with this acknowledgement: Isaias Afwerki is too strange to lead the decent people of Eritrea.


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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  • yegermal

    Dear Awatistas (followers of NPR),

    Please write to NPR asking them to correct the Morning Edition piece by Eleanor Beasly in which she states (don’t forget to provide links with evidence that shows the majority of the victims are Eritreans):

    “The migrants were fleeing poverty and war in Somalia and Sudan, brought across the Mediterranean from Libya by a Tunisian smuggler. The accident shocked Europe..”

    Moving forward, it is important that we keep an eye on DIA’s operatives and always be ready to debunk the lies they provide to news media. Their savvy use of media tools is unparalleled and it is where they have been beating us to a pulp. It is high time we work hard to overcome this enormous challenge. ARE YOU ON BOARD?

    P.S.: I am quite appreciative of what many of you do here. But we must graduate from what I call “preaching to the choir mode” to informing the world at large about the untold tragedy that has befallen our people.

    Here are the links : at 00:33 audio

  • rita

    WOW with that approach, you (Eritrean) can never ever solve the real problem??? ….. “I lost my faith in what the government thinks after here you have potentially 350 Eritreans killed and Isaias Afwerki cannot be bothered to express any human feelings. ….. So, what do you think??? do something pls!!

  • Araya

    Is the list of survivors real? I am shocked to my bone. I am questioning the authenticity of the list because it was provided by none but the more confusing Haile. I don’t trust that guy. He started out as pro government and now totally become useless opposition. I mean how can you turn around just like that? To me it is very fishy. Anyway, if that list is true, then I am convinced there is a problem.
    It must have some truth to the involvement of some foreign entity. Shocking!

    • Tamrat Tamrat

      Another conspiration theory, like cia bombed the ship so that isayas who won all the imperialist could loose face in the face of all the world! Araya, what a name and what a west usning it on you. Do you see now the prdfs are almost paralized, mute, quiet, frighten to Death, praying that Lampdusa disappear like a bad dream! No body dies With out a reason. Lampdusa tragedy is the last Straw!

    • Arraya,

      You live in GB which is not far from the tragedy area. Rather talking cheap talks go and check them and you will find that they are your brothers and sisters. Nay Hilkusat zereba gedefo. They are your blood and have sympathy at least.

    • Zegeremo


      Come on, Doug! This is serious. 🙁 I know what’s in your mind–don’t worry it won’t happen. Just don’t let them make fool of you.


  • Kokhob Selam

    ………….ላምፐዱዛ ሕሱም ኣይትርከቢ …………… todays poem in Jebena.Mendefra Aseb and keren all our villages and Asmara should say it.ላምፐዱዛ ሕሱም ኣይትርከቢ:- please read it today.

  • T..T.

    Nitricc and L.T. on one side and Pro-people on the other,

    I am damn sure Isayas who once created a sense of fear in order to get on top of everything; he is kinda of a victim of it. It doesn’t make any sense to betray his people to that extent: doesn’t care of youth deaths while running for safety (seas and land), people dying of hunger and thirst, and more. He is kinda of a cornered and dying dictator. Who is then there in his place? Nitricc, L.T., and more. Please, Nitricc and L.T. come to light and say the truth.

    Now, therefore, let’s here create a sense of urgency to free those in Isayas’s embassy. Those in the embassy are blackmailed not to say any. They have no salaries, no family, no anything. We talk about slavery in Eritrea but not those inside the embassy. Let’s first call for real representatives in the office of the embassy. It is the representative who has to first drop the truth about a situation. No real representative no real eyes and tongue. (webmaster and supporters) should establish a coalition with the other Eritrean websites to call and guide the change in the embassy. We want a true representative in the embassy – paid well and living with their families and not their families being held in Eritrea as hostages. Occupy the embassy was right but let’s now do it thru calls and demonstrations.

    • jonas

      That is a good start.

    • aba_chegoo

      You got to be kidding.

  • haile


    “Some in Eritrea have requested that their family members who drowned be returned home for burial.”

    The French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault called for an EU meeting over the death of migrants off Sicily. “It’s a terrible tragedy. It is important that European policy makers meet soon to discuss this together,” he told reporters during a visit to the French city of Metz.”

    It appears that it is finally downing, on the Eritrean regime, what kind of quagmire that this incident, the role it played to instigate it and the way it reacted in the face of it, would place it in. Its grave diggers (Aman Biede, Thomas C Mountain, and others) are making fools of themselves trying to rationalize the horrific death of Eritrean youth, children, babies and pregnant women at sea, with the regime’s hostile internal and external policies being the fundamental factors at the root of the tragedy.

    They have coined a term that would be remembered for as long as their evil is summoned to recollection: “African Nationals” while fully knowing that those were all Eritrean, except for fewer than ten other nationalities. They have no courage to call them Eritrean. How could they? This is a multi layered fix that they find themselves in. The name, picture and personal story would make a large appended of the UNSCSR on HR’s report. Just as the Kenyan disaster would renew world curiously as to the regime’s involvement in Somalia and hosting a UN wanted Somali national who was later killed in action.

    The regime can’t get itself into the same room with any self respecting government in the world. We look at many of its childish gimmicks to hide the total crisis in the country with indignation.

    NOTHING, yes NOTHING can come in Eritrea that is worse than the regime of IA. That is the worst, absolute worst that it can get. The regime committed horrendous amounts of killings through its secret forces of Brg. 72. It is a fact. Lampedusa is a represents a watershed of permanent shift in power balance between the regime and those who want it out.

    After, Lampedusa and the infamy of “African Nationals” to describe Eritreans, has stripped all the moral, legal, political… reasons for anyone to rationalize the existence of the regime. The regime is now represented by its paid operatives who are feeding their poison from embassy premises and other UN and AU offices.

    The only option is for IA to leave and leave early!

    • yegermal

      Haile ,

      You forgot one more DIA’s gravedigger, Tewelde Biemnet , whom under the title “Tragic Death of African Immigrants”, diatribe in Tigrigna, seeks to dismiss the gravity of the tragedy that has befallen the Eritrean youth.

      In the meanwhile, shabait calls on Eritrean parents in Agordat Agordat “to enhance role in endeavors to nurture dynamic youths…….to motivate inspiration of youths towards effective use of time and adaptation to work condition…” because “such efforts are vital as regards lowering instances of crimes and encouraging youths to abide by the law. He further urged the community ” There you have it, debes ala PFDJ!

      This is not the first time shabait mentions “lowering instances of crimes”. Details of such “crimes” (that warrant so much attention) are of course unavailable. Could they be draft-dogging,border-crossing, speaking-up, awol , take your pick. One thing is for sure, shabait is not alluding to stealing, embezzling, black-mailing, human trafficking, smuggling, black-marketing, abusing citizens, raping young girls, killing, imprisoning without due process and disappearing citizens. For, those types of crimes are “honorable” jobs reserved to DIA and his cronies.

    • yegermal

      Well, the queen of DIA goons Sophia Tesfamariam is back from a brief absence to mourn her dad who passed away few days back. Business as usual for her on twitter, defending her boss with by spewing nonsense and dubious claims about the cause of Eritrean (“African Immigrants”) youth exodus.

      “Samson Negassi ‏@SamsonNegassi 3h What’s killing Africans is evil US policies towards #Africa. Engulfing wars, conflicts & sponsoring terrorist govts 2 creat #havoc. #Eritrea
      Retweeted by Sophia Tesfamariam ”

      “Sophia Tesfamariam ‏@stesfamariam
      Prolonged national service DOESN’T kill our youth! Ill-advised/illegal migration, sponsored by western agencies & nationals w/agendas, DOES!”

      “Sophia Tesfamariam ‏@stesfamariam 5h

      #Lampedusa tragedy- Self fulfilling prophecy for anti-#Eritrea groups-National Service did not kill them-organized illegal trafficking did”

      “Sophia Tesfamariam ‏@stesfamariam 5h

      #Lampedusa tragedy- result of inhumane, hostile, racist anti-#African immigration policies of EU nations-illegal trafficking @EU_Commission”

      OK folks, US, western agencies and EU are to blame for the dispersion of Eritrean youth throughout the planet. Also, pay attention to the newly coined “African Migrants” term and how often it will be used by DIA operatives in the next few day, until the Lampedusa debacle blows over.

      Are we going to watch this by merely venting our frustration online? WAKE UP PEOPLE!

      • Tamrat Tamrat

        People like Sofia whu hurt the Whole People of a nation than the dictators themselves because as history shows there is no consquences for their acttions after the disposal of the dictators.

  • Kokhob Selam

    All awatista,
    Let us unite and request the world to let victim’s body buried in our country.

    • haile

      Selamat KS,

      Here is the current expectation:

      “The dead will likely be buried somewhere on the Italian island of Sicily in a makeshift graveyard that might as well be a moribund shrine to the world’s indifference towards the plight of people fleeing economic and political hardship.”

      “The ship had been at sea for 13 days, according to some survivor accounts. It was so packed, divers said “the dead were still standing” inside the ship at the bottom of the sea.”


  • Serray


    The article Haile posted reads in part,

    “The enormous scale of the tragedy, which could become the largest death toll in a migrant shipwreck in the Mediterranean on record, has created momentum for a comprehensive European Union immigration policy to cope with the tens of thousands fleeing misery and strife in Africa and the Middle East”.

    Here is a contrast for you: the EU countries are shamed into taking action and what does the regime and its cult followers do? Far from taking responsibility for forcing these people out, far from taking corrective actions, they are blaming the victims (or the countries they are trying to reach), for offering them better opportunities.

    The regime denying responsibility needs to be put into proper perspective; it is not only saying it didn’t cause it, it is saying it is not going to change the policy that caused it in the future. Meaning, unless pressure from outside is applied, the regime will continue to enslave, rape, sell them for organ replacement and traffic on them. As Sal wrote once, the regime has no internal correcting mechanism; it doesn’t feel, it doesn’t analyze, and therefore, it doesn’t change.

    To fully grasp the implication of this mindset, assume you are a young person with dreams of a better life; how in hell are you going to achieve that without considering fleeing the country? For 22 years, the regime has shown you it is incapable of creating opportunities. As a matter of fact, it extinguishes them every time it sees them. Think about it, the production of gold coincided with loss of running water, electricity and increased displacement. If you are a young man living in the hellhole we call our country, your choice will ALWAYS be to leave the country (or die trying) or be a slave.

    It is irrelevant whether the regime or its supporters feel or express sadness. But when they deny the real cause of this tragedy, we have to understand that, left up to them, nothing will change. The choice, therefore, will always include caskets. One day, our young will fully grasp the power they posses and roles will reverse. If 22 years of mismanagement didn’t convince them, if sinai and this tragedy didn’t convince them, they should at least be prepared for the day the shoe will be on the other foot and when it does, they should at least have the decency to mourn in hiding.

    • saay

      Selam Serray:

      Everybody in the world makes mistakes. What minimizes mistakes in governance is:

      a. An opposition party which wants to persuade the people that it can govern the country better and the way it does this is by constantly pointing out the mistakes of the governing party. This doesn’t exist in Eritrea because we won’t have political pluralism for 30-40 years, according to Isaias (which is how long he expects to live, coincidentally)
      b. Failing political pluralism, you want the single ruling political party to de-centralize decision making by having multiple decision-makers and to make sure that it does not vest all power in one man by keeping checks and balances on the chief. This doesn’t exist in Eritrea. The PFDJ is a hollow shell: it has vested all decision-making on one man.
      c. Failing all of the above( no political pluralism, no strong political party with checks and balances) you need a head of state who is humble enough to be receptive to criticism. Do we have that? Well, let’s hear it from Isaias himself:

      “I don’t need someone to tell me when I make a mistake. This is my politically [sic] culture. I don’t expect anyone to come and tell me I have made a mistake. I don’t need anyone to bully me and push me around to correct my mistake.

      So what we have is a country without memories because there are no minutes of meetings, no agenda items, no accountability. Just living for the day. Consider this:

      This is Yemane Gebremeskel in an interview with Fox News/AFP less than 2 months ago:

      Each month, thousands of young Eritreans flee the country into neighboring Ethiopia and Sudan as refugees, according to the UN refugee agency. Yemane however insists “it is not a big issue.”

      This is Yemane Gebremeskel as quoted* by Tesfa News less than 2 days ago:

      “Time for urgent action to ensure this never happens again.


      * it is a strange quote, excerpted on top of the news as if they are quoting a dead man. They don’t tell us how they know he said that (reached by phone? by email? when did he say that? where?). It is “anta kemzi ilu yemane belwom.” People who run your neighborhood Uqub are more institutionalized than the PFDJ. And that’s why they can never correct their mistakes.

      • Serray

        Selamat Sal,

        Sometimes I feel the dummy is not in charge at all. No one can be this stupid, this callous. It feels like they have divided the country into turfs and his handlers simply keep the peace; trafficker stays out of the slave drivers; the contrabandist stay out of the black-marketer’s turfs. It is as if the handlers and the generals are huddled together counting and stashing their loot to notice the implication of what they are doing to the young or to the nation. The lack of coherence could be because there is no one in charge.

        The bumbling monkey we see in these interviews seems completely out of touch. If he is not playing a farmer, he playing a plumber; if he is not playing electrician, he is playing an architect. His long absences from public view is bothersome. These days, whether he gives an an interview or gathers the empty suits shabait calls cabinet, it is always at a time determined by his handlers. There is no timetable, there is no schedule, they just have these things when and if they feel like it. What if they put him on TV or on a public view only when he has moments of sanity. What if this guy is completely insane and the snake salesmen, the yemanes, are orchestrating the whole show behind the curtain.

        The reason I am saying this is, if it is true, then things are a million times worse. When the people directing this mess feel they have a fall guy, there is no telling what they can do. Targeting him or the zombies who follow him might be not do the job. The UN’s next move should target and hold the yemanes and the generals responsible for the deaths of our young.

        • saay

          Selamat Serray:

          Well, Serray, if you want to pursue your reasoning further, consider this: Yemane Gebreab (defacto Prime Minister) comes and goes to the US anytime he feels like it despite the fact that the UN sanctions of 2009 explicitly call for a travel ban on Eritrea’s political and military leaders. Have you ever wondered why that is?

          The best evidence for your theory is that despite all the hoopla about post- Embatkala meeting where there was supposed to be total and complete reshuffling of government and PFDJ officials, nothing has changed and, if prior announcements are clue, nothing will change. As I was told years ago when the same announcement was made with much fanfare, “the mayor of OmHajjer and the mayor of Senafe may trade places, but that’s it.”

          My view is slightly different (or complementary): Isaias is in charge– but in charge in the sense that he is utterly feared, not in the sense that he is running things. Regarding Lampedusa, my guess is Isaias Afwerki has told his deputies “iti guday abqiU iyu: the matter is closed” in the exact way it was narrated by Aklilu Zere in his article “Birth of Despotism”* about his reply to his colleagues who were inquiring what happened to their disappeared colleagues. (Incidentally, he used virtually the same words with a Qatari journalist who asked about the G-15: the matter is closed.) And none of his deputies (every one of whom knows that he is one phone call away from Ella Ero) dare approach him to ask that he change his mind about the news blackout or, overall, his ogre ways and his terrible decision-making process and unwise decisions. Why? Again here’s a profile of people who have Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), please pay attention to the last description:

          “An exaggerated sense of self-importance, fantasies of unlimited success or power, a sense of entitlement, a lack of empathy, haughty or contemptuous behavior, a envy of others or belief that others are envious of him, belief that he is “special” and that normal rules don’t apply to him, self-righteous indignation when others are believed to be breaking rules, and an intense reaction to criticism.”


          * Aklilu Zere’s description of the incident at Fishey Mrara: “Isaias brusquely answered the question by saying- in his exact word- ” they are done”…(tewediu iu) and in a threatening gesture said the question should not be raised by anyone, anymore.”

          • yegermal


            Yemane Gebreab (defacto Prime Minister) comes and goes to the US anytime he feels like it despite the fact that the UN sanctions of 2009 explicitly call for a travel ban on Eritrea’s political and military leaders. Have you ever wondered why that is? ”

            You asked an interesting question and I was hoping you answered it too:). Why Is US ignoring the Sanctions when in 2011 limited DIA and his cronies movement in NYC to 7miles radius from UN headquarters (if I recalled correctly.) We know that the UN has extended the mandates of both the SEMG and the Special Rapporteur. Is there a move to quietly do away with the sanctions or has DIA give in some sort of way. Am missing something. Can you please clarify. Thanks

          • yegermal

            Lol, did you just edit your post or do I need reading glasses?

          • Selam Saay,

            I don’t think this year (Yemene Monley) will make tour all over USA as he did last year. He will be limited with in NYC….that is the info I have from reliable source. They have sneaked last year. It was addressed to the concerned officials as I know. So let us See. As to his contemptuous words “the case is closed” he will continue to say it whenever he took decisions as long as he is in power. Didn’t he told the reporters that no one can tell him his mistake?

          • Serray

            Selam Sal,

            I was about to say that the reason yemane comes and goes as he pleases is both our fault and the state department’s; but amanuel’s response seems to rectify that. But honestly, the US under obama doesn’t seem engaged in africa unless there is a crisis of some sort. You will think the first black president will be better for the ordinary african, but he is not. He actually cut a big chunk of the AIDS fund Bush put in place and many credit for reversing the trajectory of the disease.

            The other side of my theory about isaias’s insanity is, maybe we are looking at the wrong target. Immobilizing the handlers might be a death blow to the system. Since the face of the regime is already a basket case, taking away the chief butlers will make the greedy generals’ handle of the situation impossible. Just a thought.

          • saay

            Selamat Serray, Yegermal, Emma:

            Yegermal: I am not prepared to float any theories at all. The man works for a certifiably deranged and paranoid boss. My point is: the West is not a reliable ally. They speak a good game but deep inside they believe us Africans deserve authoritarians. Make a mental list of all the African “leaders” they lionize.

            Serray: well, EYSC organized a petition which they passed to the British Foreign Office to deny Yemane Gebreab visa to address his creation, YPFDJ. The Brits, some of the loudest voices behind the sanctions and its language about banning travel to PFDJs political and military leaders, promptly ignored the petition and granted access to Yemane.

            No disagreement on Obama’s Africa policy which is just as amateurish as his every-continent policy. When the novelty of “first-black-president” wears off, people will know he was dreadful. Don’t blame me, I didn’t vote for him 🙂

            Emma, we will see. Just this year (in May) Yemane toured three cities in the US. Dig into the Monitoring Groups report. They were denied access to Eritrea but they made arrangements to speak with one man in Europe. His initials are YG. My guess is when the UN human rights rapporteur finally talks to an Eritrean official (outside Eritrea of course) it will be Yemane and the fact that she was denied access to Eritrea will be no more than a UNSC sentence which begins with “Demands” or “strongly urges”.

            Point is: we are on our own. But as “Wedi Bacarro” said in an interview with assenna today, we, on our own, are mighty and powerful* if only everybody with a political hut would voluntarily burn it down and help build an all encompassing tent for all.


            * ironically, one of Yemane gebreab’s message to his flock was “never underestimate your strength.” They are mentally ready: are we?

          • yegermal

            “No disagreement on Obama’s Africa policy which is just as amateurish as his every-“continent policy. When the novelty of “first-black-president” wears off, people will know he was dreadful. Don’t blame me, I didn’t vote for him”


            No kidding! Everybody knows you are the rep kinda guy:). Seriously though, your party is full of wacky people that except a president (black or white , irrespective) to govern with his hands tied behind his back and we both know it would only Houdini can perform in that state. BTW, Americans are not blaming the “first black president” for shutting down the government and putting a barely recovering economy (domestic and international) at risk. If this continues, analysts predict the elephants will loose all their ivory teeth in 2014 midterm election. Let’s talk then :).

          • saay

            Hey Yigermal:

            If I say didn’t vote for Tweedledee don’t assume I supported Tweedledum. 🙂


          • Dear Saleh,

            You asked me did we? Ay-tibke enduyu zebkiyeni. We aren’t. I believe you know the reason why we become herds without shepherd. I know you are one from the few “sew ablo kob-keblo” we have. You know what I mean.


  • Nitricc

    Amanual Hidarat said

    ” Nitric,
    You are a brainwashed arawit like your boss. Get out from here, this is not your home until you take the needed psychological treatment.”

    This hypocrite wrote two seven pages crying at the death of a brutal dictator know to Africa. Yet, when hundreds of youth die for nothing, Amanual all he has to write is the above sentence.
    Aman did you see how hypocritical you are. Now you want to leave the forum because I told you the truth? There is logic and there is emotions and I used logic to express it. What is sad is you neither logic nor emotion, just hypocrite.
    When you wrote all those pages about the dead dictator, you lost everything . So please spare me.

    • L.T

      His mian problem is the age with his old order like Woody Allen:-)for better or worse.Ato Amanuel,Ok you plant a garden but leave others to reap the harvest.Exchange opened to increasing numbers of people,ideas…
      Stop your endless capacity fun like Colombus said so or Tea Party doing that,I am not here to read about wall street crashes or about farmlands around Oklahoma on a migrant trek west to California in search of work.

    • Tesfamariam

      What about you worshiping a live brutal dictator, what do you call yourself?
      You don’t even feel the pain of all those perished and their families and you have the decency to write in Awate .com about someone you should feel ashamed.

    • Kim Hanna


      Someone said that there is time for everything. I am sure there might be family members here grieving and some might even be reading to get a little comfort and break from their own imagination. Others get bits of news about their loved ones, that includes children.

      In the name of your own siblings and relatives, could you please tone it down.


  • M.Ali

    As usual SAAY you wrote a significant commentary.
    What can we expect from the regime in Eritrea that has a policy of relating every problem with CIA and the border demarcation issue with Ethiopia? It will utilize every tragedy to this policy thus to preserve its power in Eritrea.

    • L.T

      It is better to you to see to your badlands Indian/China Park Ethiopia.You have a bleak and wounded nation.Isaias is national symbol and he engineered Eritrea and built a new natiion Eritrea(for let you your attention too far)
      So to quite simply if you must,visit Eritrea -but you have to find it first:-)the most intersting attractiions nation in Horn and Redsea area.

  • Eyob Eri

    Why didn’t Awate give the story(Loss of beloved once) enough coverage!

  • peace

    To those who defend the government of Eritrea and its leader: Whether you think the deceased are deserters or else, they are now dead and please have some respect for them. They have mothers , fathers , sisters, brothers, and children like you do and they are all mourning for them. That is all what I have to say.

  • L.T

    All this strange propagandized”Weye-weye”one might say this”Melqes”are humanistic?WE read”Nay Hazen MegleTsi”from church as we have seen and taht is radical evil.Who has ceased to this metaphysical and has become political or economic.”Mirir Hazen”by paying so much attention for we like to think of ourselves as positivists but in the representatives of some hated calss or nation.
    “Weye-weye,Melqes,qal Hazen,nay Hazen megletsi.mirir Hazen and Tefieana blhatu….Halleluia are all too familiar for me.This blinds us to horrors nostalically yearn.This are great hurt.better say is best to visit him/her when theu falls sick.Did you never anger people?leaving your innre problem to later chapter.
    Mengis,Ismael,Beulul,Natnael,Berkti…who worte about after their death?They are all innocence,believers chrstians,muslims,protestants or catholics,we know next to nothing.
    let no man say “We’ye-We’ye”to escape from his ignorance only too happy to say”Mirir Hazen”as I propose to call it.So -called Big ceremony followed by western picnic media.this is great crime festivals.

  • Hayat Adem

    ኣነ’ውን ከምሰበይ እዚ ሃንደበታዊ መዓት ክሳብ ሎሚ ነብሰይ ክቕበሎ አይከኣለን። ኣይወግሕን ድዩ? ኣይ ኣኽለናን ድዩ? ል ዕሊ ብጽሒትና ሓሰረ-መከራ ኣይተጻወርናን ዲና? ሩፍታና መኣስ ድዩ? መናእሰያት ኤርትራ ሓንጎሎምን ብርኮምን ዝፍትኑላ ነጻ ሃገር ዘረኽቡ ደኣ መኣስ’ዩ? ንሕና እንታይ ምስ እንገብር’ዩ ኩነታት ዝመሓየሽ? ዝብሉ ሕቶታት ተነጺፈ’የ ቐንየ፣ ቕንያት ኣይበሎ!
    ኣንቱም ደገፍቲ ህግደፍ፤ ነውሪ ኣይትፈልጡን ዲኹም? ዒብ የለን ድዩ? ሰብነት ድዩ ናብ ፖለቲካ አምጺእኩም፣ ወይስ ፖለቲካ’ዩ ሰብ ገይርኩም? ኣበይ ምድሪ፣ ኣበይናይ ባህሊ ዲኹም ተፈጢርኩም? ኣብዚ ንነብስና ክንፍንፍን ዝፈታተነና ዘሎ ክፉእ መቕዘፍቲሲ ብጨለነት ናይ ፖለቲካ ኣሽካዕላል ክትወራዘዩ ጽቡቕ ኮይኑ ይራአየኩም’ሎ? ከም ደርሆ በም ዑት የሕዋትኩም ክትጻወቱ ምርጫኹም ኮይኑ? “መንግስትና ጽቡቕ’ሎ፣ ጥፋኣት ናይቶም ዝጠፍኡ መሳኪን መናእሰይ’ዩ” ክትብሉስ ንቡር ድዩ? ነዚ ዝሰምዑ ወለድኹምስ እንታይ ኮን ይብልኹም? ንምውታት ምክፋእን ንኤርትራ ምምካንን’ውን ናይ መኸት ስራሕ’ዩ ዝመስልኩም ዘሎ? ነዚ ስዲ-ነውራም-ሓራሚን መንግስቲ ከመይ ክሳብ ምንታይ ኢኹም ክትድግፍዎ ትሓስቡ? አለና ምስመንግስትና፣ ዝገበረ ይግበር? ዝጸየቐ ይጸይቕ?
    ንናይዝጊ ዝቕየሙን ዝጸልኡን ኮ ብዙሓት ነይሮም’ዮም። ሓመድ ኣቡኡ ምስተኸልከለ ግን እቶም ዝጸልእዎ’ውን “ነውሪ፣ ዓገብ” ደኣ በሉ’ምበር “ጽቡቕ ገበርዎ፣ ናይ ኢዱ ረኺቡ” ዝበለ ሰብ ኣይሰማዕኹን። እዚ ዘዘክረኩም ፤ በኸምዚ ዝበለ ጅምላዊ መቕዘፍቲ’ሞ ይትረፍ ከም ናይዝጊ ብዝግኄሩ ንዝሞተ- ንዘለኣለሙ ንዝተሰነበተካ ሰብ ምቁንጻብ ብባህልና ጽያፍ’ዩ። ዳሕር’ከኣ ሓዘንቲ ስድራ’ለው። ናይ ተረፍቲ ስድራ ቀንዛን ሓዘንን’ውን ከደንግጸኩም ይግባእ ነይሩ። ዋላ ዋላ ነዚ ነውረኛ ህግደፍ ክሳብ ዝጸድፍ’ውን ደግፍዎ፣ ምርጫኹም’ዩ። ግን “ኣብዚኣስ ተጋግዮም” ምባል ከመይ ይኸብደኩም?! ንሱ’ውን ይትረፍ፤ ትም ምባልከ?! በኸምዚ ዝበለ ጠርቋሽ ብደዐ ብጀካ ዝባኑ ዝቐለዐ ደሞተራዊ ስብእናኹም ዚያዳ ቃልዕ ክስጣሕ -ንመን ኢኹም ክተእምኑ?
    1) መናእሰይ ኤርትራ ባሕሪ እንትበልዖም ኤርትራዊ ኣይኮነን ኩሉ ሰብ ሓዚኑ። እዚ ንቡር ሰብኣዊነት’ዩ። ናትኩም ትኽረት ድማ ሕጂ’ውን መኸተ ኣንጻር ቅዙፋት መናእስይ ኤርትራ፣ መን ዶ ኪዱ ኢሉኩም’ዩ…
    2) ደቆም ብሃንደበት ንዝተቐዘፍዎም ስድራታት፣ ሰብ ኩሉ መከራ ረኺብኩም ይብል’ሎ። “ስድራታት ጽንዑ ተደበሱ፣ ሬሳኹም ብዕሊ ብወግዒ የቕብርኩም” ይብል። ንስኹም ከ? ሕጂ’ውን መኸተ ኣንጻር ሕዙናት ስድራታት፣ መን ገንዘብ አስኒቕኩም ስደድዎም በለኩም…
    እዚ’ኮ ኣዚዩ ዘሰክፍ ጉድለት ኣእምራአዊ ጥዕና’ዩ። ከምቲ ዮሴፍ ደጋጊሙ ዝበሎ ናይ ባህሊ ስንክልናን ምልማስን ግዳይ ኮይና ከይንኸውን ዘሰክፍ ተርእዮ’ዩ። “ዘይሕጋውያን ኣፍሪካውያን ስደተኛታት!”- እቲ ዝቕበል ዘሎ ሃገር “ሕጋውያን፣ ዘይሕጋውያን” ከይበለ ብሰብኣዊነት ሓዚኑ፣ ባንዴራ ትሕት ኣቢሉ እናዘከሮም እንከሎ፣ ንስኹም ተሃዊኽኩም “ዘይሕጋዊያን” ትብሉ?
    የብኪ’ምበር! እዚ’ውን ክሓልፍ’ዩ እናበልካ ሕልፈት! የብኪ’ምበር! ኣብ ርእሲ ጓሂኻ ረሳሕ ዘረባታት ምስማዕ። ኣሕ!
    መንግስቲ ሰማይ፣ ጀነት የዋርስኩም። ፈጣሪ ንስድራታት ጽንዓት ይሃብ!

    • L.T

      Kulu aman Hayat?Your canon expressly(mirir Hazen) from father Yusief to good parents, Hayat,your are a best-selling report”Nay Hazen megletsi” we have here today.The victims without official witnesses and what is your actions and declared mom?Your”qele Hzen is halfway and uncontrollably.What screaming!And the bad language!So took alarm and they came.I went on,you had never seen and had anything to do with them.

    • Semere Tesfai

      ሓያት ሓብተይ፡

      ኣሞዑት ዘይቆጸሩ ኤርትራውያን ደቅናን የሕዋትናን፡ ብጃምላ ኣብ ባሕሪ ጢሒሎም ሬሳኦም ከንሳፍፍ ክንርኢ ከለና ከመይ ዘይንጉሂ? እንንየተሎም ደቅና/የሕዋትና፡ ትማሊ ኣብ ህንጻን ምክልኻል ሃገርን ደሞምን ርሃጾምን ዘፍስሱ ዝነበሩ፡ ሎሚ ኣብ ዕሸል ዕድሚኦም ሬሳ ኮይኖም፡ ኣብ ሳንዱቕ ተሰሪዖም ክንርኢ ከለና፡ ከመይ ዘይንጉሂ? መዓንጣና’ምበር ይበትከና። ንሕና ዘይነባዕና፡ መን ክነብዕ። ኣይኮነን ንሕና ኤርትራውያን ወለዶም/የሕዋቶም፡ ዓለም እንድዩ ዝነብዓሎም ደሎ።

      እቲ ዘረባ ንሕዘነሎምዶ ኣይንሕዘነሎም ኣይኮነን። እቲ ዘረባ፡ ካልእ ኣርእስቲ፡ መዓልቱ ኣይኮነን ኣዩ። ከምቲ ዝበልክዮ – ብዛዕባ ባህልና እንተዳኣ ክንዛረብ ኮይንና፡ ሬሳ ኣብ ሳንዱቕ ከሎ፡ ክብሪ ሬሳ ጥሒስካ፡ ብዛዕባ ጉዳይ ዓድን ድኽመት ሽማግለ-ዓድን ክትዛረብ ዓገብ እዩ። ስለምንታይ ፍልሰት ኤርትራውያን ይረአ ኣሎ? መን’ዩ ተሓታቲ? እንታይ እዩ ‘ቲ ፍታሕ?… ኢልካ ምክታዕ መዓልቱ ኣለዎ። እቲ መዓልቱ ግን ሎሚ ኣይኮነን። ሎሚ መዓልቲ ሓዘንዩ፡ በሃላይ እየ።

      እንተ’ቲ፡ “ኣንቱም ደገፍቲ ህግደፍ፤ ነውሪ ኣይትፈልጡን ዲኹም? ዒብ የለን ድዩ?….” ዝበልክዮ – ነውሪ ዘይፈልጡ፡ ዒብ ዘየብሎም ሰዓብቲ ህግደፍ የለዉን ኣይብለክን፡ ግን፡ ንስኺ ጥራሕ ዘይኮንኪ ዓገብ ትብሊዮም፡ ኩልና ኢና ዒብ ንብል። ንስኺ’ውን፡ ኩሎም ሰዓብቲ ህግደፍ፡ ሓንቲ ዓይነት ኣረኣእያ ከምዘይብሎም እትፈልጢ ለባም ሰብ ኢኺ። ንኹሉ ኣብ ህግደፍ ዝኣምን ዘበለ፡ ሓጥያተኛ’ዩ ኢልካ ምቕላምን ምውንጃልን ድማ ዓዲ ኣየጋብን’ዩ።

      ግን፡ ሓደ ነገር ንእግረ-መገደይ ክገልጸልኪ፡ ኣነ ህግደፍ ኣይኮንኩን። ኣብ ሂወተይ፡ ኣባል ህዝባዊ ግንባር ይኹን ኣባል ህግደፍ ኮይነ’ውን ኣይፈልጥን። ግን፡ ህግደፍ የሕዋተይ እዮም ክብል፡ ምስኦም ክስሕቕ፡ ምስኦም ክጻወት፡ ምስኦም ክስዕስዕ ከልኹ፡ ብታሕጓስ ጭድድ-ፍንጭሕ’የ ዝብል። ኣብ እዋን ሓዘን’ውን ኣብ ማእከሎም ከሕልፎ ከለኹ፡ ኣብ’ዛ ሓላፊት ዓለም ፍቕሪ’ምበር ጽልእን ቅርሕንትን ቦታ ክህልዎ ከምዘይብሉ፡ ጥራይ እዩ መመሊሱ በሪሁ ዝራኣየኒ።

      ኣብ መወዳእታ ክብለኪ ዝደሊ – ኣብ ሞንጎ ኤርትራውያን፡ ህግደፍ ዝባሃሉ ፍሉያት ፍጥረት የለዉን። ኩልና – የሕዋት፡ ወላድን ዉሉድን፡ ሰብኣይን ሰበይትን፡ ዓርክን መሓዛን፡ ጎረባብትን መላምንቲ ሓውን ኢና። ሓደ እንተተጎዲኡ/ኣ ኩልና ኢና ንነብዕ። ንእብነት፡ ኣብ ስድራና ሰለስተ ደቂ-ሓንቲ ጡብ የሕዋት ተጋደልቲ ነርና – ክልተ ኣብ ጀብሃ ሓንቲ ኣብ ህዝባዊ ግንባር – ፖለቲካዊ ኣረኣእያና በበይኑ’ዩ፡ ፍቕርና ግን ደረት የብሉን። እዚ ካኣ፡ ታሪኽ ስድራቤተይ ዘይኮነ፡ ታሪኽ ህዝቢ ኤርትራ እዩ። ስለዚ ሓያት ሓብተይ፡ ኩሉ ነገር ብእኡ መልክዕ እንተራኣናዮ ይሓይሽ።

  • haile

    Selamat all,

    Lampedusa is slowly being told. It is being told by the very people who made it to hell and back – the survivors. Here are three such Eritreans speaking to an Australian journalist:

    An excerpts from Astralian SBS Nws reads “We have a legal but also a moral responsibility to recover all the bodies,” said Leonardo Ricci, a spokesman on the island for the financial police, which also has border patrol duties in Italy. There are hundreds of families that are waiting for news,” he said, adding that there was a “preliminary plan” to raise the wreck while providing no precise details on how and when this would happen.”

    There is NOTHING that the regime can do to overcome a shame of this magnitude. As the ill-fated ship wreck is raised to surface, the evil weight of one of the most brutal regimes in history is finally sinking into a bottomless abyss, never to be heard of again. The regime that has concealed the full magnitude of the tragedy that has befallen our people, is shamelessly fighting to defend its putrid politics by appealing that we ignore the stench it has filled the Eritrean air with and driven the youth to a certain death. How disgusting!!! Indeed, this is a political and only political matter from start to finish. The victims are political victims, their life was made desperate for political reasons. Their death is feared for political reasons. The Eritrean youth, children, babies, mothers and fathers were placed on a death mile for political reason.

    The most common question one asks when offering sympathy to a grieving is to ask the reasons for the death. Here the regime is telling us that the dead are the reasons for their own death, and taking a cue from such despicable entity, its operatives are spewing profanity and offering verbal disrespect to the Eritrean youth still buried under the weight of the sea. Such people don’t deserve neither a country nor a countrymen. They have lowered their dignity to such a shameful standard that it becomes deeply disturbing to even think that they count as one of own.

    The regime would have to be master of the Houdini act to get out of this one. Every dog has its day!


    • haile


      Their death’s announcement is feared…
      Such people deserve neither…

    • yegermal

      “Such people don’t deserve neither a country nor a countrymen.”

      Well said! However, not “such people” alone bear responsibility for the degradation of the Eritrean psyche. For nearly 50 years, we as people have acquiesced, defended and enabled a psychopath while he was committing untold atrocities against our people. We failed as people collectively, and I am afraid your conclusion of “Such people don’t deserve neither a country nor a countrymen” applies to all of us. DIA exploited the trusting and considerate nature of the Eritrean people and effectively turned us into his accomplices in your own demise. And therein lies his genius! We are now uttering the unutterable. “Do we really deserve a country or freedom we are not prepared to defend? Do we even have a limit for the abuse we can take?”…..WAKE UP PEOPLE!

    • Bini

      Thank you Haile. Please keep up this great reporting on this tragic news. It makes me all the more sad to view these videos and read the stories but at the same time, we should all know all the details and renew our commitment to fight the ‘strange’ captain IA as saay calls him but to me calling him simply ‘strange’ is being to nice. He is a sadistic maniac. tsilul kelbi

  • Brothers and sisters! It is to much to say things about this crazy DIA.WE have to move to the next stage what to say and what to do about our people and the country at the very risk situation.By now most Eritreans knows who is this crazy guy Power. Beside this a call awakinnig call for all Eritreans to be conceren that where is our country heading. For DIA and his sect thier time is up either way. In these sad days of our young boys and girls drowned in the sea and in the harish desert of North Africa in their very tender age,it is very very very sad moment for every Eritreans. Most of us we mourn where ever we are because they are our flash and souls.

  • haile

    Selamat Awatistas

    Here is a list of those who were rescued from the tragic accident. Thank God that they made it!


    • yegermal

      Thank you for the very comforting news!

    • saay

      Thanks Hailat and awatistas:

      What is in the link below is tough to take. Please do NOT watch it unless you are emotionally at a place that you can handle dealing with heartbreak:


      • Papillon

        Isaias Afwerki, N’bAtin demin (tears and blood) nay’zom n’tsuHat sebat ab r’Es’kha eU. May you rot in hell!!!

      • T.Kifle

        Very Very very sad!

        May their souls rest in heaven!

        • Nitricc

          T Kifle
          What is the difference with what is going on in May-Ayni refugee comp in Tigray?
          If it is not enough the Tigryans being resettled at the expenses of Eritreans now you people are resorted to force. So, please don’t be sad. This generation makes me sick.

          • T.Kifle


            What do you want me say about this misfortune? You see death is a daily phenomena and our world sees off about 200,000 citizens every day(of normal deaths). what makes this tragedy so shocking and unbearable is because we feel it could have been avoided. We feel that it’s man made. When I express my grief it’s not that because I know for certainty that those perished on that fateful day in that deep sea are all Eritreans. It’s just human instinct. Selam Kidane’s poem and SAAY’s link made me, unusually, griefed and wept.

          • T.Kifle

            Selamat Nitricc
            What do you want me say in the face of a tragedy of this proportion? You see the world sees off its 200,000 citizens (through normal deaths) every day. What makes this tragedy so shocking and unbearable is because we felt it could have been avoided. Because we felt it’s man made. Selam Kidane’s poem and SAAY’s link made me, unusually, wept and wept bitterly. This is just a human instinct. Please reflect and think for a moment the “Angel” Selam has described was your own dear son. That’s how decent people humble themselves and show empathy to the grieving families and friends. You have ample time to politicize everything you wish to. This is not the right time.

      • Gebre

        No, no, No, No!
        Ican’t take all this any more.

        I hate every thing about the human race. It is disgraceful to live in this Evil planet.
        I donot understand what people live for.
        All my hear is bleading.
        My imagination refuses to accept its ugly and cruel reality.

        Again I hate the evil humann race!

    • Papillon

      Dear Haile,

      I wonder what the world-is-flat-liners are going to say about the list. Obviously they (names in the list) are all Eritreans. But of course, a pathologically-denying-mind is hard to be reversed into normalcy. On a similar note: I sure hope I don’t sound a downer but I don’t think it (demonstrations in every Eritrean embassy around the world) will make a dent on the regime for the trophy can only be won if people rise up in Eritrea. And one of the possibilities for that to take place is if the remains are flown back to Eritrea-people can clearly see that it can’t possibly get worse and uglier than that. The nervousness can be turned into a crack and a crack into the much awaited collapse of the regime. What say you hawey?

    • Hailat,

      Thank you for the indefatigable effort to make us updated with the list. This is “on your face” to the evil regime who denied the tragedy of Eritreans but had the audacity to call them ” the illegal immigrant of Africa or the illegal immigrant of the horn.” Haile if such tragedy can unite us then what?

      • corection,
        read it as “if this tragedy can not unite us then what?”

  • Nitricc

    I wish I can dish it but let me learn the art of hypocrite.
    What is really interesting, the opposition and all the people who are pretending in here how sad they are, how their heart bleeding, how the are distress and all the drama. This very people want and recruit for young people to leave Eritrea so, Eritrea can be weaken so, the government will fall. When the young leaves the country heading this hypocrites propaganda and something like this happen and then they turn around shading tears of lie and tears of deceit.
    Sal is blaming the government for not may not be allowed a tent for the dead once in Eritrea. I guess the government should have handed every dead one with a model of honor. What do you want Sal? They are deserters!
    What is wrong with you people?

    • Asmerome

      You are truly heartless so blinded by ignorance losing your humanity just to satisfy and protect the evil system and the head at the top

    • haqi

      nitric arawit

      who wants to serve a self elected cult leader and his illegal mafia regime. the only suckers who defend the crimes of the weirdo so called leader are losers like you. pls spare us your endless halewlow

    • Paulos

      [Moderator: Paulos, no insults. Your comment is deleted]

    • rodab

      Hey HNO3,
      achido kem shimka. suq bel bejaka nzmotu deserters’do entaydo endabelka Hmak aytzareb. ab kndi mengste semayat yewarsom tblsi ata entay weriduka!? hayenta alewo. HlnaKa yiwqeska.

    • Aman


      My gut tells me you are somehow desensitized to the tragedy at hand, and why is that? Could it be that you are used to so much death and sadistic experiences in your life? Perhaps you were one of the terget shooters of the regime, or you were and still are one of the rapists in the military camps of Eritrea. Or may be you have gained financially from selling your country men to the Bedouines? Unfortunately, such people are lurking among us. Why so much contempt toward a human life? So many whys? What are you and what have you done in your past to become so indifferent to the the hundreds of Eritreans that just lost their precious lives? My gut tells me, you may be the evil lurking among us.

    • Nitric,

      You are a brainwashed arawit like your boss. Get out from here, this is not your home until you take the needed psychological treatment.

    • Kokhob Selam

      Dear Nitricc,

      Brother, you are better than what you think of yourself. please don’t go against your wishes. I am sure your mind is telling you what you are doing is wrong. please listen yourself and I am sur you will serve your poeple.

  • dawit

    The Bible says Thaw Shall not Lie. Why is this tragedy be entirely the responsibility of Eritrean Government or the president. What happened to individual freedom and responsibilities. If it was the wish of the president and government did not want those people to leave the country. They wanted every citizen to stay and defend the country. You have been agitating for years the youth to abandon their duty and fled the country. They listened to your advise and propaganda. They paid the smugglers to travel through desert and rented a boat to reach your heaven Europa. In this whole tragedy the only true victims are the children, who has no say but to follow their parents wisdom. Let God Bless the innocent

    • Zegeremo


      Obviously your ignorance is exceeding your humanity. I mean what language do you understand? Please reclaim your conscience and apologies to the victims… you have been ignorant, selfish, and inhuman the least to say. One more time..DIA has turned the country into a Giant Prison, and no Eritrean youth want to spend their life in prison, simple as that.


    • Goitom

      Test 3: Ok, ok, they are Eritreans and it is tragic, but the government is blameless, stop exploiting the tragedy.

      • jonas

        The government is blameless?????? There are 85 million Ethiopians ,with just 5 million why are there more Eritreans on unsafe boats than Ethiopians? or Kenyans ,Ugandans Rwandis ???? These countries are as poor as Eritrea, but their governments don’t enslave their citizens working them through penniless projects, that don’t feel the day to day oppression as Eritreans feel in their own country . That is why Eritreans are fleeing , they are suffocating from Isayas’ long arms. If their situation is not dire they wouldn’t risk death on the high sea.

    • jonas

      You hypocrite , you live in the west right? You would be one of the dead if you hadn’t find your way into the west. Even under Mengistu have we seen this kind of desperation, we never heard of Sinai or Libya as transit destinations. No propaganda is influencing the youth, it is life time of slavery in name of national service , mismanaged economy that resulted in Zero employment and unnecessary war with Ethiopia consuming military budget…and on and on…..

      • jonas

        Apology Dawit, I meant to say Goitom.

  • Ghezae Hagos

    Selam Sal and all,

    Great report, dear brother.

    The tyrant in Eritrea has long decided he will reign till the end. If that means the destruction of Eritrea, hundreds of deaths like the current one in Lampedusa, enslavement of millions, either better or so be it.

    One of our lives greatest expectation is to see how the endgame will unfold for Issayas Afewerki. The demise of Issayas Afewerki is the most expected affair, the most prayed for wish for many Eritreans.

    Then, when the tyrant is no more. we will also cry. As now. In fact, we will cry more; shed more tears than now. Truman Capote popularized Teresa of Avila’s quote.

    ” More tears are shed over answered prayers than unanswered ones.”

    May God console the grieving. Habom Hrefte Zelalem.

    • saay

      Selamat Ghezae:

      Yes, indeed, Isaias Afwerki is wed to the idea that he should rule for life. Now, once in a while, some of his supporters will veer off the reservation and say things like Isaias Afwerki teSonqiqu iyu, has ran out of ideas and somebody should replace him. But who, oh who in this nation of 5 million can possibly replace him? Oh, lordy lordy we are doomed after Isaias Afwerki. In one of the links I provided (Reuters October 2009 interview with him) he was asked a simple question: who will lead Eritrea after Isaias Afwerki. Now, a person interested in reassuring the nation that all will be well would say that there is a transition in place. This is what Reuters quotes him as saying: “Only someone with supernatural powers knows that.” It is like they asked him when will the next earthquake hit Asmara.


      Show me one, only one, link, quote, anything that shows the Eritrean opposition encouraging the youth to leave the country. You are confusing our understanding of why somebody would break from prison with us encouraging them to break out of prison. This appears an easy job for a truth-finder, truth-defender so, please fetch. And, stop with the martyr complex: once again, you won’t be banned for disagreeing or expressing your views. You will be banned if you violate the posting guidelines or, in American parlance, if you act like that thing that rhymes with your name 🙁


      Assuming you are right and you are not; assuming Isaias is entirely blameless for the prison he has changed Eritrea into, how does that change the fact that he is not consoling Eritrean families and not even acknowledging their death in his state-owned media?


  • Eritrea brought disgrace and shame and the country is in her knees, psychologically and physically, ravished, cornered, and now petrified. Eritrean regime exposed its regime ugliness to the world. What disgraceful and tragedy to come this way
    Eritrea is where DIA tried to get her for years and years from the day one he joined Eritrean front, DIA wanted nation to his image and awful ideology likeness, to one man tyrannical government by his tiny controlled group of his likeness, and the concept of the nation’s to be shamble and fragmented Eritrean national identity where his fascist regime has wanted her to be, totally broken, weakened and poor.
    DIA Recklessness and contempt for Eritrean is fact. For years the fascist regime has been terrorizing and harassing our youth in particular. There are no doubts the boiling point and total frustration reached them its zenith and many of our youth who suffered persecution perpetrated by fellow Eritrean official thugs, the youth have no option left but to escape from their birth country. Atrocities perpetrated by the Eritrean government against its own innocent people are well known documented fact. Which they have made life unbearable for hundreds of thousands for the youth. And made the conditions that making a living and peaceful life unlivable for so many of our youth, Eritrea is hell on earth. And they cannot find work, find basic sustenance and cannot live a life of below average decent life .A hope less country. State does not encourage higher education or provide basic education or technical expertise or training for the youth.
    Oppression and repression of people enter its critical worst stage. One that is unjust, brutal, exploitative and based on obedient and servitude system. In which the life of men, women and children are nasty, brutish and cruel. One where no one hopes any longer, because there is nothing outside the unjust barbarism of regime system and that there is no longer any escape from and borders closed to Eritreans.
    Eritrean drowned youth, turned Eritrean official into mute, speechless and silence like nothing happened, no news from back home and back into their usual useless entertainment, cowered men with no moral principle, the drowned is used by the regime as it is a warning to all of those who are still dare and determined to escape hell and follow their own destiny and they will face death like Eritrean drowned in recent days, in the regime mind by escaping It will be their punitive punishment of the worst kind. It is similar Like those being used as scapegoat in past for being killed in Ghedly time or even the elimination of EPLF top cadres and many well known nationalist patriotic personality, during and after independence and still till today openly practiced for all the eyes to see. This is one of our darkest moments of history of our Eritrean human-kind. Eritrea continues to regress and regress..
    It will not be contained it will continue to be business as usual, and nobody will be able to stop it. Because that fascist regime gangster nature of DIA dictatorship is now so fully in charge and completed its likeness of his tiny kind and aim, and it is so horrible and frightening, that the country its organ and heart totally broken, its face totally smashed, its body dismantled and eyes poked out. It is all down to a mafia and fascist regime way of ruling and approach, our moment in history and dark era of inquisition.
    Eritrea lost its Humanism and lost its moral compass, an awful and extreme dogmatists fascist regime are in control of Eritrea.
    Eritreans have to work very hard in order to remain an optimist and hopeful and to strongly believe in change to come and a positive outcome for our country.
    fascist regime act and behave like an absolute gangster, by using the worst kind of punishment and inflecting death, agony and humiliation to its citizens , fascist regime desire to become respectful for ‘freeing ’ and ‘liberated’ The country ,how Sickening ? It is sick, but isn’t it, honestly, how the country is being ruled and governed for the last two decades?
    EPLF/PFDJ manifesto is simple how to make our heroic people to be an obedient and servant, cleaning their leftover crap forever, and they demand us to honor and respecting them , The answer is simple killing you is loving you, they hammer their extreme atheist and communist ideology into our population ’s head, they spice it up culturally and locally, by creating the fear of fascist regime that act like gangster ,they put their by gone era and dead ideology front and center an archaic concepts of righteousness, and then they confuse servility, obedient and servitude with love, and decent rebellion with mortal enemy of the nation, mortal sin. PFDJ brainwash the society, and made and presented their vision of the world of darkness of recent communism and companied with the dark Middle Age time dogma. The only one that possesses the truth ‘correct’ and permissible thier dubiously defined atheist and communist dogma and to decent you meet your death. Again, we are made to believe blindly, not to think, not to use objective, rational moral and political judgment, This is the kind of carbon copy cut of brainwash of education and submissive ‘culture’ we are made to be obedient and be in servitude in supporting our country. And this is the kind of love of fascist regime we have , acting like gangster and we are married to, they are offering to the nations that have fallen into our tiny nation, never seeing one day of justice and peace. Brainwashing is not education. Murder punishment and inflecting death, migration, agony, humiliation and torture is not an act of love and mercy.

    • Asmara Eritrea

      TRAGIC – the loss of so many young Eritreans at sea is simply utter heart breaking!

      Three key actions we need to take as Eritreans to avenge the sad loss of our people:

      1. Unite as one people and indeed we are one people;

      2. Accept Eritrea is misruled by a lunatic; and

      3. Remove him from power by force and bring him before the international court of justice.

      Unless we do this and do it quick, we face even more tragic deaths like this. Time to unit in our sorrow. My they all rest in peace!

      Eritrea for ever, death to the dictator.

  • TF

    I just couldn’t let it go. Here is news from Shabait… festival but nothing about mourning

    • Papillon


  • Serray

    Selamat Sal,

    Very true. Given his nature, I can picture isaias sitting on his desk working late at night on the blueprints of the villas, his next big money making scheme. He probably gave his minions an order not to disturb him about any matter, including and specially this tragedy. This is nothing to him, at least, not now. His genocidal nature does not grasp the implication of this size of tragedy. He deals only with tragedies in the thousands, not hundreds.

    His cult followers in diaspora, on the other hand, are having a hard time coming up with a plausible sounding rebuttal. So far, the only thing they have is to tell us not to use this tragedy for political ends. No matter how deep they dig, they can’t find the right words to express their outrage, or pity for the victims. Imagine losing the pure sense of sadness; imagine looking at these caskets and trying to come up with a reason to exonerate a monster that caused their death.

    The victims were human cut short doing what any human will do to escape bondage. They are more human dead than the walking dead who forced them in bondage or, the the cultists that follow them.

    • saay

      Selamat Serray and awatistas:

      The psychological profile was drawn by those in the business of drawing psychological profiles and we know it, courtesy of wikileaks. If in a hurry, skip to #10 which explains his lack of reaction to our current tragedy:

      1. Recluse: One of Isaias’ bodyguards was in Dubai and then defected to Ethiopia. The bodyguard remarked that Isaias was a recluse who spent his days painting and tinkering with gadgets and carpentry work. Isaias appeared to make decisions in isolation with no discussion with his advisors. It was difficult to tell how Isaias would react each day and his moods changed constantly. – Source: Getachew Assefa, Ethiopia’s Chief of National Security

      2. Immortal: Isaias, [then] 62, told a visiting German parliamentarian in late 2008 that he is healthy and expects to live another 40 or 50 years. He said he hopes to serve his country as long as he is able.

      3. Paranoid: In 1996, while returning from a vacation in Kenya, Isaias, his family, and his inner entourage stopped in Addis, where Meles offered to fly them back to Asmara in one of his aircraft. Isaias accepted the offer; en route the aircraft caught fire, but managed to turn back and land safely in Addis. According to someone who was on the aircraft, an infuriated Isaias accused Meles to his face of trying to kill him and his family. Isaias has not trusted Meles since, according to this source. Isaias thinks the United States will attempt to kill him by missile strike on his residence in the city of Massawa, according to late 2007 information from the Force Commander of UNMEE. Isaias has an aversion to talking on the telephone and frequently sleeps in different locations to foil a coup or assassination attempt. During the winter months he spends most of his time in Massawa rather than in Asmara. When dining in restaurants, Isaias will often switch plates with a subordinate, apparently to avoid being poisoned, according to the Qatari ambassador.

      4. Holier Than Thou: Isaias has berated the Chinese ambassador in Asmara for China’s embrace of market capitalism. Isaias was sent to China by the Eritrean Liberation Front for political commissar training in the 1960s, where, according to the Chinese ambassador, “he learned all the wrong things.”

      5. Hot Tempered: At a January 2008 dinner he hosted for a codel and embassy officials, Isaias became involved in a heated discussion with his Amcit legal advisor about some tomato seedlings the legal advisor provided to Isaias’ wife. Isaias complained that despite tender care by his wife, the plants produced only tiny tomatoes. When the legal advisor explained that they were cherry tomatoes and were supposed to be small, Isaias lost his temper and stormed out of the venue, much to the surprise of everyone, including his security detail.

      6. Holds a Grudge: A senior party official said Isaias and Djibouti President Guelleh had agreed during a ‘u’e 2008 telephone conversation to try to resolve at the presidential level issues related to the June border clash. According this senior Eritrean official, Isaias was livid when Guelleh supposedly shortly thereafter lambasted Eritrean aggression in a media interview. Isaias reportedly felt personally betrayed by President Guelleh, and has been obstinate about resolving the Djibouti-Eritrea border dispute ever since.

      7. Thin Skinned: Isaias asked to be named the patron of the World Bank-funded Cultural Assets Rehabilitation Project (CARP). When individuals involved with CARP published the book “Asmara: Africa’s Secret Modernist City,” it failed to include a note of thanks to CARP’s patron. Isaias was miffed and shut down CARP.

      8. Likely an Alcoholic: Isaias’ father, Afwerki, comes from the village of Tselot, which is perched on the lip of a 7,000′ escarpment four miles southeast of Asmara. When Isaias was a boy Afwerki reportedly spent much of his time in Tigray, where he owned a coffee farm that was later nationalized by the Derg. With Afwerki largely absent, Isaias lived with his mother (rumored to have family roots in Tigray) in a working class neighborhood in eastern Asmara near the train depot and the Lutheran church. Isaias’ mother made and sold a traditional beer called sewa. By some accounts, Isaias was nicknamed the Tigrinya equivalent of “Beer Pot,” after the ceramic jug from which sewa is dispensed.Today he is a heavy whisky drinker, but perhaps as a youth his nickname referred as much to his habits as to his mother’s business. ¶13.

      9. Hard-hearted: When a visiting U.S. movie star in early 2008 raised the plight of two Embassy Asmara FSNs who have been imprisoned without charge since 2001, Isaias glared stonily at her and replied, “Would you like me to hold a trial and then hang them?”

      10. Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD): Isaias suffered a severe bout of cerebral malaria and was treated in Israel in the early 1990s. The Israeli ambassador here sometimes joked that “we must have mis-prescribed the president’s meds,” after particularly egregious behavior. Isaias also currently suffers from debilitating lower back pain, but otherwise appears healthy. Post would be interested in the observations of the regional psychologist or others regarding possible manifestations of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) in Isaias’ behavior. Post gathers (from Jon Krakauer, who has written about leaders of religious cults) that NPD is characterized by: An exaggerated sense of self-importance, fantasies of unlimited success or power, a sense of entitlement, a lack of empathy, haughty or contemptuous behavior, a envy of others or belief that others are envious of him, belief that he is “special” and that normal rules don’t apply to him, self-righteous indignation when others are believed to be breaking rules, and an intense reaction to criticism. All these seem to apply to Isaias Afwerki.


      • Nitricc

        Sal you are better than this article and this subject.
        Come on my dude, I could have told each of what exactly in mind is but considering how week you people are, I don’t want be ridiculed and of course banned.
        What a bunch of wiaino
        Peale grow a pair.

      • Asmara Eritrea

        Very interesting but don’t think the CIA need to tell Eritreans the so called president is a drunk alcoholic, mad and a misfit. We probably know that a lot better than they do.

        What we, however, need is help to get rid of him from the face of the earth. Only then will Eritrea be at peace with itself and begin to develop.

        Whist this misfit is in power Eritrea will continue to retreate to the dark ages. Of course he does not give a toss how much our people suffer as long as he can afford his daily bottle of whisky.

        Eritrea for ever, death to the dictator

  • Etesfu


    Where do you see your self in five years? My English teacher ask us to write an essay on the above topic back in colleges.

    It is the HOPE of the future of this young generation of Eritreans that is taken away from them, there family and country by the system that you are defending with blind eye.

    Do you really believe any human being will leave the only land he knows, the family he loves just to get his hand on IPAD or Xbox?

    These kids risk their precious lives because they see no future in their country to have a normal live to dream big for them selves and act up on it. They leave because they believe they rather try and fail than live in a place where there is no HOPE what so ever as long as this Government of yours is in power.

    I did not leave my country because of hardship or the lack of luxurious life. I left because I lost hope, vision, I felt dead inside, and I realized that I lose nothing by leaving the only place I know. So I have no reason to believe these kids left there country looking for some material gain. It is their soul that is crying for freedom that drove them to take this risk.

    You said why are they not fighting the system? What do you think they are doing? They are rejecting the military system that is imposed on them against there will. They are saying we are not going to kill our brothers and sisters …. total rejection

    Think about it meditate about it . Do you really see yours self living in Isaiyas Eritrea for the rest of your life. Please stop defending the undependable.

    • Nitricc

      If there was not hope and there was not vision then you creat one. You just don’t run. So , please save that to your ignorant oppositions.
      Age granted you nothing but it gives you to take risks where others won’t so . Why don’t you come out clean and tell the truth, you left the country for your Ipad and Xbox. I hope you got one of the ipads. and the 5 years crab that is old school bull. You must came here in the 80’s. no one askes that stupid question anymore. Who the :)($&$&$ knows what will happen tomorrow let alone 5 years.

      • Etesfu

        Thank you for advice but the problem with that is in the government like your beloved the destiny of the individual is controlled by the system. There is no room for individual progress.
        On the other hand you claimed on one of your comments your support for Isaias is because the weakness of the opposition. Well you should exercise your own advice by helping to create a strong opposition to help free your people form the slavery they are in.

  • Kokhob Selam

    PFDJ was always criminal group. I don’t expect kindness from PIA. now what I ask is:- what else should we see to fight PFDJ? what more experiance do we need more than this tragic?

    01. all supporters are suppose to say no to PFDJ now. this is good chance for them. and I think there are supporters who already wake up by now. if not, I don’t think we can expect them to be Eritreans. did I say Eritreans? not only but they are not human beings.

    02. opposition leaders and parties should show us there strenth now and now. we need united front.

    03. it is good chance to expose the group to the world and we need to use the chance in explaning more than before. countries of the world in general.

    Let us work united.

  • TF


    How can this tragedy be equated in to a couple of lines on twitter…… What about SERVING THE TRUTH????? How is everybody morning inside the country any news or maybe they are preparing a documentary and it will take a couple of weeks.
    Please take it as an emotion and will leave the stage as it is a time of mourning.

  • haile

    Selamat Saay,

    You drew us into what I call “an acutely” timely point of reflection. The regime has lost the political, economic and social essentials to be in charge of the citizens of Eritrea. This is not rhetorical observation, rather a grim reality. Its political bankruptcy can’t afford domestic or external mileage of any sort. Just in connection to the current tragedy, it has succumbed to questioning the sincerity of people’s emotions, denials of callous proportions and plain stupid abdication of basic morality. Economically, it is busted too. Even if it was to attempt to effect the necessary changes to make conditions better, its situation is so messed up that it needs massive external bailouts. But the latter depends on the political essential that is not there. And socially, it has polarized Eritreans so much that it has long been running with the fuel lights on.

    [“Through my cynical glasses, I also see that the current strange reaction by the regime may be a tactical move to push its diaspora supporters into a moral ditch and cause them to be rejected by the public. You may ask why? Good question, the rabid dogs were trained for a different type of sport that is not going to be played in the “new phase” (borrowing from what Yemane told them in recently). Hence this calls for re-organization abroad, and knowing how IA can use 9/11, what an occasion for him to wrong foot them and expose them to total rejection.”] Wishful thinking? most likely…

    Anyway, let me also share a message by Aba Shenoda, yesterday, in a message to Eritreans and the nation following the high seas tragedies, that PFDJista are requiring us to have menqesaqesi/license from them in order to mourn it.


    • haile

      Also a couple of notices:

      1 – One of the video that I linked titled “Eritreans and somalians before sinking” in a boat accident is not proven to be that of the same Eritreans in the recent tragedy. Nor do we know if that group made it or not.

      2 – A similar video posted at (regime mouth piece) in the comments section under “even those who survived didn’t fare better” is also not of the current victims. That video is from riots recorded in 2012.

      any corrections welcome,,,,

  • TF

    The Professor says, “if I were the little girl’s mom, the first thing I would do when I see God is to spit in His eyes.”

    I am posting this message which I sent to a friend when I heard the first time about the incident. Well the message does not serve the purpose now as it is a couple of days since the incident and though the emotion is still there, it is not in the same way as we had ample of time to talk,write,reflect, mourn.
    I am posting because I felt the same as the professor, actually after sending the message, I wanted to change the slapping to Spitting as I thought it be less violent. After all the purpose is a) show the emotion… human emotion. I am afraid,I feel we are transforming ourselves into ROBOTS/inhuman … like him “the master” ??? or as you said captain of the state and b) I want to create the discussions and a little turbulence/ discomfort after the spitting/slapping. Here is the message.

    This is a very saddening incident, a human tragedy. I commend the Italians for declaring it as a national mourning day. In my part, I am not only saddened; I am angered, felt furious and emotional. I hope that feeling is in most of us Eritreans hence though I am an ardent supporter for regime change with peaceful transition I would declare two things for three days that is up to Sunday and ONLY UP TO SUNDAY.
    I know it sounds odd but please do. Monday is business as usual and the usual way of mourning continues but also politicking.
    Again just to make it clear I am not for armed struggle but for peaceful transition.
    What will happen after slapping???????

  • Dear SaaY:

    Not alone to captain our ship, this demon, does not even belong to be a passenger in our ship.

    As always Thanks SaaY for explaining the unexplainable.


  • Haqi

    Satan isaias has some unknown hatred towards the Eritrean people. it’s weird for us to see him act strange at the death of Eritreans but to him its normal; he has been killing Eritreans for decades. Let’s pray god takes him ASAP

  • Sal,

    Everyone with humane heart is burning inside and is mourning on this tragedy. On the other hand you are extremely devoted to score some political capital from it and shed crocodile tears. Ok you are hurtled – I can comprehend – but pointing figure and ill-conceived sensationalization is cheap and make you even more cheap.

    Since we know you and your dogs in this virtual world are almost always silent when the nation mourns for the national fallen heroes and when the nation pays tribute every June, since we know your silence and compromise on the sovereignty of the nation, since we know you firm stand on sanctioning the people so us to get suffocated and leave the country, since we know your bravados and congrats to the deserters, I assure you that your crocodile tears is way far to get the hearts of nationals throughout the world.

    The nation is there against all the hurdles. The people are there serving their confronted and conspired nation for free. Your arguments and reasoning can’t serve any one but for you and your political ambition. No matter how the otherwise arguments are strong or weak, your arguments are way far from the ground and the reality as you are. And your bites are as meaningless as you are.

    I can understand your ignorance of the twitter world where Mr. Yemane G/kel (with his portfolio) has make his statements about the issue. Here you have his account and some of his debate on the subject matter. You can dig more yourself and you are free to quote and even sensetionalize.

    Yemane G. Meskel ‏@hawelti4 Oct

    Condolences to the families who have lost their dearest ones in z Lampadusa disaster. Time 4 urgent action 2 ensure this never happens again

    Léonard Vincent ‏@leonard_vincent4 Oct

    Has anyone thought of asking #Eritrea’s top official @hawelti if he still thought the #Lampedusa tragedy is “not a big issue”? @AFPAfrica

    Yemane G. Meskel ‏@hawelti4 Oct

    @leonard_vincent @AFPAfrica Leonard Vincent is culpable for involvement in the sordid affair of human trafficking.Yet, he feigns concern now

    Léonard Vincent ‏@leonard_vincent4 Oct

    @hawelti @AFPAfrica Human trafficking? Please be serious, Sir. This is no laughable matter. You of all people should know the real culprits.

    Wedi Arawit ‏@wediarawit4 Oct

    Aren’t u @leonard_vincent the 1 who wrote a whole book about how u smuggle Eritreans out of their country and mission? @hawelti @AFPAfrica

    Yemane G. Meskel ‏@hawelti4 Oct

    @leonard_vincent @AFPAfrica A tragedy that befalls even a single Eritrean is big issue. Crocodile tears from purveyors of ill will repulsive

    • Danny


      Your being HGDEF does not allow you to mourn the death of Eritreans because HGDEF is the exterminator of the Eritrean people. Please spare us your dimwitted finger pointing.

    • haile


      – The regime in Eritrea might have been slapped with UN sanctions, but its refusal to allow an unfettered access to UN investigations team is the reason it continues to inflict whatever sufferings that comes from it on the Eritrean people. Accept international law, call for it to clear its name through independent investigation. The world would not take any risk for your narrow political tirki mirki.

      – The regime is accused of serious human rights crimes by the UN, again it is requested to open for independent investigations. If this results in a sanction to force it to comply, it only has itself to blame. We, the citizens, are taking it court. Call on it to abide by the rule of law.

      – Suppose everyone expressing emotions and accusing the regime, rightly, for directly creating the conditions for this to happen, is shedding “crocodile-tears”, then the obvious question is where is your or your regime’s “sincere tears”? Your protest that they are not Eritreans, if they are they are ipad & Nike wanderers and they have themselves to blame, and the Diasporas are to blame, their parents are to blame…. doesn’t cut a sincere-tear! So, basically you are calling for it to be ignored in the political interests of your fugitive from international and domestic laws regime.

      Meron…cray it out, it is human to do so! Unless this is a bizarre tradition of yours in mourning your loss.


      • Haile,

        Good – International Law – so the border issue, the verdict and it’s consequence doesn’t merit international solution. ‘Rule of law’ haahhh… let me borrow your idea, the very failure of International Community to apply Internationale order is the mother of all this problems. So, Hailat, tell your masters at the UN that the border issue is more international than the crab you are spiting in here. As to the national issue let me and you deal with it – that is what they did in their 30 years struggle.

        • haile

          Meron – The border issue, as we said previously, is a state level issue and would be resolved eventually. IA has recently said “…we can even leave the border issue and allow it to take its time, we can still engage in complementarity approach with Ethiopia (by being prepared to source Eritrea’s electricity needs from Ethiopia) in a bid to mutually and positively effecting each others infrastructural development endeavors” [roughly translated: link available if needed]

          So, he has sharply differed from you on that one. Besides, all of Eritrea’s current problems are traced to the regimes hostile acts internally and externally. Its national service was a cover for embezzling state resources and rendering the nation mired in poverty and misery. Nothing to do with the border. Look at you, you are asked only to identify positively corpse of Eritrean youth here and now, not to discuss economic development plans and other worthy issues. Did the UN accuse the regime of “threat for international peace and security” under Chapter VII for nothing? Isn’t the world held accountable if it doesn’t challenge the regime in its acts of dumping hundreds of thousands of Eritrean youth in deserts, high seas, foreign lands and POW detention centers? Please get real! Otherwise, I would have to give you the benefit of the doubt that your regime will indeed impose, at long last, its complete and total will on the international community. God speed to you two 🙂

    • saay

      Selamat Meron:

      Thanks for validating my prediction. I said that if the Eritrean regime spokesperson speak, it will be through social media and you confirmed it by copy/pasting Yemane Gebremeskel’s vapid 140-character entries. Now, since I have gone out on a limb and made other statement of facts and predictions, this is your chance to make a liar out of me:

      1. In my and your name (“the people and government of Eritrea”), Isaias Afwerki has given his condolences to the people of Japan, Pakistan, Libya, Kenya in their hour of grief. In my and your name, Isaias Afwerki has not given his condolences to the Eritrean families who lost loved ones in Lampedusa. It is Oct 6 as I say this, and the tragedy occurred on Oct 3. And I say, it is not in his character to do so because he has no class: he is the lumpen-in-chief. Prove me wrong.

      2. The Eritrean regime spokespersons have not used Eritrean mass media (Twitter Trending: “mass” is not you, Meron: “mass” is the people of Eritrea in Eritrea). That means audio/video/local language (Eri-TV, Dimxi Hafash, Hadas Ertra, Voice of America/Tigrinya edition) and to address the issue in a clear way. Clear means, Meron, facts: numbers of Eritreans perished, how many are men, how many women, how many children, how they died, where they are now, how many survivors, what percent are Eritreans. Clear means not “yibehal alo” as if you are reporting a rumor but to find out and know NOW. That is the job of governments. I made a prediction they will not. Prove me wrong.

      3. Normal government protocol is that there are dozens of emails, phone calls, faxes pouring into Eritrea now from countries who are expressing their grief to the Eritrean regime and its consulates. Diplomatic protocol is that the mission in Asmara are calling their contacts to inquire if there is a condolence book to sign. Everybody within the regime will pass the buck (it is “powerlessness conditioning”) and, in the end, I predict that the people will not be told that dozens of well-wishers have expressed their condolences. Why? Because then the people will know of the magnitude of their loss. And, you know, it would go against that “we are on our own and the world hates us” mantra and it would not be quite helpful when organizing the next mekhete against God-knows-what.

      So, Meron, as an independent free-thinking Eritrean*, will you:

      a. Demand that the coffins of the Eritrean victims be returned to Eritrea?
      b. Demand that the pro-forma head of state express his condolences to their families?
      c. Demand that senior spokespersons of the pro-forma government do something more meaningful than twitter-combat with foreigners and actually tell Eritreans, in a language they understand and medium they are familiar with the magnitude of their loss?
      d. Demand that messages that are sent to the “people and government of Eritrea” from foreign countries be shared with the public?
      e. Demand that you see evidence that families were allowed to express their grief in a manner consistent with their ages-old traditions?
      f. Demand that you see some evidence that the pro-forma government observes the moment of grief in a way consistent with what other normal governments do?


      * I am not holding my breath. Questions asked just to show you what we mean when we call you “supporters of the government” cult members: you can’t think independently: you have surrendered your thinking faculties to the cappo di tutti cappi and your first and last instinct is to defend him.

      PS: By the way, could you pass on the message to Yemane Gebremeskel that there is critical difference between “human trafficking” and “human smuggling”? I can do it in about half of the 140 characters allowed by Twitter: “diff between human trafficking and smuggling: involuntary and voluntary.”

      • Selam Saay,

        I have learned that you have no defense or not interested to react on the luck of integrity i have observed on you and your website. That’s fine – and if I have politicking on that post you have my apologies.

        I would have a lot to say about your response but not now – with apology. You know at the moment the sky is deep dark for millions of people in the country and throughout the world. Families are already started to learn about the death of their loved ones.

        Three years back I have witnessed the grief of families (including relatives) and the society in general of the same tragedies. I have seen Asmara to mourn with the photos of the victims hanged at every corner of the streets.

        There was a wide range of grief then not politics.

        My factors or your factors are quite weak now to do anything in support of the victims and families. Neither of us could achieve anything from this particular issue at this particular time. Let’s give time for our emotions to be equated with our reasons. The strange human nature will have to play its parts on that issue; the deep clouds will gradually fade away; the same crude facts and problems will remain there, and so do we. Then I will come back to you; I will face your questions straight. I may exercise politics but not dogmatically. My struggle for free thinking (though it is controversial) and against that stupid ego will not give up. I hope I have not hurt anyone.

        • saay

          Selamat Meron:

          You were saying something about integrity? Sorry, I was reading this post by Donald Trump on the virtues of humility…

          I am older than you (I think). Before horrible disasters happen, your side says, “what are you talking about: stop speculating!” When the tragedies occur, your side says, “Don’t exploit the dead: let’s postpone it.” And after they are dead and buried, your side says, “why are you bringing that up now and scratching the wounds of their loved ones?”

          So forgive me if I don’t consider you sincere. Because of you guys no time is the right time to discuss anything except whatever is on the tyrant agenda. Stalling is what Isaias teaches and you have learned well.


          • haile

            Selam Saay and Meron,

            Here are brief analogical decipher kits:

            1 – Do not politicize: a woman is locked up at home because of her repressive husband. Unable one day the fire alarm goes off and she has no way to get out. She jumps off the windows to her death. The man’s family tell the woman’s family not to focus on the marriage issues that lead to the tragic event, rather mourn their daughter and move on.

            2 – Most are not Eritreans: in the above, the man’s family continue to assert that their daughter may not even be the one involved, wait until identification of the dead by the husband he wouldn’t be doing it anyway.

            3 – They are to blame (xbox ipad, deserters…) the men’s family say that the wive was not trustworthy anyway and it may be that she was trying to run off with somebody…deny the locking up and the fire alarm that triggered it.

            The woman’s family were real crazy and one day they woke up and burned the entire family of the man’s side. What a disaster!

          • yohannes

            Salih,please dont try to do politics from this very sad tragedy,that doesnt make sense,those eritrean are not from one tribe or religion only,they are from all over eritrea,bilen tigre kebesa metahit etc,eritrean government tried every thing this tragedy not to happen,Border patrol,arresting people tried to flee,group discussion in eritv(i dont know if you watch eritv,may be you dont like to watch it because its PFDJ propoganda machine, but who cares)no body can blame Eritrean government, this people they put their life at risk, its very sad gut wrenching 1 year old(fleeing from military conscript)3 year old,11 year old i can blame those relatives stay abroad who send money for those people (boat fee),even now after few days another group going try to cross if we dont stop sending money,,,

          • saay

            Selamat yohannes:

            It appears that for you “politics” means arguing about tribal, religious, ethnic differences. And when those subjects are missing, then, according to your understanding there is no politics. With all due respect, it is this kind of muddled thinking that has allowed Isaias Afwerki to have total and absolute political power monopoly.

            “I am not sending condolences to the bereaved!” is a political statement. “I am not allowing people I dislike to be buried in their country!” is a political statement. “I am not allowing the media I control to cover the news about their gruesome death!” is a political statement. “I will pretend that I haven’t heard about the death of hundreds of my citizens” is a political statement. “All these notes of condolences that are coming to my people: guess what: I won’t share them!” is a political statement. “They migrated because they are in search of Xboxes!” is a political statement. “They were deserters, who cares!” is a political statement. “Please do not politicize this issue!” is, itself, a political statement.

            And therefore, my friend, the corollary to that–one that shows the bankruptcy, the callousness, the inhumanity, and the utter moral decay of these statements–is also a political statement and I intend to exercise those rights and encourage others to do so because I am not big on unilateral disarmament.

            Children, all children–whether they are the children of those who support the government, oppose, or are agnostic—are innocent. They go where their parents take them and therefore, they are not a factor. What you have to consider is: what is so dreadful in Eritrea, so horrific, so repulsive, that a parent would take their child (their very own child that they love more more than life itself) on rocky waters on a rickety boat managed by unethical people in distant places? Because, because, because: the Eritrea they left behind is so hopeless, so depraved, so chocked that they said that they would take their chances on something, anything, anywhere. That act, that decision, is also a political statement. And what I am doing is: expressing my sympathy for that political statement and you bet your bottom nakfa that, too, is a political statement.

            My point, yohannes, is everything YOU wrote, whether you know it or not, is a political statement, too. And therefore it deserves a political rebuttal.


    • Paulos


      What do you think is the root cause of this tragedy?

    • rodab

      Dear Mod,
      I posted incomplete article, please replace by the following. Thanks.

      I find Yemane G/M’s statement on Tesfanews very strange. And I can’t figure it out as to what he was trying to accomoplish (I have a possible scenario a little later on that) Anyway, on one hand he wanted to let people know the regimes’s sympathy to the victims (I assume that’s why he felt the need to do what he did). On the other hand, he doesn’t want people to know the regime’s acknowledgement of the tragedy. Otherwise why would you bypass established sites like dehai and shabait and go to a tiny unknown website?
      The only explanation I can think of YG’s action is he was trying to give a little denfence tool to the regime’s supporters* on the cyber war – so they can say ‘hey what are you talking about of course the government cares, that’s why it issued a condolence statement. You must have missed it’

      Yesterday in DMB (yeah, I go there for fun reading) someone complained about why EriTV calls them ‘zeyHigawyan africawyan’ while the Italians honor them with candle light. Commentator #2 came swining and lushed out at him and demanded ‘where the hell did you get that’ -in a ‘EriTV would never say something like that tone’. A little later, I guess commentator #2 found out that EriTV indeed has said that and he was fine wth that terrible phrase now. He went technical and say ‘well you know what, they are Africans and they are not ligal unless you know something that EriTV doesn’t know’.
      I was like oh boy…

      • haile

        Selam Rodab,

        I also think that what saay said, that there is no institution that can deal with issues like this in the regime’s system, is valid.

        What is happening is way beyond the regime and its operatives to deal with. That is, magnitude, scope and speed wise. Add to this lack of institutionalized approach to governing, it is a lost cause.

        Today, the regime operatives have been trying at various approachs:

        1 – some are professing belated sympathy as an impossible option to avoid.

        2 – Some are complaining that Ethiopian refugees are facing problems crossing to Yemen.

        3 – Some are calling world attention on the death of 5 Syrian refugees who died crossing to Indonesia and calling on UN to condemn Lebanese government.

        4 – The strangest is that some are now saying “will never forget and will never forgive the murder of our youth by the EU” echoing Italian frustration with the EU on managing the migrant crises.

        The problem is that this event is a landmark and extremely significant in its short, medium and long term ramifications on the regime. The Kenyan tragedy has drawn attention to strengthen the SEMG case, this tragedy has significantly bolstered the work of the UNSCSR on HR. Pictures of young, handsome and hopeful Eritrean youth who perished in the sea is beginning to come out, Italy said picture identifications would be carried out, and major world organizations who were abused by the regime are the main actors who are called to advise on what to do. The regime will be buried by the sheer power of this event. The guys at dehai are more confused and dazed by the fast developing situation.

        There has been an emotional outbursts by Eritreans in Sweden (video circulating), London and other places. Aba Shenoda in the UK made solemn call to Eritreans. The regime is shunning any engagement with those organizing it. It appears it would fight till civil war do us part 🙂

  • Oh Eritrea! Now we are sewing our funeral gown with our hand, even as you are still walking and breathing, still clinging to dear life! as evil, fascist regime and dictator ‘undemocratic’ Eritrea historically one of the tolerant places on east Africa , now terrorised by Eritrean fascist regime acting like the Sicilian mafia cosa nostra (‘our thing’)
    The outrage is boiling all over Eritrea for some time , as is the slow realization that our country is being governed by fascist regime and sadistic maniacs, and by mentally deranged ,DIA and his fowl diehard followers need urgent mental healing ,sociological ,psychological and psychiatric help. If one looks really closely and see NUSO for what his is .it does take long when he open his mouth you see contradiction and manic personality , observing his political speech the internal and foreign policy of the DIA is really full of clear psychological and moral derangements.
    And it is clear that the present ongoing crimes and horrors committed by the Eritrean regime have deep roots to create insecurity and fear, fear, fear; and humiliation.
    They cannot exist without constantly repeating to themselves, diehard followers and public at large, even to their victims, that all that is done is for good common cause and righteous reasons, for the interest of Eritrea and greater good of the citizens’ .in practicing and applying torture, disappearing and killing! As the old saying “We destroyed the village in order to save it.
    Eritrea state created Politically and culturally oppressive societies. Eritrea state of things consisting of intolerance and extreme violence!
    Is It normal to commit endless crimes against humanity, with no mechanism that can put the end to this horrific horror!.We have a sick man, maniacs, control freaks—- And the Eritrean finally needs healing space , some space to live in peace ,to breathe, some vacation from fear, in need of real peace.

  • Papillon

    Dear Sal,

    Strange? Strange as in different? Strange as in weird? Strange as in eccentric? Strange as in reclusive? Strange as in schizoid? You’re being too kind to him. Strange is an absolute understatement. By all accounts, Isaias is a psychiatric patient. He fits a classic profile of a psychopath. He is charming (read: very handsome), intelligent, draws gratification of misery (sadist) with an absolute lack of sympathy or empathy. Had fate carried him to lead an ordinary life or had he lived as an ordinary citizen, he would have been a serial killer. No doubt. A hitchhiker’s guide to Isaias’ mind would carry a one-liner, “Dead on arrival.” May God protect the Eritrean people from evil.