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June in Geneva: The Next Political Battle

Mike Smith, Chairman of the Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in Eritrea, previewed his case against members of the Government of Eritrea by reading a statement supporting the Commission’s case that Eritrean officials are guilty of crimes against humanity. This was followed by a rebuttal from Yemane Gebreab, Director of Political Affairs of Eritrea’s ruling party, PFDJ, who is also a Presidential Advisor.  Both took questions from reporters gathered at the Human Rights Council (HRC) headquarters in Geneva.

We will have an opportunity to discuss the merits of the case when the dossier CoIE has prepared is presented to the Human Rights Council when it meets between June 13 and July 1st. For now, my observations:

1. Crimes Against Humanity is Article 7 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. This article was a product of the post-Yugoslavia and post-Rwanda era and it defines “crimes against humanity”  as (a) Murder; (b) Extermination; (c) Enslavement; (d) Deportation or forcible transfer of population; (e) Imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty in violation of fundamental rules of international law; (f) Torture; (g) Rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization, or any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity; (h) Persecution against any identifiable group or collectivity on political, racial, national, ethnic, cultural, religious, gender… or other grounds that are universally recognized as impermissible under international law, in connection with any act referred to in this paragraph or any crime within the jurisdiction of the Court; (i) Enforced disappearance of persons; (j) The crime of apartheid; (k) Other inhumane acts of a similar character intentionally causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack.

2. In other words, the Commission has to make the case that not only is the Government of Eritrea responsible for all these crimes but that the crimes are also part of “widespread or systematic attack.”  And once the officials of the Government of Eritrea get off their moral outrage and cede the ground to the lawyers, their defense rests on denying that the crimes happened and, if that fails, that they happened but were not “widespread or systematic” but random, anecdotal and not premeditated.

3. One of the great things about being older and having no insecurities about your career is that you tend to be fearless.  This is the case with Mike Smith, a man with a long career in diplomacy, and a senior who unlike, say, the members of the United Nations Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea, doesn’t live in fear that his mandate will end or that he will lose his job, if any one of the many stakeholders are displeased.  Given that the entire European Union bureaucracy has embraced its inner weasel and wants the issue to go away so that it can continue its “engagement” with the Government of Isaias Afwerki, its best hope (it thinks) against the hordes of immigrants (when he is actually its root cause), Mr. Smith showed immense fortitude in standing his ground and making his case, damn the torpedoes.

4. I expected the Commission of Inquiry to find officials of the government guilty of crimes against humanity based on enforced disappearances, torture, severe deprivation of liberties, persecution, etc,  but I didn’t think that the bulk of the case (at least based on the time he spent on it in his presentation) would be based on “slavery.”  This is because I, as he alluded to it, am one of the people who equates “slavery” with its 16th century meaning whereas his Commission–and apparently the rest of the world, including an Eritrean movement called “Stop Slavery” and, crucially, the Rome Statute itself–defines modern slavery differently: “Enslavement” means the exercise of any or all of the powers attaching to the right of ownership over a person and includes the exercise of such power in the course of trafficking in persons, in particular women and children. The Walk Free Foundation (which recently flunked Eritrea on its slavery scale) is even more explicit: it defines modern slavery as “situations where one person has taken away another person’s freedom–their freedom to control their body, their freedom to choose or to refuse certain work or to stop working–so they can be exploited. Freedom is taken away by threats, violence, coercion, abuse of power and deception. The net result is that a person cannot refuse or leave the situation.”  This is exactly the situation that members of Eritrea’s “National Service” find themselves in.  Using this definition, Mr. Smith’s claim that the 300-400,000 Eritreans who are not civil servants but engaged in indefinite manual labor WHILE they are under military discipline are “modern slaves” is not far-fetched.  It’s also tactically clever: proving crimes-against-humanity against civilian leaders who are many steps removed from the brutalities they order is difficult; proving it against military leaders who give and witness the brutalities–in front of many, many, many witnesses now exiled– is easier.

5. In “On The Wings of Malice and Idiocy“, I noted “Observing the government of Eritrea and its functionaries, one is always struck which one of their two wings is heavier: the malicious one or the stupid one?” Despite the fact that all commissions of inquiries (CoI on North Korea; CoI on Syria, etc) hold press conferences before they publish their reports, Eritrea’s Ministry of Information issued not one but two press releases (meltdowns) to describe CoI on Eritrea’s announced press release as “unprecedented.”  Despite the fact all UN commissions, monitoring groups use “reasonable grounds to believe” as their standard of evidence, the Government of Eritrea (which has zero evidentiary standards to imprison and torture its citizens) complained bitterly about CoI’s “low” standard of evidence.  Despite the fact that nearly all HRC resolutions are “adopted without a vote”, the GoE saw all kinds of shenanigans in the make-up of the Commission of Inquiry, particularly that one member is gasp! also the Special Rapporteur. Despite the fact that it could have gone on a charm offensive and invited the CoI to Eritrea and have them meet the Western diplomatic mission that has “gone native”, it denied them entry to Eritrea. And so on.

6. In keeping with this “maybe late, maybe never” standard operating procedure, the GoE made a last-minute announcement that Yemane Gebreab is coming.  In his rebuttal, he was uncharacteristically emotional–specially when reading from his prepared notes and waving the CoIE’s report.  But he was sufficiently calm and smiling by the time a reporter asked something like, “How is it the Government knows the precise number of petitions (40,000) that its supporters spontaneously and autonomously sent to the CoIE?”  Come on, man, there is no difference between organic grassroots movement and Astroturf movement in Eritrea when we are I and I are we.  I even know the precise number of Eritreans who volunteered to present themselves, in person, to the Geneva office. This is not a case of the Diaspora being order-takers, they are partners in nation-building.  But that smile just gave it all away: come on, man, don’t do me like that.

7. I wish there was something I could quote from the statement of Yemane Gebreab but what can you quote from a categorical denial of Bart-Simpsonish “I didn’t do it, nobody saw me do it, you can’t prove anything”? Three things actually. One, we now have it from a senior government official that Eritrea’s population is “less than four million.” It takes a foreign journalist for Eritreans to know basic facts like the approximate size of the population. Second, its painful to watch his soul slowly die whenever he is asked questions about the G-15 and the journalists like Dawit Isaac: he gives a word salad, not a single part of which he believes: he just presses play in his head and out comes stuff he doesn’t believe in. Third, and most noteworthy, is about next moves: and therefore it will take up the balance of this article:

8. Yemane Gebreab made a distinction between the 3-individual member Commission of Inquiry; the 50-state-member Human Rights Council, and the 15-states member Security Council.  He was arguing that the CoIE report represents the views of 3 individuals and several years ago, it would have been rubber-stamped by HRC and then UN but not anymore.  He strongly hinted that it won’t make it past HRC. Well. Well, well, well.

9.  This could mean one of two things.  One: it is the usual bluff of PFDJ (every year for 15 years it is: “for once and for all, this year, we have resolutely rebuffed our enemies…”)   Or, Yemane Gebreab has counted the votes and is very confident that a coalition of Africans, Asians, South Americans and a new Amen Corner in Europe will sabotage the CoIE.  Or, Europe being Europe, they will vote for it and then do everything in their power to dilute and kill it.  So, roll call:
 

HRC MEMBER STATES
County Block Will they vote to refer Isaias & Co to ICC?
Algeria Africa Big fan of African Peace & Security Council. No to ICC, yes to AU.
Botswana Africa Strong advocate of ICC
Burundi Africa Not a big fan of ICC
Congo  Africa  Not a big fan of ICC, but essentially a French republic
 Cote d’Ivoire  Africa  See also: France
 Ethiopia  Africa  Not a signatory of ICC but, come on.
 Ghana  Africa  Made big noise against CoI and for Universal Periodic Review
 Kenya  Africa  Generally a US ally but Uhuru hates ICC (pending case)
 Morocco  Africa  Not happy with UN and AU over recognition of Western Sahara
 Namibia  Africa  Big fan of ICC
 Nigeria  Africa  Big fan of ICC
 South Africa  Africa  Hates ICC & wants Africa to walk out of ICC–sneaked Albashir
 Togo  Africa  No clue
 Bolivia  Latin America  All South Americans signed and ratified Rome Statute.  But, left-wingers…
 Cuba  Latin America  A big, fat, no
 Ecuador  Latin America All South Americans signed and ratified Rome Statute.  But, left-wingers…
 El Salvador  Latin America All South Americans signed and ratified Rome Statute.  But, left-wingers…
 Mexico  Latin America All South Americans signed and ratified Rome Statue.
 Panama  Latin America All South Americans signed and ratified Rome Statute.
 Paraguay  Latin America  All South Americans signed and ratified Rome Statute
 Venezuela  Latin America  “Bolivarian Republic.”  Need I say more? No.
 Bangladesh  Asia-Pacific  Probably no
 China  Asia Pacific  Definitely no.
 India  Asia Pacific  Probably no.  India (and US) tried to kill the Rome Statute when it was being drafted.
 Indonesia  Asia Pacific  No
 Krgyzstan  Asia Pacific  No
 Maldives  Asia Pacific  Yes.  Tiny Maldives has same vote as China.  Just sayin’
 Mongolia  Asia Pacific  Yes
 Phillipines  Asia Pacific  Yes
 Qatar  Asia Pacific  Definitely no.  Can you say “Islamic Coalition Against Terror”?
 Korea  Asia Pacific  Psyche! I am talking about South Korea.  So, yes.
 Saudi Arabia  Asia Pacific  Definitely, absolutely, no.
 UAE  Asia Pacific  Even more definite and absolute NO than Saudi Arabia.
 Viet Nam  Asia Pacific  No.
 Belgium  Western Europe  Yes (in theory)
 France  Western Europe  Yes
 Germany  Western Europe  Yes (but largest host of Eritrean migrants, so…)
 Netherland  Western Europe  Yes, but see Germany.
 Portugal  Western Europe  Yes.
 Switzerland  Western Europe  Yes, because it hosts HRC.  And last visit to Eritrea was dismal.
 United Kingdom  Western Europe  Yes (in theory.)  But there is oil, mineral interests…
 Northern Ireland  Western Europe  Yes.  One of the last holdouts of liberalism.
 Albania  Eastern Europe  Yes.  Familiar with crimes against humanity.
 Georgia  Eastern Europe  Yes.
 Latvia  Eastern Europe Yes.  Latvia is more Western than Western Europe.
 Russian Federation  Eastern Europe  No. Thank you for recognizing Crimea as Russian, comrade Isaias Afwerki.
 Slovenia  Eastern Europe  Yes.  Like Latvia, more Western than Western Europe.
 Macedonia  Eastern Europe  Clue: Former Yugoslav Republic.  So, Yes.

So: how many yes, how many no, how many maybe in the list above? You answer that question and you have your answer to whether Yemane Gebreab is practicing a deeply-held PFDJ value of empty-gereweinasm or if his government has done its homework or, more importantly, it is about to begin phase 2 of its “spontaneous popular uprising” (wink) of having the Astroturf constituency calling, faxing forms they didn’t read, lobbying the member states of HRC.

When one’s self-identity is deeply intertwined with one’s ability to overcome hardship, it is inevitable that one will be constantly creating hardships.  It is the political version of the Houdini act. The tragedy is that our political Houdinis never placed themselves in danger; it was always the people. Now their only way out is not their political skill but something else that is deeply-entrenched in European self-identity: the ability to be charmed by tyrants.

With its description of the crimes in Eritrea as “systematic, widespread and gross”, the Commission of Inquiry tipped its hand last year that it thinks crimes against humanity have been and are being committed in Eritrea, and the UN mandated it to investigate if that is the case with a “view to full accountability.” It acted on its mandate and it will report its findings. Europe’s back, unless it is stiffened by the United States, is giving every indication that it will go wobbly.  One hopes they remember the words of Simon Wiesenthal: “Justice for crimes against humanity must have no limitations.”

We shall see.  Meanwhile, I wish the best of luck to all our compatriots who are demonstrating on June 23rd in Geneva and unlike you-know-who, they were not cajoled, coerced, blackmailed to do it.  Damn, it feels good to be free.  Regardless of the outcome, what matters most is that you are standing up for the imprisoned, the disappeared, the exiled even as the Western journalists and European diplomats are going wobbly. It’s Ramadan so one of my favorite sayings from the Hadith:
Innam al a’malu binniyat — “Actions are dependent upon their Intentions”

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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  • Peace!

    Dear all,

    It is very sad that the rumor has turned out to be true: the PFDJ spokes person confirmed that TPLF has launched an attack against our beloved country and people. The last thing these two country want is to go to war and let their people kill each other, so both sides should stop unconditionally and go back to the table as war and no-war-no- peace scenarios have produced nothing except further suffering and deepening the resentmet between both people. This time, if it is going to be an all out war,I don’t think it will be a conventional war. The TPLF regime needs to act carfully if it wishes to avoid another quagmire similar to Somalia.

    Peace!

    • Kokhob Selam

      Honey,
      Now we can all say and talk nice words. Yes war is not good for both sides. They should stop unconditionally all blabla thing. But the truth is that war was always there and war don’t just start when the bullet is running from one side to the other it started years back and we are all responsible for every single soul that we lose. if even today stop it will start next month. who started the war? that will be the question to debate and it will take years to know who started it and the reason behind it.

      let us talk something real, it doesn’t mater who start it as it can be PFDJ or Ethiopian government – but what is our homework supposed to be? If PFDJ was removed will there be war? No, there will never be any reason to fight as the legal government will hold things with full of wisdom. Badme will be returned legally as only legal government will proceed things legally. This is what I was telling you earlier…there will never be peace in Eritrea and even in horn unless PFDJ is removed from the face of earth. do you start to notice ?

      • Hope

        Ahlen Ustaz Kokheb:

        Let me make a little correction here:

        “unless the TPLF is removed from the face of earth. do you start to notice ?

        • Kokhob Selam

          Hope,

          TPLF belong to it’s people and you can’t even touch one cell .. it is nonsense to kill others when the problem is right in your head. Lol. you start saying let me make a little correction Ha ha ha ..

      • Peace!

        Kokobai,

        The war has always been there even before PFDJ was born, and it will continue regardless of PFDJ unless the main players learn history of 40s 50s 60s and avoid the same grave mistakes that led into decades of senseles bloodshed. I wish PFDJ were the only problem, but unfortunately it goes far beyond so the solution. In fact this is exactly the problem that lack of vision has made the solution look complicated and almost impossible despite PFDJ has been on the brink of collapse for the last several years.

        The solution is very simple that TPLF and its sugar daddies need to realize and accept Eritrea as independent country and help its people build a prosperous and democratic country.

        Peace!

        • Kokhob Selam

          peace,

          Do you still believe the problem is TPLF? Let me be very honest with you TPLF is not leading Ethiopia TPLF is only part. And even let me tell you the most painful truth that it was always we Eritreans who created problems not others. swallow it even the nonsense you and me hear thousand times about Federation and all that nonsense story was due to some narrow minded Eritreans who decided without any participation of the mass- when we swallow those truth and start to think honestly only Eritrea will get peace. a bit painful but that is the only way out,

          You said the war was before PFDJ yes that is true – the reason was that there were people like PFDJ. Who told you PFDJ is not ours ? The bad thing with PFDJ is that it is a alive still in 2016 – we Eritreans delivery a party worst than the parties of 1950’s when in fact we are suppose to have qualified and advanced party after one century experience.

          Now let us stop blaming others — let the world be in peace Mr. peace. we should not disturb Ethiopians because we don’t want to face the reality .. let the build their nation . our problem is right in Asmara not in Addis not in Washington..no where. the young who dead in Mediterranean sea didn’t really die there- he was dead when he search the solution somewhere else. the problem is in the present of PFDJ’s brain.

          • Peace!

            Kokobai,

            I am refering history to frame my opinion, and it seems you are refering your own believe to make your point. If you think history of Eritrea is non sense, then what do you think of the root cause for the inception of PFDJ? PFDJ ካብ ስማይ ብዘይ ገለ ኣይነጠበን።

            This is what Hirizon, the great priest said: ”
            Horizon
            Horizon Mahmud Saleh 3 hours ago
            Selam M.S.,
            Why don’t you try to be a practical person? I think that you have that capacity, but not the will. Do you believe that 100m Ethiopians will accept to be landlocked forever by 4m people and by the two cousins? You can call upon history, geography, colonial borders, whatever…. If you can convince Ethiopians and make them accept a noose around their neck, and sacrifice their economy and their security for eternity, good for you, but you will never be able to do so. I will disappoint you, Assab is going to remain a contested issue. You know it and I know it. It is the main point of discord, a stumbling block for future peace, cooperation and reconciliation. I know you are among those who say no Assab, no Eritrean independence. If you think that I am talking of peace for the sake of peace and not an everlasting peace that is founded on a win-win solution for both countries, and you believe in a win-lose solution where Eritrea wins everything and Ethiopia loses everything, you can call me again a fake Samaritan who speaks of peace.
            It has become an obsession for you, and you tell us day and night that Ethiopia should walk out of Badme. Ethiopia is not doing so, the world community does not care, and what are you going to do about it; keep hostage the Eritrean people for ever for the sake of that piece of land that is not going to change the fate of Eritrea, but serves only to extend the life of the regime?”

            …..see what the problem is:)

            Peace!

  • Kokhob Selam

    Dear lovely Hope,
    How do you know the attack was from “TPLF” ( I don’t call Ethiopian government TPLF). We can’t say who started it now till we got confirmation from people who are participating. remember Badme? we only knew when Eritrean army fighters confirm us. we can’t trust PFDJ’s propaganda. But most probably it is PFDJ who start it since the group is troubled and wants way out by any means. Hopelessness let you decide to take hopeless action as you know it.

  • tes

    Dear Awatawyan, Greetings. Lots of developments. I am missing you a lot. As I am reading war news is coming from Eri-Ethio side. Hope it is not. If yes we need to condemn it. No one benefits from war except the oppressors. tes

    • iSem

      hi Tes:
      the fighting was confirmed by shabait.com in brief press release. It is unknown jf this will lead to full fledged war, or if it is stll continuing ,if it is it is bad,

      • Hope

        Hi ISrem:
        You mean bad in ” Bad”?
        Am afraid that you,Amanuel Hidrat and Hayat Adem are beating up the drums as that is what you want !
        Isn”t it?

        • Abi

          Hope Nebsi
          “Bad” is my all time favorite Michael Jackson songs.
          Sing with me.
          I’m Bad, I’m Bad,
          You know it
          The whole world has to know this
          Who’s Bad.
          I know you don’t like ferenjigna songs. Let’s do it in Tigrigna.
          Bad me! Bad me! Bad me! Badme! Badme! Badme! Where is Badme.
          It is in Ethiopia.

          Don’t worry Hope. You have General Nitricc on your left, Field Marshal Mahmud to your right, Semere T from behind, all your zeros ( a mountain of them) in the front….You are well insulated.
          Take it easy.
          Wond lij tamo enji ferto aymotim!

    • T..T.

      Hi tes and all,

      The Ethiopia-Eritrea situation, which Isayas refers to as “No War, No Peace” is not different from war of attrition. In a war of attrition small-scale military actions are expected every now and then so long the two countries can control and contain their actions.

      The question is whether both advocate now for war over diplomacy. We all know that Isayas is not as strong as before. We also know that Ethiopia has the capability to make lightening penetrations into Eritrea anytime to make sure that there is no any threat to its security.

      Therefore, there is no any reason to push Isayas to fight, unless the Ethiopians want to find out if Isayas has allied countries now that come to his rescue. Is so found, the Ethiopians will have to review their plan B and make some changes.

      • Hope

        Hi TT:
        Are you one of the American Talk Shows invited Retired Military Generals?
        You seem to be smiling ,huh!!???
        Hey,careful though ad it might also (can) be the beginning of the end of the TPLF !
        You never know and never say NEVER.

        • Abi

          Hope Nebsi
          “Never Say Never” is my all time favorite Bond movies.
          My name is Bond, James Bond!
          Are you scared?

          • Hope

            Abi:
            Scared of what?
            Huh–you love people to die…I guess…..
            May be you are s student of Ms Madeline Albright, who declared in Cairo about the Rwandan genocide as one way of Population control.
            I guess you have “disposable” people as cannon fodders.

          • Abi

            Hope Gerageru
            One thing I know for sure is whatever started in Cairo will bring only devastating results. Like your struggle.

            I told you we are coming back to take over the emptying piece of land called Bahre Negash.
            Now tell your cousins the Amharas are back!!!

            Anbessa keruq siyagesa gimeloch keqirb yishenalu .

            Mindenew endih mefrat? Teregaga enji cousin Hope.

  • T..T.

    Hi all,

    Our ongoing discussions resulted in three nevers (ሰለስተ ዕደ):

    The first never (ዕደ) is that the COIE issued its report and will never retract its findings that there is a horrible human rights violation in Eritrea.

    The second never (ዕደ) is that the victims of the tyrant and the Eritrean justice seekers can never retract their condemnation of the regime for the heinous crimes committed against Eritreans and they will never waver from seeing the criminals tried in the ICC for the crimes committed.

    The third never (ዕደ) is that the Isayasists can never retract their fight to defend the criminals, Isu and his generals, just a declaration of going together down the ICC drain.

    So, what’s to be done? Of course, we have to wait and see what the UNSC is going to decide. However, in the meantime let the Isayasists show goodwill to respect the victims by expressing their desire to see no further crimes in Eritrea and to provide all they can to close the wounds of the victims to heal. Yet another, let the tyrant declare that he will no more constitute a threat to humanity and to the international peace and security as well as to express his willingness to comply with all COIE recommendations.

    Such a change will be considered to be in line with the Chinese representative’s recommendation during the early COIE inquiry approval. The Chinese representative described the regime in Eritrea as incompetent that needed governance improvement in order to first stop the ongoing crimes until the COIE’s finding was finalized. If the regime okays such changes, then we will be left with one more never (ዕደ) because the UN’s COIE will never waver from recommending the criminals to the ICC.

  • Hope

    Hello:
    Breaking News:
    ISIS at its ‘Best” during Ramadan after advising its terror group that they will double-honored and rewarded in Jennet(Ghenet-heaven) if they kill people during the Ramadan Time???
    “50 dead and 53 wounded in Orlando Gay Nightclub shooting, worst in US history”.
    Serious Military Clash reported between the Ethio-Eritrean Armies at the Border!
    And the COIE is going to try the remaining Army Generals of Eritrea at the Hague while the nation is completely sanctioned with Arms Embargo….and being sabotaged economically……
    Next?
    Prepare the Ground for a Regime Change including invasion of a Zerray-albo Nation by proxy or directly in the name of Human Rights Abuse by the same criminals aggravating the Human rights abuse in Eritrea by sanctioning , isolating,sabotaging,defaming,etc…the nation trying to survive and exist..
    Bigotry and/or Hypocrisy at its “Best”??

    • Kokhob Selam

      Dear Hope,
      who caused all this mess in this world? you know who? people like – people who don’t have sense and feeling of others pain. people who support anti peace groups. now Ethiopia and Eritrea are at war .. who do you think is the first responsible –you the guys who make the leadership of PFDJ mad and crazy – unable to think at all. and who is obstacle in every move of opposition – you again always searching for a reason not to see change in Eritrea. now if you are for peace fight your own ego.

  • Kokhob Selam

    Dear awate friends,

    For sure everybody was expecting some new developments will broke some how. Are some hero generals going to move? is SERAWIT HIDRI going forward or is that PFDJ going to ask people to prepare themselves recieving power etc. but something unexpected is develping on the ground

    http://www.awrambatimes.com/?p=14938

  • Yohannes Zerai

    Dear All,

    An important point that is being stressed by those who are genuinely skeptical about the possible fate of the COIE findings and those in the business of defending the Eritrean government is the following. The argument goes: The COIE must be able to go beyond documenting the personal testimonies of victims whose identities/backgrounds have been adequately established by the UN-mandated inquiry. They add, the Commission must prove conclusively that the violations “alleged” or “claimed” by the victims have indeed occurred, e.g., that prisoners are commonly tortured while in detention.

    Would the COIE be able to secure additional proof of the alleged violations as argued? No rational person could deny the fact that this question can be answered adequately if, and only if, the COIE members are allowed to enter Eritrea, travel around the country, visit some of the numerous prisons, interview some prisoners and speak with some of the citizenry. As it stands, the Government of Eritrea has continued to deny the Special Rapporteur (SR)/Commission members access to the country. A defendant cannot obstruct investigation by denying access to the site of the alleged crime – in this particular case, a sovereign territory controlled by the accused – and still claim innocence.

    This brings us to an important political issue. In their decisions and resolutions of the last four years, the UN Human Rights Council, the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly, the EU and other organizations have repeatedly demanded that the Government of Eritrea allow the SR and, later, the COIE into the country for purposes of exercising their mandates. That, of course, never happened. Given these facts, how likely is it that these UN bodies will simply forget their previous resolutions and proceed to vote down the COIE recommendations and kill the commission Report as some commenters have suggested?

    On my part, I believe the Press Statement that the U.S. Department of State recently released in reaction to the COIE report provides a clue as to how the case will be handled by the international community at least in the short term: The UN bodies/UN Security Council are unlikely to start sending out ICC prosecutors to charge those deemed responsible for the alleged crimes! Neither is it likely that they will ignore the COIE findings, discard the report and let the Eritrean Government off the hook! Rather it appears that a tremendous amount of political, economic and legal pressure will be brought to bear on the government to implement international recommendations/decisions/resolutions that it has so far defied. It is also likely that the government will be forced to allow the COIE into the country to investigate the human rights situation and to monitor the reforms that the international community will insist be implemented in the country.

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Dear Yohaness,

      I read your opinion about how the international community will handle to the COIE report and the possible discourse they will take as they go forward in the days, months, possibly years ahead. What I didn’t hear from you is, as an Eritrean who closely follow the situation of our people under the current regime, didn’t share at least the extent of the crimes being committed by the regime. In our Eritrea, perpetual crimes are being committed and are still happening . Prisoners are dying in prison without even giving to their family a closure time to their grief. Hundred fifty Eritreans Muslims are killed collectively as a group without seeing any due process in a court of law. The kunama and the Afars social group, as eloquently explained by our own Saay, are on th brink of exstiction by the cruel policy of the regime as they are completely displaced from their inhibiting areas. Our youth are on a perpetual exodus because of the endless modern slavery imposed on them. These and more are evident to every Eritrean house hold and are affected either by their extended families or directly their families.Therefore isn’t our duty as true Eritrean citizens to push the case as reported by COIE to bring the despot and his associates to their knee and free all the known and unknown Eritrean prisoners? Do we really need to give “imaginary excuses” that help to the perpetrators to continue what they are doing?There are enough cases to bring them in to ICC. As to whether we are going to be successful or not clearly depends on our determination to the cause.

      Regards
      Amanuel Hidrat

      • haileTG

        Hi Aman and Yohannes,

        There is also another dimension at play here, the international nature of the crimes. International crimes, such as the one’s handled by ICC, are crimes against everybody. This puts third party players into the scene as direct stakeholders. In rare cases (mostly where the ICC has jurisdiction), the ICC persecution can open files without UNSC referral. In effect, those accused have to seek cover not only from liabilities orginating from the domestic backdrop, but also the intl. community too.

        Regards

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Dear Hailat,

          Crimes against everybody, makes the third party into a play is a valid argument. Thank you brother for reminding us.

          regards

        • Yohannes Zerai

          Dear haile TG,

          I agree with the substance of your comment a hundred percent. We all know what it took to get our struggle for justice this far: It is (i) the mobilization and perseverance of our Eritrea’s Democracy & Justice Movement – with all its shortcomings, and (ii) the support of the international human rights community.

          As Amanuel Hidrat pointed out in his earlier comment, we just have to keep doing what we have been doing, but with increasingly greater unity, vigor and commitment! It is the intensity and accomplishment of our own struggle that will garner the solidarity of political organizations, civic associations, public interest and advocacy groups, etc. everywhere thereby ultimately transforming the cause of our oppressed & brutalized population into an international movement for Justice & Democracy in Eritrea!

      • Ismail AA

        Selam Yohannes,
        Reading your comment, I surmised that you are looking at the issue being discussed from legal expert’s vantage point. Thus, I would like to pose the following question: Under International Humanitarian (human rights) Law, how far can sovereignty of a nation constrain (curtail) legal actions on behalf of citizens proven by Internationally mandated inquiry agencies? At what point can the international legal system force authorities of a nation to concede access to an internationally instituted agency of inquiry deployed to verify crimes committed against citizens?
        Having said that the next moves after the Commission’s ruling depend more on us Eritreans to make the best use of what have been achieved rather than waiting how the international system is going to proceed. For our injured compatriots, and the nation as a whole for that matter, the outside world now knows , as we do, that the dictator and his henchmen have been accused of crimes against humanity for which they sooner or later should be held accountable. It could be that politics and special interest may play role in helping the regime to stage some sort of manoeuvres. But as far as we are concerned, the damage to them has already been done, and those who had committed crimes should be feeling that they have come nearer to day the of reckoning.
        Ismail AA

        • Yohannes Zerai

          Dear Mahmud Saleh, Amanuel Hidrat and Ismail AA

          I am just surprised at how we sometimes pick an aspect of someone’s statement, make an arbitrary interpretation of it, add our own emotions to it and build a story that was never intended by the source of that statement.

          (1) Mahmoud Saleh: My article mentioned no names and did not make a disparaging statement about people “who are in the business of defending the government.” It is therefore beyond me what caused you to be so defensive, irritated and combative in your response to my comment. I know there are people who defend the government and I sincerely believe they are within their rights to take that position so long as they do it without insulting, belittling, smearing and intimidating others who maintain a different position on the issues. It was in that spirit that I mentioned government supporters and others who are skeptical about the COIE findings. As for the statement that you “contribute more comments to the debate” than me, I can only say that (i) naturally, different people are apt to contribute to a cause at different levels, and (ii) I was surprised to see a credit-seeking tendency creeping into such an important and interesting debate.

          (2) Amanuel Hidrat: My wish, conviction and hope is those whom the COIE report found responsible (for the untold crimes it documented) are brought to justice at the earliest possible time, and that the full force of the law will be brought to bear on their criminal case. Neither do I shy away from advocating that we must continue to struggle for this exact outcome. I unequivocally state the above as my true position on the case; and I do so not to please you or anybody else! But having read the views of other commenters in the debate, I was willing to look at viewpoints different than mine and to try to examine any possible validity to them. I thought doing so is one of the objectives of conducting a debate in a forum such as this one. In doing so, I DID qualify my statements by using the conditional phrases such as “it is likely” “appears unlikely” “in the short term” – I never claimed those outcomes are certain; neither did I state that those outcomes are the ones I support or hope for!!

          (3) Ismail AA: You ask a very important and relevant legal question. I do not have the legal expertise that would enable me to provide a correct answer to it. But, I hope some brothers/sisters with appropriate qualifications/experience will share with us their expert opinion on the issue. As a layman, however, I would tend to believe that such an access is more likely to be secured through the application of strong international pressure on the regime. Any mechanism that goes beyond that may not be attractive to “the powers that be” given the failure of their interventions in Libya, the Middle East, etc. ; the claim by African countries – particularly the dictatorial regimes in the continent! – that Africa is being singled out for interventions and “high legal and human-rights standards”! Etc., etc.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Yohannes,

            Thank you for your elaborated clarification. My question was intended to mimic the debate and not for earning support to my argument. Indeed everyone of us are adult enough to act what our conscience dictates us. Thank you again for the engagment.

            Regards
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Selam Yohannes Zerai
            You are right I was uncharacteristically hotheaded this couple of days. I could have put it in a better way. I really thank you for the way you handled it. Now, a couple of things:
            1. I was taking hits for commenting on COI. I’m not a lawyer, an expert nor influential anyway. I pinpointed areas I thought the report would fare better (where cases could be made, and areas I thought were political in nature, depending on my understanding). Some took refuge to the usual quick judgement which I’m used to, labeling me as the defender of the regime; others argued intelligently shaping up my understanding better (Thanks go to SAAY and HTG); so, you became a the unintended target pouring my thing on you. I hope you will understand this and take my sincere words for it. You are a gentle man and I appreciate your inputs.
            2. I brought the “let’s tally our comments and articles on human issues” as in when tes* runs for the shafo betri, or when Asmarinos say “ንዓ ውጻእ ክንፈታተን” (actually, I’m not sure if they say it that way, but you got it). Because, Yohanness, If i have a soft spot it is for my agony for human suffering and my desire to see war and the news of war wiped out from the face of this planet. I have made many comments describing the nature of PFDJ, condemning its acts, and suggesting ways forward (which means REAL change). I have a good friend who forgets this, and lunge on me every time I write something. Please don’t be like him. I was to make that point, otherwise, I’m not hungry for getting credits.
            Regards.

          • Ismail AA

            Selam Yohannes,
            Thanks for your elaboration. I agree with you that pressure must continue to be applied to compel the regime to fulfil its obligation as member of the community of sovereign nations by responding to demands of international bodies and agencies mandated to seek and collect information aimed at redressing undue violations. The problem is the regime has not yet made feel combined pressure from Eritreans and international bodies.
            Ismail AA

      • Ismail AA

        Sorry Amanuel,
        The comment was meant to Yohannes. I sent it by mistake. Hope the moderator would be kind to shift it to Yohannes Zerai.
        Ismail AA

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Seam Kubur Ismael AA,

          It is okay as far as it is addressed to the intended person, in this case to “Yohannes”. Please stay engaged, the defenders of the regime are trying their best to discredit the report of COIE.

          regards

    • Mahmud Saleh

      Dear Zerai

      Remember that I’m not in the business of defending the government; remember also that Hope, Semere Tesfai, Nitricc, Sabri (at least consider the cool Sabri) that they all state that the government has for a long time abused citizens. The question is on the additional “findings” that makes the report sensationalized, politicized and way biased. Also remember that the “defenders” of the government would like the report to focus on imprisonment and other violations of physical liberty, torture, disappearance, and also murder/extrajudicial killings, etc. Why I say this? Because those are the main issues Eritrean have been complaining about. Does this look like defending the government? Haven’t I underlined this from the get go? I know, the expectation of some in this forum is “don’t question, don’t dissent.” I would like to see you having an open mind. I know as much as you know the realities of the country. There are tens of Ex-National service, and the majority are mad for the efforts that some have made to tarnish them as slaves. It seems that’s why they are flocking back to their country. It seems that’s why they are back at the doors of the embassies.

      You said ” The COIE must be able to go beyond documenting the personal testimonies of victims whose identities/backgrounds have been adequately established by the UN-mandated inquiry. They add, the Commission must prove conclusively that the violations “alleged” or “claimed” by the victims have indeed occurred, e.g., that prisoners are commonly tortured while in detention.” no that’s not the argument. I separated areas where probable crimes amounting to crimes against humanity might be established and I criticized the reports on other purely politically motivated. As whether it will go to the court or not, I hope it will. Because that’s how I will prove those who are aligned against open-minded individuals wrong. The court will see which ones could be admissible and which ones could not. I’m confident that the areas I picked as promising will at least get preliminary view/prioritized, and then selected because there is ample evidence and I’m sure witnesses could come forward (related to imprisonment, torture, disappearance…).
      Finally, how is it that persons who are more critical than the average, persons who made efforts to read and sift through the report and classify it as possible, probable and unlikely, persons who pointed out which could possibly amount to crimes against humanity, persons who described the regime as a “uniquely cruel” for its treatment of prisoners depriving them from their right to see a day in court, depriving their families to know about their situation…are now called supporters of the regime. Dear Yohannes: you will tell me how hard you worked to deprive Eritrea of its rightful chance to get international aid and engagement (as a nation) by waging a campaign against EU funds, but you are not going to tell me you expressed your anxieties on the human right situation in Eritrea more than I have done. Lets tally our comments and articles on this issue and let the reader see the result.
      So, please while you have right to get angry at the persons “defending” the Eritrean government, courtesy reminds us that we should not give a blanket judgement on individuals. Don’t be like my friend Emma.

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Dear Mahmuday,

        You said: “As whether it will go to the court or not, I hope it will. Because that’s how I will prove those who are aligned against open-minded individuals wrong.” It is Very telling.

        Do not wish the case to go to the court in order to disprove the opposite argument. Just argue the report is a cooked case and there is no facts what so ever in it. That makes your stand clear. Do not try to walk on a branched road at the same time. It is clear to us that one of your foot stepped on one and the other foot on the other, posing to satisfy both sides. There is no wisdom on everything you stood upon and more so to be against the victim in a day light.

        regards

        • Mahmud Saleh

          Selam Emma
          Again you are reading your mind my friend. Those are your own prefabricated ideas about Mahmud, please read what’s written within its context. Don’t be like my “other” Emma.

        • Kokhob Selam

          Dear brother
          ሞይተ!! እዋይ ማሕሙዳይ -” እንተቀዶ ቀዶ እንተዘይቀዶ ሕንጣጦ ”

          ኣሙኒ በቃ ኮ – ዘይትምሕሮ ኢኻ :: መዓንጥኡ ኮ ኣውጺእካዮ ሕጂ ድዩ ‘ሞ ክቅየር ?

          • Hope

            Kokheb:
            “Libeliwat yekejelu amora yiliwatal zgigra”.
            ‘Kibel’ewa ni zideleyiwa abba gunbahsi….”
            You never showed us your gut to challenge when your “Emmuni” ,who openly supported the TPLF Agenda and Invasion of Eritrea by the same Junta.
            Mahmuday has proved to you again and again as to who he is and what he stands for…in a crystal clear way.
            Arguing honestly and legitimately about the COIE mistakes and weaknesses while equally and at the same time exposing and speaking against the PFDJ Crimes does NOT and CANNOT be considered as siding with and supporting the PFDJ…..except in the crooked mind of your “Emmuni et al…for obvious reasons…’
            But why can’t we leave the Legal aspect of it to the ICC and the Lawyers then…if people are not allowed to express their opinions and feelings here…?

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear lovely Hope,
            mind your business and stop inferring between fighters. Me Kokhob Selam, Amanuel and Mohamuday have paid right in the field and we know what we are talking about. in fact I personally know Amuni ( the man of principle) and Mahmuday knows about me by now and yes I already found out who Mahmuday is and what he has contributed for our national struggle. I was the fist to challenge Mahmuday and sure those who knew what we were discussed has recorded who said what. At the end of the day let me assure you Amanuel and Mahmuday and me will come to one point and everyone who will try to make division among us should swallow his tongue. don’t try to exploit our differences . if you have something to contribute come with ideas and let the ideas take you to which side you belong.

          • Hope

            Come on Kokheb:
            You are the one creating divisions and showing an evident bias and I am trying to advise you to be objective and neutral by respecting people’s opinions.

            You think you are the only ones,who fought for Eritrea?
            Kudos to you,
            Remember that there thousands,who were fighting the enemy from within the enemy itself ,the most difficult war,in fact .

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear hope,
            there you can find fighters everywhere in this world. except few like you most of the people were fighters in Eritrea. Now, there are those who fought just to fight and there are those who fought for a reason. there are also who fought to correct the mistake of their parents of Andnet. there are people who fought although they don’t even know where in the world Eritrea is located. There are people who fought for their narrow tendencies and there are people who participated to kill our national struggle. so warriors are not all the same. the only fighters who secured their position as fighters are the once who already dead – no one can label them any negative name.

            Then it is nonsense to call worrier to someone who served killers in the war and put him in the same level with someone who fight and argue killers, I think you need to learn a lot from Mahmuday Hope if you want to support him- not from me as I don’t need people like you who openly enjoy the suffering of our people.

    • Hope

      Selam Yohannes:
      I think your last Paragraph summarized it all.
      As Haile said it about the Midnight call to the UN Chief by PIA and after PFDJ backed off totally from the al Shebab business as SAAY said,it is going to be more than a likely scenario that the PFDJ Gov will do the same as you stated it clearly in your last statement.
      That is the hope and the wish of the Majority in my opinion, which is more than good news.
      The ICC referral still could be the last resort on the table.
      But remember that, at least in principle, what some of us have argued is still a legitimate argument considering all things. But I do not believe that any sane person is denying the existence of Human Rights abuses in Eritrea.
      Most of us including the targets like Vet Mahmud,Sem Tessfay and Hope as well as Gen Nittric have said almost the same thing you just said but in different tones and languages.

  • Dear All,
    A young Dutch woman was drugged and raped in Qatar. When she reported the incidence to the police, she was accused of prostitution and put in prison. The same thing happened in the UAE.
    Now, how do we Habeshas see rape culturally and legally? I would rather say Habeshas, because it is really embarrassing to specify. Where do we fit; with the Arabs or the Western society? Does a young woman in the EDF, who is under the control of her superior (similar to the Dutch woman who was under the control of the drug given to her without her knowledge, and under the control of the rapist) has the right to complain that she has been raped, or should she think twice for the sake of legal and cultural differences, for example, from what a young woman would have done in the West?
    If we are governed by such logics, there is really a big problem in our worldview. Certain actions are unjustifiable and intolerable, whether in the West, Arabland or Habeshaland. Period. This is the 21st century, and women have been emancipated almost a 100 yrs ago.

    • Mahmud Saleh

      Selam Horizon

      Sometimes it’s good to have some “Eib”, abi will translate it for you. Could you please give us some space, because we know what’s going on the other side of the border. Yesterday you were preaching me about peace and that my critical view of the report was compared to the “individuals who don’t want peace.” I chose not to reply, because peace needs two to tango my friend. You have no legal or moral ground to preach us peace when your government walked away from a peace settlement it had signed. You see, my friends, Eritreans have been hood-winked time and again through our relation with you guys. We do have bad experience with your rulers (past and present) when it comes to regional peace. Emma, of course, will defend you, as usual, trustfully. If you just take the recent history, from Alula to Minilik, HS, Durg, Wayane…it’s all about deceit and treachery.

      Regarding, your Qatar comparison, have you thought about these guys?

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sK7I7xGnY4Q
      And you have pictures of naked tribes men tied up in chains like ancient slavery. It’s disgusting I don’t want to post it here. You may add the terror Ogadien people are going through.
      The point is: My friend let’s treat our wounds before trying to treat others. OK, the rule is the same like the one you do for earthquake drills: duck, cover. First save yourself, then you could save others. You are using the Samaritan spirit.

      • Abi

        Hi Vet Mahmud
        Thanks for trusting me in translating the difficult word “Eib”.
        It means ” newur ” in Amharic. ( always good to know who knows Tigrigna)

        • Hope

          Abi:
          I think there might be a better term in Amharic for ‘Eib”…an dis closer to ” To show courtesy”….
          reda and translate this to Horizon:
          ” Weyyo neti naten ghedifensi nay(enda) hamaten..”
          Kind of saying “mind your business first”!

        • Hope

          Abi:
          Newur might be = Newri in Tigrnya as well even though it might have been borrowed from Amharic or vice versa.

      • Selam M.S.,
        It is unfortunate that you are among those who equate the wellbeing of Eritrea with badme. In your opinion badme holds the answer to all the problems of Eritrea, and until you get badme the status quo should remain the same. Fortunately, you are among the few who think this way.

        We never tried to justify the actions of TPLF or that of the Ethiopian government whenever they used excessive force to our people. We never swayed and we condemned them with the most unequivocal terms.

        Unless you yourself solve your problem nobody is going to solve it for you. The difference is that you seem to have reached a point where you do not seem to care anymore, provided that your actions keep away your nemesis Ethiopia.

        You are among those who want to see Eritrea chained to the Gedli era for ever. Your experience in Gedli has made you myopic and moreover you cannot cut the umbilical cord that joins you to EPLF/PFDJ. Up to now you have been saying our way or the highway. Take the way of peace for a change. It is not Samaritan but simple logic. May be you think that we are begging you to give us peace. We speak of peace not for any other reason, but because the absence of peace and normal life in Eritrea is affecting Ethiopia as well, either through the refugees she has to host, the soldiers she has to keep at the borders and the much needed money Ethiopia has to spend for defense instead of on infrastructures. Ethiopia will never have peace with PFDJ and their supporters, but with the new Eritrean of the future, who will have broken the chains with which EPLF/PFDJ and their supporters have tied them. Until then continue to do your best so that Eritreans will not be able to see beyond Gedli and Badme. Those who understand the hypocrisy, deceit, treachery and the crimes of the EPLF/PFDJ regime and its supporters are forced to flee the country.

        You have gambled for 50 yrs with the life of Eritreans and you are not aware of the result of your actions and still it is business as usual. You fail to see the qualitative and quantitative differences between the two countries over the last quarter century.
        Emma and many others are telling you that you and your group has to change course and stand on the side of the people and not with PFDJ; and for that you call them TPLF supporters. You can’t serve both the PFDJ and the people. Make a clear choice. Swaying between the two opposite poles is not helpful neither to you or to anyone else.

        • Mahmud Saleh

          Selam Horizon
          With all do you respect cut that BS out. Please…please…you where here defending the old king when we were discussing the crimes of Ona and the rest; now you turn up as a humanitarian. You were defending the current government when we were discussing the uprising in Oromia, downplaying the disturbing images of semi-naked tribal men chained akin to the way slaves were bonded, and now you preach me as a humanitarian…please. Firstly, I spoke of your rulers, and I mean it. I love Ethiopia and Ethiopians, not your rulers. I have just returned from an Ethiopian family, we did have dinner together and we chatted current politics. All I’m saying is please observe “Eib”. That’s all.

  • iSem

    We have made our decisions; they have made theirs
    Hi All:
    The CoIE report has been hotly debated among Eritreans since its debut last year. With an extended mandate to look into crimes against humanity, the commission has returned, finding grounds for crimes against humanity and recommend to refere the officials to ICC.
    Barred from vising the crime scene, Eritrea, the commission interviewed Eritreans in 13 countries and they found grounds for crimes of murder, rape, torture and now it is up to the channels and bodies of the UN. Many are predicting this report will collect dust because they are familiar with collecting dust document, the ratified but unimplemented constitution.
    Shoot To kill:
    The children of Petros Solomon, a G-15 were shot at, the 3 sisters who died while crossing border and reported here were shot at, Aron Brhane of Settit, now in Canada was shot at and his friend was wounded and captured, this is just from the top of my head and the many incidents that Assenna reported. So yes, there is a policy, but the policy to shoot to kill was not debated in parliament, and passed so maybe policy is not the right word.
    Enslavement and Rape:
    Helen G. Amlak was interviewed by radio Selina and courgeously taked about the rapes and torture that she saw as prisoner and nurse in the prison wards, again the Eritrean parliament did not debate and pass this, but there is widespread systematic rape by the military brass, according to the definition of systematic and widespread that the CoIE employed.
    Torture, come on guys and gals, lads and sasses, torture is the bread and butter of PFDJ, they could not even stop even if they want to, they care addicted to torture, sometimes for profit, sometimes for fun.
    Now the report is not perfect, we do not expect perfection from anyone, but we expect the pursuit of excellence and they pursued excellence, they defined the terms of reference from 1991 because there were tell-tall signs of torture on the onset started in earnest and they were smart not to be fooled by the reports from the cappuccino laden smells of Asmara streets that charmed some western journalist and writers like, Mrs. Burton. The MO of PFDJ and its precursor is in the dead of the night, in belly of underground prisoners, people like Wedi Saleh want to see dead bodies in the streets of Asmara, or cadavers being dragged like the Dergi was doing to instill fear in public, PFDJ instills fear one victim at a time, every serial killer has his own MO and kudos to the CoiE for figuring that out and not being deceived by looking for crimes against humanity in the streets of Asmara and the Italian inspired cafes. The watershed moment for Eritreans is that a group that has been credited for “liberating” Eritrea now are accused for crimes against humanity, it does not have to be this way, they made their choices, and those who are doubting the victims by calling it YouTube sourced also have made their choices, we, the justice demanders also made our choices, we decided to give the victims a day in their court, the CoIE may not be perfect, but also they did not pull this out of the thin air and cook it, they are experts and they have tools, means and the skills to corroborate information. the 45,00o Eritrea who wedi Saleh is making big noise about were also given their chance, they are endorsing the accused, we are endorsing the victims, but the investigation was NOT to find if someone was NOT a victim of torture and rape and shoot to kill but was to find if someone WAS a victim of the said crimes.

  • Ismail AA

    It’s nice to follow the heated debate going on the ruling of the Commission, which could be seen as a push of the hangman’s noose on the dictator and his henchmen. Its can be seen from the comments pro-regime compatriots are making that the matter is serious since the parties to the legal case are clearly identified: the dictator and his agents on one side; the injured (the Eritrean people) on the other and the Commission as the prosecuting side. Now wonder then that Saleh Younis superb report to have set real debate in motion.
    Our brother Mahmud Saleh represents in this ongoing debate the lead defense lawyer on behalf of the regime. Reading his long comments which seem much time has been invested in drafting them, I found it a bit difficult to sort our where he agrees that offenses or crimes have indeed been committed, and where he negates the Commission’s findings. His defense mechanism tilts more towards political realm than legal arguments. His views are full of yes-there-is-case; no-there-is-no-case assertions. I could not really dig it how cases of individuals that disappeared decades ago and never to be hear of ever since could relate to threat from Ethiopia – real or imagined.
    Ismail AA

    • Mahmud Saleh

      MarHab Ismail
      If you are comparing me with SAAY, you would be disappointed. The reason I write is not because I think I know the things better than the other (whoever that person might be), but because I have a feeling of saying something. The debate determines whether I will change my mind or not. I come here to learn not teach. SAAY is, of course, on his league. But he has to convince me here. There is no “entaay ymesleka” stuff. Having said that: I’m disappointed that you appointed me as the lead defense lawyer of the government. I hope you read that I’m not dismissing the report offhand, but reading it through critical eye. I will continue my discourse with brother SAAY later this day, if AI gather the energy and motivation. I actually hate lawyers, and luckily I have not had a criminal lawyer. All I know are contract lawyer, and you know, they are like social workers.
      With due respect.

      • Ismail AA

        Tahiyati Ustaz Mahmud,

        Just a few words in return to your response.

        Let me start with the last sentence. Command statements do carry an element of uncalled for assertiveness or let me say an instinct of patronization. I will take it as an innocent gaffe.

        As to why I shouldn’t be like “your friend Emma” whom “you like for some reason”, I couldn’t see on what sense. If you mean I should not emulate his fortitude and consistency to defend what he believes in, then I can tell you I do in fact envy him. His formidable posture on issues pertaining to justice and requirements of national unity has been demonstrated through well-researched and written postings for long time now. In fact I admire him as one of indispensable pillar of Awate.com. As far as I am concerned I can dare say that he almost unique among our elite or intellectuals in regard to his stubborn defense of the minority groups and the way their role could be harnessed to uphold the polity (nation) together and lay down genuine ground for national unity. Of course I do not mean that he is flawless and can have mishap as we all do.

        In regard to the fact that we learn from each other, you bet. I also learn from wise and capable people like
        Saleh and many others, as I do from you. I never take you as “dogmatic” person. To be candid, I am elated to have in the forum persons of your caliber who robustly defend their view. Participation of people who uphold and advocate the other side of issue does lend efficacy and liveliness to the debate.

        Finally, on the issue of using an expression of lead defense did not intend to mean ill. I was trying to frame the situation in view of what the Inquiry Commission has found. In other words, taking account of your mechanism of reading the Commission’s ruling because I tended to detect that you seemed to argue that there could have random violations and not at all a pattern of gross human rights abuse. My intention was not to an attempt to distribute functions in a courtroom legal procedure.
        Ismail AA

        • Mahmud Saleh

          Ahlan Ismail
          That means I haven’t been understood all day. I have been repeating don’t be like Emma all day. Let me then just say it straight.
          There is a radio talk show on NPR every Saturday. It’s “car talk” show, everything about cars. I like it, it’s my favorite show. The host are two brothers (one is dead now). The show starts with laugh and ends with laugh. At the end each of them sign off saying “Don’t drive like my brother…don’t drive like my brother.” It just sort of came to me when I was replying to Emma. By the way I was saying it by way of making joke. Turns out my jokes are understood only by few. Anyway, that’s all. Nothing of assertiveness or patronizing was meant. I can’t even think of my self of trying it. Most of my comments are riddled with such things. Thank you; it’s a lesson well taken, and I promise I will behave like Emma (serious on everything), that’s if i could make it. Will try though.
          Regards.

  • Mahmud Saleh

    Ahalan Saleh and HTG
    saay:- Again thanks. Please consider my exchange with you is by no means intended to launch a Hagerawi MeKete, but I have got a small but stubborn brain that does its thing. It needs to be convinced based on its pace of processing information in order to settle for good. Therefore, everything I say is based on my current understanding of things. I hate dogmatic attitudes; I also hate and despise easily exited minds, and cheer-leading behaviors. You are my hero in many aspects and I have deep respect for you. I pray for the illegally imprisoned to have a just break. Both of us know the legal and political background of the regime in power; both of us know Eritrea’s culture, security, politics, social compositions and their interdependence and contacts/history, the countries ongoing rough relation with the international community speared up by the USA, etc . (it’s true, I’m not parroting here). I’m laying down this because, how we see things could be totally different from what Mzungu Smith and Co. see. Everything the report says should be seen within this perspective. For instance, gender and sexual issues in the context of Eritrean culture is different from how we have come to know them here in the west; so are relations between authority and subordinates (the awareness to fight for your right, the awareness to identify what are permissible contacts between equals and what are impermissible advances and coercion by someone in higher level of authority, etc.), which are reflective of each situations’ (Eritrean society and the west) legal and cultural evolution.
    HaileTG is welcome here:- The second point I want to make is this: unlike Brother Emma who comes swinging, reading his mind, I have already said cases could be established in the areas of a/ Imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty , b/ enforced disappearance, c/ torture and may be murder. Now, ISem and Emma could repeat the same thing: Mahmud denied crimes were committed! “ርኢኻ ‘ዶ እዚ ጽሉል ሻዕብያ! ሃኢለ’ኮ ብቐደሙ ኣብ ናይ ናቕፋ zoo ክንድርቶም ኣሎና” ኢሉ። Hailat remember: Tigrigna is second to my second language. So, forgive me if I offended anyone with ሕንግጉ; I was refering to the ferenji who could not possibly understand Eritrean reality.
    I also admit I’m a student in the area we are discussing and I’m all ears for a convincing argument (s). Having said that:
    Dear HaileTG: Both the points you raised will depend on how permissible the evidence will be. For number 1: As I said above I would suspect that cases could be built around the points I specified (of course, this is based on my current understanding), a/the gravity of the said crimes b/ how wide spread and systematic they were will determine if the ICC will launch an investigation, that’s if the UNSC refers it to ICC. At this stage, I specified areas I believe crimes might have happened. For number 2: I’m just stating my view as much as anyone who wants to take it wholesale. May I change my view once the evidence prove me wrong? Of course. Let the evidence make it to the court, if there are evidence that establish the persecution of Afar and Kunama, for instance, I will apologize. Saleh convinced me as far as the Jehovah witness was concerned, it was a matter of poor understanding, malice was not intended. I will do some more reading in that area. I agree the victims should have their day in court, as well as the defendants. Sorry, I’m just pouring, if it does not make sense please forgive me Haile. You know my situation.
    Dear Saleh:
    1. You said “In fact, the accused doesn’t even have the right to face the accuser: the accused is guaranteed anonymity”
    Actually, the accused have the right to verify the evidence presented them. The Rome Statue, Article 67 makes this clear. Article 67(e) states ” To examine, or have examined, the witnesses against him or her and to
    obtain the attendance and examination of witnesses on his or her behalf
    under the same conditions as witnesses against him or her. The accused
    shall also be entitled to raise defences and to present other evidence
    admissible under this Statute;”
    The “reasonable ground to believe” clause does work until the case lands in the court. Once the case lands in the court, and the court decides the reports carries matters of gravity and admissible evidences, the report becomes a legal case; the defendants have the right to defend themselves according to the procedural protocols of the court. The court may throw it away if it believes the matter does not carry gravity that amounts to crimes of humanity, or if it sees problems in its methodology and admissibility of the evidence, etc.
    2. I have said enough on this matter. I believe there were isolated incidents. I don’t believe there was a policy targeting a certain group (Afar or Kunama). Please Saleh, I have friends who were in the administeration of that area. There is also a person who worked in the courts (I will connect you with him). War is tough, sometimes there are unintended consequences. Regarding the incident of the Muslim teachers, and similar incidents, it should be seen within the nature of the government which does not tolerate dissension. I would still say all the accused were innocent since they were not given due process. But it’s helpful to mention that there was an active Jehadi movement in the period in which this incident took place, and the security forces, as you know, used brutal force in those areas.
    3. I accept your input and advice. Thank you.
    4. See #2.
    5&6. Whether there was a policy of shoot-to-kill is not a matter of importance. Even if they could not produce the stamped policy paper, if they could establish that there was a consistent practice of shooting-to-kill, that could be enough. Because the Rome Statue is clear on this. I have heard of shooting incidents, I don’t know the magnitude and the behavior/patterns of those practices. That’s why I included it in the categories where cases could be made of. I brought the number 5000 to make a point. I brought it to make a point: that’s if Eritrea is a police state, a highly military state, how could 5000 make it to the outer world? And since you are SAAY, the smartest Eritrean alive, you have flipped the logic. Now, let’s see my flip: reports have established that there are 5000 Eritreans fleeing the border. There is no mention of “Average”, OK, 5000 every month.Now if there is a shoot-to-kill policy, given Eritrea’s militarized number, probably the highest military personnel per capita in the world, and given the nature of the regime, a regime accused of crimes against humanity, how many dead body per month would you expect to count on the border?
    _____________________________________________________________________________________
    I will continue tomorrow with the rest. I promise to make it short.
    Good night Ustazna
    Both HTG and SAAY, with respect.

    • saay7

      Hala MaHmuday:

      Our friends at medrek will be posting my interview and I hope some of the issues you raised here will be addressed there.

      With regard to the standard of evidence used by ICC, there are two standards: one is for the ICC to decide whether to take up the case, and the other is the standard it uses to try the accused. I was addressing the former, although re-reading it, I can understand how confusing my prose was. Here it is from the source:

      All victim and witness interviews will be classified as “strictly confidential.” Unless a witness has provided explicit and informed consent to share his/her information, it will not be shared, including with any other entity, including with other sections of OHCHR; United Nations human rights mechanisms; international judicial mechanisms such as the International Criminal Court (ICC); national judicial mechanisms; and member states.

      Source: Para 13 from the CoI repor, A/HRC/32/CRP.1

      I understand your skepticism of the number “5,000.” Tanja Mueller makes the exact same point you made and says that that was exactly the number used to make the case against Omar Al-Bashir: that 5,000 Darfurians were being killed. (Tanja Mueller is the least nutty Mzungu: although she is wrong, at least her language attempts to be respectful of the victims unless Atlantic Council’s Bruton who equated Eritrean migrants dying by the hundreds in the Mediterranean to Puerto Ricans who leave their island to go to the mainland for purely economic reasons.) The number of Eritreans fleeing: even if you discount it by half, it is by far the most number of people on a per capita basis than any other people, including people from war-torn zones. About shoot-to-kill policy: Remember what DemHT leader Molla Asghedom said in his interview about one of his groups mandates was border patrol? There are testimonies almost every week at Paltalk from those who were doing the shooting and those who were being shot at. And (this is the part where we are all 2-degrees-of-separation gets confirmed), whenever the person is providing testimony, there is always somebody corroborating the testimony and filling in the details… This is an organization that describes people it has tortured and killed as “martyrs” because, in Eritrea, anybody who dies while wearing a uniform is a “martyr.”

      About the crime of rape, I know you will get back to it, but remember this: rape is a crime of violence. Once you concede that point that the people the CoIE is talking about stand accused of using whips, plastic tubes, electric sticks, dunking kids in dirty water, having them suspended under a tree, whipping their genitals to the point they can never reproduce again, electric shocking their testicles, torturing people to the point that their screams made the interrogators themselves vomit at the horror of what they were doing, using helicopter, otto, Jesus Christ, Almaz, Torch, Ferro, Gomma, mock drowning, mock burials, extensive exposure to scorching sun, preventing lactating mother from breastfeeding to cause extreme pain, beating pregnant women to induce abortion, throwing a child from “one person to another like a ball” while interrogating his mother on the whereabouts of her husband, refusing to provide women in detention with sanitary pads to punish and humiliate…..” Once you concede all this as possible, how is it difficult for you to believe that a person capable of ordering this brutality, or executing this would stop from raping, which is a violent crime?

      I hear the word “culture” thrown around a lot whenever Eritrean officials are accused of rape. Could someone tell me which Eritrean culture emphasizes how wrong rape is MORE than it emphasizes how shameful it is for a girl/woman to lose her chastity? What is the “cultural” punishment for rapist and what is the “cultural” punishment for being a victim of rape? How does this compare with any other African country including our neighboring countries?

      saay

  • haileTG

    Selamat Mahmuday,

    I read your piece earlier today (actually wedi Salh’s piece 🙂 and decided to have a new thread here because you really should give us the benefit of your calm, cool headed deliberations. BTW hungugu might cross some people as a form of devaluation aimed at the human dignity of the persons involved. I know you to be an upstanding individual who didn’t meant it so, but hey.. what is a little bro for 🙂

    Now, I know Saay has a longer rebuttal awaiting your response, and you can combine response to mine in there too.

    The COIE makes two findings:

    1 – Systemic level human rights violation by GOE
    2 – Individuals responsible for crimes against humanity, as specified by the Rome Statute

    a) Regarding #1 above, where exactly do you disagree?

    b) Regarding #2 above, are you dismissing the charges without the accused having a day in court?

    I do realize that the COIE decision to discharge its responsibility by concluding that the highest level of the Eritrean leadership are responsible of committing crimes against humanity opens to a major complications going forward. Innocent until proven guilty doesn’t really apply when one find themselves as an accused party. It is actually the case in negation, i.e. not innocent until not proven guilty. Judging by PFDJ’s posturing and developing defense narrative, it is unlikely that they will fare better than their “all without exception” debacles in all the past challenges they faced. As the PFDJ appears to evolve into a destructive minority, it is hard to see that it will have the wherewithal to tackle the three pronged challenge it will be facing in this case (intl. community, the COIE and the muzzled and oppressed Eritrean masses).

    cheers

  • Bob

    [from the moderator: you puffing aside, begin your comments with salutation. It’s the law in here. And you are allowed provided you respect the posting guidelines. consider it a training, on law]

    A good Indian friend of mine ones said “Love is humiliation”. If you love to clean the washroom, you must be able to clean it with your tongue otherwise you don’t love it. The human right issue on Eritrea falls into this category. Do you love Eritrea, are you willing to be humiliated, enslave, or even die for it. Don’t let anyone tell you a country is built without blood and sweet but weak members of the Eritrean community ” Awate” would like to exploiter this Process for not able to take advantage of a country that has not established itself perhaps for cheap land or labor to advance themselves. We all know Eritrea has rule of law that spans 50 years. Every Eritrean knows there is a Law In Eritrea. If you are caught lying, cheating or putting your country security at risk you will face this law that is tougher, meaner that any law out there. So Go ahead call it what you want this country will be built except you will not be there see it.

  • T..T.

    Hi all,

    Summary of the ongoing discussions: pros versus cons of the COI report.

    According to Mahmud S. and Semere T. group, the real and perceived enemy of the Eritrean-land is Ethiopia.

    According to COI, the real and perceived enemy of the Eritrean-people is Isayas and his generals.

    Therefore, it is unwise to mix up or use the land to distract the focus of the discussion on the people.

    To the Isayasists: In a discussion, normally distraction is not about blurting out everything to turn things upside down, an Isayas’s strategy of ሓመዳ ንላዕሊ ኬይተገልበጠት COI there is no sleep. Even if you are trying to prove that COI is wrong, you don’t have to cross the healing lines unless your discussion or explanation is driven by overwhelming convictions that you are helping to heal the wounds of the victims. Otherwise, your distraction will be considered as a failure to defend your side or the regime’s side. It is better to experience a lost battle rather than to be extremely and absurdly refusing to close the wounds of the victims to heal. Thus, your support of the healing stage will be considered as a support and agreement of closing the door to further victims in Eritrea despite the fact it is not easy for the victims to forget the pains of their wounds.

    • Hope

      Selam T.T
      Be honest here.

      A)”According to Mahmud S. and Semere T. group, the real and perceived enemy of the Eritrean-land is Ethiopia”
      No,they are, rather, saying that both and the International communities are responsible and all should be liable and the approach should involve in both ways(call them primary and Secondary culprits).
      -The Ethiopia Gov(TPLF Gov) and the International Community(the USA and its Puppet UN)should respect the International Law
      -the International Community should persuade the Ethiopian Gov to abide by the International Law
      -the International Community should engage Eritrea constructively
      -The PFDJ also should implement the Constitution but the International Community should also help to create a conducive environment for the GoE to implement the Constitution

      B)”According to COI, the real and perceived enemy of the Eritrean-people is Isayas and his generals.”
      I agree with you that this is a WRONG Approach and even Bigotry and Hypocrisy as the COIE has deliberately ignored and omitted other major factors including the above parameters.

      • T..T.

        Dear Hope,

        Just close your eye and go over what you just said, “the international communities are responsible for what is going on in Eritrea.” So, the regime is taking its frustration out on the people because the international communities failed to compel the Ethiopian govt to abide by the international law. You are just saying the Eritrean people are the property of the UN and as a UN property, the people have to suffer at the hand of the indignant landlord Isayas .

        • Hope

          Selam TT:
          You only two options:
          Either to debate honestly and genuinely or to shut up!
          But you have no right to misquote people and to read unwritten stuff.

  • sabri

    Welcome back saay and Hailat. You are missed.

  • Kokhob Selam

    Dear Semere Tesfai,

    you don’t kill Eritrea by killing PFDJ in fact it is the other way round – you save Eritrea by destroying PFDJ. it is the present of of PFDJ that can kill Eritrea and we have seen it practically for the last 25 years Eritrea was slowly going down to failed estate.

    Now, we are in this world and human beings have created a system to save their brothers which agreed by all including the so called Eritrean government and are trying to correct it. what is wrong with that.. supposed to be done by us yesterday and now we have to be shame for not doing it and support them at least.

    I am wondering Semere, when the hero try to fight against PFDJ you guys blame and label him as “Weyane” for getting logistic support from Ethiopia. every time you see moments against PFDJ you try to label and oppose. are sure you are for justice? show us then the way to clean the mess we are facing with this worst system the world has seen. please show us.

  • Mahmud Saleh

    Selam Hope
    Thank you and well said. And that’s the point that always puts me on hot potato when I exchange my views in this forum. I stand here for my conscience. No to injustice in all of its forms, be it done by the government against its people, or by entities geared up to put the country in danger. We can compensate victims and their families through bringing change that takes care of all the ills. All Eritreans have stakes in this process, ALL, including members of PFDJ, excluding the few spoilers.
    I do have an utmost respect for SAAY, and I feel terrible to be seen as if I’m refuting his position. Actually, I have been trying all along that there are real victims and they need to be recognized and the government needs to be pressured, if possible I wish if could bring suspected to court today. What I object to are the other nonsensical additions that are clearly political in nature from the enslavement all the way to persecution of ethnic minorities and minority religious groups… I have been saying for quite sometime now that “we should not strangulate a nation in order to get rid of a tyrant”; I also also said “We should not use a kitchen knife in order to excise PFDJ rule, we can use a laser-sharp knife to excise it.” Well, people like my friend Emma could not understand this because they are used to depending on and defending wayane at all Eritrean cost. How clear could some one be? And my friend Emma comes and tells me I’m siding with the government? Huh! He tells me at every turn not to criticize wayane. That’s why I’m proud to announce today awarding the title “trusted soldier” or “ታማኝ ወታደር” to Emma for all his efforts to defend wayane, and in his endeavor in spreading the ideology of wayane which is based in cutting Ethiopia into small blocks that fits its size. My quest in finding the DNA of a true opposition is ongoing. The following is a second installment of the series I have started. You might be interested to read it.
    http://www.erigazette.org/?p=9217
    BruK meAlti.

  • Abi

    Hope gerageru
    Yours is unique and special as you put it. Double Jeopardy! “Dirib mot ” in Amharic.
    Isn’t everything Eritreans unique? What is special about you?
    Take it easy.
    Make sure to watch the games. Much better than politics.
    Euro 16 , copa America,….

  • Kokhob Selam

    ክቡራት እንዳ ዓዋተ

    ኣብ ሞንጎ ኣደን ጓልን ምእታው ኣብ ባህልና ቅቡል ኣይኮነን :: ግን ስዲ ጓል ዝወለደት ኣደ ሓቢኣ እንተሓበአት ጉዳ ክት ሽፍን ኣይትኽእልን እያ :: http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2016/06/258382.htm

    • Nitricc

      Hey Kokhob you are not serious are you? who do you think rendered the verdict that the worthless UN dispensed? people? i wish one day all of you, gelebeles wake up and understand how the westerners payed you. I guess they knew better when they call you “slave and monkey” just that a slave monkey. huh?

      • Kokhob Selam

        እዋእ ኣንታ ነትሪካይ !
        እንታይ ድኣ ኮሪኻ ? ንስኻ ባራዩ ጸዓዱ ትብለና ብዓል ኣቢ ባራዩ ዓረብ ይብሉና – እሞ ኣንታ ባርያ ህግደፍ ዶ ክንብለካ እንተፍቂድካልና ?

  • Kokhob Selam

    Dear Awate friends.. nothing personal and no one should feel bad of the bellow poem unless he is killer. thanks

    …. ሓዲኡ ድኣ ይርገጽ …..

    ጉዱ ተቀሊዑ ጉዳም ተበላጺ :-
    ዝነበረ ትማሊ ቀታሊ ዓመጺ :-
    ጥቅሙ ምስ ጎደሎ ሃዳሚ ሃጻጺ :-
    ደላይ ፍትሒ መሰል ክልተ ረጋጺ ::

    ፍርዲ እንድዩ ፈሪሑ ጌጉኡ ከይኣምን:-
    ኣብ ሞንጎ ዝቅርቀር ጸጋምን የማንን:-
    ብዋጋ ሞት ጥፍኣት ሽጣራ ዝቆንን:-
    ጉዱ ተቀሊዑ ደጊም ዓሻ የለን :-

    ሓደው ይቅረ ሕተት ተንበርኪኪኽካ ስገድ :-
    ….ምስ ሓፋሽ ተሰራዕ ተሰለፍ ተኣንገድ :-
    ሓደው ንዓ ግጠም ትቁረጽ ትቅርደድ :-
    ….ካልእ ምርጫ የለን ሃለውለው ኣይትዕበድ::

    ኢልኩም ንገሩለይ ገለ እንተሰምዐ:-
    ዋዛ ኣይኮነን ኣሕዋት -ደምና ተጮንጎዐ:-
    እቲ ንሕና ክንጠሚ ንሱ እናበልዐ:-
    ህግደፍ ዘርሰነ ሓይላ ዘጠጠዐ::

    ይኣክል ደጊም’ሲ ሓዲ ኣላ ሎሚ :-
    መድርኽ ይተዓጾ ሃተፍተፍ ጠላሚ:-
    ኣይነሳስን በለጽ ከም ትማሊ ከም ዓሚ :
    ሓዲኡ ድኣ ይርገጽ ‘ቲ ግፉፍ ሃዳሚ::

  • T..T.

    Hi all,

    Those who deny the hard truth presented by the UN’s COI must be worse than Isayas. Indeed, those who got away from the crimes of the tyrant and yet speak well of the criminals, they must only be accomplices of the criminals.

    Some, due to fear, may have inability to articulate the crimes committed. But totally denying the crimes committed, it is a declaration of support for those who are committing the crimes besides giving an impression of cowardness to stand for the truth.

    One who desires to see a peaceful nation cannot be so wretchedly blind to the sufferings of the whole population at the hands of the criminals. A nation where justice is denied, peace cannot prevail for sooner or later the unseating of the tyrant would send the nation to become another Somalia in the region.

    The Eritrean Diasporas, unless they come clean this time and vote for total removal of threats to peaceful living in Eritrea, they may be considered under the ICC as part of the organized conspiracy to oppress the Eritrean people by supporting the tyrant within their assigned area of capabilities: financing, spying, infiltrating the opposition, terrorizing the innocents, etc.

    • Kokhob Selam

      Dear T.T.

      Yep, in fact I am looking for those criminals more than PFDJ itself. PFDJ leadership is there in the middle of the war and there is a possibility to see the group coming down asking for solution to our people. But what ever the way PFDJ will be dismissed, for me that is not enough.I am after those criminals who were and are still happy to see our people suffering living in democratic nations enjoying their human rights of living and working – some even have already citizenship of the same nations .

      I will like to ask the present “government” to give order to every supporter diaspora man to come to his country with his family. on this one I will support PFDJ before their end comes to gather his supporters and let them face the challenging moments their “government ” . None will come to Eritrea during hard time of PFDJ. PFDJ leadership should learn from G15 who were forgotten by their supporters. if it was the group of IA who is arrested today, diaspora supporters could have forgotten them. those are the most criminal people and we have to think how to remove their nationality. if it was me I will totally clean Eritrea from those dirty once.

      • T..T.

        Dear Kokhob Selam,

        In order to try the criminal, the ICC must first come to those Eritrean Diasporas enablers of the tyrant, which means liberating the Diasporas from those criminals living among the innocent Eritrean Diasporas. Then the ICC must come to those inside enablers, the generals, to paralyze the tyrant, which means saving the country from civil war. Finally, the ICC must come to the capo criminal, who is incommunicado by reason of self-isolation from all countries including the African Union, which means the capo criminals will be forced to walk on foot through Libya, then in an old boat to cross to Europe, and then bussed to the site of the International Criminal Court to be tried for all crimes he committed.

    • Nitricc

      TT once again you are compromising your credibility. since when did hearsay considered hard truth? dude, at least tell the truth. the worthless UN talk to some losers and wrote their report; the end of story. when you said “hard truth” it makes worst than the losers. what is hard truth? how do you know? were you there to verify everything the worthless UN has written? shame on you!
      “Those who deny the hard truth presented by the UN’s COI must be worse than Isayas.

      • T..T.

        Dear Nitricc,

        The concept of trust states that the stated “hard truth” until proven otherwise remains as the hard truth. The denial to access by the regime suggests that the situation in Eritrea is even worse than the reported findings: Evidence, the fact that the victims are choosing organ-harvesters over the regime supports the reported findings and more.

      • Tewelde gebremariam

        Hi nitricc
        The impostor isaias afewerk is exposed. cornered, and along with his fellow cabals will soon be behind bars as well as his chicken dream—– tigrai-tigrigni. Mark My Words!!

        And do not wonder about the Hard Truth. Ali Abdu will be the star witness at the ICC against all the cabals. Yes, he will unravel every bit of their sins. He got it all, I assure you!

        • iSem

          Hi TG:
          From your mouth go God’s ears, but to get to ICC, there hurdles, China can veto it in the SC, Russia can veto it as well. Even Germany and some of the dictators in African may vote against it in the HRC

          • Tewelde gebremariam

            Hi iSem,
            The preponderance of evidences will carry the day. I assure you. And the cabals know there is no chance. I am sure you saw the hopelessness of Yemane Monkey in his sweat-drenched, carbon-black face. They are all devastated, to say the least.

            And we must remember, the HRC did not jump to establish the Commission of Inquiry. It did it as a last resort, after it exhausted every avenue to get the impostor improve the dire human right situation in Eritrea.

  • Mahmud Saleh

    Selam SAAY
    Excellent as usual. I know you are fired up these days, and with good reason. Personally, I don’t see the benefit of such reports to Eritrea. It may give some solace to the families and friends of those who are imprisoned for so long without the chance of having a day in court, and the victims were abused. There are though the usual Hingugus who are salivating to see Eritrea evaporating from the face of the world map. I’m sorry to tell them that that’s not going to happen. And if there are few who intend to use this report as a parachute to land them in power, again, I’m sorry to tell them that the report makes that event even more difficult. I’m firmly of the idea that internationalizing our problems and outsourcing them to the UN agents will only add complications to the process of change-for-good that should take care of the whole situation. I predict it won’t make it post UNHRC. Even if it goes to the security council, world AND the regions calculations have changed. USA priority has changed, and PFDJ is now unofficial ally of the USA. My take is the following:
    1. Indeed, there have been human rights’ violations. There may be a case built around: A/imprisonment or other deprivation of physical liberty, B/ enforced disappearance, C/ torture, that’s only if IA is toppled and a cooperating regime is installed in Asmara. The rest are hard to prove in a court of law where the defendant will also have the right to disprove the accusations. You may prove incidents, but to establish crimes against humanity, the bar is very high. What’s interesting is the “persecution of religious minorities” and the persecution of the Afars and Kunama from 1998-2001. Why those years? Were there uprisings by these communities? Wasn’t the government in firm control of the entire nation including those geographic areas? Were not those areas behind Eritrean lines? Why would it persecute them? If disproportional arrests take place in a certain area, does that indicate the security challenges in those area or a policy to persecute the ethnic inhabitants of those areas? Religious persecutions? I knwo early in the mid 90s the easy way to get a residence was to say you were a Jehovah Witness. I know many people, including not Christians who used that opportunity. But we know the problem. Were they persecuted for following certain religions or because of matters related to the laws? I’m not clear on what should have been done, on whether the government’s rigid interpretation was right or wrong, but it was a case were certain community said they did not have to abide by the rule of the government. This could be controversial. But we all know the regime’s secularity.
    Concerning the ethnic minority issue, I can only speculate these particular accusations are fabricated in Addis in order to dilute the Ethiopian refusal to abide by the border ruling and to establish a legal and moral ground for igniting ethnic strife and for supporting puppet Ethnic organizations. Ethiopians may push this to establish an argument that an international protection is needed for those communities.
    That seems to play within the Ethiopian regime’s politics of balkanizing Eritrea. Certainly, it would like to impose a protectorate of the Afar region (win,wink). The Kunama case is a cover for that. Anyway, I may be living far away from a Eritrea and for a long time, I could not even return to my country unless I undergo through the TaEsa process. Bu I’m more informed than Mr. Smith. At this stage, the report is political more than it is legal. Every step it moves up, it will go through stronger scrutiny, that’s if PFDJ plays it smarter. Take the case of “shoot to kill policy” , for instance. This is what the accusers had told the world prior to embarking on investigating Eritrea for crimes against humanity.
    – That Eritrea is a police state
    -That Eritrea is militarized
    -That Eritrea has security apparatus that eavesdrops on every family’s conversation.
    – Generally, Eritrea is under firm control of the regime.
    – That there are 5000 persons fleeing the country every month.
    Do you see the contradiction? How could you report 5000 persons crossing the border each month when at the same time report that the government commands a militarized country, strong security… and has the policy of shoot-to-kill? You see where I’m getting at? There were incidents that I heard of, some of them my friends, who were shot at. Those incidents need to be investigated. But exaggerating things and diluting real human suffering with naked political agenda doesn’t help Eritrea. The report doesn’t help Eritreans’ effort to bring about real change. The outcomes are predictable. The international body does not care about Eritrean human condition inside Eritrea. It knows Eritrea contributes positively to the region’s security against radicalism. The attitude has changed with the rise of ISIS and refugee crisis. It would be the last thing you would destabilize secular regimes such as the one in Eritrea.
    Therefore: there is no practicality in bringing the regime to the Hague unless you topple it militarily, and that’s not going to happen. Meanwhile PFDJ will smooth-talk the Representative mzungus in Asmara, it will make some cosmetic changes, and will declare another round of victorious MeKete. The real victims have the right to voice their grievances. Those who contend the report also have the right to be heard. It would be a travesty of justice if considered more than 40,000 citizens as the regime’s supporter. Except in the areas I specified, I see gross mis-characterizations, deliberate politicization, and just pure motive of pushing the UN to take action against Eritrea. Take Rape: it’s not secret that military commander may have taken advantage of young recruits, but to put it as a case of a crime against humanity you would need to prove it was wide spread CAMPAIGN (not only to a portion of military recruits but to the population), systematic (policy backed). For instance of the government says, “yes, from this year to this year there were x number of rape allegations and y number of them were prosecuted,” you have no case. The government could easily produce that (real or doctored). But the ICC will have hard time to produce that. All will be based on circumstantial evidences. The government could send witnesses to the court. I will bet only few brave victims will show up…etc….etc…And please, as an Eritrean, I think I have a clue as to what could be probable number of occurrences. As you have repeatedly said it, the degree of separation is very…very small when it comes in Eritrea. Slavery? Now we know Eritrea is a 400,000 slave holder society. If we apply the definition the commission has used, then our revolution was based on slavery, Eritrean society as a whole is enslaved….I mean, come on now. National Service must be overhauled, so should the system. Many of the 45,000 that the commission turned down were “ex-slaves” who are submitting their witness accounts to exonerate their former master!!!!!!
    We should not depend on reports such as this. There are huge problems, we know them, The best way for us Eritreans is to get real and work to in order to bring a lasting solution. Anything that UN and Ethiopia get involved in will eventually elongate the regime. History has shown us this fact; it’s again showing us this same fact.
    I pray for all wronged to get justice in free Eritrea by Eritreans.

    • Kim Hanna

      Selam Mahmud Saleh,
      .
      There it goes again!!!! “Ethiopia” “Ethiopia”, the salt and pepper of the illusory stew.
      .
      I might have something to say about this, but then again I might not. I might not want to participate and contribute to the diversionary tactic of The General….. Mahmud.
      .
      What a mind, I do admire the creative mind. It comes up with this intricate weave in a matter of hours. Can you imagine what the product would look like if it worked on this report for months or a year. PFDJ is missing their Foreign Minister to California and they don’t even know it. Instead they spend all that $ to Ferenji lawyers.
      .
      Mr. K.H

      • Dear K.H.,
        Some Eritreans should at last come to terms and acknowledge that Ethiopia will always be there, and peace, cooperation and reconciliation instead of confrontation is the only way to the future. As a regional power she will cast her shadows, and it is better that this shadow is friendly and not hostile.
        Unfortunately, 25 yrs after Eritrean independence, this group of Eritreans continues to see conspiracy and threats coming from the south, real or imagined; much more imagined, I would say. To them a friendly Ethiopia is much more dangerous than an Ethiopia which is an enemy, and therefore, it is their mission to accuse Ethiopia for all their self-inflicted problems, so that Ethiopia remains the eternal enemy in the minds of the Eritrean people. Their eyes and minds are set on the so-called enemy south of the Mereb, and they have failed to give priority to their people. The 13 young boys and girls who died by the shoot to kill order at the borders are already forgotten, Eritrean military officials are never bribed and they do not smuggle people, the regime is exempted of any responsibility even for those unfortunate 450 Eritreans who drowned in the Med. Sea just about 2 wks ago, the population of Eritrea remains almost as it was 25 yrs ago and they doubt that Eritreans leave the country, etc. From their vague writings one can easily conclude that the land and not the people is much important to them.
        For how long is it really possible to live in fear of the unknown and in a complete denial of the reality on the ground? What is this thing called politics, which makes people blind?

    • Semere Tesfai

      Selam Mahmud

      Mahmud, we don’t need to imagine. Hearing something “valuable” first by the Khewajas (“Eritrean/African experts”), followed by Semere A, Abi, Horizon, Hayat, Kim H, Amanuel Hidrat, SAAY….. reading from same scrip – is a picture that tells a perfect story.

      Semere Tesfai

      • Mahmud Saleh

        Hi Semere
        Take out SAAY, and I agree with the list. Very few people defend the government’s handling of persons it suspects as political opponents. SAAY has a reason to be aggressive on this issue. I get it, and I not only sympathize with him but share his feelings. My only concern is that this type of report which is full of political indictments jam-packs our comprehension of the situation, and diverts the attention from the real justice issues to strictly political issues and proposals. I stated that certain areas related to due process and torture could be established. There are real victims of injustice. But the way this commission handled itself and its report suggests that “justice” has been placed on the back burner of its agenda.

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Selam Mahmuday,

          You said “take out Saay”. Is that because he is the family of the victim? That doesn’t help him. What it helps him and admire it, is to be on the side of his argument and defend the victims of injustice. No political score on your attempt. Sad.

          regards

          • Nitricc

            Hey Aman-H once again you failed to grasp the entire point. it is not secret that the names that Semere Tesfay listed are known to beleive on external forces agitated change i.e. ensue disorder and confusion in a process to insure the involvement of TPLF on Eritrean affairs. that is it. that is what you want; that what semere andom want; that what Kokhob want and the rest of the list except SAAY. SAAY does not belong to that list. He is a staunch opposition of the system but he believes that Eritrean ills to be solved by Eritreans. the question for you is why do you want TPLF to be involved in Eritrean political affairs? why are you obsessed to them? I assure you we all better if we mind our own business. let them mind theirs and let us mind ours. how about that?

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Selam Gen.Nit, the sharpshooter
            Emma gets it just wrong. Personally, I love that man, but he fails to read me correctly time and again. Because both of us agree on all issues and what needs to be done. We just diverge on how we see things getting done. My perspective is from within, his is from without (he gave up on Eritrean fortitude and hence looks at Eritrean-problem solving strategies from an ouside post (vantage). Well, I respect his positions, including his post as a permanent trusted soldier of wayane (ታማን ወታደር). All, I’m saying to him is “don’t try to muddy my views.”

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Mahmuday,

            This crap “trusted soldier of Wayene” is from a PFDJ loyal, who does not believe a crime is committed to our people by the regime. Do you feel good now? Do you really want to venture on that road rather defending your people? Your stand is already muddy defending the bloody regime.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Okay Nitrickay,

            Then why don’t take the stand of Saay who is clearly fighting for the victims. It doesn’t matter who will convince you to be on the side of the Eritrean victims.

        • iSem

          Hi MS:
          Your comment can be dissected as follows,i Mean your earlier comment, no this response to ST
          The uphill battle that the report faces to make it to ICC. You got that right
          You are not comfortable, you, MS do not believe crimes against humanity committed by PFDJ, you deliberately , shrewdly, knowingly, avoided it, the fact that the international community will have difficulty to prove does not make it that PFDJ did not commit them in a systematic and widespread manner. There is a reason they say found not guilty and not found innocent. Question is do you believe at least half of 500 Eritreans or are they just saying it to get their papers. I want your stand in two sentences without swaddling it with the human right lweyt and the hungugu make up

          The gathering of people and shooting them is common and widespread and about the rapes, MS it is even worse than what the report said, that is people are not sold on the open market, but the women are sold ALMOST on open market when the military commanders select the most beautiful ones and trade them as their mahyos

          On the political motivated report, can you tell us what interest does the COI has to screw Eritrea? As M. Smith said it is hard to work when you do not have access to crime site, but I believe that they were not there to screw Eritrea, this so Ghedli era mentality that everyone is there to get us to have access to red sea and our yet undiscovered natural resources if USA or any country wants port access and the minerals, they will do it the easier way, they will pay IA and he will sell to them all the country as he is used to selling women when he was in gheldi. We are old enough to remember when Girma Asmerom was bending backward to beg US to use Asab to attack Afganistan, the terrain is the same like Afgahnistan, he said, Rummy listened and was deferential and declined

      • iSem

        Hi Mr. Tesfai, T.Semere Tesfai
        Mistakes of Eritrean government, do you mean like mistakes we made when we were teenager, the mistakes are mistakes! So Eritrea is found accused of Mistakes of Against humanity, so how about taking them to the special court, to be tried, the special court.
        Calling it mistake is a PR from your side, nothing else, a PR. I am using a Diacope here, plenty of them, using plenty of Diacope

        • Semere Tesfai

          Selam Kbur Semere Andom

          “how about taking them (the PFDJ top leaders) to the special court, to be tried, at the special court.”

          Mokhsi: you don’t get it. Do you? I’m doing you a favor; so you can stay where you love to stay and do the things you love to do: be a warrior in Canada 🙂

          Do you know what kind a man and what knid courge it takes to bring the PFDJ Generals and top leaders to the ICC court? Let me explain to ya:

          You have to fight and win every battle (not with a computer keyboard – with guns and bullets) from the border all the way to the Government Palace – like they did in 1991. Then, you’ve to block every scaping routs, then you’ve to surround them and corner them, then you’ve to take their loaded guns from their hands, then you have to put them on handcuuffs, then you have to drag their XXXX in front of the world press to the prison, then after your victor dance you’ve to make an elequen press conferences and then…… and then, yes then – you hand to to Mike Smith.

          And then you get the reward.

          Semere Hawey – I don’t think that is you. Just enjoy your Canadia 🙂

          Unless of course you’ve another bright idea – subcontracting it to the Southern boys – may be for a Camel Well.

          Semere Tesfai

          • iSem

            Hi Semere Tesfai
            girm mzlaq. I said you call the Crimefs Mistakes, then you go all over writing a page, nay amma nagger:-)

          • Semere Tesfai

            Selam Semere

            I’m not a lawyer by training; but if I’ve to guess crimnality is proven at the court of law. Until proven otherwise, everyone is innocent. Second calling eachother criminals አየሳርሓናን እዩ:: ዎደሓንካ::

            Semere Tesfai

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Semere,

            The COI built its case as we have read all of us. To prove and disprove the case will be taken by the court. The case is established that “a crime against humanity” is occurred in our Eritrea. I wish COI get an access to the real victims inside Eritrea. But the regime knows his bloody hand and hence refuse to allow them. The ball is on the regime to go the high road to disprove the allegation and the established case against it. Why don’t stand with the victim by the way?

            regards

          • Semere Tesfai

            Selam Amanuel Hidrat

            “Why don’t you stand with the victims by the way?”

            I’m not against the victims. I care about victims as much as you do. But this is my thing:

            A. – It is wiser, cheaper, better, less bloodier – to solve our problems, ourselves without relying on foreign governments and interests.

            B. – Labeling, vilyfying, trying to settle scores, and criminalizing each other is not helpful in narrowing the gap between us – which narrowing the gap is our main tool to solve our problems.

            C. – Magnifying crimes selectively is not sincere and free from pretence.

            Meaning, when you are not having any problem with people who did harm Eritreans serving the emperor, when you are not having any problem with people who did harm Eritreans serving the Derg regime, when you are not having any problem with people who did harm Eritreans during Ghedli years outside the EPLF/PFDJ, when you are not having any problem with people (opposition organizations) who did harm Eritreans siding with the Woyanes in the name of liberating Eritrea from PFDJ – then you are not sincere when you’re talking about justice.

            All cimes will be excempted except crimes commited by EPLF/PFDJ doesn’t sit well with me.

            To be honest, I don’t even see the wisdom of envestigating every concivable alleged crime. Why? Even if we want to, we don’t have the financial and human resources to do it anyway.
            Aman: thank you for engaging.
            ሰላም ቀዳመ-ሰንበት ንኹልና::

            Semere Tesfai

          • Kokhob Selam

            Sir,
            1.But who stop us to solve our problem? እነሆ ጎልጎል እንሆ ሜዳ ..human beings are talking about human rights which was supposed to be solved by you and me. so why blame them.

            2. who can label whom? can’t we see the reality? it is so clear even other people are talking about it

            3.The crimes done by PFDJ is so high they deserve to be burned but because few who can manage to destroy are blamed and labeled they couldn’t move and the mass is paying the price.

            Here I am challenging you the crimes done by PFDJ is more than the king and Derg and all other fronts including EPLF. The present of PFDJ is worst than everything we have faced on earth.

          • Semere Tesfai

            Selam Kokhobay

            ” The crimes done by PFDJ is more than the crimes done by the king Derg and all other fronts”

            I beg to differ.

            Now, after a long day’s slaving, I’m about to head home. But hold that thought.
            ሰላም ቀዳመ-ሰንበት ንኹልና::

            Semere Tesfai

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear Semere,
            putting in to consideration PFDJ is an Eritrean party ( although I don’t consider even it is a collection of human beings) PFDJ has committed a lot of crime. for me ISIS and PFDJ are the same.

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Dear Mahmuday,

      Unfortunately, you are an exemplary one who lives in a collision of a singular mind who want to be conscientious and non conscientious at the same time for what ever reason in your politico-legalese reasoning. I am amazed (a) on how defending the regime (behind national security argument) outweigh to the feeling you could have to the destitute, repressed, enslaved, and perished Eritreans under the regime (b) I am amazed how you intertwine every internal political, legal, and social Eritrean problems to Ethiopia and other international organizations to defend the regime on its past and present crimes – all behind the obscured human reasoning.

      Now, I really feel bad, you to tell for those Eritreans whose families are dead in the unknown prisons and those who are still languishing in the dark foxholes (Eritreans have never ever experienced during the past successive rulers and colonizers) that this is simply “a solace” and no facts to bring and indict the regime to ICC. Imagine you are responding to Saay whose families are languishing in a prison without due process of rule of law. The COIE report as a matter of fact surely will segregate and expose as to who stands with the victims of the regime and who are not. The victim families does not need “solace” from those who directly and indirectly stand with regime. How contrarian it is, in its essence and practice, to argue and show sympathy to the victims but defend to the policy of the regime at the same time.

      Dear Mahmuday, whether the COIE will successfully bring the despot and his associates or not to the international criminal court (ICC), it is a milestone for the “justice seekers” to bring the issue on the international forum and register an important turning point in the the modern Eritrean history. We know that the process is an up hill struggle but the COIE report will sure give a momentum to the justice seekers and their struggle. What a blessing it is, to be on the side of the people as oppose to the regime, and to be on the side of the victims as oppose to the victimizer.

      Dear Mahmuday, I could rebut line by line to your argument and all your excuses, but it won’t bear fruits, for you will come with the same repetitive Ethiopia bla..bla..bla for all our political and social ills without attributing anything to our own failures. I have noticed you, taking “a sustained refugee” in your argument, that Ethiopia as the culprit to all our ills, for so long time, and will continue to do so in order to defend “the regime and its acts” on the Eritrean people, until you see its demise. The battle we are in is the battle of conscience, the truth, and surely our youth will overcome the current predicament of our people, and of course it won’t be without blood and sweat to face the brutal regime and its institutions.

      regards
      Amanuel Hidrat

      • Kokhob Selam

        Thank you Amanuel .

      • Mahmud Saleh

        Selam Emma
        As usual you are relying to your self-made image of Mahmuday, not to what I wrote. So whatever you say is a conversation between you and the imaginary Mahmud. To prove that:
        1. You are accusing me of siding with the government in denying the prisoners held incommunicado. Well, it’s Rammadan, and I will be very gentle. So, let me remind you what I wrote and compare it what you thought you read. This is what I wrote:(i)”There may be a case built around: A/imprisonment or other deprivation of physical liberty, B/ enforced disappearance, C/ torture, that’s only if IA is toppled and a cooperating regime is installed in Asmara.” Does this say I’m denying injustice has not occured? Am saying the families of those imprisoned have no cases?
        (ii)” It may give some solace to the families and friends of those who are imprisoned for so long without the chance of having a day in court, and the victims were abused.”
        (iii)”The real victims have the right to voice their grievances.”
        I’m saying here that the political innuendos in the report overcrowds the real problem in the area of due process.
        It’s bad my friend to run away from the messes that some opposition leaders are creating in bringing REAL change. That’s what the victims would want. The mentality of activists and veteran politicians has so far been on the outsourcing of the tasks that would ensure REAL change. I have family members and good friends who I would want today to get justice. But I’m realistic. What concerns me at this stage is real results and practical steps. You can’t tarnish my conscience because I have established trails that show who I’m.
        2. The second point was in defense of Ethiopia. Well, again, it’s Rammadan and I have to be gentle. So I leave you with this. You have been a trusted soldier (ታማኝ ወታደር) when it comes to defending the current Ethiopian regime. It’s true that Wayane belligerence has costed all efforts to bring about change from within and without. PFDJ used it smartly. And our opposition? Well, you know the story.
        Please also read my reply to Semere Tesfai. My friend Emma, I’m not a sponge that sucks everything. I discern. I will support any real Eritrean effort that will ensure a better future. This types of clearly political reports obscures the real victims of injustice.

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Dear Mahmuday,

          Not really. I am engaging with the “Real Mahmuday” who is still constructing an exit window for any eventualities the regime might commit a crime: by saying ((i) “There may be a case built around: A/imprisonment or other deprivation of physical liberty, B/ enforced disappearance, C/ torture, that’s only if IA is toppled and a cooperating regime is installed in Asmara.”
          (ii)” It may give some solace to the families and friends of those who are imprisoned for so long without the chance of having a day in court, and the victims were abused.”
          (iii)”The real victims have the right to voice their grievances.” But Mahmuday didn’t believe a crime is committed so far by the regime to our people and arguing against Saay who argued a crime is committed to our people. So the report of COIE according you is a political accusation than a legal. My friend Mahmuday, the crime that are committed by the regime are based mostly on political reasoning on those who challenged his governing style, or their sympathizers, or those oppose his policy, young and old, student and workers, politicians non politicians from all strata of our societies. Those crimes that are committed on a political ground, has also a legal path for both sides, the victims and victimizers, and hence the COI investigation and its report. If you really believe that a crime is committed (which is true), what makes you defensive that both sides to come to the court of justice to prove and disprove what in a legal due process which could bring and give us a lasting solution. Let us wait until the regime fall under its own weight, or until the opposition unite and win over the military that is entrenched in the party, is simply calling the total disintegration and dispersal of our people all over the world, and the trajectory shows clearly that.

          regards

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Dear Emma
            I still love you man. You are my friend, SAAY is dear to me. But when issues arise we need to be able to discuss it without resorting into childish tantrums of “you support the government, you are this etc. Mature people like to read dissenting readings and interpretations. I can retract the tamagn watader stuff if you behave. I pointed out areas where cases could be made. What does that mean in mature language? Those are the same areas that many Eritreans have been complaining about. Namely, A/imprisonment or other deprivation of physical liberty, B/ enforced disappearance, C/ torture. How clear could I be? Do I have to take the commission’s interpretation of enslavement? Absolutely not. And I have a long article on this (http://goo.gl/8cFUeC). So, I have tackled the problems and solutions long before Mzungu Mr. Smith takes the podium. I described the main problem and proposed practical solutions. I know some of us tend to get exited when something come through the mouth of a foreigner.
            If you expect me to say “North Korea” and all that nonsense, that’s not my nature. There are real problems that need real solutions. Real solutions come only from sober and genuine minds. Read my article on Erigazette (2nd part).

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Mahmuday,

            Aha Matured people do not say this and that, after you throw your hard ball from what ever you have in your store to denigrate the integrity of a person. I haven’t heard a self-aggrandizement taking yourself as matured when in fact people who oppose your stand, blackmailing them as weyene soldiers, a force at one point you use them to kill your own blood and brothers. And now you are telling us that you are sober, wise, and genuine. God forbid.

            regards

      • Peace!

        Dear Amanuel Hudrat,

        Since you are playing two ways, your desperation to see PFDJ face justice even at the expense of the country is totally understandable. But please keep in mind there are also people who see PFDJ and the country Eritrea as two totally different things; thus, you need to understand and respect their opinion.

        Peace!

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Dear Peace,

          Respect demand reciprocation. When Mahmuday and yourself start to reciprocate, you will earn my respect.

          • Peace!

            Dear Amanuel,

            Don’t get me wrong! You are playing it really well, just stay aggressive and keep attacking those who are expressing their concern about the country, who cares either way you will be just fine, right?:)

            Peace!

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Peace,

            Just take this note: You can’t be more concerned about “our country” than those who spent a chunk of their life-span to bring the country into existence, struggling for it , from the student lives to their work lives, from their work lives to the actual armed struggle. So please stop giving this nonsense diskurs as if you love the country more than anything.

    • Abi

      Hi Vet Mahmud
      I’m glad you confirmed without any reasonable doubt that Eritrea will never evaporate from the face of earth. What a relief!!!!!!
      Now, can you say the same about Eritreans? I see them melting in the deserts, sinking in the seas, languishing in the refugee camps and wasting their productive and reproductive lives in all the wrong places including the no ending , slavery grade national service.

      I stopped reading your hateta at the first paragraph because I was so moved by the fact that Eritrea will not evaporate by the heat coming from the south. Hey, it is a controlled heat. Don’t make us turn up the heat.
      Happy Ramadan.

      • iSem

        Abi:
        Well Mahmud got his physics right, barring volcanic eruptions, or short of the sun crashing into earth, Eritrea geographically will not evaporate, that is the mountains, the rivers, the Awget, the Denden will not evaporate and the heat from the south can only maybe evaporate the waters, But the people are melting away, brains are melting away, future are melting away, then the you, the south walk leisurely becoming even more independent

        • Mahmud Saleh

          Selam isem
          እላ ታ ሎሃ ታ
          ህታ ታ ሚ ሕታ። ይዕዘበካ ኣለኹ። ከምቲ ሳልሕ ዮኑስ ካብ ሻዕብያ ተለቂሑ ዝብሎ ” ኣብ ዝጥዕም ግዜን ኩነታትን ሓፈሻዊ ጸረ-መጥቃዕቲ ክገብር ምዃነይ ከፍልጠካ እፈቱ። ጀነራል ኒትሪክ ብጸጋም፡ ጀነራል ሆፕ ብየማን፡ ማርሻል ሰመረ ተስፋይ ድማ ብማእከል። ግን ናብ ቁም ነገር፡ ብቀዳማይ ተስፋልደት ባህታ ኣንገርጊሩካ ሕጂ ናባይ ተበጊስካ። “በትረይ ሃቡኒ ዘሕምቖ ኣለኒ” ይብሉ እቶም ትግርኛ ጥውይውይ ዘብልዋ። ቋንቛ ትግርኛ ኣባላሺኻ ክሳብ ኒትሪክ ካብ ደደቢት ዝመጸት ማህደረ-ቃላት ዝገናጽል ገይርካዮስ ሕጂ ናብ ቦሎቲካ! “ወይ ጉድ” ድያ ዝበለት ወይስ “ወሪዱኒ” እታ ተዋዛይት ጓል ኣደም (strike out) ጓል ቀሺ ማለተይ እየ። Anyway ይብሉ ፈረንጂ፡ ዓማጺ ናብ ፍትሒ ክቐረብ ኣለዎ። ንዕኡ ንምግባር ከኣ ነቶም ዝተዓመጹ ዘማእከለ ጽሩይ ረፖርት ምድላው ሓጋዚ እዩ። ብጁጅ-ማጁጅ ዝተመልአ ጸብጻብ ግን ኣክንዲ ነቶም ዝተበደሉ ንካልኦት ዝያዳ ዝጠቅም እዩ። እዚ ኣባሃህላ እዚ ብልክዕ ከንብቦ ንዝደሊ ርዱእ እዩ። ጥውይውይ እንተኣብዚሕካን ልውየት ሀለን መለስ ክትክደንንን ክተደናግርን እንተፈቲንካ ግን ተስፋልደት ባህታ ክጽወዓልካ እየ።

          • iSem

            Dear Mahmuday
            ብቀዳማይ ብኣዘራርባ ተስፋልደት ባህታ፡ ባእምሆይ ብኣዘራርባ ኤማ ፡ ተስፍልደት ኢዱ ሂቡ እቲ ከም ማይ ሕቂቅ ዝዛሪ ትግራኛይ ምስ ዘነቦ፡ ስልዚ ማህደረ ቃላት ዘገንጽል የብለይን ሓውኻ፣ እቲ ትግርኛ አብ ደማይ ዝተጽንበረ፡ አብ የእምሮይ ዝተ ቀርጸ አብ የዕጽምተይ ዝተድኮነ ስልዝኾነ፡ እነኔልካ ኣቦይ ፍቃዱ…

            ተስፋልደት ነቲ ምጉት ሾማል-ሾማል( this is a slang that Tesfalident know given his accent/ and dialect, gobo-gobo, wesen wesen) ምስ በሎ፡ ንዓሻ ድርጎአሓሉ ንለባም ኣምተሉ ስለዝኾነ ድርጊሐሉ፡ ህጣሙ ጥፊኡ አመቱ እስክ ግበር. ካብ ዓማ ን ምዳዳ ኢዱ ሂቡ፡ -)

            ንዚ ጽብጻብ ጁጁ ማጁጁ እንተበልካዮ እቶም ምስክርነቶም ዝሃቡ ደቂ ኤረ፣ እወ እታ ቅደም ሽታ ለሚነ ሎሚ ድማ ብሰንኪ እቶም እትፈልጦም ሽታ ነቲሐ ዝኾነት ኢኻ ትውንጅል ዘለኻ ሓሰውቲ ትብል ዘላኽ

            እቲ ልውየት ሀለን እም ሽላን እዪ ዝሽትት፣ ዝብሃግን ዘወናንዎን ኢዪ እብለካ፣ ሃንን ምስበልካ ድማ ትግራኛ ይፍልፍለልካ ከም እቶም ጀነራላላትካ ድማ ዓወን-ወን ይብሉ
            Now seriously: You called the report garbage, you deliberately , knowingly called the crimes human right abuses, Sem T called it a mistakes and he dodge my question and he wore his cadre hat, that is fine
            My pointed questions was, are you denying the excruciating rape details, the emotional and physical scars of the 800 Eritreans
            Whether it make sit to the ICC as Sal said is not for lack of legal , evidence veracity but political and interest issues. Even if this does not make it to ICC, it is not celebration for you guys ( the bashers of the report and its witness)

        • Abi

          Hi Sem
          A little correction here
          The south will walk north to the empty land to take care of the camels , to milk them, to load them with qiraqinbo … In short, to bring back life one more time. You can watch us from your ” Melting Pot” far away lands.

          • Peace!

            Abish,

            Melting pot? Which one is actually melting? You are really funny! Well, please Keep your morton’s coffee straight and stay healthy.

            Peace!

    • sabri

      Dear Mahmud
      Just before I was starting to comment the recent ICC report I saw your piece. Amazingly it is exactly the same thing I had in my mind. Then I stop because you expressed it well. Very deep and powerful. Thanks Mohamuday.

      Hawka
      Sabri

      • Mahmud Saleh

        Ahlan Sabri, and welcome back
        Rammadan Kareem
        Let’s take the issue of rape: This is not an easy undertaking on my behalf. I do really care about the safety, sanctity, and dignity of women. I fgrew up among them; I fought with them, and they had a lasting impression on me. I have a respect for Eritrean mother. The complaint that some of our young National service members have voiced emanates from administrative weakness; it does not show a policy of and an all out campaign of rape to terrorize certain group of people. Mr. Smith and his Co. can’t make a case that rape was used to exterminate, subdue, or chase out a group of people. Mr. Smith and Co. looked for cases of rape that happened on civilians. He could not find, even if he found (and it’s possible he found) those cases could not come near to the level of presenting them as an evidence. When you talk of rape as a tool, you are talking acts of premeditated and well coordinated campaign of terror on civilians using rape as a tool. He could not find that. Well, no surprise. If Yemane Gebreab made an accurate statement it was this fact. Thanks God, incidents may happen and should be prosecuted, but Eritrean society has not fallen to that level. God keep those Hingugus off the fence. What might be comprehensible as had happened, in Eritrean reality, is that some commanders committed acts of sexual abuses and assaults abusing the power they wielded. That would be understandable, but it does not amount to a case of crime against humanity. Not at all. Eritreans should pressure their government to improve codes of conduct, to train recruits and prepare them so that they don’t fall prey to abusive individuals. Those individuals are few, very few.
        the following may provide you with some reading.
        https://goo.gl/f5mAkS
        Thanks.

    • saay7

      Selamat Mahmuday and all:

      Ramadan Kareem, Field Marshall!

      I am glad you fired your big guns; it helps us sharpen our debate. I think this issue is so important I have actually agreed to a radio interview with Medrek (in English) and Tebay inte zeygerkum, I will also have one in Tigrinya because, yes iSem, I have a Tigrinya word now for “impunity” after I asked THE authority on modern Tigrinya (none of your business who it is:)

      Now Mahmuday. Let’s unwrap your package, and to help us do that, I recommend that all Eritreans, whether pro-government or opposed, read the recently-published report of the CoIE, available at their website. It is only 94 pages (compared to the 500 plus from last year) and you can find it here:

      http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/CoIEritrea/Pages/2016ReportCoIEritrea.aspx

      Now let’s deal with the issues you raised, in the order you raised them:

      1. The bar to prove crimes against humanity is not high, really, This is because the evidentiary standard is not “beyond a reasonable doubt”; it is “reasonable grounds to believe”: the same one used by CoIE. In fact, the accused doesn’t even have the right to face the accuser: the accused is guaranteed anonymity. The high hurdle is not legal, but political: convincing HRC and UNSC that going this path improves world peace and security.

      2. Why was 1998-2000 used as the year for persecution of Kunama and Afar. The CoIE was tasked with discovering evidence for crimes against humanity and it used any period between 1991-2016 because that is the period that despotic rule in Eritrea was introduced, consolidated and maintained. Why all the way to 1991? Because there are witnesses for Muslim teachers arrests of 1994, for example; Jehovah persecution in 1993 for example. In 1998-2000, the Kunama (collectively) were accused for the fall of Barentu. I know for our own sanity we must maintain that “PFDJ is an equal opportunity employer” but the fact is it attacked different groups at opportune times and we the people didn’t stand up. “They must have a good reason” was used.

      3. You shouldn’t have any moral ambiguity of what “should be done with them” when it comes to Jehovah’s Witness. They, exercising their religious right, said that they cannot participate in the military and the government announced (via Dimtsi Hafash) that they have surrendered their citizenship by doing so. What it should do with them is respect their religion. There is no country in the world that can justify military conscription and refusal to exempt people more than the State of Israel. But it too grants religious exemptions. This is not very hard, Mahmuday.

      4. I would not dismiss the case of Kunama and Afar so callously. These are small minority groups that are on the brink of extinction from Eritrea. Unlike the rest of Eritreans whose exodus is limited to its youth, with the Kunama and Afar it is entire communities–including the elderly and children–that are leaving their homes and living in destitution in either Ethiopian or Yemeni refugee camps. Please listen to the interview of Dan Connell which was posted at this website.

      5. The government’s “shoot-to-kill” policy is like any one of its policies: it is arbitrarily enforced. In his Q&A, Yemane Gebreab said that there hasn’t been a single incident of people who were shot at when crossing the border. Well, the children of Petros Solomon testified to that effect. There have been many testimonies of people who survived the shooting, and people who were doing the shooting: all now exiled.

      6. Even if you think the number of 5,000/month is a gross exaggeration, and you accept Yemane Gebreab in his interview where he said “its less than half of that” and the interview says “Ma’shallah”–so let’s say it is 2,000–that is still a lot of people. Now that Yemane himself has said on the record that Eritrea’s population is “less than 4,000,000” the number of Eritrean exiles are estimated at 12% of the population. Here’s how to flip your argument:

      a. There is a shoot-to-kill policy in Eritrea
      b. Still, 2,000-5,0000 Eritreans leave every month
      c. Therefore, things in Eritrea must be so awful that people are willing to risk death to escape.

      7. About the 40,000 petitions. Please read the report. The Commission took a statistical sample of 5% of the total (around 2,000) and called every single one of them. (Remember, from these 40,000 only 5, that’s right, FIVE were from Eritrea and the rest are mostly from Eritreans who have left the country before 1991 or shortly thereafter, have no personal knowledge of military service. And they called them, some said they are objecting to the CoIE report that there is rape going on in every corner of Eritrea (CoIE made no such allegation), that they didn’t sign the form, that they live in a country and were forced to do under duress of losing their passport, that they object to the UN’s refusal to demarcate the border. Many of the documents were forms with identical phrasing. So, no, nobody is saying they are not Eritrean; CoIE concluded that they had nothing to contribute, no personal knowledge, as to whether crimes against humanity were committed in Eritrea.

      8. With respect to rape, the government tried to make the case that rape is “against” the culture of Eritrea (as if any country in the world condones rape.) In contrast, the CoIE said, yeah, culture has a role–but its role is in silencing the victims: Eritrean culture stigmatizes rape victims and therefore it goes unreported. Now, when you have Yemane Gebreab saying the incidents of rape in Eritrea “can be counted in two fingers” and when you have Yemane Gebremeskel saying that rape in Eritrea does not happen to the extent alleged: do they sound to you that they are open-minded, inquisitive people who would encourage victims to come to report crimes or do they sound people who would be very dismissive and penalize the victim? In contrast, the CoIE brought trained experts from the UN, people trained in dealing with traumatized women, people who can speak Tigrinya and conducted a respectful and accomodating interview. Please Hsbelu Mahmuday.

      9. “Widespread” and “systematic” do not mean what you think they mean. Please read the report and tell me if you hold the same view.

      10. “Modern slavery” does not mean what you think it means. Here’s the difference between our revolution and the National Service. In our revolution, you were a combatant. The National Service conscripts are considered civilians except for the period of 1998-2000 (conflict with Ethiopia) and a couple of days in 2008 (conflict with Djibouti). That people in the situation National Service are in is according to CoIE which cites similar cases “established law.” The government of Eritrea was kindly helpful in making this case when its officials said that the national service conscripts are “developing the country” and have to be there “because we cannot afford to demobilize them.” (The latter courtesy of Yemane Gebreab, which might explain to you why he is fuming: the CoIE used his own words to classify “National Service” not as combatants but civilians trapped.

      I hope to write a summary of the CoIE report and I will provide a link to my interview with Medrek.

      Thanks!

      saay

      • iSem

        Hi sal:
        Just to add to one thing you said about YG saing rape is not in our.
        culture, a journalist actually followuped and told him no society has a rape culture
        Those who were charmed by MS comment read what Sal wrote
        PS. Sal, how about a Tigriniy for wedi mai Ontario doo?
        By the way, I got in trouble with “…. sende”, I cannot tell u now, I have to write the whole dialog:-))

      • Mahmud Saleh

        Dearest SAAY
        I thank you very much for the resourceful reply. I will give you my two cent reply after Iftar, Inshaallah.

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Dear Saay,

        Well done brother. Look saay, it is not they don’t know it, it is because they took the regime and its institution as their “warm homes” for whatever reason it is. it requires some socio-psychological studies for those who defend a tormentor of a society. Thank you.

        regards,
        Amanuel Hidrat

      • Hope

        Selam SAAY:

        Am not sure any one will deny those facts and arguments but the difference is on how people perceive and interpret things-subjectively.

        As far as the Kunama and Afari issue is concerned, it is prudent NOT to jump into conclusions and judgments as we have to consider the politics behind it as dictated by the other enemy….

        Consider the CIA style of doing “business’….as to how to drain the brain and to destroy Nations by depriving them from their Human Resources.

        My only concern with you is that you tend “to buy” things at face value….like the SEMG report, the Djibouti drama, the Ugandan massacre, the TPLF AU Summit bombing plot.etc…

        I never see u or hear you talking about the Libyan,Syraia,Iraqi –Afghan,etc—nightmare at least in ref to its similar perceived threat/outcome/impact on /and against Eritrea(a kind of an analogy).beyond tha,I ,am not sure people can refute your well articulated arguemnents9minus some bias).

        You also said:

        “.Mahmuday, don’t buy the argument that an attack on a handful of power abusers is an attack against Eritrea”.
        Well, consider the case scenario of Saddam Hussein and Col Muamer Ghedafi and that of Assad…and try to figure it out as to why people are concerned about this kind of dubious approach with double standard and with the Unknown outcome, where you have NO control…

    • Amanuel

      Hi Mahmuday
      I have nothing to add the wise men of Awate (saay, AH and HTG among them) have replied eloquently. When I read your comment yesterday I was so angry and disappointed and restrained from replying. I day after I am still angry at you and I want you to know that.

      • Mahmud Saleh

        Dear Amanuel
        Thank you for the reply. Rest assured that I value critical comments. I admire your open and heartfelt reply. I encourage you to consider reading me wholly. Just because I did not jump like Semere Andom who is to be our next parliamentarian (haha ጥር ኢልካስ ካብ ቶሮንቶ ናብ ፓርልያመንታሪያን ኣብ ኣስመራ!!). እቶም ንኤርትራ ዝርህጹ ዘለዉ ኸ ሱቕ ኢሎም ንሰመረ ክገድፉሉ? እዚ እዩ እቲ ሳይኮሎጂ ናይ ተቓወምትና። ኣክንዲ ኤርትራ በቶም ዝፈልጥዋን ንዓመታት ዝደመዩላን ክትመሓደር ዝጽዕሩ፡ ኣብ ምምቕቓል ስልጣን ናይ ሓንቲ ቅድሚ 30-40 ዓመታ ዝገደፍዋ ሃገር ክበእሱ ግዜኦምን ሃንኲቶም። ሓንቲ መዓልቲ ሻዕብያ + ደሞክራስያዊነት እንተዝኾኑ፡ ህግድፍ ኣበይ ምሃለወ። ሕሰበሉ ተጋዳላይ ኣማንኤል።
        Anyway, thank you. I have to stop here, a long drive is awaiting me.

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Dear Mahmuday,

          Yup have said: “ኣክንዲ ኤርትራ በቶም ዝፈልጥዋን ንዓመታት ዝደመዩላን ክትመሓደር ዝጽዕሩ፡:”

          This argument proves to the “grievances of our people” that says Eritrea becomes only for those who bleed for it and not for its entire population, and tegadelti has fought for their interest not for the people at large. This grievances started early in the 90s during mitsentsdal.

          This also tells about you and those in power, that the reasons for your stand to oppose COIE and defend the current regime is, your fear of PFDJ losing its power. This goes to our argument on different subject, you arguing only to reform PFDJ even without reforming its institutions. You make it my day my friend.

          regards
          Amanuel Hidrat

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Selam Amanuels
            Just correction: “ኣክንዲ ኤርትራ በቶም ዝፈልጥዋን ንዓመታት ዝደመዩላን ክትመሓደር ዝጽዕሩ፡:” I’m referring to the people who are supporting the nation and scarifying their lives and time, going through thick and thin while both of you and me are minding our Diaspora lives. When I say change from within I mean it. Eritrea is full of people who could lead it better. The Diaspora, of course, have the right to participate in their country’s affair, but could just jump in there and lord around people who sustained the nation through all these years; and good luck if you dream of running for congress in Eritrea. Emma has taken it the usual way and made a hateta out of nothing. Thank you brother. You have been reading my comments back and sideways lately. Every time you see my name the “Shaebia hormone” kicks in. I will have an installment on this in my next 3rd part of :
            http://www.erigazette.org/?p=9217

        • Amanuel

          Hi Mahmuday
          I read it for the third time. I am still angry with you because I didn’t expect this from you. You are supposed be on the side of justice seekers whether it comes from Eritreans or others.
          What is SA to do with this. If he wants to be a parliamentarian in the future good for him.
          I am on the opinion of that if any one want to hold office in future Eritrea it should be on merit, I mean he should be qualified based on the criteria set by law. It shouldn’t be like a business transaction the one you are suggesting either seriously or jokey.

          • iSem

            Hi Aman:
            Well, please be easy on my friend Mahmud Saleh, because your confusing him with Wedi Saleh.
            You how he said “jump and wear sun glasses”, typical, I am qualified he knows it but he is angry that I will undo many of the things he loves. As justice seekers me know the report is not perfect, it cannot be, but to mix with how it cannot be proved, to be ambivalent about the crimes and calling them mere abuses, HR abuses happen everywhere even in Toronto, rape happen here too, police officers beat people, many Muslims were wrongly imprisoned and profiled here, including , my colleague a distinguished professor of airspace but these are not widespread and systematic by the state, not by the city, not by the province and not by the federal government, random, humans abusing humans, I can live with that in Eri.
            Wedi Saleh is doing as expected, confusing, Hishik showing, but Mahmuday is a different story,
            How is this politically motivated, everyone in the other side is talking about how UN cashiered Eritrea, how hypocritical is US, a country known for slavery telling us, so they are justifying the crimes, we were abused, so they are pelading sort of innocent by reason of insanity due to past abuses. they should say, CoIE has exaggerated and will work with you to be more transparent, let them in the crime scene, that alone will be credit for them, but if they give them access, they know the truth when they have access to torture and rape chambers. both the physical chambers and the chambers inside the humans
            He is kind of joking about the parliamentary, half joking, but he cannot stand me switching from Tigrinya to Tigryat to Arabic to English when I introduce my motion to undo many of the things he loves, including declaring heavy taxes in dumu-dumu:-) Also he wants me to speak in nine languages, four languages are not enough.
            He is still conflicted,: murders, 4000/month exodus , kill to shoot are well documented and Eritreans are telling us. Also Wedi Saleh hates SA for a different reason, SA once said when the dust settles and all is done and told we will be shocked by the extreme cruelty of PFDJ from day one and day one is not 1991, it is 1970 in Teklie”, a little history for you Aman

  • Haile Zeru

    Hi all,

    Yemane Gebreab the liar.

    I skipped his presentation in response to the COI press conference and heard the Q&A session. Beside the garbage that he spewed, he said few times that G15 were high ranking generals and betrayed the country at a sensitive moment. I am paraphrasing him. It is waste of time trying to write his message verbatim.

    This liar was giving hints to the journalists that were asking him, that G15 affected the outcome of the war. And by implication betrayed the nation.

    Facts are none of them was in position of active combat to give orders to affect the outcome of the war. They all were in civilian assignments. Everybody also knows that the Ethiopian army penetrated the Eritrean defense lines that were under general Filippos command. After the war we did not hear any thing on the accountability of Filippos for loosing the whole Barca region in a single battle.
    On the contrary the minister of fisheries, The minister of internal affairs, the minister of foreign affairs are paying the ultimate price of his blander.

    In a normal world general Filippos would have been court martialed for the devastating loss that happened under his command.

    Had any of the G-15 been involved in any of the accusation (out of court and in their absence) leveled at them, DIA would not have hesitated to bring them in front of the firing squads. But because those accusations are false he has to make them disappear. Obviously no court of law would entertain the accusation.

    June 8 2016 was a good day in my life. The best day will be the day I see Issayas grilled in a court of law to answer for his crimes. I will contribute whatever I can to make that happen.

    • iSem

      Hi Haile Z:
      Welcome back. And your day will get better of the HRC votes to send the accusations to the SC and if the SC agrees to refer them to ICC, for me this day will be better than Sep 1 1961, far better than May 24, 1991 and when I am in parliament I will introduce a motion to make that date the liberation of Eritrea, the emancipation of Eritreans, the restoration of dignity

  • Kim Hanna

    Selam PTS,
    .
    Your brief descriptions of your visit was interesting. I wonder if you can add more. (If you can)
    .
    I was just wondering if “regular” folks complain about high prices and availability of items. Even on things they have gotten used to like standing in line for hours, was there any indication that they are not happy about it. I presume because of extensive spying and fear of it people might never verbalize their problems. However there is always some expression of unhappiness that can be detected. Did you get such vibes?
    .
    Mr. K.H

  • T..T.

    Hi all,

    The UN’s COI has finalized its inquiry into the BACKGROUND of various allegations as to why the Eritreans are fleeing their country in droves to avoid hellish life and prisons.

    If the UNSC adopt a resolution holding Isayas and his generals accountable for violations of humanitarian laws and rights, the case would be referred to the ICC for investigation and prosecution. The ICC will review the already investigated background of the case. It will also open files and investigate into the frontground, topground and sidegrounds of the case.

    The frontground of the case will include the G-15 and journalists cases looking into the horrific aspects of their life in prison and how they died there.

    The topground of the case will include all those unjailed but in open-air prison, children through the elderly alike who are forced to surrender everything under gun point.

    The sidegrounds of the case will include all the conscripts who were sent as mercenaries into the conflicts in Congo, Somalia and Yemen. Most of those conscripts were unaccounted for as well as were not compensated for their risky services, even though the tyrant used them to occupy gold and diamond mines, pillaging diamonds and other wealth of those countries.

    • Saleh Johar

      Hello Kim,
      You made me think! Maybe Fanti is partnering with the Chinese to make them shoes locally. 🙂

  • Kokhob Selam

    እንኳዕ ብደሓን መጻእካ PTS

    ከም’ዚ እንተነይሩ ዘሕለፍካዮ ተሞክሮ ብዙሕ ዘሸግር ጉዳያት ኣይነበረካን ማለት እዩ :: እቶም ዝጠቀስካዮም ጸገማት ‘ውን ድሮ ለሚድካዮም ክምዚነበርካ ኢኻ ገሊጽካ :: ንምልማድ ዝወሰደልካ ግዜ ክልተ ወርሒ እንተኾይኑ ጽቡቅ ዕረፍቲ ንምርካብ ካብ ድሕሪ ክልተ ወርሒ ኢኻ ዕረፍቲ ክትወስድ ዝነበረካ :: ብዝኾነ ሕጂ ኣብዘለኻዮ ሃገር ንዘሎ ጸገማት ንምልማድ ‘ ውን ክልተ ወርሒ ክወስዱልካ እዩሞ :: ብቀጥታ መኪና ኣይትዘውር :- ኮምፒተር ውን ክሳብ ትለምዶ ደድሕሪ 15 ደቂቅ ከምዝጠፍእ ግበሮ ::

    ንዓመታ ከምዚ ሕጂ እቲ ስርዓት እንተልዩ ናብ ዕረፍቲ ቅድሚ ምኻድካ ቅድመ – ምድላዋት ክትገብር ኣለካ ::
    ፩. ቅልጥፍቲ በሽክለታ :- እታ በሽክለታ ብጸዓት ጸሓይ እትንቀሳቀስ ክትከውን ዝበለጸ እዩ ::
    ፪ .ምናልባት በሽክለታ እንተኸቢራትካ ግን ነታ ሳማፎሮ ‘ውን ደው ዘይብላ ኣብ ቀረባ እዋን እተመስረሐት ከም መኪናን ነፋሪትን እተገልግል መጓዓዚት ሒዝካ ምኻድ ዝበለጸ እዩ ::
    ፫. ኣብ ልዕሊ እታ ትገዝኣ በሽክለታ ወይ እታ ዘመናዊ መጓዓዚት ብቪሳት ዝፍለጥ ናይ ኢንተርኔት መስመር (ብቀጥታ ካብ ሳትላይት ዝስሕብ መሳርሒ ) ምጥባቕ ክርሳዕ የብሉን ነዚ ብዝምልከት እቲ ሽሓኒ (ዲሽ) ይኹን ኣመሓላላፊ( ትራንስሚተር) – ተቀባልን (ሪሲቨር) ብኣዝዩ ሕሱር ዋጋ ዘቅርቡልካ ካምፓኒታት ካብ ሕጂ ምንዳይ ኣይትረስዕ ::
    ፬ እቲ ጉዳይ ሞንኮብካን ሕቆኻን ከፊኡካ ምቅናዮ እቲ ዝበርተዐ ተሞክሮ እዩ :: እዚ ‘ውን ዘየማኽርካኒ ኮይንካ እምበር መፍትሒኡ ቀሊል እዩ :: እቲ ቀዳማይ ግርም ሳዕሳዕን ተቆጻጻይን ኮይንካ ንኽትርከብ ቅድሚ ምጋሽካ ኣብ ዘለኻዮ ሃገር ምስ ዝርከባ ኣመንዝራታት ዘካይድኣኦ ፊስተቫላት ምክፋል ጠቃሚ እዩ:: ኣስሕብ ኣርግብ – ናይ መንኮብ ድማ ዓዲ ምስከድካ ቁርብ ስዋ ውስኽ ኣቢልካ ንዝኾነ ቁሊሕ ምሊሕ ጸገም እዩ ዘወግድ ::

    ነዚ ቅድመ ምድላዋት ቅድሚ ምግባርካ ግን ንዓመታ ህግደፍ ክህልው ድዮም ዝብል ሕቶ ምምላሱ ኣገዳሲ እዩ ::

    እንኳዕ ብሰላም መጻእኻ ::

  • iSem

    Hi Ayneta:
    You remember you asking where is dawit, he was suffering from what SGJ calls the enda tehanit syndrome. Also he was celebrating his captivity and the birth day of that Russian poet.
    It cannot go more nuts than announcing the BD of the poet and begging for the help of G7 support. Dawit, Nitiricc and Hope are not critics of the opposition , which is good thing, they are the enablers, they are complicit in the crimes that IA and gang are accused of. If I was IA I would have preferred to die when he was sick with the brain malaria with his fake hero status and sainthood intact.
    But one thing is for sure, in the Gold Jublee, no IA monument will be built, the Pushlin will be eradicated to be replaced with one of Eritrea’s hero, the Pushkin monument was an affront to Eritreanism ,, “enoa kelatas hatina tinafik, or lamsi b’eda zqerb b’egra tihakik” because she is not that smart

  • dawit

    Hi to all Awatistas,

    While Eritreans at home and abroad celebrating their Jubilee Independence beating their drum at
    every corner of the world the Eritrean enemies are awakened from their hibernating or mourning state
    by a fictitious report written by three individuals whose interest is keeping their UN fat salaries and benefits.
    Accusing Eritrea based on all fictitious charges has become a growing cottage industry for politicians and
    pseudo journalists who manufacture false statistics and write sensational stories.

    Those Eritreans who are clapping with COI can expect some crumbs falling from the UN
    fund serving as consultant to spice up the charges against Eritrea. However the smart PFDJ leadership
    have not fallen to pressure by big and small government agents of ‘Regime Change’ advocates, shading
    their crocodile tears to allow COI members to visit Eritrea. So their latest report is same fiction collected
    from people who posed to be Eritreans or few sellouts who are dreaming for regime change in Eritrea.
    The report claims Eritrean National Service as ‘modern slavery’ which is a mockery to reasonable person.
    Those young Eritreans engaged in rebuilding the nation come from the cross section of the nation, they are
    the sons and daughters of farmers, nomads, PFDJ officials, Military leaders, and factory works etc.
    without any distinctions. Now one may ask why the President, a Cabinet Minister or a military general would
    send their children to the same ‘rape or slave camp’. One may also inclined to believe COI fiction if the
    PFDJ children were kept out of this ‘torture camp’ and sent to Oxford or Harvard to study while the son
    and daughters of the peasants and nomads are kept to serve their country. The story would have made
    sense if PFDJ leaders and their wives were travelling to Europe and America for shopping spree at the
    expense of the nation, which is a typical characteristics of many Africans and Third World leaders. This
    latest ‘UN report’ is going to collect dust just like all other ‘Commissions Reports’ about Eritrea since 1941,
    while Eritrea marches forward to its next Golden Jubilee Independent anniversary celebration in 2041
    under the leadership of PFDJ by building a democratic nation from bottom up.
    For those who care on Eritrean success story, another Eritrean Cycling Celebration season has started. Dauphine #5: Daniel Teklehaimanot Wins the Polka Dot Jersey Again and hopes to win another ‘King of the Mountain’ Title this year.

    dawit

    • iSem

      Hi dawit:
      Buddying rapist in chief, One thing is for sure, the Golden jublee, neither you nor your the rapist in chief IA will be alive by then. Spare us your lies

  • Abi

    Hope Nebsi
    “Flip flop” must have a different meaning when it comes from you.
    ” BiTilew gelebeTegn ”

  • Nitricc

    Hi All; reading some of your articles is disturbing and offensive to the sensible mind. I just wish every hypocrite on this forum stops using the word “justice”; because you have no idea what justice is. It is all injustice when the government of Eritrea arrests and keeps them the G-15 over a decade with out giving the process due that every one should have the right to face their accusers, yet, when Eritrea is abused and unjustly sentenced to all kinds of crimes with out having the right to face her accusers; denied out right, then all this cool and justice served. How hypocrite can one be? For anyone who jumping with joy because injustice been served; you need to question your moral worth and your understanding of justice. Justice is usually defined by our moral worth and in turn our moral worth is defined by our quality of character and motive. I.e. if our motive is nothing but justice, then, how can you justify the very unjust that is served against the state of Eritrea? For me, I oppose the holding of G-15 and any prisoner who is denied the right to face his accusers; because it unjust. On the same token; I oppose the worthless UN punishing Eritrea without giving the right to face her accusers. I can’t pick and choose with inclinations. Just is just and unjust is such is that. The good thing is; the children of Eritrea who matters are watching and standing for any eventuality. You may lie your teeth off to get your passport to modern slavery and by painting the darkest scenario passable against the state of Eritrea but at the end both of you are losers; the once who are lying to the brim and the hypocrites who are using justice with absolute inclination.
    So, be happy with your sense of revenge and don’t you ever forget that ..
    “A man that studieth revenge keeps his own wounds green.”
    Eritrea will prevail as always!

    • iSem

      Hi awatista:
      A robot has spoken eloquently, and this robot was conceived, designed and deployed by the government of IA, this is a huge accomplishment for humanity, so let us consider this breakthrough by PFDJ and let us not refer them to ICC.
      We are all imperfect and we have falter and so did PFDJ, but by creating a robot that talks human language, humanity thas found savor in PFDJ and YPFDJ and the toil of speech that mankind has endured for millions of years is history and generation of humans will only know that humans has to endure the toil and slavery of speech from movies and history books

    • Kokhob Selam

      Dear Nitricc,

      I love your loyalty for PFDJ this time. so now you agree that arresting G-15 without due accusation or any sort of legal process is injustice . This is very important. confirm me if I understand it clearly.

  • haileTG

    hi Hope,

    I find that question you stated there interesting. Here it is:

    “how can we expect the COIE to resolve our core issues for once and for all?”

    I think that is the key question. What would it result in terms of “resolving” the “core issues” as you stated.

    I think that the discussions/debates under this article should focus in trying to answer this question as realistically as possible.

    You go first… 🙂

  • iSem

    Hi All:

    Mr. Bruton Makes Telling Untruth a Habit When It Comes to Eritrea:

    On this exchange: http://www.tesfanews.net/un-gets-wrong-rights-eritrea/ Mrs. Bruton sounds like a mouth piece for the Eritrean government. She has lost her outsider independent and objective assessment.

    She says to the effect of: “…. had the Eritrea allowed the COI to visit Eritrea, the report would have been more kind to Eritrea, but we know what this is only true, if you are touring Eritrea with minders meticoulsy planning and deciding who to talk to, where to go. But the COI would not be interested in that, they would have wanted access to prisoners to interview people, they would have demanded to travel without minders, they would have asked to interview people in private and confidentially. If they wanted to visit the streets of Asmara and talk to people in public, sip they expresso coffee, marvel at the arthicture of Asmara that the Italians left behind after making Eritrea the guinnpig for their novel design ideas, if the COI wanted to interview the two Yemanes, the Eritrean government would have happily granted them access.

    On National Service

    About the National Services, the report makes it clear that people are not sold and bought in the open market, but what is happening in Eritrea is a text book definition of modern slavery, it maybe news to Mrs. Burton, but Eritreans have known this for decades. If you cannot choose to leave military after serving the 18 months, if you cannot plan your own life, if you cannot choose to study in high school of your choosing, if you are not allowed to say no when asked to work in the farms and building projects owned by generals and cononiles, if you cannot say NO to sexual advances by your superiors, if you cannot ask the whereabouts of your fathers after he was taken in the dead of the night and never to return, if you are shot in front of your planttons afer a couple of being owal, there is no moe befitting definition of slaver. But to admit this it takes some intellectual honesty, which the new opportunity that the crisis in Eritrea offers Mr., Brutin clouds that.

    The problems with people like Mrs.Bruton or what Saleh Younis of Awate calls “Mzungu” is that they are easily charmed by dictators and all the training as intellectuals abandons them when they get access to the strong man.

    When we finally know the truth, what went behind the walls, even in the deceptive and serene Asmara, behind the many prisons, we will be mixing our tears with our expresso to paraphrase, Guardian writer, Jonathan Freedland, who said, “…..We cannot say we didn’t know, and we cannot say there was nothing to be done. We must act – unless we plan on mixing tears with

    our popcorn all over again, as we settle down sometime in 2015 for a screening of a new, acclaimed movie: Hotel Darfur.”

    But to do that the government of Eritrea must be pressured to allow a UN body into the prisons without minders following them, and am sure they will find the torture chambers in the belly of Asmara, the Ethiopians may have been gone for 25 years, but their torture chambers have been innovated, renovated and upgraded by PFDJ.

    Shoot To Kill

    The Shoot to Kill is a well documented and witnessed Phenomenon. People are shot for extending their vacation, for being suspected as Jihadist. But you may not find a decree to do that, there may not be a paper work ordering that, there may not be video ad audio recording of that, but there is witness who have abandoned there the international community has its work cut for it to validate these accusations with experts. But for Mrs. Burton to reject these testimonies of the survivors, based solely on her cozy relationships and visits to Asmara is like blaming a rape victim for concocting the claims

    There is something surreal about a government that does not allow its dead citizen return home but observes the birthday of a dead Russian poet, for whom it built a monument.

    http://www.madote.com/2016/06/alexander-pushkins-birthday-observed-in.html

  • Amanuel

    Hi Hope,
    He is not appointed to investigate those alleged crimes you are referring to. He is appointed to investigate the Eritrean case and he did what he is asked for.
    Get real and pick your side no but no ifs.

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Hi Amanuel (Mekusi),

      Do not take Hope as a serious person to debate with. He has no any conscientious belief to stand on. He dance between the two antagonists (justice seekers and the despotic regime) to secure himself with the winners. So he goes with the direction of the wind. Look Aman, an individual can not be conscientious and non conscientious at the same time. If you refer to Amy Morin ‘s 5 major personality traits, you could easily find out his fit.

      regards

  • Amanuel

    Hi Saay
    Are you applying for the vacant post of Head of damage limitation at the Office of President? You just gave them all the row materials, all they need now is to put it together and can produce credible policy to frustrate the report.

    • saay7

      Nice, Amanuel!

      PFDJ is a frugal institution that receives but doesn’t give but it makes only one exception: when it comes to hiring lawyers then it goes all out so, that position of “Head of Damage Limitation” is outsourced to Ferenji: Eritreans need not apply.

      But, seriously, my point is that some people on our side might forget that this is the beginning of a long journey and what I was trying to do with the article is that the works that awaits is huge, and the odds still favor the Isaiasist because the political and legal hurdles are extraordinarily high.

      It is too bad that it is 50 states of the HRC and not the “residents” of the following states who will vote on whether to take the Isaias Clique to a court of law for crimes against Eritreans: Aderser; Barentu; Halhale; Sawa; Adi Abeito prison complex; Dahlak Kebir prison; Kambo Ndafurstale; Sembel ; Dbarwa prison; Karsheli prison; Fifth police station; Tehadasso; Adi Keih prison; Eiraeiro; Klima; Tessenei; Agip; Mai Edaga; “Tract B” ; Alla; Mai Duma;  Tsetserat
      Assab prison; Galaalo; Mai Serwa; Wi’a; Adi Nefas; Gedem; Mai Temenai, Nakura…..Adi Qala; Gahteley ; Metkelabet
      Baharia; Haddis Ma’askar; Me’eter…… And this is a fraction of what we know.

      I don’t mean to pick on Maldives, but it has a population of 300,000 and it sits on the HRC. Sadly, a bureaucrat from Maldives has more voice on should happen to Eritrean criminals than an Eritrean prisoner wasting away in one of the dozens of Eritrea’s prisons.

      saay

      • iSem

        hi Sal:
        Your wrote: “But, seriously, my point is that some people on our side might forget that this is the beginning of a long journey and what I was trying to do with the article is to remind us (including myself) that the work that awaits is huge, and the odds still favor the Isaiasist because the political and legal hurdles for our side are extraordinarily high”
        That is very true, the world, the UN, the AU are just a collection of humans with their own interests. It took 25 years for someone to officially accuse the IA government with Crimes Against Humanity, so the headwind is strong, the hill is steep, but it is a tiny step, but I also think that it if they are referred to the ICC, it will be the single most accomplishment. If this forces PFDJ, looking after their own interest to save their legacy and skin and reform and call a wide national Truth and Reconciliation platform and not mere tweaks to fool us, then that would even be better accomplishment

        • Berhe Y

          Dear iSem and Saay,

          I think it’s good to have good understanding and realistic expectations. It’s really sad, in the 21st century, 25 years after our independence we are bogged down searching the basic rule of law. I mean all our energy, all our efforts, all our thoughts, all our potential is spend discussing, thinking these is really waste of valuable time and space in the world. Just think if we had to think and contribute in our areas of expertise, science, technology, medicine, arts, music, business, sports etc..and etc..

          Back in the 90s when e-mail was not popular but only limited to the University students…I remember being member of Dehai…I don’t the exact numbers but close to 500 or so..And I had lebanese friend who use to see me read dehai…and all the members with very high qualifications, doctors, professors, students etc..etc.. He asked me, what’s the Eritrean populations and when I told him 3 or 4 million, he was really surprised how come there are so many “Intellectuals” for such a small country who underwent long war for a long time……I am sure Abi is going to jump and say…because of Ethiopia…, ok yihunilih…but people have dreams, aspirations to do good for them selves and their country…

          The worst thing I think the PFDJ and the Isayas group has done, I think they created permanent damage to our physic and well being and I don’t think we can be a normal country / people for a long time…

          Having said that, I think the UN/ SC having reached this point, I don’t think they will slow down. If you look at the time it took to appoint the SR, yes it took them long time, but once that’s done I think the movement was quite steady and fast to some degree. Specially the CoI, just come and gone in years time.

          I think, I don’t know who would have a connections but it will be good idea to find some western (popular people, like George Cooley did for Darfur) to sponsor our cause and highlight the tragedy that our people in and push for the ICC.

          P.S. I am reaching out the the Canadian media and forwarded your last article and that of the CoI. In case they asked me to contact you for interview, I am going to volunteer you:).

          Berhe

      • haileTG

        hey Saay,

        That is a good observation to make, i.e. the Maldives vs. Eri prisoner’s privileges. However, if we look at the Richter Scale of indignation as a result, imagine which would register higher:

        a) The Maldive booing the bully from a far, or;

        b) The YPFDJ/diaspora supporter cheering the bully from the same distance away as the Maldive

        I would say b is metaphorically on par with the Valdivia quake’s Richter reading in this case 🙂

      • Amanuel

        Hi saay7
        I get you and agree the journey ahead is long and complicated one. My comment was meant to show that in times of need, we don’t need Ferenji to defend our reputation as a country. We have talented people like your self “AlowNA” to borrow the late Dr Rusom term. Whether we like or not at the end of this episode, there will be a collateral damage to Eritrean reputation as a country. However, this is one of the necessary evil roads we have to cross before we can get to the right truck.

        Regards
        Amanuel

      • Amanuel

        Hi saay7
        I get you and agree the journey ahead is long and complicated one. My comment was meant to show that in times of need, we don’t need Ferenji to defend our reputation as a country. We have talented people like your self “AlowNA” to borrow the late Dr Rusom term. Whether we like or not at the end of this episode, there will be a collateral damage to Eritrean reputation as a country. However, this is one of the necessary evil roads we have to cross before we can get to the right truck.

        Regards
        Amanuel

  • Amanuel

    Media Ethiopia,
    A point of fact! Mr Smith is not a Uk citizen. Why would he be responsible for Tony Blair crimes?

  • Thomas D

    Hi josef,

    Thank you for the engagement. I see your point that DIA’s case will be the same as Beshir’s case. However, you need to see the behavior or attitude of DIA vs Beshir. Beshir’s attitude have changed immediately after he was indicted to ICC. He was so scarred for his life that he allowed the South Sudan’s for self determination/referendum, started to negotiate/talk to with the Darfur group, the East Sudan and all other groups. Regardless of what the outcome is, there has been elections in Sudan three or four times after he was indicted to ICC. So, trust me there is NO enjoyment when you all called a criminal by the world body, UN in this case. It is not easy to clear your name that easily.

    • Berhe Y

      Hi Thomas D.

      Very good point. I think Bashir got a scare of his life last time he was in S. Africa.

      If you read the comments from sactism, exposing the petition scenario, in the introduction the PFDJ letter they said with regards to the CoI and the petition drive “there is nothing worth more important than this”…

      So they take the CoI / ICC very seriously. What I don’t understand is, why are the demonstration of the opposition after the report? I think it should be on the same day to show the world the support of the UN/ ICC rather than after they left?

      Berhe

  • Hame

    The last thing the IAs want to do is to try to manipulate diplomacy and foreign relationship for their cause. They are not only really bad on it, but they real badly mess with it. Bad luck! And the good thing is there is no much going on the the ICC court, they desperately need a case, it is a welcome news for them!

  • T..T.

    Hi all,

    The current Eritrean problem is that the Isayasists all they know is how to use the gun to rule the country by silencing the Eritrean people and controlling them. The UN should immediately impose rule of law (effective implementation of the constitution or constitutionalism) in running the country. Secondly, the UN should use Isayas in cleaning his messes, arresting all the criminals, before formally charging the capo criminal in the ICC.

    • Berhe Y

      Selam T.T.,

      I like your thinking but the UN or anyone else elk not do that. UN does not have the mandate to go and invade Eritrea a sovereign nation and member. If such drastic measure to take place, it needs a mandate from the security council to do so.

      I don’t think it can go further at least at this point. If you recall it went to Somalia in 1990 under the leadership of the US but the whole failed and it back fired. Since then all the military intervention was limited to AU and their role primary has been as peace keeping.

      I don’t think Eritrea needs peace keeping forces right now, as there are no functions fighting (civil war).

      Berhe

      • T..T.

        Selam Berhe,

        The suggested UN’s action could be done through UNSC’s resolution as anti-corruption or governance improvement and not to punish the regime.

        • Berhe Y

          Dear T.T.,

          If I not mistaken the primary objective of the UNSC is to keep works peace, and prevent major conflict that harm civilians.

          Any action the SC takes would involve force in exterme case, and sending troops.

          Imagine if there will be any country willing to send its soldiers so it can prevent another country from corruption, a corruption that the population is willing see it happen (as is the case in Eritrea).

          Not going to happen, those that do are for their self national interest.

          Berhe

          • T..T.

            Dear Berhe,

            During the early COI inquiry, the Chinese representative in Geneva presented a solution outside the box that didn’t involve with the intricate issues of the inquiry. His lateral thinking, for the first time gave a good picture of what to first to focus on in order to first prevent further damages. The represented indicated that the regime was incompetent suggesting some governance improvement while the investigation continued.

          • Berhe Y

            Dear T.T.

            The Chinese government as a principle never supports any sanctions or any punitive measures against any nation. It does not go far enough to prevent a resolution at the security council using it’s veto power, but it’s knows to abstain and take the neutral role.

            I don’t recall everything what the Chinese approach was with regards to CoI, but I think the suggestion was to chose engagement and give the government support to mend it’s ways rather than taking confrontational way.

            When I read this, it means to me, let’s do nothing. That’s not the same as bringing the government to court or take over the administration.

            Berhe

  • haileTG

    Merhaba all good people: SGJ, AH, Hope, isem (feliteka aloku;), saay, Mahmuday, KS and all awatista,

    Thanks for your kind words, but be assured that despite not getting the chance to debate, I did follow awate regularly. It would be bad for my political health to skip it for too long 🙂

    Saay, weddings are getting to be tricky proposals in Eritrea this summer! The Nakfa had recently hit its lowest 15 to a US dollar. It is difficult to have the traditional Asmarino wedding for less than 225,000 nakfa. Since the diaspora has a big roll (of bills, note role) in settling the bills, one would easily be looking at close $15,000 USD per wedding (without transport:(

    On IA’s habits of running away in mid game, well the asmarinos call that “merekes” (iSem translate pls:). The way he U-turned on Somalia after isolating the country and exposing it to a total diplomatic bankruptcy was a league of his own!

    Hope: I get what you’re saying, however, the ball is firmly on the court of the Eritrean people when it comes to prioritizing reconciliation over division. Legal proceedings usually signal a failure of conciliatory undertakings such as mediation and early settlement. COIE’s recommendation to refer matters to ICC was explained to be that there is neither the political will nor institutional capacity in Eritrea to serve justice. The latter is a factual statement (as opposed to the former being an opinion). If we considered reconciliation in its formal application. it too requires institutional capacity (i.e. unless you mean reconciliation of the opposition factions, in which case the problem is even more magnified:) Otherwise, I like your analysis.

    cheers

  • Sam

    Hello,
    I wonder why the ICC don’t have mandate all over the misery of Africa and not just selected ones? What is going on in West, Central, East and North Africa? I am not saying that ICC should not look into the agenda at its hand. But what about the other burning issues all over Africa? For that matter, Asia? Latin America? and so on.

  • Thomas D

    Hi Awatistas,

    We have been trying to tell the world that the regime and their operatives are not only rules, but sophisticated serial killers. Finally, the world has started listening to the victims and the criminals have nowhere to hide anymore. The criminal activity that bonded them together is cracking. It looks like the Kramer character in “Seinfeld” show. In one of the Seinfeld episodes/the scene, Kramer was suspected of being a serial killer and interrogated by the detective. In the case of Kramier, he was the wrong guy at the wrong place in the wrong time. That is he did not really commit any crime.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ll46umDsZ5E

    On the contrary, The Issayas group are the real killers with visible stain of blood on their hands. Yemene Gebreab at the press conference looked shaking. He really looked like to exhibit the Kramer character. I can only imagine if this guy was taken to the ICC and being interrogated. He would have exposed his boss about every crime they committed. I can see Yemane is the most coward person, but he thought things will never change to play against them (they took things for granted). Well, things really are turning in favor of the victims, so it is about time to prosecute these coward murders.

    The end of the “Mekete” group, the beginning peaceful, lawful, strong and united Eritrea. It is so refreshing when the murderers are called by the real names, the beasts/vampire.

    We have been crying out loud for so long, yet no one was ready to listen. Now, with NO cross-examiners around, these serial killers are to be heard saying “I didn’t do nothing”. I hope to see their days in the ICC and with all the presentation of the court and what these criminals have to say: face is shaking, their mouth mumbling, voice cracking and crying like a little kid and uttering “I was only following orders……………………..”

  • Kokhob Selam

    የቀንየልና ሳይ ሰቨን
    ጉዳያት ብጭብጥታት መርትኦታትን ምትንታን መን ክኢልዎ !

  • haileTG

    Selam saay,

    Brilliant analysis as usual! I am still busy helping the bank of Eritrea to count the 64billion Nakfa (I haven’t been very active since around the currency change time). It is hard to add anything to your detailed coverage, but in terms of what IA and co. would do, I would also add one more scenario too. If the past is any thing to go by, then the regime did hastly abandoned its position, when ever the going got tough. The only peculiar thing about it is the fact that it can’t help doing it in the most foolish and stupid way imaginable. Remembering the mid-night letter IA sent to the UNSC after Ethiopian forces overran the Mereb-setit front line back in 99/00, and his hastily signing up to support TFG and condemn al- shabab after locking itself in terminal sanctions, it is not far fetched to imagine that it will buckle down after sensing the dangerous corner it has boxed itself in. So, what do you think of the possibility of this happening, and especially, if it can be done without ousting IA or is it that the 70 year old dictator is doomed from here on?

    cheers

    • Saleh Johar

      Welcome, both Hayat and HaileTG,

      The forum felt a little empty without you two. It’ nice to see you come home after the hiatus. HaileTG, finished counting the greasy bills, now Hayat will have to stuck them properly in the vaults, and it will take her two more weeks. Quite a patriotic feat. I am sure fanti Ghana is shopping more shoes in China. I hope he returns safe.
      Welcome again

      • Kim Hanna

        Selam Saleh Johar,
        .
        “…..a little empty without you two.” Yes Indeed!
        .
        When saay came back from his “vacation” or something I was delighted. Hayat’s absence bothered me a bit and it was great to hear from her. Haile TG, at least, informed us that he will have to concentrate on pressing work and will be taking time off from Awate University.
        Our level headed Amde, came back this week too.
        .
        This means the high powered Awate “professors” are back in full force, and a good round of applause from this student is herby delivered.
        .
        I just wish those visiting “professors” like T. Kifle, Seray?, Rodab, Papillion and the like will visit us soon too.
        .
        Mr. K.H
        .
        P.S: Next time please send Fanti to Ethiopia for his shoe needs. I am told the Chinese are making shoes in Ethiopia now due to labor cost.

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Selam Hailat,

      Welcome back brother. Where have you been this long? Big miss for long time. You came right on the face on time, where the regime will face ICC on crime against humanity.

      Regards

    • Kokhob Selam

      ሃይላት:
      ከመይ ከመይ ሊላይ ዶ !

    • iSem

      Hi HTG:
      I did not read your comment. But it is excellent:-)
      Welcomeback!

      • haileTG

        Haha anta rgum, thanks…

        ps: I read saay’s article start to end…really! 🙂 [just in case you’re wondering…]

        • iSem

          Hi HTG:
          No, No, I was talking about me not reading your comment, I again got you. of course you read, Sal’s article. it is me Sem Andom

    • Mahmud Saleh

      Salutation: Greeting.
      Welcome back HaileTG & Gual Adem. Good to see you both.

  • Dear Saay,

    Although it is true that the EU is going wobbly in endorsing the issue of crimes against humanity in Eritrea and history tells us that some European countries have soft spots for tyrants, I believe that at the end of the day the powers of democracy and justice in the EU will come out and support the decisions of the COI. Not only that the large number of refuges has been exploited by the extreme right to scare the European population, but also the number of refugees dying in the Med. Sea and the Aegean has become a painful scene more than European citizens can bear to endure. Already many people have drowned, and summer is still ahead of us, and the EU is afraid that the refugee crisis will again be overwhelming. Therefore, it is ready to look the other way, especially as much as Eritrea is concerned, and work with the dictator in case he could help. Nevertheless, however they bribe him, I believe that the flow of refugees is not going to decrease appreciably. Once EU officials open the door to be blackmailed, simply they will fall into a trap and more blackmailing by the dictatorial regime is going to happen in the future. EU officials are becoming complicit when they say that they are ready to work with the dictators of Eritrea and Sudan (Al Basher is already wanted by the ICC). In addition, the fact that they are also ready to accept dubious articles written to disprove the existence of tyranny in Eritrea show how much the EU is incapable of doing anything right.
    Fortunately, at the same time there are Europeans who believe that the EU is not doing enough in the field of accepting and helping refugees, which after all are needed by the ageing Europe population, who might find it difficult to get their pensions in the future. Also, they believe that the Union is weak and incompetent, because it has done nothing in tackling the root cause of the refugee crisis at its source, be it in Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya or Eritrea.

    • saay7

      Selamat Horizon:

      Years ago, I watched Mark Green interviewing William F Buckley in his TV show about sanctions in South Africa. For the uninitiated, Mark Green was then an up-and-coming super-smart New York journalist/politician (a Democrat), and of course William F Buckley is the patron saint of American conservatism (a Republican). In general democrats were for sanctions and republicans were against sanctions in apartheid South Africa. This is how it went:

      Mark Green: If you were a black South African, would you call for sanctions on the apartheid regime
      William F Buckley: If I were a black South African, I would.

      Mark Green actually thought he got a concession but there was a twinkle in Buckley’s eye as if to say, “if I were a black South African, I wouldn’t have my brain power and I would make stupid decisions.”

      So, here, let me say that if I were a European politician whose shores were inundated with migrants from a country which is not at war, and some of these migrants sign “apology letters” and go back home, and scholars like Bruton are telling me these are economic migrants and that it is all a hustle, and my constituencies are alarmed by the influx, I would vote for watering down the CoI report and “making a deal” with a tyrant. Why? Refer to Buckley’s answer.

      In any event, for me the important thing is that a referral to the ICC or, preferably, a referral to AU-set up, like the Extraordinary African Chambers (“African solutions for African problems”) may not deter the civilian leadership of the Eritrean government (who have perfect the alibi system to such a degree that all instructions are by phone or in person without any paper train), but it may just give pause to the military commanders, the prison wardens, and other sadists in the National Security System that their fate could be that of Chadian dictator Hissene Habre.

      saay

      • Berhe Y

        Dear Saay,

        Thanks great article. I just want comment on a couple of points.

        What bad the dictator will do to the people:

        I don’t think the dictator will anything more than he already done. If anything, I think he will change things around to prove that things are better and not totally that bad. For example he may end the national services, release some prisoners/journalist (Dawit Isaq), etc. He completely withdrew from Somalia after the sanctions and he released the Djibiuti PoW. If anything he needs the people support from inside to believe that things are getting better, which neautralize/ease pressure. And I think the COI would consider this a great success. I don’t think they would we have to persecute him no matter what.

        EU negotiation / cooperation with the regime:

        I think that we have to take away the moral ground and stop blaming the EU for wanting to negotiate with the dictator because of self interest. If we are looking for moral high ground, we have got it from the Pope who has sympathized with the refugees and made moral call to the politicians. I don’t think it’s a bad political decision if EU wants to negotiate / cooperate with the regime. It’s like the devil you know rather the angel you don’t know. True there are lots of Eritrean migrants, but there is other stability the regime provides that they don’t know what will happen if removed. From EU point of view, Eritrea is very safe for their vessels and for the long access to the sea. If the country becomes a failed state, because of the militarization, civil war, religion, ethinicity, spill over problem from the region, it’s another fire they don’t NOT want to fight. But if the regime changes some of its ways, like the extended national service and implement basic rule of law, and freedom of movement etc. I think they would rather see that rather than persecute him and cause “unknown” future.

        What should be the opposition strategy:

        I think if we can convince the HRC members to accept the recommendation and send the regime to ICC. This will force the regime to cooperate and create done relieve to the population.

        The second thing is, to convince that if the regime is removed that Eritrea will not become a failed state but instead it will be peaceful member of the international community and it’s good for the EU.

        Berhe

        • Hope

          Selam Berhe;
          You carbon/copied my position and stand !

          • Berhe Y

            Hi Hope,

            Glad to hear but I think we are a bit different. I never blame our internal problems to others, and I never think and believe there is a conspiracy at the UN level to do us harm.

            If you say “weyane”, they are our enemy and I don’t expect anything from them, but I don’t believe they should determine our destiny as how we treat our people.

            Berhe

      • josef

        Saay, good point to bring the Apartheid story. Hissene was trained and supported by CIA when he committed those crimes and the charges were brought against by Chad government- not ICC.

        My question with whole article/ICC action is who benefits or as in Latin Cui Bono? 39 Africans are the only ones I see in Wiki- with Bashir the only head of state. With Eritrean historical grievances against the United Nation- I think this will make Regime much brutal and more isolated which means more Eritrean will suffer.. And if you are worried about the elite in regime.. they can hold power for another 10 years and die and their supporters will follow along.
        By this action the only people that are suffering are Eritrean in Eritrea.
        And the image of Eritrea.. ICC just seems to favor African countries or countries not favorites of western hegemony.
        From looking at ICC 39 cases, ICC seem to be Humanitarian Imperialism mixed with Rudyard Kipling’s white man’s burden.

        Ask the Libyan, Syrian, Iraqi…. how are they doing with all the Humanitarian Imperialism… These things come in steps…

        Or are the Europeans playing a two stick solution on one hand give 200 million euro for aid and another hand hit with hard stick..

        Whatever is happening I don’t think it will not benefit the majority of Eritrean People. For headlines, I would like to see “Eritrean in Diaspora form one inclusive organization….

  • Ayneta

    kubur Saay:
    Thank you for the good read.
    My most daunting concern is not what the resolution will do to the regime ( doubt if will ever significantly), but rather what the regime will make out it. I think this is a blessing in disguise for the ruling party. The Ethio-Eritrea war was a blessing that the regime has been exploiting for more than a decade. I think it will also use this decision to further tighten the belt around the people’s blood supply. That is how dictators survive- looking for a reason to justify their actions, and this new development will send the regime into deeper survival mode. I bet the authorities in Asmara are breaking into their happy dances following the latest decision by COI. .
    I think this is the beginning of another wave of atrocities by the regime on our people. The people in Eritrea should brace themselves for a much worse scenario.

  • Meda Ethiopia

    Hello Anbessa Gibi Saay
    I just missed my breakfast to read your article. It’s Remedan. Let me try to stay half a day without food if I am able.
    I suspect you are replacing UN Secretary general
    The tears of Asters & alike has been heard by almighty
    Saay long Hateta is as good as Mahmudai’s

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Dear Saay,

    Welcome back, you were missed. Good recap on the report of CoI. You concluded your feeling: “Damn it feels good to be free “, and yes indeed. Finally, the despot and his enablers are accused of guilty crime of inhunanity.

    Regards
    Amanuel Hidrat

  • Nitricc

    Hey SAAY; where the hake have you been? I have seen some of your tweets’ but you disappear from the forum. Anyway, thanks man. As usual you clarify many points for me. Thanks. One point though; why not hear-out Eritrea before they make their report public? The UN refused to hear-out Eritrea before they finalized their sanction now this. What do you think the average person of Eritrea; speaking about the silent majority. The worthless UN made it very easy and convenient for PFDJ to carry on and do what ever they want to do. SAAY; Nice to have you back my man!

    • Hame

      It is not the UN refused to hear Eritrea, it is Eritrea refused to cooperate with the UN, refused to allow the COI to enter Eritrea, refused to have its say. The refusal by the Eritrean authorities is well understandable, it would only strengthen the report, that wouldn’t help them in anyway. In addition, not lending their hand somehow supports their fantasy of the report is flawed, when in fact it is reliable. The IAs really thought about it, it is not a coincidence. In fact, this was the exit strategy by the IAs to the Eritrean people, and indeed to the PFDJ supporters.

  • Harestay

    Thank you Saay
    What a brilliant say “When one’s self-identity is deeply intertwined with one’s ability to overcome hardship, it is inevitable that one will be constantly creating hardships. It is the political version of the Houdini act. The tragedy is that our political Houdinis never placed themselves in danger; it was always the people.”

    Pfdj has tried to form Eritrean identity as ability to overcome hardship and sacrifice of oneself upto life. In this process they continually create hardship and war to sustain these fake identities. Ofcourse it is the people to pay the ultimate price.

  • Ismail AA

    Blessed you are, Saleh; good job as always. Thanks.
    Ismail AA