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Know Your Enemy And Thyself: Act Accordingly

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle” [Sun Tzu]

This is a Hard Talk: Know Your ‘Enemy’; Know ‘Thyself’And Act Accordingly


The well known Chinese General and military strategist, Sun Tzu, explicitly reminded us to “know our enemy and ourselves” in order to wage a war or a struggle and defeat our enemy. His book “the art of war” has had a broad influence both in the Eastern and Western military thinking – And many notable leaders such as Mao Zedong, Vo Nguyen Giap, and Douglas MacArthur were inspired by his work [Smith,1999]. The concept of “know your enemy and yourself” has an enduring influence not only in military thinking, but also in business tactics, legal strategy, political dispensation and its effect in nation building, and many more.

Few months ago, I read two articles (Eritrean Catalyst) from a well meaning with good intentions by our compatriot Abdulrazig Kerar (AK). The two articles were solution oriented proposals, hinting an exit strategy from the current predicament we are in. I commended him for his thoughtful and well grounded argument he made in his proposal. However, this writer will not shy away from giving a constructive critic on his take, on the strategy he offered to our current struggle, defining our enemy, defining ourselves as oppose to our enemy, the political and military tools needed to defeat our enemy, and the role of Eritreans in the Diaspora as oppose to Eritreans inside.

In this article, I will try to define the PFDJ regime as well as the current oppositions, give hints how we should evolve to how we should be, define the issue at stake, identify the determinant forces of change (diaspora vs Eritreans inside), and give an alternative engagement as oppose to Abdulrazig’s proposal. In doing so, the center of my argument will be grounded on the principle “know your enemy and yourself to design the strategy for success” on the conflict we are in. Before I delve in to my proposal, as outlined in this introduction, I would like to say few things about “courage” and “self-discovery” that seem to be scarce when we need them most.

Building Up The “Liquid of Courage” (Hamot)

Maxwell Maltz, the author of ‘Psycho-Cybernetics’ pointed out: “we must have courage to bet on our ideas, to take the calculated risks, and to act [on them]. Everyday living requires courage, if life is to be effective and bring happiness.” It is in that spirit that I am compelled to bet on my ideas and act upon them knowing the calculated risks that we might encounter in our endeavors to solve the problem of our nation. Hence, (a) There is “no success” without the calculated risks in life (b) There is no success without sacrifice. Courage recognizes these two fundamental conceptual approaches and deal with them accordingly. Then what is courage?

In the words of Winston Churchill, “courage is considered the foremost of virtues, for upon it, all other depend on”. Courage is an attribute of good character that gives us worthy of respect. Courage is always exhibited in bravery and self-sacrifice for the greater good. Courage is not only physical bravery, it is also a mental stamina and resilience to withstand adversary risks. Courageous men and women stand and fight against injustice at enormous personal risks. In courage there is no pretention, no ambivalence, no vacillation, no uncertainty, and no indecisiveness; it is only being true to yourself and to your contemporary ideas, without implicit and explicit bias that avoids ethics without principles.

According the proverbial saying “fear and courage are brothers.” Nelson Mandela, the famous political activist and statesman has complimented and reinforced to it by saying “courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.”  Therefore, “It takes courage to endure the sharp pains of self-discovery rather than choose to take the dull pain of unconsciousness that would last the rest of our lives” [Marianne Williamson]. So fellow Eritreans, we can not live with the ‘dull pain of unconsciousness’ and fear of the unknown, if we want to extricate the nation of ours that is teetering on the edge of disintegration under the totalitarian PFDJ regime.

Growing Pains and Self-discovery

When I thought about the future of our people and our nation, it is not from the ivy-covered walls of higher educational institutions, rather it is from the vintage of pragmatic political traditions, and how the plethora of political parties’ function in the realities of our country. The bases of pragmatism are “the ‘pragmatic maxim’ that has a distinctive epistemological outlook, which clarifies the contents of hypothesis by tracing their practical consequences.” According Pierce’s statement, pragmatic maxim is “how to make our ideas clear”. “Practical consequences” suggest the implications for what we will do and should do from the hypothesis, using the concept of probability, truth, and reality, as Pierce described it in his “laboratory of philosophy”.

The growing pains in the Eritrean politics includes, the inaptness of the Eritrean political practitioners, the apathy of Eritrean intellectuals and academicians to the crises of our nation, and the inadequate consciousness of the public to identify their “enemy” and be able to fight with patriotic zeal to liberate themselves. These are the self-discovery of this writer pertinent to the overall Eritrean political landscape and our failure to move forward, that I intend to make my argument for possible exit strategy to the current quagmire of our nation, by identifying the factors and actors in the would be political process. The strategy to our success will be then, to make a collective self-discovery to our consciousness with a sense of political pragmatism and clear ideological vision that serve the future of the Eritrean people.

PFDJ Rule: Is it A Crises of Affordability?

The old description of the Eritrean people: the indomitable, heroic, defiant, reflexive, rebellious, with their in submissive culture to foreign rule, are being now overshadowed by strikingly new images of serfdom, fear, ambivalence, indecisiveness, submissiveness under their own dictator. Instead of resisting with resiliency to fight-back for their freedom and liberty, are now leaving the nation in droves facing all kinds of risks on their way elsewhere in the world. If this trend is unabated and continued with this trajectory for sometime, especially with our youth, can we afford these intractable crises under the PFDJ rule? A question to every imaginative, creative, thoughtful, and sober Eritrean mind. If the current crises and in-discriminatory oppression can not unite us, then what?

This writer is fully aware about our “social mistrust” that put us at odd to each other. I am also fully aware that some of our social groups are in danger of, or threatened with extinction and are depopulated from their land of residence (the Kunama and the Afars’ people of Eritrea) by the brutal regime of Asmara. Unfortunately, our social group’s grievances, has become a combustible mix in the fight against the regime, contributing to the overall ineffectiveness and stagnation of our struggle. The anxiety level around the increasing of mistrusts among our social groups, become the anatomy of boom for the politics of the regime to sustain its power. The opposition camp on the other hand have failed to recognize each other’s grievances as a “marker of progress” to reduce the mistrust that hampered their collective struggle. Instead, as if all social group have the same grievances, there are some forces in the opposition camp who want to throw the grievances of the minorities under the rag, on the pretext that all Eritreans are equally oppressed. The regime is using every tool of oppression and marginalization tactics to hold its power, and hence a multitude of grievances in different forms and shapes. These multitude of grievances are the living political discontent in the Eritrean politics that becomes the seeds of social mistrust. Hence forth, I call upon all the pragmatic and conscious Eritreans to accept and recognize all kind of grievances that exist within our society, in order to frame them and address them within the overall contractual political agreement. But to only claim that we are all aggrieved, without identifying the various grievances that weakens our affinity to each other, will never bring us together to bridge our differences and tackle the mistrusts that loomed within us. Arrogance will not bring us together but change of attitudes will. Addressing them and finding mutual agreeable solution is the only way out.

Our Enemy: PFDJ, Its System, Its Ideological Philosophy

The Eritrean state is a party-state of a totalitarian regime, that rules without the consent of its people. In Eritrea, the “state” and the “government” are one indistinguishably functioning authority. The “party” is the “government”, and the “government” is the “state.” Hence the Eritrean state is a “party-state”. The party which is the governing entity controls the entire political, economic, social, and spiritual life of the people. Like the communist party of China and its military, that maintains permanent monopoly of power, PFDJ and its military are on permanent footing to hold power for indefinite foreseeable future.

When the military ranks became members of the party, surely the military becomes the army of the party. In such scenario, the army defend the “party” and the “party-state”, because the interest of “the army, the party, and the state” are overlapped together. The party, the government, and the state function akin to the “Doctrine of Trinity” behaving like “one or three” where “tri” meaning three and “unity” meaning one. Tri plus unity equals “trinity.” In such scenario and structural existence, the army and the party becomes the guardian and the principle of the state and hold the power without accountabilities – all different forms but all signifies symbol of the state. So the enemy of the Eritrean people is the party, the government, and the state – three in one together.

The Oppositions: Their Unity, And Their Principles

The clusters of political organizations in the opposition camp and the civil organizations in the diaspora are the antithesis of PFDJ at least up to now. They are fighting for the “rule of law” and “democratic constitutionalism” taking them as two pillars of their “collective principles”. These two principles in itself alone could characterized them as the antithesis to the rule of the jungle of PFDJ party and the pariah-party-state of Eritrea. However, they do not have a “collective Road Map” how to fight the authoritarian regime of Asmara. The main reason why they didn’t come with a collective strategy is because they could not have the same definition as to the nature of the regime and the means how to fight it.

Unfortunately, there are two distinguishable approaches within the opposition camp on how to fight the regime (a) there are those who are holding opinions, that Issayas and his entourages are the problem, and as such, there is no systemic and structural problem within PFDJ party system. They believe PFDJ is redeemable and it could run the state safely once the despot is neutralized (b) There are those who believe that Issayas and his party as well as the system in place are the problem of the state of Eritrea. And hence they believe on the dismantlement of the system (not the PFDJ party) and bring the perpetrators of human right abuse in the last 25 years, to the court of justice.  These two positions are irreconcilable that contribute to the ineffectiveness of the opposition camp and their struggles. Furthermore, these positions also have brewed distrusts along the social fault lines and enhanced disunity within our social groups.

Though the power struggle is always part and parcel of the political process at any given time, and at times could hinder the process of our struggle, the main contributors to the “disunity and distrust” among the opposition camps are the positions how we view the regime and its system. There are still among us who are sympathetic to the system which is in place and who think removing Issayas will be the panacea of all our social ills. This argument will only be either out of political naivety as to how a political system works, or out of political dishonesty to pulverize the struggle of the true justice and change seekers.

Going forward: Unless these two blocks make some amendments in their positions to converge their struggles, the current divisions and social fault lines will persist to exist. In such situations, the PFDJ rule and the repression will continue unabated for indefinite time in the foreseeable future. Arrogance and the age of acquiescence to the power will also persist to exist in order to sustain the current status quo

Youth Exodus Altered The Strategic approach

There is this common conventional approach taken as a theme in struggle of the opposition camp: Change should come from inside and not from outside. Not always. The inside or outside strategy is one of the many challenges that often bedeviled our efforts to bring the necessary changes to our people. In our reality, change from inside were attempted at least two times (a) by G-15 – the reformers and (b) a coup by Wei Ali. Both instances foiled badly, because of the nature of the system that runs the state of Eritrea and the vigorous attacks from the vested interest group on the current system. It is proven then, that it is difficult to bring change of social movement where there is no public sphere – a sphere where citizens make their claims, build support, and work to transform public opinion, in order to generate pressure for change.

In order to bring effective and sustainable changes we need the collaboration of forces of change from inside and outside – as the students of politics call it an inside-outside strategy. And this is where my friend Abdulrazig Karar (AK) and myself could agree on. But it is crucial to identify the “driving forces” for change as to whether it is from the diaspora Eritreans or from the Eritrean people inside, based on the circumstances that governs or hinders them. It is by doing such sober analytical determination on the obstacles that exist, the maturity of the objective reality on the ground, and the subjective factor that organize and mobilize on both sides of the change seeking forces, that we can measure and decide, who will have the “catalyzing role” or the “major role” respectively.

My arguments will dwell then on rebutting AK’s three premises to meet our challenges and to bring the inevitable changes:

  • The catalyzing role vs the major role: In the words of Shakespeare, “all men and women are merely players. They have their exits and their entrances.” These lines capture the essence of passing the torch of one generation to another. By that it means when old generation exits new generation replace them and become the driving forces of change. Unfortunately, our youth are in a perpetual exodus to escape from a forced labor of modern enslavements, as oppose AK’s claim – to “fulfill their dreams for a better future”. Our youth are entangled in the so called endless NS. To escape and regain their “human rights and dignity” is by no means looking for green pastures as some of us suggested. Now, as the driving forces (our youth) left the country in droves, and as the “major role” for change is incumbent upon them, then there is no basis for AK’s argument to look the major role from inside. Second if there is no room for public spheres to organize and mobilize for the needed change inside Eritrea, the various segments inside Eritrea can not break the barriers of mistrusts while they are under siege by the notorious security apparatus of the regime. In fact, there is a public sphere in the Eritrean diaspora to mobilize, to organize, and to bring the voices of change to the vicinity of Eritrea and the necessary tools to overthrow the regime, by playing the major role. The inside forces can only be an extension arm of the outside forces who have the freedom to organize and lead the project of change. Our youth, which is the largest pool outside of Eritrea, and who have been the victims of the regime, have the ultimate energy and power of the time to play the major role to bring the necessary change to our nation. The strategy demands role reversal.
  • One-man state vs party-state: In any system, individuals could have more role than their colleagues to run a state. That doesn’t mean the state is one-man-state if they have a definable system with its structure to run the state. States could be democratic-states or non-democratic states depending on the system of government that run the country. In Eritrea, there is a system of governance with a “defined structure” and “ideological principles” to run the state of Eritrea. In fact, it is a formidable system run by one party – a party embedded in the national army, where the army could not have other alternatives than to protect their interests and the party’s interests. The government is the party, and the party is the state, and hence a party-state and not a one-man state. It is not a secret that a party fights for the interest of its members. The despot’s interest can not be separated from the member’s interest as a rule, if they are abided by the party discipline, aside the healthy or unhealthy competition within its ranks and files. Therefore, it is not plausible philosophically and conceptually to even allude, that the state of Eritrea lies entirely on the president’s shoulder only.
  • Peaceful vs by All means: These two mode of struggles are viable only depending on the nature of the government or the nature of the enemy we have. That is why the well known Chinese General “Sun Tzu” taught us to know our enemy and ourselves, and to act accordingly. A violent regime can not be removed or changed by peaceful means. There are many Eritreans who have never failed to tell us the application of Gene Sharp’s “the politics of nonviolence” in the struggle against the Eritrean regime. Gene Sharp didn’t prescribe his model to the Chinese people nor did to the North Korean people; and not even to the kind of regime we have, where they could be deterred with tanks and machine guns, like the 1989 Tiananmen Square. The nonviolence struggle is designed to countries who have the public sphere where civil societies and the people at large could voice their grievances and disobedience with “minimum threats” to their lives, to pressure the government and bring the necessary change. Second the candidate forces of nonviolence – our “youth” who are driven out from cities and towns to do the forced labor for indefinite period under gun pointed, are not in a position to organize for peaceful struggle in the hinterland of Eritrea – a region remote from urban areas.

Interestingly enough, the acute observer and sensitive to details, our prolific writer Saleh Younis, in his comment at awate forum, stated the obvious and hoped the opposition camp to wage a counter-offense to the PFDJ regime by invoking Ludacris philosophy “when I move you move”. We are therefore in a position, that our offense is dictated by the move of our enemy until we change the momentum. The enemy has changed its strategy to “push out our youth” from our nation by applying coercive life threatening pressures and leaving open the borders – a strategy to weaken the resistance from inside. When our enemy move we move, when our enemy changed his strategy we change our strategy. When our enemy weakened our “inside resistance” we embolden our “outside resistances” and push it from outside to inside. That is the rule of the game and the strategy of counter-offense to it, with the tools available at our arsenal be it politically or militarily.

What Should Be Done?

In order to effect the aforementioned suggestions – changing our strategy that was from “inside-to-outside” for “outside-to-inside,” the following pre-requisites must be fulfilled to launch effectively:

(a) Trust building and reconciliation: Trust building & reconciliation must start from the diaspora where the objective realities permits, in order to come for a collective strategy with a roadmap to expedite the fall of the regime. Reconciliation will take two stage process, one in the diaspora for the opposition, and the the other inside Eritrea for the Entire population – the former as precursory to the project and the later as a healing and harmonizing process to our nation.  Trust is a psychological state comprising the intention to accept vulnerability based upon positive expectation of the intention or behavior of another (Rousseau & his colleagues, 1998: 393-404). In a similar take Lewicki and his colleagues defined trust as an individual’s belief in, and willingness to act on the basis of, the words, actions, and decisions of another (R. Lewicki, D. McAllister & R. Burt, 1998: 438-458). In short the need of trust always arises “from our interdependence with others and is always identified as key element to successful conflict resolutions (R.J. Lewicki, 2003). The need of a continuous round table talks and discussions are paramount to mitigate the mistrust that loomed within our political communities.

(b) Political compromise: Political compromise is difficult in Eritrean politics, even when no one doubts it’s necessity. Therefore, one can argue, that resistance to compromise cannot be understood without knowing its cause and why it persists. Amy Guttmann & Dennis Thompson have an answer as to why resistance to compromise persist in democratic process.  Guttmann & Thompson agreed that resistance to compromise is anchored in what they call it “an uncompromising mindset” of political leaders (Guttmann& Thompson, 2010). According Guttmann and Thompson “uncompromising mindset” is a cluster of attitudes and arguments that encourage standing on principles and mistrusting opponents. Mindset manifest a form what a psychologists call “cognitive bias” and has a “cognitive structure” that would benefit more from normative attentions. In political science, the concept “mindset” are taken as “framing” defined as the process by which people develop a particular conceptualization of an issue or reorient their thinking About an issue (Chong & Druckman, 2010). Therefore, the public must challenge the mindset of our political leaders and their uncompromising resistance by forcing them to come to a table of compromise to face the challenge. Compromise as a product and reinforcement of the balance of power are the primary means by which democratic politics can improve. In pragmatic compromise, more disagreement gives rise to a reason for compromise not in itself, but only insofar, it is contingently connected with logically independent considerations (May, 2005:320). Moreover, pragmatic reasons to compromise as May acknowledges, are not sufficient and typically must be morally constrained in various ways (322-323).

(c) Mobilizing our youth: Our youth are the driving force of social change – and yes the future of our nation. Our youth of the 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s have brought “Eritrea nation” in to being. Mobilizing our young generation to take the stock of our nation and passing the torch to them in order to carry the burden of emancipating the Eritrean people from the grip of the authoritarian regime, is a must in itself for transforming responsibilities from the the old generation to the young generation. If the round table of discussion is to happen, one thing the old guards of Eritrean politics have to do is, the transition of the “torch of responsibilities” and the “leadership of management of Eritrean politics” to our young generations. Let me put it simply, there is no success without a successor. The past gathering didn’t offer hopeful signs to meet the challenge of transformation and transitioning of leaderships to our young generations. “It is all like the bell curve” we come up on one thing, then we plateau, and then we start on other things. the politics of the opposition, instead of rising up, declined rapidly in its maturity and its leadership quality. Time to change and pass the torch – squelching critics is not the way out to our political quagmire.

In concluding my remarks, let me share with our young generation, the words of N.D. Wilson, that might help you in the endeavor of your struggle, and he said: “sometimes standing against the evil is more important than defeating it. The greatest heroes stand because it is the right to do so, not because they believe they will walk away with their lives. Such selfless courage is a victory in itself.”  This is the kind of attitude that leads to victory. So develop the habit of courage that conquers all kind of fears – a courage to endure and persist to fight your enemy – the systemic repression and oppression exerted upon you by the Eritrean regime.


  • Rupert Smith, “The utility of force, the art of war in the modern world”, 1999.
  • Maxwell Maltz, “Psycho-cybernetics, a new way to get more living out of life”, 1989
  • Marianne Williamson, : “A return in love: reflections on the principles of A course I miracles, 1996.
  • Ludacris Lyrics, a Play “stand up” invoked by Saleh Younis, at awate forum
  • Rousseau & his Colleagues, “Not so different at all: A cross discipline view of trust” academy of management review, 1998: 393-404
  • Amy Gutmann & Dennis Thompson, “The Mindsets of Political Comprise”, 2010
  • Dennis Chong & James Druckman, “Counter-Framing Effects”, 2010
  • Simon C. May, “principled compromise and the abortion Controversy”, 2005: 320

R.J Lewicki , D.J McAllister, & R.J Bies, “Trust and Distrust> New relationships and Realities”, 1998: 438-458.


1 –  Defining The Eritrean Catalyst for Democratic Change
2 –  Eritrea: The Missing Element for A Democratic Change


About Amanuel Hidrat

Amanuel Hidrat, is a political activist and a passionate writer in the current struggle against the Eritrean regime. His extensive writings are focused on constitution and constitutionalism, constitutional process, nature of governments, and grievances of the social groups. His articles can be found “Tebeges”, a rich column at awae.com that archives over 150 articles. He has been writing at Ntsebraq in Tigrinya since 1998, and in English awate.com since 2000. Through his writings, , he promotes "multicultural liberalism" and "multicultural constitutionalism" that provides a fair share to social groups in the decision making process of governance. Amanuel believes it’s not individuals, but ”our social groups”, that should be the building blocks of the Eritrean nation state. Amanuel studied “Industrial chemistry" at the Poly-technical Institute in Ethiopia, and "Clinical Pharmacy" at St John's University in the US.

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  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Merhaba Kokhob Selam,

    Good to hear from you. I hope you are recovering fast. You up vote to Kebessa is a good news in itself on your health conditions. You make me to start the day with a smile. Again welcome my colleague, I will open my champagne right now.

    Amanuel Hidrat

  • Ismail AA

    Dear Solomon,

    I appreciate your participation in the debates running in this forum with many thanks for the compliment.

    You and I follow the serious and genuine discussions with brothers and sisters grace us. On my part, I am always grateful to them as well as the host that provides this forum valuable forum because they spent precious time and energy due to their commitment to our common cause which makes us duty-bound to engage.

    If one closely follows what several of our compatriots like Amanuel, Abdulrazig, Mahmud Saleh and many others write, views diverge on priorities and the roads that must be followed to reach the same destination – removal of the regime. If they would be brought to a round table, I believe it ought to be possible for them to reach understanding. They will just find out each of them would be served by the ideas of the other. Stubborn clinging to positions would simple expose them as piecemeal targets before the enemy.

    Let us fantasize for a moment Mahmud of the EPLF and Amanuel the ELF being given a project to study and come with conclusions about the dialogue of 1977. It is probable that they will come lessons that would enhance their dialogue today, and would repeat mistakes committed at that time. I am alluding to the fallouts failure at that time had cause: civil war and deepening of the wound that remains open up to date. Thus, what I am trying to say is that it is in interest of all to stop and contemplate what the situation will be if the present sad conditions are left unchallenged due to lack of dialogue and compromise on realistic and doable national task program. At the end of the day, social and political injustices existing now would not be ameliorated by postponing dialogue that is an imperative for participatory mass mobilization. Once our people are liberated from the scourge called PFDJ and its tentacles, the rest of the national endeavor to build the foundations on which the polity (Eritrea) should stand could be discharge of because that polity is destined to anchor on coexistence and just and equal accommodation of its demographic components.

    Experiences taught me that in the past failure to understand the value of emotion-free dialogue was the reason why we ended up where we are. Engaging in dialogue with focus on pre-set agenda get us nowhere.

    • Solomon

      Selamat IshmaelAA,

      Indeed Sir, postponing of dialogue is proven as you have are reminding us of the 1977 Asmara, the enemy in that war under siege from Mendefera-AQurdet and Keren-DekemHare Eritrean Freedom Fighters’ Military Command Posts. Those of us old enough can all relate with Tesfai FeHira’s “We have not forgten 77” I recall now with my Unesco’s School classmates Red Flowers. Kerenite SeId BeriH, and other Dawn Stars preparing to climb as a united troops immediately before the joint ELF and EPLF forces to liberate Barentu failed. As elementary school age children, we were fortunate to be guided by the Older Eritreans in 77 Eritrea’s and Eritreans indivisibility and despite belonging to two separate Eritrean Fronts the goal was ONE. So, when our when our anticipated Unity joint climb to the stage was canceled because of the postponed dialogue you have mentioned, you can imagine you and I can only imagine the simple heartbreak of innocent children that suffer in silence. Some of us grew in age, grade level and war refugees in Sudan for several more years with our friendship and inevitable unity in affected, as some continued to return to Eritrea to reinforce the strategic withdrawal by both fronts as a consequence the failed 77 talks. Indeed the Eritrean Hamot then as before and now was present in Kokhob tSibaH SeId BeriH and Red Flower Tsigereda YfTer who returned to the fight and resist the anhilation of the Eritrean Just Resistance for their sovereignty.
      I also agree with you when you state your support for Today’s Opposition Political leadership not receiving their due credit for caryimg the torch despite early post independence campaign against the traditional opposition.
      I agree also for the pioneers of this august medium that further carried the just opposition torch tirelessly.
      With my utmost respect for any two individuals as my first publication essay being to the two SaliH’s on Visafric just to emphasise my further agreement with you.
      As I recognize and respect your ever principled possition and ever ready for dialogue Ishmael,
      the following points of debate contentions from my perspective allow me to log now.

      The choice for Ethiopia as a Base of operation for Eritrean opposition I warned and debated with a lone voice as well as perspective in mid 2000s and always adhering to the wisdom or the majority and recognized elder leadership strategies and priorities. Unfortunately, there was no Disqus capacity then and significant data lost due to archiving capacity, my self and early awate forumers can attest to it’s truth, including hot headedness.
      In New York City. through invite, my account of Eritrean Public Forum and the overwhelming swallowing up of EPF by the traditional ELF opposition and its consequences will, I believe will serve dialogue without postponement now.
      I will skip a few, for berevity or self contradiction, and jump with a minor disagreement only in the choice of the words.
      I have stated and will state it again, what I define as opposition purpose is Just government rule by the Eritrean People. A Change of Government of what you and our brothers understandibly call regime change.
      I am hopeful and confident through dialogue and your guidance Ishmael, we have ample data and lessons to draw from and study as we proceed forward.

  • Solomon

    Selamat Nitricay,

    Does Eritrea have an Eritrea’s POW-Prisonners Of War Day, Eritrea’s MIA-Missing in Action Day?
    I saw a sea of Blue Shirted YPFDJ’s Congress in D.C. and beyond. I am wondering also if before or in this current congress the YPFDJ have instituted an annual targeted number of diaspora graduates to return to Eritrea to serve on avolunteer–stipend based plans?
    These sort of thoughts came up when I was listening to Ambassador Yemane, and I am figuring who better than Nitric for me to ask.
    It is Labor Day Weekend here in the USA. In Eritrea is on Gnbot1, I know.
    Here in the US, iorder to get your, holiday pay, you must return you must punch in to work on your next scheduled day of work after the Holiday. So if you are scheduled to work this Tuesday after Labor Day, make sure you do so, in order not to miss out your one day’s earned income. Pass it to YPFDJ who may squeeze out every minute with their friends and comrads and hit the road late.
    I also noticed lots of “Rewind IT BACK!…” songs by the youth!
    Well, Nitric if you are in fact working this weekend, your pay should be Two and half Times. Your Holiday Pay + Time and half for working. So with my correction from the 2X to 2.5X, which I am awaiting your response, I also think that the 2.0% Diaspora Tax should be increase to 2.5%. Just sharing my Two and Half Santim/TaErifa’s worth! with this TIP:
    “AHgurawi beAl shrQalo, Awet nHafash iyu. TendioU ChiQunat Hzbi Alem!” Call it, the USA Meskerem — Eritrean/International May Day Bridge. Yup, Monkey See Monkey Do because in “The Jungle The Mighty Jungle” I am the Monkey’s Uncle! “Sam I Am…Green eggs..”

  • Hayat Adem

    Dear Emma,
    It is a good read. I must appreciate you for all the effort and thoughts you put in there. Like you said, it is a hard stuff. I could see the perspective you are angling from/to and the treatment of the issues in your argument. You did well. But I am also afraid some of your essential messages might have been lost in your advocacy for functional capacity over purpose capacities. Energy for action in any struggle is drawn from the power of purpose. And i am not talking about the ability of achieving victories here, rather the purity of the driving purpose. Ghedli must serve us at least as a source of lesson if nothing else.

    • Solomon

      Selamat Ms. Hyatt Adam,

      “Energy for action in any struggle is drawn from the power of purpose. And i am not talking about the ability of achieving victories here, rather the purity of the driving purpose.”

      This is the single most RELEVANT summary I have read. It serves my personal needs, by reinforcing a weakness. Just in a nick of time.

      Your Highness Princes Hayat Adam, it is my sincere hope to read your further contribution and further elaboration of the above with your persistent involvement of IshmarlAA’s moderated upcoming awate forum round table dialogue.


      • Hayat Adem

        Hi Sele,
        Lets say, a person has a problem at hand. She is overwhelmed by the gushing flood. No, the grand purpose at that point should be saving her life in any possible way. If there is that much clarity on that, issues regarding what to do and how to act will be answered adequately in that conscious moment and space. There will be instant forces of creativity and energy setting in. There is no use If you are looking for the best manuals in the art of swimming, in revisiting history, in overanalysing next door events. while in the middle of a flood crisis and without knowing the end purpose. The forces of good and change must know what they are looking for and why it is important fro Eritreans to be there. I am of the belief, if the ghedli’s purpose were clearly defined as a subset of the grand purpose of leading Eritrea and Eritreans to a better state of reality, the achievement of independence would lend itself to the next needed process as a matter of follow up, not as a matter of new preparation.

        • Solomon

          Selamat Hyatt Adam,

          Yes, I agree that it is in fact a matter of follow up. First, let me state, both Eritrean and Ethiopian youth, starting from roughly from a decade to two and up to HIM Haile Slassie’s overthrow, with each decade increasing in a collaborative collective mass movement, (comprising of peasants and pastoralists, labor, students/youth as well as civil servants AND an insignificant number of the nobility/land lords from within the late emperor’d court) influenced by the entire region’s and their local histories… … did define Eritrea’s grand purpose with proximity alliegnments and realinements. The proximity was, at the very least regional, ideological and linguistic/nationalities/ethnic. The alliegnments and realignment ranged from intra colonial borders as well as cross border or international (inter Eri-Ethiopia) borders as defined by the OAU, chaired by King of Kings Haile Slassie, Ras Teferri himself.
          The Red Terror in Addiss Abeba and in all major urban centers, as the name suggests, the brutalization and the bloody terrorization of mainly Ethiopian/Eritrean youth, by the military added was the most significant event or the “Red Line” and point of no return for at least the Northern Territories of both Eritrea and Tigray. There is a minor jump of the “Committee or Dergue” lead military overthrow of JaH-nHoy, which was headed by Eritrean born Ethiopian General Amann Andom, albeit for a very short time, until murdered/purged by Mengistu Hailemariam.
          In the Eritrea we are all familiar with the annexation, disolvement of the autonomous and parliamentary rule, unionists Vs. Independence block, but the horrific unbalanced violent military brutalization against the lowlanders did define the grand purpose which was independence and liberty. … …. Tigay’s, Tigray Tigrigni and further genesis up until present day I will take a giant leap as I am confident, by now you have long, caught up if not surpassed my trend.
          This mutually agreed jump will cover some what your lead in example of protecting a companion, as Eritrean and Tigrean women equally fought for one another both in combat and logistics. Your presence Hayat Adam, Dr. Sara O here in this forum and numerous other women should also serve as my recognition now ++…

          Your third statement, perhaps to due to your mastery of the English language than yours truly, I could ask for clarification or google the phrase before I respond. However, Dear Hyatt Adam / “Princes” “Queen”.
          You are too kind to me and the cause from according to your best understanding thus far. You have left me not much room to disagree with your inquisitive question, and I have much to learn, on how to teach for starters…
          But my short answere first in Tigrigna: ” iti aytebke indiu zebkyeni zelo.” Translation: “It is precisely the ‘don’t’ cry that is making me cry further.” And Cry I will, Cry my Beloved Nation Eritrea, Cry My Beloved Nation Ethiopia, Cry My Beloved Nation USA!

          I state this because we both are here in opposition to hold accountable the EPLF +ELF-Sagim and TPLF-EPRDF who attained a well defined purpose that did and was lending itself to the next needed processe, failed miserably in their preparation.

          Before I continue and delve into past actions, that are vital Today, I will request from you a confirmation of at least my comprehension of your inquiry. I do however demand respectfully that you whole heatedly respect Eritrea’s full Independence as it is by your attempt in seeing it from my perspective. And without your standard disclaimer of “no intent to reverse the fait accimpli.” Perhaps, I have such desire. The grand purpose will be achieved I believe as you do too.

          I appreciate your excellent question which is more significant than the answere. And I will Sincerely scroll up and click the Up Vote.


    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Selam Hayat,

      In fact, I believe that my argument in the piece deals with the “purpose of the mission” than on “building the capacity”. My essay identified “PFDJ” and the “system” it runs, and hence the “purpose” of the struggle is to remove the dictator and dismantle the system that becomes the infra-structure of oppression. And of course our ghedli was the source of our “courage” and our “inspiration” on what we will do now and the future. This is a historical fact one has to accept, without wearing the hindsight lens to disprove the goal of our ghedli. I think we had a hot debate pertinent to our ghedli with you, and surely is one of the issue we vehemently disagree. I do not want to go back to it, I chose to move on based on the reality in the ground. Eritrea and Ethiopia are two different sovereign states and must deal their differences on the norm of international relationship. That is all.

      Amanuel Hidrat

      • Solomon

        Selamat Aya Amanuel,

        As all legislated laws by the people’s representatives, based on educated maximum gains for their nation/society, are amendments to existing practices, I am hopeful you would pull this drawing man by rethinking your rebuttal to the following side issues.questions:
        1. Is it necessary, in order for the society to have full understanding a campaign of educating with adequate considerstion of the “Every Day People” or layman’s language as well as the implementation of these new laws or strategies by the Nation/People?
        2. Could the Y for Youth in the YPFDJ be considered an Amendment to the PFDJ destined to correct change past destructive practices by society by learning from the experiences of all hinderances of their predecessors?

        It goes without saying that I am no Y-XZWF but utilizing the variable Y for the general YOU, my self included, I believe any YOU will adhere to amendments and CHANGE. Legal language is written with such care of delivering its intended benefit, complex multivariable formulas that it sounds GREEK to the average person. Hence, the profession Lawyers. This is to say that “Know Your Enemy” which was the your “winning” essay was the exact phrase of Yemane (Monkey’s-, I haven’t committed to memory which is which as there are two of them) used to symbolically gesture the passing of the Torch or Twaff of responsibility to the true change agents. I am whole heartedly rejecting the existence of an enemy as it puts me immediately in a devensive posture making me stagnant or significantly reduces progress. So, the Eritrean Change Agent’s development, I felt and feel, was further being arrested by both yours and Monkey’s identical them for Barya’s “Meskerem Eimbeba”. And it should be so, because, my current amended comprehension of ” Know Your Enemy” is to emphasise MORE on the trailing phrase “Know Your Self.” I have no enemy other than my self. the Y-YOU is the CHANGE in I-PFDJ, i-XWZ, “inside out side” take to forward “Tebeges” appreciative CHALENGES.
        What are YOU(R) thoughts.

      • Hayat Adem

        Thanks for the reply Emma Hawey,
        Fundamentally, I agree with what you argued. If I were to make a technical analysis on the challenges and opportunities comparing the nature of the change seekers and the status quo forces, probably I would come to something closer to yours. But the grand purpose I was talking does not need defining the nature of your enemy as a structure, as a system nor as typologies of groupings. One thing I see always bulldozed in the process of Eritrean discourse is the grand purpose story. For example, in a simplified talk, independence is not a sacred purpose at all, at least to me. I wouldn’t value it for the sake of itself and I’ve made myself clear on this. If an Eritrean is lining up for naturalization process in the immigration shops of the US, that is how much independent Eritrea is worth when broken down to an individual citizen. But, I would totally reject any plan intending to undo Eritrea’s independence unless it is done in a sense of voluntary marriage for societies’ optimal aims. The difficulty of understanding ghedli is because it became “victorious”. Victorious journeys are easy to justify, hard to disqualify. But a conscious society should always see the grand purpose, the journey and the sacrifice are married to each other. If you get different parts of the car at different times, and getting the rest of them is totally neutral towards realizing the the grand purpose of having a car, it is a pointless journey. But what is worse is if you are willing to pay additional price to undo that very journey.

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Dear Hayat,

          In principle a revolutionary armed struggle must have a “National Democratic Program”. The Eritrean struggle had national democratic political program. Nationalist, because it fights for national sovereignty and “Democratic” because it gives democratic orientation to its ranks and files as well as to the Eritrean people in the area it control. There is no higher purpose than national democratic program that you could envision at that stage of our struggle. If you believe there is, it could be only unrealistic idea from one who hasn’t any clue of the intricate evolutionary mechanics of an armed struggle. The hindsight judgement and argument from the twist nature of politics does not and will not help us to move forward on the current struggle. Hence I call to your conscience to stay focus on the current issue that time and space relegate to us and do the right thing. That is what my conscience dictates me and my ears are deaf to any hindsight argument.

          Emanuel Hidrat

          • Hayat Adem

            Dear Kibur Emma,
            I am only referring to the past only to refresh us for lessons to be learned and mistakes to be avoided from being repeated. There is one commercial in TV i saw that ends its message as “Those who know us can only say good things about us”. What a lost message! Those who know it know if they have to stay loyal or seek alternative. If a product can not appeal to new customers, there is no use to invest in such ads. People who defend ghedli draw their contents and resources from that field. If ghedli doesn’t appeal to people who were outside it, then it is not the higher purpose that is becoming the center of its gravity but the experience nostalgia. I’m an outsider to ghedli. One of my parents were part of it for a short time. I question the entire wisdom of it so you can’t use my being less intimate less friendly against me nor your stronger intimacy as strength of the argument on your side. Similar to these examples is some people who come up to me to discuss religion. But all their arguments rely on the Books. Well, but what if i question the books! teghadleti explainers totally depend on the medda books to convince others on the good purpose of the journey. They have nothing to say on the results. When we continue challenging you, Emma, you invoke our limited knowledge and experience in ghedli as a reason of cluelessness. In all social projects, nothing is given, Emma. It has to stand on its own. It has to be quantified. The benefits must outweigh the costs. That way, it is not mystified for those of us non-worshipers of ghedli.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Merhaba Hayatina,

            I am not against knowing the history of our ghedli. In fact I am for it. Even myself who was part of it, am not privy of many things on the side of EPLFites. If you are following the two ex-agents of PFDJ or Issayas Afeworki (Hagos and Foro12) in a Pal-talk discussion, we are learning how the organization become a mafia organization and it in itself is now an eye opening on the darkest part of our history. History is needed to learn out of it, as to what was bad and good of it – in the hope to avoid the bad experiences. But remember we can not do dwell at it at the cost of the current struggle – to emancipate the Eritrean people from the grips of the dictator and the apparatus of oppression of the system in place. What I an against you is, you want us to dwell on history in order to disprove the purpose of our ghedli. But keep in mind, history will be written by historians and they do not have unfettered access to do their work under the current regime ( PS= Ismailo as one of our historians by training, is now incumbent upon us, to remind you about this awful task, and yet untouched, to make a research on our history, something to pass to our young generations). So again, I repeat my summon to stay focused on the plight of our people and do something to extricate them from the current predicament.

            Amanuel Hidrat

  • Mahmud Saleh

    Selam Emma and all esteemed Awatista.
    bxaay Emma, I enjoyed your article. While appreciating the rigor you put on your articles, their theoretical depth and their prying nature to unravel the fibers of political porblems or issues. Having said that, I must say that I could not find a new perspective. You have distilled your longheld and debated ideas in one article. That by itself is beneficial for the purpose of reference. Other than that, I don’t really find new theme, or a new approach to old themes. I must be frank with you. I will limit my comment on a couple f points.

    The issue of Courage “Hamot”
    I do believe there is more than enough “liquid of courage” or Hamot (Tigrigna word for courage); that’s in its raw sense. What is lacking is an “Awate” that directs that raw Hamot (courage) in meeting purposeful ends such as bringing political change. The lack of such a leadership is responsible for not containing Eritrean Hamot and diverting it towards a REAL change that benefits Eritrea. Therefore, we see that “liquid courage” sustaining Eritrean youth to cross militarized and mined zones, cross the Sahara and the Mediteranean Sea defying the all-familiar dangers and risks. Perhaps, more Eritrean youth are dying in making these perilous journeys than they could have in real battle confrontation/year. I think the lack of courage is apparent in the opposition mouthpieces (aka intellectuals/leaders) in facing the internal demons afflicting them for decades. The enemy has been known for years. It does not matter if the man is the system or if the system is the man. The result is the same. I intend to present my take in a different format, but enough to say that the opposition has become a dense jungle where every weirdo is finding refuge. Unless it knows itself and faces the demons rendering it to stagnate in its anemic stage, there won’t be any prospects of a breakthrough from the diaspora. Your answer to Yohannes, regarding the objective subjective factors of change, was tailored to support your longheld stance that change would most probably come from outside. You limited the objective conditions only to public space available for organizing and expressing opposition. That should be only a part of assessing the objective conditions. Here is why I believe the objective conditions inside the country are more susceptible to efforts targeting change:
    – Extreme political repression leads to discontent,
    -the swelling numbers of young population with few choices lead to discontent
    -poor economic conditions lead to discontent
    -the influenece of modern communication technologies such as satelite dishes, mobile phones, internet social networks…connect the youth with the outside world. This help the youth to want a pie of the global economy. The lack of these opportunities leads to discontent which puts the youth in direct confrontational mood.
    – Add to it the endless NS and what it entails of abuses: all lead to discontent. It’s natural that the more oppressed a mass is the more discontent it becomes and the more susceptible to calls for change it becomes. That;s if the objective situation is ripe.
    Fractioned and sparse discontents if equiped with smart clandestine organizational tools (leadership, subjective factor) could ultimately result in the zero hour. The growing number of youth inside the country is the guarantee for change. All that’s missing is the subjective condition. tHE DIASPORA could play an important role, if played smartly, in catalyzing the rise of the subjective condition inside the country that could contain, gather and then direct the “fluid courage” of the youth inside the country towards achievable goals, rather than letting it to express itself in crossing the Sahara and the Mediteranean Sea. The “inside” factor is sustainable. Diaspora is not.
    On the contrary, the more it takes for the diaspora to form a united action-fit political organ, the more the mirage for change gets denser. What is true is that as the first generation of diaspora moves into the inevitable “past”, the more time goes by, the energy that close experience brings also fades away. The second generation is not going to be as forceful as the first generation. Even as we speak, the experience and the aspirations of new arrivals are different from those you and I hold.
    The point is: I think the opposition knws its enemy. What has beeen missing is the “fluid courage” to undergo the illusive self-discovery. It does not know itself. And I would really expect if you spent time on confronting the SELF headon. The opposition needs self-assessment. I will have a say on a related topic, hopefully in the coming weeks. I will let you know if it’s in Tigrigna, which will more likely be posted somewhere else.
    Thanks Emma.

    • Ismail AA

      Tahiyatna Ustaz Mahmud,
      Awaiting Aman’s probably response, I find your feedback to be robust. By the way, thanks for treating us this time with reasonably brief posting; easy to fish out the valuable points. This allows me to scribble one or two points. I agree with you that Aman has added more clarity to the familiar views he had upheld about crucial social and political matters as I have also indicated in my comments to his article. On my part, I did not anticipate him to revise his views because he already told us that he intended to respond to Abdulrazig’s assessments in the form he now has done.

      On the question of the role of bile (hamot) and its connotation in Eritrean parlance, I think there is no shortage generally speaking. But the brave youth, who you said have summoned sufficient hamot to overcome life-endangering ordeals at seas and deserts, deployed it for personal goals in contrast to the liberation war era youth. The latter, who are now being blamed in old age for stagnation and failure, had used their hamot for collective ideals of liberation and freedom. Those young Eritreans at that time were braving obstacles to cross borders to join their compatriots in the field. So, the question now is who is the Messiah among the current youth generation whose bile (hamot) shall overflow and launch him to emerge as a unifying leader?

      Regarding the opposition that is blamed for stagnation, I think human decency urges that the verdict is too harsh, keeping in mind that those leaders in the current opposition ranks are mostly honorable patriots who had spent their youth and careers for the struggle to win self-determination of their people. During their time, these compatriots summoned courage (hamot) and sacrificed lives and material benefits. The criticism levelled against them now is that they are clinging to positions of leadership and refusing to let the young lead.

      But who can come with statistics that a particular organization does have reasonable number of youth in its ranks and its old leaders blocked them from taking leadership roles? Objectivity and humility dictates that the regime and its organs had during the post-independence decades had extensively campaigned to tarnish the image of the mainstream opposition. Some of the mouthpieces of that time are now posing as opposition and justice-seeker advocates. A justice assessment would be paying to them homage for not dropping the torch of freedom which the youth should stand up to take from them. Had the opposition leaders and their bases disbanded and left to seek own advantages to make best use of the remainder of their lives, I think the situation would a lot more easier for the dictatorship which it worked hard to banish those organizations. At least, those who became aware of the ruinous conduct of the regime had found a foot hold, irrespective of the quality and viability.
      With regards,

      • Mahmud Saleh

        Selam Ustaz IsmailAA
        I do agree I’m making the same blanket condemnation that I have promised I would not make. For that, I ask decent folks to forgive me one more time. Ya Akhi Al’aziz, I agree that the opposition, despite its constraints, has contributed to our discourse on issues of resistance against injustice and dictatorship. No question about it. I also agree that the opposition has placed tremendous pressure on PFDJ although it does not want to admit it. If I may have the liberty of saying it, my concern has always been that the good patriots are overwhelmed by the spoilers; the forces which work for national cohesion and coherence has been drowned by the forces of chaos and confusion; partisan loyalty has been entrenched in and among the factions where a slight deviation from party outline is harshly criticized, etc. The space is crowded with well organized, and practiced entities with decades worth of experience. It’s unlikely that a new offshoot will find anymore traction. The best option for us is to push, encourage and slightly coerce whatever of opposition we have rather than creating new ones. Therefore, constructive criticism and calls for internal debate should be welcomed and considered as attempts aimed at remedying what’s been ailing the camp.
        On the Bile Hamot: I understand your take. That’s where the leadership comes. I think humans are capable of mobilizing for the common good regardless of generational difference. The emphasis may be different, but the readiness when “excited” is a natural thing. We naturally respond to stimuli that excite us. This is true of environmental or social stimuli. That’s where the subjective condition comes in. For lack of proper stimuli, perhaps, the youth are excited to brave the Sahara and the Mediterranean Sea than fighting the regime that’s creating the mess at home. I contend that with the right approach that could be reversed. Young people follow their peers. During our time, the mere news that one of our peer was seen around the region, or in the outskirts of the cities we lived in made it a triggering effects to follow him/her. The anger that had been building because of the atrocities of our village and relatives was finding a direction. There were well defined organizations one can choose from. If you asked any Eritrean who the ELF or the EPLF they would tell you. If you asked them who the leaders were, they would tell you. If you asked them why they were fighting, they would tell you. If you asked them about their character, they would tell you. The political organizations had defined forms and content Eritreans could easily identify and relate to. Whenever they want to express their Hamot, they were flocking to join their ranks. That could be done. That’s my argument. My argument is simple: The more one is closer to the source of oppression, the more that person is excitable to fight against it if the ground (leadership, and mature and identifiable organizational presence) is ready. The pressure from inside is sustainable while the one from the outside will depend on many factors that one can not control, including the will and determination of the doers (actors, or the youth) living abroad. There are areas where the diaspora will be more effective on, such as transmitting ideas, tools for resistance, guidance…advocacy, media…rallying international pressure and focus….and there are areas where the domestic forces will be more effective on such as doing the actual ground work that will ensure smooth transfer of power to the people and sustainable change. Both can complement, if played smartly. I think we both agree here. So, knowing yourself (the opposition knowing itself, and its limit will enable it to do a better job. At the end, political organizations that depend on the domestic forces will be the ones which will have spread their ideas and their organizational networks; and ones the change comes, they will be the ones which will peacefully convince people that they are the right ones to govern. Because, by that time, they will have introduced themselves to the people through their clandestine networks; they will have gathered enough legitimacy, etc. Therefore, focusing on domestic potential, both from tactical and strategic stands, is a prudent shift of paradigm.

        • Ismail AA

          Ahlen Ustazna Mahmud,
          Thanks for prompt response.
          I think if these exchanges of the sober views of concerned compatriots (Abdulrazig, MS, Aman etc.) were to take place at dialogue table, there would certainly emerge agreement on crafting common purpose action program. Reading with the ideas offer with cool mind, there isn’t really unbridgeable gaps.
          As I have stated several times in this forum, the devil is on the emphasis rather than strategies. The two wings of the opposition justice-seeker movement can complement one another; and the one may not go it the way on its own under the circumstances.
          I agree with you that constructive criticism is grease for the opposition machine. What is not sustainable is throwing blames recklessly, and holding the opposition alone responsible for the debilitating inaction.
          Let me add by way of humor that I demand a dialogue table organized under auspices of this forum. MS, AK and Aman will take part in it. I would appoint SGJ as moderator and Saal as record keeper. Saal is needed because hr is gifted with extremely wonderful memory retention capacity. He won’t have problem following MS who will surely speak volumes at one go. I will volunteer to take up the job of logistics: take care of water, drinks, and keeping the desk clean. The outcome of the dialogue will a specimen that will offered for sale to the opposition camp.

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Selam Asatza Emma, IsmailAA, AbdulraziQ.
            Thanks all for the exchanges. I agree that the topic needs more than this venue. Dear, Emma, no question that our premises could be slightly different resulting in different conclusions. However, I’m of the belief that sober minds do find common grounds, and if none exists, then they CREATE them. So, thanks, and let the discussion continue. Ustaz IsmailAA the logistics coordinator, I know you are more than a supporting role. SAAY will need some Frank Zapa plays lists, mixed with Ludacris, the philosopher (tsk, tsk).
            PS: This was being written with Emma’s latest reply in mind. Emma’s reply was recalled before I finish my comment. Anyway, I will see if there is any new idea inserted into it.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Mahmuday,

            Yes it is recalled by the disqus, usually it happens when I start to edit it. Hopefully, the moderator will pull it back.

            Amanuel Hidrat

          • saay7

            Haha MaHmuday:

            I am not into Ludacris lately. Been re re listening to GiGi’s “One Ethiopia”. She observes in that song, whose lyrics I have quoted probably more than any other song over the last 10 years, the following:

            Zemen ametash: ye zer beshta:
            Medhanit alew ye mata mata:
            Hager beh wegen endet yretta?
            Fiqr beh neger endet yfetta?

            I am still waiting for Eyob to come and spin us but even the talented Mr Eyob can’t do it.

            As for my friend Emma, I think I have the argument to end all arguments: one that proves conclusively that there is no PFDJ, no system, just a one man band and his instruments.


          • Mahmud Saleh

            Selam SAAY
            All the federal brouhaha is gone for ever. The Ethiopian regime is exposed open for everyone to see- a minority TPLF cloaked in EPRDF. TPLF democracy where it maintained 100% of the seats just last year, through a “democratically” conducted elections, has now been discredited by the same number of people they marginalized or whose votes they stole. Even if they can make it to the next “elections” through brutal means, the system has been dealt a lasting blow. The façade has been cast off. TPLF has stood naked. The voodoo doctors are not going to repair the damage.
            * Just wondering, have you seen my short comment that has been deleted wandering somewhere? This is the first time happening to me, it read on my disqus page :REMOVED. And then I see it deleted on the forum. It was the shortest and nicest reply to Emma, IsmailAA and AK. Well, I’m not acting paranoid like the young General, Nit, but kinda of wondering.

          • saay7

            Hala MaHmuday:

            Not only did I see it but I replied to it. The “approve” and “delete” keypads are next to each other so perhaps the moderator pressed the wrong button, specially if using a smart phone.

            With respect, I think you are jumping the gun on “federal brouhaha”. Not only is it not “gone forever”, it has not even been dealt anymore than a well deserved kick. Essentially, all we have now is some uprising, which is leaderless and rudderless. As ur org used to remind us over and over, the sequence of events is “raised consciousness—> organization —-> getting armed. The Ethiopians have, it appears to me, skipped step 2.

            Federalism is the way to go for large, multi-ethnic Sub-Saharan Africa whose march to nation-statehood was rudely interrupted by Europe. Even the very idea of federalism based on ethnicity has one and only one ethnic group vocally opposed to it–the Amara–who believe (rightly, I believe), they, as a group, had risen over such atavistic form of identity not fit for dinner time conversation. The skepticism and fear is that there is not tradition of negotiation and engineering of win-win outcomes in the culture of the TPLF. It’s “eat or be eaten” mindset. I wish Paulos NgoNgo had translated Carnegies “how to win friends and influence people”: there is one principle, if observed by all, would diffuse the situation massively to enable people to talk as equals.


          • Ismail AA

            Ahlen MS and saay,
            I think the events unfolding in Ethiopia could are still fluid and could be confusing. Drawing even tentative conclusion about the fate of the current order of things seems to me premature. Common sense tells that the continuation of ruling coalition might have reached its limits. Remaining on the saddle after more than two decades could not be sustainable without allowing space for other contenders. If the coalition would act with openness and pragmatism, the source of the challenge appears to be ill-considered decisions such as encroachment to precious village land in the environs of Addis Ababa in the name urban extension plans for the Oromos, and the issue of incorporation of Wolqait-Tzegeda for the Amharas in Gonder area which is being exploited by the weak opposition inside and the elite in diaspora. The dispute tilts more towards management errors than governance and economic policies. It does not mean that this could transform to bigger issues because that how minor disputes conflagrate to disastrous and destructive conflicts.
            Anyway, whatever could happen or in which way the current developments would move, one thing is clear in my view: there would not be chance to re-invest the wheel. Dream for restoration of the old type centralization of governance as some Amhara and Tigiyan elite would cherish is gone for good. The nations and nationalities, who have tasted the rewards of emancipation from the pre-Derg feudal-cum-imperial order which the Amhara’s and Tigriyans dominated, would not submit to any of its likes. Federalism in whatever form would probably save the country from disintegration and sliding to a kind of neo-era of the princes (Zemene Mesafint).

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Ahlen SAAY and IsmailAA
            I’m not against federalism or any form of power devolution, per se. I’m actually for decentralized arrangement of power sharing. In the TPLF case:
            a/ The process was not inclusive enough; it was done under the total control of TPLF, basically a prefabricated one. Otherwise issues of Walqayt would long have been answered, to start with.
            b/the substance (constitution) was crafted with the possibility of the Republic of Tigray seen as plan B. The mind set: Act Ethiopian when you are able to rule Ethiopia; act wayanay when you are challenged.
            c/ The implementation: disaster. Actually, EPRDF is more TPLF today than it was in 1991.
            Conclusion: Although federalism is among the best proposals for societies of social diverse and with development disparities, it works only when all the sectors of the society have access to the process; and decided accordingly. It’s true the majority of Ethiopians may not want to go back to strongly centralized Ethiopia, but they may want a different type of decentralization, or changes to the existing one. The problem is simple. Although TPLF worked so hard in the guise of federalism and coalition, it’s been clear that there is no coalition, and there is no federalism in the truest of senses. The federalism exists only on paper. Ethiopians have been complaining of this fact for years. Now, it’s all open.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Mahmuday,

            I do not care what you say about the Ethiopian problem. What I do care is if you do the same rigorous outcry against the Eritrean regime and its system. So far you don’t. In fact you defend the regime on many issues such as (a) targeted sanction against the regime (b) denying the regime’s collaboration with alshebab – the terrorist cell of alkaita (c) being reluctant to support COI because you do not believe the current indefinite national service is modern slavery. So I call upon you to direct your energy and your know how to our national issues , because the situation of our nation is by far worse than the Ethiopian. Remember if there were indefinite national service in Ethiopia you wouldn’t see the current popular movement and the public sphere where the public are engaging to bring the needed change. Remember if there weren’t free economy in Ethiopia as it is a case in our nation. Remember if Ethiopia wasn’t one of the developmental-states as oppose to the predatory-state of Eritrea- Ethiopia would have been in the worst situation than the current one. Please let us deal with ours, and we don’t need shading tears about others while our people are suffocating under one of the most repressive regime. If we do we are implying ourselves to the politics of both leaders using their playing cards, defending their act and outcrying about the other move.

            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Ahlan Ya Emma
            Thanks brother. I can do both. And that’s what I’m doing. Injustice is injustice wherever it may occur. Why would criticizing the rogue Ethiopian regime imply getting soft on the Eritrean one? Come on Emma. We can criticize both. I opt not to go back on demanding that you prove the accusations that seem to come to you naturally. Have a nice weekend. The picture is clear Emma, and it’s TPLF standing naked. No guise of EPRDF, not even a makeshift cover on its most private parts. That’s the picture of the year.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Mahmuday,

            Brother, when we are overwhelmed by the cry of our people, you seems you don’t. As I have said already, I do not care about your outcry on the Ethiopian problem. I care what you do and you don’t about the plight of our people. You can’t come with that sort of outcry on behave of the oppressed Eritrean people. That is my concern. My demand is simple, and that is show us of the same magnitude in your effort on the tragedy of your own people. In religion, ethics, philosophy and psychology ” good and evil” is a very common dichatomy. In our Eritrea the regime represent the evil part of who we are. The good part of who we are, are indeed those who fight against the evil as an antithesis to it. You do not see the regime as evil. That in itself is a big question for the Eritrean people who are victims of the evil act of the regime. And I do. Imagine, all the current articles are about our own issue, but those who do not care about it, diverted our focus and made the debate on Ethiopian issue. This is completely disservice to the oppressed Eritrean people. That is my contention, and am disappointed by my brother Mahmuday.

            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Dear Emma

            Ayfalkan Emma. It will serve all of us if you just start a thread that could stir the debate to the direction you want us to go to instead of insisting I should. Dear Emma, take a look at the following statement you have just made, “My demand is simple, and that is show us of the same magnitude in your effort on the tragedy of your own people” Think about it. I have a ready made answer but I won’t say it at this time. Suffice to say, though, that you are wasting equal time and effort albeit to the opposite direction; while I criticize TPLF, you are defending it. If you were that pressed about Eritrean plight, i.e., more pressed than me, you would simply ignore me and focus your energy on matters you think are more important. Yes? Emma, I don’t need to make anyone see how hurt I’m. I express what I feel, and for all those who want to see it, it’s abundantly expressed. I don’t have a magic to make people see my sorrow. Sorry.

          • Hayat Adem

            Kibur Emma,
            I see Mahmuday chasing a bone here. There was once a hungry dog who had a good bone in firm hold of his mouth and was wandering to find a nice spot to enjoy it. And while passing by a pond, he saw the reflection of his own image. Hardly aware of the fact that it was his own image, the dog thought he was looking at a different dog with a nice bone to die for. What does a dog do when it is uncontrollably agitated? It barked and lost his nice bone to the deep pond.

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Kibirti Habtey Hayat

            Thanks for that quintessential tale. And who, other than Hayat, could put it in the most excitingly improvised plot. Well, “nzereba zereba yemze’o nHamed dema dugri yewxe’o” say the wise elders of Tigrigna compatriots. Roughly translated in Mahmuday’s Tinglissh, “discussing a topic elicits another topic to follow”, or initiating a chit-chat creates a flow of ideas. So the story of the hungry dog triggers an image that you could easily relate to. Here it’s

            Well, the dog stood one more time at the edge of the escarpment of the Showa countryside and looked way North, then Northeastern. There he sees this bluish 1000kmts waterbody with a huge image of itself holding sets of bones in his moth (mind you not just one bone, but several), he sees an enlarged image of a dog. Perhaps enlarged due to the largeness of the reflectant. The hungry do did not see that vastness of water while marching Southward, climbing the escarpment. He was walking away, so he did not see the large body of water. Once facing North, there this sparkling vastness of water with a huge image of a dog. The hungry dog jumps off the cliff to get those large parts he saw in the mouth of the imaged dog. In the way, he lost the bones he had secured earlier, Gondar, WalQayt, Ye deboob Hzboch…What does a dog do when it is agitated? It barked and lost his nice bones to the deep pond, actually a SEA. The dog resorted to self mutilation by getting really mad. The once gentle-looking dog was seen ravaging his family.

            On a sober note: You said to Solomon, ” I am of the belief, if the ghedli’s purpose were clearly defined as a subset of the grand purpose of leading Eritrea and Eritreans to a better state of reality, the achievement of independence would lend itself to the next needed process as a matter of follow up, not as a matter of new preparation.”
            At a glance, the above statement may appear to be logical, and a well thought of statement. Coming from Hayat, and accompanied by the conditional “if” I know that you are saying ghedli was not clearly defined as a subset of the grand purpose, hence it has not lent itself to the next stage of “leading Eritrea and Eritreans to a better state of reality.” I want to let you know that the source of our derive for a better Eritrea and Eritreans is the defined purpose of ghedli which was to usher justice, democracy, development, and human dignity. The ideals Eritreans are fighting for are not new, but ideals we believe have been stolen from us. They are the ideals for which Eritreans fought and continue to fight. Those are the source of our ghedli, the source of our independence and now the source of our resolution to have them fully realized.

          • Hayat Adem

            Kibur Haw Mahmuday,
            Thanks for for the note. I didn’t see the wisdom in what followed of your dugri-zereba extension. But I conquer with your points of the grand purpose of ghedli as “justice, democracy, development, and human dignity”. The question remains: are we any closer to these things now as a result of ghedli than we were to them before ghedli? If the answer is a confident “yes”, then other questions will follow. If it is a yes, then it has to be a convincing one to the objective inquirer. Of course, in my mind, I am not interested for now in ghedli, in only the lessons to be drawn from it so that we don’t keep on defending mistakes and justifying sacrifices. And I want to appeal to you and Emma, that it is not my interest at all in revisiting ghedli for the sake of it…but I see it at as a resource for wisdom. hindsight is a resource.

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Kbrti Habti/Hafti Hayat
            I want to bring two points to your attention. I agree with your position that you have to look at ghedli from an outsider vantage point. By the way, your perspective adds value to the discussion. However, I think your judgment is also biased by the fact that you insist that ghedli be seen through the prism of like-minded outsiders. When people of the same experience choose to remain within the confines of their group, it’s very difficult for them to understand the views of others. I struggle with my other self in order to see ghedli from an outsider’s vantage point. I have succeeded to some extent. Therefore, I see ghedli as a social process of mixed results. I have never encountered a person that romanticize ghedli, never. What you guys call romanticizing is what we call “learning from our experience, preserving the positive aspects of ghedli and making them a jumping pad towards a btter future; learning from the negative experience so that we don’t repeat them.” We raise ghedli in that context. For the YGs, ghedli is synonymous to Eritrean identity. That’s a headache to them since they want the world to know that there never existed a thing called Eritrean ghedli but a mission of mercenaries which inculcated a deformed identity into the Eritrean society. Therefore:
            1. Widen your confines: Try to think about the fact that the basis of your judgment regarding Eritrean history may not represent how the majority of Eritreans make their judgment about ghedli. Remember Hayat, we know how this cyber world works. Once you cling to a group of same-minded people, you need courage to break that circle and have humility grow in you in order to appreciate how others see things. Be it intellectual circles, discussion forums, pal talks, friends… we tend to remain within the confines we impose upon ourselves. We demand others to change their minds. How is it hard for you to grasp that Eritreans developed an identity (it does not matter how they developed that separate identity, be it through Italian colonialism or Arabs…it does not really matter how people develop an identity, what’s important is that they have developed an identity), and they choose to have their own country. Instead, they are barred from attaining that wish; not only that, but they are forcibly annexed, not only that they are brutally repressed…how difficult is that for you to understand why Eritreans resorted to ghedli when you are defending TPLF type ethnic federalism and the right to secede? Nitrickay would call this a mindboggling.
            2. Ghedli is a long social process, its armed phase is done, its sociopolitical phase is ongoing. Ghedli was not intended to present the Grand objective in a piecemeal. Ghedli was designed to kick out an occupational force, with the aspirational goals of ensuring human dignity in all of its aspects (political, justice, economic…). It met its primary objective. Now we are embarking on the second phase. We drive our strength from that collective decision and experience. We will make it Hayat. The more activists stay humble by the Eritrean experience the faster the accomplishment of the second phase will be.
            Happy Labor Day.

          • Hayat Adem

            Kibur Mahmuday,
            Identities may evolve and be asserted. Socially engineered identity such as the ghedli come as a result of imposition replacing native traditions.. Identities are not developed or built because you can only develop them killing other preexisting identities.
            Now, If the grand purpose of ghedli was “the grand purpose of ghedli as “justice, democracy, development, and human dignity”, where are we in that social project line? There is no phase one, phase two thing unless phases are cumulatively incremental. HDIA says, hijji abziberekhe bota koyna, marcia keyrna…
            Can you look at me straight and answer this without dancing around: Do you believe Eritrea is better today (post ghedli) in terms of those values you itemized for us as features of the grand purpose, namely “justice, democracy, development and human dignity” say, compared to the federation era?

          • Mahmud Saleh

            MarHab Hayat
            Two more points dear Hayat
            1. Mzungus or outsiders to Eritrean experience assume that Eritrean identity was the result of ghedli. However, Eritreans believe that it’s the other way around. Eritreans, or rather, almost all Eritreans, believe that ghedli was the result of Eritrean identity. Ghedli was the result of Eritreans’ resolve to preserve their identity; it was the result of Ethiopian annexation to impose upon us a foreign identity. Therefore, your social engineering chorus is empty. Tell you what, the social engineering is going on right now, at this hour, in Ethiopia under the control of TPLF. It was TPLF which initially began for asserting a Tigrean identity, then, after 15 years of low level guerilla presence in Tigray, suddenly, changed its mind to engulf the whole of Ethiopia- of course while retaining plan B of seceding Tigray, if it is not able to rule the whole of Ethiopia. That’s why Ethiopian call it Ye Tigre mengst…Ye Tigre serawit….In Eritrea, you don’t have such expressions. Wec don’t have an Agazi division that is seen as a one-ethnic group’s special force. In our case, it’s all Eritrea, whether it’s good or bad. There is no one ethnic group that could tell us it alone brought independence. Ghedli made us more Eritreans. And believe me, despite the hiccups, we are more stronger than ever.
            2. The second point is this: Most Mzungus think of social change as if it’s a business proposal. They come and ask you, what’s the cost effectiveness of the project? Dah, this is not something you measure in terms of dollars &sense. There are areas where we exceed, there are areas where we need to do more and there are areas where we lag. Our understanding of the problems we are facing, their analysis and possible solutions is advancing. It’s a work in progress. As long as we don’t settle for the status quo, we are fine. As long as there is an urge in us to do better, we are OK. We are moving forward in completing the next phase of ghedli. We drive our strength from the ideals our heroes gave their lives for. Those ideals are the driving force. We are moving.

          • Hayat Adem

            Mahmuday the Great,
            Please do not forget that you are discussing with your queen:) Retreating forward (hidma Aebuyat, IA’s translation) won’t help you get anywhere. hold your ground like you did in Nakfa. If you want to run away though, I can always provide you with a graceful exit.
            Who said these two lines?
            1) I want to let you know that the source of our derive for a better Eritrea and Eritreans is the defined purpose of ghedli which was to usher justice, democracy, development, and human dignity.
            2) it does not really matter how people develop an identity, what’s important is that they have developed an identity…
            I am afraid, it is you verbatim and it is today and yesterday, and and it is under this thread…Now can you own them without much ado or you want them to go orphaned in hours time span since birth? Chances are some tagadali blood is still inside you and you will own them as brave as tegadalai is expected to be. If so, 1) how are we faring since ghedli in terms of the grand purpose components you listed as earnestly aspired then: justice, development, human dignity, democracy (all your own itemization)?
            2) Identities are features (aspects, not depths at all, and this is important distinction*) and therefore they are not to be developed, but if they are they come imposing themselves killing native identities. So why do you say Eritrean identities were developed over time be it in ghedli or in the colony?
            If you are not comfortable discussing these, skip. Otherwise, don’t say those tired things, muzungu-non-muzungu. And for Ethiopia-related exchange, meet me under Fanti’s article.
            *the fact that we are Tigrigna speaking people is an identity, but the identity is not in the very quality of being Tigrigna…or the fact that we are Eritreans can be an aspect of an expression of identity, but the identity is not in the quality of Eritreaness…or ghedli so far as it has become a base of some Eritrea’s cultural values can be an identity but tegadalynet is not. That is why identity is not something that can be developed, but it can be acquired but always at the expense of another of your own…

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Dear Hayat
            I will try one more time
            Hayat says Eritrea is the creation of ghedli; Eritrean identity was created by ghedli which in turn was created by foreign entities (tsk, tsk).
            Mahmud says: Eritrean national identity precedes ghedli; ghedli was the expression of a collective endeavor to reclaim that identity. It does not matter how that identity was created. This is true. All nations evolved differently. National identity has taken different paths for different people in the world. What’s important is that they have a collective national identity. Please don’t play ignorant. It’s clear we are talking about national identity. I know there are different forms of identity.
            related readings:
            All previous comments of Mahmuday, Hayat, and the toothless kim Hana. I will meet you on my best friend Fanti’s comment-turned-article piece. I know Fanti has returned with less teeth. We will see, hopefully, time permitted.
            Remember: Eritreans don’t call their government ye Tigre mengst. We don’t have ye tigre serawit. While the Ethiopian dictatorial regime is seen as belonging to Tigray, our regime is seen as an Eritrean dictatorship. I mean it’s so clear.

          • Hayat Adem

            Aha Mahmuday,
            It always comes to that kind of pain when you consciously declare divorce with facts and logic.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Hayat,

            An identity can not be concluded as a feature or aspect of something. In order to know the essence of national identity on e has to know the three factors that contribute to its evolvement (a) the ideological factor: Nationalism is an ideology that hold that a nation is a fundamental organic unit for human social life. It refers to both political doctrine and collective action by political and social movements on behalf of specific nation. It implies boundedness, continuity, and encompassing diversity. Nationalism has two benign definitions (i) it is the process of seeking to identify behavioral entity of the nation, and therefore to pursue certain political and cultural goals on behave of it (ii) It is a sentiment of loyalty towards a nation which is share by the people Therefore a nation is a psychological characteristic what individuals identify with. Nationalism in itself has inherent sovereignty with its own rational and consciously intended social order. (b) History as factor: Like many African countries Eritrea Eritrea is formed by the partition of colonizers. From this historical orientation the inscribed people (Eritreans) who live within the prescribed land (Eritrea) are identified by the prescriptional name of the land given by the colonizers clearly differentiated from that of the current Ethiopia. Eritrean became the common identity of the diversities inscribed with land called Eritrea. Consequently the psychology of belonging took its root. As a result of this historical phenomenon Te Eritrean people have seen Eritrean nationalism as a positive force and as antidotal to colonialism. For us Eritreans this become a philosophical and moral justification for action, rebellion which gave rise to Eritrean nationalism and to independence. The later was the greatest achievement and collective fulfillment and the former the former was a process in its political term, a process of struggle in the formation of a nation and nation building. (c) psychological factor: National consciousness is psychological consciousness. There are informal psychological values that contribute to our identity (i) pivotal interpersonal value or shared inner perceptions. They help each other in dire need due to perceptions of being together as part of one identity (Eritrean) irrespective their differences.. We always defend our common external aspect of dignity – anything that despises the common identities (ii) confrontational value – the ability to undertake a revolution and uprising against common enemy. In addition to the above psychological order some other psychological needs also contribute to the Eritrean identity – the needs to common safety and security, and of course these are all rooted to the abstract psychological ingredients of Eritrean psychic as (a) the imagined attachment to the territory (b) the feeling of categorical membership (c) the impersonal association to the land. All the aforementioned three factors are the drivers and the contributors to the evolvement of national Eritrean identity. It is backed by history, it is backed by psychological make up of the Eritrea people, it is also backed by political ideology. Hayat, can rest you argument the issue of identity if you agree with argument I made?

            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam Mahmud Saleh,
            There you go again!!! You were asked a simple question. Instead of answering that very specific and straight forward question you go to Ethiopia to pick up “word debris” and you come back to add a break dancing finale.
            You know, the more you talk the more you sound like Mahmud Hillary Clinton Saleh. Somebody asked Hillary Clinton, ‘Do you always tell the truth?, I know that is not a fair question but her answer is “Clintonesque”. She said …I always try.
            Let me rephrase the question of Hayat Adem and answer it for you.
            It is 2.34 P.M Sept. 5 2016. The only thing you know is what you did from ..60s, 70s, 80s….till this moment in time and no further.
            Q. Would you have done everything you did to achieve the result of the reality of this Sept. 5, 2016 at 2.34 in terms of Eritrean Independence?
            Your simple courageous answer is “YES”, because there is a nation called Eritrea.
            Then the answer to Hayat Adem question of ……is it really for ….”justice, democracy, development and human dignity”…?
            Your answer necessarily must be unequivocal “NO” it is not.
            You see how simple it is . Try it once in a while. It is good for the soul.
            That answer, of course, opens a “can of warms” as Mr. SAAY would say, which we will leave aside for this labor holiday.
            MR. K.H

          • Solomon

            Selamat, HA and MO,

            I see your Grand purpose and raise(follow you) you follow up here.

            There is a book titled “Zen for Poker” just poking 1001 chips into Texas Hold’em. Superior strategy in that game is always trumped by the Nine person or less grouped table dynamics.

            Why else do you think corporations hold their annual retreat in Vegas?

          • saay7

            Hala MaHmuday:

            I hear you… loud and clear. The system in Ethiopia, just like that of Eritrea, was based on the Victor’s Moral Code: I won, so I dictate the terms. And both had this moral smugness about the righteousness of their formula and, if you don’t like it, go to the field and fight us back. But here’s where I think the TPLF has significantly more escape routes than our friends in Asmara.

            1. EPRDF = TPLF (Tigray) + OPDO (Oromo) + ANDM (Amhara) + SEPDM (Southern People’s)
            2. The EPRDF coalition (that got the last meto be meto) actually includes not just EPRDF but other parties who are not in the coalition but caucus and reliably vote with the EPRDF. These include (now at least) the ANDP (Afar), the APDO (Amhara), BGPDP (Beni Shangul), HNL (Harar) and SPDP (Somali.)
            3. While it is true to say that two of the four member of EPRDF (OPDO and ANDM) are in a state of malaise and one is in a state of Gemgam since its T.Kifle left us (TPLF), it is fair to say (at least based on my remote observation) that SEPDM (the PM’s party) and all the affiliates are in a better-than-ever state.

            This being the case, if we are going to speculate about what next, the ruling party has several paths to creating a stable coalition.

            There will always be tension with one ethnic group: the Amhara. This is because they (at least their elite) consider themselves far too civilized to be identified by something as static as ethnicity. This is not new..and appears to be an intractable problem….it is what triggered Meles Zenawi’s infamous “Mengedun cherq….”

            Only fools would speculate as to what will happen next. So I will go first:)

            1. OPDO and ANDM have proven that they bring nothing to the EPRDF coalition. So they will be shown the door and, like Medrek, join the opposition coalition in 2020.
            2. Some neo-OPDO and neo-ANDM will emerge, and the coalition will be expanded to include the parties that vote with EPRDF but are not members of EPRDF.
            3. The first-past-the-post election system will be retired in favor of proportional representation.
            4. Rudderless, leaderless, the uprising will run out of steam.
            5. PFDJ will predict, as it has since 2005, that the end is coming:)

            Happy labor day!


          • Mahmud Saleh

            Dear SAAY
            Nice gmgema*. I was talking of such a path when I stated that the government should bring a genuine political solution. Now, tactically and procedurally, yes, they have few choices to make. It will all depend on how the unrest momentum continues. If the uprising gathers momentum, then Ethiopia will more likely be in the hand of the army, which will farther exacerbate the situation. If the government gets a breathing space, and it put lash on Agazi division, one or several of the options you outlaid could be drawn. However, the legitimacy issue has been tarnished. There is no easy going, there is no 100% win of election. Ke’ahun bhuala Meto bmeto yemibal negher yelem.
            On the opposition: I think they are more organized than we seem to appreciate.
            A really nice strategizing though. I like it. Ah, SAAY, you are making me talk about Ethiopia when I should have shown my friends here in awatista how hurt I’m about the plight of my people. OK, you take responsibility now.

          • saay7

            Hala MaHmuday,

            I hear you. I have a song for what you are going through from Emma. Only think you have to do is choose if you prefer the Elvis Presley edition or the Fine Young Cannibals edition of “Suspicious Minds.” Personally, I prefer the latter:



          • Amde

            Selam Saay,

            Lucky for you I am travelling so I barely have time to check out posts …forget the poking of 1,001 holes.


            Since I am a fool too let me say this.

            1) TPLF has seen the OPDO and ANDM as primarily its co-ercive arm within the Oromo and Amara regions. Keep the locals happy as they say…

            2) Whether by design or ideology, TPLF has ended up with single ethnic parties within the killils (or zones or weredas) as partners in this arrangement.

            3) With the accumulation of issues unresolved in their regions, and with their members swelled by enforced memberships drives of a new post-1991 generation, it has become clear that the ANDM and OPDO have found themselves stuck between a rock and a hard place. OPDO for example found Oromo peasant demands (its putative constituency) being continuously sidelined in favor of nouveau riche and global caiptalist interests whose points of view were being enforced through an Addis Ababa elite now considered to be essentially politically connected to the TPLF and assorted hangers on. Since OPDO had neither the will nor the capability to represent Oromo peasant interests, it chose to be silent, or even worse, to have its members profit from illicit acts servicing capitalist interests. So when the riots exploded it has essentially fractured, becoming politically so useless as to have much of the region be run under the writ of Federal Military. The process is similar in the Amara region, but with the older history of ANDM and the much closer homogeneity of the people it putatively represents, ANDM has not fractured, but will most likely split.

            4) Between ANDM and OPDO, you have 70% of the population. TPLF cannot simply sideline both overnight. It cannot govern for long without at least their acquiesence. Any attempt to replace them with others will first of all be time and resource intensive, and second of all will mean these putative replacements will face armies of hostile ANDM and OPDO cadres whose job is now immensely easier. They just have to say “We fought the good fight for you while we were in EPRDF. But now after all that has transpired, we can no longer be a part of EPRDF. Now TPLF is trying to install new parties. will fight these new shameless TPLF stooges.”
            The ANDM and OPDO (even if as empty brand names) are irreplaceable for TPLF.

            5) To diffuse the relative power of the ANDM and OPDO, TPLF might invite the affiliates into EPRDF. The thing is, they wont make up for the most populous states. And ANDM and OPDO might welcome them, since more members also diffuses the relative weight of TPLF within EPRDF as well.

            6) What’s left is behind the scenes re-engineering of ANDM and OPDO. EPRDF Central and the Prime Minister have predictably told us of coming campaigns to root out rent-seeking and maladminstration (this time we really really mean it..) And just as predictably it will fail. It has been in full force for years now in the OPDO and OPDO is as dysfunctional as ever..The easiest tell is the mere fact that these protests have been going on so long with no signs of a let up.

            7) ANDM could tell TPLF to eff off and become the first explicitly Amara nationalist governing party outside of EPRDF. I think it is more likely to stay within EPRDF and push back by demanding the re-engineering of EPRDF itself, such as the distribution of power and prestige within EPRDF to reflect constituent population weight. In this, it will find many enthusiastic supporters from the many OPDO factions. This call can also be repeated in the Federal parliament, which can start demanding a government position allocation by population. Again, ANDM and OPDO parliamentarians might like that idea.

            8) Getting PR instead of Winner Takes All would be sweet, but so far I dont see any of the EPRDF parties seeing how it would be in their interest. The last thing a TPLF fighting for its perch in EPRDF and the Federal bureaucracy wants is for some opposition to cut into its killil powerbase. Ditto ANDM and OPDO.


          • saay7

            Selamat Amde:

            Well played: traveling and yet you whip out 8 points which highlight the essence of the problem here. Let’s reduce them to 3, and my notes:

            1. TPLF wants monopoly power in Tigray and, therefore, must allow monopoly power in the other killils? [The first statement is true (refer to TPLF disinnviting EPRP and later ANDM from Tigray) but there is sharing (50-50) and then there is sharing (85-15). This will have the added advantage of making the Mzungus with the purse strings happy.]

            2. TPLF wants to be a dominant power within EPRDF and must, therefore limit the EPRDF to a coalition of four lest it dilute its power. [But then what do you do with Afar and Somali and Adere: keep them at the peripheries indefinitely. This is the part where TPLF has to face the reality of math: even if it can rationalize its dominance of the armed force on the basis of meritocracy, it can’t do it when it comes to all the other ministries it dominates. So we may be looking at each of the EPRDF coalition given at least one powerful ministry and manageable consequences outside the control of TPLF I see ambassador to Russia in the future of Zamora Yonus.]

            3. The other members of EPRDF also want EPRDF to be the permanent ruling coalition of Ethiopia and the sole party within their killil — but they want their power and prestige within EPRDF to be significantly more enhanced. [Or, if you go with a new model of two parties for each killil, they (the Oromo and Amhara parties) can be Forumized: a “respectable” opposition that gets a pat on the head for being “responsible” — but now forced fo compete with another Y-ANDM. Do I hear Bonapartism?]


          • Amde


            If we are into distilling long-winded hatetas into pithy sayings, then “TPLF must face the reality of Math” is the core underlying issue.

            I have a pet theory as to why EPRDF is incapable of engineering an 85-15. No proof mind you just anecdotes and tea leaves reading. It goes back to 2005 elections. I think EPRDF central (Meles and the bosses in Addis) genuinely believed they would come through with muzungu-pleasing solid majorities in the regions and Federal level. When the results came out, TPLF came through with its meto be meto, but ANDM and OPDO received a “shellacking” as Obama would say. In practical terms these results had two effects. At EPRDF central level, the ANDM and OPDO bosses were put on the defensive within the EPRDF pecking order. And more significantly the results scared thousands of ANDM and OPDO cadres who all of a sudden were seeing the possibility of losing the jobs, impunity and access to privilege they had taken for granted. (It is said that a wholesale cadre rebellion and threats from the Generals were what forced Melles to get on TV and announce on election day that EPRDF had won, and that there was a ban on any public demonstrations, congregations and rallies) So this has created a dynamic where – due to intra-EPRDF competition – the more liberal impulses of EPRDF Central are systemically sabotaged by the party bosses and rank and file armies of cadres and bureaucrats in the regions.


          • Dear Saay,
            The government seems to acknowledge that there is a problem, and the problem lies mainly with the government. It shows that at last it is looking inwards into its own failures instead of trying to find a scapegoat. If this is said in good faith and not for public relations, then it is a hopeful thing and in the right direction.
            If I am not mistaken the PM has shown his desire to meet the leaders of the opposition. Therefore, the political development in the coming days could determine the fate of the country.
            I believe that behind the scene there are foreign governments telling the Ethiopian government to stop the bs and correct its ways, if it wants to continue getting the special treatment it got up now. In addition, the government should know that if it takes things to the extreme, what it believes it has achieved over the last 25 yr, especially in the fields of economic development will go down the drain, and history will record it as a government that sacrificed a whole nation for the sake of power and personal economic gains .
            One final thing; if 100m people gaze in one direction, in this case towards 4killo palace, where power lies, is it possible to say they are rudderless? I think they know what they are doing. When people say enough is enough, and they do not want to continue to be ruled forever in the same way, it is up to the government to act promptly before it is too late. I hope the government has got the message, at last. As much as leaders are concerned, it is the only commodity in politics that is in abundance, and you can buy one easily. (Just joking).

          • Solomon

            Hey Saay7 and MoMo,

            You have both of your hands tied! Ayay Captain!
            Xenophobia Xeno Xeno! “Zemen yaMeTash ye Zer Bishita” Iniewm ind ‘nte bmesenQo eyzefunku negn Andd Itipoigre ‘Agere litHun le Ye Ethiopia Hzboche wendimoch leTinT guadoche. Che Che Che! Viva LA Revolucion. Como ti PODEt, Segnor Presidente SaliH Younis, Si, Si PODEMOS yi Siempre con Causa Justa!

            MoMo, Ayay ile ‘lekhu ane. Ayay bel. Ayay Saay7.

          • Abdulrazig Osman

            Thanks guys for the very constricive and civlized discussion, from myside I will take the liberity and bring Kangaroo’s halal meat for the round table discussion.
            Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

          • Solomon

            Selamat Abdulrazik Osm,

            May Flowers after April’s Showers. Some how, AO, I missed your Catalyst essay you penned in the Spring which, like yeast it fermented to give rise to Aya Amanuel’s essay in time for Meskerem’s Sewit Eimbaba..
            So, before premting Mr. ishmaElAA’s commentary and announcement of his eventual mideratiom, with: 1. ENCDC(g12) Eritrean Opposition Congress 2017 planned, as well as the Medrek(,g6?)’s joining or supporting the g12 and Base of opperatiom that are the Ethiopian People
            allow me I too will bring Sewit Embaba Tortias to complement your Kangaroo Halal meat, “Ozi Ozi Ozi!!!” “Oy Oy Oy!!!”. And I know just the place where the round table debate should be held. TripleA cafe’ ” FtHi meas, FtHi Hji” And Thomas Kennelly host as he welcomes Eritreans Opposition Unity Academic Symposium with “Catalyst-Knowing Our Selves”. At TripleA Cafe’ where O-Awatistas, the Original Gangstas sipped on FitHawi Chai, visualise, if you will, Thomas Kennelly reading ” To Asmara” 16 Kilometres for Y-Awatista and Y-PFDJ irrespective of their age.
            And TripleA doing a Guitar Solo of “FtHi ndeli, FtHi meAAs” FtHi ntmali, FtHi Hji, FtHi ntSbaH!
            “Ewe, nsikha tsibaH, an Godni Harinet QelatSimka zergiH” FtHi nmenn. FtHi nHzbi ItyoPPian Eritran!

            “DeH AO DeH DeH AO
            Day Light come”
            NeAske anta.QeyiH Embeba anta Kokhob tSibaH!
            Thank you also AbdulQadir for your catalyst essay!
            DeH AO… Kem Meskerem Embeba Sewit Offunn menEisay Sesinu, demiru, ArbiHu!
            O-Awatista siempre contigo yi Causa Justs en todo LA Mundo. Fuerte!

          • Ismail AA

            Hayak Allah Abdulrazig,
            How are you, brother.
            Thank you for the valuable two-part article that provoked our Amanuel to embark on a venture to produce equally well researched article. Both of them complemented each other to broadened my (hopefully also readers’) insight. The discussion that is going on in the forum is beneficial and contribute to our understanding.

          • Solomon

            Selamat Aya Amanuel,

            By way of humor, allow me also to say the following: “seKhram nay libu yzareb.” It isn’t the swA, that makes one drive, it is rather the dizing daily revolutions of our globe.

            I do not believe there is further necessity to scratch our wounds’ is has it’s equivalent statement which is nay wudubat Hashewye dHri Hji yellen weyy ytreff.

            While Saay7 and SJG were reading themselves to cary receive and relay the never ceasing resistance…

            Perhaos , I should be sober and out of my element to attempt humor….

            I so much wanted to jump in and respond to Hyatt Adam’s questions she adequately measured for you to answere.

            What are your recollection of EPF-NY and which without due diligence merged with ELF-NY, essentially succombing to hostile takeover. I as AbdulRaziQ Osman also do have a general recollection of the Eritrean Opposition.
            I was in opposition when within the Pre-Independence EPLF-NY… If not records lost due to capacity, Kerenite IbraHim Brhan, Amanuel Woldu, Elias Am are and an over 5 to 10 thousand Eritreans assembled at Howard University can and EPLF video documents can attest to my standing in line to with Eritrea’s Traditional Opposition representing SUNY@Buffalo Eritrean Student Union…
            Aya Amanuel, let us step out of the box together and view the road ahead. Lest we, revert back to “…/ lost my train of thought/ this will do, ” Gemel seriQkas GumbaH GumbaH.
            I continually pleaded and I am glad you are recognizing record keeping as an issue of discontent. Why do we keep minutes in any public meetings? The issue is minor AND YES, looking forward and Trust Building purpose will clear the air, but ridicule and uncharacteristic humor…
            Zmetse ymsaE– abzi zelenayo kunetat bzeyy meAltawi retSmi aykhilun iyu gsgasie.

            Chilax Aya… The Shig is eternal. Sober or NOT!


  • Desata Tella


    ኤርትራዊያን ኣጋጢሙና ንዘሎ ጸገማት ብምድጋፍ ይኹን ብምቋዋም ዝመጽእ ፍታሕ የልቦን እዩ!

    ኣብ ሃገርና ኣጋጢሙ ንዘሎ ዝተፈላለየ ጸገማት ፍታሕ ንምርካብ ኣብ ወጻእ ሃገር ዘለና ብፍላይ ሙሁራት ኣካላት ነቲ ዘሎ ሽግርን ጸገምን ኣለሊና ፍታሕ ንኽንረኽበሉ ኣይሰራሕናን ወይ ኣይንሰርሕን ኣለና ንምባል የድፍር አዩ። ምኽንያቱ ኣብ ክንዲ ነቲ ኣጋጡሙ ዘሉ ጸገማት ኣለሊና ንፍትሑ ንሰርሕ ንመንግስቲ ኣብ ምቅዋምን ከምእዉን ትም ኢልና ንመንግስቲ ኣብ ምድጋፍን ተዋፊርና ጓይላ ተኺልና መርዓ ወይ ታሕጓስ ኣብ ዘይብሉ ቦታ ከም ደቂ ሕድርትና ዓንዘርዘር ኣብ ምባል ተዋፍርና ንርከብ ኣለና። ኣብ ሃገርና ስርዓተ ሕጊ ነጊሱ ንሃገርና ክንሃንጽን መነባብሮ ሕብረተሰብና ክነመሓይሽን ምስ እንደሊ ካብዚ እንጓዓዞ ዘለና ወይ እንኽተሎ ዘለና ናይ [ምድጋፍን ምቅዋምን] ዝብል ኣርእስቲ ወጺእና ንሃገርን ንህዝቢ ኤርትራ ሓበራዊ ረብሓ ዕብየትን ብልጽግናን ከጓናጽፍ ዝኽእል ስትራተጂካዊ ዕላማታት ብምሕንጻጽ ኣብ ግብራዊ ስራሓት እንተተኮርና ይሓይሽ ዝብል ርኢቶ ኣለኒ።

    ብፍላይ ገለ ገለ ሙሁራት ኢና በሃልቲ ደገፍቲ* ይኹኑ ተቃወምቲ* ካብ ምህዉታት ሓሊፎም ዝኾነ ዓይነት ግብራዊ ስራሕ ወይ ዉጽኢት ዘለዎ ስራሕ ንኽሰርሑ ዓቕሚ ዝጎደሎም ወይ ኣብ ሃገር ዝኾነ ግብራዊ ኣበርክቶ ዘይብሎም ንኣጋጢሙና ዘሎ ሽግር ንኽፈትሑስ ይትረፍ መበገሲኡ ብትኽክል ንኽፈልጡ ስለዝጽገሙ ፍታሕ ከምጽኡ ዘይኮነስ ዝያዳ ኤርትራዊያን ንዝነበረና ሓድነት ዝዘርጉን ኣንጻር ሰላም ዝሰርሑን ባእታታት እዮም እንተበልና ምግናን ክኸዉን ኣይኽእልን እዩ።

    • Solomon

      Selamat Desra Tells

      LkiE kemza kalayti shmka QaH enteneletimi sle iti shm nayti b teQerarabnet ateHasasibana zeQerebe Arkey gedi koyna, ezen nsikha zgeletSksyen reyto ms natey reyIto bzuH fliley ayrkhebkulun.

      Kab nay Aya Ananueln Ato AbdulQadrn astemhro zeHazela tsiHufat aQribotatom win natka azyu ruHuQ aykonen. BantSaru zeQerarb neTbiyat TbAt keyxHil xeQrebkayo koynu tesemiUni.
      Eti teQawemzTi wet tselaEti Mengisti Eritrea terifus an aselelaselti kab dege n atomm abwushTi khoynom delyet hxbi zHafs AAwetat b mIEbale Eingelan hzbob n ftHawi Higawi mengsti keQalaTifu iyu iti medrekhn teTsabai Qurub neTbitatom lmdawi poleticawi jtize wey kea zete kiQtsil Edme zom kelte yeHwat an meAdom.

      Abten kltee seleste rigatat tsiHufatka zewredkayen gnn kabti ztelemde Hiji wn Hadega syteweTsen guguyat wet aytigageyu Halyotawi gulbab teshefimu adlaynetun tHiztioun b natey mredaEta gzyiou akhilun kemzebQeain kHibreka efetu.

      We are in dire need to be courageous and exert all forces with the utmost honesty and candor that this conducive environment to capture more real estate and move the trenches by an area equivalent from Nadew to the GindaE front. The time is now. Silence or apathy to shy away from this duty for whatever reason is not only unchsracteristic of Eritreans as cowardice or just simply complicity with conspirators for Eritrea and Eritreans to win their due Respect and Dignity as other nations.
      The Eritrean National Anthem repeats:” Eritra Eritra an Alem ketchibiT gbuE kbra”

      N zikhone welke WutsuE Eritrawi kemzeyTeQami zeygneT HixaEtu ktwigido nay ksara zeQelaTif gxiyou zebQraIe Hasab demdamieka nkhitEirm ylabeweka.
      NeniHidHidns QunuEin HanaTsim mengedi mzikhikhar iti Qendi trgum mQuam iyu. Hzbi mengsti sle zikhone, iti HadHidawi btBAt mkiTaE mQuam iti Qenfi wenani mengsti, iti hzbu mukhsnu aynizengiE.

      John Boyd’s theory of Group Dynamics being more important than any superior strategy, that Saay7 brought to this current debate is to exactly encourage the group dynamics thstbis truly what governs. The fleetingly mentioned Boyd strategy of decision making by isolationism is irrelevant and can easily be corrected.

      It is my sincere wish that “Oh Captain my Caotain ” say will find time permuting to boost for the vital momentum. As well as other Catalysts from diaspora.,

    • Nitricc

      Hi Desate; Some times when a problem or its solution can not be seen of found because it is to close to see. The other day I was reading MenEsey magazine on Shabiat.com and I read one interesting sentence that describes perfectly the Eritrean oppositions. ” ህዉኽ ዝብእስ እንዳ ስጋ ይደሊ” that is it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Solomon

        Yo Mr.Toothless extraordinary Nitricay,

        Surely you have heard: “Qalsina ynwaH ‘mber, AAwetna gn nay gdin iyu!”
        Would you please give Five Star General iSEM a mathematical proof of the above General Nitric.

        Hey, least you punched in your time card.
        ” AytsesiE, Susie zbEi iyu zhwekh.”
        I certainly hope you will take the cause of Fair Labor Law to Eritrea and on Holidays at work Pay should be 2X.
        Arhebo is MoMos
        ArbeHayo should is my gift to you on this renawal of The
        Revolutionary Day – BaHti Meskerem.
        So at your #ArbeHayo
        Your Holiday bonus check will read: “RebiHu Tedemiru Kulu gzie ArbaEte!” WedevArbaEte:ArHibo, ArbeHayo, Asmiro,


  • Solomon

    Selamat Awate Forum,

    Questions we should ask:

    1. Is sufficient for only two view points nearly identical to each other iron out the kinks and declare “bAwet tezazimu” upon achieving a micron reconciliation OR should we demand the consideration of greater than two party, bi-polar only capacity, in order to mabilize , free from apathy, the multiparty clearly evident by the existence of view points greater than TWO but not fFour and half million parties as large as the population,, as alluded by IA and Abeba Haile’s lovely melody and mantra “Hade Hzbi HadevLiibi” that is universal and not to mention that it is Massive Respect to Rasta. Bob Marley’s “One Love, One Heart.” MaHmoof SaliH should recognize, the out of context usage by IA’s political seed planting… .
    2. Is a grass roots Post COI call for a fresh approach of ridding confrontation by the out side and accepting the role of outside catalyst,, to be defined not worthy of honest recognition and debate.
    3. Shouldn’t the failure of Federalism in its current form be pushed for by Ethiopians and Eritrean elites for…

    Come on folks… It is BaHti Meskerem! ….

  • Abdulrazig Osman

    Dear Emma, I would like to thank you for your well- articulated and structured article and for your very constructive critiques of my two-part article.
    As brother Ismail noticed, there are many points we agree on, hence, I am not going to dwell on that, and I would prefer to directly address the three main issues we differed in, which are: 1) catalyst vs. major role; 2) one man vs. party; and 3) peaceful vs. “by all means”. By way of introduction, it may be useful to make a clarification; when I wrote my article my proposition was -and still is- that the struggle against the regime and the opposition’s activities—for the last decade or so—has turned to a sort of routine, with no creativity or breakthrough, due to lack of vision. This shortcoming has clearly manifested in the absence of a road map that contemplates the probable scenarios for change; and the advantages, disadvantages, and likelihood of each scenario. With such a consideration, it would be possible to craft an action plan to consolidate the desirable scenario and to tackle the undesirable one. Here—after carefully assessing the change forces in Diaspora, and bearing in mind the regional and international factors—I do claim that I have reasonable knowledge about the opposition forces in Diaspora and the regional and international factors to conduct such assessment. I have ruled out the probable scenarios: bringing about change through foreign interference (after questioning its viability and desirability), and forcing the regime to relinquish power peacefully or violently by the opposition parties (for its unreality). I concluded therefore, the only viable and desirable scenario in bringing about change is through the change forces inside Eritrea. This was the rational basis for defining who is suitable for playing the major role and who the catalyst one. The rest of my article was about making the case for the viability of this scenario, believing that there are enough elements inside and outside to consolidate this scenario. And this, it seems to me, is our main diverging point.
    Catalysing vs. major role:
    It is understandable that, for any interaction, both catalyst and major role are indispensable. Therefore, it was not my intention to downgrade any of the two potential change forces that are inside vs. Diaspora. Emma, it seems you question the capability of inside forces to play the major role, due to the unprecedented exodus of Eritrean youth that is supposed to constitute the potential inside forces. In addition, you question the viability of such a scenario, due to the tight grip of the regime and its notorious security apparatus. Well, let me admit, you have a point here. Having said that, however, does not in any way invalidate my proposition; I never counted on any segment inside Eritrea that can afford to cross the border. As I clearly stated, the potential change forces in Eritrea are those who cannot afford the financial or social cost of escaping the country, and they have no option other than taking the risk of seeking change inside Eritrea. This segment constitutes the middle and low ranks in the Eritrean Defence Force and the Eritrean civil administration, and includes traders, farmers, students, women, and youth, whose social and financial commitments have deprived them of the opportunity to flee the country. Consequently, they have an obvious interest in bringing about change in Eritrea. Concerning the notorious security apparatus, I have questioned whether it is real or illusionary—and still the question is valid; I could refer to many incidents, such as the attempt of Wedi Ali and how, in January 2013, he moved with his well-armed force from their base all the way to Forto; and the incident of Mola Asgodom and the many incursions of Ethiopian forces inside Eritrea, which illustrate the fallacy of the security myth. More importantly however, I have traced the noticeable transformation occurring inside Eritrea from a passive resistance to an active resistance. The two attempts of change from inside, which you employ as proof of the impossibility to change from within, I can confidently state that they serve to affect the opposite: the possibility of change from inside. Bearing in mind, there was not even half an attempt from the outside to bring about change.
    One-man state vs. party-state:
    In my article I have attributed the inevitable change in Eritrea to the nature of the regime in Eritrea, which I characterised as very centralised; the main burden falls on the shoulders of the president, and I still believe this is the case in Eritrea. Emma, you claim that Eritrea nowadays is party–state if that is the case, here I would like you to contemplate these questions. When was the last regular or irregular conference for the ruling party? When was the last meeting of the legislative body—the central committee—for the ruling party? When was the last meeting of the executive body? Has anyone heard recently of any resolution that was taken by any of the party’s structure? Comparing PFDJ to a well-functioning party such as the communist party in China seems far-removed from reality. I do agree that one man cannot run a country, but a one-man state means that nothing can be done without his approval. Crafting any policy or proposing any project must be commensurate not only with the man’s vision but with his mood as well. The sad reality in Eritrea today is that one man can hire and fire without any institutional or constitutional consideration or consultation. He can hire and fire with a phone call and even replace someone without telling him that he has been fired. So what is a one-man state if not such?! This should not in any way be interpreted as a claim for validity of the system if the one man and his close aids have been removed.

    Peaceful vs. “by all means”:
    Emma, it is understandable to me why you correlate the scenario of change from inside with peaceful means of resistance, as all of us recall the debate among the Diaspora regarding what was portrayed by our elites as an irreconcilable dichotomy: peaceful vs. “by all means”. Here, I would like to emphasise a less dichotomous perspective. Personally, I see no moral or legal problem in using violence against the regime; in fact I have been advocating for the right of every victim—be it political organisation or social sector—to violently resist in the absence of rule of law. In 2010 I wrote an article in Arabic under the title “The Soft Intelligentsia and Dialectic of Democracy and Violence”, where I rationalised “by all means” in Eritrea’s case. In fact, I stated that what seems to be irreconcilable binary could complement each other patricianly. I mentioned the story of the late Sudanese freedom fighter Dr. John Grange, arising when two trends emerged within the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement; one calling for South Sudan separation while the other for the New Sudan. Grange stated that for “those who fight for South Sudan’s Independent they may stop their march in Kousti while the believers of the New Sudan continue their march toward Khartoum”. However, knowing the opposition in Diaspora and the regional factors makes me question the viability of applying violence, but at the same time I would not condemn any attempt from outside or inside (such as Wedi Ali’s).
    Finally, and in my opinion, the viable and desirable scenario for change is one that comes from inside while been catalysed from outside. You seem more inclined to change that is carried out by the forces within Diaspora, but the question remains— what is the practical mechanism for actualising such a scenario?

    • Ismail AA

      Ahlen Abdulrazig, Amanuel and Yohannes,

      To begin with, let me express my admiration for the maturity and civility which the exchange of views between you guys demonstrate. This enhances the Awate.com forum as indispensable medium for generating ideas and articulating them for the benefit of those of us who want to learn.

      In my earlier comment to Aman’s article, I noted that the two-part article of AK and the current response article of the former share more congruence than differences. Even on the two of the three points AK has pin-pointed and discussed, I must repeat that the issue is more on emphasis than hard position taking. I maintain that in practical political and mobilization sense the “ inside-outside” and “peaceful-all means” prepositions, and considered vis-a’-vis the existing Eritrean political and social set up, can become productive ventures by way of complementarity than each one on its own.

      Moreover, I should add that brother Yohannes’ contention (last paragraph of his response to Aman) that “only” forces inside the homeland are viable to bring change, especially with the concrete circumstance existing in the country in mind, seems to me too generalized opinion. Though I tend to concur with AK that, given the population size, more youth and working segment of our people are staying inside due to their financial capacities, it is not realistic to think that they can initiate and consummate change alone without the help of their compatriots in the Diaspora. The inside forces could become crucial at the formative phase of the struggle and can deliver the last blow to the regime on condition that the forces outside the homeland do their part financially and diplomacy and doing all what it takes to weaken the regime by supporting the inside forces.

      Going back to the debate of AK and Aman, I think that which one of the two propositions I mentioned earlier would take precedence, and at which phase of the operation would be tactical matter rather than the one negating the other for strategic reasons. I would repeat my contention that the gab of the ideas of both brothers could be bridged to form a coherent whole. It takes only sober debate and dialogue.

      On the issue of trust which Aman and Yohannes have raised, I maintain that it is indeed a powerful recipe for any productive dialogue. Where there is no trust, there would not be meaningful engagement, and the enterprise would simply degenerate to dialogue of the deaf, as the Arabs say.

      Arguing that lack of trust does not per se apply to our Eritrea as Yohannes wrote seems to me an understatement. It is true that the perspective from which one appraises the situation can bring one particular conclusion. But for an Eritrean observer, and anyone for that matter, the deeper one delves into the affairs of our people, in various spects, the better picture he/she would get regarding trust.

      The fact that there has not been acute social conflict does not warrant the efficacy of the argument that our society and its components are blessed by absence of trust. In fact, mistrust extends from village to village, through region to region up to and including confessional matters. The simple reason for that is that our society still exists within
      social set ups separated by fragile fault lines of affiliation.

      The polity we have has not yet matured to a nation-state in which affiliation of citizen is measure by rights and duties, and in which internal material and social borders within it have diminished by the fruits of economic and political advancement that entails interdependence.

      Regards to all


  • Desalegn


    ናይ ዝተማህረ መሃይም ኤርትራዊ ሙሁር!

    ዝተማህረ ሰብ ንዝተማህሮ ዓይነት ትምህርቲ ኣብ ግብሪ ምስ ዘየንጸባርቖ ክንየው መሃይም ኣይሰግርን እዩ። ምኽንያቱ ብኣድላይ መዓቀኒ ክንሪኦ ምስ እንፍትን ክመሃር ንዘሕለፎ ግዜ ኣብ ግምት ብምእታዉ ተማሂሩ ዘይኮነስ ዓብይ ክሳራ ኣትዩ ከምዘሎ ክንርዳእ ንኽእል። ንገለ ገለ ኤርትራዊያን ሙሁራት ኢና ዝብሉ ምስ እንርኢ ተማሂሮም ክንሶም ኣብ ዝኾነ ናይ ግብራዊ ስራሕ ዓለም ብዘይምስታፎም ዝገብርዎ ይኹን ዝረግጽዎ ዘይፈልጡ ናይ ሙሁራት ማሃይማን ኮይኖም ንርኦም ኣለና።

    እዞም ሙሁራት ኢና በሃልቲ ብኹሉ መዳይ ብቕዓት ዘይብሎም ጥራሕ ዘይኮኑ ዕላማ* ዝባሃል ስለዘይብሎም ኣብ ናይ ሃገሮም ይኹን ኣብ ሕብረተሰቦም ዘለዎም ኣበርክቶ “ትሕቲ ባዶ” እዩ እንተበልና ምግናን ክኸዉን ኣይኽእልን እዩ። ሓደ ሙሁር ክበሃል ዝኽእል ንዝተማህሮ ትምህርቲ ምድጋም ዘይኮነ ንዝተማህሮ ትምህርቲ ከም መወከሲ ብምጥቃምን ንዘሕለፎም ተሞክሮታትን ንህልዉን መጻእን ኣብ ግምት ብምእታዉ ንዝዉስኖ ዉሳኔን ስራሕን ብቕዓቱ ምስ ዘመስክር ጥራሕ እዩ።

    ሓደ ሰብ [ሙሁር] ምስ ዝኸዉን ብሰብ ከም ሓደ [እንስሳ] ዝዝወረሉ ወይ ከም [ተላኣኣኺ] ዝሰርሓሉ ምኽንያት ክህሉ ኣይኽእልን እዩ። ምኽንያቱ ተማሂርዎ ዘሎ ትምህርቲ ይኹን ናይ ስራሕ ተሞክሮ ስለዝደለበ ይንኣስ ይዕበ ንነገራት ኣገናዚቡ ብቑዕ ዝኾነ ዉሳኔ ንኽዉስን ስለዝሕግዞ ካብ ናይ [እንስሳ] ኣተሓሳስብ ንኽወጽእ ከይሓገዞ ኣይተርፍን ይመስለኒ። ይኹን ደኣምበር ናይ ሃገርና ሙሁራት ኢና ዝብሉ ብኣንጻሩ ኮይኖም ኢኻ ትረኽቦም። በሃፈሻ ኣብዝእዋንዚ ዝራኣዩ ዘለዉ ሙሁራት ኤርትራዉያን “ደገፍቲ ይኹኑ ተቓወምቲ” ኣብ ዝገብርዎ ዘለዉ ምንቅስቓሳት [ብስለት] ዝጎደሎን ዘይሓላፍነታዉን ንሃገርን ህዝቢ ኤርትራ ካብ ዕንወት* ዘናግፍ ዘይኮነስ ናብ [ድቕድቕ ጸልማት] ዘእቱ ዉሳኔታትን ስጉምትን ይወስዱ ብምህላዎም ብህዝቢ ኤርትራን ይኹን ብታሪኽ ተሓተቲ* ምኻኖም ክዝንግዕዎ ዘይብሎም ነገራት ምኻኑ እገረመገደይ ከይጠቐስክዎ ክሓልፍ ኣይደልን ብምባል ንናይ ሎሚ ጽሑፈይ በዚ ይድምድም።

  • blink

    Dear Mr.Amanuel
    It is a very good article and i thank you for your honesty every thing about Eritrean politics. Especially about the opposition weakness not to sit and accept failure and pass the torch. I see things moving down words , especially some people are allergic to disagreement and they are totally bossy . They failed to recognize that they are working for the people. Most opposition are par time and they do not intend to change that.

    what i do not understand is , How do you expect the diaspora to fight PFDJ from out side ? did not they try that already and failed ? There are military wing in Ethiopia now almost for 10 years and they never got the attention of the youth . They failed to attract the young from all Ethiopian refugee camps . Their numbers is not fit to PFDJ weak army , they know it and Weyane know it . By the way how is your analysis that says , “All the inside force should only follow the diaspora ” , Look no one is blind here . All opposition figure sons and daughters are in western university and you expect the poor dish washer to clear the jungle. We are looking at opposition figure bluffing about their children excellency at school and they even do not hide it . Why not the dish washer save his money and make some thing about it ? You want to win go and get it , it is simple easy . All the opposition figure always want to out smart each other at any cost and that is simply not going to work.

    A political movement that could not tackle its problem can not and will not solve the problem at large.Do not you see all the young people are afraid of people like Eyob and other divisive people in the opposition. We need the smart and selfless people to come and take charge from the par time opposition figures.

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Dear Blink,

      Thank you for the feed back.

      For all intend and purposes, it is easier to change the diaspora opposition camp than the regime we have. I understand your frustration but part of the struggle is to change our frustration to optimism and persistence to bring the needed change.


    • Peace!

      Selam Blik

      It is a well-written article! Although I believe misinformation and accountability are mainly to blame for lack of progress, I thank the writer for addressing courage, but regrettably the article is not courageous enough to describe the problem and recommend a practical solution: this is what the author said: “Unfortunately, there are two distinguishable approaches within the opposition camp on how to fight the regime (a) there are those who are holding opinions, that Issayas and his entourages are the problem, and as such, there is no systemic and structural problem within PFDJ party system. They believe PFDJ is redeemable and it could run the state safely once the despot is neutralized (b) There are those who believe that Issayas and his party as well as the system in place are the problem of the state of Eritrea. And hence they believe on the dismantlement of the system (not the PFDJ party) and bring the perpetrators of human right abuse in the last 25 years, to the court of justice. These two positions are irreconcilable that contribute to the ineffectiveness of the opposition camp and their struggles. Furthermore, these positions also have brewed distrusts along the social fault lines and enhanced disunity within our social groups.”

      Now, wouldn’t be courageous to spell them out and their stand so people can make an informed decision then may be the lack of courage accusation would sound more valid? And by the way how many people including myself do actually know the total number of opposition groups let a lone their stand? The answer is very few; forgive me if I sound ignorant but thats another dilemma of almost every Eritrean. And the other thing it is too timid to pretend as if all the opposition groups make an independent decision. I mean is it a secret that TPLF/EPRDF owns most groups: pays office rent, transportation, security, media and other expenses, and of course it expects dividend as it is a political investment. People understand the concerns and interest of neighbors but as a shareholders, they have the right to be informed and educated to protect country’s interest and hold leaders accountable. Hamot wehiduwa eza article eye zebel zeleku.


    • Thomas D

      Hi Bleak,

      Why are you jumping to say that the opposition failed? How do you define opposition group anyway? Can you specify which opposition group you are addressing? As far as I know, people are just opposition one regime and that is the regime in Eritrea? Oppositions are Eritreans who are not allowed to live in their country as such they don’t have a say in what is happening within the country? Now, tell me who the oppositions are? Those who are migrating to every corner of the world cross borders are showing their unhappiness with the regime and the only choice they are given to leave the nation they love and show their displeasure remotely? As Issayas told them, “those who are leaving the country are just obstacles and we will be better without them”. Anyone who is not happy with regime is just leaving the nation. So, who do you have in the country? Now are trying to target the ELF who are somehow organized and trying to see where we can go from here? If you know what you are talking about? Please address if you are talking about? HINT: Whenever DIA indirectly talks about the opposition, he only has the ELF in his mind? Know those ELF who unfortunately are aged and too tired as they have been separated from their country for long cannot be addressed as oppositions? If you are young, you should sympathize with what happened to them. You don’t even feel shame to blame groups who have nothing to do with what is going on!! Your just a wussy!

      • blink

        Dear Thomas
        If you have no knowledge who are the organised opposition , blame to Tormas’s failure to be educated.
        By the way dictator issaias never acknowledged the existence of any opposition or what so ever .He said also ” These who flee from Eritrea are on pick nick to the west” . do i buy that also? ,no way . If you want who or names of the organised opposition please ask awate.com archives , You will find them in dozens . You seem also to suggest as if you know more than any one about who are the opposition , which is totally hallow . Would it be in excess if I push you more ? I was only addressing to Mr. Amanuel Hidrat and he knows them and their failures too. You must know , I always feel lazy to respond to you and please leave me from next activity of warming your head.

        • Thomas D

          Hi Bleak,

          I did not know I was talking with an adult who would not grasp the concept an elementary student would. You said, “By the way dictator issaias never acknowledged the existence of any opposition or what so ever”. This is a lie because Issayas has indirectly referred to the ELF. This was whenever he was asked about multiparty, does this ring a bell to your little mind? That they (ELF) need to go to mars/the moon to see if they can have a multiparty there. That EPLF liberated the country “means NOT ELF”. Do you know any other group other than the EPLF and ELF who both fought for Eritrean independence? The message DIA was sending that EPLF as a party and being the party who liberated the nation will NOT allow the ELF to work in the country as another party.

          I have asked you what an opposition means? Why you would have to blame the oppositions or whoever you might have in your mind when every decission concerning the country is decided by regime within the country and his yes men like yourself?? The regime sitting in the country labels any entity who is against its mafia like ruling, be it the opposition or foreigners. So as yourself, labeling any opposition groups opposing the regime, don’t you see the similarity between the regime and yourself here?

          • blink

            Dear Thomas
            Sir , You know for a fact t , issias will not allow any one and that is an open thing to understand .What i am saying is you are contradicting yourself. You may feel i am harsh on the opposition , yes it is your right to feel that way. I do not have to be inline with you about what he said and why he said. I do not think you know ELF history than any of these awate.com big hitters nor do you posses any of it. Do not tell me about who are the opposition , you can just google about them in this website. For me what matters is , how strong the opposition is that is what matters to me ,

        • Nitricc

          Hey Blink; I can’t help but to feel your pain. Thomas is a waste of time; he can’t think for himself. no wonder why he calls himself Thomas-D! do you know what the D stands for? Digay in Amharic and Dongola in TG.

          • Thomas D

            Hi Nitricc,

            You got me on the D joke:) Actually, I had to make association you with the Trump joke on R kids. I wonder if you know what Trump thinks about your state of mind:) That would have changed your vote on the elections.

            Thomas Hyle

          • blink

            Dear Nitricc
            Yes , because he keep telling me the same thing over and over, until i lose what he said. You know he does not want me to mention his Queen EPRDF and i will not stop mentioning them . It is like a circle .

  • Tewelde gebremariam

    Hi Amanuel Hidrat,
    You said that the oppositions represent Rule of Law and Constitutionalism. But the question is, How is it possible for an organization that has been undergoing binary division like ameba since inception——hence does not have its own house in order—- , and adding insult to jnjury, has been totally subservient to the repressive woyane, whom the Ethiopian public , as we speak, are fighting to overthrow, represent Rule of Law and Constitutionalism? You do not make sense at all!!

    You said also that the cause for the opposition’s disunity is on whether or not PFDJ can be rehabilitated, after the demise of the impostor. But the so called PFDJ is the mirrors image of the opposition. As the opposition is subservient to woyane, so is PFDJ to the impostor isaias afewerk. And isaias afewerk and woyane are one coin with two faces, chasing the same strategy—decimation of Eritrea and it’s people—— portraying themselves as mortal enemies, of which , among many other concrete supporting evidences , is the confession the now dead Meles Zenawi unwittingly intimated to Paul Henze in 1990 in Washington D.C. Your argument ,therefore, does not add up?

    Genuine Eritreans,

    PFDJ is composed of two factions, the Inner and the outer. The Inner are the trusted workers, such as Hagos Kisha, Yemane monkey, Abraha Kasa, Ashmelash Abraha etc, all of whom, like isaias afewerk himself, are all of tigrai descent, from whom , to date, no one has ever been incarcerated. The outer group are simply hoods to conceal the crimes the inner group are perpetrating. They are always under the watchful eyes of the impostor through his security apparatus for any expression of patriotic resentment, be it verbal, written, deed or facial expression. These are the group that is being incacerated in the dungeons, poisoned to death in restaurants, , knocked down by cars on the street etc.

    The so called opposition cadres, such Amanuel Hidrat, are keenly aware who the PFDJs are . Therefore, when they write blaming the PFDJ for what is transpiring in our country, it is in order to keep the genuine Eritreans at each other’s throats until the country breaths it’s last, a deceptive ploy that we must reject outright. Instead, we must focus on forging unity by focusing on the real enemies— isaias afewerk, his cabals(inner PFDJs) and woyane. Period! This is the only roadmap that can lead us to success.

  • Yohannes Zerai

    Dear Amanuel,

    A well-researched article on a very critical aspect of the realities that prevail in our country today. I thank you for sharing your views and for potentially opening up a debate on an interesting and timely subject. I look forward to seeing such a debate; but for now, I would appreciate your clarification on a couple of queries that popped up in my head during my quick first reading of your article.

    1. In your discussion of roles of different forces of change, you state: “In fact, there is a public sphere in the Eritrean diaspora to mobilize, to organize, and to bring the voices of change to the vicinity of Eritrea and the necessary tools to overthrow the regime, by playing the major role. The inside forces can only be an extension arm of the outside forces …..” and would therefore play what you termed a “catalyzing role.” Providing the voice and identifying the tools of change are undoubtedly critical elements of the struggle. But at the end of the day, it is the forces inside the country which will actually have to use the tools to effect change (i.e., implement the strategy) and face the risks and pay the price that doing so entail. So, given these facts, I do not understand how the role of the internal forces can be considered minor/secondary in nature.

    2. The same section of your article argues: “Second if there is no room for public spheres to organize and mobilize for the needed change inside Eritrea, the various segments inside Eritrea can not break the barriers of mistrusts while they are under siege by the notorious security apparatus of the regime.” What exactly are these “mistrusts”? How deep and widespread are they? A specific example would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you.

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Merhaba Yohannes,

      Thank you for initiating the debate on the subject I raised in my article by posing questions. I will go straight to your questions.

      [1] On the issue of “primary” and “secondary” forces of change: The criteria I used for evaluating and determining which forces or sector of our society will play the primary role or secondary role( in this case the diaspora vs the inside Eritreans) at this specific period of time are (a) The objective reality that necessitate for change (b) the subjective matter that run the objective reality. What are objective reality? The objective reality is (a) the environment that allows you to organize and energize a movement of change. So I am arguing in my piece that (a) there is no conducive environment to organize and energize our people inside Eritrea to bring any change for that matter, when the “party-state” becomes a “police state” with no rights to our citizen. Contrary to that there is objective reality in the diaspora Eritreans. They can mobilize and energize the Eritrean people to bring the fight to inside. On the other side, the subjective matter is, the capacity and the know how of the possible leaders to organizing and mobilizing our young generation to lead the movement. While there bare no distinguishable or identifiable merits to come up from inside, for reasons we all know, there are identifiable possible leaders from our young generation in the diaspora who could bring the fight inside Eritrea. If you agree in these assessments, then primary force of change at this particular time should be the diaspora until the unknown is known inside Eritrea.

      [2] I believe the existing political and civil organizations are the reflection of our society now and then during the armed struggle. If you agree, the current contradictions of the organizations is the contradictions of our society. If not, let me give you two examples as possible causes to that, one which I wrote in my article on March 8,2009 , titled “The Kebessan chauvinism and the Metahit’s mistrust obscure the chorus of our unity” at awate.com, and the other something I have shared with awate forum few weeks ago. My experience in the armed struggle was with the ELF organization. In 1977 I was sent for a temporary assignment to the highland from Barka. I have passed through my birth place (a village) to see my parent. The elders of the village came to see me – one of th etiquettes of our community. Somehow in our chats, talks about the organization ELF and EPLF came up. They told me that they have reservations on ELF. I asked them why? Because your leaders are Muslims. How about EPLF? They told me they are christians. I told them, the leadership of both organizations are mixes of the two religions. Then I went to a village where ELF fighters had stationed. On the opposite side about three kilometers apart, there was a village where EPLF fighters doing their normal organizational activities. They came to the village where we are stationed to give a political education. The cadre started his speech by saying ” abotat adetat nehna Ena dekikum” to identify them from us the ELF fighters. Right away I recall what the elders of my village told me. Look Yohannes, it is such kind of political orientations that has been going for years that has contributed to the mistrust of our society. This is just tip of the iceberg. My experience in the diaspora opposition camp also taught me that the affinity of the two communities is weak and are organized based on their grievances. So the mistrusts are real and the solution are yet to be found.

      Amanuel Hidrat

      • Yohannes Zerai

        Hello Amanuel,

        Thank you for having taken the time to respond to the questions I posed in my earlier comment. Despite the clarifications you provided, however, I still find myself in disagreement with your conclusions.

        1. In reference to my first question, you wrote that “… there are identifiable possible leaders from our young generation in the diaspora …” Well, it is equally plausible that there are potential leaders inside the country but have been denied exposure and recognition by existing realities. But possibilities are just that and do not mean much unless and until they materialize. So, if we leave the realm of possibilities and stick to facts instead, it is obvious that NO such leader(s) have yet been identified in the diaspora! Had that not been true, the exiled opposition movement would not have been in the sad state it presently is in.

        A little Deductive Reasoning will come in handy in explaining my own views on the issue: The majority of the Eritrean people and the dictatorial system that oppresses them are both in Eritrea. The task of removing a dictatorship from power is a “major role” in the process of change. To play a “major role”, a driving force must reside inside the country. >=== A “MAJOR ROLE” CAN BE PLAYED ONLY BY A DRIVING FORCE THAT RESIDES INSIDE THE COUNTRY.

        If a diaspora force is to play a “major role”, it would have to physically move to the country in which case it will no longer be an external force, but rather an “inside force”. So whichever way one slices it, it is self-evident that only an internal force can bring about a change in a political system.

        2. In responding to the second question, you state: “I believe the existing political and civil organizations are the reflection of our society now and then during the armed struggle.” I do not know about the time of the armed struggle; but talking about NOW, I could not disagree with you more!

        – The existing political organizations bear not even the slightest resemblance to the political thinking and aspirations of the Eritrean people, much less be a reflection of them. The truth is the people have very little respect for (and expectations of) the diaspora political organizations on account of their long-standing ineffectiveness and internal bickering. The people have even gone to the extent of disowning some of them such as those that have put themselves under the command of the Woyane in Addis Ababa!

        – The anecdotes you shared happened nearly two generations ago in an era of intense ELF-EPLF rivalry. Needless to say, so much has changed in the forty years since! The statements made and preferences voiced by the farmers in your village of birth were nothing more than benign expressions that reflected the propaganda war that both organizations waged against each other in the Eritrean countryside during those years.

        – Left to fester over a long period, deep-seated feelings of mistrust between social groups invariably lead to tension and eventually to conflict. Therefore, had they been in existence in Eritrea for the last forty odd years as you claim, we would have long seen sporadic conflicts and social strife between and among social groups. Such would have been more probable given the relentless effort that is being made by PFDJ and by external forces to sow discord among Eritrea’s regional, ethnic, religious, etc groups thereby weaken their unity. But NONE is known to have been witnessed in post-independence Eritrea.

        – The problem we have in the country is a tyrannical regime that has been oppressing, abusing and dispossessing social groups in which some groups are forced to endure much greater injustices than others. In the face of all these truths, our task ought not be imagining non-existent social animosities. Rather, we ought to be painstakingly documenting prevailing injustices and inequities thereof, and ensure that they will be fairly and equitably redressed in a future democratic Eritrea i.e. groups that are disproportionately depraved are compensated in proportion to the level of injustice they were made to suffer.

        Finally, Amanuel let me say I do respect your views on the issues raised; I just do not find them to be congruent with mine.

        Thank you.

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Merhaba Yohannes,

          It is quiet normal compatriots to have incongruent views, and that is why debates become essentials to hammer our differences. Debates show different prisms through which individuals channel their views in order to assess the subject matter at hand, and in the process one expect the convergence of our optics to move together.

          I want to clarify once more about “the inside and outside force”, because you have said in your comment that, if the diaspora force physically move inside Eritrea, it will no longer be an external force. If that is the case, then there in no need the inside-outside-force argument. Second when I wrote my piece, I presume two sets of Eritreans – those who lives outside and those who lives inside, identified as the antithesis of the Eritrean regime. The concept “inside and outside” refers to the source of force of resistance and it’s launching place – that is whether the organized force of change is coming from inside Eritrea or from outside Eritrea. It does not imply other than that in my argument. And hence an Eritrean force launched from outside can not be considered an inside force once it landed its foot inside. The rest of your comment, I do not have a problem, it only shows different assessment and perspectives than mine. My respect to your view is mutual despite our divergence.

          Amanuel Hidrat

  • des


    This is a good diagnostic of the Eritrean Enemy and the opposition.

    My take is change should come from inside. Many of the guys mentioned in the reference by Ama fought their freedom from inside. Mandela went to prison for 27 years and fought his course from inside.

    I am inclined to say the G-15 and the Wedi Ali would have more impact in bringing change than the diaspora noise that does not resonate. And rounding around circles of argument without implementation that takes forever.

    Know your enemy is important. Specially determination in staying in power at any cost. PFDJ can stay until the last bullet and would be ready to fight and to bleed. But the opposition has not shown any commitment and determination in that aspect. Even some opposition do not take easy in personal humiliation over social media spat.

    The opposition for me are too coward and confused. Eritreans seem to wait for change but they do not know who will take the scarify this time around. If we were like our brothers who fought for the independence struggle, we would achieve long time ago.

    The opposition need an identity, a brand and a vision that can be visible at everywhere.

    The opposition ideas and dialogue are important and would contribute in changing the behavior and capture concepts in finding some solutions but they should not be trapped in polarization of society. Most importantly their agenda should be how to create an opposition within Eritrea, even a secret one for now given the circumstances.

    I do not feel, it may be my bad assumption, the members of the opposition are ready to lead and leave their life in diaspora and go and contribute in fight to change the regime and build the society. The people inside can do that, so the opposition should aim to build a resistance within the country. Eritreans chose to work and pay smugglers to take out their brothers and sisters from Eritrea, every Eritrean does that including the opposition then who is going to bring the change? But failed to even create any opposition cell with in the country.

    My gut feeling is, Eritreans specially the opposition knows the enemy and do not know themselves and are full of hypocrites and not fully determined to scarify that is required to bring a change.

  • Sam

    I noticed your website hasn’t said a word about the imminent historic downfall of the TPLF. Is it because your TPLF funding does not allow it? Ironic given your supposed arguments regarding a free press.

    Or is it because the fall of the TPLF is essentially a massive victory for Eritrea, the country you want to destroy? Despite the TPLF’s best efforts, including funding your efforts, Eritrea stands tall and is actually garnering renewed attention from foreign governments and investments, while the TPLF is being ripped from power by the rising Amhara and Oromo. And the voices within the rising Amhara and Oromo movements are calling for peace with Eritrea and renewed agreements on the use of Eritrea’s ports. Literally every destabilizing effort you’ve made against Eritrea is crashing down around you. It is glorious and Eritrea will continue to rise!

  • Solomon

    Selamat Aya Amanuel,

    First allow me to share this news link of the passing of Actor Gene Wilder at the age of 83. I have been mentioning him and the Richard Pryor and their two classic movies Stir Crazy and Hear no Evil See No Evil in response to That Adams “one deaf one blind” description of EPRDF and PFDJ.

    My condolences to his family friends and fans. Rest in Peace Gene Wilder. I can only imagine the laughter in Heaven with the dynamic duos reunion.

    Dear Aya Amanuel, I suppose now I will have to invoke the Great Robin William’s line as a radio DJ in the movie Good Morning Vietnam address to Ho Chi Minh’s Viet Cong. The line is:
    “If you want to fight, come out of the bush.”
    I agree with you that courage is the greatest of virtues, and all other virtues rest upon it.
    It was also last year on August 11th, that the great Robin Williams passed away. Robyn Williams did a movie titled August Rush where a gifted guitarist orphan treats conducts an orchestra in Central Park, NYC.

    If I am not mistaken, your response to Berhe Yemane’s nonviolence resistance will be armed resistance and guarilla warfare inside Eritrea proper or outside armed invasion by say Weyane and or Weyane supported Afar and Kunama rebels. I will await your answers to berhe or me.
    Though August Rush was the segway to the birth of the just Eritrean Revolution marked by Awate’s symbolic Mt. Adal September 1st-Bullet, 1961, I will repeat to you now what I have stated to Nitric.
    “We must recognize the true value of the Eritrean Revolution.” And that it will not be replicated any time soon if ever.
    Barring your very valuable academic knowledge shared–I am thankful Aya, be prepared to “come out of the bush” and engaged to be defeated with your enlightenment of Eritrea’s exemplary leading role in providing vital lessons to our globe’s humanity regarding Liberty and Justice that is pursued by all.
    And Ardd Al Awate deserves due credit for their select current editirial of Sun Tzu–The Art of War.
    General Tso gathered the cultural bands embedded in Eritrea’s Armed Forces in Keren/Anseba region recently to appreciate and encourage through strong budgeting support for them recently. I am now thinking of Yemane Barya’s “Meskerem Meskerem, Meskerem Eimbaba”
    It is best for all to revert back to the old days tradition of Meskerem harvesting after a looonnngggg August Rush.

    And fo’ sho’: “When I move you move! Just like that.” Luda


    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Selam Selie,

      If Berhe’s question is your question, I have answered his question, roll down the thread.


      • Solomon

        Selamat Aya Amanuel,

        Thanks. Could you kindly explain Boyd’s theory of isolation to a layman yours truly and perhaps others in the forum. I read it in your response to Saay7. I suppose, I can google it or take hint from Saay’s pinned twitter feed where he suggests starvation of trolls unless there exists the added value of humor/comedy. But, this being Awate University, I am of the belief that your elaboration would be more valuable.
        I do ask your pardon for utilizing my advantage to persistently hound you as I did HA. But in the spirit of “TeHaQuinu TeHaQuinu gele intefeTere” I could plea to what coulf be misconstrued as zeybahlawi dfret and loss of my utmost Akhbrot to you Aya.
        I can assure you relate to the sadistic Isolation and solitary confinement of Eritrean General Beteweded of Adi Mongeti through personal experience. Hence, my interest and inquisitiveness ahead of Saay7’s rejoinder as he has promissed with his “I have a lot to say.”

        • saay7

          Selamat Tsatse:

          I should have added a qualifier to “I have a lot to say”, i.e. “Time permitting”.

          I actually heard about Boyd from an unlikely source: business strategists. He is a military guy who pioneered much of modern American warfare and his philosophy was applied in business books. Essentially, he argues that culture and group dynamics are much more important than the superiority of a strategy. For a primer, refer to “Certain To Win: The Strategy of John Boyd, Applied to Business.”

          My argument with Emma, and by extension, the traditional opposition is that our (opposition) culture has never been about winning but protesting. Taking a stand, doing the right thing, etc.

          Again, time permitting, I hope to do a point-by-point rebuttal to Emma’s argument but here’s an easy contrast. A winning strategy is trying to isolate Isaias Afwerki from the PFDJ; a “taking a stand” strategy indicts the PFDJ system, even if the system is a hostage-taking, compulsory-membership org.


          • Solomon

            Selamat Saay7,

            This one phrase you shared to summarize John Boyd’s argument is precisely, at least in my humbled/not so humbled opinion, whst I have has been arguing all along. My argument and understanding or maybe at least application of Boyd’s observed formulation, however, is quite different from yourd Sasy7.
            I am quite sure that not only will time permit you, but you will find it necessary to have your “lot’s to say” as this is the stage the clarion call is beckoning all Eritrean elites to really mobilize and finally have an effect on the group dynamics. Yourself Saay7 and Aya Amanuel are among thousands, if not ten thousands, Eritrean elites that are duty obliged to have a affect the intra Eritrean as well as INTER-regional, particularly all all Eri-Thopia “SOCIAL GROUP” dynamics for the purpose of WINNING or achieving the stated goals on the charters of all organizations of the social, political and virtual driving by their respective elites.

            I will first state, and it can be mathematically be proven true or deduced logically, that the Eritrean Opposition have infact always been about WINNING albeit with only one perfected weopon.

            That Abu Ashera only mesaria, for over two decades and a half, with not even at least one step upgrade to a AKalashinkov47, let alone Brens, RPG’s and tanks , has been as Saay7 has drscribed “Making a stand, doing the right thing, and always protesting. His basis for arguing against the opposition.

            I beg to differ with “Oh Captain my Captain” Saay7. His understanding of John Boyd’s breakthrough theory “equal to Einstein’s E=MC^2), as applied within current context short teaser analysis of our home nation’s Eritrea’s existential circumstances.

            Saay’s take is definitely diffent than mine AND I will strive to be courageous to adamantly and finally challenge Saay7 by telling him that he is wrong. I repeat Saay7 is WRONG in his understanding of Eritrea’s current reality which could further be a cause for significant Eritrean State losses. Saay7’s and all Eritrean elites, by virtue of their earned positions in having significant and powerful affect Eritrean and regional dynamics has to be challenged and redirected when ACADEMICALY incorrect and WRONG for WINNING. And offcourse encouraged equally supported by the equal magnitude of one hundred percent when ACADEMICALLY correct And Right for WINNING.

            As my above long Hateta is ladened with random “association games” we all have played from time to time, and it consists of ” this is semantics arguenent” WIGGLE room, I will give partial credit to Saay7 for his recognition and enlightening us all that Group Dynamics and Culture is much more greater than any Superior Strategy.

            with “their just only making a stand and doing the right thing” or “allways being about protesting” instead of Saay’s preference of “they should have been or always be about winning,

            I contend and have been arguing with Aya Amanuel Hidrat, SaliH Johar, Semere Andom and YES ” by extension the Eritrean Opposition” as well as having an equal contention and maintain my arguement against Elias Amare, Gideon Abay, Professor Legese and by extension against the pro PFDJ-GoE,
            on my folliwing basis:

            1., a) Be it due to either willful, egotistical and for their self interest manipulations and their organization’s self proclaimed supperior strategies OR
            B) Their honest limited ability to comprehend FULLY the very santification theories, that are infact useful and progressive tools from.academia ABSCENT the effect of irrational destructive power struggles that contributes to our scholarly elite’s loss of sight and hearing.

            These denials and numerous hurdles own ineptness and lacking courage by compromising their loyalty first to academic integrity and autonomy to powerful small interest groups of men,while at the same time escape goating the traditional and historical social group dynamic as the culprit and cause….

            The elites need to recognize that they themselves belong to the same Eritrean “social group” with a leading role that deserve equal share for the current balance sheet. If Eritreans are winning Today, and post the COI chapter, there exists an upswing momentum,
            1.I say the opposition has and is winning for Eritrea for their “always protesting and making a stance” to finally bring the International Community give it’s full recognition of Eritrea with their rendered opinion.

            2.The Pro PFDJ/GoE who stood up and equally protested have also one by the same token.

            At best the Eritrean Elite, fearful perhaps of the trial and error chaotic dog fighy, exhibited appathy and refused to mobilize fully. The real price and effort is suffered by the all the Eritrean people equally keeping at bay the real enemies of Eritreans who knowingly introduce destructive theories or reactionary strategies to move the region’s “social group” dynamics on the wrong path to IGNITE THE ENTIRE REGION IN FLAMES for the ushering of HELL for East Africans.

            It is important for all the region’s elites to mobilize and contribute for a positive resolution for both Eritreans and Ethiopians. Ethiopian Awatistas should aggressively seek solutions for a peace full Eritrea as much as Eritreans should do the same for Ethiopians. We all know group dynamics doesn’t cease to exist after crossing borders.

            Global group dynamics is trending to discard TEXT BOOKs.

            I have read that Karl Marx has posthumously received the Nobel Prize for Economics.

            Folks, Saay7 and all courageous Eritrean and Ethiopian Scholars should join me to state in unison:

            As we appreciate, Mazuingu’ Karl Marx even more individual blessings and recognition for his well thought economic theory,

            We Eritrean and Ethiopian scholars, elites and laymen are very much aware that our collective and unified Eri-Thopian history’s own, a Scholar/ Officer And A Gentleman, is a lot more deserving for setting off the grouo dynamics to stand and fight for the only FULL PROOF and correct economic theory that is NOT Mazuungu import. As a matter of fact, the same mazungu Karl Marx’s theory spread thr wild fires in the hills and BUSHES, engulfing all Africa hyjacking and musdirecting the true Independence Revolutionaries. We especially, Eritreans and Ethiopians are rather suspect of the Nobel’s redemption of Marxism. We rather give credit where credit is due, as it is also the only winning path for Today’s Ethiopia and Eritrea . That Economic Theory is Indisputable for it is being RIGHT as well as indigenous to all corners of the globe.

            We recognize the Mazuungu Scholars of the Marxs, Engle’s and John Boyds…

            But for Eritrea and the true Eritrean Revolution’s value We first and foremost recognize Hamid Idris Awate responsible for igniting the MORE IMPORTANT Social Group Dynamics for Equitable and Just exploitation of our resources for all. He made official Eritrean Revolution Economic Theory on September 1st, 1961 with the whiping sound he made on Mt. Adal, Barka, Eritrea.

            The echo of the Awate My. Adal Sound reverberated and it true value is still as loud, across Eritrea, Tigray, Gonder, Gojam even Today moving the youth of Amhara, Welkayt and Oromia moving in unisson for their equitable share of the economic development with dignity as they affirm their unity and solidify their rejection both ultranationalism and destructive, fascist and dishonest so called Federalism. …


            Eritrean and Ethiopian Youth are moving to Awate’s effervescent eternal sound with his clarion call on September 1st, 1961.

            To yours truly, the true value of the Eritrean sound I am hearing it across the globe, Awate said then: “When I move you move! Just like that.”
            Happy Eritrean Revolution Day,
            Happy BaHti Meskerem.


            PS: pardon the unplanned long Hateta. Awate, The Economist, on BaHti Meskerem, to TRUMP Mozuungu Steve Nash, Karl Marx, and John Boyd, with in context, is the afirmation the Eritreans and Ethiopian Youth as well as global solidarity of all Color. Race and Creed Justicr Seeker’s Solidarity with All Just Cause movements like the Black Lives Matter Movement for “the sole purpose of saving LIVES”
            The movement’s primary focus being Young Black Lives.
            Its gain through awareness being the inevitable end of the mental war between police and citizen.
            “When I move you move! Just like that.”

          • ghezaehagos

            Hi Aman and Sal,

            Beyond grievances!

            Thanks Aman for your input.

            Sal, you are really, really onto something here. “My argument with Emma, and by extension, the traditional opposition is that our (opposition) culture has never been about winning but protesting. Taking a stand, doing the right thing, etc….A winning strategy is trying to isolate Isaias Afwerki from the PFDJ; a “taking a stand” strategy indicts the PFDJ system, even if the system is a hostage-taking, compulsory-membership org.”

            That is really a fresh and valuable perspective that would help us understand why we even spend so much energy debating with our fellow compatriots about things that are supposedly so decided-upon and agreed-upon.

            Your gold-stick can effectively give insight into what is needed without aggrieving or gainsaying the other party. Is it winning politics strategy? or morality/taking a stand politics strategy? If effectively developed, it will come handy more than ever now in the ‘youth-politics’ of the paltalks and facebooks where extreme forms of taking a stand strategy are lauded and heavily promoted. The extreme fetishism with what was wrong with Eritrean-Gedli, attacks on Eritrean nationality and statehood, to that ugly act of flag burning etc… are straight outta ‘taking a stand’ politics with no regard whether we are winning with them or not.

            A struggle born out of frustration and anger against the Issaias regime needed to evolve. It didn’t so far. Started by principled but still very angry ELF groups who took a stand for decades swollen by the ‘youth’ post-independence ‘deleyti-fithi’ could be equally principled (for their times) but still very angry at the betrayal still awaits for the ‘bSola’ the compass. While waiting, how about we misuse the energy against other possible culprits, ‘the gedli’ the ‘Eritrean-ism’ the flag etc… We never progressed from taking a stand position, if only regressing.

            Our opposition is hurting; and that is the worst news for Eritrea. Because whether this opposition or not, it is only an OPPOSITION that saves a nation, such as Erena, from tyranny, death and Issais.

            Sal, I hope you get inspired enough to elucidate the ‘winning vs the standing’ strategies….

            We need to go beyond grievances.

            Ghezae Hagos

          • saay7

            Selamat Ghezae:

            Thanks…and I hope so to. But time has not been my best friend lately, “TeBaTsenal” as our Amara cousins would say. Hope Emma understands because his article deserves a full response.

            Meanwhile, while don’t you take a stab at it since I think you have gotten the gist of my message.


          • Saleh Johar

            Hi Ghezae, Saay, Hayat, Mahmuday, Fanti, Amde, Ismail, (I can’t possibly put all the names, so, …and everyone reading this),

            Please take note that I am not replying to Ammanuel’s article per se, but on the view that our culture of opposition has been that of protesting when it should have been about winning (paraphrased). I have an issue with that, let me explain:

            1. To claim that the Eritrean opposition was about protesting and not winning, is probably not true because Eritrean opposition set out to win and it did win–unless this meant for the post independence era alone. Also, we cannot be fair in stating that ‘bsh’funu’ unless we consider all the factors that prevented the opposition/resistance from “winning.”

            2. In any opposition/resistance force, though they may not be clearly delineated, there are two distinct sections of the struggle, for convenience sake I would call them a) military and b) non-military.

            3. While the military section is about nothing but winning, the non-military section is mainly about doing the right thing, read principles. It does what it does in line with accepted norms of humanity or at least, society.

            4. If a resistance is all about winning (regardless of principles) then we have “gangstry”, not a popular struggle, and most of us may not be willing t be part of. Focusing on winning at the expense of principles, or by ignoring the sense of right and wrong, denies any struggle the moral upper-hand. In addition, a result of something achieved based on the maxim of “the end justifies the means” is obviously too destructive (and remorseful) to be an attractive proposal.

            5. The bad cop, good cop strategy is practically sound even when applied to a struggle: while the military section should only think about winning, the non-military section should be all about principles, keeping the moral, human, and legal compass, and making sure there are no excesses, and that the accepted universal codes of conduct are adhered to– provided the two (or more) sections coordinate closely and provided there is an authority or a system that prevents extreme positions by both approaches.

            6. In economy, the idea of focusing on ‘winning only’ breeds corruption. In law, the focus on winning alone by, for instance, lawyers, breeds subversion of the law and it seeps down to cause the abuse of citizens by law keepers. In finance, the focus on winning alone inflates interest rates to exorbitant usury. A society without principles, all obsessed with winning alone, makes it a clone of hell on earth, and it makes the world the playground of a few–and this has nothing to do with communism, religion, or capitalism(if you ignore the word, hell), but with humanity and instinctive human compassion.

            7. If a society wins in politics but in the process loses its sense of right and wrong, and is only motivated by winning, is that good or bad? Is an overly materialistic Eritrea what we wish for? Do we have to succumb and erase our memory and sense of right and wrong simply because it doesn’t help us win? Or do we stick to what is right regardless, if not for anything, to have a content conscience?

            See! The topic is not something that can be abbreviated to a sentence or a sound bite; it’s is loaded. And it would be a disservice to all of us if we pass such important issues as a casual matter. I know so much has been written about the issue (including here) but since it keeps popping up, I am inviting you all to put your serious debating hats, and to debate it so that we can teach and learn from each other, maybe also convince each other (though convincing is a little remote given our regional political legacy and reality). But for me, I really want to learn about the different perspectives on the matter, in depth.
            Thank you in advance

      • Solomon

        Aya Amanuel,

        I think I see the context of your utilization of Boyd’s OODA loop and telescoping light and decision making. “Equivalent to E=MC^2.” Thank you, a 349 pages abstract. It will be a long night then.

  • Berhe Y

    Dear AH,

    I would like to comment further to what you said about non-violent movement but I want to understanding what exactly is the alternative you are providing.

    First though, here is some of what you said about Gene Sharp method:

    “Gene Sharp didn’t prescribe his model to the Chinese people nor did to the North Korean people; and not even to the kind of regime we have, where they could be deterred with tanks and machine guns, like the 1989 Tiananmen Square.”

    I could be wrong but you are making a lot of assumptions. The Chinese and Korean authors, found it worth while and went into great trouble to translate it. Gene Sharp when he wrote the book he didn’t say it will work for these people or these type of autocratic government, but for all type of people and all type of autocratic governments. True some autocratic governments are stronger than others but the key common denominator for all type of autocratic government is that they do have weakness that can be exploited. What that weakness is, it depended on each system and the guide leaves that to the owners of the problem to find and figure it out, but gives plenty of examples.

    As to what you said he didn’t subscribe to Korea or China, well I don’t think he subscribe to anyone specifically but to all autocratic systems. What he did is he made the document available free and it can be translated, copied and distributed to anyone.

    Here you can find a copy:

    It’s also great to see that Tigrina was included in these publications.


    The second point is, you said:

    “A violent regime can not be removed or changed by peaceful means. There are many Eritreans who have never failed to tell us the application of Gene Sharp’s “the politics of nonviolence” in the struggle against the Eritrean regime.

    I am guilty as charged and I am one of those people. And I don’t want want to get in and repeat the same thing but I wanted to understand exactly what are you providing an alternative. I get it, I understand your position and you are not in support of the non-violent means, but what’s the alternative “All means mean”.

    When I read at your conclusion, I really do not get exactly what are you suggesting as an alternative. What you wrote in your conclusion like, (a) Trust building and reconciliation:, (b) Political compromise and (c) Mobilizing our youth, seem to me more like strategy of the non-violent movement rather than the other means “which I don’t know exactly” are.

    When you say we need to build up courage, I think it means we need to overcome fear as per Gene. Here is what he says about courage “over come fear” a necessary pre-request to destroy dictatorship. And compare it our current situations:

    “Current conditions in today’s dictatorships may be much worse than earlier. In the past, some people may have attempted resistance. Short-lived mass protests and demonstrations may have occurred. Perhaps spirits soared temporarily. At other times, individuals and small groups may have conducted brave but impotent gestures, asserting some principle or simply their defiance. However noble the motives, such past acts of resistance have often been insufficient to overcome the people’s fear and habit of obedience, a necessary prerequisite to destroy the dictatorship.”


    • Tesfa

      Selam Berhe:

      Amanuel Hidrat already clarified his position .

      Violent regime should be removed by violence…

      If you are asking how and by whom, it is an unfair question but he also hinted us by mentioning external Forces without specifying exactly even though he mentioned IGAD,aka,ETHIOPIA.

      Am ok with his opinion but NOT ok about his ambivalence about the pros and cons of the external interference, which is the fear of the unknown.

      As crystal clear as it sounds.

      The simple answer is :Combination of both ….

      Coordination of the Diaspora Movement with that of Internal Movement including creating a well trained and compensated Commando and Fedayeen units to target the specific Targets —the Security Apparatus of the System.

      But we are far away from it as the Diaspora including the Opposition, which is in scrambles and therefore first thing is first!

      Create a united and well coordinated Diaspora Movement with a a centralized and strong leadership, including a well coordinated and United Media,if at all possible,as it has remained impossible thus far.
      Eventhough ustaz Amanuel Hidrat thinks that he is challenging AK and his well articulated and to the point Article,as Dr Isamil said it,they both compliment each other, and in fact, that is what Ustaz AK exactly said:
      Coordination of both the Diaspora and Homeland Movements/Struggle.

      • Solomon

        Selamat tesfa,

        Either my plea of keep Hope alive to MOD is granted or…

        There is something that is perplexing about you Hope. I think you find it advantageous to have around an ineffective or “toothless” opposition around for the purposes your own strategies. There is a much better way that could net a thousand times gains.

        What is missing is honesty and candor by Eritrea’s elites. Mr. IsmaEl AA just mentioned the failure to mobilize the apathetic Eritrean scholars as the cause. He had been stating and implying such for quite sometime now. And I agree with him. There is however a sociological study of said group that is in dire need of ridiculing in the same manner Saay7 clowned “Asmarino’s Fino list” in his lampooning of Ousman AbdulraHim’s “zkhones koynu iyu” and other love songs. I don’t know when Eritreans lost their knack of the Kumneger sifting from waza. On a second thought, it is this loss by the abstaining from recognizing ordinary folks progression through the mazes and obstacles of their dealt Eritrean existential lives, that is good material of a tragic comedy. Yes, I am aware of the ambiguity of that statement and it’s appearance as a shot I am firing my foxhole dugout in our trench cyber wars. But the jist of is this blunt statement.
        The Eritrean scholars may have gained knowledge and degrees and diplomas in numerous fields, but were nearly a hundred percent illitirate with regards to their ability to apply their earned skills towards the service of their people. Look no further than the quality of the entertainment productions with zero educational value being churned out both inside Eritrea and the diaspora.

        The arrested development of the population one can find evidence in their products of art, much like measuring the health development of any nation in the strength of their athletes.
        The modler’s objective is to discard the “tSemam Hade derfu” of the many tesfa pedlers keep belching out. Still compiling the rich data in addition to the volumes in possession.

        I suppose this pursuit is a win win considering John Forbe’d Nash Jr’s economic theory depicted in, YOU GUESSED IT!, the movie A Beautiful Mind staring Russel Crow.
        I do anticipate clarion call for the Gladiator by those reminiscent of the Zeraf Zeraf of our long ago culture to honor perhaps the significance of September 1st, 1961.

        On to the modler. The Spaniard gladiators are being enjoyed by Abi with Martiny as he shouts to his HDTV: “mnn belto newu meroTT Titoww bishcilet yashenkoretitu?”

        On to the Modler…

  • saay7

    Hi Emma:

    I will have a lot to say about your well-crafted, well-argued article and, as you expect, it will have a different take. I will be talking about the importance of vocabulary (why PFDJ never calls us “Xelaeti” but “tetSabaeti”), about the different schools of thought on modern political combat which update Sun Tzu’s ancient strategy (John Boyd’s strategy of isolation, for example), and the difference between “politics of morality” (righteousness) and “politics of victory” (winning.)

    For now, I must tell you that I was shocked when I saw myself quoted and referenced in your footnotes for my throwaway comments of Ludacris’ “when I move you move.” Emma, about 99.9% of what I write in the comments section is stream-of-consciousness stuff and when I refer to rappers like Ludacris and Ice-Cube as “philsophers”, it is with tongue firmly in cheek. Ludacris song is nothing more than animalistic sex ritual, not fit for a well-researched paper like yours. Where is Abi to point out your utter and complete seriousness that cant differentiate between the absurd and somber? 🙂


    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Dear Saay & Berhe,

      We have already established our differences, sometimes in our debates, and sometimes in our articles – a healthy differences in seeking alternatives solutions to our predicament. My effort in this particular article is (a) to make clear my stands and my reading to our political crises (b) to make a palpable and persuasive argument on my beliefs and approaches to my readers (c) In the process to generate debates pro and con, not for the sake of debates, but either to bridge ideas that moves us together or to provoke others to generate new driving ideas.

      Saay: I do not have a memory like you.Your comment about Ludacris song came up when I was drafting my article. I love the quote “when I move you move” and I found it very helpful to my argument. I mentioned you just to give you credit for reminding us, even though I heard the song sometime ago. Second, I love to see and to learn from your rebut using Boyd’s strategy of isolation, and how it will apply in our case. Regarding the vocabulary “Xelaeti” and “tetsabaeti” are two different vocabulary for different purpose and uses. They can not be used one for the other.

      Berhe: “By all means” in our context, it refers to an application of “violence” and “nonviolence” or “militarily” and “politically”. In my argument I am including your advocacy “nonviolence” which is applicable to those Eritreans who live in the diaspora while I am hailing also for our youth “hidri” who opted military engagement from the vicinities. I hope it is clear now.

      Thank you both of guys,
      Amanuel Hidrat

  • Thomas D

    Hi Amma,

    Outstanding article Really! You have nailed the major points and set the best realistic solutions to Eritrea’s problem. We need fearless people like yourself to guide the youth to do job. The dictatorial system never responded to any peaceful demonstrations, to suggestions and recognition of its disastrous polices. They only respond positively when their power is threaten. Assuming that we will never arm ourselves to attack them, they keep reminding us that we can pick up guns and meet them at the border of Sudan and ethiopia or we need to shut up:) I strongly believe the time we arm ourselves to fight this cowards that is when we will real results. Our people have given up on these cowards LONG time ago. There will never be a single soldier to defend these criminals. Moreover, the inside armies (sawa recruits) will get to join the outside armies in NO time. This is the kind of opposition I want to join!!

    • Solomon

      Selamat TD,

      Try doing a lap each in Ford Field and First Energy Field. After that run streaking naked in both Lions and Browns home games for MaHmood SaliH to asses your readiness to score a Tenkif TaHti in Meds Eritrea. TD = TT [Touch Down = Tenkif TaHti. I am just being tolerant of alternate views :)] {….Catalyst….}

  • Ismail AA

    Ahlen Amanuel,
    This is an unambiguous all-round exposition Amanuel’s views n on the body politic of our polity. He has added more clarity
    to his familiar position to issues pertaining to current political and social set up. Considering the quality and weight of the material in this article, there is no wonder of the duration it took him since the time he left us tuned after reading the two-part posting of Abdulrazig Karar, which was equally thorough and clear in style and substance. I must express my commendation to both of them for investing their time to grace such quality works.

    Having read both articles, I think rather than being critique of AK take on the matter, as Amanuel wrote, the two articles
    complement one another. They could be read side by side, and the difference is a matter of emphasis: one giving more weight to the forces inside and the other shifting that to forces outside, each according his finding. If they were to meet at a table of dialogue, I do not think they will find difficulty in merging their views into one article.

    On the question of courage (Hamot) of risking taking, I agree with Amanuel that is the first step on the path of attaining
    of a bigger goal. Both on individual and collective venture, past experiences show that someone or group should take the role of pioneer. In our own case, had pioneers like Abulkadir Kebire, Woldeab Woldemariam, Sheik Ibrahim Sultan, Hamed Idris Awate and his companions … not taken the risk of the consequences of the actions they took, our history would probably have been different.

    On the three segments that could identify the present state of our struggle I would say that each one could set in objectively understandable context. The most malignant candidate for the current stagnation of the forces of change is the apathy of the Eritrean literati whose larger chunk has failed to shoulder responsibility. Had this most enlightened force
    been mobilized, it would have impacted the other two: namely the yet insufficient awareness of the larger masses and the ineptitude of politicians and practitioners. The former cannot move leadership and guidance is not provided by the learned, and the latter would improve their aptness or drop out when confronted by enlightened ideas and leadership.

    The characterization and status of the regime is right. It is an odd one party system whose pillar rest on the army and
    security apparatus, cronyism invest civilian-cum-military core, hordes of gain seekers and a despot at the helm whose critical unifying role is predicated to unconditional loyalty of the regime community.

    Regarding the de-mobilizing issue of “fear of the unknown”, I tend to see variation: some of the component (Kunamas, Afars etc.) have got fear of the known, as Amanuel has indicated. Those who have fear of the unknown, which has become a kind of syndrome, is deep seated in the social mind set of our communities, especially in the highlands. “tfelTo seyTan kab zeytfelTo melaK”, they say. If you pose critical question, many will voice the wariness about who would replace the dictator.

    One last point, regarding the youth exodus we should bear in mind that more than those who are leaving could be still staying inside. The ones who come out are those who in one way or the other hope to get help to pay the exorbitant amount of dollars to the smugglers. What percentage of the youth of the population could have someone in the diaspora. Hundreds simply suffer in the trenches of the regime, or at best cross the borders to one of the neighbouring countries and remain there. These groups could easier to mobilize than those who reach other Continents.

    I would leave it for now here, and may come back during the, I am sure, the heated debate this posting could generate.

    Thank you Amanuel.

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Selam Ismailo,

      Thank you very much for your input. Your inputs always enriches our debate, and sometimes gives different perspective that even excel the input of the authors. What a gifted human being you are. Stand tall always.

      Amanuel Hidrat

      • Ismail AA

        Selam Amanuel,
        Thank you for the compliment which I consider more than what I deserve. I just scribble my appreciation for good work brother like you and others do to broaden our insight.

  • Ismail AA

    Selam Amanuel,
    This is an unambiguous and all-round exposition of Amanuel’s views on the body politick of our polity. He has added more clarity to his familiar position on issues pertaining to the current political and social set up. Considering the quality and weight of the material in this article, there is no wonder about the duration it took him since the time he left is tuned after reading the two-part posting of Abdulrazig Karar, which was equally thorough and clear in style and substance. I must express my commendation to both of them for investing their time to grace me and others with such quality works.

    Having read both articles, I think that rather than being critique of AK take on the matter, as Amanuel wrote, the two papers
    (articles) complement one another. They could be read side by side, and the difference is a matter of emphasis: one giving more weight to the forces inside while the other shifting that to forces outside, each according his findings. If they were to meet at a table of dialogue, I do not think they will find difficulty in merging their views into one article.

    On the question of courage (Hamot) of risking taking, I agree with Amanuel that it is the first step on the path of attainment
    of a bigger goal. Both on individual and collective ventures, past experiences show that someone or group should take the role of pioneer. In our own case, had pioneers like Abulkadir Kebire, Woldeab Woldemariam, Sheik Ibrahim Sultan,
    Hamed Idris Awate and his companions … not taken the risk of the consequences of the actions they took, our history would probably have been different.

    On the three segments that could identify the present state of our struggle, I would say that each one could set in objectively understandable context. The most malignant candidate for the current stagnation of the forces of change is the apathy of the Eritrean literati whose larger chunk has failed to shoulder responsibility. Had this most enlightened force
    been mobilized, it would have impacted the other two: namely the yet insufficient awareness of the larger masses and the ineptitude of politicians and practitioners. The former cannot move in absence of leadership and guidance provided by the learned, and the latter would improve their aptness or drop out when confronted by enlightened ideas and leadership.

    I find the characterization and status of the regime to be, by and large, correct. It is odd one party system whose pillar rest on the army and security apparatus, cronyism invest civilian-cum-military economic base, hordes of opportunistic gain-seekers, and a despot at the helm whose critical unifying role is anchored on unconditional submission.

    Regarding the de-mobilizing issue of “fear of the unknown”, I tend to see variation: some of the component (Kunamas, Afars etc.) have got fear of the known, as Amanuel has indicated, their very existence in question. Those who have fear of the unknown, which has become a kind of syndrome, is deep-seated in the social mind set of our communities, especially in the highlands. “tfelTo seyTan kab zeytfelTo melaK”, they say. If you pose critical question, many will voice their worry about who would replace the dictator.

    One last point, regarding the youth exodus, we should bear in mind that more than those who are leaving could be still staying inside. The ones who come out are those who in one way or the other hope to get help to pay the exorbitant amount of dollars to the smugglers. What percentage of the youth of the population could have someone in the diaspora. Hundreds simply suffer in the trenches of the regime, or at best cross the borders to one of the neighbouring countries and remain there. These groups could be easier to mobilize than those who reach other Continents.

    For now I would leave it here, and may come back in the span of debate this posting is expected to generate.

    Thank you Amanuel.