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Lessons Of January 21

Nothing sours the mood of dictators like the appearance of not being in control. A total loss of control is preferable just as a quick death is to a slow death. According to the logic of dictators the fear of government is the beginning of security. History amply attests that when fear is eliminated, dictatorial regimes fall like house of cards. The significance of January 21st is, therefore, two folds: First, it has, like a raging winter torrent, eroded the fear which had crippled many otherwise brave and good Eritreans; and, Second, and more importantly, it has instilled fear on the regime which cannot be easily shaken off. The incident, beyond any reasonable doubt, has dealt a serious blow to the image of the regime. Eritrean “residents”—not citizens according to the regime—who were expected to gawk in fear and stay away from the affairs of the state took action which has proven to be very inspiring and empowering. This is just the beginning and there lies a national problem which can only be solved with the eventual demise of the regime.

Dictators never throw in the towel and there is one thing we can always rely on: the regime will escalate its crackdown on real and imagined dissidents and wreak havoc on the country. It will revert to its viral state and accuse them of sectarianism and parochialism. It is a forgone conclusion that nothing good will ever come from this regime; it has outlived its usefulness. The challenge is to find a balanced way which will expedite its downfall and minimize the damage it is bound to incur on the country. Knowing the inevitable, how do we then, in the now-timely words of Abdurrahman Syed provide a “soft landing?” How do we become part of the solution; avoid the unmanageable and manage the unavoidable? Things have changed and the changes are favorable to the opposition. It is no longer wise to ask people why they oppose the regime; that is self-evident. But, at the same time, people are not flocking to the opposition to be organized. There is a disconnect that deserves our attention.

We cannot be part of the solution if we fail to take stock of our past and current affairs. Not looking back at our past is like not looking back at the rear-view mirror when driving; the likelihood of accidents is much higher. Defensive driving is the solution if we are to avoid the pitfalls of the past which unfailingly unfold in the present. Knowingly or not, many people in the opposition have played a destructive role in rendering the movement disunited, disoriented and ineffective and it is time they do some soul-searching. Their strategy was inherently flawed for it was not Eritrea-centric. National responsibility was unabashedly outsourced. It was a manifestation of how little they believed in themselves and in the power of their ideas. A small group of our Armed Forces have set the priorities right and some have paid for it with their life. The best way to honor the likes of “Wedi Ali” is to honor those priorities and collaborate with those inside the country to achieve the objectives many of our best men and women died for.

We need to confront our realities and reassess them accordingly. It is a shame how detached and out of touch we’ve grown from our own people and country in a short span of a generation or two. None of us seem to know what has transpired on January 21st and, more importantly, on the events which had led to it. The Diaspora based opposition was totally caught off-guard. But this was not unexpected for the opposition had always suffered from misplaced priorities. Many in the opposition did not even believe in the almost scientific-like rule that change will come from within. It is, indeed, inspiring as well as disconcerting to see the same people who had been preaching that our salvation could only come from the-south-of-the-border now praising the “Forto” event. The idea of let’s “be relevant by building a bridge to Asmera” and “our enemy is the regime and not everyone serving it” had been ridiculed by a lot in the opposition. Forto has redeemed those of us who had not wavered from the fundamental belief in the ability of our people to effect change. The new converts should be welcomed but a slight sense of regret and acknowledgement of mistakes on their part should clear the way for a genuine reconciliation. We shall prepare a feast for the Prodigal Sons if they have learned from their wrong ways, beliefs and misplaced priorities. This is the stuff unity and reconciliation is made of.

But, one thing is clear. We cannot reconcile the various parties, organizations and individuals that espouse divergent and contradictory strategies and ideas. Those who believe in the coming together of like-minded people should start working together immediately. Time is of the essence. We have squandered precious resources on attacking and counter attacking each other. Forto has crystalized what the most pressing issues are, even for the people inside Eritrea: the implementation of the constitution and the release of political prisoners. These are two fundamental objectives for which most of the civil society organizations and some political parties were established to work on. Forto has given us the opportunity to go back to the basics to reconfirm our commitment to these principles of struggle. Those of us, political parties, civic organizations and individuals who subscribe to these objectives and see our role as catalysts of change inside the country should come together. The new favorable political development inside the country is for the opposition to lose and for the regime to win. The wind of change is blowing in the right direction and the tipping point is almost here if we can just marshal our resources and focus on issues that matter to the greater majority of the Eritrean people.

There is an urgent need among all of us for a cause for unity: unity of purpose, inspired by the power of ideas which transcend all petty and parochial differences. Our ineffectiveness and irrelevancy has heightened the awareness that a prod of ideological purity and strategy is needed. Like-minded people must come together for a common cause. The message of the Diaspora opposition to those inside Eritrea should be, “Don’t start the next Forto revolution without us.” The opposition inside Eritrea must know who their genuine partners are in the Diaspora. We, the Diaspora, need to provide them legitimate leaders they can count on; that is the least we should do when people are putting their lives on the line.

P.S. You can read a Tigrinya poem I wrote on the subject on my FB:

About Semere T Habtemariam

Semere T Habtemariam is an author and a columnist at Awate. He holds a BA in Government and Politics and a MA in Public Affairs from the University of Texas at Dallas. He lives in Dallas, Texas. His two books are: Reflections-History-Abyssinian-Orthodox-Tewahdo and Hearts-Like-Birds.

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    “We, the Diaspora, need to provide them legitimate leaders they can count on; that is the least we should do when people are putting their lives on the line.” Why don’t you say I am the legitimate leader? Who the heal are the Diaspora Eritreans to Provide Legitimate leaders?

  • Woizero Lemlem

    The so-called opposition (it’s really hard to even take them seriously because they are not loyal to Eritrea) committed treason when they advocated the invasion of Eritrea by a neighboring enemy, i.e, Weyane Tigray.

    That is treason and subject to capital punishment in Eritrea.

  • dear Papillon,

    To add to your argument, there is only one thing that matters to Eritrean people “winning” at any cost no matter how much it cost. Let me give you an example: suppose if Issayas would have pushed the Ethiopian army as far as to Mekele, and in doing so if the war would cost us about two hundred thousand precious lives (living the logistics and money that goes along with it), they will never ask why we paid that huge precious citizens.Rather they will go frantic in their guylas invoking the old songs of the ghedli. All the mentality of our people is still in the culture of Ghedli and it is long way to go to transform it.

    • haile


      I think you proved my hunch to be true. You are now openly attacking the Eritrean people. Any one with an issue against “people” must be nuts at best or mired in treason at worst. One can’t insult an entire “people” however much desperate. Even awate’s post guidelines clearly discourage it. Buon viaggio verso il basso la spirale.

    • Papillon

      Dearest Aman,

      Hardly attacking. You’re simply stating the facts. It is not even stereotypical, a national character rather. I knew a guy (an Eritrean) a while back who did part of his graduate thesis on the genesis of Kuda (the dance) and its tremendous impact on the culture and mind set mainly of the Christian highlanders where he was amazed to find that Gedli particularly created a sort of catharsis where by the intense lose of a comrade is gushed out in the ritual of a dance as opposed to the natural way of grieving. The culture of dance or rather the frenzy is internalized where a calendar of a given year is imbued practically in its entirety with festivities of this and that where PEOPLE are hypnotized not to think otherwise. Guayla could as well be taken for a synonym of post-91 Eritrea where the lyric is sanctioned and censored by the man at the helm.


      • Zeray


        I digress- thesis on “the genesis of Kuda” is funny! you made my day. I think this guy “s first job will be “Watta”. What a vocation! His mother must be proud.

  • Petros Haile

    Selam Semere,

    Thank you Semere, very well written & timely article, I see you clearly grasped the current reality with its potential to grow, of course, as you suggested it, It requires a defined and well thought strategy … its a work on progress, that is how I understood it ! some of the commentators deliberately misread the the purpose of this article and jumped to ridicule on some of the comments you made, with no suggestion of their own …
    What impresses me the most about the FORTO rebellion is at a time when part of the opposition camp totally gave up on the home grown options, in my opinion it should have been a priority to begin with, but unfortunately they failed to see that the EDF and the people of Eritrea were ready to take the vanguard role, according to the opposition camp in Ethiopia, they deceived themselves that the salvation can only come from Awassa with the approval of Ethiopian Generals, and some even openly suggests the “Ethiopian Card” as the only way out from PFDJ rule ? So it is a shock to have witnessed the actions of Wodi Ali and his comrades to see Issayas and his elite advisers literally shaken and desperately forced to blame “Islamic terrorist”, (yemane Monkey, Girma asmerom), while the President cautiously avoids such remarks, while letting the dirty work done by the subordinates … I personally never heard the opposition in Ethiopia that has shaken the tyrant in Asmara the way Comrade Ali and his soldiers did … although EDA on their daily propaganda diet never stops from depicting the EDF rank & file as slave like army … So on occasion, I wonder why the preoccupation with the Ethiopian Generals, and not having the confidence with the EDF mid level officers & the rank and file members ? I think it is about time to really redefine the nature of the Eritrean army, not merely for propaganda use, or to shade a crocodile tears, but as a part and parcel, and potential salvation army ! by the same token, we need to evaluate the role of Ethiopia in the Eritrean internal affairs,(historical as well as current), and clearly identify the Assets and its liabilities, If we do a genuine and realistic review, We will soon discover the political and military support extended by Ethiopia is a major mistake !!!

    • Semere Habtemariam


      If you’ve noticed in over a decade of writing at Awate, the constant theme in my articles has been “be relevant” to what happens inside Eritrea. Not much good would come out by collaborating with external forces. Certain fundamental things should not be outsourced. If the Eritrean people are not capable of effecting change, then, they don’t deserve it, and they should not let other people do the work for them. Remember it was “self-rule” that informed and inspired our armed and politcal struggle for half a century. Forto is an affirmation that change will come from within and it will be dictated by Eritreans and that is the change I can believe in; anything else is not worthy of my time and inherently undignifying to me.

      The Dispora can play a crucial role in bringing about change but only if it can build a bridge to Eritrea. There is a whole lot of things that can be done if like-minded people would come together and transcend all those petty differences the Dispora is good at inflaming.

      I’m amazed by how many Eritreans get irritated whenever someone says something remotely negative about Ethiopia.I’m all for fostering good relationships with Ethiopia but Ethiopia is not Eritrea and the Ethiopians don’t have any right in how we govern Eritrea and vice versa. Many of us who subscribe to bringing change from within through a peaceful, or the least expensive way have been insulted and condemned by those Eritreans (misguided, because they are only driven by their hatred of Isaias) who have recently discovered their love for Ethiopia. Many of us have been called “Higdef” by the more militant wing of the Ethiopia-loving parties and “EPDP and Cidri” by those who are a bit respectful. I’m not a member of EPDP or Cidri and have a bit of reservation of how these two organizations have conducted their affairs, but ideologically and strategically, I’m more at home with them with than with the rest.I have several friends who are active members of these organizations and all I have is an appreciation for their dedication and commitment to the cause. I’ll wear the label of EPDP and Cidre as a badge of honor.

      My hope is for all these forces and individuals who subscribe to the very objectives the likes of Wedi Ali have invoked on January 21 to converge and come together. I know, for example, EPDP has wrongly shelved taking a position on the 97 constitution, a grave mistake which has distanced the likes of me, but I also know there are a lot of people in the party who don’t waver from demanding the implementation of 97.

      Those of us who believe that change has to come from within and that the Dispora can only play a supportive role have to come together and be an alternative to those who are willing to outsource the fight for change. National security and sovereignty issues are not owned by Higdef, they belong to all of us and we cann’t afford to undermine those credentials if we are to be taken seriously by those who matter the most–those Eritreans inside the country. Nothing good ever comes from policies designed from frustration, hopelessness and despair. Our quest for change should begin with the Eritrean people and end with the Eritrean people. Period!

      We have everything at our disposal; all that is lacking is the courage to take a dicisive action. All these little organizations we have created are not designed to play a national role. They are underming our ability to be influencial and relevant. I’m sure Petros, you would agree with me how frustrating it is to work with people who do not share similar priciples and visions.

      I cann’t see myself wasting my time, as I did in the past, with people and organizations that don’t share my core beliefs. If I’m to be active again in any organization or coalition, it better share my fundamental principles and strategies–the most important of all is the implementation of the 97 constitution. The 97 constitution is our strategy and goal and that is how we can win the hearts and minds of people and be relevant to Eritrea. We’ve , at least an overwhelming majority uf us, created a great national document and it is only right and necessary that we rally behind it. This is one effective way to build bridge with the like of Wedi Ali.

      • Petros Haile

        Selam Semere,
        Wow, This is exactly how i felt for the last few years, you described them all … Yes, I agree we need to connect with the real change makers, Wodi Ali left his marks, and many more heroes are to be born, Forto gave the necessary courage and push for EDF to seek change … I also agree the diaspora can play a very constructive role, we already witnessing the sample, The Diaspora can orchestrate the home grown demands in diplomatic and material assistance as well … we can be their voice, Semere, here in my state, I participated on the constitutional making for the entire three years, as an independent, while the rest were PFDJ members and others just joined to thicken their resume, I was active and dealt with all kinds of intrigues, I was also one of the founders of the local FORUM, and have dealt with similar disappointments as well … In short, the constitution has been hi-jacked, and the local forum is dominated by former disgruntled members whose loyalty rests primarily with Ethiopia, and as you are well aware of the so called “solidarity” failed to pursue the civic agendas … Our experience in dealing with similar issues are overwhelming, and I know for sure some of my friends from other states have gone through the same experience … I always try to site the experience of Lebanon, Cambodia, DRC, Somalia and other can be a very useful lessons to learn, Particularly, when one waves his independence and became dependent of foreign force for its salvation, specially that particular force has a history of bad blood … Again, I applaud you for coming out openly and forcefully to show the inevitable results of dependency, although we need all the support we can get, but we have to be the owners of our destiny … and we should be able to carve the kind of relations we should forge with all our neighbors on the basis of mutual respect, pertains to our sovereignty & territorial integrity … Thank you again for your solid insights …

  • Judi

    The question is how can we communicate with the insiders. That is the puzzle the diaspora opposition have hard time to solve till yet. Any suggestion on this…..

    • haile


      Short of physically living in Eritrea and taking the initiative and risks to organize the ‘insiders’, there is no way you would be able to do it from a safe distance. That is you think you can be part of all the outcome, and the insider would take all the risks and suffer the burnt. Free lunch in other words!!! I say it would never happen, because there is no such insider who would entertain such stupid proposal. For example, I called to the inside last night to get some info. on why the recent proclamation by the govt. regarding foreign exchange and banking, guess what? the insiders now faaaaar toooo much, and I was humbled by the answer. Let’s put on the shoe that would fit us best, the question is how would the insider organize the diaspora, because it is the diaspora that is clueless and headless.

      • bere

        I agree with you Judi .the conclusion is unrealistic to expect inside opponents to seek leadership from diaspora opponents .It seems to me the more people stayed away from Eritrea the more clueless they become with the country situation .

  • Papillon

    Dear Semere,

    You’re a victim of your own debilitating psychology. What seems to be rather interesting is however, the psychological anomaly is pervasive where it is permeated in Isaias’ mind set as well as it is the main neoplasm that is eating Eritrea up and holding her back from moving forward. Contempt, arrogance and an empty self worth where anything else is looked down to including the very people you would rather die apathetic instead of asking them for a helping hand to get rid Eritrea of a brutal dictator. I wouldn’t think you would have any hang ups about asking for help should the country at issue was say Sudan, Somalia or Djibuti. SImply because none of the nations or their people had the unfortunate experience of being your servants, house maids, gardeners or sex workers where you confused yourself with a colonial master (Italian) as the latter intoxicated your mind to an extent of pathological delusion.

    Wedi Ali’s heroic and selfless act is not an affirmation for your “age old” belief that Eritrea can own her situation without an external intervention. Rather it was uncontaminated zeal to fight and stand for justice where he lived as a soldier and died as a soldier. In the mean time, as we think and aspire to build Eritrea on the footsteps of latter day heroes (read: Wedi Ali), you’re setting out to replace Isaias and build Eritrea with in the zeitgeist he ruled the nation in. To be more precise, the Eritrean predicament can not be solved with Isaias being out of the scene, it can only be solved when we boldly cut out the neoplasm that is holding us back from striding forward as a nation and as people who should live through the streams of history on equal footings with all the people and nations who share our destiny. The human destiny.

    • Dear Papillon,

      You whole message is encapsuled in this quoted statement”the Eritrean predicament can not be solved with Isaias being out of the scene, it can only be solved when we boldly cut out the neoplasm that is holding us back from striding forward as a nation and as people who should live through the streams of history on equal footings with all the people and nations who share our destiny” If this cardinal idea would have been understood by the majority of our people we wouldn’t let our people to this unforeseen scenario being eaten sociopathic cancer and its system.To my understanding even if the despot is removed the ghedli culture will still haunt us.We are still proud with the culture our revolution has brought, which actually holding us back from going forward.Our history doesn’t show any success without the collaboration of external forces, be it to eliminate national forces or the Ethiopian derg. I don’t know from where is this drum beating of self-reliance is coming.

      • Papillon

        Dearest Aman,

        It sure is not a rocket science to trace back the pattern and possibly predict the outcome as well. If Isaias had won the war and the battle, they would have cheered for him at the top of their lungs but they fostered an intense bitterness towards him not because he started the war but for the colossal humiliation that had ensued later on as the pillars of the mythical pride got shattered beyond belief. If we are to dig deep in to the cleavage, we find an archeology where the pride and identity are overlapped as such the shattered pride must find a sense of life by any means for it is a life line of identity. Evidently, the Eritrean predicament is not so much about lack of good governance that comes with all the trails of democracy, transparency, rule of law but it is far more complex than the naked eye can meet. As I see it, the only way out is to tackle the real issues with candor and a touch of courage as well.


  • haile


    I say this respectfully, stick to what you do best in life. I know there are people who would shower you with praise because you opposed the PFDJ. But to be in politics requires a bit more than knowing who you oppose. Much like that you can’t be a soccer pro just because you know which team you are playing against. As I read your article, I felt like you are playing like some one keeping the conversation going to make sure their listener wouldn’t part with them yet. Each sentence starts a new idea, and moves on to the next new idea without developing fully within a paragraph. One sentence needs to naturally lead to the next. You sound as if you are the supreme judge and jury. Politics is not what you are cut out to do, there is a lot of fluttery and false praises, don’t fall for it. Find your calling in life, and follow it with all your might. Not this one though!

  • Godefay

    Two things:

    Prime Minister Meles Zenawi passed away seven months ago. Ethiopia has now a new government.

    One thing that really puzzles me about Eritrean writers or intellectuals is that, when they write about democracy they always blame Ethiopia or compare their homeland to Ethiopia. I don’t know if that is meant to mean you’re better off (or not worse off compared to Ethiopia) as independent country or something sinister. The wacko Isaias almost always refers to Ethiopia when human right groups accuse him of imprisoning opponents. And you folks, the Diaspora eritrea, refer to Ethiopia, rather negatively, when you write about your home country.

    My friends, Ethiopia is a nation which is giving shelter to thousands of Eritrean refugees, plus 4, 000 of your citizen are given a chance to pursue their higher education. That is no easy feat! Independent Eritrea has never graduated 4000 of its citizens in the past 21 years!

    The majority of Eritreans don’t even voice their opposition when thousands of Eritrean body parts are harvested by merciless Arab traders and government generals. Semere, if you think you are an opposition group and you love your people, what have you done to your people in the Sudan or in Ethiopian refugee camps?

    We are doing what you opposition groups should have done: look after the displaced young. The message is, focus on your devil as we’ll focus on ours.

    • hizbawi

      I have no idea where you are heading with your remarks but if my senses are to guide me, you are trying to tell us how Ethiopia is more advanced, democratic and a giving nation. Well, unless you are a bit slow and DUHUR, but you should have known there are Tigryans who inflated that number just to benefit in the name of Eritrea and Eritrean refuges. One interesting aspect is that, Eritrea never exploited it the Ethiopian refugees in Eritrea. There are over 70 thousands Ethiopian refugees in Eritrea, have ever heard, Eritrea making any noise about those refuges? I don’t think so. As the Amhara say….
      Biltun Yetekolashebet ashker, Begetaw Bilit Ykoral.
      trust me you have nothing, so please stop acting like the USA.
      If you gave anything to Eritreans in Ethiopia, because you have in excesses from your begging to your masters. Now that is the truth. By the way, did you know there are Tigryans who claim to be Eritreans and do everything?

      • GM


        This message is to you HIZBAWI.

        The majority of Eritreans don’t even voice their opposition when thousands of Eritrean body parts are harvested by merciless Arab traders and government generals.

        Do you ever voice your opposition on the above argument, the atrocities committed and being committed against innocent Eritreans in Sinai carried jointly by your Mafia junta PFDJ and the Arabs/Bedouins???

        You are only a stupid PFDJ Thug.

      • Hizbawi,
        That is very unbecoming of an eritrean who talks about fairness and democracy. You need to be civil to anyone. You want to know more go to Shegereab and see how eritreans are living in fear and destitute. Go to Sinnai and see the unburied body of eritreans. Then write to Egyptians and the sudanese and project your voice on behalf of eritreans!
        Talk about the eritrean rights taken away by PFDJ!

  • araya

    Diaspora! I believe the Diaspora is the root cause of Eritrea’s problem. They have been bombarded with so many propaganda of the west; they don’t know how to behave and act anything that pertains to Eritrea. Many people in the diaspora they can’t even lead their life, let alone to lead Eritrea. If you take care yourself and your family; you are doing great and anything else, leave to the people who are inside the country. No one knows what is good to them than themselves. Stop undermining the people of Eritrea. If Issayas is that bad, they will get rid him in a few seconds. They paid everything to pay for that nation while you are growing sideways in the west. Stop undermining them.

  • Semere Habtemariam

    Natsenet and Seb,

    I agree with your comments and that is also what I believe. The leadership I’m talking about is the one who would represent the Diaspora to build the much needed bridge with those inside. If those inside Eritrea are to communicate with the opposition in the Diaspora, they will need few leaders to stay in touch with and plan accordingly. They can’t communicate with thousands of people without any form of structural leadership. If you read the context that is what I had in my mind, but I guess I’ve been in this business for such a long time and I have learned one fundamental truth about writing: you can never fully and clearly communicate, but you cann’t stop doing your level best.

  • seb

    Did this guy just say ”
    “We, the Diaspora, need to provide them legitimate leaders”

    That must be the funniest joke ever told.


  • Hi semere,
    That is it! many say change comes from inside only but the real unifying change comes when the inside and diaspora supports each other. Forto’s case, though, is a matter of betrayal from the insiders themselves. Some elements who have the culture of betraying their own just did it again. It is not because of the division of the opposition. From the reports, it does look like the oppositions in diaspora were even consulted or informed.
    As for leadership, let the real change come and we will have, God willing, the chance of electing. We can have a provisional Gvt till then but this time we will be controlling who and when. By ‘we’ I mean the people, where ever we are!

  • Yihdega Yihdego


    That is pretty awesome. I just walked in to Starbucks and got my double tall latte and made myself confi. As I am addicted to checking with Awate first, I read your article between double sips of ma latte and there you have it. If they have to consult with leaders in the diaspora, I say they need to consult with Sal N’ Sal, and your veryself the liqe-liqawnti Semere T. Habtemariam.

  • Kifle

    “The best way of Change can only come from with in”. A change from outside will do more harm and make it worse than the current situation. Should we blame only one man or the population as a whole?. “Do we have excessive fale pride?” just asking.

    • Asmara Eritrea

      Sadly change will not come to Eritrean and indeed our long suffering people freed until the psychopath is 6 feet under.

      Every Eritrean, regardless of where we are, have a role to play to ensure that comes soon. The people who remove the so called president of Eritrea from power will be in the history books when the butcher of Asmara is long forgotten – just like Ide Amin, Saddam and his close friend Gadaffai to mention but a few.

      In my view, Mengust did better for Eritrea, despite the atrocities he committed on our people, than the godfather now in Asmara.

      Eritrea for ever, death to the dictator

  • Hagos Berahne

    Ajokhum Ajona!! bebi Zelenaio nekedmit!!! Seb’ai kebahah eu zebel zelo mes korkhuroo!!!
    Keep on going!! Viva FORTO 21 vamos (nekhid …berhan u kidmenna!!!) Let’s harness the spark lit by our heroes and EDF on January 21st for the rescue of our beloved people and country from this tyrant and his DEMHIT mercenaries. All it needs is a push and we’re right there!!!! The dictator is on the verge of collapsing to meet his brother GADDAFFI!!!!

  • Kokhob Selam

    Dear Semere,

    “Those who believe in the coming together of like-minded people should start working together immediately.” that is timely call and should be done soonest possible.

    I learn from your poem and that one nice one. and from now you will find my poems on my face book–this is another lesson i got from you i think it is better instead of disturbing my beloved team awate.

    thank you.

  • “We, the diaspora, need to provide them legitmate leaders they can count on”

    Sir, what leaders? What legitmacy? I wouldn’t expect you to put it that way. I expect you to say “we need to provide them reliable support for the leadership of that will emerge from within” for any durable change can only come from within the country.

    • wedi azmash

      Dear nesane
      You right ,we have to support them,instead asked them to support The opposition,because they the once suffered the most.and it is the same to lead The opposition organization people or a country ,we already seen that for the last 21 years

  • Michael

    Dear Semere

    Well said

    I think there is a need to form a ‘government’ in excile to assume immediate responsibility to stabilize the nation (to avoid the unmanageable and manage the unavoidable to use your words) and to avoid a power vacuum; otherwise, as it happens with most dictators, we might end up paying more than what we can afford.