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The London Conference Stirs Controversy

A two-day conference on Eritrea was held in London, U.K., from 24-25 April 2019. It was jointly organized by an NGO group called Eritrea Focus and the Institute of Commonwealth Studies. The organizers invited a group of non-Eritreans and others from the Eritrean Diaspora.

According to its website, Eritrea Focus is an association of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) working in the areas of human rights. It states that it is “funded through voluntary donation from members and publishes its statutory accounts annually.” However, it does not say where its annual report or financial disclosures are published or can be obtained.

The Institute of Commonwealth Studies, affiliated with the London University, is a postgraduate academic institution specializing in the study of the Commonwealth.  As normally expected, no formal call for papers was sent out to the Eritrean academic community to solicit input and papers for the conference. Thus, the institute’s role in the selections of delegates unknown.

So far, the organizers of the conference have not publicly disclosed the participant’s names, qualifications, and background as it would be customary for any conference with such a lofty goal of ‘Building Democracy in Eritrea’.  The source and amount of funding for the conference have not been disclosed either.

The Eritrean public knew the participants from a group-photo taken at the end of the conference.

Questions about representation

In covering the conference, BBC Tigrinya interviewed one of the participants, Dr. Bereket Habte Selassie, for about an hour on a range of issues.

When asked what the purpose of the conference was, Dr. Bereket said: “according to the organizers, the purpose was to answer the question of whether democracy works in Africa, and if does not, what are the reasons for its failure.”

To contrast the glaring lack of diversity of the participants, though belied by token representation, in this and other conferences, the BBC reporter referenced the Eritrean National Council for Democratic Change’s (ENCDC) recent congress, which was held  after a long hiatus, and incorrectly stated that it has elected a leadership council that, except for one, is entirely made up of Muslims.  The reporter asked Dr. Bereket for his view on why the participants of the London conference were mostly Christians and why the organizers excluded ELF supporters.  Dr. Bereket said, “I do not think it was done by design. I personally know some participants who are from ELF or its sympathizers… yes, it is true that they were mostly Tigrinya speaking and Christians. As for the other recent meetings you mentioned, I am not aware that the participants or elected leaders were mostly Muslims.  If that is the case, it is wrong in my opinion.”

The reporter again pressed on “how can this problem of exclusionary practices be remedied… this is not the first time that certain groups exclude one region or group … why are these kinds of divisions occurring? Do not you think these kinds of practices are creating rifts and exacerbating divisions in our society? How can we get rid of it?  How can unity be archived.”

The reporter’s attempts to highlight the lingering polarizing impacts of such conferences have on the Eritrean society was not successful. Dr. Bereket skipped the first part of the question and said that ‘unity can only be archived when there is a sound base for it … it can only come by those fighters, both Christians and Muslims, who brought about independence … even their leaders, even though we criticize them for certain things, they united Christians and Muslims, lowlanders and highlands and achieved victory but failed to live up to our expectations and that is the biggest question of our times.”

Questions about misrepresentation

On the day of the conference, the organizers issued a press release that billed Ambassador Haile Menkerios as a keynote speaker when in fact, according to our sources, he already had notified the organizers days before the event that he would not be attending. The press release advertised that Ambassador Menkerios will be speaking at the conference.

Gedab News reached out to Ambassador Haile Menkerios to clarify his role, if any, in organizing, funding, or participating in the conference and to dispel any impressions the organizers might have created in the social media. In a phone conversation, Ambassador Haile stated that he was asked to participate in the conference, but did not attend due to a scheduling conflict. Instead, he sent a note of support, as he would to any pro-change group, to express his wishes in promoting discussions that focus on the need for building democracy in Eritrea.

He also emphasized that, as an independent concerned Eritrean, his wish is to support the unity and not division of Eritreans.

When asked about the lack of diverse representations required to build any semblance of democracy, he said he did not know anything about the organization of the conference. Nor did he have any role in organizing it.

Another invitee who declined to attend told Gedab News, “I declined to attend for many reasons… one of which is the usual lack of transparency and the use of deceptive tactics to promote a narrow agenda under the disguise of building democracy while decrying the Eritrean regime’s lack of transparency. He further added, “like many past organizers, who loudly call for accountability and full disclosure,  they [organizers] sadly will not acknowledge a mistake was made in selecting participants … nor would they learn from it and the harm they are causing… this is an ugly and a divisive side of Eritrean politics that only benefit donor NGOs.”

References:

  1. BBC Tigrinya interview
  2. Conference Website:
  3. ENCDC leadership list

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  • Mokie Berhe

    Salam everyone. Reality Check: In the event that PIA would for whatever reason be removed from his Eritrean leadership role, please name diaspora political opposition leaders who you believe would be accepted by Eritreans inside of Eritrea? Haile Menkerios would generally be accepted.

  • Mokie Berhe

    Salam everyone. Haile Menkerios for as a transitional President to replace Isaias? Laugh if you will but his name has for some time been mentioned as such and the London conference has thrown his name to the forefront. When one looks at possible names to replace PIA, there are few to mention, with only a handful from within Eritrea. Haile Menkorios is one of only 3 exiled former EPLF/PFDJ members which could be considered. From my take, there in around a 90% chance that PIA’s replacement will come from within Eritrea/PFDJ ranks (or now neutralized ex-PFDJ members still living in Eritrea) and around a 10% chance that his replacement will come from outside Eritrea in the form of someone like Haile Menkorios.

  • Kaddis

    Selam Awate family,
    Given there was a demonstration against Isaias in Addis in front of the African Union two days ago and information about failed opposition kidnapping by Isaias in Tigray refugee camp; Eritreans should not take anything thats happening in the horn lightly.
    Use the momentum to your advantage otherwise the current wave of change could leave the area worse than the status quo.

    • Hayat Adem

      Hi Kaddis,
      I hope all is well on your side.
      I haven’t heard about both events. If there was an attempt of kidnapping, it should send shockwaves to all of us. I know IA would not be cobstrained by any feqr of blame or shame. But it is embarrassing for Abiy unless of course he has been enabling it. Eritreans in Ethiopia and Sudan must stay vigilant. Kaddis, Can you share more with us if you have details on the incidences? Was it targeting anyone in particular?

      • Kaddis

        Dear Hayat,
        All is well except the non stop violence by the government to frustrate us not to demand democracy. Check Elias Meseret Taye page in the kidnapping if you are on fb. He is pretty reliable. The demonstration was widely reported on mainstream level, I was busy to read the details.
        Given a slow realisation that Tplf and OLF are not disappearing, Abiy seems to look appealing to both; weakening oromia by pushing general Kemal, Lemma and assigning a junior cadre. There is word general Assaminew, security chief of Amhara, a reason for Tplf assigning Getachew Assefa, could be sacked.
        This may translate into withdrawing from Isaias. If Isaias sense this, he will try more than kidnapping.

        • Alex

          Hi Kaddis,
          Are you trying to tell us Elias Meseret Taye is reliable journalist. Isn’t he the same guy who reported 2 years ago there were 200 people injured or killed in Asmara demonstration before his fact check the fake information that was a lie.

          • Kaddis

            Hi Alex –

            I will respond to you because we are celebrating World Press Freedom day in Addis. If I was a simplistic guy – I would just celebrate Abiy for releasing all the journos and kept them free for the first time in Ethiopia in my adult life. I pray the same to happen on your side. Elias Meseret works 24/7, reporting for AP and editing his sites, and he may make mistakes. He doesn’t need my defence; you can check his presentation live on UNESCO website today on misinformation.

        • Millennium

          Hi Kaddis:

          You are reading a wish list

          Millennium

    • Ismail AA

      Selam Kaddis,

      Thanks for the alert. I am aware of the demo but did not know about the kidnap affair. Terror and hunting critics and opponents is part and parcel of a police state. The regime excels in such activities that stretch to physical liquidation and murders. We seen it in Ethiopia, Sudan and elsewhere. It is clear the despot wanted to respond extravagantly to Dr. Abij’s need of overture in relation more for security reasons than anything else as we have seen it happen. Moreover, it was not for nothing he that he had dispatched to Addis Ababa his most loyal and experienced enabler under the cover of diplomatic emissary.

      • Kaddis

        Selam Gash Ismail,
        True, we don’t hear anything in other sectors like business, port prospects, fisheries etc…in relation to the rapprochement. It’s the usual insecurity, migration and lately money laundering… identical to pre 2000.
        Very unfortunate.

    • Nitricc

      there was a demonstration against Isaias in Addis in front of the African Union two days ago

      Hi Kaddis; the demonstration was back in 2016. so just to correct you.

      • Kaddis

        Selam Nitricc –

        The source seems EP but I saw reactions from reliable sources as well. It was on the 29th April. Since it was reported in front of the AU – it could have been easily refuted. Its not that it makes a huge difference – it only helps us to follow the trend of the relationship between the horn rookies – so that the 2000 disaster will not repeat.

    • Alex

      Hi Kaddis,
      Check your facts before jumping to reports that is not true. The demonstration was from 2016 and worry about your mama Ethiopia that is in direstrates because of ethnic problem.

  • Millennium

    Hi
    I think this conference was organized in reaction to the Sweden conference; I do not think it has anything to do with assessing viability of democracy in Africa.

    Millennium

  • said

    Greetings,

    Neo Nus and his selected political project of the ruling classes, thus became the hegemonic model in Eritrea . As a result, EPLF/PFDJ story and discourse were imposed I.E those who are above, the ruling class.
    The vast majority of our people ,the poor on the bottom and powerless , and everyone else are paying the price heavily. When the history of our times is recorded. We will know more. In light of what we know of the years since the 1990s. Those who are poor Eritrean and oppressed. which constitute the majority of the population. The poor and oppressed and below have in much in common and the transversality that can urgently unite them. Within this idea and conceptual framework, to oppose those oppressor at the top Nus PFDJ regime. Incorporating a huge variety of Eritrean movements to unite based on clear set Idea. Accepts our differentiation in political orientation and between Muslim and Christian faith. Main aims to get ride of the regime and achieve democracy and equality (democratic and egalitarian inclusive right objectives) , without defining either of these concepts.as they are clear , the main objective to be achieved through liberal democracy. This a great value and should not be disregarded. Their type of social action is distinct from the social and political behaviors of the upper- EPLF/PFDJ classes, petit bourgeoisie that are ruling the nation. The cause is quite easy to see. Eritrean should be well aware that the division of victims favors the victimizer Nus PFDJ. despite the enormous opposition and hostility of the Nus PFDJ , it can be done to get of regime with masse movement . the need to unite the in a coalition that cuts across all kind of identity differences. it is important to underline this point and most Eritrean know this very well. accepting and celebrating our diversity without any criteria in terms of transversality and that we can unite all Eritrean movements. Nus PFDJ is well known to propagate Nationalism and patriotism is always used by the ruling regime to mobilize their core blind supports against their own interests. The regime enormous and absolute power, is fragile . And the fact that they are so powerful is due, precisely, to the significant weakness of the opposition and lack of our unity .

    Like many Eritrean citizen who grieves for her country, for I believe we have truly lost our way. Any Eritrean conference put by the deception and evil carried out in the name of “democracy” and “freedom” What’s different for me this time around is a deepened focus on “connecting the dots” rightly or wrongly time will tell. The icons of principle, determination and courage we owe much to our people at large .

    London conference should have being open to the public , and promote the idea behind genuine dialogues and promoting unity and coexistence and from Diversity inclusion to Pluralism.
    It would be quite tempting to disregard the absurdity of the above article analogies, and rush to the conclusion that the leading person that attended the London conference , they were yesterday part of regime Fabrice , they believe in them, inhabit a delusional world of their own – very much like Nus ,no one took him seriously at early time ,we know the conclusion and damage done to our people . But building IA into a floating political signifier has a far more sinister side to it. After all it serves perfectly their systematic efforts to remain politically significant player with their deep connection with elite of PFDJ cohort. In the delusional world of Nus , however . This London conference is aimed not only to rob Eritreans (including the hundreds of thousands of them who are refuge in Sudan ) of their ancestral homeland, but also to rob of Eritreans diaspora their ancestral homelands throughout the world.
    The on going fact remain clear De-nationalising Eritreans from their historic homes and habitat is already happing , hardly any Eritrean settling in Eritrea ,let alone second and third generation depriving them of their rightful claims to the Eritrean nations, in which they have been historically born and raised, are common goals with Nus project and seek to achieve. Contrary to the Nus and cohort wishes and blind supporters , however, Eritreans are both Eritrean Christian and Muslim , are Eritrean and there is absolutely no contradiction in that statement, etc. and the pluralism of the two faith and social formations throughout its -long history. Both faith played in the Eritrean nation-building project and the major political events. Yet sadly it has being said many times and well covered article about Nus project and division and his vicious campaign to uproot Eritrean youth in particular from their homelands, is being work for more than two decade on going.
    When does it get so bad that we will no longer tolerate this dictator scum running Eritrea, dividing us against each other, desecrating our values, degrading our civic spaces, and destroying our country institution, it is getting bad and worst enough that Eritrean will actually do something to stop being so being oppressed and humiliated.
    It is goes with out saying many in this form have clearly articulated the view of unity .It is very important and incumbent upon Eritrean adherents of the main two religions to accord much more emphasis to the values and principles of living in peace and harmony and prosperity and mutual coexistence , trusting our countenance that our ancestor shared in common. It helps to completely repudiate any attempt to play one religious community against another and Eritrean should be above this . In the process, it reinforces a real moral bond that transcends conventional religious boundaries and enhances our collective consciousness as human beings committed to get rid of the regime that succeed to divide us and we should seek justice for all and to our shared human dignity we have in common .

  • sara

    Dear all… happy Easter to all Eritreans…in general and the christian faith in particular,,,

  • Ismail AA

    Selam all,

    Very Happy Easter to all. Let us hope people of goodness will take time off to reflect on everything positive such faith based occasions are supposed to provide. Our people are among many around the world that need to do that.

    Having said that, I found it fine Gedab News has pulled us out of the debates under the previous thread, which was riddled by hope initiating reports, angry exchanges and some useful engagements. It has published reports on two events: an academic-cum-political conference in Londen and, let me say, a political-organizational meeting in Sweden. In my view, these activities share very little in objective, quality of representation and purpose. The conference in London focused on issues that transcend Eritrea’s domestic ailment, which has been diminished to just a minute part of a bigger problem that concerns Africa. This nature of the conference can be summed up by just casual glance at the participants and partnerships behind it. Actually, some of us have been following the run up activities of each event up to the dates of launching; and it was clear each of them will end up in controversies and doubts in the way Gedab News has sorted out – though more on the London Conference than the other – as well as opinions some of the sharp observers and commentators have posted.

    Seen from an Eritrean general political perspective, there is a kind of pattern that haunt any political gathering that has taken place outside the country during the past years. That is to day that the people (especially the target group that the events were supposed to mobilize) become already dubious about their activities and aims even before the fact. Ordinary observers as well as enlightened elitist critiques find recalcitrant cracks and divides that take political, social and even confessional character. As a matter of fact, such patterns have been accompanying the politico-social discourse in Eritrea, which have been thriving on our inability to create bridges that can rise up above any of those problems. In short, it is our problem of not agreeing on what should be the foundation on which the politico-territorial and the diverse inhabitants of the polity should stand on as a nation-state.

    To be brief, thus, both events – in London and Stockholm – suffer from what I have just casual jotted above. Measure them from any aspect, finding shortcoming and lack of trust is not that much hard task to do. Lack of transparency, secret and dubious funding, illegitimate alliances in the run up and end phase of the conferences pervade the dramas, which actually do not last more than a week or two after they end.

    Thus, weighing the two events at hand, each of them will end as previous ones did. The Stockholm event will just repeat what happened in 2011 at Hawassa, Ethiopia, and the London one too as similar events that took place in several places before, unless of course this time the stirring and funding as well as guidance have been taken over by powerful nations who might now see their interests in the demise of the regime in Eritrea in the context of regional developments such as in Sudan, Algeria and may be in the larger Middle East region.

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Selam Ismailo & the Rest,

      It is all the “mistrust stupid” that makes every initiative to die few days after concluding their meeting or their conferences. These “two events” will face the same fate as the previous meeting and conferences; and instead of uniting us will add fuels to our social grievances to each other. Eritreans are afraid to face the big Elephant in our political house – the “simmering mistrust” that divides us. Until we tackle that, nothing could be achieved, even if the despot is gone for good. Sometimes, it is not only of lack of invitation, but also of declining to accept the invitation. There is always a question from “both sides” as to who is inviting to accept the inviting. Our suspicion to our polarity is always “religion” and we must find a way how to handle this polarity. Otherwise, we will be damn in the same cycle of “grievances” and “misrepresentation” that put us on two opposite end – what I could call it the “Politics of Resemblance.”

      regards

      • Ismail AA

        Ahlen Aman,

        Happy Easter.

        I agree with you that what has been impairing our ability as Eritreans tackling what we all know very well – the entrenched mistrust rooted in social, cultural and religious perceptions. The elites on both sides of the divide could not disentangle from the chains that shackle them tightly to tje polarized affiliations I am talking about. Instead of finding common denominator on which they can build reasonable national platform out side mutually excluding socio-cultural-religious enclaves, they act as champions of safeguarding interests they think may be menaced by perceived dangers down the road in future.

        Thus, what we have been witnessing, and I am afraid will continue to witness, is the unfortunate continuation of the elites on both divide building their acts and politics on the scourge called fear of the unknown. The other day, an acquaintance who lives in one of the refugee camps in Sudan asked me over a cell phone what I thought about a conference he read about in Facebook. I tried to tell him that I knew not much about it but it is organized by an Eritrean NGO which invited known Eritrean intellectuals like Prof. Berekhet. He asked me whether it was part of the kifaya – enough (we were speaking in Saho) calls he also he read about in social media. I told him that I could confirm. Then, he said that what is going on is effort to save the regime in Eritrea after getting rid of Isayas. He ended up the conversation by saying that for them (the refugees) nothing will change, and that what is going to happen is the Christians who have gone home after 1991 and returned back and are living with us will be able to return as happened in the past. It is sad perception that we have to allay.

  • Abraham H.

    Dear Gedab News, so what? Any Eritrean could hold a meeting or call a conference with anyone they wish. What is the problem? Btw, when was the ENCDC meeting announced; I didn’t see any media coverage of that conference before you jumped in the case to “compare and contrast” with the London conference miserably. And you said the ENCDC meeting elected 61 members of leadership, where you only listed the names of 50 people. Even if we take out of these 50 people, there are some 14 people whose names suggest they could be Christians. That would make 28%, not that big number really. And then, even though, this recent meeting was held on 14-15 April, 2019, you used a picture from 2011, I guess from the Hawassa conference to give it appearance of more inclusive conference. Not honest! Please stop your childish nitpicking, the train of change and the train of Yi’akl as driven by the young is on its way to liberate Eritrea of its miserable tyrants, as such, you are expected to help, not, derail the train of change.

    • Paulos

      Selam Abraham,

      I agree with you. A million times so what?

      ሓቁ እዩ ነዛ ሃገር ከይሓልፈላ: እቲ ዘሕዝን’ካኣ እዚ ናይ ልዕሊ ሓምሳ ዓመት ሕማም ናብዚ ሓድሽ ወለዶ ምሕላፉ እዩ!

      Most of us who frequent this great site are Christians where we don’t care whether the owner of this website is an Atheist, Agnostic or a Buddhist for that matter. We come here simply because the owner ሓውና: ኣያና: ወዲ መረባና: ወዲ ዓድና: መቓልስትና ስለዝኾነ [I am saying this as an example with an utmost respect to ክቡር ኣያይ ሳልሕ ጆሃር not because my point is directed to him.] It is as simple as that. The rest is irrelevant.

      The same solid principle is applied when we attend to any conference or meetings for that matter, simply because the conference’s objectives are not for heavenly discourses but to chart a way on how to get rid of dictatorship in Eritrea and plan ahead for post-tyranny Eritrea based on universal values as in the spirits of democracy, rule of law and individual freedom.

      • Hameed Al-Arabi

        Ahlan Dr. Paulos,

        As an individual you visit this site, but there rules and regulation of the site you abide by, the same with conferences. This guys when they held a conference in the name of Eritrea, it concerns all Eritrean, therefore, they should not show any sign that creates differences among the people of Eritrea, specially at this time. They should act as responsible people, not as kids or teen age boys and girls. This is not the first time this NGO appears in critical periods when the people of Eritrea are in a very promising time. I remember this organization has done the same thing during the first congress in Awassa in 2011. I think, this organization is either of Isaias or the Agazian (Satan) group. Doctor, I think, your defense to this group is not in its place.

        Al-Arabi

      • Berhe Y

        Dear Professor Paulos,

        I will bet breakfast, lunch and dinner at Pero next time you are in town. You are good academician but I am afraid not good politician. In politics the perception is more important than the reality.

        The bet is this, by next year Afasigha, nothing will come out of these cenference or that in Sweden. It will be just a repeat of what has happened in the last 19 years.

        My problem is not that they met and had conference but it’s the diversion and drail that their useless meeting (I call it useless because they are debating democracy the greek figured out 3000 years ago as the best way to manage humans). They may as well debate if the world is flat in Africa.

        What they are missing is the yiAkl wave and instead of celebrating afasigha an adna next year, now who knows the next three months will bring on the useless accusation and counter accusation.

        If you say SO WHAT….

        Here is a thought.

        How about the Eritrean low lands (including the entire sea cost, and the gash Barka, leaving the highland and Kebesa (enda regabit) decide to separate and create a new country.

        When we say so what to our other half, this is what we deserve…

        Berhe

        • Paulos

          Selam Berhe Arkey,

          Sure thing. We will chill and hit it off about anything and everything. Will let you know.

          I agree. Perception is everything particularly in politics but it becomes a serious hung up when it blurs not only the reality but when it cripples one to the extent of unable moving on. And sadly, that is where we are.

          The ይኣክል movement is a mass indignation where it is a testament that indicates Isaias is losing popular support. On the other hand the London conference is a systematic study that complements the ይኣክል movement as an intellectual bulwark in tandem with the recent elected body of 30 members which was initiated by the brave soul Amanuel Iyasu. To be more precise, they are complementary to each other and with each other.

          If one wants to read what is not there, then it is the person’s problem. The London conference was not designed to exclude someone and include any one, it was designed to discuss on how to build a secular Eritrea in post-Isaias Eritrea.

          It is this kind old baggage that lends credence to why PFDJites opt to stick with Isaias instead where they reason that if he is gone, the future could be frightening. It is a high time where we should focus on ideas as opposed to head counts if there were more of this or less of that in meetings and conferences.

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Paulos,

            Ok I don’t have the details. Let me ask you and I hope we get an honest answer. When we talk about intellectuals who are we really talking about.

            Why do you think SGJ and Saay have not attended?

            Like I said I don’t know the details and I don’t know if they were invited or not, but if we are honest and know who have been putting the fight, I think these two at least should have been there.

            I have listened to Amanuel Iyasu speech in the other meeting and it was really inspiring and the attendant gave him all the credit he deserves.

            What I get from his speech is, until that moment he was looking forward to have an organized groups with Eritrean agenda that speak on behave of us and including to the western powers. I can honestly that there was no such group that existed, unless I misunderstood what he said wrongly.

            Now all the sudden (not barely a week) these meeting is organized by these selective group (I call them selective because I don’t know how many from the members of the other group leaders that were elected were present). And there is no excuse they are there in London.

            How is the complimentary ? Again I hope we learn more about it.

            Here is my reading between the lines. A certain people approached a certain NGO to find the conference and invited a certain number to attend. They pay fir their travel and hotel expenses and discuss and meet and preset their papers and the meeting is concluded successfully.

            Then they go home and nothing more happens until another time where another funding is found.

            Useless, waste of time other than getting together…

            What ever papers they have they would have reached more audiences by publishing in the internet and get the Eritrean people to comment on it.

            It’s sad because the young are now indirectly involved in this mess and this will go in and the “mistrust” will continue further.

            They should have asked, how are Eritreans going to precieve these meeting? Is this going to benefit the over all struggle or is going to hurt it? Have we done enough to make it inclusive so that we get the maximum benefits?

            And I hope they come out and answer these honestly to the satisfaction of everyone.

            I am mad because I was hoping to see Isayas Afeworki running before our May 24 true Independence Day. Now they gave him a room to breath…,

            Berhe

          • Paulos

            Selam Berhino,

            I am not sure if Sal and SGJ were invited or not. Here is what I say though: Most of us here in this Forum have been students of these two Eritrean giants for over two decades and as we read their respective works and articles over the years, what we gathered of their work is that they both have genuine intentions for Eritrea where religious tenets lose any space in a secular Eritrea. As such, when we read their works, we don’t see persons of certain religious leanings but their respective secular world view instead.

            By the same token, it shouldn’t make any difference if they were invited or not for the same reason if a certain ገብረ or ለታይ were invited or not. To be more precise, it would matter to the rest of us if they were invited because of their wealth of experience and a caliber of intellect not because their religious confessions.

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Paulos,

            You don’t think that they don’t know it? We have seen over and over and over. The sad part is, after all these huff and puff meetings and conferences, there is no results.

            It’s reallt that EPLF and PFDJ baggage is always at play.

            I don’t even know the other ENC meeting that happen, but I am certain 100% that they invited everyone but those former EPLF are the people who decline to show up.

            Berhe

          • Senay Zer

            Dear Berhe and Paulos — You both are making good points. At the end of the day, the fall out from this little squabble will be as big/little as the amount of attention we give it. Let’s make our point and move on quickly, a much bigger prize is waiting us on the horizon. Incompetent organizers and paranoid rabble-rousers are inevitable part of our struggle. It is upto us to discern and dis cart those that need to be relegated to dust bin of irrelevance.

            Let’s move on to bigger things.

          • Paulos

            Selam Senay,

            Well said brother. Well said. God bless!

          • Haile S.

            Salut Paul,

            How great would it have been if your name was ጳውሎስ ሓጂ ቀሺ ብጹኣላህ and all the religious in Eritrea were praying :

            ኣምላኽ ውኣ ክበር፡ ኣምላኽ ኢላላህ፡ የሱስ መሓመድ ዎሱሩላህ…..

            Put all the resulting sins on me.

          • Paulos

            Hailat,

            Only you who could come up with that kind of creativity. Thanks for the laugh.

          • Haile S.

            Paul,
            If I didn’t have such daily moments of silliness and fantasia, I would be bored. I remember one of my high school teachers in Asmara who said was regularly reading the journal psychology telling us every person has 5 minutes of folly. This is mine for today.

          • Hameed Al-Arabi

            Ahlan Paulos,

            Names are important only for the shallow mindsets of thinking. the most essential thing is the content, the values and positive moves.

            Al-Arabi

          • Hameed Al-Arabi

            Ahlan Dr. Paulos,

            “The London conference was not designed to exclude someone and include any one, it was designed to discuss on how to build a secular Eritrea in post-Isaias Eritrea.” Really. Dr. they were discussing whether democracy works in Africa or not. The issue you talk about, I think, this is not its time, and the people who discuss and approve it are an elected Eritrean parliament. This is an issue that will be discussed under the dome of our elected parliament that we are a way far from it.

            You have shoved Yiakil to make the issue of debate, secular democracy, as if we are in dire need of it at present. They discuss something we don’t require at present, and this means, it is a vivid DIVERSION from the main target of Yiakil. This diversion displays they are crooked people funded by Isaias. I think you have to think deeply instead of coming after 30 years and telling us that you are fooled. Look Dr. Paulos, Dr. Breket the very person who attended the conference told us before few months that many Eritreans were telling him Isaias is SPY of Ethiopia, but he didn’t hear them at the right time. Please, don’t run to ride any wave that appears in front of you. Let us all move in unison in one vessel. No one should be left behind. EXCLUSION SHOULD BE A RED LINE.

            At present, the urgent issue of Eritreans is how to unite and topple the regime, not secular democracy; it is a future topic. We should all debate about our unity and removing the regime. Regarding, secular democracy, this Tigrinia adage is applicable to it, “ንቡርኩት ኣይንቡርኩት ኣብ ማይ ዘለዎ ንብጻሕ” to bake or not to bake, let us first reach a place where there is water.

            Al-Arabi

          • Paulos

            Selam Ato Hameed,

            Are you saying that the London Conference was designed to hijack the ይኣክል movement? Don’t you think that is an absurd and ridiculous of an assertion where one would be tempted not to take you serious? Moreover, you are accusing them of being Isaias’ spies when in the meantime Isaias’ rabbid dogs are already out to disparage the conference in social media among others? Why can’t you focus on the final analysis instead of claptrap conspiracy theories bereft of any of a substance what so ever.

          • Hameed Al-Arabi

            Ahlan Ato Paulos,

            “Don’t you think that is an absurd and ridiculous of an assertion where one would be tempted not to take you serious?” It is not important for me a shallow mind set of thinking to take me serious or ridicule about what I have written, because it will take him at least 30 years to congnize what I have written.

            I want to ask you a question: Which one is most important to you: Unity of Eritreans or Secular Democracy? Please, choose one only.

            Al-Arabi

          • Paulos

            Selam Ato Hameed,

            I would have chosen one over the other if they were antagonistic in terms but they are not. They both complement each other. In my opinion, your question would be more reasonable if you had frame it in terms of priority with respect to the political stage and sense of reality we are in. But again, the sense of urgency puts them on the same scale and degree where Constitutionalism rooted in secular tenets is as urgent as the need for unity.

          • Hameed Al-Arabi

            Ahlan Paulos,

            I think, in my previous comment I stated the stage and who discusses and approves the secular democracy and other issues. Again, I ask you a question related to the issue: Are Eritreans in the stage of spending money in studies or assisting their struggle to move forward? Please, discuss as an educated person who endeavors to solve the problems of his people. I smelt from your discussion you are not an open and humble person, of course, as one of the traits of scholar person.

            Al-Arabi

    • Peace!

      Hi Abraham,

      I understand where you coming from, but ብ so what ኢሰያስ መጺኡ ብ so what ክትካእ is certainly not in the mind of most Eritreans. Plus this is a national issue as opposed to personal or group and has to be handled in a way that addresses every concern Eritreans may have.

      The other thing is if this website veered off from its mission, then it has to come clean otherwise one’s wrong should not be a justification for the other.

      Peace!

      • Abraham H.

        Selam Peace, this is not about who replaces DIA or not, it is just a conference arranged by Eritrea Focus, a human rights advocation organization, open for membership of anybody, even non-Eritreans, just they are for human rights in Eritrea. The conference was jointly arranged by the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, entirely a non-Eritrean organization. The meeting was not about constitution formation or political party formation, it was just a conference about ‘building democracy in Eritrea’. In my opinion we should not be very sensitive to non-issues, even a single person could give a seminar on how to democratise Eritrea. We should add a positive energy to such initiatives, not create unnecessary conspiracy theories. And I would like to stress that who leads Eritrea after the DIA regime should be let to the Eritrean people as a whole, it should be decided by a national constitution and through free and fair elections. The problem with many in the opposition groups, esp. the opposition organizations that have been active for so long is, they are trying to put the cart before the horse, long before the DIA regime is gone they are dreaming about who is going to rule Eritrea.

  • Hameed Al-Arabi

    Ahlan Awates,

    The London conference with its suspicious agenda, ” “according to the organizers, the purpose was to answer the question of whether democracy works in Africa, and if does not, what are the reasons for its failure.” This question doesn’t concern Eritreans. It only concerns Isaias and his regime. The NGO speaks about democracy at the same time her practices is far from democracy. Amauel Eyassue attended the conference, it seems his TV is funded from the NGO that is he ignored to air the ENCDC congress, though he airs in his TV a meeting of 10 persons.

    Al-Arabi

  • Ayneta

    Dear Awate:
    On the onset, this article appears hamrless. But once one compares it with the previous report on ENDC, it is obvious it begs to scrutiny. I see a clear differential treatment by Awate of the two recent articles pertaining to Eritrean opposition organizations that raises eyebrows to say it mildly. I only hope it is not intentional, but hard not to think so. This article by Awate attempts to criticize the London conference for its lack of transparency and accountability with regards to finance, funding, agenda setting. It also brought to light the dominance of the conference by Christians. These are fair observations if only they are made with good intentions. But Awate adopted a completely benign and friendly treatment of the ENDC in the previous article. Mind you, this is an organization which may have a role in future Eritrea ( unlike the London one which was just a conference). The difference was day and night. In my opinion, Awate gave an easy pass to ENDC. How come the report didn’t scrutinize ENDC with the same rigor in terms of parameters that Awate thought was relevant such as accountability and fair representation, the way they did to the London conference? Indeed, the same scrutiny can be applied to ENCDC with their Muslim-laden composition and unspecified finance source, but Awate conventionally looked the other way. In my view, that is a clear bias that needs to be rectified in the future.

    I hope this was not done to intentionally favor one group and elbow another one.

  • Sirak

    Hi,
    Be fair when you report! I agree of the lack of transparency & diversity in the London meeting. But they said they will do the same meeting in the US. Hope you will attend and help sort out this issue.
    On your report on ENCDC, you are completely biased. 1st who told them to call it Bayto. They are Bayto of no one, not even for lowland. 2nd. The way you reported was just to show that there are some Christians,11/60. So funny! You never asked in your articles about lack of diversity and misrepresentation. This is what they call double standard. As a journalist be fair for all side. In my opinion, we don’t need this meeting of this old people. They are not honest and allowed themselves to be driven by their immortal grudge and hate among each other. We have seen this continuously in the last 20 years. We have now the Yiakil Bayto, very diverse and full of young people.

  • Selamat forum,

    So what are the revelations and impact from this conference? Is it part of the frenzy and manic mobilizations we have been witnessing recently or was the conference itself a driving force or a factor in creating the mania in the first place? This is the second event the Ambassador Haile Menqerios’, in just a few month, high potential impact or influence on Eritrean politics is on display. He was a vetted invitee who put the big question mark bu challenging the legality and validity of the Ethiopian-Eritrean peace rapprochement or agreements. He sounded off the pertinent alternative Eritrean voice not considered by Ethiopians with effects. Effects perhaps not acknowledged, measured or registered as of yet. Now, we are learning that the Ambassador has the power to lure, collate and possibly consolidate the structure of Eritrean gatherings/groupings. Earlier comments in other threads, I entertained the idea of the Ambassador’s potential to be the face or head figure alternative to challenge IA head on Mano Mano head on.

    It seems there is much carryover from the old Eritrean book just culminated to the new book’s first chapter. Still the same old fault lines of Eritrean divides stubbornly lingering despite there being a call for an inclusive continuation vision and a fresh start in this new era.

    Is there or is there not separation of church and state in the concept of democracy anyways? Is this conference a showcase or the exercise of building a democracy far away from Africa because democracy in Africa is impossible?

    This conference may also be the hints of the concessions offered and will perhaps be exchanged between several parties as a compromise exit strategy from the long and frustrating Eritrean quagmire stalemate.

    tSAtSE
    PS: Speaking of language; Go figure.

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Selam Solomon,

      You have been arguing the tyrant must be removed and now you anoint HM to go Mano-to-Mano to compete with the tyrant. I am observing that you are sliding from one position to another, and as such so frequently. Take time to evaluate your position. Second, when our young generation are galvanized to dislodge the despot and his regime from power why are you trying to entertain us of giving the second chance to the criminal despot? Third, HM is around 75 years of age. Therefore (a) he is from the ghedli generation with all his baggage (b) he is not a uniting force nor does he has a diplomatic approach to our social forces. Hint: one who uses a disparaging laymen language like “እቶም ጨሓማት እቶም ኢትኒካውያን” is not fit for a keafership. I am a witness saying it in a meeting. Forth, our young generation should take the stock of our nation both in “leadership” and in “charting” the direction of our nation. The ghedli generation could help in the transitioning and transforming our country. But to seek a leadership from the ghedli generation at this stage of our history is not a solution to our predicament. Think about it.

  • said

    Greetings
    Sorry, many good Christians, it is not about you , only with fanatical puritanical Christian, today really not so different from recent past , some will sees history differently what Eritrean can learn . a note as reported . European Christians throughout the 400 years that the crusades lasted, Christians fighting other Christians was a regular occurrence. In fact, from the very beginning, on their way to Jerusalem, the Crusaders came into major conflict with the Christian Orthodox states they passed through, as they raided and pillaged their cities and villages. In 1204, they besieged and sacked Constantinople, the capital of the Christian Byzantine empire – a brutal act for which Pope John Paul II had to apologise 800 years later.
    With a distain, self-aggrandizement and greed with religion, London conference nothing that pretends at depth or significance. Whatever the interpretation , still the narrow extremists ideology impeded by IA , those puritanical in favour of the triumphant EPLF/PFDJ, that had lost it glory days . Somehow, in a sudden moment of near revelation as pieces of the news above, here & there juxtapose into the shades of a discerned pattern, the hidden truth comes out flagrantly clear, very ominous and shockingly preponderant.
    This what seems to have dawned on me now as what seemed disparate of events and scatted inordinate news, the bits and pieces, all came to focus in a discerned orderly pattern.
    Somehow, the discovery reminded me going back over two and a half millennia in history of a similar episode, however, in the realm of sciences, of the Ancient Greek mathematician and inventor Archimedes exclamation rushing out of the bath tub, “Eureka,” … “Eureka.”
    What’s Really happening in Eritrea with the resurfacing in vengeance of the few old EPLF Christian Right, with IA posing as their “Trojan Horse,” is not short, in virtual reality, than the “Resurrection of EPLF old member Supremacist movement not all that reminisces of once Neo-NUS Nehna Al-Mana
    former colleagues ,IA Chief Strategist the ideologue theorist is one of the main architects giving a practical expression to the Resurrection of EPLF Supremacy aiming at dictating the Agenda for Eritrea .
    The Doctrine of the second Resurrection of Neo-NUS ,Nehna Al-Mana Supremacism post IA

    1) The new Eritrean Neo-NUS Nehna Al-Mana regain and Forcefully assume their presence and full control of the Eritrean life by gaining more power ,wealth and furthering the systematic marginalization and dispossession of the non- Nehnah Al-Mana’ Eritrea ethnics various Minorities. This is further exemplified by the heavy-handed trampling over decades of painstakingly Eritrean working hard stitched and try to gains of liberal civil liberties through the imposition of new advanced crude universal version of IA part two.

    2) Confiscating & Re-allocating of the National Wealth to the benefit of the few,land grapping (e.g. Decimation of Regulations, etc.). (putting more money in the pockets of the PFDJ new Oligarchs)
    3) Strengthening and enforcing the Dictatorial Hold of the Executive Branch, and not to compromise long-enshrined democratic principle of the checks and balances of the separation of Power by Complete Virtual Control over the Eritrean Judicial System all the way if any.

    4) The Fragmentation of Independent Collective Supranational Organizations including all Eritrean opposition and NGO group
    5) Eritrean Supremacist Active encouragement and support of the rise of like-minded Neo-NUS Nehna Al-Mana Eritrean Supremacist
    Destroy competing Eritrean democratic aspiration rivaling powers,

    The Above are only glimpses of what appears in the minds and in the making of the second Neo-NUS Nehna Al-Mannh Supremacist bid of a Vengeful in dreaming in comeback and control of Eritrean Lives large.
    Or see the Eritrean Supremacist schemes come down unfolding by united Eritrean .

    Song Betnafas Horriye Breathe Freedom – Julia Boutros

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jMhHM70Vlng

  • Haile S.

    Selam Gedab News,

    First, congratulation to both London and Sweden meeting participants. Please next time think on putting together your meetings in one place, in two different halls if you want. Loin des yeux, loins du cœur (far from the eyes, far from the heart).

    The conjoined twin news items presented today under your column were surgically disconnected by the disconnect in their treatment as news items. And such treatment feeds into the controversy on one of them as the title indicates, and as it is getting discussed currently on this forum. One (The London conference steers controversy) talks about controversies, the other (List of Elected leaders of the ENCDC) just gives the list of the elected and the participants. The uneven treatment in the highlights of the objectives of both meeting leads to more doubts on one more than the other.
    I am not looking necessarily a controversy on the second one for an equality in controversy where there is none. It is rather the absence of information on the second that were being sought on the first or not stating the limitations, if any, of the meeting on the second. To mention an example, for the London conf your news says and underlines “So far, the organizers of the conference have not publicly disclosed the participant’s names, qualifications, and background as it would be customary for any conference with such a lofty goal of ‘Building Democracy in Eritrea’.”. At the same time, your news doesn’t provide, all those infos that are lacking on the first, for the second other than giving names. It looks like one was brought into the news as a reference item or as a positive control for the other. Are you zooming too close on one and not on the other?

    Sincerely

    • Hameed Al-Arabi

      Ahlan Haile S.,

      First of all, Awate Team failed to provide her readers with the Second Congress of ENCDC. It is amazing , suddenly they compared it with the London Conference that appeared from the blue. I think, this is a grave mistake from Awate Team. ENCDC is not a new entity in the Eritrean political arena. It started a way back in the 1990s of the last century, and convened its first congress in Awassa, Ethiopia, in 2011 with more than 500 participants from the spectrum colors of Eritreans. For the multilingual Eritreans the news about the second congress of ENCDC was there in the social media (Amanuel Eiassue failed to air in his TV about the second Congress of ENCDC, a clear bias and bad impression) for all to read before weeks of the Second Congress, but for those who are confined to Tigrinia and English they might face shortage about Eritrean news. They might depend on definite media sources and that sources may fail to provide them with all Eritrean news.

      Gedab news failed to inform about the Second Congress of ENCDC to her readers. Secondly, they didn’t inform about the final communique of the congress. It is very sad. It is amazing, if they consider the Second Congress as trivial, why do they compare it with the London conference that hovers around it suspicions?

      Al-Arabi

      • Haile S.

        Selut Hameed,

        If ATV failed to report the meeting of ENCDC, it made a big mistake. We Eritreans find ourselves politically in this gluey mud that we are in because we ignore each other. We resort to a third party instead of relying on on one another. If we are to come together for good, we need to prioritize consideration for each other. The third party we rely on can desist in a fraction of a second to find ourselves back in the bottom.

        • Berhe Y

          Dear Haile S.,

          Politicians act like all politicians act and do. ERITREAN politicians are no different.

          I suspect the see the wave that’s created by the creative youth and they wanted to cement their position.

          At the the same time, politicians are oblivious to see what’s in front of them and they don’t see and take advantage the sentiment that’s in front of them to exploit but they see it as a threat to their agenda.

          Honestly I was waiting a well know politician from the opposition or former EPLF could come out and lend hand and be part of the yiAkl and come out to say and show support but none so far. And that’s well over three months.

          Anyway I don’t think we need to worry much about, couple of months later we will hear nothing and after that it will be next year.

          I hope the yiAkl will continue to move farword around the world as they did in London.

          What I am worried is, this senseless and useless airspace they are occupying and drail and divert the attention and slowing those that should be part of the yiAkl (like amanuel Iyasu, yoelino, Abreham Tesfalul and few others).

          Berhe

          • Senay Zer

            Dear Berhe —- Kisen kisen z-arkey, nothing is going to stop us from our objective. Speaking of myself and some others involved/inspired in the yiakl movement, we are not doing this thing for the politics of it. We are truly sick and tired of the unimaginable damage done to us and our families and our communities despite the dear price we have already paid for our beloved country. And we are determined to not let this thing happen to our younger siblings, our nephews and nieces, the little ones in our n’hoods, villages and country at large. Nothing will stop us till we achieve this, nothing!

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Senay,

            Yesterday I heard the interview of Amanuel Iyasu with one if the organizer. Listening to that interview, it led me to believe that AI was not part of the whole conference but looks like he attended as journalist to report on the event. His questions were good and he pressed the organizers about the conference and their meeting.

            I don’t think he answered well to my satisfaction (their focus is post IA it seems) but he said they have 6 months mandate to coordinate and call on another conference.

            To me this sounds giving the dictator another 6 months to live but it ok for me to be patient and wait for another 6 months.

            For now I am glad AI is no part of these and he continue to work and focus on what he has been doing.

            Berhe

    • Selamat Haile S.,

      “Are you zooming too close on one and not on the other?”

      It is pretty obvious. Just look at the ENCDC Sweden event held on April 14-15, almost two weeks before this London conference. So should it been a news worthy and Gedab should have reported when it occurred? Or was Gedab alerted of it taking place when the reporter of the second event mentions it? How is it then Gedab aware and is reporting on the London conference soon after it taking place and the ENCDC event’s value is gets media exposure as a result of a later conference. How is one ignored as an inconsequential Eritrean gathering which will not have any effect on the politics and the other gathering is of much more importance and is scrutinized for all of its shortcomings must be exposed?
      Gedab’s reporting gives the impression that both events as not being the preferences for the people. Gedab does not recommend either one to the reader at least as they are now. As for the diversity, the article exposes both as having token representation of their respective minorities.
      Also, after several years past its last congress in Awassa, Ethiopia what has pressured the ENCDC to hold their congress on April of 2019? Is it a coincidence or the same forces that is possibly behind all these Eritrean gatherings also had an effect on the ENCDC to hold its congress and elect its leadership so that it it is ready to react to an imminent event, such as the fall of the Eritrean regime? In a sense, the ENCDC wants to show a pulse that is alive and kicking and is attempting to stay relevant.
      Then we go back only a two to three weeks earlier where the news agent rival or sister competitor to Gedab announces the formation of a new organization inside Eritrea and frantically organizes a rushed meeting to elect leadership. The large gathering gives the impression that a people’s choice leadership is available for task of bringing democracy to Eritrea by the sponsors of this latest London conference, the Eritrea Focus group. There is definitely a correlation between the earlier mass gathering in London and this last conference in the same city. There are indications this will expand to the USA where Eritreans have been are continuing to gather and select their leadership. The Focus group will then claim they are mandated by the masses to justify their decisions and future deals and compromises in order to bring democracy in Eritrea. Does this new mobilization provide any clues to the existence of a new force in Eritrea that is well organized as a strong formidable challenge to the Eritrean regime? Does the EPLF heavy [christians heavy as if there are no muslims in the EPLF] London conference reported or implied in the article seem like a decision to exclude the ELF leaning ENCDC due to its Ethiopian or TPLF friendly history? This decision to not include the foreign power influenced or sponsored party in order to maintain the totally foreign interference free and entirely by Eritreans only initiative? The compromises the Eritrean regime must make will not have the Weyane excuse. The intent or next move will be to give the regime an offer it can’t refuse. Hence the earlier stated projected positive results of change in Eritrea in the very very near future.
      To reiterate the steps: 1. The mobilization and effective organization of the masses to give justification to mandate. 2. Bring the Eritrean regime to face to face give and take dialogue by putting the demands of the Eritrean people and achieve very significant concessions from the regime. 3. Deal with the Ethiopian TPLF sponsored old ELF now ENCDC dilemma at a later time or perhaps not at all. The hint for all of this is in Dr. Berekhets response to the reporter. The pretext of “can democracy work in Africa” is the preliminary justification of the total absence of democracy in Eritrea for nearly two decades. A prerequisite or precondition bitterly accepted to provide the regime the easiest exit much like the Mugabe and Zimbabwe saga.

      If all ongoing attempts for an overall, quick and effective resolution to the Eritrean struggle we are swayed to reject by negatively presenting them or not presenting the in a timely manner as is the case in this Gedab article for the London Conference and the ENCDC Congress in Sweden (oh yeah no longer in Ethiopia…) then are there any other alternatives Gedab has in mind that it believes acceptable? Or does Gedab consider 2019 yet another year of the same old monotonous operations that will go on for years to come and the real fighting is a fierce competition for funding from NGO resources. And that Eritreans should expect their desired change in Eritrea from Devine intervention as in natural causes death of the regime?

      tSAtSE
      PS: Hope was requesting the inclusion of the political organizations by the YiAkil movement and now we maybe seeing the hostile or tactical takeover by some our political organizations.

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Selam awatistas,

    The topic of the discussion “as to whether democracy works in Africa” by Eritreans, in the struggle of justice and democracy, sounds to me as a prelude to what we are going to hear from the “anti-democracy ethos” in Eritrea by justifying with the African countries who failed to secure democracy in their pertinent states. Otherwise, don’t we have many issues of our own to deal with?

  • Hameed Al-Arabi

    Ahlan Awates,

    The road towards UNITY and protecting SOVEREIGNTY of Eritrea is not rosy; therefore, how do we be cautious and reach and protect our unity? The answer is very simple: Every issue that concerns Eritreans should have TRANSPARENCY and should be done in a BROAD DAYLIGHT. Anything outside this bold lines is not ours and doesn’t concern and represent us.

    I think, all of us remember before a few weeks that Haile Menqorios was invited in a meeting in Addis Ababa, and a UN representative has warned to take any action of agreements between Ethiopia and Eritrea without legal institution that represents the people of Eritrea. It appears, London conference has come to work on this issue by inviting ambassadors and some Eritrean figures they think they have impact on Eritreans. All who attended the conference from the Eritrean side were EPLF members. The conference has the touches of Isaias and his regime. It seems, it is prepared and sponsored by Isaias. All Eritreans should put question mark on those who attended this conference, and take care from them in the future. I hope concerned Eritreans from London to furnish us with full information of the NGO, and also Awate Team to endeavor to provide us with full details.

    Al-Arabi

    • Saleh Johar

      Ahlan Hamid,
      Just to bring to your attention that Haile left the UN about two years ago. And he has nothing to co-sign the London meeting though someobenade it appear so for publicity.

      • Hameed Al-Arabi

        Ahlan Ustaz Saleh,

        I don’t mean that Haile Menqorios was that warned, but a UN representative about the Horn of Africa or Africa in general. I know Haile Menqoios left the UN a long time ago.

        Al-Arabi

      • Selamat Ayya Saleh Johar,

        Is Haile Menqerios some sort of a bridegroom heavy weight with great charisma that lures or commands attention currently? Gedab downplayed the Ambassadors endorsement of the conference as something he usually does with all for change in Eritrea gatherings, yet it chooses his photo for the cover of the article despite his non participation. Promoting Haile Menqerios’ as an important player who dodged the event as a non priority event undermining or underestimating the conference at the same time.
        There is some funny business here. There seems to be an effort to increase the profile of Haile Menqerios to the position of leading candidate for the head of state of Eritrea to challenge and replace IA. I have no qualms and am for it. He has experience is a relatively clean and untainted history than most as he has stayed away from all the mud wrestling in the past two decades.

        The Focus website article dated April 24 on the first day of the conference was stating what the Ambassador WILL SAY. If the attendees were presumably already at the conference what purpose does the publicity stunt serve? Or are they utilizing the Ambassador for publicity purposes for after the conference. Something very convoluted or fishy or not clear in both the Gedab article and the Focus websites article.

        I don’t know may be it is me studying the “language” that is used in Eritrean politics. Yeah yeah studying languages indeed.

        tSAtSE

  • Hope

    Hello GN:
    “Another invitee who declined to attend told Gedab News, “I declined to attend for many reasons… one of which is the usual lack of transparency and the use of deceptive tactics to promote a narrow agenda under the disguise of building democracy while decrying the Eritrean regime’s lack of transparency. He further added, “like many past organizers, who loudly call for accountability and full disclosure, they [organizers] sadly will not acknowledge a mistake was made in selecting participants … nor would they learn from it and the harm they are causing… this is an ugly and a divisive side of Eritrean politics that only benefit donor NGOs.”

    Spot on!

    This guy so8nds like Hope or copied it from Hope’s mind.

    I appreciate the way you analyzed things.

    I was about to comment on both Meetings the same way you did but…
    Anyway Aytibke endiyu zebkiyeni.

    But why surprised though?

    Isn’t this the modus operandi of the rotten Eritrean Political Culture and the Opposition?

    Berhe and Paulos:

    Are you there?

    Did you read what the wise Ustaz Ismael AA said about the Enough Movement ?

    To your DISMAY,I am wondering why you did not chase Ustaz Ismael for courageously stating the bitter truth

    This is confusing:

    “When asked what the purpose of the conference was, Dr. Bereket said: “according to the organizers, the purpose was to answer the question of whether democracy works in Africa, and if does not, what are the reasons for its failure.”

    Thought it was about Eritrea and its “Enough Movement”

    • Berhe Y

      Hi Hope,

      I did not read what Ismael said about yiAkl but happy to read it.

      When I saw the picture of these conference, I was looking for Saleh Younis or Saleh Johar or others that are not Christians, and I didn’t recognize the rest of them. I was also looking for the list of the participants but I guess I don’t need to see anymore.

      The whole meeting, I don’t know when it was organized but it seemed a mock and spat in the face of the hard working and dedicated Eritreans in London who conducted the most successful public meeting and elected leaders.

      Are these people not aware what just happened and they go and conduct another parallel meeting not even barely couple of weeks went by.

      I don’t know these people are but I can guess they are those who are infected with EPLF disease of “us and us alone knows better” what’s good for Eritrea.

      I can tell you, they are responsible for the misery the Eritrean people find themselves. We are starting so well and the people and the leaders are going back to our roots of respect, fear of God and love of our brothers and neighbours and they always come up with something to disrupt and destroy what’s being build.

      Amanuel Iyasu was doing so well, I hope he is not part of these games that he probably attended unwittingly.

      I know Abraham Tesfaluel who attended the meeting and I hope to read his honest account.

      No matter how important it seems, it’s not worth the pain and the destruction that will cause.

      We should just forget them and proceed as we are doing. To honest it’s non sense that one needs to ask “if democracy can work in Africa”. The white people can ask this type of degrading question but we should never entertained such deamining thoughts let alone discuss it in the open.

      I am just going by what I read at gedeb news but I have no other information.

      Berhe

      • Senay Zer

        Dear Berhe — No need to fret and feel paranoid about this London meeting. I really wish this meeting would be any where near as consequential as this nearly paranoid sounding gedab news article is alluding. Just ignore both. They both seem to have some after taste of pfdj-elf nonsense. Thankfully, most of the youth taking a lead on the yiakl wave are way past that, and we won’t be trapped by this old trick.

        • Berhe Y

          Dear Senay,

          I agree, and I hope this does not interfere and slow down the yiAkl wave that’s taking place.

          You would expect though after so many calls and plea of “enough with the division, enough with wudebey wudebka, haymanitey haymanitica”, where they miss the consequences that would create.

          What I don’t like is they tend to take / away influancial people who have the potential and drag them to their camp and make them dead souls.

          I can guarantee that, a year later we will see nothing of concrete by those who attended these two meetings and they will meet again for another successful meeting.

          Berhe

      • Hope

        Selam Berhe;

        Here is what the WISE man,Ustaz Ismael AA, has said:

        “To be brief, thus, both events – in London and Stockholm – suffer from what I have just casual jotted above. Measure them from any aspect, finding shortcoming and lack of trust is not that much hard task to do. Lack of transparency, secret and dubious funding, illegitimate alliances in the run up and end phase of the conferences pervade the dramas, which actually do not last more than a week or two after they end.

        Thus, weighing the two events at hand, each of them will end as previous ones did. The Stockholm event will just repeat what happened in 2011 at Hawassa, Ethiopia, and the London one too as similar events that took place in several places before, unless of course this time the stirring and funding as well as guidance have been taken over by powerful nations who might now see their interests in the demise of the regime in Eritrea in the context of regional developments such as in Sudan, Algeria and may be in the larger Middle East region”.

        The one I told you to read about the Enough Movement is even a golden one:

        “We cannot just take them at face value but we need to know as to who they are and we have to scrutinize them and their goals, agenda and strategies”.

        Modified.

        That has been by only caution,which you and paulos belittled and mocked me about.

        • Berhe Y

          Hi Hope,

          What staz Ismail said exactly to what I said. No difference at all.

          As to the yiAkl, you have nothing to worry about it’s the Eritrean people that are speaking about. Please keep the former leaders away and let them do their thing.

          Berhe

          • Hope

            GM Berhe:
            “:What staz Ismail said exactly to what I said. No difference at all
            .Ustaz Ismael was just re-enforcing to you that we have to be cautious and vigilant about any Change Seeker or Movement.
            “WE have to be cautious about the treacherous and honey-coated some Pseudo-Opposition style Mottos and Activism telling us
            “:Remove or Weed out PFDJ by all means possible”, which Berhe has been part of by clearing stating that Motto…
            I was trying prove you WRONG by mentioning these kind of Meetings in London and Sweden.
            And you know exactly as to who has been behind the Sanctions, the COIEs and the AgAzian Movements including the Sactism and for what purpose and goal.

            FYI:

            The unconfirmed and tabloid News style some Ethio-Media Outlets/Oromia Media included, broke about the possible TPLF-Involved and sponsored/led new attempted Coup under the watch-dog of the Ethiopian North Command headed by Gen SeAre and a certain Oromo Gen(suspected to be a TPLF and OLF Agent) sounds to hold some water, which led to an URGENT closure of the entire Ethio-Eritrea Border.

            Well,you can still argue that “….as long as it brings change in Eritrea, I,Berhe, would welcome that Coup”.

            Menghedi Chirki Yigberelka Ghiddi!.

          • Berhe Y

            Hi Hope,

            You know the other day my friend said to you “ወፈፍ አቢለናኻ ዶ” or something and he made me really laugh.

            You are like you wake up one morning say something and in the afternoon you change to something else.

            You have love and hate relationship with IA / PFDJ that you don’t seem to get over with and make up your mind.

            For me it’s simple and it has been very easy from Sept 18, 2001. I made up my mind that IA needs to be removed if Eritreans have to have a better future.

            That’s before CoI, before sanctions, before Agazian, before sactism or anyone else.

            There is nothing IA and PFDJ can do that makes me change my mind unless they hand over their power totally to the public and be held accountable for the crimes they committed against the Eritrean people.

            IA / PFDJ for me is like the letter factory word “N”, it goes like this:

            No, No, No!
            Not at noon.
            Not near nine o’clock,
            Nor next November.
            Not now.
            Not ever!
            Never!”

            Berhe

    • Blink

      Dear Hope don’t forget the old organization of bayto also did the same with tactics as well as hidden agenda to set the stage , the sweden meeting was also all about hash hash , bayto in Sweden also suffered from total lack of respect to the Eritreans as well as disrespect to the majority of Eritreans . The youth need to take away from these people and pipe down to the ground. I like the Yiakl movement in tasing the ground and garner support from the youth . Remnants of weyane incubated politics must die now than later , I believe organization like bayto and the London meetings doesn’t reflect the reality on the ground , the old don’t want to admit there is a new Eritrean generation which is completely detached from the old politics and they need to read the faces of the new Eritrea .

  • Paulos

    Selam GN,

    I don’t see any controversy at all and I tend to agree with Professor Bereket’s response where it was not done by design. Moreover, there is nothing wrong with the picture of the attendees, the problem is with the person who is viewing the pictures where instead of him or her focuses on the issue at hand he or she focuses on the ethnicity or religious confessions of the people in the pucture. And I say, that is not only a serious problem the person ought to deal with himself first but it is also feeding into the PFDJ narrative as well.

    • Saleh Johar

      Paulos Dear,
      It depends on where people get their information. I believe the role of Haile Menkerious was presented as a bait and it has created enough controversy, in Eritrean circles. But we are polarized even in social media. Please believe me on this. It just encourages paranoia and the king-makers are not making it easy on us.