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Major General Omer Tewil Died in Prison

Gedab News learned that Major General Omer Hassen “Tewil” died in prison early this morning. His body was not given to his family by the time this news was published.

Major General Tewil was arrested in connection with the Forto incident of January 21, 2013, in which several army officers stormed the Ministry of Information building to broadcast their message challenging the rule of Isaias Afwerki.

Major General Tewil joined the Eritrean Liberation Front (ELF) in the sixties of the last century and was a member of the fourth zone under the command of Mohammed Ali Omero, who was arrested last week in Asmara.

Together with Omero, Mesfin Hagos, Ramadan Mohammed Nur, Alamin Mohammed Saeed, and others, Tewil is considered one of the founders of the PLF1 which split from the ELF under the command of Osman Saleh Sabbe.

Major General Omer Tewil was commander of Brigade 51 during the liberation of Nakfa, and commander of Brigade 61 until the liberation of Eritrea.

He was chief of staff of the Eritrean army during the border war with Ethiopia. The last position he held was commander of Operational Zone #4 and was positioned in Asseb.

After the death of Major General Wuchu, Tewil is the second major general to die in recent months. Out of the six major generals of the Eritrean army, only four are still alive.

For a few days after the Forto incident, Tewil was put under house arrest until he was taken to prison where he remained detained since February of 2013.

Related link: http://awate.com/eritrean-ambassador-to-nigeria-arrested-in-asmara/

UPDATE (11:00 am): A relative of Tewil who lives in Canada is denying the news. We are continuing further verification and will update this news accordingly.

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  • Yosief Kesete

    Is Major General Omer Tewil dead or alive? That’s considering the little update(footnote) at the bottom of this news article? Perhaps some Awatistas have more recent info.

  • Amanuel

    Hi Gedab News
    It is has been more that two weeks since you announced the death of M. General Omer Tewil. Subsequently, put a foot note that his relative from Canada denied the news and you were continuing further verification. I appreciate that it is very difficult to get the truth out of the regime’s system, however it is now about time to let us know regarding your progress. I am also writing this in light of what Dejen confirmed about Senait Debesay with Assenna.

  • saay7

    Selamat Haile:

    First, I see the image of the PFDJ HQ you uploaded: ፎኺሱልካ ዶ? 🙂

    Could you explain to me how the argument that you are making different from the one Serray makes? In one of our exchanges, Serray once said (paraphrased) that it is perfectly valid to blame the EPLF (the entire organization) for our crisis because every member of the government is an EPLF veteran. You are saying that the PFDJ should be blamed because that is what the people assume is responsible and restoring Eritrean dignity requires us to validate their assumptions and punishing those they want us to punish. Did I get it right?

    You know that the “people’s” assumptions are not limited just on blaming hgdef: some blame a specific geography, a specific religion, a specific heritage count and even a specific age group. You KNOW this. I think part of the responsibility of society’s elite (and you can’t get more elite than being the Gr8) is to correct the assumptions of the people and not to indulge it.

    Because there are many awatistas who may not know why Haile got “the great” monicker, let’s retrace ourselves: it is because you argue based on the facts; it is because you have information advantage. Now, you know there are seminars going on right now: PFDJ cadre seminars, EDF seminars, Ministers seminars. Do you think, at these seminars, the PFDJ are saying “onward and forward! belwom! eserwom!” or are they asking the same questions asked at the EDF seminars? (Don’t answer yet: it is a Gedab News in progress:)

    saay

    PS: General Awliyay is now the Administrator of “Maekel”. I guess we should move him from the EDF column (white hats) to the PFDJ column (black hats), huh? 🙂

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Hi Sem,

    Any revolutionary force when it comes to power, they don’t have “national law” on hand to enforce on the land. They form provisional government. The provisional governments draft temporary law “guiding rules”. How? depending on the reality on the ground and its specificity. But the provisional government have full power to do that and other responsibilities. So in my suggestion, I said the transitional government in Eritrea should be a body made up of “independent technocrats”. This technocrats, like a CEO of a company based on the existing governmental infra-structure (the ministries not the ministers) will draft a governing rules that serve them for the transitional period and run the country. The rest of my points take them as continuation of duty of the GNU (refer to my previous comment).

    Regarding the would be prisoners, it should not be the duty of the GNU. That should be the duty of the democratically elected body after the transfer of power from GNU to the newly democratically elected officials. Otherwise the process will not be smooth. I hope this will clear you question.

    Hawka,

    Amanuel H.

  • YON@Diaspora

    Woyane/Tplf is dead !
    The only good thing PFDJ has done is it has killed Woyane/Tplf .
    PFDJ has killed Woyane/Tplf……………though Pfdj is wounded too
    and may die in sacrifice. I am gratefull that it has killed Woyane
    ultimately.
    VICTORY TO THE ERITREAN PEOPLE !!
    AWET N HAFASH !!

    • Sennai

      Well, as long as it is not taking innocent individuals along with it, any change in the political landcape can a welcome change.

      But, how is it dead?

      • YON@Diaspora

        We are waiting for the autopsy result. And will be available to you and everyone else on Awate media.
        Truly yours,
        YON@Diaspora

  • Nitricc

    Semere the toothless wanna be opposition.
    What do you mean when you say
    ” even Nitricc”
    Are you for real? Who said dumb people won’t have an opinion?
    Come on be nice to the less know how people. Well I can understand you belong to the toothless oposition
    I figure you will be more forgiving on slow once that is you yourself being eritrean opposition 🙂
    Toothless

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Hi Sem,

    Not that I don’t want a peaceful removal of PFDJ from power, but I observe submission to the power of the day which is strange and an Eritrean. When I see all in sync for peaceful, I observe three things (a) That the Eritrean has changed their heart and will go to the house of God to pray for the removal of the evil (reminds me Hope) (b) have lost the courage to fight and overwhelmed by fear of the unknown (c) Wait for the natural death of the monster creature and we will see the eventualities.

    As Orson Scott had said ” if you can’t kill, then you are always subject to those who can, and nothing and no one will ever save you.” If we don’t fight by all means, no one will ever save us. Power of the people will not come without the price. Remember, while we are still paying a dear price, look what kind of message are we sending to the regime. You don’t tell your strategy to your enemy whatever it might be. Whether we like it or not there is no such thing that comes without bloodshed and never will be. Even the so called peaceful way of South African revolution have paid over 10,000 dear price just after the release of Mandela to bring the current reality in South Africa.

    Hawka,
    Amanuel Hidrat

    • Semere Andom

      Good morning Emma. Everything you said in your vision is true and I agree with you, but we are expressing our wishful thinking. I agree with you also in your take that “Peacefully” removing a dictator is an oxymoron.

      Natural death will be the worst to my mind because as I said in a different comment that prompted Sal to tell me to write my vision in a recipe style, someone will take over andt will preserver IA’s legacy as mostly likely their legacy is interwoven.

      We should not despair on the peaceful way and by peaceful I mean the least bloodshed and avoiding full blown civil war. But this should not be confused with those who are trying not only allow PFDJ in the process (Semere Tesfay and Ali Salim), but make PFDJ the custodians and agents of change. This is the worst we can do as they will use their entrenched tentacles to manipulate the process and Eritrea will never be cleansed from the deadly virus PFDJ. But for the sake of our posterity, stability and to set a healthy precedent of rule of law, even to the most criminal among us we must give all of them the freedom to cooperate with us in exchange of sparing their lives and catching the architect of the crimes against the Eritrean human being

      What is the shortest way to both stop the bleeding and at the same time set a exemplary precedent for the future, urgency is the key word, the more we doodle we may lose the country.

      About the the1997 document, it is repulsive, those who are dubbed as its architects I call them the proof readers, Ifit immediately becomes the law of the land, it will mean immediate release of prisoners for example, much better predicament. I worry more about the lack of desire to amend it rather that it becoming the law for a short period of time. There are many in the opposition that want to keep PFDJ artifact in the new political process, which is scary. My vision is like what the prosecutors do to nail the head of the drug dealing network: they make a deal with the little guys to nail the big gus, if we do that we have made a quantum leap.

      All of us, let us thinking integratively to solve the following problems

      1. What is the best method that will most likely lead to the least bloodshed

      2. How do we punish the top criminals by making a deal with the collaborators

      3. How do we set a precedent that we can emulate to lubricate change when we are an happy with the government or people in power

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Merhaba Sem,

        I hope you walk up on your right side, at least, to call the day “Lewam MeAlti”. I have sensed in you, escaping from the principle of “fundamental change” when I dip my litmus test on your jotted points. The more we debate on the issue of PFDJ, the more we are losing the grip of our argument. If we are recognizing the “constitutional document of 1997” which is the product of the value system of PFDJ (refer my debate with Saay), we are accepting indirectly the value system of the ruling party and the legacy of “the decider” on the process and content of the document “the big brother” of the organization “Issayas Afeworki”. The legacy of destruction and exclusion.

        Just for purposes of reflection, I will ask you to dip your litmus test into your points, and check if it gives you “red” or “blue” color. The red is warning and the blue is safe path. But the tricky thing in doing that is, what is the source of the litmus paper. I hope you know my drift. For instance, If you buy the litmus from “Saay’s product”, you know what the result will be. Just poking saay to jump in.

        People are worried of the unknowns. If we are worried of the possible unknowns, we can’t move the pointer of our struggle even an inch. To stagnate the move we can bring all the unimaginable negative scenarios to soften our resolve. But any struggle should be driven on positive notes to finally hit its goal with a clear vision no matter how long it takes. If it happens okay, our people gets the long awaiting “peace and harmony” and if doesn’t, you go to history book with your notes.

        Hawka,

        Amanuel Hidrat

        • Semere Andom

          Hi Emma:
          My acceptance of the 1997 document is for this reason:
          I know your idea about the transition, but I am still not clear on your vision what the law of the land on day one will be. Let me state it: I abhor this document that elects its president directly, that gives too much power to the president as the parliament rubber stamps his decisions and I believe it was not ratified. Dr. Bereket and Zemeheret proof read it and assembled villagers who did not even understand the language and ratified it. But there are provisions that were just cut and paste from other world constitution that speak to the treatment of prisoners. Would you agree that until we clean house, sanitize and sterilize our culture from the insidious virus called PFDJ and those who want to just treat the symptoms, implementing this document, we can salvage Eritrea and we set a positive president. Even one day should not elapse without some order and rule of law in Eritrea.

          When do you want all the prisoners be released? I want it to be the first second.
          You can tell me the equivalent of Heisenberg uncertainty principle in society/politics, but there is no certain/sure way of clean transition from PFDJ to a democratic governance.
          I want the name PFDJ associated with shame banned for life like what they did in Europe to Nazi that is how I feel

          Well, Sal is not selling litmus this time I heard he is busy designing the snazziest campaign slogan, “ By whom did we acquire this democratic process and by whom did we free our land?”, after he was appointed a campaign director of the reformed PFDJ and Nitricc is appointed his military search assistant 😉

          Sem

  • Amde

    Dear Horizon, Kim Hann,

    To be fair on the likelihood of a coup in Eritrea I found this. http://dartthrowingchimp.wordpress.com/2014/01/25/coup-forecasts-for-2014/ This gentlemen has somewhat of a reputation in predicting coups, and he says there is a larger likelihood of a coup in Ethiopia than in Eritrea. I find the likelihood of a coup in Ethiopia preposterous right now. So we should take that with a grain of salt.

    Yes, the more I think about it, the more likely and the safest transition for Eritrea (to be honest) is a military takeover. Perhaps the Forto thing was the first inkling of it. After all, the military can appease the public worried of the Weyane sneaking in during this sensitive time of transition.

    Your comments lead me to wonder if this military junta will be that of junior officers or seniors. The Generals or the Captains? What is safer, vs what will bring true change?

    The generals are likely to know the ropes of state machinery, In that sense, a coup of the generals offers the good option of a continuity in the state, while allowing a break from the more egregious policies and practices that had led the country to where it is. The problem of a coup by the generals is that they are more than likely beneficiaries of the system as is, so their motivation to make any kind of fundamental change that will affect their interests is low. Plus – their egos. So they are most likely to hang on to power and not share it once they get on it. For this, the Weyane menace is a great excuse to have in your back pocket.

    The captains will be closer to the people, and hence their demands would be simpler and more idealistic. That also could mean some of the decisions they make could be very popular among the public at large, but rash and unwise. They won’t necessarily know how the state machinery operates, so they would be more likely to be open to alliances with other sectors. I guess we will see.

    amde

  • tes

    Dear Awatistas,

    I ask for an apology to all.

    What I did was not unconscious but I failed to understand the mindset of the diversity here in Awate. I should have respected the diversity and rules of of this forum. Pictures speak louder and this made the feeling deep inside to burst. Sorry for that.

    PFDJ is a criminal junta, a criminal that did a lot since its birth, 1994. Before 1994, let you count it. I count from the year of 1994 as after independence generation. All suffering we have today is because of PFDJ. I am against this and fighting for justice.

    To fight for justice, I started to search the mindset of PFDJ. I lived under the PFDJ administration and I know what is within them no matter what their inner circle is. I am against the system and the system is far stretched. I didn’t know that here also the MINDSET is strong enough. Symbols matter to PFDJ and he tricked this by re-installing the FLAG which was meant a lot to the majority during the EPLF era.

    Let me clear my stand.

    I respect all our history.

    I respect the Eritrean people

    I stand for the Sovereignty of Eritrea

    I am against any outsiders. I support the principle of Eritrea by Eritreans

    I respect FREEDOM fighters and are meant a lot to me.

    I am against;

    I am against PFDJ SYSTEM

    I am against reformed PFDJ

    I am against defaming PFDJ individual members. If they are criminals, let justice say that, no hurry till then.

    I am against any force that puts Eritrean people and sovereignty at risk.

    Eritrea for me is

    My home

    my soul

    My blood

    A place where I will achieve my dreams.

    Eritrea for all

    I stand Eritrea to be for ALL, what ever political, belief, color, economic difference we have.

    I know the diversity and Eritrea is meant Unity in diversity.

    My fight;

    For justice
    for respect
    For human rights
    For economic development
    For social harmony
    For social prosperity

    this is my approach.

    What ever I say is not against Eritrean people, it is not against individual attitude, is not against individual way of life.

    I am only against PFDJ system. When I say PFDJ SYSTEM, its political view, economical view, social view and all symbols offices that represent and work for PFDJ. [Within this line is what I made YOU to be unconformable, sorry for doing that but it is my stand]

    I am against any force that questions the Eritrean sovereignty and who tries to divide our people and the land.

    Hawkum

    tes

    • haileTG

      Thanks brother tes for understanding what the concern would have been from the perspective of others here. Thanks also for taking corrective measure. That is what we are here for, to experiment, observe and learn so that we can experiment with better knowledge the next time around. Some people (including moderators) have given you honest feedback, there are also those who would like to use this the prop up the regime’s agenda to abuse, undermine and terrify people by exploiting their natural mistakes. Remember that we are dealing with a skunis system. Don’t pay attention of the latter, they are shooting from the enemy side. One thing you need to remember also is that PFDJ has demonic way of operating. It would try to push you to desperate situations, for example provocative humiliation, then if you act based on that the sick organization would use it to justify its evil deeds by comparing itself with you. We need it weeded out and there is no point giving it munitions at this final hour where it is appealing to be designated royal inheritor to form the group for Eritrea’s next occupants of government structures. We are telling it that we’re all commoners, nobody is royal and PFDJ is the target of our wrath not the objective of our struggle. We need to be watchful.

      Regards

      • tes

        Dear haile TG,

        Thank you and I am grateful for the positive and friendly feedback of the moderator. I appreciate the civility and respect of their visitors, no matter what political stand they have. And I completely agree for the action taken.

        Thank you again and lets keep going to dismantle the PFDJ mindset. We can only change the dictatorship in Asmara without going into the psychology of the system. We need a cohesive force and in depth research to go into that level.

        Hawka
        tes

    • Dawit

      selam Tes,

      It seems to me that group-think is developing at Awate forum (whether pressured or otherwise subtly through persuasion).This may chock people’s creativity, and desire to express their views freely. It boils down to subjecting oneself to a self-censorship. For me it is like we are fighting , to borrow the late Prime minister of Ethiopia’s famous quip, over ” a piece of cloth”. There are other more worthy things to talk about than symbolism.

      • Nitricc

        Amazing! Some people are really are educated beyond their intelligence. Seriously Dawit?

  • saay7

    ITegadalai Sem:

    Thanks, keep it coming. One thing stood out from your list: everything on your list begins with an active verb, except for one, which is a passive verb “PFDJ is removed peacefully….”

    By whom? 🙂

    saay

    • Tooth Ferry

      Dear SAAY,
      Why do you always have to ask hard questions? Why can’t you let people believe in fairy tales?

    • Semere Andom

      Hi Sal:
      Peacefully removed: It is obvious,the opposition cannot peacefully remove PFDJ not that they do not want, but they cannot. since this is not a prediction, My preference is that Swar Al-Dahab kind of bloodless transition. Now the questions is our Swar Al-Dahab PFDJ? It does not matter, G-15 were PFDJ, but then the someone must be accountable and we have in our myriad discussions I think have firmed up and delinated the criminals from the lumping every PFDJ a criminal
      Wed-Ali was peaceful. The angst here is that those most likely to induce the change are the criminals around the center of gravity, so it is a wish. I think we all are wishing for peaceful removal.
      Next question is how do you ban him from the political process after doing you this favor? through the consitittional processess,if he allowed it then he have to obey its outcome
      Sem

    • Nitricc

      Saay
      PFDJ is removed only by Time!
      Take it or leave it 🙂

      • Dawit

        Selam Nitricc,

        Time is very short for PFDJ. Look how much old and sick they are. They are afflicted , in their old age, with all types of diseases. Death would final concur them very soon. You may have lately wintensed how they have started to lose life easily, some by accident, others by diseases. Even worse, the house of cards would come down very quickly if the head (the tyrant) is suddenly gone either because heart failure , stroke, all other silent but deadly health conditions. The question is then is : what would become of Eritrea ? How long would the chaos last with minimum damage to property and death to civilians?

      • saay7

        Hey Nitricc:

        Haven’t you heard of the Arabic/Tigrinya expression “it takes a thorn to take out a thorn”? If you don’t want to think of your enda Isaias as a “thorn”, there is a funny* Tigrayit folk tale whose punch line is “ለኣሰድ ኣሰድ ቀትለዩ” (a lion killed the lion)– ask Semere Andom to explain the joke.

        My point in the 5-point exercise with everyone was that if one accepts the premise that we want change with the least amount of bloodshed, the agents of change are, by definition, the PFDJ. We can call this EDF, a low-ranking officer, “the people”* but in the end it is somebody who is already part of the system and is trusted enough to be an insider.

        The PFDJ already has a history of removing each other. It is just, so far, the side led by Isaias has prevailed over the side that is not. What I am trying to suggest is that if one studies the failed attempts so far, they all had a cause: implement the 1997 constitution NOW, free political prisoners NOW, reconciliation NOW. You go after your opponent on his Achelle’s heel. If we can collectively echo that, then those in the PFDJ who are best positioned to bring about change, would be emboldened. Those who are terrified that we are a vigilante mob (the Isaiasist propaganda is mighty strong) will hear an opposing message that our dispute is not with them. I am asking those who are critics of the 1997 constitution to hold their nose and make a call for its implementation because it will embolden the dissidents in the PFDJ.

        saay

        * funny because neither the killer nor the killed was a lion:)

        • Nitricc

          SAAY
          I hear you. Correct me if I am wrong but I feel you and I are on the same believe. The only difference is you did not agree when I told you PIA is going nowhere.
          There are a few ways change can come.
          1) from EDF
          It is not going to happen. The system and structure is impenetratable. I tried to study the military structure and I have no clue and ended up admiring the old man , PIA.
          2) the people
          It brings more questions than answers. If the system is that evil why not the people revolt? They are armed, like I have said more questions.
          3) the youth
          Well they are in the streets of Yemen, refugee comp of Sudan and Ethiopia and have no desire what so ever.
          4) external forces
          We said no. And we diclared we will deal by our self.
          5) the diaspora
          Well, the diaspora the first thing they should worry is their weight and obidity. None of them will leave their jobs and family to fight the evil , the PFDJ So I ask you SAAY
          Who is left to fight for the change? If you ask me there are two possibilities
          1) time
          2) prayer
          Since I am not believer in prayer ; here you have it why I stick to time. PFDJ will only be removed by Time.
          Now anyone who disputes my take, let s go at it. I am ready.
          SAAY keep it up your grilling method I like it. Keep asking who will bring the change.

          • Jo

            Selamat Nitricc & Saleh,

            #5 reminds me of the old story In Arki – temaharai: the mice having a conference to hang a bell on the cat’s neck so that they can hide when they hear her approaching/coming to attack them. Only to be attacked and get dispersed by the cat, stack in a dilemma trying to determine who will be courageous enough to approach and hang the bell on her neck (men yisweAla)?

            Luwam zelewo mushet!!

          • berrie

            WOW … i love people who start from a flawed reasoning get logical conclusions… it gives them a look of brilliancy in madness…

            now back to the flawed reasoning… change from EDF:

            your starting point is —>”It is not going to happen. The system and structure is impenetratable.” then the reasoning —> “I tried to study the military structure and I have no clue and ended up admiring the old man , PIA. ”

            did you study too hard to start with “having no clue” and then conclude in “admiring the old man” ? I mean seriously ?? It’s like if you say… “I started studiying a light bulb, but since i dont’ understand how it works i ended up admiring the old “kuraz” kerosene lantern…

        • Adem Darboosh

          Hi saay7 – where can I find the list of the latest EPLF-CC members (NaQfa Congress) ? I have seen it in one of your comments but couldn’t find it now…. Thanks for your help in advance.

          • saay7

            Hi Adem:

            Dehai.org used to have it on its site–for all of 1995-1997 actually. Unfortunately you can’t go to the wayback machine (http://archive.org/web/web.php), because dehai.org was a mail list then, not a real website. So, for now, it is only on my desktop:) Here’s the list of the CC elected at the 1994 congress:

            Abdella Jaber:
            Abraha Kassa:
            Abrahaley Kifle:
            Adhanom G/mariam:
            Ahmed Haji Ali:
            Ahmed Omer Kakai:
            Ahmed Tahir Baduri:
            Alamin M. Said:
            Alamin Sheik Saleh:
            Alamin Siraj:
            Ali Said Abdella:
            Almaz Ljam:
            Amna Nur-Hussein:
            Andebrhan W/giorgis:
            Andemikael Kahsai:
            Asemrom Gerezgiher:
            Askalu Menkerios:
            Aster Fessehatzion
            Beraki Gebreslassie:
            Berhane Abreha:
            Berhane Gerezgiher:
            Berhane Zerai:
            Ermias Debessai:
            Fana Tesfamariam:
            Filipos W/yohannes:
            Fozia Hashim:
            Gerezgiher A/mariam:
            Germano Nati:
            Giorgis Teklemikael:
            Hagos Gebrehiwet:
            Haile Mehtsun:
            Haile Menkorious:
            Haile Samuel:
            Haile Woldense:
            Hamed M.Karikare:
            Hamid Himid:
            Hiwet zemikael:
            Isaias Afwerki :
            Issa Ahmed Issa:
            Luel Ghebreab:
            Mahmud Ali Herui:
            Mahmud Sharifo:
            Mesfin Hagos:
            Mohamed Ali Jaber:
            Mohammed A. Omaro:
            Mohammed B. Blata:
            Mohammed O. Redo:
            Muhyadin Shengeb:
            Musa Rabá:
            Mustafa Nur-Hussien:
            Naizgi Kiflu:
            Nati Ibrahim:
            Ogbe Abraha:
            Omer Hassen Tewil:
            Osman M. Omer:
            Osman S Mohammed:
            Petros Solomon:
            Romedan Osman Awliay:
            Saleh Idris Keckya:
            Saleh Meki:
            Salma Hassen:
            Sebhat Ephrem:
            Simon Gebredengel:
            Stefanos Seyoum:
            Teklai Habteselassie:
            Tesfai Gebreselassie:
            Woldemikael G/mariam:
            Woldenkiel Abraha:
            Worku Tesfamikael:
            Yemane Ghebreab:
            Yusuf Sayiqh:
            Zahra Jaber:
            Zemhret Yohannes:
            Zemzem Abdella:

          • Adem Darboosh

            saay7 – Thank you so much bro.. great man

      • SM

        You cannot say so for sure.It is safe to say:”It might take some time” as something could happen overnight.

    • haileTG

      Hey saay Good Question 🙂

      Let’s see the possible candidates:

      1 – The EDF: made three known daring attempts but failed

      2 – The Eritrean people: making good progress but highly drawn out, complex, yet if it succeeded it would have great windfalls of a matured society as a result of the process, if it fails it may be dangerouse

      3 – ex-and current PFDJ: made one futile attempt G-15, betrayed each other and the people they were meant to represent big time.Unable to even demand the basic dignity of their voices being heard. Proven failures to even represent themselves in 23 long years.

      4 – External actors: hardly none. Every one knows Eritreans’ nationalism and wouldn’t waste their valuable time in such (PFDJ propaganda not withstanding)

      The winner:

      #1 EDF
      #2 Eritrean People

      #3 no sufficient grade achieved to fill this position

      PFDJ?? Who? what? 🙂

      • Fenomeno

        Why are you distinguishing between PFDJ and EDF?

        Who are PFDJ? From my point of view no one is more PFDJ than PIA and his generals.

        Or are you referring to middle and lower ranking groups within the EDF?

        • haileTG

          Selam Fenomeno

          Yes I am referring to middle and lower ranking EDF. The criminals higher up have their children in western countries while exposing the children of the rest to an arduous journey on the wilderness. Middle and lower ranking tegadelti and warsays are themselves and their children going through the same suffering.

          Here is an interesting contradiction in Kbur saay’s 😉 similar observation that “those in the army were with the regime too” or close to that. OK saay argues “the people” in PFDJ are over 70% innocent and at the same time brings “the people” argument against the essence of demolishing the PFDJ through the EDF. Can you see the contradiction or is it to do with the special glasses that I am wearing today/ 🙂

          • Saleh Johar

            Haile TG, can you help me here. I seem to have failed to explain that the EDF is a hostage of the PFDJ, not PFDJ. The EDF that is supposed be the protector of the nation is reduced to the role of overseeing the interest of the PFDJ through many control mechanism. Therefore, any change that comes from the PFDJ is not a change brought about by the PFDJ since no one can carryout a coup against himself. And it is ridiculous to think that Wedi Ali, for example, and Isaias belong to same oppressive group. It defies logic. Can you please elaborate on this, I am feeling I failed in explaining it.

          • haileTG

            Hello Sal, let me try (although if you couldn’t, I would be even more challenged:)

            You probably know the old tigrigna adage that no one has a clue where it originated from, which goes “zeytexahfe aytenbib” or “don’t read what is not written” is how I would challenge those people. Consider that in any country political leadership and military leadership are seperate entities that work in tandem. This doesn’t mean that the political constituency is one and the same as the army conscripts. If we say EDF is one and the same as PFDJ then we are either saying PFDJ members are also victims of Giffa (round up) or the EDF are all happily enlisted volunteers to defend PFDJ in the event of a multi party election 🙂

            To the crazy followers of the unhinged dictator, IA is Eritrea and opposing him is one and the same as opposing Eritrea (they even think themselves as him nhna nsu – during bouts of severe displacement). But if we stick to the legal nature of things the EDF are not members of PFDJ, they are members of the armed forces and it is the highest form of insult to the uniform. Members of the army may work closely with the regime (mostly top brass, security apparatus and other spy networks). Beyond that the army itself is not part of any political grouping. The vast segment of the youth that are fleeing (especially early on were from EDF) and despite having had cadre orientation, it proves that the linkage doesn’t follow down to the middle and lower echelon of the political and military strands.

            Again, the grassroots of the political strand are there to support the system of PFDJ, while the lower mass of the army is a threat to the system unless it is managed preemptively. The distinction between Ginbar and Serawit is well established and formal. Those who argue otherwise are pointing to the informal, but they still haven’t got definitive evidence to show that is the case apart from the case at the leadership level of the two components: political and military.

            Regards

          • Saleh Johar

            Haile TG,
            Dehan Etto wedey…Aalek Nur. If that doesn’t explain my view about the the delineation between the EDF and the PFDJ, I can’t do it any better.
            Thanks

          • haileTG

            Sal, yeah it is interesting, especially in view of what I think should also be highlighted here. PFDJ has indeed got away with stealing legitimacy by pulling the wool over our eyes and passing itself off for the old EPLF. The loss has been incurred, and most can’t be reversed we just have to learn the hard lesson.

            Now, the new breed are requesting legitimacy in advance for a job promised to be done in unspecified way, at an unspecified time in the future, with an unspecified means and an unspecified outcomes. At list the PFDJ collected the pay that was meant for a job done by the EPLF and managed to fool us by turning out to be a common skunis. But where can we base our blessing of legitimacy to the PFDJ II. On the unspesified i, 2, 3… or the fact they were part of an illegitimate system and the havoc it created, or they have naturally redeeming superior qualities that entitle them what can not be assigned to “common” people. Can they not go and join an opposition party of their choosing and start humbly by scraping the floors with tooth picks or they were born to rule over the land and confused people of Eritrea. Be’Tam yemigerm qeld new ebak’h (eyoba how is the amharic 🙂

          • saay7

            Haile the Gr8:

            I think my comprehension level is in decline because I keep re-reading what you are writing:)

            Let me try to tackle it from a different angle. Do you accept the following premises?

            1. The overwhelming majority of the PFDJ are innocent people who, themselves, are victimized by Isaiais Afwerki’s regime. But there are enablers who are crucial to the maintenance of the police state.

            2. The overwhelming majority of the EDF are innocent people who, themselves, are victimized by Isaias Afwerki’s regime. But there are enablers who are crucial to the maintenance of the police state.

            3. The overwhelming majority of the people (neither EDF, nor PFDJ) are innocent people who, themselves, are victimized by Isaias Afwerki’s regime. But there are enablers (spies) who are crucial to the maintenance of the police state.

            So, if all three groups–the party, the armed forces and the people–are overwhelmingly innocent, how is it in any way accurate or helpful to our cause to say “the PFDJ” whenever we mean “Isaias Afwerki regime”?

            The PFDJ has no say on who its chairman is (it is Isaias), anymore than armed forces can choose who their commanding officer is (it is Isaias), anymore than the people can choose who their president is (it is Isaias.) They are all in the same predicament.

            Just like an EDF member can’t ask to be demobilized without drawing unwelcome attention to himself, just like a citizen can’t ask for a visa to leave the country, a member of the PFDJ can’t walk in to the PFDJ office (the one you want to blow up:) and say, “here, I am turning in my card: and don’t expect membership dues from me anymore!

            About EDF. The distinction you are making by drawing a line with “middle ranking officers” is not helpful because, as you know, there are many colonels who are, in Isaias Afwerki’s weird hierarchy, more powerful than generals. Are the nearly 50 brigadier generals we have part of the good guys or the bad guys? Is, say, Colonel Tsehaye Mekonen (the guy that Wedi Ali shot) in the good guy or bad guy list?

            All the EDF officers and all the PFDJ are EPLF veterans. Whether somebody stays “in the PFDJ” (in the civilian service) or in the EDF (military service) is entirely and arbitrarily set by Isaias Afweri. (Remember who Eritrea’s Sports Commissioner was/is.)

            To conclude: the distinction between the seb selTan of PFDJ and EDF is completely arbitrary and decided by Isaias Afwerki. Occasionally, an EDF officer turns down a civilian job and is frozen but for the most part it is all assignments. (I believe Vaynak, Hanjema had both turned down “civilian” (zoba administrator) job prior to their accident. Had they accepted the job and been alive, would they have been part of the dreaded PFDJ? The distinction between “middle ranking” and “high ranking” EDF officer is almost always meaningless as we have Colonels who are closer to the power center than the people they report to (as I tried to explain in my speech in New York.)

            This being the case, if there is going to be a democratic coup, it is going to be incubated by people based on mutual trust and not based on what their job title is. Thus, you could have a PFDJ (“civilian”) and and EDF (military) planning it together. I haven’t even considered people like Wedi Ali who was “retired” and trying to make a living in Debub when he decided to lead a coup. I haven’t talked about the non-existent distinction between the frozen and unfrozen… It’s like the movie “Inside Man” where you can’t tell the hostage-takers from the bank robbers and you are in the rescue squad, Hailat.

            saay

          • haileTG

            Merhaba Saay,

            Here is what I admire in you: even if you haven’t fully grasped the question (much to do with my articulation of it), you manage the conversation going, yes, in the right direction. Your take may seem a stab in the dark to you (as you said the Q wasn’t sufficiently clear) but it turns out that it answers a good portion of my “mysterious” concerns. I won’t dwell on the controlled demolishing of the PFDJ HQ, እቲ ውሳነ ዳግመ ርእይቶ ኣይግበረሉን እዩ። If any consolation at all, we are prepared to spare regional zoba offices, provided they are re-furbished to serve as communal sanitation facilities and public lavatories.

            The point of demolishing PFDJ, as we are framing here, doesn’t require sifting through individuals. Hopefully, we should all stand accountable to our individual deeds. My point was focused more on the debate techniques you applied where by PFDJ II was justified by separation of roles and the EDF option argued against by merging of roles. It was more to do on what level we were looking at the issue. But as I said your answer was very much well positioned not only to keep the discussion going but in the right direction too, at least for me. Thanks, much admired:)

            Now, going to how “we frame” the issue of demolishing the PFDJ part of my assertion above, I agree with much almost all of what you said, but if I borrow the structure from the infamous speech by John Foster Dulles:

            “From the point of view of justice to the “emotional factor” that the Eritrean people went through under the PFDJ, which can only be described as horror beyond comprehension, the entity called PFDJ,and all other entities and formations that drive legitimacy from it should be banished from the face of Eritrea. However, from the point of view of strategic power interests of sections of the Eritrean people who wish to capitalize on on the fruits of the crimes of the PFDJ, Eritrea must be condemned to further confusion, fear and possible intractable civil war due to irreconcilable division the PFDJ represents among Eritreans.”

            Saay, it is PFDJ we are opposed to, not the people. A man who grew up with me in Eritrea once said to me (when I met him in 2011 still serving for over a decade on NS by then and hopelessly wasting his prime) when I asked him if he had mad a family he said “hgdef kem chira legibuna kemey geyrna hadar kngebr” (PFDJ is stuck to our behind like a tail, how could we have a family! Saay, PFDJ is messenger of death and destruction, I am not talking about its National charter and the nice people in it, rather what was done in its name. Generations of youth died working for PFDJ companies, enslaved, terrorized, families torn apart, burials banned, parents refused to bury their children, its own director of organizational affairs said beaten to death, the so called senior officials banned from their voices heard, it is a messenger of the darkest times in our history. Our minds has been harmed by what we were made to see and witness under the banner of PFDJ. PFDJ is the embodiment of evil in the eyes and minds of many Eritreans.

            I hope we have the compassion and understanding towards the mothers who died in PFDJ prison because they couldn’t pay 50000ERN for their missing adult child. I hope we feel something for the mother that died giving birth while fighting for her life on board a sinking ship. The father who was forced to survive while drinking his own urine in Sinai and witness the rape of his daughter by strangers. God I HATE the name PFDJ and for it is firmly integral to all this and more horrors.

            For the Eritrean problem to be dealt fairly, start with the indignities of the Eritrean people, those must be given a center stage. Not some stupid political plan, program or useless charter. People matter, how they feel matter, how they are made to think matter, everything follows from that. Piece of paper is cheap to me. Anybody can write anything charter, program, history, constitution…but the people, their emotions, their dignity must be given of the highest consideration.

            Now, hold your breath…I’m gonna demolish the damn building 🙂

          • saay7

            Haile the Gr8:

            I think I understand you now. You are saying that “I have catalogued every harm that was done to the Eritrean people. Now whether this harm was done by military officers, national security officers, police chiefs, human traffickers, prison wardens, I will just use a word to describe them all: hgdef. That accomplished, I will rain my furious anger on them.”

            I think the word “regime”, SrAt”, describes the bad guys better because as you pointed out, the Director of Organization Affairs of hgdef is himself a victim of the regime.

            You blow up the PFDJ office: that’s the tit. Followed by a tat. Then a tit, then a tat, then u have Homs, Syria. (Pic courtesy of Bohashem)

            Saay

          • haileTG

            Selamat saay,

            Assumptions matter. If you believe the average information access and educational level of an Eritrean is that of the discussants at this forum, then your division of responsibility may have practical application. On the other hand if you believe that on average the people see hgdef as the entity in power and their miseries are also imposed by the entity in power then my take is more appropriate to describe the facts on the ground as perceived by the average Doe.

            Do you believe that the dignity of the Eritrean people has been robbed? (i.e. regardless of how you apportion culpability). If you do then you would believe that Eritreans have low esteem vis-a-vis their tormentors, since the latter attacked their dignity. Negotiated settlement with such an entity doesn’t fare well to regain the lost dignity, lowered esteem and deep seated fear inculcated (that makes Nitricc wonder how come the old men with single AK-47 and 30 pieces of bullets don’t run amok). The Eritrean people must be given victory, that is real, that they can believe in, that heralds the end (definitive end) of the entity they come to recognize as the source of the evil unleashed on them. If a man slaps another man in front of his wife, you may easily explain the incident – but for some it is a hell lot complicated that could possibly spiral and into manslaughter. If a home is used by a serial killer, the home itself didn’t kill the victims but it is still demolished by association, to allow those affected to heal psychologically and feel a sense of victory over the evil (albeit belated). Unless what happened to Eritreans requires me to post pictorial evidences here, I am sure you are far more aware of it and continue to do far more than me to help to alleviate it (in your own way). It begs disbelief for me to even see how insensitive people are to even want to be associated with such a stained name, it is truly an all round insult to be PFDJ. Eritreans being made to witness controlled demolished PFDJ HQ is not a bombing campaign to do so. The only party threatening civil war is PFDJ itself, We have bled and put up with so much to avoid civil war and PFDJ shed so much innocent blood and destroyed so many lives to stay in power. And today it is threatening a civil war instead of handing over the Eritrean people their future and their lives back. A classic PFDJ I’s Orwellian world.

            I also see what can happen to buildings in a struggle for dignity, or I can also show you what happens to people when those who robe their dignity are reasoned (albeit in a fraud) into legitimacy. We are not short of pictures but let me take you back to the future 🙂 The choice is ours to make: preserve buildings or future generations!

          • haileTG

            Here is PFDJ HQ 🙂

            [URL=http://lunapic.com>][IMG]http://i.imgur.com/OijqcTH.gif[/IMG][/URL]

          • Nitricc

            Hey Haile I read what you emotionally have said but for the sake of logic and fairness
            The people are fully armed if that bad as you have as to believe then why not the people up rising and get rid of the PFDJ?
            I know you hate the PFDJ but you can not niglect the logic
            The people are armed!

          • saay7

            Haile the great:

            Could you please re-write your second para? I want to address it, but I am not sure I understand it.

            saay

          • haileTG

            hello saay, (still working on SGJ assignment 🙂

            Yeah sorry the clarity isn’t great there. I swear it makes perfect sense in my mind but the mouth isn’t cooperating 😉 let me give it a go again, feel free to shelve if it still fail the clarity test 🙂

            You expressed the view (which to the most part I agree too) that most of the PFDJ personnel are innocent people save for the top movers and shakers. On the other hand, according to my understanding, you implied the so called EDF are part of the current regime. Now if we could be careful enough to distinguish culpability with in PFDJ proper, wouldn’t it contradict the spirit of doing so by coalescing a separate institution (such as the EDF) as part of the regime? Because, in the first case we are trying to narrow down the area of interest and in the latter simply casting a wide net?

            If my above Q, just doesn’t pass the test, please help me understand the following that is not directly related. I prefer that regardless of what price we continue to pay or how bad the situation gets, unless we reach a stage that we have the courage to demand our rights then my be we are not ready to get one. The reason that Eritrean independence armed struggle started in 1961 and not 1931 may be explained by our readiness to do so in 1961 than 1931 (save the shiftas:). If we outsource the change would it make us beholden to the new liberators because by definition we would be prematurely liberated with the help of liberating agent (or so called dimantlers 🙂

            Cheers

    • Mahmud Saleh

      HARBEGNA SAAY7
      “By whom?”
      By the influence of reasonable people like you, of course, the alqaed wa almurshed…. asaid SG, the deep thinker Aman Hidrat…a lot of you who have been doing a wonderful job..ብዙሕ ናእዳ ‘ዶ ኣብዚሐ? ግን ናይ በሓቀይ እየ። PFDJ is beaten only by PFDJ, you guys call Abu Oulwa, no body knows the man and his PFDJ better than him. Hire him for a consulting role:) When the opposition coalesces around a reasonable idea, when it demonstrates itself as mature alternative, people inside will be encouraged to wiggle around and see for possible solutions. Eritreans, I hear, talk about this in all coffee shops and bars, complain of pfdj and the president loudly. Tegadelty neber complain even louder. Pfdj and its security do not care about gossipers and bar agitators. They look for patterns; once they notice you are influencing others, they take you out and off to the unknown world. So, the open opposition inside the country is there. There is one day when either pfdj implodes under its huge weight of blunders, citizens and their EDF take it to the street, or a planned EDF takeover happens. What we say and what we do and how we behave ourselves will either delay that day or move it quickly. Yesterday’s swastika blunder, talk of civil war bravado, displaying too much militant attitude without being ready to walk the walk..etc delay that day. I would challenge those who agitate for armed conflict to give me a call from Debr Adal, Embasoyra Or Gobotat Sahel; that’s what the real agitators of my generation did. They lead; Idris Awate did that and Tegadalay Issayas did that too. I can understand Nitricc’s outbursts, and I really feel the genuine peace/justice seeker camp is being tarnished and attempts are well underway to hijack it. Those attempts are being watched; if not confronted, the day of possibility will be delayed. PFDJ is bigger than the folks who are debating on what to do about it. It is up to the Eritrean people and their representatives to decide that.
      conclusion:
      a/ by whom? by Eritrean people inside Eritrea and its EDF.
      b/ how fast?( i) depends on how worse PDFJ recklessness keeps getting on its devastating policies
      (ii) peace with Ethiopia and economic relief, meaning if by a miracle it has begun improving the lives of people- for the majority of Eritreans, the universally understood democracy and its dividends are irrelevant; they are elite class domain. The majority of Eritrean people’s priorities are peace, three meals…justice; the rest is additional. To me improving the lives of the people takes priority.
      (iii) Irresponsible “opposition” elements calling for civil war; defiling, belittling…making fun of the sacrifices of their sons and daughters…will delay that day.
      Change is for the people of Eritrea and not for those of us who are carrying a spare passport/identity/home, period. Where are you nitricc?

      • Nitricc

        Hahaha I am here Mahmud.
        You are the best!
        Although I am a little disappointed with you on the debate you have with the T -kifle the ultra conservative weyanay. You were soft on that one. I know you were trying to be civil and all that but how about the truth and our cause?
        Next time, you better bring it on. 🙂
        Glad to have you man

        • Mahmud Saleh

          nitricc (በርበረ)
          I was once a revolutionary and hot headed; I have outgrown that; I try to treat people the way I would like to be treated. I was interested where he would take it, but I thank the man for his engagement. I threw many examples of Eritrean role that I could recollect, without belittling the cause and sacrifice of Tigray people Those examples were frankly the tip of the iceberg; it is a recllection of events that took place 24-38 years. Have you read any example he had to give me to support the wild idea of ” TPLF saved EPLF?” My target audience were readers who want to have some context/information and not necessarily him.

          • Abrham

            Dear Ato Mahmud,

            Your comments magnify the involvement and bravery of EPLF in detail and you said it the tip of the iceberg and you become almost silent when you come to the other side. History telling is not story telling be fair in addition to your coolness.

          • Mahmud Saleh

            salam Abraham:
            Did I become silent on the other side? Not of course. I said how just and popular Tigray people’s struggle was; I stated how fierce and disciplined their tegadelti were; I stated Tigray people and its organization strong support of Eritrean independence; I mentionedTegadelti TPLF involvement in 6th offensive; I rejected those who said TPLF saved EPLF but also rejected some Eritreans claim that they liberated Ethiopia…etc. I emphasized the fact that I was not privy to classified information and it was merely depeendent on recollecttion. So, if you want to share any information with me/us, you are welcome and encourage you to do that; I really do not care who did what in the past; my dealings with my Ethiopian friends are forward looking. I was put in that situation because I was asked.

    • Haile Zeru

      Usually i like to read SAAY comments but these days I hate to see his reference to Semere Andom as “ITegadalai Sem:”. I am sure it is some sort of joke, but it does not sit well with me. I read Semere Andom’s comments for quite a while and I hope SAAY will drop the “i” in front of the “Tegadalai” .

    • berrie

      that’s easy one!
      you just ask kindly to “nisu”… he will kindly oblige.. it depends all on how gently you ask and how convincing you are.. I have some brand new formats on my mind, something that you could put on awate poll for popular vote:

      A) zikeberka goytana, goyta meriet goyta bahri ertra, wember’do milekeQkalna ?(the bootliker style is 30% effective)
      B) wedi Berad! wired keytiwared !! (we can wave saddam’s or ghedafi’s demise photo posters 10% effective)
      C) Isu wedi nisiki do abzi adi? tikedi imber Saudi! tikiyiri imber tselam kebdi! (the Iwalino style might please him 50% effective)
      D) Isu “ze Gret” join our picnic in Sinai (of course we don’t tell him that he might loose his brand new liver not again..the trickster is 10% effective )

      these of course, are some of the formats that came to my mind but, ideas are welcome

  • Semere Andom

    Hi Awatista and especially those who wrote their visions:

    Sal demanded our vision in point form, even Nitricc, an awatista with latent Dr.Jekylll and Mr. Hyde had his recipe so here is mine. “Aybelkan keybluni etom endab, aytestewahdwu:)

    Some of my ideas may overlap with others, but I did not bootleg yours, it is coincidence

    1. PFDJ is removed peacefully to avert more bloodshed, this sets a precedent for us and most likely we will avoid the vicious cycle of violence that is prevalent in our region. The 1997 documents automatically becomes the law of the land.

    2. Quickly compose a government that proportionally represents every ethnic group and every region. No PFDJ or EDF is included here, we need a pristine start. By ethnic group, I mean all the current 9 ones and every other group that wants to be recognized as ethnic group must be represented.

    3. Set up TRJ (Truth, Reconciliation and Justice), legally mandated to document the crimes committed and identifying the architects and collaborators of the heinous crimes, and assembling of witness and creating a dossier.

    4. Declare it a crime for citizens to take revenge of any nature, no matter how minor the revenge is. Empower citizens to documents crimes they have witnessed during “zemene” PFDJ

    5. Use the transitional period as a teaching opportunity to the EDF that they are subservient to the civilians and eradicate the mentality of trained murderers. A military person in power who wants to run for office must first resign as Gad said and then sever his all his ties from the military for 3 – 5 years before running for office.

    6. Start in earnest amending the living hell of the 1997 constition and correctly ratify it by people’s representatives from every ethnic group, who actually understand the spirit and letter and not by collection of people who are meszmerized by the Tigriniya vocabulary used. Alternative rewritten constitution should be allowed.

    7. Secure the safety of every isaiasist until witness and cases are documented until fair trial is held

    8. Ban PFDJ from the political process, create a museuim to preserve the crimes of PFDJ. Lest we forget.

    9. A teachable moment for our posterity will be to follow the rule of law and due process in every step of the way when punishing the criminals. No shortcuts allowed and no crime must go unpunished.The metastasised cancer must be aggressively cut, but must be done correctly by a the best and brightest and our best and brightest is the RULE OF LAW that is predicate on the constitution

    We, the people of Eritrea enshrine this constitution to be a beacon for justice, liberty for our people and an indelible legacy to the thousands who died in pursuit of freedom and dignity.

    Sem

  • Dawit

    Selam Foul,

    Yes, I don’t deny the fact that this is a private website and as such the owners run it as they see fit. They have guidelines commenters have to abide by even though the guidelines appear to be vague. We all rely on the owners’ goodwill to comment on articles. For that they truly deserve special thanks. I apologize for posting what may be an amateurish sketch “in bad taste”

    • Foul!

      Dawit,
      There is nothing vague about disrespecting sacred Eritrean symbols. You and tes crossed a line. Let this be a lesson to you and tes.

      • Dawit

        Dear Foul,
        At coffee shops we (I and some friends) always desecrate (symbolically) Eritrean flags, talk trash about Ghedli values, and what have you. We are free to do all that. Here I Have to behave.

  • Dawit

    Removing the Swastika from the flag 😉

    • haileTG

      ዋእ ዋእ…ኣንታ ሰብ የሎን ድዩ ሎም-መዓልቲ? ዳዊቶም ድማ ቃልቃል የብላ’ሎ! ኣንታ እንታይ’ዩ ወሪድኩም? Time out everyone, even the cartoonist!! 🙂

    • Foul!

      Dawit,
      What do you think you’re doing? You have replaced the black swastika with a white one. The moderators need to take a stronger stand here. No Eritrean flag should be burned or defaced on awate.com

      • Dawit

        I don’t agree with the moderator’s stand on this issue at all.

        • Foul!

          Dawit,
          You are only a guest here. This is not your website. You have to abide by the ground rules set by the webmaster. If you want to deface or burn an Eritrean symbol, go do it at one of the crazy websites – asmarino, assena. And take your shabby, third-rate drawing skills with you. Otherwise, this is a decent website. That’s why decent people come here. Arrivederci!

        • Semere Andom

          Hi Dawit:
          I believe that citizens should be able to burn their flag and not be punished for it. I am serious. But I also agree with the moderators removing both the Nazi emblem and your burning the flag because our missions is to win, winning needs a strategy, why do you think we hoist both the flags in the opposition gathering? For me it is strategic not principle.You can gauge from the comments how people would react. I was going to write the following comment before it was removed
          The fire flames but like the burning bush that Moses saw our flag is not consumed, only the Swasitica is removed, as a cleaning our flag
          Sem

          • Dawit

            Selam Semere A,

            Got it ! Thanks. I thought I was making fun of the debate about the Swastika on the flag but many including the Moderators did not like it or did not find it to be funny.

  • Dear colleagues, the Swastika graffiti was removed about an hour ago. We beg people to abide by our posting guidelines.

    • thank you

      Dear Mr. Moderator:
      Thank God wisdom and common sense prevailed! Thank you for not allowing the vandalism of Eritrea’s symbols. Thank you for upholding your principles! Posters should be mindful of the ground rules. Eritrean symbols should be off-limits.

  • haileTG

    Hello saay and awatistas,

    We were doing our regular thing (trashing PFDJ) before brother tes took us for a run around the block with the Swastika episode. I would however like to summarize my views and hopefully see if we can get saay back on the bus or it is going to be ምኻድ እንተ ኾይኑ’ስ የከያይደና ግዲ፡ እውቶቡሰይ ሒዘ ዘይዕዘር 🙂 kind of sent off for my disappointed traveler.

    Before I get to my points, saay, could you have imagined tes would have felt the same to express it in a manner he did back before 2000? Have we not heard and seen even more entrenched and determined rejection of our nation, history and and all we stood for? What is or who is to blame? (I don’t buy nhna, we are victims we deserve protection not subjugation). More importantly, does the average Eritrean be able to distinguish between HGDEF and the regime of IA?

    It is customary that scenes or effects associated with tragic events are demolished, removed from sight or even replaced by memorial parks and what have you. What the Eritrean people have been exposed to under PFDJ (and at much higher degree in the last decade or so) is truly disturbing. I feel gratified that many people can still maintain sanity and discuss politics, transition and other plans for a democratic state building. I applaud you all, my fellow people, for being brave enough to do so. What we have gone through is tough, in fact hellish and nothing you would wish on a worst enemy. We are left with images of brutal tragedies that will never fade away from our memory for as long as we live. It would take a generation to get past it. I sometimes make political point of IA saying the youth who left the country are thieves, but deep down it is not lost in me that even for him, he hasn’t got a fighting chance of coming out of this magnitude of all around tragic situations. I see a confused, bitter and terrified man. It doesn’t make for an enviable situation all around.

    At the center of this is the organized face of the drivers who brought us to all the current situation, PFDJ. It would be a tremendous sign of respect, compassion and understanding to the Eritrean people (who are still gripped by an incredible evil, organized as PFDJ, and we wouldn’t know what they would be exposed to next) to reassure them that the tragic stretch that they had to complete is finally to come to an end. The PFDJ HQ would be demolished and made a memorial park for all Eritrea’s children that quietly died in remote deserts and sea beds with no one being there to help. For all those children that were forced to grow up without the love and nourishing care of their parents because PFDJ incarcerated them, for all Eritrea’s innocent victims of PFDJ that committed no crime other than being Eritrean the best way they knew how, and are now no more. All the dams, bridges and other installation that were build by forced labor of the youth who perished in faraway lands shall be named after specific places that would serve to remember them into the next generation. Such would be as Lampedusa dam, Sinai Agricultural institute…

    The name PFDJ needs to be made as far faded as possible, only memorial parks, places of eternal rest and museums of humanity would be made the places in which it is mentioned. For many Eritreans, rationally or not, the very word of PFDJ sends huge volts of anger down their system, clenched fists, bitter emotions extremely unhealthy conditions for our nation and future as a society. To debate the re-emergence of PFDJ in any form (the system) other than in a coffin for its eternal demise place would be highly inconsiderate of what our people need in order to heal and start a fresh. As a people, we don’t lack money, we don’t lack the basic know how to do what other third world people like us do or even creativity and industriousness to build our nation. The key is to deal with not only stop the bleeding but create the ambiance for healing. The youth are seen taking excessively hostile and militant approach against a system that is proving challenging to bring to quick end. Recommending more of the same would be disastrous for long term cohesion of Eritrea as a unitary state. It is the same as advising a woman to take her rapist’s family name for a surname. It is beyond obvious that ordinary people who make a living working in the Eritrean civil service and other bureaucracy are not criminals in blanket. These people can be in an office today and in refugee camp tomorrow. It is the name, the system, the aura, the feel, the sense… of PFDJ that needs to be demolished in order to restore Eritrean’s faith in their country, people and future and hope for the better. We like it or not PFDJ has been and is an accessory (willful or otherwise) to the most horrific crimes that were committed against the Eritrean people.

    Those who can influence it must do so in a manner it gracefully accepts its dissolution. And making its way out of Eritrean life in every way and manner. This for the sake of the suffering Eritrean people, for the sake of avoiding unnecessary wasted years ahead of mutually assured distraction, for the sake of giving the unborn children of Eritrea a better chance that those who did couldn’t find. In the worse scenario that the PFDJ decides to stick to its guns and devolve into a faction in an intractable civil strife, well unfortunate የሕጽሮ ድማ ይኸውን ባዕሉ፡ ንዓና ዝተባህለ መዓት ምሕላፉ ኣይተርፎን እብቲ ናቱ ሰዓት።

    Regards

    • Pappillon

      Haile, you sure are the greatest Awatista ever. No kidding. It is an insult of the highest caliber to invite back PFDJ as a political party to participate in post-tyranny Eritrea. Liberty has its own limits. Justice has to factor in to call a spade a spade. What would Zerai Petros Solomon say when he sees say Yemane GebreAb or Sibhat Ephrem running for an office in post-Isaias Eritrea? Just imagine.

    • Semere Andom

      Haile
      Please Expand this comment, remove the Tigriniya part and make it an article

    • Mahmud Saleh

      kbur haw Haile TG:
      As you know, in my short stay here, I disagreed with you almost in everything. And may not agree with the above comment in its enirety. However, I have known you more today because of your responsible position on the swastika issue. God bless you.

      • haileTG

        Thanks brother Mahmud, I am still optimistic that one day we’ll make great friends. Take our current stormy relationship as a good omen 🙂

    • saay7

      Kemey kemey Hailat:

      The whole point of a bus is to carry passengers; for solo or few passengers, there are more efficient vehicles, no?

      Before 2000, Tes may not have felt the same way, but plenty of people not named Tes (ንለባም ኣምተሉ) were as angry as Tes is about the flag–and for much longer period–but that wouldn’t justify him, or them, putting a swastika on a flag that millions consider sacred. And that is really the point: one cannot justify one’s behavior by how angry they are: if you do, well, the morons who threw chairs at Mesfin Hagos in 2002 in London were very angry too.

      What we are talking about is what is the proper and what is the responsible discourse to have in the face of maddening things that happen? If you want to see angry Eritreans, visit Facebook pages where Eritreans congregate: they celebrate when a “hgdef” dies, is arrested or killed. “it is about time!”, “ኢድ ሸናሒት…”, “ጽቡቅ ገብርዎ” are common expressions. Are all these justifiable because somebody is angry?

      Earlier you said that the “terrorized people” require Libyan/Iraqi style justice to feel liberated, now you want to demolish the PFDJ HQ in Asmara? This fine building?

      http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/8a/PFDJ_Headquarters.jpg

      Seeing how PFDJ appropriates buildings, it probably belongs to some Eritrean (probably one of the many Seyoum Haregot buildings expropriated): that would be vandalizing. Can’t the angry people just stand outside and burn effigies?

      Hailat, I don’t think that’s the way to go. All people deserve is justice–not mob justice, not revolutionary justice, but justice that follows due process. A justice that follows due process is deliberative and slow. (It took Harbeyna Weyanai 16 years to sentence Mengistu to life imprisonment.) Trust me, once you go down that path of placating people’s anger, it is never soothed: it is addictive, they want more.

      About a year and half ago (more or less), in this forum, I called for Isaias Afwerki to resign or step down. If you remember, many Awatistas objected to that for reasons that are still not clear to me. They felt “resignation” was too good for him. If it is not resignation or stepping down, I don’t know what people mean by “Down! Down! Isaias.” I am not even sure they know what is it they want.

      My PFDJ-II or PFDJ-sans-Isais is short hand for: I want those who are in the system to reclaim their party and side with the G-15, side with Wed Ali, side with everybody who ever dared to reform the PFDJ and was exiled, arrested, disappeared or killed. It is that simple. Again, to me, this is a transition period to allow peaceful contest for power to start. Not only do I think that this is the best way, I think it is the only way. If there is, I am all ears. But so far, I haven’t heard it.

      saay

      • haileTG

        Hello saay, I hope you’re not deciding to get off my bus in a hurry:

        The Libya/Iraq point I made is more deeper than what it might have appeared to you. It is not a riot or crazy shooting aspect of those conflicts I was interested in. Rather the “reason” for hanging Sadam and displaying Qaddafi’s body for a week. So, let me state again, it was not the conflict that I was referring to. Iraq/Libya have their own internal conditions. That is not evident among Eritreans, so I never subscribe to analyzing Syria, Libya… for our model (sadly it is done so by others for the opposite reason – to paralyze using the effect of apprehension). Iraqi and Libyans under those dictators were deeply terrified, and it was deemed that they needed to see that the root of their fears has been removed. Dead Sadam and Dead Qaddafi was presented to them. That was a proper psychological treatment that opened my eyes during that time, how to peel off a deep seated fear inculcated over long period of time systematically. What they did after that is peculiar to their individual situation (internally and externally). But I was talking about the display of dead Saddam and dead Qaddafi to break the chain of fear off their mind.

        Eritreans are ruled by fear. Many people are afraid of speaking up. If you read the story of a brother narrating the death of his sibling in Lampedusa (went there from Sweden to find and identify the corps) he declined to give his real name. Imagine, what worse can happen to you than sifting for the body of your beloved brother among hundreds? He still was afraid. Many people are silenced by fear. If PFDJ II come in what guarantee do you give them that they wouldn’t act using information from PFDJ I? The relationship between the people and PFDJ is based on fear. If some one marches you to the police station in Eritrea, count your luck, you may never see the sun again. How are you going to make people relate without residue fear from PFDJ I towards PFDJ II. Saay, anger doesn’t justify misdeeds but what is fact is fact. If young people fear enough to completely reject anything associating with their source of trauma, I think listning, making fundamental change and assuring them that they need fear no more is the way. I am saying that dignity needs to be restored to Eritreans and indignity is the single main product that PFDJ specializes on towards Eritreans. We have seen the disdain it exhibited towards all victims, even POWs in Djibouti were simply dumped. Naizghi Kiflu is another case where he had to wait 40 days in freezer while his daughter pleaded with the dictator. If you follow the accounts of eyewitness in torture dungeons, you would walk away that learning that Eritrean life is the least valuable or most worthless to PFDJ. To ask Eritreans to work with such group of people would be problematic, but hey why not try if it works. So, to make it clear, I wasn’t hoping middle east style chaos, rather somewhat Eritreans are made to feel certain that PFDJ is no more.

        For all it is worth, PFDJ II would be inheriting its authority from PFDJ I (otherwise it wouldn’t be PFDJ II would it?). and this creates the cavities through which the fear factor would be transmitted in the minds of the people. An ex-PFDJ official for a current post-PFDJ leadership sounds an off the back of a van deal to me. I think we have waited long enough and we deserve REAL change that would alley our REAL fears.

        As to the building demolition, I am saying a controlled public works procedure in memory of our victims not in protest of PFDJ who shouldn’t be in power to protest against in the first place. Again, the people must be allowed to act as oppressed people in equal terms with each other. The PFDJ shouldn’t be treated as superior and entitled for stamping the hell on us for the last God knows how many years. A well supported military takeover by middle ranking officers could solve our problem as I explained before.

        BTW all Italians from the colonial era have been revoked their property ownership rights in Eritrea. I think I know the building you posted.

        cheers

  • ALI-S

    Warsay,

    Bless you good heart my friend. Do not listen or be intimidated by a few bad apples among us. We are all very proud of you and we know you have the best of our beloved nation deep in your soul.

    Congratulations for the courage and please do not go away!