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Home / Gedab News / Mekhete 2: Eritrean Government Launches A Media War

Mekhete 2: Eritrean Government Launches A Media War

Gedab News learned that the PFDJ has devised “a new strategy to combat media that sheds a negative light on Eritrea.” In its statements and general messages, the ruling party often equates itself with Eritrea.

Building on the trolling cooperation that it cemented with Saudi Arabia and UAE, the Eritrean government has created a task force within its many affiliate organizations in the Diaspora.

The strategy involves a bi-monthly directive by Yemane Gebreab, the political advisor to the president, through Paltalk sessions where the operatives of several PFDJ affiliate groups attend. Gedab News has received copies of the internal communications. As of today, awate.com is still verifying and cross-checking the information for accuracy.

Growing objections and misgivings inside Eritrea as well as in the Diaspora regarding the Eritrean alliance with Saudi Arabia and the UAE on the aggression on Yemen has aggravated the PFDJ support base.

The widespread dissatisfactions, which presumably led to the leaking of internal documents last week, was intensified by Eritrea’s seemingly offhanded rejection of the new Ethiopian Prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, overture to improve the relationship between the two countries.

Last Friday, the hope for peace in the region was dashed by Eritrea accusing Qatar, Sudan and Ethiopia of supporting Eritrean opposition to destabilize Eritrea. No evidence was provided by Eritrea in its accusation of Qatar, its benefactor until last summer, and Sudan and Ethiopia, its immediate neighbors.

The new media campaign, a repeat of its campaign known as “Mekhete” which it launched to combat the opposition to its policies after the Ethiopian-Eritrean border war and subsequent arrest of the G15, is believed to be an attempt to mitigate the confusions its policy has created among its baffled supporters in the Diaspora.

In the session of last Sunday, Yemane described “all the sources of the negative media” regarding the involvement in Yemen and gave talking points on how to combat it.

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  • saay7

    Abi:

    You are right: I forgot Hayat! Whatever the illness was it hasn’t impacted her shrewdness (just because she disagrees with you on Abiy that hasn’t changed 🙂

    saay

    • Abi

      Hi Saay
      በአብዬ አትምጡብኝ!!!! ዋ ብያለሁ ኋላ ጉድ እንዳፈላ!!!
      So you saying she has always been shrewd!

      Good thing I dethroned her a while back. I don’t even miss our midnight pj chats;)
      She used to whisper in my ears what she heard from AG.

  • Abraham H.

    Selam Folks, I think you’ve been heard of the ongoing rumorus that the 32 year old Saudi Prince Bin Salman has either been severely injured or may even have died during a failed coup attempt on 21 April? What do you think about this, taking into account reports that he has not been seen publicly ever since the events of 21 April? How would his possible death affect the ongoing Saudi led war in Yemen, recent Saudi relations with the Eritrean dictator, and, his ambitious desire and efforts to modernise Saudi Arabia?

    • Abi

      Hi Abraham
      Just called to say hello. I hope you are feeling better.
      Good to see you. Stay strong.

      • Saleh Johar

        Hi Abraham,
        This is the second time I read a comment asking how you are doing. I must have missed it but I feel it is about your health. If so, I wish you a quick recovery and take good care of yourself.

        • Abraham H.

          Dear SGJ and Abi, thanks both of you for your concern and compassion, I highly appreciate it. Yeah, I’m currently going through some chronic health issues, but, they are fairly under control. Thanks again.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Abraham,

            Good to see you back, and hope you are getting better.

          • Abi

            Hi Abraham
            Glad to hear the good news. Stay positive.

          • saay7

            Abraham:

            Somehow, I missed that news too! Get well, bro. This place helps heal its community members. So far, SGJ, Ismail, Kokhob have had temporary health setbacks but now they are kicking!

            saay

          • Abraham H.

            Selam Saay and Aman, thank you brothers for your kind words; I’m ok, thanks to the help in medication and follow up that I’m getting from
            my host country, I hope to be even better with time, so I don’t want to worry you guys:-)
            Saay: regarding the case of MBS, it is quite strange that the Western media has not been covering it, despite the situation occuring for weeks ago. But, today, I could read some news on the CNN website about the case; so it is not just wild speculations, I think.

          • saay7

            Abe:

            Well, this is why everyone at this forum is valuable. When the news was first trending of a shootout at the MBS palace, it was quickly dismissed as an errant toy drone. I didn’t think of it until u mentioned it and now the trending phrases in Arabic twitter is “the crown prince is injured or dead.” It originated with Iran. And CNN is not accepting at face value the video KSA produced to counter the rumor. Maybe he learned that is he alive or dead rumor mongering from his new friend Isaias.

            saay

          • blink

            Dear Abraham
            Get well bro.

          • sara

            dear abraham
            wish you well and quick recovery…during the Ramadan time.

  • iSem

    Hi Beyan and All:
    I write this comment in jubilation because MS is celebrating the day he paid so dearly the way he wishes in Assena. Way to go Mahmud. Even if he decides to celebrate it in a Mosque, in a park talking to the heavens in a lanague no awatista understands, except maybe Gheteb, I will be for it. If he decided to celebrate it by imbibing a symbolic water from Adi Hallo and then dancing and taking a wad of Nacfa from his pocket, lick it and then plaster it on his forehead, I will be happy for him. He is deserving it, the happiness his feels on this day is his pension, he solaces, his dream, the dreams of his comrades, the dreams of generation.
    And so he chose the derdesha, he said, or did he? That I my issue
    He said politic is indigestible so he will opt for derdesha. No it was not derdesha. He did his politicking by looking Eritrea in the eye, without flinching, he told Eritrea that she has defeated all the conspiracies against it and all the enemies have been defeated. And then he devoted a one liner that Ghedli was also for liberty and dignity. Full stop. And the derdesha, the wedi Efrem and wedi Afom. And when he mentioned Lingo, I remembered what Lingo said when he was praising Eriterans, not Eritrea. Yes, there is difference. Eritrea cannot exist without Eritreans, but Eritreans can exist without Eritrea. Any way back to Lingo, he said: ግን አይበልካን ከይብሉኒ እቶም እንዳባ. That is what MS did with the one liner, the issue of liberty
    And I asked myself who are these nameless, faceless enemies that have conspired against Eri but failed. He mentioned Totteel as a writer of some lyrics, but not his whereabouts. Hint the liberty things.
    The speech was flowery, which is good one. Flowers are good, we give them in love and in sorrow. We smell them The speech was also not transcendent from politics to humor and respect as it claimed. It made its politics succinctly and cogently and then the derdehsa created problems for its honesty in terms of transcending the harsh politics.
    The perennial, the existential enemy of Eritrea looms high.
    But the authors of many beautiful lyrics, the authors of the politics of the school of thought that inspired MS to join, the generals who made May 24 an indelible day, the lands and men who secured EPLF in security and envisioned bigger dreams for Eritrea and Eritreans not only one of them, the gals and women who inspired women to make up 30% of those who made May 24 have all disappeared in into thin air
    So reads, was this derdesaha, or politics at its best. Saleh AA Younis always says that forgetting is the best tool that tyrants have and we should not forget. And the MS not so Derdesha Derdesha does exactly that. It helps as forget.

    • Beyan Negash

      Hey iSem,

      No wonder I had trouble catching up with the man. MS did finally say he is having fun under the ocean of Hawaii ocean and the volcano eruption – Now, that’s hot and original and is the kind of May 24th celebration worth paying one’s money for. I had a lot to say, but pressed for time here.

      BN

  • Berhe Y

    Dear All,

    I just heard the legendary singer Tsegaitu Beraki have passed away at the age of 79.

    May she rest in peace.

    In her memory, Mejemeria Fikri
    https://youtu.be/3hP3wR3B9SQ

    Berhe

    • Bayan Negash

      Selam Berhe Y.,
      Thank you for sharing this trailblazer’s impressive life. When it was unthinkable for men to drop school and pick up that krar, as a young woman, she did just that and never stopped there. When the revolution demanded contribution she went to the field and the terrains of Eritrea to fight for her nation. A woman with this kind of impressive legacy today and many others like her are being buried in a strange land instead of their homeland. Artists like the now late Weizero Tsehaitu should’ve received military honor burial in her beloved city, for which she fondly offered her heart felt songs – Abashawu, mai-jaHjaH, etc. The link below does a befitting tribute to her life, perhaps unfulfilled one, where she seemed to accept with a resigned sense of the reality that she saw under the regime, went in and out of the country as a stranger tourist would. Sad, indeed is the predicaments of Eritreans the world over today. I thought of highlighting few lines from her simple, yet, penetrating lyrics, all of which the tribute suggests were written by her.

      ኣዕጽምቶም ከስኪሶም መስዋእቲ ዝኸፈሉ፥
      ህዝቢ ኤርትራ እታ ዓዲ ጀጋኑ።

      ኣስካርባይ ጎማ ኽዳነይ ካኪ ዓደይ ክዋጋኣልኪ
      ኣስካርባይ ጎማ ኽዳነይ ባኖ ዓድኻ ዶ ትምኖ

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JO1WT9jTHNI

      • Berhe Y

        Dear Beyan,

        Thank you for writing this tribute and the video link. He covered her life well and I glad I had a chance to see it.

        I heard the news of all places on ESAT and after that I searched shsbait but didn’t see much. ESAT also taked about another ERITREAN musician who also died some colonel didn’t get his name.

        It’s really sad how life has turned out for Eritreans.

        Now I’m Canada, the problem is ERITREAN Elders dieing alone and have no body to care for them.

        Berhe

        • saay7

          Berhe:

          Asmarino used to celebrate artists (alowuna-alewana) and this is a tribute to Tsehaitu it did in 2005:

          https://youtu.be/C_Y9cYxCFfs

          Saay

          For the record: my favorite of Tsehaitu is a Tigre song she did praising The Green and The Blue that won’t let us sleep. You can guess what that’s about even if you don’t understand Tigrayt

          https://youtu.be/bGBWmuApGF8

          • Berhe Y

            Dear saay,

            In the video BN shared, there is a lot of the Dutch interview you are referring to I think. I also felt the sane way, the way they were listening to her attentively in awe.

            I was saying, only white peoples can do all the good documentation for us. Like the ethopiques thing, a French guy has to make all the collections,

            Berhe

          • Beyan Negash

            Greetings Gents,
            Sal, I haven’t even had a chance to read the important article that you just penned, which has 70+ comments already in it; you’re one hard act to follow. I don’t know how you keep up with the multiple conversations going at the same time man! I’ve never been good at multitasking. When my sees trying to do, maximum, three things in the kitchen, say, warming up cafe-latte, putting away rinsed dishes so I may wash whatever is in the sink, invariably, that latte ends up overflowing. Wittingly, she would say, ‘entay geddeshekka seleste negerat tigebbir’ while she can do five-to-six things at one time. At any rate, I couldn’t even remember where this conversation was housed. I went on a different thread trying to find it until it dawned on me that Berhe Y. had started the late Tsehaytu Berakhi thread under this article.

            Berhe Y., one of the saddening part to our predicament as you alluded to it is our inability to multitask or people not focusing in what they do best and excel in that project. For example, Asmarino’s Allewuna/Allewana project was an excellent idea. In the piece in question, the narrator (weddi Meharenna), for example, states that there would hopefully be extended interview with weizero Tsehaity Berakhi, it probably didn’t materialize, because, who knows, she may have wanted to have access to her beloved city, Asmara, a city in which she grew up. If she conducts that interview, you know it would’ve been goodbye Asmara for good. I am not saying for a fact that that’s what actually happened, but its conceivability is likely based on what we know of the regime. Evident to the insinuation I made might give a little credence, because EriTv had done about 18 minutes worth of an 18 minutes worth of bio of her life. Correction: In my entry above, I stated that she dropped out of high school, the truth, however, is that she only had fourth grade level of education. Short of an article size tribute, sharing snippets of her life is what at minimum one can do, here is the link:
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tCYot8IO538

            It is this glaring shortcoming that I find bothersome. As for Europeans recording our history for us, it is a long tradition for them. Consider the following narrative of one bookseller’s story that highlights what an individual citizen could do, which dates back to the 1600s.

            “Date and Authorship.
            “To George Thomason, bookseller of the Rose and Crown in St. Paul’s Church Yard, friend of Rushworth, Calamy, and Milton, and keen observer of religious and political affairs, we owe the British Museum collection of tracts which bears his name. From 1640 to 1661 Thomason collected each day’s output of tracts, broadsides, newspapers, books, even fly-leaves of doggerel verse, and stored them away for the edification of future ages. Few of the publications relating to the Civil War, the Commonwealth, and the Restoration eluded his vigilance. As the flood of this voluminous period bore in upon him, he carefully noted the exact date of each publication in his catalogue, and often wrote out the full name of the author where the treatise or book gave only the initials. On this account, Thomason is the sole authority for the dates of first and second editions of many books now regarded as classics of English literature.

            Among eight publications which came into Thomason’s hands from the presses of London on Feb. 13, 1649, one small quarto, the work of a friend, must have been noted by him with special pleasure. The entry was as follows; —‘The Tenure of Kings and Magistrates: proving that it is Lawfull for any who have the Power to call to account a Tyrant or wicked King and after due conviction to depose, and put him to death. The Author, J. M. [i. e. John Milton.] Printed by Matthew Simmons (13 Feb).’ A year later, on Feb. 15, 1650, he notes the arrival at the Rose and Crown of a copy of the second edition:—‘The Tenure of Kings and Magistrates, proving that it is Lawfull to call to account a Tyrant, or wicked King, and put him to death. Published now the second time with some additions. The author J. M. [i. e. John Milton] pp. 60. Printed by Matthew Simmons (15 Feb.).’ ”

            (Source: https://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/m/milton/john/tenure_of_kings_and_magistrates/introduction1.html)

  • Mez

    Good day Hope,

    A) #4 May be relevant for the topic under didcussion. At the end of the day it was solved the legal way; as a result both nations avoided further damage and destruction. And you can’t invoke a closed case as a justification for a new policy of war.
    B) Even then, supporting a war where you have no irrefutable national security danger is a big mistake.
    C) We don’t need to go into details, one have to see the whole sum of this war dynamics in Yemen.

    PS: for #5) every one hought PIA government is an ardent fighter of American policies, day in day out, in our region–just to find out one morning that PIA is best serving the same Americans implement their policies in its worst form.

    Thanks

  • DreadFool

    Selam, since when is peace good for business? Let’s stay real.

  • Paulos

    Selam My Good People,

    Can you conjure up an image of of words? Aida Kidane captures Eritrea at 27 when she drew Isaias dumping bucket of water onto a boat [⛵] and the Eritrean people dumping or draining the water of the boat [⛵]. The question is will the same drawing capture Eritrea at 28 too? Sal, thank you for sharing.

  • abdulworld

    Hello all,
    I have to agree with some commentators here especially Dawit.
    Most Eritrean don’t know how much or at what capacity Eritrea is participating in the Yemen madness. Arabs butchering arabs. I am sure the western countries are grabbing their popcorn and counting the cash they made from selling the weapons.
    Yeah I seriously believe this Yemen talk is all diversion like Dawit pointed out.
    IA always talks about every country in neighborhood except his own or to point out we are stable country compared to yemen, etc..

    I don’t know if I agree with this comment:
    “Eritrea’s seemingly offhanded rejection of the new Ethiopian Prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, overture to improve the relationship”
    I don’t think it was rejection more re-statement of the need to implement the court ruling.

  • Mez

    Dear Dawit,

    1) The war in Yemen and the stand of the Eritrean government (PIA and general Eritrean’s opinion–including you), probably some opposition elements included is very self contradictory to the fundamentals of Eritrean contemporary history.
    2) Yemen was, next to Sudan, vital life line in the protracted libration war of Eritrea.
    3) Now we go around and fight (probably participate on the ground) againest Yemenis.

    A big mistake.

    • blink

      Dear Mez
      Did you have any prove that there are Eritrean ground forces in Yemen ? By the way there is no contemporary history or what so ever in this ,It is simple choice , be with Iran or with Saudi , Eritrea chooses the Saudi which is the best it can happen to Issaias. Even if there was another government in Eritrea the choice would have been the same .

      The article is something misleading about the Ethiopian leader offer too , there was no peace sign in the new PM regarding to the border issue, he simply repeated what his predecessors said before . The notion Ethiopia offered peace is pure cover for the new prime minister of EPRDF. The 5 point plan is still there and these 5 points are not peace plan or what so ever , GN should have said the reality instead of going around and making wrong assumption.

  • Dear Dawit,

    We agree with your assessment that many of the PFDJ supports have no qualm with what Issias does in Yemen. We are simply reporting what Yemanne responses was to some of the PFDJ supporters concerns that Eritrea image is once again being tarnished as it is internationally perceived that it is bidding the dirty work of the oil-rich countries in destroying a poor neighboring country such as Yemen in same way it tarnished its image when it involved itself in the war in Somali with Qatari and Libyan oil money and its support of Al Shabab.

    Also, this new campaign is part of what we reported in Gedab News (http://awate.com/saudi-uae-eritrea-internet-trolling-cooperation) that UAE and Saudi Arabia are providing training and facilities to the Eritrean ruling party to enhance its internet war against its opponents, which now became intertwined with their war campaign in Yemen and Yemane was trying to justify Eritrea alliance with Saudi Arabia and the UAE in their war effort in Yemen.

  • Ismail AA

    Selam Dawit,

    I think you are right that the domestic grievances you listed outweigh the effects of the regime’s involvement in the conflict in Yemen. Your are also right in stating that the regime did not yet confront the condemnation it deserve for its opportunistic policies of shifting from one source of aid to the other. And, the anti-Saudi aggression Yemeni forces do not have resources and capabilities to retaliate on multiple fronts such as Sudan and Eritrea’s regime.

    Though the compassion of our compatriots is deeply affected by the tragic waste of innocent civilian life and wanton devastation of the country’s assets and infrastructures, they are becoming victims of the burden of economic strain the war and inter-state feuds out there have been causing.

    In Saudi Arabia our people there are being asked to pay for the so called Ibn Salman’s reforms. In addition to losing jobs, the the bread winners being asked to pay for their own and their children’s residence permits. Imagine a family with five children and the father with minimum income or has lost his job. Instead of having heart for this, the regime has been compounding there ordeal by the 2% tax and endless demand for contributions. The regime holds those poor citizens hostages due to the pass port it issues at enormous cost. Thus, I think I could surmise this is what the AT wanted to note through the statement you have quoted.

  • Paulos

    Selam GN,

    Thank you for the great work. I wouldn’t be surprised if the memo gives directives for this forum to be infiltrated too for forumers are being attacked left and right by sore losers.

    • Ismail AA

      Selam Dr. Paulos and Dr. Beyan,

      I add my voice to commend GN for the watchful work that have been done to track and inform us about what the regime says and does. Given the meagre resources available to the dedicated brothers (sisters), the work they have been doing is monumental in quality and credibility. Dr. Beyan has candidly stated how much lack of funds could negatively affect their efforts, and he reminded us of the role beneficiaries of this essential work could and should do.

      It’s not really easy to stand so formidable against an enemy that has everything in hand from guns, spies, prisons, apologists of varied capabilities and funds that can be expended on self-promotion and security at the expense of everything a worthy government of people is supposed to cater for.

      Dr. Paulos is right that one of the areas of activities will be targeting this website, which calls for vigilance on the part of the participants to help the moderators in ways that screens out regime infiltrators from genuine regime supporters who may wish to come in to state their views and engage in meaningful debate.

  • Beyan Negash

    Dear Gedab News,

    Simply put, professionalism at its best! You have earned the respect and the trust of your readers because you handle your news output in such high regard that there is no haste. This teaser is a perfect example. You let your readers know on exactly what you are doing by making sure that the cross referencing checks before you share it in your website is underway.

    And all this is being done by volunteer army of a handful activists who receives not a single penny from any entity except whatever little funding you receive from your readers. I shudder to think the monumental opportunity the opposition is missing by not elevating this august website to have – at least – one full-time personnel who can run its day-to-day operations. The fight that you are undertaking against a nation that has at its disposal country-size coffers to counter your efforts. Wish people understand this in its proper context. The fight is literally between David and Goliath. Please keep the wonderful job that you are doing. Awate website is now several months shy from its 18th anniversary. Keep on keeping on.

    Beyan