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Minister Nesredin Bekit And More Red Tape On Imports

Recently, President Isaias Afwerki silently appointed Nesredin Bekit as Minister of Trade and Industry in the Eritrean cabinet.

Under the newly appointed Minister of Trade & Industry, Eritrean traders are complaining of more difficulties in getting import licenses for small volume of goods for sale in their shops. Applicants were either turned down or had their applications shelved without explanation.

Like all other ministries in Eritrea, the Ministry of Trade and Industry is run from the presidential office which micro-manages the country.

A merchant who used to import different goods from Dubai but is now denied a license told Gedab News, “we reasoned with them that we cannot run our businesses if we are not allowed to import, but they told us we can buy anything we need from Tessenei.

Small traders depend on the Arab Gulf markets, mainly Dubai, to import electronics, gold, clothing and other consumer products. Food and essential items like sugar, cooking oil, coffee, tea and similar needs are mainly imported and distributed by the Red Sea Trading Corporation which also controls a wide network of distribution outlets known as “Retaawi Dukanat” (fair market shops).

The Red Sea Trading Corporation is the economic arm of the ruling party and monopolizes the entire Eritrean economy. It is widely known by its struggle-era code name Bado Tish’ate or “09”.

Nesredin Bekit has worked for “09” and has a rich experience in the trade of the region. During the liberation struggle era, “09” used to smuggle huge quantities of liquor into Sudan after Numeiri declared Shari’a law and banned alcohol. The proceeds were used to buy essential needs of the combatants from Sudanese and Middle Eastern markets.

In the early nineties, many individuals who worked for “09” were accused of embezzlement and corruption and imprisoned. Nesredin was among them but he was released after a brief imprisonment.

During the last decade, Nesredin worked closely with Major General Tekhle “Manjos” Kiflai around the Sudanese-Eritrean border where he established a thriving contraband market in Girmaika and Tessenei. The sleepy town of about 4000 residents a decade ago,Tessenei’s population is now more than 60,000. It has become one of the busiest trading cities in Eritrea due to its proximity to Kassala in Eastern Sudan, which is about 46 kilometers away. The Sudanese Eritrean border is approximately halfway between the two cities.

Contraband trade has become a lifeline of Tessenei, and it serves both Eritrean and Sudanese markets. It has also become the main currency exchange center catering to the needs of smugglers from both countries. Many Eritrean merchants depend on smuggled goods and often the goods are distributed by children for a marginal profit, an income they need to help their parents to survive.

Truckloads of goods offloaded from ships in Massawa leave the port carrying a declaration of “transit good destined to Sudan” but are offloaded in Tessenei. From there it is mainly smuggled to Sudan bypassing custom dues. At the same time, contraband goods from Sudan arrive at Tessenei for distribution in Eritrea. Sudanese lorries swarm Tessenei and nearby villages transporting goods through borders manned by corrupt officials from the two sides.

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  • Hope

    Does it matter though?
    We heard to much of this and that—-
    What we need is a Strategy,the Courage and the means to change things.

  • hope

    The big question is:
    How,when,under what circumstances and in what way?

  • Abinet

    for me it is easier to write one
    ” teret” than to write a page . Besides, sew balew new yemiyageTew.

  • hope

    » EU is ready to engage with Eritrea and contribute to its development – EU Official

    Read more:

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    watch the video below by some opposition of EPRDF government.
    አፄ ፍቅር’s video.

    • Rodab

      Thanks Aman for this important info

      • haileTG

        Thanks Rodab for this important input 🙂 Lol

  • said

    Eritreans arrested for people smuggling

    UK Guardian news paper
    Italian police arrest Eritrean gang who smuggled migrants

    • Hope

      Ahhh,that is “Good News” for the ICC and the HUman Rights Inquiry as they will “expose” the PFDJ involvement…

  • Mahmud Saleh

    Salam Awatistas;

    This answer is strictly to the one and only one Rodab. Rodab, You asked me a question that’s beyond my area of experience. Instead of answering your question which goes, “Could you shed some light on the allegation that 09 smuggled liquor to Sudan? If true, was the EPLF importing liquor from other countries and then smuggle it into the Sudan?” with ” yes” or ” No,” I want to put it in a wider scheme. I don’t know how old you are and your contacts with the revolution and its modus oparandi, but it’s pretty much straight forward that it would have to do some sort of income generating business.My knowledge about 09 is limited, probably your knowledge could be better than mine. It is conceivable some sort of contraband could have taken place, but most of the businesses were registered under individuals who were trusted by the organization. EPLF, ELF, or even EPRDF/TPLF were not recognized entities to do transactions through world financial facilities. I know items were smuggled from enemy controlled, and smuggled into enemy controlled areas. Therefore, smuggling across Sudanese border would be an understood issue. I can not tell you its scope and complexity. I don’t want to give you an answer based on what I heard, since you heard those stories.
    But let’s be honest. Contraband transactions are not unique to us. No country in the world is immune to it. Even Americans with all their modern gadgets and billions of dollars could not control it. As long as there is demand supply should follow. Money is made where there is demand. Eritrea has agreements with Sudan and to my knowledge, the border is open for business. For anyone who knows ABC of commerce, it’s obvious that contraband hurts both governments by diverting away revenues that they should have collected although I can not rule out the presence of contraband, that’s a nonstarter. As far as Tessenei is concerned, I have reliable sources who tell me the town has been booming mostly due to its proximity to Sudan, the only trading partner of Eritrea at this time. I personally take it positively, I don’t give it that much attention. It’s a border town benefiting from legal and illegal trade. If you live in South California visit the border town of Tijuana.

    When I speak of peace with Ethiopia, it’s because I wish the same or even better opportunities open for my compatriots in the south of the country. I hope to see those border areas open for trade and commerce.

    • Hope

      Here we go again Diplomat Mahmoud Saleh…
      Can any one with a real man’s gut challenge the above brutally honest and to the point statements.?
      If we have to buy clients/serious customers and to legitimize our cause—ahh,here we go SAAY,we have to balance issues and try to be credible.
      Wishing bad for my Tessenei,the future #2(after Massawa) Capital City of Business.of new Eritrea.?
      Please,be fair..
      My apology the AT–I messed up again.
      Nothing personal is given or taken here,but kind of emotional reaction.I sometimes forget that it is a serious Opposition website.

    • Abraham Hanibal

      Contraband from private traders may occur now and then, and it may be tolerated to some degree. For example, members of the Rashaida ethnic group were widely involved in this type of trade throughout time. That is their way of life. But the issue here is that the PFDJ economic arm is doing contraband business against its own government and People! This shows the PFDJ-gangs are operating with a kind of one country two systems agenda. This shows that they are ready to do whatever just to hold on to power, irrespective of the people’s well-being.

      • Mahmud Saleh

        salam Abraham
        Yes, Abraham I do agree with your take, and that’s why I am talking in broad terms. The nature of PFDJ”s business is widely talked and written about.

    • saay7


      Do you think people understand the meaning of “By Any Means Necessary”? I think they think it means it is about raising arms only. When in fact it is very literal: By ANY means necessary.


      • Mahmud Saleh

        Ahlan saay;
        Now, Hassebka… don’t wage war against me “by any means necessary.” I was responding to a question that’s way above and beyond my little brain using, oh, any means necessary, including exposing the evil business of pfdj inTessenei.

        • saay7


          When somebody like Mahmuday says “my little brain” folks back home (specially in Metahit) say “atreke.” I said that word a lot and confession: I don’t know what it means:) I fully expect Mahmuday, Semere A and Saleh G to give me its genesis from A to Z.


          • Mahmud Saleh

            Ahlan saay;
            ብወገና መቸም ዝነበረት ኣይትመስለንን። ሰመረ ክምስክር ይኽእል እዩ። I let SG to represent me.

      • Berhe Y

        I agree with you that, the problem is the government of Eritrea, under the leadership of Isayas Afeworki only knows, how to run illegitimate and corrupt operations. And this comes, I think from the way the front was organized and made up. It has no value to begin with, otherwise, I don’t think it was difficult to transform the economy and it’s operation and follow legal legitimate means.

        At the crook of the matter is, that Isayas thinks, he can outsmart (smarter) than the entire world population put together. Because he got away outsmarting ELF, and the DERG, he believes he can do it for ever. The sad part is, there are a lot of Eritreans who believe it.

        For example, during the independence years, Eritrea was using Ethiopian Birr. The official exchange rate was 500 Birr for 100 US dollars. Shaebia setup all their official exchange offices around the world and in the street of Asmara and they were doing the money exchange / transfer. The Eritrean bank rate was 500 similar to the bank of Ethiopia. But their “hawala – HIMBOL” offices around the world, their rate was 700 Birr. And even in Asmara, bado 09 was exchanging for 700 – 750. So naturally people, were using those extra rates than using the official rates.

        More over, they set up offices in Addis Abeba and they were doing the same thing. In a sense they were giving 40% extra birr for every 1 US dollars. That’s fair amount of return so anyone (I think) was using their exchange rate. Then they were using the exchange rate to do what ever that they needed to do…

        The Ethiopian government I think looked the other way, at least they know they can control the Birr at the their bank at least (the print of Birr at least), that what I think.

        But this is NOT enough for Isayas and his operations, and he wanted to get hold of those dollars without doing anything, he wanted it all for FREE. So when Eritrea went ahead and introduced it’s own currency “done in secret from Ethiopia” he demanded that Nacfa and Birr will be at par and have equal value (1 for 1 exchange rate).

        What he wanted to do was, to print so much Nackfa and exchange it with Ethiopian dollar at the same rate. Then use Ethiopian Birr and buy all the goods from Ethiopia and export it or how ever he wanted to use without having any burden to do so.

        This is when Ethiopia said, that’s enough…you have your currency then we deal with US dollars or letter of credit …you can’t have your cake and eat it too..

        The rest as they say is history…

        Abinet, what I would like to bring to your attention is, there is a big difference between PFDJ and the true hard working Eritrean people. The regime started first by destroying the small scale industry Eritrean and destroying the small business in Eritrea from the day it set it’s foot.

        For example, today in Eritrea or at least use to be few years ago..if you have a licence to make cakes, you are not allowed to sell “coffee or cappuccino”, if you have a license “to repair tires” you are not allowed to sell new’s insane the amount of control the regime has over the entire Eritrean economy.

        This is not a government by any means and standard, it’s a parasite system, it’s only object is to suck people out of everything…even the mafia operates in much more civilized ways…

        The future government of Eritrea will be based on mutual respect and mutual benefit of the people and the government and follows the international norms.

        I am waiting anyone to tell me please in the last 23 years this government was in power that ONE thing to the benefit of the Eritrean people, compared to all other forms of governments that we know from the past.

        • Abinet

          Selam Ato Berhe
          You said it all . Ground zero of money laundering was eritrean embassy in addis.
          As you said , and I hope , the future leadership of eritrea will be the exact opposite of the current one.
          Thank you Sir. I love honest people . God bless you .

        • Hope

          Hello Mahmouday,Yohannes and My “Questionable” Cousin SAAY:
          Few facts here:
          When I am “supporting”,NOT Justifying the Contraband(Current and past),I am considering the following:
          -We are dealing with the Politics and Economics/situation of the day,
          -The EPLF has to survive and help Eritreanss in the “Liberated Zones” “By any means possible/necessary”–as it was a “Gov in the Jungle” as some would say it
          -The new Gov of Eritrea in 1991/93 had to deal with a completely destroyed infra-structure with No starter and considering the above situation,it has to continue its own way of doing business to build the completely destroyed infra-structure besides the huge responsibility of dealing with the “new Soldiers,not Freedom Fighters any more”)and their families,and the “to be resettled more than 300,000 Refugees”,etc.
          -As to dealing with the new Ethiopian Gov:
          Here are the FACTS but the FACTS:
          -The New Ethiopian Gov had an “obligation”,at least a MORAL one,if not,a LEGAL one,to help or let the new EPLF Gov help itself in buidling the completely destroyed infra-structure,worth of billions of USD–for the last 40yrs of the previous Regimes.
          -Shying away of the TPLF Gov at that time is but,the least it could do to help the EPLF Gov considering the above destructions for over 40yrs,as PMMZ testifed it by saying :” If Eritreans have/had to ask for a compensation for the 40 yrs old material and human damages,I do not believe that the Ethiopians could afford it for the next centuary”..RIP
          -Consider also the “shying away” of the EPLF Gov to the extent of jailing one of its best Commanders,Gen Bitweded Abreha,for protesting to that “shying away”…when the TPLF Gov and the Ethiopian people were alllowed to use the Ports for free-worth of,what now?Upto -a Billion USD per annum or by the Djbouti Standard,up to $2 Billion.And people are arguing about the minimal “Contraband” Business the EPLF Gov was using with Ethiopia.
          As to the current Alleged ” Contraband” Business:
          Consider the following:
          -Irrespective of the Eritrean Govt’s weaknesses,mischiefs,mistakes,”crimes”,Human Rights Abuse,Eritrea,and by default ,Eritreans,are Sanctioned besides NOT having any chance to do Business with the neighboring Nations,except with the Sudan–due to the Boss of IGAD
          -Directly or indirectly,Eritrea cannot do a “legitimate” Business to run the Government or the Nation.
          And therefore:
          Considering the above obstacles and challeneges,the options are tight and limited,i.e.,the Eri economy is beyond strangulated—-and because of these challenges and strangulations,some one should be smart and should be able to outsmart these evil strategies,motivations,etc…to get out of these strangulations and the ONLY Entity,at least in Africa,which could successfully achieve this seemingly unachievable business ,with NO outside help,again, is but the OLD NEW EPLF.
          And as dawit eloquently said it,here you have–the little Giant EPLF/PFDJ turned the little Tessenei,which was turned into ASHES few yrs ago by the same enemies still trying to strangulate us,has become the little Business Hub of the Gash Barka—and who knows,of the Horn as well in few yrs,God willing/Insh’Allah.
          My point:
          You can play around with your cheap and dirty politics and propaganda but the FACT is the FACT and it is NOT Rocket Science to figure this out as any Third-Grader could figure it out.
          BTW,let me repeat myself:
          -Why don’t we have the GUT and the Courage to consider the most dangerous and corrupted “Contraband “business by the worst enemies of Eritrea,which have made/forced Eritrea to be involved in a “Nation and life-saving Non-lethal,and Benign Contraband Business”?
          If you need some examples:
          -Consider the following:
          -The role of the western world backed by the NATO in dealing with the multibillion(claimed to be upto $300 billion per annum) from the Heroin Plantations of Afghanistan
          -Read and watch the movies about the multi-billion-dollar but dangerous Drug Contraband of the western world and its Intelligence Services
          -Consider about the under-cover a $Trillion USD worth of Arms dealing by the western world and the Eastern Block too–not to mention that of Israeal,Saudi Arabia,etc—-What about the under -cover funding of the ISIS,the Syrian Terrorists,etc—by the same so called defenders of “Democracy and Human Rights”?
          -Consider seriously what our Southern Neighbor has been doing to its own peole; and to the Eri Youth and kids in the name of Refugees.What about the role of the TPLF Gang Contraband business in Somalia?
          -Can we deny the fact that the TPLF Gang has ripped off the aid money to the poor Ethiopians-worth of $13 billion over the last 8-10 yrs?What about the multi-billion dollar land-grab business in Ethiopia?Do you have any clue about as to how much the TPLF Gang has been making out of this land Contraband?
          -Think about the $12 Billion loss within few yrs by the new S Sudan Gov/people due to Contraband and corruption
          Bottom line:
          -No need to cry about the minimal , benign,nation-saving ,”Contraband” Business by PFDJ
          -If it is a norm for others to do a lethal Contraband,it should be more than a NORM for the PFDJ to do a non-lethal Contraband in order to survive and to build Eritrean Cities
          But if your stand is,as Mr.Amanuel Biedemariam(sounds/rings a bell,huh?),said it correctly,that it is ok for others to do illegal stuff and get away with it right and left but it is bad and should be sanctioned if it is done by Eritrea.
          Good Luck…

          • Berhe Y


            I replied this to your prevoius comments but I will add few more and post it again. sorry for cross posting..

            What I would like to add is about keep referring..Unless you are ignoring the facts on purpose, the UN sanction does not impact any business development, private or government, the public or private individuals or any other development activities. It’s specific target on military imports/export as well as individuals who are responsible for such illegal activities.

            First of all, the PFDJ is a lethal illegal armed dealer, may be that’s a topic for another time, but you only need to look at the history of the Tamil Tigers, and others who was supplying them with arms.

            The problem with this type of thinking is, you are following the failed route of PFDJ. You wanted to take advantage of others, thinking you can outsmart them. You are thinking you are smarter than the Sudanese people and you wanted to take advantage of them. That’s not fair and it’s wrong, sooner or later you will lose. You see there is no short cut to life, you have to work for it and you have to earn it. There is a saying that I heard…”Those who steal NEVER die rich”, which I think is the case for the most part. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have business savvy or street smart, far from it, which is called competitive advantage.

            Teseney does deserve to thrive and prosper like any other Eritrean city, but it shouldn’t be at the expense of Sudan and that of Massawa (Eritrea natural port). What you have in Tessenay is contraband which will suck the economy, which out producing anything tangible (like produces something) instead import goods from the Sudan and sell it to the rest of the Eritrean population. Unless the goods are produced in Sudan (which I don’t believe they are), it would make sense that they would be imported via Massawa (because it’s cheaper at the source) rather than paying premium (as will be the case if buying it in Sudan).

            The problem is, if you do really care about the welfare of Teseney and the people who live there, you would at least read the history of the city and find out how it thrived during the Italian occupation and what it’s competitive advantage was. Between Sudan and Ethiopia, we have 120 million people to trade and do business with, think about it.

            So you are okay, with prostitution, you are ok with drug dealing, you are okay with arms dealing, it’s a slipper slope. As people and as human beings, we should strive to do the best that we can and teach our children there is better way to live, like all parents before us. We can’t allow some low life, thug, Hatela Gilet Tsenqaqi, rule over us and his corrupt way be our way. We are God fearing, low abiding, hard working people.

            Courtesy of Wikipedia

            BTW, leave Sudan, Ethiopia, America alone and just worry about your own backyard. Let their people worry about them. If they are doing really bad and are engaged in illegal activities, as long as they don’t affect you, let their people worry about. There are a lot of other countries that you can chose from (who are growing their economy and their public legally) that we can emulate and copy if we need to.

            Berhe Y

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Ahlan Hope;
            I understand your point:
            The Issue of contraband, no politicking about it, I replied to that effect yesterday. No country is immune to it. But you will have also to be fair to understand those who criticize PFDJ business practice which has chocked the nation. Contraband in its basic meaning is not going to go away even after political changes, but Eritrea will regain its resources by confiscating assets PFDJ has illegally acquired at the expense of killing the national economy. Remember why we are here. It was a man made political choice. Once that track is reversed and policies that allow citizens to do legal business are in place, contraband will naturally be sidelined to smuggling illicit items only which all decent Eritreans will fight off. The rest is your analysis which you are entitled to. I understand some characterizations are so broad and generalizing that they seem to hurt the nation rather than targeting the prime entity at the source of our problems. They may annoy you, but stress on the mainstream ideas.Tessenei will keep growing provided that peace is maintained on that periphery. But given the history of PFDJ, do we have guarantee that our beloved Tessenei will keep booming? Eritrea needs a sound development strategy, it should give away with tactical and adhoc and erratic arrangements based on personal relations of the leaders of Sudan and Eritrea which could warm up and cool down depending on the temperature of their relations. I enjoy your spirit, keep it up, and zero in on the cause. You will find comments that are not as specific as you would like them to be, but that’s a price you should consider if you are entering into give and take dialogue.

          • Hope

            Absolutely true but I am just reacting to that specific “Tessenei Contraband Business making Tessenie a little hub of Business..bla…bla”.
            In my opinion,these hiccups and erratic issues are but temporary and the struggle should be strengthened so as get what we deserve….
            Unfortunately,for lots of reasons,the system is entrapped and put itself in a difficult situation and is being forced to do unusual things,though acceptable when others do it for whatever reasons.
            Be that or this,irrespective of the factors that have led to this businesss; and irrespective of the outcome,in the short term,if it is gong to help the Eritrean economy one way or another based on the dire situation that we are in,well,let it be…NOT for the sake of the System but for the benefit of the poor people of Tessenei in particular, and the People of Eritrea in general.
            Why would others be “allowed” to do whatever they want to do for what ever reasons but ERITREA or PFDJ is NOT allowed to do some basic Life Support business?

          • Tesfabirhan WR

            Dear Hope,

            Are you trying a principle of “If you don’t convince them, confuse them”. You guys (PFDJ puppets, though you are of another category puppet) are all master in this regard.

            Dear Hope, I kindly request you to not repeat “Tessenei Contraband …” notion. You are just diluting the message. Eveyone wants Eritrea to boom. By now, we could have spoken about Free Zones and shipping lines. Tessenei is a hub and at any time it will be booming. There is no politics here.

            The issue here is a wrong way of doing things. I can assure you though the hardest thing that Eritrea will face is to get rid of black-market (Contabanda) and corruption. Tessenei before was known for its hard working agriculturalists. Today, the main evil business activities are run in Tessenei. Everything in Tessenei is Illegal and this is because of PFDJ system.


          • Abinet

            Yeleba aynedereq melso lib yaderq
            Why don’t you just say “ethiopia yegarachin eritrea yegilachin ” instead of writing pages of nonsense.
            It is this kind or entitlement and arrogance that is bringing Eritrea to her knees.
            You can steal and cheat for a while but not to the extent that makes you like Singapore or whatever you want to be.
            “MesheT yelemede enatun yssmamal
            banededew esat erasun yagayal”

          • Hope

            Your style of debate-is boring despite your articualtion.
            This is going to be my final note to you about the past ethio-Eri relationship(Ethiopia yegarachin,Eritrea yigholachin “style of bluff):
            If you have to claculate things seriously,what Eritrea gained from Ethiopia during 1991-1997 period is but minimal–a nan0- fraction compared to what mamma ethiopia ganed during those 7 yrs.
            Here is why:
            7yrs x$ 1Billion pr yr of Port services=$7 Billion at least–if not, upto 12 Billion USD using the Djbouti Standard.
            How much do you think Eritrtea gained?
            Most likely less than $100Million USD per yr.x7yrs=less than $1 billion.

      • Mahmud Saleh

        Dear saay (AKA questionably Hope’s cousin)
        Eritrea needs people like you who can withdraw to their offices for 5 minutes and come up with multiple menu of solution choices. Don’t get me wrong, I am not appreciative of PFDJ, nor do I have any itty-bitty soft spot for it. It caused us immense suffering (psychological and physical).
        You raised Sabe lead ELF-PLF. Well, Sabe and his organization was declared as ዘይሃገራዊ ሓይሊ (ተርጅም) in the first organizational congress of EPLF in 1977, So up to 1981 everything was fine, Sabe did not bother EPLF, he mainly stayed close to ELF (both of them had a not-so-friendly relationship). Anyway, when ELF/EPLF civil war entered its final phase in 1981 (the front stretched from Ekok-way north-along the Barka River south ward all the way up to Debr Sala and parts of HalHal. So, the Sudanese entered between the warring groups and worked hard for a ceasefire. I believe ELF demand was that EPLF recognized Sabe force as a “national” force presumably to increase its negotiation latitude and augment its size . No explanation was given to us, but Durue had called one evening a meeting in Arag and explained that it was in the interest of the “national force” to recognize Sabe, and that one way or another, it would be a final engagement with “reactionary” forces. ድሕሪ ሕጂ ጭርጭር ዓበደ ከብቅዕ ኣለዎ። ህግሓኤ ብቅድሚትን ድሕሪትን እንዳየወቐዓት ቃልሲ ክተዕውት ኣይትኽእልን እያ። His explanation was that the recognition of Sabe was done merely not to offend the Sudanese but that it won’t have any effect in the conclusion of the matter. Since there was no time to call for a congress to reverse the decision taken in the first congress of 1977, he reasoned, we were asked to vote to reverse that decision, and we did. I don’t remember any debate. My son is nagging me, let me shorten it and come to your reply above, I follow the following:
        1. Dismantle PFDJ’s established way/culture of doing business (socio-economic policies and practices, political monopoly, unjust treatment of citizens, bad foreign policy which hops from one blunder to the next…)
        2. Weed out all untamable or irreparable ideas, make sure criminals face justice in a way that dawns national reconciliation
        3. Reform, restructure, rehabilitate and modernize state institutions.
        All the above must be done with the full participation of the people.
        All the above will ensure we play by the rules and become a respected member of the international community. I think citizens reserve the right to use all legal means to see that happening, including reporting the ascending of minister “contraband”, not my expression! ወሪዱኒ!

        • Nitricc

          Mahmuday what is up? It seems long time since we talked. They send me to the place the most I hate to be. Jjjjjjjjjjj
          I like what you have to say but when say the word “dismantle” you are making me nervous. The problem, I will say the major problem with toothless opposition is that they Never differentiate what is who within the current government. They never separate the good from the bad deeds. That is the main reason they haven’t moved an inch and they won’t in the future. Therefore, it must be a time of period that we can use what to keep and what to change. We must take the time who is who. Who did what. This is the main reason that I believe we need some one strong can take over and fire away. All PFDJ are not bad people. And everything PFDJ does are not wrong. Till we look at every angle and go about our business, if not, let PFDJ stay, because the other side is worst. Sure, we need change but to what are we changing is the point.

          • Mahmud Saleh


            Those who confuse nation and political
            organization/government are very few. I repeated to the dismay of some that not
            all registered PFDJ members are bad, I said those who are sustaining the life
            of the nation under difficult situation and PFDJ’s hassles are my heroes. When
            I say dismantle, I am using it in a specific term and narrowly, that’s
            dismantle dictatorial political culture and tendencies, nothing more. If you
            follow thru with #2 and #3 you will understand my point. Good to hear from you
            buddy. Eritrea’s problem is solvable if we are good at diagnosing it right.

          • Abraham Hanibal

            When we say PFDJ and blame the organization for the diverse problems; we’re not, of course, refering to the hundreds of thausands of registered “members”. Because we know that these thausands of People are there merely to present a kind of legiimacy to an organization which doesn’t even respect the slightest rights of its “members”. These People haven’t even had the possibility to weigh on the policies of the organization so that they could make an informed decision on their membership. People have, for example, to register in the PFDJ in order to get any economic or social rights necessary for their life needs. We know that decisions are made within a clique, with one soul at the helm of the PFDJ system; the “members” never have any chance to determine or have a say on “their organization’s” policies.

        • Saleh Johar

          If you make the above points into a manifesto, I have already signed up as a follower.

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Ustaz Saleh,
            I will try and you get ready with your red pen.

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Selam Mahmuday,

          I can’t agree more in your established solid stand, crystallized in your three points towards the end of your comment. I gave you thumbs up.

        • Tesfabirhan WR

          Selam Mahmuday,

          Your three points plan are the summary of our 12 months debate. At last you made your stand clear, in political processing technology , you came across Centrifugal force (Centrifugation) and the cream has been clarified (Clarification).

          1. Dismantle PFDJ’s established way/culture of doing business (socio-economic policies and practices, political monopoly, unjust treatment of citizens, bad foreign policy which hops from one blunder to the next…)

          2. Weed out all untamable or irreparable ideas, make sure criminals face justice in a way that dawns national reconciliation

          3. Reform, restructure, rehabilitate and modernize state institutions.

          Cream of 2014 debate!

          Out-come of Awate University, Department of Political Processing Technology.

          Write a manifesto and I will be happy to distribute the panflets.


        • Abraham Hanibal

          Dear Mahmud Saleh;
          I found your three-point action plan as timely and important steps towards establishing a better Eritrea. I hope those who are actively engaged in the opposition camps would take time and discuss among each other a unified road map that would lead Eritreans towards creating a promising nation. As an Eritrean, I’m prepared to take my share of that responsibility through actions that fit my capabilities and possibilities. I believe the People is capable of bringing the desired changes in Eritrea; but for that to happen, there is a need of a robust and dedicated leadership, with clear and unified agenda to bring democratic changes in our country.

          ኩላትና በታ ዘላትና ዓቕሚ እንተ ኣበርኪትና፣ ልዕሊ ኩሉ ከኣ ዕድመ ስልጣን ኢሳያስን ህግደፍን ካብ ዘናውሑ ተግባራት (ማለት ምኽፋል 2%፣ ኣብ ንግዳዊ ንጥፈታት ህግደፍ ምስታፍ፣ ምጥቃም መርበባት ሓዋላታት ህግደፍ፣ ኣብ ማሕበረ፡ ቁጠባውን ፖለቲካውን ንጥፈታት ህግደፍ ምክፋል፣ ወዘተ) ምስ ንቑጠብ እቲ ንብህጎ ለውጢ ናብ ዝበለጸት አርትራ ኣብ ዝሓጸረ እዋን ክገሃድ ይኽእል ኢዩ።

  • Hope

    Hello All,
    Simply AMAZING!
    Kudos to you the old new 09!
    I still love the remnant EPLF part of the PFDJ.
    Who else could do that other than Shaebia?
    Here is the Hypocrisy:
    If the Super Powers and the richest nations in the world are allowed,and is ok for them to do such a LUCRATIVE but lethal under-cover drug Dealing Contraband all over the world,
    -If the TPLF Gangs are allowed ,and is ok for them to do such a similar Contraband right and left and unlimitedly despite that they have no restrictions to do any “Non-Contraband” business,and to the extent of selling Eritreans and stealing their Identity for a Lucrative Contraband,
    How, and why in the world is the PFDJ to be blamed for doing a minimal and non-lethal Contraband only to survive and to keep alive the already strangulated economy by the very and same entities,who are doing all kinds of “Controband Busineess” under the Sun just for an extra cash?

    Did you say–the once “sleepy” city with only 4000 population is thriving like crazy with exponentially increasing population and economic boom due to the Contraband?
    I wish it could do even much better by any means possible,let alone by Contraband.
    Remember,Tesenei City swallowed up our heros in the worst case scenario never seen in the history of the Eri Armed Struggle,in the words of the Senior EPLF/EDF Commanders for NOTHING but due to the help of the Sudanese Gov during the last offensive in 2000…and you are telling me that,that kind of Tesenei does NOT deserve such an economic boom with the well deserved “help” of the same Sharmxxxta Sudanese Gov,which was responsible for the destruction of the same city?
    Get a life,people!
    Be responsible and show us some respect. As Mr Amanuel Biedemariam said it eloquently,it seems that it is ok and acceptable norm when other nations mess up get away with it but it is Illegal ONLY and will be sanctioned when Eritrea does the least of what the others do.
    Are you mad and jealous for this?
    Huh,that is interesting.
    I will rush for doing some lucrative business in Tesenei then after I pay off the remaining 2% Rehab Tax.

    • Berhe Y


      First of all, the PFDJ is a leathal illegal armed dealer, may be that’s a topic for another time, but you only need to look at the history of the Tamil Tigers, and others who was supplying them with arms.

      The problem with this type of thinking is, you are following the failed route of PFDJ. You wanted to take advantage of others, thinking you can outsmart them. You are thinking you are smarter than the Sudanese people and you wanted to take advantage of them. That’s not fair and it’s wrong, sooner or later you will lose. You see there is no short cut to life, you have to work for it and you have to earn it. There is a saying that I heard…”Those who steal NEVER die rich”, which I think is the case for the most part. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have business savvy or street smart, far from it, which is called competitive advantage.

      Teseney does deserve to thrive and prosper like any other Eritrean city, but it shouldn’t be at the expense of Sudan and that of Massawa (Eritrea natural port). What you have in Tessenay is contraband which will suck the economy, which out producing anything tangible (like produces something) instead import goods from the Sudan and sell it to the rest of the Eritrean population. Unless the goods are produced in Sudan (which I don’t believe they are), it would make sense that they would be imported via Massawa (because it’s cheaper at the source) rather than paying premium (as will be the case if buying it in Sudan).

      The problem is, if you do really care about the welfare of Teseney and the people who live there, you would at least read the history of the city and find out how it thrived during the Italian occupation and what it’s competitive advantage was. Between Sudan and Ethiopia, we have 120 million people to trade and do business with, think about it.

      So you are okay, with prostitution, you are ok with drug dealing, you are okay with arms dealing, it’s a slipper slope. As people and as human beings, we should strive to do the best that we can and teach our children there is better way to live, like all parents before us. We can’t allow some low life, thug, Hatela Gilet Tsenqaqi, rule over us and his corrupt way be our way. We are God fearing, low abiding, hard working people.

      Courtesy of Wikipedia

      BTW, leave Sudan, Ethiopia, America alone and just worry about your own backyard. Let their people worry about them. If they are doing really back and are engaged in illegal activities, as long as they don’t affect you, let their people worry about.

      Berhe Y

      • Hope

        My reply is missing in Action–under moderation.
        .Let us be realstic and practical,not just “rational”.
        Talk about the Issue of Darfur,Libya,Syria,Iraq,the TPLF Role in our case and Somalia,etc–if you to talk about Tamir Tigers–and make sure you understand the details about the Tamir Tigers–and the role of the Western Intelligence–not to mention their role–that of the Mossad included,in the case of Darfur..
        Compare and Contrast….balance issues,consider the respective situation,etc—You cannot judge unilaterally and conveniently.

  • Rodab

    Nesredin was implicated on the latest SEMG report.
    “The Monitoring Group has identified Nusredin Ali Bekit, who was the manager of the Teseney branch of the Red Sea Corporation until July 2014, for his role in the trafficking of weapons from Eastern Sudan. At the time, Mr. Bekit was reporting to Colonel Tesfaldet Habteselasie, who is understood to be in charge of security and the financing of armed groups in the President’s Office. Mr. Bekit has since then been promoted to Minister of Trade and Industry.”

    Could you shed some light on the allegation that 09 smuggled liquor to Sudan? If true, was the EPLF importing liquor from other countries and then smuggle it into the Sudan? I am assuming ‘dumu dumu’ was the only liquor produced in Mieda.

    • Semere Andom

      Hi Engineer Rodab:
      If you must know one thing about EPLF to give you an insight into their inner intrigues is, they never shy away from selling anything that makes them money or helps them succeed in their goals. Smuggling liquor was no brainer. It is not even just smuggling, they would confiscate the liquor from Eritreans, they levy them penalties and then they sell it, literally without any overhead. And those Eritreans who made it without being caught by EPLF, they were their supporters in the Sudan. According Yemane T in assenna they were even selling “hashish”. Yemane T named names of people who were in charge of that operation.
      That is why the PFDJ’s MO did not just spring in Asmara.
      Not only that EPLF would sell young beautiful Eritrean women to the Sudanese generals if the corrupt generals prevented the EPLF goods that were transferred to Sahel through the port or the land. Speaking of which some former tegadeltiy allege that the ELF was the first one to buy the broadcasting radio, but it was stuck in the Sudanese port, EPLF bought its broadcasting radio later, but EPLF ‘s was implemented first and started its work almost immediately because the unethical group sent women for the Sudanese generals while ELF negotiated its way through more ethical means.
      People should not be surprised at the smuggling of liquor, what do you expect from a an alliance of killers who killed fro pleasure as we are finding now,

    • Hope

      R U serious that the EPLFite Mahmoud Saleh is going to answer question with a ” Yes” ?
      Come on.
      Not only dimu dimu and whiskey Contraband, you have to do any thing possible to raise money to feed and arm the bare-foot Tegadalay during those times.

  • T..T.

    The Isayas group (within the ex-Front or present Party) have engaged
    and excelled in contraband business since long time. They use their smuggling and contraband
    strategies for petrifying population of nations with the speed of crushing
    local-economy to destroy a country. Its
    impact is worse than regime change and its fomented endless civil war.

    The contraband business helped the Isayas group to know the neighboring countries like the back of their hands or their empty stomach. During the 1970-1980s, their contraband business crushed the economy of The Sudan and as the result the value of the Sudanese pound declined from 30 pounds for every USD100 propelling to its weakest of 1300 pounds for every USD100.

    Similarly, the group emptied Ethiopia during 1990s siphoning almost all the revenues from its exports. The group created a powerful structure of smuggling out and smuggling back Ethiopian coffee and sugar for sales inside Ethiopia at triple price. The group was free from confiscation risks when its agents exported trucking goods to Djibouti for exports. Instead, the trucks made U-turns and smuggled
    back across the border into the capital city of Addis Ababa and others. The Ethiopian government to earn hard currency had the prices of sugar and coffee cheaper than the prices for the local
    markets. Here, again the agents of the group bought sugar and coffee for exports at cheaper price to be exported as the products of Eritrea through Massawa and Assab pushing Ethiopia down the list as exporter of coffee.

    The Ethiopians, unlike The Sudanese, claim having thousands of eyes against the group to protect itself, while The Sudanese are using tracing bank checks approach to get to the group.
    However, The Sudanese are not taking action because the caregiver, Qatar, is paying them in damages-compensation for the destructions caused by its baby. The Djiboutian government has
    taken safety measures by disconnecting itself with the group’s upper-limit and lower-limit (any Eritrean who comes into Djibouti is considered an enemy). The worst damage is on Eritreans because they
    are made look like criminals anywhere in the region opposed to their previous status as the most welcomed people in the region.

    • Abinet

      T.T (Truth Teller)
      Thank you . You are one honest person in the face of earth . You read my mind . I was so tempted to write about it .
      I have said before our r/p in those years (91-98) is the cause of every problem imaginable .
      The coffee deal , some call it urban legend.
      What is amazing is they start contraband in The Sudan, (liquor ) through ethiopia( basically everything ) ended in eritrea( people) . The word mafia doesn’t even start to describe their life long illegal activities . Shame.
      Thank you again, truth teller (T.T)
      God bless you.

  • Tesfabirhan WR

    Dear AT,or

    Thank you for this great revealing news.

    I want to share with you how the transit business works.

    For the last 10 years, traditional gold mining became so common in many parts of Eritrea, such as Mihlab and its environs, aroud Barentu, Awgaro, Zara, near Engerne etc. Those who collect gold in a traditional way were forced to sell to a person appointed to that site. The cost per gram was around 1000-1200 nakfa and is quite high and very rewarding for those who got a chance to work (and sure many lifes passed while digging deep wells).

    Those who collect the gold re-sell to 09. 09 collects and the gold and after rmaking some clarification process, they take this pure and of high quality gold to Sudan or the Middle East. There, they sell gold in hard currency which later is used for purchasing goods to be imported.

    In short, gold is collected from traditional gold miners, clarified and shipped illegally to other coutries. This generated ample amount of hard currency for 09. It is not different from previous EPLF trading system.

    In this way, some deficiets in hard currency is covered and helped PFDJ to survive with all its bottlenecks. Since the starting of Bisha Mining, this activity is decling but still good amount of hard currency is generated by this kind of trading system.

    During the revolution time, liquor helped EPLF to finance its basic needs and for the last 10 years PFDJ dictatorial era Illegal Gold Trading system.

    Thank you again

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  • haileTG

    Selamat AT,

    This was a beautiful article to read. A nice editorial graphic of a sleepy town in a hazy twilight. A pecurarity that sprangs to mind is the remark that said “Nesredin Bekit has worked for 09 and has a rich experience in the trade of the region. During the liberation struggle era, 09 used to smuggle huge quantities of liquor into Sudan after Numeiri declared Shari’a law and banned alcohol.” And of course, his expertise must have come handy when the report went on “…During the last decade, Nesredin worked closely with Major General Tekhle “Manjos” Kiflai around the Sudanese-Eritrean border where he established a thriving contraband market in Girmaika and Tessenei.” And I presume, my friend saay wouldn’t wish us to go without such “regionally attuned” state craft in post IA Eritrea 🙂


    • saay7

      Hailat The GREAT!

      ወይለይ ሓዲሽ ባጎኒ! ኣንታ ባዓል ካሮሳ ምለሳ ምለሳየ!!

      እነዴትሮ ንመለስ! I fear you are quoting something I have forgotten:)

      Ok. When I said statecraft, I mean this Hailat: we (eritreans) over the last 23 years have had some technology transfer and knowledge-base transfer in the fields of: healthcare, education, energy, land management…. and I would hate for us to set reset and start all over again because we have a whole bunch of people who want to take us back to 1991:)

      My belief is (and I have many pieces of evidence that I hope to sit down with you and discuss) all the corrupt, vile, behavior that is going on in Eritrea is a case of the flunkies trying to please the boss. Remove the boss and a lot of the the vile, corrupt, venal behavior goes away. My view is: never mind the body of the snake, go after its head.


      • Semere Andom

        Selam Saleh:
        A comment invites more questions 🙂
        Who want us to go back to 1991?
        How do you know about this?
        who said IA’s ape understands?
        What does it mean to go back to 1991
        What is the difference between dismantle, weed out
        Does dismatle and weed out refer to dismantling and weeding out mean we need to apply them to the bridges, dams,
        Who is PFDJ, who is EPLF?
        Who is going to understand the “Fikushima” tainted study?
        Don’t you think that sewra Eritrea dismanatled and weeded out all the old boss pleasing attitude with revolutionary traits that was instilled during the armed struggle that the neo-andnets are trying to erase
        the question are many about this comment but because of national buildling tasks for now my choice, our choice is silence

      • haileTG

        hey saay,

        Correction: ካሮሳ ንናይ ውሽጢ ዓዲ ሸቃጢ መዲድ እያ ትምልከት። ንኮንትሮባንዲስታ፡ ባዓል ባሊላ ምለሳ ምለሳ’ዩ 🙂

        Here is the brute logic: you concede the claim that the problem being that the ‘necessity born’ approaches of informal trade continued into independence. Such informal approaches manifest in complex networks, links, relationships, illegality and what have you. Even what mahmuday said about fronting individuals for business operations, are the mere sanitized version. You can’t front individuals as business owners to procure armaments and there were also rumored involvement in narcotics. Such rackets are highly complex and controlling (they exert back criminal control and hold on the actors). Simply because there was independence, those relationships don’t get suspended (and they are usually two way). Wedi Vacaro have told us how IA spent time dealing with notorious criminals in Italy. It is a life long relationship. It doesn’t get broken off easily. All of Africa is rife with contraband, but all of Eritrea is run by contraband. Do you know that at the moment Eritrea’s official export is recorded to be only mining export by Nevsun? The figure is about over 96% of total export. They moved banking to a private company, they sell fishing license to Russia illegally to depopulate our fishing stock. Saay, these are thieves and that means criminals. This is the very reason why you should Re-start. More of these same people is not needed. They should have been discarded of at independence or 1997 at the least. Short of gaining independence, they are actually the most backward of Eritrean society in every sense of the word. After independence, the country got retarded and became backward, the young fleeing or trafficking the fleeing are post independence products of these people who are honestly speaking backward and ignorant. How could they be sophisticated in anything if they lived decades in no man’s lands and caves, killing for a living and thieving and lying to justify their existence? They may know how to fill forms but visit Eritrea, you would rather be met by Indian Tiger than ex-tegadelti in any office you visit. Why do you think the young feel extreme anger towards them? Saay, these people have brought independence and we should recognize that. At the same time, they are the backward section of the nation that have now infected every aspect of life irreparably. They tried airline, they failed. They tried fisheries, failed. They tried free zone, failed. They tried tourism failed. Education, failed…. ቅበጾም ሳልሕ ዓርከይ። ኪዱ ንብሎም ኣሎን፡ እንተ ኣብዮም ግና፡ እዋእ – ኣደራራዕ ኣይክተርፍን እያ:-)


        • Amanuel Hidrat


          Well said my friend. Saleh will not give up on them for unknown reasons to us. No one will know except himself and he will fight to crown them defend them as the best statecraft Eritrea has never seen (Eritreans knows the governance of PFDJ only they don’t know the alternative) which in the eye of the public are the most notorious criminal gangs. Hold your grip strong please b/c you argument is plausible and factual and you will be remembered for that. The young generation surely know their enemy and it is the PFDJ value system and their enforcers. So continue your argument to empower the young generation as oppose to PFDJ-2 in future Eritrea.

          Amanuel Hidrat

          • Fnote Selam

            Dear Amanuel,

            As I have said in my previous post I learn quite a lot from Saay (not necessarily agree with all his conclusions). You have raised an important point here, I have also observed that he seems to know certain things that the average Eritrean does not know. It might be as simple as that he has a different outlook, who knows….I guess we will have to wait and see. But in the mean time, I have to commend all the people who challenge him here.

            Best wishes,


          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Fonte Selam,

            Sals argument is clear and an unambigous at least to me. His preferred arrangement of government is an executive fiat of civil and military bureaucracies to govern the heterogeneous society which tears down the social fabric of our society. existing in the current. His focus is only on Issayas and hasn’t any problem on the structure of the government, its institutional relationship of the state of Eritrea. He believes there is a statecraft of PFDJ that is conducive for economic, health, land, social, political development. You know and I know, that statecraft means “the art of government and diplomacy” and we know PFDJ has failed in both instances. Currently I am the antithesis to sals argument, ideologically and philosophically. I believe PFDJ is the anathema of Eritrean dreams. I think our positions is crystal clear and are opposite to each other, one looking for PFDJ-2 to transition Eritrea, and the other “independent technocrats” like that of Tunisia and Burkinafso which allows “equal level field” for the existing political/parties and fair and equitable sharing in the political and economic life of our social groups. So far not only I knew his strategy but also his maneuvering tactics. Therefore what you see is an ideological clashes.

            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Fnote Selam

            Dear Amanuel,

            That is an interesting explanation. I will keep on reading you guys (along with the banter :)).

            Thanks for your time,


        • saay7

          Salamat Haile TG:

          ኣንታ ሓይላት እዛ ባጎኒ ምልክታ የብላን ድዩ? እንታይ ኻ ድኣ ከም ዓዲ ገሊኦም ቱፋሕን ኣራንሺን ኩሉ ትሓዋውሶ?:)

          1. Yes I realize that 95% of Eritrea’s exports are from mining and it’s all exported to Canada and, in that regard, the road to Tessenei is of far less interest than the road to Massawa (and from there, by ships, to Canada). This was going to be my end of year Al Nahda report but kab tokeskayo: )

          2. I will say it again: over the last 23 years, Eritrea has developed some experts in medicine, infrastructure, education, land policy, energy and mines, tourism, water, banking and finance, national defense, and yes even justice. Eritrea can ill afford to have all these people who know how to do things the right way but were frustrated by Isaias Afwerki to have a new people with their own new team (every manager/leader brings his/her own team) have 20 years of Telmedenism. (it is copyrighted Sem A, but go ahead use it.)

          I will keep it super simple. Have you listened to the interview given by Kibrom Dafla? Now, would I rather have Dafla (reporting to a new boss) running Eritrean airlines or would I rather have a whole new people reporting to new bosses? Everything that you are itemizing as a failure is not due to incompetences of the technocrats but the insane leadership of Isaias Afwerki and his adventurous streak.


          • Tesfabirhan WR

            Dear saay7,

            Even Eritrea under PFDJ developed ministry of information and for a decade plus was ruled by a carbon copy of DIA, dictator Ali Abdu which he became a victim of his own system.

            Dear saay7, we are not taking about organizational positions or buildings. Dismantling is not about destroying buildings and it is not about destroying history. It is a political term that is aimed at formating all systems built by one organizational unit.

            As brother Mahmud in his previous comments said that PFDJ didn’t dismantle Derg’s statecrafts at all but he reformed most. This truth testimoned by Mahmud is an indication on how far PFDJ inherited Derg’s dictatorial system.

            And you, are you promoting a third generation of dictatorial system (PFDJ-2) by legitimizing PFDJ. This is simply a joke though I will not be surprised as it is your decade long ideological diffusion to keem PFDJ without DIA.


          • Semere Andom

            Hi Sal:
            Since it is patented I will not use it, but you just “dismantled” our gentlemen deal that there is not copy right infringement between us: I know you told me to use it, but am feeling guilty 🙂

            This reminds me of a joker friend in my essay writing class in grade 9, who used the word “handebtley” and when the English teacher who was English and young asked him what it means the friend replied, it is an adverb from “handebet”, this is before Sebhat E’s “handebtnet”

            You are suffering from “dan” in this topic 🙂

            The killed doctors, accountants, medical technologist, mechanics and managers must be utilized, even during the ghedli era the skills from the Ethiopians developed talent was used in the field, ghedl did not go and reinvent the wheel so to speak. But those tainted, corrupt bureaucrats must either be reformed or shown the door. The apparatus of the PFDJ system dismantled, the military faces the same fate, the skills that it has we will keep, we will be fools to fire all the military because they worked for PFDJ. The personnel will be taught to become the subservient of a civilian rule and so on. The criminals, and there are different shades of them will be arrested. The whole systems must slowly undergo sterilization to kill the PFDJ virus and PFDJ does not mean every card carrying member, every tegadalai, Gadi and I took lots of pains to make this concept super simple before

            The head and the body metaphor is tempting and sexy, but it is not the whole story, the head (the cancer) has metastasized so some parts of the body must either go through the painful chemotherapy or surgery or targeted bombardment, whatever is cheaper in terms what it will cost to the new nation in its chances of survival and its process of reconciliation.

            PFDJ in its 44 years tenure,yes in th beginning it was EPLF and it became PFDJ, has succeeded in creating the sophisticated tapstery of an alliance of killers, and dismantling, weeding out or uprooting is targeted to this network and to them alone

          • saay7

            Wo Wad Andom:

            I will leave the ghost of Ustaz Hneet and SGJ deal with the origins of “Handebetly” but your classmate was pilfering a classic. He was a joke smuggler and he was using the “by any means necessary: make my classmates laugh” principle:)

            I am not sure where our disagreement is, or where my disagreement was with Haile Arkey until he used SelaHta Werar against some unspecified argument about statecraft. It’s really simple: when hiring for positions, you hire experienced people or you are going to spend a lot of time training them. We are already behind because whoever ends up dismantling uprooting etc will take up a lot of our time crawling and learning statecraft.
            Yes, obviously, you also need to do a background check on people before you hire them. The difference between me and you, I think, is that you assume a lot of the applicants have a criminal record whereas I think very few do and the majority of the very few are reformable.

            Is this a good time to remind ourselves of the Stanford Experiment which conclusively demonstrated that most people will follow orders from authorities EVEN if the order is to harm their fellow man?


          • Hope

            Simple but to the point—The Analogy speaks it for itself.
            Yes to “Proper Reconciliation and Raproachment”!
            Had Teg Mahmouday not included the word “reconcilaition”,I would have forfeited my half-Cousinship with him.
            Haile TG,Cousin Sem—Wedi Memhir Hidrat:
            Let us be :Flexible,realistic,visionary,positive,optimistic and reconciliatory…
            We already have been victims of ” Uniquie and Silent Genocide”–as we have lost some or most of our BEST Commanders,Strategists,Doctors,Managers,Scientists,etc—-and if we are going to “execute” the remaining ones simply coz they have been “Agents” of the System–,well, we are just losers.
            Who would expect that Black S Africans and the Racist Apartheid /Superemacist /Genociders would reconcile and live together?
            Who would expect that the Oromos,the Amharas and the Tigreyans would co-exist together–and doing well socio-economically,relatively speaking?
            Compared to your Metaphysical,non-reconciliatroy,discriminatory,irrational,inhumane and non-realistic approach,I believe that of SAAY’s and Vet Mahmouday’s midway approach is far better ,visionary,rational,optimistic, more realistic,considerate,more practical and reconciliatory…
            “”meharu(Mihret ghiberu) mi’enti kitimeharu(Mihret kighiberelkum),afkiru mie’nti kitfikeru,habu(legisu) mi’enti kitwehabu,….
            It is a proven fact that “forgiving and forgeting”–pays back but “hatred and grudges”–will create more hate and grudge…-”
            But that does NOT mean that there will be no judgement,positively,since ,even the Merciful and the Kind God wil be the God and the Lord of “Judgement” at last–

          • Hope

            Real and Full Cousin SAAY,
            This is why I keep telling people that I am a Student of SAAY and Mahmouday,which will never change,btw!
            Haile TG,Aman Hidrat and Prof Tes,
            I am anxious to read your response.

          • haileTG

            Selamat Saay,

            The wagons are well marked and highly recognizable. The problem appears to be that they are cruising an ill marked traffic 🙂 For the sake of clarity, I will identify them each and also describe why/how the traffic has become so ill defined.

            We have three well defined wagons, 1, 2 and 3.

            Wagon 1: is the regime, nhna nsu, hgdef, and its enablers.

            Wagon 2: is the class of our people who profess opposition to the regime and have been primarily Ex-EPLF combatants or leaders.

            Wagon 3: is the rest of the population that makes up the those neither in #1 or #2. This includes all people in the opposition, under oppression or silent but sympathetic to the cause of justice in our country. This is a very broad crossection of the Eritrean landscape.

            Now, before I go to the part that explains why the traffic is ill signposted, let me protest that PFDJ can’t claim the hard working and capable Eritreans working in Eritrea. To those people, PFDJ is enemy #1 of the Eritrean people as it is to me and many others. Those are the people who are on the receiving end of the evil oppression of PFDJ, whose dreams broken, whose toil squandered, whose children dispersed and denied the right to bury their dead. PFDJ bears the full historic responsibility of the extreme suffering Eritreans went through, it is the organized face of the regime, it is physical manifestation of what our people refer as to oppression. PFDJ lives deep inside wagon #1. There is no separation in the minds of our people between hgdef and the regime. And unless this entity is assuredly comes to an end, it is next to impossible to believe peace would ever gain a foothold in our troubled nation. To me and many others, PFDJ is an enemy like no other. Despite hoping that our problems would end without going into a civil war, should things lead to that it would unimaginable for me to take position with that entity. I would throw my full support to ANYONE working to kill it off. It would be difficult for me to imagine there could be a worse enemy to Eritrea and Eritreans than PFDJ. Such feeling is shared by many and it shows you that with continued existence of that entity, the nation would remain fractured.

            Now, why/how are the traffic so ill defined. Well, there is random movements from one wagon to another and this makes it difficult to observe, which wagon you are looking at or where it is headed.

            Wagon 1 tends to sometimes move into wagon 2 to hype a false sense of nationalism. It also moves into wagon 3, to disrupt, sow divisions and create confusion. Wagon 1 has no political grounds, it is purely a desperate survivalist. It enters wagon to claim a credit that it had already squandered and into wagon 3 to turn Moslems against Christians, highlanders against lowlanders, rich against poor, educated class against the uneducated… all for purposes of stealing, conniving and furthering its chances of survival by divide and rule.

            Wagon 2 sometimes moves into wagon three because it senses that is where the future is. But it doesn’t fully trust wagon 3. Again Wagon 3 is not too understanding of it and tends to associate it with wagon 1 haphazardly. So, despite its forays into wagon 3, it tends to get repeatedly pushed back, asked to apologize, always is suspected of being wagon 1 interlocutor and conspirator and what have you. The tragic case is the times when wagon 2 also sometimes is seen moving into wagon one territory. This is because the crimes of wagon 1 are so massive that it would undoubtedly erase the historical credibility of wagon 2. This is why I say wagon 2 need to be firm and hold on to its wagon. Its borrowing of wagon 1 language and offering sympathy to wagon 1, would inadvertently make it party to wagon 1 in the eyes of all wagon 3. Unless the Ex-EPLF can clearly dissociate themselves from visible sentiments to the regime by virtue of their self identification to common background, the regime’s crimes are so huge that even their history risk being tarnished and dismissed as a MISTAKE. The warning is on the war.

            Wagon 3 is really the suffering mass. It is undisciplined, it sometimes gets emotional and despondent towards wagon 2, sometimes joins wagon 1 for narrow interests of self, region or religion and sometimes internal fall out push it to act out by glorifying wagon 1 to simply annoy fellow wagon 3 travelers 🙂

            So, when you see such complex movements and turn rounds, you tend to think the wagons are unmarked and unidentified. But a closer look would reveal that they are very clearly identified.

            All the so called 23 years worth of things that you mentioned are either:

            1) were already there

            2) done by people that are always going to be there

            3) can never be evidenced on the ground and mostly to do wit MoI photoshop

            Every single aspect of life standard has gone lower in Eritrea under the regime. A shrewd dictatorship specifically try to work on Health sector. Do you know why? If you are not sure, I have a peer reviewed research to help explain that it is a must in dictatorship maintenance it is copied with out fail from Cuba to North Korea.


          • saay7

            Selamat Hailat:

            I think I have seen that movie:) Which wagon are the koboro junkies in? 🙂




          • haileTG

            haha..nice clip saay:-) I still admire that knack of yours to pull out such a perfect fit illustration of arguments…much admired.

            Any how, let me go all philosophical on you 🙂 You see saay, my political opposition (from the deep end of wagon 3:) has a goal (i.e. to see the back of PFDJ). Such goal is aimed at seeing the restoration of the Eritrean dignity. And, the value that such an aim is founded upon is that a dignified people make a dignified nation, i.e. the Eritrea we all yearn to see.

            With the above in mind, you are no stranger to the fact that the Eritrean dignity has never been as low as at this time in history and it is needless to list all the gruesome details that attest to that. All these, under the watchful eyes of ….hmmm the state crafters!!!

            Today, I was listening to news bulletin of radio Medrek. It reported that the heads of PFDJ overseas missions were in Asmara, attending a closed meeting regarding the new ID. Recently, I shared that in such a meeting in Sweden, Sirak Bahlibi was talking how the new ID will be denied to justice seekers. The Radio also said pretty much the same. Never mind the impracticality of their hideous proposals, can you see how disturbed that is to even think about? Was there ever a nation that threatened such sadistic measures against its own people? (short of gas chamber that is)? Imagine the utter inhumanity of those sitting and discussing such an ugly stain in the history of the nation, to be told for generation to come! After exposing its population and particularly youth, women and children to the most harrowing of ordeals imaginable, the nation to think up such a putrid plan of action and the state crafters sitting and discussing that!! That is like diging up 65000 martyrs and desecrating their cause. I hope either the news is wrong or those saying it don’t know what they’re talking about. Apparently, the meeting in Asmara was called by IA without attending it.

            saay, can we ever make peace with such a system? This is why I say the wagon 2 guys should firmly denounce them and insist EPLF IS NOT PFDJ!!


          • saay7

            Selamat Haile TG:

            So, you are serious about this wagon thing? With all due respect, hailat, the metaphor of a wagon (discreet, rectangular shapes with limited movements between wagons) doesn’t begin to describe Eritrea and its politics.

            If you are looking for a shape, I suggest fractals. I will get back to that. But here is what is wrong with your wagon analogy. Take, for example, your wagon 1: the Isaias Afwerki regime and whoever you think is within its close-knit of the super-connected. Within this same allegedly close-knit system, there is no “honor among thieves”: one could easily (capriciously and arbitrarily) find himself/herself relegated to wagon 3.

            Within your wagon 3, the victimized folk, you have a whole bunch of Isaiasist ranging from what you labeled as “koboro junkies” to the sympathizers to the outright spies and pretenders.

            But the biggest flaw has to be within your wagon 2. I believe it was you who movingly wrote about how most of the former EPLF fighters (and ELF fighters for that matter), the veterans, are living miserable lives: struggling to pay their rent, raise their children and asking help from those of us who chose flight over fight in the 1980s. To me, wagon 2 are the biggest victims of Eritrea: maimed at war (physically and psychologically) and now being assaulted. Eritrea is not Sparta and we have no warrior class: they owe Eritrea nothing more; they do owe their imprisoned, disappeared, killed comrades solidarity, yes.

            Fractals, as you are know, are self-repeating shapes. And if you want to see fractals application to political science, specially the political science of Africa, I strongly suggest you read this:


            Here’s why fractals applies more than rectangular boxes. If I am saying that Eritrea’s politics is more a self-repeating shape, I have to demonstrate one thing: whatever has happened to the Eritrean people happened to the family of the regime insides INCLUDING the head of state. I don’t want to personalize this but when you consider the fact that the immediate family of the head of state live in exile (23 years after Eritrea’s liberation), doesn’t the fractal metaphor work better?

            Now, if you are using the wagon analogy the way political strategists do–simply it into palatable and digestible form and be willing to accept a huge casualty, I understand it. I don’t agree with it, but I understand it.

            The reason that finding a low-risk solution for Eritrea is because the friends and enemies are not in neat rectangular shapes but in overlapping and self-repeating shapes.


          • Mahmud Saleh

            ዓርከይ ሃይላት (ኣብ መንጎ እንተቀቐርኩምኒ)
            (This comment has been pending for more than 2 hours, so I copied it from my disqus and did small editing. If the original comment shows up, please ignore it).
            A very fascinating analysis. And I want you guys continue the conversation, but I would insert myself here to say a few lines.
            a/ On the wagons: I can understand your socio-political considerations to come up with those three wagons; I think they will keep us debate with a relaxed spirit. They are indeed a splendid way of relaxing and easing up the temper of debaters. They also do have identifiable markers so they become vivid and visual. While I do agree with your strategy to simplify things, I do believe an even more facilitating strategy of categorizing our socio-political forces could be designed. That’s the few versus the masses. I envision two categories the few bad actors on both camps PFDJ and the opposition, and the rest of Eritrean people. Here is why:

            We know that not every card holder does necessarily support the policies of PFDJ. Most of us agree that a small circle, identifiable by its proximity to the center of power and its interwoven economic interest with the center of power, is responsible for the disastrous policies which are responsible for creating the reality we witness. In essence, it’s playing a government running amok. On the opposition side, we better target the bad apples, and in doing so, the criterion should not be their historical background but the role they play in causing the progress of the struggle to digress. They could be of different organizational backgrounds, but their tactics and strategies so far have impacted the struggle negatively. That’s why we have ended up with “silent majority” These few bad apples could be identified by their ethnic, religious, and reactionary political agendas (don’t confuse it with genuine grievances, I am talking about opportunists who have frustrated every attempt to create a united front).

            Therefore, these two groups have a common identifying/binding factor: both tend to hurt the overall struggle for change.

            The second segment, the people: Comprises all justice seeking forces, regardless of their historic background. As you said there may be fluidity, but all in all, their interest aligns. If we use appropriate language, and if we avoid missteps which could create suspicions, I think they can work together. Their destiny is the same.

            b/ On your category of wagon #2, I don’t disagree, and if I do, it’s not basic, but I would correct you on the following:

            ” Unless the Ex-EPLF can clearly dissociate themselves from visible sentiments to the regime by virtue of their self identification to common background, the regime’s crimes are so huge that even their history risk being tarnished and dismissed as a MISTAKE. The warning is on the wall.”

            Let’s be clear here. Semere, a man who is a harsh critic of ghedli made it clear that ghedli belongs to all of us. So, here we have a common understanding. Ex-EPLF, of course, they have to dissociate themselves from the regime; I have not heard a single person who had dissociated from the regime but who remains fighting to salvage the regime. So, we need to be clear on this. I still need an explanation as to why EX-EPLF folks are classified as a separate class occupying a separate wagon. Another point is on the second part of your statement which goes “the regime’s crimes are so huge that even their history risk being tarnished and dismissed as a MISTAKE. The warning is on the wall.” Haylat, this is an unfortunate mishap, because that history belongs to every Eritrean, if you were not directly involved in it, your sister was, your Asmarino deqi ghezawtkha were, your country people were involved in it. And therefore, it’s not reserved only for EPLF ex.tegadelti. I hope you understand the point. I believe it is a product of the cruel experience of PFDJ, but rest assured, ex-EPLF folks have the same bitterness towards PFDJ if not worse.

            On things that have so far been done: I go with #2 “done by people that are always going to be there”

            Everything good belongs to the hardworking people of Eritrea, and everything that has gone wrong belongs to PFDJ.
            MS SALAMTA.

          • haileTG

            ማሕሙዳይ፡ ጸላኢኻ ይቀርቐር፡ ኣሳፍሕ ከም ልብኻ። ንዓኻ ዘይኮነ ንመን 🙂

            I agree with a lot that you explained, but let us develop my discussion on the Ex-EPLF. I would like you to see what I am saying here with heightened sense of the overriding reality Mahmuday. The first reality is that there is an observable distinction between ex-tegadelty and non-tegadelty. We really need to wrap our heads around this core fact before moving on to analyze its relevance to the struggle.

            1 – Many ex-tegadelty do maintain links with their folks but really have dissipated out of public view.

            2 – Recently there has been movements in an effort to get organized as a politic force by ex-tegadelty

            3 – Naturally tegadelty were framed as part of the regime (big wrong in my mind) and instead of finding ways to bridge these trust issue, some unscrupulous opposition launch an unfair attack on them by associating them with issues that the regime is involved in.

            4 – There is historical and conceptual legitimacy for them to exist as a political force.

            5 – saay is betting on a dead horse, it would be better spent on investing that on helping achieve an acceptable legitimacy argument for this ex-EPLF class

            6 – We can say we are all in the same side, but people don’t attach the same weight, credibility or acceptance to these different classes.

            So, mahmuday, this is hardtalk if you will, and the reality is that what was being asked to Dr Assefaw in Sweden last week, what is being thrown at Dr Andebrhan, all the apology, divulge your secrets, you’re spying for the regime… and other clap trap that honestly, also saddens one to see this particular class of our population grappling with. When I see my ex-tegadalit sister, she is in Eritrea and surprising ghedli had done little for her. She is mostly taken care of by the family and has little or nothing to do with the system. And it is this separation that I am talking about.

            I think that you did a superb job the other day in synthesizing the political movement of this class of justice seekers. But, we shouldn’t waste our time on PFDJ that doesn’t even care much for itself and let’s openly talk how we can help define a political face for such group. We can say we’re all united, but ቀልዓለም ከይትኾነና 🙂


          • Saleh Johar

            HaileTG, I am on wagon 3 and I see those you wrongly think are on wagon 2. They are sitting to my left and to my right. In fact wagon 3is packed unlike wagon 2 whose passengers are stuck in the pre-91 era which many have owned and moved on to the present.

          • AOsman

            Haile TG,
            The analogy of wagons 1, 2 and 3 is good to simplify things, but if you were to allocate % guest estimate…..both 1 and 2 would not reach 5% by the most generous person and you will have others taking it to 0.xx% to the minimum by SAAY to one man+few+some diaspora supporters.
            Wagon 3 is not also being disrupted/confused by 1 and 2 only, but they are only grouped as they oppose wagon 1 for the suffering it is causing them (1 goes, 3 may not stick together as they look inward).

            Assuming your wagon analogy is a pyramid of vertical division in terms of closeness to power where there will be slight differences at what level to slice each wagons, the horizontal division at level 3 is the challenge that is stopping wagon 3 from pulling wagon 1 from the driving seat.

            I remember YG at one point promising to write about the 6 decked division of our society (which I thought it would not be any different to that of Ethiopia, which would be counter his thesis), my point here is that the division can be used to weaken opposition or the opposition can start to address them to come up with a best way forward that would prevent wagon 3 from splitting into smaller wagons and grind the whole vehicle to a stop.


        • Tesfabirhan WR

          Dear haile TG,

          Well said but saay7 is in no position to change his deeply rooted ideology. It is a curse people like saay7 advocating for PFDJ-2 and recognize PFDJ as system to have statecraft to lead Eritrea. It is really shame!

          @Amanuel Hidrat, you said it all. saay7 approach is purely ideological and of political view. It is time to expose such fanatists and clear the way for the betterment of future Eritrea. saay7’s recent article is nothing but trying to reinforce his ideology by making PFDJ as a legitimate force. Lets join our hands to clear our ways.


      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Haw Saay,

        ” Anafra Qoukah zeyfeletsi Ney haddanay”

        Here you goes, you are telling us PFDJ has a (world) “statecraft”. What you mean by that is “over the last 23 years have had some technology transfer and knowledge-base transfer in the fields of: healthcare, education, energy, land management, banking, economy, finance, capacity building.” A quote of the day that explains Eritrea is in the good hand and making unforeseen development in the region. The puzzle you have left with is why the young generation are leaving in a drove and why the Eritrean people chose refugee camp in Sudan, Ethiopia, Israel, and elsewhere.

        You hate “to set reset and start all over again” because you don’t believe on the states que and you don’t believe to start on clean slate and start on equal level field. What else can be? As much as you hate to start on a clean slate we also want to remind you that we hate equally to those who encourage the state sque and its state apparatus which become the cause of repression, misery, disunity, distrust, marginalization and migration. I am simply repudiating the ideology of marginalization, divide and rule, repression, monopoly of power and resource, injustice, and the policy of inhumane treatment of PFDJ the “anti-statecraft” which you try to advocate its continuation (PFDJ-2). Where is the fairness and equitable sharing of my friend Saay?

  • Semere Andom

    Here is a report in PFDJ’s supporters here are upbeat by its successful campaign of mosquito hunting/killing and dutifully counting the bodies of the Plasmodium parasite, they deliberately gloss over the other corpses that generation of Eritreans will remember for eternity: the human corpses that PFDJ created. To fasciliate the dismantling of the youth, PFDJ trained criminals, who sell human beings for profit and in this report some of them were captured by European authorities.
    To quote HTG, “Thanks God, I am not on their side”. Yes, it requires wisdom, fortitude and foresight to refuse to be on that side, no matter how long PFDJ will last, no matter even if it will outlast you. And yes some of those who refused to be on the side of PFDJ may win the Noble Prize of Peace one day, and most likely it is an Eritrean woman and her name does not start with S.
    Having the wisdom not to be on their side, the side of the evil is the first kin kith of proverb 9: “The fear of God is the beginning wisdom.”

    • haileTG


      The war that should be targeted towards the source, the PFDJ regime, seems (at
      least it sounds like it) is turned to the victims. PFDJ is the REAL human trafficker
      that needs to be brought to books. These are young Eritreans (for the most
      part) helping each other the best way they knew how. The PFDJ’s current ranting
      about human traffickers is a perverted act victimizing the victim. If 37000
      Eritreans entered European shores in this year alone and the most of over 3500
      would be refugees who died at the sea this year are Eritreans, then who is
      responsible? Does the fact that the oppressed people are induced to acquiescence to a plan designed to drive them
      to their demise (by sheer confusion and ignorance), make the act moral? This
      doesn’t wash away the heart of the matter, the fact that Eritreans are
      triggered to abandon their countries under considerable duress by the regime of
      IA to do so. When the time comes to ask where all the victims are, we shall see
      who is going to be generous enough to absolve the regime off its acts of
      causing all these disasters.


      • Semere Andom

        Hi HTG:
        I agree with you about the master mind of these crimes, in no way PFDJ should be exonerated, but these young people are also the tentacles of the regime by their deeds and am glad they are captured. At the end of the day individuals have responsibility on their actions, we cannot blame circumstances, childhood abuse or any other reason for our greedy and cruel choices.

        The war must be targeted at PFDJ. Spot on! but everyone must face justice according to their crimes and these young people had the choice not to profit from trafficking of Eritreans.

        Do you remember the debate about the Rashaidas 2 years ago? and the awate article identified the pull and push factors. I remember I commented that there is another element to this, the participation of Eritrean criminals, without who the push and pull factors would not have succeeded and that factor, the crooks among us Eritreans, those who want to make a dime on the expense of the suffering of others and these young men are those elements, the lynch pin that keeps the pull and push factors together and they have been among us from the beginning, they were in the Dergi era, they were in the Ghedli era.

        • haileTG

          Dear Sem,

          On the big picture, you’re indeed right. In fact, it is our propensity to resort to unsavory ways instead of expecting our rights to be accommodated that seems to have turned the country into an enclave of an all entangling crime web. Is procuring the services of a human trafficker a crime? Is providing money for the trade to to thrive a crime? Are the refugees criminals? I totally understand and agree with the need to tackle the issue at any level possible. At the same time, however, we need to know there is a state actor, the PFDJ regime, engaged with the issue and fanning in every way. All in all though, what a sad situation things have become!


    • Tesfabirhan WR

      Dear Semere,

      Thank you and my wish is to break down such networks of gangsters. Still the network is very strong and it stretches right from the office of the president (DIA’s tentacular office) to Sudan-Libya and Europe.

      Second step that the Internationl community, like EU should focus on is on the money transaction system. It is not that much difficult to track the transactional flow direction. It starts right from Eritrean ambassador’s offices and consulates. Many people who engage in illegal money transfer are closely working with PFDJ.

      Financial philosophy of PFDJ is null and void.

  • dawit

    Contraband business in Eritrea, Export smuggle people through Ethiopia and Import smuggle goods and services through Sudan. Strange time creates strange business!

  • dawit

    Structural Adjustment of Eritrean economy, shift from Ethiopia to Sudan. As long as Ethiopia/Eritrean border remains a war zone, Eritrea/Sudan Trade will flourish. It sounds a custom union is gradually being created and developing between Sudan and Eritrea.