Inform, Inspire, Embolden. Reconcile!

Naud: The Legendary Founder Of Haraka

He is one of the fiery youngsters of the pre-armed-struggle era; a major personality of the late fifties and sixties. He is the visionary who saw beyond the Federation. An astute politician who planned ahead of time in preparation to the day when Haile Sellasie, as he foresaw, would abort the federation. He is the founder of the Eritrean Liberation Movement (ELM), known by its Arabic name Haraka and its Tigrinya name Mahber Shewaate. Our feature from the Fertile Womb today is Mohammed Said Naud, the legendary leader.

Mohammed Said Naud was born in 1936 in Sahel, Eritrea. After studying the Quraan, he attended middle school and high school in Port Sudan. After finishing high school, he was employed by the Eastern Telegraph Company in Port Sudan. At age 22, he resigned from his work and dedicated himself to the Eritrean case. On November 2, 1958, two weeks before General Aboud’s coup d’etat in Sudan, he founded a secret revolutionary movement, the Eritrean Liberation Movement (ELM), in Port Sudan. 

The founding members of the ELM were: 1. Mohammed Said Naud 2. Idris Mohammed Hassen 3.  Hassen AlHaj Idris 4.  Osman Mohammed Osman 5. Yassin Mohammed Aqedah 6.  Mohammed AlHassen Mahmoud 7.  Saleh Ahmed Iyay and 8. Habib Qaas.

In their first meeting, the members of the group agreed to expand membership by forming secret cells composed of seven persons. The secret nature of the movement was dictated by the prevailing suppressive nature of Ibrahim Aboud’s rule in the Sudan, who assumed power in a coup d’etat only two weeks after the founding of ELM, when Haile Selassie’s regime was almost finished with dismantling the federation arrangement.  This seven-member cell would be replicated within Eritrea.

Later, when the Eritrean Criminal Investigation Department (CID) uncovered a cell that belonged to the movement, all the apprehended were not able to name more than seven persons –members who belonged to their cell only. That’s why the CID coined the name ‘Mahber Shewaate” or “The Cell of Seven” to the group; the name follows the ELM to this day.

Due to the prudent and secretive nature of the movement, even Naud, the founder of the ELM, had to use aliases. He was known as Romadan Issa until it was uncovered and he had to change his name to Mustapha. The tradition of using code names started with his movement and many veterans of the armed struggle are still more known by their nom de guerre than by their real names.

Naud is a product of the post World War II era of rebellions and revolutions that engulfed the whole of Africa, the Arab region and the rest of the world beyond. He was influenced by various people in different parts of the world who rebelled to regain their sovereignty after having lived under the yoke of colonialism for too long. Leaders like Ghandi of India, Mohammed Ali Jinnah of Pakistan, Mao Tse Tung of China, Sukarno of Indonesia and General Giap of Vietnam influenced the young man. He was then determined to achieve for his people what the great men of the age achieved for theirs. In Africa, he looked in awe to the Mau-Mau rebellion of Jamo Kenyatta; the anti-French struggle of Ahmed Seko Touri of Guinea, and the Moslem Brotherhood’s struggle against the British colonizers. He was further inspired by the revolution of Gemal Abdel-Nasser of Egypt and the calculated move of the young officers he led and that eventually deposed King Farouq and ended the monarchy in Egypt. Naud was captivated by the revolutionary ideals of the world’s people. He aspired to follow suit and free Eritrea from the chain of federation with Ethiopia that he foresaw as a means used by Haile Sellassie to swallow Eritrea. Naud saw in himself a leader who would challenge Haile Sellasie and end the unwanted monarchial occupation of Eritrea.

An avid reader and an excellent writer, Naud aimed to mobilize the Eritrean society and lead a take-over of the government from within Eritrea. To this effect, the ELM was strongly committed to expanding its membership base. It penetrated the police and security apparatus in Eritrea and recruited followers and members from the Eritrean Police force in almost all police stations. The ELM recognized the Eritrean Police Force as an important element that would be at the forefront of the popular uprising during the final show-down with the occupation forces. The ELM gained a lot of support from the students and almost all professional unions and clubs. The Eritrean middle class was a dedicated supporter of the ELM: teachers, writers, artisans, traders and merchants were all represented in the ELM whose program was so clear that a takeover from within in a swift popular uprising seemed achievable.

Naud, admired for his sharp thinking and daring character, was full of energy and dedication. From his residence in Port Sudan, he had many times traveled to Eritrea incognito to meet members and appraise the situation in the country. In 1961, roughly two years after the founding of the ELM, he participated in an important secret meeting which was held in Asmara. The Asmara branch under the leadership of Yassin Aqedda organized the meeting which was held in one of Hassen Khiar Beyan houses. Representatives of ELM branches from all parts of Eritrea and Jeddah attended the meeting. That meeting is considered a milestone in the life of the ELM and was considered the first and the last meeting for any post-federation political organization inside Eritrea. A few months later, Awate started the armed struggle.

Awate’s launch of the armed struggle was a surprise to Naud and the ELM because it disrupted his plans to bring about a popular uprising that would end the Ethiopian occupation of Eritrea. Awate’s path was totally different from what the ELM had envisaged. Awate believed that nothing but an armed confrontation would bring about an end to the occupation. Naud’s efforts to communicate and coordinate with Awate were not successful because the messengers he sent to the Eritrean field to find Awate failed to locate him. Furthermore, Awate’s launch of the armed struggle was gaining sweeping support from the population. Not long after he launched the armed struggle, Awate died of malaria. His death was kept secret for fear of its negative effect on the morale of Eritrean patriots.

Soon, the ELM started to execute small-scale military operations inside Eritrea and several attempts on the life of important personalities who collaborated with the regime of Haile Sellasie were carried out. Such attempts were made on the life of Asfeha Weldemichael, president of the Executive Authority of Eritrea and Qeshi Dimitros, the staunch supporter of Haile Sellasie and the enemy of Eritrea’s independence. The real attempt, however, to organize a military presence was made just after the federal arrangement was dissolved and the Eritrean Flag was lowered on November 14, 1962. On December 19, 1962, members of the ELM who were officers in the Police Department made an attempt to form a military wing and escaped from their station after taking over considerable number of guns and ammunition. When the Ethiopian Army discovered of the incident, a force composed of 8oo soldiers supported by military helicopters went on a hot pursuit after the escaped patriots of the police force. The two forces clashed in a place in Dankalia where the leader of the group was martyred. Due to the unfavorable balance of power against them, the ELM members buried their weapons and crossed the sea to Saudi Arabia to reorganize themselves.

On the foreign front, the ELM started to look beyond the borders of Eritrea and Sudan to establish relations with foreign countries. Towords this end, Naud started a tour of North Africa that took him to Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and Algeria. He was successful in establishing relations and he opened an office in Cairo. Earlier, the ELM was able to buy a typewriter, the first major jump in the movement’s propaganda activity; Naud, the founder and leader of the movement, was also the only typist.

By 1965, after several attacks on police stations and personalities affiliated to Haile Sellassie’s rule, and the unfortunate failure of the Massawa police group, the ELM had finally organized a military wing composed of over forty members. The combatants entered Eritrea and continued mobilizing the Eritrean population for an armed struggle. Founded four years earlier, the ELF, which saw this as a duplication of efforts, and obsessed with unity to the extent of going violent, attacked the ELM’s force and liquidated it in August, 1965 in Ela Tsaada, Sahel. And that was the end of the ELM as a formidable organization.

But the ardent patriot Mohammed Said Naud did not give up struggling for the liberation of Eritrea. After the SudHa Ela congress, where the Eritrean Liberation Front-People’s Liberation Forces (ELF-PLF, the proto-party that gave rise to EPLF) was founded, the ELM became an integral part of the new organization.

Alongside Sabbe, Naud served in the ELF-PLF organization as a major leader for many years. When Eritrea was liberated in 1991, a short time later, Naud decided to stop life in foreign lands and traveled to Asmara. At one stage, he was the governor for the Sahel region. In 1996, Naud wrote a book of five hundred pages in Arabic entitled, “Haraket A’Tahreer Al Eritrea- Al Haqiqa We’tarikh” (Eritrean Liberation Movement – the Truth & The History”. In the introduction to the book Naud writes:

“…Now after 38 years from the birth of the Eritrean Liberation Movement, we ask ourselves: What was achieved from the objectives that we raise? I take the initiative and say in reply, our struggle has not finished yet, it continues. From our three objectives, the liberation of Eritrea only is realized. As for the other two objectives, namely the national unity and the formation of a democratic state, the struggle is continuing to realize them. And the path to these objectives is democratization – furnishing justice and equality among our people. And the struggle to achieve that would help us achieve a strong national unity, peace, stability and prosperity. But if we tread a different path, we will face unbearable difficulties. And so that this doesn’t happen, we are required to play a single tune which is: Eritrea is home to all Eritreans… they enjoy equal rights and obligations….and they equally participate in the construction and development of their country… and they safeguard peace and stability in their country with equal level of precaution and consciousness….” 

The book is a rich source of information and a recommended reading for all who are interested in Eritrean history.

On September 16, 2010, Mohammed Said Naud passed away in Asmara where he had been living since he returned to Eritrea in 1991 just after the Ethiopian forces were pushed out of Eritrea. He was seventy four years old. The Eritrean ruling party’s website announced his death in two-sentences only: “Veteran Fighter Mohammed Seid Nawd was martyred today, September 16th 2010. The funeral service for the late veteran fighter would be held tomorrow at the Patriots Cemetery here in the capital at 10 am.”

This article, authored by Saleh Gadi Johar, was first published in 2002.

  • Abyssinia

    Hi Ted,

    Thank you for your comment. I know you thought you are scoring points, but that hypothesis is still valid. The hypothesis did not posit “Eritrea will be back to Ethiopia …”. What it posited was that it will orbit Ethiopia, and there is nothing that has changed. You also said ‘“Land locked and security” you talking about resembles George Bush’s WMD claim in Iraq’. I am just going to be honest with you, I do not expect you to grasp complex concepts.

  • V.F.

    Abi, you don’t give you do ya? Coffee is a luxury and we can buy it from anywhere. Let’s talk about teff and berbere. We will trade it with chew for you. As much as you need. How many camel loads? Sorry we don’t have a lot of donkeys. Camels have a lower carbon print. You know, they don’t fart (not as much as donkeys anyway). You are so insecure and paranoid. You know the Entoto invasion talk is a joke. We don’t need finfinie nor entoto. We need peace.

    • Abi

      The last time you tried to trade “amed ” with “duqet ” , you messed up big time.
      Your assertion that camels fart less is not scientific at all. You see, camel’s butt is too high for you to smell the poisonous gas.
      VF I am glad you dropped the EnToTo invasion. What a relief.
      I didn’t know coffee is a luxury in Eritrea. Well, since Eritreans are known for their ingenuity, they will roast barely instead.
      Berbere and Teff? Are you crazy? Eat corn or sorghum. There is also plenty of beles for consumption and export. Berbere is too hot for you. You have forgotten about it. Just add more salt in your food.

      • Nitricc

        Hi Abi, i didn’t know the great Amde is on trading block? I am welling to give up any Duqate for the great Amde. lol

        • Abi

          Hi General
          Well, it is the season to watch ” trading places ” all over again.
          Amed beduqet sisq, libu benefas wulq.
          Amde is a little bit better than amed.

  • V.F.

    Hey Abi, have you ever visited tesfanews dot com? If you think Eritreans here are too conceited, closed minded, too nationalistic, not long sighted etc., you should visit that website and you will feel like you are in 1980. The hate they espouse to everybody and everything in the world including the Eritrean people (except of course IA and PFDJ) is mind boggling. Only a few weeks ago, they were lobbying and clapping for Mr. Herman Cohen because they were very hopeful that he will help ease and smooth US-Eritrea relationships. But he came out with a short article “The Red Sea Is Slipping into Total Arab Control” two days ago and he urged Eritreans and Ethiopians to normalize their relationships, including but not limited to demilitarizing the border, exchanging ambassadors, creating joint security apparatus, etc. He is speaking my language.

    But the ultra-nationalists at TN read this as if Herman Cohen is prophesying the fall of the woyane (I said, hahahaha in your wild dreams) and trying to save it by sacrificing Eritrea. The light at the end of the tunnel for these losers is the fall of woyane. Incredible! They squandered a great opportunity to lead Eritrea out of poverty, but one man’s greed and unstable mind along with blind and regionalist supporters led to our current predicament.

    • Dear V.F.,
      I thought that Mr. Cohen’s comment was pro PFDJ serving its interests with nothing for Ethiopia, and yet as you said ultra-nationalist Eritreans are rejecting it. In my opinion, there is no way Ethiopia would accept the points he enumerated. When one reads what this American ex-diplomat has to say, it seems that he is walking in a complete darkness as much as ethio-eritrean relations are concerned. He seems to care much more for American interest in the region and his profession as a lobbyist.

      • V.F.

        Hi Horizon, you are a reasonable person and I want to ask you a question. What is an ideal situation for Ethiopia as far as Eritrea is concerned?

        I asked that question because from what I understood from Herman Cohen’s (HC) proposal, I thought it would be a pretty good compromise (not perfect) to start things going forward. But my understanding is that a lot of Ethiopian elites have concluded that the status quo serves Ethiopia just fine – a neutralized, weak, and nonthreatening Eritrean regime, even if the poor Eritrean people have to suffer indefinitely. I find this rather insensitive and shortsighted. The two fraternal peoples should care more for each other as a matter of principle and goodwill. A free and democratic Eritrea could make a great economic and security partner for Ethiopia.

        HC’s proposal actually gives Ethiopia a lot of benefits in particular ‘equal’ negotiating power in the Red Sea and using the resources of the Sea. Eritrea’s gain would be the ‘no tariff’ and open border trading. The other points are pretty straight forward and beneficial equally to both sides. Ethiopia could use the resources it is spending in the militarized border elsewhere and more so for Eritrea.

        What specifically is adamantly unacceptable by Ethiopia? Badme to me is a useless thing and I doubt Ethiopia could have too much grievance with that, maybe only as a matter of principle would it resent the award of that area to Eritrea but we know the international verdict on that.

        • Dear V.F.,
          Even though our discussions on about ethio-eritrean problems, future relations, rapprochements, etc, over so many years have been long and broad, what we have achieved is to make no step forward, but rather two or more steps back. In any negotiation and relationship, if it is not going to lead to a win-win situation, then it is completely futile, waste of time. Eritrea does not want to budge from its position and so does Ethiopia; and that is the reason that ethio-eritrean relations remain in square one, 25 yrs after Eritrean independence.

          Being landlocked had been shoved into Ethiopia’s throat by TPLF and EPLF, and it is a big mistake to imagine that Ethiopia has accepted it as its eternal fate. Future ethio-eritrean political and economic cooperation and integration pass through Ethiopia having its own free access to the sea. International laws, colonial borders etc. cannot and should not condemn Ethiopia, with almost 100m population that had once a sea access, to be a landlocked country forever, by a country, its capital is 700km away and its hinterland from the sea shore is only 60 kms wide. Under such circumstances (Ethiopia as a landlocked country), no power would ever be able to create a normal friendly relationship between the two countries. Simply, it is impossible. This is the legacy they left behind when they sat together to hurt and humiliate the one, and seemingly benefit the other, by citing international laws and norms. What those who decided to landlock Ethiopia succeeded was to create an eternal animosity between the two brotherly people. I had said in the past and I repeat again (my personal opinion), what the future may hold as much as ethio-eritrean relations are concerned. 1) Ethiopia continues to be landlocked and the status quo in ethio-eritrean relationship remain as it is today, but should never lead to war. 2) Ethiopia gets her own free access to the sea (Assab), Badme becomes Eritrean and Ethiopia and Eritrea would be two independent countries existing side by side, with political and economic integration, and 3) the two can form a federation or confederation, which will be entertained only if Eritrea wishes. (I know, Hope does not like any of the above, sorry).

          Finally, what Mr. Cohen says does not make Ethiopia a stakeholder in any way imaginable. It seems that the Americans are afraid that the Red Sea is in the first stage of becoming an Arab Sea, and they want Ethiopia to defend the Red Sea for them, but without Ethiopia having itself no concrete rights. In addition, Mr. Cohen, being a true lobbyist wants DIA and the PFDJ to be on the winning side.

          • Nitricc

            Hi Horzon; too too too late! PIA and PFDJ has won the game. PIA is moving with speed of light getting things done while your leaders are??????? oh I get it getting busy killing an armed Oromo students and of course pleading for more food aid. I have no idea why people are sleeping on what is going on in the horn of Africa. for the old white man to say what he has said; then that should answer any questions you have. I want someone to ask this old white man that how in the hake is Ethiopia to the right of negations when it comes to the Red-sea? i think the old man is suffering from dementia. the best way for Ethiopia is to make a peace with Eritrea and take Eritrea out of the equation. get out the freaking badime, apologize to the lion of Nakfa and everything is fine. you see how easy it is? the great thing involving the Arabs in Eritrean ports is that Eritrea never have to spend a penny for state of an art weapons and summariness. the US armed the Saudis with most modern weapons and it seems every x-mass some one gives Eritrea the giving. Abi remembers what Eritrea got for x-mass and now those high tech weapons.
            you go Eri.

          • V.F.

            Horizon, this is a very interesting and candid take. I like to see how others see your view. I don’t differ with you that much with the exception of some historical inaccuracies. I will leave that aside.

            What are the realities on the ground?

            1. For Eritreans, it can’t get worse so I don’t see any reason why your ideas with modifications here and there shouldn’t be entertained. Cohen is saying almost exactly as you did if I am reading it correctly.

            What do we have to gain by blocking Ethiopia from using Assab? For Eritreans, just an open border with tax free trading would be enough to help us alleviate all the problems.

            2. For Ethiopians – it would be very helpful for Ethiopians to simply come to terms and look at their current constitution and admit that Eritreans fought a just fight for self-determination.

            Okay, all fair and square so far. Now back to Eritreans. We have had our independence, we know how it feels and tastes like…it is bitter sweet. It shouldn’t have been that way but that what we got. What now? What is pride going to do for me? IA is always using the Ethiopia card to intimidate and hold the people hostage. Again, the very first thing for both Eritreans and Ethiopians in order is a change of attitude and opinion. a) Eritrea is a legitimate state which gained its statehood legitimately and b) Ethiopia is a country with huge resources and opportunities (for peace, prosperity, and justice) and thus Eritreans need to re-evaluate everything.

  • Abi

    Hi VF
    That is a very long zibazinke.
    Let me make it short for you. Whether we are poor or rich, up in the sky or under the ocean we are still humble Ethiopians.
    It is you who left Ethiopia dancing and begging to come back crying.
    All I want to squeeze in your seemingly smart mind is when you put yourself up for adoption, it is our turn to decide whether to take you or not. If we decide to take you it is on our terms. It is us letting you in the living room or keep you in the dog house.
    Beggars are not choosers. Also, I’m begging you to respect yourself. It doesn’t hurt. Try it.
    Sorry for the long hateta.

    • V.F.

      Abi, no matter what, I like you my brother. Happy new year! Congrats for your son’s great success.

  • Abyssinia

    Hi Semre,
    I would like to ask you one question. I have been reading and many times you have said that Eritreans were pushed to war and to independence by Ethiopian rulers. While the the rulers indeed contributed to the war and subsequent independence, that is not all there is to it. Given that the life of the said leaders is just an instant in the life of a country, why did Eritreans fail to see the long future? They had the option of fighting and deposing the leaders and still be part of the country, even change the system as they see it fit. We are forced to conclude that Eritreans did not only give up on the leaders, but also they gave up on Ethiopia and Ethiopians. Why did Eritreans give up in Ethiopia and Ethiopians just because of two leaders?

    • V.F.

      Hi Abyssinia. As you wait for Semere, I like to take a shot here. What happened was that Eritreans wanted to have the same fate as in the Libyans and the Somalians (two former Italian colonies) which were allowed to be independent. But the British instead proposed to partition Eritrea between Ethiopia and Sudan citing that the people were too discordant and that it wouldn’t be economically viable. This was vehemently opposed by all Eritreans. It could have happened but there was a lucky situation in Libya that precluded it from happening. Too much to narrate here. Then, another idea was floating too to unionize Eritrea with Ethiopia. This was rejected by Eritreans too at first but the British being masters of dividing, they devised many techniques, one of which was to use the Eritrean Orthodox Church, to gain decent support for this. After so many different events, federation ensued – which was reluctantly accepted by both Eritrea and Ethiopia. Ethiopia eventually nullified the federation and Eritreans picked up arms. The number one cause of all our miseries, including that of Ethiopia to this day, is the British with the main enabler the US. The UN played a big role but not enforcing the terms of federation too. How much blame goes to Ethiopia? It is hard to say because it was a shady federal arrangement in the first place which was designed to fail.

      Abyssinia, Eritreans fight for liberation was a just fight. I do not like the way it was conducted and I don’t like ghedli but it was a war of self-determination. Why does Ethiopian now have Article 39 on its constitution?

      Now, given where we are, what is the best solution going forward in your opinion?

      • Abyssinia

        Hi V.F.
        Thank you for chiming in. I am very familiar with all the history. My question is specifically to Semere for his view that it was all the fault of the rulers. Yes rulers played a role in exacerbating it, but Eritreans were not in Ethiopia with all their heart (as you have also stated in this comment). If they were in Ethiopia with all their heart, the logical step is to fight and change the system.

        I think Eritreans’ fight against an oppressive rule is a just cause. I do not think any body should have a problem with that. However, I do not think that independence (and the manners in which it was declared) was right for it does not usher in a sustainable and better situation. Eritrea’s independence was declared hastily without considering other factors and wether it brings a sustainable and better future. You might think that I am referring to the current state of Eritrea, but I am talking about the long-term configuration.

        For the best solution given where we are, please read my reply to Berhe.

    • Semere Andom

      Dear Abyssinia:
      When the belligerence of your country was going on, killing, burning and domination, the Eritrean identity was jelling and crystalizing . We are talking about the dynamic nature of society, it is not static. Those who wanted to be part of Ethiopia slowly bought into Eritreanism as Ethiopia upped the ante in its killings in response to the few handful rebels who were fighting the mighty country almost with bare hands
      You can ask the same question, why did the wise mama Ethiopia start burning villages, and killing and looting villages when only handful “bandits” were the problem. Basically Ethiopia forced the 50% of the people who want to reform the system and at same time the the liberation movements in Africa around the world were the norm 60 years ago, so Eritrea’s struggle was crystallized in the crucible of those movements.
      Remember when Italians carved Eritrean some 120 years ago, with it carving also Ethiopia, Eritrea was a new notion and when federation was destroyed by the king and the armed struggled was sparked, Ethiopia’s response was ethnic cleansing, so the nascent nation coalesced to defend itself. Dergi, not be not out done by HS upped the ante in the crimes on behalf of Ethiopia against Eritreans and it was not until late 70s where the page turned in favor of the separation. Do you blame the people from trying to separate from the abusive country

      • Abi

        Hi Sem
        I don’t blame those people for trying to be separated. I say this after learning history. Thank you so much. However, I blame those who do not have any idea of self respect to come back and beg the former abusers to forgive them .

        Sanawq besihitet , awqen bedifret laTefanew yiqir belun.

      • Abyssinia

        Hi Semere,

        I do not really have much disagreement with what you are saying here. However, I dislike your tone and your association of me with the atrocities of the rulers. These rulers were not chosen by the Ethiopian people, much less by me, and we fought them as much as the people in Eritrea fought them. Please decrease your attempt to score emotional points and your sarcasm in the interest of much more meaningful conversation.

        “Do you blame the people from trying to separate from the abusive country”, I blame the political elite for not thinking of the long future and for not coming up with a better and sustainable solution. For more on my views, please check out my replies to Dis Donc, and Berhe.

    • Dis Donc

      Dear Abysinia,
      In addition to what Semrer wrote allow me to add a few more. While the majority (in the Eritrean narrative) opted to struggle for self determination there were a lot of Eritreans who made the grades, in respective parties of EPRP and others, in the early days of the revolution who tried to change the system as you asked. Also there was a lot of cooperation between Eritrean parties and Ethiopian parties. Begin quotes: “Many early EPRP cadres were trained and armed by the EPLF, and the EPRP’s armed wing used EPLF-held areas as a base when it commenced armed struggle in the north. MEISON accepted the right of self-determination for the nationalities, including the right of secession….” End quotes. [1] If you read many of early Ethiopiam political parties you will find that a lot of ERitreans participated in it. Many either got killed or got pushed out.

      Let me narrate you a personal account of my uncle’s story: He had a son who was a member of EPRP, who got ratted out and got killed by the Derg. Later stories circulated that he was ratted out because he wa Eritrean. My uncle got mad and he named his new born daughter Eritrea. He soon got fired from his job just because he named his daughter Eritrea. He was defiant and still remained in Ethiopia languishing in poverty. When his two more kids (a son and a daughter) followed he named them Natznet followed by Asmeret. Six monthes after Asmeret was born, he found himself in jail. Read the names of his three kids consecutively and you will understand why the jailed him. He was liberated by TPLF and got a good job but only to be fired again in 1994 and deported in 1998, Simply for being Eritrean.

      So, you see, it was not just for the lack of trying, we were simply never being accepted by the Ethiopians as one them.

      [1] Building Ethiopia’s Revolutionary Party by Patrick Gilkes published in MER106

      • AOsman

        Dear Disc Donc,

        Was the killing of Gen. Aman Andom a turning point for Eritreans who lived in Ethiopia?


        • Dis Donc

          Dear AOsman,
          I was about two when he died but family accounts tells me that many Eritrean youth, in Ethiopia, begin to think differently after his death. Amongst so many, they changed allegiance from their respective parties and joined the then dominant ELF. I wish I can say the opposite but most of Eritreans, that I knew of, all but had already given up when I became of age. This was because of news coming out of Eritrea. Very bad news at times that the whole community cluster together to weep.

          • AOsman

            Dear Dis Donc,

            Reading his bio on wikipedia he was well placed to bring about negotiated settlement, but the empty pride of the junta not that of Eritreans caused all another 15 years of pain.


            Sabbe’s comment at the time


          • Dis Donc

            Dear Osman,
            So they say but my understanding is that Ethiopia was never ready to accept Eritrea, federated or not. Least of all respect her and her people, let alone to listen to her demands. Read Abysinias’ writing and you will notice that he refers Eritreans as subjects not as people or community. You can’t eat identity, nor does it buy you clothing and shelter. Thousands of years on we still can’t feed ourselves. That is identity for you! I think it is high time we try respect and democracy. Just my two cents.

            Let’s say for the sake argument we want to leave our identity and try something else. We will not the first not the last. The Visigoths, Anglosaxons, the Americas, the Jews, etc. They all left their old identity and created new ones and they are doing fine. Respect, mon; as a Jamaican would say.

          • AOsman

            Dear Dis Donc,

            I hear ya, Abyssinia does not even like to say Eritrea (he prefers Mereb Milash 🙂 ), he is in another world…I see unfinished business from his perspective. The land locked argument has been thrown at you and the unsustainability of the current two state affair is his main theme as though under peaceful condition both countries are unable to device a workable relationship while remaining independent of each other. Will see how that develops.

            Abi is pissed off with Eritreans who lived in Addis/Ethiopia and he sees them as traitors for sticking with Eritrea. His blind spot tends to be the developments in Eritrea at the time and how DERG screwed up things. He looks at things from an Ethiopian perspective only, not even a little budge :). I would like to see him apportion some of his blame to DERG, at least for balance.


          • Dis Donc

            Ye see Osman,
            Eritrea owes or owns no one. There are international laws that free societies stick too. The precondition however is that it has to be a free society, with a stable democracy. With democracy comes respect and recognition. These, further, enhance rule of law (both in and outside the boundaries), good education and governance. Few people in Ethiopia know this. That is why you see accusations and allegations fly around with no substantiation. There are a lot of small and land locked countries in Europe and other parts, who live with their neighbors peacefully. One thing is for sure though, so long as Eritrea stays the way it is there will always be threats and may be even war. Especially when you are acting like a rude kid in the hood, with no alliance nor democracy!

          • Dis Donc

            Dear Osman,
            There were many other Eritreans who thought for the better of either or both nations. I know of many but I can’t write them all here simply because I need family permission to do so. But we can all agree that there was just bad management in the three Ethiopian governments, beginning from the emperor. And reading from this forum, I sense that this less thought leadership continues even now unabated.

      • Abyssinia

        Hi Dis Donc,

        Thank you for your comment. Just minor comments on what you said. “Read Abysinias’ writing and you will notice that he refers Eritreans as subjects not as people or community.” I do not know where I did that, but if I came across like that, please consider it a mistake on my part.

        You are right there were some Eritreans who tried to change the system, and this is not surprising. In a society of millions, there will always be people that do things outside of what the majority does. When I talk about Eritreans not attempting to change the system, I am referring to the mainstream stand, that is those who fought for independence. I am also aware that the mass can be swayed by the elite, so when I talk of politics, I am mainly referring to the political elite.

        Just to give you some sense of where I stand, I am going to tell you briefly about myself. I come from Hawzien, Tigray and the suffering we endured under the rulers, mainly the Dergue is unimaginable. There is no family that has not been hit by unbearable grief, terror and despair. I am also completely aware of the then prevailing class where some Ethiopians were considered less than others, and it still persists. I vehemently condemn the crimes on ordinary people by the then rulers (the emperor and the dergue). However, I would not throw Ethiopia with them, I would not give up on Ethiopia for good. I would go for changing it.

        Like I mentioned before, the Eritrean struggle against oppressive rule is more than justified. My questions are on its intent and results. The fight against an oppressive system is to build a better one, and a sustainable one at that. I do not believe that Eritrean independence has solved any problem, if anything it has mired us into even more dangerous problem (both countries). I say this not only because of the current no-peace no-war situation but also because I am certain that the future is much more dangerous than what we have now, and this is not my wish (far from it), but the prevailing configuration, perceptions and reality is such that a much more dangerous future is ahead of us.

        For a taste of the Ethiopian opinion, just visit hornaffairs for the most recent article. This is what a recent article has called on Ethiopia with respect to the encroachment of Arab countries on the Horn of Africa (Assab in particular).

        “Ethiopia has to use everything at its disposal to take a swift military action against Eritrea; get rid of its hostile government; annex Assab and declare any deal with a foreign country as null and void, based not only on history, geo-politics and demography, but also the clear and present danger the country is subjected to, and the lives of 90 million people that is put at risk.”

        • Dis Donc

          Dear Abysinia,
          Uh, the horror. Sorry to hear all that happened to you guys, there. I mean it. However, I am glad you dropped the identity card and the humiliation excuse that Ethiopia had to endure due to the ugly break-up. Because, as I argued below identity brought us nothing so far but subjugation or subjectude. But note that Eritrea is no an exception to this, as all the rest felt and lived in it as well.

          But you need to consider the fact that Eritrea was an independent colony, later federated, only for that to be dissolved. Consider also that Eritrea has a diversified demography. Lumping all into one basket was and is a mistake, in my opinion. That is the core of the Eritrean demand. This has nothing to do with Ethiopia being thrown out of the window. Plus consider what I wrote referring to devolution of power which I believe was the original question. This later was to be radicalized due to the ongoing onslaught; simply for military adventurism and wanton destruction.

          Finally, I would like to think that the Ethiopian leaderships are smart enough to differentiate Eritreans from PFDJ. The danger that the horn feels should squarely be left at the doors of PFDJ. Not on the independence of Eritrea. The current Eritrean problem emanates from the lack of democracy and thereby the lack of accountability to the citizens of that nation. No Eritrean in his right mind will participate in madness that goes on in the middle east. Thus, your last paragraph is simply a threat mongering segment of Ethiopian polls that will take us back to the old days. I doubt that Ethiopia will risk it, considering the economic and political progresses that it has made in the past two decades. I am not threatening or predicting but I am only saying that the days of military adventurism is almost over in the world. Not even the US was able to occupy Iraq with its supposed might. Nor the USSR was able to do in Afghanistan. Just to mention few…

          • Abyssinia

            Hi Dis Donc,
            Thank you for your comment. And thank you for the sincere feeling for the suffering we underwent and we still feel. More on such things another time. I also have not dropped the identity argument, it is just another dimension. Like I said before, the problem that Ethiopia has with Eritrea is layered and many.

            To frame my points, let me state this. My posts are to increase understanding across both countries and encourage us to think of long-term and sustainable solutions. When I mention that the Eritrean independence was not the best option, it is not to put blame per se, but to 1) indicate that it did not usher in any better and sustainable solution 2) encourage us to think that there were and are alternative solutions. With this in mind, I want to be direct and ask you some questions:

            Do you think, having considered Ethiopia’s legitimate survival an security concerns due to being land-locked, the separation of Ethiopia and Eritrea is a better and sustainable solutions? If your answer is yes, there is not much to discuss, if your answer is no, then what possible ways and solutions can you think of?

          • Dis Donc

            Dear Abysinia,

            I can only give you my opinion and does represent any political party. Also my opinion is just mine which should be aggregated with the rest of the people to be counted as a vote. What I am getting at is that that kind of question should be left for the Eritreans to vote on.

            To answer your question we need to consult international laws of resolution 1105 (XI). [2] The free access of land-locked countries to the sea is inseparably linked with the more general question of transit, as persons and goods proceeding from those countries to the coast must pass through inter-adjacent States. [1] I not only adhere to this law but also want Eritrea to abide by it. Plus this would only mean more business and jobs for the hosting nation. You can do a case study between Chile-Bolivia and their travail in La Haya (I think it is called The Hague, in English). Or Guatemala-Belize, Gambia-Senegal, etc. In this regard we are not only losing business and jobs but also the ports are left to depreciate with no long term capital gain.

            Now, having said this, an average Eritrean Joe will ask; why get fixated on only Eritrea? There is Djibouti, Somalia, Kenya, and Sudan which all have ports. This is simply because Ethiopia never used the said ports before the Italian colonization (or to please you, the Italian annexation) of Eritrea. For what happened after the emperor’s annexation of Eritrea does not figure into the legal question. In fact that is one of the many organic Eritreans’ demand during the 30+ years of war.

            [1] United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea. Geneva, Switzerland. 24 February to 27 April 1958
            [2] international law of sea outlet. International Law: A Dictionary

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Dear Dis Donc
            While thanking your humble character, Please, be kind to me. I don’t deserve that much of a reverence. We are equal citizens. I wish you a happy new year, and wish for all Eritreans to see a country where everything under sun is treated equally: is empowered to say, ” why not me, I could be the president. ”
            I hope you read my last response to you. I also hope you read some of the books and articles written by ex-EPLF officials, and interviews conducted with them. No one claims that EPLF was 100% right in all areas of transition, including its relationship with TPLF, and its handling of domestic politics. I understand your point is that unless we become clear on what went wrong the first time, we are condemned to repeat it the second time we get the chance of re-transitioning. A point worth noting. I also commend you and many others for identifying the reasons folks like abi and abyssinia raise Eritrea and Eritrean issues in a completely biased and unhelpful ways. Better to focus on what’s important to Eritreans at this point in time. Eritreans have made their choice. Ethiopia could be a huge plus if it plays by the book. Otherwise, it will remain to be another neighbor. Eritrea has to widen its orbit; it has to diversify its choices.

          • Dis Donc

            Dear Mahmud,
            says a humble man who bled himself for the self determination of its people. I mean every word I used in their truest senses. I am a man of few words and will keep it that way but this elation for you and your likes is true as the blue sky we gaze up!!!! My only regret is that fighters from both aisles of the political spectrum haven’t yet seen and enjoyed a free and democratic Eritrea…. we will leave it at that for now. Happy new year to you as well.

          • Abyssinia

            Hi Dis Donc,

            Thank you for your reply. I appreciate that you understand, albeit little, Ethiopia’ long-term concern. I also appreciate that you consider international laws as a solution.

            However, reading the rest of your comment and another comment where you said ‘Eritrea owes and ones no one”, I understood how shallowly you understood the issue. You are largely looking at the issue from Eritrea’s business point of view. You mentioned that an average joe can ask why fixate on Eritrea. I would not expect this question from you. For Ethiopia, Eritrea is never like any other country. Ethiopia sees it as its erst-while historical part and its claims on Eritrea itself and the ports in particular is legitimate. Whether Ethiopia used the ports before colonization is immaterial (but it also used them many times), and by the way, one can also apply that argument to Eritrea because Eritrea did not use them before colonization nor during colonization. But, these are superfluous points. Ethiopia’s claim is very legitimate, and where negotiation does not work, force will be inevitable. International legal processes are not final and binding – the only final and binding in the end is might! Avoiding future uncertainty? The ball is in the Eritrean people’s court.

            You said “[t]here are a lot of small and land locked countries in Europe and other parts, who live with their neighbors peacefully.”. Hmm, all I can say is that Ethiopia is not a small country, and it will never live like them.

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam Abyssinia,
            Sir, I just wanted to pop in to point out a significant participation of outsiders in the mix that in my opinion is being neglected. Egypt, Syria and Iraq with the ever present Saudis and others were players primarily using the Muslim Eritrea to instill a separate country idea. I read here at Awate in the obituaries of the vast notable leadership recruiting and training was done by the intelligence services of these countries. The elite of Eritrea want to minimize this aspect to a mere revolutionary zeal of the times, like Cuba helping South Africa. This was much much more and deliberate, the result shows.
            That project of theirs is paying dividend to them now, can you blame them. They did their job we failed. The idea of a strong independent country, a power to reckon with on this side of the Red sea, is gone. Now both countries Ethiopia and Eritrea are reduced to a manageable insecure two nations, at odds with each other to boot, period.
            I read your and Dis Donc exchange, sometimes twice. I appreciated the exchange. I just thought someone should bring in this ever present factor.
            Mr. K.H

          • Abyssinia

            Hi Kim,

            Thank you for popping in. It is so much appreciated. I am trying my best to engage people at a much more deeper level with a view to understanding each other about our worries, insecurities and aspirations. I have to be honest with you, it is very hard. People seem to have mastered only the skills of evasiveness, accusation, defensiveness, useless sarcasm and scoring cheap points (could that be the influence of the foxy Saay?). It is extremely regrettable. That being said, I am happy there are very few that I think have the capacity to engage in a serious, respectful and deep conversation, and some have already been doing (V.F., Dis Donc, and Berhe), albeit not at the level I want it, yet. I will see how it goes.

            Back to you, you brought an important point. I posted the following story on September here at awate.

            May 2015, Vienna, Austria. I was there for a conference. One of those days, I popped into a small neighborhood bar. Soon I was chatting with the locals and one of them introduced me to the owner who was also drinking in the bar. After the usual introductions, he asked me where I was from and I told him to guess. He asked me if I speak Arabic and I replied no. Then he guessed I was an Ethiopian. Immediately he started to ask me about the Ethiopia-Eritrea situation. I got very curious and we continued the conversation. He lectured me about the Arabness of Eritrea, their language Arabic and how they are one family of the Arab world. I mentioned to him that at least half of them are Christians and that they speak other languages. He adamantly refused to accept. He said Eritrea is a muslim through and through and their language is Arabic, they are members of their Muslim-Arab world. He added that is why they supported, armed and trained them to separate from the enemy of Islam and Arabs, Ethiopia. And guess what, he was an Iraqi.

            When I talk of Ethiopia’s security and survival concerns, the point you have brought is what I have in mind, and in the long-term sense (up to hundreds of years). If is just not possible that Ethiopia will accept being land-locked forever, by a tiny country at that. This, to me, is an impossibility. Horizon has also stated this point, in his recent post.

            When we talk about Ethiopia’s security and survival concerns, some Eritreans do not seem to understand the depth of this. They think that once democracy comes to Eritrea, things will be fine. No, no. we are talking at much more deeper level, about ownership and being in control. Why should Ethiopia be at the whims of a tiny country? Failure to understand Ethiopia’s legitimate survival and security concerns and being willing to come up with a win-win solution by Eritreans is only a recipe for war.

            “The idea of a strong independent country, a power to reckon with on this side of the Red sea, is gone. Now both countries Ethiopia and Eritrea are reduced to a manageable insecure two nations, at odds with each other to boot, period.”. This is the big point, the crux of the matter. In the grand scheme of things, it is the survival of the people of both countries (save those that have vested interest) that is in question. How do you explain that to some Eritreans, who do not seem to see beyond the end of their noses?

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam Abysinia,
            Thanks for your response. The Iraqi individual’s belief and commitment is telling isn’t it ?
            Mr. K.H

  • V.F.

    Dear Semere, Abi knows no history. He doesn’t know Ethiopian history let alone our struggle for self-determination. The fight for Eritrean liberation was nearly entirely in Eritrea and the goal was to liberate Eritrea and not by any stretch of the imagination to destroy or weaken Ethiopia. What PFDJ did post-independence is a different story. The Eritrean people do not have any ownership of that, only PFDJ and a handful of his enablers do. So Abi has no grounds to hate the Eritrean people.

    • Abi

      Hey Sem that is Veeeery Funnnny!
      What is this commotion I hear ? Never mind it is my dog wants to come inside . I left him out side for a while. I guess he is cold .
      Guys, all I am saying is Ethiopians did not get a chance to vote in your historical referendum in 1993. Now, if you submit your adoption letter, it will be decided by Ethiopians only. All you have to do is stay outside and wait, wait, wait,wait, pray, pray, pray, for the ever humble and generous, and hospitable Ethiopians to decide on your fate. Otherwise, stay put, figure out a solution. Don’t keep knocking the door. Don’t you see the ” Do Not Disturb ” sign?
      Have some self respect, pleeeaassee!
      Maferiya hulu!
      Sem , you are acting like a beggar at a traffic light who curses you if you don’t give him some pocket change.

      • V.F.

        Hi Abi, oh you know what? Now, knowing what we know about what you guys are doing to the Oromya people, it’s okay. Never mind reunion. We are happy where we are. Wish us luck as we wish you the best of luck. We rest our case. Can you rest your case too and tell us what you want from us because you came to us, we didn’t come to you? But please don’t leave, I like your Amharic proverbs.

        • Abi

          “Endayamah Tiraw
          Endaybela gifaw” mehonu new?

      • Nitricc

        Hi Abi, i can not believe you spoke the truth when you call VF, and Semere Andom as dogs who were left out of the house. lol; that was classic. my man, listen to me, we bled you for 30 years and only the dogs will bark on your door. In the mean time, I advice you to know that there areEritreas are lions, not dogs who will never backdown and take matters to their own hands make things happen. what bothered most is that not that you called Semere a bagger which he is but you think VF and semere represent what the real Eritreans are all about. believe me, we are better than the dogs who are barking on your door step and bagging you. my friend, we are moved on and set to be the model of your monkey continent. trust me!

        • Abi

          Hey General
          You ain’t kidding. I respect those who respect themselves. I hate those who continue barking on a closed door

        • Semere Andom

          Abi and Nitricc
          birds of feather flock togehter, you are united by your lack of knowledge in your respective countries.
          Abi, the dabbo seeker, your dabbo has been made possible by Eritreans. DO not ask me, make that your new year resolutiin to find. A guy who loves Al-Ula hates Arabs and Moslems and camel. Log time ago I called you the Niticc of Ethiopia. Your short burst of anger that some confuse as witty are testaments of your lack of tools to debate. I gave your the reasons how your dabbo seeking country can interfer an how we must use that in our advantage to remove PFDJ, all you got was begging, just remember that we had no beggars before PFDJ in Eritrea
          Nitricc, every year your vow to be more retarded, a self admitted retard you do not own the caliber to debate me and V.F

          • Abi

            Hey Sem
            I like your tail wagging and barking. Keep it up. I’m used to it . My dog barks nonstop when he wants to come in the house.
            Eritreans don’t make dabo. They make ambasha. Know your culture.
            I love Jigna Ras Alula so much I named my ” bekur ” son Alula. By the way , he just got accepted to one of the most prestigious universities in the world. Congrats to Ras Abi and Lij Alula.
            Yes, I hate arabs not Muslims. There is a big difference between the two. I told you before I don’t hesitate for a second to eat ” yeEslam Siga ” row or cooked.
            Camel? What does it matter if I like or hate a camel? You love a camel? Good! You can marry one . I care less. Don’t be childish. Grow up a little, will you?
            What is all this brouhaha al about? Just because I said the door is locked ?Stay away.
            Menchaka. Kibre bis.

            Anasgebam kibre bis
            Edej yibesbis !!

          • Semere Andom

            Well, in our country of Eritrea it is illegal to marry camel or any animal, but I know that your uncles and fathers were wedding donkeys and camels before they bombed them
            Grow up!

          • Abi

            HI Sem
            You see how immature and ” Sid Adeg” you are? I was talking to you personally. You brought my fathers and uncles. The usual Sem.Very typical of you.
            I like to beg you in the name of those thousands of Eritreans who died to bring you independence, please snap out of your buyers remorse mentally and Embrace your independence.
            Don’t embarrass your fathers and uncles.
            Case closed.

          • Nitricc

            Hi Abi, What bothers me is the intention and motive of Semere and VF for wanting to unite with Ethiopia. for Semere, he wants to remove PFDJ through Ethiopian blood while he is collecting his walfare check in Canada and for VF; he wants to unite with the Tigryans so, Eritreans can loot Ethiopian’s resource, as he puts it ” if the Tigryans can do this to Ethiopians, joining Eritreans with Tigryans in power, Eritrea will be on the top in no time” he said that. how evil and corrupt one can be to initiate such formula for disaster? in due time those two country must find a way to work to mutual benefit with absolute respect for each other; i get that but what the two dogs have in mind is pure evil. so, my friend lock the door.

          • Dis Donc


          • V.F.

            Happy New Year Nitricc. Don’t forget your remedial courses in 2016. Man, you and Abi are getting me exhausted. I may have to hide somewhere. Damn iPhone.

          • Ted

            Hi Abi, እንጀራ ይወጣልህ. No milk, no beef, no nothing. We asked for it , we have to live with it. I like to congratulate you for Liji Alula’s success and thanks to his dad, he knows now to stay away from Eritrea;-)

          • Nitricc

            Hi Semere; what amazes me is you are incredibly stupid when it comes nations and building nation. the good think is you think yourself as a Canadian more than an Eritrean so, there is a relief there. You go bagge Abi to unite with Ethiopia and we will build one strong united Eritrea.
            nothing can be expected from” dogs” lol

          • Dis Donc


  • V.F.

    Hi Saleh (Gadi), I am reading Andeberhan Welde Giorgis’s book (Eritrea at a Crossroads). I got to the point where the author wrote about Naud and Mahber Shewate (Haraka) and I remembered this article and re-read it. Thank you for the history lesson about this incredible man. It is incredible to see that Eritreans back in the 1940s and 1950s with simple primary education were much more farsighted and had a much better world view than us now, with our PhD’s master’s, professors, and you name it. Idris Mohamed Adem should be next in line, if you haven’t already.

    P.S. Abi, never forget that I am a proud Eritrean but simply calling for my people to not antagonize Ethiopia and its huge populous. If merger is what requires for a lasting peace, justice, and prosperity, I am all for it but it’s not the right of Ethiopia to make that determination, it is ours to make that determination.

    • Abi

      Very Funny
      No no no no no no nonsense!
      You chose to leave us in 1993. We didn’t have a say in the whole process except watching from a distance.
      Now , if you want to submit your application to come back, it should be decided by Ethiopians only. You will be watching, waiting, for the decision.
      VF, it is sad to see you equate the great nation of Ethiopian to that of a sports bar where you come and go as you please. Hah, it doesn’t work that way.
      VF, for your information, I was the first one to ask if it is possible for some kind of unity. I feel you buddy. Give us a chance to decide if we want to adopt you or not in our terms. You feel me? Let everyone have a chance.
      I prefer 1-1 than 2-0. How many times do you have to win? Albezam ende? Yemin qibTet new?
      You see , I’m always nice to you.

  • hago

    Very interesting reading to know our freedom fight history as Eritreans.

  • AMAN

    Dear Awates
    Greetings to all
    I often encounter with some fierce opposition from both Eritreans
    and Ethiopians when I comment on your forum here. I like the
    fact that they express their ideas and opinions but I also often
    find it to be wrong and erroneous understanding of history and
    political administration.
    It is important to note that the regimes were deliberately distorting
    history and historical facts and even elevetaed them to pure prop-
    agandas during thir tenure in power mis-educating the citizens even
    the intellectual citizens under their administration.
    Thus I still find it hard to agree to their observations and points. And
    it is from this fact that I had been campaigning that the transformations
    and changes unfolding must first be placed on the right context and
    perspective instead of quick fixes and trial and error method of accomplishing
    tasks which only give temporary relief but complicate the lasting peace and
    soluttions to current and previous problems of the people and country.
    To mention only one case in point of this faulty understanding held by many
    is that :
    They try to make a case as if the Eritrean struggle wason the wrong page
    of Ethiopian history and as if it was against Ethiopia in nature.
    I do not agree with this assertion. As it was actually a just struggle not only
    on behalf of Eritrea but also on behalf of Ethiopia that puts it on the right
    rail of distorted, dislocated and discontinued history of the people and the
    true nature and history of Ethiopia and the people.
    By concidence or otherwise the Eritrean struggle was on the right page of
    lost Ethiopian history of people and state and the right input to turnaround
    the destructive and erroneous Ethiopia was embarking since 1940’s till 1990’s.
    So many opportunities and opportune moments had been lost in 1974 and 1991
    to consolidate them and make use of them.
    By reason or default what Ethiopia had been looking for for 6 or 7 decades was
    only that what the Eritrean struggle and revolution CHARTED

    • AMAN

      Thus the Eritrean lead Ethiopian revolutionary struggle
      that started in the late 1950’s was the only right vision to save
      Ethiopia from the erroneous nation building it was embarking
      due to the fear and short sight of king HSI & his military as a
      legitimate and visionary opposition party to those regimes and
      the only hope to the injustices the Ethiopian peoples were suffering
      under those administrations.
      The results of these visions and actions can be seen from the constant
      changes Ethiopia underwent towards this direction and the political and
      military victories and achievements the ELF affiliated orgs such as EPLF
      and TPLF achieved over Eritrea and/or Ethiopia over the HSI/WPE regimes
      or administrations AND the adoption of its ideas by the EPRP & Meison
      organiztions to even influence the Dergue into abandoning the old ways
      of social and political foundations of the political administration.
      Hence making it hard to make a demand to us observers to condemn
      only the opposition and its political activities as mistake and leave the
      visions and actions of the former ( ruling regimes) as if they were right.

      • josef

        this is an exceptional observation.. and you have surpassed the historical understanding of modern today Eritrea/Ethiopian dynamics to a new level. There is a Merleau-Pontian disposition in your form of historical phenomenological understanding of nationalism and political identity in 20th Century Ethiopia-Eritrea relations. There is also a weakness in your argument in that it has hint of “temptation of meaning” or suffers from it. Zizek has a useful insight.

  • Mesfin

    Good day AT!

    My comment is directed to many and L.T. L.T! I enjoyed reading your comment. Keep it up. I have a ‘friend’ called: Fila. For Fila to say Isayas is a taboo. He calls him: Wedi Afom! with pride. Fila and others are the people that we are trying to bring them to table for negotiation about Eritrean future.

    Those of you who are trying to belittle L.T, please! There was a university student who asked Isayas about some thing: I forgot. Isayas ‘ s replay was, “Finish your studies first!”. What is different that you guys are doing? Is there some one who did Anthropology and/or Sociology. Can you tell us how the elders or the knowledgeable people guide the youngsters or these that are learning. Seriously, this forum is loosing momentum. Can’t you correct his translation and move on to the points that he was making. Ayneta! Well done. Your comment is in line with L.T’s. DIA ‘Wedi Afom’ is a prophet and he shall not die. He has good stamina that he can stay with out food for months,…, he is good but not the people under him. These are words from Fila. Fila Adores Afewerki very much. Guys! Be careful when you find yourselves sitting next to Fila and alike.

    Semere! I said it before that I am your student, but sometimes you are irritating me. Please give us the correct translation that L.T made a mistake. Or are you trying to silence him? Or is this a friendly joke. If it is a joke, let us know before you make the joke. I had a good friend who was a joker. Some time, I would pick a stone and break his head. This was long ago before I attended anger management class. So, I won’t pick a stone to my teacher or to any animal. [No plegerism. I read Ghandi ‘ s words]

    To conclude, I am waiting to hear from Anthropologists and/or Sociologists to advice participants of the forum on ethics of communication. I believe, it will help. When the professionals are offering the course, Semere (my teache) and I will be sitting in the front desk, listening attentively. Kokhob and Mahmud also need to sit next to us. It will help them to stop cat fight.

    *The hero is our martyer: Mohammed Said Naud and the villain is DIA. *

    Victory to the mass!!! Our fight for human librity, lead by Biteweded Abraha, will continue.

    Your brother,

    • Abi

      Hi Ato Mesfin
      The problem with LT is he doesn’t come as often as we want him.
      Don’t worry about Philosopher LT. He is the most loved.

      Can somebody bring the classic football comment by the great LT?

      • saay7

        Hey Abi:

        It is: “Stop your animal football game and don’t clash with me.”

        One of my favorite LT contributions is to Ethiopian history. Just two of many classics:

        “From Adam-Eva to Noah from Noah to Dinknesh…..Scandalous”

        “You’re 3000 yrs old.An only child”


        • Abi

          Hi Saay
          Thanks. How about the immigration officers in Sweeden checking the teeth of the applicants to determine whether one is from Eritrea or Ethiopia ?
          What if the applicant is toothless? I guess we have to ask Nitricc.
          I also like his comment about Arkebe.
          Long Live LT

          • Guest

            Hi Abby,

            That’s the easy one: just check for double heart beat. You know some people have multiple hearts.

            Thank you

          • Abi

            Selam Engida
            Well , the problem is not due to multiple hearts. It is due to no heart as in “libe biss “.
            Can I safely say those with loud heartbeat are from this country, whereas those with no heartbeat are from that country?

          • saay7

            Hey Abi:

            Maybe I will just have “L.T.’s Great Moments In Ethiopian History.” In addition to the two i cited above, probably my favorites, here are some more:

            * Yodith bruned whole Semen(Axumait kingdom)
            * Ahmed Granga from Somalia Ogaden won two kings of you.
            * Thoedros killed himself in Mekdela
            * Yohn the priest cu. his head by Sudan.
            * Haiel flee to west by Italian force
            * Haile Slassie dead, dog believe or not and eat it.

            Pure, unadulterated, concentrate juice of genius. Cousin iSem spends months, nay, years, trying to come up with such perfection and he is like Antonio Salieri staring at Amadeus Mozart: shocked at how God simply does not distribute genius evenly.


          • Abi

            Institute of Ethiopian Studies will hire him in a heartbeat. He can give lectures in Anything Ethiopian with a little help from Prof Tes.
            I remember Ato Ssleh translated one of the classics . I nominate Kibur LT for man of the year award.

          • saay7


            Agreed on nominating Kbur Philosopher LT for Awatista of the Year Award. But… Read this from L.T. and you tell me whether Institute of Ethiopian Studies will hire him or if he will hire them. Even Eyob is lost on some of the obscure references that only Ethiopian historians know:)

            Ke Asmera Binesu
            Bichegerw Talian
            Ale Forca forsa”
            Atsi Menelik from Debrebrhan-Angilela
            “Ye Menelik Tiyt ye Mekele Eyalech
            Ye Menelik Enat 1 welda Mekenech”
            Aba Tena Iyasu
            Father and the son
            Alga wedeKu.
            Haileslassie from Harer-Ejersa Gore
            Mekele Bigeba
            Mekele Gebachu.
            Awassa bigeba
            Gural betachu..


          • Eyob Medhane

            Sal & Abi,

            It seems LT the Amiche knows a lot about some obscure facts that’s not well known by Average Eritrean..

            His mention of Angolela Debrebrhan seems to tell the story of Menelik II birth and his mother Weizero Ejigayehu’s story.

            Here is how the story goes. Weizero Ejigayehu, a domestic worker at the house of King Hailemelekot dreamt about a sun coming out of her womb. Hearing this the wife of King Hailemelekot imprisoned and exiled Weizero Ejigayehu to a small village near Debrebirhan. But, not before the king “visited” Weizero Ejigayehu. Nine months later, Minilik was born in Angolela, and the rest was history.

            He also referenced Lij Iasu, as ‘Aba Tena’. That is a very Ethiopian reference. I also wonder how many Eritreans know that Haileselassie I was born in Ejersa-Goro, Harar, but LT.

            So I declare that LT is Amiche…If not. He needs to come here and explain how he knows all these with his mesmerizing posts.. 🙂

          • Abi

            Notice how he described Aba Tena the womanizer by saying ” Alga wedequ”. Amazing!
            Except a lecture by the al time great historian LT at IES . ” Menelik, from Angolela to EnToTo”.

          • Semere Andom

            I am not sure now if the animal testing, or “Haile Slassie dead, dog believe or not and eat it.” or the “I am tired of you” or even “it was better with the italian” will be the top.
            I think we should have a vote, seriosly

    • Semere Andom

      Hi Mesfin:
      it was a joke. It was a basic translation like every on-philospher would translate it.
      LT translated ayfalkin girhinetay as I am tired of you, a mere mortal like me and Sal would translate it differently. Sorry for irritating you, it was a joke

  • Mesfin

    Good day Josef!

    I have doubts about you now. Can I ask you: why were Eritreans demonstrating in Geneva and New York? Are you Eritrean or half cast? Don’t be agitated by my questions. Eritrea does not have legitimate government at the moment. What ever PFDJ is doing can not benefit Eritreans. You may think that currency change will benefit Eritreans. But, they are doing it for themselves. The majority don’t have money. The fight is among PFDJ members and collaborators.

    The land Eritrea should benefit Eritreans. You mentioned about money that could be generated by leasing Assab and other parts of Eritrea. For a lease to be conducted, first you need to know the legitmate owner of the property, these who want to use the land and what for. Then, an agreement can be entered that will benefit both sides. I mentioned ISIS and Israel. You may figure out what I want to say.

    And, where is the money generated from some foreign companis in Eritrea? You could not ask. Did you ask: who is working in there and under what conditions. There was a man I saw on social media who was advertising Eritrean gold from Bisha. You could see his cloths and his skeletons. Let me stop there. Those are my my brothers and sisters, working for pine nuts and some are slaves, fulfilling ‘national service’.

    Josef, you are not thinking about Eritreans. You spoke about capitalizing Eritrean resources and globalisation. Resources of the land Eritea are it’s people and the land itself. Productive people are leaving the country and the land is left with the elderly and the children. Even children above the age of 10 years old are leaving the country. So, to capitalize on what?

    To conclude my comments: Josef and I should attend classes on democracy and globalisation.


    • sara

      Dear Mesfin,
      very interesting , to learn from you there are half cast….like 1/2 -1/3-1/4 etc Eritreans. now my question to you is who is/are the 100% in this forum from your
      just curious…

      • Mesfin

        Good day Sara!

        I am not sure that you finished reading my comment. The theme of my commen was not about casts. I was pinching Josef so that he can come out and tell us where he stands. He is suggesting leasing Assab at this moment. What do you say about that. And if you want similar pinching, but don’t cry, I will do it. You are neither half cast nor ‘full’cast. You are invisible in this forum. Open up! Who is Eritrean from your perspective as well.

        You could be half cast if you are thinking about union of Eritrea and Ethiopia. According to my interpritation, lets say that your mother/father is from Gonder/Ethiopia and your father/mother is from high lands/lowlands of Eritrea, and you identify yourself as an Eritean. Here , you are 100% Eritrean. I have got homies that fought for Eritrean independence in the ELF and latter moved to EPLF. They did not join TPLF. They are now Eritrean Martyer. They identified themselves as Eritreans. Those are my homies, my heroes and they are Eritrean heroes. Originally, parents of these heroes are from Adawa – Tigray – Ethiopia, but settled in Eritrea. One of them was Birgad leader.

        I hope you got it. Sara! This is your forum. It is open for everyone. I dont mean that the half casts shouldnt advice us. If you got me like that, you are mistaken. If I am not mistaken, when Kenya was appointing chief Justice, they called three foreigners to be among the judges to help them select the best. In this forum, there are many 100% Eritreans, but let me give you one: SGJ.


        • Abi

          Hi Mesfin
          In your unprecedented cast system, where do you put the likes of Abraha Deboch, Moges Asgedom… Give me percentage 0-100.
          0 being he did not exist , 100 being ” pure” Eritrean.

  • AMAN

    Dear Awates,
    Good Afternoon to you all
    I was thinking to directly proceed to the publication of
    Our Ideas, Views and Voices internet magazine this
    morning which I am postponing it when I noticed some
    readers or late comers to the forum need to be addressed
    and updated about us and our struggle for democratic
    governance and supremacy of the rule of law which I think
    have some conflict and misunderstanding and how they
    see the meaning of the victory of our Armed struggle and
    how they use the freedom that came about with it.
    I have always understood and seen the ELF or the EPLF
    only as conglomerates of many ideas and subgroups within
    them or under their wings when they were in struggle to liberate
    Eritrea and give the Eritrean people freedom. Thus, based on this
    fact I and our group/party feels free and liberated to express their
    views and rally the people around their National agenda for better
    future. And we think we are under no pressure, suppression or coercion
    from any political group whatsoever under any name. Our views and ideals
    are sovereign and reflect the independence and freedom of our people
    achieved it through sacrifice and persistent struggle.
    So ELF or EPLF were only there for the past era representing the Armed
    struggle era reality. And as one post victory era party composed of members
    from both camps we are legitimately exercising our political rights to put the
    ideals of our people to their rightful place like any other group – pfdj and tplf
    among them. And so far we have been able to secure the loyality of the majority
    of our people more than the pfdj and tplf combined and still growing.

  • Kokhob Selam

    Dear L.T.
    ሞይተ ! please edit and say hello before the admin see it. Hurry up ! this has to stay there. Lol.

    • V.F.

      KS, don’t wake the sleeping lion. This post is classic. People become a fire and an angry genuine cat? I thought only Deki hidirtna can do that or budatat who turn into hyenas at night.

  • Abraham Hanibal

    ኣየ LT!
    ኣይትሰኣን ደኣ ንስኻስ ሰሓቕ ወዲአካና! I hope “Sendn Mirmer” means ምርምርን ስነዳን?

    • Semere Andom

      HI be:
      Do you know L. T translated the song ” qunchi Tuuquan” as it was better when the Italians were here;
      If you have the patience to read him, you will come accross treasures

      • Abraham Hanibal

        Hi Semere,
        As they say laughter is the best medicine; so I will try my best not to miss LT’s treasures, though sometimes I find his comments challenging to grasp.

        • Semere Andom

          Hi Ab:

          Here some of his famous translations: He only got one wrong, and that is the slender girl 🙂

          ati qetan maenta”- the slender girl

          Milana Milenu”: you know how it feels the first time?

          “Ati hadar girki semie b’were”: I felt very uncomfortable when you walked away with others

          “nay meqabir bitsotey beal men ekum?”: you do not worry about dead,death is apart of us

          “Nayakal Vitamin,tsbhi tsom yibluki”: do not listen to them””

          “kab May Jah-Jah kiwerd”: I have received your litter”

          “Tukan Quenci melioumo”: It was better before with Italia

          “Handebet mengesha”: You’ll know where to turn to if there is somethng wrong

          “Nifatah”: Go ahead/you can move on

          “Senay gualay kab delekiyo..beli ra’ayiyo”: Home sweet home

          “Ruba Ruba Tahti shefnwa Gime Ayterater naeKi amine”-” I selected you

          “Adey Adi Jeganu”: You change your mind”
          And the best of all is this:
          “ayfalkin grhinetay”: Leave me alone

          • saay7

            Hey Cousin

            Beautiful. As for L.T. translation of “ayfalken grhinetey”, tegagiyom agagiyomkha. It is probably because you didn’t meet Osman in Sweden in the 1980s, like he did. I bet you were in Tigria then. The LT translation (and therefore the correct one) is: “I am so tired of you.” Maybe you should go inside the town and buy the CD.


          • PTS

            Howdy SAAY?
            While you guys are into literal translation as per pfdj (warlords – goitot wug’e) LT’s is context-based and too deep for the regular Habte or Tewele to grasp.
            Did you know he is an excellent poet too? Yeah, he does that at DMB. Hard to believe.

          • saay7

            Hey PTS:

            Are you familiar with the “Bad Hemingway Contest?” Wiki:

            Started in 1977 as a “promotional gag” and held for nearly thirty years the contest pays mock homage to Ernest Hemingway by encouraging authors to submit a ‘really good page of really bad Hemingway’ in a Hemingway-esque style.

            If we initiated an annual “Bad L.T. Contest”, do you think we could get anyone besides iSem to play? If there are 5 committed members, I would like to start the contest to pay tribute to our resident poet/philosopher LT. Are you in?


          • PTS

            Alright, I will do it. Under one condition: convince LT to grace us with a poem. Any poem. Since he doesn’t read comments, You gonna have to get creative to get his attention:)
            Do we have a deal now?
            (bonus points if you get ur assignment done this week:)

          • Semere Andom

            Hi PTS:
            L.T’s translation is beyond literal, it is out of the domain of translation. In the examples I translated, he only got one thing wrong,the slender girl
            He translated “ayfalkin grhinetay as ” I am tired of yout, how is that literal?
            He translated adey adi jeganu as you change your mind. on and on
            He listed his fav poets, among them L.T:-)

          • Shum

            Hello Saay,

            Shame on for not creating a Disqus account for L.T. to copy and paste into for all of his comments. I can’t remember where he wrote those infamous rhymes that gave Nas’ Illmatic a run for its money. If you guys do have a running record of his greatest hits, can you post it on Awate on a slow Sunday?

  • Mesfin

    Good day AMAN,

    I am following, reading your comments. I would like to know if you are reading people’s comment about your posts. You were adviced to not write in poetry formate. It is easy, you can learn it. But you won’t if you are very old and only prefers to teach. And, can you think more about Eritreans? At the moment, Eritreans are suffering more than any other nationals. And, If you are thinking Eritrea (country) to unite with Tigray (province of Ethiopea) to form a bigger country, it is too late. Great men have tried it and realized that it was wasn’t possible. They moved on and won on creating Eritrea as a country. Fortunately, neither the Unionist nor the Independent Bloc got what they wanted.

    If you are Eritrean, don’t put Assab into negotiation. We have paid thousands of lives for the land. Eritreans should decide what to do with it. What is needed now is to dismantle dictatorship from Eritrea and transfer the power to the people. Thereafter, we won’t blame UN, AU, EU, Ethiopea, and others, but we will have to blame ourselves if we encounter any failure. But I believe that when power is in the hands of the people, there won’t be failure. People will vote for servants. Servants will be watched by people and the media of the world. They will have to abide by rules in the constitution. For example, if a servant is not a good servant, people will replace him/her in no time, unlike DIA.

    Let me tell you that Eritrea and Ethiopea will be good neighbours in the future. The people are already good neighbours. We have a lot in commen. I refer you to some countries: Mexico and USA, Ghana and Nigeria, Zimbabwe and South Africa, .European countries… They are benefiting from each other. Think of some thing like this for the future. But not at this moment. DIA could sale Assab or any parts of Eritrea as long as it is going to help him remain in power until his death. We Eritreans should pray that some parts of Eritrea are not sold to ISIS or to Israel. AMAN! be a positive contributer to the forum and not a spy of some agents. I stand to be corrected if I am reading you wrong.

    I thank you,

    • Rule of Law

      Greetings Mesfin
      Is it Ethiopia or “Ethiopea?” I can see that you ignored the ‘auto correct’ and typed it twice which gave me the impression that you did it out of malice therefore however contemptuous way you might think of Ethiopia perhaps you need to be aware of the fact that deliberate misspelling is sacrilegious. In the US people take it as an offence when you misspell their name intentionally or otherwise so showing the basic decency of spelling names and nouns correctly won’t hurt or does it?

      • PTS

        Rule of Law,
        There has to be consistency on naming our countries. It has to be either Ethiopea/Eritrea, or Ethiopia/Eritria. Pick one.

        • Abraham Hanibal

          Hi PTS,
          But if you think of the way they are pronounced, then the correct spelling should be as they are now, ie, Eritrea and Ethiopia.

        • Rule of Law

          Selam PTS
          What is inconsistent about the way the noun ‘Ethiopia’ is spelled or pronounced? As far as I know it is spelled the same in English and Amharic alike. Both names have been derived from Greek until the Italians modified its original greek term ‘erythros’ which means ‘red’ into what it is today. If you really want consistency, may be we should go back to our roots and eliminate this fake boundary. Divided we stand united we fall….. or is it the other way around?

      • Mesfin

        Good day AT and Rule of law!

        Rule of Law! I thank you for the correction. It was not intentional to misspell Ethiopia. What you did is what the forum needs. Moderators should stand up and chair the forum. There are words that are used by some of us that needs to be stopped. Moderators seem to refer to the introduc5ion of the posts. Some posts should be rejected based on some merits. In parlaments, MPs can not insult members of the house. But, they can critisize groups/individuals by using facts. I am not against the reformist, but I disagree with them and i shouldnt belittle them or insult them. I may tell that what they are talking is some thing unattainable.

        Anyway, this plat form should be for people who are mature enough to engage in discussion that will help us grow as reasonable human beings.


  • Abi

    Hi The all time Philosopher LT
    I can’t wait to read the cook /food book by Wedi Afewerki. I hope he knows a better way of making Humbuchbuch.

  • AOsman

    Dear L.T……(man learn to say hello before we loose your post, lucky the annoyed moderator is not watching)

    LoL….Keep them coming, DIA used to serve tegadelties in the 70s and 80s. Those who ate those spicy spaghetti with watery sauce or fata with those dry bread need to come and tell their stories or the story of big brother.



  • Kokhob Selam

    Dear Aby,
    mine style is different. I call her legal father support him to find legal way to crush the fake father. Lol, Don’t tell reformers, if needed I give here father all the support needed to destroy the illegal father and then only see the legal way to marry her…Lol

    • Abi

      I know our styles are different. I die for love, you kill for love. I say “motkulish “, you say ” gedelkulish “.
      I marry the the girl not the real or fake father.
      Kokobe, don’t tell the weed out guys I like the reformers better. I think it is the safest way out of this mess. Watch Hope Nebsi is coming to tell me ” ayagebahim , ayimelekethim “. He is right.
      Kokobe, don’t kill me now. You are already married.
      Zeraf! Ene Kokob! Lefqir geday!

      • Kokhob Selam


        I love you. but do you know most will understand what you are saying? you need to be popular to do anything you can reform and you can be reformed if you want you can put your head in your feet but what you should do is convince your self that you have changed something and dance.

        Lol, I get married legally, I didn’t pull a girl from the street በስመ ኣብ ወልደ መንፈስ ቅዱስ : ኡፍ ! ያለ ህግ ሚስት ማግባት ሲያስጠላኝ ! regarding hope, ሆፕ ኣይደል ! በየትኛው ፍርድ ቤት ይጠየቃል!

      • saay7

        Hey Abi:

        I have written this before, but bears repeating: Eritrea is the only country in the world where “reform” is a bad word in the government AND the opposition:

        (1) When Isaias was interviewed by Bronwyn Bruton she asked him about reforms and he said, what’s there to reform, suggesting its all perfect.

        (2) When the G-15 first sprang to the scene, we called them reformers (because, silly us, we took their statement “this is a call for reform” very seriously.) Well, the traditional opposition called them REFORMERS! like it is an insult (compared to REVOLUTIONARIES, I guess) and pretty soon the G-15 themselves were denying they were reformers:)

        You have to be a fire-breathing dragon to be taken seriously within the Eritrean opposition; if you use sober language, you are seen as suspect.


        • Abi

          Hi Saay
          Everyone and everything is reformable. Everything can be refined.
          You remember the debate why eprdf still carry the “revolutionary ” thing. Our region has been in revolutionary mode for a while now we trust the revolutionary movement better. It is a curse.
          I truly believe it is a small group of people who should be removed to reform the government.
          If you remember when Eprdf controlled addis, only the high officials were removed. The deputy ministers were working with Eprdf until they were removed eventually. Dr Teqeda Alemu is still serving the government. He was with Derg. Actually, it is the lower level Derg officials who were abusing the population. The esepa representative at AAU was more powerful than the University President. It was the same everywhere.
          I truly, truly believe it is reformable. Now, let me run before Tes and Hope start shooting.

          Tes, I know, I know it is not my business. Teregaga. I mean TeTew bel.

          • saay7

            Hey Abi:

            Well, you know, some people shoot blanks:)

            It is the old dichotomy of the appeal of Malcolm X and the appeal of MLK. The young loved Malcolm X; the older loved MLK. I think I just called myself old.

            Speakiing of…. did you know that in the X-Men series, Magneto was modeled after Malcolm X and Professor X was modeled after MLK? Now, whoever has contrary information, please don’t share: some stories are just too good to be ruined by facts:)


          • Berhe Y

            Hi Abi and Saay,

            In this example, that’s the DERG, can you please tell me which part of the DERG system is reformed? When people advocate that the system needs to be removed, it’s exactly what happened to the DERG, buried deep under.

            Off course, you know as well as everyone else, this does NOT mean that the bureaucrats who were employed by the former regime need to be removed, arrested or killed, if they were innocent. Even those responsible for crimes (as was some of the DERG officials), they need to be brought to justice and given a chance to defend themselves.

            Staying in this example, would it make sense for TPLF/EPRDF to ask the DERG system to reform itself?

            I am also well aware that, reform is possible if reform comes from within the system. (e.g. China, Soviet Union, South Africa, Burma and others). If the system needs to reform itself, nobody is stopping it. Let it go ahead and do it, and I don’t think there will be any Eritrean, opposition or otherwise will have a problem with that.


          • Semere Andom

            Hi Berhe:
            When it comes to reform or or t, help from Ethiopia or not, whethere the opposition should be in Ethiopia or not, Erittrean solution to eriteran problem vs change by all means, I sometimes want to quote the late Seyoum Harestay who reportedly told IA “nquum bbiHilawenne eske nAmir fettarine”:))
            He wa quotting “Liqqe Melaakti” Michael, when the angels were divided about Lucifer’s rebellion

          • Abi

            Hi Berhe
            I had the same discussion with Haile TG and T Kifle.
            Derg started reforming after that Friday afternoon speech in 1982 EC where Menge told us that the country has officially dropped socialist ideology and picked up mixed economy. Was it late? It was extremely late. The damage was done. A year later derg lost everything. Was there hope? Yes.
            Eprdf, as a front had it easy in most places under transition. Except the military, it kept most things intact.
            Eprdf entered Addis Gunbot 20, ten days later salaries were paid. The only thing delayed was the universities. Again, they were closed by derg not Eprdf. Why am I telling you this?
            1- the people are decent. I believe it is true to eritreans.
            2- people were tired of derg. I believe the same is true to PFDJ.
            3 – bureaucrats followed order both from derg and Eprdf. I believe it is true in eritrea as well.
            Does it take time? Yes. If Eprdf could do it , both in reforming itself, and getting closer to the public, getting the trust of the public, why not PFDJ ?

          • Berhe Y

            Hi Abi,

            I agree with everything you said, except the last sentence.

            “If Eprdf could do it , both in reforming itself, and getting closer to the public, getting the trust of the public, why not PFDJ ?”

            I disagreed because, in case of Eritrea it’s the opposite. The Eritrean people trusted PFDJ, it’s the PFDJ betrayed the people’s trust. Will it be able to gain that trust again, I personally do not think it’s possible.

            So at this point, I think we need to compare the PFDJ with the DERG. Was is possible for the DERG to reform itself if it didn’t lose the support of Soviet Union or it was losing ground in the military operations? I DO NOT think so..Look at Cuba, it would stay for ever if it had no threat of losing power.

            So I think the right comparison is PFDJ to the DERG and not with EPRDF?


          • Abi

            Hi Berhe
            We are making progress, it seems.
            I compared Eprdf with PFDJ because you reform something while alive. You can’t reform a dead Derg . So , you can’t compare Derg and PFDJ now.
            However, we used say shabiya is Derg in Tgrigna.
            If Derg started the reforming process early, who knows what would have happened. As you said, Derg was losing ground in every aspect. It was extremely late for Derg . I don’t think it is too late for pfdj .

          • Shum

            Hello Berhe,

            You said “If the system needs to reform itself, nobody is stopping it. Let it go ahead and do it, and I don’t think there will be any Eritrean, opposition or otherwise will have a problem with that.” I guess I’m at a loss to understand what incentives those within PFDJ have to reform. Here are a few discouraging factors:

            1. The regime is cornered internationally, but within the country, it seems to have an iron grip.

            2. Trust between comrades doesn’t seem to be there
            3. Everyone seems expendable and not trusted because of the PFDJ brand
            4. Many of the top leadership and well known members are either dead, killed, imprisoned or exiled.
            5. There doesn’t seem to be coordination between anyone within and outside the country, hence no pressure.

            So, my point is that I don’t think leaving them to their own devices and saying “go ahead and do it” will bear any fruit. There needs to be some kind of pressure. How can reform be encouraged given these factors I outlined? Feel free to challenge my assertions by the way.

  • Mahmud Saleh

    Dear Saleh
    Thanks again for reposting this invaluable article on our martyred fighter and thinker. Thank you our martyred veteran, Mohammed Said Naud, for the service you rendered to the cause of our nation, and forgive me for wasting the time on nonsense issues this weekend rather than discussing your contribution. From my memories:
    – Haraka was a truly broad based and intellectually matured organization. I asked once my dear teacher, friend and mentor, Alemseged Tesfai, if he was going to also move on covering Haraka. He said there was a third volume in the pipe but not specifically on Haraka. He was of the position that the Eritrean revolution should be researched and investigated in a different era and with impartial mindset (our current students-future researchers) adding that the material has been compiled.
    – Mohammmed Said Naud is known for his sharp mind, and fierce pen. He seemed to me more of a thinker than a leader, because, since the demise of Haraka, he could not stand out of the shadow effects of other giants such as Osman Sabe and other founders of the revolution.
    – Related issue: I encourage AT to feature similar unifying stories particularly from the ELF side. Much has been written and featured by the governments on stories of the EPLF, although with strict self or imposed restraints on writers and archivists. AT needs to feature true and unifying heroes of the ELF because it is positioned favorably to make that happen due to its established credibility and proximity to the matter (I sense there are enough writers and columnists here who could give it a start). Let the true essence of ELF live.

    • adarob

      Merhaba Abu hanafi!
      There is no place for the ELF heroes under the rule of the pfdj.
      Don,t be surprised when thier list of legands will culiminate and ends up with keshi petros as eritrean hero. Sh3ab eritrea sebr wede tarika ibde.

      • Mahmud Saleh

        Dear Adarob
        Fel tefedel: Brother step forward and share stories with us. I mean it adarob. PFDJ does not rule this site,,haha…As long as SGJ is standing with his stick guarding the door, no faction will dominate it. Tefedal Ya ustazna.

        • Adarob!

          Merhab Mahmud,

          Thank you for assigning me to a higher professional rank as chronicler. I wish to meet your expectations, but my knowledge is limited in that area and will do my best to participate with the little knowledge I have. But the new generation are on the ball to find the truth. inshaalah.
          إلاّ باكر لمـّا أولادنا السمريبقوا أفراحنا البنمسح بيها .. أحزان الزمن

          SGJ is doing a great job, he is inspiring, informing and emboldens me and you to come out with the truth. Abu Salah akuya wahabibi inta ya beta3 meshakel, haram 3leek haha. As you said tefedel, it sounds like bgbri, haha. Bgbri (submission) that was used by the ELPF as the act of accepting the authority or control of someone else, no freedom of expression not even freedom of thinking that ended up with power madness and slavery of todays Eritrea.
          This is Idris Mohamed Adam one of the prominent Eritrean politicians that the EPLF/PFDJ want us to forget.

          Habibek Adarob!

  • AMAN

    Dear Awates
    I have one idea I would like to suggest to the Eritrean
    people through your forum. That is,
    If the Tplf / woyane learned its lessons and stopped its
    bravado and arrogant attitude against Eritrea and the
    Eritrean government , It should be allowed to use the ASSEB
    port again to alleviate the suffering of the Ethiopian people under
    its rule. Afterall…………………..

    • Mesfin

      Good day A MAN and the team!

      Dear AMAN: You don’t have to worry about Ethiopeans. Their Govt Is handling their problem. They don’t need Assab anymore. And, there is no woyane as it is with EPLF anymore. Ethiopea has a govt.


      • Kokhob Selam

        Dear Mesfin,
        TPLF with all it’s faults and some historical mistakes but was wise group. They have let most Ethiopians participate in nation building leaving aside their only interest and respecting the common interest. in any type of revolution you will record negative actions but if wise handles them they can turn to be positive. it is just stooping he cycle and going higher – that is what PMZ and his members did . If there will be any change Ethiopia now, it should be even for higher. I don’t know if this will continue hopefully yes but Ethiopia is doing fine so far.

        Aman has to know the problem is in his house and has to solve it instead of looking Ethiopians. Eritrea should have a legal government first to solve all problems. Assab is Eritrean and Eritrean only and if there will be any decision to let Ethiopia use it it should be decided by people representing leadership. Ethiopians will not use it if PFDJ comedown and ask them to use it now as far us I understand. wise people make agreements with real legal people. how can you request a girl for marriage from fake father who controls the entire family by force..Lol. Sure you will agree with me Mesfin.

        • Mesfin

          Dear Kokhob,
          I agree with you. TPLF members were smart. They let Ethiopeans, from all sides of the world, participate in forming democratic government. If you look at their leading political party, they have people from all angles of the country. They have constitution that is working for all Ethiopeans. Ethiopeans, who are staying with me, are building houses in their villages and towns. What about Eritreans: lost people in the desert?

          Kokhob! I am learning Eritrean history. Tell me: TPLF and EPLF friended to destroy ELF. They also worked together to remove ELF from Badme and left the place to be administered by TPLF. I don’t have reliable references. You could help here please. My uncles are martyrs and they were ELF fighters. Acourding to my parents, ELF members were mercy less for criminals. They are well admired by my homies. I was born after they dispersed. At school, all I have learnt is that EPLF, EPLF, EPLF….did this and that. ELM and ELF are mentioned as weeds of the Eritrean army strugle. EPLF/PFDJ has been doing this to fulfil their selfish needs, to get ‘respect’. DIA was a small god. This is always true when a story is told only from one side. We, foolish Eritreans, did not question the history we learnt. For example, I did not question my history teacher (EPLF member) that what I heard from my parents about ELF and what he was teaching were contradicting. They (EPLF/PFDJ) brainwashed us. Now, I am prepared to unlearn what I have learnt.


          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear Mesfin,

            Thank you very much for this question. I want to do it in correct way. please give me some time. and by the way there are people who will help you on this more than me. wait for some days we may see articles in the subject.

  • Kokhob Selam

    Dear L.T.
    you are most welcome. I love to read posts from you.

  • Mesfin

    Good day Awate team and well done SGJ. I am learning a lot about Eritrean history from you and your colleagues. Keep it up.
    From what I see is that Eritreans haven’t learnt from the past. If there were Eritreans in the 40s and 50 who were collaborating with colonizers to suppress Eritrean heroes, fighters from ELF should have friended with ELM instead of suppressing or ending them. They knew that they were not foreigners. Unfortunately, the pattern is continuing. Instead of working together to eradicate dictatorship, we are playing old games. I hope that Eritreans in the diaspora notes this and come out of it.

    Before concluding may comment, I would like to congratulate on a well done job by Camera Wegahta. I don’t have words to explain what I feel about our – Eritrean messy life. I looked at the photo of the general and the detained people. The general looked as if he had swallowed 10 people. I hope that he hide his head in a soil before he bursts infront of the people. What is happening is inhumane. If possible, camera Wegahta should have English sub titles for all other languages, so that people in the world have to know what we are going through.


    • Kokhob Selam

      Thank you Mesfin,
      it is unfortunate to see some people still are assassinating every one who do things before them. and all just to cover mistakes and weakness and try to be seen they are better than the other just by doing nothing. Here we have people telling us Wegahta is financed by so and so. why? just they because they couldn’t do what Wegahta has done. I don’t know really what is happening to us. bad culture we inherited from our national struggle. this is what we should clean first. when we say we should change from the root and not reform it is not only removing PFDJ but removing the old negative patterns from our mind. TKS,

      • Mesfin

        Good day Kokhob! I agree with you. We, Eritreans need to know the good and the bad things that were done by our fathers and grand fathers. Painting honey to our real history won’t help us any more. There were Eritreans that were mislead by selfish needs and foreign influence. This has to come to an end. Then, we can have a complite picture of our heroes and vilans, of individual person and the group that he/she was in.

        With regards to the higidefawian and their clinging to the song ‘Weyane! Weyane….’is not easy to treat. I am sure, some will change but majority will die in it. They will always blame Weyane for any failure they have been seeing in their administration. Anyway, the opposition have power now. Majority of the diaspora are on our side (the oppesition), referring to the Geneva and New York demonstration. Eritreans came out in numbers to speak on behalf of the voiceless. Referring to the number of people we saw and estimating the number of people that did not make it to the demonstration, the opposition has the upper hand in the diaspora to support the Camera Wegahta. Talking about who is sponsoring it will not get listeners, rather there will be multitude supporters and sponsors to the mission. Well done to the heroes who have put their life on the line for justice to their people.

        Victory to the mass!
        Our fight against ignorance and selfishness should continue by educating each other about our true history.


  • Kokhob Selam

    ኣቱም ኣሕዋት :-

    ማሕበር ሸውዓተ ሲ ንሃገራዊ ቃልሲ እዮም ተበጊሶም :- በቲ ግቡእ ቀዲሞምኻ ካብ ተበገሱ ትድግፎምን ትጽንበሮምን : እንተዘይኮነ ድማ ንስኻ ከምኦም ውድብካ ሒዝካ ምስ ጸላኢ ትረጋረግ እምበር ኣብ ምንቲ ምንታይ ሰራዊትካን ሰራዊቶምን ተጥፍእ ? እዚስ እንታይ ይበሃል ? ዳሕራይ እቶም ነተጋድሎ ሓርነት ዝተጸንበርና ነቲ ኣብ ልዕሊ ‘ዞም ሃገራውያን ዝወረደ ግፍዒ ሸለል ኢልና ምሕላፍና ከመይ ዝበለ ድንቁርና እዩ ? ብዘይካና ካልእ ክህሉ የብሉን ዝብል ጉጉይ ኣተሓሳስባ እምበ ኣር ቅድሚ ህግሓኤ ተሓኤ ትሕተተሉ :: ንገዛእ ርእሱ እቲ ኢሂም ብሂም ናይ ምባል ባህሊ ካብ ቅድሙ ኣይነበረን :: መሪሕነት ተሓኤ ብስለት ኣይነበሮን :: ክሳብ ፩ይ ሃገራዊ ጉባኤ ኣንፈት ግስጋሰ ኣይተራእየን : ሽዑ ውን ብዓል ኤስያስ ቀንዲ ዓማ ጸኒሖም ተገልቢጦም ጸረ ዓማን ገስገስትን ኮይኖም ተዋስኦ ዝሰርሕሉ መድረኽ እዩ ዝነበረ :: ብቀደሙ ብዓል ኣል ኣሚን ዶ ኤስያስ ዶ ኢልካ ዶ ኣብ ስልጣን ጎሓላሉ ትእክብ ኢኻ ወደይ !

    ሕጂ ብዓል ናደው ናብ ኣስመራ መእተዊኦም እኮ ድማ እቲ ኣብ ልዕሊኦም ዝወረደ ግፍዒ ጸልይዎም ነይሩ ማለት እዩ : እምበር ኣየናይ ናጽነት ኣብ ትሕቲ ህግደፍ ሃልዩ ድ ኣ ኣስመራ ትኣቱ ደቀይ!

  • Guest

    Dear all,

    Saleh, your contribution is beyond useful. Thank you!

    On separate note, if you notice lately TPLF and its cadres are acting erratic and spilling **it of desperation. All the opposition platforms, including in this website ( thanks to Abi and Eyob ) are now in full force to divide Eritrea into lowland and highland which seems the last card of wayane before it commits sucide. Now, the Arab investors are leaving Ethiopia in masses as harassment and looting by TPLF intensifies, the Chinese war shipps are about to dock soon at Dijubuti coast, and the Ethiopian opposition seen to have obtained a green light and unconditional support from countries against Chinese expansion in Africa. The big issue is can the Chinese save TPLF? I think we might witness the demise of TPLF before the natural death of DIA!

    Have a nice weekend

    • josef

      First thanks Saleh for article. it was educational for me as Eritrean raised in the west to learn about the forefathers of the Eritrean independence movement beyond images of Woldemariam and Sultan.
      It is important for eritreans to know about freedom fighters who fight and returned home after independence and not clamoring for power and prestige or dictatorship.
      I don’t know about the response by guess comments… it has nothing to do with Naud- it is wishful thinking mixed some wild ranting…like Gypsy with dark crystal ball telling about darkness…

  • L.T

    I have read his book on the Tigrinya when I was in Ertra in 2004 and I was neither satosfied nor disappointed becouse it keep not enough history and information in the whole “Haraka’s role and movement in Eritrea politics of history what I mean is we want more books about our struggle if we do not learn our history our enemy came and attempt to blur this.
    Finally,I’ll joke with Saleh if he can explain us about “Haraka”called MaHeber 7 or ELM.

  • Kokhob Selam

    Dear awate friends,

    The action taken by ELF over ELM can’t be justified and this had a big consequence and had affected the revolution. this is my personal view.

    • g michael

      A much needed chapter of a primer on Eritrean History. One would wonder what direction of development Eritrea could have embarked on, if visionaries such as these heroes, – welel, and bitweded were included in the decision making process of post independent Eritrea.
      Saleh, keep it up!

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