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News and Information, Life and Property

My generation grew up consuming news. In Teashops, particularly in the morning, radios blasting, news bulletins from BBC Arabic, VoA, Monte Carlo, and many others. Every artisan on the streets had radios on the shopfronts.

Each day I walked to school through the textile and grocery shops, tailors, tin artifact makers who made pots (jebena), farnello, storage tin-boxes, and other utensils.

The Ethiopian radio aired Somali songs followed by News, or the Amharic gymnastics program Dub-Dub bellu blasting from the municipality radio over a microphone on the roundabout close to the post office.

But on my way to school, the BBC Arabic service, the most popular station, aired Quran recitation by the pristine voice of Sheikh Abdelbaset Abdisamad, the famous Egyptian reciter. At 7 O’clock, the familiar Big Ben bell tolled; no one misses that bulletin. It was a ritual. And everyone listened carefully. I started to listen to the news from the beginning of the street and from there on, until the end of the street, there was an uninterrupted supply of news.

The Arabic broadcast news was so refined a language that many hardly understood it. Nevertheless, they listened attentively. Then they talked about it and if Eritrea was mentioned in the news, they rate it positively. Otherwise, “there was no worthy news.” When Eritrea was mentioned in the news, everyone was attentive. What happened, you could ask. ‘Yasalaaaam! They kept saying, Eritrea, Eritrea, Eritrea. all day.’  The mere mention of Eritrea made people aware the reset of the world still remembers them.

The 1960s were eventful years. News about the wars in the Middle East, the war in Biafra, Nigeria, the first Ananya Rebellion of South Sudan, the death of Jamal Abdel Nasser, the deposing of King Senousi of Libya by Gaddafi who was 28…many of marching band music announcing a coup d’état somewhere. They spiced that up with songs by Mohammed Werdi or Sayed Khelifa, Abdul Halim hafiz or Fairuz.

We news captivated us so much that we memorized the names of the broadcasters and their voices like today’s movie personalities.

Comparing Traditional News and Social Media

The current social media rumormongering is full of amateurish speculation, fake news, or simply outright propaganda. Profanity and ignorance rules supreme. People behind pen-names pretend to be Hercules and uber-patriots, and there are a negligeable number of reliable news providers. There are very few professional, official (and semi-official) media outlets that are accountable, the rest do not inform but brainwash to protect their employers.

The BBC, VoA and others were state funded, and their mission is to advance the views of their employers, in a way that doesn’t insult the intelligence of the audience. Yet, they educated and informed the public while leaving margin for the audience to make up its mind. They competition was on who is more reliable and believable—the bar was high. They presented high quality and decent entertainment programs, general knowledge, clean music that targeted the human senses of people, not their animal instincts.

The Media Mayhem and the current situation in the Horn of Africa

It has been close to two months since the current cycle of violence hit our region. It is an inter-Ethiopian militia led war sanctioned by the governments of the region, particularly the Ethiopian federal government, including that tacit engagement of the Eritrean regime whose level of involvement is still not fully exposed. Yet, whether we accept it or not, the Eritrean regime is part of the problem. It’s part of the crisis. The Eritrean ruling party has never been a force of stability, but one of agitation and promoting the no-peace-no-war situation inside and outside Eritrea.

Over the last two decades (relatively speaking), Eritrea’s neighbors made big strides in the development of their countries. Even Sudan, which was put on a hold since the early 1990s due to bloody wars and UN sanctions, despite the brutal dictatorship of the AL Bashir regime, hasn’t been as bad as Eritrea.

In the last two-decades, Djibouti has done exceptionally well. It took advantage of the closure of the Eritrean port of Assab and managed to divert Ethiopia’s dependence from Assab to its ports. It also secured deep rooted investments and economical gains.

Under the EPRDF, Ethiopia, despite the wide-spread corruption and lopsided power sharing arrangement, has been riding on a double-digit growth. It built impressive infra-structure, universities, highways, dams, and industrial hubs. It was flourishing until the coming of Abiy Ahmed,  “The Ethiopian Sixth King.”

Every country in the region is doing fine (relatively) except for poor Eritrea where it has embarrassingly regressed since independence–in all aspects including economy, justice, and general freedoms and respect of citizens. Now it’s facing and existential problems though many do not seem to acknowledge or realize the risks. How will Eritreans solve the metastasizing problems in their country? How do they express it or fight back?

Certainly, it cannot be done by consuming the information and news that come from unqualified individuals with fake names on social media. Certainly not from statements by individuals whose knowledge about the issues is rudimentary, childish, or merely ignorant. First, we must learn to sift through the social media clutter and depend on what is left of the few reputable institutions that have a reputation to keep, that have invested heavily on what they do. The pen-name hacks, and people who consider chatting online a hobby, consuming their bigotry and hypocrisy wrapped statements will not help—be it Breaking or Crushing news!

We need to focus

It’s prudent and wise to analyze every news (preferably from reliable sources) and to plan accordingly. The Eritrean politicians and activists need to find a way impose their cause in the news. Opposition leaders should not be simple consumers of news as if it is a harmless chit-chat. Unfortunately, many in the opposition are treating the war-news and rumors as if it’s a football match, cheering for one side or the other. The focus must be on what is the ramification of the regional conflicts is on Eritrea. How would the multi-faceted developments affect Eritrea? What can we do to avert more national and regional damages? And importantly, how can Eritreans find a crack to impose Eritrean issues in the news?

What the region is going through is a colossal crisis and Eritreans should take this as an opportunity to positively engage in it for the benefit of Eritreans and their struggle. It’s an opportunity that must not be wasted. It’s disappointing to see many Eritreans, particularly the elite, chose to be bystanders at best and cheer leaders at worst.

The recent Ethiopian conflicts are of a historical nature, an ethnic conflict of the Ethiopian historical elite rivalry between those from Tigrai and Amhara. However, it was packaged as a law-enforcing war. How does different outcomes affect Eritrea?

Genuine Eritrean patriots must see the crisis as both a human and a security issue. All must reject the culture of war. Over the centuries, it has inflicted more than enough damage on the region. The aggression on civilian lives and their properties is a serious crime that should not be condones. Eritreans should push for a peaceful resolution of the conflict, even if it’s difficult to find a peaceful resolution in a medieval war culture. But that is the only way out.

For Eritrea, it’s a relief the fascistic imbeciles of Agazian are crippled. But I am not happy the Qey-Bahrachin crowd, and the pastors who has a hotline to God who whispers to them, are still spreading their venom against Eritrean wellbeing. If that continues with the Nebi’s and prophets, it’s tempting to try to get a supper-fast line to talk to god. But one must know the call-in  number and the best time to call. But for now, let’s see some samples of the threats

Conclusion: The Four Threats Facing Eritrea

  1. Tigrai elite 

    The wars will end, and we are destined to have Tigrai as our immediate neighbors. Therefore, it’s of paramount importance that we reach a common understanding on how to co-exist peacefully. But the hope is that Tigrai will have enlightened leaders who would see Eritrea for what it is and not see it in parts. There are a few with expansionist and hegemonic mentality like General Tsadkan must be tamed.

  2. Amhara elite 

    These are the crowd with an aggressive attitude who has always been a threat to Eritreans. They speak about Eritrean territories (its sea) as if it is their private swimming pool and Eritreans are squatters. These are the “Qey-Bahrachin” crowd must also be restrained.

  3. Abiy, the Sixth Ethiopian KingAbiy Ahmed has rusticated and rehabilitated all the elements who have been historical threat to Eritrea—remnants of the expansionist Haile Selassie school, the violent Dreg military establishment, and the theocratic establishment that give their hegemonic ambition with quotes from mythology that they present as words of God.

    Abiy has also inspired many shenanigans who claim to have regular meetings with god. It’s no secret that the hapless and illiterate segment of the people would fall for their hallucinations. But that would not have been a threat if they stopped claiming that “last night god spoke to me, He told me that Eritrea will be brought back to the bosom of its mother Ethiopia.” That trick was used to blackmail some people in the 1940s, when illiteracy and dependence on religious intuitions was overwhelming. And that is a major threat to Eritreans.

  4. Our Local Nightmare

    The deepest Eritrean wound is self-inflicted, and Eritrea is still facing existential threats. Regardless of the above risks, Eritreans should not allow a perception that they are dishonest. Their problems should not be tossed at others when it is their own assignment. The Eritrean problem exemplified by its ruthless dictator, his corrupt political, military and financial establishment. Disrespect of human life, dignity and freedom has been compromised due to tricks that the regime played in oppressing Eritreans. The main threat to Eritrea remains to be the regime that has put it in such a precarious situation, exposed it to great risks and damages. Eritrean problems are imposed by the corrupt, unjust, irresponsible and inept regime ruling it unhinged That is what we should focus on. And that is the fourth major (the primary risk) that needs to be resolved before the state of Eritreans can be improved.

Apart from the above, Eritreans are willing and capable of facing any other risk thrown at them.

About Saleh "Gadi" Johar

Born and raised in Keren, Eritrea, now a US citizen residing in California, Mr. Saleh “Gadi” Johar is founder and publisher of awate.com. Author of Miriam was Here, Of Kings and Bandits, and Simply Echoes. Saleh is acclaimed for his wealth of experience and knowledge in the history and politics of the Horn of Africa. A prominent public speaker and a researcher specializing on the Horn of Africa, he has given many distinguished lectures and participated in numerous seminars and conferences around the world. Activism Awate.com was founded by Saleh “Gadi” Johar and is administered by the Awate Team and a group of volunteers who serve as the website’s advisory committee. The mission of awate.com is to provide Eritreans and friends of Eritrea with information that is hidden by the Eritrean regime and its surrogates; to provide a platform for information dissemination and opinion sharing; to inspire Eritreans, to embolden them into taking action, and finally, to lay the groundwork for reconciliation whose pillars are the truth. Miriam Was Here This book that was launched on August 16, 2013, is based on true stories; in writing it, Saleh has interviewed dozens of victims and eye-witnesses of Human trafficking, Eritrea, human rights, forced labor.and researched hundreds of pages of materials. The novel describes the ordeal of a nation, its youth, women and parents. It focuses on violation of human rights of the citizens and a country whose youth have become victims of slave labor, human trafficking, hostage taking, and human organ harvesting--all a result of bad governance. The main character of the story is Miriam, a young Eritrean woman; her father Zerom Bahta Hadgembes, a veteran of the struggle who resides in America and her childhood friend Senay who wanted to marry her but ended up being conscripted. Kings and Bandits Saleh “Gadi” Johar tells a powerful story that is never told: that many "child warriors" to whom we are asked to offer sympathies befitting helpless victims and hostages are actually premature adults who have made a conscious decision to stand up against brutality and oppression, and actually deserve our admiration. And that many of those whom we instinctively feel sympathetic towards, like the Ethiopian king Emperor Haile Sellassie, were actually world-class tyrants whose transgressions would normally be cases in the World Court. Simply Echoes A collection of romantic, political observations and travel poems; a reflection of the euphoric years that followed Eritrean Independence in 1991.

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  • Berhe Y

    Dear Saleh,

    Happy New Year. As usual I enjoyed your video. And thank you for identifying our threats. I think the next step is to focus on the priorities of those and tackle them. I think number 4 is the highest priority and in our direct control and if we take of that, the rest will take of it self.

    Speaking of how backwards we have been going, here is a short video of Somalia today and what they have been able to achieve, with all the challenges they have.


    I think forgetting everything Ethiopian should be our first priority in order to focus in our own.


  • መሃንድስ-ምዕባለ

    4. Our Local Nightmare

    ዘይሕለል ሳልሕ ጆሃር
    ን ቁጽሪ 4 ክምልስ ኣፍቅደለይ
    ኖ ተልካ ግን ክምልስ የ ባዕለይ
    1 ኾኑ 3 ኾኑ
    ድዮም ዝበሉ ሓቀይ?
    4 ጌረያ ኣለኹ

    1. ሰብ ጽኑዓት መትከል
    ዓሽ-ዓሽ! ሓቂ ዘረባ
    ሰላምታና ተቐበል

    2. ሰብ ኣይ-ምስዚ ኣይ-ምስ ቲ
    ኣፎም ሒዞም
    No comment ኢሎም ይሓልፍዋ
    ዘይ ሰብ ከም-መምሰልቲ
    ንሕለፍ ጥራይ

    3. ሰብ መምሰልቲ
    ቀትሪ ምስ ሰብ-ፍትሒ
    ምሕዳር ምስ ህግደፍ
    ወጋሕ ትበል ለይቲ!

    4. ሰብ ዕሉላት-ህግደፍ
    ኣንታ ዕሱብ ወያነ
    ከምዚ ዘረባ ግደፍ
    ምስ ንግስነት-ጎንደር ንቕድሚት

    የግዳስ ንስኻ ኣብ መትከልካ
    ሓቂ ተዛሪብካ
    ኣብ መገዲ ባቡር ደቅስ
    ካብ ኮነ እምነትካ
    ኣፍካን ግብርኻን ይስዓር!

  • Abi

    Hello Residents, Visitors and Squatters
    Happy New Year!

    • Hashela

      Hello Abi

      Happy New Year to you and your family.

      Let me close the this year with couple words from the Old Testament.

      At the beginning there was a word. A word that was misunderstood by those who play chase until the fall of the last pawn. The word became flesh. The Son was ridiculed as weak and fool and crucified. The Almighty Father said ‘enough is enough’. The Son understood it is time to act. With the help of the invisible Spirit from the north and the borrowed birds from the vault (sky) Sodom and Gomorra were cleared, heralding the beginning of a new and promising era.

      Happy New Year

      • Abi

        You killed it!
        I feel like reading ትንቢተ ኢሳያስ.
        The vultures could not stand talons to talons against the blessed birds.
        Happy New Year.

  • Aman Y.

    Selam Saleh,

    Though I know Asmara very little, your nostalgia is understandable. The Asmara where I worked for a short time in the 90’s did not seem to care about news and information. The Asmara I was acquainted with was a booming city with ears for defining music rather than news. Modern music with draft from “Holly Wood Park” wouldn’t give chance to talk to each other. Information exchange and news had to be done sipping cappuccino at Hard Rock Café for the young and one of the modernized historical bars like Bar Impero, Bar Bereket etc for the wise.

    Though, the core of your message is about news and information please allow me to prioritize the quote on Ethiopia.
    You wrote “Under the EPRDF, Ethiopia, despite the wide-spread corruption and lopsided power sharing arrangement, has been riding on a double-digit growth. It built impressive infra-structure, universities, highways, dams, and industrial hubs. It was flourishing until the coming of Abiy Ahmed, “The Ethiopian Sixth King.” ”
    I am having hard time to understand why the Ethiopians, non Tigrayans, abhor TPLF so much. I was amazed when I visited Addis after 20 years. They have done so much more in the items you mentioned above and developing human capital, and so on. I am not sure if their human rights record is worse than the Derg. And the only Ethiopian government to compare them with. What about delivering us from the derg. I would love if on of my Ethiopian brothers or sisters help me out.

    Traditional News v Social Midia

    I would not compare traditional news and social media. It is for the audience to be selective. The reason the social media went crazy this time around is because of the news black out by Abiy. If the Media institutions were on the ground, no one would have paid attention to them. I believe they are complimentary. My sixteen years old daughter inquired me about the war, history of Ethiopia , Eritrea and Tigray all the way to Haile selassie after she saw the news on social media.

    And on your conclusion items, I would put Isaias as an immediate threat to Eritrea

    The solution for the media would be to create one strong public media institution with a pragmatic approach. The easiest could be to select one of the existing public Eritrean media or create a new one with the agreement of most of the media people.


    • Tensae

      Hi Aman,

      Allow me to comment on the following part of your post:

      You said, “ I am having hard time to understand why the Ethiopians, non Tigrayans, abhor TPLF so much. I was amazed when I visited Addis after 20 years. They have done so much more in the items you mentioned above and developing human capital, and so on. I am not sure if their human rights record is worse than the Derg. And the only Ethiopian government to compare them with. What about delivering us from the derg. I would love if one of my Ethiopian brothers or sisters help me out.”

      The reason why the 95% or so of the total Ethiopian population (excluding the 5% or so Tigrayans) was not happy with the status quo and therefore opted for a change despite improvement in the economy as you claim is very simple to understand for any fair and open minded person as it is not very much different from the reason why the 95% of Zimbabweans or former Rhodesians wanted and fought for a change despite the stellar economic success of the white dominated gov’t. Discrimination under any name or form is a cause for change and change is what is taking place. What is not easy to understand is as to how a front whose raison de etre was” to liberate” one region albeit a small fraction from the rest of the country could dominate the affairs of a country of over 100 million inhabitants for almost thirty year without even changing its name. If you were a non Tigrayan Ethiopian, would you have happily lived in a country dominated by 5% of the population and you are treated as a second class citizen no matter what the state of the economy is? I doubt it. As for your comparison of the treatment of the Ethiopian people by the TPLF to that of the Dergue, it is at best dishonest as it is analogues to comparing the lot of a lamb snatched by a hyena from the mouth of a fox.

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Selam Tensae,

        Speaking on the value of honesty/dishonesty: can you speak on the plight of the Eritrean people being oppressed in every aspect of their life by the same organization dominated by the same social group for 39 years without constitution and rule of law? Show me your honesty when you are questioning the honesty of others? Gherim eba Nisika.

        • Hashela

          Selam Amanuel

          It seems that by listing injustice and crimes perpetrated by PFDJ, you are trying to acquit TPLF from the crimes it committed in the name of its Ethno-fascistic ideology and fantasy. A strange legal logic.

          ርሑስ ሓዲሽ ዓመት.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            ሰላም ሓሸላ,

            ዘይርድኣካ ደአኾይኑ እምበር: አነ ዝብሎ ዘለኹስ: ኣብ ዓይንኻ ዘሎ ገንፈል ምውጻእ ምሓሸካ ቅድሚ ናይ ካልኣት ገንፈል ከተውጽእ ምፍታንካ እየ ዝብሎ ዘለኹ:: ግንከአ ህግደፋውያን ናይ ህዝብኹም ሽግር ንጎኒ ሓዲግኩም: ዓቅሚ ከምዘለኩም: ናይ ካልእ አህዛብ ሽግር ክትፈትሑ ኢኹም ትማጣጠሩ:: እቲ ዘገርም ከአ ኢድኩም አብዘእተውኩምላ ሕብረተሰብ ኣባሊዕኩም ኢኹም ትሃድሙ:: ስለዚ ንመንግስቲ ኤርትራ ምኹናን ማለት ንወያነ ምድጋፍ ኣይኮነን ቅንዕና እንተሃልዩካ::

          • Hashela

            Selam Amanuel

            Thank you for providing a wonderful template. With only minor changes, I repurpose the template.

            ዘይርድኣካ ደአኾይኑ እምበር: አነ ዝብሎ ዘለኹስ: ካብ ንጎሬት ሰይጣን ክትካላኸል ግዜኻ ምጥፋእ : ሃናጺ ኣበርክቶ ግበር እየ ዝብለካ ዘለኹ:: ግንከአ ንስኻ ናይ ህዝብኻ ሽግር ንጎኒ ሓዲግካ: ዓቅሚ ከምዘለካ: ናይ ካልእ ጨኮንቲ መስርሕን እከይ ተግባርን ክትሽፍን ግዜኻ ተጥፍእ:: እቲ ዘገርም ከአ ንስኻን ከማኻን ኢድኩም ዘእተኹምለን ማሕበርን ውድብን: አእዕናዊ ተራ ተጻዊተን ናይ ሕፍረት ካባ ተኸዲነን አብ ናይ ታሪኽ መደበር ጉሓፍ ይድርበያ።

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Haw Hashela,

            If I tell you that you don’t understand me and as such I gave you an extra explanation, how did it become an insult? ናተይ ድዩ ጸርፊ ዋላስ ናትካ? ምልስ ኢልካሞ ብቅንዕና ንክልቲኡ አንብቦ ሽዑ መን ይጻረፍ ከምዘሎ ክትግንዘቦ ኢኻ:: እንተደኣ እቲ ፍልልይ ክትበጽሖ ዘይከአልካ ግን ንስኻ ወያነ ክትብል አነ ህግደፍ ክብለካ ጸሓይ ካብ ዝዓርበና እቲ ሞጎተ ኣብ መንጎ ክልተና ይትረፈና ይብል ብትሕና አነ::

            ዝፈትወካ ሓውኻ

          • Kokhob Selam

            ርሑስ ሓዲሽ ዓመት Hashela,

            No, Dear Hashela. Do you still support that crazy group? come to your sense my friend. Now, where are those TPLF leaders? Do you know where they are?

            Do you agree, with what I said it always- think within for everything to solve problems. That is the reason with all those people of and military forces that your Dr.Abiy and that dictator PIA and what, also the drone of Arabs that they manage to survive this strong impossible mission… gone wrong….We Eritreans had huge problem of administration and we should think on how to solve it..

            We should cooperate with Ethiopians, in not participating with wrong side..


        • Tensae

          Hi Amanuel,

          To answer your question in a straight forward manner, YES Eritreans are oppressed by the current regime and it is only natural for Eritreans to demand change and fight for it. Eritreans of different backgrounds have been fighting for change from day one. The fight for change has however been side tracked for the last twenty years until now by a real danger posed by an existential enemy namely the TPLF. The fact that many opportunists and misguided Eritreans alike have sided with the enemy had also complicated the fight. Now that the threat has been eliminated once and for all, you can rest assured that the struggle will pick momentum and the Eritrean people’s aspiration for liberty and prosperity will be achieved in no time. It is my hope that you will abandon the destructive path of the last few years and become a part and parcel of a genuine struggle.

  • Mez

    Good day Saleh G,

    1) It is fascinating to read your narration which says 75% (three out of four) is caused by the dynamic south of the Eritrean boarder; as if Eritrean internal dynamics is disproportionately (75%) dependent on Ethiopian.

    2) Further under item #4, you listed all thinkable bad attributes and linked them all to the pia government. Here it looks like, eritrea is a small fenced and isolated territory without any internal and external governing dynamics.

    2.1) And then you further stated: “Apart from the above,….” I wonder what else you would enlist under here–since everything is covered above, under item 4.

    Happy new year….


  • Simon Kaleab

    Selam Saleh G.,

    Any sort of instability in Ethiopia is a threat to Eritrea and vice versa. With this in mind, you must also include the perpetual moaners and creators of the drama of persecution complex, the Oromo elite, as a threat component.

    The Oromo imported themselves to the land they are occupying at the present uninvited about 500 years ago. Since then, they have played the role of king makers in Ethiopia. They even had two kings, Haile Selassie and Menelik, who were part Oromo. Abiy could be their third king.

    • Saleh Johar

      Selam Simon,
      Human history is one of migrating, remigrating and dispersing on all four winds. How do a people import themselves? When does a people became natives of a specific region? 500 years is roughly 20- 25 generations. In Eritrea it’s only forty years. In most civilized nations it’s generally 5-7 years. Nation states are not that old. Do you consider the Oromos foreigners? I would like to see your explanation iff you don’t mind. Sorry, I am interested in tv e dynamics that affect Eritrea. And I haven’t see any from the Oromo. Moreover, identity if fluid and politically, people are identified based on what they feel their identity is provided they embrace it. Did Haile Selassie or Minelik ever act as non Abyssinia and?

      Thank you

      • Simon Kaleab

        Selam Saleh G.,

        40 years or 5 to 7 years to be a naturalized citizen is for immigration under some kind of legal framework. The Oromo case is different, it was an invasion. When they invaded, the land was not empty. They bulldozed their way from South to North, West and East.

        The worrying aspect of the Oromo is their never ending drama of victimhood which is a source of instability. Eritrea and Ethiopia can have good economic partnerships in water and energy resources, agriculture, markets, port facilities and much more. Instability is bad for business.

        Menelik and Haile Selassie and the Oromo elites of the time adopted the Abyssinian culture and narrative because it is relatively more advanced. The Germanic tribes who were mainly responsible for the fall of the Roman empire in Europe adopted Roman ways. The Mongols who invaded China became assimilated as time went by. The story of the Ottoman Turks who came to the Middle East (without going to details) is similar. Whenever an invader finds a superior culture to his own in the new environment, he will assimilate.

        • Saleh Johar

          Hi Simon,
          As I said before, human history is full of migration, in different reasons. Forget the last 500 years, the last two centuries were a time of great migrations, specially settlements, conquests , migrations fro the south. The destruction of the Maareb dam prop my caused the most migrations from Yemen to all the Middle East. There was the migration from Babylon area to many parts due to wars in which Persians were part of. Then the Romans caused many to migrate to the south. Next the mongols caused great displacements of people. Followed by Arab conquests. Then the crusade wars displaced many more. And the Spanish Inquisition did the same. In recent history the soviets caused mass movements of people to the East over Siberia. WW2 was no different. In the 60s Haile Selassie caused displacements of many Eritreans. PFDJ is doing the same with refugees most of whom are gone for good. This is just in passing and I am not addressing it in depth. My question: since this applies to all humanity, and almost all the people of our region are affected by it, why do you pick on the Oromo only? And why are you stuck on a specific time? Do you consider the Oromo claim to their country less than the rest? And why?
          Thank you

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam Saleh G.,

            The reason is simple. Your article has a list under the heading “Conclusion: The Four Threats Facing Eritrea”.

            I just wanted to enrich the list by adding another villan, the Oromo, who have been part of the system since Menelik, but fly under the radar by using as a camouflage their fake slogan of “We are oppressed!”

          • Saleh Johar

            Okay Simon,
            Now I understand you were adding to my 4 points. Thank you. But I think I did say anything outside the four points can be handled in a relatively easier way. If you think Eritrea faces an Oromo risk equal to the four points I mentioned, I am willing to learn. Thank you

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Selam SGJ,

    For those of us from the Ghedli generations (1960s & 1970s) you recalled our sources of information (VOA, BBC…etc) and their consumptions vis-a-vis to the Eritrean politics. There was even a joke by our veterans in the organization, calling us “Enass bbc”, meaning those who joined by the news from BBC. Thank you for evoking that part of our history.

    In the era of social media where misinformation and disinformations are propagating without abatement, I can submit myself that the mass media of those era were more plausible and accurate than the era we are in now. You are a good story teller, and this one is one of our reminiscent of our information consumption of the 60s and 70s.


    • Saleh Johar

      Selam Amanuel,

      Yes. That was our life, full of curiosity and realization that the world was wide and neither politics nor humanity has no boundaries. That also helped us identify tyrants in the bud and we should build a dictator from a meek individual.

  • Germay Berhane

    Selam Saleh,
    Every body knows Eritrea was lagging from its neighbors in some aspects but not in every thing. Why it is lagging was explained to you by Nitric, Horizon and many others. But you are still defiant to accept the truth. Again I will not repeat why this happened because your mind is so rusted and can not be cleaned with acid or reality. You are one of the source of fake news and misinformation against Eritrea and its people.
    What I want to tell you take care of your children and your retirement programs, Eritrean has its sons who built this nation into existence and they will take care every thing. They know how to handle all the problems it faces or will face it.
    Happy New Year

    • Saleh Johar

      Selam Girmay,

      First tHank you: you for explaining my position better than I would. You are right. I oppose the PFDJ for many reasons but mainly because you think you can clean someone’s thinking with ACID, not dialogue or debate.

      Second than you: for letting me know I have to refer to Nitricc and Horizon on Eritrean issues

      Third thank you: for declaring you and your group own the truth

      Fourth thank you : for telling me I am the reason for all the ills of Eritrea. I didn’t know Eritrea can be brought down by one person like me.

      Fifth thank you: for stating Eritrea’s sons are only those who bow down to a tyrant

      Sixth thank you: yiakhleka ke’yebzHalka

      Bonus: insults are not allowed in the forum, I promise not to alert the moderator.

      • saay7

        Selamat SGJ:

        Too late, I am on it.

        This forum cannot host intelligent debates when those who cannot debate with civility and consider insulting the host for daring to lift them from a servile life of serving one tyrant are giving free reign, discouraging the moderates and liberals from speaking out.

        2021 should be the year of the broom.


        • Saleh Johar

          Ahlan Saay,
          You cannot give what you do not have–faaqid alshe’e la yaAteehu. Those who lack decency cannot practice it. But who is changing his alligator’s skin for a frog’s.

          Don’t forget; we have spread the red carpet to welcome those who were scared out of the Awate University. And the Chinese are not better than us in naming the years. Let’s welcome the year of the broom. 2021 IS IT, The Year of The Broom.

        • መሃንድስ-ምዕባለ

          ሰዓይ ብለባምካ

          ሓቂ ዘይቅነት
          ብመሰረቱ ዘይተዓደሎ
          ሰባዊ ክብረት
          ካብ ሓንጎሉ ዝቐንጠጦ ሕንከት
          ከመይልካ ትጽበ?
          መሰረታዊ ናይ ወዲ ሰብ ክብረት

          ምሁራት ንብሎም ካብ ዘበጡ ባይታ
          ሕልናኦም ካብ ሸጡዋ ኮታ
          መሰረትና ካብ መሽሞሸ
          ዓጠስጠስ ኢሉ ካብ ዓሰወ

          ከመይልካ ትጽበ ?
          ርዝነት-ሓላፍነት ሰብኣዊ-ርህራሀ
          ዘይትውላዕ ተሸኪምና ባና
          ንብል ኣለና
          ከም ዘለና
          ኣነስ ምበልኩ ሰብ የድሕኖ


          • Kokhob Selam

            Hi Handesa,

            I miss your poems and your comments. What do you have for the new year? Please post it in Jebena page..Thank you in advance,,


          • መሃንድስ-ምዕባለ

            MerHaba Kokhboy!
            This was the busiest month for me in years but I like it [it saved from all these negative news]
            Good to hear from you you and happy new year to all!

          • saay7


            Tough tough verdict, Geometra Hawey:)

            Social science is not my field (when Beyan Negash reports he may want to take a crack at it), but all highly developed nations were once where we are: fast to war, slow on breakthrough.

            It so happens that this is the abstract from my weekend reading:

            This paper demonstrates that socioeconomic development, cultural modernization, and democratic regime performance constitute a coherent syndrome of social change—a syn- drome whose common focus has not properly been specified by standard modernization theory. We specify this syndrome as Human Development, arguing that its three compo- nents have a common focus on individual choice. Socioeconomic development broadens individual choice by giving people more resources; cultural modernization gives rise to aspirations that lead people to seek for individual choice; and democracy extends individ- ual choice by codifying legal opportunities. Analysis of data from 80 societies demon- strates: (1) that a universal resource-aspiration-opportunity syndrome is present at the individual, national and supra-national levels across 80 nations and 8 cultural zones; (2) that this Human Development syndrome is endogenously shaped by a causal effect from resources and aspirations on opportunities; and (3) that elite integrity or “good governance” is a strong exogenous determinant of the Human Development syndrome as a whole.“
            End of abstract.

            That’s a lot of words for what the Holy Quran took 17 words to say “ God does not change the condition of a nation unless it changes what is in its heart. ”.

            Applies to nations, a people, a person.

            But I admit the imagery of ዘይትውላዕ ባና is powerful.


          • መሃንድስ-ምዕባለ

            ኣነ ‘ኳ ‘ታ [7] ብዝሒ ናይ ዲግርታት ስለ ትመስለኒ ሸውዓተ ጥራይ ‘ብል ኔረ።
            በል ሕጂ ዳክተር በያን ኣስናኑ ጫሕ ኣቢሉ ክስሕቕ ከሎ ተራእዩኒ 🙂
            ርሑስ ሓድሽ ዓመት!

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Merhaba Mehandsay,

            Good to see you back. In the era we are living in, humanity and honesty are very expensive spiritual commodity. Very very rarely owned by some, and almost none by those who involve in politics. Warren Buffett has used to say the following wisdom: “honesty is a very expensive gift. Don’t expect it from cheap people.” Cheap people bite the hand that feeds them. That is why, they don’t feel shame to attack to those who created a platform for us to discuss and understand each other’s view, and bring us to a common understanding.

            Kenneth Blanchard has quipped as follows: “honesty is telling the truth to ourselves and others. Integrity is living that truth.” Though they are believed to be often difficulty, it is worth trying for they are the highest human values. Welcome back again.


          • መሃንድስ-ምዕባለ

            Happy New Year, Prof. Emma!
            ኣብ መትከሉ ጽኑዕ
            ከብዱ ብጥምዩ
            ንህዝቡ ዘብልዕ
            ዋላ መሬት ትጸንክር
            ቃልቃል ይበል ባርዕ
            ዕላማኡ ዘይርስዕ!

            ኣደ ወሊዳ ትምከን
            ሰብ ዘርጠብጠብ ክትብል ርኢና
            ንስኻን ብጾትካን ግን
            ገጥ! ኣብታ ቅንዕቲ መትከል

            ካብዚ ዝዓቢ ጸጋ የለን!

  • Kokhob Selam

    Dear Brother Saleh,

    You have given the perfect and correct description of “The Four Threats Facing Eritrea”..and the difference information and news. And also transportation,which will not found in all nations at this moment.. Even EPRD was going very well comparing to Eritrea and now the “The Ethiopian Sixth King.”

    I recommended all to read it and watch it ..


  • Fanti Ghana

    Hello Memhir SGJ,

    Your Karosa reminded me a wonderful regulation the city of Asmara passed regarding a taxicab owner-operator license in the mid 60s (Ethiopian Calendar).

    As more and more people applied for the taxicab license, far more than the number of cabs the city could handle, the city came up with a solution that also addressed another dilemma it was facing regarding the reduction of horse pulled carriages.

    So, the solution was to give priority to those who turn in their Karosa license and receive a taxicab license in exchange! That is, for every taxi added one Karosa would be subtracted from the streets and so on.

    The stark contrast between the Asmara’s transitioning from Karosa to taxi dominated city in the sixties verses Asmara going quietly in the exact opposite half a century later today would have been unbelievable story if I was not myself one of millions of witnesses still alive.

    You have my full support on the Tigray Elite Issue you listed as one of four threats Eritrea will be/is facing. Any decision regarding Eritrean sovereignty that does not emanate from all and uncoerced Eritrean people must be rejected by all friends Eritrea.

    Thank you for the ride!

    • Abi

      Apparently, you enjoyed the joyride .
      Happy New Year.

      • Fanti Ghana

        Selamat Abisha,

        Arsenal is inching up slowly. My wish for 2021 is to see Arsenal in the top 5 of the premier league by April. What is yours?

        • Abi

          I have always been a United fan. I noticed you support the Arsonists/ gunners ( ጠመንጃ ተሸካሚዎች).
          United all the way!!

    • Saleh Johar

      Kentebai Fanti,
      You didn’t have to say it. I know the honest and dishonest you have always been a man of principle. Thank you for shinning in this dull political world of our elite.

    • saay7

      Selamat Fanti:

      Welcome back. I am happy to know you are doing well and in this year when many shed their fake gentle personality to reveal the ugliness inside, I am glad you are still the same gentle soul.

      Happy New Year. And oh to paraphrase a man who gave us a lot of hope when we were down: I am just replacing “Eritrea with Tigray”

      “At this stage of Tigray’s never ending drama, in which the actors are now masked, I feel your pain, I understand your agony, but please, please, do not ever despair. Not even for a moment. Tigray is not made of clay. She is made of steel. She will survive, and, yes, she will come back roaring.”

      Source: Eritrea Heroes Made of Steel
      By: Fanti Ghana


      • Fanti Ghana

        Selamat Saay,

        I miss you very much.
        Every time you stop by to say hello I get tempted to shout ‘WE MISS YOU’ but, knowing how busy you are, I restrain myself to avoid obligating you to respond.

        Happy New Year To You Too, Brother Saay!