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Human rights lawyer vs. trained healer

On Semere Tesfai’s Disagreeable Thoughts

In his latest article, instead of enlightening and informing us about our united and great people, who have been denied freedom, subjected and oppressed for very long time, Semere came with a disagreeable article. His characterization of the 600 opposition members who congregated at Awassa and EDA, as Islamists and Ethnic Organizations is unfounded. Instead, he should have told us more about his beloved Isaias regime, the PFDJ.

EDA works in daylight, in an open and transparent way, and within a clearly defined democratic principle and political process.

From my reading, EDA leaders have developed a tolerant attitude towards discourse and have managed to open up to all political groups, both the moderate and the secular. The leaders of EDA have reassured Eritrean citizens that they will not interfere in their personal lives and that they will respect their right to choose their future government. EDA also knows the importance of international relation in the economically and politically interconnected world of today. They do not need a lesson from Semere.

Diehards like Semere always existed in Eritrea and they are inflicted by all kinds and forms of Islamphobia—an irrational fear of Islam—and bigotry that threatens the very fabric of the Eritrean way of life; He is kind of person who will never reform, change or attempt to build bridges. As always, the efforts of bigots to demonize Islam and Muslims have become a political football and it is high time that they are isolated, exposed and dismantled.

Semere’s  article and purpose is to create fear. Obviously his aim is to inspire fear in a small segment of  our population in order to enhance the imposition of Isaias regime’s  agenda from a deeper psychological and metaphysical perspective.

EDA Values Human rights and lives

In every effort it took, be it for political, moral, or religious reason concerning the value and importance of human lives, EDA has emphasized its commitment to safeguard and protect them. Since peace and friendship are essential to safeguarding and protecting life and human rights, all war and conflict should be opposed and overruled. Peace requires an understanding that physical conflict and killings cannot be avoided without wiping out the motives for war in the behaviour of human beings.

Now there is a unique opportunity for Semere and his likes: to demonstrate that they will no longer support the despotic regime of Asmara and instead support the democratic process of the opposition.

By refusing to intervene in favour of one party against another, and by accepting the results of the democratic process and unity of the EDA, even if it is not to their liking, the leaders of Ethiopia have remained consistently disengaged.

Throughout history Eritrea has suffered a lot as a result of the attempts to exclude same ethnic groups and Muslims by denying them a role in the public sphere and that is what needs to be corrected. Democracy is the only option for bringing stability, security and tolerance to the region, and it is the dearest thing to the hearts of Eritreans who will not forgive any attempts to derail the pursuit of those values. But in the discourse of the Isaias regime, Islamists are seen as newcomers to politics, as gullible zealots who are motivated by radical ideology and lack of experience tyhat is why in Isaias’ Eritrea Islamic institutions are suppressed. Muslim and Christian activists are imprisoned, tortured and killed. And such experiences has given rise to profound bitterness among the population.

It is important that EDA is careful not to fall into the trap of overconfidence: it must accommodate other trends, even if it means making painful concessions. Our societies need political consensus, and the participation of all political groups, regardless of their electoral weight. It is this interplay between the main group and others that will both guarantee the maturation needed to lead us to a democratic transition in order to achieve an Eritrean political consensus and stability that has been missing for decades.

Semere is a chauvinist bigots just like the PFDJ regime and the insane master in Asmara who is cut from the same cloth and followed by  the ‘Sheep-people’ who like to travel in packs. Those are people who associate with persons of similar social class, age, and values—if not for any other reason it is because in their eyes, it makes their life more controlled and comfortable. Their associates inside and outside Eritrea, their colleagues and friends, validate their beliefs because they believe in what they believe. Yes, the tendency is the perpetual need to be part of a majority… a herd that follows opinion leaders like docile sheep. There is total ignorance, arrogant satisfaction and comfort in knowing they are correct, even safe, among folks of similar beliefs. That is largely why a totally false information and opinion is expressed in the mainstream opposition media of the Eritrean people; and ironically, independent media oulets like awate are not accepted by them without any thought or reflection, much less challenge. They possess a distinct propensity to avoid unpleasant ideas, realities and prospects.

Denial is a coping mechanism common to the herd regardless of their intelligence, education, knowledge, and background. Therefore they deliberately remain ignorant except that they willingly accept the conventional wisdom of the PFDJ regime that pursues its separate foolish but easy agendas. Does this suggest that persons in high position of authority within the Isaias regime are responsible for deliberate killing and lyng? Of course! As an absolute minimum they speak in 1% truths, omit highly relevant information or say nothing at all. Is this so difficult to believe given the fact that so much of their personal and organization’s self interest is at stake? Yes, they want to rule over all Eritrea unhinged. We are trying to tell the bigots to get their “head out of the sand” and face up to the realities that are impacting our fatherland and ancestral home.

It is well known to Eritreans that the extremely dangerous and demagogue group live by the energy of hate and prejudice against others. Self-anointed, they claim to own the role of defenders of secular and enlightened values—many, if not all, are guilty of too many crimes and blunders that can be volubly attributed to the theocratic warmonger ambivalence, and at times hostility, towards facts and truths that stand to refute their empty rhetoric. They stagger and stumble, shamelessly. They are exposed and they are screaming nonsensically, with implausible and wholly debunked ludicrous contention, that the Eritrean opposition is under siege by Islamic theocratic megalomaniacs: Blaming “the Muslim generically for anything is intellectually disrespectful and highly ethnocentric.” And obviously it is always cloaked in the mantle of the so-called Isaias regime’s secularism and the enlightenment. Much of the Godless’ narrow secular, un-progressive energy has been wastefully channelled into the minds of naïve Eritreans, and it is a crime against our people. 

For that matter, they do not have the temerity to dispute their demagoguery regarding their claim of threats posed by EDA, whom they brand as an umbrella of Islamic theocrats. Unfortunately, their disingenuous repeated rhetoric lends some credence to their argument when they mischievously denounce any opposition to the PFDJ, particularly the EDA, without evidence. This group that is part of the Isaias regime in terms of political values, can easily be described as “the worst elements among Eritrean society” because they reject the liberal-secular Eritrean society over a reactionary, ethnic, narrow-nationalism that has traditionally been the bane of most  Eritreans.

Unlike the EDA, as most of us know, Isaias favoured his narrowly selected and trusted Ethno-centrists, the uneducated and indoctrinated elements, and the undemocratic atheists, to fill the positions of his personally created obedient government. His regime is not made from the pool of  highly educated professional technocrats. In the end, however sadly, the transformation had been complete. This result is an Ethno dominated Eritrea—pure and simple, no matter how many sugar-coated layers one tries to add to it. In all of that, surely you cannot fail to recognize the disdain with which the unelected Eritrean regime has taken over all of Eritrea—its  land and its people’s pride.

Eritreans are great people who have paid heavy price for their freedom. Indeed, they are among the noblest people on earth. They fought for freedom and continue to so. You cannot fail to see that Eritreans should not and cannot tolerate the upstart Isaias regime. It is an old enemy of our people equipped with new garb and a sinister agenda to rule over Eritrea. It is a regime that has built its identity based on the indoctrination and ideology of yesteryears communism and all kind of trash ending with “ism.” It has alienated all religions though from the begining it has focused on Islam.

New Power Realities

Semere and the small folks in his group are trying to prove that they have already won the game and must keep the spoils by the gun (“Power Realities.”) They are gloat that they and the Isaias regime are ‘in what they call the reality—power based Ethno group and community. They falsely hurl racist insults in an attempt to define the democratically elected and seasoned Eritrean opposition, particularly the EDA which they brand as  an Islamist and Ethnic Organization. They believe that solutions emerge from their judicious study of discernible reality. But that’s not the way the world really works anymore. True, now the Isaias Ethnic-regime has power,  and it is acting with confidence that created its own new reality. Semre and his group forget that the EDA and the opposition is also studying that reality—judiciously—and soon action will follow to create another New Reality. That too needs to be studied by the bigots, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re all actors in a play called history though Semere and the Isaias regime would like to hold to Power Realities while the EDA, and all other opposition, are left to just study what Isaias’ regime and its cohorts do. Isn’t this how very sick the Isaias regime and its followers are?

Semere’s is trying to act like a Think-tank on international and domestics affairs. I wish he would spare us that because he is not qualified to be even a student in that field. His analysis of global and Horn of Africa affairs are idiotic opinions that foolishly advocate the Isaias regime’s interest. It is not worthy of any consideration. Eritreans have heard that kind of music and they are living it—they cannot be deceived to relive the same situation again.

The doctrine of the megalomaniac Isaias, his regime and that of the PFDJ for which Semere is advocating,  would always unleash Eritrean’s immense military resources against the weak and defenceless Eritreans. This sad chapter of our history is about Eritreans who are suffering silently and it is a direct result of the oppression by the Isaias regime and its PFDJ thugs—all those who subscribe to the chauvinist agenda, its relentless obsession to defeat, destroy and dismantle the Eritrean social fabrics.

Most Eritrean are witnesses to the wars against their religion and the persecution of the minorities among them. In all civilizations, there are forces that represent tribalism and forces that represent humanism. Isaias’ regime is composed of a very small, a very tiny minority, with a fixed caste hierarchy that represents almost a tribal exclusiveness. Eritreans are generally kind to their neighbours and they always hope for a better tomorrow. But they being pulled from two sides by two contradictory worldviews that cannot coexist: they are ruled by a dictator but aspire for a liberal democracy. Living in a police state, ruled by the PFDJ gangs, they cling to their hopes for freedom, holding to their faith in their God and maintaining their humanity.

Our people do want any war with any of our neighbouring countries though Semere conjures it; the people want to live in peace, a genuine peace. Now they are totally consumed and  preoccupied in internal and domestic issue centered on living for the day. On the other hand, ordinary people—solders, students, teachers and the like—are perplexed about life under a regime that controls them and limits their opportunities to achieve their full potential. Men and women from Asmara to Zalanbesa routinely chafe at their sense of powerlessness to influence national politics and foreign policy, or to check the corruption and abuse of power they see all around them. They can neither articulate the full sense of their own humanity nor exercise the total rights of their own citizenship. They react by getting on with their lives, working hard yet getting nothing in return, educate their children when they know their fate is bleak—and that is a result of a useless curriculum, under-paid teachers, underfunded education, poor health system and non-existent social program.

It seems we are now living in a new era in which reality is making us. Our people are witnessing change all around them and they are attempting to adjust and to imagine another way of living and soon their sun will have to shine.

NB: this article first appeared as a long comment on Semere Tesfai’s article a day ago; the author decided to rewrite it in an article format. 

About Said Y. Saber

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  • Mohammed Ahmed


    There you go again, shooting yourself in the foot. Let me just remind you of one little thing, if it is of any solace to you. The intention throughout this discussion wasn’t to drag your name through the mud, as some tried to do with the plagiarism issue. It still isn’t, just as it never was.

    You were approached with a full acknowledgment of your previous contributions and were reminded of your new surprising style of discourse, which as indicated to you didn’t jive with your previous approaches to issues. Again, this wasn’t meant to hold you to certain standards, but rather for its oddity with certain expectations from you.

    But instead of addressing the issues, you went straight on the defensive, even as far as saying “you can’t be free from… ( which ironically, is the same hate parlance used by the bigots when they try to denigrate Muslims as though they are captive to old grudges) but again, considering that to be a slip and not trying to make a stink out of it, it was ignored. You were just approached with issues to address and were reminded of your own biases.

    Again, you ignored the issues and went on the defensive. According to you, the discussion had to swirl around you – not the issues. It was of no interest to nobody to dwell on that kind of childish hatew ketew.

    Anyways, all that said and issue closed, you still have to comeback with what you describe to be a plea.

    Let us see your plea.

    You quoted me on one of my postings, but you intentionally cropped out the section of the paragraph which qualifies the assertion you quoted. Now they do this very often in tabloid journalism for a slew of sleazy reasons, but how do you explain the intentional omission of the qualifying paragraph on your part? Do you think the readers couldn’t look at the whole posting and then make up their mind one way or another? Amanuel, if you want to build bridges (which the belief is, still you can), the first tool you need is honesty. Your tactics here will raise issues of honesty.

    Here is the link for the article and I stand by every assertion made in it.

    And again, if you want to build bridges, the second tool you need is humility. You can’t say, and I quote verbatim “I am here to clean such misconception from the mind of our brothers”; even if said in good intention (which only you can tell), such a claim can easily be taken for a condescending attitude. Your brothers are not goats, they are humans. They can discern and understand. Some will support you and accept your plea others and may think you are a buffoon. Either way, the decision rests entirely with them. This old-school politics of indoctrination (n’khat) didn’t even help the fronts.

    I believe that last thing Muslims or Lowlanders want to be reminded of is that “they are not showing compassion” – shocking as this claim may be, they wouldn’t even known if they should laugh or cry at it. Just keep in mind that making such claims doesn’t help build bridges.

    As indicated above, throughout this discussion, the intention wasn’t to bark at the wrong tree. But for some reason, in your frantic appeals for support to your contentions, there was an attitude change on your part, so much so, that you wouldn’t even acknowledge the apology of one of your contenders (Hameed) without questioning his sincerity.

    Do I think you can still build bridges? With all sincerity, I do – I just want you to listen to people just as much as you want them to listen to you. Bullying people to conformity doesn’t help build bridges. The new hat you are trying to wear may be in good intention, but it looks like it doesn’t fit.

  • Hameed

    Dear brother Amanuel,

    I assure you brother the Islamists and the Ethnic Organization respect human rights and at the time they fail to respect human rights and any constituent of our people I promise you I will stand on the side of those who advocate for the human rights and fight back those who claim Islamists and tribal organizations.

    I told you in my comments in order to get rid of the recurrent bashing to Islamists and ethnic organizations by the likes of Semere to organize a Christian Democratic Party. I told you this will solve the problem at least for the time being and later when we get rid of the mafia regime we influence each other to form National Democratic Parties. I don’t want to say Secular Parties because the people of Eritrea whether in the Kebbessa or lowlands are conservative people, thus I am sure the majority of the Eritrean people will like the National Democratic Parties that abide by the ethics of Christianity, Islam and Eritrean traditions.

    I feel very sad that brother Amanuel is very angry, take it easy brother because all the people of Eritrea Moslems and Christians expect from persons like you to make a period for their more than half a century long tragedy. Don’t forget that you shoulder double responsibility for your knowledge and long years of struggle for your people. Please, look to all the people of Eritrea equally. Defending your Moslem brothers doesn’t change your faith and If I defend our Christian brothers too doesn’t change my faith. We have always to stand by what we think right and at the time we understand that we made a mistake it is not a shame to say sorry.

    Please brother allow me to request from you and brother Mohamed Ahmed of course if you don’t mind it to write us an article about the nature of “mafias”. At last I implore Kokhob Selam to assist on this subject. Thanks with love. Hameed.

    • Dear Hameed,

      Now I get it. But you read my challenges to Ali salim and Semere. I challenged them to frame our issue, without attacking them or labeling them, all looking for a solution. I defended the rights of our minorities be it religion or ethnicity for years. I stood firm on that. To end this saga I am writing an article to defend my own identity to make justice. Justice is not for one side but for both sides. I appreciate you for putting an end to this issue. With all respect


    • Kokhob Selam

      Hameed, thank you.

      That is Awate. We challenge first our own mind. then we teach and lead. we don’t blame others before correcting ourselves. let me appreciate all who participate in our debate.

      I am sure Amanuel and Aklilu will do something about your request. I prefer if they do it in such way that starts with types of governments.


  • Kokhob Selam


    I am sure you have seen in most of my posts I use to describe it “Mafia” I agree with you on this case. I have difficulty to call and put PFJD as one sided group. I can’t even call it totalitarian because that still remains political description and PFDJ is no where of politics. I can call Ethiopian Government a dictator, although they are at least doing some thing good for their country and are trying to show they represent all. (as far as I understand it). in any case all political descriptions will show that there is a kind of tendency represented and PFDJ is no where of all.

    In case of Amanuel, I think you have labelled him wrong. I am sure if you know what extremist people we have faced and challenged you will not call him so. As far as I see Amanuel is one of the people who break the weak tendency that inherited from our old history the same as you and me do.

    The stories you heard about your highland brothers, I am sure has something to do and the experiences all have their own role. I have gone through bad years and confused first as highlander and as a Muslim. so, what is wrong if I investigate that every body is really clean and going through reconciliation? Amanuel is among the stars who challenged all odds. He face the wrong side of highlanders and lowlanders there are a lot of moments I saw some narrow minded people talk about him and even write about him just because he stand for truth. And he wondered why some of highlanders who are on his line are silent. that is the reason he jump on me also. Although, I have been answering to you, but still he was not satisfied. he is right to investigate if what he is doing and with whom he is dealing is correct. I am sure he has an experience that make him disappointed in history from narrow minded people. I appreciate Amanuel for being open minded.

    for now we have all came to conclusion that PDJ is not one sided and we can find supporters from all parts of the country. we have agreed that no religion tribe or any type of group can represent by PFDJ. we have agreed to the minimum this group is totalitarian and above it MAFIA GROUP.

    Dear all, let us not be in doubt and think that Eritrea will have problem in the future in dealing as united nation. this has to be totally cancelled from our mind. if we really go to investigate the past Religion and tribe were not our real problem actually. those were only spices used to cook the need of our enemies.

    there was no time that religion caused war in our history by the way. if you heard about this from some one it is because he didn’t know how there were conflicts. for some time we have witnessed how religion was exploited and create mess but if that was the case it could have continue in first place.

    at last the slogan of PFJD is N’KHEED. and that will be materialised.
    out slogan is Semerrrrrrrrrrr and that is going to be materialized the unity in Awate will have a leading role.

  • Mohammed Ahmed


    The readers are not first-graders who need to be enlightened through a repetitive process; they have discerning abilities and they can also read between the lines. That’s why you were challenged in some of your assertions. As for your biases throughout this particular debate, they don’t need any rehashing because no one here suffers from cognitive impairment. A lot was learned the first time around.

    Besides, if you say you went through your comments and you “couldn’t come with any” (discernable bias), then give yourself a pat on the shoulder and leave the judgement to your readers. What’s important here is that, this is not about your person or your ego – it is about the issues.

    No one should ever be bullied, least of all the victims, into accepting Hgdef as some kind of an alien.

    As for your question which said “ Did you ever bash at any turn of history…?” Well, unfortunately and no offense intended here, the question sounds like it is coming from someone moonlighting as a High Priest, looking for confessions.

    If the question is referring to stating my opinion in previous postings, then I stand by each and every one of them. If they were bashful or not, the judgement was left to the readers.

    • Mohammed,

      You accused me of being biased. Now I know it is an empty accusation from a crying baby. I didn’t come from out of the blue and asked you my friend. Read your comment. If your judgement was left within yourself as you are telling me now, I wouldn’t ask you. But now, If that is you answer case closed.

      • Mohammed Ahmed

        There was no conversation to be had in the first place anyways. You avoided the issues and you wanted all the discussion to circle around you and your ego – but no one was going to give you that. It ain’t worth anybody’s time and effort. Case closed indeed.

    • Mohammed,

      Just for the record, here is one of the “many biases and bashing” against your brothers. And I quote:
      “Is HGDEF a chauvinist Tigrigna regime? Did the ethnic Tigrignas benefit from HGDEF’s sadistic and illegal reign of terror of the past 18 or so years? If your answers to these two questions are in the affirmative, then you are absolutely right.” (check your article “calling spade of spade date 11/9/2009). For heaven sake, HGDEF is not a Tigrigna regime.

      Being you are one of the intellectuals, I don’t expect you to give such kind of orientations. I am here to clean such misconception from the mind of our brothers. As far as it pops up such wrong accusation, I have no alternative but to challenge it. But for the sake of our unity I urge you and others to stop this bashing.That is my plea.

  • Dear Haile, Serray, and All:

    Haile, don’ worry that much. Without defining and without having the same understanding on the regime, we can’t have a united struggle against the regime. We have to debate to settle that issue, to have a clear strategy to fight the evil man at the helm. It is our failure to resolve that issue, that we are still stuck conference after conference, congress after congress. If the struggle can’t move and do not act by the book nothing will be accomplished.

    Serray, You said “defining the regime is not a matter of individual taste.” You are absolutely correct. A totalitarian regime do all kinds of evils (politically, socially, economically) to suppress its people whatever theirorigin or ethnicity might be. The regime will do it using its stooges from every sect of the society. That is what we are seeing with the Eritrean totalitarian regime.

    But here is my worries and I think it is every one’s worries. Let me reflect some of William Wordsworth words reflecting the French revolution: “If the French revolution was the end of monarchy and aristocratic privilege and the emergence of the common man and democratic rights, it was also the beginnings of modern totalitarian government and large-scale executions” in the so called interest of the people. In other words It was not so much in the interest of social justice. Because the “liberty, equality, fraternity” was quickly descended to a towering power of Robespierre and his reign of terror. They did’t only murder the royalists but also the moderate “Girondists.” So we have to worried by the bashing of our friends not to turn our struggle to the interest of one social group by defining the regime by their own taste. But let me further quote William Wordsworth:

    “…and never heads enough…”

    Domestic carnage, now filled the whole year
    With feast-days, old men from the chimney-nook,
    The maiden from the busom of her love,
    The mother from the cradle of her babe,
    The warrior from the field – all perished, all –
    Friends, enemies, of all parties, ages, ranks,
    Head after head, and never heads enough
    For those that bade them fall

    • Mohmoud

      Dear Hidrat,
      I agree with you, Serray and others that the junta is no good for any one, be Christian or Muslem. Then, it should be free for any one to express his view regarding this evil sect. I think it is a waste of time to define this regime with out going back to our dark history. One of the darkest one was when the Italians left. We had been left to our fate with out any choice. What we needed was to unite and retain the country that we all belong to. All-most half of the population abandon the dream of self determination and forced Eritrea to be part of Ethiopia. This tragedy owns the direct impact for any tragedy that come in the aftermaths. I have never seen any country neglect it self the right of self determination and chose re-occupation. It have to be something wrong from the first walk to build a nation. We have to apprehend the inner nature of things first, especially with a new and fresh insight into our history. It helps to understand and define the nature of the regime easily if it is totalitarian, OR Sectarian. We have to admit that we have a problem as far as we don’t respect our diversity. We need to build into our understanding of morality an “ethics of care” which takes into account love, trust, and relationships.

  • Serray

    Strange, we are all commenting on the part of an article whose author took for granted.

    Defining the regime is not a matter of individual taste. If it was, then we will have many definitions. The youth, the main victims of the regime, will say the old and the middle aged are responsible for our nation’s misery and they will be more right than those who define it along ethnic lines. The Pentes and the Witnesses will define the regime as Orthodox Christian and they will be more right than those who define it along ethnic lines.

    The point of defining the regime should be to come up with a solution along those lines and not just to vent our anger. In the real sense of the word, defining the regime must pass two smell tests. First, is it absolutely true and second, is the definition a good strategy? The Muslim/Christian highland/lowland approach fails both tests. Just looking at the identity of the employees of the regime while ignoring its victims so you can grace it with the identity of its victims is wrong. If you ask me, it is a perverted way of looking at the problem. A research should lead to a valid conclusion but this is a case where a research was undertaken to support a conclusion. You can’t ignore the victims, period.

    The other often sited “proof” is based on who props the regime. We are proportionally stupid. Few people are successfully fighting the regime; the rest of us are propping it by our silence/inaction or actively supporting it with our 2 percent and vacation dollars. Those who concluded it wears our identity just want us to take their words for it.

    Our biggest problem with the ethnic/religious identification is it is bad strategy. We have to avoid half baked conclusions if the result is to piss-off half of the population while strengthen the very entity we are trying to weaken. There is a reason why calmer minds decided pfdj is a totalitarian regime. If for some weird reason we want to vent our anger on highlanders or lowlands, lets do it privately, we are increasingly looking silly when we do it in public.

    • Kokhob Selam

      Dear Serray,

      while I agree with you in most I don’t agree with that “lets do it privately”. it has been always told in secret and that is not good as it gives more space to PFDJ. PFDJ even play it in secret till today. some said “anta nsu yhshena kab zom…” and others said ” anta nsu ko…” etc. he and his mafia group also use this in different ways. and the opposition ant it’s followers say different things too. (t’him t’him) was always disadvantage for our unity. I like the way we do it now in our Awate. Say it frankly,openly. nothing will happen, we will save time and life by openly saying it. we will learn a lot and we will know with who we are dealing.

      what do you say?

    • haile

      well Serray, it is like they say, politics (just like alcohol) will not solve your problems, but would sure give you one or two more of it that are even more interesting than the one’s you already have. What is the point of defining a regime you plan to dispose of? Define Eritrea, Define its populace, Define its culture and traditions, Define its dreams and fears… Define all the things that would matter than those destined to the garbage bin of history. In retrospect, what critical use was it to have defined the Derg in removing it? probably none what so ever, so I fear that the ‘problem of defining’ the regime was purposly hatched to sow the seeds of hashewye in the heartlands of the opposition camp.

    • Hameed

      Your approach is totally wrong. The youth are not the only victims but part of the victims. Secondly why you accept the responsibility of the elders and Orthodox Christians as right at the time you refuse to define it an ethnic regime? The elders and the Orthodox Christians will not accept your definition. It is better to stick to the definition of the totalitarian regime. Your insinuation to tell us that the regime and the youth his main victims are cousins, really looks silly.

      • Serray


        I am saying the goal of defining the regime must lend to a better strategy of fighting it. If it leads to division and polarization, then what’s the point. The Pente and youth example above are to show, even if the identification sounds correct, the resulting strategy, that is, fighting the old, the middle aged or the orthodox, is a bad strategy. If you define the regime along religious and ethnic lines, your strategy is either to defeat or shame those you identify with it. If your identification is half baked, all you did is isolate and offend a partner and strengthen the enemy….the “anta nsu yhshena kab zom…” mentality kokhob selam pointed out.


        that is an example of good strategy. But our Muslim brothers HERE have graced the regime with our identity, what now? Correct the misconception or pretend it doesn’t matter?

        Kokhob selam,

        while airing in public is good we need to be mindful of the unintended consequences…that’s all.

        • Hameed

          Dear Serray,

          Your Moslem brothers are not blind people who accuse en masse, they can discern who are criminals and who are innocents. Brother Amanuel is a suspicion extremist towards his compatriots in the nation. I can’t say more than God cure him from this malady.

          I see the best definition of the regime is a mafia regime. This definition can be understood by our people very easily in giving the regime its right character. A mafia regime can recruit from anywhere in the world, it can recruit from Egypt, Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia, and name what you like. It is understood mafias recruit greedy and criminals.

          • Dear brother…brother…brother Hameed,

            Leave alone now I hadn’t suspecion when I was joining the army struggle of (ELF) with all the baseless and unnecessary rumors was going around. Stop this accusation.

            But, where was this definition “mafia regime” at the beginning. If that was the case this article wouldn’t go more than 5 to 10 comments.

  • Hameed

    It gladdens me to see that brother Aklilu comes out not as a ‘zeray’ but as conciliator taking along with him the rich culture of wisdom of our people in Kebbessa that I know very well, but I wonder about its faint voice at the time we are in need of its forthrightness and candor.

    The people of Eritrea failed to coin a peaceful and prosperous country because of the uncountable blunders that performed from all parties that constitutes the people of Eritrea. Every one of us has his own flaws of share on our dilemma that is more than half a century long.

    Assessing our own flaws and acknowledging them is the beginning of the end of our predicament. With much respect and regards to you brother Aklilu. Hameed.

  • Mohammed Ahmed


    The Hgdef regime is many different things to many people. To some victims it is an Ethno-Fascist regime, to others it is either a sectarian and/or a chauvinist regime and yet to some others, it may only be a totalitarian regime. In other words, the regime’s victims can characterize it, each according to the nature and the degree of the crimes perpetrated on it. If some among us fancy to play the role of a watchdog here, then it is the unfair generalizations they should focus on and not political-correctness.

    No one, absolutely no one, be it an individual or an entity should have the audacity to accord themselves the right to shove down the throats of Hgdef’s victims some politically-correct characterizations of the regime. Not only would that be too condescending and offensive to many victims – but also, it would be a very regressive approach, if the intended purpose here is bringing people together.

    As for the “yourself can’t be free…” thing, I’d ask you to browse over your own postings in this debate – I ‘m sure you will find a plethora of biased views and statements. But no sweat here, you are fully entitled to have your biases; just remember that they will stand on your way when you try to play the role of the honest broker

    • Mohammed,

      What are the “Plethora of biased views or statements” I made in this debate? Could you please enlighten the readers so that they could learn them. In fact what I was precisely telling to Hameed was his biases and his bashing to the highlanders. Did you ever bash at any turn of history at least since I start to write in the websites? I need you to bring them to learn form it. I went through all my comments, I couldn’t come with any.

  • Walta Hager

    Wediere, I like your observation and your comments especially the one listed below.
    “…..both Semere Tesfai and Ali Salim need to be appreciated for they bring to the fore and present the fear and mistrust that holds us Eritrean prisoners and cripples our opposition from effectively challenging the regime that is suffocating our people and country to potential destruction”.
    But at least something is becoming clear this time though. After observing the whole political twists and turns that is going for long, it is becoming clear now that the true chameleons are exposing themselves for good. Going forward, it will be easy to choose your true ally on the struggle for the democratic change. Those who want to ride on someone’s back to reach their destination, with confidence, one can tell them no more free ride, either put up or shut up. Time is up, those times having long gone for good. From now on it is imperative that everyone to be aware of those who are trying to question and discredit the elected congress during the early stages of planning and implementing process of their duties. As it is implied by some, at this time praising EDA (the do nothing members and organizations for the last twenty years) over the elected congress and its mandates, which has laid down the corner stone of struggle for democratic change, is not right and it is untimely. At least now we have something important has accomplished which has never materialized over the last twenty plus years. But although it is their right to imply and praise EDA, I want tells them please don’t regress back, not at this time. It is wrong as we have seen EDA wasted their energy for years and produce nothing. Actually, EDA was a real obstacle during the struggle for democratic change. They were only champions in breeding (mchechah) organizations. I believe there will not be many who want to see that happen again.

  • Dear Kokhob Selam:

    I heard your plight and how could I ignore it? But I have to make an honest clarification to Hameed: I am not writing this to be “Zerai” but just to be Araki (conciliator) following the rich tradition of our ancestors.

    I have chosen Dr. Jeremy Sherman’s excellent essay titled “Glass house dweller” and I invite everyone to read it; to practice it; to treasure it and to pass it to anyone who we love.

    “…….I value my powers of discernment and judgment. I don’t worship them, but I’m grateful for them and therefore work to maintain and refine them.

    There’s been a rumour on the psych circuit that one shouldn’t be judgmental, disingenuous and paradoxical advice since the rumour is itself a judgment that one shouldn’t do something. I think judgment is inescapable and so it’s best to hone it rather than disavow it disingenuously. I aim to be a discerning weasel-connoisseur able to identify and judge even the subtlest weasel.

    Like everyone I live in a glass house, and according to other rumors on the psych circuit, I shouldn’t throw stones, not advice I am willing to take since I both express and hone my judgment through the trial and error process of giving and taking feedback. Besides, giving feedback and throwing stones are not the same thing. The advice not to throw stones is suspiciously redundant, advice as tautological as “don’t do bad things,” when bad things are by definition what you shouldn’t do.

    Instead of not throwing stones, I try to throw stones in pairs. For every one I throw at someone else’s glass house, I try to throw one at the equivalent place on my house. For example, when I criticize someone else’s approach I try to find an analog to their approach in my approach. Likewise, when I get angry at someone’s bad behavior I try to temper my temper with recollections of my comparably bad behavior.

    By throwing stones at my own house, I discover the weaker windows, places where there’s room for improvement and therefore where I need to do some home repair and remodeling.

    Throwing stones at other people’s glass houses, I express the value I place on my fallible yet evolving, improvable and improving powers of judgment. By pairing the stones aimed at their houses with stones aimed at mine, I actively devalue my natural, inevitable but limiting and limitable self-serving double standards. At least that’s the goal, my formula for speaking my mind not obnoxiously.

    All formulas can be corrupted through compliance with the letter but not the spirit. My formula is no exception so it’s worth inventorying some of the more obvious circumnavigations around the spirit of the formula. Here are two. No doubt there are more.

    I could employ an under-the-radar double standard whereby I throw boulders at other people’s glass houses and padded pebbles at mine, saying for example that I make the same mistakes too but citing the most trivial examples. For example: “You’re a grotesquely inconsiderate. Of course, I make mistakes too and am humble enough to admit it. Why once I tipped only 14% by mistake.”

    Or I could employ my formula as a no-tag-backs preemption. For example: “You’re grotesquely inconsiderate by my standards and before you get a chance to impose the same standards on me, let me render your retaliation moot by telling you that I already know all of my flaws so don’t even bother.”

    Out-maneuvering one’s inner weasel is hard work, requiring vigilance because one’s inner-weasel offers to take over, saying “leave the vigilance to me,” the inner-weasel guarding against inner-weasel encroachment, the fox watching the hen house.

    Though my formula is flawed I find it an improvement over not throwing stones at people in glass houses, or pretending in weasely ways, not to do it. Here are my formula’s many benefits:

    -Acknowledging similar failings subdues unjustifiable righteous indignation.
    -It makes feedback to others easier for them to hear because it peels off the condescension.
    -It makes the flaws less about personalities and more about temptations and tendencies to which we are all prone.
    -It demonstrates fair-minded receptivity to feedback from others.

    Since we often disguise our appetite for holier than thou oneupsmanship with the rationale that we are only interested in maintaining high standards, it forces us to live up to what otherwise is just rationale. It accelerates personal development.

    Every formula has its counter-formula that can be abused too. I’m watching for that also. I get a taste of that when I talk about extremist rhetoric from one political party and it’s over-eager defenders snap back at me that the other political party uses rhetoric too. Yes, indeed we all do and I can cite chapter and verse about the other party’s rhetoric, but that doesn’t obviate questions of degree. To take an unrelated extreme example a mass murderer cannot justify his murder spree by pointing out that those who judge him squash bugs and eat chicken. It’s a distorted version of fairness that assumes that all responsibility for all problems must ultimately be evenly shared. We must keep alive the question of sources of fault and blame. I’m just saying that with my formula I’m likely to do a better job of dealing with such questions, and doing a better job of it is very important in these tough times, when striking the right balance on the tough questions of blame and responsibility is that much more important to our well-being and even survival, and when in our reaction to the tough times tempers tend to flair un-tempered.

    My formula as a limerick:
    From glass houses one shouldn’t throw stone?
    How else can my standards be shown?
    I throw them in pairs
    One at mine; one at theirs
    Holding me to my standards helps hone.

    • Dear Aklilu,

      Very distinctive and well said. But mysteriously I catch the stone before it hits my glass house. Just kidding. I am sure that, I am not talking “distorted version of fairness” just to make it obvious.

      • You are simply an indispensable treasure, Amanuel.

    • Kokhob Selam

      Aklilu, Thank you very much.

  • Hameed

    Dear Mr. Kokhob Selam,

    I don’t know what you keep in store as well as you don’t know what I hide. You comment on what I write and vice versa. I think this doesn’t compel me to be ashamed for we in Eritrea suffer from the malady of group thinking. What you have written indicates that. I was sarcastic on your calling Aklilu and the jumping of Amanuel on you for not standing behind him. What do you call this, isn’t it a call for a group thinking? I despise group thinking for group thinking incapacitates all minds and make them depend into a few minds and this is a catastrophe with all measures.

    You may be an independent person from early years, but what you have written doesn’t show that and I think is not my problem to feel ashamed. In any case excuse me if you are disturbed by my comments. With respect and regard to you. Hameed.

    • Kokhob Selam

      Hamed, do you see how Aklilu say it? if you think my request is “grouping request” what will you say all the comments you wrote? Look at the great minds word. you and me own those minds, they are ours.aren’t we Eritrean people rich people to have brothers like Aklilu and amanuel and all ? celebrate now in advance that Eritrea will be real democratic and peaceful nation.

  • yaseen


    Sorry if offended you i said clearly ( i will not use the ward the Christian )I never used the word Christian i used word western call him if you wish White man i will agree with you.

    The Just Great Abyssinia Christian king

    Muslim give great credited to the compassionate and great Abyssinia Christian king Negashe, This an evidence to all man kind, Abyssinian King Christian very kind and merciful

    “Islam and Africa have made something of each other that is quite extraordinary,” says Rene A.Bravmann in his book African Islam. This was never the case when Europeans introduced Christianity to Africa.

    For the native the spiritual cannot be separated from other aspects of life, and the adoption of Islam did not greatly disturb this relation.

    Christian just like Islam, Islam with no church, teaches that all humans, irrespective of their gender, skin color, and ethnic origin are capable of doing good; The One God is the Lord of all, not of special people or tribe. And just (Negus) the true follower of Jesus, the work a living reflection of Christianity as understood by some. The Muslim Companions Migrate to Abyssinia .

    Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe talks about the destruction of his own Igbo culture by Christian missionaries: “How do you think we can fight when our brothers have turned against us? The white man is very clever. He came quietly with his religion. We were amused at his foolishness and allowed him to stay. Now he has won our brothers, and our clan can no longer act like one. He has put a knife to the things that held us together and we have fallen apart.”

    Shameful & Merci less King Joao

    It all started in Portugal in 1412. The three sons of King João I proposed that they start a war “for the glory of Portugal and a service to God.” They told their father they had chosen to attack the Moroccan city of Ceuta, across the Strait of Gibraltar.

    Ceuta had an international community of 20,000 merchants, mostly Africans, who traded in spices, fabrics, carpets, gold and precious stones. It was a peaceful city with no defense.

    system. The Portuguese force consisted of 19,000 soldiers and 1,700 sailors, 240 invading ships, 59 war galleys and over 60 empty cargo boats.

    “This was a venture financed by, and for, the enrichment of the Order of Christ,” said Martin Page in his book First Global Village. “It was not the Portuguese flag, but the Order’s symbol, the Templar cross, which emblazoned the sails and the pennants. The Pope sent a message of commendation and encouragement. The basic policy of the Church then (Was )that almost anything which harmed Muslims was pleasing to the God of the Christians.”

    the European trade in black African people as slaves,” said Page.

    Today, Brazil has a population of some 80 million Africans, more than all African countries except Nigeria.

    Portuguese slavery led to the Depopulation of an area the size of France, Germany, Italy and Spain combined.

    Following in the footsteps of Portugal, Europeans committed crimes against Africa over the next 600 years that until today had no parallel in history. They got away with murder, literally, and committed genocides.

    Yet, Europeans still refuse to accept responsibility for their crimes, or pay reparations. They even have the gall to lecture Africans, and blame them for their condition.

    Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe talks about the destruction of his own Igbo culture by Christian missionaries: “How do you think we can fight when our brothers have turned against us? The white man is very clever. He came quietly with his religion. We were amused at his foolishness and allowed him to stay. Now he has won our brothers, and our clan can no longer act like one. He has put a knife to the things that held us together and we have fallen apart.”

    For the purpose of comparison. The north Abyssinia was a Christian country ruled by a Christian king. Nevertheless, the Prophet (SAWS) described him as a JUST king. This only further emphasizes the beauty and fairness of Islam, in which the Truth is not conditional or prescribed to Muslims alone.

    In A Vanished World: Medieval Spain’s Golden Age of Enlightenment, Chris Lowney shows Muslims, Christians, and Jews rubbing shoulders peacefully in tiny Spanish villages, adopting each other’s language, customs, and learning, creating a golden age for each faith, and pioneering innovations that revolutionized the West.

    Spain’s diverse society introduced the western world to paper, our Hindu-Arabic number system, advanced irrigation, cotton and citrus, architectural glory, and medical discoveries. While Europeans elsewhere wallowed in medieval squalor and ignorance, Spain flourished as the continent’s commercial and cultural center. No less astonishing than Spain’s material glories was the simple fact that her Muslims, Christians, and Jews often lived and worked side-by-side, bestowing tolerance and freedom of worship on religious minorities. These Muslims, Christians, and Jews, co-existing successfully for the first time ever in mainland Europe, offer wisdom, hope, and lessons learned to our modern age struggling to create a peaceful, constructive common society.

    Publicly-stated belief that real faith crosses cultural, social and even religious lines “Faith and politics are congruent … We can never stop trying to change the way things are in society. Our response to faith must be lived out in community.

  • Sister Arwe,

    “Sprawling is practically Killing us”

    As you have noted, whether my stance is taken as weakness or too compromising, that is the right thing to do. It is the call of my instinct and I will be guided by that. For sure, I found my solace in that” firm ground” in this distressful Eritrean politics. Sister, designing a healthy society is really very difficulty. As you see all our effort to break the mistrust of our brothers for the purpose of peaceful co-existence is not even welcomed. Time will tell and history is on the record.

    In this noisy intrusions to our solitude, we need patience until things are sorted out with time, and hopefully with persistence to the value we stood we will prevail.

    • b’Alti W’qatto Arwe (As in a girl with a dragon tattoo).

      Dear Amanuel,

      If anything I see a leader in you as you navigate armed with sober but sharp mind through the otherwise murky and turbulent political reality of the thing we call ours. If religious divide has been a thorn in the flesh as we struggle against tyranny and an outright dictatorship, we can not of course bury our heads in the sand and pretend as if the Pink Elephant is irrelevant at best and non-existent at worst.

      Historians could as well trace its (religious schism and tension) genesis and formulate it in their own reality as they see it fit where students of history who hail from the highlands would skew it to their inklings and by the same token historians who hail from the lowlands would paint the canvas of history with a victim mentality as if the rest of us have been insulated or immune from Isaias cruel hands.

      But if any thing of a fruition is to come out of our predicament, it is our need to look deep into the future where we have a historical obligation to make things right so that, we could as you eloquently put it prevail amidst tremendous odds as Eritrea finds herself at the crossroads. To that end, we need to find a leader amongst us who could narrow our differences and capitalizes on our strengths and aspirations. Sure enough, Eritrea is in search of one.

  • Mohammed Ahmed


    As of late, I guess you’ve been locking yourself up in your “writing-room” a little bit more often than you would have liked, but hey, what the heck – Eritrean politics has never been about anything anyone would ever like, let alone for it to be to the liking of someone who is trying his level best to contribute towards fixing it. The same also goes for all those compatriots, Hameed, Amin, Haile and Kokheb Selam who are engaging you in this interesting debate.

    My friend, a couple of things: First, your impeccable record speaks for itself, so there is no need for you to defend it – all those who have been following your writings know who you are and what you stand for. Second, in this particular discourse, I’ve noticed a lot of n’hna (we) – nsom (they) distinctions on your part – and the only reason I bring this up is not because you are not entitled to make those distinctions, but rather, because having read you for so long, it felt a bit out of place, sort of a very unlike you – if you will. The hope is that, it is a passing current.

    A couple of points on the issue being debated:

    A blanket condemnation of the entire Tigrigna community for Hgdef’s crimes is not only absurd and dishonest, but also, it is very counter-productive in the fight against Hgdef itself.

    There is a simple caveat for this assertion though:

    Attacking Hgdefites and their core support base, who for the most part happen to be Ethnic Tigrigna Christians, should never be construed as an attack on the entire Tigrigna community. To do that would be tantamount to giving the Hgdefites the communal cover they desperately need, which I am sure is not the slightest intention of any self-respecting Tigrigna. Nevertheless, judging from the crocodile tears of the bigots, that’s exactly what it will do – give them cover.

    They say honesty is a virtue. To say that Hgdefites are aliens won’t cut it. The dictator here is not chief Ojokouw or chief Ndzundza, it is Issaias Afwerki. He and his key supporters do not hail from the Ndebele tribe, they are ethnic Tigrignas. When a part of your body is cancerous, you don’t deny that it is a part of your body – you just try to heal it, failing that you get it surgically removed (sniped), lest you let it creep up the rest of your body.

    The majority of ethnic Tigrignas are decent people who bled and died for their country just like the rest of their fellow compatriots. In our political discourse, it is important that we all make a clear distinction between the Ethno-Fascist Hgdef regime with its core support base and the rest of the wider Tigrigna community.

    • Mohammed,

      The sad thing, and why we are drifting to “we and they” is because I don’t see anyone from your side to characterize the regime as dictator or totalitarian even when we agreed in our congress. Sad as it may, I can’t even see a compassionate person to our predicament.

      In fact even yourself can’t be free, from siding with those who have the audacity to neglect the predicament of the highlanders. I am afraid, your position will take us into unhealthy discourse. Now the “we” we don’t agree on you definition to the regime and the “they” want to spin retreating from the the those we agreed to.

  • Hameed,

    There is a saying in our culture “Che’guraf Hari’Matkas Te’awi.” My friend you are bashing us as ethno-centeric even to those who are on the struggle with you. Now I know your acceptance is not sincere as to the characterization of the regime. If I had mistrust with you guys I wouldn’t be with you. But it is you who have these all mistrust (refer to your comment to Kokobe Selam). This is what Awate the father of the army struggle has said to his compatriots early in the 60s: “Ahwatna deki Kebessa Key’tehawoswo ezi Kalssi ezi AiK’Ewetneyu.” Take the words of – the father of the revolution as a truth which history has already justified it and have peace with it.

    Please learn from our jiants, Abdel’kadir Kebire, Ibrahim Sultan, Woldeab woldemariam and others, if you care about our people, go and make “political dialysis” to clean your demons. At this point you are not helping this forum except spewing your hate. Period.

    • Hameed

      Dear Amanuel,

      I am an independent person who doesn’t seek for special person to get a political dialysis. Depending on special persons is not available in my dictionary. I believe in rationality, reality on the ground and truth. I hate arrogance, hypocrisy and injustices. Believe me your suspicion demons will make your life hell.

  • Kokhob Selam

    Ewa’e, anta ezom enda awate abey abelu?? HGDEF chewyatom deya? Haaaa.

  • Kokhob Selam

    Dear Mr. Aklilu,

    when some one needs support, the first person to see is the person whom he trust more. reading all the above I have come to conclusion your wonderful words will let every one of us go out of this confusion.
    I have become crazy and unable to segregate my thoughts. can you support and come with your comment? I hope you will not ignore my request.

    • Hameed

      Please, please (ati haftey) Kokhob don’t call Aklilu don’t let me cry I am too much afraid you will see I have also strong ‘zeray’, but he is now on vacation when he comes back I will tell him, Eeeeeeeeeh.

      • Kokhob Selam

        I don’t know to you, some time you come like if you are concerned of our future some time you come like if you are serving PFDJ. some time you come with childish character some like a man.

        I am not looking for “Zeray” you have lost the game even with out any post of today and yesterday. I am only asking that great man to put things properly in such way that it will be simple to understand. This is an advantage for you. then you can chose your way.

        • Hameed

          Are you flaming with seriousness? I think there is no joke in your world. The issue at hand doesn’t require to call people, let us be real democrats and don’t force people to comment on issues they may not like to comment. Let people free to say their opinions without the pressure of others. Let us think independently to learn how to say No for group thinking leads to dictatorship. The dictatorship we see in Eritrea is the outcome of a group thinking, the entire group depend on one mind as we observe in Eritrea the whole regime depends on the mind of Isaias and this mind might be sick that leads to hell.

          Dear sister develop you independent thinking and encourage others to think independently with full confidence on themselves.

          • Kokhob Selam

            I will take it easy, I am sure you will feel ashamed if you know who this Kokhob is. you don’t imagine the self confidence I own. it was not in 2012 but in 1977 or before that (which makes all my comrades wonder) that I said “if we give chance to EPLF we will lose our national peace and unity even after getting separation From Ethiopia”. I have never changed my words even when my elders dance and sing for the so call Freedom. I have never stopped fighting against this type of groups. I was ready to lose the most beloved one in this world duo to my stand against Shaebia.
            thanks God today we have thousands of thousands who are ready to destroy PFDJ and in fact those who were tough to Shaebia are not even counted because Eritrea has got more bold and advanced men and women.

            at last let me stop you in calling me sister. Kokhob is a name for both. the people who knows me are laughing and calling me on telephone saying “Kokhob Habtey” since you start writing Kokhob habtey. in fact I am an old man at the end of my life.

  • Hameed

    Selam to all brothers,

    Primarily, I am not the one who started this discussion you can go back and check the comments. Brother Amanuel started it. I wrote at the end of my comment ‘well put Mr. Said’ of course after a general comment on the article of Said Saber this is what I have just said and the rest you can follow how it developed. Secondly when you state lowlanders I don’t take it you mean all lowlanders, but you mean the majority and the same goes to our brothers and sisters in Kebbessa. When I state Kebbessa I don’t mean all Kebbessa. I am very sorry if some of our brothers felt offended, it is unintentional.

    Brothers I don’t intend to offend anyone of you I have just asked Mr. Hidrat how do you say you respect them and free to organize themselves in any form they like and you turn back and describe them as people who don’t respect human rights. I said this is contradiction, how do you respect people who do not respect human rights. I asked him to be 100% democratic and give the people of Eritrea chance to judge. I told him to leave the doors of freedom widely open and to be emancipated from suspicion.

    Mr. Hidrat, I didn’t spin from your question, but I didn’t give it much interest because I will be totally blind person and ignorant if I denied the condition at the moment in Eritrea. I am 100% sure if our brother Amanuel went to Eritrea today Isaias will slaughter him like a cock and roast him in a blazing fire and drink his champagne while fueling the fire with woods. I am also sure kinship will not erode our brother Amanuel and take him back to Isaias who has no kins among Eritreans.

    Brother let us leave history and speak about today. At this moment the regime in Eritrea is a totalitarian regime. I hope I have answered your question.

    • Kokhob Selam

      When you can say it politely, why let every one burn? I have said the same when comes to Mr.Syed’s article. The reason you appreciate an article may not be because you agree in all what he said. And and you can say this without using offensive words. I have been happy with you till you come with a bit childish way. Any now I am happy still as you have answered it all in this last comment. once again let me tell you one important thing. The majority are innocent in both highlanders and lowlanders. And the people who fight for the advantage of may not be all. some time you will find few people representing the mass. but in “PFDJ is for highlanders” concept is totally wrong and it will hurt everyone of us. Now, how the tribes and religion groups will keep their right in coming Eritrea has been answered in different ways. at last which way we follow is secondary but what is our target is clear and that is all religion and tribes or any type of group and even individuals right should be secured. thank you.

      • Hameed

        Thank you sister Kokhob. I wish not to stop your blame on me it would have been very good if you exceed your blames to the awate team who give space to the likes of Semere who attempt to spread hate among us. Also please rebuke brother Amanuel for not being totally disengaged from suspicion of his compatriots in the nation. My regards.

        • Kokhob Selam

          “Watch your thoughts, they become words, watch your words they become actions, watch your actions, they become habits, watch your habits, they become character, watch your character it becomes your destiny”
          MOTTO, Metroplitan Milwaukke YMCA.

          “Fix your thoughts on what is true and good and right…..” phi. 4.8 tlb

          Thank you

    • Dear Hameed,

      I don’t know what are your metric measurements, but I believe I fought for justice and democracy for over 30 years. I don’t want to push you on this issue for it is a subjective matter. For me whether it is sincere or not at this point, you answered my question. The regime is totalitarian regime and hope the rest who were on your side of the argument, at the beginning will do so. I rest my case on this issue. Thank you.

      • Hameed

        Dear Amanuel,

        Again suspicion ‘whether it is sincere on not’, how do you want me to cut the pumpkin? Please, take people on what they say or do and forget about what might hide behind them. I am pleased that I have answered your question and if it came to my mind that it is very important to you I would have answered it in my first comment. As I told you we are in the same boat and destined to share Eritrea. With much respect to you. Thanks. Wadahanka.

  • b’Alti W’qatto Arwe (As in a girl with a dragon tattoo).

    Have been hoping our two and only Salehs (Johar and Younis) would step in, weigh in or chip in into the otherwise turbid and heated debate but obviously to no avail. Or is it “G’defom d’A nen’Hid’H’dom hamed y’saHanu” sort of thing. But of course, as Amanuel put it with a heavy heart, if the issue was about the supposed old grudges of mama, step-mama, surrogate mama Ethiopia (pick one), we would have seen their foot prints in the wee hours of cyber time line.

    • Kokhob Selam

      don’t give up. It seems they want to give us free space but they will come sure and say their words.

  • soira

    after reading ato semere article, saber article and all the comments on both articles, i am shocked and sick to my stomach. the future of eritrea is grim, scary and its my personal view civil war will erupt some time after the devil, facist regime is overthrown or dies naturally. i see two countries within eritrea: two countries with opposite views on everthing and i am afraid the extremist within this camps won’t rest untill we are devided for good……what happened to wise people of eritrea?

    • Soira,

      Your fear is exaggerated, if there was a potential of civil war, by now those who have decided to overthrow the government by arm would have intensified their struggle without regard to the constituent of EDF.

      Yes, future politics will be polarised at party level; on the ground the Eritrean people are not similarly polarised as our Diaspora politicians are. Well that kind of politics is observed in developed democracies, all that is required in politics is responsibility, not unity.


      My feeling and observation from the latest heated discussion emanates from one or two of the following issues:
      1. You are not happy with Saleh stand against the decision adding membership post Awwasa or
      2. Not happy that Awate gives space to opinions that undermine the work of ENDC or
      3. Since election in the congress, you have decided to be more proactive in tackling all opinions that potentially polarise our society, or
      4. Are disappointed that while you are working hard to tame your brothers, those who know better on the other side of the isle are not taming their brothers aswell.

      The reason I have focused on you is that you one of the main writers and opinion maker and usually outside articles, we get one or two comments from you guys. I am surprised by the latest outburst, as from experience, it is difficult and time consuming trying to converse, let alone reach agreement with every poster here.

      As for either of the two Salehs, not intervening, even though that is their call, you know their stand on the issue, so it is not necessary to react to every comment that out of place.


      • Wediere,

        I know exactly. It is this and other pity interest that has clogged us not move forward. Thank you.

  • Hameed

    Dear Amanuel,

    Please, coooool down and let us cook the democratic meal with tolarance and truth. I have just finished reading a report from ICER about the human being traffickers and our youth. I have felt very sad to realize that those who compel our youth to flee Eritrea and those who make business in the Sudan, Egypt and Israel by our youth are from the TIG-tribe.

    Dear brother, Eritrean Moslems struggled for the independence of Eritrea more than half a century and still their struggle years counts, unfortunately now they are very very weak that is why our youth have become an easy prey for mafias inside and outside Eritrea. Sure, you remember Mr. Hidrat when we were with our power in the Seventies of the last century Eritreans passed to Sudan and to the countries around the world safely. You may be one of those who reached America without being subjected the excavation of your kidney. Also, I think you remember how the lowlanders welcomed you with milk not ransom; do you recognize how great and tolerant people we are? Believe me we love our brothers in Kebbessa, but I don’t know why you refuse our love and always suspicious towards us.

    Brother give me one example that shows Eritrean Moslems denied Kebbessa their rights. I am sure you will never never get one instance that can be recorded in history, thus why you always make big mistakes and then ‘alu gtan’ without shame. You know the reason why you make always mistakes is you didn’t revise the past. Are you to this extent with a short memory? I don’t think so, this requires a research from your side.

    You defined the regime as a totaletarian and we come down to your desire to please you, though it is contrary to reality, but some one like Semere when spreads hate among our people and attacks us I think we have the right to defend ourselves, isn’t it, Mr. Amanuel?

    With love to our brothers in Kebbessa. Hameed.

    • Dear Hameed:

      Stop this political spinning and stick with the topic and answer what I asked you. You don’t believe that we are in the same predicament. Aren’t you? When you say ” the traffickers are from TIG-tribe” do you mean, it is all our fault (TIG-tribe) and handle it yourself? First I don’t accuse you or anyone else in this form regarding human trafficking. You can’t remind me the hospitality of the lowlanders. I lived with them for years. I very well know their kindness and their hospitality. Our brothers in the lowland also know well the hospitality of their counterpart, though I don’t know yourself. The issue is you and your likes who lump us with the evil man at the helm.

      Brother, you believe on democracy, we passed it in one of our congress you should bind by it at least if you are on the side of ENCDC. Democracy sometimes is bitter you have to swallow it for the sake of unity and co-existence. I still wait to answer my question and that is: What additional predicament of the highlanders will make you to believe that we are the same victims of the dictator? Please don’t spin, stick with my question and your political uptake on the current situation of the highlanders. I want to end this bashing my brother.

    • Serray


      We have exactly ONE government since we become a nation. You don’t call shaebia kebesa but you are calling the same entity kebesa in order to make a trully unfair comparison about kebesas taking your rights and moslems never taking our rights….you should at least wait until we have another stupid government with Muslim on top. This is even worse than the iraq, libya and syria example you gave down there.

      You guys need to put to rest that kebesas or christain highlanders are your enemies. A friend once told me, if you call a brown person black enough times, he will be black for you. We are all victims of the same system and it is beyond insulting to make people part of a system that feeding on them simply because you can make plausible sounding but ultimalty false comparisons.

      It is simply not a good strategy.

    • Ghezae Hagos

      Selam Hameed,

      Again if it helps, it is not Amanuel per se, who defined the regime as ‘totalitarian.’ It is the ENCDC itself through the Intellectuals Meeting. If you respect the ENCDC resolution, please don’t go against it then at least.

      After Congress, we thought we were past this thorny issue and we ALL will get our FOCUS: the PFDJ. It seems to be the issue will not die after all. Hammed and the author, Said Y, are examples of this.

      Selam Kidane recently wrote that what we agree in the congresses and meetings are not genuinely meant to be observed. Like a land deal between a frontiersmen and natives, our resolutions and agreements lack loyal partners.

      Since our struggle is inherently subjective and solitary, no amount of resolutions and hard-won compromises will tame us. One of the greatest obstacles in our Resistance Camp is appaling lack of discipilline. It is very depressing.

    • haile

      Brother Hameed

      I think you may be a little harsh on yourself when you surmise that about Kebessa’s feeling towards our fellow Moslem brothers and sisters. In my experience, one would be hard pressed to find the most generous, sympathetic, down to earth and full of trust people like our lowland citizens. When my father passed away in my childhood, I remember the people who bailed out my mother from so many fixes as she struggled to raise us, went by the names as: aboy Adem, Aboy Hassan, Aboy Omer… We (my family then) were brought up to respect and values of our Moslem brothers and sisters. For instance, my my mother celebrated every Moslem festivity withe traditional Eritrean ceremony of hanti derho and hanti areki. Please do not generalize kebessa, as I find my self equally under attack whenever you are.

    • b’Alti W’qatto Arwe (As in a girl with a dragon tattoo).


      No need for anyone to put you on a Freudian coach so to speak but it is obvious that, your line of thinking doesn’t seem to be healthy at all. You sure are blowing threads of the comments way out of proportion. I remember when I was a little girl my mother telling us about the unbound kindness and generosity of our lowland fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers and cousins. Nobody is taking that away from them neither of us have any intention of doing that here in this forum either.

      And I don’t see Amanuel accusing them of denying the rights of the highlanders. You’re the one who should calm down and tame your otherwise wild accusations and insinuations as you seem to inject a nasty spin into the unfortunate circumstances of our brothers and sisters in the deserts of Sinai as you seem to insinuate that it is the Tigrigna people who are the culprits when cool headed and responsible citizens focus on how to alleviate and help our brothers and sisters instead of politicizing the entire dark saga from Isaias’ Eritrea through the deserts and high seas to a better world.

      • Kokhob Selam

        you the mother, the more I read your comments the more bigger picture of you I see in my mind. all my respect to you.

        • b’Alti W’qatto Arwe (As in a girl with a dragon tattoo).

          Many thanks Kokhob Selam for those kind words. The feeling is mutual. Much respect.

  • Walta Hager

    In the real world, no one hands power willingly unless one fights hard and die for it. The reason is because any existing power did not handed easily to that person. Isn’t it? Ironically, what I don’t understand and even sometimes makes me think a lot is that, there are many who still want someone to die for their social justices, while they are watching on a sideline, living their life comfortably. How about those who claim they are betrayed by the current government while they line up in a front row to become cheerleaders and at the same time contribute tremendous financial support to his coffers? If that is how they chooses to fight the corruption and unjust policies and activities of the government and at the same time expect a positive outcome of what they prayed for, I would like to tell them that it is a jock and wishful thinking. It won’t happen and you are kidding yourselves. I want them to be wise and do the right thing. Stop the unrealistic and bogus claims such as the highlander’s government did this; the highlander’s institutions did that to us, which does not reflect facts on the ground. At the same time I would like to remind them that it does not solve the existing problem. What is fact and from what we have witnessed over the years is that, the current government is a color blind where no one is safe in front of him unless one obeys orders of the day. As some think the current government favors Christian highlanders is false and unfounded. Can’t you see who the victims are and what is going on everyday in Eritrea today? You should not generalize and blame all highlanders especially those who had scarified their life and still are advocating for your rights. However, if that continues you will not see what you are dreaming and what you are expecting will not be realized. By the way, we have heard this cry of foul for years and it is time for you to act. So at this time I can say it is about time one to be ready, set the goal and show us of what you can do instead of waiting one to do the job for you. Please “be a man of deeds not words

    • Kokhob Selam

      Thank you Walta, this can end all those comments. I feel that we should clean all the doubts and all the past negative experiences and see things from all angles. Yet, talking and saying all what you have in your mind is very good to let everything transparent.

  • yaseen

    i am born in Canada and consdired one of the best western country. But Western Secularism has its own problem and misgiving in recent recorded history and list very long. I really hate to do this.

    I will use not word use the ward the Christian or Christianise in order not offend any one of the believer of the faith.

    Who were pioneers mathematics, architecture, science and medicine and who transferred it to the West? I will use not word the Christian in order not offend any one of the believer of the faith.

    Which ideology was the first in history to stand up for and grant rights to women, according to the Christian Science Monitor? Islam!

    Who kicked off “ethnic cleansing” with slaughter of millions of Native American Indians, Muslims or Westerners? Did

    secular democracy punish those responsible for this crime?

    Who founded the racist slave trade, Muslims or westerners?

    Who used weapons of mass destruction on Hiroshima and Nagasaki

    murdering a quarter of million men, women and children?

    Who used chemical weapons against Vietnam, Muslims or Westerners

    Who used chemical gas against anti-British Iraqi freedom fighters in 1900’s? Islam or Democracy?

    Who started two World wars, Muslims or Westerners?

    Who was responsible for the Spanish inquisition, Muslims or Westerners?

    Who practiced colonialism and subjugation of non-white nations, Muslims or Westerners?

    Who founded Anti-Semitism, Muslims or Westerners?

    Where is the Murder capital of the World, in a Muslim country or the West? Now at 20,000 murders a year according to FBI figures published in 2003. How sick.

    Where is the rape capital of the World? In a Muslim country or the West? USA

    Who is number “one” in firearm deaths, Muslim or Western country?

    How violent!

    Who is the top polluter of the environment, Muslim or Western country? How sick!

    Who is number one in births to mothers under 20, Muslim or Western country? How backward!

    Who is number one in not signing international human rights treaties, Muslim or western country? USA, leader of the free world!

    Who is number one in known executions of child offenders, Muslim or Western country? Secular democracy, USA!

    Which is the number one society in history where children are the poorest population group? Guilty again!

    Who over last 20 years has witnessed a 157% wage rise for the richest 1% of the population, while opposite is happening to the poor?

    Secular Democracy!

    Who has a worst infant mortality rate than Nairobi? Muslim or Western country? Secular Democracy!

    Who did Martin Luther King call the greatest purveyor of violence in the modern world, Muslim or Western nation?

    During the first 100 hundred years of the Islamic state only 8 criminals were executed

    After learning all this very short list, ask yourself, who is real threat to humanity?

    Islam or Western secularism?

    Identifying the culprit:

    Secularism = Racism

    With the spread of secular materialist philosophy from the west, secular fanaticism has resulted in disaster for humanity with violent ideologies such as racism, eugenics, fascism, colonialism, communism, Zionism and many other cruel secular world views based on conflict drawing strength from the West’s materialist philosophy.

    Darwin proposed that the ‘fight for survival’ also applied between human races. According to that claim, ‘favored races’ were victorious in the struggle. Favored races, in Darwin’s view, were white Europeans. African or Asian races had lagged behind in the struggle for survival. Darwin went further, and suggested that these races would soon lose the ‘struggle for survival’ entirely, and thus disappear: At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the “civilized” races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace the “savage” races throughout the world,” states Darwin in his book Origin of Species, subtitled “The Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life.

    • acera

      Your agrument is misguided. All the things you have listed are the bad things that white folk did…not christians. None of that was done in the name of christianity or because the victims were muslim. I agree with you that white folk have caused many problems in the world and continue to do so even today. You are right but they dont do it in the name of christianity. They dont do bad things to muslims because they are muslims. White people do not discriminate when it comes to their interests. Remember, christianity has been in Eritrea far before europeans and westerners where introduced to it. You need to differentiate between whites and christians. And secularism does not = racism…..religion is not a race. Number 1 polluter is China….and that isnt a western country. In fact top 5 polluters are China, USA, India, Russia, Japan. 1 is western the other 4 are not! Top 10? China, USA, India, Russia, Japan, Germany, Iran, South Korea,Canada, Saudi Arabia. 3 westerners and 7 non-westerners (of which 2 are muslims countries and another (india) that has a muslim population of 90million). and per capita Qatar, Kuwait, Malaysia, and UAE are the world leaders…all muslim countries. So that throws your argument in the garbage. As for slaves….Muslims were the FIRST to have slaves….waaaaaaayyyy before the europeans. So you dont know waht you are talkin about. I dont have time to shoot down all you fake stats and facts, but you do see where i am going with this. White people did bad things and you are blaming christianity. I didnt here anything about the bad things muslims (not arabs but muslims) have done and are still doing today. And muslims do it in the name of god. Because others are “non believers”. And u gunna call others backwards???? Not all muslims are like that but again you kno wut i mean.

  • haile

    Islamic influence in a socio-political life of a statehood has been abused as ‘Islamist’ and ‘Jihadist’. And , naturally, those who espouse it try to escape the ‘labeling’ onslaught by justifying their cause as some thing born out of ‘legitimate grievance’ The reality, however, boils down to the fact that moslems in general feel comfortable when their governing entity reflects, in some form, recognition of their values and beliefs. Eritrean moslem brothers and sisters share the same tendency, and considering their indispensable formation in the make up of modern day Eritrea (Economically and otherwise), supporting and granting their comfort level is for Eritrea’s long term best interest.

    • “Eritrean moslem brothers and sisters share the same tendency, and considering their indispensable formation in the make up of modern day Eritrea (Economically and otherwise), supporting and granting their comfort level is for Eritrea’s long term best interest.” I say amen, amen, amen. I hope Hameed will smell this advice and stop form bashing us.

  • Serray

    Selam Amanuel,

    The last paragraph in the other thread caught my eye. I felt this will be the right place to respond to it.

    Sometimes I feel it is a strategy, this calling the regime an ethnic fascist or accusing the Christian highlander of propping the regime. Sometimes I feel it is the result of living in countries where they are minorities and projecting that to Eritrea since the head used to be a Christian highlander (used to be because to call him a human being now is an insult to humanity).

    Some of them credit Ali Salim for giving the issue the respect it deserves; completely oblivious to its impact on the nation’s other half. And then there are those with calm intelligence lay the empirical and philosophical justification, like the authors of the Eritrean Covenant. Many Christian highlanders were turn off and checked out. But some gave their blessing to this view, including Dr. Bereket,who praised the document that actually tried justify the huge numbers of highlanders running away to the pfdjs not enforcing the shoot to kill policy strictly.

    Time to bust open the misconception was not used properly. Semere Tesfai was one of those who took Ali Salim head on. Unfortunately, just like this one, he made it a power play. As always, many of our great minds were missing in action. Both Salehs of awate.com were vague in their response to Ali Salim and the onslaught of highland bad lowland good articles. And now a misconception is passing as truth among our Muslim expatriates.

    I have a question for you brother Amanuel, whose idea was it to make the ethnic nature of pfdj a central point of discussion when you were invited to Ethiopia back in October? Don’t get me wrong, I am proud that you concluded the regime is just another blood sucking dictatorship. But those who brought up the issue, those who made it left, right and center, have forgotten to go back to their base and inform their followers that the best minds of the nation have passed a resolution that the regime is NOT ethnic.

    If you ask me, the authors of the Eritrean Covenant and all the other people who made this misconception popular should come out and straighten the people who still grace the regime with our identity. Until they do, Semere Tesfai remains a proportional response to the people of yesterday’s propaganda.

    • Merhab Serray:

      To answer to your question, the idea” to make the the ethnic nature of PFDJ as central point of discussion was our brothers from the other side during the meeting of the intellectuals on Sept 2011 at Addis. I think it was resolved at that time. This issue was not raised at the congress. The problem that still exist with our brothers is the fact they don’t go by the book (by what we agreed). They tell you that they support ENCDC but they not bound by the outcome.

      Regarding the covenant, I myself supported it in away I believe we could come into a reasonable covenant, if we could incorporate some of their issue and some changes with the 1997 constitution (such as the issue of land, language, and nature of governance). It was not my intention their covenant to supersed the 1997 constitution as is. Still I stand with that position. Really this time I am fad up with this all bashing endlessly.

  • b’Alti W’qatto Arwe (As in a girl with a dragon tattoo).

    Dear Amanuel,

    Obviously the onslaught on you doesn’t seem to let up as our Muslim brothers and sisters in the forum are taking your compromising and well balanced stance for either a weakness or too accommodating. As I see it, they seem to confuse Isaias’ bigotry, xenophobia where it has always been earmarked ever since he authored the infamous “N’hnan Elamanan”, with the rest of us (highlanders).

    If it is any consolation, the wrath of Isaias is not sparing the highlanders either as he grew more of a paranoid psychopath. There is no reason and it doesn’t serve any purpose at all when our Muslim brothers and sisters play a victim as we are as well in the same crucible with them. If we are to build a new Eritrea accommodating for and to all of us, we need to leave the past behind us for it doesn’t belong to the future. What belongs to the future is tolerance, compromising, magnanimity, a common purpose and leaving an enduring legacy to posterity.

    • Dear Sister Arwe:

      I can’t agree more. Our duo Sals couldn’t even show up and intervene when their own look upon them, to give their insights on the subject. They let it the ball to roll where ever it is hit strong. But I am sure enough when the issue of Ethiopia comes tangentially, they will pop up and say something. As you have said it, even “when we are victims in the same crucible” (you reminded me my school days) they can’t stop of bashing us. They will not stop to link the rest of us (highlanders) with the infamous “nehenan Alemanan.” That is the saddest inconvenience, but we will get through it as we stand to the virtue of justice. History is on the watch.

      • Saleh AA Younis

        Selamat Amanuel, bAlti wqato, and all:

        If you were a follower or participant in our old forum, you know that we have operated, for years, with the principle that the comment section is for our readers or writers who prefer to express themselves in short notes as opposed to essays. Our role had always been as moderators and we strongly discouraged our readers from calling on us to participate, and the metaphor we used was it’s not fun to watch any sport where the referee jumps in at every minor foul and interrupts the flow. But where there is a clear violation, the referee needs to jump in to ensure there is sportsmanship in the game. The role we saw for ourselves is as promoters of civil discourse: civil does not mean boring, it can be passionate, and it can be emotional, but it cannot cross over to name calling. We believe we have largely succeeded in that and the proof is that we have a literate, civil, engaged readers. Whenever we allow ourselves to be immodest, we always say we have the best front page writers, the best readers, and now we can we have the best commenters…

        In this version of the forum, we are encouraging front page writers (including ourselves) to converse with commenters, and to provide clarifications where necessary. Our participation in this forum has been as a result of conversations started on the basis of articles that carry our byline. Or, on comments that sparked our personal interest.

        We really have no interest in policing anyone for anything more than violation of our policy: which is civility. To the extent that we defend Ali Salim or Semere Tesfai it is for their role as awate.com front page writers, not because of their ethnic identity, or relgion. Agree or disagree with them, but they are great writers who express their views exceedingly well. We simply believe that what they said, and what they have to say, is well within the bounds of political discourse. (Remember, we have now had four decades of Eritreans being told what is permitted and what is not permitted to be said, which has resulted in stunted growth as far as our literature is concerned. And at heart we are also great fans of great writing: why do you think we get all excited when we read bAlti wqato*?) What has been posted by our commenters**, so far, is also well within the bounds of Eritrean political discourse. We do not want be to be anybody’s “aya” scolding people “ageb!” We hated the “vanguard” organizations for this; we don’t want to to replace a vanguard with a vanguard, we want the vanguard to have a merciful death. We want to give a forum to people to air their grievances, their fears, their hopes: we simply ask that they do it with civility and respect.


        * We probably would not agree with much of what Kaddis or Eyob Medhane say either but can anyone doubt that they are phenomenal writers?
        ** There are wanna-be provocateurs that want to hijack this forum and they have been, and they will be sent to the spam folder.
        PS: Can we stop with the Brother X and Sister Y address in our communication? It is so stilted and it is the language of extra-prudence. Just relax and say your piece, please, say it like you are saying it to someone having a drink with you.

  • haile

    Dear brother Amanuel

    My apology for making a statement in a manner it appears I was accusing you of saying those words. Please accept that was not the intent. I was merely extending the arguments you presented to object to Islamic influence in our politics. However, back to your question: our moslem brothers and sisters have in fact been dominant in enabling the existence of Eritrea as we know it. Even the GoE would not dare to met out a fraction of the abuse it directs towards the poor highlander Christians. If it did, it would cut off its own hand from feeding its mouth. During the border war (regardless of its politics) you can compare how the pathetic Africans threw us to the jaws of the enemy. Where as through our Islamic attributes the Arab people graced us with fighter jets to defend ourselves, with cheap fuel to oil the nations survival and trading and other opportunities to stand on our feet. If it weren’t for all that, taff eku’a teharimuna kem zenebere aytezengiE. What our moslem brothers and sisters now need is a more formal acknowledgement of their critical role in our existence. I have made my peace with that prospect long ago. And this is what I get my idea of ‘natural dominance’. Please, accept my earlier apology for my previous blunder though.

  • Dear Amin & Hameed:

    With all my respect to your opinions, here is my prudential political intake: Organizing in any form or shape is your inalienable rights and I respected it dearly. But respecting and supporting is different issue. I don’t support “theocratic government.” Because (a) it does not respect human rights (b) it impose religious doctrine into the governmental institutions (c) It leads into metamorphic sectarian conflicts (d) further more, it takes you into intractable socio-economic decay and political inanition. If you don’t see my point as a realistic, I could only refer you to check (a) the status of women’s rights in Afghanistan, Iran, as a matter of fact in all Arab countries (b) the shite/sunny religious conflict in Iraq, Bahrain, and Syria etc. (c) the catholic/protestant conflict of Irish people. Can’t we learn something from them to avoid that possible scenario into our situation? Let us make common sense and learn from these direct and indirect experiences. But one will hope something good from these spontaneous movements, the “Arab-spring’s and the urge for democratic changes.

    There is one thing that baffles me from the positions of our brothers from the other aisle (our Muslim brothers). Despite all the influx of the highlanders (leaving our country in drove)and becoming refugee every where; despite the human catastrophe the highlanders are facing, on the high sea, in the deserts of Libya and Sinai; despite the highlanders became the victims of human trafficking; despite of the fact that the highlanders are victims of despicable inhumanity inside our country, our brothers from the other side are still echoing the same language and chorus of songs, day in day out to tell us that the regime in Asmara is our government. Wow, If these realities can’t change them, we have to make some researches to know it exactly what is really the problem behind these issues. They have to know that we made more sacrifice back then and we are making more sacrifice even now.

    Let me ask them this question: Why are you trying to push us to swallow absurdity something which is not fact. Can’t you wake up and ask yourself what you are doing? Is it all you decide to fight against your brothers even who are in struggle with you? That is not the way how to bring unity and reconciliation, and that is not the way even to secure your rights. It is not by insults but by magnanimity, tolerance, and at the end by give and take.

    Dear Amin and Hameed , just read Mohammed Ahmed’s comment. He put it brilliantly on how the solution might be. Thank you Mohammed you have a lot to change mind.

    • haile


      We need guard against unfounded fears and sentiments in charting the most prudent and practical way forward. Our moslim brothers and sisters do not pose so much of a threat in having a dominant say in future Eritrea. consider the fact that most of the strategic assets and fertile zones in our country are inhabited by our moslem populations, our trading partners are the middle eastern countries, our geo-political significance is closely tied to the Islamic component of our nation, and our history is replete with heroic legacy of our moslem forefathers (as the name of this website indicates). In terms of future security and stability, our being part of the Arab league would contribute immensely in the diplomatic and political arena. So, from a sober and practical point of view, we (the christian highlanders) need to swallow our pride and accept the natural dominance of our moslem brothers and sisters, at least in the political fora in order to secure and build on the legacy of our fore fathers. Also, the christian highlander tends to look back at mama Etobia whenever the going gets tough, where as our moslem brothers and sisters kem tub ade qebitsoma eyom.

      • Kokhob Selam

        sorry to say that you are still watching by that old eye glass we use 50 years back. that Mama Ethiopia or Arabic tendency is no more valid. Ethiopia remains a country that has our brothers and sisters and no political circumstances will change it at all. Arabs the same will always remain our brothers. what is important is knowing how to live in harmony. We have a country call Eritrea that owns a wonderful culture of Abyssinia and meadleast. we should enjoy and use this wonderful culture and build an advanced country that we and others love it.
        the world is galloping fast to ward unity of the world and has be come so small, narrow tendencies will continue to survive till they serve this redevelopment. Today, the smartest politician should know how to see the bigger picture and should be bold enough to face the reality.

        • Kokhob Selam,

          Who is watching by the old glass? Is it Amanuel or hameed, Amin, or the author of the article? Are you kidding? Read to endless blanket accusation to the Highlanders. If you have the gut why don’t comment on the accusation they are making? Why is tolerance is demanded from our side only? I don’t see even a single one when they are bashing upon us, just to drop a few words to correct them. Know to whom you are giving the advice.

          • Kokhob Selam

            Hold down, it seems I have a problem in explaining things… this is the 2nd time you jump on me. read once again I am not saying you are watching by the old glass. my comment was to Haile as he is trying hard to let you see things which are not around. And why are you so much sensitive of the subject, there were Christians brothers who thought Shaebia is for them but practically no one was represented
            (no muslim,christian,hamasenay, Semahar of Alamin etc ) all has eaten dust air . Shukren Sahebia—Thank you shebia in this case. this is the best gift I got from PFDJ/EPLF. they have let us all Equal love it or not. G15,G13, and G5million you and me all has been rejected. once again Thank you PFDJ.
            now there is a kind of confusion not only with those innocent once but even with those educated guys.. so we are doing our best to let them see the truth. your role was more than mine thousand times but that doesn’t mean I am not in your line. the time you will see me far is when you start the old games. I hope you will not.

          • Kokhob Selam,

            You said “the time you will see me far is when you start the old games. I hope you will not.” What old games did I play? You come to correct your words but you hit me with worst attack. Thank you for that. We are watching what game you are playing. I gave them to slap me both side of my face several times. I can’t endure it except to reflex back. Kokob, when the lowlanders are attacked you jump to protect them. When the lowlanders slap us…..none and now you attack the victim of harassement. Again thank you for that.

          • Hameed

            Dear Amanuel,

            You remind me my childhood when we were asking our brothers or sisters or friends to assist us on our fighting. You seem to say our sister Kokhob Selam “zireyilai”. Please please please, Sister Kokhob “zireyilu” so as our brother Amanuel to cool down. kkkkkkkkk

          • Kokhob Selam

            I expect you to be more gentle and respectful person. that is not the way to discuss. what is that kkkkk? what?
            Amanuel don’t need my help as his stand is perfect and the stand itself will support him to win even the most educated but reactionary guys.

          • Kokhob Selam

            Amanuel, let me assure you the “old games” I experience is not form you and what I trying to say is old games of most politicians who use to be narrow minded.

        • haile

          What is needed is to be frank and brute with the truth. Our Moslem brothers and sisters are the gateway to Eritrea’s prosperity and socio-political development. The trade opportunity they represent, from petroleum to Dubai’s merchandise, the diplomatic and political clout and their commitment to Eritrea’s independence and sovereignty is the crown of jewels in the order of things. All I can imagine to benefit from our southern kinsmen is poverty, instability and terrorism. To slight our moslem brother’s and sisters, Eritrea’s prized assets, with fear mongering by equating them as women violators and human right abusers is shooting ourselves in the foot. We can only benefit by allowing our moslem brothers and sisters take their rightful place in taking Eritrea to its bright future. Mama Ethiopia has nothing to offer, it is poor, over weight and with an ax to grind in subverting our hard won independence.

          • Dear Haile,

            Wow, Where did I slight our Moslim brothers? Where did I equate them as women violators and human right abusers? Are you kidding? I just explained the problem with theocratic government and mentioned some examples to avoid any kind of that senario. No more no less than that. Why don’t tell them to stop their bashing rather than going to tangential arguments.

      • Dear Amanuel,

        On politics, the main motivator for Eritrean Muslims is not to dominate but to leave in a just society where a citizen is afforded the same right as any other. Even the “Islamist”, whose suspicion/mistrust is even worse than the “tribalist” are proposing some kind of federal arrangement, so it is clear they have not intention to dominate but have some freedom to live the way the see fit.

        The reality, with all the love we have for Eritrea, what accentuates that love is our religious, tribal, regional affiliation or call it “the closer circle” of identity and when any part of us is somehow made irrelevant, we are bound to stand up for the missing right and it is the attention and recognition that will make Eritrea complete.

        For an idealist, it may be a sad reality that the drivers in us all are not always “nationalistic in nature” or the ingredients that bring our unity per se, but that only happens when all stakeholders reach a level of maturity and when the realization of self interest is aligned with that of national interest. Opposition politics is bound to be driven by self interest, the stated alignment becomes prominent only when all stakeholders are real actors/contributors in charting the nation’s future.

        As for recognition of the suffering of highlanders, Muslims feel the pain, even those who call the regime ethnocentric do, but at this stage of our history all Eritrean are overwhelmed. If you look at the petition to free the patriarch, with just over 800 signatories, to conclude the lack of support would be an erroneous one to have, but we need to dig deeper to understand to be effective in what we do.

        Aside from that, both Semere Tesfai and Ali Salim need to be appreciated for they bring to the fore and present the fear and mistrust that holds us Eritrean prisoners and cripples our opposition from effectively challenging the regime that is suffocating our people and country to potential destruction.

        Finally, I look forward to part III installment from Semere and hope Ali Salim joins to contribute his idea on the way forward, even if diametrically opposed, we presentation that jolt us with insight on options even if undesirable, they need to be considered.


        • Wediere,

          You said and I quote “the main motivator for Eritrean Muslims is not to dominate but to leave in a just society where a citizen is afforded the same right as any other.” I am just doing that. But, I couldn’t let their bashing to itch me and scratch it continously. This things has to stop and even those who claim that they adore justice than democracy from their side couldn’t come and say some words to stop it. How Hypocrisy it is !!

      • Dear Haile,

        I absolutely understand what you mean. If this bashing continues endlessly, and if an advice didn’t come from their side to stop it, someone has to come to tell them the fact and I am doing that. In fact they couldn’t understand that they are giving a good ride to Semere and his likes to launch their own war.

        But one thing I don’t understand you, and would like to ask you to further explain it, and that is: How did you come to assert the natural dominance of our Muslim brothers/sisters in our political fora to secure and build the legacy of our fore fathers?

    • Hameed

      Dear Mr. Hidrat,

      To quote from your discourse “Organizing in any form or shape is your inalienable rights and I respected it dearly. But respecting and supporting is different issue. I don’t support “theocratic government.” Because (a) it does not respect human rights (b) it impose religious”

      On one side you say that you respect the rights of others and within moments you roll on your other side and accuse them with people who do not respect human rights and impose religious teachings. Mr. Hidrat don’t contradict yourself either be 100% democratic and practice it or you are not less than those who claim to be democratic.

      We oppose the regime in Eritrea, because it doesn’t respect human rights and imposes on people their culture. Is there any difference between this idea and what you have written above? There is not difference, then how do you accept people who don’t respect human rights and impose their religion and culture on others. Let groups organize themselves in whatever form they like and give the right to people to decide. We should not play the role of the people of Eritrea and fire those we don’t like. Mr. Hidrat, even from foods, juices and drinks there are some which you don’t like as an individual, but they will be in the market for there are people who like these kinds foods or drinks. For example if a merchant intends to sell a poison as a drink to his customers, definitely will be arrested and thrown to prison. A person or a group that do not respect human rights is like the poison that sends to prison. Again, how do you respect and work with groups you accused of inhumanity and impose their religion on others.

      Dear Hidrat, it is enough to remind you we are refugees from 1967 and chased by the regime from 1991. Eritrean Moslems are not the ones who created the dictator in Eritrea. Please, search to know who groomed Isaias to be a dictator.

      • Dear Hameed,

        You see what political spin you are playing. Instead answering to my questions, you want to play what we call it in our culture “Ate’Hababae.” My question was straight forward and it was: what kind of predicament on the highlanders, other than those I mentioned could make you to change your way of thinking even an inch and stop this bashing. If the inhumanity falling on the back of the highlanders does make you to have sympathy and make you to think that this regime is evil and does not represent to any social group, you have a problem my friend.The reality of the problem is posing to every sect of our society, but still you have the audacity to accuse us. What difference do you have from Semere by the way other than to become on the other end of the extreme.

        You came to remind me about the refugee of the lowlanders or Muslim of the 1967. I don’t want to be reminded because it is that among other things that make me to join the struggle. You also tried to remind me the highlanders groomed Isaias to be a dictator. My friend he is not groomed by the followers (chequar Danga or farmers who are pure nationalist only) but by the Elite’s of personal interest. And you have the same share from your elites also. Please don’t ask me their names. In short it does not depend on the followers but on the elites who create the myth around him to make and create this despot.

        Last but not Least the words “respect” and “support” do not have the same meaning other wise no need to exist both of them. You know the drift where we are going. There is no contradiction between my belief on respecting the your rights and supporting different form of organizing. Fighting for justice and all kinds of rights is one thing and liking the nature of the organization is different thing.Go and visit the archives of awate and Asmarino and check my record. I hope you get the grip.

        • Kokhob Selam

          No doubt and no question Amanuel, and you are appreciated for that all. you are a great teacher armed with enough knowledge to guide people like me. what I am saying is from my heart and truth. What some time I notice as shortage from you is strange to believe. and that is you want everybody to be fast and intelligent like you. you got to put in to consideration the tough and bad experiences we pass through. you got to feed us sheweya sheweya. otherwise what you are saying is correct. our Muslim majority and Eritrea all is in healing process and we need to handle it within the common ground created.
          I would like still to inform you how much we gain by you informative and educational articles and comments.

          • Ghezae Hagos

            Selam Hameed,

            If it helps; you are barking at the wrong tree. Amanuel Hidrat, is one of the vocal and long-standing advocate of religious and minority rights. If it helps to know, he is a member of Hawassa Congress.

            So please let us recognise our compatriots and resist the urge to put everyone in the same category so we find it conveinent to attack.

  • Walta Hager

    If people are not mindful and try to focus on finding solutions for the endless problems our people are facing in a daily bases, it is very hard to get a common ground, be united, and shorten the cycle of dictatorship. If the mode of the struggle and its essence is not for one goal, just to hand power to its owners, the people, I think it is a waste of time even to think that there will be a positive outcome. If one’s mind is full of negative and divisive ideas, we vs. them, which by the way is a discount to ones strength, it won’t take him anywhere. If there are ideas like some have suggested and are trying to make one believe that the current government of Eritrea favors someone or groups except his clique, then I think that person is from a different planet. I just said this because it is not an exaggeration but a naked truth. Don’t forget the stick is upon all of those who oppose the dictator no matter where that person is from. So please let us not puncture our old wounds now as we have a long way to go. Besides, let us follow the steps of our fallen heroes and heroines “comrades” at which time they bled together and gave their lives for the common good of our people.

  • acera

    With names like “Eritrean Islamic Party for Justice and Development” and “Eritrean Islamic Congress” how can you fault anyone for seeing Islamists in the matter? Why aren’t there groups with the word Christian in it. Why do some muslims have to throw religion in your face like that and christians do not do so (especially in politics)? What is the need for that? Are you fighting for the muslims only? Don’t attack the result…attack the cause!

    • I have to admit ,I do not understand Islamic faith very well. But , I will not decide not to see the elephant in the living room. ie. ONE IS EITHER ISLAM OR NOT. There is no I just go to mosque on fridays .Islam & Alah come number one .Even in countries like Turkey ,that is practically Europe ,if it were not for the military repression people would have elected pure Islamists ,actually they have .University student females according to their belief want to put a hair cover ,…. the fifties in Eritrea there was a movement called “RABITA AL ISLAMIYA “..if I am not wrong it means “Muslim Unity”. I do not care much for the country Eritrea, but my precious people ,from all corners .And if some want to stick with Jews , Greek or Rome & others with Jedah ,Eden or Singapour ,let the mothers’ tears dry & Eritrea divides in to 20.000 countries for what I care . Do not get me wrong ,I am not wishing one or the other for Eritrea ,I do not care .I care about the people !!

      • acera

        What are you talking about? You are not making any sense! Maybe you have mistakenly commented on the wrong post. But if you didn’t then you need go back and think before you write. Eritrea IS the people. It is not just the land. Land doesn’t make a country. People do. So for you to separate the people from the land is nothing short of retardedly ludicrous. Your comment has no reflection whatsoever on the comment I made (previous one). You got me confused…

        • Resapectable Acera,

          The point I was trying to make was ….Islam the religion or the followers rather፣ do not see religion & state as 2 different institutions ,let it be Turkey with all it´s modern technology or a yemeni nomad may have the same principles ,whenever there is a demonstration in Islamic countries …it´s slogan is “Alah wa Akber ” , which orthodox country do you see demonstrating with a slogan “Abune zebe senmayat”. For christians it is 2 different institutions.”ISLAM AS BEING PRACTISED INTERNATIONALLY ,BELIVES THAT THE MOSQUE ,GOVT. ,SCHOOL…..etc MUST BE ISLAMIC “.That is why ,I see the viability of Eritrea as a nation in a very dubious manner .I am not saying Eritrean muslims believe in such things ,we will not know until ISLAM gets upperhand ,however …neighbour countries & foreign interference could change the game.
          That is why I concentrate on the people of Eritrea.
          Sorry if I sounded a little sophisticated ,thus confusing commoners /ordinary people .

          • acera

            No you did not sound sophisticated at all. You just werent making any sense. Now your second comment makes more sense. Whether muslims believe that religion and state should be 1 institution or not, should not even be considered. First off the majority is Christian. second, hypothetically speaking, if the majority was muslim (60 to 40) the number of christians is way to high to have a “muslim govt”. No way in hell can one religious group impose their religion on others thru law and govt. that is just an invitation for conflict. So if you are worried about the people then you also understand that a muslim govt for a christian majority country and a christian govt for a high muslim population (still a minority) while bring the country no benefit and peace but conflict

        • Respectable Acera,
          I hope you undersand the subject is sensitive, maybe that is why I sounded confusing, because I hate people that generalize. I was trying to seperate the Eritrean muslim, from what I witness internationally, the Moslems I knew were from bihere Jeberti, and I admired how on I´D al….. give gifts to the less fortunate moslems, at night, without identifying who the giver was, so that only Allah would know, spoke the same language like me & were extremely friendly & sociable ..moderate.. however, now the world is one village, globalism.. other countries & govts can influence, to a religion already prone to different & scary interpretetions. Please, fellow Eritreans, I try to look at things from different angle, if others can show me a more enlightened way, I beg you all to contribute. I am not trying to marginalize any religion .

          • acera

            yes i see where you are going, but in eritrea, the muslims and christians get along so well. Better than any country in the world. Muslims take part in christian festivities and christians take part in muslim festivities. they celebrate each others religions. and its a beautiful thing. there is no segregation or discrimination. Its a one of a kind relationship in eritrea, and i just dont want anything to destroy that. Especially not politics! Thats why it should not be mixed…

  • Dear brother Amanuel Hidrat, your views and thoughts are very much appreciated. keep up the good work. Eritrea at this critical time of change needs people like you…who understand the GAME. There are people who want to DIVIDE us for their own narrow interest. Calling opposition parties Islamists, jihadists and HGDF highland Tigrignas Crusaders…is a dangerous plot we cannot afford. Eritrea belongs to every one who lost a family member in its struggle for Justice, Equality,Freedom and Peace.

  • Amin

    Mr. Hidrat.

    If anyone described the PFDJ regime as ethnocentric Fascist Tigrigna regime, Yea of course, it is if we have to speak the truth. See the Eritrean reality now. If you don’t speak tigrigna, Your Eritreanity is Questioned. The course of 20years ruling is the best example you could get to categorize the regime as a Tigrigna regime.

    • Kokhob Selam

      Let the containers of Era-Ero speak. let Sinai desert talk. visit the refuges camp. and count the Tigrigna speakers challenging PFDJ. Kebesa was victim always like others. PFDJ has cheap supporters form every part of the country.

      saying highlanders are PFDJ today is helping PFDJ to prolong its life. please awake.

    • meccat

      Absolutely false statement! If it were a Tigrinya government then that would be the official language….which it is not. All ethincs are treated equally. Muslims and Christians are treated equally. No matter how much any of us hate or disagree with the government, we should not lie and distort facts. It makes us look stupid liars. If they do something bad, we are the first ones to jump and criticize, and like wise we should also praise what ever they do good. But we don’t. It isn’t politically right and it diminishes our credibility, which we cannot afford to do. We should not comment on convenience.

      • John

        I need the statistics of the PFDJ cadres who are controlling the nation, then I will decide who IN POWER is!

        • Amin

          That is a good point Mr. John, there is an article in awate, the loss of the rainbow… Ahmed Raji… That will help you. or simply visit PFDJ governments website and have a count. You will get the statistics clearer than crystal …. thanks for asking!

          Others are just trying to call a goat is not a goat but a sheep! They know the fact, they know the reality…. We understand their intention of denying these reality.

          • Kokhob Selam

            Amin, what if the quantity of the people who serve PFDJ from KEBESA are more than others? will it be the proof to show that PFDJ represents Christian or Kebesa? what about counting the people in refuge camp? what about the people in prison? what about the people who were killed or de-solved like salt in the see? or those lost like a needle in desert?
            I will agree with you if you say that some Christian supported PFDJ thinking that is their party. but don’t you know people who found to be guilty and who have been given a warning letter form ELF are hidden in that camp? don’t you know Mustofa,Alamin,Ali Abdu ,Abdula Jabir,Fozia etc are playing their negative role?

            I know there were Muslims who got education outside the country and came to work under PFDJ were rejected but I appreciated PFDJ for that. those guys who complain are not that much loyal to their people as the went to serve PFDJ while me and my friends were suffering. they are just complaining because they have been touched.

            The truth is PFDJ has Played it only when they found people to be manipulated. Didn’t most Semahar intellectuals try to be PFDJ more than the Barka intellectuals?

            don’t let me say it all. PFDJ wasn’t for any one to benefit but some thought so and they lost everything.

            This is the reason we lost some christian comrades, they lost trust because they are hearing such type of words from some Muslims. if you guys still think PFDJ is for highlanders, then you are grouping us with PFDJ but we are paying same price if not more and that is not acceptable.

  • Dear Hameed,

    I am responding just to make you know, that your advice is “the worst advice I have ever graced” from a brother, whom I believe he is with me in the struggle of justice. I am not in the business of forming religious party nor do I support the religious parties already formed. Religious parties are the cause of “intramural warfare” in a third world countries of multi-ethnic and multi religious societies. Thanks but not interested to heed such kind of advice. I am not in this struggle to form a theocratic government but a secular government that respect all kind of human rights and justice for all. I have my own struggle as you already read it my article.

    • kaddis

      Gash Amanuel – With Much respect –
      If you believe in the ‘right to Association’ you can not limit how people want to organize themselves. You can only limit the purpose. Here in Eth – I think we have gone through this issue after long long in-fighting. I think some in the Diaspora (Eth) still don’t get it yet. If people want to organize in religion, Ethnic, Sex or otherwise – so be it. If they believe they will have followers/ supporters why not? What makes them wrong when you think the seculars are right? Are all secular governments good? Was Mengistu a secular? It doesn’t matter – does it?
      Let me give you an example from the Ethiopian Banking sector. We have banks promoted by Oromos, Tigres, southerners (Ethnic affiliated)…Again there are banks promoted by Ladies – Enat Bank (Sex), then Protestants (religion) promoted Birhan Bank …there are also party affiliated and corporate ones. I am not going to list them all here don’t worry. I am just glad they all were allowed to pull the capital to form local banks which has helped the country as a result. The same rules apply to political parties.
      My point is – let the Muslims and the Christians , the highlanders and Liberals or even small sects organize themselves if they find it appropriate. Then, let the people decide.

      • Dear Kaddis,

        Respecting the rights to organize in any form and shape is one thing and supporting or not supporting the way they organize is another thing. I have never been against any rights what soever it is.

    • Hameed

      I think all of us in the same boat we all of us call at the end of the day to have a government that respects human rights and installs justice for all. Brother our difference is you want to launch to the result from the beginning and I think how to do our present homework in order to reach the result that all of us call for. Primarily we have to deal with the current problems then step to the next.

      If you refuse to organize the Christian Democratic Party our compatriots from Kebbessa so as to have a Christian Party in broad daylight and block from the likes of Isaias and Semere from advocating for Christianity and Kebbessa behind closed doors masked. With all my respect to you Mr. Hidrat. Wadahanka.

  • Zhaile

    Some message with few punctuation corrections

    Saying Issayas and the likes of Semere represent the Tigrinya people is completely wrong for the following reasons:
    PFDJ has never held election (peoples election) and they did not get elected. They have never obtained the blessing of Tigrinya Eritreans to rule. Therefore saying they represent this ethnic group is giving them credit they never had. Or worst that they are absolutely sure they will never get.
    They are saying (by deeds) we do not have majority or even the majority of Tigrinya Eritreans therefore we will not ask their consent to rule. They said this (again in deeds) for the past 20 years.
    If the assertion is, they belong to the Tigrinya Eritreans (biologically). It is true.
    Most (population wise few) of the beneficiary of the system are Tigrinya. It is true.

    Is the majority of Tigrinya ethnic group benefitting from Issayas and Co.’s rule? Wrong. What is more important in life than your own kids? Most of the thousands perishing due to Issayas mis-rule are of Tigrinya origin. What is the benefit of this system to the said ethinic group? Nothing!!! Actually a truly ethnic regime would have run hurdles to solve the human drain from the country. But not PFDJ. They are happy the country to be empty of any Eritrean including Tigrinya.

  • Hameed

    With much much much respect, Mr. Hidrat,

    Gaddafi is from the Gaddfa tribe; Assad from Alawi sect; Saddam Hussein is from the Sunni sect. These are dictators; they used their tribes or sects to suppress the other citizens of their countries. The tribes or sects that are used by these dictators are blamed by the majority. This doesn’t mean the entire tribes or sects cooperated with the dictators, but the main tools of these dictators were from these tribes or sects.

    Dear brother, you are requesting us to cover the sun with riddle though you know very well the reality. Whatever the case, believe me brother as far as there are Amanuel Hidrat, Aklilu, Kokheb Selam and Arwe on the side of their people we forgive the others and don’t deny them to attain their full right except the limited in number criminals. We consider them they are fooled by the dictator and at the time they realize the truth they will stand on the side of their people.

    Brother, we can’t compare the Islamists with the regime, the Islamists are not calling for exclusion the others and you have the proof in their participation with their brothers in the country. We have in Eritrea two sides which experiences exclusion the regime and the opposition of the opposition.

    Brother, if we want to solve the problem of Islamists and Christians please organize a Christian Democratic Party. I am sure the Islamists and the Christian Democratic Party will coordinate in facing the Secular Parties. And at last all will agree to organize National Parties, so at the time being we need a Christian Democratic Party.

    • Truth

      No there should not be Christian or Islamic parties. This isn’t a religious issue or battle. It is political. Politics should never contain religion. We are angry that Isaias is intervening in religion in Eritrea but then we turn right around and want to promote religion in politics. Can’t get anymore hypocritical than that. We are fighting for political freedom and integration, we are not discussing religious factors and beliefs.

      • Kokhob Selam

        why not? who will keep their right if they don’t organize themselves. what if again PFDJ type of party comes and put every one of them in prison? let everyone have the party he wants. let’s give freedom to people. there is such thing “right’ if you don’t defend it. If we are for real democracy we should not a fried of any type of party. when you lead and manage to handle the country all will be useless as the right of people is respected.

        no more secretes and no more hidden agendas. just openly have the party you want under agreements and criteria that is permitted by legally created system. let every body be open to everybody.

        • Truth

          they can be represented in political groups. their right will be there as it is now. muslims and christians live in peace with eachother in eritrea. no conflicts.unless you are running for head of a religion council, their should be any religious oriented groups in politics. its not hard to understand that. everyone understands that the church/mosque and the state dont mix. those who are in those so called islamic front or islamic justice or wutever, they can take part if they like but it shouldnt be under religious pretexts. are they fighing for justice in eritrea or justice in islam? by allowing the mixture of state and religion in this matter, you do not have the right ti get mad at isaias for “intervening” in religious affairs. Pick one. Intervention all together or no intervention all together, for better or for worse. you cant choose out of convenience.

          • Kokhob Selam

            Why I have to say I am only correct on the subject. may be you are right and I am wrong. you will be right if you show me The process that political party can keep their dignity. In both cases what is needed is to let our religion save while controlled under a commonly created system. what do you say?

          • Truth

            absolutely. as long as religion doesnt interfere with politics, everything can be great.

          • Kokhob Selam

            today you are the star.

  • Dear brother Sabre, I couldn’t said or express it better. The bigots are always there. What strikes most is the unchanging attitude of our bigots who live among democratic societys of the West. It is time to change the Status Que. Using Islam as scape goat never worked for ruthless Arab dictators like Mubarak and Ghadafi and their cronies…and it will not work for HGDF and its Ethno.Centrists. But this will not come without our readiness for sacrifice.


    “True, now the Isaias Ethnic-regime has power, and it is acting with confidence that created its own new reality.”

    It is also true that the Ethinic group Issayas and the likes of Semere think they belong to is telling them you do not belong to us. Can’t you see the tens of thousands of youngsters leave the country at any cost (even at the risk to their life).
    To say Issayas represents the Kebessa Eritreans is wrong. If the Tigrinya/Kebessa eritreans are given a fair chance I think Issayas wouldn’t stand a chance to win an election.
    One may accuse Issayas, Semere and the likes for cruelty but not for stupidity. If they had any chance of winning an election they would have held it overnight and rubbed it on our face. Fact is they know exactly they do not have the majority. Therefore they will never ever go for election. If they are ethnic regime and the Kebessa Eritrean ethnic group, then why not go for election and get elected and obtain the majority and rule.
    Things are much rougher than that for Issayas and Semere.

  • Dawit

    Maybe Semere is a “bigot” or he might have an issue with “islamists” but no one seems to answer Semere’s question when it comes to an organization that is ruled by religious beliefs. I believe, in the future, none ethic organization will be big/strong enough to hold power. But there is a good chance one of the Islamist organization can hold power in Eritrea. Now, any political or religious organization wants to promote its program or agenda, what kind of program do the Islamist organization is going to promote when/if they hold power in Eritrea? I think this is a valid question that needs to be addressed. I’m Christian and I want to see religion out of governments. oh yeah….im not pfdj….just incase you want to unload your slurs….:)

    • Kokhob Selam

      There is no way to see again religious parties hold power alone in Eritrea. but there is an open field to be part of the governing. This is one of the reason we went through all those hard times.
      we will have a system that governs all of us. you will be allowed to have your own belief but with great respect for others. don’t expect Islamic Sheria to govern Eritrea but don’t expect Sheria to be rejected ether. Social life of Muslims will be respected and can be followed by them while social life of Christianity will be followed by Christians and respected. This will not be difficult for us in democratic Eritrea if it was not during Haileslase. here we will need the knowledge and wisdom just to keep things properly but it is in most Eritrean mind that we will live in peace as usual brothers sisters. in PFDJ era none of the believes and political Ideologies have been respected. PFDJ don’t represent any of us. Those days even I am watching when PFDJ don’t represent PFDJ leaders as they are going down every day by their own system.

      • Dawit

        Kokhob Selam,

        ” There is no way to see again religious parties hold power alone in Eritrea.” why not? a good example is Egypt, Libya and Tunisia. These are the countries that some of the opposition leaders ( Eritrean Islamic Reform Party and Eritrean Islamic Party for Justice and Development) are “registering diplomatic scores”.

        • Kokhob Selam


          don’t compare Erirean with others. we have our own experience, and every Eritrean knows no one can play that religion game. do you notice even PFDJ couldn’t play it. because that will not work in Eritrea. do you need explanation why? just ask your self and your mind will tell you that you can’t play it.

          • John


    • Mohammed Ahmed

      You asked, “what kind of program do the Islamist organization is going to promote when/if they hold power in Eritrea?”. Well, you sound a fair-minded person with a genuine concern, and the question you pose is exremely important because in essence, it surmises the collective (though misplaced) fears of many within the Tigrigna/Christian community. The short answer to your questions is, no one could ever guarantee you that the programs of any political party, be it Islamic, Christian, Right/Left-Wing, Communist or Ethno-Fascist(PFDJ) would be to your liking. What will protect your rights, or alleviate your fears, to put it more correctly, is not the “programs” or the “agendas” of political parties, but rather, a covenant you enter into with the rest of your compatriots (a constitution, in other words) which will define the parameters, the confines and the constraints within which any government can function. In post PFDJ and hopefully democratic Eritrea, there will be govenments that you like, others that you don’t, and you know what – there may also be some that you would outright abhor. But as mentioned before, your peace of mind is not going to be guaranteed by you sifting through the programs or agendas (hidden or otherwise) of the political parties, with the sole purpose of choosing the perfect government for the future, becuase in a nut shell, that’s exactly where the bigots and the fear-mongers want you to be positioned at – confined to fear and inaction. Our respite my friend, if it is ever to come, it could only be in our ability to fire governments for contravening the constitution. It could only be in our ability to impeach heads of governments for going astray. These are the only ways our collective fears could be addressed. Our approval or disapproval of partisan political agendas or manifestos of political parties shouldn’t stand in the way of installing the rule of law in the country.

      As for ustaz Saber’s article, it was great and to the point. Though responding to Semere Tesfai’s obnoxious diatribe, which sounds exactly like it emanated from Keshi Demetros’ pulpit, wasn’t necessary yet at times, helping bigots understand how small they are has its virtues in a way.

      • Dawit

        a faith based organization running a secular government. I’m not sure that is going to work.

  • Hameed

    Semere advocates hate to make theft easy. The people of Eritrea fooled by the likes of Semere many times and have taken a good lesson. Eritreans today are more wise than any time before, therefore, they will not be swindled by ploys of Semere. No way for another despotic, the doors are closed. Sure, Semere’s merchandise has no customers among Eritreans. Well put Mr. Said.

    • Hameed,

      You said “well put Mr.Said.” Do you mean even the characterization of the regime as “tigrigna regime” as he put in a crystal clear? You seem to agree in everything he said in the piece.

  • Dear Said Sabir,

    You said I quote ” True, now the Isaias ethnic-regime has power.” I beg to you to watch the language discription to the regime and the status of the entire population the are in. In other word you are saying the Isaias regime is the Tigrigna-regime. It is the same accusation as that of Semere who accused EDA as the ethnic and religious organization. We are not in a game of tit-of tat. Unless you have the right definition to the regime you will be trapped in the same demagogue like Semere. It is such unrealistic definitions by both extreme ends that plays in rock bursting our unity now and then. If you are supporter of ENCDC please go by the book. We don’t define the regime as “ethnic-regime” rather we define it as “totalitarian regime or dictatorial regime”. Again please watch out.

  • Hamid

    United we will prevail. Semere’s type that try to create a wind of distrust and suspicion by way of creating Islamphopia is a steroetype and will not make it. We Eritreans by now know that gains can only achieved if we are justly adminstrad and that benefits are equally distributed. We can only be like one body whereby if any part of the whole is ailed the rest is equally affected.

  • Said Sabir

    Well Said brother the majority who comment on smarT article they gave him Middle Finger and that is pleasing

  • Kokhob Selam

    Thank you very much. people like semere should not get chance to victimize our people. In here let me even complain against Awate as they are not suppose to give place for such type of people who want to burn our common field. democracy is only as far as you don’t cross the border and deny the right of others. once again thank you Said Sabir.

    • Dawit

      Kokhob Selam,

      “democracy is only as far as you don’t cross the border.. “, would you kindly demarcate the borders of “democracy” so we can all try to locate where Semere’s article is. …man, i dont know why but I get a headach everytime I think about borders.

      • Kokhob Selam

        “i dont know why but I get a headach everytime I think about borders.” you will always face borders in every field and you got to be use to it. may be the Etho-Ertrean border case has let you become allergic of the subject. In truth the job is suppose to be completed during referendum. unfortunately Shaebia thought smarter and committed crime.

        regarding the border I mention, there is a red line that I should not cross when dealing with people. some agreed upon but some naturally known. in our case we have already a common space and we have religious or any type group of space that the other should not touch. Semere didn’t leave any space but crushed everything. no religion or ethnic group or even nation around Eritrea was saved under his administration (on that complicated Article) . thanks god he is not the leader of any country or political line or any type of group other wise he could have opened fire on people.