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Ona: Nine-Meter Shroud

As we push towards reconciliation, we have to expose the wounds of the past that always pop-up to hinder the journey. Real reconciliation should not be considered for the sake of political expedience alone. The festering wounds need to be recognized and healed to reach a meaningful and lasting peace. Reconciliation requires a holistic approach. In that spirit, I am sharing with you a chapter from my book “Of Kings And Bandits” in a humble attempt to shed light on the cost of wars (Saleh “Gadi” Johar, April 13, 2015). The republishing of this piece is intended to remind any visitor to “Gira Fiori”  that the town carries wounds that were either addresses nor healed, yet the PFDJ is cutting it deeper – July 6, 2018)


Jemal was seven years old when for the first time he saw dead bodies hanging in the marketplace. He was on his way home when he saw the bodies dangling on nooses; he ran home as fast as he could and never went out for the rest of the day. He couldn’t sleep that night thinking someone would come and get him, the hazy image of the six bodies with no other details remained in his memory.

That was before the six-day war ended and now three years had passed since the war, another event that stayed imprinted in Jemal’s memory, reminding him of what happens to people whose countries go to war. A few months after the six-day war he saw Palestinian refugees pass through Keren on their way to Tessenei. He didn’t know of their final destination or why they needed to pass through Keren until much later. The refugees had found themselves stranded in different places west of the Jordan River and couldn’t cross to their homes in the West bank and the Gaza Strip that was occupied by Israel. They traveled south to Jeddah, sailed across the Red Sea to the port of Massawa in Eritrea and from there they took a bus to Asmera, passed by Keren and continued to the Sudan. The next leg of their journey took them to Egypt. Many could have hoped to enter Palestine through Sinai, but it was also occupied, together with the Suez Canal. Not so many made it back; like birds that lost their nests, many remained scattered along the way, all over the countries of the region.

That sight of Palestinian refugees had been compounded by Eritrean villagers who began to flock to Keren, bringing horror stories with them. Janhoi’s fighter planes and his troops bombed and murdered the villagers and burned their crops. In an exodus that would continue for a long time, thousands more escaped to refugee camps in the Sudan. Jemal couldn’t understand why any human being would purposely torch villages.

Now Jemal was a ninth grader and all of the fifteen years of his life hadn’t prepared him for what was yet to come. He never thought he would witness more massacres and gruesome scenes, worse than what he had already seen.

On the weekend, angry soldiers savagely beat up the people in the streets. Jebha guerrillas had ambushed an army convoy in a hilly area close to Keren and a battle had ensued. The convoy reached a sharp turn on the highway and the rebels sprayed it with heavy gunfire, blasting the leading vehicle. It burned and blocked the road. Soldiers jumped off the trucks and started to return fire. Rebel mortars made the soldiers disperse in confusion. The rebels had been looking for a prize target and one of the two sharpshooters spotted the officer with dark glasses as he crawled towards the rocks to take cover. Laying flat in between two boulders, the sharpshooter trained his gun on him and pulled the trigger, shooting the decorated officer. General Teshome, the commander of the second division of the army, died of the gunshot to his heart. The rebels retreated as fast as they came and disappeared behind the hills. Helicopters that arrived a bit too late failed to locate the rebels and ended up carrying the bodies of the soldiers they had come to rescue.

The army closed the Asmera road for the whole day and the news about the general’s death spread quickly. Angry soldiers went on a rampage unleashing their rage at anyone they found on the street. No one knew how Colonel Welana, the commander of the Keren garrison would react, but everyone had a hunch he would avenge the death of his commanding general with brutal force.

COLONEL WELANA PLANNED HIS REVENGE for ten days after which his troops cordoned Besekdira, Gebrrebi’s village, and ordered everyone to go inside the village mosque. Soldiers cocked their guns, aimed through the door and windows and sprayed the villagers with bullets, ripping them apart. Blood flooded the floor and submerged the bodies of the innocent victims. Lifeless bodies of women, children, and the old sprawled there, as the soldiers checked for any sign of a breathing soul to finish it off. Only a few survived the slaughter by staying buried beneath the dead. Gebrrebi’s father, mother and several of his relatives perished in that massacre. The troops had wasted two hundred and sixty people before returning to town to celebrate.

In only ten minutes they annihilated all of Gebrrebi’s relatives and left the place a ghost village whose few survivors discovered they had forgotten how to cry.

The shocking news arrived in Keren, where the people couldn’t explain what had happened, on the eve of the Eid holiday. Just like Jemal, they were still not aware of what was in store. Eid was not even an official holiday in Janhoi’s calendar, though half the Eritrean population was Muslim. On that day, December 1, 1970, Muslims didn’t know how to celebrate when the blood of the victims of Besekdira was still fresh. Muslim students were given the day off while Christians stayed in school.

Jemal and a few friends took a long stroll in that hazy cool morning. They had walked all the way to the west of town passing under the foot of the Tigu fortress, which seemed calm except for some movement of army vehicles. They passed the old hospital building and the new one built by Mr. Hugh and then the government house from which Degiat ruled the region. Degiat had become senile and Janhoi appointed him a councilor at the royal court, a position the king reserved for old hands who were no longer useful; time always shows its cruelty Jemal thought.

Across the street they crossed through the middle of the public park and exited on the looped road from where they headed back towards the town center—they had planned to have tea at Ajak’s teashop.

The streets had been unusually empty and there weren’t any noticeable movements of soldiers on the way either. In the distance, they could hear the noise of army trucks headed north on the Sahel road. The Ethiopian flag on the Tigu fortress flapped gently. They continued their stroll.

They stopped at the cinema hall to check what was showing; the poster announced a Western movie starring Clint Eastwood: IL Buono, IL Brutto, IL Cattivo. Though he had watched that movie twice before, Jemal was thinking of watching it again that afternoon. For the rest of the morning an old black and white Egyptian movie that had shown for at least a dozen times was on—Jemal thought it was uninteresting.

Jemal and his friends moved forward joking and laughing at no particular thing. Suddenly they heard crack-crack-crack, a sound of distant gunfire coming from the northern part of town. They stopped to listen. The sound of the gunfire became louder and louder and at one time, it seemed so close to where they were. Then the deafening sound of machine gun fire started to blast from the Tigu fortress. Looking towards Tigu, Jemal could see smoke rising to the sky. Everything went silent except for the gunfire and machine gun blasts. Everyone in the streets tried to find the reason for the gunfire but failed.

They hurried towards the town center and stopped by an open area where some crowds were forming. A thick black smoke went up from the hills over Ona, a village about a kilometer away from Keren on the road to Sahel. They hurried towards that direction, to the edge of town close to the goldsmiths’ market where they had displayed Fekres’ body two years earlier. Unable to see anything, they moved to another place close to the elementary school for better visibility. Ona was ablaze: it was burning. Besekdira could have been a prelude to a greater massacre.

Jemal saw soldiers who appeared the size of ants running towards the neighboring village of Waliko on the hills of Ona; they were chasing and shooting at people. It was difficult to tell if the villagers were falling, jumping to the ravines or simply dying where they dropped. The firing went on for about an hour. The smoke grew bigger and bigger and formed a thick umbrella of clouds. The huts of Ona were ablaze and the smoke from the other side of the hill—the location of the bulk of the village—became thicker. No one spoke but everyone repeated words muttered to themselves in disbelief. They were killing the people of Ona. They set Ona ablaze and Jemal felt a burning sensation in his chest, then dryness, and a scream that tried to force its way out of his throat but instead went down to his stomach and bloated his guts. Beads of tears formed in his eyes; Jemal resisted and had to prevent them from flowing. He felt sadness. He felt rage. He felt disgust. He hated himself because he couldn’t do anything; Janhoi’s soldiers were burning Ona and killing its people as he watched helplessly.

On the side of the street, a few shopkeepers locked their shops and hastily moved away. Others took their wares inside in preparation to close the doors. No one talked but all looked at each other, communicating solemnly through their eyes and worried looks. What would follow next? Will anyone escape that fate? No one wanted to die in the streets, a bad way to die. If he could not escape it, Jemal wanted to go home and await death in his house, with his family, with his loved ones.

Moments later, the streets cleared out completely and it looked like a ghost town. A few people moved aimlessly to one direction and then to another, looking up and down as if expecting something to drop from the sky. The door of the sky was shut that day—even mercy didn’t find its way down.

The chaotic scene continued. Jemal and his friends hurried to their neighborhood just like everybody else. No one uttered a word on the way—there was nothing to say; the noise of gunfire had discouraged their ears from picking up any other sounds.

Once in the neighborhood, Jemal and his friends stayed around in the street for the rest of the day, trying to make sense of what they had witnessed. Hours later, still, what happened seemed so unreal. Jemal hoped it was a dream and somehow, someone would wake him up. But it wasn’t. Jemal’s mother had appeared at the door worried and begged him to get inside, forgetting he is no longer a child to be ordered in!

She looked distressed, “It is not safe outside,” she said helplessly, trying to hide half her worry. Having stayed in the house all day, she didn’t have the slightest idea how unsafe it had become. Assuring her he would be fine, Jemal walked to the alley through the steel gate. He went to the secluded area where he spent evenings during the hours of the curfew, the alley that Ambess the dog had once ruled.

The boys sat there all gloomy until they heard sounds of military Jeeps going up and down the street. Peeking through a nail hole in the gate Jemal saw swarms of soldiers nervously standing by the corner of the street and toting their guns. They must have come straight from the killing fields of Ona. They were dusty and heavily armed and they seemed to be salivating like a hyena waiting to devour its prey.

A few minutes before six, an old man hurried towards his home racing against time to make it before the curfew time. Jemal thought he wouldn’t be able to make it in time anyway. Maybe that is why the soldiers shouted and stopped him. They questioned and searched him; Jemal could hear their muted voices, faint threats. Then, when they couldn’t find anything, they chastised him for breaking the curfew law. He pleaded to continue on his way. “I have a few minutes left, I can get home in time,” he reasoned. One of the soldiers slapped him and the second one kicked him with his boots. Then all five soldiers took turns in the beating. The man looked wasted, a total wreck, a litter. “Go!” their leader screamed at him, “Run before I stop your breathing with a bullet.”

In fear, and to save his dear life, even a legless person would try to outrun a cheetah; the old man seemed to have regained life—he attempted to spring up but crumpled, too beaten up to do anything. He began to crawl. One of the soldiers aimed his gun at the crawling man. Jemal saw the soldier’s finger on the trigger of his Uzi, he thought he would pull the trigger but the man had already passed out in the middle of the street. A while earlier he would have been grateful to the soldiers for allowing him to go, not minding their cruelty; or he could have imagined they were the last persons he would ever see. They waved to a truck and loaded the unconscious man on it. Jemal had no doubt he would end up dead in a ditch somewhere.

A moment later Jemal heard a burst of an Uzi gun behind the building. Everything went silent. He could still see the tail of the truck on which the soldiers loaded the man. The soldier who had his finger on the trigger moments earlier jumped off the truck and it left.

Janhoi’s men had the authority do what they pleased; the rest of the population was either Jebha or their collaborators whose lives could be wasted at whim. The soldiers had to prove their authority repeatedly, even if it was to themselves.

Jemal and his friends talked somberly about what had happened a few meters from where they sat locked behind a steel gate. Jemal’s tears pushed to come out; he failed to prevent them. He went to a corner to be alone for a minute; crying in solitude. The flow of tears relieved him.

The next day, shops stayed closed and people avoided the streets.

By the third day, some shops opened, but the road to Ona and the surrounding areas remained closed by a heavy military presence. Vultures glided on the skies over Ona and the smoke refused to clear up. The dark clouds stayed on the sky.

COLONEL WELANA MUST HAVE FELT RELIEVED. He avenged the death of his commander by torching two villages and massacring their inhabitants. The massacre of Besekdira was not enough to satiate his thirst for revenge and blood; on the next day he ordered his troops to annihilate the village of Ona as well. This time his troops killed over six hundred people. The colonel had been determined to have as many souls as possible accompany General Teshome to the grave.

For three days after the massacre, Colonel Welana denied the people permission to bury the dead of Ona as vultures and hyenas feasted on their bodies.

On the fourth day after the massacre, Jemal returned to school and he looked at Ona from his first floor classroom window and he couldn’t turn his eyes away. It was so close it felt like he could throw a stone and hit a charred tree on the hills of the beleaguered village. Suddenly a crowd appeared in the distance, he could see them walking towards Ona. The whole class came to the windows to have a look, the Filipina teacher unconsciously walked out of the class to find out what was going on and the students followed her out. “Permission obtained! Permission obtained!” shouted a student, “Go to bury the dead!”

The elders of the town requested for an audience with the Colonel and begged him to allow them to bury the dead. Expensive gifts and bribe money had relaxed Colonel Welana a little, he finally yielded.

“If the rebels do anything here, Ona’s fate awaits Keren,” he threatened, “You need to convince your bandit children to stop. Now go. You have until curfew time to finish burying the bandits of Ona,” he told them.

The whole town mobilized for the job though no one had an idea what to expect once there. Jemal joined the students and went to Ona taking a shortcut, crawling from under the barbed wire fence of the school. They crossed the open space to the citrus gardens and to the dry Daari River. Some students climbed the hills towards Ona; Jemal and his friend Khalid went through the highway that passed the village and found mounds of charred substances still smoking.

The village had been razed to the ground and one couldn’t tell whether the many heaps were debris of charred huts or remains of animals and people. A strange suffocating odor of noxious gases filled the village—burned huts, grain, animals and people. It smelled of meat being grilled, the village smelled of death. For the first time the stench of death didn’t carry the smell of DDT.

The day death arrived at Ona, most of the men had left to Keren for the holiday prayer or for work. Women, children, the old and the sick remained in the village wishing to celebrate Eid. Most of the scattered remains were shot at close range and the bodies had no pieces of jewelry, coin or anything of value left on them. Charred bodies, blood soaked bodies, bodies of children and bodies of women with open bellies, were strewn around, some burned while sleeping, others charred in squatting positions. A near-death tired baby with closed eyes still sucked the breast of his dead mother among piles of bloated bodies that let out a putrid odor. Jemal saw the ripped ear lobe of the mother, an obvious sign of a fiercely snatched tellal, a pricy crescent-shaped golden earring. Janhoi’s army didn’t only shoot the people; they robbed Ona of its meager wealth. The woman must have fished it out from a safe place to wear it on the holiday when the villagers put on bright clothes. White. The color of death. Some clothes shined under the sun and flapped with each gust of wind and each breeze that carried the stench of death.

The students combed far areas around the villages in search of bodies. A heap one thought was of wood would suddenly reveal a charred body. If not for the shape and probably some skin, a strand of thinly braided hair, an unburned part of the skull, it was hard to tell the human remains from the rest. Jemal saw bodies sprayed with bullets at the bottom of ravines, they were probably trying to escape death. Maybe they were shot by the ant-sized soldiers that he saw the day of the massacre.

Spotting a half burned house, Khalid and Jemal approached to check. Inside, under what used to be a bed, the body of a woman had turned to charcoal. She must have been crawling on all fours, she could have been hiding under the bed when the merciless shot hit, or maybe she just suffocated and died. They removed the charred bed frame and prepared to lift the body. Jemal held the body by the hand and Khalid lifted it by the leg but suddenly the leg snapped off and remained in his hands. Jemal felt a sudden nausea and he threw up. His stomach lurched and retched; he could only spit some acidic, yellowish liquid. It was then that Hamid the Muezzin , the prayer caller, came to his rescue and stared at him in disgust.

Ashamed for not being strong enough, Jemal faked courage while Khalid tried to put on a brave face. Hamid didn’t seem to be bothered with how the boys felt; he didn’t feel sorry for them. It seemed he would rather have them see life in its ugliest form. He brought a large piece of a fabric and showed them how to lift charred bodies. Sliding a plywood panel under it, he lifted the body and dropped it on the fabric. He told them to pick the pieces that looked like body parts and add them to the pile on the fabric which they tied and moved to a fresh grave. The Muezzin looked at them, “You need to throw your feelings away. Be strong!” He said.

Jemal didn’t understand why he had to say that.

It became emotionally difficult to cope with the sight and Jemal felt dizzy. He walked to a tree and sat there for a while to regain his breath, but he found that undoable. He sprang up feeling ashamed for even trying to rest.

People with shovels and pickaxes were busy digging graves. No one told the other where to dig: people just dug holes everywhere and lowered the closest body they could find into it, or just dumped it there. But it was getting late and they didn’t have enough time to bury the bodies in separate graves. They frantically began to dig mass graves by the entrance to the village; curfew time was approaching fast and Colonel Welana’s orders dictated that the burial should be finished before curfew time at six in the evening.

A little after three o’clock, two long and deep meandering ditches had been dug and the people laid rows of bodies in them. Mr. Hugh’s Land Rover pulled close by, carrying boys from the Lalemba orphanage. They unloaded bundles of white Abu Jedid fabric, kefen, affordable clothing for the poor and a burial shroud for the dead. The townspeople had already brought many bundles, but it was running short. Jemal busied himself cutting the shroud into nine-meter pieces; the people of Ona deserved a clean shroud on their final voyage. The rows of bodies by the side of the mass grave made them look like Egyptian mummies.

Mr. Hugh’s Lalemba charity had inaugurated a new hospital a few months earlier. Now he was in Ona, distressed like everyone else as sweat mixed with dust left patches of mud on his khaki shirt; of all the foreigners in Keren, he was the only one Jemal saw at Ona.

Some wounded villagers had survived for three days in hiding. Mr. Hugh took them to his new hospital on the back of his Land Rover; a few must have died en route. But his efforts didn’t go well with Colonel Welana, the butcher of Besekdira and Ona. He wanted Mr. Hugh out of Keren immediately. The colonel didn’t want any foreigner around to witness when he carried out his next massacre.

The sun seemed to be in defiance and refused to set down. It was there with its shy heat, its lights blocked. It was getting dark, yet it could have been daytime. Jemal had been there for almost six hours that felt like six years. He gazed again at the sun that lurked behind the clouds; it seemed it would never move away.

Finally it moved towards its hiding place, leaving behind some dark clouds with dull amber linings. It shined through the dust that engulfed the village. Jemal wondered about the smoke that didn’t have any visible source apart from the stubborn debris of the once sturdy tree trunks, pillars that supported the roof of the huts and now refused to collapse or burn down. Jemal looked at his hands, clothes, and the land around him—everything was covered in soot.

The men digging the holes were widening the sides. Someone stretched inside the holes to check if the holes were wide enough for the comfort of the dead! He rolled from one side to the other and nodded in approval before climbing out. Jemal stepped backwards, a few steps, and looked at the holes whose mouths were ready to swallow anything thrown into them, like that of a monster. He remembered the pits where the helpless birds he caught were thrown in by workers to be swallowed by the snakes, and the meandering grave appeared like a snake ready to swallow the victims of Ona.

It was getting late. Around three-hundred bodies had already been buried in separate graves, and around that many bodies were lying around waiting for burial in the mass graves. Wondering why he bothered to count, Jemal had stopped when he counted close to three-hundred more bodies.

About a dozen people jumped into the hole and raised their hands to receive the bodies. No one spoke but everyone understood what the other said. The crowd rushed to carry the bodies and lower them to the hands of the men waiting inside the grave. They laid them on their sides facing north. Rows of bodies shrouded in white cloth filled the grave. Dozens of shovels started to throw dirt and bury them. Slowly, dirt covered all the visible white Abu Jedid shrouds. Dust rose and blinded the people. The burial was over.

A little after five in the afternoon the Muezzin led a short prayer for the dead. Thereafter, the crowd, exhausted, distressed and angry, started to walk away through the picturesque Ertola citrus gardens and towards the town center. The trees, as if in mourning, didn’t move. There was no wind and no air around, just empty space. Like stray zombies on the full moon, the dust-covered crowd streaked away from Ona. No one spoke. No one cried. No one paced faster than the other did. Like the tic-tock of a clock, people lifted one leg and then the other. Jemal looked around; he saw dried clay figures that pretended to be humans, walking. Has he turned into clay? Did it matter if he could also face the fate of the villagers of Ona anytime? What if someday he ended up in a hole buried close to someone he didn’t even know? What happens inside the grave? He didn’t expect an answer from anyone—it was Jemal’s tired imagination going wild. He realized that and stopped by the garden fence and cried. Warm tears washed the dust and left streaks of mud over his cheeks. He thought he screamed but didn’t hear himself.

The dust on the road became stuffier. Jemal started to walk again and reached an open area. Over the empty land he looked towards the hill from where some of the rounds that rained on Ona were fired. He saw the Ethiopian flag waving—he wondered what Colonel Welana, the engineer of the atrocities, was doing at that moment.

On the foothill of the Tigu fortress, his school looked empty and deserted. Why go to school anyway, Jemal asked himself. A voice echoed in his ears and changed the subject on him. It seemed to say, ‘This has to be avenged!’

When Jemal reached the asphalted street, the steps of the people became audible; they walked in a shamble, their feet making a strange screeching sound. The doors of the houses on the street were closed. So was the door of Jemal’s house.

Just as he was about to knock, as if she knew he was there, Jemal’s mother opened the door. She tousled his hair but didn’t say a word. That day, he had perfected the talent of listening to people speak through their eyes. He heard her. Jemal doesn’t remember if he washed up that night, he thought he went straight to bed. Something cried in his ears for the whole night: Justice! Justice! Justice!

Of Kings And Bandits is available at <www.salehjohar.com>

About Saleh "Gadi" Johar

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

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  • selam

    Dear passerby
    Yes I know hayat and amanuel did not support the badme issues , and we have written about this with hayat before.
    Even I am one of the people who said lets forget badme issue for once. But I am not sympathzer of weyane , I just look at it by priority to our current situation. What I am saying to amanuel and hayat is , we can not deal with weyane for help in order to remove IA. How do you deal with some one who want to take your land and then ask him help. Weyane are saying badme is ethiopian land , how do you deal with that. I am afraid these ESHI GOYTAYE are ready to sell any th7ng in their hand to get help from weyane.

    By the way passerby , why do not you put your idea , after that you can defend other people.

  • selam

    Dear all

    Read this article from weyane mouth and ask yourself , who is hayat ? Why she defend weyane too much

    http://www.tigraionline.com/articles/badme-is-tigrai-ethiopia.html

    Tigrai on line is funded by weyane

  • Rahwa T

    Dear Passer by,

    I believe that things should be written as they happened. No less, no more. No need to dramatize it. Writers should not attempt to change their color, shape, strength, using writing skills. That is how I see the story of Ona. The same should be applied to other cases whether they are insults, derogatory names…. I don’t think people from anywhere are fool to accept whenever someone tries to justify things for the sake of diplomacy and future relationship. If you bring a lyric from the TPLF old songs that attack the Amhara people in general, I will never try to give it any justification. I would say it was wrong. This is to say that I don’t remember a song that refers (without the prefix “geza’eti” and then followed by Amhara). On the incomplete lyric I jotted above, recently, I read it someone posted at FB. I was surprised as it was easy to memorize and suddenly remembered the lyric when Mahmud tried to make that the Ghedli songs was referring the army, not the people.

  • Fanti Ghana

    Hello Everyone,

    Better Late Than Never
    I knew someone long ago who had a very sharp opinion about Eritrea under colonialism and its effect on the people. Although it was not his field of study, he spoke with profound authority about the subject. However, his conclusion matched neither his relative intelligence, nor his education level. I tried with all my strength to show him why he is wrong on certain points until he finally concluded that the solution is to get rid of all Eritreans from this Earth.

    We exchanged some harsh words. Later, a friend in common asked me to please forgive him for “he is mad because he just broke up with his Eritrean girl friend.” I never lost respect to anyone that fast the way I did with that person. Never mind his contribution toward the misunderstanding, confusion, and mistrust between the two peoples wherever he went, and never mind his intentional or unintentional contribution to the elitist dream of seeing the “Tigrinyas” annihilate each other, but to see a man of some 20 odd
    years of schooling wishing an entire society to vanish so that he may avenge his wounded ego of a lost love is a crime against all humanity.

    I wouldn’t have considered this an issue if I didn’t encounter many more like him afterwards with the main cause of their bitterness
    being lost love. It may not be always the case, but this revelation elevated my suspicion of unwarranted blind fury and disrespect of an entire society to emanate from several factors including an acute pain resulting from a recent shock. I have known this to be true for a while with several otherwise normal individuals.

    This is more evident especially with younger generations. Eritreans, Ethiopians, and many other Africans go to the same schools, attend same parties and gatherings and innocent friendships are established until reality kicks in and they start to narrow down their collective identity of Africans, East Africans, Habeshas, Ethiopian, Eritrean to a more specific category like Amhara, Tigraway, or Eritrean. Loyalties are changed, friendships are modified, and eventually a few of them are permanently damaged from dealing with unsupervised dilemmas of insults, counter insults, and lost love.

    Although Gebrekirstos blocked every avenue of normal discussion of ideas unless it enabled him to insult Eritreans in some way, he claimed to be here to discus “ideas.” I don’t know with whom, about what, or why since according to him Eritreans are supposed to have “colonized mind” and he was here to “contain Eritreanism,” whatever the heck that means. This type of rage and the symptoms he displayed are categorically similar to the rage caused by the triggers I described above. Since most of the world was colonized, by his logic, the entire world except perhaps Ethiopia and Liberia are operating with a colonized mind. That theory falls apart even farther if you try to explain why Liberians almost annihilated each other and why Amhara elitists used to treat all others as their inferiors in Ethiopia.

    Some individuals come here tough and rough, but deep down most of them are shallow with empty bravado that would not stand the test of time. They don’t care if they wreack havoc in the region or anywhere. They have a fall back system you see. When things fall apart they will disappear into the vast field of Americanism with their video game in tow. Meanwhile our society will continue to suffer from the poison they helped spread.

    Those of you who showed an extraordinary patience and restrain while being insulted left and right have gained my profound respect. I know how tempting it is to want to serve an equal measure. Unfortunately it is also natural. However let’s continue to give it our best effort to help each other to be able to change.

    To my compatriots: I know it is true that some Eritreans do exhibit similar attitudes, but we cannot afford to be quite when one of us displays an empty bravado of this nature because it is a “pay back.” Let’s not confuse that with being just or fair. By allowing these types of hate mongering go unchallenged we are simply allowing the suffering of both peoples to continue.

    As you can guess I have that “when are you going to defend our side” hovering over my head, but the only way we can contribute to breaking the cycle of mistrust and disrespect is to try to clean our house first. Being humble is not a weakness, so let’s give each other a chance to listen our respective grievances. There is absolutely nothing Tigreans in particular and Ethiopians in general can gain by antagonizing their kin next door. Under no circumstances shall we view anyone who insults or disrespects Eritreans as defending our side. It is nothing but an ego message which adds nothing of value except negativity, and it should be viewed as such at all times. Tigrean’s/Ethiopian’s interest will not be ensured by making an enemy of their own kin and neighbor. I cannot think of a better way of defending my side.

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Dear Fanti Ghana,

      I can’t appreciate more of your clear mind, speaking the right thing. Please maintain and hold that noble thought, you will win many hearts, especially in a real world face to face interaction. Your message will be encapsulate into the following statements: “Under no circumstances shall we view anyone who insults or disrespects Eritreans as defending our side.” I should assure you the same thing is true on side of Eritreans, meaning “under no circumstances shall we view anyone who insults and disrespects Ethiopian be taken as defending our side.” Goodwill should always be reciprocated by good will. Thank you Fanti.

      regards,
      Amanuel Hidrat

    • Dear Aya Fanti,
      You are such a wise intelligent fatherly figure in the room. Sending love and respect.

      Samuel

    • Mitiku Melesse

      Hei.
      Tigrinya’s and Tigrean’s interest will not be ensured by making an enemy to one another. Tigrinya’s and Tigrean’s interest can not be promoted on behalf of other ethnic groups loose. It is a simple as that. All tigrinya are just like any other Eritrean and the same goes for tigrinas in Ethiopia.

  • Ted

    Tes, thank you. He twisted the whole thing to be victim of “Eritreanism” and the very fact i mentioned the past perception of Eritreans towards his people(Arabia and beles) touched his nerve badly .If you see his’ intention of ideas’, It is good rather that his grievance is the breakdown of relation between Tigray and Eritrea it is not that he is saying “you hate us” but accusing us from moving away from the norm that we are brotherly people. He accusing us breaking the bond of two culturally intertwined people. .He is the total opposite of Fanti. Fanti understands the genesis of things and understands why the way we feel but GK want to blame squarely on ‘Eritreanism” without taking responsibility on his part. he need to know Eritrea always be there with you, we are attached at the hip.

    • Rahwa T

      Dear Ted and co.,

      I thought GK would stay and share us his views. It is a pity he journey at Awate cut short.
      Congratulation for your success in cleaning your house.

      • Ted

        Dear RT, you would be lying if you dismissed the craving for peace by both people.No matter what we say now, the need for reconciliation is strong, greater than the sum of its parts.

      • Hope

        Dear Ms Rahwit:
        Use common sense for the sake of your own dignity and integrity,please.
        You are invitiing the likes of Ghebre in the very Eritrean house to tell us that he will dispose and quarantine us,Eritreans?
        BTW,did you read your own Cousin,Mr Getachew Redda’s disgusting and sickening report TPLF Gov Policy against Erittreans woemn and teen girls?
        That is what we call ” Quaranting at its “BEST”,I have ever heard of!
        Treating innocent women and Teen Girls,who came all the way for a safe haven but to be treated like toxic rats?I hope they are not injecting them with anthrax and HIV,God forbid!
        But I know for sure that the Eri Refugees in the middle of no where have become the victims of TB and HIV…prostitution..etc—
        Congrats to you and your Government and the likes of Ghebre for your successful revenge against innocent Eris!.
        If you have not read the disgusting report,refer to ethiopiasemay.com or meskerem,net
        Kab Behali’us,Degami’u’.

  • Gebrekirstos

    Dear all,

    The jury rendered its impartial verdict. Some of the cases the Jurty looked into were the following.
    1) Ted: Hi Eyob, in todays Eritrea there is no Tigaway pushing Arebia or selling beles, rather your people are in Addis living in Vilas and driving the latest. Why you and Gk are still trapped ‘they hate us” is beyond me.We don’t hate you. It is this self inflicted malady making the whisky you drinking taste like sewer water . You know they say, people won’t make you feel inferior without your consent.

    Gebrekirstos: Hi Ted,We are here to contain and quarantine Eritreanism where it is, in Eritrea, and, if possible, let it wither away before contaminating us all. We believe ideas, bad or good, do not have borders.

    2)Nitricc: Hi Gbere it is obvious you are suffering from deep inferior complexity. it is an illness and i understand it. i feel bad for the rest of Ethiopians in which they have to live with you. thanks god the day we got rid of you. and it is a matter of time the rest of the Ethiopians to say enough is enough and come after you. before the day arrives; think why you are hated by every one. the Oromo are coming for your head; the Amhara are coming for heart to rip it from its cage; and the Eritreans won’t touch you with six foot you know what. Never worry about Eritrea and our problems; you have a bigger one. so, take care your illness although incurable but good lack anyways. Thanks god Eritrea is free of your kind.

    4)Selam: You people are sick and backward , have no shame to defend your genociders and now calling for more blood shed , what kind of mind do you people have ?. Is not enough that we have shed more blood in the past . Do you want more blood to shed ? What kind of assurance do you have that Ethiopia will do what you are saying.

    The jury found Gebrekirstos was guilty of hate, polluting the forum, and bringing down the quality of debate.

    It is Orwellian! Gebrekirstos refuses to plead guilty to any of these accusations for they are nothing, but cover-ups for protecting the limping Eritreanism from the hammer of truth. Gebrekirstos exits this forum, but will continue to fight Eritreanism on the vast fields of the internet. Truth is not what the majority thinks, submission is not in my blood, fear is not my character, and ideas are my war zones.

    cheers,
    Gebrekirstos, the undefeated

    • selam

      Dear Ghebre
      You are still in denial , we have told you we love the tigrai people and we want to have great relationship in the future. We feel you are equal human being. Now what is this bad feeling about us , you are still acting like inferior and have low self esteemed person. I want youto understand that you are good person except the last days you are acting unstable.
      I have no idea if you remember the first comment you made was complaining and also trashing about awate.com. It is not my job to tell but I have your first comment which was negative. Now what is expected from a person who continues to say the same thing? Nothing. The Eritrean people could careless about Tigrai if they were in Mexico and the same can be said about the Tigrai people too now , I have clue how sustain your aggressive view toward eritrea. If all the ghebru asrat school is like you , my hope for peace is zero but here is the good thing, all tigrai people are not in bed with people like you.

      You are still asking us to say things we do not want to say, unless you know we can match your venom . I personally do not want to have your sickness it is bad . Even hayat with all her bad intentions she still is nice . Take a look at eyob , he is the personwho run away from PSTD hospital yet he is less bad than you.

      • Abi

        Hi Selam
        I stopped reading when you say ” we feel you are an equal human being.”
        Really? Just a feeling? You are not sure yet?
        Some wise people think we are cows. I didn’t see any outrage from you or Ato Amanuel whom I thought was a voice of reason.

        • selam

          Dear Abi
          Please do not use the word you in its plural form . Please do not use it that way. Why will I only feel to the population ? You have no idea how I am deeply connected to my ethiopjan friends . “You” used only to Ghebre.
          and if you have any sense of humor you should point your figer to Ghebre not me .

          • Abi

            Selam
            I lose my sense of humor, if I have any, when someone equates me with an animal. That is all. I have been around long enough to notice that several people in many occasions call us animals.
            I have heard a story where donkeys were brought to a pared in asmara on which the word Amhara was written on them. It is the trend that annoy me.
            Is this how eritreanism manifest itself? I need your help.

          • selam

            Dear Abi
            I can tell you there was a song in the EPLF cultural revolution that says like , oh amharay dika ow kidelna adika, ow amharay dika tishendah kebdika some thing like that. Now do yoh believe the whole eritrea is like that ? No , we do not have the mind set of EPLF with us now. We really do not appreciate such words . We are independent from any hate cultural revolution . Do you think I selam believe such hateful words over Amhara , no I really do not.
            Here is what I think is Eritreansim manfesto is all about
            A. A country , colorful with all her belonging.
            B. A country which is in deep problem due to the irresponsible junuta of IA, but still want to maintain the common good of the people.
            C. A country short of formidable oppositions, most of them crooks like IA
            D. Eritreanism is a sense of an independent country , whose people want to live in peace with each other and their neighbors.

            I can go on for so long but I also need your help in this difficult time to respect me not intimidate me.
            I have no idea if in any case you read my comments about the ethiopian people, it will be very hard to reap but I can tell you I have explained how I wish and love to see ethiopia to prosper no matter what. I am not some one who wish evil if it is better for the ethiopian people it is better for eritrea under common understanding. That is all what I can say.

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Dear selam
            I don’t rememebr such a song by an EPLF cultural troupe. However, you are right in that that there were similar folk songs ususally introduced at the end of Kuda dance or the “derb” part tail of the dance. It’s commonly known at that stage of the dance, the singers usually Kirar or waTa…players fill in any rhyming phrases to keep that part of the dance keep going.

          • selam

            Dear Mahmud saleh
            YES it is not full song , you are right but they use it at the end , and as you can see I have changed little of it. Unless it is like tishendah .. mainly it is used in the highland tigrina guayla song. it is not a formal song though, sorry if I missed much of it.

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Dearest selam
            The other thing I wanted to convey through my reply was the obvious fact that when Eritreans used the term Amharay (sing.) and Amhara/ru (pl) they would be referring to the army, because of the language; they would never mean Amhara the people. Amharic language was associated with the regime causing them havoc and everyone related with that authority who didn’t happen to be an Eritrean would normally be called Amharay. Eritreans and identified Tigreans who were part of the occupying army were also given their own derisive names. Now, with the end of that occupation and post 1991 arrangements, we better put those descriptions behind us. Don’t get your self low to the level GKs.

          • selam

            Dear Mahmud saleh
            I accept your reguest and also I fully understand the word amhara in the derb guayale thing do not mean to all amharas. Now I promise you , I will not play the GK game even though it is very hard for me to silence myslef . It is just a strong objection that I fee to such people.
            Again thanks as usual I am always open to listen to you .

          • Rahwa T

            Dear Mahmud,

            Good comment. But how about the lyrics that goes like “mis ba’Al getachew mis ba’al ….”? Was it also referring to the derg army?

          • Mahmud Saleh

            What’s up Rahwa
            Take it within light of my last reply. I know you know it. Negeregna aytkhuni. Cheers.

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear Mahmuday,

            so it was only to keep the Kuda going… why they didn’t use ሻዕብያ ድሑር ሆ ውጻእ ካብ ሃገር ሆ, Lol.

          • teweldino

            Hi Selam,

            Are you an institution? Is your account shared by other people? When I read your comments, I feel like I am reading to comments by two or more distinctly different people . There is a clear difference in style and wordings between your comments at different times. I mean how is a beles*, young girl from the West, who is unable understand many basic everyday Tigrigna words, who rates her Tigrigna abilities at about 20%, able to narrate the words of a song kids in the streets of Asmara used to sing in 1991? [refering to your quote above “oh amharay dika ow kidelna adika, ow amharay dika tishendah kebdika some thing like that.”]

            I also noticed you insulting Tigrians collecting or eating queenti ኩዕንቲ (an insult impossible to come most Eritreans let alone beleses). Unless you were in Asmara in those days or you have access to video recordings from 1991 which you watch at a professional level, it is impossible for a young beles to know the songs and the lyrics and connect them with Abi’s compliant above.

            If you are feeling generous to reply, I also have another question: Why are you flooding the forum?

            *Beles is a colloquial name for Eritrean children and adults from the west – similar to amiche which is used for Eritreans who went back from Ethiopia

          • Abi

            Hi Teweldino
            The problem with Selam is she forgets what she said before and expect everyone also forgets what she said.
            About a month ago she told me the next new country in the Horn will be Oromya. In another comment she will tell you a different thing.
            I don’t know which Selam I trust.
            PS
            I want to know the translation of the song if you don’t mind .
            Thanks.

          • selam

            Dear teweldino
            Pls collect all what i said, and show me if there is a shift in principle unless you can not blame me for knowing things which are a street talk in asmara. Second i am not flooding the forum for no reason to . I am replying to people .
            Third i did not insult the tigrains but i replied spad for spad nothing new. I have used the kuuniti in reply to some one who was washing our culture as italian copy and other stuff. Third i give my best words to the best reply . Fourth i am not that much idiot as you think are. About sources of things from the past, yes I have so much sources in which I can refer to you back to the time of hailesilasie , nothing impossible if you are interested . As your bashing , like beles , I do not think , you teweldino are more qualified to over run me , if you know beles has washed cars , worked extra time , begged in the street of america, canada and other places for the urgent call of their country , may be you were buzy fighting or you were buzy talking . Now do I know what beles means , yes I even know were they go party in asmera .
            Do I care what you are looking for no why would I care

            To Abi , what is that I forget ? I know what I said and why I said . Is there any thing you accuse me ? Except the fact that I am not going to buy your dergi reminant excuses. You said you grow up in a luxury addis , well I have a news for you sir . Just say what ever you want and I will drop all your menu.

          • teweldino

            Hi Selam,

            I don’t think you are idiot at all. I don’t think those songs were ever broadcasted. (Share a link with us if you want to share your sources.) The two facts I mentioned in my post above are not that mainstream for you to learn from books.

          • selam

            Dear teweldino
            are you here to blip with me or you have some thing to tell me? The two facts , what facts are you talking about ?
            You never heard the words like these words in ERITREA or you want them to be in ER TV. Broadcasted waw , are you subscribing with FOX NEWS FAIR AND BALANCE ? Just asking . Now , what is facts some times are pressed to the point they look false . Mainstream are mostly not true if you are spending weyane news or fox news. What I have told ABI is all documented in video and I can tell I myself was surprised tofind such but it is true. It happened and I have told Abi the truth. Forget every thing you said about beles is quite not true and I can tell you with my own life story toa prove you are wrong about beles.

          • tes

            Dear teweldino,

            She is indeed an institution, a PFDJ messenger here trying to act as justice seeker. She is composed of more than four people. her uncontrolled word flow with different style is what I have noticed from the very beginning when I called her a hypocrite gual hidrtina.

            She pretended and is pretending. Poor selam, killing her self just to fulfill the mission of dictators.

            Thank you for your close follow-up.

            tes

          • selam

            Dear teweldino
            You see , people like tes “tawula” fara megesem are trying to paint me for things , I do not do.
            Tes how was your visit to asmarino independent, how was Simon replying to you ? Do you forget that about the origin of 1 and 0 as well as your TV. Please stay away from me . Stop sign is not working for you. You need a chain on your teeth.

          • Kokhob Selam

            ኣቦ :

            ልጅቱ ኮ ኣደገች ኣሁን እስኪ ምን ልትል ነው ? እኔ ኣንተን ብሆን ሰላምየ ለትዳር በቅተሻል ባልኩኝ ::

      • Hayat Adem

        Selam,
        And how exactly are you better than Ghebre to judge others? At least, as extremely offensive GK is, he wakes up some brain cells. To have to read to a dull, bad and repetitive feed is a triple damage.

        • selam

          Dear Hayat
          The harshest thing I said was only some people in the awate room and also to dergi , meles and hailesilsia. What ever I say about IA is not any once business as he is also equally Eritrean murderer. Now do you want accuse me things I didn’t say , pls mention some. There is no way you hayat can have such comment over me while you call for more blood.Give me your bad , hateful words and oppose any military action from your side. You know I always know you as Ethiopian who want to tarnish Eritrea and its history.

    • AOsman

      Gebrekirstos,

      I think you have missed the point.

      Awate moderators are trying to give us the freedom of expression, while trying to prevent the forum from regressing to simple insults among groups. The balance is difficult to maintain and they generally err on the side of freedom of expression when red lines are crossed. Some are good at pushing the boundaries and when they abuse the rules frequently, they are usually warned and if they fail to comply a ban follows to keep some form of order.

      Awate.com is also trying to deal with Eritrean internal affair, while opening the space to address future relationship with Ethiopia. When some complained (HGDEFite mostly if not only) about the forum being hijacked by Ethiopians, they were told that Awate is open to all, provided the participant are here to contribute to the debates.

      As a new forumer, you are most welcome so long you come to elevate the debate, whatever topic is of interest to you. However, the approach you chose to use only exacerbates the insults that are hurled around and would undoubtedly make moderation more difficult. Sometimes I wonder how the moderators keep up with their task, it is a full time job (add the salutation rule – an extra burden to keep peace).

      You have not come with heaviest jab on Eritreanism, the warning you received is not to protect it, but to get you to change your approach. Awate may have slightly more tolerance on the HGDEFites as changing their attitudes through engagement takes more priority (don’t be surprised, you would have more tolerance to your own children).

      As for the “Gebrekirstos, the undefeated”, good luck if it soothes your ego, I notice our Mike Tyson is toothless now. Nitricc will have to fly to one of your Universities that he has identified as having top class dentistry and afterwards cross the border to Eritrea for a quarantine :).

      Regards
      AOsman

      • Nitricc

        Hi AOsman I like your take but don’t feel bad for AT dealing with task moderating this forum. I have volunteer to be a Moda and they rejected me : – ) i could have made their job a lot easier by cleaning the house. lol
        anyway do you know who Geberekristos is; he has been here. his writings and his hateful approach all to familiar. do you remember by the name “Feven1” who was banned by AT for hateful posts? well he is back under Geberkirstos.

        • Fanti Ghana

          Hello Brother Nitricc,
          Who put restraining order on you Bro? The one time we really needed your talent, you were nowhere to be found. We had a guest whose language no one at AT could understand, and we were looking for you with flashlight, dogs, and what not to no avail. Next time leave an emergency contact number before you disappear. Please.
          Selam.

        • Hayat Adem

          Nitricc,
          Charity starts at home. Clean your mouth first before offering help to others. As you are, you will be contaminating the healthy and the mild ones for the worse.

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear Hayata,

            እንዲህ በቀላሉ ማጽዳት ይቻላል ብለሽ ነው?

            Dear Abo,

            የት ነህ ? በል በል እንግዲህ ግሪደር በጨረታ የሚሸጡ ፍለግልን::

          • selam

            Dear hayat

            you are right but do not forget to see where Ghebre is coming. You want to know please read this article in.

            http://www.tigraionline.com/articles/badme-is-tigrai-ethiopia.html

            If u can scroll down , you see all the comments have zero relationship to some one like fanti.

        • AOsman

          Hi Nitricc,

          I can imagine your cleaning and the collateral damage that would have followed, Awate Adi Sherafat mis konet nera. I don’t even remember Feven1, but GK would have spiced the forum had he kept within the rules of engagement.

          Regards
          AOsman

          • Nitricc

            AOsman do you remember this quote from the great Eritrean man; he said ” the only thing we don’t tolerate is intolerance it self” so, I don’t mind people expressing their god given right but when the Tigryans go in to insulting and disrespecting Eritrea and Eritreans; it is not going sit well with self respecting Eritreans; unless your name is Hayat Adam and fake.

    • Mizaan1

      Dear Ghebre, what is Eritreanism? It seems to me that to you Eritreanism is the hate of Ethiopia. If that’s the case, then I cannot discuss with anyone with such a sentiment.

      Needless to say, every citizen of any country has a right to be as proud and nationalistic as they want. You cannot blame Eritreans for loving their country too much. There is very little I agree with with the individuals you listed but at the same time I don’t hold it against them for having such feelings about their country. It’s normal. Ethiopians are much more nationalistic on the average. I don’t have any time to list the reasons but I will give you one example – you put your flag everywhere even in eating utensils.

      Anyway, if Eritreanism is a bad thing to you, Ethiopianism is just as bad if not worse because it infects substantially more people.

      • selam

        Dear mizaan
        I am just wondering how some of our brothers expect us to support them in order to make deal with people like Ghebre. Ghebre will demand much more than sea and puppet government. Just imagine the risk of being independent opposition in Ethiopia. People like Fanti are very few in the weyane government.

  • Gebrekirstos

    Hi Passerby,
    Ethiopia’s hurried recognition of Eritrea is what should come to your mind. The consistent position of TPLF on that question is also something you should think about. In the absence of Ethiopia’s will to recognize Eritrea, there would never be independent Eritrea, there would be Somaliland at best. It is also a delusion to think that Eritreans won the war against the Dergue. No, that is false. Ethiopians won the war, and Eritreans just benefited out of that.

    Regarding Eritreans hunting down “Agame”, I read many testimonies from people that were there. I will try to post it when I get online versions.

    Regarding Mekelle’s budget, you can find it yourself. As far as I know there is no budget in Eritrea, so any town that has budhet has a bigger Budget than Eritrea. If you want to see actual numbers from me, bring the Eritrean budget and I will bring the Mekelle budget.

    Cheers,
    Gebrekirstos

  • Mahmud Saleh

    Dear selam
    I had the same reaction at first glance and wrote three paragraphs but later while going back and forth to insert quotes from her reply, I paused and reread it. My English is poor but this is what I understood and deleted my three paragraphs reply; correct me if I am wrong, but here is how I comprehended it.

    “Not that it is untrue, and you know it, but there is something unhealthy about you when you bring it here. you are polluting our souls.” Hayat’s line, verbatim.

    I understood this as saying “not [ONLY] that it is untrue, and you know it; but there is [ALSO] something unhealthy about you….”

    So, here I understood it as such that she is rejecting his statements as false, and she is calling upon him to refrain from introducing such FALSE statements that pollute the debate. I hope Hayat confirms me right.

    On her identity: Please selam, let us move on; let’s debunk every statement that comes our way (from her or others) that we feel false and/or twisted/rude/offensive on its merit. I will believe what she is telling me that she is an Eritrean Female. Selam, Eritrea has been endowed with many Eritreans who felt Ethiopians at heart; and again, nothing wrong with that. Nothing wrong with feeling more of TPLF/EPRDF/WAYANE than the Eritrean state, but state it that way so that unsophisticated political minds don’t get scared thinking you are representative of justice seekers. My problem was and still is the impressions such comments may create in the minds of Eritreans who are looking for an alternative political voice. I will engage Hayat on matters that appear to be of long term nature such as cooperation of peoples and nations of the region and Africa in general, not that I have a bigger mojo but that is where I feel comfortable. What Hayat is missing I think is prioritizing. We can think of long term issues only after creating a favorable condition for such a strategic mission. The favorable and conducive ground starts with creating a system that yields to the will of its people in Eritrea; and a system that respects the sovereignty of Eritrea in Ethiopia. As usual, I don’t talk about Ethiopian politics unless in reference to Eritrean interests. Therefore, let Ethiopians deal with their politics.

    Having said that, I would be happy if Hayat could appreciate the delicacy of the matter, and focus on what she is good at. Most Eritreans had and have no problem with Ethiopians and the state of Ethiopia; but they see a lot of problems with the bullying attitudes of some vocal Ethiopians. Eritreans want to form cooperations with their neighbors on their own terms, free of coercion and paternalistic attitudes. Once current PFDJ policies are reversed, and a government of the people is installed, I have no doubt the cooperation that Hayat is desperately calling for (unfortunately, to the extent of pushing Ethiopia to meddle in Eritrean politics for the creation of such conditions) will naturally follow. No Eritrean politician in her/his right mind will ignore Ethiopia; but that’s when such a mutually conducive political climate reigns in the region, not through demoralizing and despising Eritreans.

    Therefore the point is: Hayat should appreciate the ABC of the matter.

    1. both countries put their domestic business in order; stop funneling destabilizing forces and policies against each other.

    2. Work courageously at solving the border problem once and for all; here, political courage is needed. And for that to happen there need to be two willing governments and a political will to look for unconventional ways of solving the problem; if normalization, and hence, direct dialogue should precede that, I have no problem with it. You can’t think of broader cooperation without tackling what has arrested it in the first place. Unfortunately, Hayat has neither remained neutral on this subject nor positioned herself with the pragmatic calls of her compatriots on solving this matter.

    3. Comes Hayat’s mission of broader cooperation. Now for that cooperation to materialize, the best Hayat could do is contributing on strengthening the state of Eritrea by devoting half of her intellect to unifying the fight against PFDJ rather than undermining it. Her comments, regretfully, has been but that. Hayat’s comments are focused on burying and disavowing that statehood of Eritrea; and by weakening it, she believes she could realize the broader cooperation. In that case there is no cooperation but the dissolution of the other partner- the idea of the state of Eritrea. So, the strategy as I read it is unifying the “two but one people” through the dissolution of Eritrean nationhood. That’s where she is wrong. And that is what I am complaining of. Because many readers take her comments as representative of the opposition.

    • Hayat Adem

      Hi Mahmuday,
      Thanks for giving me the benefit of the doubt. I can’t blame the ones who rushed to bash because the error was mine and their opinions were based on their impression but it kind of made me feel uneasy. I am not a girl with a strong ambition and ego craving for higher recognition but I kind of felt bad and asked, ” can I be really seriously imagined or perceived of saying that by others after all these exchanges?” Why were not people reading it? Because they were not reading it. People are not reading fro ideas. They are reading for mistakes. If I believed what Ghebre was saying was true, I can’t say what I said. Or at least, I should have been asked to clarify. Disqus held it the message I fired immediately from my mobile and it didn;t save you from guessing but I’m happy you guessed it right.

    • selam

      Dear M.saleh
      I accepted all and my main idea was to hit Ghebre by hammering hayat. That was my idea , because this person (Ghebre) irritate me too much. Unless I know hayat will never ever make such statement on open air . As for her eritreanism no I will n8t accept , she is not Eritrean and I positively reject any suggestions that makes her Eritrean. I have collected all her defence to weyane and her rejection of eritrean history and suffering.

  • selam

    Dear guest
    I know you are one of .. may be you are hayat (i am not being serious) no body knows. Now do I think all Eritreans are stupid ? No we are not stupid some of us are stupid but the whole population no. And I do not want to accept all you said , like tinfer ember tel eya , that I read one day here in awate.com

  • selam

    Dear Eritreans
    is there any one who think Hayat is Eritrean ? Please read her reply to Ghebre comment . Downward please read.
    semere , amanuel please you need to read her reply.

  • Hayat Adem

    Dearest Saleh,
    1. On that particular piece, Eyob’s thrown assertion, reasoning and evidence were hitting him back like a boomerang. Even your good offices wouldn’t rescue him. Some mistakes are too big to do anything about them to save the day. Although I still don’t believe there was a need to defend ELF, I thought I at the same time defended them without wanting to do so. I said to the effect: even if ELF played a role as accused (and no convincing evidence was given even on that) the responsibility of that massacre starts and ends with those who did it, those who passed the ordered, and those who didn’t take a corrective or redressing measure.
    2) About you old write-ups and views, If “nothing to retract” means downplaying the importance of doing that at this time, I’ll understand and you may have a valid point. But if by “nothing to retract” you mean you are still believing in them, and then I will continue being concerned and questioning your intentions on valuing of good relations of these two ‘cousin’ peoples.
    3) No, I didn’t say Eritreans should apologize for they had done nothing that requires apologizing. The Badume war was the work of the leaders and cheerleaders. And because it had a devastating impact, we all need to take responsibilities equivalent to our role. The Eritrean people and the Ethiopian people are out of this. But I’ve a thing here because you have repeatedly said a lot on this. You are very anxious about this apology thing while you shouldn’t be. “No apologies” seems to be your favorite slogan. Please do not think apologizing is bad. In fact we have seen the harvest of so much misery from unnecessary projections of arrogance and excessive egos and I’ve never seen a single bad consequence of offering an apology in history. To apologize is not to be signaling weakness. It is the opposite. The smaller is the ego, the bigger is the power of moral influence and righteousness.
    4) Fanti is an Ethiopian. Almost all Awatistas love him so much. Eritreans never feel his Ethiopianess. Mahmuday is an Eritrean. He has a vast knowledge about our region. He is a principled man and with admirable civility. I’ve TKifle on the other side with parallel equivalent qualities. Ethiopians believe T.Kifle’s stories. Eritreans read him with a grain of doubt. Ethiopians read Mahmuday with a grain of doubt. But we all read Fanti’s take in a good faith. Why is that? If someone finds it easy to sympathize with victims of the other side, there is obviously a reciprocity of trust that piles up around that person. That helps a lot in bridging up real and perceived gaps and gulfs. No matter how objectively you present stories from the Eritrean side, for Ethiopians they will always be one-side stories. No matter TKifle objectively presents his side, to the Eritrean reader, he is just selling his side of the story which doesn’t consider the Eritrean version. That disconnect is almost permanent and such things are can always serve as bedrock foundations for future fueds and conflicts every time a crazy man like Isaias comes to power and scratches them from beneath. We don’t want those disconnects to continuously characterize the relationship of the two cousin peoples.
    5) Facts on the deportation: a) it happened both ways and it is condemnable, b) the Ethiopian government has apologized, the Eritrean government hasn’t, c) the Ethiopian government has tried to correct its mistake but the Eritrean government hasn’t. These are just facts and not opinions. What purpose do you serve when Eritreans are crying loud only about the Eritreans Ethiopia deported and Ethiopians are crying loud only about the Ethiopians Eritrea deported? We’ll be condemned to a permanent grudge and gulf. Ethiopians are much better in admitting mistakes and in recognizing wrong doings than Eritreans. Did you follow what Amde said about Ona? He described it beautifully in an emphatic tone assigning the responsibility to the state. I don’t have to tell you how always Fanti identifies himself with the innocents whether Eritrean or Ethiopian. How about Kim? Did you read what even T. Kifle said about Ona? While Ethiopians are condemning the massacre of Ona, while you are telling me you are surprised about my knowledge of hawzien which was the biggest barbaric massacre of recent times by any standard in its magnitude and the mass-killer tools applied.
    6) Your truth teller said the other day that he watched an interesting video about the bombardment of Hawzien out of the blue. Did you question Nitricc why he wanted to know about Hawzien and not Ona? No, you wouldn’t because of Nitricc is not Hayat. He is your truth-teller. Let me give you a background though while we are at it. This topic of Hawzien and TPLF’s role was on an international media I guess some years back and someone in my group circle (a hang-out discussion group of Ethiopians and Eritreans) strongly denied in defense of TPLF. This guy is an ex-TPLF tegadaly who is now an intellectual of his own league. He was so mad that people thought of TPLF in an oversimplified manner as far as accusing it of using its own people for anything like that. Others who challenged that person brought the issue of a video filmed from three cameras as evidence that TPLF must have known something about it to have stationed three cameras ahead of time in a village town where nothing else of importance was happening. The ex-TPLF guy told us there was no film captured from that incident at all. None. He attributed the whole confusion to an individual called Abraham Yayeh, whom he used Ahmed Challabi to describe him at length. Many Ethiopian’s knowledge of TPLF is gained from Abraham Yayeh who conqured Ethiopia’s prime time media at a time many Ethiopian’s don’t know about TPLF beyond “weyane is asgentai wonbedie”. Ethiopians thought he was a true insider and Yayeh got all curious ears of Ethiopians and filled them with his own fairy version. What he told them about Hawzien was never questioned at all. It is still in the mind of many Ethiopians. He told us the film is a fiction. Sometimes even many TPLF tegadelti, even some at the leadership level, believe it was a well filmed event though not because TPLF knew and was prepared to capture it but some media crew might have been nearby when it happened. That all were untrue, according to thisr friend. Only One TPLF camera team reached there after three days just to film the destroyed houses and burial sites. We left the discussion there. About a month ago your truth-teller Nitricc said that he watched a real video about Hawzien bombardment. I didn’t believe him the pathological liar he is but I asked for a link or the title of the video and as expected there was none because there was none.
    7) back to the deportation, It is incredibly refreshing to see many sensible Ethiopians condemning the deportation. The Ethiopian government admitted that it was a mistake and apologized publicly. It tried to correct it and still trying. But many Ethiopians also get angry and anxious when they don’t hear similar reactions from Eritreans. The other day, Amde pointedly asked you a question. He aid it was wrong to happen on Eritreans. And he asked if you acknowledge the wrong done on Ethiopians as well. He appealed to you to get back to him with honest reflection: heads and hearts, Sal, heads and hearts” was how he phrased it. You never got back, you ducked. When Ghebrekirstos used harsh and repulsive language on Eritreans, Ethiopian awatistas jumped to correct him. When Eritrean awatistas use strong and excessive languages like how Eritreans are skilled in the art of milking 90 million cows, not as many wise Eritreans came in to correct.
    8) This is also what you said: “Consider this: an Ethiopian, Fanti Ghana, has requested that his government do that and you, a female Muslim Eritrean, haven’t” I did but when Fanti did it don’t you want yourself to reciprocate in kind? You want all Ethiopians and all Eritreans to stand for an Eritrean interest? What about for them? This reminds me what Emanuel of Assenna once asked PMMZ. After he heard the PM’s apology on the Ethiopian wrongs on Eritreans (the the deportation issue, the cemetery issue) Emanuel said that some Eritreans say that apology and the little corrective measures the Ethiopian government did were not enough. To that Meles said, if Ethiopians told us this, it would be reasonable. But Eritreans should ask their government to correct the damage it inflicted on Ethiopians in a much worse scale first. They can’t be reasonable to blame us before blaming their government that did more bad things and it never apologized nor acknowledged. Your moderators are doing great job to regulate excesses of incivility. But I think more wise interventions are needed to defuse political incorrectness. Reaching out in the same reciprocity of kindness always helps and never harms.

    Hayat

    • tes

      Dear Hayat Adem,

      Slowly the dust is eroding.

      You wrote, “…and someone in my group circle (a hang-out discussion group of Ethiopians and Eritreans) strongly denied in defense of TPLF.”

      I thought that you were so a self-motivated Eritrean who voices for the voiceless. no; noh that is not true. Hayat Adem is among the Eri-Ethio discussion group.

      Well, is Ethiopian intervention in the Eritrean matters is of your group interest and here you are the spokeswoman?

      More to be revealed soon.

      tes

    • selam

      Dear Hayat

      You know for a fact every one knows you are Ethiopian and nothing wrong with that. Just be an honest ethiopian and try your best to have the interest of weyane still nothing wrong with that too. Now do we need your analysis on how far you protect weyane ? No we do not need . We know for a fact there was no one close to the Eritrean people than the Tigrai people and still they are close and remain to be very very close to Eritreans. Your problem is , you are trying to defend weyane from a very narrow narrative. Just stop it.

    • saay7

      Selamat Hayat:

      1. Your argument on this keeps shifting: from something like “I didn’t know ELF was under attack and felt no need to defend it” to “I DID defend it” to “look over there, it was Eyob’s fault.” The point is defending Eritrean organizations is at best a chore for you, defending TPLF comes very naturally to you. Maybe this is your way of demonstrating that you are a post-nationalist but it comes with a price, just as nationalism comes with a price.

      2. One of the prices of nationalism is being constantly accused of being a war “cheer leader.” I don’t know anyone who was a war cheerleader in the entire unfortunate period. But I know a lot of people who felt there was a war of annihilation being waged against them…wait, did you ever read one single posting from any of the Ethiopian (official government) announcement at the time? Back when Eritrea didn’t have a single website, a single way of shaping public opinion, a single way of telling its side of the story? It always surprises me how you completely strip the context and you never accuse the Ethiopian government of agitating and truly marching to war for the sole and only purpose of winning people like Abi who has pretty much told us that is what sold him on TPLF.

      3. The deportations. Let me first address Amde’s “hearts and minds” and how I never got back to him. First, when I don’t get back to someone, it shouldn’t be interpreted any other way than that I, like most awatistas, have time constraints. Now that you bring it up, there are two issues here about the 1991 deportations of Ethiopians from Eritrea.

      First of all, have you ever heard me complaining about Ethiopia (or more precisely Tigray Province) deportation of Eritreans from the Badme are in months preceding the outbreak of the war? Never. Why? Because I believe it is the Eritrean government, not the Ethiopian government, to blame because it didn’t publicize the issue. Similarly, if innocent Ethiopians were deported from Eritrea in 1991, then it is the Ethiopian government to blame because it didn’t complain or protest the issue.

      Secondly, on emotional issues like this, I tend to rely on scholars (no offense to the mob) and I don’t think anyone has ever doubted the scholarship or patriotism of Professor Endrias Eshete and he said that no innocent Ethiopians (unaffiliated with E.Se.A.Pa or the Derg) were deported from Ethiopia. Professor Endrias Eshete was later on a big defender of Ethiopia’s deportation of Eritreans so I don’t think one can accuse him of being a softie or a shaebia agent.

      Third, and I am sorry that part of writing in forums like this is that one finds oneself in constant state of repetition, my big divorce with PFDJ came about as a result of its opening up detention camps in Eritrea for Ethiopians (mostly Tigrayans) after Ethiopia’s Third Offensive in May 2000. This is not some “trust me on this” assurance; it is public record: an audio interview with Voice of America, in a debate with Elias Amare sometime in the summer of fall 2000.

      4. You seem to have a disingenuous understanding of the phrase “truth-teller” within the context of how I refer to Nitricc. I mean it from the sense of tell-truth-to-the-powerful even if the powerful are people you admire. Nitricc is a huge fan of Isaias Afwerki (even more so than you are of Meles Zenawi.) But Nitricc is truthful enough to point out the mistakes of Isaias Afwerki. I can imagine him debating with YPFDJ types on the mistakes PFDJ and Isaias have done and continue to do. I can never imagine you doing that with TPLF. And your posts here are testimony to that.

      5. For lasting peace between Eritrea and Ethiopia, the change that is required from both people is not necessarily of equal challenge. From the Eritrean side, the fear is that of a small country that is neighbored by a large country which has a long warrior culture. Lots of small African countries are neighbored by big ones: Togo is neighbored by Ghana; Malawi is neighbored by Zambia and Mozambique; Tunisia is neighbored by giant Algeria. Etc. None of these small countries have to live in fear that their big neighbor is coming after them. None of them have big neighbors thinking they are deformed and artificial. All Ethiopia has to do is change its aggressive posture and peace will break out. From the Eritrean side, all that is needed is the permanent retirement of Isaiasism: that we know what is good for Ethiopians more than Ethiopians. That will go with the departure of Isaias, in my view, but the other demand Ethiopian elite have, that this “deformed and artificial” identity will go away, it won’t, because we will still call ourselves Eritreans, we will still demand the same rules that apply to almost every African country: we are Eritreans because a colonizing power we said we are. If Ethiopia, the capital of the African Union, has an issue with that, then it has issues with every African country.

      saay

      • Hayat Adem

        Dear Saleh,
        1) YG’s poison? Aha…in the medical world, a proper amount of poison kills the illness and leaves you to live. May be Eyob’s problem could be he’s not getting enough. Sal, where I’m not arguing, my argument can not shift because I’m not changing or editing the position statement i submitted then. We’are talking about what I stated so you only have to tell me if it hasn’t addressed the issues I claimed it addressed.
        2) I never thought the price of nationalism has to be counted in promoting a wrong war. My view: the best way to remain nationalist and defend the nation would have been avoiding or opposing the war. Or else you should tell us what we have as a result of the war is the best. What is the result? Well, we have the weakest Eritrea and a monstrous regime. When we analyse that war, we have to look at two questions: Was there any just cause? Did it leave us better off? If you can’t say today PFDJ was being more harassed and more provoked in the years prior to 1998 than it is now, it is hard to justify there was a strong cause for a war. If you don’t share this view, you will have to continue believing in the cause of mobilizing more for a war even today. If Eritrea was not weaker before 1998 than it is now; if PFDJ was not worse monster prior 1998 than it is now, it is very hard to justify any support for the war on the basis of results as well. The equation is different for the Ethiopians. They can justify both (cause and result). But even in them, there are many including leaders who regret the war a lot. Please, don’t judge my views as if I want to side with the Ethiopians at the expense of truth and Eritrea’s interest. I don’t question your intentions but my argument here centers around a point that your positions are endangering (not defending) Eritrea; and I’m saying mine are the best way to defend Eritrea’s interests. I don’t give more Eritreaness to myself than to you because that doesn’t depend on the contribution of best ideas and positions. Otherwise don’t fool yourself believing that you are doing the best thing for Eritrea and everyone else should be rallying behind you. What Isaias tried to do were exactly ideas and ambitions you shared. So that means you are tested. You failed. Unfortunately, your failure was very costly to the nation and everyone. Now, you have no ground to label others as non-nationalists, sub-nationalists or post-nationalists. PFDJ is doing the same thing. It is a regime that failed terribly, and turned criminal. But it is criminalizing everyone else as traitor, agent, jihadist etc. We know for sure PFDJs can not chnage their minds for obvious reasons. But you can and I hope you do.
        3) Okay you can forget the 1991 deportation. Can you reflect on the 1998 deportation of Ethiopians from Eritrea? Amde’s request was either about the 1998 or about both the 1991 and 1998. If events of 1991 were unclear, what about 1998? In 1998, I believe as many number of people were deported in the direction of South, too. Can you say something about them in light of Amde’s request?
        4) Emmm Nitricc! He is still the best! How did he do it?
        5) I agree. I wish to expand this element another time.
        6) I agree. If Abi and Rahwa are questioning Fanti’s Ethiopianess, emmmm…he is just lucky and I envy him he has only two doubters and they are not as relentless and as cunning as Sal is. I’ll be softening my language as we move forward.
        Thanks,
        Hayat.

        • Abi

          Dear Hayat and Saay
          I never question Fanti’ s ethiopianness. I want him to defend ethiopian position more when it is necessary. I want Fanti in my camp. That is all.
          Saay
          Fantin leqeq
          Hayatn Tebeq

          • Fanti Ghana

            Dear Abi,
            ayzon ayzon. that TiHlo is not going anywhere no mater what.

          • Abi

            Hey Fanti
            Yihe TiHilo eko ende mengistesemayat raqe. Tante TiHilo ena yeKiristos memcha aytaweqm. Tezegajito meTebeq new.
            Fanti, have you noticed Hayat’s last sentence?
            ” I will soften my language as we move forward.” Huh? I think it is full moon.

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello Brother Abi,
            I tell you Hayat is an amazing person. What an honor to share this forum with her. You see, a great person is not afraid of changing or accepting sensible suggestions. She understands very well that the whole point of discussion is to persuade, to inform, and to give and receive ideas, and she is doing it with a style.
            Okay. enough is enough.

            TiHlo: it will definitely take place before yeKiristos memcha. I guarantee it.

          • Passerby

            Dear Fanti,
            What is the difference between Tihlo and geAt? They both look and taste same to me.

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello Passerby,
            Holy Moly! first of all, for heaven’s sake please do not ever go back to the place where you ate TiHlo that tasted like geAt. And second if my wife reads your post and dies of heart attack (entuf, entuf) I will hold you responsible.

            Now, geAt can be made of non-roasted Wheat, Tef, Rice (our rice that is, not the fake Asian rice), and sorghum, and it is cooked thoroughly in a boiling water. It is best eaten primarily with butter, berbere, and yogurt. Although not quite ideal, flax seeds and yogurt will do too. It requires no particular skill really.

            TiHlo in the other hand is a different ball game.
            First it is made of our rice (tigrinya: sigem, amarigna: gebs), and it is skillfully roasted to perfection. It is neither raw nor roasted completely, but barely enough to make it viable. Some experts roast it with carefully selected grains of stones to give it an added readiness without burning it like you would Kollo for instance. Roasting rice for TiHlo demands a great skill. That is all the cooking it gets. Finally it is prepared with room temperature water.

            Second: the sauce that is needed for TiHlo is even more skill demanding than any sauce our mothers prepare. It is made carefully and for a long time almost equal to the time it takes to cook Ethio/Eritrean chicken. When you taste that sauce with injera that is when you truly believe that there is a God after all.

            Before I forget, you are invited too along with Abi. I cannot live in peace knowing that there is a friend out there who thinks geAt maybe the same as TiHlo.
            Selam. Whew!

          • Abi

            Fanti
            KemiyaTwelewl TiHilo gomen beTena.

          • Kokhob Selam

            Abo,

            ኣረ ዶኬም ኣይከፋም!! ሁሉም ባገር ያምራል :: እኔ ኮ የሚገርመኝ እንዴት ነው … ብውጭ ኣገር ጮማ ቢቆረጥ የማይጣፍጠው? ቆይ ድህነት ባገርህ ሃብትና ፀጋ ነው ልበል ? ነው ወይስ ድህነት ለምዶብን ነው :: Lol

          • Abi

            Kokobe
            ” kesew bet injera kalichaw merequ
            YeEnat bet yishalal zengadaw derequ”

          • Kokhob Selam

            Abye,

            ልክ ነህ! ስንታመም ብቻ ነበር – ትርንጎው ብርቱካኑ ሙዝና ፍራፍሬው የሚቀርብልን ሽታው ግን መንደሩን ነበር የሚያጠግብ :: ኣሁን በሰው ኣገር – ኣረ ድያ!! ምንም ደስ ኣይልም ::

        • saay7

          Selamat Hayat:

          1. Ah, you have swallowed the YG poison whole, and it requires some distance to diagnose it. Like tourette sydrome, YGism includes frequent use of the words Islamists, Arabist, Habesha, questioning the essence of Eritrea, insulting its founders, mocking its rationale for waging armed struggle, denying that such struggle had popular support, claiming that it was proxy for Arabist, Islamist, and asserting with absolute certainty that hating Ethiopia is pre-requisite for Eritreanism. Since you consider all these facts (after you observed them microscopically) and since you consider him as having “gospeler authority” (your phrase), then you have left yourself no room to maneuver at all and you get to own all he said. So no reason to be coy.

          What you see from Eyob is a man who has drunk the YG Kool-Aid and all his ELF=Islamist is really common belief among Ethiopian elite and Eritrean YGists. So YG (and his sidekick Girmay Yebio, GY) just makes the ill-informed Ethiopian squad to be licensed with, “well, even Eritreans are saying that Eritreanism is a deformation that is only sustained by hate of Ethiopia.” It is not lost on me how hard you try to convince awatistas that I hate Ethiopia: you couldn’t help it, it was that gospeler authority thingy.

          2. I can’t keep going back to your favorite decade; just because your development is arrested on that issue doesn’t mean mine has to be. What is clear in my mind is no matter how we stumbled ourselves into war, by February 99 there was a clear consensus on how to extricate ourselves from it. And the record shows that Eritrea supported every peace proposal very quickly and Ethiopia either stalled on or rejected every single one. I don’t know what ideas and ambitions you are talking about that I shared with Isaias. What we shared was this: TPLF had a blood lust, blood need baptize itself for those skeptical Ethiopians could accept it as a legitimate, authentic group with Ethiopia’s interest at heart, not Tigray’s. A suspicion that was well-warranted because just 8 years before the war, Meles Zenawi was telling Paul Henze that when it comes to some issues, he sees them first from Tigray standpoint, then from Ethiopias:

          “We look at this from the viewpoints of the interests of Tigray first, and then Ethiopia as a whole. We would like to see Eritrea continuing to have a relationship with Ethiopia. We know that Tigray needs access to the sea, and the only way is through Eritrea.”

          http://asmarino.com/interviews/1722-90-interview-of-meles-zenawi-on-independence-isaias-and-eritreans

          The more Eritrean blood it would shed, the more “authentically Ethiopian” organization it would be seen. It shed more blood than necessary, but not as much as it wanted: so it is still seen in some quarters as regional party masquerading as a national party. Truth-teller Abi fessed that up in these pages. It is something many of us suspected; and a convert told us, yep, that’s what sold me on them.

          On deportation, if Amde was asking about 1998-2000 period, I just got done telling you how I registered my complaint about the Eritrean government’s action, most of which happened in 2000.

          4. Nitricc did it by doing something you will never do: stand up to the people that make your heart beat fast: the TPLF. Give it a try; you might like it.

          saay

          • Hayat Adem

            Dearest Saay,
            4) Aha, advising me to divorce YG and embrace Nitricc?! You can advise me to enjoy my ice cream.
            2) I would be glad to get a link to read your 1998-2000 complaint on the deportation.
            Z) What do you think of you and I co-authoring an article on Eritrea’s key current issues?
            hayat

      • Amde

        Hi saay,

        On the 1991 deportations. It is understood in Ethiopia that Andreas Eshete got the presidency of Addis Ababa University as a reward for the political support and cover he gave the new EPRDF regime with utterances such as the one you point to. The support he then gave to the deportation of Eritreans is simply just a reprise of his role as providing political cover to the regime in the guide of an independent scholar. Stuff like what he said is the reason that for many years he was a reviled person. To be honest, I don’t even know what his scholarship is on.

        But I do agree the EPRDF should have been the first one to complain about it and done work to get the deportees integrated into society. Instead, they languished as street people in Addis for years. What is funny and sad is that even at this date, I don’t trust EPRDF to acknowledge or care about any new Ethiopian deportees. But believe me, tending to Eritrean returnees is something many Ethiopian government agencies bend over backward to do.

        Amde

  • Gebrekirstos

    Dear all,

    I am sure many of you are following the barbaric acts of South Africans against fellow Africans. This of course can not be explained without the legacy of apartheid. They saw their masters do that, and they do that on other Africans. When the slave is free, he knows only one thing: to abuse others the way the master abused him. Simply, it is the self-hate (hate for Africans, hate of kinship) in action that the apartheid system inculcated in the minds of South Africans. These type of self-hate for oneself, and your kinship, your roots, your history is the greatest destructive disease Europeans planted in those peoples they colonized.

    There is a striking similarity with Eritrea in this case. Eritreans were doing essentially the same when they were hunting “Agames” after independence, but mainly after the start of the war in 1998. ቆልዑን መናእሰይን ደም ብደም ፅይቕይቕ ኢሎም ናብ ገዝኦም እንትትመፁ፣ ወለዶም “ኣበይ ነይርኩም?” ኢሎም እንትሓትዎም፣ ብሓበን “ዓጋመ ንሃድን ውዒልና” ይብሉ። ወለዶም ድማ “ጎሽ ዝወደይ!” The self-hate, hate of one’s root, history and kinship continues. The constant yearning of Eritreans to be close to their colonial masters have taken them to a new height: I have met Eritreans who claim they are more related to Europeans than to Ethiopians, Eritreans who claim Seraye is a derivative of sarajevo. I think the damage colonization has done to colonized people is yet to be understood, but it is certain it is mutational; a psychological meme that replicates to destroy its host.

    Cheers,
    Gebrekirstos

    • selam

      Dear Ghebre
      Again you seem to live in the cage you find fromGhebru asrat. Do you know how many dergi soliders were under the mercy of the Eritrean people yet we let them go home safely . If you do not know this I can only blame the weyane for not telling you the truth. While I feel very bad about the situation insouth africa , I do not think it is the colonial and apartheid system to blame .itis the economic harship and loneliness , left forno one to see.we can’t just blame the colonizers for so long.

      As for the Eritreans you are saying , I never heard of such story. You want to tell us about your asrat thing fine bring it. We never hunt to kill Agame.we know they are our brothers sowe have been together for so long . Now is different .
      Sad to see you use SA to unwanted hearsay. Your brothers I mean the oromo, Amhara and others are losing their hard earned money and also their life in SA. Oww I forget you only care about tegaru , oh that is not nice.

    • Hayat Adem

      Gebrat,
      Please refrain from such comments. Not that it is untrue, and you know it, but there is something unhealthy about you when you bring it here. you are polluting our souls. Please stop it. From your writings, you are someone who is capable of discussing big ideas. why would you prefer to be here? Please stop it.

      • saay7

        Hayat:

        You can’t help yourself, can you? Even when you are allegedly being the peacemaker, there is this: “Not that it is untrue, and you know it, but there is something unhealthy about you when you bring it her.” So what he said is true, but you just wish he didn’t say it? Eritreans go on to bloody Tigrayans and their parents ask them where were you and when they tell them, their parents answer “well done!” Eritreans want to mimic their colonizers? All Eritreans do and this is because of Italian legacy?

        saay

        • Hayat Adem

          Selamat Saleh,
          It was a slip of fingers. I didn’t mean to say that. I meant to say, “not that it is true”. I am correcting it now. I can’t imagine that kind of stuff to be true by the wildest stretch. There can’t be kids that come home soaked in blood. There can’t be parents who would entertain such a scene. Had you not boxed me in the Hayat on mission box, it was obvious from my strong statement that I couldn’t possibly mean to say that. In any case, sorry for the error. Thanks for the bullet-speed reprimand.
          hayat

          • saay7

            Selamat Hayat:

            I accept your explanation; we all have made that mistake. The reason I did not give you the benefit of doubt is because of that whole ” Eritrea is an artificial country, eritreans assert their identity by hating Ethiopians but particularly Tigrayans” YGism that you buy into completely.

            saay

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Hayat and AbusalaH
            It’s amazing as I was finishing my long Hateta regarding this, replying to selam, Hayat was also firing off her replies; but that’s how I concluded it should have meant and moved on (the new corrected version). Any way, my reply to selam would not stick (the disqus tells me selam’s comment was removed prompting me to post it at the top, but I see it there.

      • Kokhob Selam

        Dear Hayat,

        every where there is an extreme side, this extreme feelings didn’t come just like that. ether someone has come across a situation to think in extreme area or he has been told by loved once. when you get someone like Gebrat who say it openly you must say thanks god. go for healing process and start it.for sure he will win and you will win. I love the way he put it and bringing it with out hiding anything.

        I don’t like someone to force him not to say it. in fact I want him to say what he has all. I know he is transparent and this type of man can’t be my enemy. I am fully sure although he might be more educated than me or experienced than me and I am sure he didn’t reach were I am. I am not my body nor my nation or any thing that seems attached to me. I am more than that, a soul who came to learn and correct his mistakes and fellow human being to higher. I know we are one at the end of the day and everyone of us is the center who will affect the future of human beings… that makes me feel Gebrat and you are me. so, the way to peace is to think every once hidden agenda is worst than exposed and clearly told one.

        don’t give up and don’t let him stop saying what he wants.

        • selam

          Dear k.s
          have you read hayat reply to Ghebre and understand it fully. Because if you understand , it is horrifically uglier than ghebre’s comment. And I find her comment totally opposit to your principle. Do not ask me what I understood from her comment it is open to every one to see.

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear Selam,

            I saw it. once also I have said to him in between my advice that -even if you find something is true but it is of no use, it is better not say it. – this was some days back but the reason that motivate me to say so is not the same as what motivate her I think again in my replay today I have said it in simple way that let him say what he wants jumping her statement.

            now she has corrected it and has told us we should not imagine even she mean it. let’s accept that.

            thank you selam you are very active to to see things.

      • selam

        Dear hayat
        Who say to his son or daughter “well done” ? What kind of evil mind you have ?
        You are not Eritrean and I am afraid you never wish good things to the 2 people either. Waww “not that it is untrue “. owww
        you are the most vicious , manipulater to some degree a lair. You are not from amhara, orom and welayta. You are from Tigrai. I have never ever thought you as eritrean. You are a shrewd human being.

        Please Mr.Mahmud saleh stop replying to her. She is a manupulater and lair at large which is based in ,weyane cadre practicing tricks on manuplation. Hayat get lost you are really a very complex human being .

        • Hayat Adem

          It was a slip of a finger and it is corrected. You can’t possibly imagine I would believe this as a true one. The next phrase that says “and you know it” would tell you what I meant.

          • selam

            Dear hayat
            I understood that but my intention was not merely to the sentence , I just wanted to use the apportunity because you took to much time to correct it. So I thought her she comes and it was a better way to put the key where it belongs and that is pointing out Ghebre with hayat . That was my idea.

      • Gebrekirstos

        Hi Hayat,
        Which is untrue? Why do you think I am writing something untrue? Hayat, you are a beautiful soul to me, and I feel sad that you have the burden of defending some things (no matter how ugly they are) to remain relevant to Eritreans and Eritreanism, which I understand, but my views are not on individual Eritreans. It is on the idea, system called Eritreanism and its manifestations.

        About discussing big ideas, I think knowing your audience is an art and a wisdom.

        cheers,
        Gebrekirstos

        • Hayat Adem

          GK,
          I don’t feel any burden of defending anything. If your ideas were about Eritreanism, there is no offence to me however radical your stand would be. But you are not attacking ideas or values. You are attacking humanity with a simulation of tasteless horror. There is something in me that struggles to respect your brain but you keep on skinning me.
          You said: ቆልዑን መናእሰይን ደም ብደም ፅይቕይቕ ኢሎም ናብ ገዝኦም እንትትመፁ፣ Did you mean real human blood? That’s absurd and your preference of using this kind of graphics shows your brain balance is not healthy.
          ወለዶም “ኣበይ ነይርኩም?” ኢሎም እንትሓትዎም፣ Eritrean parents are normal parents like any other parent, like tigrean parents. Would a Tigrean parent entertain such a scene when their kids come blood soaked? Man, you are totally off color and off culture.
          ብሓበን “ዓጋመ ንሃድን ውዒልና” ይብሉ። ወለዶም ድማ “ጎሽ ዝወደይ!” What is this! Like I said, it is not true and usually something that is not true wouldn’t make me mad but why would you go to such a length to bring a dirty lie that pollutes the forum? I had a great impression about your earlier notes when you vigorously advanced your views without fear. How did you fall out of grace so fast?

          If my lobby counts, I am formally asking Awate Editors to take a restraining action on GK and I’m doing this with a heavy heart. With a heavy heart because he sounds brilliant and contrarian and for that very reason, it would have been easy for me to fall in friendship with a guy like him. Sad. So sad!
          hayat

        • Millenium

          Hi Gebrekirstos:
          How much hate must you have to say the things you said about Eritreans, equating what is happening in South Africa to what you allege happened in Eritrea? What purpose do you think that serves? Lie, if doing so could bring people closer but lying in order to further push people apart is real evil. Ok, forget serving any purpose just do not lie…..

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Dear Gheberkirstos,

      I have never heard such ridiculous comment: “They saw their masters do that, and they do that on other Africans. When the slave is free, he knows only one thing: to abuse others the way the master abused him.” I am surprised by you, that you couldn’t stop of making such unwise, irritating, hateful comments. I don’t know why you here in this website. Why are you venting hate and animosity in the forum. Actually you are here to replicate hate and animosity. Please refrain from what you are doing repeatedly.

      • Eyob Medhane

        Aman,

        What Gebrekrisos had to say has absolutely nothing to do with ‘being hateful’. It’s just a plain truth. Just because he put it bluntly, that doesn’t mean it’s not true. Self loathing, jealousy and resentment drove South African Zulus to act the way they act. I am not saying that, they themselves do. Read this article that is written by major South African publisher, what caused their anamilistic behavior, then you may be will understand what Gebrekrisos is talking about.http://nation.com.pk/international/18-Apr-2015/anger-at-inequality-drives-s-africa-xenophobic-attacks

        • Ted

          Hi Eyob, in todays Eritrea there is no Tigaway pushing Arebia or selling beles, rather your people are in Addis living in Vilas and driving the latest. Why you and Gk are still trapped ‘they hate us” is beyond me.We don’t hate you. It is this self inflicted malady making the whisky you drinking taste like sewer water . You know they say, people won’t make you feel inferior without your consent.

          • Eyob Medhane

            Ted,

            “…..Hi Eyob, in todays Eritrea there is no Tigaway pushing Arebia or selling beles, rather your people are in Addis living in Vilas and driving the latest…”

            Congratulations to my people ‘living in villas and driving the latest’. If that is true, I wish them more and more. I also thank you for being a quintessential example and a shiny face of a racist hate monger, which Gebrekirstos and I described about…

          • selam

            Dear Eyob
            The villa that these tegaru are living is not their own , it is eritrean hard earned property , yet you and your brother Ghebre want to sell lies. Hate is born with weyane and it will die with weyane.

          • Ted

            Eyob, you missed “we don’t hate you” part. . We are busy dying on the sea and suffering in Shemela, we don’t have the energy and the posture to be racist. Why are you and GK on our case anyway, love or sickness?

          • Gebrekirstos

            Hi Ted,
            We are here to contain Eritreanism and quarantine it where it is, in Eritrea, and, if possible, let it wither away before contaminating us all. We believe ideas, bad or good, do not have borders.
            Cheers,
            Gebrekirstos

          • Ted

            Hi, GK, Eritreansim(loving Eritrea, no hating Tigraway) is here to stay, get used to it.. The problem, while you are free to be proud Tigraway with all new found wealth, in your mind, you are still pulling Arebia in Eritrea. We can’t help you whatsoever if you become a hostage of your own thought..

          • Abi

            Hi Ted
            What is this Arebia thing? This is the second time you mentioned it. Do Tigray believe they are Arabs?

          • Saleh Johar

            Gebrekristos,

            Quarantine Eritreanism? Many have tried that but failed. I think we need to quarantine racists and hatemongers. At least have some respect for the website. Once you start a fire, it goes uncontrolled. If that is what you intend to do, please stay away. A few days and this the kind of hate you are spewing. Stop it, please.

          • Gebrekirstos

            Hi Saleh,
            How is it that you can accuse me of hate and racism? Do you really mean it? Which sentence of mine promotes hate? Are you implying fighting Eritreanism is hate-mongering? I find this accusation amazing in a website where most of its participants talk only about people (bashing, and hating), never about ideas.

            I do not agree on your view of many failing to quarantine it. Eritreansim is already limping, and soon, hopefully, it will be be fully quarantined.
            cheers,
            Gebrekirstos

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear AT,

            This guy “Gebrekirstos” is crossing the red line repeatedly. Now telling us “Quarantining Eritreanism” !! Does this irresponsible guy knows quarantining Eritreanism means quarantining Eritreans by extension and implication. Why did he come to this website by the way? I don’t know how far you will allow this guy to disrupt the ongoing debate. But this guy is here to flare the emotions of Eritreans. Either you have to make him to stop demeaning the “Eritrean identity” or leave the opposite side to shoot their bullet where it hurts this guy. The rule is: if street boys encountered you on your way, fight them back with the rules they know. So AT it is all your discretion.

            regards,
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • selam

            Dear Amanuel
            You have said it all. Do you remember when awate.com rules where disproportionately were all over me , just for saying agame .Yesterday I was just amused by the silence. I tried to stir the load over hayat incase they sense some thing. Ghebre. He keep coming with more bogus and hatful words. I tried my best to much his word by putting every word to hayat due to her typing error . Still they just deleted mine and leave Ghebre on his place. And I thought may be I am in tigraionline.com . Well no I am in awate.com and now they try to warn him . Lest wait and see. I can perfectly much his hatful ideas but in the way of doing it , I will be the wicked , hatful and no moral because of kim, fanti, T.kifle and others .

          • Ted

            Hi GK, Eritreanism is here to stay, get used to it. Eritreanism means loving Eritrea not to mean hating Tigray. But you have a big problem that you become a hostage of your own thoughts. It seems your mind is still in Eritrea pushing Arebia, If you and Eyob can fill us with the back story why you think the way you do; we would be appreciate it otherwise we are at the loss/ FYI, We Eritreans have moved on and are happy with what we have become. Your people have helped us tremendously to see deep in our soul what it means to be Eritrean. thank you, you are a blessing in disguise.

          • Hayat Adem

            Ted,
            Why do you say that? What purpose are you serving by saying all those things childishly?

          • Rahwa T

            Ted,

            So according to you, after reading this comment what you wanted us to take is the short sttement “We don’t hate you”. Brilliant.

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam Rahwa,
            .
            I think Ted must real old, in the 80s maybe in the 90s. He seems to quickly forget what he said in the previous sentence. Senior moments. Today is Sunday, we have to be charitable. Otherwise, how could you account for such silliness. oops.
            .
            K.H

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Dear Eyob,

          Remember Eyobay, they are not abusing others the way their ruling class was abusing them. They are acting like what they are doing because of their ignorance. Nothing else. If you remember even after the release of Nelson Mandela, the two major black South African tribes went in a short period bloodshed that took thousands of South Africans, worse than we are seeing this days against other African business men. So my point is, it is not something they have learned from their oppressor (as Gebrekristos insinuated in his comment). It is an act of ignorance. You know, an act of inhumanity from the general public is simply from ignorance but an act of inhumanity from a ruling elite class is a deliberate action. We have to differentiate between the two. Just watch the nature of the people in the riots. I will leave for it your judgement.

    • Nitricc

      Hi Gbere it is obvious you are suffering from deep inferior complexity. it is an illness and i understand it. i feel bad for the rest of Ethiopians in which they have to live with you. thanks god the day we got rid of you. and it is a matter of time the rest of the Ethiopians to say enough is enough and come after you. before the day arrives; think why you are hated by every one. the Oromo are coming for your head; the Amhara are coming for heart to rip it from its cage; and the Eritreans won’t touch you with six foot you know what. Never worry about Eritrea and our problems; you have a bigger one. so, take care your illness although incurable but good lack anyways. Thanks god Eritrea is free of your kind.

    • Eyob Medhane

      Gebrekriatos,

      Your line “… Seraye is derivative of Sarayevo…” Is the most hilarious one. I certainly agree with your point that denying and as a result being victims of that denial of Kebesa Eritreans, which has been my long standing argument. Not much I have to add of what you said, except saying that there are many who exaggerate, perpetrate and at times manufacture stories of ‘Eritrean uniqueness’ to isolate the Kebesa Eritreans from their roots and have their demography to collapse and eventually make them the minorities minority in their own land. In 2015, what we see is that it is the highland Eritreans, who are the most leaving their country, crammed in refugee camps and drowning in the seas and became victims of the barbaric bedouins in Sinai. So you have made very much great points and I applaud you for that…

      • selam

        Dear Eyob

        Once you are a lair , you never stop being who you are. You people have learned well and we can see your school is doing great job on shaping up the weyane house of cards. I wish you leave the tigrai people alone. You are a cancer in the society and I hope people like you get neutralized before you grow a horn.

      • Gebrekirstos

        Hi Ejob,

        On reading “there are many who exaggerate, perpetrate and at times manufacture stories of ‘Eritrean uniqueness’ to isolate the Kebesa Eritreans from their roots and have their demography to collapse and eventually make them the minorities minority in their own land”, my mind went off to last week’s written-accent-based ethnic-citizenship profiling of Hayat Adem. Did you think it was all what it seemed? I did not, even for a second. I saw it for what it is: the broader intent and ramification its initiator wanted. Let’s see the reasons first.

        1) Breaking forum rules: This is the most ridiculous ground for demanding disclosure of her identity. Why? Do you really need explanation for this? How many people are identified here by their real names? As far I as I know very few. The vast majority use pen-names and no one knows their gender, their nationality, and their religion.

        2) Written dialect. Given that Hayat has not written more than few short sentences (two, three?) in Tigrigna, one can not make any statistically significantly valid inference about her social background. Rather, one can think of many other reasons why Hayat can write in that “dialect”. She might be an Eritrean who grew up in another social group. She might be an Eritrean who learned Tigrigna from a very few social circle (families and other neighbors from other social background). She might be using the dialect of the person she is engaging (T.Kifle, an Ethiopian). One can list many other reasons.

        So what is the real intent and ramification of the Hayat’s two-sentence-written-accent-based ethnic-citizenship saga? The real reasons are these:

        1) The weakening of the import of her ideas. Unfortunately, for most people, identity overrides facts and ideas. I would like to quote here from a Newyorker article(http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/teaching-doubt): “Last year, writing in the Times, the political scientist Brendan Nyhan explained how “identity often trumps the facts.” We would rather reject evidence than change our sense of who we are. Knowledge is comparatively helpless against identity: as you grow better-informed about the issues, you just get better at selectively using evidence to reinforce your preexisting commitments.” So clearly, this is not an Eritrean-only problem, but its degree is worse in a small country in its formative stages of nationhood. Semere Andom’s take of the Hayat Identity saga falls in this category.

        2) However, the more ingenious intent of that saga wast this: remind Eritreans of the Mereb divide. This serves two purposes: a) it reminds Eritreans (it has to be done periodically lest Eritreans lose the most important mark of difference) that the whole point of being Eritrean is being threatened, that is the perceived difference (whose important distinguishing mark is accent) between Eritrea and Tigray (as if there is a standard Tigrayan and Eritrean accent). It warns them that the cardinal difference is being diluted instead of widening (the wish). b) It warns Eritreans that the accepted Eritrean accent is Asmarino, lest their Eritreanness is questionable. It is killing two birds with the same stone: reminding Eritreans to stay as far away as possible from Tigray (its accent ), and prescribing and standardizing accepted Eritrean accent. Remember YG’s great satire, Eritrea: the mustache that fell of the president’s face? We are there again. Ideas do not stand alone, they are part of the bigger lattice of ideas and thought.

        Cheers,
        Gebrekirtso

    • Amde

      Gebrekristos,

      Don’t you think xenophobia is a natural part of any community? For sure you will agree with me that xenophilia is a much less frequent occurrence than its opposite – the mere fact that we do not see the word xenophilia tells you that we as humans are more predisposed to dislike/distrust even hate those that are different than us. I don’t think it takes a European touch necessarily to trigger it into violence. Any society is capable of it, once the appropriate conditions are met,and the triggering events occur.

  • Kokhob Selam

    Dearest tes,

    I just gave time others to reply to you. please read what I have posted under Hope bellow. nothing to repeat but I was attracted by your sentence – we are here in this world to grow and learn – I also learn this from others but I use it for greatest reason.

    if someone is not growing he must be dying, in fact everything is expanding, growing, like galaxies are spearing. that is nonstop journey. nothing stays the same. we those creatures with mind face always challenges, the greater we go up the greater challenges we face.

    see my friend, growing can be achieved but remember everyone can make great headway but you will find him slipping back if he don’t protect it and know how to leap for more higher. you can’t think with the old style and grow, you can’t use the method of PFDJ blaming others, painting colors as you want as you like and grow.you need to develop new way of thinking simply because the new advanced world will not accommodate it.

    another example, you should not think others are wrong unless you are sure you are completely right. you can’t forgive others unless you forgive yourself and also know the past and future all are illusions and the only on hand is now. so yes, we are here to grow I have said it also but we can’t grow for good of nature and all creatures unless we know how to learn it. thank you for reading.

  • Haile Zeru

    Hi all,

    Here are some short “Hilay” that I remember from the time described in this chapter.

    I hope someone will add more.

    Following are snippets of folk poems that somehow remained stack in my mind.

    As one can see from these lines the poem (HILAYET) is from the 60’s.

    It is a very long one. Unfortunately this is the only paragraph that I remember.

    I do not know the author. I hope some of the awatistas will remember the rest of the poem

    ንጉስ ሀይለ ስላስ ኢትሸምግል

    አጀኒት ያታማ ወ አንስ መብል

    አበችቶም ተሓራዳ ክም አነግል

    The reference to HS is a clear pointer on who is the demon. Obviously YG has a different take on the
    reality of that time. On the other hand SGJ captures those times very eloquently in this chapter.
    The next snippet is from the early seventies as you can see it mentions ONA and many other villages.

    Again I do not know the author and the poem was very long.

    ላ ኣምዕል ላ ናይ ዓድ አብርህም

    ዎ ኣምዕል ሓራድ አጀኒት

    ላ ኣምዕል ላ ናይ ዓድ ዖና

    ዎ ኣምዕል ሓራድ አጀኒት

    አስተንተነት ከብጀ

    ካርየት ሀለት ግል እኪት

    ወ ጀለም በላ ል እምብዕየ

    ዎ ባጢር ኣባ ክም እሲት

    ……………………..

    እሊ ሰኪን ኣምሓራ ላ እትክል ወሪድ ልትከረ

    አስክ ሆባይ ዲብ ሰማእ ሸትፍ ሚኑ ዎ ገለ

    አስክ ላ ማ ንዋይና ላ እቱ ሃላ ይእንደለ

    I tried to find Idris Mohammed Ali song “MSL HAwye Haisseni Imut Mslom wo imber”.

    It belongs in that historical time period. But I cannot find it with google.

    The next snippet is from mid-seventies. It shows the malaise of defeat was basically overcome and

    the impending attack on the once untouchable enemy forces became imminent.

    ኤረትርያ ሸመሊት ደሻ አዘ ትዋሓዳ

    ምን ታሓት እባ ቃላቅል

    ወ ምን ላዓል እባ ካባሳ

    ጀብሀት እባ ካላሽን

    ዎ ሻዓብ እባ ጅራዳ

    The “ላ እትክል ወሪድ ልትከረ ሰኪን” was going to end up on the neck of the killers of ONA.

    • Haile Zeru

      I was in hurry and I forgot to add that this is the same period Issayas was going back and forth in Kagnew Station to work his plot with the help of the Americans. And working on his “Nehnan Elamanan”, mein campf. the core message of both was the jihadist jebha is coming to slaughter us Christians.

      • Kim Hanna

        Selam Haile Zeru,
        .
        It is such a wonderful poetry. I wonder if you can do us all a favor and use your God given talent to update it. Make it current and relevant. It is about time, don’t you think?
        .
        I have an idea. Change the names and time table from 60 years or so ago to today 2015.
        .
        Yea, replace Haile Selassie by Issayas and Amhara by Tigrinya. How does that sound? Does it rhyme well? Maybe a little appropriate music…
        .
        After doing your best on the poetry by your God given talent, see to it that your own internal reconciliation is not disturbed. That is also important, don’t you think?
        .
        K.H

        • selam

          Dear kim
          You are more than that.you know it is not the best of you.

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam selam,
            .
            I beg to differ. I think it is one of my best one liners. However, there is a more serious related issue I want to bring up here.
            It is such a pervasive wrong doing it cannot wait another minute. It is what the Awate University students and staff depend on, the truthfulness of one’s religious identity.
            .
            I am now convinced that Haile Zeru is not a Christian . I can even go further and say he has no Christian bone in his body.
            Of course, I am not expected nor will I reveal my sources and methods to confront and expose this problem. Just to state the obvious, suffice to say, Haile is a geez word used in Tigrinya or Amharic followed by “Mariam” or other Christian saints since the 4th century.
            Haile came up with this particular name to camouflage his purpose and mission. Mission, you ask, I cannot go into it at this time fully, sources and methods, you know.
            .
            Since I am a senior at this university, with all the education under my belt, I can confidently say I know what I am talking about, trust me.
            .
            You see selam, you are a freshman, I am a senior ready to graduate. You know what my thesis is going to be on?
            .
            ==========The hypocrisy of wanting reconciliation between Ethiopia and Eritrea========
            .
            Who do you think, really, want the reconciliation of Tigray as represented by TPLF and Eritrea’s EPLF/PFDJ. Looking at it a little more broadly, who really want to see the Tigray Killil of Ethiopia and the Kebessa /Tigrinya of Eritrea to see eye to eye or worse kiss and make up and fall in love. The Amharas don’t like it one bit, never did. The Eritrean Muslims are always watchful with suspicion. Oh, Djibouti a late comer, will now spend whatever resources it takes to keep the status quo, by sponsoring us and everyone else in sight. (What an Alliance)
            I hope to turn this thesis into a book. I sincerely hope you will translate it into Tigrinya for me so that EVERYONE is aware of what is going on.
            If you decline, I might have to go to tes for the job, who knows he might even throw in a French translation. Wow, my one liner became two today. Good night.
            .
            K.H

          • selam

            Dear kim

            Lets assum , haile is Christian and also lets assume you both brothers , I mean the tigrai people and the Eritrean Christian hidghland people make good reconciliation and make a perfect union. I am not against it neither do I know. Here in awate.com university , which is with out Department, Dean and also students organizations all of us in a different leag going for the same trophy. I may be new to comment may be not new as you think, what I do not want to see is my perception of some people to change. That is why I said it was not best of you. But again lets make sure to you that , these so called tigrina speaking I mean you know who I am talking , will never be allowed to form any kind of samekinship. Yes you are right about it. The highlanders are traveling in great numbers out side eritrea. But they will come back with some of them rich and multiplied in numbers . That always worries me. I was wondering if in any case kim has an idea that Eritrean history has to be told . What happened in the past should not remain forgotten. As for translation pls ask saleh , sj , fanti not the mentioned one. Good luck with your project.

          • Abi

            Hi Selam
            Why are you worried if the highlanders come back multiplied and rich? Is it a bad thing ?

          • selam

            Dear Abi
            That worries me thing is actually misplaced abi . I can not be worried if they come all rich. I wanted it after the perception thing , please take my apologies. s

          • Abi

            Hi Selam
            No apologies necessary. It’s all good . It is Goooooood!
            I hope you have watched Bruce Almighty.

          • Gebrekirstos

            Dear Kim,
            This is really a great take. I encourage you to take it seriously and develop it. The forces that want that divide to remain intact are many, but I never thought of Djibouti in that sense. very interesting.
            Cheers,
            Gebrekirstos

          • Haile Zeru

            Kim Hanna,
            You said:
            “I am now convinced that Haile Zeru is not a Christian . I can even go further and say he has no Christian bone in his body.”

            I cannot help it. You are a total idiot. since when Christianity is associated with bones? You are such an idiot. Read what you write so that if you make remarks like this you can catch them yourself.

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam Haile Zeru,
            .
            Ouch!, such UNCHRISTIAN thing to say, on Sunday too.
            I am not complaining, in fact the “I cannot help it” part was funny to me. I don’t know why. However, the Awate University might not look at it as funny when one of their graduating student is being called idiot. Leave that to some American Universities.
            .
            I think the bone thing that offended you is an expression. If there is no such expression, there ought to be one. I consider your reply as a diversionary tactic.
            The other part I don’t appreciate is a response without a response. A simple yes or no would have answered it, instead of losing control, which is a bad trait by the way.
            .
            So the question stands, I say you are not a Christian. What do you say? Silence means you are not, just so that you know.
            .
            K.H

          • selam

            Dear Haile Zeru

            Kim is one of the best you have and you are trying to destroy my best neighbor . Just say his idea is idiot not him , that line oww i mean his bone is not even Christian makes me laugh loud but I did not tell kim

          • Hope

            Dear Kim Hana,
            Can you clarify your “allegation” and present what your evidence is about Haile Zeru being Non-Christian,please?
            FYI:
            Hint:
            He told you that he is from Mensa’e and Mensa’e are either Christians or Muslims.He is either from the “Reformed Church/Protestant or a Catholic.
            But why would you care though?
            May be he has a “Christian nick name” called Haile Zeru’?
            Haile Zeru’ is not a Christian name,btw.
            Are you trying to defend Hayat Adem and/or accuse by proxy/ashmur SAAY for NOT picking up on Haile Zeru??
            Unfair…never expected you to have that kind of an attitude as selam said it.

          • Abi

            Hope nefse
            Are Mensa’e in eritrea? And they are either Christian or Muslim? Interesting!

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam Hope,
            .
            Hope, I am offended you dropped ” uncle” altogether. There was a time you used to call me “cousin”. Then you demoted me to “uncle”, now you just address me as only “dear”. That is mandatory does not count.
            .
            There was one question you listed that went directly to the heart of the matter at hand. Your question “But why would care though?” stumped me.
            Today is Sunday, I cannot lie. I really don’t care is the answer.
            .
            What happened was somewhere on this thread he was regurgitating old poem, what I considered to be offensive to me. I could not engage him on that. So I chose this method to knock him off his stride. I think I succeeded. Did you notice he was losing control and everything.
            That is it in a nutshell. Did I answer your direct question directly?
            .
            K.H

    • ‘Gheteb

      Hi Haile,

      Thanks for the poems (Hilayet) and you are indeed a treasure full of gems. I have two things I want to add:

      1) If you can provide English translations to the poems in Tigrayt to help those who may not understand the language.

      2) I am asking you if you can give me a little more than the literal translation of the word Hobay (ሆባይ) as used in Tigrayt. This word is also used in one of the EPLF songs by Zeineb Beshir in one of her songs, Hobay Semae ( ሆባይ ሰማእ ).
      Thanks in advance,
      ‘Gheteb

      • Saleh Johar

        Hi Gheteb and Haile Zeru,

        This is the translation of Haile Zeru’s poem in Tigrayet. Haile, please correct me if I made a mistake.

        King Haile Selassie, don’t you get old [wise]
        Children are orphaned and Women widowed
        Their parents slaughtered like lambs.

        O’ the Day of Ad Ibrehim
        O’ the day of slaughtering children
        O’ the day of Ona
        O’ the day of slaughtering children
        My stomach turned
        It’s expecting worse
        My tears flooded
        It wouldn’t stop, like that of a woman

        This Amhara* knife that lands on every vein
        Even the vultures** of the sky, will snatch a piece
        We don’t even know the whereabouts of our cattle.

        Now the troops of the Slender Eritrea are united
        From the lowlands, on the slopes
        And from the highlands, of Kebesa
        Jebha and its Kalashnikovs
        And the people with their swords.

        *Traditionally, the Ethiopian occupation was referred to as the occupation of “Amhara”
        **Hobay is the Eagle, but vultures fits the meaning in the popular poem

        • Abi

          Selam Ato Saleh
          Thank you . That is really helpful.
          I can sing it again. Just replace “Amhara ” with “woyane” and things will be back to square one.

          • selam

            Dear abi
            A personwho grow up in luxury addiss abeba did not want to have any thing to do with the crime committed in eritrea. Weyane did not kill us for 30 years. You know tribalism is not the solution. Admit it and own it, from that we reconcile.

  • Kokhob Selam

    Dear Aman,

    I was expecting some one creative will come and correct what tes, has said. unfortunately it was you the admirer and with fan who came to appreciate him. me the unlucky who was painted black by him, found myself reading yours additional to his blames. the good news is whatever we write his is documented and editing will not help.

    but didn’t the following questions asked by you to find the truth?

    01. if I said I am proud Habesha does that mean I am saying there are only Habesha in Eritrea? does that really mean? didn’t I start by saying “everybody is free to chose his identity by investigating his background”? what is the reason then for tes to say “He opposed KS because he believes that Eritreans are not only Habeshas and working to promote one identity is against the people’s nature.” did’t I say he can be proud Arab but should not force me to his identity?

    02. he said “He opposes Hayat Adem because he knows what will happen when one country and especially a known enemy for its atrocities intervenes in a sovereign country.” where and when did Hayat she show such stand? Did Hayat said so?

    03.he said “He opposes Semere Andom because he hates war drum beaters and he strongly beliefs Eritrea is a sovereign country no matter who rules it. Rulers come and go, but a country is always there because the people are there.” where id semere say so?

    he said also he has “no mercy on PFDJ.” isn’t that nonsense to put that way when you are not that practical right on the field doing things? and is that model or style to talk so those days? if you are against PFD to this level, why should you create enemies who are not around? why you don’t of courage to listen the view of others but color and blame them only? why?

    if some one says”all he sees is beauty within diversity.” what beauty is there to see if some one try to fight against every opinion of others and even label them abuse them etc.

    so my friend be kind and reasonable and removing PFDJ with the same style of PFDJ is just replacing it with the same system.

    • Abi

      Hi Kokobe
      YeAyT miskrwa dnbiT.
      ” Drom endih neber. Ahunim TefeTro higwan alqeyerechim ” (BeAlu Gima, KeAdmass Bashager, 1961EC)

      • Kokhob Selam

        Abo,

        the dangerous man I have ever confronted. Lol

        • Abi

          Kokobe
          I read wise people like you

    • tes

      Dear KS,

      I would say, you are wasting lots of energy not only in defending yourself but others For HA, I think saay7 has brought enough evidences. I will not go back again and again. On Semere Adem, man, it is a day light wide shout in the cyber space of awate university.

      Regarding you, I would better stop from criticizing you further. As I can see in between your lines, now you are more inclusive and I am happy for changing your tone.

      Dear KS, I was not actually meant to oppose you politically but to adjust our way of saying things that I believe it can be politically more inclusive. I am sorry if you didn’t feel comfortable with it. From now on wards, I will try to be cool.

      Cheers!

      tes

      • Kokhob Selam

        Dear tes,
        I will thank you for that. let it be final and binding. that was my request since ever. Help me on this also don’t mention my name as I will not when ever you reply to others.

        • tes

          Dear KS,

          What is wrong if we refer each other dear KS not though name calling? If you say something and if I found it mandatory to refer, I have too. This is normal scientific procedure. In fact you have many points to be referred.

          What we can avoid is proxy war. But putting a sanction not to refer is not a solution unless you want me to shut-up. I have to address to the right source when ever I have too and feel free to do so.

          What I will do in my part is, not only with you but with all awatistas, I will cool down. This is my deal.

          Hope you will not put a reserved sanction on tes that will only end as unilateral from your side. I am a free man as usual.

          Cheers!

          tes

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear tes,

            Please, I am beging you for sanction but sanction for both of us. the reason is you promissed me you will cool down but you again go angree and emotional and label me. so, the best soltuion is let me be far and go far from me. How many times shall I explain to you that you should not change my words and label me. you see, I have done with others but they understand that I am not willing to reply and they stop it . by the way that is nice one in life. if you find it useless and hurting you keep distance from your friend and still stay in love. there might be a day that you need him and he need you and the ground always remines ready. try it with me.

          • tes

            Dear KS,

            I don’t know then how I can be cool person more than this. Dear KS, I think now every line I put is acting nuclear. I have to dismantle my nuclear plant???

            Brother KS, when one comments or put his opinion here, it is over. Readers will treat it. That is what I do. I don’t land in your lines because they are from you. When ever I find lines that interests me, of political interest, I put my comments. It is within this line of thinking that I didn’t accept your call for the final and binding. Doing this, I thought that I am calling you for positive engagement.

            Dear KS, I wished Kokhob Selam is your full name yet it holds the value within it as a nick-name. keep therefore engaging but expect critical engagement not gentle one.

            Cheers!

            tes

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear tes,
            the nick name my friends and me chose is based in principle. I can’t use it to exploite by changing the meaning of others oppion. if so, I could have use the style and it will hurt you. when you say peace if I translate is saying in between your words there is a call for war,you will be disappointed and spend your time and energy to explain to me which is a big lose for all. that is why I came down on your shoes, (to keep my name and diginity meaningful) that I request you.
            why final and binding -so I will not see Kokhob Selam described as ” facsist “. I will not see a massage from you arguing that I said all Eritreans are Habesha, I will live in peace of mind.because those accusations are not coming from some one whom I don’t respect and love but from tes, my lovely friend.

          • tes

            Dear KS,

            You are at war again I think with tes. I asked you before, I stressed so much to clarify what you mean about habesha. You explained it clearly and that was your prime objective, “to promote Habesha” as it is the identity of the two sister countries, two but one of their habesha identity. I think you are the one who love Habesha more than Eritrea and Ethiopia. And recently, on the of Eritreans who are in danger in Yemen, called all habesha people to extend their hand. Ok, in your last statement, you changed your tone and called for all brothers.

            Dear KS, here we are talking about Eritrea’s current solution and Eritrea-Ethiopia future relationship. If you come and declaare that your prime objective is tom promote habesha identity, are you then free from one sided approach to our politics?

            It is ok Kokhob Selam, I know there are political parties who only stand for their own identity. It is ok as far as their objective is to make it as a uniting identity. They can fight for their politics though it is not a sustainable and long-lasting political views. Yours is different.

            Dear KS, what I said is what I read. If I read you wrongly, write it again. I will read it and I will ask you why you wrote before like that. If you were wrong and your intention was what you wrote, then I was wrong because I read a wrong message.

            Dear KS, you have openly called me to go for Arab identity promotion if I want while you still are in your habesha Identity. I called you how this can be in one people. I called you to live together, respect our identity and open the door to all Eritreans to be what ever they want. This is what politics is. But you insisted on one identity focus.

            Dear KS, mind you, I was not saying that you denied the existence of other identities. All I was saying was, you didn’t come-up as inclusive.

            The good thing now, you are becoming more inclusive. Thank you for that.

            On my approach, I will try to be cool but I am not going to leave my principle. I will still read between lines of any awatista here and give my feed back as I feel it is fit.

            Dear KS, I am not here only to read ideas but to challenge them when ever I feel uncomfortable. If not, I have more than enough resources to learn from. Why I am here is because of the Eritrean problems and search for possible solutions. I can not pretend as I am only learning. Pretending to learn is enough with PFDJ. 24 years time spent to learn and yet they didn’t stop learning.

            Now, lets move on and lets be more inclusive in our approach.

            tes

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear tes,

            allow me to ignore this one to give space otherwise we will come back again to the first problem. I have promissed Sealm as she has requested “no sanction” and we will do it in differnt way. for today let’s stop here. we should no make another circle. the resustl will ve zero. let’s give enough time for healing.

          • tes

            Dear KS,

            Now you are cooling down and I will be cooling more. It will good for both of us.

            Thank you

            tes

          • selam

            Dear ks
            please no sanction , just continue that way please

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear Selam,
            is that you? I have agreed then. isn’t you who agree my request lst time. do you remember when you had similar problem? Okay.I am here but promise me you will fallow us and imideatly interfer if any problem.

            Okay my freind tes, I have come back no more sanction.

          • selam

            Dear k.s
            Please do not mind him. He will blame you for nothing and if you said stop , he will continue to accuse you for things you never say or did. But I feel and understand your feelings.

          • teweldino

            Hi KS and Tes,

            KS is saying…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bL6kZ_S1kuw

            On the other hand Tes is saying….https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=37L7ag3qX-o

            And Teweldino is saying: “Today is a day of reconciliation at awate. Even Hayat and Sal are calling hawey – haftey (not yet actually 😉 habesha men are do not like saying meArey gelemele 😉

            Tes,

            You have got to listen to KS. He is not primarily promoting habeshanism. What percentage of his posts mention the word habesha (let alone habeshanism)? You are making a mountain out of a molehill. If he tries to promote habeshanism, then obviously you will tackle his ideas. Otherwise, no point in mentioning him in your posts.

            hawkum T

          • saay7

            Hi Teweldino:

            Two Eritrean lovers, at night, on the beach. Girl looks at her boyfriend and says “my love, do you see the moon!” Boyfriend glances up, looks at her, says “Of course I do. What do you think I am: blind?”

            That was a joke told of men of our generation. But we were not that bad. Alex is from my generation and he calls his girlfriend “Ziyaday.” in his song Amarire which I use any occasion to post:)

            The new generation are exponentially more expressive, judging by Eritreas new songs, plays:) They even say natka/natki when they sign their letters

            natey
            Saay

          • teweldino

            Hi Sal,

            That is very funny. Well years ago in Asmara, I was watching tv with my brothers and sisters. Any my younger brother fell asleep in the sofa while watching tv (he was about 12 – 14) and started talking in his sleep. He said: “lekendo gida fshikshik abziha.” My sister was terrible. She asked him:” men’ya?” He replied “Helen ( tbh I don’t remember the name, but let’s call her Helen)”. She asked again: “Entay delya?”. (He’s still speaking in his sleep) He replied: “kitzibeT delya” lol

            I like Alex. I like “Tsnat giberi”. Actually, a friend was telling me the other day that Alex was interviewed by radio Erena but I could not find it on youtube.

          • Abi

            Hi Saay
            Joke beTigre ayTimim.
            Allow me to say it in Amharic.
            The girl said to her lover like this
            Hayat: fiqre ,
            yachin chereqa man feTerat ?
            Saay: Amlak newa
            Hayat: embiyew ante neh !

          • saay7

            Abi:

            It’s Friday and this is too sacrilegious for Friday. I will read it saturday and smile maybe Allah willing.

            Saay

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello Brother Saay,
            My computers at home cannot up vote (as soon as I refresh it goes away). I owe you a few today.

          • Abi

            Saay
            Sorry if I offended you on Friday. I’ll come back with a better version for Saturday.
            In the meantime you can remove your name and put Nitricc to make it better.
            Anyway, whoever is that person on the side of Hayat is a lucky SOB.

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello Abi,
            ታዘብክ እንዴ አቢሻ፡ ነጻ ነኝ ብላ ሳትጨርስ 90% ጠላቶቿ ፀጥ አሉ፡፡ ምነው ቀደም ብላ ብትናገር አቦ፤ ከስንት ራስ ምታት እምትድነውን፤፤

          • Eyob Medhane

            Fanti,

            Huh? Please tell me what happened. What did I miss? 🙂

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello Eyobay,
            Not only she told us that she is single but also she hinted the kind of partner that would potentially interest her. It was a day that changed everything.

          • Eyob Medhane

            Fanti,

            all I say is that Aye aye aye aye yay yay… You are are just a ‘devil’ to pick up on that… 🙂

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hey Eyob,
            Abi brought it to my door. It was impossible to miss after that.

          • Abi

            Eyobe
            Good morning. How do you like your coffee? I like double espresso . Enqilfam. AmeleTechih. You snooze, you lose.
            Qeshim.

          • Abi

            Hi Fanti
            ” kalemenager dejazmachinet yiqeral” silu alsemachim.

          • Kokhob Selam

            Teweldino shikor,

            I was expecting really to see your post here. thank you my friend. what do you think if I add this to say let’s reconcile and let’s live happy as we don’t have time to hate each other.

            https://www.facebook.com/abdu.noorhussain/videos/596324533834703/

          • teweldino

            Hi Kokhob,

            That song has a very powerful message. I hope Tes እወ ንሳነ ክብል. You don’t really have to agree in everying.

          • tes

            Dear teweldino,

            Thank you again for your meditiation. You are still with us though you are failing to bring a long lasting solution.

            You have said, “you don’t really have to agree in everything”. This is good point and I think I enforcing your point. I do agree on many points with KS except in one. We are fighting in the area where we don’t agree.

            Point: if you doin’t agree on some points, what do you do? You just move on? Or you bring to discuss, debate and sometimes fight as we are doing right now. My disagreement with KS started before month and still we are in the same line. I respect all about what KS has except the issue on table.

            Some of his comments are ((in response to horizon while we were under discussion).:

            1. …although I was against Derg, and in my very young edge against Haileslase I didn’t hate the flag of Ethiopia. because I have attached it as the sign of people.

            2. Honestly speaking deep inside me I have never loved Eritrea more than Ethiopia.

            3. after all, nationalism remains artificial and our Habeshanism is the root for both.

            4. the future of Ertrea na [and] Ethiopia is bright, we will see 2 nations in one.

            And when selam asked him how he see the two nation in one, he responsed

            5. every thing seems impossible before it starts and everything seems possible and easy when it is accomplished. it takes willingness and action but everything is possible.

            I was in the middle of this conversations and asking KS to clarify things. Since then, I am following him because of his political motive

            Then, teweldinho, can I leave this person alone? No matter how I am engaging him, I have a point of reference.

            KS and me have big difference in this issue. He might be so pleasant in his way of delivering it but his motive is there for the reader: to see two nations as one because they are habesha.

            I am happy to see a United Africa where all nations work together for a prosperity and we (Eritrea and Ethiopia) benefit from the larger unity we build not the other way round

            Hope by now I am clear for what I am talking about.

            Dear teweldinho, I better endorse saay7 sarcasm: “Of course I do. What do you think I am: blind?” Hence, I respectfully reject your offer.

            tes

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear tes,

            all what I said is correct and I have given you the explanation so I will not repeat it here. here there is nothing against any one just my own stand view and love. but never I force some one to think like me and I don’t want to be force by someone else to think the way he thinks. I have explained to you everything.

            again things from my side will be clear to you it is just a mater of time. so let’s go ahead. I will minimize the does during those few healing days till the wound goes covered.

  • selam
  • Abi

    Hey AMAN
    I hope this is the continuation of the narration and you are done. Please, say yes!

    • selam

      Dear abi

      who are you to say so? While youlet Your Ghebre spit a hatful words over us , you was so happy. Now you want aman to stop. Who are you any way. You have learned to silence people under dergi school right ?

  • Mizaan1

    Hey Passerby, I nominate Tes for that task. Absolute value of Tes – Abi = 0.

    • tes

      Dear Mizzan1,

      I could have agreed but my lines are dry from joks. I do strongly believe that despite normal country to country relationship, we Eritreans are better without Ethiopians. But, but, but, I love normal friendship with respect. Eritrea is way capable of doing good by herself.

      If you don’t mind for my dry lines, I will feel the equation.

      tes

    • teweldino

      Hi Mizan,

      Tes? Tes will get angry in 20 minutes and go nuclear on him and calling him names. Do you want him to get banned? Besides, Tes and Abi are a team now. Tes kills, Abi buries the dead. [ Tes, you probably need to re-examine your contract with Abi. All the dead are reappearing on the forum. Maybe he is not burying them deep. I smell agency-problem.]

      Ted tried to play Abi’s game but he kept snookering himself. I stopped counting when Ted was losing 7 – 0. When he responds to Abi, I go: “እዝጊዮ”.. because he does not think how Abi will respond. He makes it easy for Abi. I actually call him Stan van den Buys of Eritrea. Stan was a Belgian player who is famous for scoring 3 own goals in one match. His team lost 3:2 that game.

      That post is still vacant my friend. If there are any calm, witty, brilliant in calculated one liners, please apply! ( Amches with average knowledge of Amharic proverbs are guaranteed an interview.)

      • Abi

        Hey teweldino
        You are really talented.
        I got a joke for you.
        TesfaBirhan went for a job interview.
        What is your name ?
        He kept quite.
        Again, what is your name?
        He couldn’t remember at all.
        Finally they let him go .
        When he is outside he tried very hard to remember his name without any success. Finally he said for himself “Wayne ene Tes ! Sime yiTfagn?
        He doesn’t realize he is saying his name.
        Teweldino, Tes keEne gar bigaTem beForfe new yemishenefew.

        • Kokhob Selam

          Abi, Lol !

          እንዲች ነች እና! ገላጋይ ኣያስፈልግም ኣትለኝም ? ኣስታራቂ ሽማግሌ ብሎ ነገር የለም? በቃ በፎርፌ ? ምነው ድሮ ብትመክረኝ ኖሮ ኣይ የጎንደሬ ነገር !!

          • Abi

            Kokobe
            “LeAwaqi Aymekrum , lenebere ayzekrum ” teblo tetsifoal

      • Mizaan1

        Tewelde, absolutely hilarious. I am changing my nomination. You might be in.

      • Ted

        teweldino, Abi trespassed the limit one can have in despising Eritreans but still want to engage in a discussion with a different hats on. Saay thinks it is the fault of Eyob, i beg to differ. He is neither Gondere nor non TPLF. I don’t do mudslinging with imposters.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7W_AsTORtdg

        • Abi

          Hi Ted
          That person talking is definitely you trying to put fuel on a fire. The good thing is you are misfiring big time virtually or otherwise.
          I suggest a tuneup.

          • Ted

            Abi, You are not Gondera and there is no misfiring when it come to you. For all i know it fits all the bill the speaker to be you. How would i know, no Ethiopian hate Eritreans as you do, TPLF thug. Afe Qibe libe Chube. You have a new hat today, how long will take you to reload your venom, snakes take them about three weeks.

  • tes

    Dear Awatistas in general and dear Ethiopians in particular,

    I am quite sure you are following the crimes which is committed by xenophobic South Africans on refugees living in Durban. Ethiopians, Somalias and many others are victims.

    Dear Abi, GK, and Eyob, even Amde, When I read your views regarding the atrocities committed by Hailessilasie and Derg, and trying to shade a light for their sanity, I said, how awafeful is to deny history. I wish more to be documented.

    Saleh Johar of our rare pearl. Son of the Red Sea who can see, listen and write. He is so blessful and God fearing citizen. If we get a dozen writers like SG in Eritrea and Ethiopia, I am confident to say, PEACE could have prevailed. Unfortunately, like the history we find in the bible, peace lovers searched 12 people who can only write what they see and listen. In the Eritrean side, they found only SG. On Ethiopian side, not yet confirmed.

    But rumors are coming now around. The two countries will be in PEACE because they found one already and this is SG.

    Dear Ethiopians, if we were able to document and make available our history to the public, I am confident to say, the people of Eritrea and Ethiopia even fears on what happened to Jesus 2000 years ago. They hosted followers of Mohammed because they heard what was happening to them.

    The crimes committed by Hailessilassie and Derge to the people of these two countries is beyond one can imagine. Though not recorded to the extent it should be, we have alive people among us who can witness it directly.

    I urge them to write it or to record it in voice form. Thanks to IT, it is so simple to it these days.

    Saying this, dear Ethiopians, we should not be afraid from what happened but from ignoring what happened.

    Here is today a music exchange I do in rememberance of those who are victimized in South Africa. Fanti Ghana and Horizon, you have peace within your heart and I share this with you because I can feel your pain in search of peace between people.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nzfpzkj–2g

    tes

    • Kokhob Selam

      Dear tes, the one I know as tesfa brhan is around today.

    • Amde

      Hi Tes

      I don’t understand what else you need. Nobody is denying it. Nobody is justifying it. It was done by the Ethiopian state in the midst of trying to protect its interests. In the end it backfired on the state. It was not done by Ethiopians because we are some kind of deformed people. Because that is not true and stating so borders on racism.

      As terrible as this event was, I hate claims of exceptionality about it. The tragedy of Ona is not rare in history nor our region, and I can guarantee it will happen again many times in our lifetime. Punishing innocent civilians to teach a lesson to opponents is as old as the hills. Ethiopians did not invent it. It is in the nature of humans, of states and any social entity (gangs, Political parties…) that claims for itself the right of violence to meet its goals. We should remember it so we can do whatever we can to stop it from happening again.

      Asking us to understand and empathise is one thing. It is right and honorable. But trying to make a binary “Eritreans good-vs-Ethiopians evil” lesson out of it is nonsense. If you think the world is that simple then I feel sad for you. You will have a life of terrible disappointments.

      Funnily enough, I thought Saleh’s piece humanized both victim and victimizer. That is one of the reasons I liked the chapter. Yes there were larger issues at work, but there were all too familiar human sentiments of revenge expressed there. It is a fine work. It would be a shame if it just became abused as a propaganda piece.

      Amde

      • tes

        Dear Amde,

        I believe that Ethiopians are equally tortured by the brutal emperor Haile Sillasie and dictator Mengistu Hailemariam.

        Saying that, what I see a flaw here by some individual Ethiopians is when they try to rationalize it. Individuals like Gebrekiristos are not shy to come with their Eritrean-Ethiopian system framework and put the blame equally to Eritrean and Ethiopian leaders. Eritrean at that time had no leaders who had absolute (better administrative) power over Eritrea. They were selectivley chosen mercenariesworking under the emperor and the dictator. They only served these killers for their own purpose.

        I feel simply surprised when I read people saying ELF organization was a mercenary not that much though as I know why they say so.

        Dear Amde, let’s learn from what happened and let’s not repeat the same mistake. we were born to grow and learn not just to grow.

        Since this is for love between the two people and remembering victims, I better stop her.

        Dear Amde, there are also 400 African refugees among 40 plus Eritreanshave also drowned in the sea during their journey to Europe.

        But I give more weight to crimes committed by human being than nature. That is why I put more emphasis on our brothers living in South Africa.

        Here is the news about those who drowned in the sea.

        http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-32337725

        Peace be up on us!

        tes

    • abay

      Here is the problem with such publications. The literature just takes a piece of history, and presents it half cooked, showing only the baked part. This misleads and serves some other objectives, not reconciliation. In this particular case, the presentation is some fiction that simply is the extension of the imagination. In reality, Eritrea is not the only place and people where the army of Haile Selassie and Dergue committed such acts of war. It did commit such acts of war in many other parts of (the current) Ethiopia. In Eritrea, Haile Selassie and Dergue at least had pretexts in that there were armed groups “to take care of”. In the case of Ethiopia acts were committed on people who were not organized, who had no arms and were simple bare handed peasants. Just to give you some examples, areas in Gojjam were bombarded, villages wiped out huts burned down, children left without parents. This happened in Bale, in Wellega and Showa. The problem with this article and such likes of writings presented in the name of reconciliation what ever the motive of that is, by simply presenting a special package of the truth without any reference to similar things happening in other parts of Ethiopia gives a picture that Ethiopia was out there on the neck of Eritreans and that simply is not true. We as people have never done that and on the contrary are people who passionately embrace venerable people. Check our history on that and try to get some information and statistics on what we are doing to Eritreans in Ethiopia: quite the opposite to what is being said here. Any article on reconciliation would mention facts as they appear and would also balance reality. This article backfires and on the contrary to what it claims to achieve breeds hatred among people and hatches “who would want to reconcile with people of such mentality any ways” attitude. This replay has the younger generation of both countries in mind and specially the Eritreans that Ethiopians are very human and passionate and what ever happened to Eritreans also happened to Ethiopians. Both Haile Selassie and Dergue acted with the same vigor to who ever opposed their powers, Eritrean, Oromo, Amara who ever. For history to be recorded correctly, there should be something somewhere in this writing that refers to the holistic nature of both Haile Selassie and Dergue. By the way, if we were to address reconciliation in this very approach, Ethiopia would start its reconciliation rhetoric from the battle of Adwa and go all the way to the Italian invasion of Ethiopia. Eritrean “Ascaris” were effective components of the Italian invaders all the time. Eritrean Ascaris were famous for beheading Ethiopian patriots and holding the cut head by the hair. Ascaris participated in wars that annihilated whole villages. When Italians burnt houses with people packed in them, the Ascaris were there executing power. Will the surfacing of this peace of history help reconciliation? No. In what we call the “Yekatit Massacre” it was the Eritrean Ascaris who butchered over 45000 Ethiopians in just two three days at Sidist Kilo. Who would come first in such a blame game? Certainly Eritreans who assisted and parted with not just Ethiopian but also Eritrean enemies. If the discussion is about setting history right there are numerous citations one will bring forward. History has to be told but told in a manner that is objective. This piece of wonderful writing depicts Ethiopians as monsters and this simply is very far from the truth. Ethiopians gained less economic benefits out of Ethiopia, Eritreans gained more economic benefits from Ethiopia and that is fine. Ethiopians suffered equal to Eritreans, only that the actions were “proportional” to the armed struggle in Eritrea that made the actions more severe and more frequent there.

      As to reconciliation, I think the desire for it goes both ways. At this point, it looks like some mentalities put some prerequisites for the way forward. Some of us will have to think about that. Many minds and mentalities of such articles have to do some work on their parts before any round tables for reconciliation. For any genuine reconciliation, first it takes tow to tango and the initiation form the Ethiopian part has yet to come. Many of us don’t want to take the blame for what this beautiful country Eritrea is going through. For how long and for what benefit and you want to keep on blaming us for your self inflicted wound? For now, we all wish you all the best, we will do out best to honestly assist our brothers and sister in time of need, but please be kind enough to spare us the blame.
      Abay

      • tes

        Dear Abay,

        First of all, this is not an article and it is not presented as such. It is one chapter of a full book. An article is full by itself as it draws conclusions. but here, it is just one chapter and we can not make an inclusive conclusion about the intention of the writer though we can learn a lot within it.

        Saying this, even after reading your post, I learnt lots of new things. So far, I didn’t read any piece who puts a blame on Eritrean Ascaris role during the Ethio-Italy war. People who crossed Libya told me that still the Libyans remember Eritrean Ascaris though.

        The thing you are forgetting is to recall on who was conducting the war? Was it for Eritrean interest or Italian? I tell you, even today, if you hire people from Eritrea and Ethiopia individually with good salary, they are willing to carry a gun and serve to whom ever they are hired. It can be viewed as an opportunity for a job. Sometimes, people change to be irrational when an irrational interest leads them.

        Hence, the blame is not on who participated but made them to participate.

        If your intention is to share the blame on the people, even Hailessilassie and Derge didn’t fight us by paid foreigners. Hundreds of thousands of Ethiopian soldiers marched chanting their leaders slogan to Eritrean during our 30 years bloody war and 2 years bloody war. Who is to be blamed?

        Those who participated or those who called them to participate?

        I want to share this: Leaders like to put every fault doings to the people but every every achievements registered to themselves. Within this line, in case of Eritrean Ascaries, I blame the Italians. The same holds true to Ethiopian soldiers. Soldiers are sane as far as their leaders stay sane.

        tes

        • Kokhob Selam

          Dear tes,
          you see, truth is not just to be found by watching one corner. there is always truth everywhere to be searched. hearing all sides is the way that will not let you become one sided. during reconciliation you will never end up getting one side totally correct and one totally wrong. you must become bold to face the ugly truth. I am an Eritrean but I am not happy and I have condemned the “Askeri” Thing. if we have registered heroism and are proud of that we should also be honest to be shame of the coward history recorded. see, we allow Italians to conquer us, (I never agree they conquer us by force only unless there was a way from our side) and then we went to Libya too supporting Italians. Now, I know someone will jump to defend this but that is just a plain truth. here Ethiopians have a nice history of confronting colonizers than we Eritreans do. but yes the geography and other factors were also to be considered. and here I didn’t forget that were Eritreans in Adwar war on side of Ethiopia.

          What I want to say is, while defending your side is healthy, one should also be open to see the truth from the other side.

  • Abi

    Hope nefse
    That was beautiful. You can call me anything you want . I’ve been there . My worry is if your children and my children use the same tone and attitude. Where does it end? You are providing an example to my argument. Thanks.
    BTW, my father was not essepa, he never worked for the government. He never sucked blood. He only ate people. He preferred eritreans . He said they are organic and lean. He avoided fat.

  • selam

    Dear Eritreans

    The ethiopian people their leaders action , and we have a prove of that . Just look T.kifle ,Fanti and others.
    Now do we need the approval of Abi , Ghebre and eyob who are probably sons of dergi reminants as well as some from Ghebru asrat school , no we do not need their voice as they are the minority .
    While we encourage SG to continue his amusing work and also should help on advertising the book to larger eritrwan community. We should also use his work on bringing the two people heal their wounds and also come with a solution to the current problem.

    • selam

      Correction
      please read as , the ethiopian people know and understand the pain done by their leaders.

      • Mizaan1

        Selam, may I advise you to open a disqus account? You get into the white list automatically and you edit your comments as you wish. You can track down your comments much more easily. Maybe that’s why you are here an extended number of hours per day. Try it.

        • selam

          Dear mizaan
          I didn’t know that, I will think over it. Thanks for your advice. It is a nice of you . Extended number of hours is not that much , I am committed to do what ever I can to challenge dergi reminants and also the Eshi Goytaye. Just sit tight.♡♡♡

    • Gebrekirstos

      Hi Selam,
      What are you accusimg me of here? 🙂 I do not deny the atrocities, nor do I have a problem with their recording as history. In fact, I am happy when these things re recorded. My difference is on how these atrocities should be seen and whose responsibilities they are, and the tendency of Eritreans to ascribe these tragedies to the character of Ethiopians, and the current Ethiopia. If you think the atrocities are the responsibility of Haileselassie, and Dergi (and their oppressive systems), that is also something I agree with you. I am not defending the rulers nor denying the atrocities and massacres. So you see, we have the same views on this one, but you seem not to see that. Do not use only binary classification, use more classes when you try to classify people by their views.

      ms kbur selamta

    • Yoty Topy

      Hi Selamye,
      How about we shoot for relationship based on empathy between the two people and may be leave LOVE for the next generation?

      • selam

        Dear yoty topy

        we never tried that one , I mean no one in his right mind will demand love by force nor do we approve but I guess if we let things to follow on their own terms we could have been one. But as you know the leaders wanted to stay on power on what ever reason they can hold on. It has never been hate between people to people never.

  • Abi

    Dear Hayat and Fanti
    I was not questioning if the story was a fictitious one or real. My problem is the intent and usage of the book. In my opinion the book can be used to promote hate and mistrust among the people. That is all.
    What would you think a kid read this book say?
    How is this book different from all the propaganda used in the struggle era?
    It is easy to say it is just a history book . My problem is when we use it for future animosity.

  • ghezaehagos

    Selam All,

    My message is to our Ethiopian friends who seem defensive about the topic at hand.

    You would understand this if we you remember ‘Yekatit 12.”

    According to Wikipedia, It “is commonly used to refer to the indiscriminate massacre and imprisonment of Ethiopians by elements of the Italian occupation forces following an attempted assassination of Viceroy Rodolfo Graziani 19 February 1937. Viceroy Graziani had led the Italian forces to victory over their Ethiopian opponents in the Second Italo-Abyssinian War and was supreme governor of Italian East Africa. This was one of the worst atrocities committed by the Italian occupation forces.

    Estimates of the number of people killed in the three days that followed the attempt on General Graziani’s life vary. Ethiopian sources afterwards estimated as many as 30,000 people were killed by the Italians, while Italian sources claimed only a few hundred were killed…”
    The perpetrators of that massacre was the fascist occupying state, not the people of Italy. Similarly, the perpetrator of ‘Ona’ massacre was the occupying Ethiopian army of the Imperial State, not the people of Ethiopia.
    Both are similar in their genesis because they were ostensibly retaliatory acts against failed (the other one successful) assassination attempts on the military commanders.
    Indiscriminate massacre of defenseless civilians should be condemned at all times in the strongest terms possible without any equivocation.
    Ghezae

    • saay7

      Hi Ghezae:

      Very well said. I wish I had thought of that in my exchange with Eyobai. The point is whether the assassins were hiding among the Ethiopian population is completely irrelevant to the issue. (It’s not like there were ELF fighters in Ona firing rockets at Ethiopian army and the Ethiopian army fired back a missile and killed civilians.) The question is: were civilians deliberately and methodically targeted for whatever reason (in retaliation or as deterrent?) If the answer is yes, then it is wrong and, depending on its severity and frequency, may subject the perpetrator to indictment of crimes against humanity.

      In my opinion, no matter how just our cause was, no matter how many Arabs or Islamist or any other ist were funding us (to accept the common Ethiopian myth), no matter how praiseworthy our resolve is, it’s unlikely that the Eritrean revolution would have had a better outcome than Spanish Saharas Polisario if successive Ethiopian regimes, with their indiscriminate brutality, hadn’t thrown the Eritrean population into the arms of the Eritrean Revolution. They did this beginning in the mid 1960s and it never stopped until the eve of Eritreas independence.

      saay

      • Mizaan1

        Dear Ghezae and Saay, I have nothing more to add to what you both have put here most eloquently. I like to comment on one thing Saay said though and that is: “The question is: were civilians deliberately and methodically targeted for whatever reason (in retaliation or as deterrent?) If the answer is yes, then it is wrong and, depending on its severity and frequency, may subject the perpetrator to indictment of crimes against humanity.” I am not sure why you are asking this question. A village is where civilians live – women and children, primarily, stay within the village almost at all times. So there is no ‘IF’ here. It is a deliberate act because you know full well that you target a village, the primary victims will be women and children. Was it methodical? Maybe. But deliberate? Yes, no question about it. Let me give you an analogy as the best case scenario for the perpetrators of the evil act in Ona – if you throw a rock at a group of persons known as A and you know full well that you may miss group A entirely or partly but you know that you will definitely hit some or all of a group of persons known as B (although (or even if) they are not your primary target initially), then in the eyes of a just or fair world, you hit members of group B deliberately.

      • Eyob Medhane

        Sal,

        This is very frustrating.I don’t understand, why forumers are trying to steer what I said to something else. Once again, there is NO Ethiopian history book that skips telling the fact that Abreha Deboch and Moges Asgedom threw bomb on Graziani and that is what caused the Yekatit 12 Massacre. That means they tell complete story. We all made our judgment out of that and conclude that Graziani was awful, because he massacred 32 thousand people in three days, because two people threw a bomb at him and injured him. When we made that conclusion, we were told and we were aware of that two people have thrown bomb at him. We were told the full story. My argument is that Gash Saleh did not tell us the cause of the reason why over 600 people were massacred, did not trust us the readers to pass a judgment to say the retaliation was disproportional. He just passed a personal anecdote and his side of story to be taken as ‘history’. That is what my argument comes from. Not denying Hawzen, Ona or Yekatit 12 not being massacres. They were. But the full story of cause and effect is told in the story of Hawzen and Yekatit 12, Gash Saleh’s account of Ona, however seems to be half a story. That is all I am saying….I hope this to clarify it to you, Gash Saleh, Ghezae, T.Kifle, Fanti Ghana and everyone, who is rushing to throw a stone at me…

        • saay7

          Eyobai:

          This is why people are throwing rocks at you: you had a narrative to tell and I doubt if you read SGJ article in its entirety. Because the “cause” for the massacre of Ona was not narrated in a throwaway phrase or sentence but two paragraphs:

          “On the weekend, angry soldiers savagely beat up the people in the streets. Jebha guerrillas had ambushed an army convoy in a hilly area close to Keren and a battle had ensued. The convoy reached a sharp turn on the highway and the rebels sprayed it with heavy gunfire, blasting the leading vehicle. It burned and blocked the road. Soldiers jumped off the trucks and started to return fire. Rebel mortars made the soldiers disperse in confusion. The rebels had been looking for a prize target and one of the two sharpshooters spotted the officer with dark glasses as he crawled towards the rocks to take cover. Laying flat in between two boulders, the sharpshooter trained his gun on him and pulled the trigger, shooting the decorated officer. General Teshome, the commander of the second division of the army, died of the gunshot to his heart. The rebels retreated as fast as they came and disappeared behind the hills. Helicopters that arrived a bit too late failed to locate the rebels and ended up carrying the bodies of the soldiers they had come to rescue.

          “The army closed the Asmera road for the whole day and the news about the general’s death spread quickly. Angry soldiers went on a rampage unleashing their rage at anyone they found on the street. No one knew how Colonel Welana, the commander of the Keren garrison would react, but everyone had a hunch he would avenge the death of his commanding general with brutal force.”

          Recall also SGJs book is a “historical novel.” If you want just “this day in history” type of facts, other sources tell it: and it always begins with the killing of the ethiopian general. Let me know if you want an example.

          saay

          • Eyob Medhane

            Sal,

            I actually read the entire article, and I have seen the quote that you’ve quoted. May be it’s oversight that I didn’t acknowledge it in my argument. My assertion started, when some forumers started saying that this is a ‘History Book’, instead of as you put it ‘historical novel. Because, I believe that a ‘history book’ accounts to both cause and effect and leaves the readers to pass judgment on the hero and the villan, while ‘historical novel’ tells a story of a particular heroes or particular villans. I just had issue with those, who call Gash Saleh’s book the former and that is how I brought the example of Hawzen, and based on what Ghezae said I expanded on Yekatit 12.

          • Fanti Ghana

            Selamat Eyobay,
            I am truly sorry if I went beyond what was necessary with you and Abi on this issue. If I wasn’t confident on your and Abi’s over all personality and judgment I wouldn’t have jumped on you guys as quickly as I did. We all seem to “assume” a lot, and pass judgment before giving each other the necessary time to clarify our respective opinions. No hard feelings Eyobay. Besides, I am out of stones anyway.

          • Abi

            Hey Fanti
            I really appreciate your confidence in me. All I was saying is let’s stop this animosity before Jesus comes back.
            Egna snTala gehanem liqezeqiz eco new. Sint zemen hone?

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello Brother,
            Trust me Abi. We are not differing on the destination, but only occasionally on how to get there. There shall be peace!

          • Abi

            Fanti
            Yihegnaw terara yan eyegaredew
            Yet yigegn selamu erqo yehedew?

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello Brother Abi,
            Prosfessoru sew negn eskalu
            keterara belay fker new hayalu.

          • Abi

            Migbma moltoal Amlak mech nesagn
            Yefiqr rehab new enen yakesagn. ( Til Ahun )

          • Fanti Ghana

            hi Abi,
            esketesasebu dres esketezazenu
            tolo yedrslenal yefeqr zemenu

          • Saleh Johar

            No Eyob, this is actually important for me: you were saying you couldn’t see the Abraha Deboch equivalent, the trigger if you will. That has been your argument, and now thanks to Saay, I can see not only you were passing your unfair judgement on the book by reading a chapter, you didn’t even read the chapter but you were quick to pass your harsh judgement on me. The honorable thing would be to admit your mistake and move on. Don’t branch out of the topic, like “I just had issue with ….” is a new excuse that you extracted from Saay’s comment. You were biased and that is what you expressed Eyob.

          • Eyob Medhane

            Gash Saleh,

            “…May be it’s oversight that I didn’t acknowledge it in my argument….”

            If that is not an admittance and moving on, I don’t know what is… 🙂

          • Saleh Johar

            Hi Eyob,

            It is not “Maybe it’s oversight” it should have been “It’s an oversight” One word “maybe” make a world of a difference. But no problem, I will pass this. Disclaimer, I have complained to Qdus Michale about it, my Kerenite Catholics say he is fair and just 🙂

          • Abi

            Ato Saleh, embachewun keAynachew lay beneTelachew chaf Terareguna ” gidyelem firdun kesemay agegnewalehu ” alu we semay eyetemeleketu.
            Tefetseme!

          • Saleh Johar

            Agreed Abi,

            Now let’s have a proper conclusion while I get at Eyob’s nerves, I will start it for you in Geez and in Arabic..Abi, you take it from there….:

            ABUNE ZEBESEMAYAT YTQEDES SMKE….
            Abuna alzi fi samawat, lyeteqedes ismuk…

          • Eyob Medhane

            Gash Saleh,

            Ha ha..if you start it, you gotta finish it…Abune zebesemayat, yitqedis smke, timtsa mengistike we likun feqadike… 🙂

          • Saleh Johar

            And you think I do not know it, huh?

            Many years ago I was at a memorial (Tezkar) of a friend from Dessie. He brough the small notebook that was published by some religious institution, it was a sort of a calendar with sayings, proverbs, riddles at the bottom of the tiny page. On the back was abune zebesemayat, of course in Geez; none of the Kominist BiTie there would read it. To me it just sounded like Tigrayet and I read it to my self and my friend heard me. At the start of the ceremony, my friend from Dessie–he had no clue I was a Muslim of Christian, of course, typical Wolloye–he gave me the notebook and asked me to read, with an introduction to the people to be silent, “Ato saleh willl lead the Tselot” I was put in a very embarrassing situation, but I went on. Everybody there was looking down, bowing their heads in submission–I became the priest. Then a friend Dr. Mohammed Bedier let the cat out: “now you have a Muslim priest.” Everyone looked at me in surprise. In a few minutes they forgot about it–imagine, they were consuming whiskey bottles as if they were made of sponge. So my friend Eyob, I have a proof for it. I bet you never played the role of a priest. I did, at a tezkar ceremony. Beat that 🙂

          • Eyob Medhane

            Gash Saleh, (Begin with salutation 🙂 )

            One of the reason partly why I was so up in arms about the Tigre language (part of the amazing Habesha languages along with Geez, Amharic, Tigrigna, Guragigna, Harari…) is that I had a friend in college here in America, who is Tigre, a Muslim, he went to church with me few times, just to listen to the Geez qidase, because he said it reminded him of his language. It left such an impression on me, I never forget it after a decade and half later. Language is such a powerful unifying factor…

          • Abi

            Eyobe
            My father went to American university in Beirut long time ago. ( midir addis salech) . He was there for a short period of time. One morning while he was new for the country, he went to church. When he listen prayers in Arabic he ran out of the church thinking he was in a mosque. He did not expect Arabic. Talk about fara gondere!

          • Eyob Medhane

            Gash Saleh,

            You keep forgetting that I am habesha. I don’t accept mistakes that easy. If you need to complain, complain to Abune Teklehaimanot. He is my cristina Abat. ‘Abuye tsadiqu gedel ende akirma yemisenetiqu’… 🙂

          • Ted

            Hi Eyob, i am sure you know that every village in Eritrea or Tigray had hosted or accommodated the rebels at one time of another. Does it make the village a legitimate target for massacre. What happened in Ona is a vindictive random killing not based on cause / effect related to that specific village. They did nothing different from the other villages.

          • Eyob Medhane

            Ted,

            No..No..No…No…No…No…No…No..It doesn’t. I never said that it does. All I said is that fact (the presence of rebels) needs to be accurately and in enough details needs to be recorded, so the reader passes a judgment based on complete information. that is all I said. As I mentioned above, when we were told that Moges Asgedom and Abreha Deboch threw a bomb on Graziani and that caused him to massacre 32 thousand people, we were presented with both information that is them throwing a bomb on a fascist general in a crowded gathering in a big city, and then in retaliation he has murdered, 32 thousand people. When we read that story (the cause and effect of the massacre) we did not sympathize with Graziani, because he was bombed, we made the bombers our heroes, even though the caused a massacre of 32000 people. Why because they had the right cause why they did that. But we were told the complete story…That is where my beef is…not if massacre is right or wrong. Massacre anywhere, every time, for any reason is wrong. But, when the history of massacre is told, especially fifty years letter, it needs to be told with the cause and effect, so the readers choose their villan or hero….

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear Eyobay,

            concentrate on answers of SGL, Say7 and the likes, as they will read what you are saying correctly. to those who try to pull you and say what you didn’t say, my advice is just ignore and pas it. ያልተጻፈውን የማንበብ ጠባይ ያዳበሩ ሰዎች ወርቃዊ ግዜህን ኣያባክኑ ::

          • Ted

            KS, it is a miracle your wagging tail have not snapped off.

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear Ted,
            massage received by the concerned and that is important.

          • Kokhob Selam

            Ted,

            I normally don’t read your comments. but if I do like today I always remember years back experience of EPLF cells in 70’s and 80’s. I don’t know why my mind attached you with that cells of EPLF when you are PFDJ’s one. enjoy it

            ወሃዮ ኔው በላ …

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1nwsym6PA_4&feature=share&app=desktop

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Kokobay,

            It is still a timely song. Thank you for reminding them.

          • Ted

            Hi Eyob, cause/ General got killed and the effect/ innocent people got killed for it. Eritrean rebels killed the general and Eritreans got killed, only being Eritrean link the heroes(ELF) and the Victim(Ona), it is good cause/effect for colonel Walena, i hope it is not for you too.

        • ghezaehagos

          Selam Eyob,
          Ok, kubur haw!
          As long as you we are in the same page that such massacres had to be condemned, we are in the same page. so, all is good! The cause and effect are no-brainer. Angry soldiers were taking out their frustration on unarmed civilians. It was so common that even those of who finished their ‘abugidas’ in early 80s and in their teens witnessed the liberation of the nation in the safest Eritrea, Asmara, have heard, and witnessed harassments and other mistreatments. This was so commonplace for all Eritreans.
          All the best,
          Ghezae

          • Eyob Medhane

            Ghezae,

            That is it…Now I declare, you are the winner of this thread… 🙂

  • sara

    HI Nitricc – i’m curious , how far is Adi-grat from dede-bit, do they have a college there, do you think it has a faculty of social science, maybe a department for eritrearab studies etc

    • Nitricc

      Hi sara; I have no idea what the distance from Dedebit to Adi-grat . We should ask our good friend Semere; trust me he knows. Regarding the collage; I do know that the University of Dedebit is one the leading Universities in the glob in dentistry. Equipped with cutting age technology and know how expertise; this University is second to none. It is one of a kind in its simplistic in dental treatment.
      I don’t want to distract the flow of the thread for now but I will show you in pic next time.

  • Hayat Adem

    Dear Hope,
    Please act your age. Remove your 4th line that starts with “Here are the FACTS…”. Only weak and desperate people opt to yell out unnecessary and unsubstantiated insults. Hayat

  • Fanti Ghana

    Dearest Hope,
    No way! I would never say what you thought I said. Abi was about to set me up for a kill with his “Eritrea was pilling up wealth on Ethiopia’s expense” statement eventually, and that was my way of telling him that “I know were you are heading with this and I am not going that route.”
    So, can I still keep my Dr. title?

    • Hope

      Apologies,Doc!
      I am acting as a Human Being here….
      No one can take away what you earned,big Bro!
      You remember how a community was saved during Noah Era—the era of Sodom and Gomera?
      Few peope like you and your Peaceful approach and Prayers shall save the two people.
      I have NO doubt about it is just a matter of time.
      Come on Doc,you know what PTSD is about?

    • sara

      dear, this time i must sign into, to up-vote this post!

  • Mizaan1

    Hi Nitricc,

    I have to admit, I agree with Hayat’s positions more often than not but identity is very important to me as well not so much on its merit but to have an accurate judgement of a person’s comments.

    There are four very important things about identity to me:
    1. Gender
    2. Eritrean or Ethiopian
    3. Location (abroad or inside Eritrea)
    4. Muslim or Christian

    I think the reasons are obvious. Again, I have no issue with people with their identities on merit but here is my reason:

    The majority of us in this forum are 20 – 40 year old male-highlander- Christians living in the West, primarily in the USA.

    So I crave to hear from u represented groups here. I will tell you this – I do not remember the last time I saw or spoke with a female Eritrean Muslim so I have no idea what female Eritrean Muslims view is of the status now and what should happen for the future. I am equally ignorant with most Eritreans except the male highlander and females of that group to a lesser extent. In a nutshell, if someone tells me they are an Eritrean hidareb, oh man, I would like to hear from them about everything.

    • Ted

      Hi, Mizan, we have different approach how to achieve change in Eritrea. Mine is not to get the current Ethiopian Gov( TPLF) get involved in any form of shape and i also know yours and Hayat’s approach some how aligned to involve TPLF. You both agreed on the idea but When it comes to Hayat, the difference is the intention of the idea. If you were to know Hayat’s identity you would have a second thought. First why “she” hide “her” identity and second is “her” intention genuine.
      if the neighbors house is burning and you and Hayat agreed on working together to save the family inside would be good intention but after you get inside the burning house to find out Hayat going after families safe box leaving you and a family in danger is what i call Hayat’s “good” intention, taking you for a ride saving Eritreans from PFDJ. She is nothing but importer talking for her group as Eritrean. Go Nitricc.

      • Mizaan1

        Ted, well put. That is exactly what I am saying as far as identity goes.

        I am not sure how much involvement Hayat advocates for, but I like minimal involvement from Ethiopia, with material and logistics help and if at all possible negligible involvement from their army. But this is almost like sebaay delikinin chihmi tseliekinin.

        As for identity:

        Gender – if someone is male and writing as a female, that gives me the wrong picture of women’s positions with respect to the current state of affairs.

        Religion/ethnicity – how would you feel if you were to find out that, say, Mahmud Saleh, is actually a Christian? I would feel bad because I respect his ideas and although he speaks in general terms all the time, but to me that is the poster face of the elite Tigre men by extrapolation.

        Nationality – how would you feel if say, Semere Andom, was from Tigrai? Right now, we think he represents a voice of a group of Eritreans but if he is Ethiopian, then a lot of my views would change because I would say it is the Ethio spies calling for Ethiopian intervention in Eritrea.

        Location – look at Selam. She claims she is in Eritrea (I do not believe this claim, as a disclaimer). What kind of picture does that paint for you if someone from Eritrea interacts with us her as much as she does and in the manner that she does? She is bashing woyane here day in and day out. If she truly is in Eritrea, that would change a lot of things for me because although she is only one person but it does send a signal that the number one and immediate enemy of Eritreans is TPLF while it is unquesionably Isaias Afwerki and his top echelon.

        Finally, again I don’t always disagree with Hayat, in fact, I agree with her often times. But if she is not a Muslim, female, Eritrean, then everything she says is a misrepresentation and misleading Eritreans. But, hey, you have not disclosed your identity either. As long as I know you are not lying about your gender, religion, nationality, and whether you are abroad or within Eritrean proper, I couldn’t careless about anything else.

        • Ted

          Mizan, i understand you go overboard boxing people in to boxes leaving a few people almost unscratched. Semere and Amanuel are a few good men in your book. That is ok, understanding the frustration of Eritrean politics. One thing i learn in this university is to see the merit of the idea people advocate, the intention of idea. The phrase “sebaay delikinin chihmi tseliekinin.” a lady want a family and all the good things comes with good husband but dislikes his prickly facial hairs. For a wise women it is a small price to pay having a good family. here we have a problem in Eritrea vs TPLF. I am not translating TPLF to be our man of the house forever after PFDJ is gone but if we give them the benefit of the doubt that they are willing “minimal involvement” for the betterment of the neighborhood still leaves out the vast majority of Eritreans who are apprehensiveness this “minimal involvement” what ever it means to them. Last time SAAY asked to do a small poll how Eritreans feel about this kind of project involving TPLF. i thought it is a wise idea to people want to pursue a cause for Eritrean people.

          • Mizaan1

            Ted, you should not interpret proverbs literally. The proverb I put there means that if we ask for minimal intervention or help, it is likely that it will not stop there. So we know the consequences of involving Ethiopia because why would they do a small or big dirty work for us or help us do it, and not need anything in return as in big influence in our future government. That is why I am open to the idea of Ethiopian help to topple PFDJ but I have no idea on how to do it without risking too much in the process. A risk assessment team would need to do an extensive research on that but you guys are rejecting Ethiopia’s involvement not objectively but out of pure hatred and resentment.

          • Semere Andom

            Hi Mizaan:
            It is not even hatred and resentment it is to elongate the PFDJ rule because they know that the much needed and coveted change from inside has very low probability to succeed given the compulsive forgetting of past experience of anyone who has gone through the PFDJ machine.Just ask them one event that was changed from inside in the last 45 years

          • Mizaan1

            Dear Semere, I am really surprised to see that this website doesn’t even resemble like an opposition website (by the looks of its forumers). Selam, Nitricc, Ted, Peace, Gheteb, Saay7, sara, Hope, Mahmud Saleh, AMAN, Araya…the list doesn’t end there. These are all pro-IA and PFDJ at worst and PFDJ-reformers at best.

          • Peace!

            Dear Mizan,

            Let me help you so you can save some time. It seems you are stuck where you left off ( remember when you were Ermias the football expert). The narrative has changed: it is no longer who support DIA or opposition groups; it is about which approach is realistic and helps deliver meaningful change. Now, please ignore who said what just focus on realistic ideas. Warning! Don’t spend too much time with Emma, and Semere; they are stuck with broken GPS.

            Regards (you know Raiders are ready for SB)

          • Mizaan1

            Mr. Peace, are you Nitricc sir, also for that matter Ted as well? Because you three (or one) keep saying ermias. To me the guy has left your behinds for good. In the several months I have been on this forum, I have never read from an ermias. So move on, just as he did.

          • Ted

            Mizan who is Ermias? We all are for change, if we can force PFDJ to reform where is the harm in that?

          • Nitricc

            Mizan what is the harm in saying ” yes i changed nick names few times”? it is your right, who cares? by playing games you are making harder than it is. i don’t want to put you in the spot but if you insist, let me know; i will give you a proof you can not get out of it. however; I say let’s move on. we like you, even you are a friend of toothless Semere.

          • Nitricc

            Hi peace; Mizan is cool but confused. like you have said he is stuck with old compass; you have been to generous to to up grade the situation to broken GPS. lol
            anyway I agree with you that we need change but it must be a change that will come from us to us by us. there was a link by my good friend Osaman and i read this story i got a kick out of it. the story goes like this..
            the mice population had a problem to solve and they held a conference to solve the problem. the problem was; a certain cat is terrorizing their community and the death toll was mounting so, the population of the mice has to do something. then a smart mice named Semere; lol proposed a bell to be tied around the neck of the cat that way when the cat is coming the bell will ring so, the mice will hear the bell that way every one to get a cover and avoid the danger. everyone gave mice Semere a standing obviation for the greatest idea ever. one of the mice told her grandfather about the conference and its conclusion. the grandfather after listened the proposal; said, well indeed very good idea but who is to tie the bell around the cat. the mice goes; ohhhhhhhhhhhhh shooot! we never thought about it.
            the moral of the story is the likes of Semere are calling for invasion but they wanted someone to do it; not them.

          • Ted

            Nitricc, Mizan seems confused, understandably so. Irregardless, he is on the right track questioning the intention of TPLF. Good for you, Mizan.

            “But I am at a loss because I cannot see which part of my comment made me look naive. What I am saying is if we invite Ethiopia to intervene (or if it does on its own accord), where will it stop? A lot could depend on the situation on the ground, but if all goes well (like a new govt in place, no security issues to Ethiopia), would it pack away and watch from afar or meddle and try to hand pick Eritrea’s leaders, etc. What is the ultimate goal for Ethiopia? You said I was going naive but in this case I am hopeful that Ethiopia would do the right thing if situations lead us there but I am also a little skeptical that it would not try to dictate its desires and wishes.”

          • Peace!

            What’s up Nitric,

            Ermias is very nice guy he is just stuck in YG’s bus that has no wheels, no GPS, no driver, but only two Feterinos Emma and Semere.

            Regards

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear Peace,

            why is that “ነገር ድልልይ በትሪ ሃሰውሰው” ?

          • T. Kifle

            Dear Mizan1,
            It seems you go naive by the day. The fact is no matter which way any government comes to power in Eritrea, Ethiopia would always put them under check. Any government in the neighbourhood that crosses its strategic interest would be checkmated irrespective of the investment paid to put them in place, if any. So the fear Eritreans display at the very thought of getting help which the helper is not so far willing to impart has to do less with future Eritrea but greatly tied to that little cake of “pride”.

          • Mizaan1

            Dear T. Kifle,

            There is no question about the accuracy of what you said. Ethiopia will always have, at the very least, a security interest in Eritrea and so it will watch over any administration of Eritrea like a hawk.

            But I am at a loss because I cannot see which part of my comment made me look naive. What I am saying is if we invite Ethiopia to intervene (or if it does on its own accord), where will it stop? A lot could depend on the situation on the ground, but if all goes well (like a new govt in place, no security issues to Ethiopia), would it pack away and watch from afar or meddle and try to hand pick Eritrea’s leaders, etc. What is the ultimate goal for Ethiopia? You said I was going naive but in this case I am hopeful that Ethiopia would do the right thing in situations lead us there but I am also a little skeptical that it would not try to dictate its desires and wishes.

          • Ted

            Mizan, lets i agree to disagree. You don’t know, nobody knows the mind of TPLF or what they would do next but Most Eritreans know TPLF that it is evil with bad intentions for Eritrea. And most importantly, We need Ethiopia to be stronger and have a say in the region, it is only true if you don’t equate TPLF as Ethiopia, that is where things got twisted. for now lets focus on what we know and can.
            Amanuel, i was talking about people who want to pursue TPLF/Eritrea combo, those people(you) will benefit from inquiring the people( the people you want to liberate,) about the choice of friends and struggle. Just simple. if you don’t want to know, it only hurt yourself. Ask them, the truth set you free.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Ted,

            Why don’t do it what Saay told us to to make us laugh at least for a short moment. Take 20 people of your acquiantance like what Saay told us, and show us your statistics by extrapolating to the Eritrean population. Don’t be damn Ted, ask Saay if he can do it. He is not damn to do it, but he can damn people. You don’t know even that is one of Saay’s trap. If you give him such hint that you could be deceived, then he needs a little push to throw down the cliff at the right moment. Count my word. Are you kidding that by polling of 20 people will Know what the Eritrean people support. Grow up and mature up brother. If you still believe on that, please do us a fever to show us your work.

            regards,

          • Ted

            Dear Amanuel Hidrat. You are thinking it too much. The intention was to show you how unpopular your idea was, it is not scientific or binding that you have to publish or tell us the result but it meant to give you a sobering thought that Eritreans may not be with you.. Why would i or SAAy do the polling knowing it well the truth that your idea is idiotic. Amanuel it is sad but true, you are too much obsessed with wining a debate and looking smart. i am afraid it ain’t working.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Ted,

            Follow your tutor, do the polling and show us the Eritrean people do support your premises. As simple as that. You seem either you don’t know the Eritrean people or you don’t have the basic knowledge how polling and statistics work. Ask your mentor to do family polling then declare, viola here is the the statistics of the Eritrean people that shows on your side. Then we will know how to deal with such mischievous numbers. Crazy Ted, wise up and understand your adversaries in politics. At least that is the basics in any engagement of politics.

            Second I am not good debater and I am not here to win a debate. But I am good to identify a deceiving debater, and will never shy away to expose a deceiving politician.

            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Ted

            Dear AH,”Crazy Ted, wise up and understand your adversaries in politics” Always giving advice but nothing to show for yourself.

          • saay7

            Selamat Cousin Ted:

            Please stop attributing quotes to Amanuel Hidrat when he never said them. AH would never call anyone crazy because he hates using adjectives and personalizing political differences.

            saay
            Tongue firmly in cheek

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Ted,
            Look Ted, read again your last sentence and what that sentence imply to what you want to convey. You message from that short sentence is: there are Eritreans who do not persue a cause to the Eritrean people (most probably those who do not support your view and your likes). That will leave me with this: “Ted and his cousins” are the only people who persue to the cause of Eritrean people. One who only evaluate his own work is not worthy to judge others. I think you are one of the self-appointed ” truth-bound cousin-cousin family.” One thing for sure, family politics and self promotion doesn’t work at least in Eritrea. You know that, you guys always take politiness as weakness and submissive. In your set of mind, those who are aggressive, arrogant, hate mongers are those who defend our national interst. You guys, you have a long way to learn how prudent and accomodative politics work for peace and stability. Think about it and change your approach how to work with your adversaries.
            regards,

          • Fnote Selam

            Hi Ted,

            That poll doesn’t tell the whole story. I think, whether we support it or not Ethiopia is going to have (or at least try to have) influence on whatever happens to Eritrea next. So what do we do? Antagonize Ethiopia as much as we can? Resistant any Ethiopian involvement without antagonizing Ethiopia? Manage the influence and role Ethiopia is going to inevitably have, perhaps use it as foundation for building lasting trust and relation between the two people? Let Ethiopia lead/take charge of change things in Eritrea?

            I think the choices are not black/while nor yes/no. There is a lot of gray area and that is what we need to discuss about.

            Thanks,

            FS.

          • Nitricc

            Hi FS; that is the worst mentality. You sound Semere Andom.
            “I think, whether we support it or not Ethiopia is going to have (or at least try to have) influence on whatever happens to Eritrea next”
            for your information they tried for the last 50 years and they know the answer. It pains me some arm chair wanna be think thank come out and say ridicules thing to say. The Ethiopians are moved on for good and I suggest some of you move on and go on with your life.
            It is for the best interest of Ethiopia and Ethiopians to leave Eritrean alone; or else; you will bleed once more.

          • Fnote Selam

            Nitricc nebsi,

            We can’t control how Ethiopia is going act, we can only determine how we interact.

            FS.

  • AOsman
  • T. Kifle

    Dear Eyob,
    you are wrong when you try to ascribe the Hawzen massacre as a collateral damage of war effected out of no-choice. Rather it was one of the deliberate projects “effectively” accomplished by non other than the brute Legese Asfaw in his effort of “draining the sea” and breaking the back of the resistance. As Gadi? Or Hayat mentioned elsewhere in their comments, there are not real-time video records of that despicable human onslaught operated in unmistakable broad daylight and that on market day. The same thing happened in Mersa, Wurgesa, Hamusit, Belesa, Abi-Adi, Endaselasie, Adigrat in different proportions to mention just few. Any intentional civilian target by military establishment is a crime. That place Ona, Wekidiba, Masawa and many other towns and villages in this category. I remember similar defensive arguments flared up in this forum from some Eritrean participants when I mentioned Ayder School’s massacre and IA s follow up description of “war has no rules”. Saleh Y. even went far saying the problem could be due to lack of skills of the pilot. No matter what nature ELF or EPLF might had at the time doesn’t change the picture. neither does matter how many Eritreans were high up in the corridors of power. The question is had an Eritrean of the time had the leverage to change the course of events? They hadn’t. We had our own Fiseha Desta as vice president of the “Republic” when Legese Asfaw rained Napalm bomb in Howzen. Can I think of that he was happy at it? he probably could. But the fact is he would’t utter a word even if he had a discontent about it.
    Do Eritreans attribute such misfortunes to the very character of Ethiopians? at times yes. But can we, Ethiopians, defend ourselves well the character assassin by justifying the unjustifiable? I am afraid we don’t. So let us call the the spade a spade. Let Eritreans recount their misfortunes the way they see it fit as we do our own.

    • Mahmud Saleh

      Dear TK
      Very gentle – manly of you; we are recounting events the way it unfolded, we are not on the blame game business. The victims are alive. I have repeated the fact that those brutal regimes were not good or just even to their own people. We are not either talking about an isolated incident, rather about a pattern that went on for decades; for those who are on defensive mode, read about the atrocities in Tigray TK mentioned, also watch a real time record of the bombardment of civilians in Massawa, an event that shocked the world. This is to show that atrocities were part and parcel of the war and not an isolated collateral results.

      • T. Kifle

        Hello Mahmuday,

        You see, the other possibility is that Saleh J. sir, had choice: no to write the book so that we wouldn’t have the “uncomfortable” narratives we happened to read in the book. But does it change the fact that 500 innocent plus people’s cold-bloodily being massacred? . The test for the normalcy of a state is when it faces events of such pushes. It could be an orchestration of lower ranking officer too but in that case a normal government seeks apology and takes responsibility. We know none of these happened. And as you said it well, it wasn’t an aberration but a well defined pattern tested time and again. When the Weyenti challenged Janhoi back in 1943, the answer was rain of poison gas from the skies. Similarly when the second generation weyenti put them on their second test, the answer was bombing of civilian who have no clue of what was going on around. This is true nature of brutes and should be condemned wherever they hail from. Those guys are bloody enemies of Ethiopians as they were the bloody enemies of the Eritrean people.

        • Mahmud Saleh

          Thanks TK.
          Well said.Politics functions within the parameters of state boundaries. Human tragedies know no borders. I think all of us need to be aware of the past and do the best we could in order to avoid them in the future. There is a story that goes along this line which should be credited to Gdey Zerazion, TPLF vice Secretary General of that time (1979) when he met with EPLF tegadelti in Sahel. Among many questions, someone asked him why he chose to fight along TPLF when he was Eritrean. Gdey told him that fighting oppression/injustice had no limits of space and time (gzen botan ayfeln eyu). Likewise, the resolve to condemning crimes against humanity should not be limited by political boundaries.

    • Abi

      Selam Ato Kifle
      My hope is there is not going to be a “Jemal” from Ayder school to write a history book that ethiopians read and read and keep grudge. The cycle should be broken. One has to be magnanimous enough to forgive and forget.
      30 years from now we don’t need our grandchildren read to their children how the eritreans bombed an elementary school and continue the vicious cycle.
      we should be better than that.

      • T. Kifle

        Dear Abi,
        We commemorate our fallen fathers and mothers of the Yekatit 12 massacre by gathering around the 4 Killo square. The lessons never been to plant grudges between us and the Italians but to give us a chance that our freedom has costed us in blood and lives that we have an obligation to carry forward the legacy of sacrifice and selflessness to keep the country safe and free. It has nothing to do with repeating the past but aims at making the future more bright taking the lessons of the past. Now, Jemal’s view is one perspective a humble and limited one. He Happened to knew Ethiopia through images of the brutes around him. He had no way to distinguish between those around him whose main mission had been to intimidate and show off their muscles at every slightest of provocations and the other Ethiopians who had been meted out with similar fates . Life for him was that local and he had no clue why those guys were even in Keren to begin with. If anything it shows you how innocent kids like Jemal could be pushed to the other extreme and decided to kill and die at that tender early age.

        • Abi

          Hi TK
          Yekatit 12 is at 6 killo.
          Kind of busy. I’ll be back

          • T. Kifle

            Abi,

            Well, I am talking about the venue where the function usually takes place. In both squares we have statutes displaying the indiscriminate killings reminding us of the same thing.

          • Abi

            TK
            Don’t you think you are comparing Apple and orange. We are ocean apart from Italy . They don’t think we are going to invade them. But we are always considered clear and present danger to eritrea. That is my point. We have to somehow stop this vicious cycles between us .

          • selam

            Dear Abi
            You are one of the vicious invaders more than even dergi. Once a murderer is always a murdere.
            I am saying this due to your denying to the effect of crime committed by your particukar father. May be you are one of them , who beg for their life in 1991 . Just forget everything you have done we forgive you , but not your leaders

          • Abi

            Selma
            Parents are off limit. My father is not the one commenting here.
            You are funny.

      • selam

        Dear Abi
        It is surprising to see you cry about one incident that we know and feel the pain. Now do you know for a fact that incident is known in eritrea .And all eritreans regret the incident by comparison to your air bombing in asmara by Bezabeh. Do you know the difference air bombing between two countries. You deny your father criminal act while you talk about one incident in tigrai in which I personally think is a bad act which can happen in war time. Take note also weyane did 100 times evil things in which see as a result of war.
        If I was the owner I would have said stop the war but I am not, now go tell your grandchildren about the incident no problem about that. Your grandfather did not tell you about his action in eritrea so you deny all. I do not blame your father but you can read and write yet you just ignore our pain , that shows you are the same as your father which a genocider , criminal evil human being.

        • Abi

          Selam
          You missed the whole point . I don’t want my children to know about the Ayder incident. because I want to brake the cycle. If we keep on talking about them , all we produce is bitter children. I don’t want that . I have a cousin died in eprdf prison . I never mentioned this to my son. I am for peace and future. not for old wounds.
          I’m done on this topic .
          Keep teaching hate. I don’t.

    • Eyob Medhane

      T. Kifle,

      I don’t think any where you can find, where I said ‘Hawzen victims where collateral damage’. Re read my arguments, if you’d like. What I said is, when TPLF described hawzen massacre, it never denied it had presence there. Yet, when Gash Saleh talked about Ona, he never mentioned ELF presence among the people, so that would telling a half story. That was my argument…

      • tes

        Dear Eyob Mehanie,

        I think you are missing one very important point. ELF are also part of the people. They are not outsiders. Are you trying to make them Alien, in your famous line, Arab mercenaries.

        To your information, Ona is only 3km from the center city of Keren. Just 3 km. Today, Ona is already part of Keren city.

        During the time of atrocities, it was neither a battle field nor a strategic place. ELF clandestine members might visit there for different reasons or some of villagers could have joined ELF. Else, the villagers were just like any other people who live their own life.

        Dear Eyob, don’t try to aleniate ELF from the Eritrean people. They are just ordinary Eritrean people who say no to Ethiopian occupation not like what yo imagine as Arabs or Islam fanatics

        tes

      • Saleh Johar

        Dear Eyob and Abi,

        You are absolutely wrong of your conclusions which is basically an expression of your wrong perceptions. The evolution of the ELF is well explained in the book, of course you wouldn’t read a book by just reading one chapter–I suppose. What I presented is 1 chapter out of 30. I am sorry but I can’t post the entire book here. There are several chapters that address the Ethiopian problem and how country-boys were lured to the army and unknowingly sent to fry in the elite’s war. I went into great length to research the background of the simple Ethiopian who was made a tool in the war. For example, in one of the longest chapters, the history of Mokria is followed from early childhood until his death in Keren. The process of creating a monster from a simple farmer’s son. The life in the university where the radicals of all regions met and developed the basis of the rebellion, the history behind the Solomonic ascension to power. In fact I went to great length to explain the role of the common Ethiopian. But in case this helps you, the sub-title is “The Making Of A Child Soldier.” And that is why the chapter of Ona is and its likes are essential in explaining the theme. But if you were expecting praise for the killer systems, I am sorry I couldn’t provide it because they had nothing praiseworthy but contempt.

        • Abi

          Selam Ato Saleh
          Thank you for your time . Your comment answers Eyob’s questions than my concerns.
          My concern is the future. We have been in war for 30 years, another 15 in proxy war and counting with no hope in sight.
          We killed how many? Only God knows. How many became life long dependents ? Who cares? How much we lost in material ,financial and opportunity cost? We would be the richest in the world. All this because of hate, ego, mistrust, etc etc etc
          My question is What are we doing different this time around? What are we leaving for our children? Do we want the future generation of both countries to use the same tone our fathers used? We are using the same tone our fathers used. How do we brake the cycle? I don’t see anything new. It frustrates me. Are we not tired to be the poorest of poor? Is that all we are ready to pass on for the next generation?
          We are doing the same thing again and again and expect peace and reconciliation. I don’t know how? I’m lost.
          This is the angle I saw the chapter of your book. Besides, I always feel you are biased to the King. I don’t blame you for that but I will have hard time to take it as it is. I have to question. I think it is normal.
          Thanks

          • Saleh Johar

            Selam Abi,

            I understand your frustration. But honestly, I consider any preaching about reconciliation and peace very condescending. I lived and live for these ideals.

            Having said, that please understand the role of history (let’s call it narration to your satisfaction”. Do you believe that we have to gloss over it if we are ever going to reconcile? What then are we reconciling “yemender qes” talk? With no substance? Don’t worry, I understand that such issue in the hands of partisans and politicians might be used adversly, though would guns, and any other tool that might be used for coercion. But we cannot stop guns because bad people might use them. Before you say, “we should streamline it” I agree with you. The universities and scholars have a role to reconcile all our issue intellectually before it become a guiding view. My part is narration–anyone can take it to the next level. In Tigrinya we have a saying (you have told us a million sayings, bear with me): Seb’ay delikhn ChiHm Tsele’ekn. It is a dilemma: you can’t have a man and hate his beards! You can’t call for reconciliation without explaining what needs to be reconciled. In our case, our history needs to be reconciled.

            Please accept this as a final and binding answer 🙂

          • Abi

            Selam Ato Saleh
            That is a good one .
            ” you can’t love a man and hate his beards ”
            I wish our problems are that easy. If I were that man I will simply shave my beards including my head ,if necessary . You know I have said before I will exchange Badime for lasting peace . Not today, yesterday.
            I also have Amharic proverb for you.
            ” yeEbd gelagay dingay yaqeblal ”
            We have to avoid those gelagayoch. They make things complicated.
            We , as a sosciey need to practice to forgive and forget. We holid grudge and pass it on . It is sickening.

        • operationmi15

          There’s a low & order in the sea (not only red sea) the big fish eat the little fish. If the little fish complaining,
          narrating,exposing,reconciling
          crying and writing 1000 pages book or anything else. the big fish never stop eating the little fish.

      • T. Kifle

        Dear Eyob,
        you said “when TPLF described hawzen massacre, it never denied it had presence there” this was the very statement prompted me to reply. And you are repeating it again. My understanding from this statement is if TPLF was seen in or around Hawzen, the massacre is justified. To the best of my knowledge however, TPLF was no where around. And even if it did, it would never change the magnitude the criminality. In any case I would be thankful if you can attach any link that insinuates TPLF was inside when that whole-day project unfolded.

        • Eyob Medhane

          T. Kifle

          No. The massacre is not justified and will never be justified. Again the point I am driving at is the way the story is being told. While the Ona story seems to be half the story, when the story of hawzen co ers all angles. That is what I am trying to say…

          • Shum

            Hello Eyob,

            I don’t understand the difference you see between Ona and Hawzen when you say Hawzen covers all angles. From what I’ve read from T. Kifle and Saleh Johar, here is what was said

            1. On proximity

            a. Saleh Johar: “No ELF will make it close to Ona because it was between two garrisons and only 1 kilometer from the town. Rebels do not live inside the city.”

            b. T. Kifle: “To the best of my knowledge however, TPLF was no where around.”

            2. On covering all angles

            a. Saleh is coming from his ELF background

            b. T. Kifle is coming from his TPLF background.

            c. As far as I know, no one from Dergue/Haile Selasse has come forth with their angle on these two massacres

            I’ll fail to see the diffference on how these two massacres can be portrayed. Do you care to refute what these two men are saying? Do you have any knowledge that is different from what Saleh has said regarding the location of this village being between two garrisions and rebels not living there? Can you explain how Hawzen covers all angles? There was no videotape for either situations. The people served as primary witnesses. I think we’re all ready to be enlightened by your extensive knowledge here.

          • AOsman

            Dear Eyob,

            So weak and so pointless a response that was…..the bias is getting the better out of you and showing the twisted logic that at times you come out with. If I were you I would drop it and move on. Eritreans may be suspicious of Ethiopian rule or interference, but we know that it has nothing to do with the Ethiopian people, who themselves were victims.

            I remember when you first joined this forum, you gave us a bit of your background that your grandfather a proud Ethiopian that hails from Eritrea and that you being married to an Ethiopian, you wanted your son to grow up a future that the Ethio-Eri problem is a thing of the past. I don’t think Awatista had any issue with that, your choice was respected. The problem is when you feel that you have to be defender past oppressive regimes and try to rationalise a massacre…..unless there is something from the past that make you feel guilty, what’s with this urge?

            Regards
            AOsman

          • saay7

            Selamat AOsman:

            Yeah, I agree, not Eyob’s finest hour… One of Eyob’s pet peeves is when Eritreans present themselves as experts on Ethiopia and its history and are analyzing the problems of Oromo, Ogaden and, in the process, reveal their ignorance on the subject. Ironically, he has the same problem with Eritrean history and it is, unfortunately, one that afflicts some (most?) of the Ethiopian elite. It goes something like this:

            Eritrea has always been the Ethiopian gateway to all of Ethiopia’s enemies, namely Italians and Arabs. The Eritreans were either servants and mercenaries of the enemy states (that’s when Ethiopian elite are mad at us) or they were always proud Ethiopians who were misled by their few bad apples (that’s when Ethiopian elite are claiming us as part of the Abyssinian Empire*) Now, these two had to be reconciled and that’s where YG’s Great Synthesis is offered:

            The revolution was started by Islamists and Arabists (ELF) in enemy territory (Egypt) and, over time, it was joined by self-hating Habesha creating a new fake identity (EPLF) and these two were trained, financed by Ethiopia’s traditional enemy states (Arabs.) Since the Islamists/Arabists (Eritrean Muslims/lowlanders) and the self-hating Habesha (Eritrean Christian highlanders) don’t trust each other, the Islamists/Arabists (led by the Awate Team) are always trying to glorify the Ghedli, for which the self-hating Habesha sacrificed the most, so that there would be a total demographic collapse of the Eritrean highlands (massive exodus) so that Eritrea can then become the playground of Islamists/Arabists/Jihadists.

            This is, according to Female Muslim Eritrean Hayat Adem, all factual and it has gospeler-authority. It is also something that Eyob feels extremely passionately about and all attempts at educating him on the subject have thusfar failed partly because even sensible awatistas like T.Kifle who should know better occasionally drift into implying that Arabs financed and sustained our revolution.

            With respect to atrocities, Eyob believes that Haile Selasse and Mengistu Haile Mariam were equal-opportunity haters and whatever they did in Tigray and Eritrea is consistent with whatever happened in Wollo and Gonder and Gojjam.

            saay

          • AOsman

            Selamat SAAY,

            You have made a good summary of the play of few here.

            Let alone hating Ethiopians, I have no worry if in the future through an organic process we are led to a form of unification with Ethiopia, Eritrea has nothing to loose so long it keeps its internal cohesion intact.

            YG killed his message as he appealed to one side, forgetting all his theory on the multi-decked contradiction in Eritrea is also present south of Mereb, if not worse. I had an expectation that Eyob would be diligent in his approach to bring the two people together, considering it to be his objective as he’d introduced himself to awatista. However, his defense of HS or Mengistu oppressive policy on Eritrea are just counter productive. He needs to learn from Fanti, Horizon or others Ethiopians or even better if he declare his “Kidiley kidiley aydelyekin embeley” as I think Abi reminds us from time to time.

            Regards
            AOsman

          • Ted

            Hi Saay, there is a common theme when discussing Eritrea politics with Ethiopians. “We come in peace”, and the famous phrase we are one, ( if it were not for Isayas afewerki we would have lived as one people).They have this myth they created to protect their ego that one man(IA) created, fought and fooled/ forced Eritreans to choose for independence.They get perplexed how IA is still in power and if he is gone they think Eritreans come back to Ethiopia for forgiveness with a big rock on their back. They live in their own bubble that have no desire whatsoever to inquire for why we struggle and the sacrifice we made for independence. I am not surprised here by some Ethiopians rejecting Eritreans suffering because i know it is a norm and habitual thing to say in their circles our fight was all about the interest of Arabs or Islamist group so punishing/killing us is good as killing Italian mercenaries, in short we asked for it. This thinking is the result of decades old denial and will not wash away easily. It is sad but true, most Ethiopian intellectuals don’t want cross this common thinking in fear of rejection by their compatriot as non patriotic Ethiopian. Let’s hope it is true that time heals all wounds.

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear SAAY7,

            ወላሂ ብዙሕ እየ ዝመሃር ካባኻ ኣያ ሳልሕ : እንታይ እሞ ኣብ ሞንጎ ጹሕፋትካ ሽኩሻኳ ከምዝወሰዶ ሰብ ህልም እየ ዝብል : ኮነ ኢልካ እንተስ ከም ዋዛ – እንተስ ከም ቅኔ – እንተስ ከም ረቂቅ ሓሳብ :-ብሰንኪ ድርብይ ተብሎም ምሉእ ሓሳባት ካብ ዛ ዘለናዮ ነገራዊት ዓልም ዕርብ ኢለ ሰዓታት እየ ዝጠፍእ : ከመይ ከ ዝመሰሉኻ ፍጥረት ኢኻ? እተንብቦም መጻሕፍቲ ድዮም : እተሕልፎም መረርቲ ሰዓታት ክንድዚ ኣሐይሎምኻ ገና መጽናዕቲ ምክያድ ከድልየኒ እዩ ::

          • saay7

            ክቡር ገዲም ተጋዳላይ ኮኾብ ሰላም

            ክብረት ይሃበለይዚ ሓወይ እዛ ናእዳ ከቢዳትኒ… ሓንሳብ ሰይ-7 ሓንሳብ ሳም-7 ጠፊኡካዶ? ዮም ዓሰል: ዮም በስል ኢሎም ዓረብ.

            Actually, I think in 1996 I wrote “What Ails Africa” and when I see all the tricks the Omar Al Bashir types play, it is deja vu.

            saay

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear Saay7, yes Beshir! you really got it.That is Africa.

          • Hayat Adem

            Selamat kibur Hawey, Saay,
            I gave my reaction to the Ona. Not just now but when Gadi brought the subject about two years ago or so, simialr to one I just gave as recently as Yesterday. Mahmuday said what I said about it was reasonable. Gadi approved it and some few others approved it. But you still are saying it didn’t go far enough or it just worthless. Honestly, why do you want me to defend ELF on this particular issue? Should every Muslim female Eritrean defend ELF? ELF is not accused here. It is the King. Your push on this point doesn’t make sense, not to me. Also, don’t be ridiculous about my knowledge of the Hawzien event as it is not (mathematically) impossible that I can acquire that info in 1 million possible ways. I never thought you would be that mechanical on thinking of placing me somewhere but Eritrea.
            The 2032 reference is funny. You are an important opinion maker in our regional politics. You remain being just that. In the past, you were using your abilities negatively in promoting the war and the hate. You have never retracted your views, positions and writings. A simple “I regret my role” statement would neutralize me from going to your archives. In some of the things you say here, I sometimes see those elements. Lines you wrote then you might wish they are ignored now but they were negatively so powerful. For example you wanted Eritrea to distance itself from Ethiopia because Ethiopia’s future was marred with messy health system, high HIV infections, famine, drought and the like were very toxic, and they must have affected and infected some opinions. You still say TPLF is toxic, Addis is abyss of death and I take this as a continuation of that attitude.
            These are directly against my personal wishes and hopes of rapprochement and cooperation. This is my life-time dream. In fact, if have to reveal myself, it will only be for this kind of mission. Do not think for a split of a second that I’m serving a tasked agenda by some one or some group. There is no one I represent except the shared-feeling of removing PFDJ by justice and chnge seekers. That is because PFDJ, as one awatista described him rihtly, is an ugly creature that stands on every way of all good dreams. My recent call for Ethiopian help is in light of this setting.
            I never think Eritrea’s and Ethiopia’s vital interests (the people’s interests are incompatible or mutually exclusive. In fact, the interests are meant to complement each other not just for an aggregated yield but for exponentially bigger multiplied advantages. That is why I want everyone to see the big pic that loving Eritrea and Eritreans would mean almost automatically loving Ethiopia and Ethiopians.
            You and I can make a lot of positive contributions if we redirect our efforts to the sacred purpose. But we need to objectively evaluate possibilities and best options. Democratic coup is nonsense, me says. I can drop my call for Ethiopian help, if you can show me there would be ways of changing our situation withtout letting the present trend continue. I can make a good argument on showing 3-5 years from now, if things go as are now, the ugly face of civil war would be staring down at us from a hill. I have no hope things will for the better by themselves. I think they will keep on deteriorating and our fight for change will not have any meaning any longer. By then, nations from near and far will be tempted to jump in and act as much as they feel powerful and entitled. It gives you a sense of (Eritrea-UN) déjà vu from where I’m. Is this all about being pessimistic exaggeration? I wish it were.

            hayat

          • saay7

            Salamat Hayat:

            1. Actually, ELF was put on trial by Eyob: he implied that ELF is to blame for Ona because it instigated the Ona disaster. I said (in sarcasm) that Hayat won’t defend ELF (an Eritrean nationalist organization) because it is not TPLF (an Ethiopian sometimes nationalist organization). And sure enough, when Hawzen was brought up, you volunteered to present information that exonerates TPLF. Sometimes, you make it way too easy.

            2. There is nothing to retract about what I wrote between 1998-2000. I wrote volumes and clearly you have committed them to memory and every time you bring quotes that you think are damning, they only go to show that you see EVERYTHING from an Ethiopian mindset and none from Eritrean mindset.

            You want Eritreans to apologize for May 12. You want Eritreans to feel guilty for the Ethiopian famine. You want Eritreans to feel guilty for deportation of Ethiopians in 1991. If you had read the Eritrea Ethiopia Claims Commission (EECC) beyond your favorite part (the one that shows Eritrea moved to Badme 12), if you had read critically all the carnage that was caused against civilians DELIBERATELY, then you would not be so casually be inviting Ethiopia to launch a military offensive against Eritrea.

            About a week ago I think, the subject of Bishoftu came up and Saleh Gadi Johar described it as the place where the opposition go to meet their death. Well, I feel the same about every place the opposition has met at: Gonder, Mekele, Addis: it is all the same to me and no matter how many times you spin it, my skepticism of TPLF is not skepticism of Ethiopia and every time you do that you are showing how disconnected you are.

            You can give going back to the archives to your hearts delight when you are accusing me of fanning a war 15 years ago and bringing no evidence for it, when all Awatistas are you reading in the here and now fanning a war (whatever euphemism you choose to use for it) between Eritrea and Ethiopia. In fact, the only outstanding issue between Eritrea and Ethiopia now (at the state level) is the Ethiopian decision to retract its own written promise to abide by a ruling. Consider this: an Ethiopian, Fanti Ghana, has requested that his government do that and you, a female Muslim Eritrean, haven’t.

            If you show me ANOTHER female Muslim Eritrean who is as old as you are, as politically conscious as you are, that equates Arabic with Amharic, I would like to meet her.

            Eritreans interest, in my view, are lasting peace, stability, a hopeful future and a non-predatory State. EPRDF-governed Ethiopia and Ethiopian elite have told us that they are either indifferent to us or they have the best prescription for how we can get peace and stability (despite the fact that they were the primary causes of its lack of peace and stability) and just like we regret that we replaced one foreign tyrant (Mengistu) with a domestic tyrant (Isaias Afwerki), we should replace the domestic tyrant with people who are too weak to stand on their feet and get their marching orders from EPRDF. Its that simple. You can spin that as hatred of Ethiopia, blah, blah, and good luck to you on that.

            I think I have written what I consider to be the pre-conditions for a democratic coup and one of them is to cleanse the opposition from the TPLF toxicity. It doesn’t offend me in the least that you call it nonsense or you ridicule it (I concede that it has a low probability of succeeding and only under the right circumstances.) What I know is that the approach you are proposing will make Eritrea another Syria: a nation with 3.5 refugees and 6.5 million internally displaced people. Scale that to Eritrea’s size and you have a clear understanding why Ethiopians are rightfully rejecting your call (from Ethiopia’s perspective.) Of course any Eritrean stakeholder, particularly a female Muslim Eritrean who knows how war always hits the most vulnerable the hardest, would see what that would do to her people.

            saay

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Ato kboor saleh
            KemeAlka
            1.you said it wasn’t Eyob’s finest hour. Really? Can you, please, present any fine hour, save “the finest” hour, of Eyob with regard to Eritrea and Eritreanism? That’s apart from the weekend music exchange.
            2. Now, that Gual Adem invited you endearingly with ” kbur Hawey” (the smart she is, she is saving the “natey, naay bHtey” part for the next level of reward) would you drop out the EMF description and call her Hayat? You can borrow my “gual Adem” on condition that you don’t abuse it.
            3 . Since she has liberated herself from Eritrean organized politics by declaring that she represents only herself (while Gen.Nit accusations that she is a paid agent are still under investigation), I think the field has been made more leveled. If your Eyob can have pleasant impression upon you with his crude and offensive language on Eritrea and its history, why could not you have a receptive fraction of your attention for Gual Adem the smoothie? Just a thought.

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello Ustaz,
            Nezien nwedzien eyu amHaru “yetemare yegdelegn” zibelu.
            I am so glad you recognized Hayet’s reaching out. She even hinted she may even drop the “help” suggestion if only SAAY comes up with one nice word.

            Sister Hayat, how mature of you. Thank you.

            Brother SAAY, I know you can do it. It is like trying to swim for the first time. You do this for me and I will reward you with my story of swimming at the Red Sea for the first time.-)

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear Fanti,
            My mother use to advice me “don’t forget to say thank you and I love you when it is due”. I thank you and every day you fill more space in my heart. I love you!

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello Dr. Kokhob,
            I love you too Brother.
            If I have anything of value, it is because I was given by graceful people like you.

            PS
            I replied to this in Ge’ez earlier, but because it was so good disqus ate it.

          • saay7

            His Fantiness:

            Please tell the Red Sea story in Amharic and refer to it as “Qey Bahrachn”. I need to associate that phrase with a peace-loving soul like you. It is reverse therapy:) Better yet “Qey Bahrachu” because somebody needs to tell the Egyptians its not theirs. One river, one sea at a time:)

            I don’t want Hayat to drop the “help” suggestion as a sign of goodwill, not at all. I want her to keep saying, and I want it to keep being opposed so that those who view Awate Forum as the pulse of the opposition can know where we stand.

            saay

          • Hayat Adem

            Selamat Saay,
            I never said i’ll drop the call as a goodwill. I don’t know if proposed political solutions can be dropped to just show a a goodwill. But I said I can drop it if there are other practical ways of discontinuing the speedy wheel sliding down the road at an accelerating rate.

          • Fanti Ghana

            Selam Hayat,
            Sorry, I am to blame. I may have mislead him a little to increase my chances of success. Give me a second I will fix it.

          • Fanti Ghana

            Selamat FFM (Future Foreign Minister) Saay,
            I know you don’t like that position, but consider it a sacrifice for the beloved mother land.

            Okay. No problem with “no goodwill.” Hayat is big enough to say “let’s find a better alternative together and I will shelf this damn thing forever.”

            The story:
            In 1977-8, TPLF was sending 20-30 of us gathered from all over The Sudan to meda. We all met in Suakin waiting for some transportation arranged by TPLF to take us to Karora. From there ELF or EPLF (I am not sure which one) trucks were supposed to pick us up and take us to the border of Tigray. It didn’t happen
            because of the fall out between TPLF and ELF. While things were being sorted out in the higher ranks, we were stranded for three weeks in Suakin with absolutely nothing to do. One of those days someone suggested we go have a swim in “Key Bahrachin,” and as soon as we got there I took my closes off on a hurry and started swimming. After about 50 meters or so, I looked back and realized no one was following me. I found out later that they were discussing whether it was safe to swim in that section of Red Sea or not.

            As soon as I came out of the water and before I could ask what the mater was, my body started to itch. It wasn’t just in one area, but my entire body was on flames. I was completely out of control rolling on the sand scratching my body like there is tomorrow while yelling and screaming at everyone to give me a hand
            with the scratch. No body had any idea what was happening to me, so one of the guys run back to where we were staying and tells everyone there, women and all, something terrible was happening to “one of our comrade.” There I was screaming “please scratch me any where” when additional help came including 5-6 women. Later we found out that there were millions of small insect-like creatures that were biting my skin exposing my body to the salt. The salt was what drove me out of my wits. Soon after my recovery, the laughs started. Two or three in a group would murmur a little and explode with laughter. Then more and more until the entire group went out of control with laughter.

            Saay, can you think of any worst moment for an 18 years old man who just came out the sea screaming “please scratch me any where” to a group of women he hardly knows?

            This is the worst that can happen, but it is survivable. Have no fear for your first swim my brother.

  • Hope

    Here is the POINT:
    Eritreans from of all walks of life , Religions , Regions and Ethnic Origin.were brutally victimized and became determined to have a Rebellion against the killers,monsters and the devils and wiped out the Strongest Black Army once and for all.
    At last, Eritrea was liberated with huge sacrifice never seen in history.
    Eritreans made hsitory second,prob to NONE…against all Odds.
    At the right time and place and circumstance,history will repeat itself–if deemed necessary…and those blood thirsty and blood suckers will be wiped out once again!
    Our struggle and debate should FOCUS on:
    -The second Phase of Liberation—Constituional Rule,Democarcy,Development,Peace and Equality!
    Please, ignore those losers and dergue and Janhoy REMNANTs,for God’s sake.

    • sara

      Dear Hope,
      Please, ignore those losers and dergue and janhoy REMNANTS, for God’s sake.
      you forgot to include the weyane3 or the eprdf2 to janhoy and dergue.

      • Hope

        Opps,sorry ya habibti.In fact, even worse!
        BTW: Losers: the TPLFs and the EPRDFs.and.they are acting like this as they lost every thing they dreamed for/about..

  • selam

    Dear Ethiopians

    Stop defending the murderers, killers and the murderers . Even some of you are born from dergi soliders , we understand it is
    Hard to see your father as a tool for the bloody leaders. But it is 2015 now , nothing is to be expensive , just accept your fathers shoot us like hunters after a deer. Now you want a video prove , well please forgive us at that time we did not hav time to record , we were running for our life. Of course I am not asking Fanti.

    • Abi

      Hi selam
      I don’t see any problem if one is a soldier or son of a soldier.
      The words you and Tes use to describe us as murderers and killers is sickening. I think both of you are reading from the same book. More and more people are expected to read the same book .
      Regarding Fanti, he is a unique person. Don’t worry you will never find him defending anything ethiopia. He doesn’t even want us to use our God given mind . if I use my mind he will call me a drunk .
      Funny times

      • selam

        Dear abi
        Are not they murderers ? Are you denying hawuzen ? Are you denying kibtset? I understand your take . You know Fanti defended ethiopian interest more than you in any post he commented , by the way I am not looking for any of your s either . What I am asking acknowledge it .By the what perfect name do you have for killers , genocidersand murderers.

      • Fanti Ghana

        Hello Abi,
        You owe me big time for this one. “Don’t worry you will never find him defending anything Ethiopia.”
        Find a way to make it up to me.

    • operationmi15

      Dear Eritreans
      stop supporting and blessing the trenches diggers regime. They dig 1000km of trenches to keep their barren land from south. But they were buried in their trenches. So stop supporting the bloody hamasenai regime

      • selam

        Dear operation
        Go tell that story to your son , and he will left alone for not knowing the truth. Here no one in his right mind will believe you.

        • operationmi15

          already your infant warsay knows who is The invader
          ,killer,aggressor,digger and they don’t need to read “of melik and bla bla’ it is written in the your favourite city of the Hague

          • selam

            Dear Oppretion
            I want every eritrean to know what really happend but i do not approve for them to develope a mind that hate People. I want Every eritrean to question any government action With whome ever try to fight. You IA he got a pass to do what ever he wanted and he was responsible for not stoping the war . I do blame him too. But we should tell the truth. You know if the Eritrean People questioned PFDJ from the start we could have been in a better shape by now. Ask them and tell them this happend on their watch

  • Dear All,
    A thirty years war was fought in Eritrea between the Ethiopian armed forces and Eritrean liberation fronts, and atrocities were committed against ordinary Eritreans. To say that no atrocities occurred against those who lived in regions where battles, (sometimes bloody ones), were fought, is equivalent to saying that war never occurred. These unfortunate people were between a rock and a hard place; both parties armed as they were, intimidated them and demanded their cooperation. One can see that they were the most vulnerable of all parties.

    Now, my point is not if atrocities were committed by the EAF, but to what extent, without saying that this will make any qualitative difference to the crime of killing an innocent human being. History should be taught and then left to posterity to use it as it sees it fit; hopefully to promote peace. Nevertheless, one narrative is never enough; not that I have a different narrative myself from that of the author, whom I respect a lot, but
    for the sake of supporting nothing short of the whole truth, which will set us all free. This can happen when two or more independent historians have the same or similar narrative after an extensive research. This will help us (Ethiopians, those of us who have not participated in the atrocities and future generations) to have the moral responsibility, so that such things should never ever happen again. We cannot of course own the crimes, because the perpetrators are the owners of the crimes. In addition, this will help Eritreans to put to rest the souls of their loved ones, and start looking to the future to promote reconciliation and cooperation.

    Should we say then, let us wait until other historians come to the scene and tell us their side of the story, before we start seeking for peace and cooperation? No, not at all. There will always be people who would choose to doubt, and continue to demand for more explanations and clarifications, with no end to it. That is in human nature. Therefore, Ethiopians and Eritreans should not wait for justifications supported by history, to take the first step towards peace and reconciliation, but
    start rebuilding bridges they have destroyed.

  • Mizaan1

    Dear all, all I can say is wow! This forum has become UFC of big words over the last couple days. I am sticking my nose in maybe I can get bloody too, sounds like fun by the looks of it.

    When are you going to discuss “we are where we are…what should we do now.”

  • Amde

    Awatistas

    Well this was a touching read. I don’t know the details and it doesn’t matter. A novel is supposed to transmit another kind of truth. And I think it does that well.

    It took for me to come to the US and talk to an Eritrean gentleman to know there were atrocities committed against civilians in Eritrea especially in the lowlands. Personally, I feel those tended to recruit more people to the Ghedli cause than the abstractions of federalism or self-determination or democracy.

    I find this is a typical example of counter-insurgency done bad. Retaliating against civilians did not start with Ethiopians and it wont end with Eritreans. Google is our friend on this. US atrocities in the Phillipines, British in Malaysia, French in Algeria and Indochina etc etc… It is to deny the basic brute nature of humanity to ascribe this as a particularly unique nature of one community.

    Please remember that it is still an accepted definition that what we call a state (a Mengist in our common tongue), is an institution that has the monopoly of violence within a defined geographical space. If you think we have superseded that definition, talk to me with happens to you when you refuse to pay the taxes or obey the laws of wherever you live. Counterinsurgency is a military response of a political authority when its monopoly of violence is challenged.

    I am with Gebrekristos on this when he says that the Ethiopian state which is blamed for this atrocity was an institution that included Ethiopians and many Eritreans. Mahmud has noted that there were many Eritrean Commandos that were part of the Ethiopian counter-insurgency in Eritrea. And GK is right in that Eritreans were part of the privileged elite, especially during HaileSellasie’s era.

    Please remember, states are Human institutions that have some special powers, but human institutions nonetheless. The bad part of what that means is that the probability of something like this happening around our neighborhood is high. I dread what PFDJ will do if and when insurgency starts for example. The good part is that as human institutions they may also be amenable to influences from us the common people. Please note that in the last 50/60 years, a sea change has occurred in what everyone defines as the source of legitimacy for a State. I was born in an era where political legitimacy was bestowed from God and thus not to be questioned unless you want to put your eternal soul in peril. We now live in an era where every dictator has to pretend they listen to the People, and they draw their legitimacy through Democracy. It is up to us to make sure that the States we give our allegiances to do not travel down the path this chapter recounts.

    So I see this piece important information for Ethiopians to have to understand where we are today. But I also see this as a cationar

    • Saleh Johar

      Dehan Eto Amde,

      Why do people become defensive on behalf of an elite that wreaked havoc all over the region? Whatever its composition, it was a ruling class of monsters who have done too many injustices on the people. Why defend the indefensible? Thank you for reading it for what it is.

      • Fnote Selam

        Hi Saleh,

        Read the chapter 3x since it is posted. It rekindled this vague idea I had in the back of my mind which is, after PFDJ is gone, to rebuild Karcheli to a museum where the story of every one who has been there is told and will serve as living reminder of the evil we could to each other (right in the heart of Asmara). I guess this just has become my vision. Thanks for the inspiration.

        Best,

        FS.

        • Semere Andom

          Hi FS:
          That is my vision too, monuments over the rubbles of PFDJ so lets we forget!

        • Amde

          FS,

          There is a cynical side of me that questions why there are always jobs for jailers and torturers.

          But this is a worthwhile fantastic project.

          Amde

        • Saleh Johar

          Yes Fnote Selam,

          Don’t yield to those who think having history (your museum) is a bad idea. Museums and telling your stories heals the nation. We are a beleaguered nation, and we need to heal our wounds. If anyone is willing to help, well and good. If not, we will nurse our wounds on our own. All the wounds: from the Italian colonization to PFDJ’s rule through Haile Sellasie and Mengistu’s brutality.

      • Amde

        Hi Gash Saleh,

        I think it is a mixture of things. Most Ethiopians genuinely think of Eritreans as privileged members of the community or even the ruling class from Haile Sellasie through the Weyane period. This is based on their (I should say “our” as this applies to me as well) observation of the Eritreans they know and meet in their daily lives. So we tend to extrapolate the relative comfort of Eritreans in Ethiopia proper and erroneously assume their lives must be as good or better over there in Eritrea (remember RahwaT’s anecdote/joke of the Gurage man who voted for Eritrean independence on account of his love for his Eritrean wife and eventually got deported). Also, we never received information of what was happening to common folk – so we can legitimately claim ignorance. Thirdly, I can testify that in the arc of my own life, a lot of the struggle has not just manifested itself as being against a government and a particular set of policies, but against the very idea of Ethiopia as a nation and long existing community of its people. When you combine it with how history is not studied as history but political ammunition, then we would tend to be defensive and question the legitimacy and the purpose of reported events like these. And lastly, please also understand that what happened 1991-1998 and then the Badme war has left a lot of bad feelings, and sucked away a lot of what could have been a pool of empathy for Eritreans who genuinely suffered.

        Amde

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Dear Amde,

      The following quote from your comment is the culprit of human evils: “a state (a Mengist in our common tongue), is an institution that has the monopoly of violence within a defined geographical space.” The culprit of all the atrocities that had befallen to the Eritrean and Ethiopian people was the “state” or the “government” of that era. Do you know Amde, after the quoted statement of yours, the debate should subside to find its closure. Thank you.

      Regards,
      Amanuel Hidrat

    • Semere Andom

      Hi Amde:
      I take issue with the Eritreans were part of the atrocities that GK and you see eye to eye and here is why;
      Ethiopian under its monarchy was the government and it indeed employed “Eritreans”, who were tools of the repression, no doubt about it and many torture and killing were committed by Eritreans, no doubt about that too. But the point in Ona, Weki- Dubba and later Sh’Eb as committed under the order of the royal army that should have protected the civilians it claimed were Ethiopians . It could have take the risks to target those families who were collaborating with ELF, but Ona was a massacre, an ethnic cleansing of sorts.There was no country called Eritrea, it was Ethiopia fighting a bunch of “bandits” ,so whether the army, the administration were composed of both Ethiopians and people who later became Eritreas matters not. Ethiopia, the country of that day is responsible, not the Ethiopia people, I must add for the atrocities. Now our job is to erase that wound and read its history so we do not repeat it .
      The Ethiopian government that was supposedly fighting those who want to sell Eritrea to the Arabs did not go beyond its call of duty in line with its fiduciary to protect the people who “sullen” kids decided to be “bandits”. The repeated atrocities hardened the hearts of the people and they chanted, “asafihka motte, tekormika motte”
      I also believe that and said it repeatedly if a village collaborates with any opposition members PFDJ will repeat Ona, maybe it has done it, but they learned and they do it in the dead of the night. I know they have massacre an entire platoons that were rebellions white the fighters slept in the dead of the darkness.
      About those languishing in Sudan 25 years after the so called independence, I agree and that is why I say May 24 is the day of mourning and not jubilation.

      • Amde

        Hi Semere,

        To be honest, I think it is semantics from my point of view.

        Yes it is true the atrocity was done by people that worked in a branch of the Ethiopian state of that time. And some of the people that voluntarily worked in the various organs of the Ethiopian state of that time are people from the then province of Eritrea. How many of the people that pulled the trigger at Ona hailed from Shewa, Wollega, Tigray? How many were from Hamsien etc…? I don’t think we know, but we can make a reasonable assumption that it is likely a combination of people from the Eritrean province of the day, as well as from the other provinces.

        Now, I see the atrocity as an outcome of a couter-insurgency policy that was devised and agreed to at some senior level of Ethiopian government. I don’t believe the plan all along was to commit an atrocity like this. It was done in retaliation to the assassination of the commander, as Saleh’s chapter explains. But the counter-insurgency policy or strategy was designed in such a way that acts like these could almost be predicted to happen. Can we say there were no people native to the then province of Eritrea involved at the various stages/levels of the strategy? I don’t know, but knowing for a fact the number of Eritreans at various levels in the police, army and political establishments, I can’t rule it out.

        That is how I understood what GK was saying. We are talking about three states. There was Ethiopia-then, and there are Ethiopia-now and Eritrea-now. Yes the atrocity was committed by Ethiopia-then. Yes Ethiopia-then could and should have protected innocent citizens. But a good part of the institutions of Ethiopia-then also included people native to the Eritrea. That makes it a history we collectively share. Using a simple Ethiopia vs Eritrea formulation today will unfairly confuse the issue today over what happened in a different country. Personally, I am not convinced Ethiopia-now or Eritrea-now are immune from doing another Ona over the spaces and people they respectively govern. Such is life.

        In a way, you are posing a more profound question. When we use the word Ethiopia, I am not sure we are keeping straight in our head whether we are referring to the state (establishment) or the community of people. “Ethiopia did this” is definitely simpler to say, but it confuses the issue between “Ethiopia the State did this” vs “Ethiopia the community did this”. In general, we have our emotional allegiance to our community but obey the state because of its power to compel us. Sometimes we get emotionally tied to the state (or political institution) and we become hard-core nationalists. But often, it s the community we feel is being attacked and needs to be defended.

        Amde

        • Saleh Johar

          Ho Amde,

          That is how I always used it, the Haile Sellasie regime. But still people become defensive. It is a system of the elite, the ruling class. Who in his right mind would blame a poor farmer in Menze or Gonder? But again, from our perspective, the Ethiopian state was an occupier, and that is why we sometimes refer to it as Ethiopia.

  • saay7

    Hey Eyobai:

    You wrote: “Because, I Believe that ELF is a cruel, religionist mercenary outfit that launched a misery of thirty years hell for my people and as well as yours. It wouldn’t past them to provoke a conventional army that was Ethiopia and then hide among civilian population to use them as human shield….”

    That’s a big accusation against ELF and I am waiting for Hayat Adem to come rushing to defend our nationalist front right about….never.

    But seriously, Eyob, this 30-year war (1961-1991) was just as long for Ethiopians and I am sure there is some Ethiopian historian who has written about it (besides Oromay and Red Tears.) You are a very well-read man and you always have books at your fingertips. Can you refer me to a single historian that narrates Ona, Beskdira, SheEb from the Ethiopian side? And how long was ELF “cruel, regionalist, mercenary”: the whole time it was in the field (1961-82)? Can you give me examples of its cruelty? It’s mercenary nature? It’s regionalism?

    Much obliged.

    saay

    • Hayat Adem

      Dear Saay,
      I am not going to try to defend ELF in relation to Eyob’s accusation based on that particular fateful event. But I can defend the victims and I can denounce the perpetrators in the strongest language possible. The event had happened and the victims were the innocent people. There can never be any rationalization and excuse to that. Even if ELF was cruel and it did provoke the perpetrators in some way (there was none reported on this but even if it were true), those who did it and those who ordered them to do it, and those responsible bodies who didn’t take corrective and redressing measures after wards are all criminals. People like Gaddi are doing what they need to do in archiving those events. If Abi and Eyob want to REASONABLY challenge this narrative, their chance is to come up with alternative accounts that contradict the facts here.

      • Saleh Johar

        Yes Hayat.

        Thank you for that.

      • Mahmud Saleh

        Dear Hayat
        This is fair, and to the point. You should not feel coerced defending any political organization in this type of situations (I know saleh said it to get you go); what need to be defended are the defenseless innocent civilians; and now that they have long been gone, their massacre and the massacres of thousands of others who could not tell us their last moment of panics and agonizing deaths should not be dismissed or downplayed.
        The job of governments is to protect the civilians. Even if ELF happen to be in the village ( which was not the case) a government should not cordon it and burn it to ashes, killing off every life in it. It was not an accident or a collateral incident, it was a coldblooded, and premeditated killings. Frankly, it’s weird not to pose and show some sympathy. Asking for more questions is different than trying to rationalize those acts. I believe the people who are defending those brutal regimes are victims of their own ignorance and arrogance, because, regardless how hardened one could get, when we read or witness barbarity, we tend to soften our arrogance and enquire to prove our entrenched belief wrong. I lived in wars, but when I witness the cruelty of man in Iraq, Darfur, Libya, Syria and other places of the world, I still cringe.
        By the beginning of 1970, the lowlands were burned. Did all those villages harbor ELF? eVEN IF THEY DID HARBOR, DID Ethiopian ARMY HAVE TO BURN THEM TO THE GROUND? Durg continued that barbarity in Kebessa, villages of wekiDuba,( IS IT QoHayta?) of Asmara, AQordat…UmHajer….did all these places harbor ELF?
        I think, these sort of discussions tell us the “who is who” in terms of human character. Again, thank you this is my first encounter with you where I have to thank you. I lived it Hayat, and I could go in details, but I think this should be enough.
        Another point I want to make here is: We need to judge an incident on its own. Just because the persons rationalizing these despicable acts have entertained information that ghedli or ELF was not so kind doesn’t mean those atrocities should somehow be explained in a defensive manner; or worse, allude to the notion that they could be justifiable.

    • Eyob Medhane

      Sal,

      Ok..first of all, I did not ‘regionalist’. I said ‘religionists’. As in Islamist. Since, when ELF was religionist? Since, its pre cursor Rabita El Islamia, and since Ahmed. Nasser declared at the UN that Eritrea is 75% Muslim. Since when ELF was mercenary? Since it was set out to destroy a Habesha language and identity by trying to dismantle every trace of it by starting burning its languages to replace if by Arabic. I don’t recall reading about these particular events from Ethiopia. Writers. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. I just never came a cross it. It doesn’t also mean it will never be written. But when it will, I am sure it will tell what our perspective is…

      • Saleh Johar

        Lij Eyob,
        C’mon, that is Trraz neTTeq, unbecoming of you. When did Ahmed Nasser go to the UN?

        I will also appreciate it if you educate me and others on the difference between Islamic, Islamist, and simply Muslim. What is the difference between those terms as you understand them?

        The rule is, if you agree: no Wikipedia or google references, but your impromptu understanding. It shouldn’t take you time because you sound you know.

        Thank you in advance…

        • Eyob Medhane

          Gash Saleh,

          You know perfectly well, when I mention ‘Rabita’ I meant Ibrahim Sultan rather than Ahmed Nasser. Ok..for your satisfaction, I will correct it. Ibrahim Sultan. What he said is fully recorded in Ambassador Zewde Retta’s book ‘Ye Ertara Guday’ with full context, foot note and references. Islamic in my understanding is an organization or entity founded and operating based on Islamic values and principles. Islamist is an organization and an entity that is formed and operates with a fundamentalist, exclusive, seeks to dominates through a narrow outlook of selective theocratic political ideology…

          • Saleh Johar

            Aha, I knew you will quote Zewde Retta, I wonder if you feel uneasy reading his perspective without the perspective of Eritreans. I don’t, because I cannot expect him to be Eritrean. But for consistency, I hope you would see it on the same light with other narrations. Just consistency. But is a good book that shows the Ethiopian Haile Sellasie functionaire perspective. As opposed to the mercenary ELF perspective 🙂

            On Islamist, Muslim, Islamic, many scholars are wrestling with it. But judging from the way you used it, it is more a George Bush type of intellect. The ELF which was overwhelmed by leftists who brought it to its knees, cannot fit any of your description except that the majority were Muslims. And you are a Muslim, it doesn’t matter–you will not be treated as everyone else, but by your religious identity, even if you are an atheist. For example, if I had declared atheism and shunned Islam altogether, I will still not escape the Islamist, Islamic, Muslim brand. When is the last time you heard a communist person, or a rebel, or a terrorist without the Islamist prefix? Never? That is what you have to work on. I will never say Eyob the Christian when talking about you. I will just say Eyob. On the other hand, mentioning my name without the prefix is so difficult to some people. That is all folks, Eyob. Cheers

      • saay7

        Selamat Eyobai:

        Religionist not regionslist, gotcha:) I think you might want to wait for the book to be written because, um, you are tripping all over yourself.
        1. That dude with the Religionist sounding name at the UN was Ibrahim Sultan and not Ahmed Nasser;
        2. I think Ibrahim Sultan was saying Eritrea is 75% (by land) Muslim owned. But you seem to be sure so I shall wait for your source.
        3. In its second Congress the ELF confirmed that (as Eritreans had since the Federal Act) that Tigrinya and Arabic are the official languages of Eritrea. In 1977, the ELF was vastly more diverse than the ELF and represented every single language group in its ranks in proportion to their population. While there had been complete and total acceptance of the two languages as official languages, some very well meaning ELF fighters took it upon themselves to reverse organization policy and to dilute the status of Arabic by publishing non-official language text books. Revolutionary steps were taken against those textbooks 🙂 for the sake of maintaining a cohesive fighting force (God knows the ELF was already unraveling by then.) But you are shedding tears for the Habesha books, hold on to your Kleenex: the volume of “Habesha” textbooks (Tigrinya books) burned by Haile Selasse (the king of Habesha) when Amharic became the official language of Eritrea vastly outnumbers (exponentially) the puny ones burned by ELF. Did Haile Selasse have a thing against Habesha when he burned Tigrinya textbooks?

        I think you should read about what happened at Ona from ethiopian sources you consider unimpeachable because you are making a mistake. If the ICC was around then and it applied it’s statues uniformly, HSI would have been indicted. Just take all the indictments against Omar Al Bashir and put them on a scale with the crimes against humanity performed in Eritrea objectively.

        Saay

        • Eyob Medhane

          Sal,

          I am on the road, so I am not able to get you the page, because i don’t travel with Zewde Retta’s book. 🙂

          About ELF diversity, I think tokens from each ethnic group shouldn’t count..Remember? EPLF had a Kunama representation through Germano Nati..when he’s done his tokenist duties, he was discard and throwen to jail. You know why I said that? If ELF had a kind of diversity you claimed it had, it would not have been easy for Isayas to write one hand written document (Nihenan Elamanan) and convince the highlanders and others to go against it. It would have been so difficult to torpedo like ELF was torpedoed, if it had diverse representation of the ‘people’.

          About their ‘revolutionary’ decision to burn the Tigre language in order to destroy it, oh yeah. Blame it on the rouge fighters. What if they rouge? You think in order to correct a mistake few fighters made, a mistake as heinous as printing a book that themselves and their forefathers spoke, you burn a language that existed in the land for millennia in favor of imposing another languge that came across the see? Unless of course, one works as a massanger of those, who are the original speakers of the the language intended to be imposed. If emperor haileselassie burned Tigrigna books in Eritrea, I condemn it. It is a horrible act. I however, don’t compare it with ELF. The emperor sought to replace it with another habesha language that has 65% vocabulary and cognets similar and written with the same alphabet, which doesn’t make it easy the language that he wants to be replaced to be erased. ELF, wanted to alter the language with something foreign, completely different, written in an entirely different alphabet, which was intended to destroy the entire identity of the people targeted. see the difference? About the people who have been massacred, I think to compare it with Omar Hassan Al Bashir is a hyperbole. Even though even one innocent person’s life has a lot values, you are comparing now six hundred people with hundreds of thousands. I am just saying you are comparing the incomparable…

          • saay7

            Selamat Ayoub:)

            I feel responsible for this “Jebha burned Tigre text books” legend. I don’t know what the context was, but I think I was trying to show how serious Eritreans were about having Tigrina and Arabic as official languages that, one season, they went to the extent of burning unauthorized Tigre textbooks over the liberated lands. This is because if they allowed that publication than other “Habeshas” (wink wink) like Saho, Afar, Blin, Beja, Dahlik would have demanded their textbooks took, something that ELF was very ill-equipped to provide. This was picked up by Yosief Gebrehiwet to advance his ELF was a Habesha-hating, Islamist-Arab proxy organization and that is where you picked it up, isn’t it Eyobai. Fess up:)

            Well, you know what the Amara say: “ስም ይወጣል ከቤት ይሄዳል ጎረቤት”.

            Yes, Eyobai, His Imperial Majesty Haile Selasse I did burn Tigrinya books when Eritrea was annexed. True story.

            Now, Eyobai, you are traveling, you are in some god-forsaken hotel in some god-forsaken land, so let me give you something cheerful.

            The man who was (arguably) most responsible for the vitality of the Tigrayit language is Reverend/Memher Musa Aron Musa. He authored 20 books in Tigre and Tigrinya. He authored the first book I ever read (Tigrinya translation of Robinson Crusoe.) And, his masterpiece is a Tigre edition of the Holy Bible. Old and New Testament. Just consider that. Musa Aron Musa was a student of Weldeab Woldemariam (I know, one of those annoying Eritrean figures) and his son was the publisher of visafric.com (I know, one of those annoying war-mongering Eritrean websites.)

            And, Memher Musa Aaron spoke: Geez, Amharic, English, Italian, French, Swedish, Swahili and, drum roll, Arabic. (If I am advertises him too much, well, you know, he is a product of Wengelawit (Now Isaac Gebremedhin High school), one of my alma maters.)

            I appreciate your passion for Tigre language. Do not worry, it is not going anywhere: the PFDJ publishes four editions of its propaganda and one of them is in Tigrayit. Its speakers love their language passionately. Right now, there is not a lot of literature published in Tigrayit but that is a function of the militarization of the Eritrean society and, consequently (the military’s language is Tigrinya) the super dominant nature of Tigrinya (not Arabic.)

            I won’t do a comparison of Omar Al bashir and Haile Selasse because…I want to leave you with something very uplifting. (Knock, knock: housekeeping!) Here’s a tribute to Reverand Member Musa Aron Musa: I know Tigrinya is TFL for you (Tigrinya as Fourth Language), but I am pretty sure you will get this:

            https://youtu.be/6Kc1FETT1-Y

            saay

          • Rahwa T

            Dear Saay,

            “…Wengelawit (Now Isaac Gebremedhin High school)”. I think Isaak Tewoldemedhin was in your mind.

          • saay7

            Selam Rahwa:

            Yes, indeed, I stand corrected: Isaac Teweldemedhen and not Isaac Gebremedhen. Thanks!

            saay

    • Mizaan1

      Dear SAAY, Hayat is researching hawzien at the moment for none other than mr johar, so ELF will have to find another public defendant.

      • saay7

        Funny Mizaan1!

        Everybody is a comedian today. She volunteered, I take it? That kind of information is something every female Muslim Eritrean has and I am not surprised:)

        saay

        • Nitricc

          Hi SAAY; i am hoping it won’t be EPLF and Eritreans fault for the massacre. the tape was rushed to Sudan for edition so, let’s wait. lol

        • Mizaan1

          SAAY, honestly at first, I thought you were going a bit over board with this HA identity issue but it bothers me when things like this happen. Yes she volunteered. I find myself as much in agreement/disagreements with her ideas as with yours but again, ones priority is very important to me. Look I do not like Tes at all but his priority is out there clear as daylight. Identity is important so we can judge the motivation of ones ideas properly. Selam claims she is writing from eritrea. If she really is then we are all her in vain because according to her writings, the Eri people are not doing so badly.

      • Hayat Adem

        Hi Mizaan,
        Did I miss something?

        • Mizaan1

          Dear Hayat, you didn’t miss anything. You said this:


          Dear Gashe Saleh and brother Eyob,
          I did a forced research on Hawzien and I think I’ve an authenticate account which is very different from what seems to be public knowledge. I can share it here on demand (if there is enough curiosity) from readers.
          Hayat”

          SAAY put a challenge for you to try and put out a little defense for ELF refuting Eyob’s accusations and I told SAAY that you are busy at the moment.

          • Hayat Adem

            Mizaan1,
            1) No, we are not talking about it again please. No matter how cleverly you profile me. You will not know what I don’t want you to know. But what I don’t want you to know don’t matter and you don’t need them. You are safe. Now, lets move on. Besides, I don’t enjoy seeing bleeding noses everywhere.

            2) The biggest headline today should have been about Nitricc’s bash on the big Book. He said this: “Abi; that is the most book you need to question; the bible. I do understand the most crimes that were committed; they were committed by religious people.” No body seems to have been shocked except the one wise man in the house. Poor Nitricc, he goes for the most unholiest provocative ever but nobody notices or cared. he should fire his mentors. What good are if they?!

            3) Now about Hawzien (for those of you who are interested):
            – The massacre had indeed happened, 1988
            – It was an intensive air raid where many migs and and fighter helicopters took part for a full day on a market day
            -The village town was totally smashed in to rubble leaving 2500 victims.
            – There were not TPLF tegadelti except a dozen of armed militias and fewer cadres in that town,
            -There were no cameras or journalists in the area to capture the event and there is real time footage of the incident
            _________
            The last two points contradict the many reports I heard previously.

          • Mizaan1

            Dear Hayat,

            This is what I hate the most. I will let you figure it out but suffice it for me to say that I respect you and I do the same with SAAY, Nitricc, Selam, everybody. But a muddy field like today can provoke even the most humble of us.

            The tragedies of Ona and Hawzien are of biblical proportions. Speaking of the holy book, I did come across what Nitricc had to say. Only if he believed hell is real, he wouldn’t have said what he said.

          • Saleh Johar

            Hayat,
            Do you mean to say “there is [no] real time footage..”

          • Hayat Adem

            Yes, now corrected. Thanks.

          • AOsman

            Dear Hayat,

            The reason awatista are not shocked by Nitricc is that it is not the first time he is saying it. He said so many shocking things for over ten years, anything is expected in his attempt to make the opposition toothless.

            Nowadays I am more shocked by Tes’ name calling as I expected him to control his anger while debating, even for Tes you will have to have more tolerance as often his anger will make you 🙂 more than :(.

            Regards
            AOsman

          • Hayat Adem

            Dear AOsman,
            Right. I have a lion’s share of hard and direct insults from Tes. But I don’t know, I feel like there is something important he wants to tell us and somehow his message is being lost in the fogs he is creating for himself. But there is one line I have never seen him crossing: he doesn’t insult people and he doesn’t worship individuals and regimes. Nitricc’s biggest insult on me was Dedebit with or without grad. But he is the opposite replica of Tes. He insults people and worship individuals and the regime. My feelings, Tes has a conscious restraint but Nitricc a typical guy you will be or need be afraid of.

          • selam

            Dear hayat

            Do your friends eyob and abi at least acknowledge the criminal job of dergi in hawuzen ? Any kind of that,ethiopians do not need to defend dergi and even haile silasie it is well documented.

            when will you say the same thing (hawuzen) about eritrea. you ethiopians at least should help on story telling.

          • Hayat Adem

            Hi Selam,
            You know what- I’ll not be shying away from calling them my friends if it proves you anything but why don’t you ask them directly and hear it from them?

          • Abi

            Dear Hayat
            I will never be shocked by what Nitricc say.
            I was really shocked when the wise man Fanti confused God and Gadi . The Almighty God to Johar Gadi . The Holly Book to Gadi’s book.
            He was accusing me and Eyobe drunks for asking questions to a person he thinks is God.
            He also said to Kibirt Dr Sara ” some forumers seems to have a mind of their own.”
            This is shocking if you ask me. Not Nitricc. Actually Nitricc is one of the most consistent persons . He doesn’t flip flap because he chicken out . ( To use Fanti’s words)

          • sara

            Dear ato Abi,
            usually i don’t like to interrupt when friends gossip/ talk,but this time i am compelled to do that.
            you know what, truth be said,Fanti Ghana is a real gentleman and an elegant person, and he comes often to the forum with the real or imaginary stories i used to hear about certain good ethiopians long time ago.
            please don’t reply
            with respect!

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello Brother Abi,
            it is “forums,” the object, and not “forumers,” the people. Abi, I really did not say or imply in any shape or form “do not question Gadi.” In fact, it would be helpful if you or anyone can ask for clarity in the areas you might think were unclear. What led me to say you and Eyob may have had a little too much blessing during the holidays was your resistance to the story as a whole. You, Abi called the story “a lie.” Eyob tried to justify it with “ELF was barbaric too” statement. Never mind the eye witnesses, but there are survivors of that dreadful moment still alive, this is adding an insult to the injury.
            Selam.

  • Saleh Johar

    Lij Eyob,

    Me thinks you are on something much stronger than Tela 🙂 Of course, that makes you think massacring villagers is okay if there is a reason–whatever the reason was. Right? Who was hiding among the civilians in Hawzen? Who was hiding among the villagers when poison gas rained on them from above?

    Now be generous, please send me whatever is left from your bottle 🙂

    • Eyob Medhane

      Gash Saleh,

      I would have sent you what has left over of my bottle, but I know that you don’t drink. Yes. Howzen was a massacre, but TPLF never denied that they were in Hawzen. Hence the reason why Derg did what it did. I am not justifying that hitting villagers with brutal force and as a result murdering villagers. What you are doing however seems to be 1) glossing over the deeds of ELF, which was again equally brutal, murderous, mercenary force that was hidden among civilians. 2) Using that story to tickle the young generation with emotion, through a very foggy ‘history’ to resent and hate their southern kin by narrating personal anecdotes of almost fifty years of event. If one recounts of ELFs existence in the bushes, I am sure can account for way more than six hundreds or so civilians that were killed by ELF, and when you add EPLF’s it would amount to be tens of thousands. That is where I see the inconsistency.

      • Saleh Johar

        Lij Eyob,
        What is preventing you from chronicling the history of those “killed by ELF”? Go ahead. But you better base it on truth. For starters, I was an ELF member and I was not a mercenary. If you just want to say it and it makes you feel good. I don’t mind. But how is that tied to the ELF? Unless you want to find an excuse for the murders of Hungugu? You see Lij Eyob, when you go to a movie, you see what is playing at the time. You don’t ask the movie house, how come you don’t have an Indian movie, how come there is not Hirut Abatwa Man Naw? People chose what they write about by choosing a topic. You can’t fault me by not writing an Encyclopedia Abyssinica, though with enough time that is possible 🙂 It is just a book, on one theme. Your allegation of “tickling the young generation” is a mouthful Eyobai. To hate their Southern Kin? I will pass that. But come to think about it, when there is a willful attempt to make the young rootless, with no pride, what can a poor soul like me do? Even writing our history on our own is being denied to us? No my friend, I didn’t take that from Isaias, let alone someone else. I beg you not to try to blackmail me by this “hate of southern kin” music. You know it is not true. Give it up.

        Lastly, I think you are saying the Hawzen massacre is okay because the TPLF was hiding among the people! Is that right, Eyob? Nah, I think must have finished the bottle 🙂

        • Eyob Medhane

          Gash Saleh,

          No…I never said and will never say that Hawzen was alright, because TPLF was there. I said (you can re-read it, if you’d like again) When TPLF narrated the Hawzen story they always include that they were there and Derg made that a reason to massacre the people. But you never did that. You glossed over ELF’s existence in there, let alone killing a general to provoke the attack. You made it sound like just one morning Ethiopian soldiers woke up and raided the village and massacred people. That is incomplete story. Which brings me to your another point. Telling that incomplete story has a purpose. The purpose is to have the generation that is around fifty years letter after that even to stay ginned up with anger against the people of their south of the border. That doesn’t say reconciliation to me. To me that is just refreshing a wound. I believe in keeping historical records. Complete historical records. Not just half of it. Or like I said earlier telling your side of a story. But that is not history. It’s only you narration of what you saw or heard of what happened. That is my contention, sir…

      • Kokhob Selam

        Dear Eyob,
        come with your book if you have enough evidence the same what SGL has done. and one thing more what is reconciliation for? can we cure any sickness without studying the signs and symptoms?. even the internal conflicts within Eritrea should exposed. peace is not covering the truth.

        • Saleh Johar

          Kokhob Selam,
          The biggest problem we face at awate is that people mistake reconciliation for submission–you know when the guilty carries a boulder and crawls to a warlord or a king and asks for his forgiveness. And of course they reconcile according to the mistaken understanding. But actually, that is submission. Reconciliation should be based on truth. That is what the South Africans called it “Truth and Reconciliation”. And that is where Eyob can pile all his accusation against the ELF mercenaries and I will be the first to support him by cheering and interrupting him by shouting: tell them like what it is, Eyob. I can even provide a couch 🙂

    • Hayat Adem

      Dear Gashe Saleh and brother Eyob,
      I did a forced research on Hawzien and I think I’ve an authenticate account which is very different from what seems to be the public knowledge. I can share it here on demand (if there is enough curiosity) from readers.
      Hayat

      • Saleh Johar

        Hi Hayat,
        Sure. Anything that adds to our knowledge. Please do.

    • Mahmud Saleh

      salam ustaz
      What?(joking for the bottle)
      Ona massacre is one of the witnessed and accurately accounted for. It happened in the Northern outskirts of Keren. How about the hundreds of massacres? Isn’t indiscriminate massacre, a war crime? A state has the responsibility of protecting civilians. True soldiers abort their operations when civilians are clearly in danger. A colatral damage is one in which its execution outweighs the damage caused to unintended civilians or property (known or predicted); or an incident where the operation causes unexpected civilian or other unintended damage. During those years, a whole lowland area covering approximately 75% of the country’s map was under state of Emergency. Basically, any live, any moving target was legitimate, including live stocks. Most big villages refused to abandon their livelihood and villages; consequently, they were torched to the ground. In many cases, people managed their lives in valleys and caves whenever an army excursion was underway in their region. There is no excuse for any government to the way those governments acted, pillaging and killing civilians. In my previous entry, made it clear that we Eritreans differentiate between the people of Ethiopia and those despicable governments which were not good even to their own people. Please get informed, do your own research. By the way, all the archives are saved, in the handwriting of the actors. I hope it will serve a basis of research for peace for both countries youth lest similar acts repeat.

      • Saleh Johar

        Mahmuday,

        Why are you surprised? His bottle is full of something out of this world. Not your usual stinking liquor-UGHHH. Wouldn’t you like to grow wings and fly among the angels? What is having is that good. Next time I travel to his city, I will squeeze him to show me where to get it. That is on top of the Tre Sga that he owes me 🙂

  • Eyob Medhane

    Gash Saleh,

    I think I have been quite enough so far. In your narration of this ‘history’, you detailed what the Ethiopian army did. Yet, you dutifully neglected why this happened. What you seem to have us believe seems to be that ELF, which was hiding among civilians was a sitting duck that was only preaching the peace and love in the village , while the Ethiopian army came out of nowhere raided the village and massacred everything that moves in 1970. That is not narrating history. It is only telling your side of the story. Which is fine. But demanding every one to accept what you believe a correct version of a particular event as a Gospal truth can not fly with everyone…

    • selam

      Dear Eyob
      I am guessing if your father or any relative was there and he told like he has a reason to kill innocent children , women and elders . Please give us your version unless this is our way of telling our grievances. Nothing new and nothing old. I am far young and I can tell you I was not born . Yet I feel the pain now and I believe we need 10000 people like Saleh who can tell us , all with out politicizing it. Unless PFDJ will tell more bad so which one do you choose.

      I will read all the book and I will keep this book until I have kids and I will read it again to them.

    • Fanti Ghana

      Hello Eyobay,
      I think you and Abi had a little too much too fast Tella for the Holidays. Do you see why I don’t drink alcohol?

      • Abi

        Hi Fanti
        The only book I don’t question is the Bible. A historical book by a political activist should be scrutinized.
        Fanti : yeGadin metsehaf endet tayewaleh ?
        Abi : yegoriT
        Fanti : you are drunk.
        Abi : akasi ?

        • Fanti Ghana

          Hello Abi (The following was meant for Eyob but his post is gone.) Since you look the same anyway here it is:

          Selam Eyobay,

          I could concur with everything you said except that these were not what one would call a “collateral damage” victims. This was a deliberate plan to forcefully gather and kill civilians. What possible justification can there ever be to kill the innocent? Does it matter how vile ELF was? ELF fighters did hid among civilians (sometimes by force), but that does not justify killing innocent civilians whether they support ELF or not. No history is ever 100% accurate even when written by those who were part of it, human mind is not that photographic, but lets not deny everything and lose our humanity along with it.

          Abi,
          Questioning is good, but we must be prepared to own our history. That doesn’t mean we will hate each other for it forever. It simply means we need to be on the look out so that it never happens again. Didn’t we have a test of it 1991-1998? Don’t worry my friends. The truth hurts no one!

          • Abi

            Fanti
            What did we test in those years 91-98 ?
            Can you explain?
            Thanks

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello Abi,
            I wish I didn’t say the 91-98 part. I forgot your understanding of that period was as Eritrea pilling up wealth on Ethiopia’s expense. Can I take it back?

          • Eyob Medhane

            Fanti Ghana,

            My post is still there. Sometimes IP address change cause Disques to hold it for moderation. Of course. ELF and EPLF has never touched civilians and never had women, children and innocents as collateral damage, right? Right. They also never held a gun. Both their hands were holding a bible and Quran and they were just preaching the end of times….

        • Nitricc

          Hi; Abi; that is the most book you need to question; the bible. i do understand the most crimes that were committed; they were committed by religious people. and i can understand why you won’t show any remorse toward what happened in On a. i get it. Regarding the history of Eritrea; well it will be told in class rooms, books and in documentary movies. the likes of ShiEib’s atrocities; when 400 people over-run my tanks, alive, must be presented as a training tool to the special forces in the Eritrean Military. all this not meant to reenforce any hate toward your people but to make sure it will never happen again; Ever! my point is, Eritrean history will be told as is and if the future generation opted to hold a grudge and hate you; there is no one can do a diam thing. it will be told, thought in a class rooms and be written. my point; deal with it.

          • Saleh Johar

            Nitricc,

            Are you not afraid a lightening will strike you? You are still fighting with God? What would have happened if you lived in ancient Greece where they had thousands of gods. I heard they had a god of Chemistry! Now even him?

          • Nitricc

            Greetings SJ
            you said
            “Are you not afraid a lightening will strike you?” it did; why do you think I see the light with absolute clarity.
            SJ, what do you think about this guy’s take on the question of if Islam is the religion of violence? I thought his answer was interesting.
            Here, listen to it.
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PzusSqcotDw

        • selam

          Dear Abi

          You choose a hearsay than a fact based book. You want to swim where human beings run away.A book with no prove or what so ever is your law. Waw How far do people want to go. Oh ja my mam gave birth with out any involvement of my father . No no I am not saying it right, such thing was possible before 2015 years not in the ninth.

    • Kokhob Selam

      Dear Eyobay,
      first know ELF was the people. I was ELF and I was always with people. there was no single day we are not with people even during war the people were bringing water and food to the mountains. Lol, even the camels and donkeys were loaded with water and food and sometime the also die. so the front was not only the fighters but the entire nation. and why is that ELF only it was the same with EPLF and all fronts who fought for national freedom.

      but every time we won on the war the planes were jumping on villages more than the war place. Any how it is no to fuel fire that we are writing our history it is the make real true reconciliation. the same will happen tomorrow when we reconcile with PFDJ and all parties. tell the real history and come with the real reconciliation. for your information this history is not just told or written long back that is our history and we are here alive.

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Selam Eyob,

      Do you have any information that contradict with what Saleh has narrated in his book or any Eritrean argument on the issue for that matter? The killing of the inhabitant of Ona wasn’t a collateral from a war. The location where the ambush took place that result to the death of the general, and the location of the village “Ona” where the massacre took place are not the same location. it has a significant distance from each other. It was a massive cold blooded killing as a retribution to the killing of the general on the Keren/Asmara road. So haw Eyob, don’t be dismissive until you disprove it. Our wounds (Ethio-Eritrean wound) can only be healed when we accept the true history of the wars that leads to the killing of innocent civilians. At least we are not talking about the death of the army of both sides, for it is a given fact, soldiers and tegadelti are consciously fighting. Actually, It wasn’t on “Ona” only, it was a common exercise of the Ethiopian army everywhere in Eritrea when they confronted by recurrent sudden ambushes. I don’t want to list the names, someone has brought the names of the villages that had faced the fate of Ona. Let us accept history and move on. It shouldn’t be a burden to the young generation of both sides.

      regards,
      Amanuel Hidrat

      • Abi

        Selam Ato Amanuel
        You have effectively used the stories like Ona to ” mass mobilize “eritreans in the heart of Addis. You have done an amazing job in seeding the mistrust and hate in the early days.
        Right now a cadre at Mendefera elementary school is using the book in question to inculcate hate and mistrust in the mind of kids like Hope’s nephew. It has been a bedtime story , now a text book with a reference , written by the Great Johar Gadi who witnessed everything.
        Do you see the similarities between you , Amanuel Hidrat, the great mass mobilizer and the cadre in eritrea?
        If you are truly looking for peace and reconciliation in the future, tell me how you can use this kind of book written by a person who has suffered greatly by the incident?
        This book can be used to promote hate for the next thousands of years. You know how it works . You are the expert.

        • Semere Andom

          Hi Abi:
          We teach kids how to use a knife to use it in the kitchen, but they can grow and then use it to kill a human being, we teach kids how to drive but some will use it to mow people in a park for their own crazy reasons. The same we will teach them history and if they use it to hate we cannot do anything about it, people make choices. but history must be told in the context and truthfully.
          And do not worry about the teacher in Mendefera he is Indian trying to make a buck and he is teaching math;-)
          The focus is always the big atrocities like Ona, but there are countless mini killing. My father and his younger brother were in Agordant in 19976. They always remember that black Sunday, when ELF killed an Eritrean who was a spy to Dergi and the Ethiopian government following its custom of taking it on the people they massacred people in bars, teashops, milling shops and markets. My uncle was slightly injured my dad was safe. They even killed camels, you are telling us not to tell these stories. It is shame. Untold history will be repeated if you burry it and go holding hands as if nothing happened. PMZ in one of his speeches immediately after independence he said he was ashamed what his counry has done to Eriteans. People appreciate that. your apprehension borders
          on paranio there is no appetite to revenge life to life, our regenge will be creating a peaceful and if the crazy in your country and the crazy in my country take power Ona can be repeated in both countries whether we tell it or hide it, that is the challenge preventing the lunatics from coming to power in our countries. You have more sane people in power than we have

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Dear Abi,
          Are you kidding? Certainly I was making our people be informed about the cold blooded massacre at that time. We know that it was a hidden massacre to the Ethiopian people, otherwise for sure they will not condon it, and many humble Ethiopian people like you would have condomn it, had it known to the Ethiopian people . But for us Eritrean it was one of the saddest epoch in our history, and we will remember the death of our people for ever.
          But let me assure with assertiveness, that remembering the death of our fellow Eritreans, doesn’t in anyway be used to plant the seed of mistrust as we stand for today and the future. As brother Amde has put it in a crystal clear, that the the culprit or the ” monopoly of violence” of those dark days is the “state” or the government of Ethiopia. It has nothing to do with the Ethiopian people. So setting the record straight of the devilish act of the ” government of HS and Derg” has nothing to do with the desire of the two people to live reconciled, peacefully, and cooperatively. Both governments were the unbearable pain to the the Eritrean and Ethiopian people.
          Second SG’s book doesn’t promote hate, rather it explains the past wounds so to help us to make a justifiable reconciliation. Nothing else. Please undrstand the intention of the author.
          regards,
          Amanuel Hidrat

    • Kokhob Selam

      Dear Eyobay,

      ኣቤት ! ገባሃት ኣይደል ? እዚች ላይ የሚያፈገፍግ የለም :: ሁሉም ሊደበድብህ ተዘጋጀ : የገላጋይ ያለህ ! ደሞ በጀብሃ መጣህቢኝ ! Lol.

      Dear Horizon, your comment will make magic. please come and say your say.

      • Eyob Medhane

        Kokhob,

        You know what makes me sad? Such a fine person like you once belonged to that organization. You must be the only angle there.. 🙂

    • Hope

      Abi and Eyob,
      -Do not try to be more Catholic than the Pope or a better person than your teacher;or a better witness than the victims.
      -Even if there were ELF Preachers among the civilians,that massacre was/is not and cannot be a justification to massacre civilians and wipe out the whole village by any standard or criteria.
      -Do not tell me that there were also ELF Preachers inside the Mosque in Besikdira
      -Abi:
      If PIA is going to wipe us out,do NOT worry as that will be our own responsibility and fault.
      The topic is only to remind you as to why we struglled to death,not to have an Identity.
      The very sad thing is debating with people that should not be debated with—It is amusing to see people here over-reacting and talking “nonsense” and irresponsibly.
      Listen:
      If you are telling me that this kind of barbarism is ok coz the wenbediewoch were there,then you should not be here…
      For God’s sake,may I ask how old you are,sir?What blood suckers!
      You are stil thirsty for blood?

  • selam

    Dear Beloved Ethiopians

    when I say ethiopians I am saying to the sensible people around , not to some people from dergi murderers. You have the chance to really creat a great future that can dismantle the old atrocities over eritreans . I mean dergi history and please own it. There is no way you people deny this and that , it is fact that your grandfather’s have been killing us under the order of a criminal leader .

    If you continue denying the facts it , mewns there is a possibility that we eritreans feel you people have no motive or what so ever to live up to your action. We can not generalize all of you are evil but we have the right to tell over what hwppens to us undef dergi. Mengistu hailemariam is know for eating our people flesh and no one should deny this.

    so many peopke like abi are contemplating to say , just this does not happen . Even people like ghebrekisrtos are trying to play hailesilasie game which is toxic.

    I think awate.com should defend our history , this is not politics , this is some once life. Denying our history is like killing us again. I do not think hayat is evil than abi , ema and other non human beings. They should be warned that they can not play with our live. But I understand it is very hard to warn internet troll .

    • Gebrekirstos

      እዛ ወያናይ ሰላምታይ ናብ ክብርቲ ወይዘሪት ሰላም ትብፃሕ።
      ዋላ እኳ ሽሕ ግዜ ፍቑራት እንተኾንና ፣ ብዘይ ድልየተይ “Even people like ghebrekisrtos are trying to play hailesilasie game which is toxic.” ብግዲ ክተኾልስኒ ናይ ፍቕሪ ኣምላክ ስለ ለይፈቅድ፣ ሕደጊ፣ ብሞት ኢሳያስ ኣፈውርቂ!
      ምስ ሰልምታ

      • Saleh Johar

        Gebrekristos,

        I will not delve into your views because I don’t want to spoil it. This is just to register my gratitude and admiration. I love the way you portray your accent in writing. It is great and I am learning a lot.

        I have a question: is ለይፈቅድ one word or it should be written as two words ለይ ፈቅድ? I want to know about that because I had an argument about similar thing with an Eritrean friend.
        e
        Thank you very much.

        • Gebrekirstos

          Hi Saleh,

          First things first, thank you for the compliment. We shall deal with the “other views” in a different thread. Piece by Piece, we build the bridge 🙂

          About your question. It is one word. Well, the convention is to see it as one word. But also when you say it, it is said without pause between them. It is a variant of ዘይፈቅድ (do you guys write it ዘይ ፈቅድ? )

          ዓይኒ ልዓይኒ ክሳብ ለራኽበና ደሓን ኩን

  • Sarah Ogbay

    I really admire the intelligent and inquisitive minds in this forum. It looks like East Africa is blessed with great debaters. I am proud of you all, well I am not going to lie, most of you.

    However, it has been sometime since our Ethiopian friends joined the debate/discussion. But instead of joining heads to alleviate the problems we have NOW, especially in Eritrea, it seems that the discussions have become kind of focused in the past and in the relationship between the two countries in a kind of personal way. And I would like to call on all of us to focus on the problems at hand. I call on all Eritreans who are in this forum to focus now more than ever. Our people, Eritrean People, my people are dying everywhere like flies and the world does not seem to care. The Ethiopians may try to defend the names of their kings and leader in their discussions. It is their right. WE Eritreans, what are we doing in this discussion? Who are we protecting? Our people in Yemen? in Libya? in the deserts? The seas? Eritrea? Who are we defending or protecting? There won’t be anyone or any country to talk about after sometime, you know. Thinking about it is painful!

    What will it take for us to focus for ones on what is most important, our people, Eritrean people? All the incredibly intelligent and mature and educated Eritreans in this forum could do something if they put their heads together. We need to fight back evil now or we will be done for good.

    • Sarah Ogbay

      My apologies to everyone for not starting with Salutation.
      Greetings everyone!

    • Fanti Ghana

      Hello Sara Haftey,

      You are indeed correct. Mr. Amanuel Hidrat also reminds everyone often to stay focused on current and important issues, but for some reason forums seem to have a mind of their own. Although many people are here for different reasons, if I may take the liberty of talking for those Ethiopians who are here to relate we honestly don’t know what to do to help. I wish there was a nationally recognized and representative entity to which we can express our support to. Please try to see beyond our occasional silliness, and accept our sympathy for the plight of Eritreans every where.

      Selam.

      • sarah ogbay

        Dear Fanti Ghana,
        Thank you for being so polite and understanding. Ethiopia and Ethiopians could do a lot here. For a start-
        1. Ethiopia could accept and commision’s decision and act on it. PFDJ would have been long gone as there would not be any excuse to keep the young in national service. Its capacity as a gvt and its good will as a party would have been already tested and failed. We would not be in this situation now.
        2. Ethiopians should acknowledge and understand the wrong that has been done to us by your successive gvts. You have to understand the extent of the damage. We have gone through a lot of humiliation. Fear of gvt was instilled in us because of them. We can’t even stand up and confront our own brothers, PFDJ.
        3. You should stop insinuations of unity at this moment; when we are in our weakest moments. This is creating more fear and doubt and suspicion among ourselves and between us and you.
        4. You should understand that no matter how much Ethiopia improves is economy, it cannot exercise its full potential unless there is stability in the region. So let us not brag. Ethiopia should honesty (underlined) work on peace not dominance.
        Dear Fanti Ghana, I am not talking about you as a person but as a people.
        If you cannot do these then it would be very kind of you to leave this forum so that we can focus on our issues. I know Awate team will kill me for saying this.

        Thanks again fanti Ghana.

        • Fanti Ghana

          Dear Dr. Sara,

          Thank you for the kind words. Being the only known advocate of “let’s get out of Badme” Ethiopian, I do agree with all of your points above. Although many, including myself, may argue that getting out of Badme may not be a solution, but as you stated, it could be one additional piece toward that goal. Besides it won’t hurt to try, and it is the honorable thing to do anyway.

          Sara Haftey: we, the people of both countries, are in the “boiling stage” of our relationship. It is tempting to want to scream back at those who mistaken politeness for weakness, but we have to keep focused on the bigger prize. What every single one of us does today, regardless of how minor or invisible, will shape the kind of future we prepare for our future generations. Those of us who are trying to take one fuel rod at a time out of the fry are not readily accepted by our respective groups. We are mistakenly viewed as weak at best and as “aKaTari” at worst. But we must not
          lose our focus. As they say, we have a bigger fish to fry.

          Your point number 2 above is the simplest and yet the most powerful request for those willing to listen. I am bowing down to you on that my friend. This is my long version of saying “I agree.”

  • Abi

    Dear All
    This is a timely piece to remind the young eritreans how bad you had it under the “colonizer ” specially at a time where more and more eritreans are saying the “brutal king” and derg were much better.
    I am sure this kind of stories, fiction or factual have been used in the struggle time effectively to mobilize, arm and fight.
    Now they are being used to keep the eritrean youth as far away as possible from ethiopians.
    This book was written in a relaxed state of mind decades after the alleged atrocities took place . But , it is intended for the deep hatred to continue for the next thousand years. Kudos!
    “Shimagle washto yastarqal “enji ayaTalam.

    • Gebrekirstos

      Hi Amde,
      That is my sense too. This seems all innocent on the surface, but it is intended to serve the bigger purpose of consolidating the narrative of Ethiopia (Ethiopians) as the enemy. In my response to Mahmud yesterday, I was trying to say exactly that. Here is the link. http://awate.com/ona-nine-meter-shroud/#comment-1966874877

      cheers,

      • Millenium

        Gebrekirstos:

        What consolidation does that story need? The fact that successive regimes of Ethiopia have ill treated Eritreans needs no consolidation at all.He is just giving you the horrendous details in the hope that the personal anguish endured by many does not get lost in the abstract nature of that broad narrative so that we learn what really happened; we learn that so that it is easier to empathize….being defensive and characterizing it as a way of manipulation by guilt will only entrench the mistrust that exists.

        • Gebrekirstos

          Dear Millenium,
          I have nothing against recording the atrocities, perse. If you read carefully in the link and the entire context around it, I am all for recording, learning from them and understanding each other. However many Eritreans in this forum demand something else: attribution of these atrocities to the Ethiopian people and Ethiopia, a sense of guilt from Ethiopians, a recognition of victimhood, an ownership of the atrocities, and thereby a consolidation of the role of the
          atrocities in the narrative of portraying Ethiopia (Ethiopians) as the
          enemy of Eritrea and of the Eritrean people. This, I am sorry, I do
          not recognize; I reject it vehemently. So my problem is with the added layer (the political profit) that Eritreans want to reap from these tragedies.

          My reasons? I see these atrocities within the framework of what I called
          Eritro-Ethiopian system. The system was as much Eritrean as it was
          Ethiopian. The atrocities are like other atrocities committed in today Eritrea and Ethiopia. They were committed by Eritreans and Ethiopian, and as such they are our shared responsibilities. That is my take.
          cheers

          • Millenium

            Gebrekirstos:

            Are you saying Ethiopians need not feel guilty about atrocities their governments committed towards Eritreans because Eritreans did not fare better under their own government? Even if what you are saying is correct and the current government in Asmara is treating the people the Ona way…the janhoi way, will that make it ok for you? is that why you are saying it is Ethio-Eritrean political culture and you do not see the point why you should take blame for it? Did I understand you correctly?

          • Gebrekirstos

            Dear Millenium,
            No, I do not mean that. I mean the oppressive system before independence can not be divided into Ethiopia and Eritrea. It was one system oppressing all of us, and we can not call it Ethiopian system, and absolve Eritrea. It was an Erito-Ethiopian system. In fact, it was more an Eritrean system if the number of people involved in the administrative structure is the criterion. You can not use new realities (ex post facto ) to attribute blame. Only things that happened after independence can be attributed to either Ethiopia or Eritrea.
            cheers

          • Millenium

            Gebrekiristos:
            So you are saying Eritreans were fighting against Eritreans during the struggle for independence? Ethiopians always said we are one and Eritreans said no we are not and resisted; referendum was done to make an end to that competing claim by both parties and Eritrea became independent; and you are still saying both Eritreans and Ethiopians are responsible for the atrocities. What would convince you Ethiopia was in Eritrea by sheer force other than the long struggle and the final referendum?

          • Gebrekirstos

            Dear Millennium,
            The details are for your to decide. For me, both Ethiopians and Eritreans were fighting an oppressive system. Once the oppressive system was defeated Eritreans became independent and a new reality was created. The mistake you make is that you attribute blame retrospectively. The question to you is this: what is your criteria to call that oppressive system an Ethiopian (and not an Eritrean)?
            cheers

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear Gebrekiristos,

            Yes, both fought but one for national freedom up to self determination and the other for installation of democratic government. both won throwing the common enemy. Ethiopia start the first democratic journey somehow and is getting better. Eritrea completed the fist phase and stacked there. Then new country temporary is suffering but it will get well and start it’s democratic journey. I believe Eritrea will reach and may go faster than Ethiopia in advancing (in all sectors) as soon as the undemocratic and illegal group is removed. I wish those two sisterly countries join their hands to reach where the advanced world has reached.

            the main point here is that Ethiopian ex-governments have colonized Eritrea and worst of the story is they didn’t take the peaceful way in solving the problem.

            Hey tes, ted, selam, etc. please don’t add other words on my sentences. don’t modify and say “I am reading in between the lines you are saying Ethiopians should take back Eritrea” ወላሂ ኣሰቂቅኩምና Lol.

          • Gebrekirstos

            Dear Kokhob,
            “ወላሂ ኣሰቂቅኩምና” ሞይተ ብሰሓቕ ! ብሓቂ ኣብ እዙ መድረኽ ከማኻ ልበለ ቅኑዕን ገርህን ሰብ ኣይረኸብኩን ለለኹ። ኣይዞኻ፣ ብዚኣቶም ኣይትሰከፍ። ልነብሑ እምበር ለይናኸሱ ኣኽላብ እዮም። You said ” Ethiopian ex-governments have colonized Eritrea”. This, you should not believe, Kokhob. Eritrea was federated with Ethiopia, then united, all the choice of Eritreans themselves (some will tell you they were forced, do not believe that for a second :), and of course as with many other things it takes two to tango, and thus there were Ethiopians doing the tango together). After that, Eritreans were every where in the administrative structure more than Ethiopians. Even in Ethiopia, it was Eritreans that held most of the administrative positions. According to your view, Ethiopia can also claim it was colonized by Eritreans. We do not want to go to such absurd level, right, Kokhob? The best and the truth is to say that it was an oppressive system run by Eritreans and Ethiopians, an Eritro-Ethiopian system. See it as a system, not as an Ethiopian or Eritrean, but as both. And all the atrocities committed are the responsibility of Eritreans and Ethiopians. You see, that is the best way to look at it.

            cheers

          • Kokhob Selam

            ይገርመካ ኮ ! በቃ እቲ ለንብብውማ ኣብ ሽክነኦም ተጣሒኑን ተቃሚሙን ካልእ ትርጉም እዩ ልህብ :: መልኣኽ ትቦም ኣጋንንት የውጽኡ::

            back to the subject, If you notice in most of my posts you will find saying – no external force can force you to be in trouble unless you are ready to be forced. try it, check it, it is always your body that should be prepared to reject sickness of any sort first. say it cough or cold etc. the body should be ready to reject it and should take care of your health by taking enough food and sport to ready. then you have to take care of your hygiene. that is simple science. so you are not far from my understanding that we Eritreans has done in making the system with Haileselse. I am generalizing here. nature is perfect and gives you what you give in long run. at that time of history (before federation) most of the people were not aware of the consequence (again nature don’t care if you are aware or not- nature is nor cruel nor kind it is it – ) yet, there were people among Eritreans who cry and reject while there were people who said “ኢትዮጵያ ወይ ሞት”. and those who said “”ኢትዮጵያ ወይ ሞት” were the upper hand for different reasons internally that has given a good chance Haileslalse play it smartly. in fact the victims in this long history are not only Eritreans but also Ethiopians. Eritrean people were not given democratic choice and Ethiopians even don’t know what was going on. here the first responsible are Eritreans who decided with our making any legal process putting the choice of the people. then only I blame Ethiopian government. those who said “”ኢትዮጵያ ወይ ሞት” even paid the price before the federation was dismantled. and their children and grandchildren are paying still.

            the mistake was not uniting Eritrea with Ethiopia the mistake was that it was not democratic and legal way. it is always the same. even now Eritrea is separated from Ethiopia and confirmed legally – one step a head but again after all those long sufferings we have illegal government -2 steps back- that is the reason some are not swallowing the national freedom. Lol. again some are allergic to see Ethiopia around Eritrea. Lol
            “ተመን ዝተነኽሰስ ብልሕጺ ተዳህለ ” what was missing and still missing is wisdom. now that Eritrea is a nation the only choice we both people should do is cultivate love and peace among our people.

          • Haile WM

            hi gere,

            twisting facts is not going to serve your purpose.

            Eritreans were demanding to decide their fate as a nation, long before the fight to the oppressor. Ethiopians started to fight the oppressors way after the eritreans were demanding and fighting for their right for self determination.

            Your narrative of an eritro-ethiopian system can’t hold water since being a technocrat or an administrative position held by few eritreans who couldn’t have decided on the suppression campaign launched by HS and derghi. of course there were eritreans who were part of the crimes against other eritreans, but doesn’t qualify as an Erito-Ethiopian system.

            yes we were fighting the same enemy but with different aimes and goals.

          • Gebrekirstos

            Hi Haile,

            Just two points:

            1) There were more Eritreans than Tigrayans (Oromos) in the administrative system. Eritreans were second only to Shewans.

            2) Ethiopians were fighting long before Eritreans. Gojam, Bale, and the first Woyanne rebellions are just examples for you. Start here: ttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woyane_rebellion

            Best,
            Gebrekirstos

          • Haile WM

            Hi Ghere,

            1) Eritreans in those times were incorporated in the administration mainly as technocrats due to their higher education not because they had political influence. Had it been they had minimal power they would have stopped haile silesie from annexing illegally and unilaterally eritrea into ethiopian empire (minimum).
            The tigryan on the other hand, were part and parcel, of the politically dominant group, do you remember the seyom mengheshas ? and btw those same tigrians were instrumetal in crushing the woyane rebellion of 1943.

            2) if you put the woyane rebellion of 1943 as part of the fight to oppressors then you should also put Menelik’s rebelion against Atse Yohannes and before that ras Kassa of Tembien against Tewordros and so forth back to Ahmed Gragn revolting against the Ethiopian kings 🙂 But you agree that was not the purpose of the discussion here.

            we are talking about unified and organized political and armed struggle here Gere, one driven by common goal, identity and political outfit and vision, not paesants revolt against their landlord nor the fight of a landlord against another landlord.

            cheers

          • YAY

            Dear Gebrekitstos: I just want to know if what you said is true
            You seem to be very knowledgeable person; and your statements are strong, aggressive, and at times condescending. I am assuming you know what you are talking about.
            You said, ” 1) There were more Eritreans than Tigrayans (Oromos) in the administrative system. Eritreans were second only to Shewans.” Based on what source of information?

            I am still waiting for you to share your knowledge/ignorance on who the Habesha were/are?

    • Semere Andom

      Hi Abi:
      Dergi and HS were brutal regimes and this book, written long after the crimes were committed is called telling the history, history untold is history repeated. As to the rumors that Dergi and HS were better, NO, NO!! When comparing crimes you cannot say this crime was better than the other, both are crimes, as all crimes by nature are brutal and those who’s say the crimes by Dergi and HS were more “compassionate” are liars. Eritreans and Ethiopians suffered a lot under those regimes and please do not deliberately do that, I know you are more reasoned than that from previous exchanges.
      As I said before Dergi and HS had 50% of Eritreans on their side and the arrangement was the best thing given our ambivalent demeanor to separation in the beginning, HS screwed up, Dergi upped the ante and the people coalesced around their “children”. It was not only Ona and yes Ghedli used the crimes as a tool to mobilize the people, that is fair, very fair, you do not expect people to give you the other cheek. Ethiopians also fought the Dergi, but the separation option for Eritrea was on the table from the beginning and you know that. If your leaders played the Aces and Queens of the deck that was dealt to them, today we both would be laughing. Ghedli was dealt the worst cards in the deck but it played it right, did it cheat, yes. But then Ghedli became like Dergi and HS, no doubt about it, it built on the crimes of both against the.
      saying Eritreans were better off under Dergi than they are now is like saying the people deliberately sabotaged themselves to create the PFDJ, after the culmination of the Ethiopians crimes in 1975 the Kebessa exodus bolstered Ghedli, the Ghedli promised the heaves, the people paid up for the posterity of their kids, but the Madoffs swindled them, you cannot blame the people for not having crystal ball to know that and you cannot blame writers and history tellers for telling the heinous crimes that in the first place was responsible for ameliorate Ghedli’s shaky ground during its nascent years.

      • Abi

        Hi Sem
        Don’t be surprised if this book accidentally find its way to the classrooms all over eritrea. As Hope told me some time ago, his 10 year old nephew knows about all the alleged atrocities. Start them young they will be life long loyals. IA can also use it against the oppositions based in ethiopia.. Talk about unintended consequence. IA can use the book to hit both ethiopia and his opposition at the same time while convincing the silent majority to his camp.
        Look the ethiopians are coming on the back of opposition tanks….

        • Semere Andom

          Hi Abi
          The people are smarter than we think, IA and few others may use it for the purposes you fear, but the fact that it was not written by PFDJ tells a lot, I always maintain that one day PFDJ commit crimes that Ona will pale in comparison and the people know that. PFDJ tried it all lies before and the people flock to Ethiopia—meaning Ethiopia of today is safer than Eritrea of todayand Ethiopian rulers today love Eritreans more than PFDJ.
          For the book to be use as a manual to hate Ethiopians and safe PFDJ as far fetch as a possibility as PFDJ’s hope for the disintegration of Ethiopia so they can shine

          • Ted

            Hi Semere, i don’t think you think Eritrean people are smart at all. We all are kebero junki unsophisticated illiterate who can’t understand what a smart person like you has to say about our future and way of struggle. But it is puzzling smart person like you failed to catch on people like Abi who has the at most disrespect for Eritrean people. It is the matter of convenience, i guess.

          • Semere Andom

            Hi Ted:
            You are getting better, better at avoiding lies and also better at telling lies, we have our share of kobor junkies like any society and our share of criminals. I do not believe that Eritreans are immune to all teh follies of human beings, I do not canonize neither my Ghedli nor our my people
            Have you read my exchanges with Abi now and before. I debated with him regarding the rightful decision of Eritreans to spark Ghedli, I articulated the brutality of HS and Dergi that some Ethiopians gloss over by calling it, it was not only Eritreans who suffered.But also I told truth by saying that Federation was the best thing and had HS handled it better, we both will be laughing, Ethiopians and Eritreans that is. No carnage for 30 years, no lost opportunities and more affluent society and peace would have reigned in Eritrea, separate or not. do you have smart counter arguments against these, Teddy?

          • Ted

            Semere, You calling me a liar is not a surprise to me.I told you many times you position on Eritrean politics is based on lies, everything.

          • Semere Andom

            Ted:
            You are the accuse, so prove me wrong that Eritreans are not running from PFDJ and that is where my position against PFDJ ‘s Eritrea is based on

          • Ted

            Semere, it doesn’t prove they like TPLF. I am sure you heard what your hero the late PM Zenaw said …we don’t need to shoot a single bullet but to set up a refuge camp to see Eritrea bleed to death. Is that what caring means to you. Why don’t you send one of your colleagues from Mekelle office to shembella to ask them how they fell about TPLF. When i say colleague it meant hypothetical since you are just a cyber warrior with no balls to have any association in a front line.

          • Nitricc

            Hi Ted, would you please leave the man alone; please! You are going to make him lose his benefit from TPLF. He told us he vacations in Ethiopia and when we asked who pays for the vacation; he never answered it. so, you are talking with contaminate.
            what do you expect from a person when he calles for TPLF to invade his country?

          • Ted

            Nitricc, i know it is rubish argument based on their personal conviction to see IA go down by hook or crook but the amount of pollution his likes create in this forum is becoming a problem to discus a way forward otherwise the best University one ask for. Thanks God after many soul searching i got myself disconnected from the dram queen, impostor and warmongering Hayat. I consider it the best contribution i ever gave to the university.

          • Semere Andom

            Nitricc:
            still you have not been healed from you compulsive lying. When did I say I vacation in Ethiopia?You are the one that vacations in Ethiopia and expressed your admiration for Gojjam women and you are fluent in Amharic People are questioning Hayat’s identity, it is yours that we need to question

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear Semere,

            yes ended. wish PFDJ do things for benefit of our people, the party is cleaver on using every equation. do you hear them saying “ጥብ ዝበለት ማይ ኣብ ጥቅምና ከነውዕላ ኢና”? but practically they work on the motto “ጥብ ዝበለት ቃል ጽልኢ ክንፈጥረላ ኢና ” why do you think you find them reading unwritten or hearing unsaid words?

        • Saleh Johar

          Ato Abi,
          For a country that grew up feeding of the spoils of Abyssinian kings, European wars like the Waterloo, WW2, Adwa, the American civil war, Simon Bolivar, The Russian revolution, and many many , more, what is the problem with writing our own history before others write it for us? What is the problem in Eritrean telling what they went through hoping people will understand the root causes instead of the lazy from the shelf explanation “they wanted to sell it to the Arabs,” ect.? What do you think is Eritrea’s history? Or we should say we do not have one. Consider it equivalent of to an Ethiopian reading the history of Adwa, or Hawzen…and many more. Take it easy man.

          • saay7

            Abu Selah:

            For your amusement:) The problem with your writing is that it doesn’t have a disclaimer. Here’s a famous disclaimer* modified to appease Abi and those who insist that we shouldn’t tell our history for fear that we may hurt feeling:

            This page from history is meant for educational purposes only. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead is purely coincidental. Nothing in this narration of history implies that equally horrendous events didn’t take place in Ethiopia, nor is there any proof that Colonel Welana was Ethiopian. Void where prohibited. Some assembly required. Batteries not included. Contents may settle during shipment. Use only as directed.

            This page may be too intense for some readers. Do not read this page while nursing views that Eritreans are artificial and therefore incapable of feeling. If condition persists, consult your physician. Postage will be paid by addressee. Apply only to affected area. All models over 18 years of age. Freshest if eaten before date on carton. Subject to change without notice.

            It will take the Angry Ethiopian two minutes to speed-read the page from history. Times approximate. NOT sanitized for your protection. If you order the book, expect a rough ride. Please remain seated until the ride has come to a complete stop. Breaking seal constitutes acceptance of agreement. Many suitcases look alike. Contains a substantial amount of non-tobacco ingredients. Colors may, in time, fade. We have sent the forms which seem right for you. Slippery when wet. For office use only. Not affiliated with the Arab League.

            List was current at time of printing. Return to sender, no forwarding order on file, unable to forward. Not responsible for direct, indirect, incidental or consequential damages resulting from any defect, error or failure to perform. At participating locations only. Not the Beatles. Penalty for private use. See label for sequence. Substantial penalty for early withdrawal. Do not write below this line. Falling rock. Lost ticket pays maximum rate. Your canceled check is your receipt. Add toner. Place stamp here. Avoid contact with skin. Sign here without admitting guilt. You must be present to win. No passes accepted for this engagement. No purchase necessary. Processed at location stamped in code at top of carton. Shading within a garment may occur. Use only in a well-ventilated are. Keep away from fire or flames. Replace with same type. Approved for veterans. Price does not include taxes. No Canadian coins.

            Prerecorded for this time zone. Reproduction strictly prohibited. No anchovies unless otherwise specified. Restaurant package, not for resale. List at least two alternate dates. First pull up, then pull down.Driver does not carry cash. Some of the trademarks mentioned in this product appear for identification purposes only. Objects in mirror may be closer than they appear. Do not fold, spindle or mutilate. No transfers issued until the bus comes to a complete stop. Package sold by weight, not volume. Your mileage may vary.

            This supersedes all previous notices.

            saay

            *The original is here http://www.shabbir.com/jokes/misc/disclaim.html

          • Saleh Johar

            At Saay,

            I shouldn’t reply to you because I am so angry with what is going on between you and Hayat. That is because the issues that you are (you were about) to debate are so important many would have learned from it. Both of you have the ability to deliver your arguments (without jabs of course, Emma can be the bailiff for judge Fanti) but unfortunately it went ugly. Not because of you two, but because I see a lot who want to transform this forum into another PFDJ kiddie website where they have nothing else but insulting and vulgarity. Some people are so weak they think they are in the front lines firing live bullets to their enemy. And I do not like the ganging up whatever the reason–you “hurt my feeling” is not an argument (I learned that from you). I hate it when people use your arguments as an opportunity to reignite their hate messages–a behavior we toiled for years to eradicate from this website. And you know how taxing that was.

            I appeal to the few individuals who want to make this another PFDJ website to stop the “more blood!” cry–but make no mistake. We will not allow this website to be taken over by anyone. It will remain a bastion of civil debate, open for any decent person. This is a learning moment if we just know how to tame our anger and be careful of our tones.

            Hayat, I have respect for your intellectual capacity and I am sure you can debate with vigor and give us the opportunity to see the arguments from you side. Needless to say, I didn’t like your comment regarding the status of Arabic in Eritrea (you equated it to Amaharic or English) which is worse than anything others might accuse you of. You know I have a small tomato garden in that field and I would have liked to take you on that. But not now, in time.

            Having said that, I see some people are trying to make your debate with Saay as if it is between a commenter and a moderator. I assure you Saay can have ten times bigger issues with your position, but he will never think of taking advantage of that to get at you. I hope you take my word for that. So, take it easy, don’t listen to the aggaferti–cheering you or booing you; cheering Saay, or booing him.

            On the Disclaimer: Saay, please make it a bit longer, one page is not enough, you have to go full lawyer on that. Don’t forget to add this: the book is printed in Ona. Some of the copies may still have blood stains on them. If you look at a page for too long, a monster may pop out. It is likely it is Haile Sellasie’s Hungugu. If that happens, run for your live. He has thousands of soldiers with their bayonets on the ready behind him. If you have naughty children, tell them the story of that Hungugu and they will behave.

          • Hayat Adem

            Dear honorable Gadi,
            Thank you. On the Arabic thing please bless us with the garden tomatoes,. Nobody would pretend to know that field like you do, So my role will be to listen, and not to debate.
            Hayat

          • Abi

            Selam Ato Saleh
            I see a huge problem here.
            A history book written by a political activist who declared his utmost hatred to the person allegedly order the said atrocities is biased at best and a propaganda material at worst.

          • Saleh Johar

            Selam Abi,

            What you said is even said about the holy books. What is my book compared to that? Not even a grain of teff in the entire Ethiopian fields. I am sorry Abi, but I cannot apologize for hating Haile Sellasie–it is not a flu that I caught yesterday. Every patriotic Eritrea has that flu. But you put me on a difficult situation because you think an activist should have nothing to do with history. No so Abi. I see similarity between the Hungugo of yesteryear and the Hungugu ruling from Asmara now. I am sure you didn’t object to my book which is about what the Asmara Hungugu is doing to my country and my people. But making me an affiliate of that system was a novel idea–I have been called all the names any activist can think of, not that. My hats of for giving me another emblem. Take it easy Abi, we were fine 🙂

          • Abi

            Ato Saleh
            That is exactly my point. The flu you caught yesterday didn’t stay with you . You transmitted it to all ” patriotic eritreans ” and the sad part is you are saving the virus for the next generation.
            Kudos

          • Saleh Johar

            Dear Abi

            Exactly! That is why humanity teaches history in schools. That is why they have classes at universities, unless anthropology, sociology and political science–together with history–is banned. Besides, the flu that I would like to pass is an antidote for the ailment. It helps you develop resistance–any medical student can tell you that. The flu virus is doing all right, now we need a malaria virus to develop resistance to the killer mosquito sting. Thanks Abi, you never let me down 🙂 Take it easy my friend.

          • Kokhob Selam

            Abo,

            ኣንተ ያንተን ሜላ ኮ ተጠቀመ “and the sad part is you are saving the virus for the next generation” ስትለው “Exactly! ..ኣልሳቅክም? ልሞት ነው !!

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello Dr,
            እየውልህ እኔን እሺ ታላቄ ነህና ኣንተ ያልከው ይሁን አያለ እንዳያዋራኝ እኔን ምስኪኑን በጥፊ ብሎ ኣባርሮ ሰላሕን ኣወረደበት፡፡
            አዬ የዛሬ ልጆች!

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear Fanti, do you read it? Lol

            እንዲያውም “Thanks Abi, you never let me down 🙂 Take it easy my friend” ጨምሮበታል:: ኣሁን ይህ ምን ይባላል ? ምስጋኖ ነው ? እርግማን ነው ? ወቀሳ ነው ? Lol.

          • saay7

            Hey Abi:

            Ok, books by activists won’t do. How about a book by an ordained priest, Fr. Athanasius, a strong advocate of Eritrea-Ethiopia friendship for years running. Would that be a book you would consider? If so run to Amazon.com or Red Sea Press (the publisher, Kassahun Chekol, will really appreciate it) and get your copy of “Massacre At Wekidiba.” Different child, different place, some horrific story.

            If you are into books and you are more of the numbers and statistical analysis type, you could just visit this website

            http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_massacres_committed_during_the_Eritrean_War_of_Independence

            Eritreans are not big on monuments; if we were, the whole country, north south east west would have monuments to commemorate one unspeakable tragedy after another.

            saay

    • abrham

      Dear Abi,
      be Ato Saleh Juhar atmtabign. He is the most I rely on for Shimglina but as he is doing right now by exposing the atrocities. Nothing wrong with it, here in Ethiopia many such books are published and I do not believe they have this you call deepening the hatred propose. But of course we should sing to much about reconciliation and peace.

    • Ted

      Abi, you are deep in to our affairs. It is us who can write how we see it happened. It is the sacrifices we made for our independence which by the way you are happy that we got what we want. Don’t you think it is hypocritical of you to say””Shimagle washto yastarqal “enji ayaTalam.’ we are not asking for compensation or retaliation. Just history for healing and a lesson never to happen again. Why would you want to pour salt on our wound. The Conolen Walena of Eritrea is 100X brutal than any dergu killers in Ethiopia. We were killed by Ethiopian soldiers because we are Eritreans , your people were killed because they were suspected of opposition. totally different ball game. Brace yourself for the story coming out of the Tigraway spy “ye jero” in Eritrea who killed and tortured 1000s Eritreans.

    • asmerom

      Dear Abi
      This is part of our true history and it should be told so not only for the new generation of Eritrean, but including the new generation of Ethiopia understand and learn from it. History is not written for revenge or hate purpose it is something that happened and no body has the power to change it and it must be told as it is . There is no way that we should hide our history for fear of hate or revenge, we own it and it is part of us and we should tell it as it is for generation to come. Wise people learn from history they don’t run from it. We learned about different atrocities in our world from history and because of the past atrocities committed by some countries we don’t hate them or ask revenge on them we rather are interacting with them, that is the world we live in.
      Dear Abi your fear of hate or revenge is baseless and Eritrean people are not historically revengeful people they are wise and respectful people more than what you think of them
      Mr. SJG thank you for bringing our history and telling it as it is your contribution is so great.
      Thanks

  • Haile zeru

    I do not know how to thank you Saleh Gadi Johar.

    Thanks for telling the stories (atrocities) of that time. I grew up near the villages you are talking about in this chapter of your book. Farhen (near bisidira), Aibaba, Areway, Gerger,Mehlab, Quruh, Debressina, Ira, Sogo, Fishey, Ela-Iro ( yes the place where G15 and others are imprisoned), not to forget Geleb and Rora Mensa.

    At the time you are telling the events in this excerpt of your book I was very young. I was guarding goats kids (not even grown enough to guard goats). We had some goats about 30 to 40. Sometimes become more sometimes less.

    My mother and grandfather were grooming me to be a great farmer (whatever that means). We had lots of land here and there, straddling from “aul” to “Aulet”. From Aibaba to Ghedghed (gedged/Sheeb).

    My mother and grandfather gave up their dream of keeping me there because of the events you detailed in this chapter. My uncle came and took me to live and learn with him. He was living in the vicinity of Asmera. It was relatively safe there at that time. And I started my education. I barely knew a word of Tigrinya which is now almost my first language.

    Basically the course of my life was drastically shaped by those events.

    Now in Canada I have your book, a companion to tell my daughters how life was when I was growing up. And by extension the history of their country. They are studying the History of the world since times immemorial.
    How the Native Canadians (might have) crossed the Bering straights to cross from Asia to North america. And how Humans (might have) crossed the Bab-El Mandeb to Asia from Africa. They can study as well how their father made his trek from Mehlab to Canada and what were the driving forces that made him travel that far….

    You know I am a bad story teller. Your skill, your art, your knowledge will help me fill the gap.

    Thanks again.

  • Admas

    The best lies are half truth, specially when the liar believes in them and uses them as a means to sustain what is otherwise a fragile identity…..

    • Haile Zeru

      Amde,

      Let me tell you, you are wrong. You know nothing about these events. The best you can do is cross-check them with other sources.

      This is the problem to converse with Ethiopians. Some of them are keenly aware of what went wrong, but some of them, like Amde is doing here, try to dismiss everything and bring issues that have nothing to do with the matter.

      The driving force of the Eritrean struggle was not issue of identity or colonialism. These are issues that the people who try to avoid reality and use big sounding words to cloud facts. Eritrean struggle was driven by what you see in these chapter.

      • Haile Zeru

        Correction….

        Sorry I meant Admas. the above message is intended to Admas not Amde.

        • Admas

          Haile Zeru, If Eritrean struggle was driven by a genuine quest for freedom from oppression I wonder why your current oppressor is any different and why the same people who fought Ethiopian oppression are all of a sudden important….could it be because you IDENTIFY yourself with your own oppressor hence there is no need to feel as bitter as you felt towards those “foreign” oppressors? ….identify….

          • admas

            sorry i meant impotent, why are the supposedly “invincible” Eritreans all of a sudden impotent on the face of “their own oppressor”?

  • Mahmud Saleh

    Ustaz SaleH
    I still live with painful memories of that time. Incidentally, Ona and Biskidira are not too far from where I grew up. My dad went to both massacres for burial assistance. And, incidentally, again, that’s where I start recalling things; I still don’t know how old I am. Shaebia gave three birth days in different times; coming to the USA I got a forth Birth date….time goes but the pain is there. The first chapter of that book starts with the corpses of tegadelti from Gheleb-MeHlab, again an environ I am familial with.
    The point that we need to stress on is: exchanging information. I believe if we give and take information we will bebetter prepared to engage each other with maturity. I find that most Ethiopians are not aware of what was going on in Eritrea. I asked earlier GK a couple of questions because I wanted to know his level of contacts with Eritreans of that time. He complained about the dismantling of king HS in Massawa, yet he did not even ask why? Did he know Masawa itself was the scene of Massacres committed by the same king and his successor Mengistu? Some of the suburbs which were annihilated in those years by the same king:
    1. Hirgigo: just about a couple of kilometers to the south east of Massawa, 1975, hundreds killed, the village, the first of its kind in becoming the beacon of education producing pioneers of the revolution, was erased.
    2. Emberemi: just a couple of kilometers to the North west of Massawa, more than twice erased (between 1970-75) hundreds dead.
    3. Zula and Afta: to the South of Massawa
    4. Aylet and Gimhot (two prospering villages) North of Ghahtelay (West of Massawa) 1967 or 68? totally erased,
    5. Ad Shuma
    6. SheEb erased more than three times with hundreds killed in cold blood; the last one in 1988 where 400 persons were reported killed most of them overrun by tanks.
    This is just in the environs of Massawa, and yet GK is complaining of the blowing up of HS statue. I believe if GK is made aware (that’s if he opens his heart) he will surely make a sense why Eritreans feel so bitter. I think Awate has the list of villages that were torched down. Please make that available.
    The difference between what Durg and HS did in Eritrea and Ethiopia is the declaration of emergency decree in Eritrea. 1976-70, all Eritrean villages were declared legitimate targets. All most all the villages were destroyed, their inhabitants (those who were caught un prepared, or the unable were mercilessly killed. I am sorry, it’s graphic but for the record babies were thrown in the air and gored by bayonets. Pregnant women were torn apart, people were slaughtered like animals (just like what ISIS is doing- cutting the throat.
    Therefore, I think we should condemn barbarity wherever it exists. This is not to say Ethiopians did alone did it; there were mercenary Eritreans known as commandos.
    Later with Durg. Eritrean highlands faced the same barbarism, including massacres, and red terror huntings.
    I’m sorry, please forgive me I am rushing.

    • Gebrekirstos

      Dear Mahmud,

      1) “He complained about the dismantling of king HS statue in Massawa, yet he did not even ask why”
      2) “This is just in the environs of Massawa, and yet GK is complaining of the blowing up of HS statue”

      Where is GK complaining about this? How do you arrive there from “a case in point is Ghedli triumphantly destroying a monument
      commemorating the fallen heroes of the battle of Dogali, and just
      right there hoisting their flag on a monument erected by Italians to
      commemorate their dead soldiers”?

      I am not surprised by the level of comprehension of
      many forumers here. But I would never expect that from you. Maybe it is an illusion to think that there are people in the forum who can grasp the details and essences of posts. Maybe people are engaging their own assumptions about other people. Really,disappointing!

      Cheers,
      Gebrekirstos

      • Mahmud Saleh

        Salam GK

        A quick response:

        I asked you yesterday a couple of questions to see your knowledge concerning Eritrea and Eritreans in relation to the brunt of brutality they sustained. You evaded those questions. The purpose of those questions was to establish a common ground because it’s my belief that once people are made aware of certain circumstances they tend to react in the same way their peers would. That’s for the majority. I have encountered some exceptions to this rule, and unfortunately, you happen to be one of them. I have listed in my follow up response more than 8 vibrant villages that were decimated with hundreds of souls killed in a barbaric way imaginable. That’s within 100-200 km square area. I brought those villages to help you make up your own conclusion as to how the liberators of Massawa in 1990 felt in regard to traces of Ethiopian occupation; it was my way of measuring your “conscience meter”. Unfortunately, you have not said a word about those villages and their inhabitants, but regurgitated somehting we are all familiar with. That’s not because of your comprehension level, but because you are talking from a standpoint of an occupier’s mindset, my friend. Dogali is Eritrean, and many of those who died in defending that part of the land were ancestors of Eritreans, but the statue that was blown had a different meaning to us. You said “a case in point is Ghedli triumphantly destroying a monument commemorating the fallen heroes of the battle of Dogali, and just
        right there hoisting their flag on a monument erected by Italians to commemorate their dead soldiers”?
        Well all I know is Durg/Ethiopian flag was lowered and an EPLF flag was hoisted in its place, on the same flag post.
        I think I will end it here because continuing the conversation will not serve us; my intention is to exchange information and build common understanding, but what I see is dismisal of a human tragedy that I had lived.

        • Haile WM

          selam Mahmud

          brilliant response!
          the worrying part is that while GK thinks he understands the level of comprehension of many awate “forumers” he miserably fails to check his level of comprehension and address his grievances and their belonging.

          • Abel

            Dear Haile WM,
            That’s you best shot? I guess you run out of ur fictitious ghedli diatribe..

          • Haile WM

            Dear Abel,

            I don’t really think you have a grasp of my best shot, but I will be happy to give you some history and ghedli lessons 🙂 You just needn’t be shy on asking.
            Cheers

          • Abel

            Thanks Haile WM

            I grew up with it and it is one thing I had in excess.

            I admit,it took me a while to comprehend that it all was cooked and imposed fictitious drama.

        • Gebrekirstos

          Dear Mahmud,
          I do not dismiss the atrocities. I read and registered. But once again, I see these atrocities within the framework of what I called Eritro-Ethiopian system. The system was as much Eritrean as it was Ethiopian. Within this framework, I recognize these and the many other atrocities (in both current Eritrea and Ethiopia). Within this framework, we can recognize them all, learn from this history, and understand each other.

          The problem is: that is not what you are asking. You are trying to reap political profit out of it. You want a sense of guilt from Ethiopians, an emotional recognition, and consolidation of the role of the atrocities in the narrative of portraying Ethiopia (Ethiopians) as the enemy of Eritrea and of the Eritrean people. This, I am sorry, I do not recognize; I reject it vehemently.

          I am still at loss to understand why you need to put things I never said in my mouth.
          1) “He complained about the dismantling of king HS statue in Massawa, yet he did not even ask why”
          2) “This is just in the environs of Massawa, and yet GK is complaining of the blowing up of HS statue”

          More at loss to understand why it is so hard to correct those mistakes by saying ” sorry, I made a mistake there” rather than going great length to cover that?
          Cheers,
          Gebrekirstos

          • Hope

            Sir,
            Shut it off and back off with dignity,man!

    • Hope

      Yep,Vet Mahmouday.
      Btw,I thought you are” Wed Semhar Abay”’,which does not make any difference,any way’–
      And,of course,as you mentioned,that is only theTIP of the Iceberg; NOT to mention the unbelievable atrocities -in Barka,where Pregnant Moms were stabbed mercilessly with Bayonettes into their Gravid bellies/uteri on a day light,which I have never heard of.-the Tselam Senbet,the Ad-Arey,Ad Ibrihim,Andelay of Ashera,etc….are few of the villages,which were turned into Ashes –where little kids as young as less than one year were burnt alive–in front of my OWN EYES…..
      And yet,despite all these atrocities that led us to fight for our very survival as Human Beings,those with “selective Dementia” are telling us that we have NO Identity…..But nezi ewin bedihnayo—zelanayo kunet ewin kihalif…

  • selam

    Dear Teacher Saleh

    As I am grasping with our history , i mean Eritrean History , I find your work very important and helpful to me personally.
    To be frank some times it is quite hard to hold on my tears and continue reading . I believe your work is a gift to the young generation like me . Very bad you are not benefiting for your hard work. I hope the dust settles soon and you get what you deserve.

    I could not find any word to thank you , simply thank you from my heart .

    • Saleh Johar

      Selam,
      Thank you. In turn, I can tell you that I am content if people like you read what I write.

  • ghezaehagos

    Selam Saleh,
    What a coincidence! Just a day or two ago, I was listening to a radio while driving; and a reference to ‘of Mice and Men’ was made. I remembered the book; about the best-laid plans gone ‘awry’ (Seb Amami; Ezghi Fexami!”. That title took me to thinking about your book, ‘of kings and bandits.’ I was wondering if the title is fitting for you theme; a thought I had when I read the book when it came out and read the reviews, especially by Sal Younis. Steinbeck chose it probably to underscore the plans of man and mice don’t come to fruition, as clearly happened to George and Lennie. It is cruel irony.
    Of kings and bandits, however, is linear and straightforward reference to kings (H. Sellasie) and bandits (Jemal and the fighters for independence of Eritrea.)
    At any rate, I didn’t finish my thoughts when segued to the book itself and its indelible chapters, especially the Ona story. I opened the browser and IT IS HERE. Amazing. There are very great chapters in the book. Jemal’s daily routine to school and home and chores reminded me exactly of my 7-8th grade trip to school from Edagahamus, via tsae-xirgiya to “Shaweley’, Geza Berhanu, Hadish Adi, Edga-Arbi to 4te Asmera, the school. The similarities are quite striking.
    Unquestionably, for me, the best part of the book is the ‘Ona’ story. I can see this is the most personal for you. It is a great chapter and it is well-told. Deservingly so for a massacre of that magnitude. Thank you for telling it, dear Saleh.
    All the best,
    Ghezae

    • Saleh Johar

      Thanks Ghezae,
      Your Edaga Hamus is well represented in the book and that should also arouse some nostalgia. At the risk of ending up posting the entire book here, Here is a gift for you:

      “It was seven in the morning in Edaga Hamus—time seemed to stop at 7 a.m. You could arrive there at midnight and the place would magically look like it was 7 in the morning. Edaga Hamus neighborhood seemed to perpetuate and herald a lively new day.” (Chapter 29 “Holy Miniskirt”)

  • tes

    Dear Saleh Johar,

    A born rebellious and justice loving man. My respect on you is beyond my words.

    For now, just one word:

    Merci Beaucoup!!!

    ton frère

    tes

    • Kokhob Selam

      Dear tes,
      really no words can express . I love to see when the injured is the nurse of self and feels the pain of others.

    • Saleh Johar

      Thanks Tes,

      Learn from me, calm a bit 🙂

      Rebel ystaKw an aKli, lakin enti agrwa beher gn.

      Ajaka

      • Hope

        Ustaz:
        Even Blin?
        Wow—after more than a quarter of centuary.Even Deki Shifshifti and Keren Lae’lai born from Blin cannot handle it.
        Aje’ka(Aja’ka)=plural;Aja’ki(Aje’ki)=singular
        Typo err: ghirwa
        This is besides Tigrinya,Tigrayit,Arabic,Amharic,English—may be kunama and Harendiwa/Hadendiwa as well–not sure abouit Afari–unless U were stationed in Denkalia ?

      • tes

        Yidan Saleh Johar,

        Bher dan erden, bher akro kedertok. Ewsena yiro melakin wenKerg. Wuri’wKh, enti gin memhr bher.

        Kudan

        tes

  • Ted

    Hey, Salhe, well written in content and presentation. How is it possible for people of God who can feel the pain and joy of others prefer to inflict so much misery and be ok with it. It is impossible, we are designed to feel proportional amount of emotion we contribute to others. Ethiopians are not different, they caused all kind of harm known (physical and emotional) to Eritreans and will not be immuned from justifying their action to their conscience. This book is as for Eritreans is also for Ethiopians. Reconciliation takes being truthful to oneself and history.

    • Saleh Johar

      Hi Ted,
      Indeed, it is for all humanity because our suffering cannot be seen in isolation of injustice that the world is still suffering from. What is worse is that I have seen colonel Welana the murder in flesh. I stood in handcuffs in front of his desk and two commandos as big as a camel holding me from both shoulders like a bag. I was sixteen and his image can’t leave my memory, a haggard, stone faced man with long twisted whiskers any cat would envy. He acted like god, a sign of his finger can get you killed or spared. I don’t think he ever smiled, or knew how–he was a born killer.

  • Hope

    Ahh!
    Your Excellency Ustaz Saleh Johar:
    After more than 35yrs,a vivid and an EXCELLENT EYE Witness Account Narration,as if it is/were happening right now in front of our faces–in a much better way than a Movie could do,by the same Jemal,who was there,right there!
    It is sad that ,my Dear Mr Saleh Johar,aka,Jemal,that you have not gotten a Prize you more than deserve…as of yet despite all the BEST work you have done.
    Time will come though…that you will get the 5-Star Diamond Medal. besides a National Acknowledgement!
    Keep it up big Bro!
    ” Born a REBEL,living as a rebel until Justice prevails”!
    All the BEST,my man!
    May God bless you and enlighten you further.
    SAAY: This is a REAL,REAL PRAISE,FYI!
    Hey Abi,
    Read this articles 3x and give us your feed back.
    Please, it is the children of Besikdira and Ona,who provided the same people,who destroyed Ona and Besikdira,with food and water,when the same more than 250,000 strong X-army people,who destroyed their mothers,kids,fathers,babies,grand-parents,Pregnant Moms(being stabbed their Gravid Abdomens with bayonettes),etc…were,at last, running away scattered and helpless,hungry and thirsty…..”Ed shenahit,tsenahit!
    And ye, some of us have not learned and are still wishing the same people to be destroyed.
    But,lol,the worst might come on them.
    Repent before it is too late! as the Lord of Mercy is the Lord of Judgement as well,at the end of the day!

    • Abi

      Hope nefse
      You need my honest feedback? Ona and Besikfira will be insignificant in the history of eritreans if you somehow start arm struggle against His Excellency IA. He will wipe you from the face of eritrea. He has already shown what he is capable of doing.
      Haileselassie maren endaymeTa fira.
      regarding the book , it is nothing but part of the pfdj propaganda machine to remind the young eritreans how ethiopians used to kill eritreans. It says stay away from them ! They are monsters! They will eat you alive!
      You might have a different take. This is my honest feedback per your request.

  • Habtegiorgis ABRAHA

    Dear Selah Gadi,

    As you have clearly said it in your opening paragraph, ” … we have to expose the wounds of the past that always pop-up to hinder the journey.”, it is very necessary to expose the wounds of the past in any kind of reconciliation process. The atrocities committed in Ona, as Fanti Ghana has put it, and in many more places are also familiar to concerned Eritreans. What i need clarification is, in what you have said, “As we push towards reconciliation …”. Is there any recon efforts with Ethiopians on board? And if so, is there anything you think of that your readers could stand for any help?

    Cheers

  • Fanti Ghana

    Selamat Memhir Selah Gadi Johar

    Although I am familiar with most of these atrocities from first hand accounts, as I was reading through this chapter, however, there was a brief moment I shivered on my seat. My body shifted position involuntarily left to right and back as if this horror is about to take place, and somehow I can prevent it. Several times I kept asking myself how many “I am sorry” will it take to heal these wounds, but it occurred to me that even one genuine “I am sorry” would have been enough. Not that it would change anything, but it would at least remind us that we are really human beings.

    As human beings we are capable of almost anything. We can be incredibly merciful and incredibly merciless in a single hour! Why is this ability incorporated into our system of being? Is this God’s way of telling us what heaven and hell are like? Often times we read news and reports of atrocities by the hands of a few throughout the world. The more the number of victims the less intense it feels. A thousand people died today is news, but a person was butchered today is a horror story. Is this our way of dealing with the unimaginable?

    Time heals everything they say. Really?

    When so many people are killed in a small town as these, the survivors are not any better than the dead and in some cases even worst. Husbands die and wives are left with children to care for alone. Wives die and husbands are left with breastfeeding child who will eventually die of malnutrition or illness, unfortunately after the meager resource of the family is spent in attempt to save the child. The effect of an atrocity of this magnitude never goes away. It just changes form. So, no: time does not heal everything.

    I hope someday, we, the people, will sit across from each other, look straight in the eyes and say “I am truly sorry.”
    Selam.

    • AOsman

      Dear Fanti Ghana,

      I have learned much from both books by SG, “Of Kings and Bandits” and “Miriam Was Here”, the Eritrean case for independence and now for justice are well presented.

      True, time can heal everything, only it is allowed to do so.

      The reason you see an Eritrean weariness and defensive posture in discussions that involve quick fixes by calling out on Ethiopia’s intervention is because many do remember the suffering of the past.

      Between 1966 (I think where Of Kings and Bandits ends – Jemal leaving home to become a rebel) and 1991 (where Miriam Was Here starts), I am expecting Saleh to write one or two novels to tell the story of Gedli covering “il bouno, il brutto e il cattivo” as there is much to be learned by the 30 years of maze. Hopefully we get hint on progress :).

      Regards
      AOsman

      • Hope

        Ahlen Ya Ustaz Osman,
        You read my mind,my man!
        That has been my wish and dream-,i.e.,that Ustaz Saleh Johar to write up our on-going history since 1991,in the way it should be-clean and unadultered history,to be followed up by his final “Deliberations” on:
        – How to do better from now on
        -How to reconcile and bring to conclusion our painful diffeernces
        -How to build the strongest , the most prosperious and peaceful Eritrea
        I am saying this with out a piece of exaggerations as he is a “Real Text Book” of Eritrea,Eritreans and their History.
        My concern is that the guy has not been recognized as such for some weird reason.
        Prof SAAY:
        This is,again, a REAL,REAL” praise!

        • AOsman

          Selamat Hope,

          Miriam Was Here, if you have not read it yet, it about our recent history even though it essentially deals with the human trafficking issue and the suffering in Sinai, the novel traces back the cause of our problem to the political failure in post-independence Eritrea.

          The 1966 that I mentioned is wrong date, still from memory the 1st novel is around 1966-1970 and the 2nd 1991-201x.

          What’s in between is a tough task, but a novel would allow the flexibility to tell the story from different perspectives…….the EPLFite, ELFite, Geldi bashers :), Derg supporters, Unionists and the poor people trying to survive in the senseless war.

          Regards
          AOsman

          • Saleh Johar

            AOsman,

            Indeed I was going to correct you on the year but you caught it yourself. Technically, Of Kings and Bandits covers the time 1961-1974. But in reality, it goes far into history to provide a background for the period in question.

            Technically, Miriam Was Here covers the period 1991-2013, but it also goes back to the eighties to provide a background.

            I was on the verge of embarking on a project to write about the 1970-1991. But the stories contained in Miriam Was Here overwhelmed me and I had to shelve the project. I have substantial interviews and general materials though a lot of work is required to have it ready. Whenever I get the time, I revisit the project. Hopefully I will be able to accomplish one project–I have a few book stories as well, which are still on the initial stages of development and I cannot disclose must about them at the moment.

            Currently I am working on a Tigrinya translation of Miriam Was Here which I hope will be ready in a few months, not later than the summer of this year.

          • Hope

            Thanks Osman for the correction.
            I read both books but most of them made me cry—and keep avoding reading at times.It is Literature at its best and have had difficulty in understanding the ‘Semna Werk”!

        • Saleh Johar

          Hope,

          Thanks for your confidence, but I am suited to write about the past. Politics of the future are better left to able people. If I try, I will certainly fail because I abhor partisan politics and it seems that is the rule.

          Thank you anyway

          • Hope

            My pleasure,your excellency,Ustaz Saleh Johar!

            To your assertion and fear:
            ” I will certainly fail because I abhor partisan politics and it seems that is the rule”.
            That is,in fact,what I would like you to be involved,,as NO one will dare to do so—due to fears,excuses,”keyibluni”,Keykiyemuni”.etc—-
            It is TIME to get rid of that crippling mentality and backward political culture….the one Ustaz Amanuel Hidrat dissected in detail in his latest Article about Eri Politics..
            I realized that TRUTH should be told in its TOTALITY….with full disclosures and disclaimers…NO matter what.
            While I was chatting with him during the Eri Soccer Tournament in MN,here is what my Orthodox Christain and my favorite Highlander Ex-ELF Veteran told me about you,who is-a Proud Akaleguzetay(Haben Nay Eritrea-Courtesy of Legend Berekhet MenghisteAb),positively.
            “Nay behakki defarin hakegnan seb”.
            You might remember him if I disclose his Bio but not essential.
            Fear,yes,Fear has destroyed our confidence and actions.We should get rid off it.
            There is a reason why the PFDJ has used “fear” successfully along with “Mistrust” among us as the main tool of crippling Eritreans,who are “the Can Do People”.by their VERY nature!…

    • Saleh Johar

      Hi Fanti Ghana,

      It is only human to have emotions, particularly for those who have not lost their humanity. Sorry for the horror movie script, but we need such stories to shake us into reality.

      Thank you

      • Fanti Ghana

        Hello Memhir,
        Speaking of movies, what a beautiful documentary this will make someday. I agree also we need these kind of wakeup calls occasionally.
        As usual, nicely done.

    • Mahmud Saleh

      Dear Fanti Ghana
      This is the funny thing; GK and others would not hesitate telling us horrific stories of the Red Terror, and the millions who perished of famine because of their successive governments’ negligence; the thousands of political killings; the marginalized nationalities and regions…they would be happy to tell us all those and follow up with how Ethiopians fought and brought about the current government….All that’s fine. But when it comes to Eritreans, they ride high on defensive mechanism.
      I encourage those decent of you, dear Ethiopians, to listen to Eritreans, once you listen to the victims, I am sure you will condemn those barbaric regimes of HS and Mengistu. EPRDF, your current government knows the facts. Those regimes were not good to all of us. We have the right to explain things the way we saw them as much as you have that right. I have been following Ethiopian politics, and I know most Ethiopians don’t want to go back to those years; Ethiopians paid dearly to change that mindset. So did Eritreans. Here is the good thing;it’s from my experience, and you have probably heard it from others.
      – The reason which forced Eritreans to fight Ethiopian regimes was similar to the reason that forced Tigray…Oromo, Afar, Somali…

      • Fanti Ghana

        Dearest Mahmud,
        It feels like we haven’t talked for ages. You know a few weeks ago when you were explaining the treatment of prisoners of war, I was packing and reading posts here and there and checking to make sure I had what I needed for my travel, and all that time I was also on the phone constantly. I meant to give you a supporting evidence but I was running short on time. I met, treated for some illness, and befriended a number of Ethiopian prisoners of war, and most of them did not complain about their treatment at the hands of EPLF except of course receiving political education for a while and a warning not to get
        caught second time, or they will face the consequences. There were few who complained about a labor camp for some number of months, but I am almost sure they were epeaters. Since that was similar to what TPLF did I never thought about it one way or another until you brought it up the other day.

        For anyone who wants to solve a problem, no mater what the problem is, gathering all available information that led to the creation of that problem is half of the solution; even more so in some cases. I am beyond exhausted Mahmuday. I will continue on this tomorrow.
        Selam

    • Mahmud Saleh

      Dear FG,
      the preceding reply was not to you but to all through you, as you are one of the finest human beings I know.