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Perspective On Forto 2013

Eritreans For Democracy, Justice and Equality (EDJE)

There is no doubt that the event of January 21, 2013 in Asmara will remain one of the most important and most controversial in the Eritrean political arena for a long time to come. This is due to its uniqueness, quantitatively by the involvement of a far greater number of people, and qualitatively – for being different from all preceding opposition movements that emerged from within the PFDJ in terms of magnitude and wider base. Unlike previous anti-dictator movements that were composed of only a selected few, limited and confined to the narrow circles of the participants themselves, this movement took quite a different course in a direction that will possibly have greater potential to inspire and pave the way for a series of attempts towards regime change sooner or later, depending on the speed and the manner in which the present situation will finally be resolved. This event is also distinguished by the elements of surprise and boldness as well as the secrecy and ambiguity that engulfed it in all respects.

Obviously, we cannot start discussing this crucial issue without expressing our deep appreciation and high regard for the people behind it. We also acknowledge the event as a heroic national move that shook the chauvinistic dictatorial regime to its roots. We have no doubt that this action has required a great deal of skill, courage, selflessness, and willingness to sacrifice from all those who executed it. Especially being well aware of the consequences in view of the notorious history of the ruling junta that is known for its excessive cruelty, mischief and treachery even with those deemed closest to it; a regime that has never hesitated in committing all sorts of crimes and abuses in order to tighten its grip on the country and curb its people’s aspirations to attaining full freedom. The latest flagrant example of abuse was the inhumane manner perpetuated to induce the martyrdom of Brigadier-General Saeed Ali Hagai (Wad Ali) and the harassment and arbitrary arrests of all involved or accused by the security apparatus of any relationship or association with this movement, be it practically or morally.

Despite the blatant lies expressed by the head of the regime and his attempts to distort the facts in order to downplay, discredit and disparage the event and those responsible for it, the violent reaction of the regime in conducting witch hunt campaigns and arbitrary arrests against many, confirms the real state of severe shock and confusion the junta is confronting.

The 21st January movement was distinguishably marked by the unfolding of events in which a group of military personnel from the Eritrean Defence Forces marched into and occupied the headquarters of the Ministry of Information in Asmara. They were able to broadcast, through the regime’s TV and Radio, part of their demands asserting the release of all political prisoners and the activation of the 1997 Constitution. This action later came to be known as “The Reform Movement” or “Forto 2013” and it has certainly constituted a landmark in our national history. It was also clearly demonstrated by the objectives of the movement that it intended to propagate its message and voice to the greater part of the people and not only to just send a message to the head of the regime to execute their demands and carry out the required reform of its prevailing and detrimental policies.

In spite of a considerable lapse of time, and Isaias Afwerki’s appearance in a television interview in an attempt to dispel doubts to the fact that his regime’s status as infallible has noticeably been dented and his grip on power has become shaky, yet the vision to the background and objectives of the event still remains blurry as it was on the first day. This is despite the appreciated efforts of several parties to highlight the event, analyse its inception and read into its possible repercussions and what developments could result from it in the foreseeable future.

In our opinion, the event of 21st January is a serious movement with important implications in terms of its boldness in openly and directly confronting and defying the regime. However, the Eritrean political reality demands that we cautiously address the event in its totality, considering all aspects, in order to set it in its right objective context. There is no doubt that the movement has constituted an additional tributary that would further enhance, promote and support the efforts of the existing opposition forces that have been struggling for a long time to get rid of the existing regime and to replace it with an alternative governance system that is based on the principles of democracy, justice and equality under the rule of law and that realise the separation of powers, just share of power and wealth and all basic human and democratic rights and freedoms in equity .

According to our point of view the full discussions of the issue should be carried on basis of several relevant phenomena manifested in this event but here we will only dwell on specific aspects:

  1. The degree of interaction by political opposition organisations abroad with the event.
  2. The interaction of pubic and civil societies with the movement especially the youth in the Diaspora.
  3. The complete lack of information about the event from either the regime or the movement as well.
  4. The desperate attempts by the regime and its collaborators to colour the movement with a sectarian tint.
  5. The prospect of a military change that would replace the current dictatorship of an individual with a possibly new form of dictatorship.

The reaction of the political opposition that consists of those organisations under the umbrella of the National Council and the others outside it, in spite of many claims made that the event was long predicted because of the general feeling of discontent that was the direct consequence of the accumulation of severe internal tensions and dissents that have been gradually building up for a considerable period. Particularly after the recent objections made by middle-ranked officers in the military to transfer orders in what seems to have been a retribution act in response to their refusal of direct orders from the Head of the regime to conduct a counter-attack in reaction to the last Ethiopian military incursion. These orders were seen by the military as Isaias Afwerki’s way to save face and restore his injured self-esteem and pride, despite the lack of the necessary material and psychological preconditions in the military. Having seen the opposition’s reactions it seemed that the events had caught all by surprise including the political organisations that clearly manifested a complete lack of information, readiness and ability to cope with developments. They issued only few statements or declarations that did not reflect any prior knowledge or comprehensive view of the situation and developments that unfolded contrary to the claims and assertions made. It seems that the opposition parties missed to account at all for such a development in their political agenda and calculations. They at least were expected to properly utilise the opportunity availed by the events to have a purposeful political discourse using an objective analysis that would have shed more light on and explained the event in light of the dialectical relationship between the opposition at home and abroad. The real problem or defect in the oppositions’ political work and equation is the inability to extend its presence and influence to the people inside Eritrea and that of establishing the essential relationship required between the two aforementioned facets.  There should be an earnest concern to address the question of how to handle this mater urgently and seriously to transform the opposition from a spectator and theoretical analyst to one that not only actively and positively engages new events, but creates them. This requires a total change in the strategy of opposition groups and their mind set, in order to eventually establish an organic relationship or link that is presently missing between the home arena and Diaspora, thus putting an end to this separation and alienation. The political message expressed by the opposition organisations through the different media venues, due to the lack of information, was inadequate and unreliable and there was a failure to properly benefit from the opportunity offered by major media channels, at least to explain the “Reform Movement” from their point of view and how to harmonise the objectives of the Movement with those of the political opposition. They were supposed to conduct a meaningful political discourse by linking the demands of the movement with what have been agreed upon in the Eritrean National Congress for Democratic Change (ENCDC) reiterating the importance of establishing a just democratic system based on political pluralism and recognising all rights stipulated by the international conventions regarding human rights and the adoption of a constitutional decentralised governance system as basis to maintain unity in diversity.

The “Reform Movement” came amidst continuous internal and external deteriorating situations resulting in extreme misery, impoverishment and gloomy prospects for the people. In the internal arena the living conditions of the people have badly deteriorated in an unprecedented way, where the lack of basic life necessities such as food, healthcare and education has become so widespread. This; coupled with the deterioration of all government services without exception has created a situation that overburdened the citizens with unbearable life pressures that could not be tolerated. All this was further exacerbated by the continuation of the regime’s detrimental policies of an open, indefinite military service and rampant unemployment. These conditions resulted in increasing the pace of youth displacement in the form of thousands of young people fleeing the country who in the process become exposed and subjected to many untold sufferings of all sorts of atrocities and difficulties that extended beyond the usual lack or shortage of nutritious food and proper shelters to extreme cases of exposures to abduction, rape, human trafficking and organ harvesting at the hands of international criminal rackets which the regime is also implicated in.

In these circumstances, it was natural for the freedom loving Eritrean people to immediately grab this opportunity in the hope of shattering the shackles of tyranny and getting rid of the suffocating grip and nightmare of dictatorship resting heavily on their chest. Thus, many Eritreans in different countries abroad came out in support of the reform movement. In an attempt to accelerate and build up the pressure and momentum the youth groups carried demonstrations that spread wildly occupying a number of the regime’s Embassies in many Western countries. This unequivocally expressed an absolute rejection of the regime and full solidarity with the “Reform Movement”. That was a really popular upheaval that sent strong messages and signals to the despot confirming that the youth uprising possesses an unwavering determination, strong urgency and commitment to struggle for and achieve the change aspired. Meanwhile confirming that they are part and parcel of the overall political process led by the opposition at home and abroad that would continue to struggle hard to channel all efforts in the direction of real change that would restore the lost human dignity and hope to the Eritrean people.

Our knowledge of the nature and full objectives of what was later dubbed “January 21st Movement” is insufficient and is limited mainly to the two demands made. Namely, the release of all political prisoners and the activation of the 1997 draft Constitution that was ‘ratified’ but ‘shelved’ or more accurately, at least this was the part mentioned in the message that was broadcast through Eritrean Radio & Satellite TV during the early moments of the “Movement” after forcing the manager of EriTV channel to propagate their demands before the transmission was interrupted. Amidst the growing speculation about what the rest of the list of undisclosed demands could have included, one does not help but wonder if there was any mention of the opposition abroad relating to its firm stand in the face of dictatorship throughout the reign of Shabia. The opposition had its historic legacy of active and continuous contributions in the liberation struggle which spanned over thirty years, finally culminating in national independence which Shabia had alone happened to benefit from by monopolizing power in the country for more than two decades.

While the regime remains true to its nature and being committed as usual to full silence trying to pretend that everything is well, a matter not in the least surprising for us, we have wished that the “Movement” could have broken away from that tradition and seized the opportunity that presented itself to deliver its full vision to the masses and the Eritrean opposition forces through all means available. Particularly after observing the rising levels of support to the “Movement” and protest actions against the regime carried out by the youth and public from all sectors abroad, taking into account the role of Eritreans in the Diaspora and their ability to influence public opinion through their persistent work that aims to overthrow the regime. These opposition groups are supportive of the “Movement” and its bold challenge that has shaken the basis of the regime and broken the fear-barrier arising from the wrath of the tyrant, its repressive security organs and its suspicious alliances and advocates and apologists in the region and worldwide.

The most disturbing and worrying signals that the regime is trying to send, as usual emanate from and reflect its ​​sectarian and chauvinistic nature and policy in an attempt to colour the pioneers of the movement with a sectarian tint in order to drive a wedge between Eritrean constituents by creating confusion, scepticism and fear among the people and to make them doubt the goals of the “Movement” to use that as a pretext to easily embark upon implementing its devious and criminal plans of carrying systematic isolation, marginalization, exclusion and physical liquidation that the regime has never hesitated to execute against anyone with whom it has any sort of disagreement. We all recall the liquidation of Mankaa and other activists in different national fronts during the period of armed struggle, the malicious attack against the mutiny of the liberation’s wounded veterans, the arrest of the G15, closure of independent newspapers and the imprisonment of journalists … etc. Therefore, all should be warned that the tyrant will strike harder in retaliation to the daring operation carried out by the champions of this “Movement”. We also call upon all free media platforms to ascertain the reliability of their sources and accuracy of materials and to continue to support the struggle for democracy, rule of law, achievement of freedoms, respect of human rights and the fair sharing of power and wealth between the national components, as well as being alert and cautious not to fall an easy prey in the snares of the regime’s calculated misinformation campaign dissipated through its official media or via its collaborators.

As we state our recognition and appreciation of the “January 21st Movement” as an action representing extreme courage and selflessness in directly confronting and opposing the dictatorial regime and the fact that it opened a window of hope for our people aspiring for a change towards a brighter future, we must reiterate that the task demanded is the full uprooting of the dictatorial regime that underlies the basis of all forms of suffering inflicted on the Eritrean people. Thus not permeating any other force from within or outside the current regime to infiltrate and hold power in an attempt to ensure the continuation or recycling of old policies in new forms through carrying out minor cosmetic changes and reinstating another form of dictatorship that will primarily preserve the same narrow interests without changing the essence of the existing dictatorial regime. Therefore, concerted efforts and actions are required from all internal and external opposition forces to focus on building trust between all parties concerned and agreeing on the requirements of the democratic transition through the mobilization of all existing civil, youth and political opposition forces that reject all forms of hegemony and dictatorship practiced by the current regime and have had considerable contributions to that effect. Despite the difficult conditions facing all the opposition groups they provide a more reliable platform for launching and adopting inclusive principles and policies far advanced to those embodied in the 1997 Constitution, and that consist of measures that  fully accommodate the Eritrean diversity and clearly confirm the rights of all the national components to have their just share of power and wealth through the establishment of a decentralised system based on a constitution prepared and approved through the exercise of real, fully inclusive democratic means. Thus, the struggles waged at home and abroad will complement each other to achieve the common objectives leading to the desired democratic change for our people.

We must point out here the complex nature of the Eritrean people’s reality in terms of cultural, religious and ethnic diversity, a matter that requires very careful handling to ensure true unity in the context of diversity. Our unity should not be based on the politics of hegemony and domination where the strong devour the weak or that of the survival of the fittest, as such policies have been tried before and failed and cannot benefit anyone in the future. These policies had caused the Eritrean people to endure and pay dearly in suffering, blood and toil under the Ethiopian colonial occupation for more than forty years during which they made insurmountable sacrifices in hundreds of thousands of martyrs, millions of displaced in the struggle for liberation and independence and in the hope for a better life. It is unfortunate that the current life conditions are in no way better, if not much worse than they were in the era of the vanquished colonial force, as the national authority that followed in its footsteps imposed a harsh and autocratic dictatorship based on subjugation and domination of the people for more than twenty years. This resulted in new waves of refugees in addition to the former refugees that have not yet been repatriated and are left to languish indefinitely in refugee camps. The youth especially have been badly exploited since independence by working in servitude like conditions of forced labour in projects owned by the regime. Not only that, but the regime plunged Eritrea into adventurous wars that cannot be justified in any way with all its neighbours, the fiercest of which was the Ethiopian – Eritrean war which was basically caused by the arrogance of the dictator at the cost of untold heavy losses in lives, land, and dignity and squandered the very limited resources of the country. Eventually this led to regional and international isolation and sanctions against the rouge regime that destroyed what had been left of the poor economy that was already in a devastated state due to the long war of liberation.

We avail our self of this opportunity to call upon all conscientious and patriotic Eritreans to renounce and fight against all kinds of tyranny, hegemony and dictatorship, whatever their origin or justification, and to join hands in their struggle for a brighter future for our children that will only be attained through a consensus on recognising all freedoms and rights to realise and preserve a durable unity in the context of diversity that paves the way for a bright and promising future for our people.

Victory to the heroic struggle of the Eritrean people.

Glory and eternity to our revered martyrs.

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  • habtegiorgis

    I am sorry Mr moderator

    The piece of the writing I put in in Tigringa, in Pdf format doesn’t show; pls try your best to have recovered if you can. My apology to you, your staff and the reader.

    Cheers

  • habtegiorgis

    Dear Papillon, Haile

    My apology to Papillon I wrote her name the other day wrongly.

    Haile, you started your argument with ‘imagine’, and liked to make your assertion ‘realistic’. Nevertheless, have I clearly understood your point, that you are making a suggestion of a re-alignment/ united front between Eri opposition forces of change and the Eritrean government, however temporary, as was the situation in 1937 between the Komintan and the CP of China against Japan, in order to develop an effective Eritrean resistance to the Ethiopian “invasion”, subsequently war against Ethiopian occupation!?

    On my part the border problem is mainly s.thing done/ resolved; apart from certain technicalities. And I am of the opinion, although this is not a new attempt, that Eritrean and Ethiopian peoples mobilize themselves to form a Eri-Ethio peoples’ committee/ group that would exercise moral and legal pressure upon esp the Ethiopian government to let the EEBC’s complete its unfinished tasks. On your part this would be, I quote, “ … The people of Ethiopia and Eritrea could be killing each other because of it (border problem), many years after these entities (both current governments) are no more. It is the peoples issue. In fact no other issue represents a “clear and present danger” at the core of both societies like the border problem.” The only thing that I share here your opinion is that the border issue is obviously the peoples issue. It is them who paid, suffered the most; and ‘aybel’ who would at any other time in the future!

    When it comes to the role of the opposition force those based is in Ethiopia, I am of the opinion that they play that card on mutual repect and interests, and benefiting of their ‘friendship’ with the government of Ethiopia, help to have the border issue resolved, even formally with the PFDJ and strive build a stronger people’s front of change to the subjugation of the PFDJ faster.

    To call for the border issue resolved and now, I think, is neither as Papillon sees it – playing into the [PFDJ] hands of Ato Isayas; nor as your opinion – beating PFDJ on its own game. Because … leaving aside Ato Isayas’s games/ … this is a legal issue, to let the EEBC complete its unfinished tasks that needs to be closed sooner and possibly amicably. This is why I feel the need of mobilizing a Eri-Ethio peoples’ committee/ group that would exercise moral pressure upon esp the Ethiopian government to let the EEBC complete its unfinished tasks.

    I would like to highleight one important point from Papillon’s response to my comments the other day, in which she said: “I tend to elect to the opinion that, to assume and expect the demarcation of the border will be a sort of wand to the plight of the Eritrean people is naivety at its best.”. I fully agree with her opinion, and I didn’t imply of any contrary understandings. What I don’t agree on that opinion of her however, is that she seems to say forget about the border issue; it is not the issue of the day (at the back of a bunson burner )!!!

    As I take it, it is a priority; and it deserves urgency. Here is why, as of my opinion: 1) within the limitting parameters (not as of 1937 Chin – Japan situation) that the issue is a border issue, still as of EEBC’s decision, Ethiopia has become an external occupying force 2) it is a less difficult hurdle to tackle compared to the main internal struggle. So, however naive it seems, it only requires that the Ethiopian government comes into terms with its possible pains, and boldly stand for its moral and legal obligations. And this being resolved: 1) it immediately breaks the intrigues of Ato Isayas to keep the Eritrean people hostage at the border trenches 2) it creates favourable conditions for re-alignment of eri opposition forces (thinking of the new Hailes), but mind not in the way Haile suggests the possible re-alignment. 3) develops friendly and healthy relationship with Ethiopia, … In a nutshell IT ENHANCES THE POSITION of the opposition forces of change in Eritrea in many aspects to deal their main and long (unlike the border problem which legally is complete) liberation struggle – the task of the young generation!

    ከምቲ ቋንቋ Eንግሊኛ’ኳ ከምድላይካ ዘገላብጥ Eንተዘይኰነ፡ ፍቓድኩም ብዘይምEባር ናብ
    ቋንቋይ ክኣቱ። ካብ ጽሑፍ ጓልና/ ሓፍትና ዘንጸባርቕ ዘሎ ነገር፡ ‘ከፊEዎን ደኺሙን Eንከሎ
    ደክሮ፣ ኣኳድዶ፣ . . .’ ይመስል። ወይ ካባኺ መብርሂ! ሽግር ናይ ኤርትራ፡ ናይ ዶብ ጐንጺ
    ብምፍታሕ ይውዳE ዝብል Eምነት (ያረድ ከምU ኪኸውን) ካኣ ፈጺሙ ኣይመጸለይን Iዩ
    ኣቦኺ/ ሓውኪ። Eኳድኣ፡ ድሕሪ ኣቶ Iሳያስ Eንተዀነ’ውን (IንሻE-ኣላህ ብሰላም ኪውገን)
    Eንታይ ዝበለ ዝተቘነነ ዲሞክራሲያዊ ስልጣን ተኺልና ንምባል ኣብ ዝብጻሓሉ Eዋን’ውን፡
    ብደረጅU ጥራሕ ኪስርሓሉ ከምዝኽኣል’የ ዝኣምን። ብዙሕ ኤርትራዊ Eውን ከምዚ ዝሓስብ
    ይመስለኒ።
    ካብ ነጸብራቕ መልሰይ ክትግንዘብዮ ዘኽኣለኪ ድኣ ኰይኑ ኣይተረድኣንን Eምበር፡ ካብዚ
    ወጻI፡ Eማንኪ፤ ብዙሕ የዋህ ሓሳባት ኣብ ሓንጐለይ ኰለል ዝብሉ ኣሎዉ። ናብU ከEትወኪ
    ‘ዛጓለይ/ ‘ዛሓፍተይ። ሓደ ካብU Eዚ ናይ ዶብ ጐንጺ ብሰላም ኪውዳE ብተሳትፎ ዜጋታት
    ኤርትራን Iትዮጵያን ምልEዓላት ኪግበር፤ Eንተልዩ ኪቀላጠፍ፣ ክንንቀሳቐስ፤ ካብU ነቒሉ ካኣ
    ናብ ናይ ቅድሚት ናይ ኣሕዋትን ጐረባብትን ሓባራዊ መደባት ኪኣቱ ኪቕረብ ይህልዎ! . . .
    ዝብል Iዩ። 2ይ ነጥቢ ካኣ ሕቶ ኤርትራ፡ ድሕሪ’ዚ ኩሉ ኣብነታት ኣብ ከባቢና፡ . . .
    ብሰላማዊ ኣገባብ ንምውጋኑ ዘኽEል ኩነታት ክንፈጥር’ዶ ንኽEል ንኸውን ዝብል Iዩ።
    ሽግረይ Eቲ ድኻም ናይ ህዝብና Iዩ፤ ኣብ ሓጺር ጊዜ ዝተፈጥረ ሽግር ኣይኰነን፤
    ደረጅU’ውን ቀሊል ኣይመስለን። ብዙሕ ኤርትራዊ ብድኻም ህዝቢ ኤርትራ ኪማረር ክሰምE
    Eንከሎኹ ብዙሕ ይመረኒ። Eድል ኣይገበረን Eዚ ህዝቢ፡ ድሕሪ’ቲ ኩሉ ንጹህ ቃልሱ፡ ኣብ
    Iድ ኣቶ Iሳያስ ምዳቑ፤ መዋEሉ ኣብ ሽግር ዘሕልፍ ህዝቢ . . . ካልኣይ ህዝቢ ፍሊስጤም
    ኰይኑ።
    ዘመክሕ የብሉን! መዋEሉ ካብ ኣቦሓጎታት ክሳብ ውላድና ኣብ ኲናትን ቃልስን . . . Eዚ
    ህዝቢ ድኻም Eንተ ኣሕደረስ ይሕመ’ዶ? ዝወለደት ኣደ፡ ደቓ ክትሓቍፍን ኣምላኻ ኣብ
    ዝጸውዓ ጊዜ ካኣ ብስሩE ክትቅበርን Eድል ዘይምግባራ፡ (ሎሚ Eድመ ንኣቶ Iሳያስ! ኣብ
    ዓዲ ሬሳ ዘልEል መንEሰይ ዝተሓርማ ኤርትራ)፡ ንሮ Eንተ ከበዳስ ትሕመ’ዶ? . . . ደቃ
    ክሕብሕቡዋን ከላቕሱላን ኣብዚ ጊዜዚ ሰላም Eንተብሃገት፤ ደም ደቃ Eንተበቐቐትሲ፤ . . .
    ኣይሓቃን’ዶ! . . . ከመይ፣ ከመይማ?
    ድኻም ናይ ህዝቡ፣ ድኻሙ ዘይግንዘብ ዜጋሞ ባዓልቤታዊ ኣቕሙ (ውራዩ ገይሩ ዝሳተፍ
    Eንተ ዀይኑ) ዘይመዝን . . . ናባኺ ክገድፎ!!! ሓደ ፍስሃየ ዝብል ስም ወድና፡ ንሱ
    ጥራሕ’ውን ኣይኰነን፤ ናይ 1961 ዓ.ም ፖሊትካ ኤርትራን ናይ 2012 ዓ.ም ታሕሪር ስኰር
    (ግብጽ)ን ከይተረፈ ኣነጻጺሩ ብስንፍና ህዝቢ ኤርትራ ኪማረር ኣንበብኩ፤ . . . መልሲ
    ሓጸረኒ!!! ብሓጺሩ ግን ናይ 2012 ዓ.ም ታሕሪር ስኰር፡ ኣብ ማይ ጃሕጃሕ (ኣስመራ)፡
    ኪብቃE ዘይኪብቃE ናቱ ናይ በዓል መድረኽን ዓቕምን ግደ Iያ። Eኖኻ ፍስሃየ ወደይ፡
    Eኖኻ!!!

  • Ghezae Hagos

    Selam Haile,

    I am chumming in to say thank you for the reminding me/us the 25th Anniversary of the battle of Afabet; (March 17-19, 1988.) I have special fondness for that historical victory. In 1998 (exactly 15 years ago, wow, has it been that long now? wow, unbelievable), I wrote an article in Tsigenay about why its tenth anniversary was not celeberated while Fenkil was commemmorated every year. I distinctly remember Zemenfes Haile liking that article and invited me to write more. Please allow me to quote about it from my eariler posts at awate.com.” …I also remember one at Tsigenay. I liked that article. It admonishes us for forgetting the tenth anniversary of “Afabet” victory over “Nadew-Ez.” The event (March 17, 1998) passed without any sort of celebration or even mention. I argued that it was the greatest victory that changed the course of our armed struggle and we should have honored it. The fact that Massawa’s ‘Fenkil’ was garnering all the attention each and every year has got to do more with the bathing suit and extra cash the national tourists were taking along with them than with the actual importance of the victory itself. Afabet, being situated in far outpost from the glitter, was fading, sadly.

    • haile

      Selam Ghezae,

      I might have read it in one of your first/early writing on awate (will check later). Giezie ental alewo elkayo, 15 is very long indeed. Another point I can think of is that probably to do with who was not favoured by IA at the time (read:Tegadalay Mesfun Hagos). The problem with dictators is that fenkil, nadow, independence…is more about them than what it represents. If fact, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration if we said none of them has ever been celebrated at all. Really, the way they should have been that is. Saying that however, I have no doubt your conclusion may be more accurate, as you were right in the middle of it.

      On a cynical note to provoke a thought though, do you think these occasions should have been reclaimed by Eritreans, with the opposition leading the way?

      Any way, as promised, I brought some theories, and it wasn’t fair to single out your organization for the purpose.

      Regards

      • Ghezae Hagos

        Selam Haile,

        Landmark Eritrean victories leading upto the final one Asmara/Assab one deserve to be ‘reclaimed’ by the opposition lest we subliminally submit to Issayas Afewerki’s claim that ‘whether you like it or not, only EPLF brought independence” (actual words of his in 1996.) We have to believe ourselves when we say we claim the Eritrean people liberated their own nation.

      • Ghezae Hagos

        Selam,

        Yes, I have read you and deliberated with myself too on your take on EBBC vis-a-vis the opposition. I am afraid, though, we have opposite view on it.

        To your point at hand: these historical occasions should certainly be reclaimed by opposition. Otherwise we run the risk of tacitly and subliminally submitting to Issayas Afewerki’s shocking assertion ‘whether you like it or not, only EPLF (read me) who brought independence.’ ( 1996) We commemmorate landmark military victories because we genuinely believe it is the Eritrean people who ‘ crowned itself’ as in the great welwel, channelling Bonaporte of 1804.

  • Freedom and change comes when we liberate our own selves?
    Real freedom comes when we liberate our own selves from every bit of oppression and hatred from the oppressor that we have internalized. Harriet Tubman on the 100th year anniversary of her passing (March 10, 1913)
    Eritrean People, like people all over the world, have dreams, aspirations and hopes and they won’t keep quiet when all of their lives and rights are take away from them and confiscated, people for very long time have lost hope and that our right to live with dignity and care for others, to organize society around a modicum of love your neighborhood and compassion have being lost. The human connection is short-circuited and is being confiscated and the inhumane objectification, dehumanization processes of our people suffering continues. compounded with oppression and security, the shortage of food and lack of it .When the people becoming –increasingly poor and supposedly reliant on handout charity organizations like the Red Cross for very basic needs like food, water and shelter and yet are not even allowed to enter the country and serve them and when million people live in absolute poverty, left on their own dire situation and desperation and yet felt helpless to effect change. When millions live in real poverty and millions more in a category called “below poverty,” then Thomas Hobbes’ words “Hell is truth seen too late” fit the reality of what the Eritrean should know and fear.
    Anything and everything is possible at any time. The rising deep frustration, desperation, anger and anguish causes’ legitimate regime change .When DIA and his political crony denying our people their livelihood; obliterating their freedom, identity and basic human dignity? DIA have lost control and eventually the people take the leadership instead. That our sense of how we are, and our dignity, honor, self respect and self-worth, will not be defined through the hate and venom of the dictator and cruel oppressor DIA. That dignity and self worth will come from within self, and from God honored man, and from all of us.
    To begin with some of our people believed that the DIA has their interests a heart, the oppressor DIA that we did grant him power over us? We entusicly entrusted uncritically, unquestioned, blind acceptance without due balance that gives the DIA the power to enslave us and eat us alive. When our people believe the opposite, the reverse will surly follow and would end tyranny and bring new freedom and by instituting the right mechanisms to guarantee the enactment and implementation of the legitimate demands of the Eritrean people for a true Democracy; the guarantees for human rights, end of corruption and ensuring the prevalence of justice. The generation that had defeated Ethiopia‘s might and with today’s bright young generation can easily make regime change.

  • Selam Haile,

    I think all Eritreans have a clear stand on the decision of EEBC on the determination of Badme and on the “culprit” who started the senseless war. Now Haile in your response to Sarray you said “let those who started it squabble about the issue of its ignition.” You can’t take only that fits to your bill brother.You must have your own assessment on how it happened and ended. If we are not frank to our conscience then we can’t move forward.

    Now as to the position of the opposition, they fully support to the EEBC decision. Beyond that they don’t have any legitimacy and leverage to pressure the Ethiopian government.Absolutely and without ambiguity these organizations haven’t any leverage than you an me or any one for that matter be organized or not, other than the government of Eritrea who has the legitimacy card from the international community so far. Second at this crucial time where the Eritrean people is tittering between life and death, the border issue is irrelevant and you can’t change your strategy because Issayas is using it as an excuse for hanging on power.We can not wobble by Issayas’s tactical maneuver as far he is wrong to hold our young as hostage for his own agenda. What we have to do is to expose his agenda and stay with our strategy and that is to remove him from power. Third, Since Ethiopia is on record on accepting the ruling of EEBC, my guess (and it is only guess) as to why Ethiopia didn’t want to implement the ruling is, simply they couldn’t see the legitimacy of Issayas from the Eritrean people. So Haile let us stick and focus on the “eyeball”, the core problem of our society and that is the “regime” itself. Any attempt to divert from the “eyeball” is just for public consumption and is diversionary by its nature. Sarray is right on this issue.

    AHT

    • haile

      Slamat Aman,

      Well, I did say a bit more about this with saay, on the other forum too. So, no point repeating it here. As far as your preposition that maintaining the status quo is better than making it the scene of a strategic battle ground, I can only accept our differences on the matter. I am also mindful of the limitations that exist, but still of the view that some bold move by the opposition leadership in this regard is well with in reach (still very much mindful of a lot of factors).

      In response to your last remark (albeit just your personal take on it), Ethiopia is clear in the matter that it is prepared to resolve the issue even with the IA government, even travelling to Asmara at a head of state level if need be! So, my question is that are there any concrete indications that Ethiopia would resolve the matter as per F&B decision one’s the IA regime is gone? Whom was that assurance given too? I ask the latter, because whomsoever was in a position to accept that assurances must have a reasonable legitimacy in doing so. Again, I understand it was just a guess.

      Regards

    • hizbawi

      “Absolutely and without ambiguity these organizations haven’t any leverage than you an me or any one for that matter be organized or not, other than the government of Eritrea who has the legitimacy card from the international community so far…..

      “…..Third, Since Ethiopia is on record on accepting the ruling of EEBC….

      “…as to why Ethiopia didn’t want to implement the ruling is, simply they couldn’t see the legitimacy of Issayas from the Eritrean people.”

      Can someone explain to me the above contradictory statements?
      What is he saying?
      Mr. Amanial, your dishonesty and trying to chew on both sides of your mouth is giving you away for who you are and to what stand. It is not the business of the weyane to judge whether issaias is legit or not. There was a war and both countries went to the court of law and the court has spoken! What more do you need for you to call for what it is? I know it is hard for you to see and to say it, but weyane all they have to do is leave, no ifs no buts. But, again, we are talking about you, it was the end of it when you call Melles Zenawi “a visionary and a moral leader” I guess one free ticket to Addis will do the job, huh?
      It is not the weyane’s duty to tell us about Issaias, tell them to get out and we will handle our own affairs. How far would you people go to defend the weyane? the more you defend the weyane; the more you strength the Issias system.

  • said

    What Legacy There Is Left for the dictator Isiasa to Stay On and on?!
    With guess estimates of more than tens of thousands people perished, predominately innocent civilians; and tens of thousands thrown in jails, tortured and maimed; hundreds of thousand made homeless refugees permanently ; a whole country in a virtual destruction, what description, what name one reserves for a relentless incumbent ruling dictator entrusted with the welfare and the wellbeing of a nation stubbornly holds on to the reign of power; still wanting to rule over a nation of skulls and skeletons?!
    With a tragedy exceeding all historic proportions, so-called Right and Wrong, Pros and Cons cease to matter; they lose all definitions for the reign of a ruler stands, alone, regardless of the so-called Pros and Cons, the Right and Wrong, as the solely accused, the culprit, a new revisiting face of an another Nero, Holako, Genghis Khan all that one sees, the age for once one thought had long gone, the Age of the marauding hordes of Barbarism.
    History has already passed its verdict irrespective, irrelevant of political, regional or sectarian affiliation, status, rank, ideology, or, to that matter, Right or Wrong, Pros or Cons, for all stood Wrong, Culprits and Accused.
    History has passed its verdict; indelible, un-effacing, permanently stamped in the annals, for posterity, for surviving future generations, the destruction of Eritrea , the revisiting of the year 1961 of the destruction of the nation , revisited in a short span of a once thought the Civilized Age.
    Here ceases, before the size and magnitude of a historic tragedy, the distinction of an ally, friend or foe. Here all become culprits, stand accused in the Court of History, to never be exonerated, for, they all stood witness, lent support to the perpetuation of a heinous tragedy of all historic proportions: the the silent death slaughter of tens of thousands of innocent souls, as the count goes on; the incarceration, torturing and the maiming of tens of thousands of one’s own entrusted folks; the tens of thousands roaming the hinterlands, poor, sick, jobless, humiliated and with deeply wounded soul.
    Before the Court of History, all stand accused; all are culprits, yet the dictator of the reign, a heartless remodeled new Nero, Genghis Khan, a Holako, what would forever stand out as the Culprit, Le Capi des Tous Les Capis, Le Capi des Tous les Papas, irrespective of claims of Right and Wrong; and, regardless who stands on the line as to Pros and Cons, for, History has already Passed its Verdict.

    • haile

      Selam Said,

      …but how is it nobody could have seen this coming? I guess when all eyes were watching, none were seeing…as they say time doesn’t exist at all, only clocks do! Shall I say there is still time….

      Regards

  • Papillon

    Dear Haile,

    Imagine if the otherwise brilliant “speech” you just delivered on the occasion of our proudest moment in history (Nadew Day) was read out by Isaias? Just imagine. It would have been not only a day of atonement but a day of reckoning as well.

    Back to the thread at hand. The reason the rest of us seem to be kept in a limbo as we speculate about the reason why the Ethiopian government is not willing to accept the border ruling without any precondition and the reason why the Eritrean regime is not willing to compromise on the “dialogue” clause has a lot to do with the culture of secrecy and lack of transparency the two Fronts grew into in their idealistic days back in the mountains. One factor and a seemingly an outlier which seems to be rather puzzling is however, US’ lenient attitude towards Ethiopia when the verdict is sans ifs and buts and as clear as a water-stream.

    As I see it, in politics and particularly in foreign policies more often, moral imperatives get eclipsed by realistic objectives where interests take hold of an at most importance. That is, the US opted to work with Ethiopia where it has a greater national interest in the region where Ethiopia is given a considerable free ride in its internal policies (read: at times sketchy human rights issues) and foreign policy as well. As it happens, for Isaias as he drew the cards closer to his inflated chest, the entire dynamics fell into the issue of ego nothing but ego. He decided to take on not only Ethiopia but the interests of the US in the region as well. He got involved in Somalia intandem with his marathon-long defamation of US’ policy in the region through his media outlets. He did this however at the expense of the wellbeing of the Eritrean people.

    The striking difference beween Isaias and the Ethiopian government is not of course limited to policies but in their respective consequences as well. That is, when the Ethiopian government was fully involved in Somalia, in the mean time, the government was staying the course in building the nation (Ethiopia) in infrastructure; an endeavour to fight poverty; building higher learning institutions, clinics, factories and hydroelectric dams. Conversely, when Isaias was vexing Ethiopia’s every move in Somalia, Eritrea was deteriorating to unconceivable degree where its productive citizens begun to leave the country in droves and counting.

    When the Ethiopian government seems to be able to shoot two birds with one stone, it still remains stationed in Badme. The reason for its refusal to pull out of Badme probably has a lot to do with its eons-long experience with Isaias. As we still speculate, one thing they (Weyanes) have learned about Isaias is that, he can not be trusted. As such, they can not possibly imagine any scenario where they will have any guaranty that he will be tamed and subdued indefinitely.

    Haft’kha.

    • Kokhob Selam

      so the game was played by both in this (border) issue but Ethiopians play it well and work for their country’s developmental while PFDJ live “no war and no peace” years doing very bad and exposed to the world.still we see how Meles and his group manage it and how DIA and his group manage it. Opposition? I have started to believe they were not smart enough to play it as they were busy in different type of games. some were living in the past. some were busy in trying to cover their past mistakes. some were very much narrow. yet, new developments will come i am sure as we have honest people around the opposition too. and the young is doing fine. people like you and Haile will have their wonderful role in creating practical elegant political line who can see things with wisdom.

      Hawki

    • haile

      Dear Papillon,

      Now that it is clear we can see the cost that the issue (used as pretext) is exacting from the poor and helpless people and the opposition movement, where do we go from here? I don’t need have to explain to someone of your calibre what is really at stake here.

      As I see it, the opposition movement needs to start contemplating the possibility of capturing political battle grounds. The Ethiopians talk about the border issue, the Eritrean govt talks about the border issue, the PFDJ supporters talk about the border issue … and strangely, the Eritrean opposition movements (the party that has lost hugely politically from it) has been maintaining a tight lip about it!

      It is high time that the opposition movement make their voices heard and bring this issue, that as you rightly say IA failed to solve conclusively, under their wing and take control of that particular political constituency.

      Regards

  • Papillon

    Dearest Yodita,

    Awate.com sure does wonders. I am not sure if it is a sort of “A road to Damascus” experience or sophism at its best, one thing is for sure, a sober moment seems to stay as we brainstorm ideas, possibilities and to clear out pitfalls if there are any. Sal might have impressed upon him (Haile) where he is “collecting” himself and approaching us half-way where he is at his very best but one would be craving to see the microcosm in “rapprochement” replicated in a wider level say between the hard-core supporters of the regime and the Opposition block as well. That sure is what personal growth is all about. Many thanks for being kind to me.

    Haft’khi.

  • haile

    Dear Awatistas,

    On this special time of 25th anniversary of the demise of the Nadow Command in the history of our liberation struggle, regardless of your political persuasion or stand on various issues, let me wish you a happy Nadow day/week!

    What is happy about, you may ask. In the history of peoples struggle for national liberation, ours is one of those considered exemplary. If you like, no struggle has handed tremendous amount prized legacies to its constituency in a golden platter, like that of the Eritrean Liberation struggle.

    The Eritrean struggle for liberation had blessed the Eritrean people with a clean plate of a new country, one not beholden to outsiders, one with tremendous potential of natural and human resources. Above all, one with glorious history and a vanquished enemy.

    As it turned out, barely before it is a decade after independence, the Eritrean and Ethiopian people were drawn into a border conflict. The said conflict had caused the displacement of over a million civilians from war the war zone, a ghastly expulsion of civilians from cities and towns with their properties and life savings confiscated, over 100,000 dead in combat and heralded a new era of political, economic and social uncertainties for the people of Eritrea (Ethiopians can speak for themselves!).

    This conflict was at the root of what was later to unfold as a catastrophic downward spiral in every conceivable aspect of national life of Eritreans. Arrests were made without due process, constitution suspended, Eritreans divided and made to see each other with mutual suspicion and mutually assured destruction. Both the government and those who set up to form exiled opposition movements did everything they could to divide, empty and destroy Eritrea in ways that would have been hard to imagine a decade before they set out on this ill fate journey.

    It is highly telling that most of the opposition movements are indeed estranged from the Eritrean public by how much they reject whatever is Eritrean, simply PFDJ has decided to take the most advantage of it. Eritrean history may be exploited by the PFDJ maximally and the opposition poorly, but that shouldn’t have been reason to reject Eritrean History (or attempt to re-write it out of vague objectives).

    The Eritrea-Ethiopia border conflict is another case, where the PFDJ decided to use it to the hilt, while the opposition abandoned grounds, at an astoundingly great cost to itself and the future of Eritrea.

    Eritrea’s resources, history and challenges are not and have never been the domain of one exclusive section of its society. That is a fatal mind set. Every Eritrean owns all of these, just as next person of Eritrean origin does. Eritrean society has always been an open and welcoming society of outsiders, one with unwritten code of ethical and moral decency, and above it with incredible gift of perseverance.

    The Eritrean people were exposed to the nastiest forms of self perception, following the border conflict and the fall out from that. And now, Eritreans are coming of age and awakening to take charge of their destiny one’s again. By retreating into silence, we have seen how badly we can fall through. If the Eritrean government was to fall today, we are standing on cliff’s edge a tiny wrong move away from total disintegration. We don’t even have so much as a vice president, a constitution, or any forseeable succession plan. Instead we have unresolved external conflict, countless people incarcerated without due process, a nation unable to supply basic electricity and water to even selected areas of its capital city, Eritreans polarized against each other on account of their “patriotism” and government that has now armed civilians to make easy set the engulf the whole country in fire.

    If you support PFDJ – happy Nadow day, If oppose PFDJ happy Nadow day, if you oppose the Eritrean people – watch out is a message for this momentous time in our national calendar. It is time to know where we are, starting at the individual. Before attempting to define our collective being, let’s figure out where we are at individually. How each of our actions translates in practice on a far away place. Think about what or where you are using you assets on.

    Here is a song chosen for every Eritrean, in this happy occasion.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b7bUtpkdLhU

    Cheers!

    • F.M.
    • yegermal

      It is great to celebrate “Nadew”, “Fenkil”, etc., but DIA’s reign has defaced the remembrance of these glorious moments of our struggle by consistently neglecting to mention its protagonists (commanders Petros Solomon for Fenkil, and Mesfin Hagos for Nadew, to mention the most prominent ones)….as if these battles were conducted by nameless robots. Of course,I do not expect the guayla-addicts to notice this glaring omission. But for you I have a higher standard. It is indeed disconcerting that you fail to tell Nadew’s story in its entirety and its even more irritating that you use it as a pretext to re-litigate the border issue, as if you had not already litigated it ad nauseam in the past. Sorry, I am not at all convinced of your new “conversion”.

      • Salyounis

        Selam Yegermal:

        Just to add to the point you made below:

        DIA’s reign has defaced the remembrance of these glorious moments of our struggle by consistently neglecting to mention its protagonists (commanders Petros Solomon for Fenkil, and Mesfin Hagos for Nadew, to mention the most prominent ones)

        I was watching an Eri-TV commemoration of Operation Nadew ( http://youtu.be/Qr0RYflEv58) and before jumping to an archive interview with the late historian Basil Davidson, they had a brief interview with Ambassador Fessehatzion Petros. Basil Davidson famously compared Eritrea’s victory over Ethiopia in Operation Nadew with Dien Bien Phu, Vietnam’s victory over France. Here’s what struck me: by way of quoting Davidson, the ambassador compares EPLF with the Viet Minh (check), he compares Ethiopia with France (check), then mentions which general led the Vietnamese in Dien Bien Phu (General Giap) but doesn’t mention who was leading the Eritrean fighters. It is really straight from Orwell’s 1984, once you are nonperson, it is not that simply “you don’t exist”, it is that “you never existed.” Somebody who could have given great insight on Operation Nadew is long-time friend Dan Connell, but he, too, is a nonperson, so off with him.

        The fight for “person” and “nonperson” status is fought at other battle grounds. And, at least at wikipedia, Mesfin Hagos still exists:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Afabet

        saay

      • haile

        selam sal and yegermal,

        Not a tiny bit difference with the main points you both make. Let me use this specific incident to make one or two observations:

        – PFDJ/IA not only used Eritrean History to advance the maintenance of his dictatorial rule, but also effectively utilised it as a rope to hang the opposition movements with, as the latter struggles to re-gain conciousness from the total asphyxiation administered on it (BTW it is free analogy day today 🙂 ).

        – At least PFDJ has done something to commemorate the day in its typical disrespectful fashion to the people of Eritrea, as it fully knows the people don’t have an awakened opposition that alter the fact on the ground in favour of justice. An opposition that boasts large number of journalists, writers, poets, politicians…is at a loss to produce a small high school standard commemorative video that sets the records straight and upload it to youtube! Let’s hope IA/PFDJ hears our little disappointment in here and make it better next time!

        -Yegermal: I don’t think it would make much difference even if you were to blieve may “change” because what matters is if you can change, and most importantly believe that you have changed.

        -To me what IA/PFDJ presents or doesn’t present in this regard is immaterial. The important point is that fellow Eritreans have no more time to waste before geting to grips with what is holding them back and what to do about it.

      • yegermal

        exactly! and so goes for Togoruba and other pre-DIA glorious moments of our history. Any event that implicitly and remotely de-emphasizes DIA’s demigod status must be omitted is the modus operandi of DIA’s propaganda machine….Sadly, most of us do not even notice.

    • Serray

      Selam Haile,

      The border war just didn’t happen, it was ignited by the person who arrested without due process, suspended the constitution, created suspicion and divided the eritrea people and “empty and destroy Eritrea in ways that would have been hard to imagine a decade before”. When you ignore its cause, when you pretend it is imposed on us, you are no better than those who use it to brutalize the eritrean people.

      You are partially right about the opposition. It is not their stand on the border that did them in, it is their decision to side with the ethiopians in the middle of the war. Isaias got a gift and used it for what it is worth. To make matters worse, they decided to make ethiopia their base before the war ended. As if that is not enough, in the last 13 years they delivered nothing the eritrean people can relate to.

      Your prescription, that they get border conscious, is not going to work…too little, too late. As papillion pointed out, it is not going to get the anymore supporters either; it might turn off some of us (it is bad enough the regime is obsessed about it). However, in private, they should find out why the woyanes are willing to lend isaias a lifeline all these years by holding on to badme.

      That brings me to a point you made several times, that the border issue is an eritrean, ethiopian or a regional issue; its is not, its effect is. A person with a farting problem bothers those around him but, at the end of the day, the real problem is with the farting person. Isaias ignited the war to avoid implementing the constitution, eliminate his competition and extend his rule and, when he died (God willing soon), it will be resolved…unless the next government decides to exploit it. Putting it into its proper perspective, the least of eritrean people problem is the border (EEBC) and if the opposition made it, it will face even more rejection from the victims of the border war isaias ignited.

      For the record, do you agree with the EECC decsion that isaias ignited the badme war? Or does it matter to you whether he did or not? I know you agree with EEBC. The reason I am asking is, you have a way a putting things clearly, I want to know how clear you are about the cause of an issue you believe will make or break the opposition.

      • haile

        Selamat Serray,

        The border issue and its cumulative aftermaths are sure enough powerfully emotional and highly disturbing when people start to calm down and reflect.

        let’s get clear this, the border issue can be looked at as IA issue, as PFDJ/woyane issue, as Meles Zenawi issue, as USA issue…As far as what matters to the Eritrean people is however, how it is seen as the Eritrean issue and the Eritrean opposition movement’s issue by implication.

        If you look at it as an Eritrean/opposition movement issue, you will find that they are the innocent victims of it all and not the one’s to start it. Thank God they have the EEBC decision, qnEna’Om R’Eylom fetari! Let those who started it squabble about the issue of its ignition. What matters to the opposition movement and the Eritrean opposition camp is its resolution according to the agreements entered by both sides in Algiers.

        Let me bring it closer to home for you. dear Serray, please go and try to talk about the Human Rights situation of Eritreans….guess what the standard issue you will get is: [Serray’s mother is Tigrayan, his father was alcoholic and woyane found him as a weakling to undermine Eritrea’s defence through a “sellout”] and anything along those lines.

        I totally disagree with your pessimistic take on how my proposed approach would impact the opposition camp. True, one has to really work it to produce tangible results, but I assure you it would spur a major re-alignment of forces. Most in the opposition camp are the direct victims of the border issue. They were made to abandon their people and country because of that and are now made to watch helplessly the total destruction of their country from afar under its pre-textual application.

        As I said earlier, emotional and overbearing reactions are to be expected, but nothing can twist the power of logical truth. We have come a long way with Papillon in this regard. Our discussions have now moved to substantive matters. The point here is for the opposition movement to take this issue head on and candidly examine the real damage that it is doing to its legitimate struggle for justice .

  • belay

    Dear Haile,
    You are very agile and energetic man with a special gift of the English language.I am glad you dropped that bit of aggressiveness which was getting on the way of your brilliant mind.
    A new day a new thinking, what is wrong with that? And that makes a new you!

    As for Pappilon,she is way ahead and I think there is a lot to come.
    I am not judging you both but just expressing my appreciation.

    • sara

      Mr belay,
      you seem a bit concerned of Mr haile’s sudden ”new thinking”it is better take him for what he said “shaping up” nothing else.
      actually he reminded me of someone i knew during the 2nd weyane offensive in the southern/assab front. the said person was a gallant fighter in our team and he was older than most of us age wise, and we used to depend on him on most of our night patrols.
      one day we were told to go to the central front to support our fighters because weyane has pushed us some where in addi merug area.in the central front the trenches were very close with the enemy we used to shout insults each other with woyane/ethiopian army. one day the enemy took a surprise attack and almost took our trenches, and to bit them back it took almost a day and half of bloody fighting.after the fighting stopped and things started to calm dawn, we again started shouting each other, in one instance we heard they started even to call us by our names , specially the name of our …. was frequently called and this made us wonder why they are stressing his name only…. then one evening.. they said something like this…. atta (name)…. halay why are you fighting for shaeebia.. while your …… are having… bla..bla. and this was repeated almost evey evening.
      then over the course of time we started to sense our gallant team member started to be slow in his activities(maatot/) comparing in the past.that was a big worry to our team and one day while we were having a leisure time one of our members asked him why is he this days quite and and not active as before.his answer was honest and candid, he said…i am upset the enemy has called me Hallay.. and i cant even shoot at them unless they start it themselves… the only thing i can do is to totally give up fighting, he added.. don’t worry… i will not run to the south, if i may i will go(run)to the west.the truth is he didn’t run… he stayed put!

      • haile

        Dear Sara,

        Let me be honest and say tserfi dia naEda ayteredatnn, any way I liked the recollection of your experiences. Again, everything we write and post here is archived for re-viewing whenever one gets time to. Before we blow this “change” thing out of its right context, let me assure you that what I changed is my approach to debate without being haphazard with non-thoughtfulness. As to the ground I stand on, please research all my past entries and ascertain for yourself, if there is indeed a shift in position.

    • sara

      Mr haile
      my comment was about a situation i remebered during the bloody fighting in the trenches between eritreans and ethiopians.it has nothing to do directly with you or any individual except to tell how the enemy dealt with us when the going for them was going very tough. in-fact i forgot to mention to you some of the shouting was done by a group who speak eritrean accents, we were told they are some of those who were aligned to weyane since before independence of eritrea.i remember we had two caught during one of our routine intelligence visit to one village’s surrounding the front we were based.

  • haile

    Selam Papillon,

    No doubt the new self is here to stay, as everything else has been shown to be futile. Glad you approve of it.

    I note that you’re advancing three pronged enquiry in your last entry. The first looked at a test case (EPDP), the second cautions that it may be playing to PFDJ hand and finally the third, indirectly, advocates for pragmatic rather than contemplative response to the current impasse.

    Now looking at the first one, and avoiding narrowing it to a single entity (EPDP), some of the key ingredients are amiss. We need to recognize that we still haven’t developed into data driven discourse in drawing conclusions. This may be another practical problem, but we simply are not in a position to draw any valid conclusion if there were any significant (relatively speaking)changes, data is not used in this way at the moment. Put as one of the many handicaps. Again, I am talking about substantive movement in this regard. Such as an official call for the resolution of the border problem through formal channels, the convening of conferences and media corresponding to call for it, the approaching of the Ethiopian government (note the choice of word as opposed to “weyane”) to specifically deal with this matter…These would amount to a bold and decisive measures (let’s not underestimate the considerable risks involved though) that would make the headlines and attract public interest. If truth be told, such a significant issue (from point of view of its political cost) doesn’t even make it even as a single word in every opposition message put out to the public. Review the above article/press release as a case in point. So my view to your first point is that we are not there yet.

    Your second point merits further discussion to. If we agree that PFDJ uses this for political consumption. You call it playing into their [PFDJ] hand, and I call it beating PFDJ on its own game. Imagine, if the border issue is the only card, what does it mean to take control of that? Here, we need to be absolutely certain that this is an Eritrean, Ethiopian, regional, continental and international issue. The border issue is not that of “woyane’s”, “PFDJ’s” or other prominent individuals within those organizations. The people of Ethiopia and Eritrea could be killing each other because of it, many years after these entities are no more. It is the peoples issue. In fact no other issue represents a “clear and present danger” at the core of both societies like the border problem. We need to be clear that when IA is gone, he is not going to be taking the problem or responsibility for it with him. If looked at in realistic terms, it will remain to be the issue squarely in the courts of the peoples of both protagonist nations. And finally in this section, a bold undertaking by all opposition groups in this regard would undoubtedly lift heavy burden off the back of all people struggling for a just cause.

    Your third point is something I totally agree with.

  • rodab

    Oh Haile. Aren’t you a disappointment!
    You know what else becomes “new”? A chameleon!
    Stay the same, stay true to yourself, stay the course. Only the unprincipled would come and proudly declare he is now “new”. That’s a weakness, nothing to be proud of.

    • haile

      Hey Rodab,

      New means awakening in my case. An awakening in the realization that when all is said and done, what really matter in the end is how we treated each other all along. New isn’t weak per se, rather fragile yet potent when handled right! Food for thought 🙂

  • haile

    Papillon,

    Don’t be surprised by the following: “You are right that the border issue is NOT the priority or urgency to the Eritrean or Ethiopian people as it stands.”

    Saying that however, it IS a priority to the Eritrean opposition movement (let the Ethiopians take care of how they choose to see it). And since there were no demonstrations against the opposition, there are no applicable placards to examine here.

    The point remains that the border issue and the opposition’s approach to mute about it has exposed it to be savagely attacked and beaten down based on the following considerations:

    – The border issue is an Eritrean issue. Since it has exacted a heavy price from the Eritrean people, it does qualitatively afford huge political weight for those who acknowledge it. PFDJ is the only entity that has immensely benefited from it so far (politically speaking).

    -The cost to the nascent Eritrean opposition movement has been incalculable. It resulted in its total and complete annihilation in the battle of swaying Eritrean public opinion. PFDJ has mercilessly used it to discredit the opposition concept as a whole.

    -The opposition, by forfeiting its legitimate entitlement to own this issue, has exposed those that sympathise with it to duck in, to be spared from the PFDJ onslaught of personal attacks in its worst form.

    – Virtually all counter punch from PFDJ are fine tuned to maximally exploit this weakness.

    There sure is no way PFDJ would have been able to counter the massive defections, media onslaught, demonstrations….with simple catch phrases as “weyane rats” “sell outs” “Hasus” “kedami”…if it wasn’t for the power encapsulated in this major aspect of Eritrean issues.

    Again, I emphasize that all other issues can also be addressed with equal zeal. Any corrective manoeuvring, on the part of the opposition, may sure be likely to raise some initial upheavals, however the new re-alignment would usher an era of promise and confidence of the embattled movement.

    What say you?…

    Ato Habtegiorgis Abraha

    Please note that I am not proposing for the border issue to be a political battle ground. This is much deeper than that. It is about clearing the road block to advance those causes you have rightly alluded to.

    Regards (The new Haile 🙂 )

    • Selamat Haile,

      Now your inquiring mind starts to play with style and elegance. You call yourself new Haile, but I don’t. Because before the recent episodes, you have been playing constructive arguments in many instances to elevate our debate to a higher level. We recognize that unequivocally. Now we can debate lofty ideas with a sense of grandeur by avoiding sublime stupidity in our communications.

      The points you laid down in your comment as an inquiry are substantive in their merits and need pragmatic answers. I believe there are deferred issues by the oppositions that hindered to questions pertinent to your inquiry. I am writing a piece to highlight about the “deferred issues” and will try somehow to touch your questions. Till then keep the new mood and grace us with your lofty ideas.

      Regards,

      • Zegeremo

        Amanuel

        Does that have to do with your unconditionally praising the fake parliament, the fake president, and the puppet prime minister of Ethiopia?

        Regards

      • haile

        Selamat Aman,

        Well, well let me come clean here. You see, Saay and his ideas within the opposition, wields substantial clout on me. Hence, when he came out to voice his concern about some of the things I was indulging in, well I knew it was time to shape up. So, either praise him for the turn around of events in this regard or blame him for letting it go this far in the first place, take your pick 🙂

        It is exiting that you are also thinking along the same lines, including the issues we are seized by in this postings, and look forward in anticipation. Also, keep following our discussion with Papillon, as she is pushing the ideas presents, to even higher level now.

        Regards

    • Papillon

      Dear Haile,

      I guess I am growing fond of the new Haile. Dandy. Back to the real deal. To my best recollection and understanding, EPDP (Weldeyesus Amar)* declined to participate in a conference which took place in Addis due to its stand with respect to the border issue as the Ethiopian government refused to live up to the very spirit of the final and binding ruling. It will be too speculative to assume that, the reason EPDP took the rather bold stand vis-a’-vis the other Opposition groups was to win the hearts and minds of people who opt to give their support to PFDJ not because of convictions but they found ambiguity or servile attitude with in the Opposition as the latter appears to be too timid to take on the border issue with the Weyanes.

      If that is actually the case with respect to EPDP’s position, one will be really hard pressed to see a scant if not practically none of the PFDJ supporters jumping or crossing the “isle” if you will to EPDP’s turf. If anything, it is a vivid testimony that, the border issue is an obsession of the regime in Eritrea as you have aptly put it designed for a political consumption. To obsess with the border issue is nothing but getting defeated in Isaias’ own game over and over again. Simply because, the regime is responsible for the lose of the twenty thousand plus precious lives who would have been otherwise productive sons and daughters where Eritrea is too possessive to lose them for a naught.

      As I see it, the weakness of the Opposition lies in its chronic inability to prioritize its mandate where it fails to listen to the murmur of the Eritrean heart. For instance, it seems to afford to intellectualize or rationalize the nature of the regime in Eritrea whether it is a dictatorship, sectarian, chauvinistic or other lofty terms where again the Eritrean people couldn’t care less till Kingdom comes. As the famous line in “Field of Dreams” has it, “If you build it, they will come”. It is as simple as that.

      I learned great deal of the Eritrean modern history (formative years in mieda) from his (Weldeyesus Amar*) otherwise brilliant and lucid series of articles which appeared on the net (mainly on Awate) back in the days in my student years. I am grateful to him.

      Haft’kha.

      • Yodita

        Dear Lady Papillon,

        This is a big ‘catch’! Jokes apart, this to me is a new dawn. An awakening, a new Haile or whatever, the point is, there is a declared shift of position through debate.

        I admit that I am lost in translation and am not clear where the shift occurred. It most certainly was not gradual! Haile attributes it to SAAY and I guess I may not be following attentively enough to gauge it. I attributed it to your patience and your perseverance to debate, allowing little or no emotion in the process. No matter, we now have a convert and that is NEWs and something to celebrate.

        BTW, I am looking forward for someone to come with a plausible rationale why the Ethio govt continues to hold on Badme when freeing it would mean freedom from slavery for hundreds of thousands of our people held in bondage by IA and possibly his downfall.

        Haftcki

  • Habtegiorgis Abraha

    Oh! dear Haile,

    However sincerely I tried to take your points, I don’t understand the genuineity of your argumenta to use the border issue primarily as a political mobilazation item. The whole problem of Ato Isayas’s power strategy suffers there; and the Eritrean people are paying for it!!! Keep aside the economic, political and social dilemas, now or later it is primarily the question of the precious lives of our inocent peoples, young and old and their well-being that cries for a solution; and that matters most!!!
    Cheers!

    • F.M.

      Bottom line: as far as Haile and Awate team are concerned the biggest threat is weyane, not the sociopath in Eritrea. You can see that in their fixation with badme and their opposition to an arms embargo on Eritrea. A day will come, God willing, the Eritrea people when free will make you pay for your position.

  • asmara

    [From moderator: “Asmara”, or whatever u are calling urself this week. You are really slow, aren’t you? 1. Her name is Papillon. It’s not too many syllables for u, is it? 2. No name calling. 3. You are aware that this is Awate.com and NOT wedogeba.net, right? If you are just writing so what u write can face the trash bin, that’s a strange fixation u have. ]

  • Habtegiorgis Abraha

    Dear Paula,

    I don’t think you missed this point, that the demos you have referred have their targets ‘internal’ (to the dictatorship of ato Isayas/ the EPDFJ), and as such reflects the Eritrean opposition camp, unless you purposely chose to evade it. I still would like to leave this to your judgement to underline the issue of a political representative figure of the Eritrean people when you make your arguement from the demos! I’m sure you’ve seen or heard the contents of the dictator’s supporters’ placards as well even in Eritreans in diaspora. how do you you measure whether the validity issue of your point still holds ground or not!

    Isn’t that also an obviouse point that an opposition group/ organisation be it Eri, Ethio, Egyptian, … most of the time focuses on inside issues! Nevertheless, I make good sense of, and agree to your points that the source of all our Eri problems, including the border problem is the dictatorship of Ato Isayas/ the EPDFJ.

    When ato Isayas/ the EPDFJ learned that he lost the candidacy to the position of regional power (Goblel in his language) in the Horn Of Africa, desparate he sweeflty claimed the Eritrean territory, Badme and environs, that he compromised to the TPLF in 1979, at least to secure his griep to power in Eritrea and shamelessly at the cost of the innocent young Eri lives.

    And whether or not the border issue is actually holding the Eritrean people back from moving forward, … to express my opinion, it definetly has. Don’t you agree, Ato Isayas made the border issue a defining factor for who the Eritrean is; and on matters of violation of sovereignity and stability of the country? It still is his main instrument frenetically used to keep the whole eri pop hostage under his rule, young and old, at the war trenches – The whole Eritrean life ‘Ab dob teshemimu’. The bottom line is for whatsoever reasons there is still a big number of Eritreans who follow him!

    So is it urget? As I see it, it is absolutely, urgent! Not only for Eritrea, but also, I believe, for the Ethiopean people. In fact, I believe it is an overdue issue. Although it definetely seems that Ethiopia is managing very well compared to Eritrea, it has also become very costy to Ethiopia.

    And there is no question that all sides could benefit by having the border issue immediately resolved. And however difficult it seems, to Ethiopia or Eritrea, the only reliable legal arbitration, and the foundation of all future possible progress in the lives of both peoples and in the relationship of Eritrea and Ethiopia, is to abide by the EEBC’s decission and unconditionally implement it. I think everything else, be it economic progress, regional stabilty, regional cooperation and integration, internal and regional peace, … depends on it!

    Keeping aside any die hard Ethiopian chauvenism, that aspires on an outlet to the Red sea by subjugatig Eritrea, abiding by the EEBC’s decission and unconditionally implementing it is the only solution. The faster the better, and as formal as possible, out of any hidden agendas from any side as has been experienced in the past against the interests of both countries and peoples. The Eritrean people’s unanimous choice (through the long and arduous armed struggle, internationally monitored referemdum) beyond all odds is supreme, and deserves unreserved respect!!!

    And I think everyone has to contribute to that end positively (the governments, the oppositions and the people specially elders, religiouse leaders, intellectuals, HR activists … ) alike.

    Cheers!

    • Papillon

      Dear Habtegiorgis,

      I agree. The placards sure enough reflect the vivid reality in Eritrea and demand for wider attention. However, the writings are directed to the dictatorship of Isaias as opposed to the people in Eritrea. Why would they speak to the Eritrean people when they are meant to represent the plight of the Eritrean people? But again, the point is to highlight the fact that the border issue is taken to the back-burner when the demands of the people outweigh its (read: the border issue) urgency. I am not by all means saying that it shouldn’t be of a matter of concern but the reality of the day dictates more of a prioritizing events with the degrees of urgency they carry with them. I tend to elect to the opinion that, to assume and expect the demarcation of the border will be a sort of wand to the plight of the Eritrean people is naivety at its best.

      Haft’kha.

  • Papillon

    Dear Haile,

    Signs do tell a lot. Road construction stretching all the way from Addis to South Sudan is underway. Railroad installation from the northern part of Ethiopia passing through Addis and stretching all the way to the ports of Djibouti is under way. Of course, these rather ambitious undertakings are not only for public transportation but to mobilize and transfer capital, goods and services as well. Here is the deal: Do these realities on the ground suggest anything about Ethiopia’s hasting to take Asseb back including other needs either through force or by installing a puppet government in Eritrea? I sure think not. I sure believe not. That is, when we insinuate something limited to conspiracy theories, we tend to move far away from the center of gravity. We lose a sense of reality on the ground and we adrift into unending vicious cycle.

    Moreover, if the Eritrean people had a rather intense preoccupation with border-demarcation and if they had a serious issue with the Weyanes to the point of holding grudges against them, why would the Eritrean people send their kids off to the land of the Weyanes as they dodge the “search and detain” modus operandi of the “Hagerawian” as the latter try to keep them in an indefinite national service?

    As Eritreans flee the country in droves and make it to the Weyane-land, there is a rather depressing perception taking hold where the erstwhile picture-perfect of Eritrea and Eritreans fades away through the streams of time. As they say, ab adi g’WaaNa k’bret yelen. And that holds true to Eritreans as well. As much as a Greek can not live in the glory of the Spartans; as much as a Spaniard can not live in the glory of the naval power; as much as a Brit can not live in the glory of the refusal of the sun to set on its empire; we Eritreans as well are losing our sense of pride as the world used to know us by our steadfastness, self-sacrifice, and our rise against all odds as we rendered our own Eritrea an independent nation. Thanks to the sadist leader, it is becoming a thing of the past. Appalling to say the least.

    Sadly enough, the new generation in Ethiopia is completely oblivious of the fact that we Eritreans used to be the main economic engine of Ethiopia through our strong work ethic, ingenuity, and inovation. Instead that is replaced with a macabre image as we seek a better life anywhere but in Eritrea. The macabre image is spreading including to Sudan, Egypt and elsewhere as we resign into citizens of a nowhere-world. Simply put, tenaEiqna. Ethiopiawian nEiqom’na. Sudanawian nEiqom’na, G’btsa’wian (Egyptians) n’Eiqom’na. That is the reality.

    We can still own our destiny and the situation on the ground as well. But first, we need to recognize the very malady that is eating us up and out. We need to emphasize on the things that can be done and help us out to achieve our short term objectives. Sure enough, the cacophony of the Opposition can be a liability as opposed to an asset but the Opposition have a common enemy and a common denominator where it can pull its strength together. That is of a paramount importance to achieve the short term objective. That is what I call a sense of urgency to salvage Eritrea from the slippery slope it is subjected to. God help us all.

    P.S. You see how elegant you look when you thread with out throwing insults. Hope we keep the debate with style and elegance.

    • Kokhob Selam

      Papillon,

      do you remember how he use to answer to you? from the new style of Haile people can learn a lot. “ztemahre yqtelka” works here. i was sure he will have his position and if you remember i use to say to him the same. I still want to learn more from you both. i hope all Eritreans are reading your posts, including supporters. tks

    • Asmara Eritrea

      Thw January 21 event will be in Eritrean history books long after the dictator is dead, buried and forgotten.

      Eritrea foe ever, death to the dictator.

  • Halewa Sewra

    Happy 25th anniversary of the Fall of Nadew Command to all Eritreans!

    The liberation of Afabet and the Fall of the Nadew Command was the beginning of the end of the colonizing Ethiopian Army in Eritrea.

    Indeed, one of the greatest military victories to have ever been registered against a colonizing army ever. And one of the greatest battles to have ever taken place on the African continent!

    Long live a free and independent Eritrea!
    Awet n Hafash!

  • Halewa Sewra

    Forto, Forto, Forto…that’s all I ever hear.

    So I came up with two fitting slogans (bumper stickers) for Forto 2013.

    1. Forto! Never has so much been written about so little.

    2. Forto! There is nothing there “there.”

  • Papillon

    Haile,

    You’re dodging the real issue. Moreover, you’re taking the entire Opposition block to a court of law for “failing to pressure the Weyanes to abide by the ruling of the EBBC and for sidetracking the issue instead of presenting their stand with out ambiguity to the Eritrean people.” Sure enough, twenty thousand is too many for a small country like Eritrea when we compare the damage including the human-lose incurred on Ethiopia.

    It will be redundant to repeat myself where I have a different take on the “urgency” to implement fully the already rendered verdict with respect to the border. However, the question still remains whether it is actually holding the Eritrean people back from moving forward? I think not. I believe not.

    When Eritreans in diaspora took their grievances to the streets in Europe, North America and other cities particularly in the aftermath of January 21st incident, it is nowhere a placard to be seen saying anything even remotely connected to the border issue. Rather the placards read invariably, “Dictatorship has to end”, “The Constitution has to be implemented”, “Political prisoners must be released.” These among other things carry a sense of urgency where the Eritrean people at large are preoccupied with to the point of holding on to anything to survive. The border issue is not only a far cry from the real and present danger hoovering on Eritrea, it also lacks validity* where it fails to measure the real factors holding the country back from striding forward.

    *Validity as in a lexicon used in “experimental psychology”.

    • haile

      Papillon,

      I fully recognize the magnitude of the issue that I am raising. I have no doubt you do too. More importantly, all those reading who are reading it, specially those of strategic, leadership, tactical and/or policy stakeholders in the matter know it too.

      The recent Eritrean opposition movements, beginning from their formative years of early 2000 till now have been around the new Eritrean political landscape for almost 12 years now and counting. 12 years indeed is a long time. Imagine a small child enrolling at grade school and a young man graduating university. That is the time frame we are looking at.

      Many things happened throughout those tumultuous years. Tragedies, confusion, division, alliances, animosities, recriminations, deaths and disasters. Simply put, they weren’t easy. As they say, when I was a child, I thought and acted as a child but now that I am a grown up, I think and act as a grown up.

      Regardless of our willingness to acknowledge and work through it, reality one of the things that doesn’t just get wished away. The choice is yours and mine as far as what we do with it, but it would still be there.

      I hear you scream “urgency”, so what say I. You are faced with an array of issues. One of them in particular comes with the following distinctive characteristics:

      – One that has quantitatively brought the greatest damage in life and material.
      – One that has qualitatively brought the greatest point of weakness that has been exploited to the fullest to undermine the opposition.
      – One that has forestalled the potential of the opposition from being the natural outlet of the masses legitimate grievances at the hands of the current regime.
      – one that has singularly been the centre of attraction of criticism. Give me any other issue that the opposition would lack the upper hand on, none!

      Unfortunately, placards can’t be a good cursory pointers of the major tectonic fault lines of this difficult situation. True, it may be easy for me to raise it here and equally easy for the next commenter to come along and dismiss it out of hand. The reality, however, remains a very unenviable conundrum for those who are sacrificing more than their fair share to better the conditions of their lot.

      Indeed, it is not very enviable position, however the fact remains that as an Eritrean opposition, one is an Eritrean government in waiting. And there may not be much leisurely opportunity to formulate a viable platform that is concordant of its subtle and manifest importance.

      What level should it be looked at? strategic, tactical or peripheral? And, within what time frame should it be captured? current, near future or indefinite postponement. What are at stake? From the opposition camp’s interest point of view of course. How would that play out in terms of shifting alliances and re-arranging the power balance in relation to different forces?

      Let’s not rush the issue. I am sure there are many who can expand on this crucial matter, and I encourage them to do so.

  • haile

    Saay, Amanuel, Papillon and the writers of the above (EJDE,

    Sorry to address you all together (I am not planning in calling a small meeting, any one can join too…:-)) it is just my response here here will touch on the the different comments that you made in response to mine.

    If I may start with the rebuttal that I am not sticking to the points of debate and happen to be making unnecessary attacks (which some of you find, rightly so, distasteful), point well taken and a quick explanation is in order.

    As you know this is an open forum, and we have little control on how or from what direction, the next abuse is to be hurled at us. And hence the human in us bound to fire back in an eye for an eye fashion. In ideal case scenario, I would have liked purely impersonal discussion that would strictly adhere to the points at hand. But, when assumptions, categorizations, stereotypes and lowly shenanigans are randomly attributed one is forced to respond in kind.

    Now let me translate the above assertion in everyday language. If you review all my entries from the beginning of time, you will find that my opening comment is made in a direct and to the point fashion. However, when some people start to make intervention, not to add value but to complicate matters such as lending support by getting personal, their issue is automatically referred to the firing squad in my books. betri zeyblu, gado eyu bejaKhum elnakum! Also, this forum is moderated effectively, total success is a shared responsibility.

    This brings me to the substantive matter in the article above, and somewhat attempts to finalize the debate we had with Papillon.

    Eritrea-Ethiopia border issue

    Facts (as widely accepted)are:

    The war claimed about the lives of 20,000 Eritreans. It is widely reported that over 100,000 have died from both sides (leave the collateral damages for now). Seye Abraha was on record claiming that nezi elna 150,000 hiywet aykefelnan (as he walked out of a TPLF meeting). Do the math.

    The war is, we like it or not, Eritre-Ethiopia war. Not IA-Ethiopia war or PFDJ-woyane war. In real sense that is. What ever to be paid or gained from it will apply to Ethiopia and Eritrea. The people of both countries that is. It is an issue for the opposition and the government alike. An opposition does not have the option to choose which battles to fight. Public opinion dictates that.

    The opposition would have the following options:

    -To transparently inform the Eritrean public that they have entered into an xyz settlement of the matter with the Ethiopian government.

    -To transparently inform the Eritrean people that once the current regime falls, they carry the can for what ever eventuality.

    -To transparently inform the Eritrean people, the Ethiopian government and the world community that they demand the immediate implementation of the EEBC decision, even if the IA regime has failed to achieve that.

    -To transparently inform the Eritrean public that it is beyond their will or capacity to do so.

    Can the opposition own the issue of the settlement of this dispute? I think it can and it should. But it depends on how they see it. If they choose to think that it would be an added pressure on the Eritrean government, then at what cost are they doing that? i.e. for now and for the near future?

    Does the opposition think that it is an issue for only for the current regime? if so, they need to make the public appreciate that. The Ethiopian government has declined to implement it, yet expressed willingness to re-open the decision by entering into discussion even with the current regime. Why is it the opposition not willing to own it as an Eritrean issue. Does it believe that it doesn’t play significant part in the Eritrean public opinion. It does, so why ignore such a high stakes issue as if it is outside of their realm.

    It is an Eritrea-Ethiopia dispute, and as Eritreans, it should involve the opposition. It would have implication on its capacity to sway public opinion. If the fear is that IA will consolidate after the resolution of the issue, then that is against realistic consideration. But it would be a game changer to the stagnated opposition in reassuring the and galvanizing the public as a viable alternative.

    The Eritrean people at this juncture do not support the regime, do not trust the opposition, and do not like their current situation. In a nutshell that is. The opposition is a vocal proponent of transparency, but has added to the atmosphere of witch hunt and mutual distrust sown among the public.

    Let the public know whether you are big enough to shoulder this responsibility, it is highly critical undertaking, may even amount to a major strategic shift in the direction of the opposition that is unable to recognize the fact that opposition=alternative. It will have to deal with all issues, and transparently inform the public of its decision. Shrouding it in secrecy and mystery would only undermine it.

    Dealing with this issue would not stop the opposition from addressing other matters with equal zeal, but would play a significant role in changing the balance of power and tipping it in its favour greatly.

    • Saleh Gadi

      Haile, regardless of some differences in views, I can’t help but admire your clear presentation of your views. Excellent,

      • haile

        Sal

        Thanks…we learn from the eaxample you set!

  • Zegeremo

     Is HGDF becoming the lesser evil in comparison to Ethiopia’s scheme of installing a puppet unionist government from the “opposition”?

    Source: meskerem.net

  • Zegeremo

    Excellent and well said, we’re truly blessed!!

    Br. Semere, the thing is now that we have plenty of immaculately crafted theories, but where do we go from here as far as converting those theories to practical concerned?

    Regards

  • Asmara

    In short, because the attempt to ride on the back of Woyanie straight to the throne did not work, now you want to ride our EDF?

    The thing is, the more the so valled opposition talk about this forto cenario the more empty they sound, the more the Eritrean people see your pathetic nature, and the more they realize they are well off with out your involvment.

    • Kokhob Selam

      Asmara,

      say it outside the country or inside it is the same. this only shows you our people including EDF are against the “government”. everybody is working against the group in Asmara. if you say we need to create a united and well organized opposition i will agree with you.”to ride on the back of Woyanie” is not the culture of our people that is the culture of EPLF’s leadership. and EPLF is no more around.

    • yegermal

      and the more every one notices that you’re faking the misspelling of common words…not hard to recognize your style and deduce your identity. EDF is not your possession, although as a newcomer you’ve been acting like “bealti hadish metereas ab megedi teteraas” and have learned DIA’s bad habits of patronizing.