Inform, Inspire, Embolden. Reconcile!

Power To The Spirit Of Adi Keih

Food. Clothing. Shelter. These are basic economic needs of human beings. Land. Labor. Capital. These are basic factors of production. The Eritrean regime is a bourgeois society! Even if Marxist lingo is outdated, it describes the regime accurately. And Land has always remained at the center of Eritrea’s problems. Everything is about LAND.

For some time now, the Eritrean regime has been demolishing houses in the outlying areas of Asmara where it razed many houses to the ground. Over the last few weeks, anxiety- struck Eritreans heard news spread about the demolition of houses. Continuing its cycle of brigandage, one fine morning two weeks ago the regime’s bulldozers rolled to several villages around Asmara to destroy homes. It must have felt good because the bulldozers rolled over 110 kilometers of asphalt road and reached Adi Keih. Once there, they leveled more houses to the ground. A visitor to Adi Keih exclaimed, “Just like Israel does to the Palestinian houses!” Returning home after three decades in exile, the visitor didn’t expect that kind of reception. He cut his visit short and immediately returned home, to the UK.

Unlike the other villagers who simply wept watching their houses turn into rubble, the youth of Adi Keih reacted differently, the government had pushed them a little too far. While the helpless homeowners watched through the dust in agony, the high school children snapped and faced the unsuspecting demolition teams. A confrontation ensued. Several students were killed or injured. The regime’s demolition expedition was interrupted. For weeks, Eritrean circles were buzzing with that news. Yesterday the demolition crew resumed their brigandage in Adi Keih and are expected to continue to other towns where condemned houses are already marked with a red X.

Adi Keih has a college that houses several thousand students. Attempts by the high school youth to convince the college students to join them in facing the government’s gangs failed. That was because the college “kids” are not locals, they have no attachment to the demolished houses. The local high school students have. They went it alone. They paid for their defiance with their blood.

There is a painful history in every inch of the much abused Eritrean land.

Before the launching of the Eritrean armed struggle in 1961, Ethiopian officials distributed fertile plots of land on the banks of the Barka river to their cronies who had no clue where Barka river was. The plots were distributed under the guise of land development schemes. Subsidized diesel oil for water pumps was allocated to the cronies who fenced the grabbed plots with walls of acacia shrubs. Every month they signed a piece of paper and received barrels of diesel which they sold to retailers in Akordat and other towns. The plots remained fallow though a source of cheap diesel oil.

Meanwhile, cattle herders were denied access to their wells and they were not willing to reach the river through a long loop to avoid the fences. Those was their ancestral lands and no crony should have the right to deny their cattle suitable passage to the water and the wells that were always theirs since creation. They defiantly removed the fences. And that created altercations between the delegates of the absentee new landlords and the native cattle herders. The government interfered to support and protect the “rights” of the cronies against the “illegal action” of the herders. The first clash between the local people and the Ethiopian forces was ignited. It became the precursor to the Eritrean armed struggle that was launched in that area.

After the liberation of the Eritrean territories, the Eritrean regime kept the land policies of the previous occupiers intact. It completely ignored pastoral rights and focused on advancing agrarian mode of production, albeit making itself the mega agriculturist.

The governments “Land Proclamation 58/1994” makes it clear. Its land policy addresses agrarian land uses, “Tzlmi, Desa, Public Domain, Quah Mahtze, Meret Worki”, none of which addresses pastoral lands. And in Section2, Article 3, item #1, (article 2.1), the proclamation states, “In Eritrea, land is owned by the State.” Worse, Article 4 states that, “Every Eritrean citizen shall have a usufruct right over land.” But the part that is the cause of the current demolition of houses is Article 2 (2) concerning “…those Eritrean citizens who are granted Government permission to settle in villages and live by using the land,” and Article 2 (3), “Without prejudice to sub-article 2 of this Article and Article 29(4) of this Proclamation, every Eritrean citizen shall have the right to obtain tiesa land (land for housing) in his home village.

Based on the above, veteran combatants were deservedly given residential plots (Tiesa land) of about 500 square meters. However, cronies of the regime, and those who could afford to pay enough bribes, also received plots. Individuals opposed to the regime have no chance of getting any plot of land. At any rate, most of those who were given plots of land did not have money to build a house, and those who had the money did not have land. A new derivative market emerged in the Eritrean real estate business: brokers matched customers who have the land with those who have the money. The land was then divided into two equal parts and those who have the money paid for the construction of two house: one for the landowner and the other for the financier. The ruling party knows about this and has been benefiting from it.

Sadly, even those who wanted to build houses on their inherited lands were denied construction permits which are issued for a few months and then frozen, then issued again, only to be frozen one more time. Completely haphazard. The excuses for freezing construction are so many: unavailability of cement, scarcity of iron bars, bricks, roofing, lumber, etc. Again, the permit issue was an opportunity to create another derivative market: brokers, some of whom call themselves lawyers, offered their services to get construction permits for those who wanted to build houses. But their service doesn’t involve a legally known process of getting permits. Instead, they identify how much bribe and to whom their clients should pay to be able to build their houses. Usually, the permit is not written; it’s a verbal permit. The bribed authority turns a blind eye. House builders work from sunset to sunrise, under the cover of darkness, avoiding work in daylight to avoid the risk of implicating the bribed authorities.

This has been going on for nearly 20 years. During that time, thousands of houses were built, with hundreds of millions of dollars worth of investment. Usually the invested money is a lifelong savings, mainly of maids, taxi-drivers, and other workers toiling in Europe, North America, or the Middle East. But no government official faces housing problems: they have secured residences as squatters in the houses that the Ethiopian Derg confiscated and which the regime kept. The regime also sorted out the housing problems of its cronies: it provides its supporters with land, and financing through the Housing Bank. That is easy because the regime owns all the land and all the banks.

According to estimates by knowledgeable business people, about half the new houses built in the last 20 years or so are “illegal”. If the government wants to pursue its brigandage and demolish houses, most of the houses were built based on the derivative financial deals. Therefore, if the regime sticks to the criteria it used to demolish the houses of Adi Keih, and fairly follows it through, over half the houses built since the mid 1990s would be razed to the ground. It won’t do that.

It’s understood that governments invoke “eminent domain” to demolish houses when cutting a road, constructing a public buildings, or removing a structure that is hazardous to the safety of the people. But no one understands the madness of demolishing houses in villages that do not have such complications. Worse, given the shortage of houses, no one understand why a government would consciously hamper the construction of houses and demolish those that are standing and sheltering families–people got married and raised families in these houses that they call home!

For the past two decades, on every occasion, Isaias Afwerki appeared on television and promised a solution for the housing crisis. Every year, he lied through his teeth, with a straight face. Every time he made false promises, his errand boys in his embassies marketed would-be-built houses through glossy brochures and impressive architectural models. Investors went to Eritrea, gave up on the situation and returned home, some lost good money. Diaspora Eritreans were milked of their money in “advance-sale” schemes publicized by the regime. In its pursuit to monopolize the present and future markets, the ruling party suffocated small contractors; most of them went bust or left the country. Meanwhile, nothing ameliorated the acute shortage of housing. Let alone cater for the population increase, the regime failed to cater to the population that received it with hope in 1991.

The Eritrean regime would not allow entrepreneurs and business people to take care of the housing shortage and solve the mundane problems. It wouldn’t for fear of losing its monopolistic grip on the economy. The ruling party hates the dynamics of a free market economy, it is a tyranny and control freak–with severe consequences to the nation.

The #58/1994 land proclamation accomplished one thing: the government owns all the land and citizens are treated as squatter in their own country. In a 2001 interview with Saleh Younis, the late Seyoum Ogbamichael describes the proclamation as follows:

“The existing PFDJ policy is a policy of plunder … a veneer that says, land is the property of the government, is a ploy to own and to distribute land selectively and on whim; to enforce your power interest until you solidify your financial capability. To seize land as you wish; to offer land in the marketplace in exchange for hard currency, is to undermine the basic asset of our people that they used for ages. In short, it is undermining and pulling the carpet from under their legs… it is a policy of looting. It is unpopular, illegal and undemocratic.”

Finally, since the regime doesn’t want to construct houses, and wouldn’t allow others to build, and is demolishing standing, livable house, maybe the escaping youth would ease the pressure on housing! Maybe the regime plans to push every citizen out of the country so that it can lord over a country it turned into rubble.

Long live the spirit of Adi Keih

Related Reading:

The late Seyoum Ogbamichael on land and other issues
Eritrean Land Proclamation 58/1994
Herui T. Bairu’s Strategy Addi

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  • Ayneta

    The most discouraging issue that has been lost between lines in this article is the utter silence displayed by the college’s students amid all the fiasco . I cant comprehend as why they didn’t even attempt to show their disapproval one way or another. These are young students who one expects to at least join the mutiny that was bravely set by the people of Adi Keyih. One can attribute their silence to the extreme control the regime has over the colleges. But one also have another theory: that the regime is producing students who are gutless, sycophants and parrots who have been engineered to take orders blindly without showing a modicum of disapproval. Gone are the days when university students were first line change agents who championed the plight of their people. It seems the regime may be wining the battle in terms of cultivating students who are either too aloof or brainwashed to notice the brutality of the regime. This is so scary, college students shamelessly giving blind eye to the massacre next door!

  • T..T.

    What the students did in Adi Qeyh, Challenging the authority, may not be repeated elsewhere. One sure way to end the abusive practices of the criminal administration is to declare semi-liberated areas by the opposition, where the people can stand for the victims and demand for their rights. These areas may include all border cities and towns including Assab, Kululli, Senafe, Adi Qeyh, Adi Quala, Barentu, Tesennie and Um Hajer. These cities and towns are also known to be swollen by waves of would be escapees. As would be escapees, the environment of semi-liberation may empower them to participate in demands for shortening Sawa-slavery and returning the confiscated lands as well as for right to form opposition parties. Since the opposition forces already have presence in or around those cities, people in those cities can create underground organization. The main theme of the underground organizations should revolve around standing to the criminal activities of the criminal administration. Indeed, the underfed and badly treated people of those cities and towns got nothing and do not expect any good from the bankrupt leadership of Isayas.

  • Haile WM

    meriet meriet mengsti is the surreal reality of eritrea in my view.
    Who is mengsti ? the word “mengsti” in colloquial tigrigna has the equivalence of “government” in English, but “mengsti” is the heritage of a feudal lexicon derived from “Nigus”. The word actually should be “MmHdar”.
    So basically meriet is “nay MmHdar”, which implies meriet belongs to GOE. In the surreal eritrean reality GOE is non existent, we have the surrogate ghost party which is PFDJ run as personal fiefdom of IA. the front never functioned as a party nor as a political entity as per it’s charts.

    hence the surreal part, the Mmhdar, who was a transitional gov. that became provisional, then turned military state, is telling the people that the land is of a transitional non-elected entity called “mengsti”… we shall not live in the land, build in the land, til the land. The only thing we can do is leave the land, that is if the “mengsti” doesn’t shoot us..

    Strange times we live in, and some are fooled by the slogan “weyane should vacate ‘our’ land”. who’s land are they talking about ? that of mengsti ? mmHdar ? i say let them the “mengsti” deal with it i am being ousted from my land.

    • Semere Andom

      Hi Haile Wm:
      “i am being ousted from my land.”

      But I am asked to defend it, to die for it, to bleed for it and I cannot even get buried in it, those whose “medhanti” was not buried in it, menuments are erected for them, those who did nothing for it are lavishly celebrated

      • Haile WM

        indeed surreal when a parent who lost 5 of his children for the liberation of this Eritrea must have being puzzeled by the statue of pushkin in the middle of asmara… surreal when YPFDJ kids go to Sawa and post bravely their photo-vacation do insult those youth who gave their best years in trenches and lebel them as the “iPad seekers” surreal at best! Bust the best of the best are the cyber warriors ! those who defend eritrea from woyane invasion in eritrean forums, these are the new choguar danga whose lol an hahaha have replaced the 80’s and 90’s bren and kalashn. Aye zeben!

        • guest

          Indeed brothers Semere and Haile.aye zeben! Zeben grimbiT. Harestai merietu temenTilu, Higgi indabba tesa3iru, deqqbbat ab foqeda midrebeda y’halqu; deqqerba3a movers and shakers nai Eritrea hillawe khoinom. 3addi Inte Haqeqet’wn giddi yeblomn. Ay Neberom Ay Tefe’om…Amlakh yitte3areqenna. DiHri merebba3atka b’mengisti mfras, intai kon ker’eyenna’yu !

    • Hope

      Haile:
      Your points make sense from practical point of view ….
      It was declared as such that the Land belongs to the Mimhdar or the GoE through a Decree and through the Assembly I believe but the technicality of apying those Land Decrees or Laws is so complex and confusing and even crooked, which led to unpleasant outcomes and procedures!
      While I “respect”(do not accept or agree with them) the Decrees or the Laws by the current Regime or Party, I disrespec the way it applies the decrees…. as it is messing up homes and families.
      The only thing we can do at this moment until the Constitutional Gov arrives is to protest against the evil acts of the current Party on behalf of the victims!

  • Hope

    AT:
    Did U forget the serious incident of the demolition of Megatoh and Gezabanda home of the poor people of Keren some Years ago?
    I think you reported it at that time but did not include it here.
    Worst ,the Villa home built over the demolished old homes were taken by some ” Highlanders” by paying only $15-20k but then those ” Highlanders” sold them back to the legitimate owners for $50-75k.
    This is a fact I witnessed.
    Besides victims of the demolition of our old homes,some of us even could not get a single villa for $75k to this day!
    Be that or thi,what is/was the motivation behind this evil action?
    Is it due for city planing purpose or to intimidate ERITREANS!
    ERITREANS at home challenged Mr Al’ Amin Mohammed Said,the fake PFDJ head in Barentu few weeks ago as to why the GoE is destroying built millions of Nacfa rather than penalizing the owners with money!
    His answer:
    ” Kab La’eleway Akal Zemetse Memrihi eyu”!, meaning :”It was an order from the Higher Level Government”!
    Bingo!
    Mind you, this was reported directly by the people , who were in the meeting, not a made-up story!’
    You see how much the PFDJ controlled the public to that extent!
    Dead walking people!
    So sad to be mistreated like this when the public gave up all their kids for a Free Eritrea! But only to be treated worse than the 18th Centiury slaves!
    Gheteb ,
    Please,use your right mind!
    You know better,so do NOT be a victim of your own intelligence!
    Do not insult the intelligence’

    • Hope

      Please read ” Megatoh” as Megarih” in the second line’
      The Smart phone does things the way it wants it’

    • ‘Gheteb

      Cousin Hope,
      Please, try to understand my take on the issue is quite different. It is not personal; I am not trying to defend this or that party. That is why I have said that “I have a sui generis take” on the issue. That my friend is meant to be a different and unique take. Here, though, I am not minimizing the sufferings of those whose house is being demolished. Please read what I have written and here it is: ” … the government of Eritrea taking desperate and seemingly heartless acts like demolishing house…….”
      Look, I never intended to insult anyone’s intelligence here and please take it as a different and unique take on the issue. That is all to it. However, many would holler and grandstand to say this and that about me. That is okay, for I don’t fit any of the molds they have tried to pigeonhole me in. I think differently and uniquely and therefore I am ‘Gheteb. Many can’t deal with that in this forum and again that is okay.

      • Hope

        Gheteb,
        Apologies,Sir, if I misread and misunderstood your super- technical English and sophisticated analysis,for which I have given you a credit!
        I respect your opinion as well but there are few,who feel or are ” worse victims” than se victims and we are acting emotionally!
        No surprise for you being labeled as this and that ,as have been there and have done that.And , in fact, if U R not new to the Forum, I have been ” baptized” with the worst adjectives besides being labeled as a PFDJ agent and supporter,when in fact, I declared officially as one of the worst victims of the same PFDJ— despite that I was a Junior EPLFite and a Junior PFDJite , like most ones,who were way more EPLFites and PFDJites ,who sacrificed themselves but only to be victims !
        I think we R on the same page when it comes to defending Eritrea and as to how to bring a real change in Eritrea- by ERITREANS !
        I am for “Eritrean Solutions for Eritrean Problems by ERITREANS”, as a Principle though,as I also believe in some kind of constructive,balanced,mutual and Neutral external Support,when deemed ESSENTIAL and if at all is it is for the best interest of Etitrea and ERITREANS!

  • ‘Gheteb

    Hi Nitricc,
    I see that whenever you comment on anything, here are the responders coming one after the other like a clock work:
    1) Semere Andom, most of the time saying pretty much the same thing
    2) Person XY, a hybrid of a thug and ‘thugstress’ gangs-up and regurgitates the usual stock of infantile utterings. Person XY is vindictive to the nth degree and will do or say anything to denigrate, bully and threaten others,
    3) Then comes Qeshi Amanuel Hidrat grandstanding and offering the usual nonsensical “advice”. Now I skip his comments totally as they are the same and this man repeats them as if he is offering new advice. Phew!
    4) There are others who piggyback just to please this or that person.
    The thing that I find weird is that they take this as a “debate”, “exchange of ideas” and are not ashamed one bit to lecture others. I mean they don’t even know that some in this forum can read between the lines. What is more, is the fact that they seem not to know that some in this forum can think ‘geometrically’ and not like they seem to think ‘linearly’.
    So, Nitricc, this how I see those who has been ‘ganging-up’ against you which says much about their failings than any of your shortcomings. Keep up what you do best. Tell it as you think should be told!

    • Semere Andom

      Hi Gheteb:
      I, too was wrong–fooled by semantics that swaddle truth and clarity with puffery.
      Emma is Queshi: while we know the only Qshenet is in his name, Amanue, God is with us, Rabbi is more apt
      Hayat is XY, as in the chromoses, say it cousn Gheteb, say it, are you calling here hermaphrodite?
      Sem Andom is predictable and boring. I can live with that
      I believe many in this forum are smart and can read between lines, but your “patient” cannot even read mush less read between lines and specially when the lines are fine (subtle)

      • ‘Gheteb

        Hi Semere,
        No, I didn’t say you are ‘boring and predictable’. C’mon Semere; far from it. What I meant was in your exchange with Nitricc your response are pretty much the same. I don’t read them, honestly, as I just skim through and I just skip it. I hope you caught my drift here. I don’t expect you to be “fooled by semantics that swaddle truth and clarity with puffery”. How could you, cousin Semere? That didn’t even cross my mind. The others, Qeshi Amanuel, stop being literal here and where is the grasp of subtleness and nuances that you have just claimed Nitricc to be so bereft of. C’mon Cuz Semere. Regarding Person XY, it is much more than mere chromosomes and for that I have thus far written about it and you can find it easily in this forum.

      • ‘Gheteb

        Hi again, Cuz Semere,
        I just read your response to my post above. I will respond later on. Darn, that time constraint again!

    • Nitricc

      Gheteb
      Their idea is to break me and to silence me. But what they don’t know is I have been through it and I can not stand conformists. So what you see is that a bunch gutless conformist kissing each others behind, thinking and hoping to break my sprite. When coward Semere was calling me every name on the book; only one person said something and none of the toothless conformists said a word. When I bring the same medicine to the half Dedebit; all start barking like you know what. One thing is for sure; I will always speak my mind and I rather die than conform.
      Thanks Bro.

    • Nitricc

      Gheteb
      Their idea is to break me and to silence me. But what they don’t know is I have been through it and I can not stand conformists. So what you see is that a bunch gutless conformist kissing each others behind, thinking and hoping to break my sprite. When coward Semere was calling me every name on the book; only one person said something and none of the toothless conformists said a word. When I bring the same medicine to the half Dedebit; all start barking like you know what. One thing is for sure; I will always speak my mind and I rather die than conform.
      Thanks Bro.

      • Ted

        Nitricc, nothing is new here.” Their idea is to break me and to silence me” They are in their own sand box, molding and sculpting their 15 yrs old failed theory try it to sale it as new with flashy arguments. They have nothing new to say, last time SAAy asked one of Eshy goytay, Amanuel(i think) to do a survey of about 20 people about his way of TPLF- conjoined struggle against PFDJ. I wish he did that, the truth would have set him free for his own good. .The most absurd accusation for every one who oppose them is “PFDJ supporter” In reality they are PFDJ supporters by default, wedged in between the change seekers and PFDJ, by derailing people from the true struggle, (empowering people to demand change). I say to you Nitricc, keep pissing on their sand box, the sooner they get out the better we all be..

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Ted,
          I have never noticed that Ted= Gheteb. However who you are, no body forced you to hold my view or anyone’s view for that matter. You throw your own view on any subject you feel knowledgeable to influence your reader. Equally others are doing the same thing. That is all. I don’t know “poll making and statistics charting”, it is not my area of training. If you know how to do it, Saay gave you the hint, go and do it. If you don’t know, the “burden of proof” about the silent majority is up to you guys (you, saay or any proponent of that argument). Throwing the word “majority” without statistic that could back your argument, is the talk of bystander (common people). I don’t know you, but Saay is from that discipline of knowledge.

          • Ted

            .Amanuel, it was long back and forth debate under one theme, Quit harassing people who don’t hold your view. It is not about silent majority but about why you don’t accept the notion people are tired of your TPLF this TPLF that mantra. He was asking you to wake up and smell the coffee just by asking a few people how they feel about your plan to defeat PFDJ. You are an investor who want to give up to much equity in your struggle to TPLF. Eritreans do not allow that.
            “poll making and statistics charting” might be the answer for your confliction. How hard is it to learn it for a person like you.

            “Kbur Ato amanuel:

            …………Leaving your self-congratulatory testimonies aside “ane..I…i…i…”, please note that those who are on the receiving end of you classifying anything that doesn’t give unqualified endorsement of weyane as anti-peace, and full of hateful grudges is duly noted.

            Your invitation for what you call diplomacy and what I call dependency was politely declined. I countered by inviting you to assemble a focus group of Eritrean diaspora in your social circle and to ask them why they are not active members of the Opposition and you gave me a long “al fas men sereghu?” non answer* :)”

            Saay”

  • ‘Gheteb

    Face-Off in Adi Keih : A Flash In The Pan

    I think I have a sui generis take on the face-off between the two sides, the high school students in one side and the demolition crew (PFDJ) on the other side. This, of course, is assuming that what has been reported by different web sites is true, not the details of the confrontation but the mere
    fact that this incident has actually transpired in Adi Keih.

    First, this is not the first time that I read or heard about some sort of resistance or opposition by Eritrean civilians to the orders or demands of the PFDJ or The Eritrean government. From refusing to enlist in the peoples’ militia to facilitating the departure of their kids to neighboring countries and other forms of disobedience, there has been some form of resistance since the EPLF came to power. Even when the GoE was in its pinnacle of popularity, in cities like Keren there were acts of ‘sabotage’ in the sense that local civilians were manifesting their opposition by destroying new street lights
    that were put by the government.

    Second, I am of the belief that the question of land in Eritrea is one of the knottiest issues and anyone who entertains the idea that there is a quick and easy solution to it is only deluding himself/herself and
    maybe others. Hence why what the PFDJ has so far attempted turned out to be nothing but a pure mess. I think it is going to take a long time before this issue is properly addressed. Just blaming the PFDJ is the easiest thing one can do. The hardest thing is, of course, what one would offer as an alternative given the nature of the Eritrean society and the thirty years of armed struggle. Here is where one finds the genesis of the claim that in Eritrea ‘all land belongs to the government’. What is making this issue utterly unwieldy, also, is rampant corruption which, in turn, is prompting the government of Eritrea to take such desperate and seemingly heartless acts like demolishing houses of
    those that are deemed to have been built illegally.

    Third, I think the government of Eritrea is so strapped financially it is using the land as a means of generating income. This, in my view, is the most important variable in the land equation and question in Eritrea. If the GoE was in a better financial condition and if it was not saddled with all the responsibilities, in my mind, the land issue could have been handled differently and much more effectively. But no, let us face it and be honest even for split second. This government, the GoE, finds itself in an unenviable position where it has to render basic services virtually for free such as education and medical care. As I said its’ income base is limited, the country is dirty poor and guess what? Land becomes that much precious not for anything else, but as the main source of income for the government. In so far as this economic reality is regnant, I don’t see any quick and easy fixes for the
    land issue in Eritrea.

    Fourth, the confrontation that happened in Adi Keih, in mind, is a local phenomenon and I am sorry to disappoint those who are wallowing in this wishful thinking that it is going to spread to bigger cities to Asmara. If the demolition in the suburbs of Asmara such Tselot didn’t spur a face-off in Asmara, why would a face-off in Adi-Keih touch off and trigger a mass upheaval in Asmara? Is this a realistic and logical way to read the Eritrean leaf, maybe the Eritrean olive leaf? Doesn’t this border to a wishful
    thinking? A cleared-eyed reading of Adi Keih is that the incident is so local that it’s contagion didn’t even extend to nearest college in Adi Keih, per the AT “Power To The Spirit Of Adi Keih” report.

    Fifth, since Marxian phraseologies are bandied around in the report, let me add another one that may help explain why the Eritrean hoi polloi ( Hafash) aren’t nowhere near where the diaspora opposition are expecting them to be or aren’t in a mood of resisting the PFDJ en masse: “the subjective condition” [consciousness or awareness] has not reached to a level where the Eritrean demos (again, Hafash) are not impelled to raise up in unison and shatter the shackles of “PFDJ oppression”. “The objective condition” in Eritrea through the eyes of the diaspora opposition is so dire, some in the diaspora opposition and others are expecting that a mass upheaval in Eritrea is in the offing. I am
    telling you that is not the case as “the subjective condition” of the Eritrean masses may have undergone a “quantitative change” but it hasn’t reached that ‘critical mass’ where a ‘leap’ would transform it to a “qualitative change”. Put more simply, many in the opposition are projecting their wishful thinking to the reality in Eritrea making their readings of the recent face-off in Adi Keih
    seem all but wide eyed.

    Finally, call me anything under the sun and don’t even bother to ask the whys and the wherefores, I say the face-off in Adi Keih has all the finger prints of “The Eritrean Salvation Front”. I also say that I am very doubtful it emanated and sprung up locally in Adi Keih. Now, I hope you see why I think the Adi Keih episode is spasmodic, transient occurrence with no long term effect that is pretty much a flash in the pan or, if you will, a fluff in the pan.

    • Semere Andom

      Hi Gheteb:
      Some points in your piece;
      1. The government being strapped out of money is not valid excuse, it can find other creative ways instead of demolishing houses built legally by the hard earned money and Eritrean sweet. So I am disappointed on you about this. Also PFDJ’s land policy, is flawed from the beginning, it is grabbing land as if it belongs to it although land issue is complicated in Eritrea and it has been complicated by Dergi and Ghedli alike, PFDJ used the existing problems to grab and steal the land: “meriet nai mengsti”. I see it as a shrewd plan to create feud between people and this land issue will be one of the undoing of Eritrea and it will be bloody after PFDJ is gone, no doubt about it. Blaming the PFDJ is not the easiest thing to do, it is the right thing to do. PFDJ does not issue deeds until this day even if you buy a house in Asmara in uncontested area.

      2. Corruption, Aha, a scapegoat, poor Mr. Corruption, the bureucratic corruption can easily be fixed, there is no corruption more damaging than the sinister, insidious crimes of PFDJ and there is no more corruption filthier than the political corruption and Mafia inspired style to claim the land of the people by the squatter EPLF tegadalati, who made families buy their own houses, houses that were bought legally, built legally during the 1960s, the land issue is not a mess, a mess can be cleaned and debris cleared, there will blood, cousin Gheteb especially give the guns out therr. Do not be fooled by the gun carrying meek people who do not revolt against the government. I ask you coax your linguistic mind to find an apt diction to describe this land. When it comes to “deret girat” or “netsella mendeqq sebuut beal sire eyom atta”, they will demolish your house by the help of their cousins, burn your hay and so on and on.

      3. Lastly, I agree with you this incident will not be contagious, it will not inspire, it will not motivate others to act. The political thought of contagion does not work. It will be forgotten, it will only be remembered by those who have obsession about Eritrea politics and even then we will ask Gadi to dig it for us from the archives. Such incidents often happen in Eritrea, individual, localized, or small group resistance is more common that is reported, but they do not make it If Forto did not inspire people a bunch of kids will not as far as we can tell. These kids are just the relatives of the Menkae will be line the ghetto kids of YPFD will repeat.

    • Mizaan

      Gheteb,

      On the surface, you seem mostly right but if we do a more thorough analysis of the situation, you are mostly incorrect.

      1. Most people haven’t heard of the resistance in Keren destroying street lights. I am sure the people in Keren and environs had but not most Eritreans. Compare and contrast with Adi Keih. Everybody I know has heard about it.

      2. I have a suggestion. Nullify the land proclamation and give the land to its rightful owners and let them do whatever the heck they want to do with it. Even the dergue said ‘meriet larashu.’

      3. You said “… If the GoE was in a better financial condition and if it was not saddled with all the responsibilities…”

      What responsibilities? Maybe the GoE can take away all the money that the PFDJ has looted and use it for hard currency. You’ve heard about the Swiss bank and its Eritrean cab driver account holder with a couple hundred million dollars. The GoE is a nonexistent entity what we have is IA and PFDJ. Please find an article here on Awate where they describe the two parallel banking systems in Eritrea because it is beyond my capabilities to explain this point.

      4. For the short term, yes I agree and it is hard to argue against the point your made here because even the college students there who came from elsewhere in Eritrea didn’t want to have anything to do with it. But I wouldn’t call it wishful thinking in the oppositions’ anticipation that our people are finally finding the courage to stand up against the regime here and there and eventually it will be all out. Everybody has heard this. That in itself is a major development because it shows that PFDJ is vulnerable and that once the final spark arrives, people are not going to look back because we are finally realizing that PFDJ is tirhu gerewegna.

      5. Why did you put “PFDJ oppression” in quotation marks? You don’t believe it exists? I think you are underestimating how much of a precedent this will set in Eritrea. Resistance starts with some inspiration from somewhere. I see people who never uttered anything even in Facebook going nuts about this Adi Keih phenomenon. Now, the PFDJ has gone way too far and they will get their money’s worth. This is going to set an example.

    • Hayat Adem

      Look at you Gheteb, why do you even have to write this much to say what you said. First, it shouldn’t have been said, Second, it could have been said more direct and concise. Lets say you have a bad sense of judgement and you made colossal mistakes; and those mistakes put you in awkwardly abnormal situation and those abnormal situations force you to make other more vividly uglier actions. Now, where do you put your blame on: on your bad sense of judgement, or on your mistakes that followed them as a result. or on the abnormal situation they put you in as a consequence, or on the criminal actions you were forced to do survive the crisis coming your way after one another because of your serially erring matrix?
      You said, the reason is because the regime’s scarcity of finance. But how did it get there? Is this a sensible way to overcome? What about the victims?
      You said: the reason is because the regime is corrupt. But how did it get there? Is bulldozing houses and destroying private properties a sensible way of fighting corruption? What about the victims?
      You are an interesting piece of human being so much so that you leave no stone unturned to tell us why bad things have to happen in Eritrea.
      hayat

  • Share

    من وقف مع ظالم سلطه الله عليه. !!!!!!

  • The secular socialist republic

    Very interesting analysis. I would only regret the use of terms such as “outdated marxist lingo”. Marx’s theory applies very well to today’s Eritrea more than ever.

    Capital, land and labour belong to two actors: the PFFJ and the Eritrean army (i admit it’s hard to differentiate them). Therefore those two institutions fit perfectly with the definition of the bourgeoisie, the sole owner of modes and means of production.

    The discussion about land property is a highly problematic one. My opinion about this issue can also be drawn from socialist thinkers such as Proudhon (a French anarchist).
    1) Families have the right to own the land where they live (household)
    2) All lands needed for food production (agriculture, herdsmen..etc) should be state property BUT village councils (composed of actual inhabitants) should have the right to share equally available land for pastoralists and farmers.
    I think we (Eritreans) should go back to theoretical discussions (as it was done back in the ELF/EPLF/mass organizations era) to offer a clear response to our suffering masses !

    Best greetings

    • Amde

      Secular socialist

      I genuinely miss your input. Welcome back. Was following the Greece situation and I thought that was as perfect a case as any where sovereignty serves capital and democracy means squat. Reminded of you.
      Thats all.

      Amde

      • Yoty Topy

        Hi Amde,

        If you need additional ammo to kick down good old ‘Democracy ‘ in the knee , may I suggest a good dose of ‘Yes Minister ‘ , 80’s British sitcom , supposedly Margaret Thatcher’s favorite show. The topics covered in this show including; Nanny State, Big Gov , Deterence , Democracy amongst other things were done just beautifully but also spot on with their premonitions in terms of relevancy 30 some years after.

        • Amde

          Hi Yoty,

          Oh yes. Excellent – that one is spot on. I don’t know how many of the “Yes Minister” series I saw, but for sure I saw all the “Yes Prime Minster” episodes that followed (including the horse trading that made the Minister into the Prime Minster). Like you said, I ran into it 30 years after it aired, and I was astounded how amazingly on-point it was.

          I found this particular clip on responsibility for land disposition, slightly apropos to the topic. For thse who don’t know the show, it is based on the constant struggle between the elected politicians and the salaried professional civil servants. Granted, in one party states like Eritrea or Ethiopia, this is a moot point.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmOvEwtDycs

          Amde

          • Yoty Topy

            Hi Amde,

            Thanks for the link man! As much as possible I try to avoid coloring my conversations with references from western pop culture but that one I couldn’t resist 🙂

  • Kokhob Selam

    “መሬት መሬት መንግስቲ ” ምስ በሉ – መንግስቲ ኸ መንግስቲ መን ዝብል ሕቶ እንተዝቐርበሎም እሞ ዘይህዝባዊ ምንግስቲ እዚ ዝዓይነቱ ኣዋጅ ከውጽእ መሰል ከምዘይብሉ እንተዝንገሮምን : ካብ ዝባን ህዝቢ ምውራድ ኣብዮም – ተደሪዖም እንተዘልግሱን እዚ ኽሉ ጸገም ኣይምረኣናን :: ዝሓለፈ ሓሊፉ ኣሎ ሕጂ ግን ቀዳማይ ውራይና ምልጋስ እቲ ስርዓት ጥራይ ክኸውን ይግባእ::

  • tes

    Dear Senay gebru,

    History repeats by it self and hence we can not ignore our history. But the reason for bringing such historical proofs was done to show the good dimension of old times and at the same time the same system that was adopted with regard to land grabbing. We can learn and get a double message from such historical narrations.

    Hailessilassie regime and DIA regime have similarities in one: “they both made their focus on land”. People was killed and forced to migrate.

    Derge and PFDJ system are similar: “They both nationalized the land, became donners and those in their file list became beneficiaries and the land became the means to their end”.

    Therefore, PFDJ has double behavior, in fact, quadrable, gradding the land, ignoring the people, killing the people,forcing the people to leave and use the land as a means.

    Therefore, don’t get shocked when we refer our history books. It is the truth and a wisdom to our struggle. We can not be fooled only by focusing on the last 20 yrs though this is what many dead soul people expect us to do.

    tes

  • tes

    Deat AT,

    Thank you for this timely and highly needed analysis. PFDJ land policy of 1994 has turned everything upside down. The people fought primarily to live in their own land. No single freedom fighter imagined a piece of land will be allocated to him but to live in his own land freely. No single Eritrean freedom fighter paid his life to hand the land to what ever government it will be established.

    Rather, every freedom fighetr fought against those who said, “We need the land not the people”. Every freedom fighter thought that he will be the sole owner of his own land. Every freedom fighter thought that he will have a place called home. He didn’t fought actually to build a house but a “HOME”. A house and home are quite different.

    But, what happened is different.

    Right after independence, the land was declared as a state property and hence the original vision was hijacked. Right after the declaration, PFDJ declared that everyone who did his national obligation will get his rights. ANd I don’t know what a right is. As this article clearly said it, PFDJ became a bourgeois and became the sole property owner having all rights to give and take. The people thought that national service is not a means to ones identity and rights but a means to national development but it was wrong. It was a means to enslave the people and give what they want.

    Those with high ranks got a house built by the bourgeouis, not a home, just a house. They received a house constructed by slaves and when they get wrong with their land owner, they get chased.

    The poor freedom fighters, they went back home and simply starved. They could not accept the land owner and hence got dissappointed. Their previous home was ruined and slept in military camps like Denden and radio merinaio. They are still there, living in 4 m x 4 m room, families of 4, 5 or 6 and yet no way to go out.

    Civilians, they got chased here and then. Those in the fertile land of gash-Barka, they were chased away and their diverse grazing land was taken and either owned by PFDJ companies or rich people and usually trusted by the bourgeois.

    Those in the nearby cities, they can’t build their home. Their property was included within the city planning scheme. Those in the towns, 30 yrs war and 24 yrs of independence, 2 generations, could not build a home. The city center could not accomodate them. Tow generation means, two families and two families means more than 10 houses.

    First those in the city, left their home and exiled, early 1990s.
    Those in the villages, started to get established and migrate towards cities.

    Replacement is insignificant as those who really left the country at that were not big in number but the migration towards big cities was significant.

    Housing became a big problem. PFDJ started to donate land to the owners. he snatched it and later became a donner. And this are just the poor people and usually small in number. Worse, no money to build the house.

    Those in city center, some of them saved money but many were backed by their sons and daughters to look for alternatives. Hence a mutual benefit, in science of biology, “SYMBIOSIS”. One shares what is donnated to him and the other shares what he accumulated through hard work of exile.

    A perfect symbiosis.

    Nitricc, the ever confused child is calling the crimes committed by the doers who destroyed this symbiotic relationship. He brought slum photos to bring his blind argument of development.

    “——————————————-
    Slums are necessary and vital for growth. Destroying them actually is destroying civilization or growth of cities. In Demographic geography, there is a theory that explains how city dwellers become richer and go to the periphery.

    The theory is explained as follows (I am writing it from my 10 yrs memory, not what I studied but what my roommate explained to me during my 3rd yr university study and hence it may not be explained well but the core principle remains correct):

    When poor people/working class people decide to live and work in cities, they search houses in which they can afford to stay. Slums are the ideal locations and hence they start to live there. Life is hard but they struggle to survive. They pay less rent and they don’t spend money for buses and other transport costs. They are in the city center and hence they spend less for communication expenses as they can meet who they want in their vicinity. They may not have profession but they can work what ever they get. City centers are perfect places.

    Slowly they start to get stablized and search more wide rooms yet their work environment is around. They have learned how to live in cities and they can use their financial resources wisely. Through sometime they save money which can help them to pay more expensive house rent and public transport thereby they leave the slum areas.

    The slum area is replaced by other new comers.

    The one who moved to a better but yet around the city center works hard, educates his kids and becomes stable in all terms. Sometimes he accumulates enough money to buy a house. He hates to live with the crowds and moves further from the city. Sometimes he buys a plot of land in the periphery. He has accumulated money and hence he can buy his own car too.

    Therefore, new houses are constructed, the city gets larger and larger. More expensive houses are build with new designs away from the city centers.

    To recap, poor famer inters the slam area – works hard – leaves the slum as he can afford for more expensive house and public transport – he can afford to buy a house/construct and this is only possible in the outskirts of the city. Just like a hot-water cold water process flow.

    —————————————–”
    If this under normal sitiuation and proved theory on how cities grow, and a reality based natural growth of grwoth and development, from which base is then Nitricc, the dumpest and fearless kid wants to defend the rights of the Nazi party for demolishing houses?

    Well, PFDJ is against nature and against Eritrean dreams. But I wonder when I see people trying to sugarcoat such acts?

    Keren has experienced house demolishing. I was there and I participated in removing the iron sheets and blocks before dozers come and destroy. They destroyed more than 200 houses and left the people exposed to open weather condition. Some, still they live in their ruined house.

    (The one who ordered the demolishing, Gergish Girmay, aka Sheik Zaid, did it based on hate. He demolished houses, took shopping centers from people who didn’t own but used more than 40 yrs under their license by paying monthly rent and fianlly changed the city center, city of former fighters but loyal to him. This hated man was reshafled to SOuthern red Sea and got frozen. He has done so many crimes).

    Adi-Keih, this city is one of the unluckiest city. Till recently, no public houses were built. When people forced to leave their home, as the article explained, the population got less pressure of population growth. But those exiled, they started to buy and build houses for their families who are living in poverty there. Not a natural way of city growth but a forced and externally growth.

    And when the build such houses, in fact, Adi Keyh also had a kind of slum area, which I know the city very well, here then the bourgeois junta is coming and demolishing their house, halting the city growth.

    PFDJ loves slum areas. DIA and Yemane Gebreab and many were believed to be grown in slum areas. They love poverty. They love starvation. They love anguish. They love to see blood. And this is what exactly they are doing. Halting city growth, killing innocent people and forcing youth to leave the home.

    Eritreans fought to own home not a house. But, when the lost their home, they started to build a house and when they built their house, it got demolished. Nothing remains except anguish and wild cries.

    The good thing is, it is time to WAKE-UP!!!

    Viva Adi-Keyh, it is time to weed-out PFDJ by all means!!!

    tes

    • guest

      Bless you tes. You said it all. No comment needed. And no wonder some want to keep HIGDEF in power, after the departure of ato esayas so the crimes of the low rank sha3biyyas remain untold. Good you told us of shaikh zaid. Howmany criminals like him do we have. I would say hunderds if not by thousands.

    • Hope

      Tes,
      When was the Keren Homes demolition you mentioned done by Ghergis Ghirmay?
      I know about the first one more than 10 yrs ago,which the AT can correct me!!
      If this happened recently, then Keren City,as usual, remained as a perpetual victim!
      If the same Sheik Zaid did it,well,I regret to tell him:”Id/Ed shenahit,tsenahit”
      Sheik Zaid affected and threatened my own family in exile and made sure to confiscate their properties only for being close to the EPDP, not even members!
      But there are/were other ” Sheik Zaids”, the previous Two Anseba/Keren Administrators ,who destroyed Keren and Kerenites,to the extent of creating a de facto civil war between the Blin and Maria people,as a ” Divide and Rule” PFDJ dirty tactic,engineered by the Upper Level Government,except Tesfay Tecle, who was demoted for ever!
      It is unfair to judge them ..but…it is a painful experience!
      I know Sheikh Zaid but he is a naively arrogant human being,who does not differentiate between the good and the bad!He just throws bad words here and there! People claimed that he was scared of /from PIA to death and he was doing things to appease PIA but did not know how to do it!
      Poor guy ,he became a victim of his own arrogance and PIA used him to the maximum but only to dump him as a useless tool like most of his colleagues.
      I heard that he disappeared and he is no where to be found!He should have learned better after he was frozen the first time and even survived an” alleged” plotted MVA,truck accident ,allegedly plotted or set up by the current Chief of Staff of the EDF during the G-15 crackdown, simply coz he said “allegedly” something bad about PIA.
      BUT:
      I give him credit for his :
      -selfless sacrifice for Eritrea as a Freedom Fighter
      -For standing firm against the wrong Education Policy for the Blin Kids
      -and for finally allowing the building of the St Michael Cathedral of Keren,the Second Largest Cathedral in Africa and the First and largest in its kind in E Africa by all standards.after 60 yrs of struggle.
      He was the one,who convinced PIA to allow the Cathedral to be completed.
      So, let God and the Inclusive Constitution judge these kind of people!
      May God bless them and have Mercy on them!

  • Mahmud Saleh

    Thanks AT. At the center of all these man-made messy situations is the blue print of an unelected and extremely cruel totalitarian regime suffering from strong urges of controlling citizens and mismanaging resources. The land use proclamation has been at the heart of deliberately crafted policies intended for the subjugation of citizens. It has a lot to do with the creation of indifferent masses; many from the so called “silent majority” are silent because of this controlling mechanisms. Some may claim “Illegally built houses…” or “out of plan” houses need to go. The problem is everything an illegally ruling government does needs to be scrutinized. In doing so, we find uncontrolled government that marches at will. These are issues local assemblies and the communities affected need to get involved at. It needs prior city hall discussions and the availability of alternative shelters and possibly settlement of commercial and financial issues related to it. If that had happened, we would not have had this confrontations. Anyway, the more tyranny burdens people the more people get exasperated, which is the prelude of the big bang day.
    Lomi Adi QeyeH tsbaH Asmara.

  • Fnote Selam

    Some time ago, I read some one comment some thing along the lines….’at least PFDJ doesn’t/hasn’t burned villages’……Well, here you have it. If not everything else, here is a reason not to support PFDJ: they’ll take every opportunity to disprove your reasons for supporting/sympathizing with them.

    FS.

    • Semere Andom

      HI FS:
      I have no doubt PFDJ wil burn an entire village, will commit, Weki-Debba and Onna and Shie’b if it finds out the the people in that village are harbouring opposition elements, they will do it.
      If the mothers gather courage and make it to kombishtatoo to peacefully demonstrate they will run them over, and they have done mass murders, but they learned from Dergi and they do not bring the body of your dead son to your house because that will make people fight it so they do that in the dead of the night.
      As tot he dumb comments that the government have to renovate, it can if it is for the good for the society, but they have to pay the owner, PFDJ in not for sheltering people, it is for making them homeless, it is not for feeding people, it is for starving them.
      It happened in Addis but the Dedebit paid them, it is not as much as the market price but it paid them something and gave them land to build new houses.
      The kids did it in their own volition but the sad thing is that everyone is silence until they are personalty affected.
      That is why it is not considered violence when the opposition burns PFDFJ infrastructure and kills its spying groups, and I think they should continuing targeting high military officials regardless of who it is like ELF was doing during its hay days that is kill the PFDJ ministers in the middle of Asmara, in after hour bars and whore houses that PFDJ licensed. Resisance does not seem to be a contagion in Eritrea but news of Hagos Kissha or Kassa being shot can inspire copy cats. PFDJ is the enemy of Eritreans and we all know what you do to your enmey

  • Nitricc

    I hate to ruin your party but is not the definition of growth and development is to tear down the old; the outdated and rebuilt it with better and nicer? Every country went through it. What is a big deal? It happened and happening in Addis; 4-killo almost gone demolished. Of course the government has to give a shelter the citizens. Having said that; I think every place in Eritrea should expect the demolishing to go on. It is fanny how the opposition are insignificant. Now they are depending on few kids to bring them change. lol

    • Saleh Johar

      Nitricc, sometimes you act as if you are the only smart person around. Do you believe ten and five year old houses, are that old, and that unsafe to be demolished? I don’t know if you know it, but there are slums, very old and unsafe house in Geza Banda, Geza Berhanu, Aba Shawl, Haddish Addi and others in Asmara alone. Do you think they should tear them up without providing alternative shelter? Why go to other places to support your outrageous justification? Let me give you an example: a few weeks ago we were discussing Abai Aba Shawl in Mahmuday’s article. Do you know Abba Shawl? The neighborhood, not the song! A big part of Aba Shawl was demolished in the sixties to cut a much needed street. The place was terrible slum with no proper access. Under Haregot Abbay the mayor of Asmara, the municipality designed the street, gave notices, compensated the owners and tore the house there were on the way of the proposed street with ease. There was mainly nostalgia. Now, please tell me what are the development projects that are coming to the concerned villages and towns? You do not know anything on that. Besides, the regime didn’t say it was making way for development; why are you are creating an excuse and trying to sanitize the despicable actions? No one is depending on the kids, but it seems they are humans who have emotions, not dead meat who do not react. Resistance to injustice is a human trait, only humans understand it.

      • Nitricc

        SJ I think you got it wrong this time around. This thing happens everywhere. It happened in Zimbabwe, South Africa, Uganda, Ethiopia and so. As soon as the Eritrean government does the same things like the others did; the so-called opposition are all over it sensationalizing it with wired logic. Read what the half Dedebit and low IQ have written; he listed everything that is completely unrelated. Why is it we personalized and we acted like some thing catastrophic happened. Yes, properties are bulldozed when they are built out of the master plane; it does not matter how old the building is; even brand new once. If you are going to move on and modernizing cities, then you have no option but to demolish old building and out all building that are out of your master-plan.
        So, I commented; not that I am smart but being objective and observing what other countries has done. Regarding the slums in Asmara; I don’t think you can that a “slum” but from what I have observed; the PFDJ are starting outside-in. so, it is a matter of time to get the places you have mentioned in Asmara.
        Look at those slums and tell me if you can call a “Slum” Asmara.
        http://www.monitor.co.ug/image/view/-/1221024/medRes/287478/-/h/400/w/600/-/2emm74/-/katanga013.png
        and this

        http://www.citiesalliance.org/sites/citiesalliance.org/files/images/Slums%20in%20Nairobi,%20Kenya_0.JPG

        • Fnote Selam

          Hi Nitric,

          The houses the gov is demolishing currently are actually not slums or built out of plan. They are houses built on ‘Teis land’. Typically, these who own the teisa land are too poor to build on their own so many people simply sell half the land to others and use that money to build their house on the remaining half. The gov’t’s excuse is that because land is owned by govt, people can’t sell any land so those houses build on the half of the teisa land are illegal (thus should be demolished).

          FS.

        • Saleh Johar

          Nitricc, I doubt you read and understood the article or my response. Forget repeating commonly understood process of “eminent domain”. You see to be stuck in your argument that the houses were demolished for development purposes. That is not true, not even the government said that. Why do you insist on it? The regime said it is demolishing the houses because the houses are build on tiesa land sold to second person. Basicallt, the regime is saying you can’t sell land as a citizen because the regime owns the land and it is so nice that it allows you to live in it only with no owning rights

          If you believe the people are squatters in their own land–and land belongs to the regime, say it. Otherwise, we cannot debate an issue that is not the topic.

          • Nitricc

            SJ I think we have different understanding of the stuation.

          • Saleh Johar

            No Nitricc, I don’t thik we have different understanding. We just have different value system,

          • Nitricc

            Sj, lol sometimes I am allowed to misunderstand things. I was thinking it was happening like what they are doing in Massawa. They are demolishing houses to built hotels and restaurant. So, when I read the post. I didn’t make sense to me. The oppositions are telling us that the government is in its one leg and very soon about to collapse, then, how can a government that is hanging for its life will do such act to agitate the people who are ready to dump the government? Does it make sense to you?
            So, when I say we have different understanding that is what I meant.

          • tes

            Nitricc,

            Did you forget what Dergi did in 1990, in Massawa? A stable and strong government look things objectively and they give time to solve problems. But since PFDJ is a fore-gone junta, he must use his all means available to tell people he is still surviving.

            Have you ever being around a dying person? Have you experienced the force he exerted duirng the last minute of departure? I am sure you are away from human experience, but ask at least PFDJ, why they are doing it.

            A dying junta does everything possible for his last breath and so does is PFDJ doing.

            By the way, did you talk about the demolished slums of Massaw? And did you talk about the hotels and restaurants?

            Watch this video recorded while the bourgeois of Northern city Administrator was conducting about achivemements of Massawa. Not a single person was around the beaches within one full hour interview.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Wsse5hcVB8

            Houses of poor people were demolished, restaurants and expensive hotels were built but the city became a ghost city. Is that what a development is?

            And watch also about the hotel which is recently maintained and enlarged by an Eri-Italian investor. Big and supposed international hotel but not able even to manage small boats and same no single customer around to be recorded. The hotel is empty and all chairs and rooms are idle

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDkjE4H_GDY

            Massawa and Assab are now almost ghost cities.

            tes

          • sara

            tes..tes, i think you haven’t been to southern europe yet, if you do you will know why you do not see people near the sea around this time of the year. think to visit sardinia or napoli.. its affordable places, many like you go this time to avoid the crowd in summer.

          • tes

            Dear sara,

            Thank you for the info. but I can’t afford such travels. I am a poor student who solely depend on my monthly stripent scholarship resource to live on.

            tes

        • Semere Andom

          trying too hard to act smart, you aint. If you have a single cell left Saleh Johar gave you a lesson.
          the demolition in Eritrea is not due to lack of master plan, nothing is built without permit, most likely this is what happened: there are two parties, one with land and without money and the second with no land but has money, so they make a deal outside government, the money builds the house and both live in it. Some problems happen government finds out and demolishes it, brainless, the heartless say it is done everywhere.
          Saleh told you think you are the smartest person, he is wrong , you are trying to act smart while you know deep inside you are dumb, and a kid who cannot make a half decent sentence in his own language (Engish) or in any language for that mater but takes up a fight with smart people like Tes, Semere Andom, Hayat and discuss issues beyond his comprehension with Mahmud and Gheteb and Sal and Emma and Amde and Mizan and many more. The dumb cannot believe his luck to be enaginng these people that is his problem

          • Nitricc

            Semere, I hope you don’t take this the wrong way but if I were you I will kill my self, no kidding. What have you accomplished?
            Talk about born loser. Your purpose in life is…….. Exactly! Your biggest accomplishment is to lie to your Canadian asylum officer. That is it. oh, there is one more; you debated about Eritrea independence. Dude, do it, get it over.

          • Semere Andom

            You do not know how I came here, do not assume everyone asked assylem
            You have been asking me about this thanks for your interest, this is how I came here
            I came here for study under WUSC (World University Service Cananda), if you qualify Canada will cover your tuition and everything for one year, then you are on your own, you apply for scholarship, take a loan or a grant and so on, but cannot take welfare as a student. I had a choice to go to Algeria also on scholarship offered to refugess, not on case but on grades, but I chose Canada.So should I kill myself or celebrate myself now.
            Now, you told Saleh you have different understaing, that is a lie, you have no understanding

          • Nitricc

            Is that it? that is your life? wow! you are even worst that i thought. wow!
            I am sorry man!

          • Semere Andom

            Your Dumness, you told me I lied to Canadians to come here, now you change, if I tell you my accomplishments you will go and hung yourself, I hate you but not that much.Did something bad happen to you as a kid that is common in ghetos? ,there is help you know

          • tes

            Dear Sem.

            He is a chameleon. It is better if you don’t proof who you are but accept what hew wants to imagine.

            Nitricc can only imagine and talk subjectively. His confusion is beyond measure.

            He talks about IQ and he feels proud of it. He is yet below the standards of psycholoy class. He is even not qualified to inter sociology class. Dump and fearless people are only good imaging.

            tes

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Semere,
            Sometimes there are things you just need to “hear them and not to listen them”. For such instances “asfil abilkayo Ika Tikeyed.” You know what I mean: You can’t respond for something that aggravate you. leave it loose, and it dies naturally in the process.

            regards,
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Kokhob Selam

            “Asfil” is that something like shelel? I love it

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Yes they are synonymous to each other in the discursive world of communication.

          • Kokhob Selam

            Amuni, congratulation!! I found out the word has many meanings depending for what you are using. in fact the meaning I use for my poem as “ና ምጥሓን ስራሕ ንምጅማር ተዳለወ እኽሊ ኣብ መጥሓን ኣእተወ” was the direct meaning of the word. ዘመናዊ መዝገብ ቓላት ትግርኛ ብተክአ ተስፋይ ሕታም 1999 ተወከስ :: and after discussing with elders I found out the word can be used as ኣትሓተ similar to Arabic. the word has multiple use depending the situation. Good word.

            you have used it to send massage to good people to stop arguing against those who pull us down to their level. Thank you Amanuel.

            But the once with high emotion and hate are energized by those cowards who are trying to hide the truth and trying mask their face by colored mask. I think we have to expose this part of anti peace men and women.

            you see Amunual, I was following the debate regarding the drought and war that took place in horn when EPLF and TPLF were active forces in the field, a lot of false information is written here in awate. I was in horn and around horn even . I have managed to be around the criminal leadership of EPLF. as you know even my front is not there, but EPLF is an Eritrean front. putting aside the crime committed by EPLF over us we still were insisting to support the army against Derg. That is why I know every move of EPLF.

            The mask those PFDJ reformers are trying to mask is even worst than PFDJ itself. I mean this part is not even loved by PFDJ ሎቅማጽ ንሎቅማጽ ኣይፈትውን እዩ ::and Jesus said it long a go “no man can serve two masters ”

            the two fronts leadership knew each other and have been managed it. “ሉክድ ምስ ኣበልናለን ዋይ ዋይ ኢለን ሕጂ ክልምና ጀሚረን ” was the words we hear from the dirty EPLF leadership. and TPLF was even using the radio transmission of EPLF and still talking and exposing EPLF’s behavior. Lol.

            now the reforming group is trying to tell us EPLF was better than TPLF. They thought we were not around when EPLF was teaching TPLF on how to kill progressive intellectuals. it is bad experience and bad result to see EPLF leading to independent and the proof is right here.

            now EPLF is replaced by it’s own worst part called PFDJ. EPLF is dead at least now and that is not worth talking any more. and PFDJ has done this knowingly and purposely not to see EPLF again. unlike PFDJ , EPLF had innocent fighters and history has recorded this truth. Eritrean didn’t get it’s national independent by the Mafia group PFDJ. PFDJ was busy committing crimes inside EPLF.

            I am after those cowards who try to destroy our time and effort working day and night to create hate among two brotherly people. I am sure, those are the once who will create confusion if we will allow them or give them chance. trying hard attract and please PFDJ members (as if IA is superman who has done all crimes alone ) they want to remove one man and continue. the tactic is calling old history of two fronts and count the mistakes done and shoulder it to TPLF. TPLF ,the front that has joined other Ethiopian parties and is working hard for the development of the nation. They want us to be busy in old history going back 30,40 years and fight against Ethiopians. this is the common land of PFDJ reformers and PFDJ supporters they thought. what they don’t know is that none among leadership of PFDJ will stand with them. ኣብ ቅድሚ ህዝቢ ይኹን ኣብ ቅድሚ ህግደፍ ሕስረት ዝለበሱ መንደልሓቅቲ::

            Since, they don’t confront the truth, they label you and me the way the want, and wear their dirty mask forgetting the mask is exposing them more. they don’t notice that they are behaving like a child who lost the game, not accepting the reality and blaming others trying to convince himself and others that he is hero. Lol, you find this kind of people everywhere and every history.

            instead of practically becoming opposition they will just curse the darkness giving different reasons just to surrender. no way, what we need is not change of people but change of the Idea of hate and replace it by love.

          • guest

            Sallam Hawwey Amanuel. I like this word ” asfil.” Is it newly coined expression. If not, is it in Hamassein or seraye mostly used? My arabic and tigrinia are so intertwined, i would never have thought it is tigrinia word. In arabic, ASFIL as lowered or shortened would be hardly noticed. Probably not seen or heard….SHELEL as in paralised, barely moving.so again un noticed for lack of mobility. Make sense?
            juuuust on the light side..haha

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Haw guest,

            “Asfil” is a “technical-political word.” It is applied when Politicians lock their horn in a heated debate. The word “asfil” is then used as needed by any political adviser on either side sitting to help in strategizing the political-game in the middle of the contest to loosen it and control the debate while the other side is going into a faring emotions. The word is taken from rural language as applied by farmers when they assemble their ploughing tools.

            regards,
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Saleh Johar

            Emma. maybe our Tigrayet laced Tigrinya is not hat bad after all 🙂

            I know the word to mean something like engage, and I mainly associate it with Htsbo (laundry) . our mothers would asy,”bnegho’ou ab htsboy asfile” meaning ” I started (engaged) in the laundry from early morning. Ab serHu asfilu, etc. Does it have any other meaning apart from the above?

          • Kokhob Selam

            I heard this word the way you use it also. but at times they use it similar to ምዝንጋዕ ::እቲ ሃዳናይ ክሳብ እቲ ነብሪ ዘስፍል ተጸበይዎ :: the problem with this is world we can’t fine it in Tigringa dictionary. May some one try to find it?

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Ustaz Saleh
            But can we trust Kerenite Tigrigna as a reference? (cheers!) Better stick with your Tigrayet abusalaH. I know sfaal ስፋል in Tigre, it’s in my head just can’t recall its exact meaning.

          • tes

            Dear SG,

            I think you are taking about, “azbile”

            Tigrigna Conjugations

            Original word, ምዝንባል /ስ/, /n/ – to shift to other issue or get engaged by leaving other aside, to loss balance, etc.

            ኣዝቢለ,

            ኣዝቢሉ

            ኣዝቢላ

            ዘንቢለ,

            ዘንቢላ

            ኣዘንቢሎም

            ዘምቢለን, etc

            ንኣብነት:- ብንግህኦይ ኣብ ሕጽቦይ ኣዝቢለ።

            ካብ ምዝባል ዝተበገሰ ኮይኑ ሓደ ነገር ክትገብር እናሓሰብካ ናብቲ ካልእ ምስ እተድህብ የስምዕ።

            Amanule is probably right but I don’t know how it s used in the political terminologies.

            tes

          • Saleh Johar

            Tes Azbile is totally different from asfile. Mahmuday’s belittling is not enough, you want to correct me on my own mother tongue 🙂

            Mahmuday, there are variations and accents on a given language, not all Tigrinya should be weighed by the EPLF yardstick, it is an accent among many Eritrean variation of the language… tewedeb bejakha !

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Ya hala Abu Adal
            Yeah, it was not meant to belittle wlad Keren TsaEda, I take it back as joke lost in translation.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Abu Saleh,
            Yes, both are used. However women use it as “to engage,” and men use it when they assemble “nawti maEtot” they say either “atruro or asflo” for the plough. It is like a word of multiple meaning. You have it abu saleh.

          • Haile WM

            dear Semere plese forget this kid, you know the tigrigna saying that goes like “Hssur maere nebsu yeHsreka..”

          • Fnote Selam

            Dear Semere,

            Don’t get a heard burn because of these people. Although interacting with them with the hope that one day they will turn around is not a bad idea, you got to remember they are kind of irrelevant actually. For example, do you think they influence the decisions IA makes even a little bit? Me thinks NO. So….dont take it hard on your self to debate them.

            Best wishes bro,

            FS.

          • sara

            Dear fnote selam, you know what , you are a good at asking questions, i mean the way you present your queries is nice and exemplary . now i have a question to you if i may, you are saying that “they are irrelevant” and no need to debate them etc.is this becouse of the issues on the table or who they are? as far as i understand the issues are eritrean and those debating are eritreans, who do you want to debate with about eritrean issues.? how about debating eritrean issues with ethiobians?
            would you say they are irrelevant no need to debate with them etc. i am sure you have a better way of presenting such questions but that is how i could ask you. \rgrds

          • Fnote Selam

            Dear Sara,

            Looking back at my comment, it does look generalized and I apologize for that. The point I was trying to make was that, for example, we can debate with certain people with the idea of convincing them on certain things and they would go on influence the people in power that they support. In our case, it is pretty obvious that IA’s supporters in diaspora (the YPFDJs and PFDJs) have very little, if any, influence on IA. And from that perspective, they are irrelevant. On top of that, if you consider the kind of language Nitric uses in his debate with Semere and others, I am not sure if it is worth debating them till you burn your heart. Other than that, I want to make it absolutely clear that as people and individuals, they are as relevant as any one else.

            I hope this clarifies things.

            Best,

            FS.

          • Hayat Adem

            Nitricc,
            You said Semere came through asylum, despising asylum. Then he told you he came for a scholarship covered education that required some level of qualification. Then you said back it is even worse. My goodness- there is light-headed level of logic even for the dumb. Don’t make it look like you are even dumber than that, man. don’ be harsh on yourself.
            Hayat

          • Shum

            Hello Nitricc,

            You see that right there? That’s what I mean. Avoid this kind of nonsense. You want someone to kill themselves over a posting on Awate.com? You know better than that.

        • Ali

          you do not understand what is said by Saleh Johar. your photos does not certify an ilegal house rather they show how the extent of miserable life in the highland and lowland. I have also doubt if this photos are from Addi keyih as the rock and the soil are totally different both in type and colour. If the photos are yours please mention their detailed localities so that every one can understand. You mention some country like Zembawe, Uganda and Ethiopia. All the countries are demolishing houses with the objective of development for example Ethiopia is doing this to build houses for the urban dwellers of Addis Ababa and other regional cities. What is the objective of demolishing in this area where there is no any development? The mentioned countries are demolishing houses but they are paying compensation or they are giving them new houses in place of their old houses for example Ethiopia. Even in Ethiopia I have read some of the illegal house are making them legal by some conditions. If the government is concerned for the beauty and development of the towns they have to protect illegal houses construction than demolition. I am sorry I mention the experience of Ethiopia only as I have no knowledge about others. please understand me that I am not comparing Eritrea with Ethiopia. As the access of information I have is to Ethiopia than to the other mentioned countries I can not provide the experience of the other countries that is why I am mentioning Ethiopia.

          • Hayat Adem

            Dear Ali,
            You said: ‘I have also doubt if this photos are from Addi keyih as the rock and the soil are totally different both in type and colour. If the photos are yours please mention their detailed localities so that every one can understand. ‘

            I can assure you, there are not such places in Adi KeyH and they can’t be from AdiKeyH.

  • Semere Andom

    The government has no fear of the people now, it has been so emboldened because:
    – it murdered the war disabled and people clapped
    – it disappeared and killed the 1993 tegadalati for their peaceful resistance and they got away with it
    – it shoots kids crossing the border almost daily and gets away with it
    -it profits from the human trafficking and organ harvesting and gets away with it
    -it rounded and abused and killed the university students and it got away with it
    -it murdered and disappeared the G-15 and the 10,000 political prisoners and it got away with it
    -it mass murdered the youth in Adi-Abeyto and got away with it
    -its generals and military commanders rape and impregnate under-age girls and drive them to their houses and tell their fathers, she is pregnant “yehrisa” if you say something I will blow your brains and the father meekly obeys and the rapist gets away with it
    – it hires mercenary TPDM, who round up and rape Eritreans and its gets away with it
    -it refuses 300 dead Eritreans to bring them home and gets away with it
    -it demolishes houses and it gets away with it
    -And many of the youth who are escaping sign a a paper of repentance and then help the PFDJ to build houses so their departure will create more demand for housing start ups not less
    -it can wake up tomorrow and tell the people after wise sober thinking the government decided to give Assab to Ethiopia to give peace a chance the people will say nothing and will deliver a standing ovation, ‘lebam mengistina!!”
    -Wedi Ali breaks the fear and ascends atop Forto to inspire them and after he is shot they agree with the government and call him Jihadist
    All this make you wonder and question independence, but not only that, it make you question when the people waged the armed struggle they did it “geremo ellom.”

    • Mizan

      …hence, I really doubt it is worth my time fighting for Eritreans. We have become a people with no principles, no moral grounds, no courage, no honesty, no…you name it. Common traits of the contemporary Eritrean are: cowardice, double standards, dishonesty, mistrusting, saying one thing here with me (a PFDJ hater) and completely another thing with another person (a PFDJ lover), selfishness, looking for excuses elsewhere than home, hate of others who tell us our issues honestly. Probably the worst people in the planet at the present time. As you can see, I am not a very proud Eritrean. There is nothing to be proud about being a part of people as I described above.

      • Saleh Johar

        Hi Mizan, don’t despair and hate yourself. Check the following:

        “It is the most miserble thing to feel ashamed of home.” Charles Dickens

      • Fnote Selam

        Dear Mizan,

        I understand the frustration, but that is a little bit of an exaggeration.

        Best,

        FS.

        • Hayat Adem

          Fnote,
          Sen John Mccain recently said he was ashamed of his country, America. That was because America didn’t act decisively in defending Ukraine against Russia. Now compare what Mizan said to that of Sen. Mccain and see if you can still tell me what Mizan said is exaggerated.
          Hayat

          • Fnote Selam

            Dear Hayat,

            I am not sure I fully follow the parallels here, could you elaborate please?

            Thanks,

            FS.

          • Hayat Adem

            Yes FS, I can try:
            Mccain said: “I’m ashamed of my country, I’m ashamed of my president and I’m ashamed of myself that I haven’t done more to help these people. It is really, really heartbreaking.”
            Mizan said: “As you can see, I am not a very proud Eritrean. There is nothing to be proud about being a part of people as I described above”
            Both guys said more or less the same thing about their feelings of the shame as a result of what is happening contrary to what should have happened in their respective countries.
            You said to him: “I understand the frustration, but that is a little bit of an exaggeration.”

            What I sensed from your response is that you understand his reasons for saying what he said but he has gone a bit too far for saying out that he was not proud of Eritrea. But given the many bad realities in Eritrea; and given the so many good realities in and of America…given Mizan is just a citizen and Mccain is a trenched powerful senator…given Mizan is talking about Eritreans becoming a victim of Eritrea and nobody including Eritreans are not doing enough to defend Eritreans; and in contradistinction, John Mccain is talking about USA’s inadequate help to protect the people of Ukraine. So, I brought it for your compare-contrast if you can reconsider your response to Mizan itself is a bit of an exaggeration.
            I hope that helps in clearing my point.
            Hayat

          • Fnote Selam

            Dear Hayat,

            I really didn’t follow Sen Mccain speech, but in relation to the issue at hand (I guess it is Russian, Ukraine…), did he also say something along the lines…American are: cowardice, double standards, dishonesty, mistrusting, saying one thing here with me and completely another thing with another person, selfishness, looking for excuses elsewhere than home, hate of others who tell us our issues honestly. Probably the worst people in the planet at the present time?

            Just curious….

            Best,

            FS.

          • Hayat Adem

            Dear Fnote,
            No he didn’t say those words. I guess he must borrow Mizan’s script to exactly say those words.
            Hayat

          • Fnote Selam

            Dear Hayat,

            You see, If you read my reply carefully, I didn’t ask you if he used exact words of Mizan. I said “did he also say something along the lines”. In any case, while I understand and share her frustration and emotions, I still think Mizan’s description of Eritreans as a people is a bit exaggerated to say the least.

            Thank you,

            FS.

          • Mizaan

            Amanual Hidrat, where are you? Fnote Selam is referring to me as a female. He thinks I exaggerate but he is now in for a shock. I am prophetic and I knew someone will refer to me as a female. It’s okay. Fnote Selam could also go in any direction on the gender reference but I am assuming Fnote is a male and Selam is a female so gual yikewn wedi yikewn.

          • Fnote Selam

            Dear Mizaan,

            Your last comment is a bit confusing, I am not sure I understand what your are trying to say.

            Regarding gender, it is really irrelevant to me whether you are a male or a female. I sincerely apologize if referring you as female offended you.

            Also, I didn’t choose Fnote Selam as pen name to indicate gender, I just like it.

            Regards,

            FS.

          • Mizaan

            FS, my bad. I was only trying to be witty and funny, AH will know what I was talking about.

            Needless to say, just as in you, gender is irrelevant to me when it comes to the forum here discussing Eritrean issues. No worries.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Fnote Selam,

            Mizaan is a gender neutral word. The word means “to balance.” Mizaan has shown as an astute Eritrean citizen with indestructible mind and clarity of thought, who always walks in the middle road to reconcile ideas. I have observed him for sometime debating under the nickname “gherhi.” I was baffled for sometime, as to why an individual who sound “an educator of the nature of mind” chose to be called gherhi. I told him that I couldn’t feel at easy to address him as gherhi, so he told me to give him a new nickname. I gave him a nickname ascribed or attributed to his personality. He is the antidote to hate mongers at least from my side.

            regards,
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Mizaan

            Thank you amanuel. Such compliment coming from a great eritrean like yourself is very encouraging. The description fits you more than it does to me but I will try to walk in the big shoes you gave me. Very humbling!

          • Fnote Selam

            Dear Amanuel,

            Thanks for the clarification.

            Also, just to clarify, my reply to his comments are not judgement on his character. I hardly know him. Nevertheless, I still maintain his description of Eritreans as people is exaggerated (to say the least).

            Thank you,

            FS.

      • saay7

        Selamat Mizan:

        I think one word would substitute as a description for our people: “uninspired.” When you are uninspired, you are in survival mode. And when in survival mode, all you are concerned about is how to do I keep myself and my loved ones safe.

        I heard this from a super-sharp lady once: “do you know why superheroes conceal their identity? It is not to protect themselves but their loved ones.” Cheer up

        saay

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Dear Mizan,

        My advice to you, don’t give up. Never give up. Let me characterize where we are in this struggle: If you know the tigrigna saying “awdiQa Feres”, we are exactly at that stage of combative struggle to win the fight. The remaining task is to collaborate our effort to bring the struggle to its conclusion. We are here to encourage each other and stay strong on our mission. The time we are going to say “free at last” is inevitable as long as we keep “the spirit of Adi Qeye.”

        Senay meAlti,
        Amanuel Hidrat

      • ghezaehagos

        Selam Dear Mizan,

        We, Eritreans, will defeat Isaias Afewerki. That is for sure.

        If it helps, dear Mizan, I encourage you to be brave. Eritreans as a nation are experiencing one of the most turbulent times in our even turbulent history. Things have turned really surreal for us. Strangest things have happened; that you think would have been relegated to magic realism. In us, it is realism for sure; with no magic. Just Grim realism.

        I will tell you this true story. One Eritrean family has lost its children to the revolution. When told of ‘mesaweeti deku’, the father said his children were martyred but for a purpose. He added, “I don’t consider them to have died in vain as long as their children lived in peace and dignity.” One of his sons had borne a son before he martyred. In the height of the Sinai tragedy, the son of the martyred fled Eritrea and he was captured by the traffickers and held for ransom….a surreal twist to the speech of his grandfather. We became a nation of wailers and survivors.

        The late ‘Naizghi Kiflu’ burial tale is the apogee of our surreal world for me. It never ceases to amaze and bother me. By the time the late minister was gone, it was a body of a deceased, not even Naizghi. Denying the body to be buried inside Eritrea is something that no sane person can entertain. Exacting a revenge on already dead is something only Isaias or someone as psychopath of first order like him can pull off.

        A mother dying while giving birth to stillborn infant inside a sea is a convicting image that haunts our psyche. A family (veterans of the struggle to boot) losing three of their teenage children inside Eritrea to bullets hits/ should hit what it means to be Eritrean these days. The examples are endless…

        Eritrea is worth fighting for, dear fellow citizen. The downers would be around. Always. Eritrea is though our homeland; our home; our history; our destiny. At the end, we, Eritreans will defeat Isaias Afewerki. That is for sure.

        What can be done? Dear Mizan, with due respect to the estimable forum members, I suggest one of the practical ways of getting involved in this struggle is to be part of the budding or existing resistance forces in the city around you. Pick whatever suits you. We need to get involved with those whose objective is for change and we can at least experience first hand the potentials and limitations of the change seekers and contribute our lot.

        You can always be part of Awate home…It is always there. Like home, it is warmer when you venture out of it and do something on your own, with your fellow justice-seekers!

        Yours,
        Ghezae Hagos

      • Kokhob Selam

        Dear Mizan,

        No my friend, No we don’t allow you to be demoralized. you are the son of hero Eritrea men and women. you have long suffering history and you are near to your place, a place and time you have been always dreamed to be. it is not far, instead prepare to build what PFDJ destroyed. the job of building the nation is yet to start. be optimistic.

      • Fanti Ghana

        Dearest Mizan,
        It is understandable it could look that way on the surface, but a diamond is still a diamond no matter how much dirt you pile on top it. Never despair!
        Selam.

      • SenaiErtrawi

        Mizan,
        I think all human beings have the potential to display those negative traits given some unfortunate situation. No question Isaias has created an unfortunate situation for Eritreans to behave this way but, in my opinion, that can only be a partial explanation.

        I don’t know if it is the economic liberalism that many developing countries have been forced into, societies in all of those countries have been more individualistic — people tend to dump their sh*t on the streets as long as they keep their houses clean. In other words, people go only for things that “benefit” and “can be done” individually, and have lost the interest and ability to do things that “benefit” and “can be done” collectively. This explains a lot of the economic inequalities, cruelty, corruption . . . name it, and it is every where in the world.

        We need to go through some sort of revolution with the ideology that places collective values in the front. If you and me were programmed that way and thought the wellbeing of our society was more important than our individual wellbeing, we would be acting by now and not cyber talking 🙂

      • YAY

        Dear Mijan: You may as well quit

        You seem frustrated, very frustrated, more than frustrated. You said, “I really doubt [if] it is worth my time fighting for Eritreans.” Did any Eritrean ask you to fight for Eritreans and you would get back your time’s worth? Worth, in what form? from whom? If Eritreans are “the worst people in the planet” and “There is nothing to be proud about being a part of people…” Eritrea(ns) could take care of their own affairs with/without you. We have, at times, gone through arguments, wars of words, fist fights, civil wars, and came back together again, to achieve common goals. If you feel that bad, for your own sake, please quit.

      • Nitricc

        Mizan; I bet you; you didn’t skip your lunch. Where do you people get that you are a fighter and you fighting for something? What you people fighting is your slavery to the whites and your weight. If truth to be told. stop it people.

    • Abraham Hanibal

      Dear Semere Andom;
      I fully agree with the tragic circumstances of our country that you’ve listed, except for your last sentence. I never question the ideals of our struggle for independence; I’m deadly sure that the current state of affairs of Eritrea were never in the dreams of those who passed away in search of it, nor the great majority of those who’re still living. There is one major blunder all of us Eritreans have committed, that is, not taking care of our hard won-freedom and independence; we were not vigilant and we didn’t watch out when there were some evil forces ready to steal our precious freedom. And once they stole it, and made it their own we didn’t resist as we should have done.

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Haw Abraham,

        They know them before the front entered the city. But they were not skillful enough how to tackle them. “Them” refers to Issayas and his cliques. And “they” refers to those who lost their lives in the struggle for change before and after they entered the city.

        regards
        Amanuel Hidrat

        • Mizaan

          Emma, I beg to differ a little bit here. Virtually all tegadelti were completely sold into the idea that they were fighting a well justified war. That’s is fair. However, I think nearly every tegadalay also put complete and unflinching faith in the leadership of IA and his clique, as you referred to them. There were instances of resistance as in menkae but they were not widespread and popular otherwise the result would have been different back then. Even today, many tegadelti are still in disbelief that their ‘Front’ is capable of so much harm to fellow Eritreans. They still think something must be wrong with the people not their ‘Front.’

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Mizaan,

            Once the myth has taken its roots to the rank and files in the field and now to the population, about his invisibility through direct and indirect political orientations, it takes time to demystify the beliefs that are inoculated in to the mind of Tegadalti back then and now in to the our people (particularly the highlanders). We have almost reversed the hard beliefs inoculated to them. Let us keep the hope and optimism alive.

            regards,
            Amanuel Hidrat

        • Abraham Hanibal

          Selamat Amanuel H.;

          Thanks for your reply; last time I was discussing the ‘Menkae’ movement with Mr. Saleh Y. and he told me that IA was in the minority as regards the issues that were raised then, that he was even ‘frozen’ for weeks as the result of the fallout with the leadership at that time. However he somewhat managed to turn the tide towads his benefit by manupilating the rank and files of the organization and by accusing the reformists as ‘Akeleguzay regionalists’; after securing the rank and file support he also managed some influencial people like Petros Solomon and Sebhat Efrem to regret their original endorsement of the movement and make a u-turn and back him on the issue.

          It is, therefore, a paradox why the reformists in 2001 couldn’t learn from their own history, and prepare a plan-b in their struggle for democratic change. They knew very well the tactics of IA of how he axes those who dare to challenge his leadership style, but they failed to emulate his tactics and use them for their benefit. It is all of securing the trust and support of the rank and file and the army. I think the fact that they kept their differences secret to the last minute without telling the truth to the party-members and the people in general was one of the main reasons why they failed in their mission.
          Despite their differnces, the EPLF/ PFDJ leaders were looking to the people as if they were content with the decision-making process, and there was a feeling of invincibility towards IA from the uninformed rank and file and populace in general.

          When the conflict between the two sides erupted out in the open at last, it was late for the reformists, many people felt that these were just disgruntled officials who were flexing their muscles. And hence, it was easy for IA to quash the reformists by employing his familiar tactics of defamation and blackmailing and by placing the blame and responsibility of the distructive consequences of the last war on the reformists.

          • Semere Andom

            Hi Abraham:
            Why did’t the G-15 elarn from the past. This is the million dollar question and it seems it is pattern that baffles me for a long time
            Menkae had no experience and to them their friends and school mates, some of them who have sworn by by tattoing each other’s blood on their shoulders to never let each other down, never thought that will happen to them. I get that. But then the Ymenin did not learn from this too, I heard from people I talked to, who were in the thick if the armed struggle in early 1980s saying that the Yemin were this close to capturing IA, they could have killed him but they did not see that as a solution, when they were discovered, he was so shocked that it took him years to execute them as he feared their sleeper cells will retaliate and he wanted to make sure that the has weeded them out.
            Then the 1993 peaceful movement, they did not learn from that too.
            Then the G-15 as you said, they did not care to remember that Menkae history that many of them were part of it or were there when that history were being made.
            But again the Forto incident also did not care to remember all these events that happened, and as usual IA came begging, invoking the all purpose, time tested meaning less”ziban siwuat” guilt switch and he won. If you are going to be killed then you may as well die killing.
            Do not read history so you can repeat it seems to be the theme of all these well-meaning movements failed because they did not remember what happened to the ones before them.
            The Menkae movement was a democratic movement and some of the words spoken during that time were so prophetic that they happened to the letter

          • Abraham Hanibal

            Hi Semere A.;

            I think the 1993 tegadelti uprising was not political as such, that demanded political reforms; it was rather a manifestation of the harsh economic situation the tegadelty found themselves, after they were told they would serve without pay for the years to come. But of course, in the book of IA, any form of disobedience is such a serious crime that it should be dealt with mercilessly, ‘key-saerere kelo dew k’bil alewo’. When it comes to the Forto incident, I think our information is sketchy; some say the plan was much bigger, but it was rocked by betrayals. If Wedi Ali and his troops really were planning a regime change, then I think they should have rather aimed at the heart of the regime not the MOI. Also If Wedi Ali really was alone in his revolt, it looks really a suicidal mission to proceed the way they did it.

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Dear AT,

    I appreciate for your time-sensitive editorial article to capture what is going in Adi Qeyeh, a microcosm of a devil’s act everywhere in our country. Hopefully today’s your editorial will pull us to focus on what is going in our country and collaborate our efforts either to alleviate the pain or to eradicate the disease (the regime) at the heart of our nation. It is a matter of urgency to make our people’s dilapidating life circumstance to put in the front burner of our struggle. While I am appreciating today’s editorial analysis about the intimacy of our people to their land, the following statement that speaks to the political nature of our people and hints to the glaring problem of our collective-failure there inside Eritrea as well as in the diaspora. My eyes are zero-in to the following statement:

    “Attempts by the high school youth to convince the college students to join them in facing the government’s gangs failed. That was because the college “kids” are not locals, they have no attachment to the demolished houses.”

    This reminds me the proverbial saying “when one eye is laughing the other eye is weeping.” I am saddened when the college student failed to joined the call of the high school youth to face the governments gangs to stop their project – destroying the houses of the residents and throwing them in to the open air without a shelter. The message from that refusal is simple ” we don’t feel our pain each other.” As a matter of fact this attitude has been going for so long. When humiliation and terror perpetuate to one side of our people, we never join hand to resist collectively. The apathy we have towards our brothers and sisters pains is mind boggling. Something have to be done to change such attitudes in order our struggle to be meaningful and rewarding. Thank you AT.

    Regards,
    Amanuel Hidrat

  • Semere Andom

    Ladies and Gentlemen L.T is in th house.
    You been much missed Sir.:-)

  • Abrehet Yosief

    While the “maybe the escaping youth would ease the pressure on housing” in the last paragraph might have been written in sarcasm, it is in fact truth. Speaking to a relative back home on the topic of children as young as 10 arriving in the refugee centers of Ethiopia, she gave me an interesting perspective. She said in the villages there are no men or boys above the age of 17. The only men left are the elders. A 16 year old boy becomes a farmer and a breadwinner for his mother, grandmother and married sisters. Those younger than him, are aware of the pressure they add to the family at a very early age. If some of his younger siblings are females, they are unlikely to take over farming when the breadwinner turns 17 and has to leave for Sawa. Therefore, the boys have to strike out on their own ever younger either to make it somewhere and help the rest of the family or a least to make sure that at least there is one less mouth to feed.

    • sara

      Dear Ms yosief, which part of eritrea is he/she (your relative) referring this children moved from to etiobia , this may give us better perspective of what you are trying to tell us about. additionally could you elaborate more how a child of 10+ years could strike it in his own by moving to ethiobia to help his family.

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