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Removal of DIA Should Be Our Top Priority

Isaias Afwerki: the petty dictator of a once-promising small African country Eritrea.

Neither his past eminence nor his present vulgar mediocrity can be denied. In fact if there is a totem that aptly describes the bald-faced gangly dictator, his rabble of gung-ho generals and his slavishly servile subordinates, it is foolishness. Whether his intellectual atrophy is due to his lack of mental health, or his smug sense of omniscience that has thwarted his ability to learn and evolve, he has consistently failed to adapt to new circumstances and behave according to the dictates of reason and established norms. His lack of good judgments and his insatiable pursuit of conflicts have led to a regional conflagration that has caused the loss of many lives and invaluable properties. With escalating political repressions and deteriorating economic conditions, made worse by a series of UN imposed sanctions and self-inflicted isolationism, instability looms large.

Eritrea is on the precipice of disintegration; only stitch in time will save it. I welcome the launch of the new Satellite radio and congratulate those who have worked hard to make it happen. It is my sincere hope that it will herald a new era of activism and resistance where bad ideas will be defeated by better ideas. It is time that all media channels: audio, visual and print are used to reach out to the Eritrean people and mobilize them to end the life of tyranny and reclaim their freedom. Encouraging as the new developments might be, I’ve to caution that politics of exclusion—real or perceived—can no longer be tolerated and that any endeavor that does not always leave its door open to reconciliation should not be welcomed. Be that as it may be, our first target should always be the dictator who is solely responsible for the predicament Eritrea finds itself in. Somebody who is unfit to rule is at the helm of power and his removal should be Eritreans’ top priority.

When whim ties the knot with stubbornness the end result is invariably foolishness. The wedlock always paves the way for vice to rape virtue. If courage and integrity are the bastions of virtue then honor is its ultimate crown. Proud and honorable citizens are the first targets of any dictator. The project of erasing honor starts by pilfering when most people are not awake and then by fully eradicating it through a sweeping, overwhelming and systematic brutalization when all are watching. The regime like a raging winter torrent erodes all foundational values and replaces them with fear and brute force—the two pillars that sustain its rule.

The initial sallies of outrage in reaction to pilfering are easily subdued through a minimum use of force and an inordinate amount of sloganeering: patriotism, nation-building, maintaining unity and defending sovereignty and territorial integrity. The overwhelming and intense shock experienced in response to the sweeping measures is to desensitize the whole society where nothing is frowned upon. Wedinism—the bastardization of traditional, religious and family values—becomes the new normal. The low, base and philistine culture is purposefully promoted to prolong the life of the uncouth petty dictator. Of course, the moral confusion and depravity can only be sustained in a state of chaos and perpetual conflict. Towards this end, the dictator wages war against everyone and everything that is good and decent.

Eritrean society is relatively egalitarian and as long as public policies are implemented indiscriminately resistance is only of two kinds: either very high or very low. Due to arid and mountainous topography and sporadic rainfall, Eritreans have led for many centuries a Spartan life devoid of any luxuries and this has induced a stoic and fatalistic attitude and high tolerance for hardships on them. Since misery loves company; the regime strictly adheres to the equal mistreatment of Eritreans. Fear and brute force is what the regime understands and survive-at-all-cost and this-shall-pass-too is what the people live by. Honor and pride were the first to be exiled.

When depravity rules the first societal value to vanish is shame; the only taboo is not to have a taboo. The regime serves the people a crude cup of nihilism that besots their rectitude. In the beginning of last month, more than 350 Eritrean youth perished in the Island of Lampadusa and instead of mourning their death, the regime was busy with its endless festivals. Swigging inordinate amount of liquor and dancing in parties is what passes for patriotism and love of “Hadash Ertra” for these people. Truly zemed Asha kefi’ewo alo! ዘመድዓሻከፊእዎኣሎ።

The practice of social banditry has reached new heights and if left unabated, it will permanently disfigure Eritrea. The moral bankruptcy is epitomized by those who conveniently abandon the regime and yet choose to remain neutral. They had the gall to tell us that they are neither against the regime nor pro the opposition. I can certainly understand, if not condone, their hesitation to joining the opposition organizations, but failing to take a clear stand against the fiendish regime is the upshot of moral confusion and degradation.

The opposition is ineffective; it has become the annoying cracked glass that we cannot use or completely break so as to start all over, but this is no reason enough to be neutral when faced with evil. Knowing the difference between good and bad is the basis of any decent society and what holds them together. Anything that reinforces human dignity and the fundamental worthiness of the individual is good and any that undermines it is bad. The first step any Eritrean who deserts the regime needs to do in reclaiming his/her dignity and personhood is to acknowledge its evil nature and condemn and denounce it as such. It will have a liberating, therapeutic and empowering effect.

I can understand despair, hopelessness and the unwillingness to commit to the struggle for change. The Eritrean people waged an epic struggle and clambered to the mountain of victory but only to swallow their own spittle—a bolus of frustration and disappointment. The governance of the country should have segued from a one-party transitional government to a multi-parties democracy. It was a votive obligation on the transitional government in general and “the president” of the country in particular. Eritrea gained its independence because so many of its best men and women paid the ultimate price. Without the realization of democracy, peace and justice, Eritreans’ heroic struggle will go in history as a cautionary tale of people who paid so much for so little.

The tide is changing in favor of the opposition and the opposition can easily ride on the crest of the wave to victory. There are only two yardsticks of measuring the relevancy of the opposition: first, what it is doing to end the life of tyranny, and second, what it does to bridging differences, ameliorating the crippling and widespread mistrust, helping and defending helpless Eritrean refugees and promoting national unity. The two-pronged strategies should go hand-in-hand for they are an integral piece of each other. Both strategies are equally important, but ending tyranny is more urgent for it paves the way for a more substantive pursuit of national unity.

If we love and care for Eritrea, the first we need to do is remove the colossus embarrassment called Isaias Afwerki.

Semere T Habtemariam is the author of “Hearts Like Birds” and the forthcoming book on the History and Faith of the Orthodox Tewahdo Church of Eritrea and Ethiopia. He can be reached:

About Semere T Habtemariam

Semere T Habtemariam is an author and a columnist at Awate. He holds a BA in Government and Politics and a MA in Public Affairs from the University of Texas at Dallas. He lives in Dallas, Texas. His two books are: Reflections-History-Abyssinian-Orthodox-Tewahdo and Hearts-Like-Birds.

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  • Petroes Amaniel

    The Thing that really Makes me dwell in sadness is not the fact of so many Eritreans fleeing,incarcerated or the sad fact that so many lives has been lost but the true fact that so many of us are born abroad and have integrated into other societies and forgot words like unity origin or motherland and the biggest success was the segregation of youths done by the unjust regime.i can think of so many ways they have succsessfully have made gaps that would last for generations if not act upon immiadetly . I just have a question what is the opposition trying to do inorder to harvest the young minds soul energy scattered all over Europe u.s.a and arab lands I can assure you the unjust regime is doing all it can,summer camps,seminars,entertainment and whatever you can think off.i think the first base is establishing communication then stating facts mobillation and fundind are basic steps. Thanks for letting me share.
    Hawekum petros kab German

  • haile

    Hi Meron

    I find your claim that PFDJ invests on sectors neglected by private sector rather bogus. Firstly, PFDJ business arm was initially set up to build resource for Hidri fund which intended to rehabilitate tegadeli. It then started to break the law by evading taxes, engaging in unfair competition and finally banned licensing of private businesses from 2005-20010. It took over most profitable sectors and prohibited both local and foreign investment. Construction sector, fishery, transport, financial services..are the most visible that I have first hand knowledge of. Hotel Intercontinental was another glaring one that it expropriated that earned it a bad credit in external investment profile. In fact it has not invested in any area that doesn’t serve it as cash yield. PFDJ businesses were supposed to have been entirely low key profile to serve good causes, but look at now, it has been the source of Eritrea’s economic demise.


  • Serray

    Selamat everyone,

    Continuing with the form of government post isaias (don’t you love the news about his deteriorating health, asmarino has one. If you ask me, we don’t have them enough… I wish we have a website devoted to rotting liver).

    Sal alludes to it some time ago the shaebia mantra that “we started from zero”; a bogus excuse if there ever was one. Eritrea has many prerequisites that could have facilitated fast development if allowed to breath; from infrastructure to educated, willing, able and capital rich population. As a matter of fact, Eritrea was fast approaching industrialization before the thirty years struggle took us back.

    Ethnics politics or fascism (another word for developmental state) will complete the downward spiral. Eritrea is not at zero by default, it is not suffering for lack of capacity, it is kept in darkness by people who know how to fire but think they are God. People who think they can develop eritrea using a bogus, corrupted, form of fascism known as developmental state.

    Developmental state is self-explanatory, it is a system shaebia practiced from day one. A system that strengthen the state at the expense of everything else (I am surprised by amanuels weak response to meron’s DS, a system that not only makes the regime politically strong but also economically invincible and amanuel, a guy Saleh G described as someone who relates the theory to piratical issues, has little to say to that).

    Now, here is the definition of fascism: A system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship….

    DS is nothing but a sugarcoated version of fascism. Both systems’ distinctive characteristics are dictatorial and complete control of the economy. They are the favorite of most third world dictators because they give ALL power, economic and political, to the regime (except the DS people call the regime State). The individual plays no role and forget amanuel’s tribal/ethnic empowerment (sugarcoated as social groups). DS proponents point out to a couple of successes and ignore the 99 percent failures rates – regimes that monopolize all political and economic powers but leave the countries worse off than they find them. In the DS literature, regimes like shaebia are swept under the rug even though they practiced and failed the pure form DS for 22 years. The proponents never mention the failures, they simply cross them out, forget about them, and harp on the few success. If DS was a medicine, it will make 99 percent patients worse but will help, through some placebo effect, one patient and the pushers of the drug will carry this patient on their shoulders as proof that the drug works.

    I seriously think the easiest and fastest road for eritrea lies in implementing the constitution and fixing its defects using the provisions available in it – two third majority vote. If it failed, we can always go to Amanuel’s politics by ethnic groups. One thing eritrea should never practice again is fascism under any name, developmental state or any other bogus name like that.

    • Saleh “Gadi” Johar

      I couldn’t understand what you are saying about me, so I can’t respond to that. But I like to say something about your, “…he easiest and fastest road for Eritrea lies in implementing the constitution and fixing its defects using the provisions available in it.”

      A constitution is a social contract and it should be produced by all stakeholders (meaning their elected reps.) Only a landlord has the right to draw his own contract and ask tenants to take it or show him their back. The constitution was prepared by someone who thinks of himself as a landlord, Eritrea his property, and Eritreans as tenants whom he can rest an apartment or refuse. Anything that starts from a flawed start ends in disaster or in eternal servitude.

      • Ermias

        Selamat Serray and SGJ,

        In a previous post somewhere, Haile alluded to how Shaebia or Ghedli wasn’t inherently flawed (or something to that effect). He then went on to say that Ermias and Serray will have an issue with this statement. Surely enough, we both jumped on that and hammered home that what we see now didn’t arise because of some circumstances but they were there all along and they are now being manifested fantastically. In any case, I was astounded as how Haile was able to discern that Serray and I reasoned along the same lines when it comes to Shaebia and PFDJ (not sure how Serray relates IA with Shaebia and PFDJ but I am in tune with SAAY with respect to that).

        In any case, having said all these, I cannot help but utterly disagree with this statement from Serray, “…I seriously think the easiest and fastest road for eritrea lies in implementing the constitution and fixing its defects using the provisions…” Forgive me but I have never read the constitution and no idea what’s in it except for bits and pieces I read here. My take is to “Weed out the PFDJ Beast” completely and then start over, from scratch! Irreversible damage has been done. We need a transitional government, who will draft a constituion perhaps using the exisiting one as a reference. Then have elections based on that. The number one task should be to uproot PFDJ and IA completely. I don’t see any two ways about it.

        • Saleh “Gadi” Johar

          Ermias, don’t forget one more task that goes with “Weed out the PFDJ Beast”: “Bleach out all the dirty stains it leaves behind!”

    • Selam Serray,

      Just Quick

      – 99% of developmental state? – You got it wrong. DS is not an age old term and by no means related to fascism. DS is simply a term in political economy which is used to define state-led macroeconomic planning of the tigers in the last decades of the past century. So prove your bogus claim of the 99% failure on these subject.


      – Thank you for your suggestion. I will come back to you after doing the suggested reading. A bit busy.


    • Selam Serray,

      I will not spill all my beans in this comment section for I am going to write an articl. My comment hints only the line of my thinking which unlikely make you to have unrealistic fears. The current document is the document of EPLF and EPLF sympathizers at that time. It doesn’t reflect to the “should be stakeholders” at that time. I think back then, when Issayas outlawed all the existing political organizations and taylored a constitution that fits to a single party, you were supportive. That sounds when you defend the the shelved constitution. If you were not worried when he deject the political organizations why do you worries when he takes the individual rights of citizen? That is where the flaw of your argument reflects. The individual right and group rights are inseparable for the individuals want their freedom as individual as well as a group. I sense a wickedness in relating the individual as single and as part of a group. Don’t forget “hade ykonu klete yokonu” metaphor.

      In any case my argument will not dwell on the lack of inclusiveness but the merit and and structural flaw of the government envisioned on the document. That is where opposition stood firm. By the way to correct it, it doesn’t require the whole constitutional process in my view. It requires a short process during the transitional period to correct the flaws of the document (a) scrap the article that says “centralized unitary government” and substitute by “decentralized government” (b) Uphold the recognition of Arabic and Tigrigna languages as official languages of the state of Eritrea (c) Reinstate the ownership of land to the Eritrean people. These are the core flaws of the constitution.

      To my surprise if DS worries you why not the word “centralized” didn’t worry you?
      Don’t forget “centralized” will limit you individual right. BTW I have asked you many question previously.What happen? I will address the DS and Centralized government hopefully in the future.

      • correction;
        Insert”my” to read as “that is where my opposition stood firm.”

      • Zaul

        “It requires a short process during the transitional period to correct the flaws of the document (a) scrap the article that says “centralized unitary government” and substitute by “decentralized government” (b) Uphold the recognition of Arabic and Tigrigna languages as official languages of the state of Eritrea (c) Reinstate the ownership of land to the Eritrean people. These are the core flaws of the constitution.”

        How can (a) be true if (b) is imposed on the people (and I don’t believe in referendums where only one segment of the elliglble population is allowed to cast a vote). (c) makes sense.

        • Zaul

          …and I don’t believe in referendums where only one segment of the elliglble population is allowed to cast a vote…

          imagine this scenario 55% of the population are allowed to vote and 90% say yes to arabic and tigrinya. 49,5% will decide for the majority. (however small a margin).

          SGJ and others, I may annoy you, but I must thank all of you for being so passionate and your vast knowledge. I’ve learned a lot here. I normally don’t like too much nicety, blame scandinavia, but a special thank you to Haile, not the great, but the eyeopener and Serray for being so fearless.

    • Serray

      Selamat Saleh G., Ermias, Meron,

      Meron, as my physicist friend would say, political scientists are D students of nature who go around coining words for government systems of the world. Developmental state is a name political scientists came up with to describe relatively successful fascistic regimes. The attributtes of the DS are still dictatorial regimes that control the socio-economic aspect of a nation. If you disagree with my take, then find a definition of DS that does not include control of both political and economic wealth of a nation. There are political scientists that argue communism succeeded because china did. When in fact, all china’s success could be attributed to abandoning communism in practical term. China is everything Marx said it shouldn’t…what is the ration of millionaires in the ruling party, something like 80 percent?

      Saleh G. and Ermias,

      Saleh, I was referring to a comment you made following Amanuel’s “social groups” based government comments.

      This constitution is not shaebia’s or isaias’s constitution. It is a constitution isaias ignited a war to stop from being implemented. That must say something. One of the difficult thing to talk with eritreans about badme is, the way they dismiss the ONLY reason why it was ignited; partly because they fell for it (and admitting it will show how easily they get duped) and partly because they attach humanity to isaias and are reluctant to accept how far he can go to rule with absolute control.

      But the fact that he went this far to stop it should make us give it a second look (first look for ermias, you really have to read it). That is point one. Point two is there are many things “Weed out the PFDJ Beast”: and “Bleach out all the dirty stains it leaves behind!” don’t apply. There are many pfdj directed projects that the nation will use after they are gone; like roads, power plant, etc. and the constitution the regime went to great extent to write but then went to hell to stop is one of them. Third point: if you have a problem with it, point out how it can not be fixed within the provisions embedded in it. You can’t just say, “I hate it! I hate it! I hate it”. Fourth point: Saleh said and many echo the same unworkable complaint that, “A constitution is a social contract and it should be produced by all stakeholders”. Whether the opposition coasting in ethiopia all these years managed to become the next government or the forto like coup succeeded, they will face the same “stakeholders” problem…there will always be some group who feel excluded, that is why we need to focus on the attributes and shortcomings of the constitution already in place. Constitutions are always written by those in power; it is less relevant how they came to power than how good the document is.

      Finally, this is one issue the diaspora, specially the older generation who spent most of their lives in exile, should leave to the people who bear the burnt of the regime’s brutality to decide. There is a reason why those who perished attempting to broadcast the implementation THIS constitution did so. In the uncertain times that faces our armed to the teeth future, implementing this constitution might be our only savior and hope of returning to normalcy. We shouldn’t squander that because of our unreasonable association of it to the pfdj or because some us want to practice our political science degree or hobby. This is one area that we in the diaspora could really mess things up for our people.

      Amanuel, I read your comment after finishing this and as long as you are for fixing the constitution, I am with you. Your a, b and c are workable. I thought I answered all your question except the senate one. I get your point, my problem is decentralization via tribe/ethnic self-rule instead of some geographical administrative type of decentralization. Eritrea, the whole should mean something; it defeated our common purpose if we go back to tribal/ethnic self-rule. Looking forward to your article.

      • Sabri


        Your assertion is one of the worest prejudices I heard. Education utilizes best when it is performed by those who chose it freely, by those who have passion for it. Choosing of education had nothing to do if you have been A student or not. Einstein has been regarded as retarded when he was a scholl boy just because he lost interest in those conventional school subjects. In your world he should have been political scientist. In all fields there are many brilliant students. The thing is we have to choose the subject we really love in.

        Moreover, your understanding of DS is full of prejudices. Read before you take this kind of harsh conclusion.

        • Serray

          Selam Sabri,

          I will pass along your complaint about political science to my friend. But DS is still a term coined to describe, after the fact, relatively successful regime-monopolized nations; I have seen it being applied to japan and Botswana. I am sure if eastern bloc communist countries succeeded, it would have equally applied to them, too. DS is not a measure, it is simply an elastic way of describing any relatively successful economy that is not based on free market. Its elasticity allows for any heavy handed regime to claim it. But when it failed, nobody will say DS failed…the country will be simply be crossed out. Case in point, shaebia’s eritrea. Even if they didn’t claim specifically that they are applying DS, as you or meron mentioned, it had all attributes of DS until corruption and greed took completely over.

          For me DS is another BS, just like communism and fascism, that tries to rationalize the control of a nation’s economy by the least productive section of the society, the regime. What is unique about DS is, unlike communism which starts from theory and goes to practice, it is modeled after already successful nations. It is a back door rationalization to power hungry third world regimes. Its beauty lies, when any regime failed, it is simply crossed out; DS only applies to successful economies…it disowns the failures like shaebia regime using more or less the exact words you used..”it was once this but then became that”. The problem is, when it was “this” people like you rationalize the chock hold of the economy by the regime, and when it became “that”, you simply walkaway from it.

          You are right about my prejudice against DS but so are you…our difference is, you are selectively and opportunistically in favor of it until it blows out, I think the best thing is still a system based on freedom market with good regulations.

      • Selam Serray &Zaule

        Serray – If you agree on the three points I will come and share my view with the public with a flow charts, how the administrative units will be, and what kind of power will be devolved from the central gov to the administrative units with a bicameral legislative body that reflect equitable power sharing. It will take me a little time but I will come with it.

        Zaul – If we set a government of national unity (GNU) for an agreed period as transitional government, there will be no section left, taking for grant that the stakeholders reflect in the GNU. If we agreed on that, there shouldn’t be worry about it. The GNU period will give us room to visit the constitution and correct the three flaws I mention, and with the blessing of our people through a simple refrendom will approve the social contract (constitution) and will be enacted as a supreme law of the land. If we understand a constitution is a “Socio-political contract” before it becomes a supreme law of the land the process will not be that difficult.


        • Zaul


          If you are planning to write an article on this, I look forward to it and I can wait to read it there, but if not I have a few Q’s.

          How do we set up the (GNU), how shall they be elected? please clarify.

          On the constitutional ammendment issue, should there be a referendum on all three issues separately or the constitution as a whole.

          “Historical Lessons for a Successful Referendum”

          “Latvia will go to a referendum sometime in the new year (2012) to vote on whether Russian should become the second official state language in Latvia.”

          • Zaul,

            1- My view on the constitution is first it should be amended and then referendum to the whole text.

            2- The GNU should be elected in the national congress for national dialogue where all the stakeholders participate.

            3- In the coming article I will not come in detail how each process should be, I will only talk about the structure of the state institution – the
            framework of our politics.

            4- The detail work should be done by delegations of the stakeholders and some expert to shape the document. I hope these answers your question.

  • Selam Meron & Sabri,

    Meron – First and foremost I wish you success in your academic endeavor. Here is my advice and that is if it happened along the line say for instance politico-psychology or politico-sociology, or politico-economy “Eritrea nation” is a good candidate for your thesis. You could have the chance to study the intractable politics of our society and it will be handy for you to kill two birds with one stone. That is, first to fulfill your academic thirsty and second will help you to the contribution of coming with authentic and realistic solution to the grievances of your society.

    Sabri/Meron – As to your choice to “developmental theory” there are prerequisites that theory to be successful and that is the issue of “stability”. Now here are the quintessential prerequisites especially for a country with diversity. (a) the desire to live in peaceful coexistence of the inherent social groups (b) The need of political stability. To understand the interplay of these prerequisites I would like to put it as follows: There is no political stability without addressing grievances and there is no stable economic development without political stability. If you want to disprove my hypothesis which I could prove it anytime, I would be glad to here from you.Otherwise there is no short cut to your developmental theory. My ears are open to hear from you and my focused eyes are attentive to scrutinize the validity of your argument.


    • Meron,

      A continuation to my statement above:

      On your Weber’s scoop typology of regimes and legitimacy, Craig Matheson critiqued Weber’s typology of forms of domination – the threefold classification of claims of legitimacy. Craig’s article in the British Journal of sociology Vol.38 examines the notion of legitimacy as it is applied to relationships (the government and the governed) of command and obedience and seeks to identify the major ways in which relationships are legitimized.(I recommend every one to read his article).

      What I want you (Meron) to do is, to relate my argument with Craig’s argument to strike out Weber’s argrument quoted in your comment ” regardless of the type of regime, a strong, stable and effective bureaucratic system is pertinent to achieving long term developmental goals.” Stable and effective bureaucratic system could be conducive when there is a social contract where the command and obedience finds its legitimacy. (more in my coming article).

    • Sabri

      Selamat Ema,

      I fully agree with the pre-request issues you raised. For any country before choosing strategy for development, it is essential to have a stable government. There should be a government in place who listens people’s grievances. Under this condition people should have a chance to choose which strategy they will follow. DS or other type of state should not be imposed forcefully. Hope I understand you correctly.


      • Saleh “Gadi” Johar

        Before going into all of that, don’t you think the per-requisite is to establish a national unity government, one blessed by the people?
        I am saying this because however we differ with those in the government, they have their own theories, copied from books or based on academic theories… added to that cocktail of policies, huge number of whimsical ideas of their own. The problem is not lack or shortage of theories and developmental models to copy from; it is the power behind the steering wheel that is blocking any meaningful consensus on what model Eritrea should follow. I say this less we keep insisting on the horse following the cart 🙂

        • Saleh,

          Take it as a given “government of national unity” should form for the transitional period, where we are going to settle the final document of our social contract (the constitution). What we are debating the things that should be in the social contract such as the nature of governance and the structure of representation in the political process. If we agreed on the social contract the rest is the due process to make a legitimate election.

          • Saleh “Gadi” Johar

            I hope, Ammanuel, Afka YsAar. I have no problem with discussing and debating future issues, but not at the expense of immediate tasks. Furthermore, I think we should realize we are neither policy makers nor mandated to draw any policies. I also think the political parties should think of this; and if wish to have a sane political environment, those with skills and passion should be in political parties to be more effective–when are we going to develop political parties is such debates remains in the sphere of free-lancing? Add to that our lack of academic and intellectual institutions that should lead this kind of debate, it is scary. We are doing little to develop our politics, why don’t we have association instead of everyone going to politics in an unorganized way? When are we going to identify our individual skills and passion and work there in a specialized manner instead of all of us becoming jack of all trade? That is my worry Ammanuel, though I understand the concern and the wish to prepare the ground future eventualities, I wish we would develop (or think about developing) institution. We can start by having specialized institutions, even in the Diaspora though it is not the ideal place. Thanks any way.

          • Your worry is the worry of every concerned Eritrean.Look the spontaneous movements (concerned citizens are gathering) everywhere. These movements should be coordinate and organized as the force for the final push to break the chain of oppression. One valid point you mentioned though: To identify the individuals skills and organize in order to help our politics to find a soft landing. I agree about that and we shall see how the initiatives could be started. As to the traditional political organizations they are in a slumber sleep. I have no clue about them.

        • Sabri

          Thank you Saleh for your comment. I don’t add more on what Emma is responded to you. Thanks Ema:)

      • Sabri,

        It is one step forward. The most important is the social contract(the constitution) which every citizen should abide by it. The contract should be owned by every citizen to defend individual and group rights. Hold the grip and push the idea that unit us.

        • Sabri

          Emma and Saleh,

          I agree. Constitution is crucial. It should come first. The importance of discussing DS for me is to clarify the confusion created by the current government regarding social justice, state intervention etc.

  • haile

    Selamat all,

    Very rich and interesting group discussions are going on among the Sabri, Meron and Aman camp and that of SGJ, Zaul… camp. Keep it coming, we’re learning. This leaves haile and saay out and I thought this equal opportunity swipe joke would give you guys a break ( I will try to impersonate Yoni of radio erena, ኦኬይ’ዶ? ሕራይ በሉ ሽኮሪናታት… ነያይ ደዊለሉ ነይረ፡ የ…አኣያይ ዚ ኦንልይ ዋን 🙂

    “ሄሎ፡ ኣያይ ዲኻ”
    ኣያይ፡ “መኒኻ”
    “እዋእ ጋጊኻኒ ዲኻ”
    ኣያይ፡ “ሕጂስ ፈሊጠካ፡ ደሓን’ዶ”
    “ኣለና፡ ጠፊእካ ድኣ?”
    ኣያይ፡ “ኣበይ ክንጠፍእ ኢልካና”
    “ከምኡ ማለተይ ኣይኮንኩን”
    ኣያይ፡ “ዋእ፡ ከመይ ማለትካ ድኣ?”
    “ኣነስ፡ የለኻን፡ ጠፊኡ ክብሉኻ ስለ ዝሰማዕኩ’የ ኣያ”
    ኣያይ፡ “ኣይሓዝኩኻን፡ እንታይ’ኻ ትብል”
    “ዋእ፡ ተቓወምቲ’ስ የለን’ዩ ይብሉኻ ኣለዉ”
    ኣያይ፡ “ካላእ ነዚ ዲኻ…ንስኹም’ከ ኣበይ ኣለኹም በሎም” 🙂

    “ዋእ ዋእ ኣይተኸኣልካን ኣያ፡ በል ካልእ ሕቶ”
    ኣያይ፡ “ናይ ወዲ ትካቦ ከይከውን፡ በረኸት ኣይሰማዕካዮን ዲኻ ብዘይ ሕቶ ርእይቶ’ዩ ዘሎ እዚ ናይ ለምቅነ ሓራካ”
    “እይፋልን ኣያ፡ ናተይ’ሲ ናይ ዓሊ ዓብዱ’ያ፣ ሓበሬታ ከመይ ትመሓደር’ላ?”
    ኣያይ፡ “ከመይ ክንብለካ’ሞ፡ ብሰለስተ በራጊድ ምስ ትዊተር ኣብ ከቢድ ብረት፡ ንጨፋጨፍ’ሎና። እዚ ክብለካ፡ ነቶም ሰብ ርሑቕ ልቢ: ናይ ካርቶሊና ዜና ኣብ “ማዕዶ ዳት ኮም” (፡ ንበዓል ኣልሞት ባይ ተጋዳይ “ትስፍውነት” (፡ እዋእ እቶም ለኸፍከፍ ዘብዝሑ ድማ “ሮሞቕ ዳት ኮም” (፡ ገርካ ምሕምሻሾም’በር እዩ።

    “ሱፐር ኣያይ ነብሲ፡ ቢዚ’ኻ ዘለኻ በለኒ”
    ኣያይ፡ “እሂ ደኣ፡ ቢዚን ፈቓን’ምበር፡ ገይሻ እንተበሉኻ’ዶ ሓቂ መሲሉካ፡ ነፈርቲ ዓጺኻ በየናይ ኣእጋር፡ በየናይ ኣሰጋጋር!”
    “ሲ ዩ ኣያይ፡ ኬፍ ዘለዎ መዓልቲ”
    “ኣይትጥፍኡ በሎም :-)” 🙂


  • Dear Amanuel,

    I am a beginner in the academia and I need long way to define myself in which school of thought I would belong. God willing my future is ahead of me, and with the fortune I got here to discuss with you I can accelerate my pace…

    As you know, so far we have several varieties of states, governments, Democracy and capitalism in this world. And it is proven the same systems of all kinds to succeed and fail in different parts of the world. And we know that all the countries at the top of the apex now have not come to this level with the same system they are embracing now both in political and economic arenas. I think I read a good catch of it from Papillion few days ago.

    Weber declared that regardless of the type of regime, a strong, stable and effective bureaucratic system is pertinent to achieving long term developmental goals. So your point on the equitable distribution of power and wealth though not perfectly however could be achieved in either way. I rather focus on the equitable distribution of wealth as it can offer people social justice through different public provisions. Pivotal public provisions such as education and health produce healthy and educated citizens who are capable enough to claim equitable distribution of power.

    Thus, regardless of its structure I support developmental state. In my eyes development oriented policies matters than overly political inclined systems. With regard to the East Asian tigers the question “Are they about political regimes or ‘good policies’” is highly debated both in the west and east. WB World Bank, The East Asian Miracle, 1993 is one amongst them. Is the western ‘ellection’ based democracy is a prerequisite to development? Or are the practiced authoritiarian systems of East Asian countries justify authoritarianism as the best way of development? …simple and difficult questions.

    When it come to Eritrea, the government’s intention is always to lead a developmental state that can follow the footsteps of Singapor or South Korea. The post 1998-200 war period was also promissing and conducive for that matter. Even in that era i feel ther was some confusions on the leadership. If you see the principal policies sketched in the ‘National Charter’ in contrast to ‘the Macroeconomic Policy’ you can see a number of confusions. Charter massively hails ‘develoopmental state’ and Macro-economic policy encompassed the Structural Adjustment Programmes(SAPs) of WB. According to Poulos Be’atay Abdurahman Babu was amazed to see EPLF endorsed SAPs on the Macro-economic policy. Actually that was a clear time of confusion. The collaps of USSR led Facuyama to declare the end of history and that led Fronts like EPLF to set aside their long hailed planned economy (EPLF had complete economic plan in 1998). . . and that plan fall on school of Ha joon Chang… they only back to it when the world realised that ‘the end of history’ by itself of an ideological falacy. ..

    Back to Developmental state. Eritrea’s dream to build a developmental state was only hampered by the 1998-200 war, no-war no-peace and sanctions. Without these pressures i believe it could have ben accomplished a sizable lip in building a developmental state that could meet Robinson and White’s outlined charachterstics of developmental state. According to them the charachterstics of developmental state are:

    1. Autonomy of political and bureaucratic elites.
    2. Promote economic growth
    3. Mixed economies
    4. Non-static
    5. Can’t be easily replicated

    I still feel it is much easier for Eritrea to go to political democracy through economic development and social justice than through replicating the flowering theories of democracies which are yet to yield in developing countries. That’s why I am always pro strong government – my friend Sean Hannity and Saay don’t like this – and stable region, so as we can match the following catch of Johnson (C. Johnson) from his ‘MITI and the Japanese Miracle: The Growth of Industrial policy, 1925-1975’

    ‘In states that were late to industrialize, the state itself led the industrialization drive, that is, it took on developmental functions. … A regulatory,or market-rational, state concerns itself with the forms and procedures – the rules, if you will – of economic competition, but it does not concern itself with substantive matters. … The developmental, or plan-rational, state, by contrast, has as its dominant feature precisely the setting of such substantive social and economic goals.’

    Such state can help the children in the center and perifery to geat a day meal, potable water, health service and education. Then we can have citizens who would like to determine the political process of the country in the way that suits them with confidence throughout the country. It is then we can have citizens who can talk and walk on the subject we are talking now throughout the country.


    • 1998-2000 rather
      (EPLF had complete economic plan in 1998)rather
      plus lots of spelling and grammar errors

      • (EPLF had complete economic plan in 1988)rather

    • Sabri

      Dear Meron,

      Like you I’m for strong and capable governance. All of those states who followed the so called developmental state characterized by strong and capable governance. I believe this type of governance is suitable for developing nations including Eritrea.

      Eritrea, although it didn’t call it developmental state has openly declared this path since the first day of independent. As you pointed out correctly developmental state demands you to have autonomous bureaucracy which in another word should be transparent. This is vital in all developmental states. Having state-led economy without capable, strong and autonomous bureaucracy leads to full fledged dictatorship. That is what we are observing in Eritrea. In theory the government is pro developmental state but in reality they are far away from it. In Eritrea the state which is the main nerve of developmental state is replaced by PFDJ. As a consequence, the capacity of the state is diminished while the power of PFDJ growth. That is why I express my concern, in response to Papilion, recently in post PFDJ Eritrea people may associate developmental state with PFDJ governance.

      As you know developmental state (DS) is a response to Washington consensus which emphasize neo liberalism. When criticism was directed towards DS that it only produces authoritative states, they came now with a notion democratic developmental state (DDS). Botswana is named as an example of DDS in Africa. Ethiopia officially declared to follow DDS. However, I don’t understand DDS. Regardless I read many literature in this area I don’t see a big deference between DDS and DS.

      Another important point you mentioned is about the difference between macro policy of Eritrea and PFDJ’s charter. I remember many label the macro policy of Eritrea as pro Structural adjustment program (SAP) just it is export oriented. I differ. For instance, SAP is known for its policy against public expenditure. As far as I remember the Eritrean macro policy doesn’t propose cutting public expenditure.

      If I understand you correctly, you contend that the charter of PFDJ is suitable to DS than the macro policy of Eritrea. How? Would you please elaborate?


      • Dear Sabri,

        1. I don’t also understand the DS and DDS. As for me the Weber’s idea i states in the previous post: “regardless of the type of regime, a strong, stable and effective bureaucratic system is pertinent to achieving long term developmental goals” address the subject well.

        2. I should have stated the major difference between National Charter and Macro-economic Policy. As you know National Charter is principles for policy or a general policy concept, while Macro-economic policy is a policy framework. In principles Macro-economic policy claim its genesis from National Charter. It further claims the two core principles of National Charter, Self-reliance and social justice, as its core foundations. Its orientation to ward export and ideas of import substitution is also interesting. However, it also emphasizes liberalisation and privatization. I am pro measured liberalisation and privatization. When I see the SAPs programmes practiced inline to that document such as the squeezing of public sector through demobilisation of workers that includes teachers and the denationalisation of around 80 enterprises, I feel the leadership was fall under neo-liberal trap till its divorce in the post war period. If you follow to what happened to the privatised enterprises and compare it with the same cases in other developing countries, you could find Eritrea similarly fall in the same neoliberal trap. The fact is, there were no export and manufacturing oriented private sector. And very unfortunately those enterprises and factories fall under the bad hands of the ‘Contraband’ minded business people. Consequently, as those Contraband minded business men fail to endure the usual rout of manufacturing sector, the enterprise and factories failed endure challenges, a number of them closed or continued nominal existence, failed secure employment for the needy and to produce something for export…. Very common example of SAP’s effect.

        3. I differ on your point to conclude PFDJ intervention in the State as the cause of all the economic havoc. If you see the initial stage of Koria, Syngapore and China’s development stages the leading political organisations were both political and economic leaders. They had a big say in the policies of the governments and intervention through either way in the economy.

        If you see Chinese Communist Partys (CCP) intervention in the government of china and its intervention in business mostly neglected by the private sector and FDI to date, the ‘hade konu kiltie konu’ stracture of the leading political front and its government in Eritrea is still fine. If you see PFDJ’s intervention in the government in the pre-1998-2000 war it was crucial particularly in the economic area. Its intervention was either in trade that could lead the business people to look for fewer profit or investment on areas marginalised by the private sector and FDI. In some cases it also was trying to expand the good business idea that comes from the private sector through maximizing the share and the capacity. Thus, it was maintaining prises in their faire level, somehow discouraged import oriented merchants (potential to encourage import oriented merchants and manufacturers), and expands the business sector. To-date this is very common practice in South Korea. This might not be true for the post-1998-2000 case.

        4. For me the main cause that hampered this entire voyage was the 1998-200 war, the continued no-peace no-war situation, and external pressure for geopolitical reasons. As you said this lead the governance from centralisation to more centralisation, consumption of public budget on defence, economy of crisis management and politics of security.


        • (potential to encourage export oriented merchants and manufacturers) rather

        • Sabri

          Dear Meron,

          Thank you. One of the main feature of DS is the state should have strong power and it is allowed to intervene. That is why it is called state-led economy. This has been the case in all Newly industralized countries including those countries you mentioned. I don’t have problem with the state intervention at the initial period of development. In fact I support it. What is different when it comes to Eritrea is PFDJ not only intervene it REPLACE the state. PFDJ, mainly its leader, become state by itself.

          In DS the role of the political organization is to support and strength the role of the state. What we observe in Eritrea is the opposite. PFDJ and its tentacles penetrate all sphere of the country by diminishing the normal function of the state. This kind of governance is may be acceptable during the struggle era where the state was non-existent. But in a liberated country we expect at least the normal function of governmental institution. PFDJ is not only intervene it weakens the role of the state. Ask anybody who works at governmental institution they will tell you how weak they are. They are not autonomous at all. All governmental institutions in Eritrea became the appendix of presidential office. Under this condition how can you say Eritrea is a developmental state? The autonomy of the bureaucracy is non-existent in Eritrea. The country have no budget which the institutions of the state are highly depend on. They can’t outline short, middle or long term plan but expect always order from the Presidential office. The actual state in Eritrea is Presidential office. No nobody knows how it works. Those who had had higher position in governmental institution tell us terrific story (example Wedi Tafla’s story).

          You may say since we are in abnormal situation we can’t have normal functional state. We can’t excuse all of the wrong doings of the government on the last war and its aftermath. The state should function properly If we are able to defend ourselves. It is alarming that PFDJ disregard the normal function of the state. It seems what you are saying is since Eritrea has external threat and the country is in no war no peace situation it is ok PFDJ rides as it wishes.

          ኣብ ዘይንቡር ኩነታት ስለዘሎና ዘይንቡር ኣካይዳ ንኸይድ ኣሎና ትብል ጭርሖ፡ መወጽኢ ኣፍ ህግደፍ ካብ ትኸውን ልዕሊ ዓሰርተ ዓመታት ኮይኑ። ውጺኢቱ ግና ሪኢናዮ ኢና። ኣብ ዘይንቡር ኩነታት፡ ዝያዳ ክትነጥፍን ውርጹጽ ውዳበን የድልየካ እምበር ንሓድነት ዝፈታትን ኩነታት ክትፈጥር ኣይግባእን።


  • G.Gebru

    Dear Saleh, Emanuel and others

    Aselam Alekum.

    The following is my input about the Jeberti discussion if it can help to come into a conclusion that can satisfy every one in this forum. The hawks and the doves.

    My source is a book written in Amharic by Ahmedin Jebel.

    The book is titled “ETHIOPIAN MOSLEMS from 615-1700 The history of oppression and struggle.

    On page 107 of his book he states that as per Dr. Trimimgham Isalm spread in Northern Ethiopia from the 10th century up to the 12th century. One of the Islamic kingdoms that was established during that period was the Sultanate of IFAT (Yewelasma Serwe Mengist). The founders were Moslems who came from Mecca who mingled with the local population through intermarriage.

    Al-Sekhawi in his book “AL-DWUAU LAMIE LI SEKHAWI” states that while Welamsawoch those who came from Mecca settled in “JEBERA” (JEBERTI), while the Emperor was living in a town called DEKAT and adds that the founder of the Welamsa government was Omer Bin Dunia Huze.

    On page 126 states that Wellsemie was the nick name for Omer Bin Dunia Huze Al-Jebewrti and adds that in connection with the name Ismail Al-Jeberti who lived in the 10th century became the identity for the Moslems and their city.

    He also adds that before the establishment of the IFAT Sultanate the city of the Moslems was called “JEBRAH” and from the writing of Imam Sekhawi “Jeberti Ketema” was called “Jebrah”.

    Sorry for the poor translation.

    Thanks and best regards.

    • Dear G.Gebru,

      Thank you for enlightening us the “genesis of Jeberti” which I don’t have any clue. I am sure Saleh will come with something either to validate your source or discredit it. For me it is a kind of lesson to use not for politicking game but for assorting the variables of our social group into our political equation – the equilibrium of the parts.

      Geber don’t go away, your input has a lot of materials to enrich our debate.

      • Saleh “Gadi” Johar

        Thanks all,

        Amanuel, if you remember, yesterday I said, the jury is still out. There is no comprehensive research (reviewed and critiqued properly) until now. Severel pieces and bits are scattered everywhere–I have a large collection of books, and time and resources permitting, someday I might embark on that Herculean journey. Muhyedeen Jebel’s book is in fact one of the best there is in modern times. Burmingham touches it lightly. An invaluable book is FutuH AlHabasha (The Conquest of Abyssinia) which I suggest anyone interested in the subject to rea. Amanuel, you need to read that book. Al Yaqoobi, though very brief, is a good reference. James Bruce’s writings is also a good resources… there are many like that.

        What Gebru is explaining is the “Seltenat AlTraz Al Islami”, a total of seven Islamic Sultanates that were founded by the Mekhzoumis of Arabia, that flourished in the area between Zeila, Bale and Shoa. A little excavation was done in that area–Haile Sellasie regime prevented any such research, overtly and covertly. But there is an old Islamic civilization buried in those areas waiting to be discovered. Also the manuscripts in many monasteries would give crucial leads and explanations, I am not sure how accessible they are. The Welsemas of “Ber Saadadin” are the kins of Gragn through his wife who is known as “Bati Dil Wenberwa.” The poor prejudiced report of Alvarez could also lend itself as,… beyond secondary source. To sum it up, the jury is still out and what we have are pieces and bits, mostly oral tradition, and a little mythology…nothing authoritative until now. But one thing is true, the name existed for over a thousand years.

  • Selam Meron,

    I pulling the last thread up to the top for purposes other to join our debate – the “diversity politics.”

    Meron, when the issue has nothing to do with Issayas or PFDJ you could contribute substances to our debate.I think that makes you different from the rest of PFDJ. A credit when the credit is due. If you extract yourself from the bandwagon syndrome you have a lot of opportunities to contribute to your society (especially if you are from the young generation).

    Now back to the issue. No matter how one tried to arrange any social group be it through their ethnic identity or through modern socio-political arrangement such nation and nationality for purposes of “political administration” it boils down to the rights of “social groups” how they will be governed and administered on equal opportunity basis. By “equal opportunities” I mean equitable power sharing and equal economic opportunities to any sets of social groups. Here is where the new political theory (a new dimension to the resolution of diversity conflicts) “diversity politics” could play a big role to narrow the diversity gap.

    Let us take now as principle that “equitable power and equal economic opportunities” for/or as a launching pad to search what type of government is conducive to entertain those principles. Now we will look among those which exist in practice in various countries of the world, not to copy them as is, but to see how they redistribute or disperse functions and powers of authority. Some to mention from the many, centralized unitary government, various Decentralized unitary governments that also includes federalism. Keep in mind that all decentralized unitary governance are not federalism though federalism is one type of decentralized unitary governance. Once we differentiate the characteristics and nature of the various governments, we will discover which one will satisfy to the demand of our diversity.

    Many Philosophers distrust centralized unitary government or autocratic government,including Rousseau, Mill, de Tocquiville, Madison to mention few. And I subscribe myself to their argument. I believe Madison is the one who theorized how to prevent tyranny through balanced powers within the central and with regional and local administrations. I will argue that autocratic government or centralized unitary government does not respond to the demand of citizens or our social groups, rather it exacerbate the conflicts of our social groups. In fact experiences of some countries with decentralized government indeed exhibit a reconizaeble towards responsiveness, accountability, and political and economic participation of diversities.

    So Meron what we have learned from the current practice of autocratic government is, the undermining the rights of individuals as well as the rights of our social groups to the extent controlling the entire livelihood of our citizens. The shelved constitution also promote an autocratic government or centralized unitary government which we should avoid from the get go to save our young generation of all stripes of social groups.

    • Saleh “Gadi” Johar

      I have to say this: You have an edge over the others because you relate theories to practical issues. The problems of Eritrea cannot be solved based on academic philosophies alone, the bitter realities have to be considered. I sense that is what you do when you put your arguments. Since I cannot make a seamless relation between academic theories and realities, I base my arguments on realities without bothering much (just considering it) with the academic theories out there. Excellent.

      • Selam

        Selam Saleh Johar,

        I fully agree with what you commented to Amanuel. We all have gone to school at one time and learned theories but we all don’t try to apply them to Eritrean politics like Amanuel does all the time and SG remember that: edaga kemzixenehaka emberay adeka kemzileaketika aykonen.
        What is on the ground determines the politics of a nation rather than the theories we have read or learned and there are millions of theories out there and we don’t know which one fits.
        Pushing to apply what one, Amanuel, has learned into the politics by force doesn’t make you different than Meles Zenawi. It is Meles who imposed those theories in Ethiopia and as a result the country is in a mess of division.
        And the saying, “ bizeben wube zixememsi wube wube kibl yenebir” is still true.
        And it is good that you and him reconciled after a year and this will give Amanuel a bit relief from the stress he has been going as a result of ignoring him.

  • haile

    Selamat Serray and Ermias (Meron’s take, I will deal with later:)

    My main concern is how we distinguish between a “System” and those it utilizes. This is why I am at my most comfortable when I refer to “Regime” rather than PFDJ or IA (for we have a lot to learn yet, due to secrecy). It is possible to make people be party to horrendous acts even if they weren’t evil to begin with. For example, you go to Eritrea and usually people come to visit and say congratulation to your parents or siblings that you go to visit (depending who you have there). I happen to have many ex-tegadelti that I meet in that way (let’s only focus on the social aspect here). When I am hosting one ex-tegadalay like that who came to visit with one derho and one areki from his meager income and sits and chats, it is really difficult to imagine that this generous and thoughtful individual is “evil” or anything like that. In fact, when he carries on and tells you the problems of their situation in their day to day lives and what have you, it doesn’t cross your mind to think of him in those terms. You see another human being with another set of challenges.

    Now, when you meet a tegadalay neber in one of the security prisons and beating the helpless victim of the regime to death, well it is another story. Now how do we differentiate the people from the system? Suppose there were 100000 tegadelti in 1991, it would be fair to assume they are related to 2.5 million Eritreans one way or the other (minimal estimate). Is this not a major chunk of the country?

    Now imagine that IA had not turned into the monster he has been and instead was to chart the nation into the promise upon which the independence struggle was founded. Imagine if he had become a statesman who allowed his people to work, invest, develop, travel and be confident in what they’d achieved. How many tegadelti would have improved their lives, developed their personal life to maximize their enjoyment in the good of life, how would they have related to their fellow Eritreans? Would they have naturally been evil or just people like me and you and any one else for that matter? The system had created a situation where brutality thrives and one doesn’t need to go to ghedli to be part or instrument of that. Many systems allowed that to happen without ghedli in many instances.

    So my question is that: are you of the belief that ghedli is the school of master arts in evil-hood or the opportunities lost by a failed leader has created a situation where people (not just tegadelti) act in cruel fashion towards each other?


    • Ermias


      The Eritrean people are I think still compassionate with each other but PFDJ and their operatives have acted in a callous and cruel manner against ordinary Eritrean folk. Haile, as you know full well, the people of Asmara specially the youth have an incredible amount of resentment against tegadelti. I was there in 2004 and I was shocked by the complete turn around of the regards with respect to tegadelti. Shaebia has an element of indoctrination that somehow instills superiority feelings towards gebar. Even just commonplace PFDJ members now think they are more “hagerawian.” This led to mistrust among the two classes. There is an inherent despise against the people in shaebia land and the people have come to adopt a feeling of profound disapproval of tegadeltis behavior. There is no kid right now who imitates a tegadalay. IA’s and PFDJ’s behavior didn’t merely arise because of some circumstances. They were there all along. The manifestations we see now are very obvious to everyone because we have come to a crescendo. We missed a ton of clues but now that hindsight has thought us so much, we need to relentlessly “Weed out the PFDJ Beast” as some Mr. Johar wrote recently.

    • Serray

      Selamat Haile,

      Let me answer your question, “are you of the belief that ghedli is the school of master arts in evil-hood or the opportunities lost by a failed leader has created a situation where people (not just tegadelti) act in cruel fashion towards each other?”.

      Haile, if ghedli was a social club that turned into a bloody cartel, then we would have said circumstances forced them. But ghedli set out to free eritreans from ethiopian rule, succeeded, and then became a million times worse than them. Asmera didn’t create isaias, asmera didn’t create shaebia, medda did, ghedli did. Tegadelti didn’t learn to be silent (or participate in this genocide in asmera); quite the opposite, they went to medda because they were outraged of injustice, medda turned them into active or silent accomplices. That most of them share in the misery is natural; the movement functions by rewarding few and punishing most of its members.

      There is nothing in our history that explains the kind of nation we have become other than ghedli. Since tegadelti never allowed the eritrean people a free choice to elect a competent, transparent and accountable government, they own this mess. One day, if and when they revolt en mass against the genocidal system they brought from medda, then we should reevaluate the above (so far all their revolt have been to demand something for themselves or because something happened to them, except forto). As long as they believe they brought us independence in the face of this inhumanity, it is worthwhile reminding them that, no, they didn’t bring us independence, they just helped curve out a nation for their leaders to play genocide.

      In the US they use the word “hero” a lot. To be fair, they use it to describe an act where the outcome is freeing a victim from some tragedy. Ours is a case where our rescuers freed us and then some of them set us on fire while most watched and did nothing.

  • Saleh “Gadi” Johar

    Hi Zaul,

    Thanks for giving me the opportunity to address this issue.

    I don’t know of a Christian Habesha who identifies himself as Jeberti. Many Jeberti are descendants of people who resided in many regions of the Horn of Africa. Jebertis trace their ancestry to Below, Beja, Harer, Tigrai, Amhara, Arab, Somali, Afar, etc. That is why Jeberti is a nation, not a race. What do you think the religion of the ancestors of Jeberti was before Islam? They could have been Christians, or Jews, or anything else. Maybe I and you might trace one common ancestor centuries ago! If you consider our specific geographical region, it is most probable the Jeberti were Christian Tewahdo before they embraced Islam.

    Any tribe, race or social group has a traditional way of identifying someone as its member. To be part of Addi in the Highlands it requires a certain number of years as an inhabitant of the village, area, etc, or it can be acquired through inter-marriage. For instance, the Beni Amer have a sophisticated way of accepting and assimilating others into their fold; The USA requires certain number of legal residence to be a citizen. You can call yourself anything you like, but for the Jeberti, only someone who assimilates in the social group and adheres to Islam, is a Jeberti.

    By the way, may I suggest a solution for the Tigrnya identity stuff! Why can’t the PFDJ identify Highland dwellers who speak Tigrinya, as Jeberts? Then we can have Christian Jeberti and Muslim Jeberti. I don’t think the Jeberti would mind 🙂 See! That is how weird it feels for the Jeberti to call themselves Tigrinya! Zaul, why do you even entertain converting to Islam just to be a Jeberti? I suggest you call yourself a Christian or agnostic Jeberti! I know, you cannot digest that. Another suggestion: stay true to your ancestors’ belief (or remain agnostic); as far as I know, the Jeberti are not recruiting 🙂 The Jeberti just want to be left alone–to be what they were since a millennium ago.

    • Selam “SGJ”,

      I hope you will not call me picky. You told us “jeberti is a nation” and from your explanation the habitat of jeberti is everywhere scattered in the horn of Africa. Now the definition of a “nation” is a relatively large group (social group) of people who live in an inscribed geography, who have the same language and culture and a defined economic activity within themselves. So if the way they are living is scattered how do we call them a nation? I tried to see it politically and hence my question.

      • Saleh “Gadi” Johar

        No you are not picking Amanuel, it is a legitimate question. But if we go and consult the political science definition whenever we face something that doesn’t go with the definition, we cannot get an answer for every question we have. In maps, we have several types of maps, political map, physical map, topographic map, etc. Not one is the same as the other, but each gives a certain specific information. Though the maps are of the same area, they are different; one set of information is buried under another set of information.

        Nation, in this case, is a combination of many races and social groups, a stratum that is neither a single race or a single tribe. If they had a delineated geographical area, then it will be a nation-state or a nation divided among different nation states. Jeberti is a nation, but not a state. At least that is my understanding. That is why the Jeberti reject ethnic division based on language. If you have an idea, help me define a group of people who assemble from different races and geographical regions.

        I find “nation” to be the closest definition. Maybe if you know why (or anyone in this forum who know) can Explain to us why certain regions in Ethiopia are described as a state of “Nation and Nationalities.” To my knowledge, they have certain guarantees the rights of minorities that live among majority groups.

        • Ermias

          What we used to hear in Asmara – Mahmoud Sherifo held a meeting in Mendefera and the Jeberti raised a question requesting (or demanding, not sure) for recognition as an ethnic group or something to that effect. Sherifo’s reply was: “tmali kab tigray metsikum 100 amet keman zeygeberkumsi nay beynina bher ena tblu alekum?”

          This is one of the reasons why I don’t have much sympathy for G-15 because again my equation is just like the laws of physics, universal and doesn’t change:

          Shaebia = PFDJ = Ginbar = IA; then, now, and in the future.

          • Saleh “Gadi” Johar

            Ermias, though Sheriffo is known for his acidic tongue, I do not believe he said that. It is most likely a statement by a bigot who tried to wrap his prejudice in a way that would look as if Sheriffo endorses that bigotry. Don’t believe that; but hasn’t that been too common attack for centuries? The anti Muslims vitriol went a few notches up during the days of the bigot Yohannes and his viceroy Allula when they ruled the Kebessa. Their legacy is still alive among a narrow group of bigots.

        • Merhaba Saleh,

          Let us differentiate “nation as country” and “nation as Biher.” My definition in my last comment was for nation as biher. Say for instance if we take our neighbor country Ethiopia we take “Biher Tgray” or “tigray nation” and “Biher Amhara” or “Amahara nation” with a defined geographical boundary and defined culture & language and their defined economic activity within their respective communities. Nationalities are those small ones that are not developed to the description of a nation or criteria of a nation.

          In literary language “nation and country are used interchangeably because there are instances that countries could be made up of one “nation” or one “biher” depending on circumstances and/or many nations and nationalities.

          In a country made of nations/bihers and nationalities, where their constitution is based on federalism, we could encounter sometimes many nations and nationalities lumped together to form one federal state, or nations as separate federal states, or many nationalities lumped together to form one federal state. All the lumping together depends on how many states desired by a given a given society/country. India and Ethiopia is a good example of these mixed formation of states within their given circumstances.

          So abu saleh from the historical explanation you gave us and the way they become scattered inhabitants within the region, it is only appropriate to call as “ethnic” provided the historical narration you gave us has authentic validity. I am not historian. My judgement is purely on the political merits only.


    • belai

      Hi Mr Saleh G Johar,
      As a matter of interest,is the Name Jeberti came from the name Angel Jibrel? Or it means Muslim?

      • Saleh “Gadi” Johar

        Belai, that is a new one…I think it is a fantastic explanation. I do not think it is correct. But the jury is still out as for the origin… right now there are several theories ranging from the plausible to the absurd. Due to political situation in our region, no scholarship was allowed to determine the fact and untangle such confusions. The Isaias regime wouldn’t even allow the Jeberti to be defined as that let alone allow a research. But I heard of several studies underway, and there are a rich trove of information in this aspect if one consults the archives of the region. Prof. Lapiso Delebo is one of the few living references for scholarship on such issues.

        • Dear Ema, SG and Zaul,

          I hope you would not oppose me to lift this discussion from political point of view to academic dimension. I am simply using some material of my old class notes as in the ‘Analysis of social structure and change’ on the subject of ethnicity and race.

          The two known sociological approaches for these subjects are ‘premordialism’ and ‘social constructionism’. No doubt social constructionism is the most sound and acceptable one.

          ‘primordialism’ tends to view ethnic groups and their characteristic as relatively fixed, homogenous and fixed. Whereas, ‘social constructionism’ view ethnicity as perceived than ‘real/objective boundaries and difference’. Thus it argues they are more fluid and dynamic than static.

          It is common knowledge that Ethnicity is contextual than fixed and is formed through social interactions. Therefore, Ethnicity (this is true of regionalism, national, religious, cast and race) continuously shifts and could not block multiple identities. Though it is used for mobilization for sake of social, political and economic interests of different individuals or groups, that fact remains the same. Another fact is, ethnicity became relevant when cultural differences are assumed as crucial and basis of discrimination or privilege.

          Ethnicity is nothing but the construction of ‘US’ and ‘Them’ either through internal identification of a group or groups in collectivity or endorsed by external categorization. Birth, language, ideologies, idea of common fate and cultural practices are used as means of inclusion and exclusion in the ethnic making social construction process.

          “Ethnic groups are those that entertain a subjective belief in their common descent because of similarities of physical type or of
          Customs or both, or because of memories of colonization and migration; this belief must be important for group formation; furthermore it does not matter whether an objective blood relationship exists.” (M. Weber)

          The blood relationship could lead us to race. Race is similarly social construction.

          ‘Race is something we do to each other; it has nothing to do with what our DNA does to us.

          Dr. Sylvia Spengler, a geneticist at U.C. Berkeley, member of Human
          Genome project

          So what is the relevance of debating ethnicity as a natural and static while the fact is it is socially constructed and is in continuous shifting and construction of its own course?

    • Semre Andom

      Saleh G:
      Well said summary, it may help those who think that Jebrti are just Tigrinya bher who converted to Islam, and that is why they want to impose on them the Tigrinya bher against their own will. Eritreans said were are not Ethiopians and to make that point they waged the war and still waging a war to make that point. And if the Jeberti say they are not Tigrinya, they should be left alone. Who knows the Jeberti more than the Jeberti? It is a case of self-determination or in the accent of the troops that are patrolling the streets of Asmara, and who are UNRELATED to the Jeberti: “መሰል ዓርሰ ውሳነ” .
      To paraphrase the words of the late Yemanae Gbebremichael : “መሰል ርእሰ ውሳነ ብሀራት ዘይእምን እንታይ አፍሊጥዎ ብዛዕባ ብሀር ክውስን”

    • Dear SG ,
      Geberti is a nation? What kind of book do you recommended me to answer this question?

      • Saleh “Gadi” Johar

        Hi Meretse,

        Point of view is just that, point-of-view. Consider it a theory and either enrich it, re-dfine it or demolish it.

        For now I am cutting-and-pasting part of my reply to Ammanuel:

        Nation, in this case, is a combination of many races and social groups, a stratum that is neither a single race or a single tribe. If they had a delineated geographical area, then it will be a nation-state or a nation divided among different nation states. Jeberti is a nation, but not a state. At least that is my understanding. That is why the Jeberti reject ethnic division based on language. If you have an idea, help me define a group of people who assemble from different races and geographical regions.

        Based on the above, how would you define what Jeberti is?

    • Zaul


      Thank you for taking the time to answer. Why aren’t the Jeberti recruiting? I would’ve made a great Jeberti, your loss man :).

      But you didn’t really answer my question; you said “but for the Jeberti, only someone who assimilates in the social group and adheres to Islam, is a Jeberti.” Then it is Tigrinya + 40 years + Islam? It looks like a religious thing if you ask me, I can’t imagine that all became Jeberti after the hijra and no new ones were “recruited” throughout the centuries.

      “By the way, may I suggest a solution for the Tigrnya identity stuff! Why can’t the PFDJ identify Highland dwellers who speak Tigrinya, as Jeberts? Then we can have Christian Jeberti and Muslim Jeberti. I don’t think the Jeberti would mind ”

      How about a compromise? Let’s call it bhere Habesha.

      One more thing Aro Saleh, if the Jeberti should start to recruit again, Is it mandatory to be called Saleh, I’ve met so many eritrean Salehs, aye Habesha hade ente jemera kulna n’atwa ;).

      Have a good day/evening Ato Saleh

      • Saleh “Gadi” Johar

        Yeah Zaul…

        You got me wrong, I am saying Tigrinya is pre-requisite for Eritrean Jebertis only… it doesn’t apply to other Jeberti elsewhere. For example, those in Saudi Arabia, in Somalia and in Ethiopia speak their respective local languages. It is not Tigrnya+40years+Islam–you make it sound like a lab-test. As for the 40, it is a per-requisite of all Kebessa village affiliation traditions. Strangely, it is emphasized when it comes to Jeberti, and you can read that as bigotry 🙂 Now tell me honestly, how many Eritrea deqi-Arbaa are Christian and how many are Muslims? I bet you the ratio would be scary to contemplate. Zaul, we all know each other and it is Eritrea, our tiny country, and tiny population that we are talking about. The origin of many people are not secret, it is all over the place in hundreds of books though many would rather not talk about it less they find out they are “less pure-blooded Eritreans” whatever that means. The difference is that Jeberti’s do not hold any malice towards people who came from anywhere and settled among them–and there are quite a few of those. Once accepted, one has all the rights; discriminating individuals based on where their great-grandfather came from is medieval, I take that back, it is similar to the Saudi citizenship law 🙂 See, who is thinks like the Saudis? Isn’t that an irony? Liberel thinking vs medieval thinking! That is why you see many emphasize Isaias’… who does that Zaul, obviously not Jeberti 🙂

        Finally, we know that there are many Jeberti who were Christians and embraced Islam. For God’s sake, my maternal great-grandfather was a son of a family of priests from Tegeren (or something like that, near Aki Kieh) He died at the age of about 100 years, in 1965. Now he was obviously not your typical stereotype of a Jeberti. It requires open minded thinking, and I know you have that open mind.

        • Zaul


          calling people bigots is kind of tiresome if you ask me, the scarcity of arable land is one explanation for the 40 year law and believe me the treatment a christian Eritrean gets in sudan compared to a Muslim compatriot is quite different, it’s unfortunate but it’s human nature.

          I got the jeberti nation stuff, what I’m saying is that Tigrinya Christians are a conglomerate of different ethnic groups too. My ancestry is Agew (northern migration after the fall of the Zagwe dynasty) from Lasta, Gonder with a big chunk admixture of Habesha, but my language is Tigrinya and my culture is Habesha. There are lots of Muslim and Christian people who share the same ancestry among Bilen, tigre and Tigrinya, maybe some Jeberti also.

          So should we classify people according to their common forefather or what language they speak? Does that make any sense to you?

          I am not out to force anyone to be what they don’t want to be, I just want to understand. I’m happy being agnostic, but I love all my brothers/sister in Eritrea and Ethiopia, christian and muslim. My wish is for all of us to live in peace and let people adhere to whatever religion they want, as long as it takes them to heaven and we should not make life hell for each other here on earth. Your grandfather followed his conviction and converted to Islam, wonderful, likewise should the son of a sheikh be free to convert to Christianity without any consequences.

          • Saleh “Gadi” Johar


            I love your last paragraph.

            The last sentence, whether “…the son of a sheikh be free to convert to Christianity without any consequences,” has two answers. My answer, the first one, is to tell you that I belong to the school of thought that follows verse 2:256 of the Koraan, “La Ikraha Fi’d-Din.” (which means ‘There’s no compulsion in religion.’) be it a son of a shiekh or a priest, they are free. For the second answer, the legal part of it, refer to the constitution of different countries–in some, where the conservatives have a strong voice, they consider it apostasy; in liberal societies, it is up to the individual.

            I agree, calling people bigots is tiresome. Just tell me how to describe someone who just hates you because you happen to have a different religion and I promise to use it instead of “bigots.” Good luck finding one; if you do, I am sure it helps a great deal.

            I agree being a Christian in a conservative Middle eastern country is not fun though the Sudan is better than many. I Lebanon, where the power is almost evenly divided, neither a Muslim or a Christian feels oppressed. Even places like Morocco are way better. You mistake is equating the situation of a Christian in Sudan with a Muslim in Eritrea. In Sudan it would be explained in terms of minority and majority, if it happens in Eritrea or Ethiopia, it would be aggression. Because neither is a majority.

            The third question is about classification of people: let the people classify themselves. Anything the people choose makes sense to me. A big brother whimsically baptizing me with an identity I don’t accept is no fun at all. If regions can disunite people, languages are as lethal. In fact classifying people based on languages is not a recipe for unity, nothing is a unifier but justice and fairness. The proof is, for almost two decades the PFDJ has been insisting on linguistic classification, it didn’t produce unity. Nothing will unless there is justice that ushers peace, stability and prosperity.

            Let me close by quoting you: “I love all my brothers/sister in Eritrea and Ethiopia, christian and muslim. My wish is for all of us to live in peace and let people adhere to whatever religion they want, as long as it takes them to heaven and we should not make life hell for each other here on earth..” A loud Amen to that.

            NB: I have been sick in bed all day, now, thanks to this forum, I forgot I was sick… thank you all. Already at the balcony polluting the environment…

    • Zaul

      Keme’alka Saleh,

      “I agree being a Christian in a conservative Middle eastern country is not fun though the Sudan is better than many. I Lebanon, where the power is almost evenly divided, neither a Muslim or a Christian feels oppressed. Even places like Morocco are way better. You mistake is equating the situation of a Christian in Sudan with a Muslim in Eritrea. In Sudan it would be explained in terms of minority and majority, if it happens in Eritrea or Ethiopia, it would be aggression. Because neither is a majority.”

      Just to clarify why I brought up Sudan, we were talking about the 40 year rule tradition in the highlands vis-à-vis newcomers, the same approach is applicable everywhere you go, the more alike you are, the better reception.

      since it was not the state that dictated the land distribution rules in those days, we have to look at it from the viewpoint of the village administration.

      But if we are talking about the state as it should function in its ideal form, majority or minority should not matter. Economic opportunities should not be denied to any individual citizen, based on faith, race, gender or any other trait.

    • Thomas

      Actually, both religions Christian and Islam emerged from Jaws. That is why the Jewish tend to undermine these both religions (Christian & Islam). The original owners of the bible were Jaws. They say we are writers and inventors of religion. The other two religion talk about being evolved as become a the true followers of God/Allah.

      • Saleh “Gadi” Johar

        The fact that Judaism is the first Abrahamic religion is known to every believer. God doesn’t have an owner. Humanity had always believed in one religion to another. Some even worshiped their ancestors. That is not the problem but thank you for reminding me of that. Now for my bonus: please do not write God?Allah as if they mean two different things. If you use one, the second is redundant. It is just like me calling you Tom/Thomas 🙂

  • Michael, B.

    Please read as : ዕልመትን ምህሮን Thanks!

  • Michael, B.

    ደቂ ሃገር!
    ስለ ልሳንን ዛንታን አሪትራ ካልእ ብሱል መጽናዕቲን መርመራን እንተተረፈና፡ ምዕላልን ወዝቢ ምውካስን ክንደይ ምደምዓና፡ በዚ ክልተ ገጽ እንዶዊ ሓድጊና ካን ነዳያት ኢና፡ ኣብነት ምሃብ ኣድላይ ኣይኮነን፡ ባዕሊና ደሊናን ካልእ ተወኪስናን ክንረኅቦ ጽጉም ኣይመስለንን፡ ኣብ ፖሊቲካዊ ሓሳብን እንግሊዛዊ ልሳንን ሓያል እዋን ነጥፍእ ኣለና፡ በሃላይ እየ፡ ብልሳንን ዛንታን ኣሉታዊን ወቓሲን ክመስል እክዋ ኣይደልን እሞ ኣብዚ ዚንበብ መንጽራት ግዙፍ ገጋታት ይርከቦ
    እስከ ክእለት ወከፍና ንምዘን፡ ባዕልና ንርእሲና ንኣርም፡ ነቲ ልሙድ ዕሊ ጽሕፈትና ምስቲ ኣብታ ጋዘጣ ሣዕቢያ ዲያ ጋዘጣ ሃገር፡ እወ ኣብታ “ሓዳስ አሪትራ” ዚብሉዋ ዚጽሓፍን ከም እሩም ዚምልከትን እስከ ነራእዮ፡ ምድራግ ደኣ ከይጽልኣና እምበር፡ እዚ ስልቲ ዕመትን ምህሪን፡ እንበለ መዝገብ ሰዋስው፡ ሓያል ምሕግዘና፡ እወ፡ ከንቱ ነጥቢ ምዕዳል ገዲፍና፡ በብክእለትና፡ ነቶም ኣብ ሓዳስ አሪትራ ዚዋከሱ እስከ ንርዳእ፡ እቶም መምህራን ንመስልን እቶም ተመሃሮን ኢና ንብልን ኩልና ተመሃሮ ኮና ዘረባናን ጽሕፈትናን ድርሰትናን ከነድምዕ፡ ንኣብነት፡ ነዚ ሰዓቢ ነገር ንመልከት
    ስለ፤ ረባሕታ ትውሳከግስ / ዓንቀጽ ከም ፤ ኪ / ክ ዚ / ዝ …. ኢዩ / እዩ፡
    ስለ ረባሕታ ስም፡ ከም ፤ ሓው፡ ሓብቲ / ሓፍቲ፡ ቆልዓ ቆልዑ / ቆላዑ … ጊዝየ / ግዜ / ግዝየ?
    ስለ ረባሕታ ቅጽል፡ ከም ፤ ጹቡቕ / ጽቡቕ፡ ኣምሰሉ / ምስሉይ?! ወዘተ.
    ስለ ካልእ ሕቶ ከም ፤ ብዘይካ ዶ ብጀካ መሳሊ ኣብቲ ዕላዊ? ጋዘጣ ምእራም ኣይተኀኣለን! ይገርም ኢዩ፡ እቶም ተጋደልቲ ዝነበሩ፡ ድሮ ናብ ዝተፈላለ ስራሕ ኪወፍሩ፡ ሙያታት ኪጠሙ፡ ዛጊት ነዚ መሰረታዊ ገጻት ሰዋስው ኪእርንቡ ዓቕሚዶ የብሎምን፡ እንተዘይብሎም ነቶም ዚፍልጡ ዘይሓቱ፡ እቶም ወለዶ 1940-1970ታት ሕልፊ ጽፉፋት፡ ስርጉዋት ጸሓፍቲ ኢዮም፡ ከም ኣርኣያ ኪውሰዱ፡ ርግጽ፡ ዳሕራይ ወለዶና ሓያል ይረብሕ
    ልሳን ብፍላይ፡ ልሳን ህዝቢ አሪትራ ኩሉ፡ ብዕሊ ኪንሕዞ መድለየና፡ ከመይሲ ብኡ ክንዋሳእ እሞ ክንራዳዳእ፡ ካልእ ጽዕነት ፖሊቲካ ከይተማላእና ክንዝትየሉ፡ ዓላልና እውን ምጸበቐ፡ እከላ መምህር ኪኀውን ይጽንሓዮ ኪበሃል ከኣ ንገለ መቕላሊ ሰብና ምዕንቃፍ ግዲ ይልክም እምበር ካልእ ምሳልን መግለጽን እሩም / ስርጉው / ድሩስ ኣብነት ንብሎ ምወከፍና

  • Abraham

    There is no Tigrigna identity in Eritrea. How can you create a new identity which I do not have any feeling. The identity of Tigrigna speakers is HAMASSEIN, SERAYE AND AKELEGUZAY. I have no complex with my Hamassien identity. No one has any right to change our identity except someone like DIA who has identity crises.

    • Zaul

      The identity is village, abey eu adikha ember abey eu awrajakha kbehal semie ayfelitn. It’s not about being proud or not, it’s just a futile attempt to divide the kebessa people and to highlight very small differences and make them appear insurmountable. To take it one step further, we are TIGRAWOT NAY ERTRA, love it or hate, that’s a fact and you can not deny that we are one ethnic group.

      • Saleh “Gadi” Johar

        You are proving to me that if you want, you can engage in meaningful debate. I hope you continue this way.

        Identity is not “this or that” and that is all. We can have layers of identities stacked like a deck of a Las-Vegas cards 🙂 Depending on the situation, you pick one of the identities. If you are asked “abey ‘eyu Adekha” you will pick your village, town or city. If the answer requires more wider geographical description, you mention your “wereda” or awraja or country. When the question is about race, you can chose to say Habesha (though your favorite punching-bag people will add Jeberti to that 🙂

        For instance, the people of Sahel would say something like, Hababay, Asgedetai or Ad Teklesay, etc. In Barka they would say, Beni Amrai, or Hammaseen-Beni Amer (though that sub-division with the Beni Amer confederation of tribes have faded away, the people feelcomfortable and more attached to the umbrella identity Beni Amer). The same goes for all other Eritrean segments.

        The proclamation of Isaias and his regime imposed new identities on the people; they imposed Tigrinya on you and me. I never identified myself as Tigrinya (and that seems where I and you agree), neither any of my ancestors who spoke Tigrinya and recognized themselves as Habesha, never Tigrinya. Some considered the new manufactured Tigrinya identity as a unifier of the the three Highland regions and they adopted Isaias’ imposed identity. Others will never accept it. As to how the three major Eritreans in the Highlands should be identified, it should be left to them, and them alone. As far as the sizable minorities in the Highlands are concerned, they have made it clear they will not change their identity even if there are a million-Isaiases and a million proclamations insisting on changing it.

        A good portion of the Highlands people trace their ancestry to Tigray; but many choose not to adopt that name. You are one of the few Eritreans I know who embrace a Tigraway identity–good luck convincing your compatriots to adopt it. But I support you in claiming that identity because I don’t believe anyone should impose an identity on you against your wish–you alone make that choice.

        Now, the differences among the Highland regions is all hyped and exaggerated; it reflects the ugliness of the bad governance that we are suffering from. Once it is demolished and a fair system is established in its place, a system where every Eritrean feels his is part of, the fantastic and manufactured differences will be history–it will die with the death of the PFDJ that created it. The same applies to the overly abused religious and geographical divide between Muslims and Christians.

        • Zaul


          ” You are proving to me that if you want, you can engage in meaningful debate. I hope you continue this way.”

          You caught me in a rare moment, I will try my best in the future but I cannot promise anything (I thought I was quite civilized in the language debate) 🙂

          It’s just of matter of time until Tigrinya speakers come to their senses and realize they are one ethnic group didvided between two countries, just like Afar, Kunama and Saho-speakers and many other ethnic groups in Africa. I actually have no problem with being called bihere Tigrinya, the classification according to language is just of practical adminstrative importance to me [school, (sub-)regional adminstration], I identify myself as Habesha anyway.

          I understand what you are saying about layers of identity, there are tribes such as Asgedetai, Asfedetai etc. that encompass Eritreans (muslims and christians) from Barka, Sahel, Senhit, Semhar and all 3 higland counties. It even goes down to gonder via Tigray. Even if this can be a myth, there is some grain of truth, namely there is no such thing as a pure race in the horn, we are a mixed cocktail of mostly cushitc stock…But just because Asgede hailed from Kebessa doesn’t mean all his offspring are Habesha, they have a lot of Beja blood in them too. There might be a lot of Beja origin in Kebessa too I suspect (Belew Kelew), you want proof? Bejakha is two words Beja ikha ;-).

          I also agree with you, when you say that an identity is what you yourself identify as and on which part of your identities you put the emphasis is personal. A black person can say that he is Brittish, and that is not strange, but it becomes, not a “prolem”, but weird if he was to tell me he is white too.

          Since you identify as a “Jeberti-Habesha”, can you tell me, just so I can understand. Can there be a Christian Jeberti Habesha? And I as a “Agnostic Habesha”, if I would convert to Islam, what would be my ethnic classification? Do I decide that by myself?

        • Belay

          Saleh and Zaul,

          I partly agree with your analysis of ‘identity’. I was mystified by the ‘Tigregna’ identity and had asked an Eritrean professor (some 10 years ago.) where he got this idea of ‘Tigregna’ identity. I know Tigregna as a language but not as a generic ethnic name like ‘Oromo’ or ‘Amhara’.
          One point that I may add on Saleh’s description of identity is as follows. You may or may not agree with the description I read once about identity but it makes sense to me. The writer described identity as something that you think you are at the same time approved by the group you identified with. For instance, I might feel that I am Oromo but Oromos might not see me as part of them. In this case, just because I feel like and want to be Oromo, I can’t be Oromo. The point is you just can’t be what you want without the tacit approval of the group you want to identify with. Try to see this analysis in terms of Ameche’s effort to be Eritrean and the view of Eritrea based Eritreans on Ameches (May not be a good example but highlights the complexity identity.) Here is another example close to home. Mohamed Kiar, the famous ethnically Eritrean singer, was banished by Woyane to Eritrea. Mohamed left Eritrea for an Arab country. He sang “Merkato Sefere” and returned to Addis with huge support from all Ethiopians. Ethnically Mohamed is Eritrean. Psychologically he is Ethiopian. Ethiopians fully supported him as one of their own. Voila, he is now more Ethiopian than many of us. You see what I mean..

  • haile


    ካበይ ኣምጺእካ’ዮ ድኣ፡ ሻዕቢያ ትጸልእ ዝበልካኒ? ከምኡ ዝበልኩሉ ኣጋጣሚ፡ ከም ወከሲ’ዶ መቕረብካ፡ ወይስ እዚኣ’ውን ስያሳ ናይ ጃንዳ ኢሰያስ (ረኪስካ ሃርባ) እያ? ሻዕቢያ ድኣ ታሪኽን ክብርን ህዝቢ ኤርትራ እንድዩ፡ በጀካ ጃንዳ ኢሰያስ መን ጸላኢ’ለዎ? ግደ ሓቂ፡ ከም ውድብ፡ ሻዕቢያ ብ 2001 ሓቒቓ’ያ። ኣብቲ መራሕታ ብሃታ ሃታ ተሃኢኖም፡ ሓፋሽ ህዝቢ ኤርትራ ኣብ መጻወዲያ ጃንዳ ኢሰያስ ትገሃመሉ ህሞት፡ ልቢ ኣይገበርናን፡ ኣይተኸላኸልናያን። በዚ ድማ ኢና “ገድሊ ገይሻ” ንብል ዘሎና። ህዝብና ኣብ መፈንጠራ ናይ’ዚ ከይሲ ስርዓት ምስ ወደቐ፡ ዝተረፎ እኮ የብሉን፡ ድራር ዓሳን፡ ኣራዊትን ኮይኑ፡ ሓሲብዎን ሓሊምዎን ዘይፈልጥ፡ ደቁ ካብ ጓኖት ከፊሉ ዝዕድገሉ እዋን በጺሕና። ሃገር ብጸላም ተጋሪዳ፡ ብጎሮሮ ተለኩታ፡ ንቡር ዘይብሉ ናብራ እንስሳ ንዜጋታታ ኣቃሊዓ፡ ኤርትራዊ መንነት ሕንከትን፡ ኣሰቃቂ ተርእዮን ኮይኑ። ሻዕቢያ የላን፡ እዚ ከይሲ ስርዓት ሓኒቁ ሸለው ካብ ዘብላ ዘበን ቆጺራ’ላ።

    ሎም’ኮ በዓል ሜሮን፡ ዝምጎት ዘይብልኩም ዘብ ዘብ ትብሉ ዘለኹም፡ መበቆል ትውልድኹም እዚ ከይሲ ሰሪዙ፡ ኣሜን እንተበልኩም ኤርትራውያን እንተዘየሎ ባዕዳውያን ስለ ዝገበረኩም (ከምዚ ናይ ወዲ ትኳቦ) ብራዕዲ፡ ስለ ዝሞቋሓኩም’ኮዩ።

    ኣይሰላም-ኣይኩናት ድማ ዘይ’ዚ ከይሲ ስርዓት ዝኣለመልኩም መጻወዲያ እምበር፡ ዓለም ድኣ ረዲያን፡ መዊላን፡ ንስኹም ኣመት ሃገርኩም ትገብሩ፡ ንሕና ብዓቃብ ሰላም (ዝተኸፍለ ይከፈል) ስግኣት ንዓግተልኩም ኢላ’ኮ ኣትያ ነይራ’ያ። እንተ’ኾነ እዚ ከይሲ ስርዓት፡ ባዕሉ ዓቃብ ሰላም ሰጉጉ ከብቅዕ፡ ግልብጥ ክብል ድማ ኣይሰላም-ኣይኩናት ዝበሃል ድቦላ ደርቢዩልና! በዚ’ውን፡

    – መንእሰይ ኣብ ናይ ሸፈጥ ኣገልግሎት ተቐፊዱ
    – ሰራሕተኛ ንቡር መሰል ተነፊጉ
    – ሓረስታይን፡ ገፋፍ ዓሳን፡ እትዋት ኣረክብ ተባሂሉ
    – ነጋዳይ ፍቓድ ተመንጢሉ
    – ነዳቓይ ከይሰርሕ ተኸልኪሉ
    – ምሁራት ብዝወጻኹሞ ትረፉ ተባሂሎም
    – ህዝቢ ቅዋም፡ ሕግን፡ ፍትሕን ተኣጊዱ
    – ሓይልታት ሽበራ ግዳም ናብ ሃገር ተዓዲሞም
    – ሃገር ንእገዳ ተቃሊዓ
    – ቁጠባ ኮንትሮባንዳ ተተባቢዑ
    – ህዝቢ ብግፋን፡ ሓፈሳን ተኸላቢቱ
    – ኤርትራዊ ንመዓስከራት ስደተኛታት ውሒዙ
    – እብ ሲና ተቐጥቒጡ፡ ተሸርጡ፡ ተዘልዚሉ
    – ኣብ ማእከላይ ባሕርን። ምድረበዳ ሰሃራን ሃሊቑ
    – ኤርትራዊ እብ ልዕሊ ኢርትራዊ ተላዒሉ
    – ሃገር ናብ ሲኦል ተቐይራ
    – ከይሲ፡ ብድሕረይ ሳዕሪ… ይብል ኣሎ ኢሎሞ።

    እዚ ሻዕቢያ ኣይኮነን፡ ኣብ መንጎና ተጸፍዩ፡ ዝለከመና ደመኛ ጸላኢና እምበሪ።


    • haile

      ps. I know what Serray and Ermias think on this, the point is however, shaebia is people and the people have long lost the common dream that the once shared, one that made them to make the impossible possible. Thanks to the wretched IA, now it is the simple and possible that is appearing impossible.

    • Hailat,

      1. I know you and your likes are busy to isolate Sha’ebi afrom Sha’ebia. Sha’ebia is a movement evolved since 1970 and ever since evolving. It can’t be other because someone had martyred, imprisoned, betrayed and fled. It was Shaebia when the 1972 destructive movement underway; it was the same Sha’ebia when the Yemin movement was underway, It was Sha’ebia when Teklay Aden was deserted it; it was sha’ebia when the G-15 was inprisoned; Sha’ebia when Ali Abdu was deserting………

      2. Fortunately so far Sha’ebia managed to have one strong man in its spear head. According to some opposition the so called Menka’e, Yemin, G-15 and Ali Abdu were his hand-picked comrades. Of course, though they where they were because Issaias had helped them but I don’t denounce they spirit to fight for independence. Fortunately Sha’ebia never stope rolling while unfortunately those fortunate people to be part of the spear head in one or another time ended up in unfortunate side of history. I don’t dare to support to those who declare Issaias and Sha’ebia are flip side of the coin from the beginning to the end, but I dare to say that if there are personalities to be mentioned alongside Sha’ebia Issaias is number one (from the begening to the end) – read ‘Nihnan Elamanan’.

      3. UNMEE – had limited task for limited period. It has not task to defend a nation but to monitor the cessation of hostilities and has not reason to stay there after the border ruling was given. I don’t think you would be that naïve to believe UNMEE would have been defend Eritrea with its less than 5000 corps and specific mandate it has. I don’t think you would be that naïve to believe UN would defend countries unless there permanent sits in security and particularly USA has vested interest.

      4. UNMEE task was over once the border ruling was given. USA has no interest to pressure Ethiopia to comply with the ruling; UNMEE had not capacity to enforce the ruling and to defend Eritrea. The day Eritrea decided to rid of UMEE was the day declared its independence and security again. It was a day where the negative spillover effects of foreing army were eliminated and the tentacles of foreign security agencies and their missions cut off.


    • Sabri

      ሰላማት ሃይለ

      ሻዕብያ ኣብ 2001 ሓቒቓ ኢያ ኢልካ። ብሓደ ሰብኣይ ተጨውያ። ከምዝመስለኒ፡ ክንድዚ ዝኣክል ሓደ ኣርሞሸሽ ውድብ ብሃንደብት ብሓደ ሰብኣይ ዝጭወ ኣይኮነን። ኢሳያስ፡ ካብ ነዊሕ ጀሚሩ ሙሉእ ምቁጽጻር ወድብ ዝጸንሖ ይመስል። እቲ ኣብ 2001 ዝተቐልቀለ ምንቅስቓስ ኣብቲ ውድብ ቅድሚ ሕጂ ተፈጢሩ ካብ ዝነበረ ምፍሕፋሓት፡ እሞ ብጎነጽ ዝተኣለየ ተፈልዩ ዝረኣ ኣይመስለንን። መቐጸልትኡ ኢና ሪእና። በተወሳኺ ንኢሳያስ ካብ ህዝባዊ ግንባር ፈሊኻ ምርኣዩ ቅኑዕ ኣይምሰለንን።

      ካልእ ብዛዕባ ኣይ ሰላም ኣይ ኩናት ዝበልካዮ፡ ምስ ምስጓግ ዓቃቢ ሰላም ዝመጸ እዩ ኣይብልን። ብቐንዱ ነዚ ኹነታት ክፍጠር ባብ ዘርሃወ፡ ረቋሒ እዩ ኢለ ዝኣምነሉ፡ ምሕንጋድ ወያነ እዩ። መንግስቲ ኤርትራ ነዚ መዚሚዙ፡ ንኹሉ ሕጋዊ ማዕጾታት ረኩቱ ሃገር ከምዘይትሰርር ጌይርዋ ይርከብ። ከም ሳዕቤኑ ኸኣ እቲ ኹሉ ኣብ ላዕሊ ዝዘርዘርካዮ ፍሽለታት ክውንነት ኮይኑ ኣሎ።

      ገድሊ ገይሻ እያ ክብል ከሎ ወዲ ትኳቦ እንታይ ማለቱ ምኳኑ ንእኡ ምሕታት ይሓይሽ። ብኣረዳድኣይ ግና ገድሊ ንምንታይ ገይሻ ንኹልና ሓላፍነት ተሰክም ሓረግ ትመስለኒ። ብዕምቆት ንኽነስተንትን ዝበላ ትመስለኒ። ንኣብ 2001 ዝተፈጥረ ኩነታት ጥራይ ዘተኮረት እያ ግን ኣይብልን።

      • haile

        Selamat Sabri

        On the view of the (final) liquidation of Shaebia by IA and corrupt army commanders, I should have emphasized that it was more of my own belief after fair consideration of many incidents. 2001 appears to be different to me in a sense that it wasn’t about ideology or methodology but a swift and simple transition to a full time criminality and crimes that Eritrea was to be used for. From that point on, all political activity was halted for good. The IA group openly started to insult world leaders and institutions, known terror suspects as Aweys were given safe haven, all kinds of crimes in contraband, black market and smuggling in weapons and migrants became the mainstay of the regime’s economy. I have a hard time to believe that such was the continuation of anything in the Eritrean struggle. Yes, methods of repression might have been employed from the Ghedli era, but that is about it.

        please listen if you haven’t done so far:

        “Ghedli geysha”, you’re absolutely right – we should take it in the intended way. In fact I was thinking of asking saay (but then forgot) that if he had seen any connection between “ghedli geysha” and his earlier post of “Rationalizing Dictatorship” or “what would a tegadalay do?” question that he posed.


        • haile

          please add (I forgot again 🙂 )

        • Sabri

          Selamat Haile,

          Doing black market business has been existing way before the incidense of 2001. Mal governance and other zehinik tegbarat has been existed way before 2001. Many Brave tegadelti has been trying to correct it at its early stage but all are liquidated. The last chanse to correct the organization collectively was in year 2001. And it was squashed. When IA defeated them he became full fledged dictator. Otherwise I don’t see difference from the earlier movements. According to my understanding EPLF has been always well organized and effective organization. At the same time it has been very secretive and brutal.

      • Sabri,

        Rational opposition. I have to learn from you to be rational Degafi.


        • haile

          Hi Meron

          …ንስኻ እንተ ዘይትደፍኣኒ፡ መን መዛረበኒ ፡-) Anyways, there can’t be such a thing as “rational degafi” in this case. Think about it, what you gonna support anyway? “People must be brought before court immediately with in 14 years from the time of arrest?” or “If the regime takes your kids to sawa and your kids disappear then don’t expect the regime to compensate you for losing your kid but you need to compensate the regime with 50000 nakfa?” or “contract zhabo zeyblu baelu kof zbele merahi wey mot?”… aytdkem Meron arkey, either one man will inherit Eritrea to his whims to the rest of his life or many many people will finally be redeemed from a brutal despot, that is the real choice and make your rationally reasoned guess 🙂


          • Hey Meron,

            The way Issaya’s organization survived was/is by swallowing the weakest of its own or anything on their way. In other words they live by Darwinian theory “the survival of the fittest.Is that how the many bright minds were disappeared? I am afraid that you are proving YG’s argument “sewra deka enda Bele’at eya Metsi’ae.” Meron as strange as it is, they are doing the same thing to our young generation. Do you really like this political culture? Hummmm.

          • Saleh “Gadi” Johar

            Hi Emma, YG has nothing to do with it, the adage, “…the Revolution devours its children” was coined by Jacques Mallet du Pan, a Swiss man. Google it or “Wikit” on Wikipedia 🙂

          • Ema,

            Go back to Sewra Ferensa, Sewra Russia, Sewra.. Sewra Derg… Jebha… all over the world……it is very rare to get a neat sewra from a metamorphosis that asked some one’s life.

            YG arguement doesn’t lie on this spectrum.

          • Merhaba Saleh,

            Thank you for the correction.

          • Serray

            Selamat Haile,

            You response to meron’s rational degafi is spotless. Rational evil. Can there ever be a system that exists simply to perpetuate evil? Shaebia comes close. I mean, its towering achievement is a nation that feeds and traffics on its children.

            The revolution eats its children…everyone is used and discarded not because the organization evolves (or needs new people with new skill sets) but because it devolves with every passing day and the sick mind in charge of it needs to cleanse the blood soaked past before he marches it to blood soaked future. But I love news of duskulat and I wish some comedian writes about them. When you go home, make sure to visit a few them; most of them are hilariously and tragically funny. They are proud, defensive and angry at the same time at the organization that spits them. In prison I am sure they are like the Nicholas Rubashov character in Koestler’s Darkness at Noon. Jebha are different, though, those who abandon it or have grudges with it, they break free. I guess it has to do with the fact that the organization didn’t break them and replace their individual sense of right and wrong with an organizational one. Shaebia is “all or nothing” organization; you are with it or dead.

        • Sabri


          Why do you need label? Labeling once opinion as opposition or degafi is not healthy. It is much better to debate the issue than to find apt. Box.

          • Sabri,

            No lebel at all that is what we are doing. And withregard to discussion on the subject you can see what we were exchanged with Haile the whole week.

            Your views may be resembles to mine though we still differ on approach. I concur with you opinion on the case 2001 as a continuation of the previous internal political attempts – i see as power struggle. I fully agree that Issaias has strong hold since the first days of Ala. On my view almost all the G-15 members except Mesfin Hagos are Issaias hand-picked comrades to power. They did their best to alienate Ibrahim Afa, Mesfin Hagos and Ali Said Abdala on their time and they get allienated by the new generaltion of Yemanetat, Wedi Kasa, Ali Abdu, Meheyedin Shenge, Mustafa, Abdala Jabir….. and now another generation will come. The Matrix is very simple… all generations compute each other,one get eaten by the other and the system stably continued … this is like the USA socio-economic system, where the poor are consistently unstably work day and night to keep the stability of 1%. Both works.


    • Ermias

      ዝኸበርካ ሓው ሃይለ፥

      እቲ ትግርኛ እኳ ክንደያናይ ከም ናትካ ልዙብ ጌረ ከይጽሕፎ ግን ቅሩብ እፍትኖ ደሓን፥፥ እቲ ኣብ መጀመርታን ኣብ መደምደምታን ዝበልካዮሲ ቅሩብ ሕርኽርኽ እልኒ፥፥ ብፍላይ ድማ “እዚ ሻዕቢያ ኣይኮነን፡ ኣብ መንጎና ተጸፍዩ፡ ዝለከመና ደመኛ ጸላኢና እምበሪ፥፥” ንሻዕቢያ ከም ሓደ ጥዑይ ዝነበረ ውድብ ኣምሲልካዮ፥፥ ኣነ እኳ ድሕሪ ለውጢ ስለዝተወለድኩ፥ ወላሓንቲ ናይ ጀብሃ ይኹን ሻዕቢያ ናይ ሜዳ ቀጥታዊ ኣፍልጦ የብለይን ብጀካ ካብ ዘንበብኩዎን ድሕሪ ናጽነት ዝረኣኹዎን እንተዘይኮይኑ፥፥ኣብተን ሓጸርቲ ዓመታት ኣብ ኣስመራ ድሕሪ ናጽነት ዝነበርኩለን ግን፥ ሻዕቢያ ኣረማውያን ጥራሕ ምዃኖምን ምንባሮምን እየ ተረዲአ፤፤ ቆልዑት ኮይንና ኮርሶ ሃዲምኩም ኣቲኹም ኢሎም ብሽባኻ ክጭፍጭፉና ምስ ጀመሩ፤ ብጣዕሚ ክዒበዮም፤፤ ወታሃደራት ደርጊ፥ “ኣንተ ቁም፥ ያዘው”፤ ኢሎም ይገድፉና ኔሮም፥፥ደሓር ካኣ፤ ንስኽን ኣብዚ ከለኽን፤ ንሕና ንጋደል ኔርና፥ ሓንቂቕክን፤ ደርጊ ሕማቕ ምሂርክን፥ ገባር፥ ተጋዳላይ፥ እንዳበልካ ኣደራዕ ምስ በዘሐ፤ እዚኦም ናዓይ እሎም ኣይተጋደሉን ዝብል መደምደምታ እየ በጺሐ፤ እግሪ ተኽሊ እንዳሃልኹ ኣነ፤ ወጺኡ ዝተሰወአ ሓዊ ኣሎኒ ግን ንብላሽዩ እየ ኣነ ዝብሎ፤ ካልኦት ኩሎም ከምኡ፥፥ ሻዕቢያ፤ ህግደፍ፤ ግንባር፥ ኢሳይያስ፥ ኩሎም ሓደ እዮም፥ ጸረ ህዝቢ ኤርትራ፥፥

      • haile

        Selamat Sabri Meron and Ermias


        Here is my reasoning at the way I arrived at my conclusion that Shaebia yelan. May be you and Meron can correct me, as my strength is more on post independence issues than pre. The reason is that I firmly believe the chapter should have been closed then. Now my reasoning:

        – What ever was going on at various stages of EPLF’s internal squabbles, there was political activities that were leading from one stage to another. Post 2001 Eritrea was closed for politics, closed for business and closed for social life (indefinite national service and other destructive measures) If something doesn’t move, breath or show any heart beat one may consider it dead. Was there any political activity outside of the instructions manual from the president’s office since? Any congress, any election at wudub level, any section that wouldn’t go along? None what so ever. Hafash wudubat was long disbanded, any form of resistance is swiftly considered loss of citizenship (woyane, paid agent…) The army commanders have been given tiesa of swaths of portions of the nation to exploit and the President controls them separately. Has there been a similar stage during the EPLF. Even National union of X are meaningless and it is all loot the booty.


        Your pattern appears valid at first sight but the problem appears to be that it leaves out an important variable: the people! That is going to get them in the end.


        እሞ ንዓኻ’ስ ብሽባኻ’ዮም ኻሪጆምኻ? ዓዲ ገሌና ድኣ ድሓን ነይሩ፡ ኣይሓሰመናን ሽዑ፡ ሕሩድን፡ ዝቅዳሕን ገይሮም ኣዛንዮምና ነይሮም እዮም። ከመይ ዝበልዎ ኣራይ ሽባኻ ረኸበካ ወደይ? 🙂 Seriously though, if we are looking at tegadelti in general, they have paid their lives to do our bidding and might have lost out in the process from personal development. That is why Eritreans turned up with massive resources post-independence, to pay their respect to the tegadalay (the simple ordinary fighter) and develop the nation for him and the people in general. IA ሓመድካ ዕደ ንበሎ’ምበር፡ ሚስኪናይ ሽባኻ ዓቲሩ ኒየው ነጀው ዝብል ዝነበረ ተጋዳላይ ድኣ’ሞ፡ ቀደሙ’ስ ብዓረርን፡ ጠያይትን፡ መዳፍዕን፡ ረሻሻትን ተዛቢጡ፡ መሬት ሓመዳ ንላዕሊ ገይሩ’ዶ ኣይኮነን ንኤርትራ ኣምጺኡዋ። ኢሰያስ ግን ናይ መልሓስን፡ ቀጠፍጠፍን እዩ። ቀደም ኣይገበረ፡ ሎሚ ኣይገብር። እንተ እቲ በዓል ሽባኻ ግን፡ ቀደም ተሰዲዱ፡ እብ ከባቢኻ ከይህሉ’ውን ይግረምካ። 🙂


        • Hailat,

          Issais is the master mind of Sha’ebia and Eritrea’s independence. The accounts of Mesfin Hagos and Mohammed Sherifo after the 2001 incident was not far from this. When the G-15 were writing in the press they were consistently respecting his previous deeds while undermining the ‘new blood’ around him. He was always thinking ahead of their time and they all had submissive to him. The G-15 case is very simple and its roots the 3rd conference of 1994. The idea of new blood have seen the G-15 in to the ministries while their previous strong hold in security and political affairs of the front was gone to the new or younger guys. They couldn’t bear to accept orders from the new security personals, political and economic guidance of the front from PFDJ’s head quarter and follow up orders from the assistants of the presidential palace. Their choice to advance their political agenda right after the war, way before families of the Martyrs was informed, the border ruling was solved and trying to associate themselves with foreign powers worked against them.

          You talked about the people. The same front and the same people are there for the last at least 43 years of Sha’ebia. The strongest side of cha’ebia is organisation to the people. They could not even stay this long without organizing the people. Actually they don’t organize the people through appeasements, but through pragmatic approach. At the end of the day the people is more sha’ebia from the leadership. It is the people who make it to walk this long.

          In 1994 all the G-15 and the rest decided Sha’ebia to remain as the central calamity of the national political life. I simply agree with them. Sha’ebia doesn’t need any thing but gradual transformation to ward liberal politics. Sha’ebia knows Biher, Aliet and wegen are social constructions. And knows how to neutralize this social constructions toward more constructive social construction.


          • saay

            Selamat Meron:

            Whoa! I am very impressed with the quality of your arguments and the civility. Dare we give credit to Awate University’s civilizing influence? 🙂

            But seriously, I am impressed. Too bad you have taken the “devils advocate” role but well done.

            At this rate, Rodab better come up with a fitting title for you.


            PS: calamity does not mean what you think it means. I think you are looking for the English version of what we used to call “calamita”, (magnet for Italian)?

          • Saay,

            very right… i wrote it half asleep and lazy to check my dictionary and edit my self. Thank you for the correction. This is part of my English class.

            You are my lecturer in the Awate College. Haile is my supervisor. Amanuel do the police thing… keeps me on the subject..

            I may be the advocate of the known devil who manage to emerge the country from the ashes.

            I dont dare to say you .. but there a number of people in this room advocating for another devil across the border and others for unknown devil… kkkk

            Chaw saay nebsi,

  • Woldai

    እቲ ወግዒ ብዛዕባ ነዚ ዘሎ መንግስቲ ኣልጊስካ ብዝሓሸ ፖለቲካዊ ቅዋም ምትካእ እዩ ዝመስል። ነዚ ንምትግባር ድማ ጥብቕ ዝበለ ሓድነት የድሊ፣እቲ ሓደነት ኣሎ ዶ? ሓደነት እንድሕር ኣሎ ምትእምማን ይህሉ ፣ብቐሊሉ እግሪ ምትካል ይካኣል እዩ። ካብ ሕጂ ጀሚሩ እቲ ሓድነት ዝባሃል እንተዘየሎ ግን ዳሓር እቲ መድረኽ ምስተፈጠረ ናብ ካሊእ ነገር ሃሰሰስ ከይመፅእሞ ናብ ዝገደደ ኹነታት ከይእቶ።

    ብኻሊእ ወገን ድማ ከም ናተይ ኣረኣእያ እዚ መንግስቲ ምስለገሰ ከም ናይ ኢትዮጵያ ዓይነት ፈደራላዊ ቅዋም የዋፅእ’ዩ ዝብል እምነት ኣለኒ። ንስኻትኩም ከ ከመይ ትሪኡዎ?

    • Zaul

      Selam Woldai,

      Do you mean that we should re-draw the map to fit ethnic classification and let anyone secede if they are unhappy with being Eritrean?

      here is a map from wikipedia :

      Can you please elaborate what purpose it would serve and which group would secede?

      • Woldai

        Why you fear Eritrean? Why do you think Eritrean could cede from being Eritrean? Instead of fearing , you could explain why ethnic federation isn’t fit in Eritrea. A citizenship is being given naturally, therefore, it is wrong to choose for others!

        • Zaul


          No fear involved at all, I just wanted you to tell me, what purpose ethnic federalism would serve and what are the possible outcomes of it.

          • Woldai


            People prefer to be administered by their own ethnic back ground person to facilitate every misunderstanding in their daily lives! In Africa, there is a problem of the minority being repressed by the big ethnic in a certain country! Let ethinic groups administer themselves develop the country & business will merge the people in the process! People are complaining of Tigrigna , Tigrigna in Eritrea as used to be Amhara Amhara in Ethiopia!

    • Zaul

      Selam Woldai,

      I do like the idea of a decentralized model. I wonder if the swiss model of cantons could work for us.

      here’s one canton:

      …Graubünden is the only canton of Switzerland with three official languages: German in the northwest (68%), Romansh in the Engadin and around Disentis/Mustér (15%), and Italian in the Italian Graubünden (10%) with the remaining 7% speaking another language.
      Romansh is an umbrella term covering a group of closely related dialects, spoken in southern Switzerland and all belonging to the Rhaeto-Romance language family. These dialects include Sursilvan, Sutsilvan, Surmiran, Puter and Vallader. Romansh was nationally standardised in 1982 by Zürich-based linguist Heinrich Schmid. The standardised language, called Rumantsch Grischun, has been slowly accepted. Romansh has been recognized as one of four “national languages” by the Swiss Federal Constitution since 1938. It was also declared an “official language” of the Confederation in 1996, meaning that Romansh speakers may use Rumantsch Grischun for correspondence with the federal government and expect to receive a response in the same language. Romansh has a status of an official language at a cantonal level. Municipalities in turn are free to specify their own official languages. Before the introduction of the official written form of Rumantsch Grischuni in 2003, books for pupils in public schools were printed in the five different idioms throughout the state…

      • woldai

        sorry for being late bro zaul, inmy opinion, whatever works for the peoeple is all cool! remember,I’m not prescribing here!

  • Semre Andom

    According to 6.2 it means that PFDJ members will not be able to form a party as they all have blood on their hands and I am not talking about the 200 or so people, I am talking about all the supporters. For this reason I will sing the praises with this website 🙂 
    But items 6.5 treats Eritreans as people, who are unable to form political parties without basing them on Ethnic and religious tendencies and I hope this website is not singing its praises based on that 
    The restriction on Christian and Islam is based on EPLF’s attack on other revelations of both the main religions that they theoretically legalized, that we talked about before. But they even did not keep the lowest bar they set for themselves and for which we pounded our chests with pride
    Eritreans were not joining the armed struggle based on their religious and ethnic affiliations, for sure the leaders were pulling those strings behind the scenes, but the discussions, fights that we witnessed as children among Eritreans had neither religious nor ethic overtones. They were purely Ideological. So to put to assume that Eritreans will not follow this law that is written indelibly on their hearts, the common sense that brought them together to fight for independence like in Sherifo’s draft tells us what they think of us. What is wrong if Muslims for example, threated by the majority of their Christians cousins created PDIP ( Progressive Democratic Islamic party) head -quartered in Haikota? So where didthe singing of praises spring from? That is which part of the proclamation excites this website?
    In Canada, we have the Conservative party that always wins all the seats in Alberta, the self-correcting electoral process did not bring them to power until they made inroads in other provinces. In the 1993, the official opposition party was a separatist party of Quebec, yes a party, whose goal was to break Canada was the official opposition. Was Rabita Islamiya bad for Eritrea? Did it have Christian members? In the 1993, the official opposition party was a separatist party of Quebec, yes a party, whose goal was to break Canada was the official opposition. Was Rabita Islamic bad for Eritrea? Did it have Christian members?
    I can live with the singing of praises, my apprehension is some artist like Wedi Tukabo will upgrade it to a lullaby for our children and some people will make it mandatory law to sing during bedtime:)

  • Selam Serray,

    Continuation to the last thread.

    I din’t attempt to bring the Ethiopian style to our reality. I don’t know how you read my argument. If that is how you read people by assumption, then I have mislead by your articulation. Now I could realize the difference of “articulation” and “astuteness”. First read books about “diversity politics” to have a general glimpse and its conception in modern politics. Diversity politics shouldn’t be define by ethnic federation ,as I have observed, is the only clue you seem to have.

    Second if you have any idea about the variety of governance and their applications, come and teach us. Then we will see what kind of governance is applicable to our reality. I will ask the awate team to give you a chance to write series of article about it, even with your pen-name, just to educate us. I will be glad to challenge you if the kind of government you envision to us doesn’t match to our reality.

    SGJ & Saay,

    If Serray is volunteered to to teach us about various forms of governments, and out of that if he could suggest one for the Eritrean proper, I earnestly ask you to give him
    to write in the front page of awate. I will be glad to debate with him not in comment esction but in essay (article) or kind of study paper.

    Amanuel Hidrat

    • please read as “comment section”

      • Serray

        Selamat Amanuel and Sal,

        Amannuel, I didn’t say you want to bring ethiopian style, I said “we” should be careful. You brought the confusing Christian teaching of trinity (8) where something is one and three (8) at the same time and I used that as a sounding board to express my views; not necessarily to point out that they are opposite of yours.

        I have this friend (in bad shape right now) who overmedicates himself every time some small illness comes his way. I see our journey from anti-governing to governing to be smooth if we don’t introduce many variable and many moving parts. The other point I want to make is (again not necessarily opposite of your) that we lived as distinct ethnic groups throughout our existence, literally thousands of years but this experiment we call eritrea, a unified collective identity, started in earnest in May 1991 and was hijacked the same month. The expectation is low so let us not crumb it with many moving parts. As a coherent nation, we haven’t even started the honeymoon yet; shaebia cancelled the ceremony, fold us into four and put us their pocket since.

        About teaching you what kind of government, my suggestion is to start with the ratified constitution and work on it to make it better (starting with land and what is above and below it ) instead of introducing a new one. I am willing to make a pdf copy available if awate is willing.


        There is no question it will be difficult but being of one nation must mean something. Even as we fight the regime our different way, the end result is still ” the sum is better than its parts”. It is funny you mention Sowell’s observation that the nigerian tribal tendency among the educated ones worse (I will check the book and find out why it is not on my approved list).

        I came from very hamasien side on my father and very akle on my mother; not having strong feeling for either, I am always amazed how the educated AND the well-off stress the virtue of their sub identity. If they annoy me I ask them, “how about us with both blood?”. Without blinking an eye, most of them tell me I am one or the other, depending on WHO they are. I also notice that it is worse among the diaspora; both the educated and non educated types but specially the former.

        The four points were based on your advocacy argument. I was thinking what if an advocacy group transcends the loyalty to any ethnic groups. Even if our politics devolved into an ethnic based one, I wish there will be enough of us to practice the common good that shaebia only lip-sync.

        That list of conditions for political is worth keeping!

        • Zaul

          Hamasien, Akelle, Seraye…God, we are a stupid people [I hereby rename you Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham]. The trinity (3 London teams 🙂 ), I’ve heard it being described as body, mind and soul in one entity.

        • Selam Serray,

          My writing is already in the public domain…simply you could find some by googling and some at under my column “tebeges” to check where I stand. Second if you don’t understand my stakeholders equation. You could ask how I interpret it rather than characterizing “octanity” from the word octane similar to that of “Trinity”. My argument can be described better by science than by biblical metaphor.

          From your argument I don’t think you have any clue about “the politics of diversity” nor could you come to enlighten us with various governance to find a type that is workable to our reality. Now my argument will be on your choice though we don’t know how you come to that choice. You want to bless the 1997 drafted constitution. My question to you is how does this “hybrid constitution” respond to the demand of “equitable political power and equal opportunity” to our to our social groups. Show us or tell us which part of the constitution protect for “equitable power sharing and equal opportunity” to our social make up? I read you advocating for individual freedom and the rest democratic ingredients. How does a centralized unitary government protect the democratic ideals you are advocating? Do you know the current constitution (though it is shelved yet) gives excessive power to the executive? I would like you to have full grasp of all the types of governance to understand the merits and demerits of them in respect your democratic ideals.

          My friend, let us go with what we have in the shelf doesn’t answer to the demand of our social groups and the needed “coexistence at peace and harmony”. My argument is rooted on how to find the equilibrium balance that holds our coexistence in order the next generation to live at peace and harmony with themselves and their neighbors. I want you to pivot your political foot on this fundamental principle. I don’t want see Eritrea governed by another “tyranny of the majority” under “centralized unitary government”. Remember when EPLF and their leaders echoed “nay wudubat Hashewye yelen” when they liberated Eritrea in order to install the government that is completely dictated by them. That was a clear indication to their political discourse for “tyranny of the majority” or the winner takes all. And the 1997 constitution was taylored under the auspice of the winner takes all, and that is EPLF, who outlawed everyone else in the Eritrean landscape.

          Serray, I believe you are capable to study the atomic structure (the single and double bond that holds them together) of our society along with all the possible nature of governance to find the exact medium (the constitution) that govern them in harmony.

          Regarding the identity – if you don’t want to respect from micro-identity to macro-identity you are part of the problem instead of part of the solution. Let me tell you how I am proud of; The nucleus of my identity started from my “family” and my first group identity is my “village” then a group of villages within their own space forms another call it “district” and a group of districts form a “province” and a group of provinces makes a “country”. You see serray all the above are my identities. It means I have multiple identities and I am proud to have those identities. Don’t you? So why are you irritated about those natural of our make up. But always when can not govern those identities collectively, we always try to find an escape goat to complain with un realistic politicking. That is how I saw your argument.

          Amanuel Hidrat

          • Serray

            Selamat Amanuel,

            Instead of sending me on wild goose chase, why don’t you summarize for us what kind of “social groups” based government you are looking for? Absent that, I can’t make head or tail of your argument. At the very least, it helps if you tell us which country should the eritrean constitution be modeled on? What will be the process of writing it; does the drafters go to each community, or social group, to get input since it seems you are arguing for group centric constitution? What is the time frame of writing it and implementing it? Are we going to have official languages? If yes, would it include all languages spoken in eritrea or just the ones dictated by the majority?

            Let me answer your relevant questions: how does the constitution respond to “equitable political power and equal opportunity” to our social groups. The constitution (Article 30 and 31) assures that by bestowing rights to each individual to elect their representative. How does yours work? By giving rashahida equal representation in government as, say, tigre? How does a government give “equal opportunity” to social groups and what does that mean to the individual within the social group? How do you counter the tyranny within a social group if the constitution is centered around the rights, “opportunities”, “equities” of social groups rather than the individual?

            Q. “How does a centralized unitary government protect the democratic ideals you are advocating?” Articles 14 thru 19 protect the rights and freedoms of all individuals: equality under the law, right to life and liberty, right to human dignity and right to privacy.

            Q. “Do you know the current constitution (though it is shelved yet) gives excessive power to the executive?” Article 42, Sections 1 thru 17 enumerate the powers of the president. Which ones are excessive? In my opinion, the excess are in the constitution itself (like land policy) rather than in the powers of the executive. By the way, the shelved constitution gives the national assembly the power to remove the president with two third majority if he, among other things, violates the constitution (Article 41 Sec. 6).

            Finally, I like the american constitution; the way it protects the individual and the way it shares powers of governing with the State. But most of all I like its simplicity and clarity. I am weary of eritreans who focus on group rights rather than individual rights when we have no history of group exploitation.

          • Selam Serray,

            Just to give you a hint: let me ask you a question on the American constitution which you adore and admire it. Why did the American constitution that has bicameral legislative body, set one of their legislative body, to be constituted by hundred senators each state contributing “two legislators” irrespective the population of the states? If you come up with that answer then my thinking is along that line but not exactly. If you understand why equal senators by each state and the reason behind it, then I think my argument as some may call it “on your face”. Why the small states demand equitable power on the senate chamber. If that doesn’t give you a clue what “equitable political power” means then what? In our case I have my own take on how equitable power could be designed on the legislative body along with decentralizing power and devolving certain powers from the center to the periphery, that could satisfy the interest of our social group. I will come up with a piece though it might take me some time.

            Again if you don’t mind, please before we argue, just read “diversity politics” because it will help us in our debate and will enhance and give broad understanding on various nature of government and the “value” they contribute to empower the governed citizens.

            The individual right (which you advocate) and the group rights (which some advocate) are complementary to each other. They go hand in hand to ascertain the freedom for everything including defending your identity as a group (be it political or social). The individual seeks a political,social or economic quest will not live only as individual. He/she will also live as “group entity” to promote their common interest. What can’t be done by an individual is done by a group. That is the natural discourse of life. I don’t understand why you couldn’t understand this simple logic.

            Serray take my word, by “virtue of its nature” centralized unitary government will always undermine the rights of citizen. The word “centralized” in itself is synonymous with “restriction” and “control”. It has seen in many countries affecting the right of citizens and has been proven again and again as the enemy of “individual freedom” the one you want to cherish.

            My friend there are many alternatives that respect individual and group rights. just make a little research. The articles you mentioned are not practical under centralized government. Think about Decentralized government short of federalism, then you will own your individual freedom. Always focus on the “nature of governance and the distribution of power” to the periphery. Think about the distribution of power, taking away certain power from center to the periphery, then you will find the sensibility of my argument. I think I gave you enough hint as to my evolving thoughts. Don’t think what ever we have in the shelf is the panacea to our intractable conflicts. In my view it doesn’t.

  • Haila,

    May be two of us are talking about a star we know in person. I was appreciating him yesterday while your camp was denouncing him, and to the extend trying to damage his popularity through property rights allegation. Read what your crab friend ‘Geza’e Hagos’ wrote about him. Yohans and Amanuel Asrat were friends as Geza’e was a friend of Amanuel. Amanuel Asrat had a newspaper where he was hammering artists almost in every of his issues. However, Amanuel had never claimed of property abuse from Wedi Tikabo – i am talking about the period of ‘Nimenom Tefkiri’ and ‘Zemen News Paper.’ Later on Wedi-Tikabo rocks sand a beautiful national songs. The wicked and jealous Geza’e could not accept it as it is … then he vomit his crab in this very website.

    Hailat, few days a go your tone about Wedi-Tikabo was different. You was almost in the verge of expecting apology from Wedi-Tikabo for his national songs. Because he sand for Eritrea under the auspices of PFDJ you were not consider it he was giving his artistic value to the nation. You were dead wrong and as he said his songs has nothing to do with any personality in the government but the nation. And now have turned face on him just because he defected from a mission given to him by the government; because he simply joined the diaspora camp and turned to an ordinary man in the diaspora; because he did interview in the Weyane’s house (; becasue he sand a song that can coincide with all the issues you want to sensationalize for your political reason.

    Hailat, this man at first point was signing for the nation by his choice. No one was pointing a gun to him to sing for what he was singing. Hundreds of singers chose to sing social and love affairs issue, get popularity and they are living on it. Hundreds of singers also compute to sing on the political field – Wedi Tikabo bit them. I am not seeing a new Wedi-Tikabo… the same person who want to sing on the political area. The difference was the first Wedi Tikabo was singing while doing his national duties in the very nation he sang; the second Wedi Tikabo is the defected from the official mission, try to justify his position, turned to an ordinary diaspora man seeking asylum, contradicting with himself, and drifting to practice new political art in the age old diaspora politics.

    May be his decision could be the right one for him. Back home he is outdone in the music industry by the new and vibrant generation. It’s been long since night clubs and Holley day concerts abandon him. The life he led could not compare with the life singers like Korchach are leading in the country. So in his inner sense this could be the right time to try another one ‘Sidet’. Let him see Eritrea from 10th of thousands of miles and sing that please him or you… i will keep enjoying it.

    Ministers will come and go, singers will come and go… there is always movement. Since 1961 thousands and thousands of people with diver skills have embarked and disembarked from that national Bus, however, it has never stoped moving. So far there is not alternate choice for Eritrea apart from PFDJ and PFDJ’s demise is yet not on the scene. Of course, PIA will not be there for eternity, but PFDJ will be there longer. PFDJ could also not be strong for eternity… time will come where it would decide to entertain other camps… just need suitable environment.

    Hailat, do you have any news what Geza’e Hagos is saying now about Wedi Tikabo? Do you think he is free now from thinking that ‘Hadinetna’ is simply stolen By Wedi-Tikabo from Wedi-Asrat? I hope he will drop that and simply dance ‘kuda Areza’ by Hadinetna.

    Senay Ne’aka

    • Rahwa G

      Few guys are deliberately skipping the following verses of the song

      ገይሻ‘ላ ‘ምበር ተትህሉ ገድሊ (2x)
      ታይ ደኣ ሞ ዘይትርአ ኣብ ከውሊ
      ሕማቅን ጽቡቅን ክተለሊ
      ገይሻ እምበር ገድሊ ተትህሉ (2x)
      ምረኣና መሰላ ክትሕሉ
      ምረኣና መሰልና ክትሕሉ
      ታይ ድዩ ዝብል ዘሎ ህዝቢ ኹሉ
      ከም ኢዱ ኣይረኸበን ካብ ምቃሉ
      ደላዪ ፍትሒ ክሰምዕ ጽን ኢሉ
      ዕድመ ክልተ ጎበዝ ተመንጢሉ
      ታይ ይኸውን ኣሎ ቃሉ ኹሉ
      ተሰዊሩ ኣይኮነን ተኸዊሉ

    • Ghezae Hagos

      Anta Meron Haw’na,

      Entay ika hateftef t’bl!

      I know you and your likes are mad and immensly dejected Yohannes Tikabo is not playing the PFDJ fiddle anymore. Right? ‘Qoch-qoch do abiluka!’

      So, you just can’t control yourself (sobbing) and you will find anything in respect to Wedi Tikabo in the opposition to ease your pain.

      Hence, enter the’wicked and jealous Ghezae.’ When a PFDJ, a tyrant slave calls other Eritreans ‘wicked’ aint that simply the irony of ironies! Hinqet Al’bo! Have you no sense of decency at all! (now that is property theft:)

      Here are the facts. Amanuel Asrat gave poems to Yohannes Tikabo. He would not deny them. This is not third-party rumor; I personally was there when they were chatting about some of them, including ‘Hagery N’menom Tefkri’ and ‘Demetey/Xihdi nay Lidetey.’ If you really are interested to know ask around, other close friends of Amanuel Asrat. I am not the only one who claimed about these poems. The true nature of these can however be known only if Amanuel Asrat himself can talk which is not possible now.

      I am immensely overjoyed on Yohannes Tikabo’s actions. You see Meron, unlike your likes, we don’t hold grudges; I am ready to profusely apologize if the facts are not what I mentioned.

      We welcome Yohannes Tikabo because he is serving Eritrea. We are up for reconciliation; for letting go; for moving on because this nation of ours deserve to be served by ‘better angels of our nature’.

      Ghezae Hagos.

      * BTW: If you have to write my name, I appreciate you spell the way I do, not the way you want.

      • Ghezae Arkey,

        * Sorry for misspelling your name – corrected.
        * Hateftef – alamidkumna… hahah….
        * I knew you are in ‘Kuda Areza kem kumbraza’. May be you can compensate him now by lending hand in his process for asylum — sorry ‘leka ab Amerika eba iyu edu kihib.

        Edu kihib do kikales……. lol

        Wish him good luck


    • haile


      Now, here is a challenge: Give me an Eritrean singer who has made fortune under PFDJ. If you name me names, with evidence, I will give you the exact figures in dollars and cents that visiting singer artists get paid from Shimagle bealat. (appetizer: it is not much, in fact peanuts). The life under PFDJ is that of destitution and self-imposed misery and degradation of the human worth. The regime and its hard core elements can NEVER allow you to stand in any form of dignity (take this from the inside:) The only way around is you need show them that you despise them totally and that demonstrate to them you are far better off without them. This is what wedi tikabo has to aim for: better music, better presentation, total control of his producer and distributor rights. There is a far better tools and capabilities out there than the maniac PFDJ can ever lay its hands on.

      Your blind accusation that I have said anything as regards to wedi tikabo’s present or future productions, well give us the evidence 🙂 The person who made statement in those lines was Semere Tesfay when he advised him to remain political qomaT like the tefeno, wedi zagr… It is interesting that you proved me right in my other day’s assertion that the regime survives on ANY form of conflict among Eritreans, as long as it is something that can cause rift ab zikhone teqomati’U eyu zenaqut. You mentioned how Ghezae has issue with wedi tikabo’s product title, you mention how the other singers as qorchach are now better than wedi tikabo, you mention how the Asmara bars no longer call wedi tikabo as much (which one’s? Sembelino, Warsay, enda Aybai…which one’s are signing contract with artists Meron?), you mention (fraudulently) how I accused wedi tikabo… Where is PFDJ, who got a kick in the balls by wedi tikabo, in all this?

      The regime survived this long by disappearing into the shadows and fanning conflicts among Eritreans through 03. IA simply steals money from Eritreans at home and abroad, he is a thieve pure and simple. Thieves are opportunistic by nature and the only way to stop them is by putting better guarding procedures in place. Take Lampedusa, everyone was accused of everything including the dead… Meron you are serving a thieve. Thieves don’t respect you either, leave them today and they would say the same crass of woyane, ethiopia, agame, cia bull cr@p.

      Now, do you meet my challenge above and I would do mine. If wedi tikabo needs to discuss my proposals above, he just needs to make his contact info. available in some public mediums, and help and direction would come to him. But I am mindful that there are so many selfish managers out there and hope that they don’t take him for a ride. We need a revolutionary singer like him and must protect him.


      • Very Quick Hailat Nebsy,

        1. No one make money in ‘Shimagile Be’alat’ but shows. Because that is the easy way to be more visible in the state media that in turn lead you to fame and popularity. Wedi-Tikabo has sang for Shimagile Be’alat than for his personal business. The reason is clear, he wanted to show-up in the state media; and that is acceptable.

        2. The night clubs and concerts usually organised by business people is the real reflection of one’s image in town. I feel sorry to say that but Wedi Tikabo has been kicked of that area long time ago. It is not because of his talent but because the market didn’t wanted him.

        3. Qorchach is by no means comparable to Wedi-Tikabo in all account from the point of view of art. And Wedi-Tikabo is not comparable to Qorchach on marketing and live concert. Forget Korchach Asmara night clubs prefer Fireselam Mussie than Wedi Tikabo… and by Asmara standard money in the music industry use to come from night clubs and business concerts and Meratat… And those winners in Asmara standard drive cars, rent apartamas in Sember complex, space 2000 or Enda Germen….My friend Wedi-Tikabo was nowhere and he has no means of feeding the problems he himself developed… I stop.

        4. No doubt he one of the best singers Eritrea in the Eritrean history. He also has reached the level Wedi Tukul and Fihira have reached in using music for political means. However, we should not also forget TV-Eri’s role on his popularity.

        5. Now he is an ordinary diaspora man… he will sing for living like his diaspora predecessors. And very soon he will realise that nothing is better than home and serving for the flag. He sang for the flag… now he is in a position where he can’t save that flag and save himself from disgrace.

        Senai Ne’aka Hailat Arkey

        • haile

          ala Meron nebsi, tsli’E tsil’E abilkayo baqa!! 🙂

          1 – No one makes money in PFDJ Eritrea, Period. Why do we beat around the bush, IA and his minions are the worst that happened to Eritrea, EVER! The wealthy either became poor or uprooted, the educated either made to rote alive or uprooted, the worker is enslaved or uprooted…Eritreans have become to be known boat people, tragically dying in foreign lands and no man’s frontiers. PFDJ takes church moba’E monies from priests and the likes. Eritreans have never been like this, they are destroyed and confused and paralyzed by a brutal regime that turned its guns on the people. What Eritrea use to be in Dergue times is a stage we need to work hard to reach from where we are now. No one makes any thing except misery under the brutal regime of IA.

          2 – The way you present Asmara may pull a wool from the eyes of those who wouldn’t know better. In my case, if I told Selam/you (can’t remember whom) that if one knows the right “lines” you can have anything done to anyone (I can have you arrested 🙂 ) this so called “market” is none existent and deals and arrangements are made by all sorts of other considerations – we’re not talking down town Paris, meron nebsi let’s chill.

          3 – One thing that really gives away is that how much hatred you guys project when someone decides to leave you!! What more can you say about the bright, young and talented Wedi Tikabo who is sitting in a gold mine of realizing his potential with the best of equipment, development and delivery of gift from GOD. If he managed to do it with the hope less and soul less anti-human PFDJ, what do you think will he do with his own studio, self registered trade mark and top of the range gear? you guys still think you matter… funny really. You really didn’t need to go that far to insinuate that he has “problems”, chill he will be fine.

          4 – Just remember he has a talent and can clock in 70000 views in two days flat on youtube, ERiTV hardly reach 1000 (except when it is making major gaffs like zeyhigawyan sideteNatat and people are coming to confirm its guilt). I think wedi tikabo has given views to EriTV and now he is taking it with him.

          5 – He is far from your ordinary diaspora; he is the only popular fearless artist of astounding capabilities. There would be huge number of Eritreans who would be turned to his musical talent for a solace from the killings, arrests, oppression and distraction wrought upon them by the regime. Wedi Tikabo could potentially ride high on a powerful public sentiment. Meron sirahka giber, ms zeyAqmikha aytmeTaTer…ezi mengisti chach zebele kewhi’yu 🙂

          Senai Ne’aka wn Meron nebsi 🙂

          • haile

            ps. If you think wedi tikabo was so bad in Asmara, why did the regime brought him as “hubub sne Tibebawi”, wouldn’t the regime whant to make money? Why not Freselam instead? hahaha…

          • Haile Arkey Beka nisha’ebia tisihil tisihil abelkayo,

            1. With regard to money you are right. Generally the whole nation including the ranks and files – to be specific including Ministers – are living in remittance. But this is not the reflection of the cause but the effect. The root cause goes to no-peace and no-war’ which requires huge human and capital of the nation.

            2. Gun point – very wrong. Since everyone is guaranteed a gun by this system, no can point a gun to anyone. A militarized nation, with up to 4 -5 guns in one household, no crime, no … Don’t you think our brother Obama should send a team to learn how an armed nation is crime free – if he mange to do that I am quite sure there will not be Connecticut again.

            3. Market something which can’t be eliminate by power or by will. People try to do that or to portray it like that but in whatever way it exist. The problem with you Hailat Arkey is you try to see Asmara through the lenses that are proper in Paris or New Yorks stock market. One point in a time these stock markets were like Asmara’s market… I freed myself from your dictat jail.

            4. Wedi-Tikabo – he was fine and I wish he will be fine. Don’t forget that bus – some embarks another disembark – it will never stop rolling. My Radio Marinayo, Enda-Tesfamariam, Endagual shigut friend Yohanes is now as poor as me ‘Sidetegna Koyne Zemen..’

            5. Come-on Hailat — even YouTube is much influenced by Eri-TV on Eritrean matters. We are not talking now about his voice, lyric, melody, or whatsoever. We are talking politics… he was high in that political side and now he is high on that… remind this few months latter..

            6. Kewhi do belka – girim geberka… Kewhi ayniknekin iyu…

            Chaw ‘ziarkey,

      • Ermias

        Good debate from polar opposites here but Haile is on the right side of history.

        A musician who helped with the tours tells me that they pay these singers (Wedi tikabo etc.) 50 dollars per show. Some guy in DC also held a party with them and he ripped them off (I don’t have too much detail on that but you get the point).

        The band that toured with Wedi tikabo et. al. is comprised of PFDJ members. More qualified bands were rejected. In some cities Wedi tikabo and more so Dawit shilan were openly protesting and asking for Selam band of Seattle to play with them instead.

        I witnessed Wedi tikabo reacting really in a rude way in back stage to shimagle baalat staff perhaps as a result of all the frustrations he mentioned on his interview. I extended my hand to greet him as I was nearby to that area and simply shook my hand with no word nor eye contact. Hindsight is 20/20.

  • Araya

    Semere, your number priority should be saving the nation not removing the man who created the nation.
    Did you see your fundamental flaws with your argument? And this is the prime reason no one in the right mind will take you seriously. But there is hope for your opposition, you got Haile, be happy.

  • Tedalo

    Our priority is how to develop our country, we have to work for the people not for self interest. To build a country based on harmony among people not based on region, religion and destructive ideas.

  • Yodita


    Wedi Tkabo’s new song lyrics.

    Moderator: You may wish to take it out if you deem it is out of place. Thank you.

    ክሳላ ባዕለይ ክሰሃላ
    ክሳላ ኣንታ ክሰሃላ
    ክሳላ ነዛ ኣብ ጥቃይ ዘላ
    ዘሕምቆለኒባ ናቶም ስድራ
    ምድሪ ኩላ ርሒቃ ገይሻንተላ (2x)

    ገይሻ ‘ላ ‘ምበር ተትህሉ ገድሊ (2x)
    ታይ ደኣ ሞ ዘይትርአ ኣብ ከውሊ
    ሕማቅን ጽቡቅን ክተለሊ

    ገይሻ እምበር ገድሊ ተትህሉ (2x)
    ምረኣና መሰላ ክትሕሉ
    ምረኣና መሰልና ክትሕሉ
    ታይ ድዩ ዝብል ዘሎ ህዝቢ ኹሉ
    ከም ኢዱ ኣይረኸበን ካብ ምቃሉ
    ደላዪ ፍትሒ ክሰምዕ ጽን ኢሉ
    ዕድመ ክልተ ጎበዝ ተመንጢሉ
    ታይ ይኸውን ኣሎ ቃሉ ኹሉ
    ተሰዊሩ ኣይኮነን ተኸዊሉ

    ይኸዱ ዶ የለውን ን ኣጋ ምሸት የ
    ደሃይ ስኢኖም ገለ ዞም ቅልዑት የ
    ይጥቀሙና ለው ዛ ኢንተርኔት የ
    እንታይ መዘዙ/መርበቡ? ድኣ ታይ ስክዒት የ
    ንሶም ይዘፉ‘ለው – ብዘይ መለሳ የ
    ዓለም ከ ባሕሪ ኾይና –
    ንሕና ኸ ዓሳ ዶ ንሕና ኸ ዓሳ የ (5x)

    ኢረይ ንሓድነትናዬ – ሸግ ማዓንጣና
    ንሕና ንሓድነትና የ ሸጥ መዓንጣና
    ኢረይ ንሓድነትናዬ – ሸግ ማዓንጣና
    ንሕና ንሓድነትና የ ሸጥ መዓንጣና

    ኩርኩሞና ናይ ሰላም ቅኒት የ
    ዕላማና ሓንቲ ሓድነት የ
    ይኣኽለና ዚ ሞት ወዲ ሞት የ
    ጸላኢና ጸሊም ይቀነተ የ
    ኣስምዑና ጥዑም መለኸት የ
    ኣይተሳእነን ኣሎ በረከት የ
    ኣቅስንዋ ወላዲት ሓየት የ
    ኢልና እንዲና ስጋ ስዋኣት የ
    ኣይትበድል ምድሪ ስዋኣት የ::

    ንበል ንሓድነትና የ ሸጥ መዓንጣና
    ንሕና ንሓድነትና የ ሸጥ መዓንጣና
    ንሕና ንሓርነትና የ ሸጥ መዓንጣና
    ንሕና ንሓድነትና የ ሸጥ መዓንጣና

    ደቂ ባሕሪ ሰብ …ቆላ?
    ኣይንበላዕ ብቆሊ ማሽላ?
    መንገዲና ዘጋግይ የብላን
    ታይዶ ይምቅር ካብ ዕረን ወለላን
    ደሃይ ሰላም ጥዑም መለኸት የ
    ናይ ፈጣሪ ኳሎ በረኸት የ
    ክነቅስኖም ወላዲት ሓየት የ
    ኢልና እንዲና ስጋ ስዋኣት የ
    ኣይትበድል ምድሪ ስዋኣት የ
    ንበል ንሓድነትና የ ሸጥ መዓንጣና
    ንሕና ንሓድነትና የ ሸጥ መዓንጣና
    ንሕና ንሓርነትና የ ሸጥ መዓንጣና
    ንሕና ንሓድነትና የ ሸጥ መዓንጣና

    ይኸዱ ዶ የለውን ን ኣጋ ምሸት የ
    ደሃይ ስኢኖም ገለ ዞም ቅልዑት የ
    ይጥቀሙና ለው ዛ ኢንተርኔት የ
    እንታይ መርበቡ? ድኣ ታይ ስክዒት የ
    ኹሎም ይጠፍኡ – ብዘይ መለሳ የ

    ዓለም ከ ባሕሪ ኾይና –
    ንሕና ኸ ዓሳ ዶ ንሕና ኸ ዓሳ የ
    ንሕና ኸ ዓሳ ዶ ንሕናስ ንዓሳ
    ንሕና ኸ ዓሳ ዶ ንሕና ኸ ዓሳ የ
    ይነኻኸሳ ዶ – ይነኻኸሳ

    • Yodita

      8th para, 1st line please read:

      ደቂ ባሕሪ ሰብ ከበሳን ቆላን፤

      4th para, 4th line, plese drop መርበቡ?.

      Many thanks.

  • Semere Andom

    Hi Serray:
    I am not sure what you mean by the new government reconstituting the army with volunteers? I think the new government should opt for a professional army composed of people who have passion for the uniform in its different branches. If people want to server to have the experience of the military, they can do so at their own volitions without making it mandatory to volunteer. One of the first order of business should be to demilitarise the nation. We have enough trained killers in the country thanks to PFDJ
    For sure land belongs to people and it should be returned to them, the history belongs to them and must be reclaimed. In 1991 in Italy, I was shocked to hear Zemede Temsegen in Bologna say “These are the people who bestowed upon us our freedom when introducing Wuchu, Philipos, China and others immediately after May 24. Hailemariam, the announcer of the PFDJ cultural group subtly corrected Zemede by saying, “These are the people who lead our gallant and brave people’s army to freedom”. Even the often uttered heroic Eritrean people mantra is a mere lip service they do not really believe the Eritreans are heroic. The assets belong to the people. Everything belongs to us. PFDJ thinks that it has been wronged by us. You are correct in saying that we deserve an apology. Even the late Melless Zenawi apologized to us for crimes he did not inflict upon us. Whoever comes to power must apologize as everyone had some part in infecting the sufferings that you have ferociously articulated many times.
    I used “opposition” to mean everyone who wants to see PFDJ gone and not to refer to the organized opposition only. The benign romantics equivocate when it comes to the 2 %, the national service and the regional reassignment, yet some do not like the government owning the land, these two are not separate issues. The land issues in the 3 highland regions is slightly different from each other and in the lowlands they do not kill each other for “sdri” piece of land like they do in the high lads, partly because they have more land and party because of their culture. That is why almost every village in Hamssien is represented in Gash: Adi-Neamn, Deqi-Andu and Tsehafa etc. Ali Salem is correct. The PFDJ did not care about these complexities, they just applied their simplistic and shady land prescription hatched by shady personalities

    Sal: I am disappointed at you for lumping me with a lefty nut bar that Serray is:-) 
    What you said of us training the politicians is absolutely correct, lest we let our guard down again
    The Mejlis report was very true and it is sad that it was not followed. I remember it as articulating how Moslems are not misrepresented in the PFDJ vis-à-vis their number. I am sure it will serve us well in the new people’s government. It was not for PFDJ any ways. The Mejlis report is my cup of tea and relish 

    • Haw Semere,

      I have been calling Mejlis to be serious and come to the open. They failed to do that. Even now, it isn’t too late to do it, for they could have a big role to balance the momentum and avert the possible dictation of the majority, the winner takes all. As the regime is going down the hill it is quintessential these Moslim intellectuals could play pivotal in the formation of equitable power and equal economic opportunities. They should be the voice of the other section of our people. History is calling them to play their role to heal the social fabric of our society as well as to create peace and harmony to a nation suffered tremendously for over five decades. I challenge them to be serious and heed my call to save our the nation and its people. He you believe on that join me to summon them. Let them join to the effort of some intellectuals who are trying to facilitate the mass movement and the the opposition camp as a whole in the final push of the current regime.

      • correction Please read ” if you believe on that….” to the “he you”.

      • Semere Andom

        Hi Aman:
        I am glad about your stand on Mejlis. I am a believer that one of the reasons that is favorable to PFDJ to survive so long without a formidable opposition is because the 8 ethnic groups are so fragmented and few to challenge the highland centric EPLF. Without the constituency advocates the majority will take it all as you say, the tyranny of majority wrote one of P Clinton’s nominees, nick name by some write wing writers as the president’s quota queen.
        This, too, shall not be misquoted, so let me state that the Mejlis is not the quota king of Eritrea, their work will help in shedding light on how majority and not the right wing nut case can wreck havoc in Eritrea as they did in the last 20 years. I join you Aman in calling the Mejlis not to be intimidated by the accusations of the ignoble brutes and to resume their noble work.
        Now a call to our Qelassi,how did we digress from the subject of this article?

        • Merhaba Semere,

          I prefer to use “representation” than quota. Beside I am calling the Mejlis to advocate for the minority not to represent them, for representation goes by election. We aren’t there yet. This time is the advocacy time to find and formulate a new structure of governance – the assemblage of our rainbow images that makes us proud of our diversity. That is my dream and I hope to see it. If not, die advocating your belief and hoping some to pick the fallen torch.

    • Serray

      Selamat Semere and Sal,

      Semere, we are in agreement about the military. Given our thirty years struggle, given the goodwill expressed by our neighbors and the world at large in 1991, a peaceful country was a no brainer but the leaders of shaebia were not finish so they set out to recreate medda. Blowing a big hole on that sick project is priority number one. By the way, I saw that bologna video were each one of them came to a thunderous applause and the announcer going, “izi om tray iyom …”. The nation buries millions and we were told a bunch of guys did it all by themselves…if I am not mistaken, he said, “izi om tray”

      About advocacy, it is an excellent idea but I have a reservations on advocacy based on “us against them” when the “them” is crudely and wrongfully identified. The tendency, actually, the pretension that we are victims of one ethnic, one religion or one region, is dangerous and only helps the regime. The problem with land is the land policy of shaebia; fix that and you fix the problem; not the approach ali salim took where he wants to negotiate with isaias as representative of the highlanders.

      For me ali salim and the Mejlis approach represent the wrong tactic: instead of isolating shaebia, they give it half of the population as accomplice when in reality that half is as abused as the rest. It is sort of the opposite of what Sal is doing by sharply focusing the spotlight on isaias. Fight to win, not to satisfy an unfocused sentiment. If the “us vs them” mentality is not nabbed on the bud, it will be very difficult to control later on when the nation starts to converse. Junk works by appealing to the lowest emotion. But it is worthwhile to note that the same junk works on the other side as well. Just look at how the discussion of arabic devolves.

      Sal, advocacy based on issues, advocacy that transcends ethnicity, region and religion is way better. Imagine all of us standing for bringing the refugees home; for land and mineral wealth belonging to those who lived on it for generations; for prioritizing development to areas left behind and areas that will help accelerate the growth of the nation; for all religion being freely practiced.

      Finally, I hope we bring back the shemagle culture; the organic advocacy group at a cellular level. It will be nice to have a government that crafts policy by listening and working with them.

      • Saleh “Gadi” Johar

        I agree with you that our project should not be sectional but an all-inclusive national project. But how do we arrive at a national project if we ignore the sectional projects of rights and obligations? Isn’t a national project the sum total of its constituent parts? Please explain.

        • Saleh (SGJ)

          It is all “insincerity in bliss” for those who do not want to see the parts as well as the whole” in equilibrium where the summation of the parts is what we call the “whole” ( papi and gebre please see it from a social group point of view for political purposes). TP (total power) = the sum of stake-powers(SP), that is equitable power of the parts(the social groups) where the equilibrium stands at quiescent. Let me form an “equilibrated equation” for simplicity.

          Sp1 + Sp2 + Sp3….Sp8 ↔ TP (Reversible arrow show equilibrium state)

          Sp1 to Sp8 are the share of powers within the stakeholders (equitable) within our social group . TP is when the “state at peace” with its stakeholders. That is the ideal state I am talking.

          Suppose we introduce some “conditions” such as “disproportional distribution” the equilibrium will upset and the grievances of the stakeholders ensue as a consequence of an “interfering variable”, to rock the the state at peace. That is what we have to avoid.

          • Moderator,

            I tried to form the equation of the sSp’s to equate TP with reversible arrows it doesn’t allow me rather it mixes as you see it in the comment.

            [From moderator: html does not like the use of < and its opposite because it thinks you are giving it a command to tag]

          • I should have been a moderator 😉

      • saay

        Selamat Serray:

        We are talking about preferring horizontal organizations (organized on bases of economic interest and inclusive of Eritrea’s diversity) over vertical organizations (organized on bases of identity, irrespective of economic interest.) Let’s put this to the test, Serray. Let’s say “all of us standing for bringing the refugees home; for land and mineral wealth belonging to those who lived on it for generations; for prioritizing development to areas left behind and areas that will help accelerate the growth of the nation; for all religion being freely practiced.” Let’s look at them one at a time:

        1. The refugees all return home. Those from the Western lowlands now in Sudanese refugee camps for generations return home and their land has been used maybe for 3 generations by others. Maybe it is a former Tegadalai–a disabled fighter–who was demobilized and is making a meagre living on it.

        2. All land and mineral wealth belonging to those who lived in it for generations. Ok. But there is a mindset that says that all of Eritrea belongs to all of us (it is a unitary state) and this mindset will definitely survive Isaias Afwerki–particularly from the EPLF and EPLF-influenced constituency.

        3. Prioritizing development to areas left behind. That is something technocrats can do, so long as they have the confidence of the politicians, who should have the confidence of the people. Otherwise, prioritizing development is most-prone to corruption and most-prone to inflaming suspicions.

        4. All religion being freely practiced. Well, since we have virtually no pagans, a free-for-all religion is a zero-sum game: somebody’s gain is somebody’s loss. In the crude explanation of Isaias Afwerki, his banning of Jehovah’s Witness, Pentecostals is not violating their rights, but protecting the rights of the established religions (Tewahdo, Catholic, Lutheran).

        In civil societies based on profession, teachers, lawyers, chamber of commerce, farmers, pastoralists, unions, advocate loudly for their interest. In theory, because this organizing is basely entirely on economic or vocational interest, it would be horizontal: it will be made up of different ethnic/regional/religious groups. For example, if one says “Fisherman’s Advocacy Group” or “Pastoral Eritrean Association”, it is an economic interest. But, in pre-developed societies, each horizontal organization ends up being a vertical organization. This, in fact, is the entire argument of the development-before-democracy group: all horizontal groups become vertical groups. (This was the argument of Mejlis Ibrahm Mukhtar and, more bluntly, Ali Salim and, more sophisticated manner, Ahmed Raji: the EPLF/PFDJ, which may label itself a “broad-based” organization is a vertical organization.

        The answer? Hell if I know, that’s why there are politicians like Amanuel Hidrat and Saleh Gadi Johar. My job will just be to take shots at whatever they do from a distance:)


        • Selam Saay,

          I will be writing a piece to hammer and reflect the need of “structural mirror” for our diversity which I took it as signature of my advocacy. Diversity politics is not Known in Eritrean politics and hence it takes some time to find traction on the general Eritrean politics. Look how serray see diversity politics as sub-national politics. It doesn’t surprise me. In politics there are always subliminal feelings. The way African countries structured to hold their constituents demand a new outlook to device the nature of government that is conducive to their constituents (diversities) to live in harmony and peace. I believe if we try to harness (always in check) our arrogance the solution is not that difficult to bring something that satisfy our diversity.

  • haile


    Few weeks back you asked for evidence that the regime in Eritrea is opposed by everyone except ዝተቖማጥዑ, well I am sure you’ve gone through it already but:

    ኣበይ ድኣ’ላ ገድሊ ተ’ትህሉ፡
    መሰልና ደኣ ዘይትሕሉ፡
    እንታይ ድዩ ዝብል ዘሎ ህዝቢ ኩሉ…

    how sweet and dignified must it have felt to the one and only one, revolutionary, famous, popular artist, singer, national service….give a huge welcome to WEDI TIKABO 🙂


    • Hailat:

      How come you expect Wedit Tikabo to see Gedli from USA. He can only see diaspora people not Gedli.

      You see, When he was in the home of Gedli, he was seeing Gedli and telling ‘Warsay Gedim’.

      Just except him now to sing ‘Jebha gedim’… lol.

      • haile

        Hi Meron ( I will answer your other post later:)

        For this one though ዋእ! ኣንቱም ህግደፍ ጠባይ ግበሩ 🙂 እዚ ወዲ ንፋለጥ ኢና ግርም ጌርና (ራዲዮ ማሪናዮ በሎ፡) ለኻኪምኩም ክኸይድ’ዩ ዋዛ ዘለዎ ሰብኣይ ኣይኮነን። However, from the point of view of democratic art, did you enjoy it?


        • Hailat,

          Let me be frank with you. I always enjoy his creativity no matter where he stands.

          And let me be frank with you. I have learned that he is done in Eritrea long before. He was just there on the political domain not in the business. Thanks to his talent and Eri TV his supremacy on ‘Be’alat’ was not guaranteeing him space on the vibrant Expos and other night clubs, but guaranteed tour through the world.

          I hope he will not done… if his next song is ‘Jebha Gedim’… that will be the end lol… sorry Hailat for my poor English and laziness to edit it.

          • haile


            When I said “Tebay giberu” I was more of thinking many other comments from your camp, and not what you said, Gedim Jebha (that might be simply a fair punch back:). I am mostly disabled from saying much about wedi Tikabo because we long long time back and it feels eerily like stealing from moba’E (ሞባእ) to talk about someone you’ve known ብዘበነ ግርህነትን፡ ንእስነትን.

            I always had problems to see him as a famous person that he is now, because my memories him and the family was in a totally different setting. When I saw his stars finally meeting, i.e. owning his artistic talent and using it to convey his message from his soul, I was humbled by how times changed. Yes they have because he is now the master of his destiny and the speaker for his heart. His latest song is rare in a sense that he is the only powerful artist in his prime to break the barriers of fear and tell it as it is.

            If you leave the my camp vs your camp politicking and listen to the issue of youth migration that he presented through Hadnetna, it was truly a uniting piece. He said touched the lack of rights (meselna zeythlu), he touched family & friend influence (yTqemu’lowu za’internet), he touched the conscription factor (y’gefu ‘lewu bezey melesa)…pretty much reflective of the different view points! He addressed the confusion (mengedna zegagi yeblan – entay’do haysh kab ere’n welelan) a powerfully simple uniting theme.

            The pro-PFDJ are still reacting in their characteristic animal farm behavior and churning out useless abuse on this one in a million treasure of Eritrea. Would you now join me across the aisle to congratulate on his excellent work of “democratic art” that speaks from the heart? [or you gonna dwell on the bloody mentality of PFDJ supporters who are now on 24th hour and still going vitriolic against a man who know little about off of the stage?]


  • wed garza

    When will all this scapegoat mentality will end; just some- one- else- will- dot it for you, be it oppositions, Eritrean defence forses, Ethiopians, UN, and others???
    The fleeing souls, worse with their weapons feel and care for their kalashinkoves more than their own lives, thereby are careful to hand over their weapons instead destroying them and throw them away. Think how many weapons would have been ruined and discarded had they used their minds right. But, see how their psycologically washed away keep their new brothers threatened by the same weapons one after another. And Isayas and his groupies laugh at these attitudes and mock their souls. Poor guys wake up and defend your souls before it’s too late. One bullet to his (ISAYAS AFEWERKI’S) chest would work the dynmics of a complete change because he owns 99% of all the critical decisions that paralysed the nation!! what a change… go for it!!

    • Tamrat Tamrat

      Or he can ‘serve’ the nation like the rest of the People by all means he can and leave the land when opportunity allows it and improve his life both economically and educationally just like the ones who did beffore him. If he is arrogant enough like you he would give advice to another fellow man at home to sacrifice his and dear famillies by ‘putting’ a bullete on isaias chest as if it is like puttin a ring of flowers to the King. Or are we playing those who stuck in Eritrea er not smart compared to the opposite? I thought this kind of ‘smartness’ is to bosolate at least in Eritrea.

  • Abinet

    Ato Woldai, let’s hope and pray for peace in the region so that each and everyone benefit from .”No matter how long the night may be ,the day is sure to come”.(I don’t know who said it) peace!

    • Tamrat Tamrat

      May be all People in North norway. Now we have only 1 hour Sunlight and 23 hours of darkness.

    • Woldai

      Did you understand what I mean in my last post though?

    • Woldai

      Mr Abinet,

      Did you understand what I mean in my last post though?

  • haile


    Now that we have cleared Tekle’s wubanchi saga and both are nowhere to be seen, the dergue prisoners who were being transported out of Combolcha prison by night have been long departed. How bout you stand in front of Alexander [alex] Pushkin’s great statue in Asmara and contemplate which trip haile should tell you about? The background music for it would be wedi Tesfazgi’s Nb’at temegibe 🙂

    • L.T

      MerHaba Haile and thank you.
      The number one best singers are Tecle Tesfazghi.Everybody agrees.
      Do you remember all of his songs?”Ko-wakbti and Aawaf Taekoba metslelikn haza…”I choosed them becouse they were my favourite songs when I was a kid in Asmera. About the alexander the great in Mai Jah-Jah near Bar Merry I ‘d kung fu him in the knackers when I was in Asmera last summar and taste it and find out by yourself:-)
      Nb’at temegibe.

      • Tamrat Tamrat

        Hello L.T

        Ya Tekle Tesfazghi is one of the best! ‘Fikrey Telemeni’ With Roha Band is one of the best Ethiopian tigrinya songs.

        • L.T

          Three of Roha band are Eritreans Govanni,Selam and Fukadu are Eritreans:-)But Dawit the piononist are Amhara.
          “Koke’by kokobki
          dahn kuni iki”

          • Tamrat Tamrat

            What are the ethnic Groups of Govanni, Selam and Fukadu then? In those days many dont know who belongs in which ethnic Group?

  • Serray

    Selamat Saleh Gadi,

    Continuing with the issue of land, here is how the constitution handles our land and our natural resources,

    Article 23
    2. All land and all natural resources below and above the surface of the territory of Eritrea BELONGS to the State. The interests citizens shall have in the land be determined by law.

    Notice how clear it is that our land belongs to them and how vague our interest in it is; since they are the law, our interest is at their mercy. In case there is a mistake, they also made sure that the air we breath also belongs to them…”above the surface of the territory of Eritrea belongs to the State”. This is a blanket eminent domain that covers every inch of the nation both above and below it. We kicked the ethiopian out and now everything is ours. This is a rape of a nation if there is one. Let us not forget, though, this is the nice document the isaias ignited a war to stop implementing.

    When the regime supporters are cornered, their last refuge is always “other regimes do it too”. To justify evil, they search the earth for evil. I am sure the regime’s “research and documentation” department is now busy searching for a modern day government which traffics on its citizen.

    • haile

      Hi Serray

      Great observation! Isn’t it funny that IA lost EVERYTHING in a bid to to gain it all unscrupulously? It wasn’t like he couldn’t have done it with the straight and narrow:)

      • Serray

        Selamat Haile,

        They say Idi Amin was a cannibal; I wonder if isaias is as well. This kind of evil doesn’t come easy. To do what he does with the lives of others, he has to see people as cattle. In that video rodab linked accepting the vote of his minions to rule over us, doesn’t he look like one? Sal wondered if we shouldn’t have seen it coming, as if THAT would have saved us. We are where we are by design. What was that android declaration, “resistance is futile”. It was true then, it is true now. Only resisting him then would have been even more futile; what with a big chunk of the population thinking he is human and shaebia, as our saviors.

        The evil worshippers don’t know it, but time is their enemy. It rots the liver, the kidney and soon the memory of him ever been anything else other than a cannibal.

      • Semere Andom

        Hi Serray:
        Also DIA said the following in 1994 regarding land ownership
        “Every single penny, wealth, assents generated during the armed struggle belongs to “gnbar”, PFDJ.All heroic history, the courage and the rich history that made the freedom possible belongs to the people.
        Land, its resources as you said belongs to the government. The people swooned at the mention of their name as heroic”
        Nothing new here, PFDJ goes after what really hurts Ertireans. The reason we did not have prevalent homelessness in Eritrea despite the poverty that plagued us for generation is due to the fact that every native or naturalized( to be naturalized, traditionally takes 40 years) Eritrean has “tisha” in his village, where he can build a shade that he calls home. Even if he leaves his village and domiciles in the city, he has the right to own his “tisha”, while he loses his right to his farming lot, PFDJ instead of innovating this tradition that is superior to theirs, messed it up purposely. I am not surprised by their actions, but this land issue will haunt us for generations even after the thugs are log gone, not only because the depth of the damage, but because some of the opposition members like or are at least ambivalent about their stand on the land issue, which includes the reconfiguration of the “awraja”. These oppositions members also support the national service, the slave labor with cosmetic changes. The redesign of the “awraja” did not spring out of the blue, it started in sahel, with a bunch of hooligans toying with the very Eritrean identity that our people bled to preserve, without any powers vested on them by the people.

        • Serray

          Selam Semere,

          You are right about the messy unwinding of the land policy but it has to be done. Land belongs to the people, period. The other thing the new government should do is end sawa and reconstitute the military with volunteers. The nation should apologize to its youth for allowing shaebia to enslave them for two decades.

          We now have a blueprint of what kind of a nation eritrea should be: everything shaebia said it is not. By the way, what the opposition think is irrelevant; they didn’t deliver or even share in the misery. This time the nation belongs to those who suffered quietly and not to those who did what they want and then pretend they are doing it for our sake. No more milking sacrifices.

          • saay

            Selamat Serray and Semere:

            You are bringing up a very important issue, and I want to take it a step further. The issue is this: politicians ride a wave and then, once they get into office, they have new bosses (in post-Isaias Eritrea, it is going to be a messy list, domestic and foreign.) To ameliorate this trading-up of bosses that politicians do habitually, the US has what I would like to call constituency advocates (but are derisively called “special interest groups”) who hold the feet of the politicians to the fire. There are gun-rights advocates, small government advocates, no tax advocates, federalists, right-to-choice/right-to-life advocates, union rights/right to work advocates, “Israel lobby” advocates, etc, etc, who force politicians to sign a pledge as a condition for their support. (You and I don’t see eye to eye on American politics; I am only interested here in the hammer and not what is being hammered:) Don’t you think, now that there is so much Haf-Kof and hyperactivity by politicians, we the people should teach the politicians fundamentals of constituency service? We want them to return land to the people? We make them sign a pledge that when they come to power they will. We want them to tear down “national service”? We make them sign a pledge that when they come to power they will. We want them to stop making backroom deals? We make them sign a pledge that there will be JUSTICE in Eritrea and everybody will have what is coming to them.

            Several years ago, “Mejlis Ibrahim Mukhtar” (I know it is not your cup of tea) wrote what I consider to be a perfectly well articulated demand of the “generic Eritrean Muslim.” But then they got stung by the shy bee and decided to hide behind the curtain (as Amanuel has repeatedly pointed out.) They, too, should reduce their program to a demand list: this is our condition for supporting you. The Kunama and Afar and Saho and Jeberty and other minority groups have demands? Put it on a pledge list and ask the politicians to sign it. The politician can say “no thank you”, but then the constituency group can look for alternatives–maybe not now, but in the future. At the very least, they can tell their “new bosses” I wish I can do that but my people won’t let me.


    • Serray

      Selamat Sal, Saleh G and Amanuel,

      Sal, I am not sure what your criticisms are regarding the four examples I mentioned. As we said, the unwinding of shaebia’s land policy is going to be messy. The others will also have problems but they are the right thing to do to protect not the ethnic identity of the affected but their economic and spiritual liberties. I think it was you who once discussed the role of “mission statements”. The constitution comes close to that. Even if you believe in complete autonomy of every single ethnic group, the nation still needs broad and shared goals.


      We should be careful when imitating others. What barely works for ethiopia might not work for us were one or two ethnic groups were never continuously in power for centuries. This pretension that we are ruled by one ethnic group should stop. In its twenty two years of hell some call independence, eritrea has one party and one party alone in power; and not withstanding ali salim or the mejlis, sheabia is not an ethnic group. Insisting that fixing our problem definitely, totally, completely requires that we mark our differences in bold colors is imitative.

      Just because there are political groups along ethnic lines it doesn’t necessarily mean we have to fix the country that way. If we are going to give credence to that, we might as well have religious parties because they too exist in the opposition. The methods of the struggle should never dictate the way the nation is governed. What made shaebia a complete failure as a government is it tried to impose a method that worked for it in medda in the whole eritrea. Just because we have kunama, afar or islamists parties, we don’t have to have a government delineated along those lines.

      Saleh G., I am not saying let us ignore our differences, I am saying let us not make our difference the basis of our solution. Eritrea is not the result of our differences, it is our commonality…it is the entity that brings our shared experience to bear. If we make it a mirror that reflects our differences, then we all lose because our ethnicity, our region and our religion does that already.

      • saay

        Selamat Serray:

        I wasn’t criticizing; I was pointing out how difficult it is for developing nations to transcend vertical alignment and develop a truly broad-based organization that is representative of the entire rainbow of the population. By this I mean that IN DEVELOPING NATIONS the call to organize on the basis of religion, region, ethnicity is always more potent than the call to organize on the basis that transcends it (economic interest) for example. In “Race and Culture: A World View” Thomas Sowell (who is probably not on your approved list of authors 🙂 writes that his observation of Nigerian politics is that the worst tribalists and narrow-minded Nigerians were the ones who were the most educated (or, more accurately, held the most credentials.)

        This is why I think that those organizations who are not sure that they would pass the diversity test always keep their membership list a secret (our opposition groups); or coerce the people to join their organization (the coupon-books of PFDJ (we have 650,000 members, yay, that is the entire adult population of Eritrea, yay) and the subsidized fertilizers-to-farmers cynical program of EPRDF which shows up just around election time; or make it illegal to even talk about ethnicity (the Paul Kagame model.)

        Here’s a creative solution that was proposed by PFDJ* in its “Draft Proclamation on the Formation of Political Parties and Organizations”**

        The founders of a political party or organization shall meet the following conditions:

        6.1 Must bear Eritrean nationality, be at least 25 years of age and fulfill all national obligations required by law;
        6.2 Must be free of any major criminal charge;
        6.3 Their numbers must not be less than one hundred ;
        6.4 The permanent habitat of at least 85% of them must be inside Eritrea, and the majority of these must be the residents of at least four administrative regions;
        6.5 In order that the composition and unity of the founders as well as their ethnic and religious identities may reflect the pluralistic nature of the Eritrean society:
        a) At least 2/3 of them must originate from five nationalities at the minimum;
        b) At least 1/3 of them must be followers of the Islamic or Christian faiths


        * this website doesn’t endorse much of what PFDJ does (or tries to do), but we have sang the praises of this document. It is a death-knell for organizations that are from one “Uqub” 🙂
        ** Meron, is this document also being sold by Research and Documentation in Asmara? 🙂

        • Dear Saay,

          When I read those articles about the formation of parties, you couldn’t believe, I bumped against my table.I asked my self: These are the only mind we have in our political store? followed by my usual expression, wow ! what the hell are they talking? Even Issayas would have allowed that (as the only person who gives permission) It would have messy and wouldn’t stop from becoming one party rule. The problem is we are not better from such wickedness.

          • saay

            Hi Emma:

            Minor correction on your “even Issayas would have allowed that”… He didn’t. The committee that was put together to draft the law on party formation (headed by Sherifo) was prevented from releasing its report. From our chronology of the reform movement:

            April 6, 2001: tSigenai*, a private Eritrean newspaper, interviews Mr. Mahmoud Sherifo**. States that his removal from office on February 5, 2001 was on the eve of the date that the committee he chaired, the Committee on Drafting Political Parties & Organizations, had a scheduled meeting to discuss the obstacles it had faced from the President’s office in carrying out its duties. The former minister explained that the committee was authorized by and accountable to the National Assembly, which had authorized its work at its 13th Regular Session (9/00). The committee had concluded its first draft on January 23, 2001, had disseminated copies of the draft to members of National Assembly members and had, via a request to the Ministry of Information, scheduled interviews with the government media for January 30, 2001. Said Sherifo: “Suddenly, on January 29, 2001, we were told by the President to refrain from disseminating any information. While we kept our counsel to be patient and go on preparing to inquire about these developments, we received a message from the President. And the message informed us that the President has major observations on the draft laws and that he would set the schedule on when to disseminate the information to the public.” Sherifo added that the “responsibility we were given by the National Assembly was snatched.” Asked why he thought the president would do that, Sherifo replied: “I think it is because the President has no desire to see the formation of political parties before the elections scheduled for the end of the year.”

            Yemane Gebreab gives the rebuttal (although the question was directed to Baduri) in Washington, DC in 2001:

   (first 9 1/2 minutes of the video)

            Hat tip to the awesome (the opposition’s one-woman Research and Documentation Department) Aida Kidane.

            * According to a document published at, Tsegnai’s publisher, Yusuf Mohammed died on June 13, 2003.
            * According to a document published at, Mahmoud Sheriffo died at Eira Eiro prison on June 6, 2003.

   found the document credible enough to translate. You can find our translation of the document and why we translated it here:

          • Selam Saay,

            You are right. what I want to say was: Even if Issayas would have been allowed that…… it would have been messy and wouldn’t stop from becoming one party rule any way. In other words wocho tegelbatkayo wocho eyu.

            The problem with my comment is, I don’t edit it; b/c I am doing it in between my work that demand accuracy otherwise it will be detrimental to the health of individuals. Thank you anyway.

  • rodab

    Sal was a little too generous to grant the “the great” and “the independent” titles to two of our good friends. But he was spot on on “the phillosopher”. I have my own list of some of my favorite personalities around here. I should mention that my list is incomplete and tentative.
    So here it goes:
    Salih Gadi “the statesman”. reasoning: he has travelled to several countries and while there, he held discussions, on our behalf, about Eritrea’s bilateral relations:-)
    Salih Yonus “the inclusive”. reasoning: he is multi-lingual (Tigre, Tigrigna, Arabic, English, Amharic) and discusses multi-issues (Eritrean, Ethiopian, The Horn, African, American, the world, and anything and everything in between).
    Yodita “the deadly” – reasoning: she doesn’t respond to every pro-PFDJ comments but when she does, she is effective, knockout and deadly.
    Pappilon “the expert” – reasoning: in addition to being an eloquent writer, she appears to possess some level of knowledge on some important fields.
    Aman “the supervisor” – reasoning: he is laser-focused on what he believes are our priority. If one seemingly diverts topics, he/she should expect to get a friendly notice.
    Ghezae “the walker” – reasoning: he doen’st do just the talking he does the walking. PFDJ-Canada is my witness.
    The list will continue…

    • Gebre

      Hi Mr Rodab,

      Can you be very lenient and brotherly and add my name to your list at least tentatively as OBSERVER. I am a true East African and that is the only merit in the whole world I have. Please, please!

      • rodab

        Hello Gebre,
        I have received your applicationa and thanks for your interest to be included in my prestigious list.
        Designation pending…

    • You have forgotten one most important person: the judge. This judge is able to perceive others’ personalities and/or intellectual acumen based upon information about the way they behave, and the way they form their arguments by connecting dots. This judge is Rodab.

      Your next job should be to understand their past behaviors and project their possible future actions.

      -Some are very good at seeing things from a different angle but lack deep knowledge about issues while others know the inner workings of “negerat” mostly by “muwukas haberetat”, as those references are easily accessed to them. We live in a world of asymmetric information; one has information that the other lacks.

      It’s like two individuals one of whom has basic understanding about cars while the other is an expert mechanic (ASE certified). The former is able to give opinion as to what went wrong with a car without opening the hood; the later not only opens the hood and peers beneath the engine but also uses tools to trouble shoots (diagnose) the engine to find the gripe and then will he give you a detailed information about the diagnosis, and its prognosis if the grip is left uncorrected. Saleh Yonus comes to mind when I think the ASE certified mechanic.;-)

      • The last statement supposed to be this:
        Saleh Yonus, Haile, and a few others come to mind when I think of the ASE certified mechanic.;-)

        • rodab

          In Tigringa, I give Ai Abdu and Yemane Gebreab 10/10. PIA gets 9.

          • Amanuel

            Ali Abdu and Yemane Gebrab are very good writers but when it comes to spoken Tigringa PIA is perfect. His usage of words is unbelievable, unfortunately he uses most of them to insult or undermine other. For example I think it was early 1994 he said ” Korer Korer elkum dmetsakum” to insult the middle officials. I wish he was my Tigringa teacher and in opinion the only profession he is capable doing.

    • saay

      Selamat Rodab:

      My language proficiency is not as impressive as you make it sound. Here’s the test I apply: if somebody is speaking a language at above average speed, would I understand him/her? (Radio broadcasters over enunciate and speak at below average speed so understanding them does not give you proficiency). Here’s where I rank myself on a scale of 1-10:

      English: 9. When I go to the Deep South in the US or when I am watching some British movies, I wish they came with subtitles.

      Arabic: 4. Why can’t all Arabs sound like Egyptians? (8) Gulf Arab requires some getting used to (6). And Northwest African Arab–Morocco, Algeria–I give myself a 3: I recognize 3 of 10 words in Khaled’s song “Nsi Nsi” for example. This is what’s dragging down my Arabic GPA.

      Tigre: 6. That is 8 comprehension, 4 in conversing. More on this below.

      Amharic: 5. Well, this is tricky. When I am traveling and I am at an Ethiopian restaurant or the cabbie is Ethiopian and I introduce myself (almost always as Eyob Medhane, btw), sometimes they pick up my accent after one sentence, sometimes after 5, sometimes never. (I am assuming the latter are Ethiopians whose mother tongue is not Amharic. It’s Heineckenish)

      Tigrinya: 97. I don’t give any Diaspora Eritrean a 10 in Tigrinya because we can’t speak the language without sneaking in a phrase, a sentence, a word in the language of our adopting countries.

      The good news for all of us is language just needs curiosity and immersion. Two adults are conversing in Tigrinya, a young boy born and raised in the US is with them. They are veering into a topic that they don’t want the kid to listen so they switch to Tigre. The bratty kid (who doesn’t understand a word in Tigre) decides to mess with their head and occasionally says “no!” “Really!?” Finally, one asks him “what did we discuss?” Kid says “well, it appears something terrible happened. And, although efforts have been made to keep it a family secret, it’s out: and there will be accountability.” He was 100% Tigre-illiterate but 100% right. Context clues.


      • Well Can we at least give Tegaru 10 out of 10 .

        I have followed you for some quite time and give you 8 in Tigrinya, because I have to give Haile the great 9 out of 10 😉 BTW, I give Papillon about 6. Sorry Papillon.

      • rodab

        It’s interesting what you said about the Arabic language. As an Eritrean, I am ashamed that not only do I not speak it I can’t even tell which Arabic country one belongs to based on his/her accent. From what you stated, it seems to me Arabic is not as universal as is English. Interesting.
        So which kind Arabic does Isaias speak? Just curious.

        • saay

          Selamat Rodab:

          I will yield to the experts on this, but there is modern standard Arabic (used in formal communication) that any literate Arab from any country would understand. This is the language used, for example, in radio and TV broadcasts like Aljazeera, Al Arabiya, BBC Arabic, Radio Umdurman, and Eri-TV.

          Then there is how people actually live: using their local dialects and derivations. And that’s where things get really interesting. But I think this is common to all languages that are spoken by people across different countries. The Canadian-Indian comedian Russell Peters makes a note of the difference in how Spanish is spoken in Spain vs how it is spoken in South America. He says that in Spain it is spoken with a lisp, and when he asked why, he was told that in some medieval time, Spain was ruled by a King who spoke with a lisp and just so he doesn’t feel odd and different, the entire population adopted a lisp. It is a funny story and I don’t want to ruin it by researching its veracity:)

          Isaias Afwerki’s Arabic is that of a person who listened to BBC Arabic program for decades and conversed with Sudanese for decades. According to wikileaks, the Arab diplomatic mission in Asmara says that the man’s command of the language is impressive. I don’t know how much of this is objective and how much of it is comparable to the Joe Bidens of the world calling the Obama’s of the world “articulate”: beating low expectation. In the US, if a black American doesn’t not speak in African American vernacular, the word they use to describe him is “articulate!”


          • Sabri


            I was attended in one press conference called by president Issayas in the 1990s. There were many journalists from the Arab world and he was answering their questions in Arabic. After the press conference we went to one restaurant with the attended journalists and all of the journalists from Arab countries are very impressed by the presidents master of Arabic language. Niseb zeeynatu aythibon ika, IE, is talented in languages. You know his English and tigringa command. Moreover, do you know that he speaks the language of all 9 nationalities of Eritrea?

          • saay

            Selamat Sabri:

            ” Moreover, do you know that he speaks the language of all 9 nationalities of Eritrea?”

            No, I don’t know that. And the question is how do YOU know that Sabri? I have never read a single interview he has had or speech he has made in any Eritrean language other than Tigrinya and Arabic. So what’s your source? Got a link?


          • Saleh “Gadi” Johar

            Baba Isaias Engliz yzareb, Areb Yzareb, Tigrigna yzareb…Bush ke?” Remember that child who said those immortal words? Why are you pushing Sabri too much? Baba Isaias, Nara yzareb, Kunama Yzareb, Bedawyet Yzareb, Blin Yzareb…. fah illa keman thz.

        • Saleh “Gadi” Johar

          Local accents are very different, sometimes a Gulf Arab cannot and a Moroccan Arab cannot understand each other if they spoke in their respective dialects/accents. But all Arabs understand each other if they switch to classical/formal Arabic (which is also the commonly written Arabic). TV, Radio and Newspapers use the standard Arabic that everyone understands. Eritreans do not have a special version, they speak a mixture of Sudanese, Hijazi, Yemeni and Egyptian accents. But when writing, they use the standard Arabic like anyone else.

          • Sabri


            Everything is not disclosed on the internet. I knew this from one person who know well the president personally.

    • Yodita

      Dear Rodab,

      The synonym of deadly is: lethal – fatal – poisonous – noxious – toxic! The antonym is: harmless.

      If I am as effectively deadly as you say at pfdj goons, notwithstanding the negative connotation, I am flattered. Thank you. To be honest, compared to Haile the Great and Papillon the Expert and the way they lash out at the goons, I pale into nothing.

      Saay should come with a title for you and it better be goodo!

      • rodab

        No negative connotation intended. By the way, it is for a reason I called it “tentative”.
        I have revised your title stlightly and will address you as Youdita (the effective).

    • Nitricc

      Rodab I think you are infatuated with Yoditta, why don’t you ask her out? I don’t know why people go around the bushes? There is nothing about Yoditta deadly, she is stubborn and throw back.
      Get it real.

    • Ermias

      May I add Nitricc “the entertainer” just like Cedric the entertainer?

  • Dear Saay,

    1. The Provisional Government served from 1991 to 1993. The Transitional Government declared in 1993 and formed by the half front members and half from the public in general with different political views. They set the assembly as a legislator, elect the president to lead the executive branch, and judicial system as judiciary. This gave the Transitional Government to pass legitimate proclamations throughout its projects 4 years period. The proclamation of the formation of the Constitutional Commission is one of them and is legitimate. For the rest the no-peace and no-war situation and its instigators are to blame.

    2. Saay, you can get this proclamation on the book shops and kiosks of Asmara and throughout the country. And if you manage to go to RDC you can get the age old documents starting from the Jebha era.


    • saay

      Selamat Meron:

      1. Thank you, I stand corrected: what we have now is not Provisional but Transitional. Provisional for 2 years, transitional for 20.

      2. The 75 individuals who supplemented the 75 central committee members of EPLF/PFDJ were all appointed (hand picked) by the EPLF/PFDJ. And we all know how the Peoples Front is so tolerant of diverse viewpoints. Of course you can prove me wrong and give me a reference to how many voted for and against the adoption of the proclamations in their final draft.

      3. Ummmm, how does the No War No Peace (NWNP) appear to affect everybody and every institution except 1: the tyrant? How is NWNP preventing from holding PFDJ a congress? How is it stopping it from convening the National Assembly? How does it stop it from bringing the detained to a court of law?


      • Haqi

        Bravo sal. Pfdj groupies will say anything to justify the satanic regimes failed, outdated policies. Moron hibey, for how long are going to blame woyane, USA? The problem is nsu and co.

    • rodab

      Meron & Sal,
      I found a clip related to the discussion at hand.
      At the time Isaias said as follows (partially):
      ብመሰረት እቲ ኣዋጅ፤ ነቲ ኣብ ውሽጢ ኣርባዕተ ዓመታት ክዕመም ዘለዎ ምስርሕ ዝ ህሉ መንግስታዊ ስርዓት ብዝተኻእለ መጠን ኣሳታፊ ክኸውን ካብ ሓጋግን ፈጻምን ኣካላት ክቐውምን ኣገዳሲ ስለዝኾነ ከኣ እንሆ ሎሚ ሃገራዊ ባይቶ ኤርትራ ንመጀመርያ ግዜ ይእከብ ኣሎ። ከም ዋና ጽሓፊ ግዜዊ መንግስቲ ኤርትራ ከኣ ነቲ ዝመጽእ ናይ መሰጋገሪ እዋን ዝለዓለ ሓላፍነት ዝስከም ባይቶ ስልጣን ከሰጋግር ኣፍቅዱለይ።
      ኣቶ ኢሰያስ ኣፈወርቂ ዋና ጸሓፊ ግዜዊ መንግስቲ ኤርትራ።
      Here is the link:

      • saay

        Selam Judge Rodab:

        Ah, memories. From the 104 votes cast to decide who would be Eritreas president , Isaias got 99 to be president. Of course EPLF was a Maoist/Stanilist organization and Stalin famously said it doesn’t matter who casts the votes: what matters is who counts the votes:)

        But. Assuming the 99 votes were real (and based on the zeitgeist of the times they could be) do you think enda Isaias know who the 5 who didn’t vote for him are? And do you think they are alive today. I have my theories but I m just asking now.


        PS: yesterday I saw a video of the announcement Isaias made in 1993 following the demonstrations made by Tegadelti. How did we not see the dictatorship coming?

        • Saay,

          Your question is simple for Mesfin Hagos. He said we elected him three times. Of course they have not elected him through as per US or Soudi Arabia system of topping some one to power. He did his best to craft a successful organisation the country ever saw on its history and the did their best to take the lead further.

          Of course you will not feel comfortable with what i am saying now… Sean Hannity was no comfortable to Obama elected. Even if we manage to conduct that kind of Election and PIA manage to win it by 1% against anyone there will be people who would Bark on it…


  • noah

    AYTE Semere
    you keep saying we, who is we?
    can you try to make sense.
    can you please stop writing specially of those who dearly paid
    the ultimate price for our COUNTRY. And yet what you say
    undermines GEGANU ERITRAWIYAN.

  • haile

    Selamat saay

    I have news for you from the inside: they don’t really count people for administrative purposes, that too risky an undertaking when one’s only defense is “where is the evidence?” 🙂 Seriously though, it is extrapolated from external sources and old referendum era domestic sources. My assumption is that even if the raw count my be different, the ratio are likely to hold with in close range.


    እንታይ ተረኽበ ድኣ ሰነዳት ትውከስ ዘሎኻ! ሰነድ ዝውከስ ስርዓት ድዩ’ዚ? እስከ በል እሞ ሰነዳት፡ ገበናዊ ሕግታት፣ ሕግታት ወፍሪ፡ ዕዳጋን፡ ሸርፍን፣ ሕግታት ሃገራዊ ኣገልግሎ፣ ሕግታት ኣብያተ ማእሰርቲ፣ ሕግታት ካብን፡ ናብን ምንቅስቃስ ዜጋታት ወዘተረፈ… ድማ ወስ በለና። ገጽካ ርእዩ ዝወናጅለካን፡ ዝበናጅለካን ቀይዲ-በተኽ ስርዓት’ሲ ዕንደርኡ ዝእርንበሉ ሰነድ ኣለዎ’ዩ? ኣበይ? መን ዝነቦን፡ ዝፈርደሉን? ከይደ ነይረ’ዶ ኣይበልካንን? መሬት ናይ መንግስቲ በሎ ናይ ኣቕሽሽቲ፡ ንዘርከበን፡ ተጸገዐን መን ይዓግቶ? ኣይትጋገ ሜሮን፡ ነቲ ትውከሶ ዘሎኻ ሰነድ፡ ግደፍ ክሰርሑሉ፡ ካብ መፈጠሩ ቁሊሕ ኢሎሞ ዝፈጡ የለውን። እታ ዓዲ’ኮ የላን፡ ዓሚን፡ ቅድሚ ዓሚን ጠፊኣ እያ።

    እቲ ሓቂ’ምበኣር፡ ናበይ ይነዝዕ ዘይፍለጥ ዘሎ ቀጻሊ ምብሕጓግ ትሕዝቶ ሃገር’ዩ። ነቶም ውሽጢ ዘለዉ ሕቆኦም ሞሊቁ’ዩ ናብ ዘብልዎ የብሎምን ተባሂሎም’ያኢ፡ ነቶም ናይ ደገ ድማ ብመጸኩም መጸኩም ድሂልካን፡ ኣሰንቢድካን፡ ትግራዋይ’ዶ፡ እስላማይ’ዶ፡ ኣውራጃዊ’ዶ፡ ዓሌታዊ’ዶ፡ መጠፋፊኢ’ዶ አናበልካ ኣብ ዳስ ሓውያ ሽማግለ በዓላት ዝነሃላ ማሕበረ-ኮማት ጎርቢስካ፡ ገንዘቦም ብኸረጻጺት እናጓረትካ፡ መጻኤኦም ብሓዊ እናሃሞኽካ ዝግበር ሽውሽር እዩ።


    • Haile,

      Here is what you stated :” 57% ትግርኛ፡ 28% ትግረ፡ ዝተረፈ 15% ድማ ኣብ 7 ዓሌት ዝተኸፍለ ስለዝኾነ ምዕሩይ ምርቀሔ ሃብቲ ሃገር እምበር ካልእ ተጻብኦ ዝፈጥር ኣይኮነን።

      Out of the 57% tigrinya biher, 28% tigre , and 15% others, how many do you believe (in percentage) speak Arabic language. According to your statistics, it is very hard to justify Arabic language as a necessary national language. (This language issue needs to be brought up for a debate in “hadas Ertra”; we should not just accept Arabic language as a de jure recognition by a government simply because “Abotatna said so” some 50 years ago) The language is not widely spoken, nor does it represent our national identity, at least according to your statistics. From a utilitarian point of view, however, languages such as Arabic are important to conduct business especially given Eritra’s proximity to the Arab world.

      • haile

        Hi Daw!t

        I think you know the answer 🙂 [I am referring to the question as you intended it rather than phrased it] Let’s say 0%. What does this signify? Especially in connection to my next statement that “ብሃይማኖታዊ ሸነኽ እንተርኢኻ ግን፡ ምክብባር፡ ምጽውዋርን፡ ካልእ ስነ-ምግባር ዝጎዶሎ ኣከያይዳ፡ ነቲ ሃገር ናብ ክልተ ክገምዕ ዝኽእል ተኽእሎ ኣብ ክልቲኡ ሸነኽ ኣሎ።” Divisive issues need to be dealt with ስነ-ምግባር ዘይጎደሎ approach. It is easy for one side of the issue to dole out a self serving proposal one way or the other. However, there rules and procedures that can be used to address national questions like that fairly, responsibly and transparently. The problem is not the issue in itself per se, rather by the way those approaching it try to polarize it to serve other agenda. Let’s be on our guard, truth and legality are the durable bases to move forward on this and most other issues. Peace

        • I might have taken it out its context to make a point. But the crux of the matter is that only very few Eritreans speak the language. If we impose it on Eritreans through government policies it would probably take us a century to even understand any one of the variants of Arabic languese.

      • Zahra

        Haile and Dawit,

        You’re claiming, 2013: Tigrinya 57% and Tigre+others 43%

        Records show, 1951: Tigrinya 23% and Tigre+others 77%

        That is an increase/decrease: Tigrinya plus 34%(57%-23%), while Tigre+others minus 34% (43%-77%)

        So, we have the same 34%, a magic number difference.

        • Zahra, I think from 1951 to 2013 Tigrina and Tigre including others grew by about 148% and 79% respectively.

          • what I am trying to say is that we can’t simply subtract percentages to determine growth rate. If you know what I mean.

        • Zahra,

          For God’s sake don’t argue by guess numbers. If you don’t have a studied statistics better to wait till we have them. Numbers can not be used for fake politics. But numbers are good for drawing and reflecting justice such in our case to bring a representative democracy.

  • Abinet

    Ato Woldai,I can not understand the relationship b/n you being Tigrawi and your expectation that Eritrea would grow fast .please tell me more .thank you again.

    • Woldai

      I’m a man who deals with Tigrigna language in general …., therefore, I consider the Tigrigna speaking in Eritrea are part of my business! If there is peace in Eritrea then Tigrai will benefit from it…& many more. & also I personally consider Tigrigna speaking Eritrean , Tigrian in nationality & Eritrean in citizen, like every nationalities in the world….people who speak the same language shares a lot in common… , politically,socially,economically… I hope you get my point a little!

  • Nitricc

    SAAY I will respond to your take.
    What I want to say for now is, I am really ticked off by people like Berihan
    Look how he is referencing as the only people who matters are the highlanders. Those are the only who matters and those are the movers and shakers of Eritrea. The low landers did not count and who cares what they think.
    Here is the prime reason I agree with PIA in delaying the whole poletical process. The Berihan generation has to die off if the rest people of Eritrea, highlander and low lander can live in equal footing. Mr. Berihan, your ignorance out weighted your arrogance. People of low land are equaly Eritreans and they have bled more than their share.
    Till we learn and admit that the playing filed are leveled, you can forget about building viable Eritrea.
    Berihan do you think there is possibility that PIA is standing because the low landers are behind him? Stupid me, they don’t count.
    I say don’t implement constitution or any poletical process till people like Berihan learn or die.
    How do you write of half of the population?

    • Haqi

      Why do you think the dictator should decide our fate instead us deciding. Dis and groupies are weirdos

  • said

    We’ve seen DIA regime with their imposed Communist ideology that were meant to answer everything, failed in practical term. The Communist project has shown us its ugly face in being forcefully applied against the will of people by DIA regime, what Eritrean need most is education in a democracy and demands something dramatically different. That democracy is based on the consensuses, dialogue, respect, taking in consideration, the culture and religion, it is about rights, knowledge, it is a fragile but precious and brilliant idea that every human being is of incalculable value. We should aim to create and practice a system that encourages; help aspiration, Initiative, hope, harmony, courage, entrepreneurship, imagination, creativity, fair-welfare and building institution, not obedience and conformity.
    Infuses the education and democracy that go hand in hand or education and freedom as part and parcel of the same thing, Eritreans today, we are actually fighting for democracy. We don’t want to get put into the same present experience and trap we are ourselves into, which is to dehumanize someone else be it, he is regionalist, his ethnicity or faith. Eritrean are livening a nightmare and are insecure and frightened and driven by a sense of dreadful from the present DIA regime and are worried about the unknown future.
    Just like the converse of PFDJ in use the profanity langue of dismissal of their perceived opponent is known to us and toady we wittiness regime supporters one-side and struck by the increasingly highly charged emotional condescending, nearing lays, dogmatic type of a discourse, loaded with expressions of “Negation” and “Dismissal” of the “Other” as mostly communicated by debating DIA supporting the points of view and highly emotionally “slogan charged” presentation of a point of view. However, and as a caveat, like many Eritrea Diaspora who has spent the past half of our life attending to; listening and some participating in political debates in the US, Canada, Britain and everywhere else, discussing varying hot political issues, that both USTV Networks, European “Al-Jazeera” and “BBC” tend to simultaneously host a very free fair debate with representatives of the two sides in a debate equally represented and allotted equal and sufficient time to present their points of view without undue pressure or bias by the moderators of the said TV Networks anchoring the debate that one can take a lesson one or two
    This not about the intellectual people who are happen to be smart or privileged, and speaking on behalf of people, and that are allowed to be to speaking in our behave as an experts, while those questioning DIA regime power, and those Eritrean who face the brunt of the regime and are marginalized in some way or another, are often not allowed to voice their voices and be experts or even be heard on the issues and realty they live in day in and day out that they know best. Exactly is the case. When you get to this question of Eritrean intellectual and experts many have let the people down or sided with power , even if they see themselves liberal and “progressive” they believe in this concept of expertise in this self-serving, top-down way. I don’t. Everyone should believe that he/she and every one of us is an expert on our own lives. And every body count as knowledgeable and experts on our own lives, we all have the privilege and right to enter the public square and have opinion and conversation about our nation, the most important issues of the hour.