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Sanctions on Eritrea: Will They Or Won’t They?

1. It’s sanctions season, and the question is “will they or won’t they?”  Will the UN Security Council (UNSC) extend sanctions on the State of Eritrea or will they lift it?  We will have more information in June when the Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea (SEMG) publishes its report and we will know for sure in November when the UNSC votes on it.   But, for those of you who can’t wait that long, on April 13, there was a discussion of the oral report presented to the Sanctions Committee by the Monitoring Group.  The SC session was presided over by the president for April (US) and the new chairman of the Sanctions Committee is Kazakhstan.

2. I know what you are thinking: every time I have tried to watch these things, they are almost two hours long; a lot of it has nothing to do with Eritrea, and I don’t know how to fast forward through it. Luckily, there is a solution for that.  Do you have 50 minutes?  Then head on to Eritrea Daily, which has edited the video to include only the parts that deal with Eritrea.

3. This takes us to the “Will They” or “Won’t They” speculation. Some dots:

4. In its November 2016 decision to extend the sanctions for one more year, the Security Council had made these calls on Eritrea:

  • Reiterates its expectation that the Government of Eritrea will facilitate the entry of the SEMG to Eritrea
  •  Underlines that deepened cooperation will help the Security Council be better informed about Eritrea’s compliance with the relevant Security Council resolutions;
  • Urges the Government of Eritrea to facilitate a visit of the SEMG to Eritrea;
  •  Calls on Eritrea to cooperate fully with the SEMG
  •  Stresses its demand that the Government of Eritrea allow access and make available any detailed information, including to the SEMG, pertaining to the Djiboutian combatants missing in action

5. Notice that none of these have anything to do with Somalia or whether Eritrea is supporting Somali armed groups.  All of them are the same call using different action verbs– reiterates, underlines, urges, calls on, stresses– that the Government of Eritrea allow the SEMG to make a visit to Eritrea.  Yet, those who demand that the sanctions be lifted keep arguing that there is no evidence that Eritrea is supporting Al-Shabab; therefore, the sanctions must be lifted (as if that was the only reason for the sanctions.)

6. The Government of Eritrea has made the following points with respect to SEMG visit: (a) We allowed them in twice (time never specified–because it wasn’t the SEMG that was allowed in); (b) We have held numerous conversations with them offsite or via video conference; (c) We are not going to allow people in on a fishing expedition.

7. Whether the UN Security Council bends on its demand (stated five times in the last resolution), or holds firmly to it, is dependent on many factors–some that we know and some that we don’t know.  One of the ones we know (or have a firm opinion on) is this: did Eritrea stop supporting Somali armed groups as a result of the 2009 targeted sanctions or did Eritrea stop supporting Somali armed groups because it had never started to begin with?  If it is the former (and I believe it is), then sanctions clearly had the desired outcome and there is a reason to use them as a stick.  If it is the latter (as some do), then sanctions were unfairly imposed and need to be lifted immediately.

8. Let’s now talk about the Permanent Members, to get an idea (based on their speeches) of where this is going:

(a) The United States: stress on importance of SEMG visit, and a full accounting of Djibouti’s missing-in-action as something it would look for to get full assurance that Eritrea is compliant;
(b) The United Kingdom–which is the Pen Holder–was all wobbly and it seems ready to make a deal;
(c) France: stressed the importance of a visit by SEMG and, of course, mentioned Djibouti prisoners of war;
(d) China: told the world for umpteenth time that it doesn’t believe in sanctions.  (I wonder what its position was on sanctioning apartheid South Africa? I refuse to look it up.)
(e) Russia: presented, as it did last year, what I think will be the way forward: it wants to see a “road-map” for lifting the sanctions.  What I think this means is that there would be gradual easing of sanctions, after Eritrea meets some metrics the UN would develop.

9. Since none of the Permanent Five are likely to exercise their veto, it is important that we pay attention to the non-permanent members that make up the Security Council. They are Bolivia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Senegal, Sweden, Ukraine, and Uruguay.

10. Of these, only Egypt, Ethiopia, Kazkhstan, Senegal and Ukraine addressed the SC*. (Djibouti and Eritrea also spoke but they are not members of SC and have no vote.) Egypt is firmly in support of lifting the sanctions. Ethiopia did not explicitly call for extending the sanctions; rather, it invited the chairman of the Sanctions Committee, who vowed to visit Eritrea, to stop by the neighborhood and speak to members of IGAD (the regional affiliation) since Eritrea is “good at playing the victim.” Kazakhstan, as I mentioned, is chairing the Sanctions Committee so has to appear neutral (for now.) Senegal (Francophone) stressed the importance of dealing with Djibouti’s 13 missing-in-action soldiers. Ukraine is for lifting the sanctions because sanctions can’t go on indefinitely.

Where Are We Likely To Be By November

11:  Will Eritrea allow the Chairman of the Sanctions Committee access to Eritrea? Probably.   Will it give him access if he insists on bringing along the Monitoring Group? Extremely unlikely.

12. Was the delegate representing the US an Obama-holdover or a Trump-appointee? (Friend applies a test: did she sound competent? Then she is an Obama appointee.  My reply: did she talk in a meandering, professorial way? No? Then she is a Trump appointee.) Either way, who knows what the US position will be in 3 months in the Trump Era.  His foreign policy priority is North Korea and he is likely to be unhappy with countries who are breaking sanctions on North Korea.  It is likely that is the first time Trump ever heard of Eritrea: in connection with North Korea.

13. Will Eritrea provide any new information about the missing Djibouti soldiers?  Extremely unlikely.  Probably because it has no idea where they are: the legendary EPLF-care-for-POWs is long gone, if it ever existed.   Somebody probably said “akharjom” and “tekharijom.”  Will this be a big deal for France?  Who knows if the Trump of France is elected president?

Related to this, have you noticed that it is taking longer to delimit the Eritrea-Djibouti border than it did to delimit the Eritrea-Ethiopia border?

14.  The British foreign policy appears to be entirely dictated by the need to limit Eritrean refugee outflow:  they are convinced (it appears) that lifting sanctions would improve Eritrea’s economy which would decrease the refugee flow.

15.  China is the inventor of “Strategic Patience” which Obama appropriated.   Its answer to everything is: patience and dialogue.  Ethiopia won’t abide by the ruling of the boundary commission: what is China’s policy?  Will it exercise leadership and use its veto power, asked a hopeful Eri-TV journalist of the Chinese ambassador to Eritrea.  No.  Patience and dialogue. The two parties should dialogue.  (He didn’t say that’s how we got Hong Kong, that’s how we will get back Taiwan.  You count in years, we count in centuries.)

16.  Russia’s “roadmap” is intriguing.  Now you may say the UN already has given Eritrea a road map to get sanctions lifted: have the monitoring group visit Eritrea, account for Djiboutian MIA soldiers.   But–I think–what Russia is saying is, ok, that is not working, and we can’t have sanctions forever, let’s come up with new goals that Eritrea can meet and one that won’t encourage future rogue nations.

17. Some Potpourri: Remember, the last time it filed its report, SEMG had said that it’s unclear if the presence of the United Arab Emirates in Asab violates the arms embargo on Eritrea. Maybe the literal reading of the resolution suggests it is a violation, but its political definition–towards what end? To establish a military base to attack groups we don’t like?–indicates it is not.  The presence of armed Ethiopian groups in Eritrea is–literally–also a violation of the sanctions language, but the fact that it is not mentioned in last year’s resolution suggests that nobody–not even Ethiopia–sees them as a threat to peace and security.

18. If I were betting today, I would say that the sanctions will be extended–only because Eritrea has been given one request (allow the SEMG access) and it just happens to be the only one it can’t accommodate. Part for this is the same reason Saddam wouldn’t let UN inspectors search for nuclear weapons when he had none (hubris, sovereignty, plus need to appear more powerful than he really is.)  Part of it is that there is a chance that when you give people unfettered access some other thing you are keeping a secret will be uncovered.  We will have a clearer vision in June when SEMG files its written report.

* This is wrong: in the full video, you can see Sweden, Uruguay, Japan also gave speeches.  More in the comments section below.

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  • Abraham H.

    Selam Folks,
    Congratulations to President-elect Emmanuel Macron! The fascists and rasists have once again, been defeated in France. Europe is standing its ground against these evil powers who want to take the West to the dark ages.

    • Abi

      Hi Abraham
      Merci!

  • Abraham H.

    Selam Folks,
    As we’ve heard it, the Ethiopian gov is considering a new policy towards Eritrea. In my view, no matter what the Ethiopian gov tries to normalize its relations with Eritrea, there is a nil chance of success as long as the devil ruler Isayas is alive and kicking. Nothing will work, and Ethiopia cannot clap with one hand; this evil man has decided to take down the Eritrean people with him. Therefore, I’m today pleading with the Ethiopian govt that the only solution to the impasse in relations with Eritrea and for a liberation of the Eritrean people is directly targeting the Eritrean dictator. The only solution to this endless suffering of the Eritrean people is assassinating the dictator. This must be the new policy towards Eritrea, and the Ethiopian gov has to work hard with insiders inside the Eritrean regime to accomplish this noble cause.

    • Abi

      Hi Abraham
      How much I prayed for the SOB to die back in the early 90s. Specially when he went to Israel (?) for treatment I was praying twice daily . Looks like God doesn’t listen to my prayers.

      • Saleh Johar

        Hi Abi,
        If you skip church on Sunday’s, don’t even try praying. You are spoiling it for the pious of us.

        • Abi

          Selam Ato Saleh
          Are you suggesting I should go to church every Sunday?
          Just let me skip this Sunday. Manchester United is playing Arsenal. Go Manchester!
          Liverpool is also playing this Sunday.
          You see my problem?

          • Saleh Johar

            Hi Abi,
            Then don’t pretend your prayer amounts to anything, you worship Arsenal and I am not sure if they respond to prayers. But I know of a place of worship that offers night time service–it might be a new religion if you do not mind converting. I think they watch sports as they pray–hulet wef b’aand dingay sort of thing 🙂

          • Abi

            Selam Ato Saleh
            I’ve heard about this new religion. Saaytanish is leading the late night prayers. Are you the the recruiter by any chance? Oh My Gadi!

      • Abraham H.

        Selam Abi, I think praying is not going to do the job. But REAL action is demanded, and I, as an Eritrean, am inviting your country to help us rid ourselves of our debilitating brute dictator. It is a historical win-win situation. Think about it.

        • Simon Kaleab

          Selam Abraham H.,

          So you are banking on someone, a foreign entity, to do your dirty work? Have you lost your mind?

          • Graviton

            Peace new?

            Well true to an Eritrean he is following that useless idiot’s lead, using egypt, alshabab to do his dirty work. No wonder, some been saying the skunk has lost his mind. I asked if he had one before?

        • KBT

          Selamat kulukhum
          Hey Abraham why you don’t take arm and fight like a man
          At the border

          • Abraham H.

            Hi KBT? kebti ekua yihisha kabakhas, xeban s’gan keman yirkeben. I just want to tell you your gangster regime of PFDJ is just a single shot away from collapse; hence no need to ‘take up arms at the border’. Once the master devil DIA is taken away, all the mini-devil opportunists the likes of Filipos, Yemane monkeys, Kishas, Gebredingles, Tesfalidets, Kasas, etc would dissipate into the thin air.

          • KBT

            Selamat kulukhum
            It s been a year since you guys keep saying the regime will collapse soon and look who is collapsing you master woyanee so what is going to happen to their pet abreham ???
            Soon you will be in a cage

      • Paulos

        Selam Abisensation,

        The question as to why evil exit troubled thinkers and lay people alike for ages where equally Eritreans in general and particularly the elderly are unable to come to terms with it for obvious reasons. It sure defies logic to see Isaias who is arguably the most cruel person the continent has ever seen continues to cause unimaginable cruelty on the people who are known among other things by their God fearing kindness and heavens in the mean time remain silent. With in historical parlance, accidental figures come on the world stage not so much by a personal convictions or calling but for a reason beyond human comprehension. Isaias was sent to us so that in the end when the sun rises on Eritrea and when the abundant Mana starts to pour down, we remain humble. Simply because the Good Book tells us that God punishes those who are close to His heart. As the saying has it, with patience, one can empty an ocean with a table spoon. The end is near.

        • Haile S.

          Welcome back Paul,
          You sound returning back from a sabbatical leave spent in one of the Troglodytic monasteries አንዳ ኣባ ስምኦን? 🙂

          • Paulos

            Selam Haile,

            Thank you. The hustle and bustle of life keeps me tied up to meet ends but of course I miss engaging inputs of yours and others where Awate is like the “Dark Matter” that keeps the stars in the loop from veering off. Your take on the monasteries reminds me, “The Man Who Sold His Ferrari.” Serene and solitude are beyond my reach for they are priceless.

      • KBT

        Selamat
        Hi abi I think he listen to you ,he just mistaken a name and the worthless MELES CHENAWI

        • KBT

          Selamat
          What is please the immature language I used
          Moderator ??
          you don’t stand for truth only, if i was vilifying eritrea it would be wonderful right? ???

    • Nitricc

      Hi Abraham; reading your worthless post, I am wondering when you get to be the Ethiopian mouth piece. Dude, at least tell the truth before all the way you bend for Weyane. The truth is that it is your masters who has refused to the verdict of the rule of law. but you don’t have neither the courage nor the dignity to stand for what is the truth. Your masters are saying let’s dialogue and Eritrea is saying there is nothing to be dialogued about; we went to war because we couldn’t solve our differences through dialogue i.e. the court has rendered its verdict and we agreed in to final and binding, case close. how on earth are you blaming Eritrea on this one. Eritrea is simply saying let’s follow to the latter of the court? what is wrong with you people? No wonder your opposition won’t move an inch.

      • Abraham H.

        Selam Nitricc, dude, if you are expecting Ethiopia to pack up and leave Badme and other ‘occupied territories’ without a procedure for the demarcation process, then you are only dreaming. What else do you know about the occupied territory other than Badme; your master DIA has not even told you which parts of Eritrea that are under Ethiopian control, or possibly, vice-versa. Let’s say 90% of the Eritrean territory is under the control of the PFDJ; has your regime allowed the Eritrean people that reside in this area to lead a dignified life? What has your regime to offer the people other than arbitrary arrests, diasppearances, rule of jungle with impunity, absolute servitude, and utter poverty? Isn’t it because of this inhuman hopeless life that thousands of Eritreans are crossing over that mine strewn damned border evading shot to kill orders every month to the enity that is said to be occupying Badme?
        Wake up, dude, shouting ‘final and binding’ for ever while dying is not going to bring any change to the plight of the Eritrean people, but mature diplomatic engagemnet with Ethiopia and with the international community does.
        Don’t be ጸማም ሓንቲ ደርፉ.

        • Simon Kaleab

          Selam Abraham H.,

          You sound like a spokesman for the Ethiopian Foreign Ministry. Any connections?

      • mt girm

        selam Nitricc,
        IA is promising dialogue after demarcation. He is not promising Normalization!
        Ethiopia can come out empty handed from the dialogue. Normalization should not be a prerequisite for demarcation. Trade(optional), Diplomatic relations(optional),Eritrean refugee issue(a must), Opposition groups armed by IA lunching an attack from Eritrean territory( a must), IA should offer Ethiopia a conditional dialogue befor demarcation- to sign an agreement on the two issues. Even implementation can wait after demarcation.

        • Nitricc

          Hi Mt girm; Well, it is up to Eritrea weather to normalize or not. Normalization should not be tied to the decision of the court of law. They are two separate issues. I didn’t not see the clause that will say, you must normalize after the implementation of the border demarcation. For one Eritrea gains many benefits from normalization with Ethiopia and I see no reason why Eritrea will refuse to the idea of normalization but should not be forced though. Regarding the Eritrean refugee, well the Eritrean government got nothing to do with it. those refugee has left their country willfully, some they refused to serve their country, some for economical reasons and some they flanked out of the educational system of the country and the sow no hope staying in the country. on this case the government of Eritrea has nothing to do with Eritrean refugee case. regarding the opposition groups, I think that will be very hard for Eritrea to comply. For Ethiopia, TPLF can’t wait to dumb the Eritrean refugee and they will be very happy to do so but I don’t think that is the case with Eritrea. I think that will be real sticking point. so, to your point that ” IA should offer Ethiopia a conditional dialogue befor demarcation” I disagree. As soon as the court rendered its verdicts; the case is close and Ethiopia must proceed with court’s decision and all should be fine.

          • mt girm

            Selam Nitricc,

            On one hand you are saying “I see no reason why Eritrea will refuse to the idea of normalization”
            on the other hand you are saying”regarding the opposition groups, I think that will be very hard for Eritrea to comply”. Don’t you think these two statements contradict!

          • Graviton

            Peace new?

            His very existence is a contradiction,lool

    • sara

      Abraham,
      Are you sure of what you are writing? i think assassination is a violent form of killing a person , are you using this forum ( a respectable website) to instigate violence, and at that to a head of a state “dictator” ?

      • Abraham H.

        Selam sara, what does one do if a mad man hijacks a baby and threatenes to kill it? Well, that mad person has to be incapacitated or even in worse case taken out. DIA has caused so much pain to Eritreans for so long that it is long overdue he has to be dealt with harshly.

        • adom

          You are suffer

    • adom

      You exhibit symptoms of LOCS(Lack of common sense). You need help. I suggest you get psychiatric evaluation.

  • tes

    Selam saay7,

    Thank you Saleh for providing us a simplified analysis of “What PFDJ” expects for the next move to sanction it. Sanction imposed on PFDJ is legitimate for many reasons. Its existence is a threat to humanity and peaceful existence of nations. Its dirty hand is every where. Its Army trade is the main source of army to Africa. The world should impose more on its financial sources so that PFDJ can be weakened on its muscles.

    Though formal circulation of hard currency in PFDJ can be scrutinizedm today traditional gold mining is the hidden source of hard currency. Gold is taken to Dubai and other trade centers by individuals affiliated to PFDJ regime. The money earned in exchange goes to all dirty trade activities of PFDJ. This has to be investigated by SEMG to tighten its muscles.

    tes

    • saay7

      Selamat Tes:

      As you know there were two sanctions, one in 2009 and another in 2011. After the 2009 sanctions, the UN got Isaias attention on Djibouti but not Somalia. (Got enough of his attention to pretend to recognize he has a conflict with Djibouti by bringing Qatar as a “mediator” which has done nothing to demarcate the border.) After the 2011 sanctions–which mentioned his favorite subject, money–the UN got the attention of IA: his media stopped making any reference to Somalia, to Somali liberators, and lecturing the world on why Al-Shabab are not terrorists. That’s why for 3 years now SEMG has said there is no evidence of Eritrea supporting Somali combatants. The Isaisists may feel vindicated by this but what the Security Council knows is something different: if you want to change the guy’s behavior, apply the right pressure at the right pressure points.

      With the Somalia issue out of the way, what remains is Djibouti: the missing combatants and this little other thing that once the Security Council empowers an instrument (in this case SEMG) you can’t say, “Nah, I don’t feel like letting them in” without paying a price for it.

      Somalia alone would not have gotten Eritrea sanctioned. It was Somalia PLUS Djibouti, and particularly Isaias’s refusal to accept a fact-finding mission that was put together after the Djibouti-Eritrea conflict of 2008. The fact-finders went to Somalia and went to Ethiopia to get Somalias, Ethiopia’s, Djibouti’s version of events but they never got Eritrea’s version of events because Isaias is addicted to blunders and catastrophic miscalculations.

      saay

  • KBT

    Selamat kulukhum
    The author is so bias and full of hatred against eritrea ,he mentions SEMG so many times some how they are angels of peace .all their report was fake they never provide any evidence in fact they have been caught advocating for regime change in favor of ali abdu .
    So stop spreading fake news against eritrea the author I’ll feeling against eritrea mean nothing against all odds eritrea will prevail awat ne hafash

    • Mez

      Dear Kbt,

      The above article is a summary and an analysis on the issue of the sanction. It is not ” fake news” as you are trying us beleive.

      A question: why you feel so offended?

      Present your side of the story with data and proper narrative; and let us talk.

      In an ideal case, every political current in any given country is trying its best to get traction, acceptance, then the reward to constitute an elected government and govern.

      Eritrea and it’s people are no exception. Please stop the thinking ” I am the government, the government is me” and try to embrace the wider political audiance.
      Thanks

  • Saba

    Dear Saay7,
    I was googling about Visafric and your name came up. Wow you were the guru of Eri politics even back then. Intay mo zereba tirah endo koynu.
    Your analysis about the sanctionoid is a good mental exercise, tantamount to Sudoku. Let’s assign a probability to each case you mentioned, then add, subtract, multiply or divide the probabilities, whatever formula you have. What do you get? 70% YES-30%NO to sanctionoid? That is not still a good number, just ask Nate silver.
    Anyway what is the effect of this sanctionoid? Nada. The golden age of the Eritrean opposition is over. Isayas has survived his zebene akaHida. If you still insist that it has an effect, i will say yikunelka, to quote you and your boys:)

    • Graviton

      Peace new?

      “Isayas has survived his zebene akaHida”

      He might have, but the country, not so much. But whats his legacy without that?

      • Saba

        Hi Gravityon,
        What is the legacy of addiction? acute and chronic diseases. Still people consume or smoke such non essential substances. Similarly dictators are addicted to being dictators and do not care about legacy. Their mind set is similar to one ADiGhi (donkey)said: Bidhrey SaERi(Dandare) iqua AytiBquela.

        • Graviton

          Peace new?

          You seem to ignore the effect sanctions has on the people, if not on the leadership. “Martyrdom Syndrome” seems to captivate the mass and holds ’em hostage of their own delusional revolution. It alters (if it hasn’t already) the psych of the average guy(unless this is the true intention) and cause serious damage to the socio-cultural fabrics.

          consequentially, forget the strong, resilient, untouchable,…etc adjectives. They are the thing of the past, of the old psych. What you have is, a submissive, fearful, unquestioning, brainwashed and not being able to think for oneself.

          case in point : the forto incident.

          • Saba

            Hi Graviton,
            my innocuous, law-abiding reply is waiting approval by AT(?)

          • Graviton

            Peace new sabina?

            Really? i mean, i have seen some cringy comments passing the gate keeper’s gaze with flying colors. If yours didn’t make it, may be it shouldn’t 🙂

      • Paulos

        Selam Graviton,

        Your nick is pretty cool but they say “Graviton” was never proven that it exists. It is only a theory. You might as well be a Physicist and please educate us if you will.

        • Graviton

          Peace new?

          You’r right, and it kinda resonates with the Eritrean identity, you know, it sounds cool but non-existent. Well at least not in this life time:)

          P.S. please don’t tell this to Ghetata, he might come up with a second followup article for the marvelous mystical “Adulusian Civilization”

          • Paulos

            Selam Graviton,

            That’s really funny. Imagine one of your students asks you the same question and you pull the Eritrean identity on them to illustrate. Let’s push it a notch further, if you ask any Physicist in shorts and T-shirts, he will tell you that, the main challenge they have is that they are unable to unify the other three forces of nature with gravity where gravity stands out to be strange or odd to say the least. I think that was one of the reasons they came up with a theoretical frame work if you will where they reasoned that if say two particles interact as in electromagnetism through photons, gravity must have an interacting “medium”—graviton. Again, it has not been proven yet for one needs massive objects colliding as in two or more black-holes or galaxies to “see” Graviton. Here is the reason why gravity is strange and your analogy with the Eritrean thing seems to resonate. Unlike the other forces, gravity doesn’t repel, it only attracts. Imagine say if the sun had only postively charged particles and the earth had only negatively charged particles, they would annihilate each other out but luckily the particles in them cancel each other out and gravity comes into play. One wonders, the reason the Eritrean identity remained so illusive is that the people are gravitated towards Mama Ethiopia as they pour in through the border every month in thousands.

          • Abi

            Paul Paul Paul
            Unlike gravity you are pushing it.
            Did you tell me your vest is military grade? Reinforced and all?

          • Paulos

            Abisensation,

            You should see me laughing. I got your back more than any upgraded stuff. Are you watching Mun against Ars?

          • Abi

            Paul
            I did not watch the game. I was instructed to attend church services on Sunday’s.

          • Paulos

            Abisensation,

            You didn’t miss anything. Man-u suck. Arsenal played better. Overall the game was lame. Marino is in trouble.

          • Abi

            Paul
            The reason I didn’t watch the game was because I already knew it is going to be a lousy . There is absolutely nothing Man U gets out of the game. They are focusing on the Europa league. If they win that they are automatically in the champions league regardless of how high they finish in the EPL. They are in a good position to win it. No need to risk it for a useless game. Arsenal need every point to finish 4th to qualify for champions league.

          • Paulos

            Abisensation,

            Yea you’re right. That seems to be the reason and probably that is the reason Marhino benched most of the great players.

          • Abi

            Paul
            Watch Milan Play Roma if you are not busy making bondage or taking a break from watching the stars as Gashe Haile instructed you. I hope you found the bright star Called erytreanna in the dark sky.

          • Paulos

            Abisensation,

            Sure thing. Love astronomy. I am sure you’ve heard about the new space observatory in Entoto. It is getting traction for it is more attractive as in the one in Chile for its elevation among other things. I admire and respect the ambition and vision. Hope one day Eritrea and Ethiopia engage in space exploration and space race as well.

            Here is a joke I heard a while back. Isaias gathered all his cabinet including the top military brass as he was preparing to send his men to the sun for exploration but he was worried that, it might melt them, then one of his astute Generals (General Wuchu) said, we can send them at night.

          • Abi

            Paul
            Do you know I heard about this space observatory at EnToTo from Pappi for the first time? She was also interested in science and movies and books just like you. I miss Pappipaul.
            You see why I protect EnToTo from foreign invaders?

            That is a nice joke. With your permission I like to share it with friends and family.

            I don’t understand what you mean by space race? አንታ ጠጠው በል! እዋይ!
            Stay with your bike race, cuccineta race, and of course, camel race .
            የጠፈሩን ጉዳይ ለባለቤቶቹ ተውልን:: እኛ እንደምናውቀው
            እናደርገዋለን :: በልክ ነው መጉረስ:: ወዴት ወደ ሰማይ መንጠራራት ነው?

          • Paulos

            Abisensation,

            Thank you for starting my Monday with a laugh. Glad you like the joke. By all means share it with your loved ones.

          • Selam Abi,

            I think that I have read somewhere that China is constructing an Ethiopian satellite to be put in space within two years or so. It will be used both for climatological and military reasons.
            .

          • Abi

            Hi Horizon
            ለሁሉም መሰንበት ዋናው ነገር ጤና
            ሰው ተገረመብን ምን አዩና ገና!
            ቴወድሮስ ታደሰ

          • Saleh Johar

            Hi Abi,
            I think it is working, you are becoming less annoying 🙂

          • Abi

            Selam Ato Saleh
            Unfortunately the head priest doesn’t like me at the church . He said I ask many questions and argue against fake stories.
            I will give it another try next Sunday.

          • Haile S.

            Hi Paulos,
            I thought you were into the Biochem thing and I was hoping you say the problem our country and it’s environ are facing was that of a Bond. When the big thinks small and the small feels big, the natural bonding that normally should take place get confused with thoughts of bondage and submission.

            I didn’t expect you to be interested in that Dark-Hole or in the dark matter, the unknown where nobody knows where it leads. Please don’t go there, we need you. I suggest you to go to the nearest planetarium in your area. Lie back in the center of the hall and gaze at the planets and stars. You will see our illusive star is there. Look, it is bright new one under formation! It blinks, goes off and comes backs flickering. How else is it going to tell us it is there in the dark among the hundreds like her.

            ጋመይ ኩሕሎ ከይጓሃረ’ዶ ሓዊ ይጽሎ
            ጋመይ ኩሕሎ ከይሸወቶ’ዶ ማሸላ ይሕሎ
            Thank you Saay7 for the song

          • Abi

            Gashe Haile
            ” ሩቅ ሀሳቢ ቅርብ አዳሪ ” ሆነ ነገሩ

          • Paulos

            Selam Haile,

            I have a friend and I must say he is a man of all seasons like you where he shares something interesting with Isaias Afwerki not of course the mustache* but his sense of drive to enrich the Tigrinya language. As it happened, I was curious to know what the word “curiosity” is in Tigrinya. And he said it is “ዉጥምና.”

            And sometimes ዉጥምና gets me and I leave the bonding aside and try to learn something else instead. That said of course, one thing is certain as in paying taxes—the absence of identity doesn’t nullify sovereignty.

            *Some people say, if the Biblical figure Samson had his strength hidden in his long hair, Isaias has it in his mustache.

            N.B. Wedi Tkabo’s song comes to mind: አበይ’ዩ ‘ትሓይሉ ተበሉኒ…

          • Haile S.

            Hi Paulos,
            If curiosity is ውጥምና፡ I am another ወጣም. I may come back on this later on. I am now in front of the TV like Tes, whatching the win of Macron as the new French president by ~65%.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Paulos,

            Curiosity = Hin-tit. That is the closest word to it.

          • Paulos

            Selam Emma,

            Oh really? Will have to ask him. Tnx.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Paulosay,

            “ወጣም” ወይ “ውጥምና” = አብዘይምልከቶ ዝአቱ ማለት እዩ::

            Regards

          • Abi

            Selam Ato Amanuel
            How do you say ” curiosity killed the cat ” in Tigrinya?

          • Saleh Johar

            Abi,
            It’s easy to say it in Tigrinya:
            Kiryositi gemel ayqeTelin e’yyu.

            You are not allowed to second guess my input, and if you ask anyone to confirm it for you, you are destined to the bottom of Dante’s stove.

          • Abi

            Selam Ato Saleh
            Have I ever doubted you?
            በጃኩም አይጠርጥሩ

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Abi,

            Here is the translation:
            Curiosity killed the cat = “ህንጡይ ድሙ ሞት ይጽውዕ”

            Regards

          • Saleh Johar

            Hi Emma,
            Your comment sounds like a PFDJ’s transliteration– it means nothing in a non-English cultural context.
            I would say the proper translation is: ab ze menTebitkn, ay te’Etuwa idkn. 🙂

          • Abi

            Selam Ato Amanuel
            የቀንየለይ
            Earlier a language expert and part time translator who specialized in animal husbandry translated “cat” as “camel”.
            That must be the cutest camel or the ugliest cat .
            Thanks for your help.

          • Hayat Adem

            hi paul,
            for no reason, this made smile..Haylu ab chiHmu!
            lol

          • Paulos

            Glad you like it Hayatina.

          • Graviton

            Peace new?

            You put it superbly. You know what, i think you should write an article on this same subject and analogy. Perhaps, you can expound on the conclusive remark. And while you’r at it, debunk the “Artificial Gravity” the cybertronians have been fermenting for over two decades.

            The “inevitability of the impossible” has already been set in motion.

          • Paulos

            Selam Graviton,

            I am afraid the analogy has its own limitations. It can only be carried with in the classical description of gravity.

            Gravity again they say acts or exerts its force on anything that has mass. But thing is, what the heck is mass? Really. When we were growing up, we were told that mass is the stuff in things. Then brainy people like you went technical on us and said, there are two aspects of mass—inertial mass and gravitational mass where the former is a resistance to any kind of motion (you could say, inertial mass is like Isaias Afwerki) and the latter is the obvious. But again if mass is the stuff in things, what is the stuff made of? That is where the fun part begins. It is made of atoms and atoms are made of electrons buzzing around in a cloudy space and protons-neutrons confined in a nucleus. Here is more fun: the protons and neutrons are actually made of quarks—specifically called up-quarks and down quarks. Now suppose it is the holiday season and you go out to buy a 70 kg goat and you come home and you cut the goat in half but for a strange reason you change your mind and you glued it back and when you weigh it, it weighs the same. Then you decide to cut the goat into its constituent parts as in into every atom in it and you glued it back and again it weighs the same. You cut it again by cutting through the electrons, protons and neutrons and you glued it back and it weighs the same. Then you separate every up-quark and down-quark with in every nucleus of the goat and you glued it back and you weigh it again and you find out that the goat weighs only 1% of its original weight which is 70 kg. All the mass of the goat, that is the 99% is not the stuff in it but it is with in the energy that is holding the up-quarks and down-quarks in the nucleus. That’s where Einstein’s famous equation comes along, that is, energy is equal to the mass twice the speed of light. For something to travel the speed of light it ought to be mass-less. Mass is simply energy not the stuff in things. As for the other aspect of gravity—gravitational mass, it is said that, gravity is actually the curvature of the space around it. That I say for another time provided we find an analogy to it say this time to Ethiopian politics instead.

  • ghezaehagos

    Greetings,
    Thanks Saay! And All.
    When it comes to UN sanctions, one of the thorniest issue was Eritrea’s support for regional opposition members, especially that of Ethiopia. It was reflected in the previous SEMG reports; my guess is it will in the upcoming one. It was a year of violent protests in Ethiopia; vocal armed groups emanating from Eritrea. The officiando of such matters, Ato Isaias Afewerki, now moves to court the Oromo movements, (a year ago was Berhanu Nega); though Arbegnoch, ONLF and others are still in the mix. The recruiting, arming and harbouring armed Ethiopian groups still constitutes violation of the sanction, legally; though we have to see how that will play out in the releam of UN politics in late 2017.
    In the mean time, we remain spectators at worst, speculators at best.
    Yours,
    Ghezae Hagos.

  • Selamat Saay7.

    I would like to jump in on your point Three, #11. [Base10, Base3*^°] Yes it is May Day×2, Not that Sara will NOT, easily see the double negation of The expounding.

    01, I am quite confident Ayya Ismael AA will immediately understand my disagreement with Berhe Yeman’ “Ethiopia’s Elite Ethiopians will never
    accept” or is it, agree with Eritrea. Though BY’s suggestion for us to move forward is noted, and amplified and greater frequency by Ayya Amanuel and numerous others…[Basis 45°,Narrative].
    10. Kshafa40/40 +5/+5–> point Eleven [Base TEN/X/!!!>¿¿¿سودا ال أبو ع عشرا .
    حراعشر – Saay Point Eleven, 2Doub Delta Nation Bladi, South Africa’s Nelson Mandela, “Injustice any where, INJUSTICE EVERYWHERE!” “Siga La Lucce, El Pueblo Unidos- Causa Ustisa Oakland. Sewra Palestine 17!
    11. Pillars++++ Eritrean Prisoners of Concience.

    2ueces
    tSAtSE

  • sara

    Dear saay
    Remember its May day…
    The new man in the white house wants to talk to the strong boy of north Korea.
    Next is to talk to the strong man of north Korea in Africa.
    Hama’s had revised its charter …khalid mishal is retiring.. Things are changing fast folks…sanction?

    • saay7

      Sara:

      Intriguing…please expound on it.

      Saay

      • sara

        Dear saay,
        there is no theory here- simply put, there are so many things happening this days in the world which we (I) never imagined will happen, that may influence ours too.

  • Yemane

    Dear Sal,
    I think Ukraine is for sanction on Eritrea in view of the latter’s enthusiasm for the annexation of Crimea by Russia.
    Otherwise, good article.

    • saay7

      Selamat Yemane:

      I went back and listened to the address of the Ukrainian delegate (which begins at the 46:35 mark) and you are absolutely right: (a) he “took note” of SEMG’s report that there is no evidence Eritrea is supporting Al-Shabab (not “welcome”, not “we are encouraged” but “we took note”, diplomatese for, “meh, whatever!”); (b) he described “constructive cooperation” of Eritrea with SEMG as a “pre-condition” for lifting the sanctions; (c) he welcomes the Sanctions Chairman visit to “the Horn of Africa” (not Eritrea but Horn of Africa, meaning he endorses Ethiopia’s suggestion that Chairman listen to all stakeholders) and (d) he wishes to see the Chairman accompanied by the entire SEMG entourage, a deal-breaker for GoE.

      Move Ukraine to the “no” column. Anybody know what Sweden, Japan, Italy and Uruguay said?

      saay

  • Brhan

    Merhaba Saleh,
    Thanks for the article.
    There was a trip by Eritrea’s FM and his companion Yemane G/Ab to China recently. The regime announced about the trip but as usual it was not specific: the trip was about a crucial issue to the regime and that is what China can do about the sanctions.
    PIA has once said that when it comes to news he knows better what kind of news is good for the Eritrean public and according to the regime becoming specific in giving the news about the trip is not important to the ordinary Eritreans.
    To lift a sanction, the number one factor is that you have the support of your own people.
    As a result the regime is facing a dilemma to show to the international community it has this support
    1) due its denial to the other voices of pro democracy, rule of law which the international community see it as a significant voices.
    2)when it comes to the issue of the sanctions, not only the ordinary supporter but also the regime’s cadres hardly have significant knowledge about it: what went wrong that we have sanctions? Did we send weapon to Somalia’s Alshabab ? The regime was not fare in telling the story in the beginning and continued in the policy till this day.
    3)The issue of SMEG visit to Eritrea will be covered by media, most likely the UN media who will also issue press release to invite third party and the third party might show interest to visit Eritrea which will be a headache for the regime because media means meeting people and talking to them and that is like opening can of worms for the regime.

    • saay7

      MerHaba Brhan:

      A lot of Shabait reports on gov of Eritrea officials meeting with foreign officials is something along the lines of “the two sides discussed bilateral issues as well as regional issues and agreed to strengthen their relations.” Sometimes this is followed by a claim that agreements were signed.

      On China, there have been calls by the GoE for China to excercise leadership, to challenge the unipolar world, which is a demand for China to use its muscle to veto security council resolutions. But this is a misreading of China foreign policy: here is the number of vetoes by the Permanent Five since they got veto power:

      Russia/USSR: 107
      USA: 79
      UK: 29
      France: 16
      China: 11

      China prefers to abstain and excercise its veto only when there is something directly related to its national interest.

      The GoE should court Russia which is more veto-happy. But then what do they have to offer Russia except a Pushkin statue?

      saay

      • Yohannes Zerai

        Dear Saay,

        Thanks you for a condensed, info-packed article on the current state of the UN sanctions on Eritrea. My immediate reaction upon reading the title of your newly-posted article(?) was to repeat Saleh Johar’s recent expression/exclamation – “kab afey menTilkaya” 🙂 This is because your post appeared at a time when I had almost completed preparing an article of my own on the same topic, but with somewhat broader and longer-term perspective on the subject matter. But that should pose no problem; posting thereof can be put off until some suitable future date. Speaking of now, nice of you to come up with a timely write-up which elucidates some of the issues, interplay of political factor/forces and diplomatic maneuvers that will inevitably determine the fate of the sanctions.

        Moving on to an important point raised in the comments, there is really no mystery about the nature of the visit that an Eritrean delegation (comprising Foreign Minister Osman Saleh and Presidential advisor Yemane Gebreab) recently conducted to China. In its broadcast from Paris some ten days ago, Radio Erena cited diplomatic sources for its news report that the objective of the mission was to seek China’s support at the anticipated review of the SEMG’s mid-term report due in April this year. The report also added that, while China confirmed that it will raise the issue of sanctions on Eritrea, it did not indicate an intent to request that sanctions be lifted. This reported role is, of course, consistent with China’s timid, restrained and calculating political strategy of which you spoke in your article and which has become a hallmark of modern China’s foreign policy.

        • saay7

          Selamat Yohannes:

          Can’t wait to read your piece.

          Actually, the more I assess the bullish foreign policies of the US and Russia, the more I have come to appreciate China’s long game. I mean can you imagine if the US and Russia had their own Taiwan? Their own North Korea–a country with missiles within easy reach. It would have been “bombs away!”

          In the US, “—— is a strong leader” means “—- says things like ‘all options are on the table…boots on the ground…..” which means bullets and drones and bombs.

          The Gov of Eritrea can never get the one thing it wants from China: to “compel” Ethiopia to abide by EEBC. China is all about dialogue and communication and peaceful resolution. That is, when it comes to sovereign states relations. Even when its own citizens are shot at when serving as peacekeepers in South Sudan, it will not retaliate. But when it comes to governments relations with their citizens then, all best are off: china will never criticize a country for abusing its citizens, and it won’t brook any criticism of countries criticizing it. In fact, China came out with its own Confucius Award to make the counter-argument that individual civil liberties are not the ultimate measure of fulfilled citize.

          saay

          • Yohannes Zerai

            Hello Saay,

            I fully agree with you regarding the patient, mild and circumspect qualities of China’s handling of its regular relations and interactions with other countries. In the case of Ethiopia, this complaisant policy of China is further reinforced by its huge investment in the former and by the strong economic ties that binds the two countries. For these reasons, it is plainly obvious that China will not be inclined to take a radical or maximalist position on any issue – be it the boundary commission ruling or the sanctions on Eritrea – that would draw the wrath of the Ethiopian government. It is thus beyond me why PFDJ authorities are courting and stoking Chinese influence for their cause while the latter’s alignment on the issue is with others. The regime also did the same with the Russians a year ago, but what it got was far below what it wanted. So far as I can tell, Libya under Gaddafi was the only country that cast a “no” vote on any of the Security Council (SC) resolutions that imposed and/or extended sanctions on the PFDJ regime. The only “support” the regime could muster was nothing more than a few worthless abstentions each time a SC vote was taken on the sanctions.

            I guess these observations are testimony to the regime’s ineptness in which it toils to achieve something for itself, but ends up having nothing to show for it.

          • KBT

            Selamat kulukhum
            Hey saay you won’t never answer and I don’t care but let me tell you brother by comparing Eritrea to taiwan ( that doesn’t have full independence by the way )You expose yourself that Eritrea is not an independent country and want a give a chance to justify any Ethiopian beligerance to war well it will be their doom this time.
            And also Eritrea don’t need China or any other power to reclaim what is our,as Ethiopian are hiring agency that themselves hire activist to vilifie ,demonize,Eritrea day and night thinking the collapse of a country by soon
            Well Eritrea also is the same think and we witnessing the slow collapse The Who digg for Eritrea .
            First of all let them lift that injust arm embargoes and economic sanction on Eritrea later we will see.
            Let me remind you that all our brothers that stubb us in bag by colluding with enemies to destroy Eritrea will have to pay
            The price of justice one day ,they will not get away like that ,Eritrea have right to do what is write to save its people and country from wolves.

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    selam awatistas,

    Below is a good news of our young generation. Eritrean as well as Ethiopian show be proud about Jemal Abraha who is 13 years old who is nicknamed Archimedes of our won 30 million scholarship from apple. Good news are rare and this one is one of the rare.

    I plead for AT to leave this link at least for a day b/c it is Joy to read and hear such news.

    Regard

    http://zena24.com/item/7295_eritrean-13-receives-30-million-dollars-and-lifetime-scholarship-from-apple

    • iSem

      Hi Emma: Good news, but it looks like it is arithmetic trick, rather than a mathematical discovery. I hope I am wrong
      Tsatse, the mathematician in residence can prove that, but how is my random last digit related to my age?
      There is the 72 rule, which is a rule of thumb for quickly culculate how long it takes a money in compound interest would double, when u divide 72 by the interest rate, and there is long dirivation for it.
      but this one?

      Who is zena24 anyways?
      Also, there is a Haitian who won the same thing, I cannot link it here, look it up

      • Selamat iSEM,

        My current arithmetic or الجبرا i

        • Saleh Johar

          Hi TsaTse,
          A little help here:
          You do not need the “alef” at the end. Algebra is ‘Aljebr” like so الجبر
          Also, you need to pay attention of the ة and ه at the end of many words, for example, alHaqiqa (truth) is not written الحقيقا but الحقيقة, if you notice a soft ha sound at the end when you say a word, it’s safe to assume there is haa or taa merbouTa at the end. Just trying to offer help (free tutoring) in your quest.

          • Abrehet Yosief

            Selam Ustaz,

            I love saying “taa merbouTa “. An overeager student, I had practiced writing
            in the connected form copying from print, only to discover that it is hand
            written in a simpler way. Meh…

          • Selamat SJG,

            Thanks for the tutorial. Until the launch, كشافة حاقيقه أربعين, my response to iTEM’s Perpetuity Payment of 72 for Life, PV = 72 ÷ i. My arithmetic الجبر however will be B2 and an immediate solution to (X And YZ)^2 Slti.
            Saleh, I will spend a week plus on

      • Abrehet Yosief

        Hi iSem,
        The math formula is simple. Let X be the last two digits of your phone number [(2X + 5) * 50] + 1766 which leads to (100X + 250) + 1766 which leads to 100X + 2016 then you deduct the year you were born. In effect, you are simply deducting the year you were born from 2016, which is what you would do to know how old you are in
        2016. If you multiply any two digit (or one digit for that mater if your last two digit of phone contains a zero) and add it to 2016, it will not make a difference. The formula fails past your birth month in 2017. (unless you increase 1766 by one etc).

    • tes

      Selam Amanuel Hidrat,

      I don’t know why you are interested on side issue when the topic at hand is so important than the news you tried to share(even if it was true)? Are you not interested on the topic of sanction? Aren’t you the one who constantly remind us to focus on our cause?

      Just felt confused?

      tes

      *well it is fake news and circulating all over facebook page

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Selam Tesfat,

        The info wasn’t debatable. unfortunately it was found to be fake. I did not bring it to divert you.

  • Abraham H.

    Dear Saay, thanks for summarizing the issue of UN sanctions on Eritrea. The chair of the Sanctions commitee is planning to visit the Horn of Africa region soon to have a closer look at the issues. Ethiopia has expressed its acceptance to the initiative, while I don’t have any idea what the Eritrean regime is planning, though it made it clear that it has no plans to let the SEMG visit Asmara to ascertain compliance with regards to the sanctions. Many countries in the UNSC have made it clear that the Isayas regime need to let the SEMG access inside Eritrea and also needs to account for the allegedly remaining Djiboutian sodiers missing in action since the conflict of June 2008. In my view unless the Asmara regime complies with these demands, there is no prospect of considering to lift the sanctions. The stance of the Isayas regime only reminds one that the regime really is not interested in lifting of the sanctions, which, in my opinion, are only symbolic; rather the regime wants to exploit the sactions for its political agenda.
    Regarding the border dispute with Ethiopia this is what the Ethiopian representative said about the issue:
    “Delemitation has been completed, what remains is demarcation regarding which Ethiopia cannot be expected to clap with one hand”. Again, I don’t understand what the Ethiopian diplomat is saying here; is there any new proposal by Ethiopia regarding the demarcation?

    • blink

      Dear Abraham
      The Ethiopian leaders have been saying many lies ,like the day of the decision of the court . Their foreign minister said Badme was awarded to Ethiopia. we have been told so many of it. EPRDF just not ready to say the truth. Their new policy toward the dictator has been disappointing.
      The reason for the sanction was and is simply full of lies and I blame the dictator crazy diplomacy.

      • Abraham H.

        Dear blink, have the Ethiopian gov announced a new policy towards Eritrea?

        • blink

          Dear Abraham
          We heard they will bring to the cabinet or their 100% controlled government. But let’s wait

  • Ismail AA

    Hayak Allah Salyounis,

    Excellent and informative expose of a complicated political and legal subject. This update leaves the reader with informed anticipations in June because the briefing provides sufficient indications about what the likely outcome is going to be. I understand the session will be bewildered by divergent views with many members coming with own minimum expectations to form opinion. The situation will be worsened by the known arrogance and empty nationalism of the despot in Asmara whose ego and whims have precedence to the interest of the people.
    Regards

  • iSem

    Hi AT
    Sal:
    is this article or comment? If the first, where is the title
    Also, Sal, it feels that the very last sentence did not finished
    If u stumbled, I say “abaykka eyba*
    * does not mean dad, it is an endearment in “beniamrayit” 🙂

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