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SEMG Breaks Eritreans Omerta Culture

In 2009, after repeatedly warning the Eritrean regime to moderate its behavior, the UN designated Eritrea as threat to regional peace and, using the powers of Chapter VII of the UN Charter, imposed sanctions: total arms embargo on the state until such time that a panel of experts (Monitoring Group) reporting to a Sanctions Committee persuades the UN that the regime has ceased its activities and is complying with the sanctions.  The rationale the UN used to classify Eritrea as a threat to regional peace is the Eritrean ruling regime’s support for Somalia’s Al Shabab organization (an armed group with avowed loyalty to Al Qaeda) and its failure to acknowledge and resolve its border dispute with Djibouti.   On June 19th, the Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea (SEMG) gave its report on Eritrea to the Security Council.   The following is a digest and our analysis of the report.

The Eritrean regime has provided several arguments to prove its innocence.

On Somalia:  The argument goes something like this: “Al Shabab is not a terrorist organization; there is no evidence that we supported them; what if we supported them, anyway? If we did support them, and we are not saying we did, it is only because, on principle, we believe that all Somali stakeholders should have a say in how Somalia is governed.  This is in stark contrast to Somalia’s other neighbors (Ethiopia, Kenya) who, for their own reasons, want a fragmented Somalia and it’s us who actually represent the aspirations of Somalis.   In any event, we are too poor to support them materially, even if we wanted to.”

For the Eritrean ruling regime, the People’s Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ), which has spent the last 20 years excluding Eritrean stakeholders from Eritrean governance, to lecture the world about its affinity for involving all Somali stakeholders in Somalia’s governance would be laughable if it were not so tragic.  But the PFDJ has never let things like shame and hypocrisy get in the way of its grandstanding.

On Djibouti: The Eritrean regime’s argument goes something like this:  “This so-called border dispute is a fabrication; or, at the very least, it’s blown out of proportion: it should not rise to the level of the UN imposing sanctions.  There are many other violations of sovereignty (for example: Ethiopia’s occupation of sovereign Eritrean lands, which date back to 2002) that the UN has done nothing about.  Isn’t that a bigger threat to regional peace?  In any event, the Djibouti-Eritrea border dispute is being mediated by Qatar, and it should be allowed to take its course.”

These are all arguments that would have been persuasive to the UN if the Eritrean regime had made them BEFORE the sanctions were imposed.  They are less persuasive now because much of the investigation that follows AFTER sanctions are imposed on a country has a meta nature to it: are countries (including the targeted country) co-operating with the UN to ensure that the sanctions are being implemented? Are countries, including the targeted country, cooperating with the UN in enforcing the sanctions?

The PFDJ’s power (since the days when it was the EPLF) has always relied on a mafia code of Omertà: a code of silence and refusal to co-operate with people who want to know about the inner-workings of “their” party.  The “I am too poor to do all the things you are accusing me of doing” argument is harder to make when a UN-empowered panel of experts—with expertise in finance, arms, armed groups, transport, and human rights—are traveling all over the world interviewing people with first-hand knowledge.   It is exceptionally hard to make that argument when your policies are draining the country of people who are not only knowledgeable but motivated to spill the beans on you.

Ironically, the Eritrean regime is now, regionally “better-behaved” than it was in 2009 when the sanctions were imposed. Its dealings with Somalia are not exceptional—it is the stuff that countries all over the world euphemistically refer to as “national interest:” a chess game in the dark.  Its dispute with Djibouti is the kind of low-humming frictional noise that any two random countries in the world have.  What is noteworthy is that, thanks to the SEMG’s resources and ability to break the code of silence, the very nature of the PFDJ is  is seeing the light of day.  Let’s briefly look at all three.


In response to the report of the Monitoring Group, the Eritrean ambassador to the UN wrote, “I would like to emphasize again that Eritrea supports earnestly the efforts of the Government of Somalia to stabilize the country. Eritrea upholds the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Somalia and supports the Federal Government.”  

Some Eritreans misread this to mean that the Eritrean regime has reversed its position but the Monitoring Group gives a more nuanced answer.  What appears to have happened is that the Federal Government of Somalia and the Eritrean regime have overlapping interests on a number of issues: both, for example, agree that the Ras Kamboni militia in control of Kismayo (a militia supported by the Kenyan Defense Forces) weakens the hand of the Somali Federal government.    It may be true, as the SEMG says, that the actors, which the Eritrean regime supports in Somalia are “spoilers,” but that is not the kind of activity that gets a country a sanction. 


How the Eritrean regime allowed itself to be ensnared by the Djibouti issue is one of the most compelling pieces of evidence that Eritrea truly is not just a one-party state but a one-man state.  Even in one-party states, where power is divided between different power centers—an oligarchy—that level of screw up would not be allowed, especially in a country that is struggling to recover from the devastation of a war with one neighbor (Ethiopia) and is under the watchful eye of the world for its role in another country in the region (Somalia).

Isaias Afwerki ignored repeated appeals, entreaties to do two minor things: (a) recognize that Eritrea had a military clash, even a minor one, with Djibouti; (b) Eritrea would engage a dialogue with Djibouti.   Even a one-party state run by a despot can manage to issue a statement reluctantly agreeing that there was a military clash, even if chooses to minimize it, even it chooses to blame others for it.  Isaias categorically denied there was a conflict.   Even a one-party state run by the most belligerent tyrant could issue a statement saying that we don’t think we have anything to mediate with our neighbor but in interest of good neighborliness, etc.   But for over a year, the Eritrean tyrant just stonewalled, ridiculed, trash-talked and, bam, he got sanctioned.

But Isaias Afwerki always had the good fortune of having at least one benefactor and, this time, it is Qatar’s Emir.  He negotiated a toothless, meaningless mediation agreement between Djibouti and Eritrea.  What matters is not that the mediation agreement will solve any problem (it hasn’t so far), or that anything will happen if the two parties ignore the recommendation of the mediators (it is not binding), it is that Eritrea gets to say the issue is now with a third party.   And, amazingly, even Djibouti—which had been complaining bitterly about its prisoners of war for years—seems to have pulled back and is pinning all its hopes on the Qatar-sponsored mediation.  So we don’t expect this to be a big component of future reports of the Monitoring Group, unless Djibouti starts singing a different tune.

Unfortunately for the PFDJ (whose timing has always been poor), its behavior-moderation came only after it gave experts a license to study and analyze its can of worms.  And it is that particular invitation to well-funded and well-prepared experts which is going to tie the regime in knots for years to come.

Breaking Omerta – The Code of Silence (Sqta)

Every Eritrean who has heard the ruling party officials bragging about how, if there is real accounting done, the State would owe the ruling party a lot of money and the State is standing only due to their ingenuity already knew about Eritrea’s parallel economies.  For the rest of the world, here it is, courtesy the panel of experts at SEMG:

“Eritrea manages two parallel economies: a formal economic sphere ostensibly managed by the State, and an opaque, largely offshore financial system controlled by elements of the ruling PFDJ party and their supporters.  [T]he formal economic system involves transactions almost exclusively in nakfa, the non-convertible Eritrean national currency, and is characterized by a chronic hard currency deficit that theoretically curbs Eritrea’s ability to provide financial support to foreign-armed groups. The informal… involves a much higher proportion of hard currency transactions than the formal economy and is managed almost entirely offshore through a labyrinthine multinational network of companies, individuals and bank accounts, many of which do not declare any affiliation to PFDJ or the Eritrean State and routinely engage in “grey” or illicit activities. “

Thus, a great deal of what the SEMG itemizes is the nature of the grey and the illicit.   There is the pay-to-play racket the ruling party runs on Eritrean businessmen: donate money to the party and you will be given opportunities to invest in…Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan.  There are the various “national obligation” fund sources: recovery tax, MH: 1:2:3, drought relief, martyr’s trust fund, martyrs family support, hzbawi mekhete, food security.  There is contraband trade.  There is human trafficking.  There is mineral revenue.  All this backed up by evidence:  an addendum of exhibits, testimonies, confessions…

Of all these sources of funds, the only one that we know for sure is the revenue from the sale of minerals—and that’s only because the company which has partnered with the Eritrean regime, Canada’s Nevsun, is a publicly-traded company, and it is required by law to tell its shareholders financial statements on how much of the loot was shared.   Apparently, it is not required to disclose that the revenues were generated via slave labor—that is up to organizations like Amnesty International to disclose.  In any event, the digging shall continue for another sixteen months as the SEMG’s mandate was renewed.


In the eyes of the Security Council, the scary menace that the PFDJ was in 2009 while it hosted and funded every scary organization is no more. Tin cup in one hand, a whip on the other, the PFDJ is a comic monstrosity to the Security Council and the Monitoring Group’s recommendations that the host States police the activities of PFDJ fund-raising, or that the UN implement a more rigid due diligence to account for mine revenues (in the millions, not billions like Iraq), seemed like an overkill, and it was not accepted.  What the Eritrean regime is doing to get around the total arms embargo seem like the work of a desperate regime and not one which poses a danger to the region.  This is why the Security Council did not accept the recommendations of SEMG on establishing a food for minerals type or regime, or even a stronger enforcement of the bully-beggar state’s tax fiat on Diaspora Eritreans and, in fact, has somehow relaxed the arms embargo. 

Still, the mandate of the Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea (SEMG) was extended for another 16 months.    The same team remains intact—and is less restrained than prior years (fewer reports to submit probably because it complained that its reports are being leaked by the Eritrean regime to its defenders.)  This means that the team will continue to dig and rummage through and find more evidence of human trafficking, shady business practices that have shut out Eritreans and forced their escape from their own country.  They, in turn, become fresh voices and testimony-providers to the SEMG.  In short, the biggest achievement of the SEMG is that it is breaking the omerta (sqta) culture of Eritreans and, without it, the PFDJ’s days are numbered.

About Awate Team

The Awate Team is a group of individuals who collaborate in preparing editorial contents that mainly appear under the PENCIL signature and other columns that carry the Awate Team signature. It represents the collective team's view.

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  • Salam

    Now our government in Eritrea is saying: Finally, the recognized and will support the Federal Government of Somalia. Too late and too wrong to do this.
    At first place, it was wrong to interfer the affairs of Somalia, which has no border with us and at sametime we have no any benefits whatsoever about Somalia, except jealousy and envy for our neighbors and only relatives in World Ethiopia. Second, now, when Somalia government its self became in mess , which the donor world will change its president , we declared our support, we didn’t do that while the international community love them.
    Why we are always in wrong side ?
    instead of supporting Somalia , can we support ourselves, as you know our country is in dire situations of isolation from all the world and economic problems that caused sever poverty.
    Let us start a new struggle to libarate
    mad man Issias Aferwerki and his group.

  • YAY

    Dear All: The reasons the “silent majority” would not support the “opposition”

    The “opposition” has sided with the historical and/or current enemies of the Eritrean Nation. That is a very obvious one to miss. It would have been alright if the best interests of the masses of the Eritrean people were the genuine interests of these adversaries. Their reasons are to divide the Eritrean people (by listing all kinds of wrong-doings and weaknesses, and shortcomings in issues such as human rights, democratization, militarization, constitution, publicized budget, etc.) and, by doing so, weaken, contain or control their adversary, the Eritrean Government. They put too much external pressure (political, military, diplomatic, economic, financial, etc.) on the GoER by keeping it under siege. The people of Eritrea have so far witnessed no respect to law and justice from the current adversaries of Eritrea. The best instance showing the unjust and illegitimate stances that Eritrea’s adversaries have taken is the one related to resolving the ER-ET border case. The ET-ER border war would have been easier to end if the U.S. and allies had not used it as an instrument in their efforts to put Eritrea under siege. The Eritrean people have heard and seen the desires of the GoER to end this conflict according to the decisions of the Border Commission, but both Ethiopia and the US continue to stress on undefined “dialogue and talks” regime to get unacceptable concessions from Eritrea. The Eritrean “opposition” have remained dead silent on other issues by only concentrating on “Regime Change,” presumably the common policy of the US and Ethiopia at this time.

    Another reason that the “silent majority” would likely not side with the Eritrean “opposition” is related to objectivity and patriotism. Some in the “opposition” speak of some truths combined with propaganda. Many others in the “opposition” would not hesitate to disseminate some rumors, unsubstantiated information, or even outright lies, if they think that piece of information would just temporarily harm or give PFDJ a bad image. They may believe that painting “the enemy” a color of choice would make the people rise up against “the enemy”. Still others, whose names have so far been kept hidden from public view by the Somalia Eritrea Monitoring Group may believe that they are serving “cosa nostra” by telling truths and lies about PFDJ to the SEMG. Such people seem to forget that they and their products are being evaluated by the public. It is this group of people that the Awate Team may be talking about when it mentions the term “omerta culture” here.

    Omerta is “a rule that prohibits members of an organization [such as the Mafia] divulging information about its activities.” Omerta implies that a criminal activity is going on and one keeps silent about the act or persons involved for reasons (s)he determines to be appropriate. Without discussing what the crimes are in relation to Eritrea(ns), the Awate Team implies that there is a culture or code of silence among Eritreans related to the “cosa nostra” [our cause], the same as that of the Mafia, that is now being broken by the SEMG. There were some Eritreans who were divulging information to Eritrea(ns)’s adversaries. That is not new, and some Eritreans speaking to the SEMG would not be a breakthrough. Since a crime is breaking the law, the Awate Team needs to explain whose law is being broken by whom, and if that would be good or bad to the Eritrean people and how. The Team may also need to remember that the Eritrean Gedlee was illegal to the State of Ethiopia, and that Eritrea was ruled under an Ethiopian law of emergency until 1991.The Awate Team states that the EPLF kept some of its internal workings secret in the past. Let alone a guerilla organization fighting an enemy much superior than itself with fire, even an individual living in peaceful times keeps some secrets. Have any member of the Awate Team informed the public if (s)he had/had not spoken to the SEMG, or let the Eritrean people know about the identities of those who are speaking to the SEMG? With all its propaganda about transparency, even the great U.S. of America keeps many of its plans and operations parallel and secret. What is a normal standard of operation (that some information is told by some and not by others to” the enemy”) cannot be considered “breaking a culture”. In Eritrean culture there is a code of ethics about the management of unity among your own, conflicts and “secrets” expressed in the following sayings:

    1. “እንታኻ ካብ እንዳኻ” (ካብ ዝፈልጡኻ እዩ ኪወጽእ ዚኽእል፡ እንተወጽአ ንእንዳኻ ኣይጽቡቕን)።
    2. “ስጋስ ናብ መሬት እንተወደቐት ሓመድ አሒዛ ትትንስእ።” (ሰብካ እንተወደቐ እስኻውን ክትጕዳእ ኢኻ)።
    3. ” ተመሊስካ ንእትናብዮ (ሰብእ፡ ዘመድ ወይ ቀረብ) ገዲፍካዮ ኣይትእቶ።”
    4. ” ዓሻ ሰበይቲስ ወዲ ሓሙታ ዘይወዳ ይመስላ።” (“በረኸት ስምኦን” ናይ ኤርትራ ህግደፍ ዘይናትኩም ከይመስለኩም)።
    5. ” ምስ ቆልዓን ኣይትምከር ምስ ከልብን ኣይትተሓባእ፡ (እንተዘይኮይኑ ምስጢርካ ኪፍለጥ እዩ)።”
    6. ” አኽላባት ንዝብኢ ሰጕጎም ምስ ተመልሱ ብዓጽሚ ይብኣሱ።”
    7. “አሕዋት መዓስ ይብኣሱ፧ ንጸላእቶም አሕሚቖም ምስ ተመልሱ።”

    As a patriotic nationalist I ask you what is the Eritrean “opposition’s” common ground with PFDJ or the GoER? If the “opposition’s” goal is to build a democratic Eritrea, one would expect that that Eritrea would accommodate PFDJ, and not destroy PFDJ. “Haile (the great!)” has tried to venture out of his normal stance of destroying PFDJ (by suggesting that, may be, it is demanding that Weyyane-Ethiopia be out of territories determined to be Eritrean would appeal to the “silent majority” and once that issue is finalized, ‘PFDJ would be finished’) before he recoiled back into his shell. Though I liked his venturous initiative of trying to get out of the Eritrean “opposition’s” box, one problem I noticed with “Haile the Great” depth of understanding of Eritrean issues might be more similar to interpreting “black market” as ጸሊም ዕዳጋ (a market colored black or dark) instead of ዕዳጋ ጸላም (business transactions done not in the open daylight, but in darkness, hidden from the law or law enforcement authorities). It may lack context– objectivity and patriotism.

    Objectivity and patriotism is expected from an Eritrean “research” team, e.g. the Awate Team
    My wish is that the Eritrean “opposition” be both objective in its assessments and patriotic nationalist in its principles. That is what I expect from the Awate Team. Sarcasm aside, groups such as the Awate Team ought to aim for standards higher than what is presented here. The Team should have cited actual sources on both what it believed are Eritrea’s stands and UNSC sanctions regime and, then, opine or provide the Eritrean Nation with recommendations or political platform. Objectivity demands to state what Eritrea was accused of, what has changed/remained the same, and what Eritrea and/or the UNSC should do next towards attaining stability and peace.

    The full text of resolution 1907 (2009) reads as follows:


    “The Security Council, ….

    and Paragraph Number 21 specifically states that the UN Security Council

    “21. Affirms that it shall keep Eritrea’s actions under review and that it shall be prepared to adjust the measures, including through their strengthening, modification, or lifting, in light of Eritrea’s compliance with the provisions of this resolution;….”
    If , in the Awate Team’s assessment , it is true that,
    1. “Ironically, the Eritrean regime is now, regionally “better-behaved” than it was in 2009 when the sanctions were imposed.”
    2. “…the Eritrean ambassador to the UN wrote, “I would like to emphasize again that Eritrea supports earnestly the efforts of the Government of Somalia to stabilize the country. Eritrea upholds the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Somalia and supports the Federal Government.”
    3 “… the PFDJ (whose timing has always been poor), its behavior-moderation came only after it gave experts a license to study and analyze its can of worms.”
    4. ” In the eyes of the Security Council, the scary menace that the PFDJ was in 2009 while it hosted and funded every scary organization is no more.”
    5. ” What the Eritrean regime is doing to get around the total arms embargo seem like the work of a desperate regime and not one which poses a danger to the region.”
    why doesn’t the Awate Team, with at least due respect to justice and fair application of international law, demand that Paragraph 21 of the Sanctions be implemented—i.e. “adjust the measures…in light of Eritrea’s compliance with the provisions….” and stop presenting as if Eritrea, and not the UNSC, is always at fault.

    The main reason that the Eritrean “silent majority” is not supporting “the opposition”, however, is that according to research findings of Barrington Moore [The Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy, 1966], ” If the average person does not foresee the success of a major movement then that person will not see any benefit from joining the movement.”
    First and foremost, the “opposition” focuses on destruction than construction of the State of Eritrea. The “opposition” wants not to work, for the best interests of the Eritrean Nation, with PFDJ, but to “destroy” PFDJ. It wants to bring about wars and destructions into Eritrea, through civil wars and foreign invasions, in its possible designs of overthrowing the ruling party. That is a wrong purpose to pursue and practically an impossible task to accomplish, which, because of those two reasons, creates endless divisions within the “opposition”. Second, the “opposition” does not see itself as the seed for the independent Eritrean Government it is supposed to establish by peacefully and legally replacing that of PFDJ’s. The “opposition” cannot expect to be supported by the “silent majority” if it does not have a platform, or a program, or institutions of governance, on when and how it would solve the actual problems that the “opposition” believes could not be solved by the PFDJ. For instance, how is the “opposition” to solve the national security and sovereignty rights problem that Eritrea has with Ethiopia in ending the border war and demarcating the border on the basis of the EEBC’s virtual demarcation? What are the “opposition’s” strategies and tactics of protecting, securing and enhancing Eritrea’s independence (militarily, politically, diplomatically, economically, etc.) without believing in the assumption that there is no visible and credible evidence supporting that Ethiopia, or any other nation, has designs to dominate Eritrea? An objective and patriotic opposition could be beneficial to the best interests of Eritrea, but not otherwise. An “opposition” of protest, and not a social change, that only prides itself of painting the PFDJ “black” is not good enough to serve the purposes of the nation. We need an opposition that has plans not to destroy any patriotic party, including the PFDJ, but could create a national alliance to work with and independent of PFDJ, and always in the best interests of the Eritrean nation.

    • Ambassador

      Conceptualizing an entity called Eritrea, devoid of its people, made you an incognizant myopic. Dude, Eritrea is just a spatial dimension which doesn’t have any human form or character in itself, where hurling emotions in its defense, as if, it’s human unalienable right is being violated will only make you confused. You said that, the “silent majority” shuns the opposition because the opposition weren’t siding with Eritrea?!. Seriously! Is that what you think of any opposition movements—some form of real estate agents who would promptly think of countries in terms of voided spaces?

      Please factor for the people in your equation, and see if your train of thought had served you well. It’s the people who matters man, not the land. The land is nothing if people can’t leave in it. I would rather live free and landless than situated on a land in shackles. Just a small reminder to you: the opposition is in the business of freedom; though they may understand the mindless connection we -Eritreans-have with our land. The moment you visualize inanimate objects (like a piece of land in Badme) worth more than one life- let alone 20,000 of us-there you gave the oppressor a ticket for life. We are talking about us not able to live a decent life in the 99.9% of the non-occupied land in Eritrea, and there you are- mentioning our failure of not being grief-stricken for the 0.1% occupied land as a reason for being shunned. What does Ethiopia has to do with our peoples’ plight in the 99.9% of non-occupied land?

      Either you hate Ethiopians deep to your bone, like you were being raped by one; or you are a total tool who does not understand the difference between people and the space they “would” live in.

      • Dear Ambassador,

        The topic you touched it, is the center of our conceptual difference. you have a nice understanding on it. In any case it reminds me the argument between the materialist and idealist argument (whether idea originate from matter or vise versa). I think you could make a good argument on the subject. Therefore, Could you please make a little research and jot down to come out with a nice article? I think you seem to have the tool to that philosophical grip. Would you?


        • hizbawi

          Aman, as usual you are confusing things. How on earth will you conclude Ambassador as a person of
          To have the “tool to that philosophical grip.”
          Are you serious? Who would reconcile the idea of
          ” living free on land-less”
          can you translate that for me, please.
          What kind of philosopher will reject his own people regardless the parentage of it. They are people and they have the right to be free. Your knock out philosopher doesn’t even acknowledge the basic human dignity. He sounds to me more like a selfish opportunistic who doesn’t even show or give any compassion to people. He just wrote the people off. Even if it is one family, they deserve the same dignity and care.
          Ambassador better learn to respect people.

          • Selam Hizbawi,

            Since there are two diametrically opposite argument in the Eritrean politics, one side who argue Eritrea is there for the Eritrean people. In other words protecting our people is primary than securing the land. On the other side the Eritrean people are there for the “land Eritrea”. Which means Eritrea is primary than the Eritrean people. The land should be secured before we protect the people.

            Hence,here is where the argument of Ambassador falls as I see it; arguing conceptually that our people are primary than the land “Eritrea” when he stated “It’s the people who matters man, not the land.” I don’t want to aggravate you but in PFDJ political house the land is primary than the Eritrean people. Look how our young is trapped into serfdom for an excuse piece of land. Read it again. If I am wrong Ambassador could intervene and clarify it.

    • awatestaff

      Selamat Yay:

      Thanks for the feedback. We will address your specific question as it relates to the Awate Team. After quoting some of our digest/analysis of the Monitoring Group’s report, you said:

      why doesn’t the Awate Team, with at least due respect to justice and fair application of international law, demand that Paragraph 21 of the Sanctions be implemented—i.e. “adjust the measures…in light of Eritrea’s compliance with the provisions….” and stop presenting as if Eritrea, and not the UNSC, is always at fault.

      There are two things to be said about this, Yay. One is a question: did you read the report of the Monitoring Group in its entirety? If you didn’t, we recommend that you do. Second, while to outside entities like the UN, a government is synonymous with the State and they will say “Eritrea” when they want to say the “Eritrean government”, we have a record of recommending action that laser-targets the Eritrean regime while sparing the Eritrean State. You may refer to our editorial on this distinction that many in our opposition movement consider inconsistent:

      Where this website has expressed reservations on the sanctions have only been in the one area where they go beyond being regime-targeted (travel ban, asset freeze) and become a burden to any post-PFDJ people’s government (arms embargo.) It is for this precise reason that we objected when the US State Department was mulling over labeling the country with something so derogatory it may last generations (State Sponsor of Terror) and recommended that they come up with more specific regime-targeted classification (“Outpost of Tyranny.”)

      To reiterate, the total arms embargo on the State of Eritrea was imposed because of the reckless adventurism of Isaias Afwerki and it may remain EVEN after the PFDJ collapses under its own weight. If the UNSC determines that the post-PFDJ Eritrean government is too chaotic, too unknown, they will just find reasons to extend the embargo until every veto-wielding UNSC member is convinced that the State of Eritrea poses no threat to anybody or anything.

      To go back to your point, do we believe it is time to “adjust the measures”? Well, no. Have you read the report? There are three resolutions: 1907 (2009), 2060 (2012), 2093 (2013) pertaining to Eritrea and each one calls (strongly calls on, demands, etc) on Eritrea (the government) to do specific things so the UNSC can “adjust the measures.” Now refer to paragraph 80 (violation of arms embargo), paragraph 128 (Diaspora tax), Paragraph 145 (transparency of financial transactions) and paragraph 172 (obstruction of the work of the monitoring group.)

      You are missing one more thing. We consider the Eritrean regime an outlaw government, a state Mafia, a brutal, parasite sucking the lives of Eritreans. So do, in our opinion, most Eritreans–whether they are silent or speaking. The mafia was defeated when the taboo against breaking “Omerta” collapsed, and when the law-enforcers came up with laws to trap the mafia in racketeering, tax evasion. This is what we think the UNSC is doing and anything that weakens the Eritrean regime so that (a) backed against the wall, it moderates its behavior or (b) emboldens Eritreans to tip it is a good thing. We are sorry if that doesn’t come across as “objective” but we never claimed to be. There is no objectivity in the face of evil: you resist or you surrender.


  • MrBig

    Eritrea will continue this culture of secrecy so long as she is in a state of war. It will do so until her enemies force her to submit. Until today however this strategy has yet to work. As the [deleted] Jendai Frazer once said “we have no leverage on Eritrea”. And shame on those who are cheer leading the witch hunt against Eritrea.

    [From moderator: MrBig, this time we deleted two words. Next posting with similar offensive language: the whole post goes to the trash bin.]

  • haile


    Question: do dictators have only one play book? If so, where can we get it?

    Please see this video in the same order:

    1 –

    then take few seconds rest and watch this one (remember to finish #1 fully)

    2 – (released today: be the first to review it)


  • L.T

    Cyber cure,
    1,Ethiopia have options for ports such as Zeila and port of Mombasa and our Massawa and Asseb will keep open its access to our Camels
    2,there have no links between the two countrie and done is done.
    3,Tigria have less potental as exporter af agriculture products.
    4,Tigria are enemay not its coalition partners.
    Read the books”Cultural theory and popular cultutre by John Storey and” Making cultural history by Anna Källen and it helps you.And forget to Faraone(Kedamawi Menelik)who dead for 3000 yrs ago and Papyrus(Kibre Negest) according ducmentes 0.000 005% are Big Bang with Antimateria,Electron and Proton.
    “Small size dog with big dog attitude.
    Von nichts etwas verstander(He know nothing)& Que si convien lasciare ogni sospetto,ogni villta convien che qui sia morta(In that term all are dead-Marxism&calssic.Carl Marx 1859 Lonodon.

    • Zegeremo

      Did you recently found out that you are actually an Ethiopian? I didn’t know it hurts that much!!


  • L.T

    This is an Aba-Hanna old story.
    Sancation was to Ali Abdu and to B.General Taeme Mekele and they are gone now.According insider news:-)Isaias has lefted all his power like Airforce and Navy to his son to Abraham Isaias Afewrqi Abraha.
    Star in the sky
    – perseus



    T triangel

  • haile


    Recently, I think it was saay, who ‘sarcastically’ commented in response to me about the love and hate relationship I have with the SEMG.

    Ok…Ok he is right:-)

    The biggest aspect of my feeling bummed (hate) about it is that when ‘bleas bleas…don’t shoot’ gets his due, I suspect we will not have a fully cohesive armed forces that can stabilize the country independent of external help, i.e the arms embargo is TOTAL (we can’t even purchase a small screw without UN approval).

    The biggest aspect of its thrill factor (love) is however the fact that IA’s hanging rope is made with a fabric shredded out of his underpants (my own copyrighted figure of speech). By this what I mean is that IA had been concentrating decision making powers in the office of the president. Hence, there is no way that the SEMG would rule out The President’s Office when they slide their “terms of reference” list under the door for butler Araya Desta to open the freaking door (before kick in the damn cheap thing that is:)

    Now the question is who is going to blink first: blease blease don’t shoot, butler at the door or the SEMG? The jury is out.


    • haile

      Please sign in the following petition fellow awatista,

      I think the organizers need it before end of the month.

    • Salyounis

      Haha Haile:

      Our American friends have a word: “howler.” I don’t know what the Tigrinya equivalent of it is. bsahaQ krtm? bsahaQ shnti? bsahaq bkhyat? In American parlance, a “howler” is, according to the dictionary, “a mistake, especially an embarrassing one in speech or writing, that evokes laughter; a very humorous mistake or a funny blunder.” The SEMG report is very good, in many parts, but it has howlers.

      Before I mention an example of an SEMG howler, let me give a Hollywood “howler”, i.e., the “Hollywood Muslim.” The Muslims in Hollywood movies speak a version of Arabic that nobody has ever heard of; they pray in a way that no Muslim is familiar with (Check out “Malcolm X”) and thus, despite the great credibility of the rest of the story, the “Hollywood Muslim” moment ruins it for Muslims because they are too busy laughing to pay attention to its serious message (Again: check out the movie “Malcolm X.”)

      The SEMG report has stories of village “butlers” (to use your word) who are elevated to “secretaries” and “deputies” at Asha Golgol. It presents Sebhat Ephrem, Mr. Soap himself, as a brave reformer. When Eritreans who know the inner-workings of the Eritrean government read the SEMG report, they will be so busy laughing at it, they won’t pay attention to the 98% of the stuff that is golden.


      Speaking of “Hollywood Muslims”, Lion of the Desert , the Story of Omar Al Mukhtar was the exception because the director, Moustapha Akkad, had an Arabic and English (starring Anthony Quinn) versions of the same movie matched shot-by-shot. That is perfection.

      PS: Eyob, my classic landlocked Abyssinian paranoid friend, Omar Al Mukhtar is the story of Libyan anti-fascism, anti-colonialism. Put down your megaphone: no need to yell “Uuuy, uuuy, muslimochu’na arebochu meTun! zemetun!” panic attacks 🙂

  • yegermal

    Awate Team,

    I am glad you removed the “Bologna” ad for three reasons:

    1) An “opposition” ad that is being advertized at aka openly-pfdj-but opposition-claiming site, does not deserve to be published at It really felt like an eye sore for the past couple of days.

    2) The slogan that the group (EYSC-Global) espouses “Eritrean Solutions for Eritrean Problems” does not only play the empty tune of the PFDJ, but it is also the most stupid slogan because it implies that the Eritrean people is not capable of independent thinking or finding its own solutions. Who else should solve Eritrean problems? Duh! Stating the obvious undermines the sovereignty of Eritrea and its people.

    3) The EYSCG has been pushing for many poorly-planned actions ala “nkhid teray” and has been extremely opaque as to who finances its radio/TV program to the point that the majority of the leadership members have been left in the dark to date. PFDJ working at play?

    Disclaimer: The above expressed opinion is solely mine and it does not represent or any other group.

    • gebreab

      Dear .
      Not all people in the so-called oppositions think like you.There are some poor bugger in the so-called oppositions that the peace mediator must be someone from is nonsense but that is the way their brain is wired up.even some of the so-called civic societies pall up with some former dictators of West African nations such as Abasanjo of Nigeria… in solving the Sinai human Tana Sea conference.most of our people in the diaspora are naive and gullable.[ Moderator: the rest of the message is deleted: Gebreab, are you for real? What you wrote is the very definition of RACISM. If you are in the US, or Europe, you owe your civil rights to the people you are insulting. Please step into the 21st century.]


      • gebreab

        instead of “are you fool”? are they fool?apologies.

    • yegermal

      Bologna is back! Merger with , next?

  • haile

    Selamat Hizbawi,

    Thanks for your candid advice that “hadera Haile wudase bezihuka keythmel!” Even if I can assure you that will not and can’t be the case, it is better to give you some evidence to that end. When saay talks of baldonga (quoting somebody else for the credit), I like to take it to mean all those who take off while low on fuel. In my long time residence here, I have gone through many …he’s converted, he’s lapsed, back again…moments.

    What those people are trapped in is the fact that they misconstrue convergence of views to the sharing of common beliefs, values and aspirations. That can only come from common understanding of the nature of the challenges and the perceived solutions. For example, if you only read the first paragraph of saay’s article from almost exactly a yea a go, you find that he was referring to a point I made at the time in a comments section:

    So, this goes to show you that those who claim my difference with the regime is a new change of view can safely prick their bubble:)

    Yet, the fact that I have my views as to the internal political implications of the border issue for Eritrea, as well as its long term significance; since a State can’t exist outside the concept of a defined territory, leads some to think I was lending credence to the Eritrean regimes acts and to others that I do it to undermine the opposition.

    Once you reject the regime and accept that it is an illegitimate entity and you demand credibility and accountability by those who organize to represent the citizens of our nation, you are in the independent path. You don’t have to commit to something that fails to explain itself well to sell you their vision. At the same time, as a citizen, you don’t have to stand by in the hope that the regime would change its ways some time into the future and refrain from the heavy damage that it is inflicting upon the people and the long term capability of the nation to be independent and strong.

    As we speak, the regime has received for UNSC resolutions in just four years (3 SEMG and 1 UNSR on human rights). The nation can’t even arm itself legally. So, my hope is that we all tend to put aside the partisan politicking and try to really examine where we are at. The majority of the so called “pro regime” are really not “pro regime” just ordinary Eritreans who want to see good for their country but being manipulated by a criminal regime to the hilt.

    So, in summary, the border is one significant issue politically and as a basic attributes of the Eritrean nation state. So are many other issues. Wudase, put downs, mchbrbar… will not change my basic view that the Eritrean nation state is irreversible but we have serious challenges ahead.


    • hizbawi

      i just want to make sure you stay on line 🙂
      thanks Haile.

  • A. Benstar


    As man tries to give meaning to his life in our modern civilization, it could be that one manipulates, another calculates, a third contemplates, and yet another speculates based on the power of their mental, emotional, and physical centers about how the world goes or ought to go more or less round and round. Modern civilization believes in its rationality based on what it can observe and verify with its normal senses of perception and the aid of the instruments it has created! All these and much else would have been good if modern mankind used them to better his everyday life and that of his fellow humans! However, the life of modern man and his machines create things that are most often destructive to himself and his environment and this state of human affairs seems to have the upper hand till the Almighty Himself puts it to an end before it destroys the whole Earth!

    In tandem with the what is said above, it could generally be said that modern human rationality is more or less governed by science, technology, and money monopolized by the powers that be and their diverse ideologies and doctrines that advance one sort or another world view which conflict with or reinforce one another and try to make the world dance to their tunes! Beyond the creation of the world of his utilitarian rational mind, man has all sorts of philosophy, religions, and ideologies of one type or another which are mostly governed by his rational mind. The rational mind is carnal and starts with ignorance as the arm of flesh for which most men live and would sell their soul to save and cater for their skin and earn their wages while living from outside and dying from within with the passage of time!

    Be the above views as they may, man is born naked, innocent, and helpless and live till learn to live and let live till death do us part and the dust returns to dust when the life that animated it departs to heaven or hell or disappears altogether as man may think the case is or may be! Every child of Adam and Eve has to be nurtured and taught about the dos don’ts of life from cradle to grave and learn and understand how to deal with the things of life and his fellow humans in this dog eat dog world where the strongest and richest survive in one way or another till their time comes to go! Time seems to run fast as people grow older and stronger or weaker as the case may be as man is born, grows, gets old and dies in his journey along the highway of time!

    In connection with foregoing views, the people of Eritrea seem to have received the bitter end of everything that this world of ignorance, fear, hunger, lust, greed, arogance, hypocrisy, betrayal and the like has to offer and govern the nature of modern mankind! Where does these all end? Everybody have their own religions, ideologies, theories, doctrines and much else and foresee the future based on these and accordingly make or create their friends or foes that become their agents of peace or war to defend what they think and believe is their past, present, and future that is informed by modern culture which is mostly of the degraded and self-serving kind!

    The world has created a law that rules the governments that compose its members and have many ways of dealing with them as do the governments that form it! However, the Eritrean people have fallen victim to its injustice as they have been denied to live and let live under the rule of law that all agree to abide by! Democracy is to freedom as law is to justice and both for keeping societal order all of which have been denied to the Eritrean people from inside and outside their homeland! Eritreans need to realize that the full realization of their dream to live in peace with themselves and others will materialize only when national and international laws are respected and made to govern their political and territorial sovereignty from!

  • Awate So much for free speach

    Awate So much for free speech?

    [From moderator: So, when you, using a pen name, using an “” email address, hiding behind the Qemish want to defame Amanuel Hidrat and, indirectly, his birthplace. And we send that message where it belongs, to the trash file. That is us denying your freedom of speech? Read our posting guidelines and then look up this word]

  • Yodita

    Kbur Ato ‘Haile’,

    SAAY has addressed you as ‘Haile the great’ and in my opinion, probably many of us concur. Before your conversion, I was not friendly. Since then however (i.e. your conversion), I am completely overwhelmed by your calibre. You seem rare! Your posts are not only most informing and heartening but are also an antidote to what IA and PFDJ endeavour, in the sense that they record and testify, most astutely, the fact that ‘somebody is watching you’ and seeing you for what you really are. I am convinced this gives Hegdefites (not to mention IA) sleepless nights and singlehandedly weakens an evil system working day and night to thrive on people’s ignorance.

    BRAVO!!! But please come out of the ‘chador’ of anonymity and take your rightful role: to lead. I once read one of your posts that made me guess you are in your forties and therefore in your prime! People like IA had probably much less endowment than ‘Haile’ but had the guts to take risks.

    In a very short time, your posts have ‘seduced’ some of us to await your pen most enthusiastically, and who is to say you would not help us throw away our ‘chadors’ and come to the open to fight for the legitimate and just following your footsteps.

    Your calibre dictates that you do more, notwithstanding your contribution is much as it is!

    Thank you ‘Haile’.

    • haile

      Selmat Yodita, Aklilu, Dawit

      As the dare noise…go Haile, go Haile… are gathering momentum, let me interject with a middle man’s thoughtful advice.

      In the are of cryptography to securely transfer information from one point to another, the use of optics is the latest. The reason for this being that it utilizes light particles or photons to store information. The intensity of the light wave is the key for the code, however if someone or something intercepts the transmission, it means they would have tampered with the intensity, hence the information is lost.

      It is similar thing in our case, those of us who would like to communicate with this level of privacy. If your identity goes public, two things would happen in short order:

      1 – source of information dries up.

      2 – The regime never tackles you on the substance of what you have to say but on cheap personal rumors that are intended to undermine your credibility.

      The opposition boasts many high profile defectors from the regime that go public, yet their impact was neutralized by casting doubt on their sincerity and credibility and not by challenging them head on. This doesn’t mean that I have anything to doubt about my legitimate right to challenge the regime, but would become embroiled in an elaborate net of entanglement that I know too well how/where it operates.

      The other point is also the fact that there are other’s that whose welfare has to be considered. And telling my pro regime, embassy staffer that …hello just landed a job, guess what? I am an opposition now…would just make them go hmmmm. Where as simply providing information and analysis to the public (with few on opinion and more on facts) would help both the pro or silent camp to evaluate things for themselves and decide if the course of action that they are taking is reasonable and whether it would guarantee their long term interests and aspirations.

      Information is power, and that power is what is proving elusive to our people who are rendered powerless. When the opposition eventually sets up its own intelligence community, people like me become handy. Until then, the price of satisfying curious readers may be way too high, to the point of killing of their curiosity for good once my sources dry up the choice is (OK) MINE:-)


      • haile

        Corrector: “Selamat” and “In the “area” of cryptography…”

      • hizbawi

        Haile, Wudase bezihuka alo. In don’t like it. So far, you have been truthful on your even-kill analyses. However, I am worried when every outdated opposition are praising you, then it is only human, for you, to go high-wire just to appease the crowd. Then I am worried you are going to lose your independence. In short, you will become corrupted. So please don’t lose the Eritrea first mentality of yours. Please use your Caliber to bring the border issue in front of the oppositions. The border is an Eritrean issue and we paid dearly for it.
        Just telling as I see it.

      • Dear Haile:

        Thanks, for being frank and honest. From the beginning I suspected that, for I was in similar situation long, long time ago.

        I shall be with you with my full heart and I appologize for my hasty inclusion of your name (consider it as snafu) though by no means was my intention to criticize or belittle your immence, current, relevant and enlightening contributions.

        The same goes with my mention of, if it is understood the wrong way. A Salt and Light shall not; will not, cannot be a cause for melancholia. is the Principal bastion of Hope we have left and who a lost sailor wishes the light house to get dimmed or as is written in the Good Book “put under a bushel?”

        I wish you Faith and Hope in your difficult journey and if I am not asking too much or intruding in your endeavor, follow the 7 things I learnt walking in darkness.


      • Haile,

        Salyonus, editor in chief, has suggested that you post articles anonymously.

        He stated,

        Actually, some of our biggest contributors (“Lt Kidane” who wrote in the “Belly of the Beast”) were and still are unknown to our readers. I actually prefer that you stay anonymous: it is part of the psychological warfare on enda hgdef

        I am looking forward to reading your articles.

      • abe z minewale

        no surprises at all when Haile over run defences of supporters and the called opposition, former criminals never been brought to justice for the crime they week will be square one to some of the people when ,the border mentioned get allergy , haile addresses the border issue which is a state issue.HOYO HOYO EDAGAHAMUS gezie aleku. by z way the way Haile masters the english language reminds me of the students who went to combony.aSH AsH nibel

  • I wonder whether Omertà applies to the so called silent majority whose vocal advocate is none other than Haile.;-) Haile needs to ” co-operate ” with the opposition to turn the docile and silent majority into an active , fearless and vibrant group willing to at least openly challenge the status-quo in Eritrea, and/or help break the political impasse in the diaspora.


    Fellow Eritreans & friends of Eritreans ,

    PFDJ has a weapon ,not matched by any other country ,including Africa´s nations.
    We ,the galluble people ,who believe ridiculous things..that would not fool a mad cow diseased cow on crack.
    We have already forgotten what the so called Gedli/banditry after 1978 was established for .
    We analyze things on which Awraja or religion we hate less..or my ¨enemy´s enemy¨is my friend mentality.
    We do not know that the problem lies with us ,as does the solution.PFDJ ,Woyane ,Cia…Islam, Akeleguzay ,deqi arbaA /Tewelije..are not our enemies …but deficiency of identity & logic.
    We think Isaias & PFDJ being overthrown would solve most of our problems ,well, it does not .It makes it a failed state with no established nationalistic force to fill up the vacuum.
    Our problem is we have short span memory & solution.

    P=lease forgive me for being a party pooper of our retarded thinking.

    with all respect .
    The Eritrean Philosopher C.C

  • haile

    Selamat hizbi awate:)

    The current positioning of the UNSC, SEMG and Eritrean regime are headed to a checkmate move. This is a case where the police are called in to break a fight in a typical neighborhood brawl and end up finding stash of money, drugs and dead bodies (just to highlight the severity of the situation).

    This whole thing started out with things to do with Somalia, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia. It turns out that now they uncovered the huge illicit business and funding sources by the Eritrean regime. This would make every intelligence agency’s (in the western world) hair stand on end. It is a huge thing when a national government is considered to be involved in such activities. They fear money laundering, terrorism, drugs, crime and many other potential ramifications. This means that it is unthinkable for them to get off the regime’s back without being assured the full peace of mind that nothing is brewing to blow up thousands of their citizens.

    In all honesty I don’t believe (nor ever doubted) the fact that the Eritrean regime is NOT a terrorist oriented in any way. It made a big mess in getting involved in Somalia, and one thing led to another and here we are. In my opinion the regime is nothing more than siphoning off money, its primary victims being Eritreans at home and diaspora, out of pure greed. Not for terrorist intentions. It just can’t have enough of money to steal, that is all.

    The question is however, how would the inl. community be made to understand that it is a harmless greedy entity and wouldn’t pose them any threat. They would need to see and inspect every damn file that it has been hiding from the Eritrean people. In the assessment of the inl. community, it appears that they suspect the regime might crumble before allowing such access (previous experiences in Libya and Iraq point to that). The regime can’t open that information and hope to politically survive, and the intl. community will never go away without getting such access. Hence, a dangerous showdown is in the horizon.

    I don’t believe that the latest round of sanctions relaxed the arms embargo on Eritrea. The following is the relevant text:

    “11. Decides that the Eritrea arms embargo imposed by paragraph 5 of
    resolution 1907 (2009) shall not apply to protective clothing including flak jackets
    and military helmets, temporarily exported to Eritrea by United Nations personnel,
    representatives of the media and humanitarian and development workers and
    associated personnel for their personal use only;

    12. Decides also that the measures imposed by paragraph 5 of resolution
    1907 (2009) shall not apply to supplies of non-lethal military equipment intended
    solely for humanitarian or protective use, as approved in advance by the Committee”

    The above are more deliberate actions to prepare the ground work in the event that it is deemed by external actors to intervene. Not relaxation of the total arms embargo under chapter VII that is in effect on our country.

    If the regime allows for complete access to information and auditing of its activities by the SEMG, all that information will be made public by way of a report. If it refuses, the interest will not be scaled down and only possibly delay the inevitable. This is why I think this is headed to a checkmate.

    I know there has been wranglings by some UNSC members about the credibility of the SEMG report. It is not to be denied that it is hard to believe its findings are beyond reproach, however there is a different ball game played here all together. The main points of contest by the above mentioned members was to do with the mention of other countries in the report as China and Italy and not in contesting the on behalf of the regime. The regime has 0 diplomatic baring on the inl. stage ( as observed during the Human Rights report presentation hearing where Mr Gerahtu was in attendance).

    So, the question is that how long are the silent majority going to be silent. Things seem to be entering a new and dangerous phase, isn’t it time to call on the regime to hand over power to the National Assembly that has been frozen for many years now?


    • Salyounis

      Selamat haile (the great!):

      Please answer the following:

      1. What’s the difference between Hawiye/Habar Gidir/Ayr Darod/Marehan AND Hawiye/Habar Gidir/Murosade?
      2. Why was Ibrahim Goret predicting at a wedding, on January 19, (before Forto 2013) that “Abu Sheneb” ( Isaias Afwerki) was going to be NO MORE? Here’s Ibrahim Goret:
      3. Do you have a love-hate relationship with the SEMG? I do. Mostly I hate it because whatever the hell they say gets whoever wants to dump the awful PFDJ want to embrace it closer? 2% cannot be understood outside the Bretawi Qalsi. If I was going to give up paying a penny to the 2% tax, but then some foreigner tells me to stop, I will pay it. That is the Eritrean stubborn thing. You don’t have to like it, you just have to admit IT EXISTS. Why the hell would hundreds (thousands?) of Eritreans go to embrace Abu Sheneb in New York in 2012? Because they don’t want to be to told who to embrace and reject. Respect Eritrean stubbornness. Don’t try to understand it, justify it, just frigging respect it.
      4. Whenever the “youth” talk about how Abraham Isais Afwerki’s appearance at Woldemichael Gebremariam’s funeral MEANS EVERYTHING about how the family dictatorship is on, do you feel like screaming because:
      a. Isais Afwerki lays wreath on behalf of the nation and Isaias wife, Saba, usually lays wreath on behalf of the first family. This is what she did when Ali Said, Saleh Meki died.
      b. Isais’s wife, Saba, couldn’t do it for Woldemichael Gebremariam’s, because she was too busy comforting his wife because they have been best frigging friends since 1978 and therefore, the kid (that Abraham kid who is NOT named after Ibrahim Affa–please hgdefites give it up) had to fill in for the family,
      c. Isaias’s son, Abraham, is not in the air force, but aeronautics. This is because his father, like all fathers in the whole frigging world, whose kids are not as ambitious are they are, is trying to invest in his empty brain son, like all fathers would.
      d. Goddammit, I give up. People, or as Gaddaffi would say, beeble, blease… connect dots, but not useless dots.
      e. Hailat, please don’t make me remind you of the frigging useless National Assembly. Anta Haile, please, lets plan on Plan B. What National Assembly are you talking about?

      All the best,


      PS: Sebhat Ephrem, wedi gezawtey, please drop the Samna (sabuna) thing and finish what you start. The evidence against you is overwhelming: you start things but you never finish them.

      • haile

        Selamat Saay, (just a minute :-))

        The the National Assembly was meant to be plan A.5 (A point five). You see saay, plan A is on borrowed time, and plan B seems to have already taken shapes (all on its own accord:) Except, it doesn’t look anything like the Eritrea that most are sleep walking with. I must admit, my plan A.5 was just meant to provoke nhna khe nabey mskedna:)

        I am currently reading the last part of the SEMG, gosh, it is wild wild west out there man:-) Any way, love hate is fair description…it is like some one breaking into your home to discipline your [truly] unruly kid.. abey zelo eyu ezi, maEtso seyruley eko:-) type protest.

        I was actually thinking of a small way Plan B could have been helped. Unfortunately, I don’t seem to have the time now, but how about an AT project to translate the latest SEMG report into tigrigna? 80 people taking a page each, would have helped many to have access to it. I’ll what I can…


        • Salyounis

          Selamat Haile:

          Something that doesn’t exist (“Eritrean National Assembly”) cannot have an A.5 or A.6 designation. The following data is from the global Inter-Parliamentary Union (Eritrea, of course, is not a member):

          Members: 150
          Mode of designation: indirectly elected (also known as appointed 🙂
          Term: 4 years
          Last renewal dates: 1 February 1994 (also known as 19 years ago)

          The ONLY reason the “National Assembly” even exists as a ghost is so that the report card providers can say: there are an acceptable number Female Parliamentarians (Deki Hdrtna) in comparison to the Male Parliamentarians (Hungugu.) This statistic is quoted in every report: MDG, CIA World Factbook, IMF, World Bank, Save The Children, etc.

          In fact, if you check here, the “percentage of women” is the only pie chart available:

          As for the SEMG report, before we translate it to Tigrinya, there are two issues. First, it suffers from the same problem that all “Based on True Stories” genre suffers from: truth is stranger than fiction and, no matter how many exhibits, testimonies you give, it is so strange that some people will find it hard to believe. For example, the Eritrean pilots who took off with a jet to Jizan? That was the presidential plane. No wonder the guy was grounded for a while as he waited for a return of his plane. Those Eritrean Airlines companies that are formed every other year, the latest being Nasair? Oh, so that’s what else Nasair does. That guy who is obviously unqualified to be an ambassador…but represents Eritrea to two States…oh, so THAT is his particular skill set. The biggest Eritrean human trafficker crossed the border to Ethiopia where he found a ready-made opposition, then he went back to Eritrea, then was arrested getting back to Ethiopia from Sudan…Decommissioned military trucks en route to Eritrea whose final destination is Jebel Ali because a guy testified so:) All these will get either a “NOT TRUE!” or a “SO WHAT!” response…

          Second, SEMG gets some big things wrong. Not names, nationalities, which anybody can get wrong. But big things which require analysis, which requires knowledge of the inner-workings of the system. Like the so-called dispute between the Presidential Office and loyalist generals on one side, and Ministry of Defense authorities (Sebhat, Phillipos, Tewil) on the other side. The fault lines, of course, are not that clear cut. Translating the 50 pages would be a waste of talent; translating excerpts, particularly the juicy ones, on the other hand, would probably be good.

          And that’s where you come in. When people are asking you to write in the Front Page, they are not demanding that you give up your anonymity. They are saying that the content you provide is so rich that you are doing your readers a disservice because they have to fish for it, spread as it is in the comment sections of dozens of articles. Actually, some of our biggest contributors (“Lt Kidane” who wrote in the “Belly of the Beast”) were and still are unknown to our readers. I actually prefer that you stay anonymous: it is part of the psychological warfare on enda hgdef* 🙂


          * by the way, Haile, and this is a test: in Tigrinya, every word has a gender. So, is hgdef male or female? Translate: the PFDJ has called for a meeting 🙂

          • Amanuel

            Dear Salyounis
            Just to remind you that you are the closest to the inner -working of the system through Ali Abdu please ask him and share it with your readers.

          • abe z minewale

            i got z time today let me say this to person who abssesed with Ali Abdu.Ali is not the issue.what difference does it make to the current situation in the ground.he was the youngest minster of all of them.i think should predict the second independence day too.(victory via internet)

      • Tamrat Tamrat

        You define the servival manipulation of pfdj supporters as stubborness and most of all you respect it.

        Do you know eritreans who run away to the west after 1991 are more than before 1991? Do you know that all most all pfdj supportres’ aslum case decorated With pfdj iron fist rulling?
        Dont you see any relation how the west see and listen to the pfdj leaders and the asylum seekers stories?

        Or are you telling us both pfdj and the west they know what they are upto?

      • yohannes

        salih.dont forget HIGDEF is eritrean,born in eritrea ,grown up in eritrea, i am sure may be your brother your nephew, your brother in law, sister in law etc, is a member of HIGDEF not all of them but may be few of them,HIGDEF members (supporters) are from bilen asaorta kunama nara saho kebesa ,jeberti,you cant deny that absolutely,and every one have the right to support HIGDEF, if you like it or not,and if you dont want to pay 2% tax no body no body is going to bother,by the way ,Dont forget eritrean living in USA still paying by MONEY ORDER straight to eritrean embassy in DC (pay to the order of eritrean embassy)2%,martyres fund every thing without any problem (objection) what are going to say about that???

    • Tamrat Tamrat

      Hi Haile!
      isayas afeworki and his comrades specially around 2006-2009 have done extensive work in convincing thier supporters both at home and abroad that Eritrea has been a target by the west led by usa, france and uk. The majority pfdj supporters what ever the hardship is getting harsh instead of exmining the real cause they appreciate their indurance. Despite all we survive! We are invincible to the almighty attack of the supper Powers. That is why they dont even see the how latterly it is embracing their hero in US the very president who runs a country by the remittance they earn by the fact that they say were forced leave their beloved land. This by itself my friend catagorize Eritrea as a bananna Republic or else the pfdj leaders and supporters need spychatrists.

    • Dear Haile:

      Honestly, I am hopefully and anxiously waiting for your full fledged article/s.

      You have such a wealth of information and good writing sklills, all of us the victims (Eritrean people) shall benefit trmendously. You have a potential to be our new renainsance writer/thinker rising star in this venerable site.

      Sometimes, in honest wonderment, I ask to myself “why is Haile, with all his endowments, constricting himself to making only quilts (Druto, not pejoratively) and not full and beautiful dressess?

      Any way contune the good work!


      • Beyan Negash

        Dar Aklilu:

        Honestly, I hope and trust that Haile stays where he is and stirs the pot of dialogue and debate as he has been doing so well that if and when he transitions and focuses in writing articles, the vibrant Haile will begin to wane. I can cite an example, Ismail Omar Ali, when he joined deahi sometime in 1996, he elevated the conversation and debate so much so that dehayans used to try to trigger him into joining the dialogue because he was superb at it.

        Consider this Akililu: how many of those who write articles participate regularly on the discussions of other writers. Sal is about the only one who does it consistently, unless, of course, if they are using pennames. But, from what I observe, none participate regularly. Writing articles, as you well know, Aklilu, is a daunting task and the mindsets are totally different, in my opinion, than the one who can think fast and on his feet as the conversations resume and continue unabated.

        I believe the dialogue box needs the likes of Haile’s caliber who can stir the conversation armed with facts as we have been watching and reading him disarm the loyalists who have nothing of substance to offer other than ad hominem attacks. I say leave Haile float and play a much and crucially needed quality of debates that we see it being elevated because of his role as abba-gwayla. What is the role of abba-gwayla? It is to keep the dance to stay warm, hot, and lively. Haile wins that honor single handedly, in my book.


        • Beyan,

          You have a good point. I also want Haile to stay where he is very good at: in the comments section.

          You don’t have to remain anonymous in the comments section like Salih Younus who uses such pen names as ‘Awate team”, “Awatestaff” or “SaaY” when commenting on articles or other comments ; using anonymity in such a way defeats the whole purpose of remaining anonymous. Your style of writing is your finger print.

          Haile is cut out to write flakes of comments. Like Beyan said , you better stay stirring the pots. Beyan brought up anecdotal evidence to suggest that people disappear from the comments section as soon as they start writing long articles. If you are gone, who will take over your job?

    • yegermal

      “In all honesty I don’t believe (nor ever doubted) the fact that the Eritrean regime is NOT a terrorist oriented in any way.”

      The above statement (and many others which I find 180 reversal)is what makes me reserve my judgement on “Haile” and am not yet gun-ho about his “conversion”. In my opinion,”terrorism” although it hides behind the mantra of “save the people from western oppression”, it is lead by greedy egomaniac psychopaths whose sole mission is to emasculate their subjects to total submission and use them as reckless robots that commit indescribable crimes against those their demigods deem “enemies”. Terrorism is authoritarianism by any other name and therefore, you can’t absolve DIA’s authoritarian regime from “terrorist intentions” without sounding as if you’re trying to find some redeeming qualities in DIA’s patently demented kingdom. Our worse Achilles’ Heel as people is our propensity to get instantly mesmerized by “smooth talkers”. And here I am not undermining Haile’s contribution to the forum…..but am casting a word of caution of Kes nibel niteazeb!

  • hizbawi

    “the PFDJ’s days are numbered.”

    This the most loving words among the so called oppositions. I have been reading since 2008 and no offence, since that time they keep telling their readers the regime is collapsing. i can tell you this much, the regime can stand as long as its natural life expectancy allows it. regarding the SEMG, well, it is better to go after a drug addicted prostitute for sex than the credibility of those A-holes, that is frankly speaking.
    awate team stop predicting. you have been doing that god knows for how long.

    • Translate


      You have your opinion. Well, here is mine: 1. “The regime can stand as long as its natural life expectancy allows it = The regime is colapsing” when you talk about a nation.

      2. It is better to…(fill in the blank) than the credibility of A-h hizbawi.

      Next time, try to think first. No offense.

    • yohannes

      HIZBAWI,all those calling them selves opposition,its just a bussiness(job)most of them get paid, they have salary from woyane etc,,if they dont write or say some thing against isayas their lords going to get mad at them,Also at this days if you read front page at MESKEREM they are fighting each other for chairmanship,(KAB HIJI ZINEKEWE ZIB EI(hyena)NEYEHDERENI ELA ADGI)imagine those people if you bring them to asmara and put them in PIA office, i am telling you they kill each other (if you have history of RASAI)

    • awatestaff

      Selamat hizbawi:

      Actually, prediction would be if we said “PFDJ won’t be around in 2014.” Or, as Isaias said of Weyane, “the hour has struck, it is 5 minutes to midnight” or something like that. In contrast, to say “PFDJ’s days are numbered” is not prediction, it is another way of saying what you said, “the regime can stand as long as its natural life expectancy allows it.” If a plane is losing altitude, and its flight attendants and officers are parachuting off the plane, it is not a bold prediction to state, the plane is going to crash.


  • TheTruth

    No offense but this article is simply wishful thinking on behalf of the author. Did you ever consider the reason the SEMG’s reports are not being taken serious is because of the nature of the findings, recommendations and sources are sketchy at best? Many of their findings have been refuted, evidence rejected and sources questioned. Wikileaks has even refuted some of the allegations. The head of the SEMG, Matt Bryden, not too long ago was himself fired because of his lack of neutrality and professionalism. Let’s be honest in our assessment. Thanks.

  • Fanus

    I don’t get it. Why are the UNSC and SEMG so obsessed with Eritrea? It is an understatement to say their are obsessed!!! What is that they want from Eritrea aside from helping their ally Ethiopia? Eritrea is just a small nation that is minding its own business. Why spend so much money and resources on getting Eritrea? It wasn’t Eritrea that invaded and occupied Somalia, an illegal act according to the UN charter. It was Ethiopia that did that. It is illegal to invade and occupy a sovereign country like Somalia. Why don’t they go after Ethiopia? This UNSC obsession with Eritrea is getting tiresome.

    • Dear Fanus:

      How did the experiment go? Did you see youself in the mirror and asked “Am I honest with myself?”

      Any result to share? Or are you still trying?

      I shall understand. After all self-judgement is the hardest thing to do.


      • abe the MINEWALE

        yes she did the way a cri nal lectures innocent people how to love each other. sikfta yelen