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Shum Gedede & The Goatskin

This article is first published on Sep. 19, 2005 when the current trend of degrading and belittling the Eritrean struggle was unthinkable. I thought of bringing it up again to help us reflect. Its TIGRINYA TRANSLATION IS HERE ሹም ገደደን ቆርበትን (ሳልሕ “ቃዲ” ጆሃር)::

This story is dedicated to the top brass of the Eritrean Army; it is by no means intended for the victims, the forcefully conscripted.

A man had an eye on a married beautiful young woman. He devised a cunningly evil way to get to her. One day, he carried a goatskin (hawett) full of butter and pretending to be a salesman knocked on the woman’s house. Her husband opened the door to find the ‘salesman’ offering his product for an unbelievably cheap price. The husband was fooled by the bargain price: he thought it was a good deal. He asked to smell and taste the butter; the con artist said, ‘sure’, and asked the husband to hold the goatskin while he untied the knot on the goatskin–the neck that secured the butter from spilling out. Once the husband held the heavy goatskin with both hands, the man untied the skin and walked inside the house and started to make moves on the wife. The husband, instead of throwing the goatskin and rushing to protect his wife, being the coward that he is, started to curse and threaten and shout without leaving his place: ‘if I was not worried the butter would spill, I would kill you!’ He then boasted to his crying wife: tell him to come and receive his butter goatskin from me, I will see if he is a man when my two hands are free!

Ata Shum Gedede

ata shum gedede shum gedede
ab r’som kof ilka messka ste

That was a folk song from a distant past residing in a faint memory. This time, the Shum is not holding a cup of Mess but a bottle of scotch; he is not only sitting on our heads, but also walking over our bodies with his boots- and that is my beef with the top brass of the army, especially those who like to be called Yekaalo, veterans who fought for the liberation of Eritrea and “for the freedom of its people”, veterans who sloganeered enough “Awet Nhafash” and “AlNasr Lil Jamaheer”.

Being proud of our struggle and of our sacrifices is all in the past; it is a history that we hold dearly. However, being subservient to the combatants of yesteryears and being apologetic for the cruelties they commit is betrayal to the ideals of the whole Eritrean struggle. Injustice and oppression in Eritrea is not being committed in a vacuum.

The majority of the Eritrean armed forces are conscripts who wield no power. They are purposely kept in the trenches by the PFDJ regime that wishes them to age and wither away after their spirit and willpower has been broken. Meanwhile, injustice is perpetually inflicted on the Eritrean people by elements within the top brass of the PFDJ. The rest of our “veterans” are holding the goatskin while Eritrea is being raped.

Today, very few remain true to their history and are trying to do something about the situation in Eritrea. These are the hope of the nation. Still, a few have become passive enablers of oppression. Others are as criminal as the next killer within the regime. Still others are typical living-dead with no conscience. Shame! Those who are supposed to be the muscle of the people should not be afraid to drop the goatskin and spill the butter to save the nation. No Eritrean worth his salt should be an apprentice of oppression that mistreats his people—a tentacle of an oppressive regime should not be mistaken for a servant of a nation. Uniformed or not, the day of reckoning is approaching fast.

Many of our “revered” tegadelti are hopping from one bar to another nightclub and enjoying perks and authority at the expense of the citizen’s liberties. They are the peripheries of the oppressive clique: ruthless soldiers and privates, spying on their countrymen, beating and humiliating the whole populace. The stick has become the talking tool of the PFDJ—guess who is carrying that stick? Your average warsay ordered by your average Yekaalo. Those few rotten potatoes are spoiling everything while the honest citizens, are considered helpless, enslaved, abused, terrorized, jailed and killed. In such a situation, an uprising is the natural outcome; and it is certain the peoples’ anger will explode as the fire in the belly goes one little tiny notch up. Can we rule out an all out violence? Then, are we going to look for the West or the UN to deploy more peacekeepers and solve our problems for us? Don’t we need to grow up and solve our problems by ourselves?

A few months ago Isaias was fuming and ranting to re-ignite the border war with Ethiopia. The army was nervous contemplating the damage. Only one Eritrean army general defied Isaias by telling him: “I disagree…we don’t need war and we are not prepared for it”. According to foreign source stationed in the buffer zone the general’s defiance saved the day and stopped another tragedy.

There are enough indications to suggest that there are a few senior officers of the army who are apprehensive of the situation at home. Some are openly admitting that the PFDJ has become a local version of previous foreign oppression. But this is not enough. Such intents should come out to the open and move a step further to stop the bleeding of our country. We should not settle for an empty “moral victory.” Primarily, the responsibilities of solving Eritrea’s problems lie square on the laps of those who brought about the oppression. And a rule applies, you broke it, you fix it! And we can learn from Algeria, a country whose psyche was totally defined by its struggle against French colonialism.

After independence of the country, the Algerian Liberation Front (ALF) built the image of Algeria on ‘the land of one-million martyrs’ slogan. ALF took power and governed Algeria on single party dictatorship for many years. It behaved exactly like the PFDJ is behaving. After the euphoric years of patience, the lack of good governance caused the revulsion of the population (especially the young) against anything related to the period of the armed struggle and the result it brought about. There were even incidents when Algerians desecrated the graveyards of the soldiers who fell during the struggle- unthinkable to happen in the sixties and seventies. In the eighties and nineties, the oppressive ALF led the country into total chaos that claimed thousands of lives. If the PFDJ continues to rule unabated, we might lose the value of our legacy, the legacy of the struggle era for which we paid dearly.

Bahta Hagos Or Awate Were Not Opposition

Where there is oppression, there is resistance. There is no opposition under an authoritarian regime simply because there is no political room – but there is Resistance.

When free men are enslaved and humiliated by dictators, the natural instinct of the oppressed is to resist – and to struggle to bring the oppression to an end. But not all men take the challenge. That is why there are heroes.

What made Bahta Hagos rebel against the Italians was the same reason that made Hamid Awate raise his gun against the Ethiopians: the quest of freedom. They died for a right cause, free soldiers of freedom whose spirit no one could enslave. They were not an opposition; they were forces of a dignified resistance.

Since ancient times, great Eritrean heroes gave their lives for freedom; their legacy and sacrifices define the Eritrean psyche to this day. An observer of Eritrean affairs might wonder: how could a brave defiant nation stand such oppression? It is the shock. It is the shock of being betrayed by your own sons and daughters. However, we have now crossed the shock line as well as the after-shock line. It is once more a time to prove what Eritrea is all about- never giving up the fight in pursuit of pride and dignity. The fertile Eritrean womb produced an abundance of heroes and heroines; and the silence of Eritreans is very misleading; it is sign of a building pressure that explodes wildly. Obviously, the Eritrean resistance is shifting gear: from the timid defensive strategy to an offensive one.

Though in a modest sotto-voce, the clandestine nature of the internal resistance is building inside Eritrea. It is time that both internal and external resistance understood that they have to provide sound and solid leadership, one that should prove its commitment to democratic values, openness, far-sighted economic and social goals that embrace modernity. It should show a dedication to carry Eritrea to the now-far realm of globalization. This is a time for an optimistic offensive strategy.

Resistance And Violence

There are two acts of violence raging in our country. First, we have to come to terms with a fact: though it is not full-fledged, government forces and resistance forces have been clashing all the time. Eritreans have been killing each other for too long, and many lives are being lost. That is between the resistance forces and the government forces. Secondly, and to a far larger extent, we have a violent government that has unleashed its merciless brutality and violence against the Eritrean people for far too long. That is what we are dealing with.

Many individuals, and the ELF, strongly pushed for a national reconciliation for years. The arrogant PFDJ considered the calls a sign of weakness and a laughing material. In his notorious remark, Abdella Jabir a PFDJ leader belittled the opposition and characterized it as “nefer-neferen”, one or two persons. He gloatingly wondered how the all-glorious PFDJ is expected to talk to, nefer-neferen. That was (and is) their vision of reconciliation. The “nefer-neferen” remark became a catchword by the PFDJ and its supporters to undermine the calls for reconciliation. I am one of those who were continuously ridiculed for advocating reconciliation. I gave up on the PFDJ and concluded that any future violence lies on the laps of the PFDJ – for almost a decade now, I am being proven right every passing day.

Being angry, reacting to injustice, and struggling to reclaim a God-given right, is not only human, it is noble. People who are denied the means of recourse to redress or rectify injustice opt for the use of power as a last resort. Again, it is human. And the result is bloodletting. But how can we stop the bleeding of an already exhausted nation? First we need to identify the source of injustice and hindrance to reconciliation. That patriotic Eritreans have done: it is the PFDJ. Second, the PFDJ needs to be uprooted.

Some people would rather wait indefinitely to get their rights. It is their choice. Others are proactive and chose a means to reclaim their rights, it is their choice. With the exception of a very few dedicated activists, the attitude of those who claim to be exponents of a non-violent struggle has practically been ‘wait and see’. The argument that the PFDJ-will-fall-on-its-own-weight is not productive. Those who are doing nothing do not have a moral authority to dictate their preferred mode of struggle on the whole resistance movement. Their only choice is to be active on the non-violent struggle and prove to everybody that they can bring about change so that those who have already carried arms would be convinced to throw their guns away.

It is a sad reality that Eritreans are killing each other. And any sane person knows when two parties carry guns, no one volunteers to throw their guns without any precondition, a ceasefire agreement or reconciliation. It would be more productive if our do-nothing activists stopped deafening us with their condemnations and found a solution instead.

I don’t think there is an Eritrean who doesn’t know that Eritrea is composed of Muslims and Christians; and no followers of one faith can force their values on the others. As has been the case for centuries, we have to strongly safeguard our nation’s peaceful coexistence. Fanatics are trying our unity, and the PFDJ is sustaining an agreeable environment for such festering wounds. If we fail to defend our unity and create a peaceful atmosphere for just political governance, we are doomed. It is time for resistance to save Eritrea.

About Saleh "Gadi" Johar

Born and raised in Keren, Eritrea, now a US citizen residing in California, Mr. Saleh “Gadi” Johar is founder and publisher of Author of Miriam was Here, Of Kings and Bandits, and Simply Echoes. Saleh is acclaimed for his wealth of experience and knowledge in the history and politics of the Horn of Africa. A prominent public speaker and a researcher specializing on the Horn of Africa, he has given many distinguished lectures and participated in numerous seminars and conferences around the world. Activism was founded by Saleh “Gadi” Johar and is administered by the Awate Team and a group of volunteers who serve as the website’s advisory committee. The mission of is to provide Eritreans and friends of Eritrea with information that is hidden by the Eritrean regime and its surrogates; to provide a platform for information dissemination and opinion sharing; to inspire Eritreans, to embolden them into taking action, and finally, to lay the groundwork for reconciliation whose pillars are the truth. Miriam Was Here This book that was launched on August 16, 2013, is based on true stories; in writing it, Saleh has interviewed dozens of victims and eye-witnesses of Human trafficking, Eritrea, human rights, forced labor.and researched hundreds of pages of materials. The novel describes the ordeal of a nation, its youth, women and parents. It focuses on violation of human rights of the citizens and a country whose youth have become victims of slave labor, human trafficking, hostage taking, and human organ harvesting--all a result of bad governance. The main character of the story is Miriam, a young Eritrean woman; her father Zerom Bahta Hadgembes, a veteran of the struggle who resides in America and her childhood friend Senay who wanted to marry her but ended up being conscripted. Kings and Bandits Saleh “Gadi” Johar tells a powerful story that is never told: that many "child warriors" to whom we are asked to offer sympathies befitting helpless victims and hostages are actually premature adults who have made a conscious decision to stand up against brutality and oppression, and actually deserve our admiration. And that many of those whom we instinctively feel sympathetic towards, like the Ethiopian king Emperor Haile Sellassie, were actually world-class tyrants whose transgressions would normally be cases in the World Court. Simply Echoes A collection of romantic, political observations and travel poems; a reflection of the euphoric years that followed Eritrean Independence in 1991.

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Be Proud: Eritrea, the not so-tiny “Tiny Country”

This was first published on January 28, 2019. I used it as a background scrip …

  • Kokhob Selam

    . . . . .ኣንታ ሹም ገደደ . . . . .

    ኣንታ ሹም ገደደ ሹም ገደደ :-
    ኣንታ ሹም ገደደ ኣንታ ዕደ:-
    ብህይወት እንከሎ መሰሉ ተቐብደ:-
    ድቃስ ዝወሰዶ ብእግሩ እናኸደ :-
    እንታይ ኮን ይብላኻ እተን ኣደ :-
    እንታይ ኮን ይብለካ ዝተወልደ :-
    ላዕሊ ዝነበረ ሽምካ ምስ ወረደ ::

    ኣንታ ሹም ገደደ!!!! ኣንታ ሹም ገደደ :-
    ፈራሕ ከይብሉኻ ገዛእቲ ዘርዓደ :-
    ዓሻ ከይብሉኻ ጎራሕ ዝተሞርደ :-
    . . .እንታይ ኮን ይኸውን ሓንጎልካ ዘዕነደ :-
    . . . .ሕጂ በጺሑ ዶ ሓሞትካ ተቐደ :-
    . . . . ቀደም ዘይገበሮ ሎም ተንበድበደ :-
    . . . . . .እንታይ ወሪዱካ ሹም ገደደ ::

    ካን ዶ ኮይንካ እዩ ደኒንካ ክትሓልፍ :-
    ምእዙዝ ኮይንካ ኣብ ትሕቲ ህግደፍ :-
    መሪጽካ ዶ ምንባር መሰል ግፉፍ :-
    መሪጽካ ዶ ምንባር ስዑር ስኑፍ :-
    ንድሕሪት ተመሊስካ ኮይንካ ትሩፍ ::

    ክብረቱ ዝሕደግ – እታ ኪዳኑ:-
    ምኽኒት እናብዘሐ መሰሉ ዘዕኑ :-

    ኣይትበራበርን ዶ ሹም ገደደ :-
    ቅልጽም ሓፋሽ ድምጹ ከይንጎደ :-
    ድሑር ስርዓት ገና ከይተፈርደ :-
    ከይለከመካ – ሒዙካ ከይኸደ ::
    . . . . .ኣንታ ሹም ገደደ —

    ኮኾብ ሰላም

  • Just for you information,
    Several trolls have been bombarding this forum with message accusing most of you as “trolls” hired by “Weyane” for propaganda purposes and that you are infesting “the so-called which is a Weyane website.”

    Trolls accusing others as trolls is a funny allegation and we thought of sharing it as alight news for the weekend. Smile! For some reason the PFDJ trolls don’t like most of you. Smile again!

    Here is a sample of the many messages that were posted since yesterday from four IP addresses with identical messages but many nicknames.

    I see why Ethiopians are hanging around Eritrean websites now. Up until now I was wondering why Ethiopians like [most of your names are listed] …. write rubbish about the Eritrean people. Now I know.

  • haileTG

    Selamat Awate,

    ጳጳስ ኣስመራ፣ ጳጳስ ከረን፣ ጳጳስ ባረንቱን፣ ጳጳስ ሰገነይቲን ኣብ ሓቂ ደው ኢሎም፡ ብዘይ ነግ ፈረግ፡ ንህዝቢ፡ ሃገርን፡ መራሕትን መንፍሳዊ ምኽሪ ለጊሶም ኣለዉ። እዚ ምኽሪ’ዚ፡ ምስናይ ተሪር መጠንቀቕታ ስለቲ ዝባድም ዘሎ ሃገርና፡ ዝጸንት ዘሎ ትውልድናን፡ ዝብሕጎግ ዘሎ ማሕበራዊ ክብርታትና ዝተዋህበ እዩ። ክሳድና ንሰይፊ ብዝብል ምሉእ ትብዓት ድማ፡ ስርዓት ህግደፍ ካብ ዘይቅዋማዊ፡ ጊልያዊን፡ ብልሹው ኣካይዳ ክቑጠብን፡ ሃገር ንደቂ ሃገር ከረክብን፡ ብዘይምውልዋልን፡ ሰገጥ መገጥን፡ ብልዑል ምስትውዓልን፡ ረዚን ስነ-ሞጎትን በዲሆሞ ኣለዉ። እቲ ብመናውራ ዝተዓብዓበ፡ ሰራም ባህርያት ዝተኸናነበ፡ ዘይሓፍርን፡ ገፋዒ ስርዓት፡ ዝመጸ ይምጻእ ብዝብል፡ ናይ ቀቢጸ ተስፋ ሃለለ፡ ነዞም ክቡራት ኣቦታት ክዳፈር ክፍትን ይኽእል እዩ ዝብል፡ ስክፍታታት እውን ኣሎ። እዞም ሓዋርያ ህዝብን ምእመናን ዝኾኑ መንፈሳዊ መራሕቲን፡ ጳጳሳት ዓበይቲ ከተማታትናን፡ ንስለ ሓቂ ኢሎም እምበር፡ ከም ካልእ፡ ኣመት ድራሮም ጥራይ ምገበሩ። ቕድሚ ሎም እውን፡ ኣብ ህልቂት ዖና፡ ኣብ ህልቂት መናእሰይ ኣስመራ ብኣፋኝ ጓድ፡ ዝኣመሰሉ፡ ብኣባ ፍራንስዋን፡ ኣባ ኣጉስቲኖን ካላኦትን ንስለ ፍትሒ ህዝቢ ኤርትራ በዲሆምን፡ ተሰዊኦምን እዮም። ከም ሰማእት ካታካምቦ፡ ድማ ስቓይን፡ መግረፍትን ክሳብ ዕለት መስዋእቶም ጸይሮም እዮም። ስለዚ መላእ ህዝቢ ኤርትራ፡ ህግደፍ ክወስዶ ዝኽእል ናይ ቀቢጻዊ ስጉምቲ፡ ድሉው ኮይኑ ክጸንሕን፡ ነዚ ክከላኸልን፡ ይግባእ። እዋን ፍትሒ፡ ሰላምን፡ ራህዋን ዝቐረበት፣ ደመኛ ህዝቢ ኤርትራ ዝኾነ ኢሰያስ ኣፈወርቂን ሰዓብቱን ድማ ምስ ኩሉ እከያቶምን፡ ጎድፍ ታሪኾምን፡ ርዖም ጠቕሊሎም ዝኸዱላ እዋን ዝቐረበት ትመስል።

    ኤርትራ ኤርትራ ኤርትራ

    በዓል ደማ እናልቀሰ ተደምሲሱ

    መስዋእታ፡ ብሓርነት ተደቢሱ

    ኢልና እንዝምረሉ እዋን አውን ዘርከበ ይመስል ኣሎ።

  • Rodab

    Haderkum Awatistas,

    ‘Where is your brother’

    I don’t feel like the timely document written by four religious leaders has gotten the attention it deserves.

    Here is the link, it absolutely is worth reading.

    Even though it is authored by a group of religious leaders that belong to a specific domain, I believe the messages on the document are of general nature and the message of every reasonable Eritrean [regardless of religious affiliation] who wishes for rule of law, sober assessment, and working on finding solutions. And coming from inside Eritrea and openly with known names/signatures, the call has that much weight.

    One interesting observation: knowing the extreme restriction on information back home, to whom or how were the authors trying to communicate their message? In the good old days, churches used to publish their own news papers. I know that used to be the case but no more, as far as EOC. Not sure about the others.

    • haileTG

      Merhaba Rodab,

      – I totally agree on the timeliness and comprehensiveness of the message. Its vastness and depth means that people are taking their time to digest it before going to discuss it in detail or even the AT to have an executive summary article on it.

      – Your change from inside argument is not well supported by this event I am afraid. As we discussed before going to bed last night 🙂 These fathers of the Catholic Church have back bone in the Roman Catholic Church and the Vatican and its far reaching influences. Hgdef, being the coward, sadistic and lair that it is, it knows it can do NOTHING about it. The Head of the EOC had been removed and put in house arrest, sadly most of their church gave them their backs and clapping for hgdef (because hgdef is sadistic). If change could have ever come from inside, we would never have seen the nation literally hanging precariously on a cliff and hgdef could simply kill and arrest its way including handing over EDF resources to demhit. HGDEF knew that change COULD come from inside and hence it made sure the inside is a lame duck. The father’s voice is the echo of the change seekers from the outside, their backbones are outside and if it wasn’t that hgdef wouldn’t have let them still stand tall having called it out on all its failed, dictatorial, miserable and corrupt ways. Another example of change from outside is that when hgdef talked about Lampedusa disaster in a press release, a day after thousands and thousands of Eritrean diaspora were signing petition for the swift return of the bodies. If you look at many petitions, none worry hgdef because hardly many people risk to stand up for causes , but on that fateful petition more than 10000 signed in few hours. The next morning (9 days after it has been attempting to downplay the tragedy and hold all night dances) it made a U turn and acknowledged it. It then accused Washington and claimed that it was requesting for the bodies (sadly only to fool us). So, Rodab the change would come from the diaspora, when they start talking in unison. And, let’s not forget that all hgdef supporters in the diaspora have heavy blood of the innocent Eritrean people shed by hgdef on their hand. Failing to motivate the diaspora is something, to argue for change from inside needs more concrete evidences.


      • Rodab

        Dear Hailat,

        I didn’t link the G-4 call to changes from within. I didn’t think about that. But now that you reminded me, yeah it certainly is additional sign the power of change is from within indeed. No doubt in my mind!

        I agree with you that the authors have a better protection, comparatively speaking. But in my view, the public pressure is what’s pushing them to action. It shows you that things are getting more and more intolerable. And as far as change from within vis-a-vis with external* help, I don’t think you and I are on a different page – well may be a little different if you don’t agree with me in saying whatever there is help from outside, it is accessory, and not determinant.

        Your example of Lampadusa and the diaspora influence on the regime’s ‘change of attitude’ that lasted for only few days without bearing any fruit supports my argument of the limitness of the role the diaspora can play. The case to be made out of this is, even at its best, the diaspora’s influence, whatever there is, can only last for few days – till the tide calms. that is a far cry from the fundamental works undertaken back home that threatened to shake the system’s foundation of injustice.

        If you look back at our short history of 23 years, the few but big moves that have been made thus far are fully internal-based. The tegadelti protest of the 1993 and 94, the student and reform movements of 2001 and 2013 are accurate forecasts of the eventualities ahead.

        * By external help, if we are talking about Eri-diaspora’s help, not only is it not objectionable but is desirable. Other forms of external help such as by foreign forces, not that I am aware of it to be your position, is something I have ZERO interest of discussing. When I see such talks, I pass them, for i see no value in them.

        Nice day!

        • haileTG

          Hey Rodab,

          I think we are on the same page by what I mean in change from outside. It is indeed the Eritrean diaspora. The reason you observe them to have withered away after few days is because it was only the power of the tragedy that brought us together and not a sense of patriotism or respect to each other as nationals of a common country. If the entire diaspora was to call it a day on its ንዓይ ይጥዓመኒ mindset even for a one week, the regime will be gone in shorter time than that. I guarantee you Rodab, the diaspora, from illegal currency conversion, encouragement of the youth to leave, falsely dancing for the regime (most don’t even pay 2% or support the regime in its challenges, to all kinds of despicable duplicity is allowing hgdef to behave and continue the way it does. Even now, just wait, they will come out to call these fathers woyane and defeatist (while themselves living and prospering in Ethiopia – take Araya the YPFDJ here for example, he would never set foot in Eritrea or allow his diaspora money to be spent there, he is Ethiopian for all intents and purposes and masquerades as hgdef). So, my change from outside plan is a united and one voice diaspora, especially the hgdef supporters who are the main liability and I insist they have blood in their hand.


    • Tesfabirhan WR

      Dear Rodab,

      Today, the Catholic Church eparchy of keren has managed to have its own website and publish an on going activities of the church to its international community. for people who comes from zoba Anseba, this website is very important to follow on what is going on. Here you can visit the website.

      here is the original website in which it was posted.


  • Ketan gebey kisada

    Dear Saleh, I always enjoy reading your articles, especially today’s article is awesome, make me laugh and took me back to Keren. By the way your tigrinya translation went well you deserve job well done though Hawet is not in Tgrinya. But no problem I let you pass this time haha, Hawet egil eseyas lide eglna Rebi.

  • Dawit

    Saleh, thank you for remaining us how the con-man (butcher
    DIA) is raping and abusing our people while jigna tegadelti watching
    him. It is very sad what happen to them after independence. They became cowards
    and I hope they will wake up and get rid of him.

  • Media Watch

    Eritrea man attacked on a NSW street for $60 and a set of headphones – just five days after arriving in Australia
    shocking CCTV footage

    Read more:

  • Amanuel

    Hi SGJ
    Today is D-Day (for those don’t know D-Day is when the allied army landed in Normandy (France) to defeat the Nazis during the WWII). Thousands of people including several leader and head of states are by the sea side to remember to fallen heroes. The battle happened 70 years ago but looking the event on TV and listening to radio, it looks like it did happen a year or so ago. There maybe many reasons why this is the case, for example, the scarifies paid by the fallen heroes and the capability of Europeans to write, document and make films. However, I think ,the main reason why this event is alive and well respected is because of the same generation as the fallen heroes has honoured their legacy and build countries based on rule of law, where all citizen can live with peace full coexistence. This is what was missing in the Algerian experience and this is what we are about to miss if we allow PFDJ to continue rule Eritrea. The choice is simple as that, Either up root PFDJ, honour our fallen heroes legacy and build democratic Eritrea based on rule of law, where all citizens can live with peaceful coexistence or remain passive and allow PFDJ to destroy Eritrea, No butter no goatskin.

  • lili

    Dear Saleh Gadi
    I don´t know if I understand you correctly but I see it the way you see it. No one can
    any longer blame the opposition for self being passive enabler to the dictator.
    How can you trust the opposition? is the enabler’s argument. Those of us who want to
    see the end of dictatorship have to change our way and shift the responsibility
    of on-going misery on the enablers.

    Sofia Tesfamariam said something useful. The Eritrean government was asked by people
    to arrest those who are languishing in jail and shut down free press.

    Now the question is, is she one of the people who asked those measures to be taken by the dictator?
    Some of the prisoners are dead. Is she one of them who are accountable for letting innocent Eritreans die in jail?

    • Saleh Johar

      C’mon Lili! You can’t understand me in two languages, English and Tigrinya 🙂
      I can tell from your comment you understood me well. It is the enablers who cast doubts on anything the resistance does. They have been wreaking havoc in the resistance camp for too long. Yes, they are the enablers and I don’t believe the regime would have stayed this long if not for the enablers.

      I don’t think people collaborated with the tyranny in committing all the crimes it committed, but they surely were silent in the face of injustice. Those who have clearly stood by the side of the regime are not as bad as those who hold the stick in the middle and are deaf silent. Don’t worry Lili, fate has a strange way for extracting justice. Some day.

  • Tesfabirhan WR

    Dear Saleh Gadi Johar,

    Your vision was far sighted. And still your message has strong hold. I am completely freezed after I read this article. Your point has all the complete point in it,

    “Where there is oppression, there is resistance. There is no opposition under an authoritarian regime simply because there is no political room – but there is Resistance.”

    This is now my motto!!

    Thank you

  • Kokhob Selam

    Thank you Mr.Saleh,

    Why were most of our great Leaders like the late Ahmed Nasser always working for peace, why were always asking for reconciliation. It is the same; it is the same what you wanted always. It was after watching what and how our fronts were built and structured that l start to think that war is not the solution. DIA and AL AMIN, just will send me my own brother to kill me, no way! let my country men and women know them very well “ZEYFELETE Y’FLETOM”.