Inform, Inspire, Embolden. Reconcile!

Soulmates: Mugabe of Zimbabwe, Isaias of Eritrea

[Apologies: apparently the video that was linked to here seems to have been pirated. The full version is now not accessible. The clip above is the trailer of the documentary which is available on Netflix.]

Many people like to compare countries, that is why you hear Eritrea is the North Korea of Africa. That comparison is not like comparing apples with apples, it is like comparing ice cream with apples.  The appropriate comparison should be more realistic than that. For instance, comparing the Eritrean Popular Front for Democracy and Justice (YPFDJ) against the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU). Once you do that, you will be led to the next logical step: comparing Isaias Afwerki of Eritrea against Robert Mugabe.

Both presidents were born in the month of February and both were leaders of a revolutionary organization. Both men are leaders of the only ruling political parties in their respective countries and have been holding state powers for too long. While Mugabe has been in power since 1987 (30 years), Isaias has been at the helm since 1991 (26 years).  The two do not tolerate dissent or opposition, and despite their oppressive regimes, they survive thanks to their strong intelligence and security forces that are structured to protect their power.

Leaving legitimacy aside, Mugabe is too old and can’t walk straight on his own, but Isaias believes he will beat Mugabe’s record of longevity. However, the two are different in other aspects, while Mugabe was born in February 1924 (92 years), Isais was born in February 1946 (70 years).

Today is Christmas Day, and we are presenting to you ‘Democrats’, a documentary that was shot In Zimbabwe over a period of more than three-years. It illustrates the Zimbabwean political climate, the process of constitution making and the problems it faced (adopted in 2013), the sensitivity, the risks it faced, and the participation of the Zimbabwean people and parties–you cannot help but consider the PFDJ a copy of ZANU which controls Zimbabwe and rules the people with fear. You will see the Zimbabwean version of “Nhna Nsu”, no one should ever  think of replacing the incumbent. You will also see the aged and helpless veterans of ZANU. In short, the documentary explains the position of many Eritreans who reject any pretend reform activities initiated by the PFDJ. If you consider the documentary a report about Eritrea, you wouldn’t be too far from the truth.

  • ‘Gheteb

    An Astronomical DEMENOSTARTION In Planet Illogic ብዓወት ተዛዚሙ

    Greetings From The Logical Universe!!

    Yes, the logical Universe observed with utter amazement and disgust a massive, er, an astronomical DEMENOSTRATION today. The denizens of Planet Illogic were afforded to witness a show that was called by the Intergalactic Radio Monitors of Planet Illogic. The Monitor(s) in an act akin to political chest-thumping harrumphed that “WE have the power to EXPUNGE any written material that made its way from The Logical Universe”, even if “the message” was delivered legally, legitimately and in accordance to the accepted Intergalactic norms of communication. Hey, WE love to DEMEMONSTRATE and even more to demonstrate our POWER.

    Representing Planeta Weyanicus and the emissary to Planet Illogic,ወይዘሮ ማሚት ጓል ዓብደልዋሒድ, was present in the DEMENOSTRATION and demanded that erasure of the messages from The Logical Universe must be done with a copious and generous amount of “DETERGENT” to keep Planet Illogic “clean”. She unfailingly used the pronoun “WE”, though her godfather (ኣባት ነፍሳ), AG, was not physically present at the DEMENOSTRATION. Maybe “godfather AG” was communicating with ጓል ዓብደልዋሒድ telepathically. Who knows, that could as well be so as such irrationality is within the realm of the illogicality that permeates Planeta Illogica.

    Astoundingly, a certified denizen of Planet Illogic announced that “HE IS A HUMAN BEING”.

    Some of the slogans in the DEMENOSTRATION were:

    ” The Radio Monitors of Planet Illogic have the power to EXPUNGE any message WE don’t like and for whatever reason we can cook up, extemporize and make on the fly.”

    ” We are the Radio Monitors of Planet Illogic and we are who we claim to be. Deal with it.”

    ” We proudly announce that we are the denizens of Planet Illogic”.

    ” ‘Reductio Ad Mugabeium’ is one of our new tools of illogicality”.

    ( Just like in using Reductio Ad Hitlerum to attribute guilt to someone by association).

    Meanwhile, in Planeta Erythrae

    In the years of 1975-1978, the ELF (Jebha) conducted active political agitation in the villages of the Eritrean Kebessa or highlands. The competitions between the ELF and the EPLF to recruit new followers or adherents was intense. Let’s say that some ELF fighters visit village X and conduct political meetings and distribute some political literature or pamphlets. The EPLF fighters will come to the same village and do the same thing.

    One of the curious thing the ELF fighters did upon their return/visit to the same village was to go house to house and search for EPLF’s political literature or pamphlets. They gathered them and BURNED all of EPLF’s written materials as if burning EPLF’s periodicals was to prevent the Eritrean villagers from supporting the EPLF or as if the BURNING EPLF’s pamphlets was to encumber the Eritrean Kebessa of villagers in distinguishing and separating wheat from chaff.

    BURNING of EPLF’s pamphlets in the then Jebha; EXPUNGING messages from The Logical Universe in Planet Illogic.

  • Hayat Adem

    Dear Gheteb and All,
    One Budha said this or similar to this: do not take life too seriously or you will not get out of it alive.
    Our friend Gheteb had to pile up so many adjectives and honorific titles of wall in defense of IA: revolutionary, peerless, unrivaled, father of a nation, pater paterae (just saying the same in Latin) and yet he doesn’t feel he had put enough adjectives in praise of IA. Gheteb is angrily telling us “how dare you compare Him with Mughabe!”.
    Well, some of us are also saying the very same thing. I agree with him that the two are incomparable albeit for a different reason. I just want to bring one material as an evidence to your attention. This material evidence comes from no other person but Gheteb himself, and I quote at length:
    “Nothing captures this than what had transpired in April, 1971, in Gedem, Northeastern Red Sea Region or Semhar. This was the venue where the founding congress of the clandestine party of Shaebia, ” The Eritrean Peoples’ Revolutionary Party” took place. Here are the names of the founding members of the party who participated in that congress:…”
    and he gave us a list of 11 historic names. Gheteb continues and told us what those 11 founding fathers saw in IA to have elected him to lead: “the very personification and embodiment of the Eritrean ideal,..a person with the energy,..the drive and the commitment to galvanize and rally the Eritrean people..”.
    Okay, okay… we got it Gheteb. What are you afraid of we could be thinking of IA? You wanted us to believe that he earned his place, right?
    You also told us this :”Astonishingly, these congregants ELECTED Isaias Afwerki as the chairman of the party. In 1971, Isaias was a leader of Selfi Natsnet which had few fighters and even fewer guns or rifles. Isaias had neither the extensive security network nor a spying agency or organ to KILL and ELIMINATE those he deemed to be his rivals or “contestants” to power. Nevertheless, he was elected as the chairman of the party by the participants of the congress 11 of whom were neither Isaias’s co-religionists nor his co-regionalists.”
    Now, you will pardon me as I’m going to use this against your argument in defense of IA. Crime is more out of character than out of logistical possibilities. If logistical options didn’t allow IA in 1971, he would postpone them for another day. Now is not 1971. So, IA has all the guns, extensive and monopoly security, spies everywhere, killers that jump happily to eliminate anyone as fast as the word of order is dispatched.. And IA doesn’t necessarily have to have real competitors or rivals, he just have to imagine them. From the 10 founding members (minus IA) you listed for us and told us were intelligent enough to identify a good man in Isaias, how many of did they survive his Machiavellian dark hands? Go back to your list, and you will see almost all were eaten up, some with direct hits others under deceptive cover ups. Did Mughabe or Zanu eliminated his veteran comrades?
    Now, to the Bhudha’s funny idea of advising us to learn the fact that it is nearly impossible to exit life alive. PFDJ cadres are in it. When they try to explain the unexplainable, they bring very weird arguments. It is because it is nearly impossible to remain PFDJ and rational at the same time. Talk of inherent incompatibility! The 10 founding fathers were only good and smart enough to elect IA to lead them but no more. They are not good enough to have a say, to think, to live, oppose…or raise a family…
    One other diaspora cadre, the brilliant mathematician defends PFDJ with mathematical certainty. He goes as far as threatening his disabled brother to chop of his other healthy leg if he would dare go on misgiving PFDJ. An ambassador would remain defending PFDJ while his wife and brother in law is imprisoned by the same PFDJ. It is not Gheteb’s fault. It is in the very nature of the game. We need to understand that once pfdj-soiled, no amount of detergent would keep you clean.
    It is not a normal world out there! not at all! We can never fully explain a world by appealing to something outside it. Mughabe and Zanu, we can understand and explain the weaknesses and strengths. I’m afraid we can’t say the same about IA and Pfdj.

    • Simon Kaleab

      Selam Hayat,

      The EPLF was a guerilla movement while ZANU was a dinner party. The EPLF inherited a war devastated and an impoverished country, while Mugabe inherited a wealthy country with decent infrastructures and a huge economic potential which he reduced to dust. Eritrea is surrounded by tricky geopolitical complexities while Zimbabwe has fewer complications.

      I must borrow the phrase ‘Reductio Ad Mugabeium’ from Gheteb.

      • Hayat Adem

        Selam Simon,
        You are not being fair to the ZANU/ZANLA but overly generous to the EPLF. When it comes to reflecting on history, stay committed to the facts. When it comes to sharing your views, stay committed to your conscience.
        Give and take some localized and historical peculiarity, ZANU was no less a popular liberation movement than EPLF. On legitimacy of the very cause though, ZANU stood way way taller. During and before the liberations war period, Eritrea had had decent infrastructure, and more distinctively so compared to other Ethiopian parts then. Also, it was enjoying more services and production facilities. Most of those that were destroyed during the war were destroyed by the EPLF/ELF than by the Ethiopian army. A case evidence is the railway which was single-handedly destroyed by EPLF for barracking utility.
        Fast forward, post liberation: compare the two..Mughabe took land from the whites and gave it back to Zimbabwean households, EPLF took everything from Eritrean households: land, money, kids and fatten itself. Most of Zimbabwe’s economic pains were externally pushed. Almost all problems in Eritrea are self-made and self made for a reason. Mughabe conducts elections, elections that may not be of good standards but elections nonetheless. IA knows none. Zimbabwe has a constitution and an officially reported budget and a normal state structure. None whatsoever of these in Eritrea. Zimbabwe has African states on its side to support it in its hostile relations with the West. Eritrea is alone and isolated. Eritrea made a full circle of its surrounding in producing a conflict with all its neighbors. Not such a thing was done by Zimbabwe. Are similariets of the two on some aspects? Yes. That is why Awate brought us this in comparison and contrast. But on so many other aspects and the level to which on each item, it will be an unfail letdown to Mughabe or Zanu to put the two on the same basket.
        Got it?

        • Simon Kaleab

          Selam Hayat,

          You said: “You are not being fair to the ZANU/ZANLA but overly generous to the EPLF.”

          What percentage of Rhodesia did ZANU liberate?

          Did ZANU use the law courts to expropriate land from White farmers, or did it use mob rule?

          Did ZANU distribute land to poor farmers in need or to its cronies, who utterly failed in running these farms?

          Eritrea lives in a different geopolitical environment, which helps explain its entanglement in some conflicts.

          Also, the blame for the current political climate should be shared by the G15 as well.

          ‘Reductio Ad Mugabeium’!

          • Hayat Adem

            Really Simon? G15? The victims?
            I am always amazed by the level of heartlessness from the PFDJ world. Blame it on anyone, even on the victims. Incredible!
            “Also, the blame for the current political climate should be shared by the G15 as well.” Please notice the qualifier “current”.
            Had you said this about the time when they were in power, I would understand. But this! How are people kept in incommunicado for 15 yrs responsible and to be blamed for a political climate that exists in their absence and deaths? Can they really impact the situation by being captive and perishing? What do you think they should do to improve the situation while perishing in the unknown dungeons?
            Are you really normal?

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam Hayat,

            Compare the internal situation in Eritrea before and after the appearance of the G15. You will get the answer.

            Were the G15 really the victims or were they initiating a coup d’etat against the government egged on by some European powers ? The world of guerilla warfare tradition is the world of survival of the fittest. You do not need to like Isaias to realise that it is either him or them; it had to be resolved one way or another.

            When I say coup d’etat, it is not even to bring democratic governance. Rather, it was based on personal grievances against Isaias. The G15 knew the game in town, they played the same game in the past against others and won. Why would there be any complaint when they lose? The sad thing now is that the ordinary folk in Eritrea are suffering as a consequence.

          • Thomas

            Hi Simon,

            I don’t know in which world you are living, at where I am people are innocent until proven guilty by the court of justice. Can you prove your accusation against G-15 above or reread your statements below:

            (1) “Were the G15 really the victims or were they initiating a coup d’etat
            against the government egged on by some European powers ? The world of
            guerilla warfare tradition is the world of survival of the fittest. You
            do not need to like Isaias to realise that it is either him or them; it
            had to be resolved one way or another”
            (2) When I say coup d’etat, it is not even to bring democratic governance.
            Rather, it was based on personal grievances against Isaias.
            (3) The G15 knew
            the game in town, they played the same game in the past against others
            and won. Why would there be any complaint when they lose? The sad thing
            now is that the ordinary folk in Eritrea are suffering as a consequence.
            (4) This is because the people (the Eritrean people) are ungovernable. The minute you relax the grip in power, they are at your each other’s throat.

            Question to you:
            Could Issayas be the reason for jailing and disappearing the people, isolating Eritrea from making businesses with the rest of the world, igniting wars among Eritrea’s neighbors, enslaving Eritrea’s youth and the rest of Eritrean citizens and all the problems we are seeing?

          • Thomas

            Hi Simon,

            You are not even fair to our heroes, the G-15. I was shocked when I learned your stand on these people. Remember, they were EPLF leaders to, but whatever you have in mind you never appreciated their move to reform and immediately a call to implement our now trashed constitution. Shame on you, but I am wondering what you are seeing on the brutal isolated regime for you to bluff about? Shame has no place on you!!

  • ‘Gheteb

    Isaias Afwerki: A Revolutionary Pater Pateriae, Bar None


    Isaias’s role in the emergence of Eritrea as a nation or a state is pivotally paramount. Not only that his role is even more superbly eminent in the defense and preservation of Eritrea true independence and its sovereignty. His role as a revolutionary father of a nation, truth be told, is UNRIVALED and PEERLESS.

    Many have attempted to find a parallel to Isaias’s role as a revolutionary pater pateriae, but so far to no avail as non has achieved what Isaias was able to attain and surmount the seemingly insuperable hurdles and the forces that were standing athwart the path of the Eritrean national aspirations.

    The monomaniacal vituperation that some unremittingly hyperventilate by way of comparing Isaias to the likes of Mugabe, without mincing words, is puerilely sophomoric as nothing could be the farthest from the truth. Isaias IS Isaias as Mugabe is Mugabe; Eritrea is no Zimbabwe and EPLF is definitely no ZANU or ZAPU.

    The revolutionary Isaias Afwerki became the leader and ultimately the father of a nation not because of what many erroneously attribute to him. He became the leader of the Eritrean Revolution because he was the very embodiment and personification of the Eritrean ideal and the very expression of the national aspiration of the Eritrean people.

    Nothing captures this than what had transpired in April, 1971, in Gedem, Northeastern Red Sea Region or Semhar. This was the venue where the founding congress of the clandestine party of Shaebia, ” The Eritrean Peoples’ Revolutionary Party” took place. Here are the names of the founding members of the party who participated in that congress:

    (1) Abubker Mohammed Hassen
    (2) Mohammed Ali Umaro
    (3) Isaias Afwerki
    (4) Ali Said Abdella
    (5) Ibrahim Afa
    (6) Ahmed Tahir Baduri
    (7) Mesfin Hagos
    (8) Hassen Mohammed Amir
    (9) Ahmed Alqeysi
    (10) Mahmmud Sherifo
    (11) Mohammed Hillal

    Other founding members who didn’t participate in this congress were: Ramadan Mohammed Nur, Haile Durue and Alamin Mohammed Seid.

    Astonishingly, these congregants ELECTED Isaias Afwerki as the chairman of the party. In 1971, Isaias was a leader of Selfi Natsnet which had few fighters and even fewer guns or rifles. Isaias had neither the extensive security network nor a spying agency or organ to KILL and ELIMINATE those he deemed to be his rivals or “contestants” to power. Nevertheless, he was elected as the chairman of the party by the participants of the congress 11 of whom were neither Isaias’s co-religionists nor his co-regionalists. The unavoidable question then is WHY?

    Well, it was because not only they saw in Isaias the very personification and embodiment of the Eritrean ideal, but they saw a person with the energy, the drive and commitment who will ably galvanize and rally the Eritrean people in the pursuit of its national aspirations. What is more, is the fact that in Isaias they saw the very wellspring of Shaebiaism which finally midwifed Eritrea.

    • Berhe Y

      Dear Gheteb,

      That was useful information you posted listing who was the founding members of the secret party, if I am not mistaken.

      Can you please tell us who of those are currently alive serving Isayas, disappeared, killed, or exiled by Isayas.


      • ‘Gheteb

        Selam Berhe Y,

        First, my apologies for not responding right away. I will try to answer the question you posed regarding the fate of the founding members of the EPLF’s clandestine party ” The Eritrean Peoples’ Revolutionary Party” that I listed on my post: Isaias Afwerki: A Revolutionary Pater Patriae, Bar None

        (1) Abubeker Mohammed Hassen
        (2) Mohammed Hillal

        Both were martyred in “the civil war” of the early seventies between Jebha(ELF) and Shaebia (Popular Forces For The Liberation Of Eritrea).

        (3) Hassen Mohammed Amir

        Martyred in the liberation war, though I don’t exactly know the year of his martyrdom.

        (4) Ibrahim Afa

        Martyred in 1985. Though many theories abound about his martyrdom, officially both in the second congress of the clandestine party of the EPLF and EPLF’s second organizational congress, it was reported that his martyrdom occurred in the years of “The Bahri Negsah military offensive”.

        (5) Ali Said Abdella

        Martyred after the independence of Eritrea while serving as minister of foreign affairs in 2005.

        (6) Mohammed Ali Umaro

        Reportedly, incarcerated and I don’t have the slightest clue as I am not privy to sensitive national security issues.

        (7) Haile Durue
        (8) Mahmmud Sherifo

        Members of G-15 and are incarcerated or imprisoned.

        (9) Mesfin Hagos
        (10) Ahmed Alqeysi

        Are exiled and living outside Eritrea

        (11) Ramadan Mohammed Nur
        (12) Isaias Afwerki
        (13) Alamin Mohammed Seid
        (14) Ahmed Tahir Baduri

        Are in Eritrea and still fighting mightily to upkeep and preserve the ideals of Gedem — the venue where the first founding congress of “The Eritrean Peoples’ Revolutionary Party” took place — .

        • Berhe Y

          Dear Gheteb,

          Thank you for this valuable information. It’s really sad that out of the founding members only 4 left inside the country. And I don’t think all that are left have significant roles to play.

          1) Ramadan Mohammed Nur, after the revelation of what happened in the PFDJ congress, he was basically pushed out by Isayas. He life was spared because Isayas has not reached the boldness to imprison/ kill those he doesn’t want anymore.

          2) Alamin Mohammed Seid: Last I heard he was really sick and he has not much power he can exercise any longer.

          3) Ahmed Baduri: I don’t know what role he still currently plays in the Eritrean government and what his role is.

          I remember seeing a youtube video from the professor from Holland taking about Eritrean/EPLF history. He said there founding members of the secret party were 15 (you have 14 so may be you left one out or he was wrong). And he said, except for Isayas all of them are either dead, exiled, imprisoned or frozen.


          • ‘Gheteb

            Selam Berhe Y,

            I think you are referring to Dr. Gerard Prunier when you wrote:

            ” I remember seeing a youtube video from the professor from Holland talking about Eritrean/EPLF history. He said there founding members of the secret party were 15 (you have 14 so may be you left one out or he was wrong). And he said, except for Isayas all of them are either dead, exiled, imprisoned or frozen”.

            Dr. Prunier in the video presentation ” Eritrea!! The REAL story… ” asserted that:

            “.. in 1971, Isaias Afwerki,……, with ABOUT 15 other men created a secret organization called The Eritrean Peoples’ Revolutionary Party”.

            The operative word here is “ABOUT” indicating the fact that the number of the founding members were approximately and not exactly 15, according to Dr.Prunier’s claim.

            Even if one is to assume that the number of the founding members were 15, I am of the belief that the 15th founding member of the “EPRP” was either Saleh Tetew or Abdulrahman Mohammed Ali who were both martyred in “the civil war” between ELF and Shaebia in Zagir in 1974. They were KILLED by Jebha.

            Mind-bogglingly, Dr. Prunier also makes this utterly INCREDIBLE assertion about “the fate of the 15 people….. “:

            ” ALL of them are either DEAD or IN JAIL”.

            We know that 2 of the founding members are in exile and still alive ( Mesfin Hagos and Ahmed Alqeysi) and other 3 ( Ramadan, Alamin and Ahmed still living in Eritrea).

            I find Dr. Prunier take to be hyperbolic based on second-hand information gleaned from the likes of Dan Connell and Weyane’s intelligence personnel as I found his insights to be bereft of any first-hand information.

  • ‘Gheteb

    Isaias Afwerki: A Revolutionary Pater Patriae, Bar None


  • KBT

    selamat brother
    demonizing issayas won t bring any solution
    you guys must be first eritrean and second opposition
    don t allie with our sworn enemy to weaken your country
    we have a lot of challenge against our country ,now it getting better but
    at the time in need all of you stood with enemy and wished the collapse of our country
    you need to address your problem without bad langage and attack
    must of the time you insinuating think without any evidence to back it up
    you must participate to built the country so in the futur you can argue

    • tes

      Selam KBT,

      First and foremost, we are human being not Eritreans. And as human Being, our Rights are abused by the regime that is ruling Eritrea. The crimes committed on us is now officially registered as “Systematic and widespread Crimes against Humanity”. For this we are standing.

      To be born in Eritrea was not my choice. As human being, I had a right to live in a place where I was born. All my rights should have been protected. Now that I am exposed to all kinds of crimes, I have no choice but to fight for my rights.

      Do you expect me to be abused and continue under such horrible condition?

      My friend, NO!

      The rest will be after that. If I had a country, I should have been protected. Now, I am exposed and I am living in another country that protects my human rights. But I want the country that I was born to be the same as I am living today, on minimum requirement: to protect my rights to live without any FEAR.

      Till then, I will continue to oppose.


      • KBT

        Selamat tes
        If you are born in eritrea but not eritrean? ?? But m human being ?? Of course you are human being, but if you mean by that you’re ethiopian origin and been expel from eritrea ,well more than 70.000 have been expel from ethiopia and many crime has been comited against those people of course I don’t mean the same thing should happen to you and everything you say should based on fact not just insinuation or assumption. for the widespread human rights abuse it’s irrelevant to claim that think, from the beginning that woman was corrupt and side herself with individual who want a regime change by any means. She should be neutral and also she Underestimate the eritrean government ability to defend himself in the international arena
        And let me said before I close all eritrean are aware that many claiming to be eritrean in all Paltalk or so called oppositon forum are tigray origin doing nothing than shaming naming the government of eritrea
        To create a rift between the eritrean society and weaken the country s defence.
        they digg a hole for eritrea but it will be their tomb for sure bye and happy new year

        • Saleh Johar

          Hi KBT,

          Just to correct you in case you are not doing this knowingly. I know Tesfabirhan, and he is full blooded Eritrean, a Blenay, people who call themselves the NAIL IN THE GROUND. How do you describe his ancestry when you don’t know him at all? See why people reject the PFDJ and the culture it inculcates in people like you. Now you know why.

          • KBT

            Selamat saleh
            I was just confused when he said I am human being but not eritrean and I am not interested to know his ancestry root if he is eritrean good for him and i can assure pfdj don’t control my mind but I am sure he is your nightmare he is holding his people together and defending his country sovereignty so your naming shaming is irrelevant pfdj is challenging those with power
            Happy new year

          • Saleh Johar

            Hi KTB,

            I am glad you recognize “he is [my] nightmare” bur he is the nightmare of all Eritreans. I also glad you don’t consider him an angel, but the devil incarnate who is not capable of anything but induce nightmares.

            Happy New year, hopefully without nightmares

          • KBT

            Selamat saleh pfdj is a nightmare only for those who want to dismantle our country
            For those who look angels by the manner they speech but evils and dishonest from their act
            From their mouths nothing good came out they are opportunistic and will Side anyone
            To get power or destroy Eritrea .
            The people of Eritrea are aware and perfectly know that they don’t feet to rule Eritrea
            We don’t want division but unity and pfdj is the backbone of that unity no alternative for Eritrea

          • jordan

            [from the moderator: begin your comment with salutation, it is the law here]

            I don’t know much about Isaias himself, but my grandmother doesn’t like him at all. She found a picture of him in her closet and ripped it apart. Meanwhile her son (My dad) likes him. My dad says that he does good for the poor, the “rich” people don’t seem to like Isaias because their living standards don’t approve as much.

            Tell me, what makes Isaias such an evil man? I feel like he has made remarkable achievements with awful obstacles made by our opponents (The west). I mean our country has very good health statistics compared to the rest of Africa, free healthcare and education. Enlighten me please how he is a nightmare of all Eritreans since many do seem to agree with him.

          • jordan

            Hey Saleh

            I don’t know much about Isaias himself, but my grandmother doesn’t like him at all. She found a picture of him in her closet and ripped it apart. Meanwhile her son (My dad) likes him. My dad says that he does good for the poor, the “rich” people don’t seem to like Isaias because their living standards don’t approve as much.

            Tell me, what makes Isaias such an evil man? I feel like he has made remarkable achievements with awful obstacles made by our opponents (The west). I mean our country has very good health statistics compared to the rest of Africa, free healthcare and education. Enlighten me please how he is a nightmare of all Eritreans since many do seem to agree with him.

          • Saleh Johar

            Hello Jordan,

            I do not think you are incapable of finding what Isaias and his clique are evil on your own. You jut need an honest appraisal of his performance and an objective evaluation of what happened to Eritrea and its people under their oppressive rule. It is all there if you just google the information that you seem to lack. As for me, you do not need me to explain and repeat to you what is out there.

            Thank you for reaching out to me, but google is more effective than me, is not an opposition to Isaias and his clique, like I am. That would help you to source your information from an inanimate source that cannot be accused of bias 🙂

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello jordan,

            Welcome to!

            For a 16 year old, for any age for that matter, your inquisitiveness, your curiosity about and love of your ancestral land, your maturity and fair mindedness is way beyond your age, and that alone makes me feel hopeful that the future will be in good hands. In addition, for someone born and raised in Sweden, your command of the English language is very impressive. I respect you for that alone, and please continue being a good rolemodel of your generation.

            As you may have experienced already, you will hear several versions of Eritrean history and by extension history of prominent Eritreans and their achievements and failures. Until such time when you will have gathered enough information to form your own opinion based on solid knowledge, at this tender age, your task should remain as “information gatherer” which I believe is what you are doing.

            There have been incredible ups and downs in the last 100 years in Eritrea that there is no Eritrean that has not been affected one way or the other. Naturally, these ups and downs, sacrifices, heroisms, trying times, occasional good times, even mistakes, has made the Eritrean you meet today. Without getting into exhaustive details of why, the difference of ideas between groups of Eritreans you may be witnessing today is just that: a difference of ideas as formed by the intense experiences of the last 100+ years. As you noted above even your grandma and your dad have a different take of one Isaias.

            Although it is tempting to want to scold you and advise you to concentrate on your schooling instead, if you happened to be using your spare time wisely and learn more about Eritrea past while preparing yourself for Eritrea future, you have come to the right place where great ideas are actually discussed.

            Having said that let me disclose that I am an Ethiopian (very TPLF Ethiopian). You will meet many Ethiopians here as you keep visiting often. What makes us stay here mostly is the mature nature of issues discussed, the kind of thinkers it attracts, its impartiality to ideas expressed, and most importantly its truthfulness to its own mission: to inform, to inspire, to embolden, and to reconcile.

            Although there are more qualified and with firsthand experience and knowledge of Eritrea and Eritrean politics who will gladly share their vision with you, I am simply interfering here as an outsider witness to’s integrity. The second reason I interfered was to shade light to why I think Saleh Johar did not go into detail explaining his version of who Isaias is.

            In the past, many brief visitors of Awate has come and gone, and most of their seemingly innocent “questions” produced nothing but unfounded accusations, blackmails, or juvenile insults that add no value to any discussion at all. That and the demands of being a moderator may have forced him to shorten the time he could spare to explain what seems universal knowledge regarding Isaias Afewerki.

            Although the reply Saleh Johar gave you is good enough, once he realizes that you are indeed a genuinely curious 16 years old young Eritrean, I can assure you that you will have gained a well-informed mentor and a very good friend.


          • Abi

            Selam Ayte Fanti Ghana
            I disagree with you 1000000%!!!!!!!!
            Tell this kid to stay away from the good for nothing politics as far as possible and to focus on his schooling.
            He is too young to be poisoned by the useless politics. He already thinks the West is his enemies. God only knows how much poison he has been fed?

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello Abisha,

            You won’t believe how tempted I was to tell him exactly that. One of my paragraphs actually started with “…Although it is tempting to want to scold you and advise you to concentrate on your schooling…,” but I had mixed feelings.

            1) I was hopping that maybe he is doing this under parental guidance, and
            2) Since he has been visiting a few political sites for a while now, he may as well stay where he can actually learn something, but most importantly, I couldn’t take the chance of potentially demoralizing him from wanting to know about his background and history.

            However, your advise is better and I hope he abides by it.

          • Abi

            That is a Fantastic way of conflict resolution.
            Happy New Year

          • saay7


            I can tell somebody is missing Hope: what’s up with all the zeroes and exclamations?


          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello Brother Saay,

            It is a national curse! Any Ethiopian number must have a minimum of two zeroes else no body pays attention.

          • Abi

            Hi Saay
            It must be me. I miss hope Gerageru.
            Saay1, Abi 0000000
            Happy New Year

          • MS

            Dear Fanti
            Unlike abi, I actually, agree with your reply to Jordan, and I welcome Jordan to this forum. I think you gave him a fatherly advice, and the KEY one is that Jordan has to gather information from his/her (not sure of gender) family, and other sources. He seems to be very mature, and I’m sure by now he has gained the skills of reading opinions critically. I’m actually very proud of him, and advise him to continue engaged, and to encourage his peers get engaged. I have four sons, one his age, and I never impose my views on them, but I provide them with the information they need when they do projects on cultural subjects. They are far more open-minded and easy going, more understanding than the old generation. Their friends tend to be Ethiopians, Indians, whites, African Americans, Muslims, Christians, Jews…etc. So, my advice for Jordan is to get engaged, gather information from sources you consider to be credible, use the tools you learn in school to read between the lines, etc. And nothing wrong with making mistakes and gaffs. I also advice him to get involved in your school and city civic matters. That way you will develop the skills it takes to navigate your way in less friendly territory.

          • Abi

            Hi Vet
            I’m glad I found something to disagree with you. Let’s hope this is the last one 🤔
            May be it was my fault that I didn’t clearly say Eritrean and Ethiopian politics. In my opinion it is the worst of all kinds.
            Vet, I suggest you start a new front of struggle to liberate our minds from our politics. Whatever happened to TBS?
            Happy New Year.

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello and thank you Brothers MS, IsmailAA, and Abi,

            Usually, whenever I post at AT, I am relaxed and worry free. I have a general attitude of “I am home” and naturally I make several factual and/or logical mistakes. However, what to tell jordan was extremely difficult mostly because all the thoughts you mentioned were also my thoughts. At the end I was left with two fears: what are the consequences of advising him to stay vis-a-vis would I be discouraging him and push him away toward other venues where mostly trash-talk is entertained.

            So, lets settle it this way:

            First and foremost, concentrate on your school. If you occasionally must peek and learn about what is going on, this website is one of the best sources to do it.

            If you get all “A”s in all your classes, you will have a whole week to post whatever you want.
            Grade of “A” in any class to be allowed to post a paragraph.
            Grade of “B” to post a sentence,
            Grade of “C” to up-vote someone
            If you score less than “C” in any class, you will be blocked from Awate for three months.

            Good Luck with everything that you do!

          • Ismail AA

            Selam Fanti and others,
            Your response to young jordan’s question is very good; it couldn’t have been said better. The contributions of MS, SJ and Abi are also useful each from own perspective.
            In my view, there should be careful balancing of the information and advice given, taking care of the basic interest (schooling) of the young and his/her queries about things he observes, hears or reads. I do not think it’s wise to shut the one for the sake of the other.

          • Abi

            Selam Ismail AA
            I always envy you. I’m sure I’m not the only.
            You are on track to be the next Awatista of the Year. You missed it this time because Lij Amde had Ras Abi’s support.
            Happy New Year.

          • Nitricc

            Hey Abi, i see you have learned well from your government in rigging votes and hijacking elections. Before you tell as Amde won “100%” tell us why Amde should win? what is the reason?

          • Abi

            Hi General
            Amde should win because he is the one who kicks your 32 canines.

          • Ismail AA

            Hi Abi,
            Egziabeher yistilign.
            The our fundamental mission should be how to broaden the space for dialogue and positive interaction in the interest of common good as human beings first before our national identities. I thank Awate Forum for its unique role among its peers to bring you and me together and be able to exchange views, which otherwise couldn’t have been possible.
            Very Happy New Year.

          • Abi

            Selam KBT
            It is people like you with inquisitive mind make this website great!!
            I always wanted to know if someone can be Eritrean and a human being at the same time? I don’t blame you if you are confused. Tes just said he is a human being . There is no way you can “think” that he might be an Eritrean as well.
            It is not unusual to find human beings that think like animals. Confusing indeed.
            BTW, I like your name. It is kind of unique. Hmmm I wonder what it means?
            I’m a human being and an Ethiopian. I don’t want to confuse you further.
            ከብት ጥራይልካ?

          • tes

            Selam Kibur Abi,

            I was thinking about you actually when reading KBT’s line. Thanks you are the only one who give valid but humorous response.

            ዓቢ(Abi)፣ ዓዋተውያን ንፈትወካ ኢና። ስለምንታይ ከምዝኾነ ድማ ይርድኣካ እዩ።



          • Abi

            Hey Tes
            Translation ASAP. I don’t want to wake up my wife . You haven’t seen her fingernails.
            ድሙ ጥራይልካ

          • KBT

            Selamat abi
            Indeed it’s unusual my country it surrounded by those kind you mention
            That why we are always in alert teacher ,it very kind of you to tes
            But I think he is a grown man and can perfectly defend himself i think
            Abi do you write also those kind of critics against your criminal TPLF regime who is slaughtering his innocent people??
            If not I advice you to focus there ,cause this is where you belong .

          • Abi

            Selamat KBT
            Stay alert , keep teaching. We are all here to learn. I’m glad you are volunteering at Awate where there is a demand for teachers.
            Tes doesn’t need my help. He is a brilliant young man.
            I will take your advice seriously and criticize my TPLF. Actually, democratic governess should be our main agenda for our next meeting. We have to learn a thing or two from PFDJ.
            Thanks for reminding me where I belong.

          • tes

            Selam KBT,

            Under PFDJ rule, the criteria to be an Eritrean is very dynamic. One is Eritrean till he accepts slavery and ignorance. One is Eritrean, till he don’t usher the word ‘FREEDOM’. One is Eritrean till he speaks his true human essence. The list goes on.

            As a human being, I want to stay HUMAN. And as a human, I have all rights to be what a human being should be according to choices. I have chosen to be a free man and hence singing the word “FREEDOM”. This is what I mean when I say first and foremost I am human being not Eritrean.

            Dear KBT, I am some sure you are living outside Eritrea. For this matter, either you have got a new nationality or are eagerly waiting to have it. I don’t mind if you ignore for what you wished/wishing to be but to have a nationality, so is to be an Eritrean, it should have been a right for everybody as far as requirements are fulfilled. Unfortunately Eritrea has neither legal framework nor a constitution for giving nationality to someone who wants.

            Are you confused when I mention “Human Being”? KBT, I know why? With human being, there is human rights and for this you hate it to spell. I am sorry for being a nightmare for you.

            Regarding PFDJ, it is PFDJ who is creating division for its own ‘Divide and Rule Policy’. I read from history lessons that British used such methodology to conolize people. I think I am confident to say that No one is professional in this world on Divide and Rule – aka ‘Kill’ Policy” than PFDJ”.


          • Abi

            Good Morning Tes Hawey
            Looks like you started early today. I told you many times not to comment under influence. I couldn’t pass your first paragraph. It is so messed up you are contradicting yourself. Is it written by a human being?

          • tes

            Selam Abi,

            It is already 12:28 here in France. In USA, 6:28. I don’t know who is writing very early. How was Sunday night there? I hope you enjoyed your Christmas holiday unless you messed up with some habesha.

            I heard that you are naughty old man and sober when you take one bottle of mess(wiskey habesha).


          • Abi

            Tes Hawey
            Some sleeping, some writing, some drinking and confusing…
            My Christmas was great . I was surrounded by Abesha zombies north of the Mereb.
            My boys think I’m old until we play soccer.
            Do you drink water at all?
            “ውሃ ሸማ ማለቅለቂያ ነው” ይላል ያገሬ ሰካራም

            Happy New Year.

          • KBT

            Selamat tes
            sooner or later Eritrea will have it constitution if it satisfies you
            But remember it’s just a peace of paper look at Ethiopia with fake election.
            We wish to have a real one but until now there is no any opposition who could be an alternative to pfdj
            Maybe those divided and corrupt so called opposition puppet of TPLF
            God forbid they never get in Eritrea
            We wish you good luck , Eritrea have more than enough loyal children who stand for their country
            We don’t waist our time in complaining from the comfort of our home ,
            We know the challenge our country is facing ,economic sanctions,arm embargo, western media bias
            And the pression of TPLF army assaulting our border with the support of the west.
            So we chose the country existence first above all
            Happy new year

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam tes,

            You said: “Under PFDJ rule, the criteria to be an Eritrean is very dynamic. One is Eritrean till he accepts slavery and ignorance.”

            Did you mean to say ‘Static’ rather than ‘Dynamic’?

            By the way, what country do you have in mind which Eritrea should emulate?

          • tes

            Selam Kaleab,

            I think what dynamic means is contrary to static. Go and figure it out in case you don’t know these twp terms. Do not be lazy my friend.

            A little help though, Abi has taken Phys 101 by attending my class. He is a good student. Please contact him.


          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam tes,

            Keep on believing in fairies.

          • tes

            Selam Simon Kaleab,

            Fairies do help us to broad our imagination and come out with innovative ideas. In fact all noble ideas and develpments are associated with fairies. I wish I was in what you are saying though I imagine that I am too realistic.


  • MS

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to All
    1. My Condolence to you Ustaz IsmailAA. I felt there was indeed something that tied you up, but I blamed it on routine daily matters/chores. I’m sorry to hear that. Thanks for the condensed recap on Zimbabwean history. I remember during those long years in the struggle, Eritreans were big supporters of the struggles in Africa, particularly, South Africa and Zimbabwe. I still remember the day when Mugabe was sworn to be the first PM of Zimbabwe (1981). Many translations were done on the experience of Zimbabwe, etc.
    2. The difference, I believe, Mugabe was a politician, the military wings had their heroes, while IA, at least in the eyes of many, wrapped up the military and political fronts and became the uncontested hero, so to speak. Particularly for a generation that was war-fatigued and looked for a quick end to it, IA prepared the stage, through artful eliminations of would-be-contestants, and through the use of tactics that employed carrots and sticks, he made the rest of the members of the leadership to become obedient followers.This is history and we can’t ignore it for the current situation is the result of the capital IA had accumulated through shrewd personal disposition, and sometimes by applying ruthless measures to “cleaning” the ranks and files of the organization, he made it appear to many that without him the war would not end. By the time Eritreans reached V-Day, IA had long complicated matters. He had plans B, C, D…. and when the exhausted people and tegadalay asked “Well, it’s time now that EPLF get dissolved; that EPLF’s holdings be audited; that a constitution be drafted and implemented…” I rolled out his backup plans. Looking back, although Robert Mugabe was an aspiring socialist (check out his seventies interviews, and writings), by the time he became Zimbabwe’s PM, he still had other contesting heroes, or figures of the revolution that people would look up to. By the time we reached Asmara, we were already in trouble. IA had no contesting figures. The people we thought would restrain him had lost any of that capacity years earlier. In terms of checks and balances, the politburo members were not any stronger than the tegadalay. Mugabe resorted to clan kinship, while IA continued to depend on the security infrastructure he had built during the struggle era, an infrastructure that was solely engineered to nurture and safeguard the notion that IA was the uncontested “guarantor” of the nation. Ambassador Andebrhan elucidates this phenomenon by quoting IA as saying “I brought this country and I can take it down.” The rest, as they say, is….
    3. SalehG’s reply is, I think, beautiful, simple and suffice. He said, “On Mugabe, I totally agree with you that he led a magnificent fight to secure the land of his people. My problem is he milked that achievement to bleeding. That is exactly what is happening in Eritrea, the PFDJ is milking the liberation of the land to bleeding. A freedom fighter cannot expect lifetime payback for an achievement. Things has to return to normal life.”
    So, both had different challenges and geopolitical play-games to sort out. Both come from a totally different backgrounds; their style of governing may be different; the societies they govern may be different in their socio-economic make up and history, etc., but both had the similar taste for power. Both of them treat their respective peoples as their subjects; both of them inculcate in the minds of their people that their role is indispensable; both of them spend massive amount of resources in order to maintain massive political infrastructures, political organizations (PFDJ/ZANU, with their youth, women, farmers…tentacles), monopolizing media, etc., that could manage this notion.
    4. Hayat Adem: welcome. Correction, though. I will skip SaleH Hiruy, EPLF members know him well. We will know only when the man is given the chance to speak up. But many believe the whole theater was dubious. Inially he was the commander of the Southern Front, then when Corps were set up, he commanded one of the two Corps that were stretched along that front, the other one was commanded by Mesfun Hagos.
    On your “Tigre Minister”, who was that? I know who you are talking about, although he was one of the able candidates, he was not a minister, and he did not write “Sorry, I became an alcoholic!” in Tigrayet or any other language. And if he would, he would write it in English, Tigrigna, or Arabic. I guarantee you that. He was a hero, and I don’t want to mention his name here. That quote was said by a friend who said the deceased had told him that he became an alcoholic (ኣልኮሊዛቶ ገብኣኮ) while that friend was giving his account about the days that preceded the man’s death. He was not found hung, he died of a gunshot. I will stop here.

    • saay7

      Hala MaHmuday:

      Where do I go to ask for a refund for all the years I admired Mugabe?:)

      As for the dude you mentioned that you don’t want to mention did it happen in August 1993, was written about in Hadas Ertra and his first name begins with a “D”? If so, don’t be so impressed about my memory Amanuel: I wrote an article at the time blaming the opposition for accusing the Gov of committing crimes without providing any evidence. You live you learn.


      • MS

        Ahlan SAAY
        Well, it’s not really a secret, it was published in the news papers…radio. For the sake of his family and friends, I just wanted Hayat to not make his death a punchline. She seems to have a vague recollection of an incident she had heard of. I will tell you privately.

    • Ismail AA

      Dear Ustaz Mahmoud,
      Taish. Thank you very much.
      Further, sober and very useful input. Your elaboration adds to clarity, and the corrections you provided are most welcome.
      Thank again.

  • Ismail AA

    Dear Awatistas,

    Heartfelt, rather late, greeting to all for the holidays; I missed my regular early morning and late afternoon visit to the forum due to preoccupation with yet another loss of, this time a brother.

    I have quickly run through the feedbacks dear Awatistas have posted on the Mugabe-Isayas compare contrast preface piece by AT to a documentary, which I could not watch. It’s very interesting to be graced with comments from many perspectives that broaden our understanding of the issues we debate in this indispensable forum.

    But I could not resist the urge of scribbling a few paragraphs about Mugabe and Zimbabwe that often render left me at variance with friends whenever discussions about the issue of Mugabe starts, especially from the 1990 onward when the issue of land became acute and became reason for conflict with Britain that rallied its allies against Mugabe and his government. This was during the tenure of Tony Blair and his New Labor Party that won power from the previous conservative government of John Major.

    To start with, the issues of white minority regimes in Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) and South Africa has accompanied me, and the youth of the time generally, from the time I began to develop rudimentary political (ideological) awareness about anti-colonial national liberation movements. I recall my first participation as sophomore student in Addis Ababa against an outrage Ian Smith UDI (Unilateral Declaration of Independence since 1965) regime had committed against civilians.

    Now, without going into further detail, what I am trying to say is this: Land and the liberation movement in Zimbabwe were organically linked and could not be seen apart. Land was actually the raisons d’être of the struggle because almost all useful land was parceled as huge Latin America style latifundias and used as extensive commercial farms such tobacco and cotton farms that feed as raw material the textile and tobacco factories in Britain. The majority black population suffered from land shortage, which as poor left over wasteland allotted to them by British Colonial rulers.

    When the liberation struggle expanded towards the end of the 70s and neared the stage of rendering the fate of Ian Smith’s UDI government inevitably sealed off, the Margaret Thatcher’s government jumped up to save the white minority and its dominant interests. So, the infamous Lancaster House constitutional conference was called under the stewardship of Lord Carrington in September 1979. The key aim of the British Government was how to preserve the interest of the white minority as well as the metropolitan manufacturers who used the agricultural raw material from Southern Rhodesia.

    When an agreement on the independence constitution was rounded up, the issue of land remained the sticking point. The liberation fronts, especially Mugabe’s Patriotic Front, insisted on reaching decision on the matter because they were aware that for the people independence meant restoration of land to the rightful owners.

    At that point, the British in consultation with USA came up with a plan that later turned out to be a ploy of buying time for the white land owners. They came up with a buyer-seller formula that provided for a particular land owner willing to sell to a willing black land purchaser. Once that cropped up the seller will get his money from a fund that the British and USA had agreed to establish and finance. But this was predicated on a condition that this process had to be preceded by a moratorium of ten years. The Lancaster House Conference closed and independence was granted in 1980 after parliamentary election brought Mugabe PF to power.

    During the moratorium of ten years, many white farmers had enough time to dispose of their land privately with profit, and some of them shifted to other places such as Mozambique. After the period of the moratorium elapsed, the Mugabe government demanded the implementation of the land agreement within the agreed framework of seller-buyer formula. But, the New Labor government of Tony Blair reneged and refused to abide by the agreement of the previous government. Instead, they wanted to topple Mugabe and replace him by a government that would accept their terms of sustaining the pre-colonial status quo regarding land under the contention that the white farmers who stayed on the land were after all Zimbabwean citizens and have the right to keep their properties.

    But the Mugabe government, and the general populace, felt betrayed and decided to take their own sovereign measures by introducing land reform bills. The patriotic former fighters constituted the decisive force in the movement that shielded the government. The British government mobilized diplomatic, media and economic embargo clout to suffocate the Zimbabwean government and its economy to submission. In this campaign the powerful allies including the US took part. When the Zimbabweans resisted and proved too resilient with solidarity from the neighboring countries such South Africa and China, the Western media and governments resorted to relentless and sustained campaign to demonize Mr. Mugabe. They molded him into devil incarnate. And to those who were exposed to that media campaign believed that Mugabe was a blood thirsty dictator that the world would be better off without him.

    Thus, for the rather random reasons I have jotted, and aside from the truism that power corrupts and thus, without contending that Mugabe’s rule is immune to wrong doing, I always thought that the Mugabe was right as far as the issue of land and his people’s connection with it. That is why I wrote earlier that the debates about Mugabe and his conflict with the West let me at variance with friends.
    Very happy end of the year holidays.

    • Hayat Adem

      Dearest Ismael,
      My heart-felt condolences!

      • Ismail AA

        Dear Hayat,
        Thank you very much. It’s very kind of your, dear.

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Hi Ismail,

      Sorry for the loss of your brother. May God give strength to you and your family and rest in peace the deceased.

      Second, thank you for the recap of the Zimbabwean history and the fight of Mugabe on the land refom of his country.

      Amanuel Hidrat

      • Ismail AA

        Dearest Aman,
        Thank you very much.

    • tes

      Dear Ismail AA.,

      I feel sorry to hear the passing of your brother. My condolence to you and all family members. Stay strong.

      I can’t thank you more for gracing us with this beautiful and strong input you made on the issue of Zimbabwe politics.


      • Ismail AA

        Dear Tes,
        Thank you very much.

    • saay7

      Selamat Ismail:

      My condolences on the passing of your brother.

      I know for many in your generation Mugabe holds a special place as a fearless revolutionary and champion of the people (Returner of Land to the Dispossessed) so I won’t argue 🙂



      • Ismail AA

        Dear saay7,
        Taish inta we men tahib. Thank you very much.
        You are correct; I have also tried to draw a line between the land-to-people relation in Zimbabwe and the merit or de-merit of governance when I inserted that ‘power corrupts’ truism that alerts us not to sliding to belief that some commitment to a noble cause suffices to excuse rulers who commit offense against their peoples.

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Dear Saay,

        Yes our generation hold a special place to fearless revolutionaries who lead to independences. Despite Mugabe had become morphed in to a dictator, unlike DIA, Mugabe didn ‘t kill his colleagues during and after the revolution, one of the stark differences between the two dictators. The sad part of the African leaders who lead the struggle of independence, that without exception, all of them are morphed in to brute dictators.

        Amanuel Hidrat

    • Saleh Johar

      Ahlan Ismail,
      My condolences for your loses, too loved ones in a row is hard .

      Would you check your email please, it seems you didn’t.

      On Mugabe, I totally agree with you that he led a magnificent fight to secure the land of his people. My problem is he milked that achievement to bleeding. That is exactly what is happening in Eritrea, the PFDJ is milking the liberation of the land to bleeding. A freedom fighter cannot expect lifetime payback for an achievement. Things has to return to normal life. And now both Mugabe an isais and their minions have a lability to their nation.

      • Ismail AA

        Dear Saleh,
        Thank you very much; Taish inta we man tahib.
        Your are absolutely correct. My point was on the conflict to highlight the hypocrisy that characterized the conflict between Mugabe and the British and allies regarding the question of land. They deployed their economic, diplomacy and media clouts to sustain the colonial injustice by way of toppling the government and wanted to install one that agreed to preserve the old system, in spite of an early agreement that obliged them to honor. As I also tried to explain to our saay, I did not overlook the point you just made.

      • Ismail AA

        Hi Saleh,
        I jumped the line about the request to check my email. I have several emails. If you meant the gmail one, I read the message, and thank you very much. If you had it over another one, please throw me a line, lest I missed an important email.

    • sara

      selam ustaz ismail,
      -Inna -lilahi wa inna elayhi raje’ooun-
      -el baqiya fi hayatkoom- ustazna alkabir–

      • Ismail AA

        Dear sara,
        Thank you very much.

    • Tzigereda

      Dear Ismail AA,
      My heartfelt sympathy on the loss of your brother.

      • Ismail AA

        Dear Tzigereda,
        Thank you very much. Hsem Aytrkebi.

    • Peace!

      Dear Ismail AA,

      Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un
      Azzam Allah Ajrakum


      • Ismail AA

        Dears Fanti and peace,
        Thank you very much. It’s very kind of you, dear brothers.

    • Fanti Ghana

      Selam IsmailAA,

      My deepest sympathy to you and your family, and may God give you the strength you need.

    • Amde

      Salam IsmailAA,

      My very sincere condolences. May God give you strength.


      • Ismail AA

        Dear Amde,
        Thank you very much. It’s kind of you, brother.

    • Abraham H.

      Dear Ismail AA,
      I also join the Awatistas to express my condolences to you and your family on the loss of your loved ones, lately the loss of your brother. May he rest in peace, and may Allah give you the strength to overcome this difficult time. I hope you continue to grace us with your educational and insightful contributions at the Awate Forum, thanks.

      • Ismail AA

        Dear Abraham,
        Thank you very much. Hsem aytrkeb.

    • Abi

      Selam Ismail AA
      May he Rest In Peace .
      Thank you for your contribution to this website. Hope the new year brings us good news.

      • Ismail AA

        Dear Abi,
        Thank you very much, brother.

    • ghezaehagos

      Selam Ismail,
      My condolences for your loss. May you and the family be consoled.
      Ghezae Hagos

      • Ismail AA

        Dear Gezae,
        Thank you very much. Hsem aytrkeb.

  • Hayat Adem

    Dear Awate,
    I think the two systems and personalities can be fairly comparable. No one should expect total similarity but to the level the two systems and persons are different, Isaias and his system and their crimes are far worse off than the other side. One visible distinction is the art of eliminating and intimidating over individuals of even minor deviations that IA and his party have perfected over the years. Few examples that you may never have known before:
    – Hiruy Saleh was commanding the EPLF forces on the DekemHare front few days before the take over of Asmara and Assab. No body would doubt the integrity and independent mindedness of that man. I’m very sure Mahmuady knows him closely as he was also operating in same place/time during those days. And because he was not willing to act as a messenger boy, the dirty EPLF intelligence machine surfaced a rumor first and then allegation, and then an accusation and then criminalizing. The “crime” was that Hiruy was a guy. He was jailed from them on for 8 years or so. His wife was also jailed on other accounts…What a Machiavellian system…I don’t think Mughabe would do that on ZANU heroes.
    – And there was this Minister, Muslim, Tigre and known for his discipline and never tested a drop of alcohol. The fact that he never let a drop of liquor pass his lips is true and it is from my personal knowledge. But he challenged Isaias on his wrong and contrarian policies. Weeks after, he was found hanging himself from a tree branch, look like as if he took his own life. And there was a line pasted to his chest that read “Sorry, I became an alcoholic!”, written in Tigre. I would bet Mughabe would never commit a crime of that level on his cabinet member.

  • Anis Idris

    I think the best Solution for Eritrea in the Future is Federal System like Ethiopia and many Countries in the World. So, no Chance for another Dictator to rule by him self and because of many Languages, multi Religion and Tribes.

  • B.T.Tewelde

    President or Tegadalay Isaias Afeworki is the great man in Africa…I always proud of him and I use to call him ” Hero ” / The best educated leader /…The true people of Eritrea are lucky to have leader like Isaias…dont compare President Isaias with any other leaders…he’s a gift from God… long live Isaias we love U so much cos you teach us to never kneel down….and those who hate him they are cheap….

  • Peace!

    Deal All,

    The challenges are different that Mugabe still resisting to any colonial legacy that unfairly give advantage to the white minorities perhaps his stand on the land issue helping him win elections. Mugabe won elections fair and square unlike DIA or even the late dictator Meles Zenawi who ruled the country till his death through sham elections. Had he followed the path of south Africa, embrace Neo liberalism and cave in to the white minority, he would have been treated as great leader of South Africa. So awate team the comparison is not even close. DIA lives to kill and Mugabe lives to resist colonial legacy.


  • Collateral Damage

    Both Countries are being governed by aging stubborn dictators who love power more than life itself. However, there isn’t much similarity, Zimbabwe is 124th among 180 countries in press freedom , There is a lot of room to make your voice heard. Eritrea is 180th where thinking to dissent put you in trouble.

  • Legacy

    Greetings Awatestaff,
    This might be a digression but I thought Mugabe has been in the scene for more than that . Wikipedia lists him as having served as a PM from 1981 and then being reelected as a President, in 1987. Unless he was a nominal PM, wouldn’t that puts him well over +36 years in power ? Still, I think the comparisons are well merited.

    Merry Christmas!

  • saay7


    There are many quotes attributed to Mugabe; most I am sure are conjectures that have the ring of truth. Here’s my favorite: don’t know if it’s true but it sounds like something Mugabe would say:

    Interviewer: “Mr President, when are you bidding the people of Zimbabwe farewell?
    President Mugabe: “Where are they going?”

    Compare this with a joke about President Isaias and you will see why the comparison holds:

    Eritrean 1: did you hear that president Isaias was at the UN today to complain?
    Eritrean 2: what now? About what?
    Eritrean 1: he was calling on the UN to help him get rid of the Eritrean people. They provide no challenge to his job as dictator.



    • sara

      Khalee saay
      I read your joke about pia at work and I was giggling with laughter till I reached my friends home were we do have coffee time gathering one after noon a month. At the door I was asked why am I kind of laughing? I said Oh..Nothing really its maybe because I was told to go early as there was no much to do and .most were off..any way when coffee was served…I told the pia joke.
      My joke(yours)was out of the box for most but one of our friends has also one out of here telaja…
      That I will share with awtistas another day.

  • Simon Kaleab

    Selam all,

    Eritrea and Zimbabwe are two dissimilar countries.

    1) Eritrea is composed of Multiple ethnic groups, with ancient written cultures, while Zimbabwe has only sub-clans of the Bantu tribe [these sub-clans are related and very similar to each other in many aspects]. Pre-colonial Zimbabwe has only oral based history.

    2) Eritrea has two very old religions, while Zimbabweans follow European propagated Christianity mixed with varying degrees of traditional religions.

    3) The religions in Eritrea provide competing multiple narratives which, if not properly managed, may end up being fuel for future conflicts.

    4) The EPLF won outright victory, while ZANU [like ANC in South Africa] achieved its ‘victory’ through continuous crying, pleading and appeals to the UN and World public opinion. ZANU could not liberate a single village or town.

    5) Governing Eritrea is a complex and demanding task, requiring a tough balancing act.

    • Saleh Johar

      Hi Simon,

      I think the comparison is on how the two, PFDJ and ZANU govern. That is the claim and it would be nice if you showed any difference in the level of arrogance, the oppression and the monopoly of power. The intro to the video already emphasized that the two countries are not comparable.

      • Simon Kaleab

        Selam Saleh,

        There is some difference in governing style. To summarize …

        Isaias says: How dare you be concerned about this country’s problems [Men hassabay geruka/Man yagger assabi aderegeh]! Leave it to me!

        Mugabe says: I will grant you the right to choose a president. But, how dare you choose another person other than me!

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Selam Simon,

      I wish the awate staff has presented the article in a “compare and contrast” format of informing, rather than claiming that the two countries are not comparable, when in fact it tried to make comparison on the governing styles of the two countries. If there is a difference between them it is always a contrast. In any case let me debunk your 5 point contrasts you brought them as a rebuttal.

      1) In social science, tribes, linguistic groups, clans, and ethnics are termed as “social groups.” Social groups may have different or the same languages, cultural traditions and the way they run lives, and hence are identified with their specific names. The problem of “diversified clans” is the same with the diversified ethnics. The concern and the social demands of clans falls within the demands of ethnic groups, and are centered in the quest of equitable sharing. Second the Zimbabwean people have two major social groups – the shona and Sindebele who speaks Bantu languages but different cultural and traditional way of lives, and nine minorities (Karananga, Korikore, Manyika, Ndau,, Roziwi, Zezuru, Tonga, Shangaan, and white minorities). These social make up is more complex than the Eritrea social make up. Though for convenience we call the Eritrean social groups as “Ethnics”, the real social definition of our social groups is ” linguistic groups.”

      2) Despite christianity is practiced widely ( all clusters of christianity), the Zimbabwean people have their own differences and being homogeneous does not preclude them from religious conflicts. Look Sunni and Shiaa conflicts of the same religion in the Arab world, or the Catholic and protestant conflicts of Irish people that run for generations.

      3) The “religious” and “social groups” proclivity is a strong precursor for social unrest, if they are not manage properly. This or that both of them are complex need genuine minds to adjudicate them.

      4) It is after the intensified of the armed struggle of Zanu and Zapu within the country that brought the Smith regime in to a round table conference, facilitated by Lord Carington, for constitutional negotiation. It is the same thing ( the intensive armed struggle of EPLF and TPLF) that brought the Derg in to the London conference that was facilitated by Cohen, though they didn’t come out with an agreement and concluded with the defeat of derg after a year of that event. So the process wasn’t that different.

      5) The Zimbabwean people are more diversified and complex as explained above than the Eritrean people and is difficult to balance the social demands. The Eritrean problem is by far the easiest to balance the sociopolitical demand if it wasn’t the arrogance of our elites on both sides of the spectrum.

      Therefore, Simon you didn’t do your homework to comment on the issue. The first thing you have to do is to better inform yourself to enrich the debate than to appear for defense for the sake of defense. Look your comment all over the forum, it is neither philosophical nor about the nature of systems of governments.

      Happy holidays to all


      • Simon Kaleab

        Selam Amanuel,

        1) The dominant issue in Zimbabwe is democratic governance not sub-clan rivalry, which is insignificant.
        If you think otherwise, may be you can explain it in more ‘depth’.

        2) In Zimbabwe, Christianity is a relatively new religion, and it is practised mixed with traditional native ones. In any case, there is no intra-religious conflict in Zimbabwe. If you have evidence of such, you may expound your discovery to all of us.

        3) The Derg was militarily defeated, its fate was already sealed, otherwise it would not come to the London conference. The military defeat of the Derg was a proud moment for the majority of Eritreans and Ethiopia, would you agree or not? Zimbabwe’s and South Africa’s ‘freedom’ or ‘independence’ were not achieved through military victory.

        4) Eritrean people are more diverse, and most have ancient, deep and proud traditions. This makes governing Eritrea very sensitive and demands a trick balance.

        Finally, waiting for more of your deep and philosophical musings.

      • Saleh Johar

        Hi Amanuel,
        As I understood it, the awatestaff content was not an exhaustive comparison, it was supposed to be an introduction for the documentary and to give a context to why the documentary was relevant to Eritrea. Also, delving into the matter deeper would render the documentary less useful to the discussion, it was meant to wet your appetite to watch it and reach your own conclusion, then discuss it. Unfortunately, the video was erased a few hours after it was posted on awate. Maybe the spike in the traffic made someone aware of it and it was removed. Still, I wish you all watch it on Netflix, it is one of the best documentaries I watched. I hope this explains the brief introduction which should not be taken as all that can be said on the matter.

  • sara

    Dear Awates,
    i have seen the video, interesting so many things to connect- thank you, but i wish it was shown after the festive season..
    As you said many people like to compare Eritrea with north Korea, and you are right the comparison is like ice cream and an apple. in the same token , there are also those who do this for their dubious reason’s that many of us may not care to ask why? you know in these world of conspiracies and parallel state apparatus and many pseudo think thanks they say/do this for their ulterior motives. i would not say Eritrea is far better than N.korea, but those who have this world on their lap do have a something on their head,that you dont see it but can only sense it if you have something like sixth sensor.(thanks to awate to tell us the truth– no comparison with eritrea )
    look, if you have north korea you must also say for comparison south korea, noth korea bad, south korea good kind of, but those who baptized eritrea is north korea, are in the trenches of north/south korea for more than fifty years- why? just because N.korea is a dictatorship as there are no other places of dictatorship, what is their ultimate goal in being there, isn’t it to subdue the north in order to form one Korea in their own terms before the
    north takes over to make the socialist republic of KOREA.
    over the few years i have been reading awate i have seen my own folks also repeat the same with out asking why & how- the worst is those who are detractors of the Eritrean state–fortunately non- Eritreans have same sentiment that you read it now and then in a very shrewd way.
    ya eritrun- crux’s of the matter is — if Eritrea is Korean— who/where is the south Korea?
    happy holidays

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