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Sovereignty, International Law and the Commission of Inquiry Eritrea

On June 27, 2014, the UN’s Human Rights Council (HRC) mandated a Commission of Inquiry on Eritrea (CoIE) to conduct an investigation on whether the Government of Eritrea (GoE) has violated the human rights of its own citizens. On June 4, 2015, after a year-long investigation,  the CoIE issued its report concluding “the commission found that systematic, widespread and gross human rights violations have been and are being committed in Eritrea under the authority of the Government. Some of these violations may constitute crimes against humanity.”  The Government of Eritrea (GoE) categorically rejected the report calling it “indecent hyperbole” whereas, by and large, the Eritrean opposition has essentially taken a “tell us something we don’t know” position.  In this edition, Alnahda will try to answer these questions: How systematic and widespread are the alleged violations? How reliable are the methodologies used in the investigations and what are the standards of proof? Are they even within the mandate of the CoIE? What are “crimes against humanity” and why was the CoIE equivocal by saying “may”? Why is what goes on inside Eritrea the business of the United Nations, anyway? Why is this being reported now just when the Government of Eritrea started making some headway in re-engaging Europe? How credible is the UN and does it apply the same standards to all nations? What is likely to happen next?

I. Systematic, Widespread

1. Whereas the Government of Eritrea’s categorical rejection of the report has dissuaded its supporters from even reading the report because there is nothing new in “Eritrea’s enemies” fabricating stories, the supporters of the Eritrean opposition, who have been hearing horrific testimonies by Eritreans since 2002 on mushrooming media (particularly Paltalk and independent media), have also refused to be shocked by the CoIE report.

2.  The CoIE reports, in excruciating detail, of arbitrary depravation of life, torture, sexual torture, collective punishment and child abuse and other crimes too numerous to list here that Eritreans suffered at the hands of fellow Eritreans. Since people may be overwhelmed by the size of the report (almost 500 pages) here are few excerpts:

3. A witness of the rapes and killings told the Commission: “The soldiers raped the women and the girls. And if they refused, they killed them. A lot of women were killed that way. During the last war with Ethiopia, this has increased. They find the women guarding goats or fetching water and food. That is when they rape them. I can tell you about four women who were raped. One was 15 years old; they gorged her eyes out and left her on the street. Another one was sexually violated. They placed big stones on her.”

4. One detainee reported: “It is called the butchery because there is blood everywhere. I saw one pregnant girl (two-four months) lose her baby from the beating. She was caught trying to go to Sudan. I was in the queue after her to be punished. I could see her getting hit with a thin slock stick (“sordanage” in Arabic) all over her body by four men. She began bleeding. She was taken to the nurse. I do not know what happened there, but I heard they took the baby out.”

5. A witness reported his friend died from torture involving trauma to his testicles in Shela Tessane: “I was in Shela Tessane for about two months. We were beaten every other day. Towards the end of the time there, my friend was beaten on the testicles with a stick. When he came back everything was bloody. He could hardly walk, his testicles swelled to bigger than the size of a fist. He was in a lot of pain … He died shortly after arriving in Adarsal. We were transferred there quickly so the guards at Sheila Tessenei would not get in trouble for his death. I do not know what they did with his body. His family has not called. I later heard his family was still looking for him. They did not know he was dead.”

6. A witness described the severe internal damage she suffered as a result of being beaten inside her vagina: “I was beaten with a plastic rod with metal inside. I decided that I would not reveal the information that they wanted. I knew that if I mentioned the names, then their families would also be in trouble. The interrogation got tougher…” The victim has suffered significant complications from the internal beatings. Later at the Sawa military training camp, a doctor reported the extreme bleeding she was experiencing as a consequence of womb damage, rendering her medically unfit for the military training: “They have messed up my life. I have not been able to bear a child. I got pregnant five times but I have not been able to bear a child for the eight years after I got married.”

7. A former guard at a detention centre confirmed the targeting of sexual and reproductive organs during beatings and interrogations: “They targeted their physical differences and tortured them violating their breasts, private parts, inside and outside.”

8. A former conscript explained that around 2004 a Muslim conscript was arbitrarily killed for continuing to pray during military training despite warnings to stop: “On one occasion, a Muslim was killed in front of us for praying. After we were all gathered, the leader read a page of information to us. Basically it said this man has been caught praying against our orders three times and is being sentenced to death. Anyone who does not obey military orders will also be killed. The Muslim man was then shot twice and killed.”

9. A man explained that his father, who was an ELF fighter, has been detained for the last 28 years in Sembel. He was detained by the Ethiopians in 1989 but his imprisonment continued after independence. He explained that his father “is …. in a special cell with many other persons who didn’t believe in the Government’s ideology. After independence we tried hard to free him, but all ex-ELF were detained by the President. One day, I visited him but I could not see his face very clearly because he was far. My mother told me she once visited him. Also many people saw him when he went to the hospital. He is very old now; we received a picture of him from a guard.”

10. A daughter told the Commission that her mother was arrested because she deserted the national service: “They told her that she could only be released if she brought me to them. She called me from the Police station. She was made to sign a document undertaking that I would go to Wi’a. She was then released. I surrendered and they sent me to Wi’a.”

11. A widow of one of the 16 people who were killed in this incident told the Commission that: “On Sunday morning many soldiers came at about 7 a.m. We did not know we were surrounded. We were loading our camels, making tea and milking our livestock. The soldiers came closer, and without saying anything to us they started shooting. My little daughter of two years old … my older children and my husband were next to me. My husband was shot. We all escaped and the camels fled when they started shooting. We do not know what happened to us, because it happened very quickly. In this incident 16 people died. My husband died immediately, one was wounded and managed to escape. Those wounded were shot at again and again. They were targeting the men while the children and the women were escaping. 16 men were killed and two women escaped but one woman who was pregnant (first pregnancy) died in the course of the flight.”

12. The CoI report is 458 pages long. The first 90 pages provide context (history of Eritrea and EPLF/PFDJ.) This means that the rest of the pages, excluding the annex, are chock-full of stories likes those excerpted above from 160 written submissions and 550 interviews of survivors and witnesses.

13. When CoIE says it is “systematic”, it means that there was a method to this madness: this is not a case of a lone wolf or individuals who have gone rogue: but that it is the normal way the government of Eritrea maintains order and obedience in Eritrea. It goes on to show that recruitment of spies is systematic; violation of rights is systematic; repression is systematic; disappearances and incommunicado prisons are systematic; and so are extra-judicial killings. And when it says it is widespread, it means it is all-encompassing, all over the country and throughout every institution: prisons are widespread; mental illness in prisons is widespread; disregard for human dignity is widespread; torture is widespread; sexual abuse is widespread; so is spying, restricted movements; checkpoints. And, of profound consequence, impunity for officials is widespread.

14. Thus, is it any surprise that the CoIE report itself was received by “systematic and widespread” denial by government officials and their supporters? The government did not say that crimes against women tend to increase in militarized societies (including democracies like the US where the rates of sexual violence against women in the armed forces are alarming); it didn’t say there are some rogue elements and they have been brought to justice; it didn’t say that our justice system is like all our institutions: severely lacking. No, it made a categorical denial and equated accusing the government with accusing the people. In fact, every reply that has been written in defense of the government has been by “the people and government of Eritrea” (henceforth TPAGOE) which technically means that those who gave the testimony are appalled by and dismissing their own testimony.

15. Here’s the government’s argument. Since the government of Eritrea sees itself as “by the people and of the people” (not in the Lincolnesque sense but in the sense all of us are related to a government official), then to accuse government officials of grave crimes is to accuse the people of Eritrea and their “civilized culture” which would never condone these crimes at an individual level, much less at a systematic and widespread level. Ergo, it is all lies. While this is highly flattering to the people of Eritrea, the problem with this argument is that when The Government was told by The People that it is against Eritrean culture to judge people guilty without hearing both sides of the argument, that the accused should be brought to a court of law, the Government (in the person of Yemane Gebreab) said “we have our own culture of dealing with these things.” And part of this culture was to arrest Eritreans who were reminding the Government of their culture.  So, what is being criticized here is NOT The People and their great culture but The Government and its perverse culture.

16. What is even worse, sometimes the Government takes advantage of The People’s less-than-stellar culture, one of which is to demonize and ostracize VICTIMS of rape.  In addition to raping and sexually torturing women, they also have a system (widespread, systematic) where they, in exchange for their “lax attitude” towards the National Service “obligation” of women, deny women “moving permits” forcing them to be “chained to the kitchen.”

17. Actually, a culture cannot progress unless it brutally assesses itself and jettisons horrid practices. It is cheap pandering for the Government of Eritrea to celebrate Eritrea’s “civilized culture” when that culture includes female genital mutilation and shaming rape victims. Of all the Big Lies told about PFDJ (by PFDJ), one is its claim that it is an advocate of women’s rights.  It is dishonest for the Front to celebrate “women’s participation” when it has a long history of being very dismissive of women—a simple example: the EPLF called the female fighters of ELF “Kifli Mefre” (Reproductive Division)–and they continue to be dismissive of women–such as the current practice of referring to new female military recruits as “goats.”

II. Methodologies, Standard of Proof, Mandates

18. Of the many ironies, the Government of Eritrea, which has no standard of proof when disappearing, arresting and killing its own citizens, is extremely demanding when it comes to methodologies and standard of proof used to condemn it. Who did you speak to and whom did you exclude? How do we know that you are not making it all up? How do we know that those who provided testimonies are not making it all up? Who made you the Prosecutor, Judge, Jury and Executioner? These are some of the questions asked by the government whenever a UN-mandated organization or a human rights group accuses it of massive human rights violations.

19. The CoIE says that it received 160 submissions and conducted 550 interviews in Switzerland, UK, US, Italy, Germany, Ethiopia and Djibouti. Moreover, Australia, Chad, Israel agreed to be visited but weren’t visited. On the other hand, Egypt, Kenya, Kuwait, Morocco, South Africa and Sudan didn’t bother to respond to requests for visits, while Algeria, Qatar and Saudi Arabia refused the CoIE’s request.

20. The 550 interviewees were either victims or witnesses. This is clear from the testimony: it is not hearsay. It is not, “I heard so-and-so tell so-and-so…” It is people talking about what happened to them or their immediate family members; or people who witnessed something horrible happening with their own two eyes and heard it with their own two ears.

21. How do we know that many, most or all were not making it up to strengthen their amnesty/asylum cases? Well, this is where investigators use standards of proof. One is corroboration: if you have thirty people, in different parts of the world, describing things similarly or identically (when, where, how), it becomes credible.

22. The standard of proof that the CoIE is using is not “beyond reasonable doubt”, but “reasonable grounds to believe.” Why is it not “beyond reasonable doubt?” Ironically, the only way for the CoIE standards of proof could have been higher is if the Government of Eritrea, as it was urged to do by Human Rights Council, had granted access to the investigators. Because the Government of Eritrea refused to co-operate and rejected repeated requests of CoIE to enter the country and grant it access, it could not visit prisons and interview prisoners and ex-prisoners and the youth in National Service inside Eritrea.

23. In the past couple of months, the Government of Eritrea has produced videos with one message: “Don’t Trust the Media: Come and See for Yourself.”   Seeing is believing, it said.  The much-vaunted “come and see!” campaign that the government uses as a come-hither for tourists is really “come and see what we want you see when we want you to see it.”

24. There are two arguments that the Government of Eritrea has made: (a) we have nothing to hide; we are just opposed on principle to having foreigners coming in and telling us what to do; (b) Eritrea has a large Diaspora and the CoIE cherry-picked whom to interview because it had already written its conclusion that the government is guilty.

25. The first one, which is the Sovereign State argument, will be addressed separately below.   The second one, dealing with the claim that not all stakeholders were consulted (argument made by, among others, the Organization of Eritrean Americans and guests to AlJazeera’s The Stream TV show) seems to have missed the mandate of the Commission on Inquiry (which you can find here):

26.  Excerpts from the mandate beginning with #  7. [The Human Rights Council] Decides to establish, for a period of one year, a commission of inquiry comprising three members, one of whom should be the Special Rapporteur, with the other two members appointed by the President of the Human Rights Council; 8. Also decides that the commission of inquiry will investigate all alleged violations of human rights in Eritrea, as outlined in the reports of the Special Rapporteur; 9. Calls upon the Government of Eritrea to cooperate fully with the Special Rapporteur and the commission of inquiry, to permit them and their staff members unrestricted access to visit the country, to give due consideration to the recommendations contained in the reports of the Special Rapporteur, and to provide them with the information necessary for the fulfilment of their mandates, and underlines the importance for all States to lend their support to the Special Rapporteur and the commission of inquiry for the discharge of their mandates; 10. Urges the international community to cooperate fully with the Special Rapporteur and the commission of inquiry; 11. Also urges the international community to strengthen efforts to ensure the protection of those fleeing from Eritrea, in particular the increasing number of unaccompanied children.

27. This takes us to the “reports of the Special Rapporteur” which is referenced in the mandate and which had been published a year earlier. The report itself was a follow-up to a previous report—one following the Special Rapporteur’s November 2012 appointment.

28. In the report, the Rapporteur focused on two areas: the indefinite nature of the National Service and arbitrary arrests.   The only time that government officials engaged the Rapporteur in New York, they came all ready—to discuss the Millenium Development Goals.   Now, all the stakeholders at the Organization of Eritrean Americans, and the Top Tweeters that feel excluded from telling their positive stories about Eritrea: what are they going to tell her as it specifically relates to the National Service and Arbitrary Arrests? Consider the Rapporteur’s claims:

29. On National Service: she says it is indefinite; it is hard labor; it includes under-age children (under 18 years old) who are either rounded up and not released even when parents show proof they are under age or are overachievers who are attending 12th grade in Sawa prematurely; that draft evaders are severely punished; that reprisals are taken against parents of draft evaders (paying money, losing license renewal); that women in National Service are sexually abused and intimidated.

30. On arbitrary arrests and detention, the Rapporteur says it includes “incommunicado detention; extrajudicial killings; torture; inhumane prison conditions; infringement to freedoms of movement, expression and opinion, assembly, association and religious belief; sexual and gender-based violence; and violations of children’s rights.”

31. What is it that the stakeholders who are claiming they are excluded can say that would change the CoIE’s standard of “reasonable grounds to believe”?  Are they going to say “I was in prison and I never saw anyone tortured nor have I ever heard of it?” Are they going to say “I was in prison and the conditions were humane?” Are they going to say “I was at National Service and I have never heard of sexual violence?” Are they going to say “I was at National Service and I have never heard of anyone who was underage?” Are they going to say “I know many draft-dodgers and I have never heard of reprisals taken against parents?” Are they going to say “I have never heard of round-ups?”   Are they going to say that “I know everyone who has been in prison and everyone was taken to court, had a chance to defend himself/herself, was sentenced and has family visitation rights?” Are they going to say, “here I am in Eritrea: saying whatever I want about the government, in front of a large group of people, and I haven’t been arrested”? Are they going to point to private press that criticizes the government? Are they going to say, “when I call home or visit home I never sense any fear: people are free to say whatever they want about the government and they do in print and radio and TV?”

32.  Most of the “stakeholders” who feel excluded from the CoIE’s reports are “arbitrary beneficiaries” of the government’s “arbitrary application of its own laws.”  As written, the National Service Proclamation applies to all Eritreans aged 18 to 40—whether in Eritrea or Diaspora.  Since they are justifying the legality of the government’s extension to indefinite period, and extension of the age, and since they are accepting the government’s definition of an Eritrean as anyone born to at least one Eritrean parent, it applies to them.  And to their children. And their parents in exile.

33. The other stakeholders, Eritrean youth who live in the Middle East and have to rely on the government’s power to grant passports, don’t have this privilege: their children are enlisted in National Service when they go home to visit.   So, yes, there are the privileged and the non-privileged classes in Eritrea and the privileged includes all Eritreans in the West who can visit Eritrea due to their agreement with the policies of the Government of Eritrea and for whom the National Service is a documentary to be watched but not experienced.

34. There is also another question related to the mandate of the CoIE: why did the CoI determine that its mandate is to investigate all crimes committed in Eritrea by the government since 1991 and not since the Special Rapporteur was appointed in 2012? Because the HRC told it to investigate all allegations, not specifically those it cited. When a government is explaining all its criminal activity by using the all purpose “no-war-no-peace”, does it not make sense to investigate the government’s behavior when peace reigned in Eritrea?

35. The accusation of “it’s outside your mandate”—which the government has also used against the Somalia Eritrea Monitoring Group (SEMG)– is a disingenuous argument.

36. First of all, the whole reason that the CoIE put the qualifier “may” in its assessment of the government’s likelihood of having committed “crimes against humanity” is precisely because it didn’t think that investigating that was within its mandate.

37. Secondly, and related to this in a very worrying sign to the government (and thus, its hyper-reaction), mandates are continuously expanded as (a) the government refuses to deal with allegations against it and (b) commits new crimes.  The existing sanctions against Eritrea are a perfect example of that:  it refused to deal with allegations against it in regards to Somalia and then added new violations of international law with respect to Djibouti and hosting Ethiopian opposition in Eritrea despite explicit UN resolution not to do so. It was its stubborn stupidity with regards to Djibouti and hosting Ethiopian armed groups, more than its activities in Somalia for which there was scant evidence, that got it sanctioned.

III. Sovereignty vs International Law

38. The most compelling argument the Government of Eritrea has against the Commission of Inquiry are (a) the UN’s unique history with Eritrea; (b) the nature of the UN and its selective application of its own resolutions (c) the issue of sovereignty. Working in tandem, they can be potent to affect a rally-around-the-flag campaign. Let’s look at each

39. Eritrea’s Minister of Information, Mr. Yemane Gebremeskel, tweeted that UN-mandated Commission of Inquiries are not new to Eritrea: there was also a UN-mandated Commission of Inquiry sent to investigate the wishes of Eritreans in 1947 and we all remember how biased it was and how it was set up to serve the wishes of the United Sates. Here, the government of Eritrea is stoking the people’s narrative and saying: the UN was wrong then, it is wrong now, and it was wrong the whole time between then and now.

40. There is also no question that the United Nations is very selective in its condemnation of nations: some countries that have horrific human rights records (Saudi Arabia, China, Ethiopia, Israel) barely get criticized and some countries (Iraq, Cuba, Eritrea) do. So, goes the criticism, there is no rule of law; it is just about who you know and who likes you.

41. Well, this is all true and it is something that very many countries complain about but they haven’t isolated themselves and declared war on the UN and the US the way Eritrea has. The UN, “a family of nations” has a “some-countries-are-more-equal-than-others” policy. Five nations have veto powers. Is this “fair”? No. And what is Africa doing about it? It is trying to secure two representative countries to have veto power. It is discussing these and other issues at heads of states meetings that our head of state boycotts. Self-isolation is not the way to change the world.

42.  Perhaps the most powerful argument is that a State is sovereign and all issues that happen within its boundaries are the business of the people who reside within those boundaries and its nobody’s business. This has an emotional appeal for revolutionary fighters who make up the Government of Eritrea, the ones who were driven for decades by the idea of an independent, sovereign Eritrea—but they seem unaware that the world has changed and that internationalization of laws has diluted the sovereignty of states.

43. As the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights has ruled: “To allow national law to have precedence over the international law of the Charter would defeat the purpose of the rights and freedoms enshrined in the Charter. International human rights standards must always prevail over contradictory national law. Any limitation on the rights of the Charter must be in conformity with the provisions of the Charter.”

44.  In fact, the genesis of the Human Rights Council, the Special Rapporteur, the Commission of Inquiry, and its report that we are discussing now is a claim made by one Eritrean citizen on April 14th 2003. Via “Article 19”, an organization named after Article 19 of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, and using Africa Charter as the binding law, the Eritrean citizen, Mussie Ephrem, filed a claim against the Government of Eritrea, on behalf of the 11 parliamentarians (G-15) and the 13 journalists who were arrested in 2001, to the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights.

45. For four years, between the busy schedule of the Commission, and the foot-dragging of the Government of Eritrea, not to mention its absurd arguments that Eritreans can find legal remedy at home and don’t need international organizations, Mussie Ephrem had to wait.

46.  The Government of Eritrea gave the African Commission the same answers then that it is giving now: The arrest of the G-15 was done against a backdrop of war (now renamed no-war-no-peace). The Government was told then, as it is being told now, that “the African Charter does not allow States Parties to derogate from it in times of war or other emergency.”

47. The Government of Eritrea claimed that the G-15 were not arrested because they disagreed with the president. They were arrested because they violated Article 259 (attacks on the independence of the state), Article 260 (impairment of the defence powers of the state) and Article 261 (high treason) of the Transitional Penal Code of Eritrea. This was the first time Eritreans heard about the charges: not unusual, we only hear about things when the Government is forced by foreign institutions to do so. The Government of Eritrea was told then, as it is being told now, that if a State’s laws fall below the standards of an international norm (in this case, African Charter), then it cannot use its laws as a sovereignty shield.

48. Finally, the Government of Eritrea argued that there is nothing arbitrary about the arrest of the journalists: they broke the law they were arrested.  Also, we are at war. Also we have court backlog.   The Government of Eritrea was told then, as it is being told now, “The Eritrean detainees have not been charged, or brought to trial. This in itself constitutes arbitrariness.” How long somebody is detained without charges constitutes arbitrariness and a decision whether the government’s actions are “reasonable.” (If it wasn’t reasonable in 2007 when the arrested were in prison for 6 years can it be reasonable  now when they have been there for 14 years?) Being in a state of war doesn’t grant a State the right to derogate from international norms. Court backlog? It was told: fix it, don’t use it as an excuse. Furthermore, “holding an individual without permitting him or her to have contact with his or her family, and refusing to inform the family if and where the individual is being held, is inhuman treatment of both the detainee and the family concerned.”

49.  Mussie Ephrem won.  In 2007, the Government of Eritrea was found guilty of violating articles 1, 5, 6, 7(1), 9 and 18 of the African Charter and was urged by the African Commission to release the G-15 and the journalists arrested in 2001; to lift the ban on the press; to grant the arrested immediate access to families and legal representatives and compensate them for the wrongful arrest.

50.  What happened next? Same thing that happens: the Government of Eritrea (a) ignored the recommendations; (b) went on to arrest even more people. The campaign that was started by Mussie Ephrem, was carried on by others, including awate.com (which testified in one of Eritrea’s Universal Period Reviews) and culminated in the work of Elsa Chyrum and the many Eritrean activists who have been instrumental in facilitating the work of the Rapporteur in encouraging traumatized Eritreans to speak up.

51.  Now, the case of the G-15 and journalists that Mussie Ephrem initiated, has been–due to the Government of Eritrea’s refusal to moderate its behavior–expanded to include the case of Forto 2013, the Djibouti prisoners of war, the “systematic and widespread” arrests and rule of fear that contributed to tens of thousands of Eritreans fleeing their Eritrea. That is what the CoI was tasked with investigating and it did.  And that’s why it is happening now.

52.  As it is its wont, the Government of Eritrea, just this week, has arrested dozens of Eritreans who, if past is prologue, will not be tried, will not have the ability to defend themselves: some will disappear, some will be held incommunicado and some will be tortured.  It doesn’t appear to have been deterred from its reckless path.

53. The President of the State of Eritrea has made it abundantly clear that he considers Eritreans hostages to his geo-political ambitions.  He told reporter Robert D Kaplan that “he would be more likely to satisfy U.S. demands on human rights in the context of a growing military partnership, but would not do so if merely hectored by the State Department.”

IV. What Is Next

54. Just like a citizen’s right is not absolute; a state’s power (Sovereignty) is not absolute; it only goes so far when a country chooses to join regional and international organizations and agrees to comply with their laws as a pre-requisite for joining them.

55. In addition to the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights, the Government of Eritrea is likely to be pressured to receive the Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression; the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief; the Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment; the Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions.

56. These are all part of the Universal Periodic Review that the Government of Eritrea is committed to. Moreover, the veneer of its claim to being the protector of women’s rights (because x% of students who graduated are female) is in serious jeopardy because of its shocking and grossly negligent behavior in throwing young girls to predatory men.

57. The Civil and Penal Codes that it is celebrating having drafted in May 2015 will most likely be found considerably below international norms and it will not be able to use them as a shield to say that the swelling number of its prisoners are there because they broke the law.

58.  Eritrea is not a signatory to the International Criminal Court (ICC), a very unpopular institution in Africa.  It is likely that the HRC will expand the mandate of the CoI to investigate whether the Government of Eritrea has committed crimes against humanity—judging by the panic that has befallen government officials, it appears that they believe the mandate will be expanded. Being found guilty of crimes against humanity would radically change the perception of the government from an ogre to mass murderer. If that were to happen, I don’t know whether that will moderate the behavior of the Government or whether, thinking that it is too late, it will continue to isolate and brutalize Eritreans even more. (I suspect the latter.)

59. As a political institution, the CoIE seems more adept than the Government of Eritrea: consider how the first 90 pages of the report are essentially prebutting (pre-rebuttal) of what the Government will say. The CoIE essentially accepts the Eritrean narrative when it comes to its history (independent from Ethiopia); the justness of the Eritrean armed struggle; the promising growth of Eritrea in 1991-1997; the Ethiopian role in instigating the 1998 border war; the unfairness of the UN indifference to Ethiopia’s refusal to comply with terms of agreement it signed; Eritrea’s stellar performance in health-related MDGs. It essentially diffuses all the arguments the Eritrean government uses to justify its victimization of the people. The only defense the Government of Eritrea will have is the same one it always had: to call an increasingly growing number of its own citizens liars, opportunists and fifth columnists.

60.  This is an extremely sad report. It is sad at every level: that a predatory government is victimizing Eritreans; that Eritreans are being exiled by the tens of thousands; that the most vulnerable members of our society—young women and children—continue to bear the brunt of the abuse. It is also sad that the government will be entirely predictable about this: it will, forgetting that every Eritrean family has been victimized by its policies, continue with its “systematic, widespread” denial—even if the spokespersons themselves (Ambassador Hanna Simon, Ambassador Beyene Russom, etc) have immediate family members who were subjected to arbitrary arrest.

61. It is hard to see a breakthrough.  The easiest and least costly solution for Eritrea would be for President Isaias Afwerki to resign.  But when you have a Head of State who believes “we have never made a mistake”, what are the chances of that happening?  One man held a party hostage; one party held a country hostage. One man. One man and his disciples.

62. The institution that would normally produce change agents–university students, legal professionals, journalists, civil society, parliamentarians– is non-existent.  The University of Asmara hasn’t produced law graduates since it closed and virtually all its graduates have left the country. (The “Legal College” was opened in 2010.) There have not been journalist graduates from the University of Asmara, just National Servicemen who intern at the Ministry of Information and learn soul-crushing propaganda. The Eritrean parliament—rubber stamp as it was–hasn’t met since 2002. There is no independent civil society, just “mass organizations” which take their orders from ruling party executives.  Even the military is not a professional institution but a massive political-spoils system with one stakeholder: president Isaias Afwerki.

63.  In short, moderating influences don’t exist–only radicalization is encouraged by the government of Eritrea. The case of artist Freselam is a perfect example.  How does the son of two Eritrean Peoples Liberation Front veterans, and himself a military serviceman, and a winner of Eritrea’s version of American Idol, get so radicalized that he considers Ethiopia a safer home than the country of his birth? How and why did his country fail him?

64. The case of the children of Petros Solomon and Aster Yohannes (both EPLF veterans, both disappeared in Eritrea’s prisons) are other examples: they (and their grandmother, and the brother of Haile” Derue” Woldensaie and me) were pictured with the Special Rapporteur and the caption under the picture read that all pictured were advocates of regime change.  When and where did the elderly mother of Aster Yohannes and when and where did her young children advocate regime change?  Is even asking about the whereabouts of your disappeared parents an advocacy for regime change?

65.  The fact is that when Isaias Afwerki ordered the arrest of the G-15, he also ordered his own arrest.  They are held incommunicado, some living, some dead. He, meanwhile, is a pariah, feared by his own citizens, hated by the continent.  Since he knows that a free and fair jury system will find him guilty of massive crimes against the People of Eritrea, he only has two choices: to have faith in the kindness of people and their unbound capacity for forgiveness or to assume that the people are as vindictive as he is.  He believes the latter and, for as long as he is the president of Eritrea, the country will, like a pin-ball, be bouncing from one disaster to another. But it will be making happy clown music the whole way down the precipice.

About Salyounis

Saleh Younis (SAAY) has been writing about Eritrea since 1994 when he published "Eritrean Exponent", a quarterly print journal. His writing has been published in several media outlets including Dehai, Eritrean Studies Review, Visafric, Asmarino and, of course, Awate where his column has appeared since the launch of the website in 2000. Focusing on political, economic, educational policies, he approaches his writing from the perspective of the individual citizens' civil liberties and how collectivist governments and overbearing organizations trample all over it in pursuit of their interests. SAAY is the president and CEO of a college with a focus in sound arts and video games and his writing often veers to music critique. He has an MBA from Golden Gate University and a BA from St Mary's College.

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  • Maytafor

    Saay, I admire your penmanship for more than the apparent brilliance and lucidity inherent in your articles: you are promoting critical thinking and I hope that many of us, on either side of the political spectrum (if it is, indeed that neatly arranged), take heed. It takes very little effort to tap into our passions and write yet another op-ed about how terrible the regime is; but I think it is becoming increasingly evident that it is time we unpack our baggages, that of the past and the present, and strive for an understanding of our complex [or not] Eritrean realities.

    Thank you and please qetsil!

  • selam

    Dear forumers
    From bad to worse from wors to genocidal attitudes of some forumers is really surprising. Look at semere who hate every thing about Eritrea. Look at his take on our flag , it is our flag that will never ever change by some cowards and ESHI GOYTAYE. look at his all ideas , i thini people like semere should be taken out from the opposition camp. They should be rooted out .

  • Semere Andom

    Saay essentials:
    I was writing about the UNHR meeting and then it dawned to me that, I too, am too serious. So I interrupted my thing for seriousness and typed away this introduction about Saayism when Abi, who in the last 3 years in this forum has increased his humor to 100 % advised Sal to stop being funny so Emma would not take him seriously every time Sal tries to joke. That is draconian solution. So I developed the following:-)
    Prerequisite :
    1. passing understanding of music
    2. Must have read at least 5 Russian writers.
    3.Must have studied at the UNESCO Secondary School in Kassala
    4. At least 3 glasses of Green Tea, brewed from loose leaves
    5.If asked the proverbial question, is this glass half full or half empty, your automatic answer must be neither and when the questioners drops his/her jaw to the floor and before he picks it up, you must be able to say, the glass is neither half full or half empty, it is Full Full
    6. Must believe that democratic Coup will keep the Woyane away
    All the above are attainable, but if you do not have No 3 under your belt, do not despair, because no one has that, even Saay himself. There is no such school, it is jus there to illicit some other skills from you, those who think that it existed their information has been acquired from nothing:-)

  • saay7

    Haqi:

    I think a lot of sports is acquired taste. (I didn’t get to watch baseball until my son played little league.) Cycling is that rare sport that combines individual and team effort. Some sports simply must be watched live (arm wrestling, bowling, golf) and cycling is one of them (for me anyway). In some sports, track and field for example, it’s not worth watching until the last 2 laps.

    You are too Americanized, Haqi. A sports is not exciting until it has gambling, fantasy teams and brain injury:)

    In Awate 7.0 we are giving Nitricc the sports beat. We will limit his ability to use “toothless” more than once per paragraph.

    saay

  • S.Tesfa

    UN WEB TV – Investigation rapport on Human right violation by the Eritrean government

    http://webtv.un.org/watch/id-commission-of-inquiry-on-eritrea-23rd-meeting-29th-regular-session-of-human-rights-council/4316038175001

    • Pass the salt

      It is nice member nations are calling upon our lawless President to implement the 1997 constitution and not the one he recently forged.

      • S.Tesfa

        I don’t think he got a forged one even. He’s trying to buy every time he can get to stay in power so that he can destroy everything we have been proud of and paid for dearly with the life of our beloved.

        • Pass the salt

          I buy that. Even the talk of penal/criminal code has run its course with nothing achievement to show. This is the man who pretended to have regreted the delay of implementing the constitution when he told G-13 ‘kwinat agaTimu’mber Qiuam dea timali endiyu kitgber neyrwo’. That was 15 years ago. It is clear now those were empty words.

  • teweldino

    Hi Tes,

    Sal’s “I stand corrected” statement refers to the corrections I provided to some events in his previous post. In regards to the main issue of radicalization, he said: “You did not address it:”. That is what I tried to address in the above posting.

    • tes

      Dear teweldino,

      I fully supported your take. That is why I said, “Reading your take…”. What I wanted to address here is, saay7 has respected your point.

      I am not particularly critical about Freselam but we have opportunists who can use such fertile ground and make their case.

      Freselam is an exception, I found him more matured and decent. But his take might miss lead others.

      I have met people, some I know, who radicalized their view on Eritrean matters. Keeping an eye closer is good for our future. That is what you did to proof Freselam’s conscious move when a concern is raised. You did a commendable cross-check, which I appreciated.

      I wished @amanuel_hidrat:disqus had interjected here to reconcile. It is sad that sometimes many of us miss our rational thinking and forgot what reconcilation is.

      tes

  • Abi

    Ted
    The problem is his grave is in Her heart. She replaced eritrea with him. Good choice ! Besides, she uses the bathroom in her home. You will be hired to flush after her children. Keep it clean !

    • selam

      Dear Abi
      You mean , you bring all the underage girls from ME , come on , where are you going with this hype. Can you imagine how many underage girls are becoming increasingly old in the ME.

  • selam

    Dear haqi

    I don’t get it and never will. But people do what they want….Sometimes without the proper thought though they said they thought about it. The fact you had to think at all about is evidence you second guess at the idea. Thus, signifying you had a conscience debate regarding doing it or not in the first place.

    I am sure everyone has their opinion. And corrupt minds could care less. And opinions are just what they are an opinion. 

    But I would never want to be surprised and look up shockingly at your false assumptions. I am old-school or you do not know Eritrea .So I guess that’s the perspective . The best and most famous sports men in Eritrea are cyclists not footballers. Get your nick name stamp.

  • ghezaehagos

    Hi All,

    The best of Saleh AA Younis.

    Easily Sal is in his element these days; On a roll, thou art, my Jedi knight (my bad impression of the Yoda:) His flurry of
    sagacious outputs proves his natural abode; fighting injustice through his mighty and masterful penmanship.

    There are lot of quotable ones this days, from this proud son of our endeared nation of ours. Here are what I can assort for those who didn’t read them; and mostly for these who read them, like me. Of course I need help..Teweldino and Haile, your turn)

    “If you listen to any of the testimonies of ex prisoners the best day they have is when they know they have not been forgotten, that someone is talking about their plight. It’s for the opposition who may think that my work is futile: no
    it’s not: consider how obsessed the PFDJ security arms with activities of Eritrean opposition. It is to enable Eritrean opposition to have factual detailed basis for opposing PFDJ and not abstract universal rights arguments.”

    “ I think the entire foreign policy of the PFDJ is “why don’t you just let us lie with impunity? Why are you so nosy?” Does it think that the world doesn’t know of its “mass organizations” and Stalinist structure of cells? Now, look below: I am sure the Eritrean embassy in Egypt is skeletal. But the problem is that of the “one million strong Eritreans abroad” many are
    spies and flunkies videotaping their compatriots and threatening them “you will never see Eritrea again.”

    A gem is here.

    “Just like Mengistu reduced Ethiopia to a poster child for famine-stricken people, Isaias has reduced Eritrea to a poster child for refugees-without-war. And when you committ that kind of crime, you have to find a bigger criminal to blame and he
    has been saying that it is the US that is responsible for the massive exile.”

    “The Government of Eritrea is arguing that Norwegian right-wingers with a vested interested in keeping their country clean from Africans, who came to Eritrea and interviewed 5 individuals (3 Asmara-based diplomats, one author, and one NGO employee: and Eritrea being so tiny we know, despite the sources insistence on being anonymous, who the author is, and who the NGO employee is and who at least 2 of the diplomats are) are more credible than 500 plus Eritreans who
    provided testimonies. Really? This is self-reliance?” ouchhhh!

    This is my most favorite of ‘em all.
    “I can understand a Rwandan bitter at the UN; I can understand a Darfuri raging at the UN. Central African Republic, Iraq….For the life of me I can’t understand Eritreans rage at the UN. There are what 190 member states in the UN and our
    problem ( that a neighbor refused to withdraw from territories we can’t even name) is so puny, so minuscule in the magnitude of the human misery the UN is tasked to deal with that insisting on it shows an unbelievable level of
    self-absorption and or naïveté and or cynical politics of dictators. It is time for Plan B. Actually it was time for Plan B in 2005: ten years ago.”

    Read that one AGAIN and stay amazed!
    Thanks Kubur Haw Sal,
    Ghezae

    • Berhe Y

      Dear Ghezae,

      I agree SaaY represent the best in us. I have been asking him to help lead our movement and become our chosen leader to help deliver our people to freedom. I think SJG wrote an article titled, in search of Moses and I was thinking since then that we already have Moses in house. If the last 15 years are any indication, may be SGJ is the exception, but there is no one like him. I do sympathize and I understand why he doesn’t want to do it, but sometimes we are born with special powers and as such we have responsibilities.

      P.S. Tes thank you for the link, and I think the hearing is going really well for the justice seeking people. With exception of China, I think so far, the response is positive (even China did NOT oppose outright but
      is asking for dialog and engagement (which PFDJ refused). I think the PFDJ hooligans and their days will
      soon be over, it is really a shame that these are ours. But it’s good that they are showing their TRUE colors and the world see for what they are, a bunch of “skunis and wedinis” as SJG calls them.

      Berhe

      • saay7

        Berhe Y:

        Way too generous and too kind. And, kabaysi terifkum. This is why: today Dr. Ghidewon Abbay tweeted a picture of the PFDJ demonstration in Geneva and claimed the crowd size was 10,000. When you consider the fact that he is a MATH professor–math involves counting–and the crowd size is, what, 1,800, how do you react to that?

        Actually, if you are me, you say, there has got to be an app that can estimate crowd size from a photo. Then you look for it, can’t find it, then you say, I wonder what it would take to develop the app? There is a need for that: politicians and activists are always fighting over crowd sizes. Then you say, you know, I better ask Berhe Y…and where was I? Exactly. Not a politician. Abi has got my number:)

        saay

        • Abi

          Saay
          What you missed is prof gedion teaches statistics . In his world everything is out of one hundred. He wrote 10.000 instead of 100.00. Slip of a finger.
          .

          • Eyob Medhane

            Sal,

            Can I get Abi’s number, too? Why do you keep it just for yourself? 🙂

          • saay7

            Eyobai:

            I didn’t say I got his number; I said he got my number.

            And congratulations on meto ke meto. I thought they only give that grade on elementary school assignments but Arbegnaw Weyanew proved me wrong.

            saay

          • Eyob Medhane

            Sal,

            See, in Ethiopia, when you’re that good, you get 100%..there is no in between… 🙂

          • Abi

            Hi Eyobe
            It can easily be 120% if the opposition vote for arbegna weyane.
            Kegemu ayqer qirnit new.

          • Eyob Medhane

            Abi,

            Woche guuuuuud, Ante? Zemedochachinin eko mashofya aregnachew zim tilaleh ende? 🙂

          • Abi

            Eyobe
            Bezemedoche mashof bene aybsim bileh new? Yemenager mebte bedemocracy teregagTolignal.

          • Berhe Y

            Eyob and all,

            At this rate the EPRDF is set to beat the record of the perfect dictator.

            After the ministry position are filled what are all these 500 or so members to do for the next 4 years. The do not need all members of parliament singing the same song. It’s boring and really wasting once real productive life.

            I think EPRDF need to architect a split, that allows the courty to set the right balance.

            Otherwise corruption will eat it from inside out.

            Berhe

          • Eyob Medhane

            Berhe,

            Now you’re forcing me to be a bit serious…. 🙂

            Eh..Beyond the 100% headlines, here are the formulations..

            1) EPRDF has in actuality won in five out of 9 regions and 2 city states. Which means the rest will be occupied by regional parties that have allied themselves with EPRDF. Even though the perception of a lot of people of these parties is that they are clones of EPRDF and don’t have any independence, that is often a wrong perception. They have their own concerns and they often make independent decisions..The problem is that their concerns and policy is almost always focused or regional issues and constituancies they represent. They usually leave national agendas to EPRDF and take a lead from EPRDF on that front. When it comes to their regional issues they actually often seen presenting challenging view of EPRDF

            2) There is a mechanism, which EPRDF has promised to expand called Council of political parties…or something like that. It is for political parties that have not won seats. It is a mechanism, where they present their ideas and debate EPRDF…It’s like a shadow parliament. EPRDF takes it seriously (at least they say they take it seriously) so now they have an almost absolute control of the parliament, they plan to expand it and make it have impact even more…

            3) Including some members of the cabinet from the opposition should be an option (in my opinion) That really would help to expand the political space…

            4) Changing the 50+1 electoral system. As long as there are 50 something opposition political parties are running, they divide people’s vote, therefore, they have a very little chance of winning…Therefore, instead of 50+ takes all, a proportional representation by people’s vote seems to be an appropriate thing to do. I know for sure that EPRDF is considering that idea very seriously…

          • selam

            Dear eyob
            You have done your work and so get paid or you are simply making up things from your school of weyane propaganda machine. How about the hunting trip of EPRDF ? Do you think EPRDF with weyane head master are enjoy6ng the killing of opposition ?

          • Abi

            Saay
            Actually, we are in kindergarten. Guaranteed 100% until we reach college level.
            How many elections is that ?

          • saay7

            Abi:

            But even in kindergarten the students don’t write the test and then grade it. Adele?

            saay

          • Abi

            Saay
            You have a point there. No they don’t write the question themselves. The parents tell the teachers what questions should be included in the test. The parents also decide which students should or shouldn’t take the test. Those who took the test always score at least 100%.
            Those who don’t take the test always get “F”.

  • Kokhob Selam

    Dear Awate friends

    the new song based in golden rule,

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvSB0K8PV-0

  • selam

    Dear saay or any awate team

    Especially saay , i know you follow american foot ball or valley ball and i read may be 5 or 10 comments between , haile , saay , nitricc and others about the game . What does it take for awate.come team to write one article about Eritrean cyclist ? What is the requirements you need ? I am confused how far are you willing to go this far by ignoring things that matter to your country ? Have not you written about 40 anniversary of weyqne ? Please do not try to tell us they already get enough in other websites it is shamful and a disgrace act. Wake up and put ypur pen on this issue .can you imagine Alegeria websites and ivory cost websites to write about Eritrean cyclist and awate.com lose on such occasion. Do not you have posted so many crap articles from awate forumers . Tour de farnce is on the corner and there are Eritrean brave men who are making history , it is not nice for such website to stay silent.

    • saay7

      Selamat Selam:

      That is an excellent question. Well, I can tell you that I follow Eritrean cyclists and their achievements religiously. Here’s my problem. One of my American friends is a cyclist and the day after he is in a competition he is always telling me how he did, how his team did. I listen to Eri-TV broadcasts reporting on how Eritrean cyclists did. How the team did, how an individual did. Here’s my problem: I have absolutely no clue what my friend is saying or what Eri-TV is saying when it comes to how cycling is scored. When I was a kid, the most exciting sports was cycling and I can still recite the names of the legends. But I only knew who came 1st, 2nd and 3rd. Now, they have made into a mystified science. That is: I don’t have the vocabulary for it, I don’t get it, I don’t know what they are saying. I usually just tweet about it (that is 140 characters) but I don’t know enough to write about it.

      Here’s one just from today:
      http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2015/jun/23/eritrean-cyclists-tour-de-france-mtn-qhubeka

      So, Selamina, why don’t you write an article about it and submit it for publishing. Or get one of your biking enthusiast to write about it. I think there was an awatista, Rodab, who understood it thoroughly but we lost him to youtube: he is out there now watching Eritrean drama. The point is (and this is another awate 7.0 project) we need to own all Eritrea, including its heroes and people that make us proud. And our cyclists are on that list. But you have to understand your compatriots lack of enthusiasm. You know back home there is a “Hazen” tradition: if a family member days, there is a period of mourning and you don’t attend a wedding ceremony and dance the night away. That is what most awatistas feel like so go easy.

      saay

      • Kokhob Selam

        Dear saay7,

        ይገርመኒ እቲ ብልሕኻ –
        ይገርመኒ እቲ ሓይልኻ –
        ይገርመኒ እቲ ሜላኻ –
        ልዕሊ ኹሉ እቲ ሓቦኻ –

        ሽዑ በልኩ
        እንታይ ኮን እዩ ቲ ብልዕኻ –
        እንታይ ኮን እዩ እቲ መስተኻ –
        ገለ እንተረኸብኩ ካብ ክእለትካ –
        ኣብ ዚ ብርቱዕ ቃልሲ ከብርየካ ::

        • saay7

          ኮኾብ ሰላም

          ኣንታ ሰብኣይ፥ ኣብዚሕካዮ ከቢዱኒ 🙂 I think you should have that phone conversation with that friend of yours and call me a reformist etc to balance all the praises you have been giving me:) ሓበሻ ናእዳ ኣይፈቱን እዩ እዚ ዓረባዊ/ ግብጻዊ ኣመል ያዕ በሎ:))))

          saay

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear saay7, ሰላም

            እ ሞ ኩሉ ክኣሎ ምበር : እንታይ ይበሃል ኮይኑ ::

      • selam

        Dear saay
        You know where i grow up , i was not allowed to watch football camp , forget about cycling. Here is the bad thing to your caliber , you saay can do and write about any thing. Actually my friends told me you are the best person to write about any thing about Eritrea .This cycling thing even doesn’t require too much of your time . It is just reporting. awate.com need to diverse reporting. You know in my private talk to friends , i always get accused of protecting awate.com and the only prove i have against my colleagues is your twittering . All sport news are hijacked by PFDJ and they have countless clicks per minute due to these news. I am just saying

    • S.Tesfa

      Greeting,
      Why didn’t you ? Instead of waiting and/or expecting others to do so.
      Even if we are proud and happy with the success of the Merhawi Kudus and Daniel Teklehaimanot, the main focus on this forum is to expose the dictatorial regime evil deeds and contribute to the struggle in bringing change in our beloved country. Unfortunately, we don’t have the luxury to celebrate the achievement and success of our fellow country men and women, while toddlers and unaccompanied children are being on the news where they are being rescued in the high sea in most of the days of the week.

      • selam

        Dear S.tesfa
        Yes you are right but it will not take much to report about any sport news . It is an advantage to report in this site.

    • Yoty Topy

      Hi Selam,
      Your bewilderment as to why no one is covering cycling while an entire generation is being condemned to a hellhole amounts to someone wondering why someone isn’t covering the orchestra band playing on the sinking Titanic. Mounting a serious opposition line requires a lot of discipline and resources. Other than blaming Woyane for all your problems and moaning about the lack of diverse topics here, what are you doing to help your fellow brothers and sisters?

      • selam

        Dear Yoty Toby
        Ow ja , you made your point and what , do you feel some thing great? Do i need to brag on what i do to help. Have you ever seen any one talk about what he does ? Are you dump or seriously smart for the bad cause? Listen you big mauntain like Mosquito , have you ever get tired from to people argument of the ice in the north pole ? Any website which does not
        look all sides is married to very few people coming and going for almost long time can go on. If awate.com is able to report about weyane 40 anniversary why not about the Eritreans who are making history . It should not be only politics that get people attention , it is actually to the opposite sir. I and you can fight to death about DIA or weyane but the thing is , you never move one inch and i will never dare to think to move an inch. No one is under illusion to not know what happen to people in prison or in the sea, the facts are facts and no need to dramatizing . You may not the boldest to not see the postive side of reporting on good things about Eritrea but i do and many do. Were not you on line while awate.com bring one of selam kidane or elsa chirum , i do not really remember to be accurate , the news was about one somali man death , can you imagine , awate team to not report about the first memeber of our great great father fighter who was dead on the same week. I remember Tes mentioned his death , i also commented under this somali man merdee . I know saay and SGJ are best and they give us a great chance to at least talk and debate but some times , Window earing from people is quite important. Do not try to reply to me.

  • Mahmud Saleh

    Dear AT
    Thank you for the clarification/information on bxay Ghehteb. I inserted a comment today in follow up to My dear Nitrickay’s absolutely mature and constructive comment. I did not know Nitrickay was commenting in response to this huge moderating clarification/information comment by AT. I’m not as glued to the forum as before, and as I would like it to be because of time constaraint.

    At any rate, this is not a public website, in the sense that we don’t sustain it with our taxes, in order for us to shove around the poor guys who are doing their best to create an alternative media for their country people. It’s not a private corporation either where we could act as stakeholders in terms of dictating its direction. A handful of dedicated true Eritreans have been funding and managing it to run it (discloser: I was, once, from among those who were skeptic regarding the place and direction of this website, particularly in its early years; I blame it on ignorance and to what my good friend Amanuel Hidrat terms “mistrusts”, borne mainly out of our terrible experience of the armed struggle). However, its contents, and particularly, its stubborn position of “against injustice, and nothing else” would not let me turn away. How could you miss the clarity of position of this website? First of all there is a palpable feel of good will from the directors/owners/managers (AT), second, you have both Saleh’s, participating in the forum just like any other awatista (sometimes holding differing opinions and grinding it out in front of us; add to it, bxay Amanuel Hidrat, a veteran awatista and a seasoned writer/thinker…then you have the other big columnists dropping by every now and then, I mean how could it be better than this? And this is despite the fact that most of us (I suspect, including myself, have not picked up the bill!!!).

    So, I don’t want to get between AT and Ghehteb, but the fact remains that any of us is here at the pleasure and the good will of the few people who are sacrificing to get this website as clean as possible, while trying to make it as accommodating as possible. I do have my occasional tantrums too, but believe me once you sit back and think about it, this is our home, this is our medium, let’s make it a bastion of ideas by contributing to making it more efficient.

    There are some points I want to make in the future, particularly with the ways and attitudes some of our dear awatistas communicate, some of the topics that have become sticking issues that get us in a vicious cyclical diatribes in our discussions, the role Ethiopia/wayane or the PERCEIVED influence it extends to our struggle, and other entities such as the UN…USA… For to day, let me just give you an idea of what I am talking about.

    For example: It would be acceptable to blame Ethiopia in relation to the border issue, but how could you blame it for the injustice Eritreans are receiving in Eritrea by Eritreans? Further, OK let’s blame Ethiopia for the length of the NS, but how could you blame it for the abuses that occur in the service itself? How could you blame it for the atrocities that occur in Eritrean prisons; how could you blame it for keeping citizens incommunicado for 24 years; how could you blame it for the arbitrariness of arrests where military commanders have turned into Attorney Generals and judges…how could you blame it for the misuse of state assets/corruptions which are occurring in Eritrea? how could you blame it for the devastating economic and social policies…I mean you could go on and on.
    The point is: at some point we have to own to our responsibilities. When a child acts irresponsibly, you tutor her/him by advising and becoming a role model. When a family acts irresponsibly, the relatives/neighborhood…and village come in to help the family put things in order using traditional and customary rules and mitigating mechanisms. When a nation displaces its responsibility to others, then the community of the nations of the world come in. That’s what happening in our case. Some or all of those nations may be hell-bent in hurting us, but they are playing by the rules. And the first question should be: why are we here? Why is Eritrea in this situation? SAAY, in his recent article and some other previous ones, has explained it succinctly that it is because of our choices. That means it’s about time we take responsibility.

    The reason why I’m explaining myself this long is because these issue happen to be at the heart of our disagreements. For example I read some comments alluding to the impartiality of UN, or that the report has the heavy presence of Ethiopia and so forth. My argument is: cut all those actors off, and deal with your conscience. Do you know similar crimes or not? That’s all. If you are honest with yourself, either you know those individual testimonies or you know some that are close to them, or even more sickening ones.

    Folks, we have buried our heads in the sand for a long time. The next step should be on how to use this report for shortening the pathetic state of our nation.

    Our discussions come here handy. If we exchange views respectfully, awatista forum could develop into a budding space where politicians and opinion makers could gain a lot of helping hints. I hope some of our beloved members check out their attitudes, languages and overall dispositions before they post their comments. I have been blessed to exchange views with most of you, from extreme left to extreme right, and what I learned is this: expect to be treated the way you treat others.

    Again, Thanks to AT for the length they go to make people feel welcome; and to coax us to be focused and constructive.

    • Semere Andom

      Hi Mahmuday:
      Thank you for the positive note. In one of my tantrums 3 years ago myy friend Sal told me that “we are going through hard time and it will takes a while to overcome it.”
      During such a time, tempers flare and most of us specially when we see the hard core PFDJ here, sanitize every crime, canonize every action, blame the victims of the sea, But I think over all the divergent views on issues from Ghedli to the Ethiopian involvement to the right and treatment of women are healthy, I hate to see a parliament (do worry, I am not going to mention the introduction of a motion for Hibret:)) that rubber stamps whatever the executive branch proposes without debate. Parliament should be fire, not the fire of guns for sure, but fire for ideas, a crucible where ideas that advance the nation are crystalized, emanating from the clashing ideas and at the end of the day ideas win on their own merits and if bad ideas win, the self correcting system rectifies it in the future. The one heart one mind is a nation and innovation killer
      The reasons for the attitudes we see here and the cruel words exchanged is because our hearts are not the same issues. the fight is not between democracy and dictatorship, I wish it was. Our fight it between life and death, between light and darkness

  • teweldino

    Hi Sal,

    Brilliant analysis! We should post one witness statement from the report everyday on this forum to remind ourselves what another day under IA and his junta means to the average Eritrean.

    However, I do not agree with your characterization that Freselam and others who believed that they would find sanctuary in Ethiopia are radicalized. When asked why he had not absconded in the Sudan or other Arab countries rather than risk the trip to Ethiopia on foot, he explained how the government spends a lot of money on security and it would not be safe to do so in his previous trips to Arab countries. He stated that Ethiopia is the only country in the region [the context of his conversation was Ethiopia vs Sudan & Arab countries] that would provide young Eritreans with sanctuary / refuge and would not hand them over to the Eritrean government security personnel. That understanding is factual; and it is a result of rational thought process / not radicalization. It may irritate people with nationalistic views among us but is also as mainstream as Abraham Afeworki’s songs in today’s Eritrea. This was actually your second jab on the poor kid. Hope you leave the kid alone.

    • saay7

      Selamat Teweldino:

      Thanks for the kind words.

      On the “radicalization” of the kid, remember I am blaming Eritrea for failing him and not him. How does someone whose name translates to Peace Dividend gets chased out of the country.

      He waved a small Ethiopian flag in the spur of the moment somewhere in the Middle East. The PFDJ accuses interrogated and arrests him and says that was no spontaneous spur of the moment thing: you are a fifth columnist.

      He goes to Ethiopia; goes from Addis to Mekele to participate at TPLF-40 party. This lady in the front row keeps waving the Tigray/TPLF flag right under his nose and eventually hands it to him. He accepts and waves it.

      The PFDJ media say “aha! We knew it!” That was no spur of the moment spontaneous thing. It shows where his heart is.

      So, he takes the pic (attached) holding a huge Tigray/Weyane flag and he joins an Eritrean group whose slogan is “Awet nHafash—bgbri.” They are a “by any means necessary” group. Now considering the trajectory he was on less than 2 years ago (a sensational superstar in the making) to Weyane flag waving by any means necessary advocating… I think that’s radicalization. No? And isn’t that sad?

      saay

      http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-qDLzhe4BBlg/VOxO6ghMm_I/AAAAAAAAIjE/lxC7j1ziYfQ/s1600/Freselam%2BMussie%2B-%2BTPLF%2B-%2BEthiopia.jpg

      • teweldino

        Hi Sal,

        I can not believe you fell for a fake photoshop picture cooked by PFDJ to character assassinate Freselam!. I think we need to make some corrections regarding the events in your post as well. He did not win Shengrwa. He was excluded from the final rounds of the competition as punishment for singing in a piano bar. He did not also wave Ethiopian flag in Kuwait where he danced to Teddy Afro’s beat where Ethiopian and Eritrean flags were waved by other people at the same time. He was imprisoned and tortured for that when it was difficult to avoid Ethiopians in the festival as Eritrean and Ethiopian stands were next to each other because the country stands were in alphabet order.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDwYuTRd9UE

        Nor did he travel from Addis to Mekele to celebrate TPLF’s 40th. He left Eritrea on the 21st of January. He and other artists who were staying in one of the camps temporarily were invited to attend an evening concert near the camp on his first week in Tigray / Ethiopia. Then the fans and the other artists asked them if they could sing one or two songs. While he was playing his krar in stage a lady who was dancing with her small flag gives him (read ጠቂዓቶ) her small flag towards the end. I hope you would see that the “weyane flag waving” lable is unfair after watching the following link (posted on 01 February 2015) unless they believe should have thrown the flag in her face.

        https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=638702872925079

        • saay7

          Selamat Teweldino:

          I stand corrected. My larger point is that this kid, named Freselam by his parents, a kid born after Eritrea’s independence, has been pushed out of his own country, a country that his parents fought to liberate.

          I compare the path he was on, the path that even the artists who were like him and are now exiled chose and the path he is choosing now and the words that comes to my mind is radicalization. You did not address it: is he now a member of an Eritrean opposition group that believes in armed struggle to bring about change? I am not making a judgement on whether that’s right or wrong. I am saying that he has undergone a massive change in a very short time. The gist of it was: it is the failure of Eritrea that has transformed this young man.

          And yes I have seen the video of the concert: I debated it with friends. The lady essentially all but begged him to hold the flag as he sang about peace and fraternity and he graciously accepted the offer afte the end of the song and then waved it. This was not an Ethiopian flag but a Tigray and TPLF flag. If you don’t think that some Eritreans have a problem with that well I disagree.

          saay

          • teweldino

            Hi Sal,

            After listening to all 6 parts of his interview (I have), if someone asks me to describe him in few words, radicalized would not be one of them. Articulate, intelligent, humble and mature for his age are some of the words that come up to mind. You are comparing him to other singers his age in exile like Robel Michael. What you are forgetting is that Freselam was tortured until he fainted; he was beaten on the soles of his feet until the color of his soles change; he was tortured in what he described as ክትዛረበሉ ኸማን ዘሕፍረካ ነገራት. He’s witnessed a lot worse crimes in his young age.

            He was just released on bail from 8 months imprisonment in December 2014 to sing in the New Year celebrations! Bahlawi Gudiat had to pay 100,000 Nakfa while his mom had to pay the remaining 100,000 Nakfa bail money to get him out in time for bahalwi gudayat’s concerts in Asmara. Well, Robel Michael did not go through all these. He was allowed to travel to the West when Freselam was refused any opportunities to travel outside Africa and Middle East. Robel can be forgiven if his only opinion regarding the political crises in his country is to post RIP in his facebook page whenever a boat capsizes in the Mediterranean . The gap in their life experience is huge. Even when Freselam was going through all these, he was still playing his resistance songs in Piano Bars in Asmara which means he had higher political awareness than other singers currently in exile. He’s played one of his political songs he used to play in Asmara in one of the interviews. The song criticizes the diaspora who are paying 2% and getting advantage over their compatriots. Therefore, he was not undergoing massive changes in short period. He just now happened to be in a freer environment and we are hearing his side of story which was heavily guarded by PFDJ.
            If you are characterizing the choice of armed struggle route to relieve the people from one of the World’s most sadistic dictators as radicalization; then how come you don’t label ELF and EPLF fighters who choose the same route to remove a relatively bearable rule as radicalized? I have read your articles for sometime, and radicalized is not how you have been describing the tegadelti.

            The interviewer asked him about the Tigray flag (as if Freselam had selected the Tigray flag from a choice of flags). His response was very eloquent. He said he would be given and waved a Western country’s flag if he was in the West. As he was in Tigray, the people gave him a Tigrean flag. He asked why Eritreans in America have been waving Eritrea’s worst enemy flag in their meetings and festivals! As they say Ethiopia is doing what the US has told her, so Ethiopia is a lesser enemy compared to America. Anyway, it was a bit rich coming from the diaspora who have been waving American flag in the last Town Hall meeting with His Royal Highness! A friend’s mother used to say ገሪምንስ ንገራሚ ሂበዮ. While we are covering ironies, just remembered a joke I heard recently. A shoe maker in Asmara made HRH a new pair of leather sandals. When IA tired them,he really liked them as they were very comfy. He said to the shoe maker: “I like them. The size is perfect as if you measured my feet. I am amazed!”. The shoe maker said to him: “ኣንታ ኢሰያስ ፤ 24 ዓመት ኣብ ልዕሊ ርእስና ኾይኑ ዝጭፍልቀና ዘሎ እግርስ ቑጽሩ ክጠፍኣና፧”

            http://www.tesfanews.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/pia_nyc_public_meeting.jpg

            At the end of the day, compared to the hate mail he gets from PFDJ supporters on facebook, being labelled radicalized may not seem a big deal. It is just ironic how people in this website were calling the young generation “cowards” for not picking arms to fight the regime that is oppressing them. And those who picked the arms to remove the regime are now labelled “radicalized”!

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Tewoldino,

            Your concern is well taken. People have the temerity to call radicals for those who calls for fundamental change and to fight by all means . That is the characterization given by reformist who look for less evil than the evil we have. They believe Eritreans require small dictator to keep them quite.

            Regards

          • selam

            Dear Emma
            Especially people like you need , but hi we can not build island only for people like you. What is going on with your masters in Ethiopia , how is the killing trip ? Do you have any idea ? saay point of view is the best you can get if you want
            to compare with your highly dangerous way. You have no comment about the 100% win and the killing trip of weyane.
            Do not accuse people for being honest about the situation. You want your way , please understand it has been 15 ugly years.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam,

            If you may, just worry about the livelihood and the security of our people. The Ethiopian people have their own people who worried about them – as simple as that. Gebito Selam habtey/hawey?

          • selam

            Dear Emma
            I truly believe that you can contribute more in the peaceful way than the armed once. So i urge you to consider your position and go with saay. It the reality that should convince you . I think a good change is only to come by some way saay way or some how in the middle. I feel terrible to see your time and other time get burned for so long.

          • saay7

            Emma Arkey:

            Our detente is over? The Cold War is heating up? 🙂 There are no reformist Emma. We are just “by all reasonable means necessary” kinda people. And what’s “reasonable”? It’s what reasonable think it is.

            saay

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Saleh Hawey,

            Detente is a worthwhile agreement in politics to create a space for negotiation. I respect it wholeheartedly, and hence I observe always that unwritten mutual agreement at least between you and me. How about that bitsay Saay? But….but, if we all believe “by all reasonable means necessary” as you put it, then there must be a progress in our debate to converge our thoughts on the basic political exercise we exchange. As of now I couldn’t see those indications? Can you say more on it, if you may? You my worry, I don’t want to see a reformed dictator, though I haven’t heard or seen a reformed dictator inn our real world.

            Senay Mishet,
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • saay7

            Emma Arkey:

            Even within the “By all means necessary” groups, you know there is a point of difference. Some believe, the way our revolutions used to believe, liberate Eritrea one territory at a time. Some consider this impractical and define “by any means necessary” as bleeding the system with hit-and-run military operations. The latter consider the strategy of former as unreasonable; and the former consider the latter as “langa langa.”

            Now, somewhere in that long continuum of what is considered a viable strategy to bring about POSITIVE (or at least NET Positive change) to Eritrea, you will find me and my “democratic coup.” All strategies–weed out, dismantle, incrementalism, kaizen–all of them have a risk for creating dictator 2.0. A few of them not only have risk of dictator 2.0 but also creating Eritrea 0.0. So… I think my strategy is the most reasonable, he said humbly:)

            saay

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Saay,

            I think it becomes common in this forum to recycle the debated issue again and again without any additional information or without new added value to the argument. And now without the adherents count from the larger pool, you are telling us that your “democratic coup” has received a 100% vote of confidence. The issue of democratic coup as I read it in literature is not yet well received as presented so far in the academic societies. In any case, aside to its “unsettled conceptual argument” in the academic world, I argued that, even if its conceptual theory is well founded and has some practicality in some political environment, there is no ground for it within the closed authoritarian regime of Eritrea. It is simply a wish in the atmosphere or call it an “Utopian dream.” I have given enough reason that substantiate for the impossibilities argument. I don’t want to recycle it again for the same reason. But my good friend Saay, let me make it clear: Not that I don’t like to happen in our nation, but there are no those fundamental criteria as outlined by the author of the conceptual theorist, so as to happen a democratic coup in Eritrea. Reason: the nature of our army (a) their relationship with the PFDJ party (b) their intellectual caliber doesn’t meet as deemed by the author of the conceptual theory (c) Their institutional entrenchment in the state of Eritrea, all clearly disqualify them to bring a democratic coup. Beyond that, I could only say let us wait and see. The system is a prototype of North Korea.

            Regards,
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Abi

            Ato Amanuel
            Saay is just playing along. How do you miss it when he said his proposal’s acceptance rate is 100% ? This is statistics . He got only one more support which makes it 100%. An increase from 1 to 2.
            You are way too serious !

            Saay
            Either you have to stop this game or Teweldino should help Ato Amanuel in sorting out stuff.

          • Semere Andom

            Hi teweldino”
            You described FS as an eloquent and so is this comment of yours.
            I do not really understand this obsession with the flag with Eritreans, Eritreans in the diaspora even the opposition wave the flag of the worst enemy of Eritreans and no that flag is not USA, it is not even Ethiopian or TPLF flag, it is the PFDJ flag shoved down our throats by PFDJ. Now I admit this is radical

          • selam

            Dear semere
            we will see what kind of flag you will wave at your weyane conferences, you are no less no more than a lost hope of the old ideas , It is Eritrean flag and it is all over the world , you are a disgrace who want to put our hard earned flag to your disposal, what kind of person you are , you hate our flag go get it down from UN head quarter,
            You are the least person to speak about our flag and you will die begging to have your own weyane designed flag. What a disgrace.

        • selam

          Dear teweldino
          Try other way to make him look good in front of tigrawot flag . He did not play his chance well. He is a crap, idiot , foolish . Why is kilil tigray bandera even on his hand. I would probably reject the flag or avoid in any possible way.

      • selam

        Dear sir
        If you go deep to his personality , he is really a troubled person . He has a record of rape and also house violence with besting his mother too. This flqg thing is madness , i guess Amanuel Hidrat will say any thing to cover his own . But waving tigrawit flag is just a disgrace and point of madness. There is no reason to do such qnd talk other beyond your own historical backgrounds . I would probably burn this flag and go to sudan than partying with weyane. How on earth this so called raper able to such heinous and idiot action.

        • Abi

          Selam
          This gentleman is the future. You will see more and more in the future. Get used to it.

          • selam

            Dear Abi
            Are you going to elect him in your 100% win. He is already a rotten watermelon from the Eritrean side. He is a disgrace .
            He is an idiot , foolish . Oh i nearly forgot , EPRDF are on hunting trip , they have already killed 8 of their targets. Amanuel hidrat and semere Andom , hayat adm wil say nothing excep running from the truth. You may say the least , oh what a murderous regime. Your D is not up to your definition of dabo. Killing killing oh my nongodness.

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Dear Selam,

          If you read my recent article, it will give you all the hints about contemporary regimes. If you don’t understand my position from reading that piece, then you have a big problem yourself, and on that I can’t help you.

      • saay7

        Hey Abi:

        Don’t faint yet but it appears the love of your life*, Papillon, is back. Compose you poetry now

        saay

        * no offense to your wife. I mean it of course within Awatistas universe

  • Berhe Y

    Dear Saay,

    You did a great job with. I can’t add anything more than what’s said. Just a couple of points:

    What’s the best way to use this report and what we can do.

    In the short term (as of now) I think we can do the following:

    The HRC will meet in Geneva at the end of the month and they will review the report. So it’s best if can do something that would help us the maximum out of it.

    1) Sign a petition:

    You can find the link below. When I signed last week the target was 500. Now I can see that the target number has changed to 2,500 and already over 1,500 have signed. Please do so and spread the word.

    https://www.change.org/p/united-nations-human-rights-council-adopt-appropriate-measures-to-end-impunity-in-eritrea?recruiter=183080616&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=autopublish&utm_term=des-lg-share_petition-reason_msg

    2) Attend the Demo if possible.
    There is demonstration planned for June 26 in Geneva. If possible attend the demonstration and lend your support.

    Long term:

    Saay, I don’t know who you have in mind as an audience when you wrote the summary. I think if this for Eritrean, it makes a lot of sense to read this report and make sense of it.

    If I wanted to send this to news outlets for maximum exposure, would this be appropriate. I think we can leave out, for example out “Eritrean / African/ ICC skepticism or reference” as it has nothing to do with the suffering of our people.

    Berhe Y.

    • selam

      Dear Berhe y
      it would be a great service if this can be translated to tigrina . Let the majority read it and judge .Even if you give this to New york times or the Huffington Post so what ? Or you want this to be in the weyane funded websites , just a question for the time. Eritreans do not trust weyane funded websites and radios . I mean if they are on your list of distribution channels.

      • Berhe Y

        Selam,

        Thank you for your respond. I think it’s great that it gets translated to Tigrina so that our people can hear the evidence first hand. As for judging or not, there is nothing to judge it’s just to inform to those who do NOT know or those who deny. If we had an open court, where we can direct our complain then, this will not be necessary in the first place. Weather it’s in the weyane funded website or not, really not an issue her but the suffering, raping of Eritrean people by their own.

        As to appearing in other international news papers is, it gives exposure and people will talk about it, and their respective governments will be pressured to do something about it. Basically exposing the suffering our people being subjected to by their own government and the main reason WHY people are going to the high seas to save their lives. NOT just economic migrants as the world believes and the government portrays the to be.

        Hope this make sense.

        Berhe Y.

        • selam

          Dear Berhe
          Yes you are right , in the middle east the last thing we can get is aljazeera and i guess they will do their job even though they will be pressed hard not too. Now is our time for our youngesters in the west to protest infront of all PFDJ consulates and embassies as well as in Geneva. I think you need to understand there are people in the west (eritreans) who are commiting crime by supporting for a government just for offering them a turist destination. I think it should be clear PFDJ does not need the west as far as chines traders are ok with them , so getting solution from UN is meaningless or may be it is bad. UN show is not good for Eritrea or any other country , berma is far better than libya. We need to push and convince the majority to come out from their caves.

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dearest Selam,

            ፈቲና ዶ እልክና ካብ ውሻጠ ክወጽእ –
            ካብ ወሰን ሓሊፉ ህግደፍ ክጻባእ –
            ወዲ ሃገር መሪርዎ ሰላሙ ክኽላእ –
            ዘረባ ተዘርጊሑ ከመይ እልካ ክግታእ ::

            https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/campaigns/2015/06/born-on-eritreas-battlefields/

          • selam

            Dear Gheteb
            You are good . I would not go down the link though. Come with your poems pls.

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear Selam,
            do you make mistake in naming? call me anything but please not —-.

          • selam

            DEAR KOKOB SELAM
            Please do not get disappointed it was an honest mistake blame to the pretext, sorry kokobay. I mean it.

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear Selam,
            if so please edit it.

          • selam

            Dear kokhob selam
            I have no acount so the edit thing is not available for me. But i mean no harm to you or to any one.
            By the way it is my laptop that save the words or names , you must accept my apologies. Hi again do not get hard on Gheteb , he is the best on what he does, come on be fair . What is the point two priests talk and pray to each other. Gheteb presence is frustrating some people , i do not think you are one of them. Let him ride his F-35 comments , if he debate all of us and beat us blame me or yourself not him. Tomorrow in a very dangerous circumstances you will need people like Gheteb. The forum with out dawit , Gheteb , nitricc , ted, peace , sara and others will be like what ? Go check other websites like tesfanews, assena, tigraionline go look at them then you will appreciate the presence of different views.

            Again say it is ok i can make mistake

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear Selam,

            Okay, I have accepted it. We are one family.But Hey, isn’t PFDJ and their leadership our brothers and sisters? the problem is only one but huge one – they don’t want legal system and we want that by any means possible. no compromise for at all in our dignity. And without legal system with legal administration agreed upon, nothing is worth agreeing.

          • selam

            Dear kokhob selam thanks for accepting.
            Yes they are our family , the only differences we have is , they are allowed to do what ever they want with no law to hold them accountable. If you are able to remember DIA favorite sentence is GIZUU MIS AKELE , he say this sentence for 50 years , can you imagine , when will be the time ? I am telling you DIA doesn’t like law of the land. But as i always remaind you , can you imagine if he and his cronies are done today , can picture the havoc . We need to build strong organization unless , what is the point ?

      • Pass the salt

        Sela,
        Do you have proof Awate, Assenna and/or other websites and radios are funded by woyane? If you don’t have proof, then you crossed the rule.
        You have to make tea for everyone as your punishment.

        • selam

          Dear pass the salt
          I did not say awate.com is funded by weyane. If you want short answer please read carefully . Look you are running every where i go , what is the things you do not agree. Lets settle once for all , i will not debate you about my hate to weyane and i will not reconcile or reconsider my position even if awate.com do not like it. Apart from weyane or any ethiopian leaders lets do it short. By the way tea , how cheap would you like me to go , can you imagine i make tea for you or any one around. Come on do not give big bonus to yourself or to southerners .

          • Passer the salt

            Dear Selam,
            I told you before and I will tell you again. I don’t care about woyane or Ethiopian politics. I don’t know why you make everything about them. I visit many of our websites. But if they’re funded by woyanes, I will boycat them. I just need a proof.
            The PFDJ permanently shutdown all private press inside the country. Because of that, I sympathize with our private press ouside of Eritrea. The slander they get from PFDJ is not enough you have to attack them too?
            Now I am done with you and won’t “run every where you go”

          • selam

            Dear PTS

            Good we agreed.

  • dawit

    Dear All

    UN system cannot white wash its crime that it inflicted on Eritrean society for the last six decades with billions of pages of lies and slander reports, until it produce an ounce of justice.

    “In 1941, after the Italians were defeated, Eritrea and Somaliland were placed
    under the British Military Administration while Ethiopia regained its
    independence under Emperor Haile Selassie. As a loser in the World War II,
    Italy relinquished its legal right to its colonies in a 1947 treaty. A Four
    Power Commission of Britain, France, the Soviet Union and the
    United States was set up to decide on how to dispose of the former Italian
    colonies through negotiations. The agreement was to submit the matter to the UN
    General Assembly if negotiations were unsuccessful. Evidently, they could not
    agree on Eritrea’s future. Britain proposed partition of Eritrea, with the
    western parts to go to the Sudan and the highlands and coastal strip to go to
    Ethiopia while the United States suggested complete union with Ethiopia. France
    proposed Trust Territory with Italian administration while the Soviet Union
    argued for Trust Territory under international administration. The problem was
    referred to the UN who set up a Commission of five countries (Burma, Guatemala,
    Norway, Pakistan, and South Africa) to study and propose a solution. The idea
    of partition was rejected outright. Guatemala and Pakistan proposed the
    standard formula of the UN Trusteeship leading to independence, but others
    favored close association with Ethiopia. For example, Norway wanted full union
    while Burma and South Africa favored federation with some autonomy. Meanwhile,
    Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie was working hard on the diplomatic front to
    acquire Eritrea. The United States backed Eritrea’s federation with Ethiopia
    and UN Resolution 390A was passed to that effect. This decision was made
    without giving due attention to the overwhelming presence of groups who were
    mobilizing the population for independence”
    AwetNhafash

  • Selam Beyan, HaileTG and others

    If you are wondering about the “debating” style of Gheteb, wonder no more. It seems he has an axe to grind with this website and its administrators, don’t be fooled with the “cousin” nicety. For us it was an attempt to make him feel comfortable and welcome; for him it is not genuine. He doesn’t mean it. He has contempt for this website and its administrators. His mission is (and has always been) to give us a bloody nose, it’s his mission. At one time we thought he cooled down and stopped his un-explainable betrey habuni but we were surprised when he came back with a far better character after a hiatus of about six years. We were pleased until he disappeared again. This time a hiatus of about four or five years only to return with his original garb that we thought he had shed off. We were wrong, his axe is still at it. But being tolerant, accommodating, and generous, we let him be when he started to disrupt the debate, harass and disrespect members of this forum. Now we realize this requires a clarification: our mission is not a passtime, or grudge driven, for us it is a national duty. We have experienced different attacks (covert and overt) and came out triumphant, By now it should be very clear that we will not stop until injustice is eliminated from the face of Eritrea, together with its perpetrators of injustice, the skunis and their foot-soldiers. For what end is Gheteb on this mission? Your guess as good as our guess. But to clarify further, we will share with you a piece from what he used to write targeting the Awate Team and awate.com. The following (in its entirety) is a sample of his combat which appeard on awate.com 15 years ago, on Dec 3, 2000, before Gheteb disappeared. We hope this will provide you with a perspective. We have replaced his old nick with his new one.
    _______________________________________
    [Gheteb]: On nothing !!!!!!!!!! [Gheteb]
    By [Gheteb], December 3, 2000

    I am forwarding this short piece to see if it can make it past the ‘sifting process’ of Awate ‘team’.Why am I disinclined to believe the assertion made by the Awate kahuna does not censor at all.Well,call it a hunch or just another of those gut
    feelings one gets when he reads something too good to be true.

    Now,allow me to go back to my short piece on nothing.What do you expect? A lengthy piece on nothing;a whole sequel of pieces on nothing a la Jerry Sienfield show?? No.I am not that cruel to torture anyone and that includes me,with my articles on nothing.That is a promise I will try to keep,if you can dig my intentions.Talking about intentions,I was thinking about the mission of this website,’Awate.com’,and how its admistrator(s) intend to use it as a vehicle of ‘reconciliation’ and ‘dialogue’ among Eritreans and how they will use it effectively bring to the fore the other side,the untold and suppressed version of the Eritrean history.Hence,Awate.com’s ‘fertile wombs’.I have no quarells with the personal narrations of those Eritrean heroes,save the fact that reading it,I can’t help but feel that sometimes indeed ‘ASha MWuT Y’NafiQ.’

    Why do I say that??Well,I believe that not all of those past Eritrean political personalities were/are heroes,sung or unsung.Some,which for now I will decline to identify because this piece is supposed to be on nothing,were political opprtunists.As for the noble mission of this website of bringing Eritreans together and narrowing the ‘political divide,I can’t wait to be proven wrong.I don’t see how one can narrow the ‘Eritrean political divide’ and bring about reconciliation among Eritreans,if one zeroes in obsessively on the weak points of of an Eritrean body politic,GoE/PFDJ and ignores other facets of the Eritrean political realities…….

    [awate team: We interrupt this message about nothing to bring you a message about something.

    Dear readers, we apologize for subjecting you into reading “nothing”. Please forgive us. It is just that we can not take
    challenges lightly. The piece is posted as received its tail will continue after this brief interruption if you are willing to continue reading what is left of…well, the “nothing”.

    During Eritrea’s armed struggle era, a common refrain that kids who were not mentally prepared for the tough challenge was “kuntal bltug beliEka temeles” (come back after you have consumed a quintal of grain; i.e. grown up.) We invite [Gheteb] to come back when he has something to say and he can say it in an article format. We do not accept articles without substance. And yes, we do not publish articles with no added value to the reader. There is more to writing than quarreling and bad-mouthing others. Also, it is not fair to subject readers to one’s personal hate and complex issues. No one visits a site to read none sense. If [Gheteb] wants to criticize, he might as well learn the art of communicating and respecting others. Haraka, please refrain from pestering this website. Furthermore, not everyone considers the GoE a divine entity…..for those interested, [Gheteb’s] “nothing”continues…..

    And,then I have to wonder on numerious occasions how the ‘Awate pie’ is divided s,so to speak.It remind me of DuKaN Mohammed Sulieman,in Keren’s GuhCha.If you were one of his closest neighbors,you didn’t have to travel a long distance to shop.It seems like the shop owner have opted to allow only two customers to haggle or bargain over the price of his merchandise,in direct contradiction of the shop’s advertisement that all customers are free to bargain.See,Mohammed Suliemans shop prided itself and was known for sporting the ideas of ‘free market’ for all its customers.Reading ‘Awate’s’ all corners,though,one gets the feeling that indeed the pie is not divided in a manner that is consistent with the proffesed mission of this website.Some can’t surpass the rooster with out of whack cycardian rythem as to announce that it dawned at 1 a.m.Talking about dawning,it just dawned upon me that I didn’t use some ‘obsure’ words to convey my messages? What happned to that ‘proclivity’ for abstruse and arcane words,’when simple ones can do the job???? Or,the much vaunted antidote,copied and sedulously aped from one of the only two who are allowed to bargain in our DuKaN,has its magic effect on me???

    I wonder!!!!! Finally,I am also noticing that I am also getting used to the ‘Awate.com’ art of communication: Not referring directly to your cyber interlocutor directly.That is a step forward because in the U.S congress,the senators refer to each other as ‘the senator from such and such’ state.On the other hand,I can’t help but feel that we are transformed by the ‘value system’ that goes like ‘N’LeBaM AM’TeLu,N’ASha DeRGuHaLu’.Don’t ask me why,but I see a charismatic leader in one of the Awate team.He is transforming our value system in such a way that we are incorporating them as if they were ours.Look at this writer.I have to avoid obscure words,lest the denizen of the upper left corner of Awate.com might get livid at me.You see words like ‘livid’ are short,simple and easy;they can do the job.What a job Abdella Assed of Kassala’s UNESCO senior highschool has done with his constant exhortion to render his students with incurable allergy of ‘obscure’ words.I guess I have said enough.Enough of what??? Of nothing!!!!

    [awate team: Yes you did… you said enough. We hope you are feeling better now.]
    _________________________________________

    NB:
    1. The Dukan Mohammed Suleiman mention targets Saleh Johar, while the mention of UNESCO school targets Saleh Younis.
    2. We do not want to engage Gheteb on this, it is brought here to give the members of the forum a perspective. If Gheteb will cross the line, we are sure you will all understand why he will be booted out.

    • Semere Andom

      Hi Awate team:
      Thank your for your clarification
      Hope popularized the cousin thing, but when Gheteb said that Sal was his second cousin, I believed it and Sal seemed to corroborate it. Then Gheteb wrote a piece to Gadi mentioning the late father of Saleh Gadi and how he treated him like a son when Saleh went to the Ghedli to fight PFDJ. Yes, you heard it right, PFDJ. PFDJ existed even then, PFDJ is an idea not a just group of people, it is a way of life, a modus operandi
      So are you saying that Gheteb is not a cousin, I know we are all cousins, crafted into and a cause, bonded by one love,justice, but is the cousin thing with Gheteb is a false?

    • tes

      Dear AT,

      Aha, this is Gheteb. He is around barking. The good thing is, you kept him under your control and still has a freedom to bark.

      aha, I read his lines from the day he landed recently. I am happy that I read him almost perfectly. Now I can understand why he conspired “Tes”. What he didn’t grasp yet is that his lines are messages of the criminals. Messager of criminal is always visibile to a close observer.

      Diehard PFDJ propagandista, Ghetebino.

      Let him bark, he will still be contained.

      Thank you for the info.

      tes

    • Nitricc

      Dear AT. Let me take a little time; the time I can not afford to say few words that means the world to me. I have been on this web site for a long time and I know what you have put up with all of us and the sacrifices you made. There was a time this forum home of group thinking Eritreans. Someone say something negative about the government and 100 people come out in support and will declare “ I agree with you” “spot one” I used to call all the forum participants Conformists. Fast forwarding; Awate.com become more tolerating; open and free for any one to express their views and as a result the web-site became a battle ground for timely debates and exchanging ideas. Having saying that; lately I am observing AT restricting the people who hold the opposite views than the majority on this forum.
      Selam’s articles are closely scrutinized and often deleted
      Hope is gone.
      And now Gehetab seems to be the next one.
      I understand; this is opposition web-site but it is an Eritrean web-site first. I.e. all Eritreans should express their idea regardless their views. I agree we should respect the web-site and we should appreciate the awate-team the effort they are putting in but no one should be restricted from expressing what is in their mind.
      You may say; what is to you Nitricc; we let you say whatever you want. True; you let me; but it is against my vision for what I have for this web-site. I could have explain a little deeper but I got to go.
      With Absolute respect;
      Nitricc.

      • tes

        Dear Nitricc,

        Keeping bad apples is like keeping PFDJ in Eritrea for ever. As PFDJ is now a rotten tomato so does his messengers. It is not AT that is letting them go but their propaganda has no more room to be entertained.

        Let me commend you though in this particular piece, “you said it with full wisdom”.

        tes

        • Bayan Nagash

          Dear Tes,

          I would say Nitricc’s assertion here borders moment of epiphany. If I may use the phrase he used, to commend him, spot on Nitricc.

          • tes

            Dear Bayan Nagash,

            I agree with you. These days, Nitricc is cool. He has started to use his heart i think (haile TG, am I right?)

            tes

        • dawit

          Dear tes,
          How is the tomato harvest in Franc this year? I hope they will give a break on June 26 to travel to Genève. Sorry I cant join you.
          Huka, dawit

      • Mahmud Saleh

        Dear Gen.Nit
        Although I can’t confirm or collaborate the individual allegations you made against Angafaw AT, the general message is positive, and I support it. We should never get annoyed by comments that appear to be contrary to what we uphold to be the truth. Just keep tes’ newtonian mechanism ready and loaded in case the use of “an idea for an idea” is needed. I should not go out without underlining one fact, though; and it’s just to say that awatista forum is the best forum compared to any other Eritrean or Ethiopian forums.

    • selam

      Dear Awet
      If the NB is true i mean the 1 and 2 , well, i have no idea why Gheteb go that way to make a point. Forexsmple i know SGJ through my uncle in the ME and i know him more than most of you . I do not think it is wise to go all the way up criticis awate.com through personalities. We as eritreans has the chance to debate in this website , i have read all Beyan , Gezaehagos, saay , M.saleh , and other great forumers of awate.com for long time , i start commenting just these two month may be. awate.com is zero value if it is not for being Eritrean website, and there is no way that awate.com is the only website to debate and read all about Eritrea . Gheteb has the chance to make his point when ever he likes . All Eritrean website be it opposition and PFDG websites are just a starting point to make the voice heard all over unless they have the weakest line of free speach and they are very weak to hold or defend Eritrean values and other interest of the people. Forexample saleh johar defend Eritrea interest better in other media than in his website , saleh do not ask me where . Saay the great man , well he did not change his way of pocking at Eritrean enemies be it PFDJ and other southerners. But as any one i have a clear objection on how the moderator try to silence people even if the thing i say or others say is true , and that shows the personal said of one person not the websites guidlines so do i continue to come and read different articles even Amanuel hidrats articles.
      I selam know the rules and guidelines of this website is not balanced and it never will unless the rules are automatically held on stone written page. To say the least writing negative about weyane and their leaders is not appreciated by the moderator , well lets call this unknown point.
      You can insult ELF and EPLF and say what ever you want , your comment will stay there
      you can even insult people like dawit and your comment will stay there
      You can call to people not with their known nicks if they are PFDJ but not if they are ethiopians , if you call any southerner another nick , you will be remained on point not to do it or your post will be deleted, the list is more but i really could care less.

      Here is a call to saay and SGJ please let the guidlines be shared equally by all forumers . The motto which is the ‘reconsile’ which one of awate.com needs some watch.

  • ‘Gheteb

    The Weyane-led Ethiopia’s View After Ten Years: ‘A Bread In A Dream’ (ናይ ሕልሚ እንጀራ )

    The Weyanes are unable of any meaningful conception about anything these days without thinking about Eritrea. They are hoping that things are going to change in Eritrea in the coming ten years so much so that they are musing, fantasizing and daydreaming about using Eritrea’s ports.

    Ever since their ill-fated and ill-conceived adventures against Eritrea fifteen years ago,1998, they have tried everything under the skies to bring their Eritrean agenda to fruition, but they have so far failed abysmally. Well, now that they seem to have literally run out of any other viable options, it seems they have ventured into the vast realm of dream and dreaming they are doing alright!

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=992980327401474

    • Bayan Nagash

      Selam AT,

      This 15 year old piece is an eye opener. You are surmising this from his IP address if one can such a suppostion, but I am certain you wouldn’t have said that that was – whatever alias he used of then – is the Gheteb of now. I had the hunch that Gheteb was not interested in dialogue, to convince or be convinced, but this kind of confirms it. Of course, if Gheteb disputes the claim above, I am all ears. Just this statement alone does it for me: “I don’t see how one can narrow the ‘Eritrean political divide’ and bring about reconciliation among Eritreans,if one zeroes in obsessively on the weak points of of an Eritrean body politic,GoE/PFDJ and ignores other facets of the Eritrean political realities…….”

      Well, it has been 15 years since the above quote was penned. What does Gheteb think of “Eritrean body politic” today – i.e., srAt Hgdef’s “body politic”?

      • ‘Gheteb

        Ahlan Bayan,

        I would never allow myself to stoop to a level where I have to end up tooting my own horn and state what I wrote and what I did in DEFENSE of the writer of this particular allegations. I mean I can bring irrefutable documentations that thoroughly disproves the allegation made today in this website.

        But I know what the intent of the allegations are and I even know why this tack is opted by the one who penned these allegations at this particular time. Since I know what is alleged to be NOT true, I am not going to allow myself to be dragged into such unfruitful exchanges.

        I couldn’t DISAGREE with the allegations rendered above, and may those who are erring find the wisdom and guidance to rectify their erroneous and unjustified attitudes and takes on me.

        That is all I will say for now.

        • Bayan Nagash

          Dear Gheteb,

          You have my respect for standing your ground. The last thing I want to do is interject where my interjection is not based on well rounded information. Since this goes way back, and AT unearthed what they deem relevant information for those of us who were not clued in or were not engaging in that particular conversation, I will simply recuse myself on the basis of having no possession of all the facts surrounding the circumstance.

          Respectfully,

  • T..T.

    Hi all,

    The everyday condemnations that are flowing from every corner of the world are good witnesses that Isayas has subjected the Eritrean Revolution to futility in every aspect. Even worse, the hardest thing of all is to find one among the Isayasist who cares for well-being and safety of the Eritrean people.

    Now, when the very fear, Isayas’s everyday tool, that has been imposed on the Eritrean people backlashed on Isayas threatening with further fear of isolation and fear of total collapse of the system, the regime has begun to talk languages of promises and languages that describe his regime as a regime of civilized people. But since there is no promise and no civilized treatment of people under the regime’s iron rule, the regime has continued all its evil games to rule by threats of starvation, threats of imprisonment, threats of disappearance, etc., etc. And, no surprise that will continue so long the tyrant is in power and remains surrounded by a few of his anti-people bayonets imposing the rule by fear proving that all evils on the show are the essence of his system.

    Therefore, in order for the identified rule by fear as the UN’s political declaration to be an effective tool, it must be accompanied a tough action against the regime. Again, in order for the issued political declaration to serve its purpose, the UN should officially condemn the regime for all it evil practices and policies.

  • Semere Andom

    Spying and Sexual Slavery: A PFDJ Implement.
    Dear Awatista:
    Begin Quote
    “The Commission finds that the Government of Eritrea, through its extensive spying and surveillance system targeting individuals within the country and in the diaspora engages in the systematic violation of the right to privacy. Mass spying and surveillance in Eritrea go beyond the needs of national security or crime prevention and are arbitrary.
    366. The Commission observes that as a result of this mass surveillance, Eritreans live in constant fear that their conduct is or may be monitored by security agents and that information recorded by state agents may be used against them – to arrest them, detain them, torture, disappear or kill them. They therefore engage in self-censorship with regard to most aspects of their lives. This happens because, as demonstrated throughout this report, it is impossible for an individual to know what activities may be considered “deviant” and “sanction able” at a specific moment in time and what the consequences for such activities might then be. The intrusiveness of the spying and surveillance system not only compels individuals to exercise self-restraint in the conduct of their affairs but also largely curtails the exercise of other rights and freedoms such as freedoms of expression, movement, association and assembly. It generates mistrust within families and communities by subjecting people to control and instilling fear in them.
    End of Quote

    Every aspect of the testimonials in the recent COI report is damning and the spying part is no exception. The tentacles of the spying network extends to the diaspora. Some of the spies are highly paid agents who come directly to the west. They are young and healthy so they are not exempted from the national service, but there are lots of them in Canada for example, infesting the churches and community centers. Some are long time diaspora residents, but they volunteer passing information, which is trivial for national security, basically they sneak to the PFDJ centers and rat on their follow Eritreans.
    In 2004 an Eritrean from Texas left to Eritrea to attend the wedding of his nephew whose father is a martyr of the Eritrean Ghedli. The Eritrean, who was interviewed by Dr. Russom Mesfin of Amarion narrated a harrowing and shameful experience after he was picked up by plain clothes security men in the eve of the wedding from Adi-Quala. The security men drove his car and took him to the prison. One day he lucked out and when he was being transferred the guard allowed him to call, he quickly called the USA embassy. The country of his origin, whose brother paid with his life imprisoned him for airing his grievances while shooting the breeze with his taxi driver buddies in Texas, the country that takes its citizenship seriously, after a few weeks of back and forth with the authorities managed to secure his release. He missed his flight and after finally he managed to board the plane, he was summoned to the offices of Tekeste Bashai, who is the current ambassador to Israel, was treated and warned to never talk about the experience. Our hands are long, Tekeste threated, bragging about the wounds he sustained during the armed struggle. The Eritrean, thanks to USA was able to join his wife in Texas. Mentally wounded, wedding of his orphan nephew ruined, he returned to his family. This story is the tip of the ice-berg, there are hundered of diaspora Eritrea, who went and never returned to their families.

    Tekeste Bashai is a veteran of EPLF and he was a long time appointee to the revolutionary school along with Wedi Gheratu, the ambassador to UK. Although former students prefer Tekeste to Gherahtu, both have bad reputation with sexual assaults and indecency to girls under their watch and jurdiction. In EPLF’s revolutionary school where little girls are entrusted to the elders there, the people in charged used their power to seduce and dally with girls barely in the age of consent. The word consent is an oxymoron in the EPLF/PFDJ land. But to the credit of some few, many girls were protected from different intimidation and harassment be it sexual or other psychological abuse. A case in point: an Eritrea from Ethiopia took all his 3 of his children and his wife to the field. The children joined the R. school, the wife assigned to adetat Solomuna. The father always spoke his mind and the authorities imprisoned him several times. After a decade he had enough and he surrendered to Dergi. The kids who looked up to him were devastated and became the target of ridicule and abuse from peers and authorities. But some comrades came to the rescue by telling the kids that their father was not a traitor or coward, but his right to free speech has been revoked and he would not take it anymore, assuring them that dad is a hero. The daughter now an adult speaks fondly of those heroes who protected her during her vulnerable days.
    What do we do with the Spies among us?

    I think we must name them and report them to the authorities. There are some of them who lived in Germany for over 20 years, they have sought asylum in Canada and living here, intimidating justice seek during demonstrations and spying on innocent Eritrea. We have to report them to the authorities by informing the immigration departments of our host countries that these people have lived in Europe and now have changed their names and are spying on citizens here. In the YouTube link, you saw how they organized to disturb the democratic expression of citizen to invite Dan Connell to speak at a Canadian university. For PFDJ a university is merely a brick and mortar that houses black boards and gathering of people reminiscent of their “mkehet” meeting.

    The Spying network of the regime has metastasized to human traffickers and agents who transfer the money from the west. Under the tenure of PFDJ Eritrea has multiplied its serial killers and rapist at an alarming rate and as citizens and justice seekers we can augment the report and help the international community to refere the goons in Asmara to the ICC.
    The terms of reference of the report is quite extensive and its culmination to this report is good news but it is not the end. To quote Churchril, it is not even the beginning of the end, it is the end of the beginning that commenced more than a decade ago

    • saay7

      Selamat Cousin iSem:

      The Eritrean Ministry of Foreign Affairs had this* by way of answering the CoI claim that the PFDJ presence in the Diaspora is threatening to the Diaspora population:

      Eritrea’s diplomatic presence in few capitals – most of which are have skeletal and even only one-diplomat staff – can hardly be used to spy on the almost one million strong Eritreans abroad. These accusations are thus groundless and further illustrate the politically motivated nature of the report.

      I think the entire foreign policy of the PFDJ is “why don’t you just let us lie with impunity? Why are you so nosy?” Does it think that the world doesn’t know of its “mass organizations” and Stalinist structure of cells? Now, look below: I am sure the Eritrean embassy in Egypt is skeletal. But the problem is that of the “one million strong Eritreans abroad” many are spies and flunkies videotaping their compatriots and threatening them “you will never see Eritrea again.”

      Here’s what happened in Egypt:

      http://awate.com/government-bullying-a-citizen-a-personal-testimony/

      saay

      • Pass the salt

        Dear SAAY,
        The people and government of Eritrea categorically reject the call to number paragraphs to please those with political agendas. The people and government of Eritrea, consistent with their independent political stand, will number paragraphs as they see it fit and in a matter that reflects the culture and tradition of the Eritrean people.

        • saay7

          Dearest Chew Ahlfo:

          The People and Government of Eritrea are saddened by those who don’t know that the proud and civilized culture of The People and Government of Eritrea includes words like “derrb!” and “manta”, and even “selso-ye selso!” and “arbaA”. In their long and civilized culture The People and Government of Eritrea have never said:

          Azgneni!
          Bmntay?
          bHade!
          entay…..Hade?
          Hade! Hade! Hade!

          saay

          • haileTG

            Hahaha…you killing me saay:-) Almost tempted to say the K word…another time:)

          • saay7

            Haha Hailat:

            Almost 700,000 I mean 70,000 I mean 7,000 Eritreans had a picnic in Geneva. They danced, listened to music, held signs and pictures. Then they went home. I think this is called “Eritreans roared like a lion” and “Eritreans shook Europe” in the hyperbolic language of PFDJ. But no k was involved 🙂 just colorful bandanas and shawls.

            saay

            http://youtu.be/UcSf3Bi2NSY

          • Semere Andom

            Hi Sal and Haile:
            I wonder why the K was dropped this time, I mean the K is the K factor in PFDJ. Also after watching this I almost dropped the H word but then remembered that it is Romadan

  • haileTG

    Selamat Awatista,

    In 2002, the Eritrean government paid $250,000 to lobby the USA administration for better relationships. In the same period the EPRDF paid $23, 224.63 and the OLF paid $92, 751.34. At the time, in 2002, a severe drought was ravaging through Eritrea and the regime obviously had its priority somewhere else. Please scroll down to page 71 on the link below.

    http://www.fara.gov/reports/December31-2002.pdf

    Regards

    • saay7

      Merhaba Hailat:

      It’s actually worse than that:) When you read the following, think of the Serray Dictum: the PFDJ has the Midas Touch. Everything it touches turns to ashes:

      1. The 250,000 listed is only for 5 months. This is because the lobbyist charged $50,000 a month;
      2. The lobbyist ordinarily charged 150,000 a month but he gave Eritrea a huge discount. When they asked him why, he said he like the free enterprise and pro-investment policies of the Eritrean government and that they want to be an American base.
      3. The lobbyist on the 50,000 a month retainer until the time of his arrest for defrauding his clients. You remember him: Jack Abramoff
      4. jack Abramoff friend, congressman Dana Rohrbacher, sponsored a bill for the U.S. to suspended foreign aid to Ethiopia until Ethiopia returns the properties of American citizens. These “American citizens” we’re his surfing buddy, an Eritrean, also a contributor. Of course the bill didn’t even have the honor of being laughed at.

      At that time, in 2002-2007, all Eritrea had to do to improve its relations with the U.S. (In post 9-11 New World Order when it was seen as a rare, stable, secular country with a long African coast line) was not lobbying and wasting Eritrea’s meager resource but bringing to court (not even setting free but bringing to court) two Eritreans who were employed by the U.S. Embassy in Eritrea. It didn’t do it and it hasn’t done it: 14 years later, they are part of the “systematic, wide” arrests that the CoI reported on.

      So you may be on to something when you described Isaias Afwerki as a, um, unsmart person. Of course I would argue that he doesn’t use his cool head but his angry heart but that’s a whole different argument.

      saay

      • ‘Gheteb

        Ahlan Cousin SAAY,

        I think that the lobbying stint by the GoE was a bad business deal or decision that emanated from not understanding the deeper underpinnings of America’s geostrategic stances vis-à-vis the Horn Region and Eritrea.

        Short of entering an arrangement that would have rendered Eritrea’s independence of being only in name ONLY and being literally a part of Ethiopia in some sort of an arrangement, Eritrea could have given anything to the U.S.A, but I don’t think it could have succeeded in mollifying Uncle Sam’s angst about an independent Eritrea nor do I think it could have even led to any softening of America’s attitudes towards Eritrea.

        You maybe right that Isaias may have not been a “smart person” when it comes to this issues in those years, but then again I am not so sure that he was aware and cognizant about the declassified White House Memos of 1991.

        In those White House Memos, Bush père in a meeting with Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe stated his stances about the territorial integrity of Ethiopia and his opposition of Eritrea’s independence. Well, I don’t have the link yet, but I find it such stances to be consistent with the overarching America’s strategic imperatives in that part of the world.

        I wish you were right that it was as simple as releasing or bringing to court those two employees of the US embassy in Asmara that would have done the trick for Eritrea to be on the good side of Uncle Sam and improve its relation with the U.S.A. I wish I could agree with such a Pollyanna view, but I can’t because of the following observation that you are acutely aware of.

        Remember that I have raised the infamous promise that Susan Rice made about how the US is going to come down on Ethiopia like a ton of bricks, if Ethiopia doesn’t accept the Technical Arrangement and your response that she was just an acolyte repeating her boss’s words?

        Guess who else the same empty promise that was not followed through? Clinton made a similar promise to Isaias and nothing came out of it.

        Promises and empty words are one thing. America’s strategic imperatives in The Horn are quite another.

        • haileTG

          Selam Gheteb,

          You said:

          “I think that the lobbying stint by the GoE was a bad business deal or decision that emanated from not understanding the deeper underpinnings of America’s geostrategic stances vis-à-vis the Horn Region and Eritrea.”

          How do you reconcile that with the fact that the regime’s only talking point to the current intl. censure being that it has been dealing with non-interrupted US hostilities for the past 60 years? Does that mean that IA had no understanding of “the deeper underpinnings of America’s geostrategic stances vis-à-vis the Horn Region and Eritrea” well over 50 years into the alleged US hostilities?? That transaction was completed in 2002, well after the border war and about time demarcation was completed, G15 jailed and IA accused CIA of plotting to overthrow him.

          That adds up to naught in terms of logic and common sense.

          • saay7

            Selamat Hailat:

            You are making the mistake of assuming that President Isaias Afwerki makes decisions without consulting his peers. Recently declassified documents of the consultations the Government of Eritrea made show the following minutes of the meeting:

            President Isaias Afwerki: This Greenberg Trauig lobbying firm is said to be very effective. Let’s use them.

            Yemane G-Ab: How will we reconcile that with our claim that…I mean, with the PROVEN FACT that the G-15 were sending Anthony Lake satellite images of your kbur president so Langley can assassinate you…

            President Isaias Afwerki: And why do we have to reconcile that? They live in parallel universes…

            Girma Asmerom (on speaker phone from US): But, my lord, they tried to assassinate you! We can’t go back to them, your assassins, and ask for their help…It is dishonorable…

            PIA: {looks at Yemane G-Ab}: who let this clown in?….

            Sebhat Ephrem: Another possibility is, and this is often recommended by Lao Tzu “A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.” We pretend we need to be American base, and if it works great and if it doesn’t work, also great…

            PIA: Alright. Let’s do it. Girma, you have been volunteered. Be sure to talk about how Eritrea’s landscape looks like that of Afghanistan.

            Girma: Very wise decision sir.

            saay

          • Haile WM

            “PIA: {looks at Yemane G-Ab}: who let this clown in?….”

            that is killer funny!

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Kubur Saay,

            First thank you for the declassified document – the exchange of the despot and his team. Okay now, if we can go back to our debate few months ago, as to whether the existing regime is “a well organized system” or “a single man rule”, I think this info will support will surely sunstantiate my argument – the argument I made in my article (the pyramidal structure) and the power distribution from the top to the bottom. My point was and is that the problem is not the one man only, but it is the the system they built to sustain the power of their party. Not only that the army as part and parcel of the ruling party is the army of the party not of the Eritrean people. If the top Genrals and most of the corenels are part of the rank and file of the party, there is no way we can call them the people’s army. Dear friend, Can you reconsider the argument we had, and make a second thought on it?

            Regards,
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • saay7

            Selamat Emma Arkey:

            Ummm….the “declassified document” was a joke. Tongue in cheek. It was trying to make fun of Cousin Gheteb’s obsession with “declassified documents.” I find the search for “declassified documents” to be the silver bullet that will answer all questions definitively to be quixotic. You know, there are Eritreans (from ELF background) who are still looking for “declassified documents from Kagnew” to prove that Isaias Afwerki was a CIA spy. The wikileaks showed there were a lot of accidentally declassified documents. All that de-classifed documents do is strengthen each side’s claims. Now we will have the Saudi leaks and they will titilate a bit and give each side something to support its case (Saudis say Sudan and Egypt were plotting to assassinate Silva Kiir in Addis. Why is Addis always assassination central? Will Sudan and Egypt admit it?

            Have you ever heard anybody say, “I used to think X but when I saw the de-classifed documents I concluded Y.” Even the Wilson papers (declassified Soviet/East German documents, showing that the EPLF was ready to negotiate a federation arrangement under the sovereignty of Ethiopia in the late 1970s didn’t change anybody’s mind. The answer is in 2 Corinthians 5:7. (Semere A will tell you if you haven’t cracked your bible lately.)

            In short, with my failed humor, what I was trying to show is the opposite message of what you got: that the point Haile made (how can Isaias be lobbying the US to make Eritrea a US base right about the time he was accusing it of trying to assassinate him? Therefore the claim was just a fabrication) can only happen in a country with no institutions, no consultations, just a man and his mood swings.

            saay

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            AnTa Saay,

            How many times you will throw me out (make me confuse)? Your real comment is indistinguishable from your humorous jokes. As “Fihira” as you are, I hadn’t any doubt when you brought to the surface this “declassified” things. Anyway two things (a) The declassified Wilson papers are “facts” and if the Ghedli generations couldn’t swallow it, the young generation and historians will account it as part of our historical discourse (b) The bible thing – though some are escaped from my memory, I had recited the book when I was young in my bible study. However, the verses you are referring, 2 Corinthians 5:7, I think it is ” for our life is a matter of faith not of sight.” So Gheteb is neither of humor personality nor of empirical truth teller. Question to you, is there any methodology to distinguish your humor and real comment? I think even Semere is lost like me.

            regards,
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • saay7

            Emma Arkey:

            2 Corinthians 5:7, I thought, was “for we walk by faith not by sight.” Don’t make go all Bet tmhrti wengelawit on you. The point being that I see a lot of people frustrated that others don’t see what they see (the facts!) when the fact is that if something doesn’t conform to what we believe, we just don’t see it. (I think the psychiatrists call that “confirmation bias.”)

            On the humor…um…tricky cousin Semere was not confused at all. He is my trickiest cousin; here’s what he was doing. Because he was raised well, he didn’t want to say, “you are wrong Aya Amanuel.” So he phrased it as a question. You have to know ShiTara Khartoum :). Sometimes he loses it and uses the words lie, liar, liars, lying, but that’s because he read Michael Moores “Lying Liars and the lies they lie about.”

            By the way Cousin iSem now that it’s confirmed that the EPRDF won 100% of the seats in the Ethiopian parliament and the other Tsom is over we may have to resume our previously scheduled joust with T Kifle.

            saay

          • Semere Andom

            Hi Sal and Emma:
            Both of you are wrong on 2 Corth. If the Kharoum sun has not erased my memory, if the reading of Quran did not over write my Bible because the Bible and Quaran overwrite each other, if you doubt me, Israela, IS and Hamas are your reference. But I digress. The verse goes as follows: “If you are walking in the darkness keep going as it is must that dawn will dawn:”
            🙂

          • Abi

            Saay
            EPRDF won 100% ?
            For the first time in our democracy, there is no “minority’s leader. ”
            Hey Saay , Ato amanuel threw the towel once and for all. You are mean. He has to activate his comic cells.

          • saay7

            Hey Abi:

            Yeah, or as BBC put it “every single seat.” 100%. More than Saddam Husseins electoral victory.

            I think the only way for you guys to have a multi party parliament is to split EPRDF into Eprdf, ePrdf, epRdf,eprDf and eprdF. And of course the Dabo party.

            saay

          • Abi

            Saay
            well, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. If you want to see a ” systems theory ” in action, don’t look further.
            Anyway, the “D” represents dabo not democracy . You already know what ” F” represents.
            In other words F democracy.
            Do you know the word ” abyotawi” means ?
            It means ” ametsawi ”
            ” ametsawi democracy ” doesn’t make sense. So, in my book, there is no Revolutionary Democracy. We are left with EP. Which means Ethiopia Party. We found a winner.

          • saay7

            Abi:

            A dialogue from an upcoming movie. It was in the trailer for the movie and it’s likely the only funny line in the movie:

            Smart woman: who wrote The Great Gatsby
            Dumb man and dumb talking teddy bear: [they throw random names]
            Intelligent woman: F. scott fitzgerald
            Dumb talking teddy bear: what did scott fitzgerald ever do to you?
            Intelligent woman: what are you idiots talking about
            Dumb talking teddy bear: you just said F! Scott Fitzerald.

            And that’s a wrap.

            saay

          • Abi

            Saay
            Thanks. You just saved me ten dollars . I’m not going to watch a dumb talking teddy bear.
            It looks all ted bears are dumb. Even those talkative ones are dumb.
            Happy fasting month to you and family.

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam Abi,
            .
            Well, the saays’ of the world were mocking the 96% win the last time. So they showed them this time, didn’t they. That is called “jegninet”. I think the winners deserve a couple of lines of Amahric congratulatory poem.
            .
            K.H
            P.S,
            It is not just Amanuel, I almost wrote a note to ask Mr. saay for more of this declassified information.
            He has to do something about his jokes.

          • Nitricc

            Hi KM.
            you know what there is one coming event that will tell the tell. If TPLF are smart; they should reelect HD as a prime minster. They could not find the best cover and servant Tengaraw HD.

          • selam

            Dear Nitricc
            it is heard just 03 , weyane are in a killing trip , have you ever seen hayat , amanuel , semere to comment about the trip , come on lets dance over . Their 100% election is just amusing it only need some opposition to be killed , people like kim will try to say the police is investigating . Where is hayat the master of the great great ,
            aka reanayom ezom feshkalat hasewuti
            ab zey dasom saesaeti
            ni wedi adom bi kitlet feredti
            kab PFDJ zey hishu ketelti
            aye ka zom seb melhas
            bigbri zey tegberti
            ni wedi dika nab hawi tebesti
            kindey gize eyom kimkuhu
            Seb buzuh abatrti
            wuy gize gize …
            shigey habuni ..

            come on nitricc lets boil some one dishes untill it burns in and out
            i promise i will not drop any bad to DIA

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam Nitricc,
            .
            I hope he is reelected. he is a good man. I disagree with your reasoning. He is going to further the paving of the road that Meles initiated. You know, Meles must have seen something in him to make him his deputy.
            .
            BTW, I am wondering, if you can moderate your sister selam a bit. She has been like a bull in a china store the last few weeks.
            .
            K.H

          • Abi

            Hi Kim
            Saay has nothing to do about his jokes and satires . It is you should train yourself to pick them up. They are all over his comments. I love them all. He is extremely gifted.

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear Teacher

            ናይ ዚ ሳልሕ ነገር ዝገርም እዩ !

            ክንዲቲ ፍሒራ ምዃኑ – ፋሕታሪ –
            ክንዲቲ ፈታሺ ምዃኑ – መርማሪ –
            ክንዲቲ መዛኒ ምዃኑ – ሰፋሪ –
            ክንዲቲ ገታር ምዃኑ – ደፋሪ –
            ጭርቃኑ በዚሑና – ኣደናጋሪ ::

            ሓደ ሰብ ከሲሱ ንገባቲ –
            ሸለል ክብል ይደሊ ንሰዓቢቲ –
            ግዳ ነቲ ስርዓት ይቀልዖ በብሓንቲ –
            ሕቶ እንተሓተትካ ይሞልቅ ብስልቲ ::

            ፍሕ ኢላ ዘረባ መትሓዚ ተሳኢኑ –
            ጎል የእትወና ላቲን ቆናኒኑ –
            እምብዛ ጎሪሑ ቃላት ተጻዒኑ –
            ሓቂ እናተዛረበ ንሓሶት ሸፊኑ::

          • Semere Andom

            Saay
            This is satire, right?

          • dawit

            Dear SAAY

            This was some thing I wrote on US-Eritrean relation few years ago. Since your topic has shifted from COI I posting it as it was written.

            In my humble opinion the problem
            with US policy to Africa in general and in particular to Eritrea, it is
            formulated by laymen who knows very little about the continent or the regions
            well. Many of them may have lived a couple of years in one corner of the
            continent or may have taken one or two courses in the so called ‘African
            Studies’ to claim as expert of a whole continent or regions. Sometimes
            diplomats are assigned because of Affirmatives actions or fulfill racial quota
            of an administration. Often such individuals may miss-educated about the
            continent’s history. Assistant Secretary
            for Africa Mrs. Jenday Frazer, US Ambassador to UN Suzan Rice and Ambassador Ronald MucMullen could be cited
            a examples. They all have only one song “Eritrea the
            Spoiler of the Horn of Africa?

            Why was the late U.S. Secretary
            of State Mr. Warren Christopher in 1996
            able to describe Eritrea as the ‘beacon of hope in the Horn of Africa’. Here is
            a another quote from Secretary
            of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld: Tuesday, December 10, 2002 “I am very pleased to be here with
            our delegation from the United States, we have in Eritrea a country that is cooperating
            in the global war on terrorism and has offered a variety of areas of assistance
            to the world wide coalition of some 90 countries. A country that has been
            forthcoming with respect to the present efforts, with respect to Iraq and the
            United Nations. …And we are personally hoping that the relationship will evolve
            and strengthen and grow in the weeks and months and years ahead”.

            The leadership in Eritrea is the
            same that was in 1996, 2002 and today but the relationship has been frozen. The relationship between Eritrea and U.S. steadily
            deteriorated from worm and good to cold and bad, and Somalia crisis escalated
            from bad to worst under their leadership of American Africa Foreign Policy in
            the region. Had they were able to do the right things of sawing the seeds of
            good friendship between the two nations instead of scattering everywhere bad
            seeds of discontents and misunderstandings, the relationship would have reached
            to a higher level. I don’t know if they personally benefited materially or
            financially from the crises they created, but for sure several people have lost
            their lives and properties and still the crises is escalating threatening the
            lives of several millions in the region, and I don’t think they served American
            interest in the region

            If there any nation that truly deserve U.S. apology because of
            misguided policy is the Eritrean Nation. U.S. sacrificed Eritrea in the Altar
            of U.N. in 1950 because of its selfish interest knowing clearly that it was not
            legally and morally right to deprive Eritrean nation its God given right of
            independence. That UN decision was the root cause of 60+ years of Eritrean
            people sorrow. U.S. and its allies supplied Haile Selassie with all the arms he
            requested, trained his brutal army and Air Force, supplied the napalm bombs to
            crash Eritrean rights for national independence. U.S. witnessed when
            Eritrean mothers being raped, children being slaughtered and Eritrean sent to
            prison by thousands right in their presence at their military bases. And how
            did Eritrean respond to all the crimes they suffered? Eritrean cooked their
            meal, they shined their shoes, they washed and iron their clothes, they tender
            their gardens, never insulted or shout on them ‘Yankees Go Home!’ or killed
            them and drug their bodies in the streets of Asmara. And when Eritrea achieved
            its God given right of Independence after 30 years of sacrifices of bloodshed,
            U,S. turned again against Eritreans, shutting their consular services
            forcing Eritreans to leave their country to request visa to travel to U.S. in
            Nairobi, Addis or Cairo, Israel etc. and on their way to these visa
            centers they became as victims of Human Traffickers. U.S. Imposed
            repeated UN sanctions based on fabricated lies, instead of upholding the rule
            of international law for which it was a signatory as a guarantor of a treaty.
            There was no need all these punishment from a super power against a small
            peaceful country. The Eritrean people truly thrust in God, that observes everything
            from above protect their country. God has created Eritrea for purpose to be
            conscious of this world. All nations who have wronged the blameless Eritrea,
            should repent and ask forgiveness from God, because is watching over
            Eritrea, protecting her against all enemies from far or near.

            God Bless all nations!

          • saay7

            Selamat Cousin Dawitom:

            Well, I read this when your first posted it and…

            1. The US wronging Eritrea — join the club. If you read Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States” it is all about how the US wrong Americans. Beginning with Native Americans. Then there is the incredibly persuasive Ta-Nahisi calling for US paying reparations to African Americans. And that’s just WITHIN the United States. Add to that what happened OUTSIDE the United States (Cuba, Somalia, Vietnam, Iraq) not to mention the nuking of Japan…I don’t know if what the US did in Eritrea even rises to the Top 100 wrongs that were committed.

            2. If the United States did not want Eritrea to be a UN-recognized indpedent state, it would not have happened. It was not the rightness of our cause that got us recognized, it was not our perseverance. It was, for a brief moment in history, we had enlightened leadership which said all the right things and knew how to navigate in the corridors of power.

            3. When you say “the leadership in Eritrea is the same as it was in 1996…” well, come on, Dawitom. In 1996, Eritrea was drafting a constitution. It had press proclamation. It had only been in one war where all the evidence seemed to suggest it was the one showing restraints whereas the other side wasn’t. It was talking about the threat of Islamic fundamentalism (earning it the “frontline state” title). It was signing conventions—even conventions like the Rome statute. It was talking about a liberal macro-economic policy. Eritrea was talking that it strongly supports the presence of the US in Africa; the president said, “I hate to sound like a colonialist but US power in the region is a necessity.” (I am paraphrasing: exact quote available upon request.) These are all seen as “naieve” by president Isaias Afwerki who, in explaining why he was ditching the constitution, said that “we have learned a lot in the past 15 years.”

            4. There is one area I agree with Browyn Bruton: she said that key to restoration of Eritrea-US relationship is dependent on the case of the two Eritrean employees of the US embassy who had been made to disappear. Let’s do them the honor of mentioning their names because they are real people with real families: Ali Alamin and Kiflom Gebremichael. She then made the mistake of equating the US and Eritrean positions as stubbornness implying that the US could just postpone raising their case until it normalizes relationship with Eritrea. This is where organizations like Organization of Eritrean Americans show themselves to be unfit for their name: they should tell Eritrea to charge and/or release the two individuals. Then they would be relevant to the US. Now they are not because they are just mouthpieces of the government.

            5. Remember, before Eritrea was sanctioned, the US made many efforts to engage…it even had Sec of State Hillary Clinton trying to call Isaias Afwerki. It had Johnnie Carson denied a visa to come to Eritrea. Why? Because Eritrea wanted the “guarantors” of EEBC, the US and the UN, to live up to their terms. That is, Eritrea has given its pre-conditions for restoration of the relationship. And when the other party says I can’t deliver on your precondition, you can’t then say, “why does this country hate me?”

            6. No comment on God’s intent for Eritrea. All I know is that Eritrea is now, thanks to Isaias Afwerki, what Ethiopia was thanks to Mengistu Hailemariam: a country to be pitied. Just like Mengistu reduced Ethiopia to a poster child for famine-stricken people, Isaias has reduced Eritrea to a poster child for refugees-without-war.

            saay

          • Ted

            Dear Saay,

            I respectfully request you take this back.
            “2. In 1993, if the United States did not want Eritrea to be a UN-recognized indpedent state, it would not have happened. It was not the rightness of our cause that got us recognized, it was not our perseverance. It was, for a brief moment in history, we had enlightened leadership which said all the right things and knew how to navigate in the corridors of power. That’s not malice; it is just called politics.”

            Do you see why the Ethiopia (dergu) and EPLF talk failed when EPLF demanded UN to be the observer. US (Jimmy Carter) refused because US believes the Eritrean question is Ethiopian affair. After many tries to nib in the bud, we got our independence. What had changed then and right after independence: they had no choice but to accept it. It is not they wanted it but there were no matching Ethiopia force to challenge the course of Eritrean aspiration. If it were up to politics we would been still in Nakfa or EPLF dispersed for good.We got our independence with our blood and sweat against all political and militarily odds.Of course it a matter of convenience for some to ignore the unfavorable US policy towards Eritrea with the current “Eritrean refuge crisis” and it is also easy to understand why people are willing to support the Gov of Eritrea or defend their country.

            1)It doesn’t make it right Eritreans to accept US’s policy because US has a Chequered past with all countries from slavery ,Japan to LIbya. We have our grievances and have the right and is a must to challenge the wrongdoers..

          • saay7

            Selamat Ted:

            I am aware of the Carter talks in Atlanta…I use it as an example of Derg’s intransigence and to dismiss the claim that Eritreans only wanted to shoot guns and they had no clear goals or alternatives. We were willing to accept an internationally supervised referendum as early as 1980 and as late as 1990. That is, we so believed in our cause that we were willing to allow a Derg-administered Eritrea run a referendum so long as there was UN supervision. But my larger point was that in 1993 if Ethiopia and the US had, for whatever the reason, chosen (and people make wrong choices all the time) to frustrate our desire to be an independent UN-recognized state, we wouldn’t have been. This required politicking: there was nothing magical about the timing–two years after 1991–other than that it was considered politically palatable to Ethiopia, to the US. In other words, Eritrean politicians negotiated a date. They practiced prudent politics. Now all we have is protest politics, it is the politics of “We Are The 99%”–no impact on the corridors of power, but a lot of feel-good “asmiEnayom.” And that goes double for the demonstration the PFDJ organized in Geneva just yesterday: no impact, just “asmiEnayom.”

            In that vein, nobody is asking anyone to support US policy in the world, or as you put it, its “chequered past.” I am asking the same thing I ask of our opposition: what is the plan. I asked Dawit that if the entire PFDJ policy is predicated on waiting for the US to change its policy, what is it doing to affect that? Which administration is it hoping will come to power in the US? It appears a “Waiting For Godot” excercise.

            Incidentally, some brainy young Eritreans have translated “Waiting for Godot” into Tigrinya. It’s called “t’tsbit Godo” and it is mind blowing. I am finding an occasion to share it. Is this the right one? 🙂

            saay

          • Ted

            Hi Saay, politics has no role in the set up of referendum nor US’s good will. Eritrea had all the cards to call a shot at the time. If US were to deny Eritreans, Ethiopia had to agreed with it. Ethiopia were not in a position to oppose Eritrea at that point and i am sure they contemplated it but US and Ethiopia knew the damage it might cause not for Eritrea but to the unstable Ethiopia itself. It was catch 22 situation for US.

          • Abi

            Hi Ted
            You conviniently forgot the crucial role played by the all time great PMMZ. I have to admit I was mad at him at that time.
            It takes a genius to show the door to millions of brave people and tell them to close the door behind them.
            Unmatched genius !!
            He should have been winner of the Nobel peace prize of the century.

          • Ted

            Hi, Abi, I will give you that, for nothing, but to win 100% election from the grave.

          • Abi

            Ted
            Trust me on this. He will win the next one and the next and the next and…..
            Some are immortal !!!!!!!
            I didn’t say his party. I said him.
            When a mother in a rural ethiopia use electricity to cook, he is alive. When a kid from a rural ethiopia goes to college which is nearby, Meles is alive. When a mother in rural ethiopia give birth at nearby hospital, Meles is born again.
            Meles will be born again and again and again everyday, everywhere.

          • dawit

            Hi Abi
            Do you think EPRDF win extended to 110% if PMMZ was alive?

          • Abi

            Hi mezmure dawit
            110% ? It is an insult. Try 1000%. He can easily win eritrea 110%.

          • selam

            Dear Abi
            I have no idea how far yiu will go and tell us lies about this idiot leader. He is a criminal , ask the oromos and Amharas, forget the crime he committed over Eritreans.

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam selam,
            .
            You must be hanging out with the wrong crowd; lately you have been wrong 98% of the time.
            .
            Since you asked, I am Amhara. Yes I love and respect Meles. We were lucky to have him as our leader. The renaissance of Ethiopia. I think you are just jealous, admit it, wished he was your leader.
            .
            K.H

          • selam

            Dear kim
            oh 98% , how do you arrive to that number , i mean counting. Which number divided by what? I think you way way down to the reality, come on kim, you do not need to be . He is an idiot serial killer human being. Let him burn . How is the hunting trip of weyane , they aleady killed 8 .

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear Selam,
            one painful truth, If PIA stay another thousand years, he will not accomplish what Meles had done in his Short life. Now, if PIA dies I will never label him anything like Idiot. that is not Eritrean culture. I thought you lost your religion only but it seems you are not cultured too.

          • selam

            Dear k.s
            who called you to guard this heinous human being. Let him burn even after his death. I do not lose my religion , i throw it out from my mind. What is good about nonexistence. Second , what is good cultured for you may be not good for me. I am going to call DIA a heinous killer human being and i will breath fresh air as i speak .stop being this old priest or shiek , it is old time you are thinking. What will you say if human being are manufactured in factory designed for use of the good behavior of human being.

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear Selam,

            “who called you to guard this heinous human being.” I have got a certificate to guard every weak and dead human from fro the Almighty . your don’t, because you don’t believe in God.

            “what is good cultured for you may be not good for me.” ask your parents they will confirm you we have common culture of respecting the dead souls including enemies of on earth.

            “What will you say if human being are manufactured in factory designed for use of the good behavior of human being.” I only know human beings are created by God but they have free will to chose the devil way like PFDJ.

          • ‘Gheteb

            Selam Haile,

            I said that Isaias’s understanding of the deeper underpinnings of US’s geostrategic imperatives in the Horn Region, HTG. The operative word here is ‘deeper’ here.

            Yeah, I don’t think that unless someone was a clairvoyant or seer in those years, I mean a real Tenqualy, no one can claim that s/he knew what the real policies of America ‘are’ vis-à-vis Eritrea. So, no need for anyone to try to reconcile what one knew then with what is known now.

            As in most things in life, it was a matter of trial and error like in that Tigrigna sententia that goes like:

            ” ኢድካ ኣብ ቀላይ ምለሶ: አንተረኸብካ ዓሳ ተውትጸእ አንተዘይረኽብካ ኢድካ ተሓጽብካ ትወጽእ::”

            That was pretty much the sad reality about the Eritrean learning curve in issues that dealt with international relations and diplomacy.

    • tes

      Dear haile TG,

      You once asked me if I will join Geneva demo on 26.06. I would like to update you. I will be tthere with my folks from France. I hope I will see you there. And any other awatista, hope to meet you in this demo that will blow PFDJ for ever.

      tes

      • Kokhob Selam

        Dear tes,
        I am sure you will do good job as you have done earlier. Please, don’t forget to write your say in this famous most loved site about that historical day. take care.

        KS

        • tes

          Dear KS,

          For sure I will.

          tes

      • teweldino

        Hi Tes,

        The two percents had their day. The ninety eight percents will represent the 98% of Eritrea on the 26th. Hope to see you with your “We Are the 98 %”placard in Geneva!

        • Saleh Johar

          Teweldino,

          Brilliant statement. 2% are done with their qolle colors now it time for the 98%.

        • Kokhob Selam

          DEAR FRIEND

          …… ፱፰ > ፪ …….

          መን ይበዝሕ ውጹዕ ዶ ወጻዒ –
          መን ይበዝሕ ሓፋሽ ዶ በላዒ –
          መን ይበዝሕ ሕዙን ዶ ሳዕሳዒ –
          ምን ይበዝሕ እሙን ዶ ከደዒ::

          ……….. ጀኔቫ ውን ተመስክሮ ባዕላ –
          ……….. ዓለም ብዓለማ ትፍለጦ ብኹላ –
          ……….. ጃንዳ ህግደፍ ደጊም ነይሓልፈላ –
          ……….. ሃየ ንበግሰ ዋይ ዋይ ከነብላ ::

          ምእንቲ ክስማዕ ድምጺ ናይ ታ ወላዲት –
          … ኣብ ሓዘን ትነብር ኣደ ቶም ሰማእታት –
          ምእንቲ ክስማዕ ድምጺ ናይ ህጻናት –
          … ወለዶም ዝስኣኑ ዝኾኑ ዘኽታማት::

          ምእንቲ ክስማእ ድምጺ መንእሰያት –
          …ቀለብ ማእከላይ ባሕሪ ሽሻይ ቶም ዓሳታት –
          ኮታ እኩብ ድምር ናይ ኩሉ በደላት –
          ….ኮታ እኩብ ድምር ናይ ነዊሕ ዓመታት :
          ክልተ ካብ ሚእቲ ቁንጣሮ እኩባት –
          … ተዓቢሎም ይጥፍኡ ብብዝሒ ዕውታት ::

          KS

          • teweldino

            ንሕና ‘ና እቶም 98 %

            እወ’ቶም ሰራሕተኛታት ፤ ምስ ሓስረቶት መሬት
            እወ’ቶም ተመሃሮ ፤ ምስ ነዳቆ ወ መሃንድሳት
            እወ’ቶም መምሃራን ፤ ምስ ኣፍረይቲ ጥሪት ናይ መታሕት

            እወ’ቶም ወለዲ ፤ ኣቦሓጎታት ማይቤት
            እወ’ቶም ውሉዳት ፤ ኯንና ዘለና ናይ ህሉዋት ዘኽታማት

            ፩ ካብ ሓምሳ፥ ኣይ ስፍሪን!
            ፪ ካብ ሚእቲ ኣይውኩሉናን

            ነቶም ሸወዓተ ሸወዓተታት
            ዝላደንና ብባርነት
            ገባራት ተስዓን ሸሞንተን ፐርሰንት

        • tes

          Dear teweldino,

          Even their 2% payers has shrunk. In Swiss, there are more than 20,000 Eritreans. If PFDJ had 10% there, today we could have seen 2000 people in mimimum. But what we are watching is just couple of hunderds. and all these came from whole Europe.

          No more 2%. They are hiding from the camera.

          See you there teweldino. We will rock swiss through voice of justice.

          tes

    • selam

      Dear Haile TG
      it is irony DIA do not get to understand the game. In 2002 he has more supporters than today. 23 million is just a huge money comparing to 250,000 which can be annual expenses of Hagos kisha. About the drought well Ethiopia was on the mercy of international organization too. 12 million people were on the verge of death. But who cares about weyane money , after all the money is aid money , while PFDJ money is our money.it is sick . DIA should have done another thing instead of spending this much money.

      • haileTG

        Dear Selam, it is actually 23 thousand 224 dollars, less than a tenth of PFDJ’s expense! That just makes the PFDJ the butt of all jokes:)

        • selam

          Dear haile
          sorry , i read it wrongly. Where is this a cheap market do they go. I thought it was in millions. DIA has to sell Eritrea to koch brothers i guess, can you imagine how they would nock dawn any wall.

  • Nitricc

    Hi people of awate; when the white people are trying screw my country and i am happy the Ethiopians showing my country and people some love. okay; i am on.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=531&v=QjZ2VB5ADNE

    • destaa

      Hi Nitricc
      I think Jacky is wrong to copy music. In my view, this is the third time. One from Ethiopian and two Eritrean songs. And with out asking permission. He latter apologized the Ethiopian. The Abraham Afewerki foundation is very angry and they will sue him. In my view, he is doing it to attract the huge Eritrean diaspora for his concert. but it seems he is angering them. And I liked his remix but he needs to be legal and have his own work. I also know now that Abraham Afewerki had Meley song. I did not know before.

      Anyways, he is doing it for money and I don’t believe that he will get respect from both countries who are politically sensitive in both countries. Probably he will be liked by those not sensitive in politics and they are the ones who will go to concerts.

    • selam

      Dear Nitricc
      This person so called jossy is a born cheater and he as well as his colleagues doing a great damage to Eritrean songs for no reason than to dimish Eritrean calture . Here are the lists i know are cheaters .
      1.Sami Yaynu cheated Abrham Afewerki semai
      2.Mesgina G/michael cheated Osman Abdelrahim fikri Ewur
      3. Selemawit Gebru cheated Yohannes Tikabo Gu’e Leminey
      4.Issac kidanemariam cheated Yemane Baria zinafkeki fikrey

      The list goes on and this can’t be just for money or making remix of music . Their fathers and grand fathers has done grand thefts yet again their sons and daughters are doing it again.

  • selam

    Dear All
    Fresh election in Ethiopia is going on just as we speak. Can mr. Semere Andom, Amanuel hidrat say any thing about their model . Here is 1% of the news around. Weyane is kiiling their oppennets not with vote but with bullets.
    http://tigrigna.voanews.com/content/arena-tigray-member-killed-by-unidentified-people-in-norht-west-ethiopa/2828020.html , lets see if obama try to answer questions about such news.

  • tes

    Dear Saay7,

    Should I say just thank you? You did a marvellous job. For more comments, I will join the folks soon.

    tes

    • saay7

      Hey Tes:

      I am looking for your Newtonian article.we will have things we disagree upon later when I go for Kaizen (Japanese for gradual evolutionary change) and u go for weed-out. For now all eyes on the testimonies of our compatriots

      Here’s all about Kaizen. Bring your Newtonian knife

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaizen

      Saay

      • tes

        Saay7,

        Newtonian? I wish it will be.

        On our difference: What I am always afraid is not to an have idea to talk about. We are talking on ideas saay7 and I always appreciate that. Eventhough I wished you were not for what you advocate for, I see the positive impact produced for having such difference.

        Dear saay7, I can simply conclude this way: “If AT had the same line of thinking, we could have missed to have such a wonderful website.”

        Therefore, it is for good but we need to take the positive degree finally. That is what it matters.

        tes

        • Kokhob Selam

          Dear tes,

          እወ ተስፋ !! ኣብ ‘ ቲ እትሰማማዓሉ ጸኒዕካ ምስራሕ : ነቲ ዘይትሰማማዓሉ ይዕብልሎ እዩ::

  • Hayat Adem

    Hi Gheteb and Friends,
    4 months ago, one person was asking this:
    ” Now, please I want you to take a hard look at the problems of those opposing the Eritrean regime
    led by the tyrant Mr. Afeworki and suggest what needs and must be done?”

    4 months later and for the most part of the times in between, this person has been saying this:
    “Whether we like it or not, whether we want to deny it or not, the PFDJ has proven to be a relentlessly nationalistic organization with a very lengthy resume in that department and, in contrast, all those anti-PFDJ groups’ track record miserably pales in comparison to that of the PFDJ.”

    How is that possible! Is 4 months enough for 180 degree view transformation? Maybe. But what did PFDJ did in the last 4 months to win back one voice from among the opposition? Nothing unless more stupidity counts for earning a support. Or, was the early feeds not honest and was only meant to look like unpfdjite?

    You could easily mistake him for Nitricc or hope but nope, this person is Gheteb. He’s now shelved the UN Report and makes himself busy chasing Dan, whose only sin is that he is angry due to the wrong turn of events in Eritrea. What did he do to you? he is not the one who is chasing out the 5000/month. You heckled a professor talking to his students and you want us to chant “hero”? Noisy desperation! We saw that Rahel and Filmon doing it on Saleh and Sheila. Things come down to that, disruption talks and nothing else.

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Hayatom,

      When he lost the debate to you and Haile-TG he found a refugee in the PFDJ camp. He has nothing to show on, either of an intelligent mind to debate or an empathetic heart to feel the pain of our youths’ anguish. He is from the individualistic mind section of our elites there, to serve the alien culture of PFDJ and the resisting residual militaristic culture of ghedli. Hayat, you aptly cited the contrarian mind of the man and his arrogance.

      regards,
      Amanuel Hidrat

    • ‘Gheteb

      Hi HA,

      You Say:

      “You heckled a professor talking to his students and you want us to chant “hero”?”

      Those were not “his students”. It wasn’t like he was teaching a class in that university. He was an invited guest speaker, I mean a political speaker.

      For obvious reasons, I won’t respond in kind to all of your outlandishly suppositious renditions and denigrations about me. So, enjoy this grace period, this month, while it lasts to complete your campaigns against ‘Gheteb.

      • selam

        Dear Gheteb
        why do not you ask her about her beloved ethiopian democracy is doing to the opposition. Of course she will run miles not to respond. She will bring any reason to not mention the murderous weyane government. Until now 8 opposition leaders of zone or even elected in the election get murdered on day light , hi am i breaking the rules for bringing this issue to awate forumers ? When is the crime of weyane to be exposed by people who advocate for justice ? Owww neger zey xegebes gual wata ehxe ,

        • ‘Gheteb

          Dearest Selam,

          Thank you for bringing the issue of the Ethiopian opposition leaders who are being killed one after another in Ethiopia. I have been following the issue, not because I care about what happens in Ethiopia more than what is going on back home in Eritrea, but because most of what we are facing in Eritrea can be traced back to Ethiopia.

          Yes, they want to convince us that Ethiopia has not only become the mecca or the hub of their (those opposing the PFDJ) inspiration, but actually everything in Ethiopia is so rosily good that we have to buy to this foolish notion that Ethiopia has indeed become “the Earthly Eden Of The Horn Of Africa”.

          I guess someone has to remind them that their Weyane has been on a killing spree of the opposition leaders in Ethiopia.

      • Hayat Adem

        Hi Gheteb,
        The speaker is a university professor; the audience is mainly from a student body; the venue is in a university campus.
        Now Pfdjites can upgrade their disruptive acts against sheikhs and abunas in mosques and churches. And then brag about it and proudly paste it for everyone in the internet. Way to go, brother.

    • Haile WM

      hey Hayat,

      apply the Duck test to every PFDJ stooge and foot soldier 😀

      “If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.”

      all you have to do now is replace the “duck” with “PFDJ”

      cheers

  • ‘Gheteb

    Greetings All,

    A Breviloquent Something For All And A Special Something For Cuz Semere Andom

    https://youtu.be/UUH1xyQ5lBA

    • Pass the salt

      Gheteb,
      This is just disruption, the hallmark of the PFDJ. Those who shout at Dan, interrupt him and telling him he is lying, why do they become dead rats at PFDJ meetings in the face of repeated and offensive lies by the regime? Where does the “courage” they show in the clip disappear too? Is this just the case of betrey habuni zeHmqho aleni, or is it deeper than that in this corruption-infested system?

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Selam Pass the Salt,

        This video clearly shows how our decent culture is eroded and is overtaken by the “skunis culture” of PFDJ. They are programmed not to listen but to disrupt. My real concern is: even after the demise of the regime, how difficult will it be for our young generation to deculturize the deep rooted alien culture of ghedli and PFDJ. Imagine if these PFDJ-lots can do with foreigners like this, what will they do if they are brought in a debate hall with the justice seekers. They will go for fist fighting like street boys. Eritrean culture is completely changed for bad – to a culture of war and fighting as oppose to a culture of enlightenment, peace, mutual respect, good heart, and empathy. Gone are those days of Eritrean culture vividly exhibits by the ruling regime and the cultural attitudes we are witnessing. In fact we have to write articles and essays how tackle against this culture and prepare our young generation as we go forwards.

        Regards,
        Amanuel Hidrat

    • HayaT1

      Dear Gheteb and al,
      One of the sustained flawed claims HGDF and its goons are deliberately concoct and display at all political settings in order to justify their current crude practices is the imagined direct association they create between HGDF and Woyane. However,the Eritreans struggle for freedom predated Woyane, and once Eritrean sovereignty is real, the wants of the people of Eritrea is freedom and justices and all socio-governing rights free people are deserve.
      The efficacy of HGDF’s monotonous Woyane diatribeto validate its vile practices is has now thinned. HGDF knows very well the egregious crimes it has committed upon many patriotic Eritreans and the liability it brings to some of the protagonist. The unabated crimes Eritreans are facing did not come up in the past decade but something that had deep roots and practiced during the time of the struggle. HGDF and its moles are privy many old combatants with
      direct knowledge of the wrongs are now talking and writing. So the only available seepage for HGDF to hold into power is to play the same old adages. And there are gullible Eritreans that have been mis-Educated (indoctrinated) by the cult to simply accept and obey HGDF’s insipid axioms.
      HGDF knows G15’s imprisonment is a serious crime, against any norm but any other choice is even worse. He knows if they are free and have the access to communicate with the people, the outcomes is serious to the tyrant. Because of that fear, the best venue for HGDF is to simply let the brave Eritreans rot in prison until they die.
      Any journalist, human right activist or any person with critical mind who questions HGDF’s practices is lambasted as Woyane, Ethiopia, CIA or just anything.

    • Semere Andom

      Dear Cuz Gheteb
      This was when the gagster of PFDJ showed their hooliganism again. And the guy who is yelling ” this is a lie” was asked how was business this year by a justice seekers, the gangster knew what the justice seeker was alluding to, it was organ trafficking and he has since disappeared, but not by government of Canada but by fear of being exposed of his business dealing in organ trafficking, he willingly disappeared since then.
      This is not a challenge to Dan Connel, it was PFDJ gangster show casing their gagster streak
      Also one of the gangster was the son of Araya Desta and he was told that, it is OK, please join us after your dad is frozen or disappeared and we will speak on his behalf too, ask cousin Sal because this event was live to him. You were not invited:-) They gangster of Toronto, a chapter of the gangster ruling Eritrea and an atom of the world wide human trafficking network were organized to disturb the event, but Dan made his point and the organ trafficking and refugees of Eritrea has been validated by the recent report. For you to link it here now is good for the justice seekers, since your glass is tainted and your have sipped enough Kool-aid, it may seem as if the gangsters lodged a successful challenge.They did not. Like in any event for the last 12 years they have proved to the word their propensity for crimes, their knack for gangster mentality and their bullying and intimidation tactics.
      While Sal attended life, your truly, your beloved cuz Sem was there

      • saay7

        Hey Cousin iSem:

        Do you think Cousin Gheteb just discovered this or did he think it was some sort of rebuttal? Cousin Gheteb, to quote Samuel L Jackson ” I’m sorry, did I break your concentration? I didn’t mean to do that. Please, continue, you were saying something about best intentions. What’s the matter? Oh, you were finished! Well, allow me to retort.”

        What does Dan Connell look like?:)

        While you are watching an ancient video, Dan Connell is out right now, interviewing Eritrean refugees. Imagine a book that has all the facts that the CoI has, except that it will be narrated by a skilled narrator. With emotions, and names and pictures. Yeah, that’s whats coming, Cousin. It is “Against All Odds Reloaded.”

        And by the time you are responding to that (a year later:), there will be something else. It is the strategy of bleeding Isaias Afwerki and all Isaiasists by paper cuts.

        I was reading the reply the Ministry of Foreign Affairs published (I hope the Minister of Foreign Affairs saw it before I did) and it boils down to: our foreigners are more credible than your foreigners. The Government of Eritrea is arguing that Norwegian right-wingers with a vested interested in keeping their country clean from Africans, who came to Eritrea and interviewed 5 individuals (3 Asmara-based diplomats, one author, and one NGO employee: and Eritrea being so tiny we know who the author is, and who the NGO employee is) are more credible than 500 plus Eritreans. Really? This is self-reliance?

        saay

        PS: Nitricc, if you think that the opposition is so toothless you might want to read the CoI report in its entirety. A lot of the interrogation questions are asking people how and when they saw the Opposition. The Isaias regime, notwithstanding its superficial position that it doesn’t care about the toothless opposition, is obsessed with it: did you attend their meeting? are you their agent? Did you sneak pictures to awate and assenna?

      • saay7

        Selamat Cousin Gheteb:

        Here’s more gist for the mill. I just know you are going to find lots of fish in this pond to make your case:

        http://www.channel4.com/news/migrant-crisis-from-eritrea-across-europe-by-rail

        saay

        • ‘Gheteb

          Ahlan my dear Cousin SAAY,

          As I write this short reply, I have not opened the link. But let me hazard a guess here. I think it is about some refugees who claim to be Eritreans who can ONLY speak Amharic. Is my guess in the ballpark?

          Did you mean “grist for the mill”. This is the third time you are using “gist for the mill”. I thought it was a typo at first, but I guess, cuz SAAY may need a reminder here even at the risk of being perceived that I am being awfully captious.

          I never thought that you were going to end up writing a treatise or something akin to a tome for a summary of the COI report. Those incurably indolent sorts like your cousin ‘Gheteb were looking for a Cliff’s Note type of a summary. A Readers Digest version would have been even better for a summary.

          Ramadan Kereem

          • saay7

            Hala cousin Gheteb:

            Thanks for the correction! Yes, grist for the mill, Hasser for the Hawi, oil for the engine etc.

            Yeah in th video we have a woman named Natsnet and her young family migrating from Libya to Italy to Austria to Germany to Finland; there are people waiting in Libya and one of them speaks Amharic.

            So my guess is you will focus on the dude speaking Amharic, you will focus on an Eritrean basically shopping for the best asylum offer but you won’t focus about how a woman named Freedom is exiled from a land with no freedom

            saay

          • Kokhob Selam

            Ya Hala Saay100,

            ሽም ምረጹ ኮይኑ ናጽነት ተባሂላ –
            ወሊዳ ዘይኸበረት ዘይሓቆፈት ባዕላ-
            ነዲሓ ትድርቢ ተተወልደ ናጽላ –
            ሽማ ቀይራቶ ናብ ባርነት ባዕላ ::

            ክብረተ – ውሻ ሕስረት ዝመረጸት :-
            ዓቢ ምስ ንኡሽቶ ፍጹም ምስ ኸሰረት :-
            ሓቂ ሓኒቃታ ኣጉላጉል ተረፈት :-
            ዓለም ፈንፊናታ ኣብ ፍርዲ ቀረበት ::

            ናጽነት ግን ንሳ መዓስ ነይራ –
            ስረቃቶ እምበር ብሓይሊ ብበትራ –
            ናጽነት ሲ ሽም ናይ ሓበራ –
            ምልኪ ናይ ቲ ውጽዕ -ናይ ህዝቢ ኤርትራ::

          • Semere Andom

            ተመነይቱ ኢና ከም ዓለምና
            ንሂወት ንሞተላ
            ንጽጋብ ንጠምየላ
            ንምስተርሆት ንሃልከላ

            ተመኒቲ እና ክም ሰብና
            ነጻነት ንብሎም ንውሉድና
            ንሳ ንመሮር ስልዘውጽ አትና
            ሓርነት ንድግሞም ነታ ባህግና

            ስምረት ንብሎም ሓስብ ልብና ክሰምር
            ዓወት ንስልሰም መታን አብ ልብና ክሓድር

            ግን ሽምና አይመርሕ
            ጥዋፍና ኣየብርህ

          • Semere Andom

            Hi Saleh:
            Natsenat, Simret, Awet are all peers, expressing the aspirations of the people for freedom, then for unity and then for victory in that order. As you may know I pay attention to Eritrea names:-)
            Now cousin dawit and also Gheteb want to endlessly blame UN for their part in the federation when at that time those Eritreans who voted overwhelmingly for unity were naming their kids, Aganesh,Belainesh, Merachew, Getachew, Shewaynesh, Shewangizaw, , Ethiopia, Semainesh and yes even Hibret. Then when they changed their mind, they started naming their kids Natsanet and Hadnet.
            In other words as you wondered why Eritreans rage against the UN when they could not make up their minds, if Eritrea got its independence instead of federation and we fought each other, I can imagine dawit saying it was UN’s fault because they gave us independence while they full know that almost 50% did not want it

          • dawit

            ‘Cousin’ Sem,

            First let me congratulate you for writing a comment without coloring it with filthy language.

            Second, ‘cousin’ Sem’ being an advocate of Eritrean occupation by Ethiopia, and still supporter of the occupation of Eritrea, you have shallow and distorted knowledge of the true Eritrea. You are recycling Haile Selassie;s and Dergi versions of history designed to brainwash Ethiopians public and confuse the rest of the world for the last half a century responsible for the destruction of the Horn of Africa..

            Third about UN role in Eritrea. At the end of WWII UN was setup by the victorious powers of the war., it set up Decolonization Committee right after it was formed, and Eritrea was the first ex-Italian colony (first Italian Colony in Africa) applicant for independence to the Decolonization Committee.. The idea of Eritrean unity with Ethiopia came with British conspiracy to sabotage Eritrean wishes for independence to keep it all or part of it as its new colony , and Italy’s wished to regain its Eritrean colony which she lost to Britain or Allied Forces.. When Eritreans were engage with battle the two Eritrean colonial powers, Instead of standing with Eritreans for their independence struggle Ethiopia sent shiftas to intimidate the people and dived them on religious grounds, and used Eritrean Orthodox Bishop Abune Markos use bribery to create fake Eritrean demand for ‘Unity’.. So the UN instead of straight granting independence as part of its decolonization it entertained Re-Colonization of Eritrea with a fake ‘Federation’ and that took forty years of war and countless sacrifices and destructions, and Eritrea still working to recover from. .The UN should have entertain only independence of Eritreans as part of its mandate and should have left the unity or division to Eritreans to decide, just like Tanganyika and Zanzibar who formed a federation of Tanzania or the case of British and Italian Somaliland after each got their independence to form the Republic of Somalia. Similarly British India, broke itself into India and Pakistan after independence.
            The sad UN decision plunged Ethiopia and Eritrea into unwinnable war, that destroyed its economy of both nations. One does not need to refer to last century to discover the unfair treatment of UN to Eritrea. This century it has allowed Eritrean territory to be occupied by Ethiopia, while it sanctioned Eritrea with fake and fabricated charges of Djibouti and Ethiopia while their troops are creating havocs in Somalia.

            The irony of all the UN drama, Ethiopia which boasts to be the first African nation with ‘3000 years of independence’ remains the last colony in Africa, in the 21st Century!. Ethiopia acted as slave of European colonial powers in 19th. century beginning with King Yohannis, followed by Menelik, The Haile Selassie and Mengistu in 20th. Century and by Meles in this century.

            Sem you need to learn your history, just being born in Eritrea is not enough know the true history of Eritrea, otherwise you will remain a parrot, repeating words and phrases some one want you to repeat, without knowing the true meaning or objectives behind the distortions of evil people.
            Cheers .

          • Peace!

            Dear Dawiton

            Although I disagree with you on many issues, I thought this article makes a sound sense as to what extent we ought to compromise, if we have to, to solve our problems with respect to soverignty of the nation and rejecting western neo-liberalisim. Here is the link, enjoy!

            http://www.globalresearch.ca/eritrea-human-rights-and-neocolonial-propaganda/5457076

            Regards

          • dawit

            Dear Peace!
            Thanks for the link to the article. You are right we may disagree in many issues, that is natural among citizens of any country. There is disagreements among different members of a single family including as the menus of the breakfast. But those petty differences should not lead to the breakup of the family. We can disagree in many issues as long as we agree in maintaining Eritrean independence fighting both internal and external enemies of our Eritrea that so many precious lives were paid by many generations to achieve.
            Regards
            dawit

    • tes

      Dear Ghtebino,

      You are now so funny. Just funny.

      tes

      • Bayan Nagash

        Anta Gheteb – selam’mmo Qddm,

        Civilized conversation is not in srAt Hgdef loyalists’ parlance. What srAt Hgdef supporters are reduced to is this: Be disruptive at any cost, much as what we had seen recently with those two kids from the Amen Corner in the Aljazeera clip. and you are showing us this as something positive – zgerrm eyu.

        Tes, this is beyond funny. This is just sheer hilarity at its absurd heights.

        • ‘Gheteb

          Ahlan Bayan,
          Leaving aside the sanctimonious hot-air preaching about “civilized conversation” that is flippantly bandied by those who are futilely trying to parry the main issue here, allow me to point out the two leitmotifs that were brought to a contrasting relief in that open forum:
          (1) The mendacious claim by Mr. Connell that anyone who doesn’t pay the 2% diaspora tax will be arrested if s/he were to visit Eritrea.
          Just like on the Aljazeera debate, those who didn’t win the debate are trying mightily to mitigate that very loss by bringing inappositely extraneous issues such as decorum and civility. This is a case of wagging the dog, big time.
          One can easily and sententiously dogmatize about the lack and dearth of decorum by this or that group. As I said before, that is the easiest and the cheapest route, but that is akin to ignoring the elephant in the room. I mean, the two leitmotifs that are mentioned above.
          Just like on the Aljazeera debate, those who didn’t win the debate are trying mightily to mitigate that very loss by bringing inappositely extraneous issues such as decorum and civility. This is a case of wagging the dog, big time.

          • Bayan Nagash

            Kbur Gheteb,

            So, let me understand your claim here.

            That winning the “debate’ for you is coordinated efforts at interrupting individuals incessantly from making their points. That’s the fundamental error I see your side inadvertently or not committing by prepping these blind loyalists to your version of a “debate”, as it were, nothing more than to bark at the wrong tree leave alone the wagging its tail, your puppets seems to not know where to locate their head from their tail; and their counterpart erroneously think that they are coming to have a conversation, a dialogue, a discourse, if you will, in hopes of reaching some sort of higher understanding, where the heart of the problem is identified. So, the inability to distinguish between these categories is making it difficult to even begin to talk about issues.

            That seems to me is what your ideas suffer from as you are coming into
            this space to win at any cost when others are trying to show you their viewpoint. That being the the prism with which I conceive your writings in this space, I shouldn’t expect straight answers from you Gheteb as I have been reading you and others who are trying to talk sensibly while you seem to be too preoccupied in having the last word, because your frame of mind is to debate.

            So, let me give it a jab or a stab, if you will, to see if it is at all possible to have a conversation, not a debate, to have a dialogue, not a debate, to discourse, not a debate – hope this sets a distinct tone to see if you can bring yourself to do that. I have zero interest in debating; debating society would suffice if there is interest in that arena.

            1. Do you, in your heart of heart, believe srAt Hgdef still possesses the moral compass or the moral imperative to lead the nation anymore?

            2. Do you, Gheteb, think srAt Hgdef has the political acumen to lead the nation, considering the disastrous trajectory that it has been taking the nation in the last 17 years? (Please do not try to refute this by giving me the notion or the circumstance of the opposition, that’s not the question, the question is solely on srAt Hgdef’s competency.)

            3. Do you soundly sleep every night knowing fully well that Eritrea is in good hands with srAt Hgdef. In other words, if you were to be in your deathbed tonight (God forbid), you would absolutely be serene in
            knowing your country has been blessed to have a supreme leader who possesses all the right answers of his nation’s woes?

            Sincerely,

          • ‘Gheteb

            Ahlan Bayan,

            I will disregard the other issues you are trying to raise now, but my main thrust was about the two points I have raised. That was all and no need to peel off on tangent here.

            I mean, I haven’t questioned your overall views about Eritrea and why you oppose this group or support that group. And, I don’t see why you would go on to questions my stands here?

          • tes

            Dear Gheteb,

            You are undesired barkign dog in modern Eritrea.

            tes

          • tes

            Dear AT,

            Accepted!

            tes

        • tes

          Dear Bayan Nagash,

          In deed you are right. Gheteb is simply absurd. Dan Connell is a “hero” who is spending mot of his ages for the Eritrean cause. Dan is so deterministic person with great personality.

          In the land of justice, people like Dan Connell have a statue erected while alive. Such statue is a sign to tell them that their work is always remembered. And sure we will.

          PFDJ worshipers are out of normality. Having such response is not unexpected.
          tes

  • haileTG

    Selamat saay,

    Great context, analysis and summary. What is perplexing about the regime and its loud supporters is that they tend to miss the train and curse the station cleaners every time. Did they not know about the commission and its activities throughout the year? They were pretty dormant throughout its proceedings and are now doing all the cheguar danga hoopla after the UN had long hanged the boots so to speak. On the reading the whole text, aspect of your point, I am wondering if many people in our society have the competency and technical proficiency to read and digest such high level documents of that size. I think the report is a large data source to dig, translate and give air time for the many opposition broadcasts (bite size at a time). On Freselam’s ordeals, well he is also joined by Kiros Asfaha recently and Wedi Tkabo’s joining of the D.C. march is a good start in the right direction:) I have a longer comment to put on the COI and the content you so aptly summarized soon.

    cheers

    • Guest

      The same sentiment here, but the other way arround. Your COI report is just a detailed, yet more boring of the one COI (she) reported, which is a continuation of Shilla (Or whatever her name is) copied from and pasted Elsa chirum’s nonsense, which can be found all over weyaninaol com (or whatever you call it). So what gives now? You guys are barking again, yet again proving to the world that you are basically useless and nonsense.

      So, we agree here : Did they ( all the morons in this forum or any starbuck) not know about the commission and its activities throughout the year

  • saay7

    Selamat Blata Hadgu:

    The joke at Awate is that all Awatistas are cousins. A gigantic family; so I take it you are a cousin because only one can be so generous with his praise.

    Dear Lord, did I really write 2000 articles? Anyway I like to think, as the Egyptians say, algayat akther: the best is yet to come. I have given up on writing shorter articles so I will just number my paragraphs so people can do speed reading:) our good friends at shabait just posted the response of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and all the paragraphs are numbered 1. We are having fun at their expense at Twitter. The best entry so far is by Aida Kidane who called it Hade Hade Hade (like they do at Paltalk). My entry was: all the paragraphs are numbered 1 because we are number 1 in African paragraphs. Time allowing, maybe I will assess the MoFA reply which is long on procedures and technicalities and short on responding to the actual allegations. Or maybe Hailat can take that on:)

    Thanks for your kind words!

    saay

    • Abi

      Hi Saay
      Blata is definitely your cousin. Hopefully, he will continue appreciating and loving you as your other cousin Mr Hope.
      Where is my cousin Hope these days ?

  • selam

    Dear All
    We know all these crimes have been running for so long , may be some can disbute but there is crime committed . So now UN has done their job in making sure they will run the show. Any show that UN participated has been really ugly . No country on earth has any good story when ever UN is the driver of the show. You can not have one country who come out from UN evil work with out destroying the country more than the Dictator. Now is the time for the opposition to be smart and take the lead . Own this work and do your job. Once you go with UN there is no way Eritrea will survive, so take action , sale your vision to your people and stop making news for your group. If UN is to work , they work for themselves not for our people. They will try to sale every inch of our case to their puppet like weyane and weyane will sale to their puppet ESHI GOYTAYE. We need to wake up to rescue the nation from far worse crimes. Now is the time to crush the puppets and campaign for the better of the victim. I am sure weyane and their wine and dine are talking more and planning more , but i am sure the Eritrean people know what to do.

  • No Drama

    Saay,

    Thank you for this sharp and timely piece. Sure, we are all aware of the extensive and repeated atrocities that our people have been enduring in the open prison that our homeland has become at the hands of the dictator. But the details in this report are depressing. How did we end up in this nightmare, is the question that will continue to hunt us. You have done a fin job of grinding the massive indictment dossier for the rest of us. Indeed, one of our collective flaws is the fact that we are not avid readers. Often times, the hearsay has more pre-eminence in our society, including in the diaspora, than printed facts. The dictator is freaking out as the vice tightens around him, hence the prompt and epidemic reaction. That also tell us that, beyond the posturing, DIA is well aware that the day of reckoning is coming and his file is next in line in Den Haag (the Hague).

  • Hayat Adem

    dawit,
    “How does the UN and its agencies expect Eritrea to honor all other agreements, when UN failed grossly in treating its weakest member Eritrea, protecting its territorial integrity, just looking the first two articles; 1 and 2..”
    You made it sound as if the PIA regime is being accused of abusing the UN itself. Reminder, the regime is accused of crimes against its own citizens. You guys seem unaware that if you don’t want to support the victims, you have another better choice than uttering nonsense. timmmm!

    • Semere Andom

      Hi Hayat:
      timmmm dea kibret endiyu

    • dawit

      Hayat’,
      And Eritreans are accusing UN abusing its member of gross criminal negligence against them by sponsoring and financing Ethiopian genocide against them for over six decades.

      • selam

        Dear Dawit
        Again we know ,Every Eritrean is a witness to the brutal administration of the successive Ethiopian Governments in all fields of life. Political persecution, economic stagnation, violation of basic human rights, cultural suppression, resettlements and intentional demographic changes were the instruments used to realize their control over Eritrea.  All Ethiopian soldiers who were in Eritrea were in reality above the law. They killed innocent individuals, raped women, and confiscated properties without being accountable to the rule of law. Now the question is why would PFDJ do that ? By the way stop metioning Ethiopia , it is forbidden i guess.

        • Kim Hanna

          Selam selam,
          .
          The U.N group reported the severe atrocities (regarding children for example) being committed by the government of Eritrea. They specifically talked with individual Eritreans among other things to document their findings. You yourself on several occasion acknowledge the evil things going on in the country.
          .
          Why then are you now trying to help the Eritrean Government by deflecting the accusations and diverting the discussion to the Ethiopian atrocities of 25–50–60 years ago?
          Can you talk about what is happening now and share any 1st hand or even 2nd hand information of the current situation?
          Whether the U.N is good or bad (they have been bad to us too in the past) is there anything they said that is not true from your understanding of the facts. I have not read the report, have you?
          .
          K.H

          • selam

            Dear Kim
            why you want to talk about Eritrea ? Why your comments matter to any Eritreans. I have read the report and i do not think it is wise to talk or debate with Ethiopians. You are not needed in my view.

          • Pass the salt

            Haderki Selam,
            If you have read the report, can you share with us Eritreans what it mis-represented about your PFDJ?

          • selam

            Dear pass the salt
            would it be fair for you not to cross awate.com moderators rules not to accuse with out prove.

          • selam
          • Kim Hanna

            Selam selam,
            .
            The question still stands.
            I thought you were bold enough and straight forward enough to answer it.
            .
            As far as your statement about democratic Ethiopia, I don’t believe I have said that at all. According to the link you provided, a lot of credible news outlets are reporting it. That is good. The government is denying it. That is also good.
            Murder took place, let us wait for the police investigation and subsequent events.
            .
            Now back to you and the U.N. Why are you deflecting and trying to change the discussion. I believe you are not PFDJ supporter. Therefore I am after your reasoning for your attempt to shield PFDJ from the U.N accusations of atrocities it is committing against its people.
            .
            K.H

          • selam

            Dear kim
            The police investigation , i think you are way out of the reality , what police ? A police that kills 500 young men on gun point just to silence them, a police which equally criminals . Or is that what you told to yourself that you have independent police. Good strategy .
            As per the UN please read saay summary , you do not need me to repeat the same.

        • Abi

          Selam
          Eritrea did better under the king and derg. People are saying derg was much better. Derg didn’t send a 10 year old to prison. Or charged a family member 50,000 birr when your brothers go to ” meda “.
          I personally know a fighter in your struggle, who was a graduate of gondor medical school. His wife , who was a nurse in asmara ,lead a normal life while her husband was serving EPLF in medical field. She raised their two children while he was away fighting the same government which hired his wife.
          Selam, you and Tes can talk about the king and derg all you want. The more you talk about them the more they look angelic.

          • Saleh Johar

            Hi Abi,
            How have you been….

            I would like to give you a glimpse of what Abu Tayeb AlMutenebi, the tenth century Arab poet said:

            من لم يمت يالسيف مات بغيره تعددت الاسباب والموت واحد
            (men lem yemut bseifi mata bqeirihi
            teAadedet al’asbabu wel moutu waHidu)

            He who doesn’t die by the sword dies with something else
            The means are different but death is all the same.

            Haile Sellassie, Derg, Isaias, and others are all the same; they belong to the class of tyrants.

          • destaa

            Hi Saleh,
            I agree with you. I always wonder how the generation changes its views. I think Ethiopians in the late 60s and early 70s would have reacted angrily listening Teddy Afro’s appreciation for Hailesellasie. I think in the 60s and 70s, Hailesellasie was hated and thus removed by popular revolution. But then Derg became dictator and its removal was also celebrated.
            The best way not to remember previous tyrants is to have a better government.

          • Abi

            Selam Ato Saleh
            Saleh : nuro endet new?
            Asmarino : kenege yishalal.
            I’m not trying to make derg or the king Angeles. Not at all. I’m trying to show Selam that they were better than what she has as a leader. Derg didn’t attack families when some of you go to meda. We have to give credit where it is due. It is strength not weakness.
            There were a lot of eritreans at AAU whose fathers , brothers or uncles were fighters. Derg new this. Derg sent eritreans on scholarship knowing they join the struggle.
            I hope I am clear.
            It is IA who made an angel out of derg by his deeds.
            Menge: all tyrants are equal !
            Isu: some are more equal than others !
            Orwell: all tyrants are animals !
            Saleh : endih new enji !
            Happy fasting season for all of you fasting.
            I miss my neighbor’s sambusa.

          • Semere Andom

            Abi
            You thinking to hard, forget your Godor friend. IA, the leader, who everyone knew his family lived in Asmara worked, paid by HS and Dergi and no one asked them to pay for the actions of their adult son

          • Abi

            Hi Sem
            This must be Father’s Day special. We agreed for the first time.
            Long live fathers !!
            Btw, the person I mentioned, his brother was a successful businessman who lived in my neighborhood. Everybody knows where his brother was including the derg high officials in the neighborhood. Nobody bothered him as far as I know.

          • selam

            Dear Abi
            To know such deep secret of the family with your dergi fathers and say nothing makes your story false and a white wash lie. I do not mind for making lies because the DNA oh .

          • Abi

            Selam
            I care less about your DNA. Your problem.
            Regarding my derg father and a secret, you are dead wrong!
            There were no secrets. Everybody knows everybody. My father was not a derg member.
            I don’t ask about your parents because they are not debating here. I respect your parents.
            I wish a Happy Father’s Day for your father.

          • selam

            Dear Abi
            So , how is your democracy doing to the opposition ? I guess you understood wrongly on the DNA thing. What i mean is that lies always comes from your leaders and you are defending them due to the DNA link nothing new.well i do not have to accept this fathers day because i am a girl who knows what happens to my father and i am not counting on how many click per time. I can say confidently that any one who defend dergi is dergi reminant or born from dergi cronies.

          • Ted

            Hi selam,
            Here again Semere Andome, the concierge of Eritreans in meqelle, come to tell us how the Almighty Ethiopia forgive the ungrateful Eritreans who bite their care givers. Toronto gangsta, aytisAn deA.

          • selam

            Dear Ted
            Semere Andom is going to die while he cry fool for his mamma Ethiopia to lend him an army in killing Eritreans too. Forget their ugly reality of losing , i wonder if these people are opposing DIA or destroying Eritrea. They and some ethiopian forumers are licking their lips for losing the chance on killing eritreans.

          • Peace!

            Dear Ted,

            I thought you know Semere ! I guess you might have to read few more of his hopeless comments. He lost it long time ago; he even have predicted the darkest age of Eritrea yet to come, and what’s more ironic is he is justice seeker-;) Aygermekan!

            Regards

          • Ted

            Hi Peace, Semere needs a whack on the side of the head with “Miriam Was Here” SJ’s book.

          • teweldino

            ቃል ወላዲ ኤርትራ
            ተስፋልደት ገብረ ገርግሽ

            ኣሳሪ ወደይ ተኣሳሪ ባዕለይ
            ወይለይ ወይለይ
            ጸገመይ እባ ፍሎጡለይ
            ኣሳሪ ሓወይ ተኣሳሪ ባዕለይ
            ኣነ ታይ ገበነይ ታይከ ፍርደይ
            ክንዲ ዓቅሚ ኣዳም ውሉደይ
            ክእሰር ተፈሪደ
            ክከፍል ተገዲደ
            ኣንታ ኣምላክ
            ጎቦ ሳሕል ታይ ወለደ
            ሃጽ ኢለዶ ክጠፍእ ተሰዲደ
            ናጽነት ኢለዶ መግዛእቲ ወሊደ
            ክልእክ ኢለ ወሊደ
            ኣምሂረ ኣሰዊደ
            በሕዋተይ ዝበልክዎም
            ብዘይ ገበነይ ንሕማቅ ተፈሪደ
            ንደቀይ ከምዓሳ ገፊፎም
            እንዳይ ጥራያ ኣትሪፎም
            50 000ሺሕ ክፈል ኢሎምኒ ንመሳርፎም
            ገንዘብስ ክከፍል ተፈሪደ ተገዲደ
            ሃልዋት ደቀይ ኣሎ ዝገደደ
            ይህሉዉ ዶኮን ብሂወቶም
            ተሰዲዶም ደኮኑ ኣንጸርጺሮም
            ተቀቲሎም ዶኮኑ ተኣሲሮም
            ዝረኣየ ዶኮን እህሉ መቃብሮም
            ምዳቅ ደቀይ ከይፈለጥኩ
            ኣብ ሸላዶ ተዳጎንኩ
            ሓባል በልያ ከይትቅድመኪ ኮይንኒ
            ኣነ ክንዲ ዝሓቶምሲ እሓቱኒ
            ኮር ተገምጠል ካብኮነኒ
            ኦ ኣምላክ ዳንየኒ
            ብጀካካ መን ኣሎኒ
            እልምነካ ለኩ ተመኒኒ
            ሰብ ሕሱም ስባ እዚኣ ፈሪድኒ
            ውሉደይ ጸጋይ እስካ ዝሃብካኒ
            ሰብ ርጉም የሕዲግኒ

          • Semere Andom

            Dear teweldino:
            A poet is born, nay he was already born, but was lurking. A warsay, a poet, a satirist
            KS, former tegdalay and Sem Andom, from zurya Zero (before zuria 1) time to retire for the new blood:-)

          • teweldino

            Hi Sem,

            Thanks for the good words. That was Tesfagergish’s. Teweldino is not there yet. I just thought I’d share it because it was a fitting poem.

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear SA,

            ተመስገን ፈጣሪ ተኪእና ተወልደ –
            ውረስ ተወራረስ ጸላኢ ዘዕበደ –
            መስመር ሓቂ እናዓንበበ ኸደ –
            ድሕር የለን ገባቲ ከይተፈርደ ::

            ግን እኮ ኣብ ሽምገልና ልቦና ይዓቢ-
            ልዕሊ መቃብርና ኣሎ ተነባቢ –
            ኣይትሕመቅ ወገነይ ንሱ እዩ ዓስቢ –
            መሰለይ እዩ ክብረት ጽሑፋተይ ኣይተደርቢ ::

          • haileTG

            Dear KS and Teweldino,

            ከምዛ ተመን ዝተጠምጠማ ባላ፡
            ከሉ መሲልዋ ካብ ባዕላ ንባዕላ፡
            ናታን ዘይናታን ዘይተለሊ ሰፍላላ፡
            ካን ክትጎራፈጥ ምስቶም ዘአውዩላ፡
            ኣዳም ክገርሞ ኣውቶቡስ ጄኔቭ ተሰቒላ።

            ዛራ በሎ ፈልሲ ዋላ ምንጪ፡
            ጠንቂ ዘይብሉ መንቂ’ስ ናይ ላግጪ፡
            ክሊ ድኣ፡ “ኣነ’የ ኹሉ” እናልኪ ኣይትሓጪጪ።

            ጸገምኪ ተፍኩሲ ተኽብዲ ባዕልኺ፡
            መን ከይግድደኪ ኣበደን ኢልኪ እንተኣበኺ፡
            ዶ’ስ ሽግር ይጥራቐም’ዩ ኣብ ባንኪ ኢሎምኺ፡
            ንዒ’ደኣ ሎምስ ናይ ካልእ ይጽናሓልኪ ኩንያ ንነብስኺ።

          • selam

            Dear Abi
            Dergi did not like to send kids to prison, because dergi just like to kill them or burn them alive.

          • Abi

            Selam
            Derg used to send the kids to school all over ethiopia. Ask Hope about the high achievers eritreans in ethiopian colleges.
            There are somethings you can’t deny .
            Derg managed internationally accredited university in asmara. Look around, you will find thousands of eritreans educated under derg.

          • selam

            Dear Abi
            is that what dergi told you ? Dergi used to gass eritrean families for no reason , hi i forget that you are Ethiopian in the right mood.

          • Abi

            Selam
            You are right. I’m an ethiopian . I’m also in the right mood. I like to stay in this mood. Don’t spoil it.
            Thanks.

          • selam
          • Peace!

            Hey Abye,

            Wow! Could that be a reason why they call themselves justice seekers, or joining the opposition groups?I hope not. If so, barking at others whom they believe are better off under PFDJ makes them complete hypocrites.

            Regards

  • dawit

    Dear All

    Sorry I was glued to ERITV watching the Martyrs Day Observance in Eritrea. For all Eritreans interested to measure the mood of Eritreans at home, ERITV is the best window.

    My friend Saay, you have produced an excellent summary of the latest UN bashing the Eritrean government and how Eritrea failed to abide the various International Agreements it signed. The first Eritrea signed when it joined UN is to uphold the UN Charter, before it signed the others. How do you asses UN position in upholding its own Charter visa-vis Eritrea, just looking the first two articles? How does the UN and its agencies expect Eritrea to honor all other agreements, when UN failed grossly in treating its weakest member Eritrea, protecting its territorial integrity, just looking the first two articles; 1 and 2..

    Eritrea and all nation nations signed the UN Charter expecting it to be treated equally. Saay do you think this charter is also overridden by any other UN agreement. Is the UN Charter valid or not valid when it apply to Eritrea..

    CHAPTER I: PURPOSES AND PRINCIPLES

    Article 1

    The Purposes of the United Nations are:

    To maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take
    effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the
    peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the
    peace, and to bring about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the
    principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of
    international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the
    peace;

    To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the
    principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take other
    appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace;

    To achieve international co-operation in solving international problems of
    an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character, and in promoting and
    encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all
    without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion; and

    To be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations in the attainment of
    these common ends.

    Article 2

    The Organization and its Members, in pursuit of the Purposes stated in
    Article 1, shall act in accordance with the following Principles.

    The Organization is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all
    its Members.

    All Members, in order to ensure to all of them the rights and benefits
    resulting from membership, shall fulfill in good faith the obligations assumed
    by them in accordance with the present Charter.

    All Members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means in
    such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not
    endangered.

    All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat
    or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of
    any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United
    Nations.

    All Members shall give the United Nations every assistance in any action it
    takes in accordance with the present Charter, and shall refrain from giving
    assistance to any state against which the United Nations is taking preventive or
    enforcement action.

    The Organization shall ensure that states which are not Members of the
    United Nations act in accordance with these Principles so far as may be
    necessary for the maintenance of international peace and security.

    Nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorize the United Nations
    to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction
    of any state or shall require the Members to submit such matters to settlement
    under the present Charter; but this principle shall not prejudice the
    application of enforcement measures under Chapter Vll.

    • Semere Andom

      dawit:
      we will forgive you for your absence, we will understand your tardiness to rebut, we encourage you be to do both: absent and tardy often 🙂

    • saay7

      Dawitom:

      I don’t understand your question. You can’t possibly mean what I think you mean. Maybe I should write about I break my fast. Today June 20 is Martyrs Day in Eritrea. It is also World Refugee Day in the rest of the world. You can argue with the UN that they should have picked the same day OR do you try to figure out why so many children’s brothers sisters wives husbands of martyrs are becoming refugees ?

      You know the pecking order of the world. How many Rwandans died before the UN and U.S. described what happened there as genoicide? How much repudiation was there before they would describe what was happening in Darfur genoicide (they used a weasly “genocidal acts” because using the word would have compelled them to act.). I can understand a Rwandan bitter at the UN; I can understand a Darfuri raging at the UN. For the life of me I can’t understand Eritreans rage at the UN. There are what 190 member states in the UN and our problem ( that a neighbor refused to withdraw from territories we can’t even name) is so puny so minuscule that insisting on it shows an unbelievable level of self-absorption. It is time for Plan B. Actually it was time for Plan B in 2005: ten years ago.

      saay

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Dear Saay,

        Keep the stilt (handle) tight always on dawit and his likes as you did for him hard to pull out from the hard truth.

        regards,

      • dawit

        Dear saay,

        Once I heard a wise man who was telling a true story about dogs. He was telling about a family who were bothered by their neighbor’s dog roaming and barking day night, disturbing the tranquility of the neighborhood. So the family decided to talk to the owner of the dog to discipline his dog, put it on leash.

        So you see Eritrea is not talking with COI or SEMG etc, copycat reporters. Eritrea is not going to dispute with the dog, but the owner of the UN Charter. The COI report does not represent the whole Eritrean people. It only represents those Eritreans who left the country, for a variety of reasons some who have axes to grind, some dreaming to change Eritrean government by violence.

        My prediction is the COI report will gather dust just like the fictitious Eritrea-Djibouti report because It does not represent the Eritreans living inside the proper Eritrea who are doing their National Service (Slave labor) “doing it gladly” and the “Keboro Junkies”. So you see SAAY, the dumb PFDJ did not allowed the smart fake Commission (COI) to step their feet inside Eritrean soil to give their 500 pages report a legitimate cover making it defective
        report, at the same time dumb PFDG inviting real investigative reporters to produce eyewitness reports. So you see the competition is between COI fiction cut and paste report and Danish, Norwegian, British, Nevsun real Human Right investigators few pages reporting based on facts.

        But I am sure they will set up another investigating commission a UN employment welfare System in the name of Eritrean people, gathering information from their hostages trapped refugee camps, the UNHCR milking cows source of hard-currency to neighboring
        countries. Yes again Eritrea is not going to let any dog infected with rabbis to its territory, even if they are sent by UNSC or CCI, unless they produce health certificate declaring they are free from the virus of lies. Eritrea is the Truth territory. It is still on plan A, that started 1940s. Eritrea is the conscious of this world. It is her destiny dictated by the Almighty God!.

        Today Eritreans inside and outside are keep candle vigil remembering their Martyrs and as usual singing pledging to keep their Martyrs promise to keep Eritrean Independence Saying “AwetNhafash”!

        • saay7

          Dawitom Arkey:

          Leaving digs and rabies aside for now, here’s an alternative view for which I think there is reasonable ground to believe is more factual than your version. In court, a lawyer doesn’t like to call a witness to the stand unless the lawyer has a fairly good idea what the witness will say. By the same token, the gov of Eritrea does not call any witness unless they are certain of what the witness will say. That’s why the BBC reporters who were invited to sing the praises of Eritrea’s healthcare industry had to have handlers and the handlers had to stay clear of containers, remember? A prisoner in a container suffering from mental illness is bad asterisk on MDG 4,5,6. Everybody is welcome to visit expos (“did you enjoy the show?”) but not prisons.

          Now to your favorite witnesses. The Norwegians were trying to ascertain if Eritreans who were refouled from other countries were punished, tortured and imprisoned. To verify this, they spoke to, wait for it….. Western diplomats, a playwright, and an employee of an NGO. None of whom wanted to speak on the record. So Norway wanted to hear one answer (it’s safe to return Eritreans to Eritrea), it interviewed not one returned Eritrean (I think the key to the container was lost) but five people who would have zero knowledge on the subject, people who spoke anonymously….and you believe them more than the exiled Eritreans? You may but don’t expect the rest of the world to do so. It is simply illogical. Now never mind all the Ferenji, Eritrea is a small country and we all know one another: from what you know, what happens to Eritreans who are forcibly returned to Eritrea? I mean why would Eritreans in Israel choose to be sent to Rwanda than Eritrea?

          saay

          • dawit

            Brother saay,

            Ok we have the latest 500 pages UN report, i.e the latest report, last year MS Shella, had another report, the SMMG have reporting every year for the last five or six years, AU and IGAD reports accusing Eritrea government to sanction Eritrea. So what has been achieved with all those reports, except polarizing the Eritrean people. Eritreans are travelling in a parallel line, and life in Eritrea economic condition is getting worst. So What next? Another Commission another Monitoring group? Another Dejen Prison break show, Assena show? Prison gourd testimony show? BBC Container Report? After all the long and short reports, testimonies PIA says So What?

          • saay7

            Merhaba Cousin Dawitom:

            “After all the long and short reports, testimonies PIA says what.” That’s the point: he shouldn’t say so what and those of you who support him, who are in the Diaspora, should create a united force with one single message “PIA: don’t say so what?” You guys have the most leverage if only you knew how to use it.

            A long time ago when YG used to write for Awate.com (before he lost his mooring) he called what you are doing the K-factor. K in math stands for constant. Every other variable can change but K can’t. So in ur example above, u have made Isaias Afweki and his moods the K and u have made everything else a variable that should accommodate this k factor. Aygdn cousin Dawitom!

            saay

          • dawit

            Cousin say,
            Thanks for the promotion, I am afraid this may encourage SEM to catch live electric wire. I am glad you brought the K factor into the equation. Yes the Diaspora, should engage with PIA constractively and deal with tow important items, the issue of political prisioners and constitution in Country. One obstacle is the problem of the X factor, that keeps the Diaspora busy from dealing with the K the endogenous variable K factor, because the exogenous variable the X (External variable0 keep popping constantly (UN, Ethiopia) supported by Eritreans in opposition camps, that is threatening the independence of Eritrea. The safety of independence of Eritrea takes priorities of any internal factor. So we are constantly have to deal (UN Sanctions, AU, IGAD, SEMG, COI etc) political and economical isolations aimed to weaken Eritrea as an independent nation. So cousin we Eritreans have to compromise, the opposition has to abandon its unconditional support to all external factors, that threaten the Independence of Eritrea and the Diaspora supporters of the of PFDG group, had to pick the K factor to deal with its internal factor. Without some kind of such compromise the ‘Kebero group’ will keep singing ‘Znegese Ngusna’. The Eritrean people took to produce over four decade to create the national leader (PIA or DIA) who has stood firm on Eritrean Independence, both in the liberation struggle and after. He has a strong resume on that which gave him the strong K factor. I like the US politic they could disagree in the internal issues of the country, but always united towards external factors, for the most part of thei9r history. I think the opposition has tied the Diaspora, to stick with PIA and if you want the Diaspora, to deal with K, factor remove X factor. Eritrean internal problems cannot be resolved by importing the external factor, that is why PIA answer to all external reports, So What?. PIA will give attention to the Bishops Report than the 500 page COI report. Do you think the Bishops letter softens, the national service?
            dawit

        • Saleh Johar

          Hi dawit,
          It’s strange because I heard similar story from another man:

          the neighborhood was disturbed by the family that let its dogs without leash. Since the the head of the family was not willing to put his dogs under lease, the entire neighborhood was distressed…

          The rest of the story is almost identical. Thank you for reminding me

          • dawit

            Hi Saleh,
            First let me congratulate you on the coming of your book translation in Tigrigna. I hope a Tige translation would follow. On the neighborhood dog story, do you think it is important to know why the owner does not put his dog under leash? Since one of AT’s motto is ‘Reconciliation’ is it possible to have a joint project with one of the PFDJ sympathizers ex Tesfanews or Madote to conduct joint independent interview using technology like Skyp? May be PIA might want desperately to reach a wider Eritrean communities, including the opposition affiliated members. Of course your questions must be independent and not dictated by those people at Lange at Al-jezira. You may ask your followers to submit question that they like the owner of the dog.
            dawit

        • Netsebraq

          Dawit,

          You’re not saying anything. Assume that what you have just scribbled was written by someone else and re-read it then you will see how absurd it is. I ain’t kidding you. You’re making a fool of yourself. You all are running out of steam. That is evident. Even the master of cut and paste Asmara-Rose is running out of steam where her recent halewlew about the CoI was a mere three paragraphs where her erstwhile articles were sort of run-aways. Time they say doesn’t freeze for anyone and whatever you do or your handlers do can not stop the momentum. The king is naked for the whole world to see no Koboro Junkies draped in flag with screeching voice can not save him. That is the cruel and time tasted fact.

  • Michael Tesfamariam

    Hi
    So what is the next? The UN HRC report left many Eritreans in Diaspora taking their gloves off; some disgraceful citizens still appear to encourage the regime to carry on its barbaric act of evil against the people, while others are fighting against . It is this embarrassing argument among Eritreans which partly motivated some European countries to reconsider their relationship with the regime in Eritrea. They are now trying to justify their refusal to recognise Eritrean asylum seekers as refugees based on their distorted assessment about the situation in the country. Even though this conclusions were partly driven by their domestic poltical pressure, the UN HRC report may not have significant impact on these individual countries unless there is one strong united voice from Eritrean justice seekers to challenge.

  • Kokhob Selam

    Dear Selam,

    You see in every Ramadan I enjoy the program of this man. Ahmad Mazen Alshugairi – the man is from Saudi – born on 19 June 1973 , media figure and former host of the show “Yalla Shabab”. He is best known for his programKhawater (Thoughts).

    Today he brought one interesting program and Eritrean refuges was one of the points touched. Really the world is
    one and we are one at the end. Everyone in this universe is the center and everyone is connected with the view yet we should talk about. This man from Saudi is doing very nice job and note that he could have lived better without this job. You will see how the kind people are supporting the Syrians and Iraq and Palestine refuges . Look how much advanced is the system. I know a lot of questions will come to mind but see this first.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1nJtgK4TiY&feature=youtu.be

    • selam

      Dear k.s
      ELF fighters if they exist has so much to say but can’t we move on beyond ELF . We can not go back and think about the crimes ELF and EPLF have done to each other. It is case closed sir, you do not see if i speak about dergi , meles chenawi the moderator delet all. I am telling you 80% eritreans still think weyane is the main enemy , so make the dots. All these 500 pages of UN is no value to 90% our people , because they do not really have the access and also the urgency to read them all. But the opposition can build some thing from this unless it is just apaper. UN is not welcome on the heart and minds of Eritreans , they do not really think UN care for human being and they know it but, all websites have great material to write and campain help the people only if they distance themselves from weyane Fund. Once you get paid by weyane your news becames unwanted and not helpful to ditch this dictator.

      • Kokhob Selam

        Dear Selam,

        are you okay, I hope your mind and heart are functioning well. read your post again, you put me in doubt if I am alive or not. worst of all you are telling me to forget everything. Selam isn’t all the reality the result of past ? aren’t all those suffering ELF fighters our own people? do you think if we correct all our internal problems and historical mistakes we will see today our new generation like you suffering? now you keep talking about UN and don’t want to challenge your internal problems. think about it please.

        • selam

          Dear K.S
          Trust your own wish not mine , i am saying going back to open file of disputes between one family is not helpful sir. I have written about this hiw my grandfather get nailed down to the ground by EPLF bullets even after he say Alash. Do i need his suffering to be main issue today while so many people ask for mercy from PFDJ . Look and think , i said ELF fighters have so much pain but is it wise to go back ? Is it worth of my time and your time to go back ? What would be the best scenario ? I am saying lets not go back in dividing Eritreans based on so much errors.we have already enough division . I don’t think i am saying K.S is dead even ELF is dead. Come on be fair to me , ELF are well alive but not the fighters on their 1970 mood.

  • Nitricc

    Hi everybody. Before you shoot me, let’s come down and ask some questions. It is well known that emotions to over ride reasons and facts. SAAY went all out to ignite the emotion part of you and he seemed to do very well; that is according the responses I have read.
    The point? Do you believe and trust the UN?
    How was the interviews contacted? Is there a way to conform what the eyewitness has said? Who selected the 500 people that were allegedly were interviewed? Were they hand picked or randomly picked?
    Refugee do things and lie their teeth off to gen an asylum; if so, why do I have to believe what they have to say? How do you know what they are telling is true?
    I guess what I am saying is do you trust the UN? If your answer is no, then why are you believing this now. It is the same UN who told Eritrea send 2000 well armed troops to Somalia when they wanted to sanction Eritrea and know they are saying this to something to come.
    I am not defending the Governmet but I am defending the Truth. And the Truth the UN is lier and corrupted.

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Nitrickay,

      Go and read the report (the entire report) and most of the answers to your questions are there. I am sure you have not done your homework to read it, and I am sure you don’t have patience to read it.

      • Nitricc

        Hey Aman: you are right I did not read the entire document but I read SAAY’s article and I though very well put. So my take was depended from what SAAY has witten. Aman please answer my question; do trust the UN?

        • Haqi

          nitric
          ata wedi meas eka seb kitkewin? what is it going to take for your kind to stand up for the ordinary eritreans, instead of defending the bully.

        • Hayat Adem

          Hey Nitricc,
          It is not whether you trust the UN or not. It is whether or not you trust or are convinced by the report. For that you have to read in its entirety or read reports on the report and judge. Besides, please don’t ask stupid questions. You don’t ask such broad and foolish questions. It is not about trusting. It is whether you can falsify, explain or confirm to what is reported. Show if you different facts. Show if its methodologies are flawed. Show if the conclusions are not connected to the facts.
          All nations have issues with the UN. Even USA has issues. It owes UN the largest arrears because congress wouldn’t not approve the money saying the UN is deviating from US expectations. Plus, UN is huge and it takes plenty decisions and actions everyday. Some are security related, some humanitarian, some human right issues. Nations deal with them item by item, transaction by transaction. UNDP is UN. It is reporting Eritrea’s success in MDGs. You never raise a question of trust because this supports the regimes story.

        • Semere Andom

          toothy Nitricc:
          your basic skepticism about UN is healthy, only thing not healthy about it is you do not apply that to PFDJ and you are only mesmerized by it ad IA, proof of your smitten by PFDJ is your constant inundating this form with links that brainwash.
          You also doubt the victims, un originally and uncritically by lifting from PFDJ play books: what do you expect the refugees who want asylum to say about. You are forgetting that this report is not merely interviews, there are experts on the filed that validate the stories, think of it like a science lab that tries to prove a conjecture or hypothesis.
          Actually when the dust settles, and the people talk inside Eritrea this report will pale, mark my words. Remember there are people inside the regime who are documenting this waiting their day when they will be handed the mic to tell
          For a casual reader of your skepticism , he may be impressed but for those who ready you there is inconsistent , you cannot apply critical thinking only to some situation and take some situation at face value and that is what you are doing.
          But remember one things, most victims do not lie about rape and torture. They do not need to imagine the excoriating pain to get asylum, claiming basic risk of imprisonment will award them that

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Nitrickay,

          The UN report is not different from what I personally collect the info from inside Eritrea and the Eritrean refugees everywhere. This report is only systematically organized report for purposes of international community to learn and to pressure the regime to respect the dignity of our citizen and their human right issues. Again if you want to defend the regime you have to read it first hand. It is there for you and your generation to read it, and take the stock of our nation to defend the voiceless Eritreans who are dying in containers and unknown dark foxholes.

    • Mahmud Saleh

      Dear Nitrickay
      I don’t trust the UN either, but I know similar to the reports contained had happened. How did I know?
      1. I know people who founded our revolution and who lead it, and who, I have no doubt, were arrested just for asking the president benign demands that he convened the political organs of the country to assess the situation. I have absolutely confident they did not commit and act of treason. They are still languishing in prison, banned from seeing their loved ones, banned from having to defend themselves, erased from our archives; and the government has been trying everything it could to erase them from our memory.
      2. I know of the “ኣጽነሓለይ” detention system that corrupt commanders used pervasively to settle scores with juniors they suspected were disloyal to them. AxneHaley detention is when you are picked by a commander and handed over to a detention center, it literally means “keep him/her for me with you.” Mind you, these are not designated law enforcers; they are just military commanders abusing their powers. I know of families who went through this system.
      3. I know of close friends who were jailed for five, ten…even more years without a formal charge; released with a stern warning not to talk about their ordeal.
      4. I know young women who went through all types of abuses, and who were able to enter the USA through Mexico. I had an extensive conversation with each of them. I read the internet….articles written by people who have no interest in getting asylum, listen to the pal talks…these are people who settled in the west and could not be coerced to get an asylum permit.
      5. I know of the round ups, a son of a close friend died in one of the holding centers because of minor medical condition, a urine retention.
      6. I know of the religious…journalists…artists…veteran tegadelti…whose whereabouts is not known.
      7. I know it because there is no legislative, no independent judicial system…in Eritrea….No institutional governance. All these result in an abuse of power by the executive.
      8. I can go on but I have to go to my kids games
      9. You may dismiss the UN, but please consider the cries of your country men and women. You can even dismiss the opposition, but listen to what your peers are saying.

    • Ted

      Hi Nitricc, i agree with you in UN hypocrisy. It is like a man burns your house and calls you homeless bum. Report or not, we should own our story(suffering) and fight to correct it. It is our misfortune and we have known it all along but became weak and divided to do something about it for decades. It doesn’t matter who told who or why or find excuse to scapegoat UN or US, because all of that do not solve our problem. The suffering real and painful to keep on going like this that people need a solution. The power is within us and we need to find a way to put our differences aside to end this suffering. Of course the international body can help but how? if we don’t get our act together.

      • Peace!

        Dear Ted,

        As immaculate as Saay put it “…as long as [Isaias] is the president of Eritrea, the country will, like a pin-ball, be bouncing from one disaster to another. But it will be making happy clown music the whole way down the precipice.]

        Now, what if a bouncing pin-ball loses its air down the stretch? Who do you think we should trust? UN? smh….I think this is what Nitric is talking about.

        Regards

        • Ted

          Dear Peace, that is unfortunate we think that way that one man is the cause of all our ills. How does removing IA guaranty better Eritrea? This world is full of aspiring dictators( Eritrea is not different) even in this forum i can mention a few. The system we implement is what keeps dictators or not in check. We don’t have that and that is our problem.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Teddy,
            “The system we implement is what keeps dictators not in check.” Yes indeed the problem is not “one man” as many tried to simplify it, but it is the system they built up. Good, we get something to agree on.

            regards,

          • saay7

            Ted buddy:

            I will address this and it will make perfect sense. You will see. Remind me if I forget. Meanwhile, three words: retracing our steps.

            saay

          • saay7

            Ted ma man:

            Alekha doh? Ok let me explain. Whenever you lose something, like your car keys, what is it that you do? You retrace your steps. That’s problem solving 101. You don’t say the car needs an oil change, the car needs to be traded, the car is a lemon. Step 1: find the key. In my case, the first order of business is: let’s first get to a Party Dictatorship because it is an improvement over one man dictatorship. This will get Eritrea to be a normal African country ruled by a dictatorship. This will stop (1) the bleeding, the exodus (not PFDJIsm but Isaiasism) (2) the militarization and military adventures (not PFDJism but Isaiasism) (3) the extremely predatory state that arrests disappears citizens (not PFDJism but Isaisism.) This can only come about when the PFDJ actually becomes a party that can appoint and fire its own chairman. This is an intra PFDJ fight.

            Step 2: get the one party dictatorship to be less dictatorial. To open up. This is actually a PFDJ-opposition fight.

            Step 3. Get both the PFDJ and the opposition to be democratic and respectful of human rights and civil liberties. This is a people vs political parties fight.

            Now what I see is that people want to jump straight to step 2 and step 3. I understand the impatience I understand the outrage I understand the indignation. I really do. But what people don’t do is conduct a reasonable risk assessment.

            That’s why I say the least risky the most bloodless solution for Eritrea would be for Isaias Afwerki to resign. I wish he would. I would write his resignation letter in such a way that people don’t want to chop him to pieces. But it won’t happen; it can’t happen. And that’s why I call for a democratic coup: the PFDJ overthrowing Isaias on the grounds that he is not the democratically elected leader of the party.

            Will this eliminate the chances of any future dictator emerging? Of course not. But nothing else that’s ever proposed will and it will be bloodier and target the multiple Achilles heels of Eritrea.

            saay

          • Ted

            Dear Saay, I understand your suggestion “democratic coup” is a message to PFDJ members not for the opposition because the opposition is no near to be as potent opponents to demand such kind of changes . People to choose the second and third option is understandable that they are hoping the members(PFDJ) can be influenced to change their ways. In my opinion, there is a potential(capability) in diaspora to influence PFDJ members including Isayas to implement good governance in Eritrea. I find hard to believe only IA( not PFDJ) is to be blamed for the mess we are in and the quest for his removal only creates division. Constructive engagement with a little of muscle is what is needed.

          • teweldino

            Hi Ted,

            If I may, I’d like to ask you a question regarding your opinion that there is a potential for diaspora to influence Isaias to implement good governance. Could you please qualify what the likelihood of that happening is in your opinion? If it highly likely? Like 80%, 70% or 10%? I know you can not give exact figures. I am just hopping you’d make it easier for your readers to understand whether you are talking about something very probable or something with a 1% likelihood as the word “potential” could mean 99% or even 1%.

        • saay7

          Hey Peace!

          Thanks for the nice words but I got a question. How do you let the air out of a pin ball? 🙂 I don’t think you played it when we were kids.

          saay

          • Peace!

            Dear Saay,

            You are right, I didnt think of “Baligna” assuming that’s what you mean. Nevertheless, my point was the danger of losing stability with almost every single Eritrean is trained and armed.

            Regards

  • saay7

    Selamat Awatistas:

    Thanks for all your kind words. A quick correction:

    In 58 above, I say: “Eritrea is not a signatory to the International Criminal Court (ICC), a very unpopular institution in Africa.” First, as reminded by a much younger friend who has no business knowing this, the correct phrasing should be “Eritrea is not a member of the ICC” or “Eritrea is not a signatory to the Rome statute.” But more importantly, it is incorrect to say that. When it comes to ICC, there are three categories:

    1. States which have signed and ratified the statute (most of Africa, all of South America)
    2. States which have signed but not ratified the Statute (Eritrea)
    3. States which have neither signed nor acceded to the statute (Ethiopia)

    The people who represented Eritrea when it was considering being a signatory include: Petros Solomon (foreign minister), Andeberhan Woldegiorgis (exiled Central Committee member). Wouldn’t it be poetic justice if what they helped make happen was use to terrify their terrorizers? This is the part where the lawyers come in…

    Here’s the Rome Statute: http://www.icc-cpi.int/nr/rdonlyres/ea9aeff7-5752-4f84-be94-0a655eb30e16/0/rome_statute_english.pdf

    And here’s a color coded map of states and their participation with ICC:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Criminal_Court#/media/File:ICC_member_states.svg

    saay

  • Hayat Adem

    Hi Saay and folks,
    This is more than great because of the well managed summary and the superb context and content analysis included there. But the article is not merely for personal satisfaction, so lets task ourselves in internalizing it for a deeper reach and disseminating it for a wider reach.

    • saay7

      Selamat Hayat:

      I think most of us have conceded that most people won’t read a 500-page report and the Isaiasists are betting on that to continue their crimes with impunity. One way to help in getting “deeper reach and disseminating” the CoI report is, in my view, to simple take excerpts from it and share it here. In re-reading the excerpts I picked, I notice that one might think that the regime is guilty of only one kind of crime but its “systematic, widespread” description fits to the types of crimes. So, let’s take excerpts of the testimony from the report, write articles about them, write comments about them…

      Here are two, involving CHILDREN:

      +++
      A man detained in Assab between 2008 and 2011 recalled: “There was a 10 year old there. He was left in the corridor, but he was a prisoner. At night he slept in the corridor… The child’s mother was preparing food for the general, the high commander. When this child saw the general dominating his mother for sex, he kicked him. The general arrested him. That was why he was in prison. … He spent three months in prison.”

      A former detainee of Hashferay prison in Keren described the situation of children at the prison in 2012: “There were many people under 18 years old, staying three-four months until someone came to get them. I saw a child nine years old. He stayed two months and a half. He was from Keren and was arrested for trying to cross the border. He was alone. He was also sleeping in cell no. 1 or 2; in one of the cells for civilians. In these cells there were more than 200 children. Half of them were children – always detained for crossing the border. Children were not punished as we were. Sometimes they were receiving ‘normal’ punishments, for instance spanking or pulling the ear.”

      +++
      saay

  • Kokhob Selam

    Dear Say,

    So brief and clear really, I wish every Eritrean read it. ይበል ሳልሕ ሓወይ ይበል !! ኣንታ ድስኩል ! (ፍሽኽ ክትብል ኢለ እየ )

    እቲ ጽሑፍ ብኸምዚ ተጾሚቑ ምቅራቡ ብርግጽ ነቲ ንኩነታት ክፈልጥን መፍትሒ ከናዲ ዝደሊ ኩሉ ኣዝዩ ጠቃሚ እዩ :: ሰባት ኣብ ክውንነት ተሞርኪሶም ክዛረቡን – ካብ ዘይተደላይ ስሚዒታዊ ፍንጭራዕ ነጻ ክኾኑ እንተኾይኖም ኣብ ጭቡጥ ሓቂ ባዕሎም ክነብሩ ይግባእ ::

    ሃየ ደገፍቲ ህግደፍ ! እዚ ዝዓይነቱ ክሲ ካብ ሕቡራት መንግስታት ክሳብ ትሰምዑ ክትጸንሑ ኣይነበረኩምን:: ሰብ ‘ሲ ክሳብ ወጻእተኛታት ዓገብ ክብሉ ክጽበ ዘሕፍር እዩ :: ሕጂ ኸ ናብ ልብኹም ኣይትምለሱን ዶ ? ቅሩብ ከ ፍጡራት ሰብ ዶ ኣይኮንኩምን ? ኣንታ !!! ኣሕዋት ስውኣት ዶ ኣይኮንኩምን? እዚ ስቃይ ኣብ ልዕሊ ህዝብኹም ዶ ኣይኮነን ዝወርድ ዘሎ ? ዓገብ ኣሕዋት ናብ ልብኹም ተመለሱ ::

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Kokhobay,

      “ሰባት ኣብ ክውንነት ተሞርኪሶም ክዛረቡን – ካብ ዘይተደላይ ስሚዒታዊ ፍንጭራዕ ነጻ ክኾኑ እንተኾይኖም ኣብ ጭቡጥ ሓቂ ባዕሎም ክነብሩ ይግባእ”. This statement will be a living statement that checks everyone’s act if they use as a litmus test to what they have said or intend to say something.

      regards,
      Amanuel Hidrat

  • Guest

    I want to know where was the UN 20 years ago? Why are they making it sound all of these reports are just recent when it happened since the brutal tyrannical dictatorial regime took over over decades ago? Is it because of the recent Mediterranean incident? This is nothing new, the whole incident of fleeing is nothing new and everything happened when African Kim Jon-un was here and is still here.

    • Kokhob Selam

      Dear Guest,
      that is nice question. how about going further and ask -Why we Eritreans were waiting UN when in fact we are the one who live on it ? even go further isn’t the case our own and it is our homework before it is UN’s?

      • selam

        Dear k.s
        well said , i couldn’t find any sentence to put it. Lets search deep

      • Michael Tesfamariam

        Selam
        That is the point. But for those who wish know where was the UN HRC before, I say it was right in the Middle East. You are absolutely right when you said that it was up to the people to deal with their own domestic problem. We were capable to remove the regime a long ago, had we had the courage and will to do so.

  • Mahmud Saleh

    Dear SAAY

    First Ramadan Kareem, and I thank you profoundly for your incisive analysis; I guess, the best ever. As you perfectly put it, it’s indeed sad to see this beautiful nation and proud people discussed in this manner. But as my friend TK once reminded me, it’s the making of us all. Particularly people my age and older, regardless of what role they had played in liberating our nation, have collectively failed that same nation. Now, our children are paying the price. We did a simple mistake. We did not avail ourselves to the defense of the first liberty fighters (the right to express one’s opinion without the expectation of arbitrary reprisal/freedom of press…), the first batch of democratization-fighters, the first batch of fighters for religious freedom…the first batch of fighters against corruption…The first batch of elders who tried their best to use their customary prestige to “advice” the ruler to do the right thing.They were all seen off to the unknown dungeons, we kept silent. We rationalized, “They must have done something wrong!” And they still languish incommunicado.

    In 1991, I had a breakfast with Biteweded Abraha, in a small café right next to Etegemenen Hospital (when you walk up to Qehas (QeyH BaHri) high school to your right side). He had just arrived from Asab. I did not notice a sign of what was awaiting him. He was such an optimistic and uplifting man. He asked me what I was doing and continued advising me to take advantage of my presence in Asmara (he was focused on advising me on continuing my study). Of course, the story is long, Biteweded has been documented and his message of not surrendering our rights is well out; his open fight with his jailer, his open fight with the Kangaroo court, and the little paper he was given upon his release, “Biteweded abraha has been jailed for disciplinary breach” one line, “ቢተወደድ ኣብራሃ ብጉድለት ዲሲፕሊን ተኣሲሩ ነይሩ” signed by the Minister of defense. Bitew was not a man you could shove around. He kept his fight criticizing the government openly despite the warning that had been given to him upon his release. Wherever he was invited, he kept reminding people that unless they made restraints upon the government, Eritrea would pay more price while in the hands of its liberators than it did when it was in the hands of its occupiers. Shortly after, he was picked up by the secret police and his whereabouts and his health conditions are not certain. Mind you, this is a man who along Gen. Wuchu, lead the invasion of EPLF to the depths of Dankalia liberating Asab; and this is the same man who warned IA, early on, about the informal transactions with Meles Government and what those informal deals and transactions might entail to the security of the nation in the long run. Non of the bogus accusations we hear against him were presented in the Kangaroo court. He was innocent then and he will die innocent. And then there are all those faces we betrayed when they desperately needed our rescuing hand. Where are they now?

    It’s very sad that a people who paid so much for freedom to injure such a poignant treatment at the hands of a man on whom they had placed unwavering trust. I advise people who think that the UN is “of no good”- and you have a reason to be suspicious of this organ- to take the account separately and ask your self if you are aware of all or some of the atrocities; or if from your experience, you have a reason to believe it’s likely that they have been committed. Simply, do what Mizzan asked you to do (It occurred to me and I was to use it, but then I saw Mizzan had used it), but here it is in Mizzaan’s words, ” For the critics of the UNHR report, I only urge you to read number 31 on this article and if you are able to answer to one of the questions there reasonably, I will say kudos to you”

    Saleh Younis did a superb job by asking those “prebuttal” questions. Here is that beautiful Parag:

    “31. What is it that the stakeholders who are claiming they are excluded can say that would change the CoIE’s standard of “reasonable grounds to believe”? Are they going to say “I was in prison and I never saw anyone tortured nor have I ever heard of it?” Are they going to say “I was in prison and the conditions were humane?” Are they going to say “I was at National Service and I have never heard of sexual violence?” Are they going to say “I was at National Service and I have never heard of anyone who was underage?” Are they going to say “I know many draft-dodgers and I have never heard of reprisals taken against parents?” Are they going to say “I have never heard of round-ups?” Are they going to say that “I know everyone who has been in prison and everyone was taken to court, had a chance to defend himself/herself, was sentenced and has family visitation rights?” Are they going to say, “here I am in Eritrea: saying whatever I want about the government, in front of a large group of people, and I haven’t been arrested”? Are they going to point to private press that criticizes the government? Are they going to say, “when I call home or visit home I never sense any fear: people are free to say whatever they want about the government and they do in print and radio and TV?”
    That’s all. Is there anyone who doesn’t know that any of the above didn’t happen to a family member, a friend…a neighbor…a comrade? That’s all. How ugly should it get for us to say “enough”? For how long should it continue for us to say “That’s too long”?
    What Ted has said is also very important. The question should not be “what does the UN do next?”, but rather, “what do we do,with this material, next?” Or, how do we use this material in effectuating the change our people desperately need?
    PS: “KIFLI MEFRE” was your lowest point, it has explanation and actually, that label did not come from EPLF TEGADELTI. The history of marriage and childbearing have a context, and whatever tegadelti of both organizations lobbied against each other also has a context. I know my friend Semere dived into it, but I will forgive him for today. It’s not time to waste time on yesteryears, let the “እኒ መን ነበሩ?” lots deal with it. We have a burning issue at hand.
    AbusalaH, bekul saraHa; this is an additional tool for the investigators. Even for ardent readers of your articles, this is more than a surprise. The speed at which you collected the information, formulated your article, and built you arguments, just breath taking.
    Any self-respecting citizen should not try to gain patriotic high ground from covering and or defending any type of aggression against the dignity of human kind let alone against your own people by your own people. Patriotism is an expression of how prepared one gets to defend his people. Injustice is injustice regardless of who committed it. Patriotism is an expression of standing against injustice and aggression, not only standing up to an aggression against territorial lot, but an aggression against human right, be it by your own rulers or rulers of a foreign origin.This is a call to stand up to an aggression against humanity on our people by our own people; the calls of the victims are loud and clear.
    Thank you, Sir.

    • Semere Andom

      Hi Mahmuday:
      Romadan Karim:
      You captured the injustice by ivoking Bitow, you have articulated our collective failures and paid homage to Bitewo when PFDJ and YPFDJ want to erase him. His plight epitomizes the crimes against humanity perpetuated by PFDJ.
      So I am happy with this piece. About the “Kifli Mefre” we can duke it next time, I am sure it will come up one of these days. And I disagree, it was low on this article, it depicts how they think of women, how they pay lip services to women and what they think of them is captured in this report and many other reports that I personally know about by talking to girls who were in Sawa and written about in various comments. The point of this issue is not “wolqesebat”, meaning it is systematic; otherwise I would not worried about if it was one lone wolf general using his power. But I digress
      It is not the crime, it is its systematic nature that is so worrisome, basically so much for the Eritrea is crime free, a country that is very high crime rate is better than the systematic crimes that the COI has found in Eritrea. The roots of disability, civil war and failed state hav been sown since independence.Today is Jun 20 and Eritreans are debating a report that implicated their country with crimes of humanity

      • Mahmud Saleh

        Bexay Semere
        Thank you for your understanding. The role women occupy in a given society gives an accurate reading about that society’s achievement towards modernity. That’s by ruling out all the political gimmicks and ploys practiced by some governments demonstrated by their handpicking of cadres to show a quota, a minister woman here, a parliamentary woman there….
        The emancipation of women is a process and societies could be judged by looking at how progressive they are in allowing women to unleash their potential.
        To come to your point:
        a/ I am not talking about PFDJ Eritrea
        b/ I agree with you on propaganda level that we spoke too much of the victories and gave little attention to the repressive practices that were arrayed against women. In my past exchanges with you, I did not hide the fact that ghedli was full with folks who looked down on women, and predators who prayed on the vulnerable. But there were enough number of senior women-tegadelti who proved every male chauvinist attitudes wrong through their sacrifices, and who would not hesitate to put a bullet into the heads of zombie predators. The new and the young females had some backup to fall upon whenever they needed advice and assistance. It is a mistake to paint the generation of that era as having witnessed a systematic abuse of women. There were abuses in areas of higher positions, particularly by military commanders, but, overall, those transgressions were contained by the watchful guard of brave women and men who slept in the same trenches and who were finally buried in the same graves.
        Take it this way: our society is one of the most backward societies in the world when it comes to the equality of women, and hence, we are backward. We need to accept this fact. Eritrean women paid more than they could be recompensed. Despite societal and ghedli demands and challenges, through their sacrifices, they had once and for all put male chauvinism to rest. Remember, you have to see their role within the context of an armed struggle, a war. Did they gain what they deserved? No. Was ghedli a total emancipation? Again, no. But the women I knew would not endure a systematic sexual abuses. They were so proud that when challenged, they would make jokes of male cowardice; and when in their natural setting they would encourage male combatants to be brave. They entered every place male combatants entered, untold in the history of world military (except in our neighbor Ethiopia, under TPLF leadership; here too, I am sure TPLF women tegadelti considered Eritrean tegadelti as pioneers) where women served in trenches, mixed and along side of male combatants, where women served in heavy artillery units, tanks, logistic departments….in garages, writers…doctors…nurses…teachers…community builders…The experience of Eritrean women in both ELF and EPLF was similar.
        We should not consider them as passive players where they should await their emancipation from the male. You know the male partner is not that generous to grant that emancipation. Those pioneer women knew this fact and they faced the social challenges head on.
        Unfortunately, after independence, women’s achievements, just like other achievements, were repulsed. This should be understood within all the other failures, political, social, human rights issues, rule of law….And it is helpful if we see the sexual and other abuses our young women are subjected to within this framework. I suspect the overwhelming of young recruits, the absence of the veteran women, and the political action of rendering the National Union O f Eritrean Women as another tentacle of PFDJ…generally, an abusive program of national service, and the unchecked and unquestioned authority that was given to military commanders, all of these factors resulted in the picture painted in this UN report. What’s depressing is that we have known these abuses have been occurring. I have not seen any official from the NUEW raise any of it. On the contrary, we see them attending UN conferences to highlight Eritrean women’s achievements. So, taken within this broad discussion, I understand your point.
        Sorry, I went out of my way deliberately. Since it is June 20, I have to protect the image of the brave women I lived among, most of them dead, by registering my first hand accounts and by presenting the question in its complex form.
        Regards.

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Mahmuday,

          This is good comment as it should be and reflected as it was on the ground .

          regards

      • Mizaan1

        Well said Semere. I really want to like and idolize Mahmoud Saleh but in every beautiful comment, he throws in a curve ball that’s hard to catch. That makes me shy away from making him like an Eritrean idol. He is as compassionate a human being as there is but he loses his tracks in trying to defend EPLF’s medda legacy, which is full of atrocious crimes and could also easily qualify as crimes against humanity.

  • AZM

    Selamat Saay
    From Minewale point of view
    This article is SuRia AreMrem
    One point to make if I may
    Article # 42 last sentence is your product or YG’s
    Abet Abet what is this beautiful mind wasting his time addressing house of denkoroTat just like me

  • Ted

    Dear Saay, thank you. As you said it, this documented can be exploited/used by all form of people from asylum seekers……..to political oppositions as they see it fit. Knowing what is going on and outside information, I think the GoE knew this kind of report is coming their way and the severity of accusation will lay up on them. This report serve/antagonize different interested groups in Eritrean affairs. The mining companies are eager to dismiss the accusation for the obvious reasons, the “kebero junkies” become more vocal for the orchestrated attack on national security and the some opportunist oppositions will milk this as if their head(country) is on fire.

    We should learn to see this report to be a unifying force than polarizing and the recommendation of COI is the good place to start. The Recommendations, more than ever before, are more stern and specific. It is the time for oppositions to use this opportunity to garner the support of Eritreans and the international community to achieve what is needed to see better Eritrea. I am afraid, we will fail once again with the same kind of head but we have been doing for decades. Even with damning report, as we all see, GoE is way ahead of us in damage control. While we fight each other ‘weed out or not”, i am sure( but could be wrong), the GoE will be granted the back door access for minor spanking from the big powers to go life as is. We need to learn from past experience with big powers in our region, , US and EU are not that interested in our affairs if things don’t affect them or benefit them in one way or another and we also need to understand the dilemma of the big powers in this already chaotic world. What do you expect them to do for us? It is all in our power to do good of this report.

    PS. Saay, removing IA to see better Eritrea is unimaginable, it is like the defeat of PFDJ.

    • Kokhob Selam

      Dear Ted,
      well said. we are coming closer. Ended, People should use to the best they can. after all it is we who should change and all other is additional.

  • Abi

    Saay,
    Just beautiful! Easy to read and understand.
    I suggest somebody translate it into Tigrigna and Arabic .

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Dear Saay,

    Excellent summary as usual. You put it in a crystal clear all the nuggets of the report and the possible argument of both sides (the opposition and the regime supporters). Unfortunately it is still long for the low appetite reading of Eritreans. Eritreans are more of talking than than reading. Your summary is or will be a document of a document – and hence a reference for posterity. I hope Ghezae will give us an insight and legalese argument on the report.

    regards,
    Amanuel Hidrat

  • Mizaan1

    Dear Saay,

    What a scathing analysis to IA and PFDJ! Before I go too far, I like to thank you deeply for taking the time to read and digest the 500 page report and put in excerpts and analysis here for us ever so eloquently. Very unfairly, I lazily depend on you and a few others for these kinds of reports because it never occurs to me to read the actual documents. I think this applies to a large majority of Eritreans in this forum or elsewhere. I have now paid heed of Ghezae’s criticism and your sharp point on number 2.

    My initial take was ‘okay, what is there I haven’t heard of or read about.’ But I couldn’t contain myself reading your first several excerpts from the report. Just the first sentence was enough for me to be lachrymose. It is grave indeed!

    Your analysis is stellar. I have never quite read such a damning analysis on the regime in Eritrea. Not only the UN report, but your analysis will also have far reaching abasement on the regime. Lampedusa was the beginning of the end for the regime in my opinion and this report (and your analysis) here will take us 90% of the way.

    For the critics of the UNHR report, I only urge you to read number 31 on this article and if you are able to answer to one of the questions there reasonably, I will say kudos to you.

    I also like how you defended the qualifier ‘may’ (have committed crimes against humanity) on number 36.

    This is just simply an all out masterfully written report. Only Saay could do this and I am glad you did. When you are at your best, none is ever better than you. I am so happy right now because I was afraid we may have had lost your voice when you were pushing the reform project so far and I was afraid you would have lost your appetite for such a report. But you are back, roaring. The 710 Eritrean victims and witnesses who contributed to the UN report need you and so do the rest of tens of thousands of victims of there regimes crimes against humanity. So do the rest of us weeping everyday for our people.

    Thank you very much for this incredible report indeed!

  • Semere Andom

    Dear Sal:
    This an excellent piece, will read it again to digest. It is loaded with lots of gems.
    One of your true comment about EPLF hypocrisy about women, “enda mefre” is factual. Without going to what Mahmuday and I fought about before, I can just mention, “tegadalai amma tewelwali zeyti hinna terifuwa kkwen sebeyti”, while the hinna donning women fought valiantly. PFDJ’s house of cards is slowly falling and what we as opposition need to do is build on it, this was 24 years in the making, We must stop saying, it is not new to us, asserting our self-righteous moments
    And about “enda memfre”, EPLF’s enda mefere was mind boggling, but they were late comers to the facts that people needed to live while dying and fighting.