Inform, Inspire, Embolden. Reconcile!

Srryet Addis: Blatant Lie?

This is the last of a three-part series. On February 13, 2012 we presented the first part (He And His Objectives) and on March 7, 2012, we presented the second part, detailed testimonies contained in Gebremedhin Zegergis’ eye witness report which are, to our knowledge, the first detailed first-hand testimony of the subject we are exploring. Today, we present to you our third and last article of the series entitled ‘Srryet Addis: Blatant Lie?’ We believe that all three documents will shed more light on the most crucial grey part in the history of the Eritrean struggle of the late sixties and early 1970s. In this article, we present a challenge to what has become almost a myth in modern Eritrean history: the alleged killings of Srryet Addis.

Since its inception awate.com has proclaimed its slogan: “inform, inspire, embolden, reconcile.”  Throughout the years, we have heard questions of “who reconciles with whom? We are not fighting, so why are we reconciling?” And we have attempted to answer such questions with words to this effect: the history of Eritrea, like the history of any people, is a history of winners and losers; of vanquishers and vanquished; of accusers and accused; and, throughout our history, those who feel they have been wronged have never had an opportunity to tell their side of the story. And the wound is an open sore which never healed…and the only way out of the vicious cycle is for people to be open to listening to others’ grievances.”

In other words, information—blunt information, when necessary—and the ability, the willingness to listen to a different point of view, is a pre-requisite to reconciliation. It is one of the reasons we published the martyr’s album, the names of those killed in action in the “Badme War,” in 2004. When people were speculating that there were 50,000 dead, 60,000 dead, we listed the names and ages of the nearly 20,0000 Eritreans who perished in that senseless war so we can at least know the SIZE of the pain, before we discuss the CAUSE and the RESOLUTION to the pain. Those who thought it would be politically advantageous to exaggerate the number were not happy with us; and those who knew that the next question would be “why”—the regime supporters—were full of hatred and rage towards us. But we persisted and we shared the information with you.

Without specific information—what, when, where, how, who, why—it is difficult to have reconciliation and closure. This is why police states like the one in Eritrea monopolize information: they have calculated that if we don’t have the precise detail of those it has incarcerated, killed and made to disappear, then our demands for accountability will be dismissed as “exaggeration” or “fabrication.” But even without having the answers to those questions, we should have a conversation.

How many Eritreans were massacred in Ona and what are their names? How many Eritreans were massacred in Sh’Eb and what are their names, gender, age? How many Eritreans, the so-called MekaE and Yameen were killed by the EPLF? How many Eritreans were killed in the so-called Falul chaos within the ELF? Haw many were the victims who were branded Yameen in Denkalia and were killed by the ELF? How many Eritreans, and what are the specifics of these Eritreans, who were summarily executed by PFDJ officials? How many Eritreans have been exiled, arrested, tortured, and made to disappear? What are the names of the Eritreans who have been dispossessed and whose properties were taken? What are the precise grievances of the Eritrean Kunama and Eritrean Afar, and others?

There are many more questions.

And one of the questions that has not been answered to-date is the case of Srryet Addis: the claim that the Eritrean Liberation Front killed hundreds of Christian Highlanders.

The Allegation

In November 1971, the Eritrean field saw the emergence of a political manifesto known as Nehnan Elamanan. As was the custom of the era, the manifesto had no byline other than to a collective “we”—the “we” later identified in the manifesto as “we who are predominantly if not totally Christian highlanders.” It is a testimony to the polarized Eritrean polity that to this day many Eritreans (and many foreign political scientists, particularly leftist intellectuals) consider the document a brilliant treatise whereas many others saw it as a poisonous seed with its repeated references to the Muslim combatants of the Eritrean Liberation Front as butchers (always with a knife), reactionaries, tribalists, womanizers, bigots, shiftless bandits “shooting their guns aimlessly” and lacking any sense of nationalism, but pledging allegiance to Jihad and Arabism.

The most sensational claim of Nehnan Elamanan was that, during a two-year period, the Eritrean Liberation Front had killed over 300 Christian highlanders. Some of those killed, it claimed, were a group that had arrived from Addis Abeba to enlist in the field. And since then, those alleged victims were collectively referred to as Srryet Addis (Addis Battalion). Here is how Nehnan Elamanan describes the incident:

“…The [ELF leaders] ordered those who were in Sudan to air their complaints, to return to the field. The complainers, instead of following the orders, because during their stay in Sudan they were imprisoned and angered by the Sudanese authorities, they surrendered to the Haile Sellasie [Ethiopian] consulate in Sudan. Using this as a pretext, the viceroys of Jebha [ELF] passed orders to the field to kill all Christians, without any crime, they unjustly brought over one-hundred combatants from the Highlands and killed them in ravines. After the combatants from the Highlands surrendered [to Ethiopia, and others] were killed, there remained in the ranks of Jebha only a few that can be counted with the fingers of a hand.”

“Later, believing that if they killed the wise the others have nothing to do, they killed Kidane Kiflu and Welday Ghidey” It continues further and states, “After the death of those martyrs [Kidane and Welday], similar to 1967, [the leaders of ELF] passed orders to [combatants in] the field to gather all Christians and to slaughter them. Over 200 innocent combatants were slaughtered and thrown away. And over 200 escaped and surrendered to the enemy [Ethiopia]… Due to this and worse deeds of injustice, those Christian combatants who were in the ELF were lost to surrendering and killing…”[i]

Todate, there is an important question that has not been answered ever since Nehnan Elamanan saw the light of day. One would expect those who consider the document flawless to have come with more names in addition to Kidane Kiflu and Welday Ghide. Why not? It shouldn’t be difficult if there are over one-hundred and fifty “Christian university students… massacred by the ELF”!

So far, the only account closely related to the Srryet Addis incident that was later to become a catchphrase, is the eyewitness testimony of Gebremedhin Zerezghi.

“…members of Srryet Addis were being recruited by Solomon Weldemarian (an ally of Isaias) in the Highlands against the order of the ELF leadership that had passed orders to stop recruiting. Solomon kept recruiting specifically select people in violation of the orders. At a later stage, the new recruits were sent to the surroundings of Debr Sala where they attacked other ELF combatants and “the squad leader was then crushed [with a stone] and was martyred. One of the machine gunners was sleeping while securely rolled around his gun, and a member of Srreyet Addis who was supposed to snatch it from him was not successful. He was killed himself there. The remaining 15 fled and entered Agordat. When this [incident] happened, the news of the betrayal of Srreyet Addis spread all over the field. While the majority of the remaining members of Srreyet Addis who were assigned in other places fled and surrendered to the enemy, the rest joined Selfi Natsnet [Isaias’ splinter group].”[ii]

The student population of Haile Sellasie university in the late sixties is open for research; and the possibility that at the university there were several hundred Eritrean Christian students who would all decide to join the ELF en masse in a short period of time, and who would all be killed in the same incident, begs for a serious explanation. In short, the perpetrators of the allegations, Isaias and his colleagues, and their satellites, haven’t produced anything for over forty-years. Unfortunately, humble challenges by some Eritreans were not enough to expose the allegations as utter lies; and sadly, there are many who still believe the lies and act upon it.

Alleged Victims: 300; Names Produced: 2

There are many victims of the Eritrean struggle for independence, all liquidated, jailed and abused based on the norms of “revolutionary justice.” Some of the victims of the political crisis are well known, others are not. For example: the combatants that the ELF labeled as Yemeen and liquidated in Dankalia[iii]; the names of those whom the EPLF labeled Menka’a[iv] as well as those it labeled Yemeen and liquidated[v]; others victims who were killed by the EPLF whose names pop up here and there;[vi] and the victims of the Haraka[vii] that the ELF liquidated at Ela Tsaaeda in 1965[viii] are well known. But the causalities of 1977 who perished after the ELF attacked “Fallol”, a rebellion by a mish-mash of small groups which included the rebellious reform-minded youth; the insubordinate troublemakers; the  anarchists; and those who were misguided and misdirected by their political idols whom they wanted to bring to power, are less known. Most of them had either surrendered to the EPLF or to the Ethiopian garrisons. Those who joined the EPLF were allegedly decimated in the battle of Massawa in 1977. Their oral stories are told in many versions, each looking at it from a different perspective, but the victims are relatively better known though no serious research has been conducted to explain the events properly.

In the entire Nehnan Elamanan manifesto, it is alleged that 300 Eritreans (Christian highlanders) were killed but only two names are ever, and repeatedly, produced: Kidane Kiflu and Welday Ghidey.

Four decades later, no other names have been produced:

(a)   Alamin Mohammed Saeed, the semi-retired PFDJ Secretary, says:

“The Eritrean Liberation Front executed 250 individuals based on religion and regional affiliation. Kidane Kiflu and Weldai Ghidey were two of them.”

(b)   Brig General Ghirmay Mehari  confirms:

“the previous word of mouth account of how the two (Kidane Kiflu and Woldai Ghidey) were murdered in cold blood in Kassala.”[ix]

(c)   Naizghi Kiflu [ex-Internal Security chief who died in London on the 6th of February, 2012)] confirms:

“The split from the ELF had already started before the martyrdom of Kidane. Basically, Kidane was in Kassala with the understanding reached between him and Isaias Afwerki and Abraham Tewolde. Isaias and Abraham had already split with their respective comrades. Kidane Kiflu was in Kassala to coordinate the activities outside of the field. From Kassala, he used to correspond with me [Niazghi], Aboi Woldeab Woldemariam, Hiruy Tedla and others about the conditions and situations of the field.”

(d)   Mesfin Hagos, in a recent interview (translated here to English) also mentions the two names:

“…at the Adobha Congress…a transitional leadership, what known as Qyada AlAma,  was established. There, two committees were formed 1) a preparatory committee for a congress and 2) a committee that would investigate [the cases] of those who say they were wronged by the ELF and the mistakes that were claimed to have been committed by [the ELF], a committee  to investigate and scrutinize was formed. I worked as a member of the investigative committee. After the congress I went straight to Sudan—it was to supposed to [investigate] if there were [people] who claim to have been wronged by the ELF. It didn’t work out as wished. Those who were in the field and even their section who entered into the Sudan, maybe some who remained in the field might have worked, but those of us who came to the Sudan couldn’t do anything. That is because the leadership of the time didn’t want us to work, it didn’t want us to meet with the people, it didn’t want us to ask the people, and they didn’t want the people to give us their views or tell us the wrongdoing that befell on them.  Therefore, we were immediately pulled back and entered the field.  This happened at the end of the seventies; similarly, when we entered the field at the end of 1969, we were scattered everywhere, I was told that I was appointed to the engineering department, but shortly…I went to the Sudan. There were some books in Sudan that I brought along with me from China, and that would  help us in my appointed position {engineering ….when I entered [Sudan] there was disharmony among the leadership, when chaos ensued and we entered Sudan, those who were in Sudan, specially those who were closely cooperating with us, Welday Ghidey and Kidane Kiflu were killed by the ELF, and since there were [in Sudan] many who came from the field—those who came from Eritrean towns, also those who came from Sudan, there was no one to organize them, it was those two [Welday Ghidey and Kidane Kiflu ] who were organizing them. There was also imprisonment and there was, and there were many escapee combatants [in Sudan]. [x]

A pre-condition to reconciliation is truth-telling. There are only two possibilities here: The ELF killed 300 Christian highlanders and nobody knows the name of the 298 Eritreans killed. This seems an untenable argument but could be possible: absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. There is another possibility and, indeed, a higher probability: the claim that 300 Eritrean Christian highlanders were killed was a fabrication, an invention to mobilize people by appealing to their baser instincts as well as a means to justify what was then considered an extreme measure: splitting. 

In the Eritrea of 1971, which had a recent and bitter memory of how its internal division in the 1940 had led to its eventual federation with, and annexation by, Ethiopia, there were two taboos: (a) splitting the Eritrean resistance; (b) surrendering to the Ethiopian army. Nehnan Elamanan argued that in 1971 Eritrean combatants from the highlands had only two choices: to surrender to Ethiopia or to be butchered by the ELF. Therefore, it argued, since neither were its choice, it had to split and found a separate organization.

The only way that its justification to split the organization could be politically palatable was to argue that the ELF hadn’t killed just a few or a dozen: it had to argue that the ELF had killed hundreds of Eritreans, and that all these hundreds of Eritreans who were killed were Christian highlanders. And this is precisely what the document strongly alleged.

We hope the detailed testimonies contained in Gebremedhin’s report will serve as a background to the topic that we have addressed so far. Together with other sources, it sheds more light on what we believe is the most destructive document ever authored by an Eritrean. Using several sources, we have modestly challenged the ‘Nehnan Elamanan’ lies that have been crippling our society for over forty years. In short, the divisive document authored by Isaias and his colleagues can probably be compared to Hitler’s Mein Kompf. Both messages served as tool of agitation to rally the people for sinister motives and both messages succeeded in creating a megalomaniac.
________________________

[i] Nehnan Elamana

[ii] Gebremedhin Zegergis, An Eye Witness In The History Of The Eritrean Revolution

[iii] Yemeen combatants killed by ELF in Ibbi, Dankalia on 22 May 1978: 1) Saed Hussien 2) Omer M. Suba, 3) Ahmed Ibrahim 4) Omer M. Omer 5) Haji Saleh 6) Ibrahim Mahder 7) M. Mansur 8)  M. Shedeli Ismail 9) Abdu Idris A., and 10) Adem Ibrahim Al Haj  http://www.ehrea.org/ExecutedDankalia.htm, and an Arabic  booklet called Shuhada’a Al Teshis (Martyrs of Reform)

[iv] Menkae killed named by Meharenna Hadgu (from his video narration):
1)Mussie Tesfankiel (Tsina’a Degle)
2)Yohannes Sebhatu (Gura’e)
3) Russom pharmacist (?)

4) Afeworki Teklu (Atekelezan, Anseba)
5) Tareke Yehedego (Himbirti)
6) Habteselasie Gebremedhin (?)
7) Aberash (?)
8) Dehab Tesfatsion (Gura‘e)
9) Tewelde Eyob, a member of the leadership  (?)
10) Berhe Mesih (Possiblly from Mendefera)
11) Gebreamlak Isak (Mai Cha’eda)
12) Michael wedi haketay (HImbirti)
13) Goitom Berhe, SerE(Akeleguzay)
14) Alem Abraha, (Akeleguzai)
15) Habte (?)
16) Aba Samuel (?)
17) Teklemariam Rashaida  (Wedi  Keshi  Gebremeskel) (?)
18) Petros Kahsay, student from North America
19) Girmay Bahri, Asmara university student, (?)
20) Amare Tekumurach (Digsa)
21) Araya Semere, (?)
22) Abraha Seyoum, (Tsina’a Degle)
23) Haile Ameso, wedi ameso (Aala)
24) Estifanos (?)
25) Debessai Gebremichael, Mendefera
source for the above: (www.eritrios.com, the site has other related materials.)

[v] in 1976 Isaias Afwerki authored a booklet titled, “Destructive Movement” to prepare the ground for the purging of the “Yemeen” who were executed at Arrag in 1980:
1) Dr Eyob Ghebre-leul, educated in the USSR
2) Mehari Ghirma-Tsion
3) Ghebre-Michael Meharizghi, Addis Abeba university graduate
4) Hibret Tesfa-Ghaber
5) Kidane Abeito
6) Fissehaye Kidane (Germen)
7) Haile Jebha, former EPLF interrogation section chief
8) Araya Semere,
9) Ammanuel Filansa
10) Solomon Woldemariam.
(http://www.ehrea.org/purgeeplf.php)

[vi] in 1976 Isaias Afwerki authored a booklet titled, “Destructive Movement” to prepare the ground for the purging of the “Yemeen” who were executed at Arrag in 1980:
1) Dr Eyob Ghebre-leul, educated in the USSR
2) Mehari Ghirma-Tsion
3) Ghebre-Michael Meharizghi, Addis Abeba university graduate
4) Hibret Tesfa-Ghaber
5) Kidane Abeito
6) Fissehaye Kidane (Germen)
7) Haile Jebha, former EPLF interrogation section chief
8) Araya Semere,
9) Ammanuel Filansa
10) Solomon Woldemariam.
(http://www.ehrea.org/purgeeplf.php)

[vii] Eritrean Liberation Movement

[viii]  Mohammed Saeed Naud, AlHaqiqa Weltarikh, self-published Arabic book. ELM combatants attacked and killed by the ELF at Ela Tsaada in 1965:  1) Mohammed Saleh 2) Mahya-El Din Ali 3) Ahmed Salih Ali  4) Idris Mahmoudi
5) Ali Mahmo

[ix] October 1, 2003, the PFDJ newspaper Haddas Eritrea had an interview with Brig. General Ghirmay Mehari, who confirms this.

[x] Mesfin Hagos in an interview with Radio Erina Dec. 1, 2011

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  • Habtegiorgis Abraha

    Dear Selah n Hameed,

    Brothers, Srryet Addis is not at all a PFDJ’s issue; it is an Eritrean issue. I seriously believe, without any emotional attachments, that you should withdraw your conclusion and make apology to the Eritrean people/ your readers for making that blunder of a conclusion, unless you simply would like to imply ‘AlmerHum KeTan’. I wish that would have been that of such an easy ride!

    As to your contributions regarding political campaigns, you are right you are challenging the PFDJ; on the other side you are also serving their veiled propaganda machine/ campaigns, falling now and then to ethnic and religious affairs. The only thing that would challenge the PFDJ, I believe, is making any challenges at national/ Eritrean level; which the PFDJ has ever failed to qualify for. But as a matter of propaganda they consider themselves as atrue Eritrean organization and blackmail the rest as sub national, contributing to the disintegration of the people and ultimately destabilizing the nation.

    I very much like the awate team, as you (Hameed) have said, (The awate team have got information about Srryet Addis and liked to share it with its readers.) to share with its readers infos it collected/ researched. What none of us would like the team is giving conclusions without doing their research, as it has said it correctly: absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

    Again, I couldn’t even understand your point Hameed when I read statements like – I think the awate team doesn’t intend to clear the side of Jabha leaders from any crime, but they are against the group that organized an ethnic and religious organization in Eritrea and still continue on this line. – Hameed, has the ELF leadership been doing/ is doing, (think of the years of Srryet Addis, the event of Rasai, and up until now Tedamun and the ethnic orgs) any different from the group the awate team would like to stand against? I might agree as of with the good intentions many of us dream but the political picture as is even now will certainly need more openness and commitment – and not only wanting to witness the demise of the PFDJ!

    And I completely agree to what you (Hameed) said, quote: “What condemned by most Eritreans is organizing an ethnic and religious organization that fights and marginalize the rest of the Eritrean people.”.

    Hameed, would the awate team be convinced, that it is informing its readers by labeling its ‘finding/ conclusion’ as “Blatant Lie”? Forget the size of the ‘interviewed’, even having the two leading cadres’ names would refute the labeling and reaching a conclusion.

    I don’t want you to open any speculations about my stand regarding ‘NeHanan Elamanan’. I had the docs of the ELF 1st National Congress as early as the ‘NeHanan Elamanan’ came into my hands, and I rejected it since then. Yes it is partly a poisonous script; but it didn’t come with any new poison. Isayas, NeHanan Elamanan’ used it; and misused it. The sad thing, I believe, is the eri politics was always unable to break the enemy’s/ enemies’ tactics of divide and rule. That was the time the H. Silassie regime successfully recruited commandos and neTsilebas in almost all villages of the Christian Eritrea up to Keren; and the damages that followed in the Saho areas and the lowlands, and the counter damages committed in the highlands in the name of the people’s national struggle. The H. Silassie regime got the right time and pulse of the pain of the eri Christian; unless one would blindly wants to ascribe it as a complot as it seems you tend to, when mentioning S. W/ Mariam recruiting while he had been instructed not to do so.

    And we don’t have to go back to the 40s, 70s, as it is something we have inherited; we still are falling victim (the constituent of the current opposition orgs who most of them existed before PFDJ) of it. And you don’t have to mix up what the Eritreans experienced a hundred years ago. They had their time, space and condition; and so had been of the 40s, 70s … and we experience what we are practicing now. We won’t be short of making conclusions or comments though; but the quality of them. We reap what we saw!

    As the cause of the split of the ‘NeHanan Elamanan’ as of your conclusion to be associated with Srryet Addis, what would be the cause of the split of the other 2 Shabias just at that the same time?

    You have done remarkable job keeping the border war sacrifices documented. I strongly feel that you make an apology and leave the Srryet Addis topic open to find its own time for a conclusion or you need to accept that you are feeding yourself and the Eritrean people with a wrong spoon, and scratching the painful wounds against your motto (“inform, inspire, embolden, n reconcile”!!).

    Do you have any clue that the Ethiopian security were looking for Kidane Kiflu, the then top clandestine organizer in A. Ababa when making the arrests – workers and students – in hundreds (and the song that expressed the pain of our people at that time – TsibuQat Jenabil kolel kibla, DiQas keliEnayom sidrabetna …)? Many, who either were employed or were looking jobs in A.A and whose parents thought they were in A.A, left to the field from A.A. It is really sad to read such lifeless comments like that of the person’s – Tirhas upon those who paid their precious lives for their people!! It is that extremely expensive and committed young Eritrean national spirit and blood that beyond the odds changed the ground of the ELF into relatively the Eritrean ground.

    It still needs to change; we have not moved far; we know where we stand; but pls no magic attempts!!!

    And would you pls tell me, whether the writer you have quoted, Gebremedhin Zerezghi [Zegergis], is saying that they were recruited and assigned or they were taken prisoners, when he said “ … At a later stage, the new recruits were sent to the surroundings of Debr Sala … “ and then when he said in his own piece: “… In the beginning, the task of collecting about 17 members of Srreyet Addis who were around Barka was accomplished. Until their remaining colleagues were collected from the different places to which they were assigned, they were accompanied by a guard squad of 12 people and ascended Debir Sala. …. ”!

    Cheers, Habtegiorgis Abraha

  • http://Awate Amanuel Hidrat

    Exciter,

    Show me any mafia organization that could be member of any of the international communities? please any mafia organisation could not be a member of the international community. Eritrea is a member of international communities, like UN, Au, IGAD, other than they tried at some point, like a crying child refused or call it (mihikal). Eritrea government is like North Korea, Iraqu during Saddam, but yet they are institutionalized government and members of international community who have diplomatic relations with their counterpart countries. Mafia organizations, other than you have your own definition, are not interested in political power, rather in economic interest, and for that they are kill important figures and rich people in the country they reside. Example the Bnbino family (group) in the united states, the Mafai in Italy which are completely weak these days.

    Please Governments deals with governments so does Eritrea government irrespective the nature of governance they have. Countries with institutional government do not deal with Mafia group in any international interaction, be it economic, cultural, and diplomatic.

    Suppose if we chose you to make diplomatic shuttle on behalf the opposition, are you going to seat eye to eye and tell them that Eritrea has mafia government, which by the way that the international, have already reached that the regime is an oppressive who violate human right, like Gedaffi, Saddam, Kim Il song…etc? It is this and among other thing that make us so poor in diplomatic politics. We don’t go by the book (by the internationally accepted political definitions) but by our taste. Ezi wodehanka.

    • Hameed

      Dear Amanuel,

      The member of the international community is the people of Eritrea and not the mafia group that resides in Asmara. The people of Eritrea have become a member of the international community through their struggle and the referendum that has taken place in 1993 in which all Eritreans voted for their independence. The mafia group that usurped the rights of the Eritrean people if voted alone in that referendum the Eritrean independence wouldn’t have materialized. The membership you are speaking about is the permanent property and rights of the Eritrean people. When the mafia in Asmara is erased from the land of Eritrea, they are not going to take with them the membership of Eritrea to dustbin.

      If the mafias in Italy or any other place got the chance that the Eritrean mafia has got they will not refuse it claiming they are only concerned with money. The more you get power the more you will get money and servants, and those who oppose thm will be liquidated by the power they have. The mafias you have mentioned use power and kill people to get money. For what purpose do you think they are using power? Isn’t the guns they are using to get superiority of power over the others. I don’t think a rational person will think that if they get authority will refuse it.

      Sadam Hussein was leading a sectarian government the same like that of Bashar of Syria. Gadafi also was leading a tribal government. All were members of the international community for they pretend to be the representative of their peoples. They may deceive their peoples and the international community for some time, but they will never delude them forever. And as all of us watched the moment the international community understands they are not real government they refuse them and work with the people to change them.

      In Eritrea there is no government and you can’t even compare them with that of Sadam, Assad and Gadafi. In Eritrea there is something which very different, they lack even the a, b, c of a government.

      If you recognize them as a government that mandated by the people of Eritrea, then you should not oppose it. You should join the mekette group and play your role in Nesu Nehna

    • http://myawate.awate.com/members/exciter/ Exciter

      Selam :- Brother Amanuel Hidrat, nice try. Actually, I tried to describe to you that PFDJ was intended to be a party but has been choked in 2001 because Isayas put most of the G-15 members into prison.
      “Show me any mafia organization that could be member of any of the international communities?”
      That is the PFDJ. Actually, the member of the international community is the state of Eritrea and its sovereign people but the dictator used the PFDJ as snail shell to hide himself. This is why I said that Isayas Afewerki modernised the way and art of the mafia today. What would you say about Russia? Russia is not only member of the international community, Russia is one of the five states with veto power in the United Nations but look what is going on in Russia: do you think that the things Putin and his marionette Medwedew are doing there have nothing to do with mafia or something like that? Putin was member of the KGB, he was a KGB agent and Boris Jelzin asked for immunity after his presidency and his wish was guaranteed by the likes of Putin, this is how he gained the power. You can see what is going on in Russia now: Putin, Medwedew, Putin, Medwedew, Putin…
      This is a mafia ideology. North Korea: the father gives the power to his son. This is the mafia ideology. Gaddafi wanted to do the same: he wanted to give the power to his son, as well as Mubarak and co. Those countries also were members of the international community. Did you see what happened to them? Gaddafi is dead, Mubarak is away, Ben Ali of Tunesia escaped.
      “Example the Bnbino family (group) in the united states, the Mafai in Italy which are completely weak these days.”
      The Binbino family is a joke compared to the Bernardo Provenzano, chief of the Cosa Nostra. Those were the key persons. Can you remember to Giulio Andreotti? The former Italian prime minister? You need to google. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giulio_Andreotti
      As you can see, the country Italy is part of the international community, but this doesn’t mean that everything is clean.
      “Suppose if we chose you to make diplomatic shuttle on behalf the opposition, are you going to seat eye to eye and tell them that Eritrea has mafia government”
      Yes i would. I am authentic.

      Peace.

      • http://Awate Amanuel Hidrat

        Dear Hameed & Exciter,

        Whether we like it or not the Eritrean people are represented by the oppressive regime of EPFDJ in the international organizations. That is why we are fighting to remove them and dismantle the state machine once for all. The opposition at this time can’t represent the Eritrean people in the International community. Something we have to accept and swallow the bitter pill until we remove them from power. This is the reality we can not avoid. Please go to literature and learn the difference of totalitarian regimes and Mafia organizations and you will exactly find it that regime we have in Eritrea is a Totalitarian regime.

        I don’t thing any Eritrean will convince you for reasons understood, but I will advice you to refer to any western erudite who are expert in politics and international relations. By that I close my case.

        • http://myawate.awate.com/members/exciter/ Exciter

          Selam :- Brother Amanuel Hidrat, this is yours:
          “Please go to literature and learn the difference of totalitarian regimes and Mafia organizations and you will exactly find it that regime we have in Eritrea is a Totalitarian regime.”
          Very good my brother, If you don’t have the balls to admit that the supporters of the PFDJ are Tigrigna speakers like me and you and you don’t admit that the PFDJ who one time wanted to be a party but turned to be a mafia organisation, then i have to say that there is a literature about our suffer. It is best that we learn the Chinese literature because crime means mafia because mafia is a criminal organisation. But if it is about you, you try to twist everything. To remind you:

          “Selam :- Brothers Amanuel Hidrat and Kokhob selam, thank you for your explanations.
          “It is a system of government rather than a mafia group.”
          The question is, of which government are we talking about? We could talk about a government if it would have been elected by the Eritrean people but there is no elected government in our country. After our independence, EPLF decided to become PFDJ and what Isayas said was that the PFDJ need fresh blood. He didn’t started from himself but he tried to kick out EPLF politicians like Mesfin Hagos and others but he didn’t succeed. After this disgrace, he used the war against Ethiopia as a pretext and he put the G-15 into prison. Since this moment, PFDJ is dead because is there any democracy or justice? No, never. So, PFDJ can’t be defined as a single party, it is impossible, but it is only used to boost the eagerness for power. To do so, you need people who brainwash others and this is exactly what is going on. Sure, the definition of mafia leads other people to think about several fictional movies or books etc. but the mafia aren’t the cosa nostra or the camorra of the past because they adapted to the political situations of the different countries for example after the downfall of the Warsaw Pact or the wall in Berlin. The communist states were the weapon providers of the mafia and this is why the mafia changed.
          If you are in a mafia group, you are also in an entrenched system because you have to adapt to their rules and if you think about PFDJ you can’t talk about a single party, they are like a mafia. They are taking the resources of our country without the approval of a parliament (we haven’t got one). Economic distribution? Which economy? The one’s who support the dictator are getting their allotment but it is poor. They would earn more if they would work in a free country. Social justice? When young Eritreans are forced to join the military junta of Isayas, when they are taken away from their family? When they escape from they beloved country because of the oppression and then they become victims of the Sinai organ traffickers? Do you call that social justice? I don’t. To tell you the truth, Isayas modernised the way and art of the mafia today thank to many of his stupid supporters.
          “in fact the Mafia groups mostly don’t commit crime over poor people but this group do anything to gain even one cents. ”
          Exactly, brother kokhob selam, when you let poor people work for yourself without salary, don’t you oppress them? This is what the mafia does, they let the poor people work for them, they make them dependent. To clarify that: whenever an Eritrean escapes from his beloved country, what does the PFDJ do? They go to his family and ask them for 50.000 Nakfa of deposit. How do you call that? Helping the poor people? Anyway, thanks for your replys.”

          Like i said, you are too sensible in politics, you need cojones.

          Peace.

          • Kokhob Selam

            I still remain on my stand and say PFDJ is a Mafia group and in my very little energy I have treated them as if I am facing a Mafia group. In fact not during PFDJ era only but even earlier when they were playing it right as if they are for freedom and convincing people, I use to call them Mafia and in the future in the day of Judgement if I will be around I will ask the concerned to bring them for justice as Mafia not as government.

            They are proud of the name Mafia by the way, and enjoying it as they are thinking that is smartness. I don’t like to give them political description as they are not really politicians.

          • http://Awate Amanuel Hidrat

            Bisot, Hameed &Exciter,

            Once more:

            To begin with, I don’t have any problem, you to call PFDJ as Mafia group. You took as if I am advocating, that the regime does not have the mafia characteristic. Not at all. But when the killing is institutionalized, then the regime becomes something than mafia, is my argument. I thought we were debating to identify the nature of the regime politically and ideological. If that is not the case it is okay with me.

            What I have tried to explore was, that EPFDJ is beyond mafia, and it is indeed ought to be beyond that characterization. The regime have monopolized the political life of the society, the economic life of our people, and in short it dictated the social norm and entire way of life of our population. You could Add up all these factors and come to a conclusion if you could. After all a totalitarian regime is a regime who controls the entire life of the people, and any one who oppose will inevitably become a victim of disappearance and killing. One thing though for Hameed, a totalitarian regime is not less criminal than mafia. Check with North Korean regime. It does not have an iota of difference.

            I was structurally, politically, and ideologically defining the regime. It should not in any way insinuate that I am ameliorating the regime. If that is your way of understanding, I can’t help, life will goes on and my input and my name is open to the public at least unlike others. Can we conclude with this remark.

        • Hameed

          Dear Amanuel,

          You said, don’t say sectarian regime, because you are including innocents who didn’t mandated the regime. Now, you are telling us not to say the mafia regime. What is the problem if we say the mafia regime? What will the difference bring to you? Are you defending the mafia regime to get a more respected name? Totalitarian is considered an honor to this group and I don’t want to give them this honor. I see them a mean riffraff group. What is your problem if we drag them down to the earth as they are dragging the people of Eritrea down to the earth.

          When I say the mafia regime I am not hurting any innocent Eritrean, therefore I am going to say the mafia regime and if I get more applicable phrase that demean this group I will use it.

          I don’t have a problem of understanding or complications about what is political and unpolitical. As an ordinary Eritrean I don’t have a problem whether my expressions to sound political or unpolitical. As I told you I want to degrade this group and I am using it intentionally, any objection from your side? Why? I am not ready to decorate a group that trodden down the people of Eritrea. If you want to decorate them call them totalitarians, but don’t dictate to me how to express myself against this regime.

  • shetet aynibel

    Dear awate team,
    Quote ” Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence”
    I was expecting the study would start, by the two already named, martyrs. what was the reason of their killing? If they were organizing the highlanders, to have a new wudib, ( which I assume) what was the reason behind, which made them to do so? Was there any reason, that made an innocent highlander, to trust the so called Nihnan Elamanan? ( Blatant lie doesn’t have roots, and the stems never grows)
    As a young and disillusioned Eritrean( I consider my self young, because my elder never wanted to be old and transfer a true history to me, though I am approaching 40′s) I didnt get the study document fair. The only thing I can understand from the whole story is, that Jebha was still a killer to any body and anybody, who had a different idea, by branding them different names.
    Moreover, what I dont really get it is, that, if this study was trying to defend ELF, Jebha was not killing christians only, but many moslem brothers were killed by the leadership. So, it is like, please highlanders, understand that we were not targeting you guys, just because of your religion and ethnicity. But we were targeting any body, no matter its ethnic or religion. Hence, not progressive. No wonder it eventually failed.
    I would better say, ( painfully that it was authored by the killer by himself) Nihnan Elamanan, was a document that exposed part of ELF’s bad deeds.
    Another, that really amazed me is that, the awate team never tried( at least to my knowledge) to contact the members of quiada al ama, being many of them in the opposition camps. But still complains, about the junta in Asmara, for refusing to give the list of the rest 298 people. The whole general command was in Hishferay to meet Siryet addiss, Imagine, how much weight, the Siryet addis had, but no body gave any attention to what happened later, at least for curiosity sake.
    Please save me for next article.
    thanx

    • Hameed

      Dear Shetet Aynibel,

      The history of Eritrea is not only confined in the events of the two martyrs and Srryet Addis.
      There are many events that require to be researched and it is the role of all Eritreans to participate, specially those who have true information about the period of our struggle. I say this because with any event you begin no problem for it leads to one end, recording of our history and punishing those who have performed grave mistakes. The intention here is to collect our struggle history and record it for generations to come. The purpose here is to get a lesson from our history and to avoid to repeat our mistakes again.

      The awate team have got information about Srryet Addis and liked to share it with its readers. If you have information about the two martyrs, you can start with them and you will be welcomed by the readers of this website. The Eritrean people want only their history to be written. You can start brother with any event from all our struggle scene no problem.

      I think the awate team doesn’t intend to clear the side of Jabha leaders from any crime, but they are against the group that organized an ethnic and religious organization in Eritrea and still continue on this line. What condemned by most Eritreans is organizing an ethnic and religious organization that fights and marginalize the rest of the Eritrean people.

      It is true some of the leaders of qiyada al amma are in the opposition and I think awate team has no power to bring them to its studios to witness by force. Awate team may call all Eritrean who participated in the struggle to record their witness about different events in the field. I hope brother Shetet Aynibel if you have the power to bring those leader of qiyada al amma to awate studios to give their witness, as a reader of awate website, I will thank you very much. This is my opinion as an Eritrean. With respect to all.

  • http://myawate.awate.com/members/wediere/ Wediere

    Awate Team,

    I also would like to thank you for all the hard work and time spent to prepare the three documents, as readers we have the easier task of spending few minutes on your presentation, but your task requires considerable time and effort and that service is much appreciated.

    Regards
    Wediere

    NB. For awatista, some links from google on the time/context discussed for your perusal

    http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=SYsgpIc3mrsC&pg=PA213&dq=eritrea%2Bin+1971&hl=en&sa=X&ei=w5pyT9rvLOjK0QXl-sj3Dw&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=eritrea%2Bin%201971&f=false

    http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=vjZhFR3vTvgC&pg=PA76&dq=eritrea%2Bin+1971&hl=en&sa=X&ei=w5pyT9rvLOjK0QXl-sj3Dw&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=eritrea%2Bin%201971&f=false

    http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=CBrImoJfFboC&pg=PA156&dq=eritrea%2Bin+1971&hl=en&sa=X&ei=w5pyT9rvLOjK0QXl-sj3Dw&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=eritrea%2Bin%201971&f=false

    http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=dwXLUyjuwJMC&pg=PA147&dq=eritrea%2Bin+1971&hl=en&sa=X&ei=Hp9yT9HpO8qp8QPFy-BJ&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=eritrea%2Bin%201971&f=false

    http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=FFfjAAAAMAAJ&q=eritrea%2Bin+1971&dq=eritrea%2Bin+1971&hl=en&sa=X&ei=Hp9yT9HpO8qp8QPFy-BJ&redir_esc=y

    http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=r8rbBfTM0AgC&pg=PA134&dq=eritrea%2Bin+1971&hl=en&sa=X&ei=Hp9yT9HpO8qp8QPFy-BJ&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=eritrea%2Bin%201971&f=false

    http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=NGiDTqf5YYAC&pg=PA101&dq=eritrea%2Bin+1971&hl=en&sa=X&ei=Hp9yT9HpO8qp8QPFy-BJ&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=eritrea%2Bin%201971&f=false

  • Habtegiorgis Abraha

    Dear Saleh,

    I appreciate the initiative of the team to open into the past to help writers with pieces of factual documents, and the young to gain clearer picture of the past in building their own dreams.

    Did your informant, Gebremedhin Zerezghi, give you the names of those ‘crushed’ and ‘killed’? Are you convinced as well, ‘others crushed’, ‘others killed’, and ‘…’ had always happened as in the day light crime as in Rasai, the Sudan? My clue for the researcher, your team, would be – kaliAy Kebri zigheberu weledin biTsimona Hazenom ziATsewwun mihtat! I hope you get the resources. By the way, if I may ask, are you commissioned by any body ‘ELF’ to do this research?
    cheers!!!

  • peter mesghina

    Thanks for Awate team for attempting to shade light to the Eritrean Armed Struggle history.
    I just want to say this fact: The ELF we love and hate is not known to have a good record keeping of the events that happened during the armed struggle. Most of ELF record is ORAL record. If history is based on oral record, i believe there are too many subjectivities involved to consider them as a conclusive evidence. Question to readers, does anybody out there have a list of all ELF members, martyred or alive including the ones killed in the name of military discipline?

  • Hameed

    Dear Amanuel,

    Many respected commentators in this website witnessed that brother Gebremedhin is a respected person, therefore his witness is accepted and very valuable. This mean his witness at least 80% correct. There may be some witnesses to correct some of the twenty percent, but I don’t think a respected witness will come and refute the entire witness of brother Gebremedhin.

    The witness of brother Gebremedhin obtains its validity from the personality of Gebremedhin himself, as far as many witnessed that Gebremedhin is a respected nationalist, then I don’t hesitate to accept the witness of brother Gebremedhin as a true one.

    I don’t know brother Gebremedhin, but the witness of some respected commentators and the honesty of awate team has made me to respect brother Gebremedhin and accept his witness as a true one. This doesn’t me it is the full picture, but it can be 80% of the whole picture.

    There is another evidence that make us accept the witness of brother Gebremedhin. By this time our neighbors, the international community, the people of Eritrea and brother Amanuel himself witness that Isaias is a professional liar, therefore logic compels us to accept the witness of respected freedom fighter that Isaias was also a liar before four decades.

    I think the only persons who doubt such witness with out having a clear evidence at their possession are those who want to benefit from the hatred and suspicion that Isaias created among the people of Eritrea.

  • Mohammed Ahmed

    Well done Awate Team – as always, no mincing of words and straight to the point. Here you state what was obvious to many; but your presentation, your evidentiary portrayal of the facts (however circumstantial in some cases) and most of all – your convincing inferences and conclusions pass all kinds of plausibility tests that one can think of.

    Besides, you even said that you were open to look at counter-factuals – if presented. What a better way to say put up or shut up.

    Does all this matter at this point? The hell it does.

    It is all part and parcel of deconstructing HGDEF. All the myth, the lies, the chauvinist bigotry and the clandestine ethnic agenda used by these conniving thugs against all Eritreans – Tigrignas and non-Tigrignas alike must be dissected and its guts flung open for all to see.

    It matters because ALL the misery which Eritreans have been suffering from for the past two decades to no end is the direct result of the tyranny of this entity and everything and anything that conspired into its making.

  • Ribda575

    I think the most plausible explanation seems to be emerging regarding “sryet addis” thanks to G. Zerezghi. ELF leadership always denied it ever happened of course. But no one has come up with concrete evidence other than rumors etc. But the alleged killing of 250-300 fighters at that time hard to be believe and i believe it was a propaganda of the “nHnan elamanan” group.

  • Kokhob Selam

    Today we have come to conclusion that we have a common enemy and it is world wide confirmed truth. Now we may have different versions of history and we may bring each proof to light and there no problem on that. Yet, nothing can be taken as granted and final as that is the job which should be given to a group chosen by all and the job can be done only in proper time. At this moment we can collect every information and keep it as a record.

    As for me, what I see is more painful than thought by others as I feel all those complicated crimes are only the result of our thinking. Who among you can tell me that there was “YMANAWI’ in Eritrea? if you go back and see all the blames you will find all was created by our own backwardness and we have failed in handling our revolution from A to Z. you will never find any real difference in Eritrea that has caused war. But some few like PIA were clever enough to let us fight each other. Tell me now who was the real Muslim against Christians except those who try to play it. If Abdulla “SEHAB GMEL” was really working for Islam, I think most of Eritrean People could have followed him and Sudan could have been a safe heaven for him and his group. I experienced in Jebha when some Christians were against Muslims, in that Jebha where some try to tell us was Islamic front. the story all the way was nothing but ignorance. But at last we came in front of this strong and clever animal who has managed to pass though all this confusions. H

    • Kokhob Selam

      This group and the leader were more intelligent and they were taking actions including the secret connections and net works from corner to corner and even with enemy and the super power itself. The only time this group fail was when circumstances force to take stand on real national freedom and break all the promises. And now This is PFDJ.

      we should take care again as this group will use every chance to divide us and we should stand strong if we really want peace. you can have any back ground, follow any religion, you can have any political Ideology you can organize any you group… at any form you want, and go on for peaceful existence of all.And know that l your needs can be materialized by facing the common enemy and remove first. Then, don’t forget we are cultured people and know how to live together. Even those opportunist supporters will live in peace among us after the departure of PFDJ because we are generous people.

  • http://Awate Amanuel Hidrat

    Dear Awate staff,

    You said “And our OPINION of Falul stands: for some of us, that is our eyewitness testimony of what we saw.” Very interesting! From this juncture, I will address my argument to Saleh Gadi, for he is the only one from the team who was in the field at that specific time. You see Saleh, may be you were one from those who baptize the democratic movement as the “the movement of the christian.” By the way the choice of the words in the report such as mish-mash, subordinate,troublemakers,anarchist…etc are specifically yours. Thanks for making it clear and helping us not to lamp the entire team in this accusation.

    What I can say now and assure you at this point of time is, this is not the history, it will come in due time, and I am confident, history will tell also the history of misrepresentation of Saleh Gadi. One Advice though to you, it would have been better to focus in the current struggle “the regime.” These kind of argument will induce division rather than unity. You had been arguing that Eritrea needs “justice than democracy.” But justice will not come in this approach my friend.

    • awatestaff

      Emma:

      How about we focus on what was said instead of trying to guess on who said it? The byline carries the name Awate Team, so address your comments, criticism, etc, to awate team.

      And, if we are going to quote us, we appreciate it if you would quote precisely. This is how we defined Falul: “a mish-mash of small groups which included the rebellious reform-minded youth; the insubordinate troublemakers; the anarchists; and those who were misguided and misdirected by their political idols whom they wanted to bring to power.”

      Now, please, with respect, tell us how your definition of Falul differs from ours?

      The rest of what you wrote is beneath you, so we will just dismiss it as Emma having a bad day.

      • Hameed

        Dear Amanuel,

        The freedom fighters at that point of time and place and those who are alive at the present time are at an advanced age. I think they don’t have a contract with some of us to wait until they carry their obligation. Are sure that you will survive until tomorrow? If you are sure please let us join you in securing our lives.

        A freedom fighter has given his witness, you are also invited to provide us with your witness, or you see that witnesses will stop the business of misguiding the people of Eritrea and usurping power.

        • http://Awate Amanuel Hidrat

          Dear Hameed,

          I agree to your comment on the other thread, which says: “I think no sane person will confine our history in the experience of one or two persons. The actors were thousands of Eritreans and each and everyone has a different experience from the other, therefore instead of underrating the witness we get, they should encourage others to do the same.”

          I am not rejecting the eye witness of Gebremedhin, but that in itself is not enough to make a conclusion is my argument.

    • http://myawate.awate.com/members/exciter/ Exciter

      Selam :- Brother Amanuel Hidrat, first of all i want to say that i very much appreciate your article and i am a supporter of the ENCDC because i believe in justice, equality and democracy. I noticed that you are too sensible in politics but as a member of the ENCDC, i thing you should be more resolute by saying the truth. Speaking the same language and having the same religion doesn’t mean having the same opinion. There is something that i accuse the ENCDC in their in which they say that PFDJ is a totalitarian regime. This shows that no one wants to take responsibility because the PFDJ not only is a totalitarian regime, but a criminal mafia syndicate, too. When the likes of the Serbian Milosevic and Karacic were convicted as hate sponsors and Mladic as the executor by the criminal court in the Netherlands, why not this in our country Eritrea? Is there a law that says that Isayas and his generals are innocent? Generals like Sebhat Efrem, Tekle Manjus, Tekle Habteselasse etc. or the PFDJ private militia called “way of revolution” led by the chief of Isayas’ Praetorian guard Colonel Tesfalidet, aren’t they criminals, too? When the Sudanese president Omar al Bashir and his generals are also wanted by the criminal court in the NL, then the entire PFDJ, too.
      So why the ENCDC said that PFDJ is only a totalitarian regime?

      Peace.

      • http://Awate Amanuel Hidrat

        Dear Exciter,

        Thank for the nice words. Let me go straight to address your concern.Though PFDJ has some characteristics of mafia in the way it kills our citizen, it has a bigger picture than a mafia group. It is a system of government rather than a mafia group. If we agree on that, then we have to define the regime politically, economically, and socially to find the exact terminology that fits its behavior. Despite there is no election within the party, the party is structured to govern in a centralized unitary government. It is a government ruled by a single party. Mafia is an organization but it is not a system of government.

        If the political power,the economic distribution, and the social justice is in the hand of a single party, to rule everything in the whim of its leaders, there is a political definition for that. Now you and me will agree that there is a political oppression, economic disparity (call it exploitation), and social injustice in Eritrea under EPFDJ centralized unitary government. Therefore we have to know that we are fighting to an entrenched system rather than to a mafia organization. We are fighting not against corrupted mafia group, but to dismantle the whole state machine of a totalitarian government. You see the difference of my take and yours. See in its big picture. A mafia group do not have different institutions that serve as a government but a totalitarian government does have….. all kind of institutions of a government except it does not serve to the people.

        ENCDC defined ideologically and philosophical exactly to the nature of the regime and its governance.We can’t define a regime by our taste but by what it is, as I have stated above.

        • http://myawate.awate.com/members/exciter/ Exciter

          Selam :- Brothers Amanuel Hidrat and Kokhob selam, thank you for your explanations.
          “It is a system of government rather than a mafia group.”
          The question is, of which government are we talking about? We could talk about a government if it would have been elected by the Eritrean people but there is no elected government in our country. After our independence, EPLF decided to become PFDJ and what Isayas said was that the PFDJ need fresh blood. He didn’t started from himself but he tried to kick out EPLF politicians like Mesfin Hagos and others but he didn’t succeed. After this disgrace, he used the war against Ethiopia as a pretext and he put the G-15 into prison. Since this moment, PFDJ is dead because is there any democracy or justice? No, never. So, PFDJ can’t be defined as a single party, it is impossible, but it is only used to boost the eagerness for power. To do so, you need people who brainwash others and this is exactly what is going on. Sure, the definition of mafia leads other people to think about several fictional movies or books etc. but the mafia aren’t the cosa nostra or the camorra of the past because they adapted to the political situations of the different countries for example after the downfall of the Warsaw Pact or the wall in Berlin. The communist states were the weapon providers of the mafia and this is why the mafia changed.
          If you are in a mafia group, you are also in an entrenched system because you have to adapt to their rules and if you think about PFDJ you can’t talk about a single party, they are like a mafia. They are taking the resources of our country without the approval of a parliament (we haven’t got one). Economic distribution? Which economy? The one’s who support the dictator are getting their allotment but it is poor. They would earn more if they would work in a free country. Social justice? When young Eritreans are forced to join the military junta of Isayas, when they are taken away from their family? When they escape from they beloved country because of the oppression and then they become victims of the Sinai organ traffickers? Do you call that social justice? I don’t. To tell you the truth, Isayas modernised the way and art of the mafia today thank to many of his stupid supporters.
          “in fact the Mafia groups mostly don’t commit crime over poor people but this group do anything to gain even one cents. ”
          Exactly, brother kokhob selam, when you let poor people work for yourself without salary, don’t you oppress them? This is what the mafia does, they let the poor people work for them, they make them dependent. To clarify that: whenever an Eritrean escapes from his beloved country, what does the PFDJ do? They go to his family and ask them for 50.000 Nakfa of deposit. How do you call that? Helping the poor people? Anyway, thanks for your replys.

          Peace.

      • Kokhob Selam

        Brother Exciter, I agree the way you describe this Mafia Group. Although the description given by our brother Amanuel is scientific but unlike other totalitarian governments we witnessed ours is not respectful as it manages like street bad boys. Going back to our experience I remember all the actions taken were similar to that of Mafia group we read in books. in fact the Mafia groups mostly don’t commit crime over poor people but this group do anything to gain even one cents.

        just for respect of my elders and opposition I will agree but as for me I can’t even count it as one small establishment leave alone as government. just because this party has convinced some dogs that doesn’t mean it is well organized to lead such a wonderful country. visit any of of PFDJ and you will see the true value of this group.

    • Saleh Gadi

      Amanuel, I just can’t believe the last few comments are coming from you. Cool down my friend.
      As for the “falool” movement (notice the quotes) we all know it was not a monolithic organization with one view or agenda. It was a mish-mash of different people/groups–the dictionary explain the word mish-mash as ‘a mixture, it is a neutral word, not negative on its own. It would be better if we do not try to stretch what cannot be stretched.
      Now for the groups within the “falool”. Dear Emma, I will not go to your other insinuations, but please explain to me what it annoying you in the following:

      “But the causalities of 1977 who perished after the ELF attacked “Falool”, a rebellion by a mish-mash of small groups which included [1] the rebellious reform-minded youth [Many who belonged to this group openly or otherwise are now active actors of the opposition to the PFDJ]; [2} the insubordinate troublemakers; [3]the anarchists; and [4] those who were misguided and misdirected by their political idols whom they wanted to bring to power…”

      Are you denying there were no rebellious reform-minded youth? (You conveniently ignored that in your comment)
      Are you denying that all the different groups were baptized as “Falool”?
      Are you denying one or more of the 4 groups (maybe others) didn’t exist?
      Are you denying there was no military insubordination?

      Dear Amanuel, for the sake of sanity, stop your “may be you were one from those who baptize the democratic movement as the “the movement of the christian.” If you feel like saying something, please do not victimize others as a scapegoat to say it. That is just beneath you, I never knew you this way–specifically when you become overly speculative. I miss the Amanuel I knew for years. Help me track him please.

      Saleh

      • http://Awate Amanuel Hidrat

        Dear Saleh,

        I will try to answer this and the other question on the other thread under “awatestaff” together.
        On the early thread you asked me the following question:”Tell us how your definition of Falul differs from ours? You see we are drifting to unnecessary issue of our time. Though John Clark warned us that there is a “disturbing lack of clarity and widespread failure on the part of political theorist to define the terminology”, I will try to answer your question. Falool in tgrigna=to anarchist in English. Now anarchism comes from a Greek words “an”=without “arch”=rule or ruler. Specifically to answer your question, I will use the definition given by Woodcock who saw “the common elements uniting all its form” and its aims being “replacement of the authoritarian state by some form on none-governmental of cooperation between free individuals.” How about that? I don’t want take your definition and “a rebellious reformed mind youth” are not anarchist.

        You know and I know who gave that political connotation to the democratic movement of 1977, the “labor party” and if I may add the “rightist.” You see the drift which I don’t like to go. Dear saleh, why do we need this at this time? Ahhh. Don’t we have a big burden on our back to free our people from the grip of the regime?

        If I have to answer your four category you put it as question to answer I need an article to do that. But in short there is no four category in the definition of anarchist.

        Dear Saleh, speculative is not assertion, but at time I am speculative. The Amanuel you knew for years is still with you and will remain with you, except we have a different world view in the issue we are tackling. As far as we have a thread that connects us in the current struggle, and that is “justice and unity” we are there together, and we will prevail together.

        • Saleh Gadi

          To your heart’s content Amanuel, please do.
          1) Please remember the seminal issue of the article was Srryet Addis and not “Falool”.
          2) If the article was about “Falool” then who gave it the connotention should have been mentioned. Again, the article was not about Falool.
          3) Indeed, the “rightist” and the “Chauvinists” are all to blame for the fiasco, and the branding. Again the article was not about Falool.
          4) The article didn’t claim “Falool” was composed of only four groups, it said, “…..including [the four groups]” when we debate about the Falool incident, maybe we might discover six, seven, ten, a dozen…I do not know. But the four were the most visible.
          5) No one said “the reform-minded youth” are anarchists Amanuel. It is not my definition but you are trying to make it so. I repeat, it is not mine Amanuel. True, they wjole groups were known as “Falool” and that is why it is inside quotation marks. Exampel: When I say Bandits and Shifta refering to the ELF and EPLF, I use that in context as Ethiopian government used to call them. It doesn’t mean I am defining the organizations as Shifta.

          Note: Here I am replying in my personnal capacity and not as part of the Awate Team. And this is my last comment on the issue which is going out of topic–it is about Srryet Addis and help us keep it there.

      • Khuro Tseba

        Mish-mash is a neutral word?!! In whichever dictionary is ‘confused collection’ a neutral word. Even worse when you use it with words like insubordinate, anarchist, misguided or misdirected. Interesting awate! I guess the maliciously dubbed ‘falool’ are once more set to be the preys of a scheme to expulcate Jebha. In 1976 they were scapegoats for the inefficiency and incompetency of the warlords of the ELF leaders. If one thinks extenuating ‘falool’ will vindicate ELF leaders, then they are wrong big time. Belittling and throwing sarcastic remarks on the then young fighters, you are refering to as ‘falool’, whose sole aim of flocking to medda was to fight and die for their people, and embelish the perpetrators as historic\iconic is simply morbid. One thing you should have remembered was that there are Eritreans whose brothers\sons were members of the purposely nicknamed ‘falool’ by ELF. This is all you needed to remember.

        ዓቀይቶት መራሕቲ ጀብሃ፡ ኣባጉምባሕ ባ ዛግራባ ፡ ሀሁ በል፡ በቡ በል፡ እናበሉ በሊዖሞም፡ ኣዋተ ከኣ ካብ መቃብሮም ኣተንሲኣ ዘጋሩ ዶ ኣባጉምባሕ ባ ትብለና’ላ፡ ንምንታይ ዕላማ ግን እዝግዚሄር ዋናኣ።

        [From moderator: Khuro Tseba, do you think that "menkaE" called themselves menkaE? Do you think the "yemeen" called themselves yemeen? Do you think the "G-15" called themselves G-15? They did not. For that matter, do you think "Mahbe Showate" called themselves "Mahber Showate"? Similarly, "Falool" did not call themselves "Falool", but that is what they are known by. Period. We call the "Falool" a mishmash (Dictionary definition: a collection or mixture of unrelated things; a hodgepodge) because along with those who genuinely wanted reform--democratization, timely congresses, representative assembly--there were those who had completely bought into the propaganda of Nehnan Elamanan, including Srryet Addis. But, again, this thread was about Nehnan Elamanan and Srryet Addis. If and when Emma decides to write an article about Falool (or for that matter, if you do), we will engage. But right now, the premise we have is that among many of the lies of Nehnan Elamanan was the claim that the ELF leadership "slaughtered" hundreds of Eritreans simply because they were christian highlanders. We have made our case, if you dispute it, make yours.]

  • Tirhas Haregot

    Thanks Awate team for investigating this issue. As amateur historian, I had been searching and researching about Siryet Addis. Longtime ago, I wrote a comment on the old forum of Awate.

    I couldn’t find any person except the two mentioned – Kidane Kiflu and Wolday Ghiday. In addition, the alleged quantity or numbers died due to Siryet Addis, and the estimated number of Eritreans in AAU at that time doesn’t match. The aggregate number of Eritrean University students in Ethiopia will not even reach the alleged deceased numbers.

    Hence, I take the allegation of few Eritreans, probably one ganta (about 15) might be true, but the exaggerated number of deceased is pure lie.

    • http://Eri Lameak

      From 1963-68 800/5000 Eritrean Students were in Kedemawi HaileSillasie Nowday AAU Universty and some of them were
      1,Dr Siuom Hargot,Prof Leggese Asmerom and Haile Monkorios were fm Harvard
      2,Huruiye Tedle Qkbit was also fm Oxford
      On the other way
      Dr Biement Mahamed,Dr Weldeab Issack,Alemseged Tesfia,Tekie Tesfia,Beyne Tekie,Kidane Adgay,Weldeyesu Aammar,Semere Ressom,Arefaine Berhe,Prfo Daniel Haile,Martha Mebrahtu,Amaniel Yohannes Radio,Temsgen Haile Tihsha,Michial Gaber,Teclia Aden,Petros Solomon,Melaeke Tekle,Gen Sibhat Efpriam,Mengisteab Asmerom Ferro,Iyob Beamnet and ofourse my Father:-) the list …long….. Haftina

    • gde Haqi

      Tirhas Haregot, Don’t defend the indefensible.

  • Hameed

    First of all I thank awate.com and primarily Gebremehim for his witness about our struggle in its critical period. The people of Eritrea expects all who have information to come out of their hide and give their witness.

    I think no sane person will confine our history in the experience of one or two persons. The actors were thousands of Eritreans and each and everyone has a different experience from the other, therefore instead of underrating the witness we get, they should encourage others to do the same. The people of Eritrea wants to get the reality and curb the liars from feeding on historical events. Jabha is neither negative nor positive hundred percent and the same with Shabia. Divulging of the reality will protect the people of Eritrea from those who employ it for their menial agendas.

    Some of the Srriyat Addis members may be alive, I hope to come out and witness what happened to them and even some of the leaders of ELF also may be alive, therefore we call them to inform the people what had happened before four decades and beyond. Anyhow, after the collapse of the regime the Eritrean media outlets will be congested with information that we will not get time to read or listen to. The lucky ones who will get more attention will be those who witness today.

  • gerima

    Hibret Tesfa-Ghaber from Tseazega (Hamassien)
    Solomon woldemariam from Adi Teklay (Hamassien)

  • http://Awate Amanuel Hidrat

    Dear Awate team,

    Awate.com has proclaimed its slogan: “inform, inspire, embolden, reconcile.” The team has given a judgmental conclusion to the history that start to open its book but yet has a lot of undiscovered truth to the complex Eritrean revolution. If I am not wrong, the team as an editorial board of an institution of the budding Eritrean news industry, should strictly stay with informing the public in order to make an informed and conscious judgment.

    I have seen many unforced errors in your judgment in your investigative report, at time giving many negative political connotations derived from limited individual perspectives. Some of the negative connotations in your remarks are “mish- mash,insubordinate,troublemakers,anarchist…etc.” Instead of trying to influence the public by your judgement, as an investigative reporters, you should have left to the public to make themselves an informed judgment. In fact you should make aware the public also, that the info in itself is incomplete, because (a) due to the obstacles that time and space has created (b) due to the insufficient sources of information we have at hand. When history revealed fully the important layers of truth to the public in due time, you will be judged for your miss-judgement. Now your judgment fits snugly within the pattern of the divided society.

    As much as you are the main source of information, the public would like you to restrain from unnecessary historical judgment, which I am afraid by the way, not to be detrimental to the reputations, you have harvested so far. Stick with your slogan. The public will determine whether they have enough info to make their own judgment.

    • http://myawate.awate.com/members/wediere/ Wediere

      Dear Amanuel,

      I was anticipating more detail on the Sirryet Addis to understand the background of what had happened in 1971, this last document with all the effort from the team shows how little information is out there on the event. Awate Team have taken a position and they believe was an exaggeration for political end. I think it was the right thing to do, if they are wrong those who know have the opportunity to clear the matter, rather than leaving people to speculate on such an important allegation.

      As for the “mish- mash,insubordinate,troublemakers,anarchist…etc.” it would good to know why such terminology was used on them. I did raise my eyebrow, but I do know much about it.

      Awate Editor – reference v and vi used is the same information

      Wediere

      • http://Awate Amanuel Hidrat

        Dear Wediere,

        It is not about the info they tried to inform the public, it is about their concluding judgment with this inconclusive report. Let me assure that I am not questioning their investigative report as a leading to the bottom where we all of us are looking. I am questioning their conclusive judgement with this limited info. I certainly support their challenge to the myth by the other side. But I don’t like their judgment… I know where the drift will take us.

        Because there are is no one, who could come at this time to shade light about the wrong doing of that era, does mean that we have reached to the bottom of the story. There are many, who are trying to compile the story pursuing various leads. At the end it is by integrating these different leads we could reconcile and find a conclusion to it.

        The team is good at investigative report, and should leave open for further digging where ever the leading takes them further. Particularly, I don’t like their judgment and their political painting as they did to the democratic movement of 1977 in this report. There are many living individuals who experience the bad political transaction of the mid 70s and we can’t let it fly on our faces all these wrong information. More than any thing, it does not help us in depolarizing the social divide, with this inconclusive data which may or may not challenged at this crucial time.

    • b’Alti W’qatto Arwe (As in a girl with a dragon tatoo).

      Dear Amanuel,

      I believe it is Awate Team’s prerogative not only to opine on specific issues but to render their stand clear as well. As you know, in any given news paper or online publication, there is always an editorial whereby the stand of the editors is stated. Sure enough, the investigative reportage is to inform, inspire and embolden as the banner professes but again, we would expect them as well to weigh in the issue at hand. It is imperative to keep in mind that, Awate Team are shareholders in the ongoing political dynamics not only as citizens but as opinion makers and pressure group as well.

      • Khuro Tseba

        Dear B’lti W’qatto,
        You cannot have any such opinion out of the thin air without having the needed pieces of evidence on such issues. This is history we are talking about: an event that happened on a specific period of time. One has to be careful on passing conclusive remark of such matter. It is laughable to see Awate getting into this pitfall of confirmation bias or myside bias. One cannot earn and retain its credibility when they interpret ambigious and scantty evidence as supporting their existing position no matter how big their shares are in the political dynamics. Objectivity and truth should some of the tools we should weild to fight PFDJ. you accuse the PFDJ of withholding information or having the tendency to favor and release info selectively that confirms it claims but you assert with no qualms at all that it is ok for awate to do the same. This is called double standard my friend. We will eventually know hatever happened to srryet addis as more and more people who were there come forward and share their experience. It is just a matter of time. What awate should stick to doing for now is to just opine its misgivings on the existing claims of Isayas or PFDJ on the issue, not opine conclusively on issue that it doesn’t have enough evidence about because doing so compromises its credibility.

    • Teweldeberhan Weldedawit

      Dear Amanuel, You hit the nail on the head. The Awate Team has always been judgemental and biased. We expect them to inform us objectively the whole truth and leave the judgement for the people but they always give us selected information and make judgemental conclusion to justify their stand which is demonising EPLF and cannonising Elf. We know the crimes of both ELF and EPLF against the Eritrean people and no one should try to justify the crimes of either of them. In as much EPLF’s brutal murder of “Menkae” and “Yemin” and other individuals is savage criminal act, Elf’s brutal murder of Srriya Addis, the murder of Kidane Kiflu,Woldai, Tecu’e Yihdego etc., the actions taken against “Falool” , and the coup-de-deta by Abdella Idriss and the murder of Mele-ake is equally savage criminal act. No ifs and buts about it and Awate.Com’s effort to justify the latter crimes by ELF is futile. That Elf at its initial stage was sectarian and dictatorial was a forgone conclusion, That is why the fighters made the Islah movement to correct it. Not only the Christian highlanders but Muslim Lowlanders too. That crimes not only against christian highlanders but but even against muslim lowlanders from Semhar region is committed on sectarian basis is also a foregone conclusion. That is why the Semhar group Eritean peoples’ forces united with Selfi Netsanet against ELF. That the leadership of ELF at the initial stage did not have clear nationalistic ideology and were campaigning in terms of Islam and Arabism in foriegn countries is testified by no other than the veteran fighter and one of the leaders of Islah movement Saleh Hayoti.( Saleh Hayoti interview Togoruba.org.)
      What we have to do now is accept the fact that the history of Eritrean Revolution was full of intolerance and violence, that at its initial stage the revolution did not have clear national ideology and strategy and that crimes has been committed in the name of the revolution. The opposition should learn a lesson from that history and move foreward. The Awate team shouid give the facts as they are wholly and not selected and interpteted information. A case in point is Nhnan Elamanan. Instead of giving us selected and biased information with the title “He and His Objectives” they can print the whole manifesto under its proper title and let the people discuss it and make their judgement. The manifesto is in Jeberti.com and Ehrea.com

      • awatestaff

        Selam Teweldeberhan, Amanuel and all:

        First of all, you seem to have missed a line in our report and here it is:

        “There are many more questions.”

        We do not claim that our questions or answers are exhaustive. Just yesterday, Voice of Eritrea hosted a show on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of Rasai which, among many terrible things, was also remembered for the killing of Melake Tekle. So, yes, there are many questions that should be asked. We asked a question about something that is marking its 40th anniversary: “Nehnan Elamanan” and particularly its claims that 300 Eritrean christian highlanders were killed by the ELF because they were christian highlanders. While we allowed that “absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence”, it is our opinion that this number is highly exaggerated for political mobilization purposes and it achieved it objective: to forever paint the ELF as a “Muslim” organization and, therefore, to create an alternative front for those who do not want to serve in a “Muslim organization.” 40 years later, whenever people talk about the 300 christian highlanders killed, they cannot mention more than two. We are NOT trying to minimize the death of the two; we are questioning the imaginary 298. You have, in passing, added a third name: great, you have increased the number from 2 to 3, which is more than anybody else has done in 40 years. Please tell us more about him: he is an Eritrean, he is our brother, and we deserve to know everything about him.

        You mentioned that Saleh Hayoti in an interview with Togoruba mentioned that the ELF leadership used to go to Muslim countries and present itself as a Muslim organization. Now, think this through: the one who was most successful in generating funds, arms for PLF/EPLF (without him, there would never have been an EPLF/PFDJ) in its early years from Muslim/Arab countries was Osman Saleh Sabbe. How do you think he got their doors to open? What do you think he was telling them? Does his going to people with funds and presenting his organization in manner they would be most sympathetic to make his organization Islamic? Using that logic, when the EPLF was raising funds from Scandinavian churches in the 1980s, what do you think they were telling them: give us money because we intend to bring about a communist state? Please.

        When the founders of the ELF founded ELF, they were clear about their political goals: to found a nationalist organization that would liberate Eritrea from the yoke of Haile Selasse’s Ethiopia. If Islam was their motivation, there was nothing preventing them–and they had every motivation given the explicitly sectarian nature of Haile Selasse, and the strong opposition to their “banditry” from half of Eritrea–to start a Muslim organization. But they did not. Your hatred of individuals does not entitle you to re-write history.

        Finally, it is rather odd to blame an opinion journal–awate.com–for expressing an opinion. That is what we do here. This in no way contradicts our mission of “inform, inspire, embolden, and reconcile.” We do not do on-the-one-hand and on-the-other-hand ambiguity here. You will always know where we stand. And our OPINION of Falul stands: for some of us, that is our eyewitness testimony of what we saw. The good news is we are not demanding that only our opinion be expressed; we welcome opinion that challenges our viewpoint. And what we are challenging you here to do is this: present excerpts from Nehnan Elamanan which counter our characterization and summary. Show our readers that we misquoted it. Providing a link and saying “here it is; go read it for yourself” is a cop out, particularly when you have no contradictory information at all. It is the equivalent of “I know you won’t read it, but I will create just enough doubt in your head so you will think there is alternative information there.” But there isn’t. And we challenge you to show that there is.

        Thanks.

        • http://Awate Amanuel Hidrat

          Dear awatestaff,

          You said “There are many more questions.” Indeed there are many more questions. Then why did you give your concluding remark with the inconclusive report? You should have stayed with your challenge as you did your case clearly to the probably “myths” of Issaias and his group. That was what you need to do. Keep in mind that there are many who are trying to dig out to the untold Eritrean history and we will come to a point where we can ultimately reconcile the different versions of the issues to seal our past.

          • awatestaff

            Emma:

            We are not sure what you mean by your statement that we gave “concluding remark with the inconclusive report.” Are you referring to our assessment of Nehnan Elamanan? Are you referring to our assessment regarding “Srryet Addis”? If so, we definitely have reached a conclusion: Nehnan Elamanan was a horrific mob mobilization tool which appealed to people’s baser instincts; and its most sensational claim that 300 Christian highlanders were killed simply because they were Christian highlanders was false on both counts: (a) on the number claimed and (b) on the rationale used to kill them. Others, including you, are welcome to reach a different conclusion, or to live in a state of unknowing, or a permanent wait (perhaps another 40 years) to find out what really happened–as those who had first-hand knowledge of the events die off every year.

            We are not, and we gave our reasons for it. We really are not big on the school of thought which says that for one to appear “objective”, “unbiased” and “neutral”, one must always blame both sides, or one must always maintain a state of unknowing. Objectivity sometimes requires taking sides and saying “this version of events is more credible than this version.” We believe that when the names of individuals within every grouping and subgrouping which were victimized by the ELF/EPLF has been publicized (ELF’s attack of ELM, ELF’s attack of Yemeen; EPLF’s attack of MenkaE; EPLF’s attack of Yemeen; ELF’s attack of Rassai; EPLF’s assassination squads in Sudan), the fact that, to this date, of the alleged 150, 200, or 300 victims of ELF known as Srryet Addis, only two names have been provided 40 years later leads us to conclude that there was no such thing. But we are willing and eager to be proven wrong: anybody credible who is willing to come forward and provide information as detailed as the one provided by Gebremedhin Zegergis will find at awate.com a platform for his/her chronicle.

            We realize that to some people looking back at history is considered a nuisance, and “divisive” and distracting from forward-oriented actions designed to shorten the lifespan of the Eritrean dictatorship. We respectfully disagree.

        • Teweldeberhan Weldedawit

          Dear Awate Team,
          I am not into the art of polemics. I have just expressed my opinion assuming that different opinions or even contradicting opinions to yours does not hurt your feeling and the Awate.com. Indeed I believe it enriches the Awate forum for discussion. However you have raised certain questions and though I am not in the art of polemics I have to answer it for the sake of courtesy.
          1. You expressed your desire to know about the “third” person I have mentioned. I think I am misunderstood here. I mentioned Tecu’e Yihdego as one of those veteran fighters who were brutally martyred by ELF. I did not say he was part of Srriyat Addis.His political activity was from Asmara and he joined the ELF from Asmara. I believe his martyrdom happened before that of Srriyat Addis. For your information, since you have asked for that, he was one of the active leader or member of ELM(Mahber Shewate). When ELM was decimated by ELF he joined the ELF. He is known for his letter to his colleagues( Tecue’s letter) where he described the ELF leadership as sectarians and the content and substance of his letter was more or less like NHnan Elamanan. The copy of the letter is in both Togoruba.org and Ehrea.org and that will show you yoyr title “He and His Objectives” is wrong.

          2. You said that “Your hatred for individuals does not entitle you to re-write history” But I thought you are doing exactly that. We are all against Higdef and Isaias. The only difference between Awate.com team and others is that you want to wash ELF of its wrong doings and sectarian ideology which is the cause of the break up of three divisions from ELF. Mind you these were both Moslems and Christians and yet they form a united organisation.. The break up was the justification for writing the manifesto of Nhnan Elamanan. When it comes to Nhnan Elamanan you have to objectively assess what it says. You leave the slogans ‘Christian tefeliom and Nhnan Elamanan is sectarian Christian manifesto’ to the common sectarian person with a pedestrian intellect. You are expected to analyse it objectively or post it in your website for people to read it and form their opinion.
          I say this because it is our history.

          3. You asked me “to present excerpts from Nhnan Elamanan which counter our characterisation and sammary” I believe it is better to put the whole manifesto for the people to judge it for themselves but I can assure you it never says they are fighting for Christianity nor did they condemn Moslems or Islam. They simply said that the ELF leadership(Raestata Jebha) were sectarians and were using religion for their own political and economic power. I qoute ” If a Christian is oppressed we will defend him not because he is a Christian but because he is Eritrean. If a Moslem is oppressed we will defend him not because he is a Moslem but because he is Eritrean.” “people will say a lot about us but we are not here to defend christianity we leave this to the Christian Crusaders and Moslem Jihadists. We are but revolutionaries” I can continue but there is no point.

          4. You asked what the representatives of EPLF were saying to Scandinavian Churches in the 80′s. The answer is very simple .They were saying they are fighting a communist Dergue. The question of Eritrea is a question of colonialism and were explaining the human tragedy and that they want to build a fair society where exploitation of man by man will be minimized. Definitely they will not tell them they are fighting for Christianity. They were mostly agnostics.

          Hope I have answered your questions. Thank You

  • b’Alti W’qatto Arwe (As in a girl with a dragon tattoo).

    Awate team, please forgive me for digressing into a different topic. I just finished watching Isaias’ interview of course with Eri-TV. He said, “Kem’U z’baHal neger yelen, n’dHri H’ji’win kem’U z’baHal neger ay’k’h’lun eU”. He was responding to the question about the supposed secret meeting between Eritrea and Ethiopia in Germany. He sure bursted the bubbles of those people who expected grapevines from a bitter and sour tree.

    It becomes so tiring and depressingly boring to see him mumbling with the same lines year in and year out as he takes the Eritrean people for a joy ride as he is confident that they would never dare to stand up to him. It is really saddening. As for Naizgi’s remains, I am afraid, Meskerem.net’s ticking clock will have to stay put ’till it runs out of numbers.

    • rodab

      Nobody cares about having secret meeting or peace talks with the Woyanes for they are the bigger culprit than the PFDJ when it comes to lack of peace and for rising tensions between the two countries. To be honest, the ball is in woyane’s court for normal relationships. You cannot blame the GoEri for refusing to engage the GoEth untill they withdraw from the occupied territories. This is not a new position, any country would demand that before any talks.
      As Eritreans, our biggest problem with PIA should be his bad governance, specially internally, and his routine violations of citicizens’ basic rights. Everything else is secondary.

      • b’Alti W’qatto Arwe (As in a girl with a dragon tatoo).

        Rodab,

        I absolutely agree with you. Here is the deal though: Why is it a walk-in-the-park sort of thing for him to concede to the terms of United Nations’ peace keeping force to be stationed twenty five kilometers deep inside Eritrea and it appears to be incredibly difficult for him to sit and dialogue with the Weyanes? Which one do you think is ego-raking and humiliating?

        If common sense is to prevail, the former concession is humiliating as opposed to sitting with the Weyanes but for some thing that defies logic and reason, Isaias seems to have lost his priorities at the expense of the well being of the Eritrean people.

        I sure agree with you the fact that your consternation has a lot to do with Isaias’ internal policies and as you put it bad governance as well. But don’t you think that, his handling of every facet of the country has a lot to do with is foreign policy as well. To be more precise, he says for instance, the reason the Constitution is not implemented is because Weyanes refusal to abide by the EEBC verdict. Practically, he would blame every down side of the country to Weyanes refusal to demarcate the border.

        In the mean time, Weyanes refusal to demarcate the border has become his Trojan horse if you will for his political life line. That is, if the border is demarcated or if he sits down with the Weyanes, he will have to find ways to demobilize the hundreds and thousands of Sawa recruits where he will be better off keeping them in slavery if he is to stay in power. Simply because, if things get back to normal, he will have to face a Pandora’s box.

  • abdulla

    الاخوة في فريق عواتي
    المعلومات والحلقات الثلاث لها قيمة تاريخية كبيرة وتسلط الضوء على فترة تدقيقة التي مرة على الثورة الارترية والمؤمرات والدسئس التي حيكت من اجل تحريف خط الثورة وبداية تكوين الجبهة الشعبية ونواة للدولة التي نراها اليوم لقد تم نسج خيوط وحبكها بدقة من اجل استنفار ابناء المرتفاعات والارضية كانت مهيئة في حينه وتم قطف ثمار المؤمرة والضحية الشعي الارتري ليس المسلمين فقط

  • abdulla

    Thanks to awate team for your efforts to show our generation the true history of eritrean revolution and the crimes committed by issaias and his allies since early sixties the lies he fabricated to reach his goals he uses regionalism and religion to fulfill his dream, this is very valuable lesson to those who need change in eritrea.

  • http://Eri Lameak

    Read the books:-
    Alamin Mohammed Said 1994 Red Sea press “Swra Ertra:Msgamn Mnqlqaln: Page 22
    Antonio Tesfia 1995 Stockholm “Menqel :Ertrawi Hagerawinet ” page 71

  • Khuro Tseba

    What you are doing is interesting and might give an insight into this complex history of ELF and EPLF. It would broaden our understanding of the whole issue.
    There are two things though that don’t seem right. You seem to downplay the killing of those two most important heros and seem to say ‘it is ok’ for ELF to kill those two. If they were the leaders and purged, do you think their subordinates would be spared by the killer, who ever they were? Is this a prelude to clear ELF from its tarnished history of killings? I hope that your next similar article would not tell us that martyrs like Melaake Tekle were not killed by ELF leaders. How sinister Isayas might be, irrespective of the number, highlanders from Addis universities were purged. Now you can rationalize on thier killings of those victims as you have interestingly enough done with killing of Fallol- the mish-mash…anarchists….insubordinate…. to borrow your words. This also begs another question ofcourse. From whose point of stand were the fallol mish-mash mutineers….anarchists….insubordinate…and whatever name you are using to call them? So it is ok for you for the ELF to kill these ‘mish-mash mutineers’ who so happen to question the leadership as if the ELF leadership itself was not full of intrigues and conspiracies to allow itself to stay in power? It is a fact that the few ELF leaders, just like thier EPLF counterparts, stayed in power for that long through conspiracies, coercion, and purgation. And when ‘mish-mash mutineers’ have a demand, you don’t simply purge them like that summarily.
    The second interesting things is your strong conviction in using Ghebremedihn zegergish’s article or book as the most compelling evidence to disproof the claimed calamity that befell on srryet addis. What he has written is just one person’s outlook. You beat the drum as if a conclusive evidence has been excavated. I say lets just wait and many more people will eventually come forward and share their experiece. It just a matter of time. Then we will most probably be closer to the truth. As much as it is mindboggling for you on why the ELPF leaders have not brought forward some of the list of names the alleged victims, it is also so for most of us on why the ELF leaders has not done enough to teach and inform the public that sryet addis insident was an orchestrated bogus claim.
    Lets hope that digging the past does not pull us back to ugly scene of the 50 and 60.
    Wedahanka

  • Endawit Obahara

    30 years later around these season, I wished to be where we are now. We are there now 30 years late for me and that is not bad at all. The lies and truth from all sides should be laid bare and let the Eritrean Joe or Jane know what has been and still is there. I know Abdu Idris and he was the head of our department and from what I was told a member of the ELF-RC. There was an incident also that had to do with Abdu Idris, MelaKe Tekle, and Idris Qurish that I witnessed but did not understand then except that it had to do with the Yemeen and Abdu Idris’s involvement with it and his arrest and I don’t remember what became of the whole thing except that Jebha liquidated the Yemeen that tried to sprout from within it in Dankalia militarily. We have to know what have been to know what is and what is to come. Peace!

  • zemen Beraki

    Araya semere is from Adikanta, Tewelde Eyob is fm Sesah, Doctor Eyob and Mehari Grmatsion also a graduate of Russia are fm Karneshm. But there are countless nationalists who perished while struggling for a just cause simply becuase they asked questions and were no yes men. If Erirea and its people are to establish an everlasting democratic society, as Awate is saying they should be inpired. They can do this by reading and asking questions!!

  • acera

    Hi,
    Can someone tell me where I can find the list of 20,000 Eritrean soldiers who died in the 98-00 war?
    Thank you in advance!

  • wed. garza

    Born to lie, live with lie and certainly will die as a liar. HE was also an engineer of the fundamental seed of mistrust between and amongst our people. As said a lie will never evetually win but bound to fade away.
    It’s long been said the Sahil mountains invented history will hardly keep clean water because the bricks are made with more sand and clay than is mixed with true cement. Thus its life span was expected to be short.
    Sometimes God gives longer life to an opporesor/pharaoh just to peel him out of his skin, the honour of lie that he protects himelf for a while, until he certainly is shown naked and wildly exposed to truth. thanks Awate by doing this you help our children by learning potentially true history and hopefully grow up new trees of understanding our shady and artificially made history to which we are victims beyond doubt.
    Athough many of us knew this truth long back yet it punmps life and spirit of understanding to those who love eritrea’s people and its unity as was and is manifested by Awate in 1961.
    thanks again truth will always prervail.

  • Soira

    awate.com
    i know what you doing is important as it is our history and we have the right to know but can we focus on how to remove the devil regime first instead of talking about the ulgy history of gedli. the issue you have raised might divide our opposition to the devil thus lets leave it to future historians and researhers. thank you

  • b’Alti W’qatto Arwe (As in a girl with a dragon tattoo).

    Dear Awate Team,

    Again many thanks for the invaluable lesson pertaining the rather shady Eritrean history. Your angle of argument is compelling as you challenge the authenticity of the alleged killing of three hundred souls and the other Christian highlanders who opted to surrender to Ethiopia instead of facing a precarious future under the mercy of ELF leadership.

    What seems to be puzzling is however, why is that not even a single family member of the alleged three hundred victims never came forward to shade some light on this dark saga of Gedli’s formative years. As much as the dead can not speak for themselves, why is that, some of the Srryet Addis who had surrendered to Ethiopia failed hitherto give their version of the story. Don’t you think something is amiss in the canvassed picture? I wouldn’t pretend to be a historian or an authority on the specific event but I would say that, everything seems to be a hyperbole designed to mobilize the masses in a religious lines in a bid to tarnish the then formidable Front (ELF).

    • Khuro Tseba

      Dear bealtiwikato,
      I think that is a good point to ponder. Why have not the families come forward? Why have not the remnants come out to the fore? I guess that tells the complexity of the eritrean people. It is interesting that, not only the families and remnants of srryet addis, but families and remnants of the myriads of groups and individuals who were purged by ELF and EPLF leaders throughout the gedli era have not come forward. I think that says something.

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