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Is Sweden Now Relevant to The Eritrean Regime?

In an interview conducted by the Swedish journalist Donald Boström in 2009, Isaias Afwerki considered Sweden insignificant and questioned: “Why should I think of Sweden? Why should I waste my time thinking of Sweden?”

Last week, the Swedish government expelled Tekle Mengistu, the chief diplomat at the Eritrean embassy in Stockholm giving him 48 hours to leave the country.

Gedab News learned that a few weeks ago the Eritrean government sent a circular to its operatives in Europe branding Mr. Arhe Hamednaca, a Swedish parliamentarian of Eritrean ancestry, as an enemy of the state and accusing him of being behind the “Anti Eritrean postures of Sweden.” It advised its operative to defend Eritrea, “Lomi kem tmali m’enti hagerna nemekkt [Today just like yesterday, let’s  defend our country]”, a coded signal to start a negative campaign against him.

Since the beginning of the year, websites and other media outlets affiliated with the ruling party of Eritrea have been relentlessly attacking Mr. Arhe Hamednaca; immediately after the expulsion of the Eritrean diplomat, the attacks increased drastically.

Mr. Arhe Hamednaca represented the constituency of the Stockholm electoral district since 2010 as a member of the Social Democratic Party (SDP). Observers believe he has a good chance of being reelected for a second term.

At the bottom of the diplomatic crisis between Sweden and Eritrea is the issue of Dawit Isaak, a Swedish citizen of Eritrean ancestry who has been in jail in an unknown location in Eritrea since 2001. Dawit has not been formally charged or brought to a court; he has no visitation rights.

In 2009, Isaias had told Donald Boström that, “Sweden will disappear slowly away from our consciousness…. to me Sweden is irrelevant, at all.” It seems Sweden has made a comeback to the consciousness of the Eritrean regime and is now relevant.

Mr. Arhe Hamednaca told Gedab News that he is, “inundated by hate mail and threats from the supporters of the Eritrean regime, some of them accusing me of heinous crimes.”

The Eritrean regime and its supporters are known for defaming and vilifying those they perceive as  their enemies.

The anti-Arhe e-mail campaign by the supporters of the Eritrean regime has also targeted Swedish media and the SDP.

In a message to Swedish Eritreans, a pro-Eritrean regime website published a message signed by “Lovers Of Their Country” and accused Mr. Arhe Hamednaca of, “collaborating with the enemies of Eritrea to ban the 2% [tax that Eritrean pay] … and whose main task is defaming Eritrea.” It also claimed that “he is close to the Weyane* and worked closely with it to have [the UN] sanctions to be imposed on Eritrea, and he was elated when Sweden announced the expulsion of an Eritrean diplomat.”

The main message of the concerted campaign is to discourage voters from voting for the SDP.

Abraham, a Swedish citizen of Eritrean ancestry said that, “The members of the ruling party and its affiliates forget they do not have the right to elect or be elected in Eritrea, but they have the temerity to interfere in Swedish elections.”

Mr. Arhe Hamednaca who has become a Swedish citizen in 1989 has worked in the Integration and Equality Ministry, followed by a stint in an NGO and later in different committees for the SDP. In 2006 he was elected to the Stockholm Municipal government, and in 2010 he became an MP.

Results for the current election season will be announced on Monday, September 15, 2014.

*Weyane is how the ruling party of Eritrea refers to the Ethiopian ruling party.

Related reading: interview with Arhe Hamednaka
Donald Borström’s interview with Isaias Afwerki (Video)

Sweden Might Arrest Eritrean Officials On Arrival (Gedab News, Aug.6, 2014)
Swedish Policy On Eritrea: The Carrot Or The Stick? (Gedab News, Aug. 4, 2014)


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  • ppp

    we eritrean strong enough what ever it came to defend eritrean like this man who became MP for sweden

  • Pingback: As Expected, Arhe’s SDP Wins the Swedish Elections | Awate()

  • Rodab

    “‘When we arrest them, they speak English, but once they’re charged, they refuse to speak anything but their own language and there’s a shortage of interpreters, so we’re often forced to release them,’ he said. Under French law, suspected offenders have to understand the charges against them so they can defend themselves.”

  • Hope

    Nittric my man,
    I would have told you the detailed Bio of Veteran Arhe Hamednaka but it would not make a difference from the PFDJ perspective as he will be baptized as a Traitor .
    Let us debate about the article above and as to why he is against the PFDJ.

  • James Michael?????????
    Hahaha another wanna be white monkey lol. My man stick to your name for now and you can use this whitiy name to empress the Tigryans when you deal with them. Lol
    Anyway Eritrean fleeing to Sweden because they are miss inform. Some one wanna be white monkey miss informed them and that is the exact reason why they are fleeing risking every thing.
    If not they should have known fleeing is not the answer. What they don’t know is they are the engine of change they could have changed the country to what ever the country they wanted to be. But how can they when some misguided monkeys calling themselves James Michael. Can you blame them if the flee? I don’t.

  • So if PFDJ is dumb then your comp, the opposition, must be the dumbest? Right Selam? My point is respect the force you lack to deal and Eradicate. It has been years how many years now since your comp calling names to the PFDJ? Exactly.

  • Abraham Hanibal

    What the so called “supporters” of the PFDJ need to remember is that Sweden is not ruled by the rule of the jungle and intimidation like what is the case in Eritrea. I’m quite sure that these people, even though they might have lived for years in the west, they almost never make use of their right to elect and be elected. The idea of democracy, justice, and the rule of law is very remote for them. And that is why they support the dictatorial regime of Isayas and PFDJ, and that is why they are trying to threaten and discourage those Eritreans who back a democratic governance in Eritrea.

    To Mr. Arhe, Hamednaca, I would like to encourage him to keep up on his political engagement in Sweden, and also to push on his just cause towards the establishment of rule of law in Eritrea. Continue on your right path, never be distracted by these PFDJ criminals and their oppurtunistic supportes in the diaspora. We are thausands of justice and democracy hungry Eritreans on your side.

    I would also encourage all Eritreans that are eligible to vote this Sunday, 14.09.2014, to cast their vote in support of the Social Democrats and Mr. Arhe Hamednaca. I say this, because the Social Democrats are known to have a policy that is for social justice and equal opportunities for the people, as well as following a favorable approach towards immigrants.

  • haileTG

    Selam Awatistas

    This video Queen Elizabeth in Asmara reminded me dawit’s “zenegese ngusna zbereqe xehayna”.

    But here is my critique of dawit’s theory:

    dawit, if your theory was to be the case in today’s Eritrea, then why are Eritreans abandoning “baElu zeNegese IA” en mass to the tune of over half a million of the youth in less than a decade? Your theory to be true, those youngsters needed to have stayed put. Mengistu and HS have scored much better at that than IA.


    • Papillon

      Dear Haile TG,

      You can clearly see that almost 50 years ago, Asmara looked much better than under the mafia regime. The city has deteriorated beyond recognition. I just saw a recent advert done by Suzunino on a newly opened Ice-Cream center in Asmara and the standard of the center clearly shows how far the city is sent back to ግዜ እኒ እኒ ሕምባሻ ኸሎ እምኒ:


  • sara

    just to spice the discussion——–yesterday i was watching ERI TV celebrating the holiday in eritrea, and to my astonishment the sister of Mr arhe was talking from saudi arabia saying congratulations to the president of eritrea and eritreans at home and abroad for their unity fraternity and steadfastness against all the enemies– on the occasion of the holidays in eritrea and that in bilen language.she even mentioned a coded message to the people on how to beat the sanction… do you think this two ever even say hello on this occasion.

    • haileTG

      Wow, wow, wow….

      Beyene Russom are in the same category too.

      Did you hear the recent interview of Merhawit, 22 year old Eritrean, with radio medrek? She graphically describes the horrors she went through to run away from Eritrea. The narration includes what happened to her as she was held down and gang raped!!! I hold you responsible for supporting the RAPE of your young sister Merhawit. Sad!!!

      • Rodab

        I am listening to Merhawit’s narration. What a tragic life.
        After all of what she went through, I am impressed with her strength and articulation.
        Please continue with letting us know when you come across such interviews. Their stories must be heard.

        • Papillon

          Kbur Engineer Rodab,

          Where would I find the interview? Thanks much.

    • Hope

      Come on Sara,
      I saw the lady and heard what she said but that is not the issue as we’d Hamednaca and his sister are totally different and might have different opinions even though she is suipprtive of her brother and his stand.
      Plus. She said what she said under certain condition .
      I know we’d Hamednaca personally and had serious debate with him .
      I support him for his struggle for Justice and Constitutional Governance and being an ELF Veteran ,who spent his Youth in the
      But I told him to his face about my objection to his support for the unfair Sanction against Eritrea and Eritreans.
      I also object his nonsensical approach of Federalism in Eritrea,which by now he abandoned and came back to his senses and a de Facto EPDP supporter .
      My own Sara,we have to be able to call a Spade,a Spade.
      Plus,remember that I mentioned to U about ” Social Genocode” without going into details but Me Arhe Hamednaca knows well what I meant.
      There is a dangerous Policy by the PFDJ against Arhe’s own people simply due to his firm stand for Justice.This was complicated further by the role of few EPDP Leadership members besides some historical animosity between the two individuals and their own people and the PFDJ Leadership.
      My apology for ringing this issue but let the Truth be known.

    • Tesfabirhan WR

      dear sara,
      I know all the family very well hence do not lie. Ato Arhe has one and only one suster and I know were she lives. Speak the truth.

      But, if it happens, it is not a surprise. Do you know Amanuel Afewerki, a brother of DIA who was in the ELF and used to warn about his brother’s insanity?


  • Shum

    This joke of a regime knows nothing except to constantly embarrass itself and ruin the image of our state constantly. How will these robots feel when PFDJ goes down in the trash bin of history, never to be recycled, as they stood by and rooted for it?

  • Semere Andom

    መጸእነኦ እተን ዘይ ዓበያ
    እተን ሓቂ ምስ ሰምዓ ፈሽ ዘብላ
    እቱም ብተስቡ አቱም መቅርቡ ሰልስተ ሸውዓተ የሕጽብዎ
    ደጊስዎ እቲ ዘለፋ ሓቂ ምስ ሰሞ ፈሽ ኢሉ
    ቅጅል እለን እተን ዘይዓብያ
    ሕሹኽ እሊን ፈጨው አቢለነኦ

    • Semere Andom

      Hi Moderator I plead Nitricc:-)
      Seriously though, it is second nature, I posted one poem just before this one and did it in Jebena. Will pay attention next time

  • RightOn

    Mr. Nitricc, I can’t think of a better way this man can help his country/people/community than how he is doing now. Didn’t you read the article abov…..oh wait…no! Can’t be. You mean to tell me you are a supporter of the brutal dictator? Disregard my comment and carry on.

  • Ossares Haftom

    good news for Eritrea people Swedenkick them out those Criminal HGDEF

  • haileTG

    Selam Awatistas

    “ምስጓግ ቀንዲ ዲፕሎማት ኤርትራ ካብ ሃገራት ስካንዲነቪያ ዓቢ ዓወትዩ” ኣባል ፓርላማ ስዊድን ኣርሀ ሓመድናካ

    I think Mr Arhe Hamednaca has hit the regime where it hurts. PFDJ embassies are usually spy installations from the mothership of dpt 72 aka enda xT’ta. The little moster who was kicked out of Sweden was the mastermind of the regime’s spy network in Sweden and Scandinavia. This is a great success indeed and we hope would be followed by shutting down of the rest of their evil apparatus.
    Can Sabri give us more lowdown on this issue???


  • eritreanseb

    Mr. Arhe has an inflated self importance. Shimet/siltan terekibuley, he is always out to hurt Eritreans. He accused the Eritrean Swedes staging the burning of their community hall. The community hall was the soul and life of the community and for our young brothers and sisters the only place to socialize and meet each other. He did call for sanctions to starve the Eritrean people into submission. He talks down when speaking to eritreans. He insults eritrean youth intelligence, He inflates his. He has not been to Eritrea for over 25 years. Arhe = Ayan Hirsi Ali. Opportunistic.

  • Yes sweden is relevant, they draged him (Isayas Afewerki) with his ears to kiss the reality of Eritreans. And Arhe is one of the heros who continuosly exposes the henious leader of the blind supporters who know little about democracy and its impacts. They are simply born not to learn but blindly follow the terror and horror creating regime.


    It is the standard practice of HGDEF elements to attack anyone they consider is against them. They have no principle except receiving orders from their bosses in Asmara. The paradox is that they have no right to say anything let alone vote in Eritrea, but they are ignorant enough to speak out against a democratic process in Sweden.

  • Tesfabirhan WR

    A message,

    The last breath of PFDJ!

    A fight against Swedish parlimanetary Election is the final battle ground of PFDJ in the foreign land and sure it is the END of their time.

    2009: In an interview conducted by the Swedish journalist Donald Boström in 2009, Isaias Afwerki considered Sweden insignificant and questioned: “Why should I think of Sweden? Why should I waste my time thinking of Sweden?”

    And 09/2014,

    A scapegoat cry from PFDJ REGIME on the brave individual Arhe Hamednaka.

    A message to all,

    Arhe Hamednaka born in Eritrea, is a Swedish partilamenarty candidat who fought for justice for 4 decades and plus. His relentless fight extends far beyond his current country, to a country that he dares most, for the one that he spend most of Youth days being Trenches carry AK-7, to fight against oppressors, is now shining again for his second election campaign.

    His success is very clear and to congratulate him right now is not going to be so early.

    Let’s keep his spirit to shower all over Sweden and to his origin country, Eritrea. He is the real model of democracy for Eritrea after PFDJ hunta.

    My message to all Swedish people, Mr. Arhe is a living archive of JUSTIVE. having him in your highest parliamentary position means no need to go to library. You are lucky people.

    Me. Just Congratulations.

  • haileTG

    Selamat Awatistas (I got to break vacation for this one:)

    Happy Geez New Year and Qudus Yohannes for all Eritreans and Ethiopians.

    The above is interesting, especially the hate and threat emails. This comes on the heels of regime operative’s documented threat to attack the famous singer Tesfaalem Korchach and the indefatigable fighter for human rights Elsa Chyrum. There is a Youtube video that is circulating where they are openly calling for initiating “organized” attack on these two persons with the aim of causing “maximum damage and embarrassment”

    I hope these material evidences are duly submitted to the ongoing human rights investigations on Eritrea. If the regime operatives can do and say that here in the diaspora, imagine what they are doing to those at their mercy!! I hope this acts of blatant intimidation and criminally threatening behavior is used to teach them a lesson in rule of law.

    I followed the discussions on “Identity”. It is interesting and would only add that differences of opinions and perceptions are healthy and stimulate solutions and better understandings. Overall, we are better served by the candid discussions, although it would have been a plus had the context been tied to the current political problems and finding ways of advancing solutions.

    Again, happy AwdeAmet, here is a fresh pic from Asmara 🙂

    • saay7

      Selamat awatistas:

      When the going gets tough, even the tough need moral support. The Isaiasists have launched multi-pronged assaulted on Arhe Hamednaca. I think we should all:

      1. Find him on Facebook and send a friend request. (Easy: not many people with that unique name)
      2. Post a supportive message on his wall. “abshirka Wed Hamednaca” has a nice ring to it


  • Ambassador

    “Is Sweden Now Relevant to The Eritrean Regime?”

    “Nah”, would say a typical PFDJiet: “It’s just that Eritrea is relevant enough to be the party platform that will save the incumbent Swedish government in the coming election”.

    Lol…only PFDJiets see an element of grandiose in a rather shameful incident. Other countries would recoil on the thought of persona non grata; rightly so for it is reflected on their diplomatic prowess. PFDJiets, man, flex their muscle on your face like douchiness had them praised. What kind of mental illness a person has to suffer to draw meanings of excessive relevance from disgraceful experiences?