Inform, Inspire, Embolden. Reconcile!

Testimony of Khaled Beshir, Ph.D.

Testimony of Khaled Beshir, Ph.D.
Board Member, Awate Foundation

Wednesday, September 14, 2016 at 2:00 PM

Hearing before the House Committee on foreign Affairs,
Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations

Eritrea: A Neglected Regional Threat”

Thank you Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member Bass, and Members of the Subcommittee for giving me this opportunity to testify at this important hearing to evaluate US policy towards Eritrea.

I am an independent risk management consultant and a subject matter expert in the Horn of Africa specializing in development finance. I advise various UN agencies, international organizations, investors, and law firms on assessment of geopolitical, regulatory, and financial risks. As an Eritrean-American and a longtime advocate of human rights in Eritrea (for the last twenty-five years), I work closely with Eritrean civil societies, political organizations, media outlets, and community leaders.  In 2000, I was a member of a group of Eritrean intellectuals and professionals (known as G-13) who met President Isaias Afeworki and urged him to introduce political and economic reform and to respect the rule of law. I am a board member of Awate Foundation, an Eritrean platform for information dissemination, opinion sharing and promoting peace and reconciliation.

My testimony is shaped by 25 years of closely following the activities of the Government of Eritrea–those still in power, and the once-powerful who have been exiled or made to disappear and are presumed jailed or dead–rather than 18 months of discovery shared by Ms. Bruton; and this is reflected in the difference in our conclusions and recommendations. I am here to give my testimony on “Eritrea: A Neglected Regional Threat” and I will try to explain how the unconditional engagement of Eritrea recommended by some will actually make the region even more dangerous.

The Outcome of Unconditional Engagement

To start with, the reason the Eritrean regime is as bad as it is—topping the list of every human rights organization (GO and NGO alike) for its abysmal record—is precisely because for 8 long years, the United States and Western Europe gave it unconditional support.  This is between 1991 and 1998 when the new government was given the benefit of doubt.  The Clinton Administration provided military assistance, facilitated low-interest loans and grants, and contributed in capacity building and praised the autocratic system routinely, calling it part of the African Renaissance, a short-lived description praising the heads of states of Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda, Congo and Eritrea.     And what was the outcome?  Ethiopia is what you see in the headlines now.  The leaders of Uganda and Rwanda amended their constitution to extend their rule.  Congo descended into civil war. And it is during that period of unconditional engagement that all the atrocities that the Eritrean regime is infamous for—arbitrary arrests, disappearances, banning religious organizations, exiling, severe restrictions on civil liberties—were germinated.

Since the subject at hand is the threat the regime poses to the region, I will focus on Eritrea’s past and current relationships with its neighbors, international community, and specifically with the US.   I will also show the nexus between this and how Eritrea treats its citizens—which is the subject of the UN’s Special Rapporteur on Human Rights as well as another UN body instituted by its Human Rights Council, the Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in Eritrea (CoIE).

I also will address at some length the little-known role of Nevsun, the Canadian mining company, as it has finally disclosed that it has been funding the Atlantic Council’s campaign for the last 18 months to rehabilitate Eritrea’s image and is calling for unconditional US engagement in Eritrea – a policy that has been tried and failed.

Eritrea’s Military Adventures

Since its independence in 1991, the Eritrean regime has adopted a militarized approach to resolving disputes with its neighbors.  It has waged war with Yemen, Sudan, Djibouti, Ethiopia, and inserted itself in the Somalian civil war by establishing links with Al-Shabab, which pledged allegiance to Al-Qaeda and is designated as a terrorist organization by the international community.

The latter is worth special attention if only because it is the most recent and because it sheds light on how the Eritrean regime responds better to the stick rather than the carrot.  As recently as last year, some of its defenders—including Ms. Bronwyn Bruton of the Atlantic Council—were categorically denying that the regime provided ANY support to AlShabab.1   Now, they are reluctantly conceding that it did—while minimizing the spoiler role it had in Somalia.  More importantly, to this date, the Eritrean regime denies it ever had a role and would rather focus the world’s attention not on several years’ worth of reports of the United Nation’s Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea (SEMG) which concluded that there was substantial evidence that it did, but on new reports that there is no evidence that it still is providing support. What gets left unsaid is this:  Eritrea’s overt involvement in Somalia has diminished only because it has come under scrutiny by the monitoring group and sanctioned by the International Community.  Eritrea’s admission last year that it has Djibouti prisoners of war and is returning them followed years of denial that it has POWs and even now, it is saying “we gave you the living”, leaving the door open that it has dead POWs it hasn’t accounted for.

The supporters of the Eritrean regime are also quick to use Ethiopia and the United States as convenient deflections to justify the catastrophic mistakes of the regime.  This is belied by the facts and here are some examples:

Firstly, as an Eritrean American, I have talked to hundreds of Eritreans who have joined the large exodus of the young out of the country.  Not one person blames Ethiopia or the United States for their decision to leave the country. They blame the regime’s indefinite military service and its gross human rights abuses.

Secondly, let’s consider: after a decade of failed attempts to convince Eritrea to cooperate with the international community, especially on the war against terror, the UN Security Council, citing Eritrea’s refusal to resolve a border dispute with Djibouti and its spoiler role in Somalia, imposed sanctions and arms embargo on Eritrea.  Now consider this: It was the Inter-Government Agency for Development (IGAD)—a regional organization grouping Kenya, Uganda, Somalia, Sudan, Djibouti, Eritrea and Ethiopia–and the African Union (AU), the continental congress which historically opposed sanctions against a member state, who initiated the UN sanction.  It was the AU, not Ethiopia single-handedly, which deemed Eritrea’s spoiler role in support of Al-Shabab and against the African Union Mission in

Somalia (ANISOM), as a threat to regional peace and security and unanimously called on the Security Council to impose sanctions against Eritrea.  This was remarkable because the last time the AU (formerly known as OAU) made similar request against its member state was in 1974 against the apartheid regime in South Africa. Subsequently, the US unilaterally imposed travel ban and asset freeze of Eritrean government officials, including Yemane Gebreab, Presidents Isaias’s advisor and spokesperson. In 2009, President Obama signed an executive order putting Eritrea in the league of “human trafficking” nations and imposing a series of financial sanctions against it.

The Eritrean regime and its supporters’ spin that all of this was the direct outcome of hostilities by Ethiopia and the United States is an insult to IGAD, an outrage against AMISOM, and an offense to the AU.  It shows that, to this date, the regime has not taken responsibilities for its actions. A regime that never admits its catastrophic miscalculations and refuses to learn from them should not be rewarded with unconditional engagement, especially when the regime’s regional destabilization role is ongoing.

The UN Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea (SEMG) has provided evidence that shows Eritrea’s continued involvement in destabilizing Somalia by threatening its international community-supported fragile government through financial support of a network of political agents and warlords with links to Al-Shabab. For the last three years, the Eritrean regime has been denying such links and refuses to cooperate with the SEMG, just as it refused to co-operate with the UN’s Rapporteur on Human Rights, just as it refuses to cooperate with the UN’s Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights. Nonetheless, even now, Eritrea has not denied what it calls its political and diplomatic support for such groups as it considers them as part and parcel of the Somalian people and thus, it has asserted even after they pledged allegiance to Al-Qaeda, they should have a role in the future of Somalia.

The regime’s destabilization effort is not restricted to Somalia.  Last June, Djibouti accused Eritrea of fomenting destabilizing activities in the region through its support of an armed opposition group.  According to the most recent SEMG report, Eritrea hosts several Ethiopian armed opposition groups who frequently cross the heavily-militarized border with Ethiopia and wage attacks against Ethiopia, which are invariably followed by Ethiopian military responses. Ethiopia also hosts armed Eritrean opposition groups who also wage attacks inside Eritrea. With Ethiopia’s refusal to abide by the international tribunal’s decision to demarcate the border and the ever-increasing military escalations, the region will remain a flash point.  It is only a matter of time before these skirmishes flare up into a full-scale war.

There is also another neglected threat that requires immediate attention:

According to the 2013 SEMG report, before switching sides in the Yemen conflict, Eritrea was training Houthi rebel groups with the help of Iran.  Given the toxic relationship between Eritrea and Ethiopia, the Eritrean regime’s joining of the Saudi Arabian alliance— grouping all of the Gulf States in the war against Houthi rebels—is likely to result in counter-moves by Ethiopia which has historically viewed the presence of Gulf Arab on its doorstep as an existential threat.  The Ethiopian Prime Minister has warned that Ethiopia may have to take disproportionate measures to eliminate this threat.  This doesn’t just mean inviting Israel, Turkey to the region—which Ethiopia already has done—but military strikes.

It would be one thing if Eritrea’s foreign policy was the outcome of the consensus opinion of Eritreans, it is not.  Similar to its domestic policy, Eritrea’s foreign policy is concentrated under one man: President Isaias Afwerki.  This is the same president that the former US Ambassador to Eritrea, Ronald McMullen, described as an unhinged dictator and Eritrea as being one bullet away from implosion. In January 2013, in an incident dubbed as “Forto 2013”, a group of high-ranking officers, inspired by the Arab Spring, seized the Eritrean TV station for eight hours and called for democratic reforms and the release of political prisoners. They were persuaded by other senior officers to return to their barracks with a promise of addressing their concerns, but as they were retreating they were killed in a shootout with President Isaias’ security forces.

Eritrea 2016

The true picture of Eritrea does not come from people who visit Asmara, nor—with all due respect—from the diplomatic community that is quarantined in the capital and not permitted to travel more than 25 kilometers.  It doesn’t come from people who are given guided tours by government officials.    Just as the US should not form opinions about the Horn of Africa based on input from one country, “Eritrea experts” shouldn’t form opinions about the country by speaking to government officials.  The truest picture of Eritrea comes from the ordinary Eritreans.

Now here, it is easy to dismiss the testimony of people like me who haven’t been to Eritrea recently.  It is standard practice in academic circles to put a premium on research, which is field-based.  But what if people “in the field” are terrified to speak their minds?  What if the field comes to you and you don’t have to go to the field?  This is exactly what is happening in Eritrea:

According to the authoritative United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), by mid-2015, there were 363,167 Eritrean refugees and asylum-seekers all over the world2.  UNHCR says that this was an increase of over 17,000 over a six-month period.

Given the Eritrean census which is estimated to be around 3 million, this is astounding.  On a per-capita basis, it is one of the highest, if not the highest in the world.  Now, what accounts for this?

To hear the explanations given by the Eritrean regime or its apologists, it is because of Ethiopia and the lack of border demarcation, the magnetic power of Europe, or as one explained, it is no different than Puerto Ricans moving to the United States. 3 It’s surreal to hear people trot out Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International when they want to highlight Ethiopia’s human rights record, yet to dismiss these same sources when they accurately describe Eritrea’s human rights record as even worse.

Two-thirds of the Eritrean refugees and asylum-seekers are housed in neighboring Ethiopia and Sudan, with a substantial number in Israel.  Remember, these numbers, as extraordinarily high as they are, account only for those that are registered with UNHCR.  In the case of Eritreans in Sudan, the numbers are estimated to be much higher, many of whom have never been registered, and of those who registered, tens of thousands have been in refugee camps, unable to return to their homes, for generations: that is long, long before the “border dispute” with Ethiopia.

And what are the stories they tell?  Well, we don’t have to guess: they told their horrifying stories in hundreds of pages compiled by the UN’s Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in Eritrea (CoIE.) The atrocities were so horrific the Commission concluded that they amount to crimes against humanity.  They concluded: “Eritrean officials have committed the acts of enslavement, imprisonment, enforced disappearance, torture, reprisals…inhumane acts, persecution, rape and murder.”

A Unitary State In A Multi-Ethnic, Multi-Faith Society

The façade of the unitary state made up of “one people, one heart” is just that; it is no different from what every tyrant has tried to show: that, elections or not, the people stand as one in support of their government and, in my absence, the country will implode.  But absent any studies—no data but anecdotal chit-chat with government officials (who have a vested interest in saying so) and multinational mining companies like Nevsun  (who have a vested interest in saying so)–what we know is that underneath the surface, the country has never been as polarized as it is right now: by religion and ethnicity.  For a Westerner who doesn’t know the local language of Eritrea to make an assessment of “one people, one heart” or that all the people, regardless of their diversity, support the government is akin to a non-Muslim visiting Iraq during the Saddam era and reporting that the Sunnis and Shias are in perfect harmony.

To put it bluntly, the Government of Isaias Afwerki is no different than any other tyrant who finds security by creating a clique of people who are identical to him: by heritage, language, ethnicity and religion.  And, like all tyrants before him, President Isaias Afwerki has been able to hide the nature of the extremely narrow support and power base he relies on by making all discussions of the subject a taboo. The power base was degraded to its present (and dangerous) stage following a series of purges that President Isaias has engineered over the last 25 years and the Eritrean regime derives its rule now by fear and terror, a policy that has exacerbated religious and ethnic tensions.

Like the rest of Africa, Eritrea is a multi-ethnic and multi-faith country which is a product of a colonizing power.   Africans, after the costly experiments of unitary states which resulted in civil wars, have settled on a formula: a federal system.  In fact, almost 2/3 of Africa has a Federal type of arrangement for power-sharing and equitable distribution.   The Eritrean unitary state is where Africa was in the 1960s and at its current projectile, it is likely to face the same disastrous fate as it continues to deny the marginalization of ethnic groups, some to near extinction.

Nevsun’s PR Campaign

In this part of my testimony, I will try to show how the interests of mining companies operating in Eritrea, specifically Nevsun, have become intertwined with that of the Issias regime.  

Nevsun Resources, a Canadian mining company, and the Eritrean Government (through its mining concern ENAMCO) jointly own the Bisha Mining Share Company (BMSC). The subcontractors of the Bisha project—Bisha is a region in Western Eritrea whose population has been permanently displaced and lives in Sudanese refugee camps for generations–are Eritrean government-owned entities that depend on the forced labor of Eritrean conscripted youth who are forcefully deployed to work with the government-owned companies. The two main subcontractors are Seghen (construction) and Horn (transportation).

Since gold production started at Bisha in 2010, Nevsun, whose stock is traded at the New York and Toronto Exchanges, has failed to:

  • Have its stock value appreciate above an average of $3.50 a share in the last four years, which is considerably low for a firm that is sitting in a $1.3 billion asset, but is expected due to the political and country risk of Eritrea,
  • Be acquired by a larger mining firm,
  • Diversify its single source revenue from Bisha,
  • Impress investors and shareholders by glossy unaudited corporate responsibility and environmental reports,
  • Shake off its reputation as an enabler of human rights abusing regime ,
  • Convince human right organization that it no longer uses salve labor,
  • Comply with UNSEG’s request to disclose financial transaction records,
  • Bring any meaningful economic betterment to the lives of Eritreans other than enriching the coffers the regime.

So, Nevsun sought to rehabilitate Eritrea’s image instead, knowing that its efforts were hampered by Eritrea’s dismal human record. Nevsun quickly settled multiple lawsuits paying out close to $30 million, hired a public relations firm and a human rights attorney, courted the diplomatic community in Asmara – but all its efforts had failed.

When all its overt attempts failed to make a dent, Nevsun turned to a more subtle approach of funding the Atlantic Council to rehabilitate its image and that of Eritrea and lobby on its behalf.

Militarized Commerce

Since it ended the gold production phase and moved to copper production, which requires more logistical support and infrastructure to export, Nevsun has relied on the Eritrean Ministry of Defense to provide it with slave labor for mining and security, and transportation services to move its production to the port of Massawa.

Every year, the Eritrean government rounds up about 20,000 eleventh grade students (16 to 18 year olds) to finish senior high school in Sawa military camp after which most— excepting a tiny minority who get the grades to transfer to colleges–are conscripted. The overwhelming majority of the youth are sent to work for the ruling party’s companies which supply slave labor to Nevsun and other companies.

For the past four years, in anticipation of the need to transport copper across Eritrea, the

Eritrean military has been using forced labor to make substantial road improvement and maintenance necessary to handle the massive truck traffic moving over Eritrea’s often narrow and winding escarpment roads.

The slave labor is extracted from conscripted Eritrean youth in programs overseen by the Ministry of Defense. The appointment of Sebhat Ephrem, Eritrea’s former Defense Minister who is now the Minister of Energy & Mining, underscores Eritrea’s crucial reliance on mining revenues. (The former minister of energy and mining, Ahmed Haj Ali, was arrested following the Forto incident of January 2013 allegedly for having a role in it.  Like everyone who is made to disappear, he has not been brought to a court of law.)

With payment of close to half a billion dollars in the last four years to Eritrea, Nevsun has become a financial savior to the ruling party whose grip to power relies primarily on mining revenues from Nevsun.

Nevsun has always denied the presence of military units in Bisha mines. However, according to WikiLeaks cable from Asmara, “Eritrea’s government gave Nevsun a security team of 2000 persons, permanently stationed in the Bisha area”.

According to an international law expert, this mutually agreed upon engagement effectively renders Nevsun activities as engaging in militarized commerce and risks assuming the liability of these abuses by stating that, “Nevsun’s officers would not be immune to criminal prosecution or civil litigation in Canada or elsewhere for abuses committed by security forces overseas.”

Modern Day Slavery

A lawsuit filed against Nevsun alleges that Nevsun used salve labor to build the Bisha mine.  The lawsuit, which was filed in Canada, where Nevsun has its corporate office, was apparently encouraged by the extensive report issued by Human Rights Watch on January 3, 2013. The report under the title 4, “Hear no Evil: Forced Labor and Corporate Responsibility in Eritrea’s Mining Sector, stated that, “Nevsun’s experiences show that by developing projects in Eritrea, mining firms are walking into a potential minefield of human rights problems. Most notably they risk getting entangled in the Eritrean government’s uniquely abusive program of indefinite forced labor—the inaptly-named national service program.”

Nevsun’s CEO, Cliff Davis, has denied the allegation of using slave labor though an entire generation of Eritreans whose labor was forcefully extracted under the guise of “national service” bear testimony to the injuries. In the past, whenever a lawsuit was filed against Nevsun, Mr. Davis was quick to state that his company will “vigorously defend itself” only to settle out of court few months later.

Nevsun has been adamantly denying accusation of violating human rights of Eritreans and damaging the country’s environment. However, deposition of former employees indicate that wells in the Bisha region are depleted of deep sweet water and wells now yield only salty water.

Indigenous residents of the area who have been stranded in Sudanese camps for over four decades lament at the graves of their ancestors that were unearthed to make way for Bisha’s open-pit mines.

Gift to Atlantic Council

In replying to the questions of the French journalist and writer, Léonard Vincent, Nevsun admitted to offering monetary “contribution to the Atlantic Council last year because [it was] impressed by their ongoing constructive work on Eritrea.”

Mr. Vincent has asked whether Nevsun Resources, the Canadian mining company, has sponsored Ms. Bronwyn Bruton’s Atlantic Council. Nevsun stated the following:

“Nevsun made a contribution to the Atlantic Council last year because we were impressed by their ongoing constructive work on Eritrea. It is standard for a [for] profit company to make a gift to a research institute whose work relates to its business. ”

In early 2015, Ms. Burton suddenly appeared as a fierce defender of the Eritrean regime whose image she has been attempting to polish while the world community is still debating at the UN whether to refer the same regime to the International Criminal Court (ICC). Until today, Ms. Burton has never disclosed that her work is funded by Nevsun.

Meanwhile, way before the Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in Eritrea (CoIE) completed its investigation, Ms. Burton has been extensively writing to cast doubts on the CoIE findings and attempting to promote the now too-exposed regime of Eritrea that rules with impunity, unelected, since the independence of Eritrea in 1991.

In her New York Times article, Ms. Burton appears to suggest that the report of CoIE has wildly exaggerated the abuses of the government (” it’s bad but not that bad” as the title had it) while at the same time saying that the CoIE barely scratched the surface and it is actually worse.  Well, what is it? And what exactly is her basis for saying so: has she, for example, visited any of the Eritrean prisons or spoken to exiled Eritreans?

Yet, at private events and rallies organized by the regime’s operative in the US to drum up support for Issias, Ms. Bruton makes no secret of her admiration of Issias while denouncing US policy in the Horn of Africa. Her photo and that of the VP of Nevsun, who often accompanies her to these rallies, is seen in the Facebook pages of regime supports as she has become the darling of Issias admirers.

As my colleague at awate.com, Saleh Younis, wrote, for an Africa Expert, there is a formula. If the US has a bad relationship with an African country, you advise that the US reconsider its position; if the US has a good relationship with an African country, you also advise that the US reconsider its position.

For example, the US has a bad relationship with Somalia. So Ms. Bruton wrote an essay entitled: “Somalia: A New Approach.” The keywords used in new approaches are “reboot”, “reset”, “rethink”, “reconsider.” For example, the US relationship with Kenya was deteriorating after Kenya’s election. J. Peter Pham just described Kerry’s visit to Kenya as “reset of the relationship.” In contrast, the US has a good relationship with Ethiopia. Following the formula, Ms. Bruton wrote an essay entitled: “US Policy Shift Needed In Ethiopia.” (The one that made the Eritrean government officials her fans.) In “US Policy Shift Needed In Ethiopia”, Ms. Bruton argued that the US should not be supporting a government that imprisons journalists and provides no political space to its opposition and does not have an independent civil society. Sounds good to me. But in its Eritrea equivalent (let’s call it: US Policy Shift Needed in Eritrea), she is recommending that the US engage Eritrea DESPITE the fact that its treatment of journalists and opposition is much worse than that of Ethiopia.  There is no civil society period in Eritrea and elections, as she said knowingly after she was so charmed by the intelligence of Isaias Afwerki, “won’t happen any time soon.”

When you consider the fact that there are now over a dozen mining companies in various stages of approval to prospect in Eritrea, and when you also consider the fact that many of these mining companies are Chinese which are not responsive to human rights concerns, it is clear that, engagement or no engagement with the regime, the enslavement of Eritrean youth will continue without interruption.  The formula is simple and easy to predict: More mining companies, more youth enslaved, more exodus, more refugees, more asylum seekers emptying out the country.  This being the case, why would the United States want to sully its considerable reputation by aligning with a government that relies on slave labor?

Concluding remarks and Recommendations

Eritrea is a mineral-rich country strategically located in the Horn of Africa and the Red Sea, where the US has vital strategic interests and legitimate concerns in its ongoing counterterrorism campaign. Hence, the US strategic interest should not depend on the fate of one ailing man, particularly when dealing with a regime that not only doesn’t share any of the values that the US enshrines but routinely mocks them.  While recognizing that the Eritrean people’s challenges could only be solved by Eritreans, it is prudent for the US to be prepared to deal not with how to rehabilitate President Isaias Afwerki, who has no support in Eritrea and rules by fear, but with a post-Isaias Eritrea by taking the following steps aimed at shortening the sufferings of the Eritrean people and safeguarding US interests in the region:

  • To deny President Isaias the excuse to maintain a war footing, pressure Ethiopia to allow the demarcation of the border and to proceed at least in the 95% of the undisputed border areas,
  • To continue making human rights issues a precondition for US –Eritrea relations,
  • To continue supporting the current UN-sponsored sanctions against Eritrea, until the conditions for its lifting are met,
  • To support the UN Security Council members’ initiatives in order to refer the UN Human Rights’ Commission of Inquiry report to the International Criminal Court,
  • To provide humanitarian assistance to Eritrean refugees and to provide immigrant visas to help them come to the US and ask other countries to do the same,
  • To provide Temporary Protective Status for Eritrean refugees who are already in the US,
  • To support regional organizations’ and governments’ efforts in combatting human trafficking in the Horn of Africa.
  • To sanction mining companies like Nevsun that are engaged in militarized commerce and are using conscript labor force, by designating their production as conflict minerals.

People who suffer under totalitarian regimes look up to the world community, especially the United States, for support; they become disappointed— disillusioned, when they discover misinformed consultants in a position to advise governments.

Europe has taken the position that it deals with human rights violators all over Africa and it shouldn’t make that its litmus test on its engagement policy.   But as its borders continue to be flooded by Eritreans escaping the police state of Eritrea, it will come to regret its decision.  In any event, even the most extreme human rights violators in Africa do not enslave their youth, the way the Eritrean regime does.

It is disheartening to see aggressive approaches to absolve a totalitarian regime by individuals who have no personal stake in the outcome and only are interested to promote their careers and personal advancement.

The liberal democratic force in Eritrea has a great potential to grow, but attempts to bury it in its infancy by using the ‘there-is-no-viable-opposition’ claim is a crime against the

Eritrean people. I urge this august body not to repeat the mistake committed during the Clinton era, when the Eritrean dictator was hailed as a renaissance leader and provided with all sorts of support, a lifeline that has helped it grow to the monster that he has become.

I urge this august body to take the right decision, decision inspired by American values. I urge you to remain a beacon of hope for the young democratic force, inspire them with the right decision, with the much-wronged Eritrean citizen in mind.

Thank You
________________________

  1. Bruton interview with Voice of America, Press Conference USA, http://www.voanews.com/audio/2734041.html
  1. http://popstats.unhcr.org/en/demographics
  1. http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/newatlanticist/whattheungetswrongaboutrightsineritrea
  1. https://www.hrw.org/report/2013/01/15/hearnoevil/forcedlaborandcorporateresponsibilityeritreasminingsector
  1. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/24/opinion/itsbadineritreabutnotthathtml?_r=0

[official full text of statement]

Pinterest
  • Denden

    Thank you for being the voice of the voiceless people of Eritrea dear brother Khaled Beshir. God bless!

  • Mahmud Saleh

    ሰላም ዓዋተኣውያን፡) “መፈጸምታ” እትብል መጽሓፍ የንብብ ኣለኹ። ልዕሊ 550 ገጻት ዘለዋ ሓጸርቲ ዛንታታትን ስእልታትን ካርታታትን ዝሓዘት መጽሓፍ እያ። ገሊኦም ጸሓፍቲ እንፈልጦም እዮም ዝበዝሑ ግን ሓደስቲ እዮም። እቶም ኣብታ መጽሓፍ ዘለዉ ዛንታታት ነቲ ናይ ግንቦት 1991 ፈጻሚ (ደምዳሚ) ግጥምያ ኣማእኺሎም እዮም ኣብ ዙርያኡ ዘኽድዱ። ገሊኦም ቀጥታውያን ምስ ግንባር ደቀምሓረ ዝተእሳሰሩ ክኾኑ እንከለዉ፡ ገሊኦም ናብቲ ናይ መወዳእታ መጥቃዕቲ ዘሰጋገሩ ከም ስርሒት ኣሶሳን ዓሰብን ምስ ኢህወደግ ዝግበር ዝነበረ ምትሕግጋዝን ወዘተ የዘንትዉ። ኣብ ዝተፈላለዩ ናይ ደገፍ ኣሃዱታት ማለት መጓዓዝያ፡ ዕጥቅን ስንቅን፡ ጋራጃት፡ መካናይዝድ፡ ሃንደሳ ስለያ፡ ናይ ህዝቢ ተሳትፎ…ይትረኽ። መምህር እማሃጽዮን የውሃንስ ፍሉጥ ናይ ድሕረ-መስመር ጋዜጠኛ ነይሩ። ብዛዕባ ኣስዋውኣ ገብረሂወት ሓምቢር ጽሒፉ ኣሎ። ወዲ ሓምቢር ኣብ ህግሓኤ.ኣዝዩ ዝነኛ ተጋዳላይን ኣዛዝን ነበረ። ጥባያቱ ምስ ውጩ ዝመሳሰል ኮይኑ፡ ዝያዳ እምቢተኛን ብናይ ገዛእ ርእሱ ውሳኔ ዝኸይድ ግን ከኣ ኣዝዩ ተባዕ፡ ለዋህ ተጫራቕን ምቕሉልን ምባሩ ዳርጋ ዘይፈልጦ ወይ እውን ወረኡ ዘይሰምዐ ተጋዳላይ ነይሩ ክበሃል ኣይከኣልን። ካብ 1971 ካብ ኲናት ኣዕሪፉ ዘይፈልጥን ልዕሊ ዓስርተ ግዜ ዝተወግአን ካብ 1977 ብሓንቲ ዓይኒ ዝዋጋእ ዝነበረን፡ ክልተ መዓልቲ ቅድሚ ኣስመራ ሓራ ምውጸኣ፡ ግንባር ደቀምሓረ ምስ ፈረሰ ኣብ ኣከባቢ ኣስመራኣብ ብግንቦት 22፡ 1991 ይስዋእ። ኣሰዋውኣ፡ ወዲ ሓምቢር ኣብቲ እዋን’ቲ ኣዛዚ ብርጌድ ነይሩ። ሰራዊት ከወሃህድን ምስ የማነ-ጸጋምን ላኦLን ታሕትን ከተእሳስርን ተጸሚዱ ነይሩ። መምህር እመሃጽዮን ብዛዕባ ምዕባሌ ናይቲ ውግእ ክውከሶ ምይክሮፎን የቕርበሉ’ሞ፡ ወዲ ሓምቢር ሓጺር መግለጺ ክህብ ይጅምር። እታ ካሴት ኣብ ፡ደሓን ዳግማይ ከምዘይምለሳ ጸራሪግናየን ኢና….” እትብል ትም ትብል። ወዲ ሓምቢር ብማዕዶ ዝመጸት ብራርያ ጥይት በታ ጥዕይቲ ዓይኑ ኣትያ ሰንከልከል ይብል። መምህር እመሃጽዮን ከይተረደኦ ድሮ ቡሽ-ቡሽ ዝብል ደም ነቲ ማይክሮፎን የቕየሖ። ወዲ ሓምቢር ንድሕሪት ይወድቕ። ዝተገብረሉ ናይ ጉያ-ጉያ ረድኤት ኣይጠቐመን። ኣብ መገዲ ይስዋእ ( ገጽ 339-445). መምህር እማሃጽዮን ብዛዕባ እቲ ሰኣላይ ብጻዩ ተስፋይ ኣብራሃም እውን ጽሒፉ ኣሎ። ተስፋይ ኣብ መፋርቕ ሰብዓታት፡ ወለዱን ክልተ ኣሕዋቱን ኣብ ቅድሚኡ ኣብ ገጀረት ተረሺኖም ዝተሰለፈ እዩ። ቀቅድሚ እታ ናይ መወዳእታ ኲናት ምስ መም.እመሃጽዮን ተራኺቦም ነይሮም። ኣብ ነዊሕ እዋን ዘጥረይዎ ብጻያዊ ምትእምማንን ጽቡቕ ጠባያት ተስፋይን ከምኡ እውን እቲ መቕዘፍቲ ዘሕደረሉ ስነኣእምሮእዊ ስምብራትን ንኣስመራ ክርኢ ዝነበሮ ህርፋንን ክገልጸና ይጸንሕ.ሞ መምህር እመሃጽዮን ኣስመራ ምስ ኣተወ ምስ ተስፋይ ናብቶም ተስፋይ ኩሉ ግዜ ዘውርየሎም ኣሕዋቱን ደቂ ገዛውቱን ክኸዱ እንዳተሃወኸ፡ ተስፋይ ኣብ ሕረት (ኣካባቢ ደቀምሓረ) ኣብ ቀዳማይ ድፋዕ ከምዝተሰወአ ይሰምዕ። ይጕሂ። ነቶም ብሂወቶም ዘለዉ ኣባላት ስድራ ብፍላይ ንሓብቱ ግን ይበጽሓ።
    2. ካልእ ሓንቲ ንባህሪ ተጋዳላይን ዲሲፕሊኑን እትገልጽ ካብ “ኣብ ብሎኮ ተራኺብና” እትብል ዛንታ ቁንጭል ኣቢለ ከቕርበልኩም። ኣብ መፋርቕ ሰብዓታት ዝነበረ ናይ ኣዝማሪኖታት ወኒ፡ እቲ ዝነበረ ናይ ናይ ከተማ ስርሒታትን ናይ ጃብሃ ዝና ጄሽ ዓረምረምን ናይ ሻዕብያ ወረታትን ዘበጋገሶ ገለ መንእሰያት መታን ኣቓልቦ ናይቶም ኣብቲ ኣከባቢ ዝነበሩ ተጋደልቲ ክስሕቡ ብዙሕ ይጽዕሩ። ኣብ መወዳእታ ይውደቡ እሞ ስም ጉጅለኦም ይወሃቦም። ሕጂ እውን እቶም መንእሰያት ሓርኮትኮቶም ይቕጽሉ እሞ ሓንቲ መዓልቲ “እዋእ እዞም ገድሊ ታይፒን ተድልዮም ትኸውን ኢሎም ምስ ሰራሕተኛታት ናይ ሓንቲ ቤት-ትምህርቲ ይማኸሩ እሞ ታይፒን ተሰኪሞም ናብታ ወዲባቶምን ትከታተሎምን ዝነበረት ወይኒ እትባሃል ተጋዳሊት የብጽሕዋ። ወይኒ ከ እንታይ በለቶም? ” መን ኢሉኩም ታይፒን ሒዝኩም ትመጹ? በታ ዘምጻእኩማ ምለስዋ።”
    3. ሓንቲ ሓይሊ ናይ ክ/ሰራዊት 52፡ ኣብ መወዳእታ ኣስመራ ክትኣቱ እንከላ ብዘይ መራሕቲ ሓይልታትን ጋንታታት ናብ ሓንቲ መስርዕ ጎዲላ እያ ንእስመራ ትኣትዋ። ነዚ ክዝክር እንከለኹ ነቲ ብ1995 ኣብዚ ዓዲ ጋሻ እንከለኹ ” ኣሜሪካ ኣብ ለንደን ወዲኣቶ፡ ንኣስመራ’ኳ ተሰሪዖም እዮም ኣትዮማ” ዝበለኒ ሰብ ዘኪረ። ሽዑ ኣይመለስኩሉን። ሕጂ እውን ብዙሕ ኣይምተኻታዕክዎን። ብዙሕ ኢና ንሰምዕ ዘለና። የቕልሎ። ክብሪ ነቶም ንምብጃው ሂወቶም ግንዖ ዘይተጸበዩ ጀጋኑ ኤርትራ። ንሶም ግደኦም ገይሮም እዮም። ዝተረፈ ግደ ናይቲ ብሂወት ዘሎ እዩ።

  • Yebio Woldemariam

    Excellent and factual presentation on the current state of affairs in Eritrea. Thank you Bashir for making the case on behalf of all of us inside and outside the country

  • ‘Gheteb

    Amid ‘A Hearing’ Abounding In Hyperbole, Solecism And Utter Nescience

    Greetings!!

    One hoped that the two Eritrean panelists, Dr. Bashir and Dr. Habtu to have seized the opportunity of the hearing before the House Committee on foreign affairs to have eloquently articulated the ERITREAN version of the story. I mean the story and the happenings of the Horn of Africa through the uncompromising eyes and prisms of a through and through Eritrean patriot and not merely regurgitating a hackneyed and utterly trite and tired anti- Eritrean government fulmination that perilously comes across as nothing short of being an unmitigated partisan philippic.

    I did NOT say the two Eritrean panelists should have rendered a partisan version. What I am saying is that they missed an opportunity to present an uncompromisingly patriotic rendering and account of the events in the Horn of Africa. But they DIDN’T. They opted instead to unload their blast on their one and only one bête noire, the Eritrean government, as the sole culprit and fountainhead of all that ails the Horn region. And that is not only a wasted opportunity, but one that can be deemed as disgracefully shameful, at least from this remove and from where I am standing.

    Nothing came close to being mind-bendingly nauseating as one of the “recommendations” of Dr. Bashir in which he urged the American Government to bring pressure to bear on the Ethiopian government to agree on the demarcation of the Ethio-Eritrean border, ” at least on the 95% of the undisputed border areas”.

    Well. Well. Well. “at least on the 95% of the undisputed border areas”, you say Dr. Bashir? I say that is an unrelieved rubbish and utter folderol. Here is why.

    (1) There is NO disputed or undisputed or otherwise area(s) in the Ethio-Eritrean confines or border as the dispute has been adjudicated and a final and binding has already been rendered.

    (2) Eritreans, so far as I know, did NOT fight or struggle for the liberation of their 95%, 96%, 97%, 98%, 99% or even 99.9% of their land. They fought for a 100% and nothing less. Similarly, all the blood and treasure that was paid in the defensive war of 1998-2000 that Eritreans were engaged on was not for the demarcation of the ” 95% of the undisputed border areas”. It was, instead, for a 100% demarcation and nothing more, or nothing less.

    (3) In one of his responses to Congressman Smith, Dr. Bashir asserted something to the effect that ” the border issue is very important for the Eritrean people especially for those who fought for Eritrea’s independence”. If one was to take this assertion by Dr. Bashir as his bedrock principle, then why would he recommend for the demarcation of “95% of the undisputed border areas” and not 100% of demarcation for which Dr. Bashir is telling us that “the border issue is very important to the Eritrean people and especially for those who fought for Eritrea’s independence”.

    That does NOT jive or comport with Dr. Bashir’s “95% border demarcation” as both assertions are incongruently contradictory so much so that it makes one to yell: How do you spell “C.O.G.N.I.T.I.V.E D.I.S.S.O.N.A.N.C.E”?

    What I also found to be stupendously mind-blowing is the following pronouncement by Dr. Bashir. To paraphrase…..

    ” …. if you have an un-demarcated border, Ethiopia may invade Eritrea and GRAB Asseb and Asseb can be the Crimea of Ethiopia and they may try to hold a referendum……”

    Hoping that I won’t come across as being uncharitably churlish, I may want to ask Dr. Bashir of which planet he is a denizen of or of which supernal body does he hail from. I mean the pronouncement does not only comes as unconscionable, but as one that is dripping with utter nescience of the Eritrean history.

    I don’t intend to enumerate the litany of facts that show how Eritrea has foiled and steadfastly defended and ultimately frustrated Ethiopia’s invasions of Eritrea, but let just state the following in the hope of jogging the memories of those who might be suffering from historical amnesia.

    Ethiopia did everything within its power to capture and “GRAB” the port of Asseb during it’s war of invasion of 1998-2000. There were more than 19 attempts by the invading Ethiopian troops to “GRAB” Asseb. You may ask at what cost to Ethiopia in terms of blood and treasure that Ethiopia conducted those military adventures?

    Well, according to a high ranking Ethiopian Army Colonel who was enlisted with the “Agazi” special TPLF forces who has left the Ethiopian armed forces, the price that Ethiopia has paid in terms of blood and treasure were:

    (A) 98,000 killed
    (B) Over 100K wounded
    (C) 7 – 9 Billion US Dollars were spent to finance the war by Ethiopia.

    Now given these facts, how in God’s Green Earth would even think that Ethiopia has the capability of “GRABBING” the Port of Asseb or even hubristically asseverate that ” Asseb can be the Crimea of Ethiopia and they may try to hold a referendum……”.

    I am not sure if this utterances are a reflection or a manifestation of a subconsciously held wishful thinking on the part of Dr. Bashir, but I have to say this as matter of a deeply held conviction on my part.
    If Ethiopia were to invade Eritrea in the hope of making “Asseb Ethiopia Crimea” these days, its misadventure will indubitably turn into Ethiopia’s Waterloo. No doubt about it!

    • blink

      Dear Gheteb
      The Dr. reference of Crimea as in Asseb was a childish one but not a wrong to thing to say really , I mean all the crazy
      people in awurama and other places are sick of our ports .

    • Lamek

      Gheteb! Welcome back brother man. Grab grab grab more grab. Why is Meskerem. net calling Khaled Bashir Ali Salim? Interesting. Wey gud. Its getting juicy.

    • Kim Hanna

      Selam ‘Gheteb,
      .
      Where have you been?, we missed you.
      I have a couple of questions and request about your above post.
      You quoted a retired “Agazi” special TPLF Army Colonel who reported that 200,000 Ethiopian soldiers were killed and wounded in that Ethiopian “adventure” as you called it in 1998-2000.
      .
      Question #1 How many Ethiopian soldiers were fielded and engaged in that war? Less than 4 million?
      .
      Question #2 When did you ” ‘Gheteb” start to believe what a Woyane is telling you? Was this the 1st time?
      .
      I would have more questions for you if you let me know the meaning and definitions of the words you used, listed below.
      Excuse my temporary inability to look them up words.
      .
      Nescience
      hackneyed
      fulmination
      philippic
      churlish
      hubristically
      asseverate
      indubitably
      .
      Mr. K.H

      • Nitricc

        Mr. Kim I find colonel Alebel to be a very principled and honest man. anyway, you don’t have to take his word but know that when one defends its known territory is advantageous over the one who attacking the well fortified bunkers. statistically, it is one to seven but the way Shaebia digs and defends, i will guess conservatively, one to fifteen. Besides, TPLF and EPLF have completely different approach and tactics when comes conducting battles, TPLF as long as you captured what you intend to capture, losses of life are not an issues. while in EPLF is the opposite. so, Your beloved TPLF are nothing but a bad news. After all the life loses and destruction of properties nothing was gained.

        • Nitricc,

          To satisfy your ego, let’s say that Ethiopia lost 200K in the last war as your friend said, which of course is far from the truth. Nevertheless, Ethiopia won the war and shabia lost big time. You do remember what PMMZ said, we broke the spine of the enemy so that it will never dare bother us again. This is a fact, and Ethiopia has solved the shabia problem once forever. What is the use of living in the past then, if it is not for the sake of psychological satisfaction and to ameliorate frustration. Moreover, you should know that if Ethiopia loses, it does not mean in any way that Eritrea is going to benefit.

      • Hayat Adem

        Hi Kim,
        Allow me to welcome Gheteb until he runs away with bad bruises again.
        On casualty figures, there seems to be a poor psychology at play here. In 1999, I happen to be hearing a conversation between two diplimats, one western diplomat and Eritrean over a coffee. This was after Eritrea was overrun out of Badime. The white man expressed his concern over the number of lives perished in the war. The Eritrean diplomat didn’t take a second to conquer but with a different angle. He said, “you are right. You guys were amazed by the art of our trenches in the western front mere setit area. Those trenches were built just in case. Otherwise, we were not thinking TPLF would risk a war with Eritrea at the time. Now we know TPLF can go crazy. So trenches we have built now are 10 times stronger. So, if TPLF comes, the bloodshed will be unimaginable.” But what caught my attention was the implicit counter from the diplomat. I can’t quote him exactly but it was like at the end of the trenches are breakable no matter how many enemies you kill before they are broken, why don’t you think of a political solution instead. I didn’t hear him but from the face he gave, I imagined the white diplomat saying “you moron!” at the end of his comment.
        PFDJites deflate casualties on their side and inflate on the otherside. I understand the psyche of overplaying transaction rate to overcome the demographic trauma. I like the Ethiopians are not engaged in a number fight. What is the use of bragging on the notion of we killed you more than we died.
        First there was a run to Wikipedia to put up numbers. The number 120k was hanging a lot by PFDJITES as a cut number for the Ethiopian death and 19k for their own side. That is about the 1 to 7 ratio Nitricc told us. But apparently, they have to inflate and say more using Alebel. So now they adjusted it up to 1 to 16. So, that brings it cliser to the real demographic size ratio ti be neutralized by a magical casuality transaction rate. At the end of this kind of arguments, the implicitly written message is Ethiopia doesn’t have any number and size advantage over Eritrea.
        There is no point of invoking inflated numbers of the number of killed from the otherside unless your objective is just to kill. That would make a criminal sense not a political sense. The war of Badime was triggered by IA because he thought he could dictate policies using military might as a tool. He gambled. He lost badly. And as a result he put Eritreans in this set 9f conditions where the young sees fleeing as the best option. 45k trained Eritrean soldiers are now in the Ethiopian refugee camps. PFDJITES never ask themselves why. I never concern myself in rationing the casuality numbers but if I need to refer to those
        As to the real casuality numbers, I only use following data as a departure point:
        1- IA said 19k and later he adjusted it to 35k as an Eritrean casuality.
        2- MZ* said 70k from both sides.
        ———
        * there was also a Wikileaks diplomatic note released that put the Ethiopian casualties at 15k.

        • Nitricc

          Hayat this were your credibility suffers and goes down to the drain. we know you stand for TPLF thugs and you will go to death for them which their days are numbered. but when was PIA ajusted the number to 35K? I know you know this but your backward stupid TPLF used human-wave strategy during the war and for any late alone sane Ethiopian but even to the corrupted once, like your self, you can deny the rules of engagement and the difference between the causality of defensive over offensive. But what can we expect from backwards weyane thugs?

          • Hayat Adem

            Nitricc,
            Sure IA has adjusted up the number months ago when he said the two wars , for liberation and border defense, consumed 100k Eritrean martyrs. We already know the number of dead until 1991 was 65k.
            What you said about the trench-out of trench engagements makes sense that the risk is greater on the offensive side than for the side defending a trench. But that is only true if it ended up that way. Eritrean forces were overrun from their trenches for the larger part at a light speed. In fact, the risk is much greater for a detrenched army running away in disarray and disorganized once they were forced out of defensive trenches. The number of prisoners and the area size our forces left behind would tell you about the casualities.
            For God’s sake, do you think we are kids, Nitricc?. The Ethiopian forces got back to Tessenay for a show of force and retook the places . The Ethiopians refuse to leave Eritrean places until they hand it over to Unmee. The Ethiopians had airpower superiority the could use at nedd and they controlled all the skies. The Eritrean armies were out of their trench lines in hours time, in some cases. This was not a repeat of the Nakfa where EPLF forces held up their defense lines for months and years.

        • Kim Hanna

          Selam Hayat Adem and Nitricc,
          .
          ( It sounds so universal to say Hayat and Nitricc. It is North Pole—South pole, Macro—Micro, Big—Small. I feel I am covering everything and everybody)
          .
          Hayat:
          The numbers game for those not involved is a sort of sick game. Specially in our case it is even sicker. It is ironic too to see PIA is hosting those who were advocating more casualty on his side at the time and vilifies those who saved his skin. His surrogates follow suit.
          The only consolation for our side of the whole exercise is this. The tendency and quick resort to force or might will not be repeated from the same source again. That is a kind of peace dividend of sort.
          .
          Nitricc:
          Let us leave that aside, it was what it was. Despite the bravado, all this is the result of ignorance and deprivation that is perpetuated on the people that will not be easy to climb out of. Below is an illustration.
          At the very least, I thought you would look up those words for me and you but you ignored it.
          .
          Now, did you see the Ethiopian Railway roll out from Addis to Djibouti. This is a state of the art railway line, which is a game changer in the future economy of Ethiopia and Djibouti. I thought you might link one of those videos, against the will of the Mod, but not overwhelming enough for you, eh.
          .
          The way I look at it is this in its simplest form. The railway connection of Addis to Djibouti is the ramification of “EPLF” cutting its nose despite its face.
          .
          Mr. K.H

    • Peace!

      Selma ‘Gheteb,

      Welcome back!

      Peace!

    • Nitricc

      Hey Gheteb good take. I can assure you, with kind of stupid move by the two so called phd’s, it is a good day for PIA and PFDJ. what those two did was a classic case of state treason.

  • Beyan

    Greetings Awatawayan,

    I just want to voice my sincere and deeply felt appreciation to both decent doctors in their respective professions: Dr. Khaled and Father (Dr.) Habtu for taking time out from their, I am sure, respective busy professional schedules to stand on the side of the voiceless Eritreans and the neglected nascent nation, a nation that deserves far better than what it has gotten from the regime that is bent out of shape to destroy a popular liberation movement; a movement that brought territorial integrity to its people, albeit a long protracted struggle that gave Eritreans a national identity, an identity they have proudly been invoking for the last quarter of a century.

    Dr. Khaled and Dr. (Father) Habtu made us proud in the way they made a case for the suffering of our people. Whether by sheer coincidence or in tandem both of these expertise addressed key issues that are going to let the West to look at the plight of Eritreans a bit more closely, a bit more intelligently, and a bit more coherently in that the regime at home is not one that can be rehabilitated as Ms. Bruton attempted to paint such a picture in the Hearing. The two indigenous Eritreans were there to not only put her on notice, but also to show the world this so called Somalia expert is nothing more than wishing to broaden her resume by expanding it toward Eritrea & Ethiopia. Nothing wrong with that except there are Eritreans like Father Habtu & Dr. Khaled and thousands more like them who have intimate knowledge of the region, far more than she can certainly claim at this junction in her professional-career-enhancing-project that she seems to be undertaking. Nothing wrong in wishing and wanting to claim expertise, but it must be earned, not embellished by merely echoing the parlance of the likes of the two Yemanes. It wouldn’t be a surprise if at some future date it is leaked that she was being paid by the regime for the hopeful note that she is trying to paint of the menace at home.

    Well, the noose on the neck of the regime that has been wreaking havoc on Eritrea and its people for a quarter of a century now has been tightened a bit more now than two months ago when the UN’s CoIE dealt it another blow of monumental proportions. The opposition has certainly come a long ways in addressing the plight of our people at every level – from bottom to the top -, albeit from our fragmented corners. Perhaps, the missing link now is how do we make this fight a coherent one so that the global powers that be can see us as this credible body politicking that can actually run a nation in a democratic manner; certainly an alternative that can do a far better job than these bozos who couldn’t even administer their own households let alone a nascent nation.

    Kudos to Father Habtu and Kudos to Dr. Khaled for shining the light in an otherwise oblique part of our world – you sure made my day as I am sure thousands more of Eritreans who are in opposition can likewise can attest to what I have tried to express here.

    Respectfully,
    Beyan Negash/ Bayan Nagash

  • blink

    Dear Readers
    A neglected nation so called Eritrea is suddenly poped up in Americans diplomacy , oh ,who can forget Susan rice’s twisting hand of the UN . They have nothing to say about Eritrea because they have nothing to cut and has nothing to offer. .
    As of Eritrea ,the USA does not matter any longer ?, Because they have played their card of weyane again and again until the card is rotten out of hand. We could not afford to isolate USA but if they want to choose Weyane card let them play . A lost decade can not come back but we can build on things that are our interests. IGAD is dead to Eritrea and it has nothing to offer except a cheap weyane build ploy . Eritrea can just forget the weyane land and join GCC and create a form of any agreement with UAE , KSA and others and lock Ethiopia once more by attracting Sudan to join hands with GCC. I am not saying integration with Ethiopia is bad , i am saying it will not happen as far as the two cancer governments stay in power . They both will continue to stay in power due to different reasons. But can Eritrea and Sudan jump the line and forget Ethiopia to itself . The white moralists and their students can do what ever they want and they can sleep on any idea they want using their baseless bureaucracy . Until the region picks itself and join hands to make their people free and rich , what Eritrea can do is dump any interest of Ethiopia and join the Arabs because as we can see what matters is interest not democracy not even human rights . The balance of power has changed and it will not be nice to EPRDF land but what it does is upgrade PFDJ to have a window of breath using the GCC countries and it helps them . For so many reasons Eritrean ports must be used by the Arabs not by Ethiopians . The Ethiopians must use Somalia and Djibouti or kenya but not Eritrea not at this time . Eritrea as of today can not afford to search any relationship with EPRDF .

    I am saying this out side of the moral question be it democracy , human rights , migration and a set of other things. The root cause can be just behind the neck of the bottle . Because we are using old wine with new bottle . Quick fixes will not work but a new system of political game can be merciful to the people.

  • Ismail AA

    Salute to all,

    The testimonies the US Congress Subcommittee heard from two professional Eritrean-American witnesses on Eritrea and its regime are significant irrespective how Eritreans on both camps –opposition and regime loyalist- look at them. The point is that the relevant USA authorities (Foreign Relations) appear to have decided to deal with the situation in Eritrea in whatever way or for whatever reason. I understand the testimonies have as usual divided opinions in this forum. The lineup is not really surprising -the familiar and sturdy supporters of the regime (in various degrees) on one side, and the supporters of change (justice seekers) on the other.

    Anyway, as far I am concerned the two learned and informed gentlemen have given very informative narratives to the members (most Eritreans are already familiar with the stories) of the panel. Each of the witnesses approached the subject with focus on the areas of his expertise. It could be certain that the Subcommittee members might have benefited from the material they heard.

    Having said this much about the witnesses and the panel, let me jot down a few things on the following points:
    My understanding about the title of the hearing: “Eritrea: A Neglected Regional Threat”, does not refer to the country as such but to the regime and its future. I do not believe it suggests that the regime possesses military and economic clout as to constitute threat to anybody in the region. The threat could only be assumed in the fact that its collapse could trigger a situation that can open the gates for turmoil and invitation of adventurers and stake seekers just like what has been happening currently in some countries in the region. It can also be that if the regime feels cornered it could open the doors to forces that could pose threat to geopolitical interest of the US and allies. If either of the two would take place it would come with extra burden for the US.

    On the view of Dr. Khaled that the US should attach conditions to its relation with the regime, I do not think that the regime has since its days of empowerment starting from the closing years of the 70s through the post-1991 London Herman Cohen tripartite meeting has ever been given a free hand. We all know how the regime was made to fit into the architecture of the geopolitical interests of the US and allies. The same was true with the ERDF government in Ethiopia. Anyone who might take this as idle conjecture can take time and look back at the reasons and complexities that shrouded the internal war between the ELF and EPLF and allies. The alignment of forces was a clear indicator though this is not the place to delve deeper in events of that period.

    Thus as long as the regime didn’t cross the redlines, and still fulfils the original purpose that was drawn for it from the beginning, even if its conduct and actions has been roguish, it has been tolerated save a few toothless measures like against its spoiler game in Somalia. The measure was response to regional concerns and least to worries that it deviated from its original assigned role.
    To US the nature and inclination of the successor regime is more important than what the regime does and doesn’t do to the people under its oppressive rule. Otherwise at least these hearings should have come after the horrendous tragedies in which the lives of hundreds of Eritrean youth had perished in high seas and deserts.

    This it might not be ruled out that the events in neighboring Ethiopia could have added some urgency and hence the move to hold the hearings, and the USA might be making the move before things go out of control. What will follow might shows us which way things will move after the rounding up of the hearings, reaction of special interest lobbies.
    Regards,
    Ismail

  • Ismail AA

    Salute to all,

    The testimonies the US Congress Subcommittee heard from two professional Eritrean-American witnesses on Eritrea and its regime are significant irrespective how Eritrean on both camps –opposition and regime loyalist- look at them. The point is that the relevant USA authorities (Foreign Relations) appear to have decided to deal with the situation in Eritrea in whatever way or for whatever reason. I understand the testimonies have as usual divided opinions in this forum. The lineup is not really surprising -the familiar and sturdy supporters of the regime (in various degrees) on one side and the supporters of change (justice seeker) on the other.

    Anyway, as far I am concerned the two learned and informed gentlemen have given very informative narratives to the members (most Eritreans are already familiar with the stories) of the panel. Each of the witnesses approached the subject with focus on the areas of expertise. It could be certain the Subcommittee members would have benefited from the material they heard.

    Having said this much about the witnesses and the panel, let me jot down a few things the following points:
    My understanding about the title of the hearing: “Eritrea: A Neglected Regional Threat”, does not refer to the country as such but to the regime and its future. I do not believe it suggests that the regime possesses military and economic clout as to constitute threat to anybody in the region. The threat could only be assumed in the fact that its collapse could trigger a situation that can open the gates for turmoil and invitation of adventurers and stake seekers just like what has been happening in the country currently being ruined in the region. It can also be that if the regime feels cornered it could open the doors to forces that could be threat to geopolitical interest of the US and allies. If either of the two would take place it would come with extra burden for the US.

    On the view of Dr. Khaled that the US should attach conditions to its relation with the regime, I do not think that the regime has since its days of empowerment starting from the closing years of the 70s through the post-1991 London Herman Cohen tripartite meeting was given a free hand.

    We all know how the regime fit into the architecture of the geopolitical interests of the US and allies. The same was true with the ERDF government in Ethiopia. Anyone who might take this as idle conjecture can take time and look back at the reasons and complexities that shrouded the internal war between the ELF and EPLF and allies.

    Thus as long as the regime didn’t cross the redlines, and still fulfils the original purpose that was drawn for it from the beginning, even if its actions conduct and actions has been roguish, it has been tolerated save a few toothless measures like it spoiler game in Somalia. The issue of successor regime is more important to the US rather than what the regime does and doesn’t do to the people under its oppressive rule. Otherwise at least these hearings should have come after the horrendous tragedies that perished the lives of hundreds of youth in high seas and deserts. The events in neighboring Ethiopia could have added some urgency and hence the move to hold the hearings, and the USA might be making the move before things go out of control.
    Regards,
    Ismail

  • Solomon

    Selamat Yohanns Zerai,

    As the new replaces the old,

    What do you think of affecting a reaction as opposed to awaiting for the reaction to have the same effect on you?
    Ponder further if you would the cliche “trying the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”

    There are certainly a few recommendations if not all that warrant further scrutiny and elaboration by the Opposition.

    I only see two to three at most from Dr. Beshire’s recommendations to the USA through the sub committee that I would personally approve. And from a quick back of an envelope calculations with the given parameters, I would ask any entity or Opposition that speaks on my behalf to discard the rest of Dr. Beshire’s recommendations OR educate me further by sound forecasting, your due diligence, as to how it would benefit the Eritrean People in the near and far future.

    For such a significant opportunity for a healthy Opposition to present it’s case and capitalize by putting a case for the FORWARD POINTS, I can’t help but ask myself: Is this indicative of a leaderless, unprepared, and “toothless” Opposition.

    So, how does the forum lead the ordinary citizen towards their self service?
    Challenging You and Professor HA and i-SEM as i-Captains to tell the forum which recommendations are we should accept, discard or improve and why?
    Three i-Captains challenge.

    Should we all agree to be ruled by Propagandacracy, that is fine too.

    “Cold comfort for change? And did you exchange
    A walk on part on part in the war for a lead role in the cage?”
    Wish you were here Pink Floyd

    tSAtSE

  • Mahmud Saleh

    Eritrea has seized the attention of the world body through manufactured fictitious reports processed in the rumor mills of Addis Ababa. Eritrea was tied to Somalia through SEMG; years have passed, now SEMG engineers and agents have to come up with explanations. Point: Eritrea has never been neglected. Actually,. it has been over-monitored, over-investigated, and over-prosecuted. Eritrea has barely had a day it passed unmentioned, mostly through tramped up reports. Some of these tramped up accusations: Sending troops to Somalia, harboring Iranian and Israeli Navies (Weird, it must a miracle that happens in Eritrean soil where an Iranian Navy shares an estate along with an Israeli Navy; but Addis Ababa Rumor Mill manufactures customized rumors, per customs specificities, no problem). There is the Djibouti, the Libyan, the South Sudan, the Ethiopian, I mean, Eritrea has pretty much seized the USA and has managed it through the toothless UN byway of its indispensable agent in the Horn. Add to it the humanitarian crisis, Eritrea has barely had a day that passed without worrying USA policymakers. On bilateral level, it is well documents that Eritrea and USA have had a long running wrangling on issues of the arrested Embassy employees, on issues of diplomatic pouches; issues of level of diplomatic representation, issues of security clearance of citizens and diplomats of each country visiting or residing in the other country, and so on. How could it be regarded as a neglected threat? Mzungus are always Mzungus.
    Here is what’s going on. There are real efforts by career diplomats who are working behind the door telling policy makers and law makers of the USA congress that engagement is the best way forward. What we currently see is a counter presentation that calls for the status quo to continue, they are advising law makers that disengaging is the best way. Well, hasn’t the USA been disengaged for years now?
    Dear Mzungus and their admirers: if you want change in Eritrea, advocate for investment, for engagement. Tell Ethiopia to mind its own problem; tell it to abide by the EEBC border ruling and to end the “no war, no peace” situation. Have you heard what the Ex.General had to say (Tsadkan). He said Ethiopia has an unfinished war with Eritrea. Tell Ethiopia to make peace peace with its people, to stop burning villages and massacring innocent civilians indiscriminately. Tell the bosses of PFDJ you will be real in pursuing charges against them if they don’t respect human rights and behave. Give Stop the collective punishment of Eritreans; stop the strangulation of a young nation. Empower the people through meaningful economic assistance where every dollar is accounted for. That’s what brings real change. Change comes when the youth are empowered and made to feel hopeful.
    Conclusion: Eritrea has been in the limelight for the past decade and half. It has been sanctioned and scrutinized more than any country. An arms embargo has been placed upon it. So, it’s a gimmick to speak of it as if it has been a neglected threat. There is no threat that Eritrea poses on international security. Not at all.
    Regards.

    • Thomas D

      Hi Mahmud,

      Please replace Eritrea with DIA and his regime then your writing will make sense. Thank you!!

    • Yohannes Zerai

      Selam Mahmud,

      I am very curious to see how different, if at all, the reaction of Yemane Ghebreab & Co. to the event will be compared to the sentiments you have just expressed here.

      • Mahmud Saleh

        Ahlan Yohannes
        This is not different from what I commented under your article related to EU fund. As far as regional security, Ethiopian role and SEMG, I have been saying the same since I joined this forum. I understand what you want to imply. But trust me, if you feel you could trust me, that what you read of similarities between what Yemane and I said, has probably occurred coincidence. I have no connection to him or to his organization.
        Regards.

        • Solomon

          Selamat Mo “The Best” Mo,

          Morpheus: “There are no such things as coincidence. Three Ships, Three Captains.”

          Professor Hyatt Adam meets Jeda Pinket. Propagandacracy is in play.

          Pound for pound.. Roy Jones in the boxing ring challenges AntMan.
          Nitric bets KndishiH that General i-SEM is no match for General tSadQan,

          Yoda says No such thing as coincidence or try Just Monkey Do!

          tSAtSE

        • Yohannes Zerai

          Hello Mahmud.

          Rest assured that I was not in any way trying to imply anything about your associations/affiliations in my earlier comment. I am not given to labeling people on their political views; my comment was meant to simply point out that your views on the subject sounded too pro-government to me. That is all.

          • Nitricc

            Hi Mr Zerai you said “Rest assured that I was not in any way trying to imply anything about your associations/affiliations in my earlier comment.” is any other way to interpret to what you mean and what you in your mind? it is your right to say whatever you want and why not come out and say it? I can’t stand dishonesty and gutless take. you said it with absolute clarity for what you are implying but why be dishonest about it? Even Thomas can figure what you are saying.

          • Thomas

            “I can’t stand dishonesty and gutless take. you said it with absolute
            clarity for what you are implying but why be dishonest about it?” If you have a sound mind, only a gutless person comes with nickname/pen name. It is even very dishonest when you call people names for refusing to answer your nonsense questions. Look, none of the below is known about yourself:

            a) Your name
            b) State/city of your residence in the U.S.
            c) Your nationality

            You see it is very difficulty for Yohannes Zerai to understand your accusation of him being dishonest. You have never been honest on anything, Nitricc or whatever, NEVER!!

          • Hayat Adem

            Eh Tr’atlka Nitricc,
            I can’t stand dishonesty embear elka!
            Let me direct to where the real dishonesty was exhibited naked. That was what Mahmuday said about Bashir and Bruton. He doubred the first but give the latter benefit of the doubt. He put the later, non Eritrean, before the former as more credible and knowledgeable on Eritrea. Bruton’s employer received donation from a company that makes profits out of slave labor in Eritrea. She was invited to visit Eritrea, spent 3 hrs with IA in her 1st leg. She saud it clearly that she supported the Eritrea regime. And yet she is credible and knowledgeable by the eyes of Mahmuday. Bashir is not, Mahmuday told us. His reason? Because he thinks he worked or works for a company he thinks has a branch in Ethiopia. But, did Mahmuday refute anything Bashir said? Nope. He didn’t need to because if he is against pfdj, he must have been comissioned by Ethiopia. Did Mahmuday substantiate anything testified by Bruton? Nope. She is credible because she supported PFDJ.
            Nitricc, if you can’t stand dishonesty the first person you must hate is yourself. You are the house of dishonesty. Well, at least, Mahmuday’s dishonesty is seasonal.

          • Solomon

            Selamat HA,

            KndishiH is an easy target for your purpose. Okay, Ms. Burton as a non Eritrean can be more knowledgeable.

            “Three hours with PIA” where there you have it, that is equivalent to earning a her PhD.

            I will take, Pro “on varying degrees” by IshmaEElAA elsewhere.
            I sensed you might have. .. but good to see you trailing Captain.

            Now awaiting i-SEM’s lightning speed production, unless he admits he is WEAK to the CORE.

            tSAtSE

          • Hayat Adem

            Hi Sele,
            Only one point. Is it just by virtue of being non- Eritreaness she can be knowlegeable? Defnitely, I was not saying there is no single nonEritrean who knows more about Eritrea than a single Eritrean. That was not the issue at all. But when nothing else is said about what they brought to the table, the only thing quality considered must have been that, the fact that One is Eritrean the other is not. Isn’t that funny,Sele?

          • blink

            Dear Hayat
            You forget also that she is white . in this 2016, Eritreans will trust her more than the two brothers because , she is white simple .They do not learn that Bush was white and he killed millions . This woman is on PFDJ pocket .

    • Solomon

      Selamat Mo “The Best” Mo,

      Tred lightly my friend. No salutation?

      General i-SEM, let’s see that lightning speed prodCracy.
      Luke “The Force is with you” Or “Commme to the Dark Side.”

      I have got just the theme song for it, from Dark Side of The Moon
      “So, you think you can tell,
      Blue Skies from Pink
      Can you tell a green field from a cold steel rail?
      A smile from a veil?
      Do you think you can tell?

      And did they get you to trade you heros for ghosts?
      Hot ashes for trees? Hot air for cool breeze?
      Cold comfort for change…”

      COLD COMFORT FOR CHANGE

      “Swimming in a fish bowl..”
      Wish you were here.
      tSAtSE

    • Berhe Y

      Dear Mahmuday,

      I think you got really carried away by the title of the hearing and I suspect you haven’t not heard the testimony. I really doubt that you heard the testimony of Dr. Beshir or that of Dr. Gebre-Ab.

      Personally I think, these two gentleman represented Eritrea’s best. For all the down play of opposition this, or that, that there is no body ready to lead, I think they represented what Eritrea would look like when the regime in Eritrea is removed and a democratic elected government is in place, Eritrea will have the best of its sons and daughters represent it at the world and international stage just like these two distinguished gentleman did.

      If you had really heard the testimony, specially when Dr. Beshir shredded Ms. Burton to pieces with her affiliation and her organization conflict of interest with Nevsun, it’s was splendid to watch. ትአምኖ ልአኽ እሞ እንታይ ተሪፉ አይትበል፡፡ No doubt everything she said, wrote or advised is going to be taken with grain of salt. It’s funny she tried to pull the “China” card when nothing was working.

      I ask you to take the time to listen to their testimony and to listen to what they asked the US government to do. I don’t think it’s far off from what you advocate.

      Berhe

      • Mahmud Saleh

        Selam Berhe
        1. Generally I’m for a conditional engagement that could create jobs and opportunities for the youth to remain in their country. I believe the country’s hope is on the growing number of the young population. Diaspora opposition remains to be diaspora. If it could, it should take steps that help the youth stay in their country and help them fight for their right. Place more emphasis on them.
        2. I was so shocked when the Dr. said that Ethiopia might be tempted to attack Eritrea because Eritrea is engaging with AGS. How was that going to establish a point he was trying to make which was that Eritrea is a regional threat? In this case who is the regional threat, Eritrea that’s making legitimate regional partnering, or Ethiopia, a country that is bullying small states like Eritrea? The blame is really misplaced.
        3. To be fair, Ms. Burton appeared more knowledgeable of the complexity of the problem. Moreover, Dr. Beshir used his Eritrean citizenship as an advantage to downplay the expertise of Ms. Burton. I would ask Dr. Beshir if he does not have a conflict of interest in the matter. I’m willing to be corrected, but his expertise is on financial analytics, quantitative Risk consulting. I don’t know how current, but he is a specialist manager at Deloitte. And what does Deloitte do? It has branches in Ethiopia. It has a feature article on the “Growth Miracle” in Ethiopia on its website. Generally, it’s active in consulting and inviting capital to Ethiopia. Now, if this is not true, I will apologize Dr. Beshir. But if it is true, he will be the last person to consult USA law makers about the “neglected threat” that Eritrea allegedly poses. He can talk all he wanted in areas of human rights concern but to push US law makers to have the embargo that degrades Eritrean defense capability while telling us that Ethiopia could attack Eritrea at any time simply because Eritrea chose to have regional cooperation that the USA approves of is just contradictory, it’s simply illogical.
        4. Haw Berhe, I have no problem if people focus on the human tragedy. But I see it used to embolden Ethiopia and degrade Eritrea’s right to defend itself; I see it used to shift the blame from Ethiopia a country that is flaunting international law to the victim country, I see it being used for narrow personal or sectorial gains. That’s what made me appear dissenting on COIE and SEMG. I sympathize with the victims. I really do. I sympathize with kids like Cyham Abdu who was mentioned in the hearing. I really do. I have children of my friends who have grown without their fathers or both parents. Some of them live close to me. I talk with them. I wish PFDJ bosses were rounded overnight and were made to take the places of those unjustly imprisoned. I wish. Therefore, it’s not about the despicable human right issues, but about the ways some of the opposition chose to handle those issues. I see no direct benefit the victims, and Eritreans at large, could gain from policies that punish the nation collectively.
        5. The witness calls the USA not make “unconditional” engagement with Eritrea. There is no such thing called unconditional engagement. International relations are always conditioned. You engage a country if you believe your engagement is going to yield benefits for your country. Anyway, the Americans are saying their engagement is conditioned on the respect of human rights. Therefore, such calls, when tied with the attempts of making Eritrea appear as a regional threat, serve only Ethiopia, a country that is ravaging its people and the region, a regional threat that needs to be reckoned with, a regional threat that has been neglected for too long.
        Regards.
        As I have said above, I’m willing to be corrected.

        • Thomas

          Hi Mr. Mahmudai,

          You said, “Therefore, it’s not about the despicable human right issues, but about
          the ways some of the opposition chose to handle those issues. I see no direct benefit that the victims, and Eritreans at large, could gain from policies that punish the nation collectively.” and you also said, ” I sympathize with kids like Cyham Ali Abdu who was mentioned in the hearing.” Now, really, Mahmudai? You sympathize with the kids in prison by going against the COIE? What would you damn strategy to get this kids realized then? The witnesses who stood in front of the investigator were immediate family members of those imprisoned, you had no right to object his victims of the direct attack of the regime you seem to sympathize? Now, tell us what your startegy of having these imprisoned released before they are announced dead in prison or illness in prison as a pretext?

        • Berhe Y

          Dear Mahmud,

          Since you raised lots of points, I thought I respond to all.

          1. Generally I’m for a conditional engagement that could create jobs and opportunities for the youth to remain in their country. I believe the country’s hope is on the growing number of the young population. Diaspora opposition remains to be diaspora. If it could, it should take steps that help the youth stay in their country and help them fight for their right. Place more emphasis on them.

          I have no objection to your points, but the opposition or the diaspora business community, their hands are tied to do anything meaningful in partnership with the government or individually. Case in point, the successful business community of Eritreans who are thriving in lots of African countries, majority of them tried to setup business in Eritrea but for one reason or another they were driven out as greedy, and they were demonized, dehumanized, penalized, some arrested and most of them lost huge amount of investment. For you to state that “the Diaspora should help the youth to stay in the country” is really misplaced.

          2. I was so shocked when the Dr. said that Ethiopia might be tempted to attack Eritrea because Eritrea is engaging with AGS. How was that going to establish a point he was trying to make which was that Eritrea is a regional threat? In this case who is the regional threat, is it Eritrea which is making legitimate regional partnering, or Ethiopia, a country that is bullying small states like Eritrea? The blame is really misplaced.

          I think you are taking the comment out of context. He tried to send the message to the US authorities as clear as anyone have ever attempted to make, that the boarder needs to be demarcated and the US as a guarantor of the agreement needs to pressure Ethiopia to comply specially on the 95% of the undisputed boarder. As a risk analyst he may have his opinion what Eritrea engagement and involvement the Saudi led collusion in Yemen conflict. Leaving Eritrea aside, the Saudi and GCC currently are not the best peace partners, as they have affected negatively the so many Syrian lives by helping finance extreme entities. Again I don’t think he is blaming Eritrea but the risk that Eritrea faces, if entangled in this. We can say all we want about Eritrea right etc, but at the end of the day, those that have power will do anything that threat their interest. We can say this about Turkey in Syria or Russia or the US in Yemen. And I think if the conflict of Yemen is brought to the region say to Djibouti, it will be a direct threat to Ethiopia. If this is real or not, is a different story, so I see his comment from that angle.

          3. To be fair, Ms. Bruton appeared more knowledgeable of the complexity of the problem. Moreover, Dr. Beshir used his Eritrean citizenship as an advantage to downplay the expertise of Ms. Bruton. I would ask Dr. Beshir if he does not have a conflict of interest in the matter. I’m willing to be corrected, but his expertise is on financial analytics, quantitative Risk consulting. I don’t know how current, but he is a specialist manager at Deloitte. And what does Deloitte do? It has branches in Ethiopia. It has a feature article on the “Growth Miracle” in Ethiopia on its website. Generally, it’s active in consulting and inviting capital to Ethiopia. Now, if this is not true, I will apologize Dr. Beshir. But if it is true, he will be the last person to consult USA law makers about the “neglected threat” that Eritrea allegedly poses. He can talk all he wanted in areas of human rights concern but to push US law makers to have the embargo that degrades Eritrean defense capability while telling us that Ethiopia could attack Eritrea at any time simply because Eritrea chose to have regional cooperation that the USA approves of is just contradictory, it’s simply illogical.

          Really Mahmud. Are you trying to imply if he is/was employed by Delliote and that the company is advising investors to invest in Ethiopia and thus the risk of conflict of interest. For the record, he was introduced as independent consultant, and in his disclosure he stated and signed that he didn’t receive any financial incentive from the Eritrean government. It ends there, you don’t have to go further to question his credibility. Second the hearing is about Eritrea and I don’t know, why you bring Ethiopia (non related issue to Eritrea) to the discussion. The chair said, we have hearing about Ethiopia and they will have hearing about the current situation in Ethiopia but that’s beside the point. The agenda was Eritrea and we should stay on the topic. Having said that, you do not see a conflict of interest with Ms. Burton organization receiving between (100,000 – 250,000, they can’t even spell the exact amount, I would guess it’s 250,000) from Nevsun and all the sudden this “expert” attending Eritrean functions with the executive of Nevsun to prop up support. She didn’t deny any of the statement Dr. Beshir was making. Have you see Nevsun give that kind of money to any ERITREAN institutions like, awate foundation or any other independent entity and why the African council. In my opinion because he shed lights on Nevsun and the Atlantic council engagement, all her settlement or her independence was put into question.

          As far as Nevsun goes, he said it needs large number of people as it moves its production to copper and zinc. And it was asked where the money it gives Eritrea is or to what purpose and they could not answer. Basically the material is shipped out and sold outside and it’s paid to PFDJ entity abroad. The Eritrean finance minster or the Eritrean banks do not know anything about this money. It’s Isayas Aferworki and his own controlled entity that own the money. Have you seen the swiss bank leakes? The amount of money from two individual Eritreans? So Nevsun is asked if it pays the Eritrean bank / transfer and it wouldn’t answer .

          4. Haw Berhe, I have no problem if people focus on the human tragedy. But I see it used to embolden Ethiopia and degrade Eritrea’s right to defend itself; I see it used to shift the blame from Ethiopia a country that is flaunting international law to the victim country, I see it being used for narrow personal or sectorial gains. That’s what made me appear dissenting on COIE and SEMG. I sympathize with the victims. I really do. I sympathize with kids like Cyham Ali Abdu who was mentioned in the hearing. I really do. I have children of my friends who have grown without their fathers or both parents. Some of them live close to me. I talk with them. I wish PFDJ bosses were rounded overnight and were made to take the places of those unjustly imprisoned. I wish. Therefore, it’s not about the despicable human right issues, but about the ways some of the opposition chose to handle those issues. I see no direct benefit the victims, and Eritreans at large, could gain from policies that punish the nation collectively.

          Mahmud, I think it would help if you stay on the topic at hand. I don’t know Dr. Bashir, and from what I read and what I heard, he represents Eritrea’s best sons. I know Dr. Gebreab personally, he is a tenured professor of history. I doubt any of these individuals are doing this for their own self gain or benefit or for their sectarian gains. NONE what so ever, they are SO highly qualified in their field of expertise that they can get employment anywhere any place they wanted.

          My guess is and I don’t think I would be far off, they are doing what they are doing for their concise, and that’s what is expected of them.

          5. The witness calls the USA not make “unconditional” engagement with Eritrea. There is no such thing called unconditional engagement. International relations are always conditioned. You engage a country if you believe your engagement is going to yield benefits for your country. Anyway, the Americans are saying their engagement is conditioned on the respect of human rights. Therefore, such calls, when tied with the attempts of making Eritrea appear as a regional threat, serve only Ethiopia, a country that is ravaging its people and the region, a regional threat that needs to be reckoned with, a regional threat that has been neglected for too long.
          Regards.
          As I have said above, I’m willing to be corrected.

          The exodus of Eritrea youth, is nothing but the making of the Eritrean regime. You really need to separate ERITREAN people suffering caused by their own government and external threat by foreign entities. There is no justification what so ever. If there is threat from Ethiopia or anyone else, ERITREANs do not need to be told what they need to do to defend their country.

          Berhe

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Dear Berhe

            I will hold it where I left off. I do believe my points are valid. Thanks.

  • Peace!

    Dear all,

    Yes, Eritrea has been a neglected strategic country. The US is now in an awkward position that: 1, the ship that’s heading to dismantle TPLF has already left 2, The Eritrean opposition groups are no where to be found to capitalize opportunity 3, The Arabs are making their presence felt in the region 4, the Yemenis, huthsis, are asking Putin for help. This only indicates any, even a bit, miscalculation is a recipe for disaster. I hope these who are seeking intervention understand that clearly.

    Peace!

  • blink

    Dear Readers
    You see two Eritreans and one i have no idea where she is , what they say will not have any effect or what so ever until the Eritrean people say Enough is enough with a united front . To assume to send PFDJ to ICC is just a lost hope and by the way , why was the Ambassador saying Ethiopia , Ethiopia and again Ethiopia ? by the Ambassador account Eritrean population is less than 1.920,000 people because ( her number 5000X12X20 = ……), what a crook ugly she is . And the priest oww my god what happen to his cross , well i forgot the Dr. His reference to say IA and his alike ( what alike is that ) who are they ?
    The middle man with black and a black hat on his head , waw , cease opposition on both sides !!!! wink , wink .

    Evey thing was just not up to the hype

    • Berhe Y

      Dear Blink,

      I doubt you have any clue what you are talking about. First read or listen to what they said then make an intelligent argument.

      Berhe

      • Solomon

        Selamat berhe_yeman,

        ZAAbi QolAA aytbedl.

        What he doesn’t know, he is asking. Notice the whats? hows? .. in iBlink’s msg?

        The Opposition’s message can only resonate when it puts forth significantly more talents to follow exemplar Eritreans such as Dr. Beshire. A few “in the know” wont do it? Weak uninformed base cannot sustain the holding up very few giants up top. Despite their strength, they don’t even know themselves what they are up against.

        I suppose, if you want something done, do it your self is a timely maxim.

        tSAtSE

        • Berhe Y

          Hi Solomon,

          I am sorry if I sound harsh but everything they said was posted including their speech. Everything they spoke about is the video, then why does he write something like this

          Refereing to Dr. Habtu Ghebre-Ab,
          “The middle man a black hat on his head , waw , cease opposition on both sides !!!! wink , wink ,I can tell him and bet with my own money that it will never happen but who can blame him , it is just a hearing .”

          Referring to the the African secretary:

          “By the Ambassador account Eritre
          an population is less than 1.920,000 people because ( her number 5000X12X20 = ……), what a crook ugly she is . ”

          Referring to the panelists.

          “You see two Eritreans and one i have no idea where she is”

          So I asked that he reads, and listen and make an intelligent argument.

          Berhe

          • Solomon

            Selamat berhe_yeman,

            You must admit there was total unpreparedness by the first and second set of panelists.

            The only exception being Ms. Burton. Her testimony was very focused and based on the USA’s interest which includes through positive development of Eritrea, better returns for the USA. As MaHmood SaliH, has said to you, s
            Ms. Burton appeared, to Rep Smith’s African Safaris committee as well mind you, the more informed of all five witnesses. What she did not know, she admitted several times. She knew what she was up against.

            Dr. Khaled”s preemptive statement about Nevsun, is indicative if a defensive strategy outlined in a huddle by the Opposition. Clearly, the two Eritreans were at a significant disadvantage with regards to protocol, preparedness and more. Perhaps, both of them were set up by the title of the hearing.
            Just recall Rep Smith’s asking Ms. Burton “in the interest of total disclossure, do you have and shares in Nevsun…” Pay attention at his expression and draw your own conclusions.

            What I found fascinating, was how subconciuosly, near the end if the hearing, both Dr. Khaled and Fr. Ghebreab, started to make excellent arguments for Eritreans even by given GoE due Credit. It is not just subconciuosly, it could also be they quickly learned the objective of the subcommittee through its line of questioning as well as Ms. Burton guiding them through her statement, limited responses, and absolutely non confrontational posture towards the Eritreans.

            We can hail ours all we want, but they were not prepared at all. Perhaps, some one in the know can tell us when the two received their notice to appear at the hearing.

            Don’t underplay Dr. Khalid’s defense strategy….

            tSAtSE

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Solomon,

            If you do not agree with their testimony is one thing, but they were not prepared is complitly different matter. I will admit I did not hear when they read their statements, because I already read them ahead of listening to the Video so I skipped them.

            Let alone this distinguished ERITREAN scholars who are always tested to think in their feet for years be it in their academic profession or in front of knowledgable audience, that the Eritrean issue that they know and live every day, and you think they had lack of preparation is really sound a joke to me.

            This women wrote about Somalia way after the invasion, its like someone is writing about Iraq invasion 3 years after it happened. Is this what you call expert who has the benefit of retrospect, and is considered Somali expert.

            And she wrote about Eritrea 18 months ago and now she is expert on Eritrea society and politics because what happened in Somalia?

            Why don’t you use specific examples to really hammer down if these Eritreans were not prepared. Which topic are you referring to?

            Berhe

          • Solomon

            Selamat berhe_yeman,

            Dude, you can praise all you want. I rather thought differently.
            It was a comedy of the tragic kind for me. If I was to give my full opinion or thoughts, it would be an honest one that would loose its value in the Pro/Opp con, yes ongoing con by all if you conmen conmen out there.
            I got some good material out of the hearing. I aim to utilize it in due time and place for my selfish self benefit. I will not say more my friend.
            tSAtSE

          • Berhe Y

            Selam Solomon,

            I am not praising but stating the fact. You said “You must admit there was total unpreparedness by the first and second set of panelists.” And I asked you if you can give an example. You don’t just give such “belittling opinion” about someone and then just brush it off, I think differently.

            Had they made an obvious mistake, where they made a blunder. Were they telling unfounded lies and allegations…did they know what they talking about.

            Sometimes, I really, really wondered if we ever will come out of these mess and function as normal people and nation. Just because we want to defend the PFDJ administrations that we bury, all our conscience and choose to see the other way, and worst off we try to justify it.

            what happened to the hope we had for our nations, the fairness, the justice, the freedom that we all hoped for growing up listing to DimiSi Hafash.

            Berhe

          • Solomon

            Selamat berhe_yeman,

            Normal is what we were long long ago, with each turn we are defined more abnormal than the previous. No is therefore the answere to your wonder.

            Just take a listen to STT on SBS. He states clearly above partisan objectives, we have national objectives that we do not care to neglect. So, your presumption of defending this party or that may very well be a reflection of your own praise for the testimonies of both Eritrean selects, which were in their totality a blunder.
            So my good friend I join you in your “Hip Hip Hurrayt!!!” For our two crem dele crem and esteemed Eritreans! But, I also state that their statements was a complete blunder.

            I guarantee you Sir, we will not emerge normal by any means.

            tSAtSE

          • Hameed Al-Arabi

            The regime that is ruling Eritrea is far more retarded without any equal in the world. I deem comparing it with North Korea a grave mistake. Supporters are not better off than their herders.

          • Solomon

            Hey Hammeed Al Arabi,

            Suppose we start pronouncing Eritrea ad Koritrea Rea Koritrea. Do you think it will have more of an effect on Americans and their legislators?

            What’s the use? You may very well be as restarted as I and definitely not better of than your herders. I assure you Sir., A sole livestock I am as better or worse as my herder I am, though the retarded my herder my mind may very well be.

            Now be a good chap and run along and play with the children….

            tSAtSE

          • Hameed Al-Arabi

            Greetings Solomon,

            Innocent children are far more better than those grown ups who adamantly repeat the same destructive mistakes. What do you call such herds except retarded creatures. Livestock is far more better at least you get benefit from them. Mr. Solomon wake up take a sheet of paper and make an inventory to the abuses your herders perpetrated upon the people of Eritrea.

          • Solomon

            Hello Hameed Al Arabia,

            You woke me up to tell me to wake up and take inventory??? I think you would better off without my herding you for the moment. Rest assured my friend the inventory is in my possession.

            Now, allow me once more for a good night’s shut eye.

            tSAtSE

          • Hameed Al-Arabi

            Greetings Solomon,

            In 1991 the cities and villages of Eritrea were with some life and full of hope. The destructive machine of the crippled minds hand destroyed life in Eritrea within the past more than two decades. It is a shame to hear Monkey, the despot adviser speaks out arrogantly that they are in a training mission for the past 25 years how to rule the country. The people of Eritrea are not laboratory rats to make monkeys experiment on them . 25 years were not enough to graduate them, and I don’t think more years will set right their crippled minds. Your uncles, Mr. Solomon, are beyond reformation.

          • Solomon

            Selamat Hameed Al Arabi,

            The herders are picking up German formations in order for the Camels to out perform the Black Stars of Ghana on the African Conference. The cities and villages are once again “full of life,” though pick up games and use of home made stuffed sock ball, by decree, is unlawful. Organized sports and German formation is the call from the herders. With a wake up call, the Blitzkrieg or Hujum can reinforce the minimum on the trenches with their ksHafas.
            Speaking of a wake up call and Black Matters, berhe_yeman would like a song now: “Reunited and it feels so good!” 🙂
            tSAtSE

          • Hameed Al-Arabi

            Greetings Solomon,

            When herders and their herds are rational, they can shift their countries from chaos to peace and development. In case herders and herds are monkeys no change will be expected. They will rotate the same song. You will be with the same destructive mindset of thinking even after hundred years. Conditions of development is open-mindedness not fossilized minds.

          • Solomon

            Selamat Hameed Al Arabi,

            I couldn’t agree more. Though I would like to emphasize on the necessity of open mindedness for the conditions on development. I am of the firm belief, and by definition it is, and should be a a two way broad avenue.

            From the testimonies of our esteemed Eritreans,
            1. What open mindedness to a 25 years one way onslaught have you picked up?
            2. Commanding or urging the USA that is certain on changing course with Eritrea, do you Sir, with an open mind have one, three, five or ten fresh recommendations you can come up with for the subcommittee?
            3. If the request is for the purpose of changing current policy, is it RATIONAL then to recommend or urge for the very same policy?

            I still maintain that either this was a formality to put on record opposing existing opposing views or the Eritrean panelists were ill prepared/consulted. This is the USA Congress committee on foreign affairs with infinit arsenal, including the intelligence community, at it’s disposal.

            4. Can I solicit from all forumers a list of recommendations and or urgings different from the usual?
            ——-
            By the way hasn’t Hope’s Ten days suspension elapsed?

          • Hameed Al-Arabi

            Greetings Solomon,

            It is logic to throw a rotten item to the bin. Your uncles damage transcended Eritrean border and reached faraway nations and peoples. This undeniable fact is only looked down by those who are stripped of their humanity and conscience. I recommend the USA at least to refrain from assisting your rotten regime. The Eritrean people shifted from dark era to the worst dark era, thus if we are poorly prepared or lagging behind nations is not the fault of Eritreans. America reached the moon and we don’t blame other nations for not exploring the space. Our message is very clear, respect our humanity, and this doesn’t need much preparation. Have you got it space explorer?

          • Solomon

            Selamat Hameed Al Arabi,

            No, not quite. How can I get it, get anything other than my space exploration from your jibrish? I don’t got it until you got it. And boyyyyy you are gonna got it alright!
            Get it, got it!

            tSAtSE

          • Hameed Al-Arabi

            Greetings Solomon,

            Neg, you are gonna got it alright! You failed to boost your pretexts. (Mantile zelila zelila ab midri)

          • Hameed Al-Arabi

            Greetings Solomon,

            Do you believe the figurative expression “space explorer”? Don’t go so far you will catch up with doomsday herding donkeys..

          • Saleh Johar

            Hi Solomon,

            You gave me an idea. We were thinking of adding a siren that would wake people when someone sends them a comment on the Awate Forum. I guess someone already installed it. Could you explain to the forum how it works? It would be handy though I am not aware we had alarms. Mine doesn’t wake me up, I don’t hear an alarm. When I go to sleep, I shut off the computer 🙂

          • Solomon

            Selamat SaliH,

            German Engineering, perhaps you should consider. The internal clock suffers everytime you shut down a computer. Mobility is of the essence. How about awate installing a thesaurus to comprehend the obsolete trench warfare Gheteb speakes of? 🙂

            tSAtSE

      • blink

        Dear Mr.Berhe

        Are you trying to be Mr. know all ? , Can you just give me a hint ? where and how is your mr. smart personalities to figuer out that , you are no more and less than any one and have no clue more than any one except the right to trying to be Mr, Mr Mr. I can only read your , I , I , I . By the way giving speeches about things you do not control is open to any one. I do not take your comment personally but I also think you are not THOMAS nor Mr. Saleh gadi . Of course you are far better than the First one but I can not imagine you can lecture people either.

        I am 100% sure that no one on his right mind think nevsun can be subjected to any thing bad by investing in Eritrea even if they in slave people . We can do nothing about it except talking , talking and talking. You want to talk , go ahead talk ,it is a free world . If you do not know , JP Morgan are investing in Eritrea , do you think , you have the capacity to say any thing about them ? Even if you say million times you have zero in put . It is not that they are not doing or helping the criminal government.

        The Ambassador was again saying Ethiopia , Ethiopia and Ethiopia , at one point she understood how idiotic she was and said ow my gash. Her 5000 is again open to any once guess .

        • Thomas

          Hi Bleak,

          I agree with Berhe you were “semai zigratu”. In other words, what was discussed by the panel and your take reflected on your little comment was completely different. We know you can write in English but if you can understand the discussion that was in the English language or if you ever have listened to the discussion on the video we all watch and on the above page:) This is what Berhe is trying to address to you. He simply is asking you to watch the video and listen to panel discussion and respond. Don’t be so defensive!! No one is attacking you or trying to be smarter than you. Berhe simply suggested that you watch the video or if you did watch it already you have missed/misunderstood what was discussed.

          • blink

            Dear TORMAS
            Tell that to your friend , as of me , i am sure on what is said and the way you want to explain is not mine. You want to sale it , go try your best.

  • Semere Tesfai

    Selam All

    INSANITY – DOING AND SAYING THE SAME THING OVER AND OVER, AND EXPECTING A DIFFERENT RESULT.

    The good doctor’s recommendation:

    1. – First criminalize the PFDJ regime. Then, using the UN Human Rights’ Commission of Inquiry report, shackle and ship the PFDJ regime leaders to the International Criminal Court – meaning, make PFDJ leaders and their constituents fight to the bitter end. No compromising!

    2. – And how does the good doctor define the regime he is trying to defeat and ship to the ICC? Well, he said “To put it bluntly, the Government of Isaias Afwerki is a tyrant government that finds security, by creating a clique of people who are IDENTICAL to him: by HERITAGE, LANGUAGE, ETHNICITY, and RELIGION – meaning all the regime criminals hail from the same ETHNIC TIGRIGNA. I think the good doctor is feeling toooooo comfy her at Awate. I doubt, he would defend his claim in a mixed crowd. Hint: Ali Abdu, Osman Saleh, AlAmin Mohammed SeEd vs any Yemane or, any General or Colonel.

    3. – Sanction, isolate, deny any investment to Eritrea – meaning – STARVE THE ERITREAN PEOPLE

    4. Provide humanitarian assistance to Eritrean refugees + provide them immigrant visas, to help them come to the US and ask other countries to do the same. Meaning – please don’t stop the current exodus of our young, make it worst. Just keep life inside Eritrea miserable – and open the door to the West wide open.

    5. – regional organizations’ and governments’ efforts in Combat human trafficking in the Horn of Africa through regional organizations and regional governments. How do you stop supply if there is demand? Meaning, how would the flow of refugees and human trafficking stop, if the Western countries door is wide open for Eritreans? Bizzare, isn’t it!!!

    We’ve heard this song for at least a decade and half. Nothing new.

    • Thomas D

      Hey Semere T,

      You said, “We’ve heard this song for at least a decade and half. Nothing new.” You seem to have too much confidence in that the regime you tend to support is immune to any eventual targets. You must know that the Eritrean are very close to circle the mafia regime. Just wait, it will only be a matter of time. People are learning. We are smarter today than yesterday. Don’t take things for granted, mark my words on this!!

    • Nitricc

      Hey Semere; who ever gave that stupid a Ph.D. should be arrested. I have never heard such stupid argument in my life. Trust me, I have heard many of the so called oppositions argument but this idiot tops it all. I wonder if he bought his Ph.D. like all the weyane generals did. No wonder why awate.com is going down hill, there are people like him on board.

    • Mahmud Saleh

      Selam bxay Semere Tesfai

      I need an urgent help, please. Dr Beshir said, ” Given the toxic relationship between Eritrea and Ethiopia, the Eritrean regime’s joining of the Saudi Arabian alliance— grouping all of the Gulf States in the war against Houthi rebels—is likely to result in counter-moves by Ethiopia which has historically viewed the presence of Gulf Arab on its doorstep as an existential threat. The Ethiopian Prime Minister has warned that Ethiopia may have to take disproportionate measures to eliminate this threat. This doesn’t just mean inviting Israel, Turkey to the region—which Ethiopia already has done—but military strikes.”
      Unless we are to believe that Eritrea is a renegade province of Ethiopia, how could you explain the above. Who gave Ethiopia to be consulted on what Eritrea does with other sovereign nations? Why does Eritrea’s cooperation with the Arab Gulf States become an automatic threat to Ethiopia? Do Ethiopia policy makers see the Arab world as its enemy, save the chauvinist cultural attitude of few? I need help here.

      • Semere Tesfai

        Selam Mahud Saleh

        First let me start by saying sorry for my late response, second let me say a word or two regarding your questions. You said:

        1. – “I need an urgent help, please. Dr Beshir said, ” Given the toxic relationship between Eritrea and Ethiopia, the Eritrean regime’s joining of the Saudi Arabian alliance— grouping all of the Gulf States in the war against Houthi rebels—is likely to result in counter-moves by Ethiopia which has historically viewed the presence of Gulf Arab on its doorstep as an existential threat. The Ethiopian Prime Minister has warned that Ethiopia may have to take disproportionate measures to eliminate this threat. This doesn’t just mean inviting Israel, Turkey to the region—which Ethiopia already has done—but military strikes.”
        Unless we are to believe that Eritrea is a renegade province of Ethiopia, how could you explain the above? Who gave Ethiopia to be consulted on what Eritrea does with other sovereign nations? Why does Eritrea’s cooperation with the Arab Gulf States become an automatic threat to Ethiopia? Do Ethiopia policy makers see the Arab world as its enemy, save the chauvinist cultural attitude of few? I need help here?”

        Well, Mahmuday, this is how I see it. The Eritrean people have given-up on the Eritrean opposition. And as you can imagine, when the Eritrean people reject your political business, THERE IS NO SOURCE OF FUND COMING FROM THE ERITREAN PEOPLE TO RUN YOUR POLITICAL BUSINESS. But that is not the only problem with the Eritrean opposition. Knowing full well they don’t have wider public support, still, they don’t want call it a day and go about their private business. Why? Because (a) for some, the opposition business is a means of income to make a living (b) for some it is the only hope to taste, the sweet taste of revenge at any cost (c) and for others it is all plain ህልኽ.

        And that begs the question: How could they possibly run a political business in the name of the Eritrean people, if the Eritrean people have left them high and dry? How could they possibly keep their political business open and their lights on without any source of funding from the Eritrean people?

        Well, to keep their business running, they are doing the obvious: PROSTITUTE in broad daylight. Meaning – They are dancing to the tune of their financiers. They are repeating their financier’s talking points. They have became an echo-chamber of their financiers. They are telling us, they will build Jeffersonian democracy in Eritrea – knowing full well Jefferson himself was a slave owner – people like you and I to be exact. Each day, they are telling us Meles Zenawi was a visionary leader. Each day, they are preaching to the Eritrean people about Ethiopia’s double-digit economic growth.

        They believe, the double digit Ethiopian economic miracle is so real, and the current Ethiopian democracy is so invaluable, they are promising to the Eritrean people, the minute they ascend to the helm (by the help of Woyane), they will import Ethiopian democracy to Eritrea immediately. They worship Woyane so much, they have literally become the embodiment of Woyane. They have become the spokespeople of woyane – so much so, they are warning us Eritreans in broad daylight, if Eritrea dare choose to have any relation with the Arab World without Ethiopia’s blessing, “Hailemariam Desalegn will take disproportionate measures to stop it”.

        My dear Prime Minster: I hope I helped in some way.

        Semere Tesfai

        • Mahmud Saleh

          Selam Semere Tesfai
          Thanks for the reply. That’s a whacking Hateta ya ZeEim albalab.

        • Dear Semere T.

          You wonder why Ethiopia should care about a military buildup only 60 km from her border. I hope that you do not find it hard to see why S. Korea, Japan and the USA should care if N. Korea owns wmd, and works hard to develop the means with which to deliver it thousands of miles away.
          Today it is the Houthis who are under attack by mercenary forces coming from all directions. Who knows, tomorrow it could be Ethiopia and even Djibouti.
          As much as love for Ethiopia from Arab governments is concerned, I am sure they will never regret for the love they wasted upon Ethiopians, because there was none.
          You seem to have missed the difference between peaceful cooperation and military cooperation. Military cooperation, especially when actively directed against other people and nations, is an existential issue, and Ethiopia should see it as such. Each government is responsible for its actions and its outcomes.
          If you think that the West and Israel would be indifferent as the Red Sea falls under the control of Arab powers, you will be making a big mistake. In addition Turkey, by standing on the side of western powers, will try to keep Egypt at bay.
          Then, is it smartness or opportunism by the regime in Asmara, to meddle in a problem that does not concern the Eritrean people in any way? Yesterday it was with the Houthis and Iran, today it stands on the side of the GCC fighting Houthis.

  • Solomon

    Selamat Forum,
    Selamat Forum,

    It is note worthy and a commendable diplomatic achievements for those involved.

    Though this hearing does seem to be initiated by the United States Government and requesting Eritrean notables such as Dr. Khalid Badhir to give testimony.

    I find this statement to be telling:

    “..Eritrean people. I urge this august body not to repeat the mistake committed during the Clinton era, when the Eritrean dictator was hailed as a renaissance leader and provided with all sorts of support, a lifeline that has helped it grow to the monster that he has become.”

    Dr. Beshire is urging NOT. To me indicates the USA’s intent to reengage Eritrea, if not as supportive as the Clinton era, more positively than the Bush-Obama twice as long as Clinton era of 16yrs+.

    I also would like to state that it is not the USA’s mistake that created the monster with its positive support during Clinton era just as it is not USA’s mistake and it’s current “negative” policy towards Eritrea that created “the monster and tyrant.” Even if it is the USA’s mistake, I don’t think the good Dr. Beshire should have used such language. Clinton era’s generosity towards young Eritrea is a good will in it’s totality.

    I don’t believe ample time was given to the panelists, at least to me.

    The anti-USA rhetoric by Pro GoE and Opposition is a sinister strategy that needs to quite down by Eritreans immediately.

    More later… Just to jump start you guys…

    tSAtSE

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