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The Brewing Nightmare

I know we have a few former commies in here. So let us try to appear “ideological” at least in one paragraph. In a way, it is also the abstract, summary or snapshot of the rest. If you are a lazy reader, a serious person or do not have time for too much BS, read this paragraph and see you next time.

Abstraction

Today’s article targets Peacetime Heroes – the elite – but it is about Wartime Heroes – the riffraff. The two are mutually exclusive in form and substance. The elite talk – the riffraff walk. The riffraff plant the seeds – the elite harvest them. The elite think and plan – the riffraff hack and chop. A dialectical process of “negation and continuity” eternally links the two together. For our purpose, riffraff are eternal – elite are transitional. On the same paragraph (the internet link), the same writer says “immortal is the race where the mortal dies” (also available here page 111). When the elite cease to be of use, their time has come. Society holds a very colorful carnival called “Civil War”, where the current elite commit suicide and a new set of the elite ascend the throne.

THE REST

The way the Lord intended it to be, life on this planet is automated by something called destiny. Of course, we should do our best to evade destiny so that we restrict its incidence only to those extremes that the Lord intends them to be. We should therefore do our best so that we do not wake up one day to find out that the fairy tales we have been anticipating in “the upcoming change” do not turn out to be songs from the black book of demons. Demons are what we are trying to explain to those who might have forgotten and those who have never known. Demonic are the packages that the Eritrean government and opposition of today are dying to make into reality.

Ivory Tower

Excuse my frustration but I am sure you are in no better state either, if like the rest of us, you too fell squeezed between a deadly government and a dead opposition having to pick one. The only way you would be obliged to pick one and still exercise your freedom of expression is if you are talking to yourself. People who talk to themselves are effectively silent and for some peculiar reason they are always the majority. These are not Swing Voters, who have not yet made up their minds and who are up for grabs. We see them as silent because they are stuck at the bottom where it hurts and where we cannot hear them. We could probably find ways whereby we could hear what they have to say if we tried a little harder but that is the least of our concerns. Stuck on the tops of the two extremes of the Ivory Tower, we are more disappointed than they are that they do not listen to us and follow our orders. Between the Ivory Tower with the two monsters at both extremes on the top and the Silent Majority there is the vacuum that sucks sound into dumb. Frustrated for not being able to get the orders across, the two monsters give themselves credit for swimming against tides of the deaf and for the uphill battle that either side is waging tooth & nail like there is no tomorrow.

The motivation is straightforward. If the Silent were not passive collaborators of the PFDJ, they would have spoken up against injustice, inefficiency and failed policies. The tegadalai ones say that was exactly what they did years back by rising up, taking arms and defeating Ethiopia, the Soviet Union and little Albania. If the Silent were not the sleeping cells of the opposition, they would have spoken up to defend Eritrea against conspiracies by idolizing expired heroes, by digging trenches of death, micro-dams and a lot more holes for themselves. They would have stayed to fight instead of sneaking through borders to their own miseries abroad. The tegadalai ones say that was exactly what they did by obsessing on the fight to the end as they rose to selfless Jihadis “against all odds” (to use Dan Connell’s).

The people that both these monsters are dying to enlist as foot soldiers in deadly games are those whose only dream is to make it through the day in one piece. These are people, who have no say in what happens to them or to what they own or relate to, cannot scratch without permission or smile before approval. They wait on the leftovers of their own sweat and they run out of tears from too many horrors. Horror is all they have ever known about Eritrea and all they will ever know. They cannot see beyond their noses and do not care beyond the exigencies of missing yet another tentacle of the immediate monster. The future for them is today and now. Hope for them is the few hours they pray for the kids to be home, for the father to win the day’s bread, for the girl to make it to a wedding dress, for the night to evade a nightmare, and for the sun to remember to come out in the morning. Outside this tiny space of nothing, the rest of the world is invisible for them or does not exist altogether. They too are invisible to the world beyond nothing. Here they are numbers with no details, people with no faces and lives with no stories. Why would anyone want to open up what is left of this sad planet of tears to more bullies, abusers and demons?

THE DEMONICS

If you are a responsible Eritrean, you do not need to read this. Go and mind your business. You will never be part of those who are determined to rub our noses on the ground. If you are an irresponsible Eritrean, you do not need to read this. You will do it anyway and you have much better references and manuals beyond Eritrea. If you have already seen videos from Liberia, Sierra Leone, Algeria, Libya, Nigeria, the DRC, Rwanda, the Central African Republic, South Sudan, Somalia, Bosnia, Syria, Iraq and many other horrors, you do not need to read this. I am sure you would think twice before allowing some nutcase to manufacture the nightmares in Eritrea. This is the bottom-line: AS LONG AS PEOPLE TAKE WHAT WE WRITE SERIOUSLY, IT IS CRIMINALLY NEGLIGENT TO PROPOSE THAT ERITREA IS IN ANY WAY IMMUNE TO THE FERTILIZERS OF FAILED STATES OR THE CATASTROPHIC EPISODES OF FAILURE.

None of the countries that I have mentioned and many others including and above all Eritrea should be taken seriously as independent states in the deeply institutionalized sense of Western democracies. Each of them is nothing more than millions of the helpless and miserable souls that I described above lumped together under one roof. The roof, in each case, is as fragile as the daily lives of the millions. The state as the institution of elite groups playing every trick to reach the empty pockets of the poor and an embodiment of their nightmare is nothing but a big lie that does not reflect the reality of so many abused and frustrated dreams.

Underneath these fake institutions of paper tigers is the Pandora Box of Demons. Inside that box are the riffraff – the Wartime Heroes – millions of disgusted, frustrated and silenced angry ghosts in flesh and blood. In a number of the exceptions to the rule of eternal silence, there have been situations when some crooks managed to guess the password to the box and found out at least one unique way of making them speak by breaking the stick and leaving the carrot unattended. Once they started to speak, however, not many countries were lucky enough in getting them silenced again. In every example, the silent spoke anger, hate and revenge compressed over years of hurt and despair, where they were made to bow down and kiss boots just to get along. In every example, they vowed not to be silenced again and they never were, until they soaked everything they touched in blood and everyone they saw in shock.

Pandora’s Ghosts

On January 4, 2005, Maryann Mott (National Geographic News) wrote about the horrors of the Southeast Asian Tsunami and of course horrors are things that you have to personally experience in order to understand. I have never experienced horrors and can only imagine what it would be like for those who go through them. A few days ago, I watched the interview with the 14-year-old Eritrean kid in Sweden who survived the Lampedusa tragedy describing his desperate fight for life from the moment the captain torched the blanket to the moment he was picked by the Italians. He told of the voices trapped in the sinking boat but even he could not tell what went through the minds of the horrified, moments before death. His guess was they were screaming their names and last time messages for loved ones left behind hoping that some ghost would pick the mail. I know that no description, however eloquent, is good enough. I am a bit superstitious though and I believe in instincts and reflexes as the Almighty’s early warnings of plots in some parallel universe.

Maryann wrote “before giant waves slammed … animals [on instinct rather than reason] seemed to know what was about to happen … [some] screamed and ran for higher ground … [some] refused to go outdoors … [some] abandoned low-lying breeding areas … [and some] rushed into shelters … The massive tsunami … rolled through the Indian Ocean, killing more than 150,000 people.” Think of this analogy to the thousands of Eritrean youth stampeding through every crack in the border to get the hell out before it is too late. Do you not agree that they “seem to know what is about to happen”? Would it not be a good idea to take them as early warnings of an impending disaster ready to go? Would you not agree with the popular saying that “to destroy is the strongest instinct of nature”?
Far away in West Africa, Liberia is approximately (almost exactly) the size of Eritrea with an area of 111,369 square km, a population of about 4 million and unlimited resources capable of turning the country into heaven. Just like Eritrea, it borders three countries (Sierra Leon, Guinea and Ivory Coast). It also borders the ocean and is a multicultural community of good people. Liberia is one of the countless places where bad things happened. On April 26, 2012 Helene Cooper (a Liberian journalist), upon hearing that Charles Taylor “had been found guilty of war crimes”, and irritated by the fact that he was condemned not for the crimes he committed in his own country of Liberia, but in a neighbouring country, wrote “Before Mr. Taylor unleashed the tsunami of rape, murder, torture and dismemberment that would engulf Sierra Leone, killing more than 50,000 people and causing hundreds of thousands to flee, there was Liberia.” She continues: “The [freedom] fighters were intent on the revenge killings that would claim hundreds of thousands of civilians from Liberia’s rival ethnic groups” and told the story – just one story out of thousands more horrific – of Mr. Brown who “happened to be Krahn, the same ethnic group” of former President Samuel Doe, “Mr. Taylor’s predecessor.”

“With the civil war raging and Mr. Taylor’s gunmen roaming the country wearing the wedding gowns, blond wigs and Halloween masks [emphasis mine] … Mr. Brown had taken his son to work with him [to protect him from the predators], so the 10-year-old boy was there to witness what came next”, she adds. Mr. Brown’s ghost still hanging around, the executioner walked up to the kid, patted him on the head, and said “don’t cry” just to make the ironic point that demons too have feelings. You should be able to imagine what will no doubt be coming your way sooner than you would like to believe if you know anyone who belongs to the President’s tribe and has a “10-year-old boy”. Hate me as you wish but this moral question is on your nose: would you allow some new brand tegadalai to do to this little boy what that freedom fighter did to that little boy?

I might be exaggerating as you may be smarter and can tell the difference in context. What brings this to Eritrea where 30 years in the trenches have welded us into a chain and tegadelti do not even know who they are or where they belong anymore? So was Liberia until the moment of truth! “Diversity has always been celebrated in Liberian culture, cuisine, music, fashion, language and people themselves” and who other than Eritreans can speak about “celebrating diversity” (with bleach). Unlike the savages of West Africa, Eritreans are law-abiding people who would never go about violating people’s rights. I have never seen an Eritrean brutalizing another Eritrean.

You probably have a different experience. You might even be one of these former tegadelti who are all over YouTube telling of shocking horrors committed with their implicit approval of silence beneath the veil of dreamlike heroism of gomida breaking ceilings to bring an end to the horrors of the silent and peace to little people. Do you personally know of any Eritrean who ever committed brutality towards others? How come we do not see them along the Sudanese border against Rashaida kidnappers, in the Sinai against organ retailers or in the diaspora against the big mouths? I would be lying if I told you I know of anyone for sure. Just like you and a million others, I still get carried away when I hear immortal tegadelti – right from the President down to the bottom in every government and opposition gathering – promising heaven with all the flowers on top and streams of happiness underneath. Who can even guess that people who deliver these hypnotizing speeches during the day would be running butcher shops at night? What options do the majority have other than locking themselves in tears and waiting for the moment of truth to come and break their silent world?

FACES OF IRRESPONSIBILITY

Pray for the rule of law or some form of order to hold on a little longer. It is true that the judicial system in Eritrea is weak and it takes decades and more realistically centuries for a judicial system to mature to the degree where it can protect people from injustice. Do not even think about a judicial system in violent conflict or to regulate the application of violence by monsters during a civil war. No judicial system has ever done that. The good news is that it is not a worry and neither is the boycott of international “protection” organizations – unique to Eritrea since forever.

There is no need for all that. Mark Huband notes, “legal protection played absolutely no part [in Liberia] … no side … [held] prisoners … all perceived enemies, soldiers and civilians alike, were executed … after having been tortured … a horror story pure and simple.” According to Hubard, during the civil war, all parties to the conflict did not even bother to “pay lip service to the laws of war … and they were not wrong in sensing that the outside world cared little about what was going on in Liberia and certainly would do nothing to prevent the atrocities.”

Was that not what the international community did in the Rwandan genocide where hundreds of thousands were hacked to death? Where were all the white people running around as Special Raporteurs, Human Rights advocates, experts in African governance, peacemakers and peacekeepers, and guardians of the human spirit? Where was Sheila Keetharuth, Dan Connell and the Van Reisen doctor promising to close Eritrean embassies and to humiliate the dignity of a sovereign nation? I cannot tell you where they were during the genocide as they were nowhere to be seen. There were a lot of them though before the genocide. There were even UN peacekeepers stationed right where the nightmare took place under their noses. There was even a Canadian General, a very good man. What is the use of being good when you are good for nothing when people need you most? Would not these people have been more useful by reading the warnings of the brewing nightmare than waiting to deal with the nightmare when it happened?

Liberia’s civil war, as Hubard describes, was never “the man-made equivalent of a natural disaster.” It did not fall from the sky or pop out of nowhere like the Tsunami: “it was the culmination of years of political crisis.” The signs of a horror story in the making were all there, but Liberians always liked to believe that their country was unique and one of a kind and the beauty of their cultural diversity and long experience in mutual coexistence would immunize them from the plague. No good Liberian would have believed a word and according to their peace-time politicians that was all nothing but scaremongering. A few years down the road, they were eye to eye with the angel of death. The world watched countless videos (on YouTube) such as that of Prince Johnson, who captured former president Samuel Doe, chopped his ears and chewed them on camera.

There were also videos of 10 year old kids playing their little games. They prepared butcher shop style tree trunks and some ensured regular cleaning of the trunk tops for infection-free services. A mob of these kids would know how to get you to stretch both hands on the surface followed by the legs if the freedom fighter said so. Most of them never missed and were good with machetes through trial and error. This was just a pinch of the mountain of gruesome images in the memories of thousands and thousands of ordinary Liberians that had to go through this on a daily basis. Do you want your grandkids to watch similar videos and praise the history of your struggle and hail your achievements for leaving horror stories and a lasting nightmare as legacy?

Liberia, you may think is an exception. I agree with you. How about checking the hounding packs of hungry teens mauling their opponent’s hearts and gobbling them for lunch in Sierra Leone? How about checking Nigeria, where in countless moments of horror it is a daily morning routine for people to have to pull out the bodies of family members, neighbours and people they have never seen burned beyond recognition and mangled to pieces. What about checking South Sudan where “Two weeks after a massacre here, the stench of dead bodies clung to the walls of the Kali-Ballee mosque. Bloodstains marked the ground; shirts, pants and sandals were still scattered about; and torn pages from the Quran were strewn all over the place.”

These were real people just a few moments before those two weeks unsuspecting and going about the difficulties of their daily chores not knowing that demons were just around the corner. How about I stay away from paraphrasing other people’s reports and you do it yourself and search for your own choice of horror stories of “freedom fighters” in other civil wars.

THE MONSTERS

Our understanding of what we may be talking about when we mention “Civil War” is predominantly shaped by imaginations of the civil wars between the different organizations of the armed struggle. It is also partly shaped by imagining a replica of what happened in Ethiopia, Sudan and many others, where an organized insurgency managed to challenge state power in devastating wars. In spite of arguably unintentional collateral damage on civilians, the majority of direct combat related casualties in these civil wars were armed combatants and hence legitimate targets by belligerents.

These are civil wars that have order and structure and those participating can be taken as negotiating, only violently. In my personal opinion, these are “internal wars” and not all internal wars are “civil wars”. Given the state of opposition in Eritrea and the nature of the issues that are at stake, a similar structured civil war can happen in only one place: Your Dreams! The civil war that we are talking about in Eritrea will be a little different. I will try one of a million possible hypothetical scenarios:

One beautiful morning in Asmara, a power vacuum (temporary state paralysis) created for any of many possible triggers gets out of hand and local armed mobs take charge of the streets ransacking and looting everything that glitters.

The President is in one of his frequent supervision visits to a micro-dam in the outskirts of Adi Abeyto not far from a prison where a few hundred young men “zikhoblelun ziHankerun” are being tortured for both security and tehadso reasons. The President well-dressed and a cowboy hat on top, is having fun surrounded with the usual suspects, veteran tegadelti with canes and FBI styled tough-boy bodyguards from biet-timhirti sewra. All around the very promising micro-dam already collecting a few gallons of water at the bottom and at a safe distance are a few battalions of disgusted warsay whose hands are sore from too much digging and whose eyes are dry from too much crying.

They are following the conversation from body language and of course from the brown leather radios on dimtsi Hafash stuck to the ears. Then one of the veterans walks to the President, leans over and whispers something into his ear and the body language changes. But just like Bush did in Sept 11, 2001, he decides not to appear panicky and lingers there for a few more minutes reassuring that it was just a whisper. By then the news had spread like wildfire. The torture warehouses have broken and the ghosts are out. Prince Johnson had already started chewing the President and skinning his entourage of tegadelti and biet timhirti sewra tough-boys alive a few minutes after the whisper. Up to this point, things are controllable and it is not a civil war yet. The state has not collapsed.

One more day and hundreds of thousands of teens are already negotiating with traffickers or inquiring of directions to the Mediterranean inside Sudanese territories. Across the border inside Eritrea, whole army barracks are vacant and much of the property had been looted by locals. In Sudan and the countries along the human trafficking routes, a humanitarian catastrophe of unimaginable proportions will keep the whole United Nations system and its attachments very busy within days.

Here is where the Civil War will begin. Within days, thousands of other ghosts (real ones this time) are stampeding from long-forgotten refugee camps in Sudan, the streets of Yemen and the whole Middle East (trained and armed to the teeth with company from Chechnya, Tunisia and every curse in the Arab Islamic world) ready for genocides. What we used to modestly call land-grabbers, occupiers and torturers will be Christened brand new and truly demonic trademarks. The whole Eritrean lowlands (about three-quarters of Eritrea) will be liberated and ethnically cleansed within weeks.

Could this be the culmination of YG’s scenario of ethnic suicide? It will be if you continue to play ostrich!

WHY BRING THESE?

Do not even entertain the possibility that this is daydreaming and a product of a sick mind. It is but that is irrelevant. My intention is for you to take note and to watch your big mouth when you wish because you would at least be prudent to know what you wish for. My intention is for you to have this or any similar picture that your imagination can afford and have it as background on your thinking as you listen to all those who are promising to weed each other out. You should be able to ask good questions to those who are already debating which part of the PFDJ should remain and which part should be weeded out. They may sound very moderate and convincing.

The elite, sensible people and only sensible people can trigger a civil war by laying the moral grounds and providing the conceptual framing of valid grievances that rationalize the entitlement of the riffraff. Bad people are not qualified to perform this function because by their very nature in the context of the good society, they lack the moral credentials to make legitimate arguments. The function of bad people starts after the effective institutionalization of the sense of entitlement in our mindset and carry out the next stage by giving flesh and blood to transform valid entitlement in greed and sensible arguments into hate. Once these two conditions are met, then the rest is an automated vampire of the riffraff that grows its own legs and arms and sustains itself by feeding on blood.
I apologize for being insensitive. My disappointment is in the ostrich games that nearly the whole Eritrean opposition is playing in the face of the visible horror knocking on our doors. I will leave you with this song and see if you can have a good night sleep!
Take what I have said here very seriously and please “Stay Safe!”

About Ali Salim

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  • Fanti Ghana

    Hello All,
    Ali Salim, Amde, T. Kifle, and Horizon.
    What I have learned from you in these few pages is a lot more than I would expect to learn from an entire book.
    I envy you all.
    In their reply to the essentially “why isn’t Ethiopia doing more” question how Amde, T. Kifle, and Horizon have replied what Ethiopian contribution is/should be is very impressive. I am amazed by their talent of summarizing what many Ethiopians I know, including myself, believe about this subject. On the other side of this topic Ali Salim also presents formidable argument why the opposition has failed in creating viable opposition party and Ethiopia’s, intended or not, contribution to that failure. I am also impressed by his unconventional understanding of why PFDJ is necessary in the overall struggle to save Eritrea from itself. The short and blunt version of both sides is this: Ethiopians are saying that “you, Eritreans, can’t have your cake and eat it too.” And Ali Salim is saying “fine. You are too contaminated anyway.” [ As a side note, one of those contaminations which have not been addressed openly is the “revenge seeking group” look of the opposition stationed in Ethiopia. TPLF/EPLF gets rid of ELF from Eritrea, EPRDF/PFDJ fight, and some of the old ELF leadership moves to Addis to form an opposition organization. ] These two sides are very well defined and they are representative enough to accept as is and move on. I am convinced now more than ever that what is needed on the Eritrean opposition side (I am rightly including Ali Salim in that group) is a ‘to do’ list that should be discussed, modified as needed, and taken as the working platform for normalizing Eritrea. The first and most important task that should be dealt with immediately is creating representative organizations Eritreans can join according to their political belief. To remove the awkwardness, suspicion, or inefficiency of Ethiopian involvement all or at least most of these organizations should be based in the Sudan or some other country. Once there are clearly defined organizations they can then elect their representatives to spearhead something like the following tasks (I combined this from your recent posts):

    1. Declare purpose.
    2. Move to the Sudan and lead the armed branch.
    3. Become transitional government by default.
    4. Draft a constitution.
    5. Remove PFDJ leadership.
    6. Immune PFDJ personnel levels 2, 3, and below from prosecution.
    7. Accept the transformed or modified PFDJ as one of the above political organizations.
    8. Hold general election and disband.

    It has been repeatedly argued that one thing almost all Eritreans agree upon is their abhorrence to “civil war.” Assuming any Eritrean shooting at any other Eritrean can be termed “civil war,” I don’t see how that can be avoided if change in Eritrea is badly needed, as most of us think it is, but the damage can be substantially minimized by waiting for when only final push will be needed to remove PFDJ from power. Meanwhile, add Haile TG, SAAY, Hayat Adam, serray, and Mr. Amanuel Hidrat’s input into this mix and I believe there is a wealth of wisdom in these posts that can solve a lot more sophisticated political problem than what we have in Eritrea today.
    Selam.

    • Nitricc

      Fanti if you want to know the real answer ask me.
      The difference how PIA was able to create strong and visible opposition force like TPDM and the TPLF failed miserably, the main reason is from the get go, TPDM leaders knew and were told they will follow direct order from Eritreans with No buts and ifs.
      While TPLF gangs tried to play the game; a game of deceit. At times they tell one Eritrean opposition that they are better than the rest. And In a few dats they tell the same thing to the different opposition group. They kept doing the same thing and the different opposition groups started to compite among each other to be the best favorite to TPLF in the process they forgot what the real issue got them there in a first place. In short the TPLF gangs tells the opposition that it is there issue to solve but behind closed doors; the TPLF gangs they favor one over the other and they tell the Eritrean opposition what do. So what you have is a massive clueless opposition that confused, unproductive, divided and poisonous one. This is the real reason.
      I read what TK responded to Ali and I cannot help but shake my head.
      BWorst Ali thinks he got the honest answer.
      To people out there who believes that an meaning full opposition will emerge out of TPLF led Ethiopia; well. You have no clue. Never will happen.

      • Saleh Johar

        Nitricc, I am with you on this. PFDJ beats EPRDF 10 to 0. The guy in Asmara is helping the TPDM seriously while the EPRDF are still pursuing a village strategy: Asa kem zey wdda’e baHri kem zeynetsif and feeling great about it. Aym’wout ayTeouy!

        • Kokhob Selam

          Sir,

          the help of PFDJ will not let TPDM strong but will just confuse some Ethiopians and disturb the new developments we see in Ethiopia for sometime. we Eritreans should not expect that type of support from EPRDF and we don’t need too. if Eritrean opposition fail to organize themselves and fight that is their problem and EPRDF should not blamed for that.
          village strategy has helped a lot to Ethiopians and they should continue on that . at least they have started and are working on that unlike PFDJ who don’t have any strategy except destroying Eritrea.

          • T. Kifle

            Dear Kokhob Selam,

            Thank you for the candid and fitting reply. People have more than often the disposition to externalize and try to place themselves on the moral high ground while the reality shows the opposite. There is a name for that: they call it “learning disability”. And the problem of many among the “dignity” and “pride” cards carrying patriots of Eritrea is they have acquired this self-serving and debilitating malady of “learning disability.”

          • haileTG

            Hello T.Kifle,

            I understand when you point at the “Dignity” and “Pride” camp, you are referring to narrow segments of political persuasions within the opposition camp. You mentioned something about “Bologna Summit” the other day and related sloganeering from bygone era. That is of course limited to those who hold the view. But I wish to draw attention to a possible confusion with another “Dignity” motto that I value greatly too. This “Dignity” motto has nothing to do with specific foreign relations policy or proffered means of struggle. It is a sober reflection on the current condition of the Eritrean person. It is the counter to the indignities that are being experienced by Eritreans starting in Eritrea proper and spanning the globe, including the sea bed. The indignities of rape in detention centers, the indignities of organ trafficking, the indignities of a whole family of two generations jumping off a boat to their demise unto the sea, it is the indignities of Lampedusa, Sinai, Libya, Israel, Ethiopia, Yemen, Sudan, Djibouti, Indonesia…and many more refugee centers and detentions, the indignities of death in the deserts and seas of hunger and starvation, of being killed and thrown off a boat by a trafficker, women raped by Libyan detention center guards who are high on drugs and intoxicated by pornographic movies….The “Dignity” motto also looks into what is happening inside Eritrea’s jails, those who gave all their lives best to the nation rotting in squalid jails, the population starved, forced to work, denied the rights of movement, expression or even access to the outside world. The “Dignity” motto has little or none to do with Ethiopia or other entities, rather the tremendous loss of dignity experienced by two generations of Eritreans under a brutal regime and and so called “liberators” turned perpetrators of “Silent extermination of populations”.

            So, when you mentioned the “Dignity” issue, that is a major cause for many people, in the context of Ethio-Eritrea relations (with regime or opposition), I thought that it could benefit from clarification of its distinction with the parent concept “Dignity” in the current Eritrean situation.

            Regards

          • T. Kifle

            Dear haile TG,

            Thank you for the clarification though I feel I am aware of all the mentions you made as a call in restoring the dignity of the Eritran person. I, in no way, am questioning that my friend. No earthly force would have the capacity to snatch out the dignity and pride of the Eritrean person even the adversities you mentioned, even death.

            What I was trying to point out rather was the quarters that use those cards inadvertently or otherwise to hold back the struggle by elevating themselves to the levels of gate keepers of the Eritrean patriotism. They tend to dictate the why’s and hows of the struggle. They check mate all perceived mavericks and their priority seems to me like choosing to cling to false and self-serving gratifications even at the peril of the very dignity and pride of the Eritrean person that has preoccupy your mind as I can see from your post on here.

            Regards

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Kokhob Selam,

            I can’t agree more. Ethiopia became an escaping goat for our failures. If we don’t clean our house, no one will see us seriously. The more diplomatic and solution-oriented we are the more recognition and the more financial and material help. This is a simple 101 basic politico-diplomacy. Dear Kokhob, what it still surprised me is we don’t admit our failed-experience. We can not draw lessons from our failures, we just keep doing the same thing. New idea is always “strange thing” in the Eritrean politics. Your feet are walking on the road of peace and justice…….and it always will help you to find peace in yourself. Keep it, no U-turn from the humble and inclusive mind.

            Hawka,

            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Nitricc

            I know you are in to deep love for TPLF but
            There is a big difference between helping and creating sabotages, problems and middling in to internal affairs. The TPLF gangs effectively destroyed any chance for visible opposition.
            No one is asking your TPLF for help; what people are asking them is to stop playing their game of evil. and our strategy is simple. We will solve our own problems with out any external involvement.

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear Nitricc, I love the truth. TPLF was not my party in fact at times TPLF was your bosses friend. I forgive them for what they have done in Eritrea in 1970’s and 1980’s . because I am among peace lovers who don’t live in the past. I appreciate TPLF for their wide and open thinking, they have managed to unite with other parties and lead Ethiopia with united hand. they didn’t say “Hade libi” and destroy their country but they openly accept the differences and enjoy it. Your PFDJ didn’t call others in fact they destroy their own party. now people like you guys want to see universities burning in Ethiopia instead of thinking building universities in Eritrea. you see how much your mind has gone down ? you want to see others in trouble, you become slave of the devil. and my friend you don’t have jealous of love, as it is enough for you and me all you have to do is attract by your good thinking and deeds.

          • Nitricc

            KoS I don’t live in dreams and delusions. I live in reality. The realty is your TPLF wants to control Eritrea from Mekelle. they need Eritrea, they have nowhere to go when the Amara and Oromo come for the Tigryans head. They consider Eritrea as their safety valve or net. Why do you think all this cry of Tigryans on this website? Acodring them and you likes Eritrea is a filed state, the Eritrean economy is dead, Eritreans are heading to civil war, then, what what in the hell do they want reconciliation and normalization with Eritrea? I suggest you start thinking while thinking is legal in the land of TPLF.
            Obviously you have no clue, burning Universities is their least problems. They called PIA’s death; the angle of death took theirs ( Melleswas gone) and now they are calling for civil war in Eritrea, let’s watch what the angle of civil war does.

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear Nitricc, as far as I know TPLF is the first party to say yes to our freedom. and my friend don’t be happy about the death of Meles. You and Dia, me and all will go when our turn comes. for me I will not be happy even if DIA die today. there is nothing to enjoy on that. I don’t even like any single on earth to go to hell including Al Amin Mohammad said and you.now, what I hate is when someone is biologically alive but who don’t do any single change for better.and worst, when he pull down his people.

            regarding Civil war, no one will have advantage except the hopeless PFDJ fist to prolong their life and 2nd as their very nature of revange and “dhrey sa’eri aybqel” type of nature.

        • Nitricc

          SJ : what is even funny is the way they do it. the Eritrean opposition totally forgot the reason they are there and got in to competitions who is more loyal to the TPLF gangs.
          It will never work. That is why I don’t even acknowledge their existence. If you can’t own your own political agenda what is the point? The TPLF single goal is how to bring all of Eritrea under Mekele’s control, the END OF THE STORY! They don’t give a flying hoot about democracy or about the people of Eritrea. They don’t care. If any Eritrean out there doubts this fact, he/she is plain stupid.

      • Fanti Ghana

        Hello Nitricc,
        For many reasons I learned in the last two months, I am trying to find out whether
        an effective opposition organization can be established outside Ethiopia, and if not why not?
        Yesterday Haile TG told me that the Sudanese government has forbidden for any opposition
        parties to operate from their land, and TK reminds me that Ethiopia may not
        cooperate either. So, I am proposing that why don’t Ali Salim and Haile TG
        form their respective groups, come up with a working formula, let Eritrean Awatistas
        vote on it, and make it an organization. Then we can all worry about where to
        station the front. Selam.

    • haileTG

      Merhaba brother Fanti Ghana,

      On the practical impediment side, the Sudan has long banned Eritrean opposition groups and there is close cooperation between both pariah regimes. Hence, it may not be feasible on those counts.

      If we speak in theoretical bases, then it would have been a better option for Ethiopia to grant access to those who wish to have a route to enter Eritrea but pay little attention to or pander for those wishing to set up offices in cities and have no better work plan than organize the next meeting to plan for the meeting after that.

      Until as recently as a year or so a go, I believed that the so called Eritrean silent majority fear of Ethiopia excuse was well founded. But having noted how our people (most “silent” PFDJ party goers) are attempting to shield and run away from the current tragedies of their own flesh and blood, I reserve a big question mark as to the overall sincerity of our people, those so called diaspora “silent” majority. I assure you, this is not some haphazardly formed opinion but after genuine efforts to understand the issue through many discussions of “higdefites” and their “silent majority” salsa dance partners, off cyber that is.

      So, eliminating the Ethiopia factor, as you propose, would only re-align responsibility where it should be and avoid the possibility of the Eritrean side trying to blow dust to evade historic responsibility of aiding and abetting the demise of the nation and its eventual descent into intractable turmoil and distraction. Also, those people who believe Ethiopia has to do certain things for them to act like a responsible citizen can sleep well at night.

      As to finally bringing a solution to Eritrea, it would take a different approach. I believe the intl. community will see to it that the criminal regime (with known al shebab links and illegal activities) is gone. No self respecting nation would deal with it in a normal sense (except the Iran, Egypt, Russia saga ). The follow up government would benefit from UN and international intervention and support and hopefully less bitter and more magnanimous population would help its manifestation.

      In conclusion, your idea is good, for reasons I outlined. For the actionable items you list, where take a look around and make a guess on how each one of them would fare 😉

      Reagrds

      • Amde

        Hey Haile TG,

        Seems to me I suggested a few months ago that you continue fleshing out a transition program idea you had started. 🙂 It might not have takers right now, but keep pushing it, fleshing it out. The main thing is not that it is perfect or correct, but it would at least provide a vision of a possible and feasible “day after”. And that provides hope. The youth are fleeing because they don’t have hope.

        amde

    • T. Kifle

      Selama Fanti Ghana,

      You see the Eritrean opposition is burdened with an excruciating load of proving their independence from Ethiopia’s clouts than are determined to further the struggle.The other thing you should take into consideration is Ethiopia is not much interested to feed armed struggle through its borders for strategic reasons because the fall of the PFDJ is not its priority while I cannot say the same about the PFDJ. If the push comes to shove, it will work to contain the genies that Ali-S fears them to surface in the aftermath of PFDJ. I believe it’s workable. So the problem shouldn’t be misconstrued for incapacity rather it’s a shift in priority.

      regards

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Selam Fanti Ghana,

      As far as there is no enmity within the Eritrean society, in my view the Eritrean problem is not that difficult to solve it. All the grievances are addressable. The big problem is arrogance, denying the existing grievances and neglecting the political and psychological needs of the minorities. The Eritrean politics is the conflict between greed and grievances. So unless we walk in to the terrain of political realism and consensual political behavior there is no redemption in the horizon. We talk but we don’t listen to each other. Wise men listens to sort out the problem and try to find solution. Arrogant men talks and undermine the interest of others.

      Amanuel Hidrat

      • Fanti Ghana

        Hello Mr. Amanuel,

        As you can see from Haile TG and TK’s responses to me below,
        it is obvious that I have some serious gaps in my knowledge of current
        political affairs in our region. I proposed moving the opposition base to the
        Sudan and, yet, I did not know the Sudan actually forbids opposition parties in
        their country, and as I was half way dawn in my “let’s go back to Ethiopia and
        have a serious look” response to Haile TG last night, TK, sensing my short
        coming of the Ethiopian angle, effectively responds to what I said and to what
        I was about to say at the same time when he reminded me to take into
        consideration that “…Ethiopia may not be interested to feed armed struggle through
        its borders for strategic reasons…”

        Your response this morning brought me back toward where I
        was headed with my original idea had Haile TG and TK did not respond and ruined
        it for me. Let me put the “where” part (Sudan/Ethiopia) aside for now and get
        to what should have been discussed first in the first place. Let Ali Salim and
        Haile TG form their chosen group of five each and come up with their version of
        what should be done next regarding Eritrea. Discus it between themselves, and
        come back with one agreed upon working formula for the rest of us to follow. If
        we can accomplish that on this forum, I think that is representative enough to
        assume that most Eritreans will follow it too. To help us focus on it let’s
        give it a name such as “United Eritrean Organizations for Democracy (UEOD)” Then
        register the name as political organization, Talk to UN about its purpose, and invite
        the rest of Eritrean organizations to participate. Why can’t this be done right
        now?

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Fanti Ghana,

          I don’t think the locations are the problem. But Sudan is a problem, because the predatory regime of Asmara has full accesses to do his evil mission. And Ethiopia become our escape goat to our failure. So in short there is no commitment yet to act together. We love to play on our differences. I don’t think we know our common denominator. So first we have to identify our common views.Second we have to be sure whether we could work on them. Third we have to recognize all the grievances before we attempt to work together. Forth define how the opposition could be different from the regime to the public. Fifth set the “new Eritrea” in the horizon how it will be governed. If we did this, the strategic location will not be controversial. From all the steps I mentioned, nothing is attained so far. We still look incapable to sit together and set our Eritrea of common dream.

          Amanuel Hidrat

      • Hope

        Wed Memhir,
        Agreed; and let us work on that then rather than talking and talking.Let us start it from here,from our own home.
        It is as simple as that—add to it some compromise and trust among ourselves,then case closed!!

        • Kokhob Selam

          that is nice to hear from you Hope.

  • Thomas

    Nitricc the entertainer,
    The source of the electricity comes from ethiopia then goes to Sudan and a very limited electricity will be sold to Eritrea. We wish if we were able to directly buy it from Ethiopia. I guess that will not be possible until the good for nothing dictator is taken out.

    Second, you must retrain from using the phrases the tigrians, the amharas and other crap, it is unproductive. Your hostility to our ethiopian brothers and sisters must stop, we need relationship and to create a conductive environment to all people in the world or we cannot advance our nation. I know you have too much hate against people who disagree with your strange political or otherwise ideology. You must learn to respect people, that is the eritrean way. It is because of your & your kind attitude that we are immersed in……………….

    • Shabo

      Tom,
      Do NOT forget that the Sudan has its own medium Hydro-electric Power Generating Resources(1200MGW).To my best knowledge, I do not believe Ethiopia has started selling any Electricity to the Sudan as of yet(but from where if any as the GERD will start in 2-3 yrs)

  • Nitricc

    The Work has begun.
    Eritrea is importing Electric city from Sudan. One bragging issue taking away from the hands of the Ethiopians. You know how they boost about selling electricity to Eritrea; well we got one from Sudan.
    http://www.adoulis.com/assets/Entry/4073.jpg

    • Tesfabirhan WR

      Dear Nitricc,

      PFDJ has by now lost his Self-reliance policy of economics. What ever he does now is trying not to die when already the organs are non functional. It is shame for you.

      Hawka
      tes

      • T. Kifle

        Dear Tes,

        And it doesn’t occur to him the control switch is in Ethiopia. It seems he has the notion that “the shortest distance between two points is always a straight line”. Any way let him rejoice!!

        Regards

        • Truth

          But so far survived the worst sanctions,evil acts–etc–under the Sun.And still doing better than most Africans.
          Are you the same guy who made via France from china with the helpf CIA Agent?
          Congra,the back stabber and the biter of his own Mom’s breast.

          • Truth

            Apologies Mr.T Kifle–the reply was to tes

          • shabo

            Truth is sitting nearby me –now–the same IP/computer.
            do not be paranoid here

        • Yosief Kesete

          There is no control switch whatsoever in this case. Eritrea buys power from Sudan, end of story. If TPLF decides to shoot itself in the feet by cutting power to the Sudan in order to hurt Eritrea, so be it. This is a case of regional integration which goes much further than a few Megawatts of power.

          • Kokhob Selam

            it is always end of the story, but never accomplished.What is not tried by PFDJ?shall I count for you? where shall I start from seaports or airports? my friend the guys over are not qualified to do any job, their mind is gone after the blood of the innocent. they know only to kill, and arrest. join your hands with the mass and remove them.

          • Rahwa T

            “…a few Megawatts of power”.
            ai enda ba’Al Yosief. wala tinfer Tel eya

          • Yosief Kesete

            Do the math. Sudan is going to pass to Eritrea whatever is surplus at any point in time. Mind you Sudan is not a small country. And all this assumes that whatever gets passed to Eritrea is sourced from Ethiopia. How so? How about the power generated by Sudan itself?

          • Amde

            Why would Sudan buy from Ethiopia if it was self-sufficient? I dont think Math is ur strong suit.

          • The amount of electricity Eritrea is going to purchase from Sudan is only a small portion of its overall needs, and it is to cover the needs of some border towns. This means that the chapter of electricity trade between Ethiopia and Eritrea is not closed.

            Ethiopia is going to be the powerhouse of the horn of Africa and beyond in a matter of few years, when she will be producing around 10,000MW of electricity, while the overall production of electricity south of the Sahara today is about 70,000MW. Therefore, it is better for Eritrea to be directly connected to the Ethiopian electrical grid now, if she really wants cheap and abundant electricity.

            As we know one of the engines that move a country’s development is electricity. Avoiding direct electricity purchase from Ethiopia, and going in a roundabout way is not going to last long, because it is neither practical nor economical. “ያኮረፈ ምሳው እራቱ ይሆናል”. Being pissed till kingdom come, will not help.

          • Hope

            Mr Horizon,
            The Sudan has about 1200MW and this can improve and as such ,eritrea wil get more share as time goes on.
            Eritrea has NOT refused the Ethiopian Electricty and there is a chance to get it provided that there is Peace,which we should debate positively, rather than talking a cheap talk of “them and US ” thing.
            If you care less about political ambition but you care about peace and prsoperity,then work for it and accept the bitter truth and swallow it.
            Your fear is that Eritrea will manage it and will grow even faster than any Nation under the SUN,whoch seems and will be the case….You are jealous—God bless you.
            2=2=4…No need of studyingRocketScience or Metaphysics.
            Peace is simple and available for those who seek for her/look after her.
            Do NOT undermine the Eritrean Geothermal and even the Natural Red Sea Dam potential–not to mention the secretly sealed Natural Gas and Petrolium potential.
            Bottom line—Economic Integration is the go and we have to work on it rather than saying this and that and working against the interest of each other.
            Your governemnteis workinmg hard day and night to starngualte Eritrea and you guys are talking a cheap talk about Eritrea being this and that–but again be yourself–first

          • Mr. Hope,

            If I leave out most of the things you said, and stress on some terms you have used, such as peace, prosperity and economic integration, I take these as change of heart on your side, and a hopeful sign that we are starting to move in the right direction. A step at a time, however small it might be, will bring closer the two countries, than no step at all.

          • Yosief Kesete

            keyte tsewe’e zmetses keytsegebe kede. Who asked you, rgmity me’amin? Shut the h*ll up and dam the freaking Nile for goodness sake, lol!

            Sudan wants to sell Eritrea electricity(plus oil and derivatives) and Eritrea wants to buy it. Besides Sudan will buy gold from ER.

          • Sure, we will dam the Nile to keep some of the waters within our borders and produce electricity. No doubt about it. On the contrary, you have opened the floodgates and your people are leaving
            in droves, and you have succeeded in emptying your country.

            Why do you need electricity in the first place, to light empty houses and streets? You have made it the fate of your people to spend decades in the trenches at the borders where they do not need electricity, and you have forced hundreds of thousands to leave their country to where there is electricity and hope. Unfortunately, your mission of
            destroying Eritrea and Eritreans is succeeding.

            (PS. Please do not use Tigrinya when you address me, because I do not understand the language, or at least explain it to me. If you have a problem, why I am on an Eritrean site, as long as I do not understand the language, please forward your complaints to the administrators.)

          • Yosief Kesete

            Ande,

            Have you considered the possibility that Sudan can have a power deficit in its regions bordering Ethiopia whilst having a surplus in Kassalla and other towns near Eritrea? Please let’s broaden our thinking and not be blind to partisan dogma.

          • Nitricc

            YK what is the best about this is deal is that Eritrea don’t have to deal with masters of deceit. We will deal with Sudan and that is a great thing. Even better is we will do the same thing. We will lease Assab to Qatar or Dubai and let the Ethiopians deal with them. I like, like, like, like. That way we have nothing to do with those people.
            So, it a great day. Seal the freaking border for good.

          • Yosief Kesete

            Control, deceit, divide and rule, favoritism, play one Eritrean party against the other. God knows how many Eritrean political parties have been incubated by TPLF and dumped faster than they were created.

        • Hayat Adem

          And the saddest part of this is there was no need for any go between-er. Eritrea shouldn’t have gone through Sudan, it would make much sense if Sudan went through Eritrea to get something from Ethiopia. There is one recently coined (serray) adjective that perfectly describes the diplomacy etiquette of the current leadership: “whorish”. Of course, it is still good that Ethiopia is selling it and Eritrea is buying it, and Sudan is using its middle position. Where markets are active even in their inefficient exposé, negativeness are less.

          • Nitricc

            you don’t get it, do you? we don’t want to deal with you. Let someone do the dealing we will pay.
            all you got to do it get out of the Eritrean land. You have great economy
            that is 2nd in the world, that is counting from the bottom. be happy. get out of Eritrean land!
            very funny. you are a Muslim and you never call close relastionship with Sudan? and you are obssesed with Ethiopia. i don’t know what you do but try comedy. you are funny

          • Thomas

            Nitricc – I always hope you get matured to understand things one day. It is sad to see you growing physically, but the reverse happens to be true when it comes to your IQ. In other words, you body is growing as your mind gets constricts. Please grow up for the sake of awate team as they are the only one who have not lost hope on you. My advice for you is to think of “De’i Sinika Hutsa Kortumolu”. If you like the for ever military service of DIA’s policy, please go and serve. Don’t hold others accountable for they have tried it before and hated so badly. Is that too much to digest for you, Nitricc?

      • truth

        Truth T. Kifle • in a few seconds

        But so far survived the worst sanctions,evil acts–etc–under the Sun.And still doing better than most Africans.
        Are you the same guy who made via France from china with the helpf CIA Agent?
        Congra,the back stabber and the biter of his own Mom’s breast

      • shabo

        But still marching while you are barking—It survived every evil thing—-
        Anta back stabber of his own Mom’s breast biter.Guilty feeling is making you to suffer like crazy.you better see a psychaitrits before it is too late.
        th eGoe Sent you to china for a Higher education and with the help of CIA,you sneaked into Paris then to the USA.
        is this pay back to the CIA?What about a pay back for Eritrea for making you to be here.
        Damn!
        This is unbelievable.
        Gob bless you,man.

      • Kokhob Selam

        they keep trying the same method, for sometime they can cheat the people like coffe ” 3rd exporter in the world”. that is cheap way and never works. it only work during Gedli days taking ELF logistic materials from port Sudan, it seems they are addicted from that time. “ewala kab gez’u eyu msraq zijmro”.

    • shabo

      Good job Acetto.

  • Hayat Adem

    There was a young lawyer in the US who thought he was making it at a light speed as he exactly dreamed it. A symbolic expression of his success, he surrounded himself with very expensive stuff. One day he was driving the latest Porsche on the road with a look-at-me attitude. He pulled over his car and open his door. In no time, a reckless driver coming from behind at a speed and hit the door of his latest Porsche on his side. the owner of the hit car was screaming like crazy: “my car! my new car! my expensive car! my Porsche car!…” The policeman who just rushed to scene had a frowned and startled look at the lawyer and said to him, “Sir, it is worse than the damage happened to your car . You need help. You are hurt. Your left hand is gone.” At that moment the lawyer turned his face to his left and realized that what the police told him was true, and started crying even louder, “Oh… my Rolex watch, is gone. Oh my gosh, that was expensive, too.!!!”
    Nitricc and Already…, You are that man who couldn’t see his bleeding problem and made himself busy counting his material stuff. God bless you:)

    • tafla

      Hatyat, if nitricc is the Porsche guy, then you must be the one driving the car that hit him. And the police man, well that’s your Buddy Unclear Sam 😉

      • Hayat Adem

        Dearest Tafla,
        What happened to you? You were one of the collected guys I was eager to read for good content when you started commenting. And then the quality of your supplies kept on diminishing. I would do anything to bring the older Tafla back. We need him.

      • Nitricc

        Hahahah tafla you got her. Lol
        She obsessed to the point of insanity. She day dreams for civil war in Eritrea. The reason for her wish civil war and unrest is; if the Eritreans are at odds with each other then some part of Eritreans will lean to the Tigryans. In this case, her dream for the civil war Is between highlanders and lowlands, more precisly between Muslims and Chrisitans that way the Christians to aline themselves with the tigryans. That way the Tigryans are in to Eritrean political bussines. Since the dream of greater Tigray was dead,this is the only dream left for the Tigrayns.
        So, please understand her frastration and hilusinaton of civil war in Eritrea.
        Dream is free and let her dream. She is a Muslim Eritresn lady ; lol
        I bet you she one of the paid TPLF people who are hired to shap the image of the dead TPLF. I read it somewhere that the Ethiopian government haired people just to do that in the cyber space.

    • Nitricc

      That an old oil old recesit people tell. The joke is against ju people. As ignorant as bigot you are; you used to insult the entire juwish people.
      I don’t know if you know this people are loughin at you when you say you are Eritrean and Muslim at that then you are insulting the intelligence of the Eritreans on this forum while disgracing your own identity.
      I suggest AT to delete this bogey and insulting article that is posted by ignorant and bigot person.

  • Mahmud Saleh

    Ahlan Ali; I understand it is irresponsible for calling for the colapse of a state without the alternative is ready to assume the functions of the defunct regime. I agree with you. That’s why I promote issues of national reconciliation and domestically driven change. I am not a fan of revolutions anymore. Given the lack of political culture in our country, there are no metigating factors that lessen the state of lawlessness. In your example of D.c. law enforcement abdicating their responsibilities and going out for vacation there are built-in metigating factors in democratic societies, for instance, yes, there will be chaos and looting in the short term, but since there is a political culture that is positive towards state organs, and people’s expectation of the need of law and order, perhaps the people would have formed their own militias or neighborhood watches, may be mayors and jugdes; because their attitude towards state organs is positive, they consider it as vital organs that they have participated in developing, it’s in their DNA. However, in a society which does not enjoy democratic practices, be it at family or state level, it’s not hard to see how things could quickly melt down. So, yes, I am against violence and revolutions when it comes to regime change. I hope to see more of your expounding on how your approach of third way becomes effective at the abscebce of civic or political space. Amanuel Hidrat has rebutted you with an article, go fight now. In the case of Asmara, I was there on 5/24/91, there was looting but not to the scale of public disorder; remember, there was ready organs to replace state functions in both Addis and Asmara.

  • Thomas

    Great comment!! This guy, Nitricc, is misinformed/misguided. Worst thing, he listens to Eri-TV and the leaders or messengers of the criminal regime. He lives in the most democratic country, but he wishes lawlessness and destruction on his own people. Living in the most democratic, he cannot even talk about the respect of human being (basic human right) for the people and country, his parents originates. I never thought such people live in civilized world.

  • haileTG

    Hey Serray and Aman,

    I was looking to alert Aman that his cause (Equality of Rights) is valid and credible but would benefit from strictly “business talk” rather than “loose talk” to continue to be developed without getting, inadvertently, sidetracked. Somewhat Emma thought that I dismissed his counter argument. But actually I made the counter argument that in order to diagnose the entire population, it would require huge amount of resources that we can hardly think about let alone marshal. So, I wasn’t being dismissive of his views rather expressed that they were not grounded in reality.

    The psychiatrist and philosopher Karl Jaspers first defined the three main criteria for a belief to be considered delusional in his book General Psychopathology. These criteria are:

    certainty (held with absolute conviction)

    incorrigibility (not changeable by compelling counterargument or proof to the contrary)

    impossibility or falsity of content (implausible, bizarre or patently untrue)

    How many people do you meet here in the forum with “delusional belief” according to the criteria above?

    Regards

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Selam Hailat,

      It doesn’t took you 24 hours to show your hypocrisy to even quote psychiatrist/philosophers to make your point. Should I ask you this: where are ” the state of the Art laboratories, highly sophisticated network of world class academics” of “Karl Jasper” to ascertain the information you don’t even hesitate to refer at? While you show repugnancy to the researchers I used for my argument but have the audacity to tell us about other researchers. Hailat if you could stop your approach of the “gist prosecutor’s argument” you will be fruitful. I still challenge you to disprove Burton’s “inherent aggressiveness” and John Anyanwu’s concept of “demand versus supply” on justice-seeking rebellion. I lived my life with my society and I have my own reading. If you have lived with our society tell us what you know and relate with the existing theory to make sense with what is happening to us.

      Actually, the purpose we are here in this wonderful website is to find solutions to our problem not only to the tragedy the regime has brought on us, but also to our polarity as a society. I haven’t seen you to offer any kind of solution. We are not here to win debates (please refer to Beyan’s timely article) but to find solutions. I am not worried of rejecting my idea, but I am worried of not offering an alternative to my idea. I believe Awate Team has offered you to right an essay or articles even under your pen name. So focus on solution-oriented argument rather that “tirky-Mirky” please. We need your input on solutions. With that I close my case with you.

      Regards

      • haileTG

        Dear Aman

        – Your request of a “solution” is beyond me and inconsistent with my core argument that the Eritrean people have to be given back the dignity that was robbed from them. I would not be the one to insult them with feather light arguments in the name of “solution”. I respect their capacity to bring one (listen to the Bishops) let’s not humiliate them further by pretending we hold the key. Just oppose and expose the regime and play your part in its downfall. Eritrea still has great minds that can usher her to peace and prosperity. If you know of a solution, please forward it (I won’t say much about pennames, no point spending time in pricking other people’s bubbles:)

        – The criteria that I shared doesn’t argue that people are “Genetically” this or that. It simply states one set of assessment tools of a given condition (delusional beliefs in this case). Your assertions go beyond that, i.e. you talk of genetically inherited problematic behaviors and attitudes among Eritrean people as a whole. Some might call your assertions “disturbed” or even “extremist”. I only passed it as “loose talk” in the hope of avoiding unnecessary friction because I agree with what you are trying to do in bigger scheme of things (be a voice for our social groups). You could describe your assertions as: attitudes, tendencies…. but to escalate it to genetic condition is not wise. Then again, I respect your desire to stand your ground and I have no intention to humiliate you. For me, mistakes are fine and those who correct them in me are most welcome.

        – I would test the Nelson Mandela theory now where he said “what you say to a man in his language, goes straight to his heart”. Hence, I will write the translated form of what got us in to this:

        English:

        – Might is right is the mantra of Eritrean people.
        – In the Eritrean psychic it is all about annihilation “derEmo, DemSisso..the militaristic mind etc”.
        – […] inherent behavior of Eritrean characters that hinders all kind of political resolutions.
        – […] “inherent aggressiveness” in order to highlight our (Eritrean) behavior … inherent aggressiveness can not be altered and it is rested within our gene.

        Tigrinya

        – ሓይሊ መለክዒ ቅንዕና እዩ ዝብል ሓሳብ ናይ ኤርትራዊ ሰብ ኣምራዊ ኩነት እዩ።
        – ከም እኒ ” ደርዕሞ ደምስሶ …ካልእን” ዝኣመሰሉ ወተሃደረኛን ኣጽናቲ ኣእምሮኣዊ ኩነት፡ ዘይፍለ ባህርያዊ ውሽጣዊ ኩነት ኤርትራዊ ሰብ እዩ።
        – እዚ ዘይፍለ ውሽጣዊ ባህርይ ኤርትራዊ ከም መለለዩ ጠባዩ ኮይኑ ዝኾነ ይኹን ፖሎቲካዊ ፍታሕ ዝኽልክል እዩ
        – እዚ ዘይፍለ ውሽጣዊ ኣጥቃዒ ወይ ዓማጺ ባህርይ ….ክቕየር ኣይክእልን እዩ፡ ኣብ ውሽጢ ኣሰር-ዘርእና ዝርከብ ትውልዳዊ ኩነት እዩ።

        Dear Aman, If I am being too harsh by asking you to change your argument to sound more plausible than bitter and deluded, my apology. I rest the case.

        Regards

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Serray,

    If what you are talking about ghedli are not “loose talks” what will be loose talks. You see Serray, if you have something to argue against my argument you are welcome, but to dismiss argument as loose talk only tells me that you don’t have something to counter it. I will take it as that. A loose talker to call you loose talker is only a deafening ear to say the least.

  • Sinibaldi

    Refulgent
    sun.

    Your delicate

    look appears

    in the field

    to cover the

    sadness of

    an innocent

    glimmer….

    Francesco
    Sinibaldi

  • Yodita

    Dear Mr. Ali S. (I am posting this on top to save people from scrolling)

    You ask me “Are you satisfied with the achievements of the opposition so far?

    My answer is indeed I am. Why? My idea of an effective opposition in the Diaspora is sheer number of Eritreans who say NO to the system at home. Period!! Since that time the young boys ‘chased’ Yemane Monkey in Manhattan, there has been a qualitative and quantitative change in opposing under the guise of various groups and posters, demonstrations and protests, pal-talks and what have you without fear and boldly facing the cameras squarely in the face.

    I do not believe in a type of Diaspora opposition that is organized under a specific banner and acting as an alternative to the oppressive system at home. There will be plenty of time to adhere to and to organize under the political group that best suits one during a transitional period. What is most essential in the outside opposition is to turn your back to IA and PFDJ (the minimum platform) and I think this has now come quite to the open. Even by gauging the feelings of people close to us, we can see how by the day less and less people believe that the cruel grip at home is there for
    the benefit of Eritrea and its youth.

    So, YES I am satisfied with the achievements of the opposition outside so far.

    Dear Ali S., as regards your “My personal assessment is that the collapse will happen way before the alternative is ready.”, to set up and process a transitional period, assorted personages (including some of those in PFDJ who have been gnashing their teeth in disapproval of what IA has made of our dreams!), INSIDE and some outside opposing personalities (e.g Amanuel Hidrat, SJG, Horizon, Mahmud Saleh) could come up with a modus operandi that will see us out of the quandary. Many other countries do it, I do not see why we cannot! We have a few bloody personalities to watch but they are already worn out as they have been wallowing in the hate of the ordinary people for years now. They have no spinal cord left to sway and win the day to their ugly visions.

    I have much respect for Hayat Adem and you, and you note that I did not include you in the list of persons who could sit during transition because of your fears and beliefs in chaos, civil war and failure. In South Africa, there were thousands of elements (nay millions) both in the black and white camp that envisioned nothing less than a bloodbath when and
    if apartheid was openly confronted. But one man and some of his party were determined that there was the peaceful and
    democratic way and they WON the day.

    No persons (inside or outside of Eritrea) should sit at the table for transition if they entertain that chaos, civil war or violence are lurking! We will need elements that believe in the resilience, strength, perseverance and wisdom of the whole people and know how to harness it and put it into play. This should be a pre-condition.

    Your post is potent and would require a lengthy response. I stop here and thank you for your consideration to explain to me yourstand on these important matters. I wish you well.

    • ALI-S

      Selam Yodita,

      I like your optimism and sincerely hope I am wrong in my assessment. I would not argue with you if I had the impression that you actually believe in what you wrote. From what you have been writing, I have the impression that you are an intelligent and sensible person. That is why I know for sure that you do not believe a word of what you are saying.

      I will pray for you to wake up tomorrow morning believing in what you would say, saying what you believe and believing what you just said.

      • Yodita

        Dear Mr. Ali S.

        How typical to attack my person when you fail to argue to the point! Shame!

    • Nitricc

      Well, for the life of me why in the world would you include Horzon on that list? I have no problem with guy and sounds very intelligent man but he told you he is from Ethiopia. Can I ask why he is included.
      I don’t get it. Can explain please!

      • Ermias

        Let me guess…she meant Ermias. Are you happy now?

        • Yodita

          I explained myself to Rodabino in another thread. I sincerely believed that Horizon was from Eri. Is it such a grave errorr? For instance, I take Nitricc to be from Mars! Ermi? from Venus, the planet of love!

  • Thomas

    I know I support change to come through peace means or violence though I prefer the through peaceful means. However, the rule of our current situation dictates all as such visit and read the following news:

    http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article51074

    That is why, peace/change cannot come for free and we have to pay for it.

    • Nitricc

      Pay? Pay what?
      I tell you people are phony as three dollars bill.
      What do you know about fighting,Thomas!
      You call fighting posting stupid poster as your aviator. You call fighting by organizing events that toothless and useless people like you to get together and get drunk. You call fighting by calling named the government of Eritrea. I don’t know what where to stop.
      The only thing you are fighting is your obesity. I suggest you just worry about your masters and maker sure you preform your slave duty so your white master won’t finish you.
      Fighting! Fighting my foot.
      I suggest you just update your toothless drunks where the next drinking event is.
      Fighting; it is preposterous and immoral to call others to fight for your fat you know what. Do you want to fight, go fight.

      • Ermias

        Wow, it’s a good thing we are all hiding behind our computers because an angry man like you would be shooting us down like the high school kids in Colorado.

        • Nitricc

          Who is angry? How about real one? You wouldn’t know any thing about real, do you,Ermias? I suggest do what you do best kiss up all the women around this forum
          What do you stand Ermias?
          I didn’t think so.
          My point is please stop saying pay price; struggle, fight and all those fancy words. Worry about slivery. You wouldn’t do a thing; just talk.
          Ermias why don’t you go fight?
          Yep go.

          • Ermias

            Nitricc, your rhetorical question is like someone telling you how hell is real and you asking them to got to hell and bring pictures for proof. Or more like ‘look the earth is flat, look around you, can’t you see.’

            Why do you ask impossible questions? Who in his right mind will go to Eritrea to live much less to fight anyone? There are tens of thousands of armed people there already who are disenfranchised by the regime. I would expect them to do the fighting for their own sake. I am good here, nice and comfortable. All the time and energy we spend here is for the sake of the repressed people in Eritrea not for our own sake or personal ambitions. We all have families there and our people are there. We want peace and justice for them. The best we could do is advocate rule of law and apply pressure on the regime so it can crumble from within. Go fight! You need to get real my friend. Yes of course the people in Asmara will have to pay the initial price for change. It is up to them to demand change by force or by applying pressure on the regime just like the bishops did. There is no two ways about it. Wedi Ali has shown the people part of the way and some hero will do the job sacrificing himself. IA dies, change will follow for good or bad but it is hard to imagine anything worse.

      • Thomas

        Sup entertainer:)) As a toothless supporter of the killer regime, I can always stand your childish insults. Trust me, I would have shown you how to fight. You have my number call next time to Columbus Ohio or I will send you Rahwa:))

      • Thomas

        Hi Nitricc,

        Speaking of calling/inviting drunk people for my toothless opposition’s events, I would rather have your drunk leader/master. You cannot survive a day without drinking. Also, you could talk about all the generals for example Wichu, the one eyed general tekle mangus. Trust me, you already have mafias/drunkards leaders there, so stop the nonsense.

        • Nitricc

          Thomas listen to me.
          I have no personal problem with you. All I am saying is refrain from using some big words. Such as Fight, price and sacrifice. You are disgracing and cheating those words. There are people who fought the real fight. There are people who sacrificed the real things. There are people who paid the real price. So, when you guys ; slaves at that using those words drives me to no end. So I don’t mean to disrespect or anything like that but I am just bing real.
          So, please stop using those words.
          Thank you.
          P.S you did not answer me why there are so many fat women in your city.
          🙂

    • Hope

      Dear Thomas,
      Are you serious or joking?
      While we are trying the apply the call of the Bishops for a Peaceful Cahnge and trying to avoid Civil War,you are inving us for a Civil War;any by asking us ,Eritreans to read the Sudan tribune??
      Please, let us have some decency.

      • Thomas

        Dear Hope,
        I wouldn’t like to see a single drop of blood of myself, my Eritrean brothers and sisters and for that I prefer change to come without violence. However, DIA is very deceptive and we should prepare for if the bishops are jailed. I never forget what happened to our heroes G15 and we need to watch everything carefully again. Again, we say we don’t want to see any blood shade but tragedies like Lampadusa and the thousands who are dying while crossing oceans and deserts are uncounted deaths of our flashes. So, to me death is death either while running or shooting at your enemy. The later can have results while the former is simply a life lost for no reason.

        • Hope

          Dear Thomas,
          I got you but let me re-phrase what I tried to address.
          I guarantee you that there is and has been a “simple way” of doing things to bring change in eritrea but the concern is about the “Uncertain and the Unknown” and lack of coordiantion and trust among the potential people who could do the job.
          The sophisticated Organizational Security and seemingly unbreakable chain of security apparatus and the Machiavelian tactics the regime uses is but beyond imagination.
          We have to think and do business the way the PFDJ Group does business.
          But I am totally against what the SudanTribune advocated–for PR consumption.Do you know about the author of these articles about Eritrea in the Sudan Tribune and his motivations?
          Check it out.I am kind of embarrassed when Eritreans do such things.

          • Deogane

            Dear Hope
            You remind me the situation I was in 3 decades ago. Just take it easy. Stay calm and stay positive. No human can predict a single mans destiny let alone a nation. You seem to me you are high on adrenalin right now. That wont help. Dont take to your head every comment you read.
            Every nations destiny is biblical.

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Ustaz Younis (YH),

    [I am bring the last thread up to the top, in order to find readership in the first glance and take serious to the topic itself]

    I brought Burton’s “inherent aggressiveness” in order to highlight our (Eritrean) behavior in general and the EPLF/PFDJites in particular, and as a result, inherent aggressiveness can not be altered it rests within our gene. Such behavior should be controlled or balanced by countervailing forces. Until we have an equal opposite force, the impulse of aggression and domination will take us dawn to the scenario of civil war. Unlike Saay’s argument, Civil wars are the product of a “big stick” of excessive power and the desire of domination to use your own word. In answering my litmus question you have showed me that we have a divergent view on how power should be adjudicated. Big time, one who believes on big stick (YH) and myself who believes balancing the demand and supply of justice.

    I did cite Burton’s theory in order to show the inherent behavior of Eritrean characters that hinders all kind of political resolutions. Might is right is the mantra of Eritrean people. That mantra or motto destroys all the values and characteristics that defines us. In the Eritrean psychic it is all about annihilation “derEmo, DemSisso..etc”. Those kind of mentality only calls trenches and not round tables. That is my big concern in Eritrean politics.

    John Anyanwu (2002) has indicated in his research that “the demand versus supply of justice determine the condition for the onset of just-seeking rebellion. Burton in his human basic needs theory emphesizes that the problems of the institutions of government’s inability to meet the basic needs of the population (not only the material needs such as food and shelter, but also the needs that include identity, recognition, security, and personal development) has to do with justice-seeking rebellion. So in my view the failure of the existing state in Eritrea to satisfy those are the primary of ethno-nationalist struggles in Eritrean political landscape. The denial and neglect of those grievances might might be elevated to the civil war scenario from the current struggle which is justice-seeking within the human needs theory. I am in search of the elusive justice that brings harmony and security to our people not to one section but to all.

    • haileTG

      Hey Aman,

      I admire your resiliently holding out for the rights of our minority groups. As far as I am concerned, even if I am more of a cetralist view, I understand the weak and fragile state of our minority groups. Hence, I am mostly supportive all their attempts to strengthn themeselves by taking as much as they can and pushing themselves better and higher in a democratic Eritrea, at peace with itself and the world at large.

      What I see undermining your position is the fact you don’t sufficiently guard your assertions from “loose talk”.

      – Might is right is the mantra of Eritrean people.
      – In the Eritrean psychic it is all about annihilation “derEmo, DemSisso..the militaristic mind etc”.
      – […] inherent behavior of Eritrean characters that hinders all kind of political resolutions.
      – […] “inherent aggressiveness” in order to highlight our (Eritrean) behavior … inherent aggressiveness can not be altered and it is rested within our gene.

      I am fully aware of the fact that a sense of devaluattion and powerlessness gives rise to inward bitternerness and lowly expectation of one’s own “self”. But, unless leaders can inspire dignity, confidence and high expectations, they are unlikely to change anything. Because anything that you define as “inherent” “genetic” or “psych” has to be adapted and can’t be changed by definition (notwithstanding that such claims are plucked out of thin air and there has never been any valid study to theorize in those terms).

      So, my advice is to maintain the integrity of your struggle for justice to all groups based on equal share of power and resources by ensuring your arguments stay on the narrow and straight of verifiable facts that are with in your means to access. It would be short selling the dignity of our embattled people to measure them by the acts of their oppressors!

      Otherwise, I still admire the important cause you fight for.

      Regards

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Hey Hailat,

        Those are my assessment and check our revolutionary songs. If you want to disprove it, go ahead. Say it as it is, and write it as it is. I have my own metrics for what I am saying and I stand by them. I am saying what is clear to my conscience and my body, without hiding myself, and history will judge as is. I am using the concept and theory advanced by renowned researchers, and am trying to relate to our reality that is all. You could do similar approach to disprove my argument. If there is something I could learn from your argument, I am always here with open ears. While I am challenging you, I have also to admit that I have taken some good stuffs from your argument in the past (some insights from your visits to Eritrea).

        Senay MeAlti,
        Amanuel Hidrat

        • haileTG

          Hi Aman,

          I hope you see this as point of reflection. The “revolutionary” activities or all other such like activities were controlled and directed by “Organizations” that were not fully representative of all sections our social groups. It may not be the best of yard sticks to measure the “genetic make up” or “Psychological traits” of our People as in “Eritrean people”. Again, it is far beyond mine, yours or even a given African government’s means to argue on those terms (regardless of how many books they read). You would need at the minimum tens of millions of dollars of budget, state of the Art laboratories, highly sophisticated network of world class academics to ascertain the information that you are looking for. Can you not say, for example, “where in the mentality might is right happens to undermine the progress of our struggle, we ought to do x, y, z” Instead of pitching for an argument that is hard to prove as “The Eritrean people are….”

          On a separate note, I find the argument that you can’t go to Eritrea because you wrote on awate (seems what you allude to) misconception. Find me an Eritrean who was arrested in Eritrea because they wrote on a discussion forums, and I will find you those who did and went and back. The problem in Eritrea is security implications. If you find yourself implicated in security issues then there is no justice and may be dissappeared. I prefer to excersise my online privacy rights because the online forum doesn’t protect me from filthy minded and filthy mouthed people who would offend me and my family unecessaserly. If there is a critical thing to do online that would require me to give up my privacy, PFDJ has never been my concern. Unless you have security related violations the regime can met out on you, please don’t hesitate from visiting. Most likely you have more protracted issue with the regime that the average person doesn’t have here. Let, all Eritrean online forumes ban privacy settings, that would protect us from pro-regime and sometimes oppositional filthy minded people and we can write without harrasment and openly. But many people, rightly fear reprisal for expressing their views, but the bishops have changed that havent they?

          Regards

          Again, I don’t have fundamental differences with your main cause of Equality of all social groups. This is side issue and I wouldn’t mind if you decide to stand by it too. In the big scheme of things, it won’t change much.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Hi Hailat,

            When you can’t disprove me the way I tried by referring literature (theory and concepts of other researches), you dismiss my argument, b/c I have to show “the state of the art laboratories, ……world class academics” to ascertain my argument. Did you visit those individuals I mentioned, whether they could met your aforementioned criteria. I will check if you haven’t used references in the past and will fellow you if you are going to use reference for your argument in the future.

            Hailat, If you worry to write in your name, how couldn’t I worry of my life, to go and fall in the hand of the monsters in Eritrea. “Ne’Ashaka Bello” Hailat. But….but……but, it is all your right to do in whatever shape or form you like to engage. I have no objection, though I prefer open book like myself.

            Hawka,
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • haileTG

            haha … Aman, sorry if I sounded too critical, but as I said, I have no difference with the actual arguments of Equality for our social groups you wark for. The rest, on’t worry, I can escort you to Eritrea and my contacts will guarantee your safety 🙂

        • saay7

          Emma:

          There was an EPLF song in Tigrayit: I don’t know the name of the artist and I don’t know the name of the song. But it’s lyrics are a rebuttal to those who say that Eritreans would never have civil war:

          Haqo ili wedowna
          Me ntseber h’lena?
          Demom endeh setena
          Natbarda kebdna::

          SGJ, Semere, hope, Ali Salim… can provide the translation for this. The “can’t happen here” lullaby is a song I heard when the Selefi Red Beards were threatening Somalia and we know what happened there.

          saay

          • Semere Andom

            SelamTegadalai Sal:

            Here I hazard a translation,but I want to hear SGJ’s more accurate translation

            After they have committed their heinous crimes on us
            What are we waiting for?
            To avenge, making our selves happy
            Let us imbibe their blood

          • ALI-S

            Sem,

            Sorry I hadn’t seen it. Yours is more precise.

          • Hope

            Both will work for me, eventhough SAAY could even probably have done it better-but -thanks for your humbleness,Cousin.
            SAAY:
            Welcome back and hope you have remained stronger than ever,like most other Eritreans!
            Ezi ewin kihalif eyu!God willing!

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Salam Ali;
            I have a response for Amde, I would appreciate if you could comment on the last part of it.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Abu Saleh (Saay),

            Anything thing is possible unless we all try to avoid it. Especially when I heard from the insane despot that he will take us dawn. There are signs from the way of our polarization is, but there are also many possibilities to avert it. I hope we will come up with later.

            Hawka,

            Amanuel Hidrat

          • ALI-S

            SAAY,

            Translation:

            “After they did all this to us, what are we waiting for?
            Let us drink their blood and cool our anger down.”

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Ustaz Saleh; just dropped by,to say this: come on, Saleh! You said it was EPLF song ( I never heard of it, and I think you’ve just made it up; quite an allegation, but I have to say it). Just for the sake of teqawmo, otherwise I don’t have chebTi to tell you that you made it up. You might be right on the fuming and violent nature of the relycs, yes it is bad ( It reminds me of the Syrian guy ripping his slain enemy’s heart and eating it warm and raw ; where are the Islamic Scholars or Oulamae!! you know it very well that Tigre people have milk to cool them down (they call it Halib gars/ cold milk). Now, my question is: where in the world of revolutions or wars ( situations where the animalistic nature of humans is needed most, where patriotic zeal is in demand, have you read of people singing love to their enemies? Amanuel and others were injecting in their arguments words like DerEmo…demseso..and these guys have read every literature on the planet!! Well, that’s what nations/peoples all over the world sing when they are under threat and want to mobilize themselves against real or perceived enemies and want to unleash that primal fury of their citizenry. War is war; there is no gentle war. And when you bring this as an EPLF song while people are battling about Civil War (sorry it’s not my favorite subject), folks will automatically relate it to the Eritrean Civil War; Saleh Gadi will say, ” Aha, look what the medada where singing about us!!). Good translation Ustaz Ali.

          • saay7

            Hala Abu Hmeid:

            I realize that people hate civil war, talk of winds of war (ውግእ ወረ ውግእ)* I share the sentiment, I realize that to some this is a formula for self-fulfilling prophecy: be and it is: kun fe tekun. But…

            The context was the Eritrean culture. Some (including you?) are relying on it as our last shield to civil war. And I am saying that religion MAY save us from civil war (if we have assertive religious leaders with moral authority and war lords who are not atheists) but the goodness, customs, traditions, decency of the Eritrean people will not spare us civil war. The Ethiopians are as good, decent as the Eritreans and the Ethiopians had a 100 year-long civil war (which they don’t call civil war because, as Eyob Medhane told me, WE get to put labels, not you and if we choose to call a period when one war lord declared war on another which ended up in the conscription, displacement of tens of thousands of people “zemene mesafent”, stay the hell out: it is zemene masafent. yhunleh Gwad Eyob:-)

            To illustrate the fragility of law and order, Ali Salim mentioned a scenario of what would happen if the entire law-enforcement unit in Washington, DC went to Barbados for vacation. I have given an even lower standard: what would happen if there is power outages for 5 consecutive nights in New York City? Gentlemen: start your looting! As Rumsefeld said once when he was asked about looting in Baghdad after the fall of Saddam, “Freedom’s untidy. Free people are free to make mistakes and commit crimes and do bad things. They’re also free to live their lives and do wonderful things.” If you have a Somali friend who is in his/her 50s, ask them if, given their long Suffi tradition, they ever imagined in their life that hard-core Selefi Muslims would be rounding up women to enforce a dress code in their country.

            The other part that people are recoiling at is the pre-emptive measures we are recommending to avoid civil war. Ali Salim and I are recommending different versions of evolutionary change. Change within the system: I am calling for PFDJ to change itself (by removing its head) and, in exchange, for we the people to give them (them = all but the worst, who would be prosecuted) immunity from persecution and the right to live in peace in their own country. Ali Salim is recommending a Third Way that is still in Beta phase: I don’t quite know what exactly that is except for this: for the PFDJ to stop acting like PFDJ and the opposition to stop acting the way they have been. Meanwhile, Hayat Adem is recommending a less evolutionary change: one that requires Harbena Weyanai to pull a Tanzania to our Uganda.

            Since you mentioned the ELF-EPLF civil war, did you watch the burial ceremony of Maj Gen Wuchu? I think it was Wedi Memhre who was reciting his biography and his warrior credentials and, if you noticed, the wge hadhed (civil war) battles were listed matter-of-factly, sequantially (year, place) along with battles against the enemy. People and the institutions they build have a way of rationalizing anything. People are primates and a thin line divides us from them and when you have a culture that actually believes that blood letting heals (especially if it is accompanied by a red rooster), well, now things get even scarier.

            Finally, to the song. No I didn’t make it up: First of all, I would never write lyrics which rhyme using the lazy possessive suffix (“na”, as in rhyming Gezana, kiedna, temelisna, temesiHna: that is not a rhyme.) It is like using “ing” to rhyme English words. The EPLF song I mentioned was from 1978 (teHazilka nerka mesleni at that time), and I heard it first when Keren was liberated and it struck me as a bloodthirsty song. I would ask the Encyclopedia of Revolutionary Songs, Dr. Ghidewon Abay Asmerom to tell me the artist and the name of the song but he is in some mekhete warning people about people like me:))

            saay

            * a song by Bereket Mengesteab, covered by awatista AAA.

            http://youtu.be/IMjKQnL5Aek

          • Yodita

            Great music! heard it over and over and over and over and still going! It hooks! Thanks SAAY!!

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Ahlan SAAY7;
            Thank you for the reply; I am more or less dancing around your solution formula. But for PFDJ to take that action and come to its sense of humility, it needs to face a united front of our people which I believe is gathering strength, that’s if people don’t let these Catholic Bishops down. For the proponents of the third way and its author Ustaz Ali, I prefer to wait and see how he develops it in to an idea/proposal whose practicality could be clear. I want to see how coaxing and encouraging good elements of the single most cause of threat of civil war-PFDJ- could lead to change in the absence of any room of discussion. That’s what the reformists or G-15 tried to do and we know what happened to them. I agree with him on the opposition side, that there is no cake walk for them, no free ride, they should equally be scrutinized and criticized. I believe their irresponsible policies and strategies, their cozy relationship with the government of Ethiopia, their internal power struggle..have rendered them irrelevant. Today, what discomforts PFDJ is the assertiveness of youth in diaspora, Web sites like awate and assenna, and known activists, not the organized hzbawi….democrasiawi..hagherawi…organizations.
            On Wuchu= it was wedi lbsu, he was given that honor for their well known good relations during the struggle.
            On the song= Thank you, but give credit to Ahmed Abderehim, I know the song was Breket’s, but Ahmed did a wonderful job in covering it in away that captures the ears of our westernized youth (may be like Nitricc and Ermias?). Ahmed is an extremely talented young man, he also has other songs of exceptional quality, like ሃገረይ ሕረሲ።

          • saay7

            Ahlan Mahmud:

            Triple A (Ahmed Abulrehim) is a triple threat: he sings in Tigrinya, Tigrayit and Arabic.

            My favorites:

            In Tigrayit: Sardayt* http://youtu.be/GtfV5biI5Z8

            In Tigrinya: Idki Habni* http://youtu.be/NQNRQkmp7wM

            In Arabic: Umi, latebki aleya, ini amut shehid (killer song for Martyr’s Day, unfortunately no video but available in his CD: “Peace.”)

            I saw him open for the late Abraham Afewerki once. He plays a mean guitar.

            saay

            * Lyrics by our own Saleh Gadi Johar.

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Marhab SAAY7;
            Yes, indeed, I have his “peace” CD, I have also watched some of his”activist” clips. He is undoubtedly a talented man. Thanks for the videos.

          • Hayat Adem

            Sal,
            You got me right on that (Tanzania=>Uganda). But let me explain a bit on the why/why not. All I need is change, and I need it yesterday, or not later than today. I witnessed people fetching solace and satisfaction by the bishops’ move. And we seem to be ready to enjoy another round2 “Hafikha Abey Ala?” scolding. People are thinking the attack of the message on PFDJ/government, while it is clearly on us, the people. The people are directly addressed by the letter. We the people are clearly, and in no uncertain terms being told that the country is closing in to a no-return cliff. We are also being told whatever we were doing was not enough to save it. We are being told we need to do something bigger, and sooner.
            Your self-reform approach is not better than nothing mainly because such forces do not opt for reform unless they are persuaded not just that they will be weeded out unless they do so but that they will be weeded out today. The thing that is paining us doesn’t pain them. What is paining us is not the fact that they continue to be in power and they continue ruling the country. It is rather that the country under their rule is approaching an essential deformation, and the longer they rule the worse it will get. What they would be sensitive about is any real threat to their power holding status. So why would they care to cooperate with you about your idea of reform unless they sense that threat? Or is it your view you can reform PFDJ without the consent of PFDJ?
            ALI-S’ argument is even more absurd. He is calling for reform through support as if EPLF/PFDJ has ever suffered from lack of support. The sin was about giving it in excess rather than on merit. It is only the opposition that never got a chance to enjoy functional support from the people and it has to blame itself for that not the people.
            Mahmud Saleh’s problem is his inability to give up on PFDJ in totality and his inability to consider the option of considering Ethiopia as a legitimate and pragmatic ally to depend on saving Eritrea from itself. I’m totally at loss to witness not few Eritreans at this time viewing Ethiopia with hate and suspicion. Why? What more thing does Ethiopia need to do so that it these fellows understand that it has become a force of good for everyone in the neighborhood, and unsurprisingly, in a much more generous way, for Eritrea?
            Hayat

          • “I’m totally at loss to witness not few Eritreans at this time viewing Ethiopia with hate and suspicion. Why? What more thing does Ethiopia need to do so that it these fellows understand that it has become a force of good for everyone in the neighborhood, and unsurprisingly, in a much more generous way, for Eritrea?”

            Dear Hayat Adem, that is the crux of the matter. Whatever Ethiopia does for Eritreans, she will never win the heart and minds of Eritreans, not even in a thousand years. An Eritrean has become the same with a person who sees his house on fire, and yet, refuses to accept help from a neighbor (in this case, a person who is much more than a neighbor), simply because, for one reason or other, the Eritrean hates his neighbor’s guts. Sometimes, although unscientific, one is forced to say that hating Ethiopia
            is a universal genetic trait in Eritrean society. It is difficult to believe that it is the result of simple indoctrination.

            Under such circumstances, how can Ethiopia help, when she cannot even predict what the reaction of the other would be? Of course, nobody is talking of the PFDJ and its supporters; we are talking about
            the ordinary Eritrean and the opposition that are supposed to be the true owners of power in Eritrea.

            DIA and the PFDJ are as strong as ever, the opposition is no good, the U-turners, third-way proponents and PFDJ reformers, are devoid of sincerity, and they are people who would rather have the PFDJ rule forever than be witnesses to an Ethio-Eritrean rapprochement, and thus, the fate of Eritrea has become as complicated as a riddle in a Greek mythology nobody can decipher.

          • Nitricc

            Horizon
            You know talking to an Ethiopian, Hayat. It is funny two Ethiopians talking about Eritrea. Hahaha it is very cute.
            Regarding your help, I strongly suggest you help yourself first and foremost. If the clouds hanging over your head can’t see it, becouse it is to close to you. I am not in to dooms and glooms but I am just telling you. Eritrea’s problem is minor comparing to yours.
            If Eritrea to implement a rule of law, free the prisoners, activate the constitution and have an election; what else is there?problem solved.
            You see there is nothing to it.
            Now ask Hayat how she will solve her Tigryan problem?
            And you tell us how you will solve your Ethiopian problem.

          • Nitricc,

            The first stage in solving a problem is accepting its existence, discussing it sincerely and working with others to find a solution asap, especially when the problem is taking the country and its people to extinction. Ethiopians did that about twenty years ago, when all ethnic groups, after many upheavals, reached a consensus that they can solve their
            problem through federalism. It seems it is working.

            We are discussing Eritrea because a failed Eritrea will affect Ethiopia negatively. Ethiopia is in the middle of an economic development and social harmony. Her economy is γροςινγ by leaps and
            bounds, all ethnic groups are tasting the fruits of economic development, and Ethiopians are working and creating, because they feel free to do so. You have chosen to stay stagnant, your economy is in shambles and social cohesion is undermined every
            day, because the regime and its supporters do not want to accept that such problems do exist. As much as democracy is concerned, yes, Ethiopia has still a long way to go.

            The sky over Ethiopia has cleared for the first time, my friend. It is filled with signs of hope and a bright future. The whole world is saying so, and you are among the few who doubt the obvious. Denial
            is not the solution, nor are the problems of Eritrea minor. An economy in a free fall, (of course, you are the only one who sees billions and trillions coming from all directions) social disruption, the greatest human exodus during peacetime, and the loss of life in all corners of the world, are not minor issues.

            The seber zena is that you are prescribing constitution as the new medicine for Eritrea. You forgot that except DIA, almost all dictators have constitutions, which of course they do not care to respect. To them democracy is a waste of time and futile and a constitution is not worth the paper it is written on. Big brother knows everything and Eritreans should follow the omniscient and omnipotent leader.

            Nitricc, in your opinion, a true Eritrean is one who bows to the dictator and accepts him as the Messiah. Free spirited people like Hayat are an
            anathema and non-Eritrean. In addition, you see yourself as the last of the Mohicans, fighting for Eritrea, while many others, especially the opposition
            etc are traitors. Be sure, regime supporters and PFDJ members cannot save Eritrea. On the contrary, they are a weight tied to the leg of Eritrea, and they do not leave her to move forward, although they are the first who say that they adore Eritrea
            sooo much. Try to help bring Eritrea from the cold to nations of the region. Alone, not even paradise is a nice place to be, let alone hell.

          • Hayat Adem

            Dearest Horizon,
            What you said about Eritreans is not the whole truth. There are many Eritreans who see Ethiopia as a hope. And that number is growing and not shrinking. Why do you think 100k have voted to cross the border for help and for hope. Almost all opposition forces are being sheltered in Ethiopia and sees your country as actual or potential partner. Many in diaspora now are clearing their brain off the false and deceptive propaganda they were being fed. As time goes, the tide is will be turning more and more towards the greater truth and greater good. That I have no doubt. But, in the mean time, two bad and consequential matters might be setting it: 1) The Kebessa people are demographically and geographically getting disfigured at exponential speed, 2) The entire Eritrea might be slipping into a civil war before our own eyes. These two matters must keep Ethiopians sleepless as much as they do to Eritreans. One is because the “Hawka Abey Alo” call also must mean something to our sisters and brothers across Mereb. That is morally/spiritually speaking, we all need to own the call and do something. But, Ethiopian thinkers need to think about it from their own interest angle as well. A collapsed Eritrea will make Ethiopia pay dearly from the perspective of regional geopolitics and security. As brilliant as yourself, it is obvious to me, farsighted Ethiopians should see the entire issue from this perspective, for everyone’s sake. Ethiopian leaders shouldn’t hesitate to help and relieve the much burdened and tired Eritreans. Eritreans have a long memory and they will not forget helps that are offered at time of need..

          • Dear Hayat Adem,

            What you wrote is entirely true, and I should accept that I have somewhat generalized the matter beyond its context. What Ethiopians could not witness, I believe, is a sign of a clear and genuine commitment for peaceful and friendly co-existence in the future from the opposition and the silent majority.
            Twenty years later many Eritreans even in the opposition and others still find it easy to call Ethiopia the enemy, the colonizer and the nemesis.

            Many Ethiopians think that Ethiopian incursion
            in to Eritrea to depose the dictator right now will infuriate the majority of Eritreans and drive them in to the lap of the dictator, and Ethiopia might be doing more harm than good. If there had been an opposition force that would play the major
            role of freeing Eritrea, and explains to the Eritrean people that Ethiopia’s participation is more of a support than as a major player in the war of liberation
            from the regime, it would have been more palatable to the people, and also seen differently by the world community.

            Of course, with time Ethiopians and Eritreans
            will come together in a much more number than what we see today. Nevertheless, many Eritreans have not yet freed themselves from the taboo of standing with Ethiopia. They see it as treason; and this is the big stumbling block of Ethio-Eritrean relations.

            Indeed, as you said, the Kebessa is being depopulated, and on top of this, when I read saay’s last comment, where he mentioned the possibility of a Jihadist control of Eritrea, I should admit that I was shocked, because that would lead to a widespread regional war. Ethiopia would not accept a pro-al qaeda regime north of its border, the west too, nobody knows the position of Islamist Sudan, and the puzzle goes on. We live in difficult times and in a very dangerous area, and we should know exactly what we are doing. Nevertheless, at the end of the day, the Eritrean people should lead the way and Ethiopia should follow, and not the other way round.

          • Amde

            Dear Hayat,

            I hope you understand that over 50 years of being told that Eritreans are completely different from Ethiopians, that Ethiopia is responsible for all Eritreans’ miseries, etc has made Ethiopians very reluctant of anything Eritrean. In my own experience, Horizon is very correct about Ethiopian skittishness. I would honestly say many Ethiopians are reasonably aware of what is going on in Eritrea and think “Their problem – they caused it – let them deal with it.” They would be OK with providing humanitarian help – schools, jobs, shelter even with starting families etc… But on the question of being involved militarily with Eritrea, there are very little takers.

            Believe me Hayat, I am the kind of Ethiopian you are writing to, and I agree with your prognosis especially about the Kebessa in particular, and its consequences to Ethiopia. Sometimes I feel like it is a horror movie at slow speed, each new revelation adding a new twist, a new layer previously unimagined.

            Hayat, from my perspective, I cannot understand the Kebessa. They were full of piss and vinegar (as the Americans say) when it was all about killing Ethiopians, but now, they won’t stay and fight for their own families, they won’t organize from outside and fight for their rights, they won’t stay and stake a claim on their own ancestral land. If you look at it from one perspective, they sacrificed two generations to separate the land from their own brethren, and then once the land has been separated, they are voluntarily leaving it to whoever/whatsoever will take it. It is mind boggling.

            So I ask you, what are the Ethiopians supposed to do when the Kebessa themselves are not willing to draw a line on the sand? I am not trying to be negative, but I honestly cannot see how any Ethiopian intervention (at least NOW) will not make things even worse.

            When it comes down to it, what is Ethiopia supposed to do anyway? It is hosting refugees, and provided they can fulfill some formalities, they can live and work anywhere in the country (I have met Eritreans from well todo business people in Addis to Bajaj taxi drivers in Gonder). It is educating Eritreans in its universities. It has been trying to organize the Eritrean opposition and civic society. (Are they perfect? NO – but if it was easy, it would have been done somewhere else). It is arming and training armed opposition. It seems to me it is doing everything it can short of actually “invading”.

            And that is not going to happen anytime soon, not because Ethiopia cannot militarily win, but because as Colin Powell stated, “you break it you own it”. Doing so, absent a political partner of some kind, will just make it responsible for the thousand and one headaches post-PFDJ Eritrea will have.

            At this point, it seems to me it boils down to Eritreans making some kind of a commitment. If the Kebessa are the ones facing the most existential danger, they have to be honest about their trajectory as a people and they have to come out in an organized public fashion, provide advice and ask for specific help. Right now, in my subjective experience anyway, for most Eritrean kebessa, Ethiopia is the devil that they have to fight no matter what, even at the cost of losing their own existence as a people.. I don’t think anything will change until that does.

            But keep pushing Hayat, I completely agree that every day you are making a change for the better.

            amde

          • haileTG

            Selamat Amde, T Kifle Horizon and Hayat

            It is most probable that the regime in Eritrea would come to an end way before clearly dominant and galvanizing opposition force emerges (considering internal,external, economic, political, age,,,factors). Now, depending on how the transition pans out, the idea of external intervention doesn’t get entertained until much further down the line and the internal crisis starts to spill over and pose external challenges. Until then, external actors would always bet on their favorite horse in the race to fill the power vacum. If you look at the case of Somalia, external intervention started with humanitarian (US) and called off, There were indirect interventions and partial cross border raids up until 2006 when Ethiopia invaded and stayed put till 2009 and now Amisom and the recent Kenyan intervention. So, intervention dynamics may not be responsive to issues that seem relevant when it is only contemplated at a theoretical level such as at this stage. When the time is due, there are more pressing matters the override sentiments and general public tendencies. This may involve mass causalities, major disasters or massive movement of populations and humanitarian catastrophes. In those circumstances the level of consensus is quite high and the move (or consideration of it) appears evidently justified.

            The point made about “hating Ethiopia” is really misdirected. The Ethiopia card has high political currency both to the regime and the opposition (either way i.e. Ethio-support or not). But if we all agree that the opposition isn’t sufficiently representative of the people and the regime is obviously not set up to reflect the popular sentiment, then it follows that it is illogical to assess the nature of the Eritrean people based on how these unrepresentative opposing poles present. It would help the people-people confidence building when we specify that organization x capitalizes on Ethiopia fear mongering and so forth. Because the facts of Eritreans on the ground doesn’t indicate that they feel that way towards Ethiopians. Me thinks 🙂

            Regards

          • T. Kifle

            Hi haile TG,

            Some people have the penchant of associating the weakness of the opposition with the general scheme of things Ethiopia and Eritrea have been in all along the years. Though that could be a factor, I don’t think it’s the main one. The main factor,as I see it, is the nature of the struggle being not consonant with the time and space that the struggle demands . Many of you think that PFDJ would be cornered from external pressures build up from as far as Europe and North America if the opinions of the political forces dotted all over are converged. I am afraid it will. PFDJ needs a real push from the nearest possible point. The Ethiopian factor is just an excuse and escape mechanism because deep down everybody knows that Ethiopia has never been interested in war and intervention to any degree of plausibility. When things become clear Ethiopia wouldn’t make any move in that direction, they come with another excuse that the pride and dignity of Eritrea is undermined because of diktats of the usual suspect on the political roadmap. My over all take is this:

            Those of you in the diaspora might help by being the voice of your people that the world knows the appalling conditions the Eritrean people are enduring. You could also strengthen the struggle on the ground( if it happens at all) in logistics. But the kind of proposal that some gullible write on this website for “salvaging” the country is a sheer mockery of the art of politics. It simply wouldn’t work that way. The real change should be brewed in inside Eritrea. So the best thing the diaspora pundits should do is to limit the damage they are causing to the struggle.

            TK

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Salam T.Kifle:
            Thank you, on the issue of what diaspora Eritreans could and should do, you echoed my position more clearly and precisely than ever I could have done. I will skip the part related to Ethiopian role.

          • ALI-S

            Selam T Kifle,

            I hope you consider this an honest intervention and an attempt to understand the Ethiopian side of the Eritrean opposition equation. I am making a U-Turn here in how to engage the Ethiopians and fans of a positive role for Ethiopia in the process of change in Eritrea. What has been irritating me and sometimes pushing towards irrational responses are the types of inputs the seem more intent on hilikh. I will try a serious conversation now if you will. Apology for any inappropriate reactions in the previous.

            Let us all, especially Ethiopians, start by discussing substantive issues. To help me with this I love to hear an honest answer to something that I cannot understand:

            Why has Ethiopia not been able to help organize a meaningful Eritrean opposition challenge to the PFDJ?

            To put it in context please take the following into consideration:

            (1) It has been more than a decade now that Ethiopia, especially during Meles (May he rest in peace), spent so much money and effort to give every opposition grouping and individual the opportunity to organize. Truth be said, no Eritrean opposition will ever have a more committed friend than Meles ever in Ethiopia. But why did all these efforts go down the drain.

            (2) How do Ethiopians feel when they see that the PFDJ had no trouble (presumably with much less expenses) in mobilizing an opposition such as the TPDM with tens of thousands of fully trained, armed and organized insurgency. You look at them in youtube and even if it is all fabricated media production, they look like a real insurgency. On the other hand they see that their government hasn’t been as lucky.

            (3) Do you or any of the Ethiopians in this forum ever entertain that in spite of the “non-intervention” arguments which I think are “qemish addy Hanquiluni” kind, the real reason in Ethiopia’s failure in this respect might actually be the lack of strategic vision on the part of Ethiopia’s leadership? I am in no way trying to diminish or judge their capacity, but there might be the experience factor playing in the background. The EPLF and later PFDJ as you know is to a large part an organization that specializes in cultivating insurgents. The problem is by no means unique to Ethiopia. The main reason, the Sudan ended up in the subordinate relationship with PFDJ is almost exclusively a function of their total failure in outsmarting the PFDJ in dirty politics.

            (4) In my opinion the primary the reason many (I would say most) of the Eritrean opposition have essentially given up on Ethiopia as an ally actually has nothing with whether they view the Weyane as having a hidden agenda. Ethiopians I think are missing the core of the concerns and being sidelined by the politics and propaganda wars among Eritrean groupings. The core concerns (naked) is that Ethiopia (given its lack of long term strategic vision – just guessing) has become more of a liability to the cause of the opposition than an asset.

            Made (above) made the argument that Ethiopia should not be blamed because it did all it can. He said it is the opposition that should blame for the failure. The bottom line is that there is “failure” and we all are not happy. The truth is that the way Ethiopia seems to approach the the need for an effective Eritrean opposition is incompatible with what Eritrean opposition activism needs and the nature of Eritrean politics.

            The question that all of you Ethiopians and those in charge of the Eritrean opposition affairs should ask is this simple question: if all the opposition needs is a country that offers them the freedom to hold meetings and radio stations and organizations, why would any rational person choose Ethiopia out of all countries. You may say because of the location. But you would be missing that cost that should be paid for this location in terms of total paralysis in the face of propaganda of “siding with the enemy at a time of war”. I think any rational opposition organization would rather gain in public opinion than waiting on ineffective Ethiopian help.

            The evidence in what I have said can be implied by referring to the fact that at one time when people had hope that Ethiopia would be more serious than it actually turned out to be, the argument that we could count on Ethiopia was a consensus. Why did it change? Because Eritrean opposition became divided between those who say that Ethiopia does not have the experience that we need and those who say Ethiopia does have the experience and commitment but it has a hidden agenda.

            I hope I haven’t said any belittling or unreasonable things.

          • One way or the other, regime change or no regime change in Eritrea, things are working fine for Ethiopia. Most probably, this is what the Ethiopian government is saying. Why then should Ethiopia insist on regime change, when by default, PFDJ is weakening itself with no cost to Ethiopia? No rational Ethiopian government would stop this process of self-destruction.

            The late PMMZ had entertained the idea of regime change, due to the fact that DIA was found conspiring with Egypt against Ethiopia. Regime change was to take place through organizing and arming the opposition, and not through Ethiopian invasion, which means that it is the opposition and the Eritrean people, which have the responsibility to bring about change in Eritrea, and not Ethiopia.

            Today, Egypt is being tamed, Al Shabab is gradually being defeated and DIA has become insignificant, and cannot serve anybody anymore, and therefore, regime change is not a priority for Ethiopia.

            Under these circumstances, the ball of regime change lies in the opposition’s court and not in Ethiopia’s. As long as Eritreans are doing nothing towards this goal, Ethiopia is satisfied with it.

            Finally, the TPDM is much more of a mercenary army meant to protect the dictator from the rage of the Eritrean people in times of crisis, rather than an effective army that could make a dent in Ethiopia’s security. Last
            time, people on this site were accusing it of meddling in an Eritrean affair,
            and this should have rang an alarm bell to warn Eritreans that something weird is going on inside Eritrea. One has to remember, what DIA had said, to the effect of creating Eritrea, and destroying it at will, unless Eritreans succumb to his whims.

          • T. Kifle

            Dear Ali-S

            you asked, “Why has Ethiopia not been able to help organize a meaningful Eritrean opposition challenge to the PFDJ?”

            I am afraid if I knew the answer. Only those who are deputed to oversee this matter would have the right answers but my reading of the situation from a distance is many in the Opposition are not different from that of the PFDJ as far as their view of Ethiopia is concerned. The Eritrean
            inertia has the potential to spark many “demons”(your word) capable of crippling any movement through ነገርን ጓል ነገርን. What was the purpose of the conference held in Bologna probably in this past year and what are its achievements? I remember “pride” and “dignity” were the catch words of the time.

            To agree to fight a bigger enemy doesn’t take of agreeing on every detail of the means and ends of the struggle. Every Eritrean worth their salt knows (at least I assume) that no permanent harness is tied in their necks or will be burdened to implement the agenda of Ethiopia in post-PFDJ Eritrea. This they knew it for fact. The problem is their spines are not stiff enough to carry the “shame” hurling at them from every direction. If your enemy is against you, it, often, is taken as a sign of strength and at times a complement but when a significant section of your constituency yells at you, you have no choice but to pose and contemplate on if the causes you are fighting for are really worthy of one’s’ scarifies are at all shared with well meaning compatriots.
            Now to your numbered points:

            1. From the Ethiopian side I could read there were hesitations for the level of grievances of the Eritrean people didn’t reach the brink of “the last straw” and any intervention from the Ethiopian border would simply be construed as a fringe on the sovereign state of Eritrea which in the end PFDJ would find an edge to sit on. It doesn’t matter even if that means the fighting is carried
            out through Eritreans themselves. So during Meles’s time, the Eritrean people were said to have been not on board for any armed struggle. The other equally important factor, I think, is many in the leadership were wary of this Eritrean dominant political view that failed to see the best intentions of the EPRDF and the huge political cost it willingly forgone for covering unnecessary lengths to accommodate Eritrea. So apart from the failures of the opposition themselves to make best use of the circumstances, this factor could also pick some weight. Another factor is
            Ethiopia has been involved in fighting with Al Shabab and couldn’t afford to open another war front for little gain or none. If you mean strength in terms of political gains, the onus rests upon the opposition themselves.

            2. Ethiopians’ view on PFDJ’s harboring and nurturing of armed outfits:
            We in Ethiopia see the matter that no political ground exists for any possibility of armed struggle
            from the Eritrean border. What they are capable of doing is carry out some round ups in some pockets and hit and run attempts in smaller scales and If any major move is sensed at any time, that would be the end of PFDJ and the “50, 000 strong army” of TPDM. PFDJ knows that
            and wouldn’t allow them do even the low level armed engagement that they had been doing till few years back for fear of large scale consequences. So we are not that worried about their presence. We are also doing the same though not to the satisfaction of the Eritrean opposition. We think it a fair play

            3. Time will tell if the leadership would be vindicated for the strategy they haves been applying towards that endeavor achieves the intended target but I do think it’s too early to draw a conclusion at this point in time. Ethiopia has many other priorities. It’s running huge development projects which are practically beyond its means. It has put in place a strategic plan to attract FDI and wants to maintain good name in creating conducive environment for investment and become a tourist and conference hub of Africa. That’s the vision of FDRE. It cannot go to war at whim unless the problem becomes an obstacle to the extent that it hampers executing its vision. So far the Eritrean problem is well contained under control and doesn’t warrant any military intervention, hence, the silence.

            4. “You reap what you saw” as the saying goes. To begin with temper tantrums have been consistently hurled against those who brave to come to Ethiopia and try their best to forward the struggle amidst every kind of problems while negotiating in the power corridors and back in their constituencies. The push pull affected both the opposition and Ethiopia to the negative and now the people who think they wield the “dignity” card are laughing at them singing ኣይበልናን’ዶ at the top of their lungs. If you are looking for workable platform where the entire Eritrean society is on board, dictating the means of the struggle is not the right way of doing it. Let everybody capable of lifting a single little weight do their part. This is not the time people should squabble on means of struggle including the way the opposition is being organized. Let them organize in any way they see it fit. Once, the devil is dethroned, some of the opinions and programs may converge in the process. Even if they don’t that wouldn’t pose any problem assuming that post-PFDJ Eritrea is a multi-party democratic state. So shifting the burden of the opposition failure towards Ethiopia wouldn’t do any good. And in case the opposition concluded that Ethiopia has become a liability, still they have the right to walk out anytime and launch their struggle from any place of convenience.

            Regards

          • ALI-S

            Selam TK,

            Thank you for the very honest response. I think you tackled my question and points to the best of your knowledge. Now allow me to make a couple of points:

            I know it is people who are directly involved in Ethiopian government who can answer as they are the ones who have the raw data. What we are doing here is of course speculation to the best of our knowledge. From my assessment of what you said (I could be wrong) Ethiopia’s failure in this area boils down to the lack of experience.

            That should of course be a compliment as neither Ethiopia as government nor the TPLF as a key player have had to play dirty politics against neighbours. To help us do this we have to exclude two factors:

            (1) I am defining whatever Ethiopia is alleged to have followed with respect to settling the border was or applying the economic embargo for more than a decade as arguably part of legitimate tools of foreign policy. Some Eritreans may have a different opinion but none can deny that Ethiopia is a sovereign and is entitled to use all legitimate options.

            (2) I am assuming that Ethiopia does not have a hidden agenda which means they know what they are doing and that they wouldn’t continue to do it over and over again for more than a decade if they think it is not working for them. The hidden agenda because it is hidden no one would know for sure by definition. But we can speculate. One form it can take is that Ethiopia concludes that Eritrea is a candidate not just for disturbance using insurgencies but for a total collapse by putting it on a slow-cooker that would eventually wake up sleeping demons. That exactly is the PFDJ’s core propaganda.

            Excluding these factors we would then be able to assume that the only tools in Ethiopia’s hands are the opposition groups and its only policy is to help them organize and create an alternative that is more constructive for mutual interest of two peoples. That is the Ethiopian propaganda.

            However, if this is indeed true we are left with few option in understanding Ethiopia’s investment as anything other than failure and incompetence. You have told me that the failure is the Eritrean opposition because all those who got into Ethiopia had hidden agenda not to get along and were cautious of Ethiopia’s intentions and the latter had to go extra lengths just to prove innocence. That definitely is unfortunate but at its core it is another way of saying Ethiopian authorities failed in finding out a formula that works.

            I do understand the argument that Ethiopia is careful not to give the PFDJ the excuse to squeeze the opposition by pointing out to Ethiopian intervention. But that I think is your way of expressing frustration over the same failures of the policy makers in Ethiopia. We are essentially on the same boat. We know that is total BS because if one is stealing a camel he might as well walk away high headed. Ethiopia and allegedly the TPLF can never give Isaias and the whole world any better indication of bad intentions than than sitting on the border ruling and choking Eritrea economically. Ethiopia might have its own justifications but as far as any Eritrean would perceive it, none would welcome those policies for any other explanation.

            I hope I am not being argumentative but what I want to say is that if Ethiopia does have plans of remaining relevant to any future change where the opposition may be a part and I assume it has no other option with a neighbour so close, those concerned need to admit that they help so far was a waste. I know and appreciate the help with refugees and CSOs but that is not the kind of politics that a responsible government would count as opposition. Every country is doing same and more to refugees from every country because they fall within international obligations.

            My very specific questions: where do you think is the failure if any on the Ethiopian side? If the Eritrean opposition actually have strict conditions of non-intervention, then why intervene in spite? If some investment hasn’t worked for over a decade why keep trying the same over and over?

            I am not trying to ridicule but no one owns Ethiopia in here and we should be mature and honest in our discussions.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Mr. Kifle,

            You rendered a very plausible and absorbable answers to Mr. Younis’s or Ali Salim’s questions. This answers can’t be an outsider’s reading from a distance, because I don’t believe any insider could give better answers than you did. But if it is, you are a heck microscopic reader on the geopolitics of our region in general and the impact of the role of Eritrean and Ethiopian politics to the region in particular. I would like to reiterate your last sentence to the opposition camp, that if you “conclude that Ethiopia has become a liability [I don’t] [you] still have the right to walk out any time soon and launch [your] struggle from any place of convenience.” Sop this lame excuse to cover your failure behind your perceptual judgement on Ethiopia. When things settled you will be the first who demand the normalization and economic relationship with Ethiopia to show your hypocrisy.

            Regards,

            Amanuel Hidrat

          • haileTG

            Selam T Kifle,

            I think that it is an accomplished fact to say “…PFDJ would be cornered from external pressures build up from as far as Europe and North America if the opinions of the political forces dotted all over are converged.” As a matter of fact, NOTHING has cornered the PFDJ more than external (be it Eritrean or otherwise) pressure. There is has so far been a zero or neglegeble net effect from all the internal pressure due to the sheer weight of the people involved in treason serving the regime.

            I would agree with:

            -Those of you in the diaspora might help by being the voice of your people that the world knows the appalling conditions the Eritrean people are enduring.

            – You could also strengthen the struggle on the ground( if it happens at all) in logistics.

            – The real change should be brewed in inside Eritrea.

            But it is not clear who or to which section you’re talking to when you say…

            “But the kind of proposal that some gullible write on this website for “salvaging” the country is a sheer mockery of the art of politics.

            In this website pages, it seems there are views expressed from every corner of schools of thought on maintaining or ending the current problem. I am not sure if you see a common thread binding all of them or just omitted calling out that “gullible pundit” by name and shorten our misery. So, whose or which take is not sitting well 🙂

            Regards

          • T. Kifle

            Dear haile TG,

            Actually, I read some proposals like picking up names of individuals that would negotiate and straighten things during the transition period notwithstanding how they would reach over there in the first place. Excuse me for my bias for I also read the problem in relation to the extreme Ethiopian diaspora which are relentlessly working to undermine the interests of the country.
            I by no means equate the Eritrean diaspora which according to my observation is a bit responsible, with that paranoid group but when we come to the matters of power, I believe that it must be left to those at home. In the best case scenarios, the diaspora can play a constructive role in the areas I mentioned in the above thread. That’s over all essence of my message.

            Regards

          • T. Kifle

            Dear Hayat,

            Removing PFDJ and rescuing Eritrea from becoming a hot bed of terrorists are quite different things. In the first case Ethiopia doesn’t have an incentive to do it and in the second case it goes without saying that it wouldn’t allow civil war to prevail in post-PFDJ Eritrea. That’s how I see the matter

          • Already took a shower

            Dear Hayat:
            Sometimes I think you live in an alternate planet or something. Eritreans will not consider Ethiopia under any circumstances. It would be like “TeHatsibka ab Chiqa” or loosely translated “Diving into a mud after you have taken a shower.” As far as we are concerned, we have cleansed ourselves from you. We took a shower in 1991 when we got rid of you.

          • tafla

            “The context was the Eritrean culture. Some (including you?) are relying on it as our last shield to civil war. And I am saying that religion MAY save us from civil war (if we have assertive religious leaders with moral authority and war lords who are not atheists) but the goodness, customs, traditions, decency of the Eritrean people will not spare us civil war.”

            ato SaleH,

            This phrase I don’t understand, what if religious people do not have assertive leaders? would they behave like atheists. Do you honetly believe an atheist person can not be a humanitarian. I have seen you use the Somalia example about civil war several times, why do you insist on equating evil=atheism and not evil=religion or evil=DNA?

            It’s crazy to believe that if eritrean muslims lack confidence in the current mufti, that they would be led astray by an ATHEIST “selefist” (or is it SALAFIST). Don’t lable people in good (religious) and evil (atheist), the world is much more complicated than that.

          • saay7

            Selamat tafla:

            Agreed, it is not black and white: religious is not equal to good; atheist is not equal to bad. In fact, some of my best friends are atheists. One of the questions parents should ask themselves is: “if my kids were orphaned, who would I like to raise them?” And when I make a mental note, some atheists friends/family members make it to the top list, and some religious friends/family members make it to the bottom list. But…

            Context. What we are talking about here is the nightmare scenario (“the brewing nightmare”) and an Eritrea governed by warlords. In that case, we are talking not just of breakdown of law and order, but breakdown of AUTHORITY. We are talking about WHO will be able to get the warlord to see reason? WHO is going to give the “anta wedey…” speech and be listened?

            WHO is likely the authority that gets PFDJ officers to listen to reason? For some of them, it is “zban swuat” (in the name of the martyrs, which is what worked on Wedi Ali.)

            WHO is likely to be the authority that a Christian highlander warlord will listen to? If he is a believer, it will be whoever is in the hierarchy of the Christian denomination he belongs to.

            WHO is likely to be the authority that a Neo-Andnet warlord will listen to? An Ethiopian official, preferably from Tigray or Amhara (Abyssinian.)

            WHO is likely to be the authority a Muslim lowlander warlord will listen to? It won’t be the Mufti because, unlike previous Muftis, he is not seen as an advocate for Eritrean Muslims. Who will step into the power vacuum? If we are lucky, it will be a group of Muslim elders, religious folk. If we are unlucky, it will most likely a hard core Jihadist. And WHO is the authority that a Jihadist warlord will listen to? Somebody higher up on the food chain of Jihadism, most likely a foreigner. (This is the paragraph in Ali Salim’s piece that alarmed some readers but it is entirely plausible. It has NOTHING to do with what Eritrean Muslims want and everything to do with WHO actually steps in into power vacuums. )

            I give the example of Somalia NOT to say we will be like them. No. I give it as en example of how predictions based on a people’s self-flattering self-assessment (we are different, we would never allow that here) are often wrong.

            saay

          • Amde

            Saay,

            Your statement
            “Somebody higher up on the food chain of Jihadism, most likely a foreigner. This is the paragraph in Ali Salim’s piece that alarmed some readers but it is entirely plausible. It has NOTHING to do with what Eritrean Muslims want and everything to do with WHO actually steps in into power vacuums. In fact, in the moderate vs hardcore feud that happens among Eritrean Muslims RIGHT NOW, it is only because the PFDJ sided with the moderates that the hardcore were clipped; otherwise, they (young know-it-all Salafists) had every intention of running roughshod all over them–(the older, moderate traditionalists.) This is a fact known to many Eritrean Muslims in Eritrea.”
            is astounding.

            I do not think you’d be cavalier with words just for the shock value – but it is very shocking nonetheless, especially in light of the ISIS news just this past week. You cannot say “It has NOTHING to do with Eritrean Muslims” and have the very next sentence state “moderate vs hardcore Eritrean Muslims” because the younger/hardcore are also Eritreans.

            I was somewhat operating under the impression that a power vacuum in the future could potentially attract those kinds of forces, but what I am reading is that “know-it-all Salafists” currently exist, on the ground, in Eritrea, dormant and potentially waiting for the right moment.

            As you possibly know, it is alleged that the ISIS military victories this past week were for the most part made possible due to the military expertise of former Baathists and Iraqi (Saddam era) professional army members. How are we to take what you wrote in the context of a completely militarized society?

            If I were to ask you specifically – “Should Christians and Moderate Muslims be worried about this?”, what would your honest opinion be?

            amde

          • saay7

            Selamat Amde:

            No, I am not using words for shock value. The battle between moderate Muslims and hardliner Muslims has been going on in Eritrea since the late 1980s. And, it is not uniquely Eritrean: it has been raging all over the world–including in Ethiopia. And in the two countries (Eritrea and Ethiopia), the same process has been used, which I will come to in a minute.

            Before I go further, I think I should be clear on the terminologies because I was sloppy earlier and many people reading this are going to be offended that there is even such a thing called “moderate” and “hardliner” Muslim because, they maintain, there is no such thing: you are either a practicing Muslim or you are not. When I say “moderate Muslim”, I mean Islam as it was practiced in Eritrea for generations; and when I say “hardliner Muslim”, I mean the Salafi school of thought, the one that argues that Islam in Eritrea was corrupted by traditions, pagan practices and should be purified. (They see themselves as reformers.) I realize that even the terms of “moderate” and “hardliner” are self-serving, so I will just use the terms “traditional” and “salafi.”

            Since the 1980s, the salafi school of thought had two things going for it: funding (from Saudi Arabia) and passion (zealotry/by any means necessary.) The traditionalist who have no deep pockets or sponsors and who are, by definition, loathe to confrontation and prefer discussion, debate, etc, were getting outmanned and outgunned in the 1980s.

            In Isaias’s Eritrea, any dispute between the traditionalists and the salafists sooner or later gets escalated to the PFDJ which intervenes with its heavy hand on the side of the traditionalist. The State uses its entire security apparatus to punish the salafists: torture, kill, disappear. In Islamist states, the State intervenes on the side of the Salafist: the State uses its entire security apparatus to punish the traditionalists: torture, kill, disappear.

            I don’t know why you are shocked by this because this is exactly what happens in Ethiopia: the State heavily interferes on the side of the traditionalists (they are not even traditionalists in Ethiopia, they are a new Al-Ahbash) and it has tortured, disappeared Muslims protesting for autonomous governance: when not a single rock was thrown, not a single punch was thrown, the state arrested the protestors by the thousands using anti-terror laws. Many were released on the condition that they say not one word about what they went through (this is personal knowledge, please don’t try to deny it); the high-profile ones will be taken to a heavily-stacked kangaroo court where they will be found guilty. You are talking about a country where your Imams are carrying pistols to the mosque.

            One of the things that I find alarming about pro-TPLF/EPRDF Ethiopians is how they are either unaware or dismissive of the grievances of Ethiopian Muslims. The typical pro-TPLF/EPRDF Ethiopian will bleed (the hurt is real) of what the Kebessa Eritrean (read: Christian highlander) is going through and he will have nothing to say of how Ethiopian Muslims are mostly marginalized from their own country.

            Now, let’s go back to Ali Salim’s paragraph which offended some readers: Remember, I was trying to explain a nightmare scenario that Ali Salim painted:

            “Here is where the Civil War will begin. Within days, thousands of other ghosts (real ones this time) are stampeding from long-forgotten refugee camps in Sudan, the streets of Yemen and the whole Middle East (trained and armed to the teeth with company from Chechnya, Tunisia and every curse in the Arab Islamic world) ready for genocides. What we used to modestly call land-grabbers, occupiers and torturers will be Christened brand new and truly demonic trademarks. The whole Eritrean lowlands (about three-quarters of Eritrea) will be liberated and ethnically cleansed within weeks.”

            To Ali Salim, this is “one of a million possible hypothetical scenarios.” I think it is one of half a dozen possible scenarios, so, yes, be afraid. Not only should you be afraid, you should consider it as one of the explanation for why the Silent Majority in Eritrea is silent.

            Remember, many of the Eritrean Islamist opposition groups want some sort of Federal arrangement where they can have a region they control that is governed in accordance with Islamist values. So, more than Eritrean Christians, it is Moderate Muslims who are terrified at the prospect of the Islamist prevailing in a post-PFDJ Eritrea. In a free-for all, it won’t matter what the Eritrean Muslim wants (who has rejected the Eritrean Islamist groups by refusing to join them: they can’t even recruit from refugee camps, which should have been fertile ground for them); it only matters that the State has collapsed and anybody with a passion (Chechens, Tunisians, Afghanis, Saudis) are ready to file in.

            Of all Ethiopian organizations that could have come to power to lead on this issue–of how to create a society where there no second class citizens based on relgious affiliation– I think the TPLF is the least qualified because it comes from a homogenous state (95% Orthodox Christian; 95% Tigrinya speakers.) This practice of seeing the Ethiopian Muslim as “the other” is explictly stated in the late Meles Zenawi’s interview with Paul Henze. (link available upon request) and when he was trying to jump on the anti-terror bandwagon and, in his reception with George W. Bush, he described his own citizens (Ethiopian Muslims) as medieval people (as if the Ethiopian Christians were part of the First World.)

            I realize that all this will come as unreliable third-hand testimony. I get it. Our goal at awate forum is to have the entire political spectrum of the Horn of Africa (Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan, Somalia, Djibouti) enriching us and having us learn from one another. For various reasons (having mostly to do with the PFDJ’s relentless and, sadly, effective propaganda), this website has been painted as one that is pro-Weyane Eritrean opposition website. This has meant two things: the discourse is limited to Eritreans and Ethiopians discussing how and why PFDJ is terrible and how and why TPLF/EPRDF is great. The Ethiopians who participate in the discussion mostly limit their discourse to a lecture us on how we Eritreans should shape up and how almost everything in Ethiopia is just dandy. As a result, even a pro-TPLF/EPRDF Ethiopian like Fanta Gana who mildly criticizes the TPLF/EPRDF is seen as revolutionary. Consequently, something that should appear as obvious is seen as shocking.

            saay

          • haileTG

            Selamat saay

            I know taking a single issue out of the fuller discussion you guys are having might be a distraction, but can you elaborate (even as a side note) the following:

            “…you should consider it as one of the explanation for why the Silent Majority in Eritrea is silent.”

            Notwithstanding that my personal impression is that the “Silent Majority” is PFDJ’s manipulation of “Retardation” in people at its finest, imbecile (ዘይበስል) would have described the average so called silent (this of course is meant to apply those who are ambivalent and still dancing in hgdef guwayla:)

            One thing that I came away observing in the silenced majority of our people is the dangerous ignoraminious displayed by how they present. They have no knowledge of all the complexity you address within the Islamic half of our society.

            But, my question to you is that what does your take say about the “demography” of the silent majority, their intent and objectives? Because, it appears, at first sight, it is being argued that the irresponsible silent majority (that has turned its back on the nation and run away or is back engaging in black market money exchange and contraband from Dubai to assist the killing off of the country ) has some sort of intelligent grasp, it bids its position and is acting responsibly to attain its goals….hmmm. Far from it, it has no clue, it is manipulated, divided, fed false pride and has no clue whatsoever as to what to do as the nation is melting away right in front of its eyes.

            Please explain, inquiring minds wish to know..:-)

            Cheers

          • saay7

            Haile TG:

            Ah, but you and I disagree on why the Silent Majority are silent. I agree with this guy who wrote exactly a year ago the following:

            “Rational choice theory”… assumes that, prior to every decision, people make cost-benefit analysis because they are “self-interested, purposeful, maximizing being.” Of course, what I consider rational you will consider absurd and the sum total of each rational choice—the aggregate–is often surprising, even fascinating….subscribing to “rational choice theory” is less likely to make one cynical and bitter at the people—past and present. You know: the ones who look at the Eritrean predicament and say izi hzbi Hmaq iyu::”

            Check him out; I think he makes good points:)

            http://awate.com/dictatorship-a-rational-choice-until-it-is-not/

            Now, I have made the point that had it not been for the disengagement of our intellectuals (particularly those in the social sciences), we wouldn’t have to guess at these answers.
            If you want a representative sample of Eritreans (assuming the Eritrean population is 5 million), the math says that all we need to ask is 385 Eritreans and we would get a 95% confidence level, a 5% confidence interval. That is: if we can get 385 Eritreans to tell us why they are in the silent majority, then we wouldn’t have to guess with me calling them “rational” and you calling them imbeciles:) These would be my questions:

            All we have to do is ask a representative sample of Eritreans a two part question:

            1. Would you prefer to endure the tyranny of Isaias Afwerki rather than take a chance on an Eritrea governed by warlords which includes Islamists and renegade generals?

            2. Do you think the Eritrean opposition, as currently organized, is more likely or less likely to bring about an Eritrea governed by Islamist warlords and renegade generals?

            3. Do you think that in a post-Isaias Eritrea, Eritrean decision-making process will shift to Ethiopia? Is that a good thing?

            I think Haile The Great should find these 385 and ask them those two questions. Remember, it doesn’t matter whether what they believe is right or wrong; what matters is there is a perception and the Isaias regime exploits it day after day after day: Jihad, wegenawian, Weyane, Jihad, wegenawian, Weyane…

            And what is our side’s rebuttal? Isaias Afwerki is a dictator. The silent majority says, “no kidding: I already know that!” Isaias Afwerki is unjust! The silent majority says, “And which leader isn’t?” Isaias Afwerki is not even Eritrean! The silent majority says, “Really? Come on! He slaved for Eritrea.”

            We have a messaging problem: our message doesn’t stick. Not trying to come up with the answer. Just trying to tell you that the silent majority are silent because they made a rational choice. No?

            saay

          • Amde

            Hi Saay,

            Actually, if as you say the analogy is similar to what is happening in Ethiopia, then you have re-assured me AND terrified me at the same time.

            This is really not the place for it, but I will posit here that I think EPRDF’s policy of imposing a government sanctioned interpretation of religion is wrong on the face of it, and to me demonstrates a rather shallow understanding of the true diversity of the country. In fact, I’d say advocating a state sanctioned sect from a state run by nominal secularists but practical atheists is rather bizzare. Perhaps I am showing my ignorance of the dimsachin yisema movement in Ethiopia, but my sense has been that they represent one strand of the many that constitute Ethiopia and who are legitimately protesting against the repressive control of the EPRDF state. The use of the terrorism laws as an instrument of political repression in Ethiopia is well documented and understood, and I personally do not see anything different applied to the Muslim protesters. (A few years ago when all the rage was to accuse all political opponents of “genocide”, Addis was abuzz with “Ene Rwanda min yibelu tadia?”) In other words, it sucks, but it sucks the same for everybody.

            So I feel re-assured if indeed the “Muslim issue” is similar in Eritrea, namely members of one community protesting and challenging a repressive government.

            But…let me restate what I understood to be the case.
            a) In the Eritrea case, the state intervened on behalf of one party in a dispute between two – namely “the traditionalists” and the “Salafists”. This intervention was found to be necessary as the internal mechanism to resolve the differences between them was ineffective. The State will of course intervene in a way that will maximize its interests. The implication is that if it were not for the intervention of the State, the Salafists would win, spelling disaster for everyone.

            b) In the Ethiopia case, the state tried to impose an interpretation of one sect (the “Ahbash”) as the state approved version of the religion, basically for the purposes of political control (which they perhaps felt was necessary for security reasons as well). This obviously started a protest, which is met by repression thereby (in my mind at least) initiating a cycle of radicalization the state was afraid of in the first place.

            Now, that is how I see them, and I will be the first to admit that I am quite probably wrong.

            If, as you said, I were to accept that Case (a) applies to both Eritrea and Ethiopia, then I have to say that currently repressed but dormant Salafists lie under the bed of both our countries – a truly scary scenario. If Case (b) applies to both, then the problem becomes one of political engineering – a more manageable issue.

            Saay, I wanted to be sure that neither you nor Ali Salim are inviting Chechens into this discussion just as a literary device. It may be “obvious”, but I am trying to make sure that I don’t allow my Christian prejudices or media stereotypes of Muslims lead me to assume things. I would hope you would give me and others credit for it 🙂

            amde

        • Serray

          Amanuel,

          Haile TG gave you the best advice one human being can give to another, I expected you will say, thank you, and leave it at that. You are not as open minded as you think, nobody is. The “loose talk” undermines your position, take it or leave it.

          Here is a test, what is the difference between lebam and gorah and what does that say about our society? Be open minded because if you answer it honestly, it conflicts with your loose talk.

    • Semere Andom

      Hi Emma:

      To add to your points regarding the aggressive nature that you mention as the nature of Eritrean. It is also my own observation that we have a bent to side with the powerful instead of with weak in our society. When I was younger and I had fascination with language I collected about 300 Tigrinya proverbs, there were many that unsettled me, but the following bothered me the most
      “Hayal ente mote, gezaka kof bel, hawi hayla ente mot gina qiber”

      The ghedli created the derEmO demassiso and seared it into our lexicon, humility was perceived as weakness, eloquence was replaced with catchy and vague phrases.
      When you go back in history at least in the Kebessa this is what I noted. Inherent injustice against the weak, if you ask a man for the hand of his daughter and the man refuses, the powerful would be groom recruits his bothers and “yzirifa” literally kidnaps her and makes her his wife forcibly. This is not ancient history, this happened to Eritrean girls in the Sudan. The gheldi to its credit demanded rule of law both from the population and the colonizers. The population obliged, the colonizers were defeated, but on the debris of the colonizers the ghedli founded the very ani-thesis of rule of law by implementing all the wrongs that they set out to right. I believe that there is inherent culture of bulling the weak, the minority and the unfortunate in our society and ghedli made it worse, by promising to eradicate it and then actually bolstering both the old injustices and the medda invented cruelty. Add to that the trusting nature of the weak, a theme that I often hear is that we trusted DIA, “Isaias we trusted you” is a common phrase the tegadality mention when asking him questions and here is where the intellectuals failed, “In the question of power, no man should be trusted, but must me shackled by the chains of constitution.”, Jefferson

      I think the inherent nature to trust and be charmed easily the disdain of the weak and minority are some of the nuanced recipe of injustice. More reason to shackle both the powerful and the majority of our society and I am in the side of our minority to constitutionally chain my own ethnic group and region: Tigrinya and kebessa

      Please pardon my veering to ghedli;-)

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Hi Sem,

        I can’t agree more. I am sure “Zebreqe Zehayna zinegesse Negusna” is one of your collected tigrigna proverbs. Some of the proverbs have a paralyzing and submissive messages. Remember sem, all the proverbs are from the social-norm of our society.

        Unfortunately, the culture of ghedli, like the solvent molecules in osmosis permeated to our social fabrics. It was a cultural orientation that took three decades in the bush and two decades in the towns and villages. So don’t worry I am aware about ghedli and its culture.

  • Little Eritrea, a third world country, nevertheless, with a colossal idea about itself, is playing world politics, by
    standing on the side of Russia against the US and the EU. Putin must be proud of his new friends. Why should he care about sanctions, or about who would/would not recognize Crimea as part of Russia, as long as Eritrea has recognized it, and she might even open an Eritrean Consulate there, if asked.

    Always at the wrong place, at the wrong time. It is difficult to say that these people have a normally functioning brain.
    One is forced to believe that only a deranged mind can think of such a flawed external politics, especially that of opposing the only world power and its allies. This must be DIA’s personal confrontational politics.

    The unfortunate thing about the whole affair is that DIA is surrounded by brainless zombies, and they do not dare to say a word to correct him, but they choose to fulfill the bizarre decisions of the omnipotent dictator.

    DIA’s “Mercenary Politics” will not save him from his demise. One has to remember what he did at the peak of
    Ethio-Egyptian crisis, by standing with Egypt on the issue of the Nile. Once a mercenary, always a mercenary!

    • Hope

      Horizon et al,
      I might disgree on that:
      First, let me put aside the the negative role of the PFDJ/DIA on/to the current Eritrean situation.
      From political point of view,and based on the reality for the last 15yrs or so, and from the Historical point of view of the Eritrean armed Struggle, and from the National Security and Interest of view,here are the FACTS:
      -Eritrea has been a Victim of all kinds of evil acts-too many to list them and we all know them
      -The GoE exhausted all options and irrespective of all its weaknesses,mistakes,etc–it has an OBLIGATION as a governemnt and as a political entity to defend Eritrea and itself by all means possible,hence,why NOT adore the Devil,let alone visit or side with Russia?
      -Review the Eritrean Armed struggle history and there might be an analogy between the past and present history,honestly.
      -Eritrea and PIA clarified its/his stand,as it did before on the unity of Ethiopia, in a crystal clear way on the Issue of the Nile in a very positive and balanced way ,more than any other Nation.
      But to be blunt,if Ethiopia has used all the available” mercenaries” and their power/potential in all forms(diplomatic,political,financial,military-etc) in the world to crush Eritrea and Eritreans,why can’t Eritrea use few ” mercernaries” to survive or to exist?
      Moreover,if history was/has been the witness,it will be now and in the future.
      In fact,PIA was too late to side with Russia or even with the Devil.
      If I were in his place,I would have invited Putin or his predecessor, to bring in his ICBMS and Iskander Missiles and his Navy to Massawa and Aseb long time ago,for an obvious reason.
      Had Mu’ammer Kezaffi expedited his $5 billion worth military agreement with Russia including the Russian Navy to the Mediteranean Sea,not only Libya but the whole Africa could have remained peaceful—swallow the bitter truth but truth.
      Eritrea will prevail with or with out PIA/PFDJ.

      • Selam Hope,

        A small country’s external policy should be based on how to live in peace with its neighbors and the whole world at large. It does not have the luxury of playing around with big guys. The result of an out of context bravado is to be crushed in no time.

        It is a different thing to defend the sovereignty of one’s country against external enemies, big or small, and trying to influence world politics. That is why I am saying that Eritrea is playing with fire. Please, do not tell us again that you people can move a mountain, let alone influence world politics.

        Eritrea has the right to adore even the devil, but such Faustian contract with people like Putin is dangerous for Eritrea. What matters today for Eritrea and the Eritrean people is never to be used
        again by external forces for sinister purposes, but to be in peace with all, and work day and night to rescue the people from poverty.

        That is what Ethiopia is trying to do; i.e. to get out of poverty asap. You can call her the “beggar nation” or whatever you want to call her, it is your right, but if Ethiopia could becomes a lower-middle
        income nation in ten years time, that will be the greatest achievement ever for the country and its people.

        If you really want Eritrea to prevail, open the doors of freedom for your people, leave them to work and create, and tell them that as long as Eritrea wants to live in peace, there is nothing she should be afraid of, not even Ethiopia. Tell the people that they are not in need of any dictator to protect them or protect the sovereignty of their country, because they live in a world with laws, of course, if they too respect these laws.

  • Amde

    Perhaps I am wrong, but I am rather surprised this paragraph in particular has not drawn scrutiny: (I apologize if it has been discussed – been travelling)

    “Here is where the Civil War will begin. Within days, thousands of other ghosts (real ones this time) are stampeding from long-forgotten refugee camps in Sudan, the streets of Yemen and the whole Middle East (trained and armed to the teeth with company from Chechnya, Tunisia and every curse in the Arab Islamic world) ready for genocides. What we used to modestly call land-grabbers, occupiers and torturers will be Christened brand new and truly demonic trademarks. The whole Eritrean lowlands (about three-quarters of Eritrea) will be liberated and ethnically cleansed within weeks.”

    I understand the author’s intent is to awaken people to the possibility of civil war, but this particular paragraph is quite strange at least to me. He is talking about long-dispossessed people as much as three generations removed from the geographic space we are talking about, “coming back” by the thousands accompanied by ideologically motivated comrades (ideological because which Chechen has sentimental or ownership stake to lowland Eritrea) to “cleanse” it of some undesirable recent residents. Such an introduction of so many belligerents across a bordeline is perhaps better described as an Invasion. The ideological orientation describes it as something like as a Crusade/Jihad. This assemblage of protagonists is a strange kettle of fish, and “Civil War” does not quite cover the envisioned outcome.

    I would assume Ali Salim is a Muslim. If this paragraph had been written by a Christian, I can imagine the justifiably extreme offense it would have caused among Muslims. The “Ali Salim” brand and the “liberating the lowland” theme is a known commodity, but surprising after a supposedly Third Way shift.

    Anyway, my intent was not to try and understand Ali Salim, but just ask people that are familiar with the Eritrean Muslim refugee communities specifically in Sudan and other Middle Eastern countries:
    a) Would you expect a surge of refugee returnees in a post-Issayas period? (and how many would those be)
    b) How likely do you think (completely subjectively of course) would these refugees be motivated enough to be militarily engaged as part of the inter-regnum (a better term as we do not know the nature of the transition)?
    c) Is the land dispossession issue so deep that there would be a danger of gross violence over it?

    For the record, I am in agreement with what I think is the general consensus of the other Ethiopians, namely a) never say it can’t/won’t happen here, but b) “civil war” unlikely based on my subjective understanding of Eritrean community, and also, c) there is too much at stake for Ethiopia to see a collapse so it is more likely to support Issayas keep it together.

    amde

    • Serray

      Selam Amde,

      I also found that paragraph disturbing, I dealt with its overall message down there but I am still struggling how to handle his “What we used to modestly call land-grabbers, occupiers and torturers will be Christened brand new and truly demonic trademarks”. Calling us land-grabbers, occupiers and torturers is fine because there are more nasty names in store for us when terrorists come. Even worse, what the terrorists, roadside bombers and suicide bombers will do to our people, cleanse them out of three-quarters of our country, he calls it liberating the lowland.

      I am not here to answer your questions; I am here because your last sentences where you said if civil war ensued “there is too much at stake for Ethiopia to see a collapse so it is more likely to support Issayas keep it together” bothered me a lot. Tragically both you and Ali Salim are prescribing the disease as a cure. If eritrea collapsed, the reason it will collapse is because of isaias and somehow you two want to support the very sickness that brought eritrea to the abyss. What’s strange is, the reason he wants the pfdj to stick around is because of his fear of woyanes agenda of regime change and all along the feeling in your neck of the woods has been to prop isaias if his inhuman and brutal rule pushed eritreans to rise up and risk a civil war.

      Tell me Amde, then what? You government saved Isaias, what would be their plan after that, how would they put the Genie back into the box? Integrate demhit into the eritrean army? Because if civil war comes, it will be the rank and file soldier (slaves) against their human trafficking military officials with demhit most probably on the side of their sugar daddies. You see the dilemma here? Saving isaias means saving demhit unless woyanes plan is to wipeout demhit and replace them with the ethiopian army because no eritrean is going to volunteer to save isaias when the war is to shove him out power in the first place. And how would that work for ethiopia? I mean how would your people feel ethiopian army defending isaias against the eritrean people?

      Both you and Ali Salim approached the problem from a diametrically opposed directions but your “solutions” led to same unworkable mess. That is what happens when you prescribe the disease as a cure. There is a price to pay for playing games; the woyanes kept tens of thousands trained soldiers in concentration like camps while playing games with the opposition all along waiting for isaias to finish the job they started. But when muslims and middle eastern countries are mentioned, it is back to action propping the dictator who has outlived his usefulness. My advice to your leaders is, you had 15 years to positively influence the direction eritrea was heading; you spent it playing games. When and if civil war started, you better sit tight or be on the side of the eritrean people.

      • Amde

        Hi Serray,

        I don’t recall offering any solutions. Please consider what I wrote as prognostication NOT as prescription.

        The phrase “civil war” is being used here very carelessly. I think of “civil war” as the EPRDF vs Derg variety, with known entities fighting for known objectives (power/territory what have you) and either party able to take over the establishment of law and order after military victory. I think of “collapse” as the breakdown in the capability of any organized institution to establish and maintain law and order. This is more of the Somalia scenario.

        My understanding is that EPRDF has been trying to put together a coalition that can more or less take over from PFDJ, and I do not believe they have been successful. That is one of the reasons where I don’t see a “civil war” as likely.

        The other issue is that of collapse. The cost to Ethiopia of this is high (and I will add, to common people living in Eritrea), and that is what I am saying “if worse comes to worst” Ethiopian government might choose to sustain the order as it exists than see a collapse. I hope this is sufficient clarification.

        The problem boils down to “plausible alternatives” the EPRDF can support. I think they have tried to get many volunteers from among the young military trained refugees to join opposition groups, but they have not been as successful.

        I do not see at all any possibility that EPRDF will send soldiers to Eritrea to fight on Isayas’ behalf. That is the most preposterous of outcomes. To my mind, there is a much higher possibility of Ethiopian soldiers fighting on behalf of Eritrean opposition if we get to that point. To be honest with you, from my discussions with many Ethiopians I know, practically nobody has any appetite to send soldiers to Eritrea to die on any party’s behalf. The government may have a different calculation, but I doubt if it is any different.

        amde

    • Mahmud Saleh

      Salam Amde: I was torn apart from the get go about this article. In part, I thought of it as a warning or a teaching initiative and did not automatically throw it away; any talk of peaceful solution is welcome; any talk of reconcialiation is encouraged. Then you have the paragraph you mentioned and other examples of barbarity blamed to civil wars with out an effort on the part of the author to:
      a/ to show his readers how our current situation could head (brew) towards those scenarios
      b/ What should his readers do in order to avoid them while at the same time opposing injustice
      In his prvious installment, Ali talks about the 3rd way, meaning being part of the good part of the government, strengthening it; he is telling us that change that comes through strengthening the “stick” meaning change should come as a result of the strength of the state not as a result of its weakness. I would agree with him in an ideal political climate; however, given the nature of the ruling group, knowing that there is no maneuvering and wiggling room, how that third way is going to work, Ali has yet to elaborate on it. People have every right to resist injustice and demand for an accountable national political institution, they have also a responsibility to not instigate chaos and bloodshed; the question is how do you walk this fine line? I would like to read your in put and Ali’s alike. I agree with your comment.

      • ALI-S

        Selam Mahmud,

        Your comments were very mature in that unlike many of the argumentative comments that we make, it represented the arguments you are targeting very honestly. Thank you.

        I read Amde’s comment but he states that his intent want not to seek clarification from me and his talk was in search of factual numbers and did not feel prudent to engage. However, since you have invited me:

        First on Amde’s comment. The way he put his comment and so is the comments of many others, the article was about Eritrea and its prospects. But the logic behind the scenario is nothing unique to Eritrea. The general rule is that in any country on this planet where the government collapses for any reason, an identical scenario with different actors cannot be evaded. I did not have other countries in mind by what applies to Eritrea necessarily applies to similarly situated examples and same factors contribute to the scope, duration and intensity of the horror:

        First:

        The degree to which democracy has surpassed the exclusive institutional character and transformed into spontaneous cultural practice may predict the extent to which a collapsed state may come back into action again. How many such countries do you know of in this world? I know none.

        Imagine government collapsing in the US and you have the NRA, KKK, Angels and all street gangs maintaining order and negotiating peace. For anyone to hope that the Conservative Part and the Democratic Party would come to negotiate the comeback of government, he/she must assume against the state losing monopoly of power.

        There are of course those who say that with our traditional (some would say primitive) Adi, Bahli and religious institutions intact we may actually be in a better position than the US. This may be true at the Adi and community level but I doubt we would be able to assume those at a national level. In fact they actually resist to comeback to normal by maintaining the integrity of the “demons”.

        Second:

        In Eritrea we might actually have been blessed with the small population and less diversity that the immediate neighbours. Forget about Eritrea and imagine a collapse in Ethiopia or in Sudan or even in little Djibouti. I know smallness did not save Rwanda and size might have played a moderating role in Ethiopia but horrors are always possible.

        Mahmud Basha (this is where we need the tegadalai person) you might have more info that many and also any Amiches and Ethiopians here:

        Can you tell us a little bit about any scary situations that might have taken place in Addis when Mengistu’s government collapsed? Facts please. Was there any looting? Were there any patterns in the mode of looting and mob order?

        Now take the EPRDF (especially Weyane) and EPLF (if there were any) out of the equation so that we would have an idea of the destructive capacity of mob order IN THE ABSENCE OF AN ALTERNATIVE THAT IS WELL DEVELOPED AND READY TO PICK THE DIFFERENCE. In the case of 1991 Ethiopia and Eritrea, there was never a collapse of the state but a transfer of power from one government to two governments.

        Third:

        Where you have a problem with the scenario Basha, I think, is not with whether the scenario in the article may or may not happen. Your difficulty the way I read you is with whether the state in Eritrea may or may not collapse. If you accept the possibility of state collapse, then you would not have a problem with confirming the scenario.

        So let us describe what we mean by state collapse and see where we agree on a description that is more probable than others. Wikipedia (because it is readily accessible):

        “According to the political theories of Max Weber, a state could be said to “succeed” if it maintains a monopoly on the legitimate use of physical force within its borders. When this is broken (e.g., through the dominant presence of warlords, paramilitary groups, or terrorism), the very existence of the state becomes dubious, and the state becomes a failed state.”

        Even under the extreme case of state failure, two conditions must still hold: (a) the original central government still exists and continues to claim to be the only legitimate authority even if it controls only a single apartment in a dirt road; (b) a large part of the population still recognize the apartment-based five-man government as the only legitimate authority. Normally the two do not go together. Remember there were some EDU guys who claimed they were royalists in Tigray? More info please.

        In a collapsed state (with a twist) there is no specific party that monopolizes or claims exclusive legitimacy. Any one with a gun is legitimate.

        Fourth:

        Why do governments own armies and armed law enforcement in the first place? If without all the expenditure, it would be possible to evade chaos, why do they do it?

  • haileTG

    Hello Serray,

    Your designation of PFDJ diplomacy as that of “A whore’s diplomacy” has I think been vindicated (although I would have gone for a biblical wording as “Delilah’s Diplomacy” 🙂 )

    “MFA expresses its strong protest to Eritrean side over not approved by Ukraine visit on June 5-6, 2014 of Minister for Foreign Affairs of the State of Eritrea O.Mohammed to the temporarily occupied by the Russian Federation the Autonomous Republic of Crim.”

    Read more: http://mfa.gov.ua/en/press-center/comments/1610-ministerstvo-zakordonnih-sprav-ukrajini-vislovlyuje-rishuchij-protest-jeritrejsykij-storoni-u-zvjazku-z-neuzgodzhenim-z-ukrajinoju-vidvidannyam-5-6-chervnya-cr-ministrom-zakordonnih-sprav-derzhavi-jeritreja-omohammedom-timchasovo-okupovanoji-rosijsykoju-f

    Do you remember when they made so much fuss about J. Frazier visiting Badem in order to help the resolution of the border conflict? And look at their whorish (oops Delilah’s diplo) diplomatic here!!!

    • Serray

      Selamat Haile,

      Yes, I remember them calling Frazier names that more correctly describes them. The sad thing about the visit is it serves no higher purpose than to show they are Putin’s bitches. They are so unprincipled, they forget the implication of the visit. Russia is claiming Crimea, a Russian speaking part of Ukraine, because it was taken from it by the USSR and given to Ukraine. In their whorish diplomacy, they forget the first rule when you live in a glasshouse, don’t throw stones.

      Selamat Sal,

      You asked me, “If we encourage PFDJ to change its head and if we give them an exit strategy to live in peace, do you still think a civil war is likely?” .

      Sal, as long as the exit strategy doesn’t include the party remaining in power owning the nation or keeping its ill begotten wealth, a civil war can be avoided. But this is not something anybody can offer them, it is something they have to choose to do themselves before it is too late. Soon people will start to smell blood and since the regime has absolutely no room to consolidate more power or anything to withhold from people, its nature will ultimately lead it civil war.

  • Tesfabirhan WR

    Dear Awatistas and Ali-S,

    is that what you are looking for?

    Didier Drogba and the Ivorian civil war

    http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/footballrebels/2013/03/201336105035488821.html

    If so, kindly avoid hallucinating and be straight.

    • Thomas

      I really admire your response on TN. Their credibility has long gone. We need to watch the puppets very carefully. I remember when they were alleging the G15 the same way. They use CIA & Weyane to fool those who are very naive, but the are worn-out. We lost lives because we were fooled. They need to know we are more matured than they are now.

      • Tesfabirhan WR

        Dear Thomas

        Thank you for your encouragement. TN did dirty publication. The conspiracy theory is only relevant to the PFDJ themselves if it exist.

        Hawka
        tes

        • Thomas

          Tesfabirhan – I wrote some challenging statements to. However, since I criticized their website, they did not publish comments, meaning they deleted it. They say TN is for everyone, but he you go it is for everyone who supports the government. Trust me, they are very sensitive to any criticism against their good for nothing website.

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Ustaz Younis Hossein,

    Let me give you some scenario if what Burton had said have some relevance to our reality.

    As Burton (2009) puts it:
    “If inherent aggressiveness is the problem, then conflicts just have to be lived with, while controlled as much as possible by police and deterrent strategies. Conflict resolution, that is, getting to the source of the problem, becomes irrelevant; knowing the source and cannot be altered.” This reflects the Hobbessian realism and pictures mankind in a state of nature as having general cantankerous or aggressive inclination. In other words,human impulse to sin, to aggress, or to dominate cannot be stamped out, it requires control or balancing by countervailing force. How do you see this ustaz.

    Amanuel Hidrat

    • ALI-S

      Selam Emma,

      I just saw this comment sorry for the delay.

      I think I agree with the statement. We may define “inherent aggressiveness” not natural (built in the blood) kind but aggressiveness as a rational choice built on strategies in competitive material interest. I think what we mean by “conflict resolution” differs with the differences in the subject of conflict.

      In politics, conflict resolution should not be understood as undoing the conflict that has already taken place. If people have died in a conflict, resolution does not imply that they would wake up from the dead. If the conflict was about those dead men (who died because of injustice done to them), then speaking about resolving the conflict would be absurd. Therefore, I think negotiation on conflict resolution is about a deal between opportunist survivors who seek to benefit from a price paid by the dead. We have the same idea applied to insurance policies. You seek insurance so that your family will benefit from your death.

      What I mean is that, in spite of the rhetorics that we do about rising to avenge victims and resolve their causes, in reality we are nothing but opportunists who are trying to capitalize on the price they have paid for their own sake but they are not around any more to claim rewards. I have never read the source you quoted and I don’t know if I am taking it out of context. The statement you made is very brilliant I think because it might motivate us to negotiate in the open clearly stating our own self-interest in finding solutions not for the sake of those who died but for our own sake.

      I am not a big fan of the belief that men are born evil. If we take it as true, then resolution would be dead. Conflict resolution can only be justified by accepting the assumption that humans have rational negotiable motivations for the way they act. I am however a big fan of the need for a strong stick to maintain order. So far there has never been an alternative. The most important source of the strength of the stick is justice (applying it for good rationally justifiable reasons) and fairness (applying it without discrimination).

      • Yodita

        Dear Mr. Ali S.

        In your following sentence, you state truth that can gather a 100% consensus from any angle “The most important source of the strength of the stick is justice
        (applying it for good rationally justifiable reasons) and fairness
        (applying it without discrimination).”

        My dilemma is, how is it a person who believes in such a noble and universally applicable rule of law, trying to convince that continuity of HGDEF (who lacks completely in justice and fairness) is indispensable at this point in time of the country?? Why do I fail to capture a shred of sincerety and transparency in your posts and find them rather opaque?

        If as you claim, justice and fairness are THE MOST IMPORTANT SOURCE OF STRENGTH, how could you make such a drastic U-TURN towards those who are outstanding in their lack of justice and fairness while you were on your way searching for these sacred values?

        Concluding, you claim “I am however a big fan of the need for a strong stick to maintain order.” I hope the strong stick has no resemblance to HGDEF’s excesses of cruelty of the last decade. If not so, you not only wish for them to continue in power in order to avoid a potential civil war but also because there is affinity in their use of a mighty strong stick that is bringing Eritrea to its knees.

        • ALI-S

          Selam Yodita,

          The two sentences you quoted were in a single paragraph i.e. being a fan of strong stick and defining strength of the stick. A paragraph usually presents a single idea especially in this context. No idea why you took them apart probably to fit what you think I must be saying.

          To get the “shred of sincerity” that you requested start from answering one question:

          (1) Are you satisfied with the achievements of the opposition so far? That is:

          Assume that all Eritreans except a couple hundreds of PFDJ & government bureaucracy, all joined whatever activity the opposition is doing. Would we have the political change that you have in mind?

          The answer here is no because all Eritreans coming together AGAINST PFDJ can definitely break the stick of government. We know the opposition is fighting against PFDJ and by the damage they have done so far we can guess that if more people join in they will defeat and bring its collapse.

          However, we do not know what they are fighting FOR. Don’t rush, here is what I mean:

          We are all mad with what the PFDJ has done to us and we speak of all the grievances. We know we are well justified in concluding that the strength of the existing stick does not conform to our two sources. These grievances and the way we are sincerely framing them give all Eritreans at the grassroots the sense of entitlement to reclaim our freedom, dignity and a bite of the cake. In other words it fulfills the first condition of the civil war described in the article.

          For the second condition of “leaving the carrot unattended” to be evaded, we must as quickly as possible (if you agree things a rushing away) provide the alternative state institution that would hold some kind of stick even if it is imperfect for starters.

          I know there have been a lot of efforts to come up with an opposition structure throughout post independence Eritrea. If you are with me on this, we haven’t been very successful and I am not sure if you think we may be able to do it if we keep trying. My personal assessment is that the collapse will happen way before the alternative is ready. For your information there has never been (in the current examples in the article) an alternative that made it before the collapse. Who knows Eritrea may be a special case as we have our peculiarities unlike savages in other countries.

          My suggestion Yodita the great is the following:

          (1) Building activism exclusively on grievances and either neglecting or failing to build the alternative institution is a dangerous game. If the state does collapse before the alternative matures, the result is what I referred to as demonic. The recommendation here is that do not even think of causing or weakening government before an serious alternative does emerge. The consequences can be very scary.

          (2) I really believe that the source of strength of the stick are justice and fairness. This in my opinion is not a normative statement of the form “the source of strength ought to be” but a positive statement of the form “the source of strength actually is”. The stick of any government is always strong against external threats depending on the logistics of material and manpower resources. Justice and fairness however make up the sticks immune system against viruses that attack the anatomy of the state. The immune system of a stick that is not built on justice and fairness is extremely weak. These two sources can only be violated by paper tigers not real ones.

          (3) The PFDJ through the years reinforced by dumb politics by the opposition, has effectively succeeded in banning the political opposition from having any say on government policy and politics. In spite of a dead immune system and hence a paper tiger, the PFDJ has managed to shield itself from viral attacks.

          (4) I am a strong believer that the moment we manage to cross the red lines that we have set for ourselves and reclaim our position as part of whatever is going on in Eritrea by accepting to expose ourselves to the same exploitation and abuse that all Eritreans are enduring, we have taken our place for effective work on the immune system.

          (5) We all agree that there is one brand of opposition in the diaspora and there is another brand of opposition inside Eritrea (including PFDJ diaspora). The subject of opposition is identical but the work environment in both cases is different.

          Hence, there are two choice here for this broad opposition to unite. The first: we should wait the Eritrea based opposition to move to our space. This is being done by campaigns for recruitment in refugee camps and calls on the Eritrean army to act in materializing change the way we see it. The second is for us to move to their space and adopt their work environment and achieve change the way they would see it.

          The reason I am favouring the second is because we would then have a much stronger chance of mobilizing grievance hand in hand with reclaiming the alternative or reformation of the stick.

          In the first our task includes: (a) building the alternative stick, (b) making sure it draws its strength from justice and fairness.

          In the second our task includes: (a) nothing; (b) making sure to demand and pressure for more and more justice and fairness.

          Excuse if you feel and unintended argumentation or negative attitudes in the comments. I admire your brilliant perspectives and am seriously interested to hear the feedback.

  • Hope

    kibur Wendim Geremew,
    “በረኸት ኣምላኽ፥
    ካብ ናይ ዝሓለፈ ተበጊስና ክንርአዮ እንክለና፤ ከነመስግነሉ ዝግባኣና ብዙሕ በረኸት ኣምላኽ ከምዝተቐበልና ክንዝክር ግቡእ እዩ። ንሃገርና ክንርእይ እንክሎና፤ መሊኡ ዝፈስስ ባህርያዊ ሃብቲ እኳ እንተዘይብላ፤ ኣብ ካልእ ዓለም ንዘጋጥም ገሊኡ ባህርያዊ ሓደጋታት እንተርኢኻስ፤ ብህዱእን ብሰላምዊን ኩነታት ኣየርን ንብረትን ስለዝባረኸና፤ ፈሪሀ እግዚኣብሄር ዝሓደሮ ህዝቢ ስለዝሃበና፤ ብዓሌትን ብወገንን ሃይማኖትን ከይተጠማመተ ዝነባበር፤ ነቲ ብዝሓትን ዓይንትን ከም በረኸት ጠሚቱ ዝከባበር፤ ነቲ ብሩህ መጻኢኡ ብህድ ኣትን ርግ ኣትን ዘማዕዱ ኣብ ሰላም ዝኣምንን ህዝቢ ስለዝገበረና ከነምስግኖ ይግብእ።”
    The Catholic Bisgops of Eritrea.
    This a “coded’ direct mesage fromGod—so do NOT try tofightagainst God.
    Tigrigna kal-ghebah,ask for help.

  • Ermias

    An excerpt for “ሓውኻ ኣበይ ኣሎ”

    በረኸት ኣምላኽ፥

    ካብ ናይ ዝሓለፈ ተበጊስና ክንርአዮ እንክለና፤ ከነመስግነሉ ዝግባኣና ብዙሕ በረኸት ኣምላኽ ከምዝተቐበልና ክንዝክር ግቡእ እዩ። ንሃገርና ክንርእይ እንክሎና፤ መሊኡ ዝፈስስ ባህርያዊ ሃብቲ እኳ እንተዘይብላ፤ ኣብ ካልእ ዓለም ንዘጋጥም ገሊኡ ባህርያዊ ሓደጋታት እንተርኢኻስ፤ ብህዱእን ብሰላምዊን ኩነታት ኣየርን ንብረትን ስለዝባረኸና፤ ፈሪሀ እግዚኣብሄር ዝሓደሮ ህዝቢ ስለዝሃበና፤ ብዓሌትን ብወገንን ሃይማኖትን ከይተጠማመተ ዝነባበር፤ ነቲ ብዝሓትን ዓይንትን ከም በረኸት ጠሚቱ ዝከባበር፤ ነቲ ብሩህ መጻኢኡ ብህድ ኣትን ርግ ኣትን ዘማዕዱ ኣብ ሰላም ዝኣምንን ህዝቢ ስለዝገበረና ከነምስግኖ ይግብእ።

    This is what gives me hope that the predicted and speculated civil war will not materialize. A small bloodshed for change (which is unavoidable) is not the same us an all out ‘kill everything’ chaos.

  • Hope(delete Hopeful for good)

    FYI:
    Please,let us have some time out about the Civil War Lecture and enjoy the other side of Eritrea.
    Warning: To the Ethiopians(some of them).
    South Boulder claimed that the Eritrean Culluli Potash Deposit will have more than 200 yrs of life time.Initially ,it was reported to be only 50-100yrs,worth of $150 Billion but now,it seems that it has doubled to an Astrnomical Figure of dollars….A curse or Tsegga?
    Leave aside the Civil War Saga and have your say about Eritrea’s untappped potential and its positive and negative implications.
    It will start production soon in a yr and half for the hungry Asian Market.
    Now Russia is pointing its fingers at it???
    Leaving aside the positive economic role for Eritrea,the role it might play for prolonging the Rule of PIA sounds to be SOUND!!!
    Moderator/Editor:I am claiming back my orginal nick,Hope, after I have succeeded in—–)

    • Hope

      Addendum:
      A recent Report by some kind of an Intelligence Journal of Something claimed that the Natural Gas Potential of Eritrea is at least three X that of Quatar and unbelievably,the Petrolium Gross Deposit Estimate, and only in N Massawa area,is/was reported to exceed that of Saudi Arabia(more than 250 Billion Barells).
      PIA and the Chinese sealed this as a classified secret.the Norwegian leaked some of the info after they were kicked out from that Contract.
      Can someone in the field comment on this Report,please?
      The “Theoretical” Potential of the “Hypothetical” Red Sea/Dankalia Depression Natural Dam.is being speculated that it can produce cheap and clean Energy for the whole Continent of Africa and the Middle East.
      As some of you know this,I am NOT dreaming.
      -70% of the eritrean Land is covereed with precious metals and minerals–Gold,Zinc,Silver,Copper,Marble,Granite and even some special and rare minerals(forgot the names).
      As some of you know this,I am NOT dreaming.
      I am digging out what my source told me—about.

      • haileTG

        ah…as the Amharic saying goes ” Berie hoy Berie hoy…saru’n ayeh ena Gedelu satay” 🙂

        • Hope

          “Sile ghedel bicha sayhon,sile sarum—maseb aykefam”.
          The purpose of preaching and telling me ONLY about the negative aspect Eritrea is telling me something fishy—” the failed cheap propaganda of Cyber-Psyhological Warfare.”—dead with the already dead and with the By gones!!!..
          Get it bro….there is huge light coming out at the end of the dark TUNNEL.
          “በረኸት ኣምላኽ፥
          ካብ ናይ ዝሓለፈ ተበጊስና ክንርአዮ እንክለና፤ ከነመስግነሉ ዝግባኣና ብዙሕ በረኸት ኣምላኽ ከምዝተቐበልና ክንዝክር ግቡእ እዩ። ንሃገርና ክንርእይ እንክሎና፤ መሊኡ ዝፈስስ ባህርያዊ ሃብቲ እኳ እንተዘይብላ፤ ኣብ ካልእ ዓለም ንዘጋጥም ገሊኡ ባህርያዊ ሓደጋታት እንተርኢኻስ፤ ብህዱእን ብሰላምዊን ኩነታት ኣየርን ንብረትን ስለዝባረኸና፤ ፈሪሀ እግዚኣብሄር ዝሓደሮ ህዝቢ ስለዝሃበና፤ ብዓሌትን ብወገንን ሃይማኖትን ከይተጠማመተ ዝነባበር፤ ነቲ ብዝሓትን ዓይንትን ከም በረኸት ጠሚቱ ዝከባበር፤ ነቲ ብሩህ መጻኢኡ ብህድ ኣትን ርግ ኣትን ዘማዕዱ ኣብ ሰላም ዝኣምንን ህዝቢ ስለዝገበረና ከነምስግኖ ይግብእ።”
          Courtesy of”Tthe Easter Message of the Catholic Bishops of Eritrea”–via Ermias the “Hopeful”!!

          • Hope

            AMEN!
            And…PRAISE the LORD of the lords…Seitan kebdu Yinefah…
            Simu wetru Yibarekh…hijin,Ni wetrun Ni zele’alemin!

          • haileTG

            Dear Hope, the bishops bemoaned a “desolate nation”. Here is the meaning of desolate for your reflection and I hope that you see the truth at the end of the long and dark PFDJ tunnel:

            Desolate

            – (of a place) deserted of people and in a state of bleak and dismal emptiness.

            – deprived or destitute of inhabitants; deserted

            – having the feeling of being abandoned by friends or by hope

            – joyless, disconsolate, and sorrowful through or as if through separation from a loved one showing the effects of abandonment and neglect

            – devoid of warmth, comfort, or hope : gloomy

            – cause extensive destruction or ruin utterly

  • saay7

    Selamat Ali The Provateur:)

    Abu Ulwa, kudos for not using coded word like “armed struggle” for of “civil war” Monsieur Provocateur:) Your article has everything except for one: a definition of civil war. I think if you had done that some of the over-reaction you are getting might have been subdued. Now here are some of my points, in no specific order, followed by my conclusion (which is where I pull a YG and quote myself.)

    1. I attended a video conference given by Jose Ramos Horta, Timor-Lasta’s former president and currently the UN Secretary General’s representative to mediate the Guinea-Bisau civil war. (Please refuse to be impressed: my attendance at this conference is atypical; it just happened.) My takeaway message from his message was that (a) it is not ethnic conflict but economic and the religious leaders–Roman Catholic Bishops and Imams–are playing a very positive role and (b) it takes forever to resolve a civil war.

    2. If you read the Eritrean Bishops* letter in its entirety, it begins by giving thanks to the Lord that Eritrea is a peaceful country and its people are law-abiding and God-fearing and because of the long-presence of Islam and Christianity in Eritrea, there is no religious tension among the people.

    3. (Ermias, you might want to skip this part): If you look at the Failed State Index ranking, all of African states are extremely fragile and on the verge of being failed states. This is something that the late Ethiopian Prime Minister acknowledged in one of his interviews that all African states, including South Africa, have not eliminated the danger of being a failed state. In the list, Eritrea is sandwiched between Liberia and Myanmar so it is on red-alert state. Of the factors used to index a state, please refer to which ones Isaiasism is contributing, which ones the opposition is contributing to and which ones are just generic African problems. http://ffp.statesindex.org/rankings

    4. A civil war is defined as a conflict between organized groups and the State, one where there are at least 1,000 casualties per year. (It is because of this that Ethiopia and Eritrea can say they don’t have a civil war; otherwise, if it is an armed group fighting government forces, the two countries have been in a state of civil war since 1991.) The question is: is civil war in Eritrea likely?

    Here’s what I wrote on the subject a few years back. It is a long piece, of an even longer article, which itself is part of a 3-part series. If you want the bottom line, it is in the last paragraph: The only danger to Eritrean civil war is from organizations that do not have national but regional ambitions. If Harbena Weyanai disarms DMLEK and RSADO, and if we in the Diaspora pledged to give a sum total of $0.00 to any organization (now or future) whose mission includes civil war, then Eritrea’s chances of civil war go down to next to zero because nobody is going to fight for anybody or any cause, a fact that Isaiasists know well and have exploited.

    ++++++++++++++++

    What we euphemistically call an “armed struggle” is what the world would call a civil war. The World Bank commissioned a study in 1999 about what sustains civil wars. The author, Paul Collier, who presented his paper entitled Doing Well Out Of War” makes many observations, some of which are entirely predictable (the direct co-relation between likelihood of war and the demography—average age and education level of the population specifically) and some that are entirely counter-intuitive. These are the ones I will focus on:

    “A society which is fully democratic is safer than one which is only partially democratic. However, severe political repression yields a lower risk of conflict than partial democracy.”

    “…ethnic and religious fractionalization significantly reduces the risk of conflict. Fractionalized societies are safer than homogeneous societies. For example, a highly fractionalized society such as Uganda would be about
    40% safer than a homogeneous society, controlling for other characteristics.”

    But why is this so? Because, explains the author, in highly fractionalized societies:

    “it is much harder to mobilize large numbers of people than in homogeneous societies. It may only be possible to mobilize the people within a particular ethnic-cum-religious group, but if this is only a small part of the national population, the
    prospects of victory are poor and so the prospect of assuaging grievance are poor.”

    The author says that grievance-based war doesn’t go far because of what the social scientists call the “free rider problem”, “the coordination problem” and the “time-consistency problem.” I am sure you have heard of the “free rider problem” which istaught in Econ 101 as a case of a citizen not paying his share or getting more than his share. The only ones who are not familiar with this well-established fact are some of our friends at Asmarino who have been shocked (shocked, I tell ya!) that the Fronts conscripted Eritreans during the Revolutionary War. But what is the “co-ordination problem” and the “time consistency problem”? I will quote the author at length because I can’t put it more succinctly or clearly:

    “Justice, revenge, and relief from grievance are `public goods’ and so are subject to the problem of free-riding. If I am consumed with grievance against the government, I may well prefer to rebel than to continue to suffer its continuation.
    However, whether the government gets overthrown does not depend upon whether I personally join the rebellion. Individually, my preferred choice might be that others fight the rebellion, while I benefit from the justice which their rebellion achieves. This standard free-rider problem will often be enough to prevent the possibility of grievance motivated rebellions. However, it is compounded by two other problems. In order for a rebellion to achieve justice it probably needs to achieve military victory. For this it needs to be large. Small rebellions face all the costs and risks of punishment without much prospect of achieving justice. Hence, grievance-motivated potential rebels will be much more willing to join large rebellions than small ones. Obviously, however, rebellions have to start small before they can become large. It is quite possible that many people would be willing to join a large rebellion but that nevertheless it does not occur, because only few people are
    willing to join a small rebellion and so it does not scale up. Social scientists think of this as a coordination problem. The final problem is that rebels have to fight before they achieve justice. The rebel leader may promise to assuage grievances, but once he has won he may have an incentive to behave much like the current government.More generally, the rebel leader has a much stronger incentive to promise things than he has subsequently to deliver them. Because potential recruits can recognize this problem they may not be able to trust the rebel leader and so may decide not to join the rebellion even
    though it promises relief from grievances. Social scientists term such a phenomenon a time-consistency problem.”

    Now, let’s see what we have. Eritrea is a fractionalized society; it has, compared to the 1960s, a relatively more educated sector; it has an extremely repressive government. It has a population that knows first hand what the “free-rider” problem
    is—everybody feels they have paid their dues and it is somebody else’s turn to pay. It has small, tiny, rebellion groups led by people that the average Eritrean suspects that they will behave no better than the current government. In short, all the clues suggest that a grievance based, nationwide armed struggle is extremely unlikely to succeed.

    Paradoxically, for precisely the same reasons that a “grievance based” armed struggle is hard to wage in a
    heterogeneous society ruled by a repressive government, an “economy-motivated” struggle is easier to conduct. By
    “economy-motivated” I mean, for example, one based on a narrower goal of controlling resources in a limited geographic area. Here, all the free-rider, co-ordination and time-consistency problems are gone. This is because those who wage the campaign are not being asked to defer the reward (there is no twgaHmo here): the combatants get paid from the
    resources they control, which means there is no time-coordination problem, either: they prefer to have a small rebellion, to divide the resources among fewer people; and there is no time consistency problem: they have no expectation on whether the rebel leader will be democratic or not because the struggle and the reward is all about HERE AND NOW. An extreme example of this would be the Somali pirates.

    Now think: are there armed Eritrean groups whose focus is more concentrated on a specific ethnic group in a specific geographic area rather than the entirety of Eritrea? Is the trend towards more or less? Two perspectives I did not get are from theleadership of the Democratic Movement for the Liberation of the Eritrean Kunama (DMLEK) and the Red Sea Afar Democratic Organization (RSADO)—but it is not for lack of trying. Will they, at some point define their goal as secession–not just self-determination up to secession–and focus only on controlling their land and resources? My speculation is that they will—particularly as the rest of Eritrea shows an amazing level of indifference to their suffering. Here is your first clue: a news piece from October 2010 from somebody claiming to represent RSADO.

    To summarize, an armed struggle focused on nationalistic goals relying on nation-wide enlistment of recruits is very unlikely to succeed in Eritrea for all the reasons stated above. Conversely, an armed struggle focused on narrower goals relying on smaller base with far less ambitious goals has a relatively higher probably of success. And given that those who define their goals as nationalist are very dismissive of those who define their focus as ethnic or regional, the restraint of the latter to hold on to Eritrea is likely to snap and for their secessionist declarations to be bolder.

    Source: http://awate.com/isaias-afwerki-and-the-eritrean-people-part-3-of-3/

    saay

    * hailat, I think your information on Isaias’s treatment of Eritrean Catholic church is not complete. Of all the churches and mosques, I think that the Catholic Church had the most property expropriated by Isaias regime. The real question is not why did the Catholic Church refuse to disclose the names of its priests to the regime; it is: why did the other religious institutions so readily concede to the request? I think the Tewahdo Church’s fought back until the regime conducted a coup; I don’t know why the Lutherans did but, if it is similar to why the Muslim Mufti did, i think it is because the church/mosque hierarchy has absolutely no leader-follower relationship with its flock.

    • haileTG

      Hey saay, long time no see (I thought z’Ketetka 😉

      Indeed you are most likely right about loss of property. There might even be more that we haven’t still heard. BTW what I was comparing it with was the human suffering that was meted out on other religions and the largely absent nature of it for the Catholic church. The Eritrea I know is where people would literally sign their life away for resisting HGDEF. wed ali teKariju, wed solomon , drue….Abdela Jabir, the patriarch of EOC, Singer Helen is now disabled….I was more of looking at it in that direction. HGDEF is sadistic and cruel and to question is if it had “benefited from human trafficking and declare that its independence is invisible” from the inside the belly of the beast and be spared of human suffering is an exception. The rest of your analysis I agree with, including the civil war threshold….great 😉

      Cheers

    • Ermias

      Thank you SAAY. That extensive post answers a lot of questions and I think your analysis supports some of the general statements I made.

      I tried to define my idea of a civil war because a google search gave me nothing.

      “To me a civil war is one in which citizens of the same nation are at a protracted fighting against each other with thousands of casualties and the effects of which are immensely difficult to overcome in the aftermath.”

      I think this is also what Ali-S and Hayat Adem have in mind because obviously they don’t see what’s happening as civil war.

      Per the above definition, I still hold that the ingredients are not there for an all out ‘kill everything’ style civil war.

      One question for you though: does a failed state necessarily lead civil war? Or even more fundamentally, which one of those comes first?

      • saay7

        Ermi and all ዝምልከቶም ኣካላት:

        Ermi, excellent questions. Max Webber one of the inventors of sociology (the other being Karl Marx) says that a definition of a State (which is to say a passing grade to achieve Statehood) is that it must have total monopoly over violence. From this, it is inferred that if the State (the government) is not the only entity that can administer violence, then it must mean it is failing.

        “Failed State” is a political term: if a country is declared one, then, the International Community (UN) is obligated to shoulder certain responsibilities and because it doesn’t want to, it refuses to call a failed state a Failed State. It only does that when there is a Civil War. Conversely, those who want the UN to intervene are prematurely declaring one which is not a failed state a Failed State (as the International Crisis Group wrote of Eritrea a few years ago.)

        More chicken and egg: external intervention is one of the input factors for Failed State Index and the solution to reversing Failed State is…. external intervention. As Yoda might say, “mind blown, it is.”

        I admire your “It Can’t Happen Here” attitude about civil war in Eritrea. Ah, to be young and optimistic:) Coincidentally, “It Can’t Happen Here” is a book by Sinclair Lewis about dictatorship in America. The Guttenberg Project has free ebooks and wouldn’t you know, they have “It Can’t Happen Here”. Allow me to remind you that people are primates and the only reason we don’t throw faeces is because we discovered religion.

        http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks03/0301001h.html

        Haile the Gr8:

        Glad you returned to your heart (ናብ ልብኻ ተመሊስካ 🙂 What the Catholic bishops have done is, among many of their accomplishments in this remarkable paper, to have an extremely sophisticated and balanced analysis of the push-pull factors that contributed to the massive exodus of Eritrean youth. A mere mention of how the floodgates opening in the West contributed to this got me chastised and a heap of ridicule by our friend Eyobai; and a question/statement by Nitricc that the Eritrean youth should stay and fight back (what the bishops are saying politely) got him branded as an insensitive lout. I am glad to see the cool and collected Haile the gr8:) Welcome back.

        Serray:

        Excellent points, all. Before his arrest, Petros Solomon gave one interview to AFP. He called for a “new generation of leaders” in Eritrea because the PFDJ is “a fighting, secretive, and rigid organization.” Petros Solomon was a member of PFDJ’s leadership. My point is that nearly all of PFDJ-Isaias (PFDJ II) believes this to be the case. So who are the youth going to fight? If we encourage PFDJ to change its head and if we give them an exit strategy to live in peace, do you still think a civil war is likely?

        I think the religious influence on Eritreans is still strong. Even EPLF-raised Eritrean youth sprinkle their conversation with recognition of a higher power. But religion is not enough: Ethiopia is as religious as Eritreans, and they had a century-long civil war (except that they use a nice euphemism for it and call it “zemene mesafnt” just like the Irish call their civil war “The Troubles”)

        Ali:

        You didn’t understand the question I posed to you and to Semere Tesfai and it is probably my fault; I phrased it badly. I was referencing the Failed State Index and the 12 factors that are used to build the index on how likely it is that a State will fail

        1. Demographic Pressures
        2. Refugees and IDPs
        3. Group Grievance
        4. Human Flight
        5. Uneven Development
        6. Poverty and Economic Decline
        7. Legitimacy of the State
        8. Public Services
        9. Human Rights
        10. Security Apparatus
        11. Factionalized Elites
        12. External Intervention

        In explaining your position, Semere Tesfai used one of the dozen above (group grievance) as THE driver of civil war and you wholeheartedly agreed with him. Now you are saying it is all the government’s fault. Which one is it? If it is the former, it doesn’t square up with what the data shows. If it is the latter, then it doesn’t explain why your and Semere’s focus is (on this subject as all other subjects) never a call on the Isaias regime to shape up. Is that because you don’t think it will listen? Is it a call on the people to engage it? Is it a call to oppose it differently? no comprende:)

        saay

        • Eyob Medhane

          Sal,

          Two points. 1) We don’t believe Ethiopia was formed at the time you seem to belive. We have a different narrative of “Zemene mesafint” Than You. We believe that Zemene Mesafint was a time, when the already existed state weakened and going through rough time. As other of our challenges. (Famine, Eritreans caused 30 years of war 🙂 etc…) Not a beginning of the state. We define our iwn history not someone else. So what your perception is about that time have very little value, Sal. Sorry 🙂 2) I was agreeing with Ermias that I think the character of Eritreans ( both Christian and Muslims, Orthodox or protestant or catholic) does not allow civil war to take place. I was not talking about religion. It doesn’t matter, if religious institution in the country was weak or strong. I just belive that the people’s character has been shaped to be more law abiding (a bit submissive) and orderly. Therefore, whenever a dominant figure emerges after Isayas, the people will get behind him. That was my thinking, boss 🙂 Now let me go and get my insulin. .. 🙂

          • Ermias

            Eyoba, your point on 2) is spot on. I actually believe that, the character you described is the very reason that the people have not risen against Isayas Afwerki’s regime. Tegadelti are extremely hated by at least the residents of Asmara and Tegadelti are outnumber by a huge margin but nobody has any intentions of hurting them. I have never heard of even some frustrated teenager shooting at other’s like we see in high schools here. Most Eritreans just like to be left alone to place food on the table for their children. Eritreans are also devout religious people and religion plays a major role in their daily lives. It can’t happen, not in Eritrea. Dozens of people will be unfortunately victimized as collateral damage when change comes but nobody will convince me that there will be an all out civil war of thousands dying. When I called home to ask my family about Wedi Ali’s forto operation, they were totally clueless and there was no excitement in their voices. I was shocked. In addition to the Eritrean character, also the ingredients for people to kill each other are not there.

          • Eyob Medhane

            Ermi,

            “…In addition to the Eritrean character, also the ingredients for people to kill each other are not there….”

            That actually could top all reasons. Unless convinced by an organized institution as soldiers or security officials, both of our peoples (Eritreans and Ethiopians) are much, much less prone to kill one another. There is very little proof of that. (Of course Sal may come up with some obscure historical fact to disprove this or quotes karl Marx. Karl Marx!!!! A man, who misrebly failed to understand a very basic and common human nature to aqiure property and human desire to ownership, and insisted that everyone has to be the same and equal, even though it has never happened in human history and will never happen.) Isayas actually counts on the dormant nature of Eritreans across the board to do whatever he wants to do. When another figure comes to the front that challenges him, one way or another, he will be abandoned by his army and all of his supports, just like Derg was abandoned, during the last throes of his days and the new power start to have consolidate his power lining everyone, behind. That is what happened in Ethiopia in ’91. I firmly believe Eritrea’s current situation will not have a different outcome. After all, I just don’t believe we’re that much different… 🙂

            P.S Did you see the last Goal that Brazil scored at the 90th minutes? That was awesome! That is what I call ‘grit’…….

          • Ermias

            Selam Eyoba,

            I whole heartedly agree with this statement:

            “That actually could top all reasons. Unless convinced by an organized institution as soldiers or security officials, both of our peoples (Eritreans and Ethiopians) are much, much less prone to kill one another. There is very little proof of that.”
            Eritreans and Ethiopians are among the most God-fearing and respectful people in the planet. Organized wars are not the same as ordinary people simply killing each other.
            At this point, I would just much rather simply trust my gut feeling and instict than buy what Ali-S and Hayat Adem are arguing. Of course it is a concern because all changes in the Third World come with some bloodshed depending on the circumstances but an an all out civil war? I will have to see it to believe it.
            Speaking of WC, I liked the first goal better but the Oscar’s goal was much more difficult and that made it more precious. What an exciting game it was.
            You haven’t made a pick yet (maybe you did). Please see Rodab’s posts. It is not too late but Rodab will have to approve you since he indicated for predictions to be in before the start of the games.

          • ALI-S

            Selam Ermi,

            I have no doubt to be honest with you that when these little helpless always smiling folks that you see actually have unchecked authority over your life, they actually get possessed and turn into something that you cannot imagine. When people tell you we defeated the largest army in Africa during the armed struggle, you should be smart enough to run your imagination and picture the amount of brutality that must have been involved. Many are telling you that each tegadalai had to stand up and defeat 30 to 40 (arbitrary you do the math) Ethiopians with much better arms. They are not telling you the gruesome part of the story.

            Now the question for you is: was the invincibility of tegadalai common to other peoples or was there something unusual about Eritreans? Was Islam and Christianity around then or did they come to Eritrea after 1991? How come we never felt pity for those Ethiopians we tore to pieces and never felt the plains of dead Ethiopians as humans? Why were those tegadelti and Hafash dancing over thousands of bodies? If you meet people who know try to ask them what the Jihadis do to enemies and ask them for the gruesome specifics of how? Ask them for what the EDF does to suspects and captors of the Jihad and ask the gruesome specifics. As about the specifics of what happened to Jehovah and even to soldiers in punishment.

            What you have to know Ermi (I am not being paternalistic) is that the politicking and propaganda is seen as necessary because they help by freezing the moderating role of religion and morals. Believe me brother, I have no interest in convincing you of civil war but take it serious that the Eritrea we have in mind is very very different from what it comes to be when possessed.

          • Ermias

            Ali-S, good to hear from you brother. We haven’t engaged in a while since I escaped your psychiatric ward due to maltreatment from Saba.

            Anyway, I had thought about the derg and janhoy eras. I see those as quite different because the ‘enemy’ was well defined – anybody who speaks Amharic pretty much. Also revolutions and armed fronts do a lot of brainwashing. I know so many former tegadelti who can’t read and write but they can argue with anybody all day about justifying ghedli with extreme articulation and hard to argue against points. Most of these former peasants had barely heard of Eritrea but they come out with a vivid and distinct notion about it after ghedli. Being young and not very informed contributed to them seeing Amhara as the ultimate enemy. I know this will give a lot of people so much headache but at the very least there was an element of cadre school brainwashing or shaping ones opinion in a specific way.

            That doesn’t exist today. Most people are leaving because they are not convinced much less brainwashed of a meaningful future in Eritrea. The animosity is between all the people and a few hundred PFDJ leaders and enablers.

            I am not very informed of specifics of the lowlands and I am not aware of lowland vs highland grievances that could lead to mass killings. We would have seen some signs by now. Isolated incidents here and there do not count as civil war in my book.

            A failed state is much more likely than a civil war.

            People are much less likely to kill someone they know than someone they don’t as far as wars go. Given the very narrow degree of separation, the repression across the board by orders of IA and very few others, I just keep wondering why would an Eritrean kill another Eritrean who is not directly involved in the causing what we now have. There is a great sense of betrayal and disappointment against tegadelti but no hostility has been exhibited.

          • ALI-S

            Selam Ermi,

            I have some good news for you. By the way Saba has loosened the leash for you to get out of the wards only so that you may enjoy the World Cup. July 15 – we need you back in the gown.

            I am assuming you live in a US city. DC?

            Let me ask you a question: what would happen in your city, if the US government (police and army included) took a one week holiday and sent all law enforcement personnel on a vacation to Barbados?

            I want you to build the most likely scenario starting from how the back guy across your street would be doing to you and what his spanish neighbour would be doing to his family and what the NRA nutcase that used to give you “the face” would be doing to all of you.

            At the end of your scenario please enter this promo code: “AND THIS IS AMERICA!”

    • Serray

      Selamat Sal,

      I know you said you guys will be less visible starting with Awate 7.0. Let me formally present my opposition to that policy; for a website known for its careful reporting, insightful articles and lively discussions, I don’t know why you think less of you will makes it better.

      Back to civil war…I have more or less the same view of social science as you do of psychology; it just doesn’t answer a lot of questions. Here is one where social scientists haven’t deal with: what happens when one generation enslaves and forcibly dislocates another generation? Specially if the generation doing the dislocation is in power as a result of bloody and protracted civil war that took decades and showed no fruit whatsoever. I am also curious how your author handles the Vietnam era (and later) civil wars in Cambodia, Laos… etc.

      In eritrea, not only civil war is a possibility but very soon it will become impossible to avoid because the generation that causes the grievance is visibly and shakily getting old. As the regime gets older and weaker – because the war is generational – it will face a challenge but since it is a regime that doesn’t know its limits, it will draw out a civil war. The only way to avoid a civil war in eritrea today is if the regime is changed from outside or inside…by inside I mean a revolt within its ranks in which the victors disband the ruling party.

      We can debate why the three factors: “free rider problem”, “the coordination problem” and the “time-consistency problem” don’t apply to generational dictatorship. But the easiest answer is, the “free-rider problem” is happening now but soon the fragile nature of the dictators will make the free-riding (running through human trafficking and organ harvesting savages) look dangerous than fighting senile old men rejected by everyone. The “coordination problem” will disappear because the victims all belong to one group and the “time-consistency problem” is no problem at all since those who will engage the dying regime are doing it to free themselves from slavery.

      The danger is not that we are going to have a civil war, we were having something much, much, worse in the last 23 years, the danger is once it started in its formal way, what would it take to stop it? And that you have answered it partially and let us hope we are what we say we are.

      • Geremew

        Your point ‘In eritrea, not only civil war is a possibility but very soon it will become impossible to avoid because the generation that causes the grievance is visibly and shakily getting old. As the regime gets older and weaker – because the war is generational – it will face a challenge but since it is a regime that doesn’t know its limits, it will draw out a civil war.’ Does not lead to CIVIL WAR. It may lead to revolution, like what happend in 1974 in Ethiopia. The young generation supported by rank and file soldiers.

    • ALI-S

      Selam SY,



      Thanks for the very rich and challenging post as always. You have so many points and I would be lying if I say I have answers to most but I will try. 



      The second part of the post which I think is an extension of Mancur Olson’s “theory of group action” or variants of it is out of question and your suggestion to take it in our tools of conceiving the probability of wicked people succeeding in mobilizing support is perfect. Although the theory is more usually associated with recommendations to deal with limitation of group action in order to motivate action for the common good, I think it makes sense to take those limitations as a blessing in disguise and recommend to reenforce them to deter group action for the common bad.

      

I will limit my comment to the first four point part of your post. I will number the points to correspond with your points:



      You said “Your article has everything except for one: a definition of civil war.” This I think is because the whole article was “a definition of civil war” given Eritrea’s circumstances.

      It is my conviction and I am sure you agree that there can never be a lasting definition of anything and especially civil war. The American Civil War is for sure different from the Somali Civil War but they are all Civil Wars. 

My understanding is that (as I said in a comment to Hayat) Civil War is a common noun/phrase of many things that in details might have nothing in common. Civil wars differer by the “time and space” differences under which each takes place. I tend to believe that time has changed now and because time contains in it all ideological, technological and other factors that motivate the ways in which these wars are carried out, civil wars taking place at any specific time share a lot of similarities. 

Wars carried out 400 years ago in Europe were not much different than those carried out in the Middle East or Africa or anywhere else.

      Today the civil wars carried out in all the countries I mentioned in the article (Liberia, Syria, Libya, etc) are almost identical in their degree of brutality and their resistance to attempts to structure and organize the combatants. If a civil war does take place in Eritrea we should never expect anything different because the underlying culture or relative individualism of today is substantially different from the communal spirit of the 1970s. If the Syrian civil war had taken place in the 1970s (when people were more ideological and immensely impressed by the genius of the “petit-bourgeois”, it would have been slightly different from the ELF-EPLF version.



      Now to the points:


      


1. Thanks for the info on the speech (I will also try to google unless you have a link). The two points you make are all to the point and no argument: (a) ethnic conflicts do not cause civil war and as seen by what “Roman Catholic Bishops and Imams are doing [by the way they belong to the Third Way – thank you (:-)], ethnic and religious relations my be the counterbalance of the tendency for civil wars; (b) “it takes forever to resolve a civil war” and I would add civil war is permanent damage. You will be able to live with its scars long after it is gone but you will never cure its consequences and tendencies to reignite.




      My take:
      



      No ethnicity or religion can cause a civil war. If that were the case, we would have had them centuries ago and people would have wiped one another by now. Both religion and ethnicity (in my opinion) have built-in stabilizers against anyone who might exploit them for conflict. 

I am saying this to take it to the extreme so that we should never be concerned with ethnic organizations such as the Kunama, Afar, and others might cause a civil war. If any of the ethnic activist think they can cause a civil war by simply mobilizing people and brainwashing them, they are wrong. Others would have done that long ago.

      

For ethnic conflict to occur or for a civil war to transform into ethnic conflict, the civil war must first be triggered by reasons that are in most cases unrelated to ethnic and religious grievances directly. That is what happened in each of the civil wars I mentioned.

      

In the context of Somali civil war Luling, V. (1997, p. 287 & 290) [reference below] points out that whatever the “underlying causes of state collapse” in Somalia, clanism presents the “fault lines along which the collapse occurs” and concludes that “the state was both the arena within which they [clans] fought and the prize for which they contended”. She describes inter-clan relations in Somalia as a “scaffolding system” whose extent of aggregation depends on the relative magnitude of the threat that the participating clans in an alliance expect to face in response to the material motivations, such as “land grab” initiatives by competing clan alliances that trigger specific battles in the conflict. 



      That exactly (its function are the structuring system for state collapse) is where the danger lies and the answer to your second point. We may ignore ethnic and religious mobilizations in triggering a civil war and getting into the dark, but we can never come out of the dark without negotiating and ealing with the meanest forms of these mobilizations. The mainstream nationalists own the key to the hole and may choose to open it or not. But once it is open, it is the extremists and fanatics who take over they and decide whether to let us out or not.



      2. You said: “If you read the Eritrean Bishops letter … there is no religious tension among the people”. I would thank Asmarino as they have the voice version of the text and I listened to the
      very daring message. I am sure the Mufti and every sheikh would agree with their message. 



      My take:

      

I would never take it at face value. They are speaking while the state is intact not when it has collapsed. We still have the key to hole. Let us trigger a civil war and hand the key over to the and you will find them surrounded by the demons in the article.



      3. You asked: “If you look at the Failed State Index ranking … please tell us which ones Isaiasism
is contributing or … which ones the opposition … and which ones are just generic”.


      
My take:

      

The Eritrean government and the government alone is responsible for the raking and for every misery in Eritrea. There is no question about that. Irrespective for the consequences of the border war and the objective limitations of state building, the government has the responsibility to adopt and follow prudent and responsible policies. It is total irresponsibility when some ideologically loaded gang of retarded politicians decide to pursue intellectual experimentation on a nation and a people not caring for the costs that people have to pay for them to prove a point.

      Every government has to accept objective limitations to capacity to pursue ideal policies. The PFDJ decided all the foreign policy constraints that apply to all other governments do not apply to Eritrea and decided to challenge the world that Sadam, Iran and North Korea have failed to challenge with so much money and armoury. We bear the cost.

This is what every Eritrean knows. It is irrelevant to what we are debating here. The question is what should we in the opposition do?

      Your question should be framed as follows:

 If you look at a ranking of states that are on “red alert” for failure and state collapse, please tell us which ones Isaiasism is contributing or which ones the opposition and which ones are just generic?

4. You said: “For us, I think “civil war” means completely unpredictable violence of … tens of thousands [of actors].” 

My take:

I totally agree and have nothing to add.

      

———-

      

Here are a few concepts that I thought to share from some readings on Somalia:


      
Gros (1996) [reference below] identifies five types of ‘failed states’: 



      1. “anarchic states” where state authority has completely disappeared



      2. “phantom or mirage state” where centralized authority exists but is incapable beyond the protection of ‘the leader’ 



      3. “captured states” where the elite employ the state machine for their exclusive narrow self-interest



      4. “anaemic states” where authority is too weak to be of any use in asserting state power



      5. “aborted states” where states are crushed before actual birth

      

Bakonyi (2010) describes with the structured nature of looting and differentiates between “protest looting” and “leveling looting” where previously disadvantaged and marginalized grassroots exploit the absence of state authority to reclaim what they have reason to believe was the result of unjust blunder in an exhibition of “spontaneous reactions to grievances”. 



      I don’t think we should be totally pessimistic and view the upcoming civil war (with all the craze described) as necessarily negative. It may be the beginning of a new stage towards complete emancipation. One article builds a very rosy picture of Somalia as being a lot better off that its neighbours in many critical economic innovations. It calls what is happening in Somalia as a stage towards “anarcho-capitalism” (Powell et al, 2006). The concept is better described in Wikipedia.



      Bakonyi, J. (2010). Between protest, revenge and material interests: a phenomenological analysis of looting in the Somali war.

      

Gros, J. (1996). Towards a taxonomy of failed states in the New World Order: decaying Somalia, Liberia,Rwanda and Haiti. 



      Luling, V. (1997). Come back Somalia? Questioning a collapsed state. Third World Quarterly, 18(2), 287-302.



      Powell, B., Ford, R., & Nowrasteh, A. (2008). Somalia after state collapse: Chaos or improvement?

    • Haile Zeru

      Hi SAAY,

      You said: “…..Now, despite the fact that the regime is killing, disappearing citizens by the thousands, nobody says we have a civil war because its violence is mostly predictable: if you become totally obedient and “stay out of trouble”, you can mostly avoid state violence.”

      Are you sure one can do that? i.e. “totally obedient”. Despite your brilliant mind you missed that one. You have to live in Eritrea to know that. Let me tell you that is not possible. HGDEF makes rules on the go and whomever is law abiding, “totally obedient”, to day, tomorrow by a stroke of a pencil is on the criminal side.

      Regards,

      • haileTG

        Selam Moxie

        Saay might be looking at “violence” in its archaic definition. One can totally obey the law and have menqesaqesi, mefanewi, mennet, and other papers and still be subjected to random giffa and taken to Adi Abeyto and fatally injured or killed in a stampede or shootout. It is contradiction in terms that we expect there are rules of safety in the absence of rules of law in the first place.

        Regards

      • Semere Andom

        DearHaile Zeru:

        I had trouble with “if you become totally obedient and stay out of trouble, you can mostly avoid state violence” too. But Sal used the word “mostly”. In any dictatorship many people can be totally obedient and still be at the receiving end of the state violence: some powerful general is jealous about your beautiful wife or girlfriend and will arrest you, someone whose uncle is a powerful uncle can shut down your lucrative shop because it is competing with his, so on and so on. The definition of an armed group fighting the government with 1,000 deaths will mean the war between EPLF and ELF does not qualify as a civil war.

        In a book (Gadhafi’s Harems) by a French journalist, the writers chronicles about how Gadhafi visited schools and when innocent, totally obedient teenager is beautiful and he liked her, he would tap her on the head to indicate that he wants her. The next morning his security men will summon the girl and confiscate the girl to be his sex slave. This is violence by state against an obedient citizens.

        Without been bogged down with the definition civil war, let say in the majority of cases the legacy of protracted dictatorship is violence, but what/who replaces PFDJ is a major factor as well, with our people it is very hard gauge the barometer to decipher and make conclusions. But suffice is to say that we are headed to a turbulent times whether we call it civil or uncivil war.

        It is amazing to see some de-romantics become so romantic about our future, I guess everyone has something he romatizes about 😉

  • Hopeful

    To Whom It May Concern:
    Well-researched piece on z political underpinning & principal actors behind human trafficking in #Eritrea: must read; http://wrongkindofgreen.org/2013/03/17/hum
    Enjoy and challenge…

  • Nitricc

    Okay I have an idea. There is a fun way to contribute to awate.com.
    Let’s everyone pick a team at 100 dollars a piece. If your team wins, all the money will be donated to the awate foundation. You don’t heve to know or follow soccer; I don’t but it will fun to argue with Ermias and rodab about a thing I have no idea.
    What say you? I pick Spain, they got a better woman.
    what say Ermias, rodab, Abnet, Haqi and the rest of you the game lovers. let’s make it fun.
    p.s i am posting it here just for wider readers. i have also posted it on soccer page.

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Dear Younis Hossein,

    I found for you three points from Hayat’s argument to be used as a bench mark for framing your argument. Once you frame it from those core point, it is easy to forge an exit strategy from the current impasse. The three points are:
    (a) “PFDJ is an efficient catalysts for civil war, not the antidote against it'(b) “nothing good you can initiate while PFDJ is intact and in power”. (c) The opposition is not as evil but it is too weak for anything now.”

    Senay MeAlti,
    Amanuel Hidrat

  • Ermias

    Selamat all,

    Since there were lots of responses (unexpectedly to me) to my previous post about the recent civil war talk, I will try to reply collectively.

    I have to agree with Haile first that this is a particularly distressing topic to me because seeing Eritreans killing each other at a mass scale (unlike Jebha-Shaebia) would be absolutely detrimental not only to Eritrea but to the region as a whole. Like Eyob mentioned, it is also not to the interest of Ethiopia contrary to what PFDJ supporters would tell you. Ethiopia wants a peaceful and to some extent a malleable government in Eritrea with ample access to the country so that Eritrea is not a breeding ground to Ethiopia’s detractors. Therefore, that variable in my best and honest assessment is out of the equation of causing or supporting civil war.

    The main question I have (rather than an answer) to Hayat and Ali-S is that who will fight for whom? At this point, Eritreans within the country are not being spared by the regime – no group has been given a free pass. Plus there is no long held distrust or disappointment towards one group. Some might argue there is one against the Tigrinya speakers (like Ali-S used to tell us in his land grabber articles) but I can only imagine some disappointment rather than a brewing rage. There is division between tegadelti and ghebar but there are more ghebar with arms now than tegadelti so if there was anything more than disappointment against tegadelti, it would have manifested in mass killings by now.

    If you look at SAAY’s two theories 1) one degree of separation (he used to say two but recently he said one) between Eritreans and 2) everything squarely lies on IA (Ali Abdu’s affidavit is a testament to this but not verified yet). These two things alone are sufficient to throw away any civil war worries.

    Hayat, I understand your point now. But for one thing, the way the regime has subdued and controlled Eritreans spirit and mentality, a civil unrest will not come directly from the civilians themselves. The only place for that would be Asmara because all the other major areas can easily be controlled by a small military unit. Asmara doesn’t have the vibrant youth that can stand against anything. There are old people and children, that is it pretty much.

    The only source of civil war are the military leaders but they have no clout and influence by popularity. The other thing is the Eritrean people within Eritrea cannot distinguish between any of the military criminals. They are all criminals to them. Yes things are quite tense there however the elements of civil war do not exist among Eritreans. To me the two most important elements are 1) one group of people dominating and oppressing one or more other groups and 2) one area being robbed of its immense natural resources. If for any reason, the other ethnicities think of PFDJ as Tigrinya oppressors of the others, then they are flatly wrong.

    The most likely scenario of change is IA will die of natural causes or will be killed or taken hostage by a general and a small group. That general will arrest all the other generals. There will be immense international pressure for that general to continue in power…etc. But Eritreans will continue exactly as we currently have, leave en masse.

    • Serray

      Selamat Ermias,

      This is not just a response to you, it is to everyone who is skittish about a civil war while sitting in the middle of one-sided civil war. Sometimes being amongst eritreans makes me feel like I am in dream world. When we say the opposition is weak, don’t we mean it is weak in the sense that it failed to challenge or change the regime. Isaias is one dictator who will never change his mind peacefully so when you want the opposition to be strong, don’t you mean strong enough to force the regime change course by force or get rid of it? If anyone is out there who thinks the regime will change because the opposition sharpened their arguments is beyond delusional.

      Some people seem to fall unwittingly to Ali Salim’s lullaby of u-turn and a third way. There is no such a thing. There is no half-rape, half-murder, half-slavery, half-owning the country, it is either pfdj or no pfdj. And no pfdj is going to be bloody; no racketeering joint gives power willingly.

      The last thing that could have done the trick with minimum bloodshed is gone on our “independence day” this year. There is no meaningful demands to be made on the regime of human traffickers anymore; civil war is the ONLY way change is going to come to our country. Here is another unexamined position, when we say the youth must rise up, don’t we mean confront the regime by force? And how does that work if all they do is sharpen their tongues? This is a regime that enslaves them, literally, in the middle of the 21st century, do you seriously believe when we say the youth have to rise up we didn’t mean armed conflict…civil war.

      There has been a civil war going in our country since shaebia set foot in asmera; the reason we don’t notice it is because it was a civil war between armed shaebia tegadelti and a neutered population. I think it is beyond inhuman to expect this to go on forever. In eritrean context, a civil war means the other side finally responding in kind. I think seventy years of one sided civil war is enough; it is time the erirean people, the youth, the neutered fathers and the mothers fight back a system that was born and raised in blood and only believes in blood.

      Ali Salim believes in subscribing the disease as a cure; or else,

      “Within days, thousands of other ghosts (real ones this time) are stampeding from long-forgotten refugee camps in Sudan, the streets of Yemen and the whole Middle East (trained and armed to the teeth with company from Chechnya, Tunisia and every curse in the Arab Islamic world) ready for genocides. What we used to modestly call land-grabbers, occupiers and torturers will be Christened brand new and truly demonic trademarks. The whole Eritrean lowlands (about three-quarters of Eritrea) will be liberated and ethnically cleansed within weeks”.

      If this frighten you, then you must be in a hurry that the civil war finally happen because Ali’s scenario is the logical conclusion of pfdj finally succeeding in completely pushing out the highland youth so that their old and frail parents are cleansed by a bunch roadside bombers from three-quarters of THEIR country.

      It is not for nothing the bishops raised the alarm; the rate at which shaebia is depopulating the country of its young, not only eritrea is going to be a playground of terrorists trained in the conflic ridden middle east countries but any power who wants to buy or sell arms. So stop pretending that there is such a thing as peaceful change in isaias ruled eritrea, there never was and never will. You want shaebia out, you have to fight them out and that by any name is a CIVIL WAR. Ali has this self-serving way of asking, “how does the opposition do this or do that”. I have self-serving question for him; how does a civil war finally take its logical shape?

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Hello Serray,

        I don’t believe we are close to Ethnic, or religious, or clanic conflict (civil war). But if the Eritrean people really feel that scenario from the political winds the blew from inside Eritrea (I don’t), we have to engage to the international communities in general and IGAD in particular to convince them to intervene. As a matter of fact I did indicate in my article “Leadership and the geopolitics of the horn.” I hope SGJ will pull the link from the old awate file which I can not have an excess to it to link it here. When I call the intervention of IGAD, is simply to speed the fall of the regime and to stop the emptying of our nation from its youth.Do you think we are at the brink of civil war? I don’t see the factors that could show the trajectory for that kind of phenomenon.

        Hawka,

        Amanuel Hidrat

        • ALI-S

          Hey Emma,

          Out of all of us, I think you are the only one who came up with a solution in this post. In a way Hayat also came up with a similar solution of seeking “outside help”. I do not want to be unfair and put words in her mouth but my guess is that (given her previous posts) she has Ethiopia in mind.

          My problem is that whoever intervenes needs to prove neutrality prior to the intervention. If it weren’t for their mean foreign policy in choking Eritrea economically and taking their reaction out of proportions, Ethiopia would definitely have owned the legitimacy to be called for help.

          I have also read your other comments and questions. I hope I will comment on them soon. Thanks

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello ALI-S,

            This intervention business has several problems.

            1. As long as Isaias does not seriously violate the current
            sanctions there is no clear reason for any nation or organization to intervene
            in Eritrean affairs. It is a sovereign nation. “Young people are leaving their
            third world country” is hardly a crime for any organization to intervene and change
            a government for.

            2. Isaias has conditioned his followers carefully to be suspicious
            of organizations such as IGAD, UN, AOU, and etc… If any of these organizations
            intervene that is all he needs to trigger chaos. No mater how short lived it
            may be, intervention won’t end without a serious human and material loss. Please
            do not under estimate this man’s sickness; he will see to it that the nation goes down with him.

            3. Since no one will intervene without an exit strategy what
            should that exit strategy be? How long does it stay? There are no
            representative Eritrean organizations that are ready to form a government as of
            today. So, who ever intervene, does it have the responsibility of organizing
            Eritreans according to their … what? How will the Red Sea Afar question be
            answered, and by whom? It is a nightmare.

            I hope I am wrong on this one, but I don’t see intervention
            minimizing the damage Eritreans are trying to stop.
            Come up with a local solution please.
            Selam.

          • ALI-S

            Selam FG,

            What you have said is exactly what I meant to say to Emma. I called his proposal for outside help/intervention a solution only because it is one of the options and I think that’s what he meant too.

            Of course I think it is the worst imaginable solution for the reasons you stated. My suggestion for solution is also one option but it is very local. I have been proposing the following:

            1. Let us stop viewing the PFDJ as a real monster. It is but it is a paper monster with a much narrower support base than most of us seem to believe. We should not confuse those that pay taxes, support Eritrea and obey the laws of the nation for supporters. They are in the same boat but the only reason they are doing something different is because they are responsible citizens and are scared of the brewing nightmare. Here there is of course the logic that how can you fund someone that you are saying is a monster? My assessment is that the degree to which the can use additional help for more horror will be more than offset by the pressure that would limit their capacity to do so.

            2. Let us join them in supporting the nation’s interests and limit the capacity of the regime to starve the people. Let us stand together in distancing ourselves from Ethiopia and pressure it to end the no-war-no-peace situation as a sign of good will. Let us refuse to be part of proxy wars and bring Ethiopia to become a positive influence that has the trust of the people.

            3. Let us do what the Catholic Bishops did from inside Eritrea playing by all the rules of the game in Eritrea. Let us turn what we now view as the support base of the PFDJ into a source of pressure for change.

            4. In the diaspora, let us own Eritrean embassies by positive contribution towards enabling them to move freely and do more for Eritrea while at the same time making it impossible for the PFDJ to staff the embassies with spies and cronies.

            We can do all that if we do one of two things:

            1. We distance ourselves from the rigid dogma of the opposition and become prepared to include all (including and above all those that are supporting Eritrea financially and diplomatically) as part of the solution. We should not give ourselves the right to decide who is and who is not for change. Assume goodwill on all Eritreans.

            2. Strongly challenge the opposition camp on the risky politics they are playing and on being a liability to the emergence of more meaningful opposition fit for the challenges of today. If we are honest that much of the political opposition is useless, we should have the courage to dump them.

            Note: someone will jump and say we should pressure the PFDJ. But that would be dumb because if you haven’t given up on the PFDJ and are hoping to might respond to pressure from outside forces: good luck. The PFDJ can only respond to real risks to political power and all risks have to come from someone who can influence their internal politics by being part of the process.

        • Hopeful

          Dear Ammanuel Hidrat,
          I appreciate your positive attitude and vision.
          But please be specific and clarify when you said:” IGAD” .Who is IGAD?Why NOT the UN?

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Hopeful,

            Just listen to the cool headed mind. If you know that we all love our country and our people, and listen to each other, we will come to a solution. Offers of help could come from friendly countries. If we want we take it, and if we don’t it we decline to take it. All the decision is in our hand. You asked me who is IGAD. I will leave it for your home work if you don’t know it. But I am sure you know it, and why you ask, me I don’t know. The UN help doesn’t come directly, they have always surrogate regional organizations who work on behalf UN. IGAD in Somalia is an example which is close to our home.

            Amanuel Hidrat

      • ALI-S

        Selam Serray,

        I completely agree with you on that when the time comes the process of change will be very bloody. That I think is a consensus now among most.

        Here as you may have guessed we are trying to see if there is a way of getting to change without bloody civil wars and that is where we need your help. May be you are one step ahead of us so be patient. When we exhaust all options and conclude as you did that bloody civil war is inevitable, we will be in a position to communicate. My concern is that people have to first make it to your level of conviction.

  • Nitricc

    Excuse my annoyance to you but in order to have a civil war, don’t you need a cause, a reason, and launching pad? Eritreans never had a country, never had a constitution, never had an election that will justify for one ethnic group to compline over the other let alone unleash civil war. No one part of society is oppressing the other. In the history of Eritrea, all Eritreans all they did is died and bled for their country. It is more possibility civil war to happen countries like Kenya, Ethiopia, and Sudan than in Eritrea. On those country there is a cause and a reason. For instance, take Ethiopia. There were the Amhara in power for a long time and they treated the Oromo inhumanely and they treat the Tigryans indecently. Then the Tigryans came to power and they crushed the Amhara and the Oromo indiscriminately. The question that is hanging over the Tigryans is what happens when the Amhara or Oromo comes to power? That is the exact question causing Hayat sleepless nights and trying to connect it to Eritrea and Eritreans. Hayat is expressing her nightmare and her fears by shifting to Eritrea as Eritrea is in danger of civil war, No Hayat, your country Tigray is, not Eritrea.

    Even if you looked At Ali’s abstracted and hypothetical possibility of
    Civil war in Eritrea, it does not make sense with reality in the ground. For instance,
    He thinks the exodus of the youth as a sign of something bad that to come comparable to Tsunami or something like that, I do disagree.
    . As bad as the youth are leaving the country, as bad as it will hurt the country in short term, there is a great benefit for future stability of Eritrea and eliminates any possibility of unrest or civil war in Eritrea.
    All civil wars are ignited due to one group dominating over the other. And in Eritrea the highlanders of Christians are the dominating one; while lowlanders and the Muslims are lagging behind. So, the more Christian highlanders leave the country the more the Muslim lowlanders will get the opportunity in key position and the more the playing field leveled, the more the Pie is equally shared, the more hormones and peaceful society is created. So, my friend Ali, in the long run, there is a benefit of stability and just in the tragedy of the exodus of the youth of Christian highlanders. I am not even mentioning the benefit of SAWA. When you bring your youth from allover the country in one comp; there is enormous benefit in building peaceful nation. They will create a life long bond.
    I am not even mentioning the even hand action of the Eritrean government. Say what you want but you will never accuse the government of Eritrea privileging one Ethnic group over the other. So, Hayat’s dream a civil war for Eritrea is just that a dream and my friend Ali’s abstracted and hypothetical scenarios are just that what ifs.
    However; if this make you feel better. For every eventualities, ifs and possibilities Eritrea will have the best and the most disciplined army the kind of army will never allow anything like it in Eritrean soil.

  • Ermias

    In my mind, I think most of the civil war talk is garbage or worse yet perhaps wishful – wishing civil war among the poor Eritrean people. I am particularly resentful of the diatribes from Hayat Adem and Ali Salim and to some extent Haile TG.

    What are the ingredients of civil wars in Africa? There are many variables that cause civil wars, most of which do not exist in Eritrea. One needs to forget the diaspora Eritreans and look at Eritreans in Eritrea. All indications are that there is a widespread resentment against the government and more specifically against the generals which are the most likely agents who can cause a civil war. Please name one general who is popular amongst Eritreans? There is none. That is also a stronger case in the military. These generals are very hated by the people and by the young men and women in uniform. So who is going to wage war against who? Whom will fight for whom?

    Generally speaking, natural resources are the primary reasons that ignite civil wars in Africa. African lands are very rich in natural resources and minerals like oil, diamond, gold, aluminum, cocoa, etc. As we all know, many developed nations and multinational companies try to exploit these resources. Natural resources fuel conflicts and civil wars in two ways, internal politics and external interference. Since Eritrea lacks these luxurious resources, the external interference factor and arming rebels and the like is negligible. There is no region in Eritrea that is particularly much more resourceful than others and so the people are in equal footing and equally oppressed by the regime, hence equally resented.

    So the only resource or motive for civil war would be a power vacuum. But again, since there is no one person in the current administration who is particularly popular, whoever seizes power will not be able cause division within the people. You can call me naive but I do not see a civil war in Eritrea whatsoever. Most people are busy trying to flee to go to Europe and the USA to fight for anyone against each other.

    The immediate issue we have is the mass exodus and its irreversible side effects of leaving a huge generational gap.

    • haileTG

      Selamat Ermi, despair not – what will be will be. It will come to pass, if it is destined to be. I have tones of questions on your above entry, but totally agree on your last sentence “The immediate issue we have is the mass exodus and its irreversible side effects of leaving a huge generational gap.”

      On the rest of the issue concerning “civil war”, I can’t help but notice something. At least three or four people (normally good people) have appeared to manifest “distress” at the thought or mention of the idea. I am asking myself now whether this topic be discussed with the proviso that readers are forewarned that the content might be disturbing and they need to either contribute, knowing that or avoid it all together. The reality being discussed is indeed distressing. Different people may react in different ways based on their specific situation. For some people the idea might be depressing, create anxiety, bring back memories and so forth. I started reflecting like this because you are the 5th person to consider there are people “wishing civil war”. Personally, I have not read anyone wishing a “civil war” for the sake of one. None even said anything remotely resembling that directly. So, if such topic (civil war) is likely to create tense feelings that may trigger unjustified resentment (by clear citation of a quote from a debater) among fellow justice seekers, may be we should reconsider.

      For the record, I think that if there are Eritreans prepared to kill Eritreans to stay in power, it may not be unthinkable to assess that there may be others who may use the same force to gain power.

      It is understandable to see the sense of distress at the thought of that, unfortunately it is a distressful topic. A group of health care workers discussing the possibility or scenarios that may cause the death of a patient may be distressful topic to be part of, but to go on to the level of resenting them for “wishing the death of that patient” appears an intense negative reaction. I hope you don’t mind but I debated with myself whether I should express my view on this thread. I held it back for that time and minuets later what caused my hesitation in the first place happened. I understand we all have family and relation in Eritrea and the topic is one of those that needs to be handled delicately.

      AmlaK kab civil war yhalwena 🙂

      Regards

      • Thomas

        Hi Ermias,

        I came back because I missed awatistas (excluding Nitricc, hope and some of their kinds). I hope everything is fine with you. Sorry to Interject on the civil war debate, but I think there is already civil war in Eritrea. The afar, Saho’s and the kunama’s, the hamishai mesrie fronts are some examples. However, these all are fighting the dictator; and when he (& his bloody colleagues) are taken out, these ethnic groups must be heard and they must get their rights back. They are ours, we cannot be cruel to them.

        • tafla

          Thomas,

          Take a look at the ethnic map of eritrea, it should be roughly accurate according to location. Why are the kunamas, sahos and afars the most well-supported groups that are demanding self-determination? and why has it become so acceptable and encouraged to organize political parties according to your region, specifically for the Tigrinya (Hint: Who said Andi Huqo kebessa ksber alewo?): the map is very telling…

          • Thomas

            Hi tafla,

            Thank you for the response. In a democratic Eritrea, they can choose however they want to be administrated. The main thing should be equal resource allocation. Under normal conditions, they all know that they are Eritreans and want to remain Eritreans.

            Thanks,

          • Hopeful

            “They can choose however they wanted to be administered”.Meaning?You missed the ref—Copy Right thing?/TPLF-PMMZ.
            Please elabortae and respond to Tafla as well—Do NOT run away.
            Good luck.
            One of their kinds.
            Rest assured,we willbe here—no matter what;Tihim Zi0bele dimma Yitahagom.

          • Thomas

            Selam Hopeful,

            You are an angry man. I don’t know what your problem is. They want to be administrated with respect. They want to talk about their problems; and with the current regime running the country, no one can do that. The current regime talks with flying bullets, believes in the law of the jungle, has no respect for all human beings except for the once who act & walk like theirs/mafia style. So definitely, as aggravated and frustrated as our colorful minority ethnic groups cannot be expected to use politically/diplomatic talk. They are very nervous about the whole situation and we should understand them.

          • Hopeful

            Dear Thomas,
            Why should NOT I be “angry” when people are telling me a STONE is BREAD” when my visual acuity is 20/20?
            Be honest here,who in the heck in Eritrea is preferentially treated better?
            As an original Bilenay and Wedi Keren,I should have been the FIRST to complain,to protets and fight for “self-determination” based on the FACTS on the ground that I might know better than any one; but I have learned enough to grow up and call the Spade a Spade.
            Historically,YES,we can talk about this and that as we had done few yrs ago,which had led to some polarization of our society.
            I am glad the Professor is back so as to clarify few gray areas and welcome back Cousin Salih AA Younis.
            Be that or this,the debate should rather focus on as to how to bring REAL CHANGE so as to avoid “Civil War” in Eritrea.Hence,I asked Haile to list the major contributing factors,as he is good at it, so as to debate constructively.
            Now that the Professor is back,I hope things will be straightened back.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Haw Tafla,

            Just tell us exactly what do you want to send your message from this geographic boundary within our social Eritrean groups? If you make some input which is in your mind, without throwing us to all kinds of guesses we will appreciate you. Talk about these social groups and their grievances so far you know, and how should we handle it without dismissing their grievances. Stop this bela-below “kebesss Andi hiqo kisseber iyu.” There is no such talks at least within Eritreans in this forum. If you have some fears about it, what I can tell you, it is simply unfounded talk. Please let us think positive for our people and the nation we call Eritrea.

            Hawka,
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • tafla

            Merhaba Aman,

            I never claimed that any Eritrean in this forum uttered “Andi Huqo Kebessa ksber alewo”. Its the words of the top leadership of TPLF.

            DMLEK, RSADO, SAHO, BILEN, ALNAHDA(JEBERTI), BILEN and purely regionalist Tigrinya political parties (eti Andi huqo ksber me’enti) are encouraged by the sole financiers of the Eritrean opposition.

            But Saho, Kunama and Afar are encouraged more than the others to go for self-determination beacause of the fertile lands of the gash and access to the red sea.
            It’s not too difficult to predict if you look at the map I posted previously.

            Brukh mshet

            Hawka tafla

          • hopeful

            Respected tafla,
            Thanks for calling a Spade,a Spade–in a day light.I said it many a time but I am out and will NOT —-count.
            I was waiting for Haile to list the top ten and thanks for “helping him out” for the list.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Haw Tafla,
            First let us deal with our problems. Any argument that comes from our brothers across the river (Ethiopians), it requires wise diplomacy after we clean our house. Talk of wars of the past will not help us in the present and for the future destiny of our people.

            Regarding our social groups, your fears are unfounded. Until you personally talk to them and know it first hand, all you hear and you read are political positioning until their grievances are addressed. Go close to them and listen to their grievances to understand them. I think you are capable to do that. Actually I spoke to some of their leaders. All of them they believe on the integrity of the land called “Eritrea”. That is a “big thing” for me. As I knew from our conversations, they have grievances on lack of opportunities to have equitable sharing in political and economic life. Myself I found those issues are addressable and resolvable. If you read my last article, my attempt was to address those issues and by extension sharing those views with my fellow Eritreans. I am sure many better ideas will come if we avoid arrogance and recognize their grievances.
            Hawka,
            Amanuel Hidrat

        • Ermias

          Selamat Thomas, welcome back. I was being really hard on myself because I felt like I had something to do with your long absence. It was clearly noted by the way.

          I think we need to have an agreed upon definition of civil war first before we can make any sense of this debate.

          Good to see you back buddy!

          • Thomas

            No actually, you were not the reason for I left. I just did not expect people like Nitricc would browsing at awate website. You know even unprofitable customers can be fired. If a customer only goes to a store when merchandizes are on sale/with handy coupons and then goes to the next store for similar reasons. if you were a store owner, would you care to retain this customer? What I am trying to say is, you can always hire or fire people if they cross the line. Now, I learned that Nitricc comes here just to entertain and people don’t take him seriously for badly behavior. This guy does not even know what “Segreto” means? I know it is an Italian word for “secret”.

            Hi Nitricc,
            The word, Segreto, is very common in the former Italian colonies. In Eritrea/ethiopia it stands for a small secret bar/store/house with “ops” strippers or a kind dating place where some even have affairs. So, here we go that is what “Rahwa” was trying to tell you:)

    • Hayat Adem

      Hi Ermi Shikor፣ ኣበይ ቀኒኻ “ሓውኻ ኣበይ ኣሎ?” ክባሃል ሰሚዐሲ ኤርሚ ሽኮር ከ ደኣ ናበይ ኣቢሉ ክብል ተሻቒለ ቀንየ፡
      1) We are only worried that conditions for civil war in Eritrea are gathering and I am sure, or I hope, you are not mistaking us for wishing it.
      2) I am sorry you are resenting that I’m stating it in such an alarmist intonation but it is only because that is what I’m sensing and I don’t know how else to present it.
      3) Believe me Ermi, all conditions for civil war are perfectly there in our Eritrea. HaileTG is right when he said that talking about it is stressful but only talking about it can make it better. We should take our lessons from other brave people who passed the test by taking taking it by the horn not from that proverbial ostrich that tried to duck it away. ግመል ሒዝካ ጎምባሕባሕ መኽሰብ የብሉን!!

  • haileTG

    Selamat Ali-S and awatistas,

    I think you’re preaching about the horrific outcome of civil war to the segment our people (diaspora) that is the least likely to go to civil war. Somalia in 1991 was less likely to end up in a civil war than Eritrea in 2014. Over the short span of 1980s several armed movements sprang up in different parts of Somalia. By 1991 they were able to topple the long time leader of that country, but failed to fill the power vacum that ensued. The movements were mostly clan centered and were incapable of being nationally acceptable. Hence, the bulk of their problems were vying for power.

    In Eritrea’s case, the population has sustained huge injustices, has long been militarized and it is not only that there is power vacum but also credibility vacum. There is no longer a credible section of society that would be depended to mediate peaceful transition. There is no clear rules on transfer of power. There are no demilitarization plan for the civilian population. The economy is useless outside the mining sector (96% of Eritrea export is that of Bisha, nothing else). There won’t be enough food and services to go around, there would be plenty of guns to go around, we have a diaspora that is deeply penetrated and disfranchised by PFDJ and would have nothing to contribute in a meaningful way, frightened and impoverished population that is ready to move out in mass at first sign of trouble. It begs disbelief when some people shut their eyes off and tell you that our people are nice and won’t do any of that!!!

    Lowering our expectations and (especially the diaspora including the current pro hgdef) to switch gear and rise up is one sure option of snuffing the regime out by exerting sheer pressure and taking the drivers seat. If people think they would be spared of civil war and mass graves because “we are nice people”, think again. PFDJ has planned that to its finest detail and only a surprise move would scuttle its plans.

    There is a REAL likelihood of a devastating civil war, unless of course, arrogance gives way to humility and the seeds of trust begin to be planted among diaspora Eritreans. The home front is at the hand of hgdef and it seems that it has already dug the earth.

    Regards

    • Hopeful

      Your ” Honor”, Haile the Great,
      I totally agree that we have to be VIGILANT for any eventuality,and we have to do more home work so as to avoid the worst,specially considering the latest disclosures coming out of “NO WHERE”.
      While I agree in Principle, about your Somalia-Eritrea Anaology,I am kind of concerned and even amused,as to why:
      -a)You are using the same Weyane Style Analogy
      -b)You are shying away from mentioning and even NOT taking into consideration the ROLE of the Weyanes,which might contribute to “Civil War” based on what they have doine thus far,NOT based on “weyanaization of the Eritrean Politics”,to borrow your own words.
      Please,with due respect,I ask you what would be the risk factors that might lead to REAL devastating Civil War?
      Konwing the real risk factors will help us to prevent the “dooming civl war”.
      Remember here that all the Religions, Ethnic Groups,including the Tigrigna/Kebessa Group,etc—are brutally and equally oppressed by a common enemy.
      Now, we are serious for a serious business, as talking about Civil War in Eritrea is more than serious by any standard.
      I ask and,expect you, to seriously and honestly list the TOP 10 predisposing /contributing FACTORS that might lead to Civil War so as to debate on them seriously and without “discrimination”.

      • haileTG

        Hey Hopeful, I will try to give you some list soon, but heck did you have to make it 10? couldn’t 5 or 4 did the trick? Will get back to you 🙂

      • Guest

        Hailachin,

        I am actually in agreement with Ermias on this one. May be it’s my ‘Habesha bias’ that makes me think this way, but I have really a difficult time to imagine that the mere character of the Eritrean people allow for the civil war to be ignited. What I believe is that should Isaias’ regime comes to an end, somehow, some good or bad, but towering, dominating figure will manage to emerge to have the people coalesce behind. I just prey that figure to be kind and conciliatory..

    • Eyob Medhane

      Hailachin

      I am actually in agreement with Ermias on this one. May be it’s my ‘Habesha bias’ that makes me think this way, but I have really a difficult time to imagine that the mere character of the Eritrean people allow for the civil war to be ignited. What I believe is that should Isaias’ regime comes to an end, somehow, some good or bad, but towering, dominating figure will manage to emerge to have the people coalesce behind. I just prey that figure to be kind and conciliatory..

      • haileTG

        Hey Eyobai

        Let’s look at the Adiss vacation schedules for Jan 😉 BTW Many thanks, I will return favor not in too far a time 🙂

        As per my reply to Ermi, I will give the discussion on the topic a little time off. I shall be looking out for times when such topics can be rationally handled. Thanks again about the habesha hospitality 😉

        • Ermias

          Haliuwa, I don’t blame you for saying “As per my reply to Ermi, I will give the discussion on the topic a little time off.” Nothing makes me lose more sleep than this topic.

          • haileTG

            ኤርሚ፡ ርዱእ እዩ እኮ እቲ ጉዳይ። ሃገር ኣብ ዓዘቕቲ ኣትያ ከምዘላ፡ መዓልታዊ ሓቅታት ኣብ ባይታ ዝምስክሮ እዩ። እቲ ስርዓት በይኑ እውን ነገራት ናብ ዝምቸኦ ክጥምዝዝ፡ ዘኽእሎ ዓቕሚ ጸንቂቑ እዩ። ከምዛ ርብዒ ኩንታል ጣፍ ዝሓዘት መሸማዕ፡ ብትሕቲኣ ፍትሕ ክትብለካ እንኮላ ዝዓይነቱ፡ እቲ ሽግር ካብ ኢዱ ወጽዩ እዩ። ብሸነኽ ተቛውሞ እንተርኢና፡ ጌና ኣብ ድንብርብር ዘሎ ብዙሕ እዩ። ኪንዮ’ኡ ድማ ብሕልምን፡ ዘይጭበጡ ኣምራትን ክፍታሕ ዝኽእል፡ ብቐሊሉ ዝርከብ መሲሉዎም ዘቋምቱ ሒደት ኣይኮኑን። ብሸነኽ ህግደፍ ድማ፡ ኣእዳውና ደም ክሳብ ዝነትዕ ኣንጨብጪብና፡ ሳዕሲዕናን፡ ናይ ርኣዩለይ ዘሊልናን፡ ክንፈትሖ ኢና ኣብ ዝብል የዋህ ሓሳብ እዮም ጢሒሎም ዘለዉ። በዚ ኮይኑ በዚ፡ ኣብ ውሽጢ ኤርትራ፡ ህግደፍ ብራዕድን፡ ሽበራን መሊኹ ተኾይጡ እንከሎ፡ ሃገር ብሃገራ ብድነ ጸልማት ተዋሒጣ፡ ኣህዛብ ብጃምላን፡ ትውልደ-ኣጽንት ኣካይዳን ዝገድፍዋ ዘለዉ፡ ማሕበራዊ፡ ፖለቲካውን፡ ቁጠባውን ኣኽናፋ ዓንዩ፡ በሪሱን ተሓምሺሹን፡ ክነሳ፡ መዋጽኦና፡ ተጻቢቡ ከምዘሎ ፍሉጥ እዩ። እዚ ገዚፍ ግድል፡ ኣብ ውሽጢ’ቲ ዝጸልዎ ዓለማውን፡ ከባብያውን፡ ኩነት ኣእቲኻ ምስ እትርኢ ድማ፡ ንምኽዋኑ፡ ሰብ ኣሎዋ ድዩ’ዛ ሃገር ክትብል ትደፍር ኢኻ። ብይኹነለይ፡ ዝሕንጸጽ መደባት ዕዮ ድማ ውዒሉ ሓዲሩ፡ ብተረኽቦታት ናብ እንምርሓሉ እምበር፡ ንሕና መሪሕና ኩነታት ክንቅይረሉ ኣብ ዘይክኣል ኩነት ዘውድቕ ምኽዋኑ ዘጠራጥር የብሉን። እምበሪ፡ መን እሞ ኣሎ ሞትን ጥፍኣትን ስድራቤቱ ዝምነ? ቀደሙ’ስ እቲ ጽቡቕን፡ ሕማቕን ዝበሃል ንመን ቀሪቡ ንመን ከይርሕቆ? ኣብ ህይወት ደቂ-ሰብ እቲ ዝበርተዔ ግድል ገዛእ ርእስኻን፡ ከነተ-ህላዌኡን፡ መሚኻ ክትርዳእን ከተስተውዕልን ምኽኣል እዩ። ሰባት እዚ እንተዘይገብሩ፡ ብይኹነለይን። ሰናይ ትምኒትን፡ ክነባበሩ እንተዝፍትኑ። እዚ ተበጺሑ ዘሎ ዕብየትን፡ ምዕባሌን ወዲ-ኣዳም እምበይምተረኽበን። ንሓቂ ክንስዕባ’ምበሪ ክትስዕበና ምድላይ፡ ሽግራት ብይጽናሓለይ ንመጻኢ ምቑላል እዩ። ስለዚ፡ ብዝተኻእለና መጠን ሓይልን፡ ሓቦን ኣዋህሊልና፡ ናብ ዕዮ ክንብገስ፡ ሰናይ ጅማረ ኮይኑ ንረኽቦ።

          • Ermias

            Thank you Hailuwa, I have taken note of your excellent narration. In the interest of saving each other agony of that scary thought, I will refrain from debating on that for the moment just as you intended to do also.

      • Yodita

        Dear Eyob Medhane,
        I agree to your above post 100% ad verbatim. I also believe this to be the Eritrean reality as regards the post-IA transition period. Regards.

    • ሰላም ታላቁ ኃይሌ፣

      “Civil war” in Eritrea as seen by people like Ali S. is a useful scare factor to terrorize the Eritrean people and force them to succumb in to accepting forever DIA and the PFDJ. He is trying to misguide the people in a very subtle way, through hair
      splitting, trivialization, exaggerations and ambiguous concepts, so that Eritreans would accept without complaint, that it is in their karma to be ruled by DIA, and they should see the dictator as a lifetime ruler of Eritrea. and the PFDJ as a permanent political system that will be around for at least a hundred years.

      On the contrary, people like Hyat Adem have genuine patriotic worries, that civil war is inevitable as long as the dictatorial regime remains in power and continues to mistreat the
      Eritrean society in this horrible way. People will reach the limit of their tolerance and they will rise up, not in an organized fashion, but in a chaotic way and without guidance, where everybody will be against everybody else, and the country would have the fate of Somalia, Syria, and Libya etc

      Ali S. is saying what any supporter of a dictatorial regime would say, that if the dictator and the system he has created collapse, the sun will stop shining, a 9 richter earthquake would devastate Eritrea, and Ethiopia, the monster, would sneak in and occupy the country.

      Hayat Adem is trying to awaken the silent majority and the misguided elites, and make them understand the dark cloud that is forming on Eritrean skies, and force them to do something before everything is lost.

      Unfortunately, Ethiopia’s position is much nearer to the U-turner’s position than to that of Hyat’s. Ethiopia seems to have accepted the fact that it is better to have a reformed PFDJ rule Eritrea than a civil war, especially when there is no organized opposition to lead an uprising against the dictatorial regime. That is the reason Ethiopia is ready to talk to Eritrea anytime and anywhere, provided she avoids the negative impacts of a
      failed and chaotic Eritrea.

      Therefore, if there is a civil war in Eritrea, for e.g. after the sudden demise of the dictator, Ethiopia will be forced to act promptly before it gets out of control and involves the whole nation. Most probably, the AU and the UN, will bless such intervention by Ethiopia. Otherwise, proactively, Ethiopia will never intervene in an Eritrean affair.

      • Yodita

        Dear Horizon,
        Many thanks for your description of what the “civil war” implies as seen by Mr. Ali S. I would never have arrived at such a clear picture re-reading his inputs a thousand times. Thank you indeed for this concise and clear meaning. Now we know what it is all about, the U-turn and all.

      • dine

        somalia, syria and libya civil war started not because of dictatorial regimes remain in power, because of foreign powers and that can happen to any 3rd world contries.

        • Hayat Adem

          And Eritrea belongs to the 3rd world countries, does it not?

          • dine

            yes eritrea is 3rd world country and that is exactly what i am trying to say, you can’t single out eritrea or few other countries for vulnerability of civil war. if there is power vacuum there is a big possibility of civil war and as long as the regime (any regime dictatorial or not) is strong there is very slim chance for civil war .

          • Hopeful

            Yes,but in a UNIQUE WAY though.
            Keep dreaming—PIA is NOT Eritrea or Eritreans.

      • Ermias

        Dear Horizon,

        I respectfully disagree with the following assertion in your comment:

        “On the contrary, people like Hyat Adem have genuine patriotic worries, that civil war is inevitable as long as the dictatorial regime remains in power and continues to mistreat the Eritrean society in this horrible way. People will reach the limit of their tolerance and they will rise up, not in an organized fashion, but in a chaotic way and without guidance, where everybody will be against everybody else, and the country would have the fate of Somalia, Syria, and Libya etc”

        For one thing, there is no evidence nor any indication that the Eritrean people will rise up in any violent manner against the regime much less against each other. They have clearly shown their opposition to the regime by leaving the country in their 100s of 1000s. For another thing, the regime is the enemy and that’s why it is isolated by the people. There is no sufficient animosity amongst any groups of people to lead to violence.

        To me a civil war is one in which citizens of the same nation are at a protracted fighting against each other with thousands of casualties and the effects of which are immensely difficult to overcome in the aftermath. A power vacuum leading to some civil unrest and leading to dozens of casualties (which is the most likely scenario in Eritrea) doesn’t count as civil war in the sense being argued here as an inevitable from both extremes. A polarizing figure, resources up for grabs, external interference, deep animosity between groups of people are the leading causes of civil wars. Traces of all the above may exist but not to the extent that can lead to mass killings.

        • Dear Ermias,

          What we are saying is that the peaceful and law-abiding people of Eritrea could be forced to be disobedient and riot against the regime at a certain point in the future, due to the injustice and human rights violations that are going to continue if DIA and the PFDJ remain in power. Nobody is saying that there are visible signs of civil unrest or civil war at this stage. Nevertheless, civil unrest leading to civil war will be the unavoidable final end, if people continue to live under a never-ending misery, slave labor, open-ended military service and generally, if social injustices and governmental decadence become the fate of Eritrea.

          Social and national cohesion could be lost. There could be absence of allegiance to the government and even to the country (remember, the mass exodus of the young), when economic deprivation, injustice and human rights violation, become universal, affecting the majority of the Eritrean society; civilian, military and even members of the ruling class. My friend, do not forget that groups among these could easily change from supporters to opponents.

          Anarchy, chaos and the absence of effective government may ensue, which could end into a civil war. There is a fear that this could be fueled not only by social injustices, but also ethnic and religious factions.

          The Somali people did not have animosity before they reached the stage of killing each other. When the central government collapsed, each group (clan) organized itself into self-defending and self-sustaining military groups (clans). Soon, conflicts between clans became the rule as each one of them wanted to control the economy, power etc.

          Therefore, nobody is immune to civil unrest and civil war, not even linguistically, culturally, religious-wise and genealogically uniform nations, let alone a conglomerate of ethnic groups and religions, as Ethiopia and Eritrea happen to be.

          That is why Hayat Adem is vociferously saying that Eritreans should not tolerate DIA and the PFDJ to lead the Eritrean nation to the stage of a civil war, which is inevitable if they remain in power.

      • Hopeful

        The fact of the matter is that,it is in ethiopia that an overt Civil war is going on,on a day light–irrespective of its magnitude.
        So,it is better to mind your business. and save your own from the on-going civil war.
        The Cyber-War/psychological warfare has failed miserabley already.It is dead with your DEAD ones..

      • Hopeful

        I beg your pardon?
        Can you read the wikileaks,for God’s sake?Isn’t it this what the ethiopian Gov wants any way???
        I mean,if you are naive and “ignorant” about all these facts,I am not sure how you are going to debate,let alone to convince Eritreans.

  • AMEN

    Why is that some few Ethiopians like the followers of the
    Degue and the woyane/Tplf do not have any idea of the
    whole country except their organization or party.
    And why is that they count the small flare ups and eruptions
    within the still ongoing REVOLUTION as revolutions by themselves.
    Example : they call the 1974 coup de etat as if the revolution erupted ?
    And similarly the woyanes consider the aborted 1991 event as a revolution
    succeeded. Both are wrong. Because the revolution that started in the early
    1960’s to liberate Ethiopia is still on its way and going on though it is bogged down
    and hijacked two or so times- one in 1974 and again in 1991.
    Also they seem not to correctly understand when and how and by who it started
    and launched. Some misinformed and misguided EPRPS tell you it started right in
    1974 or 75 while it really is in 1960-61.

    • Abinet

      You must be a very lonely person. I wonder if you are writing from a prison or somewhere in the middle of a desert. God help you .

      • Hopeful

        Daer Abinet,
        With all due respect,you have NO reason to comment liket that.
        You have an option of either keeping quite or respectfully asking or challeneging the Author about his article.
        Does it hurt or cost you any thing to do so?But it may cost you ,at least from Moral and Ethical point of view for saying what you said.
        Some of us here are being threatened and harrassed for saying what should be said and for expressing our opinions, in the name of “nicks”, without insulting or belittling any one but here you are —–
        This is what we call arrogance and disrespect.
        To my best recall,I have never come across any constructive comment from you thus far.
        Please,stay away from this obsolete “Them and Us” thing and follow suit the Honrable Fanti Ghana and Amde…

        • abinet

          I don’t know who I should reply to. You are a person with different nicks and personalities. You support and accuse IA , Sofia,.. in the same paragraph. You are really gifted. This is not flip flapping, it is being opportunistic. In amharic we call it “mehal sefari”. This kind of person should not be trusted.
          I am not here to comment on issues that are purely eritrean because it is non of my business. I try , in as much as possible, to stay away unless I have to defend my country. You blame and belittle
          Ethiopia for every predicament eritrea faces . Sir, just read your reply to Haile. You are blaming Ethiopia as a cause to the “looming civil war” with out giving any reason as to how it benefit from it. Thanks.

          • hopeful

            Respond to the message/question if you have the brain and the gut.
            Forget about the messenger but the message.
            God knows how many hidden nicks you have been using here…Mine is/are 1-2 and changed officially,not behind the chioskis.
            Are you the one who were misusing my old nick?
            Guilty feeling?

          • Hopeful

            —and you are telling me that Ethiopia has done nothing wrong.You sound like a neonate here.
            Why are you here then?To spy on us?How much do get paid,BTW?Nice business?

          • Abinet

            Bad day for me. I am exposed.yes I was spying on you . I was paid very well
            What is there to spy in Eritrea?how many people kidnapped,tortured,raped,jailed,trafficked ,….if the country is collapsing?all the infrastructures being developed,including the micro dams ,the morale of the army,the slave labour of the 21 century,…………………I spyed all these and more using my I-phone while walking my dog.
            You are funny.

          • Hope

            Use your iPhone for GOOD,man.
            Again,mind your business and take care of your raped and abused refugees from Saudi Arabia and Yemen

          • abinet

            My reply is not for you .it is for hopeful. In amharic we say
            abba bebelu , emahoyn agesachew
            you see your masters , the stinking arabs , the ones who supported you in bleeding my country, are selling your refugees in open market while your refugees in Ethiopia are going to college.
            God bless mama Ethiopia! Don’t you worry, your people are safe with us. They are at their original home.

  • Semere Tesfai

    Starting civil war in any poor country is very easy. All it takes is political and financial support, and arms shipment from the West. It is as simple as that. Civil war in Eritrea is not abstract concept. It is real. We had it before (with no support from outside) and it is quite possible to have it in our future – after all, all the ingredients for civil war are there.

    The Eritrean opposition political business is riddled with sub-national politics and nostalgia of mama Ethiopia – no need to sugarcoat there (ethnic politics, regional politics, political Islam, Neo Unionists…you name it). In the Eritrean opposition camp, there are many who swear that the PFDJ regime is an ethnic Tigrigna regime that serves only, for the best interest of the Ethnic Tigrigna Clan. And they believe they are in the opposition business to defeat the ethnic Tigrigna government, in order to preserve their Islamic culture, their Islamic heritage and their Islamic faith. And on the flip-side of it, there are those who are hellbent to reverse Eritrean independence by trashing anything and everything that is Eritrean. Their motive: “to save Eritrea from Arabization and to bring it back to its Habesha roots”.

    Now, we all know, the Eritrean opposition politics is framed along ethnic, regional, and Islamic politics. That is a fact. Now if the opposition assumption is – the PFDJ regime is an ethnic regime (Tigrigna) that oppresses other ethnics and faiths, and if the opposition objective is to defeat the ethnic Tigrigna regime, then imagine the implication of the opposition politics → we are going to weed them out, we are going to defeat them, we are going to outlaw their party, we are going to deny them any political space in post Isaias Eritrea, we are going to bring them to justice….. And there is more.

    If we are not lucky, with foreign intervention, the threat of civil war becomes even greater if you factor in, the political organizations that are for self determination up-to and including secession, the political organizations that seek unification with mama Ethiopia, and the fight against Islamic fundamentalism and its proximity to Eritrea. The point:

    Without defending the PFDJ regime, without exonerating the PFDJ regime from any of its crimes and wrong doings, the Eritrean opposition camp has an obligation to frame its politics at the level of National Politics and it has to learn to play its politics responsibly. And the politics of the Eritrean opposition is nothing but sub-national and irresponsible.

    The message of Ali Salim’s article (if I understood it correctly) – like any poor nation in our region, the possibility of civil war in Eritrea is not far fetched. LETS STOP THE POLITICS DIVISION THAT WOULD EXPOSE ERITREA TO THE HORROR OF CIVIL WAR.

    Wodehankum

    • ALI-S

      Selam ST,

      That is exactly the point. Thank you.

      I would only add that for the scenario in the article to happen the existence of ethnic and religious politics is redundant. It is more than enough that the last 24 years have created a lot of people who are mad and a lot of families and communities that are under unbelievable stress.

      Under these conditions, even if we overlook the valid observations that you mentioned and assume perfect unity along ethnic and religious lines, the initial catastrophe is more than enough to change Eritrea into a graveyard.

      Let the so called opposition continue to play ostrich and they will be irrelevant for good. All of us will be.

    • Hopeful

      Welcome back Vet Semere Tesfay,
      Please CC to Haile the Great and thanks for making it clearer about what I wanted to relay.

  • Kokhob Selam

    I don’t know about others but some time I love to go back some years and remember the past, while measuring how much I have gone ahead. you may love this poem and the song under it. that may remind us “beauty is deep skin” which in turn will remind us knowledge with out wisdom is but nothing.

    ክንደይ ትጽብቕ፡
    ከም ጽሓይ ትበርቕ፡
    ተብለካ ሕቅቕ፡
    ካብ’ዛ ዓለም ምሉቕ።

    ….ኩለን ድየን ኣዋልድና ምልኩዓት፡
    ……..ኢለ ክመራመር ኣካየድኩ መጽናዕትታት፡
    ………….እቲ ሚስትጥር ረኺብዮ ፍሉይ ዝገበራ፣
    ………………ንወጽዓ ነጺጋ ምስ ህዝባ ምስማራ፡

    ኣየ ‘ወ ኤርትራዊነታ፡

    ….. ዱልዱል መርገጻታ፡
    …………ሰላም ምልክታ፡ዘይብላ መሰታ፣

    ………………………….. ርኣዩዋ እንዶ ‘ታ፡

    ‘ምበር ቁንጅና ድኣ ቆርበት ዝዕምቆቱ ንግዚኡ እንዳ ኣሉ፡

    ዝርሳዕ እንተሞይቱ፡ ነገር ዓለም ምሉእ ዘይብሉ።

    by Kokhob Selam

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ot0VpAsPy1I

  • ALI-S

    Selam Pappi,

    I think – bizeqalAlem – you are the most brilliant and most interesting character in this forum.

    Let us take one point you said: “it is precisely what the kernel of PFDJistas line of argument is”. Let us add another point: “if Isaias is the main cause and the harbinger … he is the only person who can nip it”.

    Those Pappi are the two main reasons that we should talk about the horror coming our way and we should own proposals of handling them.

    First: as you said it is the critical argument that the PFDJ has to its side and so many people (the ones you see dancing in the videos) are supporting the government blindly not because they are dumb but because they are responsible and they care to evade the horror. Our initiative should be to show them that we too care and we have better solutions first to evade and if it does happen to deal with the aftermath.

    Second: because Isaias is the cause and the owner of the initiate, and we have agreed that he is a nutcase and we are the good ones, we should show that we would not let him take us over the cliff. If you are saying he is crazy, you cannot also expect him to come up with solutions. Some consistency Pappina!?

    The ball is in your court and the least you can do is open your eyes and see what people can see. Bad idea to build policy on fairy tales.

    Accept the brewing nightmare as true and build policy and action around it: If I turn out to be right, then you would be better prepared. If I turn out to be wrong, then you are better equipped. You do not lose either way.

    Accept fairy tales of democrasyawit ertra after opposition: if you turn out to be right, then we would have wasted less energy during the opposition struggle. If you turn out to be wrong, we are screwed for good.

    Hawkhi!

  • tafla

    “I know we have a few former commies in here. So let us try to appear “ideological” at least in one paragraph.”

    Ato Ali,

    What do you mean by “former commies”? 🙂
    I’m of the firm conviction that most conflicts are about economics in nature, it only takes irresponsible leaders to give them a religious or ethnic character. Do we have such an irresponsible government in Eritrea today? or is it only in the opposition?

    • ALI-S

      Selam Tafla,

      You do not have to worry about the “former commies” reference. I think you are a current commy from what you said (:-)

      Commies are those who use Marxists philosophy and Leninist ideology and apply it where it does not belong or serves no purpose to the masses other than justifying power grabs. In our case the commies give themselves the right to speak for the masses (the riffraff) and dream of jumping political power with no election.

      To get out of the commy business you need to differentiate between “responsible government” and “legitimate government”. They are two different things. One is not entitled to govern because he/she is responsible but because he/she is elected. All “responsible” are not necessarily “legitimate” but all “legitimate” are by definition “responsible”. If the electors decide this person is legitimate, then we have to accept that they are by definition “responsible”. Saying otherwise means giving yourself the right to declare the masses dumb and that is “commy”.

  • zemen

    I felt the tragedy that is hovering upon us, as I read your article specially the exodus everyone as compared to a tsunami indicator.

  • Mahmud Saleh

    Ustaz Ali-S;
    “What a mature and responsible person would want to hear is whether we would have an exit strategy if it does happen….Now be serious and tell me how prepared are you to deal with such a mess if it happens.” (yours)
    Ustaz Ali-S, by failing to answer these part of your article which should be the crux of it all, you are criminally negligent (your favorite accusation). I mean, if you can’t attempt to tackle this portion, why do you spend your time in building a collection of horror movies? Yodita challenged you with this, “Your article projects such a gruesome horror without giving a single valid reason or analysis why such a dreadful thing is most likely to happen.” KorEida gualey. She would expect from you a substantive engagement. Cherra doguilka mhdam yelen. She is asking you to apply those scary scenarios to our situation (BTW, we never said we are different and we did not say similar scenarios can never happen in Eritrea; I put it as a remotely possible scenario and gave you historical facts that support my assessment); but you need to tell us why we could head that way, and offer a solution to avoid it. Your only offer seems to be warning not to touch the government. Well, in my opinion, the government is the source of any possible civil war. By its repressive policies, it is not leaving a breathing space for citizens to vent out their grievances, which is the single most danger for igniting a civil war. Civil wars happen in the absence of democratic institutions. We are not there because our people are well aware of the consequences of wars; they seem to be willing to bear the brunt in order to avoid bloodshed. But you can never forecast a social explosion. Months before its eruption, Gadhafi was in Benghazi; anyone who watched how the streets of Benghazi were treating his entourage would never expect a whole city would erupt in a day. So, if you are really scared of that scenario, teach your fellow citizens how to intensify their will and action against this uniquely cruel dictatorial regime in order to avoid unexpected social explosion. If you don’t do that, you are criminally negligent. I am on record on talking (that’s all I can do) about pursuing peaceful means to bring about domestic change. In my view all diaspora efforts should be calibrated in a way
    that ensures minimum violence and relatively smooth transfer by a domestic force. To that end, you could teach your fellow citizens how peaceful resistance could be applied to our situation, you could even pick a phone and try to reach the president to stop his madness (you could try and report back your call’s failure to getting through)…I could say many things, but at this stage of the night, it all will be gibberish, anyway. Sorry to say it, but I have to be frank; your work was half cooked, and your answers were evasive or tasteless, in Tigre we call it “Berjego” salt less food or tasteless talk. If you want us to appreciate your article,answer those concerns above, mainly:
    – How do you relate those scenarios in our case?
    – What do you propose the way forward should be in order to avoid civil war?
    If your position is that opposing the government is not warranted, then you donot have to care about answering them.
    And I am just wandering, when some years back, people began getting together and learning to respect each other, you came up with “land grabbers” crusade; you got them scared and scattered; and now you are coming with this ” civil war.” scenarios. I am not downplaying its possibility, but I am expecting from you more than that. Civil war can erupt anywhere, no country is immune to it; thank you for raising the awareness, but tell us how people can break the shakles of an extremely cruel regime.

    • ALI-S

      MaHmud Basha,

      You made very good points in both comments. In fact your second post (this one) is so good that you answered your own questions. Please read my response to Yodita as background.

      You said “we can never forecast a social explosion” and implicitly its actors and directions before it happens. You also made a good case that such an explosion is very possible and the key is in the President’s pocket.

      We both agree that the President we have is irresponsible and would never care until the explosion does happen and therefore there is no use expecting or pressuring him to do things that would help us evade the explosion. We are in a difficult deadlock in here.

      Your concern seems to be that of assigning responsibility for the disaster when it happens by saying Isaias should be the one responsible and as long as we know who is responsible we should go ahead and do our part irrespective of the consequences. If you are driving on a highway, pedestrians should be responsible for crossing only when it is safe. If you know that you would end up hitting some pedestrian crossing where he/she should not, would you just head-on because the court will find you not guilty? Well that person turns out to have the same craze as Isaias.

      Of course this is just one article and no one can say much in a few words and no writer can have solutions to everything. What solutions do you propose? From previous articles my suggestion was to move towards what I referred to as third way which is to say opposition that may exploit every safe route that does not go through the scenario of horror and explosion. If as you seem to thing such room does not exist, Eritrea is better off today than it will be after the explosion. If the explosion is inevitable as the exodus of the youth suggests, then we should take it as given and talk about how to handle the aftermath.

      Here is the question: are you not worried that in spite of the insistence that we do actually have so many organizations in the opposition, we are all talking about our individual roles and pretending that no organized opposition exists?

      The point some of us/you is missing is that in my opinion all these articles and opinions refer to debate on what the opposition organizations should do or not do. It does not help when we personalize the whole story as if me or you “Basha” specifically are requested to solve. This distracts the debate and turns it into a me-me debate which is irrelevant. In any future comments try to include the opposition and see what the organized part can do to help.

  • Papillon

    Dear Ali Salim,

    Your overall otherwise “Hobbesian and Schopenheurian” take has a curious and interesting twist if you will where one gets the impression that, it is precisely what the kernel of PFDJistas line of argument is. When the hypothetical scenario revolves around a melodrama and a hyperbole, if anything, Isaias happens to be the only entity who can stop it from happening. The argument continues: Why would you want to remove an entity that can spare you from a nightmare you would put any price-tag-on to wake-up from. Think again. Think harder. The paradox is, if Isaias is the main cause and the harbinger of the Civil War in the offing, he is the only person who can nip it in the bud as well. As the “riffraff” is plagued with the frightening scenario, he or she is tasked with two things: to engage rabidly in all the Mekhetes and ኩዳ ዓረዛ and to pray to the heavens so that Isaias doesn’t expire due to the forces of nature. In the mean time however, an alternative scenario remains an anathema to a Civil War-to-be: when the nation is wallowed into a virtual ghost-nation, Civil War-to-be loses any meaning—(read: if the nation is empty of people, there won’t be any Civil War). And if the current situation remains unabated, the latter will stand the most possible scenario as opposed to your rather extreme xerox of other failed states that you have in your alarmist menu.

    Haft’kha.

  • ALI-S

    To All,

    I thought to start this thread as a way of bringing related comments together for convenience. So far Basha Mahmoud, Emma, Kokhob and Yodita have made almost identical arguments in a way.

    The main argument is that “Eritrea is different from other countries mentioned in the horror stories”. I said it is “criminally negligent to propose such” and I think it is irresponsible.

    Let us assume that you are right and all the scenarios are outlandish. Now assume some dumb guy like me is asks you: “what if you are wrong and something like this ends up taking place?” His next question will of course be: “have you ever entertained other than self-righteousness? or do you think the opposition would be able to offer anything by way of solution is Ali-S turns out to be right?”

    I think it is irrelevant to draw the debate to useless inkileel where we debate whether such as scenario is probable or not. That is where you do not seem to be serious and grown up at all. What a mature and responsible person would want to hear is whether we would have an exit strategy if it does happen.

    By the way, this is not a joke. If it does happen, it will cost many people so much. You are saying you represent the opposition one way or another. Feel free to take me as representing the Eritrean government’s position. I am laying a scenario that any responsible Eritrean should be concerned about. Now be serious and tell me how prepared are you to deal with such a mess if it happens.

    I think it was Kaddis (an Ethiopian if I read him right) who seemed to agree that no comparable nation is immune to these horrors. He says that is why we should think twice before wishing for government to disappear before a viable replacement is ready. I think he would agree with me that it is straight criminal or the PFDJ to mobilize and arm such opposition groups and I believe he would also be kind enough to apply same prudence towards Eritrea.

    What do you say Mr. & Miss Gibberish?

    • Yodita

      Dear Mr. Ali S.

      A civil war by definition is a war BETWEEN (not among) citizens of the same country. Please correct me if I am wrong, but your article does not indicate who the two warring sides are supposed to be. Had you clearly described that, debaters could express and expound on the possibility or not. Both you and Ms. Hayat Adem blow the trumpet of an imending civil war without saying a word who the two aggregates or players are and based on what premises. We have over 99% of the society treated (mistreated) equally by an incompetent albeit cruel system, a society muzzled by a heavy hand in imprisonment and disappearance and the minute this society sees light it is gonna rush to a gruesome civil war (a two sided interplay). Hardly convincing!

      My understanding of a potential civil war is: in Egypt between Moslem Brotherhood and pro-Sisi; in Iraq between Sunni and Shia, in Lebanon between Hezbolah and the Christians; in South Sudan between the two tribes of the President and the ex-Vice president, in Syria between the Government and opposition, etc. In Eritrea, we have an oppressive system under one man whose power base is founded on individuals (who go on all fours and perform as ordered) picked up for their loyalty and passivity. My take is that no one will want to shed blood for IA’s sake save those whose present gain is tied up to his (which in my book is negligent).

      Mr. Ali S. – I am all attention and ears to listen and learn if you wish to honor me with your insight as to who the players of the civil war might be in our beloved home.

      • ALI-S

        Selam Yodita,

        You do make very good points and I do get your point in the difficulties with framing. But my concern with the way you present your comments include:

        (1) In my opinion it is difficult to fit real life situations into strict textbook compartments and definitions. For example: we use the concept “woman” to mean a female human being. When we use that concept in real life we have to treat it as “common noun”, which make it convenient for us to speak about sets of things that look alike. In real life, there is no “common” on the ground it is only an abstraction. Here we would have beautiful woman, ugly woman etc. Even these are abstractions because at the individual level you have Akhberet, Fatma, AdHanet and Bitchir. If you get to know them you will be wondering why they lumped them under one roof of “woman”. The same applies to “civil war”.

        (2) My general totally hypothetical framing in terms of “common nouns” would be the “civil war” I described can be framed as “people against the state” as opposed to the predominant presumption that we may have “opposition against government”. The first takes place under chaos and anarchy the second takes place where there is some kind of organizational order.

        (3) It is simply not possible to identify the actors (the actual demons who would be doing the actual ground) in any “people against state” civil war. If you presume prior knowledge of actors, you would be defeating the presumption of anarchy. I think that is probably why we all (not just you) tend to pre-specify the contestants because we are practically searching for convenient ways of evading discussion on the real mango. If you know the parties that will go to the civil war, you are speaking about the “opposition against government” brand which is a best case scenario.

        In my opinion, you may take this option (opposition Vs government) out of the table for two more reasons:

        (1) We do not have difference if that is the brand that would take place because it is resolvable and parties can negotiate.

        (2) In our context where there is no organized opposition (a negotiated organizational structure that might be taken as a unit of analysis), and at the same time the absence of PFDJ as a clearly identifiable political unit (in ways that identify the enemy as clearly bounded thing), it does not help to talk of “opposition against government” because you would be implying structures that do not exist on the ground. Some may say it is dishonest unless you are a newborn baby in our politics.

        The groups I mentioned in the article were pure speculations extrapolating from what we can realistically expect. But the difference is that in the article this brand emerges later in the chaos where it matures into identifiable actors. There is no difference here. If you don’t like the Muslim Christian actors, feel free to replace them with short and tall people. We may even assume by some miracle ENCDC will be representing one side.

        Where we need to focus is between the whisper and the arrival of the first Tunisian.

        Yodita please continue on my response to MaHmud Basha. For now please assume basic intelligence in many of the peoples that went through the horrors in other countries: if they had known who the actors would be before the chaos, they would have done their best to evade them. Some of them had a lot more educated people than Eritrea.

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Ustaz Younis H. (YH),

          Question to you: Why do you want us to debate on abstract individualized or esoteric argument? Why don’t we argue on pragmatic politics that brings pragmatic solutions? You said “there is no common on the ground, it is only abstraction” which implies everything that exist is abstract and no reality as such. If there is no common ground there is no common solution. I would ask you to revisit your argument because there are many holes in it, even in your philosophical approach. I will not allow myself to waste my time to debate on abstract terminologies, but I will come to you in a full swing to argue against your positions very soon.

          Hawka,
          Amanuel Hidrat

        • Semere Andom

          Dear Hayatina:

          If you start writing articles it will add the much craved flavour in this male dominated article writing. Think about doing it.

          I couple of weeks ago I made nuisance of myself by intruding between you and Yodita and this was the gist of my comment:

          Eritrea is a prime candidate for civil war, let us not kid ourselves. We did it before and we did it during the armed struggle as you say and we are more polarized than ever with bottled up anger. In the late eighties in the Sudan a guy killed his first cousin during EPLF and ELF argument as a teenager, I was shocked. Marriages broke, wives were beaten for attending EPLF‘s women association meeting and the EPLF office was the arbitrator of divorce.

          Hope is not going to save us, only debate can. Hope as Nietche said may protract our suffering as we cling to the elusive hope told to us by the soft-spoken voices inside our own heads

          But the real potential for civil war should not cripple us from eliminating PFDJ as Ali Salim wheedles. PFDJ is an efficient catalysts for civil war, not the antidote against it

          • Hayat Adem

            “PFDJ is an efficient catalysts for civil war, not the antidote against it” That says it all as far as Ali is concerned. Thanks Sem.

      • Hayat Adem

        Yodita Haftey I sense like you are
        inviting some geography between you and me. ክተርሕቕኒ ዶ ደሊኺ? እምበር “ሚስ ሓያትሲ” ኣይፎኸሰትንን። ግን ድሓን ምናልባት ናተይ ስግኣት ኣጋኒነ ሪአዮ ከይከውን ኢለ ክሓልፍ። Yes, Ali-S and I are alarming Eritreans of a civil war for different purposes. He is telling us not to challenge the status quo because doing that will inevitably result in a messy civil war where everyone worse off, and from where there will never be a luxury of resurrection as a country. I am saying what we have now is the surest way of heading to a civil war and it is the making of the status quo itself. Time wise, we have run too late to save the day and the only quickest action left is an outside help. The pace of destruction happening to Eritrea as we speak will not lend us any time to wait for a year or two to mobilize an inside capacity to turn the trend around.
        Obviously, I am not writing an article and that limits me to argue my case at length like Ali-S. But, contrary to popular belief, Africa’s civil wars are not due to its ethnic and religious diversity or not because of the ethno-linguistic fragmentation of its countries, but rather due to high levels of poverty, failed political institutions, and economic dependence on natural resources. I argue that the best and fastest strategy to reduce the prevalence of civil war in Africa, including Eritrea, and prevent future civil wars is to institute democratic reforms that effectively manage the challenges facing diverse societies. Ali-S is arguing the way to avoid civil war is to postpone any change. I say tailored political governance and economic management institutions are needed and Ali-S says keep PFDJ forget intuitions and constitutions. I suggest that when properly managed and governed ethnic diversity in fact helps –it does not impede– the emergence of stable development as it necessitates inter-group bargaining processes. These processes can be peaceful if ethnic groups feel adequately represented by their
        national political institutions and if the economy provides opportunity for productive activity. In fact, there is not ethnic conflict as such, there may be inter communitarian conflicts driven by political and economic interests. The point here is that Eritrea is not immune because it is not diverse enough or it is too diverse. Eritrea is being governed now with extremely centralized control without the support of legitimate and legal institutions. Such a system is not only unsustainable but also generates a lot of grievances all down the road. When it is no longer possible for such a system to extend its life beyond a point, as it looks now no matter people like Ali-S make multiple turns to advocate for more patience and caution, the exit is always disruptive and violent, as opposed to orderly. The accumulated grievances and injustices over the years explode and poverty and scarcity of resources aggravate the situation. When there are enough arms to grab in every household, people start acting in their own way as they see it fit for that moment. There will ill-destined groups who will be agitating their followers to act decisively, and there will be others countering and defending. If ELF and EPLF had fought it out while they were in the middle of crossing a river what made you think we are much better now.
        There are armed groups in Denkelia. There are armed Kunama groups. There are armed Islamist groups. There is TPDM right in the outskirts of Asmara. There all these EDF commanders who associate/disassociate with IA…Yodita, we need to be afraid, we need to be very afraid.

        • dine

          dear Hayat, civil war is happening only when there is power vacuum and when there is no winner within a different faction. that is what civil war history tells us. the grievances is a supplement not the major causes

        • Yodita

          Kbrti Haftey Hayat Adem,

          This is only a delayed interim reply to comment on your first setence. For the rest of your habitually powerful and unique post, I am unable to respond soon.

          It can very easily seem that I am inviting distance when I address you as Ms. but even though we may have opposed views on matters as important as the civil war, my regards and respect for you were made a long time ago and are not shakable. Let me confess into something that is very private. When you sent that message indicating your absence for sometime, I was so affected that for the next three months or so I added the name Hayat Adem to the list of the few most important and intimate things I say in a sort of prayer as the last thing I do before I close my eyes for sleep. I only stopped when your posts were coming normal and strong as ever because I was assured of your wellness.

          It is in the cyber world, but you mean a lot to me as I learn so much not only in what you say in black and white but between the lines. In my book, you deserve a higher stature than the ordinary. I may not agree with every point your try to make but I cannot deny your being extraordinary. You make my world so much fuller and more interesting and livable. Just as an example, I am also equally ‘smitten’ by the brilliance of Papillon who in the past was known as … Arwe. I used to address her or refer to her as Lady Arwe or often as my Lady meaning it wholeheartedly. When I am impressed and impacted by persons like yourself and Papillon, I like to express my respect and appreciation. Ms. may sound bureaucratic and cold but so does lady sound feudal but I used them to distinguish.

          This is just to say some geography between us is the very last thing I want. Haftcki Natki

          • Hayat Adem

            What a sweetest and kindest sister you are. I’m now glued. Thank you.

          • Zolam

            Dear Yodita ! This line is exactly how I feel about Hayat. ‘It is in the cyber world, but you mean a lot to me as I learn so much not only in what you say in black and white but between the lines. In my book, you deserve a higher stature than the ordinary.’ I usually search for Hayat’s take on serious matters here in Awate. Thanks guys

        • ALI-S

          Selam Hayat,

          Excellent post. I will skip where we agree: entry and fuelling of civil war in the form proposed in the article or some variant of it.

          That being out of question, you know my exit proposal. I don’t think I need to refresh. I have no idea what your proposal is. In my opinion you along with the mainstream opposition effectively have no proposal at all. You all sound very smart but I will let you grade your own test and please give us a score:

          1. You say contrary to Ali’s idea “the best and fastest strategy to reduce the prevalence of civil war … and prevent future civil wars is to institute democratic reforms”.

          Question: How will you do that?

          Hint: The reason people end up in civil war is because they failed to do that. If you think we haven’t failed and you have some hope, then your prediction of civil war is baseless. You have no reason to predict civil war where there is still some hope.

          2. You say: “tailored political governance and economic management institutions are needed”.

          Question: How would you get people to agree on the tailor?

          Hint: The reason we are in this mess is because we haven’t been able to agree on the tailor. We have all agreed that PFDJ is terrible tailor. They cut too much. If we had a mechanism by which we would be able to pick tailors, there would not have need for change in the first place.

          Hayat what do people mean by “Byzantine discussion”? Is there a way of evading it in the future?

          But you are fantastic to say the least.

          • Hayat Adem

            Kibur Haw Ali-S,
            Thanks for the kind words.

            1) I think there is nothing good you can initiate while PFDJ is intact and in power. Leaving it there for time would mean sentencing Eritrea to a predestined civil war. The opposition is not as evil but it is too weak for anything now. Hence outside help must be seriously considered.
            2) Eritreans now are not without broadly sensed consensus. Demobilization, normalization and placing seeds of democratization can be the starting points. Then, development and poverty alleviation mobilizations can be next. And it is about more and more internalizing, deepening and broadening them.
            Ali-S, yours is not a sensible exit proposal. There is no logic of sustaining the system that is responsible for the mess except what you are looking for is more of the same, and even more of the worse.
            You have a fantastic pen.
            Hayat

          • Yodita

            Kbrti Haftey Hayat Adem,

            At least I am now clear on where you and Ali S.’ stand on the risks of a civil war. After very careful consideration, I find that I still maintain the same position, i.e. at the end of the day, collective wisdom and collective instinct to survive will prevail.

            To wish contunuity of IA and PFDJ on the Eritrean people as per Ali S.’ stand is most unsustainable as change is overdue by at least a decade and half. Think how much would have been saved had changed occured some 15 years ago! A single day more of this regime is too catastrophic and costly for the present and the future of the country.

            To contemplate an outside involvement when the Eritrean people have a proven curriculum to overcome odds of all sorts be it collectively (read Alemseghed Tesfay’s Two Weeks in the Trenches) and individually (Dejen), in my view, there is no outside help that holds. All the ingredients required for achieving goals are there in the Eritrean phsyche and make up! IA and his cohorts tinkered with it and the set back has taken most if not all by shock and has contributed a lot in the temporary doubt we have on ourselves. The resources (human and moral) are there and when the temperature rises, a collective quantum leap in the innate age old wisdom will prevail. Notwithstanding the apparent murky point in time we are in, the craving for the rule of law will triumph. Is this a wishful thinking or a scholarly analysis, aime it is the first point but gut feelings are not to be totally ignored. Haftcki

  • Rodab

    Ali Salim,
    What is elite in Tigrigna and what is rifraff in English?
    I will comment on your article IF I am patient enough to read it all.

    • ALI-S

      Rodab,

      I never thought about that:

      Himeret and Hatela? likhay and Huqan? Tsiray & dagga? yikealo & warsay? meriH & Hafash? What do you suggest? SG & SAAY would be good on translate.

      May we don’t have elite in Tigrigna because those we are calling elite still have their riffraff minds running. May be because we are at the point of transition when we are just waiting for the carnival to bring the new set.

      • Saleh Johar

        Younis, Hmmeret is core, Hatela is proper translation. For elite I would go with Lahmet.

        • ALI-S

          SG,

          “Lahmet” is the word Halib site!

          • Saleh Johar

            Halib ste reminded me of another word: lgAa cow milk for a short time after it gives birth. That is what the calves feed on.

    • Tesfabirhan WR

      Dear Rodab,

      I would rather say,

      Elite = mhuran or Likawnti
      Riffraff = gebaro

      Hawka
      tes

  • Amde

    So why is it the graphics for an article on Eritrean civil war shows fighters with Ethiopian flags?
    Amde

    • Kim Hanna

      Selam Mr.Amde,
      The flag is the constant background unmistakable nightmare of his.
      That aside, I am in bewilderment. This article is NOT like his other ones. In the others he wants to show off and likes being controversial for its own sake. He has written wishing bad and evil events in Ethiopia, in a blunt sort of way. Frankly I have no respect for him.
      However, this article is different. It almost looks to me that a different author participated to drive the clean and shrill message. (once we cross the line the nightmare described are more likely than not) It is a profound statement delivered clearly and in earnest.
      This desperate call and warning to his people for attention cannot be dismissed.
      I frankly don’t know what to make of it other than my gut instinct feelings. I guess I will wait until, and I hope You, saay-Johar and Horizon comment on the content of this article’s full import.
      K.H

      • abinet

        Dear kim
        are you telling me that you read his article after his dream is to see broken Ethiopia? What were you thinking/expecting from this (sorry, I don’t have any adjective to describe him). I just hope that he makes one of his u-turns and come back to his sensses.(may be it is too late for him)

        • Kim Hanna

          Dear abinet,
          My only defense is temporary insanity. I was in the middle of his description of the planners/elite and the, what he calls the riffraff heroes, when my thought turned to our own early beginning and revolution of the 70s. The result of the revolution could have gone in multiple directions, no guarantees. The Addis Ababa University debates and the relationship of the red terror eventuality alarm sounded, in my head. I said temporary insanity, didn’t I, which is clearing up as we speak.
          I have not forgotten what he wished for us.
          K.H

    • ALI-S

      Amade

      I think it was unintended. I have not mentioned Ethiopia or any implication of it at all (I think).

      Kim Hanna you are very right. This I tried to make it clean from politics. The same message also goes to Ethiopian opposition groups including those supported by PFDJ. In both countries we have the right to oppose and change in as far as we have answers in case such scenarios do turn out to be true.

  • Yodita

    Awate moderator,

    Where is my post of 30 mins ago to Mr. Ali S.? One to the same Mr. Ali has been withheld already!

  • Yodita

    Mr. Ali S.,

    I read and re-read your abstract countless times to make sense of it all, especially because you declare it the summary or snapshot of the whole article. Either you are a too sophisticated writer and the modest minds like me are unable to grasp let alone fathom your thoughts or else it is pure gibberish! For instance, you say:

    “…Abstraction – Today’s article targets Peacetime Heroes – the elite – but it is about Wartime Heroes – the riffraff. The two are mutually exclusive in form and substance. The elite talk – the riffraff walk. The riffraff plant the seeds – the elite harvest
    them. The elite think and plan – the riffraff hack and chop. A dialectical process of “negation and continuity” eternally
    links the two together.”

    In the first sentence above, ‘the elite and the riffraff are mutually exclusive in form and substance.. In your last sentence above, you declare that “… eternally links the two together”. My simple mind tells me that what is mutually exclusive in form and content can hardly be eternally linked as the fundamental law of opposites is to repel rather than to attract. Since I
    am no scientist, and your language is not easily decipherable by my limited capacity, I will hope someone in this forum will have compassion and explain it to me in simple ordinary language I can easily understand.

    Allow me to state that the rest of your long article which in nitty gritty forewarns of an impending ugly civil war appeared to go to great lengths to scare the hell out of the readers and I do not think it achieved its goal. This is a pure guess, but I think that over 99% of Eritreans do not want violence, chaos or any sort of civil war and will do their utmost to avoid when and if it rears its ugly head. Some individuals or even scant groups my want it but your article is not on the rejecting side, is it?
    Your article projects such a gruesome horror without giving a single valid reason or analysis why such a dreadful thing is most likely to happen.

    You give examples of other countries who have completely different cultural, political, social and ethnical frameworks. Didn’t we hear, ad nauseum, that after PMMZ Ethiopia was going to disintegrate to pieces? Ethiopia is going strong and no such thing seems to hover on the horizon. Ethiopians are developing the taste of transformation which taste gets stronger and stronger as time and achievement evolve. They are deeply immersed in building the culture of work, achievement, growth and satisfaction while some of us in our part of our world can only conceive chaos, civil war, disintegration and all sorts of failure. The good news is that this is in the minds of a very few.

    Your statement that “The way the Lord intended it to be, life on this planet is automated by something called destiny.”, I
    guess it is the destiny of humanity to allow less than 10% of it to own the most wealth and let the rest 90+% to be at their mercy! Is it mankind or the Lord who is the architect of this injustice and inequality Ustaz Ali?

  • Daniel

    The more I read such articles the more I realize the opposition does not have a true understanding of what’s going on in Eritrea. Some of you have not been there for 10, 20, 30 years and thus only re-live it in your own dreams.

  • EMI

    Why is that todays “tegadelti” fight and care only for the picture or photo
    on mass media like the woyanes…………..Ghedli and Tegadelti use to be
    different and a different history as people know it.
    Today’s Tegadeltis look like the Rasta DJ artists to me.

  • Nitricc

    SG
    Is SAAY okay? I know he is in Eritrea to help the Catholic Church write the “where is my brother” document. 🙂
    Hope all is good.

  • Eyob Medhane

    Gash Saleh or Sal,

    Please help!!!

    What is this all this about? The presenter is smirking and his body language screams ‘heck no’ 🙂 (Of course I am being facetious here) at least he didn’t say ‘Itoobia’, in stead he messed up and changed Tedros Adhanom’s name to “Adhatom”.. 🙂 Could you guys, please help a friend here, in translation.. I will repay the favor.. 🙂

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8fEOR1GGKM

    • Saleh Johar

      Waw Eyob, the Egyptians are declaring war on you, they are determined to get all the water they need 🙂

      Wait a minute, I was kidding:

      Rough translation: President Sisi received Mr. Tadros Adhatom [Egyptian for Adhhanom] who invited him to vists Ethiopia. [Adhatom] also said, problems related to the Renaissance dam can be solved through dialogue. [What follows is the presenters view] of course it will be solved, there is no problem that can’t be solved. Through discussion one can get all the water he needs and all the electricity he needs, and we will establish special relation with Ethiopia, which a special African country… though we [Egyptians] distanced ourselves a bit [distanced ourselves two bits, in Egyptian parlance.]

      Eyob, let’s invade Egypt, yetabatachew!

      • Eyob Medhane

        Oh, Gash Saleh,

        You ruined it. I thought I found something that would make me worked up and get mad at Egyptians. Oh well, I will wait then for them to say something that would make me hit the roof and scream at someone, then… 🙂

      • Mahmud Saleh

        Gadi + Eyob;
        Just to add, the TV appears to be a ” show talk” type, the presenter puts it in a mocking tone ” we can sole our problem in a month or a month and half..” in addition of the water distribution Saleh mentioned; the presenter acts like a TV show and not like a news presenter ( I am not familiar with Egyptian media outlets) look at how he presented the Tunisian president’s speech.” The important message was that Assissi started his first day in the presidential HQ at 0830 meeting with the heads of departments (ministries) to up date himself with their state of affairs (how they are doing);
        -( Adhatom) invited Assissi to visit Ethiopia; Assissi accepted the invitation saying that the Dam Issue could be resolved through dialogue.
        – Egyptian FM and Ethiopian Ambassador to Egypt were present.

        • Eyob Medhane

          Mahmud,

          Thank you. I knew there was something mean about the guy… 🙂

          Here is the same news that seems straight ‘news’ than the dude’s presentation…

          Now, this lady seems more professional and of course much better looking than the guy…

          As far as the Egyptian media concerned, they are the sloppiest. Yesterday the whole day they were reporting ‘Ethiopian Foreign Minister ‘Ali Karti’, who of course it’s not and Ali Karti is Sudanese foreign minister… 🙂

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kknHSJCAygk#t=11

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Salam Eyob; yes, this is the real one without the comedian sarcasm; the message is the same. Assissi seems to be resigned to the inevitable; tells Adhanom that the Nile is a Blood line that connects both countries; Adhanom reassures him it’s just for hydroelectricity; the invitation offer is in place.

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Eyob;
            I helped out today in translation so that you feel at ease. ወደ መሳዋ (ጉርሁሱም beach) ለመዛወር ከፈልግክ በኤርትራውያ ያለብህ ኣስተያየት መስተካከሉ ይጠብቀብሃል። ኣለበዝያ እንደወትሩ ኣርበኛ Nitricc በመረብ ዳርቻ ሜትርየስ ይዞ መጠበቁ ኣይቀርም። Correct and read; no Amharic fonts.

          • Eyob Medhane

            Mahmud,

            All I have to say for what you did for me today is, according to our culture ከአንገቴ ዝቅ ብዬ ‘እግዚያብሄር ይስጥልን: ያለም የሲሳይ ቤት ይሁን መጥተን አንጣችሁ’ እላለሁ:: I’ll see you in Gurgusm, (I have a feeling rather, soon.. 🙂

          • Rahwa T

            Mahmud Saleh,
            des emil amarigna new.

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Salam Rahwa;
            Yeqenyeley.

        • Saleh Johar

          Basha, I didn’t say anything about the difference between a TV show and TV presenter. Anyone who presents something is a presenter regardless of what the program is called. Mocking tone? I am not sure. Egyptians are culturally predisposed to present anything in a light manner, as a joke. Wella aah ya Basha:-)

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Ahlan SJ;
            I was not correcting you; I was just alerting Eyob (you know our guest, የኛ እንግዳ) to additional subtleties of the presentation.
            BTW, why is my friend Nitricc so worried about SY when he could see clearly you’re working 24hrs/day on this forum? I would expect him to worry about you.

  • Kokhob Selam

    Dear Ali, for an ordinary people like me, reading your article is not easy job. I can imagine how hard you have been doing to write such excellent article. this teaches me words and and how to say things only but when comes to the political stand it never even move me a bit at all. if you are just writing to hear the voice of people, that is fine. But if you just still think we Eritreans will have problem in solving our contradictions you must be mistaken. do you know that we have TRFRAFAT who are well armed when comes to our struggle but they look useless to you because they are not taking action emotionally ? do you know there are people for 30,40,even 50 years who are still struggling? those people that you think are just easy are with bullets in their body -TRFRAFAT of the crimes committed by our political leaders like DIA. Their principle and ethics don’t allow them to sale ladies for Sudan Generals just to kill their own country men. They didn’t comedown to the lever of DEQI KOMARIT. they were always working for peace. My friend if you think there were not able to create mess in Asmara you must be mistaken. they are “rfraf”of Said Saleh, Hadish Weld Geyergis,Ahmed Asmara, Dr.Ftusum few to mention. My friend you will have to go to Asmara and let PFDJ allow you to visit Petros Selemon and let him tell you the secret all. My friend, If it wasn’t the wise heroes wisdom, Eritrea is already in fire today. My friend, when Dr.Safi went to Asmara, when Dr.Taha was going to Asmara and all those professors has been informed by our heroes they will disappear because our hero knows how EPLF was brought. The hero didn’t give up but was fighting to the head and it seems slow. EPLF didn’t die by the mass movement. PFDJ is not going down by mass movement. the hero is the mass and he represents us. Any now, it is only to speed up the journey and to replace the childish group that we need the hero. PFDJ will go even while you and me are in peace just because the system eats including the owner. it is simple to see what I am saying is true, just ask where are the members.

    My Advice for you is think positive and be optimistic if you know that your thoughts are things, take care of what you are thinking and saying. your thoughts are transmitting through waves. and you are what you think yesterday. so please think positive. don’t create nightmare from nothing.

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Selam Younis H.,

    You are a prolific writer and you are a well read citizen. I salute you for that. But what I do not agree with you is, you are always pessimist. From time to time, you come with horrifying stories that disturb Eritrean mind. We can talk about the reality of our nation all the bad and the good in order to have the same understanding. What I would give you unsolicited advice is, pick any single problem we have. Explain it and come with a proposal for solution. That way your effort will be fruitful and will contribute in averting the scenario you are painting in your mind.

    Here is my reading on the predicament we are in, which I have said it repeatedly. There is no enmity within the Eritrean people, but there are plenty of social grievances. We have a totalitarian regime with its party (PFDJ) that suffocate the entire population. There are different perceptions on the regime clearly divided socio-religiously based on their political background. Now what we have to struggle is (a) to bring our understanding on the nature of the regime in the same page. (b) to recognizes all the grievances that are existing. Once we did that, the solution is not that difficulty to avert all the gloom and doom scenario you are trying to tell us. Please use your talent for a positive political resolutions and surely many will join you for that noble mission.

    Hawka,
    Amanuel Hidrat

  • Kaddis

    Ali – you are right.

    The same could have been said about Ethiopians….that are law abiding people and so and so BS… prior to Red-terror where two brothers killed each other questioning how reactionary the other one is. Believe in the rule of law not the myth of we are different. I am Ethiopian living in Addis. We are the same as Somalis. Liberia, CAR….we just only have a governemnt who believes we are no different and doesnt play and does not allow others ( like the opposition ) play with fire…

    • Nitricc

      I wonder what your understanding is when someone mentions civil war?
      When Obama elected a woman on Texas, I think tried to run him over with her car, just to kill him. The reason was, she voted for Raminy and he voted for Obama. Do you think that will be considered a civil war?
      My point is when it
      Comes civil war, Rwanda comes to mind and Ali is taking about that kind of civil war. Not the incidents that you are mentioning.

      • Rodab

        Nitricc bro,
        Obama elected a woman and she tried to kill him instead of thanking him?
        That is bizarre.

  • Mahmud Saleh

    Ustaz Ali;
    OK, the nightmarish scenarios are well noted, but most of those mentioned are remotely related to our situation. For any civil strife/war, there are general and specific triggers. In all the countries you mentioned we find EHTNIC component to be the dominant one; in others, such as CAR and Nigeria, religion is added to it. I was expecting you to spend more time on how you relate your abstract to our situation. I Have always believed in encouraging domestic change, doing everything possible in away that enhances that possibility where by state functions are intact. I still believe so. There are two scenarios in which, godforbidden, a civil war can ensue: an insurgency supported by neighbors ( it has been going on for some time now, although of low intensity nature, very dangerous because it has all the ingredients of growing in to a full blown civil war once the central government/authority gives way).
    The second scenario is when there is a sudden implosion of central authority and a type of warlords situation is born.
    **** While aware of its remote possibility, I am going to sleep sound knowing that the good nature of my people is still alive. Why?
    Annafzah Ala attarikh (a window to history)
    * during the seventies and eighties skirmishes and the last all out civil war, despite the organizations instigations painting each other as communists, ethnicists, religious… our people never took sides.
    * Islamic Jihad agitated on Jihadi agenda since 1989, it could not even win the youth in Sudanese refugee camps.
    *Kunama brothers and sisters said “no” to kernolios, and instead headed to the west.
    *Afar and other ethnic and religion based factions are there but have not had traction in winning their “constituencies”
    *There are armed organization with national agenda vowing to tople pfdj by force, they have not won the hearts and minds of our people. At least for the forseable future, our people seem to harbor the scars of war and are not willing to embark on another round.
    This is not to say the possibility is not there, though. PFDJ has messed up the country; there is a clear marginalization of a vast portion of our people ( the government does not represent the mozaic representation of our people; this is true, it does not look like Eritrea with its 9 ethnic groups and two major religions, Kudos to brother Amanuel Hidrat for being aware of this fact) , unjust laws of land use, questions of equitable distribution of services..etc. Abuses of a vast portion of our youth or abuse of nationa and their deprivation from opportunities of self governance and decision making…etc. I was expecting you to give these issues more space on how they could result in to those dreadful scenarios and and suggest ways of intensifying opposition while avoiding them. Warning is good, but what is the forward looking proposal? What is the solution Ali, without any U-turns?

  • Tesfabirhan WR

    Dear Ali-S,

    The writer with the “Third Eye!” This is all I can say.

    Hawka
    tes