Inform, Inspire, Embolden. Reconcile!

The ENCDC Congress At Hawassa: A Determination To Succeed (P II)

In Part I, I touched on the preparations, the venue, and the deliberations. I apologize for the delay in presenting part II which deals with the process of electing the leadership, the Ethiopian role, current events and the way forward. Many articles were written about the Congress since I wrote Part I, therefore, I will only touch on those issues briefly.

The scramble for the leadership

Interestingly enough this issue attracted the attention of most of the participants; it seemed it was even more important than the valuable papers that were discussed and approved. There was a fierce power struggle by the various actors to have a bigger share in the leadership. It was surprising to see many individuals competed to be elected. The Eritrean Democratic Alliance (EDA) which is the most organized political body that called for and prepared the 2010 conference was the most important actor in the Congress. It is composed of various blocks that have different interests. Those include the nationality-based organizations such as the Affar and the Kunama and the other small organizations affiliated to them; the Eritrean Solidarity Front (Tadamun), a group of Islamic and secular  organizations and other organizations that act as one. Each group struggled to pursue its specific interests within and outside the EDA.

At the other end of the spectrum, there were the many (2 or 3 member) political organizations outside the EDA which competed to limit the influence of the EDA. Members of civil associations were less represented (despite the fact that the Chairman of the Commission was one of them) and less effective in pursuing their interests. The EDA was keen to regain the chairmanship of the National Council that was taken by the civil associations, while the latter was interested in consolidating gains made in 2010. The non-EDA political organizations wanted to have more share in the leadership.

A committee was formed from the different components to allocate leadership quotas. It professionally worked to allocate the 127 National Council seats. There were two conflicting opinions: 1) the political organizations (EDA & non-EDA) who represented the civil associations and 2) others. The later wanted to retain the 60:40 ratio in favour of the civil associations as was previously agreed. After a thorough discussion and the emphasis that the majority of the leadership should not be composed of part-timers, the committee reached a consensus, a comprise solution of 52:48 in favour of the political organizations. After adjustments to reach a fair and balanced representation by taking seats from Sudan and Ethiopia, the political organizations were allocated 66 seats and the rest 61 seats (20 % of those seats were assigned to youth and women). Then the real struggle to fill the seats started. The regions were to select their leaders democratically while the political organizations were to assign leaders. Threats of walkouts and much political maneuvering followed.

I previously thought the power struggle was more vivid within the Eritrean political organizations than those who were not affiliated to them. To my surprise, those of us who came from Europe and the USA were no better. I co-presided in the election of those who came from Europe. There were about 90 members present in the meeting and there were 32 candidates (there were more candidates to start with) competing for 8 seats since 6 seats were already allocated to youth and women and one seat to the Network of Eritrean Civil Societies in Europe. As people did not know each other well, every candidate was asked to make a short presentation of themselves. I simply do not understand why almost everyone would want to be a leader, but one can only speculate. Is it a cultural problem? Is it because it gives one influence and leverage? Is it regarded as something that does not require sacrifice? Is it seen as an entertainment rather than a heavy responsibility?

Those who do not support the ENCDC may claim that they are immune to such power struggle, yet they have the same membership base. Even among the youth, one notices the mushrooming of many Facebook groups. Certain individuals would rather start their own group than working with others. Even if some of the youth groups do not have such problems at present, they have to be prepared that such problems would arise down the road.

The other struggle for the leadership was between the EDA and the non EDA political organizations. The Non-EDA felt their seats were much less than the EDA and demanded more seats and there were threats of walkout too. This delayed the announcement of the members of the leadership from the political organizations at the closing ceremony. It was later resolved by allocating 38 members to the  EDA  and 28 seats for the rest.

The shortest path to the leadership is to be a member of a political organization which appoints you. This denies the public to chance to choose the best candidates. Perhaps, that is why we have so many of them since many who were not elected by the public secured their seats through appointments. Some political organizations lobbied effectively because they were better organized and had experience in participating in conferences and they secured more seats. The civil associations and the independent members who lost because they lacked experience in using such means. Lobbying is part of a one-man one-vote democratic process and every group has learned its lessons.  Those who won will struggle to consolidate their gains in the future and those who lost can make a comeback, if they become better organized. Despite all those shortcomings, new faces particularly from the youth were elected which gives the leadership new, energetic blood to be added to the veterans’ experience. There is a need to devise a mechanism to select candidates merely  based on qualifications, without comprising issues of diversity.

In Egypt, the liberal Facebook active youth group who initiated the Egyptian revolution lost in the elections and couldn’t advance neither their political views nor their candidates. The Freedom & Justice Party (the Muslim brotherhood) a long established party with public roots and experience won the majority of the votes. The other traditional parties did relatively well, too. If our youth want to make a difference in the struggle, they need to be better organized and need to gain experience by getting involved in politics, and by learning from the achievements and failures of others.

The role of Ethiopia

The Ethiopians have provided the venue and a conducive atmosphere for deliberations. Besides being a concerned neighbor, definitely Ethiopia has its own national interest in supporting the Eritrean opposition which has the responsibility of bringing about a regime change in Eritrea. Having a democratic regime in Eritrea that is friendly with Ethiopia and the other neighbouring countries is in the interest of Ethiopia. The interest of both Ethiopia and the opposition coincide in terms of ousting the dictatorial regime.  Ethiopia has proved again that it is a friend in times of great need, actually the only friendly neighboring country. Ethiopia claims that it does not interfere in the affairs of the Eritrea opposition, yet some circles criticize it for not intervened to curb the mushrooming of the small political organizations. They also criticize it for favoring the ethnic organizations.

In pursuing its national interest that coincides with the opposition, it is important that Ethiopia consults with all stakeholders with equal footing. No group has to feel neglected or abandoned at the expense of others. The Eritrean opposition needs to be up to the challenge; otherwise not only does it risk losing the Ethiopian support, but it also loses influence on the Ethiopian policy towards Eritrea. We have to thank Ethiopia for standing up with the Eritrean people at those trying times and we have to call all other neighboring countries to follow suit.

The Congress at Hawassa, the agenda of the meeting and the resolutions taken, the election of the secretariat and the leadership was a purely an Eritrean affair. During the Congress, there were no clear attempt that indicates the Ethiopians interfered to influence the ongoing deliberations or the outcome of the congress. Some of the members of the secretariat were not much known neither to the opposition nor to the Ethiopians and they were democratically elected, so were the members of the leadership that were elected by the public. In a predominantly lowland dominated 27 member Secretariat, the Vice-chair, a Tigrinya highlander gained just one vote less than the chair—and this illustrates that participants had great maturity and responsibility during the Congress. The election of the 27-member secretariat to manage the congress raised representation issues in relation to Eritrean diversity, as I have indicated in Part I.

A learning platform for the youth

It was encouraging to see many youth from different parts in the world (including from the refugee camps in Ethiopia) participating at the Congress. Their involvement in the struggle against the regime is not only a precursor to success, but its guarantee. Perhaps the priority today seems to be the toppling of the regime, but the challenges that lie ahead after the regime falls are not easy. To be able to survive, the regime has sowed seeds of divisions and mistrust.

The ENCDC was a learning exercise for the youth starting from the simple matters of organizing and running a large conference, and the bigger challenges of democratization that lie ahead of us when the regime falls. It highlighted the challenges in terms of system for governance, diversity, ethnicity, religion etc. The youth had the opportunity to understand how people from different backgrounds define these issues and how strong they feel about them.

Such conferences provide the youth with experience, allow them to network with others, help them better understand the challenges we face and gives them the chance to evaluate thier performance and that of other organizations. I encourage the youth to effectively participate in such conferences and seminars, irrespective of their political affiliations. They have nothing to lose except to gain by participating. It is more credible to express views and criticize after attendance not by not staying away.

The Eritrean youth are organizing worldwide physically and through social media, and they are taking up the struggle against the Eritrean regime. We need to interact with them as they come up with new initiatives. They are relatively free from the negative political burdens, but as part of the society, they are not immune from its effects. Internet access in Eritrea is very limited and that renders it ineffective. As most of us can observe, there are many Facebook groups that have linguistic limitations and barriers that may make their efforts less effective, yet it is an important tool of struggle if the groups can reach out and mobilize the people inside Eritrea against the regime, particularly the youth.

One youth Facebook group that stands out distinctly is the Eritrean Youth Solidarity for Change (EYSC) which is so far the biggest and most action oriented group. It has devised a creative mechanism of reaching out to the people inside Eritrea by initiating the ‘Freedom Friday’ campaign that uses volunteers to call random telephone numbers inside Eritrea to persuade them to take a simple concrete action against the tyranny. I call upon all those who are active in the opposition to support this initiative which as any important initiative has to be supported irrespective of who is behind it, our participation makes a difference—and we are in dire need for such innovative ideas to enhance the struggle.

Conclusion

Much has been written on the Congress so I do not need to dwell on the achievements and shortcomings. In summary, I believe it was successful; we have built on the conference of 2010 and we are moving forward. The final communiqué of the congress clearly states that its role is to mobilize all forces to bring regime change in the country, thus creating the a conducive atmosphere to ensure that the Eritrean people assume political power. We have to support the National Council for democratic Change (NCDC) to pursue its activities, and it has to assert its leadership by drawing clear work plans for the Executive committee to implement. Its decision should be very transparent  since that would limit rumors and speculations. The issue of membership of Teklai Abraha in the council is such a case that has to be addressed urgently.

The council has to build on the achievements of the Commission to establish efficient region and country support committees. It has to give priority to the refugee issues worldwide but with more focus on those who live in Ethiopia and Sudan. It has to urgently address the plight of Eritrean asylum seekers in Sinai and victims of human trafficking with relevant countries and international organizations. It also needs to address the plight of the first Eritrean refugees in Sudan who have become neglected by their own citizens and by the international community. Among its priorities should be the task of convincing Eritreans residing in Ethiopia to join the struggle for democratic change.

Those who support the ENCDC have to contribute monthly payments of say, $ 10 dollars a month to finance its activities. It has also to arrange fundraising activities to generate more funds—financial self-sufficiency  is an important aspect of owning the whole process and it reflects our commitment. The ENCDC has to establish an effective mass media unit, particularly Radio and TV programs that would counter the huge propaganda machine of the regime. It has to make the best use of ‘youtube’ and other social media to communicate with the public, particularly with the youth groups. And no other body, be it the EDA or others, should work parallel to it. No support committee, be it in the USA or in Europe or elsewhere should challenge the elected leadership and its structure. We defeated failure in Hawassa, we need to defeat the regime. The sooner we do that, the better.

Moh.kheir33@hotmail.com

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  • daniel tesfai

    hi M. Khier,
    thanks a lot for the honest and objective reportage on the ENCDC Congress in Hawassa. i really did enjoy reading it albeit a little too late. your description of the bitter power scrambble of the opposition political organizations for power that doesn’t yet exist as ‘interestingly enough … ‘ i found it too mild. it was interestingly disgusting. but considering our general consciousness (Peter’s Principle, you know …) i am enough satisfied with the outcome. i only hope the guys up there squabbled for places in the leadership because each one of them took himself as the best to do the best for our country.
    daniel

    P/s i didnt grasp what the comments and counter comments that followed your article to do with your article?

  • Tazabi

    Jemal,

    I can only guess why you or other Eritreans did not like Ethiopian governments. Hate is strong term for me but the majority of Ethiopians also did not like these governments from Haile Selassie onwards to the present day. What is new?

  • haile

    It has been a very heated and interesting exchange between serray and Eyob (with a ‘please come down folks’ interjection from Gadi). Now that Eyob has decided to drop the issue (like a hot cake), I would like to say my piece. I personally share Serray’s reaction into the singular issue of ‘identity’ that seems to top Eyob’s concern. However, considering Eyob’s Ethiopian association, it is understandable that the issue of ‘identity’ figures large in his value systems. Ethiopia has a complex racial relationship with in itself. “identity” is so important that it is the basis of its state structures and apparatus. Ethnicity is declared in their id cards. The Amhara’s were the main offenders in belittling their fellow country men so much that the Oromo’s want to have with the notion of Ethiopia, the Tigrians are mostly reduced to pretending to be amhara or Eritrean. They use terms as ‘galla’ ‘dingay’ ‘ikekam tigrei’ and others. An amchie once told me that he didn’t bother to learn tigrigna because it is ‘ye zebengna quanqa’ the use terms as ‘askari’ ‘banda’… Eritrean’s did not have to grow up in such kind of racially polarized environment. Hence, we need to understand the profound degree of disturbance Eyob might have when he has to deal with complex issue of ‘identity’. We are not all coming from the same angle.

    • Eyob Medhane

      Haile,
      Are you kidding me with this? I think many Kunama and Nara Eritreans, who suffered beyond name calling, but evicted from their land to make room for the ‘golden race Eritreans’ may disagree with you. Not to mention those in Sudan who could not get back to their land and have their children’s children in refugee camps. I don’t know, if you know this, but it’s pretty common with many of you to call a Tigrawi ‘agame qomal’ or an Amhara ‘adgi’ So get down from your high horse from saying ‘we Eritreans are so great, we see everyone the same, but those bad Amharas are the first offender of discrimination’ It looks like it is pointless to converse with many Eritreans about a seemingly futile superiority complex that is deeply rooted in the society. Good luck to you all.

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

        Eyob Medhane,

        I actually agree with you. Haile seems to conclude his comment with the overly exhausted “we are hade l’bi hade h’zbi” mantra. He is overlooking the perennial victimization of the Kunamas and Naras as they are taken for second rate citizens for there is no such a thing called a third rate citizen. As he has put it with a condescending overtone, he said, “Eritreans did not have to grow up with in such kind of racially polarized environment.” Of course, what he has in mind is, “People from Seraye, Hammasien and Akeleguzay” where the rest are either on the periphery or non existent at best.

        • haile

          b’Alti W’qatto Arwe:

          Not really. What I have in mind is the fact that Eritreans did not have to sustain equivalent form of PERSONAL degradation (not other forms of possession related grievances). Is there a parallel we can draw to the “dingay” “gala” “qmalam tigrie” …. forms of racial degradation that would implicate an unborn child by default? In Ethiopia, racial identity is a womb to grave issue as opposed to administrative injustice that can be corrected in due time. By the way, the hade hizbi…mantra is crass stupid to me.

    • Tazabi

      Haile,
      This is completely Ethiopian bashing and Amhara bashing. Well it is futile to try to come to an understanding with Eritrean nationalists when they have this kind of view on Ethiopia. This comment is ignorant/superficial at best if not hate mongering. How can these two nations live in peace when people hold this kind of totally uninformed view full of hate. Mind you this would have been okay if it was the truth.

  • Eyob Medhane

    Saleh,

    You have absolutely got me wrong. First of all I have no right. None what so ever to belittle anyone, let alone Eritreans. It’s just not me. What I was trying to talk about was the enormous amount of blood and treasure that was paid to that identity and the desired goal is getting farther and farther to be attained, and believe me. I have blood relatives, who actually died in “Meida”. Hence, I understand the sacrifices. In fact, I do believe, it could be belittling to me to suggest that I wouldn’t. Nevertheless, I firmly believe that a time should be near to have the “who are we and who should we be continue to be” debate to rest and start to be build a nation. I may be naive to say that, but that’s just what I got.

    As far as Abyssinian kings concerned, come on Saleh, you know that a very good portion of Eritreans are Abyssinians. So were they also blood thirsty? I that’s neither nice nor accurate to say. I apologize, if I did upset you, but I just said my peace not to annoy anyone.

    As far as I sometimes taking some PFDJ crazies, as representatives of Eritreans. I may be willing to concede that point. Not only me, many people do that, because they PFDJ has very large megaphone, and a hearing a different voice is hard to come by….

    • Saleh Gadi

      Eyob,
      Excellent, I am content with your repy. But as far as a portion of Eritreans being Abyssinians, I have made that point hundreds of times and I will do that until some confused people understand it or I drop dead. I meant the governance, justice and politics of Abyssinian rule, not the racial affinity. As far as identity is concerned, I agree we are going through more confusion because of the PFDJ’s sicial engineering projects. I am an Abyssinian myslef, but it gets murky once you get into the details. When I was a child, a friend of my father used to play tricks with my mind. He would ask me if I was Saleh or a student and whether I love my father or my mother. He made me believe that I can only have one choice. Back then I didn’t understand I can have more than two choices or identities–excuse me, but Eritrean grocery shops didn’t have a hundred shampoo brands to choose from:-) Anyway, I will stop here because I intend to address some of this in my next Negarit. Meet you then.

      • http://awate.com haben hager

        What salihs comments are base less and cheap political ideology.which part of eritrea is portion of abyssinia .Are u kidding us or is it ur better undesstanding of history between these sister countries back in the 19 centry.as we know the first human civilization back in 350 ad was started through adulis and then axumite kingdom started as axum was part of the eritrean civilization it should refered to eritrean civilization.

        • Saleh Gadi

          Are you serious? Human civilization started in 350AD?

          • http://re haben hager

            salh go back to history book and you will find it that the main civilization of our region almost began that time

    • Serray

      Eyob,

      You are the only one who has a problem with his identity. During the day you lurk around eritrea websites discussing eritrean issues but at night you go home to YOUR ethiopian wife and ethiopian family and turn into wannabe amhara. The other one who has a problem with eritrean identity in this thread is an ethiopian, tazabi. His government openly talks about a regime change but when the supporters of the regime go nuts he makes it an identity issue taking his cue from YOU..an imposter.

      My advice to you, eyob, is to write an article about your identity crisis and we can all beat it to death.

      Tazabi, let me respond to you cause eyob needs psychiatric help on the question of eritrean identity. The question about our identity was settled in 1991. But our nations are at war and those who support the regime make all sorts of stories….we all understand why but only you guys and your surrogates take it as an identity issue. Be honest, your people still pat your shoulders for defeating the italians over a century ago; nobody accuses you of defining your identity vs the italians. Or how about the oft claimed, “we were never colonized”? Well, we brought your nation to its knees. Yes, we are proud of that but, just like you and the italians, we are more than that.

      Saleh,

      People like this guy eyob create a noise, making meaningful discussion difficult. In a way they are more insidious than the pfdjs; at least we know where the latter are coming from. This guy scribbles gibberish until he sees an opening to assault his favorite target, the eritrea identity, then everything takes a back seat….the way is did in this thread and the other threads.

      My intention here is to make sure that he doesn’t keep hijacking the conversation.

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

        Serray,

        It wouldn’t be productive if emotions get ahead of us where rational thinking gets misplaced. Evidently, every time the Eritrean identity issue is raised we tend to get uptight or jittery to the point of getting paralyzed for lack of adequate rebuttal to it.

        If we really think about it however, we didn’t bleed, maim or die to foster an identity rather to be independent so that we could be masters and owners of our destiny. It is imperative to recognize the striking difference between fighting for preserving an identity and owning political, social and economic independence with in geographical boundaries. The most important thing is, we have a country called Eritrea. Nobody is going to take that away from us unless we collectively opt for otherwise.

        The interesting thing about the whole saga of identity is that, it seems to be confined to the intelligentsia community where it seems paled out with in the ‘common’ people at the very bottom of the socio-economic ladder. That is, the issue or discourse of identity is a luxury as opposed to a necessity. That is its limitation.

        Do you know that there are a considerable number of Eritreans who don’t recognize Eritrean independence or they think that the Eritrean identity is not anything less than a phoney. As much as they are entitled to their opinion to think otherwise, we need to be civilized as opposed to getting defensive when we try to make sense out of their rather distorted mind set.

        By the same token, it is Eyob’s prerogative to even think or declare that, Eritrean identity is a sham but in the final analysis he doesn’t have the right to reverse the Eritrean history back in time.

        If you’ve been following YG’s otherwise provocative narratives, he challenges us to rethink about the very thing which is close to our hearts. Do we ignore him or bury our heads in the sand lest know the ‘truth’? Absolutely not. Simply because, the issue of Eritrean identity or its validity is not going to go away for years to come. What we need to do is to be truthful to ourselves and learn from each other. Simply because, again, the discourse has its own limitations, that is, it does not in any way reverse Eritrean independence. That is unthinkable. Qsen hawey.

        • Yaqob Serae

          Independence has very much to do with identity. So, like you said, as Eritreans we did fight, bleed, and die for political, social and economic independence, but we also do so for our identity. For that matter, it isn’t a luxury at all but an important necessity. Without identity, everyone is a nobody! We Eritreans have a rich history and culture that is paralleled by no one, and it is important to stress this and celebrate it. And those considerable number of Eritreans who don’t recognize Eritrean independence or they think that the Eritrean identity is not anything less than a phony, are not Eritrean at all by there beliefs, and that is fine. They can roam the earth living within their fantasy.

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

            Yaqob,

            The raison d’etre of the protracted struggle for independence was based on a political necessity for Eritreans to define their own fate as the onslaught on the people by successive Ethiopian rulers remained unhinged.

            That is, as the Eritrean experience started to take a life of its own in isolation from the socio-political realities (read: Colonial experience) of Ethiopia-proper, bona fide Eritreans confused it with an identity as the intelligentsia community including the ruling clique utilized it for a parochial political end.

            To be more precise, the struggle for independence would gain grounds and validity as it justifies the struggle for independence on self determination as opposed to claiming a ‘unique’ identity any different from the cultural and social fabric of Ethiopia. Simply because, the genotype and phenotype of both people are inseparable.

            Again, we fought, bled and died not because we had a different identity from Ethiopians rather the harsh reality of the day gave us no room but to take matters onto our own hands where as they say the rest is history.

        • Eyob Medhane

          Serray,

          Cool down. You don’t sound so good, when you get angry…

          I have never been ‘…wanna be’…anything, because I have never lived in a society that insists hard to be something I am not other than, who I am. I don’t know, if you have ever lived in Ethiopia, but no Eritrean origin person that I know of has ever been forced to pretend to be Amhara or anything else to erase who they are. (If we are talking about some other Ethiopian ethnic groups, they might have a different story than mine) Thus, I and those, whoa are like me are free to associate or not to associate ourselves to our ancestral land and heritage, whenever we wanted to. What many Eritrean origin Ethiopians or Eritreans, who lived in Ethiopia suffered most, when I was growing up was suspicion of providing moral and material support to the fighters. (It turns out at the end most of that suspicion, actually had some grounds) Other than that at no time, I was made to lose my confidence of my Eritrean heritage. Therefore, avoided a would have been life long question of ‘..Who am I?..Where do I belong…?”

          Your proof that I have identity crisis is because I come to visit Eritrean websites? Really? Do you have any idea how many Eritreans visit Ethiopian websites? In fact the way you write your comments sounds very familiar. I must have read it there… :-) Come on learn to share. Saleh wouldn’t mind. As far as I know, he is the one, who should have complained, because he spends a great deal amount of time maintaining it for a very poultry financial gain. And also to shelter yourself from anyone you consider “outsiders” may not be healthy. Look what that did to Isayas Afeworki. So…There is plenty of space for both you and I here in Awate…

          Contrary to your suspicion, my Amhara friends and Ethiopian family don’t give a hoot, what website I visit and what I think about Eritrea. Their lives is very much occupied with so many other stuff they consider much important than this…

          Oh…patting my back, because of Italian defeat a centaury ago? You bet!!! (Thank you for remembering by the way. That happened exactly today 116 years ago) And, my back hurts right now, because I have been patting it all day long. Did’t you? If you didn’t you should. Not only just for Abeshas, but that is a history, which ALL black people should very much proud of. And I guarantee you. We will pat our backs about it for the next many centauries to come, along with so many Eritreans who understand its significance.

          My lady.

          As usual, thank you. I hope your response will be able to teach Serray that it’s ok to learn about opinion of other people…

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

            Eyob,

            My pleasure. If we don’t entertain polarized ideas or opinions, the great palace of Awate.com would be unbearable as a hung out. Wish more people would step in to share their ideas with pressing issues that matters most to all of us. God bless yenie wendim.

          • Eyob Medhane

            Saleh,

            This is for you….Let me tell you why I come to Awate.com. I learn a lot from it. I tend to try to go to some unsheltered territories, and trust me, I went to some other Eritrean websites, even Meskerem. They are good, but a bit boring, because they have the same kind of perspective. But trust me. In terms of providing a verity of wide perspectives, I swear, they don’t match to you. I always want to know a whole lot more about lowland Eritreans, and every time I come to your site, I get to take away something new. I had a great friend named Abdul Hamid Mohammod. He is a Tigre Ethnic of Eritrean (I love him so much, and Where ever he is a great shout out! I know he is some where in the world) You know what he used to do? He used to go to church with me, not for the service, but just to listen to the Geez chant (qidase) so he would reminisce the great Tigre language that was derived from it. It was really heart worming to remember. And that’s what made me think, till this very moment a lot more about Eritrea, and it’s people. All of its people. Not only the highlanders, where my family trace their ancestors from….Saleh, thank you for providing this forum. And please don’t exclude me, because some of your countrymen like Serray, don’t like me. If it’s possible, I’d like to know more about Tigre people, and I sincerely hope to read about them in many intellectually superb articles that usually appear on your web site. Thank you~

          • Saleh Gadi

            Eyob, first I am stunned that you would even think of awate.com banning you, why would we do that? First I do not dictate what happens on awate.com, I have colleagues, team members. My friend we act by what we say, we are not prejudiced and we cannot be swayed by anyone provided you abide by the guidlines, and stay decent. That is all you need to do. On a different note, Serray’s reaction to your comments is natural and you should give him room to be ienraged by what you say if he feels that way. I get offended when our identity is attacked though no one has the right not to be offended. But there is no need to offend people for the heck of it. On yet another different note, you first came here as a humourus, witty person. My advice: if you do not reclaim the attitude you had when you first came here, you will be boring (and I will ask my colleagues if we can ban people on that:-)…. There is no need to be uptight, take it easy and make your point without being all stiff about it. This goes to a few who seem to be losing their wit because of the heated debate or challenges. Take it easy.

            Now for a question. You wrote, “Saleh wouldn’t mind. As far as I know, he is the one, who should have complained, because he spends a great deal amount of time maintaining it for a very poultry financial gain.” (Forget the alleged funding we get from the Weyane:-)) What poultry financial gain are you talking about? Please explain.

          • Ablelom

            So you are admitting Weyane funding or…???

      • Saleh Gadi

        Serray, you can always engage him, convince him of your view. As Saleh Younis explained, please do not try to get us involved.

      • Serray

        B’ alti weqatto,

        This is my approach, if someone questions the eritrean identity, then his identity is in play. Eyob is an ethiopian, he needs to come to terms with that. It is a complete waste of time for all of us to deal with it every time he has an identity crisis and pretend it has to do with the rest of us. What I wrote above about the italians was directed at tazabi, an ethiopian, look how he owns it.

        An ethiopian pretending to be an eritrean creates a noise. It is easier to deal with his identity crisis motivated issues as an ethiopian rather than as an eritrean; so next time he raises this bogus argument about eritrean identity, we know where he is coming from and deal with it appropriately.

        I am doing a public service here.

        Saleh,

        I jumped in because you seemed satisfied with his answer before you dealt with the root cause of his problem, his identity crisis. Involve you? That will be silly; you were already involved. You were the one who caught him making his identity problem our issue. I just felt you let him easy and wanted to straighten him up. I admit, reading his response, I didn’t do a good job. I will try again.

        Eyob,

        You are now sitting at the grown-ups table, awate.com. Act like it. Your Tgre friend story was horrible, and fake. Worse than your grandfather’s story you perfected to suck up to your ethiopian friends. You heard Saleh is from Keren and you just have to make up a story about Tgre. Here is riddle for you, my mother is from Keren but she is not Tgre.

        Man, I am doing you a favor here, how come you don’t see that?

        • Eyob Medhane

          Serray,

          You sound you are a vary angry person, who shouts on the top of his lungs to cover something deeply disturbing inside him.

          There are better proffesionals to deal with such a problem than going back and forth with me. I suggest you better and visit them.

          As for me, I’d rather speaking to those who I think are much better individuals than you.

          I am done conversing you.

      • Tazabi

        Here comes the Apples to Oranges comparison Serray. Ethiopian vs Italy and Eritreans vs Ethiopians. These conflicts are so different in every way. They can not be compared. Ethiopians are justifiably proud of their long history and being never been broken by a foreign nation. But that is not the totality of our identity. You feel we should be ashamed of not succumbing to Italians or not resisting foreign occupation ? I wonder.
        I do not have a surrogate and I do not represent all Ethiopians. Addressing me as if I represent all Ethiopians and its government is the wrong thing to do. I am not telling anybody to do this or that. I am just expressing my opinion. I have no stake in what happens in Eritrea except as a human being wishing the people of Eritrea well.

  • ghebrex foto

    Dr. Mohammed Kheir
    Proud of you!!! We need like you edicated and analyst People that exposed the situation of National Council for democratic Change (NCDC) in Awasa. We need to have democracy, justice, freedom, right and peace in our country as soon as possible. we are peace seekers, lets united and get solidarity before eradicated our people by the dictator current rulling Government. Lets replaced/takeover the vetrians and leadershipe hungers/seekers people and walk forwords.
    “Those who support the ENCDC have to contribute monthly payments of say, $ 10 dollars a month to finance its activities.” I realy strongly support you, your idea to make our financail stronger it help us to go forword quicker and faster.
    They are realy tremondesouly tragidy killing tens and thousands innocent people inside and outside of our motherland by the criminal rulling Government. He is responsible!!!!!!

    ‘Doctore’ Keep up on!!!! welldone Good Job.

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

    Mike,

    Why do I feel like I’ve seen you in the not too distant gathering of latter-day mini-zealots in Naqfa which was chaired by the brain-child of YPFDJ himself? You sure sound like a little brat who is fed to the throat with bigotry and an outright condescending mantra of Isaias himself. If you’ve read the convoluted history of Eritrea backwards, you sure will believe that, Tegarus had oppressed Eritreans as you have flagrantly put it for centuries.

    Please help us out here. When did Tegarus oppress Eritreans? Here is the deal: Either you’ve been cutting school or classes and you’ve been chilling at Dehai.org or Alenalki.com like there is no tomorrow or you must be an old timer who is bitter about something that is not there. I sure want you to check this website out: http://www.do-not-hate-for-hate-can-eat-you-alive.com

    • Mike

      Regarding Tegaru, I am talking about the past 14 years and before the italian colonization. Judging by your surprised reaction to the fact i said that tegaru oppressed eritreans, i can only conclude that you do not know much about eritrean history. Do some research…go to the library, order books, do something to expand your knowledge on eritrean history because obviously you need to do so.

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

        Mike,

        You’re not actually concluding, you’re assuming and as they say, assumption is the mother of all screw ups. If anything, Eritrean history is replete with dignity, hard work, humility and of course a sense of providence for the people to be owners of their own destiny as Eritrea rose from the ashes and stood tall against all odds. This was way before Eritrea joined the world of ‘isms’ and Eritreanism teetered on the precipice of bigotry and empty arrogance as well.

        That said however, the young Eritrea who was about to be groomed is not only hijacked by small clique but she is as well gasping for a fresh air as small time losers like you who are hell bent in distorting the truth are doing everything they can to render life in Eritrea from bad to worse.

        If the bad to worse scenarios are to be translated into the harsh reality in Eritrea, Eritrea is the only country in the world with out a Constitution what so ever. What’s more, the country is practically turning into a mega prison cell where people are denied a day in a court of law where they can defend themselves if there are any cases against them that is.

        Freedom of press, freedom to gather and worship are absolutely out of the question. Moreover, the otherwise productive segment of the society is leaving the country in hundreds as they leave behind a given household which is condemned to carry any given day with a loaf of bread per day per family. When these are the grim and absolutely appalling realities of present day Eritrea, small time d’hulat like you have the temerity to wiggle their fingers on others when a reversed psychology is the norm of the day.

        On a passing remark, how is that all of a sudden the people who have been called “Sheqeti or sheyet’ti belles, kedemti nay gezza, taHanti e’khli, amenz’ratat, and tesekemti enchei’ti” are promoted onto “Oppressors of the Eritrean people”. Just curious.

    • Eyob Medhane

      My lady,

      Get ready to be lectured on Eritrean history PFDJ style. It will be served up to you with delicious hate, scrumptious bravado and yummy bigotry. Just to amuse yourself, Please read what Mike has responded to me below. The word appalling can not be even close to describe it. It certainly is painful to have young minds in 21st century to be indoctrinated, used and abused this way. With a large number of youth like these, the road ahead for the future of Eritrea is just not only bumpy. I am afraid, it is very very scary….I feel sad. I really do….

      Saleh & Dr. Khier,

      It seems your tasks to bring about change is enormously difficult with Eritreans like Mike. I hope you know that the number of Mikes, who believe, as he put it in his response to Saleh, Eritrea is in this predicament, because PFDJ “softened” its stance on Woyanne. Fellows, trust me. His likes are many in numbers. I really do believe, your efforts should be doubled to bring reality to the. Or else they, being a strong base of PFDJ, their vigorous fanaticism and refusal to budge to the day light truth, could be a huge shield for Isayas and company…Good luck!

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

        Eyob Medhane,

        If history was to be written by the vanquished as it is always written by the victorious, PFDJ’s narration of history wouldn’t be any different than “The world is flat point of view”.

        Mind you, young Eritreans as they are introduced to the reality and past history of Eritrea, they are being taught that, it is Ethiopia which got separated from Eritrea not the other way around. Of course, the tone of the assertion is not too difficult for one to miss simply because, it intends to indoctrinate “virgin”minds to see Eritrea as a superior nation not only than Ethiopia but other nations in the region as well.

        Sure enough, as much as Eritrean identity struggles to come to terms with its narratives as it tries to find a historical justification where it can not be seen in isolation from the cultural, religious, and lingual threads of Ethiopia, it finds its strength in justifying what is called Eritrea and solidify its identity with in its political tribulation and a protracted war to make Eritrea an independent nation. To be more precise, if one tries to justify Eritrean identity with in historical justification, one would run into problematic threads where Eritrean history is not any different than Ethiopian history.

        Having said that however, if Eritrean identity is to be defined, it finds its solace and strong hold in its unique experience as the people shaped up their identity as they went through unimaginable political turmoil and a protracted war which ultimately rendered Eritrea an independent nation.

        Instead however, PFDJ including Eritrean intellectuals tend to distort historical facts when their feelings towards Ethiopia gets the best out of them where Mike is their disciple as he is expected to be matured onto a high priest bigot extraordinarae.

        • kaddis

          Lady Dragon –
          I see hope to both nations when I read such statments -
          “one would run into problematic threads where Eritrean history is not any different than Ethiopian history”.

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

            K’addis,

            Not only we are destined to be neighbours but the horizon never appeared any brighter than any time in the past for both of the people across the border. Great days of optimism, serenity and prosperity are ahead.

        • Eyob Medhane

          Here is what’s puzzling for many people like me.

          Why is the nucleus of Eritrea and Eritreanism is primarily focused and revolves around in search of a “Unique” identity and solidifying that identity, as you describe it above? Why should that quest worth this much blood treasure, and as we’ve seen it in Mike’s comment producing a whole generation of ridicules bunch like him? Aren’t there so many other priorities that should shape Eritrea and Eritreans as a country and a nation? And how long finding identity should take and once it has been found what would it take to stick to it? In 1995 fresh out of college, I used to work for an aid agency in a small southern Ethiopian town called ‘Mizan Teferi’. They held a local meeting to change the name of the town to reflect the ethnic groups, who live in and around town and replace the name Mizan Teferi. They just couldn’t agree, as that small town has several Ethnic group are living in it, everyone wanted their language to be used to rename the town. One elder Neuer gentleman was asked for his opinion to mediate the impasse, and he said, “Just finish the cobble stone road that passes through the town, instead of wasting your time on this frivolous and unending debate. It took me half of my life to learn how to say Mizan Teferi and I don’t want to spend the other half of it to learn the new name and angry why I have used the old one in the first place….”

          I told you this anecdote, because that’s what it seems that is going on in Eritrea. It’s citizens seem to be consumed in search of who exactly they are, and when they thought they found it, they don’t seem they are satisfied with it. If this predicament stops somewhere, the loop continues to spin and circle. I know I am ruffling A LOT of feather with this, and get cursed like there is no tomorrow. Well…that’s fine I can take it… :-)

          • Saleh Gadi

            Eyob, it is such belittling that gets into our nerves and you seem to do it knowingly to annoy. Don’t you think people have the right to shape their identity? That is the choice of Eritreans. If you can claim a belonging a 1000 kms away from your ancestral home, why can’t I claim an identity as an Eritrean in Eritrea? Besides, our identity is our choice and we are fine with it (ok the Italians gave us that name, but I do not want to go into who gave the other countries their names, so let’s keep it there). It is something we paid for dearly. And the fighting was not just for the heck of it, or because Eritreans are blood thirsty, it was the Abyssinian rulers who were always bloodthirsty…ours was a struggle against years of subjugation, oppression and bigotry by successive Abyssinian kings (and kinglets). True, the struggle created Isaias–we know who helped Isaias, and what made his grip of power possible. But that doesn’t make our struggle or our identity wrong–it is like getting married and giving birth to a sick baby. It is bad luck…or God’s will, if you are a believer. For your information, I know nothing in my ancestral history but almost a thousand years of oppression by Abyssinia. And I lived through that oppression since I was a child. So please help us, (I repeat a wise saying), “let’s not scratch our wounds.” When some of us promote understanding, cooperation and love between Ethiopians and Eritreans, it should not be seen as a negation of our identity or as weakness of our identity. Kindly resist the temptation to trash the Eritrean identity and don’t judge Eritreans by the insane PFDJ-tribe.

          • Tazabi

            I hope my comment pass muster make it to the post. How is that after 30 years of war and 20 years of independence Eritrean identity is still being debated. To outside observer such as myself Eritreanism seems to be a determination not to be Ethiopian. Simply put anti Ethiopianism. This idea of uniqueness Eritrean nationalists talk about is always defined in terms of how different they are from Ethiopians. Any slight difference with Ethiopians is exaggerated and celebrated as uniquely Eritrean.

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

            Eyob Medhane,

            When the mantra that starts in the wee hours of a day is “Hade L’bi Hade H’zbi”, Eritrea in reality however has two faces. Eritrea has two parallel histories where the inertia to bring them together is a daunting task of cool headed personalities and the Opposition as well where it still remains a thorn in the flesh to the point of breaking us apart replete with grudges and outright mistrust. Eritrea of the highlands and Eritrea of the lowlands.

            If the supposed atrocities and inhuman treatment of the successive Ethiopian rulers on the highlanders is a bit blown out of proportion or hyperbolic, the atrocities perpetrated by successive Ethiopian rulers on the lowlanders however is real and at times could be taken for under-statment where history attests glaringly to that effect.

            That was the main reason the need for independence was launched and more pronounced in the lowlands when the well to do highlanders were in a cosy relationship with Ethiopian rulers as King HaileSelassie was throwing perks here and there in a bid to appease highlanders.

            One can still feel and hear the background echo if you will as lowlanders have a deep seated mistrust including towards PFDJ as the latter is taken for a power which stands for the interests of the highlanders as we auscultate the heart beat of the lowlanders.

            If I could digress for a bit, as lowlanders (read E.LF.) claim as the sole custodian of the Eritrean revolution in cahoots with a deep mistrust of the highlanders, it was then the infamous “N’hnan Elamanan” was authored by Isaias in an affront to the then rising ethnic tension where he later used it for his own political end.

            As we read with intent the sad atrocities of successive Ethiopian leaders on mainly the lowlanders, we equally learn with a heavy heart as people like Yosief Gebrehwet tell us that, Ghedli is equally responsible for atrocities that was perpetrated in the entire swat of Eritrea. Then of course, the question remains: if Ghedli turned out to be a liability with an equal magnitude of atrocities of the Ethiopian leaders, why was it necessary in the first place?

            I say, the an unabated tension still continues where people who hail from the lowlands discount the imperatives of Ghedli as it is owned by a chauvinist Tigrigna where the Eritrean revolution ought to be returned to its original owners (the people), the highlanders on the other hand tacitly opt for Isaias to be reformed as they are apprehensive the rise of the “others” should Isaias exits the political scene.

  • jemal

    let us all be very clear and keep our emotions . i agree that the people of eritrea is suffering too much from the regime .And there must be a change . Now lets go back to our history , once the Weyane and EPLF were friends and drove out the ELF from the battle field . When the ethiopians asked for the reward ,all what is going on take place. Now the same thing happened but with the opposit partner.The Question is Are these people now in Ethiopia ready to reward the Ethiopians for all the support they provide to them . and what the value of the reward will be ????????????

  • tek

    My dear friend Mohamed Kheir, You are such an asset to the Eritrean people and their struggle, and I have no words to explain to you, how much proud I am about your ideas and your journalistic presentation.We always are going to have people like Mike, who are misinformed, emotional or do not understand the situation, let alone the fact that he could be an ardent member of pfdj, who is destroying visibily our people.Let`s not shout at the Ethiopians,whatever their intentions are, especially when they are helping the Eritrean people, when they need help most. If we are not serious learners in running our show effectively, if it is not Ethiopia, it might be the Sudan, Saudi Arabia,or it could be America,Europe or China …etc who is going to run our show for us. As Mohamed Kheir said and clearly put it, let`s embrace and support the achievement we won so far and push this Front and leadership to successful destination.

  • mike

    the opposition is sleeping with the enemy. whether they intend to or not ( and i not for a fact that some do and some dont) this is the naked truth. even those who critisize the eritrean govt will proudly stand by it as opposed to siding the oppostion/ethiopia. You guys need to understand that ethiopia (for centuries, even before eritrea was called eritrea and it was called medri bahri) has been constantly fighting with eritrea. Trying to conquer it. kill the inhabitants. Its a never ending cycle. Thru every leader they have done eritrea harm. and you still choose to side with them? THEY DO NOT CARE ABOUT YOU. ALL THEY WANT IS ERITREAN LAND, ERITREAN SEA, ERITREAN HISTORY, and ERITREAN RESOURCES!despite only being illegally federated and annexed and being part of ethiopia for 40 (30 of which were spent fighting to seperate)nthey still think they own eritrea and history doesnt support their claim! when will you people learn. if you hate the govt, fine thats cool. thats your perogative but think and be smart. choose the lesser of the evils. you guys complain over news? are you kidding me? all this is partly to do with the fact you cannot write your own little article???? and the so called g15…most of you govt critisizers have no right to “fight” for them. You are the same peopl who were critisizing the the PFDJ from inception. and the g15 were part of the pfdj. they did everything you guys hate about the pfdj. face it you guys are just opportunists. makes me sick. just dont try to do anything stupid like start an ethiopian backed invasion or anything like that because you know dam well that it wont end well for you guys.

    • Eyob Medhane

      Mike,

      You know what is sad? Eritrea has plenty of people like you. You swear and scream that Ethiopia is the enemy, because Ethiopians love just the “land’ not the “people”. Fine. But do you love the people of Eritrea, Mike? If you do, I dare you to speak, as loudly as you can for those, who perished in Mediterranean sea and in the Sinai desert. I dare you to gather a courage to question the reason, why thousands of Eritrean youth get humiliated everyday of the year in every part of the world. See, if your love was not just about the land, but the people also, you would have cared and asked those questions. But you don’t. You know what I think? I think you just love only the land not the people. Just like your “enemies” Ethiopians do. Oh…Oh…I just figured it out. You’re becoming your own worst nightmare. THE ETHIOPIANS. Dude, I don’t think you want to be your own enemy, but from what I can see you just seem to love Eritrea much more than its people, which would make you Ethiopian..Ewwwwww……But again, that’s impossible. You are of the pure and precious race that is Eritrean…Oh my, oh my. I suggest you wash that Ethiopianness off quick, or you’ll never be able to get it out of you….. :-)

    • african

      This shows Eritreanism is nothing but anti Ethiopianism.

      • Kokhob Selam

        African,
        If Mike is an Eritrean that doesn’t mean he represents us all. Eritrea is a nation like Ethiopia. we are brothers and that will not change for ever.

      • Mike

        Eyob Medhane:
        No i do not only care about the land. I care about the people as well. What happened in the Mediterranean sea and in the Sinai desert are sad incidences. No question about it. But i am not talking about things that happens outside eritrea. Im talkin about eritrea. All that is a different topic. And dont ever call me ethiopian again. That is the worst insult I can ever receive. And you cannot say that I love Eritrea more than the people…..the people are Eritrea. if you like one then you like the other. Don’t be upset that i told the truth and that the truth was hard for you to hear.

        African:
        Eritreanism isnt anti-ethiopianism, but it does have somthing to do with it, absolutely!. Thats only because of the victimization we have endured through out history. A victimization that continues today. How can you fault the victim that hates the aggressor? I do not hate the people of ethiopia. I hate the govt. That being said…i still dislike the amharu and tegaru (generalization) for centuries of oppression on eritreans.

        Kokhob Selam:
        Eritrea and Ethiopia arent not alike. Just because they speak one language like us (tigrinya) with a different dialect, doesnt make it so. calling us brothers is a stretch…a brother doesnt annex, torture, kill, rape, invade, loot, lie, steal, abuse their brothers for centuries…just doesnt happen…

        Not one of you three challenged the facts I wrote, which means one of two things:
        1. You do not know of the things I am talking about therefore you aren’t able to argue about something you dont know, or
        2. You 100% agree with what I said, so there is no need to challenge what is correct

        Just remember, If we do not learn from history, we are doomed to repeat it! And history tells us that Ethiopia (every single govt or head of state that they have ever had!) has and will always be our enemy…

        • Saleh Gadi

          Hi Mike. You wrote, “…a brother doesnt annex, torture, kill, rape, invade, loot, lie, steal, abuse their brothers for centuries… just doesnt happen…” and you also wrote: “i still dislike the amharu and tegaru (generalization) for centuries of oppression on eritreans.”

          Just some curious questions for you: 1) Of course the PFDJ has been around for about two decades only, but what if our “PFDJ brothers” stayed for centuries, do you think their rule will be characterized differently than what you have mentioned regarding the Ethiopian rule? 2) Would you define narrowly the Amharu and Tegaru who victimized Eritrea (or it is generalization as you indicated), or you are implicating all the twenty-something million Ethiopian Amharu and Tegaru and many folds that number of Amharu and Tegaru who died over the long years? 3) Would you dissect the Eritrean society as you did to Ethiopia (if you did, I am assuming you will use the same yardstick)? Do you think the PFDJ learns from history, that an oppressor cannot stay forever?
          Thank you

          • http://re haben hager

            salih i think u are eritrean origion ethiopian as such u have no right to comment on behalf of us, eritreans.what miki said is universal truth.even history will tell u that they were never kind and will never be.u didnt know what those wicked and witch leaders of abyssinia did to us by saying with whom did we fight in our long struggle for freedom salih?before even answer mikis question u tried to ask him as a means of running from the truth .for ur first question my answer is leaders of ethiopia was enemies of eritrea and eritreanism while PFDJ is enemy of those who have anti eritreanism and eritrea. ur 2nd question is amharu are lovers of some once property and have never slept for a century of left land locked so they need to see eritrea to be part of abyssinia.tegaru angry for being left behind to create great tigray with the help of eritrean people.and they thought that they are low valued people with out the civilized tigirigna speaking eritreans.who told u will leave for ever as there is no one even jesus was died .so if the leader ship of eritra passed away sahil produced another hundreds of esayas to lead the people with destiny.

          • Saleh Gadi

            Dear Haben, I can’t make anything of what you are saying. If someone understands what your argument is (and on what) I might say a word or two. For example, I cannot understand what “salih i think u are eritrean origion ethiopian as such u have no right to comment on behalf of us, eritreans” could you rephrase it please so that I can understand?

        • Eyob Medhane

          “…..And dont ever call me ethiopian again. That is the worst insult I can ever receive…..”

          Ha ha ha ha ha That’s hilarious! Y’know, what you said above sort of sounds self loathing. Usually self haters try as hard as they can to run away from what they really are or REALLY want to be. But enough psycho analyzing you. As you wish I will always call you “Mr. Eritrean of the year”.

          You proceeded to say “…i am not talking about things that happens outside eritrea….”

          Oh..I get it. Those, who left Eritrea are not valid citizens anymore and they should not talked about? They left you’re beloved Eritrea, that’s it. They are dead to you, huh?! As your mortal enemies the Amharus, would say “…እሺ አባ:: ይመችህ!..” But, I disagree with you, when you say that young Eritreans perishing in the high seas and Sinai desert is a different topic. Your government and the “pure” Eritreans that are leading it led them to that. They kept them in perpetual slavery, therefore they chose to leave to end up dead in the most unspeakable manner. If you care about Eritreans, you would have talked about them in every topic you comment on. And guess what? Some of those Eritreans, whose lives God almighty saved from PFDJ land mines and bullets or a human traffickers ended up in the “enemy”. land Ethiopia. From what I know, they actually live better in freedom than then your holy land Eritrea. Can you imagine? Even though the Amharus love eating raw meat, they still didn’t eat them…hummmmm What gives? They tell a story that in their country, Eritrea some of their friends get to be stuffed in a container and left to die. This kind of thing should have happened to them in their “enemy” land Ethiopia rather than Eritrea. But no. It seems The enemies are better for so many Eritreans than their fellow “pure blooded Eritrean”.

          I’ll repeat my earlier comment, before I depart. Judging from your comments, you seem a young person (Possibly YPFDJ). It is very discouraging and disheartening for that country to have a large number of young citizens like you.

        • Mike

          Saleh,
          Let me answer your questions.
          1. Absolutely. No matter how much we hate or like the PFDJ they are nothing like the Ethiopians. They could never do as much harm as the Ethiopians have done to us. They have caused more damage in 1 year than PFDJ has in 20.
          2. It is a generalization.
          3. No I have not dissected the Eritrean society because naturally Eritreans are more united as a peoples than Ethiopians are. Eritreans (all tribes) are proud to be Eritrean and they pride themselves on it. Ethiopia isn’t like that. Yes, the PFDJ learns from history as they will not soften their policies towards the Woyane government again. “Fool me once shame one you, fool me twice shame on me” They will make sure there isn’t a “twice”. Now regarding their mistakes within the country, well they have no choice but to learn from them, if they don’t then it won’t turn out well.

          Eyob Medhane,

          Well Eyob, if i was Ethiopian I would be self loathing…thank god I’m not. And no you don’t need to call me Mr. Eritrean of the Year.
          Do not twist my words. In your quotations, you failed to add the part where I wrote “that is a different topic”. Do not put words in my mouth either. I never said they should not be talked about or anything close to that! You can have your imaginary conversations all you want but keep it to yourself. And I dont need to hear any amharic quotes or anything like that. I do not understand it nor do I care for it. And gets your facts straight. Eritreans dont go TO ethiopia. They go THROUGH ethiopia. Ethiopia is just a stepping stone for them. Many are brainwashed with a promise of better jobs and lives if they leave Eritrea and enter another country illegally and the funny thing about it is those brainwashers fail to mention to the eritreans of the dangers that await them if they leave. They are the ones (brainwashers) who have blood on their hands. Go converse with them!! And their are no PFDJ landmines fool. Those landmines are from the derg era and from the ethiopian invasion in 98. Stop lying and spreading filth. If you cant tell the truth, dont say anything at all!!! And no i am not part of YPFDJ nor am i part of PFDJ or any opposition groups. I am more of an independent. Although I have been to several meetings of both sides. That being said the stories these refugees make regarding Eritrea are false! They are just for asylum purposes. Why do you think most are being turned away now? Countries are starting to catch on and know that these refugees are not persecuted in Eritrea , and they only come to get work permits to work. Its only a matter of time before these “stories” are no longer accepted. As for the ones who went through torture in Sinai, they are accepted because of the ordeal they went through. And before you start putting words in my mouth again, let me emphasize the part were i said that they ARE NOT PERSECUTED IN ERITREA. This is not extended to outside eritrean borders!

          • Saleh Gadi

            Waw. Very interesting. Thanks for the candid replies. Now please allow me another chance to ask more questions:

            1) would you be kind enough and list a few mistakes that the PFDJ learned from and corrected?
            2) Social scientists (not me) think that generally, people who are similar (or almost similar) in culture, socio-economic development, grography, history (political or otherwise), etc, have similar characteristics and traits. Knowing that, would you still say “naturally Eritreans are more united as a peoples than Ethiopians are”?
            3) If yes, how would the same Habesha people who share similar culture, language, religion, economy based on poor agriculture, envaironment be different (forget the Amharu for now)?
            4)If we were to compare the DNA of Eritreas (using your definition) to that of Tegaru (forget the Amharu for now) would it be different, considering your statement that we are different?
            5) I am sure you don’t condone racism, but I would like to see your views: would an Eritrean or an Ethiopian be considered racists if they hate each others race? Or there is some explanation as to why they would be absolved from that label?

            I am baffled, (this is not a question, just an observation): why does God give both people similar amount of rain, a few centimeters a year, which is what makes most of the people thrive or starve–if their problem was not complicated by premordial rivalry! If the amount of rain, the subsistance economy and other things have changed in Eritrea, please educate me, I am just a detached exilee who is not lucky enough to live under the glorious PFDJ rule, I think I am missing a lot. Before I finish, let me throw a fifth question:

            5) Why is Naizghi Kiflu not buried to date, can you offer an explanation?

          • Eyob Medhane

            Mike,

            Saleh is a very patient man. (I assume he is an educator. Probably that’s why) I am going to have to cut any substantive conversation with you, because, frankly, many of the things you say are repulsive.

            Having said that, I am going to have to remind you that tough luck! You’re gonna have to hear plenty of Amharic words and even speak them in your daily routine, if you want to be reall Erirean and know how to speak Tigrigna, I guess you’ll be forced to say significant Amharic words. You understand we share so many words with your mortal “enemies” the Amharu right? You even enjoy uttering those words, when you sing those lovely patriotic Tigrigna songs. See, I told you. Y’ll never get away from Ethiopia and Amharic….HA HA HA HA HA …

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

            Mike,

            I am actually getting fired up. Or as gorebietna back in Edaga Hamus Asmera Adey Letekhidan would put it, “Netselay hab’ni z’tserfo ‘leni”. I had to clean my prescription glasses to make sure that I am reading you right. For real. Am I reading you right? Are you saying, “Eritreans do not go to Ethiopia but pass through Ethiopia”. Are you for real?

            If anything, PFDJ is terribly known for its inability to tell the truth or acknowledging its faulty lines and the sad thing is it is passing it on to the younger generation like you. That is pretty sad.

            Let me walk you through something called reality. Do you know that Ethiopia is not a motel, hostel or a hotel. It is a country with circa 80 million people. And when Eritreans flee tyranny and stay in Ethiopia, they are being fed in Ethiopia, they are provided with shelter in Ethiopia; they get tended in hospitals or clinics should they get sick. What’s more, hundreds of young and bright Eritreans are being given scholarships should they opt to study in Ethiopia and a lot of them are taking advantage of the opportunity.

            Let me try to make sense out of your otherwise convoluted mind set: Here is a hypothetical scenario. Suppose a hater or a bigot like you gets sick (God forbid of course) and is in an immediate need of a surgery. And suppose the only surgeon with a know how to operate on you happens to be an Ethiopian.

            As much as you loath and abhor Ethiopians, you would rationalize your hate as, “He is not actually curing me, he is just a means for me to get cured” as in Eritreans are not going to Ethiopia but passing through to Ethiopia ala PFDJ lingua.

          • Mike

            Saleh,

            1. well for one, the trusting of the Woyane government. But i’d like to add that i never said the PFDJ has corrected their mistakes. I just said that they must do so or it will not turn out well for them.
            2. Yes, Eritreans are more united as Eritreans than Ethiopians are as Ethiopians.
            3. Dialect is different. Culture, although similar, is different as they have different influences than us.
            4. Yes but only to an extent. As for distant similarities, of course it is similar, as is the DNA of the nubians in sudan. Same as other countries throughout africa, the countries that border each other, those areas have people similar to each each other, but no one says they are the same and they are not the same. Eritrea is no exception to that.
            5. This is a very interesting question! And one that I am surprised hasn’t been asked much. No i do not condone racism. to answer , i guess yes if one hated the others race. But whats the source of the hate? Like the blacks where hate by the whites in america for just being black? Again if thats the case then yes it is racist. But i don’t believe that is the case with eritreans (at least for me). I will use myself as an example. I do not hate Ethiopians outside the tegaru and amharu. But even the people from those tribes i do not hate them. I dislike them, yes, but not because of their culture or how they look, or walk, but because of their tendencies and atrocities they have committed on the whole region and mainly Eritrea. My dislike for them is caused by a history of events that goes back to even before anyone of us here at awate were born. It is a generalization of course but i hope you understand what i mean. As for them, history shows us that they hate eritreans for being eritrean. All the mass killings. All the civilians that were killed during the wars. Soldiers coming to there house and shooting them just because they were eritrean. Eritreans being kicked out of ethiopia because they were eritreans. Robbed from their belongings and families. being forced to walk to the border with no food or water in the harsh temperature and harsh roads. Old and young alike! Just because they were eritrean? Don’t you think that is racism as opposed to disliking someone because they have been causing you harm?
            6. Well I have nothing tho do with that as i am not a gravedigger (little joke). I can’t answer you, because i don’t know about that, but according to what i’ve learned, his body has been sent to Eritrea a long time ago and i’m sure he has been buried by now, as in our culture their isn’t a wide gap between death and burial.

            Eyob,

            I agree with you that Saleh does seem like an educator. But no you are wrong in your analysis about tigrinya. Unless you grew up in Ethiopia, i dont see why you would use amharic words when speaking tigrinya. And those words that amharic borrowed from tigrinya dont make them amharic words. They are still tigrinya. Please do your research on the history of amharic and where it came from and how it became what it is today. Let me get you started…it is a cushitic language. Now take that and go educate yourself further.

            b’Alti W’qatto Arwe,

            Yes that is what I wrote because it is the truth. They go to Ethiopia as a means to go to better countries. Dont be fool and dont spread usless propaganda about how they are feed at the camp and they get free scholarships. Stop it. that is something the woyane introduced 2-3 years ago, for propaganda purposes. You think they live in heavenly conditions in the Ethiopian camps? They Ethiopians cant feed themselves and are dying if starvation in their own country, how the hell do you think they can feed the refugees in the camps? The country itself has a drinking water availability problem and you think the refugees are living decent. Are you out of your mind? And please stop trying to act smart when you are not! Ethiopia’s population is over 90 million. Not around 80. and yes 10 million is a huge difference. and your , “He is not actually curing me, he is just a means for me to get cured” analogy is very stupid to say the least, as it does not pertain to this situation at all. To finish, i have said this before but some of you seem to only read or mention what you want too in order to have something to argue about. My animosity, is less towards the people of ethiopia but more with the leaders. Yes i said i dislike the tegaru and amharu but if you step on a balloon hard enough, it is bound to pop! (that is a proper analogy, take notes)

          • Saleh Gadi

            I think you need to revise your knowledge about racism. A women cannot be half-pregnant, either she is or she is not. As for Naizghi, you stated that “his body has been sent to Eritrea a long time ago and i’m sure he has been buried by now, as in our culture their isn’t a wide gap between death and burial,” I am glad you are sure he is already buried by now. Will you check your information further on that as well? Thank you, I am done learning from you!

          • dude

            Well I am of the opinion that eritreans like ethiopians suffered under previous administrations because they challenged a non democratic regime which only replies with force. Just because of red terror we lost 500,000 and 1mln souls in tigray because mengistu blocked food relief, and many more in ogaden and oromia conflicts so it’s suffusive to say both peoples know suffering. I remember reading on one of YG’s articles that there was a perception which sought to define ethiopia as uncivilized, ruthless, dictatorial, etc and that these qualities are in its inherent nature and not something it can change over time. Mike unfortunately is trained to think all ethiopian govts are like derg because its in their nature, he even pointed out which gene pool he does not appreciate. It might be true that eritreans are passing through ethiopia just like they are passing through egypt except instead of kidnapping, organ harboring, and torture, they get legal status, opportunity to education, access to international aid, freedom to move, etc from the very same people mike would have us believe are genetically oppressive. It’s embarrassing that there are people who think like this…

          • Mike

            Saleh,

            Do not take my comment as definitive. I am not certain that he is buried or he is not buried. Im just going according to tradition across the country regarding someones death and burial. Also let me rephrase what I said about racism so that i may explain myself better. I do not dislike tegaru and amharu because they are from their respective tribes. I dislike them (generally) because of the things they have done to Eritrea throughout history. All the things done to eritrea have been done by tegaru and amharau. The other ethnics have not harmed us in such a way. Once again i do not hate the people and direct my animosity towards the leadership. It just so happens that every leadership Ethiopia has ever had are either tegaru or amharu. So yes I have the full right to be weary about them.

        • Kokhob Selam

          After you got the reply of the real awaken Eritrean here, I hope you know that you don’t know what you are talking about.
          I wonder if you already recognize the problem is in your head. We are in different era. Ethiopia is going ahead seemingly toward democracy while we are under PFDJ. Being under PFDJ is totally unaccepted phenomena.
          Today we are not challenging Haileselase or those you mention kings of Ethiopia. Today Ethiopia has a smart government who first recognize our national freedom. This Smart and wise government Unlike other Ex-governments of Ethiopian this one cares more about the country call Ethiopia and shows us that he can do it without Eritrea. While still a lot work is waiting for him but had achieved a lot.
          We the Eritrean people are unable to show that we can be free democratic nation. PFDJ don’t know what they are doing and to where they are heading (unless there is a hidden agenda) but Eritrea is considered a failed state. To put you in emotion PFDJ program your mind that your enemy is in Addis Ababa.
          You also try to tell us that an Eritrean enemy is different from Ethiopian Enemy. If Mengsu killed me or Issays killed me what is the difference. Just because Issays was born in Eritrean my soul will not come back. As Kokhob I believe PFDJ is not better than other enemies if not worst.

        • Tazabi

          Mike,
          I am an Amhara and an Ethiopian. I do not know you and you sure do not know me yet you hate me just because I am an Amhara and Ethiopian. Pity for Eritrea with friends like Mike who needs an enemy

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

            Mike,

            I thought halew-lew had a limit. You sure are an exception.

          • Mike

            Tazabi,

            No i do not hate you one bit. Like you said, I do not know you. I don’t hate people for their nationalities or tribes. In case you or anyone else missed it, I DO NOT HATE ETHIOPIANS FOR BEING ETHIOPIANS NOR DO I HATE AMHARU OR TEGARU FOR BEING AMHARU OR TEGARU. Now that I have said that I do hate your government, past and present. It just so happens they are from these two tribes. The people are cool. I have no problem with them. But you must understand my skepticism.

          • Tazabi

            You said … That being said…i still dislike the amharu and tegaru (generalization) for centuries of oppression on eritreans …

            Well go ahead and hate me if that helps your cause

          • jemal

            Tazabi,
            we, Eritreans do not hate any one. And we did not even dream a day, to colonize others. But [I] hate the Etiopian governments from the time of Haile Silase to Meles Zenawi. Do u know why?

  • http://yahoo estifanos

    fantastic job done’ but we are taking too much time;make high while the sun shine “if the dictator steys longer we will see more suffering;let us organize immedatly

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