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The Smashed Eritrean Wristwatch

Some anecdotes are timeless, I will tell you an old one: Adey Tekh’a, was a very old senile woman. A combatant asked her how old she was. She tried to remember, “Since I was baptized as Tekh’a, since I shepherded the goats. What! I could be 400 or 500 hundred years old! ” እምቧዕ!፡ተኽኣ ካብ ዝበሃል፡ ኣጣል ካብ ዝወፍር፡ አማእት፣ አረባዕተ ወይ ሓሙሽተ ሚእቲ ዓመት ገረ ‘ኸውን!”

The combatant remarked, “She thinks she is Prophet Noah!”

It has been 400 or 500 hundred years since the ELF and EPLF rivalry ceased to exist. It has also been that long since Isaias killed the historical EPLF and replaced it with the PFDJ under the control of the “Valineki Clique”(1) . Since then he has left behind a trail of blood and tears that explains the long years of oppression. Since then, Methuselah has died, Prophet Noah has died, and many others have .

Mr. Rolex was his nickname

After years at sea, a sailor from Massawa disembarked in Italy and finally ended up working in Switzerland. In the eighties he was so old, he returned to Eritrea with an impressive Rolex wristwatch that displayed the year, the month and the date. They nicknamed him Mr. Rolex. On May 24,1991, the day Eritrea became independent, he died in a car accident. His Rolex watch was smashed. Today it is kept with one of his relatives in Massawa, and it still reads: 12:01, May 24, 1991–more about this story in the last sentence of this edition.

What happened before Mr. Rolex’s watch stopped is the legacy of all Eritreans. It is their history, and they own all its aspects: its sad parts, its glories, and its nostalgic memories. Eritreans own all the epic struggle, from Adal to Afaabet, from Togoruba to Adi Hawesha. Even the history of the gorges of Sahil and Karneshim where Eritrea’s children killed each other. Even Dembelass and Weki Dbba where Eritrean sellouts participated in the massacres.

Except for a few who insist on measuring time by the stopped Rolex watch, the rest do not even have watches. They don’t  argue over trivial issues: whether it is a women’s’ or a men’s watch; whether it is appropriate to put a watch on the right or left wrist; whether it is Japanese or Swiss made. These are old topics, as old as ELF-EPLF topics. About 500 years old.

The Social problems

Unresolved social issues do not die out, they pop up every now and then. And Eritrea has several social issues that are the cause of the mistrust that we complain about. It exists across all social levels though many wrongly (or purposely) think it is a monopoly of the opposition camp. The difference is, while the mistrust among the opposition is visible and is freely talked about, the PFDJ side is insulated from such scrutiny because it controls the state apparatus, particularly the media and the security network. Unfortunately,  there is a general tendency among Eritreans to downplay the social problems. But the sleek among us try to define it as a sole byproduct of the struggle era. Worse, they try hard to present it as a generational issue. If we think of any of our social problems and study its genesis, we find out that it predates the birth of most living Eritreans. We need to discern between generational differences (mainly life style and fashion) and traditional social problems.

I know a few people who are always on guard, very defensive, whatever criticism is thrown their way they think it is because of their ELF or EPLF affiliations, 500 years ago. They must have Mr. Rolex’s watch! That is how they measure the validity of arguments, depending on the background of the source. Worse, they use these affiliation gimmicks to abuse, even those who have neither backgrounds. Most veterans do not know the feuds of yesteryears that were raging between the supporters of this or that organization in the Diaspora–and a few partisan politicians are reviving that old rivalry. And it all ends up a pile at the doorsteps of the “Opposition” as if it is a monolithic organization. And the much abused term “opposition”, is either wrongly or purposely equated with partisan politics.

Eritreans are supposed to have an opinion on the general situation of their country, particularly concerning the issue of justice and freedom. If a citizen doesn’t have a position on that, I don’t think they are qualified to talk about the “Valineki Clique” which usurped power from the historical EPLF, or about the Eritrean opposition forces. One cannot stay neutral while observing the severe oppression of Eritrean citizens. In facing evil, people are obliged to use force to rectify the wrong; if that is not possible, they have to express and object to it in words, if still that is not possible, they must reject the injustices in their hearts–and the reaction to the feeling of the heart is the weakest. Even holy books spell that out clearly.

One who has no position on the injustice of the government has forfeited his credibility to talk about its opposition. But if one openly disagrees with injustices and sympathizes with the beleaguered Eritrean citizens, they have all the rights to criticize and complain. Anyone who is against the injustice in Eritrea is technically an opposition member though not necessarily partisan. The opposition is composed of a wide circle of Eritreans and they belong to diverse groups. But the “Shadow Opposition” members refuse to make the distinction and use the largest brush they can find.

But why do they do that? Like in witchcraft they summon the ghosts of the old rivalries to help them throw their failure at the “opposition” and then innocently plead: see, the ghosts made me do it! For some, all the opposition groups in Ethiopia are of one political color. It has become an effective political blackmailing tactics. It has become too deceitful to pass–it needs clarification.

There were three organizations, offshoots of the old ELF:  ELF-RC, ELF, and Saghem. They evolved to: 1) ELF-RC which doesn’t even use the name anymore after its merger with EDP and it’s now known as EPDP, which is made up of ELF and EPLF veterans (led by Mengesteab Asmerom). 2) The National Salvation Front started as a split-half of ELF-RC, which after many developments ended up with two sides keeping the name and both have changed their composition (led by Dr. Habte Tesfamariam and another by Ogbazghi Debus). 3) The ELF which never dropped the name and still maintains it (led by Hussein Khelifa).

The above organizations represent a fraction of the total opposition organizations. Today’s organized opposition consists of almost equal ratios of ELF and EPLF backgrounds, as well as members who were not born when the old rivalry was raging. The historical  ELF-EPLF divide (and era) is finished. At this moment, the organizations exist on their own merits, and should not be seen in the context of the old EPLF-ELF divide. Please note that the list below is just an informational list; I will write my views on each of them in subsequent editions of Negarit.

  1. Eritrean Liberation Front (ELF), Hussein Khelifa
  2. Eritrean People Democratic Party (EPDP), Menghisteab Asmerom
  3. Eritrean Peoples’ Movement (EPM), Dr. Tesfai Sebhatu
  4. Democratic Front for Eritrean Unity (Sagem), Jemal Saleh
  5. Eritrean National Salvation Front* (ENSF), Ogbazghi Debus
  6. Eritrean National Salvation Front* (ENSF), Dr. Habte Tesfamariam
  7. Eritrean Nahda Party (ENP), Abdulrahman Taha
  8. Eritrean Federal Democratic Party (1) (EFDM), Bashir Ishaq
  9. Democratic Mov’t for the Liberation of Eritrean Kunama (DMLEK), Kornelios Osman
  10. Red Sea Afar Democratic Organization (RSADO), Ibrahim Harun
  11. Eritrean Islamic Islah Movement (Islah), Adem Ismail
  12. Eritrean Islamic Congress(EIC), Abdella Hamid
  13. Eritrean Islamic Party for Justice & Development (EIPJD), Saleh Mohamed Osman
  14. *Eritrean Unity for Democratic Change (EUDC), Yohannes Asmelash
  15. *Eritrean Youth Solidarity for National Salvation (EYSNS), Tesfu Atsbeha

After years of following the developments of the Eritrean ruling party and the opposition forces, I have concluded that the above are what I can consider political organizations, or quasi-organizations. Still, I am only providing a general information; at this moment I do not intend to go into the nitty-gritty and how they evolved. But hopefully, in the future I will explain the evolution of each organization, and its current status and politics.

I am sure that some will be displeased with me for not including them in the list. Honestly, I don’t believe they are viable organizations that deserve support. However, it is also important to note that several of the above organizations do not have compelling reasons to exist on their own and could seamlessly merge with others if they have the will to unite. If the mergers take place, there  shouldn’t be more than five political organizations.

In addition, there are also several notable personalities who have some sort of entity. I believe they should be recognized on their own individual rights. For example, Herui T. Bairu leads the Eritrean Congress Party. Arguably, Herui is an institution on his own and doesn’t need any organization to legitimize his role. Leaders like him should be respected as walking institutions and their role should be sought after and secured by the combined Eritrean political forces. I am mentioning Herui because he is a refined politician, and unlike others, he will tolerate my views. Also, because I do not want this to be more than an informational expose, at least at this moment.

On this occasion I urge the public (and the websites) to insist on knowing who the opposition leaders are, their resume, and their group’s programs, before they publish any statements and communiqués that do not carry signatures. Electronic pen-name statements should be shunned because our intention to inform the public is ending up confusing activists. I urge all websites that do not recognize the Valineki Clique to stop accommodating pen-name leadership.

Context is the message

When people say there are thirty or forty-something organizations, others might take that at face value. The reality, however, is different. I have written a few times criticizing the two-and-three persons organizations and sadly, in passing, I have mentioned the inflated number of opposition organizations. Looking back, I might have contributed to the confusion and I apologize (though some people do that purposely); I didn’t think that would be used as a weapon to undermine the opposition. At any rate, here is the context.

During the preparation for the Awassa congress, which gave birth to ENCDC, the commission that was tasked with organizing the congress and inviting participant faced the problem of identifying political organizations and civic association. Unfortunately, in its attempt to solve the riddle, it came up with a strange decision: any group was allowed to send its delegates to the congress provided it paid a $100 registration fee. Based on that, the commission recognized crowds of groups who paid the fee as entities capable of representing Eritreans. In addition to that, crowds of delegates attended the congress shortly after they hastily formed “organizations” in Tigray under the auspices of some authorities.

The Awassa congress was overwhelmed by many attendants who claimed to be “civil-association” and yet competed with tooth and nail over leadership quotas, seeking political appointments. Some were unknown quantities and no one knew who elected them or their backgrounds; some observers suspected PFDJ infiltration, which I also believe. Obviously, most of attendants didn’t have legs to stand on let alone a public support and a membership base. A few have kept phantom associations (name only) to be used as a vehicle for their ambitious members to secure political positions. In reality, they didn’t exist, but in name. It was a disappointing, and an embarrassing situation.

Most of the attendants came from different parts of the world and most didn’t know each other. But though that was considered normal given the dispersed Eritrean Diaspora, for the few who invest a lot of time contacting and networking with activists, it was a heartburn–they were unknown quantities. Personally, I felt sick. To this day, the two and three person organizations are focused on partisan consolidation of power to compete with other established organizations. Unfortunately, instead of focusing on the goal of changing the situation inside Eritrea, they seem to be obsessed with their egoistic power struggle and partisan politics.

It has been long since I decided to refrain from exposing the affairs of the “opposition camp” fearing adverse effects. It didn’t work. Organizations that could grow and improve are being pulled to the cesspool by part-timers, amateurs and people who lack the wherewithal and dedication. I believe the public should be aware of the situation so that it can support the serious organizations and  put pressure on the confusing entities to cease and desist.

However, unfortunately those who are supposed to provide the needed support are bent on having their own new shops that are overcrowding the limited space and squandering resources. The struggle, instead of coalescing, has become so localized that each major city in the Diaspora boasts of at least one organization. Each existing for its own sake, struggling to maintain its individuality and to massage the ego of its local leaders, while at the same time, preaching unity of purpose. That slogan has just lost its meaning and weight. And there is stiff competition by the up and coming umbrella to control the Addis Ababa Franchise of the opposition camp (I will come to that in subsequent expose of the organizations).

Context is important. Anyone who repeats “35 opposition organizations”, etc, should be taken to task to name them. In reality, there are no such numbers; they just have an imaginary book value (not even goodwill). It’s most likely that if the books are burned, they will cease to exist because their license to operate is not from the Eritrean public–it is an individual undertaking for individual benefits–certainly not for the Eritrean benefit. For example, it just takes the Ethiopian handlers to burn these books and revoke the licenses; the air will immediately clear out. As it stands, it is selfishness and individuality gone amok; ambition getting in the way between the intention to be patriotic and actually being one.

Political tasks should be left to the political organizations; civic association should identify their missions and be good at it. No association can be an advocate of everything noble and be good at ten fields, all at once. Specialization is badly needed. The same applies to the vague associations that hide behind “movement” appellation, they should just kill themselves and rest in peace. They are of no good to the cause.

In Conclusion?

The ELF-EPLF difference is just in the minds of a few who love shortcuts; it has ended in 1991. Since then, the struggle has been a combined undertaking of Eritreans from all backgrounds: the tyranny camp on one side and the justice and freedom camp on the other. Attempts to recreate the old rivalry is suicidal. If that rivalry must be remembered, it should not be more than an occasion for nostalgia, casual jokes and anecdotes. Trying to explain the current struggle in any other way is deceitful, politically motivated, and unproductive. Today’s struggle should not be trivialized, it is a struggle for justice and freedom. It shouldn’t be a partisan undertaking. And it is important to remember:  the current struggle is not in vain.

I have dozens of allies from both ELF-EPLF backgrounds; I have known most of them for almost two decades, some even more. In our communications, our old background doesn’t register at all. Reading the newly popping messages that are attempting to pump life into the old partisan rivalry is mind boggling and a wanton scheme to inflict paranoia in the mind of activists. If anyone wants to reconcile me, say, with my friend Adhanom Gebremariam, or others, we are way past that, thank you for the offer!

Back to the story of Mr. Rolex.

Does the story makes you sad? Don’t be. It is a fiction, though it explains the nature of the made-up EPLF-ELF divide which is equally a fiction. Both stories are not real.

(1) The 1993 secret Valineki meeting (in the outskirts of Asmara) is where Isaias’ devilish design took hold. He chocked the EPLF and replaced it with the PFDJ together with an alliance of cadres mostly from the Diaspora. The Valineki Clique sidelined the main actors of the EPLF, most of whom ended up in jail or were eliminated.

* New additions to the organizations

About Saleh "Gadi" Johar

Born and raised in Keren, Eritrea, now a US citizen residing in California, Mr. Saleh “Gadi” Johar is founder and publisher of awate.com. Author of Miriam was Here, Of Kings and Bandits, and Simply Echoes. Saleh is acclaimed for his wealth of experience and knowledge in the history and politics of the Horn of Africa. A prominent public speaker and a researcher specializing on the Horn of Africa, he has given many distinguished lectures and participated in numerous seminars and conferences around the world. Activism Awate.com was founded by Saleh “Gadi” Johar and is administered by the Awate Team and a group of volunteers who serve as the website’s advisory committee. The mission of awate.com is to provide Eritreans and friends of Eritrea with information that is hidden by the Eritrean regime and its surrogates; to provide a platform for information dissemination and opinion sharing; to inspire Eritreans, to embolden them into taking action, and finally, to lay the groundwork for reconciliation whose pillars are the truth. Miriam Was Here This book that was launched on August 16, 2013, is based on true stories; in writing it, Saleh has interviewed dozens of victims and eye-witnesses of Human trafficking, Eritrea, human rights, forced labor.and researched hundreds of pages of materials. The novel describes the ordeal of a nation, its youth, women and parents. It focuses on violation of human rights of the citizens and a country whose youth have become victims of slave labor, human trafficking, hostage taking, and human organ harvesting--all a result of bad governance. The main character of the story is Miriam, a young Eritrean woman; her father Zerom Bahta Hadgembes, a veteran of the struggle who resides in America and her childhood friend Senay who wanted to marry her but ended up being conscripted. Kings and Bandits Saleh “Gadi” Johar tells a powerful story that is never told: that many "child warriors" to whom we are asked to offer sympathies befitting helpless victims and hostages are actually premature adults who have made a conscious decision to stand up against brutality and oppression, and actually deserve our admiration. And that many of those whom we instinctively feel sympathetic towards, like the Ethiopian king Emperor Haile Sellassie, were actually world-class tyrants whose transgressions would normally be cases in the World Court. Simply Echoes A collection of romantic, political observations and travel poems; a reflection of the euphoric years that followed Eritrean Independence in 1991.

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  • Ted

    Dear tes, do you see the parallel( then and now) of Ethiopian involvement in our political history. May be it helps SA and AH to look back in owr history and adjust thinking accordingly. But i doutbt it, they are in the mood of celebrating Ethiopian election where their existence depend on it.

    Lately you became hostile to people giving all a pink slip who you don’t like their idea. I was thinking to write a comment to be easy on people but you got me first “pure PFDJista”. it is unfortunate you think you can bring PFDJ down pinot noir on one hand and baguette and Camembert chees on the other. please share your strategies, If these delicasy happen to help enlighten your thinking process.

    Note:Not to interpret my idea wrongly( due to late hour in France;-) , PFDJ won’t do it out of its generosity of their heart, but under intense pressure from Eritreans.

    • tes

      Dear Ted,

      Regarding Ethiopian involvement on our political history, they will continue to do tiill we become strong as united people. If they involve now, because they think we are weak. Let’s therefore be strong.

      Even observe here: Ethiopian awatists bombard us when they feel that we are not agreeing on matters. Even hate mongers like Gebrekirstos was here thinking that we will be weak not to stop him from vulgar words. Even follow Abi carefully, he never missed to mock on us occassionally. This simple observation at awate forum can give us their active presence and play the card when we become weaker.

      Regarding the election, I wish even Eritrea had a “FAKE” election. At least people could have aired his voice. Eritreans were wiht voice during the 30 years war but forced to voiceless uder PFDJ administration. As history takes its own course, it is impossible to create a 100% voiceless society. Now the trend in the diaspora is different and you know it though you don’t want to acknowledge it. For that, you are discredited the wave in progress and advocating for REFORM.

      On your last paragraph, if I say something on your line of thinking, it is only by reading your lines. I have never commented on your personalities but on your political thinking. Unlike me, you are failing at examining my personality because you don’t know me personally and if you know me, you will not say it in the way you are saying it. All you need to know is that Eritrea has all kinds of people from all walks of life.


      • Ted

        Dear tes, why the need for fake election( you set the standard too low already) when you can have a system with check and balances on place. The election being fake only give legitimacy otherwise rejected system with possible outcome the same PFDJ being elected. What then,we all go back to our holes licking our wounds. I criticize you because you have no dog in this fight , either on the Gov or the opposition. The question i need answer is how would you bring change to Eritreans, remember every strategy pass or fail on how Eritreans feel about it.

        • Abi

          Hi Ted
          Tes has a nice cheese eating poodle in the fight.
          Too cute to fight.

  • haileTG

    Selamat awatista,

    In all fairness, the heart/mind discussion had some sort resonance with a number of you here, but where do we go from there? In fact, the moment of inspiration for that came when I was with a group of fellow Eritreans a few weeks back. In that place, there were people from all strides of politics. Naturally, the pro-regime were few but loud. Where as very few were challenging them and most were quietly absorbing, beaming intermittent smiles towards speakers from time to time. What you notice there was that the pro regime had to be so careful not to give in anything from their scripted talking points, those opposing were so careful not to be accused of one thing or another, and those silently smiling lemons:-) were also so careful that they don’t register a view point that may give away their pretentious neutrality. Yes, people were together, yet doing everything to distance one another, yes they were talking, yet afraid of communicating, yes they were at peace with each other, yet living constant uneasiness. That occasion left me with some sense of a miss not easy to explain. There was something definitely amiss, something not quite right, something perplexing in the air.

    Finally came the aha! moment. Actually, those people had their hearts at different places, not even in what they were saying, much less with each other. It was a Frankenstein’s sort of relationship concocted by the mind to give a false semblance of normalcy. Eureka! When the heart is out, so is the life of whatever is faked to be done without it. It was a dead relationship of individuals that I was witnessing at that moment. We all know a heartless relationship can mean more in the romantic side, but what I am saying here is that the people couldn’t trust to bring their heart to each other’s presence.

    Let me end the by a case study, in order to illustrate how hearts come together and what follows when they do. Most importantly, how the intuition could start us out on a wrong foot, until inspiration rescues the ill fated wandering.

    It was a rundown neighborhood of your typical ghetto in a big city. The kids in the neighborhood were excessively involved in petty criminality. Most of all shoplifting. However, the local businesses police had no way of getting in touch with their parents, whom some were absent and others nursing their own delinquencies. So, naturally every time there is shoplifting, the shops call the local school and tell the principal that “his kids” did this or that. The principal try to deal with it, yet often getting frustrated by a problem too big and a community not so supportive. One day a shop owner calls the school and reports to the principal that “his kids” had raided his store and complains that the school isn’t doing its job. That day the principal had enough, that was beyond what he was willing to take. So, he crosses the street in to the mall and visits that shop owner. He says to him “listen, these kids are as much your kids as they are mine, their parents come and shop in your store, you sell your merchandise to their neighborhood and maintain your business. Instead of calling them telling me they are my kids, why don’t you help in making it right?”. The shop owner took a deep breath and said to the principal “what would you like me to help you with?”. At that very instant, their hearts were joined, i.e. found the cause to belong to both of them equally, yet in each unique way. They talked, they worked, they did so many stuff together, till one day their community, transformed for the better, was recognized as a model and exemplary. Many children grew up in the new community aspiring great future for themselves and pride to their parents and loved one’s. The rest is history.

    So, dear awatista, our problems in the Eritrean case is defined as that of someone else’s, yet the tyranny and its destructive ways is touching all of us in one way or another. When we come and believe it is indeed our problem, then our hearts will joins and miracles will happen. So long as we think it is the opposition, Ethiopia, old grudges… are to blame, we will end up with different hearts and at each other’s throat.


    • Ted

      Dear HTG,” most were quietly absorbing, beaming intermittent smiles towards speakers from time to time” it the usual scene in every home gatherings , coffee shop and bars where two or three going at it to get the higher moral ground while the majority around just listening . None of them speak to the heart of the majority, for them it was just debate contest.
      The power all justice seekers as organization or independent has is the strong need for change by Eritreans. Every one of us are affected one way or another by what is happening back home hence we seek change in every aspect of GOV policies. This stored energy for change needs a spark to shine higher and further. People in diaspora having the freedom to organize and discuss freely can be spring board to achieving this mission effectively, then one may can ask what was the snug for the last two decades?It has simple answer, it is the inability of Eritrean organization convincing Eritreans they are trust worthy to lead the struggle. None of the organization(“now 15”) have got a support from the people.It has not happened in the past and will not happen in the future unless we dramatically alter the thinking process, Heart/mind if you will. The “Reserve oppositions” are always been interested to know the strategy how to deal with the Gov before adding their weight in the struggle. It is important because it has been the main dividing force for decades.Now more than ever, the heart of Eritreans is wide open to honest and visionary leaders who has the best interest of the land, people and sea. As i see it,the success of the organization begins and ends with the approach they take how to deal with the Gov. For me “Weed out” is out dated failed mantra should be changed with pressuring the Gov to Reform. If you don’t ask me for data(Amanuel), reform is where Eritreans hearts at. Let’s exploit this opportunity for good aligning our heart with it.

      • haileTG

        Selam Ted,

        Here is a riddle: Is it better to demolish a house or to fix it up?

        If you assess that the damage is severe and involving the foundation and support beams, you may think demolition the right course. If you however assess that the damage is not critical, then you may consider fixing it up is the right course.

        Would you be justified to decide to want to demolish or fix up without the pertinent facts? If you move in to fix up a dangerously holding house, it may collapse on you causing serious losses. Or if you demolish the house when it could have been fixed up, you would be wasting far too much than what is needed.

        Can you make the case that the Eritrean regime doesn’t have a foundation level problems necessitating demolish and hence fixing it up (reform) is less risky and plausible option?

        I also want you to consider what institutions you would be employing to effect your reform. Can you remove the regime without that causing its whole edifice to collapse?


        • Ted

          Dear HTG, the Fix / demolish riddle can be solved when we are feel capable and believe we can achieving justice for all with out firing a single bullet. The prerequisite for that is none other than, the united force under one umbrella. I look at it as we being the water and the Gov the fish living in it. That is Reform, where it does not mean draining the water but making it uncomfortable for the fish to swim and live in.

          Case one against demolition: Eritrean Gov is a military Gov in one way or another. That is the foundation where the country build up on. The act of demolishing the foundation is risky if not reckless business in the particular area and circumstances we live in and the damage will be so sever Eritrea wont be able to recover from it. Of course ,this is hypothetical because the demolition to happen it requires years if not decades of arm struggle among Eritreans. Eritreans don’t entertain this notion at all. Gov won’t just fall, but they can be forced to change their ways..

          • haileTG

            Dear Ted,

            – The foundation of a government is its contractual undertaking that it enters with the governed. Of course, that is constitution. That foundation is not only damaged but it is dead. The regime has reneged on that. Therefore, there are no constitutional powers for the regime to drive legitimacy. As it were, our relationship is that of rulers and subjects.

            – We are not at the stage, in this discussion, to haggle on the cost of demolition (civil war or uprising) nor the duration it should take to finalize its undertaking. We are at the stage of determining whether the current conditions allow for reform or demolition is the only other option. Once that is agreed upon, we can then negotiate the conditions of its implementation.

            – Reforming the regime had been tried and the costs were devastating. Many lives lost and the attempts have literally resulted in the very survival of the nation to hang on a balance. What better means do you have to reform the regime? One can’t reform from an outsider’s vantage. Also, as far as the regime is concerned, reforming is suicidal. It has borrowed too much from the future.

            – Dictatorships like in Eritrea do not have secession mechanisms, The system is extremely vulnerable and highly volatile when the center falls. Those types of regimes have no coverage for rainy season. Once things start to fall apart, it is pretty much a house of cards. In those single party dictatorships, their whole party edifice could withstand the shocks of reform or transition. In Eritrea’s case, unless power is transferred to a trusted one of the regime or family, we have no system that can mediate that reformative transition.

            I do understand for you to wish the safest option as it appears to you. However, reform it self is not viable in Eritrea because it would involve allowing the floodgate of challenges and pressures that would push the regime into dangerous corner. It is a well established and repeatedly demonstrated outcome that the end of regime’s like that of IA is highly violent and difficult to contain. That comes with the territory. IA will not be able to open for reform or hand over peacefully as things stand now. Popular uprising to force his regime to fall down and commencing a transitional period would be the safest option for Eritrea. That is called demolishing the regime of IA in my understanding.

            The biggest lie that the regime sold is the notion that it is equal to the nation Eritrea itself. Once someone buys that it becomes a simple matter to convince them that the demolition is of the regime is the same as demolishing the nation. The sad reality is however nothing can be considered as demolishing the nation as allowing the regime to continue in any shape or form. The regimes politics is its own longevity and that only comes at a grave cost to the very survival of the nation. Let’s reform our perspectives about the regime and use evidence based reality check to understand it clearly.


          • Ted

            Dear HTG, Reform is a gradual process where the urgent and immediate concerns are resolved in the merit of their importance let it be Constitution or rule of law for the prisons. I don’t believe reform has been tried in Eritrea. A few people G13 and G15 had tried but it is not reform movement where it encompassed all Eritreans. The kind of Reform i am talking is grass root movement where the people can present their demand in a organized and assertive ways. So far we have nothing to challenge the GOv with.Why even speculate the Gov’s reaction to ours imaginary opposition force.There is no way knowing the strength and weakness of the Gov unless we have something to challenge it with
            “Popular uprising to force his regime to fall down and commencing a transitional period would be the safest option for Eritrea. That is called demolishing the regime of IA in my understanding” and that is what i call throwing a towel. I won’t see uprising happening in Eritrea, sorry it is not evidence based, just what i feel.
            “The biggest lie that the regime sold is the notion that it is equal to the nation Eritrea itself” i don’t buy it at all. As the matter of fact i believe the Gov can’t stand a chance against vigorous reform oppositions. In politics, it is not winners take it all, we need to have some face saving room for the Gov too.

          • haileTG

            Dear Ted,

            I think your approach would have been good enough for me. But, the way I am reading the content of what you’re saying, even that would easily devolve into eventually demolishing the regime. Face saving is good point, but do we have the controls to deliver that? And does the regime be able to withstand shocks that would result even from what you’re proposing. Could you please illustrate it using some practical examples as to how you see your idea safely landing us in to reformed condition? I am having less confidence in the practicality side of your approach. Because once the process is set in motion, it has its own dynamic behavior and where are the controls for such unpredictable scenarios? I noted your assumptions, but doesn’t the situation appear more volatile than we wish it has been?


          • Ted

            Dear HTG, I understand your fear that Reform demand may bring the worst out of them. It depends on what we ask. As i see it they know these challenges are coming from the people more stronger by the day. The recent announcement of Constitution and now the Civil code thing is part of mitigating the pressure.Sadly, We are not part of none it to make the change they are proposing work for every one equally, they have the cake and ate it too, that is what they thinking. There are many issues to be sorted out. For example, I have heard many times IA saying election is unthinkable in Eritrea where one party system is the working model for PFDJ. This is the impasse for many opposition groups where “weed out” is the tag line for the form of their struggle. It seems difficult point to compromise but it is not considering the situation we are in, otherwise would be a head on collusion with the Gov with devastating out come, no one wins.More importantly, our weakness to find a solution how to face the Gov has created the division between Eritreans and the opposition groups which left both in vegetative state unable to fight for justice.. At some point we need to overcome it . If we allow it to let it be( one Party system) we also need to play our part the system serve Eritrean’s best interest, add the accountability laws , fixed terms, and transparency…….. to the system where officials are responsible for their incompetence, negligence of duty or mistakes at any time. This kind of approach is not not the easy rout, it is harder than you think to create solid organization Eritrean trust to fight for their cause. We all know, the trust has been broken badly for long time. Once the trust restored and on its feet running, you wouldn’t recognize PFDJ as it stands now. The change will not be out of PFDJ’s generosity but the result of a hard twisting on the arm.

          • tes

            Dear Ted,

            You wrote,

            “If we allow it to let it be( one Party system) we also need to play our part the system serve Eritrean’s best interest, add the accountability laws , fixed terms, and transparency…….. to the system where officials are responsible for their incompetence, negligence of duty or mistakes at any time.”

            Aha, man, I know what you are advocating for. You like to dictate people using one party leadership.

            Let me remind you, Eritreans know seven decades ago what a multi-party system is. Hayat Adem has put it nicely like this:

            “Eritrea was not like that in the near past. It was arguably the first plural democracy of Africa. Hailessilassie slashed it, the Derg dragged it and PFDJ ditched it.”

            Than, what are you really advocating for. Eritrean people want diversity. And you are trying to reform PFDJ, make minor fake policy changes and keep its declared and forced legtimacy.

            PFDJ has nothing to be reformed. It is a building without foundation. It is old commodities of ‘ “made in China” regime.


          • Ted

            Dear tes, we need to improvise with the current situation in realistic way. If history serves me well the multi party system back in the days was a disaster with a lot of flip flopping, confusion and backstabbing. It was as sick as it get. I am guessing you are still in the “weed out” mode, how in the world you think you can “weed out” the Gov?. It is not about what you want but what serves the Eritreans better. Be one party or multi party, it in our best interest we own the system to make it function at its best potential. As you said, it is about the “intention of ideas” and we doing our part in checks and balances.

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Hi Ted,

        I don’t think the Eritrean people will fall in to a bad bargain after all these disastrous and mis-management of the oppressive regime of PFDJ. Reform is in essence an exit strategy to PFDJ but maintaining the governing power within it. You may call it as Saay use to call it PFDJ-2. Ted even if you longed for that to happen, the regime will understand that you are incapable to change their policy and will not even give any consideration to your demand. They don’t recognize the opposition while you are recognizing them. So it is a waste of time to demand PFDJ to reform and to be accommodative to the demand of the public. Count my words, unless they are forced to relinquish power to the people, we will live under the yoke of their regime by continuous succession. Second don’t believe on “I think the public thinks this” without verifiable data. We can argue without imaginary data, as there are many tangible factors on the ground to argue with. There are many verifiable facts on the ground than the imaginary data.

        Amanuel Hidrat

        • Ted

          Dear Amanuel. I have to ask Saay what PFDJ2 entails. I am not interested in cosmetic changes of the system but inclusive and fair changes in all aspect of policies affect us wrongly.
          As for data ” without verifiable data” from now on i will use “Informed guess” or “Educated guess” interchangeably. It is as good as guesstimate, or ballpark figure. Do you have a problem with that?

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Ted,

            Not at all, in fact they are prudent and appropriate way of saying and self-explanatory, as far as they don’t claim otherwise. As far as the the word guess in it, you have all the right to make your case. No one will tell you not to make a guess. Therefore, “Educated guess” well and good enough for me. Good we found point of convergence.

            Amanuel Hidrat

    • tes

      Dear haile TG,

      I wish I had enough time to contemplate with you. I hear loudly your heart and mind framework. I am so happy to read and follow you. This is what it keeps me alive.

      Please, dig into this philosphy. And I hope you will advance the concept of humanism. I am all for humanism philosphy. And any soul who mediatiates on it makes me alive.

      For not participating as I wish, it is because of a valid reason. But I will be aroud always. Keep us walking along the marsh we live in today.


  • haileTG

    Selamat awatista,

    Everything you believed upto this second about everything is actually a lie. Oops! That is the wrong topic, let me get the actual topic for today:) It is amazing how much information has been flowing about matters concerning Eritrea in the last few days. True that there are always the low distractions, but on the whole I think things held steady and a lot has been exchanged.

    One point that the article above made was about the ELF/EPLF hatchet being long buried and not being relevant today. Given your readings of the the exchanges in the last couple of days, how would you validate the claim? Remember, this is not a claim solely made by the article above, it is actually a well established front-end argument claimed so beacuse its sound is sellable to the consumer. Of course, we know that is not true. We can see that these people from that era are under firm grip of the past. The memories are fresh in their minds, their heart is there too. It is absolutly natural to be so too. The problem is when we believe that is water under the bridge and we have moved on. No we haven’t. Our compatriots from that era still feel strongly about it, they still think todays problems in that context and it appears almost unlikely that will change. Note that I am not saying that such is inherently wrong, no it is actually natural, however it needs to be factored into the current problems of Eritrea.

    Secondly, the EPLF eventhough they assumed that they were the victors and can chart the nation’s future, they were entrapped into something called PFDJ (an organization many of them don’t trust by heart) and are cornered into being inextractably associated with it. On average, majority of them are put with it at tremendous cost to the country’s stability and normal functioning. This also has created a serious fructure between the youth of the current generation and the older generation that championed liberation. Despite the lip service, the youth are deeply traumatized by what they have been and continue to be exposed. After all is said and done, neither trust each other or see eye to eye. The generation of liberation war sure know the youth are centrally relevant, yet are not ready to trust. And the youth do understand the role played by those from that era, but can’t bring itself to trust them with anything to do with its future. That is fully justified too, because in all these morality had been compromised and hearts ripped apart.

    The EPLF does identify itself with PFDJ (even though many opposed the way the latter is set up to undermine and completely neutralize them) and this runs the risk of it assuming (even personifying) its blunders. If you coul witness first hand the ELF/EPLF irreconcileble differences (as you see it for what it is rather than the way it is given to you to consume) then imagine the TPLF/EPLF aneymosty that will confuse and obstract any movement for justice into the future. In reality, by virtue of PFDJ’s spectacular defeat by the TPLF, now the EPLF is in trouble. This is not good news to the solution we are seeking to our current issues. So, we are looking at the main political force in Eritrea having a serious ranchor three ways: EPLF/ELF — PFDJ[EPLF]/Youth —- EPLF [PFDJ]/TPLF.

    The above problem is only in as far as “what is prevent the solution” is concerned. And hence, only analyses part of the whole problem. In reality, no problem is ever completely solved. What happens instead is that a problem is traded for another problem. If you trade a bigger problem for a smaller one, you have a solution. Otherwise, if you trade a smaller problem for a bigger one, then you are in touble.

    Eritrea is currently trading her problems, for much bigger problems. G15 is such case, the trampling of rule of law is another and so on and so on. But that is only part of the whole spectrum called Eritrean politics. What happens on the justice side is also modelled by the troubling approach of taking one problem and trading it for a bigger one. E.g. suppose that you work for a company. Now, because you have a problem with management or vision of the company, you don’t go and set up another company. That would be illogical because if you could set up a company (with all its complexity) why were were you under another then? Were you doing a job you were over qualified for? Why? Self esteem or other considerations? In reality, those who set up organizations in the opposition because they fall out aren’t really capable of doing so. They do so because it is an activity in name only. The have no capacity to set up and get off the ground a new organization. This is why we don’t know about them (they are unknown because they really don’t exist). There are serious problems, as described in previous two paragraphs, that has crippled the movement for justice.

    The PFDJ itself is in deep trouble and can’t possibly be expected to resolve its problems. It has taken the unsustainable route of trading a problem for bigger problems. If the opposition is going to make headway on matters of peace, justice and dignity for the nation, the choices are stark: do we try to deal with the true problems of chase around a lie and try to be what we are not and claim to have done what we did not.

    Whether an organization is listed or not, ELF or not, close to Ethiopia or not… that are all made up and damn lies. Eritrean problems start and end with the here and now. The youth flight problems, the security threats and the repression of its people in persuite of suppressing truth. But how long… we can fool some of the people, some of the time but you can’t fool all of the people, all of the time. Let’s have the caurage to develop the ongoing discussions than being part of the problem and not the people.


    • Mahmud Saleh

      Dear HTG
      This is a fantastic comment I am happy not to have missed. I wish if you would develop it into an article, Ah, Haylat, ክንደይ ግዜ ተለሚንካ፡ ዕጭ ሓንፊፈ ኢልካ። ካን እምቢተኛ ኰይንካ? ንዓ ኣባ ኣታ ወዲ። ሕሰበሉ ኢኻ።
      I wanted to say similar thing in my last Hateta to SGJ when I represented the ongoing chronic ailment of that era still plaguing the ways our political leaders think through the viable DNA fragments. May be many thought I was accusing the political organizations’ leaders only but I was in fact accusing everyone of us who went through that period. I focused on opposition because I was trying to illustrate why the fragmentation has become the norm. So, you are right Haile. Even if we try to imagine Mr. Rolex died in 1991, chunks of his DNA are still influencing our political thinking. As I reminded selam, please Haile work towards empowering the youth and women. Those of you who have the capacity and motivation, please work with one thing in your heart: the nation belongs to all of us. No ones should feel it belongs more to them than others. The focus should be on giving the young generation tools and hope in order to demand change in the way the country and the opposition are run.

      • haileTG

        Hey Mahmuday,

        I thought the AT had introduced that idea of yours where they pull up relevant comments to article. ገለ እስኪ ኣዘክረልና እንተሰምዑኻ ኣይፍለጥን’ዩ 🙂

        The genius of Paulo Freire’s approach to freeing the oppressed is its characterization of oppression as a distortion of full humanization, i.e. dehumanization. The oppressed would necessarily overcome the forces holding them in a dehumanized state. In other ways, they will regain their humanity, however, for the process to have meaning, they shouldn’t become oppressors of their previous oppressors. Rather, the revolution should strive to restore the humanity of both.

        The above point awakens us to the inevitable realization of our condition and help us to develop critical consciousness of the the factors that negate the struggle (the movement’s internal and external challenges) and the factors that affirm it, i.e the exploitation, violence and dehumanization of the people. Such awakening must always lead to greater understanding of each other, and ourselves most importantly.

        By now we know that we can describe each other with 10,000 word essay in a drop of a hat, however we may have considerable problems grasping the truth about ourselves. PFDJ would rather declare the end of Eritrea rather than explore and understand itself. Self awareness isn’t a simple walk down ego paved narcissistic discourses. It is a much harder, complex and disciplined progress over a path of realization and self examination. I can safely bet that this is a major impediment at the moment. For the younger generation it is all the more confusing reality because it lacks the hindsight to make sound predictions. On the other end, i.e the liberation era, it would require a sufficient self examination in order to contribute positively to the grand objective of restoring humanity of the dehumanized.

        I hope we can reach a stage where the emphasis is on the self with a view to empower it correctly to play the right role that is good for everybody. My objective has been to kick start the next level discussion, on the on going Tsom contemplative season:-)


        • Mahmud Saleh

          Salam HTG
          Thanks. I think that is the right direction. As much as we try to be understanding of the new realities, my generation will keep sliding down that slippery slope. We need an empowered generation that keeps us steady. I think the dialogue is necessary for one without the other generation is incomplete. That’s when I’m in my Mahmuday self.if you see me in my wedi – saleh mode, blame it on my background.

  • Kokhob Selam

    Dear Selam,

    don’t worry. Lets close this subject.

  • Kokhob Selam

    Dear Selam,
    allow me to jump this one.

    • selam

      Dear k.s
      better than to choose ethiopia as a cemetry for your skeleton. No wonder there is no history to pass on.

      • Kokhob Selam

        Dear Selam,
        cemetery? welahi, even if I die while fighting with your IA inside Eritrea (just in case, who knows, man only knows where he was born) I will still ask my comrades to send me Ethiopia. Okay? till PFDJ goes I don’t allow my body to be under administration of your Fozia Hashim and PIA . promise!. see now live alone alive even the dead Kokhob don’t allow. see now the difference we have. but I have some doubt you are not in Asmara. unless you are very intelligent to stay hidden or part of spy group.

  • AMAN

    Dear Awate
    One crucial way to achieve a result for Opposition camp
    parties is to change the philosophical thinking and the trend
    to quite the opposite direction of what was pre-occupying their
    political space so far.
    Some of the leading parties have to come out boldly to change
    this trend. A new trend towards uniting and accomodating each
    other unconditionaly. Unless they make a bold move forward to
    seize the reality of the moment, there is and exists a big gap
    between the reality in the ground and their own realities and
    capabilities if they insist to continue their snail / baby steps.
    So my suggestion is that two or three of the main and long experience
    and established legitimacy in the trend & nature of Eritrean political trend
    before 2001 has to come out bold and save the nation by changing the trend
    of downward spiral movement, disorganized existance and political decay of
    the time. No leading organized movement should look passively or become
    indifferent when such crisis and downsizing goes on. Rather it has to stand up,
    come with bold declarations and steps to change the flow or trend of events.
    This is the step ELF-RC took back then but people were less informed and of
    low political and organiztional consciousness then and let the crisis prevail and
    take its course. Now two decades later everyone understood that it was a grave
    mistake commited by some in the leadership and many gangho cadres and mob
    followers. Thus unless the political flow and direction is completely neutralized,
    reversed and aligned to the right direction and start taking steps it will be hard
    just only to make a call on the people. Show something like empowered coalition
    on the road & working towards becoming one party as against splitting and conforming
    and adapting to crisis.
    According to me I recognize and acknowledge the legitimacy and existance of only THREE
    parties in the Eritrean political arena/ sphere….and I tentatively givemy vote and support to
    all three. Others are just factions to me……

  • Kokhob Selam

    ክቡራት ኣሕዋት :-
    እቲ ዘገርም ቁጽሪ ውድባት ኣይኮነን እቲ ምንታይሲ ፍልልያት ግቡእ ትርጉም እንተሒዙስ ጸጋ ‘ውን እዩ :: እቲ ዘገርም ፍልልያት ትርጉም ከይሓዙ ምጽነሖምን ስነፍልጠታዊ መግለጺ ዘይብሎምን ከም ኣሜባ ዝራብሑ ምዃኖምን እዩ ::

    ሎሚ ሎሚ ‘ኳ ፕሮግራማትን መርሐ ግብርታትን ኣነጺሮም ይጽሑፉ ኣለው እምበር እቲ ቅድም ሲ ዳርጋ ንጹር ኮይኑ ዝቀርበሉ ኣጋጣሚታት ውሑድ እዩ ዝነበረ : እዚ ኸኣ ሓደ ጽቡቅ ናይ መስመር መራኸብን መወሃሃድን ክኸውን እዩ ዝብል ግምት ኣለኒ ::

    ብርግጽ ግን ናይ ኣረኣእያ ፍልልያት ከመይ ዝኣመሰሉ ምስ ዝኾኑ እዮም ከም ፍልልያት ዝቁጸሩ :- ኣብ ናይ ሓባር ባይታ ዝረገጹ ዘይተጻራሪ ጎንጽታትን ፍልልያትን ብኸመይ እዮም ክእለዩ ዘለዎም :- ፍልልያት ብኸመይ ምስ ዝተሓዙ እዮም ጠቅሚ ሓፋሽ ዝሕልው :- ታክቲካውን ስትራቴጃውን ፍልልያት ብኸመይ ይግለጹ :- ብታሪኽ ወይ ሕሉፍ ዝተሓላለኹ ውልቀ ሰባት ብናይ ሕጂ ውድዓዊ ኩነታት ክግዝኡን ንቅድሚት ክጥምቱን ዘገድዱ ቅዲ ኣቀላልሳታት ከመይ ክንፈጥር ንኽእል – ወዘተ ዝብሉ ሕቶታት ዘርጊሕና ክንመያየጠሎም ዘለና ይመስለኒ ::

    ብዓቢኡ ተበጃውነትን ትብዓትን ካብ ገዛ ስለ ዝጅምር ንሕና ነዛ ወደር ዘይብላ ንኹልና በሪ ኣፍደገ ዘርሃወት መርበብ ዓዋተ ኣብ ምፍታሕ ፍልልያት ምህዞታትና ነቅርብ ::
    የቀንየለይ :

  • Saleh Johar


    An article fails or otherwise based on what promised to deliver. I never promised to address the problems facing the organization though I attempted to clarify a few related issues. You could have said “I wish you addressed such and such”. But then, I promised to present more exposes in subsequent editions. Maybe you missed that.

    WhT is that “don’t you freaking get it” burst? Was it necessary?

  • Mizaan1

    Dear all,

    At the core of our problems is an ailment that we are all suffering from (including individuals, associations, political organizations, the regime, PFDJ, almost everybody). That ailment is as described below (courtesy of Amanuel Eyassu, a small excerpt from an incredible article he posted yesterday):

    ሓሶት፣ ስርቂ፣ ሕስዳን፣ ቃጻዊ ጸለመን ምጥቕቓዕን፣ ንእንግድዓ ሰባት ከም ኣስካላ ተጠቒምካ ምሕኳር ዝውቱር ኮይኑ፣ ምእንቲ ገንዘብ፣ ሰብ፣ ሓውኻ ከይተረፈ ምሻጥን ምብላዕን ዝረኣየሉ ግዜ ተበጺሑ። ኤርትራዊ ሎሚ ብልቡ ዝሓስቦ ካልእ ብኣፉ ዝብሎ ካልእ፣ ኣብ ቅድሚ ሰብ ዝብሎ ካላእ ብድሕሪ ሰብ ዝብሎ ካልእ ኮይኑ፣ ኣብ ሓደ ህይወት ክልተ ሰብ ኴንካ፣ ብለጠቕታ ርእሰ ተኣማንነት ተጸቒጥካ ምንባር ይላመዶ ‘ሎ። እዚ ብዓይንና እንርእዮ ዘለና ጽውጽዋይ ከምዘይኮነ መቸም ፈሊጥና ኣለና፣ ነቲ ብኣፈታሪኽ ዝብሃል ሓቂ ምዃኑ ንምርግጋጽ ከኣ መጽናዕቲ ከድልየና እዩ። ኣብዚ እዋን’ዚ ሕብረተሰብና መለለዪ ተሳኢኑዎ ‘ሎ። እቲ ውልቀመላኺ ስርዓት እምብኣር ኣብ መሸጓ ሹግ ናይዚ ሞራላዊ ውድቀት ተላሒጉ እዩ ዝነብር ዘሎ።

    He continues on to say:

    ቅድሚ ኹሉ፣ ሕልምና ተኻሒዱ ስግኣትና ተጋሂዱ ከምዘሎ፣ ከምዝፈሸልና ክንእመን ኣለና። እቲ ውድቀት ናይቲ ስርዓት ጥራይ ኣይኮነን፣ ከምዚ ንዝኣመሰለ ብጭካኒኡን ውርደቱን መዳርግቲ ዘይርከቦ ስርዓት ዝጻወር ሕብረተሰብ ንገዛእርእሱ ተንሲኡ ‘ሎ ክትብሎ ኣይትኽእልን ኢኻ።

    • selam

      Dear mizaan
      This person is fighting and I command him. But lets look at one word he continues to make “askala”, I wish to ask him about one article he wrote about the G15 when the time was open in asmara, where he accuse them for treasonous crime. How is it a person with his caliber able to say such thing to our people now. Eritreans are not going to be sluced by him . He has zero credibility to say the least about the Eritrean people. He can not have such ways to insult eritrean people’s intelligence . Who is he ? Does he think We did not read his articles in 2001.

      • Kokhob Selam

        Dear Selam,
        who will remain then? do you mean no single person who once upon a time was with PFDJ should not change Lol, even those in prison were with IA isn’t it? that is another problem we are facing I think…in this case everybody will try to defend his past self and we will live again in mess. the only free of past mistake are those who didn’t act. so what maters is what your stand today is not your past.

        • selam

          Dear k.S
          I am just saying he used the same method to make himself mr. Right. But when he find some people that use his way , he keep accusing them. Amanuel as a person can not accuse the whole eritrean people due to his failure. He has to own the failure and move on. How on earth is he trying to accuse the people on death row by PFDJ once he worked as a specialist on their dance time. He shouldn’t allowed to accuse the majority . The fabric of our sociaty is not going to be out done by PFDJ . I guess he forget we have out done dergi , now will not be different except the way .

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear selam,

            I think Mahmuday is saying something bellow. see it I feel there is similarity on what you are missing here. see what he has attached.

          • Mizaan1

            KS, have you noticed how Selam gets irritated by the biggest threats to PFDJ’s existence: the Patriarch, Andeberhan W., Amanuel Eyasu, and many others I probably don’t know about yet. I hope Tes can use his skills to research this for us.

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear Mizaan1,
            I notice earlier even. But we need to handle it carefully. I still love her present. as it represents part of our society.

            regarding tes, forgive me I don’t want him to investigate and make research..Lol the war will be wider. tes, are there? Lol!

          • selam

            Dear mizaan
            I am sorry I did not know your patriarch , I really do . Now I have read about him and I have learnt , no more. About the ambassador well , I really thinkall ex PFDJ members are not honest about their sorry thing. I do not trust them at all.
            Amanuel is accusing the majority as if they are happy with the mad person.

          • Mizaan1

            Hi Selam, Amanuel is accusing all of us for being apathetic to our grave existential threats from PFDJ, not for being supportive of PFDJ because PFDJ now has very small proportion of true supporters. Plus what he says 15 years ago should not matter now because it is two different realities. Even Andeberhan W. unless we can link him with crimes directly, we shouldn’t simply accuse him of being ‘guilty by association.’ We are learning more and more that IA is almost solely responsible for all the major atrocities. His cronies as you often refer to them are mostly corrupt at worst. Their punishment should not be to never be a part of Eritrean politics. Let the people judge them on the ballot box when we eventually have get there. I am no reformist and I am a strong proponent of completely destroying the PFDJ apparatus but not every single PFDJ member should be banned for life. They need to go through an independent court process and be subjected to fair sebtences ranging life in prison, no public office ever, etc.

          • tes

            Dear Mizaan1,

            I prefer for now not to expose her as I want the discussion to flow smoothly and please do not respond to her. I am happy with your way of discussing issues.

            Slowly I am loving your way of engagement. Keep it up. Bravo Mizaan1, but stay very hopeful for our future and always remember this when ever you comment. We will prosper together soon.

            Thank you again.


          • Kokhob Selam

            Thank you tes,

            I once said to Amuni also that this man is doing very fine. I love your put “stay very hopeful for our future and always remember this when ever you comment. We will prosper together soon.” yes thank you for remembering this point.

          • tes

            Dear KS,

            As an engineer by profession and now as a food technologist, I believe, any problem is solvable and any insecurity can be secured. I read history on how Europe from their disasterous war came-out now to be strong nations collectively.

            Everything is a matter of good-will of leadership and formulation of effective and workable policies. When Eritreans got independence in 1991, they came together and formulated good policies based on good hearts though it was later hijacked by PFDJ (1994).

            I have a strong belief on Eritrean good hearts if good heart and strong institutions come together and been abided by rule of law.


          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear tes,
            Proud of you brother. Keep it up. Eritrea will become democratic and prosperous no doubt.

    • Kokhob Selam

      Dear Mizan,
      What he is saying is true and I totally agree. you see, we need to be honest and say it.heroism is not on the field only, the first and most wanted heroism is saying the truth to self and the entire mass. for the time being it may look ugly but change needs that honesty. as they said it “Honesty is the best policy”. we the people of Eritrea created PFDJ – when I say this I mean PFDJ is the result of our character. then when we say we need complete change, we need to change the way we think and act. it is far from reforming PFDJ even from uprooting PFDJ. If reforming PFDJ is nonsense aim, dismissing PFDJ without changing our way of understanding freedom and the proper use of freedom is useless ether. correct me if I am wrong.

      we are too much proud of our history. but the truth is we should be only proud from the past history that we play our positive role and we should say where the shameless history was recorded. the past will not come back again but we can continue the good once and delete the bad once. today is what we have and we should do our best level to record positive history for coming generation. isn’t bad to be remembered like “we had a generation who were dancing while their children were sinking in Mediterranean sea”. but isn’t nice to be remembered but on day they wake up and start to criticize themselves openly and start to change their way, where they destroy the dictator replacing democratic government, they managed to live in peace”

      • tes

        Dear KS,

        You wrote, “we the people of Eritrea created PFDJ – when I say this I mean PFDJ is the result of our character.”

        Are you sure about this?

        Does PFDJ has any of Eritrean character?

        I accept yes those who created PFDJ are Eritreans but they do not hold Eritrean character.

        Eritreans considered PFDJ is EPLF till very recent time. Even Eritreans had reservation on EPLF but as a liberator, they embraced him.

        In my dictionary, Eritreans created ELF and embraced EPLF. PFDJ is a phantôm, a ghost.

        Think about your lines because I know you are member of the organization created by Eritreans and you are among the few who didn’t embrace at all both EPLF and PFDJ. Then, can I generalize that KS created PFDJ?

        Think, think and think?


        • Kokhob Selam

          Dear tes,
          at the end of the day it is the result that maters. you go plus and minus and after calculating here is what you get. can’t help, but when our heroes were killed in Sudan I have said it, that hero who fail in the streets of Kesela was forgotten for years no single man asked but in fact some of his comrades even joined EPLF. and yes, the majority concentrate most on national freedom – the only choice at that last years was to be with the wave. wasn’t possible to think what to do about those few killers? it was. Okay, wasn’t possible to solve it right after independent?

          Mohamuday said today very interesting thing it is something supposed to be done. he mentioned the date and even the hour where we are supposed to close the chapter of the past. I love the way he put it. but that was not done. we could have considered all the crimes done as a journey toward freedom. the killers were killed by their boss and those who work in higher position were thrown without any justification. what does mean? if PFDJ has different value and ethics and we the people didn’t confront it, we have something missing in our way of thinking. at least we the people were not active and we had allowed PFDJ to victimize us. isn’t it? and the result? we have created them. I hope you got what I mean.

          • tes

            Dear KS,

            Here it is a matter of word use. I understand your message but I do not agree when you use the word, “created”.


      • Mizaan1

        Dear KS, Eritreans are so used to thinking they are the best people for this reason and that reason and they can never come to terms with the reality they find themselves in. Look at Tesfabirhan. He is a pretty well educated fellow and he has not been able to get himself out of the cage created by Ghedli in thinking that Eritreans are not capable of doing anything wrong collectively. Yes we are. As you said, we created a conducive environment for PFDJ to fluorish and play us like toys. As I say time and again, we need to come back down to earth from all the independence euphoria, assess our weaknesses and strengths (if we have any left), and then find solutions.

        Amanuel Eyasu is totally right. What is a unique identifier (meleleyina) as a people now? All I can think of is that we are the ‘boat people’ of the 21st century and another one is for being tolerant of this much repression. It took us 30 years to liberate Eritrea and it has now been 24 years and we find ourselves in a much worse situation than probably ever in history. Why? Not because we are inherently predisposed for this but we now have two generations that are extremely unsuited to pass the torch and accept the torch and move forward. The big problem is the Ghedli generation. I know some people do not like for Ghedli to be raised in any way than big time praise but that generation of Eritreans has cause some much anguish on the post independence generation. Selam was saying the fabric of our society cannot be undone. Well, I have bad news for her. That process has began and it will soon become irreversible if it is not already. All the great traits Eritreans were known for, by self baptizing themselves to those traits anyway, are nonexistent.

        My biggest fear is what will entail post PFDJ. PFDJ will be history sooner or later but then will we have an Eritrean society that look even a mirror image of themselves? That is a big concern for me.

        • selam

          Dear Mizaan
          You failed to question one and important question and that is. Is it possible for a population to hold on the promises made by gangsters , by PFDJ and the countless opposition groups ? These two sides promise over and over none stop with out consulting the Eritrean people. Is this the Eritreans population failure to maintain the gangsters promise? Why will they invest in these selfish , hatful people? Why will they do that? Tell me where and when do they avoid any chance
          to grap the chance.They have never given any choice , they have given more than they have and they get hammered for being honest , hard working people. You have the courage to insult the whole population with your beloved amanuel who has shipped his family to London before 2007 . You want the truth about the Eritrean people , just read how they formed a great army that smashed through sheer determination.Tell and ask a Tigre mother who stood to the daily cluster bomb on her house none stop . She could have gone to sudan , it is short way from Nakfa to quarura and then sudan but she sayed and helped . I believe we Eritreans are special on our own terms and we have done miracle when the largest army in Africa was hacking us to death. We hacked them back and kneel them down to our neeth. I differ to accept their say and I differ to reject your generalization.

          Now we will do it but we need a strong unified opposition to nullify PFDJ once for all , how we do it is a matter to be debated . But you know who is blocking the honest debate . Let me tell you men , these coward , bloodsuckers , bloodthirsty criminals are keeping the most honest people from having a debate on his own case. Their time is already ticking and they know it , that is why they are accusing the majority. No PFDJ propaganda nor opposition fragmentation will block them. Do not underestimate their respective way of doing things. I believe we are unique people who can do it again. 9 Ethnic groups smashed the whole dergi army but you must remember the difficult time of difference in between ELF and EPLF also prolonged the air of independence.

          • selam

            Dear mizaan
            pls read as , that smashed dergi through sheer determination. Thanks

        • tes

          Dear Mizaan1,

          The crap is now on fire against the great Amanauel Eyassu and ambassader as expected from her lines. No matter how, Amanuel eyassu will remain the main informant to Eritreans, be them inside Eritrea or outside. With time perfection comes.


        • Ted

          Dear Mizan, why you made a habit of insulting Eritreans. It is hard to reconcile the negative attitude you have towards the people and your wish for the same people to have justice, i am confused. I know things come out in the heat of the moment but this one seems deliberate. Eritrean people are unique and special. They have the scars and bruises to show for it. The uniqueness which make you hate them is the part they don’t jump on to any of those 15 opposition wagons which they know has no respect for them . We are unique, responsible opposition. No one can not drag us in to web of lies and deceits. Amanuel Eyassu is ego manic who got devastated when Eritreans told him to shove XX it. Do you wonder why his radio is down. No one but the opposition camps denies the uniqueness of Eritreans. Good luck having Eritreans on your side, you don’t need them anyway, you never had.

          • selam

            Dear Ted
            I think people like mizaan are freaking out of their breath for one reason and that is, the Eritrean people are starting to ask questions like , what have you done to help us ? Where have you been these 15 years ? Why do not you sit and compromise with each other now. These questions really matter for individuals who paid their conference places , the people who paid for radio program , which preach hate . Eritrean People are asking , who do you serve, us or your personal luckies. I think amanuel is freaking out for one reason and that is he could not manage his differences with people he call ever saturday . I wish him good fortune for the coming years.

          • Pass the salt

            Selam wo Selam,
            Since you claim you are in Eritrea, why don’t you take a break from opposition politics and tell us the situation over there? What’s going on with the election? Oh wait that’s Ethiopia. What’s happening and what are people saying about the new Isaiascare rollout (a.k.a. penal/criminal code)? With all the independence guayla fervor, is anyone even paying attention? Do you feel like should you be detained for visiting oppo website you will be presented to the court within 48 hours, courtesy Isaiascare?

          • saay7

            Pass The Salt:

            Isaiascare as in Obamacare? Man, you are funny! Watch out, Teweldino. The competition for Awate Wit is stiff now. The Eritrean Redneck (KeyHksad) is not bad either. The only time to take the new civil/penal codes is when an independent attorney general uses them to go after the President’s Office for violating a citizen’s civil/penal codes. Incidentally, as Gezae Hagos pointed out, civil/penal codes are not grounded on a constitution. And the civil/penal codes were not ratified by a National Assembly because we have none. So, the executive office wrote them, and the executive office will refuse to enforce them–except when it is going after its political enemies.

            I was asking a real-life Teweldino what he thinks of the new Isaiascare and he said, “they gave Fozia Hashem a new gun…and later on they will tell her we have no bullets for them.” But the real audience of Isaiascare (European governments, NGOs which do annual country reports) will describe it as an “encouraging development.” 🙂


          • Mizaan1

            Saay, please put down Affordable ‘Oppocare’ Act to my name. Thank you!

          • saay7

            Hey mizaan:

            Well. The official name of Obamacare is Affordable Care Act (ACA). The youth, who are immortal, don’t think Obamacare is that affordable; the small businessperson doesn’t think ts is affordable. Consider that when we end up calling Affordable Oppocare Act “Mizaancare” and the youth say “nah, I will pass!” :). You want your name next to that?


          • Mizaan1

            Saay, you are absolutely hilarious man. How could toothless people like you and I privide dental care? That would be the oxymoron of the 21st century. I hear you loud and clear though that Obamacare is one of the best things that’s happened around here in decades after the creation of the EPA. But a lot of ‘keyahti kisad’ are trying to sabotage it by finding loopholes. It’s been great for us Eritreans as I have assisted at least a dozen families qualify. But Nitricc the libertarian would say those people should work and he should not have to share his hard earned wealth with them. Damn socialists distributing our wealth to lazy bums.

          • selam

            Dear pass s.
            I could care less about propaganda , I expect nothing from what ever code it is. You want to talk about Ethiopia go a head write your blessing and send to Washington post. Do not you get it. No one is talking about it now. It is not my concern at all.

        • Nitricc

          Hi Mizan
          Last night you were taking your usual stupid take in trashing Eritrean-ism and their accomplishment. you said Eritreans think they are good and better than others, Mr. Mizan; let me answer it for you; absolutely! I can understand why you needed to insult the brave Eritreans; it is the desire and habit of losers to bring down winners. If it wasn’t for your hypocrite and lazy mentality, you could have known, acknowledged and respected what Eritreans accomplished. Just the other day you were telling us how you struggled to skip your lunch god knows for what reason but the religious thugs call it fasting and the obese call it diet; for whatever reason you tried to do it; you couldn’t and look what the Eritreans did something you can never do; skip your lunch for one day. Listen to it and learn to show some respect for people who do things you will never able to do it yourself.


          • Kokhob Selam

            ኣየናይ ክካሓድ ኩሉ ብዘመኑ –
            እቲ ንነጻነት ክቃለስ ሓኒኑ –
            እቲ ግዳ መሰሉ ስኢኑ –
            ቀለብ ዓሳ ኣካሉ በቲኑ ::

            ኢዱ ትርከቦ ቀታሊ ወራሪ:-
            ናጽነት ሰሪቁ ኣላ ኢሉ ዘውሪ :-


          • teweldino

            ኣብ ዝኾዓታ ጉድጛድ፤ ይኹን ተቀባሪ፥
            ህዝብታት እንዳ’ጽነተ፤ ሓፋሽ ኢሉ ፈካሪ።

          • Kokhob Selam

            እንኳዕ እኳ ተወልደ ሓሓቁ ዝነግር –
            ብጻይ ጀጋኑና ዝቐላልዕ ሚስጥር::

            ኣይኮነን ዶ ሰብ ስጋ ዝለበስ –
            ኣይኮነን ዶ ጀግና ዕርድታት ዘፍረሰ –
            ኣይኮነን ዶ ምሁር ፍልጠት ዝሓፈሰ –
            ሸኹ ምስ ኣቅሽሽቱ ጸልዩ ዝቀደሰ –
            …..ሰነ ኳ ገሪምዋ ሰሚዓ ዳንኬራ –
            …..ሓሶት በዝሕዋ እምብዛ ሓፊራ ::
            ሰነ ‘ኳ ‘ታ ወሪሒ ክፋል ናይ ‘ዛ ዓመት –
            ብዙህ እያ ሓዚና ክብረት ምስ ሰኣነት –
            ዓቢ ምስ ንኣኡሽተ ርኣቶ ክስደት
            ናጽነት ተቀይሩ ትርጉሙ ባርነት ::

        • YAY

          Dear Mizan1: The Big Problem May be You or in You

          You said, “The big problem is the Ghedli generation. I know some people do not like for Ghedli to be raised in any way than big time praise but that generation of Eritreans has caused so much anguish on the post independence generation.”

          You are unreasonably condemning a whole generation, one of the most “committed-to-the-cause” generations of Eritrea.

          The Ghedli generation, very generally-speaking, assessed the Eritrean people’s situation, articulated what to be done about contemporary problems, selected means of struggle, mobilized the people for purposeful action, faced and overcome internal/external problems, worked with commitment and achieved/trying to achieve its main historical ends. Condemning this generation indicates that you have not articulated what ought to be done or you are not as committed as the social goals demand of you.

          I think the big problem is your point of view. You assign problems to others, not to you. You have yet to figure out how you kind of people could ever succeed in achieving their goals. It comes easier for you to blame others and not you.

    • tes

      Dear Mizaan1,

      The first paragraph, your emphasis was good as it was focusing to individuals or groups. But what you quoted is too general and dashing. I feel after I read from what you quoted that YG is back on his defamation project.


  • Kokhob Selam

    Dear all,

    this interesting article may help us investigate more on how parties were formed and what makes a politician move from one party to another. in my long experience I was unable to answer most of the questions I had in my mind. from the fist day I chose my front ( ELF) I have seen groups created some time unexpectedly even to the opposite side of where they were. I wonder if the men are changing their principle or the principle has gone from one party to the other. in this political journey some time you wonder where you should be landing. Thanks God, I have never moved in opposite side except supporting other parties in common interest circumstances.Yes, some time it is important to stand even alone holding your principle when your beloved once with high knowledge say otherwise. I love it, you don’t need that much knowledge to stand for truth and yes that is why I saw a lot of professors fail badly when they join the anti peace forces.

    for the last 20 years few came to explain why politicians move from one party to another and why they don’t accept differences as precious gift and use it for their advantage. I think psychologists, long experienced fighters etc. should disuse this topic. Yes, we all know how PFDJ office play it, in confusing those politicians like we experienced recently. But that in itself is not the main reason.

    why I am interested abut this topic? it is not because by knowing the reason we can build one umbrella only but I am concerned about the future (after removal of PFDJ) as that will affect in building the nation. I am strong believer of actions, actions on the ground and I don’t much worry if Eritrean opposition have common militarily armed party ( if that happens it is fine) — the one who will remove PFDJ is a single party (it doesn’t mater if it is accepted by by all opposition parties or not ) . PFDJ will be come history when confronted by practical party who will use similar language of PFDJ “ሓምሽሾም ” without mercy. and sure no one will reject the victory including those who are still singing PFDJ’s early days song (honeymoon days of PFDJ when they hijack our freedom).

    I look forward some one to put what he knows why people are changing and jumping from one party to the other, why parties are created every day.etc.

    • haileTG

      Dear KS,

      I think you’ll find that it is not the switching of organizations by individuals that is considered a problem. It is rather the splitting and formation of new ones that is creating duplication and multiplicity. I have a two cent’s theory as it relate to poor problem solving norms in the wider society of contemporary Eritrea. I will discuss it later:)

  • Mahmud Saleh

    Dear Ato/Ustaz Saleh
    I like your tone, it’s clear that you want to bridge gaps in our understandings. I also want to let you know that I totally agree with you that the ghedli era mindset should have been left behind at the finish line, on May 24, 1991, exactly at 1201. The problem as to why the unavailability of the broken Rolex is not a problem is because the fragmented DNA of those two prehistoric dinosaurs (EPLF & ELF) are still VIABLE in all our discourses, attitudes…An example of this would be the fact that at least 11 out of the 15 find their origin to ELF; 2-3 are clear civic movements (you could have listed as many others in this category), one is composed of a minority EPLF and a majority ELF (EPDP). I totally agree with SAAY comment and Amanuel’s criticism on your article. What’s interesting is the fact that you repeat what other critics say ABOUT these groups, but you pose as a protectionist when others criticize them(I guess it’s Halal for you to criticize them but Haram for others).

    I believe the reason why these “good” organizations are swallowed by the “bad” ones are because they are managed badly. Their motivation and intention may be good but they failed miserably to be outgrown by groups you even feel unnecessary to mention here. That’s why critics are saying the time is up for them to sail the rough waves blaming PFDJ. They should never be protected from appropriate criticism. The calls I hear in this forum are summarized in the following:

    1. They will be judged by what they deliver; by far, they have dashed the anticipation of Eritreans despite the fact that they have been given more than enough time and unreserved support from their host.

    2. The reason why they did not deliver is because they were the result of the era predating Mr. Rolex’s death, and those DNA fragments are still active in their blood. Simply, they are in the mode of 70’s era revolutions, lead by individuals who have in their mind more grudges to settle than more Eritreans to liberate. The mother organizations of most of those listed existed prior to Mr. Rolex death. Some of these organizations actually fought EPLF from behind all the way until 1991. The casualties and the dates are still vivid. I have utmost respect for those ELF tegadelti who refused to hit back despite the fact that they were able to do so. They decided the loss of the civil war was enough and minded their business. That’s OK. However, some of the leaders and organizations who are in these political organizations continued the fight against EPLF which was waging a fierce liberation struggle against the Durg. Therefore, their motives were more of settling scores than liberating Eritreans. That’s the problem my friend. Eritreans are past that era, but these individuals are bogged down in those realms. The organizations were not designed to be democratic; they were designed to change a system using force; they were a continuation of the liberation era; their mindset is lodged in that era, they lack the capacity to improve their performance by undergoing honest self-assessment; they are built on “we versus them” attitude. Those who tried to correct them, those who tried to navigate the labyrinths of these organizations got tired and left them. Many good people.

    3. Base on the above reasons, they could not deliver because they have not attracted Eritreans; they have become more dependent on their host than the people they should have made their base. They spent too much time and too much of Eritreans will to bring about change. It is time they get judged by a fair scoring rubric. As Amanuel and SAAY indicated you have not laid out that scoring sheet, I hope you provide us with some criteria as to why you thought these organizations are better than others, other than the fact that they are based on politics predating Mr. Rolex death. In my judgment the activists are more known and more delivering in terms of the effects needed inside the country to empower people to bring change unto themselves.

    One more thing: you wrote, ” It’s most likely that if the books are burned, they will cease to exist because their license to operate is not from the Eritrean public–it is an individual undertaking for individual benefits–certainly not for the Eritrean benefit. For example, it just takes the Ethiopian handlers to burn these books and revoke the licenses; the air will immediately clear out. As it stands, it is selfishness and individuality gone amok; ambition getting in the way between the intention to be patriotic and actually being one.”
    This tells it all. Here the Ethiopian handlers are the one who should decide whether a group should live or die instead of the Eritrean people. That’s why we are saying, they should be pushed to wean off their dependence on their host and try to be innovative in penetrating the wall separating them from the “reserve opposition”. .

    • Saleh Johar

      Allan Mahmoud,

      Since I do not want to use the Rolex, I will not go into point by point response. I have decided that provided I am not pushed too much. But for my learning purpose, please tell me which 11 are of ELF background? And how is the Epdp’s cell count more if this than that?

      One more thing, I never gave a list of “civil associations” but declared political organizations–they decided that not me. So, you are whimsically mixing the two when they have not claimed so. But of all the article, you dwelled on the Rolex. I do t blame you, they are egged than Omega:-) and I am not a fan of halal and haram and I do not appreciate lecture in that. I stated things as I understand them, in detail. Do that please in refuting my assertion so that I can learn. Lastly, I appeal to you to stop bringing the 500 year old rivalry. It is just boring. And next time, please go easy on me. We are friends, remember that 🙂

      • Mahmud Saleh

        Ustaz SaleH
        Thanks Saleh. I will dwell on appreciating the contribution you make, I don’t mean to lecture you. Anyway, at the end organizations and parties will live or die based on their performance. My comment stands as it is.

        • Saleh Johar

          Ahlan Mahmouday,
          The appreciation is mutual. But I though we are having a debate, not that anyone can force another to debate. You made a statement and I asked for a response and I though in a debate one deserves an answer. Jut two question that you need to answer if you do not mind. I am afraid “my comment stands as it is” is not a debate. But if you do not want to go there again, it is your decision and I understand.

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Salam saleh

            Thanks to awate some of the gaps could be filled out using this same chart that awate.com published (I am bringing it here for the reader not for you). Most of the organizations listed in your chart are splinters and/or sub-splinters of ELF. I don’t think it’s useful to go in detail. Let me wait for your next installment. On EPDP, my understanding is that the majority is from ELF-RC, but that’s a passing comment. I actually wish similar regrouping took place. Saleh, the intention is for a strong opposition, nothing more.

          • Saleh Johar

            Ahlan Mahmoud,
            Organizations have members when the members move to another organization they are not members of the old entity. Membership as you know is not a lifetime brand like a Texas cow. If that was not the case, what would the affiliation if zemehret, georgis, toteel and many others be? What woul make Isaias different than Hussein Khelifa because at one time they belonged to the same entity. What any mean but don’t spell is the culture that an entity represents and that will not die even if all organizations die. So, if what is meant is the geographical and religious or ethnic differences, the organizations are just an expression of a reality not the reality. Asfor the chart, you should have paid attention to the fast changes. And 8 years is a long time since it was compiled. The updated chart us not made u pic yet. What I compiled on this article is as of May 2015. So you can’t base your assumption so an 8 year old chart. But still, I would reunify like you give lain the 11 out if 15 claim you made unless you are retracting it. Cheers

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Ahlan AbusalaH
            I consulted with Gen.Nit as he would be the last standing expert on this matter. Based on his confidential consultation, I could confidently say here, to all, I am dropping off the 11 out of 15. This is a task I am not good at Saleh. But my impression is most of the organizations will retrace their origin to ELF. How about most? I think that will do it.

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Selam Mahmuday,

      Do you remember the 1987 EPLF’s congress was called deceitfully as ” the second and unifying congress of EPLF”. The “unifying” is referred to the joining of the “sagem splinter groups” of the sagem organization to EPLF. The sagem splinters was presented deceitfully as representative of ELF in the congress. Usually if unity of two organizations to happen (a) it must give to a birth of new organization different than the two separate entity. (b) Their unity must give to a birth of new political structure (c) Their defining political program must be different than what each of them had before they unite. The 1987 congress doesn’t reflect the unity of two organizations in essence and forms to give a new organization with a new idea that evolved from the combination of the two organizations. Unlike the so called unity congress of 1987 of the EPLF, the unity of EPP and EDP gave the birth of a new entity EPDP with a new organizational structure and new political program. I don’t understand why you called EPDP is dominated by EPP or ELF-rc. Is it an effort to minimize the number of splinters of EPLFites? Remember the nature of the Eritrean people is the same however you want to politicize it. Your are still in your old political game haw Mahmud. Whether I support or not to EPDP as an organization, the unity process of EPP and EDP has taken the right recourse in essence and deeds of a political process of unity. I wish other political organizations who have similar political program follow the right political process of unity similar to that of EPDP. You can scratch wounds here and there, but I don’t think in the birth political organization of EPDP.

      Amanuel Hidrat

      • Mahmud Saleh

        Ahlan wa sahlan Ghedim tegadalai Emma
        Let me assure you that I will treat you as how I would love to be treated. You are a gentle man, just too stubbornly hot-headed. Other than the fact that politically we keep repelling each other, you are a friend.
        Emma, I don’t know why you brought UP the 1987 Second EPLF and Unity Congress b/n EPLF and Sagem (ELF splinter group). You may see it as a deceitful act, but those heroes who had killed off their personal grudges did not see it that way. They completed it seamlessly and it worked out unlike your year after year debacles in Ethiopia (I hear you are an expert in assembling and disassembling factions). And you know, what matters is how the stakeholders saw it then and not how Amanuel see it now. End of story.
        For the general reader though a quick recapitulation:
        – The unity between Sagem and EPLF went through a long process (may be more than four years, or so)
        – Yes, the fighters who had returned to Eritrea after the demise of ELF in 1981 had aspirations of reestablishing ELF, they thought of an organization that would have attracted scattered ELF human resource, and which would have contributed in the struggle fighting along the EPLF in MOREfriendlier terms. EPLF told Sagem tegadelti that they were welcome as long as they would aim towards unity. Clearly, EPLF did not want to repeat the same cycle of civil wars; in addition, by that time the war had intensified. And every source of energy had to be utilized in a more efficient way.
        – After a period of deliberations, Sagem agreed to enter a process of unification. The first phase would recognize the independence of both organizations while collaborating through mutual committees. That lead to the deployment of a combat force from Sagem along the HalHal Front within Division 96 Command. However, members who opposed the unification process and stood firm on reestablishing the presence of ELF split and sought the protection of TPLF (Sagem Qexl). Various departmental, political, ideological, strategic and tactical matters were also being worked out and/or reconciled. Years of confidence building took place.
        – The Preparatory committee included members of both organizations. Seminars were done on how the unity process would wrap up. I was present in that Congress and nothing of what you mention took place. It was as regular and smooth as it could get. There was no apparent acts of suppression. On the contrary, Ibrahim Toteel refused to be nominated in the CC saying he had served for a long time in ELF leadership, and that it would be appropriate if young blood got that opportunity. He was denied and voted a member of the CC. AHferom Tewelde and some other Sagem members also asked the congress to let them stand down from the CC nominees list saying they were inexperienced to serve in a CC that lead a much bigger organization. They were not accepted and they became CC members. From EPLF, there was only one person, Dr.BereKet, who refused to be nominated citing his workload and age.
        -As far as the name of the new organization is concerned, it was discussed, but none, including Sagem delegates, was ready to dump the historic name, EPLF. By that time EPLF had been alone and had become the banner around which Eritreans rallied. The name itself had become a weapon. Besides, Sagem tegadelti did not think of it in terms of organizational pride. They had become confident that was the right way to go. They made one more important sacrifice that EPLF tegadelti did not have to do: putting aside the pride that historic ELF would bring to their souls. It’s a big price they had to pay for the expediency of independence. You will have to take lessons from them. As a gesture of good will and in recognition of that historic organization, Sagem, the official Organ of EPLF was changed from “MeriH” to “Sagem”.
        2. On the matter related to EPDP and their composition: let me just say that, to me, the sum/unity is more important than the parts. That’s why I inserted that message to SaleH. You just repeated what I had said regarding the good wish. That being said, you are on record calling EPDP reformist. I mentioned only that the EPLF members appeared to me less than the ELF members. I did not say anything about their unifying process. And it was not my concern. You would simply say ” Haw Mahmud, you are wrong on your numbers; here is the right composition.” And that would be it.

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Haw Mahmud,

          You can’t deflect the argument by showing you badge who you are, as already I know. The point of your argument was, because the majority of EPDP are ELF-rc, you opined EPDP as ELF splinter. That was the essence of your argument. My argument was to disqualify that argument or opinion. To do that I explained what unity engenders and how the process of real unity should be accomplished. Otherwise merging doesn’t entail unity. Merging is buying entity where one engulf the other. Sagem did in fact merge to the big organization and god knows what stake they had in the organization. So as a lesson, I was comparing the unity of EPP and EDP as oppose to the merging of segam to EPLF. Therefore brother we have lived with twisters of politics for so long, and don’t try twist my argument. It is straight forward from your intake in your comment. Have a good one till then.

          Amanuel Hidrat

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Dearest Emma
            1. Again, On EPDP
            I Mahmuday did not delve in the process that culminated in EPDP, I raised ratio indirectly. ስጋ ኣቦይ ኢለካ። ዝብላዕ ‘ኳ የብላን ኣማንኤል። So, you are the one deflecting it. I touched ratio and you are writing about a process. since you reframed the issue around process, I had to protect those selfless heroes who had nothing in their minds other than contributing in the process for the ejecting of occupying force.
            2. On your requirement for unity (a, b, c), let me just mention that not every merging action go through the same itemized steps, and not any merging entities result in a universally identical form. The actors choose what the best steps should be; the actors agree on what organizational structure to result into. Therefore, general theoretical guidelines are just that: general.
            yours, ato MaHmuday.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Mahmuday,

            I will go to conceptual argument rather to our political stands. Let me ask you this: agree or disagree that the words “unity” and “merging” are different politically in (a) in the way the process should undergo or be accomplished (b) on the factors that drive them into the “nature” and the “objective” of the political deal in their mind (c) in the end result of the new identity from the process. If you agree, you will notice my point of argument as to the nature of unity of “EPP and EDP” and the merging of sagem splinters to EPLF. Your thought on that. Don’t repeat the official proclamation of EPLF as you did in your previous comment. We need a free mind in to a play here Mahmuday.

            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Dear Ato kboor emma
            Sawrawi salamta bmQdam:
            1. I never commented on the process that culminated in the formation of EPDP. I commented on ratio. You are raising completely different issues, processes and the nature of Unity. You are comparing a unity endeavors completed in two different periods of times, under different situations, including different sets of dynamics (internal and external), and for purposes that are completely different. We can discuss the question you brought, but on a separate thread since you are raising a general conceptual matter which is not related to the essence of my comment. I just want to let you know I will control the fate of my comment. I won’t let you dictate its form, essence and the course it should take.
            2. Emma, whether I’m conveying the official explanation of EPLF or not is irrelevant. What is relevant is how those selfless tegadelti of Sagem saw it. Furthermore, at least i was closer to the events.

        • Semere Andom

          Dear Mahmuday:
          Nice to see you. I am barred by gentleman’s agreement with Sal not to paint broad brushes about EPLF, so I will make it specific.
          The 987 congress, we have discussed it before and I rem you detested my employing the word vulture;
          But let us be honest, EPLF gangs up with TPLF and destroys 100K strong Eritrean force that could been used to foil occupation and shorten the armed struggle, thus minimizing the lives lost to make Eritrea, then EPLF goes back and scavenges the r of that formidable force. In the process Sagem splits.
          Yes, Senait Debessai and Tefono sang, “atum deqeye, atum deqey” that reverberated across the mountains and arouse some emotions, yes Totteel, Zemheret, Yeferom Dr Giorigis Girmay, Germano and Abrahaley Kifle were parachuted to stardom and power, but it was unifying but.
          It was a made for the screen show after Eritrean ghedli thinly avoided being decimated with increased causality, needlessly
          Also, can I can mention in passing, it, Sagem had no option, it has to splinter to go there, from my vantage point and I think I can proved right that congress had sectarian highland card written all over it. Sagem, the handful leaders and few scores of tegadalti would have been decimated if they did not capitulate. EPLF saved face
          One positive note, the Zemhert group were endearingly called Sagemtai and in their honor a magazine was established to replace “fitsametat”, that magazine, the official tongue of EPLF was called Sagem and like the organization after which it was named, it ceased to existed. used and trashed

          • saay7

            Your Honors:

            May I approach the bench? The defendant, Semere Andom, has violated the spirit (but not the letter because I negotiated a bad deal) of the final and binding agreement we signed. Per the terms of our final and binding agreement entered on May 13 (May 14 Canada time), whose language will be appended below, Semere Andom is not yet required to sing the Eritrean national anthem (Ertra! Ertra! Ertra!) in Tigrayit (Eletrea! Eletrea! Eletrea!), but he is dangerously coming close to it:)

            The Agreement:

            Hey Cousin iSem:

            Let’s make a New Year Resolution today (it’s a new year in at least one of the 40 calendars in the world, or close enough) to discuss only Eritrea, without mentioning TPLF, Ethiopia, Sudan for the rest of the month. Extra credit if we also don’t drudge up history and talk only about today and tomorrow. If u violate this pledge, you have to sing the Eritrean national anthem–in Tigrayit. If I violate it, yep, O, Canada. Deal? Or, as Cousin Hope would say, do you have the gut and the courage to accept this deal question mark exclamation point.



          • Semere Andom

            Your Honour.
            Withdrawn. It was a slip of the tongue ,since iSem took “the not mentioning TPLF” as not mention TPLF in comparison to EPLF, accomplishment wise that is.

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Dear Semere

            Thanks for the reply. I think the study of that unity endeavor is healthy, but we have to do an HONEST research based narrative for the purpose of historical value. I’m reluctant to continue on a discussion that my original comment had nothing to do with. I sated things as I witnessed them. I respectfully decline to get dragged into politicizing an issue that so many equally smart, calculating, thinking and breathing men and women of Sagem undertook. They returned to Eritrea on their own will, no buddy put a knife on their throat to pursue an “our way or the highway” policy. They had many choices. The least of which would be saving their skin and minding their personal business. I feel it ‘s trivializing the conscious decision of Sagem Tegadelti. The unity went through tedious harmonizing process, as I stated in my reply to Amanuel. If Amanuel could read my reply with open heart, he will find the logical steps he is raising. The congress was a concluding landmark of years of work at harmonizing cultural, political, ideological, strategic, tactical…and other issues.

            I don’t want to comment about things I am not sure about, like the issue you are raising related to the possibility that it was motivated by sectarian feeling as you put it “from my vantage point and I think I can proved right that congress had sectarian highland card written all over it.” Such calls need to be backed by hard evidence and thorough investigative research, Semere. I encourage you to come up with that so that we can all learn from. Until then, what we have is the narrative that some gallant ELF fighters put aside organizational hatred, worked hard for years in order that their goals were reflected in the bigger scheme of liberation struggle lead by EPL, and finally, satisfied that it was the right thing to do, they made a conscious decision to merge with the EPLF. They brought new perspective and hope in the struggle. They again decimated the arrogant attitudes of EPLF tegadelti that ELF, or Eama, was not a good fighting force. They quickly made their mark, as the force that separated from ELF, in 1977, did.

    • Hailemariam Tesfai

      Selamat Awate team, Thank you! Your article was informative, and mostly accurate. But the #14 organization you described in the list of Eritrean opposition political organizations lead by Mr. Yohannes Asmelash is called “Eritrean Unity for Democratic Change (EUDC)/ኤርትራዊ ስምረት ንደሞክራስያዊ ለውጢ (ኤስደለ)
      الوحدة الارترية للتغيير الديمقراطي
      “and not “Eritrean Democratic Movement for Change (DMC)”


  • keihksad

    The problem with Eritrean so called “opposition group” is not their maddening sheer numbers and their inability to organize the Eritrean people; the real problem is all of them lack resources to be a formidable opposition power to threaten PFDJ’s monopoly. If one or two or three of the Eritrean opposition had the wherewithal of almost unlimited funds they can potentially organize themselves to have followers and raise the cost of entry into opposition politics to most of these self appointed political leaders . The assumption here is beside monetary resources the leading political bodies will also have a progressive forwarding looking vision with a good dosage of liberal democratic principles in their organization’s charter. With that said, the 15 or more groups will be irrelevant when compared with a formidable opposition with deep pockets and lead by visionary leaders. Take the current USA politics at least in the Republican side: they have 20 or more egotistic politicians (from a brain surgeon to a failed business woman to affirmative action beneficiaries who are now against it and to former welfare beneficiaries who don’t approve of it ) and most of them will be gone for lack of resources, lack of political IQ, or lack of support of billionaire brothers or a billionaire casino moguls–see the money will be the winnowing force for good or bad. Alas, in Eritrean politics all you need to do is declare oneself an opposition with a handful of supporters and pretend you are doing something because the cost of entry to Eritrean politics is almost nothing-hence the paralysis.

    • Saleh Johar

      Dehan e’to. That is what people miss. Politicians listen to constituencies, they have to. If you pay for their sustenance, or you support them in one way or another, they listen to you. If not, the listening part is not really active. The other thing is, there are thousands of views on what the public wants the opposition to be, and they cannot possibly listen to every conflicting suggestions which sometimes sound like orders. If one is a stakeholder, he will be listened to.

      Now, I am not saying people should not have a say on the performance of the parties that exist to serve a public cause. But you can’t always wield your swords to slash them on every occasion, you offer them zero support and expect them to listen to you. That doesn’t work. It didn’t work with the Valineki Cliques for over two-decades–they do not comply to the feeling of their constituency, those who pay for their sustenance and support them all the way. But that is a corrupt outfit, the opposition should fare far better. The criticize goes both ways–the incompetence of the organizations and selfishness, and callous behaviors, of the criticizers.

      At the end, if any party would combine funds and wisdom, they can lead an effective opposition. Even money and foolishness does not work, both are needed.

      Thank you

      • Nitricc

        hahahah SJ this is the first time I have observed you miss-spell someone nick name. did you make a mistake or you are saying something lol.

        • Saleh Johar

          Nitricc Negram,
          Moderator level access comes with its benefits 🙂
          But it was not intentional and I am sure no one saw it but you “Hafiz AlNuqsan.” Ask Saay for translation…

  • Ted

    Dear SJ, here is what i found , just doing my part in a tiny way:-) to compare what some of the oppositions groups in your list put as their VISION for Eritrea. can you differentiate them as who is who. They all want better and peacfull Eritrea, what gives?

    The objective of our party is to build a prosperous country that preserves the Eritrean people’s unity and sovereignty; upholds the principle of territorial integrity; fosters peace and justice; establishes a government ruled by a national constitution; and respects international treaties and agreements fully.

    The objective and vision of our party is to build a prosperous country that preserves the Eritrean people’s unity and sovereignty; upholds the principle of territorial integrity; fosters peace and justice; establishes a government ruled by a national constitution; and respects international treaties and agreements fully.

    Our vision is to see the establishment of a constitutional and just government, through balanced and transparent institutional structures.Our vision is to see a country whose citizens live in pride, dignity and respect.

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX is a political organization, which works to reform the Eritrean political and social situation, through the pursuit of freedom, justice, and uphold the values of religion and virtue.

    • Saleh Johar

      Ted Arkey,
      I feel insulted. You think I do not know whose program that is? Nice try but to satisfy your attempt, I will say: No Ted, which part has that brilliant program? Please tellme Ted, just don’t tell me it is the Valineki Cliquee 🙂

      For your information, all the programs, for the most part, are boilerplate type in copied templates–so are the civil associations. By the way, I have aversion to wshTawi Hgtat, memorandums and look-good-feel-good documents. My program would be two words: freedom and justice… and a third, without the Valineki Clique. 🙂

      • Ted

        Dear SJ, Don’t feel insulted.. it was not meant to be a challenge, ( you researched and created the list after all ), but it was an observation and wanted explanation that i see no difference at their mission level and them being in different organization made them weak. If i have my way i put all the above 4 i listed under one group and add more on to them.That was my whole point. What you know(as look-good-feel-good documents) and what i see is different. There is a communication/ knowledge gap between people in the opposition camp and the rest.

        Vainicki Clique, i don’t know what it is but doesn’t sound good from Context( you seem a bit touchy on your response;-). Can you rephrase the question “Ted, just don’t tell me it is the Valineki Clique 🙂

        And i want to appreciate you for the hard work you put in writing the article although we have a lot more to go shrinking the groups.

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Dear Haile-TG,

    Not that I like many organizations (I wish to have two formidable organizations only), but the organizations listed by SGJ are the organizations only recognized by him. If you ask other citizens, say Mr. A or Mr.B, I have no doubt, that they will give you another list that include some of the listed ones and some from those omitted by SGJ. Since Mr. A and Mr.B might use different criteria than SGJ (which we still don’t know) for making their lists, the list of the organizations might also be either more or less than what SGJ has listed. Look Hailat, we don’t know what criteria SGJ has used to come to that list, unless he is privy to the deliberation of the preparatory committee of the coming national congress.

    My believe is: Organizations either grow or die by themselves depending on their internal circumstances, and not by the wishes of outsiders or other competitors. Though the later contributes to their weakening, their internal circumstances are the decisive factors to exist or not to exist. Anyone who rule-in and rule-out any existing political organizations without any common and agreed guidelines is surely a self-explanatory problem. So organizations to exist or not exist, to compete or not to compete are strictly their prerogatives. As free citizens we can support or decline to support them. That is the power we have. Beyond that it becomes a partisan politics. This is my personal perspectives.

    Amanuel Hidrat

    • Saleh Johar

      Hi Emma,

      Leaving most of your points aside, I would have expected you to provide a more elaborate list for the knowledge of the forum readers. You know who is who (and who was who) and supplementing my list would have been more productive instead of trying to cast doubt on it. For your information, I said that was my own individual assessment, and I am willing to be corrected provided there is someone who wants to correct me. I am counting on you Emma.

      • Pass the salt

        Ustaz Saleh,
        What about the Amanuel’s group you had war the other month for not being inclusive? Amanuel and I demand to know what disqualified them from the prestigious list up there?

        P.S Amanuel asked me why I am still passerby while living in the forum. He is right. So I change.

        • Saleh Johar

          Hi Pass,

          One correction: if there is any group that I don’t know about I hope they will help me know them and I can put an addendum on the list. But I do t know of a political party that Amanuel is a member of except ENCDC and he is there as an independent to my understanding.

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello Memhir,
            Actually this is a perfect litmus test. I say let those who are not included come out and complain.

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Dear Pass the salt,

          I hope to reflect always worth to your pen-name as defined what it means. Second SGJ is correct as to my political status. I joined ENCDC as independent citizen with no political affiliation, despite currently I am a member of a civic organization called “Eritrean Global solidarity (EGS)”. If you are not familiar with the organization, here is the link of the website to have glimpse to the activities of the organization.


          Amanuel Hidrat

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Abu Saleh,

        I will not delve myself to such political judgement to determine the existence of organizations. Organization decide to exist or not exist by themselves. The Eritrean people will join them depending on the political product they bring to sell market place. They gain or lose in the market place of public domain. They will live or die by themselves.

        Amanuel Hidrat

        • Saleh Johar

          Thanks Emma,
          I would have liked to see your input to inform the public, at least they would have understood why the opposition is in its sorry state. But never mind, please help me out when I list the “civil associations” and the so-called “organizations” so that as you said, “the Eritrean people will join them depending on the political product they bring…” I was also wondering, how the people support or not support entities unless they are not peeled off and shown to the them? That is why I will introduce the structural maze to the public so that they can support some of the organizations.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Abu Saleh,

            If you are saying the listed organizations are the only that existed, why are you worried on none existent organizations. Because if they are not existing the public doesn’t know them. Second all the listed organizations what tangible activities they have done to consider them in the list? How many enrolled members do each organization in your list have acquired to make your in list? Can you tell us some detail of your survey to make those lists? Like science, political discourse and judgement shouldn’t be ruled by guess. I wish you were only a reporter – an incisive reporter, but by your own admission, you told us you have a stake, and you will promote and support for any organizations that shares your view. So you are like us who advocate for certain ideas and philosophy in the overall of Eritrean politics. Therefore in such scenario, it is only wise to share an idea that hold the the composition of Eritrean society intact without antagonizing that is already on tension and mistrusts. The objective and realistic advice to the organizations should be, to pressure them to merge in to a formidable organization those who have similar political platforms. That is my perspective regarding all the existing organizations so far we know them and so far we don’t know them. Telling the right political process is the duty of the activists.

            Last but not least, if you come with unstudied list of civic organizations according your taste, I will respond accordingly depending on the nature of the report. You see abu Saleh why do you want us to travel to a rough journey while we are still struggling in a rough road. If you did, count my word, that it will only deepened the mistrust that is dragging us so far from moving forward. This is my brotherly and friendly advice.

            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Saleh Johar

            Please Emma! You said there are other organizations. So, let’s see who they are. Please name them. It is funny because I was also thinking of my favorite “civic society.” It is the biggest Eritrean civic society in the world and I cannot help but mention it on top of the list. Don’t let that bother you. Take it easy. Transparency helps eradicate mistrust and I know you hate mistrust. So let us bring them all to the open–that is when we will find their membership, their leaders and how many hats they have, etc. I am hoping you will help. But why do you make it sound like a threat, “I will respond accordingly” Of course Emma, you will, I know you will and I want you to.

    • haileTG

      ኣንታ ኣማን ዓርከይ፡ እንታይ ገበርኩኻ ወደይ!

      እዛ ሕቶ-ሓዘል መልእኽቲ ናባይ ድያ ወይ ናብ ሓው ሳልሕ? መቸስ ሳልሕ ከይሰምዓና’ምበረይ፡ እቲ ኣውጺእዎ ዘሎ ዝርዝር ኣስማት’ሲ ምናልባሽ ብዘለዎ ውሽጣዊ ኣፍልጦ ናይዚ ዝመጽእ ዋዕላ ባይቶ ድዩ፡ ወይስ ብኻልእ ትብል ድያ እታ ሕቶ? እሞ ንሓው ሳልሕ ብሓደ ከይድና ዘይነዋጥሮ?? …Haha. But i agree with the rest.


      • Saleh Johar

        Funny HaileTG,
        You are ahead of yourself, how wold I know the Baito list more than Amanuel, he is a member of ENCDC. And that is why I wanted a correction from him. But the Baito list includes more “civil associations” than political parties, if you acre to know. And if they are going to adopt that list, believe me it will be a repeat of the Awasa debacle. aytweTTr ayt’weTaTir Hailat 🙂

        • haileTG

          ካላእ! ተካል ትከሻሓዮ፡ ተኸሽሕና በሉ! ኣንታ ሳልሕ፡ ከመይ ክትብል ሰማዕካና? በሉ ወድኡ ጉዳይኩም፡ ተራኺብኩም ከለኹም…ha:)

    • tes

      Dear Amanuel Hidrat,

      Where is your engagement? If SGJ didn’t mention or left some on purpose, why don’t you take your share? Instead of writing an article after been provoked, either you could have argued on articles available on table or bring fresh ideas to forwaard engagement.

      What I read so far from you is articles you wrote after provocation. Bless us with either fresh ideas or by engaging positively. Stop please trying to hold the gear. Eritrean politics at this time needs a free field to e refined.

      Lets see how politics can stay alive again. If there is politics, meskerem net will say something. http://meskerem.net/. That is where I check whether politics is alive or not. If there is no politics, there is no page posts in meskerem. Thanks meskerem for ventilating our politics.


      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Ato Tes,

        Since politics become new ground to exercise for you, you don’t know how politicians interact and the rule of political engagement. For you any exchange in this forum is politics. For you lies are politics. For you insult are politics. For you provocations are politics. Because you commented in this forum you think you are playing good politics. Not at all. Remember every discipline of study has its own terminology that explain the particular subject of study and when you don’t have them you can’t interact correctly. Tes, that is exactly what your are doing here. You need the basics of politics to interact. To tell you frankly still you don’t have them.

        Second, A writer can not write without provocation directly or indirectly. The provocateur could be circumstances or personalities. An idea provoke an idea that is part of the rule of engagement. A fresh idea provoke an alternative fresh idea. What is your problem with that? You don’t know that yet and that is the saddest part of you in this forum.

        Third, don’t credit yourself to be among those you consider them with “fresh idea” or with those who engage positively. I haven’t seen positive idea from you yet, nor did I saw a positive engagement. I beg you to know your limits in order to learn the rule of engagement in politics. You don’t have positive provocation to bring others ideas either. If you have enough citizen to engage, can’t you leave alone.

        • tes

          Dear Amanuel Hidrat,

          I am happy that you are awakening from your deep sleep. Let me share this very secret with you and it is about you.

          Amanuel Hidrat, the mentor is as follows:

          He disagrees with Saay7 when it comes on future political solutions.

          He disagrees with SGJ when it comes on political and civic organizations.

          He disagrees with Mahmud Saleh when it comes to our armed struggle historical discourses.

          He doesn’t belong to any political organization but to an almost dead civic organization.

          He is big, an elephant, as he is able to secure a position in ENCDC while he was a memebr of civil organizations.

          THE only he agrees with is with the great phiolosopher as loudly calls him day and night is, YG.

          Forget about lecturing about me. I know I am an agriculturalist, and I want to stay like that. I wish you remained in your profession.

          Do you know now the confusion you are creating in our politics?

          Dear Emma, I will not leave you alone to confuse us. Enough is enough.

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear tes,
            I want you to stop and think for a moment. I want you to see things without any emotion. today you are fresh young man with all the boldness you own, with all the education you get you will play positive role if you add the experience gained by elder once. we are lucky people we still have Amanual, SGL, Say7, Mahmuday and that wonderful Haile the great Nesh, gezae, dr. sara Hayata rahwa etc. ( few to mention) they have more education, experience etc. that we may have. I am elder than you and allow me to advice you one thing. don’t ever be aggressive to your elders with such wisdom and knowledge. I don’t mean you should not ask or argue, but know the way how to do it. I am saying so because I respect you and I have hope that you will have a big place in the future more than those I mention.

            If Say7 and Amuni have arguments they are doing it in civilized manner. they know how to join hands when comes to common enemy. if sometime they have hot argument remember and know that they are human beings. it is the same when SGL and Amuni do it. when things go wrong, I come and cry saying where are you throwing me? do you notice that? it is shouldering them responsibility that we love them and we are disappointed with there hot arguments. then you will notice how much they love us. Amuni will never give chance to PFDJ to hear them say anything against SGL, he know the limit of differences (the common ground remains strong and concrete that will never be touched.).

            tes, ask anything you want and argue but don’t ever use those above words as they will only create hate. we have a lot to do and we should have time to hate each other.

            you may not know much about Amanuel, I don’t want to say much about his personality. but just go and read his articles how much he is advanced and how much he know Eritrean politics. I may differ in some ideas but I consider him one of the best teachers. regarding SGL I will not say anything. you know better. transparent politician who never give up saying what he thinks. Say, Say is is wonderful thinker. he examines everything and he is creative without limit. if there is a laboratory in politics of Eritrea it the head of Say7. I love them all. I hope to see them all you and me and others in a meeting face to face. I may not going get that chance (I will not say much why, but death is around me).

            you are the one with fresh knowledge growing, and those wonderful guys have a lot in store. Learn and get it. it is free for you. Say something now, show me the respect you have to Amuni. you may not get chance to say so tomorrow say it while I am alive.

          • tes

            Dear KS,

            First of all thank you for your unreserved advice. As for me, do not worry I always think. In fact, it is my thinking that I am trying to awaken the man from the Never Land. Some how he is now awake but I need him to be fully ressurected. Don’t take me wrong. All I want to see is positive engagement and free of “Mininin”.

            Amanuel Hidrat is trying to control the gear. He wants to direct everybody. Too much directive dialogue. I am therefore against his checking mechanism. On his politics, I think Amanuel Hidrat has nothing on shelf by now. It is better for him to be a consultant and share his past experience. Worse, he wants to appear as a reconcilor while he is marching alone. If he attends any meetings, his objective is to give lectures, not for a positive and forwarding engagement.

            As for the learning process, yes I am learning a lot, thanks to the platform provided by awate team and the turmoil we are in.

            Therefore, take it easy.


          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Kokhobay,
            My article was written for him and his likes. But he is not from the “sew Ablo emo kob keblo” people. Un fortunately You have to tell him pointblank. Even then he doesn’t understand the message. Poor tes.
            Amanuel Hidrat.

          • tes

            Dear Amanuel Hidrat,

            Aha, really? Was it the one that I discarded 100%?

            Dear Emma, when you write any wrticle with full energy, sure it will attract even a deaf person like me. But if it is written with hopeless and with energiless, sure it will be dumped by passerby, and fezazat like me.

            Therefore, write again when you are with full hope and energy. Sure somebody will be attarcted. Remember to whom did your article attract, he is only Gebrekirstos, the one who dumped his hate on us without shame.


    • selam

      Dear Emma
      I hope you push the notion of compromise , listen to each other and send your hands to reach these groups you think are similar. While I agree part of your comment here , Do you think these all people will narrow their differences ? What is our chance to wined them to one big ambrella ? I hope You know kifle Yowhannes more than me, do you think people like him have the courage to narrow the gap?

      Just a small hint to a useless selam.

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Merhaba selam,

        The effort is still there, but the objective reality of the organization and the anticipated driving forces are still absent. I hope I am clear to you.


        • Kokhob Selam

          Dear Amanuel.

          driving forces does that mean ደረኽቲ ሓይልታት ?

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Yep Kokhobay,
            it is precisely I mean it. There are no driving forces within the organizations to conduit change and transform their organizations.
            Amanuel Hidrat

  • Mizaan1

    It’s a blessing in disguise that these Eritrean opposition groups are so dysfunctional and “heartless.” They would be just as bad if not worse dictators. My biggest beef is when they do not utter a unified word of outrage on behalf of Eritreans as they observe tragedy after tragedy. It’s all about decimating their sworn enemy, PFDJ and IA. They operate in their mysterious ways. The average Eritrean is a poor peasant or a victim of PFDJ national service languishing every where in the cursed country. These old, rather well to do, men do not relate to the average Eritrean. In actuality, PFDJ relates better because it encompasses a large uneducated population. So that’s why a large majority of Eritreans will lot support not accept these alien people.

    • Saleh Johar

      Selam Mizaan,

      You wrote: “These old, rather well to do, men do not relate to the average Eritrean.” Can you please substantiate your allegation about the well to do part?

      • Mizaan1

        Dear Saleh, I apologize for not giving you first the due credit for your well written and informative article. I can only imagine how much effort it takes to write volumes of these tiresome Eritrean contemporary problems.

        Ok, now, I agree I was rather speculative but to go even further with it, I believe being higher on the food chain is a necessary condition to be a part of an organized party because you even mentioned to me before that it is a full time job. So relative to the average Eritrean diaspora, which probably is now a new comer aged 20-35, the opposition card carrying members are well to do.

        But even if I am totally wrong about that, I feel strongly that the opposition organization do not relate to the average Eritrean. That will continue to be a huge drawback for them lest they come down to earth and talk with average Eritreans heart to heart rather than having endless closed door meetings of a few dozen people. That’s where PFDJ outsmarts all of them combined together. PFDJ has two mouth pieces now but there are many opposition radio programs and websites. So that’s not a good excuse. The opposition groups need to stop talking over the heads of the poor Eritrean people but try to feel their pain and contribute something on the ground. Going to, say Libya, and providing something to the young mothers there could go a long way. Setting up some kind of fund and helping the extremely needy ones is another example. All these self congratulating stuff they do is ridiculous. They need to start working on the ground or if they don’t have time, they should not declare that they represent anyone but themselves.



        • Saleh Johar

          Dear Mizaan,
          Sometimes we tend to judge the “opposition” by those we perceive to be representative sample of the “opposition.” Correct me if I am wrong, but you seem to be judging the “opposition” based on some elements in the Diaspora, particularly in the West. Would you say the bulk of the opposition in Sudan, Ethiopia and the Middle est are well to do? Do you know the type of relations the “opposition” has with the refugee population in that area?

          As usual, I am not blaming you but please recognize that your observation is very scanty, it is a fraction of the big picture. For one, half the opposition groups are culturally separated with what goes in what we consider “opposition” discourse. If you follow the Eritrean Arabic websites for a week, you will have a different picture. If you have seen all, observed all, and you still feel the same, I can only say that our outlook is different. Thank you.

          • Mizaan1

            Dear Saleh, okay, I get your point. Generalization is dangerous because it is hardly defensible. But as you alluded to, my observation for the organizations based in the West. If you do know there are good things coming out in Sudan, Ethiopia, Middle East, etc. I would love to hear about it or if you could direct me to some sources. Nothing would make me happier than to see that there are tangible and measurable opposition achievements.

            As I read in a comment here, resource is of course one of the most important limiting factors. But as a starting point, I only ask for good gestures from these organizations based in the West to show that they are human. The perception of most people I know is that the groups are remnants of Jebha with huge personal resentment against IA and his party. You may ask entay zeygeberu emo? This is a regime very ripe for overthrow given its crimes against the fabric of the Eritrean societies. The previous dictators and colonizers did a lot of harm to the Eritrean people but at the expense of strengthening the unity of the Eritrean people. This regime is doing damages that are irreversible and that is it is destroying the spirit of Eritreanism. So all I ask is for these opposition groups to reset and unify under one cause and that is to restore the spirit of Eritreanism and throw this regime to the garbage, of course easier said than done. But again, simple gestures could help people to start realizing that they are not alone.

            My proposal is to create a pseudo government (someone said here a provisional govt, same idea as mine). That govt would include everything a real government would have. It could be comprised of people from all these parties you listed but I prefer individuals who would be happy to have a 2-5 year mandate to help draft a constitution and move us through a transition period. To make it fair, a big portion of the position would be left open for people within Eritrea, even including former PFDJ members with proven track record of siding with their people. Once this provisional govt is setup, then no party would be allowed to advance its agenda until this provisional govt steps in and assumes power. After a constitution is drafted within two years, then the parties would have two years to strengthen their positions and messages and compete in national elections. This idea is very idealistic and from an amateur but professionals can expand this and refine it and make it actionable.

            This provisional govt can then speak on behalf of Eritreans with a unified voice competing with PFDJ until the latter is fully overthrown. The way things are structured at the moment, PFDJ will go on to rule for decades. We have another Cuba in the making unless the opposition is unified for a transitional period.

          • Saleh Johar

            Indeed there is crooked perception. I am afraid I cannot possibly tell you everything, but I can give you a few pointers. Wed Sheriffe school that has been running by ELF-RC now EPDP for a long time. Several makeshift schools in the refugee camps. Many charitable Eritrean groups that have dug wells, flour mills, schools, mosques, clinics, etc. I can mention Ethar, Araha as commendable charitable humanitarian organization. There are modest projects of training midwives by volunteers from the USA in the refugee camps. Several of the opposition organizations provide modest help–now I do not want this to sound as if it is ideal, but you never hear about it. We never hear of the veterans and how they are living. We do not hear about those who are in the struggle in very poor conditions. They are far from competent, far from productive, but we cannot make them the towel where we can clean our lazy hands. Since there is a tendency of misrepresentation and misconception, let me clear say it. I have made it my calling to study, be interested what is going on and digging deep to understand the situation. I am not saying everyone should invest as much as one who is willing–everyone makes a choice and everyone had his own situation and limitations. But when someone says the “old leaders” I just laugh. If you ask who, they will give you probably a name or two, but most of them are at least 15 years Isaias’ juniors, for example. And what has age to do with it? Nothing. Everyone has the right to struggle. Another problem the activists of the West are for the most part part-timers, they are not available to do the day to day work–good or bad. So what do they do? They leave the burden to those who are stuck either in Sudan or Ethiopia. The rest want to run affairs by remote control. My friend Mahmoud complains “why is it okay for me to criticize but I become protective when others do.” Paraphrased. That sound true, it is not. What I object to is not criticism, but criticism without knowledge, without details, criticism based on casual information with no time invested in digging for details, perspective and more. And if people say something, they should be asked to explain it. If they can face a challenge, they shouldn’t make statements that belittle, defame, or misrepresent others. That is outright cruel and unfair. And the most unfair is equating people struggling for the right to be free in their country, with the system that has prevented even their remains to return home. Seeking justice requires we be just..

          • Mizaan1

            Dear Sal, thank you indeed. At first I thought you were a bit apologetic to me for being critical but trust me, you challenge the younger people like me, it should be taken with great appreciation. Sort of like a research professor telling his student to gather more evidence before drawing a conclusion. You have inspired me to do more research and dig deeper to understand the very complex phenomena of Eritrean opposition in the diaspora, near home and far away. I am quite relieved to hear that real attention has been given to the refugees. It needs to be publicized more.

            To close this thread, lest I waste too much of your time, comparing the opposition with PFDJ at the moment is not only cruel but criminal. I hold PFDJ as the sole entity accountable for our current predicament. I only blame the opposition for not being effective thus far in rallying the Eritrean people given the general resentment in the public if you include the “reserve opposition” as well, it’s the entire country who is praying for the end of this regime.

    • selam

      Dear Mizaan
      lets shout loud ,that we are waiting for them to talk to the eritrean people on the open field and show us how they compromise each other . That work is for us the ordinary people , we should demand and put pressure on them to sit and talk each other ,solve their differences and put their ego aside and put the Eritrean people interest first.

      There is nothing hateful than to faile protecting the one you care and love . They are saying they care for us and they are bleeding for us , well lets see them put their ego to the trash. That is what I dearly want you to agree. You can call me what ever you want and even you can ask help from tes but just lets agree to push them to have a meeting once in 6 month and negotiate on all terms. I do not know about you but I think I have waited enough to see them rally the Eritrean people. That is my ultimate destination for the harish criticism I give.

  • selam

    Dear Awatista
    Saleh article is good as it can be but not to the average Eritreans who hold no barage against any one. We have one enemy and that is PFDJ , do we need 15 from them 2 ethnic , 3 islamists their god knows what is their mind plan.Can you imagine from 30 more to 15 or less and i expect him to make them may be 2 in the next month . What he did almost did by default is a non alighned marketing of some and dumping some. Look at his numbers and ask yourselves who are these people and who is making the grouping , well Saleh is the person. Now how on earth are afar a political organization in a secular Eritrea where the 30% tigre know very little and the 50% tigrina know but will not even consider afar a political group as existed as it was not even born , except to say their own nation or a federated Eritrea. What is he trying to sell and to whome ? Ask your self if you are with the muted as he said to the majority. Why is he putting 3 islamic groups as a political groups and neglect others even he know they exist. So many questions , but yes he has done a very nice work . Lets wait if he can put the islamists in one group and lets wait what he will do with the armed groups of the hidri .
    I mean where are the paltalk people ?
    i find his work fascinatingly twisted but sweet. We have so much to claim from each other due to our way of work but lets give him A plus now and if he did not do more to add or eliminate some from the 15 , we should give him C .

    Dear SGJ you may feel 15 is as it stands but there are people who are working to make just may be two. You can not sale a different brand product to the wise muted majority who are looking for one , the only one , which can stood for a secular Eritrea , i mean with out 3 islamists who dream a wild dream , with out 2 ethnic political groups who dream ugly dream , with out the PFDJ neber who killed so many innocent people. What is going on. The house is on fire ! Lets keep going , i can stop remembering you the 35 because you have already said 15 . How on earth is kunama , afar and the 3 islamists able to be on your group . Do you find them formidable or rally the muted once ? Remember time is running out for all of us and you know it. So please just make them smaller again.

    • Saleh Johar

      Dear Selam,
      I doubt if you understood the article. I do not manufacture organizations, or kill them. They do that to themselves. Besides, I do not have a magic wand to blend all organizations and give you tailor made organizations. I told you what I see and what I believe there is in the ground. Deal with it but do not give me instruction of how to mold and restructure them. How is that my job and not yours?

      I do not feel 15 as it stands, what stands is 15. You can refute it if you wish. And if there are people working to make them two, I do not know about those people. You tell me. But I can tell you I know there is a party that wants to make them only one after they surrender to it: the PFDJ. It seems you choose what you want to believe, you can keep there are 35 orgs, you may also wish so, but I damn sure you can prove that. I am sorry, if I had the ability to make them smaller, I would also make the Valineki Cliques disappear.

      If you feel Paltalk rooms are political organizations, I have no argument with you. Please, let’s debate with facts and with reason. You have an information. Take it, leave it, correct it, or refute it. You can’t blame someone who reports, for instance, I saw 15 people at the street corner. Are you going to ask him why he had 15, the two were drunk, why count them, one was an underage, should not be counted and we want only to people to have been persons on the corner, not 15 as you reported. Travel in time and make them 2. See how absurd the argument becomes?

      • selam

        I do not mean to make your take negative but i normally hold your report not as normal report. I hold your notes and work to the highest standards and procedures . Are not ambassador andebrhan talking on paltalk , is not he talking , why do you think such people like him are able to have space on your note. Why , is not he a bad person on your mirror. I think i am way way low or may be very very low on my understanding but i do not miss my killers . You should understand people like him talking in the west are just a distractors and looking for things they wish they have done when they were on the chair. I feel obliged to see people from PFDJ neber get weed out from justuce seekers. I do not think libertarians in america have few years but they never ever elect 2 senator to the american congress. I do not think you count a group because it survived long time , i do think you see them on what they are and what they can do for the bebetterment of the Eritrean people.
        I do not believe a political group is able to be called a group due to her grip to stay with 100 people with the same talking points and principle.

        Political analyst do not report , what he does is analys and put a mark . I do not think you are giving information on this article and you are not reporting either . Make sure what ever you put will be taken seriously and have great effect on other people . No one care what selam says , but every body cares what you say , you know that long time ago sir.By the way how many people do left a voice mail and shout on you . If they did not shout until now , well wait.

        • Saleh Johar

          Thank you Selam,

          You forgot one thing. I never heard or read anything from the gentleman you named, or his colleagues, that state they have a political party. Have you? If yes, I beg you to share it here. If not, hold your piece.

          But since you asked, there are a few “civic-associations” that compare with the gentleman’s group. I din’t go there yet, I promised subsequent exposes. Patience Selam. You are ahead of me, listen, I walk slowly, you have to slow down so that I can catch up with you 🙂

        • Mahmud Saleh

          Dear selam

          I am sorry to tell you that I am really disappointed to read this from you. You wrote: “You should understand people like him talking in the west are just a distractors and looking for things they wish they have done when they were on the chair. I feel obliged to see people from PFDJ neber get weed out from justuce seekers.” You are referring to ambassador Andebrhan. I am not here to defend him, he could do that better. I am here dear selam to register my objection on matter of principle.
          First, the right to fight injustice is not franchised to some selected groups or elements of our society; as a citizen, he has every right to fight for justice.
          Second: On personal level, the man has poured out his regrets in the last part of his book, and in various seminars. He did his share in bringing the country you are so sensitive in defending. The organizations listed in this article contain people who have blood in their hands. We can forgive but we will never forget. Andebrhan and his colleagues may have failed in establishing democratic Eritrea, but the fact that they are citizens should at least be respected. The people languishing in Eila Ero are his peers. If you have time watch this link, and he answers some of the questions that made you angry at them.
          I am equally angry at them, selam, because a journey that so many toiled for was entrusted to them. As a long time CC member, he should be criticized, but not to the degree you don’t want him in the justice seekers camp. Look, just see it from the abuses you face in this forum. As long as we entertain that some are genuine while others infiltrators, I don’t think we will make progress. People need to be criticized, directed, oriented on individual basis.

          • selam

            Dearest M.Saleh
            I was wondering if anyone has the courage to see what did these CC did or ask to the mad man when they where told what is going to happen to EPLF . The ambassador can say sorry for his mistakes and rightly so we can forgive but how are we going to trust them with our life again. Lets stop their previous bravery for now , that history is our history and their bravery , they give me independent Eritrea and I can not ask more. I want to focus what are we going to say to the people who gave their son , daughter for two sides of the game , sorry we failed , no. Look at the patterns of all PFDJ neber leaders , they always say we failed and sorry but give us the chair again I find such patterns in the ELFand PFDJ leaders who are in the opposition camp now. EPLF are gone for good , they have don3 their job and most of them are in villages trying to survive day in day out for a bread of food. I have seen a man who was with Tecle manjus in 1974 and now he is a gate keeper in keren just beside police office. He has one son who is now 21 and trying his best to support his old and sick father . He told me EPLF is not responsible for the mess which is now killing the future of Eritrea. I hold andebrhan and others responsible for the lost hope of our people. They can talk but when they talk they should talk only to make the young generation strong not to clear his name, komishti adey hankiluni aynet.

            I am not saying they should not have things to contribute but they should get out from the hard ball belt boys. Look at the kunama leader now , a criminal who is extremely obsessed with more blood, look at the EPDP, who are most of them crooks and liers. Look at the tigray based people , why will I and you give chance for them to dance the dance we know is just not going to impress the Eritrean people. But I admit I should not shut my mind to look at them, they have the right and duty to do what is good for Eritrea as every body but their tone is expensive too expensive for us.

            if you truly believe that they have a role to play at highest level, well who is me to say no, but expect people like me to rise our concerns.

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Dear Selam,
            I understand you. Remember, power is not given, it is snatched. In your case, the young people should stand up and demand it. So, try to work with like minded young people. Of course, we should not fall in to an ageist stereotyping. Not all ex-ELF, EPLF, ghedli era, or old people act the same way (not to lecture you but for the sake of clarifying myself). We benefit from working as a society. A normal society will have active generational linkups throughout the developmental stages.
            The other point of course would be the issue of rights. Only law should exclude a citizen from exercising his/her right. Thank you for understanding that.

          • tes

            Dear MS,

            your friend, the lady from Asmara is always like that. She is against everything that threatens her house, PFDJ. And she is always like that.

            Back to your point:

            I second to you when you call for rational thinking. Anyone who denounces PFDJ is welcome and can not be considered as a “WEED” any more. But, if there is crime done and people brought a case, only rule of law can protect him. This implies, every member of PFDJ is not guilty until S/he is proven to be.

            Back to Ambassader, all Eritreans could have welcomed him had he and his comrades joined existing oppositiion camp. Instead, first, they claimed that they are more for facilitating dialogue among Eritreans and still I believe they are. But in one of their seminar (in Sweden, by Dr. Asefaw), they claimed themselves as political force. This and many discourses they have and their radio programs are easy lessons to learn who they are.

            What I commend them is that they are more open to discuss and take partnership with any opposing force. Yet, they need to combine their forces with existing opposition parties, like for example, EPDP. By doing this, the resources they have can be utilized effectivley for a common purpose.


          • Mahmud Saleh

            Dear tes
            Apart from your comment on selam, I agree with you. Like you said, if they merge with existing organizations that reflect their program, it will help. Again, their presence is on radio, pal talk…and seminars which are not inviting venues for me. So, I may be missing a lot.
            On selam, dear tes, listen to my good friend Fanti Ghana.

  • saay7

    Selamat SGJ:

    I think you should program your voicemail so that it forwards all the “what about us?” messages from those who were left out in your Opposition Reloaded/Streamined list to Haile TG. Where, for example, is Smerr and its military arm Hidri? I mean these guys even attracted the artist Freselam?

    How about the organization which is (was?) led by Isaias T who moved from Israel to places unknown in Africa and then was rescued from places unknown?

    Now, to your least favorite part: the phrase “moral majority”. I think you hate it because it was first used by Nixon during Vietnam War and he was saying those who don’t protest the war in Vietnam quietly support the government. Thus, in the Eritrean context, this must mean that those who are not openly in the opposition and the PFDJ are quietly supportive of the government. Again, Haile TG is to blame for this because he was the first one to use it in the Eritrean context. To me (and I think to those who agree with my viewpoint), it means those who have rejected PFDJ but haven’t embraced the opposition. And a lot of the reasons we give for “and why is that” is speculative, which is why (close your eyes and ears Emma) a survey is needed.

    Part of the reason seems very obvious to me. If you are the political salesman of the year, ycan convince a person who considers himself or herself secular that there is a room for an Islamist party in multicultural multi faith Eritrea. Maybe. But there is no way you can convince him there is room for 3 Islamist parties.

    Finally, what is th criteria for considering an opposition party credible? Longevity? Clarity of vision? Membership? Ability to deliver results? You did not set a criteria for why the 15 listed are credible and the ones left out are not.

    Finally finally, what is the one leverage we Eritreans have with both the opposition? I believe it is criticism. So why is criticizing them considered something negative? What other leverage do we have: join them and work for change from within? What if we, just like you believe of the PFDJ, think they are not reformable? Where does that leave us?


    • Fanti Ghana

      Hello Saay, Haile TG

      I was just writing a reply to Haile TG when his post disappeared. I think this list is a very good start. If some day some of them merge and lower the numbers as SGJ referenced to about 5 then people may start to identify them by name and merit. As far as the ones you referred to as ‘unmentioned,’ let them come out and complain. It will be a good practice for them to face the public. Oops! I almost forgot. Your beloved Semayawi Party wants to offer you some form of federation with Ethiopia as an improvement over EPRDF’s current stand. If you have nothing better to do here: http://www.worldbulletin.net/news/159290/ethiopia-opposition-vows-better-eritrea-ties

      Haile TG,
      Although I like and I agree with 99% of what you said (assuming you bring it back unaltered), this sentence forced me to play the devil’s advocate:

      “They have never picked any of the listed organization by name; it is always ‘the opposition’.”

      I think the opposition parties collectively are a lot more guilty to allow this to happen in the first place either by their failure to engage the public, as you alluded to, and be noticed or by at least publically explaining what their differences are among them so that people can have something to hook into when they express their support
      or condemnation. How can people refer to them by name or merit when neither is hardly visible? 15 plus a few not mentioned here as Saay is pointing out are just too many names to remember let alone what they stand for.
      They better squeeze themselves down to a number people can remember soon or else!

      • haileTG

        Hello Fanti,

        I think my comment was pulled by disqus itself and I was hoping it comes back unaltered too:-)

        Your point is valid in essence, however we have an established problem in that area. The organized opposition do have physical contact locations but almost NEVER engage in public forums like this. I had a two year experience in asking, flat out and straight up call for them to address the issues even in this forum. That was more than 3 years ago now. The main issue was the border/sanction at the time. After that long of wait and desperate to make some headway, I remember even asking Haw Amanuel Hidrat as member of the ENDC at the time if he would answer the question (may be he doesn’t remember it but if it jogs his memory- I was making a proposal for the border where Eritrea accepts dialog and commits to demarcate and agreements that are reached via dialog would only be implemented subject to the completion of demarcation:). Brother Emma said he was here on his own behalf and can’t possibly be expected to answer in that manner. I accepted then that public forums are not their thing and what we need to do here primarily is to give the people’s condition and daily problems center stage and influence the topics and embolden the people to take heart-to-heart in the people’s issues and make proposals and develop solution oriented conversations.

        All the sudden, major catastrophes started to happen with the refugee crisis and now people find it impossible to see eye to eye to talk about them. Any point and quickly diverted to complaining about the organized opposition. Every legitimate grievance uttered is not developed but stifled because “the opposition is failing” camp is successfully holding discussions hostage. So much so, they are now emboldened to construe the examination of regime failure as something that shouldn’t take place unless we present them the tall white elephant that I mentioned. The idea of the talking forums is to send the right vibes about the peoples suffering and explore ways to address them by peoples initiative. But they are almost succeeding in stifling that in a exchange of PFDJ manufactured good news. This is what I am up to thwart and bring the people talking again. The heart/mind analysis is intended to embolden people to talk about what they care more and be inspired by small moves to do the heart’s work. The “opposition if failing” camp is quickly diverting any call to the heart by bringing up TPLF/opposition failed… and what have you. The monkey is fear and it dwells in the mind. I am asking them to please take their monkey away and let the people come and talk 🙂

        Hope this explains a bit.


        • Fanti Ghana

          Hello and Thanks Haile TG,

          You probably noticed I was all over the place regarding this and that about the opposition parties that declared “we couldn’t reach an agreement” the last few days. That happened when I was about to accuse all the opposition parties for not being visible and engaging enough. The final point I wanted to make when I started to want to know who, where, what are these oppositions were was to make everyone recall as a lesson about what happened during and after the Ethiopian Student Movement of the early 70s. From the common farmer to the university professor almost every Ethiopian wanted change and participated in that movement one way or another, and it was such a popular demand that Haile Selassie’s government didn’t even put up a fight to speak of before it was literally pushed away.

          You probably recall the horror that followed for the next 17 years all because there was no plan whatsoever who was supposed to lead the country after Haile Selassie. The Army, realizing the vacuum that just opened, took over the leadership. The Students and professionals who participated in that movement, mainly lack of experience, were not prepared for the speed of Haile Selassie’s Gov. collapse. In addition to that unpreparedness was the unknown nature of the Army’s personnel who started killing each other the moment they took over until finally, Mengistu and his brain’s child Derg took hold of power and of course, the rest is history.

          I strongly believe that most of these opposition parties inadvertently has taken the opposition movement as a whole a hostage by simply exiting and second by not doing visibly enough. Their very existence may just have blocked other courageous Eritreans from starting their own movement. at the minimum they wasted a few years. This is of course an outsider’s observation. What obstacles they had to deal with is only known to them, and it is hard to sympathize with those whom you know the least. So, if the suggested or hoped for merger does not take place and the merged parties do not start engaging the public with their platforms really soon get a few people you know together and pull the rug from under their feet. They should be the ones begging people to join them and organize and not the other way around.

          • haileTG

            Dear Fanti,

            Thanks. I was meant to ask you for more about that declaration. Is that what you deduced from the Norwegian organization’s paper or is there more to it? Please fill in my knowledge there:)

            Secondly, I agree with you of the need for such preparedness. I am also mindful that of those pitfalls as you illustrated well through Ethiopia’s experience. That is very imminent drawback of not having a well organized opposition force.

            Now, there are some salient problems influencing the way things are at the moment. Naturally, organizations reflect the landscape they operate in. Political, historical and current events of our people has created a situation where by these are what we have for an opposition organization. Imagine the tremendous intimidation, isolation, castigation, blackmail, misinformation, insecurity, war mongering and the rest the regime employs to control the populace. Imagine the risk one has to consider in freely expressing their thoughts and sharing their talents. We have a regime that literally infiltrates households and a gathering of more than 5 people even in the diaspora. Those who dedicated to stand up to that must have gone one extra step to face the challenges. At all risk to themselves and little by way of return. The smartest and creme dela creme have retreated over the past years and decades and those with little and willing to risk it have tried what they could. Yes, the best of things and outcomes is to be desired, but fairness dictates that we ask (as a people) what we did to encourage. Even now, it isn’t too late, I am with you there, but we need to have clear designation of targets when offering constructive criticism. What we have is now a situation where the divide between “opposition” and “organized opposition” so blurred sufficiently to the point going after people who oppose the regime proper. This has worked its way slowly to the point that speaking about the misery of the people is “bad news” and speaking about “even made up good news about the regime” is the proper way to oppose. We even had YAY here last time proposing that we pay 2% to the regime to reform as an opposition. This is a farce.

            Those who have credible issues against one or another organization should make responsible case against them. A blind suspicion, blanket accusation and appealing to old dogma of Ethiopia this or Ethiopia that isn’t the way to reform a political movement. And the young generation doesn’t buy that either, as the proof is in the pudding.

            We hope that the current laser focus on named and identified groups, would hopefully set a trend and the ordinary people’s spaces are respected for them to discuss the deaths and tragedies and make calls and brain storming without being held responsible to answer for someone’s case against one or all organized group/s.

            In the end, it is when the right questions are emboldened that attempts are made to address them practically. Demand need to proceed supply. It the demand that is silenced by dawning into complaints about the suppliers. Let’s embolden the customer to articulate its demand (current miseries) and there will be movement to supply to that. By disrupting the customer from articulating its demand (by branding them one thing or another), you lower the chances of fitting supply emerging and we end up in cyclic problem of poor demand resulting in poor supply. Eritreans who speak of the current misery are not bad news wishers, it is their right to bring it up to discussion and common understanding. It is this part that needs to be handled with care, so that it can create the right conversations going. The criticism of organizations is valid but need to be specific, targeted and responsible. Not in a manner that comes across with with a chip on the shoulder.


          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello Haile TG,
            Yes the one and only source of my recent frustration:

            “Eritrean opposition parties and civic organizations
            By Abdulkader Saleh Mohammad
            and Kjetil Tronvoll
            January 2015”

            The following is a direct quote from that article. What made their analysis look believable, at least to me, is most of what they described in their article is what I have been hearing from many individuals including as early as 1999 as a predication such as “if so and so are in that organization forget it..” kind of pre-recognition of none cooperative leaders.

            The Eritrean political opposition is characterised by divisions along ethnic, regional and religious fault lines. It is adversely affected by individual competition for power, and lack of transparency and a democratic organizational culture, as well as by a lack of consensus on a comprehensive political roadmap for change. There have been numerous attempts to bring the various opposition parties under one umbrella, starting with the AENF and moving to the ENA and EDA, and the current ENCDC. However, these organizations have suffered from continuous internal squabbles and splits. Moreover, the unstable cooperation of the EDP as an important component of the opposition camp has further weakened them.
            To date the Eritrean political opposition has failed to hammer out its differences and establish an all-embracing and consolidated alternative to the regime in Asmara. It seems unlikely that the various opposition parties will play any significant role in instigating a transition in the country from the outside. However, with clandestine work inside the country, the civic movements may manage in due course to mobilise sufficient popular force demanding greater accountability, which – together with other factors –may influence government actors to start a reform process.

            You probably read this article already but I had to include it so that others may relate to what we are talking about. The blanket application to every thing and everyone that is not of PFDJ as simply “the opposition” somewhat denies the people a mechanism with which they can measure progress and/or digress of their movement. At the same time, it makes it hard for those of you who are working day and night to be able to say “come and see” to those who may be curious but afraid to commit. I understand this is back seat driver-ish, but if somehow if all of you who are doing your best would force a few of these parties to unite, to be, and to appear viable enough to the people everything else would fall in place on its own.

            “Let’s embolden the customer to articulate its demand.”

    • Saleh Johar

      Dear Saay,

      One of the criteria I used is resilience and stability. If someone splits or forma an organization before I finish posting my article, don’t blame me 🙂

      I undestand that some “organizations” are better known by their slogans than their name.

      I will give you the man from Isarael. He joined the Salvation and when it split he left with the section that is led by Ogbazghi Debus and there was further fallout–I don’t want to go there.If something is too fast to follow, I wait until it settles down.

      There was another organization that held its congress in Weqro, Tigray, under the leadership of a certain Wedi Bashay (in fact there are two wedi Bashay’s, brothers) for the movement of one of them look into the Salvation wong led by Ogbazghi Debuss.

      Also, I am sure you are looking into names like Hanjema. That unit and four others are now under DMC led by Yohannes Asmelash…see! I save you five names to memorize 🙂

      Now you tell me if #15 can be tied up with Smerr (the slogan) and its relations to the Eritreans in Israel. Also, if you remember there was one such much promoted organization led by a man named Hagerei Negash and others. For all intents and purposes that entity was so scandalous I don’t think it exists anymore–details in subsequent exposes.

      I short, the movements to and from one place to another is so many (and so insignificant) that we need to apply some common sense. Let an organization prove it can survive, or at least show some membership base before we believe it is an organization. That is how I measured them.

      I do not consider criticizing the opposition a betrayal and I admit I react in two matters: 1) when I see a trend that some people do not crtiticize but insult and disrespect. 2) It gets worse when I see a trend of non-stop criticism against the opposition (which they can’t describe) but not a single criticism of the Valineki clique which is responsible for Eritrea’s predicament. and 3) when they carpet bomb anything they consider opposition (which is anyone opposing the Valineki Cliques) –and I see myself in that section that is being victimized. Apart from that, indecency in criticizing annoys me and that is when I became human.

      • saay7

        Hi SGJ:

        Resilience and stability? These organizations are stable only in comparison to uranium isotopes 🙂 And somebody or something is credited with resilience when there is a fierce force trying to kill it and it survives. In my view if the 15 you have listed had honorably discharged themselves, space abhors vacuum and newer and more energetic forces would have emerged as leaders without 500 year old watches.

        To be continued…


        • Saleh Johar


          For this to go smoothly, let’s keep it simple. If an entity stays for a long period if time it is resilient compared to one that appears last week and. A week later it is gone. Dont make it sound am endorsing but just stating facts. #15 is new, the Saho group was new, endg was new… The guy who just had a congress joined the opposition about two years ago and he has been with salvation split with one part and he is going it alone. Besides, we do not have a throne that so one should leave for another to occupy. Everyone could have and we are having their own chairs. Why do one has to kill another to exist? The playing field is open and provided everyone does what he wants to do without trying to lord over others it shouldn’t be a problem. You might not like uranium but I suppose you wouldn’t like Mercury either. What is thee truffle valve that anyone is shutting? There is none. If I don’t like what is there I do my thing my iwn way. Only I should be careful not to step on the ties of others. My guess is, those that many wish to kill have survived and as long as the issues that put them on the opposite fence are not solved, I am afraid they will survive.

          • saay7

            Hi SGJ:

            I used to have a friend who, when asked, ‘how is your day?’ would say, “I didn’t see myself in the obituaries today, so I am great.” This appears to be the standard the our own Opposition version of G-15 are using to define success. Aren’t there other metrics to evaluate a political organization other than its “resilience”? An opposition org that is INSIDE ERITREA and, in the face of massive threats to its existence, stays alive is “resilient.” But to apply it to exiled opposition? Yes, it is endorsing:) As Rihanna very modestly describes herself, “brilliant, resilient, fan mail from 27 million.”

            That’s the first test: expansion of the base. in all the time of resilience, what did they use their time to do, besides staying alive? Let’s take them one at a time by asking: how long have you been around? How have you used your time? What’s your rationale for existence? I will go first with one example:)

            1. Eritrean Liberation Front (ELF): In its current configuration, it has been around since 1981. That is 34 years. In those 34 years, it had two leaders (I know you don’t like comparisons with Dukan Isaias but that is exactly 1 more than PFDJ): Abdella Idris and Hussen Khelifa. In those 34 years, it hasn’t expanded its base: its membership is almost entirely (if not entirely) Gash-Barka.

            Then you say that the ELF-EPLF feud is so old, it is boring, we shouldn’t discuss it. I only WISH we were stuck in ELF-EPLF feud. A lot of it is ELF-ELF feud! I mean what is the rationale for ELF-RC (now EPDP), ELF, and National Salvation 1 (Dr. Habte) and Sagem to exist as separate entities? It is no other reason, none, other than old ELF-ELF feud. That’s 5 of the 15. Add the “institution of 1” of Herui T Bairou, that is 6 of the 16.

            There is also the Islamists vs Islamist feud (again, I REALLY wish it was ELF-EPLF feud because that’s two national organizations with very divergent platforms.) The Islamist vs Islamist feud gave us 3 organizations. Now we are up to 9. Then we have two organizations Red Sea Afar (RSADO) and Democratic Movement for the Liberation of Eritrean Kunama (DMLEK) that had created an alliance called DFEN which is supposed to be an umbrella for ethnic rights up-to-secession movements–but I guess there were no takers from the other ethnic groups. And we must, by all means, pretend that these were organic groups that emerged from a movement within Denkalia and Gash because we don’t want to hurt people’s feelings. That has to be one of the funniest things you said Abu Salah: my generation doesn’t know the expression “you hurt my feelings.” They are a bundle of feelings! How else does one explain the flame wars they have on the Internet (remember the ELF-RC feud?)

            When it is not ELF-ELF feud, it is EPLF-EPLF feud of personalities. Remember the EPDP-EPM feud? What were their differences on programs, vision, etc? None.

            Where was I? Oh, yes: the answer to the question: why do you exist as an independent organization? What is the answer to that by the Eritrean Nahda Party? They will say because the other organizations do not give priority to our values. So why are you a party: why aren’t you a civil society advocating your issue? No answer.

            Abu Salah, they are being criticized to improve. To reform. They are being criticized because the minute they chose to put “Eritrean” in their name, they automatically claimed to be my, your and every Eritrean’s spokesperson. And the measure is not that they were able to “withstand” the criticism because they are so resilient, but that they either accept and act on the criticism or convincingly argue that the criticism is not valid.


          • Saleh Johar

            Hi Saay,

            Let’s re-establish the engagement rule first. They say, I have no way of knowing, that in boxing, the pursuit of knockout win is not appreciated. It denied the spectators the chance to enjoy the show. I our case, let’s not deny ourselves the opportunity to teach, correct, refute a claim or be taught–I got a chunk of that from you 🙂
            I don’t understand why the first paragraph about the obituaries is included in a response to me. But let’s move on.

            It seems you will not let go of “resilience”; please just quote it in context, and in full. Don’t make it sound what it was not. I explained, relative to those who appear and disappear in weeks, there are organizations who stayed the course and they are relatively resilient. I have no better word to express that, blame it on my limited vocabulary. However, it is not the center of my argument contrary to how it appears in your comment. Unfortunately, I am not in the Rihaana league so I don’t understand what the message is.

            “… what did they use their time to do, besides staying alive?”

            Go ahead and ask them, I do not know more than you do…but don’t present me as if I am their spokesperson.

            On the configuration of the groups:

            I don’t know if you are educating me on that or what? At any rate, I agree, you are right that is the case, but you know I know that.

            Rational: “I mean what is the rationale for ELF-RC (now EPDP), ELF, and National Salvation 1 (Dr. Habte) and Sagem to exist as separate entities?”

            Go ahead and simplify it as an organizational cause, I hold to the view they are an expression of other social issues. But then you can ask them though I am sure it is okay to have different views on that. No knockout is needed.

            You went ahead of me and described the organizations, if you remember I had promised to address that in subsequent editions. It would have been nice if you presented these views separately and not as a response to me as if I don’t know it or as if I claimed otherwise. I think this was an attempt of a knockout. Warning: I expect someone will interject, this is his specialty 🙂

            Tracing the ELF DNA:

            Eritrean nativists have a way of determining citizenship based on generation-count, how many years do we count to issue an ELF parentage to an organization? Don’t we all know ELF is the Adam and Eve of Eritrean politics, including Isaias Afwerki? Answer that yourself and that is my final explanation of my views on the matter.


            Why is this part a response to me? Knockout?

            Dfen, fenkel, bonqs, FaHtr, Etsed:

            Spices, unrelated to the article or to my position that you know well.

            Hurt my feeling

            Context is important. Furthermore, some counter-hurt (copyright) is a reaction to provocations. Ridiculing others for no reason does not help debates and doesn’t foster understanding. But if provoked enough, one has to get a license to respond.
            I do remember the ELF-RC feud, it is partisan feud. It is just like your own feud with the opposition 🙂

            For example, what is the answer to that by the Eritrean Nahda Party? And how is Nahda a party but EMDJ-Smerr is not?

            My opinions on these are similar to yours, I do not understand why you present them as if I have different position? Knockout? Okay, in the list there is a #15. That is Smerr, and the Smerr radio and television podcasts is that! Another part of the youth franchise just had a congress in Weqro–I didn’t see the communiqué and I don’t have enough information about it. I decided to wait for a week or two before I say anything about it. Maybe it splits or dissolves, or anything!

            Where was I?

            That is where you were, for a minute you forgot where you were.

            Truth in advertising:

            Yeah, a little truth in advertising is needed by all. I agree.

            Finally, abu Salah, they are being criticized to improve. To reform.

            Really! Thank you for the information, it is condescending. All I said was for criticisms to be valid, they have to be backed with proof and knowledge and a little research into the matter–even with that there is a chance for mistakes given the fluidity of the organizations. I do not believe you condone ignorant, uninformed, unsubstantiated remarks, with spite painted all over it. In my book, that is reserved for the “Valineki Clique.” See! I am sticking to my promise and will not mention the taboo word.

            Now for my finally,

            Most of the things you said are true and I agree with you. What I don’t, I can live with it. But what I do not understand is why is all of that presented as a response (in fact in a rebuttal language) to my article. That will cost you a grande-2shot-50degrees-coffee-with-30degree-cream-Fraposomething. Allah Yesamhek.

          • saay7

            Ahlan Abu Salah:

            Come on, of course if the intent is for me to persuade you or you to persuade me, there is no need for Awate Forum: we would meet for tall, non-fat latte (soy milk or skimmed milk) and hash it out. The idea is for me to articulate the views of those who are very critical of the Eritrean opposition (or organized opposition, as we have learned to qualify it, despite the fact that one of our criticisms is that they are not organized: another paradox for us) and for you to articulate the views of those who think that those who criticize the opposition are very unfair. That’s it.

            1. Resilience. You, among others, have used the “lead, follow or get out of the way” admonition. Here we have groups who will neither lead, nor follow, nor get out of the way but their mere gam-man is praised as resilience. I prefer those who disappeared: at least got out of the way and I appreciate them for not being dead weight.

            2. Configuration of groups: you are not the intended audience; it is those who know something is wrong but can’t articulate what is wrong with the opposition. And I am verbalizing their thoughts: yes, you are right to say there is something wrong with them, and this is what’s wrong with them, and this is why they are not likely to reform.

            3. Two National Salvations: Again, the question is why are they both listed. Remember, you had some criteria for including and excluding organizations from the list. The two organizations with one name is something we went through: Two ELF-RCs, two EPDPs and now two Salvations. That was carried to the new organizations: two EYSCs. Doesn’t that recognition reward proliferation?

            4. Criticism: I honestly don’t understand your point here. An Eritrean citizen has an unqualified right to criticize those who have failed at their sole task–judging from their ambitious declarations and goals. There are no pre-conditions s/he has to meet to criticize the opposition. The criticism does not have to be constructive, it doesn’t have to have pre-requisites; it just has to have merit. If it has no merit, it should be defeated on its demerits. The “what have you done?” rebuttal that such a critic is presented always comes across as quid-pro-quo: that the right to criticize (free expression) is earned only the person can vouchsafe for his/her character and contributions. Isn’t that how we created the PFDJ monster: they guilted us for not doing enough, they conditioned us to believe that only those who work for Eritrea’s independence can criticize those who are working for Eritrean independence. All that has changed, apparently, is that the word “independence” has been replaced by “justice.”


    • Abi

      Hi Saay
      Why go to Starbucks ? Why? Why?why? Are you looking for arabica coffee? Abi coffee is in the house!!! Home grown, sustainable, original/ organic, ….
      How about if you call them ” Reverse Opposition ”
      Studies done in local cafes show not everyone likes arabica coffee. Also , independent studies show there is a reversal trend in the consumption of arabica coffee irrespective of the bargain price to keep the consumers. Customers prefer to travel miles and pay higher price for their favorite brand.
      Reverse opposition to arabica coffee is found to be worrisome to the importers. It’s price is dropping at the local commodity exchange cafes. It’s popularity has been nose diving for a while

      Bebuna chewata ayqoTum geta.
      Enjoy your coffee responsibly.

      • Saleh Johar

        Hi Abi,
        You sound as if you are making your case in one of the courts of an Abyssinian medieval king who would order you killing if he doesn’t like what you say. The reverse opposition are just like the high school kids who put on cartoon character outfits and stand waving ads. You know the silly ones you see on many American streets. You just wave that placard but your potential customers will choose the coffe they like be it Nekemte or Arabica. You keep selling your third grade unwashed beans and do not make it sound as if we do not have a choice between your type and other beans. What if we boycott coffee all together Abi? Please turn your qne volume a little down. Oh Abi, you must think we are dummies? Thanks to the double forked tongue, we have learned enough mischief. What is the price of unwashed Nekempre beans by the way? Take it easy Abi. Slow down please.

        • Eyob Medhane

          Gash Saleh,

          I don’t know what the argument is about coffee, but I just noticed this sentence in your post and I had to chime in…

          “….You sound as if you are making your case in one of the courts of an Abyssinian medieval king who would order you killing if he doesn’t like what you say….”

          See, those kings are not there anymore and no one has to make any case in front of them. However, we see more horrendous, more barbaric, way more medevil, way more animalistic version of them in 21st century in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, Kuwait…..Where they behead a women in public and where chop people’s hands for stealing a peanut….Where they show their ‘manhood’ on poor immigrants and defenseless women, but when they are faced real men in Yemen runaway hiding their tail between their legs unable even to operate the toys that they bought….So, no matter medevil Abyssinian kings were, they were men, who managed to defeat their enemies…

          • Saleh Johar

            Aha Eyob,
            The one issue elevator. I will not be coerced to this. YeftaHAllah. Cone with some clever insulting qne instead. Learn from Abi 🙂

        • Abi

          Ato Saleh
          Sorry for the delayed reply. I didn’t see your angry response. You were all over the place , from medieval times to current.
          I can go back further and bring some similarities. Why stop at medieval times? Let’s go back a little further.
          –Cane killed Abel
          –Joseph was sold by his brothers
          -Jesus was sold for 30.00( whatever currency ) by his own student . You can compare these events from the bible with the current situation. “Biblical proportion “is understatement to compare the exodus.
          I prefer my kings at medieval times anytime.

          The reverse opposition is the term I coined to show a group of people who don’t want to do anything about eritrea and miss ethiopia and want to go back. You can deny it but they are growing in number. You call them reserve, I call them reverse opposition.

          My “third grade unwashed bean ”
          is funny. It is proving to be better than the first grade arabica .

          You can’t boycott coffee at all. Just recently, I helped an eritrean family fill barrels with used cloth to be shipped to asmara. Inside, we put , among other things, atleast 10 kg of washed coffee to be distributed among family. I learnt that day if you don’t pay the 2% you can’t send even used clothes.

          Do I think you are dummies? No! I know IA is smart. He outsmarted everyone.
          I am definitely sure the elites are hopelessly dummies. The average eritrean is much smarter.

      • saay7

        Hey Abi:

        It was an inside joke: SGJ was at Starbucks in a heated discussion when he spontaneously came up with “reserve opposition” as a substitute for “silent majority” who were, previously his (and Haile TG’s) favorite ball to kick around. That’s it.

        The only joke I have about coffee is how an Ethiopian from Harer went to Starbucks to order coffee and when the barista asked him what kind, he looked at the menu and said “Harer coffee.” She didn’t understand him and kept asking him to repeat it and then CORRECTED him by telling him the CORRECT pronunciation of his home: “Oh, you mean Harrar coffee!” I think the guy is still shaking his head and muttering woche gud to this day.

        Anyway, coffee is old news for the country south of us* (I am still not allowed to mention the country because then Sem would win a bet*.) It generates more hard currency from its airlines than its coffee. So drop your coffee shop and open a travel agency.


        * Our timing sucks: I am sure iSem would have written scathing remarks about Eritrean independence day and I would have something to say about Ethiopian elections, but I am fasting. Eyobai, don’t be one of those “yemegenzeb chigir yalebachew.”:) Inside joke.

        • haileTG

          hey saay,

          I know kicking isn’t a nice thing to happen to anyone. But, isn’t a ball made for a kicking? What else can you do with it?? 🙂


          • saay7

            Hey Haile TG:

            The ball has moved, you have seen it move, but u keep looking for it at the wrong Das. I think they call that the “A-not-B error” in theory of cognitive development 🙂


          • haileTG


            I suppose that I would have to assume some one had kicked it to this “new” position? Unless it is now a talking and walking ball! May be it is better explained using the theory of cognitive consistency 🙂

        • Abi

          Hi Saay
          Whose independence day? What elections?
          A guy was supposed to take medication with water. The problem is he doesn’t like water at all. So he took the medicine with Tela. The doctor was not happy and asked why with Tela?
          The guy said ” kalemewaT yishalal”

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear Abi,

            ኣንተ ጎንደሬ! እውነቱን ነው ::ኣበጀ :: እንዴ ጠላ ኣይጠላም : እንዲያውም የጎንደሩ ጠላ ከበህርዳሩ ይመረጣል ይባላል :: ለምን እንድሆነ ታውቃለህ ? ኣባ ገብርሃና ይጠይቁ ::

  • Ted

    Dear SJ, Mr Rolex ? is it wrong to say i am glad he is dead. It was like watching a horrific scene over and over since independence without any resolution where groups shamelessly insult each other to score points and gain the upper ground but in reality they made Eritreans walk away from their bickering and politics altogether.MR. Rolex has left a scar in Eritreans psyche and reversing the damage is not going to be easy task. .
    Lately the opposition groups become too democratic for their own good. Every one is accepted as organization under one condition ” don’t criticize me, i won’t criticize you” of course there are a few back door gossips and comments other than that sad but true, they are happy the way they are. Now their selfish actions came back to bit them where Eritreans rendered them as ineffective or useless to bring change divided in such large numbers and agendas. For me 15 organizations are too many opposition groups for one problem we have, injustice happening to all Eritreans. My hope is they trim the fat sooner than later to be one single fighting machine for one cause leaving aside their specific grievances.
    Acceptable divisions every one understands at this juncture is on age(youth for change) gender (women for change) plus the umbrella organization (Eritreans for change).
    I don’t believe MR Rolex is dead, we only know for sure when we reach the mountain top.

  • tes

    Dear Saleh Johar,

    This is an excellent conjugal report. 15 listed with possible clustering into not more than 5 political organizations.

    A step to clustering project.

    Some may wonder what clustering is and how it can be applied in politics. So far, clustering has got its place in marketing, life sciences, library works, information sector, etc. But not in politics. http://home.deib.polimi.it/matteucc/Clustering/tutorial_html/

    With this subject, but it is widely used in today’s Marketing strategy formulations. According to its concept, those who behave in a similar way or are expected to behave similarly are brought together under a common strategy. Doing this minimizes divergence and wise resource utilisation.

    If similar approach can be introduced, I am quite confident to have not more than 3 strong opposition organizations. And these can be

    1. Those who advance historical and social grievances (for example: ELF, EPM, ENP, DMLEK, RSDADO, EIC, ISLAH and EFDM)
    2. Those who advance economic and political grievances (EPDP, Sagem, ENSF(both),
    3. Those who advance economic and political policy reformations (EIPJD, DMC and EYSNS and EPDP(?)).

    Civic organizations can be affiliated so that they can also be clustered based on their objectives and missions.

    Other catalysts like like MEDREK, EFND, ELL, womn’s associations etc can be used as facilitatros and controlling and check mechanisms for the existing political organizations. Having such counter-check mechanism will help in the democratization process and creating accountability and transparency.

    More to follow.


    ++ What I did is of thorough groupings.

  • Belay
  • L.T

    I become incredibly often challenged when I’m out if I ‘m PFDJ or Weyane or I from Ertra or Tigria.It is quite tiring to repeatedly think I looking for somebody to ask me where I come from and when I explained that I came from “Geza Gerhe-lassei or that I am from Busha then they get confused for a while and I leave them to think enough until they get tired.This is my moment tricks.
    ” Eblekum”one day a woman has dumped me when she asked me if I am fm Asmera(she had answered from me that I come from Adi Abeaito)(she left Asmera in 80s and never returned )sorry for her she did not know that Asmera become so big.It will not happen again.
    Back to Saleh
    Sometimes by us,we forget that ELf has left us long ago so decide now that it’s over with ELF and EPLF but Isaaias is there.Slept well.

  • Saleh Johar

    Dear All,
    I have an appeal to make. The issues is serious and I beg you to refrain from commenting if you have nothing to add or if you do not know the subject. Please refrain from disrupting, I am praying for a constructive debate. Please, a million times please, those who are fond of posting one-liner snide and those who have the urge to vent negative energy, kindly don’t. I am tagging, all the serious debaters who respect others. But how do you tag? Okay, all of you are tagged.