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UN Blue Helmets Shouted “Boo” In South Sudan

While the world community, as well as the people of the region were celebrating the birth of a new country in the South of Sudan, others were skeptical. Most Arabs, however, screamed, ‘conspiracy to divide the Arab world’! They seem to have forgotten that the Arab-African Sudan lost its Southern half under president Numeiri, who in the eighties of the last century insisted on ruling the over eleven million people of South Sudan, mainly Animists and Christians, by imposing on them Islamic Sharia Law.

Decades before South Sudan became independent in 2011, for twenty-two years another country in the region, Eritrea, held the title of the “Newest Country of the world”. However, the new country of Eritrea that became independent in 1991, failed to add substance to the meaning of freedom as its people embarked on a second phase of a liberation struggle. This time not to liberate territories, but to free Eritreans from bondage; unfortunately, their liberators turned into oppressors and more than squandered the people’s goodwill, and they are now detested by the people. South Sudan became the “Newest Country of the World”, a meaningless title that appeals only to the sound-clip media; there is nothing significant to be gained from catchy titles, except in advertising. Sadly, both new countries turned to be title holders of the ‘The latest countries to be ushered into localized oppression.’

It was on the eve of achieving statehood that South Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) experienced fracturing.  In addition to the disagreement that South Sudan had with Sudan over the border town of Abyei, the dissident Lt. George Athor Deng, a veteran of SPLM who lost in state elections, accused SPLM officials of conducting election fraud and splintered, forming a rebel group. Military clashes ensued and the UN Somalia Eritrea Monitoring Group reported that the Eritrean government was supporting the South Sudanese rebels of George Athor. By then, the Eritrean regime has expanded its commercial and investment interest in South Sudan.

Subsequently, the UNHCR further accused Athor’s group for the “massacre” of nearly 200 civilians, mostly women and children, in the Jonglei region bordering Southwest Ethiopia. Soon, the SPLM experienced more splintering and finally, the disparate groups coalesced into the Southern Sudan Democratic Movement.

The Suicide of a Nation

If in 2011 the skeptics of the world were worried the nascent State of South Sudan will destroy itself, it did, and proved their skepticism was warranted. Currently, the country is on the verge of witnessing genocide and total collapse as its leaders continue to wreak havoc in the lives of the fatigued South Sudanese people.

For the most part, the South Sudanese are cattle herders who would like to be left alone to tend to their animals. Of course, they aspire for development, education, health care and rule of law, even at the expense of their traditional arrangement that has brought them this far. But what they got instead was a digression from the level of their ancient traditional laws that governed their lives. They had seen tribal conflicts, but they were limited, not remotely as devastating as the one brought to them by the “freedom fighters” and leaders who could not provide an environment conducive to normal life. On the contrary, they normalized bloodletting, rape, torching of villages, and killing of people and their cattle.  If there is no peace or rule of law, at least in its basic sense, naturally the people resort to bloodletting and devastating civil war, and the South Sudanese are doing a remarkable job at destroying themselves and their country.

South Sudan is being ruled by,  “an arrogant government, a trigger-happy army and Warrior culture.” That was a few years old prediction, though it was all too obvious not to discern the destructive developments that followed the declaration of independence. The violence didn’t come from the sky, it was instigated by the leaders whose thirst for power could not be satiated; Silva Ker’s Dinka and Rick Machar’s Nuer tribes are at each other’s throat and in the process, razing the country to the ground. Tens of thousands of people are displaced, many living in refugee camps, locally as well as in neighboring countries, including Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, and the Congo.

In a statement she published in December 13, 2016, Ms. Yassmin Sooka, Chair of the UN Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan, said that, “A UN survey found 70% of women in the camps had been raped since the conflict erupted – the vast majority of them by police or soldiers – and a staggering 78% had been forced to watch someone else being sexually violated.” And these are supposed to be in civilian camps set in Juba, the capital of South Sudan!

Understandably, the world community is fatigued and ceased to pay enough attention, but it is time to take drastic measures (even use force) to end the suffering of the people who face possible genocide by one or another armed group. The economic hardship has not been helping the situation since South Sudan, as the Ms. Sooka indicated, “has the world’s highest inflation rate – 837% as of October [2016]”. Worse, in such situations, opponents find another reason to weaken their opponents by torching their villages and crops, benefit themselves by looting harvests and cattle herds—unfortunately, only the common citizens suffer as sights of corpses of people either killed by government forces or by the rebels, litter some roads. And that kind of savagery is a recipe for a serious famine and genocide.

Ironically, it is happening in a country that literally sits on sealed oil wells. Oil production has stopped due to blind rivalry between the corrupt and greedy South Sudanese leaders, mainly by Silva Ker’s SPLA, and Rick Machar’s SPLA/IO, who want to clear their path to become life-long dictators.

There Must Be a Reason to Fight!

The current conflict in South Sudan is the second phase of the one that started in 2013, just two years after its independence, when president Silva Ker accused his deputy, Rick Machar, of plotting a coup against him. Immediately the Dinka forces disarmed Machar’s Nuer ethnic soldiers and a conflict erupted. It continued until a lengthy negotiation, arm twisting, and political pressure was exerted on the warring factions by many countries, including Ethiopia and Kenya. The peace brokers managed to have the two antagonists, sign a ceasefire agreement, without explaining how that would be different from the previous six they signed and ignored. The IGAD supervised agreement of August 2015 ushered a shaky peace that lasted only a few months, until Silva Ker decided on “redrawing of state boundaries to create 28 states.” Rick Machar rejected it, and that triggered the current phase of violence that started in July, and has since brought the country to the brink of ethnic cleansing and genocide.

Now, the conflict does not have a sign of abating, both sides are poised for an all-out civil war as they are arming themselves, and forcefully recruiting soldiers, including child-soldiers. And as the government spends over 40% of its budget on arm supply, tensions could build for trivial reasons, similar to what happened when a rumor spread that Silva Ker was dead. The conflict raged until he showed up in a pickup truck to assure his followers he was alive.

The Blue Helmets Shouted, “Boo!”

Children are starving and women are dehumanized, some “were raped in July within sight of UN peacekeepers. And like many other people in the region, officials absolve their tribes of rape, “our tribe doesn’t rape – it’s not in our culture”! However, it’s déjà vu in South Sudan, reminiscent of the role of the French UN contingent that helplessly watched the Rwandan genocide in 1994, and couldn’t do anything to stop it. Armed with lethal weapons, including tanks and machine guns, it would be appropriate if the blue helmets exchanged their weapons for red roses—it’s difficult to understand the purpose of the expensive weaponry and legal mandate, if a ragtag army is left alone to kill and maim the people.

The embarrassing news of UN troops running away and hiding in the face of rape and looting that happened around their camp, was the reason the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, sacked the Kenyan UN forces commander Lieutenant General Johnson Mogoa Kimani Ondieki; Kenya threatened to withdraw its 1,000-strong force. While South Sudan, threatened by an arms embargo, succumbed and finally allowed an additional 4,000 soldiers (the bulk of them from Ethiopia and Rwanda) to enter its territories.

The UN is rightly blamed for being too obsessed with slapping violators with an arms embargo, which every sane person, including the UN itself, understands it cannot be enforced. In a civil war, even machetes and sticks do the job efficiently, that is, if miraculously, guns are in short supply in the market. And that never happens when the cost of a gun is cheaper than the cost of a cigarette pack. Around 20,000 blue helmets, from many countries are present in Sudan, but they hardly solved the crisis or protected the victims. Surprisingly, even the Japanese, who never had an overseas military presence since WW2, have decided to join the UN forces with a 350-soldier battalion—though they can now take the “brave action in self-defense”, and will be involved in engineering projects in Juba, that Silva Ker and Rick Machar are destroying. The previous Japanese contingent that they replaced was only allowed to shout “BOO”, hoping the armed rascals would be scared and surrender.

It is disheartening that the UN has effectively emasculated even the battle hardened African forces who are in South Sudan in their thousands. That is because the Ethiopians and Kenyans were not as peaceful in Somalia as they are in South Sudan. And the UN forces in South Sudan, of course, in their peaceful blue helmet, number around 20,000 soldiers, all paid in hard currency. A South Sudanese quipped, “No wonder the United Nations Mission in South Sudan, is abbreviated as UN-MISS.”

Related Reading

Monitoring Group Finds The Smoking Gun On Eritrean Regime
What Eritrea Can Teach South Sudan
Eritrea and the Hood

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  • Thomas

    Hi Brother Abi,

    What you are experiencing here at the awate land is called tough love. I guess we now know you are related to us. I guess your family are our families to. Just know that there could be borders between our countries, but love is stronger and it can penetrate anything in the horizon. Many many Eritreans have ethiopian wives and the same is true for Ethiopian men. That is the beauty of nature. You see we are engaging that way:)

    • Abi

      Hi Thomas
      You know that is my preferred way of engaging:)

  • Thomas

    Hi Lamek arkey,

    Your approach is a little bit complicated for someone like me. Please make it easy and state the easy solution to the
    Ethio-Eri set backs so to speak. When we are unable to disrupt a single dictator and his clicks from forcing us to migrate, putting us in jail to eventual have us to die there, how can we think relaxing/sleeping and do nothing? Seriously, what is the solution to the devastating problems we are seeing? Somali people have only one religion and one language, but we are seeing them fighting like there is no tomorrow? I wish we had a problem that we can understand, when it comes to Africa it
    is never about imperialism or socialism, it is more complicated than that………….

    • Lamek

      Hi Thomas, at the very least, the status quo is unsustainable. We need alternative solutions. Making Arabic the official Eritrean language will exacerbate the situation. So many villages in Eritrea are now accommodating mosques without their consent but by force. I have a problem with that. Nobody is fighting for the kebessa people and we are facing existential threats. Look at the huge generation gap that is being created. PFDJ is portrayed as a Tigrinya organization. Sure it is primarily composed of Tigrinya people but how have the Tigrinya people fared? Much much worse than anyone else. In fact, some can argue that others are much better now than ever. This will give the boss her a big headache but I am willing to risk it. haki tezaribka ab mengedi babur dekis eyu negeru. A major suspicion I have is why so many muslim Eritreans (jeberti in particular) go overseas and completely dissociate themselves from us but become extremely sympathetic to the causes of the Palestinians, Iraqis, Syrians, and the like.

      There is no sense of oneness in Eritrea despite what PFDJ and this website and the likes of AH tell you.

      • Berhe Y

        Dear Lamek,

        This is too much to take, for the moderators and the owners of this website. Please give it a rest. There is no islamization project, never before and it will never happen in the future. If you have an axe to grind for all the suffering of our people are going through today, please look no further than your own people, you own brothers, your own cousins and your own family members.

        May the Eritrean Muslims are not interested in the gayla and dankera organized by HGDF and decide to stay home. I stay home and I never associated in the PFDJ dankera…..But when it comes to demonstrations, they are the first to organize and demonstrate, attend opposition meeting and every thing else. What do you expect them to do that you are not able to do your self.

        Everyone should sympathize with the Palestinian people, Syrian people they are going through a lot of suffering. What’s got to do with us Eritreans. The Germans, the Canadians while Christians are welcoming them with open arms, why not Eritrean Muslims or Christians sympathies with them, it’s the right thing to do.

        Please do me a favor and watch the video of Aboy Siraj (see the link front page) for all the doubt you have.

        Berhe

        • tes

          Dear Berhe Y.,

          I agree with you on the essence you have. But there is serious issue that we need to discuss on this issue. People like Lameek and I have seen also same but from the opposite angle like minded people. We need to bring these different diverging mindset here in this forum for hard discussion. I am following Tesfatsionians and on the opposite cliffs popping here and there.

          Lets skip this for today.

          tes

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Selam Lamek,

        Please, the Eritrean Muslim and the Arabic language are not the problems of Eritrea. Issayas and his organization are. Do not accuse the aggrieved and the marginalized. Accuse the oppressor and his organization who are sole problem of our people. Do not be self-inflicted by the islamophobic thickness. The Eritrean Muslim are more tolerant than us the christians. We have lived together for generations without enmity and hostility, except an on and off mistrust due to the politics marginalization that exist today. Asking a fair sharing as stakeholders in the stock of our nation is not a sin. Lemak, I am totally disappointed by the negative remarks you are making. To understand our Eritrean Muslims come close to them, chat with them, eat with them, socialize with them, you will learn the good virtue of them.

        regards
        Amanuel Hidrat

      • Semere Tesfai

        Awate Moderator

        Please delete this (Lamek’s) comment. I don’t understand why you’re allowing this filth in this website. Being a member of this Awate family is a privilege – a privilege that should be denied to the likes of Lamek.

        Again please delete this comment and ban Lamek at least for few weeks. Thanks.

        SAemere Tesfai

        • Kebessa

          Selam Semere,
          It is not nice to call for banning. Granted, Lamek’s views are a bit too extreme (well, he is a Tesfazionian) but he really is entitled to express his views/feelings as long as he doesn’t violate commenting rules. On the above comment of his, I don’t agree with his take but I am not seeing any violation. Let’s be tolerant. My avatar is a reminder of PFDJ’s despicable action of banning private newspapers for over 15 years now, even though the regime announced at the time the ban was to be lifted soon (soon like within weeks or months?).

          • Semere Tesfai

            Selam Kebessa

            “Lamek’s views are a bit too extreme (well, he is a Tesfazionian) but he really is entitled to express his views/feelings as long as he doesn’t violate commenting rules”

            Kebessa: There is no entitlement in life. Here at Awate, Lamek is entitled to nothing. Like you, me, and everybody else, he voices his opinion at the pleasure of the Awate team/moderators.

            Freedom of expression (speech) is relative. Freedom is not without parameters. Freedom without parameters and limitations is anarchy.There is a fine line between freedom of speech that is intended for the common good – and a hate-speech that is intended for prejudicial action targeted against a specific segment of a population. There is a fine-line between voicing an opinion to better the quality of life and relation between your communities, and spurring incitement to cause harm and violence by tearing the very threads of our social fabric that are connecting your communities.

            I don’t know what part of this planet you call home, but in my adopted country (USA), in the name of freedom of speech (freedom of expression) you can’t spread your Anti-Semitic hostile view without getting in trouble. You cant wave ISIS flag in public or carry/distribute/air ISIS literatures without getting in trouble.

            Therefore, whether it is Lamek or ISIS, you don’t give them platform to spread their hate and to incite violence. That is my point, I hope I made my position clear.

            Semere Tesfai

          • saay7

            Selam Semere and Kebessa:

            What Lamek wrote is in clear violation of awate posting guidelines specifically article 25.6:

            http://awate.com/posting-guidelines/

            Awate depends on its commenters to self-police, particularly long-term Awatistas like Lamek who christen themselves with new names and new ideologies every few months.

            saay

      • Peace!

        Lamek,

        It is not your fualt the website itself is allowing you to abuse it. What makes you stupid dumb though is that you keep associating Arabic with Islam ( thanks to Abi), don’t you know there are also Christian Palestinians, Syrians, Egyptians….whats wrong with showing solidarity with victims of injustice?

        Your AgAzian pastor Tesfatsion is eating your brain and making you a bigot and obviously useless.

        Thanks to the moderator for making us smell your stinky vomit.

        Peace!

      • Saleh Johar

        Hi Lamek,

        Allow me to entertain you for a while:

        1. Can you tell me how many Jeberti people do you know?

        2. If you do, can you say what you wrote under a nick-name to their face and why, whether it’s yes or no?

        3. Lets assume there are only 5000 Eritrean Jeberti, not more that, quntaro, do you think you know them all to pass such a blanket accusation?

        4. Can you name an incident where any Jeberti (as a group) harmed you, spied on you, sided with the enemy and attacked you, expropriated your land, denied you any right?

        5. Can you.. anything you know about the Jeberti except hate-mongering you heard from the rumor mill? Anything verifiable?

        6. Have you done an assessment of your attitude, if it is why they (and maybe others) do not come close to you, and you are surrounded by a cult like group?

        7. Do you know that Arabic is the demand of half the population, and their cultural language of choice, not the 5000 Jeberti who are all sitting in one bus to be deported by the gullible?

        Now, if you take me out of the number, you are left with 4999 Jeberti to deport. Congratulations. How do you like that?

        Take it easy and get rid of your hate, it will kill you.

      • Millennium

        HI Lamek:

        I am a christian highlander and I sympathise with Palestinians, Iraqis and Syrians. Who in his right mind wouldn’t? I bet you know a lot of christian highlanders with similar opinions like mine. It is your bigotry that is hindering you from making a fair assessment of your surrounding. Clean your lenses. This attitude you have is some kind of disease. Find a med for it as soon as possible. It is a wrong attitude and it is not good for you and your surrounding.

        Regards,
        Millennium

      • blink

        Dear Lamek
        Does this comment push some people like me to question your where from about ? It is really not fair for the owner of this website who are working hard to build nearness with each society be it in Eritrea or Ethiopia , despite their political view or believe , we have this website which is bigots do not get enough space because every body seems to be civil and Ok.
        Dear Mr. Saleh and others , I know this is your website and I know your contribution but where do you put such comment in your vast collections ? I have a mixed understanding but i will stay to learn from other good people in this forum.

      • Thomas

        Hi brother Lamek,

        To be honest with you, the people who are killing my brothers and sisters live in Eritrea. They have a fake name called PFDJ. The people working under this PFDJ party and also who like to be known as liberators instead of their rightly name criminals, murderers, jailers, mafias and whatever appropriate name for these criminals is. The Isrealis are preparing to deport my country refuges to the hell that is, Eritrea. The ISSI have slaughtered many refuge seeking Eritreans when trying to make it Europe in Lybia. Neither the Lybians nor the ISSI have Eritrean citizenships. The criminal persons with Eritrean citizenships who are hunting to kill these people dine, live and sleeping in Eritrea. Young people in Eritrea are living their houses and ending up dying everywhere, why? The answer is clear to all Eritreans. You are a smart person, I do not doubt it is clear to you as well, but why fight others when the criminals are telling in clear terms that they don’t like you or your family. That you and your family are ok to live in your own home if they treat you as their property.

        I can only focus on the source of the problem, the starting and ending of the troubles is nowhere but inside the country by the PFDJ beasts. The enemies of my people have repeatedly told me that that they are in Eritrea and the will continue their crimes and that I can do nothing about it or they have invited me to fight them back via Sudan or other borders. So, everything is as clear as clear water. Focus on what clear to all Eritreans, don’t bring a non existing or non priority issue.

  • Paulos

    Selamat Kalihari,

    Time as they say is the hidden factor and very often than not it runs contrary to human instinct. I specifically remember year or so after the war in Badime the Eritrean opposition blocks held a conference in Gonder and the uproar and condemnation went through the roof by the apologists of the regime for it was taken as a treason. Who would have thought back then almost twenty years fast forward Eritreans would be not only longing for the Dergue era but also flooding the villages and small towns in Tigrai as refugees. I agree with you that Eritrea is a sovereign nation but the desire and wish of the people transcend the boundaries of time for the latter is magical.

    • Kalihari Snake

      Good afternoon Paulos. You say that ‘Desire and wish of the people transcend boundaries of time for the later is majical’. Are you referring to Oromia, SNNPR, Gambella or Somali regions of Ethiopia? Should Ethiopia now consider having referendum processes for all these disgruntled regions? Does Ethiopia’s current bad governance merrit so? Again, the issue of the quality of governance in Eritrea is a completely separate issue from Eritrea’s continued existence as a soverign independent U.N. member state. PIA’s time will come to pass and there is for sure a bright light shining at the end of the tunnel for Eritrea and her people.

      • Paulos

        Selam Kalihari,

        I don’t see the debate or exchange of ideas if it is at all going anywhere for emotions seem to be taking a toll as opposed to rationale. Respectfully I leave it here.

        • Kalihari Snake

          Good afternoon Paulos. Thing is, there is simply no rationale, now or in the future, to assume Eritrea would advocate a unity platform with Ethiopia. I travel frequently to both Ethiopia and Eritrea as well as to other countries in the Horn of Africa. And, at least in regards to the majority of Eritreans that live in Eritrea and those that live as refugees in countries like Kenya and Uganda, whilist many distain the PIA Government, they would certainly strongly (over my dead body) object to any form of unification. You mention Eritreans longing for the Derg era? You gotta be kidding. My guess is that you have long lived away from whereever your motherland ia and are therefore largely detached from today’s on the ground realities in either Eritrea or Ethiopia.

  • Simon Kaleab

    Selam Kalihari,

    Do you have any basis to assume that Paulos is an Ethiopian?

    • Kalihari Snake

      Good afternoon Simon: Email telepathy does the trick. Otherwise, simply by observing common words and expressions of YG parrotheads, there is no other way that I would know.

  • Fanti Ghana

    Hello Hayata and Mahmuday,

    Your discussions slowly drifted to my territory and here I am. Please bear with me for some hateta.

    Mahmuday,

    During Ethiopian Students and workers revolt of the 1970s, the great majority had organized themselves under EPRP. There were also some (MEISON) who chose to side with the military. First we wiped out our entire government heads and many experienced generals. Competition for power and status ensued and gave birth to the so-called “White terror” and “Red terror.” Tens of thousands of Ethiopia’s best and brightest died in a staggering speed.

    Once EPRP left the urban areas and set out to wage an armed struggle against the then Derg, and once Derg felt secure enough in the cities to concentrate all of its attention on the war in Eritrea, decency of the young and Derg’s troops had hit absolute low.
    Several “modern” such as burning people with hot oil, feet first and many more equally harrowing fascistic techniques of torture were introduced into the Ethiopian psyche. Innocence, God, Religion, all became a laughing matter and backward, in some cases even dangerous.

    By the late 70s and early 80s, most cities were depleted of their young, because either they joined one of the then several organizations, mostly EPRP, or left the country to avoid forced recruitment. Derg was thus not selective about who joins the military and who was elevated to a higher position for no other qualification except loyalty. Many if not most of those recruits were street kids and undisciplined, who all of a sudden, acquired power of life and death over others without the sense of responsibility and guidance to go along with it. They killed and maimed with impunity. You may have heard stories about charging mothers for the bullet used to kill their children and the like.

    These decadence involved rapes and short lived marriages under duress, but the true sign how low we had reached was magnified when arresting men who were married to a beautiful women became a daily incidence, at least, in northern Ethiopia, but especially in Tigray (excuse TPLF) and Gonder (excuse EPRP, EDU). If these women refuse for whatever reason the consequences were that they are “ጸረ ኣብዮት (anti-revolution)” hence, equally guilty as their spouses of some trumped up charges.

    Some resisted and paid the ultimate price, some complied to protect family members from worst humiliation especially of younger siblings (“if not you it will be your sister”) threats. Never mind the countless stories of similar nature I heard and still do occasionally, but I knew someone close to me who literally begged one of those soldiers to “marry” her, because she was certain of the alternative given the suggestive way he always looked at her 13 yrs old sister every time he stopped by uninvited.

    Hayata,
    Since the majority of Ethiopian army was stationed in Eritrea, one can only imagine how worst it must have been there. Some of these rapes were so blatant and common they became almost a normal way of life in many parts of Eritrea. So much so, for example, in Bet MeKhea, Gejeret, and Godaif of Asmara, there were small and temporary looking tin houses, rape shelters if you will, unashamedly named “ትዳር በግድ” (forced marriage).

    One can only imagine how common those practices to have been for those tin houses to acquire their own identity. The threat by which these rapes went on almost unchallenged was that if one is unmarried, in her teens to late 20s, and refuses an advance it can only mean that she is a secret “ወንበዴ” and/or a sympathizer of “ወንበዴዎች.” In some cases just a direct threat of physical harm will do.

    Were those forced marriages sanctioned, or at least tolerated by the leaders, say, to avoid antagonizing the mostly unconvinced-by-the-campaign army, or may be even encouraged, for a more sinister goal as implied by the narrative “ካልኣይ ኲናት?” I can’t swear by any answers to either one, but I can safely say that you two may be getting closer to finding the answers.

    To successfully arrive there however, it will need your mutual trust and respect and avoidance of references to other events in the past as a reference to why the other will not think differently henceforth. The type of “you are always like that” or “your intention always is this or that” statements only serve to block the way to a change, reform, or to adjust to a new self as modified by the just acquired knowledge.

    For instance “did Ethiopian leaders ever reprimand anyone for these acts of criminal behavior? Did/Does EPLF/PFDJ acknowledge and distinguish those consensual marriages in “ካልኣይ ኲናት?” The exploration to answer these and similar questions could lead to a discussion from which we all could benefit.
    With Love!

    • Abi

      Hi Fantish
      That is a beautiful comment that shades light how derg was brutal in Ethiopia.
      My aunt is still angry for the 5 birr she paid for the bullet that killed her husband. This is after they make her sing ” Abyotawi Songs and Mefekir”.
      Aremene is understatement to describe derg. I don’t expect those Eritreans who lived in Eritrea to know this as much as I did not know what derg was doing in Eritrea. Never heard of Ona or any other incident.
      Now that I learned enough from a person I trust and respect the most ( not you , Fantish 😳) Vet Mahmud, and others who didn’t participate in the milking of the innocent cows, I say , may be , just may be it was not a “useless ” struggle at all. All I witnessed in Addis and other cities was the above decent lives Eritreans lived. They were better off of anyone in Ethiopia. The other thing is we all were told how derg was treating Eritrea better than any other region in the country.
      Now, I like to apologize for each and every Eritrean for offending you by calling your struggles as ” useless “.
      Whether it is useless or useful, it is up to you to decide.
      We live to learn.
      Thanks Fantastic Fantish. You are the “Bestest”.

      • Fanti Ghana

        Selam Brother Abi,

        Abisha, yesterday and the day before were one of the worst days of my Awate days for several reasons I can’t describe in short post. The one and only wish I had was if you knew a fraction of what I know I was sure you would apologize for all the poking into the Eritrean wound you frequently do. That wish was compounded by the fact that you are married to one, because I kept expecting you to project the respect and love you have for your wife to all Eritreans.

        What is funny is I kind of know that is what you are doing, your presence here alone is probably a manifestation of that, but many times you do injure most of your Eritrean friends, now we know, familia. So, yesterday I kept wishing you will find it in your heart to apologize to SGJ, by extension all Eritreans, and here you are doing just that, miraculously, without my “guidance.”

        I wish I could show you how good I feel right this moment. Like many others here who sometimes are misunderstood, I always knew you have a good heart and always feared you will be misunderstood and end up injuring and injured by your friends.

        Yesterday Amde mentioned the source of our ills nicely: “perspective!” The source of Eritrean-Ethiopian frequent frictions has mostly been a matter of perspective. We both see events of the last 60 years from opposing trajectories but the truth is somewhere in the middle.

        Recall the Arab thing for example. The “Arab YewTa” SGJ briefly mentioned yesterday started during the Arab and Israeli war of the sixties. Many people I know are not aware of this, but the constant “Arab” mongering of our governments had carried over to the wars in lowlands of Eritrea. Consciously or subconsciously those “Arab-looking” mind you, “Ethiopians” of lowland Eritrea were victims of misguided war and undisciplined and uneducated bigoted army. The second layer of our “Arabophobia” was then reflected in the manner our soldiers behaved and killed daily.

        For an Eritrean who grew up witnessing Ona type horror one after another, what kind of a friend should the good Ethiopian be? Isn’t it a miracle they even talk to us at all? Blessed be the Eritrean heart!

        We swindled one chance after another to say “we are sorry” for all the atrocities that took place in Eritrea. I am not suggesting all Ethiopians are guilty of a crime, and I am sure most Eritreans don’t see it that way either, but we are represented by the governments we had and have. Since they were and are feeble enough to not do it for us we may as well take the decency into our hands and use it.

        Brother Abi, I know why you say the things you say, but as they say, “the pen tongue is sharper than the sword.” Those of us who grew up during HS and Derg never had the chance to learn the true nature of Eritrean struggle. All we know is that we had “Tigre” friends, neighbors, families, and they look like us, they talk like us, they worship like us, and all of a sudden they told us they are not Ethiopians! The irony of it all is this: do we, Ethiopians, have a neighbor who is not like us?

        The lack of proper education to the facts that led to that sudden reality is the source of our confusion, and perhaps, understandable. Amazingly, even after 1991 no one deemed it necessary to explain what really happened in Eritrea and what the nature of our “oneness” and our ultimate “divorce” was really about. Even some among those who had the opportunity to know, they back-tracked and started campaigning for any excuse to wage war with Eritrea under bizarre pretenses.  Even remnants of EPRP, as if they weren’t advocates of Eritrean independence, turned around and accused TPLF as “asgenTay” to score temporary political point.  

        Our political history is too broad and too complex to get into in this short post, but we can start slow: Eritrea is an independent and sovereign nation. Whether coerced or willingly, the brief moment we lived as one nation should not distract us from accepting this fact. Should, some day, future generations of Eritreans and Ethiopians decide to unite as one nation is absolutely up to that generation. Let’s let the future make its own history!

        In the meantime those of us proud friends of Eritreans should live up to our name: friends! Let’s not get distracted by innuendos meant to serve a few power mongering elites who keep swaying us like a pendulum from “best friends” one day to “worst enemy” the next.

        Who knows, once our governments come to their senses, we may even have tea in Asmara!

        • Abi

          Fantastic
          I approve this message!!
          Tea in Asmara? They don’t make Meloti anymore? At least make it cappuccino.
          Thanks Fantish.

  • Simon Kaleab

    Selam Paulos,

    Independence from what and towards what? What was the content of independence, if not freedom and democracy? Was independence for its own sake meaningful, if not as a stepping stone towards political and economic freedom?

    Therefore, the previous revolution has failed, as it did not fulfil its promises. Similarly, do not aspire for a revolution against the current regime in Eritrea. Instead, try to reform it.

    • Paulos

      Selam Simon,

      I would hate to regurgitate the talking point where Eritrea in the company of other nations right after Wold War II was waiting for its fate where again the wish of the people was compromised as Realpolitik dictated the norm of the day. The overwhelming wish of the people was independence from Ethiopia proper and that was materialized with flying colors. Again the recent intellectual curiosity to find out what really went wrong surfaced simply because Isaias Afwerki single handedly killed the dreams and aspirations of the people, having said that however Eritrea’s current sad situation does not by any means mean it is irreversible, rather once the tyrant exits the power to be the options on how to navigate to future of the nation will be wide open where unity with Ethiopia can not be shrugged off with contempt if the people dare to opt and one can not dismiss it as a pipe dream either given the surging unsettling emotions of the people.

      • Simon Kaleab

        Selam Paulos,

        When you pay for a train ticket and start a journey, you know exactly that you are going to travel from A to B. Similarly, when a revolution its participants, at least desire, to travel from their current status to a future changed status.

        So when a community travels on a journey of revolution, the desire is to travel from a state of restriction to a state of freedom. If not, i.e. if they know they will not be arriving at freedom using independence, they will not be willing in a revolutionary activity.

        For example, if the participants of the Eritrean revolution knew the end result of the revolution to be the current reality, do you think they will take part?

        • Paulos

          Selam Simon,

          Of course no one can forsee the future with clarity but one can assume given all the necessary factors in place. If you look into the gradual process, Federation was tried and it didn’t work out due to the Emporer’s lack of political will and acumen. Far worse the Dergue regressed into brute force for it galvanized the Eritrean people to eject and deject Ethiopia proper. The necessity for independence loses its luster solely on historical justification as in Eritrea a separate nation with in ethno-cultural boundaries rather it gained authenticity when the Ethiopian rulers mishandled the case. It was precisely the genius of Meles where he clearly understood that it was futile to take on the same course but he also foresaw that Eritrea under Isaias was set towards the cliffs.

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam Paulos,

            What I am saying is that there is this repeated cycle of:

            A Bad regime –> A Revolution –> Failure –> A Bad regime –> A Revolution –> Failure –> A Bad regime –> A Revolution –> …

            All Revolutions end in failure, in the sense that they fail to achieve all their promises. But still, the Eritrean opposition still demands the Revolutionary overthrow of the current regime.

          • Paulos

            Selam Simon,

            My reading of history is not that great but I found your sweeping generalization way off the chart where the American Revolution stands out a testament to a success. Revolutions are human elements not only in Marxist jargon as in violence but also in scientific revolutions as well where Thomas Khun’s “The Structure Of Scientific Revolution” comes to mind. I digress. History was not written on the rides of defeatism or cynicism if it was humanity would have been rooted out by the merciless hand of evolution.

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam Paulos,

            You need to stare at the unpalatable facts as they are, and not substitute your wish, so that you read them correctly.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Paulos,

            Your English command reminds me our own “Papi” who disappeared for no reason. I have her taste on you. Have you read her by any chance? She is badly missed.

            Regards

          • tes

            Selam Simon,

            I would like to share what I am feeling about you. In this forum, the objective of each participant is not to debate on scientific facts(science) though scientific facts(scientificmethodologies) are used during debates. In every topic, you are trying to ask the forumer facts while here opinions are the guiding principles.

            My advice therefore:

            1. It is better to focus on opinions and views rather than checking scientific facts or knowledge.
            2. Unless one asked you or you have seen gross mistake which can easily be proved by scientific facts, it is better to move on.
            3. Please avoid examining the knowledge of each person by trying to ask what is not in the page provided.
            4. I would appreciate you if you use your scientific knowledge to correct for what you perceived as wrong or a misleading.

            tes

            PS: [Ignore this if I am wrong]

            From your lines, I can sense that you are familiar to this forum. I don’t know why Nitricc is not able to detect you so far. (Lamek, Mizan, Ermias, whoever you are, just engage as much as you can but please do not repeat the same boring approach).

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam tes,

            Do you know what I think about you? You are feeling insecure.

          • Paulos

            Selamat Tes,

            I agree to some extent with what you pointed out but it is imperative to keep in mind the fact that not only most of us are mere characters on the screen but also we all come with different academic background as well. More over, most of the debates which surface are more subjective where upon it is hard to reach to what we call hard facts.

          • tes

            Selamat Paulos,

            I agree with you and my penny advice to Simon was based on what you narrate it beautifully. I believe that every Awatista has different background and we are lucky to merge all these in one platform.

            tes

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Hi Paulos,

            I love your analysis on the nitty gritty of Eritrean politics and the historical links to it, though I sensed pessimism in you as to what the future hold to the Eritrean people. If I am right can you elaborate and share with us as to the factors that swayed you to have that.

            Regards
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Paulos

            Selamat Emma,

            I always enjoy reading your great articles but what I respect most about you is your uncompromising integrity and I am sure Awatistas agree with me.

            As they say only the dead are pessimists about life here on earth for they cease to exist. The sun always rises in a new day and Eritrea is not an exception. Pessimist I am not. It is however a human falacy to get arrested by current circumstances and we let hopelessness get the best of us. I am convinced that PFDJ is one person and once he is out of the picture Eritrea’s days will be brighter.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Paulos,

            I am glad that I was wrong the way I sensed you brother. Disappointment, yes sometimes. But we never give up with our people’s persistence “l to our cause back then and now. we shall prevail even with the current predicament. Keep up your engagement as there are lots to contribute to our common understanding.

            regards

          • Abraham H.

            Selamat Paulos, yes, pfdj is basically a one man project, but there are many opportunists who are sustaining the system and sucking the blood out of our people. In addition, there are also those who consider the dictator as thier god, those who readily accept whatever comes out of his mouth. If he were to declare peace talks with Ethiopia and agree to dialogue to facilitate the demarcation tomorrow, all of his worshipers would accept it without questions, as if they have not been screaming ‘final and binding’ for a decade and half. The man may not have long time left, the best we could hope is that he doesn’t recruit a successor whom his fanatic followers could worship to continue the staus quo.

          • Paulos

            Selamat Abraham,

            I wouldn’t be surprised if Isaias lived to his 90s for the risk factors are less given his lean physique and genetics as well. What is troubling however, people more often have historical amnesia whereabout the victims remain forgotten with in the merciless flow of time. I guess Isaias is lucky to have the stars lining up for him and yes-constituency at the tip of his finger as well.

          • Kalihari Snake

            Good morning Paulos. Genetic basis for Isaias living into his 90s? Just to mention that PIA’s father, for whom in his advancing age looks very much alike though he is taller, passed shortly after liberations at the age of 69.

          • Paulos

            Selamat Kalihari,

            Back in the early 90s the average life span for a man was 50 as such genetic plasticity must have played in his father to defy statistics. Again 69 is gracious age given the expected norm. It was only recently that Isaias started showing the wear and tear of an old age where hitherto he looked way younger than his peers. One hopes that Isaias comes to his senses for another 20 years under his reign is too harsh to bear is understatement.

          • Kalihari Snake

            Hi Paulos: In general and on a global basis, considering 1991 vs 2016, people on same genetic lines, live a bit under 5 years longer; largely a result of advances made in medical care and treatment. However in African countries, these stats tend to go out the window, as much more is determined by income level and accordant access to medical care, with rural economically impoverished populations suffering the most. For a person with adequate income living in a urban Eritrean setting back in the early 90s, average life expectancy would certainly be much higher than 50. Sibling wise, I only knew PIA’s brother Emmanuel, who had bought the cuckoo farm long before I met him; he met an untimely death with reports that he drowned in Lageto sometime around 1995. At least on paternal side analysis, in that PIA father passed at 69 one could assume that PIA’s expiration date would be somewhere around 74-to-75 years old (if his liver is still intact).

          • Kalihari Snake

            Moderator. Sorry and noted it was not my intent.

          • Kalihari Snake

            Good morning Abraham H. Much of what you have written I agree with. Given that said, I feel that is almost criminal the way that the Big 5 through the U.N Security Council, have failed abysmally to address the border demarcation issue and to run an honest or effective sanctions program against any country in recent years, to include Eritrea. I am also convinced that at least up until present, that should PIA have opened the doors for dialogue with the TPLF in regards to the EEBC decision that it would hot have went well, as it would have ultimately called upon PIA to make a major sacrifice. So many missed opportunities by regional coordination bodies such as the AU through its transformative agenda, have failed to assist or even try, to normalize relations between Ethiopia and Eritrea.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Paulos,

            Our problem is beyond one man. I have debated this issue with my friend saay. Issayas is not fighting us alone. His entire organization does. He built a solid desciplined organization
            and with fully committed ranks and files. In such scenario individuals including the architect of the organization may die, but the organization will continue to exist as an institutional structure defending it’s members interest. Issayas can not survive without the party (PFDJ) and the members can not defend him if they do not have s stake in him and the organization. Remember fighting against an individual and fighting against an organization is different, so also the method of struggle we wage for it. If you agree on that, then do not forget that we are fighting against PFDJ and its institutions.

            Regards

          • Abi

            Selam Ato Amanual Hidrat
            Now that I somehow accepted your struggle was not as useless as I thought it was, I like to take this opportunity to directly apologize for all the abuses I threw at you.
            Thanks

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Abi,

            The apology is accepted. Going forward, I hope we listen each other for the sake of peace, tranquility, and mutual economic development for both sides of our people. Regime’s will go but the brotherhood of the two people will stay intact. Having two different “political administrations” will not hinder us from having economic cooperation, provided both sides install governments that understand the benefit of cooperation. The young generations of both countries must fight to bring peace and stability in their respective countries . If it happened in us, it will dictate the reality of the region. There is no enmity with the two people but misunderstanding. Let us engage to bring normalcy to our people. Have a good one till then.

            Regards

          • Nitricc

            Hi Paulose; can you please elaborate regarding your take …
            ” It was precisely the genius of Meles where he clearly understood that it
            was futile to take on the same course but he also foresaw that Eritrea
            under Isaias was set towards the cliffs”
            I think i have an idea what you want to say but I don’t want to make any assumptions.

          • Paulos

            Selamat Nitrikay ata rebashi,

            Genius as they say is understanding before anyone else what is obvious and that is precisely what Meles understood with clarity. Isaias squandered wealth of opportunities where Eritrea could have been Singapore but sadly it has joined club of could-have-beens.

          • Nitricc

            Hi Paulos; how could you use the word “Genius” when speaking about PMMZ? Leaders are no judged during their ruling time, rather, when they are gone and years passed to see the harvest what they have sown. Accordingly, even the Ethiopian media stopped saying those embarrassing words like “Talaqu Meriachin, Melles” the name of Melles all vanished from any domestic news; why do you think that is? I get it, you can hate PIA but have the self respect to tell the truth.
            my question is if PMMZ was that genius; why is it Ethiopia is the mess that she is in? why do the Ethiopian media avoid mentioning their “genius” leader?
            Paulos, to enter in to awate, you need to take entrance exam. this one is yours lol

  • Paulos

    Selamat moderator,

    I posted a comment for Simon but its not there. Was wondering what happened to it. My apologies in advance if it is beyond your control.

    • Abraham H.

      Hi Paulos, if i were you, i would check my disqus account and try to re-post, your message may be hold there. I’m not a moderator, just my opinion.

      • Paulos

        Selam Abraham,

        Thanks much.

        • Abraham H.

          Merhaba Paulos, you’re welcome:-)

  • tes

    Selam Horizon,

    It is good if I consider the questions you addressed here are honest. And I believe that there are many folks who still address the same question, be it from their innocence or from rejectionist point of view. As Eritrean history tells us, the truth is not what happened in 1962, but what was going on between 1952-1962. Just to make my point, let me highlighted it:

    [1]As to the cause (the beginning) of gedli, some people tell us that it is due to the abrogation of the federal system. [2]From what I have read (i hope I am right) gedli started with that golden bullet that was fired in 1961, while the federation was annulled in 1962. [3] Others tell us that it was due to atrocities (which must be before 1961, if it is going to be the initiator). [4]I personally do not know of the nature of the atrocities prior to 1961.

    As I said, I am assuming that these are honest questions.

    Well, Horizon, there are people who are wiser and knowledgeable enough to give you a concrete response. Nonetheless, I will try to address some of your questions.

    To start with, 1962:

    What happened in 1962 was as a result of fierce political debate and shear conflicts that went throughout the federation period. And Eritreans were fully aware on what was happening inside the parliament house as a result of Ethiopian aggressive political hegemony on the Eritrean future scenario. Way before 1961, there were events that alarmed Eritreans to stand strong for their future fate.

    – Abdelkadir Kebire was shot in the heart of Asmara when he was preparing to attend UN meetings and address Eritrean choice.

    – Woldeab Woldemariam had experienced more than 7 assascinations, which he was later forced to be exiled.
    – there was nation wide demonstration by students and workers (1958)
    – A clandestine movement was already established to organize Eritreans and oppose ethiopian expansion.
    – Eritrean parliament members were facing constant threats from the Union Party.
    – Ethiopia was massively controlling economic infrastructures and financial aspects

    And then, Eritreans understood that the only means to be free was to start armed struggle as thepolitical struggle was becoming almost a lost battle to win.

    What then happened in 1962 was just a final political domination by Ethiopia. What Ethiopia didn’t expect was Eritrean fierce resistance to stop Ethiopian annexatin. All what followed after, the atrocities, burning of villages and mass killing was the last option Ethiopia had to stop Eritreans. By then, it was impossible to stop and Eritreans stood for the only possible struggle after losing their economic and political means of fighting Ethiopia.

    This is just a brief answer for your honest questoins. Otherwise, our political elites will come and give you a concrete response.

    tes

  • Lamek

    Selam all, I see a lot of people writing pages and pages of old material that we have all heard about over and over again. The Eritrean people and the struggle for independence, how derg and HSI were brutal, how Ethiopia is now marching and doesn’t need the Eritreans who abused their privileges, and so on and so forth. The reality on the ground is now very different. Ethiopia and Eritrea as we know them today are unsustainable. Everything has now become about identity. Look at the Oromos, the Jebertis, even the Amaras are now no more singing Ethiopia Tikdem – it is ‘my identity’ for them too. I think, your debates should be reflective of what is taking place on the ground. Idealism and regional integrationisim, Ethiopian economy, Eritrean 9 biherat identity – all gone. TPLF and PFDJ are the ones with power and they are both clueless. When was the last time any of you heard either IA or the TPLF come out and tell us their short term or long term plans? They have failed utterly. People are back to square one. Let people live their lives. Let the Oromo administer their land and live the way they want to. The same with Amaharas, Tigres, Tigrinya, the Southern people, heck let the Welkait people decide whether to go to Tigray or Eritrea or Sudan or Amahara or wherever. People want to be free. They are tired of your idealism and stupid Marxisit experiments. Nationalism is on the rise, refer to Brexit, Netherlandexit, Trump, the rise of the conservatives in Europe. People just want to be left alone. You elites can keep your ideas to yourselves.

    • Thomas

      Hi Lamek arkey,

      Your approach is a little bit complicated for someone like me. Please make it easy and state the easy solution to the Ethio-Eri set backs so to speak. When we are unable a single dictator and his clicks forcing us to migrate, jailing and killing, how can we think relaxing and doing nothing? Seriously, what is the solution to the devastating problems we are seeing? Somali people have only one religion and one language, but we are seeing them fighting like there is no tomorrow? I wish we had a problem that we can understand, when it comes to Africa it is never about imperialism or socialism, it is more complicated than that………….

    • Nitricc

      Hi Mizan, lol, a bad day the program in Tigray-Tigrigni land; the Tesfation show, your hero! lol You are getting delusional and erratic with your every worthless posting of yours. one for the read to Mizan; Eritrea Tikdem, lol
      get some help or do what you do best, you know….

    • KBT

      Hi lamer
      I don’t think it work in your country, your criminal tplf regime divided ethiopia by race and religion know it backlash on him
      You are maybe one of those weirdo who call themselves agazi ,tigrayan are so desperate that now suddenly they remember we are brother one race, METALELTI .SOONER OR LATER THE AMHARA AND OROMO WILL EAT YOU ,
      NEVER EVER AGAIN TIGRAY PEOPLE WILL FEEL SAFE AGAIN IN ETHIOPIA .
      THANKS GOD THE HOLE TPLF DIGGED FOR ERITREA WILL BE SOON HIS OWN GRAVE

      • KBT
  • Paulos

    Selamat Muhamuday,

    Many thanks for those kind words and of course the feeling is mutual for I always learn great deal from you particularly from your rather panaromic take of the Eritrean landscape.

    I honestly believe I am not in a position to lecture you so to speak about the trajectory point of the struggle for independence for you have breathed through it in your adult life but as much as the forum provides us to chip in for what it is worth I say, at the outset the struggle for independence carried authenticity and base support when the Eritrean question was mishandled by the powers there be including the King and Dergue as well. I am of the conviction that the noble cause was hijacked midstream by certain personalities on the highest echelon when their extreme greed for power was threatened. Most importantly however, the surge in reflection started to come into effect when people try to come to grips with the dire situation Eritrea in at the moment where among equal alternative answers the issue of identity crises seems to give credence as the main cause where Eritrea is swimming in. And I say, we need to address it with courage as Hayat Adem brilliantly put it instead of focusing on the spinach between the front teeth.

    • Simon Kaleab

      Selam Paulos,

      You said: “I am of the conviction that the noble cause was hijacked midstream by certain personalities on the highest echelon when their extreme greed for power was threatened.”

      What alternative paths do you have in mind? I am very keen to know.

      All revolutions end in failure, so you just have to make the best out of the card you are dealt with. Unfortunately, your conviction is the standard excuse given for all failed revolutions.

  • Dis Donc

    Dear Ethios and Eris

    Early beginnings: Mankind had invented many systems in the past and improved them from its communal, slavery, feudal, communism to a now prevalent democracy and open economy systems. As Churchill said once, democracy might be the worst crap that you’ve ever heard of but by far the better of them lots. In this system, the populace elects its leaders and holds them accountable, via its judicial system. During and before the federation agreement, Ethiopia followed none of these. On the contrary, Eritrea did practice democracy with its own legal system, open economy, and elected parliament; however poor it might have been. Or however, poorly Eritreans understood it! The beginnings of the Eritrean uprising had these themes in its heart; at least when they rebelled. To make matters worse, there did not exist a legal system, for the Eritreans, that could address these wrongs; within the Ethiopian system or the federation arrangement. Many of you, Ethiopians and Eritreans, now live in the west with your rights respected, exercising the right vote, participating in an open economy, etc. The question is what was wrong for the Eritreans to demand that these rights be respected and restored? Please, do not look at current states of Eritrea. Granted that Ethio might have the signs of good things to come and may be even, better than the Eris, but nothing to brag about, yet.

    Federation: When the federation was absolved it was believed that its was at the whim of the emperor. Some said that the Eritreans parliament asked for the abolition of the federal arrangement. But the question is why wouldn’t the emperor asked it to be done via a plebiscite?

    Who-is-who: The Spanish have a saying that goes as; nadie que sepa lo que sucede en mi lecho! Translates as; nobody should know what goes on in my bed. In the same vein, demanding democracy, rule of law, or open democracy does not require us to know who-married-who; forced or not. I do not think that it was a wise thing to bring that up. Sadly, some us fell for it. I would hope that the opposition, for both countries, should focus on the actual demands of democracy, rule of law, and open economy institutions. In the end, when the lights are out, everybody is sleeping with everybody else.

    Economic consequences: If our union was messy our break-up was even messier. Breaking-up two countries is not an easy task, as there are many factors to consider. Among these are; the economic gains/losses of individuals, gov’ts, and companies. If Ethiopia thinks that it taught certain individuals, then it should have addressed them during the break-up negotiations. But, as was observed, both victors were dancing during and after the break-up. Thus, for my Ethiopian brothers, crying about it would only inflame things further instead I advise you to ask your then negotiating party.

    Helping hands: Once war breaks out there will be many who would want to stand benefiting from the miseries of us. We fought for half a century and yet we have nothing to show for it. Only that we are still cursing the Arabs. But where was the Ethiopian leadership, in those days? Why wouldn’t it have sought for a political solution? Oh, yeah, they were running to the US and latter to the USSR to seek for help, Cubans, E. German, etc. But you do not hear about it from the Eritrean opposition side, though. Let us face it, the Ethiopian leadership was not wise and I am not even mentioning the Eritrean leadership yet; then and now. For that is for another day….

    A round of applause for my sister, who keeps on informing me the goings of awate.

    • Amde

      Selam DisDonc

      …aaannndddd DisDonc brings it home.

      Very informative post. The loss of the rudiments of a western style democratuc system is an angle I have not given more thought to.

      I think the federation was doomed from the start. An absolute monarchy with a popular democratic system would not have existed for long. It is said that Aklilu Habtewold, the Ethiopian PM at the time was against the dissolution of the Federation and Eritrean parliament. He wanted it preserved so that the other regions could become similar federal units.

      Amde

      • Dis Donc

        Dear Sir Amde, (see even Aman admits that you are a sir)

        Is that so? Or is it that you leave that out, on purpose, for someone to take the accolade? Either ways, I hope you get the person of the year award!!!

        Happy new year to you all!!!

        • Amde

          Ahh Senor DisDonc,

          Come on now. This post of yours has pretty much everything and lays the groundwork for many many more conversations.

          If there is anything I would gladly take credit for, it is for contributing my share to bring people like you into these conversations. You are sorely needed.

          As to person of the year, I think Saay may be regretting backing that suggestion after my last couple of posts. Haha… He did ask me to be me so there is that.

          Happy New Year to you and your sister.

          Amde

    • tes

      Selam DisDonc,

      Your wisdom is simply shining. You said it beautifully.

      happy New Year, for you and your beautiful sister(as I can see her through her wisdom to call you when ever yours is needed*).

      tes

      *I believe that wisdom is beauty too, hence your beautiful sister.

    • Dear Dis Donc,

      As you very well said, “ But, as was observed, both victors were dancing during and after the break-up.”, that was exactly the thing that happened. They were enjoying their victory as if an other day will never come. With no plan for the future, what they cared about was how to humiliate the enemy. It never passed their minds ethiopians and eritreans will always live side by side, and the few who were aware of it did not care, because they were intoxicated with their victory.
      For all practical reasons, one can say that ethiopia did not have a negotiating party that stood for her national interest. Those who represented ethiopia had softer spots in their hearts for eritrea than for ethiopia. There were people who said “አትዮፕያ በኣፍንጫዋ ብትደፋ ግድ የለንም”.
      Indeed, as you said no need for ethiopians to cry over spilled milk. Only that reconciliation is the main victim. We might not see it during the lifetime of the old generation, who screwed everything for ethiopians and eritreans, the millennials and may be the coming one or two generations.

      • Abi

        Selam Horizon
        This one is my favorite
        ” ለኔ የማትበጅ ኢትዮጵያ ሺሕ ቦታዎች ትበጣጠስ”
        A high government official said it at that time.
        When asked what would happen to the Eritreans who live here after the referendum if they choose independence? Tamrat Layne answered, “እንደ ኤክስፐርት እንጠቀምባቸዋለን”

        • Berhe Y

          Dear Abi,

          You stir the pot really bad, and you turned the discussion upside down into useless spiral.

          I don’t know why everyone welcome you, including me, and all we get is insults.

          You know better than anyone else that majority of Eritreans (99.9 percent) do not have hate towards Ethiopia, those that do are the same small percent that are causing pain to Eritreans.

          We need to move on towards the brighter future. If countries that bombed each other using Atomic bomb, killed millions of their citizens (I am not trying to minimize our loses) can move on and make peace, there is no reason we shouldn’t.

          Ethiopia needs to do it for its own selfish self first and not to help Eritrea in anyway.

          It’s really a waste of everyone time, we have to move beyond a small isolated world.

          Berhe

          • Abi

            Hi Berhe
            I don’t remember you welcoming me at all. All I remember is your nonstop questioning me as to why I’m here? You can delete my comments whenever you are on moderating duty.
            Happy New Year.

          • Berhe Y

            Hi Abi,

            Really? I am not a moderator and I never was. You can reread again and what you responded. May be because you were rushing for last minute Christmas shopping:)

            In any case, the reason I commented was in response to your favourite quotes.

            I wouldn’t have said anything if I had read (you posted after) what you last wrote to SG.

            Berhe

        • Semere Tesfai

          Selam Abi

          ከመይ ሓዲርካ ዘማይ::

          First thing first: Congratulation for your silver jubilee – a milestone toooooooo many people couldn’t achieve in their lifetime – until you receive my invitation for my golden…….. that is. But ጋሸ ኣቢ: make no mistake – my sister in your arms – still I fell cheated 🙂 So you know.

          But seriously…….. it’s snowing heavy in my neighborhood, things are kind quiet here at work. Now, if you don’t mind I want to engage you. You’re smart, you’re highly educated, well rounded…….. person. And this is the question/idea that came to my mind, after I saw your exchange of ideas with the Awate family commenters.

          A. – What was true about Eritreans in Addis or outside Eritrea in Ethiopia, can’t be and wasn’t, true representative of what was life inside Eritrea. The samples you saw/knew in Addis, didn’t even remotely represent the ethnic diversity of Eritrea (if you want I can try to explain to you, the step by step deterioration of the Ethio-Eritrean relations, and the step by step abrogation of the Ethio-Eritrean federal agreement that led to the armed struggle).

          Therefore the argument that, Eritreans were doing well before the armed struggle, seems like what I read as a young Tegadalay from one of Mao’s quotations – እንቁርዖብ ‘ሲ: ናይታ ንሰማይ ኣብ ውሽጢ ዒላ ኮይና ትርእያ: ሰማይ ክንዲ ኣፍ ዒላ ትመስላ:: If you need help with translation, you know who ask: my sister 🙂

          B. – Just for the sake of argument, let’s say everything you said and believed is true – Eritreans were spoiled brat, they were given educational opportunity better than any ethnic in Ethiopia, they controlled every aspect of Ethiopian government offices, they controlled the whole Ethiopian economy…… and now they are coming back by the thousands to the very people and country they betrayed.

          Then what? What is the way foreword?

          Is it Ethiopia should close its borders with Eritrea forever? Is it no war no peace policy should be the policy of Ethiopia for the foreseeable future? Is it Eritrea should show remorse and ask for forgiveness, and come back to Ethiopia? What is it that Ethiopians should do when it comes to Eritrea.

          Semere Tesfai

          • Abi

            Kemey my brother in law
            When I signed up at Awate University some years back, my first question for my professor ( Queen Hayat) was if there is any possible way to form some kind of unity between the two.countries . Boy! I got knocked out big time. I’m still on the floor, my head spinning, my nose broken, my mouth bleeding…Ofcourse, l did not die.
            The way forward, as I said many times, is non interference including returning of Badme. I don’t think we are ready to cooperate with each other.
            The best thing Ethiopians do when it comes to Eritrea is just forget about them just like the new generation is doing.
            Hey, ክቡር አማች , please no more lesson about your struggles. It took me 4 years to finish a freshman course.
            Slow learner, I guess.

          • Semere Tesfai

            Selam Abi

            “When I signed up at Awate University some years back, my first question for my professor ( Queen Hayat) was if there is any possible way to form some kind of unity between the two.countries . Boy! I got knocked out big time. I’m still on the floor, my head spinning, my nose broken, my mouth bleeding…”

            Yea, I remember that! And I enjoyed it then, and still love it. I think it is an Eritrean thing – when we see an Ethiopian get beat-up, you get a kick out of it. You know, Tegadalay 101 – Eritreanism = Ant-Ethiopianism. Don’t you agree? Of course you do!!!

            To be honest, I don’t remember you, knocked down on the floor, your head spinning, your nose broken…….. I myself have been waterboarded so many times here at Awate I don’t remember a thing – and that is without factoring the memory cells my poor brain has lost due high mileage. Now, go figure how much I could remember. Anyway, you said……

            1. – “The way forward, as I said many times, is non interference including returning of Badme. The way forward, as I said many times, is non interference including returning of Badme. I don’t think we are ready to cooperate with each other..”

            I kind figured. You’re right, I get it – too much for one day (article). Hopefully some other time when we both feel like engaging. But for now, let me leave you with these thoughts.

            Badme:

            Thank you for your position on Badme. In my book, not only that position is a very courageous and foreword looking political position, but also, a political position that should be appreciated and reciprocated in kind.

            Non-Interference:

            That is the reason that made me say – I should stop, Abi is not in a mood to talk. Because I don’t believe you believe in that. The reason: You know as much as I do your neighbor is not just your next door Country/regime/person….. Your neighbor is – for better for worse, someone with whom you share your life with. You can’t ignore your neighbor and live your life. You can’t shut your door and forget your neighbor exist. Just imagine how your life would be different if when your neighbor is – a police officer, a convicted rapist, a nun, a drug-dealer, a child molester, a doctor, a priest, a prostitute……….

            The point: Eritreans and Ethiopians have many choices but “we are not ready to cooperate with each other”, therefore “Non-Interference” is the way to go, is not one of them. No nation is an island, and never would it be even if its people/government want to.

            Thank you for engaging, and thank you for all the respect. See you some time her at Awate.

            Semere Tesfai

          • Abi

            Hi Semere T
            I’m always ready to talk. The only thing still functioning from the knockout punch is my tongue.
            I think age is catching up on you. I’ve been saying “return Badme and get out ” was and still is my stand since freshman at Awate university.
            Non interference is not non engaging. However, I still think we are not ready for cooperation.
            I see non interference as not putting your hand into someone’s pockets, or more importantly not to be a fertile ground for opposition forces.
            Next question?

          • Semere Tesfai

            Selam Abi

            “Non interference is not non engaging. However, I still think we are not ready for cooperation.”

            Abi, you’re not making sense. If you’re not cooperating with Eritrea what is the engaging all about?

            Listen: when the young Awatistas here say – we’re going to make peace with our neighbors, we’re going have free and fair elections, we’re going to have peaceful transition of power, we’re going to have free press, we’re going to have 10,000 volunteer army, we’re going to bring peace stability and prosperity to the Eritrean/Ethiopian people…….. I can keep quiet and look the other way. But not with you, because you know better.

            Ethiopia is Ethiopia. And Ethiopia to remain Ethiopia in every way, it has to play its proper role in the region. And that is not a choice, it is a must. Ethiopia is not strong enough, rich enough, big enough, technologically advanced enough….. to insure itself. Ethiopia has to buy insurance from some global power(s). And to have insurance and to keep its insurance, Ethiopia has to play its proper role in the region. And its proper role in the region is to be a team leader. And I’m sure you know that. And there is no any other way to dance tango without close body connection.

            Any nation on this planet is as peaceful, as stable, as prosperous, as free to mind its business as regional and global powers want it to be. You have to have strong allies, you’ve to be a team player, you’ve to do something for others to get something for yourself. I hope I made myself clear.

            SEmere Tesfai

          • Abi

            Hi Semere Tesfachin
            ተስፋህ ይስመር አቦ!!!
            That was what I was saying before the knock out testa!!! Now, here is Semere T to pick me up from the floor, straighten my nose, clean my mouth and put my tongue back.
            Honestly, I never expected this kind of positive attitude from a Tegadalay. I’m surprised to say the least. Is the Ali Salim kind of U-Turn?
            When did you calibrate your GPS? I’m speechless!
            Looks like you are ready for another round of water boarding.
            Semere, I have to sleep over this one. My eyes are still shut from that testa.
            Can I invite Horizon until I wake up?
            የቀንየለይ አያይ

          • Lamek

            ኣያ ሰመረ፤ ትምክሕቲ ናይ ኣብነት ርኢኻዮዶ፧ ኢትዮጵያ ክትመርሓና ኣለዋ (play team leader) ምስ በልካዮ ብታሕጓስ ጥራጥ ንጥራጥ ኮይኑ፤ ‘ፈሊጠካይ ወደይ’ በሎ ቀልጢፍካ ምስ ጫምኡ ከይሓድር፤

          • Abi

            Hi Lamek
            Ata SebAy entay khonka?
            Use English or Amharic languages in this forum. Unknown language is not allowed. Message deleted.
            Now, I demand a quick translation. I up voted you as a bribe.

          • Nitricc

            Hey Abi; why are you ignoring my inquiry I have posted yesterday? Come now, be a man and answer it. I am not like others let of the hook. Answer it, sir!

          • Abi

            Yes Sir General!

            I thought you are the one running away when the going is tough. You always say ” I will get back to you on this one”.
            Now, what was your question again?

          • Nitricc

            Hey Semere: i hear you but are you saying Ethiopia have the courage, the stamina and the will to do what you outlined or you are listing your wishes? As far as i am concern, for Ethiopia to play its role in the region, Ethiopia needs a strong leader with a strong conviction to set the country into the right path. Ethiopia have everything a nation need and want to get to the promise land but without a leader; Ethiopia will be there and the same for the next 100 years. I can’t see Ethiopia weathering the crippling corruption they are submerged in, too deep!!!!

          • Semere Tesfai

            Selam Nitricc

            I agree with you. But also, I’m very optimistic and very hopeful. This is information age. And because of modern communication and modern transportation, we all Ethiopians and Eritreans are changing and changing fast – of course for better.

            Semere Tesfai

          • Abi

            Hi Semere
            Totally unrelated topic. I know a person who likes to wear the shoes like those on your avatar. Can you guess?

          • Semere Tesfai

            Selam Abi

            No I can’t. Help me please!

          • Abi

            Hi Semere
            I’ll tell you . But first translate what Lamek said.

          • Semere Tesfai

            Selam Abi

            Honestly, I didn’t get Lamek’s whole message – the ጫማው ሳያወጣ እንዳያድር part of it to be exact. But still, what does that has to do with my avatar? I thought I was old enough to know our Habesha culture but I guess not. I think I missed the meaning of ከጫማህ ማደር part of our culture. Please help me out!!

          • Abi

            Hi Semere
            Are you kidding me? The only word I know from his comment is my name and Ethiopia. If there is ጫማ it is a bizarre coincidence.

            Anyway, prof Gedeon is the person I’m talking about. One day I met him at a wedding wearing those shoes. I think he was a ከተማ ሽፍታ from Aqaqi Adventist School just outside Addis.

          • Semere Tesfai

            Selam Abi

            I met prof. Gideon only once and that was few years back. He was on a tour and he came to my town during some kind Eritrean national holiday (I think March 8 – Women’s day). He had a meeting with our kids during day and a friend introduced me at the party around 9:00 pm. He was dressed casual dress but don’t remember the Sheda shoes.

            But he is very nice guy, very social and easy to talk to – from what I remember. But it could also be a Wenbede to Wenbede attraction thing – though I’m not exactly his brand of Wenbede.

          • Abi

            Hi Semere
            I knew Gedeon for years. He is quite a gentleman.( politics aside). No, you two are different wenbedewoch. You are a ጫካ wenbede, he is ከተማ wenbede.
            What was he doing at women’s day? Was wearing a skirt that goes with his Sheda shoes? Did he shave his beard or did he look like black santa? Poor kids! I’m sure he scared the heck out of them.

          • Semere Tesfai

            Selam Abi

            He wasn’t there for Women’s Day. He was in town for his ‘Mekhete’ tour for the “unjust” UN sanction on Eritrea. He brainwashed us for about an hour, and I’m one of his living proof of converts.

            I’m telling you, he is one of a kind. You see, you met him once and you’re calling him “quite a gentleman”. You’re lucky he didn’t meet you in Aqaqi Beseqa way back. You would’ve been celebrating your 35th wedding anniversary today, with another Eritrean woman with a gun next her pillow, and two Ethiopia-hating hardheaded kids named YikeAlo and Warsay.

          • Abi

            Hi Semere
            ብሩክ ለይቲ አያይ
            የቀንየለይ

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Semere T.

            I always wondered why a smart guy like you, who was a fighter of Abay Jebha (all wise Tegadelti hail from Jebha, based on my experience), speak multiple ERITREAN languages and understand real tradition and culture could NOT understand the crimes perpetrated against our people by pfdj and you chose to support them at best and white wash them at worst.

            Now I think I know, that you are a deciple of the good for nothing professor, who

          • Abi

            Hi Berhe
            I think I know how you feel. If I understood you correctly, professor Gedeon whom you called ” good for nothing ” , betrayed his colleagues. You even alleged he sold his soul to the devil to destroy the country and the people. He also recruited a pathetic Tokyo. Finally, you compared him with Joseph Gobbles.
            If there is any one person that feels your pain is Ras Abi.
            History is repeating itself. What I learned in the past days of heated debate with almost everyone, what you say is not as important as how you said it. On top of that what you think as an absolute sin can be considered bravery and heroic act by others.
            Anyway, I’m glad to find a person that I share my feelings with.
            Berhe, I know you are not a moderator. You are only moderately angry by someone who you think is good for nothing Professor who betrayed his colleagues, his country and his people.
            When you become really angry, Oh boy! …
            Ajoka!!!

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Abi,

            May be our anger is equivalent but out reason is completely the opposite.

            My reason: As a professor he has the responsibility to stop / speak up when a crimes is committed against his own people rather than help intensify the crimes and conceal it.

            Your reason: You wanted the good Eritrean Professors who were educated in Ethiopia and to remain silent when their people as massacred and their villages are bombed and remain (ሆዳሞች) as you guys say.

            Berhe

          • Abi

            Hi Berhe
            I stand corrected.
            My question is what if he thinks what is going on in his country is right and must be protected from the G13, G15, G20, UN,Weyane, opposition parties ….? What if he is saying you are a ሆዳም?
            BTW, he is a product of the Ethiopian education system.

          • Berhe Y

            Hi Abi,

            He is entitled to his opinion, but he must provide proof in an open and independent court. I don’t think you are ignorant to miss that. And the proof speaks for it self my friend.

            Please enough with this Ethiopian education system…he studied at St. George high school in Mendefera (one of the best in it’s time) and may be he went to Ethiopia for higher education. So who is responsible for his education, the University or the high school..so I think both..if it wasn’t for the high school, primary school i don’t think he would be in the university.

            As far as the Ethiopian education system, come on. Most if not all were setup by western countries and their missionaries, during HIM, which I think is his great legacy.

            The British already established high school in Eritrea starting 1942, and had a good run for 10 years before the federation.

            So you are saying if the federation didn’t happen, Eritrea had to stay in the dark ages..without higher education?

            Please grow up, you speak as if Ethiopia higher education is home to the most Nobel prize. It’s like any other third world education system, thanks to Unicef, missionaries and donation of the western countries.

            Berhe

          • Nitricc

            Ato Berhe the Canadian white man, lol Okay with educational system is better; Ethiopian or Canadian? You are one lost soul. you are so confused and disjointed by the white people; you have no idea who you are as a person. Are you white or black, Ato Berhe. hahahahahahah
            the same educational system you are urinating also brought you; your god, the ever opportunist Dr Bereket Habtesiliase. what do you have to say to that?

          • Berhe Y

            Hi Nitric,

            I have no idea what you are talking about. Please read what I wrote first.

            I am not comparing any school system and not indicating Canadian is better than Ethiopian.

            My response was to Abi, that I am tired of hearing Ethiopian education system this or that, and making a point it’s no better than any third world countries, that one can brag about day in and day out. Actually there is no Ethiopian system, it is uses the same international standards.

            If you must know about the Canadian education, just google Canadian inventions and you will have some idea.

            Berhe

          • Thomas

            Hi Berhe,

            You are a humble man who is a humanitarian and I see it pains you when you see injustice in your own country happening to your own people. Nitricc has no connection with our country and his only reason of mentioning Eritrea/the country is because Issayas/Nitricc’s god is in Eritrea. Nitricc’s love for this person is immense. Everything Nitricc says in the defense of Issayas. I found it better to just not respond to this special creature:)

          • Thomas

            Hi Abi,

            Referring to Semere T you said, “he thinks what is going on in his country is right and must be protected from the G13, G15, G20, UN,Weyane, opposition parties ….? What if he
            is saying you are a ሆዳም?” Please never speak about something you have no clue about. I cannot be quite when you include the prisoners/victims of the mafia regime and accuse them being “hodamoch”. They are denied of their right to defend themselves in the court as it is done in the normal world. I am suspecting you are enjoying the problems we are facing in our homeland by the merciless dictator. Please don’t attack us during our unfortunate times. We will be able to have a normal life after we get rid of the likes of Semere T. The Eritrean people will deal with the “hodamoch” people like Semere T. By rubbing salt into wounds, he is laughing at us. We can only wait until his time ends very soon. We will break the chain that is put on our people and we will set our selves free. I won’t be too long, mark my words on this!!

          • Abi

            Hi Thomas
            You can read and comprehend anyway you like it.
            The reference was about the Professor not Semere. You kind of rushed to comment. Besides, you missed all the conditionals. What is wrong with you? What is all this jumping up and down for each and every comment? If possible ( conditional) try to comprehend a comment before before you respond.
            If I want to say PIA is doing fine, trust me I don’t need to use any conditional.
            What about if (again conditional) I was playing the devil’s advocate?
            Slow down on your Akaki Zeraf !!
            This is the reason why you don’t usually find me commenting on exclusively Eritrean issues.

          • Thomas

            Hi Abi,

            I am sorry if (conditional:)) misread your comment. If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck. Most visitors of this forum know the stand of Semere T, as a wise man I expect you to tell Semere T to wise up and defend the Eritrean people. I think you would now when to use the word “hodamoch”. It is used when someone is working with someone in power until the power shifts to someone else. I suggest you call a spade by its rightful name/a spade. No one can be more “hodam” than the likes of Semere T.

          • Berhe Y

            Hi Thomas,

            Thanks. I usually do, I am doing out of respect to saay, his lost child:).

            Berhe

          • Thomas

            Hi Berhe,

            “Nizi’abi kol’ae ait’bedil endiyu”. Man, this Nitricc guy never matures. I feel he is taking advantage of the situation here:)

          • Berhe Y

            Hi Thomas,

            You are correct, he doesn’t mature. He is not as young as everyone think he is..:)….

            Berhe

          • Semere Tesfai

            Selam Berhe Y

            Like I told Adi, I met Dr Gideon only once in my life. And that was when he came to my town during his Mekhete tour. He came at Eritrea’s national holiday – March 8 (I believe). Prior to his scheduled speech (which I didn’t organize), a friend introduced me to him and we talked for brief moment – because the music was loud, and as you can imagine he was busy. And that is the first and the last time I saw him and talked to him.

            And if it would’ve bee you (Berhe Y) then, or if you come to my town sometime in the future, I’ll do the same. Because we’re small community of Eritreans, and that is what we do to all our Eritrean guests – which we don’t see guest speakers that often.

            ሕጂስ: እንታይ ‘ዩ ሓጥያተይ? ማለተይሲ: እንታይ እየ ኣቢሰ?

            I you have something to say to Dr. Gideon, say it, but don’t include me with him. Because we’re two independent minded people. He does his own thing for his own reasons and I do my own thing for my own reasons. If you want to say something to me, say it in my face, don’t include Dr. Gideon with me. But…..

            Berhe: instead of talking about people, let’s flex our brain muscle and argue about issues. That way, at least we could learn from each other and know each other better.

            Semere Tesfai

          • Berhe Y

            Selam Semere T.

            If I have something to say to you I will say it.

            The reason I bothered to respond to you and include him is because this is what you wrote “He brainwashed us for about an hour, and I’m one of his living proof of converts.”.

            I don’t know if you meant it as a joke, but I feel that’s exactly his mission is. And I decided to share what I feel about him and what I know, specially after I heard you praise him.

            Berhe

          • Abi

            Hi Berhe
            I can assure you that Semere was kidding. He was just playing with me. If you know Semere he can be very playful.
            Last time he told me that he was at a clinic with the professor because both hurt their hands hitting kebero. I knew he was kidding. I said to him ” yekebero akalesinkulan” and we left it there. I did not call Gedeon to check if his hand is getting better.
            You are becoming too sensitive. Today you hit the ceiling when I mentioned Ethiopian education.
            Take it easy Berhe Hawey.
            You have to recalibrate your comic cells.
            Learn from the grumpy Ras Abi to detect jokes and sarcasm.

          • tes

            Selam Berhe Y.,

            Very brave response to SemereT. He is nothing but a man who lost his political principles and became nothing but chauvinist.

            tes

          • Abi

            Hi Professor Tes
            What is chauvinism?
            Can chauvinism be considered as a political principle?
            Merci

        • Tensae

          Selam Abi,
          If as you claim you are married to an Eritrean woman for over 25 years, and yet you could neither understand the meaning of the Eritrean struggle nor have any sympathy for the suffering of Eritreans under consecutive repressive Ethiopian governments, then you will never be able to understand Eritrea and Eritreans at all and you are probably better off to give it up. We Eritreans are known for our generosity and forgiveness and there is no better proof of that than the way that Eritreans welcomed you and other Ethiopians on this august discussion forum. Yet instead of been grateful and using the opportunity to engage with others in a civilized and friendly manner, you continuously choose to antagonize and insult others. YeBelahbet Sahin Sebari. To make matters worse, you posts are full of lies and innuendos and the current one is no exception. Your quote ” ለኔ የማትበጅ ኢትዮጵያ ሺሕ ቦታዎች ትበጣጠስ” was deliberating altered by you to make your none sense claim. To begin with, it was never said by a government official let alone an Eritrean one. The quote is a twist of what a former TPLF representative in North America once said in response to a question about the future of Ethiopia. He said” Le Tigray Yematbej Ethiopia Leshi Tibetates”. Your second quote “እንደ ኤክስፐርት እንጠቀምባቸዋለን” is equally a fraud. What the former PM of Ethiopia Tamrat Layne exactly said in answer to a question about the futurity of Eritreans in Ethiopia was “we will treat Eritreans like any other foreign citizens”. No less, no more. I am at a loss why you keep lying.

          As for your

          • Abi

            Hi Tensae
            First, the quotation I mentioned about Ethiopia was said by an Ethiopian. I did not say it was said by an Eritrean. Actually, it was said by an Oromo official at that time. If he copied it from the TPLF representative, I have no idea.
            The expert Eritreans thing, I have watched it on TV. As a mad person at EPRDF, all I hear was those kind of remarks from our government. In case you forgot, the two governments were sleeping together in a twin bed.
            There is nothing our government did or said to keep Eritreans and the new government happy.
            It is a government which looked the other way when the Eritrean Embassy at Abiyot Adebabay converted into a ground zero to money laundering. I can write pages of the mismanagement done by Ethiopian government.
            PS
            The” expert ” thing was a hot topic in almost all opposition magazines.
            The Ethiopia TibeTaTes thing was on a front page on ጦቢያ magazine with details of the interview inside.
            Any more questions?

          • Abraham H.

            Selam Tensae, you said “If as you claim you are married to an Eritrean woman for over 25 years, and yet you could neither understand the meaning of the Eritrean struggle nor have any…”. I know it is not right to speak about someone else who is not attending the forum discussion, but i wanted to remind you not all Eritreans suffered under those regimes. Actually, there were many Eritreans who benefited from and who were supporting those bygone regimes of Ethiopia. Who knows the one Abi has been engaged with for more than 25 years could be one of those.

          • Abi

            Selam Abraham
            Could you please remove your comment about my wife. You can say anything you want about me. You don’t know her, you don’t know anything about her.
            Thanks

          • Abraham H.

            Selamat Abi, it was you who brought your wife and private life into the discussion in the first place. I’ve said my opinion and i’m not deleting it unless the moderator decides it is inappropriate and removes it. Thanks

          • Abi

            Hi Abraham
            Don’t worry about it.
            Thanks anyway.

          • Dear Abraham H.,
            I had few discussions with you, and I want you to know that you are among the people whom I respect, and will continue to respect. Abi and his wife are two grownups, each responsible for what they say and do, personally. As we see many eritreans do not seem to like abi’s opinion. It is his opinion and his only, having nothing to do with his wife, and we should not implicate her for something she is not responsible in any way, or put her way of life under scrutiny. One can crucify abi, put him under the guillotine or burn him tied to a pole, if they want to and if they can, but his wife and his children (anybody’s wife, husband and children) must be left out from all discussions. I do not say this only for the sake of her or the eritrean and ethiopian people who are sometimes abused from both sides, but also for what might follow in the future, despite the fact that the moderators are doing their best, so that we do not cross the red line. You may wonder why I am saying this now and not earlier. It is because participants in the forum are able to defend themselves, but not third parties. Excuse me for intervening.
            Regards.

          • Abraham H.

            Dear Horizon, i understand what you mean but i’ve never seen you react when abi was bashing at our dead people day in day out, people who are gone and cannot defend themselves. You did not react when he keeps gloating over the suffering of our people.

          • Dis Donc

            Dear Abraham,
            The question wasn’t of her mere mention rather than her being a potential benefactor of the bygone era. If you know her, in person, then you can let us know your source as well.

  • Amde

    Happy New Year ye wounded souls…

    Well, it looks like Awate.com is off to a roaring start.

    Mahmuday, I thank you for the short summary of the Eritrean experience. I would like to offer some perspectives.

    1. The Eritreans that Ethiopians met and lived with in Ethiopia proper were not seen as victims of any sort. Quite the opposite – they were seen as a favored/privileged class overrepresented within the bureaucracy and business classes. The refrain used to be “Addis speaks Tigrinya at night” and that was not in any way a reference to Tigrayans.

    2. The Ethiopians that Eritreans met and lived with in Eritrea proper were mostly government officials, and as time went on, increasingly military people. Not hard to figure out where this is going in the context of a worsening insurgency.

    3. When Ethiopians speak of “betrayal”, you have to remember it is from the context of their understanding of the typical Eritrean they rubbed shoulders with. The typical Eritrean had it better than the typical Ethiopian, so why they would support fighting against a system that was visibly rewarding them better was incomprehensible.

    4. I do not believe Ethiopians are generally aware of the civilian massacres such as Ona in the Eritrean lowlands of the Haile Sellasie years. Most Ethiopians think there was counterinsurgency action against armed shifta groups. Government fighting shifta is a “dog bites man” kind of story. There is some kind of shifta in some corner of Ethiopia at any moment. Civilian massacre that pushed out the eventual millions currently in Sudan is not really known or understood.

    5. The types of urban terror that Tzigereda described in her recent piece on Asmara is sady all too familiar to many Ethiopians in many urban centers – Addis included. Eritreans might think it only happened to them, but the Red Terror was real for all of us. I grew up walking over corpses to go to school, and hearing stories of young couples executed for the dubious reason of “practicing Jolly Jackism” which could be as simple as wearing a dress a centimeter too short for some imbecile’s eye.

    6. I don’t believe thousands leave their homes, families and livelihoods for some abstract concept as the abrogation of a written constitution or Federation – especially not in our neck of the woods. We have cultures that respect strong men, and constantly hone the art of survival. That was so in the 1960s and it is even more so today. Atse Isayyas wields infinitely more power – and more cruelly – over Eritreans than Atse HaileSellasie or Atse Mengistu ever did. No. The likelier story is the Ethiopian side gave a military response to a political problem, and entered into a spiral of insurgency and counter-insurgency with catastrophic results.

    7. If there is any single lesson we have learned from our recent history, it is “don’t get in trouble, because if you do there are many waiting around to add fuel and fan the flames.” And so it was with the Eritrea issue. There were other contemporary insurgencies in other regions of Ethiopia, which the student movements also supported in spirit, but these were rather short lived and quashed. Farmers revolt in Gojjam and Bale come to mind. Why is it they failed and the Eritrean one succeeded? There won’t be a single answer of course, but a key (if not THE key) factor must be the willingness of outsiders to support the Eritrean one and not bother with the others.

    8. I read constantly about the unaided nature of the Eritrean struggle, but on more than a few occasions people on this forum and elsewhere do let slip about the quantity and nature of lethal aid given to the Eritrean cause. Amanuel Hidrat and I had a discussion for instance about a case where he was describing the logistics of unloading a shipload of arms from Kuwait (a conservatve monarchy) given to revolutionaries fighting another conservative monarchy, and figuring out how to split it between the two warring factions. I distinctly remember this because I asked that although I understand why Egypt might want to undermine Ethiopia, what was in Kuwait’s interest? The response was basically this was a result of having good public diplomacy. OK, that is a strange kind of public diplomacy that yields you a shipload of arms for a conflict that is a sea and a peninsula removed.

    9. For what it’s worth, it is better to accept that from the point of view of Ethiopians, it is considered a given that the Eritrean cause was supported by many outside parties which had no obvious reason to do so, of which a disproportionate many were of the Arab state persuasion. SalehJ and others have told us not to take a simplistic view and assume it is an Ethiopia vs Arab thing, and that each state has its own political history, prediliction etc… . It is valuable advice, and it points to the need for Ethiopia to consider itself as a part of the Middle East and play the game with its constituent members accordingly. On this score it looks like current Ethiopian government is doing rather well right now. But the public and perhaps much of the governing class pretty much solidly holds this view, as well as what it implies going forward.

    10. To repeat, I believe strongly that “On average, the living are smarter than the dead.” To me, this statement represents the hope that informed rational thought replaces impassioned heedless action. The “informed” part means being cognizant of the actions taken and their repercussions. With the benefit of hindsight it is fair to say that the players of over 50 years ago did not make the right choices at the time. Personally, I think human beings in general are much better at carrying wounds than dropping them – it seems to be the way the learning process is designed to function in our brain. I think it will be a generation or two before some less emotional discussion is possible (even that is optimistic – we already have had a generation pass since Eritrean independence).

    ሰላም ለሁላችሁ በውስጣችሁ

    Amde

    • Abi

      Amazing Amde
      Thanks!
      In the same exchange you had with Amanual Hidrat, he told us what the representatives of the Arab countries said. ” As long as you fight Ethiopia, there is enough for both of you.” Funny thing is when I mentioned this event to Ismail AA the other day, Tegadalay Amanual Hidrat denied it. Actually, he called me a story maker. No, Amanual, I don’t make up stories. I just read and remember most things at Awate. Some outrageous like this one. What a character!! What a betrayal to country who gave you all.

      • tes

        Selam Abi,

        If there is any similarity between you and Nitricc is on how you make your own history. We are following every line you drop here and all exposes your fabricated allegations.

        As arrogant as you are, do not try to fool yourself.

        Remember how Nitricc made his own version of accusation to Ms. Umutoni. I never mentioned any kind, whatis ever related with her origin and skin color. Instead, he came out if I was targeting her as such.

        Yours is the same.

        It is better if you stop fooling yourself. if not, we will use you as a means to expose the mind of hypocrites that are now scattered every where.

        To tell you, I(and I believe others here in this forum too) am lucky to meet people like you and Nitricc here in this forum. It is helping us to filter the mind of those who hinder an innocent struggle for justice by camouflaging themselves within the large community. Through your hypocrite, bigoted and chauvinistic provocative lines, we clarify our position and send a light of purity to the masses.

        tes

        • Abi

          Hi Tes
          Who is Ms Umutoni?
          I don’t know this person. Is she a Tegadalay? Is she a model with a good dose of makeup?
          I’m lost here.
          Your help is greatly appreciated.
          Merci

    • Simon Kaleab

      Selam Amde,

      You said: “The Eritreans that Ethiopians met and lived with in Ethiopia proper were not seen as victims of any sort. Quite the opposite – they were seen as a favored/privileged class overrepresented within the bureaucracy and
      business classes.”

      So, the whole issue of Eritrea and Ethiopia could have been settled between few individual bureaucrats and business men?

      No wonder that when the Ethiopian Red revolution led by the army started, the favoured and privileged were paralysed, frozen, and stunned. They could not respond in any meaningful way or do anything about it. Of course, the assumption by these people is/was that it is always the fault of others.

      Amde, are you by any chance a member or are you connected to members of the favoured and privileged classes?

      • Amde

        Selam Simon,

        Please reread what i wrote. I am explaining perception gaps. Elites instituting policies for which there are no meaningful feedback and corrective mechanism is as old as the human race. Elite cooption is the name of the game.

        In Imperial Ethiopia, if you were ambitious you were rewarded with titles, privileges maybe even a political marriage. The unspoken assumption is that the ambitious does not exist in a vacuum, he has the talent to cultivate followers and influence them. Hence rewarding him is rewarding his network of proteges.

        HaileSellasie was the ultimate coopter and he did it with finesse. Your comment about the Derg made me question what would have happened if HaileSellasie still had his wits and he was able to provide sufficient rewards to the rebelling officers. It is an interesting thought experiment, but I guess logic dictates that at some point one runs out of sufficient goodies.

        My parents were civil servants if you must know. Their parents were minor gentry. I would not by any measure consider them or myself a part of the privileged elite, although I am sure when they first started getting a steady government paycheck it must have seemed as if they hit a goldmine.

        Amde

        • Simon Kaleab

          Selam Amde,

          When you look at a distant era, through the mist of time, everything looks romantic and rosy. You are painting a rosy picture of a rotten system.

          The LAND PROBLEM was the first issue, then comes the MARGINALIZATION of ethnic groups, next in line was lack of SOCIAL MOBILITY.

          You said: “In Imperial Ethiopia, if you were ambitious you were rewarded with titles, privileges maybe even a political marriage.”

          But in reality the system was a closed shop, based on cronyism and corruption. That was why the exclusive group of the favoured and privileged in Ethiopia were paralysed, frozen, and stunned when the army took over; and ordinary people didn’t care.

          • Amde

            Selam Simon,

            I don’t think I find much to disagree with what you said. It is true however that AS AN INDIVIDUAL the system did reward you for your utility to it. Social mobility in a feudal monarchic system is basically interpreted within the context of power. Land, titles and some government scratch as they say. Later on, the bureaucracy was staffed with people of low birth educated under HaikeSellasie’s close tutelage. What else can such a political system give you?

            The land issue was paramount… something that paradoxically has yet to be decisively solved even though the Derg did make a huge improvement. Did HaileSellasie want to improve it? The consensus is that the aristocracy stifled any attempt at reform. I don’t know if there was a peaceful path to get out of the old landholding system without bloodshed.

            Within the context of what we are discussing, would HaikeSellasie’s traditional method of elite cooption have worked to tamp down the rebellion after the annullment of the Federation? That may be worth discussing.

            But I am hesitant to make a blanket statement that the whole system was so rotten and ineffective that it deserved the five alarm inferno that followed it.

            Amde

    • Ismail AA

      Selam Amde,

      I always take pleasure in closely reading the comments you post on this forum. Not only for the substance, but also the reflective thoughts and personal propriety they project. Looked from retrospective trajectory, objective reading of your comments reflect the economic favorability perspective side only. Hence, the following cursory feedback from my side.

      The fundamental reason for the Eritrean resistance should be sought in the fact that an internationally sanctioned
      agreement between two states was unilaterally abrogated, and with impunity. A legal-political internationally guaranteed contract was flagrantly breached by one of the contracting parties. The economic loss-gain side of the matter should be understood as endgame factor rather than rationale for Eritrean-Ethiopian federal relationship. Thus, the claimed economically favorable status of Eritrean subsequent to annexation cannot not diminish the political and legal damage the Eritreans had incurred . Loss of the autonomous status came with the calamity of loss of liberties and freedoms that no amount of economic gains could compensate under suffocating imperial-feudal order that existed in Ethiopia.

      The argument that more Eritrean workers, businessmen and public servants lived in Ethiopia in contrast to mostly government officials and soldiers in Eritrea should be assessed in the context of the then prevalent objective and subjective conditions. The labor force in post-Italian Eritrea was more skilled, which the labor market in Ethiopian direly needed. That was probably why a lot of technical jobs such as car repair and maintenance garages and transport networks were filled by Eritreans.

      Moreover, the interest of the Imperial Government’s was long term and strategic rather than how job and business
      opportunities would be distributed. On balance, controlling the Red Sea coast and the Eritrean ports brought more gains than what individual Eritrean workers, businessmen or government employees had earned in Ethiopia.

      Now, the fact that the general public in Ethiopia did not know much about the atrocities and horrors the army had been committing in Eritrea is by and large true. The imperial-cum-feudal order did not allow any means of communication with the public save a few government controlled outlets. We know that the greater majority of the population was not literate, too. But that did not totally insulate the elites, especially progressive students and their unions, from the crimes their government was committing. Later on the issue of Eritrea rose to center stage along with the land-to-the-tiller rallying slogan.

      Lastly, if I may, to end this rather quick feedback, I would like to say a few words about a point that caught my attention. This is related to whether or not it was (is) advantageous to Ethiopia ‘s diplomatic, cultural and economic relations to bypass the countries and peoples in the region across the Red Sea in favor of connecting with countries beyond for reasons having to do with faith, language and culture.

      The point reminded me of how fateful developments (independence of Eritrea) and demands and exigencies of modernization seem to had alerted Ethiopia’s elites (including the current government) that their country has more to gain from considering itself as part of the immediate region to her east and north.

      By way of example, I want to share views of two most enlightened Ethiopians I read and hear some time back: Professor Mesfin Woldemariam’s and the late Meles Zenawi’s.

      In early 1993, I happened to meet a Dutch lady. During a casual conversation she noted that I had some nowledge about Ethiopia. She asked me if I knew Professor Mesfin. When I told her I did, she offered to bring me an interview with a local English publication. In that interview, he said what I can paraphrase as that Ethiopia lost Eritrea long time ago when it had allied itself with countries beyond the Middle East rather than countries (Arab) in the region that could have had influenced events, and helped to find solution.

      Similarly, I heard the late Meles Zenawi saying in a TV interview related an election campaign when asked about giving up to the referendum of 1993 that Ethiopia’s cause in Eritrea was already lost when the imperial
      government allied with, and relied on, consenting side and ignored than rejectionist segment of the Eritrean people. By the former he meant the predominantly Christian Eritrean highlanders, and by the latter, the predominantly Moslem lowlanders, underscoring that what EPDF did was stopping loss of more lives, which had caused more than a million deaths in the course of three decades.
      Regards

      • Simon Kaleab

        Selam Ismail AA,

        I am sorry to sidetrack the issue, but I do not think Mesfin Woldemariam is an enlightened person [based on his track record]. Furthermore, he is not a reliable witness [even when he utters pronouncements in favour of Eritrea].

        • Ismail AA

          Dear Simon Kaleab,
          You’re entitled to your opinion; only your conscience and objectivity can censor you.
          regards.

      • Amde

        Selam IsmailAA,

        I agree with almost everything you said. I am just trying to address a perception gap between Ethiopians and Eritreans.

        Consider me a little bit cynical that in general people in our neck of the woods would revolt about abstract concepts like Federation and parliaments. I don’t see much evidence in our social values. Witness the state of opposition politics, or the unresolved Highland Lowland dichotomy today. Why people would revolt against abrogation of a federation, but would more or less accept in stoic resignation a regime that makes money off of their harvested lives is a riddle that surely has more meaningful answers. But rebelling because you got bombed? That I can most certainly understand.

        I agree with you about Prof Mesfin and his calls over the years for Ethiopians to get out of an Arab phobic mindset and engage as a legitimate component of the region.

        I also agree with your assessment of PM Meles’ take. I feel this last paragraph of yours is really the crux of the matter that is relevant going forward and speaks volumes …. I wish you would expand on it. For example, what if the Federation was abrogated but the Eritrean parliament was NOT dissolved. At least the Parliament gave muslims and western landers an institution of power they could rely on. It protected them from Tigrinya / Christian domination by creating a balance. The Imperial government took away that balancing mechanism, and worse it unabashedly took sides. The balance and the mechanism has been lost since, and hence the increasing calls for lowlander separation from a Tigrinya dominated Eritrea.

        I also agree that even if Eritrean independence does not appear to have solved fundamental Eritrean issues, it has at least mercifully brought an end to the killing.

        Amde

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Selam Amde,

      After a lengthy of comment you asked yourself as to why we fought against the system that reward us better. The answer is simple (a) it was not about us (those whom you think we were rewarded), it is about our people whose villages are burned, their properties are looted,and whose lives are taken and murdered frequently without any restrain by the HS and Derg regime. We were compeled to react and respond to the inhumane act befallen yo our people (b) I do not know what kind of rewards you are talking about, but what I know and what we experienced is, that the jobs we held at that time, was a hard fought jobs – and you what I mean by that.

      Second, we are wasting our time on the past leaving our present challenges in the back burner. That in itself tells everything about us when both our peoples are crying for peace and economic development. All the current debates, instead to bring us to common understanding and move on to mitigate the hardship of our people , we are digressed in to a childrens fight. I do not see an adult and matured debate where we can learn from it.

      Regards
      Amanuel Hidrat

      • Amde

        Selam Amanuel,

        I would like you to reread what I wrote. There is a vast perception gap between Ethiopians and Eritreans on what transpired. I am trying to address this perception gap. If I was in your shoes I cannot say what choices I would have made. You are saying you chose to give up your comfort to fight against what you perceived as injustice. I can understand that. People made the decisions they made and took the actions they took based on what they felt at the time. We can debate in hindsight whether those turned out to be correct decisions. But please understand that Ethiopians rightly or wrongly understood the movement in existential terms. I wil just ask you to reflect on how the mere idea of an Eritrean region wants to secede from Eritrea would be greeted.

        In any case, I think it is a moot point to argue against the facts that much of the economic elite in Ethiopia were Eritreans, and that there was quite substantial external support for the Eritrean movements. Whether Eritrean economic privilege was earned or a consequence of government policy or an accident of history is a debatable point or more likely a mix would be an interesting debate. The reason why the post Badme deportations sting was precisely because people were deprived of the economic benefits they had. Just the mere fact that Addis is awash with Eritreans coming back to reclaim their properties tells you a lot.

        Amde

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Sir Amde,

          Yes you are right that both (sides) our people have different perceptions. Isn ‘t one of the reasons we are debating in this website, the only websites that accommodate us for that purpose? But, unfortunately people like Abi make us to squander the opportunity of this forum. really bad.

          Regards
          Amanuel Hidrat

      • Abi

        Selam Ato Amanual Hidrat
        No, I don’t think we are wasting our time in the past. We have to know the characters of the people we have to deal with in the future. We have to be careful about the people who call us ” brothers” and do exactly the opposite in our backyard .
        What makes your case extremely special is you went back to the country you betrayed to facilitate college education for Eritrean refugees. Your problem is you tend to forget someone is reading when you brag about your deeds in Addis, at Port Sudan and back in Addis.
        I tell you, You are unique!

        • Thomas

          Dear Abi, my friend:)
          Please see if the following can help:
          1) Amanuel Hidrat left Ethiopia and went to the field to fight murders because these people were as cruel as run over over people with their tanks. Someone can give you dabo and educational opportunity in exchanging of killing your families and your relatives. Would you choose your family or be selfish eat the dabu and education look the other way while your people are executed?
          2) After his country is liberated, Amanuel went to Ethiopia to still ask the Ethiopians do a humanitarian thing in hosting the Eritrean refuges because the past Ethiopian ruler who were murderers are removed from power. You see there is no permanent friends or enemies. Things change.
          3) Your statement above only shows that Amanuel is a humanitarian and his care for needy once. I wish the world had many Amanuel Hidrat’s!! Don’t you, Abi?

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Selam Abi,

          Stop your lies and your accusation. I haven ‘t seen a freaking lair like you. I didn’t say that I was a “procurement officer “. I haven ‘t said that I was “chief organizer .” And I did not say that the Arab countries did not help us. As far as we were in a fight against the barbaric regimes of Ethiopia, we welcome any kind of help be it from the western countries (humanitarian aid) or be it from the Eastern countries like china and cuba(military training) or be it from the Arab countries (armament and logistics) to bring the success of our cause. And we did it.

          Stop this childish crying and talk like a matured man and you could learn how to debate, if not from us, from the humble and respectful Sir. Amde. Can you learn how to make your point from him. አጭበርባሪ ሰው ዋጋ የለውም::

          • Abi

            Selam Ato Amanual Hidrat
            It is you who proudly told us you were an urban mobilizer under Dr Eyob. I even asked you what was your selling point when you mobilize Eritreans in Addis? Your reply was,” it is a secret and remains as such.” Not exact words but you got the point.
            It is you who told us you were a receiving agent at Port Sudan. If you trust Sir Amde, he mentioned his exchange with you regarding the incident at Port Sudan. You ignored this point and talked about brotherly relations in the future. Tell me the story again and a will stand corrected.
            It is you who told us that you went back to Ethiopia ( a country you are done with) to convince Meles about the scholarship opportunities to Eritrean refugees. It is a great cause! Why back off?

            Funny you called me አጭበርባሪ. I tell you Ato Amanual it is you who changed your stories and coats to appear different.
            A man with different faces is called achberbari.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Hi Abi,

            Does that statement makes me a “chief organizer ” which you try to call me, if I worked under someone? in this case Dr. Eyob. If I were in the recieving end of our aid in port Sudan, does it make me a “procurement officer ?” which you tried to call me.

            Second, both had their own context why I brought them into our debate (a) Dr Eyob was liquidated by Issayas and his group and hence I was reflecting his contribution in Addis that I was proud to work with him for the cause of Eritrean struggle not to bragg about myself (b) there were a debate whether the Arabs helped us arms and hence my comment about it. So it was about the issue not about me. Do not be unruled brat. Keep your anger with you, you can ‘t change the new reality. The Ethiopian and the Eritrean people will move on.

          • Abi

            Selam Ato Amanual Hidrat
            Your titles aside, the facts remain true.
            I don’t know why Dr Eyob was liquidated by PIA. May be he tried to betray Isayas as he did to the trusting Ethiopians. The ever vigilant Isayas must have known a thing or two about loyalty and betrayal.
            I agree with you both people have moved on. As you said, we can’t change the new reality.

          • tes

            Selam Abi,

            Let me ask you this:

            Do you say an act of a slave who escaped from his master as a betrayal”? Waiting your response

            tes

          • Abi

            Hi Tes
            No it is not an act of betrayal if a slave run away from his master. However, if a master run away from his slaves it is called madness. Moreover, if a son run away from his father and serve his enemies I call it the ultimate betrayal. In addition, if the son comes back after a plastic surgery and disguised as if he is a different one and cheat the good and giving father one more time, I don’t have a word for it.
            I need your help on this.

          • tes

            Selam Abi,

            It is good that you agreed when a slave runs from a master is not a betrayal. In the case of Eri-Ethio, you might have your own take, but for us, Eritreans, it is a Slave-Master Relationship. And what we did is not a betrayal but an escape to get our own freedom.

            tes

          • Nitricc

            Hey Abi, one Q for you: is Zerai Deress a here or a betrayer? remember he had it all, hack he was in Rome when Africans, including your country were primitive state know jack. now, answer my question.

          • tes

            Selam Nitricc,

            Too late to ask Abi. The good thing is: when a chauvinist goes after another chauvinist, it is nothing but a disaster in a middle of a grass field.

            tes

          • blink

            Dear Mr.Amanuel
            I think it is totally a mistake to reply to Abi with respect because you are forgetting some people come to this forum to learn from you, Ismael ,Saay , MS , saleh ,Gheteb , smere Tesfai and other greats unless people like me do not come to see your reply to this man about your sacrifice to your people. There is no shame even if you were a procurement officer or any thing that has to do with our right to defend against killers. The decision you and so many like you made was the reason we have a country Eritrea and do not forget all the arm shipment to any Eritrean fighter was and is a great service and historic by its nature . This man does not even fit to be in this forum and get reply from you and others . If i can see this man insult to Eritrean fighter and has no knowledge of our pain , what is the benefit of having him and plus get a reply from you . Eritrea and Eritreans are all greatful for any one who sucrificed his time , life , blood and so on . so why do you need to reply to this. Ethiopia has more great people with good hearts and this bad one must be forgotten once for all.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Blink,

            You are right brother. This is my last comment to set my record to this pathalogical lair. Just to make him worse and God willing, I will write an article about the Eritrean student movement of Poly Technic Institute at Bahr Dar, that trigers the whole Eritrean student movement at the end of 1969. I will do it after my upcoming article for the new year begining.

            Regards

          • blink

            Dear Mr.Amanuel
            Again thanks sir ,It means too much to people who has never heard and read the story .

          • Saleh Johar

            Amanuel,
            I think I remember that incident where the locals were demonstrating “Areb YewTa” and then thought of the Eritreans as Arabs and were targeted to be expelled back to Tigre, back to Hamassen. I remember that incident after the “Jebhet Al Iqab” (the punishment squad) of the ELF burned an Ethiopian Airlines plane in Damascus or another incident? That Areb YewTa craze had enguled all of Eritra and they took it as a decree to expell all Muslims from Eritrea–I had just arrived to Asmara with my father for a an appointment with a dentist, and the minute we turned to the old Etege Mennen street, we were confronted by angry crowd of Hungugus, shouting “Areb YewTa.” My father always donned Ummamet and the demonstrators were shouting on our face–I was so confused, what do we have to do with the Arabs? Then I asked my father to forget about my dentist and go back to Keren. He said, you grow up with no teeth? Then he smiled and said, “Almejanin firraha wel Uqal taAbaneen” (the insane are fine the wise are distraught)– its equivalentin Tigrayet is, “Glul m’garu, Huw glul yebu garu”.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam SGJ,

            That must be different incident at different time. The one I am talking is, If you could remember , it is the event your brother Hassen, Saleh Khakiya the former Eritrean minister, and Teklay Manassie the former Ambassador to Russia were from kerenites, who were part of the student movement of PTI, and who came back home from Bahr Dar in 1969, that triggered the vast demonstration in all our towns including the only University, UoA.

            Regards

          • Nitricc

            Hey Blink; i don’t even know why they are arguing abut. The other day i told Abi that what the likes of Amanuel Hudarat did was an act of bravery, an act of selflessness, an act of courage and responsibilities. No a betrayal what Abi wants to believe but if Abi wanted it to be a betrayal, is not that his right to think whatever he wants? why all this commotions and wasting of time? Abi can think what ever he wants but why is the likes of Aman-H giving life this lifeless argument is beyond me. I don’t get it?

          • tes

            Selam Amanuel Hidrat,

            What is wrong if you proudly say that you were an Urban Mobilizer? By the way, you were in a much higher responsibility in the field. You were tegadalay and we all know what it signifies for.

            Is there any wrong if you tell him in the language that he can understand?

            I think Abi’s allegation is simply a trial for us to deny our contribution and our role for the armed struggle. I am now happy with your take when you try to explain what you said and why when Eritreans are proud of your contribution.

            tes

          • Saleh Johar

            Hi Ammanuel,

            You know this but just in case you forgot, The Ethiopian Derg was supported by Arabs in fighting against the gallant Eritrean freedom fighters. Remember Gadhafi’s unlimited support? Remember South Yemen’s support to the Derg, to the extent of sending its fighter jets and pilots to fight its war? Remember the Yemeni pilot whose plane was shot over Agordat and was caught after he parachuted? His name was Gemal AlKhatib, and Arab who was fight the “Eritrean Arabs” as some foolish individual believe. Well, how about the Arab Palestinian George Habash, whose organization was in alliance with the Derg against Eritrean organizations? But that is not all, what about the Cubans, East Germans, and Russians who were taught a lesson about Eritrean determination in the hot fields of Eritrea? How about Israel that was immersed in all the anti-Eritrean activities, helping the bloody emperor and Derg? It’s fit for a proverb: if you live in a house of glass, don’t throw something something, I think it is, don’t throw lies.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Abu Salah,

            Good points brother. But no matter how we heaped the facts every one to see, the Ethiopians those like Abi who looks their intetest at the cost of Eritreans, will not see their hypocracy about the help they get from the Arabs as you have pointed out in your comment. Thank you for enriching my argument.

            Regards

  • Saleh Johar

    Hello Abinet and All,

    Truly context is vital. I will refrain from commenting and let you make up your mind vis-avis Abi[net]’s allegation. Thanks to a moderator who rememmberd the incident, below is the exchange. If you need more, search it, but warning, it is time consuming. We did this simply because Abi questioned the moderators integrity. Here is how the 90 million cows appeared on the forum two years ago, between Abi (Abinet then) and Ted, who is still on a long sabbatical.
    _______________________________________

    Abinet replying to Hayat Adem • 2 years ago

    Actually, you are not the first one to call for ethiopian measured help in removing IA. It was Pappilon who mentioned it in one of her responses to Haile TG.
    My guess is everyone is dreaming about it but luck the courage to say it .
    You are one hell of a courageous woman.
    My objection to ethiopian involvement is why die for people who call me a cow?
    According to Ted the wise man ” it takes a genius to milk 90 million cows.” I say enjoy the milk but not my blood. It is sacred. I don’t spill it for people who resent me nomatter what the consequences might be .

    Ted replying to Abinet • 2 years ago
    Abinet, i didn’t call you a cow. You took it out of context to win an argument. “it takes a genius to milk 90 million cows.” It was the response to your comment – Eritreans milked Ethiopia up until TPLF made them pack and leave-. You presented Ethiopia as a cow, not me. I hope TPLF is gentle on your tits, sore yet.

    • Abi

      Ato Saleh
      Nice try
      Here Ted is quoting himself from a previous exchange. He clearly said it it was his response .
      Go back a little further and read. As you can see I did not change my stand . I don’t want Ethiopians to die removing PIA. I also don’t want The genius Eritreans to milk Ethiopia.
      Not so fast, Sir.

  • Abi

    Selam Ato Saleh

    You went to gehaneb esat and come back? You couldn’t find a one-way ticket?
    Now that I know you got first hand experience in life in gehanem , tell as what it feels like back home.
    I read this long time ago and I loved it.

    “ምነው በዳሰስኩት ገሀነምን በጄ
    መች ሄጄ ባየሁት ሲኦልን ወርጄ
    እንዳወዳድረው ከኛ ኑሮ ጋራ
    የሚሻል ከሆነ የልቤን ልሰራ
    የሚብስ ከሆነም በጊዜ እንድፈራ::”

    “Blessed are those who understand Amharic ” ( SGJ)

  • tes

    Selam Abi,

    You are the one who applified what Ted said during his visa-vis comments. His take was very clear and it was not as you are trying to portray it. What Ted said was for the independence of Eritrea, to be an independent nation from annexation.

    There is no bad terms here except it is bad for you to hear Eritrea as an independent nation. In the contrary, your extreme derogatory terms is aganist the notion of independence. Whether you will accept it or not, 3 million Eritreans fought against 90 million eritreans to get an independent country.

    If you call this, as wanted to call it, milking 90,000,000 ethiopians, let it be. But the truth for us is,

    3,000,000 Vs 90,000,000 is nothing but a comparison made to show the hardwon independence struggle. Nothing more nothing less.

    Yours is the opposite:

    Your chauvinistic attitute is here since your landing at awate.com. No one was happy except chauvinistists, people like Gheteb and Nitricc, when you apply it against our dear brother Amanuel Hidrat, Dr. Bereket, Our late revolitionary Osaman Saleh Sabbe.

    You are shameless, arrogant and man without any respect for humanity.

    Personally I prefer to see your presence here as you are the ideal, though extreme right chauvinistic ethiopian, who never believed on our cause. Through you, we express our strong stance to stand and fight for justice.

    Stay around and see how low human being you are.

    tes

  • Paulos

    Selamat Awatistas,

    Gheteb the high priest extraordinarae strikes me as a flustred person on a witness stand where an otherwise pestering lawyer puts him in “….You want to know the truth, you can’t handle the truth….” moment where Nicholson comes to mind in “A Few Good Men.” Gheteb in the company of bigots has enforced at long last the vortex and political ideologue of the Eritrean struggle for independence—maintaining at any cost an identity that has taken a life of its own in the biomass of subtractions. What is remarkable is however when the erstwhile military man Muhamuday lends credibility to bigotry where war is politics by other means. Isaias Afwerki has all the luck for he is endowed with men on Tower of Babel in a milieu of confusion including those who are in the garb of Opposition as well save the one and only Hayat Adem and Amanuel Hidrat.

    • MS

      Selam Paulos
      I haven’t seen you here before, and for that I welcome you. Would you tell me how I tried to lend credibility to bigotry? Would you tell me the plot of the play, The other War, since it’s central to the debate? I don’t want to assume much about you, since I don’t know you. However, the telltale signs are there. You said, “Gheteb in the company of bigots has enforced at long last the vortex and political ideologue of the Eritrean struggle for independence—maintaining at any cost an identity that has taken a life of its own in the biomass of subtractions.” I would not be far off if I told you that you have internalized the writing of Yosief G. No wonder to find solace in Hayat and Co., and some confused lots.

      • Paulos

        Selamat Muhamuday,

        Many thanks for the warm welcome. I don’t have to look any further to get the gist of “The Other War” for you have stated that it’s sole mission was an anathema to eugenics in scientific parlance otherwise known as racial purity. In your own words, you said—to dilute the Eritrean demography as if there is any historical justification or a distinction between Eritreans and Ethiopians at least with in those who hail from the highlands.

        • tes

          Selam Paulos,

          Chauvinists always hide within history to cover their flaws. I will not be surprised if ‘diluting EritreanDemography’ stands for them a racially free term when it is rather struggle of Eritrean Vs. Ethiopian Race, hence politics of racism.

          I concur that to fight against enemy everything can sane but this can not justify against the truth. A struggle waged by moblizing the people on keeping purity of identity could have its own merits for the struggle of self determination however it is by all means a war of race,keeping pure eritrean identity vs.mixed eritrean identity.

          Hayat Adem has a point when she highlights this. As sad as it is chauvinists will try to blacmail such scientifically proven racial struggle by bringing their own reasoning.

          Personally, Eritreans had little options to fight against ethiopia. And I believe that calling Eritreans to keep their identity was one effective tool though racistic. Looking to those limited fighting tools we had at that time, usîng such tools was legitimate but not legal or ethical.

          Chauvinists willalways deny the bitter truth

          • blink

            Dear tes
            so you reject the historical facts of raping by ethiopian soldiers as they wish ? You must choose one , Either accept the horrific thing that happend to Eritreans women either move with Abi or hayat points as it is fake news to sway the population to fight ? If you are trying to undermine the pain and the sucrifice of your people , you can not be a justice seeker now because you hate PFDJ or the dictator . May be you want to claim that there was no crime committed by the genociders of ethiopian leaders , no you will not claim such . There is no Eritrean who dismiss the heroes sacrifice unless he is half baked with out catlyst or my be sold for few dollar and i am sure you are not such person. Because you disagree with Gheteb or MS does not change the reality about the ethiopian genociders .
            Keep in mind you are claiming a justice seeker for Eritreans . Taking pictures of an Eritreans demonstration in Geneva or any places does not make you heroes , People like Mr.Amanuel , MS has done things you can only not wish for yourself and for any one , they must at least get the respect of the youth like you at 35th or less not help people like Abi who abuse and insult our history.
            For any Eritrean the past is already written , no need to humanize the evil work of Ethiopian leaders and make the arbas the cause of our real sacrifice.

          • tes

            Selam blink,

            What I said is very clear and there is nothing related to rape. I know many Eritreans who married Ethiopian soldiers equally I know that marriage does not mean rape though the Eritrean case is a little bit special.

            The thing here is very clear:

            Ethiopians tried to create family relationship thinking that if the two countries are connected by blood, then there could be a possibility of uniting Eritrea with Ethiopia.

            On the other hand, Eritreans refused this plan a,d wanted to keep Eritrean identity as pure as possible. This means, if we consider Eritreans as a well defined race, then it is nothing but a battle between Eritrea Vs. Ethiopian Identity, hence a racial struggle. this was my take.

            tes

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam tes,

            The concept of ‘Race’ is cultural, it has no scientific basis.

          • tes

            Selam Simon Kaleab,

            I don’t know why you are ‘IN’ again. Anyway, be it cultural or not, there are scientific procedures to define what Racial Politics is unless you want to deny that politics is not a science.

            Mind me here, I am not in the science of proving whether there is racial difference or not, let Biologists deal with it. What I am saying is, if someone uses Racism as a tool, then it has scientific base.

            In case, science is nothing but a systematically organized body of knowledge on a particular subject. if you deny this, I won’t bother much except saying ‘let it be’.

            tes

          • blink

            Dear tes
            True , i thought you nag MS just by agreeing with Gheteb on the second war thing. my be i misread you.

        • MS

          Selam Paulos
          That’s the point I’m talking about and I get the angle from which you are looking at the subject. You believe there was no “historical justification or a distinction between Eritreans and Ethiopians at least with in those who hail from the highlands.” Your point is that there was no reason for our struggle. You are saying Eritreans did not have a political cause, you are saying it was just that terribly deformed identity that pushed them to breakaway from Ethiopia. Well, from your vantage it may look the way you see it. However, Eritreans except the few who get carried away by the lightest wind, believe the wrath of occupation, the undignified treatment and the atrocities of Ethiopian occupation drove them to fight back. Yes, brother, it’s true, Ethiopian officers, their cadres, and their Eritrean agents coerced young girls to marry them. Coerced marriage and rape are identified as war instruments. Derg and HS soldiers perfected them. Their objective was to Ethiopianize Eritrea faster than they could win it militarily. 1984: Teseney, soldiers families were more in number than the inhabitants. Barentu, 1985: the same. Massawa, 1991: the same. Keren, the second largest city in Eritrea, 1991: it would take you time to meet a native, and so on. It was another war declared on our people through brute force, and the lure of power and prestige… So, please…

          • Paulos

            Selamat Muhamuday,

            Far from it! The Eritrean people wanted independence and they achieved independence with a stunning vigor and resolve. No one can deny that. Killing the horse in a bid to reinvent the wheel of history ain’t my angle—you read me wrong. What I find incredibly problematic is however pontificating the cause to masquerade the clear and present danger by externalizing the seemingly chronic predicament.

          • MS

            Selam Paulos
            I continue this conversation because I find you to be more reasonable than my little brain, with all honest. May be I read you incorrectly. Then if we agree on the first part, then can you elaborate on this: “Gheteb in the company of bigots has enforced at long last the vortex and political ideologue of the Eritrean struggle for independence—maintaining at any cost an identity that has taken a life of its own IN THE BIOMASS OF SUBTRACTIONS.” (emphasis mine). Which one best describes your view?
            1. There was an Eritrean identity which was the result of a historic process (colonization and the collective experience it created…), and Eritreans fought back when they were forced to change the identity they had developed and maintained through their collective experience, in the process, due to internal dynamics (power struggle), some became biomass of subtraction, not in an endeavor to maintain an identity.
            2. There was no Eritrean identity to speak of; ghedli introduced foreign identity, and maintained the foreign identity that has taken its own life in the biomass of subtraction.
            The first would be a closer observation of what had happened in the field, and a good explanation what’s happening at present. Basically, Eritreans had a cause when they had fought their independence, and they do have a cause when they fight for basic human dignity. They deserve a much more government. The later tells us what Yosief and Hayat Adem would tell us. “nedeKum may wredula, entay’do neyrukum eyu bqedemu!!!”
            I hope to know you more, but my impression is that you are a man of genuine concern.

        • Kalihari Snake

          Good morning Paulos: I always find it amusing when Ethiopians become sensitive over racial and ethnic issues while at the same time, while citing antiquity, use super glue to disingenuously promote Mama Ethiopia as a consummate Habesha entity. Lest they not forget that Ethiopia, largely through active expansionism which occurred relatively recently during 1883-1935, morphed into its current inflated state to include Gambella, Oromia, SNNP, Afar and Beneshengul-Gumuz regions. Fact is, a majority of Ethiopia’s populace today would never truly meet Habesha criteria.

          • Abraham H.

            Good Morning Kalihari Snake, that was a nice bite to these hypocrites, thanks

  • Saleh Johar

    Hi Abi,
    Nice try, but my records are out there, clean as “may negho”–you might want to ask for translation.

    I don’t remember reading about “90,0000,000 million cows, and I think I know what it implies from the context, if it was there. However, it might have passed just like your dozens of outrageous insults. Also, moderators are humans, we do not claim to have the ability to detect every transgression and every racist remark though we try hard. It might have passed just like many of your deregatory comments passed detection. But I can assure you that if any of the moderators saw it, it would have been Xed. If it was seen and not deleted, I apologize though I am not sure it happened on my guard.

    Finally, you bringing that in the middle of our current discourse is proof that you are always ready to put a wedge between Eritreans who broke free from the feudal bondage and Ethiopians in general. Honestly, I think you need help with your attitude.

    One more thing, please keep your family out of this, I wouldn’t want (metaphor alert) a stray bullet to hurt my loved ones in a battle, I suppose you too wouldn’t want that.

    • Fanti Ghana

      Hello Memhir,

      What a start of the year!

      The 90,000,000 cows Abi is referring to is something Ted (was it mizan?) said a while ago when they were equality matched on their trash-talking. I think Abi may have taken it out of context because they were talking about one “milking” the other visa versa and of course, cows had to follow. So, it is no surprise you don’t recall. Sorry for interrupting; as you were please..

      • Saleh Johar

        Hi Fanti,
        I faintly remember that trash-talk. It was uncouth discourse that is better forgotten.

        Thanks for reminding me, context is important.

    • Abi

      Selam Ato Saleh
      I like to trust your words when you said you were not aware of that comment which I begged the on duty moderator to delete it.
      ” It takes a genius to milk 90,000,000 cows” was the comment that I asked to be Xed. Your apology for not noticing my appeal is taken full heartedly although it came from you half heartedly. Knowing your heart situation I don’t ask much more.
      I agree family should be out of this. Specially ” First Ladies ” should never be mentioned. I left my country because of my wife.

      I don’t need help with my attitude. I need help in understanding Eritrean politics. (may be I should not understand it) What I believe a “betrayal ” seems to be encouraged by many in this forum. Character matters. I don’t betray friends. I rather suffer with them.

  • Legacy

    Hello Awate readers,

    Happy New Year !

    I wonder if there is any info you can share about a radio Tigrinya presenter from Asmara (I can’t remember his name) around 1983/84. I believe the rumor was that he was assasinated by EPLF. I remember how affected I was by the news of his death.

  • ‘Gheteb

    ‘Gheteb: Bits and Bites

    Greetings!!

    I was not planning in opening a third front here. My hands are full handling the two operations in both fronts with two esteemed Forumers: My Cuz, the distinguished SAAY and the inimitably great Ismail AA.

    But for the sake of breathing some truth, however unpalatable and however unpopular and ‘un-PC’ it may come across to some Forumers here, I am going to say what I think should be said given the gargantuan insults that a certain Ethiopian who sports the nick Abi has heaped upon not only on the epically and singularly unparalleled Eritrean Revolution, but on the overwhelming majority of Eritreans who supported this noble cause.

    Believe it or not, the likes of Abi are still engaged in and are seized by the notion which the EPLF has appositely and fittingly dubbed as “The Second War” (አቲ ካልኣይ ኩናት) where what was not achieved in the battle fields were meant and hoped to be attained by dint of “the Eritrean womb”. In a show or a skit a certain Ethiopian soldier played by Wedi-Shawl ends up marrying an Eritrean woman in his quest of conquering Eritrea through ‘intermarriage’. Please, do try to watch the skit to understand and gain an insight into the idea of “The Second War” (አቲ ካልኣይ ኩናት).

    The man whom I like to refer as ” እባቡ አቢ” is frustrated by the fact that what he has achieved in his personal life has not been replicated wholly in Eritrea and Eritrea has not been reconquered through the “The Second War” by means of his Ethiopian males getting hitched to the Eritrean females that they hoped to dilute the Eritrean identity through intermarriage.

    Such a failure is the very provenance of ” እባቡ አቢ” ‘s psychological frustration and his fatuously asinine lashing out against the Eritrean Revolution and one of its giants the late Osman Saleh Sabe. ” እባቡ አቢ” has conveniently forgotten the wanton looting that his emperor had wrought on Eritrea and how his emperor had freely exploited Sabe’s Red Sea, not even mentioning the other revenues he collected from Eritrea and has even the temerity here to barf and tell us about Sabe’s high school education as if the emperor has personally financed Sabe’s high school education.

    Now I hope some in this Forum will hopefully gain an understanding why I have adamantly refused to engage with these flotsam and jetsam of the antediluvian political outlook otherwise known as “Abyssinian Fundamentalism”, whether it is” እባቡ አቢ” or the one who has claimed in this Forum that Eritreans as people with “deformed identity” who goes by the nick Amde, whom I rather refer as “ተንኮለኛው አምደ”.

    Finally, to those naïve Eritreans who are still entertaining this Pollyanna disposition and trying to convince the likes of Abi about the Eritrean case, please BANISH your futile efforts and accept the fact that Ethiopians the likes of Abi and his birds of feather, their beef with the Eritrean case is of a psychological nature and you will never succeed in your attempt of convincing them

    Echoing my history teacher in Kassala High School, the late Michael Gabir, expressing his frustration in discussing the Eritrean case with the Ethiopian “EPRP” cadres in The Sudan, they are literally deaf, I mean ጸማማት.

    • Abi

      Selam ገጣባው ጌተብ
      Too bad your pure Eritrean identity is diluted with an Ethiopian.
      BTW, Eritrean woman make good wives when matched with an Ethiopian man. I’m enjoying it everyday. Life is good!
      You are invited to our 25th marriage anniversary. Invitation is sent to your Kessela address.
      ገጠብጠብ ብለህ እንድትመጣ

      • Kebessa

        Hello Abi,
        25 years ago, huh?
        At the time there were over 10 million Ethio women and you had to compete for our littler amount of women? What is wrong with you man!?
        Alright that’s cool. I actually have two close relatives. One is married to an Ethiopian woman, the other to a white American woman. Both have children. All is God’s plan I guess.
        Take good care of our woman now. You can’t find them easy.

        • Abi

          Hi Kebesa
          Yep! 25 years and counting. It looks like just yesterday.
          You got it all wrong. I have to admit It was not easy back then. It took years of persistence and patience.
          Don’t worry about my woman. She is in good hands.
          Now it is easy to find one. If you have a hard time finding one may be your women are avoiding your men. I don’t blame them.
          I got a joke for you. It is between an Eritrean father and a young diaspora who wanted to marry the Eritrean daughter.
          ወጣት: አቦይ መርቁና ልጅዎን ይስጡኝ
          አባት : እህቷን መርቄልሃለሁ

    • Peace!

      Selam ‘Gheteb,

      Thank you, የእባቡ ነገር “በአንድ ራስ ሁለት ምላስ” ነው it is way better to ignore him or may be on weekends for oldies songs otherwise he is totally worthless. I guess Canda is not a hate free zone. Bending for EPRDF/TPLF and deminize Eritreans at Eritrean website is really hilarious. Professor ብርሃኑ ኣይስማ.

      Peace!

      • Saleh Johar

        Hi Peace,
        If you find someone who never considers thinks over his attitudes, when he continuously insults people and he is told respectfully to desist. Someone who never entertains the idea he might be wrong, and might have offended people. Someone who never imagines himself apologizing and correcting his course, when repeatedly told he is crossing the line. That person must be very, very, very arrogant and bigoted. And his name must be Abi.

        • ‘Gheteb

          Ahlan Saleh,

          Thank you very much for your stout defense of the Eritrean cause and the Eritrean Revolution. No wonder that you have become an inspiration to many Eritreans.

          I totally concur with your firm stand against those who have been “crossing the line”.

          Again, thank you!

          • Saleh Johar

            Ahlan Gheteb,

            Now this might come as a surprise to many, cousin-not-even-once-removed.

            Thank you for the nice swords, I try hard and hope to live to that expectation.

            I and you might not see eye to eye on some issues, but I have no doubt as far as our legacy is concerned, and as far as our determination with struggling to better the state of our country, and our people, each in his own way, is an extension of each other. Indeed, our cause and sufferings is not supposed to be a mocking material for chauvinists of all kinds, but our patience and tolerance should not be taken for defeat and weakness–that is what the foolish bigots think. Though they burp their hate and bigotry on every occasion, they forget we are a people of cause, dignity, and our motto is never submit, and we move on. The the foolish hoe-kissers might not acknowledge it, but Eritreans taught the submissive people of region what walking tall means, what dignity means, and what freedom and sacrifice means. My advise would be: Eritrean hiccups must not be misread for they are temporary, meaning, however long it takes, and we have the patience and perseverance for it.

            Thank you

        • Peace!

          Hi Salih,

          I hope is taking the double doss slowly as usually he is too quick to logout and login with his friend’s account “Eyob Medhane” and whine with few more lines than he usually does.

          Peace!

          • Saleh Johar

            Hi Peace,

            How do you find that out? Just curious.

          • Peace!

            Hi Salih,

            ሰበብ! well, I have been around here long enough to know who Abinet, which later modified to Abi, and Eyob Medhane are. I prefer to leave it that way.

            Peace

          • Abi

            Selam peace
            Thanks for the laugh. I hope you accept my up vote.

          • Nitricc

            Hey Peace ; lol why would you put that in my head? now, you ruined the way i used took and think of abi. wow! i hope it is not true but anything is possible. why though?

          • Abi

            Hi Peace
            Don’t you wish you were United in more important circumstances than attaching Ras Abi. It is embarrassing to see you licking each other’s wounds. Keep crying. I’m being entertained. Just keep the volume down . Kind of noisy.
            የልጆች ነገር !

      • Abi

        Hi Peace!!!
        Dr Birhanu is a disgrace to humanity. He betrayed Ethiopia and Ethiopians and serving her enemy AKA Isayas Afeworqi and by extension Egypt. I hope he will come back to his senses just like General Molla did. He can seek refuge anywhere except in Eritrea and any arab country.
        What a national disgrace he has become!

    • KBT

      Selamat Geteb
      I am surprised you knew now he is a snack ,awate team are all snacks
      The are a bunch of thoothless who have nothing to do than fantasizing day and night for what they wish to see in Eritrea CHAOS
      Do not be surprise when you see an ETHIOPIAN with the so called opposition naming shaming our government instead of focusing in their own country and TPLF massacring thousands of their innocents people ,
      what a beautiful democracy they have right ??
      Most of them act as Eritrean in some forum to measled our people ,they are so funny by thinking they are cleaver and we Eritrean are stupid and can t not see the difference.
      The Ethiopian still dreaming to restore their glorious era knowing that it will never comeback,the TPLF want a great Tigray or AGAZIA and pfdj Brock his backbones what left for them is psychological warfare ,and I don’t think it help.
      Any way enjoy reading my friend ,their venom won t hurt us anymore Eritrea is more stronger than ever ,he should worrie for his daying criminal TPLF regime soon he will be gone for good.

    • Hayat Adem

      Dear All,
      The above comment from Gheteb is the most racist, greasy and gross. I’m not surprised such a disgraceful comment came from Gheteb but totally surprised that it was graced with an up vote and complementary note from the honorable man SGJ.
      Hitler was obsessed with ‘racial purity’. He used the word ‘Aryan’ to describe his idea of a ‘pure German race’ or Herrenvolk. The Nazis believed that the Aryans had the most “pure blood” of all the people on earth.
      Gheteb said this,
      “the EPLF has appositely and fittingly dubbed as “The Second War” (አቲ ካልኣይ ኩናት) where what was not achieved in the battle fields were meant and hoped to be attained by dint of “the Eritrean womb”. In a show or a skit a certain Ethiopian soldier played by Wedi-Shawl ends up marrying an Eritrean woman in his quest of conquering Eritrea through ‘intermarriage’. Please, do try to watch the skit to understand and gain an insight into the idea of “The Second War” (አቲ ካልኣይ ኩናት).”
      And then this:
      “Eritrea has not been reconquered through the “The Second War” by means of his Ethiopian males getting hitched to the Eritrean females that was hoped to dilute the Eritrean identity through intermarriage.”
      I don’t entertain and approve all the excesses from Abi or whomever but at least his comments focus on individuals or smaller groups not even a society. Abi is the antithesis of racism. He lives transcendentally interrace since he proudly told us that he has a married life he cherishes and loves with an Eritrean woman. He is not questioning race qualities. He is questions characters of individuals. His sin maybe on going excessive on that front.
      And this Gheteb comes and tells are about identity race protectionism. What a stone-age smallness of character and mind is that! But that is him and it wouldn’t bother me at all since nothing positive and clean has ever come out from him. But the support he got from people I always think as heroes in the context of promoting broader culture and greater humanity bothers me a bit.
      Gheteb’s ideas are nothing but to be either trashed away or quarantined in the manner drugs are placed out of the reach of children from the unsuspecting innocents. But I have never thought he could earn support from any thinker worth their salt let alone from the great SGJ.

      • Dear Hayat Adem,

        In the age of post-truth, when scientific truth has no place compared to propaganda and conspiracy theory, the age of the polar bear (Trump), the siberian fox (Putin), fascism, racial superiority, religious fundamentalism, warmongering, etc, that have been espoused by white supremacists and unfortunately by some black purportedly supremacists also, as they see things from their own small world and think that they belong to the whiteman’s club, it is not unusual to read absurd narratives. Let us hope that we will not hear and see worse things in the future. It becomes outrageous when it comes from people from a third world country. It brings to mind what a german journalist once said, that he had never thought that there is also a black aryan race, after he had a discussion with an eritrean soon after independence, when he told him that they are a special breed of people and a superior race.
        Who is responsible for the confused mindset of some people in eritrea, especially those who support the regime in asmara? I think that we should blame it on the italians, but much more on eplf, which made the superiority complex of some kebessa eritrean elites a philosophy and an ideology during gedli, for its own unholy purpose. Fortunately, those who have adopted this point of view, do not represent the majority of the eritrean people, but they are mainly regime apologists. These people are detached from the reality of the ordinary eritrean, live in the west, they are insensitive to the plight of the people and their benchmark is the life they live themselves in the west, and not the life the ordinary eritrean lives back home.
        I too was not happy about the toxic comments that went too and fro, even if they were at an individual level, but when it comes to a whole nation and a whole ethnic group, it becomes repugnant. Where would ethiopians and eritreans be in another quarter century as they speed up towards a head on collision? A catastrophe, might not be enough to give the whole picture. What we need is enlightened people from both sides.

        • Simon Kaleab

          Selam Horizon,

          What do you make of the Ethiopian [particularly Amhara led] slave traders of the past? Were they racists?

          In Ethiopia, having a lighter skin colour and a less curly [less kinky] hair increases a person’s social standing. Is Ethiopian society a fair society?

          • Hi Simon Kaleab,
            I do not think that a lighter skin opens doors in our society more than education and integrity of the person. If somebody believes in this, it is the product of ignorance and arrogance, that does not take a person a long way.
            Last time people were discussing about the different ethnic groups in eritrea, and one of them was the so-called “barya” ethnic group. How do you think that these people came to acquire the name, “barya”? Things do not happen in a vacuum, and there should be an explanation for this derogatory name.
            Of course, racism is not only skin deep. There are many kinds of racism. In addition, racism could be the product of fear, insecurity, weakness, inferiority complex, etc. Racism for an african is bidirectional. Any african who is a racist is at the same the victim of racism. Therefore, the only choice africans have is to fight racism and not try to mimic racists.

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam Horizon,

            First question- wrong answer, as it does not match Ethiopian cultural reality.

            Second question – unanswered.

            I asked these questions because of attempts by some to paint Ethiopian society as whiter than white, as a loving and kissing and righteous society. Other than the land question, the other major issue during the Emperor was ethnic discrimination and marginalisation. Many ethnic groups were sidelined and were invisible. After the Emperor, I remember a lot of people cursing Menghistu not for his brutal policies but because he was black. In private people said that it is a disaster because ‘slave’ is ruling the country.

      • MS

        Selam Hayat
        No way, you are wrong. The play Ghehteb is mentioning, written by tegadalay Alemseged Tesfai delves into the politics of the Derg regime. It has nothing to do with racial purity. I’m offended to with your attempt to connect it with Hitler’s racial madness. For your information, “The Other War” shows how Derg cadres were coercing Eritrean women into marriage, sometimes raping them. Intermarriage was used as a weapon to dilute the demography of Eritrea. It was a simple political campaign. The play exposes these tactics. Therefore, it was entitled the other war: the main war was fought in battle fields, but another equally important war was the one unleashed on Eritrean women in order to change the DEMOGRAPHY of Eritrea. It is unbelievable you and the gullible Horizon accuse the victims of rape and sexual coercion as racists!! And you tell us abi transcends race! You call him interracial because he is married to an Eritrean woman. Can you tell us the racial difference between abi and his wife? And BTW, Who told you abi is a racist? My friend race is about the politics of BIOLOGY, while using sex as a weapon in order to win what you have not achieved in the battlefield by trying to change the demography of the occupied territory to your favor is an old political tactic. It is done everywhere. Eritrean women were victims of this ugly policy. Therefore, the play showcased the objective of that policy, the diluting of Eritrean DEMOGRAPHY, its social and psychological impacts on the victims. By the way Ethiopian prisoners of war who were released and stayed in the field either as members of the EPLF or simply put stay because the Derg government would not admit their presence were marrying Eritrean freedom fighter females (tegadelti). That is a point that discard all the sick insinuations you want to bring in.

        • Hayat Adem

          Dear Mahmuday,
          You are right there is no race difference between Abi and Gheteb. And it is that fact that makes all what Gheteb is trying to tell us dangerously bizarre. I was using the word ‘race’ the way racists use it just to make a point. Even Hitler’s Arayan was never different race wise.
          Yes, Abi totally different from Gheteb in many ways. Gheteb is an angry man with a huge pain body. I can’t imagine he has ever laughed. But I’ve to assume kids coming from both families are equally fine.
          Now, Mahmuday a question for you: What happens if all Eritrean women get married to non-Eritreans by choice? Is it bad? Can you really draw a policy to politicalize marriage? Why do you think Abi’s kids are less good from Gheteb’s? is there a system of subsidy favoring and disfavoring demographics? What made you think Eritrea right now has a perfect demographic make up that needs to be protected at all cost?

          • blink

            Dear Hayat
            I do not believe Abi is racist and even if he is , his race can not be different from Gheteb , but Gheteb has historical facts behind his claim , The derg murderers were raping Eritrean women with a sheer cruelty just to make sure they have a voice in Eritrean matters by marrying Eritrean women , by contrast Abi has been using insults for a long time , He always insults any thing about Eritrea , he never understood our suffering and he has no intention of at least listening to our story of pain , already saleh told you about how he insults and i guess you know him too. The most evil thing about him is that he never stop but double it again. I used to complain about his insults for a long time ,but mr saleh let him learn may be , yet he could not learn . I can mention all the insults he put but it will not help you either . You know and every body knows , who Gheteb is , he is not racist and he does not insult abi either . The reality is both saleh and gheteb agreed that our revolution for self rule as a country was and is real , and it goes to our heroes , awate, sabe and all the other great great fighters of Eritrea . I can take any insult personally but to insult our suffering , to our great fighters who stood to a killing machine of their time is a RED LINE , I think people like Abi must know that ,our suffering was not an entertainment or horror film , it was and is real killing . If you want to protect Abi , pls teach him to have mercy to our suffering and that would be a great service to any one because you can see Abi and Horizon are running wild about an imaginary complexity . The two people are brothers (ethiopians and Eritreans ) but we have been ruled by idiots and still are yet how do we solve the rigidity of people like Abi . You have two choices either support Abi claim or be graceful to educate him .

          • Abi

            Selam Hayat
            My kids are always stars wherever they go. One is attending one of the most prestigious schools in the country. He rejected at least 3 Ivy League schools.
            I think he got his intelligence from his mother’s side which Gheteb is protecting from diluting with less intelligent races.

          • Thomas

            Hi SGJ,

            Gheteb and Abi are in the same mission. Gheteb is advocate of DIA and Abi the “Gonderiye” is here to weaken the Eritrean opposition and to prolong DIA’s time in power. So that the kinds of Dr. Berhanu Nega makes it to Addis and take power from the current ruling. However, the major mission is to bring back the HS or Mengie policy back to Ethiopia. DIA is facilitating for this to happen. This is done by get ridding our identity and pushing the Erirean youth to migrate else/mostly to Ethiopia. This makes the kinds of Birhanu and Abi happy. Their mission is being continued by the DIA regime.

          • Saleh Johar

            Hi Thomas,

            Whoever transgresses on the dignity of others shouldn’t be welcome and must be told in clear terms. That must be the stand of anyone who respects himself. The wise are those who show magnanimity in the face of provocations, and invitations to the gutter. However, the foolish are fond of pushing their indecency too far to the extent that magnanimity runs thin. Those who cannot discern between tolerance and submission are the problem of our region. I do not condone any racist remarks, wherever they come from. When I reject people whose every sentence includes derogatory words against entire sections of the Ethiopian or Arab people, it is self-evident that I cannot tolerate wanton transgressions from Abi or his likes on my own people. Having said that, being involved in the Awate Team and moderation doesn’t stripe me of the right to air my personal views. I abhor the sick exercise of trying to saw mistrust among people. I wish such blanket and derogatory terms are avoided by anyone who claims to stand for human and civil rights, freedom, and the maintenance of human dignity.

            As far as Gheteb is concerned, (he is mentioned in relation to the problem I am having with Abi) like anyone else, he has his flows and his positive aspects, who doesn’t–and we don’t meet eye to eye in many of our positions. However, he will be my ally when I deal with chauvinists like Abi. And I am not willing to be pushed around by anyone, least by hatemongers, and “All-my-friends-are-black” types. I hope wives and children are kept out of this, it’s indecent to bring them in order to reinforce our biased arguments or to get a license to insult people wholesale.

          • Thomas

            Hi SGJ,

            I agree that you as the founder of this website has been very accommodating to opinions from all extremes. I sense Abi’s provocations at all times. That he is still very angry we liberated our nation. Trust me, you will be surprised to see many Abi’s kinds in Eritrea. Surprisingly, they are sitting there with DIA and his “yes man” or the puppets. What worries me most is that Gheteb has no concern on these people as long as they are in the mission with DIA. So, I am more angry at Gheteb than anything else. I can only fight one enemy at a time, that is DIA’s regime and anyone who is associated with him. The likes of Gheteb, Berhanu Nega, Abi are in the same mission. I cannot be talking about 40 years ago when what is left under distraction/is being eradicated as we speak. The action of Abi means nothing if DIA and his support from Gheteb is neutralized. First thing first! I am sorry, but we cannot fight multiple enemies in all fronts at once.

          • tes

            Selam Saleh Johar,

            I appreciate your noble call for respect and as people to avoid terms that downplay with humanity. I always reject Abi, Gheteb and Nitricc, whom they have the same quality, when we come in this area.

            However I am disappointed when you call ‘Gheteb’ an ally when dealing with chauvinists. How come a chauvinist be an ally in the fight against chauvinists?

            For me, Gheteb is equally guilty as Abi. His lines didn’t hide his anti-humanistic manifest.

            My call is therefore to unite our forces against those chauvinists and sure we will succeed.

            tes

            PS: Hayat Adem’s concern is not put into consideration when I am writing this. I am constantly witnessing Gheteb’s Chauvinism and same goes with Abi and Nitricc.

          • Saleh Johar

            Hi Tes,

            A struggle is multi-pronged task, not a single battlefield. But rest assured, when it comes to the old Janhoi club, Gheteb and all Eritreans who reject that kind of degeneration of our people and country, are my allies and yours. We can have our differences on many things, not on that one.

          • Thomas

            HI SJG,

            I am sorry you seem to care more about what happened 40 years ago or the “Janohoi” time than the extreme things happening now. Gheteb never acknowledges that the Issayas regime has devastated our nation and ruthlessly forced our youth to mass migration. You said he is your allay, well it is too much coming from you? I think you misstep on this one or you are sending us a signal about the tragic situation happening orchestrated by dictator Issayas. As far as I am concerned, I more concerned that things are going right now by Issayas and his cruel supporters like that Gheteb than anything else. Sorry I seem a little rough writing this, but I am really disappointed by your recent comments here. It is unbecoming of you or I will say I failed to see your stand. I is just ambiguous to say the least.

          • Saleh Johar

            Hi Thomas,

            My dear, we have a bad tendency to forget about context. Judge everything within context, otherwise you lose the meaning. The fact that I said we cannot see eye to eye on different issues should explain it all. That is the context you need to consider.

          • tes

            Dear Saleh,

            As a championman for justice, you know what a fight against all odds is. Saying that the fight for justice needs a good heart and human decency. And people like Gheteb, though they might have their inputs, it is all dirty. People like Gheteb fought against Hailesilasse just to create another worst Hailesselassie.

            A fight for justice needs purity and if people like Gheteb, whom they have a dirty hand, joins it, it becomes unpure. Sometimes there is what we call strategic ally for a required objective, but this is all ineffective.

            I think it is therefore not to consider these people as ally as their objective and means is fully guided on chauvinistic principles.

            tes

          • Saleh Johar

            Dear Tes,

            Please stop making this about Gheteb, it is not. I prefer to stay focused on the context I put. Stay there if you will. Otherwise, I do not want to argue about Gheteb’s positions on this occasion–at least allow me that freedom.

          • tes

            Dear Saleh Johar,

            I am delighted to tell you that you if you ask me to give that freedom, here is the universe, the universe that I believe I belong to. Let you have it as you always wish as I know what your wish is.

            You know that I am always proud of you and never hesitated on your take.

            Happy New Year Big Brother

            tes

          • Abi

            Hi Tes
            This one is nice. You sound sober. New year resolution?
            ” here is the universe, the universe that I believe I belong to. Let you have it as you always wish as I know what your wish is.” (Tes)
            Now Hawna Tes, why did you stop there? Let me finish it for you.
            አባታችን ሳለህ ሆይ
            በሰማይ የምትኖር ስምህ ይቀደስ መንግስትህ ትምጣ
            ፈቃድህ በአዋተ እንደዋለች እንዲሁም በቴስ ትሁን… አሜን::
            Tes, you sure you belong to this universe?

          • Saleh Johar

            Hi Abi,

            You have left me no stamina for your jokes, stop your jabs. It’s not funny. And I am not in the mood to reply to every childish behavior. Kindly stop bringing my name, it’s wanton provocation and I ask you to stop it. You wasted all my goodwill on you. You over liked all the honey, thanks to you only acidic vinegar is left. In Tigrinya we say: kab hemmaq zgebrukha, Hmmaq zemherukha yegedid. Ask for translation from your human dictionary.

          • Nitricc

            Hi Tes, you are the last person to talk about respect and human dignity. We have read your garbage in garbage out articles and day in day out trushing dignified and proud people; yet, you have the freaking nerve to talk about respecting people. You told us, without shame that you are an “Elite” you told us without any morality that you are the “chosen one” you told us without any remorse that you are the “privileged” you didn’t have to leave the country. Yet, when we asked about your academic achievement and lifelong endeavors; you had no shame to tell us your greatest achievement, as you put it ” monumental achievement is re-arranging a school cafeteria chairs” do you know how stupid that sounds? do you how erratic and unsettled you are? do you how moody and shifty and disrespectful you are? who can forget what you have said about the very honorable people on this forum? i can see the time and probably the bottle is talking as usual.
            you may think you are all that and most talented and educated, that is fine, you can think of that and that your right but no matter how talented you are and no matter how educated you are, if you don’t respect people for what they are and for what they have contributed, sooner or latter you will find it out the power of people and their demand to their respect. everyone deserves your respect and things should start from their. but for you, too much false pride, to inflated ego and too unstable to any credible contribution. Every one deserve their respect and dignity that their very humanity demands. Keep crossing that red line, like i have said you will find it out the hard way. Till, then, Tes, you are no one but oh well, what time is it? look at yourself very hard and honestly before it is too late. don’t get fooled by the fools who are upvoting you.

          • tes

            Hi Nitricc,

            As chauvinist as you are, you know that I don’t have any respect for any chauvinist. I said it before and I am repearing it now. If I had any respect, I don’t see any reason to stand for justice. My fight is against chauvinists and against those opportunists.

            All you said about me, there is a saying in Tigrigna, “ትብል ኣለኻ”. You have just created the image that you have on me and you are trying to say these things as if I said them.

            Chauvinists have always a red line and my struggle is always crossing these red line. I don’t know therefore if you have another red line.

            tes

          • tes

            Hi Nitricc,

            For record, I want to highlight this open threat you are encoding here. As a fighter for justice, I will never stop exposing bigots like you simply because you continue to send me an open threatening messages. I am here by exposing myself for any danger danger that might happen for me. But for record, I have to tell Awatistas.

            Nitricc warning message on 03/01/2017 reads:

            Keep crossing that red line, like i have said [..showing that he sent similar threatening messages] you will find it out the hard way. Till, then, Tes, you are no one …

            tes

          • Nitricc

            Hey Tes, i think you should analyze what i has said early in the mornings, when you are sober and clear minded. There is no code i know nor i play how; all i am telling you is there serious flaws on your thinking. The greatest once are being rude, rigid, disrespectful and arrogant. they are very very bad inhibitors of selfgrowth self analyze and to most of all to humility. Tes is educated not because as Tes wanted to tell us that he is “privileged” Tes is educated because he is “an Elite” Tes is educated because he is the “chosen” one. Tes is educated because he smartness; NO! Tes was educated at the expense of the poor Eritrean people. Tes was educated because some had to hit the lottery; some body has to be on your spot where you are. but for to abuse and ridicule including to the people who gave you the chance is a dead man talking. I have no problem for you to take on the government of Eritrea and who ever deemed doing the wrong deeds but the way you are doing it right out offensive and wrong. I am not doubting your caliber and your skills and all the gifts you possesses, but without respecting people and ridiculing them simply because they have different views than you is simply preposterous.
            I am not making any threatening you or anyone else; I am advising you before you are lost further away and consumed by your own stupidity, inflated ego, coupled with false pride and rigidity.
            I have one book for it might save you. I warn you it is the hardest book i have read and the best book i have ever read and the book that what shaped who is Nitricc today.
            Read the book was written by Immanuel kant and the title is “Critique of pure reason” I do believe this book either will shape you in the right way or it will do the opposite and there is nothing to talk about, then.
            Till then i say good day, Sir!
            Nitricc.

          • tes

            Hi Nitricc,

            Thanks for the book you recommended to read.I promise I will sooner or later.

            On the threats, well, your encoded message is there for everyone to detect it. As a PFDJ Cult follower, you have the dirty hand to use in silencing voice of the voiceless. But keep in your mind, no matter how severe your means could I gave myself for this noble cause, to be the voice of thevoiceleess, and you will never stop me till I am alive on this earth.

            I remember selam’s open threat and so are you doing it constantly.

            We wiĺl see if Awate Forum will continue to tolerate such open threats. Otherwise any justice seeker knows the that surrounds.

            tes

          • Abi

            Hi Thomas
            I always knew you read minds.
            So you think PIA is working for Ethiopia to bring HS or Menge kind of rule?
            You are a genius. Now I know why the pure Eritrean race should not be diluted. Ingenuity like this should be protected by all means. Are you kidding me?!?!?!

          • MS

            Selam Hayat
            First of all I must say there is no difference in the way you and abi and some other Ethiopians in this forum act when it comes to our painful past. I hope you change, but rest assured, you are actually worse than abi in your views. I’m curious to know why you are being treated as an innocent observer. Abi may be abrasive and blunt, but you go deeper into psychoanalyzing Eritreans and their identity. You are number one in downplaying the atrocities Eritreans experienced, number one in trashing and bashing Eritrean revolution, the cause that triggered it, and the sacrifices it demanded. You are the one who invoked Hitler. That’s just sickness. I have already explained what the play “The Other War” had addressed. It addressed a campaign orchestrated by the derg cadres to forcibly marry Eritreans in order to dilute the demography of Eritrea. The play does not entertain racial matters for there is no racial difference between both peoples. You brought abi’s marriage to an Eritrean woman in order to tell us how he is “interracial” , I asked you the difference between abi’s race and his wife’s. I knew you would not bring any difference. And as expected, you answered by substituting Ghehteb in in place of abi’s wife.
            “Gheteb’s ideas are nothing but to be either trashed away or quarantined from the unsuspecting innocents in the manner drugs are placed out of the reach of children”
            No, here, he has nothing of what he wrote that I can trash. I know what you are saying: you are telling us to trash the ideas contained in the play because ghehteb simply told us what the play was all about.
            The worst part is when you ask me;”Now, Mahmuday a question for you: What happens if all Eritrean women get married to non-Eritreans by choice?”
            Look, please don’t try to divert the topic. You came to tell us that we were racists for playing a play that exposed Derg’s policy of coercing Eritrean women in order to change the demography, to gain what he had been losing in the battles, to change the reality of Eritrean demography. That’s why it was called “The other War.” You know the play explains crimes perpetrated by Derg cadres on Eritrean women, you know we are not talking about consensual relations. So, why all those questions? You know consensual marriages based on love were and are taking place between Eritreans and Ethiopians. I told you armed combatant fighters were marrying released Ethiopian prisoners of war in the field. What else of an evidence do need?
            Dear Hayat, to be honest, Abi is not different from you and most Ethiopian forrumers in this issue. He is blunt, direct, and uses insensitive language. Better someone who tells me what he thinks of me (that’s subjective), than someone who tells me I could not see what he makes out of me (that is demeaning, and egregiously judgmental. But for some reason you are being treated as an innocent bystander. Good for you. Make no mistake, I know the reason.

          • Hayat Adem

            Mahmuday,
            betrey habeni zeHmiqo aleni…koynu natka neger.. you are accusing me of many things, all of them not true. I don’t know why are angry that I am taken as an innocent observer. I don’t know why you want to psychoanalyses me. I don’t know why you attribute stuff to me that were never stated or implied in my comments. I am amazed why you grew bitter on me over a time. Serious!

            Regarding your “The Other War”, it is what it is. If you want to give it a bone and flesh of truth, then you stuff to prove and verify. My guess is you are not arguing based on official policy and written document. Your claim could be based on patterns and practices, which would be valid as well. That is fine but you need to speak in numbers in that case. How many coerced marriages of Eritrean women with non-Eritrean men happened during the Derg? How many coerced marriages of men and women did happen in the same time zone in Ethiopia at large? How many coerced marriages did take place among Eritrean women and men during the same period? How many coerced marriages are happening now in Eritrea proper and in the camps? These are the data needed for comparison and conclusion, one way or the other. If you don’t have those numbers or a sample of them, then you are trying to push false allegation for a bad taste.

            The other comparison can be made in a different way: How many consensual marriages do happen between people north and south of Mereb during the Hailessilassie through the Derg time did happen? How many of such cases would we have now if the two countries were in a normal situation? The other very important question would be, what is the difference in the end result so long as it is consensual when seen from even an Eritrean perspective? Do families produced from such intermarriage inherit some demographic defects to run from?

            The problem with you is you don’t question the motives of EPLF. You think if EPLF said it, it must have been true. Could EPLF have brought it simply for agitation and propaganda purposes? Why not? Is not EPLF capable of many dirty things? Why not this one? Remember, the person who brought this is Gheteb invoking EPLF and you invoking Gheteb.

          • Millennium

            Hi Hayat:
            It is the story that Gheteb mentioned that the whole thing is about. How is it hard for you to see that? Why do you have to allow yourself to be so worked up about that? All along, you were miss-characterising the spirit in which Gheteb used it. There is no such policy that directs people about their marriage preferences. The story pointed out what it deemed to be the “Other War” as a political campaign on the part of Derg to achieve the same political goal it was trying to achieve militarily. What is in that analysis that makes you so indignant.

            Regards

      • Saleh Johar

        Hello Hayat,

        I am sorry you are disappointed.

        Abi’s excesses are no where close to what you made them appear. I have respectfully asked him to tone down many times, but instead he went to the extreme, insulting all Eritreans and showing his naked bigotry, repeatedly. Thanks to God, his type of chauvinists, remnants of the ancient regime, are not as many as they used to be. Hayat, he is not as mild and harmless as you depict him, but a disrespectful character who doesn’t have the decency to manicure his tongue which is filthier than the PFDJ. The same bigoted, racist insults of radio Ethiopia of the old time: Ye Areb Baarya, Wenbedie, etc.

        This is the guy who denies Ona ever happened, remember how he abused me when I posted a story about Ona! I and people like me see him the same as a Jew victim would see a “Holocaust Denier”, no respect at all. So, dear Hayat, remember that it’s such characters who spread hate and wars, peoples and crowds do not start them on their own. I thought this guy was just angry and he will calm down, but I was wrong, he became worse. My views on the chauvinists like Abi is solid, but I called it a truce for the sake of peace. However, if attacked, guess what I would do! I spend my time fighting the PFDJ, why would I accept another filthy mouthed, arrogant, and indecent individual?

        • Hayat Adem

          Dearest Saleh,
          Thanks a lot for the note. I would never be disappointed by anything you say to Abi to fend off his excesses. Fighting any chauvinism and indecency coming from individuals as you see it fit is within rationality. And who would ever question the level of tolerance and accommodation you demonstrate every single day in all your interactions here?! I should be the first witness to that quality.
          The only thing that raised my hairs was what Gheteb said and you sort of endorsed. PFDJites took our country, our resources, our dreams, our kids, our future…and now they want to tell us whom to marry and to reject. That is the totalitarianism out of this world to its fullest and plus. And there is more: they want to imply the Eritrean race is too pure to allow it to mix with others and be diluted. That is sickness out of this world to its fullest and plus. And: that kind of mindset would take our people to the quickest extinction. That is crazy, suicidal and irresponsible to its fullest and plus.
          Abi’s insults may irritate us at worst but will never destroy us. Gheteb’s are catastrophical. They could be easily viral if not treated with communicational condoms. That is how PFDJ has been fooling and still fool the innocents. I heard some of our runaway young in the refugee camps in Ethiopia act and spoke superior and talk down to their hosts. That is how PFDJ is polluting souls.

          Your website is doing marvelous miracles in fighting such generation-killing mindsets. I’m sure you and your team will continue the light burning. Darknesses should be fought mercilessly with more lights wherever they are. You have done more than your share in that regard and we love you. Just don’t forget there are many of us who look up at you as a role model. God bless you.

          • Saleh Johar

            Hi Hayat,
            You showered me with nice words. Kibret yehabeley. I hope I deserve it.

            Please note that I will always abhor chauvinism wherever it comes from. Disrupters like Abi and PFDJ are extensions of the malady that afflicts our region. They do not like the small safe corners like this forum that we maintain to promote understanding and peace. That is what They do, create wedges. Abi is here to saw mistrust among the people, a disciple of the crowds hosted by Isaias and I have no respect for them at all. Therefore, I take exception with their kind and will deal with them in the language they understand. And that I hope is understood in the right context and no one should feel offended… I already asked permission and told the forum about the endless war this guy has heralded on us and he should know his limits. I didn’t take abuse from my own rascals to take it from Berhanu negga’s rascal. That is all dear.

  • MS

    Hello abi and awatawyan;
    Many awatistas exchanged rejoinders with you, dear abi. You respect me and I respect you. I thought the grudge and bitterness were out of your way since you declared your independence from Eritrea. So, the following is not to lecture you, but to give you some perspectives I believe you are missing. And since I never “milked” Ethiopia, since you know I love Ethiopia and Ethiopians, I hope you will trust me you will get something out of this long Hateta. Please read it through. But first ለፈገግታ፡-
    እረ ተው ኣብያችን፡ እባክህ ተው። ምንድነው ነገሩ ጓድ ኣቢ? ሰው እያማረና እያደገ ኣይደለም እንዴ የሚሄደው? ሓሳቡ ኣየሰፋና ተስፋፍ ኣይደለም እንዴ የሚራመደው? ተው እባክህ የተጎዳ ህዝብ ታሪኩ ሲናገር መስማቱ በጣም ጥሩ ነው። I have never, never been to Ethiopian school, never. I learn Amharic and Ethiopian people’s cultures on daily basis, from friends, and neighbors. During the war, our favorite Music was from Sudan and Ethiopian (both Oromo-through the great Ali Birra, and Amharic- through the great artists Tilahin Gesese, Efrem Tameru, Hirut beQele, Bzunesh BeQele, Mahmoud Ahmed, Xehaye Yowhans, newyae debebe, Aregahegn, kiros alemayehu, Alemayehu Eshete, Hamalmal abate, Kuku Sesebe, the great Muluqen Melese…these were our contemporaries. I don’t know how old you are.
    I bring the above list to tell you that even people like me who had never seen Ethiopians except in war, people who had never seen any of the king’s charity and “benevolence”, people who knew the king and Derg through their acts of razing villages to ground, and their genocidal campaigns, we never held any grudges against Ethiopia and its people. I don’t know how you see it, but the king and Derg were not good even to their people. That’s why Ethiopia was in civil war- east-west-north-south. I think you know the people currently in power in Ethiopia were at one points friends of the Eritrean cause; I think you will agree with me- thanks God, you want to use logic in order to win the debate- that if Eritreans were doing Arabs bid simply because they happened to be backed by some Arab countries, then, logically, EPRDF which was supported by Eritreans was also the extension of that Arab bid. BTW: in the mid to late eighties EPRDF was the biggest beneficiary of Arab support through the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Today’s relationship between Ethiopia and SA has not come out of the blue. This is not to say TPLF relationship with the KSA was wrong, or today’s Ethio-Saudi relationship is anti-Ethiopia.
    Back to Eritrean-Arab relation.
    I want you to take the following points into consideration.
    1. Long before Osman Sabe and the other compatriot went to Cairo, and subsequently announced the beginning of the armed struggle, there was a well organized urban political movement in Eritrea known as Eritrean Democratic Movement , or best known by its Arabic name Haraka (movement), or Tigrigna Mahber Shawate (the clusters of seven, since its grassroots’ cells consisted each of seven members). Therefore, there was resistance long before Cairo, it was huge, covering all cities, regions and religions . Why?
    2. Because king HS unilaterally annulled the federal agreement, by intimidating and pressuring Eritrean parliament, by sending Federal troops to annex Eritrea, etc. So, Cairo was the next logical step since Eritrea became a military administrative awaraja. Why Cairo?
    3. Cairo used to be the hub of African liberation movements. Cairo used to be the center of African renaissance (remember this was a period where the decolonization of Africa was taking place). Peoples from South Africa, West Africa, East Africa were making Cairo their launching pad for open or clandestine anti-colonial resistance. Another point: Cairo was the destination of many African students, Muslims, Christians, or animists. Some prominent Eritreans such as Weldeab Weldemariam and Ibrahim Sultan made Cairo their base because they were not safe at home (aboy Weldeab escaped seven attempts of assassination in Asmara, SEVEN! He suffered wounds. There were students in Cairo, and Osman Saleh Sabe Happened to be there for similar reasons. They went through many phases of deliberations, but at the end, they got together and concluded that what the peaceful resistance Haraka (EDM) was doing was not feasible since the moves made by the king were clear that he was going to declare Eritrea a security zone. They declared the armed struggle. There is no evidence that Eritreans got any consignments or shipments of arms from Egypt or another country, or any considerable financial assistance from the Arab world, during those early years because the fighters were ill equipped (their guns were a mismatch taken from police raids and some captured in engagements), and they were living on what the rural lowlands provided them with for ten or more years. In later years, in the seventies and eighties, Eritrean revolution might have obtained some assistance. But let’s be honest. Take the UAE 1 million, for instance. What is a million dollar’s place when seen within what the war would have required in a daily basis? To be honest with you, Ethiopians never supported the king or the derg regime. In many cases, the Eritrean resistance was in dire strait, it was cornered, it should have been defeated. But Ethiopian soldiers were not using their resources effectively. Captured Ethiopian weaponry was the source of Eritrean arms. That’s because the soldiers did not have a clear understanding as why they were dying in Eritrea (that’s putting aside the regimes’ propaganda).
    Just listen to Menguistu Hailemariam talking to his own army. He tells them the truth. He says “the bandits” were fighting his regime by weapons they captured from his army. He says, እኛ ባስታጠቅናቸው መሳርያ ኣይደለም የሚወጉን? He tells the soldiers that around the time Mengistu seized power, Eritrean fighters were organized in platoon formation, “Now,” he says, “now, they are organized in divisions and corps.” And then asks his soldiers, “Who armed them?” He answers his question, “We did.”
    What’s the price of one tank round? For instance, take the overrunning of one command: you have 45-50 thousands well trained enemy soldiers with all fire support, artillery, motorized, mechanized, air support, etc. Now, zoom in on just tank units, in most cases Ethiopia deployed 70-150 tanks in almost each fronts; at one point, there were more than 6 separate operational zones. We can talk about each battles, but let’s take, for instance, the battle of Massawa; because it is well recorded, and it is fresher than the others. There were about 150 tanks. This may be a chunck of Ethiopian might, but for us it was huge, considering tilted scale of man and fire power. How many tanks and how many rounds for each tank do you need to overrun a well garrisoned enemy? How many artillery pieces; anti-tank, antiaircraft guns…how many fighters do we need, how many rounds does each soldier need for a battle that takes 4-5 days (depending on the job you will need specialized units, etc.)… fuel, spare-parts, food, medical supply…how much could the cost be? We always were under-equipped and disadvantaged,judging it from a classical military point of view. The point is: there was no country that was willing to spend that much money in support of Eritreans in a war where the Derg had a clear superiority? It would be a gamble. My friend Eritreans depended on their ingenuity, and on captured weaponry. The source of their supply were Ethiopian regimes themselves. Most preemptive campaigns the EPLF had launched were not only meant to foil enemy’s war plan, but to get armed for the next big confrontation.
    4. I believe you are living in the past where Ethiopian elites used the Arab card as a scare tactic. Honestly, it originates from the “historic” animosity between Abyssinia and the Arab world, expressed in its most ugly form of Islamophobia. I can’t believe in an era where Ethiopia is flooded by Arab investments and tourists, you still have a hangover from the past; and I can’t see why Arab assistance to Ethiopian movements such as TPLF, Ogaden, and Oromo is not that much a subject of contention while whatever meager assistance Eritreans got from the Arabs amounts to making Eritreans the trojan horse of Arab expansion. Do you see where you get it wrong?
    5. Amanuel Hidrat told you,” Besides, getting help from the Arabs or from the European countries is all the same, and does not change the cause of the struggle and the desire of the Eritrean people for self determination.”
    That’s true. What’s true is, despite our internal squabbles, Eritrean organizations were clear on one thing: they were not ready to exchange the right of Eritreans for self-determination for anything. No amount of coaxing and blackmailing changed this principle. Therefore, any help that came from any country would have been without the interference in Eritreans’ independent political line in pursuing the strategy and tactics they saw fit the expediency of liberating their homeland. It does not matter where they obtained that assistance. It would have to be without conditions that limit Eritreans choices in the way they conducted the war, militarily, politically and diplomatically.
    6. Here is the basic formula you and the likes of Hayat Adem need to remember.
    – Eritreans did not choose to wage war, it was imposed upon them
    -If the king respected the feral arrangement many lives would have been saved, no arms struggle would have been declared.
    – If the king read Eritreans’ demand correctly early on, either he would have reversed his annexation, or we would have had referendum in mid sixties, and most probably we would have continued a closer relation with Ethiopia, before the spilling of too much blood.
    – Had Derg understood Eritreans’ grievance correctly, we would have had referendum in the seventies or eighties, many lives would have been saved….
    Therefore, I urge Ethiopians to understand that we never had a choice, either we were to surrender for the order of subjugation or fight like any honorable people, and bear the brunt. We chose the later one. And for that, no respectable person should blame us.
    – This has nothing to do with how we feel about our government. We completed the first phase of evicting occupiers from our hose. Now we are embarking on putting our house in order.

    • Abi

      Merhaba Tegadalay Mahmud
      If you listen to all those Ethiopian musicians, you have milked Ethiopia. I don’t see The All Time Great Tekle Tesfazghi in the list.
      This is the longest hateta ever. I promise to finish it before the end of the year. If you have the audio version please send it to me.
      Now Vet, as you know I have the highest respect for you. More importantly, I trust you.
      I lived with Eritreans. They were my friends. I trusted them. When you were fighting to liberate the mountains I was dating an Eritrean. As you might know I’m married to an Eritrean. It’s been many years since we got married. One son in college, the other on his way to college.
      You have no idea how much it hurts when you read an urban mobilizer bragging about his activities in my backyard. It hurts when you read Sabe was collecting and sending money to his compatriots while living with us.
      “ባይቆጭ ያንገበግባል”
      I hate to be cheated.

      Vet, thanks for your long hateta. You mentioned many things that I totally agree with. Let’s move on. Please accept my up vote for your Amharic. I should learn Tigrigna.
      የቀንየለይ ማህሙድ ሓወይ
      Ras Abi.

  • MS

    Selam Haysam wo Haysat awatistas
    Here are 1o best talking points of the year, which summarize contents of articles’ worth works, no spinoffs, and no politicking, something you could prove by pulling out figures; something you could see in the faces of Eritreans; something Eritreans could tell you; the process that has led to this sad state of affairs could easily be explained; there is no “yes…but” excuses…there it is for everyone to see. And the easiest part is that we have no one to blame.
    Quote starts:
    For 2016, the People’s Front for Democracy & Justice, under the chairmanship of His Excellency Isaias Afwerki, has gifted the people of Eritrea the following:
    1. Eritrea is one of the worlds 48 Least Developed Countries (LDC);
    2. On the UNs Human Development Index (HDI) it ranks 186th out of 188 countries, beating out only Niger and Central African Republic;
    3. Its annual economic growth between 2010 and 2014 was 0.64%;
    4. Twenty five years later it has no functioning constitution;
    5. Its sole ruling party hasn’t had a congress since 1994 (its first and only one) replacing one-party rule by one-man rule;
    6. Its ill advised policy of indefinite national service combined with its corrupt military elements has conspired to exile 11% of its small population (almost 400,000 from a population of 3.5 million);
    7. After 50 years of exile (from war, Ethiopian occupation and finally PFDJ role) Eritreas Diaspora population is estimated at 1 million, most of whom are estranged by the government and not participating in nation building;
    8. The PFDJ got eritrea sanctioned by UN, EU, US, Canada at the same time. Twice: 2009 and 2011
    9. The PFDJ got the African Union to vote to sanction a fellow African state for only the second time in its 50 plus year history—the other vote being to sanction Apartheid South Africa.
    10. It has successfully convinced its followers that to demand accountability and demand that it resign is akin to “regime change.”
    END===================
    TawsaKitey, taken from the Facebook page of Saleh Younis, a man who lead the democratic coup over my reign.

    • saay7

      Hala MaHmuday:

      You are gonna get in trouble with the moderator now:)

      Thanks MaHmuday. I was expecting Wedi Saleh to come and give it to me on at least a point or two on the list….

      A programming note as Larry King used to say: I think VOA Tigrinya will air an interview (panel discussion?) with 4 Eritreans, including yours truly and his friend of yesteryear Elias Amare. I will provide the link on Saturday after the show airs on Friday 😂

      saay

      • MS

        Ahlan SAAY
        I think the Moderator needs some “fechew caffeine”, some summary points happen to be so summarized that you don’t want to leave out any of its parts., and I know I can’t put a link. Anyway, qoy becha dear moderator, w/end is right here, and thanks for the service.

      • Nitricc

        Hey SAAY. Be fair, your words matters.

    • Berhe Y

      Dear MS,

      If you haven’t posted it here, I wouldn’t have read it. And what a great way saay to summarize the year, how pfdj squandered every opportunity.

      Saay, great interview. I listen to the first part.

      I declare, the AT moderator gone rougue, and totally dictatorial:).

      Berhe

  • Abraham H.

    Dear Awatistas, today we read in the news that the Egyptian govt. has approved a deal to hand over the two Red Sea islands of Tiran and Sanafir to Saudi Arabia. These are relatively large, uninhabited, but strategically situated islands in the entrance to the gulf of Aqaba. I wonder how a govt. could decide on behalf of the entire Egyptian people and cede land to other country? Also we have recently been hearing about not so cosy relations between the two countries; how could these two events be reconciled? I think these events should send chills to us Eritreans, as we might end up our own islands sold and exchanged by the despot to the highest bidding Arab sheiks. We already know the UAE has established a huge military base at Assab, through deals that have been done behind the scenes and without the knowledge and involvement of any public institution.

    • Ismail AA

      Selam Abraham,

      Yes, I have also read the news. But the decision was on cabinet level. The case will be passed to the parliament for consideration. According to Arabic news media, legal experts doubt whether the cabinet (government) will get endorsement of its decision. The case has been moving through court proceedings at various levels, and a crucial legal ruling is anticipated on 16 January 2017. Many observers suspect that the government may be trying to get face saving exit route by way of parliamentary ruling to nullify the agreement with the Saudis, address public dismay.

      Right after the Egypt-Saudi Arabia agreement reached public domain, there was serious uproar and public anger against the government’s ceding of the two Islands. Memories of the cost in live and material the Egyptians had paid in wars with Israel in defense of the Islands are still fresh. The Egyptian people and civil society by and large think the Islands are crucial to national security of their country.

      Regarding the despot presiding over the ruining of our young nation, the concern you have is also mine, and for sure of the our patriotic forces. Our legitimate worries emanate from the fact that our country has become just a fiefdom whose parts are expendable when ever the despot’s interest and whims call for it. We know that whenever he faced dire material need, any part of the country a sellable property, and our islands are no exception. There are no laws or institutions or organized popular forces that thwart his way as those we are witnessing in the case of Egypt.

      Happy New Year.

      • ‘Gheteb

        Selam Ismail AA,

        You are saying:

        ” Our legitimate worries emanate from the fact that our country has become just a fiefdom whose parts are expendable when ever the despot’s interest and whims call for it. We know that whenever he faced dire material need, any part of the country a sellable property, and our islands are no exception”.

        Are there any records from the past that you can produce that proves “…that whenever he [PIA]faced dire material need, any part of the country a sellable property, and our islands are no exception”. Well, you are claiming that, “… we know…” and my query is: can you share or produce any provable records that is informing ‘your knowing’ of the claim that “any part of the country a sellable property, and our islands are no exception”.

        Thanks!

        • Thomas

          Hi Gheteb,

          Simple example from recent activities of your dare PIA leasing our port of Assab to the Arabs? Has your PIA advised anyone else? By the way, i forget there is no parliament for him to address as the one we had has been detained since I don’t know 2001. How about that as a proof for your “denkoro” mind??

          • ‘Gheteb

            Hi Thomas,

            First of all “leasing” is NOT “selling”. When someone leases something s/he is NOT buying the thing nor is the LESSOR “selling” the thing.

            What is more, is the fact that neither the Eritrean government nor the government of UAE has confirmed the “…recent activities of your dare PIA leasing our port of Assab to the Arabs”. Actually, the Eritrean government has DENIED the claim that the UAE has acquired the 30 year lease of the port of Assab.

            If you have evidence that proves otherwise, you are challenged to produce it here instead of hurling insults and aspersions.

          • Thomas

            Hi Gheteb,

            You said, “Actually, the Eritrean government has DENIED the claim that the UAE has acquired a 30 year lease of the port of Assab”. Really, the Eritrean government realizes such information? Like there was NO war with Djibouti, but then again there was one and it will be resolved through the Qatar mediation? Your leader said that there is no Djibouti prisoner in Eritrea, but again we have released the Djibouti prisoners and Qatar confirmed their release. Moreover, the Djibouti government without the request of your leader released the POW. Past experiences proves the tactic of your leader is to always deny things even when what he is hiding is exposed to the entire planet.

          • ‘Gheteb

            Hi Thomas,

            You are saying that you don’t believe the denial by the Eritrean government of the 30 yaer lease of Assab to the UAE and your reason being that PIA, “my leader”, “always deny things even when what he is hiding is exposed to the entire planet”.

            Now the fact that the UAE has been using the port of Assab as a “logistical hub” is a fact admitted by the Eritrean government and an easily verifiable fact. There are a lot reasons why the UAE is afforded this opportunity to use Assab as a logistical hub or what some may call as a military base or a naval base.

            For one, Eritrea as part of entering a security arrangement with the GCC, has pledged to do its part in offering assistance. Refer to PIA’s recent visit to the KSA.

            What is more, is the longstanding close relations between the UAE and Eritrea starting way back from the days of our Revolution.

            Then, the bilateral co-operation, I mean militarily, between the GoEr and the UAE has been stout.

            The question that you need to answer is this: Okay, let us assume that PIA is denying the 30 year leasing of Assab to UAE. I haven’t seen anything coming from the LESSEE — The UAE– confirming that it has signed a 30 year lease with the LESSOR, The government of Eritrea.

            If you have read such kind of corroborating information, please bring it on. Otherwise, what you are asserting here is nothing more than a subjective personal belief or opinion.

          • saay7

            Selamat Gheteb:

            Happy new year!

            Regarding UAEs use of the port of Asab, I have two questions that I am hoping you will help with.

            1. As you said, GoE “admitted” that port is being used by UAE for “logistical” reasons. This came in the form of a Reuters interview with FM Osman Saleh in February 2016. Can you reference anywhere in Eritrean state media where the government told this is happening to its own people in their own language? Never mind consulting them before it happened but actually even admitting it after it happened?

            2. “Logistics” has two meanings, depending when used in civics or military context.

            CIVILIAN
            “the detailed coordination of a complex operation involving many people, facilities, or supplies.”

            MILITARY
            the organization of moving, housing, and supplying troops and equipment.

            Since the reporter had no follow-up question, and in light of Janes Defense Weekly satellite photos of hangers being constructed, in light of asana proximity to South Yemen and UAEs heavy involvement in the Yemeni Civil War and Eritreas joining of “Saudi Alliance Against Terror [sic]”is it unreasonable to conclude it’s the latter?

            saay

          • Kebessa

            Selam ssay7,

            Here are metsanHi answers while bitsay Gheteb is preparing a comprehensive and detailed response:

            1) As with everything else, the issue of Assab’s lease to UAE was disclosed at the time by the MoFA in its daily press briefing. The spokes person was grilled by the brutal local press and every question was satisfactorily answered. More importantly, on his end-of-year press conference few days ago, President Isaias briefly confirmed that – briefly because as indicated above, this was extensively discussed and the press didn’t have further questions.

            2) As to the nature of the logistical cooperation, the government made it clear any questions be referred to the UAE and not Eritrea. This is the professional and standard procedure of the government when a foreign entity is involved. You may recall all questions related to our conflict with little bitty Djibouti was directed to the now Eritrea-abandony and Woyane-huggie Qataris.

          • Abi

            Hi Kebesa
            Very sad you are comparing Eritrea with Woyane. A little self respect goes a long way.
            I suggest you start comparing Eritrea with Ethiopia. If, however, you were trying to belittle Ethiopia by equating it to Woyane, well I never expected better from a confused Kebessa to start with. I know as a Kebessa you are above everything and everybody .
            I skip the ” little bitty Djibouti ” thing.
            Amazing!!!

          • saay7

            Abi:

            You know how Emma is so serious he misses deadpan humor and satire? You just pulled an Emma.

            Kebesa:

            Excuse Abi he is usually not this slow. “Eritrea-abondony, Weyane-huggie Qataris” is super funny line.

            saay

          • Fanti Ghana

            Selamat Saay,

            Abi is on his third bottle by now!

          • Abi

            Fantastic
            It is a Gray Goose.
            Enjoy your tea.

          • Abi

            Hi Saay
            It was a good line and very creative. Call it selective grumpiness!
            I’m watching Ohio State V Clemson.

          • Saleh Johar

            Saay,
            Poor Osman Saleh said too much too soon. Isn’t the PFDJ accusing the “Beirut-based Arabic Tv channel, Al-Mayadeen, wrongly asserts, that the “United Arab Emirates has acquired a 30-year lease for a military base in the Port of Assab”? Maybe Osman Saleh meant Assab Hotel in Asmara 🙂

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Saay,

            What an impressive, systematic, and logistical questions you have posed to him! The guy acts as one who is privy to the practical political move of the despot. We shall see, if he gives you a scoop from the moves of DIA into the intricate geopolitical wars of the region, and the application of Port Asseb to the warring countries of the region.

            regards
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • ‘Gheteb

            Howdy 2nd Cousin SAAY,

            With your permission, allow me to put to rest the following issue with a DISCLAIMER about the assertion ” The guy acts as one who is privy to the practical political move of the despot”.

            I have absolutely ZERO, cipher, zilch, nix, zip, nada, diddly-squat information or inside scoop as it pertains to operations of the GoEr or the PFDJ. Almost all of my information is gleaned from what is available publicly and from my personal EXPERIENCES that has informed my memories.

            About three days ago, in response to Berhe Y’s queries, here is what I wrote this DISCLAIMER verbatim:

            ” (6) Mohammed Ali Umaro
            Reportedly, incarcerated and I don’t have the slightest clue as I AM NOT PRIVY to sensitive national security issues”.

            Now let me see if I can shed some light to the questions you are posing about the port of Assab and the UAE utilization of a facility in this port as a “LOGISTICAL HUB”.

            I have never doubted that the UAE logistical hub in Assab is primarily a military or naval base though some call it a naval base, many say it is a military base and still some describe it as a logistical hub.

            Therefore, I concur with your conclusion ” “logistics” means the latter (military)?”, only with the following caveat: The Emirati-Eritrean relation was so stout even before the opening of this logistical facility in Assab, I saw this move as nothing more than a logical step in the Emirati-Eritrean relation given the prevailing reality in our region.

            If my timeline is correct, here are the events that transpired before the establishment of this logistical hub or military base in Assab:

            (1) The one day visit of the Qatari leader to Asmara
            (2) PIA’s visit to the KSA and the signing of the “security……” agreement where Eritrea pledged to offer any support it can to the “coalition of GCC”.
            (3) The visit of Saudi and Emirati military personnel to Assab.
            (4) The start of dredging of a deep water docking site near the port of Assab by UAE dredging vessels
            (5) The establishment of a full-fledged military or naval base or a logistical hub in Eritrea’s port of Assab with UAE’s fixed and non-fixed wings air crafts, Tanks and other military materiel.

            Now, beside the military aspect since the establishment of this military base, what else is going on vis-à-vis the Emirati Eritrean relation? Based on what I read so far, the recent scholarship to Eritrean students to study in Abu dhabi university and UAE’s pledge to invest/help in Eritrea’s energy and fishery sectors of the economy.

            I think the denial by the Ministry of Information about the UAE acquisition of a 30 year lease in the port of Assab makes sense, at least to me, because this agreement or arrangement between Eritrea and the UAE will OUTLAST the three decades limit of “the lease”. I mean that I am of the conviction that Emirati presence is going to be in Eritrea FOR THE LONG HAUL.

            As you know that you 2nd Cuz hates passionately to quote himself, but I got to do it here in the hope of disabusing some in this Forum whose sole mission is to mischaracterize me and my take on issues pertaining Eritrea and its body politic.

            Here is what I wrote about 8 months ago:

            ” The infrastructure development that is underway not only in the Assab port, but around the Southern Red Sea region is a step in the right direction for Eritrea and this seismic shift in the Red Sea region is going to strengthen Eritrea’s hands not only economically, but also militarily and in other security matters”.

            Since it is the weekends and for those interested in reading further on this issue here is my note about the Emirati Eritrean relation.

            “The Emirati Eritrean Relations: A Coup D’œil”

            Loosely translated into Tigrigna as :

            “ቆላሕታ ዑፋዊ ጠመተ ኣብ ዝምድና ዒማራትን ኤርትራን”

            https://disqus.com/home/discussion/awate/april_14_commemorating_eritrean_prisoners_of_conscience/#comment-2629068253

          • saay7

            Selamat Gheteb:

            Thanks for the detailed response on my second question. I believe your response is very reasonable—but the idea that the GoE would have a long term relationship with any party is not supported by its history: sooner or later (sooner is my guess) it will find some reason to fight because as Petros Solomon once told an interviewer “it’s a rigid fighting machine.”

            Your conclusions are drawn, you said, from publicly available data infused with your knowledge from personal experience. And specifically with that in mind that I asked the first question: since publicly available information includes that which is disseminated in GoE owned/operated media directed to the masses (Dimxi Hafash, EriTV, Haddas Ertra, Eritrea AlHaditha and the whole Erena network), to your knowledge has the Government disclosed leasing parts of Asab port to UAE via Erena network? If not why do you think that is the case?

            Happy New Year to you and all the residents of Planet Logic. How’s the weather up there? 🙂

            saay

          • ‘Gheteb

            Hello again, Cuz SAAY:

            Firstly, mea culpa for being remiss and not paying attention in wishing you and the residents of all the galaxies Happy New Year. Allow me to even say it in Tigrigna echoing PIA:

            ” ዮሃና: ርሑስ ሓድሽ ዓመት”.

            Come to think of it, the reason I forgot to offer my best wishes for the new year was because I was obsessively fixated on the word “happy” and what it denoted or meant in the expression “Happy New Year” and attempting to see if there is any similarity in Tigrigna. Well, what do you know, I ended up reading about a quaint debate among physicist whether time passes or not.

            Coming back to the issue you have raised, here is my two cents worth:

            (A) I don’t think the issue of the UAE base in Assab has been covered in ” (Dimxi Hafash, EriTV, Haddas Ertra, Eritrea AlHaditha and the whole Erena network). I have not read, viewed or heard anything regarding this issue from these media outlets. That is from my side. However, this only covers the official side of it. As you may know, there is an unofficial channel through which news about such matter ( military-cum-security nature) are disseminated to the public. Call it through the grapevine or Bado Seleste, I think, the news of the UAE base in Assab has percolated to those Eritreans with no internet access.

            (i) You are asking me to hazard a guess here when you queried “why the Government has not disclosed leasing parts of the Assab port to UAE”. I can only offer here a guess barely informed from what I learned about how the EPLF handled information about the military assistance it was receiving from some foreign countries.

            You may remember that in those difficult years of 1979-82, after “the strategic withdrawal’, many EPLF fighters were raising questions about who is on the side of the Eritrean revolution? who is supporting us? while on the side of the Dergue there are these forces that the EPLF was telling us are “our friends” — read USSR and its satellite countries — are now standing against us.

            According to a conversation I had back in 1980 in Kassala, Sudan, with an ex-EPLF fighter who was a platoon leader, to answer the persistent questions that the EPLF fighters were raising about who was supporting the EPLF, Wedi-Ephrem and Wedi- Solomon et al were dispatched to all the fronts to address the EPLF fighters questions.

            To answer the questions raised by the fighters, Wedi-Ephrem and co. told them that we have the support of some Arab countries and some other progressive organization. They even showed them some military materiel such as new RPG-7s that were recently delivered from Iraq and mentioned the fact that Kuwait is currently training 30 EPLF fighters in Tank operations in Kuwait.

            My guess is that the EPLF was never used to talking freely about military or security related issues and I think information was only dispersed on a need to know basis. And, I think this culture is currently informing the modus operandi of the Government of Eritrea in the way it should communicate with the Eritrean people.

            Also, given the current geopolitical milieu in the Horn and Eritrea’s relation with the UN has something to do with the GoEr being loath to speak about the UAE base in Assab.

            (ii) On the issue of whether the Emirati Eritrean relation will be long term or short term, your guess that “the rigid fighting machine” “sooner will find a reason to fight and the relationship is going to end sooner is challenged by the following observations ( from history and recent developments):

            (1) The relation of Eritrea, through the EPLF, with the UAE dates back to the early 80s. In those years and until Eritrea’s independence, the EPLF relation with the UAE was excellent as evidenced by the material and financial help it was able to garner from the UAE.

            (2) Post Eritrea’s independence, the help that the UAE has offered to Eritrea was nothing to sneeze at and thus is an attestation to the warm and cordial relations between the two governments.

            (3) In recent years, the relations was so good that the UAE was/is training Eritrean pilots and sailors.

            (4) The amount of money that the UAE is spending to build the base in Assab ain’t no chump change and they would not build a base of this magnitude and deploy such a military asset if they thought that their stay will be ephemeral or short term and based on a precarious/unsound relations with the GoEr.

            Remember, those at the helm in the UAE have known the current Eritrean leadership, especially Isaias Afwerki since the early 80s and I think they have all the confidence that this is of the strategic sort of a relation that they are nurturing with Eritrea.

            Incidentally and as a side note here, even Eritrea’s relation with Qatar is still “warm” even if the Qatari Airways has suspended flights to Asmara as it was mentioned in the report between PIA and the recently appointed Qatari ambassador to Eritrea.

            What is more is, is the fact that the Kuwaiti Eritrean relation is on the up and up. It seems to be moving in the right direction and seemed to have gained momentum after the recent meeting of Eritrea’s Foreign Minister Osman Saleh with his Kuwaiti counterpart. Reportedly, a Kuwaiti delegation has visited Eritrea recently to explore the opportunities of investment in the agricultural, fishery and energy sectors.

            Again, Happy New Year!

          • saay7

            Selamat Gheteb:

            Thanks for this enjoyable exchange. We agree that the Gov of Eritrea has allowed a foreign country to use Eritrean land for military logistical purposes and that it has not communicated this with the people using its formal channels of communications. I also agree with you that it uses other means of communications (Bado Seleste rumor mill) holdover from the days it was a liberation organization. Where we may disagree is on the motive. In this case, I maintain that it had made emphatic and absolute statements whose reversals it now finds difficult to manage. This was the case both on the issue of having a foreign power in Eritrean territories and joining alliances. Submitted for your approval what I wrote about this when summarizing Eritrea 2015 (with ample apologies for self-quoting):

            Eritrea’s MoFA issued a press release. Two points: “Eritrea rejects, for the umpteenth time, all false allegations on the military presence of Iranian, Houthi, Israeli or any other external power in its sovereign territories…Eritrea does not allow its islands, ports and territory for lease or sale.” It also stated that “Eritrea only recognizes and accepts a constitutional and legal leadership of Yemen.” The announcement left absolutely zero ambiguity: ኤርትራ፣ ደሴታታ፣ ወደባታን መሬታን ንክራይ ኮነ መሸጣ ዘይተፍቅድ ሃገር’ያ። ኣብዚ ዞባ፣ ናጽነታ ካብ ዝኣወጀትሉ ዕለት ጀሚራ ባባታ ንግዳማዊ ምትእትታውን መደበራትን ዘየፍቀደት ሃገር እንተላ ኤርትራ ጥራይ ምዃና ድማ ደጊማ ተነጽር።(Eritrea is the only country in the world that does not allow its territory to be a camp of foreign powers. It will never allow its islands, ports, land to be leased or sold.) ኤርትራ ኣብ ፖሊሲ ኪዳናት ኣይትኣምንን፣ ስለዚ ድማ ኣይትጽንበሮን – ኣይትድግፎን’ውን። በዚ ምኽንያት ኣብ ዝኾነ ይኹን ተመሳሳሊ ምትእኽኻባት ኣባልነት ከምዘይብላ ደጊማ ተረጋግጽ፣(Eritrea is against the policy of alliances and intervetions and it will never join nor support them…)

            So in April MoFA and MoI made these statements. In November, Eritrea had done both. In December, Isaias was explaining that Eritrea did not join a Saudi Alliance but “An Initiative”) and in February 2016 Minister Osman Saleh was saying UAEs presence in Assab is for “logistical purposes”—in an interview with a foreign reporter.

            The second motive I propose is that the Gov does not think the people are entitled to information. It treats all information on “need to know” basis to be parceled out when some Gov official thinks it’s prudent to do so. The most fundamental one is Eritreas census. If you read Professor Seth Kaplans report, we were told Eritreas population is 3.5 million. Some Gov official on background told that to him. Can you give me any time in the last 25 years the Gov has disclosed Eritreas census?

            saay

          • Ismail AA

            Dears saay and Gheteb,

            Good afternoon; it’s already noon of January 1 in my part of the world.

            I enjoyed the exchanges both have had. I learned a lot of things, besides that the maturity and cordial discussion satiating my passion for calm and reflective dialogue.

            Many points that have been raised in the course of debate have been clarified. I, and perhaps many who have followed the discussion, have now better understanding though ambiguities could still remain due to the hermetic nature of the regime and its ways of conducting public relations.

            Now, the reason why I decided to scribble these few sentences is when I read Gheteb’s reference to EPLF-Emirate relation, and the financial aid aspect of it. I know that relationship had started during the ELF-PLF era, and the architect was none other than the late Osman Saleh Sabe who was dynamic and successful diplomatic bridge-builder as far the Eritrean cause and the Arab countries were concerned.

            Thus, during the second half of 1975, right after the ELF’s Second Congress in June of that year, and the recognition of the ELF-PLF as the result of a resolution at that event, dialogue between the two parties was in September in Khartoum. One of the points of the initial understanding was to conduct joint diplomatic contacts.

            A joint delegation had travelled in the Arab region, and among them was a visit to the Emirates. The visit was successful that the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan (known for his generosity) had ordered to grant a million dollars per year aid to each front. I do not know whether or not the payment had continued after the split of the ELF-PLF in 1976, and emergence of one part of it as EPLF following its first organizational congress.

            I am just asking whether Gheteb knows anything on this point. Many of us recall that the EPLF leadership had vigorously denied getting aid from the Arab countries after they formed government in Asmara which contradicts some instances of aid Gheteb has mentioned.

            Regards

          • Abi

            Selam Ismail AA
            Is this “dynamic and successful diplomat Sabe” the same Sabe who attended Winget High School in Addis Ababa , Ethiopia? I hope this one is a different Sabe.
            Regarding this help from the arabs, Ato Amanual Hidrat, a former chief procurement officer in ELF ( a graduate of Polythechnic Institute , Bahir Dar, Ethiopia) told us a very interesting story.
            The two fronts were competing to get more armaments from this arab country. The representative of this arab country assured them by saying ” as long as you are fighting Ethiopia, you all get as much as you want”.
            Ato Amanual Hidrat went home victorious with loads of Armaments and with a determination to fulfill the arabs wish.
            Interesting! Don’t you say?

          • Ismail AA

            Gash Abi,
            melkam ye fereji adis amet.
            I am not aware whether the late Osman Saleh Sabe attended G. Winget High School. I know he attended Teferi Mokonnen High School on scholarship granted by the philanthropists, Kekia. Several students from his elementary school in Massawa had completed highschool in Addis Ababa.
            As to the quote you mentioned, I have no idea whether the Arab country you are talking about had opened his weapons depots to Eritreans on an only condition that they fought Ethiopia; reaction from our Aman pending of course.
            Regards

          • Abi

            Melkam Addis Amet Lehulachin.
            I read Sabe’s story at Awate. If he went to Teferi Mekonnen High it is as good. He is the product of the Ethiopian Education system. Sad to see people you invested in betrayed you or conspired against you.
            Regarding the arabs involvement, they have only one goal. It is to hurt Ethiopia.
            I hope Ato Amanual Hidnrat, the former urban mass mobilizer and Chief Procurement Official at Port Sudan will enlighten the awate community.

          • Ismail AA

            Selam Abi,
            I did neither have claimed to had been invested in, nor complained to anybody, that the late Martyr Osman Saleh Sabe had conspired or betrayed me ( or any one for that matter), sir. And, let us, with due respect of course, leave the matter there.
            Regards

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Greetings to all Awatistas,

            Happy New Year. I hope you welcomed the New Year to be, a year of hope, peace, understanding and a year of compromise for the common good of the two brotherly people.

            Selam Ismailo,

            Abi is a good story maker and not a good history teller. Do not listen to him. He gets pieces of info from here and there from our debates and manufactured a story and gave me a title of “a procurement officer.” Here is how he came to that imaginary conclusion. He found (a) that I was a graduate of poly technic Institute (b) that I was working in the ministry of mines (c) that I was an ELF member (d) that I was assigned in Port Sudan (e) that the Arab countries support the cause of our struggle and our Fronts. Then, viola and came up with the title AH was a “procurement officer.”

            Regards
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Abi

            Selam Ato Amanual Hidnrat
            F) you were an urban mass mobilization chief in the center of Addis.
            g) you betrayed those people who opened their houses and hearts. You bit the hands that fed you
            Actually you were bragging about it Your disqus account from three years ago tells something else.
            Anyway, I admire you as both history maker and story teller. Don’t change your story.

          • Nitricc

            Hey Abi; I don’t think you will ever understand what Eritrea and Eritreans mean let alone to understand Thier struggle. If your government was giving education and a good life to the likes of Aman-H; but the same government was killing and destroying their people. And Eritreans who had a good life, they had to stand up with their people. So, don’t be surprised when you see and hear about people who stood with their people. In fact it is a sign of vertu and courage not betrayals as you tried it to be.

          • Fanti Ghana

            happy New Year Nitriccay,

            I can’t agree more! What would have been cowardice would be had they forgotten the plight of their people (national duty is perhaps more precise) for the “Choma” Ethiopia had to offer.
            He is fighting a case that does not exist.

          • Abi

            Selam Ato Fanti
            Please accept my up vote for your role in supporting actor. As always , well played!!
            My issue is don’t eat my choma if you turn around and stab the cow.
            I never have any issue with those individuals who rejected the king and chose to fight for their independence. Those people you got to respect. Vet Mahmud is a great example. SGJ is another great example who rejected the king’s choma and chose his freedom.
            I hope you get it.

            Nitricc
            It is always admirable to stand with your people. However, it is the ultimate disgrace when you chew on both sides of your mouth.
            If a person is educated in Ethiopia, if Ethiopia gave him everything from the very little she had, that person should never serve the interests of her enemies. In this case the arabs.

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello Abisha,

            I envy you my man. I won’t wish it on you or anyone when you have to choose between what you know is the truth in one hand and comfort and peer pressure in the other day in day out your entire adult life.

            What do Eritreans need to do to convince us the fact that they fought for their well deserved independence? Who would be the ultimate authority to give us an answer we can believe once and for all? We have been hammering this “Arab conspiracy” theory during three consecutive governments (50+ years), and we still do!

            Imagine how our perspective would have differed had that meager help they received from the Arab world had been from England instead. Please Abi, argue the Eritrean case from different angle if you must. The Arab issue has been explained politely several times by sane Eritreans, so it won’t invite any serious discussion any longer.

          • Abi

            A Fantastic way of mediation. Another up vote!
            Look, the struggle for independence initiated in Cairo, supported , financed, armed by the arabs. Just today we learned the liberation fronts used to get a million dollars a year from one arab country. And the people who facilitated this evil acts against Ethiopia are those who benefited from Ethiopia. This is called betrayal. If this is a normal way of life in Eritrea, then all justice seeker Eritreans should stop blaming Isayas Afewerki for betraying the struggle for independence and changed the country into an open prison.
            If Sabe and Amanual did the right thing, then logic dictates His Excellency President Isayas Afeworqi is definitely doing the right thing.
            With this I’m done with this topic.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Fanti Ghana,

            I told Abi that I heed the call of my people to rescue them with my colleagues from the barbaric act of HS and Derg and joined both the fronts at different years- with ELF-PF as urban mobilizer and with ELF in the field. He can not swallow it, and I can not help him. I told him this is not stabbing to Ethiopia. Besides, getting help from the Arabs or from the European countries is all the same, and does not change the cause of the struggle and the desire of the Eritrean people for self determination.History has brought new reality and I summoned him to move on to deal on the current reality to help both people to live in peace and good neighborhood thriving for economic growth. I hope your advise will help him to find a closure to it realistically and psychologically. Again let me give him a final disclaimer, that I was neither the “chief mobilizers” nor a “procurement officer” in serving the cause of our struggle. Thank you for your intervention.

            Regards
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello, Happy New Year Mr. Amanuel,

            I remember several discussions on this and similar topics. Abi is playing “ኣውቆ የተኛ” on us on this particular issue.

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam Abi,

            But the king’s ‘choma’ was tax payers’ money, not his private property. Even many Ethiopian tax payers did not feel the king represented them as the king did not do his job properly. Therefore, he should not be exempt from being challenged.

          • Abi

            Selam Simon
            This is Ras Abi calling
            Yes I’m a royalist. Hailesilassie was my great grandfather. My grandfather Ras አስደንብር used to own the whole Bahre Negash. My father, Fitawrari እርገጣቸው was the beloved የኤርትራ እንደራሴ
            who brought choma and honey to Eritrea.
            As you see I’m trying hard to bring the Kingdom back to Bahre Negash.
            Raesi Abie

          • blink

            Dear Abi
            come on be a human being with senses , choma and honey , waww , You are saying such words in an Eritrean website awate.com , You have said so many bad things and insults to Eritreans over the years , The fact is , Hailesilassie was a genocider so do the others Ethiopian leaders . In Eritrea we describe any Ethiopian leader as a criminal , killer and genociders . You and your fathers were killers and no good to Eritreans . For a fact there is none good that comes from your side . Thanks to Mr. saleh’s ample patience you guys from south has got space to insult us at our face . You have to thank awate.com owners though because if i was one of them i would have kicked you out long time ago ,because all your jokes and wits does not offset the insults . You are a loser as of your fathers

          • Peace!

            Hi Blink,

            Forgive him he is just a spoiled adult here in this forum. It is very rare to find such hateful Amharai if he really is.

            Peace!

          • Abi

            Hi blink
            Hey, I forgot to mention candy for the children. Coffee for adetat, mess for abotat…..We are so generous.
            Relax, you have been reading/fed numerous exaggerated stories.

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam Abi,

            The tax payers say: where are all these people, with bombastic names, now?

          • Ismail AA

            Dear Aman,
            Happy New Year to you, too.
            Thank you for the feedback and clarification. I was just waiting for that before I take Abi’s comment at humor because the job allocation he mentioned did not match my information about your background. I just wanted to humbly share with him what I know about the schooling of Martyr Osman S. Sabe.
            Thanks again,
            Regards

          • Abi

            Selam Ismail AA
            Honestly which school Sabe went is not important. What is important is he betrayed the country who educated him and served the arab interests just like the betrayal in chief AKA Amanuel Hidnrat.

          • Saleh Johar

            Hi Abi,
            Decency requires that you do not insult people on a New Years’s day. Sabe was a pteritic Eritrean, one of the giants who taught your mentors, the real betrayed who did not respect covenants and agreements–the killer Haile sellasie and his feudal clique. He was educated in a system that has occupied the system in his country. You 500 year old prejudice and hate of Arabs (in your mind it’s always Muslims) shows nothing new. It has been there and it’s victims are still alive. Your continuous assault on the Eritrean struggle for self determination and freedom is despicable and tasteless. Eritreans didn’t betray anyone when they fought for their rights. They just refused to knell under your emperor and his followers. You insulting our struggle as a mercinery project is way out of line. And you need to tone down. Maybe you need to go back to your vacation if you came back just to continue your attack on all of us. Go start some mutiny in Gonder and do not come back to pour your frustration if you fail.
            God! How callous can you be?

          • Abi

            Selam Ato Saleh
            Wow!! That is scary!! I don’t know where to hide?
            The killer Hailesilassie gave all he had to educate the same people who betrayed him and serve the arabs. Among them are Sabe and Amanual Hidnrat.
            End of story.
            I’m not scared of your fake outrage. Only people who want to hide failures display fake outrage.
            BTW, I up voted your comment for its dramatic effect. Well done!!

          • Saleh Johar

            Dear Abi,
            You are a brave chauvinist.
            If I go all out to give you what you serve here, I am afraid I might hurt the decent Ethiopians here. And in this occasion, I am asking them to let me know what their position is regarding you aggression. We are here to promote respect and reconciliation, and you embody everything that hinders it. Therefore, I will wait for the wise people to interject but you better know you are a straw man, filled with hate, bigotry and chauvinism. And your medicine is so easy to deliver. Just remember that.

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello and Happy New Year Memhir,

            Since most of us would agree that your intent always is honest and based on what you believe is verifiable fact, I think it is safe to say that the worst that can happen to us is like a mother whose child is being punished for misbehaving. In one hand she knows that the punishment is good for him in the long run, but in the other, the sobbing and wailing of her son will force her to cry along. So, please, you may deliver your medicine as time permits.

          • blink

            Dear Fanti Ghana
            I always think you are honest, and can tell people the right thing. Abi is not a child he is a grown man in fact old man with bad motive . Apart from his jokes , his insult is just bad . Once you envy this man you are showing the other side of fanti i guess. What i always expect from any Ethiopians is learn their ignorance about our suffering under their leaders , I just do not expect them to double down their rejections of the suffering we have passed under their leaders killing machine .

          • Fanti Ghana

            Happy New Year blink,

            Envy Abi? I see, I see. That was my version of saying “ignorance is bliss,” but I may not have been clear.

            Mahmudy’s beautiful, short and sweet, Eritrea 101 is a good start for many.

            I know Abi puts a stone in his snowball occasionally/frequently, but I think mostly it is a mater of or lack there of using the right words to make his intended point. We all see his goodness and yet we are frequently startled when he makes an outrageous claim amounting to an insult of the good and the bad in one swoop.

            Please Abisha, start with Mahmud’s friendly/brotherly post which is a nicely rounded up introduction to Eritrea. Ask or comment based on the facts he listed, and let’s have a decent conversation. All this talk about you is out of love. Please take it as a complement.

          • ‘Gheteb

            Ahlan Ismail AA,

            Thank you very much for your invaluable ( indispensably and extremely useful) contribution to this exchange through your feedback. On my part, I have extracted nuggets of information concerning how the UAE’s contribution or financial help to our revolution commenced.

            You are absolutely right and I see eye to eye with you that the architect in the establishment of the Emirati – Eritrean Revolution is the late patriot Osman Saleh Sabe. He was indeed the consummate diplomat whose diplomatic acumen was singular and unequaled.

            The first and the last time I saw and heard Sabe speak was in the early/mid 80s in a seminar held in in Khartoum University. When I asked some of my Sudanese classmates who attended the seminar about their reaction about Sabe and his presentation, they highly commended and praised him.

            Regarding the one million dollar per annum that the UAE financial help that was given to both the Eritrean fronts, per “the order of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan”, so far as I come to know, the EPLF was receiving a one million dollar financial aid from the UAE until the Eritrea became independent.

            I am of the belief that in the years of 1976-1983, the EPLF did not receive the one million dollar financial aid from the UAE . I think the EPLF may have started receiving the fund after the then deputy secretary general maiden visit to the UAE in the early/mid eighties where he met with the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

            I think that some of the denials that one hears coming from the GoEr officials about the help that the Arab countries to have rendered to the Eritrean Revolution are absolutely wrong. The tendency has been to highlight and emphasize that the Eritrean revolution was heavily self-reliant and the Arabs help was miniscule. I think such an erroneous take is of the belief that they don’t know the Arab countries contribution to the Eritrean cause, but it arises from the belief that the Arab could have been more generous in their assistance and should have given more to the Eritrean Revolution a la the PLO.

            Best wishes and Happy New Year!

          • ‘Gheteb

            Ahlan Cuz SAAY,

            Thanks for a well thought out rejoinder where you raise some interesting questions. Let me see if there is anything valuable that I can add by way of this ‘sur rejoinder’.

            (A) You attribution of the GoEr’s motive for not openly addressing Eritrea joining the Saudi-led GCC alliance, coalition or ‘initiative’ to “avoiding embarrassment” may as well be the case. However, I am of the belief that the GoEr leadership even from their days in the EPLF simply are NOT used to communicating or talking openly in public on issues pertaining to such cases. I mean, it is not their thing.

            Ideally, I would have loved to see that they addressed this case openly and publicly. However, putting myself in their shoes, I understand their unease in not wanting to speak openly about this particular issue given the political milieu in our region.

            I understand your take about the seemingly contradictory nature of GoEr stance vis-à-vis joining the Saudi led GCC alliance and your conclusion that the GoEr seeming “to have it both ways” on this issue. I think that there maybe a different angle to see how Eritrea acquiesced in joining this GCC coalition.

            If my memory is serving me correctly, way before the formation of this alliance, PIA was sending letters to some Arab countries, particularly Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Sudan with a proposal of forming some sort of ‘a Red Sea security arrangement’ or “initiative” and Eritrea’s ambassador to Egypt, Ato. Fassil, was in constant consultation with the Egyptians regarding this issue.

            Given the afore-mentioned happenings and coupled with the consultations and good relations with the Qataris with Eritrea and taking UAE’s historical relation with the Eritrean Revolution, I think, may have softened the rigidity or hang-ups of the GoEr leadership in joining this allaince.

            Of course, there is what for now I dub as “The Eritrean thing” or “The Eritrean Complex” which I am sure you are more adept at explain it than me, that seemingly originated from our long and arduous struggle against injustice that was wrought upon us. We ( I am particularly referring to the EPLF here) are always leery of alliances/coalitions and we are skeptical that we may end up being taken advantage of and therefore we take this pose and end up choosing aloofness and evincing the attitude of going-it-alone. That may have something to do with “the emphatic and absolute statements” that the GoEr has made vis-à-vis joining alliances or coalitions.

            Apropos reversal of policies or principles, if EPLF’s history is any guide, I think the EPLF leadership was prone to and amenable to reversing its long established policies/principles. Here I will share with you what one former EPLF fighter who attended EPLF’s Cadre school in one of its rounds.

            Haile Durue explained to them that the EPLF may change/reverse its stated policy of “United Front” in the unification process with the ELF taking the objective reality ( WedAwi Kunetat) and go for another route, be it total and immediate unification or something else. This is just to show that Isaias and Co. are not totally averse to the notion of “reversal of policies”.

            (B) On the issue of census, correct me if I am wrong here, there was a well coordinated plan through a UNDP financed program that was to be carried out by the University of Asmara students in their summer break. I think it ended up being the victim of the political tussle of the 2000 of the G-15 and the Asmara university students “uprising”. It seems to have been put in the back burner and hence why there has been no census and we are seeing differing numbers of the Eritrean population size.

            (C) Ideally, I would also love to see the Eritrean national budget publicly and transparently communicated to the Eritrean public, but I can’t see that happening when those at the helm are seized with a siege mentality and still sensing that the USA and the Weyanes are still pursuing their regime change agenda in Eritrea.

            To paraphrase, Eritrea’s ambassador to the UK, they are saying that “we are going to stay vigilant and on high alert until the US government changes its regime change policy in Eritrea”. ( ክሳብ መግስቲ ኣመሪካ ናይ መንግስቲ መልዋጥ ሜልኡ ዝቕይር: ዕጥቅና ኣይክንፈትሕን ናኢ::) Given such a political ambiance, the PFDJ leadership will remain reluctant to speak publicly about the budget as they deem it to be a national security issue.

          • Ismail AA

            Dear Gheteb,

            Thank you for your expanded comments; they are really useful in refreshing memories about events that have started to fade away.

            One point has caught my curiosity when reading this last posting: the issue that the EPLF leadership being prone to changing course. That is true regarding some of the senior (veteran) leadership members, such as Haile Drue. However, when it comes to the Isayas, the record tells us that he is stubborn and single-minded on whatever he believes to be right, regardless of expediency. He may be a little flexible concerning the issue of timing, be it political or security matter (elimination of opponents for example).

            One instance I would like to share with you (you may be already aware of) was regarding the proximity talks that started in Kuwait and ended in the October 1977 unity agreement between the ELF and the EPLF.

            Ramadan Mohammed Nur, the Secretary General at the time, was on tour of the Arab region. When he arrived in Damascus, Syria, a meeting was organized for the students (and residents). He was asked about the sticking point that had been hampering agreement on unity, namely, united front or national democratic model. He told them in no uncertain term the model did not matter, and that the inquirers could term it a box of matches ( samuha ilbat kibrit in Arabic). The audience was elated and believed the front had reversed its earlier position and, thus, unity was indeed in the pipeline.

            When real discussions started between the two delegations in the field, the EPLF insisted on united front. Some of the members of the ELF delegation reminded him of what Ramadan had publicly said. Isayas turned around, and told them that Ramadan had merely expressed his personal view, which did not represent his side.

            Regards

          • ‘Gheteb

            Selam Ismail AA,

            Apologies for this belated response. Here is what I can so far muster, of course from my memories, regarding “the unity process or attempts” between the ELF and the EPLF in those years of 1977-1980.

            Regardless of the differences in the approach of achieving the unity of the two Eritrean fronts and irrespective of what the attitudes of the leadership of both fronts might have been, finally an agreement was reached and was signed in Khartoum Sudan.

            Both fronts agreed, iner alia, for the formation of a joint leadership composed of the leaders of both ELF and EPLF high leadership and to conduct military activities jointly.

            Chief among the joint military operations that the ELF and the EPLF conducted were the Barentu operation and the joint operation in North Eastern Sahil front where the ELF had a brigade deployed.

            These joint operations were meant of paving and clearing the path towards full unification of both fronts and sadly enough and in both counts the operations did not pan out and failed. It was hoped that these joint operations were to narrow the gaps between the fighters of both fronts and facilitate in achieving the complete unity of both fronts.

            It was in this time span 1979-80 that Haile Durue was telling his students at the EPLF cadre school that the EPLF was not going to be rigid about following the “United Front” path and may opt to go for full unity with the ELF provided that these joint operations were going smoothly and succeeding in achieving their goals.

            But, in reality they were NOT. The Barentu fiasco was bad and the withdrawal of the ELF brigade that was detailed (stationed) in the Northeastern Sahil Front was indeed the last straw that broke the camels back. The rest is of course history.

            The failure of these two operations has absolutely nothing to do with Isaias’s attitude towards unity of the Eritrean fronts. What we know is that they failed and ultimately it led to the very undoing of the unity process. The EPLF’s policies regarding the unity of the Eritrean fronts was one of the top policy issues that was handled by the politburo of the EPLF and it’s clandestine party “the EPRP”.

            Given the above account, I find it exceedingly hard to believe that there would have been a difference in what Ramadan or Isaias would tell the ELF side. Everything that the EPLF did on this issue was decided ahead of time by the Party or at least by its politburo.

          • saay7

            Hala Gheteb:

            I am torn between my need to be an audience member (of your historical discussion with the inimitable Ismail) and a participant (in my discussion of GoE) so I have decided to do both:) If you choose to focus your energies on one front, make it the one with Isamil.

            I also feel compelled to match your disclaimer (that you are not an insider and have no privileged information) with mine: just because I criticize the GoE I am not implying in any way that governing is easy. Because I am aware that sometimes I may come across as Hafez Al-Nuqsan as the Arabs say.

            With that out of the way:

            1. Yes, the culture of secrecy and being frugal with information that the Government practices is a habit formed from the years when it was a liberation organization and untimely release of information was a matter of life and death (Loose lips sink ships, etc.) The problem is that the Government has not found a way to transform itself from a besieged guerrilla movement to an accountable government and given that a lot of the actions that were taken that resulted in it being besieged (sanctions, for example) are self-inflicted, it is inevitable for one to wonder if that–being besieged in a bunker–is its natural habitat. You won’t agree with this but in my view, In the history of modern governments (certainly African governments), there wasn’t one that had more good will, more accommodating people, more patient people than the Gov of Eritrea of 1991, and it has squandered all the good will, exhausted the patience of Eritreans and lost their confidence. It had the opportunity to transcend what you called “the Eritrean thing” (literally “Cosa nostra” 🙂 but instead it embraced it and nurtured it, resulting in the deformation of our political system. It is surviving on one cyclinder of Eritrean NiH and you may survive with that but you can’t thrive.

            2. I wonder if Ismail will agree with me on this but doesn’t the experience of the Eritrean opposition now show that the best one can hope for is “United Front” and not “national democratic front” and the EPLF was right and the ELF was wrong in the 1970s? (You don’t have to answer that Ismail; if you do, I am not responsible for Emma coming at me with guns blazing. (Note to self: delete this paragraph before posting.)

            3. On the “summer programme” of 2001 (kremtawi maetot), taking census was only part of the campaign. It also included labor-intensive work such as laying railway tracks, harvest, laying dirt on mosquito swamps/ponds, ocean farming, etc. The students said that the government had no right to force them in this mandatory labor at minimal pay when they could work for better pay and save enough money for their dorm and tuition (UoA was not free then), and the government said, “hey, your national service is deferred while you go to university, weylekey qebeTbeT.” The rest is the tragic history.

            4. I am always torn if the Gov of Eritrea actually believes that the US government is plotting regime change (siege mentality 101) or it is cynically manipulating public opinion (Pol Sci 101.) In my view, the US government considers the Horn of Africa (the Red Sea, Bab el Mendeb) within its sphere of influence and critical to its national interest and doesn’t want any upstart challenging its authority over Ethiopia, Somalia, Djibouti. And all it was trying to do is make life so uncomfortable for the GoE that it says uncle, but certainly not to the point that they lose “our man in the Red Sea” who checks all their boxes (secular, pro-Israil, strong man.) What do you think?

            saay

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          • Millennium

            Hi Saay

            I just want to bring it to your attention that University of Asmara was actually free at the time. I do not know if this information will in any way influence the opinion you have regarding the whole issue, UofA was free nonetheless.

          • saay7

            Selamat Millennium:

            Oh, really? What I remember* from that period is that the University students were demanding that they get the entire amount that the GoE got for the project, otherwise they would rather find their own higher-paying job during their school break (I guess not for tuition, for pocket money?) and the Gov was saying, “why is this year any different; we have been doing this for the last 7 years, every summer.” Later on, it blamed the G-15 for instigating the university students.

            I don’t think this changes my larger point: that the GoE had ample opportunity to conduct a census, and, indeed it has, it is just reluctant to release it, or never intended to release it anyway, it was going to use it in prioritizing its expenditure and/or development plans.

            saay

          • Ismail AA

            Dear saay, Hayak Allah,

            Thank you for your extensive, informative and educative classroom quality commentaries. I am, and certainly many will concur with me, blessed having a brother with such wealth of organized information, knowledge and enormous stamina and energy to deliver it. God bless you, sir.

            Having jotted these few and sincere and well-deserved words of admiration, let me briefly say that for organizations that engage in protracted stride in which an enemy has overwhelming advantages, frugality in releasing information is, as you rightly opined, essential scheme of doing things. In our own case, the way the ELF and EPLF were dealing with that matter did make a difference. The ELF was a bit loose, especially on the internal level, while the EPLF was strict or hermetic.

            Appraised, on balance the EPLF was more successful in insulating itself internally and externally compared to, and vis-à-vis, the ELF. As an ELF veteran, I think it is save for me to state that the EPLF was able to get more sensitive information and discover more loopholes to infiltrate our organization than the other way round. As far as secrecy was concerned, the ELM was also hermetic due to the clandestine nature of its work, as I had gathered from its former urban activists. Here, I must not end this comment without underscoring that my view does not really concern appraisal of which side was right or wrong since such a conclusion needs caution and better balance sheet, which I do not claim to have.

            As to the united front-national democratic front controversy, so to say, tactically the ELF might have benefited from flexibility and accommodation of EPLF position, and should have opted for prolonged process instead of quick outcome from its congress resolution at its second congress of 1975 that recognized the ELF-PLF, and readiness to do business with it on equal footing through direct dialogue.

            But the urgency of the time, imposed by the post-1974 events in Ethiopia and the unpopularity of the internal military clashes had shaped the mood at the congress. The delegates believed the call for unity of the fighting forces was unstoppable nationwide demand, and this was also appreciated by the ELF-PLF leadership and file-and-rank. Hence, those delegates considered the resolution a historic compromise, and of which they thought their counterparts on the other side would take note of, and this way understandable. I should note that these events were taking place briefly after the January-February clashes in Hamassien and Weki-Zager encounter with a committee of the people and insistent demand to end the armed confrontations.

            On the strategic level, the ELF believed that unity on the basis of united front did not guarantee permanency, and was short-term formula that could only postpone contradictions that would sharpen and explode, given the still potentially unharmonious socio-demographic set up. Hope was pinned on the 1971 political program that provided for parallel struggle.

            While pursuing the armed struggle for independence, some of the social and political integrational tasks that had been interrupted by annexation and revocation of the parliament and the 1952 constitution, would be tackled through organizing the people in mass movements based on social and economic interest platforms, which was hoped to enhance national unity by way of practical life experience. That was why the delegates at the first ELF congress rejected the 8-nationality preposition, which down the road would cause social-political frictions rather than catering for harmony. Such line of thinking was one of the reasons that cause discomfort among the ELF leadership and file-and-rank.

            Regards

          • saay7

            Hala Isamilo:

            You know my least favorite topic is ELF-EPLF feud era; I never comment about it and I don’t know why I included it in my post. What I was trying to say is that once there is a split, there has never been “unity” of any movement anywhere in Africa (or anywhere else for that matter) and the most one can hope is creating an effective umbrealla movement, and that should inform the New Oppositon. Still, I appreciate your great input.

            saay

          • Ismail AA

            Dear saay,

            Thank you for the feedback.
            Actually, neither do I. We sometimes slide towards those events because they are part of our past. To be candid with you, I do what I do whenever a comment related to some past stories just to share what I know from historical perspective, and not for sake debating their truth or otherwise. I am on record that sorting out the messy events of the our liberation decades belongs to realm of professional historians and posterity.
            Regards

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Ismail,

            Let me add one point to your otherwise invaluable historical lense that magnify the intricacy of the politics of unity all to see. For sure the driving forces for unity in the mid and late 70s were the bases of ELF army who stood against the civil war (take as an example the 42 fighters who refuse to direct their guns to ELF-PF fighters after the weki-zager night attack) and general Eritrean public.

            From the prespective of ELF-PF the issue of unity was a tactic and hence stood for “united front ” and for ELF unity was a principle, not only for the fronts but by extension to our diversity, and hence “complete unity ” through short process and uniting congress.

            Actually, the organizational split of ELF-PF into two makes it more complicate to the process of unity, until Sabe and his group with the mediation of Numeiri let to Issayas and his group to go ahead make unity with ELF.

            Here is where I want to add my view regarding the 1977 and 1979 unity agreement. Since ELF was flexible, both agreements was drafted in the spirit and the structural process of “united front. ” They started with joint military operation in the Sahel front and western front (Barentu front) as well as with the news and propaganda to work together. It went for few months as a tactic and eventually turned into a bloody civil war that took over a year.

            regards
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Ismail AA

            Dear Aman,

            Your point in the last paragraph is correct. If you have read my feedback to our brother, Gheteb, yesterday, I tried to drive that point home by way of sharing the story of the Damascus meeting with Ramadan. When Isayas remained intransigent, and dismissed his Secretary General’s opinion as personal, the ELF faced very narrow maneuvering space but go the way you have correctly explained. The demand for some sort of agreement was too intense to ignore. But the ELF could not escape the fear it had as the fate of the 1977 agreement demonstrated.

            Actually, the military cooperation part of agreement had turned out later deadly decision. You remember the ELF deployed its best equipped heavy weapons brigade under the command of Gebray Tewelde to Sahel to reinforce EPLF against the Derg forces. But this became the first target of the EPLF assault that started the last phase of the unfortunate internal war, which also involved TPLF; it was a real blow to the ELA.
            Regards

          • ‘Gheteb

            Ahlan Cuz SAAY,

            Thanks for the exhaustive blow-by-blow ‘surrebuttal’ and let me see what I can bring on to the table for your thoughtful consideration here.

            (A) “The Eritrean Honeymoon Years” and “The Eritrean Thing”:

            I am at one with you that the Eritrean Government did indeed enjoy ” the good will”, “patience” and “accommodation” of its people. Though you are of the mind that the GoEr had squandered this “good will”, you have not offered the reasons why this opportunity was wasted and what factors could have contributed to its ‘waste’.

            Leaving aside “The Eritrean Thing” for now, I would like to see what you can come up with regarding two factors that may have contributed to the squandering of this good will. The role and attitude of the ruling party in Ethiopia, the Weyanes and the U.S.A stances vis-à-vis Eritrea and Ethiopia.

            Here are two instances or ‘incidences’ that, in my view, may shed some light that all was not okay, fine or all right concerning Eritrea.

            1- The PIA/Meles Helicopter (chopper) affair or incidence where PIA and Co. believe that Meles and Co. had surreptitiously plotted his death or killing including that of his family. Regardless of the veracity of the “incidence”, I think it offers us a window to assess the disposition and attitude of PIA in those years.

            2- Ambassador David Shinn’s admission recently about his conversations with Meles in which he told him that Eritrea and Ethiopia will be united indicating that the TPLF non acceptance of Eritrea’s independence and the attempt of trying to bring back Eritrea into Ethiopia’s fold.

            Now, given these two factors or conditions that many, if not all Eritreans, I can see why the GoEr leadership, PIA and Co., wouldn’t revert back to the default position and go back to that “Eritrean thing”.

            (B) I recommend you read my recent response to Ismail AA regarding the saga of the ELF — EPLF 1977-80 ‘unity process’.

            (C) Regarding the UoA summer program and the university students’ unrest, the Eritrean Government side believes that the both Petros Solomon and Haile Dirue were agitating the students to refuse and reject the Summer Program. They allege that there was covert meetings conducted with Semere Tekeste et al in both Petros’s and Dure’s houses.

            I am not sold on your take that: ” I know (from reliable sources) that the government has an impeccable “ornik” (database: the ELF and EPLF were masters of “ornik”).

            What I have seen, at least in one study, is that the census from the Ministry of Education and that from the Ministry Of Zonal Administrations were not the same and present different census results.

            (D) Yeah, many an Eritrean believes that Isaias for the USA is “their man in the Red Sea”. However, these “perceptions”, misperceptions really, are contradicted by the following observations:

            1- PIA and by extension the GoEr are of the belief that the USA through the means of the UNMEE and it’s Jordanian General head were plotting to assassinate Isaias.

            2- The ‘one bullet’ solutions that we have read so many times about.

            3- The food poisoning plots.

            Not that I am saying that I know for sure that all of these have actually happened, but I am merely bringing what “their man” and Co. have been saying all these years regarding how the USA views Eritrea and its leadership.

          • saay7

            MerHaba cuz Gheteb:

            This is quite the feast; let’s get to them and see if our perspectives converge.

            Before I get to the outside factors that could have contributed to the loss of good will and confidence on PFDJ/GoE, I would like you to consider the internal factor: that the government’s culture of casual and extreme violence, there since its birth, continued to expand to affect more and more people until it reached a critical mass where everyone was either its victim or knew someone very close who was a victim. This alone is enough but it was coupled by the government’s ineptitude about things that affected people’s daily lives (not democracy and other high-fallutin’ concepts that were too abstract for the people but: raising your own children, Hres Harestay, nged negaday, amlekh xelayay)

            Now then, on the two examples you gave from the Eritrean Honeymoon and the Eritrean Thing, using your own numbering system:

            A1/D1. A.1. The “PIA/Meles helicopter (chopper) affair” and D1: “USA through the means of the UNMEE and its Jordanian General head were plotting to assassinate Isaias.”

            The source for this is a Wikileaks document from November 2008, and the general thrust of the writer (US ambassador McMullen) was not to validate the story but to describe the president as paranoid, control-freak, hot-tempered and think skinned. On the Meles helicopter (source doesn’t say if it was helicoper, it says an aircraft): Isaias and family were returning from vacation in Kenya, stopped by Addis, Meles offered an “aircraft” which caught fire enroute to Asmara and had to turn around and go back to Addis. Notwithstanding the details, the ambassador agrees with you that Isaias never trust Meles since that day in 1996. As for the US assassination attempt, it was Isaias who told the UNMEE chief that the US was trying to assassinate him. All this was in a report that is not very flattering to Isaias Afwerki, including a tragic-comic section where he yells at someone because tomato seedlings he got (cherry tomatoes) did not blossom into Roma tomatoes.

            A.2. The late Meles Zenawi had a tendency to placate Western Ethiophiles by telling them exactly what they wanted to hear. I would add what he told David Shinn to what he told Paul Henze in 1990: that Eritrea’s fissures are too deep for it to survive it and it will eventually return to the fold (Emama Ethiopia.) I don’t think that PIA would have been surprised by this view of Meles Zenawi.

            B. Read it, and while I large agree with your version of events, I wish to not poke too deep into that tragic part of Eritrean history.

            C. On UoA students, I don’t know why their meetings with Petros and DuruE had to be “covert” in a free country? You know that of G-15, the GoE had put all the blame on G-3 (Durue, Petros, Mahmud Sherifo), but that was its classic divide-and-conquer and the evidence is that, 15 years later, they all got the same cruel treatment of disappearance (more squandering of goodwill.)

            I can’t dispute what you saw on census; what i saw is the opposite (a) martyr’s database whose totality we didn’t publish but it’s quite comprehensive, and exhaustive; (b) with more militarization, more census; (c) new ID, more census; (d) surveys of Eritrean villages conducted–and the questions are exhaustive AND cross-referenced.

            (D) 1. Please refer to A1 above.
            (D) 2. The “one bullet” (against from wikileaks) was not proposed as “solution” but to describe the precariousness of the State of Eritrea without institutions or even a party. The actual quote, from March 5, 2009, was “Although the regime is one bullet away from implosion, Eritrea’s resilience as a country is based on 1) a strong sense of nationalism forged over four decades of war, and 2) the capacity of most Eritreans to withstand suffering and deprivation with forbearance and toughness.”
            (D) 3. What food poisoning plots? If you are referring to wikileaks, it was said within the context of Isaias’s paranoia: when he goes out to dinner with friends, he, at the last minute trades dishes with colleagues.

            The reason Isaias Afwerki was, is, and will remain “their man” is because they believe that (a) without his strong hand, the country will disintegrate what with all the Islamists and Muslims; (b) he is the only African leader who believes in the Israeli One State solution (with Palestinians going to Jordan: source available upon request), and (c) in all the years he has insulted every country in the world he has never said anything negative about Israel; (d) he is on record as having said that he considers the US presence in the Red Sea as stabilizing (source available upon request.)

            saay

          • Ismail AA

            Selam saay and Gheteb,

            Reading the discussions between the two of you makes me feel like sitting in my college auditoriums listening with utmost attention to my professors trying to pick as many new information and facts as I could. These postings are information saturated as well as skillfully
            delivered to make the reading and absorption easy. Thank you, guys.

            This time, I have been enthusiastic beneficiary of the valuable new information I did not know before, especially the extractions from WikiLeaks which require trained reading to separate the grain from the chaff.

            While commending the two of you for extensively discussing how and why the regime has wasted the good will of the people, I would like to do my bit from the perspective of EPLF adversaries from the our days in the bush as freedom fighters.

            Almost all of the organizations were positive and recognized the role of the EPLF leadership and its fighting forces during the final phase of the national struggle, and celebrated the entry to the Capital
            with equal euphoria and hope, believing that the EPLF leadership would act as a government of the nation as the whole, and not continue as a front with the old propensity to control and dominate. The right of the EPLF to lead and govern during transitional period was self-evident, and many organizations such as the defunct ELF-RC had made their position clear through official declarations, public relations contacts and third party mediators.

            I think many participants of in this forum still recall what happened to the ELF-RC in Khartoum in 1992 when, on the initiative of the EPLF government, its large delegation was stopped from flying
            to Asmara a few hours before departure time. Half of the delegation was already standing in the in check hall and the rest were on their way to the airport and a third group waiting in the office for cabs.

            The reason has not been delivered by the emissary who showed up in the office in great hurry. At that point the ELF-RC became convinced that the EPLF was not able to change and decided to act as peaceful opposition.

            Other organizations had disbanded and directed their members to go back home. As we know, many were disappointed. A lot of their leaders and cadres ended up in jails. And , others like Ambassador Mohammed Nur Ahmed, who was one of the ELF-RC delegates, left to live in exile. Yet others like the late Omar Jabr returned back to die as refugee.

            Thus, the EPLF leadership has no equal in wasting opportunities to get an internally and externally guaranteed place of honor in our national history.

            Incidentally, Gheteb, thank you for reminding me of a great person I knew and worked with. Michael Gaber was a consummate activist, historian and educator. May his soul rest in peace.
            Regards

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Thomas,

            One good example is “Badme. ” Expecting either the Ethio-Eritrean confederation or federation as he hinted in an interview with “Hiwyet ” a demostic megazine, he left Badme to be administered by Ethiopia. He characterized the on going relation between the two countries, at that time, that it will grow to “ዶብ ዘየብሉ ብርኪ .” Hence Badme was left to be administered by TPLF from 1981-1998, after ELF was pushed out by their alliance. The “front” and the “state of Eritrea” was and is under the whim of the despot. Now, as the good Ambassador testified in his book, not only could sell any piece of our land, “he will take us down” with his demise.

            Regards

          • sara

            Ya Thomas
            I am sure you forgot you are in awate land.
            reminding you just case.

          • sara

            Dear Thomas,
            You are right 2017 will be better than 2016.

        • Ismail AA

          Selam Gheteb,

          I thank you, with respect, for your feedback. The point I tried to drive home was that once the despot deems it necessary to do the things you have quoted from my earlier comment, there is absolutely nobody or anything that can stand on his way: no constitution, no parliament, no law etc.

          Tell me one thing that he had decided, or declared (such as the many decrees on land and other crucial matters) that confronted opposition and reversed or even amended. I do not think that as a good patriot you would argue with a fellow compatriot that people in Eritrea live under normal environment where citizens are protected by the rule of law. I do not believe you would gainsay the existence of an authoritarian regime in whose helm sits a despot that controls the people through repressive tools of a police-state.
          Very happy New Year.

          • ‘Gheteb

            Selam Ismail AA,

            Thanks for the rejoinder you have offered to my queries. The issue is not about the nature of PIA’s leadership, be it authoritarian or totalitarian or ‘despotarian’ or what have you. Frankly and with all due respect to you, on this issue you and I are from two different planets located in two different galaxies. So, there is nothing to be affirmed or “gainsaid” here.

            What I have pointedly asked you was: in the quarter of a century — 25 years– of his reign as a leader of Eritrea, PIA or “the despot”, per your reference, what part of the country did he sell? That was the query I have posed and not what type of a leader Isaias is. Therefore, the question is very specific and it demands even a more specific answer.

            Thank you!

          • Ismail AA

            Dear Gheteb, selam,

            Thanks again for your calm engagement. I respect your point of view to which every one of us is entitled though I do not really agree with you that we are from “different galaxies”. On my part I consider you fellow compatriot with equal rights and duties. Had we been lucky, and been blessed with the grace of a democratic order in our country, we would have been law abiding citizens who enviously demand our basic rights and diligently fulfil our duties.

            Now, I think we agree on the basic nature of the regime with minor differences. But to go back to the issue we are discussing, let me first quote myself:
            ” We know that whenever he faced dire material need, any part of the country a sellable property, and our islands are no exception”.

            This is a simple statement of an opinion that follows from the fact that, since the country’s fate has been reduced to decisions of a single person whose power is absolute and unchallengeable, the territories of the nation have become the personal property of the ruler which I described as fiefdom. Here, the statement does not suggest a list of of seller-purchaser record from which one can pick an instance or example on demand.

            Thanks again.

          • ‘Gheteb

            Selam Ismail AA,

            Thanks for the explanation. I was looking for some facts that show PIA has sold some lands or territories. Let me illustrate what I was looking for by way of proffering examples:

            (A) ” The looming U.S. Civil War delayed the sale, but after the war, Secretary of State William Seward quickly took up a renewed Russian offer and on March 30, 1867, agreed to a proposal from Russian Minister in Washington, Edouard de Stoeckl, to purchase Alaska for $7.2 million”.

            (B) ” President Thomas Jefferson commissioned the Corps of Discovery Expedition (1804-06), led by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, to explore the territory acquired in the Louisiana Purchase, among other objectives. In 1801, Spain signed a secret treaty with France to return Louisiana Territory to France”.

            Etc. etc….

            Anyways, your cordial engagement is highly appreciated from my side and THANK YOU!

          • Ismail AA

            Dear Gheteb,
            High appreciated returned; thank you for the views we have exchanged with me. I believe they enabled us to understanding of how our opinions about the affairs of our nation are shaped, each of us from own perspective. Cool and friendly debate has far much to offer than fixated and restless interaction. Thanks and have nice end of the year holiday.
            Regards

    • Dear Abraham H.,

      The egyptian government wants to keep its head above the waters. Economically and politically it is in a dire situation. Especially after the ksa cancelled the billions of dollars in aid money and the oil egypt used to receive every year, coupled with the terrorism it faces, things are difficult for the egyptian government, and therefore it is ready to sacrifice the two small islands.
      Nevertheless, even if the government passes its decision through parliament controlled by the incumbent government, I doubt the islands could continue to belong forever to the ksa, as this is a bilateral agreement between the two governments. A new future egyptian government can declare that the agreement was illegal and void, because citizens were not asked to decide with a referundum on a decision that impacted the territorial integrity of their country.
      What I can not say for sure is if parliament can indeed replace the people in such situations and overrun people’s wish, although I doubt that it can. I wish Amanuel H. says a word or two on this. Finally, the biggest problem is when small countries make bilateral agreements with powerful states, for they can not defend their interest, one way or the other.

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Dear Abraham,

        Sorry, I am less informed about the history of these two islands than brothers Ismail and Saay who tried to inform the forum. My saying few words about their issue will not add any new value to the debate. But I could say few words on things that concerns you as to whether the “parliament” will represent the people’s wish or not.

        Dear brother Abraham, In democracy the parliaments are the “legal representatives” by which the voice of the people’ are heard, once that legislative body is approved constitutionally as the body who ratify treaties and agreements on borders or declare wars between nations. So if the info we get from Ismailo holds to be true, that the decision of the cabinet will go to the parliament for approval or disapproval the case of the islands, then from the legal point of view of a democratic process, will remain as the final say of the government and the executive will act on the decision of the legislative body – which is the parliament. Sorry for late reading your comment and late response.

        Regards
        Emanuel Hidrat

        • Abraham H.

          Dear Amanuel H., thanks for your reply though the specific question about the role of the parliament was raised by Horizon. I’m of the opinion that issues that have to do with the handover of sovereignty of certain territory of a given country are of such a significance that they have to be decided by all the people of the counrty. That is to say, they have to be decided through referendum, no matter how representative the parliament is, let alone pseudo-democracies like that of Egypt, the paliament doesn’t have the power to hand over parts of the territory to other states. Just my opinion.

    • sara

      Dear Abraham
      Egypt did not ceded the islands to Saudi it is retuning after having it since the Israel Arab war. It was
      Used by Egypt for defnve purpose . some Egyptians have objected to the process and it is now a court case in Egypt citizens against the government of the day.
      As for ours, remember hanish, badme,Djibouti border…no one will tamper with eriyrean land lest they regret their action as those before them
      Fa…rest well

      • Abraham H.

        Selam Sara, thanks for your feedback, thanks also to Ismail and Horizon for sharing your views on my enquiry. It is always rewarding to hear from those Awatistas who follow and are better informed on the issues concerning our neighborhood. Regarding these islands,,there are various views, one Egyptian court has, for example, ruled that they belong to Egypt based on a treaty between Egypt and the Ottoman Empire from 1906, long before the KSA was established. But the Egyptian govt, seems to be determined to hand over these islands to ksa mostly for economic gain. There are, for ex, plans to build a causeway between Sinai and Saudi Arabia which would be built across these islands.

        • MS

          Dear Abraham
          To my knowledge, all the information that hit the newsstand/web, related to this topic, has turned out to be fabricated ones, from the allegations that repeatedly stated that Israel acquired islands in Eritrean Red Sea; Iranian bases and so on. The latest fabrication was about an Israeli “listening post” in Embasoyra (and you don’t have to guess as to who the source is: read it within the relation between the Arab (Gulf States) and Eritrea on one side and Ethiopian anxiety about this “new” form of relation on the other side, put into equation Israel, the archenemy of the Arab world. It’s a rectangular entanglement: Israeli-Arab and Ethio-Eritrean dysfunctional relation. News papers and journalists usually use this scarecrow tactic to influence Arab government decision making; I’m sure Ethiopia uses it to its advantage too.
          Now, having said this, your concern is real. And it emanates form the fact that there is a lack of transparency and accountability in the way the government does business. And this is indeed worrisome. Could it happen? There is no way to automatically dismiss it. Because there is no way of ruling it out when the whole decision making of issues of national interest is done in the dark; when all powers, including those of war and peace are concentrated on one man. It could happen and we may not know about it until it is too late. Because unless Mr. Horizons contention that treaties could be reversed at will, treaties are treaties regard of the nature of the government signing them. You don’t have much legal wiggling room to walk away from them unless you have decided to ignore international norms. Could it be done? Yes, of course, if you can have muscular arms that could twist the world community, or you are a darling of the powerful. What Egypt and the KSA conclude will be based on some sort of legal definitions and framework. The next governments will have to live with it.
          The other angle is one of scaring off, and sending warnings. That’s when there is a strong opposition, governments and investors think twice before concluding agreements with the incumbent governments. For instance, during the struggle years both ELF and EPLF were strong enough to warn governments and companies to be careful. Particularly, at the later years of the struggle, Eritrean revolution did have a defacto role as a governing force that many states and companies were heeding its warnings.

          • Abraham H.

            Selam MS, yes it can be said that we are left at the mercy of one man’s actions after all the struggle that have passed. It is both shameful, and scary. We don’t know how much of our natural resources is being squandered, and what type of treaties and agreements that are being settled in our name. The border issue with Djibouti and the ongoing mining activities are case in point. The first phase of the easily recoverable gold at Bisha has already been depleted without the people knowing any tiny information about the wherebouts of its revenues. Recently also the Zara/Koka gold mine, a gold mine that is world class in its high grade content, has started producing gold, without the people having any idea of its revenues. What is strange is the Eritrean mining company, ENAMCO, that is supposed to be under the control of the govt., at least, formally, is being managed and under control of the PFDJ., or Hagos Kisha and his boss Isayas to be strict.
            God save our people.
            Thanks for your reply and Happpy New Year to all Awatistas

          • Abraham H.

            Selam All, by the way, anyone here who knows the google coordinates of the Zara/Koka mine? The bisha mine as well as the most recent miltary base near Asseb are readily visible on google earth, but i’ve struggled to pin-point the Zara gold mine.

          • MS

            Ahlan Abraham XaEda
            Happy New Year to you too. Ha…ha…are you programming a Tomahawk missile to obliterate it? (Just kidding:)
            Well, I know Zera and Koken (two separate areas in Maria Tselam), may be the Koka is taken from Koken, or it could be a project name, not sure. But if that’s the area people are talking about, I can tell you In Eritrean navigational system.
            ካብ ከረን በታ ቀጣን ጽርግያ ጌርካ ናብ ጸባብ ተምርሕ’ሞ፡ ጸባብ ምስ ሓለፍካ ናብ ምዕራብ ትጥወ’ሞ ናብ ሓልሓል ትወጽእ። ካብ ሓልሓል ንሰሜን ትቕጽል። ማይ ኣዋልድ ሓሊፍካ ናብ መለብሶ ትኣቱ። ካብኡ ኣንፈትካ ከይቐየርካ ነታ ጨጓር ታባ ንጸጋም ገዲፍካ ን ረሀይ ሓሊፍካ ታባ ዓስርተ ትበጽሕ። ንየማንካ ብሩባ ዓንሳባ ቆርጹ ናብ ኣኽራናት ሮራ ሓባብን ናቕፋን ዝቕጽል፡ ንጸጋም ድማ ናብ ቆላታት ደብር ሳላ ዝሃትፍ ኣሰራት ድፋዓት ቀደም ይጸንሕ ይኸውን። ኣማእት ዓስከሬናት ጀጋኑ ኣለዎ እቲ ቦታ። ወዲ ፍላንሳ ኣብተን ብጸጋምካ (ሰሜናዊ ምዕራብ) ርሒቐን ዝረከባ ኮጃጁት ብባሕሪ እትስመ ታባ ዓሪፉ ይርከብ። ክስዋእ እንከሎ መጸውዒ ኮዱ ባሕሪ ስለዝነበረ፡ ደሓር ድፋዓት ምስተእሳሰረ፡ እታ ዝተሰወኣላ ታባ ባሕሪ ዝብል ስም ሒዛ ቀጺላ። ቀሰይ ኢልካ ርገጾ እዚ ከባቢታት። ሃይለ ቻይና ቀንዲ ኮይኑ ካልኦት ከም ሃንጀማን፡ Iንድኩርን፡ ዓብደላ ኣደምን…ካብቶም ዝተመላለስዎ ኣዘዝቲ እዮም። ካብኡ ብሩባ ሸጋሊ ጌርካ ናብ ኣስማጥ ትሃትፍ (ኣንፈትካ ጌና ሰሜን እዩ ዘሎ)። ካብ ኣስማጥ ባስማጥ ዓዳይ ኣቢልካ ናብ ጃኒ (ብየማን ካ በረኽቲ ሰንሰለት ሻካ ወግሬት፡ ብጸጋምካ ድማ ሰንሰለት ኣኽራናት እሮታ ኣለዉ። ካብ ጃኒ ናብ እምበልዳይ..ሹልዕት…ዛራ። ንየማን ክትዕጸፍ እንተደሊኻ (ንምብራቕ ማለት እዩ)፡ ሩባ ባርካ ሰጊርካ ብሓስታ ኣቢልካ ኣዶብሓ ትኣቱ። ክፍሊ ቑጠባታት፡ ነዳዲ፡ ጋራጃት፡ ክፍሊ ኣጽዋር፡ ነዳዲ፡ ቀንዲ መዋፈሪ መካይን…ኣብዚ ከባቢ ይርከብ ነይሩ። ካብ ኣዶብሓ ንሰሜን እንተተጠዊኻ ናብ በዓል ዓራርብ ትኣቱ(ቀንዲ መደበር ህ.ግ. ነበር- ቤት ትምህርቲ ሰውራ፡ ኢንዱስትሪታት፡ ቀንዲ ሕክምና፡ እንዳ ህዝቢ፡ ድምጺ ሓፋሽ ዝርከቦ ጎቦ ሃገር ንምዕራቡ ይርከብ)። ካብ ኣዶብሓ ናብ ምብራቕ እንተቀጺልካ ድማ ናብ ሕሽክብ ትኣቱ (ሓለው ሰውራን ቤት ጽሕፈት ክፍሊ ህዝቢ (ወዲ ኤፍረም) ዝነበሮ። ካብኡ ንምብራቕ እንተቐጺልካ ናብ በዓል ቀብር ወአትን ኣልጌናን (ድፋዓት ሰሜናዊ ምብራቕ ሳሕል (ውቃው እዝ- ዞባ ጀነራል ዑቕበ ኣብረሃ፡ ውጩ፡ ፍሊጶስ፡ ብሬራይ፡ ወዲ ልብሱ፡ ተኽላይ፡ ዓብደላ ኣደም…ገለ ካብቶም ምስ’ዚ ግንባር ዝተእሳሰር ዝና ዝነበሮም ኣዘዝቲ እዮም)። ናብ ደቡባዊ ምብራቕ ዘወስድ መገዲ ብኣግራዕ ኣቢሉ ንድፋዓት ናቕፋ ይወስደካ (በዓል ዓሊ እብራሂም፡ ወዲ ፍላንሳ፡ ዑመር ጠዊል፡ ዓሊ ሰይድ ዓብደላ፡ ጴጥሮስ ሰለሙን…ገለ ካብቶም ኣብዚ ከባቢ ዝውረዩ ታሪኻውያን ኣስማት እዮም። ናብ ሰሜን እንተተጠዊኻ ድማ ጋራጃት፡ ሕክምና፡ እንዳ ስለያ፡ ቤት ጽሕፈት ዋና ጸሓፊ….ዝነበሮ ዓምበርበብ ዝበሃል ቦታ፡ ካብኡ ንሰሜን ንጽርግያ ብደሆ ወሪድካ ንሰሜን ዓራግ (በዓል ታዕሊምን ምንቕቓሕን ባህልን ቤት ትምህርቲ ካድርን… ዘነበሮ ዓራግ (በዓል ሃይለ መንቀርዮስን ድሩዕን…) ትረክብ። ብሰሜናዊ ምብራቑ፡ ምብራቑ፡ ደቡባዊ ምብራቑ ድፋዓት ሰ.ም.ሳ ኣሎ ማለት እዩ። እብራሂም ዓፋ ዝተሰወኣላ ደብር ዓጋመት ንምብራቕ ትርከብ (ነቲ ዓሚቝ ሩባ ዓራግን እቲ ግንባርን ዝፈሊ በሪኽ ሰንሰለት እዩ። ወይደቀይ፡ ከምዚ ትማል ኮይኑ ተራእዩኒ። እዚ ናይ ጨጓር ዳንጋ ኣተሓባብራ እዩ። ደቂ ከተማ ከኣ ” እወ፡ በታ ኣንገሎ ተጠዊኻ፡ ብድዃን (ባር) እገለ በታ ቺነማ ጌርካ ንጸጋም ደሓር በታ እንዳ ፎቶ….” ናይ መወዳእታ ዓመት ሓተታ እዩ።

          • ‘Gheteb

            Ahlan MS,

            Happy New Year!

            ይበል: ይበል:: አንታይ አሞ ክወጾ አዚ ውሃ ዘበለ ትንታነን ሓተታን:: Thank you indeed for such a wonderfully delectable geographical depictions of those parts of Eritrea.

            I just want to see what you can add to a couple of historical sites I have come to hear about.

            Driving from Hishkib ( ሕሽክብ) and heading towards the plains of Hidaq and AgraE ( ጎላጉል ሕድኣቅን ኣግራዕን) on the eastern side of these plains, one sees a commanding mountain perched high up to 2000 ft. commonly known to EPLF fighters as Mount M’edene or M’edeni ( ታባ or ጎቦ ምእደነ or ምእደኒ). The other two mountains close to it are Mount Arwe and Debir Tilul (ታባ ኣርወ & ደብር ጥሉል) .

            These were the sites where the Dergues Fifth offensive ( ሓሙሻይ ወራር )
            was foiled and defeated with the killing or death of the Ethiopian Task Force commander Colonel Kassa Gebremariam ( ኮሎነል ካሳ ገብረማርያም)
            in Taba M’edene(i).

            Also, if you can dig deeper and find what in Tigrayit language the word ኣግራዕ means as I am curious to find out the meaning of this term.

            Thank you!

          • tes

            Selam Tegadalay Mahmud Saleh,

            This is good history, the history that we are continuing to read, and listen. What I want to ask you about is the other untold stories in those mentioned areas.

            Can you tell us the life of innocent but challangers of EPLF rule perished all along these locations?

            Halewa Sewra and its horrifying untold stories that can be amount to “Genocide of revolutionaries”.

            Eager to read some drops of historical opinions or facts.

            tes

          • Nitricc

            Hey Tes, i hope you know why we say you are bipolar or something to that effect. After the most despicable and the lowest of low you have been disrespecting this honorable man called mahmuday and now you turn around you say those things? I have tell you once and let me tell again; you are liability and simply trouble to whatever organization you belong too, i am guessing to the revenge seekers. wow!!!!!!!!!!!!! how do you do it?

          • blink

            Dear Nitricc
            You know tes has a teacher called Foro in the Ethiopian paltalk chat room called smerr room 1 , he is assuming we did not know him though . Give him a pass.

          • Tzigereda

            Dear Mahmuday,
            Wow! Impressive memories!
            But, but..where these areas women-free zone?
            Happy New Year!

          • MS

            Selam Dea Tzigereda
            Your point is well taken. I started the little “zura’mo hagerka” report as a joke. When I reached taba Asrte (HalHal front) something hit me and I drove down hill on neutral with all hydraulics dead, “folo”. Please don’t take it as a planned and thought of input.
            Speaking of women, and if all those places were women-free, since you were one of the actors, let me tell it to those who were not there: No those places were buzzing by the gallant Eritrean women. I’m usually cognizant of the fact that Eritrean women’s story has not been told in full. And believe me dear Tzigereda, UNTIL ERITREAN WOMEN EMBARK ON WRITING THEIR OWN STORIES, ANY OF THEIR STORIES THAT’S WRITTEN EVEN BY THE FAIREST MALE WILL STILL BE INCOMPLETE.
            Having said that: Despite all the loud talk, EPLF leadership was dominated by males. The first CC had no woman (1977-1987), but there were middle and senior cadres and commanders, doctors, teachers, mechanics, artillery and ground army mid level commanders, organizers…Without any exaggeration, they were the gluing force. In the second congress (1987)few women were elected to the CC. There were many characters and heroines who would not need my mentioning. I hope our veteran women and all forces of justice archive their role for future generation. I do have many women whom I looked up to as a role model. I was jotting names as they came to me, and I could not deny the fact that the “male bias” might have played a role in fogging up my memory. So, yes, your point is accepted.
            Thanks to Abraham, Ghehteb, and tes. I will try to reply when convenient. But please understand this was just an accidental flow that started as a joke. For instance there is an error where I say “Turning east you cross Ruba Barka, and the through Hasta…” It should read “Ruba Ansaba”

  • said

    Thank you for the article and Seasons Greetings

    It is the Proponents of the Iron Wall Call: The Rest, Fasten the Seat Belts!

    John Kerry, the US Secretary of State – many terms US Senator, Presidential nominee and US Secretary of State – delivered at the US State Department in Washington, DC yesterday before a huge crowd of journalists and media representatives what can rightly be termed a historic speech offering in the process a vision for a practical solution to the Palestinian/Arab-Israeli crisis.
    Only three weeks before the current Obama Administration hands over the reins of power in Washington to President-elect Donald Trump, Secretary of State Kerry delivered at this late 11th hour what virtually amounted to the US Vision of a Declaration of Principles for the practical solution of the Israeli-Palestinian, cum Israeli-Arab conflicts for a lasting durable peace in the Middle East.
    Coming on the heels of the raucous Israeli and American Republicans’ vehement reactions for the adoption of the UN Security Council Resolution 2334 with fingers pointing by a chorus of American-Israeli right wing politicians to President Obama, John Kerry and the Whole Obama Administration for premeditatedly plan the whole thing including allowing the passage of such a resolution; Secretary Kerry gabbed the opportunity to address the substantive issues; set the record straight and most methodically and lucidly elaborate on what’s truly here at stake for Israel, the US, the Middle Eastern region and the World Peace at large.
    While making it amply clear that the Obama Administration was the most unfailing supporter of Israel in every aspect of all the US Administrations – With only a few weeks ago the Obama Administration approving the unprecedented largest aid and military package to Israel in the entire US History – Kerry was fast to remind the audience that the Obama Administration was exercising that single orphan option, in the entire Administration’s 8 years in power, to facilitate, for the interest of peace, the passage of the Resolution condemning Israel’s illegal settlements policies. Kerry drew the comparison that President George W Bush in the previous US Administration approved the passage of 6 UN Resolutions condemning Israel’s violations of the international law as found equally true with other previous US Administrations with Regan topping the lot as followed by George H W Bush and President Bill Clinton.
    What’s truly escaping secretary of state Kerry is the fact that this was the first US Administration post an Israeli Settlers Government Coalition lead by Benjamin Netanyahu that dared to oppose the settlers plans to formally colonize the Palestinian territories, opt for a One-State, a Jewish State solution and completely abandon the two-state solution recognizing the Palestinians to a State. Doing away with the much labored over two-states solution that the Quartet (The US, the UN, the EU and the Russian Federation) and the George W Bush Administration vigorously pursued, to no avail, to create the prerequisite conditions for a peaceful solution in the area to come about.
    In his famous Bar Illan Speech, at Tel Aviv religious Bar Ilan University, Benjamin Netanyahu, only three months after his settlers predominate coalition achieved a landslide victory, Netanyahu, in a long speech, reiterated his campaign pledges that to this date, 8 years later, he more than delivered on his promises, agenda, the settlers program for the Judaization of Jerusalem and the West Bank. In essence, he was reiterating the Settlers commitment to frustrate ad permanently kill the two-state option once and for all.

    What escaped John Kerry and the Obama Administration all the last years waiting far too long and failing badly to commit to deterrent actions, coinciding with the governance of the Netanyahu Settler Coalition Government for the extent of the same period, rather outlasting President Obama’s Administration; that the Netanyahu settlers’ ideologues bent on continuous settlements construction agenda, were fast changing facts on the ground to sabotage what remains of a possibility for the creation of a contiguous Palestinian State in the West Bank and the Gaza strip area.

    Now with hardline extremely right wing Donald Trump and his extremely right wing coterie taking control of the reins of power in Washington, Netanyahu’s settlers government will have its way as no pressures, whatsoever, are expected to be exerted by the Trump Administration on Israel. Simultaneously, Israel will engage in further provocations and the creation of new facts on the ground to render a two-state solution a virtually dead proposition.

    The truth of the matter, what actually is happening in Israel is that one of two vying schools of political philosophy, The Settlers, are now gaining the upper hand. The Liberal secular Israeli Zionists are losing the struggle.

    The Netanyahu led settlers coalition government represents parties that adhere to the Founder of the Extreme Right Movement in Palestine in the 1920s, a Russian immigrant, Ze’ev Jabotinsky, who coined the concept and the philosophy of the “Iron Wall.” Among Jabotinsky’s followers and adherents are leaders of the Likud Party (Menachem Begin, Yitzhak Shamir, Ariel Sharon, Benzion Netanyahu – father of Benjamin Netanyahi, was an Israeli historian who served as Professor of History at Cornell University – and Benjamin Netanyahu , along the entire leadership of the settlers movement.

    “The Iron Wall” theory; Concept; vision subscribes to a doctrine developed in the 1920s by hard-line Zionists arguing in its central theme and absolute conviction that negotiations with the Arabs must always be from a position of military strength, and only when sufficiently strong, Israel would be able to make peace with her Arab neighbors. Historian, Oxford St. Anthony’s College, Israel Avi Shlaim, wrote a seminal book, entitled, “The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World,” 2000 that delves deep in explaining the history and the doctrine of this movement that now sweeping across Israel.

    Complicating the Doctrine of the “Iron Wall’ is that its adherents are generally leaders observing the Talmudic teachings referring to the West Bank by it’s Torah’s name of Judea & Samaria. Thus, no wonder, only minutes after John Kerry finished delivering his speech, Netanyahu’s deputy prime Minister, Minister of Education, Naftali Bennett and a likely successor to Benjamin Netanyahu (many times multi-miliardare on the serendipity of fortunes made riding the waves of the dot-come, with his party commanding 12 seats in Israel’s 120 Knesset seats), a descendant of American Jewish parents; Naftali, during the CNN interview, kept ridiculing the Americans and John Kerry disputing the legality and Israel’s historic rights to entire

    It is utterly futile to engage in any rational talks or discussions with such dogmatic leaders giving way to insults to Obama and Kerry and all those who term the colonialist grab of territories and expropriation of lands as illegal and in violation of the international law.

    As to the Israeli liberals, they have gone to very deep hibernation since the last two decades. Some pioneer scholars calling themselves the “New Historians” that started as a movement in 1988 with the objective of educating the Israeli general public as to the truth of what actually happened to the Palestinians who were chased violently out of Palestine to make room for Jewish immigrants. The New Historians – figuring among them Avi Shlaim; Benny Morris; Ilan Pappe; Shlomo Sand and Simha Flapan – engaged in authoring books and conducting lectures and seminars.
    All these intellectuals engaged in writing books intended to educate the Israeli public of the facts, especially, benefiting in 1988 from the passage of 40 years on classified information, thus opening the archives in Israel and abroad, to access declassified documents that threw light on historic counts in the Israeli and other European archives.

    Benny Moriss lead the pack with his book, “The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1947—1949.” (1988). He was followed by Avi Shlaim who authored a book that took him ten years to finish that required visitations and consultations of 41 archives in Israel, France, the UK and other countries. Avi Shlaim’s book, dubbed, “Collusion Across the Jordan: Kind Abdallah, the Zionist Movement and the Partition of Palestine,” 1988 created a wide controversy. Ilan Pappe in his book, “The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine,” 2006, caused him estrangement within the Zionist establishment casting him out causing him to permanently locate outside Israel. Now as regarding Shlomo Sand, a professor at Tel Aviv University who recently renounced his Jewishness, Sand published a series of books disputing the historic truth about the diaspora in his book, “the Invention of the Jewish People,” 2008; “the Invention of the Land of Israel,” 2012; and, “How I Stopped Being a Jew?” 2014.

    Minutes after John Kerry finished delivering his speech, the CNN Anchors interviewed a huge number of important politicians and savvy analysts. It struck me to listen to Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech that shortly followed from Jerusalem on Israeli TV rejecting John Kerry’s plan as unworthy without even bothering to hold a cabinet meeting to discuss it. He was all praise for Donald Trump and the incoming Republican Administration. Netanyahu’s deputy Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett, went Biblical arguing God’s promise of the Occupied Territories to the Jewish people so that settlers, in the actual reality, are living in their God’s Promised Land. How, then, would anyone bring logic, rational reasoning and the International Law into arguing with such a dogma!

    What really struck me n the CNN interviews is a lengthy interview with a former CIA director during the Clinton Administration, a certain James Woolsey, who was a senior advisor to the campaign of Donald Trump who sounded more Likudite than Benjamin Netanyahu himself defending Jewish settlers. That sent a signal of what to expect from the next US Republican Administration vis-à-vis Israel.

    Undoubtedly, a divided America will carry on being divided under Donald Trump with regard to the construction and expansion of Jewish Settlements. What’s certain, the Trump Administration will not put any pressures on Israel; however, nevertheless, Israel will become increasingly isolated internationally with the fear of a backlash of rising anti-Semitism. It is there where the Palestinians need to be smart playing the game as it speaks mountains of the Arab regimes appearing on a different planet stumbling over each other to normalizing relations with an Israel increasingly estranged and isolated.

    Trump-Settlers led Netanyahu Coalition government is a volatile mix that could send, not only the Middle East aflame but the entire world as well. It is where dogma completely renders the human mind none functional.

    As the American public will be deeply divided during the Trump Governance, the Palestinians ought to reachout to the half of the Americans opposing to the Right Wing policies of the Trump Administration.

    Besides, the Arabs need to get their act together; bring the senseless local wars to a halt; begin reconciliation and end all normalized relations with the Israeli Settlers Government. The Arab regimes are found in the non-envious position of depleted national treasuries with the increasingly eroding trust with their constituencies that it invites. The Arab regimes can ill afford with such prevailing worsening conditions to opt for unorthodox adventurous new initiatives such as normalization of relations with an Israel rejecting all proposals for peace and is intent on humiliating and disregarding the Arabs.

    • Simon Kaleab

      Selam Said,

      I do not think many people take “Ketchup G-i–g-o-l-o” and Village Idiot John Kerry seriously. His brain is as thick as two concrete blocks put together.

      • said

        Selam Simon

        John Kerry’s speech yesterday at the State Department in Washington highlighted a number of very somber, rather extremely worrying ominous facts on the very rought ride ahead:

        1. America, least by appearance, have ceased to play the go in between honest broker for Peace in the Middle East. All signs now show that the Trump Administration will squarely be a partisan unconditionally on the side of Israel, rather, squarely siting on the Settlers’ lap.
        2. With that truth, the US-Israel are indistinguishable One Bellicose Camp intent on war mongering and regional confrontations.
        3. The Arabs and the Progressive Arab forces are left with no choices except to adopt a new paradigm to possibly change horses and become increasingly ready for protracted direaction and confrontations.
        4. The Arabs experienced all over the past challenging two decades, yet more particularly since the start of the Arab Spring six years ago with a miserably failing Arab leadership. To reposition themselves to facing up to the upcoming challenging era of the unholy active alliance of Trump Brand of Neo-conservatism and the Settlers Israeli Polity, failed Arab leaderships would need consider making room for more consensual better prepared leaderships

        • Simon Kaleab

          Selam Said,

          It is all simple really. The Arab side should come to the negotiating table without preconditions. The fate of the disputed territories can be negotiated during a final status agreement between the two parties. Final status conditions cannot be imposed by outside bodies.

          By the way, Trump is not a neo-conservative, he is a pragmatic politician. I wish politicians follow his method of ‘a thinking and problem solving approach’.

          • said

            Selam Simon
            The resolution, which passed 14-0-1 (the United States abstained), If this resolution of the 15-member UN Security Council were put to a vote in the 193-member General Assembly, the outcome would scarcely be different. There is no dispute in regard territories occupied since 1967 world and recognized international borders based on the 1967 lines . As reported The resolution 2334 is unequivocal that Israel’s settlements in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, have “no legal validity,” that they constitute “a flagrant violation of international law,” and that they are “a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-state solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace.”
            resolution 2334 reflects what the world thinks. It does not constitute a minority view or even a very divided view. If this resolution of the 15-member UN Security Council were put to a vote in the 193-member General Assembly, the outcome would scarcely be different.

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam Said,

            The territories were captured by Israel in a defensive war against Jordan. It was not captured from a State called Palestine. Jordan has also relinquished its claim to these territories in the 1980s. In any case, these territories can at best be called DISPUTED. Who knows which side they will go to as part of a comprehensive peace settlement.

            Furthermore, calling places such as East Jerusalem ‘OCCUPIED’ does not make sense. Jews were living and praying in Jerusalem, thousands of years before New Zealand and North America were occupied by the British and long before Spanish boots were stomping on the natives in Venezuela. I also think, probably London was an uninhabited marshland at that time.

          • said

            Selam
            This is not me saying,occupation including East Jerusalem, have “no legal validity,” that they constitute “a flagrant violation of international law,” let just leave it there who lived when and where is not get us any where. .

  • MS

    Selam AT
    As always, thanks for your hard work. Before I go much further in my reading, I stumbled upon the following:
    “… unfortunately, their liberators turned into oppressors and more than squandered the people’s goodwill, and they are now detested by the people.”
    I don’t believe you mean what’s written. I’m often criticized of “lambasting” the opposition indiscriminately. The above sentence would appear as if the writer (s) are criminalizing all those who fought for the liberation of Eritrea, most of them happen to be the victims of the unjust regime. If taken at face value and interpreted in its literal sense:
    – It would mean that all the liberation generation (combatants, militias, zonal armies, all the civil participants…from rural or urban inside the country or from the diaspora communities) are eligible to earn the title “oppressors.”
    – All those who contributed in the liberation of Eritrea, including wounded war veterans and martyrs, imprisoned and exiled ex-freedom fighters, including members of the AT, would also be eligible to be included within that set.
    -That would imply as if we are saying ‘good riddance’ to the dead and wounded, because their absence would mean less number of able-oppressors.
    -That would mean IA and the few henchmen were the liberators of the land; because they, and their foot soldiers, who should be single digit percentage of the liberating mass, are the oppressors in today’s Eritrea.
    – And that would mean we have no guarantee that today’s “liberators” will not turn out to be tomorrow’s oppressors, unless we are talking about a different type of breed.
    I’m fully aware AT meant the few (or IA) who consolidated power, and not the broad mass (civil and tegadalay Harnet) who deserve way more than what we have in Eritrea today. The reason why I press on this is NOT because I doubt as to what AT meant but because I want AT to diligent with wording. I hear it expressed that way in some quarters, some are frustrated good wishers, however, other use this blanket statement to hit back at Eritreans clarity of mission, they use it as a lethal weapon to mean that Eritreans never fought for human dignity. The irresponsible empty vessels (tanikatat) are fond of desecrating Eritrean symbols, and those who want to use the current political problems as if they were inevitable conclusion of the heroic struggle of our people; the whippersnappers…the raw knuckleheads may afford to bash our liberators, but not AT. Whether we are in the refugees of Sudan, or Ethiopia, whether they are in diaspora or inside the country, the majority gallant fighter (civilians and combatants, from all political stripes…) deserve not to be included in a set that should only be used for PFDJ leaders and their loyal servants. The majority of former liberators are actually equally victimized.
    Sorry for this self-evident explanation. But I felt I have to contribute.

    • Ismail AA

      Ahlen Ustazna Al aziz Mahmoud,

      While assessment of the sentence you have quoted could trigger skepticism of a casual readers, I thought that it is a bit of reading too much in to the matter for someone like you and me who are closely associated with the outlook of the Pencil editors. Departing from the former’s vantage point, what you have written in response could be understood when read side by side with your awareness of the fact that “AT meant the few (or IA) who consolidated power”. That is what I understood from your take – reason for up voting you input.
      Happy New Year.

      • MS

        Ahlan Ustazna almuHtaram
        Thank you for understanding that. I wish I had the self-control and discipline you have. I agree. I never questioned AT intent, I’m just on the verbiage, that’s all.

    • tes

      Selam MS,

      Well, then here you go after those who denounce, including me, the current symbol of tyranny, the flag. You said:

      The irresponsible empty vessels (tanikatat) are fond of desecrating Eritrean symbols.

      As we all know, during the Rwanda Genocide, the victims were called ‘the cockroaches’. And here Mahmud Saleh, in fact, one of the enablers of the tyranny, is calling justice seekers as “tanikatat.

      Good MS. Lots of calling by the so-called ‘pseudo-justice seekers’ when in fact their(including you) is nothing but to abort the voice of the voiceless.

      Gosh!

      tes

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Selamat Mahmuday,

      Let me tell you this: Organizations, parties, and governments are judged by the their leadership’s policy and how they handle the issue of their nations and their people. The same can be said to liberation fronts. Mahmuday or any one for that matter who was a member of the fronts or member of the ruling party are individully judged on what they contribute to the cause of the struggle or to the policy of the ruling party. Judging the work of individuals and judging the organization as a whole is absolutely different. It is given that an organization is made up of individuals of different views on how they run the organization (front) or the state. Because of these, it does not mean the organizations as organization or as a ruling party could not face hard critics on their policy and the way they run the fronts or the state of their nations. I see you always irritated when they criticize EPLF as a Front or PFDJ as a party running the state of Eritrea. In the real world, organizations and Governments are judged by their leaderships how they handle their organizations in the case fronts and how they run the state in the case of a Nation. So unfortunately our liberators became our oppressors is reality on the ground. You can not defend PFDJ and the tragedy our people are going through as we speak, unless you support their policy. AT is right on that statement. I might edit it. It is a hasty reply.

      Regards

      • MS

        Selam Emma
        1. “So unfortunately our liberators became our oppressors is reality on the ground. Live with it and fight the reality. You can not defend PFDJ and the tragedy our people are going through as we speak…”
        That’swrong Emma. The fight is more intense inside than outside. Get that first. The real fighters are facing security apparatus, corrupt officials, wrong policies on daily basis, and they are paying with their life. They are the mothers, the teachers, the NS….Let’s be a bit cognizant of our role. We are amplifying the plight and real fight going on inside. The majority of the liberators are oppressed mass trying to figure out how to change the situation for good. I know this has been your weakness Emma. You don’t see that a real fight is the one Eritreans do on everyday basis; you don’t believe that Eritreans could change the situation. Your comment is within your expected boundaries.
        2. “I see you always irritated when they criticize EPLF as a Front or PFDJ as a party running the state of Eritrea.”
        I can see you have stopped reading my comments, otherwise, you would not say the above. The above has two parts and there is no confusion on my part as to why you would choose to join EPLF &PFDJ.
        a. I criticize EPLF more than you do. You do it as an automatic response, as a habit. I do it as a critical response. I criticize it where it should and I defend it when it should.
        b. I never supported PFDJ. Reading my comments of the past days will save you time.
        3. We have many parrots Emma. I don’t consider you one. Your attempt to give your ever-the-same characterization that PFDJ=EPLF a theoretical basis, when seen within Eritrean context, (we are not talking about ideology based parties or profit driven corporations) is untenable. Therefore, the “liberators” are “oppressors” does not hold water. But I hear it said by Aigaforum, tIGRAIONLINE, wEIN…..

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Hi Mahmuday,

          Let me start with your critic:

          So you are my response is automatic response what we call it sometime “auto-response ” like a machine and you are critic. Really? Remember sometime self -judgement and self-aggredizement does not give you real image of yourself, something to note it. I will leave it for your readers to judge you.

          Second organizations are judged by their ideological principles and the way they govern. So also EPLF and PFDJ. You can not preclude its ideology from their
          policy.

          Third, no matter you try to sepetate EPLF and PFDJ, the truth of the matter will remain the same that except the mandate change from running the front to running the nation with the same iron grip. Those who lead the front are running the state of Eritrea being Issayas ay the helm of the front and the state of Eritrea. The Eritrean people clearly understand it. Actually, it is your habit to defend the despot and his organization, alone to be critic of the organization. In your eye those who crticize and oppose the governing party are “parrots”. History is on record and fo not worry sbout them. I will restrain from such adjectives like what you are doing. otherwise, there plenty of adjectives in store for individuals who have like your stand. So act like the humble individuals around you in this forum. Insulting is not debating , only people who have no arguments can insult people.

          • Thomas

            Selam Amma and MS,

            I would like to see your arguments the following way:

            a) There is a Toyota company
            b) Toyota makes cars
            c) Toyota employees make the Toyota cars
            d) I don’t like Toyota company because they don’t make good cars
            e) I don’t like the cars Toyota make
            f) I don’t like Toyota employees because they don’t make good cars

            What can be said about a) to f) above?

      • Ismail AA

        Dear Aman and MS,

        If you allow me to invite my self (consider it rudely) to jump in, I always read with serious attention what you two write when ever you engage one another because you look at issues pertaining to our common cause through seemingly two lenses. On the surface your readers (including me at the beginning) tend to look at you representing two contradicting poles. But my understanding from the post I just read both of you are actually saying the same thing; merely focusing from two perspectives. Here, I am not being specific or alluding to the our own past and present, just general point of view in the light of what I just read.

        Aman is saying (correct me if I am wrong) entities can be personified by their leaders (elite echelons) who make decisions and exercise command and control. Thus, what ever they do within the system they create should be comprehended in their image. The entities they represented should be characterized in accordance with how they behave and perform. In the case of the liberation fronts, thus, the system they install could be oppressive or democratic.

        On the other hand MS is saying that the characterization of post liberation order created should not be personified by the leaders and their entourage. These should be seen and appraised apart from the masses the l that could fall in the category of the oppressed.

        The two point of views agree on the fact that leaders and their executive tools do oppress the people they rule or on the other hand they are magnanimously benevolent and give them justice, rights and liberties they aspire. The dispute is, therefore, concerns characterization of the same thing, and the gab seems to me not that much wide, which can be narrowed by constructive engagement.

        I ask forgiveness in advance if I have misrepresented view of two of you.
        Very happy New Year.

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Dearest Ismailo,

          You get it, it is precisely that. Of course you could jump to give either your view or make assessment between two opposong views as you did it now. After all, thr goal of the forum is to debate on issues that matters our nation, in order to narrow our diffetences. Thank you for the intervention. You see Ismailo, Mahmuday is trying to separate the leadership from the organization. In this case the leadership from EPLF or PFDJ. There is no organization as such without a leadership. Criticizing the leadership is tantamount to criticizing the organization. The organization is represented by its leadership. Is this diffucult to be understood by average citizens? If so I am worried about the consciousness of our people.

          Regards
          Amanuel Hidrat

        • MS

          Selam AT, IsmailAA and Emma
          Thanks all. I’m satisfied with AT reply. It’s a detailed one, and I really appreciate AT’s attempt to clear up things. AT’s implied criticism towards me is not out of its way, I accept it. My goal was to encourage the issuance of a clarifying reply, not so much to clarify AT’s known positions, but that they may be misunderstood; and with that, I thank AT. I also thank both brothers Ismail and Emma. I don’t want to make farther replies as the word is out from the horse’s mouth.

    • Hi MS,
      Your reaction to the remark, “… unfortunately, their liberators turned into oppressors and more than squandered the people’s goodwill, and they are now detested by the people” is understandable. Unfortunately, you cannot equate it to the frequent wholesale lambasting of ALL opposition elements.
      The Awate Team has a position, a consistent one, since its inception. We believe that the pre-1991 and post 1991 eras are two distinct periods. We also believe those who still lives in the partisan squabbles and loyalties of the first struggle era of pre-a991, must reconcile their conflicting positions.
      Therefore, we do not consider the PFDJ a continuation of the EPLF though some are adamant it is. When we address the PFDJ, we strictly treat is as the force that is oppressing Eritreans. Anyone who wants to stretch that to the EPLF, is doing so at his own peril, though the current misfortune is a product, and one of the sad aspects of the pre-1991 era.
      The PFDJ is ruling Eritrea with impunity, and it openly claims it has the legitimacy of the liberation era, specifically the EPLF struggle that it holds hostage and has countersigned to itself. We reject it. The PFDJ, almost all of its members, are products of the liberation era. They are the “Liberators” who feel they should be paid back by enslaving the people for liberating Eritrea. As such, the PFDJ (liberators) who have snatched the legitimacy unopposed, have become the enslavers, and we argue that the people detest them. Note here that the target is the PFDJ, whoever its members are, ex-EPLF, ex-ELF, ex-Derg, ex-Janhoi cadres, ex-anything, and no one else. It’s clear from the record of the AT, and the website.
      In short, the current leaders claim they are the liberators, and they were part of the liberating forces. Therefore, the liberators turned oppressors describes them—it doesn’t include anyone else by any stretch of imagination. Importantly, their background, though overwhelmingly EPLF, they come from different backgrounds.
      You stretching the “Liberators turned oppressors” to mean anyone else is not correct. We have no issue with anyone who is not siding with the “Liberators turned oppressors” which in short, is the PFDJ regime. The rest of your comments, we would attribute to lingering partisan emotions. You said, and you are sure of it, that you are “…fully aware AT meant the few (or IA) who consolidated power, and not the broad mass (civil and tegadalay Harnet) who deserve way more than what we have in Eritrea of today.” However, we apologize for not finding better wording to satisfy your taste.
      Finally, with more apologies, please note that this is our only comment on the topic because we do not see anything of substance that we can add to it.
      Thank you for your feedback

    • Hi MS,

      Your reaction to the remark, “… unfortunately, their liberators turned into oppressors and more than squandered the people’s goodwill, and they are now detested by the people” is understandable. Unfortunately, you cannot equate it to the frequent wholesale lambasting of ALL opposition elements.

      The Awate Team has a position, a consistent one, since its inception. We believe that the pre-1991 and post 1991 eras are two distinct periods. We also believe those who still lives in the partisan squabbles and loyalties of the first struggle era of pre-a991, must reconcile their conflicting positions. Therefore, we do not consider the PFDJ a continuation of the EPLF though some are adamant it is. When we address the PFDJ, we strictly treat is as the force that is oppressing Eritreans. Anyone who wants to stretch that to the EPLF, is doing so at his own peril, though the current misfortune is a product, and one of the sad aspects of the pre-1991 era.

      The PFDJ is ruling Eritrea with impunity, and it openly claims it has the legitimacy of the liberation era, specifically the EPLF struggle that it holds hostage and has countersigned to itself. We reject it. The PFDJ, almost all of its members, are products of the liberation era. They are the “Liberators” who feel they should be paid back by enslaving the people for liberating Eritrea. As such, the PFDJ (liberators) who have snatched the legitimacy unopposed, have become the enslavers, and we argue that the people detest them. Note here that the target is the PFDJ, whoever its members are, ex-EPLF, ex-ELF, ex-Derg, ex-Janhoi cadres, ex-anything, and no one else. It’s clear from the record of the AT, and the website.

      In short, the current leaders claim they are the liberators, and they were part of the liberating forces. Therefore, the liberators turned oppressors describes them—it doesn’t include anyone else by any stretch of imagination. Importantly, their background, though overwhelmingly EPLF, they come from different backgrounds.

      You stretching the “Liberators turned oppressors” to mean anyone else is not correct. We have no issue with anyone who is not siding with the “Liberators turned oppressors” which in short, is the PFDJ regime. The rest of your comments, we would attribute to lingering partisan emotions. You said, and you are sure of it, that you are “…fully aware AT meant the few (or IA) who consolidated power, and not the broad mass (civil and tegadalay Harnet) who deserve way more than what we have in Eritrea of today.” However, we apologize for not finding better wording to satisfy your taste.

      Finally, with more apologies, please note that this is our only comment on the topic because we do not see anything of substance that we can add to it.

      Thank you for your feedback

  • Ismail AA

    Hello AT and the Awate Forum family,

    The fate of the unfortunate people of South Sudan is indeed a tragedy in progress. When a people’s cause becomes a pawn on the big powers’ chessboard, the aftermath of their game turns to a curse ushering unimaginable devastation of live and property.

    Though the North-South conflict had been raging in varying intensities since 1959 when Sudan became independent, the big powers did not care much about the situation except perhaps remotely within the Arab-Israeli conflict in Palestine. The impact of the conflict was simply ignored as long as it remained contained. When it tended to escalate and tended to affect the conditions in the neighboring countries Ethiopia, the USA and its European allies had sought the good offices of regional powers to address it.
    For that purpose, thus, Emperor Selassie’s government was selected and supported to play mediating role in 1972. A conference in Addis Ababa succeeded to produce an agreement that accorded the South an internal autonomy under the leadership of Abel Lier. This arrangement held for almost a decade though the situation was riddled by on-and-off disputes both on internal levels as well as with Niemeri’s government in Khartoum.

    As Niemeri’s rule became unpopular and faced serious challenges, he was forced to make political-cum-ideological alliances in his effort to stay in power. When he had exhausted the secular forces, he was left with no choice but enter into alliances with the late Abu Turabi’s Islamic movement. But he was confronted with precondition that he had to endorse the core principles of Abu Turabi’s program. Hence, the so called September Laws of 1983. This new arrangement required him also to end the autonomous status of the South, which gave way to resumption of the armed resistance under the leadership of the late John Garang.

    The point that should be underscored here is that the big powers were not that much interested in the political aspiration of the South except within the framework of the policies pertaining to the containment of, or undermining the Islamist trend.
    The situation changed after the discovery of oil and the emergence of China as stakeholder in the extraction and exportation of the petroleum. The US and allies had decided to engage in the mission kicking out the Chinese, and this job required using proxy forces as well as contributions from governments in the region.

    The Al Bahir government had to be undermined and toppled. For that end, thus, in addition to the escalating conflict with the South, pressure was applied from challenges from Darfur and the Bejas in the East, which were supported through the Isayas regime.
    But, though the government in Khartoum was isolated and economically strangulated, it proved resilient thanks to the support from the Chinese. Thus, since the oil wells were significantly concentrate in the South, separation of the South would result in formation of a government that will have the authority to push out the Chinese. Al Bashir was implicated in genocide and was chased by legal warrant to be apprehended and appear before the International Criminal Court. He was cornered to point that he accepted the roadmap to the separation of the South, which became reality in 2011 by way of a referendum.

    But as far as the issue of oil and exploitation was concerned, nothing really happened. The Chinese remained, and the USA and allies could not do much. They were faced by problems they did not bother to consider before when they were planning and executing the process of separation. The internal tribal contradictions, backwardness of the region, poverty of the society and the enormous cost the national building required had combined to make them abandon the poor people of South Sudan and face the continuing human tragedy, which AT’s edition has so well summarized.

    Very happy New Year to all

    • Saleh Johar

      Ah Ismail,

      Such articles are only bones, and when people like you add meat and muscles to it, it becomes refreshing. This is how we can expand our knowledge of the region at large. Unfortunately, the mentality of “who cares” tend to rule. The General ignorance about regional matters is abysmal for a people who reached out to far places like Cuba even when in the middle of a struggle. The Claustrophobic, isolationist attitude is being promoted by the regime that thinks it is the alpha male of the world.

      Thank you for the vital additional information

      • Ismail AA

        Hi Saleh,
        Thank you for your feedback. I am sure those bones are essential dynamos that drive us to scribble a few modest things. Considering the time constraints they have, members of the Team are doing much more than they expected to do in serving the cause they are committed to.
        Yes, our knowledge about the affairs of the region is very limited. And, the worst thing in that is that we tend to take propaganda that we read or heard as facts of history, and on the way we end up in confusing people rather helping them to improve their knowledge.
        Thanks again.

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Selam Ismailo,

      Your input is a historian’s prespective connecting the threads of historical events that enhance the editorial “pencil ” on the history of Sudan and south sudan, and the conflicts that run for five decades. Good reflection.

      Regards

    • saay7

      Selamat Ismail:

      If there is one group of people who can say “I told you so”, it is the Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan. Unlike the CoI on Eritrea, the CoI on South Sudan was mandated by the AU. The CoISS found that the two sides to the conflict were responsible for crimes against humanity and recommended that any future transitional government exclude both Machar and Silva Kiir as they had been responsible for crimes against humanity. It also recommended that the African Court of Human and Peoples’ Rights (not the ICC) deal with accountability issues of criminals. And, oh, yes, it blamed the US, Norway and England for rushing through the 2005 CPA deal, creating a perfect storm of military leaders without political accountability.

      That was in 2014. The African Union suppressed this report to give the “peace negotiations”– that first IGAD and His Haplessness Seyoum Mesfun, then everybody and his cousin got involved in– a chance to work. The report was leaked to Reuters in 2015. The rest is history: Sudan got neither a peace agreement, nor action on the recommendations of CoISS.

      saay

  • saay7

    Selamat Nitrric:

    If only you had consulted Wikipedia (still free) you would have found your answer and in the process, who is in whose head 🙂 or as Aretha Franklin once sang “who is zooming who”

    The Ilemi Triangle is an area of disputed land in East Africa. Arbitrarily defined, it measures between 10,320 and 14,000 square kilometres (3,985 and 5,405 sq mi). Named after Anuak chief Ilemi Akwon, the territory is claimed by South Sudan and Kenya and borders Ethiopia. Despite use and raids by tribes within Ethiopia, the Ethiopian government has never made an official claim on any of the Ilemi and in fact agreed that the land was all Sudanese in the 1902, 1907, and 1972 treaties.

    You are welcome 🙂

    saay

    • Saleh Johar

      Thanks Saay,

      Ethiopian Freudian slip of tongue, huh? The only triangle I heard of was the Yirga Triangle and I assumed they misspelled it though the alphabets do not match at all. I should have googled it which I didn’t. But that is because I thought Nitricc has done that already.

      Thanks

      • saay7

        Abu Salah:

        But there was no “Ethiopian Freudian slip of tongue” and there was no cause for “I think Eritrea is so much in the head of Ethiopians, it is scary. wow the power of Eritrea,amazing!” except in Nitrric’s fertile imagination. It was all invented by Nitricc for fun. Here’s why: the report is by Alsharq Alawsat and the reporter was summarizing all the questions the Ethiopian FM was asked: he was asked about Eritrea, then he was asked about South Sudan, then about Somalia, then Ethiopia’s human rights record and then Ethiopians relationship with the Gulf nations.

        You gotta watch out for Nitrric; he is a mischievous kid:)

        saay

        • Saleh Johar

          Hi Abu salaH,
          Thank you again but you know how Nitricc, your other beloved son, thinks he has aversion to facts and likes hyperbole (sorry nitric) but now you have to explain to him what the toothless AlSharq AlAwsat is 🙂 I hadn’t read your comment before I commented.

  • Saleh Johar

    Hi Nitricc,

    I read the report and had the same question: where is Llemi?

    It seems they mean the Triangle in the border where Badme is located. They used to call it Yirga triangle for a while until Badme became more popular.

    • Nitricc

      Hey; SJ; and SAAY; well SAAY spoiled it for me. I was taking a jab at the government of Ethiopia and i was hoping Amde or Horizon will come swinging. That is why I added the comment, i knew the place wasn’t in Eritrea I didn’t know where it was as i read but i looked at it and that why i said …….
      ” I think Eritrea is so much in the head of Ethiopians, it is scary. wow the power of Eritrea,amazing!”
      just to take a left hook jab at the Ethiopians. The Weyane are so scared of Eritrea; they even confused Border town Kenya with Eritrea. WOW
      Thanks SAAY for spoiling my little game at the expenses of the Ethiopian government.

      • saay7

        Ummm, ok, Nitricc:)

        If you want to take “a jab at the government of Ethiopia”, I question the efficacy of doing so by showing a disciplined position it has taken ( respecting 100+ year old treaties, even as some of its opposition accuse it of ceding Ethiopian land to Sudan) contrary to the one it has taken with Eritrea (reneging on 16 year old treaty) But I , a commoner, don’t know how to play four-dimensional chess like that great Nitrric:)

        saay

        • Kalihari Snake

          Good morning Saay7. You mention Ethiopia respecting 100+ year old treaties; I am not so sure on that one. Treaties or otherwise and aside from the Badme issue, Ethiopia’s military has long encroached Somalia’s border (100 kilometers deep or more) and has now been quietly camping inside Somalia for almost a decade, Though the Ethiopian military has mostly left Mogadishu, it still maintains sizeable troop presence in Gedo, Bakool and Galgudug regions. Many forget that prior to 1883, large parts of Gambella, Bensehngul-Gumuz, SNNP and Somali regions did not even belong to Ethiopia and that most of Oromia and Afar region, through expansionism, would join during 1883-1935. Maybe Scotland will become the world’s newest country.,

          • saay7

            Selam kalihari:

            I didn’t just mention Ethiopia respecting 100+ treaties (with Sudan); I compared/contrasted with 16 year old treaties it doesn’t respect (with Eritrea.) The new information you added does not change the fact that it is respecting those treaties with Sudan.

            On how Ethiopia became Ethiopia by expansion, the expert on that is Amde so it will be more fun if you debate it with him. I did years ago and enjoyed it greatly and I am sure you will.

            Welcome to awate.

            Saay

          • Kalihari Snake

            Good morning saay7. Fact is that Ethiopia must maintain tolerable/passable relations with Sudan as it (quietly) still relies heavily on the Port of Sudan and Sudanese transport capacity to import and move seasonal fertilizer requirements; over 78,000 MT of fertilizer has been imported from Sudan this year to western Ethiopia. Problems have indeed occurred on the border with Sudan over the past two decades, but they have been skillfully largely kept out of published highlights. Strategically, Ethiopia knows that it is at great risk to only rely upon the Port of Djibouti which frequently suffers from congestion with vessels frequently having to wait over 30 days at anchorage for berthing positions. Also to note that the Port of Djibouti’s Senior Director of planning is an Eritrean Dawit W/Michael Gebreab; though he was born and raised in Addis Ababa, this is a stickler for the TPLF hard core. Ethiopia over the past few years has also placed much attention on increasing the use of the Port of Berbera in Somaliland and the Kenya Port of Lamu to Ethiopia rail link is still in the planning.

      • tes

        Selam Nitricc,

        I learned a good lesson from the Daily show presenter, (An Author of ‘Born a Crime’), Trovah Noah, a black South African. When he was confronted with people like Trump and Tomi Lahren . He came with a strategy that says beats them. He developed his strategy this way:

        – Question #1: Have you ever argued with a toddler?

        then he continued

        —because if you have, if you have, you probably lost that argument. Or killed the toddler.
        —-Either way, you didn’t win the argument, because you can’t win an argument against a toddler. Toddlers will say the most outlandish… And the more you argue with them, the more they become entrenched in their views.
        —A toddler will just say anything. they’ll just be like, “My daddy is the strongest man in the world.”
        —And you’ll be like, “No, he’s not.”
        —-“Yeah, he’s.”
        —It’s like, “No, he’s not.”
        —“Yeah, he’s. My dad is the strongest.”

        –Prove it! “You’re like,”
        —“What do you mean?” I c..
        —I can’t prove it.”
        —And he’s like, “I told you.”
        Then Trevor came to his point and said
        Now, now, the reason I’m telling you this is because, over the course of this election[Presidential] season, we’ve come to realize that there’s a good chance that President-elect Trump might have the mind of a toddler. And-and if you think about it, it makes sense. You know, he loves the same thing that toddlers
        do. …
        …he continued and said,
        Now, now, throughout the presidential campaign, the media tried to figure out how to deal with Trump’s lies. Then they realized that Trump might actually win. So, uh, then they started doing their jobs.

        —then after mentioning the jabs between Trump and mass-media, he came with a point saying

        To highlight the problem he contintued….
        —–And-and here’s the problem that everyone realized about Trump almost too late: facts mean nothing to him. Donald Trump has no relationship to facts. None. Like, no relationship. Not even like, a distant cousin. …
        —-

        His message of the show was
        –You don’t argue with a toddler if you want to win. Don’t amplify the toddler’s voice, because you’ll just get trapped in the toddler’s world. Rather, just keep asking the toddler to keep elaborate. Because logic is the downfall of every toddler. Because logic is the downfall of every toddler

        . …. you don’t fight. The toddler says, “My dad’s the strongest man in the world.”

        — And you’re like,
        – “Oh, yeah?” What makes you say that?”
        – Well, the other day, uh, he put something on the top shelf.”
        – Is that tall or strong?
        – That’s tall”
        – have you got another example?
        – “The other day he picked me up.”
        – Have you seen anyone else picked their kid up?
        – Yeah
        – Still think your dad’s the stringest?
        – “NO”
        That is all you got to do.

        Home take: Nitricc, all we need to do with you is just you to elaborate. No need to give you facts as some Awatistas are trying to.

        tes

        • Nitricc

          Hi Tes, the most educated in awate-forum, can you please elaborate what you just tried to elaborate? wow!

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