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Younis: Disengage from Isaias Afwerki; Engage Alternative Voices

[This is the entire text of the speech made by Saleh Younis, and addressed to attendants of an event organized by Eritrean and international human rights activists and was attended by Eritreans, friends of Eritrea, the Africa Desk of the UN, and the German Mission, and the Human Rights Rapporteur, Sheila Bedwantee Keetharuth, designated to Eritrea. (Her mandate is to monitor human rights violations and gather testimonies from Eritreans.) The session was held in New York on Thursday, October 24, 2013.]

Good afternoon.My name is Saleh Younis, and I am an Eritrean citizen.Today, I come to speak to you about an average Eritrean family, with an average Eritrean story: victims of the Isaias Afwerki regime.It is the story of my family.Please bear in mind that when I say that this is the story of an average Eritrean family, it means that the fate of others is far worse.

My father, my brother and my niece have been in prison since December 2012.That is three generation of Eritreans.

My father, Abdu Ahmed Younis, was born in Keren, Eritrea in 1928. He is 85, and this is his fourth arrest in the last 12 years.An 85-year-old man has many health issues and, in his case, the arrest came a month after he had open heart surgery in Jordan. Neither I, nor any of our family members, know why he is arrested. The longest term he served was in 2001 (for 3 plus years) when he, and other elders, offered to mediate the dispute between two sides of the ruling party. What he considered a duty of a citizen—and elder citizen—to exercise the traditional role of an elder—was interpreted by the Isaias Afwerki regime as taking sides in a matter that should not involve a citizen: having a say in how he is governed.This time, we do not know why he is arrested: he has not been charged with any crime, he hasn’t been brought to a court of law; he hasn’t been sentenced. The family has no visitation rights.

My brother, Hassen Abdu Ahmed, was born in Asmara in 1975. He is 38. His story is that of the average 38 year old Eritrean: exiled, returned with my father to Eritrea in 1992, and he has been with the National Service since 1995. That is 17 years of conscription in the army, followed by one year in jail. He, too, was arrested in December 2012.Again, we do not know why he is arrested: he has not been charged with any crime; he hasn’t been brought to a court of law; he hasn’t been sentenced.

Left to right: Weizero (Mrs.) Mezgeb Mengistu (mother of Aster Yohannes and mother-in-law of Petros Solomon); Saleh Younis; Adeola Fayehun (host of Sahara TV), Me’Aza Petros Solomon, and Zerai Petros Solomon

My niece, Ciham Ali Abdu, was born on April 3, 1997 in Los Angeles, California.She is 16 now.She was arrested when she was 15, on December 8 (ironically, World Children’s Day) in Hashferay and then transferred to Adi Abeyto prison on December 25 (Christmas Day.) A Christmas present for her mom. Since March 12, she has been moved out of Adi Abeyto but no family member knows where she has been transferred.Again, since there is no explanation, we the family are left to draw conjectures: perhaps she is being held hostage to ensure that her father, Ali Abdu Ahmed, the former minister of information who abandoned the regime and sought political asylum in the West, is daily reminded that his daughter’s fate is in their hands.

When I say this is an average family, it means there are Eritrean families in even worse condition. Consider: Eritreans who were arrested in 1994 because they were Muslim fundamentalists. Their families have been suffering for nearly 20 years. Consider the case of Tewelde Beyn, an Eritrean from Keren, who disappeared together with the famous poet Echet Hina and other 15 innocent souls without trace in 1977, because they were not supportive of the EPLF. Now consider: his grandson, Yohannes M. Tewelde Beyn, who, like many people his age, was exiled out of his country: he is one of the Lampedusa victims of October 3rd. His aunt, Leteab Tewelde Beyn, failed to locate him with the survivors or the dead in Lampedusa.

Each of our stories here, our testimonies, can be readily dismissed–and the Eritrean regime is good at that. But can it dismiss the cumulative testimonies of thousands and thousands of Eritrean families?

It is normal, and the duty of governments, to imprison people considered threats to national security.The problem here is one of degrees: Eritrea’s is extreme by any measure.There are tens of thousands of Eritrean families who are in even worse shape: families who have lost their only children; families separated for decades; families who do not know the whereabouts of their loved ones for decades: no charges, no trial, no court, no right to self-defense, no right to hearing charges against you, no sentence, no family visitation. Families who have endured longer and more intense pain. You hear cries about injustice all over the world. The problem in Eritrea is not just lack of justice; it is lack of verdict. Lack of decency.It is rule by a mob, rule by gangsters.  

From where you sit, I am sure you are thinking: “what do you want us to do about it?This is all terrible, but the world is full of terrible news: what can we do?” The one thing you can do is understand the nature of the regime—truly understand it—because if you did, you would know all the well-intentioned “engagement” and “discussions on the margins of the conference” and “new initiative” that you individually or collectively dream up are all futile. All they do is legitimize an illegitimate government; extend it a lifeline and tacitly endorse its wanton human rights violations.You are trying to reform something that is beyond reform.

Many of you have been hoodwinked.You have looked at the “African dictator for dummies” manual and said there are no statues of Isaias Afwerki in Eritrea, so he must not be a dictator.He has not given himself outrageous titles like Field Marshall and doesn’t wear uniforms and sunglasses, so he must not be a dictator.He doesn’t dress up in $1,000 dollar brand suits so he must not be a dictator.He doesn’t have villas in Europe, so he must not be a dictator.But one can be a dictator and still live a Spartan life: a dictator’s obsession is power, and what he does once he has the power differs with each tyrant.

Let me be blunt: THERE IS NO GOVERNMENT IN ERITREA.Even to call it “a regime” implies a system, a structure and a hierarchy.In actual fact, Eritrea is the State of Isaias Afwerki. It is a tyrannical police “state”: there was a systematic subversion of state power by party, and an even more intense subversion of party power by an individual.So now, the State is The Man, and The Man is the sum total of his mad contradictions. This was done by creating parallel infrastructure: illicit and informal.Because members of this illicit and informal infrastructure are themselves rotated in and out of jail, their loyalty is to one man: the president.  

One simple example: Eritrea has a ministry of finance, defense, fisheries, energy, mining, transportation, trade and industry, agriculture.It has authorities: airlines, ports, shipping lines.If you were to ask the ministers and directors to speak about the policy of their ministries, they couldn’t say much. I have said before—in an interview with Expressen—that if you were to take all the ministers and water-board them, they would not be able to give you anything of substance of how the regime runs. Because all the power and authority that should reside in their ministries belongs to the “government garages” led by a colonel who is nowhere in the government structure.Those who work in the “government garages” call their institution Somaliland—just like Somaliland is autonomous of Somalia, the government garages are autonomous of the government structure.When you read the Somalia Eritrea Monitoring Group (SEMG) report, which talks about how much time Isaias Afwerki spends in meetings with “government garages”, here’s the context: that is his real meeting with his real ministers, as opposed to the rubber stamp “Ministerial Cabinet” that is often televised, showing images but no voices.More recently, Isaias Afwerki has created a “people’s army” that has no reporting structure within the Eritrean Ministry of Defense or its Eritrean Defense Forces.

The rule of Isaias Afwerki is absolute.He controls the state media, the security apparatus, its army, its finance, its housing, its fuel supply, its land distribution, its potable water distribution. Let me give you an example: when Forto 2013 occurred (mutiny of Eritrean army in January 20, 2013), I was discussing it with someone who has better information than me and I was talking about reports that tanks moved from Tsorona (bordering Ethiopia) to Asmara and he stopped me cold and said, “Impossible! Fuel is personally rationed by Isaias Afwerki: that couldn’t have happened without his knowledge.”

Isaias Afwerki decides which singers should go on which tours, which pavement should be patched, what crop should the farmers sow this year, how far they should plough, which private hospital should be closed, which shop keeper should be licensed, what curriculum should be taught; who should be sentenced for years and who for life sentence…whose wife should be abused so that the husband will be humiliated: the ultimate insult in Eritrean culture. He is the one who declares war and peace; at the same time he is the one who decides what color should be painted a certain house.

A mad man is in charge of a country.A paranoid, antisocial, narcissistic, and sadistic man with schizophrenic tendencies, including excessive grandiosity. How do you deal with a mad man? Study his behavior: there is a pattern.Step One: he pretends big earth-shaking events—like 360 citizens drowning in the Mediterranean—are not happening.Step Two: when he begins to feel the impact, his reaction is to ridicule it.Invent new words of insult and mockery. A lullaby for his devotees. Step Three:when he is really cornered and there is no way out, he has absolutely no shame in making 180-degree turn and to yield to it.He will accept things he was begged to accept: but only if he is pressured and cornered.

Change in Eritrea will come, and it will stick, when enough Eritreans inside and outside the country believe it’s necessary and timely and execute it.It is OUR responsibility.But the international community has its share of responsibility.If you keep this well-intentioned campaign of “engagement”—a door half ajar—you will keep getting the same things you have been getting for 12 long years.Remember, you are dealing with a man who accused the United States of being responsible for tens of thousands of his own citizens using smugglers and traffickers to leave their country. He is beyond reform: you can’t reform a mad man; you can only institutionalize him.All your well-intentioned campaigns of engagement and seeking reform have yielded you nothing, but you keep on persisting: it is your ego attempting the impossible. You need to reach a long over due decision: the same one that was reached about Saddam Hussein, Moammer Kaddaffi, and Bashar Assad: this man happens to be head of state but he is mentally unbalanced and we need to recognize and legitimize alternatives to his sadistic rule.

Thank you

Saleh Younis
Oct. 24, 2013

About Salyounis

Saleh Younis (SAAY) has been writing about Eritrea since 1994 when he published "Eritrean Exponent", a quarterly print journal. His writing has been published in several media outlets including Dehai, Eritrean Studies Review, Visafric, Asmarino and, of course, Awate where his column has appeared since the launch of the website in 2000. Focusing on political, economic, educational policies, he approaches his writing from the perspective of the individual citizens' civil liberties and how collectivist governments and overbearing organizations trample all over it in pursuit of their interests. SAAY is the president and CEO of a college with a focus in sound arts and video games and his writing often veers to music critique. He has an MBA from Golden Gate University and a BA from St Mary's College.

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  • Ezana of Akele Guzai

    One question, I as an Eritrean who has great historical and political knowledge is wondering, what is being done to rid us of this menace, you all sit here and write but what are u actually doing to get rid of Isayas Afewerki. Are u waiting for him to die of like Stalin? How many more people need to suffer Before WE as eritreans get rid of this incompetent person?

    • AOsman

      Aqedimka ab iznikha hishukhshuk tibehal Abay hito iya.

      WE…..the writers THEM……how convenient.


      Responsibility has to be shouldered by all of us, being frozen from doing and expecting someone to save or sort our problem is our biggest weakness. Worse, when some try out, out of frustration we point fingers at them, instead of saying AJOKHUM!

      So I say to you, ajokha and ask you to encourage your fellow Eritreans to be strong, bold to stand for their God given right.


  • A H T

    Dear Salih Younis
    Every thing you said were absolutely correct and needs to challenge him on mass to make a change. Who leads that changed is the defect and needs to harness that default very quickly.

  • Jemal Jehar

    Despite all the atrocities committed by the Eritrean regime, there are many sick people living in the west who support this government. I would never want to socialize with GOE supporters even with matters not related
    to politics. I consider GOE supporters living in the west diabolical sub-humans not worthy my timing. I can’t stand looking at them breathing air.

  • lil

    A;i Abdu was the right hand man of this dictator, just because he run away after all the damage he did does not make him innocent. He probably did the some thing to other families similar to what your family is experiencing.

  • I have no much to say because you and many other Eritreans have said a lot. But I would like to emphasize on the main issue of your topic i.e Eritrea and Eritreans are Suffering and are getting annihilated by the dictator. We are all aware of this fact. I personally am compassionate to all victims and their families without discrimination.
    Dear Yonnus we should not hide ourselves from the crystal fact. Let we be frank and honest. Your brother Ali Abdu has been with this brutal and merciless regime driving the machinery that was misinforming and giving false picture of the dictator to the general public until last December. Here again it is not my intention to talk about your brother’s role in the government cause it is amazingly clear to everyone. BUT what I wanted to say is:-
    Why is he hiding himself in the suburbs of Melbourne, Australia?
    Why couldn’t he be bold enough to come out and ask Eritreans for FORGIVENESS?
    After all his malicious acts why is he not READY to compensate Eritrea and its people?
    If you (and I) want to shorten the life of the dictator why don’t you advise and encourage him to support the opposition movement?
    Advocating and talking for the Eritrean people should start from your home Mr. Yonnus.
    Your Brother Ali Abdu should come out from the siege mentality and join his hand with the Eritrean people to say enough!!!
    Otherwise talking and touring around the world with the prominent victims of the regime (the children of Petros Solomon) may not bear fruit as intended.
    So my advice for you is to give a strong advice to your brother before getting late!!!

  • tesfay

    A meaningful discourse. For me, you could have gone even further. We are in the twentieth century. The socio-economic development of the world and the political consciousness of our time are already beyond the geo-political boundaries. What matters to people is the respect for human rights and the existence of civil rights. In Eritrea, the people have understood this, and does not seem willing to die for a border diatribe. I find incoherent and inconsistent those who admire the Eritrean nationalism, hidden in the West. The problem has never been Ethiopia nor the Ethiopians. The problem has always been an absolute monarch or a ditatore on duty and the solution is not the independence nor the demarcation of the border. I advise to broaden the horizon and look beyond nationalism.

    • Asmara Eritrea

      Dear Mr Saleh

      Thank you for highlighting the tragic oppression that has befallen on your family and indeed our country as a whole. It is truly of tragic proportion and demonistrates the fact that Eritrea is misruled by a brain dead, misfit. This mad man will continue to imprison, torture and kill our people unless we Christians, Muslims, people with and without faith unite and do something about it.

      We Eritreans talk a lot but what we need is action. Can you imagine this brutal dictator surviving a day in Somalia? No. Reason, the Somalis have guts!

      Eritrea for ever, death to the dictator.

  • Mike

    You are very brave and we need people like you. Long live Eritrea and real fithi

  • Abu Saleh,

    In your earlier response to Yodita’s comment about VOA regarding the difference of activist and journalist, you have said “A journalist separates facts from fiction, an activists tries to separate right from wrong.” You are right on the money. A journalist can not be an activist and if he/she tries to do that, will lose the game of journalism in digging the truth. Journalist should be those who feed facts to activists and to the public at large.I wish the Eritrean journalist by profession should have been organized to do the investigative and reporting journalism to arm the resistance force. Your statement clears many thing. Thank you

  • sebkedem

    Hi Saay,
    Thank you for the editing, well done. I knew you were going to come up with something.
    You also said, ‘I will also include a list of government/party officials who have left the system and have nothing to say anymore, beginning with Andeberhan Woldegiorgis, Chegae, Dinish, Professor Woldeab, Shengeb… so you can write all of them letters of appeal.’
    I know you don’t like assenna (aka Sofia T.), but check it out, Andebrahan Woldegiorgis gave his two cents about his former master, was not bad at all.
    As for the rest on your list, I believe they must be still working for the man.
    Sal, nice talking to you. thx

  • Papillon
  • SebKedem

    Brother Saay,
    Great speech indeed. I am very sorry for your pain, it is too much to deal with, we will pray for them and Allah, will set them free one day.
    My issue with you is the ‘Ali Abdu’ case. You have stated all the problems with the State of Isayas, which your brother was part of it.
    To justify all the atrocities of the regime and to nullify the supporters of the regime your brother’s testimony will do the best. I have no doubt that you are in contact with him (I could be wrong) that is the feeling of an average Eritrean.
    So if you can’t convince your brother to come forward, most Eritreans will have a problem with what you said.
    One more thing, when people ask you this question you tend to shrug it off or send it to the trash bin. You need to come out clean my brother and do the right thing.

    • saay

      Selamat Sebkedem:

      I am an editor, so I will fix for you what you wrote (because your audience is reading this):

      Dear Ali:
      [Your brother Saleh gave]Great speech indeed. I am very sorry for your pain, it is too much to deal with, we will pray for them and Allah, will set them free one day.
      My issue [is] with you is the, ‘Ali Abdu’ case. You[r brother] have [has] stated all the problems with the State of Isayas, which your brother you was[were] part of it.
      To justify all the atrocities of the regime and to nullify the supporters of the regime your brother’s testimony will do the best. I have no doubt that you are in contact with himyour brother (I could be wrong) that is the feeling of an average Eritrean.
      So if you can’t convince your brother to come forward, most Eritreans will have a problem with what you your brother said.
      One more thing, when people ask you your brother this question you he tend[s] to shrug it off or send it to the trash bin. You need to come out clean my brother and do the right thing.

      There, fixed that for ya! I will also include a list of government/party officials who have left the system and have nothing to say anymore, beginning with Andeberhan Woldegiorgis, Chegae, Dinish, Professor Woldeab, Shengeb… so you can write all of them letters of appeal.


      • Papillon

        The mother of all sarcasms I would say. Good one though.

      • Nitricc

        Sal lol you never did it for me. I even offered to not break your best biddy, Haile’s nose. Okay he is done.
        That is he is going to pay for your mistakes 🙂
        I never thought any one is worst than me. Lol

        • saay

          Nitricc buddy:

          For months I have been perplexed as to how you have construed the pounding you got from Haile as winning. Now, using Gedab News investigative reporters, I found a video of you. And it all makes sense. Check it here:


    • Abe z minewale

      You don’t sound seb keDem. I am jet lagging opportunist @ best

  • Dear Saleh,

    I just came from Asmara couple of days ago and the situation is getting worse every day. My cousin was held in person for one year because of her Christian faith. While she was in prison she meet your niece and she admired her positive attitude in life.

    I pray to God to free all innocent young people, this was their time to go to school and enjoy life instead they are suffering in person and end less military service.

    Elsa Zerit

  • Hi SAAY,

    As I started to read your article, I was deeply saddened and touched by your story because I am a mother of a 16 years old who is the same age as your neice. My daughter recently celebrated her sweet 16 birthday while your neice suffered in unknown prison and that is very cruel and sad for any person to hear this. Even the notorious Derg regime did not imprison the helpless children when an Eritrean father/mother deserted and left to gedeli.

    I pray to God for Eritrea to have peace!

    By the way,you have mentioned that your neice was born in US and her citenship is American. Wouldn’t the US government inquire the Eritrean government and ask her whereabout especially when your niece is under age?

  • ShewiT

    Yunis has put it this way
    ” A mad man is in charge of a country. A paranoid, antisocial, narcissistic, and sadistic man with schizophrenic tendencies, including excessive grandiosity. How do you deal with a mad man? Study his behavior: there is a pattern.
    Step One: he pretends big earth-shaking events—like 360 citizens drowning in the Mediterranean—are not happening.
    Step Two: when he begins to feel the impact, his reaction is to ridicule it. Invent new words of insult and mockery. A lullaby for his devotees.
    Step Three: when he is really cornered and there is no way out, he has absolutely no shame in making 180-degree turn and to yield to it. He will accept things he was begged to accept: but only if he is pressured and cornered.”
    He continued “… The problem in Eritrea is not just lack of justice; it is lack of verdict. Lack of decency. It is rule by a mob, rule by gangsters….”

  • Eyob

    You are brave.

  • Selam

    Selam Saleh Younis,

    Thank you for the thorough explanation you provided at the event; but I still wonder why you want to keep secret about the whereabouts of your brother – Ali Abdu. I am sure he has an answer for what you are trying to address in the event.

    Let him speak about it; let the supporters of the Merciless leaders in Eritrea know the truth through your brother….Don’t forget that he has been denying all the facts you are talking about it right now…..

    Your brother has been denying what was happening to young Eritreans at Adi-Abeto…..He has to make himself transparent to people who were suffering while he was serving as a puppet for Isaias…..

  • saay

    Selamat awatistas:

    I wish I could reply to all your comments, but I can’t right now, so please accept this collection of notes, in no particular order:

    1. Haile (the great): ማዕጾ ዝዓጸናሎም ብመስኮት ሃይለ ሾሊኾም:: The Tigrinya article you posted was sent to us to be published in the front page; we declined because in 2013, we are sooo beyond articles written by ግዱሳት አርትራውያን (concerned Eritreans)… that is so 2003, ten years too late to write behind the curtain. Come out, come out. So it was posted where it belongs, in the comments section where pennames are the norm:)

    2. Meron, you are saying EPDM/DeMHt are in Eritrea but not in Asmara. Today, Yemane Gebremeskel (Charlie) tweeted they are not in Eritrea at all and anybody who says that is part of malicious disinformation. I think Yemane is mad at you. But seriously, አቲ ተረት ኣስምርዎ: align your fiction. You DO know that the Monitoring Group may use what you wrote as evidence that they are in Eritrea: “a government supporter admitted…”

    3. Nitricc: I think you are jealous of LT’s classic “Stop your animal tests football and don’t clash with me” because you are coming up with your own classic incomprehensible stuff: “I hate history, respect Eritrean culture!” Ummm, how do you know what Eritrean culture is without knowing history? Also, whenever you say “let it run its course”, “let it burn down”, I have a vision of you at a club screaming “The roof! The roof! The roof is on fire! We don’t need no water let the Motherf*&*#@ burn!” We are talking about our country, dude.

    4. The Peril of Prophesy: A great Somali scholar (and incredibly funny guy), Professor Samatar, once wrote persuasively and emphatically that the idea of Islamists vying for power in Somalia is so unimaginable only crazy foreigners with little knowledge of Somalia could make such outrageous and dire warnings, because Islam as practiced in Somalia is a mix of Sufism, traditionalism, and jujuism. That was a year before the Islamic Court took over in Somalia. I met him in 2007 and said, hey, Professor, what happened? No, I didn’t: no point in embarrassing a man. The point is that we can’t make rock-solid predictions about what will happen in Eritrea after Isaias is gone; what we can say, I think, is that whatever it is should not paralyze us into accepting blatant injustice. Insomnia due to fear of nightmares is what our culture calls it, according to my history book:)

    My call for disengagement with Isaias and call for engaging alternatives is not a call to turn Eritrea into Iraq, Syria, or Libya. It is to say that what we want most–soft landing–can only happen if all of us change. It would be ideal if Isaias Afwerki woke up tomorrow and asked, “Dear God, what am I doing?” but that is not in the works. So, ultimately, he is responsible: just like Siad Barre is responsible for what befell Somalia.

    5. Psychology: When I wrote my “Isaias And The Eritrean People” series, Emma asked me if we could use psychology to analyze what makes Isaias tick. I begged off: I am not a qualified psychologist. But using psychology to understand dictators (when all else fails) is not new: they did that to Hitler (Coolidge and Segal did that in 2007 using DSM-IV); Wikileaks references a certain Jon Krakuer (who has studied cult leaders) and says the man suffers (like all cult leaders) from Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD.)

    Lastly, thanks to all of you who have said very kind words and were effusive in your praise. Writers sometimes stumble and sometimes get inspired. So, just think of it as a simple case of writing something when I was inspired, to make up for all the times I wasn’t inspired.


    • saay

      Selamat awatistas:

      Post script

      When the justice-seekers were demonstrating in Canada, the son of Araya Desta (Eritrea’s ambassador to the UN) was heckling them and one of the justice-seekers said, “it’s alright, if your dad is arrested, we will demonstrate for his rights too.” (My source is reading this so he can correct me.) Anyway, when Meron Afwerki from VOA was interviewing us last Thursday, she said something like I just got off the phone with the Eritrean ambassador and I almost said, “yeah, I am sure he has family members who have disappeared too. He should have been with us here.” But I didn’t because some things are too somber.


      • Papillon

        I guess you’ve been debating Meron more too often now. I guess you meant to say M’nia Afwerki.

        • saay

          Hey Papillon:

          True! Wow, I think this is a case of 2-strikes and you are out: she will be pissed. This is the first time I did it: confusing her with the Eri-TV talk show host with bathroom-decor studios


          • Aman

            Minya Afewerki boggled the interview, and was everywhere asking irrelevant questions.

          • saay

            Selamat Aman:

            You think? I think she did an excellent job: her show is very well produced/edited…not a lot of fillers.


          • Yodita

            I always get the impression that she is soft with pfdj!

            Journalists are meant to be the spokespeople of the voiceless and ask real hard questions.

            Am surprised that Saay finds her she did an excellent job. Far from it!

          • saay

            Selamat Yodita:

            In THAT particular interview, she did. She asked all the Ws, and then she asked us to address what our critics say. I don’t think it is the job of journalists to be the spokespeople of the voiceless (that is the job of activists); it is the job of the journalist to uncover the facts, which she tried to do. A journalist separates facts from fiction, an activists tries to separate right from wrong.

            VOA’s approach with the Eritrean regime…I am not a frequent listener…and I can only speak generically: all journalists (including Western journalists) struggle with: ACCESS vs AGGRESSION. If I am too aggressive, I will never be given access and I will not have a story. If I am not aggressive enough, I may get access but the viewer/listener/reader will be pissed at me. Politicians know this (that a journalist without access is not a journalist but a blogger) and dangle that toy in front of them all the time.


      • Semere Andom

        That is right. Araya Desta’s son was told those words. You quoted them verbatim. At the meeting a PDFJ supporter and a heckler extraordinaire was rhetorically asked by a justice-seeker how has he coped with the dwindling organ harvesting business. The heckler run for covers, jaws dropped, they never expected that someone can match their own cruel words. But one person kept showing his middle finger and took photographs to intimidate us. Now he is in trouble of being deported from Canada. He lived in Germany for 20 years and he came to Canada, claimed political asylum from Eritrea under a false identity. He is sent family to beg. He was told nhagerka teswae

  • Papillon

    Dear Aman,

    During the colonial experience, particularly during the Italian stay for circa sixty years, one can see the intense need to adhere not only to the Orthodox confession but the need to uphold if you will the indigenous proper or given names where in a sharp contrast the other African countries went Anglicizing. That is, we hardly encounter people who came of age during the Italian rule who had gone either say “Angelo, Ricardo, Natalina or Laura” for their given names. Moreover, as much as the Church pretty much dictated the day to day moral underpinnings of the people, this powerful torque discouraged the people to resort to violence but to arbiter any dispute through peaceful means to the extent of feuding families intermarrying.


    • Dear Papillon,

      I am optimistic like you, but simply to be optimistic without explaining the danger in front of us is simply doesn’t do the optimism reality. Now do not forget what ever the degree of differences might evolve in the process, there is always differences from generation to generation, as the factors change with change of time and circumstances. You and me, quite surely, see eye to eye on the sociopolitical culture introduced by EPLF/EPFDJ -dictating every aspect of life of the Eritrean people. In order to reverse it we must know explicitly the damage incurred to our social fabrics and the ramification to deculturalized it and re-introduce the culture that defined the Eritrean people we historically know. So please again as you always do in your biochemistry lab, I gave you the social factors to test the current generation and compare with old generation. Don’t forget time and space are not constant.

  • Semere Tesfai

    ሃይለ፡ ሃይለ፡ ሃይለ…. እዚ ናእዳታት ‘ኮ ኣስኪርካ

    “Eritrean army today is not only a shame to itself (hapless qomishti) but shame to the word ARMY itself. It is a useless entity that can’t even secure enough soaps from its superiors to wash its cloths. In March 2012 the Ethiopians have clearly demonstrated to us and the world the kind of bums we have for an army. A total sham that wets its pants while 10000 foreign militia beat up its children in Asmara and it is denied the bodies of its flesh and blood that perished in a horrible tragedy to flee the system they guard with empty belly. Qomushti is what they should wear not Uniform 🙂 :-)”

    ሃይለ ትጋገ’ለኻ። ኣይኮነን ፈተውትና፡ ጸላእትና ዘይብልዎ ዘረባ ኢኻ ትዛረብ ዘለኻ። እቶም ተሕስሮም ዘለኻ ሰራዊት ኣይረሓቑኻን ‘መስለኒ። ሰብ ድማ በታ ዘላቶ ዓቕሚ’ዩ ዝዋጋእ። እቶም ተናሽዎም ዘለኻ ሰራዊት ኤርትራ፡ በታ ዘላቶም “ቀሚሽ-ውሽጢ”፡ በታ ዘላቶም መኾስ በትሪ፡ እታ ዓቕሞም ንሃገሮም ኣይበቐቑላን። ኣብ ጥራይ ከብዶምን ዕሩቕ ዝባኖምን፡ ጸሓይ ቀትርን ቁሪ ለይትን ይግረፉ ኣለዉ። ርሃጾም የንጠብጥቡ ኣለዉ። ደሞም የፍስሱ ኣለዉ። ገንሸል ህዝቦም፡ ዋልታ ሃገሮም ኮይኖም፡ ኣብ ነፍሲ-ወከፍ ስድሪ መሬቶም ይደምዩን ይቕበሩን ኣለዉ። ካብዚ ንላዕሊ እቶም ተድንቖምን ትዋጥየሎምን ዘለኻ ሰራዊት እንታይ ይገብሩላ ንሃገሮም? ዋላ ሓንቲ። ግን ሕማቕ ተዛረብ ኢልካ ሕማቕ ተዛሪብካ።

    ንእግረ-መገደይ ሓደ ነገር ክነግረካ – ልዕሊ ኤርትራውያን ንኤርትራውያን ዝፈቱ ዋላ ሓደ ሰብ የለን። ነቶም ኣብ ባሕሪ ዝጠሓሉ የሕዋትናን ደቅናን ልዕሊ ማንም ኤርትራዊ ኣይትፈትዎምን ኢኻ። ልዕሊ ካልኦት ኤርትራውያን ይፈትዎም’የ ‘ተልካ ኻኣ፡ ክትጋገ ጥራሕ ኢኻ ትኽእል። ኣነ ተቓዋማይ ናይቲ ስርዓት’የ፡ ኢለ’የ ዝኣምን። ከምናትካ ኣረኣእያን ኣተሓሳስባን ግን የብለይን። ፍልልይና ድማ እዚ’ዩ።

    ኣነ፡ ብሌላን ጉሌላን ኣይኮንኩን ዝሓዝን። ኩሉ ኣብ ልዕሊ ኤርትራዊ/ት ዝፍጸም ግፍዕታት’ዩ ዘሕዝነኒ። ኣነ፡ ዓቕሞምን ብቕዓቶምን ብዘየገድስ፡ ኣብ ሰራዊት ኤርትራ እየ ዝኣምን፡ ምኽንያቱ፡ ነተ’ዩ ናተይ ዝኾነኒ ኢለ ስለዝኣምን። ኣብ – እቶም “ነጻነት” ዝነበሮም ነጻነት ተሓሪሞም፡ እቶም ነጻነት ዘይነበሮም ጥራይ “ነጻነት” ዝረኽቡላ ኤርትራ ክነብር ኣይደልንየ። ማለት፡ ኣብ ህግደፍ ብምሉእ ነጻነት ኣብ ህንጸት ሃገር፡ ቁጠባዊ ምዕባለ፡ ፖለቲካዊ ውድድርን ምሕደራን ዝሳተፍላ መጻኢት ኤርትራ ጥራይ እየ ክነብር ዝደሊ። ምኽንያቱ፡ ሽዑ ጥራይ ኢና፡ ንኹሉ ኤርትራዊ ዘሐብን ለውጢ እምጺእና ኢልና ንንየት፡ ኢለ ስለ ዝኣምን። እዚ ወደሓንካ።

    • haile

      ሰመረ ተስፋይ

      እቲ ጸገም እኮ ነብስኻ ቐሺሽካ፡ ነብሲ’ማትካ ክትቅሽሽ ምፍታንን፡ ብሰንኩ ድማ ዝወርደካ ዘሎ እዚ ዘይብሃል ውርደት’ዩ። ቐደሙ ትቓዋሚ እይኮንካን። ደጋፊ እዚ ስርዓት ጥራይ ዘይኮነ’ስ፡ ልኡኽ ከይትኸውን ዘጠራጥር እዩ። ኣብ ጽባሕ ህልቂት ኤርትራውያን ኣብ ላምፓዱሳ፡ ጽንጽያ ከይቆጸርካዮም፡ ይደብስኩም እኳ ምባል ዓቐብ ኮይኑካ፡ በጃኻትኩም ፖለቲካ ኣይትግበርዎ ክትብል ዝገበርካዮ ውዕሎ ጊላ ኣብ ቦትኡ እናሃለወ፡ ወዲ ትኳቦ ኣስተሊሙ’ካ፡ ድማ ክትርባሕ እንተደሊኻ ተደርሚምካ ተረጋሕ ክትብል መላጥ ጥልመትካ ከምዘይደጓሕካ’ያኢ፡ ዋጣ ለቕላቕያን እንተውጠጠኻ ወጮ’ስያ… እዩ ነገሩ።

      ብዝኾነ፡ ደሓን’በል ሰራዊት ኤርትራ’ሲ ሕጹብ ከም ጲላጦስ ይኹነልካ። ጸገምና እቶም መሰልና ካብ ምክልኻል ዝበኾሩ፡ ስደተኛታትና ዘጸግሙልና ዘለዉ፡ ሰራዊት ጣልያን፡ ሰራዊት እስራኤል፡ ሰራዊት ሱዳን፡ ሰራዊት ኢትዮጵያን ሰራዊት ካልኦት ሃገራትን እዮም’ልካ ምስ ነብስኻ ትቐባጠር። ሰራዊት ኤርትራ ግን፡ ንህዝቡ ንሕሰም ረጥሪጡ ዝፍርጥጥ፡ ሓደራ ስውኣት ጠሊሙ ንውልቀሰባት ዝተዓስበ፡ ጥኑሳት ኣንስቱ ሓዲጉ ዝሃድም፡ ቆምሽቲ ክበዝሖ’ኳ፡ ሙታንታ’ዉን ኣይበቕዖን። ሰራዊት ፓኪስታን እኮ’ዮም ሙሻረፍ ዘላዓሉ፡ ሰራዊት ግብጺ እኳ’ዮም፡ ሙባረክ ዘግለሉ፡ ሰራዊት ኢትዮጵያ እኳ’ዮም ንሃይለስላሰ ዝዓለዉ፡ ሰራዊት እኳ’ዮም ሕቶ ህዝቦም ዘልዕሉ! እዚ’ኦም ናትና ድኣ ሕሙምያን እንደኣሎም። በየናይ መልክዒ’ኻ ሰራዊት ክትብሎም። ሓለፍቲ ማሕዩር ጸትታ ህግደፍ እኮ ኢትዮጵያውያን’ዮም፡ መክሩያ እኮ ሓላፍ ሳንሱር እንዳ ዜና እዩ፡ ደምሒት እንስቲ መን ድዮም ተጠቕሊሎም ዝሓድሩ ዘለዉ? ሓይሊ ኣየር እኮ ብኢትዮጵያውያን’ዩ ዝዝወር! ታህዲድ ዘይትገድፍ ወደይ።

      ሓቅኻ ወ ኢትዮጵያ፡ ሱዳን፡ ጣልያን፡ እስራኤል ኮታ ኩሉ ዓዱ ራሕሪሑ ዝርጥርጥ ዘሎ ኤርትራዊ ዝረግጸን ሃገራት፡ መክተን ድኣ፡ መሰለይ እናበላካ ኮንንነን፡ እብ ቁዋመን’ውን ሕዛኣለይ በለን፡ ሰራዊተን ውን ኮንኖም ወ ክሰሶም። መሰልካን ሓይልኻን ኣብ ዓዲ’ማትካ እንድዩ ዝርከብ ንዓኻ’ድኣ። Wአዮ ህበይ’ሲ ኣብ ርሑቕ ዓዲ ሓዊ ክእጎድ ርእዩ’ስ፡ ግርም ገበርኩም ንመውቕ እኳ በለ ይበሃል።

      ሰመረ ኣስተውዕል፡ መስሓቕ ሸራፋት ናይዝኾንካ ጣቛ የብሉን። ወድሓንካ።

      • Papillon

        Dear Haile Z Great,

        አገናዕ ዝሓወይ ጽቡቕ ገበርካዬ ነዚ ለኽባጥ

        • sara

          i cant belive it this woman called arwe wokato is insulting patriot ertreans, the worst is the editor has not seen it…yet
          how about … if i say this woman is watte’, will the editor allow this? let me see..

      • Ermias


        እዚ እኮ እዩ ተስፋ ዘቑረጸካ፤፤ ሰራዊት ኤርትራ ዘይርደኦም ድዩ ዘሎ ኮይኑስ ወላ ፍጹም ስሪኦም ፈቲሖም እዮም እኮ ጨኒቕና፤፤ ግን ኩላ ጀነራል ወዲ ጀነራል ብብልሽውና ተጠላቕያ፤ ኣይ ንላዕሊ ኣይንታሕቲ ኮያና ኣላ፥ ደሓር ፤ኢሳያስ እዚ ግብሪ እከይ ንሓድሕዶም ከምዘይተኣማመኑ ስለዝገበሮም፤ ፍሕት እኳ ተሳኢናቶም ኣላ፥፥ እቲ ዝገርም ግን፤ ኩሉ ዝወጸ ዘበለ፤ ኣነ እኮ ካብ ዓደይ ክወጽእ ኣይምመረጽኩን ግን ናብራ ማራ ከቢድና ተስፋ ስኢንናሉ ይብሉ፤ ከምኡ እንተኮይኑ እሞ ኣብኡ ተወዲብኩም ባግ ዘይተብልዎ፥፥ ሰራዊት እኮ ንህዝቡ ካብ ባዕዳዊ ጥራሕ ኣይኮነን ዝከላኸለሉ፥፥

        • haile


          ልክዕ አኣሎኻ። እቲ ስርዓት ኣአምሮኦም ንጋዶ ኣደንቑርዎ እዩ። ኣብ ሓደ ቪድዮ (ክውከሰልካ ይኽእል’የ) ብእዝነይ ዝሰማዕክዎ፡ ሓደ ረጥሪጡ ንኢትዮጵያ ዘስተለመ ኣባል ሰራዊት ኣብ መዓስከር ስደተኛ ትግራይ ኮይኑ “ንኸብድና ኣይሓሰመናን፡ ካልእ እውን እይተነፍገናን፣ ኮይኑ ግን ብሽምና ገይሮም ይወጹ ስለዘለዉ መሰልና ኢና ይከበር ንብል ዘሎና” ክብል ተሰሚዑ። ርኤ’ሞ፡ ጻዕዳ ዓይኑ ክሳብ ዝግልበጥ ብጥሜትን ጽምእን ቀፊዶም፡ ከም ባርያ ፈፈው ኣቢሎም ጊስ ኢሎም ዝደርበይዎ፡ ኣብ ሃገሩ መሬቱ፡ መቕበር መዳሕንቱ ዝኾነ መበቆል ርስቱ፡ መሰለይ ክይብል ኣፉ ትለጉሙ እብራኹ ጠሊመንኦ፡ ዕሸላት ደቁን ጥንስቲ ሰበይቱን ራሕሪሑ ከም ጉዕ-በርበረ ዝወተፉላ ኣድጊ ብረቱ ሰንዲዩ ፈርጢጡ ከብቅዕ’ሲ፣ እኽለማዩ የአንጊዶም፡ መሬቶም ኣርሒቦም፡ ደሓን ዝከኣለና ንሕግዝ ዝበልዎ ጓኖት ብመሰል ክኸስስ? እዚ’ዩ ሰራዊት ኤርትራ! ያኢ ደናጉላ ትግራይ ንርሒብ ኮይኑ፡ ኣብ ኣስመራ ግን ተሳኢኑ? እቲ ሰራዊት፡ እታ ሃገር ናቱ ከምዘይኮነት ኣረዲኦሞ’ዮም። ናጽነት ማለት፡ ህድማ ማለት’ዩ። ዋላ ሜሮን ዝበሃል ተኻታዓይ ናይ’ዚ ፎሩም ርአይ’ንዶ፡ ኣባል ኣገርግሎት ነይሩ፡ ሃዲሙ፡ ይቕረታ ሓቲቱ፡ ከይዱ፡ ኣብዚ ኮይኑ ድማ መሰሉ ካብ አሜርካ ጭንን ይብላሎ! እዚ ሰራዊት ኣይኮነን፡ እንተኾይኑ ድማ ናይ ኤርትራ ክትብሎ ኣየምሕርን።

          • saay

            ሃይለ (ዓቢ ሰብ)

            ንዝኾነ ችግር፥ መፍትሕ እንዳ ኢሳይያስ ፥
            1. ኻብዚ ዘለኹሞ ዝገድድውን ኣሎ:
            2. ኻባኹም ዝበልጽ ሰብ ከምዚ ናትኩም ይነበር ኣሎ ፡ መንሞ ሰብ ቆጺርኩም ንዓኹም!

            Sometimes, you get two for one:

            ን ኣብነት: ብርጋድየር ጀነራል ወዲ መምህር ኣብ አክስፖ ኣብ ሓደ ኣኼባ ህዝቢ ብማይ ፡ ብኵዋረንቲ ከማርር ምስ ሰምዕ ፡ ኣሽንኳይ ንስኹም ፡ ኣያይ (ኢሳይያስ ማለቱ ኢዩ)ከማን ፡ ማይ ስኢኑ ፡ ሳቡና ሳኢኑ ፡ መብራህቲ ስኢኑ፡ ከየቅሮምረመ ፡ ይጶሮ ኣሎ፥፥ ልመድዎ፥፥

            Case closed 🙂


          • Habo

            Dear Haile,
            I thank you very much for your testimony. As an Ethiopian, I feel good to know that there are some Eritreans of your kind who are brave enough to recognize the modest support the people and governement of Ethiopia are offering to unfortunate Eritreans.

            Reading Younis’s peice hurts a lot and I can only wish you good luck in your fight for freedom.

            Note: I usually visit this site and among other specifically look for Hayat Adems’ comments. Lately, I haven’t read one. I just want to know she is okay.
            Thank you

      • MTYohannes

        Dear Haile:

        Good job, you are telling us the wisdom and the reality. Let me storm your brain on WHAT SHOULD BE DONE for us to see a light at the end of this deep dark tunnel,….,. Let me put it in Tigrigna and let us discuss. It is the human innovation and creativity that bring solutions, new ideas and inventions and speed up the developmental continuum (from shallow to deep; from narrow to broad and from static to dynamic). Please Haile, tell us something. You might produce ideas that can shorten our sufferings:

        ለባማትን ምሁራትን ድቂ ሃገርና ይነግሩናን ይመኽሩናን አለወሞ ንስማዓዮም ዳሕራይ ከይንጠዓስ። እቶም ሕጂ ጊዜኦምን ፍልጠቶምን ስዊኦም ዝነግሩና ዘለዉ ጽባሕ ንጉሆ ምናልባት እዚ ድሕነታዊ ምኽሮም አይንረኽቦን ንኸውን ሕጂ ንጠቐመሉ ንበረያ ነበረ ከይንኸውን። ነገራት ክቕየር ጊዜ አይወስድን እዩ። ምስ ምልካዊን ሓርገጻውን ምምሕዳር ህግደፍ ውድቀት ኤሪትራ ዘይተርፍ ተርእዮ ኢዮ። እሰከ ሓንሳብ ጠጠው ኢልና ንነብስና በዝን ዝስዕባ ሕቶታት ንመርምር።

        ስለምንታይ ህዝብና አብ ጸገም አሎ? እንታይ እዩ ሕመረት ናይቲ ጸገም? ከመይ ጌርና ነቲ ጸገም ክንኣልዮ ወይ ከነማሓይሾ ንኽእል? ዕድመ መዋእል መንግስቲ ህግደፍ ንኽሓጽር ብጭቡጥ ንፍሲወከፍና እንታይ ክገብርን፤ ክሓስብን፤ ኣለዎ? ብዝተወደበ ስልቲኸ? እንታይ መማረጺታት ክህሉውና ይኽእሉ?

        ጸትታዊ መሓውራት ህግደፍ ንምድኻም እንታይ ክንገብር ይግባኣና?
        2. ነቶም ጠንቂ ሽግር ህዝቢ ኤሪትራ ዝኾኑ ምስ ኣብ ወጻኢ ዘሎው ህግደፋዊያንን ደገፍቶምን ብዝግባእ ንምልላይን ኣብ ቅደሚ ሕጊ ንምቕራብን እንታይ ስጉምቲ ክንወስድ ኣሎና? እንታይ ዓይነት ኩለ መዳያዊ መስርሕ የድልየና?
        3. ድሕሪ ናይ ቀረባ ውድቀት ስርዓት ህግደፍ (ተጀሚሩ ኣሎ) እንታይ ዓይነት መሰጋገሪ መንግስቲ ከድልየና እዩ። ስጋብ ክንደይ ጊዜ? ብኸመይ…ወዘተ፧
        4. ሃገራዊ ድሕንነትና ብዝበለጸ ንምዕቃብ እንታይ ስልትታትን ፖለሲታትን ክነሕንጽጽን ከነተግብርን ይግባኣና?
        5. ህግደፍ ንዝገደፎ ግዕዘታትን ከበድቲ ማሕበረ-ቁጠባዊ ጸገማትን ዕንወታትን ብህጹጽ ንምሕዋይን ቑልጡፍን ኩሉ ኣሳታፊን ኩለ
        መዳያዊን ዝኾነ ማሕበረ-ቁጠባዊ ምዕባለ ንምዝጋብን ንምህናጽን እንታይ ክነገብር አሎና? እንታይ ስልትታትን ብልሓታትን ክንእምት አሎና….ወዘተ?
        6. ብዛዕባ ሓድንታዊ መስርሕ ህዝብና ንምደንፋዕ እንታይ ክንገብር አሎና?
        7. ዲሞክራሲያዊን ዘመናዊን ሓያልን ቀዋሚ መንግስቲ ንምጥያስከ እንታይ ንግበር….?
        8. ከምኡውን ካሎኦት ክዝርዘሩ ዝግበኦም ነገራትከ?

  • Dawit

    That is very sad news.
    First of all Mr.Abdu one of the great elders of Eritrea
    In in the history of Eritrea he make sacrifice for the people and the country.
    I know Isias how much brutal,and merciless he is dispite all this Mr.Abdu
    And other Eritrean elders they made the courageous decision for recouncilation
    groupe 15 and the brutal side.
    Unless his son Ali son of Isias the one who was lying for Isias throwing the whole
    nation in darkness.He was helping to confusse the world socitey and diaspora Eritreans.
    Today his imaturity was contribution of todays Eritrea.
    I remember once since Aboy Abdu,and other Eritrean elders were in prisoin he says that
    in Eritrea there is no poletical prisoner.
    Now it becomes the opposite his father and the innocent teenage Eritrean his daughter.
    I want to ask Ali you see what is looking like your country today.
    You your Isias and other commerades how much Eritrea becomes hell your contribution
    inflwence even your own family,what looks like your history.
    Oh my God save our people,and our country.

    Dawit wedi keren