Saturday , September 18 2021
Home / Articles / Aster & Sherifo: My Parents Who Have Disappeared for 13 Years

Aster & Sherifo: My Parents Who Have Disappeared for 13 Years

My name is Ibrahim Mahmoud Ahmed Sherifo. I am the son of two veteran fighters of the Eritrean revolution – Aster Fissehatsion and Mahmoud Ahmed Sherifo. Both of my parents were former combatants but now Prisoners of Conscience. Their stories and misfortunes are in the public domain. Amnesty International, Human Rights watch and other institutions have documented their stories on numerous occasions. Please read the following linked articles for a brief description about the identities of my mother and father.

Like many children of my generation, I was born in the battlefields of Eritrea in a place called Ararb which is located in what was then called Sahel but later renamed the Northern Red Sea region. The next set of my child-memories, until I was four, stem from a place called Hishkeb. One can imagine how hostile life was in these inhospitable surroundings of Sahel which were literally war zones during the armed struggle. Actually, I barely retained significant memories of Ararb, Hishkeb and other camps and battle grounds such as Anberber, She’eb and Arag where so many stories of heroism remain buried. I always struggle whenever I try to revive the early memories of my parents as they navigated through those places. Most of the time, although indistinctly, I see them in our camouflaged stone shack which looked like a natural extension of the rocky hill on which it was built. There in that shack I spent a lot of happy times in the presence of my gentle and soft-spoken father and my loving mother. I look back to those times with pride, nostalgia and sometimes with bewilderment for I knew no other life but one filled with stoicism, bravery and camaraderie.

My best friends were children like me, children of Sahel who came face-to-face with hostility early on in life. We were fairly used to life saturated with chaos – hearing explosions, scurrying for safe places during aerial bombardments, being herded in and out of bomb shelters, seeing combatants going to or returning from battlefields and so forth. We sang songs that lionised our staunch fighters; we sang songs for Eritrea – songs that eulogised the history, culture, traditions and struggles of our people. On the whole, we were raised under the umbrella of the Eritrean armed struggle.

As already mentioned, my parents, unlike children in many parts of the world whose parents held normal jobs, were different; they were freedom fighters. On one hand, I can say, I was not spoiled because I spent not enough time with both of my parents who were always on military missions that took them away from me most of the time. I felt I lived in luxury because I knew other war-children never had the chance to see their parents return from their missions. On the other hand, no matter what the circumstances were, I were pampered by the freedom fighters who looked after me and other children in the absence of our parents by making sure we were fed and out of harm’s way. Figuratively speaking, the tegadelti (combatants) were our uncles, aunts and close family members.

In May 1991, as soon as our freedom fighters overran the country and liberated Eritrea, I moved to Asmara to start a new life. Life in Asmara, our capital city, was strange, to say the least. It was strikingly devoid of fear and threats of warfare. I started to experience what people would refer to as normal childhood. I made new friends, started attending pre-school, played in the neighbourhood playgrounds. However, to me normal childhood did not only mean receiving basic needs within a family unit or live in a safe environment, but also seeing my ‘mieda’ (battlefield) brethren within the safety of city-limits. In point of fact, I was astounded by many things around me. I lived in a household with running water and electricity, I wore nice clothes and proper shoes, I enjoyed various entertainments and visited all kinds of shops in the neighbourhood. Generally speaking, it felt like life in Asmara was a big party.

In my ‘Azillo’ year at Comboni, my best friend and I played and ran around as if there was no tomorrow. I guess running like the wind was our way of recovering from the effects of the era of the armed conflict and claiming the post-independence era as our own. I can say the following school years at Awet School were by far the best years of my life. I remember Awet School fondly because it gave me years of simple harmony between me and the life I was leading then. However, as that very harmony made the small things around me grow, a couple of years later, as luck wouldn’t have it, the Sematat High School years goaded the harmony to decay.

In 1998, as I was about to finish my Junior High School education, Eritrea went to war against Ethiopia. In 2000, by the time I moved to Sematat High School, the war was coming to an end leaving nineteen thousand young Eritreans dead in four rounds of warfare. At the same time, another war was brewing on the domestic front; disharmony among top leaders of the Government of Eritrea and People’s Front for Democracy and Justice, the ruling party, flared up over the conduct of a war that left Eritrea badly bruised, including major territorial loss to Ethiopia. Although in the beginning the disharmony that arose among the leaders and the President’s refusal to implement the new Constitution were being conducted behind closed doors, somehow the situation exploded when the president blocked all opportunities of reconvening of both state and party leaders to debate the concerns.   In May 2001, both of my parents, together with the other critics, were suspended out of hand, at which point they decided to publish the Open Letter which called for peaceful and democratic dialogue with the President of Eritrea. On 18 Sep 2001, the Open Letter incident sealed the fate of my parents; they were picked up by security agents and never seen since then.

How serious a crime did my parents and the other senior government officials commit when they called for free and fair elections? Why did the President react to their criticism with such arbitrary, cruel and excessive measures? When I was growing up I always believed that we Eritreans were going to change not only our world but also the home-grown dictatorships in post-colonial Africa. I guess I was wrong.

Although I do not know about the physical conditions, medical needs and psychological state of my parents, I do know that they are very much alive in my heart and in my mind. Yes, I do know their ideals are still growing and will eventually stand the test of time. On this day, the 13th anniversary of the disappearance of my parents, I am remembering them with pride and admiration. I truly believe the President and his PFDJ cohorts are guilty in the court of conscience; therefore, they are the real prisoners, not my parents! I sense my parent’s conscience and ideals are roaming free within and beyond the four walls of their cells.

The story is written in collaboration with Free Our Parents – Eritrea

POCs: Dawit Mesfin and Tsedal Yohannes

About Ibrahim Mahmoud Ahmed Sherifo

Check Also

Yosief’s Messages From the Underground

It is only a narrow-minded or embittered man who can harbor evil thoughts about ordinary …

  • Rahwa Tesfai Ghermai

    Ajoka Ibrahim weday, we are watching and recording all his heinous crimes.
    I remember you and have often thought of you over the years, please feel free to contact me at
    Gual hawi Tesfaldet (Tesfai Ghermai) iyae…

  • simon

    you telling us… I lived in a household with running water and electricity, I wore nice clothes and proper shoes, I enjoyed various entertainments and visited all kinds of shops in the neighbourhood. Generally speaking, it felt like life in Asmara was a big party…where did the money come frome? The tegadelti tha i know dont have money so where did you nice close come from and the house?

  • Mahmud Saleh

    Hello Ibrahim;
    It’s good to see you grown up. Thank you for sharing your story with us. Both your parents are public figures and there is really nothing to add; but I have to tell you that both were simple and kind tegadelti. I hope you inherit their traits and the man after whom you are named. Your father was hilarious wedi Asmara. He might have had his moments of gaffs, but he was a straight talker and approachable man. Any tegadelai could stop Mahmoud and chat with him, and he loved his chewing tobacco too. Mahmoud and Drue were the funniest big guys I have known in Shaebia. If they were going to run meetings or seminars you would pass the whole night laughing yourself off. I also remember his living arrangements were simple, he owned nothing that would distinguish him from his surroundings. He was also a good writer (I’m told many of the famous editorials of EPLF were written by him, in addition to being an editor too). He was known for speaking his mind, and probably that’s what cost him his life. Remember: the avalanche of dissidence followed his open challenge to the president).
    Your mom was a sweet mother, she was among the first tegadelti I have had good relations with when I was in boot camp in mid seventies, and the last time I saw her was in Asmara ( you were not with her). But I saw you twice in mieda, the last time I saw you was when your mom was assigned to Maria Tselam/Halhal. My wife remembers that once she went to Aster with her friend and you met them first saying, ” ኢብራሂም እበሃል፣ መን ክብል?” She says they were off-guarded by your polite welcoming; they were not used to it. I guess it was too civil; or years in Berekha made them forget it. Anyway, today she appreciates it. I have also told friends who had known you to read your story; folks who knew you in Hishkb are happy to see you grown up.
    Life goes on Ibrahim, get the better of it. Your parents are our comrades, our heroes and will inspire us to do more until we pass away. I hope we all meet in Eritrea soon.

  • AMAN

    It is not about supporting Issayas and his acts
    that many Eritreans support. It is to say that any punishment of an individual
    to safeguard the freedom and sovereignity of the nation and the people by any
    ruling or governing body is justifiable. It is to defend the freedom which is the result
    of the sacrifices of the people. It is not about loving Issayas or supporting his policies.
    So if it is done to protect and safeguard the freedom of the people and independence
    of the nation Eritrea it is justifiable.
    But we have to find out the truth first that is who was pro-independence and freedom of
    Eritrea. Issayas/PFDJ or G-18/Opposition.
    So far, the one who stood against woyane/TPLF agressors ( at least in rhetoric) considering
    the war is a cyberwar of words weighs more in favour of Issayas/pfdj than the opposition groups
    who has readily submitted themselves under woyane and surrendered the sovereign independence
    of the nation due to their dislike and could not get along with Issayas. Following a politics of grudges
    sold them out to the traps of the enemy woyane/Tplf who is hired by US for advancing HSI and DERGUE’s
    agendas of the past against Eritrea and its people with a little modifications to implement it better than HSI
    and Mengistu Hailemariam lack of political management and execution.
    My reason to say this is because the opposition has made serious mistakes worse than PIA/PFDJ of
    accepting all demands of submission by woyane’s blackmailing either due to fear to TPLF or hate of PIA.
    In either way, not been able to reconcile the two ends and unable to move fast to consolidate themselves
    and act fast they have created a big political gap/vacuum to be filled by woyane and its handlers to their demise.
    Or the only plausible reason that can be infered from the two decades long Eritrean political scenario is that
    the oppositions feel content without the kebessa people thus disposing it to Ethiopia, and similarily the pia/pfdj
    feels content only with the kebessa and without the rest of Eritrea due to Greater Tigray or Ethiopian policy
    and have both settled for these reduced and compromised goals contrary to the 1961-1990 era aspirations
    and goals of the people and national politics of the nation due to incompetency and lack of renewal and choice
    of capitulation.
    But whatever the reasons, from the viewpoint of the people and political observers of Eritrean politics these two
    choices by these two opposing parties represent only the abridged form the previous goal and only amount to
    abandonement of full freedom and full independence of the nation state and its people vis a vis their cost of the
    struggle and sacrifices for decades self reliantly.

  • Kokhob Selam

    Treason, what if it is the other way round. I mean if it is them who fought for the sovereignty but not the “government “. how do you know if they were not allowed to defend themselves right in court. by the way who allow the government to arrest people – under which legal ground?
    you said “no one is above Eritrea” what is Eritrea now if it is not the people?

    you, supporters of PFDJ were once upon a time calling the heroes and when they are arrested you you call them criminals. if it was Al-amin and DIA it is the same you could have label them as criminals.

    anyhow the mistake is from the beginning, having such system burns everything including himself.

  • Haile WM

    How dare you say something like that ? you don’t even have compassion for the sufferings of a son who has being deprived of the love and affection of his parents ?
    I know you PFDJ puppets are like zombies who don’t even use one neuron from their brains, but before you speak up of treason and other thing that you have no clue, Please remember that Sherifo and Aster have fought for the nation longer than even your consciousness of being Eritrean(if you are one).

  • Abraham Hanibal

    መልእኽቲን ሕቶታትን ናብ ኣብ ወጻኢ ትርከቡ ደገፍቲ ስርዓት ዉልቀ መላኽነት ኢሳያስን ህግደፍን፥

    ብመጀመርያ ሓደ ሓደ ነጥብታት ከነጽረልኩም ይደሊ፥

    *ግደ ናይ ወጻኢ ሓይልታት(ሲኣይኤ፥ መንግስቲ ኣመሪካ፣ መንግስቲ ወያነ፣ ወዘተ): ኣብ ዉሽጣዊ ጉዳያት ኤርትራ: ከምቲ ኩሉ ግዜ ብስርዓት ኢሳያስ ዝግለጽ ኣይኮነን። እንታይ ደኣ፥ እዚ ከም መመሳመስን መመኽነይታን ደኣ ምበር፥ ናይ ብሓቂ ኣብ ህሉው ኩነታት ኤርትራ ዓቢ ጽልዋ ዘለዎ ከምዘይኮነ

    *ሕቶ ዶብ ኤርትራን ኢትዮጵያን ዋላኳ ኣብ ባይታ እቲ ዶብ ኣይመልከት እምበር፥ እቲ ጉዳይ ኣብ ካርታ ሕጋዊ መዕለቢ ተጌሩሉ ኢዩ። እዚ ጉዳይ ባዕሉ እቲ ተምልኹዎ ዉልቀ መላኺ ኢሳያስ ብቓላቱ ገሊጹዎ ኢዩ። ባድመ ክበሃል ከሎ እታ ዓዲ ባድመን ኣብ ከባቢኣ ዝርከብ ሰፊሕ ጎላጉልን ዘጠቓለለን ኢዩ። ካብተን ከም መሰሓሓቢ ተባሂለን ዝግለጻ ዝነበራ ዓድታት፥ ባድመን ጾሮናን ንኤርትራ ክወሃባ ከለዋ፥ ዛላምበሳን ዓሊተናን ድማ ንኢትዮጵያ ተዋሂበን። ንሓደ ጥልቕ ኢሉ ዘጽንዕ ሰብ እቲ ዉሳነ ዶብ ፥ በዘን ዝተጠቕሳ ዓድታት ጥራይ ዘይኮነ ክርእዮ ዘለዎስ፥ በቲ ጥቕላላ ስፍሓት መሬት ናይቲ ክልቲኣን ሃገራት ይብጸሓና ዝበለኦን፥ እቲ ኣብ መወዳእታ ብፍርዲ ዝተዋህበንን እዩ ክግምገም ዘሎዎ። ኣነ በዛ ንእሽቶ ዓቕመይ ክርእዮ ከለኹ፥ ክልቲኣን ሃገራት፥ ገለ ካብቲ ይብጸሓና ዝበለኦ መሬት ክወሃበን ከሎ፥ ገለ ክፋል ከኣ ኣይተዋህበንን (ነታ ሓንቲ ሃገር ተዋሂቡ)። ብጠቕላላ፥ እቲ ነቲ መሬት ብኽልቲኡ ሸነኽ ዝተኸፍለ ኣዝዩ ልዑል ዋጋን፥ ክኽፈል ነይሩዎን ዶስ ኣይነበሮን፥ ምኽኑይነቱን ኣብዚ ንጎድኒ ገዲፈ፥ ክልቲአን ሃገራት ዳርጋ ሓሓምሳ ሚእታዊት ናይቲ ጠቕላላ በቲ ቤት ፍርዲ ዝተራእየ ስፍሓት መሬት እዩ ተዋሂቡወን።

    ስለዚ አቲ ጉዳይ ዶብ ሕጋዊ መዓልቦ ስለ ዝተገብሮ፥ ኤርትራ ብዘይ ቅድመ ኩነት ስለዝተቐበለቶ፥ ኢትዮጵያ ከኣ ብመትከል ስለዝተቐበለቶ (ዋላ ኳ፥ ገለ ገለ ዕቃበታት እንተሃለዋ፥ ነዚ ዕቃበታት ከኣ ብልዝብ ምስ ኤርትራ ክትፈትሖ ስለ ትደሊ)፥ እቲ ፖለቲካዊ ሃዋሁ ኣብ መንጎ ክልቲአን ሃገራት ኣብ ዝመሓየሸሉ እዋን፥ እቲ ጉዳይ ዶብ ውን፥ ብመሰረት ዉሳነ ዶብ ናይ ሓዋሩ መዕለቢ ከምዝረክብ ኣየጠራጥርን እዩ። ስለዚ እዚ መሬትና ብወያነ ተታሒዙ ከሎ፥ ዝኾነ ይኹን ደሞክራሲያዊ ለውጢ ኣየድሊን ወይ ኣይግባእን ዝብል ናይ ኢሳያስን፥ ህግደፍን መስሓቕ ኣዘራርባ፥ መመኽነይታን፥ መመሳመስን ደኣ ምበር፥ ካልእ ትርጉም ዘለዎ ኣይኮነን።

    እዚ ብምባል ናብ ሕቶታተይ ክምለስ፥

    * ህዝቢ ኤርትራ ንዓሰርተታት ዓመታት ክጋደል፥ መስዋእትን ስንክልናን ዓሰርተታት ኣሽሓት ደቁ ክኸፍል ከሎ ንሓንቲ ዲሞክራስን፥ ግዝኣተ ሕግን፥ ፍትሕን ርትዕን ዝሰፈና ሃገር ዶ ኣይኮነንዩ ነይሩ፧

    *ስርዓት ህግደፍ፥ ንጀጋኑ መራሕቲ ቃልሲ ህዝቢ ኤርትራ መሪሖምን ተቓሊሶምን ዘዐወቱን፥ ካልኦት ብኣሽሓት ዝቑጸሩ መራሕትን ተራ ዉልቀ ሰባትን፥ ብዘይ ሕጊ፥ ብዘይ ፍትሕን ርትዕን፥ ብኣልማማ፥ ክኣስርን ክሰውርን ከሎ ከመይ ጌርኩም ብዘይ ሕቶን ምጉትን ትቕበሉዎ፧

    *ስርዓት ህግደፍ ነቲ ውጽኢት መሪርን ነዊሕን ቃልስና ዝኾነ፥ ብልዑል ተሳትፎ ህዝብና ዝነደፍናዮን ዘጽደቕናዮን ናይ 1997 ሃገራዊ ቅዋምና፥ ከም ታራ ወረቐት ክድርቢን ክጉሕፍን ከሎ ከመይ ገርኩም ብዘይ ሕቶን ምጉትን ትቕበሉዎ፧

    *ስርዓት ኢሳያስ ንኹሉ መዳያት ሕብረተሰብና፥ ቁጠባዊ፥ ፖለቲካዊ፥ ማሕበራዊ፥ ባህላዊ ጉዳያት ከም ሞኖፖል ክብሕት እንከሎ ከመይ ጌርኩም ትቕበሉዎ፧

    *ስርዓት ኢሳያስ ብመሰረት ዕባራ ምኽንያት ጸጥታን ልኡላውነትን ሃገር፥ ንመንእሰያትን ካልኦት ዘጋታትን ሃገርና ንዘይተወሰነ ግዜ፥ ኣብ ግዱድ ዕስክርናን፥ ካብ ንቡር መነባብሮኦም ኣመዘናቢሉ፥ ስድራቤታት በታቲኑ፥ ጉልበቶም ብዘይ ዝኾነ ማሃያ ክምዝምዝ ከሎ ከመይ ጌርኩም ትቕበሉዎ፧

    *ስርዓት ኢሳያስ፥ ብሰሪ እቲ ንሱ ዝኽተሎ ጸቓጢ ፖሊሲታት፥ መሪሩዎም፥ ዓዶምን ህዝቦምን ገዲፎም ኣብ ፈቐዶ ዓዲ ጓና ክስደዱን፥ ኣብ መንገዲ ከኣ ኣደዳ ሞትን፥ አዚ ዘይበሃል ስቅያትን ዝኾኑ ብኣሽሓት ዝቑጸሩ ደቂ ሃገርን፥ ተቐበልቲ ሃገር መንእሰያትን፥ ከነኣእስን፥ ብሞቶምን ስቅያቶምን ቅንጣብ ጓሂ ዘይስመዖን ክነሱ፥ ከመይ ጌርኩም ደገፍኩም ትብዎ፧

    *ብሰንኪ ኢሳያስ ዝኽተሎ ዉልቀ መላኽነትን፥ ዕብለላን፥ ብልሹው ኣመራርሓን፥ ምርገጽቲ ኩሎም ሰብኣዊ መሰላትን፥ ህዝቢ ኤርትራ ኣብ ዉሽጢ ሃገርን ወጻእን፥ ተገማሚዑ ሓድነቱ ላሕሊሑሉ ኣብ ዝርከብ አዋን፥ ምክልኻልን፥ ምውሓስን ልኡላውነት ሃገር ከመይ ጌሩ ይረጋገጽ፧ እቲ ዝገርም ከኣ እዞም ኩሎም ዝተጠቕሱ መግሃስትታት ብሽም ጸጥታን ልኡላውነትን ሃገር ዝተወስዱ ምዃኖም ኢዩ። ስለዚ እቲ ምስጢር ዓወት ሓርነታዊ ቃልስና ዝኾነ ሃገራዊ ሓድነትና፥ ብሰንኪ ዓማጽን ረጋጽን ኣመራርሓ ኢሳያስ ኣብ ዝላሕላሓሉ እዋን፥ ልኡላውነትናን ጸጥታን ሃገርና ከመይ ጌሩ ክረጋገጽ ይኽእል፧

    * ምኽልካል መሰላት ምጽሓፍን፥ ምዝራብን፥ ምእካብን፥ ሓሳባትካን ርእቶታትካን ብናጻ ምግላጽን፥ ምስ ሓደ ሕጋዊ መደምደምታ ዝተገብረሉ ጉዳይ ዶብን፥ ሉላውነት ሃገርን እንታይ ዘራኽብ ኣለዎ፧ እኳ ደኣ ደቂ ሰባት ሓሳባቶምን ርእይቶታቶምን ብናጻ ምስ ዝገልጹን፥ ምስ ዝካትዑን ዶይኮነን፥ ምዕባለን ቅኑዕ ኣመራርሓን ዝመጽእ፧

    *መሰላቱ ዝተገፈፈ ሕብረተሰብን፥ መንእሰይን ከመይ ጌሩ፥ ፈትዩን ረድዩን፥ ኣብ ምዕባለ ሃገሩን፥ ምክልኻል ሃገሩን ከበርክት ይኽእል፧

    *ይትረፍ’ዶ ሎሚ ሃገርን ባንዴራን ተኺልናስ፥ ትማል እኳ፥ ኣብ ግዜ ቃልሲ፥ ኣብ ትሕቲ ኣግራብን፥ ኣብ መንጎ ስንጭሮታትን፥ ሓደጋ ጸላእን፥ ጉባኤታትና ነቃንዕን፥ ሓሳብ ንሓሳብ ንለዋወጥን፥ ዝሓለፉን ህሉዋትን ስራሓትናን ተሞኩሮታትናን ንግምግም፥ መጻኢ መደባትና ንሕንጽጽን ከምዘይነበርና፥ ሎሚ ደኣ እንታይ ተረኺቡ ሓንቲ እኳ ትኹን ጉባኤ ኣብ ዕስራ ዓመታት ክንገብር ዘይከኣልና፧

    እቲ ሕቶታት ኣዝዩ ብዙሕ ዩ፥

    ኣብ መደምደምታ እዞም ዓይንኹም እናረኣየ ከምዘይረኣኹም፥ እዝንኹም እናሰምዐ ከም ዘይሰማዕኩም ትኸዱ ዘለኹም፥ ብፍላይ ኣብ ወጻኢ ትርከቡ ኤርትራውያን፥ ይኣኽለኩም ጌጋ፥ ይኣኽለኩም ዓመጽን: በለጽን: ኣምልኾት ዉልቀ መላኺ ኢሳያስን። ናብ ልብኹም ተመለሱ፥ ምስ ሃገርኩምን ህዝብኹምን ወስኑ ክብለኩም ይደሊ። ንሕና ደቂ ሰባት፥ ኣብዛ ዓለም ኣዝዩ ዝተወሰነ ዕምሪ ኢዩ ዘለና፥ እቶም ተምልኹዎም ኢሳያስን፥ ብኣጻብዕ ዝቑጸሩ ኣገልገልቱን ድማ ከምኡ፥ ነበርቲ ኣይኮኑን። ንመብጸዓ ዝሓለፉ ስዉኣትን፥ ዘለዉ ስንኩላትን፥ ለውጢ ዝደሊ ህሉውን መጻእን ወለዶ ክትሓስቡ ይግባእ።

  • Rodab

    Thirteen years ago…

    • Abraham Hanibal

      The day 19 September 2001 goes on as one of the darkest days in Eritrea’s post-Independence period. In fact, I can, without exaggeration, compare it to the day when Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia abolished the Federation and annexed Eritrea as his northernmost province. On this day of shame, the wolf removed his sheepskin and revealed his real evil ambition to the people of Eritrea. This was the day when hope and aspirations of the Eritrean people were buried. A day when the real heroes and heroines of the Eritrean struggle, and the pioneers of the fledgling independent press were locked underground never to resurface again as of today.

      This was the day when the Eritrean people were robbed of their independence and freedom and held hostage by a criminal gang led by dictator Isayas.

      It was also the day when lies won on truth, injustice won on justice discord won on unity and corruption won on honesty.

      Thirteen years after that tragic day, and a lost generation or two, the Eritrean People have yet to establish a robust opposition to the forces of evil and dominance. SAD!!!

  • senay

    Dear Ibrahim,

    There are few things in life that humans can do to claim the highest moral ground and leave their marks behind forever. Your parents stood their ground on their principles and ideals. Most of all, they stood against the beast. That is heroism. And they will go down in history as the brave ones who slay the beast naked. You are lucky to be the product of these two giant heroes. We are proud of them and the day of reckoning coming soon. Keep the hope alive and stay strong.

    With best wishes,


  • Tewelde T.

    I knew both your parents in different fields of life and struggle, I miss them and I know what it means to you!
    They fought for liberty and justice from Ethiopia, but their own revolution kept them away – incommunicado for 13 years.
    They have done the right thing, they have continued their dream which was the Eritrean dream. Unfortunately their own comrade
    The self elected President betrayed the oath and the vow of Gedli “The National Charter” The Declaration of our Independence 1993.

    Dead or alive, they will remain heroes, they were committed to their goal and dedicated to Eritrea, to sacrifice up to the end no matter how heavy the cost may be. They didn’t want to live you in limbo and orphan, but they lived their dreams of day one they joined the Eritrean struggle for independence and democracy.

    A son of a hero is a hero, you have inherited their dreams and guts until it is full filled from generation to generation!

  • Abraham Hanibal

    Mr./ Mrs. Treason;

    How dare you say that these heroes case has to do with treason? Please keep your dirty PFDJ propaganda and lies for yourself. And which court found these people of courage and great conscience guilty for committing treason? Have they been given any chance of defending themselves in a free and independent court of justice? Is this what the long struggle for Independence has taught you and the likes of you, if you’ve any idea at all of Eritreans’ struggle against oppression and for the rule of law? That those in power can simply arrest someone and claim that they’ve done this or that without giving the accused the chance to defend themselves and without presenting any proof?

    Who has given dictator Isayas and his servants the right to arrest Eritrean heroes and heroines and incarcerate them for indefinite time without due process of law? Whether you like it or not, the number one traitors in Eritrea are dictator Isayas, his close servants, and their collaborators like you. Because by helping the growth of a suppressive, dictatorial rule in our country, you’ve betrayed the promise of our tens of years of struggle and tens of thausands of sacrifices.
    Like what they say in Tigringa:
    በትሪ ሓቂስ ትቐጥን እምበር ኣይት ስበርን ያ!
    It might take some time, and lots of sufferings, but history tells us that oppressors and dictators, ultimately taste their own medicine and face the justice they deny their people. And I ‘m dead sure that the fate of Isayas and his servants will be just like their predecessors like Hitler, Saddam. Gaddafi, Pol pot, etc.

  • Abraham Hanibal

    Dear Ibrahim Mahmoud Ahmed Sherifo:
    I know you know it, but for the sake of repeating: Your father and mother are two of the great heroes who spent most part of their young age, and adulthood in the field of Eritrean struggle to liberate Eritrea from foreign occupation. They are also two of the pioneers who challenged the madness of one-man rule. So not only you, but all of us Eritreans who wish justice and rule of law are very proud of them. And our hearts are always with them, and others who had to pay a very high price to lead us away from the slavery of dictatorship of Isayas and his servants.
    May God/ Allah help us Eritreans to unite and defeat dictatorship!
    May God/ Allah give strength to your parents and their compatriots!
    May God/ Allah give you strength and courage!
    I wish you all the best!

  • haileTG

    Selam Ibrahim, you look great!

    Thank you for being here. You hold a mirror that we must all stare at with a sober look.

    On that fateful day, September 18, 2001, a dark cloud descended upon our nation. Sadly, we came out of it with a leadership that had lost compass and a nation that has lost heart. Eritrea’s woos multiplied in scope and magnitude, the price tag mounted ever higher and unspeakable forms of tragedies and the very existence of the country as we knew it is threatened.

    Our eyes blinded by hate and our souls tormented by guilt, we are heavily borrowing from the future to settle old debts. That you are here today, saying what you are saying is a testimony to how much we have gotten trapped into such a quagmire. Hardened hearts fake deaf ears, but it seems that there is no more place left to run to or hide. We must begin to see with our hearts and have the courage to look back at what has become of us.

    I sincerely wish you for the best possible scenario when the day comes for you to receive the truth about the whereabouts of your dearest parents.

    Keep strong.

  • saay7

    Welcome Selam Kidane!

    I second your message and I would like to reassure Ibrahim that your parents will always be remembered for standing up to dictatorship, for being willing to sacrifice themselves for the cause of democracy and civil liberties even as they knew the outcome.

    A re-reading of the messages they lent they names to (Open Letter to G-15; Open Letter to the Eritrean People) will show that their message was prophetic:

    “If we do not take corrective action immediately but instead continue as we have been, then it is not hard to imagine from the experiences of the past ten years the devastating consequences that await us.”

    We did not take corrective action and the consequences have been devastating.

    Similarly, in his interview with Tsigenay (a private newspaper) on April 16, 2001, Mahmoud Sheriffo was asked why Isaias Afwerki suspended the work of the committee that Mahmoud Sheriffo was chairing (the Committee for Drafting Laws on Political Parties and Organizations) and here’s the Q&A:


  • Rodab

    Hello Ibrahim,
    Your story is similar to that of Meaza Petros Solomon and many other children of political prisoners. People mourn the injustices against prisoners of consciousness but I don’t believe the hardship of those left behind is acknowledged to the degree it should. When a mom is imprisoned, the whole family is imprisoned. The loss doubles when the dad is also imprisoned. I can’t imagine how many sleepless nights and how hard these past 13 years must have been for you all, constantly wondering about the whereabouts of your parents.

    Your parents paid double price for the good of us all; the first time to bring independence, and then again to establish the rule of law. There are those who demanded justice unbeknown to the public and were made to disappear to the thin air. The fact that your parents’ calls and demands (that put them in prison) are well documented and are of public property should give some consolations.
    God bless and stay the course!