Saturday , October 16 2021
Home / Articles / Badme: An Eritrean Opposition Deathbed

Badme: An Eritrean Opposition Deathbed

[Editor’s note: we received a clarification from Semere. Comments are now reactivated. We will explain the issue soon.]

There’s no nice way to say this. The anti EPLF/PFDJ opposition that was led by the Ghedli generation for over three decades is laying on its deathbed waiting the inevitable. And there is nothing that could save it. Yep, the Ghedli generation opposition leaders who are trashing the PFDJ regime for not transferring power – have failed themselves to transfer power to the young generation; they have failed to earn the trust and respect of the Eritrean people; they have failed to articulate their message and lead the fight against PFDJ; or simply they have failed in every category. The Ghedli generation opposition leaders have failed so bad Isaias, his ministers, his Generals, his Colonels, his spy and security agents could leave the country, and all “his conscripted army and militias” could call it a quits and go home, and still no opposition would show-up at the doorsteps of the State Palace to govern. That’s how bad they are.

And what does that mean? That means, for the next decade or two, Eritrea would be governed by some kind of PFDJ derivative brand. That means, the Post-Ghedli generation (under forty), has to go back to the drawing board and learn all by themselves, how to be a civilized opposition in the Eritrean political arena. And that would lead us to the obvious question: where did the Ghedli generation opposition leaders go wrong? Well, hindsight being 20/20, there are many mistakes and missteps one could point-out; but the biggest mistake that finished off the Ghedli generation opposition business is their dishonest political position towards the 1998 Ethio-Eritrean border war. Let me explain:

During the 1998 war, while young Eritreans were losing lives and limbs to defend their people and their country, the Ghedli generation opposition leaders were perfectly comfy sitting on the lap of the invading Ethiopian army. And what was their justification to be on the side of the invading army? Well, according to them, siding with the invading army was justified because ‘the war was ignited by Isaias Afewerki’. Based on that dishonest justification, they coordinated their propaganda campaign with the Woyanes, and headed North riding on the back of Ethiopian tanks. When the invading Ethiopian army pushed the Eritrean defense forces, the Eritrean opposition were on the “liberated” areas “helping” their people. At least that was what they told the world. But in reality, the drooling opposition, were on the war theatre for one and only one reason: to stay in close proximity to the throne – betting that the invading Ethiopian army was to march all the way to Asmara to put them in power.

And that memorable ride on the back of Ethiopian tanks followed by → their silence/cheering during repeated Ethiopian incursion on sovereign Eritrean territories, their apologetic tone towards Ethiopian occupation of sovereign Eritrean territories, and their dishonest political positions that were/are synchronized with Addis policies, are the grave missteps that tarnished the Ghedli generation opposition brand and the fatal blow to the head, that eventually left their opposition business in a persistent vegetative state. To be very precise: these are the Eritrean opposition dishonest political positions (which actually are an extension of Addis policies):

 Dishonest Political position #1. The Eritrean opposition lobbied, volunteered their service and did everything in their power to put in place the most severe economic sanction possible – yes, including putting Eritrea on the State Sponsors of Terrorism list. When the sanction did exactly what was intended to do: hurt the economy and the people (shortage of medicine, food, gasoline and other basic commodities + intermittent utility supplies and services: water, phone, electricity….) they told the Eritrean people, it is the incompetent PFDJ leadership and its failed economic policy we all should blame – exactly like their handlers in Addis.

Dishonest Political position #2. They lobbied, volunteered their service and did everything in their power to deny Eritrea the right to purchase arms to defend itself. When the sanction did exactly what was intended to do (weaken Eritrea’s defense capability) they told the Eritrean people, it is the incompetent PFDJ Generals and their incompetent conscripted army we all should blame for failing to defend the Nation – exactly like their handlers in Addis.

Dishonest Political Position #3. They lobbied, volunteered their service and did everything in their power – Ethiopia to invade Eritrea in order to topple the PFDJ regime. With Western affirmative nod, Woyane leaders declared regime change policy to put a puppet government in Asmara. To achieve their regime change objective – they waged intensive diplomatic offensive at IGAD AU and UN to isolate Eritrea; they adopted a ‘no war no peace’ policy to tank the Eritrean economy; and they lined-up 300 thousand strong army to stretch thin and break the Eritrean border defense lines on the 900 km Ethio-Eritrean border. To give credit where credit is due – PFDJ leaders rose to the occasion, stood their ground, called every able Eritrean citizen for duty, fought every hurdle inside and outside Eritrea, and finally, they foiled Woyane’s regime change adventure. They told the Woyanes in no uncertain terms – it is Eritreans not the Woyane led government that decides who should/shouldn’t govern Eritrea. Yes, for a decade and half and still counting, not only the PFDJ government has defended man-to-man the 900 km Ethio-Eritrean border stretch, but also the 700 km borders along the Sudan and Djibouti, and the 2,300 km Islands (354) and coastal territories of Eritrea. And what are the Eritrean opposition calling, the call for duty and the obligation of every able Eritrean citizen to serve his/her country?National service is slavery; Sawa is a slave camp; National service is inhumane illegal and criminal; National service is forced labor; National service is cruel punishment, National service must stop; Eritrea doesn’t need large army….” – exactly like their handlers in Addis.

Dishonest Political position #4. They lobbied, volunteered their service and did everything in their power to empty the Nation of its young – by encouraging the young to drop their arms, abandon their construction projects, leave behind their love ones, and runaway from the “Hell on Earth Nation” they are living in. Then the young started trekking North by paying human traffickers, some as much as sixty thousand US dollars (Ransom at Sinai)  (Courtesy Sat – April 07, 2012). When the young started to suffer and die during their exodus to reach the “Land of Milk and Honey”, the Eritrean opposition told the Eritrean people, it is the PFDJ regime we all should blame for the exodus, death and suffering of our young. Yep – not the Western countries that are rewarding those who fled the country with permanent residence and citizenship; not the hostile policy of the Tigrean/Amara hardliners that is forcing our young to endure harsh trench life; not the Eritrean opposition that are sensationalizing the tragic death of those who didn’t make it while applauding as Heroes and Celebrities those who made it to “safety”; not the TV/Radio/Internet/Newspaper giants and personalities that are blasting the air and cyber waves to encourage our young to leave their country; not the Bedouin smugglers who are torturing and killing our young; not the family members who are financing their trip; not the young who made conscious decision and planning to take the risky-journey hoping to secure residence in the West; but the PFDJ regime – exactly like their handlers in Addis.

Now ask yourself: if the Eritrean opposition, are proud of their contribution to the sanction and isolation of the PFDJ regime (Eritrea) and if the Eritrean opposition are proud to support Ethiopia’s ‘no-war-no-peace’ policy (which they are), then, why are they blaming the PFDJ regime for the effects of the policies they proudly support? Isn’t the objective of sanction blockade and isolation to make people’s life miserable until they raise-up and overthrow their government – or until their government yields to the demands of foreign powers? Isn’t that exactly what the Tigrean/Amara hardliners are telling us every single day – No matter who you have as your leaders (PFDJ or Opposition), if you don’t yield to our demands (access to the Red Sea), we are going to make your life a living hell? Don’t we all know very well – ‘let’s talk about border demarcation’ is a code word for ‘let’s talk about Ethiopia’s right of access to the Red Sea? Now, knowing full well what the Tigrean/Amara hardliners are after, what are, the Eritrean opposition, willing to give Ethiopia that the PFDJ regime wouldn’t?

Is the opposition method of fighting the PFDJ regime justified? Are we supposed to be inspired by the Iraqi/Afghani/Libyan/Syrian/South Sudan types of opposition: sectarian and tools of foreign interests? Looking to the future – is this how a civilized Eritrean opposition ought to fight a ruling party? If the Eritrean opposition were to win and govern Eritrea tomorrow, what would they say to the Eritrean people, if the PFDJ supporters were to align their policy with foreign interests and fight them, the exact same way they are fighting the PFDJ regime today? Trust me – the answer is very obvious:  the opposition leaders would say and do the exact same thing the PFDJ regime has been doing and saying for the last decade and half. How do I know? I know for certain, because we’ve been down that road before. Let me explain the hypocrisy:

The Eritrean opposition misguided political positions, especially their position vis-à-vis the 1998 Ethio-Eritrean border war, is not an honest judgment mistake. It is a deliberate political move blinded by grudge and resentment. The top echelon of the Eritrean opposition who were riding on the back of Ethiopian tanks, are not some amateur politicians. They are seasoned politicians who could mentor me, you and more. They are not strangers to the intentions of Woyane; and they are not new to the Badme border conflict. They themselves were on the receiving end of Woyane’s evil brunt while EPLF leaders were having cigar with the Woyanes during their honeymoon. They just made a deliberate choice to sleep with the Woyanes simply because they loved power more than they loved their country and their people.

Again, most of the Woyane toadies (spare the Neo-Unionists) who are telling us today that the 1998 border war was ignited by Isaias Afewerki to flatter their Woyane bosses, are the same leaders/cadres who were sending me and my Tegadelti comrades to harm’s way to do the right thing: protect thousands of Eritrean citizens at the same contested areas (Badme areas) from the harassment, imprisonment, confiscation of properties, eviction and killings of innocent Eritrean citizens by the same Woyane leaders. These are the same leaders who were bitter at Isaias and co. for playing politics with the lives of innocent Eritreans and sovereign Eritrean territories. Now – since it was wrong for EPLF leaders to play politics with sovereign Eritrean territories then, since it was wrong for EPLF leaders to play politics with the lives of thousands of Eritrean citizens then, since it was wrong for EPLF leaders to invite the Woyanes into Eritrean internal conflict then, you would think the current opposition leaders (former ELF leaders and cadres) would have some decency to refrain from repeating the exact same mistakes EPLF leaders did in the early 1980s.

But guess what, the minute Woyane leaders flexed their muscle and pointed their gun at the PFDJ regime, all of a sudden, they all became changed men. In an instant, they dropped their principled position, wiped their tears, forgot all about their pain resentment and humiliating defeat, and made their pilgrimage to Addis in a hope to heal (restore) their wounded ego. And when they landed in Addis – to show (express) their submission, their obedience, and their affection to the Woyanes in no uncertain terms – they averted their eyes, tucked their tail tight, raised their haunch high, dipped their head low, and started licking Woyane boots, all in solicitation for power. And we all know what happened next: they headed North riding on the back of Ethiopian tanks, belching their offensive and noxious fumes in the face of the Eritrean people, all from the excess Kitfo and Teg they consumed in Addis and Mekele.

And just for the curious mind – what was Woyane’s justification to side with EPLF, to defeat and humiliate ELF in the early 1980s? Well, their justification was “we are not against Eritrea or the Eritrean people; we are against the incompetent ELF leaders”. And what is Woyane’s justification to humiliate, starve, bleed, conspire against, and occupy sovereign Eritrean lands today? Yes again, “we are not against Eritrea or the Eritrean people; we are against the incompetent PFDJ leaders”. And the Ghedli generation opposition leaders are cheering and dancing with passion to that recycled old Woyane-tune with no shame. What a pity!

Listen:  politicking and hypocrisy aside, had the Eritrean opposition leaders been in the position of the PFDJ regime in May 1998, they would have done the exact same thing PFDJ leaders did – probably a lot earlier (considering ELF-Woyane relation and the ethno-religious make-up of the two). If you want to know the truth, which I believe you do – it was never Isaias/PFDJ stupidity that got us into the 1998 border war, but the reality of a perfect political storm that was created by the vengeful Amara hardliners unbridled lust for revenge, and the conniving Woyane leaders political calculus to dominate and govern Ethiopia at the expense of the two people.

Again, no matter how you slice it and no matter from which angle you look at it, it will never be the removal of Isaias Afewerki or defeating the PFDJ regime that would solve the Ethio-Eritrean problem; because the problem has nothing to do with Isaias or the PFDJ regime. It has everything to do with – Western Powers’ desire – Ethiopia to play leadership role in the Red Sea Horn Region and Ethiopia’s desire to have access to the Red Sea to help Western Powers and help itself. And that problem is as old as Eritrea itself and it will remain as such for as long Ethiopia remains landlocked country. Therefore, at any given time, we may not know what kind of hostile policy Addis regimes would be cooking against Eritrea; but we know for sure, we will always need carefully crafted diplomacy that is flexible with time, and strong defense capability that’s ready at a moment’s notice. Strong defense: to protect what is rightly ours in a ghetto neighborhood – carefully crafted diplomacy: to manage to live in a relative peace between two killer jaws. And that is the Eritrean reality the opposition failed to understand.

Deki-Ere, when it comes to the 1998 Ethio-Eritrean border war:

  1. A.     Isaias ignited the 1998 border war is bogus argument that doesn’t pass a simple stress test.
  2. B.     Even if we assume Isaias/PFDJ leaders were wrong in every decision they made after May 05, 1998 – still, their response was right; because the 1998 war was nothing but a defensive war intended to protect Eritrea and Eritreans. 
  3. C.     Today, to the Tigrean/Amara hardliners, humiliating, defeating and dismantling PFDJ has become an obsession. But make no mistake, they will never, never, never.… find a friend like Isaias and an ally like the PFDJ regime on the Eritrean side for a long, long, long… time to come.
  4. D.    The 1998 Ethio-Eritrean border war was planned, instigated and declared by the Tigrean hardliners. The motive: grudge, territorial expansion, and most of all to secure legitimacy to govern Ethiopia.
  5. E.     The Ethio-Eritrean border commission (EEBC) was never a legal entity in search of finding the truth (if there is any) but a political body delegated to find a pragmatic political solution to the Ethio-Eritrean border conflict. 
  6. F.     The West sided with Ethiopia in the 1998 Ethio-Eritrean conflict, not because PFDJ Eritrea was wrong and Woyane’s Ethiopia was right, but because:

(a)   Western interest was better served by siding with Ethiopia

(b)   Allowing Ethiopia to prevail was the most pragmatic way to end the war.  

And making a compelling case argument for the above statements and more is the arguments of this article (PI). Let’s roll:


Argument #1:

‘The 1998 border war was ignited by Isaias’, is bogus argument

Nowadays, there are many people who would have us believe that the 1998 Ethio-Eritrean border war was ignited by Isaias Afewerki. In fact some have even the audacity to claim, that they could challenge anyone who dared to argue otherwise. Well, just for now, let me make partial rebuttal to the “Isaias Afewerki started the war” argument. They claim Isaias Afewerki singlehandedly ignited the 1998 border war. Fair enough; but – what is the roll of an individual leader in a given society – the roll of Isaias Afewerki in Eritrean politics and in the 1998 Ethio-Eritrean border war to be exact? Is it:  (a) Decisive role or (b) Important role but not decisive

A. Decisive Role: If you believe Isaias opinion is the only opinion that matters; if you believe Eritrean politics is a one man show that is run by arbitrary impulse of a one man (Isaias), then you have to explain the cognitive ability of the people you are insulting. You have to explain the intelligence of the people who supported the Eritrean government during the 1998 border war. You have to explain the cognitive ability of thousands PFDJ sympathizers and die-hard supporters all over the globe. I’ve heard people calling the PFDJ die-hard supporters – Komaros, goons, dummies, zombies, illiterate, lowlife souls…. If that is your line of argument, make your case. The burden to proof falls on you, to prove that you are in fact mentally superior to them. You have to explain the attributes and qualities that made you a thinking person who can distinguish right from wrong, while the PFDJ “dummies” lack that ability. And you won’t do that for one simple reason; because you’re dead wrong.

Let me be very blunt: Isaias is the villain, Isaias started the 1998 war, Isaias must go…. type arguments are arguments that don’t add any value to our national debate. Changing an individual leader doesn’t change anything. Blaming Isaias, the top 200, the top 2000 or the top 20,000 PFDJ leaders for all Eritrean ills is not a winning argument. Individual leaders are mirror images of their base; and everything they do/don’t do is shaped and influenced by their community. Individual leaders lead by spearheading the passion and aspiration of their constituency; PFDJ constituency in this case. And PFDJ is a political doctrine. PFDJ is a political doctrine that has evolved over the past five decades (before Nehnan Elamanan), and without a doubt Isaias has been one of its main architects. But the doctrine is neither dependent on the fate of Isaias nor is created by him. Isaias Afewerki never started a movement or ignited a fire; he was just instrumental in turning an existing flickering spark into a giant raging fire. Now tell me, to solve the problem, do you study the raging fire or the cause of the spark that created the raging fire?

Don’t blame Isaias Afewerki and his top men for all Eritrean ills, is not a political gimmick intended to defend Isaias and his top men. It is a smart, mature, and timely political argument that would revolutionize the way we see things and the way we run our political business. Isaias and his top men are ailing and frail men at their eleventh hour nearing the inevitable. But our colorful opinions, our attitude towards each other, and the issues that divide us will never, never, never…. be affected by their fate. Therefore, Eritrea is governed by the whim of one man; we have to rid Isaias to free our people…..type arguments, are arguments that don’t add any value to our national debate. Instead, these are arguments that inadvertently send wrong impression and false hope: Isaias is our problem and removing Isaias is the solution to our problem.

I hate tangential arguments, but the only people who put greater emphasis on the role/removal of an individual leader are foreign interests; because foreign governments don’t give a damn about the complex internal political-dynamics of a given nation. All they care is about their interest. And their interest could be protected by simply removing a single leader that is hostile to their interest, with a corrupted one who is willing to destabilize his/her country to serve their interests. And to that end, the Ethiopian intelligence and security agents are busy recruiting and pampering the – we are one Habesha one destiny and Ghedli is the source of all our miseries type Neo-Unionists – and the we have to appease Ethiopia to live in peace” type dead souls – in order to secure favorable concession from Eritrea: Access to the Red Sea. And by the same token, to secure their national interest and to promote their regional agendas, Western Powers have added on their payroll different brands of one-man/woman political entrepreneurs (“human rights advocates, faith-based charities, Journalists, TV/Radio/Internet warriors…”) that trash the PFDJ regime as their daily business to earn a living. And I admit, even though they are not attracting much of an Eritrean crowd, they sure are doing a hell of a job injecting our prescribed daily dose through our IVs for maximum effect.

In contrast, if we look at the Eritrean opposition who should count the most (the Islamic and ethnic organizations), they don’t see Isaias with the same prism foreign interests do. To the Eritrean ethnic and Islamic organizations, defeating Isaias the one-man doesn’t serve any purpose to their ultimate objective; because defeating Isaias is not their ultimate goal; defeating the Tigrigna clan and reversing the “Tigrignanization project” is. As far as they are concerned, the difference between Isaias and any leader from his clan is just the mustache (Al-Sheneb). That’s why they are not in a mood to talk about reform. That’s why they have made their central objective to defeat the PFDJ regime, to uproot the whole PFDJ infrastructure, and to outlaw PFDJ members from practicing politics – all through the barrel of a gun. And if you care to know, they have operational name for their mission: radical change. Now tell me, what value does it add to our National Debate, the – “Eritrea is suffering because of a one-man (Isaias) dictatorship”, “to save Eritrea Isaias must go” type arguments? None, none whatsoever; but for sure, until they reach the fork in the roadthe Islamists, the Christian Fundamentalists, the ethnic warriors, the Neo-Unionists, the foreign interests and the political entrepreneurs are all using the same megaphone to vilify the PFDJ regime. And they sure are louder than hell.

B. Important Role, Not Decisive: If you believe Isaias is just a charismatic leader of his base, like I do, then you are acknowledging that the problem is more than a one man problem and the solution is a whole lot more complex than removing the top man (Isaias). Since Isaias is a charismatic leader of a sizable constituency then his views and decisions are shared by many Eritreans. Therefore, the Eritrean opposition may not agree with the Isaias constituency, may not respect their opinions, may not like them, may hope wish prey and dream to marginalize them, but it is utterly foolish to fathom a peaceful, prosperous and democratic Eritrea without them.

Like it or not, PFDJ is a force to be reckoned with. It is too big, too important and too powerful to be ignored. The political significance and the political strength of the Eritrean opposition, is predicated on their political position towards the future of the PFDJ crowd. Having a platform that would defeat, dismantle and outlaw the whole PFDJ infrastructure is neither a winning strategy nor an intelligent way to govern a nation. To any pragmatic person, the – ‘we are going to defeat PFDJ by the barrel of a gun and we are going to weed out every PFDJ bigot….’ – type bravado could only be explained as an empty political rhetoric intended to attract the attention of a narrowly targeted constituency during desperate times; nothing more, nothing less.

Let’s face it: no matter what the Eritrean opposition thinks of the whole PFDJ thing, for million reasons, change is going to come only from inside Eritrea. And the Eritrean opposition leaders don’t have an iota of influence to engineer or shape the outcome of it. If the Diaspora based Eritrean opposition, are going have any role in Post-Isaias-Eritrea, it is going to be at the timing and at the goodwill of the Post Isaias PFDJ brand government. If that is the Eritrean political reality, then, what is the wisdom of talking tough (violent change) when in fact, your both hands are tied behind your back? Or simply, how could you defeat the PFDJ regime militarily to have it your way, when you don’t have the military might to get the job done? You just can’t. Of course there are those who would beg to differ, especially those who pray every single day facing South; but their prayer doesn’t have any buyer. Let me tell you why:

        Praying Facing South Is A Futile Quest To Bring Change

I know there are many people who would love to argue – violent regime change with active involvement of Ethiopia is still viable. And it sure is possible; but not probable. When it comes to violent regime change in Eritrea – the West doesn’t have any appetite for it, Ethiopia is incapable of successful regime change, and the Eritrean opposition organizations that advocate violent regime change are all stationed in Ethiopia. That is a fact. Now let’s make logical deduction from there. Knowing full well the desired end-result of the host and its financiers, we can say with absolute certainty, neither the Qyada Al-TewaEf who want to establish Hkuma Fedarelia nor the UmeraA Al-MuEminin who intends to establish Al-Dewla Al-Islamia that would AhKm Bil-Qannun SherEya are going to pop-up through Adwa, Tserona, Zalambessa – to defeat the PFDJ regime, impose their will, and govern their way. So, if the presumed Ahmed Chalabi is not from the Qyada Al-TewaEf or from the UmeraA Al-MuEmineen, then, where is this Southern poster-child going to hail from? Well, where else but from the Al-EtHadeeYun.

Now, if we accept the above premise to be valid premise, then we can conclude with certainty, any wind of Violent Regime Change that blows from the South is a change that doesn’t have any good choices but all awful; because for all intents and purposes any violent regime change that is engineered, directed, and overtly executed by Addis policymakers could only accomplish one and only one thing: empower the Neo-Unionists by destabilizing Eritrea. And the last thing we (Eritreans) want on our plate is Ethiopian boots on Eritrean ground with a mission to “liberate” us by empowering the Neo-Unionists. That’s why succumbing to Addis policymakers pressure threats and promises have proven to be the kiss of death for any Eritrean political opposition. And the Eritrean people have very good reason to be uneasy about Addis groomed political leaders. As the age-old saying goes “once bitten twice shy” would be a good way to put it.

Therefore, to spare ourselves from being “liberated” by Ethiopia, the prudent thing to do (to achieve regime change) would be to explore every possible option at our disposal – as long it doesn’t invite Ethiopian boots on Eritrean ground. And if we zoom-out our lens and look carefully at the colorful Eritrean political landscape from afar, we can clearly see all the numeric coordinates of our linear politics (violent, non-violent, PFDJ and all in between) – all in just one single flat plane. Sweet. Now, if we plot all the numeric coordinates and connect all the dots of every linear political formula in the Nation, we can see with clarity a single intersection (common thread) where all our linear politics cross (meet) the PFDJ regime straight line.

And that single intersection of our linear politics: the weary eyes that never stop staring the dark clouds on our Southern horizon, is the anchor-rope in our hearts that keeps pulling us towards the PFDJ regime, whenever Ethiopia roars from the south. That’s why, when the great majority of Eritreans (silent/non-silent, PFDJ/Non-PFDJ) shout for change, they also cry change to come only from inside Eritrea. Yep, no matter how imperfect the presumed change, no matter how long it takes, the great majority of Eritreans want change to come only from inside Eritrea. Not all out of love for Isaias Afewerki, not all out of love for PFDJ and its pillars, but all out of concern for Eritrea’s stability and all out of fear of relapsing back to the iron claws of our giant Southern neighbor – yes with the help of its Western allies again. Well, the concern of the “silent majority” seems valid; doesn’t it? Yes indeed, yes indeed!

But honestly it is not all that simple. To view everything through the prism of ‘fear of Ethiopia’ to the complex Ethio-Eritrean problem is a very simplistic and distorted way of looking at the whole Ethio-Eritrean problem. To be frank, the great majority of Eritreans don’t have any fear or hatred towards Ethiopians. The great majority of Eritreans are not against strong relation with Ethiopia. The fear is still there but “fear of Ethiopia (Addis regimes)” is not the only challenge to the Ethio-Eritrean problem. In fact trying to line-up the interest of all (Ethiopian, Eritrean, and Western) stakeholders is as daunting challenge as building trust between the two people and the two governments. Asmara and Addis policymakers could have a perfect agreement that could serve the best interest of both nations and still the agreement could be killed by anyone of the stakeholders. Let me explain the complexity of the problem just to prove a point:

Just for the sake of argument, let’s say an Eritrean delegation led by Isaias Afewerki went to Addis to hammer-out a deal with the EPRDF government. And let’s say after a marathon of meetings, they made breakthrough on their negotiation and said – ‘from now on there won’t be any hostility between Eritrea and Ethiopia; Ethiopia will have full access to Eritrean ports; the border issue is irrelevant; both Nations will use a single currency and single monetary policy; both nations will have integrated economy; people goods services and capital will flow freely between the two nations; all military security and intelligence missions would be coordinated and executed by a unified central command.…’. Now, in this hypothetical scenario, what would the reaction of every stakeholder, on both sides of the Mereb River and beyond be? Well:

  1. The Woyane “hating”, “demarcation loving” diehard PFDJ crowd would say – ‘it is time to mend fences and move on’. And in less than twenty four hours, they would be claiming victory and dancing in every town across the globe. No surprise there.
  2. The Eritrean Non-PFDJ ‘Silent Majority’ that claims to be – infuriated by Ethiopia’s refusal to demarcate the border and terrified by Ethiopia’s “evil intent”, would rally behind the PFDJ regime and join the party in no time – if any with a grain of salt. Shocking? I think not.
  3. The Eritrean ethnic and Islamic organizations (spare the Kunamas) would say “Hell No” – and would flee from Ethiopia in an instant (and we all know where). Reason: irrespective of its content, any agreement reached with Ethiopia by PFDJ or any agreement that would extend PFDJ’s lifeis null and void. That is a no brainer.
  4. Western Powers would say – ‘simply brilliant; new breed of African leaders; today you’ve proved to your people and to the whole world that you are courageous, democratic and visionary leaders – now go get the Islamic fundamentalists….’ But of course with a caveat: Isaias must go. And if the West is not on board, everything is dead. And you can bet your last penny on that.
  5. The Amara hardliners would fully support the agreement if and only if other than the Tigreans are at the helm – meaning them. But if the two “Tigrewoch” are at the helm, then the agreement is dead on arrival. And you can take that to the bank.
  6. The Tigrean hardliners would fully support the agreement if and only if they are threatened from their south. Always remember  – the cunning Tigrean hardliners would say የሕዋት ኢና(we’re brothers) if and only if (a) power is slipping away from them (b) their Killil (region) and their economic livelihood is threatened by their Southern rivals; which is around the corner. A……men.
  7. The rest (2/3) of the Ethiopian population don’t count. Tough life, but that is how business is done down under. No need to sugarcoat there.

Let me clarify two points: a) Western Powers love everything Isaias does; but in all likelihood, they are not going let him survive; not because he wouldn’t serve them well, but to send a clear message to other African “psychopaths, madmen, dictators, tyrants…” – the consequence of getting on the wrong side of the West. Again, the West is not interested in doing business with Isaias; the West is interested in doing business with someone exactly like Isaias. b) Any meaningful Ethio-Eritrean agreement that brings the two people closer could only be possible if and only if real power is shifted south of the Tigray Killil (Region) or in practical terms if and only if the Amaras are at the helm (or the Oromos????..). Any genuine political formula for peace between Eritrea and Ethiopia is inversely related to the distance between Asmara and the dominant ethnic in Addis. Anything else is just a waste of time. Make no mistake: we are where we are, because, the vengeful Amara hardliners are not ready to make peace with Eritrea and the cunning Tigrean hardliners can’t deliver peace even if they want to. And that is the stone cold truth. Now you know the players, the stakes and how any stakeholder could derail any Ethio-Eritrean forward progress. And all are self explanatory statements – except one:

 Why Does The Eritrean Silent Majority Always Side With The Isaias Regime?

And the answer is very simple: the Eritrean ‘silent majority’, are very sober very wise and very pragmatic people. Their support for Isaias has nothing to do with worshiping him, seeing him as their demigod, or lack of understanding his mistakes and misdeeds. They know Isaias is an ordinary man who has his share of mistakes. But still they support him because they are rational people; and rational people justify regime change only after they quantify cost benefit analysis. They are rallying behind the Isaias/PFDJ regime because the alternative to Isaias/PFDJ is the dead-end parochial politics of the Eritrean opposition or even worse – entrusting Eritrean sovereignty to the Ghedli-denigrating Neo-Unionists. Therefore, since all the Eritrean opposition could offer to the Eritrean people is either Parochial or Unionist politics, the Eritrean people are left with no other choice but to remain with the better alternative: PFDJ. Because, embracing the 1940s and early 1950s toxic politics is nothing but a threat to our National Security, an obstacle to our unity and an impediment to our forward progress.

Just to prove how detrimental the Eritrean opposition politics is to the very existence of Eritrea, let’s forget for a moment all Eritrea’s challenging issues (land, political Islam, ethnic politics, refugees, equitable distribution of power, language…) and stay laser focused on one single issue: the Ethio-Eritrean political conundrum. To show how wrong the Eritrean opposition political position is, and to solve the Ethio-Eritrean problem, well, let’s first identify the real cause of the problem. And for those who want to know the real cause of the problem or for those who want to challenge this writer – this is the crux of the Ethio-Eritrean problem.

The current Ethio-Eritrean problem doesn’t start and end with Isaias, PFDJ, or Ethiopia. It starts and ends with the West (US). Eritrea’s current problem is not internal governing problem. It is regional policy problem. Anyone who thinks, the West is against the PFDJ regime because PFDJ is mistreating its citizens (lack of democracy) is either extremely naïve, stupid, paid agent or is someone with hidden agenda. Please, don’t consider yourself more worthy than you really are. Western Powers are not in the business of spreading democracy to your African neighborhoods. Western powers don’t give a damn how an African government is governing (treating) its citizens. Western powers wouldn’t care if an African government kills half of its population with machetes in one week. But they would have a problem if their national interest or the regional policy they designed to serve their national interest is threatened. It is that simple. Don’t get me wrong; Isaias/PFDJ has never been Anti-West; is not now; and will never be. The West is reprimanding Isaias/PFDJ for one simple reason: out of frustration, Isaias/PFDJ refused to follow the script. Yes, for the same damn game, and for the same damn rules, Isaias/PFDJ wanted to play with the wrong team at the wrong stage. That’s what got him in trouble with the stage manager that is coordinating the whole aspects of the theater. That’s what got him at odds with the lead actor and its teammates that are sweating and bleeding day-in and day-out doing their part – per the written script. And the lead-actor on the performing stage is none other than the PFDJ arch-enemy, the region’s thorn in the flesh, the darling of the West: Ethiopia. Now what does that mean?

That means the solution to our current predicament is entangled with how we play with Addis policymakers on Regional issues – again not on how we govern ourselves. And there is no detour on this route. Western Powers are not going stop outsourcing their regional projects to the likes of Ethiopia; because it is cheaper and less obvious (will give African face to their intervention). And the Aid addicted Tigrean/Amara hardliners are not going to stop terrorizing their people and their neighboring countries; because in their Aid addicted rotten mind, the fastest way to economic growth and prosperity is, to get high with Western Aid money. That’s why they are causing mayhem and destruction on the whole Horn Region – every time they smell bacon. But that is unsustainable. True, with or without Ethiopia, the West will be fine; but if the current status quo continues, Eritrea and Ethiopia would eventually be destabilized.  Let me explain:

For Eritrea it won’t be Ethiopian’s ‘no-war-no-peace’ policy (because no-war-no-peace policy punishes landlocked Ethiopia more than it does to Eritrea) or the economic hardship from sanction that would break its back. It is the unbalanced and unsustainable exodus of its young that would destabilize it; and probably even make it a failed state. Meaning, if the current trend continues for a decade or more, the Eritrean ethno-religious demography would be altered in a big way. As a result, Eritrean Muslims will have a commanding majority in the Nation. To reflect the reality on the ground, the underrepresented Muslim majority will rise-up demanding their fare share of power (and rightly so). And at that point, if ethnic Tigrignas refuse to accept change, misread/miscalculate the tide of change, or feel threatened by the tide of change – they will react with violence to the Muslim uprising and that would lead into a disastrous civil war. I hope I’m wrong, but if the Eritrean ethno-religious demography is altered in a big way, neither the current opposition-brand line of thinking nor the current PFDJ-brand style of governing, is capable of walking Eritrea through smooth transition to reflect the new reality on the ground. Therefore, if the Eritrean government fails to reform itself and change direction soon, and if the Eritrean opposition fails to reject the politics of Islam and the politics of zero-sum game, then Eritrea would definitely go through the experience of ELF 1975 – 1977 and would eventually end-up with the experience of ELF 1980 – 1981 (Ethiopia siding with the obvious faction). And if that happens, we all (Eritreans and Ethiopians) will end-up being losers.

For Ethiopia, it won’t be the lack of love from Western powers that would destabilize it. It would be the never-ending war and hatred towards its neighbors and the three million plus (on average) new blood that would be added to its workforce every single year in a sluggish economy that would destabilize it. Sluggish economy because Ethiopia can’t be at war with itself and its neighbors, and still enjoy vibrant economic growth all at the same time. Mind you:  it won’t be Foreign Aid; it won’t be subcontracting Western projects; it won’t be constant conflicts and hostilities with neighboring countries – but peaceful cooperation and cross border trading with every country in the Red Sea Horn Region that would make landlocked Ethiopia an African Economic Tiger. And doing business with Eritrea is the easiest of them all.  Landlocked Ethiopia is not going to achieve economic miracle leaving the whole Horn Region behind. At best landlocked Ethiopia could only be as prosperous as its neighbors, as peaceful as its neighbors, and as stable as its neighbors. And that’s not all: Ethiopia that doesn’t have access to the Sea, Ethiopia that doesn’t have strong allies in the region, Ethiopia that is surrounded by a raging fire, Ethiopia that is struggling to get by; Ethiopia that is dependent on Foreign Aid… worthless to the West. The implication: well, Eritrea and Ethiopia have to talk. Eritrea and Ethiopia have to make policy adjustments. Eritrea and Ethiopia have to establish close relation that’s based on mutual respect. And the sooner the policymakers of both nations understand this, the better for both nations and for the whole Horn region.

And to the Eritrean silent majority, that is where the Isaias factor comes more than ever. To understand the Isaias factor, let’s think about our fears and let’s contemplate the inevitable: Tango dancing with Ethiopia with close body contact and hands wrapped around each other’s waist. Well, we all love to have good relation with Ethiopia, but this time around we all want to make it right. And to make it right, our policy adjustment must be a policy that benefits our people economically; and it must be a policy that doesn’t compromise our sovereignty, our territorial integrity and our national security. Therefore, when we negotiate with Ethiopia, as a small/weaker nation (compared to Ethiopia and its allies), we would be better served as a Nation and as a people at least, at least, at least….if we fulfilled the following three basic criteria.

  1. It is in the best interest of every Eritrean, when our government negotiates peace with Ethiopia while having united people, a stable country, a vibrant national economy and a strong defense capability.
  2. It is in the best interest of every Eritrean, when all agreements reached with Ethiopia are – fully documented, transparent, approved by the great majority of Eritrean Muslims, and signed in front of guarantors and independent witnesses.
  3. It is in the best interest of every Eritrean, when all agreements reached with Ethiopia, are agreements – that don’t allow Ethiopian troops on Eritrean territory; are time sensitive; (must have starting and ending (renewal) date); are reversible and achievable.

And that is where it gets tricky: Forget while weak and divided, even when united and strong, always the odds are stacked against small/weak nations when they try to achieve meaningful agreements with bigger nations. Small nations, even if they do everything by the book, still, signing an agreement (new) that serves the best interest of their people or reversing an existing agreement that doesn’t serve the interest of their people is always an uphill battle. And there is another cruel reality. Small/weak nations, not only, are pressured to make damning concessions during negotiations, but also, even if they want to implement the agreed-upon (stipulated obligations) signed-agreements, they are always left-out in the cold by the supposedly witness and guarantor nations. Case in point: Ethio-Eritrean federation and Ethio-Eritrean border agreement. Therefore, this time around, when we negotiate with Ethiopia, we have to do it once and we’ve to get it right the first time; because we can’t afford to repeat our past mistakes. And if history is a guide, honoring agreements is not the Tigrean/Amara hardliners strong suit.

That’s why we say, it is imperative Eritrea to have a strong defense capability; that’s why we say our borders must be clearly delineated and demarcated with all our neighbors. That’s why we say we shouldn’t give any excuse for any foreign troops to be in sovereign Eritrean territories. For instance, if a corrupted Eritrean regime signs an agreement to have Ethiopian troops on sovereign Eritrean territory for a period of ten years, not only it is next to impossible for Eritrea to reverse that agreement, but also Eritrea would definitely lose its political independence as a result of that agreement – unless of course global powers pressured Ethiopian troops to pack and leave – which is very unlikely. Case in point: Syrian troops in Lebanon. Now let’s see how the Eritrean opposition leaders and their cadres are running their political business.

Instead of working towards economically strong Eritrea the opposition are hell bent to destroy Eritrea’s economy; instead of working towards united people they want to erect walls between faiths ethnics clans and sub-clans; instead of secular politics they want to introduce ethnic politics and political Islam; instead of strengthening our current defense capability they want to destroy our current defense capability through civil war; instead of negotiating with Ethiopia while united and strong they want to negotiate with Ethiopia while weak divided and vulnerable (in Asmara state palace surrounded by Ethiopian tanks), instead of embracing work ethic I can do it attitude and self reliance, they call these Eritrean attributes and traits slavery; instead of fighting for Eritrean sovereignty and territorial integrity, they condone Ethiopia’s occupation of Eritrean lands, instead of believing-on the obligation of every Eritrean citizen to serve his/her country, they call the obligation of every citizen to serve – illegal, criminal, slavery, inhumane….

Now let’s compare PFDJ leaders and their cadres to the opposition leaders and their cadres. With all their blemishes, there is one, time-tested distinguishing quality PFDJ leaders and their cadres’ posses which no one could dare deny. They have consistently defended Eritrean sovereignty; they have consistently defended Eritrean territorial integrity; and they have consistently fought for the best interest of Eritrea the best they know how. And they have a bloody nose and a black eye to prove it. Now tell me – in the last thirty five years, what have the Eritrean opposition leaders and their cadres done to defend Eritrea? When was their proudest moment in their three and half decade journey? Now, can you see why the Ghedli Generation Eritrean opposition is in irreversible coma today? I do.

About Semere Tesfai

Check Also

Eritrean Leader’s Sandcastle Play

Eritrean president Isaias Afewerki recently ventured out of his hideout at Adi Halo near Asmara …

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Sam G.
    What was and is Eritrean cause? Give me the answer and then, I will sort out an answer to you, except don’t tell me to follow the instruction Of the despot, whom you seem advocate to his defense.

  • salyounis

    Let this be a lesson in “rule of law.” You see, rule of law depends on parties acting in good faith and the jury using facts and evidence to reach a verdict.

    1. Semere Tesfai: a simple “I screwed up!” will do. All this “my dog ate my homework” and “kemish adey hanqwiluni” is just petty and low-rent, no class. Just say, “I messed up.” The long stories about how busy you are (as if nobody else is) and the convoluted stories about browsers just make you sound old and detached from technology and you are inadvertently feeding into the paranoid sentiments of Chegwar Danga. Just say the truth: i don’t check my emails as often as I should. And all that “my side of the story” talking abut an awate Disqus vs an awate admins…grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr there is no frigging awate disqus admin. Dear god. All the ranting and raving you did about the Eritrean opposition can be summarized as “deficiency of character.” And the irony here is that when YOUR character was tested over something with far less stakes: you displayed deficiency in character and class. Physician, heal thyself.

    2. Dawit: really, there is no way I would want you into a jury pool. You are one of those people who doesn’t take facts at face value: you have to dig deeper and deeper and weave a conspiracy theory. We were trying to spare Semere (an awate contributor) the embarrassment of making public a private issue. The private issue was a simple question: we have a posting guideline which says we do not allow cross-posting in multiple websites. If an article is posted in multiple websites (awate and another website) we want to know: was that because the author re-submitted the article to another website? Was that because the other website stole the article? And the only person who can answer the question is the author. Based on the author’s response, we take a decision. If the author says, “yes, I posted it at another website”, we remove the article from our website. If the author says, “no, I didn’t post the article at another website”, the article remains at our website an we ask the other site to respect publishing etiquette. It is that simple. In this particular case, the entire “drama” of us waiting, and waiting, is because Semere Tesfai chose not to check his email and we chose not to to communicate with him in a public forum because he is a long-time contributor to

    3. Now that Semere Tesfai has given us a belated but definitive answer, we will deal with the websites. All of you legalistic types, come one: here were are talking about websites that not only swiped the article but the graphics we created for it. One of the biggest contributing factors to Eritrea’s decline in the estimation of the world is that the mafia regime controlling it has no respect for property rights. In cyberspace, it is common to re-publish articles: but it is done with attribution. By citing sources. To put it in a language you will understand, it is done the way “all africa” for example published shabait articles.

    4. Posting Guidelines. We have a posting guidelines about cross-publishing and we ARE going to consistently enforce it. Here it is: please refer to section that deals with articles that appear at awate and other websites:

    • dawit

      I would not volunteer to serve in your court. { “We simply decided to disable to comments section (while we waited for his response) and we kept the article published. We thought that was a fair bargain”}: Your reasons to keep the article remain published while disabling the comment is the reason for the conspiracy theories. Please no more ‘dog ate my homework’ reasons. There is no bargain in hostage taking, there is only a demand and an ultimatum . Just say we are sorry we messed up end of story.

      • salyounis


        The feeling is mutual: we wouldn’t want you anywhere in our jury:)

        What are you talking about? Semere Tesfai clearly said that while he has all the time in the world to read and remain engaged in the comments section of his article, he had no time at all to read our email and respond to it. We had every reason to believe that his ignoring of our email was deliberate and he had submitted his article to other websites and he was trying have the best of all worlds: navigating in the pro-PFDJ and pro-justice worlds.

        Like I said, in 13 years of publishing articles, we have never had that kind of convoluted explanation why somebody was not responding to our email. Not even from our authors in sub-Saharan Africa. So we did something that ultimately drew his attention: suspend the comments section of his article. Our readers could STILL reader his articles; could STILL comment their views about it (in other threads) but he, as an author, now had his attention drawn. Without it, I am convinced that weeks and months would have passed with him telling us incoherent stories about his Explorer/Firefox/Safari/Chrome.

        He messed up: instead of giving a clear “I messed up” explanation, he has been giving his incoherent explanations (this time, thank God, without the bold, italicized, underlined versions.) This, of course, feeds into the suspicious, paranoid mindset that exists in Eritrean cyberspace and exhibit A in that is you: dawit.


        • dawit

          “Our readers could STILL reader hisarticles; could STILL comment their views about it (in other threads) but he,as an author, now had his attention drawn”. Still you try to avoid why you acted as a terrorists taking a hostage and issued an ultimatum to the author. You don’t take ‘other bus’ to Mendefera if your destination is Keren. You could have left the comment go on and deal with the author directly
          by preventing him from commenting. All the comments pass through you desk. How
          difficult is to censor the author, unless you also had problem with Firewall/ Explorer/Firefox/Safari/Chrome just like the author? Please just say we goofed up end of conversation. Don’t try to color your answers with insults, if you can’t defend your answer, which is sign of people who suffer from ignorance or paranoid mindset that exists in Eritrean cyberspace and exhibit B in that is you: saay.

          • Zegeremo

            “Please just say we goofed up end of conversation.” Well Dawitom, why don’t yous say I hate Awate Team end the conversation? Or, you could choose not to overreact to a mistake. Hypocrite!!

          • dawit

            zegeremo, I don’t hate Awate Team, in fact I respect them for their good effort
            for giving Eritreans to express their ideas and discuss issues that matters
            most to them. I also don’t dwell on ‘Semere’s mistake’. If at all I am glad
            that his article appeared in other Eritrean website, whether by design, by default or mistake .
            I am participating at to push them to their ideals ‘INSPIRE, EMBOLD
            and RECONCILE” Eritreans. Only who concerned about your welfare criticize you and not those who hate you who may encourage to repeat your mistakes

          • salyounis

            Selamat Dawit: Look at you, just because you used words like “terrorists”, “hostage”, “ultimatum” doesn’t change the facts. Fact 1: The author ignored our repeated appeals to respond to our email (private and public.) Fact 2: The author argued that he didn’t have the time to check his email because he was too busy reading and responding to comments written in response to his article. Even when he was publicly told to check his email (because we didn’t want to make this issue public) he ignored it and ASSUMED that it had something to do with his user name, etc. In view of these facts, we had choices: (a) to do nothing (which is to say to ignore our own posting guidelines about duplicate postings) and wait indefinitely for him to respond: (b) to un-publish his article (which means including all comments posted todate; (c) to keep the article published but to close the comments section until we get clarification from him. We chose the latter. Your proposal (suspending his posting privileges only) would not have worked because the issue was what was keeping him so busy from replying to our email was that he was too busy READING and replying to the comments. Making him into a victim (as an author) and making yourself as a victim (as a reader/commenter) may give you some satisfaction but it is one that is not based on the facts.

          • dawit

            Selam Salyounis,
            I did not make the fact, I read them from your
            postings, and I reacted based on what I read, especially when several of your hardliners
            supporters calling for the article to be removed from the website. Ok, the
            words and phrases I used to describe the situation may have offended you, I am
            sorry, but that the way I perceived it. All I am saying now the disabling of
            the comment section was wrong; it disrupted the flow of the discussions brought
            by the article, because you preferred to enforce your publishing guide lines.
            Fine, but you had an alternative other ways, but you have hard time accepting
            that and you keep telling us what the author did or didn’t. Perhaps this controversy will help you if you encounter similar incidents.



    • Daw!t

      By deciding to ” disable the comments section” while leaving the article published, the moderator did not really punish the author. The moderator, instead, punished the readers by not allowing them to make comments. Here is a popular Swahili proverb that perhaps describes the quarrel : “When two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers.”

  • Fenomeno


    Nice article, for the author I have question about the statement below:

    “It is the unbalanced and unsustainable exodus of its young that would destabilize it; and probably even make it a failed state. Meaning, if the current trend continues for a decade or more, the Eritrean ethno-religious demography would be altered in a big way. As a result, Eritrean Muslims will have a commanding majority in the Nation”

    What you are saying is that the relative number of non-muslim youth getting out of Eritrea is significantly higher than that of the muslim youth. Is this based on facts or do you have any other reason to assume this? If yes, do you have any idea that could explain this difference? Looking at first hand sight to the situation (non-muslim leadership) the other way around would sound more logic.

    • Semere Tesfai


      “What you are saying is that the relative number of non-muslim youth
      getting out of Eritrea is significantly higher than that of the muslim
      youth. Is this based on facts or do you have any other reason to assume

      To the first question: yes. The reason: traditionally, when having a chance, ethnic Tigrignas (Christians) prefer to go to the West and Eritrean Muslims prefer to go to the Arab World. Today, the demand for Eritrean labor in the Arab world is almost non existent but the demand for Eritreans in the Western world is more than Eritrea has ever seen in its existence. And ethnic Tigrignas are flocking to the West in record numbers.

      To your second question: no. I don’t have any statistical data to prove my claim (concern). But, I don’t think it is that hard to see my concern. If you have two barrels, both filled to the top with fruits – one with grape fruits and the other with lemons, you don’t need an expert to tell you that – you have more lemons (in number) than grape fruits. And if you are in doubt, all you have to do is, take a basket full from each barrel – count and compare. Now, if we do statistical sampling of Eritreans – in Ethiopia, all Sub-Saharan Africa, Israel, Australia, Europe and North America, I believe, on average, ethnic Tigrignas would out-number other Eritrean ethnics (Muslims) combined by at least seven to one. Meaning in the above mentioned Eritrean communities, ethnic Tigrignas are 70% or higher in number, comparing to all Eritrean Muslims.

      Now, let’s compare the other side of the equation: the number of Eritreans in Sudan, North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. And just for the sake of argument let’s say, as we speak, the Muslim/Christian ratio in these Eritrean communities is 70% or higher Muslims, and 30% or lower Christians. And just for the sake of Argument, let’s say, if we combined all Eritreans outside Eritrea today, the Muslim/Christian ratio is almost the same. Well, that might be true, but there are also other factors that need consideration.

      1. The exodus of Eritrean Muslims happened in a period of almost fifty years (started1966). The exodus of Eritrean ethnic Tigrignas happened in the last 35 years (since 1980)
      1. The exodus of ethnic Tigrignas is not going to stop any time soon. Even in Post Isaias Eritrea, it is fair to anticipate, more Eritreans to migrate to the West due to – family re-union, marriage, the economic imbalance and the willingness of the West to take more Eritreans. And that would affect the number of ethnic Tigringas (Christians) in the country more than all other ethnics combined.

      2. Eritreans in Sub-Saharan Africa, Europe, Australia and North America (predominantly Christians) are not coming back home; because they are/will be, naturalized citizens; but Eritreans in Sudan, North Africa and at the Arabian Peninsula (mostly Muslims) won’t have any other choice but to come back home; because even if they want to stay, the Arabs are not going to allow them to be Arab citizens. To make life even easier for Eritrean Muslims, the largest concentration of Eritrean Muslim refugees (quarter of a million or more) is in Sudan at the Sudan/Eritrean border. And no Eritrean government in its right mind, is going to deny them their right to return home. And that change of Eritrean ethno-religious reality (which is no fault of Eritrean Muslims) is going to affect Eritrean politics in a big way.

      If yes, do you have any idea that could explain this difference? Looking
      at first hand sight to the situation (non-muslim leadership) the other
      way around would sound more logic.

      Yes, one would think the logical thing would be just that, (Christians/ethnic Tigrignas) leaving their country because of repressive Islamic regime. Or having Tigrigna (Christian) dominated regime would result in, Eritrean Muslims leaving the country in higher numbers. But that is not the case. And there is another claim that is being made by the Eritrean opposition. The Eritrean opposition would want us to believe, Eritreans are leaving home because life is hell in Eritrea. But both claims are far from truth. And this is the fact: the PFDJ government is ethnic Tigrigna (Christian) dominated government. The Eritreans that are flocking to the West are the base of the PFDJ regime (ethnic Tigrignas). The proof: Diaspora Eritreans (the “victims”) are the backbone of the PFDJ regime. That’s why most of the Eritrean opposition, especially those who have framed their politics on ethnic and Islamic politics, are not getting any traction in the ethnic Tigrigna (Christian) dominated Western Diaspora. Even when many of the ethnic Tigrignas in the West are having negative view of the PFDJ government, they are not buying the ethnic politics and political-Islam brands of the Eritrean opposition. And there is nothing the ethnic and Islamic based Eritrean oppositions in the West can do, when they are only about 10-20% of the Eritrean population in the Western Diaspora.

      To me, the reason ethnic Tigrignas are flocking to the West is mostly economic imbalance, marriage and family re-union more than political persecution. If given a choice, who wouldn’t want to live in the West? Who wouldn’t take the risky journey to secure residence in the West? Even when in the West, Eritreans are not in Greece, Portugal, Spain…. They are highly concentrated in the wealthy Western countries: America, Canada, Germany. Great Britain, Norway, Sweden… I hope I answered your question. Thanks.

      • Fenomeno

        Thank you for your response.

        The way you put it, Muslim youth/population outnumbering non-Muslim youth/population in the future (by far) seems like a legitimate “concern”.

    • Miriam

      I thought about that same line and I think Semere’s sources are suspect here….it is the Muslim population that has suffered the most in Eritrea today. The highlanders are completely in-cognizant of this fact.

    • Nitricc

      I do believe the Christians are fleeing in droves than Eritrean Muslims. I personally believe it is good in a way so that the Eritrean Muslims could catch up in the nations business. The more the Christians leave the more the Muslims and low landers get the opportunity. But if you need an evidence of more Christians leaving the country
      Read the list of the drowned Eritreans in cost Italy. How many Muslim names did you read there? Go figure!

      • dawit

        Or can we assume that more Moslem Eritreans are comfortable
        with Eritrean leadership and willing to stay home to rebuild and defend their country,
        while Christian Eritreans fall victims of the barrage of propaganda directed to
        Eritrean youth prefer to abandon it? Whatever the reasons I wish all Eritreans
        stay home and rebuild their country and enjoy the fruit of the generation
        struggles in an independent and free Eritrea rather live in exile. God Bless


        • Nitricc

          Dawit you don’t have to assume, that is the fact. The leadership has the vision of equal footing with all Eritrean citizens across the nation. The elites did not like the idea of equal footing and they trun their back against the government and started leaving the country while the Muslims stayed put in their country.
          The goverment has done comandeble work in distributing the resources of the country.
          As a result Asmara has become the least populated capital city of Africa.
          Normally the Africans would like to built the capital city to affluence and as a result the rest of country is ignored and people will head to the capital because that is where the action is, as a result of the capital city are crowded and the population explodes. This is not the case in Eritrea. The government of Eritrea has not built a single new building in Asmara while schools and heath care centers are in every rural Villegas.
          Right now if you took Addis, it’s booming and it has over six million residents; for comporeson, the entire Eritrean population lives in Addis. Why is every one flaking to Addis? Because that where the action is.

          • dawit

            My friend Nitricc, what you wrote about Eritrea and Ethiopia is partially true. I have visited both countries recently. I was impressed by the development projects in Eritrea throughout the country overcoming the tremendous economic blockade it faces. Its progress would have been
            astronomical if it had peace with Ethiopia. Obviously Asmara needs a face lift. Several buildings and side roads need urgent repairs, delaying to do the necessary maintenance will make matters more expensive in the long run. There is also need for affordable housing and rent control. The housing shortages is acute, it has to keep up with natural population growth of the city. The water and electricity is annoying. But in general Eritrea is doing the best with what it has taking care of everyone.

            On the Ethiopian side you are right Addis is booming with constriction projects everywhere, the whole city is dug up haphazardly. The city is losing its historical character and replacing it with something else. The whole city is a big Merkato, everyone is selling something on the side of the road. Other towns, Awassa, Nazret, Bahir Dar and Makale are also growing. I also saw many road projects in the
            West and South of the country constructed by Chinese and Koreans companies. There are several higher education institutions in many places, including a big teaching hospital in Jimma and Makale Institute of Technology in Tigrai.

            A single person Alamudi owns virtually every big and small business in the country, construction, transportation, agriculture, mining, banking, tourism, hotels, factories, gas stations, rental cars etc. He even owns the public park built by Haile Selassie in front of the Africa Hall! I saw several greenhouses
            owned by Dutch and Indian companies near the road to Holeta and Awasa. I don’t know how Ethiopia allowed a handful of individuals control virtually all the economic resources of the country where so many young students gave their lives to have equitable distribution of land to the population in 60s and 70s. Haile Selassie, his family and his feudal land lords did not own a fraction of this individual owns to day! Obviously Ethiopia could have done a lot better if it had peace with Eritrea; the poverty level is very alarming; the rural Ethiopia is still same place where Haile Selassie left it or worst, without land, electricity and running water. Of course corruption is still rampant.

  • Hayat Adem

    Haw Semere,
    I gather the publishers had ONLY ONE question for you and you answered their question.
    Here, nothing controversial that necessitates “my side, your side”- other
    than the communication gap that forced the publishers to resort to the
    public forum to alert the author.
    However, at one point earlier, you said, “As to the case between me and Awate, they wanted me to do few things. It took me longer time and I chose to be quite until I finish. If you want more on this, ask the Awate Team.” Your phrases such as “few things” and “longer time” made it sound as if there were more things to handle than the ONLY ONE (duplication) we later came to understand. What “few things” were you referring to, if you don’t mind my asking?
    Thanks, Hayat.

    • Nitricc

      Okay; how exactly is this, your concern or what is to you? Sometimes it is nice to mind your own freaking business. The matter is done and dealt with; move on!

      • Hayat Adem

        Like you, I also thought the matter was dealt and settled. But the author has addressed you and me with his “my side story”. That means he is not satisfied with the story as told by Awate Team- thus opening the window for me to inquire if there were in fact any sides other than the one question raised and answered and acknowledged that it had been answered. It is not going to kill him explaining for me what he meant by “few things” that dealing with them took him longer than planned. And if he doesn’t want to say anything about it, it is still fine with me. But it is not unfair to ask people to explain their own words, or is it?

    • Semere Tesfai


      I don’t want this thing to be an issue. I want it to end there. I hope this is the last thing I have to write about this. But to answer your question, the computer I use – to write and comment at Awate is a business computer. I write and comment at awate using a business computer. And as you can imagine I receive and send e-mails almost every day.
      The reason I said “few things” and “longer time” is because when the Awate Team said “Semere, still you have not responded to the questions we asked you” and “We have no intention to discuss author/publisher issues in public. Please reply urgently” I was under the impression they were talking about my e-mail, password, user name, profile, avatar, Awate face book….etc. Because I was commenting as a guest (which I’m still doing it) and I taught, me as a writer, commenting as a guest – the Awate Team didn’t like it. And I was under the impression I was doing something wrong, regarding the Disqus questions, because like everybody else, I’m trying to cruse my way through the maze of Awate 7.0 version. That’s all. I hope I answered your question.

      • Hayat Adem

        You did. And thank you. Sealed.

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Is this defensive explanation or a qualified apology? Are you saying that While you had enough time to respond to commentators but you haven’t had time to call or e-mail to the team? Waygud busy when you are not busy!! In fact this shows a reflection of your odd alliance with PFDJ- project. But then what can we expect from the political house of PFDJ except to cook defensive explanations.a usual. Sincerity and truthfulness is disappeared from the front of your side.

        • Sam G.

          Aite Emma Hidrat
          And since when have been sincere and honest when it comes to Eritrean Cause?

  • Semere Tesfai

    Selam All:

    Hoping the Awate Team won’t have a problem, let me explain briefly my side of the story.

    1. When the Awate Team sent me an e-mail – true I didn’t check my e-mail for two days. Reason: like all of you, I visit Eritrean websites whenever I have time. And whatever time I had then, since I promised my readers to defend every word every phrase and every sentence of my article, all my attention was focused on the comments that were coming.
    2. On January 23, after I was away from my computer for long hours (work related) I saw the Awate public message on the comment section. As you can see, I said sorry to the Awate Team publicly for not checking my e-mail. Then I checked my e-mail and the only e-mail I had was from the Awate Disqus Team. I thought their questions were the ones on the Disqus question, which are the – user name, password, profile, avatar…. and after I completed what was required, I asked for response repeatedly but didn’t get any response from the Awate Disqus Team at all. Later I found out Disqus is different company outside – Awate the website. Between January 24 and January 28, I sent combined ten e-mails (to the Awate Webmaster, to articles@awate and to the Awate Disqus Team). I got one response on January 26 (Sunday night) asking me – if I have sent a duplicate copy to other websites. The next day (Monday January 27) I told them “no I didn’t send duplicate copy to any website other than Awate”. The next day, they said “we are satisfied” on top of the article as you can see.
    3. First I thought my e-mail was not receiving incoming e-mails – I even apologized to the Awate Team; but when I checked my e-mails, I was getting e-mails from everybody with no interruption. Just to make sure, on Monday (Jan. 27) I asked my IT to check my e-mail if there was any problem; they checked and said there was none. And to this day I haven’t done anything to my e-mail. That’s my side of the story. Thank you for listening.

    Hawkhum Semere Tesfai

    • Reality

      Bro Semere,
      I do not think you should have gone thus far.The Awate team has a motivation from the beginning after all.
      Mind you, your article exposed the facts and embarrassed the so called Opposition, including this website and its Team.
      I ask you to post one more article exposing the Truth about this website and its team based on what they said and did:
      1-The de facto civil war declaration against the High Landers and Christians
      2-The role of this website and its team as a mouth -piece of the so called Opposition including the Jihadist Extremists
      An example: The Terrorsit Activities of the Al Islah al Islamia in Barka and that of Red Afars was presented as a Breaking Success news.
      3-The role of this website and its team at Hawassa and Debre zeit
      4-The endorsement of the Ethnic and Religion based Opposition groups by this website and its team
      5-the role of this website and its Team in petitioning, rallying, endorsing of the devastating Sanctions against Eritrea.-The vistis to Ethiopia, Qatar,Australia–London–etc–in the name of Activism
      6-The unnecessary risky approach about the Langauges in Eritrea–as if Arabic was banned from Eritrea and if islam and its followers have been targeted selectively,when in fact, the other way round was true–that Christianity and Christians have been targeted the worst!
      7-The dangerous approach of claiming to be the” Deciples of Peace and Reconcialiation” but acting otherwise differently in practice.” declaring war on High Landers and Christians”–the last attempt declared by the Weyanes as a means of destroying Eritrea.
      Ato Hayat Adem(Sal Younis??),
      Please be nice to Semere and respect him as a citizen and challenge the facts he presented to you.
      As usual,typical Eritrean politics/business–“kind of we agreed NOT to agree with each other”.
      What’up body?Keep the balance as well.Nothing is perfect in this world and focus on dealing with the Facts presented by Semere.
      Aite Aman Hidrat,
      Use common sense and focus on the subject matter–and challeneg the Facts,not the Author-I am glad semere ignored you.
      Go back to Mama Ethiopia and renew your busniess license body.
      Keep the humor body and at the same time hit to the point.

    • Jelan Ammar

      No need to be apologetic that much.You did your best and clarified yourself.Am sure one does not need to be a Rocket Scientist to read the Awate Team’s mind.
      Since this team is acting like the Holiest of the Holy,and trying to be more Catholic than the Pope, I would push for more articles exposing the Truth and its Unholy alliance and approach.
      Hailat/Aman/Hayat(Sal Younis??)—keep balancing things and focus on the facts,not on the author.
      This is a dialog/constructive debate in my opinion and we have to respect it as such–deal with issues,opinions and facts,not with personalities,authors–etc—
      Nitric body: Keep the nice sense of Humor and at the same hiting to the point–R u an Amiche Eritrean?I love them.
      Jelan Ammar

  • sara

    come on give the guy his due , he came with the an interesting article “for” 2014
    and has created this deep commotion within the nay camp… specially the ethiophils.

  • silent

    The reason I mention Ethiopia is to explain on what is happening because of the no war no peace situation otherwise I careless about Ethiopia what so ever because it doesn’t concern me.
    and also I have met a lot of Ethiopians and what they say and what they do/want is totally different
    but they are very good at pretending and you are not different than most of them.

  • After failing to get a reply from the author, as per our posting guidelines we were forced to close discussion on this article. The author had an email handling problems as you have seen, but finally he responded and this is what he wrote: “The only publishers that I sent my article to was []. The other website duplicated my article from [], they did not receive it from me … I only discovered that the article was also published [on other website] when I read the comments on the Awate website.Hawkhum Semere Tesfai.”

    His message is a confirmation that the dishonest editors of the website in question shamelessly stole the article and the image and didn’t even have the decency to put the source as That is how the PFDJ and its satellites operate: steal, lie, deceive. They have no ethics whatsoever. We will take the necessary measure. Apologies for any inconvenience this might have caused you.

    • Nitricc

      i see; but you don’t have a copy right, though.
      you should have stated the copy right statment at the bottom of every article that comes to
      I wouldn’t say stealing becouse the copy right wasn’t expressed.
      may be i am wrong but that that is how i see it.

    • dawit

      I read the article first on Tesfanews and it is an article that typically appear on that website on January 24,, later on the evening when I visited the same article appeared with only difference it had underlining and bold letters through out the article. Obviously it was not an article that one commonly reads at or any opposition websites. I was surprised and I wrote comment praising Awate for posting it. There was heated debate going on, but the big wigs of Awate. commentators except Hidrat were absent. The running boys Haile? and Hayat were writing ‘toilet paper long’ criticisms of the author, ignoring the content of the article. Then a strange drama started between the Awate Team and the author in public. The author responded in public he had problem with receiving emails, and he was tied with meetings and over the weekends he will go Friday to mosque, Saturday to synagogue and Sunday to church! I was curious how Awate computer picked this particular author for a private investigation? I enquired Awate Team what was going with private investigation. It looked like TSA strip search after a lucky passenger is picked by the special TSA computer. They take you to a a corner while the rest of the passengers watch you going the through the ‘private search’. The answer to my enquiry, was a private author publisher issue and does not concern me to what was debated in public! Obviously I suspected was not comfortable with an article that appeared on the web site praising PFDJ and PIA, while criticizing the opposition, therefore may be they were looking a way to silence the vibrant debate through some technicality issue. They disabled the website with a threat to unpublisheded it by the end of the week end. In the meantime Awate Team were successful by replacing the article with a forged article ‘The Day After’ that attracted the usual Awate crowed, the Eritrea and PIA bashers, back to business, after cooling the debate. By Tuesday they claimed that they received their answer from the Author and the comment is open, but by Wednesday morning the site was still closed. They explain the closing as a copy right controversy where their competitors have published the article without the knowledge of the author? Really?
      I think the author was brilliant sending the article to both sites to reach a wider audience, because Eritreans are travelling in a parallel lines, when some follow only the opposition sites and regime supporters stick to the other websites. By sending to both if it is true then one can not claim the other stole the article, especially where there is no clear copy right claims.

      • Rodab

        “…and he was tied with meetings and over the weekends he will go Friday to mosque, Saturday to synagogue and Sunday to church!” hahaha. You got some humor my friend dawit. You know I am not a huge fun of long articles on the screen. Headache kicks in when I go past few paragraphs 🙂 You should consider serving us (the Awate community) by summarizing future long articles. You just seem the guy for the job. Let me summarize your summary now 🙂
        dawit’s summary = author’s article + commentators’ comments + author vs. editor standoff.

        • dawit

          Thanks Rodab for the suggestion job offer as a narrator of excessive long articles. But I cannot accept such position since I support PIA and Eritrean government and by default I will be considered as PFDJ member, who cannot be trusted as Eritrean by most members of Awate community. I like your summary, of ‘author vs editor standoff”. It seems to e there is a credibility gap still on Awate and the Author side in explaining the ‘hostage crises’ to the readers. The more they explain the worst it gets and they all sound absurd.

          • Hayat Adem

            I think you are becoming unfair to the AT. Since they have a rule “no duplicated submission to other websites” and if they see what is submitted to them parallel-posted on other websites, it is only fair for them to ask the author to explain his association/disassociation. It is their right and obligation to enforce that rule. Once Semere cleared that to them, they had no issue and they went back to their passive hosting role. The clarification request-response could have been done quietly had the author not failed to correspond with them on time and privately. In all this, there is nothing to blame the AT for. One very dangerous tendency I see in some people is just not taking the necessary judgement processing time and effort to differentiate the erring from the non-erring party, and a tendency of preferring to just go after both sides. That is very unfair, unhelpful and lazy.

          • dawit

            Still there was no reason why AT closed the comment section of the article while they clear their concern with the author. Holding the article as ‘hostage’ is very “unfair, unhelpful and lazy”. Anyway the tactic worked for AT, they stopped the vibrant discussion and now readers are deflected to some lunatic professor video for their amusement, instead of discussing the serious topic ‘Eritrea and Ethiopia’.

    • dawit

      “Shamelessly stole the article and the image and didn’t even have the decency to put the source as That is how the PFDJ and its satellites operate: steal, lie, deceive. They have no ethics whatsoever”.
      Is this the right tone for Reconciliation with your adversaries?

      Recently published an article by B. Negash ‘Eritrea:The Suppression of God’. A photo puzzle appears with the article, with no source acknowledgement to the original photo publisher, ‘Asmara the City of Angels’. Just curious.

  • [Editor’s note: we have asked the author
    some questions, and we reminded him repeatedly. So far, we have yet to
    get an answer to our private and public appeal to respond. We have
    decided to close the comments on this article pending clarification from
    Semere. If we don’t hear from him by the end of the weekend, we might
    be forced to un-publish the article.]

  • bekele

    You certainly sound like a department head in the ministry of information of the Eritrean government. I can imagine Eritrean officials thanking you after reading this article. A fiend in need is a friend indeed.

  • Yeman

    There is NO DOUBT that the tegadeltti who died for freedom and Justice are respected,honored and they are given the highest and brightest place in our history.Shaebia as an organization though failed to deliver Democracy,Justice and Freedom that was set out to deliver but instead it turned itself into a powerful shifta grouping that is led by a powerful shifta with omnipotent powers.Those so called “tegadeltti” who are alive and kicking, not only betrayed the people that they claimed they fought for but those selfless comreds that sacrificed their precious lives as well.They turned the other way around when our youths are mistreated in the boot camps.They didn’t speak when everything they fought for was shattered by a dictator.Worse,they lost their respect and credibility when they failed to protect their disabled war heroes when they were mercilessly massacred in Mai Habar in 1994 for demanding kitchen butter issues.The worst thing of all though,the living dead so called “tegadeltti” including their commanders suffocated,pressurized and terrorize our people so that they cult Shaebia and its “dear leader” out of fear. What goes around,comes around.Those who work diligently day and night to pave the way for the brutal dictator to be who he is today were not spared either.They too are paying a higher price.The Shaebia that we grew up to be proud of doesn’t exist anymore but a grouping of shiftas that is led by a merciless band of shiftas.

  • truth

    Barvo my man!.Classic Eritrean gut.That was what I have been trying to express but the Awate Team is shy to post my clean comments without name calling but since Haile supports the Awatistas(he baptized them as such),they allow him to call names.They called it discrimination here in the USA.

  • Semere Tesfai

    Selam All:

    Sorry. I was tied-up in a meeting all day and I’m heading to the meeting now as well. I didn’t now about all the commotion. But I’ll tell you one thing – I’m real; my name is real and as far as I’m concerned, Awate have my permission to put my town and my picture for all to see. If you want, you can visit me when you come to town – all Ethiopians too – but not Nitricc. Questions: tomorrow and next week (not Sunday). I hope everything with the e-mail thing is ok with the Awate team. Good night.

    • Selam Semere,
      You might be tied up but we are also tied up because of your total disregard for our messages–both public and private. We need you immediately respond to our repeated messages to you. Please open your email and respond.This is the last time we will ask you.

  • Rational

    You are the one who is day dreaming.Your own masters have been forced to say it officially and eloquently that Eritrea will be the fastest growing econmy in teh yrs to come,not just by numbers but by all criteria of Social Justice.

  • Nitricc

    Aboy Tesfay, what up? how is the bingo joint going 🙂
    lol long time. one of this days i am going to hear from Kenina. good times.

    • AboyTesfay

      Nice to see you Ato Nitricc. Still a supporter?:)

  • We are glad we gave you an opportunity to laugh. Paranoia makes you laugh or cry, beware of that.

  • We wanted to verify something from him and sent him several messages. He failed to respond. That is why we alerted him in public.

    • Ermias

      Dear AT, when I read this article, I sarcastically asked for AT to pay me back for my time. I also wrote to remind SGJ that articles like this shouldn’t have a place here. Because the writer is not borderline but full fledged PFDJ. For all we know, he could be Yemane monkey. I find it really strange that he doesn’t like Nitricc. As mind numbing as the guy is, I even kind of like him.

      • Rodab

        Yeah, I read Semere Tesfay thanking Nitricc for defending him, but then he told him he doesn’t like him. Hahaha. I read it a couple of times thinking I was reading it out of context. I do find it strange too..
        Semere, please keep it to yourself on how you feel about folks. Do you know how chaotic this world could be if everybody publicly declares on how she/he feels about others?

  • Zegeremo

    Thank you Semere, you set the right tone!!

    And please don’t bother to respond to the Ghedli defamers and YG’s ambassadors, as they have condemned Ghedli way before Issayas was even born? And the ironic is that this article is ostensibly about Ghedli generation Government and Ghedli generation opposition; what are they arguing for? Or, is that the empty life distress is persisting?

    • Teclay

      Brother Zegeremo as your name TEGHERM ika
      If YG or likes had been there in the 60th and 70th even 80th we would not have ashamed as refuges today(Lampeduza ,Indenozia,Gatemala ,Mexico etc what about the notorious Sinai) pls be fair

  • Semere, still you have not responded to the questions we asked you. Our public note was meant to remind you to reply to the questions we sent to you in private. What you have explained in public is how you manage you emails. Please read our private message to you and reply to it. We have no intention to discuss author/publisher issues in public. Please reply urgently.

    • AboyTesfay

      awate, Am i missing something. Why post Semere’s article if you cant verify his email address (or ignore your messages)?

    • dawit

      What is this private email argument of Awate and the author of the article? Semere said he will discuss any issue pertaining to the article, every, word, every sentence in every page in public forum. Can you explain the controversy?

      • It is an author/publisher issues and it doesn’t concern you

      • efrem

        the article is on tesfa news, that is the issue. Ha Ha Ha

    • bruck

      You guys are playing with fire. Trying too hard to look as if you had noting to do with this opinion/article. Just laughable. Stop the Pen name and show your true color.

  • ቴድሮስ መሓሪ

    Selam Semere,
    I just want to thank you for your excellent article. I was just happy reading it.

  • Nitricc

    Don’t you worry that day is not that far when the Amhara go for your heart to rip it out of your ribs and the Oromo go for your head to snap it from your neck and off course there are Eritreans. Then and only then come talk your freaking nonsense in here.
    Remember, there is a saying in Amharic goes like
    Beseferut Quna, Mesefer Ayqerim.
    Now go to your $%^*&%% aiga.

    • bekele

      You and your likes are not yet ready for democracy. Your state of mind belongs to the stone ages and at best to the feudal system. Because you and your likes see the world through tribal glasses you think everyone does so. People like you no wander need leaders like Isayas Afeworke. You should clean yourself from ethnic and tribal thinking first before you meddle in any national affairs including Eritrea before you utter a single word about democracy. You and your likes are liabilities to Eritrea and its justified strangle to set itself free from its sick leaders. You and your likes are not yet ready for democracy. Your state of mind belongs to the stone ages and at best to the feudal system. Because you and your likes see the world through tribal glasses you think everyone does so. People like you no wander need leaders like Isayas Afeworke. You should clean yourself from ethnic and tribal th

  • Hayat Adem

    Again, there is no need to defend the opposition; there is a need to defend your article. Please, do that if you can or call it a quit.

    • truth

      Can you please challenge and refute the facts Semere listed?Why are you circling around,man?Show us your gut man!

  • Semere Tesfai

    Awate Team:

    Sorry for not checking my e-mail on time. The whole confusion happened because I’m using FireFox when at Aware (to read and write in Tigrigna) and Internet Explorer for my e-mails and other businesses. And as you can imagine, for the last few days I have been glued at Awate (at FireFox). Sorry again, I’m going to check my e-mail often – at least for the next few days.

    • Guest

      What a mind , splendid and beautiful and comic. Deserves to be nominated for future President . He may actually be Him.

  • dawit

    Waw! what a change in the new Awatista forum 2014!

    It is my habit to
    visit the various Eritrea sites to get informed about Eritrea and the region.
    For bad news from Eritrea, I stop by Awate, Asmarino and sometimes Meskerem and
    for good news I visit Dehai, Madote and TesfaNews.

    After so many articles trashing Eritrea as a nation and itsleadership at we have one article defending the nation and itsleaders. Many of the comentators have changed roles, it was common to readers complementing the authors and praising one another what awonderful writing they wrote in trashing Isaias and PFDJ. The competitions among Awate contributors were based who come up with latest bad news about Eritrea and the worst insults to DIA. For a change an article popes,
    supporting Eritrea as a country and praising its leaders and their policies while
    criticizing the opposition for their negative roles they have been playing in
    defending the country and putting road blocks not to develop the country in collusion
    with the foreign interest groups. The lone respondent who used to oppose was
    Nitric, now he supports this article and the rest Awte contributors and writers
    are against the article, with their usual habit of degrading the author and
    showering insults, and not bother to argue his ideas. What a change of role in

    “the only people who put greater emphasis on the role/removal of an individual leader are foreign interests; ,,,,,And their interest could beprotected by simply removing a single leader that is hostile to their interest, with a corrupted one who is willing to destabilize his/her country to serve their interests”.

    To me that is a true statement to describe people like Tamrat Tamrat who is honest about his national identity as Ethiopian and others the Hailes the greats, Hidrats who mascaraed with camouflages as Eritreans to dominate the lately. I congratulate Awate Team for publishing this article which is full of historical facts. I hope in the future Awate will also consider publishing some positive and good news from Eritrea. Do you know recently Eritrean Cyclist were making miracle in world stages? Not all Eritrean athletes are defecting from Eritrea to receive headlines in major news outlets and opposition website.

    By the way the same article also appears in, it is interesting to read the responses in both Eritrean websites, The Reponses are travelling on a parallel lines.

  • EyobEri

    Semere just wrote his opinion. I am surprised that some are referring him as PFDJ or whatever. There are some qualities PFDJ own which cannt be denied also.

  • feven1

    “Now let’s compare PFDJ leaders and their cadres to the opposition leaders and their cadres. With all their blemishes, there is one, time-tested distinguishing quality PFDJ leaders and their cadres’ posses which no one could dare deny. They have consistently defended Eritrean sovereignty; they have consistently defended Eritrean territorial integrity; and they have consistently fought for the best interest of Eritrea the best they know how….”

    Semere, If both the architects and defenders of “Eritrea sovereignty” are worthless, then who is going to prove ERITREA is worthwhile? except you perhaps ……..secondly, there has never been any hint of solutions or a tone of reconciliation in most of your bravadoes, so one wonders how that makes you any better than the regime you are pretending to oppose? ….You don’t like PFDJ, you don’t like the oppositions, and you don’t like the Ethiopians, so who do you like and what is the solution for peace in that region?….cos according to you all three are what you blame for the predicament Eritrea is in…..

    • dawit

      Semere is standing on the side of the truth. Only the truth makes you free. Prove or disprove his arguments if you can, if not don’t question his club or who he represent. Sophia is a talented Eritrean writer in defense of Eritrea, do you have problem with that?


    Oh God bless me, what a blindfolded writer, really!. I think Eritreans will never get civilized. How come a man with working mind claiming that the war between the brothers was not started by Monkey Head Isayas and his supporters. Ethiopia was with so little military capability when the war started .The Ethiopian government was starting to fight hard with poverty eradication while donkey Isayas was amassing that number of military personnel and weapons. How in the world can a weak military start a war. We all know there was no that big militarization in Ethiopia while sawa was busy of accepting the innocent young Eritrean brothers and sisters. Weak up Eritreans, learn to be fair minded. You still stuck in the stone age. It is plain fact that the war is started by The blood thirsty Isayas. And you all also know that Badme is of Ethiopia. I was Ethiopian will remain Ethiopian. When Isayas watched that huge military parade in Sawa and Asmara, he thought “NO ONE ON EARTH CAN STOP THIS MILITARY LET ALONE THE POOR ETHIOPIA, HAHAHHAHAHHA” AND HE SWORN THE SUN WILL NEVER COME BACK AGAIN IF HE IS WITHDRAWN FROM BADME. THE BIGGEST MISCALCULATION OF A LEADER IN THE 21ST CENTURY. He forgot he was meddling with the Ethiopia people who defeated the strong and fascist Italy more than a century ago. He invaded Ethiopia and he has got his price at the hand of the gallant and mighty Ethiopian forces and he nil down and begged Cliton to stop the marching Ethiopian Army from controlling Asmara. Please “clinton haway, ayhezinekan?” i am in humiliate defeat and i can do nothing to stop the Ethiopians than allowing them 25km buffer zone for arbitration purpose. The sun i was claiming two years ago is no longer raising in my soil. Please hurry up before they get me alive. You still claim the Eritrean military stop the Ethiopians defense forces. I always feel sorry for all the lives ceased in both ends because of the bad mindset of Isayas. Anyways, Eritrean brothers and sisters, wake up and make up your mind for the better future of both nation. No one in Ethiopia wanted war, and we will never long for war. You are crushing with the no war no peace condition, wake up before it is too late and irreversible. What a petty still Eritreans are deluded with the old mindset of the sahil. Think in the late 21st century mindset and work for cooperation, not for sowing hatred among the closest nations on the planet. Your Ethiopian brother from Addis ababa who actually personally witnessed the war waged at the border through Egela zalambessa.

    • dawit

      “the only people who put greater emphasis on the role/removal of an individual leader are foreign interests; ,,,,,And their interest could be protected by simply removing a single leader that is hostile to their interest, with a corrupted one who is willing to destabilize his/her country to serve their interests”.
      Disprove the above statement if you can?

  • Teclay

    One thing is sure; Gedli and the participants of Gedli will be
    respected, protected and safeguarded because they lived and died the
    most honorable way.
    respected? Protected?safeguarded? you mean it or you are writing simply for the sake of writing,as they say it NHALKI

  • asmara

    (asmara, you can mock people all you want, but you need to restraint yourself from insults and using attack words. Your comments are deleted. Come back with a sober comment)

  • Dear Semere Tesfai,
    When we ask for the email address of authors, as per our posting guidelines, it is in order to communicate with them, and with the assumption that they check their inbox and reply our messages. Otherwise, asking for an e-mail address would be unnecessary. We have been sending you messages for a long time, they were never replied to. This time, we have sent you a message on the 21st and a reminder to reply on the 22nd. We have yet to receive an answer from you for the questions that we put on those messages . Therefore, we are forced to communicate with you publicly on Awate Forum. Since you are checking this forum regularly, we assume that you will see this message. Please respond to our message, it is very important.

    • feven1

      Isn’t it obvious that Semere is a disguised PFDJ trying to confuse the opposition? So what is the point of asking him for a genuine contact address? what if turns out to be Sofia Tesfamariam?

      • Asli Birhan

        it could also be Ali abdu

  • haile

    Nitricc and Semere Tesfay,

    Nitricc: I am the last person to ask anyone not to express their opinion. In fact, I lauded awate for hosting different view points. Now, where does it say we shouldn’t challenge writers when we disagree? I did my genetic test too, they said it looks fine! When it comes to what we have done to advance the cause of justice, well no point stating it. Any act, from giving PFDJ a wall of silence (silent majority) to those bearing arms and everything in between is a form of opposition. Giving credence to the wanton acts of PFDJ in any form is also the opposite. From that angle, Semere is giving something to the PFDJ and should demand accountability from them. Unfortunately, he has acted dishonestly, so much for someone who writes a toilet roll long text on “dishonesty”!

    Semere Tesfay

    Since you raise the issue of logic, let’s give it a test run, shall we? During the armed struggle for independence, there was a time that our movements were weakened and divided, including armed confrontation. Does that serve a reason for the Eritrean people then to abandon the quest for independence? Would you have gone to the Dergue instead and support what was happening to the Eritrean people at the time?

    Again, logically speaking, the opposition camp has come a long way, its rank include all sorts of significant entities and personalities from all sections of Eritrea, it has seized many important opportunities to help and work with Eritreans in distress, its numbers has grown by reaches and bounds. PFDJ has been abandoned by many, isolated internationally, sanctioned and condemned the world over. Where is your logic in assigning the “deathbed” analogy?

    Still more, as far as it is dictated by logic that “opposition” is supposed to “count the failings” of the PFDJ. It has no other or business. Yet, you make preposterous suggestion that they shouldn’t do that! what else do you want them to do? Sell chicken?

    And a final logic is that the current opposition is to gain the right to be in a position to do the normative work of an opposition through democratic rights. Your proposal of charting out alternative social, political and economic frameworks for development, when they can’t even be allowed to be buried in their country dead, let alone visit alive a fluff. The latest addition to the banned list of the population are the 22 muhurat who thought they could do just what you suggested. Forget them now, they were announced to be “UN special rapporteur’s spy and defeatists. There goes all their rights to visit the country even for funeral down the drain.

    Semere Tesfay,,,, dishonesty is what you ventured to act in, you just ended up writing about it so much! Seraqi Mobae baElu ylefalef.

    • Haile Kidane

      Which haile is this? Haie1, Haile2, Haile3, Haile the great, or the new haile- Haile 7.0?

      • HK

        haha..there is only one and z only one,,,,

        [Moderator: Apologies. The real Haile. Please contact us privately for verification. It seems the name Haile has become so popular we are getting many messages signed Haile. Honestly, we have been deleting most. We apologize for the inconvenience but we need to verify. It seems some people managed to confuse us. Again, we apologies for the real Haile.]

    • Semere Tesfai


      Please cool down. Yes I wrote the “toilet roll text”. And I’m responsible for every word of it. Quote me and challenge me on my “dishonesty” if you could. I’m not hiding, I will explain to you anything and everything that is not clear to you.
      I have great respect for my Eritrean brothers when they disagree with me; and you are no different. But I have a problem when Ethiopians “defend” the Eritrean opposition pretending to be Eritreans. In life perception is everything. And the Eritrean opposition have perception problem. The Eritrean opposition are perceived as tools of Ethiopian government. And that stigma hovering over the head of the opposition is not helping. And Tigreans, the likes of “Hayat” “defending” the Eritrean opposition in a twisted way says it all.

      I’m not PFDJ supporter and I’ve never been in my life; but I’m not shy to say they are my Eritrean brothers. I’m not afraid to say they are not my enemies. And I’m not their enemy; I’m just an opponent. I’m trying to be as independent minded Eritrean as I could. You know, PFDJ supporters don’t talk, write and speak the way I do. I can give you a list of PFDJ sins if you will, but I don’t see the point, because I would be repeating my self. So please stop name calling and labeling, pick an issue and challenge me if you could. Thanks.

    • Semere Tesfai


      Sorry for the late response; I did write one few our back but it is lost somewhere. Now, Yes I wrote all the “toilet role long text” and I’m here to defend every word, every sentence, every phrase and every page; but I don’t understand the “dishonesty” that you are having problem with. If there is anything that is not clear, tell me and I will try to clarify it; if there is something wrong in my argument challenge the argument, if there is something dishonest about my argument, prove it to me.

      As to your claim that I’m defending PFDJ, I think you are being dishonest. PFDJ members don’t talk, write, argue the way I do. As to the opposition to PFDJ is growing, Well, I didn’t say there is shortage of people who oppose the PFDJ regime. I said there is lack of leadership, vision and direction on the opposition camp. And I don’t think you would disagree on that.

      • Hayat Adem

        Look Semere, the more the discussion goes on, the more badly the inner parts of your skin are being exposed to the outside. The opposition is to blame for not doing enough to save Eritrea, not for messing up things in Eritrea. The messing part is done by PFDJ and PFDJ alone. Period. No amount of false defense can change that reality. You can’t cut that part and transfer it to the opposition while we all are alive and watching. If you get that point, I don’t mind about the rest.

        • Rational

          Selamat Hayat,
          My message to you at one point was deleted for some reason.
          The Opposition, not only did nothing to save Eritrea but has been busy for destroying Eritrea.No need to list them as Semere Tesfay has already done a good job though only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to exposing the opposition mantra.
          But why in the world are you saying that his skin is being exposed more? Why don’t you try to challenge and refute the FACTS he listed?
          If your concern is for not cursing the PFDJ for messing up the country,I thought he already did many times.I do not believe he is over-crediting the PFDJ but I think he is trying to compare and contrast the two sides of the coin.Everything is relative in this world.And relatively speaking, the only force that has stood firmly in defending the Nation thus far is the PFDJ Leadership,of course–the EDF and the Eritrean people in reality,while “messing up ” the Country/in Eritrea.
          Can you help us understand as to how come and why your have tried to credit the Opposition by listing the positive things it has done for Eritrea like what the Veteran has done so far by comparing and contrasting both?
          Please,be so kind to review one by one the concerns and the facts Semere clarified about the Opposition and refute those claims.While crediting the current regime for defending the country(no alternative so far),he has already criticized and blamed the PFDJ for the consequences of bad governannce by the PFDJ.I see you guys seem to be quite intelligent and coherent(the likes of Haile as well),but why are you acting like ignorant?.Guilty feeling?Deal with it and learn from your mistakes as an Opposition Camp and work hard to improve the Opposition.Semere is inviting you to challeneg and refute his claims but am sure he is not going to refute your claims of the PFDJ mischiefs.
          Meaning,as much as you accept the weaknesse and strength(if any) of the so called Opposaition”,by common sense,we would expect you to admit the strength(plenty of evidence) of the regime,at least to some extent,-as much as you would accept the weakness of the regime.
          Let’s be fair and reasonable here.
          Semere,Haque Tehameke Tehanger eyu eti guday emmo, keep exposing more the so called Opposition and its crimes and treason.
          God bless you.

  • Abraham Tewelde

    Sawa is a slave camp, National Service is slavery

  • Marc Osteric

    This is really entertaining .its list going to fair fax and listen to wedi sereqe and Bekele argue and bs over bs.funny though .and free

  • Goitom

    Dear Awate Team

    I really commend you for allowing this kind of articles posted
    on your website: it gives flavour to the
    ongoing discussion. And I wait to see articles from other writers with diverse
    opinions like Yosief Gebrehiwot dubbed by awatistas as Neo-Andnet, who can
    contribute a great deal of insight and augment the discussion.

    Mr. Semere

    Your article is both biased and deceptive,
    whilst a perfect manifestation of your utter ignorance in regards to what has happened/is
    happening in our country. I truly question your wisdom and you seem to suffer
    from some sort of cognitive dissonance.

    Mr. Semere, I didn’t put a great deal of thought into
    writing my comment as I couldn’t read the whole text; it lacks intelligibility
    and is mind-numbing. I just spent a little bit of time pondering what could have
    made you write such a deplorable article. You must have been out of touch with the
    current really of Eritrea and the politics of the region. I couldn’t find any truth
    and/or genuine intention, rather it was an embarrassment and a mockery to our intelligence.
    However, I decided to at least go through and briefly comment on the four points you made on political
    dishonesty of the opposition.

    Dishonest Political position #1- “…..severe economic sanction
    possible – yes, …….hurt the economy and the people (shortage of medicine,
    food, gasoline….)”

    Here’s what I don’t understand.
    If my memory serves me correctly, the deep economic crisis in Eritrea existed way
    back before the sanctions were imposed. The
    root cause of the self-imposed sanctions and worsening of our country’s economic
    problems is the mismanagement of the economy by our government rather than
    other external factors. The ruling regime in Asmara is the biggest perpetrator,
    where over the last twenty-two years of sustained economic blunder and criminal
    abuse of its own citizens; created and is responsible for the mess.

    Dishonest Political position #2- “…….to deny Eritrea the right to
    purchase arms to defend itself…….. ”

    Firstly, the secret to the
    Eritrean people’s victory was the justness and legitimacy of our cause and achieved through the glorious history of
    heroism, sacrifice, steadfastness and martyrdom; not weapons and money. The
    Dergs would have won the war if that was the case. Although the sanction will
    have an effect to our defence capability; the greatest threat to Eritrea’s
    security is the fleeing of our youth and the degradation of the morale of our military.

    Secondly, it could be a blessing in
    disguise as the money from the booming mining industry would have been spent to
    buy weapons and finance the different opposition organization from all over the
    world, instead of buying food, medicine and fuel. It, in the first place, was the
    main reason for the sanction to be imposed.

    Dishonest Political position #3- “……With Western affirmative nod,
    Woyane leaders declared regime change policy to put a puppet government in

    Our government is getting a taste of its own medicine! To be
    fair, it was our president who first went public preaching his intention of changing
    the Ethiopian government. I still remember the endless TV interviews he used to give to the public during the war
    years. What a pity! Times change.

    And what are the 50,000 plus
    militia of the Tigray People’s Democratic Movement (TPDM/ De.M.H.T.) and Ginbot
    7 doing in Eritrea. Are they on vacation?

    Dishonest Political position #4- “…… empty the Nation of its
    young – by encouraging the young to drop their arms, abandon their construction

    Are you really serious ? No
    doubt? The open-ended military service and severe government mistreatment
    and lack of human rights, not the opposition or harsh living conditions, is
    driving thousands of Eritreans to flee our country. If we only look the case of
    last year, unless you are deliberately twisting the truth, your heart knows that Ali Abdu, our national football team, the
    presidential pilots, the thousands of graduates, with good prospect if the country was democratic and stable, are leaving the country in search of greener
    pasture. People are leaving the country because of the cruel and agonizing reality
    they face every day.

    Please brother Semere, at least allow the government to share half of
    the burden of the problem and made us see the issue in a new light as what you
    have written seem to come from a PFDJ cadre and is out of touch with the
    current reality of our beloved country.

    Amlak Ybarkan Yhagizkan
    Hawka Goitom

    • Rational

      Goitom et al,
      As you have the right to bluff non-stop, Mr.Semere has the right to express his opinion,which he did in the BEST professional way possible and to the point.His topic has to do with “compare and contrast issue” between the so called opposition and PFDJ and he hit it to the point.As to PFDJ weaknesses and mistakes, he said it more than enough in the past.You are the one who is deliberately twisting facts.He said facts but FACTS and articulately.Your obligations and right are to challeneg the Facts.He has tried to give credit where it deserves after criticizing the PFDJ mercilessly unless you have a selective and short memory issue.Awate Team can retrieve his articles if you wish.I blamed on him for NOT balancing issues but I reviewed his previous articles and has said enough about balancing.
      The Facts:
      -Despite of his mistakes and “brutality””: PIA was the Architect of the best and strongest Liberation movement in Africa,if not in the World
      -He has endured the worst case scenarios of defamation, character assasination,conspiracies and assasination attempts.and out-lived those who attempted to do so and he has a legitimate right to defend himself aginst those who wished him the worst.
      -Despite all odds,evil wishes,etc—he is hangng in there,not only that, Eritrea is said to be one of the fastest growing economies despite all odds–call it sanction or else.
      As to the Eritrean Economy,do not insult intelligence.The economy was perfectly and steadily moving fast until 1998 and astonshingly,it is even faster than that period despite all sanctions.No country ever,at least in Africa or Middle East or even in the world has achieved this miracle.These are FACTS,not assumptions.
      As to Youth exodus, you know better about the factors behind it.PFDJ policy has not been perfect or call it, the worst,the factors are multifactorial and Mr. Semere DID NOT deny the PFDJ factor but he made it clear that the Enemy/Opposition factor is probabley worse,which is crystal clear to all.
      leaving aside the other factors of the Opposition regarding Eritrean Sovereignty and Territorial Integrity,the rally for total sanction against the State of Eritrea and its people is way beyond any kind of National Treason by any standard.
      -Review the Public Wikiliki and Weyane Statements and the Opposition Statements–etc

      • dino

        “Eritrea is said to be one of the fastest growing economies” hahahahahahah, I call this Hilmi derho.

  • Henok

    The article appears to aim at lionizing the Eritrean image and belittling the power and the ability of Ethiopians. Your bad wish for Ethiopia will not come to pass. Your article should have called for a national confession to your people who have nothing, will of course have nothing in the future, to search for why things have gone wrong to this ” country.” You guys you are pompous and always try to punch beyond your weight. Time has proven that you are irrelevant will remain irrelevant. Your pride is in being immigrants and be parasite wherever you go. You have not achieved nothing at a national level. And your immigrants are always riffraff where ever they go. Please stay away from the people whom you have envied for years. You need to stop your useless “yekealo.”

  • dino

    have to check my PC: wanted Awate ended up on Shabait

  • Tedtesf

    After everything said and done, it seems the change comes only from Shaebia itself falling on its weight. As for opposition, every time you open your mouth people start running back to shaebia. The proof is in the pudding. How is it hard to understand empowering the Nation works for every one. The opposition are reluctant in helping the people thinking Shaebia take the credit. They rather work weakening it and blame Shaebia. for it. As of this article, Ouch it hurts. For better or worse, the article is palatable for most Eritreans..

  • haile


    It is understandable that owing to the existing sense of public outrage at the criminal PFDJ regime, Semere Tesfay is being hammered down without being taken to task to what his argument is worth.

    If a young Eritrean was be hounded out of Eritrea by hopelessness and forced conscription, cross the desert and be tortured in Sinai, cross the sea and swallowed by the sharks, witness the most abhorrent form of abuse including death, Semere Tesfay, who is riding the high horse of judging the efficacy of those organized to oppose the the illegal regime in Eritrea, has nothing to question the regime for. That is how bad he is.

    Semere Tesfay, who has done not even a dime’s worth to support those who stand up for justice against those holding Eritrea hostage but gives all he has to the dictator himself, would find it reasonable to hold the opposition (whom he hasn’t given a dime) to question and let the regime that have squandered everything that he has given to, let off the hook. That is how bad Semere’s posturing is. Wouldn’t it be common sense to hold to account those you prop up, rather than those who function independent of your contribution in any form? Semere’s logic is hypocritical of the highest order (sadly common nowadays).

    On the reasons why Semere Tesfay wouldn’t be in a position to “count PFDJ’s failings”, look no further, it is a system that only recognizes you as citizen so long us you are willing to look away while witnessing your sister die at sea while giving birth to your nephew, of course trying to escape the regime. That is how bad his position is.

    On the good of the opposition, well for starters, the opposition is a wide array of entities and has been fully engaged in assisting Eritreans in periled all over the world. Semere Tesfay, go on make our day, give us a name of a single PFDJ operative (ya all them suckers) who have lifted a finger to assist? None! They are just motor mouth who disrespect our dead as xbox fanatics, non-Eritreans, want to charge them $150 for DNA check to prove they are Ethiopians…all disgusting. The opposition, in whatever form or mold they come are voicing the plight of our people, and you seem to be too concerned about how they going to run the economy after the dictator is kicked out. That exposes your priority and part of your nature that has relegated you to be the PR agent of those raping your mothers and sisters. Your individual well being. In all of your twisted and servant razzmatazz up there, the ordeals of our people is of no relevance to you to spare a couple of sentences on, yet that is the highest priority that the opposition are working on with zeal and impressive strides.

    The silent majority is opposition in essence, it just happens to be risk averse and seems slow to grasp that their right to visit home as a slave is way too stupid a reason to cause you to ignore the the total decimation of your people and turn a blind eye.

    The twin-track treachery of PFDJ to preach defending the country while doing all it can to decapitate it is now clear as a day light for everyone to see.

    Tell us then:

    1) Should PFDJ not cooperate with UN demand fo investigation on HR situation in Eritrea? The UN has material evidence that implicates the regime in working with human traffickers.

    2) Should the PFDJ not submit to UN investigation to determine the extent to which it is linked to terrorist entities? There are material evidences in that regard too.

    3) Should the PFDJ allow the Eritrean people to have a say in the above two regards than to continue to strangulate them with intl. isolation?

    4) Should the PFDJ make public the financial loans and borrowings that it embezzled by forcing young national service to complete phantom projects, causing them to leave the country in massive influx?

    Semere Tesfay, you think you have it all figured out, except about your own position in this regard. The opposition was very weak ten years ago, it is reasonably stronger now and power to them to the future. I know you have no mouth to talk on the important half of the equation, and neither have a minuscule balls to mutter under your lips when PFDJ causes your sister to be raped by strangers in front of your very own eys. That is how bad you are!

    • Nitricc

      Haile, I don’t where you going with this but since you questioned Semere’s contribution to Eritrea and justice, what have you contributed good enough to call Semere out?
      Semere have and earned to express his god given right what ever on his mind is, if so, why are so critical for some one to say what is on their mind? Is not what you are struggling, for freedom, democracy and freedom of speech? Or you are going to flip on that one too?

      • Semere Tesfai

        Nitricc Nebsi

        Thank you for defending me, and thank you for caring. But don’t worry, I’m used to getting a whack between the eyes, across the lips and right at my nose. And as always, I’ll be fine. So please don’t feel sorry for me when you see me getting beat-up right and left; because I asked for it.

        But as an Eritrean and as a father, there are two things I want to share with you.

        a) As a child raised in the West, you know the West better than I do; you know the streets of the hood, and you know the lives of young blacks in the West. Having said that, it makes me sick to the stomach, when I see on the Eritrean opposition Websites children being used as a posters saying “Sawa is a slave camp, National Service is slavery”, “I left Eritrea to be free”. Now ask yourself, how many people visit Eritrean Websites daily, probably thousands. What is the objective of the message when you see it through the eyes of the Eritrean opposition, ‘run away from your country’. But what does it say to the rest of the world when a black child from Africa says ‘I came to a white society to be free’? Now tell me, who is the slave – the slaved mind of the opposition leaders or the Sawa Tigers who are working to the bone to change Eritrean lives for the better. Just a thought.

        b) I don’t like you

        • Nitricc

          Actually, I wasn’t defending you. I was defending the truth.
          The truth is, most of the people who are throwing tantrum in here are people who are contributed the least to nothing for Eritrea. The truth is when you and your likes gave it all for the greatest goodness and gave it all selflessly; others were rehearsing their lies to their immigration interview. When you and your likes were walking for 15 hours in an empty stomach with full gear, people who are throwing tantrum in here were growing side ways and getting obese.
          Now after all that, when age came the factor; the guilt set in, so do the disappointments, so do the agonies’? why do you think the likes of YG and all the rest doing all they can to degrade Gedli. The time has come where they will about to be bitch slapped by fat STNA black cheek in their respective nursing homes. They have nothing to show anything worthy of their life. They lived a wasted life. Now, they must say and do something to ease the pain, the pain so excoriating even the dead heroes are not spared.
          One thing is sure; Gedli and the participants of Gedli will be respected, protected and safeguarded because they lived and died the most honorable way.
          regarding the attack on Sawa, no worry, when their kids trun out to be drug addcit and gangs, they will understand. they keep saying free, i don’t get!

        • Tedtesf

          “I left Eritrea to be free”,it is disgusting coming from opposition.
          If these people are Eriteans, shame on them. I am guessing they are not.

    • Semere Tesfai


      There is a fundamental problem with your argument. Stop listing PFDJ sins to make the opposition leaders shine. The problem is the finished product. You don’t have ‘good’ finished product in the opposition camp that you can sell to the Eritrean people. The finished product of the opposition is the Debrezeit, Awassa and Akaki leadership. Why don’t you sell these leaders to the public. Why don’t you sell their ideas, their vision and their leadership qualities. Why don’t you convince the Eritrean people why these opposition leaders are better than PFDJ leaders.

      • Teclay

        Semere Tesfay
        it is very interesting ,straight and hammer to the point very intelligent like YG but in different direction.
        One thing ,you don`t need to answer for every body,,Hayat yes but Amanuel Hidrat and Haile they are not your standard .As for me i do not understand the necessities of this Ghedli from the beginning

    • Hayat Adem

      Haile, articles like that don’t have higher purposes, the higher purpose being about convincing others by the power of logic and facts. They are only meant to sooth emotions of the support camp. If Semere doesn’t have a problem telling a lie that Eritrea was placed under economic sanction not because he has confused the diplomatic-military sanctions for such but because he wanted to make a point that the fact that PFDJ is not delivering services and consumer supplies is because of that “Economic sanctions”. He lied about it by choice. Once you know that he has no problem to lie becuse of his urge to defend the culprit and blame it on the victim, he is not a person to be trusted or taken seriously. He can enjoy massaging the ego of PFDJ supporters but it ends there for him. Semere admits that Eritrea’s current situation is very bad and dire. That is the only thread that distinguishes him from the guys who are busy parroting “Eritra’na de’a zeytiHmbeb’ndia zela”. And then, he wanted to defend tooth and nail the very culprit that caused and in some cases facilitated the mess by going to extreme length. What moral line does it take for a man to accuse the victim without sweating from inside? He has to believe he is on a hardened mission. But it is really hard to defend the PFDJ. PFDJ is naked everywhere: at the 1998 war, Lampedusa, Senai, at securing the border with Ethiopia (the Ethiopians can march in and out at will), naked with the G15, with the slavery projects, with the youth drain, the economy, the social services,…no amount of effort can defend such system.

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Wow! Many facts in one paragraph. Hayat, that is how good you are to make Semere Tesfay’s naked argument in a microscope everyone to see it. I have a suspicion that it is not the work of one man but a group-work to defend PFDJ as they were doing during the senseless border war. They are good at it. You see how they want to frame the argument – “PFDJ vs Opposition” where both as variables of our politics but are at different positions in terms of space and responsibilities. Semere has to go to a rash course of 101 politics in order to redeem his credibility. Otherwise he will live in a collision course between “desire of his conscience and his involuntary activity”. Involuntary because I still believe Semere can see the reality like us on how our nation is going down hill under this reckless and narcissistic regime.

        • Hayat Adem

          Good point, Aman. How can we nudge him gently to the right direction, is then the next question. Since he is able to see certain lumps of truths, he must be stressing himself a lot living and navigating through non-stop contradictions.

        • truth

          Does it matter wether it is an individual or a group work?What matters is challenging and refuting the facts he listed.He nailed you at your head as a failed top Opposition Leader(Still dreaming to march inside the Weyane Tanks?).
          Good luck Emma

        • SA

          Mr. Amanuei,

          This may be a group-work piece as you indicated. As I am reading Semere’s comments in this discussion forum, however, it is becoming harder for me to believe that he “can see the reality like us on how our nation is going downhill” as you put it. This is a guy who is saying that he is sick to his stomach because children are being used in the “Stop National Service/Slavery” campaign. Does this guy know how old or young Eritreans look? Does he think Luwam or Feruz, who are in the “Stop National Slavery” posters, are teenagers? Another hint he is clueless or purposefully propagandizing is when he mentioned the “Sawa Tigers who are working to the bone to change Eritrean lives for the better.” He must have gotten his information about Sawa Tigers from Eri–TV because the Sawa conscripts I am aware of would risk their lives to flee from Eritrea.


      • truth

        Hodl on body–what about the financial and food aid cancelled by the West?
        So are you telling us that you ate happy with the military sanction–so that eritrea will be over-run by the enemy?

    • Tedtesf

      Haile, you wrote a “toilet role long text” with no facts to your claims. SEMER clearly requested to be challenged based on what he wrote. He asked you how the oppositions are better alternative for Eritreans. You and many answered none of that except badmouthing PFDJ. And ,silent majority does’t necessarily translate to mean resistance or opposition. What is the difference between “rouge state” label and Economic sanction, none.

  • Nitricc

    Semere Tesfamariam aren’t you too old and to wise to come down on Semere Tesfay who had expressed his good given rights?
    What I don’t get is this. Yes you, Semere, you have no problem writing and admiring what Dr Bereket has to say yet, you got a major problem with what Semere has to say. Talk about hypocrit. Semere, when you had sleepless nights how to lie about your adventure to the west, the likes of Semere Tesfay were digging it out neck to neck with Eritrean enemy. You better check your self before you dished out because I have no problem to you in 10 folds. You have no shame to say you don’t read Semere Tesfay’s article, hmmm
    I thought you were historian? No wonder I despise history and the one who majored it.
    Semere, stick with Ato Alemayo and I will stick with Semere Tesfay to the end. He knows what life is, what do you know?
    Filter, filter, filter……………

    • Taazabi

      I guess PIA is the only Eritrean leader who can make peace with us – Ethiopians. I wish him long life, health and wealth for him and his family first and then for the rest of the country. A poor man cannot lead a country no matter how much he/she loves the country. Period. Leave PIA alone, who is part of us and part of you, to lead the tiny nation to prosperity, peace and friendship. Long live PIA!!

      • Ermias

        This is exactly why I am having issues with Ethiopians meddling in Eritrean issues. They have quickly learned that we have deep divisions and they are here trying to milk it. We call him DIA, now they are calling him PIA. That’s a low down dirty shame.

  • Ermias

    Okay I will stop reading your choma ras posts if you put Ethio next to your fake xxx nickname. Why do you use a nickname? I can say more but I will spare you for now.

    [Moderator: please help us by restraining yourself when you have the urge to use unaccepted words.]

    • Guestg

      You still don’t get it. The internet is a form for diverse views–unlike in your house; I feel sorry for your wife and kids. Let along Ethiopians I wish Nigerians would come here to engage on Eritrean issues. Suck it up. You can only speak for yourself and for these who have given you explicit or implicit permission to speak for them. Nicknames are also non of ur concern unless you want to prove how utterly incompetent you are on issues.

  • Rodab

    What do you mean when you said “let’s not count PFDJ mistakes”? Are you suggesting we shouldn’t discuss PFDJ’s wrongdoings? I don’t know if you go back and read what you wrote but you sound silly. Real silly!

    • Semere Tesfai


      To me, the mantra of a political opposition is “WE CAN DO BETTER THAN THE GOVERNING REGIME”. And the opposition has to prove that in the court of public opinion. Because trashing the governing party is not good enough to put you on the top. You have to prove to the citizens of the Nation how you would make the economy better, you have to explain to the public how you would protect the nation, you have to prove to the public how you would solve the Ethio-Eritrean problem, you have to explain to the public how you would balance Eritrean policy to our North and to our South, you have to prove to the public how you would stop the exodus of our young, you to prove to the public how you would have a representative government…..

      To sum it up – sell your ideas and sell your vision. Trashing, name calling, counting mistakes is repulsive; because it doesn’t say much about you. I hope I answered your question. Thanks.

      • Rodab

        Don’t you think the oppostion has to be allowed to legally operate in Eritrea to campagin for all the things you listed? This is not exactly a does-egg-come-first-or-chcken case. I know you will come up with yet another lame excuse as to why the oppostion can not be allowed. Oh by the way, do you know who is the expert on trashing and name calling? Why don’t you take a wild guess.

  • Semere Habtemariam

    Selam Awate:

    My comment is directed more at Awate than at Semere Tesfai. Semere is among a short list of people that I decided not to read a long ago time, but in the spirit of the new year, I thought I give him a second chance–big mistake. I was not able to go beyond the third paragraph because Semere Tesfai suffers from the same ailment that has made YG a complete bore to me–pedantic, mercilessly long and trite. Of course, I can always exercise my right of not reading their articles, which I am getting really good at, but, for God’s sake, Awate shouldn’t let them insult the intelligence of their readers. Nobody is that good where every paragraph has to be underlined and highlighted; it has made your website look like a kindergarten has been doodling on. it. Awate readers are smart readers and they know how to recognize a good sentence when they see one and the last thing they need is someone on an ego-trip to to insult their intelligence. Please, Awate,get rid of all the underlines and highlights. You don’t have to condone this flagrant abuse of good manners and civility.//Respectfully yours, Semere T Habtemariam, Dallas, Texas.

    • Romay

      Semere Habtemariam, please grow up. You sound like an African chauvinist dictator. What is wrong if he writes his opinion.

    • efrem

      Semere Habtemariam as usual childish. Now I know why I don’t read your post.

    • Guest

      You hate their style. I agree, they ain’t Hemingway or Sem H. Anything else?

    • Haile Kidane

      ops! long time you must be working on your famous article the 14 pages long article: Muslims- are-not-majority.

  • Haile Zeru

    Here we have two road maps for Hizbi Kebessa. Semere Tesfay, who advocates fro Issayas rule to continue, and Yosief Ghebrehiwet who uses Issayas to trash Eritrea and its people and culture and embrace his Ethiopian cousins.
    I hate both positions. luckily I am browsing the internet and see the support for Wedi Ali’s family growing. Which means there is a third roadmap. The majority of Kebessa Eritreans are for Wedi Ali’s position and not with these two ‘inkiri’ibit Temen’.

  • Haile Kidane

    First of all, this article is written for Eritreans only, not for Ethiopians or Neo-Andenetist. If some how this article has offended you, then it is time to check the tabloid Simple as that!!!

  • Tsnat Hager

    Semere Tesfay
    Even though I do not agree with you on some minor points, I have to say you did great analysis! you managed to depict the Eritrea situation and threats we are facing very well. .
    Thank you

  • Semere Tesfai

    Selam all:

    Let’s not count PFDJ mistakes. It won’t do us any good. Let’s discuss why the opposition is better.

    • Abraham Tewelde

      You are so bitter with opposition delusional sellout

    • Hayat Adem

      “Let’s not count PFDJ mistakes.”
      What should we do with PFDJ mistakes, then? The buck stops with President. PFDJ is the sole party that has been running Eritrean affairs from the get-go. And we get here with their leadership. I can understand you better if argue that we are doing OK under their leadership and they still deserve our support. Yous is totally absurd: Eritrea is in bad shape but the opposition is to be blame! How does that logic work for you, man? The opposition has never been given a power to run a government. The only thing you can blame them for is for their weakness and inability to remove this totally incompetent and broken system before it gets Eritrea to unmanageable crisis. I sincerely don’t understand how you are thinking to make any sense if you mean serious discussion.

      • semere Tesfai


        “The opposition has never been given a power to run a government.” They didn’t get a chance to lead because they didn’t earn it. Because they failed to rally the public behind them. Because they failed to earn the trust and respect of the Eritrean people. Do you want to blame the weakness of the opposition on the PFDJ regime too? And I challenge you to prove me wrong.

        When a man try’s to win the heart of a woman, he doesn’t try it by trashing other men. He does it by proving to her that she would be better off if she choose him over the other men. Now sell your opposition how they are better than the PFDJ regime. Got It? And you can’t; and that is my point.

        Whining, complaining and criticizing PFDJ is not a vision. Counting every Eritrean problem under the sun, is not a ticket to govern a nation. Proving PFDJ mistakes and misdeeds is not proof that the opposition are qualified to lead Eritrea. Proving the incompetence of PFDJ leaders is not proof that the opposition leaders are more competent than PFDJ leaders. Now, sell me the opposition leaders of Aqaqi-Beseqa, sell me the competent leaders of Awasa and Debrezeit. Those are the products of the opposition. Can you?

        • Hayat Adem

          If a PFDJ person was to write this article, how different would she write it? Help me get a handle to your perspective on the issue you discussed. Are you bitter on the oppostion because of their impotency to remove PFDJ or you are bitter on them because you think they lack legitimacy to compete for government power? Your article clearly shows it is because of the latter. If we agree on this descriptions, then I have a good news for you: PFDJ- your choice over the opposition- is still in power and running Eritrea. From that, all kinds of weaknesses in the opposition should make you happy, not bitter. That would have saved you from all those complicated posturings exhibited in your article. If you don’t mind supporting the PFDJ mission, you should not worry much about being associated with the party. At the end of the day, everyone will understand it. If it walks like a duck, if it quacks like a duck, then it is a duck.

        • Amoraw

          Leadership is about legitimacy not about competence.

  • Haile Zeru

    What a waste!. Semere is a retarded, idiot and he thinks every person’s mental capacity is below his mental ability. His main obsession (argument wise) is to save Issayas and the hegemony of biher Tigrinya in Eritrean politics. His obssessive attempt to save (politically, legally and historically) Issayas is quite obvious in this article and previous ones. At the same time he is afraid (paranoid) about the demographics of biher Tigrinya. The problem is, Kebessa is being depopulated of its youth because of Issayas’s policies (basically cruelty). Semere is seeing this but his allegeance to Issayas is higher than his Allegeance to the entire Biher. Therefore he is shifting the blame to some one else.
    Semere Tesfay you are pathetic. You can say all this garbage and get a positive response only when you have a gun pointed at the head of a person or few that are brain washed like some one that is giving a positive comments to your article in this forum.
    It seems that now the “perfect solution” that you were talking about in your previous article is giving way to threats of union with the Tigreans (Weyani) like it was done before. How Pathetic? You insult and denigrate the Tigreans in one line and in another you use them to threaten others by uniting with them.

  • Ermias

    Why do you go by ‘wtf’? Who are you afraid of to use such a cheesy nickname? Don’t you elite Ethios claim you have democracy in your country? Again, don’t meddle in our issues. Go away. You have 90 million people staring at you. You sure all know how to breed. Deed down I believe you are overpouplating because you are so afraid of tiny Eritrea and Somalia. What part of ‘We will call you, don’t call us.” wasn’t clear to you WTF?

    • Guest

      Let hypothetically assume you are a genius and you can tell people’s nationality from their view and let’s hypothetically assume I am Ethiopian… Still all you can do is stop reading . Their is absolutely nothing your lazy ass can do?

  • Asefaw

    I see your true couloir. Is this a tactic to divided the people?

  • Robel Yosef Kahsay


    The way I see it, the opposition is the best enemy PFDJ/Isaias has – every thing the opposition does makes Isaias look good. Ofcourse, the worst enemy PFDJ/Isaias has is Isaias him self – every thing he does is a disaster.

    So, blaming the opposition for the crisis Isaias is in is giving them credit they don’t deserve. If you really want to save your man, tell him to change his ways (oops! I forgot you are not allowed to do that, and that is why you are here at awate blaming the opposition).

    • haile

      Robel, The process of forming a fully fledged opposition organization with broad popular support in Eritrea is work in progress. It would take many things, including some parts that can only come fom the inside. What we have now is a highly volatile situation, where a minor trigger would easily set off dramatic events on the ground to unfold. People are increasingly less tolerant of alternative views, People are percieving each as the other’s threat, the regime is massively over streched to control anything that might get out of hand. And if some members of the military or security forces spin out of orbit, well that will seal our fate. It is sad that the likes of Semere (who claim to have borderline support of the regime) wast their time parroting their old tired mantra that got us into this problem in the first place. He would be better off writring on the envevitable change in the air and try to bring people together. There is no logic in blaming an “opposition organization” that is still in the making. What we have is an opposing public, with the critical mass tipping would happen any time soon. Let me repeat, IA can’t be held responsible for any thing that would place after the minute he is made to exit. Every one, including Semere, would be.