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Creative Destruction

Let me start by first sincerely apologizing to Awate, the website, for referring to it as “extreme opposition website” (thanks SY for calling my attention). For some reason, I believe, some might have interpreted it as saying “extremist” website. Thank you for tolerating our always unintended transgressing. You have done a fantastic job and we are all very proud. I would also like to thank all those who spared some of their precious time to read my articles, leave comments and engage all of us in discussions.

Back to Topic

Of course, we are still in the initial stages – testing the grounds for a feasible U-Turn – and hopefully an exciting and fruitful debate. What we have done so far and will keep doing in the couple more articles that I have in mind is to set the stage and the key parameters that should govern the way we rationalize and reason as we go forward. We are practically negotiating the rules of the game. The aim of this article is to give clarifications and responses to some of the concerns and comments made to the previous two articles in the U-Turn debate.

Some wanted to know about the personal motivations for making the U-Turn. Well, like all good Eritreans I have been hopping from one opposition to the other. I am one of those people who would not show up for meetings on time. By the time I come to the meeting (thanks to some “abalat”) all the back seats where one could take a nap without being noticed are taken by “gedaym”. I would not care much. But the few “teqebelti gasha” that are awake would take me by the hand and have me sit in the center of the front row, where I am showered under a big mouth bloopering all kinds of stories. By the time we finish with a few screams of “Down – Down”, I am dizzy, cross-eyed and seeing only black & white. One day I managed to evade the procession of “abalat” who usually wake me up and carry me to the meeting, and tried a U-Turn, where beautiful women in “tcherqin-werqin” spoke about heaven on earth. I decided to take your opinion and here I am.


Of course, I do not need to explain that the whole reason I saw it necessary to write articles to tell you that I have made a “U-Turn” is because there is more to my conception of the U-Turn than me going to an Eritrean embassy and signing the “tkhormeyeni teTaEse” form for a few dollars. All I know is that, I am sick and tired of the PURPOSELESS OPPOSITION that has sucked every spirit of goodwill and optimism in our ability to dream of change. I am deeply disappointed at our stubborn insistence on pleasing and appeasing opposition groups and leaders-to-nowhere that we know very well, have the potential to bring catastrophic results to Eritrea as a nation.

Check if this applies to you. I have reached the conclusion that, the Eritrean opposition, composed of the Ethiopia-based organizations and a decisive portion of diaspora-based political groupings operating under guises of civil-society & human rights organizations, is heading towards dangerous territory. In the context of the volatile and unpredictable regional political dynamics infested with dubious state and non-state actors in the Horn of Africa, the damage that can be done by an irresponsible opposition movement bracing for every opportunity of employing whatever means possible to weaken the Eritrean state should not be underestimated. Even where the right to oppose the ruling regime in Eritrea can be justified under the most horrible crimes against humanity imaginable, no courses of action that do not guarantee a better outcome than the one upon which the whole struggle is premised should be allowed to proceed.  We cannot afford to wait helplessly for the inevitable to happen, when we can see for ourselves an unmistakable monster hatching under our noses. We should under no condition or excuse – whatever the cost – be part of what we are all convinced is a horrible future waiting to happen. An opposition that has the potential to develop into a real existential threat to Eritrea’s national security interests is a shame and disappointment that no decent Eritrean should tolerate.

The time that we may stand up and stop this madness is long overdue. The latest that we can actually do something to control its direction is right now or never. We should consider ourselves very lucky that things have not worked out so far and that all efforts to institutionalize this irresponsible phenomenon of parasites waiting for a ride to Asmara have failed. We should be very proud of every single Eritrean who refused to bow to dubious interests calling for blind commitment – including those I had made – to an obvious suicidal mission for a nation that deserves better. However, it is only a matter of time before, on repeated trials, the misguided Eritrean opposition and their partners in the region find ways of defeating the resistance of the Eritrean diaspora. Several disastrous examples in our neighborhood bear witness to the potential dangers embedded in the ignorance of unsuspecting activism. No one who has seen or known of horrible experiences of once prosperous cities changed to rubble and proud peoples turned homeless, should allow anything that has even the slightest probability of repeating to happen to Eritrea.

We know better than to be herded like sheep by irresponsible and vengeful attitudes that have nothing to add to our politics. I am suggesting a debate on this alternative way of doing the right thing hopefully the right way, not because I have come up with some golden key to unlock heaven, but because, I think, our challenge is actually easier than we have been led into believing. Our problem is that we have no problem. Hence, the idea –naïve as it might seem – to wake up one day and decide to put every incapable entity and twisted motivation in Eritrean opposition politics structurally out of business.

Lessons Learned

Several people have noted the obvious contradiction between what I used to say in the “land-grabber” debate and the conciliatory spirit the last two articles attempted to promote – that is why the U-Turn needed no explanation. I do not want to go back to those crazy times. Part of the reason things got out of hand was because of the shocking discovery that every single opposition organization, including extremist Jihadi groups who have armies on the ground blowing up everything that moves in Eritrea under identical slogans of “land-grabbing” PFDJ, were fiercely resistant to pressures to adopt the conclusions that would naturally follow from their own arguments. Contrary to the fears of “yikhdenena” that, the campaign ignited in the presumed “backers of land-grabbers”, those who stubbornly refused to interact and instead came up with face-saving teddy-bear groupings, covenants and a few articles here and there were those that would be expected to rise and torch the planet, based on conclusions that would flow naturally from their whining & wailing about ethno-religious injustice in Eritrea.

The preceding paragraph may sound like I am regretting the finding that people did not cooperate to realize a project that would have great destructive capacity. I am mentioning it only to draw your attention to what might be a defensive mechanism (guarding against irrational outcomes) being produced as an unintended consequence of the collective of our individual and group activities. There are at least four relevant observations that we have learned from that experience, the role of political entrepreneurs in conflict situations and other similar issue-centered debates over the years:

(a)     Where an opposition with an objective and holistic alternative that reflects well-defined ideological differences does not exist, obsession with specific grievances selected on the basis of their power to galvanize support may prove catastrophic with implications far from remedies for the grievance at hand.

(b)     Obsessive hammering of selective issues, in spite of their power to galvanize popular support behind political entrepreneurs, has the potential to effect qualitative transformation of the subject of conflict and a complete divergence of the end of feasible solutions to solutions that have nothing to do with the initial substance of the conflict.

(c)     Where a coalition of “interest groups” is mobilized into an opposition movement, through issues selected for their campaign-value (such as “constitution”, or “Nsu” in our case), the possibility of displacing the existing issues, by a new set of selective issues falls within the domain of political entrepreneuring and is a matter of only proving that the new set has a greater potential to mobilize support.

(d)     The enormous difference in the degree of commitment to specific issue (think of any) among Eritrean opposition organizations, and the obsession with the search for unifying instruments of mobilizations, prove the point already made by many writers: that the Eritrean opposition is a coalition of issue-specific interest groups not of political parties in the conventional sense.

Built-In Stabilizers

Do not despair though. It is actually a blessing in disguise. In our diaspora-based activism, the unrestricted entry and exit (of political entrepreneurs) to the market of organized opposition politics may be maintaining an equilibrium no-go situation (“aylaEli aytaHti”) in a manner that any perfectly competitive market would maintain equilibrium in textbook economics. Not only the “land-grabber” debate but even the ENCDC, the EDA and almost every organization that fell in the indeterminate domain of potential horrible outcomes for Eritrea as a nation were all aborted by the same innovation of every Eritrean hiding in a basement writing “politikawi medeb” in the form of: “Hade: hagerawi Hadinet – Kilte: ahgurawi zimdina – seleste: Awet nHafash”. You may recall situations when we were sure we had 15 organizations and were pleasantly surprised that we actually had 60.

This phenomenon of the capacity of free citizens to innovate in controlling outcomes that affect their collective being through a process of creative destruction is nothing new to Eritrea. The notion that elite groups could control people’s lives by running them to the streets to overthrow governments and stealing their revolutions is increasingly becoming difficult to materialize with the expansion of the infrastructure of individual liberties. The aftermath of the Arab Spring is replete with these examples. The question that this observation should raise in our reasoning is this: “what if in an Eritrea that guarantees free entry and exit to organized politics (like the one we have in the diaspora), the same grassroots basement activists decide to employ the same creative destruction in aborting national development or defense projects?” Since this exactly is the concern of the PFDJ with the “constitution & democracy” argument, it should be seen in combination with realities that may be created by similar incidences of the recent developments in Egypt, where a new dictatorship emerged to protect the revolution that came out against dictatorship in the first place.

The argument I would like to justify on these grounds is that, for the Eritrean opposition (whether inside or outside Eritrea) to produce any form of multi-party democracy, it must first produce a dictatorship that would be able to restrict civil liberties by coercively controlling entry and exit to the market of organized opposition. Based on our own arguments and campaigns in the opposition, “Isn’t that what the PFDJ government is already doing?” Homework: “Why overthrow a dictatorship to produce another dictatorship?”

The President’s Dictum

President Isaias’ definition of “opposition” (the spirit of all statements on the subject) is by no means animosity to the idea of an opposition party itself, as it is to the lack of viable holistic conception of opposition that can be trusted to compete, take over and run government as an alternative ideological paradigm. We should reinterpret the “30 – 40 year statements” that we have all used and abused over the years not as the time needed to construct a micro-dam for every politician, but as a random (rhetorical) guess of the time needed for the emergence of such a meaningful opposition. What he is practically saying is this: “we will keep doing what we are doing until we have a credible opposition that would tell us why our way is not the only high-way”. This conception divides the idea of opposition into two categories: (a) opposition parties as coalitions of “specific-interest” groups that have nothing in common other than backing power-grabbing elite groups; (b) opposition parties born out of a shared conviction on alternative ideological world-views of a coherent perception of national interest. The first is a liability with enormous destructive capacity and the second an asset with indispensable constructive promise.

In the first case, the only thing that ties all these organizations and individual advocates together is the simple statement of fact that they all believe that their concerns cannot be resolved under the PFDJ government. Both the EDA and the ENCDC and any other coalitions that formed and broke before and after them were all nothing but marriages of convenience where each of these interest groups agreed not to impede (not necessarily accept) the issues raised by each of the others. These united fronts essentially postpone the fight over specific interest to the point where there would be no legitimate authority entitled to claim collective property of these rights. While those “dictator-centered” elitist groups are betting on an opportunity where they would use state power in the “new Eritrea” to deal with ethno-religious interest groups, the latter are betting on the obvious fact that reconstituting centralized state power with monopoly over the coercive power of the state is virtually impossible after the destruction of the PFDJ regime.

Primary Target of U-Turn

The concept that my first article was intended to introduce was a U-Turn as clearly stated in the topic. In the Zero-Sum game, where according to every opposition Guru and preacher, PFDJ MUST LOSE FOR OPPOSITION TO WIN, it is understandable that a U-Turn from the opposition is necessarily a U-Turn towards the PFDJ. Where we all revolt against those that have a vested interests in locking our activism to Zero-Sum solutions and stand up to declare ourselves free citizens, we would still make U-Turns without changing directions. That is why I am asking people to wait before making conclusions about where the U-Turn is going. If we do succeed in challenging this vicious cycle, it will be a U-Turn, that we will all be taking together and it will mean a U-Turn from one state to a different state of opposition politics. If we fail, it will be a U-Turn of loyalties that I will go alone. I appeal to all those who were interested in these motivations to wait until we first understand what this particular U-Turn will actually be.

The primary objective of the U-Turn debate is to challenge the consensus on the assumption that the Zero-Sum Way is the right way. The core argument is this:

Where we have assumed good intentions in every effort of every opposition member, from the extreme to the extreme, we should also assume that this irrational behavior and irresponsible brand of activism could have only come incrementally through a protracted process of arm-twisting from within and without the opposition movement. The Zero-Sum Model of opposition is “the invisible hand” that regulates Eritrean opposition politics. It is mysteriously made to hold consistently as the unwritten code of conduct.

A simple proof of the fact that it is an alien and exogenously imposed restriction can be found in the inability of more recent arrivals (especially young refugees) into the business of opposition to meet the prerequisite of washing themselves clean of whatever they had known about Eritrea in order to transition into the Zero-Sum attitude in their new state. The following are four possible sources:

(a)  The initial form and attitude was inherited from the historical roots of some opposition groups and remnants of the era of the civil wars of the armed struggle. Opposition for these groups was a continuation of the civil war between the ELF and the EPLF. Eritrea’s independence in 1991 was a new reality in Eritrean politics that must have transformed at least one of the parties (the EPLF). The continuation of the Zero-Sum Model found support in those that could not reason that they would be making the Eritrean government pay for mistakes that were done by the EPLF to the ELF. This is something that had already been challenged successfully, with the help of all our great writers and activists, years ago.

(b)  The second source of the Zero-Sum Model was the subsequent reinforcement of inherited forms of struggle to fit the unfortunate circumstances of an opposition movement, which had to suck-up to hostile neighboring countries for assistance and accommodation, in exchange of fighting their proxy wars.

(c)  You may think that the strong predominance of the ethno-religious dimension in Eritrean opposition politics reinforced the “we” Vs “them” justification of the Zero-Sum Model. It is actually the other way round – ethno-religious formations were initiated as a response to pull factors and demands to institutionalize the Zero-Sum Model. This is true simply because the composition and structure of active ethno-religious groupings does not explain their exclusive roots in ELF and non-EPLF historical foundations. Ethno-religious concerns (raised by actual citizens for real concerns) as such are of no interest to such organizations as was observed above in relation to the “land-grabber” campaign.

(d) The severe restrictions placed on political spaces that accommodate opposition activism inside Eritrea leading to the almost strict definition of opposition activism as a transnational phenomenon associated with diaspora groups defined the space of opposition activism as anything but Eritrea.

These observations, together with the destructive role that the Zero-Sum Model has played in institutionalizing the effective segmentation of Eritrean politics do indicate that it is a model that does not belong with us. This is true not only because it has its roots in what had nothing to do with current concerns and forms of activism, but also because it has been the principal culprit that may explain the failure of two decades of persistent opposition to become relevant.  The whole idea of the call for a U-Turn rests on the belief that there must be a way where we can all win and the principle that no one wins unless we all win. WodeHanka – now go home and squeeze your brain – we need the juices!

Semantics: You May Skip This

I hate wasting your time and mine explaining my use of words and concepts but there are people who read articles word by word, and some are good in employing distractive semantics (“inkilalo” – to quote Bitbito, may he rest in peace). For example, you might be frowning at the characterization of “irresponsible opposition” because the whole argument rests on this key assumption. This would of course go contrary to our agreement in the previous two articles that we would be assuming the best in one another. I do know and believe very strongly that all our politicians and activists are the best that Eritrea can offer. At the risk of sounding a bit chauvinistic, I may add, the best that any nation on the planet – past or present – can ever hope to have.

The use of words, such as “purposeless”, “irresponsible”, and a lot more synonyms that will follow, to describe aspects of our politics or activism must, therefore in no way imply anything about the personal motivations or characters of individual persons involved. If you say we have an “irresponsible opposition”, it does not necessarily mean that every opposition member is individually irresponsible. Concepts such as “opposition”, “government” and anything that refers to the institution of more than one person are relational in nature (i.e. they can only be defined at the intersection of collective relations) and do not apply to single individuals. They do not even apply to linear additions of individuals under any collective names. They refer to phenomena associated with synergies created by systemic relations among individuals (not even between individuals if the system has more than two individuals). They fall in a domain that no individual (in his/her capacity as individual) controls and hence can be held responsible for. Hence words such as “irresponsible” referring to a specific individual implies purposeful action (intention) by that individual, while the same word referring to an organization implies the unintended consequence (outcome) of the synergetic interaction among possibly (in the case of Eritrea) the most responsible people on the planet.

We can, therefore say horrible things about the opposition (or any group of members as a collective) while at the same time maintaining the utmost respect, and the best intentions about individual members and leaders of the collective (including on all their daily activities and dedication to everything they do to save Eritrea). This exactly is the other side of the coin of saying so much horrible things about President Isaias, the generals and other PFDJ members as unrelated individuals, while at the same time maintaining the utmost respect, and good intentions about the PFDJ system as an institution. This is the claim that the “Nsu” and “Down – Down” guys are making, in trying to sell the impression that if the “dictator” goes away everything will be happy and cheerful. Those who stand for this approach tend to dismiss that “dictatorship” exists only and only at the level of systemic synergies of individual relationships not necessarily centered on a specific individual. You do not have to assume evil in the leader as an individual in order to conclude that the system is a dictatorship.

May all the Generals rest in peace!

About Ali Salim

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  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Selamat Hayatom,

    Since anything we give you as to the cause of our Ghedli, especially by those who chose to be or were part of the Eritrean revolution (Ghedli) becomes an acceptable to you, at least so far, why don’t we make some theoretical argument as to why people revolt against their respective regimes? And when is it okay to revolt? Is there any threshold to raise army to fight for what is right? Take any kind of revolution for that matter. (Note: I hate to judge in hindsight. I rather want to argue whether the Eritrean revolution had enough reason to revolt. And that is the only reason we can find points of confluence in our argument if you are ready to do it). The right to revolt was first articulated as part of philosophy by Zhou Dynasty (1122-256 BC) to justify to overthrow the Shang Dynasty which was identified as despotic rulers. From there throughout the world from generation to generation revolutions are taking place with various reasons and objectives dictated by the circumstances around them.

    In my view People revolt either they are oppressed (we can include all kinds of oppression in to the loop of our argument) and/or they want to determine their fate/destiny by themselves. If we agree on these general premises, the Eritrean case can’t be different from these argument, no matter what internal dynamics has brought the shape and form of the the process . By internal dynamics I mean, the internal political discordant among the elites within our revolution. Of course that shouldn’t be new phenomenon to you if you read all kinds of revolutions in the world.

    So when our political elites found something that unites them and decided their destiny to live under federal arrangement in the late 40s, despite history of colonization should give them their independence, the Ethiopian government abrogated that federal arrangement. That is history in the book and I don’t think we have a divergent view as to what happened (by coercion and exploiting the religious schisms we had at that time) in taking away their autonomy by a forceful annexations. Therefore it is quite natural for Eritreans to revolt against that forceful annexation. Any revolution as we all know start by few committed individuals and grows its influence within any given society. The Eritrean revolution had that logical process in the path to determine the destiny of our people by themselves.

    Now don’t relate the current reality with the cause of Eritrean revolution, because each in themselves are dictated by different factors born within its own time and spaces. Unless you want to be dishonesty to exploit the current situation which has different values as to their goals, then our debates will end there. The cause of the struggle during the ghedli and the goal of the struggle at this time are different in their purposes as well as to their essences. The current argument of YG and yourself doesn’t pass the taste of our time as they are only looking back to history and you know from your heart that we can’t change the past from where we are now. The past left as a past. Why you guys don’t see on the present and try to fight to change it in order the future to be bright? Eritrea is borne as a sovereign state and became already a member of the international community. This reality will not change. What we can change is the current relationship between the two people (Eritrean and Ethiopian) in to a relationship of mutual respect and economic cooperation to fight poverty and backwardness. Whatever YG doing at this time is repulsive and doesn’t have any respect to our history. History is collective by nature, and the ghedli history is a collective endeavor by the Eritrean people. They will own it and will be proud of it. What I am ashamed is, as an Eritrean, we lost our stamina and resolve when it comes to our own despot letting everything to dismantle our social fabrics.

    • Haile Zeru

      Salamat Amanuel,

      I know you are addressing Hayat. But I have to tell you that YG is writing a fiction. That is he is not hinged by time, history or other logic. He is writing a pure horror fiction. One of those horror movies where the zombies run to devour everything and when they are killed they rise up again and pursue the victim. No purpose no reason. He is putting Eritreans, Haileselassie and mentioning place just to spare himself from inventing too many names. He is using the ones already available in his memory. No sane person that has some knowledge of history will buy his arguments.
      The only persons that sounds infatuated with YG are Hayat and Serray at least the others are not as persistent as them. May be the others like some points and then they realize that he goes way off the map of reality. While I will not say much about Serray here I find Hayat the most unsettling character. Don’t you find it odd here question “Why Eritreans did not fight against the Italians and the British? and there were no liberation movements against those colonizers? But we have Ghedli against Ethiopia?
      She asked this question twice Don’t you find there is something odd here? A person that is inquisitive and articulate as s/he is I find it really troubling to say the least. Her/his and YG quest to demean Eritreans seems to go way out of bounds.
      Why was the world colonized by Europeans? Why the natives lost their continent and marginalized in small pockets in all north and south america? Why china was colonized by the Japanese? While the whole of Africa was under different European colonizers?
      Don’t you think a reasonable and reasonably intelligent person could ask these questions and find a global answer? Not only about Eritreans?

      I commend your Effort but I can’t help it but register my dismay.

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Merhaba Haile Zeru,

        The Elites are the engine of changes. The elites are also the engine of counter changes. The mass are the boosters of the movement on either side. The one who has the tools of communication and the organizational skills wins the battle. Now the Eritrean Elites by virtue of their petty characters were divide between those who lead the revolution and those who oppose the revolution and stood with with oppressing Ethiopian regime. Now you could see reminiscence of the old divide and of course the YG school of thought are from those who oppose the armed struggle even if history speaks otherwise.. But what surprises me of YG is (I don’t know about Hayat) he was for ghedli before he becomes against it. Nothing new and it isn’t new phenomenon. Once we dismantle the oppressive system things will subside slowly to its natural course. Eritrea will survive as a nation. Eritrea will live at peace with itself and with its neighbors. What we need is stay with our resolve and be mindful with our make ups and how they live in peaceful coexistence.

        Amanuel Hidrat

      • Hayat Adem

        Dear HaileZ, Why do you think asking those questions is unimaginable and unsettling? Sal was arguing about political and legal standing for Eritrea to rebel for independence. The I said we could have bigger political and legal grounds to seek it from the white colonizers. On his other point, he mentioned Libya and Somalia. I countered by saying why then didn’t we fight against the British. You brought some pocket Eritrean resistances against British, I noted those pointed. I wish you broaden your research on those and establish it well. Otherwise, I can not be accused of not nodding in agreement while I see some parallel gaps.
        Please avoid this cliche of pretty much trying to scare your though opponent with loaded and clouded words: this is demeaning…this is way out of bounds.. this… let me tell you: even if something being discussed here is 100% false or wrong, there is nothing to be scared about. We’re not shooting bullets. Discussions never killed a person or a country. Relax and discuss.

        • Hope

          The Eritrean case in ref to Liberating Eritrea and Erittreans from brutal colonization is over and closed for, once and for all!
          The next phase is to struggle for the optimal Freedom and Constitutional Governance.
          But to deduct that since the Liberation has not achieved its final objective (due to secondary factors),hence,the Liberation Struggle and the untold sacrife are void and null,is BUT FALACIOUS LOGIC and ABSURD.
          You seem to be reasonabley intelligent person on your articles and thought process/analysis but not to grasp this simple logic and fact is amusing ,if not,intellectual bancruptsy and political acrobatism,to say the least,albeit,deliberately.
          You have no clue how much it hurts to the Eritreans who have lost their best loved ones and some of us,lost almost all brothers and sisters–up to SEVEN close family members.
          We do NOT look it that way Ms/Mr. Hayat(the way you and “Professor” do).We Eritreans have a different way of understanding the current situation.
          Please,be considerate and rational on this sensitive issue.
          Plus, as Emma said, use your own brain,rather than the brain of YG.
          Just review the 1993-1997 period to give you an idea that the current situation we are in is,just a secondatry,unexpected but temporary and for the most part,due to serious external threats and pressure,based on facts you know.
          Just give us sometime,if not, just leave us alone as we can deal with it.

    • Hayat Adem

      Emma, (my thinking sign posts)
      1) I don’t want to go back to the 1950s or 60s. So, that means, I am fine with fully functioning independent Eritrea not so much that because I think it is a wonderful achievement but as an accomplished fact and I told you before I have a navigator mentality. I recalculate from where I’m. Where I’m is “independence”, and I try to make the best of it. I also sincerely think, given the right leadership, system of governance and freedom, Eritreans are hard-working and creative and we can turn things around. So, don’t consider me as if I’m saying lets go back and join the Ethiopian kilils now. Andnet is fine if it comes as a natural growth of country-to-country cooperation. Although my misgivings on ghedli are more than clear, i don’t accuse our tegadelti of passing in it. If there any standing out hard crimes that were committed in medda, there has to be some way of getting a closure to them. Crimes committed after independence have to be mercilessly accounted for.
      2) Revolutions and struggles can be initiated and popularised for so many different reasons. You are not asking me to take it: if people support it and mobilized for the cause, then it must have been a genuine revolution; if revolutions became triumphant at the end, then they must have been driven by a just cause; if revolutions required a huge sacrifice and that was paid, then they must have been truly needed. How many revolutions in the world do we know that were popular, overpriced and victorious!!!
      3) Yg is helping us ask new questions and that is important. History of any kind need not be respected. It has to be known and reapplied as necessary. People like Yg are a gravities of sanity in any society. We need them.
      4) Now, people like yourself and Sal and Gashe Saleh are great communicators. You have the truth on your side. You know history and the Eritrean history. Some of you have been real time actors in ghedli. That all means, you have more than enough weapons at your disposal to convincingly disarm any opposite-argument comfortably if you can. If so, why are you guys YELLING at AND ATTACKING Yg for the only crime of thinking and sharing his thoughts. Is there any taboo area that we should never visit? And of all areas, you guys think our history must be immune from any revisits? What is repulsive about that?

      • Saleh Johar

        Hayat dear,
        I believe you are not fair when you say, “why are you guys YELLING at AND ATTACKING YG for the only crime of thinking and sharing his thoughts.”

        As you know, everyone who writes publicly is exposed to challenges, criticism and YELLING AND ATTACKING. You see that everyday, on every article and writer, yet you make it sound that he is the only one being attacked. And who do you blame? A few people, me included in the list, I suppose. Don’t you think your accusation smells of unfairness? Do you expect one to get away smoothly after insulting the entire Ghedli when writers are being attacked for a minor issue? No dear. Don’t expect a writer to get a fair treatment for everyone who comments, experience should have shown you that. Naturally, (if your claim was right) yelling and attacking should have been followed by more drastic steps. Not intolerance here, I hope I can call on you to give a testimony to that if need be. What you call Yelling and attacking is the price of engaging publicly, we pay that daily, for over a decade, but we didn’t cry about it. We just continue. Time always tells who was right and who was wrong. Patience. In fact, sharing thoughts and thinking for themselves is what every writer does and everyone gets a mixed reaction, a cocktail of reactions. It only shows who agrees with an idea and who doesn’t. Who passionately disagrees and who passionately agrees. I am sure you are not expecting someone to preach and then as if a church congregation, we all say Amen and walk out. I hope you will reflect on your unfairness and blanket accusation.

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Selam Hayatom,

        Political scientists say ” analysis and punditry are the views of elites”. And here we Eritreans by avoiding the urgency of our people, we are dancing in the punditry land. Look what you are doing when our people are suffocated and our nation is on the verge of collapse, you are talking about the history of the 60s and 70s. Do you notice that you are just doing what political pundits do?

        • Hayat Adem

          Slacker, spoiler…I am sorry you felt that way. A lot of times, the past and the future come together, blended and intertwined and blurred. it becomes to say or do anything by totally avoiding the past. It happens both ways. Ghedli is a past. look how fiercely you are protective. My issue with ghedli has never been about hating it and erasing it. There are many Eritreans who vengefully think that way these days. But mine is about trauma-driven caution of not repeating mistakes. When people were climbing Mount Adal, they had no idea the way we know it now that they were embarking on a project that would ask so much waste and sacrifice of 30 years. If they had known, more likely than not they would have preferred a different path. When the youth of Kebessa was crowding Sewra, they had no idea that such a misery would be the result of their sacrifice. Had they known, they would have used their lives for other things of their own and family. When you learn lessons of such a huge undertaking of a society ended up becoming a history of crowning petty dictator, you started asking what the root problem was so that you don’t repeat. The price of failing as a nation and not learning from it to become better would be a curse of greatest sin. You paid three successive generations for this, and cannot be not asking tough questions, including the ones you don’t want to hear. Then, if they have no weight, you will shake them off them. If you could build some common understanding on the past, it is easier to work jointly on solutions. Sometimes hurdles are hard to get them out of your ways. You can throw them to the future, but they will be there waiting for you. They don’t let you go unless you face them head on.

          But then, you are right, lets focus on the NOW and on what we can do to make things better the Haile (the great) way.

          • Amanuel Hidrat


            Oh Hayat, are you really serious. Slacker to me! If you are of my age the “slacker” really belongs to you. When we heed the call of our time the slackers evade the national call. That is how we see it my friend. I am sorry for you, to call ghedli the project of waste. When we join it we understood the cost and everything we did is on line of duties. Those who evades the call, have the audacity to pick every shortcoming of our struggle, and of course in hindsight. For us it was nationalism. It was patriotism. It was a valor and sacrifice for the good of our people. When you revolt it is not without cost. Even the so called peaceful struggle is not without cost. Look the Egyptian peaceful revolution, the Ukranian peaceful protest are good examples in themselves.

            As to protecting the ghedli, go and dig out what kind of struggle I was doing “the struggle within the struggle”. When you knew that, you could know whether I was fighting to correct the wrong policy of ghedli or not. The spoilers are those who are trying to evade the need of focusing to the current struggle. Absolutely, that is how we see them many of us. So Hayat, for God’s sake we were giving the alarming notes to our people even at the early stage of our independence, Probably you were going back and forth to Eritrea at that time. There is nothing hidden the good and the bad’s of the ghedli. Don’t think YG knows more than the actors. By the way what did we protect from Ghedli,other that its cause. When it comes to its cause, yes we fiercely defend “the cause of Ghedli”. But to its failure, we never did. Be rational Hayat and stop this senseless punditry.

          • Hayat Adem

            No, no, no, nonnnnnnn….I didn’t mean you, it was about me (if you are considering me as a slacker or spoiler of the discussions as related to ghedli, then i’m sorry)–that was what I tried to say in a short-hand…it can’t be you because you are always asking us to focus on matters that need our urgent attention….I’m firing this as soon as i saw the first line of your comment and before i read your comment…so i’ll be back if there is a need for more comments

  • Eyob Medhane

    Hi all,

    I think Ethiopian government is finding additional way to grab Shabia by the balls and squeeze it to make it scream with high pitch once again. Take a look at this…


    • Hope

      Please DO NOT be too naive about Eritreans.If they hate,PFDJ,do NOT think that they buy lies here and there.
      I just read the link from head to toe and there is nothing new here about Ethiopia lying again.
      Ethiopia might have ” Circumstantial Evidence” but Eritrea has facts and proofs that Ethiopia is meddling around in S Sudan Internal Issues.
      Case in point,S Sudan Gov clearly and openly declared to the world the positive role Eritrea has played and for firmly standing with the same people of S Sudan and Nation,for which/whom Eritreans not only,helped to achieve independence but sacrified its precious Youth.
      In fact, in that link, Ethiopia is showing some uncontrollable panick attack.
      Are you here to chase and defame Shabia or to have a healthy dialog?

  • Kaddis

    Just wanted to share this elegant article written about Argentina. I found the comments part extremely sincere and telling – and the commenter’s expression can relate to any Ethiopian, Eritrean …a lot


    • Hayat Adem

      Thanks kaddis. Good read.

  • Ermias

    Fair enough Saba. Don’t short change yourself though. You are more than capable of laying out a manifesto about proper opposition organization techniques. I doubt it will come from Ali-S. Perhaps Serray.

  • haile

    Seriously? I mean you thought I was….gosh, that was a title earned from saay (he usually tip you when disembarking, if keep him riding in your bus 🙂
    Clarify this if you would:

    – do you disagree with all forms of opposition
    – do you disagree with a specific group that you would care to state

    the current “temesasel” technique launched by covert PFDJ is the first type, i.e. I am opposition and disagree with the lot of you and must be disbanded at once”

    The second type are OK, they reject some they support some. So, far you sound the first.

    • Dawit


      I wonder if there is also a right , or left turn besides the U-turn. Ali-Salim could have rather turned to right or left and save many of you from confusion.

    • Sheba

      I was supporting EPDP, Semere kesete, etc but they all got corrupted(still better than the others but they will go no where with that kind of organization). What is left? Dimlek? Go ahead with that. I can not help you with your paranoia about temesaselti pfdj cadres. If you assume that everybody who is not in your cyber opposition is a pfdj supporter, you will be in a wrong path. I gave you some info about me, waiting to see your personal attacks:)

  • haile

    Selamat Awatista,

    Here is an interesting read that conclusively and scientifically concludes that it is next to impossible to talk to PFDJ on any issue of relevance in state matters.


    Normally, those in power are restrained and those opposing restless and aggressive. Not in Eritrea’s case, so much so, the YPFDJ that is supposed to have grown up in western democracy is little more civilized than street hooligans. Imagine the pent up anger these people hold inside. Imagine what they would do to you if they knock your door at night in Eritrea saying bsrah tdle aloka! (imagine if you have no aya to bail you out). The so called PFDJ have brutally killed so many heroic Eritreans simply because they asked for rule of law.

    Please read the above article and reflect with the type of brutal bullies that Eritreans are living with and escaping from. We know there is increased cyber activity recently from the PFDJ covert and overt messages with the following talking points:

    1 – Reference to the escalating humanitarian tragedy befalling Eritreans is “taking advantage” of their situation

    2 – That opposing the PFDJ is pointless because there is “no alternative”

    3 – The current regime is the only true “EPLF”

    4 – The opposition has no plans, they would lose Eritrea as a nation…

    5 – Ratchet up hate speech against the people of “Tigray”

    A rumor mill going around (no confirmation) is that following the mass movements after the Lampedusa tragedy, PFDJ has re-activated upto 2000 sleeping cells of disinformation in the diaspora to confuse and breakdown the Eritrean people’s resolve to seek democratic change. Their talking point is identical “there is no opposition” that is it. They would also then accuse the non-existing opposition of causing the current crisis!!!

    2k keep da #

    • haile

      …and this would just break your heart!! Sometimes it is fair to blame the world because the Eritrean people are overwhelmed by clear cut sense of sleep walking off a cliff and may not be able to act fast enough to save themselves.

      This one is truly sad…


      • Semere Andom

        Thanks for the video Haile
        This is a common occurrence in the Eritrean family, and it is good that this woman’s plight is getting some coverage as we are so bad in bringing personal issue to the forefront. As May 24 draws closer exposures like this will help us reflect and decide whether to join the fight against the evil or dance to the tunes of a criminal.
        That is why people like you change their minds when facts are revealed, there is no grey area in the truth, it is self evident as Jefferon said ( Nitricc, am I quoting the right president ?:))
        This is tragic. I remember in 1996 a woman by the name Hiwot from was USA was picked up and spent few weeks in prison. The number of Eritreans who disappear after visiting their homeland i not reported as it should, their families grieve in silence .And they have done no harm, a secret agent in whim may have reported to them as enemies of Eritrea.
        And now we see it, they have awakened their dormant cells to spy and report on us and the asha Beraki visit Asmara to be the victims, while the criminal profit from it even when driving recklessly and illegally 🙂
        Haile Dew bel

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Selam Hailat,

      The clips you are providing us are good tools for arguments. We don’t even need our words to explain them. They are explanation in themselves, everyone to watch the daily crimes of the PFDJ regime. It is to this regime some of our colleagues are trying to resuscitate by giving new names PFDJ 2.0 or trying to explain the new journey as U-turn to PFDJ 2.0. Very Sad it looks a circular journey in an attempt to give an amnesty to the killer of Eritrean people and sustain the apparatus of operations. Keep up my brother.

      • haile

        Selamat Aman,

        An interesting observation to be made is about those who are self declared “opposition” to the regime, except that they couldn’t find an “opposition” that matches their implied “caliber”. When such people are faced with such news stories, they don’t express any visible concern or solidarity with the victims. They simply slide into fits of anger that force them to curse the “cyber opposition”. It is not like “oh my poor people, how can that happen…” rather “hell no! there is no way the “cyber opposition” would be any use!…” In Eritrea, there is no direct access to information and what is available is really degraded quality. The tragedy is that many are evidently heartless to such tragedies. I have recently posted an intercepted fb message by a YPFDJ girl that expressed delight that the Lampedusa victims were drowned and hence their files closed early!!! What I come accross in real life from supporters of the regime is chilling horrific and mindless. Today, there is no excuse to blame the efficacy of a random opposition organization in order to continue to refuse giving moral support to our people who are going unimaginable horrors. PFDJ is a system of slavery and it would never be prepared to do anything differently, it is too damn late anyway. The question is however, how do its overt and covert supporters justify such tragic situation happening in broad day light? Can’t they say this is not about the “opposition” (cyber or not) rather about me, my people, my children and my parents. STOP NOW as there can be no justification for my young and children to wander on the deserts, waste away in camps and risk sea crossings. It is about me and what I do rather than a guy whose politics I agreed with once upon a time and a political party I thought would work… When are our people going to wake up and learn that empty bravado and hiding from the sun behind their fingers doesn’t work?

      • Semere Andom

        Hi Aman:
        No need for words,absolutely correct.
        It is not the lack of knowledge about the crimes of the PFDJ that we have the U-Turners and new Medrekh people to try to cheat us again. It the lack of morals and decency. I grew up with storied Eritreanism and now I know better and even after our real independence is achieved, we have to be careful of all the sharks and snakes that plague the Eritrea now.
        There are two facts about people who support PFDJ: they know the crimes intimately and are privy to the ugly nature of this group. You cannot convince them and argue with them. You just let them complete their illegal U-turns and then arrest them for violating the rules. There are signs, they can see, they can read, they can hear. It is a choice. Just like PFDJ was designed to be criminal, human being is designed to have choice, but is advised to choose good over evil, even without the knowledge, the knowledge of good and evil is innate to human beings, the difference is starkly written on the heart. It boils down to choice. I do not talk PFDJ supporters to persuade/debate them any more, they are not debatable, I debate them to shame and humiliate them.
        Have you also notice how they want to make us feel guilty by pulling the line of tolerating opposing ideas?
        The PFDJ is is by design criminal, no matter what version it is. we can try to point to good people here and there, but it is all futile and this new revelation is it insincere, rich and dangerous.

        If an intellectual gets excited about writing a constitution after such document has been written 100 of times in the work for the last 100 years starting with the Magna Carta and goes home and writes widase to the dictator because he was excited that the dictator will implement his brain child, you get to be depressed. It is not that I am against been excited, but an intellectual must not praises governments and people who are in power. The citizens are the bosses of the government and the intellectuals among us are the experts, who advice us on different fields so we are equipped to discern if the government is misleading us insidiously.

        Sem Andom

    • Hope

      Then the main question is:
      is the Oppositiopn ready to counter their offensive?If so, how and in what way?
      Please admit that the opposition that we have thus far is: lame and disorganized.Rather than blaming the blame,we have to work hard as well.
      There is one point the EPDP people irritated me,albeit,some truth in it.
      Blaming and comparing the YPFDJ with Nazi Youth .They could have done a better job by creating a better organized and inclusive Youth and here we are doing the same thing.

      • haile

        Selamat Hope,

        We really have to tighten the knots and say the Eritrean people rather than the opposition. The latter is fluid concept and could mean many things to many people. The primary stakeholders are the Eritrean people and we need to judge if we as a people are doing our part. Which boils down to the individual. Again, there are many political associations but few community organizations that would serve as a backbone of our general desire to see a democratic and just society at home.

        It is shameful that we, as a people living in the diaspora (many), are controlled by regime community centers. Could Eritreans set up their own community centers that would look after their own social affairs? PFDJ should have been taking orders from the better equipped, financed and educated diaspora. Instead the diaspora seems to still be muzzled by a PFDJ, an organization run by the low end of the third world barrel for all practical purposes.

        These community centers would deny PFDJ the breeding ground of 03 rumors and paralyzing deprivations that is holding the diaspora hostage. People can have positive, affirmative roles to play in building successful communities that would support and be a backbone of movements with democratic political ideals, and be in a position to invest on ventures with such values. PFDJ thrives on fomenting enmity among the people so that they are divided and weak. It is the Eritrean people that are divided and weak, that are incapable of managing their own affairs in the diaspora, that can’t bring to trust each other for common good…. We should avoid falling into the trap of creating an imaginary enemy “weak opposition” to hide from facing our responsibility. It is Eritrean youth, kids, women and men who are distraught and finding themselves in tragic conditions not just an “opposition” affiliated individuals! If you go to PFDJ meeting, it is common to observe an Eritrean with multiple degrees or PhD bowing their head down and listing to some bull cr@p from a PFDJ cadre who never completed high school, that is deep self deception.

        Eritreans can blame the border, woyane, USA, opposition, IGAD… but never the point the finger at themselves and ask, why on earth does these PFDJ mobs think we/ I deserve to be walked on as a doormat. What legacy would I be leaving my children, what guarantee does the PFDJ give me that they will deliver one day as long as I follow the like a mindless robot…

        Let’s face it, we are weak, we are divided, we are incapable of managing ourselves, and this is why we are accepting to be treated this way, wediwo opposition, weridwo someone else…. here is a nice poem by a young man in Swiss (particular political group but a young man’s perspective)


    • tafla

      You are passionate about the fate of our fleeing people. May I ask, if you have donated money, clothing, medicine or a life vest? Or are just using their misery to score political points? sorry If appear rude, just curious.

      • haile

        ሰላም ታፍላ

        ሕቶኻ ዘይእሩም (rude) ኣይኮነን። ኮይኑ ግን ኣብ ሃናጺ መንፈስ ዝተሰረተ’ውን ኣይኮነን። ንመርወይ ሸውሃትካ ዝኣክል፡ አወ ዝከኣለኒ እገብር እየ (ልዕሊኡ እውን ተኽእሎ ኣሎኒ)። ክንዲ’ቲ ናይቲ መጠን ጸገም፡ ወይ’እውን ክንዲ’ቲ ዓበይቶ ውልቀሰባት (ኤርትራውያን) ዝገብርዎ ዘለዉ ከይኮን ይኽእል፡ ግን ናይ ዓቕመይ ወስ እብል እየ።

        ንምኽዋኑ እቶም ዝጠቐስካዮም ዘይገበረ፡ ክዛረብ ኣይፍቀዶን ማልትካ’ዶ ትኸውን? እቲ ምንጋርን፡ በቲ ሓቅነት እቲ ተጓኒፉ ዘሎ ጸገም ምእማን’ከ እንታይ ናይ ምግባርን ዘይምግባርን ሕቶ ከልዕል ይኽእል? ምናልባሽ እንተዘየጻገመካ፡ ከም መረዳእታ ክንወስደካ ጽቡቕ ይመስለኒ። ናይዞም ሰባት ጸገም ከም ኣርእስቲ ምልዓሉ ናይ መን ፖለቲካ ከይወቅዕ አዩ ኣስጊኡካ? እቲ ፖለቲካ’ዶ ይጠቕመካ ንሓዋሩ ወይስ ድህነት ምስኪን ህዝብኻ? ሓደ ሰብ ብመቑሕ ቡዳ ምስዝተሓዝ እሞ፡ ሓደ መንፈሳዊ ካህን ነዚ ክሰብርሉ ክሰርሑ እንከለዉ፡ እቲ ቡዳ ዝተታሕዘ ሰብ፡ ኣብ ልዕሊ እዞም መንፈሳዊ ሰብ እዩ ዝግዕር፡ ዝዓፍር፡ ዝዘልፍ፡ ዘባጩ። ግን’ከ እቲ ቡዳ’ዶ ይጠቕሞ ወይስ እቲ መንፈሳዊ ሰብ ዝገብረሉ ዘሎ ምንጋፍ? ብህግደፍ ዝተለኽፈ ሰብ፡ ብኩል እእምሮ፡ ጭኑቕ መንፈስን፡ ሰይጣናዊ ጭካኔ ዝተለበደ እዩ። ኣብ ድቕድቕ ጸላም ከርሲ ባሕሪ ተወሊዱ ዝሞተ ኤርትራዊ ህጻን፡ ዓጽመ ስጋኻ ምዃኑ እዩ። ስለምንታይ ምባል፡ ናይ ፖለቲካ ክሳራ ናይቲ ሒዙካ ዘሎ ቡዳ ስለዝኾነ ግን፡ እብ ቅድሚ ሓቂ ናብ ከምዚ ዝበለ ታሕቲ ክትወርድ መሪጽካ! ሎሚ ኩሉ እናፈለጠ ዝጽይቕ ዘሎ ኤርትራዊ፡ መቑሕ ህግደፋዊ ቡዳ ክፍንጽግ ዘይምኽኣሉ እምበር፡ ደሃይ ፍትሒ፡ ደሃይ ሓቂ፡ ደሃይ ሓልዮት፡ እንከን ክወጾም ዘይግባእ መሰረት ህይወት፡ ጽጋን፡ ጥዕናን እዮም። መንገድኻ፡ መንገዲ ነውጺ፡ መንገዲ ጥፍኣት፡ መንገዲ ደልሃመት እዩ። ዝሓዘካ ህግደፋዊ ቡዳ ግን ካብኡ ስለዝርባሕ፡ ተጻራሪ ሰናይ፡ እጋፋሪ ውጉዝ ለ እኩይ ኮንካ።

        ዝኸበርካ ታፍላ፡ እትገብሮ ሰናይ ተኸዊልካ ግበሮ፡ ካብ ማንም ንላዕሊ ናይ ዘረባ ዕድል ክትረክብ፡ ክትጥመት ወይ እውን ክትግበዝ ኣይትግበሮ። ናጽነት ዘምጽኡ ኣቦታትካን እደታትካን ኣሕዋትካን፡ ስሞም ከይገለጹ ዝተሰውኡ ይበዝሑ። ዓቕምኻ ግበር፡ ልዕሊ ኩሉ ግን ንሓቂ ደው በል። ብጸገም ኣሕዋትካ ተዛሪብካ፡ ምንጪ ጸገሞም ኣጋሊጽካ፡ ዝርከብ ውልቃዊ ጥቕምን ዝናን የልቦን። ምእንተ ርእሱ ኢልካ ግበሮ። ንስኻ ዘይተእውየሎም መን ከአውየሎም ትሓስብ? መቑሕ ሰብኣዊ ህልናኻ ሓይሩ ዘሎ ቡዳ ክትሰብር ኣኻእሎ ይሃብካ።


        • tafla

          ሓደርካ ሃይለ

          Both my English and tgrña is bad so bear with me.

          Thank you for your reply, your noble deeds and words deserve respect.

          If we leave the exorcism part aside for now and try to focus on a permanent solution. All Eritreans can agree that a nation without the youth has no future and for any meaningful change to happen in Eritrea, only those who are directly affected by the system are most suited to bring about that change. So no matter if you think that PFDJ is the culprit or CIA/Weyane conspiracy. We all have an interest in the youth staying at home. So what the opposition can do to achieve a realistic change is to support them financially, so they are not dependent on the gov for their salay/livelihood and not encourage them to abandon their duty to those who are unable to flee.

          The supporters of PFDJ will of course not help finance the youth inside the country, they pay 2% which is fine for them. But I don’t think they will refuse to help those who are languishing in refugee camps in Sudan/Ethiopia and elsewhere if it’s done in non-political fashion.

          My wish is for us to separate the humanitarian needs (felt by all Eritreans except for a few who don’t care among oppsition and supporters)
          Our political objectives; If you believe the fault lies with PFDJ and if you believe it’s the CIA/Weyane work on exposing them.

          I hope I make sense, if not please correct me.

          • Hayat Adem

            Why don’t I tell you myself: you don’t make sense at all with the exception of your first line in ge;ez font that says ሓደርካ ሃይለ. Pick up a mirror, and speak these statements of yours (rephrased, of course) to yourself and see if they make any sense: 1) the opposition has to finance the youth so that it they stay at home, 2) The opposition should not encourage them (meaning the youth) to abandon their duty (meaning staying inside and doing the NS),3) PFDJ supporters are paying 2% and they should not be expected to do more, 4) those of you who believe the problem is PFDJ, keep exposing it; those of us who believe the problem is CIA/Weyane, we’ll do the same.
            Now you know it, you don’t have to ask Haile the Great whether you make a sense or not. Go back to the drawing board and set up a meeting with yourself and assess.

          • tafla


            “1) the opposition has to finance the youth so that it they stay at home, 2) The opposition should not encourage them (meaning the youth) to abandon their duty (meaning staying inside and doing the NS),3) PFDJ supporters are paying 2% and they should not be expected to do more, 4) those of you who believe the problem is PFDJ, keep exposing it; those of us who believe the problem is CIA/Weyane, we’ll do the same.”

            Let me try if can explain it better.

            1) the opposition has to finance the youth so that they stay at home.

            – Judging from the fragmented state of the organized opposition, their
            lack of action and the involvement of EPRDF. I can’t see any change
            coming from outside. So I draw the conclusion that the army has to make the
            change by themselves, but they can’t do it on an empty stomachs, they have to
            provide for themselves and their families. Therefore the opposition should help
            them financially, so they can focus on getting rid of the government.

            2) The opposition should not encourage them (meaning the youth) to abandon their duty (meaning staying inside and doing the NS)

            – Well, their duty is to their people, those who don’t have the possibility to flee,
            because of old age or because they are too young. They have also a duty to the future of their country, it belongs to them since governments come and go.

            3) PFDJ supporters are paying 2% and they should not be expected to do more.

            – If you are a supporter of the PFDJ, you do not see anything wrong with the NS, since there is a threat from Ethiopia. You pay your 2% according to what the government has proclaimed. I’m not forbidding/exempting them from contributing more, if that’s how you understood it.

            4) those of you who believe the problem is PFDJ, keep exposing it; those of us who believe the problem is CIA/Weyane, we’ll do the same.

            – The same as in the previous point, you have to start from people’s conviction.

            If there is a conspiracy to empty the nation, all Eritreans would like to know
            that, but there has to be concrete evidence to prove it.

            Those in the opposition, believe the cause of the youth fleeing is the indefinite NS and that the border issue is just bogus (“EPRDF is not a threat”) and there is no good reason to keep such tight control, and they will keep exposing that and present their argument to persuade all Eritreans.

            But you missed my main argument; All Eritreans care about our brothers and sisters we just differ on the reason why (some opposition and pfdj supporters are of course indifferent) why and if they should flee.

            Once our brothers and sisters are outside the nation and in harms way, then it’s not the time to talk politics, it’s time to be a family and act accordingly.

            I hope you understood me better this time.

          • haile

            ኣንታ ታፍላ ዓርከይ፡ እንታይ ግዲ’ዩ ወሪዱካ ሎምዘበን!

            – Correction: the pro-regime don’t actually pay 2% (and don’t take them up on anything they claim either, because one needs to be devoid of moral judgement and act to support the regime in the first place). In the past I posted an article from PFDJ operatives in Canada (that I can dig out if you wish) that was written/submitted to the Canadian government in protest to the expulsion of Semere. In it they claim to have submitted evidence that “out of estimated 30,000 Eritrean Canadians only close to 2000 have paid some form of 2% (that is less than 10%)”. Now most of this are people who must pay it because they have to deal with urgent matters and not in support of the regime. Now my view on 2% is clear, it must be charged so long as it is made transparent in the way it is spent. It is highly immoral to willfully support the regime at this time and hence only the highly “immoral” among us do so.

            – Your proposal of the opposition financing anything is non-starter. Indeed, the justice seekers (rather than the organized opposition) have substantial media, financial and other opportunity capital that they can extend to the people at home. The problem is that the regime has blockaded and barricaded the country. It of course, not just crisis response but their extensive clouts in many spheres right accross the globe needs and must be utilized to serve the good of their people at home and abroad. The regime is the main spoiler abroad by playing decisive and dirty politics and the main obstacle at home by literally banning you from sending so much as $5 USD to your family, you can only send cereals, rice and oil in small quantity. The devil must first be uprooted.

            – For good or worse, you must accept that ERITREA DOES NOT HAVE THE CAPACITY TO DEFEND ITSELF RIGHT NOW. That is what the regime has reduced us to. Please avoid empty bravado, yesterday is gone, today we are under strict arms embargo in a highly controlled part of the world. The nation was dishonored in the world stage for sleeping with terrorists that massacred civilians in a shopping mall. The world is disgusted with the regime that we have and they refuse to work with in any meaningful way because it is a disturbed entity with criminal backgrounds. Wedi Vacaro told you that he stopped going to Eritrea and cut his ties with the nation he loved all his life after witnessing IA dealing with gangs and mafias tarnishing the name of our country that 100,000 died to liberate and defend.

            – Today supporting the regime and not being able to ask why is obviously being done out of personal considerations, so one may be entitled to their own opinion and choice but not facts.

            ሰላም ኩን ታፍላ

            Here is DR Alganesh with PMHD

          • tafla

            haile Arkey,

            Chrus b’AQma…You misunderstood why I brought up the 2% issue. There needs to be a tangible way forward if you want to uproot the system, otherwise everyone might as well sit tight and wait for Isseyas to die and see what happens.

            All the best to you.

        • reasonable

          [Moderator: “reasonable, be reasonable. If you don’t have time, don’t visit here. But don’t insult people who are here. Your message is deleted.]

  • Abinet

    Ato Amanuel ,
    Are you telling us that you were discreminated because you were an Eritrean ? I was born and raised in addis . I have never heard of someone dicreminated against because he is an Eritrean .
    Eritreans were generals,doctors, bankers,pilots,university professors, occupied the highest positions in every sector of the economy, commerce, transportation etc , etc, etc
    At one time 25% of AAU students were Eritreans . The same is true at ethiopian airlines.
    So, please find another reason for your decision to join the independence movement. In my opinion Eritreans were the creme of the society .
    Even now after endependence , after the war,you can find a lot of Eritrea’s ( successful ) in every sector .

    • Horizon

      YG is saying that there was no reason to start Gedli. Nevertheless, once started atrocities that came with it, sustained Gedli. The golden days of Asmara and the peaceful years of the Eritrean countryside were the years between the end of Italian colonialism and the start of Gedli. When
      Gedli came to Asmara and the countryside, Eritreans and Ethiopians lost their innocence.

      The victim syndrome was part and parcel of the campaign to demonize Ethiopia and get support from Arab countries and the West, (Ethiopia the colonizer, the oppressor, the communist ethnic genocide etc).

      At one time 50% of the freshmen at AAU were Eritreans, and the dean happened to be an Eritrean. That was one of the big scandals that shook AAU. As you rightfully pointed out, there were areas that were dominated by Eritreans, for example the EAL, today’s Ethiotelecom etc. May be in the latter days of Gedli, when it was found out that some Eritreans were sabotaging and acting as a fifth column from the center, there was some restriction of access to exceedingly sensitive areas. Otherwise, Ethiopians were even complaining of the priority given to Eritreans.

      Revolutions may start on manufactured reasons for ulterior motives, on bogus superiority complex, and by rewriting history. They had to create reasons to explain why Gedli was necessary in the first place, and why it is still necessary to stick with it, even though it brought more misery to Eritrea than ever before. Gedli was not launched based on the reality on the ground, but it was based on ulterior reasons and this explains, why the result of Gedli failed to serve the interest of the Eritrean people. That golden bullet that started Gedli, although meant to target the very existence of Ethiopia, it was to pierce the heart of the ordinary Eritrean, and make it bleed over the last fifty years. In addition, it is difficult to believe that the older generation of Eritreans will ever stand for true relations with Ethiopia, as there used to be in the old days, and the more time flies bye, the more the rift between the two people is growing. Therefore, those who say, let us leave this to the coming generations, may be nearer to the truth than us the romantics.

      Just look at how Eritrean politics is changing recently. Slowly but surely, it is becoming a circular journey in search of shabia. People have introduced new terms to Eritrean politics, like Shabia 1-2 (the status quo is going to remain as it is), a U-turn (Eritrea is shabia and shabia is Eritrea), PFDJ has good intentions (exonerating it of its crimes and keeping it in power), there are only victims and not victimizers (they were all after a greener pasture and they brought it upon themselves and PFDJ is not responsible) etc.

      Why do you think that all these are happening? In my humble opinion, it is to save Gedli in the eyes of the Eritrean people and exonerate DIA and PFDJ, the keepers of Gedli. Eritrean politics is, therefore, moving one step forward and two steps back.

      • Abinet

        Most Eritreans don’t like YG because he is telling them what they try to avoid at any cost ,the TRUTH. Look how he compare the current situation of Eritrea to Cambodia and N Korea in his latest article . Most don’t read him because they are blind followers of elf, EPLF , or they are afraid of the truth .this time he put them in numbers and numbers don’t lie.
        I think the major problem is the lack of honesty . If you start to lie you have to keep it up . It is worse if you lie to yourself or to the younger generation . First it becomes a habit and then before you know it , it is your culture.
        One thing I could not understand is why those com mentors who tell the truth are labeled Ethiopians ? Can’t an Eritrean tell the truth?

        • Saleh Johar

          Abinet: “Most don’t read him because they are blind followers of elf, EPLF, or they are afraid of the truth.”

          Really? I think you need to find the truth before you preach it. I don’t think you know anything let alone the truth about the topic.

          • Abinet

            The truth is , according to the article I discussed with horizon , is that Eritrea / asmara was doing very fine at the king’s time . Is it not true? Convince me otherwise . I’m ready to learn

          • Saleh Johar

            Abinet dear, I am not talking about Asmara because I discussed the city after reading an article. I know Asmara and I know how it felt and how the people felt. If you want to learn, ask those who left it to fight, ‘why they left a good life to suffer in struggling to get rid of the Ethiopian regime. That is how you can learn. I suggested the way, now it is your desire to learn (or unlearn) that should drive you.

          • Kim Hanna

            Mr. Saleh Johar,
            With all due respect this dog won’t hunt. Abinet’s question and Horizon’s assessment are still suspended in mid air.

          • Eyob Medhane


            I think many, especially these days are out hammering YG mostly by ridiculing him rather than argue on the merit on his argument is because, as you said he tends to call a spade a spade and that puts them in pretty much losing side of the debate. They want to hog on their ages old fallacy and particularly with the young generation their ground is shifting on their feet, and many hold YG responsible for shedding the light on what they hid in the dark for so long. I have not read his latest article. But with his other writings and his throngs of especially young followers, he seems to be the only one that hit the nerve of the ‘romantics’. It makes them nervous, because his truth could be a better platform to chart the future, in order to pull out of that country from the mess it is in…

      • saay7

        Selamat Horizon:

        Sometimes, when I read Awate Forum, I feel very proud of this website: we must be doing something right to attract all the brainiacs. One of those moments was when I saw your analysis of Egyptian politics regarding the River Nile: it was insightful and persuasive. Those who didn’t read it can read it here:


        Sometimes, when I read awate forum, with people bringing YG’s arguments, sigh. In two consecutive posts, the brainiac Hayat wrote (a) that “Yg took the entire Ghedli mantra by the horn and grinded (ground) it into ashes and dusted it away….you would see all the Eritrean spirit about to be sprouting and flowering until you started reading the first script of the dark journey with the coming of Ghedli.” and then when she heard of the passing of Ahmed Mohammed Nasser (b) “rest in peace. it is a life to be honored.” Using the YG take on Ghedli, which she considers accurate, wouldn’t she have to conclude that Ahmed Mohammed Nasser, a product of a high school in Asmara (Qedemawi Haile Selasse), who joined the field in 1965, rose in ranks to become the Secretary General of the biggest Front in 1975 to be one of those who were responsible for the “dark journey”?

        The law of averages says that an Ethiopian version of YG is coming. One who will argue that:
        (1) Eritreans had no choice but to wage an armed struggle because Ethiopia had violated the terms of UN resolution 390(v)
        (2) Ethiopia missed many opportunites to win the hearts of minds of Eritreans but it chose bombs and bullets and punishing innocent civilians which alienated them even more.
        (3) That the reason the Eritrean armed struggle took 30 years is because Ethiopia took a rigid and inflexible position, turning down even an internationally monitored referendum (which then meant Soviet Bloc nations as all the Fronts and the Derg were communists) but instisting that the solution can only be a military one.
        (4) That even after the 30 year armed struggle, Eritreans showed their magnanimity: they did not seek reparations but very quickly entered into an agreement with the new Ethiopian government that included mutual defense agreement, market integration and very favorable use of its ports.

        And so on…

        If you want to see how YG perverts history, all you have to do is read how he perverts Aklilu Zere’s article “What Italian Colonialism Did to My People of Eritrean Kebessa”, a tour de-force which is insightful, nuanced, revealing (PLEASE read it: link provided below). YG calls Aklilu’s insightful, nuanced, revealing piece which mostly tells us about the balance of power between the men and women of the Eritrean highlands as “romanticizing the Italian era.”



        • Dear Mr. saay,

          I believe that both you and YG are saying the same thing, that Eritrea and the Eritrean people matter a lot, albeit in a different way. Both of you happen to have a different approach to reach
          the same solution, the freedom and prosperity of the Eritrean people. The difference between the Gedli way of blood and tears to reach the Eritrean independence, which unfortunately, did not bring the expected results of freedom and prosperity, and that of the untried and certainly less painful way of dismantling the undemocratic HSI and Dergue governments, through the solidarity of the Ethiopian and Eritrean people, should be studied. The second way might have brought the same result of freedom and prosperity to Ethiopians and Eritreans with less sacrifice, pain and destruction. In the second case, of course, independence of Eritrea would not have been the end result, but nevertheless, emancipation of both people,
          which is much more important could have been achieved. This is my understanding of the two schools of thoughts, and I would have stood for the second, if one could do thing again right from the beginning.

          I have no doubt that mistakes were done on both sides; on the side of the two undemocratic Ethiopian governments for resorting to force to solve the Eritrean problem, and on the Eritrean side for choosing the way of a costly liberation war. The Eritrean side did not care to cooperate
          with other Ethiopians to face the undemocratic systems under which both people suffered.
          Why did not Eritreans choose a common solution for a common problem, is not farfetched if one dares to ask? We all remember the fervor of the young, especially of the AAU students, who were ready to face the inhuman Dergue. Was it right then to choose the hard way to reach a solution that could have been reached with a little help from other Ethiopians? Was it wrong for Eritreans to
          put up with peace, prosperity and freedom, short of full independence?

          In addition, the appropriate question to ask today is what should be the itinerary of future Eritrea? Should she keep on the same course that is destroying the very fabric of the Eritrean society, or should she chart a new course of cooperation and peaceful coexistence with her neighbors, build her economy and emancipate her people from dictatorship, and start seeing Gedli with scrutiny? Can the PFDJ, which had been the cause of the Eritrean predicament, be part of the Eritrean solution, or is it possible that it can ever change its skin? Should the PFDJ be rewarded because the opposition is weak, or because no other solution is in sight for the time being?

          I believe that the diaspora Eritrean politics is again at a crossroad, and what Eritreans decide today will affect Eritrea for at least the coming decade, if not more. I think that the crux of the matter is that the Eritrean people cannot endure more experimentation, the past should be put to rest, a solution that ameliorates the grave problems of the
          people found immediately, and our philosophy should be much more anthropocentric than anything else.


          • Saleh Johar

            Horizon, an overwhelming number of Eritrean, including myself, believe in good neighborliness, peace and reconciliation. That is why we are struggling to rid our country of the despicable regime that is suffocating it. I would be surprised if you missed the essence and the goals of our current struggle. So, the “appropriate question” that you suggested has been asked long time ago and we are acting on it; otherwise we would have been supporting the regime and singing nHna nsu.

            You stated that YG and Saay are saying the same thing. You couldn’t be more mistaken. They are poles apart. One is Habesha-centric and doesn’t see neither Ethiopia or Eritrea outside the confines or Habesha, “Amhara Tigrai and the Eritrean highlands”; the other sees both countries as composed of dozens of other peoples. One has nostalgia for the Haile Sellassie era; the other is sighing the nightmare is over. One is speaking from an Eritrean perspective; the other is speaking as a selective unionist (not even a unity of all as our opposition envisions the region.) One indecently blames patriots who paid with their lives and insulting every Eritrean who supported the struggle; the other is elated he is born to such a people who stand against injustice and defeat it. Poles apart horizon. Hayat can use this summary as well if Saay asks you 🙂

          • saay7

            Horizon, Eyobai, Hayat:

            Horizon wenmye, HSI and Mengistu were not just “undemocratic”; one (HSI) was a war criminal that, if we applied the rules of war crimes retroactively, would be at the Hague now for his crimes against humanity at Ona, Besekdira, and many others; the other (Mengistu) was the Black Stalin. If you want to know how disingeneous and intellectually dishonest YG is, recall that he spent a lot of energy trying to convince us (using obscure sources) that Hamed Idris Awate was a genocidal criminal (back in the 1940s, allegedly) but he has nothing to say about genocidal crimes committed by HSI in his own lifetime (YG is in his late 50s and he definitely knows about Ona and Besekdira.)

            Eritreans DID co-operate with their Ethiopian brothers/sisters to bring about the collapse of tyranny and despotism. We have a long history of co-operating with Ethiopian liberation fighters like TLF, TPLF, EDU, EPRP. All these were organizations that were denied political space in Ethiopia to bring about peaceful change and when they resorted to armed struggle, we were there: to host them, to train them, to give them refuge. At some future date (in my lifetime) the Ethiopian version of YG is going to chronicle that history. Coming from me, you will think it is just an Eritrean bragging about a simple fact: that it was Eritreans who educated Ethiopians that to live in medieval despotism was not God’s will.


            Oh, yes, look at all the Eritrean clamoring to get on the YG bus. Let’s look at the awate forum for evidence of the groundswell of support that YG has. Hayat (more on her later), Serray (whose support is qualified: YG’s latest piece was written because Serray told him you are off your rockers when you speak of Eritreans veneration of Italian colonialism); Semere Andom (who is just a contrarian: he is one of those Eritreans who supports YG because, darn it, he is angry) and Ghezae Hagos (who has gotten off the YG bus.) The rest are all Ethiopians like you. But, hey, if it makes you feel that Eritreans are supporting YG’s defamation of their one sterling achievement, knock yourself out. It will be a short-lived euphoria because you are underestimating some future Ethiopian government’s proclivity to break their heart. There is a long history in this: from Menelik (who disowned Habesha Eritreans), to Haile Selasse (who told them that he doesn’t need them just their outlet to the sea), to the maniacal Mengistu, to the late Meles Zenawi who told them that they are not special and Ethiopia has the right to deport anyone for any reason.


            You are being disingenuous. Ahmed Nasser was not an ordinary Tegadalai: he was the Secretary General of the ELF from 1975-1981. He fits YG’s description of the clueless Eritrean who raised arms for no reason against his own king. You are badly trapped, sis. Have the courage of your convictions (if you support YG) and say that Ahmed Nasser was a clueless Arabist who summoned Eritrea’s dark age.

            Nobody has accused YG of bigotry; what we have accused him of being quick to accuse others (namely the awate team) of bigotry. (Evidence upon request.) What I have said is that those who write him messages of support at Asmarino are Chiw zbelu bigots or Ethiopian hypernationalists, but I repeat myself. One of them, i regret to say, is my friend Eyob writing under his yahoo name.

            YG is writing all his fenj-regach statements, that will never, ever get the support of patriotic Eritreans, using his own name. The sad thing for him is that all of you (without exception) who are saying, “go YG!” are Eritreans using a pen name, or Ethiopians. I actually feel sorry for YG.


          • Salyounis

            PS: When Ali Salim (version 1.0) was doing his fenTerTer about “land grabbers”, Semere Teafai had the ultimate shut up answer: “hey abu Ulwa: you can never give your message to a mixed group of Eritreans!” After a lot of FenTerTer, Ali Salim accepted Semere Teafai’s undeniable truth. It is the same with YG. He may accept it now or he may accept it when he is in a retirement home: “he can never give his message to a mixed crowd of Eritreans that includes war veterans, nationalists, patriots in 3D. His message can only live in the virtual world which is very welcoming of nihilism, an one which celebrates cowards, wedo gebas, and fuzzy-headed snot-nosed kids.


          • Semere Andom

            KuburTegadalai Saay:

            A few more things: YG also never interviewed a single tegadalai and asked him/her if they were fighting to invent a new identity. He did not even interview the veterans that are close to home, SGJ, Aman Hidrat and others who I know live in California; I imagine him drinking buckets of coffee, closing himself in a room and thinking to come up with some of the bizzar conjectures of his. Because of that his thesis of why ghedli was started is wrong. The cause of ghedli was just, I do not believe the tegadalti were dupes because I know many people who left their studies and bright future in the west and joined for liberation movement, so they knew what they were doing and cognizant that their blood will be is a ransom for redeeming a brighter future for generations. Were they mislead, you bet, but they were not duped. Actually many of them knew and like you they murmured “twgahemo”, for the sake of the cause, so YG was so wrong on the reasons of ghedli, on the nature of tegadalai and also on Hamid I Awate. Awate was a rebel, some say because HSI confiscated his only goat, I say and believe that he rebelled because HSI confiscated his dignity. For some of us there was never a YG train as he is not the first one think and even discuss it among friends and even sizable gathering, YG was the first to publish it. And if a prestigous award is announced for the first one, I know at least one person who will claim and the dwell will be like that of Newton and Leibnniz on the priority dispute of calculus 🙂

            But , I unlike the romantics who gang up against YG for highlighting the excess of the ghedli, (before he crossed the chasm by conveniently omitting the crimes of Ethiopia against our people) I believe that the process that ghedli followed was unnecessary, not necessary evil as many romantics are fond of saying.The Ghedli was hijacked when some cowards, opportunists and enforcers conspired against the unsuspecting heroes. Gghedli murdered its thinkers and nurtured “chogar danga” culture, a culture that penetrated the intellectuals, and guess what the romantics of yesteryears were behind these atrocities and the induction of the tyranny of the mind that still plagues us to this day.

            Romantics believe that all the ghedli excess is justified for the sake of creating a mere, even if the inhabitants of these mere are mere subjects.

            I agree with you, If YG goes to let say Eritrean “hazen” gathering in the diaspora he will be stoned to death and all the romantics will join to show how patriotic they are, just to be in the good side of the majority of diaspora Eritreans. For me, this intolerance that you seem to be proud of is untenable, I am not so sure he will be stoned any more if it is in Eritrea.

            If the murdered, the fallen heroes of tegadelti would miraculously rise from the dead, they will definitely be mad at YG for obvious reasons, but I would also suspect that they will me mad at the romantics of yesterday and today. They will be mad at every single person in this forum, except SGJ and AH for not cheering the war.

            I remember your comment about how when you were young you spend planning your days how to escape from the soldiers, because you did not know when they will be coming. I identify with that and it even got worse in my time. This agony that you articulated vividly was also lived by youngsters in the so called liberated areas, spending their days in agony by harsh treatments of those they called their brothers, so in terms of the crimes that the colonizers inflicted upon us the gheld does not fair better. The fruits of those years are what we have now. If there is one stark difference between the romantics and de-romantics, it is this: the first are not only not bothered by this “necessary evil”, but all indication are they will live with this kind of ghedli excesses for the sake of the security of the real estate called Eritrea even now, only if the dictator can recalibrate and moderate to the honeymoon days of 1991-2001. The de-romantics will not live with this, they expect a higher standard from their ghedli and this stark difference makes the romantics of our day like their predecessors an obstacle to realizing the genuine initial yearning upon which the buds of ghedli were predicated.

            Sem Andom

          • saay7

            Selamat iTegadalai Semere:

            Every terrible thing that happened in Ghedli can be explained by a two-word phrase: “Democratic Centralism.” Ask any veteran of ELF and EPLF: it was a common phrase. It was borrowed straight from Lenin ( http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1906/rucong/viii.htm) and it was summarized as: “Freedom of discussion, unity of action.” Add to that the nature of guerrilla organizations (ALL guerrila organizations, not just the Eritrean one) obsession with information control, and you have a modified Leninist slogan: “quasi-freedom of discussion, unity of action.” The Eritrean field was actually a visible lab: the more the freedom of discussion, the less the unity of action. And vice versa. This was absolutely visible to anybody who compared the ELF and EPLF cultures. ELF had relatively more freedom of discussion, less unity of action; EPLF had less freedom of discussion, more unity of action. To this day “khm’ekel alewo” is a common expression used in PFDJ.

            Thus, you are misconstruing the “necessary evil” part of the discussion. Simply put, it is this: guerrilla organizations, always under threat of being infiltrated by the enemy, develop and nurture a culture of secrecy. With secrecy comes severe limitation on discussion and all that is left is “unity of action.”

            When YG lumps both of them as Ghedli and throws in Italian fascism, Habesha, Arabism, Islamism into the mix, it is an absolute ede-igri zeyblu, me’eseri zeyblu halewlew. Selata Tursh:) And we are supposed to take it seriously and discuss it?

            When you say that the stark difference between romantics and de-romantics is that “the first are not only not bothered by this “necessary evil”, but all indications are they will live with this ind of ghedli excesses for the sake of the security of the real estate called Eritrea even now”, can you bring forward a single evidence to support your “all indications”?


        • Hayat Adem

          Only idiots fail to contradict themselves:) The truth is I tend to take Yg’s narrative on ghedli closer to truth. I tried to factor out the hindsight resource for judging as there were so many revolutions that seemed right but ended up doing more harm than good. I also factor out the price paid as a justification to the cause as there have been many good things accomplished with lighter or less sacrifices.
          The other truth is I tend NOT to criminalize tegadelti (the many people in ghedli). In fact, I admire their selflessness and commitment albeit for the wrong cause. In case of Ahmed, he extended his commitment in fighting tyranny also after independence. In one of my comments, I said ghedli’s culture and operatus merandi was evil. I invited Yg to address if thinks ghedli was designed to be such or circumstances created it to become one. I myself started questioning things only later: IA (1994), ghedli (2001), independence (very recently with the youth mass fleeing). But, I’ll never question, at no time, the motive of the larger body of tegadelti in that they were dying and bleeding to do harm their people.
          This latest take by Yg addresses the myth we were told Eritrea was bad under the King. Well,the King dismantled the federal arrangement and could have motivated the youth to react with guns. Or evil people who were waiting for an opportunity of resentment might have exploited it to stimulate and lubricate people to mobilize for sewra.
          Sal and Gashe Saleh, I know you guys have vast knowledge almost on anything that matters to our society but that vast knowledge should also help you recognize the intellectual qualities of Yg. he is not a bigot and not less knowledgeable when it comes to Eritrea’s history and certainly merciless how to use them. Fight his ideas and challenge his brain but restrain from belittling the person.

          • Jo


            Saleh Y., Saleh G., and Amanuel H. tried to explain why people revolt, when people revolt, and what makes people revolt, in their own different ways. Amanuel even went as far as telling you his personal experience; mind you that was not a rarity, to Eritreans then, but a common practice, as so many Eritrean were denied the opportunity to go study abroad just because they are Eritreans, and their position was then given to an Ethiopian (amhara).

            Now, would this help?

            Why didn’t the Eritrean people revolt against colonizers?

            Actually they did: In 1557, Isaac revolted against the turks, He ended up getting killed by Ethiopian King, Bahta Hagos against Italians, I think he was killed By Hatsey Yohanes, and Raesi Weldemichael in the 1880s, who was lured and arrested by, I think, Ras Allula to mention few. However, they failed in their endeavour because they were not coordinated.

            Under the King Of Kings, The Lion Of Juda everything was dandy. False!!!!

            The massacre in OmHager, is one example of what so many Eritrean villages were facing;
            herding people into mosques and churches and burning them alive. Killing their herds, burning their crops etc.

            If that is not reason enough for any people to revolt, I don’t know what is.

            Then came the DERG. There was much hope for change, it was all but change for Eritreans.

            Who new that the fate of Woki, Dekemhare, Wokiduba, Shimngus, MerHano, etc. was going to be as that of OmHager.

            Notwithstanding the image that Asmara was projecting, arbitrarily arrests, kidnaping and killing of Eritrean intellectuals and elites was the norm of the day under both Ethiopian regimes.

            If one was driven to the extent of accepting the hardship and misery of Ghedli, to overcome another system of misery, I don’t think it is that hard to fathom how awful that system was by comparison.

            Now, would these conditions justify Ghedli?

            You may be tempted to argue, what is different? or even, it is worse now. Is it really? Now, maybe a question of survival, but, then, it was a question of existence.

            Thanx!! to Ghedli Eritrea will exist and will persist to overcome any hardship that it is going to encounter; be it of survival or growing pains.

            Luwam zelewo mushet!!!

            P.S. maybe reading “The Eritrean Case” will help more.

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Mr/Mrs Abnet,
      Let me ask you simple questions. What was the reason why the TPLF raised an army against the Ethiopian government? What was their demand before they made a united front with EPDM and others after they liberated Tigray? Wasn’t it for Self-determination of people’s of Tigray? Why did they raise an army for self-determination? If you are able to answer that, you will find it the same reason I mentioned in my earlier comment to Hayat. People raise their army because when there is political oppression, social discrimination, or economic marginalization. You will find it in 101 class of political science.

  • Ermias

    Basic questions to Sheba:

    1. Do you believe in Eritrean independence?
    2. What do you think of Ghedli? Necessary, too much, unnecessary – please pick one and explain.
    3. How do you rate the lives of Eritreans in Eritrea at the present? Excellent, Good, Okay, Bad, Miserable, or Extremely miserable?
    4. Who is the most to blame for all the problems in Eritrea (if there are any problems)? IA, PFDJ, the Oppostion, USA, a neighboring country which I can’t name any longer?
    5. How do you do fine a good opposition, meaning what is a good alternative to PFDJ?
    6. If you had all the power in the world, what would you do for Eritrea in terms of the country achieving peace, justice, and prosperity? How would you go about bringing about those three precious elements to Eritrea?
    7. Who is the best friend of Eritrea and who is its worst enemy?

    That is it for now, I don’t want to bore you.

    Just FYI, I posed 21 questions for Nitricc a while back and he answered every single one of them and I hope you do the same to the above seven questions.


    • Sheba

      Basic interpretation of Ermias questions to me:)

      1. Are you Eritrean? I am confused, we have a litmus test for Eritreanness. We think in black & white
      only(pfdj or anti-pfdj), the rest of the spectrum is non-existent to us. It does not make sense to be anti-pfdj and anti- tequawomti at the same time.
      2 I see many people here questioning ghedli like YG, hayat. I am a good detective that I want to find out who this Nitric is really. I can not sleep without solving it. I am following him from 2010.

      3. pfdj is messing with my country, you can be only anti-pfdj. Seriously it is not time to be anti-pfdj and anti- tequawemti. Nobody knows this tequawemti so why are you against them?
      4 I still want to talk about pfdj, that is my comfort zone. I do not want to analyze too much. I am becoming more emotional lately.
      5 we have an opposition, just accept it, they are proposing me some halafnet and may be they will give you halafnet, may be nay deki anestiyo merahit.
      6 seriously sheba, are you aware about what is going on in Eritrea? You sound cold & insensitive that you will negate them the basic rights if you were a god.
      7. I want to know more about you, for good and bad. Well for bad I mean the more personal info I get the more I can use them against you if necessary.

      Disclaimer. The above list is for your entertainment only. All characters appearing in this list are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental:)

      Alla ermias, you are smart. Like you I am desperate about my country but I have to think long term solution, nay akli tsibet, fight or flight response is not worth.

      Please debate, use your smart brain.

      • haile

        lol….Ermias think long term, 25 years is nothing (just another hirkam). Think 150, 200, 300 years from now. Akli xibet yebehal ezi…ayttehaweK…

        • Sheba

          lol. Or may be it is another kitkat:) Is that the only tactic you have? I thought you are “haile the great”. Ok go ahead with your cyber opposition and put another dictator in power, eventhough it is very unlikely that they will be in power, given their kindi hirkam grass roots movement. But they are hindering for the birth of a new opposition with wide grass roots movement.

      • Ermias

        Hi Saba,

        The other day, my team Chelsea beat Arsenal (our archrival) 6-0. You tried to beat me here 7-0 and hand me my a** but you dodged all my questions. So you get forfeited and lose 7-0. I win again, hooray!

        These were not meant to be trick questions. I am not questioning your Eritreanness. I am not in any position to do that. Plus, what is it to be Eritrean these days? Sorry to say but the inflated pride and ego needs go away and we all need to come down to earth. As I said before, we rank at the bottom four or five in every world index.

        The main issue I have with you Sabi is not your despise of the opposition organizations or us tera sebat nay internet teqawemti but rather the fact that I have yet to see you openly criticize the PFDJ regime for all the atrocities it continues to commit against our people. To use your own analogy, it’s totally okay to simultaneously criticize the PFDJ regime for their crimes and the opposition groups for their ineptness, just like SAAY does. As far as the opposition groups go, I have no affiliation with any of them and I have never been approached by anyone. Halafinet would be nice for change even for a few days. Here I am ‘a ready to eat meal’ but they don’t want me.

        Saba, I am seeing lots of glimpses of brilliance in you and I am hopeful that one day you can enlighten us with your idea of opposition.

        • Sheba

          Hey, at least your team won 6-0:) But you will not win with me easily:) Here is what happens with my friends. If i meet the one proud pfdj supporter, my talk is about pfdj wrong path and dictatorship. If i meet the one from the opposition, my talk is about tequwemti corruption, their ethio dependence and lack of true organization. So pfdj supporter thinks that i am anti-pfdj from tequawemti and the opposition supporter thinks that i am anti-tequawemti from pfdj. So the same thing happens in this forum too. But i do not stand up to be against something. I am for democracy for all people.
          About my ideal opposition party, i am sure it is similar to yours but i am working for it relentlessly while you are getting your early gratification from your cyber opposition. I wish i had time and writing skills of long essays, i would lie down my ideal opposition point by point. I am good at fact checking and debunking than writing long essays. Hopefully Ali Salim will write about the IDEAL or DE NOVO OPPOSITION soon.

      • Dawit

        Unlike others who suffer fromm a sever identity syndrome, Ermias’s approach to determine whether one is Eritrean takes a logical (scientific) approach :-). Here is how he approaches the identity problem 🙂

        • Ermias

          Dawita, that was superb. I loved it. You are a brilliant man. I do flow charts quite often at work but it’s all scientific work and it’s all based on experiments but yours is exceptional because it’s not easy to read others mind.

          AT, please take note. This guy can contribute a lot to the already gifted team.

        • Sheba

          You see you are one of the problem, your spectrum is still narrow. It does not include people who are working hard to create a new, de novo opposition party, it does not even include the silent majority. This is a typical thinking of a “converted higdef’. You are good at drawing algorithm but you lack ideas. Try again:)

        • Amanuel Hidrat


          You are good at cartoonography. The resistance forces need you to lead on the front of making political cartoons. How do you see it Dawit?

    • Horizon


      Please feel free to mention Ethiopia in any political context you like, because you could be the mirror in which we
      could see ourselves. If you go on avoiding the name Ethiopia, it is equivalent to telling us Ethiopians not to mention Eritrea in our comments. You see Ethiopian
      and Eritrean politics is intertwined and one cannot avoid mentioning both countries. Although some think that it is unnatural that we should be around on awate.com, nevertheless, unless we show to each other with mutual respect our shortcomings, we might simply be slipping into our world of blissful complacency, forgetful of the fact that people are destined to live together in peace and harmony.

      Simply, do not add an epithet, which might be derogatory, as some people like to do so.


    • Ermias,

      Please feel free to mention Ethiopia in any political context you like, because you could be the mirror in which we
      could see ourselves. If you go on avoiding the name Ethiopia, it is equivalent to telling us Ethiopians not to mention Eritrea in our comments. You see Ethiopian
      and Eritrean politics is intertwined and one cannot avoid mentioning both countries. Although some think that it is unnatural that we should be around on awate.com, nevertheless, unless we show to each other with mutual respect our shortcomings, we might simply be slipping in to our world of blissful complacency, forgetful of the fact that people are destined to live together in peace and cooperation.

      Simply, please do not add an epithet, which might be derogatory, as some people like to do so.

      (I had posted this comment earlier, but it seems that it got lost somehow. Please, post it only if it is nowhere to be found. Thank you).

      • Ermias

        Horizon, excellent and compassionate comment as ever.

        Often times, I write sarcastically and I play the devil’s advocate but it’s very subtle and people take it literally. Then I get on my knees and apologize. See when it’s nasty personal attacks on a person or ethnicity, nation, etc. then we should cry wolf.

        Here is what I say often. ‘The only physical power that can match and beat PFDJ is Ethiopia.’ What I try to emphasize here is that we have a formidable enemy and it would take as much as a country the size and power of Ethiopia to topple it forcefully hence our best bet is to weaken it by depriving it of much needed diaspora support. But some individuals see this as if I am calling upon Ethiopia to do the dirty work for us. That’s when I decided perhaps to refrain from making such comments.

        • Kim Hanna

          I misunderstood you before and responded wrongly. I apologize.

          • Ermias

            No worries K. H. You expressed a legitimate concern and in the future, I will be less ambiguous. Thank you!

        • Hope

          Hmmm,Ermias—Ezi’a shifinfin neger alata.
          Psychology 101 can simply diagnose you as you try to diagnose Nitricc as someone else.

        • Hope

          Good Ermias,
          keep refraining from mentioning Ethiopia and Ethiopians as they have no business in our internal affairs.
          Inviting Ethiopians for “help” would be more than suicide and that wil be “tehatsibkas nab chikka”;kem shinti ghemel nidihrit”,as kneeling down is UN-Eritrean culture at all.Plus, we have enough potential to turn up-side down the PFDJ Gang but we lack the organizational infra-structure—-we cannot even mobilize the diaspora people at hand.

      • Saleh Johar

        Horizon, there are also some Ethiopians who don’t want Eritreans to be there..it goes both ways 🙂

        Please understand that this forum is open for everybody who abides by the posting guidelines and is not a vulgar and racist. No one has the right to insinuate someone else is not wanted here. You are all welcome.

        • A thousand thanks Mr. Saleh Johar.

          Awate.com feels like home. That is why
          it is so great to be here.

        • Hope

          Provided that they(the Ethiopians)respect us as much as we respect them in all aspects,including but not limited to:
          -Our Independence as a Nation and People
          -As a Sovereign People and Country
          -Our Territorial Integrity
          -To do our own business by our own and ourselves
          -Respect us as their good neighbor
          -To keep away themselves from our internal issues and affairs
          -To make sure they understand that Eritrea is for Eritreans by Eritreans and Eritrean problems are solvable by Eritreans but by Eritreans only.
          What PFDJ does reciprocally for its own existance does not concern Eritrea and its people.

      • Hope

        But we do NOT see the honesty that we would expect from a “Good” neighbor though.
        If Ethiopians or some Pseudo-Eritreans come here and tell us that our struggle, our sacrifice,our independence–etc–are void and nill,well,then—-
        The core topic should have been how to resolve our difference and to live as good neighbors.The issue of PFDJ and Regime Change should be left to us but to us,Eritreans.
        Beyond that,please, be so kind to do your own home work–

        • The PFDJ regime is not an insulated entity, nor is Eritrea situated in another planet. The external policies of the regime in Asmara are affecting negatively most of the countries of the horn. It is
          keeping an inflated army, thus forcing Ethiopia to keep a proportional army, in case the regime makes another blunder as in 1998. This is draining the economy. The International community condemned its policy towards Somalia, sanction was imposed against it, and now it is meddling in the affairs of South Sudan. A pyromaniac
          and a spoiler is next door, and saying that it is nobody else’s business, but only that of Eritreans is completely wrong. The sooner this regime leaves the scene, the quicker Eritreans will be free and peace would come to the horn.

          As much as Badme and the border issue are
          concerned, much more than the government in Addis, the PFDJ regime does not want to see a solution, because it is its instrument of subjugation and stay in power. Can you imagine a 300K strong young men and women with military experience coming back to their cities and towns, only to find no jobs, broken families and an uncertain future? They will be asking real serious questions, which the regime is not in a position to answer, and I am sure you can imagine the consequences. This is the nightmare the regime tries to avoid by all means possible.

  • house of stark

    Ali-s U-turn, have nothing to do with the opposition or PFDJ, but with YG’s idea getting some traction in some young Eri.

  • Hope

    OOH,Aman,you hit again.
    Thank you.

  • haile

    Dear Ali-S and awatistas,

    I hope this is understood as an innocent attempt to link some dots here and not to put our esteemed writer Ali-S on the spot.

    – “When our young people are defending the country… it is morally and socially unacceptable to hide from the duty of citizenship,”

    The above was stated by Zemhret Yohannes in response to questions put to him by Alex Last in Asmara, in 1999. The interview was held following intense crackdown in Asmara of Giffa, in connection to the 8th round. By then 160000 warsays had been deployed in the front line, of which 19000 martyred by 2000. The national service started 1994.

    Ali Salim went to Eritrea in 1994, having completed his University studies in the Sudan. Despite over 160,000 youth going to National service, a war was taking place in 1998, Ali Salim didn’t join till the 9th round. He was simply given a position in the MoFA. From his disclosure, he went for the national service “training” and sent back to work to the MoFA again. Further, opportunity came to travel abroad for further studies. He was sent to SA in 2001. He then decided to go to Canada and only heard from him here in awate with his “land grab” complaint and now “opposing the PFDJ and calling out what it does is Gaming” sort of argument.

    So, if you were Ali Salim, spared from National service and given preferential assignments, then only get to “train” in the NS and go back to your old civilian job and finally be sent to SA with the first opportunity to better one self by going abroad, would you be justified to “hate PFDJ”? Does this explain “the world is my Oyster” mentality from Ali Salim that he thinks when he says PFDJ was ethnic apartheid we should rise the glass and when he say “oh no PFDJ is well intention just making few mistakes here and there” we should do the same again?

    If I am right to assume you went to NS in 99/00 at the height of 3rd offensive and were sent to serve in the MoFA till your turn came for scholarship, well you already were destined for a u-turn.


    • Sheba

      Dear Hayat and haile,
      1. Do you have a personal experience with eplf-pfdj harrassment or torture? Since you are focusing on AS background. I have a personal experience, starting from 1992 when you were still dancing(may be not hayat)
      2.But i move on from against pfdj to thinking for eritrea&eritreans
      3. Please stop using victims as instrument for your cyber opposition(that is cold and insensitive, to quote hayat)
      4. Any one who criticizes your cyber opposition is not automatically pro pfdj, that is a knee jerk reaction.

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      OH my Man! Haile, you recap his personal history and tried to make sense why he is making a U-turn, sounds a good graphic explanation. Wow!! I will not delve to such argument until he finishes his U-turn. who knows he might make another u-turn before he reached to his intended “home sweet home” whatever that targeted home he is approaching to find solace on it. Hailat you get my “fishiKhta”.

    • ALI-S


      Don’t be surprised but I would be scared to have you in an opposition that is promising heaven. This campaign of detoxification is meant to kiss goodbye to mean people and their politics. Stay away from this road my brother. I don’t think you impress a lot of people. Mean people in my definition are sick and they belong in psychiatry not politics.

      • haile

        Dear Ali-Salim

        That just proves to me what I feared, that you are young – ab brku zestenfis menEsey. Calling someone mean and they deserve to go to psychiatric ward should they continue is not mature. Lest I would think you of an an Eritrea enemy. Thank God that I don’t though.

        As a 9th round, you may indeed be young, but may not be as young as a real 9th round, if you had to delay it until a year before going off on scholarship again.

        In 1999 just before the 9th round, even pregnant women and ex-tegadelti were being rounded up en-mass in Eritrea.


        It is difficult that you made it in the MoFA without having to go to NS at that thick of a war. Do’t worry, I am from the deepest depths of Asmarinos and now perfectly how the “aya” system works. I can only assume that you had some powerful aya to not only fix you in a government job without NS, but also enable you to zoom in and zoom out of the 9th round (on a civilian assignment at MoFA) on your way abroad on a state funded trip to better your educational standards.

        Your current posturing is perfectly justified by the privileges that you had (based on what you disclosed). Your earlier position might have been a youthful adventure for falling out with PFDJ over simple matters kerEyekn eye kunat kebesan metahtn kwl’Alkum eye…hazo hazo meriet seriqomka 🙂

        Now that you are older and wiser and acting in a predictable manner to the hand that fed you better and in excess than your brothers and sisters, extend the same wisdom in your dealings with me too, keytexel’leni dma:-)

        Kindest Regards

        • ALI-S


          If you are not sick then what you are doing is called harassment and is a violation of the spirit of the posting guidelines and would kindly call upon the moderator to intervene.
          This is not only for me but all those who come here to share have a right to a safe environment from being harassed by thugs.

          • haile

            wedaEtey do!… brother, I was just asking innocent questions. Don’t throw your rags, I can leave you alone if you so wish. I thought you put the article in the hope of getting feedback on it. Gud eko eyu antum sebat!

          • ALI-S


            I will take that as an apology. Whatever one may write there is a personal space that must not be violated. You have the right to share your input on what I wrote but not on me as a person.

            I also apologize for taking it too far. People are scared of saying an opinion for fear of harassment on personal spaces. How could we claim to be defending others if we cannot defend our own rights. Besides these things are toxic and there is nothing to be gained.

            You know, these guys in Awate have done a good job in offering are forums where we can meet and express opinion, we need to help by making sure we do not chase away all the Eritreans they are working hard to give a voice.

            Sheba – thanks for the mature advice we all have to learn to restrain ourselves.

          • Sheba

            Ali Salim, i would advice you not to give personal info and not to confirm or reject any personal accusation. And also stay away from replying to personal attacks, just notify the moderator. I want to see a debate, not personal attacks because it is not personally about you or me others. It is about how to help the whole Eritrean population.

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Ahwat Younis & Haile,

          Both of you bounced out from the normal debate and moved to personal attacks. Not good by all accounts. Haile let us see what his ” u-turn spirit” is and have patience until he finishes it. If he becomes on the side of the oppressor that tears our social fabric we are still capable to make our points. If he is not and minor differences like what we have with each other we can tolerate him. Younis do not react to everything. You didn’t make your point yet. If you do, you are distracting yourself from your message. I want to see your message clearly. Don’t forget towards the end of your project just make a short ball point summary so every one will get you.
          Please if the exchange doesn’t have the format of a debate. Stop it. It is good for you and good for the rest of us. brotherly advice.

          • ALI-S


            Thanks for the advice but I think you should first apologize for your earlier comment giving “fishiKhta” to someone harassing others.

          • haile

            emma, nay Ta’Esa keygeberka aykewnn eyu yblu alewu 🙂 ርግጽ ዲኻ ተዃሊሉ ክሳብ ዝውድእ ክትጽበዮ? ኣይፍለጥን፡ ተንበርከኽ፡ ናይ ራሻ… ገለመለ ከይብለካ፡ ዘሎካ ተሮግሮግ ኣቢልካ ተዓዘር ኤማ ዓርከይ። ተጣዓስ እንተመጺኣ፡ ነገር ፈሺላ…

            Ali-S: after calling someone mean, sick, deserving of psychiatric…and judge them to be “harassing others” you’re leaving me speechless as to where your sense of entitlement comes from. Read my comment again, ane dka wedi dka am always proud to present humbly… 🙂

          • Amanuel Hidrat


            If someone insult you in undeserving manner we (awitistas) are here to judge him/her by his/her words. If some one start to insult, it means he has nothing to offer to the debate. Remember this virtual world under the disguised of pen-names are here to blackmail individuals (not all pen-names). Do You remember the Arayas, Asmaras….etc were throwing every kind of stones to me and others. That is up to the moderators, and it is all beyond our reach. But AT so far have done great job to change this forum to civility. Sometimes when someone is exempted from moderation we will see here and there and I am sure if the persist they will lose that right. AT are our watch dogs if it persist they will take care of them.

          • Amanuel Hidrat


            It is unbecoming of you to bring the “psychiatric” language to someone who is engaging you. If you don’t want to engage him you could do so, it is your prerogative. I don’t see any insulting to his logical deduction from your bio as to what direction your U-turn is moving. Remember everyone is in limbo waiting your destination. Do I do that? No, I am on wait and see. Is logical deduction demeaning? I don’t think so. My fishikhta is to his logic. Are all logical deduction correct? I don’t think so. So where do you want me to apologize?

    • Sheba

      This is more of a personal attack on Ali Salim than making your arguments or debating. He may be personally victimized by pfdj or he might have brothers, sisters, families, friends who have been victimized. We do not know so do not assume that he had a VIP treatment.

  • Ermias

    That’s very cold and insensitive (Miss Th**g) sister.

  • Hayat Adem

    Yg took the entire Ghedli mantra by the horn and grinded (ground) it into ashes and dusted it away. It was a vivid walk of reading where you would see all the Eritrean spirit about to be sprouting and flowering until you started reading the first script of the dark journey with the coming of Ghedli. This was visually depicted with his numerically supported arguments showing the rise and fall of Asmerana tSaeda. According to this latest piece from Yg, Asmera’s best times were after Italy left and before Ghedli sieged the city with a policy of smoking out by starving the residents. Now the justification for Ghedli is standing on one leg which is “Independence is a right”, not “independence is better”. What about the Ethiopian army atrocities on the natives? Well, that can only be discussed as a cause for the Ghedli to be intensified not to be conceived and born.

    • Saleh Johar

      Of course Hayat, if one is Asmara-centric… (mind you, not the slums and poor quarters) Asmara where the privileged, the foreigners, the loyal servants of the greedy Ethiopian king and his feudal lords, and Ethiopia army commanders and soldiers–looking at that, one can easily conclude the times were good. To understand Gedli, one needs to see Eritrea in its entirety, not from a specific region-centric perspective. Gedli was not to maintain the colonial glamor of Asmara….

      • Hope

        Thanks ,Sir for putting it in better way and to the point.This simple statement puts to REST the YG School of Thought Saga.
        Quote: “To understand Gedli, one needs to see Eritrea in its entirety, not from a specific region-centric perspective. Gedli was not to maintain the colonial glamor of Asmara..”–end of quote.
        Moderator, please be so kind to re-post Gsh SJG’s above statement as the featured comment and quote of the year,please…

      • Hayat Adem

        Gashe* Saleh,
        I agree Eritrea as a political field is much more broader than Asmara. That doesn’t mean though Asmara can not be taken as a mirroring sample to say things about the entire Eritrea. The only way you can disarm that argument is if you can put numbers that show a significantly different picture when taken the entire Eritrea into account. And for that reason, I would be dying to read your longer reflection on Yg’s recent take. Honestly, I need to admit that he was able to fish out all those numbers in support of his argument. It is a serious dint on the very foundations of ghedli. Yg is saying the Asmarino (as a mind-set) was the biggest push for many highlanders to see ghedli as the best option. In fact, he hammered an underlying point of paradox in that while it seemed on the surface the sewrawian were against colonialists (Ethiopia), they were acting as true inheritors of the legacy in its purity (Italy). They didn’t want to share Asmara civilization with their Habesha brothers/sisters. But then the growth of Asmara came as a direct effect from its link to the larger space (Ethiopia). That means to me, Ghedli’s essence is tied up with interrupting the flowering of the city. If we take Asmara as some how representative of the national picture, Ghedli’s birth and existence arrested or aborted Eritrea’s comparative trend of standing out to lead African modernization. That is an eye opener claim to me. I personally invite you to give us a balancing perspective supported with empirical data if you will.
        *I like this title from Eyob to use it when addressing our loved and knowledgeable ayatat. Who said titles can’t flow upwards!

        • Saleh Johar

          Hi Hayat,
          I don’t think I need to read YG, reading Baalu Girma’s “Oromay” would do the job. I read the book in the nineties. Right now I am reading it for the second time. YG’s perspective and Baalu Girma’s are identical. The irony: Baalu is Ethiopian and I understand his perspective; the other is an Eritrean who sees his country with the eyes of an Ethiopian! And as you reasoned, both focus and take Asmara as a mirror for the rest of Eritrea. But those of us who know Eritrea can tell whether the mirror is concave or convex– a world of difference. In photography, my hobby by the way, the guys are using a telephoto fixed on Asmara, the rest of us use a wide angle lens that covers the whole of Eritrea. You want me to debate such views? Why do you want to punish me Hayat? 🙂

          I have debated those I call “Ethiophiles” all my life; now I consider it futile. It is difficult to debate people whose knowledge is shallow about a subject. For example, I would be crazy if I debated Ammanuel Hidrat on Chemistry. You cannot debate about Eritrea if you do not have enough knowledge about it. But to satiate your curiosity, let me tell you that I have written a book on the subject of what led to Ghedli and how people lived under Haile Sellasie’s rule: “Of Kings and Bandits.” I offer you the book as a gift, just tell me how to send it to you–privately of course. 🙂

          The Gashie thing is a bribe. I call Eyob Lij and he calls me Gashie, it is our version of cease fire. If you call me gashie, you have to listen to what I say with no questions…and no debating with your gashie. Do you want that? Also, I am at a disadvantage because I wouldn’t know how to address you.

          • Hayat Adem

            Gashie Saleh,
            *Yes, I don’t mind taking that deal about “Gashie” – (with all its full honor and privilege including restraints from talking back).. And if I feel to debate, I’ve the younger Saleh (Sal), though he is always mean and never allows me to get a turn of having to laugh last in all my
            engagements with him:). here The only difference with Eyoba would be that I don’t have any fire with you that needs to be ceased:)
            *It is obvious I’m using a pen name. Except that, you will not be wrong if want to imagine of me from every impression the pen name gives you (gender, age, faith- not exactly but…) and all the comments I’ve been throwing would give you.
            *So kind of you to offer “Of Kings and Bandits”. I’ve read that book straight from oven, and its its still among my collections. I was tempted to request for a switch of that offer with “Miriam Was Here” which I’ve not read so far except pieces about it in the reviews. But I convinced myself of following the fairness principle that I need pay for what I get, and you needed to be paid for what you offered. *You didn’t ask for a reason but how else do I bore if I want to:) First 3-months excuse, field trip. next 3months excuse- illness, 3rd time 3months excuse- procrastination. I’ll buy it this weekend and have it shipped. Ansha Allah..
            *I wasn’t asking for a debate. I am saddened by the hint that you seem to have resigned from even reading him. That is a resignation from intellectual engagement, and that is not your true essence as a writer and story teller. Yg is undoing your stories. Your very David’s (Jemal’s) story is being questioned here. If you don’t find an energy to protect your characters, then what is the energy for?

          • Saleh Johar

            Hayat, when I first came to the USA, people would knock the door and ask to speak about the Lord. I thought it was rude to turn them down. Boring discussion follow and then I tell them I had to go somewhere. They leave. Then there are people who sell security systems and since I never had any security system, I was targeted by so many salespeople. I made too signs. 1) Secured by GBG system, a panel that I fixed on the lawn, and 2) “God Lives Here” sign that I put on the door. When the god-selling crowd knock, I tell them god is sleeping, please don’t disturb and I rudely shut the door. They disappeared until an Ethiopian lady targeted me to buy another god–that story for another time. When the security guys came, they wanted to know the new competitor: which company is GBG? Foolish, it’s “Guarded By God.” Now beat it, you can’t offer better security–the reason is I didn’t think I needed to pay for that.

            Hayat, not every blubber needs to be debated–particularly when the knowledge is too shallow to be taken seriously. Also, we need to recognize that sometimes people hold irreconcilable views and no debate would bring them closer. In this case, it becomes a waste of time. Importantly, we have limited time and we chose how to better spend our time. I will not waste my time debating bigoted views–example, all the Habesha supremacist views doesn’t include me because the Habesha in question is redefined to be a pure mono-culture that should rule the rest of the region. What is the the use Hayat? Nothing. But humanity has ways of resolving such issues. That is why wars have been with us all the time. Unfortunately, such views, because they are irreconcilable, may lead to confrontations. I am not encouraging it, but looking back at history, such views ushered us into the bloody Gedli, that we the victims, are again being blamed for by the aggressors. With your intelligence, I would expect you to choose your topics.You should be able to tell if a path leads to a dead-end or tsaH zbele gologol. You wouldn’t drive there if you were in a car! Have you considered a u-turn 🙂

          • Eyob Medhane

            Gash Saleh,

            Just for the record, I call you ‘Gashe’ out of genuine respect. I hope you know that. Not to cease any fire. I have a lot of areas I disagree with you, respectfully, of course, as much as I learn from you a boat load. So I ain’t gonna cease fire that easily… 🙂

    • Amanuel Hidrat


      Sometimes I see you, you are overtaken by someone’s argument. While I saw you, that you are better than the individual you are admiring, I also see your weak spot on questions why revolutions start to begin with. Hayatom any revolution start when only and only there is social discrimination, or political oppression, or economic disparities. Eritreans has faced these three depriving situations during the Haileslassie and and Derge regimes. Not only I am an eye witness but also a victim of their policy.

      Let me give you an example my own story. After I graduate in my respective of training, I went in search of job in Addis and fill all kind of applications, and at time sat for interviews. In the applications there is a space in it to fill the place of your birth very critical to the personnel in the human service dept in picking from the candidates. In one instance for one post I was recommended by the production manager of one company from the candidates. He sent me to the general manager for final approval. The general manager asked me how did the production manager recommend you while your diploma project was “rock analysis.” To make the story short the position was already promised to someone who was competing with me who is by far low her GPA from mine, which finally the position was filled by that individual.

      What I learned from that episode is to change my birth place which I made it afterwards Gonder/Beghemider. And it helps me wonderfully until it is known that my birth place was Eritrea (after I had the position of junior chemist in the ministry of mines). Even for that, I fought for it like a hell. When we sat for interviews (27 contestants) they couldn’t select by the interviews so they gave us a written test pertinent to our field of training. The chief Chemist (Yogoslavian by nationality) recommend two of us and passed to the personnel office of hiring. Luckley there were Eritreans who were working there and told me that I was recommended for that post along with the other one from Tigray province. So I went and spoke with the chief chemist, and surprisingly this is what he told me, and I quote “last year I chose the gold ones but they selected the silver ones.” This is the way metaphorically he reflected to the situation. So I went to the personnel and told him that I was told that I am recommended by the chief chemist to fill the vacancy. He argued that he shouldn’t tell me. He wasn’t comfortable about the situation, because even these two positions were already promised for someones. In any Case I secured that position.

      So my dear Hayat, people revolt not only because they have history but also for the fact they face in their real life, social injustice, political oppression, and economic marginalization. We Eritreans had Justified our struggle (beside history), that we were completely marginalized in every aspect of our life during the Ethiopian ruling regimes. Irrespective all the ups and down on handling our revolution, the Eritrean revolution was justifiable historically, socially, economically, and politically. Now to disqualify ghedli in hindsight, because of all its shortcoming doen’t make you look brilliant or wise. A wise man must start with the reality. The Eritrean Independence is reality. Respect that reality and go from that to make that reality to evolve and rectify all the bad things that is happening. What is happening in our nation is not new, it is the same path of any underdeveloped nations of the world have gone. They have passed through their own tyranny that are grown in their liberation era. We are faced by a despot who wielded his power in the mountains of Sahel. Nothing new. But to try to disqualify the independence of Eritrea using the current reality will not pass the taste of history and the valor of the heroic act of Eritrean people for the determination of their rights. Hayat you are better than that. Eritrea needs peace and stability and to acquire that (a) remove the evil man and his state machine (b) start normalization with its neighbors in the horn and particularly with Ethiopia (c) Create a state that respect its social groups (d) create a governmental structure that gives equitable power sharing to the stakeholders. These are precisely what we should have to do in my view. So don’t tell us what YG is doing is correct. It might be correct to you but not to the Eritrean people who fought for self determination to own their destiny.

      Amanuel Hidrat

    • Hope

      I thought you graduated from the school of YG and that will be having your own thesis for MA or PH.D.You are entitled to your opinion,but I have found it to be unfair or unedible repeating YG’s Litany.Please make sure that you undesrtand that Eritreans have their own school of thoughts as well.Stop provoking here and there.YG does not belong to us as he forfieted his Eritreanism(if he is really one) by forfeiting the Eritrean Independence and let him join mamma Ethiopia and go there and teach his Fallacious Logic 101 at Mekele Univ.
      .But you guys have no right to irritate us using your fallacious logic.
      Eritrea will be –I repeat,WILL BE, stronger,more democratic,more prosporous and peaceful–ect more than ever and more than any country soon.
      The 10-15yrs of misery will be turned /changed into eternal peace and tranquility.
      Mark my word.
      We have enough of you and your”Prof” ,YG!

    • Ermias

      Hayat, I have yet to read the article, I went two pages and then I decided to wait until a day off from work. But YG did honor his word, eventually. This is how he started:

      [This article should be taken as my second installment in response to critical questions raised by a brilliant commentator by the penname of “Serray” at awate.com in regard to the Cause and Nature of the Eritrean Revolution. The first installment, “Eritrea: The Federal Arrangement Farce” was posted at awate.com on 12/14/2013]

      I will see if I can comment on the substance once I read the article. Or if you could do us a favor and summarize the article in a couple pages, that would save me a half a day.

      As a side note, I visited tesfanews the other day and I saw something rather intereseting title as “Who-is-Who Within our Democracy Coated Mahber Andnet Emissaries.” They name at least a couple dozen people. Oh boy, for YG, they have choice words there. Really entertaining read.

      • Sheba

        Hi Ermias, now are you specializing in subliminal messaging?:)

  • haile

    Hello Awatistas,

    Here is a latest video that cuts right to the discussion here. One of the main stumbling blocks is the fact that “we” to varying extent (Supporters to criminal extent an opposition highly indecisive extent) have betrayed our people. Instead of exploring ways to address their problems, we tend to explore ways to address our cyber audience. Thankfully, the victims are starting to do the talking themselves and have some humble messages for us 🙂 This is the first of two videos I will link the second as a reply to this one.

    Notice here that the regime is arresting people for suspicion of collaborating with rebel forces (tegadelti) in the area (around 3min). Reminiscent of the dergue era tactics of terrorizing local populations.


    • haile
    • Semere Andom

      Thanks. The first woman speaker nailed the irony, EPLF always maintained that the refugee glut was political and not an economic one. Now they deny that it is political, it is economic they shamelessly tell us. The woman hammered it, it is not an economic one she said,


      • haile

        yeah Semere

        She put it aptly when she said “hunger or no hunger can never be reason enough to leave your country behind. If I am hungry that just means that I need to work harder. However, the intense repression we have to go through has finally broken our will power and had to escape for the sake of our children”. That is indeed a live testimony to the fact that the regime and nothing else is the reason for this desperate situation.

        It is pity that we can glean in to hear their views, but they can’t do that to hear what is said about them here in the diaspora (by the supporters and the x-factors 🙂

        Does it ever happen anywhere that a family member would go to jail in lieu of the main defendant? Did you hear the second woman went to jail because she couldn’t pay 50000ERN for her son’s escape. Later on her son in law goes to jail for her three days into her captivity. He managed to get out having managed to pay the shifta regime 15000ERN and the elderly woman also cross into Ethiopia. Mind you, if you use one of PFDJ people to get you across you don’t actually get to pay or be jailed indefinitely.

        I took the trouble to go through the mechanics above to show that how depersonalized we might be getting. These are people we left behind, family, friends… did you read how people like Semere Tesfay retort that blaming the regime is “stupid”, so heartlessly and callously!!! I hear the “let’s love each other” take of Ali-S, but hey some stuff is real blood curdling to even hear about.


        • Sheba

          So what does your cyber opposition can do to help her? Nothing, they can not help her neither politically nor financially. If you are stuck in being only anti-pfdj(stage1), you will go no where. Ali salim is no more in stage 1, he moved on.

          • haile

            Let me show you how you are running away from yourself… upon condensing your feedback there, it comes to:

            [……your………her?….they…..her……….you……you…..Ali Salim…….he….]

            people run away from themselves, mostly, for guilt conscience. Guilt can sometimes be felt by association or sometimes by lending yourself to be used willfully in something is clearly wrong. The rest of your weather forecast, no thanks – do’t bother.

          • ALI-S

            Semere, Haile & Hayat,

            We all know it is a sad story that all Eritreans are living day in and day out. It breaks your heart to see these never-ending tragedies for such a beautiful people who have done thing other than work hard and dream of almost nothing more than survival.

            These are cause that should be fought for its own good and if we can we should do our best that as vulnerable victims of a sad situation they do not fall prey to exploitation for political ends. The video as you see was made for explicit exploitation.

            Example: “Amets” in Tigrigna as used in the context that the young lady said is “oppression” in English – not “rape”. The old woman is asked if she has anything to say to women abroad. She said she doesn’t know anyone abroad. Thanks to the interviewer she almost became a part of a global movement of Eritrean women. But I am proud of her that she did not get along and you may think she did not understand what the interviewer and the camera was trying to do?

            Please keep these good people out of gaming with their cause. It is cheap.

          • Hayat Adem

            Dearest Ali-S,
            Incidentally, the u-turn effect seems to be all-rounded. You used to be very aggressive, assertive and ready to bite with loaded active statements. All your sentences have become passive and domesticated and all without an actor (as in it is sad our people are… it is a tragedy…) Who caused these pains? Do we have a country called Eritrea? thank you. Are these people Eritreans? Thank you. Do we have a ruling party called PFDJ headed by the person of Isaias Afeworki, a party and a person, that are responsible for everything that has to do with Eritrea and Eritreans inside? Here you go, we’re almost there. It doesn’t always have to be a u-turn for the sake of it.
            While you are tending to be generous of catastrophic incompetence and evil of the goverment by code-dressing ‘good intentions”, you are trying to accuse the harmless and inconsequential interviewer of gaming on the victim’s cause.

          • ALI-S

            Hayat and all of us:

            Just a reminder:

            These videos and similar testimonies are often used in refugee determination processes. What the publicly funded xenophobes in immigration departments think of these testimonies is very critical to so many people.

            So please find other ways of making your points. I am not commenting on similar evidence any more.

          • Semere Andom

            HI Saydna Ali Salim:

            Some questions

            1.Are you saying that the refugees are lying to for refugee status and if so why do you think there are over 80,000 Eritrean refugees in Ethiopia, i

            2. Are you denying that rape is rampant in Eritrea?
            3. Given the over a decade timing difference between you and A.Hamdan, can you tel us disadvantage or advantage of your U-turn because of the a decade difference, I am talking about inflationary impact.
            4. You said your U-turn was not as simple as “tkormiyeni”, what was yours “welahi” or “alya-atelaq”


          • haile

            Ali-S: two more questions to add to those I submitted already;

            1- A specific street in a town becomes notorious in robbery. You sympathize with the victims and the precious wallets that was snatched from them. Still, you conclude that drawing attention to the thieves and criminals in the area is nothing more than “gaming” with those victims ordeals! how so?

            2 – Some pro-regime here termed the Lampedusa victims as “xbox” seekers, and telling their story is now termed as “Gaming”. Does this indicate that the YPFDJ kids are behind this non-sense arguments? Can’t imagine wuchu using those analogy for the life of me.


          • Hayat Adem

            That is very cold and insensitive sister. Don’t talk like that, no matter what they are your people. And they wouldn’t prefer a refugee camp life at this age with kids unless something is gravely wrong that forced them to. And expression of support is not nothing especially when you are speaking on behalf of the victims. That is why Haile is doing devotedly what he is doing. We need to appreciate him for his contributions. You are giving your emotional support, too, albeit for the wrong side- the regime and the victimizer. Well, Ali is playing Ohio and we can compete for him again. You used to see his back and now you are seeing his face. Where you were, we are at. Next year, it’ll be Ohio again.

        • Semere Andom

          Absolutely, I do not get those who say we cannot and should not
          blame PFDJ. We are not blaming PFDJ for not making Eritrea like the USA or
          Canada, we are not blaming them for not making our country wealthy, we are not
          even blaming them for the poor and irresponsible management of the economy and
          its people, not even for staring the war, we are just asking for basic
          dignity so we can tend to all these things. And that is why it is hard for the
          rough edges not to emerge when I hear these people attack us for blaming
          the regime.
          Everything is kosher for the regime to do and say, but if you
          show the slightest bluntness towards these people who pontificate on the
          expense of the women on the video, you are criticized. This norm: everything is
          halal for the regime and haram for the rest of us has become entrenched. You
          see the women are poignant on their criticism, but not bullies like the PFDJ,
          not even angry, this Eritrean trait has embolden the thugs for many years. Do
          not get me wrong, it is good trait in a normal country ruled by normal human
          beings, and it is one of our virtues. What the people like SEM Tesfay and Ali
          Salim are telling us is like blaming a rape victim because the woman was
          wearing revealing clothes. Listening to Seyoum
          Harestay in the link you excavated a couple of days ago, PFDJ arrested two
          opposition members after independence, and this does not sound like a
          government that had good intention to start with. The seedling of the fruits of
          what we are reaping now were planted long time ago. They can keep blaming the opposition
          that was abused, raped, tortured since its infancy to exonerate the criminal,
          but the opposition have done well in exposing the evil nature of the regime.
          The regime will fall when the logic bomb it has planted in our country finally
          explodes because the maintainers of that logic bomb are joining the opposition.
          That logic bomb will surely take away some undeserving people with it, though.

          Hailat the anniversarity of our introduction is fast approaching, I am talking about before qedamayin hadnetwin gubaIE, who should we celebrate. It started with an argument 🙂

          Sem Andom

        • Hope

          It is so sad.
          I partly agree with the first lady—that there is no conducive environemt for Eritreans,specially for the Youth to do anything or to be somebody in your own country,which the following video from Israel clariifed well.
          As to the elderly lady claiming whatever she is claiming,does not hold water.My own father and sister were jailed for a week and were released after paying 50K Nacfa but this was a while ago.Buit ,again, this is not to justify unjustifiable things.
          She might be right but there is no way that the Shemelba Camp is better than home.
          Most people think that they will get a chance to go to Canada,USA,Europe,,Australia,etc— but end up finding out that those “Nice” spots are reserved for the “Tigreyan Refugees”,which is supported by facts–
          As to the Tel Aviv mini Simret Meneseyat meeting , Ihave found it very interesting and to the point.
          The only thing they need is ,genuine Eritrean leadership without external interference and moral support.
          I just hate the messy Ethiopian factor here and there, and am sure they are going to disrupt them as usual,for an obivious reason: Divide and Rule” tactic.
          This will lead me to commenton Haile’s “rich and diverse resources” as to how to proceed in changing the regime.
          Until I get sometime for details,here is my concern:
          1-Military option:
          – how,when and under what circumstance,with whose support?Against who?
          Civil war?
          2-Other options: Media,etc—–This option could have worked but has failed thus failed for obvious reasons.
          What we need is an organized,focused,objective and aggressive movement but what we have is Individuals and Groups claiming as Activists,Politicians,,etc– with some agenda ,greediness/personal interest and competing against each other.
          We have to be able to be on the same page and to mobilize the public–not like the chaotic wedi Vaccaro style though,eventhough I respect and admire his effort–but again–it should be inthe context of the above mentioned factors.wedi Vaccaro was taking things personal and talking about issues he should not—things that belong to the up-coming Congress/Constitutional Assembly,not the Hawassa or mekele style of Bayto.

  • Hayat Adem

    Ali Salim and the Irish question:

    A full time career mediator had spent the best part of the 20th century struggling to help the Irish problem settled once and for all. But his experience was marked by failure after failure. He knew the parties very well, He knew the issues very well, When he had thought he nailed it and come up with reasonable and fair compromises neither party would refuse, he had always failed. He had to restart from a scratch again and build his formula piece by pierce each stepped endorsed by the parties. But again the futility of no-whereness pops up. When asked why it had been so hard he said to the effect, whenever I came up with a solution, the problem had already changed its face. I could only solve problems I see and I should never be expected to solve a non-existing problem. But when I had a solution, it was a solution to an older problem. I’m tired but I have an advise to the next mediator. He should forget what knows and what they tell him now and list one 1000 possible problems from the top of his head and fix a solution to each of them. It is witch-hunting but much smarter than my scientific approach.

    And then, when we think of our Ali, we can be reminded of Albert Camus’ absurdity. Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. That is Ali doing Ali thing. But Eritrea’s problems are real and mostly pinned. In fact, the solution cannot be clearer. Remove this mafia group by all means necessary!

  • Ermias

    K. H. I have to admit I get misunderstood everytime I mention Ethiopia. To the best of my abilities, I will refrain from mentioning Ethiopia again on this forum.

    • haile

      heeey Ermi – is that the “quitter” demon stalking ya again? Why not mention Ethiopia to your heart’s delight and clear misunderstandings before or after as they surface?

      • Ermias

        Oh no Hailat, I am here to stay. Per disqus stats, I am proud to tell you that I have the most comments on AT since the inception of awate 7.0 but of course some of you were trying to figure it out and using different nicks. No quitting here my man until victory!

  • haile

    Selamat Ermias and Hopeful

    I kinda wanted to repeat the same thing to both of you, in response to your quest how to proceed from here on, then again I thought that would be akin to the proliferation pattern of our organized opposition. So, here comes one, lean and mean answer 🙂

    First though, to Ermias, I tend to usually look at the concluding sentence of a comment before starting to read it (which I then almost always do read in full). This gave away your “leaked letter” trick but can guess what it would say (still a joke 🙂

    Now to business…

    The indecisiveness as to what to do next in this precarious stage of our existence as a nation is akin to the indecisiveness felt inside a clothing retail shop. It is not that there are no garments but you don’t know which one to choose.

    In the real aspect,

    you can choose to just deal with aftermath of events (be an activist of a certain cause as refugees, POWs, underage refugees, national service…) This is a full time devotion and is doing something.

    You can be a movement that believes is able to galvanize the people at home to rise up by doing various meetings, broadcasts and direct calls. This is also a well established avenue that you can join.

    You can join the movements that also have only rule of law as an objective and believe that such can be effected through combined military and political pressure on the regime. Such are also recently established, they do have a definitive location in the Ethio-Eritrea border, armaments and munitions are available and only requires those who are ready to stand up for their rights.

    You can also hope a poor middle or senior ranking EDF member would undertake a daring operation as that of Jigna Wed Ali, and pray that he would return your violated dignity in a platter.

    You can extensively write in forums and social media in the hope that it would scare the freaking dictator out of town. Many go with this less risky venture.

    So as you see above, the Eritrean political landscape is thick with means, opportunities and resources to stand for justice, I still wonder why some of us still ask : what should we do next???

    The only thing to know in all the above is that it would take time, persistence, hardwork and sacrifice. If we don’t like the sound of any of those, well we can still ask what can we do next?


    • Ermias

      Haile the great, I used your trick and read your last paragraph first. Persistence, hard work, and sacrifice – key ingredients to success in all aspects of life.

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    First Younis has a complex mind that can diffuse to any direction. You could have the gist of his idea but not a complete picture at this time. If you did understand him (as you have stated), he started his journey, but do you know where the end of his planned journey will be?

  • said

    Many difficulties lies ahead ,the challenge is enormous and problem is deeply entrenched ,
    politically speaking and dire socio-economic conditions that is causing havocs on the nation and it not can afford, the current ongoing hardship cannot be sustained and Eritrean political opposition
    parties should play on the sense of hope that realistic promise and putting for all to see a broad political manifesto ,an agenda and with concrete action plan and that they will bring about a better prosperity and through well thought off plan and ready to compromise and be implemented with consideration and conciseness
    ,with good policy-making and practical needs of the nation . Starting with and fair Just society and the future will be better in just society . The necessary of establishing just society with equal opportunity for all. As
    Such with existing DIA political dictatorship political attitudes and all PFDJ establishment and political activism must be permanently removed from society as long as political, social and economic, corruption and criminal
    activity conditions remained for the last 23 years,in the same manner , nothing will change ,the existing system must be uprooted so that justices can take place. The regime have totally failed that litmus test, those problems persist, Eritrean citizens will find solution, a way to remove the regime and will seek total change for the better tomorrow .

    First comes. the injustices of the past must be resolving fairly, Justice is paramount important and necessary
    to achieve peace and prosperity, “Without meaningful justice, peace and regime change is not a real, the need to build a strong democratic institution,and by create environment of stable peace and security, justice – which also
    means accountability for past crimes – is even more important than fragile and incomplete regime change, in order to obtain security and peace. Any peace and reconciliation and due process is essential , in order to be effective, one
    must enable acknowledgement of past crimes, addressing legacies of past and present human-rights violations and war crimes in Eritrea has been to ignore and sweep them under the carpet. The need first to create transitional
    justice ,is one of the most important discourses in tomorrow’s Eritrea.”it is necessary to create the appropriate cultural, moral and legal backdrop through which the discussion of transitional justice can be had and
    everything else follows in time.

  • ghezaehagos

    Selam Hopeful,
    First of all, bold name for the times; I like it. Thanks for addressing me, I assure I was not ‘genius law student’…I was good, I guess as far as GPAs and stuff go. If you want to know, I spent most of my university days with the intention of going up to the floor or law library, somehow finding myself in the literature section of usually 19 century Russia. To the extent that, one-of-the-bucket-list for me, was/is visiting Yasnaya Polyana (Lev Tolstoy’s birth place). Hence, I was not that ‘genius’ as a law student…
    All the best,
    Ghezae Hagos

  • Semere Andom

    Hi Hopeful:
    Thanks. My comments to AS, I admit border on angry rants.
    Well, you need to read his articles before he became a new born and get back to me about what you think.
    Now with no shame he telling us the PFDJ (the Isaiais chifra if you want to be accurate and remove the card carrying “adey Tabetus), the worst enemy the Eritrean people have ever seen, have some redeeming qualities. I do not buy yet that he is opposed to PFDJ and this kind of people are more dangerous and insidious that the foul mouthed PFDJ supporters like Sohie T,

    He does not even acknowledge that DIA is responsible our predicament as per his note to Ghezae. His actions and words so far indicate that if DIA, God forbade finds some oil and becomes stronger people like AS will have no qualm to go to Eritrea and work for them.
    As Emma said, “if you are in opposition act like one”.

    • Hopeful

      Give him a chance bro.,But hey,he is part and parcel of and, in fact, the engine of this debate/Forum.let him ride the train until the e—-n—-d.
      Why can’t we tolerate the opinion of others?Arn’t we accomodating the worst anti-Eritrea factions here?

    • Hopeful

      Are you saying that we cannot have one common intersecting point?What about kind of mid-way status–by compromising to some extent so as to come closer to each other.
      Polarizing extremism seems not working thus far.

  • saay7


    Sure. This is courtesy of Dukan Abdulkader Hamdan which goes by the very impressive name “Eritrean Center for Strategic Studies.” (By the way, you can never find the Eritrean constitution but you will find the PFDJ Charter everywhere.)



    • ALI-S

      You see how it works (:-) We had “our charter” linked

      • saay7

        Harbegna Temagwatai Ali:

        aTeer lew fihimtek:) Are you saying msl wed Hamdan shereek enta? 🙂


  • Ermias

    Leaked letter.
    “We, the EPLF fighters and now PFDJ and the Governement of Eritrea leaders have concluded that we failed the Eritrean people after independence. What is done is done. We cannot die one by one without delivering what we promised to the Eritrean people. Since we have learned that we are incapable of doing the nation rebuilding tough task, we would like to transfer power to any capable Eritreans peacefully. We apologize sincerely for all the wrongdoing we poured on our people knowingly or unknowingly. The Eritrean people do not deserve such attorcities. We are ready to accept any punishment from the great Eritrean people per legal findings of all our misdeeds. At the moment, we invite all Eritreans from inside and outside the country to come help us transfer the power to its rightful owners, the Eritrean people. After that, we will report to the appropriate facilities to receive our sentences, but we do sincerely hope that the forgiving people of Eritrea can yet forgive us, as they did to previous wrongdoers, for the sake of our innocent children and families. God bless Eritrea and zela’alemawi zikri n kulom suwa’atna wela b’edna z’halefu!”
    Okay, sorry, I made it up, it is not a leaked letter. But that is the best I can hope for, if that doesn’t happen, then an internal coup like Wedi Ali attempted. There is no other way to depose the current regime. Of course, the one I would hate the most would be Ethiopian invasion but that would be extremely costly in terms of human life on both sides.

    • Kim Hanna

      Dear Ermias,
      I am surprised at you. Why would Ethiopia invade Eritrea?. What is the benefit to Ethiopia? The worst scenario you should hate and worry about is you call us to come in and we refuse.

  • Hopeful

    Some Observations:
    I have noticed different people with different socio-cultural,ethnic , Nationality back ground,opinion,understanding,etc….This makes this website unique besides its tolerance(to some extent but much better than the Pro-PFDJ websites).
    Some are genuine Eritreans with genuine concerns about Eritrea,some with some weird agenda or idealogy,some naive pro-PFDG supporters,some blind supporters of the PFDJ and Opposition;and some Pseudo-Eritreans —non-Eritreans acting like Erirtrenas with some agenda or idealogy…,some real Ethiopian with good intention but some with bad intention..or agenda—
    All the above also have different approaches about bringing change in Eritrea.
    1-Regime Change by all means possible–including by Ethiopians
    2-Change by all means possible but only by Eritreans
    a-change within Eritrea by non-violence
    b-Change within Eritrea by partial violence–surgically–coup
    c-Selective change–by removal DIA only
    d- Radical change–removal of PFDJ and DIA included
    3-Peaceful Transition–through National reconciliation
    To do or apply any of the above, there is one precondition/contingency:
    -Mobilizing the Eritrean Public–both at home and diaspora and unify all for ONE purpose.: to bring real chnage in Eritrea.
    So far we failed but no excuse.Then how can we proceed based on the above diverse ideology,attitude,positions,agenda,mentality.

    • Sheba

      It would be interesting if you match members with your list from 1 to 3.

  • haile


    Interesting discussion going on here which would feel like making you say “I would have stayed longer if it weren’t this late”. The incessant attack on the opposition appears to be ill timed to coincide at a time that the nation is experiencing dire situations. According latest to UNHCR figures (obtained by the office of EPDP) over 1680 new Eritrean refugees entered Shegerab in the Sudan. And about twice, the new reception centers in Northern Ethiopia. This is similar to what a nation would undergo in active conflict situation. I always had reservation on the 2000-3000 monthly figures and have followed the actual UNHCR numbers for recent months and it is indeed true and conservative at that (over 4000 are recorded in many cases and there are even more who don’t actually go to the camps).

    The Italian coasts are busy again and many are arriving there. If this is not an extreme situation, then what? All that can be said has indeed been said and all that can be done is just beginning. The notion that an “Eritrean shouldn’t be considered an enemy of another Eritrean” is hard sell for majority of Eritreans. I can confirm with 100% certainty that people in Eritrea live a daily life of hiding and running from a perceived “Enemy”. That is true and factual. Again, it is all a matter of personal experience of loss and tragedy, so it is better to avoid jumping conclusions.

    Making the “opposition” the primary target at this distressing time for the Eritrean people can only be said like collecting dung where the cattle haven’t been to.


    • hopeful

      Can’t agree more Haile the Great.
      Beyond control and repair?
      I am still hopeful—but hope alone is not enough.
      What can we do then???

  • ALI-S


    That is a good summary of all the articles that I will be writing (r u on a time-machine?).

    • Sheba

      Lol, yeah i am sometimes on a time-machine:) and that puts me in trouble sometimes. I wish that you write about what kind of opposition is a viable, real alternative and that can succeed [not the purposeless opposition as you call it, i call it the cyber opposition or oppositionoid. Cyber because the only thing it represents is its cyber readers, it has no grass root representation in the real life, outside internet, well may be the few abalat you met:)]. For a better Eritrea we need a reformed pfdj and a de novo opposition. The new opposition should focus first on what is best for all Eritreans, having basic right then we can address the specific needs of our village or gezawutina.

  • ghezaehagos

    Haw Younis Hassan,

    I have previously posed the following question and I will repeat it again. You wrote, now three, lengthy articles, settled with the amorphous ‘PFDJ’ while failing to conjure up the figure of the one and only individual who has all the state power in his palm, that of Issais Afewerki, if any, obliquely, calling him ‘President Isaias’. You have yet to address Issaias Afewerki’ absolute power since every Ertirean tragedy bears his signature and since he is the first and last person that need to be talked in respect to matters and affairs about Eritrea.

    My question is simple, if there are any simple questions that is. I hope to see Haw Younis to tell us if this evasion is deliberate? More importantly what do you think of Issais Afewerki in this nexus of ‘good intentions’ of ‘PFDJ’? The prevailing majority of the opposition agree he couldn’t be part of solution. That is one thing that they have in common. Do you or not?

    As the inimitable Haile put it, IA “has shut the door to any form of rapprochement by bluffing that he would be here forever and the world can go to the moon. What is your take on that?”

    Ghezae Hagos

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Haw Ghezae,
      I don’t think he will answer your questions. He avoids questions. Haw Younis H. is good on provoking the soft spot of Eritrean politics. He knows it very well, and maneuvers it from left to right not in good intentions, but to shake it to see if we are up to the challenge. His argument is not solution oriented as I expected him. He enjoys the antagonism by shifting his discourse. If he is otherwise let him show us.


      • ALI-S


        I thought we were friends (:-)

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Selam Younis H,

          Yes we are friends, even brothers. But we become brothers having different opinions. Don’t you notice it? I love you when you are clear and straight shooter. This time you are jumping from one train to another even if they are in to different directions. Stay with a defined purpose my brother.

          • Hopeful

            Please disregard his 2009 thing.Can you read his articles entirely and challenge him.I am understanding him well with my limited English.

          • ALI-S

            Hey Emma,

            I was just joking. I know what you are saying – get me in trouble (:-)

            What I am trying to, what I wish I had done in the “land-grabber” debate, is to start by fixed track for judging sides on issues of the limits that I should abide by. The last debate started out of the blue and developed on the go in response to feedback. I want this one to be premeditated as I know where the challenges will come from: I am hoping to frame my input in such a way that others will use the same frame of reference so that we all change together.

            The substance of the previous debate is at the core as I hope to make clear later. You have already started with an absolutely brilliant article of at least one way of understanding and analyzing sub-national politics in way that I think is policy-relevant. I will do my best so that instead of competing we all listen to each other and cooperate to come up with a better understanding.

            My view this time is that any rhetorics that do not add value to our understanding or a different way of seeing it should be avoided at all cost. My whole obsession this time is with what I mentioned in response to SG: that as Eritreans we should feel entitled to quality output by the Eritrean government. If we divorce the PFDJ system on claims that it is of no use because it is a dictatorship, even if it may convince some Eritreans because it has some truth, it is a dumb strategy of any struggle to challenge a regime. Reason: because you have taken the easy way and given it a blank cheque with no feedback. We need to claim it at the level of entitlement and convince ourselves that is it funded by the blood and sweat of Eritrean resources that we all are entitle equally.

            This approach if we succeed will open a whole Pandora Box of things the PFDJ government will have to answer and be accountable to: more tools for a mature and serious opposition. It will call in things like: poverty, health care, education, infrastructure and a whole lot of concerns to touch all Eritreans (including PFDJ supporters) equally.

            But we should stay away from politicizing them and promote the for their own good and with a genuine interest in alleviating the challenges and enabling the government all support necessary so that we as mature opposition would be competing on a better promise of competence.

            This is the whole idea and let me see what you think.

          • tafla

            I’m reading your articles with great interest and I’m intrigued by in which direction it might go. I want to know if you are convinced about your direction/roadmap this time around? I get the feeling (gega y’khle’aley) that you are floating an idea that you have a hard time defending or explaining.

          • Amanuel Hidrat


            I will answer your questions, or you will know my take to your views, when I have a complete picture and finish your U-turn. Hopeful not to the edge of the cliff, as you already started the rough road. So hold and wait to my view.

      • Hopeful

        Emma and Ghezae,
        Is it essential though-to answer every question in detail?Not necessary.Let’s challenge his ideas/arguements–not his personality.He has a right to love PIA to death if he wants to but does not have an obligation to disclose it.
        Follow on that smooth flow of discussion between him and saay.that is what we call a healthy debate.

    • Hopeful

      Attorney Ghezae(People should know who you are eevn though your classmates kow you well as a Genius Law Student at home),
      Good and tough but simple and tricky question Bro.I am not sure he will answer it eventhough he knows the answer.The only option we have is to screen out and take his good points and trash his nonesensical metaphysical arguements.He already told you what PIA in his mind is and what PIA thinks.

      Read the bold words.:PIA is saying: “we will keep doing what we are doing until we have a credible opposition that would tell us why our way is not the only high-way”. But knwoing the fact what Haile the Great said.

      Why are you giving him that much credit other than respecting him as a good Citizen? This is a simple Citizen with probably a junior diplomatic position in the MoFA or a simple employee of the MoFA.
      Are we debating here for the sake of debating or to bring real change?
      If we are for a real change,then we have to have some solid and concrete ways of doing business.How?This is part of the huge home work.
      Check what this same Dude, Ali Salim said:” While the opposition is trying ” to weed out”the PFDJ/change the regime,the PFDJ is changing people”!!Bingo!!! Bingo!That is what we are missing: How to mobilize and how to change the people whereever they are.
      And if we do not outsmart what the PFDJ is doing,then we will fail and the PFDJ will outsmart us and win—and things will be back to status quo—
      Professor Ghebremeskel Ghebremariam,the Award Winning Eritrean Prof at Virginia Tech University,made it crystal clear by saying : ” The only way to change the regime is by mobilizing and unifying the Public—then the Regime has no power at that time and it will either crumble or will be forced to sit down for dialog and national reconciliation.
      Make no mistake that PIA and his few gang groups will do what it takes until the last minute,which is a legacy of Dictators.But can we afford that though?It has been past due to change the situation.
      If a minimum of 200-300 thousand Eritreans left country within the last 6yrs only,where more than 65 % of the exodus is comprised of Youth,then what else is left for the country to survive as a viable Nation?
      It is a pitty not to convince the public and to mobilize it as such.
      The only thing we in Diaspora know and able to do is being experts in cyber politics and fight against each other,which in turn creats,a great pasture for DIA and that is why he is confidently declaring that there is no such thing called Opposition and if people think about any entity other than PFDJ,then they are day dreaming and they should go to the Moon.
      It is just a big mess that we are just debating and talking and talking like a parrot,belittling each other,cursing and sabotaging one another,etc—-hence,DIA,has a right to laugh on us…..
      He is more than a crooked devil besides being a Paranoid Psyhcopath and pathological grandeiosity with instaiable enemity against the Eritrean people.Aand since he is the best expert ever on the Eritrean Socio-cultural make up and Eritean politics, he knows how to play the game and to keep us divided.
      There fore it is up to us to dig into his personailty,his history,his deadly Machaivelian tactics,his inner circles,his infra-strcuture and how it functions and then develop a Strategy–meaningful one,and implement it and surgically remove that cancer radicvally along with deeper lymphnode disection folowed by Chemotherapy and XRT(Radiation Therapy)of the remaining residual pieces of cancer with close monitroing and follow up.
      Yea,I am talking Metaphysicis now but that is the only solution before it too late eventhough it more than too late.
      Good luck.

    • ALI-S

      Hey Gezae,

      I did read your comments on the others and as always your tight lawyer questions that leave no room for gaming with words. What I am trying to do is evade the use of terminology that does not add to our politics. I want everyone including the hardline supporters to feel comfortable reading the articles. Our fight is not against any Eritrean but for all Eritreans.

      I also evade making statistical statements based on assumption and propaganda. Example: how do you know that “every Eritrean tragedy bears his signature”? If you are saying he controls our lives logically he should be the first not the last person to talk to. My assumption is that every reader is intelligent enough to guess whether we are saying stuff to satisfy our ego or solicit his contribution and input. Don’t get me wrong, I also do the same but where I pay attention, I tried to either qualify them with something to show the reader how I came up with the aggregation or even better use neutral words that hopefully convinces him I am not here for propaganda.

      On a different tone, Gezae (if same Gezae I am guessing), I know very well the great work you and many others are doing in the human rights and refugee issues. I haven’t come to that yet but you the “civil society” guys practically own the initiative to emancipate our opposition from the corner. My suggestion is that anyone who is serious about fighting human rights issues should at all costs make sure that people know these fights are fought for their own right not as part of a package of political and controversial loyalties. These human traffickers and boats on the sea do not ask for membership IDs. The deaths and horrors are neutral. The pain is felt on all of us equally irrespective of where we belong. We should not contaminate the noble causes with dirt politics. You know better than I do that this is nothing unique to Eritrea.

      Why I would want to secularize the human rights cause from political loyalties is also critical in leaving politicians to do what they are good at: work on what divides us. You (in your HR personality) are supposed to focus on what is common to us and nothing spoils this that narrow ego that does not add to the cause. If I were to fund your project as a donor (an you need money to do that) I would like to know that my money is not diverted to serve a hidden agenda. I would love to hear your take on this.

      • Semere Andom

        Alis Salim:

        I want to call you Ali Salim instead of Younis because it was under this stage and pen name that emerged first. Although the name has changed the character of Alis Salim has not.

        First why are you avoiding to mention IA my name? Is it Srea (newri) after you make U Turn?
        You still avoided Ghezae’s pointed questions and also, Haile’s comment and questions as well.
        You are still playing semantics. My friend everything is politics, you are trying to tell us that we should shut up and do our dingy human right thing and let the politicians do their jobs. HR is politics. Our fight is for Eritreans and also against Eritreans. Our present tormentors are Eritreans not Ethiopians, not Wonaye. Readers are also smart enough to discern your allusions and insinuations and it is not lost on the none “politician mortal HR” activist how you hold the people of Eritrea in contempt for opposing their tormentors. Your last 3 articles are littered with this contempt and can be summarized if the need arises in “tiYit” form 😉

        Still, I do not buy and you have not the assertions and manipulations that you made soul searching after something from the heaves revealed to your while dozing in the opposition meeting that the issues Ali Salim raised and the have mongering Ali Salim promoted are of the past and belong the courts and history.
        Your journey from “Jerusalem to Damascus” seems to me an expulsion from Eden by which I mean you have a chance for redemption but was it was really a journey for a revelation of the truth.

        Sem Andom

        • hopeful

          Not sure your comment is constructive though.
          Can you challengehis arguement point by point rather than jumping into generalizations, conclusions and judgements? Hope I am not missing something gross about him–but still it is unfair to react like this.

      • Sheba

        Wow, that is an interesting response. It is my motto that we need to scrutinize the HRs and the oppositions as we scrutinize pfdj and DIA. And we should not make propaganda, for example if you say there is no rain in Eritrea this year because of DIA leadership then that is really cheap stuff. DIA has a lot of power but you should show proof or be able to explain that something happens because of DIA’s decision. But i might believe you if you say there is no rain in Eritrea this year because of DIA’s hatiat(sins) 🙂

      • ghezaehagos

        Selam Younis H.,

        “እንታይ እዚ ጉዳይ ናበይ ዩ ኣንፈቱ..” “Entay iyu ezi guday! Nabey iyu anfetu…!” Forto Hero Seid Ali
        Hijay as his wife, Bekita reported it.

        Thanks for your response which is ‘I won’t respond’ to the pointed questions about Isaias Afewerki. That is ok. I respect your choice and I won’t hold it against you. I am all ears and I hope to learn from
        what you are going to offer. None of us are beholden to any ideology apart from seeing a rule of law in our nation that we love very much.

        I thank you for complimenting our efforts in Canada, I guess; though as all activists we are in need of people who can help, like you. So, if you are interested, you are most welcome bro…On HR versus politics lines, I would like you to read your take and go beyond the semantics and tell us which are the activities you consider HR and the ones which are ‘dirty politics’ because as it pertains to current Eritrean discourse, what is at stake is simply is the question of existence of Eritrea as a nation or not, as one man, (that has striking resemblance with all megalomaniac tyrants of history) not law, is the reigning supreme authority of the land. No to be distracted, we will revisit the HR, Politics blurred lines…(I personally have little or zero interest in politics proper btw: such as US, Canadian politics.)

        Dear Younis, I would like to add you are not giving me, so far, the impression you fully comprehend or accept how much deep, and how pervasive Isaias’s domination of Eritrea is at this epochal point in our history. Let alone the ‘opposition’ that he doesn’t believe even exists, let alone citizens inside Eritrea even, those who we think are part of the system or advantaged groups such as high level generals, diplomats and ministers are left to hung their head in shame and spend their twilight years before they depart to ‘adi qUlna’ chanting one pregnant phrase in exasperation, bewilderment and agony; a phrase that spurred Forto Hero to take the historic action, “እንታይ እዚ ጉዳይ ናበይ ዩ ኣንፈቱ..” “Entay iyu ezi guday! Nabey iyu anfetu…!”

        I want to assure you none of us are beholden to any ideology or position apart from seeing a rule of law, not man, in our nation that we love very much. Our problem is ‘rigxet higi’’ solution is ‘le’elna

        “እንታይ እዚ ጉዳይ ናበይ ዩ ኣንፈቱ..” “Entay iyu ezi guday! Nabey iyu anfetu…!” Forto Hero Seid Ali
        Hijay as his wife, Bekita reported it.


        Ghezae Hagos

    • hopeful

      Please bro Ghezae,cool down and make a u-turn about the topic and avoid unnecessary hit and run things here.
      Challenge this Intelligent Dude’s arguement,not who he is or what he believes in or who he is in love with.
      He will probably ask you some tough questions that you may not be able to answer like you think he will not or cannot.
      My apology Younis Hossen–for picking on you and throwing few unnecssary words.

      • ALI-S


        Thanks. Surprisingly this decent culture of mutual respect to any individual that you deal with even when you are on your way to sue him/her in court is the Eritrean character the we all grew up with. What happened to us to get stuck in a culture that does not look like us?

        But inside we are all the same decent Eritreans and even if we sometimes use strong wording we know no one means disrespect

        • Hopeful

          some compromise–as well.

  • tafla

    Selam Saay,

    “Two Islamists:
    3. Al-khalas: http://www.al-khalas.org/
    4. Islah: http://www.islaher.org/

    What’s the difference in their political program?

    • saay7

      Selamat Tafla:

      Well. You had to call my bluff, didn’t you, Tafla. Eh ille regimeka alekhu:)

      The short answer is: I don’t know. I didn’t invest enough time in researching that and when I pressed the link to the “program” in one of the website, nothing happened.

      The long answer:

      I have been told, by people in the know, that the two Islamists organizations follow different schools of thought. One follows the Ikhwan (Muslim Brotherhood) school popularized by Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood; and the other follows the Selfi school of thought popularized by Saudi Arabia’s Abdulwahab (derisively known as “Wahabbi”.) Which one is which? I don’t know, although I could speculate by the flags that appear on their websites.


      • tafla

        selam saay xelaïna yregem,

        Sorry for giving you extra work and I’m satisfied with the reply. Thank you!

  • Ermias

    Sheba, how could the opposition be irresponsible per Ali Salim’s accusation? Only two ways I can think of – being divisive of the Eritrean people or selling out to Ethiopia. The former is not very probable because they are not taken seriously by the average Eritrean but only by the elites, numbering no more than a couple thousand or so. The latter is a widely held belief of Eritreans with respect to the opposition groups. Ali Salim finally came to the belief that the fall of PFDJ will necessarily result in a puppet regime which can compromise the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the country.

    • Fenomeno

      I guess this is a good summarry of the article. Off course adding that the author strongly disagrees with the the direction the country is going. Maybe Ali Salim can elaborate on this?

    • Sheba

      Hi Ermias, i told you this before. Now you said it very nicely on your own words but you are still in the precontemplation stage.If you are addicted to something, let say smoking, you go through 6 stages in order to quit it. So you believe that this cyber opposition is the only viable solution and as a result you are in stage 1:)
      But i think Ali salim is falling to the hands of pfdj quickly, i think we still need a strong “de novo” opposition party.

      • Ermias

        Hi Sabi, you knew from the first day that I was salvageable. But my position is actually pretty straight forward.

        1. There is no opposition group that I belong to or that I believe can bring any change in Eritrea. I think you think this website is an opposition party and that I belong to it.

        2. Activists like you and I can do a lot of damage to PFDJ by making it harder for them to get much needed hard currency – by shining the light for everyone to see their true nature, and exposing their lies. That is as much as the cyber opposition (as you cal it can do) can do.

        3. Change can only come from within Eritrea.

        Finally, can you elaborate ‘de novo’ opposition party? What does that mean?

        • Sheba

          Hi Ermias, yes you are salvageable:) but still you are in stage 1:)
          1. I know you are not member(abal) to any opposition party but deep in your heart you think that these cyber opposition are a better alternative to DIA. Me too i am on this website, so it is not about using internet.
          2. I think if you only focus on pfdj, you may miss the whole picture
          3. I agree that change is more likely to come from the inside but a good opposition is still necessary for a good government.
          With “de novo” opposition, i mean building a new opposition from scratch. Ex novo and de novo are Latin words and they mean anew, from scratch or from the beginning. They are not the same, they have a slight difference in their meaning.

          • Ermias

            Saba, if I am only in stage 1 on a six stage process, I have a long way to go. Will you wait for me or you will move on to someone else?

            For the long run, I agree with you on “a good opposition is still necessary for a good government.” However, in my opinion, no matter how strong and good an opposition we can cultivate, there is no organized diaspora based force that can dent the PFDJ and there will never be.

            The 60 or so opposition organizations are not filled with dummies. There are a lot of smart people within them. However, when you have a double edged sword, you can’t get people to agree to anything. At first, their resentment of the regime makes them think they are on the same page but they quickly find that they resent the regime for completely different reasons let alone to agree on other variables. You have many variables –

            – how to topple PFDJ
            – new constitution or old constitution
            – help from Ethiopia or no
            – federalism or centralized government
            – many many more.

            What we kind of need is a compassionate dictator. Someone to take power and dictate good things on the country until everything is stabilized. Here is what he/she would say.

            – new constitution (or keep the old one), just dictate one or the other but hopefully modify or create a new one.
            – no government owned businesses
            – I am going to all neighboring countries and mend relationships. I don’t care what you all think.
            – all of you refugees, you need to come back now
            – I will be here for four years at least to make sure none of you try stupid things
            – no more 2%, chip in as much as you like or keep your dollars if you are super stingy
            – no more political prisoners.
            – all tegadelty are demobilized but I will have a VA office to take care of them
            – if you have money, you can build anything you want, anywhere
            – all borders are open back and forth, you don’t like it here, you are free to take off
            – etc.

  • haile

    hello again SM

    If you note how I presented my query, I haven’t even mentioned names or specific incidents. I am simply drawing attention to a possible loophole in the PG where the AT usually do a good job to discourage the targeting of people/individuals. I noted that some people are making identity an issue in an indirect sort of way (by levying accusations) and then making loaded statements that really do more harm than anything to the overall flow of ideas. That is all. I am sure you know what I mean.

  • ALI-S


    You make a strong point and I will not argue. But I will see if you think this makes sense:

    Part 1

    If you had also included the PFDJ charter in your list, you would probably notice that at that level – of a purpose on paper – they are all the same. The difference is that one has already been run on the machine and hardware (of trying to resolve problems on the ground including horrible wars) and we know what and where the bugs are. The other has to run through the same machine to check if it has some bugs.

    So you are comparing the outcomes of one with the naked purpose of the other – tomatoes and Akat.

    I think we may agree that if the naked paper of the political programs of the PFDJ and all others do not have radically different intentions, it is more likely that running them through the same machine will produce comparable results. We all know this and that’s why we stress that the difference is that those who run one program are inherently worse than those who would be running the others.

    Part 2

    As per my own big talk on intention Vs outcome: there cannot be “purposeless opposition” if taken literally. My be I should have put it differently.

    If the outcomes are totally off mark (not within reasonable limits of acceptability given the specification of the purpose, there are 2 possibilities:

    (1) If the intention is fully specified i.e. it has been considered complete and deployed to action, then the gap can be explained by unforeseen factors (incompetence, catastrophes etc). Hayat in one of her comments had challenged this by telling us that if the intention is not producing results, then the intention must be revised. She is right. If all your projects are producing horrors, you should pause and recalibrate the system. That is where the PFDJ system might be failing and it is our job to create this feedback loop.

    (2) If what we are calling success is the outcome of specifying the system if intentions (i.e. just forming the institution that will implement the purpose in your list), you are in big trouble and that is where the opposition is with close to 3 decades just to agree of the vehicle. That is where you need a U-Turn review and see if there is better and easier way of doing it.

    My conclusion is that it is much easier for us to create i.e. impose the feedback loop of the system we have.

    • Saleh Johar

      Younus Basha,
      Don’t you find this comment amazing: “If all your projects are producing horrors, you should pause and recalibrate the system. That is where the PFDJ system might be failing and it is our job to create this feedback loop.”

      What do you think brought us to where we are? People have tried many ways, zban mengisti, tegageyu’lekhum. The reaction was more of the same. This is what the opposition that you so much loath have been doing. Myself have been doing this for over a decade. When do you say “tsemamat” and go to the next step? Do you beg indefinitely, aqli ‘ndo gber Isaias? My dear, it is cruel to invite those who did what you are asking for years and gave up. If you want to be fair, it should be done by those who like to go in circles as if they are in Assaret Simsim like a Gash camel. Please don’t include me in your “we” on that task. If you must, call those who didn’t try it. But please do not invite those went through the loop and declared,”kem Tub ‘adey qebitse.”.

      • ALI-S


        “Bokhuri izney” what you have said (:-)

        I know what you are saying but a cycle of feedback loop from outcomes of what was achieved to revising intention should be Inklilo.

        But seriously SG: I would say the difference between an opposition member and a PFDJ member in the degree to which each feels entitled to the services given by government and obliged to the cost.

        No one that does not feel entitled is a citizen and only citizens are entitled to demand change. I am calling for us to feel entitled to quality of output from the government. Every ambassador serving in every country, for example, gets paid from resources, whether taxed or mined, that every Eritrean is entitled to. So we need to go a demand that they protect every Eritrean. When we go we need to be proud because we are entitled. Of course it helps so that we don’t go “riesina adnin’na” that we do our best to contribute to paying the cost so that we may look PFDJ memebers in the eye.

    • Sheba

      I agree that in short “pfdj-DIA=pfdj with feedback mechanism” is possible

    • saay7

      Ahlen Ali Salim:

      I think I get you now. What you are saying is that (a) since the charters of the PFDJ are indistinguishable from the charters of, say, EPDP and ENSF; and (b) since the only difference is not in programs but in who will execute the programs; and (c) since the leadership of, say, EPDP and ENSF has underwhelmed you; (d) chances are that if they were to come to power, we would have the same policies, executed by more inept people, repeating the same mistakes.

      Close enough?

      The above is a case of working hard just to get different engineers on the same derailed train.

      But here’s another scenario: the rest of the opposition (the region federalists, the Islamists and the ethnic federalists) who have a completely different agenda with one common denominator: decentralized government, decentralized to the point of having a federation of semi-autonomous states. Give us our area where we (Muslims/Kunama/Afar) are the majority and let us administer ourselves.

      Now that’s an entirely different train. And that’s where things get, um, interesting. Because our two large neighbors, Sudan and Ethiopia, just happen to believe that Islamism is the way to create an independent and just society (Sudan) and that, in diverse societies, ethnic federation is the way to create a sustainable democracy (Ethiopia.)

      So, no, it is not that the opposition is purposeless. It is very purposeful. Too purposeful, to the point that it is unpragmatic and unworkable.


      • ALI-S


        “Asha diye berakhi”! I will skip a direct answer in order not to divert the attention to a whole new direction – another U-Turn.

        This is how I understand the categories of political organizations in the opposition: unless an organization has a political program (in its broad form) that entitles every Eritrean selected randomly on identical rights and responsibilities, then what you have is an interest group for understandable reasons framed as a political party. The danger with this is that in order to fit the form of “political party” and also as a strategy to claim bigger shares of political power, they tend to lump in the “political program” fights that do not belong to them. Of course all issues belong to all Eritreans but sob-national should limit agenda to what applies exclusively both for practical reasons that serves the common cause and as an effective strategy.

        Subnational grievances have local victims but interest in alleviating them should be global.

        • hopeful

          Here we go Ali Salim vs Saay.I love it–can’t be more proud of you,cousins.
          Hope we can be closer now by running thru angles rather than parallaley-in a parallel line and get to an intersection point.

        • saay7

          Hala ya Ali (Aya berakhi:)

          To my knowledge, with the exception of EPDP and Nahda, none of the opposition organizations call themselves a party. They are fronts and organizations, and movements. In any event, if you believe in people’s right to assembly, you must accept the fact that a group can define for itself, and who it wants in and who it wants out. Who is a full member and who is teTabaqi. It appears that they were liberal in their admissions criteria because, remember, you were a member for a week in all of them:)

          When it comes to a strategy on how to bring relief to Eritreans in the most optimal way, you and I could probably agree on a lot. At least on the what (PFDJ 2.0) if not the how (democratic coup.) What I don’t understand is why you and your old nemesis Semere Tesfai and some in this forum pour their wrath on the Opposition. Mesakin, it is not like they are on the verge of marching to Denden Club: how many times, and in how many ways must they show you that they have no strategy beyond “Uyyy, uyyy, zemetko!” So why do you feel the urge to harass them and tell us “ገረንከል ናትኪ ሓይሊ ኣይሃቦ፥ ተጠሊዑ ንየሩ ኣብ ሃንቦ ሃንቦ::


          • Semere Tesfai


            “What I don’t understand is why you and your old nemesis Semere Tesfai
            and some in this forum pour their wrath on the Opposition.”

            Saleh: I’m not trying to speak for Ali-S here, as he is more articulate and more capable than I am. He can explain/defend himself better. But allow me to explain myself. I’m glad you are standing for the opposition. Probably it is hard for you to believe, but I care about the opposition as much as you do. Not only because they are my Eritrean brothers but also, because they are my childhood friends, my former comrades and even some are my current close friends.

            The reason I’m “pouring wrath on them” is because they have changed; I didn’t. They are following a character that is un-Tegadalay of them. They are following a losing political strategy. You know as mach as I do, sub-national politics (religious, ethnic, regional….) was a no, no in our Ghedli. Why? because it doesn’t serve the interest of the Eritrean people. Because It could only divide us and do us harm. And I suppose we all are fighting the PFDJ regime to bring a unified and better future (for us and for generations to come).

            I said it before and I will say it forever – I don’t have any problem if Eritreans organized themselves along ethnic, religious, regional, professional, gender, age…. groups to advance their narrow interests. But I have a problem if these interest groups baptized themselves – as political parties with the intention to govern a diverse nation. I believe any political organization that has an ambition to govern Eritrea one day, should look like Eritrea, before it attempts to appear on a national political stage. And I don’t think I’m asking much. Do you?

            Again, I don’t have any problem if any person or group of Eritreans are opposing the PFDJ regime; as a matter of fact I do consider myself one (opposition to PFDJ). But I’ve a problem when opposition leaders advocate civil war in the name of change. I’ve a problem when opposition leaders becomes tools of foreign interests in the name of change. I’ve a problem when success of the opposition camp is measured by the loss of the PFDJ camp. I’ve a problem when opposition leaders, accuse PFDJ leaders for not delivering things that the opposition leaders themselves couldn’t deliver under the same circumstance.

            And all my “wrath” towards the opposition is intended to see a civilized Eritrean political opposition, armed with new ideas – not only that could challenge the PFDJ regime but also the PFDJ camp as a whole. I hope I made my position clear.

  • Sheba

    I think Ali salim is swinging from one camp to the other camp. We should not put our effort to reform pfdj, instead we should work hard to create de novo opposition party which can be a strong alternative. Off course the present day tequamti are blash.

  • SM

    No matter what he said in the past,this guy is making a lot of sense now.
    He just said that the past is past and it should be left to the history and the courts but let’s move on and work for today and tomorrow.
    Is there a problem here?
    After all,that is what we need now.
    The old grudges and tactics failed so let’s look for a better approach.
    As some one said it in this forum,he might have achieved his initial goal:exposing the painful mischiefs and misdeeds of inequality even though expressed in unpleasant and unacceptable ways to the majority.
    Let’s be optimistic and analyze what he is saying positively and support him.
    At least no one can deny his intelligence,which makes me to be proud of him as an Eritrean with huge potential for the future Eritrea we are dreaming for.
    God bless you man and may the Lord enlighten you more so as to enlighten us more.

  • Dawit

    I know I know I can’t draw 🙁

    • ALI-S

      Dawit – you are actually very good and you say it all.

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Hey Dawit,

      This is graphic or pictorial way of framing the argument. Th picture depicts how the debate will be shaped as we go forward. Nicely put.

      Amanuel Hidrat

      • Dawit

        Thanks Aman,

        I believe that a single picture (even as crude picture as mine) can convey a complex idea by condensing large amount of data in a single picture.

    • Hayat Adem

      Dawit, you really are good. I suggest AT use you to diversify approaches of messaging.

      • Dawit

        Thanks Hayatom:
        On the picture ( a cartoon if you will 🙂 )I try to make a political point using a crude picture, a different way of expression. I wanted it to convey many facts about the situation of the opposition and/or discussion . As you can see, the car does nto have rear view mirror, neither did I put a side view mirror because opposition parties appear not to look back but usually forward, lucking the firm foundation that comes from past events considered together.

  • said

    Eritrea ever since its independence have seeing zero progress and only regress to the worst kind, country that is a pariah and a country that is in continuing violation of the International Law and Human
    Rights norms .for any serious and seasoned Eritrean political opposition parties they have many issue to consider and they have to win, earn the love and heart of domiciled population . The task is huge, the future Eritrean
    government will have to meet the inclusive political solution and economic expectations of a population that yearning and hankering for a better future.
    A Massive and Colossal challenges lies ahead. They require major sacrifices, only a highly qualified and trustworthy leadership ,selfless with wider population acceptance across the nation can convince the people that better solution and soled future lies ahead .There are many enormous challenges and obstacle ahead , and many Eritrean are sceptical that Eritrea opposition parties can navigate them and bring harmonies and peace
    to the nation . Yet there will be is renewed hope. The Eritrean people have faced many challenge, they will remove the regime, and they will win the right to human rights and right to the ballot box and they will demand freedom,
    dignity and social justice. Eritrean independence by all account is a triumphant feat, and one that truly demonstrates the country’s promise spirit is still alive. I genuinely give the Eritrean people the credit they deserve.

    Present day somewhat Eritrea is a deeply Divided country, tiny minority are actively supporting the regime, a self-serving group ,knowing well the country is basket case and its economy is deeply in shambles without obvious early revival, 23 years after the independence that’s proving disastrous and extremely costly for Eritrea ‘s Social Peace and economic revival , the regime minsters, generals and their cohorts , have miserably failed ,they are proven par excellence,they dutifully dedicated subservient with vengeance to the non-elected ,imposed dictorship ruler of Eritrea ,they serve wholehearted the strong sole Military Man in Charge of collapsing and sinking Eritrea .

    One would have thought that educated and brilliant Eritreans with accretion of long years in struggle, diplomacy, public office, heading diplomatic ambassadorial position, with global prospective and wide open view,
    would render a seasoned and tested politicians to be wiser, humanistic,democratic, judicious and publicly responsible;however, those men, the generals’ war mongers and ambassadors and what have you
    are defying the common wisdom in this regard. That sure makes the quality of ageing sick President’s Men in Asmara and that hardly started licking its wounds that would for long be healing, if ever, as the Polarization only widens and the DIA regime stubbornly is continuing going it its waywith total disregard for the population and
    social peace and reconciliation.

    As long as nation is ruled by DIA regime. Eritrea is plunging into the unknown dark for generations to come; an advice that was best rendered him by many a Savvy Public Office seasoned politicians and many
    so called advisor who instead chose to pour oil on the fire in obvious most narrowly self-serving egotistical agenda centring on themselves.They Prompt dictatorship, Support the imprisoning of tens of thousands of
    innocent Eritreans and they Support the killing of innocent people been killed randomly,
    Can’t they see Eritrean youth been targeted. Killed by the heartless and merciless regime, can’t they see the innocent youth been imprisoned, in not to long time, some of these people presented themselves true patriotic,
    nationalist as leftist liberal and progressive democratic thinkers and they are not more than masked hypocrite,
    anti-democratic, anti-Eritrean agents.

  • haile

    Selamat Awatistas and the AT,

    I don’t know if most of you think in this way (specially the moderators) but would say it anyway. There is a loophole in the AT posting guidelines. We know that it is not allowed to insult a whole population. But the PFDJ bigots can’t survive without that and have come up with an indirect way of attacking a whole population. This takes the form of repeatedly accusing someone of being Tigraway/Tigraweyti and conjugating terms as “libi Tigray…” as a part and parcel of insulting the individual/s singled out for racial attack like that. In other words, the unsolicited racial profiling done by commenters here is a way of circumventing the PG to spew racial slurs and victimize others as a way of indulging in this sordid act of racial bigotry. Can the AT consider this loophole as an urgent leakage in their system and swiftly take action where necessary. This would be a matter of defending forumers from racial attack (mostly by regime supporters, though not always).To the perpetrators, let’s get this straight, we ain’t stupid, sell stupid somewhere else.

    • SM

      Unfortunately;as Saay,said it before,this is kind of our inherent culture,specially those in the PFDJ camp.
      It is upto the Moderators to monitor these things.
      But please, do not forget that there is plenty of evidence to suspect people as such based on their comments and one sided and biased positions they express;Haile the Great included.

      • haile

        SM (anta wedi micaele:) How could you say US friendly Canadians are US citizens based on their comments or accents? I would take their declared identity unless it is relevant “and” merited to believe otherwise. Saying that however, it is still a tricky situation to try to thread along that line. One’s identity is above any form of reproach, all Eritreans, all Tigrayans ot all Rashaida don’t hold identical views. IMO I find it hard to believe that someone can be primarily concerned about Eritrea when they are not one. Natural law doesn’t support it, when one writes and expresses views there are more one can read into it than just what presents at scanning the actual texts and their dictionary meaning. If I impersonate to be an Ethiopian (even with good Amharic or Tigrayan sounding Tigrinya) it wouldn’t take long for people to sense my limited local wisdom to call me out. It is beyond me how people with firm grasp of the situation in Eritrea and much more and completely attached to the minutest events regarding Eritrea be considered not Eritrean. This is the an indirect way of submitting passable comments into the forum without overtly contravening the PG on targeting whole populations. Think about it, I say to you “well SM I think you are an Ethiopian or Tigrayan disguising, and I don’t trust people from such and such, I consider them enemy….blah blah” It may appear I am talking to you but I am actually making a bigoted statements about a whole population that I have no clue about to assess like that. Think it through my friend, you need to sleep with one eye open, hgdef keytefE dqas selem yelan 🙂

        • SM

          Unfoirtunately,we are misreading and misunderstanding each other Hailat hawey.But hopefully not intentionally,at least from my side-NO.
          I said “to suspect”,which is reasonable as you cannot trust people here. 100%
          Again,my concern with you is :Your extremism”.and being one sided ignoring the other FACTS.,which makes me to be suspicios.This is not a pathological suspicion,by the way,it is a realistic suspicion based on facts.

  • Dawit

    I think Gherhi Libu is Tigraway 😉

  • Ermias

    I am not good at writing executive summaries on behalf of others. But with the hope that I don’t misrepresent Ali Salim, it’s seems to me like he had a bad dream where EPRDF has nullified the sovereignty of Eritrea.

    His main concern seems to me like the only way PFDJ can lose control of Eritrea is by direct intervention of EPRDF and the newly “despised” opposition groups marching behind EPRDF. In Ali Salim’s mind and many others, this effectively begins the beginning of the end of Eritrea as we know it as a nation state. He is picking the status quo over this alternative.

    • Sheba

      Ermias, you are so creative. May be he had that vivid dream:)

  • T..T>

    Hi Ali S.

    When you were on the front-line fighting against Isayas’s policy of land grabbing, Alem Goitom of Meskerem challenged you telling you, “If you got strong calves (legs), come on and grab your land back.” So, what happened to you to U-turn to his side? The side that plays the role of opposition-against-the-opposition using Isayasism’s template of divide and weaken. Join his side and enjoy your isolation because it is the whole Eritrean people who are against Isayas and Isayasism. All your recent demonstrated that you are full of it proving to the world that you indeed follow the foot steps of Isayas.

    If you would like to know about the opposition, we feel we are ahead of you because we are now capable of intra-members and inter-members communication and collaboration to know in a minute who and where the enemy is.

    Again, if you would like to know, why in the opposition we condemn Isayasism is because of its (Isayas’s) political
    thinking: 1) the way it makes decisions, and 2) the way it resolves problems. In bother cases, the least to say (leaving aside constitutionalism), Isayas broke the rule of group or participative decision making resulting in disrespect of those around him and the Eritrean people, and micromanagement to protect his solo interest reinforcing his dictatorship.

  • saay7

    Ahlen Ali:

    Let’s take on this phrase that you bolded: “purposeless opposition.” When an organization takes the trouble to list its political program* and lays out its vision for Eritrea and it tells you why it has chosen to be an opposition, you can call it many things but “purposeless” is not one of them. Since you were a member of these organizations for only one week, maybe you didn’t read their programs, so here’s a sample:

    Three secular-national:

    1.Eritrean Liberation Front: http://www.omaal.org/ar/news.php
    2. Eritrean People’s Democratic Party: http://www.harnnet.org/index.php/about-us-m/rokstories
    3. Eritrean National Salvation Front: http://www.pptuu.com/slide_final-political-program-ensf-tigrigna-language/#.UzCkxF7Cczo

    Two Islamists:

    3. Al-khalas: http://www.al-khalas.org/
    4. Islah: http://www.islaher.org/

    Two Ethnic rights advocacy groups:
    5. Democratic Movement for the Liberation of Eritrean Kunama (DMLEK): http://www.mesel-biherat.com/DMLEK/index.php/about-us
    6. Red Sea Afar Democratic Organization (RSADO): http://dahlak.org/Slide/RSADO%20Program.html

    If retail is not your thing and you want to buy wholesale (ny jimla) you have the charter of the umbrella group
    5. Eritrean Democratic Alliance: http://www.erit-alliance.com/erit/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=45&Itemid=66

    So, no, they are VERY purposeful and VERY specific about what exactly they want. They are very specific in nouns, pronouns for themselves (name, accronym, logo), adjectives in describing the opponent (mlkawi srAt) and even adverbs (by any means necessary.) The question is not in their purpose but in our purpose: do we want them to succeed in achieving their purpose? All of them? Some of them? Is it achievable? If the journey to get to their objective takes us past Damascus and Tripoli, are we willing? If we say “hell, no” to that, how is by the “some means necessary” going to work?

    So, my friend, I submit the cause of your pause (i don’t call it U-turn yet) is that you have considered not “why are they failing” but “what if they succeed?”


    *Our friend Nitricc is one of those who often says that the “toothless opposition” has no political program. You know the old J-walking show from Jay Leno where he asks Americans basic questions and they get it all wrong? Wouldn’t it be fun to read Nitricc and all the Y-PFDJ quotes from the EDA Charter or the Opposition program and the PFDJ Charter and ask them to identify which is which? We can call it “Name That Charter!” They would soooo flunk it.

    • Hopeful

      Can you also include the link for the PFDJ program if you have time and access,please,for the sake of comparison?

  • Hayat Adem

    “ezia Hayat zibliwasi men eya?” kali’e zereba yelen!? nisikha men miskonka ikha nay wardiya HiTo tiHatit? DemegnakHa kem filHo yibzaH, demegnana dima tibil…There is nothing mysterious about me. I could go all naked if it was not meant to be honoring you and talking cheap as per your terms. kemakha zibelu atSimi kefeQdu n’ziHadru azabiEgimit mihab keykhon’mber. Don’t waste your energy on things that are none of your business; or even if your business, on things that don’t matter much; or even if they matter, on things that you have nothing to add to or subtract from. Focus on the issue and contribute.

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Your response in particular to this article is right on the mark. He seems he has a “project” and start on building his project. I do see some oh is arguments are without “corner stone” that binds the structure of his argument. But I will still reserve myself until he finishes. To build an opposition is not that easy especially in the circumstances you explained. Those who talks about the failures of the opposition have nothing to offer to consolidate the oppositions. These groups who are identified as ” critic group” are those who are waiting the “train of freedom” the same as those who were waiting the train of “liberation.” So wait and see.


    • haile

      Selamat Aman,

      Let’s see how Ali-S is going to progress forth, however let it be clear that we’re keeping track. At the time when Eritreans came to learn about the “opposition”, some told them that it was a struggle against “ethnic fascism”, one aimed at pushing out the highland “land grabber” settlers etc… Some were bewildered and cursed the “opposition”. The struggle for justice was undermined, the image of justice seekers tarnished and that of the oppressor beautified through forged contrast.

      Today, everyone knows that the regime means harm to the people and the nation, many people are willing to jump on the “opposition” bandwagon and work with it whether one to try to tarnish it or not. Well, a different technique is again applied here. One that would give the impression that the “opposition” still has a second thought about a regime that has left the world horrified with its brutality and and callous inhumanity. The nation on fire, its citizens escaping in all directions, the world inundated by refugee crisis on par to places experiencing severe war, how diabolical can it get to argue that it could be “the people” but the “system” may be fine.

      No system was ever observed to be announced as an effort to bring horrific catastrophes! But when they do, that is how they get validated or invalidated for whatever they’re worth. What is PFDJ worth for the Eritrean people? It is indeed diabolical to argue at this late hour that its white paper is some fine feat and it may only be those implementing it!! Really? Sorry, but something doesn’t add up here.

      Today any generalized attack on the “opposition” can only be really seen as an attack against the defenseless people that are brutalized at the hands of the regime. How can one argue a case on behalf of someone that diametrically oppose their version of events? PFDJ (IA by implication) totally disagrees with what Ali-S has to say to portray his regime or the PFDJ. PFDJ has said that there is no room for dialog, no room for any political social or economic space for any one other than itself. And just about when people where to give the “land grab” theory the benefit of the doubt, well its principal author comes up with much greatly self contradicted notion instead (having abandoned the original argument).

      Well, it all leaves me less convinced with this than the previous position.


    • ALI-S

      Emma & Haile,

      You make very good points. The truth is that no one has the answers ready. I am definitely not coming with a political program and no hidden agenda.

      I think I have an idea where we should start and that is by doing what we want others to do. We can’t complain of being excluded by the PFDJ when all we would do if given the chance is exclude the PFDJ. My hope is that we all cooperate to motivate a movement of different way of seeing and doing what we are doing.

      My call is directed to those who have no doubt that something is wrong and that in spite of our wishes we are not going anywhere. It is for those who don’t think that a few articles, a handful demonstrations and one meeting after another may not really be adequate to bring change. It is for those who have a little bit of respect for the PFDJ system as an enemy (if that is your enemy). The task of bringing change in Eritrea is a lot harder than what we tend to believe. If you would assume a bit of intelligence in those who tried before you, you would guess the problem is actually more complex than can be solved by empty and careless bravado.

      It is also for those who are responsible enough not to bet on coups and wars. At least those who think betting on such means for change is an unhealthy disorder and that we should not follow these nut-cases who promote these ideas.

      What do you think? or are there other means that the opposition may come up with that I might not heard of?

      What myself and my target audience want to believe is that no Eritrean should have an enemy that is Eritrean. We have tried those ways for decades let us see if some changes in our attitude towards one another can have an impact. I think it is the right place to start.

      If anyone has an enemy and what you are convinced is a perfect road-map already determined, our debate does not apply to you. If there is anything for us in it and a better way let us discuss if you need more input or support and if not tell us what we can do to help while we wait for the “liberation train”.

      • haile

        Hello ALI-S

        I think I am getting a certain perspective here (please correct if you disagree). You now belong to the “peaceful means” camp (and fully committed at that). Right? I beg to differ with your sense of entitlement to call the other’s means “nut case”. Let’s back off a little, there are those of us who prefer peaceful means but are not obliged to commit to it till death do us apart. There are those of us who have an enmity with those who treat us worse than a worse enemy. Where are the all the victims? Can you look the family and loved one in the eye and tell them that their reason for misery is not their enemy? To say a violent confrontation is a “nut case” betrays an ill-preparedness of the possible development from the current dangerous trend. What happens to a woman after full term pregnancy? Well, there is nothing more to do, if she discount the next step of giving birth. Once a political struggle has been slummed shut, then one has reached a full term. It is not that no one has a sense of better way ahead, it rather a case of all ways ahead are blocked by the PFDJ regime. Suppose we risk the humiliation you propose, for the sake of giving you the benefit of the doubt. Can you then guarantee that any PFDJ operative would come out of the mekhete hall to discuss the proposed “love affair” with what it calls the “mortal enemy of Eritrea” (those comprising over 90% of Eritreans at home and some abroad).

        The realization of an armed conflict is not “nut case”, let’s differ in principle and apply your “inclusive” theory to those who believe that the struggle for change must have a teeth that can bite if PFDJ is to be made to bow to reason. History proves such reasoning to be spot on too, far from being “nut case”. It is only to those that wield sticks that the PFDJ ever responded positively, ever.

        Pacifist ideology is reasonable and understandable, but it is very out of touch from the current reality to be brash about it.

        (Hey Nitricc, who is toothless now 🙂


      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Selam Younis,

        If you are in the opposition act like you are in the opposition, and try to make it look a good opposition. First you decide either at it or out of it. If you are at it, work with us to transform the opposition camp. You can’t jump from train to train which are in the opposite directions.

        Amanuel Hidrat

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Hi Younis H.,

    So far you are playing with semantics and philosophizing with the words like “good intention, bad intention”. You were a straight shooter and now we can’t even see your aiming and your target. In any case, if in your series of articles you are coming with a kind of proposal of solution at some point, Could you please also include solutions that mitigate the mistrust among our social groups. I am afraid not to make us lost in the wilderness of interpretations and perceptions. If you continue like that of YG, we will ask you to “summarize your point” as my good friend Saay always use to say in order to understand, not the gist of your message but the whole message.

  • Semere Andom

    Mowlan Ali Salim:
    You are making the incompetence ant the disarray that supposedly inspired your infamous U-turn sound as if it was a Eureka moment for you. We knew about it, every breathing camel, whose grazing land was grabbed knew about it
    If you are using the term PFDJ as in the gang of criminals who are responsible for the unimaginable torture then there is no grey area here: PFDJ must lose for the Eritreans people to win. Not the opposition to win. This is twisted. It is PFDJ against the Eritrean people. It is not semantics and you know it.
    The opposition to the PFDJ, the regime that you are pounding your chest to have belonged to, includes this list: the 300 young promising Eritreans who perished in the sea, Elsa Chirum, Meron Estifanous, the 80,000 refuges in Tigray, Awate.com, Assenna.com, Asmarina.com. The menu of the opposition groups that you spent a fort-night sampling and that apparently induced your nausea and hastened your turn is a tiny sample, so your conclusion is fallacious.
    Any self-respecting Eritrean, who cares about the plight of the nation and people in the brink of disaster and who really repented from his former “eshinet” will not derisively say an invisible hand controlling these groups.
    I suspect that the hand that inspired the U-turn was indeed visible, it was the identity behind the visible hand that was invisible, but now both are conspicuous.
    There is insincerity in the line of thinking that you are trying to shove down our throats and you have succeed in some, and the insincerity is: you tried to debate the taboo issues and when you realized that you were wrong you changed course.
    First I do believe the land and refugee issue was noble, but for reasons hitherto unknown you bastardized it by infusing hate and bigotry: you called a segment of our people Nazis and you incited hate by focusing and sayings and adages that speak to bigotry and racism, while deliberating ignoring those that speak to reconciliation, wisdom and shun hate. I have 300 of good sayings,”tebay entegerka”, “thamshisheni”, I will send you 🙂
    Now in your new spirit, you have not yet acknowledged the evil nature of PFDJ, to you, the heinous crimes are perpetuated by good people. Speak of an oxymoron.

    May PFDJ rest, but NOT in peace?

    Sem Andom

    • Selamawi

      I like your comment Semere Andom.

      Ali Salim recklessly disseminated hatred, he did not empathyse with the victims, and did not bother about the consequences of his preaching. If he had the power, I believe, his rule would be no better than that of pfdj. He tried it the he did which was ugly, and now he is trying another angle – he may think this more subtle way but I cannot believe him, I normally am for negotiation and mediation as means of resolving issues but Ali Salim’s idea to me is like that of pfdj – to be gotten rid of in favor of peace and fraternity within legal framework.

      He told us his so called real name but he gave us a shade of his picture. I think he enjoys jokes but as usual he does not to understand when to joke and when to be serious.

      God save the Eritrean people from pfdj and the likes of Ali Salim’s ideology and scary behavior.

      • Hopeful

        Why can’t you give us your real name and real pic then?

        • selamawi

          Sorry Hopeful I did not check earlier.

          Can I ask you the same question, why don’t you give us your real name and real pic?
          Ali Salim has said that he has had some sort of change of heart, he gave a different name, then he listed his education and career history. Well, given what we have read from him so far, I will not believe what he says until I see evidence, and it would be good if he would kindly complete his self disclose – Sudan, Asmara, Sawa, South Africa, Canada… don’t you see my rationale? Dear Hopeful, I hope you will conclude that there is a difference between me Ali Salim. I am hopeful that I will never behave the way he did, God forbid us all!

    • ALI-S

      Sem Habibna,

      I understand the frustration and you are not alone my brother.

      My view is that opposition is not about the past – it is about the future. The past belongs to courts and historians and we have all agreed we would have them in a new Eritrea. If you have any specific idea as to what we should do about the future to prevent what you described does not happen again, feel free to share and if it is better than the courses of action that we already have – consider me a soldier.

  • Kokhob Selam

    I feel that the problem created by PFDJ and even PFDJ it self is the result. I don’t know if you agree that even if PFDJ didn’t emerge there the ground was ready to accept another dictator. The fastest cell reached, but there were millions of cells who start for the same case. I think we Eritrean people didn’t do good in managing our case and removing PFDJ alone is not the solution. we need to find the cause so not to see again what we have seen. if what I am saying is true and accepted, we will agree none of us is clean of the past but only the degree differs which in turn makes the ground wider in working together.

  • haile

    Selamat Ali-S

    I think this piece is more “grounded” so much so that it is easier to read and feedback on it. I am sure there are those who appreciate your usual style, but I find this more direct and easy to respond to.

    I think that your argument presents inadequate recognition the internal and external factors that limit the form of the “opposition” manifests into the current shape. It would be fatefully erroneous and does no justice to the intended value-addends of your argument when you exclusively focus on the nature of the “manifestations” and not the underlining causes. What makes the current opposition the way it is? Its failure to grasp the good side of the bestial regime? Its failure to have enough trust on a deadbeat regime to deliver one day? What are the pull and push factors of the contemporary movements in becoming opposition?

    In my less informed opinion, the train may have already left the station. Intellectuals who are less interests on their people’s daily situation, armed men that support the regime who have come to count their profits from those horrible situations and a deeply confused and betrayed public are guiding the dynamics of the current movement. Officially, we may say that it is really since 2001 that opposition movement has gained traction in the Eritrean political landscape. Those that existed before that time (and still exist) were faced with improbable situation to anchor their ideological drivers. However, in the last 13 or so years, the Eritrean people have come a long way and the regime has gone down hill even in greater measures. It is rather puzzling that some people would go to ostracize the the “opposition” at the level of existence. Not policy, not structure, not even strategic direction but its very existence in the current form in total isolation from the integral origins that control the unique trajectory of its formative pathways.

    Just to close, few more personal questions in order:

    1 – Why did Ali-S oppose anonymously and become conciliatory publicly?

    2 – When you joined the MoFA as 9th round, was that a normal thing that should have happened, do you think that your later decision to abandon the country you love at the hands of unknown future has anything to do with your conditions there.

    3 – Do you think that the abnormal situation in #2 has now been firmly state sanctioned and the citizens must take matters into their own hands to push back?

    4 – IA has shut the door to any form of rapprochement by bluffing that he would be there forever and the world can go to the moon. What is your take on that?


  • Hayat Adem

    Dearest Ali,
    zereba aygidin! There is no Eritrean problem that was not created by PFDJ. There is no Eritrean problem that cannot be solved with the removal of pfdj. Again, the oppositions’ number one responsibility is mobilizing support to enable them take government power. They are evaluated by how well they do that. Your logic sounds as if you are saying they have been useless because they have been found too weak to take power and therefor I switched my loyalties from the ones I would have supported had they were strong enough to assume power to the ones I had wanted them to go had they been weak to relinquish power, and here I’m inviting everyone to do the same. Well, good luck but I say that is whorish boorish!! I think I’ve read you enough.

    • Gherhi Libu

      Hayat Adem, in my opinion, Ali salim seems to have nothing but good intentions even if he is wrong…however…many in this forum are increasingly suspecting your real motivations because of your relentless defense of TPLF, which a vast majority of Eritreans see as demegnana and not delayi tsibukna. Can you please tell us a little bit about yourself, nothing specific where someone can find you at the library but prove to us that you are Eritrean. We, Eritreans, have been misled too many a time. This will benefit you greatly because more people will take your arguments more seriously than saying ezia Tigraway kitkewn alewa.

      • Olana

        What if she is Tigrawoyti with good intentions, as you said referring to Ali Salim, to help people like you?

    • ALI-S

      Hayat the great,

      I should have commented on your in the U-Turn article. But I have included a tiny response in the one I wrote for saay.

      • Hayat Adem

        That tiny response saddled up inside is fine. But, you really have more and bigger problems you seem not to addressing sufficiently. 1) your credibility is being questioned because some years back you were forcefully and convincingly arguing on the issue of land-grabbing, an extreme position even the mainstream opposition were not ready to go to. You found a growing audience for that argument. You left your audience right there. Your audience left you there to. No one saw you walking since then. No report was heard from you on anything (your difficulties, your divorce, your 2nd marriage, call it remarriage). A couple of years after, ghosting and para-shooting yourself over the entire opposition field, you appeared from a different direction (selaHtawi miqiyayar selfi). That is necessarily unfair but you have to walk your readers logically through your progression so that your story is believable. I’m saying, “one day I found myself in a group of women decorated with cHerqin werQin and I liked that more” would not be enough for explanation. It is not going to be easy. It never is easy when you are that reckless. But we can come closer to appreciate the events and the intense processes of thought that brought you here. 2) Your judgement is being questioned here. It is 2-3 years. Nothing big or new revelation happened in Eritrea except the opposition couldn’t meet expectations. Everything else is sameO sameO, only that it got bigger and and deeper, which means logically, we were set to expect you shouting louder and more frequent about the land grabber mantra you left us with. If you were you then, there is nothing that make you a different person now unless you tell us now you have mounted new and different eyes. Such stories are much more believable when told with some empirical statistics which you seem disinterested to use. Remember it has now become about you, not about Eritrea, the opposition or pfdj. It is you who is being looked at.

  • Guest

    The meskeremization of awate by Ali Salim or whatever his real name is here. What caused this guy to make a U-Turn is because his teacher (the opposition) did not call on him when he raised his hand. He religious extreme position did not bear fruits as he was not able to speak to the asmara regime. He tried to sell his land grabbers story on the eritrean cyber websites, but no one seemed interested to listen to his story. It is obvious the regime does not only grab lands from the entire eritrean people, but the regime has grabbed the body and souls of our people plus it has kept hostages of all Eritreans inside and even some who leave outside such as yourself. Please sell your U Turn crap somewhere else. Your writing has already failed to get any attention and it has already became the joke of our 2014. Please save yourself from a big embarrassment.

  • Ibrahim

    I think I start liking your analysis on the U Turn idea. Please keep up the line open so that the open minded folks will join your discussion and we may end up having a common ground. It may not be the same ideology but one can respect another persons point of view.
    As to the so called opposition I am the believer that in our contemporary Eritrean political spectrum there exists no oppositoin neither no alternative to PFDJ. For reason you pointed out rightly. An opposition should first and formost prepare his political economical social agendas with an alternative means of replacing to the current statues of our current Eritrea.
    Hating the President or having gradges with some either personal or fundamental disagreement does not qualify you to be an opposition rather being an enemy.
    Eritrea and Eritreans should not allow anemosity but constructive opposition, which comes with constructive alternative to the current system.

  • Kokhob Selam

    I catch your ideas more on this article than earlier. I would like to reread it again and again as I have questions, which I will try to answer them by understanding more. I love your understanding on decorator ship center point being the result of collective understanding than individual.