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Dictatorship: a Rational Choice –Until It is Not

“Rational choice theory”, proposed by economists to describe market economies, has been adopted in criminology, religion and, of course, political science. Essentially, the theory assumes that, prior to every decision, people make cost-benefit analysis because they are “self-interested, purposeful, maximizing being.”  Of course, what I consider rational you will consider absurd and the sum total of each rational choice—the aggregate–is often surprising, even fascinating.  That particular study in macroeconomics is called game theory which, thank God, has nothing to do with this article.

The alternative to rational choice theory is to believe that people are irrational (bigoted, fundamentalists, wrong-headed, emotional, sentimental) but that you, the observer, or some hero you idolize, are rational because you, with the help of your idol, were the only ones (or the few) to discern it.  You could cite many examples to illustrate that people are not always rational—particularly if you work in marketing– but I think that subscribing to “rational choice theory” is less likely to make one cynical and bitter at the people—past and present.  You know: the ones who look at the Eritrean predicament and say izi hzbi Hmaq iyu::

In politics, rational choice theory demystifies a problem by reducing it into a quantifiable, measurable series of data points.  Rational choice doesn’t just explain why Eritreans are sticking with Isaias Afwerki right now but what conditions must be met for them to abandon him.   It begins with researching the objective.

How do we research in politics?  Well, if the population is small enough, you can just gather them all and ask questions.  I once read that you can fit the entire population of the world, all seven billion plus of us, into Texas. What’s that? No, I have no idea if people want to voluntarily move to a state where they have runways and taxis for mosquitoes but you are not helping.  Using that parallel, we Eritreans are so few that we could have a gigantic tent with nothing but tenkobet from end to end and we can assemble the entire people for a real waEla.  

But then you would ruin it with your practicality questions.  Yes, you? No, I am not taking engineering questions about tent assembly…. Yes, you, young man.  Of course, elderly Eritreans can exercise their God-given right to introduce their speeches with eneheleka d’asi preambles and you can exercise your right to roll your eyes.  Moving on… yes, you with the Paltalk t-shirt? No, it is not necessary to say segud, hade hade because everyone will have a megaphone.   What? Who invited whom and who paid for it? Yes, I paid for it, and here’s the receipt.  Yes, you, my Isaias-Afwerki t-shirt wearing sister.  No, we will not be asking for IDs and we won’t have a bouncer asking people if hagerawi gubu’om amaliom.  No, there is no sitting arrangement:  everybody sits wherever they are comfortable.  No, we are not having a moment of silence, we are not singing the national anthem, we are not decorating the damn tent, we are not electing a Secretariat.  We are just sitting in peace. Yes, there will be smoking breaks… and please ask anyone with grey hair where the bathrooms are. It is a flat land, and it is broad daylight, but watch your step.

So, ok, it is not that practical.  So we have to do it the traditional way: survey, sample size, focus groups.  But those things have their rules and when you have a country that hasn’t had a census since, let me check my calendar, since 1949, there is a risk that you may not have a representative sample.  You form friendships based on shared values; your immediate and extended family share your values; you talk to them and, voila, you have what statisticians call self-selecting opinion poll, or SLOP.  You are sloppy.

But we have to start somewhere.   First, we have to list a comprehensive people’s wish list (the what), then we prioritize it by asking why (why do they want what they say they want), then we whittle it down by asking “how” (can it be done.)   

1. The What: The Objective

The following is an expression of what Eritrean activists in the Diaspora say is of urgent priority to present day Eritrea to help solve its ills:

Down!Down! Dictator!
The dictator must go!
The people want the regime gone!
Isaias Afwerki Must Resign!
Isaias Afwerki Must Be Taken To International Court!
Just Leave!
Return power to the people!
Free prisoners of conscience!
Free political prisoners!
Implement the constitution!
Rule of law!
Say No to the Ghedli Culture!
Return land to its rightful owners!
Purge “non-Eritreans” from Eritrean government!
End national conscription!
End slave labor!
End human trafficking!
Demarcation now!

Democracy now!
Justice now!
We Demand political pluralism!
We Demand Arabic to be a co-official language!
No Taxation Without Representation!
Federal System is the Answer!
Self determination up to and including secession!

Now, let’s assume that Eritreans in Eritrea were polled and they were voicing what really mattered to them right now.  Would these be safe bets to add?

We need affordable food!
We need affordable housing!
We need jobs!
We need water!
We need electricity!
We need peace!
We want our children back!

Let’s now assume we are taking our survey at our tent.  Everyone is given two flashlights—one flashes green, one flashes red.   A man with a booming voice is reading out our demands.  After each demand, we flash a green if we strongly agree; a red if we strongly disagree; and yellow if we are indifferent or we don’t think it is relevant right now.  This will be a challenge because if you don’t care about an issue you won’t even have the energy to flash a light: but that’s why it is yellow: it is you saying, “this issue is so irrelevant, you better not make it an issue.”

That’s our vote.  If we are doing it with a smaller sample, we do it using the Indian Voting Machine, which re-answered the question the Greeks had already answered: you don’t need to be literate to vote.  You can use colored pebbles.

Who votes is not as important as who counts the vote, said some colossal thief, probably Stalin.  So we need a Secretariat: but we already have it in the tent: it is our religious leaders.  For our focus group, the Secretariat is the computer itself, which will be audited just in case.

Our objective now is to politely eliminate all the statements that were overwhelmingly red (strong opposition) or yellow (strong indifference) and net out the green.  Those who make a living with political messaging say that phrasing matters a lot.  A person who is completely turned off by “the dictator must go” might be amenable to “the president must resign.”  Of course, on the flip side, a person may be totally disgusted that somebody who has never been elected by the people is being addressed as “president.”  That’s why politicians conduct polls to determine which one generates more support.   

2. The Why: The Moral Cause

Now, that’s a long list so we have to ask the next question: why are we calling for whatever it is we are calling for?  Some are, of course, self-explanatory (“we need affordable food.”) And some will be answered with “because it is morally right AND urgent” (“release political prisoners.”) Others are things we will haggle over: persuade one another why they are supremely important for Eritrea.  Remember, if you believe in the “rational choice theory”, you accept as natural when people advance their self interest.  When you call somebody “self-interested”, “selfish”, you may think that you are trying to shame him into “seeing the light”, but all you are doing is complimenting him for being rational; a favor he returns by recognizing your “self-interested” motive in being a Diaspora Eritrean.  All your activism is driven by self-interest: not what our friends in hgdef think (“they are all in the payroll of Weyane”), but because it makes you feel good to think, to know, that you are doing whatever you can to alleviate the pain of your people.

3. The How: Strategies and Tactics

We have agreed on the “what”, we have asked the “why”, now comes the “how.” Of course, I am cheating because it is not sequential.  For example,  a person may not flash green for “the dictator must go” unless he or she gets assurances of HOW that will happen.  But that, I think, is where we have to insist on sequencing: let’s first agree on the objective, then we will decide on the strategy.  And, if we don’t agree on the strategy, the objective will be modified or dropped.  This happens to us in real life all the time: objective: I want a new car.  how: I will save money, I will join an uqub, I will borrow money, I will rob a bank, I will carjack, I will sell my guitar.   We may end up settling for a used car, or give up on it.

In politics, the first “how” is to pool resources, also known as to organize.  You can’t do anything–you can’t strategize, you can’t exploit tactics,  unless you organize and this is something our people know from experience (ELM, ELF, EPLF.) It is the most visible sign of our failure and, without it, perfecting the what (knowing, agreeing on, and defining the objective) and having all the answers for the why (the moral, legal imperative) is simply inadequate.  Our ability to organize is the biggest threat to the PFDJ which is why the entirety of its counter-attack is focused not on disagreeing with our objective or its moral imperative (some of which it reluctantly, grudging, agrees with in principle but says it is a matter of wrong timing; or, in the case of the prisoners of conscience, it tells us that it actually has the moral high ground because it is hiding them from a vigilante group who would kill them) but they attack any sign of our organization.  There is nothing original about this, of course, that is exactly what Derg did to EPLF: to turn its strength, organization, into a weakness, by labeling it a tool of Arabs.  We, on the other hand, are tools of “Weyane”, “CIA”, or whoever else is the bogeyman of the week.

I do not necessarily see coerced “unity” of the opposition as important or even necessary.  We have learned from the experience of the last 12 years that coerced unity—something put together under our pressure—collapses for the flimsiest causes.  What I think is important is that we advocate our best interpretation of the people’s demands (from the “what” list), we find appealing language to describe them and categorize them, link the why it is happening to the misrule of the Eritrean regime, and work obsessively to organize Eritreans in the Diaspora and link them to Eritreans in Eritrea.  That is: 3 smaller, well-organized groups are better than 1 large dysfunctional organization.  Most importantly: if we  assume that people are intelligent and make rational decisions—we will work hard to show them that supporting us is, in the longer run, the rational decision.

Sal Younis

About Salyounis

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

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  • Crocus

    I take serious exception to the premise of the article. It has the [unintended] effect of lulling the people into complacency. Eritrean Dictatorship was not a choice of the people. Rather it was imposed upon the people, by force of arms, intimidation, and propaganda. Romans and Greeks used to install dictators by choice. The Roman senate used to vote them in. It hardly compares to the manner Isaias crowned himself king. There is nothing the people can do to vote him out. Overthrowing him is the only choice they have. He is not going to go away voluntarily.

    • Salyounis

      Selamat Crocus:

      Don’t you think you made my point with this:

      “There is nothing the people can do to vote him out. Overthrowing him is the only choice they have. He is not going to go away voluntarily.”

      The choice is to overthrow or keep a dictator. So far, the people* have chosen (made a rational choice) to keep their dictator. They did this after a risk-benefit assessment. At some point, they will try to overthrow him after they make another risk assessment.


      * when I say “the people”, I am always talking about the political class. The rest are, as the Ethiopian license plates used to say, “tesabi”. They get pulled wherever the driver takes them. 🙂

  • haile


    For what it is worth, I’d appreciate it if you at least maintain intellectual honesty in the exchange. The claim of “insulting the Eritrean people” that you make is way too outdated tactic of “dew beluley kbletselkum” despotic regime. So, if I have, as you claim, inadvertently insulted the Eritrean people (since you believe so and I assume you are part of the Eritrean people) then I can’t claim no one feels that way (there is you). So, let me apologize without further a do and assure you that this was never my intention. I hope you wouldn’t reject may heartfelt apology and insist that I get taken to Ira-Iro to be sentenced after the border war is fully finalized.

    Along the same lines of house cleaning in the area of intellectual dishonesty, let me bring grade 7 mathematics to argue that I didn’t make one-to-one relationship.

    Set A—{The suffering of the Eritrean people}
    Set B—{The conflict with Ethiopia, The Extreme repressive measures of the regime}

    My statement in the previous comment clearly points to one-to-many relationship. And you took of upon yourself to truncate my list to just the conflict and paraphrased me in a manner that you thought would help your case. Please, don’t insult others.

    What I am trying to change is your heart and not your mind. The latter can only be done by you. I am pretty sure you’re painfully aware of the nature of the diabolical regime, yet haven’t mustered the courage to stand up for your people and country and reject the actions of a diabolical regime that is quarantined by the world over not to get anywhere close to them. The world can’t even bring itself to stand in the same room for a split second to issue it a letter of condemnation by way of sanctions report. It still hasn’t got a copy, despite everyone has long moved on!

    But, since as I said, my intention is to engage your heart and not your mind, let me also share another little sadism that the regime has come up with to kill the spirit of self worth of our people.

    Do you know that Asmara airport is the only airport in the world (unless unfinished one) that banish people from entering the departure/arrival hall to receive or send off a passenger? Yes, the people have to stand along the parking lot (not a single shelter), in darkness, against the elements to do that. How does the border war be won by removing such a simple dignified experience from the people. Even during the derg era, it was unheard off that people would line up in a parking lot! With such sky rocketing tihte qirxi one would assume a simple wood and tin shelter would have been appreciated when people wait in the small hours of the morning see off or receive their visitor.

    There is no single area of life that the regime didn’t deliberately worked to lower the self esteem of the people. Yes, the airport is cordoned off just like the sea ports and other transit centers. A major national airport that boasts one flight arrival per day (compared to over a hundred average for most of Africa) is so crowded that it doesn’t have sheltered waiting space for the public (not travelers).

    This is a shameless and diabolical anti-people regime that every Eritrean in the diaspora would do well to wake up to. Trust me, I am Eritrean as good as it comes, and love and cherish my people beyond a shadow of a doubt. This despotic regime has sucked us dry and is still loitering to get more. IMO the miseries are so bad that everyday it is hanging on to power, it should consider it a miracle.

    I know there was a big deal when the regime refused burial ground for the late Naizghi Kiflu. Even if all the family wanted was to bury him in his village as an ordinary Eritrean. I don’t say much about it, as I have no great knowledge (nor shabait informed me why). But, along those lines I can’t help but ponder where would IA be buried eventually? Would Eritrea afford a non-stop security installation to protect the cemetery from angry mobs, or would he run away and be eventually be buried abroad, or even if it happens in Eritrea that he would be buried in unmarked grave or at sea? What a grim irony that he spent the best of his youth fighting for the nation and leading it to our glorious independence, yet his burial becomes a confusing riddle to solve.

    Well, asmara, think with your heart and not your mind. Your people are big enough to solve any problem including the border, they just need you to be on their side to shake off this diabolical regime for once and for all.

    • Haqi

      Well said haile, I couldn’t have said any better. As for the eventual burial place of the devil, I recommend deep in the Red Sea bin Ladin style.

  • Tamrat Tamrat

    May be Ethiopians hate isayas for their own ‘selfish’reason. May be elf hate hime because they dont sit on the driving seat, may be the west hate him becasue he is against their ‘interst’, but eritreans hate him for the misery he has brought upon them. Yeasterday Hayat knocked me With her irony coated facts that so few People and so resourcefull country draged Down to helpless ness by self rightous poeple like isayas.

  • L.T

    I was on“ according http://www.meskerem“right now and readed one short article by the name Thomos Solomon”the neo commer “piccolo Andinet”Ofcourse,there we have find the other “Andenitawyan like Afewrqi Berhane?I am not sure if he is Eritrean,Girmay Yeabio(Cazanchi,He mean Cazanchus”Aduwa Hotel”Enda’boy Berhan)Amaniel Hidrat the ex ELF cadre ,the newsday Eritrean Plato Socratis Fillo Ato Yossief Gebrehiwet not”Gebrehiwet Himbrti)and Samira Saleh Hassen fm Sandiago”not Grimay Yohannes Sandiago”.
    How this people can forget so easy that Eritreans people are suffar enough by
    Ethiopians in Eritrea soil,We bear still day in and day out the harm daily on our life cased by Ethiopians.
    Is that modern Weyane’s Psycologi war?this art academi catalog are not new,first the late Prof Kinfe Abraha and Ato Meles Zenawi with help elektroder neuralt and now with Ato Sibhat Nega and Ato Bereket Simon teknik signal bypass diagnos.
    They bear three nemes under their lives.First Hibret ms Ethiopia,than Eritrea and last Big Tigria.And the Winni(pig)are the worst one!!identitet,biolog can change by Twitters.

  • L.T

    Unity is better but not a best solustion in that critical moment”Dej Gebrahanes “We were so scared the coloni of Italia to comeback to colonalaized again”Gerzmach Maeshow.
    “The Itlian gived us a bread but not a school,The britian was naive that they let us to read a book but not opportunity to work,They Ethiopians have non any of both school and food”EPLF
    “We pray to god day and night to have Ethiopia or death and god is nice he gived us both–Ethiopia and death”youth of Andent in 50s

    I like Salih Gadi and salih Yonnus feedback when it comes “Andenetawiyan”but I fell no comfort when they insult Pappa Isaias.And let him alone to work!

    • Tamrat Tamrat

      The Ethiopians has given you home called Ethiopia where you make Your own Food, home you can run to if there is no other Place to og to but thanks to elf you made it hell.

      One additonal thing just to compare the ‘uncivilized’ ethiopian leaders contra can you try isayas the way you had chalenged King Haile Silassie and the ruthless commuinst mengistu? Just try to separate afar rgion Yours to join their families at South? Dont we have any more Awate who shot the first bullet agaisnt isayas?

  • Hayat Adem

    Hi Sal,
    My apologies or my acknowledgement (depending on how you felt) for styling my satire after yours as one acute observer noticed:) I came back with a serious stuff.
    Picking up on the discussion Sal started with the above article, some readers may be interested to know that there is a good book, I mean really good, authored by Mancur Olson titled “The Logic of Collective Action: Public Goods and the Theory of Groups”. This is a book of solid theory that embodies a great wealth of empirical work. It was written based on economic and political behavior of groups and their drive of rationality. For rushing skimmers: it should be noted that it demands your full attention to capture the essence or be ready to miss it. People like Sal would have presented it better flavored and simplified to fit the taste of readers here in this forum and it is unfortunate some skills are not for imitation:) But, my recognition of this limitation made me just give you only the teaser and leave it to you to hunt it in the cyber stores and commit a day or two of your vacation to read it.
    Olson believes all important actions- the ones that drive change are usually taken by smaller groups or coerced individuals than by willing members of larger groups. Even if a group has the largest number of members, the decision making must be done by a smaller one if it has to be effective. He says larger groups at the base or at the decision making are latent, smaller groups are very powerful, volunteering to act for the common good effectively.
    Olson defeats the convenient thought that if members of some group have a common interest or objective, and if they would all be better off if that objective were achieved, the individuals in that group would, if they were rational and self-interested, act to achieve that objective. He says that it is not true that the idea that groups will act in their self-interest follows logically from the premise of rational and self-interested behavior. He says, that does not follow because all individuals in a group would gain if they achieved their group objective that they would act to achieve that objective, even if they were all rational and self-interested. Olson says unless the number of individuals in a group is quite small, or unless there is coercion or some other special device to make individuals act in their common interest, rational, self-interested individuals will not act to achieve their common or group interests. These points, according to Olson, hold true even when there is unanimous agreement in a group about the common good and the methods of achieving it. The customary view that groups of individuals with common interests tend to further those common interests appears to have little if any merit, says Olson. Olson’s view is different when it comes to smaller groups. He says, we might see voluntary actions in support of the common purposes of the individuals in the group. So, let’s not forget the key things he mentioned: small group, coercion, or special incentive. I think his views mirror well with the Eritrean reality of inaction. With all due respect, Sal, it does not seem to be because the rationalization has not favored the opposition. There is more to it if one needs to entirely explain it which will be, like I tried to say earlier, way off to try it here.

    • Sorry if your comment is addressed only to Sal. IIMA,

      You said ,

      Olson says unless the number of individuals in a group is quite small, or unless there is coercion or some other special device to make individuals act in their common interest, rational, self-interested individuals will not act to achieve their common or group interests.

      Individuals in a group may take rational choices driven by sense of obligation. Or, the individuals’ motive for joining the group may simply be altruistic. In both cases, the members rational choices counteracts their self interest, maximizing their utility/profit. Therefore, coercion, special interest may not be the only factors for making rational choices. Would you agree? You may argue that such things work effectively in a small group, but you have not provided as how small a group should be. Small group in relation to what size?

      • Hayat Adem

        Hi Dawit, not at all. We are all invited to the party (of ideas).
        In deed, that is the normative school. Olson understands common objective and interest as any condition of future change that makes every member better off, baseline being the present situation. That is purely from the angle of political and economic rationalization. Moral and sense of justice, where altruistic motive is assumed to play a role, is a whole different issue. For example, you are a man who has a tendency of staying out of trouble. A trigger happy man comes and provokes you for a fight just for the sake of it. Chances are you will go an extra length not to be invited and involved rationalizing on the net-loss and zero gain. For that end, you are okay to pocket some nasty insults and go home, join your family, sleep well and roll-out for the next day with a fresh take as if nothing happened. On the other hand, if you see a weak old person being bullied by “dare-and-fight-me” kind of bullying person in front of your eyes, you may be dragged to the fight. Nobody forces you to do that. You may even end-up losing the fight and sustain bruises and possibly bigger harm on yourself. And yet, chances are you would act on it. If you failed to do something, it would not be a nice sleep at home either. This is the case for most people most of the time. Be mindful the fact that spoilers are everywhere all the time.
        Coming back to Olson, first he was not focused on the membership registration and grouping efforts. His focus was on “doing things”. Olson starts by recognizing the fact that there is a shared benefit of achieving an objective. However, he says, there is no rationality or practicality sharing the benefit among members exactly equally to the micro fraction unit level.
        So, here is the devil: A,B,C…Z,A1,B1…Z1,A2,B2…Z2,A3,B3,,,Z1000 is a large group. If they acted on and achieved their objective, they would all be better off. Lets assume three things to make it more clear: 1- there is no risk marginality in doing that, 2- every member will significantly benefit but not equally, 3-every member has a clear understanding what part of the pie she will get upon achieving the objective. That’s where Olson’s devil of large group latency comes. Everyone wants it to get done but wants to maximize profit more from the results by contributing less. In such a scenario, Olson says, the guys who which have the greater benefit share tend to act more, the guys with smaller benefit share tend to act less. It is here Olson’s new discovery of the “weaker exploiting the stronger” becomes self-evident. That sense of exploitation, in turn, will take away some energy from the middle level gainers, that too will have a snow ball effect on the rest of the group potentially. The ones that believe that they have too big a stake to hold back will try their best, including coercion and pressure to get the best of their members and the weakest of their opponents. Smaller coalitions are more immune. I can see and conquer with Olson’s reasoning. That may be why UNSC is much more toothy than the UNGA, or G8 than G20, or the BRICS than the Non-Aligned; TPLF than EPRP, EPLF than ELF, PFDJ than the opposition.
        Let me hope I didn’t make it more Chinese.

    • spade spade

      Hayat Adem
      you are good to imitate comedians authors,philosophers,proffesors…what a waste of time!where is your own thought and philosophy?why do you want imitate other persons?for me it is ridiculous and nonsense.i can understand now why the Asmara University was shut is a waste of money to invest to unproductive students… real brain-washing to be imbibed by…going to school,to college,university,have Phd doesn’t mean that you have to metamorphose yourself to another Western person and talk and think like him/her.i am very very glad that the Eritrean government completely metamorphosed the old school system(british system).and I hope the next step of GOE will be to teach our children in their mother tongue, the language they understand very good.who said schooling must be difficult and be tought in the language you do not understand and have no clue at all?let me say this,the other African nations apart of North Africa have no other options but to rely on their former colonizers medium of instruction.but why Etitrea and Ethiopia are rolling with them in dirt by using a foreign language as a medium of instruction.imagine,what an Italian,English student would think of his/her government if it declares “from now on the medium of instruction will be in Tigrinna or Hedareb”…they must be stupid or crazy…and if China,South Korea ,Japan, their medium of instruction were another language which they do not understand and speak it very well,do you think they could have been where they are today?absolutly not.lets translate the books,no one is going to prohibit us…illiterate and blind from generation to generation…after finishing college or university we are not even able to talk like a 2 year old English speaking is ridiculous. what a shame.

      • Beyan Negash

        Spade Spade,

        I am not sure what your premise is when you allege about imitating “comedians authors,philosophers,proffesors…what a waste of time!where is your own thought and philosophy?why do you want imitate other persons?” Einstein said it best: “If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?” Now, we research, we search, we read, observe, chronicle in order to learn.

        Otherwise, we might as well equate ourselves with the lower primates. In my opinion, HA is one of the rare commodities that has graced this dialogue box; one can sense there is a fine mind at work, thoughtfulness, thoroughness, and a mind full of logically calculated ideas.

        My beef was on originality, if that is where you’re premising your criticism of her work. Or if you think using other scholars or laymen’s ideas and incorporating it to fit into our context, then you are way off, so off in fact that we will be doomed from here to eternity if we are to follow your logic.

        Why even bother visiting this site if you are not coming with an open mind to pick-up a little knowledge here and a little there from those who happened to have different view points than you. Aifalkan Spade.

        Calling a spade a spade and I hope you take it as such

    • Salyounis

      Selamat Hayat:

      Oh, please, no apologies or thanks required…for what? Beyan Negash was having a “kids, get off my lawn!” moment. 🙂 Trust me, your satire is just as good–it just doesn’t have the added value of nostalgia that BN is indulging in:)

      Now, to Olson. I think we are back to our old nemesis: free-rider problem.* As I said before, there is no solution to that except coercion, but we all agree that that is not the way we want to go. In any event, all coercion does is present the people a new choice: “do this or you will be punished”, which means a new cost-benefit analysis, which means a new rational choice.

      Everything the Eritreans have done is cost-benefit analysis. I will quote from an article I wrote after conversation I had with Ambassador Adhanom about this subject:

      What we do know generally is that wars have a tendency to alter the people’s code of ethics—their culture, their traditions, their fountain of right and wrong—because, as the adage claims “all is fair in love and war.” Here’s a simple example. A bunch of wild-eyed Tor Serawit (Ethiopian soldiers) tear to an Eritrean village and ask the villagers if they had seen any wenbediye (bandits) around. Since the wenbediye happen to be their own sons and daughters, the villagers—the same villagers that Adhanom says are bound by tradition to never tell a lie—will lie. We have now, for generations, embraced a willingness to participate in something bad to avoid something evil. Adhanom teases me and says, “some writers describe that as TwgaHmo!”

      The rest of what you have written deals with group dynamics. What is the optimal number for group dynamics (quantitatively and qualitatively) to “get things done.”? (Clue: we had Mahber Showate, not Mahber Hamushte or Mahbre Aserte:) What is the difference between a group and a team? This is really what has bedeviled the Eritrean opposition for a very long time. Again, it is not a uniquely Eritrean problem so there is no reason for us to beat ourselves up: it is ok to learn from what has worked for others, assuming we are willing to pay the price for it. There are some that, I take it, we will never revisit:

      Team Development In EPLF: One way the EPLF dealt with the problem of creating a team from LARGE numbers is by creating a secret small group. So, in the EPLF, you had the Organizational Congress (which happened irregularly and infrequently: only two in the history of the EPLF.) This elected a central committee/executive committee of a smaller, but still-too-large-to-be-efficient group. Then, a secret people’s labor party superimposed itself and “got things done.” Actually, the secret party predates the Organizational Congress–which was mostly for show and held to address the comparisons being made with ELF’s National Congress. At some point, when Isaias Afwerki didn’t like the constraints of the secret labor party, he invited almost everyone from the central committee to be a secret member (according to former member Abdella Adem.) The best way to get the buy-in of someone without him/her asking for accountability is to tell them that they are special, that they belong to a secret group. To this day, the PFDJ uses the Awesome Specialness of Belonging To A Secret Club in its mekhete task forces 🙂

      Team Development in the Legacy Opposition: So, the opposition had a great idea: let’s keep our small groups (small = efficient) but to make sure that we do not get into polarization, let’s create a loose umbrella which we will call an Alliance. The Alliance will meet every two years. The problem is that the Alliance, which was envisioned to be a weak organization, was pushed to be “stronger” by Eritreans who put a premium on “unity” over “getting things done.” It dithered around and now it is just a shell. Incidentally, Hayat, this is why I said in the article that 3 small groups are preferable to 1 large group.

      Team Development in the New Opposition: These are the “youth” organizations. They are torn between wanting to stay small and efficient, and big and impactful. The way out of this was having a large organization with an empowered, small, assertive executive. What they keep opting for (because, apparently, the only thing we have learned in the past 12 years is that we can’t have an Isaias II) is having large boards (almost every member is a board member:) which constrain the executive office.


      * The free rider problem explains why we are unlikely to have a nation-wide Ghedli ever again, as explained by Paul Collier in Doing Well Out Of War:

      “Justice, revenge, and relief from grievance are `public goods’ and so are subject to the problem of free-riding. If I am consumed with grievance against the government, I may well prefer to rebel than to continue to suffer its continuation. However, whether the government gets overthrown does not depend upon whether I personally join the rebellion. Individually, my preferred choice might be that others fight the rebellion, while I benefit from the justice which their rebellion achieves. This standard free-rider problem will often be enough to prevent the possibility of grievance motivated rebellions. However, it is compounded by two other problems. In order for a rebellion to achieve justice it probably needs to achieve military victory. For this it needs to be large. Small rebellions face all the costs and risks of punishment without much prospect of achieving justice. Hence, grievance-motivated potential rebels will be much more willing to join large rebellions than small ones. Obviously, however, rebellions have to start small before they can become large. It is quite possible that many people would be willing to join a large rebellion but that nevertheless it does not occur, because only few people are willing to join a small rebellion and so it does not scale up. Social scientists think of this as a coordination problem. The final problem is that rebels have to fight before they achieve justice. The rebel leader may promise to assuage grievances, but once he has won he may have an incentive to behave much like the current government. More generally, the rebel leader has a much stronger incentive to promise things than he has subsequently to deliver them. Because potential recruits can recognize this problem they may not be able to trust the rebel leader and so may decide not to join the rebellion even though it promises relief from grievances. Social scientists term such a phenomenon a time-consistency problem.”

      What we are likely to have is grievance focused, smaller, concentrated groups who have a much higher sense of urgency and lower free-rider problem. This could be the military, or the ethnic-rights advocacy groups of Afar and Kunama. Of the three, the military’s grievance is more national in scope (which is why many pin their hope on them); but military coups have terrible records, since Ancient Rome (the “time consistency problem”:) and this why many are simultaneously anxious about them.

      PS: Another example of rational choice in the Eritrean context is found in the proverb (and song): “tekhormika motye: asa-fiHka motye…

  • zegeremo


    Dawit, Hameed, Geremew…and other Ethiopians/Unionists

    Please comment on content, not on the contributor. Personal attacks will not help you make a point.


    • Hameed


      You tried to be rational, but you failed. You attack people at the time you advice “personal attacks will not help you make a point”. Don’t you think it is amazing to contemplate about the logic that drive you to call us Unionists? According to your logic it means that all Eritreans should agree with you to accept them as Eritreans. If I extended the logic your machine works with, If your father didn’t agree with you he is not your father. If your child didn’t agree with you he is not your child. If you are a Moslem, then you are from Meccah and If you are a Christian, then you are from Jerusalem. Don’t worry my friend, you are not alone; we have many like you in Eritrea. I think the source of this disease is Isaias.

  • spade spade

    Hayat Adem,what a nice name!I really enjoyed reading your is very educational.but on one issue I do not agree with you is “cooperate and work together with USA”.since when has the USA shown any respect for countries which are befriended with.Eritrea is a small nation therefore it cannot affored to sign its death warrant by simply intering friendship of servitude and master.what about our cultures,languages?will be swallowed up und disappear if we let that happen.PIA is a hero for me when it comes to this things,to uphold and protect our sovereignty from blood-thirsty vultures.the only thing I do not understand is the new relationship with UK.i mistrust them more than the US.and by the way they are allies and cousins.keep your doors shut for the Brutish.’cause you have nothing to gain from UKs friendship but to lose.Please Mr.president listen to my advice.

  • geremew

    OMG! Don’t you have things to do or families to look after?wey gooooood 24/7

    • OMG! Don’t you know how to multitask. People have managed to juggle among family, full time work, and the politics of the moment. Except may be Haile who’s here 24/7. He comments from a library. I Hope, he ain’t a homeless. 😉

      • Kokhob Selam

        but, what else do we have except our mother land? where the family will live without their nation? do you call life out side your nation?

        people who handle their families while discussing and debating about their country’s problems should be appricated. and i don’t think those who are not fighting and struggling are handling their families more than those who fight from where ever they are in any form inluding in cyber world.

        here where i live(near to Eritrea) people who read those discations have changed their understanding in our politcs and i love people who are writing inluding those against my stand.

      • haile


        hmmm…”Haile who’s here 24/7. He comments from a library. I Hope, he ain’t a homeless.” Should I say this is the first time beal beles turned statistician got his predictions spot on! True though, what you feared is actually the case…haile is a homeless:-)

        Mind you Dawit, however, I am surprised that you didn’t know you ARE a homeless too:) Where is home Dawit? Actually, how long were you away from or kicked out of your home? Are you nay qdmi natsnet or nay dhri worar homeless?

        BTW you know that I read everything written here attentively, I would safely bet that I have never known a commenter in these forums so accurately in all my 24/7 experience (which is nothing compared to Tegadalay’s 30 years/24/7 + bombs and bullets).

        PS. There is small probability problem that has been puzzling me though. In order to come to know that haile is here 24/7, wouldn’t have you got to be here 24/7 too. Albeit, with a writer’s block (lack of inspiration syndrome) that prevents you from commenting:-)

        • Hameed


          Tegadalay struggled to liberate his country and succeeded,but where do we put your comments? Are they for the wellbeing and bright future of the Eritrean people or for protecting the shifatu in Asmara to give them more time to rob more from the Eritrean people? Your role in commenting, I think, is understood to all who visit Your message is to influence the opposition to stand beside your master against his war with Ethiopia and that will never happen. Don’t forget your umbrella to protect you from the skies that is raining freedom in our region. You are sworn to remain slaves generation after generation. Can’t you stop your rush towards slavery and think a moment about freedom?

        • Haile,

          #) No day passes without seeing your comment. I don’t have to visit Awate to know who is here day in day out. All one has to do is check the date stamps. Awate site would be a total desert without you. They should be paying you for your contributions.

          I have also noted that you have honed your debating skills. Good on ya on that. Keep it up! You are now able to convince people that white is black and black is white.

          #) I am not a homeless. For me , there is no difference between Eritrea or the U.S. when it comes to a house. In both places, I will have rent a home. The difference is the relative freedom. I won’t trade the U.S. for Eritrea. The U.S. a place where milk and honey flows. So far as I avoid the hood/ghetto, I am perfectly fine in the states. 🙂 Eritrea, on the other hand, is like a bad neighborhood with PFDJ gangs rooming the neck of the woods. If I had two lives, I would not mind taking a risk going to Eritrea, or being an activist and spend my precious years. Well, I have only been given one life so I have to live the life to the fullest in my adopted country.

          • rodab

            Why are you talking about how frequent ppl come here or comment? That’s silly!

          • Abe z minewale

            Awate .com is becoming assena .com. What a stupid language getting used by individuals. I was dreaming about Africa unite though

      • Abe z minewale

        Selfish person never becomes a home less.TeretiEna Keiblas Yigbai yibla 8 days a week. Keep it up Hailuwa

  • Hayat Adem

    PIA was in China on an official visit. Amidst, Chinese President Hu Jintao was hosting him with a state dinner. In that dinning and winning and the relaxed talk that inevitably followed, PIA expressed his admiration for the Chinese leadership on skillfully navigating 1.2 billion Chinese from misery to wealth.
    “Speaking of population”, PHJ asked PIA, “what is the population size of Eritrea now?”
    PIA: (jolted a bit at the throw of the sudden question wondering where it might lead the conversation to) “As Your Excellency is well aware of, Eritrea, compared to China, is a small country.”
    PHJ: “Certainly, Excellency, but what exactly is the number of your people?”
    PIA: “Four and half million.”
    PHJ: “What! Seriously, for real?!”
    PIA: “If you ask me, yes, that is the number. But I don’t think quantity is…”
    PHJ: “Mr. President, you could have brought them here with you for a visit.”
    PIA: “What? I could have brought all my people here?”
    PHJ: “If they are not more than 4.5 million, yes.”
    PIA: “I would like to take this as humor, but No, thank you Mr. President. ze’zi qedeme’kua adigey atfi’uley. 10n 20n nab Nairobi sedidna’kua zeytemelesu’si badosh kitetirifeni anta ginai-gonai!”
    PHJ: “Your Excellency, did you say something.”
    PIA: “Not much, Y.E., I think I was thanking you for the help your government and PRC extended to Eritrea. When I say those words I might have unknowingly switched to Tigrigna, my native tongue.”
    PHJ: “It sounds a friendly language for a stranger to listen to. But you don’t need to thank me, Mr. President. We feel we have a mutual interest of helping each other. But, with all due respect, the way I see it for Eritrea, Mr. President, don’t need anything from China.”
    PIA: Pardon?
    PHJ: Yes, you don’t have to copy any lesson from China, nor need you ask any aid from my gov’t or anyone else. 4.5 million easy to lead to quick prosperity. It only means about 1 million households.
    PIA: How so?
    PHJ: You can go door to door and you can hear their problems and their aspirations first hand. You can identify, sympathize with all of them and make every family your friend…If you can inspire and convince every household to do a little better and more than it used to…if you can motivate and inspire every household to work harder than it used to…if you can assure them your support every step of the way…if..
    PIA: “entai koyna eza seb’ai halewlew tible de’a…”
    PHJ: “Is that an agreement Mr. President?”
    PIA: “egrikha tiseber! ginai…Yes, Y.E. President Hu. That is a good point. And I assure you we are working on all that. We are also trying our best to create favorable conditions for Chinese investors in Eritrea. We believe we can also help our friends in China by lending our voice for whatever grand plans China may have in Africa. We are strategically positioned to play that role. Like you said Eritrea’s problems are just only small in depth and number, and they are temporary in nature. Eritrea will be self-sufficient in everything in the near future. Eritreans are well known for having a long memory for good friends who helped them in bad times. Even then, Eritrea will continue to be a good friend of China. That is why American leaders and the CIA are hostile towards us. Nothing good comes from that corner of the world.”
    PHJ: “We, too have our reservations with Americans. But working with them is a must for China. If it is difficult for China to shut off America, we believe it must be difficult for other countries as well, and more so for poorer countries. Mr. President, nobody claims to be wiser than you, but it would be more of a benefit than harm to work with the Americans.”
    PIA: “The rudeness in American politics knows no limit, Mr. President. They want to topple sovereign governments just because they dislike.”
    PHJ: “You can minimize that risk, too, by working with them.”
    PIA: “embua’e! weyley eza ginai seb’ai lomi’Alti kemei zibele difret’ya tereieni zela! eway ab sawa enteniraKheb!!!…
    PHJ: “What?”
    PIA: “Mr. President, I’m sure your Excellency is aware that the Ethiopians are still refusing to demarcate the border and leave our territory. They listen and respond to big countries like China. Could the good office of H.E. help in this regard?”
    PHJ: “President Afewrkkki, the Ethiopians will do it when they feel about responding. If I were you I would not worry much about such matters. Lands and borders don’t dissent and revolt. People do. Border and lands will not move anywhere. People move. If you have to lose any sleep, it has to be because of conditions of your people….”
    PIA: “What about land and territory? As you know, we paid our dearest to liberate our territory…”
    PHJ: “I understand. Sometimes decisions are about choices. If your decision of securing every piece of land helps your people than harms, and you have all enabling means and favorable environment to do so, rational theory dictates you to do it. If your decision to secure every piece of land has to come at the expense of ruining and weakening your own people, and you can’t assure yourself victory on that one as well, rational theory dictates to avoid the bigger evil.”
    PIA: “My people want me to protect every part of Eritrea at any cost.”
    PHJ: I t is understandable that there are emotions and sentiments always high up. If you prefer to chase emotions and sentiments, it will not be leading but following. Here, too, many people want us to re-bring Taiwan. Can we do that now? At what cost at what certainty of victory? We rationalize our math. People wanted us to get Honk Kong earlier than later. But we had to patiently wait for 150 years to do that without war and condemnation. On the net balance, we gained by those decisions. That is a simple matter of “cost-benefit” analysis.
    PIA: President Hu, my country and people would be greatly graced and honored if Excellency could pay us a visit at your convenient time. Eritrea has so many good things and experiences to show. Excellency, you will not regret it.
    PHJ: That is kind of you. And I would like to do that when conditions allow, may be after 10 years. We Chinese have a culture of planning long. We are good at implementing plans to the letter. Of course, I will not stay in office until then but whoever is my successor can do it.
    PIA: After 10 years?
    PHJ: Don’t worry Mr. President; things will happen exactly the way we planned them. Should your Excellency leaves office, we still can do it. I should warn you though; the Chinese presidential delegation size is huge ranging from 500,000 to 1.5 million.
    PIA: tsililiti ‘ba eya za seb’ai! (PIA whisphered and said something to his aide Yemane Charley. Then he said the following in a distinctively retired voice) something came up that needed my attention in Eritrea Mr. President. I must be heading back home immediately. Thanks for the warm hospitality.
    PHJ: sheqelkel bezihu’ka endiyu kibur Presidente Essayas. Bel selam kun, yiqnaEkha!
    PIA: (getsu nab Yemane tEwiu) entai, ezney diyu…tigirgna yizareb diyu? Kulu ti ziblo neberku yesemi’E neyru mallet diyu? teWaridna!!!
    YCH: siq ilkka endikha wedi afom beKka kemdilaika mizirab tifetu…

    *Lovely! Thanks Sal. I want to say later something on the “rational theory” of defining interests and their accompanying justifications and the applications used to actualize them. For now, i wanted to insert the above satire talk between PIA and PHJ below. This was imagined by extending some side thoughts from Sal’s nice write-up.

    • Salyounis

      Selamat Hayat:

      Very good. Then shabait and Eri-TV covered it by including the mandatory: npresident hagere china hageru tarikhawi halafneta kt-skem mkhri legisulu. But before that the two discussed zebetawi, zobawi, Alem lekhawi gudayat and china agreed with everything Eritrea was saying and all kinds of memorandum of understanding was exchanged between the two delegations. Then they played ping pong (according to wikileaks, Isaias is pretty good at that) and exchanged food recipes (again,according to wikileaks, Isaias has the Chinese chef at the Chinese embassy in Eritrea delivery food weekly. No information if th delivery boy gets a tip.)

      By the way, the Chinese have a new president and I will tell you when I remember it 🙂


      • Sal ,

        The president of China is 胡锦涛, roughly translated as Xi Jinping. Some memories are hard to forget 😉

      • Beyan Negash


        When I saw a response to HA’s attempt at humor bearing your name, I was sure you were going to scream uuuy, ra’aiulay smUlay: zban mengisti, zban hggi, HA is replicating my signature satire that I used to do in dehai, aka, the magua group.

        For the benefit of those who are not old enough to know or came late into the Eritrean cyber world, Sal had this parody he used to creatively humor us with, especially those who were helplessly addicted to the site and were becoming permanent fixtures – I loved it then as I see the potential here in Hayat Adam.

        HA seems to be on her way to finding her own voice. This one though I am afraid not only resembles a carbon copy of your work, but notice now she is even imitating the use of asterisk – watch out from star-struck stalkers, pretty soon the Paparazzi will be following your every move Sal.

        Seriously though, HA, such resemblance is taking away from an otherwise light and humorous read, which is just the right recipe for a day like Sunday.


      • Tamrat Tamrat

        Waw, Hayat waw!!

        Did youi come up With this irony by yourself!! How many presidant isayas of us learn from this. Once in a while we need some one like to show us the way to see Our problems from the Whole different angel. But the real president isayas would never understand this, when he does he commits sucide.

    • Kokhob Selam

      God, it seems we need to learn Chinese language. It was really unique 出类拔萃. It was really nice.
      And sure, since PIA has gone to china at early years of struggle he must have been wondering why chines are so flexible and not dogma. “asha hade derfu” .

  • Tamrat Tamrat

    Most of the oppressed eritreans complaints against the eplf/pfdj are the same complaints against derg.

    What elf and eplf promissed was/is that independency from Ethiopia abolish all the missery.

    Now the facts shows that in addition to the province Eritrea propblem, the nation Eritrea has boarder and international policy problems.

  • William Aaron

    To call “Agame”to who is Tigrway an Ethiopia is ok of for my side think angal but to give a brith to one Ethiopia Tigrway like”Agame Komalt,Tesahat…chnewati …this a forbide of god to cross anyone heart by sayning this.

    And all Ethiopians specaily from Tigrai there is one impotrant thing they must have to think and that is Eritrea is for only to Eritreans and Sawa,collegas,minerales,Gash-Barka,Redsea.Fish,2% are Eritrea so I beg you from this day to work on your an finshed business In Tigria and in rest of Ethiopia.Eritrea N Eritawyan!!Pasta

    • bukretsion

      tigrai is not comfortable with their place in the future ethiopia when there is real democratic gov in power. because of this they need ‘relationship’ ‘with respect’with eritrea. until they will got the approval of eritrea as ‘brother’, they will keep the status quo as long as they able to do it.

  • haile


    Since you offered a gesture of kindness in enlightening us in how to build capacity by begging (fundraising) from the library books of the “self reliant” despotic regime, let me reciprocate in kind by enlightening you that the surest way to prevent your arguments from getting twisted is to base them in facts. I believe readers are discerning enough to tell that my assertion that some of the direct victims of the deliberate acts of the regime in debilitating Eritreans (as in would be investors and those who were financially and emotionally ruined at the hands of the cruel regime) were driven to extreme bitterness is not equivalent to saying the Eritrean people are stupid.

    I am astonished by your response that:

    “So, so this friend of yours went to the embassy, believing he is helping in a very big way, but did not get what he expected, … You see, if you want to help you go all the way. Next time you or your friend wants to help, which is good, let us know. We will tell you how people are doing it. Go to your community, gather your friends, do a fund raiser, lottery or whatever, collect the money and send the damn books.”

    Yes, he was thinking that “he is helping in a very big way”….much like all the Eritreans who flocked to the country from 1991-1998 thinking that “they were helping in a very big way” unsuspecting that every little they could take to their beloved country (not your beloved despotic regime) was helping it to grow in a big way. That is what is called hope, one your “beloved regime” managed to quickly extinguish. In fact, isn’t it an irony that you believe the nation boasted fast growth way before the new government had the time to put in place the necessary infrastructures? What does that tell you about the failures of the regime? Didn’t all trouble start when it started carrying out its policy of confiscation of business licenses, controlling and suffocating every aspect of life even if it had nothing to do with the border conflict? I am talking about denying people to even handle foreign currency, freez construction indefinitely, suspend all new business ventures, shutting down privately owned medical clinics…

    Yes, it did say at the time the same thing you just blurted out arrogantly that “Next time you or your friend wants to help, which is good, let us know. We will tell you how people are doing it.” And, telling us, they did! A bankrupt, isolated, mass exodus, pitch dark, thirsty and hungry nation. Do you know there is no supply of fresh milk in Asmara? NIDO or other almost expired dried milk is what you get unless you travel to the dairy cooperative (again people based) in Mendefera. How you fancy having a young children in Asmara?

    I would have liked for you to have had the wisdom to see that however little my friend would have been doing, it is the huge idea behind it that needed to have been encouraged at any cost. But, hey greed is the stuff that the despotic regime’s frontal lobe is made out of. It is down right pathetic that you believe my friend should have gone to his local community. Aren’t some community centers housing regime embassies too? Or even if they are physically located apart, isn’t the embassy’s hizbawn bahlawn gudayat that run them? kab tseba zeterekhbe kab mai chaba!

    Anyway, let me explain why Eritrea is experiencing electricity shortages. At first, I thought, heck why don’t I just tell asmara the stuff he likes to hear and keep my peace. By that I really had to think and thought of saying to you that the reason there is shortages of electricity in the country is to do with the regime’s advanced counter surveillance strategy. Hence, by keeping the country pitch dark, the CIA wouldn’t be able to see whatever they would be looking for! Again, I thought that you may accuse of polemics within the context of the people’s suffering.

    So, here is my straight faced answer…Eritrea’s energy imports have been severely contracted from 1998- present owing to lack of hard currency due to the effects of the conflict with Ethiopia and extremely repressive measures by the regime. Essentially, the regime prioritized power over development.

    In 1998 Eritrea’s total importation of, take for example, refined petroleum products stood at 7898 barrels per day. The amount dropped to an all time low of 2670 barrels per day exactly ten years later in 2008. It slightly backed up again in 2010 to 3160 barrels per day, way below half of what it used to be over a decade before that. You can study the data for all types of fuels and you will learn that the same happened across the board. Normally, almost every country registered over 100%+ expansion of energy over the same time period. It is indeed a grim reality of utter mismanagement in everything by a diabolical regime that is having you witness an expanding population requiring even less energy. Hey, despotism at its best my man, who can beat that.

    I was told by a fairly wealthy individual (no hard fact and can’t vouch for that) that a group of private citizens requested the regime that they can help to import fuel (with their own money) if it would allow temporary moratorium in its blockade of the citizens of Eritrea from importing or exporting goods into the country. I was told the regime has refused. As I said, I have no hard evidence more than a claim by some one I normally respect. But believe it or reject it, I have heard on ERiTV citizens claiming that they even asked the government to pay extra to hire the delivery of water supply as they were desperate of going without for months on end. So, such proposals may not be totally inconceivable. So may be the despotic regime has scorned those that went to it “… believing [that they were] helping in a very big way”…who knows.

    The regime, having imposed a total ban on economic activity by businesses in the country, also failed to attract external interest because it insists on being paid in USD but giving its payments in Nakfa. As I mentioned on a previous post, investors do not want to meet the fate of the Airline companies that are now staring at heaps of nonconvertible currency in the Eritrean banks. So, in a nutshell, the despotic regime ain’t buying the energy it needs to lit up the country and meet papa CIA face-to-face!

    The economic mismanagement is far reaching and it is hard to argue that a virtual lock-down of life in general is unintentional. I am afraid that my mind doesn’t process all this Abay Tigray, NuEshtoy Tigray, welega, elibabur…politics. I debated with Dawit M briefly, and my handle was that he should avoid racial vitriolic to make his point. That is all. I don’t buy the regime’s racial profiling of “sinksarn mahlekhatatun” garbage. I despise the regime and everything it says too, based in profanity and ignorance.

    My view that the diaspora (even the pro regime) would eventually be an asset is a serious one. Imagine, when the regime is overthrown, every news item in the world media that would be reporting on the Eritrean ordeals under the brutal dictatorship will start with the disclaimer that “Dear viewers, please note that you may find some of the footage and graphics in the following report disturbing.” I am sure then many of them will wake up to the ghastly crimes being perpetrated on their people right now. And I am sure then that they will do everything to help and comfort and support their people…at least no one would be there then to mock them that “…went to the aid of their people believing that they were helping in a very big way”…

    • asmara


      “…So, here is my straight faced answer…Eritrea’s energy imports have been severely contracted from 1998- present owing to lack of hard currency due to the effects of the conflict with Ethiopia ….”

      Here you go. You just found a simple one to one relationship between the border issue and one problem in Eritrea. This actually is the simplest aspect of the effect, otherwise if you have to consider the cascading and propagating effect that could spread in all directions, including fear, lack of trust, which in turn could be interpreted differently by different groups, which in turn lead to different sets of new problems and it goes on and on.

      As for the “helping in a big way” and that 1991-1998 flocking of Eritreans to Eritrea stuff you are stressing at, well, my point is this: Imagine being a humanitarian with no boundaries who sets out to deliver food to starving primitive natives in the wilderness, only to start complaining because they did not supply him with toilet paper. And on top of that, because he brought some food, he feels he is entitled to a red carpet and a say on how that chief is running his tribe. The answer is, dude you came here to help go down and use your damn hand like us. In short, if you are here to help and if you are smart and well off as you pretend to be, then you have to fit and it is not the other way around. Imagine, the way the chief was running things may not be right, but you just don’t impose stuff on the people. And you also have to realize, what you bringing is just a tiny part of what the nation needs, and not necessarily the priority at that right moment –the help you are providing could be a priority, but the red carpet treatment you are demanding is out of place. If they have the resource, the knowhow and the ability to provide you with the treatment you are asking for providing them with some help, then why the hell would they need you in the first place?

      As for calling the Eritrean people, this is what you had to say on your previous comment to which I replied to:
      “….The problem is that they[Regime] cause their victims[the Eritrean people] to be so saddened that they fall to the understandable folly of hating Eritrea, instead of rationally judging that it is the despotic and criminal regime that is to blame and not Eritrea or Eritreans….”
      You can dress it up in whatever way you wish, but the above paragraph implies two things. 1) The Government is extremely skillful and smart, on top of being cruel, so much so that it managed to create illusions in the brains of the people. Meaning, you are giving too much credit to the regime, which you never fail to tell us is back word and against education in other threads or other paragraphs. 2) The Eritrean people are so stupid not to be able to know who is doing them harm. The thing you said “..hating Eritrea, instead of rationally judging that it is the despotic and criminal regime that is to blame and not Eritrea or Eritreans….” iIs sickening. If anyone hates Eritrea, then it is for his/her own reason. And I don’t know anyone who hates Eritrea, except those who are unionist and already twisted in nature.

      So, have a respect, will you?

  • spade spade

    why some people like Asmara and Lemlem are being attacked by some know-all-like-mentality on this web-site?those doing that must remember the simplest thing, it is of every individual inalienable right to support and propagate for which group or part want to, as long as he/she doesn’t commit any crime to support the group or party…associate with.if there are people on this time and age who support the devil imperialism and its associates politics there is nothing wrong if a person or people is/are patriotic and are willing to defend their people and country by any means necessary. unfortunately many of us are living in a coconut-shell.the topics are dominated always by PFDJ and WEYANE.why is it so?is any conspiracy going on to hinder the tigrayans and tigrinyas people come together and become a family again?we are the same volk after all regardless what some illiterate historians want to lecture is very tragic what is going on in Eritrea and Ethiopia.the mass exodus of Eritreans is worrysome for a small nation like Eritrea.But who is organizing the exodus?the government?the military?some of the so-called oppositions?we all can speculate.but one is for sure, you can eradicate and destroy a nation by simply uprooting its inhabitants from their birth-place ,to lead a miserable life in some corners of the earth in refugee is easy to destroy them,they are defenceless,be it in the West or some wherelse .it seems to me there are people or organizations there who are deeply involved in cleansing Eritrea of its people.And in Ethioipia doesn’t look better either.we the people in the erea have more in common than a hypocrite friend from a distant corner of the globe.

    • Spade:

      Not only siding with evil or advocating for evil, even to stay neutral to evil is crime.

      • Abe z minewale

        Even Kifli tseta of Jebha would not allow the youth to remain neutral begZie Galsi.z person by nick name Amharay knows that.i have evidence too

  • Tamrat Tamrat

    Why do THEY Connect every thing With the boarder?
    1) the boarder is crossing families from topp to the bottom so dictatorship is the only way out

    2) The boarder stopps the economical Growth of the nation and a nation needs economy too, not only president and army.

    3) The boarder policy isolate Eritrea completely

    4) The boarder is used to hostage eritreans in general and all ethiopians living around the boarder.

    5) The boarder is now more of the Power display between ‘old’ master eplf against the ‘old’ slave tplf, thanks to God almighty the Power has shifted (dont get me wrong, tplf as a one ethnic first policy i am not the fun at all). I dan tolerate a tplf sodier in Ethiopia than eplf if you know what i mean.

    1991-1993 eplf had performed almost every decision the way it had wished by controlling tplf through dictator meles. Eplf was/is not like other Liberation front which fought and won a nation. If that were the case, then eplf had to lead its New country as an independent country from day one in 1991. It had to negotiate or dectate by force the nation ethiopia where the border lies, etc etc. And naturlly this wont be easy, then the international community, UN, etc had to involve in. But eplf With the help of eplf and others they toppeled a dicator. Thus in theory any one had the right to thank eplf for over throwing a dictator, to make a multitude nations, or unite all of them With equality.

    Eplf dictating tplf had secured the economy and the preparation for the referendum upto 1993 the way it wished. The Cooperation between eplf and tplf was so enermous so any opposition party in Eritrea was a political sucide. Exactly when eplf and tplf declared the independency of Eritrea, tplf,olf, onlf and afar movement were ready to suceed (at least they had enough amunition to do so in their ‘won’ states) but to every one surprise tplf With its own will and the rest by the Cooperation of tplf and eplf disarmed and a copy of their respectiv parties made by tplf-eplf. (Here is the best way why THEY Connect the border to every thing is in its best).

    Allready 1993 eplf, tplf, and the Collection of the non-tigre eprdf parties accepted Eritrea as a unique independent country. Unique becauuse eplf and tplf acting as ruling parties in Ethiopia. Off course the border at this stage is under the soul Control of eplf. Tplf needed Ethiopia more than eplf at this time. So eplf With its strange economy policy approved by tplf and a florishing economical Activity in Assab Eritrea and tigray hit it on. Eritreans in Eritrea couldnt be surprised more. What a party! What a leader! Winning a war, declaring Independence and using the same nation which ‘conolize’ them as a coloni through the help of tplf. What about the majority of Ethiopians? They were dubfounded. The love for tigray, tplf, specially meles in Eritrea is Beyond a Word can explain.

    1998 the party between tplf and eplf is over. The war can be translated in millions ways but waht eplf think of tplf is awfully horrible. To show this: why badme was so important after 7 years, why the border demarkation was so important, who ever started the war, why eplf tolerated it, why dont eplf tolerate the ‘mistake’ of tplf for the sake of the love of eritreans had have for tplf/meles upto 1998, why eplf did not think the eritreans who live in Ethiopia who are seen as the promotors of eplf-tplf policy, etc, etc.? BECAUSE eplf was sure that if tplf wouldnt contiue in the terms of eplf, then tplf had to pay With the rage from all cornors. Eplf thought it knew Ethiopians more than ethiopians themselves, so when the war exploded in mekele, all ethiopiasn go hamoc! We knew it was not a problem for eplf. But try to understand us! It is a hell of problems for us. We dont want to be engulfed in civil war for ever. If eplf won that war, tplf must be confined in tigray and Eritrea thanks to the italian colonizers they can controll Ethiopia all the way Down to Dijebouti by making sure the arm supplies With all sort of nations in making New borders. If Eritrea couldnt settel its border With ‘Ethiopia’ then how dare prisidant to ‘solve’ Our problem by declaring indrictly all the mother of civil war in ‘Ethiopia’. This kind of leader or leaders NeXT to you is a scary experience. And all eritreans who hates tplf just because tplf do not fulfill the dreame of a crezy president, then reconcider Your hate. At least make Your hate reasonable. If you hate the action it is always easy to do what you hate too. Otherwise it would be only pure hypocrycy.

    For the lose of the 20,000 Young eritreans we are sorry deeply, we have lost double that number too and Our deepfelt sorrow goes for them too,naturally.

    That is why we ethiopians opposing meles ethnic politics.

    • Tamrat Tamrat

      correction: If you hate the action it is always easy to do what you hate too…

      Shall be corrected to : if you hate the action then it is always easy not to do what you hate. Other wise when to hate only because tplf is doing it and to love just because eplf is doing it is puerly hypocrycy.

    • rahwa

      The border war was a God sent for nationalist Ethiopians. We were second class citizens in our country. I am so glad the honeymoon between tplf and eplf was short lived.

      • WelWel

        100,000+ dead and disabled soldiers, countless people displaced internally and dispersed allover the globe. I think you mean Satansent. Why wouldn’t a Tigrean be as nationalist as an Amhara? You caused a 100 years of misery and still no apology!!!

        • rahwa

          I am sure you misssed the time when the slogan of every eritria in adds was eritria for eritians ethiopia for all. when eritria was one of the top coffee exporter. those days are gone never to return.

          • rahwa

            one more thing your cousin is gone. six feet under.

        • Tamrat Tamrat

          Do you mean appology for letting ethiopia burn in civil war by tplf and eplf? We heard this 100 years bla bla from meles and isayas too. You know that he and isayas extingushed more than 100,000 human beings just after 8 years of thir 100 years bullshit…

          Coming back to Your principle did tigray and tigrinya People asked appology for the 1998 massacar or to what they did before?

          • WelWel

            You have no shame whatsover!

  • haile


    Thank you for helping to re-focus the debate to the heart of the problem, i.e the suffering of the Eritrean people. It is too easy to be side tracked and end up in recriminations. It is also great that there are points we agree on and understandably, others we differ in. Negeru, qedimka zneAdkayo keykown, dehan seley elna nkhid tray:-)

    One of the critical areas that we differ on is that I believe you have fallen for the regime’s erroneous calculation to maintain control by demoralizing, devaluing and impoverishing the Eritrean people. In the forgoing discussions, I will do my best to demonstrate how so.

    Let’s start with the premise for the illogical center of your argument. You believe that the problems faced by our people are justifiable (can be traced back to the border) and that the criticisms levied against the regime are are not (for they lack in appreciation of the no-war-no-peace conditions). In an ideal case scenario, I would have liked you to argue in the reverse, i.e. the people’s suffering are not justifiable and the criticism levied against the regime are justified. We can’t be expected to believe that the regime defended against the border war effectively, if it has resulted in a situation that it has to maintain virtually the whole nation in a lock-down indefinitely and can’t overcome the challenges the conflict posed at a basic level; such as provision of essential services. That is picking you on “Miseries and hardship [in] Eritrea, right now is bi kasha.”

    It is also illogical to argue on hand that “…unless you come here and tell me Issayas is going down to Hirgigo and cutting all the wires or blowing the generators.” and then you speak of the regime as if it had done just that when you say “…opposition to snatch and steal the one thing [border demarcation], out of many things that is clearly, without any doubt the Eritrean government fought and stood for.”

    To set the records straight, the Eritrean PEOPLE paid 19000 lives, protested, petitioned, financed written countless articles endured the excesses of diabolical regime to get us here. The regime, in your calculations, can’t take the blames but is fully entitled to the credits! Unless you can show that many in the opposition hadn’t done that and that they are not part of the Eritrean PEOPLE.

    What you paint is a canvas of the regime’s diabolical intent to maintain control by demoralizing, devaluing and degrading the Eritrean people. Such is amply portrayed in your argument that is deficient in recognizing the huge role the people continue to play in all of this. Please be under no illusion that the regime will never do a damn thing that would remotely strengthen the self worth of the Eritrean people. It is a matter of policy.

    You brought up the issue of the UoA, well and fine. If as you hold to be true, the institution suffered from desertion and lack of adequate staffing, you would expect one of the following two:

    1 – Reduce or close some departments

    2 – Make the new collages part of the expanded UoA so that they will be internationally accredited.

    Despite the UoA being the ONLY place of higher education with intl. accreditation, it had to be shut down! By that, all it means that the regime voluntarily withdrawn from the privileges bestowed upon the institution. Why? What value does this add to strengthening the regime in the border conflict? None at all. It simply had to be done as part and parcel of removing any potential opportunity that might help the people. Mind you, it would have been a small issue had the country had other recognized institutions, it had none, and the only one had to shut down!

    I am sure you are aware that the regime deliberately sabotages individuals or groups who want to set up business or run a business in Eritrea. Did you follow the heated discussion on the Investment Conference in Asmara, where a gentleman who was producing plastic bags in Dekemhare bitterly complained how they banned his manufacturing business and went on it import a lower quality products from China at a higher cost and drain on Forex reserves? Oh asmara…I know far too many feasibility studies that were gobbled up by this regime for no other reason than to unscrupulously use it for its party owned ventures. By the way, there is a little requirement that you have to bring the equipment to the country prior to your feasibility proposals being considered. Once your papers are shredded, the next thing is to auction off your goods at a loss! How does such practice help us in the border conflict?

    for most part of the last decade no business licences were allowed except for the regime. This was deliberately done to drown many people in financial ruins consistent with its policy of totally breaking down the spirit of the Eritrean people. The problem is that they cause their victims to be so saddened that they fall to the understandable folly of hating Eritrea, instead of rationally judging that it is the despotic and criminal regime that is to blame and not Eritrea or Eritreans.

    Do you know the regime has refused to do any development work in fisheries? Do you know how many private initiatives were sabotaged by the regime? How does that help in the border conflict? It posts a Shabait news that the ERIFISH had been given EU certification and expect me to hail it! Here is my congrats scr@w them! It was done by design to subjugate the fishermen and confiscate and export their catch for quick hard cash. It also allows uncontrolled abuse by commercial trawlers for license fee. It talked of the Massawa free zone, where are the 40+ companies that were supposed to be signing up?

    Do you know that the Research and Development in Agriculture is financed by the development bank of Africa, yet it has the least qualified personnel in the the whole of sub Sahara Africa? All of which Hamelmalo trained and in lacking of higher qualified staffs. So much for Hirisha tihte qirxi!

    Let me chat with you about a couple incidents that the regime doesn’t give a rats behind for the educational welfare of your people. A certain friend of mine went to a certain embassy of the regime to ask them for assistance to send loads of expensive books for Eritrea. I say this in whole truth, nothing but…the embassy of the regime told him that there is nothing they can help him with, not even temporarily store it for him. They told him he can use normal cargo/postal service to deliver it at his own cost. Irresponsible! wouldn’t you agree. Another one went with the same highly sought after textbooks in advanced studies to Eritrea, the treatment he got was such that he terribly regretted for thinking well for his people and country. The regime loathes the Eritrean people. That is a fact.

    Did IA go to South Africa and tell the students there they can get lost if they so wished? Yes he did, and he isn’t stupid either, he had a reason for doing so. It is amazing that you connect the South Africa scholarships to the closure of UoA that was ordered in 2002, which happened long before the students decided to abscond.

    Asmara, I can go on and on to illustrate to you how the regime had calculated the act of impoverishing and degrading the Eritrean people as a sole tool of its illegal hold to power. Time will unearth the full scale of the crimes committed by this regime for the world to see. All those working for the regime now will be hunted down and made to face the music.

    The border demarcation issue is an Eritrean people’s issue, we will deal with it and do not need a regime that is literally killing the nation to stand up for us. Yes Eritreans should call for its immediate implementation sooner than later, because you can mark my word if you like, after the regime is finished with you, it will never leave you [Eritrean people] holding the EEBC award. It would tamper with it to simply expose us to even more conflict.

    Eritrean traders in Juba are fully facilitated by Ethiopian banks, and are severely undermined in competition. IA told them a study was underway to facilitate their banking needs years a go. The regime has never done a dime for the Eritrean people, it is a parasite and I implore you to abandon ship and reject it for what it is. When I said the border issue is resolved, I meant we should lend our voice for it to be implemented, not forget about it, but I have great doubt that the regime will let you see the day in this too.

    I haven’t yet touched about its despicable acts of polarizing Eritreans in the diaspora and fanning conflict and mistrust among them to subdue them from being a voice for their people that it is murdering in broad day light. Think about it.

    • Sabri

      Selamat Haile,

      I have some questions to you. Are you saying the government intentionally weaken eritreaness and Eritrea? Are you saying all who have position in government are working against Eritrea? Not all PFDJites are evil. I know among the leaders of PFDJ there are some who are working for the good of Eritrea. Please, don’t make giant generalization. 


      • haile

        Selam Sabri

        I totally agree with you. In fact know for a fact that there are many in the government and even the PFDJ who mean great things for Eritreans. In fact, a lot of the people opposing the regime are its past members or advocates.

        All I am saying that at the heart of what drives the regime at the moment (at driver level) there has now been an established practice of deliberately demoralizing, impoverishing and degrading Eritrean people as a tool to control power. Is this nature brought about by circumstances or has been there all along? Too hard for me to conclusively assert, but know for a fact that the regime’s intent is to deliberately undermine Eritreans by force at home and by many elaborate scheming in the diaspora. Let’s admit it, this prick of a regime has been killing us for far to long.

        It is now bracing for for dangerous showdown by eliminating the possibility of election or resignation. It will meet its fate because PEOPLE never lose in the end.


        • haile

          Selamat hizbawi & asmera


          My position on the faulty formations of the ‘organized’ opposition is well established. However that doesn’t negate the urgent need for a credible, patriotic and people centered opposition movement. This brings me to hizbawi’s up coming reflections on ‘exit strategy’. I am satisfied that asmara recognizes my concerns and hope that this means we are on the same page as far as regime vs people with asmara (right asmara? come on throw me a bone 🙂 )

          As to the exist strategy, I say military takeover and many have obvious difference with that. Some think that this is same old same old. My view is that much time has been wasted and we are teetering on braking point without an all inclusive, and popular opposition to fill a potential power vacuum. The military is organized but the diaspora is organized too albeit in service of the wrong horse (don’t underestimate the current pro-regime organizations). If the diaspora can exert the right influence to support and guide (financially and organizationally) an emerging administration that would be a spring board for setting up constitutional and democratic governance. Is it a pipe dream? Well, who is to say. Except the fact that whatever the end game turns out to be, we, the people, would be the one’s to pay the price.

          I think asmara’s position merits recognition because it represents a significant opinion base in the diaspora. This despite the hard truth being the fact that, such support is a desperate act of self defense, when the regime that was supposed to be the pro-people had been deliberately scoring into its own side for a long time now. Hard to believe that it would change anytime soon, rather it easier to believe it will be changed.

          Hizbawi, can you focus on the real/perceived risk factors too, as you share your views that is.


          • asmara


            “…I am satisfied that asmara recognizes my concerns and hope that this means we are on the same page as far as regime vs people with asmara (right asmara? come on throw me a bone…” you kidding, right? you made me laugh.

            Actually, I got a confession to make. Going down your comment above, I am afraid I started to get bored and at times irritated realizing you kind of try to cheat by maculating and twisting words and combining unrelated things to rhyme to and fall to the conclusion you wanted to reach (Purposely avoiding or manipulating the core messages and points I tried to pass) – until I reached at the part where you talked about that guy with the expensive books. Then I can’t help but smiled, and well, my regard for your intelligence fell one notch down, yet again. Darn! So, so this friend of yours went to the embassy, believing he is helping in a very big way, but did not get what he expected, and then he did what? Went back home concluded that the regime should go, wrote a banner and joined the “Down Down Dictator” idiots or what? You see, if you want to help you go all the way. Next time you or your friend wants to help, which is good, let us know. We will tell you how people are doing it. Go to your community, gather your friends, do a fund raiser, lottery or whatever, collect the money and send the damn books. Even in developed countries, when people want to do something for a cause, they do stuff like that.

          • asmara

            Still going down your previous comment, dozing on and off, realizing you are trying to find (asking me to find) a simple arithmetic one to one relationship, to a rather complex thing (which amounts to a huge disaster, considering the effect it is having on the Eritrean people) until I reached to the point where you started to say this (sebri spotted that one too):
            “….regime had calculated the act of impoverishing and degrading the Eritrean people….” Then
            “…This was deliberately done to drown many people in financial ruins consistent with its policy of totally breaking down the spirit of the Eritrean people. …” and on and on you go. I can’t help it but scroll up and check who is writing, and for a second I remembered that guy who goes by Dawit Meconen, or something like that. That dude has this theory that he seems to be dead sure. He says Woyanie and Issayas are conspiring to Create Abay Tigray. And the fun part is the way they planned to do it. He said, Issayas has to go to Meda from Uni, work his way up the ladder of leadership, (killing and demonizing all smart and educated people), fight for independence, defeat Derg, do referendum, give the Eritrean people false hope until 1997, then call Meles and arrange and agree on the time to start the border war. During the war, demoralize the Eritrean soldiers, elevate the mightiness of woyanie. What happened after that, I don’t need to tell you – all you have to do is fill the blank with New-Haile’s nonsense, then Walla!! Here is Abay Tigray, there types of weather down to Assab. Nice fiction titled Hallucination. Dawits’s thing has an end objective, though.
            Halewlow ziblu tiray bezihom.
            By the way, haile – that lack of Electricity in Eritrea I kind of mentioned in my previous message, was meant to be an assignment for you. Tell us why there is shortage of Electricity in Eritrea. Coming here and just telling us there is no power in Eritrea is like, going to the beggar on the street and telling him that he is hungry.

          • asmara


            Now, to the acute ignorance part. you said:

            “….The problem is that they[Regime] cause their victims[the Eritrean people] to be so saddened that they fall to the understandable folly of hating Eritrea, instead of rationally judging that it is the despotic and criminal regime that is to blame and not Eritrea or Eritreans….”

            If this is extremely low regard to the Eritrean people, then what is? You just insulted the Eritrean people. You got some nerves. That was for the Eritreans inside Eritrea, the following is for those in diaspora
            “…but the diaspora is organized too albeit in service of the wrong horse (don’t underestimate the current pro-regime organizations)…..” then

            “….I think asmara’s position merits recognition because it represents a significant opinion base in the diaspora. This despite the hard truth being the fact that, such support is a desperate act of self-defense,…..”

            According to you, the Eritrean people inside Eritrea and those in diaspora both are stupid and are being herded like ship, no brain, no own-judgment. Just stupid, right?
            Dude, you got some nerves. My goodness, such arrogance such stupidity. Simply unparalleled!

            Finally, let us add some humor. You said :
            “….If the diaspora can exert the right influence to support and guide (financially and organizationally)..”
            Nice. Simply brilliant. How come the so called opposition, never thought about this?
            Man, someone from the so called opposition should slap you silly for that! That is an insult, even by their standard

        • Haile. Which Haile? If you are Haile that Know-congratulation

    • hizbawi

      Selamat Haile.
      ‘I have read every post of yours and To Asmera’s point; you are the few once, if not the only one who brings balanced, fair and unbiased views when it comes to Eritrea. So, when you started to throw a few punches, you sounded the same old, the beaten up and the same toothless oppositions. I think that why Asmara reacted. So, please stay on the balanced lane as always you are. One advice though, don’t predict, the oppositions has been predicting the fall of PIA for the last 15 years. I will share with you what it may happen. If you will, “the exit strategy”
      we can get out of this very simple way. i will share my thoughts.

      • asmara


        Right on! That was exactly the messege

        That was why I presented the good son bad son example.

  • I am making a comment about commenters 😉

    Asmara is attacking Amanuel Hidrat and Haile, Awate’s enthusiastic clientele who have always something to say and who are always glued to their PC like stucco.

    What were once bitter enemies have now become online friends and united against a common foe: Asmara. Therefore, please enjoy what looks like a boxing match between Asmara on one hand and the two clowns on the other.

    They were once at each other’s throat over everything. They were like “hawn haserin”. In the past, they have made many diametrically opposed comments on the same article.

    I have not followed Amanuel Hidrat a lot to say about his online personality. But, Haile churns out very many comments and therefore is not quite hard to methodically examine his personality. He is stubborn, and shrewd. He always believes he is right even if he is proven wrong. He has a soft spot for PFDJ.

    He has an intense animosity against opposition political parties, but admits that he represents another political party he named “the silent majority”. It looks like the silent majority represented him to be an online advocate. His biggest problem seems to be demarcation.

    BTW, both Admas Haile and Haile can make good friends.

    P.S. It was not my intention to squash Haile’s feelings of pleasant warmth resulted from the courteous applause of the faithful.

    • haile


      lol@ “It was not my intention to squash Haile’s feelings…” I wouldn’t recommend that you play around with a tiger’s tail…let’s get real 🙂

      • Haile,

        Why do many commenters clash with you? Let me see!

        You might either need to change your behavior (perhaps be less stubborn) or re-evaluate your current political views. Your political views may not be main stream politics.

        I like your debating skill though. Salyonus is another skillful debater. I envy you but not Salyonus. It’s like a beggar envies another successful beggar; a beggar does not envy a millionaire. 😉 You are one among many who can successfully represent many in court.

        YG has an open invitation to debate any one about the now “infamous ghedli”. Why don’t you or Salyounus accept the invitation so that we can learn from the outcome of the debate.

        • yegermal

          YG would win hands down! He is an erudite, fearless and funny; hence he is more likely to win the heart of the crowd in any debate;). And yes, I am hardly his fun….but got to give the man his credit.

          • Salyounis

            Selamat Yegermal:

            Honestly, the real “Thrilla in Manila” is between Haile and Serray.

            Me and YG will be lost in geek heaven. If he uses a killer metaphor, or something funny, I may yield the point. And YG wouldn’t make for a good debater because his arguments are of the abstract. But get Haile and Serray on stage and I am in the front row. We will put Hayat and Ghezae way way in the back seats because they will try to stack the cards in Serrays favor with their wild applause.


  • Kokhob Selam

    Dearest Salyounis,
    –haqi eya kts’er– todays gift for you and readers today read also the first letters down -just a small art. don’t forget to read it in our Merhaba/Jebena.

  • Eritrea: The DIA PFDG “junta State” A reform and & Democracy that cannot be had
    The two decades lack of political developments in Eritrea proved beyond doubt that the opportune circumstances are far from ripe for Eritrea to embark on reform or a truly representative democracy.
    Eritrea of the widening huge disparity of the tiny PFDG elitists Haves and the preponderant disenfranchised the masse ,the Have Nots would cause and hope that split to further endure into a stark class division for last two decades . This will heavily bear on Eritrea s Social Peace, a country that’s mired with insurmountable socio-economic challenges and socio-political ills that could not be much longer overlooked before the country faces a total collapse.
    Eritrea ’s endemic, deeply entrenched socio-economic ills can only be effectively handled by enlisting the Collective Contributions and Efforts of All the as Eritreans the country needs to embark on ambitious socio-economic Revival Programs with sweeping goals and well defined and well thought-through milestones for their attainments.
    Achieving those goals cannot happen under watch of DIA a “junta State” only after the removal of DIA and his criminal bodies , can we truly start to speak of achieving those goals be had through the very willing commitment of a motivated Eritrean public, right across the board. A Truly representative democracy based on a comprehensive and encompassing consensual constitution guaranteeing separation of power and social justice is the very first step on the long-road, the very long road for Eritrea’s long task of recovery.
    Eritrea of the post DIA “junta State” era, recovery insinuates for Eritrea to regain its lost once glorious status , endued with rich in natural resources, fertile land as well the significant regional strategic military, political and light regional industrial power that its geographical location, depth of rich cultural heritage and demographics qualify Eritrea for.
    The two decades of total control in Eritrea dashed for a very long time to come that hope as it reinforced DIA tiny class division with the blood sucker Mafioso Haves and upper privileged armed forces, termed as the PFDG “junta State,” totally controlling every accept of economical life and reasserting their control of Eritrean political and social life.
    DIA “junta State” that proved its deep entrenchment; the close, very close shared common agendas, deeply intertwined interests and well-coordinated collaborative capabilities among its tiny constituent and ubiquitously outreaching power groups intending by all means not leaving nothing to chance.
    DIA “junta State” that had been for a long time forming, nearly two decades, as the product of a 20-year corrupt political system commencing with the so-called closed-door policy of communist dead era , All for the Grabs, of by gone era.
    As the PFDG military represent the backbone of the most powerful interest groups in the so-called “Junta State” in Eritrea. PFDG’s outreaching influence controlling the political life in Eritrea as the most powerful front scene player:
    With more than half of the Eritrean population, possibly more than 2 million souls looming in abject poverty with a great percentage among whom are illiterate, Eritrea of the few Halves: The “Haves” huddling in the secure protection of the “junta State,” and the masses “Have Nots,” ever marginalized and disenfranchised, Eritrea could never aspire to successfully embark on desperately needed reform or truly representative democracy. Eritrea of the enduring Halves will maintain the hypocrisy and façade of social peace and apparent security and political stability that would only postpone the inevitable day of reckoning for a little longer. Eritrea would always be susceptible to a cataclysmic eruption that would only plunge the country in a continuous state of chaos and continuation of a deteriorating economic and security situation.
    DIA and his ever obedient “Junta State” are Incapable of acting in unison to bring and affect the profound socio-economic and political reforms. Eritrea badly and direly needs. All the nonsense and baseless agenda of two decades introduced false changes would be cosmetically appeasing for the sake of appearance, however, never go down enough touching the core, the very deep roots of Eritrea ’s lingering ills, besetting and perpetuating Eritrea ’s abyssal decline.
    The proponents of the DIA “Junta State” are incapable of introducing real change and bring about representative democracy as they excluding proper representations of the other main segment of the Society, of the very poor Have Nots, in order to empower and unleash the creative energies of the masses. This is, simply, by virtue of the conflicting goals of the entrenched interests of the pressure groups constituting the “Junta State,” and the general welfare of the Eritrean masses on the basis of equity and equal opportunities.
    Eritrea with the inevitable abortion of its first short lived draft constitution and never experienced with democracy had proven without the slightest doubt of the incompatibility if not the impossibility of the co-existence of the forces of change aspiring to put Eritrea back on the right track, and the entrenched forces of the DIA “Junta State.” They appear my understanding as mutually exclusive.
    Sadly, comes to mind in the face of this conundrum, reminisces of historic examples of forces of change seeking profound solutions that only could come at the expense Eritrean people dreaming of pluralistic democracy, the stifling of human initiative and the serious constraint of the constructive entrepreneurial spirit.

  • Haqi

    Entay aynet himam eyu zeleka? every time sal writes an article kulom humumat nay adina abedbed yiblu. sal pls take a vacation, give the crazy folks a break.

  • asmara

    This was meant for the guys by the name of Amanuel Hidrat, who somehow decided to directly address me and directly reply to my comment all of a sudden. Ummmmm, what could have happened? Perhaps he thought those he beleived to be HGDEFITE in the past are eating each other out. In any case, the spam filter must have eaten out my reply to him yesterday – hence I owe him one. This kind of a stand, and may clrear some stuff for him and his group:

    Amanuel Hidrat

    Ok, let me check if I can find something that can best describe what the Eritrean people feel about you (You as in Unionists, or Woyanie Subordinates. Not YOU as such. Your group- that is the word)

    Well, I already have put something on the comment you replie to . Let me put it here for the heck of it – with slight modification (kind of for the dummies):

    We, the Eritrean people do not, I repeat DO not want to acquire none-curable disease – as in HIV, Monshiro etc. (UNIONISTS, self-haters, regionalists, religious fanatics, and most of ALL MELES and Woyanie worshipers) in our quest to cure common cold (Our beloved Government). Particularly those with Unionist sentiments – while our beloved Eritrea is violated by Woyanie – Boy, you have no clue how much the Eritrean people hate you guys. See, that kind of subordination to mama Ethiopia cost us a lot in the past. No way are we going to give you any chance this time.

    Let us do another one. You know how SAAY goes on and off Haile’s or any other person’s bus depending on the condition? Well, I also do that, depending on what that person is saying. That is why Eritreans like me go to any website where people talk about Eritrea. is one. Hence don’t you deceive yourself for thinking you belong here and you have the mandate to say who comes and goes where. You see, contrary to what your Woyanie-infested twisted brain of the unionist, Eritreans care and pay a close attention to what people are saying about Eritrea. So you can cut the crap about the – this is your forum stuff.

    Back to the bus thing – like I said I would ride on any one’s bus Except – on YOUR BUS (You as in Woyanie subordinate unionist groups – to name some – You, the Sirray Dude, The Hayat Dude/dame, and others who are defaming our struggle for independence) who seem to bark every time woyanie’s head is bumped. So, pay attention now – this is a message from the Eritrean people to you guys: We will blow your bus from far – let alone ride with you. It is shoot-to-kill. No more jokes with our Eritrea. We are not going to take chances this time.
    So, feel free to print this comment, and stick it to your bed post, so that you clearly understand how much the Eritrean people despise you.

    That is all

    • Tesfamariam

      You are full of false pride you can’t handle the truth. There is nothing you can show what your beloved (dictator) regime has done for the people and the nation for the last twenty plus years except destroying the nation demoralizing and suppressing all the God given rights of the people. Yes, the truth drive you crazy and make you repeat all the same lies your idle dictator says day in day out what else do you have ? You don’t have any substance except the old mambo jumbo feel sorry for you

    • Asmara,

      Who appointed you to speak on behalf Eritrean people? I don’t know whether it is worth to ask you a question while the country is ruled by self-appointed individuals in the first place. Who might be Yemane Monkey, or kisha or the insane issayas himself who hasn’t the integrity of mind and body as in gene expressed in different identities. Since you have learned from Saay something.. I will let you Saay to condition you similar to that of Pavlov’s experiment with dog. Saay “kulu nenatu alowo zezi seme’o alwo” Asmara is ready to be conditioned…just follow Pavlov’s experiment – it is as simple as that. Wish you all.

    • Asmara:

      Without too much ado, I say to you, “go and rot in hell”!

      • hizbawi

        awate-team, is this he real Aklilu Zere? if he is, i am sorry he went down that low. If you are the real Aklilu, please restore your good name, apologize to your readers. you are better than that.
        thank you sir.

        • Hizbawi:

          You meant that I went down to the ninth gredient of hell to meet the three headed monster? What choice do I have?

      • rodab

        Your crude statement is shocking aklilu zere.
        Please refrain from using that sentence ever again.

        • Dear rodab:

          “crude” is a relative word that is easily shaded by perception. I found your statement relatively “harsh” and “paternalistic”. What do you mean by “never”? The absolute or the metaphoric?


  • spade spade

    I never attended any seminar or meeting of the so-called oppositions but to keep me abreast I browse on and off on the opposition web-sites such as Awate and Asmarino as well as meskerem.the comments on Awate and Asmarino are shocking and unpatriotic and very shamefull for a people who brag themselves to do things better than the seems to me the people in the opposition are people who prefer to play with words rather than with deeds.and their whole agenda is incompatible with the majority of Eri-peoples cultures and view points.for instance about the topic of freedom of religion.we have already freedom of Eritrean is prohibited by law or any other means from going to mosque or church.i hope you don’t mean when you talk about religious people ,not about the rat-like-agents of the Zionists,who have become another enemy and problem to our people in the diaspora in particular in West… the opposition whose all plan and agenda is directed against the will of Eritreans even HIGDEF itself is not conceived for is the nr1 enemy of Eritreans to be very is the so-called oppositions made HIGDEF thrive and prosper.they come up with the western style of opposition which is worthless in our country.and another thing is why the foreign mine companies own 60%of the share,any state suppose to own 51% of… some thing is foul.and what is the good relationship with UK all about something is amiss.the UK becomes your friend only in order to destroy motto is if you want your people and country live in peace and harmony keep the UK away from them.when I witness the family of those who occupy high offices in Eritrea in London I am very worried.these people were all alone living on doll money in the UK but out of blue after the independence they got rich…bought houses,apartments for their sons and doughters…send their children to the best university in UK…Asmara-London and London-Asmara MeGeDi AwTSiEMuLa.if such kind of people get the chance they are the first to stab or Poison Isayas.they are very greedy for everything,

  • haile


    Please stop dividing the parties as me, opposition, you the government and the Eritrean people. There are only two parties to this: the regime and the Eritrean people. Of course, you can’t address a single issue than unrelated matters because YOU CAN’T.

    Yes I spend much time here and can be tiring at times. Thank you for your belated concerns. My question is:

    – Where were you when I engaged people here not call young diaspora Eritreans in YPFDJ as Nazi?

    – Where were you when I engaged people here not to toy with the idea of Eritrea started the border war?

    – Where were you when I engaged people here to advocate for rule of law to resolve the border issue according to the EEBC?

    – Where were you when I engaged people here that they should reject the sanction as it only concentrates power on the regime and makes life harder to ordinary people of Eritrea?

    – Where were you when I engaged people here that their work with woyane is a non-starter to advancing the Eritrean cause.

    No where to be seen. Probably you sat back believing that the “great people’s government” of yours was what I was serving to whitewash its utter incompetence. The minute the focuse is on the regime, here you are, casting all sorts of doubt on my integrity (girm mesheqeti)and calling me all sorts of names to defend a regime that wouldn’t have a drop of support from the Eritrean people.

    Let’s talk about lowering standards. You have obviously run out of munitions beyond the border issue because you and me are 100% in agreement that TPLF must abide by the rule of law. What if however, if i was to really lower myself and delve to discuss issues beyond surface level failings of the regime. Trust me, you would have no legs to stand on, nmen kTemo emo! Yes we are intelligent people, and we don’t deserve to be ruled by a backward regime or represented by groups who who fail the patriotism test miserably. So, you may be feeling pity for me for your perceived lowering of standards on my part. The trouble is the fact that it is actually the opposite that is saving the day for you, nkbri hagern hizbn elka zEqeb negerat.

    Please spare us your delusional pontificate that all those who support Eritrea support the regime, the score on that is 95% to 0 loss to the regime. The concern I share with many fellow Eritreans is that what if we can’t remove this useless regime safely and keep the nation we love intact? Do I have answers, can’t say for sure but tend to think that the Eritrean people have demonstrated unwavering and fervent patriotism over the last decade that it is likely that they can handle the turbulence of brief transition. I know the regime is doing everything in its power to weaken them from succeeding in that scenario. That is why I believe perhaps a military take over might be a safer option at the moment.

    So, what are your views on how we should extricate the nation from the despotic regime and save Eritrea?

    By the way what made you think saay is running away from the “mud”? chiqa aykonen hiziwo, ergan eyu:-)

    • asmara


      I was about to reply to your previous comment, but you beat me to it. Any way, here is a partial reply (Again!)

      First of all, let me address the following in your comment:

      “…The minute the focuse is on the regime, here you are, casting all sorts of doubt on my integrity (girm mesheqeti)and calling me all sorts of names to defend a regime that wouldn’t have a drop of support from the Eritrean people….”

      It is like the mom with two sons with different set of characters. One is very wild, good for nothing, drunk. While the other is caring, smart and one who cares for his mom, always home in time. You will naturally see the mom blast the good son if he happens to slip one day and comes home late with a tiny bit of liquor in his body. You know why? To the mom, the wild kid is already a lost Couse. And her prayer was always for the bad son to learn from the good, and not for the good son all of a sudden to fall to the pits.

      That somehow explains why I felt disappointed, because I, like anybody here values your intelligence and the dedication and fact based findings you used to present to people here before. If you think I am replying to you just because you blasted the Eritrean government – you are wrong. It is just, lately you seem to have adopted a bad culture from some people here (The bad Son, lost cause) and resorted into listing end results or miseries which are happening as a consequence of something – without paying attention or addressing the cause and effect. Etc.
      Meaning, the reason I am paying attention solely on you is because I value your intelligence and dedication. That is all. This is a straight up reply, a complement if you will, so, again – take it or leave it.

    • asmara


      As for the where where you, questions above, I was right here enjoying every bit of it, admiring your ability to hit all the right notes (*Except for some part of the border issue stuff. Explained below.) Why did not I join you in your fight against those who, strangely enough, were advocating for Woyanie against Eritrea,? Well, two reasons: one, apparently my comments were eaten up by the spam, I learned today, and also I was in the’s “Ira-Iro” (Oh, yea there is one with a swinging door), so apparently you would not see my comments. Second, your replies and dedication was so intense and fierce so much so that the comment I could came up with this brain of mine could only be a hindrance, and actually was “ata – boy” kind of things. Teweled dia nisikas kind of things. Meaning you were commendable that time. Then again, that is the reason why my frustration lately (Like the good son, on my earlier comment) for lowering yourself to petty and listing of end results or for throwing arrows at a human punch bad, without outlining why that human is becoming your punch bag in the first place.

      Just to explain what I mean by just listing short coming back home doesn’t necessarily fly with Eritreans, here are examples:
      There is lack or shortage of electricity in Eritrea, right? Well, in an ideal world, where people care for their people, the first reaction would be, “oh really, why? What happened? And what can we do?” right? But in defamer’s world, the reaction would be ” heh – rikumo do HGDF iti rigum, kedem ab meda kemzi geru do kemziba, bani iwun yelen, sinaii, tewediom, down down dictator”…and all that thing idiots say. Meaning, your list of shortages and hardships in Eritrea means a squat to me. It may give false hope to those defamers who live far physically and so detached morally from the Eritrean people. Nothing more. So, my question to you is – did you read anything here or in any so called opposition where anyone, including you who would try to find out why Electricity is lacking? See, unless you come here and tell me Issayas is going down to Hirgigo and cutting all the wires or blowing the generators. It means nothing to me. Miseries and hardship is Eritrea, right now is bi kasha. But, come to think about it, it really amuses me when people expect something more. That country needs a breathing space, working space if you will, to go through its share of trial and errors like any country of the world. Do you in your right mind think, that country, its people and its government ever got a relatively solid ground where you can evaluate its performance in a correct way, except for those years between 1991 – 1997?
      The list is long. I mean we all read about that university thing you wrote last time. For some reason you failed to mention the lecturers, who never came back from their further education abroad. Starting 1991. Right from the beginning. Leaving Asmara University Empty. We all know, 100 grand per year salary those guys could earn In the West is not way to be passed and sacrificed for the 2000 nakfa they get in Eritrea.
      *There are two sides to your stand on the border issue, one very good and another one surprisingly very bad. The good thing is you believe justice is justice and, like any true and justice loving Eritrean you want the ruling to be implemented, no ifs and buts. And you wanted the stinky woyanie to get the hell out of our nation. Rightly so. And initially, before you turned into this new Haile, you correctly identified that the problem in Eritrea is directly or indirectly related to that border issue. Well, now you are telling us there is nothing to it, Ethiopia just have to leave our land, case closed. Piece of cake ummm, what?
      Here is the bad thing (Even for the old Haile); you want your so called opposition to take ownership of the border ruling. Are you freeking kidding me? You must be joking. I mean what happened to give credit when credit is due thing? If any of your so called opposition were any smarter (forget about smartness, if they were any Eritrean and care for Eritrea), the right course they should have taken was – hey this is not about supporting or opposing thing, this is not about individuals and groups, this is about Eritrea – The Eritrean people and the Current Government (Call it Dictator if you want, who cares?) fought and bleed for it and, and are standing on the right side of Justice. So, when it comes to our sovereignty we are alongside our people and our government (Any government, after all it has justice on its side). Firm, with no ambiguity. The right message, not only to the current aggressor but also to any one that tempts to touch Eritrea in the future. Above all, this would have sent a message to the Eritrean people that these people are smart – they support the good and oppose the bad. Simple. But, you want the good for nothing so called opposition to snatch and steal the one thing, out of many things that is clearly, without any doubt the Eritrean government fought and stood for. Intriguing.
      Finally, in all fairness almost every problem, I mean every little problem in Eritrea can be traced back, no matter how far, to the Border issue, the no peace no war, the “we will change regime” of Woyanie stuff. It is just cause and effect, from tiny to a bigger level. The Eritrean people, bleed, cry and are bitter, angry beyond anything you can express. So, you care for Eritrea, help them solve that issue. Simple. As for the regime would not stand without the border issue you keep on saying here, I beg to differ. I would say you don’t have any base to come to that conclusion. If you are going to do a fair and correct performance evaluation, you only reference would be the duration between 1991- 1997. And we all know how that period was. Beyond that, you will have to add correction factors, and do your analysis adding “Under this condition – this would be the performance” to everything. And if you add cause and effect to that, your analysis will simply go to the trash can. I can tell you, the worst thing that happened to the government – is the border issue.

      Izi wedhanka

  • asmara


    You seem to be busy deleting some of my comments. And I can clearly see the ones you are letting through are simply the ones you felt would help you wake up, the otherwise stagnant and boring, country and government defamers. As in, “look what HGDF is saying” kind of thing. We normally call that kind of monitoring “FITHI WOYANIE”.

    Anyway, this is your house your rule. But this is my request to you. Either post all my comment or don’t do any of them. Would that be a fair request?

  • L.T

    “Kulu ‘koynin’melsi”
    With my limit knowledge Ethiopia is a big cowboy land and Eritrea is a little Roma and am here boy and I know I can song a “Derfi”
    ‘ As Wedi Gebru put it 1975″
    “TokermiKa mot’yee
    Asafihika mote.

    “Neanay ni bahri

    n Hade Amte”..

    It has been gone 12 yrs

    “wey sere alo
    suk alo”;

  • WediArbaete


    If I tell you my brother is some PFDJ ambassador in some far east country and because of that I have to keep supporting PFDJ no matter what, would you still argue with me?

    If I tell you I am related to Isaias Afewerki’s wife somehow and because of that I have to keep supporting PFDJ no matter what, would you still argue with me?

    The point is, real PFDJ supporters are reduced to such few royal family members.

  • belay

    I asked you why you have a strong hate towards us Agame people? You failed to give me an answer.
    Any way,i just read your appology to mr kasahun.If that was the case,don’t worry.
    belay Agame.

    • L.T

      Ato Belay,before you get an answer fm anyone just proud to be Agame.One human being can never start war just the kids of street in Asmera say”Agame”to sombody fm Tigria.
      Say”Agame is an Awaraja in Tigria and I am one of tham,Iam a son of Dej Sabagadis Weldu Shum Agame.Don’t ask us what kind and for sort do you are. I mean it!!

    • Haqi

      Lemlem nay meninet quluwlaw alewa

  • T..T.

    Saay, Lemlem, and Haile,

    The suggested “tent participation” is not, of course, without ground rules. The prime requirement is that honesty should not be suppressed in any shape or form.

    We know that an honest and accountable government does not suppress honesty. And, to come together under one roof to vote is a political process and that needs empowerment of the participants to make their voices heard without any fear.

    Let’s see the impact of SUPPRESSING HONESTY when applied to Lemlem’s views and Haile’s summary of lives in Eritrea:

    1) A hungry Eritrean outside Eritrea: are you hungry? Replies YES.
    2) A starved Eritrean inside Eritrea: are you hungry? Replies NO.

    We don’t have two types of human beings with different brains, one functioning and the other dead. The two stomachs are alerted of the emptiness of the stomach, but one is suppressed to deny being alerted to the emptiness of the stomach. Is it possible? Only in Shabia Land.

    If the “tent participation” is going be held in Eritrea, honesty should first be un-suppressed by snatching it back from the few Higdefites as the Athenians did when they first found the word “democracy.” The Athenians coined “Demos Kratia” a call for say: a tent, where to express their desire or what they wanted, through direct participation in framing laws that affect their lives and not simply impose those laws on them. Their “Demos Kratia” became a birth place for the word “Democracy” of today.

    • Beyan Negash

      I was thinking along the same lines in relation to the “tent participation.” Here is my take. Research related topic is in the West is rather interestingly massive in scope and magnitude. Conducting any sort of research on a society that never had “census since 1949” is more daunting to even contemplate let alone come up with adequately fitting type of study to hypothesize, analyze, and build a consensus upon. But, if one were able to manage in conducting a study in one big tenkobot, confounding factors will be abound in demanding of the researcher to undertake an ex post facto research to explicate the reason behind the confounding factors and/or dependent or independent variables that may have made the study, at worst null and void, and at best skew it dramatically. So, the ex post facto may reveal the following:

      1.The tenkebot effect. For weddi metahit, this maybe the most comfortable ambience. Whereas for the modern Asmarino (as in weddi khetema) it may cause an undue distress because the conference lacked chairs, tables and utensils.

      2.For weddi Akhriya lack of dukka & member or menber (the mini chairs that range from two-to-four brick size high) may have the same effect, although in this case the tenkebot effect may not be that confounding, after all, who in Akhriya was not exposed to tenkebot, nonetheless, it would still somewhat skew the study.

      3.Some extraneous variable and anomalies to consider are, what is known in the West as the John Henry and the Hawthrone Effects, in Eritrean parlance, aka, the GY, YG, GG, SK, and ZL effect on the one end of the spectrum; and the AS, SY, SG, AH, ST, TE, and MA on the other.

      4.Venue based confounding factors such as, say, the state of Seraye that was willing to look the other way on the tenkebot effect, but would vehemently oppose that the tenkebot be made from Akeleguzay and that the waEla takes place in the state of Hamasien. And the state of Seraye that prides itself in the long tradition of higgi endabba would confound and skew the results with shrewd legal maneuverings.

      5.So on and so forth

      • Beyan Negash

        Please note that I was “is” happy in the first sentence. But that is understandable: once an ESL student will forever make rudimentary ESL mistakes.

        • Salyounis

          Ahlen Beyan:

          I have passed your message to the space planners. If we give every attendee 12 square foot space (standard at most convention centers), you can bring your duka, menber, wenber (if you are amce), sigadet, or folding chair. Now about the location: if we assume 3 million Eritreans will attend (excluding the 2 who will boycott it: I did say it is an Eritrean meeting, right?), then what we have to plan for is a tent that is 1.3 square miles. (2.6 square kilometers for the rest of the world.)

          Now, where do we construct the tent? Lucky for us, Eritrea is the shape of a triangle and there is an easy formula for finding the center of triangles. All you need is the co-ordinates of the three vertices (Korora, Omhajjer,Assab) and to pick a mid-point for one side (Zalambessa) and you can find the co-ordinates of your center point. (Hayat and Haile can find that in 2 minutes.) Or, you can just eyeball it and know it is in Senhit 🙂

          As to the Hawthorne Effects, known in Eritrea as the “r’ayuley sm’Uley syndrome,” that is the beauty of waEla: they all neutralize each other because some dudes* we have never heard of will steal the show 🙂 Why do you think Isaias hasn’t let PFDJ have a congress in 19 years?


          *dude is now a gender-neutral word, at least in the US. Girls call each other “dude!”

      • Selam Beyan,

        Very interesting point! These are factors within the factors that dictate the politics of our nation. Some from many are pointed out in your comment. I see the ability to hypothesize and analyze the abstract socio-psychology of Eritrean society in you, as demonstrated in this short reflection. Could you please tackle the politico-psychology of Eritrean society as exhibited in our daily interactions..a subject that has a great influence in the dynamics of Eritrean politics. Your input will be appreciated.


        • Beyan Negash

          merHaba Sal & Amanuel:

          Sal, now that was a fair way of arriving at the venue – I like the “eye-balling” part – without any fanfare. I think the most efficient way to study Eritreans is through qualitative method as opposed to quantitative. The former offers plenty of room for speculations, ambiguities, and the like, whereas the latter demands empiricism, hence precision & accuracy, which brings me to Aman’s generous note.

          The psycho and sociopolitical landscape of Eritrea is too complicated to explicate using only psychology and political science. All of the social sciences, I am afraid, must be dislodged simultaneously to make any headway on Eritrean endeavors. But, suffice it to mention that Aman, you mistook my layman’s perspective to abilities and schema. The latter requires training to which I am inadequately equipped. As to the former you may have erroneously attributed a possession of schema when all what it is is just having some semblance of sensibility of some organic knowledge and the worldview that I may purport , which is a far cry from what you have in mind.

          The field I have a little knowledge about, Anthropology, for example, resorts to some specific tools of trade to understand the remotest parts of the world through myriad training received in the field by conducting field notes; therefore, ethnography, etic, and emic are their schemata that help shape their perception of the communities they study.

          Similarly, political scientists have their own schemes they use to understand the world and its political arrangements; the tools at political scientists disposal range from deep understanding of exercising political power, to system of governance; from civic responsibilities to political behaviors; from public service to election and body politicking. In psychology, as you alluded to it in one of your notes today, behaviorism (as in Pavlov experiment) will provide certain understanding of human behavior based on an experiment done on dogs; ego & superego (as in Freud’s assertions) can help us understand our behavioral tendencies on many different settings, so on and so forth.

          Consider for example Girmay Yebio’s recent historical account that was posted on Now, granted the man had done extensive research if the 27 citations he references are to be used as a guide. However, the transgression of historical context, the abuse of primary sources and secondary sources are so egregious to lend the work any credence. This is where organic knowledge maybe mistaken for having schemata. But, when writing historical narrative one is bound by certain principles, principles that make demands of the writer to offer historical context as to make effective use of the data and information collected. The distinction between a rookie and a professional is that the former divulges all of the information he gathers while the latter is able to sift through knows exactly what to dislodge and what to dispose. Girmay Yebio’s article suffers greatly from such distinguishing incapability.

          Here is a simple example that illustrates my point clearly. It took me no more than five minutes, by the way, thanks to Google to find the following information:
          “the US Ambassador to the UN, John Foster Dulles, said, “From the point of view of justice, the opinions of the Eritrean people must receive consideration. Nevertheless the strategic interest of the United States in the Red Sea basin and the considerations of security and world peace make it necessary that the country has to be linked with our ally Ethiopia.” The Ambassador’s word choice, along with the estimation of the British Ambassador in Addis Ababa, makes quite clear the fact that the Eritrea aspiration was for Independence.”

          The omission of such crucial information from Girmay Yebio’s article speaks volumes that the paper lacks integrity; his propagandistic piece attempting to pass as historical article. Ironically, Girmay Yebio accuses scholars of ghedli era of the propaganda machinery while his suffers from the same malady. Aman, I hope you see my point.


          • Saleh “Gadi” Johar

            I would have been disappointed if you were looking for integrity in Girmay Yebio’s piece. Some people think that stuffing a piece of paper with references is enough to pass their “propagandistic piece.” I laughed my head off when I read his claim (some of which supported by what he considers references) that Idris Mohammed Adem was the chief of the ELF from the death of Awate until Ahmed Nasser was elected in 1975. He had no idea of the Supreme council, the regional divisions and mainly, that Idris Mohammed Adem was elected in 1971 and served only for four years. 1969-1971, the head of the ELF was the late Mohammed Abdu (AlQiyada AlAmma, how could he not know that when Isayas publicized that leadership so much it became the second name of the ELF) Then, even 1971 to 1975, the man in charge in the field was actually Herui T. Bairu who was Idris Mohammed Adem’s deputy. I am not providing any references because the references are out there alive.

            If one was writing about issues of the 19 century, maybe he can hope to get his Andenetist propaganda through, but he is so bold he lies about recent history. And then he thinks a few lousy references will lend him credibility. Now, I have to wash my handa Beyan, I feel dirty typing about the filth of Girmay Yebio.

          • Merhaba Beyan,

            Still my eye ball is at you. You are right all branches of social sciences must be dislodged to see it holistically as you have indicated. What I mean in my earlier note is, that particular discipline of knowledge (politico-psychology) is not dealt in our situation if not in deep researched study in temporal studies something related studies to zoom it as mirror image into the chatter box and interactions of Eritrean politics. As a matter of fact your back ground..anthropology will help you how to handle the subject. My friend you have the elements and schema to do it with a disclaimer: Relational approach from studies of others. After all you can’t make ground studies in the nature of the regime we have. Just exercise your stylish approach as a writer.

            Amanuel H.

        • Beyan Negash

          Please disregard the first submission – it duplicated the same post.

          Selamat Aman H. & Saleh G.,

          I didn’t realize I had touched a raw nerve in you Saleh – your reaction to my note in reference to Girmay Yebio’s article was swiftly decisive and dismissively antagonistic. I was trying to elucidate a point to Aman how not only we will need all of the social sciences to begin to make a dent in the Eritrean psyche, but also that we need to be well versed in them if any articulation is going to be had, articulation that could help us ascertain our shortcomings. And, Aman tends to have more confidence in me than I do in myself.

          That said, I would like to leave this conversation with the following thought as extracted from Brookfield (1988, 1995, I forget which book), but the gist of it is that when it comes to reflection there are four processes embedded before one can claim any invocation of becoming critically reflective:

          (1) “assumption analysis” – the cultural practices we uphold, the belief system that has been instilled in us along with the value system we cherish, and the social structure that dictates how we are supposed to act and behave illustrate the extent and the depth of our rootedness to the society from which we hail;

          (2) “contextual awareness” – this begins to nudge and somewhat disturb the assumption analysis when juxtaposed because our historical, cultural and personal contexts are riding on it, which leads us to;

          (3) “imaginative speculation” – The clash between (1) and (2) from within us creates an impetus and opportunity for this imaginative speculation to fecund into new thinking territories we have never considered before, hence pushes us to think anew, which culminates to;

          (4) “reflective skepticism” – which is the ultimate high that takes us to the uncharted territories of questioning anything under the sun within the subject matter that we find ourselves involved in.

          I bring the above important point to say this: that no matter how outlandish an idea, I think we should have an open mind to at least listen, carefully read, and attentively watch at what the other person is trying to convey. President Obama’s latest speech on Trayvon Martin’s case illustrates and captures in all its essences in what was alluded to above. Here is the link:


          P.S. Aman, I hope this halts the “eyeballing” in its tracks.

          • Saleh “Gadi” Johar

            I was not antagonistic to you at all…maybe you need to cool down 🙂
            My comment was about the declared neo-Andenet. Not at you. You see Beyan, I cannot stand neo-Andenet and I will always be antagonistic towards them. Also, I do not want to open my mind for that sort of assault because I do not believe in an always-open mind, without ShegaT, for the sake of just being perceived open minded. You just reminded me of his ignorance of history and his forgery. I don’t know what made you think you touched any nerves at all.

          • Beyan Negash

            Saleh ya Habib al ShaEb:

            Somce clarification is in order here. I didn’t communicate my intentions well. The reference of antagonism I knew was not directed toward me, and I meant it toward GY as you intended it. I guess, I am one of those eternally optimistic (or some may call it naïve) who believes in making every effort to show the shortcomings before putting a lock on it, to borrow your term ShegaT.


  • DIA is wrong

    Tnx sal , brain storm of urs is always great, and I second it,. sorry 4 the abrevations I use.
    We joined the field not to lead , we joined it coz as young as we were then , nationalist drive , leaving our higher studies in the university, which I never ever regret NOw, coz Ertra is FREE.
    I am alive, after serving 8 yrs in the field. But PIA DIA is wrong, wrong 2 hell. Yes wrong 99.99%. We did it collectively , Isayas zemituna, and is He is wrong, I die Isayas die as well one day. But history is 2 refer Isayas wrong. Yes He Is wrong If HE was a revo.. like me and my peers.

  • Selam Saly.

    In your closing statements, you stated :

    …work obsessively to organize Eritreans in the Diaspora and link them to Eritreans in Eritrea. That is: 3 smaller, well-organized groups are better than 1 large dysfunctional organization. Most importantly: if we assume that people are intelligent and make rational decisions—we will work hard to show them that supporting us is, in the longer run, the rational decision..

    If one makes a rational decision based on a cost-benefit analysis, one may also choose not to join an organization or a political party provided that one can get the benefits gained by the effort of an organization freely – (the free rider mentality). In such a situation, why would one bother to join a political party or an organization if he or she can get all the benefits freely? In addition, if every rational person in an organization or political party makes a similar rational decision (getting something for nothing), there will be no organization to speak of. So, what are you thoughts on these seemingly paradoxical view points?

    The rational decision theory, on the other hand, seems to work in the world of PFDJ. For example, you join the PFDJ, the only political party, only if you either pay your dues (2% Mehizeni gibri) or serve the political party freely and indefinitely. The rational decision to join PFDJ in this case could therefore be, among other things, to enrich yourself and your families. In this case, the free rider mentality is avoided because you have to give one thing to receive another.

    • Salyounis

      Selamat Dawit and Mereb (from post below):

      First, there is a reason that rational choice theory remains a theory–it has not been proven. Second, it has many critics including, you will be happy to know Mereb, people who say that psychology (including Maslow’s hierarchy) does a better job at explaining human motivation than cost-benefit analysis, including philosophers like Carl Popper (the PFDJ’s favorite philosopher)who say that people’s culture, history are better clues (Sabri’s point.)

      Third, Dawit’s observation about free-rider problem is a valid one–but it is something we will always have if we choose to live as free people and agree to the principle of freedom of assembly. This is why I say organizing FREE people is hard (somebody here equated it with herding cats, which is apt, since cats* are very independent animals.) The theory is that when you create a free society, there will be a distribution of passions, interests, aptitudes and we will leave the politicking to those who have an intense passion/aptitude for it. Until then, it is obsessive, hard work which few of us are capable of–and fewer still of us praise those who do the hard work. It is the one group of people that terrify the PFDJ which is why they go after opposition organizers with all guns blazing (literally, if it is in Sudan.) In fact, two of the longest-held prisoners in Eritrea (if they are still alive) are ELF-RC members who were celebrated for their organizational prowess. They were kidnapped from Ethiopia in 1992, I think.

      All solutions proposed to eliminate the free-rider problem are the heavy-hand of the government: one where the mmHdar zoba orders women (under threat of penalty) to attend national celebrations to celebrate their freedom. No free rider problem there, but no freedom either.


      *In “I sing of cats,” KC McIntosh has an amazing comparison between dogs and cats. A dog, he says, is a “flatterer, a worshipper of authority, a dependent, a clinging vine.” You can start and finish an entire book, with a cat on your lap; a dog requires so much attention and praise, you couldn’t make it past page 3. But he is an obedient, noisy thing, isn’t he 🙂

  • Haqi

    I know every one is telling you how great you are but I have one question before I join aya gadi and others. Seb Dika hgdef?

    • lol @ seb dika HGDF.

      You remind me of this saying: ” Nisika dika zimetka walas Hawika”? 😉

  • Zegeremo


    Spot on! 🙂 Your debating skill and your passion for the topics are overwhelming.

    Keep up the good work!

  • Mereb

    Saleh, I think the theory of rational choice is a little misplaced in the Eritrean case, because of the political disfunctionality that trumps everything as there is no freedom to speak of to make free choices to maximize personal interests by weighing the costs and benefits. IMO, The natural self interests of the people are internalized for so long and out of fear of the dictator’s brutal methods of suppression it is deformed beyond recognition.Moreover, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs probably better describes the divide of needs between the diaspora and the people in Eritrea. The dictator’s interest is to make sure the need of the people stays at the lowest level– the so called physiological needs: food, water, breathing outside a prison cell, on and off supply of electricity,etc..and he makes sure the people are always busy thinking about these needs like bread queues and not to be danger to his rule. Most of the diaspora are beyond the basic needs and can be anywhere from safety to self actualization. The question is how do we close the gap between diaspora needs and the people in Eritrea. Regardless what theory of economics, management, psychology we use — that is the 64 thousand question!

  • Kim Hanna

    Mr. SAAY,

    Sir, I think you are engaging in a fluffy illustration to turn lights on something.

    I must insist, however, you pay attention to a small detail. Small detail becomes huge in no time, if argumentative individuals or groups pick it up. I am sure you consider it minor or insignificant. To me it is big. I am not even argumentative.

    I want to object bringing in Ethiopia into this blue print of Rational Choice Tent.
    I don’t think you have forgotten it so soon that Green, Yellow, Red spells Ethiopia. Don’t even try to deny it.

    When discussion begins and the flashes go off, conspiracy accusation of Ethiopia is the only outcome.

    Who, When and How people react as they are approaching the tent in the evening, flashing………

    You got to be careful.


    • Salyounis

      Selamat Kim:

      Arengwade, Bicha, Qey! Must be some subliminal cry for Emama Ethiopia to help us 🙂 Somebody is going to have a field day with this. Our flag (the one PFDJ told us it is our flag on a sunny Friday* ) is green, yellow and red too. They just added the blue (for Red Sea) to say we are just Ethiopia with a shoreline 🙂

      And I thought I was just using universal traffic light symbols (go, caution, stop). Actually, in project management, green is the sign for go. (All green.)

      Your objection is duly noted but the exercise was designed to pre-empt the argument that we have high illiteracy rates and we can’t vote. (Except during the referendum when our literacy rate magically spiked up, then declined.)


      * May 28, 1993, when Eritrea joined the UN. In typical EPLF/PFDJ style of using a “it’s good enough” standard, the Eritrean community in Washington, DC was finalizing the details of our colors (how red is red, how blue is blue…) on the date our flag was raised at the UN. Ahmed Haj Ali, now in jail (where else) was our representative to the UN then.

  • Kassahun Checole

    Dear Lemlem:

    I always appreciate your strong support for the GOE. It is a rational choice. A right that should be respected. But when you insult a whole set of people in Idaga Arbi as “…all Agame riff raffs.” you cross a line beyond civil discourse.

    My comrades, my friends, my neighbors from Idaga Arbi, fought, bled and died for Eritrea’s independence as much as the tegedelti from Akreya and Arbat Asmera did. Their numbers are in the thousands, and I know many of them personally. Please don’t insult their heroism.

    While I am at it, I just want to mention to you that the history books that I have read inform me that the “Agame” are an upright, hardworking, civilized people. I for one, would not mind being counted as one of them. Please don’t let your emotions rule over your rational being.

    [From moderator: Great to have you, Kassahun Checole; we are honored. We apologize for allowing Lemlem’s hate speech to get through; it was a case of MAAS (moderator asleep at the switch.) Our guess is that Lemlem just heard it at one of the hgdef forums and is just repeating it.]

    • Lemlem

      Apologies Mr. Kassahun. The Moderator is correct actually. I have never been to Idaga Arbi. I am just going by what people have told me. It is also true that there may be some Tigrayans reared in Eritrea who joined the liberation fronts (ELF & EPLF) and fought for Eritrea’s independence.

      So I’m sorry if I touched a raw nerve. But understand that because Eritreans are mad at Weyane Tigray’s refusal to demarcate the border and withdraw from sovereign Eritrean territories (owing to its servitude to and support from the United States) don’t be surprised if old prejudices, hurtful as they may be, resurface from time to time.

      If you care about these things, then Mr. Kassahun lobby for the border to be demarcated and for EEBC’s decision to be translated on the ground in its entirety. I don’t see doing any of those things though.

      • rodab

        Since you asked us last week to watch EriTV for the 26th round Sawa graduation, could you tell me what was so special about the 26th zurya graduation that the regime decided to deliver a live speech thru its leader?
        As far as I know, rarely does PIA deliver Sawa graduation speeches, and rarely does the state media live-brodcast it with such fanfare. So what am I a missing here sister?

    • L.T

      And now,Don’t mix Lemlem with HGDEF.

  • Tamrat Tamrat

    Rational Choice in practice:

    1) though the dictatorship is devastating the majority, eritreans, eri refugees are enjoying the result in the western country. (residence permission is easy for eris)

    2) The 2% taxation is incrasing by each year so the remettance Direct and indirectly to Eritrea is increasing tremendiously.

    3) The summer home visit to Eritrea specially Asmara is both economically and entertaiment wise is the biggest activities.

    4) Every boody is waiting another boody to sacrifice so no boody is dying at least due to war.

    5) Eritreans break un embargo ie though un boycott Eritrea, eritrans go all over the world and they do what ever they want With their many as any free Citizen does.

  • asmara

    Moderator – Ishi Goitay, Pick a nick for me. Go ahead and knock yourself out.

    This message it intended to : Haile,

    You seem to be drifting in the wrong direction. The thing you started as a way to please some people, or to belong to certain groups – by throwing a bone here and there (to people, like as the Hidrat Dude, the sirays. Lord have mercy!) is now escalating and the uselessness and emptiness is rubbing on to you as well.
    You are damn right the majority of Eritreans love their country and their people and everything starts from that. Meaning anyone who does good or any one whose intent is to do good for Eritrea is hagerawi and have the blessing of the Eritrean people. Meaning, the Eritrean people clearly know the intent of the Eritrean government and are on its side by choice. That doesn’t mean everything is right. That in turn doesn’t mean – they are going to stand with good for nothing idiots, who call themselves opposition, activists and what not – who have never had Eritrean interest at heart. So you see, ato Haile – you are talking about modifying the opposition. But the Eritrean people are telling you, “No thank you. You did not give us a shit of a reason why we should be against our government. You did not give us a shit of a reason why we should invest on you instead of working to modify and improve our government. Yes, we want our government to lead us towards where we want to go. Yes we want our government to change things and be a leader towards propelling Eritrea towards change and democracy. Sure that is what we want. But – that never means I will invest on the broken souls who call themselves opposition but do not seem to know what the definition of opposition is.
    You see, all of you here are riding high as if getting rid of the Eritrean government is something the Eritrean people want – and you jump to what fools (So called opposition) should and should not do. If I am to invest to modify something – I will invest on the Eritrean government than on a bunch of good for nothing anti- Eritrean elements.
    You see, it is like you are telling the Eritrean people to rally along and in support of all the incurable diseases such as HIV, Cancer, and Sinus etc.(Unionists, Woyanie sabordinates, regionalists, religious fanatics, Anatsu Woyanies etc) to get rid of the Common Cold (The Eritrean government)
    What a crock

    • Sealam Asmara,

      If it isn’t cognitive decline as I see you from your comment, you are dancing in the awatistas forum with a new dress “asmara” and you might also dance with your real name at Dehai or shabiet. Am I right Asmara? where is the courage of acting who you are and saying what you believe? Second look how our forum is inclusive comparing to the forum of the regime. That in itself shows how your cognitive impulse is declined.

    • haile

      Selam asmara,

      Your disapproval of the nature of the current opposition shouldn’t be reason enough for you to support a regime that is dead beat and has no chance in hell of making it out alive.

      The majority of Eritreans are opposition to the regime and their grievances as well as fundamental interests are not reflected by the current vocal opposition organizations. So, try to deal with the Eritrean situation vis-a-vis the desmal regime. You are not obliged to analyze matters through the lens of your judgement as regards the integrity and character of the groups you have issues with.

      The Ethiopia Eritrea border issue is legally settled and all there is to it is for Ethiopia to leave occupied territories for resumption of normal relationship.

      The Eritrean regime will not survive very long after that as it is rejected beyond redemption by Eritreans and the world.

      If you are an Eritrean farmer commenting from the fields around Hazemo, I need to remind you that there is a proclamation prohibiting you from selling your produce in the market.

      If you are an Eritrean business entrepreneur commenting from the side cafes of Asmara, I need to remind you that there is a proclamation prohibiting you from possessing foreign currency, obtaining business license or importing and exporting goods.

      If you are an Eritrean academic commenting from one of the Technical collages, you need to be aware that the government has removed your ability to work in collaboration with other Universities around the world independently.

      If you are an Eritrean high school student commenting from your school library in Asmara, I need to remind you that you shouldn’t think of your university courses because you will be told what to study for a qualification that has no international recognition.

      If you are an Eritrean Fisher man commenting from the coastal regions of Eritrea, I need to remind you that there is a proclamation that requires you to hand over your catch to the government and not attempt to sell it in the market.

      If you are a driver in Eritrea, you need to be reminded that you can only purchase fuel from contraband vendors.

      If you are a patient in Eritrea and commenting from a hospital, be aware that your family may be required to purchase contraband fuel for the hospital generator to perform your urgently needed operations.

      If you are a family person in Eritrea, be aware that you have safe place to store a government issued gun in your home, else the kids may shoot each other thinking it is safe to do.

      If you are a medical doctor in Eritrea, make sure you know that you have wardia (night patrol) duty armed with Kalashnikov. So organize your research times.

      If you are national service discharge in Eritrea, make sure to report to your local zoba mimhdar, to pick up a gun and do duties of guarding banks and other government offices.

      If you are a young Eritrean thinking of travelling abroad, there is a proclamation prohibiting you from doing so. Try your luck…you know where.

      Ration food, intermittent electricity, little or no water supply, no right to seek employment or be self employed….

      Refugee camps, human trafficking, high seas tragedy….you name it.

      Asmara, you think the regime will be fixed and things will be better. I beg to differ.


      • Saleh “Gadi” Johar

        Dear Haile,
        Though me and you cannot meet eye-to-eye on a few things (your non-stop bashing of the opposition without a qualifier, myself included) I like the way you put your points and your debating style (not to mention you researching drive that I envy).

        Now, by the power bestowed on my by the Awate Team, I kindly ask you to expand on the list so that we can publish it on the frontpage (try to make it at least 1200 words.) If you do not comply with this request, your posting privileges might be withdrawn for an hour:-)

      • Hailat,

        Let me start with Hallelujah. A remarkable argument not only in the substance of it but also in the way you packaged it. Ball pointed easy for the public to discern it. An amazing pictorial image of livelihood of our people. In a nutshell superb. Let me join saleh Gadi (n’wudue neger) to, please expand this precise summary reality of our people into a piece.Wow, finally you hit the home run.

      • Kokhob Selam


        wow, “The Eritrean regime will not survive very long after that as it is rejected beyond redemption by Eritreans and the world.”

        go a head put an article please.

      • Araya

        Haile, may be we should follow the visonary, moral leader and democratic leader melles zenawi? I think there is a good reason for things the way they are.
        Haile, do you have another way to get off from the Aid addiction Africans are suffering from? to blame is easy but to think is hard.

        • Araya,

          South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, name them, all have reached the development they have with the aid of the west. The question is how to utilize the aid to the intended projects without corruption. The problem of the African countries is not the aid…it is the corruption that kept them where they are. So what we have to focus on how transparency and accountability will work within the institutionalize government. If it worked in the Asian countries it will work in Africa if we create a mechanism to fight corruption… about that? Don’t go back to your usual uncontained reaction. cheers!!!

      • asmara


        May be you did not see this part or maybe you already have that comment above already in file. All ready and set to please. But this is the core thing in my comment above:
        “…You are damn right the majority of Eritreans love their country and their people and everything starts from that. Meaning anyone who does good or any one whose intent is to do good for Eritrea is hagerawi and have the blessing of the Eritrean people. Meaning, the Eritrean people clearly know the intent of the Eritrean government and are on its side by choice. …..”

        From our previous correspondence on another thread, I pointed out to you that you are not the only one who travels to Eritrea. Meaning some of the dramas you display here might not fly with some of us who have a very close attachment to our country. Actually some of us are inside Eritrea. Meaning, you might say things that could please those who has never set foot on Eritrean soil for more than 30 years, but still open their mouth wide claiming to be advocates of any suffering they claim the Eritrean people are going through.
        Oh, by the way let me also congratulate you for lowering yourself to useless bunches “gora”. Actually my comment above mentioned your decline.
        Now, you are claiming HGDF is dead; it has no support of the Eritrean people and what now. But with all due respect, that was what the people you call opposition been saying for the last twenty something years. So what new are you bringing to the table?
        Oh, by the way did you just tell us Ethiopia’s sitting on our land and the continuous regime change drum is nothing? Did you just tell us
        “ IZIA SUK ILA IA, ADIA IA MOSTATA, BIRA KAISETENA MESIU INDO GIDAY”…kind of thing. This is what you said:
        “…The Ethiopia Eritrea border issue is legally settled and all there is to it is for Ethiopia to leave occupied territories for resumption of normal relationship…..”
        Nice. See, if it was not for the border issue and all the miseries which can be traced back and identified as “effect as a result of” – that you people try to use against the Eritrean government – the Eritrean government would have been flying high and above. Meaning, had the Eritrean government been like your ordinary selfish government, the easy was out and beneficial for them (As a regime or as a party) would have been to just let it go and would not care for the sovereignty of Eritrea. If you think about it that is exactly what the Woyanie is counting on “The Patriotism of the Eritrean government – and not badging for any aggression – and the Eritrean people’s dedication not to let anyone crap on our soil. So, you guys – who call yourself opposition are actually the ones who seem to benefit from the border issue. Because you are selfish. Because you are weak. Because you don’t care for Eritrea. Simple.
        Now, do I care for the so called opposition. Nope. Do the Eritrean people care for the so called opposition. Nope
        Do the Eritrean people support their government – You damn right they do.
        So your fiction may please amanuel Hidrat. That is all.

        • Tamrat Tamrat

          You dont have to support the hgdf just because you are at odds With the oppositions. What are you going to do when Your goverment says the border issue is setteled now is upto ethiopia to leave the land. OPPs! the government has same stand at last like the opposition on the border issue. Who are you going to support now then?

          Now the smartest thing to do is leave the border dispute as it is as long as ethiopia do not wadge war (it could have done if Egypt would have sent a single general in the 25X1000 km squere free militarzone)and wait until the two countries are matured enough to deal it by negotiation.

          • asmara

            Dude, what on earth are you talking about?
            We are standing with our government by choice. We are standing along our government because we know it is just. We are standing with our government because we believe it is the government of the people. What part of that is confusing you?

            Again we don’t give a squat about your so called opposition. To the Eritrean people, you are just Woyanie subordinates or grudge driven lost causes.

            How about now? Did you get it?

        • haile


          I do frequently travel to Eritrea, especially since the last decade. Mind you, many many people do so too. My encouragement to people in the opposition to do so is so that they can calibrate their work in accordance to the real concern of the people in Eritrea.

          Obviously, we both travel and you come back appreciating the regime and I come back appreciating the people. In fact, you can’t help but despise the regime (so that you are under no illusion as to my views on the matter).

          The only way I can see the regime flying without the border issue is that of being kicked out of the country for the useless parasite that it is. You were never to be seen when I defend what I believe is Eritrea’s legal and moral right to have its boundary be finally demarcated (mere emplacement of pillars, as the boundary is officially delimited and duly recognized). This I believe would allow as to see the regime in full view for what it is worth.

          The regime can’t stand to see a single Eritrean standing with dignity. It has impoverished a hugely resourceful people with tremendous natural and geographical assets. This is a regime that is an embarrassment in every sense of the word.

          Do you know that airliner companies in serving the nation are stuck with nonconvertible currency? They have so much nakfa in the bank that they don’t know what to do with. It has the “Public Purpose” clause in its investment proclamation that allows it to expropriate without compensation. The Intercontinental Hotel Corporation’s management contract was taken over under such scheming and later re-opened as party owned. Since you are frequent visitor to the country, you know that one can’t fix the roof of their house in Asmara without permission that is not available now. And the border demarcation would allow people to work on fixing their homes!

          Asmara, I can understand your support of the regime if you are part of it, otherwise it is bewildering. If you are not part of it, then you remind me of an abused wife that I saw in a TV talk show. Her husband was cruel to her, he had broken most of her teeth, disfigured her face, filled here skin with cigarette burns and psychologically abused here. She said she couldn’t leave him because despite all that she still loved him!!

          If you are in Eritrea, you know how the people are hopelessly demoralized and have to work while draft dodging. You know they get picked up from their work places and later get released after ransom/gubo payment. You know they could have worked for themselves and defended the nation too. But no, they have to be humiliated by the despicable regime. The Eritrean people know all this, but especially to those in the diaspora, the assurances of the preservation of the nation is paramount. And hence they tolerate the regime.

          It is common for a father and an older son to attend Ta’Elim together, and for the son to witness his father being humiliated by a 20 year old a’lamay (trainer) as his father is being called dirbay! (garbage). Tell me the Eritrean people support this regime..what a joke. And you think the regime is maintaining moral in the event of a conflict…what a farce.

          I hope you read the recent visit of Italian refugee centers by the Pop. Also, you read that some 48hrs ago 217 Eritreans were among 350 boat migrants rescued by the Italian coastguard. Just imagine that the high profile the issue is attracting and how it could easily bring the regime into collision course with the powers to be.

          In a wildest imagined case, imagine that there had been a horrific tragedy with those people, and coincided with the intl. attention that was on the area with the Pop’s visit, if a shocking image was of a tragedy was to be released. Imagine now the US decides to be seen as doing something and orders the Eritrean regime to meet X Y Z demands with in 48 hrs else for IA to leave immediately. While the clock is ticking, both the US Africa command and Pacific command moves into position along the Red Sea coast, ready to commence action at a moment’s notice. How would it turnout for the regime that squandered so much opportunity in order to defend the nation? …never mind, it is only imagined scenario but goes to show you that the regime can stumble onto its fate with such a simple case of big powers trying to send a message that they are responsive to human sufferings. That was the call of the Pop by the way when he criticized the “globalized indifference” towards the refugee crisis.

          Please think long term, the regime will never change and is past its time to do so. I have no intention of pleasing no one, and I am not going to start with a useless group of people who are gambling my country away. Be Eritrean first, then choose who to support after that. It is possible to stand for Eritrea’s territorial integrity and reject the regime at the same time. The regime has exposed us to far deeper worries and tragedies and we can do far better than it in defending, building and democratizing it. We just want it to hand over the keys now, it has done enough damage.

          • haile


            I can’t help but dispise…
            add end vowel “e” Pope

            others fix as you go, I don’t use “saved file ready to please” just debate what I hold to be true…(ready to be corrected if shown evidence otherwise:)

          • asmara

            [From moderator: asmara, all you comments are ending up in our Spam. This usually happens when people type their comments on Word and copy/paste here.]

            First of all let me express my sadness to see your writing skill, the normally well-structured and well organized and to the point kind of comments you used to write here seem to kind of fade away at this moment. Now you are kind of degenerating to the level of complainers, haters and defamers. I don’t think you can possibly lose your skill and intelligence in a matter of days. The only reason for the decline can only be because you just lost your course and seem to be accelerating to dreamers and good for nothing peoples’ world. Not that your stand before was necessarily accurate, rather you were holding your ground firmly. Now I am not sure. You seem to be destined to the mud. (*SAAY, on the other hand seems to be doing some efforts to escape from the mud.) Just an observation, take it or leave it.
            Before I address the things you said in your comments let me put here what I and most of the country and God loving Eritreans stand by (I have said this in all of my comments on this and other threads, but apparently you have missed it. I would not blame you for that, as I can imagine what it would be like to juggle from one thread to the other from one comment to the other day in day out, here on this forum alone. I would not want to be you. You must get extremely brain exhausted at the end of the day. You have your other real life to live too, on top of that – work, study kids and what not. Like I said I would not be you. Kind of friendly advice though, be careful, lest you will get burned out).
            The Eritrean people are God fearing, country loving fair, just and intelligent people. They base their thinking and gouge their choice based, solely on Eritrea and the Eritrean people. They don’t base their thinking based on government, junta, or group. You got to love them for that. Everything revolves around country, people and of course God. If they believe you are standing for Eritrea and the Eritrean people, even if it is just and INTENT – they would give you a chance. On the other hand, if you are fake, pretentious, lier, and above all if you stand, even slightly against the well-being of the hard –earned nation of ours, then they will not give you the time of the day. It is that simple. If you are Eritrea, and if you go to Eritrea frequently as you claim to, then you will not miss that.
            Keeping that formula in mind, and the fact that the Eritrean people were, and still are, and gouging from the fact, will be in the future, on the Side of their Government – tells you that the Eritrean people must have seen something good in the current Government. They gave the government their support and shield by CHOISE. If anyone is telling you otherwise, he must not have any clue about Eritrea or the Eritrean people, or he has a LOW REGARD FOR THE INTELIGENCE OF THE ERITREAN PEOPLE.
            I will get back to your comment above shortly, for now this a pre-

    • haile

      Selamat all,


      I am not going to link saay’s “A man has got to know his limits” video, because you gonna link me back my link back video to saay “That’s why you fail!” 🙂

      Anyways, I am grateful and God willing.


      Trust me sir, I share your concerns and would address them soon separately. For now, please avoid jumping the gun a little too soon. I would like to tell you that You, Me and Eritreans in general ARE NOT POOR. Who told you that you were poor? And most importantly, why?

      Can you make your way out of poverty by denying people the right to work? By taking away their pride and exposing them to great calamities?

      As I said, I will address yours and many people’s fears soon. For now, here is a song:


  • Selam Saleh,

    Romedan kereem…though belated.

    You highlighted the logical sequence how the current struggle should be approached….all the question, the what, the why, the how. I can.t agree more up to that point. Here where our divergence comes, and that is on the issue of “unity.” May be our perspective on the essence of unity is different. But I believe the way how we defer our unity I believe is always become a setback to our struggle back then and now. So let me edit and finalize my pending article to impart my perspective. Good effort and good reading.

    • Salyounis

      Selamat Amanuel:

      Can’t wait for your perspective. Do factor in, please, how the “unity” we had in Ghedli was imposed by our vanguards who passed a fiat that “the Eritrean field cannot accommodate more than one front”(ELF) or we are “the sole representatives of the Eritrean people and the only legal spokesmen on all issues concerning the Eritrean people’s struggle.” (EPLF)


      • WelWel

        Tsama yihabka Tsewamay, Sambusa gn aytebzih :-D. I disagree with the notion that we should not force all opposition groups under one tent. Nobody is telling them to reject their core beliefs. But one important principle all of them should have is DEMOCRACY. If we had a constitution in place and all other legal and electoral institutions in place, it would not be a problem to have a hundred parties. What the opposition parties are doing now is power mongering, to make a run to get power first and dictate the terms of our future DEMOCRACY. We are not even sure if they care about Eritrea’s national security? Will they become a puppet government?

        A united opposition is needed to define the rules of the game. Which constitution to use? How long time do we need as a transitional period? Unity is a must for the opposition to use its resources efficiently and nothing attracts the Eritrean people as much as HADNET.

  • Sabri

    Selam Saleh,

    If I’m allowed to squeeze your article narrowly what you want to say is we need organized opposition which respond to the demand of Eritreans in Eritrea, right?  I think it is obvious people at home want good service and expect the government provide electricity, water and other necessary commodities. What it is not obvious is how. Do people at home want to see change of government? Or reform? What is their view about the diaspora opposition? It is difficult to know under the current situation. That means it is difficult to know what the real demand of the people. If we don’t know exactly what people want, it become difficult to set up an opposition based upon the demand of the people. 

    My question to you is how and in which way are you thinking the opposition can be organized inorder to respond the demand of the people at home?


    • Salyounis

      Selamat Sabri:

      Here’s what I was trying to say:

      1. The reason Eritrea is governed by an authoritarian regime is because Eritreans, individually, made a rational choice. This is not to be confused with “they asked for it.” It means that given a series of bad choices, they made a decision that, in the aggregate, resulted in Eritrea becoming a totalitarian state whose youth is leaving it in droves. This mindset would relieve us from our obsession of demanding apologies from those who make (when the time is right for them) another rational decision to join our side.*

      2. It is difficult to conclusively state whether Eritreans want a change in government or a reformed government. Since people fear the unknown (Exhibit A: Obama’s 2nd Term, Exhibit B: George W Bush’s 2nd term), agents of change usually demand reform first–repeatedly, over and over. The emphasis is on how the life of the citizen should change, as opposed to who should be in charge of the change. It is the repeated message that (a) the government must make these changes; (b) the government hasn’t made these changes that will get the people to conclude that the government has to go.

      3. Being organized is the most important activity–it is also the hardest. Eritreans in Eritrea can’t organize in numbers greater than 7 without a permit; Eritreans have no political space in Sudan (due to Bashir’s BFF status with Isaias) and, in the Middle East (due to passport/visa/work permit requirements) and Saudi Arabia’s recent obsession with deportation. This leaves neighboring Ethiopia, Europe and North America. Ethiopia, because of the strong emotions it engenders from many of our compatriots, is a difficult choice. But it is geographically essential. When there is that kind of historic enmity, the who is important (only Nixon could go to China, according to American historians) and the what (EEBC ruling) is important. The thing is that we have both solutions within our grasp. We have the who, and we certainly have the what: how to use the EEBC ruling against the PFDJ.

      The most difficult challenge for us is not that; it is that when the “nationalist secular organizations” failed in adequately addressing the challenges of managing Eritrean diversity, a group of organizations with narrower focuses (religious, regional, ethnic) propped up and, by definition, their message for change is radical to an Eritrean who has been conditioned to accept that religious/regional/ethnic solutions are formulas for disintegration.


      * There are two extremes here. One side demands that the pre-condition to joining our side is to “demand forgiveness from the people.” This is something that the Fronts never required even from people who were enlisted with Ethiopia and burning down Eritrean huts. The other side makes such a huge deal about it, it reminds me of my favorite Saleh G story about how Middle Eastern sheikhs deal with religious conversions from foreigners. But I will let him tell that story:)

      • T. Kifle

        Dear SAAY

        As has been always the case, i found your article interesting and thought provoking.

        “The reason Eritrea is governed by an authoritarian regime is because Eritreans, individually, made a rational choice.”

        Even if one accepts in the narrower sense of the term “rational choice” as is implicated in your article, what is that they(the individual Eritreans who have made the choice) want in the end? More and more of authoritarianism? in the stated theory people still have to weigh the benefits and costs which entails freedom to reach to whatever choice they will have to make.

        The thing is temporally,violent revolutions have lost their essence and potential leaders could not emerge from the cold war mindset. As to me, the most likely solutions rest in time than anything else. Eritrea has to wait and wait that is.

        • Salyounis

          Selamat T.Kifle:


          Isn’t another way of answering “what is that they want in the end” by answering “what is it they do not want?” They do not want their children snatched to go to Sawa high school never to return; they do not want their country isolated from the world; they do not want to spend their days waiting in line to get essentials; they do not want to be scared half-to-death that war can start; they do not want to be permanently militarized; they do not want to wonder what happened to their disappeared loved ones; and they do not want their loved ones to be permanently exiled.

          They want to live the life of a poor, but hopeful, families: intact and at peace with their neighbors and the world, living off the fat of their meager land. Their rational decision to hope for that is because the government keeps promising that relief is just around the corner–“weyane abqiU iyu, the country is full of gold, the enemies are just about exhausted (Texabaeti Tefishom) and they are done…” Do you know that every year, in December when Kubur president gives his national address, it is always preceded by rumors that there will be grand amnesty for all the political prisoners? Meanwhile, the only political prisoners the government has EVER released was in the early 1990s–people who were arrested under the accusation that they were Derg agents.

          The people may not know the finer points of different ideologies but they can tell the difference between “good administration” and “bad administration” and the one they have now has never been this bad.


          • asmara


            You mean like the things you guys say, HGDF is done, every year for 22 years (may be more)?

            There are some other things the Eritrea people want to. They want Woyanie to get the hell out of Eritrea. They want their country to be protected as well. So unless you manage to come up with ways on how to secure that country of ours without the participation of its youth (May be hire mercenaries, perhaps. Well we have to think of paying them money too. So where the money is is coming…etc…the list is long).
            What do you say to people who say yes to sanctions, and at the same time accuse the Government for not protecting its borders when woyanie starts to dance on the border? What do you say to people who are running left and right to choke the governemt in everything it does, 2% mining and other stuff and only to get back and start barking the people are starving? What do you say to people who encourage people to desert and migrate from Eritrea, only to be the first to cry wolf when our youth fall in to harm’s way on their rout to no man’s land.
            What the Eritrean people want is for the anti- Eritrean Elements to give the Eritrea people and government a breathing space for them to work towards providing those basic things which are missing as a consequence of the atmosphere created.

      • Sabri

        Thank you for clarification, Saleh. Rational choice as its word entail sounds a good decision but you see it differently.

        Although the terrifying system of the authority have a role in silencing people, that alone doesn’t make people completely silent. I think  the main Sikfta of the people is: Eritrea currently is governed by those who make liberation reality. In this process every Eritrean family contributed by offering its young sons and daughters. Criticizing the government sometimes sees as denying the values of  siweat. Many choose to be reluctant. This type of thinking, although it has little to do with fact in reality, is deeply entrenched in the psyche of Eritreans. 

        Is it this type of choosing that you call rational choice?


        • Salyounis

          Selamat Sabri:

          The Deqna goodwill was in effect when the government was associated with a reputation for being hardworking, volunteer, no-pay team. It was around when they were telemeden: novices. I think that goodwill disappeared when a new, in your-face, corrupt species emerged kidnapping (gffa) kids in their teens and ended with them demonstrating that they lack basic administrative skills. They used to have a “brutally efficient” image; now they are just brutal.

          I think (I can’t prove it) that, on a collective level, the only thing that hgdef is playing is the Somalia card. The violence in Eritrea comes from one source (the government) and it is predictable. The Somalia card is: without us, the violent will be multi-sourced, more random, more intense, less predictable, less likely to stop once it starts. It is not a coincidence that all Eri-TV shows for international news is reels and reels of people dealing with tragedies. Then, of course, you have people who have materially and emotionally invested in the system.


          • Sabri

            Selamat Saleh,

            It is not the “deqina goodwill” I’m pointing out, rather it is the  Hidri siweatna discourse. This discourse is deeply entrenched in the psyche of Eritreans. It doesn’t necessarily based on rationality. The state, knowing this discourse, beating the drum of Tewererka. That is why I’m asking if your theory of rational choice is based on this premises. The big question is why are people choosing silence?

            all the best,

  • Lemlem

    I think the opposition is at its best when they quote philosophers and Nobel prize winners and what not. “Kisto Kemzi ilu neru. Ikele kemzi ilu neru.”

    As for organizing, unifying and motivating Eritreans…leave it to the PFDJ/EPLF/Government of Eritrea.

    From what I can tell, being in the opposition is like herding cats.

    I suggest the opposition sticks to what it does best: deal in theory, speak in lofty terms about the virtues of democracy, and quote long dead Western philosophers.

    PFDJ will stick to bread and butter issues.

    • asmara

      [from moderator: Asmara, Focus, Wey Gud, etc. Pick a name and stick to it. Until you do, just write “Dear Spam_trash Folder” because that’s where it’s headed.]

    • Salyounis

      Selamat Lemlem:

      You began with “I think the opposition is at its best when they quote philosophers” and ended with “PFDJ will stick to bread and butter issues.”

      Hmmm. I won’t quote a philosopher, just a writer, William F Buckley. He once said, “I’d rather entrust the government of the United States to the first 400 people listed in the Boston telephone directory than to the faculty of Harvard University.” Similarly, when you consider the fact that there is no electricity in Asmara, bread rations, oil rations, skyrocketing prices, no housing, people using Arebia for transportation, what I am telling you is that “I’d rather entrust the government of Eritrea to 100 random people I pick up from Bar Impero and Edaga Hamus than EPLF/PFDJ/Government of Eritrea.”

      all the best,


      • This is good one…..”trekbo de’a Nesekas”….well to the point.

      • Lemlem

        Dear Saleh:

        Very well! I must tell you though it’s a good bet that those 100 people you pick out randomly from Bar Impero or Idaga Hamus have never heard of the “opposition” and likely support EPLF/PFDJ/GoE.

        Furthermore, they would be shocked if told about how the opposition wines and dines with Weyane officials. They would probably pour hot cappuccino on your head and tell you to get out there quickly.

        Just don’t go to Idaga Arbi. It’s all Agame riff raffs. Or at least, it used to be.

        • Dear Lemelem,

          Can you start to learn how to respect to all stripes and colors human being. Human being is Human being in all shapes and forum. We ought to respect each other.

        • belay

          Can tell us,why you have such a srong hate towards us Agame people?
          I am very proud Agame from Adigrat.

      • asmara

        Ato SAAY,

        Can you clarify to us, now that you started dreaming/wishing for the Eritrean people all to come into your Dass (Correct me if I am wrong – but, by Eritrean people, you mean the whole Eritrean people and not those who call themselves opposition, right?) and discuss about Eritrea – why did not you dream bigger and include in that das your HGDF, President Issaya and the whole 99% Eritreans who see something good in their government, to come to the dass and discuss? Actually why don’t you wish or pray for the Eritrean government to come to the das and ask everyone to participate in his/her countries affairs and propel Eritrea to the highest? Why don’t you work and wish something good to happen for Eritrea, irrespective of who or what is goint to coordinate the das.
        Like I said, you guys are not quite there. You could not make yourself to include everyone now, when you (I mean you, as in the so called opposition) are nothing, how can anyone expect you to be inclusive if the Eritrean people are to give you the key.
        As for the nic – I don’t even remember when I used those listed. So, there is no issue there.

        • Salyounis

          Hey asmara:

          Ummm, I did have the HGDF in the Dass (remember the girl with the Isaias Afwerki t-shirt?)

          You are invited. It is just that whenever HGDF hear Dass, they don’t think of WaEla, they think of Gwyla and we are afraid you will be bored 🙂


          • asmara

            Here you go again,

            You could easily pass for a smart guy, but there is something missing there when it comes to Eritrea. I don’t think you miss the truth – your only problem is your unfounded grudge and hatred for the Eritrean government wouldn’t let you open your eyes. But compared to others who seem to infest these websites, well you are a bit closer to reality.
            As for the Das, I was being generous. Because I know your Dass is too tiny to accommodate the 99% Eritreans who are standing for Eritrea and yes those who are giving the Eritrean government their full support.
            It would have made a bit of sense had your wish been for the Eritrean Government to install that das and invite you losers in for a change, along with the whole Eritrean people – and all of us(Well, excluding those Woyanie ass kissers, that is) focus on Eritrea and the Eritrean people.

            Look, the Eritrean people are not stupid. They have a good reason for standing firm and alongside their government. And the only reason you guys can not touch, even a slight touch, the Eritrean government (HGDF to you) is because we, the Eritrean people are right there shielding it. By choice! Unless you get that you are simply useless. It is not HGDF or the Eritrean government who is holding you in check – it is us, the country loving Eritreans who are doing that. You need to get that. Meaning, you have to pass through us. It is really simple
            Common now SAAY, I would expect idiocy and “kifa” and Tenkol – from fools and unionists (The Hidrat Dude and co). But you are smarter than that and you can be somebody and extremely useful to Eritrea. Just focus on Eritrea and the Eritrean people – then we will call you hagerawi – well the Unionist will call you HGDF, but who cares – you don’t shuttle to and from Addis ababa for Kitffo – do you?

    • Dear Lemlem:

      Man cannot live with bread and butter alone.


  • L.T

    “Ezi Sebay”Isaias Yinberenal dea!!just forfet and ignore it civil right and advocacy group.Isaias is represented Eritrea by Eritreans and no one else.Isaias is nationalist and for them western he is undemocratic and for them if he is blood sickers,al-Qaeda are not mean.
    Isaias will go to be endless leadare in our heart.He inspire us to fugure out who is our enemay.the coup and revolt can’t get help and the final he won.He created Eritrea.