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Eritrea Hands The Djiboutian Soldier Over To Qatar – Gedab News: Over six-weeks after his arrest, and one week after the Arab League condemnation, the Eritrean regime handed the Djiboutian soldier it detained to the Qatari contingent which monitors the demilitarized zone between the two countries.

The soldier, Master Corporal Ahmed Abdullal Kamil, was detained from the demilitarized zone as he accompanied Qatari officers on the Eritrean side of the zone.

The Eritrean government neither explained nor admitted the detention of the soldier. Unofficial sources of the government, however, stated that the soldier was spying on Eritrea for the benefit of foreign entities.

Djibouti and Eritrea clashed over a border dispute in June 2008. On July 2010, based on the “Eritrea-Djibouti Mediation Agreement” a demilitarized zone was established in the border area monitored by a Qatari military contingent. Qatar brokered the deal.

While Djibouti released Eritrean POWs caught during the 2008 border clashes, Eritrea has yet to reciprocate. And since it detained the Djiboutian soldier over six weeks ago, several high level Qatari delegation, including one led by a senior Qatari military delegation headed by Colonel Nasser Abdella, had visited Asmara to persuade Isaias Afwerki’s regime to release the Djiboutian soldier to no avail.

Qatar had close relations with both countries but recently, the Qatari-Eritrean relations has deteriorated due to the reconfiguration of political alliances among the region’s countries.

After Qatari efforts failed to free its detained soldier, Djibouti threatened to walk away from the mediation agreement that was brokered by Qatar. It also indicated it will escalate its issue with Eritrea to the UN Security Council. As part of the escalation, it lodged a complaint to the Arab League which condemned Eritrea and asked it to “immediately hand over the detained soldier to Qatar.”

Gedab News learned that Djibouti has called for an Arab-African ministerial meeting to present its complaints against Eritrea on the sidelines of the UN meeting in New York due next week.

Ethiopia has been sending subtle messages to the Eritrean regime that it will come to the defense of Djibouti. In an interview with Anadolu News Agency, Prime Minister Hailemarian Desalegn of Ethiopia said, “as close friends to Djibouti, Ethiopia is ready to support Djibouti in any way that helps the stabilization of the region.”

Related Reading:

Isaias Arrives In Cairo To An Arab League Condemnation (Gedab News: Sept. 9, 2014)
Isaias Afwerki Hijacks Qatar Airways (Gedab News, Aug 14, 2014)
Eritrea Detains A Djiboutian Officer And Embarrasses Qatar/ (Gedab News, Aug 10, 2014
Eritrea Djibouti Mediation Agreement (Gedab News: Oct. 4, 2010)
Eritrean Strongman Asks Qatar To Mediate Dispute With Ethiopia (Gedab News: Dec. 13, 2012)
Djibouti and Isaias Afwerki’s Secret Visit To Qatar (Gedab News: April 1, 2013)
Isaias Resumes Pilgrimage To Qatar (Gedab News: March 2, 2014)
Qatari Forces Deployed On The Eritrean-Djibouti Border (Gedab News: June 2, 2010)
“Eritrea Has Lost 25-30 Soldiers” In Djibouti (Gedab News: June 17, 2008)


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  • Human Rights Concern – Eritrea

    Djibouti has not released any Eritrean Prisoners of War (POW) caught during the 2008 border clash. The 19 Eritrean POW have been detained in Negad detention center in Djibouti. Elsa Chyrum of Human Rights Concern- Eritrea visited the POW in March 2012 and October 2012. Herewith what HRCE wrote about their plight in July 2013:

    The following was written by
    HRCE in July 2013:

    Eritrea’s Prisoners of War –
    Detained, For how long?

    During the Eritrean –
    Djiboutian border conflict, that took place between 10 – 13 June
    2008, there were Prisoners of War (POW) from both sides. The 19
    Eritrean POW have been detained in Negad detention center in
    Djibouti. One of the POWs (pictured alone above) has developed mental
    health problems since. He is seriously ill, and does not receive any
    medical care.

    The Eritrean regime does not
    acknowledge that Djibouti has Eritrean POW, even though they have
    been there for over five years. Their presence has been
    repeatedly brought to the notice of the Eritrean government by the
    Djibouti authorities; and the International ICRC.

    Their situation is very worrying, with
    nothing to do during the day, no education, no employment, nothing to
    do basically. Just sitting and waiting to be liberated. For how

    Human Rights Concern Eritrea has
    repeatedly implored the Djiboutian government to release the POW, but
    they are unwilling to do so. They are keeping them in prison to
    exchange them with their own POW who have been detained incommunicado
    in Eritrea.

    The sad thing is while the
    Djiboutian are doing everything to get back their prisoners of war,
    the Eritrean POW have no government to ask about them.

    The Djiboutian government has also
    detained 250 Eritrean refugees for over four years in Nagad Detention
    Centre. These are mostly deserters from the enforced military
    conscription in Eritrea. However, because of the border dispute
    between Eritrea and Djibouti, and these refugees have military
    training, they are treated as security risks. They fled from the
    living hell of Eritrea to end up in another hell in Djibouti.

    What can we do to help our brothers?

    Let’s organise worldwide demonstration
    outside the Djiboutian embassies to protest the illegal detention of
    the Eritrean refugees in Djibouti.

    Let’s write to President Ismail
    Omar Guelleh (The president of the Republic of Djibouti ), and ask
    him to release our refugees and Prisoners of War.

    • Hope

      Welcome HRC/Elsa?
      -Did we try to confirm as to wether these poor citizens of ours are really POW or who just defected to go to the West?
      The report we got initially was that the main cause of the brief conflict was when the EDF tried to chase some defectors.
      Be that or this,it SHAME on us Eritreans to,not even help out 19 Eritreans.

  • This is the language what the Eritrean dictator clearly understands. surely it has no clue of what diplamcy is all about, but force and coersive measures would only give a quick fix. Djibouti’s bold stance and the Arab leagues robust voice gave no chance but to yield as Great Britain did some years ago to him where he authomatically yielded and subdued to the demans like an obidient Eritrea and Eritreans should stand up fiercely and firmly to make the knock down as shown above.

    • Abraham Hanibal

      I agree with your view that the language dictator Isayas understands is not that of diplomacy, negotiations, or peaceful approach. He solely believes on force and any one who wants to deal with him effectively has to reveal to him the prospect of real use of power.

      Considering that the fate of the whole “PFDJ system” is in the hands of dictator Isayas; the only realistic and shortcut means of bringing change to the current tragedy Eritreans find themselves in, is to do away, yes, basically eliminate this personality by all means possiblle. The idea of doing away with Isayas may not be acceptable to those who would like to see him face his fate in a court of law. But considering the current hopeless situation of the Eritrean opposition groups, and that of the Eritrean people in general, this is not possible in the foreseeable future. In the meantime, Eritrea would be unrecognizablly destroyed and nothing would be left to save.

      Any forces who would like to bring change to the better in Eritrea should concentrate their focus on eliminating dictator Isayas. They have to co-ordinate and work together with forces of change inside Eritrea on how they can kill Isayas. Killing Isayas is doing 90% of the job of removing the domination of PFDJ power in Eritrea. And thus it would pave the way for a democratic governance in Eritrea. Like what they say in tigringa:

      ካብ ጉይይ ምውዓል፡ ክሳድ ምሓዝ!

  • ghezaehagos

    Hello Awatistas,

    13 years ago these weeks, Eritrea veered towards totalitarian road. And it never came back since. One of the victims of September 2001 crackdown, a journalist by the name of Amanuel Asrat, editor of Zemen newspaper.

    ካብቲ ዘይተፈርሽሐ ደምን ማይን

    ናይ መን ናብ መን ዘይጠለለ

    ማይኮዖኡ ዘይለለ

    Reading some of the provocative debates between some of Awate forum denizens, Ethiopians and our compatriots, I would like to remind what we all know. The brotherly relationship between the two people will endure and let us focus on that. We will hear to stories of bravery, where people rushed to help the ‘enemy’ at the cost of their lives even at the height of the stupidest and nastiest of the wars, the border conflict. At people level, there is absolutely no animosity; but goodwill towards each other. The task for the rest of us, including the awate forumers, is to cultivate and nurture the good will and find ways of relegating ( honorably) the past as relic of history while the new generations can forge better relations, better understanding of each other, vowing ‘we won’t fight again. Never again.’ ኣርሒቑ ክሃጥም ግን ኣ..ቤት ትጽልዮ!። I always say if Europe’s France and German can do it starting May 1945, why not us?

    ኣብታ ክልተ ኣሕዋት ዝተሓላለፉላ

    ኣብታ ክልተ ኣሕዋት ዝራኸቡላ

    ኣብታ ክልተ ኣሕዋት ዝዋሰቡላ

    As I said, even at the height of the war, there were brave and good souls who saw the truth and the wisdom and the folly.

    Here is Amanuel Asrat who penned this poem in 1998 after he came from Zalenbasa front. I hope it will remind Awatistas of the virtue of humanity in the Ethio-Eritrean souls. (Sorry awate moderator for posting a poem that should be posted in KS’s Jebena corner.) Here is Abesa Quinat!

    ኣበሳ ኵናት

    ሓደ ነገር ጓዚሙ

    ሓደ ነገር ተዳህዩ

    ንህድኣት በሲዑ

    ሓደ ነገር ኣቃሊሑ።

    ኣብታ ክልተ ኣሕዋት ዝተሓላለፉላ

    ኣብታ ክልተ ኣሕዋት ዝራኸቡላ

    ኣብታ ክልተ ኣሕዋት ዝዋሰቡላ

    ኣብ ቅርዓት ሂወትን ሞትን

    ኣብ ወሽመጥ ጥፍኣትን ልምዓትን

    ኣብ ሽንጭሮ ሻቕሎትን ሰላምን


    ሓደ ነገር ተዳህዩ።

    ሽዑ ሓንቲ ፍረ ዘርኢ….

    ጭዓን ሰራውን እናተታፍአ

    መሸላን ብልቱግን እናተጎናንአ

    ዝእክቦ ስኢኑ ሓድሕዱ እናተበላልዐ

    ብሰርቢ ንብዓት ተሰጕዳ

    ካብ ነብሳ ጎሚዳ ነብሳ ተጎሚዳ

    ካብ ነብሳ ነብሳ ዘሪኣ።

    ኣብቲ ዛጊት ዘይተፈርሽሐ

    ኣብቲ ኣየናይ ናይ መን ዘይፍለ

    ዋሕዚ ደምን ማይን


    እታ ዘርኢ ግን…

    ብቐዛሒት ጸሓይ

    ብዘይሰክን ሰርቢ

    ብፋሕሸዋይ በርቂ

    ብዘንድድ ዝናብ…ተዓጂባ፣

    ጋዕ-ገልጠም ሓጺነ-መጺን ሰሊዃ

    መልኣከ ሞት ተጊራ

    ምኹን ሂወት ሓንጊራ

    እነሆ ኣርኪባ ኣብ ኣዝመራ።

    እታ ዘርኢ…

    ካብቲ ዘይተፈርሽሐ ደምን ማይን

    ናይ መን ናብ መን ዘይጠለለ

    ማይኮዖኡ ዘይለለ

    ባዕላ ኢያ በጺሓ

    ኣብቲ ኣዝመራ ክትፍለ

    ኣብቲ ኣዝመራ ግን…

    የማና እንተማዕደወት

    ንሱ ሰብኣይ ንሳ ጭሕሚ

    ጸጋማ እንተማዕደወት

    ንሱ መሬት ንሳ ተኽሊ

    ደንጺዋ… ግራሞት ተዓንጊላ

    ተደናዲና… ዝርያ ኸኣ ዘይኣመላ

    ምስ መንያ ክትጽጋዕ ኣበይ ከተድቢ

    ናበይ እያ ከተድምዕ ናበይ’ያ ክትድርቢ

    እቲ ኣዝመራ ግን ሕማቑ እቲ ዘይምጽባቑ

    ብኣፍ ጥይት ሓሪሱ

    ካዕቦ ሂወት ኣፍሲሱ

    ሕልፈት ካብ ትንፋስ ጎልጕሉ

    ንሞት ብሞት ዓጺዱ

    ኣብ ዝባን ውሉድ ኣኺዱ

    ኣማስያኡ ነታ ፍረ ኣብ ስግኣት ጠፍሊቑ።

    እታ ፍረ….

    መዓልትን ለይትን ሓደ እዩ ኮይኑዋ

    ሻቕሎትን ሩፍታን ተሓዋዊሱዋ

    ዓለም ኣብ ውሽጢ ዓለም

    ኵናት ኣብ ውሽጢ ሰላም

    እምነት ኣብ ሕጓ ዘለ ጥልመት

    ምስ ረኣየት ደንጺዋ።

    ዘየደንጹ ድዩ’ሞ?

    ኣዝመራ ኵናት እቲ ኣበሳነቱ

    ንብዓት ኣደ ንውላዳ

    ንብዓት እንዳ ነታ ርስታ

    ንብዓት መሬት ንመሬታ

    ውሒዙ ውሒዙ ምስ ዛረየ

    ባይታ ምስ ጨቀወ ምስ ጠልቀየ

    ናውቲ ሸሚሙ

    ንኹሉ ሰሊሙ… ምስ ራሰየ

    ኣሻቡ ፈርዩ ባዴላ ኣፍራዛ

    ኣሻቡ ፈልፊሉ መግነዚ ቃሬዛ


    ኣሻቡ ድማ ይሃልኽ ኩሉ ይሻመዎ

    ኩልና ንደልዮ ኩልና ንውንኖ

    ነገር ኵናት እቲ ክፋኡ…

    ኣዝመራኡ ከይደለኻዮ ምስ ዝበጽሕ

    ፈንጤጋር መቓልሑ ማዕጾኻ ምስ ዝኹሕኩሕ

    ሽዑ እዩ ኣበሳ ኵናት ኣበሳ ዘገማድሕ


    ከይፈተኻ ተሳስዮ

    ከይደለኻ ተሳልዮ

    ኣርሒቑ ክሃጥም ግን ኣ..ቤት ትጽልዮ!።

    ኣማኑኤል ኣስራት

  • Mahmud Saleh

    This entry is dedicated to HTG: How could you describe this week’s comments of this great man? I don’t have many words for that. So:
    HaileTG= Simply the great!

    • Mahmuday, I agree! To be honest with you, I was a little disappointed with Haile for not coming to defend the truth while the Tigryans went all out assault. I guess they over did it and they have awaken a sleeping giant.He doesn’t have to defend Eritrea but i want and expect him to defend the truth!

  • said

    Why I am not optimistic in the near future as an Eritrean “Loss of Horizon as for many Caring Eritrean; as a caring pan African; as caring humanist; as a caring universal citizen of the world.”

    Speaking of anything; of the shape of tomorrow, it seems that my generation; mainly my generation and the not too far older of mine,those planners; executors and decision makers of public policies: the global,
    national and local have lead humanity at large by far way Astray.

    It seems that our world, what we are actually bequeathing future generations before the second coming of the Messiah – the ever mythical savior at the end of times apocalyptically making good what destructive mortals
    rendered irreversibly irreparable in this ephemeral existence; the ever claimant property, the Messiah, in varied versions of competing creeds,religious sects and not man invented cults whose perceived appearance seems the
    more imminent by pessimist doomsayers at ever worsening juncture in this life journey – is really crumbling to the point of perilous dysfunctionality.

    We, vain, materialistic and avaricious mortals endowed with a shared vision that is increasingly narrowing to the impetuous whims of instant gratifications that is failing us humans to conform to the requisites
    of continuing future wellbeing, our future survival, of seeing beyond the tip of our nose.

    As humanity burgers in uncontrollable multiples in the metaphor of micro ameba, we mortals delve deeper into our myopic instinctive egotistical perception of the much wider reality. The world, rather the wider universe becomes
    our sole preserve of egotistical, rather narrow individualistic whimsical personal preferences and immediate gratifications.

    Survival of the Fittest once ascribed to biological evolutions is increasingly invading our universal value system, the norm, the basis of the functionality of mortals’ way of life. It is increasingly narrowly shaping our legalistic frameworks, mores, norms of behavior and, most destructively, the framework of our human relations. In
    that narrow perspective of the wider reality, the Grander Design, we mortals are devouring, rather the increasingly more privileged few among us, what’s meant for all of us of our mother nature’s blessing endowments. We polluted our air; sullied our water;poisoned the soil, the very source of our basic nourishment for survival.

    We mortals of the contemporary age are excelling in technological inventions and discoveries that are increasingly being
    holistically diverted to narrow serving applications to satiate the cravings of the very few privileged mortals’ for control and dominance to the exclusion of the greater majority of mankind. Wealth without the sweat of deserving and justifiable labor is being concentrated in the hands of the very few to the detriment of both sustainable social harmony
    and the social peace of the present and future generations.

    In early 1990 In reading of a recently published book authored by a bright many-things French Jacque Attali, once the close advisor of French President François Mitterrand that was entitled “Millennium.” The theme of the book was futuristic, i.e.the shape of things to come for a fast changing world. The book started with a lengthy foreword by
    no other than the renowned American futurist writer Avlin Toffler, famous author of “Future Shock,” 1970, and a whole slew of futuristic writing sequels under different titles that proved in hindsight to be very prescient.

    What shockingly Jacque Attali was revealing more as a matter of fact of the shape of the new emerging world is a “World of Inequalities,” aworld of the “Concentration of Wealth;” a world of the “Concentration of Power” in the hands of the very privileged few of mankind. What Attali appeared to be admonishing that humanity needs to adjust to a new emerging reality; a new world that they need to accept, adapt and ultimately settle into. What Attali was preaching is the very essence of the theory of the “Survival of the Fittest” being molded and generalized to all aspects governing human’s
    life, humanity’s existence. Considering Jacque Attali’s religious background and wild capitalist cultural affiliation
    one would perceive reading Attali’s theses as of listening to the very few of mortals’ the “Rothschilds” preaching.
    Sadly, while Jacque Attali formulated his futuristicpredictions of the shape of the things to come, of the shape of the New World,the New World order while early signs of that order were well into shaping with the Reganomics and Thatcherism’s doctrines were set in motion, Noble Laureate economist Professor Joseph Stiglitz summed up the early end results of Jacque Attali’s new world in latter author’s book “The Price of Inequality: How Today’s Divided Society Endangers Our
    Future,” 2012 – i.e. 22years after Jacque Attali published his book “Millennium. Stiglitz in his well-informed analytical writing demonstrated “how the world is fast turning into what Jacque Attali predicted, rather affirmatively benignly neutrally stated as would be a matter of fact;” rather “of what had become of our world; as well as the shape of the disruptive World that our world is evolving into;the New World order that we are currently increasingly experiencing.”

    In the narrower scope, the microcosm of the wider world reality,; much governed by the same philosophy and general political, moral and ethical framework, is the plight of the Eritrean and our neighbouring countries as the world is increasingly driven by the “Law of the Jungle;” “Survival of the Fittest” and “ Might is Right.” The
    recent, repeat, “Genocide War in many part of the world;” a war crime carried live on Satellite TV Network and the various modes of social media; as culprits with hands drenched in blood of their innocent victims pose “avec fierté”
    of the day’s hunts, before a callous, ambivalent and an apathetic world audience, sends a frightening sign of what have become of us humans at large.

    To my bewildered inquirer of the logic of my persistent negative and pessimistic tone in writing and view of the world, beside my above answer, an added answer is that as an Eritrean, I have never lived, in my long
    life journey, in a world that is so un-orderly and is so chaotic. A world that is so out of compass with no governing or abided by ethical and moral frameworks promoting social harmony and promising harmonious universal

    To the doomsayers, attendees of the coming of the Messiah,the Apocalypse, I would add that the emerging “extremist from every sect”phenomenon could very well be the harbinger of the Armageddon that Biblical
    doomsayers have for long been preaching.

  • I have observed enough to make this judgment and I do believe to be true, but if I am wrong then it will be the first time ever and feel lucky you are witnessing it.
    I do believe Hayat Adem is among an Ethiopian Government recruits bloggers haired to attack the Eritrean government and anything Eritrean. I let you read the article my ESAT but notice the amount of up-votes she gates just because she attacked the Eritrean government and thw amout of positive images gives to the Weyanes. So, I am guessing those up-votes are comparable to a students GPA. The more up-votes she gets the more it shows high productivity and the more the payout. She posts one toothless article and the up-votes are unseen. How? And 98 % the up votes are “guests” why? Remember; this is an Eritrean web-site, no amount of that many people are happy when Eritrea and Eritreans are insulted. However; if any Eritrean believes Hayat is an Eritrean, then you are plain stupid and you don’t deserve to consume oxygen.
    “By ESAT,
    Ethiopia Recruits Bloggers to Attack Opposition and the Eritrean Government
    Regime in Paranoia? From Jamming satellite transmissions, blocking websites, criminalize using Skype and arresting bloggers to training paid social media recruits?
    IN an attempt to reduce online criticisms and shower positive image of itself, the Ethiopian Government recently start to train and recruit paid attackers on the web to anything critical of its administration, the Ethiopian Satellite Television Service (ESAT) reported.
    In the the second round of new recruits, 235 bloggers were trained in Adama, Nazeret town, focusing on how to shape public opinion on Facebook and other social media technologies by posting comments and documents that support the regime.
    The training was given to selected people from different ethnic groups who support the regime, and that the trainees report directly to government officials, ESAT said.
    So far, the trainees have opened 2,350 Facebook, Twitter and blog accounts to show the Ethiopian regime in a favorable light, and to criticize anti-government articles, websites, the Ethiopian opposition and the Eritrean government.
    With a dismal one percent of people having access to the internet in Ethiopia, the likely intended target of the regime’s online strategy are the Ethiopian and Eritrean Diasporas, an observer noted.”

    • Mahmud Saleh

      Have you ever doubted that?

    • Hayat Adem

      Don’t assume too much. America buys weyane, weyane buys me, I buy the up-votes from Awatistas…crazy people crazy world. Mahmud has so many unforgettable feeds here in this forum, but the one I’ll remember him for will be how he gets creative around your nick name “Nitrikay”, as in ነትራካ ነትሪኻይ. ግርም ዝምድና! ሽምካ ማዕረ (ዕረ) መልሓስካ!

      • Mahmud Saleh

        Hayat Adem;
        I have to salute you for the short yet stinging answer. I love it, and there you have my vote.

      • hahahahahahhaha Hayat Adem. nice name. i am sorry you got busted. sorry, you overdid it. the strategy was cool, just a bit to much. I am sure you have fooled some stupid Eritreans but again how stupid one can be an Eritrean Muslim woman defending the TPLF all out? I didn’t care before but when you brought what SAAY said 14 years ago, then that was very easy. not that hard to figure you out. so, i won’t be a hater i will up vote you, after all it means money for you. that all, carry on i don’t mean to be rude, i just want to point it out.

  • Abraham Hanibal

    Invitation for a Debate

    I would like to invite Awatists and others to debate the following current issue about Eritreans’ failure to bring change to the better in Eritrea.

    Question: Thirteen years have passed after the Isayas led PFDJ hawks hijacked the hard won Eritrean freedom and independence. And sadly, we Eritreans have yet to forge an effective resistance and opposition to the PFDJ-regime. What are the main reasons for our muted resistance in the face of this tyrany ? And how can we overcome these hardles in order to mobilise our opposition against the dictatorship?

    Here follows my comment:

    1-The Eritrean people doesn’t give up its “sons and daughters” so easily. Although these “sons and daughters” are wreaking havoc on the Eritrean people.

    2-The regime has exploited the “no war no peace” status to the maximum, by indefinitly claiming bogus security risks, and thus indefiniitly mobilising the force of change-the youth.

    3-The regime has infiltrated the people with spies, so that no one dares to take the first step. The people do not trust each other and are afraid of each other’s intentions.

    4- Absence of a meaningful unifying opposition leadership which has discouraged the people to start a serious struggle against the Isayas dictatorship. This is leaving an impression of absence of a reliable entity that can feel the power vaccum after the PFDJ is gone.

    5-The top military commanders of the Eritrean defense forces are some of the very few beneficiaries of the status quo that Isayas has created. They have, therefore, the stance of “we live with him or die with him”.

    6- An absene of the experience of a popular peaceful uprising in Eritrea. Apart from, of course, the 30 year long armed struggle, which was other form of popular uprising.

    7- Some sections of the Eritrean diaspora are too closely attached to the regime. Many of them have assets and real estate that they have acquired unlawfully through the facilitation of the regime. This means that they don’t want risking their properties and, hence, are forced to pay the 2% income tax, and show allegiance to the regime.

    As long as we Eritreans don’t take the courage to overcome the above mentioned issues, we are, unfortunately, going to prolong the life of this murderous regime. So, fellow countrymen and women, let’s unite, let’s overcome short sighted benefits, let’s aim for a long sighted better futture for all of us and the coming generation. It is then, and only then, we can have some hope of removing the force of evil in our country and pave a way for a brighter future.

    • Alex Deana

      6- An absence of the experience of a popular peaceful uprising in
      Eritrea. Apart from, of course, the 30 year long armed struggle, which
      was other form of popular uprising…..

      I agree with
      most of your assessment but , an absence of target ethnic enemy (Adgi as
      most of you refer to Amhara) would make your assessment a bit more
      honest and compete, cos that is the only recipe missing given the
      predicament Eritrea is in..otherwise the situation today is no better
      than during the so called “the 30 years struggle”. In fact one has to
      wonder what would happen in today’s Eritrea had there been some sort of
      civil war like the one the Ethiopians had to endure partly due to your “struggle”…..As one
      commenter bellow said, we would have seen a genuine sign of popular resistance
      had Eritreans got a fraction of contempt they had for
      Ethiopians…..Feven is impressively right when he/she said hypocrites
      like Haile TG are threading a fine line between opposing and offending
      the “father” of their identity…now that Eritrea is “free and independent” even the
      replacement target enemy “Agame ” is not working for many Eritreans
      whose “resilience” only derives from hate…

      • Abraham Hanibal

        I don’t really understand what kind of message you are trying to send me here. I would, therefore urge you to clarify your opinion to me in easy language. But from what I’ve understood, you’re trying to tell me that Eritreans today are missing an outside “Enemy Ethnic Group” they can point fingers to as an excuse for the evils inside their country.
        According to my view, the cuurent tragedy in Eritrea has almost nothing to do with foreign powers. Pointing fingers, and laying the blame to outside forces is, in fact, one of the futile attempts of the ruling PFDJ strategy to sway Eritreans’ attention away from its transgressions of rule of law and respect of human rights.
        In my opinion, the idea of laying the blame for Eritrea’s problems, on outsiders like “Agames”, “Amharas” or whatever as you put it, is counterproductive to the struggle for democratic change in Eritrea.

  • Semere Andom

    Hi All:
    Usually Papillon alerts us about this interview or that. She is not here and according the biologist called Saay it is because of the hormone testestrone;-)
    So I am alerting all you about the Assenna interview with Yemane T. It is gripping. It reinforces the notion that mafia group that murdered people for fun. “ewey ewey Isaiad dea n wedi kusto seb kqtl sedidiwo, tell them not to forget so and so is.”

  • Abraham Hanibal

    This is a typical Isayas character. Whenever the tyrant feels some sort of serious punishment hanging over him from Ethiopia, he yields. If there is anything that can persuade this dictator, it is the prospect of a real use of force. Considering the hugely disproportionate balance of power in favor of Ethiopia, I think Ethiopia now doesn’t even need to shoot a single bullet to persuade the dictator, for example, to remove all Ethiopian rebel forces from Eritrean soil.

    እዚ ሰብ’ ዚ ኣብ በትሪ ጥራይ ኢዩ ዝኣምን።

  • haileTG

    Selamat Awatistas

    It seems we are going through yet another round of Ethio-Eritrea cyber rivlary. After all this years, I am amazed how the conversation between us is left stuck in the early stages of trying to assess each other akin to first meeting. The Ethiopian brothers are telling us what they think of us (if we’re fit to rule our nation), that they hold the key for our future and our independence doesn’t mean much to them and unfortunatly are having a field day reading their oun fiction and foolishly underestimating Eritrean’s resolve.

    The single most important reason that Eritrean opposition movements find mobilizing Eritreans hard is the sheer determination and formidable resolve of the Eritrean masses to fend off Ethiopian. To me, the recent (and has been going on in the past too) talk that “unless Ethiopia this or that..” Eritrean problems would continue is either simply dishonest way of trying to win a debate or at worse (I have no evidence to corroborate) a huge crimnal inditment of Ethiopia against Eritrea. If we were even theoretically assume such to be the case, the Ethiopian writers here are telling us that IA is their tactical asset to break Eritrean will. Which would make them as calpable as IA in the manufacturing the current Eritrean crisis to further their interests. Now, it would be a stretch of imagination to read such comments here and then extrapolate it all the way to accusing Ethiopian leadership of engaging in such acts that would entrench our differences further.

    My understanding is that the IA regime undermined Eritrea and Eritreans through violent and aggressive measures of internal policy. This has nothing to do with Ethiopia and Ethiopians. If Eritrea had responsible government, it would have progressed much further. We do admire Ethiopia’s growth and transformation, but wish it for them. Eritrea doesn’t really need Ethiopia to grow and prosper but my personal wish is fraternity and brotherhood be encouraged between both. We basically are not interested in any of the material possessions of Ethiopia and don’t covet it. The reason Eritreans are all over the world is because of IA and his policies. If Ethiopian writers here are telling us that it was not IA but Ethiopia that was sabotaging Eritrea all along and that unless we give them the “apology” they are looking for to white wash their equally criminal acts during the war and their refusal to abide by rule of law, then I doubt that is the reflection of the Ethiopian leadership because that would have rather difficult ramifications.

    What is strange is howeve, that the pro TPLF Ethiopian elites are now saying that they prefer IA, when they know IA has lost all credibility among Eritreans and could be a goner anytime. Eritreans are securely opposed to Ethiopian domination and the latter’s new found support of IA would hasten his fall.

    Now to the “what worries us most…” part

    – That some Ethiopian writers here lack basic common sense to assess that Eritreans would never be cowed to their whims. They watch but can’t see, they hear but can’t listen and their economic boom ain’t helping ether. It is blinding them from thinking straight. I can understand that coming from any Ethiopian who lived further from the war zones. But it is a mystry for me how those close to TPLF would miss this obvious and glaring fact. I will continue some abit later….

    • Hope

      Haile TG,
      You said :”What is strange is that the pro TPLF Ethiopian elites are now saying that they prefer IA, when they know IA has lost all credibility among Eritreans and could be a goner anytime. Eritreans are securely opposed to Ethiopian domination and the latter’s new found support of IA would hasten his fall.”
      Well,if i may add,that is the FACT the EPRD/TPLF Gov has repeatedly said and this was reflected by the ‘shocking reaction” of the Ethiopian Parliament–as expressed in the word of Dr tedros Adhanom after Forto Operation/Wed Ali Operation as it was against the Ethiopian interest.
      In a practical life,isn’t IA giving the Ethiopian Gov/EPRDF Gov in a silver plate what they want, as we speak?That is,a
      Silent collapse of Eritrea and Eritreans….which in turn has expedited the needed outome of the ” No War,No Peace ” Policy.
      I am glad that you have understood our concern and fear.It take two to tango.
      One sided wish for peaceful co-existence is just ‘”gherhinet”.
      By default,if we Eritreans unite and remove IA before they do it “for us” in the way they want it and benefits them but hurts us,-that is the way to go and then we will confirm the true colors of your “Good Neighbors”.
      But,make no mistake ,that they will rush for their own way when IA is about to collapse as they are watching things closely.
      This is NOT Rocket Science but something a 5th -grader can figure out.
      Plus,don’t we know that they are the Engineers of all the MESS we are in?
      Starting from setting UP and provoking IA to start the war,taking advantage of the One-Man Rule,the abuse of the same *One-Man rule and decisions about the Adi Murug incident,the Border people abuse,unilateral action in Baduma,etc… due to the silence of the same One-Man Rule,the setting up of the Al shebab and the Djbouti Saga,the fabrication and Engineering of all the Sanctions,the exodus of the Youth..etc..—-
      But despite al these FACTS,you are lecturing us about the “Innocense” and “Charity ” of the same EPRDF/TPLF Gov….
      *I purposely mentioned this to “appease” you that IA has been the major Culprit as well.

      • Hope

        I have to admit that almost all of your arguements make lots of sense and are well accepted despite our disagreement over few issues,mostly technical.
        BTW,Tell me why the TPLF/EPRDF Gov ” hates” the EPDP and as to why it does not allow the same EPDP to visit the Eritrean Refugees in Ethiopia/Tigray.
        The ” Srange” thing that surpised you(“What is strange is that the pro TPLF Ethiopian elites are now saying that they prefer IA”) is NOT a stange thing among the Ethiopian(Tigreyan -to be specific)elites is NOT just among the these elites but an Official Policy supported by most Ethiopians:(read: Tigreyans)led by their Government…but,please,do NOT ask me for a “Scientific Data and Evidence”.This is Politics.not Science or Medicine.
        But log into and enjoy it.

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Selam Hope,

          Are you sure about your info regarding EPDP that they are disallowed to go to the refugee camp? check and recheck your info. The organization has an office in Addis and they also get allowance from the Ethiopian government. When did it happen your info? Is it recently?

          • Hope

            Aheln Wed Memhir,
            The best answer is:
            Refer to the EPDP but am sure they will not answer it publically but did say it publically when they tried and failed to have a direct access to the Refugees.But are you surprised though?

      • haileTG

        Hello Hope,

        No appeasing needed, do it for the sake of truth.

        – On the genesis of the border issue, 13 years to the day, senior members of govt asked IA to discuss the conduct of the war. Well, he did what he did and also violated Eritrea in the process. With respect, I don’t now buy IA’s version of events that he dreamed up to continue his abuse unchecked.

        – My firm belief is that Eritrea falls if Eritreans let it down and rises if Eritreans do their homework. Eritrea’s miserable existence is the reflection of the miserable job Eritreans do towards it rather than Ethiopian, Sudanese or Mars based interference. Ethiopians are within their right to think as they please, they are responsible to their own destiny not ours. None of the views from Ethiopian awatistas here is an official press release from the leadership of Ethiopia, so we can’t jump conclusions. To your surprise, almost all of the things we hate about the current Eritrean regime has nothing to do with Ethiopia.

        – The main learning moment here is that you are the mirror opposite of the some Ethiopian awatistas in the way they argue the Ethio-Eritrea conflict. To you, it is them and to them it is us. Period. Such is futile and failed. We are debating here to create some spaces to allow for opening up to reconciliation.

        – Ethiopia’s role vis-a-vis opposition, I said is repeatedly, I am not willing to issue blank cheque. Show me the evidence that they have done something wrong. If it is only because you don’t like them and feel entitled to accuse them, well that is not fair and I can’t buy that.


        • Hope

          Thanks Haile TG.
          Please refer to:
          -The interviews by PM HD
          -Aiga Forum
          -Walta Information Center

    • welde


      Are you sure “… Isayas has lost all credibility among Eritreans..”. i don’t think so, he has more adoring fans, and supporters than the entire opposition groups combined.
      The most important traits you need to have is never underestimate the opposition.If it was that much easy to remove him it could have been done a decade earlier…but now, you are where you are…

      At this present time you are in no position to demand anything from anyone,especially Ethiopia. Eritrea means in the eye of the world , “Refugee”. There are more Eritrean refugees than Syrian who are against all odds staying in a country destroyed by a savage war. Erittrean identity is becoming a source of shame for many…

      You have to hurry to save your people , time is a luxury you can’t afford to waste, by writing and suggesting nonsensical points about Ethiopia. you better design a plan and move to action to free the people.

      Have you noticed Isayas looks more healthier than he was about two years ago, i guess he had a liver transplant, hence will be around for the next 15-20 years . Therefore, you should remove the idea of Isayas being turn to dust biologically for a long time.

      I am afraid if you are keen and eager to see the back of this man you have to do it the hard way.
      what does this mean? It means, study how Isayas managed to free Eritrea ,the land , from Ethiopia, then apply similar method to liberate the people of Eritrea. Anything less is extending the time of Isayas rule.

      wish you all the best,

      • haileTG

        Hi Welde,

        I seems what you have is the ‘media war’ projected of reality. For those looking at the REAL picture, IA has lost all credibility and very few have faith in him (most do for reasons of personal considerations). The only thing that is holding it together for IA, so it seems, is Eritrean’s EXTREME revulsion at the idea of any domination by Ethiopia. No PFDJ supporter (or only very few) would tell you things are good or the regime is doing fine, instead they point at Ethiopia being not trust worthy and point to that as a reason to hold off. Now tell me welde: When you say that we accept EEBC, but really isn’t our intent but rather the five point plan we have, and even that is really not our intent but Eritreans to change their mind, thinking, attitude, the way they walk talk, look… How heplful is that.

        If there is a successful coup in Eritrea and all of IA’s oppressive blockades are lifted tomorrow, I can assure you 100% Eritrea would line up behind them and no “adoring fan” would be around to oppose it. When you say IA has great support, what you really pointing at Ethiopian attempts to dominate the way the conflict is resolved is rejected by most of Eritreans. Unfortunately, to most Eritreans, staying silent or not opposing is linked to the fear of external domination. Sadly, IA is the greatest threat for that, even if this need to be explained to the 80% peasant population. But you guys are focusing at the “elite” whom are the most opposed to the regime, least trusted by the regime, and more likely to debate your points of view however much unrealistic and unwinnable they are. With the overwhelming peasant population, it is simple: Ethiopia bad. Ethiopia threat. Period.


        • welde

          Hi HTG,

          Its amazing, IA blames Ethiopia for all the ills in Eritrea, and now you are telling me the failure of the opposition was also associated with bad perception Eritrean people have towards Ethiopia.

          How far do you think, such views and attitude, will take you in your struggle to replace IA ., not very far.

          I believe and i think unless and until such outdated paranoid view is replaced by more progressive and forward looking attitude , IA will remain where he is,and that is bad for Eritrea.

          The bottom line is Eritrea has to face the reality and think the unthinkable if it wants to liberate itself from the grip of IA. Stop using Ethiopia as an excuse for your failure. This has to stop.

          You have to change your views towards Ethiopia , i think starting with the most distorted view that ‘Eritrea was a colony of Ethiopia’, Eritrea was annexed but was never a colony. Managing to change such distorted view of Ethiopia will open the door to solving any problem that exists between the two brotherly countries.

          HTG, you wrote,”With overwhelming peasant population,it is simple: Ethiopia bad.Ethiopia threat.”

          I don’t believe the overwhelming Eritrean peasants will think this way. However,its up to all of you to change such misguided perception.

          all the best,

          • haileTG

            Merhaba Welde,

            “The bottom line is Eritrea has to face the reality and think the
            unthinkable if it wants to liberate itself from the grip of IA. Stop
            using Ethiopia as an excuse for your failure. This has to stop.”

            and I agree 100%. Now the question is how do we make a stride in that
            direction if Ethiopian “elites” (at least here) make arbirary threats of
            maintaining “war footing” unless their arbitrary demands are met? The
            pesants are comparing notes between what I tell them and what they see
            Ethiopian position being vis-a-vis Eritrea. Imagine telling the peasant
            that the only solution for Ethiopia to be a peaceful and friendly
            neighboughr is to have “the Eritrean elites change their mindset and
            collectively guarantee that they would not act like IA once democracy is
            installed in their country”. What is the chance that they would even
            know what you’re talking about? They are peasants, remember? 🙂

            think peace mking isn’t for everybody. Peace makers are gifted people
            who can argue to disarm both protagonists and make them alter their
            thinking towards each other and their common future. If you feel
            strongly against one side, at least accept that peace making isn’t your
            thing. Seek peace for its strategic merits, not opportunistic
            advantages. The minimum requirement is self assessment of how your
            current stand and attitude impact the possibility of peace making.


          • Welde we are not making any excuses. Just get out of the Eritrean land and watch how long PIA will stay in power. The only reason for all this misery is for you refusing to vacate the land. You can say PIA is using it as an excuse, well, it is a fact. So where do you drow an excuse from the fact?

  • T-K said
    “And I am saying “..the Muslims in Ethiopia” have no right to ask any language to be “official language”. The same principle applies to any other religion too. “official” and “religion” don’t go along. Ethiopia cannot afford this kind of constitutional mess. So I will say to him Ethiopia would go to a” religious war”
    Mahmuday; what T-K is not telling is that the religious war is already here. Listen to this Christian religious man trashing Quran and Muslims. I want everyone to listen and see for your self.

  • Mahmud Saleh

    salam Awatistas:
    As always live debates; speaking of Arabic language, what an interesting discussion it is. It really exposes the true color of some hypocrites. Aman H threw a hypothetical question which isn’t really that hypothetical; soon or later, it will hit Ethiopian traditional ruling class. Thank you Aman H and the rest for handling it amazingly well despite the emotional salvos you had to endure. SGJ, saay, HTG, Aman H, and the rest, you guys are just super. TK described Amanuel Hidrat as ጸማም ሓንቲ ደርፋ Really! TK needs to understand that his churches root is an Arab speaking community in Egypt? For his credit TK is clear on issues of separation religion and state. He just keeps fending off even the mention of the word Arabic. He is suffering from acute phobia (not yet declared xenophobic, just to give time for more observation, otherwise, his extreme hate of Eritreans and Arabs..and may be Somalis… and may be his own non-Habesha groups…and…who knows) What does learning Arabic language has to do with separation of church and state? When is the traditional ruling class in Ethiopia will get it? Would we have seen the same reaction had the question been ” what if so and so klil chooses to introduce foreign language of their choice, French, for instance? We know the official language is Amharic, and I agree with it. But what if Afars or Hararis or some segments of Oromos…want to use Arabic as a medium of instruction and Amharic continues to be taught as a national language? Where do the concepts of autonomy and self-determination start and end? Is Ethiopian constitution water-tight about these? Doesn’t it,in any way, accommodate futuristic questions related to the rights of kilils or nationalities? What if, say 50 years from now, Afar Ethiopians vote for introducing Arabic language as their medium of instruction? How does the constitution deal with such problems which are sure to emerge once the rule of intimidation subsides? I’m aware of the debilitating phobia of certain quarters, but politicians and academicians foresee these types of basic rights coming and usually leave self-correcting clauses and/or articles in the constitution. I’m sure the Ethiopian constitution accommodates somewhere these types of questions. Why do you attach a language with ethnicity and religion anyway?

    • T. Kifle


      1. You are not even close when you say I hate Arabic. None at all. You simply got ahead of yourself and made conclusions. Can you indicate where and when I said I hated Arabic?
      2. Hate to the Eritrean people? This doesn’t stick on me. You are responsible for your lies
      3. Amharic is not an official language of Ethiopia. It’s a federal government’s working language. We have official languages so far, Tigrigna, Afaan Oromoo, Amharic, Harari, Somali, Afari, at state levels, Many of the nationalities at SNNP have their own zonal administrations and use their local language in their schools, and wereda administrations. There is nothing new you can add to our diversity. Even the Erob wereda in Tigray uses their own language with in their wereda administrative matters. All Ethiopians learn in their mother tongue up to class 4.
      Now I am waiting to indicate me the “mistakes I made” while debating Amanuel Hidrat.

      4. Afar Ethiopians have the right to demand for any language they see it feet. I have no issue about it. But they cannot demand it in the name of religion. If you cannot understand this you are either not reading the comments or I may excuse you as a lost PFDJite who have no clue on the fundamental tenets of state-religion separation.

      • Mahmud Saleh

        salam TK;

        I’m a man, I don’t debate for cheap shots. I debate truthfully and to the best of my knowledge to get things straight. In that spirit, I correct my strongly worded entry, it was too late when I saw your reply to Dis, and I wish I saw that reply before writing this entry, I thank you and I don’t want to lump you up with the other folks who are treating this issue emotionally. I also made it clear you were handling the constitutional part of the problem. In the above entry, you cleared a lot of things. So, I know where you stand, and you gave me some insight in to your constitution ( honestly, I have yet to read it). I’m well aware about the theories and practices pertaining to the separation of church and state as applied in the western world. Aman Hidrat’s question has nothing to do with mixing religion with politics, you did not answer it. My entry above also tends to that. Languages if left alone metastasize intermarry, and evolve. The founding fathers usually understand this and make the constitution accommodate them. I’m sick with flu and if you could save me time: is there a clause or an article in the Ethiopian constitution that foresees future possible demographic changes including federal language change? That’s what Amanuel’s question comes to. I found number 3 &4 and your answer to Dis helpful, let’s leave numbers 1&2 for the time being. I will retract for now the strong wording in front of everybody.

        • T. Kifle

          Dear Mahmud,

          Speaking of flu, like the Ebola virus, I thought it is a problem of sub-Saharan Africa 🙂 Now, I am on my way to visiting you carrying a kilo of organic Orange from Merti, in the Awash valley, if not from Elaberid :). In serious note, I am appreciative of this particular comment.

          Now, regarding Amanuel’s question, as I understand it, he was trying to tease us using a wrongly framed question and couldn’t give in when it’s clear that it’s a non-issue at all. I don’t think ,no matter how hypothetical it could be, he asked a well-thought question. Let me quote his ill-fated question once again here, verbatim, ” Suppose the Muslims in Ethiopia asked you Arabic language as official language in Ethiopia, how you Abinet will handle it? Would you go to religious war by refusing the demand of half of your population?” .

          And I am saying “..the Muslims in Ethiopia” have no right to ask any language to be “official language”. The same principle applies to any other religion too. “official” and “religion” don’t go along. Ethiopia cannot afford this kind of constitutional mess. So I will say to him Ethiopia would go to a” religious war” whatever that means than submitting to unconstitutional demand of a religious establishment. It’s as simple as that. As per your demand let me put here for you few articles pertaining to the issue at hand
          article 11
          Separation of State and Religion

          1. State and religion are separate.
          2. There shall be no state religion.
          3. The state shall not interfere in religious matters and religion shall not interfere in state affairs.

          Article 27

          Freedom of Religion, Belief and Opinion

          1. Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This right shall include the freedom to hold or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice, and the freedom, either individually or in community with others, and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching.

          2. Without prejudice to the provisions of sub-Article 2 of Article 90, believers may establish institutions of religious education and administration in order to propagate and organize their religion.

          3. No one shall be subject to coercion or other means which would restrict or prevent his freedom to hold a belief of his choice

          3. Parents and legal guardians have the right to bring up their children ensuring their religious and moral education in conformity with their own convictions.

          4. Freedom to express or manifest one’s religion or belief may be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary to protect public safety, peace, health, education, public morality or the fundamental rights and freedoms of others, and to ensure the independence of the state from religion.

          Article 5
          1. All Ethiopian languages shall enjoy equal state recognition.
          2. Amharic shall be the working language of the Federal Government.
          3. Members of the Federation may by law determine their respective working languages.
          You see introduction of another language as a federal language needs a constitutional amendment. This is not an issue as amendment can be done any time a necessity arises. But an official language as religious initiative be it in the states or at the federal level is beyond amending the constitution. It’s a matter of choice between a religious and a secular state. Here lies the problem with Mr. Amanuel who unscrupulously threw a question and still dyeing defending his position.

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Salam TK
            i have been educating myself reading Ethiopian constitution ( don’t tell nitricc). The constitution is more smooth and welcoming to questions similar to the one being debated, although the amendment process is tougher than one would normally expect which is not bad, because you don’t want constitutions easily changed. Anyway, thanks for the answer, also articles 104-105 detail the amendment process in addition to the guarantees on state, nations and nationalities, religion and human rights…but the question will always be on the laws that emanate from the constitution and whether those laws are applied as intended (eg. laws of press, parties, elections…because at the end the question is about representation to the houses), you could simply answer Amanuels answer based on the constitution. I’m sure Amanuel didn’t raise it in a religiously flavored way. Remember: he was answering questions that questioned Eritrea’s use of Arabic as a working language along with Tigrigna. Why would you attach Arabic with religion, or who else do you think will ask for it if it’s asked? My answer would be ” there is a mechanism that deals with that refer to article this and that” The constitution deals with those general issues. For instance, you can’t ban muslims from asking for Arabic language as federal as long as they do it legally, according to the right enshrined in the constitution and following pertinent laws, although we know it;s an uphill battle. I hope you get what I mean, and let me go sleep. .

          • Mahmuday, sorry you are under the weather. Well, do one of the two.
            1) boil a big chunk of fresh crushed Ginger in water for about ten minutes, then have fresh lemon sliced and get the juice of it and add honey. Keep drinking you shall see the effect. If you don’t like that try….
            2) Boil a quarter cup of garlic in milk for about five minutes and drink the milk. Throw the boiled garlic. Try it. It should work.
            I never got sick but I have seen my mom use it and it works for her and my dad.
            Anyway, back to it. before you conclude anything about the Ethiopian constitution, let me share this with you,
            Mahmuday; to my understanding a country is led and managed not by president or prime minister but by constitution. The president and the prime minster is there to make sure the constitution is respected, followed and implemented. So, the TPLF style fake constitution is just that fake. Let me tell you what happen with the Ethiopian fake constitution once I read somewhere. There was power struggle among the TPLF right after the Ethio-Eritrea war and the victorious said sent Siye to court charging him with corruption among other things. Once Siye in the court the judge let him go because whatever Siye was charged,
            According the constitution; Siye is a free man and the judge let Siye go. This happened before lunch. And the TPLF gangs changed the constitution within hours and handed to the judge and the judge sentenced Siye to go to prison That afternoon!
            Now, Mahmuday, do you really wanna talk about the fake Ethiopian constitution? I don’t think so. I rather have no constitution than a fake one. The TPLF shredded the constitution right and left but when they want to get you, then, the fake constitution is all over. constitution for TPLF is a game and a tool to prolong their power and to crush every opposition.

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Well, your remedy is working. Thank you. I hope your Rahwa will see how good a man you are.

          • Mahmuday; I hope you are feeling better; as long as you keep the electro-lights balanced, you will be all right. So, you can get back to the ring and give T-K a bloody nose -;)
            Mahmuday; forget Rahwa and move over Rahwa.
            . I have found the love of my life. She never complains. She treats me well and all I have to do to keep her beautiful is to keep drinking beer and just save the lids; that is it.
            Rumer has it Rahwa is high maintenance. Look by beauty; needs nothing.Take a look. Lol


          • Mahmud Saleh

            You know your science has worked, I feel good, I also received TK oranges from the Awash valley; poor man he could not make it to Elabered for now, they will surely chop him to pieces. You know Elaberet is tes hometown. Speaking of Rahwa and your newly found sweetheart, actually, I don’t want to get between you and Rahwa, but about the new sweetheart, you spoke about, man you need also to tell us how good a husband/boyfriend you are. The way you put it doesn’t look good. I don’t know if I would suggest my friend’s daughter to you nitricc. You told us how good she is to you but5 not how good you are to her. The picture is iconic though.
            Now, earlier you said something about sye Abraha, I was not in a mood to expand on it. Now that I feel better, could you for sure say they changed the constitution? May be they changed laws, which is possible as long as you have the majority to pass it. And in a parliament all that’s needed is majority. In the past election 2010, EPRDF won 499 + 35 seats won by its allies= 534 out of total 547 total seats of the house of representatives which is the legislative body. With that number, you could pass any law. You could pass a terrorism law to muzzle legitimate opponents; you could pass a bill in order to silence activists “bloggers”. But let’s leave them alone. I just can’t preach them about something that I have achieved nothing on.

          • Mahmuday; I hope you are well and kicking.
            How are you feeling ma man?
            Mahmuday; regarding the Ethiopian constitution and Siye, I read it somewhere. And I have no idea how true it is. But knowing how the Tigryans jump on things; if it was false, they could have all over it. So, I hope some people will tell us the truth. Knowing the TPLF duplicity; I won’t surprised to be truth. So, on this one, I couldn’t confirm and I couldn’t not be sure.
            Regarding my new baby lol she so cool. When I saw here for the first time, I couldn’t stop laughing and I decided to share her.
            Regarding my self well, I could have told you that I am cool and the coolest but then you have to ask my girl and she will disagree with me to the end. She thinks I am the most stubborn person in the entire world and I disagree with her assiment. I will give an example of our dispute.
            For instance; she says I am too simple and boring. The reason is because I refused to get tattoo and I refused to have a facebook.
            We went to all out war about this toothless facebook. When I refused to open a Facebook account she wanted to post my picture on her facebook and that where I gave her an ultimatum. She can forget about Facebook and my picture or this thing is over. And she complay but she is not happy.

          • Mahmud Saleh

            I know politics can be messy, we know even in the established world here, politicians try to cheat poor voters, sometimes using constitutional institutions and tools. Just think of this: if the Republicans control the Senate and keep their control of the house, they can potentially undo what the President has done in the past years. It is all about numbers, and the TPLF dominated ruling front of Ethiopia can do whatever they choose to do. The reason people talk of Ethiopian politics is not that it’s has treadled a great distance, but because of the single leap it had done ( years of monarchy and military dictatorship to modern way of thinking), and also by contrasting it with Eritrean political situation. Otherwise, Harbegna wayane is still well and strong, and all the indications show us that Ethiopia, at best, has been stuck for years on its leap-landing spot, or, worse, has been reversing itself. Today, there is no opposition you can speak of, and there is no democratic governance without a healthy opposition and free press which both are a scarce commodity in Ethiopia.
            Regarding your sweetheart, I am glad you guys are doing well. I imagine of you as an IT oriented techie guy. I think she is just proud of you and she wants to show her friends what a great guy she’s got, which should tell you the girl is real and she is into this love business for real. You should not hurt her feeling. I wish I had face book and text messaging 30 years ago when my baby got me into the blues. So, my verdict is: allow her to post pics you approve of; that’s if you don’t want have your FB, and you can have the same FB address too (she can give you her password and you could see what’s up there (that’s if she gives you consent). I don’t blame you for refusing the tattoos though, I haven’t seen a politician tattooed.Any way, I know you guys will work it out

          • Rodab

            Some time ago, you gave us a list of Ethiopian weredas/villages in Wollo, I think. Now a little geographic exercise for you. Name Eritrea’s 9 awrajas along with their capital towns. The current nameless administrative zones doesn’t count.

            No googling pls.

          • Rodab, lol; why are you put me on the spot man? I know Ethiopia well, because I studied it in and out. But Eritrea; not much about the nine provinces but I concentrated more about the places where battles were waged and fought. My parent made me studied the Eritrean provinces long time ago and I switched my total concentration to Ethiopia for obvious reason. Okay let me try to recall and let me embarrass my self. I remember putting them alphabetically. A,B,D,H, 4(S). I think?
            A -Akeleguzay ======= Deqimahare? Segeniti? I will go with Deqimahare
            B- Barka=============Tesseney, Akurdet,Barentu. I will go with Akurdet
            D- Denkel ==========Asseb
            H- Hammasen ========Asmara
            S1- Sahil========== Naqfa
            S2- Seraye========= Mendefera
            S3- Senhit==========ElaberEid?
            S4- Semhar==========Massawa

            You said nine but I only have eight. I am missing one? Hahahahaha I don’t know? so, where is Keren? Keren is not a province? Is it? shootttttttttt! Well, I have no idea. Back to the drawing board.
            Thanks Rodab.

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Nitrikay ( some help before Rodab wakes up)
            Akeleguzai= AdiQeyeH
            Sanhit= Keren (get ready SGJ won’t be happy for missing this)

          • Saleh Johar

            Pasha, I am mad at Nitricc. How could he forget Keren, the future capital city of Eritrea?

          • Hope

            —-wasn’t it the far-past Capital City of Eritreaas well,at one time; and the current and perpetual Capital City of Eritea, socio-culturally.
            OK—Saay,can you help me to bring up/up-load Al’amin Abdeletif’s song about Keren(kere,keren,we keren,keren ad meshakinta—–islemayu we-kistenayu misl——-

          • Mahmud Saleh

            For the time being, until your cousin gets you your specific request

          • Hope

            Belated Thank YOU Big Bro.Not sure why I missed this hop.

          • saay7

            Nitricc (and Eyob):

            Meet me at Jebena. Remember Giants new safety Eritrean Nat Berhe’s interview with New York Post and how he identified himself as Ethiopian? There is an update and ummm…. let’s just say that Nitricc will no longer call him “toothless.”:) Eyob will find a way to blame it on Ghedli:)


          • Eyob Medhane


            What is the new update? Now he says he is Eritrean and hates Ethiopia so much? In that case, no..I don’t blame it on Ghedli or Arabs (even though mostly I like blaming Arabs for everything, including for a very mean look that a neighboring dog gave me this morning.. :-)) But, I blame it on a power of intimidation, threat and character assassination, which PFDJ is expert at. How do you think they make people submissive to them? With love, chocolate and milk? 🙂

          • Rodab

            Hey Nitiricc,
            Not bad, except you tripped on Keren.
            You can redeem yourself on this: among Eritrea’s cereals*, name nine.
            Auntie Ethio has those too, so it should be easy for you. Well, may be not. Let me know if you need lifelines.

            * ekhli, not American version of the likes of cheerios and captain crunch:-)

          • ghezaehagos

            Haw Nitric,

            “1) boil a big chunk of fresh crushed Ginger in water for about ten minutes, then have fresh lemon sliced and get the juice of it and add honey. Keep drinking you shall see the effect. If you don’t like that try….
            2) Boil a quarter cup of garlic in milk for about five minutes and drink the milk. Throw the boiled garlic. Try it. It should work…”
            This certainly remains as one of useful suggestions you penned in awate forum. May be your expertise lies there. I hope you cultivate them and you can cure people in free and reconciled Eritrea. In the meantime, I will remember your prescriptions in this budding flu season.
            Ghezae Hagos

          • Kokhob Selam

            Mahmuday, you got votes from me and Nitricc. I don’t know if it is for the same reason. you are in trouble for being up voted by both opposite ends. for me I am up voting for your clear stand when comes to your understanding in language and religions connection. Constitution ? I am afraid that it is “ኣድጊ ዘይብሉስ በቅሊ የናሹ ” I am not talking about horse but mule. don’t you think something is better than noting?

            once – I think it is in 1996 I had reservation to fly to Addis from Riyadh, The Ethiopian plane coming from Dubai was out of order landing in Riyadh hardly. although we had completed boarding, we were told to stay one night more in HAYAT REGENCY hotel. Because the the travelers were from both Eritrea and Ethiopia (as the plane will land in Eritrea too) I was hearing how some people were talking about Ethiopian Air line administration. I was the only Eritrean from the crowed who will continue to Ethiopia. I surprise to hear the bad words I was hearing from some Eritreans – one women said “ኣድጊ ዘይብሉስ በቅሊ የናሹ ” I don’t forget how she say it.

            we fly next morning and the plane landed Asmara air port . I heard some useless words from one two Eritreans when they were going out of the plane. But most of the people were wishing us peaceful journey and we continue to Addis. The flight was again in trouble when we reach Ethiopian highlands. but with great help of God and the pilots high moral and heroism we land Addis Ababa (you know Ethiopian pilots)

            will you say it was better not to have Air lines rather than having Ethiopians Air lines,and even one of the most wonderful Air lines?

            “ኣድጊ ዘይብሉስ በቅሊ የናሹ ” isn’t difficult for an Eritrean to talk about Ethiopian constitution when his country don’t have it.

            Ethiopia, withl all it’s shortcomings have become better than before.can we you compere it with PFDJ’s Eritrea? I have even difficulty to compere and see who is better between Januhoy administration and PFDJ administration.

          • Semere Andom

            Hi K Selam:
            Mahmuday is a breath of fresh air. Humble. And unheard of in many of his peers actually apologizes when he feels he made a mistake. Some times my cynicism is defeated when I read him and then I tell me self no optimist did great things in politics and go back to it 🙂
            PS I replied to your poem of Sep 18 🙂


          • Kokhob Selam

            yes, that is true “Mahmuday is a breath of fresh air. Humbl..” agree with you.

            I have seen your reply. I want to you to continue writing your poem. the more you write the more your mind expands on how to shape words on the way your want to express your feelings. you have it just bring it to us.

    • Rahwa T

      Hi Mahmud,
      When did the arabs reached the present Egypt? are you sure the church language of the Coptic was originally Arabic about 2000 years ago? Can you say it confidently?

  • saay7

    Selamat Serray:

    You said “So Sal and SJG, you are making a religious based demand when you ask for arabic…”

    I have not commented on this issue choosing to exercise the Shaebiyetay option of “ትም መሪጽና” (we have chosen to be silent) because it is going nowhere at warp speed.

    Speaking of silence, I have also chosen the “ኣዚም ሓይስ” approach when dealing with “Hayat Adem” (sorry Engineer Rodab, I know you were lining up for front row seats:) Other than to say that had been graced with three super-smart iconic Eritrean female voices very briefly that we unfortunately lost due to excess testosterone and now we will have contend with the fact that at awate forum the female Eritrean voice is represented by a voice which is remarkably similar (if not identical) to the voice of a militant Ethiopian, (T.Kifle.) I do hope they come back to balance the screeching noise from the “eshi get aye” corner which is, in any event, seasonal like the flu.


  • Saleh Johar

    Selam Serray, T.Kile, Amanuel and anyone interested.

    People like me have wrote, debated and explained enough that sometimes I feel no one should expect more explanation on the language issue. But to illustrate my view, let me start with a true story.

    In the early nineties when I lived in Kuwait, we have a person who was always drunk and bragged about it. One night while we were at the community center chatting and sipping tea, he came zigzagging and smelling of stink. He needed help because he forgot where he parked his car. He explained, ezen Areb dow abilenani, b’Areb tezaribenani, ane kh’a, I am an Eritrea, I do not speak Arabic illeyen.”

    He was taking about the police who stopped him because he was driving while stupidly intoxicated and instead of arguing or taking to jail, they took him in their car and dropped him at the Eritrean community center.

    The next day, he repeated the same stupid comment and I couldn’t stand his prejudice and racism. I challenged him, “is it because you are Eritrean that you don’t speak Arabic or simply becayse you don’t know the language?”

    To which he replied, “enya d’aa nArebegna tHleq, aslamay sle zkhnka dikha?”

    I was so furious but chose to be calm, I threw the question back at him, “how about you, are you that hateful towards Arabic because you are not a Muslim?”

    The man died shortly, I think of drinking related illness.

    I agree, to my knowledge, Arabic has never been an issue in Ethiopia, and if it is, that is not something I would callously interfere in. I will limit my comment to Eritrea:

    Serray boasts, “honesty dictates.” I am not infringing, but owning your view demands honestly of who you are. But let’s pass that for now.

    Those who demand Arabic are not hiding behind anything—they used the language long before the English set foot in Africa, let alone Eritrea. Do you realize that Eritrean Muslims have used Arabic as a language of culture and learning before they were baptized Eritreans? Or, you think they have no cultural history and lived ignorant forever, maybe until you civilized them? What do you think was the language of education and learning among the Muslims? Amharic? English?

    For your information, the Ad Mualim, just one clan, is an Eritrean clan whose main purpose in life was educating—if you haven’t guessed it, they were using Arabic. Ad Mualim is just one clan, there are several others that I will let you find on your own.
    Post Isaias Eritrea, as many of us dream it, is not a chauvinist system where the arrogance continues unabated. It is an era where every Eritrean will exercise his rights—no one will knock on your door begging Serray. You have nothing to give or deny: faqd alshe’e la yaATihu. You can’t give what you do not have. Now let’s not play chicken—instead, let’s puff our feathers and play roosters!

    Arabic is the cultural storage of a chunk of Eritreans whom you think are at your mercy to decide on their behalf. This British thing shows how shallow your understanding is. You can see it as a religiously driven demand, but on the other side, people see your views as a fanatic religiously driven view. That is a circular and we better stop it.

    Serray, you said, “you want Arabic, make YOUR own arguments because in 1991 we have reset the clock back to zero.” Excellent. I will not ask you who the “WE” is, I have heard it so many time not to know. But when you (the we) set your clock to zero, are the rest of us expected to reach for our watches and rest it to zero? Who cares how you set your clock? Who cares if you think that gives you the right to trample on the rights of others? And who needs your vote Serray?

    Rights are not alms that you vote on, rights are fought for. Your decision to perpetuate the marginalization will be faced and fought all the same. Do you now have an idea why Eritreans are gravitating to ethnic and regional groupings? It is because of this political malady many of you have. No Serray, I am not an Arab and I think I muster Tigrinya just like you if no better. I don’t feel a stranger in any spot in Eritrea. I am not a closet fanatic Crusader who try to absolve myself by insulting Muslims. I personally do not lose in any arrangement, but what my compatriots think is important to me.

    For your information, attitudes like your’re the drive behind movements like The Lowland Movement, they just can’t stand your likes. If you do not change your attitude, you are playing with fire. And by the way, your views is identical to the PFDJ, similar arrogance. A change that comes with such ideas scares me, because it is a recipe for disaster.

    First it was your Habesha centric views, now you completed the circles and are insulting Muslims. Don’t hide behind the British? Is this how you address half your compatriots? And to make it worse, you condescendingly offer your vote as if it will ameliorate the insult? Why is your vote more important than the vote of half of Eritrea? Humility is a blessing.

    T.Kifle, I was disappointed you equated me with “the we are the chosen people who decide for others” crowd. Now you see what we have to go through for centuries.

    • Serray

      Selamat SJG,

      I can tell you are ill prepared to deal with it if this thing blew up into our faces. Let me rephrase in the hope that this time you will get it. All my relatives and every person I ever met (except amanuel) who are christians never, ever, demanded arabic be our official language. While every muslim I know doesn’t, every one who does is a muslim in my experience. My post was not I have a problem with it like you made it sound callously and unfairly, it was WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO WITH THOSE WHO DO.

      My advice to you, stay out of it. If you lash out like this against someone who is at worst indifferent, you are a real liability against those who will see it as a religious demand. By the way, I don’t care whether tigrigna became the official language or not so please do not think you are doing me a favor for going along with it.

      When you ask something become OUR something, you should at least take into account the concern of those you are trying to shove this SOMETHING down their throats. You can’t tell people it is none of your business while trying to make something their business.

      There is a religious angle to it and YOU will have to deal with it; I was just giving you a heads up. But if think you can intimidate people into shutting up and accepting it, good luck. What was the habesha thing you brought up by the way?

    • T. Kifle

      Dear Saleh Johar,

      After a ping pong of few comments with Amanuel H. I just asked him the question in case I missed his points. I just used the words he provided in my explanation that in a secular state, it’s constitutionally prohibited to push such demands from a religious organization. If his question were framed like “If Christians ask for some language to be an official language”, my answer would be the same. The state has no business in the matters of religion and the religion has no business in the jurisdictions of the state. But if some section of Ethiopians push for it not in the name of religion but for its practical application and merit in their lives as citizens, it would be met with an appropriate constitutional response(either positive or negative) but cannot be dismissed outright as it would have been the case if it were to come from a religious entity. My bottom of argument is a language could be demanded to be official only if there are people who demand it to be so not as followers of this or that religion but a citizen of the country. I couldn’t get it at all why Amanuel is so offended of my replies.

    • Serray

      Selamat Sal,

      Before your tim meritsna expires, let put in my five cents fast. I hate, hate (I don’t know to stress that enough) hade libi, hade hizbi. It is one fake slogan if ever one exists. We are who we are and we are not one, never been one and never will be one. One of the reasons I hate the right-wing republicans is how they want to make this country one on paper while they practice discrimination in everything else…an almost one race crowd rejecting the diversity in the most diverse nation on earth.

      There is really a sick way how diversity is discussed here; it is almost always to accuse someone (like SJG did here or Ali Salim did in the past). A muslim can demand something without faking offense. The first time I ever read that I belong to chauvinistic people is right here at awate and SJG almost did that today. I belong to people who are purposely driven to extinction by our tegadelti rulers and yet there are people who equate me/us with those who drive us to extinction. It is rare in the history of the universe that people accuse one of chauvinism while being driven to extinction. The children of ghedli drive eritrea to destruction but SJG has no problem accusing me for being a cause why the Lowland Society was formed.

      Sometimes it feels Orwellian here: habesha is bad; pfdj is evil; shaebia is not pfdj; ghedli is good it brought us independence; independence brought slavery; independence is good.

      By the way, when I wrote about arabic, I was thinking about your smart packaging for marketing.

      • Hahaha the YG slave is going banana. I love it. I did not know he was a bigot. Stupid of me. How could I missed that, he is a foot soldier of YG, I should of known. I knew Serray for a good portion of my time and he diminishes with every passing day. He used to stand to the bullies of Ethiopians now he is bending for them.
        If the Kebesa is extinction then it is not the Muslims fault or the low landers making. It is because of the Christian Kebesa wanted something else. You know what I mean. In any case, it is good for Eritrea the likes of Serray leaving the country so the playing field is leveling. If PIA can stay for five more years then you will have more Muslims and low landers in a key places of power than the Serray’s blood line, you know the chosen once, the Highlanders.
        It is a great day to see the YG foot soldiers are having a nerves breakdown. Long live HADE LIBI AND HADE HIZBI

        • Serray

          01001110 01101111 01110111 00100000 01100111 01101111 00100000 01100011 01101100 01100101 01100001 01101110 00100000 01110100 01101000 01100001 01110100…pronto

      • saay7

        Serray the Sublime:

        Anta Serray I was enjoying my silence. So here are some random notes since you insist:

        1. The Hade lbi Hade hzbi (uniformity of opinion) is a policy adopted by all societies who see themselves as prey and that their only defense against predators is their unity. Just yesterday, North Korea published a tome to rebut accusations of human rights violations which are, according to it, invented by the US, Europe, Japan and South Korea. Here’s my favorite piece (which should sound familiar to us just by changing a couple of words) according to a WP report: “It goes on to try to define the very notion of human rights, while also explaining that state sovereignty is a form of human rights (something the report says Koreans learned while under Japanese rule, living a “miserable life worse than a dog of a family having funeral”).

        So, yes, it is really bad for nation-building when the State compels uniformity of opinion. My argument is only when it is presented as a uniquely-Eritrean problem, due uniquely-Eritrean history. Nope. It is just a country governed by totalitarian government who is behaving like all totalitarians: we are prey, and the predator is nearby. And the predator follows the script and acts like a predator and the loop is complete.

        2. I am sorry you feel that how we discuss diversity is a “sick way.” I don’t know what more we can do other than giving people an open forum and letting those with persuasive skills (like you) reach unformed minds or those with open minds. Everybody is different and everybody brings in their biases and whatever just made an impression on them. Some are obsessed with what I wrote 16 years ago; and you appear to be obsessed with what Ali Salim wrote a few years ago DESPITE the fact that he was being challenged by Semere Tesfai at the time and DESPITE the fact that Ali Salim has reversed course. Just like there are Ethiopians and Eritreans (highlanders) who believe that Eritrea’s problem is deeply rooted in our colonial history, there are Eritreans (lowlanders) who believe that Eritrea’s problem is deeply rooted in Habesha culture. That your reaction to the latter is as furious as my reaction to the former is understandable. The one thing we can say when dealing with traumatized societies is: “I can’t believe somebody thinks that!” Somebody or a bunch of somebodies always think that whatever that is.

        3. One of the things that some people (instigated by yg) are mad at awate for is that we didn’t explicitly say that those perishing in mass exodus are Christian highlanders. YG (Mr. “gospeler authority”) went further than that. I happen to agree 100% with how the International Crisis Group dealt with the issue:

        (Begin Quote)
        Eritreans have been leaving their home for much of its short and troubled modern history. After the 1952 federation with Ethiopia, and then post-1962 “annexation”, many migrated to the “imperial” capital, Addis Ababa. During the 1950s, others – especially less privileged Muslims – left for nearby Arab countries, first as migrant labour, but in the 1960s, as Eritrea’s nationalist struggle against its absorption by Ethiopia took shape, increasingly as political refugees. Over time, this created a large global diaspora, most members of which maintained close political and economic links with their homeland.

        (SNIP: Discussion of war and Isaias’s decision to create rule by decree)

        The outcome was a highly militarized state, “shaped by war and run by warriors”. If peasants and pastoralists silently accepted these measures, urbanized and better- educated sectors increasingly did not. This was especially true for urban youth, who were most affected by the national service that was instituted in 1995 to promote “nation-building, imbue the youth with loyalty and discipline, as well as stifle regionalism and create national consensus to build a national identity”, but was broadened into conscription during the 1998-2000 war.

        Once the peace agreements were signed, many soldiers expected to return slowly to normal life; however, gradual demilitarisation announced after the cessation of hostilities never materialised. Instead, the government expanded national service to boys and girls in their last years of high school. From 2002, national service was tied to the “Wefri Warsai Yika’alo”, a development campaign. Many national service men and women were deployed in parastatal companies controlled by senior army and party officers. To ensure compliance, travel within the country and beyond was restricted and severely regulated.

        The University of Asmara was all but closed and replaced with tertiary colleges located outside the capital, run by army officers and conducted “more along the lines of a military camp than an institution for further education”. Their creation evinced “a more general unease within the [ruling party] about the aspiration of the younger generation which it suspects of being less concerned with the ‘revolution’ and more with individual achievement”.It was increasingly evident that the PFDJ viewed urban, middle-class youths, mostly from Asmara, with particular suspicion.

        The more the PFDJ tried to extort loyalty from the population and forge an “ex- periential” link between young people and tegadelay by militarising Eritrea, the more urbanised youths felt alienated. The alternative to indefinite service was to join the segre-dob (those who crossed the border)

        (End of Quote)

        3. The Arabic language issue is something that has been discussed since November 1971 when Isaias Afwerki and Co disseminated “Nehnan Elamanan” (We and Our Objectives) criticizing the ELF’s use of Arabic language as a means of military training and its (according to the document) strong identification with Arab identity. Many of the things that the critics of Arabic-as-official-language say now (that they think are original and bold and irreverent) were said by Isaias Afwerki when he was 23 years old.

        Official language, working language, whatever we choose to call it is simple another way of saying the language that the State and the Citizen use to communicate with one another when the nation is made up of multi-lingual society. The ELF said that Tigrinya-Arabic are co-official languages because they were so during the Federation (and part of the cause of our struggle is reverse Ethiopia’s annexation and policy changes.) The EPLF said that Tigrinya and Arabic should be the working languages (it felt “official” placed an obligation on the State; Harbeyna Weyane by some strange coincidence said Amharic is the “working language.”) EPLF intelligentsia’s original proposal was Tigrinya and Tigre but the founders of EPLF were split (with the Red Sea group for Arabic and the highland group for Tigre) and after long, endless intellectual debates (yes, they had them in EPLF) they settled on Tigrinya Arabic as working languages which is the current policy of Eritrea.

        Now, I don’t know what those who don’t want Arabic as official language are so upset about: you won. In today and tomorrow’s Eritrea, Tigrinya-Arabic co-official language is not a given–as time goes by, Federation-era politics, 1940s politics, even ELF becomes a distant memory. And all we have to deal with is the Eritrean population as it is now: and as it is now is a country where Tigrinya fluency is almost universal; “mother-tongue language education” proponents have won the cultural war. Just observe all the 40 something political organizations, civil society that we have: those who argue for Tigrinya-Arabic co-official status are relics of the Ghedli era.

        To be continued… maybe:)


        • Serray

          Selamat Sal,

          Happy to get you out of your self-imposed silence. I read that ICG report when it came out and you are right it captures the migration pattern correctly except it left out the young urban flood to Medda and sudan in the mid-seventies when the fronts surrounded asmara, massawa and aseb. It is not awate, we are all doing a poor job of handling our refugees issue of the past or present. We seem dazed almost lethargic.

          About the highland/lowland stuff, I see this Orwellian reasoning about it; blaming the highlander in any shape or form ignores the transformational nature of ghedli. Kids go to college and come completely transformed; replacing the value system of the their parents by their modern teaching. To look at isaias and somehow blame his pre-medda ethnic identity to what he had become is simply strange to me. That is my first and least problem; my fear is that if we will split along those lines, we will get trapped with the unintended consequence of turning the highlanders to the regime out of spite.

          When it comes to languages, I hope we make the three languages working/official but I also like the mother tongue in elementary school; specially in the regions were they don’t write in their mother tongue like we do. That way everybody is happy and we keep the peace. You know, Sal, sometimes I wonder whether we can handle the transition with people having different ideas about the constitution and what have you. The more common grounds we find now the better; that is why I am in favor of fixing/implementing or implementing/fixing this constitution. Most of the wedge issues could be tackled if the grand ones are implemented.

          • saay7

            Selam Serray:

            I agree with you totally on the constitution. I don’t share your skepticism on the transition period, provided we (Eritreans) are engineering it. The root cause of our problem is the search for a root cause.


          • ghezaehagos

            “The root cause of our problem is the search for a root cause.” Sal Younis.
            I like it.
            We should temper our trauma and incessant stream of consciousness with bold pragmatism lest we miss the baddest guy in the crowd, Isaias Afewerki. Target him. Then, our problems will be big. But they will be much easier to carry or handle. As of now, our troubles are excessively abnormal; inhuman and insanely intractable because the maker and waver of them is abnormal, inhuman and insane….guys we are being led by a person who hates Eritrea and despises Eritreans.
            All the best,
            Ghezae Hagos

          • Shum

            You like it. I love it. I hope everyone takes heed about this identity root cause nonsense. I’m glad someone is talking about authoritarian and totalitarian societies. You’d think people who have lived in authoritarian societies would understand.

        • T. Kifle

          Selamat Sal,

          You said, “Harbeyna Weyane by some strange coincidence said Amharic is the “working language.””,

          It’s not by “some strange coincidence” but article 5 of our constitution says just that as you can see below. Amahric is the working language of only the federal state. If other states want to use it as state-level working language, and often they do as in SNNP, Benishangul Gumuz and Gambela regional states, they must declare it in their constitutions too. Many people confuse matter and often state that Amharic is the official language of Ethiopia. That’s wrong. It’s one of the many official languages we have them here.

          Article 5
          1. All Ethiopian languages shall enjoy equal state recognition.
          2. Amharic shall be the working language of the Federal Government.
          3. Members of the Federation may by law determine their respective working languages.

          • saay7

            Selamat T. Kifle:

            When I referred to Harbeyna Weyanai, I mean TPLF and not T.Kifle. I can understand your confusion because I have used them interchangeably in the past.

            Can you tell me what’s the difference between a “working language” and an “official language” where it matters: how the State and the Citizen communicate with each other?


          • T. Kifle

            Selamat Sal,

            Good! confusion noted:
            As to me the problem, I think, is not in the words “official ” or “working” but in the nouns that come after them. They would be wrong if someone say “Amharic is an official language of Ethiopia” because it’s not. There is not any single language here that can be categorized in as official language or working language of Ethiopia. Any language being utilized at the centre specifically applies to the federal government. If the adjectives are made to qualify the nouns properly, it seems to me there is no difference between being “official” and “working” stuff.

  • Goytom

    jesus christ! nothing you said made any sense. Wala btigrigna dey tshfo. Hgdf is in trouble if they depend on people like you to argue their case.

    • Shum


      Everyone gives L.T. a pass, even the ones being insulted. In fact, it’s one of those unofficial posting guidelines 🙂

  • haileTG

    Selamat Awatista,

    Djibouti and Ethiopia defense pact was first raised during the Ethio-Eritrea border conflict back in 1999. The issue invariably involves France and possibly the US now. Back then Eritrean FM Haile Weldetensae discussed the issue in the following tube chop. It was chopped to only include the 10 min interview to save time the busy awatistas. In passing, this interview also includes Eritrea’s formal apology to Ethiopia for the Ayder school bombing, I hope brother T Kifle would be interested to note that.

    Looking at the earlier video that I posted to dawit, one can see how hawkish, irresponsible and ridiculous IA was acting. He almost suggested that the Ethiopian side had no basic military know how which if it wasn’t for the tragic outcome they proved him wrong fair and square. FM Haile had a tone that put the interest of peace (hence Eritrea’s) at heart, deals with the Ethiopian side as an equal adversary and treats and refers to other third parties with due respect and consideration.

    One of Eritrea’s major tragedy was that the hawks (lead by IA) won the day post the immediate conflict, unlike in Ethiopia where the moderates maintained control. In the end the moderates in Ethiopia have transformed their country for the better and the hawks in Eritrea froze in their bitter, angry, isolated and ravaged mentality and have brought the nation to its last gasps of breath.

    As September 18 approaches, we Eritreans need to confront this glaring reality and focus on ending the rule of the hawks because those who rule by the spade would perish by the spade.

    Here is Teg. Haile W, Eritrea’s minster of foreign affairs before the 2001 purge by the hawks.


    • feven1

      “In passing, this interview also includes Eritrea’s formal apology to
      Ethiopia for the Ayder school bombing, I hope brother T Kifle would be
      interested to note that.”

      Right, I don’t want to
      pretend I understood everything the Gentle man said on the video clip,
      but I would take your word and let’s say he happened to be one single
      sane Eritrean at the time. But the truth of the matter is almost
      every-single Eritrean including the people who currently “oppose” him
      rallied behind the mad man, which is why much to your surprise No
      Ethiopian including T-Kifle might have not noticed this supposed
      “apology”..Talking of T Kifle , everything he said about the way
      Eritreans miscalculated events and still continue to do so (perhaps to a
      lesser extent) is true, except that he failed short of being honest about the TRUE cause of the conflict understandably for the sake being modest…The fact that the lead-dog took the lead in trying to execute Eritrea’s dream of shining at the expense of others,
      but failed miserably is irrelevant, rather what is relevant is what is
      still persistent in Eritrean people’s psychic..Many Eritreans may no
      longer fancy Isais as much as they did before for the mare fact that he
      has become an embarrassment to their dream of “uniqueness” but the truth
      is his dream was their dream and still is openly or secretly..At the
      time when there so many priorities, such as recovering from a long
      “independence” war and forming a constitutional rule, he drew a road map
      that will take Eritreans to Singapore on the back of their neighbors and
      non of them including the so called Eritrean “intellectuals” questioned
      his madness…instead, most of them bit the war-dram and galvanized
      forces behind him in every-way they can to “once again” humiliate Ethiopians
      and get them to submit to their dream of wanting to prove what
      “Eritreanism” is…even worse they wanted to prove it at the expense of
      the very people they wanted to prove to(Ethiopians)..To this day many
      Eritreans suffer from “Eritrea legil, Ethiopia Legara” syndrome, a
      distorted sense of expectation that still persists, and even those who
      oppose Isais. Afwerqe are no better underneath ..I live in Ethiopia and
      it hurts me to see Eritreans who sometimes openly wish ill for my
      country but happily use everything the country can offer…..plenty of Amiches who have still not learnt from past mistakes
      and so called oppositions whose hidden fantasy is still the same as the
      very man they oppose..In real honesty, it might be easy to kill a regime
      in Asmara, but it might not be easy to cure the distorted sense of
      self-hood of distorted sense of expectation “most” Eritreans have. hence
      I personally don’t have the obsession some people have about the
      removal of Isais the individual..After-all, Isais Afweqe is the brain
      child of Eritrean thinking..Unlike Mengistu Hailemariam, Isais Afweqe did not happen suddenly, He came with Eritreansism and Eritrea and like any major shareholder, he seems determined to take it down with him..

      • Abinet

        Selam feven1
        Where have you been ? Please come often . I like your report from addis. Honest ,polite,to the point.
        God bless you .

        • Dis Donc

          If you, mind you Ethios, have given up, this much, on Eritreans then why are you here? In case, you have forgotten, PMMZ’s mother was Eritrean (who voted on referendum), Aman Andom was Eritrean (who, by the way, spoke in both Tigrigna and Arabic during an olive branch mission to Eri while as a president of the then provisional gov’t of Ethio; which some of you have conveniently forgotten [1]), I know many Eri soldiers who died for Ethio while fighting against E/TPLF, and listless Eris who though good for Ethio.

          [1] Amanuel mentioned Ethio musulmans along with Arabic language and everything degenerated up untill SGJ salvaged it; to his credit. Things to clarify here.

          T Kifle: Aman’s question was; what would you do if a segment of your society demanded to communicate in Arabic. Sure enough, your answer was something akine to the constitutionality of the question. But his question was what if they asked you to change the constitution to allow them to use the langauge. Kifle, you knowingly began to quarrel with him, even went to the defense of Abinet and Eyob. I watched your analysis and writings and I am at a loss that you didn’t know what he was asking you. You are too smart of a guy to not know what he meant!!?? Thus, the natural question is why are you here?

          Amanuel: You should know better that Ethio musulmans are at loggerhead with their gov’t and the last thing, both sides, need is Arabic language to be mentioned in their discomfort to one another. And even worse, that question is introduced by an Eritrean!! Here again, SGJ (again credit to him) asked the question to be replaced by another language, in stead of Arabic.

          While I enjoyed reading your (Ethios) contributions, by all means long it may be, I have a nagging feeling something is in the work here. Aside from some well-meaning Ethios, I just want to know why are you here?

          And what of you, the Eritreans? What do you want to achieve, here at awate forum? What kind of Eritrea that you are hoping to build? A modern state? An Eritrea for Eritreans only state? I asked this because, most of you are fixated with your identity, along with you Ethio compadres. Unlike you, I happen to think that identity is a generational thing and will be metted out by the second or third generation. I am of a second generation and I know nothing about Eri, including what little I know about the languages which I have forgotted altogether by now. Speaking of languages, can you please repeat the geez version by latine alphabets version, as well. It is true SAAY, your last sentence for my original comment in another title, your identity might be what is left off you but I worry that soon enough, Eritrean identity will only found at the bottom of high seas.

          Amanuel: What I meant was as the saying goes; a man should only be seen and not heard!!!

          • feven1

            “I am of a second generation and I know nothing about Eri, including what
            little I know about the languages which I have forgotten altogether by
            now. Speaking of languages, can you please repeat the geez version by
            latine alphabets version, as well”
            You see that is the irony my 2nd generation Eritrean friend…When Eritreans gained “independence” and jumped up and down right in our face in Addiss Ababa, we thought that was it, we thought they were going to dispose everything that relates them to Ethiopians including Tigrigna language spoken by more people in Ethiopia than Eritrea…we even thought they were going to swap Enjera for spaghetti and traditional Abesha dress for Gorgio-Armani…instead what we ended up with is people who wasted a good three decades to disown everything they are now smuggling through illegal trade(contraband), except that the beneficiary is the very entity that sold u “indipendence(Shabia)…cos I know for sure most of the contraband traders who profit from smuggled ethiopian goods are either Shabians or their sympathizers..poor-you, you don’t speak Tigrigna let alone Amharic but Shabian sympathizers even acquire condominium flats in Addis by pausing as Amhara…

          • Dis Donc

            I heard you many times and you made it very clear of your ideas and opinions about Eri and Eri’eans. But I asked again why are you here? Unhappy about the referendum? Angry about Eris at home? Why are you here? Why? Unfinished business from Dergi time? Hailesilassie time? EPRDF time? Subjugation again? What do you want awate to do about it?

            As for my not speaking Tigrigna; that is neither here nor there but if you insist, I was never of Tigrigna speaker by paternal right. And of course, I lived in the west for many years, life and my profession has taken me to many countries. 6 years of American English, 10 year of French, and Now Spanish. What should I do about it? Jump off a buinding?

          • Shum

            Hello Dis,

            Nice to have you here. Your questions to Eritreans on this forum is legit. But I think you’ll find you are wasting your time with feven1 who reveals more ignorance about culture vs nationality. There are always folks who visit websites to unload this sort of stuff and focus on the misfortune of others and their ignorance. The funny part are people who we consider reasonable ones are cool with it. If I were on an Ethiopian forum and I saw a fellow compatriot say this kind of nonsense, I would tell them to cut it out. In short, you’re wasting your time with it. We’ve been in circles with this topic to no avail because it isn’t based on intelligence but on spite or hate.

          • haileTG

            hey Feven1,

            I was ready to respond to your other entry in my comment and here is this one. Let me be clear from the outset that Ethiopia and Ethiopians as of today are not represented by narrow, vindictive, hateful, extreme firing views like yours. Yours is circa …hmm may be a decade ago. Thankfully, Ethiopia had buried your kind of warped and deluded mentality and is ascending in myriads of all rounded success stories, Unfortunately, your kind of Eritreans managed to hold power by force in Eritrea and look what the result is. Overall, in Ethiopia’s current power formation, the minds of Fanti Ghana and Horizon are dominant and the hawks and vindictive souls are banished from the face of Ethiopian calculations. I can simply point you to any equally hateful and vindictive PFDJista to match your take on all issues Eritrea. That is why your mentality is a failed and embittered one and is akin to an old lady who always takes the far corner seat and only mumbles and curses anything that moves. Ethiopia’s people to people initiative is a massive slap down to this kind backward and rotten thinking.

            On the issue of T Kifle. I actually disagree with a lot of the things being said about him. I doubt (in fact so far believe) that T kifle subscribe at all to your kind of blind hate of Eritrea and the Eritrean people. I can only speak of him from my experience and short of the border issue I differ with him, in principle he is forward looking and stated many times how he wishes to strengthen our common peoples bonds. If I have issue with him, I would sure take it up with him but you neither represent Ethiopia, Ethiopian leadership nor the opinion of T Kifle who is very capable of tackling issues by himself.

            An Ethiopian local administrator in a small village in Tigray recently came to spend the night with Eritrean refugees in Tigray Camp (I think it was a new year eve concert they made for them). He made a short speech in the occasion from the podium to the thousands of Eritrean refugees there. Roughly translated he said “The world and its bureaucracy can call you refugees, immigrants, asylum seekers….or whatever. To us, that is meaningless. You are our brothers and sisters. We are saddened that you did not get to enjoy the results of your struggle, yet we are confident that a time will come for you to do so, if you fight for your rights diligently. Till then, this is your home, take all the time you need and feel no strangeness whatsoever. In fact, most of you are young to remember, but we use to call this place dembe hamasien because in the old days your cattle use to graze here all day. You are our brothers and this is your land and feel at home.” I will get you the link when I find it. But that shows you that center moderate view is firmly rooted in Ethiopia today and you can only find your kind of anti-people extreme sentiment with the likes of PFDJ Eritrea,


          • feven1

            I didn’t expect your kind of pretentious politician who is
            deluded by diplomatic talk from modest ethiopian politicians to
            appreciate the reality on the ground..The reality on the ground is,. my
            country ETHIOPIA and your country eritrea is at odds not because
            ethiopia can not get rid off your pathetic leader, but because the
            issue is more complicated than you try to paint it….The problem is mr
            peace maker, so much for your “resilience” you people just don’t have as
            much hate for Isais as you had for ethiopians…that is why it is even
            hard for the very people you are trying to praise(Ethiopia’s current
            power formation) to organize you against Isias…You are no better than
            the bigot in Asmara.

          • haileTG


            You know your views are relegated to the back burner in modern day Ethiopia. Look all around you, either the Ethiopian leaders don’t hear you for lack of internet connection or some unlikely scenario or they are ignoring you.Ethiopia Eritrea relationship might be lagging in politics, but what is the reality in other spheres? Why aren’t the Ethiopian leaders shutting their doors aka fortress Ethiopia to all other Eritreans from all walks of life? If it was you and the way you talk, the next level would have been to try to act out your blind hate and try to impose your will.. In other words, you would have taken poor Ethiopia on a suicide mission to satiate your thirst. I don’t think you understand the moderate strategy that has changed the situation in Ethiopia for the better. I think they looked at your bitter delusions and walked away. As far as Eritrea and Eritreans, I suggest you meet your ilks in some of the PFDJ website and you will have a fun day slagging it out with them. Or there are other Ethio websites too that cater for it.

            In the end, Feven’s views are just that, Feven’s views. You can’t speak for anyone else and definitely not the reality in the ground. The reason I am respond here is to counter the common misconception that some people, after reading comments like yours, they respond by writing Ethiopians are this or Ethiopians are that. That is wrong, your views are not represented in the reality we see in Ethiopia. Ethiopia can assist the Eritrean opposition or refrain, it is entirely her discretion. But for a poor and third world country, it has taken bold people to people steps that need to be appreciated and met half way. I am capable of seeing you for the lone voice that you are and only using this as learning moment with fellow awatistas in a our attempt to elevate the debates here further. Sorry for availing myself to use you in my demonstration of the idea I am trying to communicate. I have no intention to exorcise your hate demons otherwise.


          • Rahwa T

            Mr/Miss. Donc,
            Please correct your ‘facts’. Aman Andom was an Ethiopian born from an Eritrean Father and an Ethiopian mother. He was not Eritrean as Barack Obama is not Kenyan. His older sister( mama Tsion) is still alive and I can post the link with her interview if you like. The same is true for those soldiers who did fighting for Ethiopia. You can associate them with Eritreans of the current or old generations.

      • T. Kifle

        Dear Dis,

        I was not reacting to a mere Arabic language only. As far as Ethiopia remains secular, it would be unconstitutional for any religion to demand that kind of imposition. Ethiopian Muslims understand more than anyone else how a messing up of state and religion worked against them as they were at the receiving end of the same scheme Mr. Amanuel brought us here just for the heck of it. Any member state of our federation can demand for a language to be a federal working language or even to have a state of its own, for example from the large multi-ethnic state of SNNP, or even to go away from the union altogether and form an independent nation as is enshrined in article 39 of our constitution when and as required. But demanding a “Muslim” or a “Christian” language to the federal or state level governments remains always wrong and unacceptable in a country where religion and state are clearly delineated. This is a trivial question to be missed and I didn’t miss it at all. It just is a nonsense question that doesn’t fly. A religion would be heard if there are grievances of the rights to worship as guaranteed in the constitution just within the confines of its denomination. Nothing more nothing less. In fact, I am surprised why these big names couldn’t understand the implications of the question brought about here by Ato Amanuel and just keep asking the same question as if this is a question kind of space science. The fact is those who ask this question didn’t get it right themselves. Ethiopians Muslims have no right to demand Arabic or any other to be official language in the same manner the Christians have no right to impose their Ge’ez to be an official one. Simply put, the distance between the state and the RELIGIONS is in light years.

        why we are “here”? Does it matter to you?

        Note: This is a reply to Dis Donc, sorry feven1 for me clicking the wrong button

        • Dis Donc

          Folks, where I live, vacation begins today at noon; tomorrow and Friday are holidays. Kifle, I really am sorry but you will have to wait for my reponse on the 22nd (Monday).

          • T. Kifle

            Wish you all the best dear 🙂

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Dear T.Kifle,

          You see my friend how a painful it becomes to you and people like you when that question raised. The reason I raised the question was simple. Because you (Ethiopians) start to talk about our languages and the controversy we have on that issue. And from far, you our brothers from Ethiopia came to judge and tell us about how we should handle it. Even to the extent which Eritrean languages are ours and which is not. So my question was simple and straight. How would you handle if you encounter with such tough questions? Keep in mind as your current constitution is evolved from the old constitution you had, this one will also evolve with the factors that dictate the dynamics of your society. You might not have that question now, but believe me you couldn’t rule out my question in the future, as we don’t know what questions the future will give you. And even you should expect questions you couldn’t predict or contemplate sometimes.

          A Constitution is an agreed document that could be amended based on what time and space could bring new realities. So my friend – A constitution is not a dogma document for ever, it evolves with time. So my question was if the evolution of time could bring you such question and find yourself in the center of such constitutional crises, what will be your political adjudication as an elite who has a big role to tackle the problem. (I hope we will not fight whether a constitution is also is an agreed political document). In case if you want to try to argue about on what the identity of a constitutional document is, let me tell you: A constitutional document is a political document before it becomes a legal contractual agreement. If you don’t agree on that, I am more than happy to debate on the meaning, on the constitutional process, and how a common political document could transform into a contractual legal document of a particular people and why in every constitutional document that there is a provision for amendment for unforeseen realities that comes with changes of society and their needs.

          Amanuel Hidrat

          • T. Kifle

            Dear Amanuel Hidrat,

            Before pushing the debate further let me get one thing clear. Are you telling me that Arabic in Eritrea is introduced as Eritrean “Muslims’ language”?

          • Saleh Johar

            T. Kifle and Amanuel,

            Please allow me to interject ,

            Eritreans, regardless of their religion, agreed to have Arabic and Tigrinya as official languages. That being the simple answer, we can go deeper to analyze why and how the different segments of our society see that. At the end, what matters is that we agreed on that arrangement for many reasons. Apart from the known quarters (you know who that is) we have no problem with that arrangement.

          • T. Kifle

            Dear Saleh Johar,

            For the record, it has never been an issue for me if Eritrea avails Arabic or English or any other language for that matter. Bro. Amanuel simply accused me as if I questioned the status quo.Not at alI. I know this is non of my business. Because of his bias on me , he simply beat round a bush for a clear message that I was trying to convey.

          • Saleh Johar

            Dear T.Kifle,
            Just like you wrote good words (not withstanding your wild accusation of me a supremacist) I have to reciprocate.

            I am sure you are well versed on Internet debates and discourses (or chatter). Most of the time, a fruitful discussion that has a potential to lead to fruitful debate and action is hindered because of some unnecessary and provocative comments. If I may use it as an example, after you accused me, sadly I lost the appetite to discuss anything with you. It was an unnecessary comment that you threw with no occasion and to make matters worse, you didn’t disown it clearly. But we move on.

            You are well aware of the Eritrean problems. Unfortunately we never had a conducive environment to resolve them. That is sad and for the sake of showing good will, I expect true neighbors, people who aspire for peace and stability to at least understand our situation–I am not encouraging pity. So, I see some gestures from a few here who think we are done, crippled and anything goes as far as disrespecting us is concerned. No. We fell down but we as a people are not dead. We believe we will raise like the proverbial phoenix and take our place in a peaceful and prosperous neighborhood. We wish anyone will join us in that kind of music, that kind of dance. But taking everything that we are fighting for, we are paying dearly for materially and emotionally, to rid our beloved country of the PFDJ, and then someone comes and defines us by what we are fighting against. Is really inconsiderate. It doesn’t build trust. I am not necessarily accusing any specific person, I am just stating the attitude that I see. Some people are here to massage their egos, to have the last word, no goal in debating, just here to stir trouble and treat national issues of life and death, as if it is a football game. Some people here who are so tormented and who would like to cure their torment by badmouthing others. People inflicted with so much complexity accusing others of the same, a sort of, adey, Habbal belliya keyqedemetkki. Such behavious instigates an equal response, and many resist it, but at the end we are all humans, we can’t pretend to be robots with no emotions, no reactions when we are assaulted. But that takes us no where.

            So much for that, sorry for the lecture 🙂

            I hope we think more before we post impulsively in reaction. Please try to regain your fairness.

          • T. Kifle

            Dear Saleh Johar,

            OK let me explain!. I am sorry if I hurt your feelings amidst an attempt of getting my messages across. You see, I am a person who lived every details of the past war. I witnessed first-hand the enormity of the pain my fellow Ethiopians living in the border areas have endured when we were assaulted totally unprepared. Not that I overlooked the suffering of the Eritrean people which passed through the same magnitude of pain though caused by their own government and still continuing unabated. Really, I understand the problem and I am a defender of the sovereign Eritrea and its people through my little way in the articles I write here and there. We, the proponents of the Eritrean state, are facing two challenges from both sides of the divide. We firmly defend our decisions and stand we hold from the assault that incessantly comes from the chauvinist camp in our side and that from the Eritrean elites who look at us as poodles of the west. Do we have good men no matter small their number might be? That’s for sure, for you are one of them. But truth be told the dominant number is still nursing grudges against Ethiopia and instead of holding the PFDJ accountable for starting the war, they accuse him for his bad management and commander-ship. My understanding is one solves a problem only if the problems is clearly identified as a real problem. I think the real problem is not the few guys in the higher echelon of the PFDJ ranks but all the mighty writers and intellectuals that fought us with with pens a role far beyond an army division could possible play. That’s where I ventured to air my view that the belligerent nationalism we observe in Eritrea is not an isolated incident but an established value system nurtured by the mainstream opinion makers and shakers which could haunt us even in the future if not addressed in the earliest.

            Now, I should not have put you along with the side of Saleh Younis and hereby apologize for the inconvenience caused to you.

          • Saleh Johar

            Okay T. Kifle,

            Fair enough. But let me also correct you on one wrong perception that is incapacitating the elite on both sides of the border. I have explained it in so many articles yet it had a negligible effetc in making more people understand it. For your information, one such articles was published shortly before I met the late PM Meles Zenawi. And his first comment we we sat was, “I read your last article, you have a compelling argument.” That made my day because if it made him think, others would also face the reality. Please read it on the link below.

            You, like many others, consider that we have an elite that can be defined as one block. That is far from the truth. The elite in the two countries are so much polarized some of them do not greet each other. Their understanding of the situation, and the solution they envision, is so much diverse, so far apart. What you see in the Internet is not a sample of the elite, but one segment of the elite. There are other factions (if the term is right) of elite everywhere.

            Talking about the Eritrean elite, I doubt if you are aware that we have a parallel elite group that communicates only in the Arabic websites and on social media, but in Arabic. There are elite inside Eritrea of who you do not hear much–those are not the PFDJ type of elite by the way, but they are not in a position to engage in debates like we do. And then there is the PFDJ elite. More? There are the Amiche elite, or those who have longings for Ethiopia without “Weyane” as they put it. Therefore, you cannot talk about Eritrean elite as if it is one block. For someone who know the divisions, the classification of Eritrean elite (even Ethiopian for that matter) as one homogeneous class if not correct, misleading and doesn’t give us a proper reading of the situation.

            Here is the article I mentioned above.

          • Hope

            Be it due to religion,for convenience,reconciliation,British Colonial influence,etc—-
            we,Eritreans, agreed up on it.Case closed.
            Personally, even as a Catholic Christain/de facto non-denominational though for Ecumenical reasons,I am more than delighted to have Arabic as my working or Official Language for plenty of reasons,though I happened to be an Original Low-Lander with all of its benefits and pride included:
            1) It will make me to be more than two people
            2)I will be able to communicate and to do business with more than 600 million people–even beyond the Middle East
            3)Of utmost importance,I will live happily with my Muslim Eritrean brothers and sisters as keeping Arabic as my second/working or official language will make them and will make us to live in harmony.
            As to the Ethiopian issue to claim Arabic as their second language for what ever reason(but 35-40% Muslims?),that is the business that belongs to but to the Ethiopians.
            As to Mr Amanuel Hidrat’s question,he got a point and the Ethiopians should think about it as of now for their best interest–not because they have to use Arabic coz the Ethiopian Muslilms will ask for it but —-to plan ahead and to seek for possible answers and solutions in the event the hypothetical question pops up and to learn from other Nations’ experience and to avoid any unforseen problems.

          • Rahwa T

            Hi Hope,

            I got your point. You are saying let alone East Africa, the whole world will become Islam. So we have to get ready for that and learn Arabic as one of official language.

          • Hope

            ahhh,YEP,U R right–get ready for a “Forced Conversion” as the ISIS running in the speed of light.
            My point was that we need to listne and try to accomodate out Citizens before it crosses the red line……Am not saying that we have to allow Arabic for this and that purpose but–hey,just consider the Muslim Ethiopian Grievance and sit down and listen to them.I do NOT believe thay are asking fro Arabic Language to be their Official Language.

          • Hope

            —puls,our Situatuion is complex and quite a bit “unique”…but not to much complicated to solve it,which we believe it is/will be resolved officially,for-once and for all during a Constitutional Governance–coming soon.
            But again,I have nothiong to do with the Ethiopian case–NOT at all.We were discussingit as the “Hypothetical question popped up for some reason,when it should NOT have been–as it is out of the topic.

          • tafla

            You make it sound as if it was uncontroversial at the time the decision was taken. We also agreed on federation, but things change with time!

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Kifle,

            please argue intellectually, where ever such question exist or whoever raised that question doesn’t matter. Such question is societal question. And please also who ever raised it, see it as a language like all languages don’t attach it with religion. We don’t take English language as christian language. You know it better. There are many countries double or triple languages as official language. Just treat it as a language.

          • T. Kifle

            Dear Amanuel,

            Did you forget your original question? Why I went out of my way to explain STATE-RELIGION separation has been because you asked me what I would do if “Ethiopian Muslims ask for Arabic to be an official language”. If you changed your mind I will rest my case. But if you still insist, I may try another shot in case it downed to you the difference between values and principles. State-religion separation is not a value. It’s a principle. principles don’t evolve. They simply act irrespective of region, religion, race etc. So the state-religion separation is timeless principle. If Ethiopia turns into religious state, your question finds an immediate answer. what is so great about this question?

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear T.Kifle,

            I didn’t change, it is your understanding. whether it is asked by Muslims or non Muslims it is the question of language never was about religion. And it was hypothetical question for farsighted individuals to check their wisdom and the way how they adjudicate their politics if they confronted with such questions for purposes of coexistence, peace, and stability.

          • Andom

            I have never heard any Ethiopian Muslim demanding Arabic to bte a national language. Infact ,it is oromiffa that is likely going to challenge the fact that Amharic being the sole federal working language.many promos, be it Muslim or christian, have frequently demanded for that. Being a muslim does not mean u have to use Arabic as means of communication. The Kurds are Muslims, they want to develope the own Kurd language andand culture, the same goes to many ethnicities in Ethiopia.

          • someone

            ..”principles don’t evolve…”

            If you find that one of your principles is wrong, don’t you think to change it? Is human knowledge too complete to err?

          • Rahwa T

            Dear Mr Amanueæl ,

            Why is it “normal” when you ask “what if the Ethiopian Muslims
            raises the issues of Arabic as their language tomorrow” but “odd” when TK asks
            you to clear YOURSELF whether Arabic was made as official language in Eritrea because of the pressure from the Muslims:? Do you know that you are shouting when you feel you are short of ammunition to defend yourself? After all you couldn’t be as clear as you were in your earlier great arguments and ideas. I suggest you better drop this topic.

            nab zeysemAka debri …. koynuka’lo mesleni

          • Amanuel Hidrat


            I know it is scary to you. Because it is one of the probability at one point Ethiopian generation will encounter it. In Eritrea both Tigrigna and Arabic are the official languages used even in the current government of PFDJ. So there is no problem in the Eritrean context. You see Rahwa, It is not my bussiness to interfere on the issue of Ethiopians, when you come to question us what is our languages and what it isn’t and try to adjudicate on behalf of us, it is incumbent to throw hard ball in your face. Here is my advice to you and the rest: The only issue we can talk is as neighbors is on what “horizon” hoping for both people and that is “peace, stability, and cooperation”. The rest is an internal issue and should be left for both government to deal with their problems.

          • T. Kifle

            Dear Rahwa T,

            Amanuel epitomizes the old Tigriyna adage ጸማምስያ ሓንቲ ደርፉ 🙂 Recently he is sliding down a slippery road for reasons God knows what. He showers us with adjectives and his premeditated conclusions such as “now I come to know your true colours”, ” you see how the question is painful to you” and now how the question is “scary” for Rahwa. I thought he was well-versed in the constitutional principles behind the state-religion separation but it appears he doesn’t.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam T. Kifle,

            I can’t read the tigrigna adage for now, I will do it from home.. but we have lived with politics almost the entire of our life and we know the game of politics, though different people exercise it differently. I am following your exercising of politics. For a simple question you went all ups and down to the extent, without any reservation went to insult me as “a kind of guy often blows with the wind.” I could have done worse than that to you, but (a) I respect my readers (b) I respect the rules of the websites. Hence I will not go with that. A disrespectful person will be disrespected by his own words. I hope you get it the message.

          • Hope

            Well,Rahwit haftina,
            I advise you to kindly and seriously to take into consideration Aman’s ” Hypothetical” but potentially important question considering the 30-40 million Ethiopian Muslims and their daily grievances-for whatever reason.
            TK’s question was already answered in 1950s and we are glad that we have already resolved it 60 yrs ago —irrespective of the motivation or the reasoning behind it.
            Aman already gave you a hint about amending the Constitution at one point in time for many reaons,not just for Religious Reasons,evnthough the Ethiopian Constituency will less likley have more than 75% vote to amend it based on “Muslim ” request only(TK’s confidence), unless the Ethiopian Congress will be taken over by Muslims.
            Plus,this is an intellectual debate,not a biased one based on ” nepotism”/weghenawinet.

          • Hope

            Jumping into name calling is a sign of serious lackof self-confidence.
            Debate,challenge and use “Reason and Rationbality”–if you have the gut and courage to do so.

          • Haile WM

            Dear Rahwa,
            I am not sure if you defend T.Kifle because he is Weyanay or you truly believe in what he says.. The issue at hand is quite easy and T.Kifle just tried to put some political ideology into it by trying to sell us about the “principle” of division between state and religion, which in principle is very true (just like the “we accept the border ruling in principle but on the ground we stay against our principle”.. 🙂 )
            as i was saying principles are good but reality is a different matter.

            -state and religion are separate aspects but both affect the society in general.
            The Muslim segment of a country composed of different nationalities uses Arabic for religious purposes (a fact totally unrelated to state and politics) but can ask to use arabic as a mean of communication, a common ground to them (a fact unrelated to religion directly.. just to make it simpler A is related to B and B is related To C doesn’t mean necessarily A is related to C…. unless you want to put B by all means…).
            When you try to relate facts just as T.kifle did it means you actually are not interested on wisdom and knowledge but you just want to prove your point at any cost…. principles…

            by the way the whole thing came up when some ethio-guy came up with iseyas speech in arabic, “men kedbkum mis reghetsekum mibelna nerna ghin…” we tried to explain the arabic language within eritrea,but unfortunately you and t.kifle and many more ethios seem not to understand it, i think it’s the ahmed gragn effect still on you after 400 years..

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Haile WM,

            I think my first try failed with the Disqus to publish it.

            T.Kifle and his elks have the audacity to talk about our internal problems, but when we try to reciprocate and throw some hard balls (questions) to them, you saw their outcry. I wish they know the boundary of their politics. Albeit they don’t. So whatever logic you bring to them, they won’t accept it. In any case time will teach them. Let me give an example from their experience: Ethiopia was confronted with ethnic grievances before the current ruling party. And what did they do? In order to accommodate the grievances of their diversity they create “Ethnic Federalism” and devolved certain powers to the federal states – an autonomy to administer themselves. They don’t go for confrontation, they went for accommodation to the grievances of their diversity. Similar the issue of language can be approached in the same way. Politics can only be administered by accommodation. Indeed accommodation is the “creme de la creme” in resolving the contradiction within diversities. Basic politics. T. Kifle should grapple with that. Going around the bush is not a way out. You could be a shrewd as you want to be, but if you can’t see solution in the horizon, you will still be remained as part of the problem. Leaders should think and contemplate ahead of the general public to well armed (politically) to handle any kind of eventuality. I don’t think T. Kifle is in the Pantheon of those mind.

      • Hope

        Feven1-/Abi II,
        I would change your phrase saying”Eritreans who wish ill for ethiopia” with ” few Eritreans”.
        Haile TG,for whatever reason–be it diplomacy,honesty,fakeness,etc, he said it ,as usual, eloquently and articualtely and in the way ” it should be said”,since,wether we like it or not,that is what we need and I second to him as my stand has been same and firm as well-Peaceful Co-existence and Regional Economic Integrtaion”.—simple,easy,priceless.costless,but rewarding–
        As to following the mad one,it has to do with msinformation and propaganda and i guarantee you that had Eritreans had full info at that time that they have now—–something better could have come out of it.,at least in my oipinion and considering my position now.–after reading my own ONE,Mahmoud Saleh.

        • Hope

          —and if I may add,mark my word–that -the new Erritrea will shine better than Singapore–soon.

    • T. Kifle

      Dear haile TG,

      I watched the interview of FM HW. I am always mused by his visible “ambivalence” even when he was at odds with IA. Why he(the G-15) wanted to do half the “reform” is intriguing. He repeatedly told us “Weyane” started the war. He wasn’t even for the tune of “escalation” the elites have perfected while they knew it was like ግመል ሰሪቕካስ ጎምባሕባሕ:: He said because they destroyed the air force(Ethiopian) Eritrea breathed a respite from an air raid as a result. For distant observer this could seem to convey a genuine message a minister explaining his performance to his constituency. But knowing that he knew very well that even a single machine in the Ethiopian Air force base was being destroyed let alone incapacitating the entire fighting capability leaves one in awe. These are really the things that worry me when I think of dealing with the PFDJ and many of its sympathizers in the future.

      I am sorry for he, quite undeservedly, is suffering in the hands of the dictator but I believe the reformers were not honest enough to spill the beans or even to have the capacity and the will to come up with a system distant from the PFDJ system. Fair enough he appears in his modest best much cleaner than IA’s shame euphemism “ፈራዕ ፈራዕ”, “why are(the weyanes) not coming so soon?”. You know IA was in a hurry to prove his point to the world ASAP.

      • haileTG

        Merhaba T Kifle,

        I know parallel debates can be tiresome, and you have one going with Aman. On this side let me be brief. This is a difficult war situation and many lives were lost and disrupted as a result. One common difficulty on cases like this is that the bad blood between the parties gets in the way and apologies are rejected. Take for example the apology offered by PMMZ to the uprooting of civilians (deportation), personally I think we need to take the offer in good faith and give the prospect of closure a chance. I understand that is a tough call to those affected. One deportee once said to me that it wasn’t the fact they lost their life long savings and the likes that hurt them so much but the utter humiliation meted out against them by a nation they thought was theirs, society that they identified as belonging to and many never even seen themselves as Eritreans. They see it as ዝኣኽለን ጥሒነን ንበኣለማሪያም! But the point is that such an apology can be utilized to construct the foundations for peace by those who stake their fundamental interests in building understanding and harmony between peoples.

        The Ayder school issue was one examined in detail at the EECC. The results of which we’d discussed in the past. For me to expect you to think and see the whole conflict from purely Eritrean perspective would serve no purpose in resolving our differences. Equally, for you to believe that you have the full truth as far as the conflict is concerned and Eritreans should see it fully in Ethiopian perspective would solve none of our differences.

        We need strategic positioning to advance the future of peace and harmony between both peoples. This would require having dispassionate look at issues. As you know, Ethiopia can never invade and control Eritrea and Eritrea can never control or influence the situation in Ethiopia. If we rush to slam doors shut on openings and opportunities that arise in order to narrow the gaps, then even post IA the two nations and peoples would drift apart and chart ways that will estrange the generations to come. When PMMZ said he was ready to talk normalization at any level with the Eritrean side, when PMHD said he would travel to Eritrea if that is what it takes, when the EX FDRE President said he would try to appeal for peace personally by travelling to Eritrea and talking to the Ethiopian leadership, such overtures where met with judgement and skepticism. It is time we take a different approach and know that Eritreans would always be Eritreans and so would be Ethiopians. None of us would get their ideal resolution on a silver platter. Strategic decision need to be taken to either promote closeness between the people by taking advantage of obvious overtures without second guessing them or let the brotherly people drift apart and widen the gap for future generations.

        It would take a sober look at the way things are and the way they could be with an altered approach. The white flag mentality betrays inability to move away from past misfortunes. Horizon aptly likened it to trying to walk with massive dead weight tied to once feet. I say let’s unshackle from it and dare to be free. That means to have the affinity to attract positive developments when they transpire for whatever reason.


  • “Ethiopia has been sending subtle messages to the Eritrean regime that it will come to the defense of Djibouti. In an interview with Anadolu News Agency, Prime Minister Hailemarian Desalegn of Ethiopia said, “as close friends to Djibouti, Ethiopia is ready to support Djibouti in any way that helps the stabilization of the region”