Often, awate.com publishes articles that do not share its values which is mainly promoting tolerance, civility, struggle against injustice, and the respect of right of citizens. To promote a civilized debate, we established the Awate Forum where we encourage readers to challenge published articles, editorials, and other items that we publish. As editors, we reinforce the smooth flow of debates by refraining from expressing our views on readers’ comments, even with those we strongly disagree, including the vile ones. We limit our roles to moderating the forum and enforcing the posting guidelines.
Naturally, the Awate Forum, being the longest running and most vibrant Eritrean forum, often times attracts anonymous individuals who come to the forum to peddle the regime’s talking points and intimidate other members. Others openly peddle the regime’s talking points forgetting the same regime denies Eritreans the basic freedom of expression. Yet, while enjoying the freedom to express their views in this forum, they try to curb the flow of free ideas.
To address such problems, we are looking into our posting guidelines which we believe needs an upgrade. Bigots, racists, and jingoists should not be tolerated, neither their coordinated attacks on others. We hope the few notorious members take note.
We believe that pigeonholing the diverse Ethiopians into three or four group while ignoring the rest of the 72, and (the same applies to the diverse population of Eritrea.) or so groups, is not meant for a debate, but a partisan message meant to be spread by exploiting the freedom provided in this Forum. We urge the sane members of this forum to challenge such views and we promise we will not allow free members to be abused by anyone.
Bringing articles of different views in the open is the best disinfectant against bigoted opinions. Denied exposure, some posts can fester in some dark corners of the internet and attract more bigots such as the crude Agazian hate group.
Below is a comment by Semere Tesfay that we brought up from the Awate Forum for a debate and discussion.
Very informative and very thought-provoking discussion [going on at awate forum]. Please allow me to interject and say few things that I’ve been saying here for many years . And this is my take on the issues.
For a million reasons, Eritrean independence and Eritrean sovereignty will never be challenged or reversed by any neighboring power in the near future – be Ethiopia or other regional power – never. But there will always be threat to Eritrea’s national security, Eritrea’s stability, and Eritrea’s economic viability, both from the North and from the South. Therefore, we Eritreans will always sleep with one eye wide open – pointing our guns either to our South or to our North. The reason:
- Eritrea is a buffer state nesting between two irreconcilable cultures, faiths and powers competing for resources and dominance of our region: namely the the Abyssinian power with Western support and Arabian power supported by sympathetic Muslim countries. Neutrality, a non-alignment policy would have been the ideal policy for Eritrea. But Eritrea is too poor, too weak, and too small to dictate and adapt independent and neutral national policy. Therefore, Eritrea has to constantly adapt a flexible policy(ies) that goes with the flow and serve its national interest at any given time.
- The current Ethio-Eritrean rapprochement is as safe, to us Eritreans, as it can be. Not because I trust the judgement of Isaias Afewerki’s PFDJ or Prime Minister Abiy’s governing team, but because all the stakeholders to our North and to our South are not threatened by the current Ethio-Eritrean rapprochement – in fact they are supportive of it. And that in itself tells a story. And that makes the Ethio-Eritrean rapprochement a balanced move that threatens nobody.
- The Ethiopian threat to Eritrea is diminishing by the day – today it is approaching to a point of non-existence. Yes, few Ethiopian ultra-nationalists are salivating for the Red Sea and chanting Ethio-Eritrean UNITY by misinterpreting the meaning of the current Ethio-Eritrean Rapprochement Policy (as opposed to the ‘no-war-no-peace’ Woyane policy that existed. But, as always, all the salivating Red Sea crowd, and all the chanting for an Eritrean unity with mama Ethiopia commotions, are coming only from the usual 35% the Ethiopian population- Amara and Tigrean Elite – when they have bigger issues of their own, and within themselves, to tackle. The 65% other Ethiopians do not care about the Ethio-Eritrean Unity prescribed by these two Ethnic elites.
- Today, more than ever, the Amara and Tigrean elite are losing power and influence in Ethiopian politics. The Woyanes are currently a Killil power contained in Meqele (their power eroding and diminishing by the day even in Tigray) with a negligible political influence in Addis. The Amara’s priority at this timeis to revive their political dominance, by creating a strong Amara dominated political party in order to ascend to the helm of power. And from there to influence and shape Ethiopian’s internal and external policies – which at this point is just a dream. Therefore, claiming that Ethiopia is trying to reverse Eritrean independence, or claiming that today’s Ethiopia is a threat to Eritrean sovereignty, is simply because of the propaganda that is being disseminated by the few vocal loose cannons from the Amara and Tigrean elite – and it is just a misplaced concern.
- Ethio-Eritrean close relation is inversely proportional to the distance between Asmara and the dominant Ethiopian ethnicity in Addis Ababa (Menelik Palace) – the further the better. Today, we’ve the Oromos in Menelik Palace, and for us Eritreans, things couldn’t have gotten any better than that. We’ve to make this work. We’ve a reliable partner in the Menelik palace. We’ve to help the vision of the Abiy team to succeed. The Woyanes are shocked to the core, disoriented, and in disarray. The Amaras are decades away from building a dominant political party that galvanize all Ethiopians to put them at the helm. Therefore, at this point, the Ethiopian threat that is being propagated by the Eritrean opposition and their Woyane handlers, is a non-existent threat intended for political consumption.
- At this point, all of us Eritreans – opposition and PFDJ supporters alike, should pressure the Abiy and PFDJ governments, to exert heavy pressure on the Woyanes to demarcate the Ethio-Eritrean border. For far too long, against all the advice and plea by Eritreans, Ethiopians, and the international community, the Woyanes have been misleading resettling Tigreans in sovereign Eritrean territories. Now the harsh reality will smack them in the face: they will tell their people they were lying to them for all these years. They will tell their people they have to vacate, or they have to live as Eritreans. And one can only imagine what that would do to the popularity and unity of the Woyane’s political organization.
- Finally, the sad story of the Eritrean opposition never ends. Today as we speak, again, it is siding with the dying Woyanes and they are parroting Woyane’s talking points. Sad!