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Eritrea: A Victim of Modern Necropolitics

“My job is making windows where there were once walls” [Michel Foucault]


In search of an integrative discourse for the Eritrean politics, within the dynamic setting of the international system in motion, this author will try to examine the Eritrean regime and the pattern of its politics in a different approach than the traditional explanations of regimes. In doing so, I will explain (a) the nature of the power of the Eritrean regime and its politics (b) the theory of the “walking dead” and the status of our citizen as a “living death” (c) the sovereignty of power in relation to its subjects (d) modern form of governance and the method of subjugation (e) within the framework of new concepts and theories, this author will also reveal the practices of PFDJ governance that produced mass death and mass incarceration through systematic of violence and terror (f) the politics of death will be examined through the works of scholars. In the process I will try to familiarize some contemporary concepts and theories that I will use for the argument. However, the toughness of the topic can not be explained in the few pages of this article. But by skimming and scanning at the concepts, I will try to relate to the ordeals of the Eritrean people.

Biopower & Biopolitics

Biopower and biopoliticis are modern theories of political philosophy that deals with “the broad conceptualization and genealogies of power and governmentality”. These concepts are the most compelling of Michel Foucault’s “oeuvre”. The root of the concepts are as follows: Bio means life and Biopower means the sovereignty of power over life and Biopolitics means the politics of life.

Interestingly enough, Biopolitics is understood as a political of rationality that takes “the administration of life and the population as its subjects”. Its purpose is to ensure and sustain life in order. In “The will of knowledge” Foucault provided us the genealogy of biopolitics – the right of death and the power over life – that determines “sovereignty” – the characteristics and privileges of “sovereign power.” In this context “sovereign power” refers to the “right to decide life and death.” In other words, this sovereign power, it in itself is a judicial form of power – the power to “take life or let live.” On the other hand, Biopower is constituted to “foster life or disallow life to the point of death”. In his “society must be defended” Foucault provided us with detailed analysis how bourgeoisies develop the disciplinary mechanics of power, the prison system, and the creation of docile population. Furthermore, in the same publication he elucidated that war is not waged between two races, but it is by a race that is portrayed as the one true race – the race that hold power and is entitled to define the “norm” against those who deviate from the norm. This biopower also implies the war waged by an ethnic that hold power and is entitled to define the norm and way of life against the minorities in diversified societies.

Foucault’s work on Biopolitics and Biopower is not without limitation. In his explanation of “politics of population” the “biopolitical” subject is not explicitly conceived within his oeuvre. It is from this political limitation that Achille Mbembe came up explicitly to explain how biopower is the work of “violence and domination” that lead him to develop the notion of “Necropolitics” – the sovereign of decision on death – the power that could dictate “who may live and who must die.” We shall see how the notion or the concept of necropolitics is theorized as I continue my argument.

Necropower & Necropolitics

To begin with, let us see the roots and definition of the concepts. “Necro” means death. Then necropolitics means the ‘politics of death’ and Necropower means the ‘power of death.’ In his book, Mbwmbe guided us by sorting out Foucauldian discourse of genealogy of death in modern state, where sovereignty is inherently linked to the “creation of an enemy” of the state that must be eliminated. According Achille Mbembe, to exercise sovereignty is to exercise control of mortality and to define life as the deployment and manifestation of power [2003:12].

Mbembe found ‘biopower’ as insufficient to account for contemporary forms of ‘subjugation’ of life to the power of death. As a result, he put forward the concept of ‘Necropolitics’ and ‘Necropower’ to account the various ways and weapons deployed in the interest of maximum destruction of peoples and the creation of death [ 2003, 39-40]. Necropower controls sovereignty as the determining power as to who is disposable and who isn’t. In a nutshell, Mbembe saw the “power over death and life” and the creation of ‘bare life’ through spaces of exception. To simplify it, Necropolitics is “the use of social and political power to dictate how some people may live or how some may die”.

In a parallel project, Patterson also argued on the issue of ‘bare life’ and how ‘sovereignty’ the ‘state of exception’ have produced the slave-to-master relationships – the power which create the ‘slaves’s social death’ – in which their relationship to ‘power’ is always reducible to hostility and disposability [Patterson, 1982]. This biopolitical-social-disposability will be explained as one strand of necropolitics, for which I will try to relate, to the issue of “national service in the Eritrean proper, later in my discussion.

Subjugation And The Power of Death

Necropolitics implicates the “subjugation of life to the power of death.” Surprisingly enough, in our contemporary world, different types of “weapons are deployed in the interest of maximum destruction of people and the creation of death-worlds, a new and unique forms of social existence, in which the vast population are subjugated to a condition of life conferring upon them the status of living death.” [Mbembe, 2003, PP 39 & 40]. Necropolitics also entails necroeconomy a subject of its own for another time.

Confiding, on Agamben’s insights, Mbembe upholds that the camp sites (refugee and prisons) are “the prevailing way of governing unwanted populations where the prison camps are enclosed in precarious militarized spaces to control, to harass, and possibly kill them – a permanent condition of living in pain [Mbembe, 2003, pp 39].

Sovereignty As a Power of Death

Sovereign power in the context of necropolitics is the right to decide life and death. The ultimate expression of ‘sovereignty’ resides in the power and capacity to dictate who must live or die. To kill or to allow to live constitutes the limits of sovereignty [ Mbembe, 2003, pp 11-12]. It is “derived from the ancient Patria Potestas that granted the father of Roman family the right to dispose the life of his children and his slaves. Just as he had given them life, so he could take it away” [Faucoult, 1978]. The power over life has evolved in to two basic forms but linked together. The first is centered on the body as a machine – its disciplining, the optimization of its capabilities, the extortion of its forces, the parallel increase of its usefulness and its docility, its integration into systems of efficient and economic controls – all this was ensured by the procedures of power that characterized the disciplines [Ibid]. The second is the biopolitics of the population – the discipline of the body and the regulations of the population. Both constitute the forms around which the organization of power over life is deployed.

The old power of death that symbolized “sovereign power” are now supplanted by the administration of population and the calculated management of life through diverse technique for achieving the subjugation of human population [Ibid].

PFDJ’s Necropower And Necropolitics

Discourse is defined as the communication that takes place within a society about an issue or sets of issues. The dominance of a particular discourse within a society, is therefore becomes, an inevitable that reflects the power structure of the society. I believe the sociopolitical discourse in Eritrea is dominated by the PFDJ regime and the power manifestation of PFDJ is purely “necropower” as defined above. If to exercise “sovereignty” is to exercise control of mortality – the power to dictate who must live or who must die, then how do we explain the exercise of power of PFDJ regime to control its subjects? The prime goal of this author is then to explore “sovereignty and the state of exception” within the dominant discourse in the Eritrean body politics. To do that, I will try to illustrate using the tools as set forth by Achille Mbembe, to explain the power exercised by the Eritrean regime, its politics, the condition of its subjects, and the nature of the subjugation in contemporary Eritrea.

(a) Perpetual Wars: for the state of Eritrea war is not an “exception” but it is a “permanent state” affairs. Since the inception of the Eritrean state in 1991, in the last three decades, the Eritrean regime conducted perpetual of wars with its neighbors and beyond. The Eritrean defense force (EDF) have fought with Sudan, South Sudan, Djibouti, Somalia, Congo, Yemen, and twice with Ethiopia as we speak. In conducting the wars – the regime decides who will go to the war who shouldn’t – the necropolitics of death – who should live and who should die.

(b) Modern slavery: The regime created the “saw camp” in the name of “indefinite national service” to control the Eritrean youth and eventually to deploy and dispose them – the power of “state of exception” that produce slave-to master relationships, in which our youth became the victim of biopolitical-social disposabilities.

(c) State of terror: The state of Eritrea indiscriminately persecutes, imprisons and eliminates any political group to secure its power. The state of exception deploys all kinds of tools of oppression and suppression in order to harass and to intimidate the Eritrean people, and in the process, to transform the Eritrean society to a “docile society” that takes orders without questions – a typical explanation of necropolitics – the condition of life of a “walking dead.” The sheer level of violence directed towards its citizen by the state is an exemplary of necropower –the power over the walking dead.

(d) Creating Enemy: In order to control the Eritrean youth, the regime has to create an enemy to fight with, either by creating alliance or by itself – an act of exposing the Eritrean youth to death – a senseless war of annihilation, a true nature of human disposabilities with no accountability.

(e) The production of refugees: Eritrea is one of the few countries that has produced the highest influx of refugees all over the world. In less than three decades, over five hundred thousand Eritreans have left the country to find their freedom from the regime that suffocate them as subjects in the slave camp of Sawa. These escapees unfortunately are trapped in another refugee camps where they are living in a conditions of a “bare life” as Patterson has aptly described it escaping from the “slave’s social death” or “bare life” or as Agamben described it “a space in a permanent state of exception, in which government exercises sovereign power over the camps as the ultimate biopolitical subject.” That is exactly what happened to the Eritrean refugees in Ethiopia currently – the conspiracy of the two sovereign powers, namely the Ethiopian and Eritrean governments.

(f) Shared violence: The state of Eritrea expanded to exercise its monopoly power beyond its border by creating an enemy, and by doing so, it forged an alliance with the central government of Ethiopia and the militia of the Amara state (kilil), to perpetuate a war of ethnic cleansing in the Tigray region – a shared violence and terror, to create havoc, death, and starvation in that particular region – a classical necropolitical power at play, to eliminate the unwanted population.

(g) Building Prisons: The Eritrean regime has built 260 prisons for a small country with a population of 3.5 million – prisons more than schools and hospitals, so to speak. One can easily extrapolate from it the population of the prisoners. The nature of the prison houses which are placed in a mountain caves and separate foxholes are one of the models used for eliminating the unwanted group of population – the work of necropower that dictate who must be eliminated or die in cruelness and barbarity. Tens of thousands from our citizens are disappeared without knowing their whereabouts and are languishing and dying in those prison cells.


When Achille Mbembe wrote “becoming a subject” which presupposes upholding the work of death, he was illustrating that “politics” and “sovereignty” are linked together to a “right to kill than to preserve life”. Mbembe’s Necropolitics allows me to ask the important questions to explore the nature of the Eritrean regime and its politics, to understand its sovereign power over our population, as a subject exposed to terror and humiliation, that ultimately subject to inhumane of disposability. This author believes that the Eritreans who are exposed to death in the perpetual war of adventurism, in the prison camps, and in the “bare life” of refugee camps are the work of necropolitics and necropower of the Eritrean regime. Necropolitics is a reminder of the new forms of social existence of the Eritrean people, in which the population is subjected to a condition of life known as the status of a “living dead.” I have no doubt this essay will generate cacophony and dissonance from the PFDJ political house and their sympathizers. After all I have come with this essay in order to bring an intellectual debate on the subject and its implication on the lives of the Eritrean people.

[1] Foucault, Michel “the birth of biopolitics”, lectures at the collage de France (1978-1978)
[2] Foucault, Michel “The will of knowledge,” 1976.
[3] Foucault, Michel “Society must be defended”, 1975 – 1976.
[4] Foucault, Michel “Discipline and Punish,” 1995
[5] Mbembe, Achille “Necropolitics”, 2003.
[6] Patterson, Andrew “Authority, alienation, and social death”, 1982
[7] Agamben, Giorgio “Sovereign power and bare life” 1998 Stamford university press, California.
[8] Foucault, Michel “The right of death and power over life”, 1978.

About Amanuel Hidrat

Amanuel Hidrat, is a political activist and a passionate writer in the current struggle against the Eritrean regime. His extensive writings are focused on constitution and constitutionalism, constitutional process, nature of governments, and grievances of the social groups. His articles can be found “Tebeges”, a rich column at awae.com that archives over 150 articles. He has been writing at Ntsebraq in Tigrinya since 1998, and in English awate.com since 2000. Through his writings, , he promotes "multicultural liberalism" and "multicultural constitutionalism" that provides a fair share to social groups in the decision making process of governance. Amanuel believes it’s not individuals, but ”our social groups”, that should be the building blocks of the Eritrean nation state. Amanuel studied “Industrial chemistry" at the Poly-technical Institute in Ethiopia, and "Clinical Pharmacy" at St John's University in the US.

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  • kokhob selamone2

    Dear Aman and all,

    The legacy of ELF and EPLF will remain respected forever… past is only to be learned and that is all. We can’t bring back that failed history and build tray come with new fresh advanced party.

    We should think to begin from inside out to be successful and tray TPLF strong military force to and join the struggle of this very energetic fighters to come to our make give support. And the idea (proposal) of our Saay 7 is not easy to materialize it, We may start it but if will fail as usual like the old way of practice. What do you all say about it? We are all having our own solution. But let us come with clear conclusion before it is late. And act fast to come into fine result..


    • Aman Y.

      Selam Ato Ks,

      Please do not get frustrated. Our historical knowledge and experiences are not failures but springboards to the future. And we can not fail with out moving. We all agree we have not been successful, but let’s not get discouraged before it begins.

      • kokhob selamone2

        Selam Aman Y,

        No, I am not frustrated at all. I am spiritual… not interested in politics. But some time I come down when I see those conformists give us a kind of impossible solution to our grave problems,

        Think now, if the spring board you mentioned is not putting you on fire, that I think is ridiculous and tragic. We should wake up now and say’-NO- to this type of long and nonsense cycle of revenges. I think you got the idea..


  • haileTG

    Selamat Awatista,

    The regime of IA, whichever way look at it, has some sort of ill intention towards the Eritrean people. As we know, the regime had placed the people under most cruel lock down in response to the pandemic. Despite its false propaganda in relation to its handling of the Covid-19 situation, in practice it had refused donation of PEP, masks and ventilators by Chinese group at the start of the outbreak. The help was given to most of other African countries. It then refused any assistance from Eritreans in the diaspora by insisting that it only wants cash assistance. Now, Eritrea has refused to accept the COVAX initiative that is meant to accelerate epidemic preparedness by countries through the WHO and other partners. An analyst described such situation as turning the country into an outbreak super spreader. What good reason can one give for the regime to lock up the people in such a cruel manner in one hand and refuse all forms of help to mitigate the problem on the other?

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Selam Hailat,

      As we continue to watch the disposability of our young generation being exposed to senseless wars of adventure, we will also watch the disposability of our population being exposed to the deadly virus by denying them all the protection including the vaccines. Don’t you think this is part of necropower and necropolitics – the power to control mortality and the power to regulate our population?

      Second, you are a good “watch dog” against the evil regime of Asmara. Thank you for bringing the issue for our awareness. Always ahead of us.


    • Haile S.

      Selam MoKsi,

      The problem is deep, the incompetency rampant. EPLF knew how to liberate the country, but didn’t how to liberate the people. As it conquered every inch of the country it wanted to control every thought of the people, which is impossible to do, thus it ended in eliminating and suppressing those suspected of not being in-line and under control. Political leadership that is selected for certain purpose with one or two criteria cannot do everything the country needs. When the deciders are few and become by default the only available specialist and when they get used to it overtime, they really believe are the only knowledgeable of every specialty. The scanty apparent successes that they never miss from reminding are the waters that feed their vicious irrigation and bolsters them to think they are on the right track. This virus is an emergency that will oblige them to comply. For example, they cannot open air transport without being in-sync with prevailing international health regulations. Originality and tooth and nail (ብጽፍርና) stops at the border, unless as Abi said, the Asmara airport is intertwined with Gondar😁😁!

    • Aman Y.

      Selam Ato HaileTG,

      In a nutshell, its all IA’s complex and grudges. Meles is quoted in saying” ብልጥ ልጅ እያለቀሰ ይበላል፤ ሞኝ ግን እያለቀሰ ሳይበላ ያድራል”

    • መሃንድስ-ምዕባለ

      Selamat haileTG
      1. DIA’s end goal is to reunite Eritrea with his motherland. How do we know? He clearly told us. He told the mini dictator to lead us. This was in Tigrigna. What do we want from this guy? To his credit, he is not hiding it anymore.
      2. How did he do it? He weakened Eritrea. He depleted the nation in every way. No need to explain here, since it is obvious.
      3. Does he has supporters? Unfortunately, plenty of them.
      4. How close is he with his plan? I would say > 95% is completed.
      I believe that we need to put every effort to make GiE successful. If not, it will be too late [if it not late yet] to save our beloved country.
      God be with us.

  • Aman Y.

    Selam Ato Amanuel

    Please allow me to continue discussing your writing. You wrote the essay “in search of an integrative discourse for the Eritrean politics,” which is almost in many peoples heart. It strikes me how not only Eritreans but foreigners labored to write for this reason

    Ruminating on your essay has made me feel philosophical. It could be developed and used as an expository reference for interpretations and applications. Some the thoughts were Faith politics or hope politics how about religious politics….Approximately 99% of Eritreans believe in their creator, It might help to consider the citizens needs. IA has abused the Jehovah, Muslims, Protestants, orthodox and Catholics in different degrees, based on their influence. Faith can be applied as a counter to IA’s evil . As we allknow, Ethiopia’s freedom of worship had been transformed by Meles’s administration. Eritrea is over 30 years behind. .

    I had a few questions from your writing, I will leave it at that, for I do not believe it will help find the “integrative discourse”. The Eritrean discussion should be on creating a shared purpose based on researches already existing.

    Most the vibrant Eritrean movements started energetic and mobilized many people, at a time. As the momentum decreases, another movement starts and gain the previous organizations members. It had been a circle . Personally, I believe a lot had been invested on the above endeavors. It is high time to reach one another and create a cascade towards one purpose. And share justice and peace as our return of investment.

    Finally, here are my rhetorical questions. How much has been written to mobilize our people? Do think what we are looking for is already out there? Can the new GiE be our Eritrean integrative discourse ?

    Let’s make forming “GiE” the Eritrean shared purpose to be the landing for change in Eritrea..

    Disclaimer: I am not part of the GiE initiative. I had met the Salehs on a couple Eritreans meetings. And I do not believe they know me. But I am kind of sold on the idea.

    With Reverence

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Merhaba Aman,

      Since the 1940s and 50s, our fathers and grandfathers had not a “shared purpose” and our politics was divided in to two diametrically opposite pulling between the “unionist” and “independence block”. The rifts of our politics allows the big powers to maneuver it to their interest – and as result Eritrea’s fate was tied with Ethiopia by “Federation” that eventually lead to a complete “annexation.”

      Eritrean politics continue to be divided in the Ghedli generation since 1970, when the splinters use our religious divide, to mobilize and exploit for consolidating their political power, by allying with the Ethiopian liberation front – a typical expression what Saleh has aptly explained it in his last “Negarit” as “አነን ጓናን ኣንጻር አዝማደይ” – a kind of modus operandi that is still continuing. The sad part of the Eritrean political fiasco is – the rebirth of the political division of the 40s, with different approach, between the “unionist” lead by the current Eritrean government and “Eritrea for Eritreans” lead by the opposition camp. You are smart and brilliant to notice it.

      You asked me if I think what we are looking for is out there and can GIE be our integrative discourse? Our divided desire is out there, and until we reconcile our desire in to a workable United purpose we don’t know the fate our nation with the kind of political cloud hovering over it. And yes, GIE can be an integrative discourse if we know the politics of compromise – the politics of give and take.

      Lastly, keep up your inquisitive mind. Inquisitive mind is the source of imagination and creation. Thank you for continuous constructive engagement.


      • Berhe Y

        Hi Emma,

        The topic you presented is too complex for me to understand and to provide any comment.

        However I am interested in the exchange you are having with Aman with regards to “our division” that you seem to focus as the reason for our discourse.

        I am not denying this fact or that I am suggesting you are wrong. What I am asking is, if your understanding is in tune with the currency realities of Eritrea and if it’s relevant at all. What I mean by that is, for anyone who was born in Eritrea starting the 70s, for the most part those who are born in cities such as Asmara, Keren, Massawa etc, religion and region has little or yes significance at all.

        The reason being, Derg being an equal opportunity oppressor, the most majority of Christians, have realized that from 1974 that, this federation/ Union with Ethiopia was a mistake and have never looked back to reverse it.

        The Eritrean Muslims have figured that out in the 60s.

        If you combine the two population, I think close to 90% do not see religion, region or Ethiopia as a dividing factor.

        Now there are those 10% for what ever reason who have sided with the region (NNNN) and they don’t reflect or represent the true facts in the ground. For them rain or shine, they will be with the regime yes matter what, with fee will defect now and then when they decided to finally break lose.

        For example, if you haven’t had a chance to read, please go read the comments on Saleh Gadi or Bakri (falfasa) you tube videos. I don’t always read, but I read the Tigrinya and English comments sometimes. I also see the names of those people who comment.

        Saleh and Bakri provide a lot of videos so the people commenting are from the general public but a good indication of the diaspora who are actively participating or have knowledge of today Eritrea. They are not people using pen names trying to skew the opinions. The reason I say this, in order to comment on you tube (unless I am mistaken) you have to have gmail account. Most people use their names when creating email accounts (as they need to associate with themselves) and when they login, their accounts are automatically included every time they comments. It’s is true people can create alias and bogus accounts but I don’t think it’s the purpose of most people who comment. Those that do, it’s obvious to see because they are normally pro the government and they want to mask and hide their identity.

        In short, what I am saying is, those that oppose the regime, the Christians, they do not care who the person region, or religion is.

        As I have said already, the Eritrean Muslims have already know who the real enemy of Eritrea is long time ago and they were patiently waiting their brothen

        • Aman Y.

          Selam Ato Amanuel & Ato Berhe)

          I am glad you agree with my suggestions. Though I concur with Ato Amanuel in regard to the “rebirth of the 40’s” I would support Ato Berhe’s more. The አንድነት idea is in its infancy and can be do away easier than the 40’s. Besides there was no prior knowledge of a free Eritrean sate to.

          Have the best of the rest of Sunday

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Selam Berhe,

          Sorry Berhe, you have the audacity to bring imaginable statistics that are not true (that are not studied figures) always in your argument. I don’t engage in such speculative figures b/c they are false statistics. Those are figures in your imaginative mind. So you can not talk about region and religion you haven’t seen it’s role practically in the politics of Eritrea. Go and read
          “ንሕናን ዕላማናን” and the result of our civil war.

          Second, if the issue of “union” and “federation” that is coming out from the horse mouth doesn’t mean anything to you, I can only say you are naive.

          Third, unlike the Muslim Eritreans who understand the enemy of Eritrea – the Eritrean regime, the Christian counterpart do not. For the Eritrean Christian true enemy is TPLF who were their own collaborators to fight ELF and the Derg regime. We have different enemy and different purposes – a divided nation ultimately at risk to lose its sovereignty. That is the truth on the ground. Your talking about the unity of Eritreans is untrue and no facts backs it. Pls find out an exit door from the house of denials, first to extricate yourself from falsehood and second to help us the real enemy – the Eritrean regime.


          • Berhe Y

            Hi Amanuel,

            Just like you are making a speculation, when you say “ unlike the Muslim Eritreans who understand the enemy of Eritrea – which is the Eritrean regime, the Christian counterpart do not. ” aren’t you speculating as well?

            What is this fact of yours based on “the Christian do not understand the regime is not their enemy”.

            If I go and ask 50 of my close relatives, bothers, sisters, their spouses, and their close wife’s abs husbands, all of them represent all three regions of Eritrea, I can say confidently 45 of them opposite the PFDJ.

            That may not be a true representative of our people, but if there a scientific poll, it would not be far from what I am speculating.

            In case you are not aware, I said people born in the 70s and on words .,, which means for the most majority are who are not of ghedli generation. ንሕናን ዕላማናን means absolutely nothing, that’s why I don’t think your focus of that division has any tangible value.

            IA made us absolutely clear in the pain and miserly he has been inflicted in each and every house hold for the past 20 plus years.

            I do not want to make our issue external and I don’t want to bring any external entity to our internal issue.

            Eritreans are allowed to have an opinion to others like TPLF , the same way, those outsiders have an opinion on us.

            I can tell you, the most majority of Eritreans, both Christian and Muslims have similar opinion about TPLF abs their politics.

            Question for you:
            1) I can find you 100s and 1000s of Eritrean Christians like yourself who oppose the regime, crying day and night about TPLF demise and the suffering of the Tigray people.

            2) I will be surprised if you can find 10 Eritrean Muslims who are doing the same.

            This does not mean, Eritrean Muslims do not sympathize with the suffering of the Tigray people or any other people but they know it’s not their priority involving in politics of others.

            This also makes your argument “ For the Eritrean Christians, the true enemy is TPLF who were their own collaborators to fight against ELF and the Derg regime”, invalid. According to you, the Christians are fighting the TPLF, then what are people like you and all those I am “From Tigray” people.

            And finally, I think based on few exchanges I had with you, if I say or write anything that disagree with you, you tend change the discussion to unwanted “qoyeqa”, thus, out of respect I decide to disengage. This time I will also do the same.


          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Berhe,

            I don’t want to go in to a circular argument you are fond of it. We don’t have the same political value. You have said what you have to say and I have said what I have to say. The public knows our stand. People who bring bogus statistical number for argument are not my forte to deal with. I will not be foolish to bring bogus numbers to counter argue your bogus figures. I agree also to your call for disengagement. Thank you.

  • Reclaim Abyssinia

    Dear Awate community,

    Prince Philip dies aged 99.

    Our deepest condolences to HM Queen Elizabeth II, his children, grandchildren & all of the royal family. HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, may Allah/God rests his soul in peace and grants him Jannah.

    The prince and the Queen visited Ethiopia and Eritrea in 1965.
    I am sure the first and last visit of the region by the British monarch had all the good intention and best wishes for the region good fortune, prosperity and peace for both countries and the entire region when they dedicated their time to explore both Eritrea and Ethiopia with eight-day visits.

    Here’s a video of the tour, source from Reuters.


    Reclaim Abyssinia

    • Saleh Johar

      Dear Reclaim,
      My condolences to you and the royal family.

      • Reclaim Abyssinia

        Thank you boss, [stuff] happens😢
        Reuters is really crossed with Ethiopia, the news outlet makes a big deal out of a picture that was circulating around with the Queen & prince bowing to Haile Sellasie. I think they are exposing it as a master of fake news/picture.

        Dear SJ, what do you make out of the video from time ~6:28? I found some similarity with አጣቀዕቲ 👏. I think haile selassie succeeded by presenting a street show to the Queen & Prince, & the world, how Eritrean are happy to be annexed to Ethiopia. In the current era, people are using the same technic as if it is the olden days. With all the data in hand; history is repeating itself. Why did the Queen give Eritrea to Haile selassie?

        Do we have የእድሜ ባለጸጋ to verify this picture circulating?

        • Saleh Johar

          Selam Reclaim,
          I was a child then, but I happened to be in Asmara with my mother for some family function. I remember the preparation for the visit vividly and I had to do a thorough research to remember the events that I saw. At any rate, I wrote about the queen’s visit and it is a chunk of one of the chapters. I might adopt it for Negarit.

          The similarities of the public behavior is striking but people are ordered to line up and act happy by the rulers. It’s sad it’s still happening and then other leaders are ecstatic by “the warm welcome they received, just like Abiy thought when he visited Asmara. Thank you

          • Reclaim Abyssinia

            Thank you Saleh,
            If you’re going to adopt it to Negarete, I recommend you to be አራዳ about it.
            You might score an interview with the Queen with why & what?
            Eritrean being treated as trophy has caused the on going suffering of the region. In my opinion, it looks like Eritrea is up for a ‘trophy’ again. What do you think of my statement for the continuous treatment of Eritrea as a ‘Trophy’?


          • Reclaim Abyssinia

            Hi Saleh,
            I forgot to pass my condolence to you. It must be sad for you to see the most power full people you have seen in your country live now passed away. After seeing the Queen & prince in your childhood, and promised you a better life than what you had, now passed away without giving you a resolution to your childhood dream that has been taken away by them, you had the opportunity to enquire but the question never been brought to the Honourable Queen & Prince. It looks like you have one chance left now.

          • Saleh Johar

            Selam Reclaim,
            Sorry, I have too many condolences to worry about, I do not need one for a foreign prince who lived to be 92 Allah yerHamu is enough compared to the kids who are dying in their twenties. But no one wronged me except the Solomonic maniacs and their legacy guards . For you to mourn the death of a man who lived enough, at least you must be carrying an English passport 🙂 Right?

          • Reclaim Abyssinia

            Selam Saleh, Allah YerHamu is good enough. Our culture taught us to be very civil towards the dead. I understand all the comparison you set out, I’m sure I have no doubt how I feel about that where all the lives lost in comparison.
            I’m just taking the opportunity on attempting to get to the bottom of the cause of the misery our region faced for a long long time with an Intelligence analysis.
            You can always make a fortune out of misfortune.
            The death of the prince brought up as big news around the globe, it is not something that can be ignored and we now learn the prince who died at the age of 99, walked on the same street that I walked, and had a direct relation to the loss of lives of my loved ones. This big news raised my eyebrow with a new question:-
            1. Why & how in the hell the British(the alliance) decided to hand over Eritrea to Ethiopia?
            2. what did Ethiopia have to do to receive such an amazing country as a gift/trophy? Since the logic is not debatable.
            3. What did the Eritrean do to stuff up from having their own country without the excessive bloodshed and loss of family to the Eritrean people?
            3. Is it fixable or a never-ending misery from one to another?
            4. Do we need to go back to the root of the problem to find a permanent solution?
            PS are you referring to በኪዬ ዘምጸእክዎ ፓስፖርት? እንታይ ክአብሰልና
            What am I Reclaiming, that’s a million $ Q!👌

            For quick response…to start with Dignity for my people, stoping the undignified death wherever they go, such as in the Mediterranean. Dignity for my ancestry land and it’s people.

            I was disturbed with the continuous news flowing through every media about the death of the people in the Mediterranean. So we started a campaign for Reclaim Abyssinia, enough is enough few years ago, mostly concentrating with the problem in Ethiopia. Then I came across with your discussion-board, I believe I joined ~2018, to prompt incremental change with the region. I hope that helps for now

          • Saleh Johar

            Abi and I have a different view on a mistress. I stand corrected but I feel Abiy thinks a mistress is usually treated well. I think they are treated like trash. And in that sense our own is abusing Eritrea . I hope that explains.

            On my comment to you and your response, Sure dod explain enough my dear. But I think I goofed though I am not singing today, . I will confess to you in time 🙂

            Pls do t take my jokes too seriously, I do it to puss off the Ras who is sporty except when he wears his Ras cloak 🙂

          • Reclaim Abyssinia

            Hi Salehx,
            Let’s hope @disqus_OpSl7Ee8sN:disqus is not like some of the Ethiopian men who treats the mistress better. What I learnt in Addis is that a mistress gets a shop (called ተቀማጭ), a car (Atoze), and feed her Kitfo and ጥሬ ስጋ for breakfast, Whisky at night, accompany the man for ቂማ. While at home the kids and the wifee get to have Shiro and late-night abuse from the husband. A man who drives Atoze called አስመላሽ, takes away the car after a breakup from the mistress, so it’s the norm in Addisiababian to think the mistress gets better treatment than the wifee. Addis is a very charming place, it sends back its Arab tourist empty pocket when they come to visit, now the diaspora gets cleaned-up before they give up and return to their adopting country and they blame it on corruptions (የማታ ኢንቨስተር). The TPLF got caught up in the charming city and forgot about their region and woke up empty-handed. Now the Asmerx are taking over the charming city, the price of Asmserx hostess is high. Addis hostesses are complaining, ኬኛ አዲስ አበባ are driven out from certain locality by Eri-boy, using a bike is becoming very popular. There was a time gap speaking Tigrigna was scary & embracing, now Tigrigna is spoken loudly in the street, and Tigrigna music is back in the DJ box in all major & tiny club.

            In serious matter:- A meeting at Deversoir Air Base, Egypt, “regarding the meetings of His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie I with the President and the Secretary of State14 of the United States. February 27, 1945. ” https://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1945v08/d5


          • Berhe Y

            Hi Reclaim,

            Look at the Queens visit, look at the video where Eritrea was and look at Ethiopia was.

            Uniting Eritrea / Ethiopia was not a mistake in itself (from British/ US interests), considering the orderly transfer of power the British done to the Eritrean elected government and the economic and development those elected officials set out to do.

            The problem is what followed to of those who took over.

            The best analogy that I can think of is, “it’s like a homeless person winning 10 million dollars and he squandered and lost all of it gambling, instead of investing wisely for building generational wealth”.

            HSI was just a homeless in the UK, if anything else, he should have learned a thing or two about the British monarch and how they successfully transitioned to parliamentary democracy, where Eritrea was already a model that he could have used.


          • Abi

            Hello Reclaim
            There is a huge difference between a trophy and a hot potato.

          • Reclaim Abyssinia

            Lol Abi,
            Yes, hot potato.
            Left hand to right hand passing it around until it cools down… hot hot hot.
            Potato bmitemita!

          • Saleh Johar

            Treating Eritrea as a trophy? Some king it was his daughter, another bloody dictator said it is his pride, our own treats it as a mistress– and now trophy, It doesn’t bode well. Just treat it like gorebet ager and we will all be fine 🙂

          • Abi

            Selam Ato Saleh
            You only wish Isu treats Eritrea like his mistress. Are you kidding me!!

          • Saleh Johar

            Ras Abi,
            And where did you read that? I don’t think you want me to translate it into Amharic for you:-)

          • Abi

            Selam Ato Saleh
            You said, “… our own treats it as a mistress…” in reference to Eritrea.
            ተሳሳትኩ እንዴ?
            Let me try translating it into Amharic
            የኛው ጉድ ደግሞ እንደ ውሽማ ነው የያዛት::
            In the immortal words of SGJ , “ type your reply “.

          • Reclaim Abyssinia

            Abi, May be he is referring to me as “our own” maybe not, at the sametime he said to treat my country .. like ጎረቤት አገር. እኔም አልገባኝም 😁

      • Aman Y.

        Selam Saleh

        I am not able to see a comment I posted early this morning. It might have happened a couple of times before to. Is there something I should know?

        Thank you

        • Saleh Johar

          Selam Aman,
          I went back two weeks and couldn’t find anything. Try to check your status with disqus if it is happening often. But nothing from this side. Your last comment is posted and your account should be fine.

          • Aman Y.

            Will do. Thank you for your prompt response.

  • Aman Y.

    Happy Weekend all,

    Selam Ato Amanuel I had been ruminating about your piece the whole week. Incidentally there was a quote I heard at funeral.” Death is for the living.” I head it over a year now but couldn’t find it elsewhere. May be the speaker meant the reflection we get out of funerals. While searching for the above quote, (Necro curiosity), I came across a wonderful Roelif Coe Brinkerhoff’s Quotable Quote “Funerals are for the living. If we have not done for the dead while they were yet in flesh, it is too late; let the matter pass at the grave. Day by day we should live for those who are to die; and live so that we may die for those who are to live. Funerals are for the living.” I will leave this at that.

    After rereading your essay few a few suggestions and questions popped up.

    You wrote, “(e) The production of refugees: Eritrea is one of the few countries that has produced the highest influx of refugees all over the world. In less than three decades, over five hundred thousand Eritreans have left the country to find their freedom from the regime that…”

    Are not the people who flee better off?

    On my other day comment I asked if morale value has an effect on Bio Politics, Necropolitics concepts. Ato Haile TG had given a response to that. My argument is the fact that most Eritrean people are very religious(over 95% appr.)could make a difference as antidote of the concepts.

    The Eritrean government abused the Jehovah witnesses, Muslims, protestants, orthodox for fear of their growing influence. The Catholics were as institution and the popes may have been spared by the Vatican, but the members were emboldened merely by the leaders. The PFDJ were not able to intimidate the diaspora Catholics.

    Do you think some kind of “Hope or Faith politics, “if there is, can play a role in the future . Melies did a transformational change and I believe it helped the country a lot. GiE should be considerate over this religious Eritrea.

    Many Eritrean scholars, like yourself had labored to produce wonderful suggestive ideas. The “integrative discourse” may had already bean here. The next task would be to make it a shared purpose of diaspora justice seekers as we aim the …of IA.

    The Awate team has forwarded the GiE idea to the Eritrean people. The change seekers media’s had also presented educational discussions about it. I have seen a couple of Saleh’s interviews and Ato Hiruy and Awet’s discussion.

    Finally, I share Ato Abi’s constrictive criticism, if it had only been polite. You presented an expository reference of what you think needs to be tackled for change and to be cognizant
    for rebuilding. I do not believe the application should come from the” thinker or the writer…” Dr. Awet W/Michael

  • መሃንድስ-ምዕባለ


    ‘ንታይ ትደሊ?
    ብዘይ ፍትሒ ኩሉ ፈራሲ

    ፍትሒ ‘ንተሎ ሰላም ይሰፍን
    ፍትሒ ‘ንተሎ ኩሉ ዜጋ ይቐስን

    ይማሃር ይሰርሕ
    ይሽቅል ይሓርስ
    ይሽቅጥ ይምዕብል
    ይዛነ ራህዋ ዝሰፈኖ
    ሂወት ይነብር

    ምእንቲ ፍትሒ ክስዕር
    ፍትሒ ንደሊ ንበል
    መታን ፍትሓዊ ፍርዲ ክንቅበል
    እወ ፍትሒ
    ክንደይ ከ ደስ ትብል!

  • haileTG

    Selamat Awatista,

    Early next week, Tuesday April 13, 20201, will mark the third anniversary of that last time the Eritrean Cabinet of Ministers held a meeting (April 13, 2018). Since that time, Ethio-Eritrean border opened for the first time, September 2018. The border was then closed in December 2018. Eritrea was put on lockdown in connection with Covid-19 for a year and continuing in most respects. Eritrea is deeply involved in a war in Tigray since November 2020. The country is accused of very serious war crimes and crimes against humanity in that conflict. Eritrea’s National Security department is placed under EU sanctions. UAE had left its base in Assab. These are few of many dramatic things that happened since the Cabinet of Ministers met exactly three years ago to the day on April 13th. [coincidentally, April 13th is the date the Ethiopian-Eritrean boundary commission delivered its decision].

    • Haile S.

      Selam MoKsi,

      April 13 is the international FND awareness day. FND for functional neurological disorder. We will see if it is celebrated. You know that every international day is celebrated in Asmara (including ኩቺኔታ day😁), except those containing, prison, refugee, human right, national assembly, law, constitution etc.

      • haileTG

        Hey Moxey!

        That is interesting because when I looked at the pictures of the last meeting, some 75% of the Ministers were so old and seemed to be up close to some kind of FND. And the FIEND sitting in the middle was giving the cermon!

    • መሃንድስ-ምዕባለ

      Hey haileTG,
      According to Wikipedia, there are so many interesting things happened on 4/13 but to me, I still miss ‘Diqua enda quaranta quatro [4 = 1 +3]’

      • haileTG

        Hey MM,,
        Cool one! Also, numerology of 13 is death 🙂 nacro-

        • መሃንድስ-ምዕባለ

          Hey haileTG,
          Just curious….I noticed with some of the Ethiopian leaders names:
          ሜጀር ጀነራል መሓመድ ተሰማ
          ደመቀ መኮነን ሓሰን
          ኣብዪ ኣሕመድ
          Is this common in Ethiopia or they are picking people with mixed names purposely to look they are fair?

          • Abi

            እድሜና ጤና ይስጥህ እንጂ ስለ ኢትዮጵያ ገና ብዙ ትማራለህ::

          • መሃንድስ-ምዕባለ

            Thanks! I hope I don’t learn how to create wars.

          • Aman Y.

            ስላም መሃንድስ-መዕባለ
            Though, it is not common, it looks like Lemma’s group had done it by design.

          • መሃንድስ-ምዕባለ

            Selamat Aman Y.
            Something is unique. If I am not mistaken, I don’t remember seeing like this on the previous administrations.
            BTW, do they still call it Lemma’s team?

          • Aman Y.

            ሰላም መኅንድስ ሞዕባለ

            I do not remember to. Team Lemma does no exist any more. But most of team Lemma’s pre-current transition plans are still at work except the few Abiy’s blunders.

          • haileTG

            Hey MM,

            I think it is common for christian people who reside in predominantly Muslim area. We have similar cases in some areas of lowland Eritrea like a Christian by names like Jamal Welderufael or Letekidan Abdulkadir. I learned that some people adopt names common in their area. The distinction is more clearer when you get closer to the center of the areas from their peripherals. Others are simply from inter-religious marriages. 🙂

          • መሃንድስ-ምዕባለ

            Hey haileTG,
            You are correct. If I am not mistaken, it is common in Bilen. I think in Wollo is also common [from what I hear]. I was just wondering if it is common in the rest of Ethiopia.

    • Brhan

      Merhaba haile TG
      April 14 is Eritrea prisoners day.

  • መሃንድስ-ምዕባለ


    ምሉእ ሽም ሃብ! ምስበሉኒ ግን

    መሃንድስ ምዕባለ ድማ በልኩ
    ዳግማይ ናፈራሕኩ

    ሽማካ ግለጽ ድማ ተባሂለ
    ከመይ ጌረ?
    ኣንታ! ናበይ ተሸርቡ ሰብ ስረ
    ድማ ተባሂለ

    ዳግማይ ሓፊረ
    ሽመይ ተነገርኩኽም ከ የሕጺረ?
    ከም በዓል ዮ. ዓንደ
    ዘ. ሃይለ
    ክንዕቁኒ ጀሚሮም

    ፈራሕ ምዃንካ ክነግሩኻ ከለው ዘሎ ፍርሒ ክኸፍእ
    ካባይ የድሕንኩም ሰብ ዓዋተ

  • መሃንድስ-ምዕባለ


    ምስ ግዝያዊ-መንግስቲ
    ኣብ ወጻኢ
    ካብ ምክልኻል ናብ መጥቃዕቲ
    ንቐይሮ ስልቲ
    ክበዝሑ ሰዓብቲ
    ብበሓደ ክወጹ
    ካብ ጉብጥሽ ካብ በዓቲ

    ሓድሽ ምዕራፍ
    ናይ ዓወት መጽሓፍ
    ጀሚሩ ክጽሓፍ
    ከመይ ድኣ!

    ነቲ ናይ ሰላሳ-ዓመታት ግዝያዊ መንግስቲ
    ኣይፋል! ኣይናትናን ዝበሃለሉ
    ግዜኡ ኣኺሉ
    ስልጣኑ ኣብቂዑ ንሪአሉ
    ናይ ብስራት-ቃጭል ተቓጪሉ
    ዘበርዕን ባርነት
    ሃየ! ኢደይ ኢድካ በሉ

  • Abi

    Dearest Bayan
    I should have said keep it simple and short:)
    My question is when are you guys going to promote the discussions and articles that keep reappearing in different colors and forms from exposing the Isu government to solutions based articles loaded with recommendations?
    Sorry Bayan, I failed to read a single recommendation from the article. As I always try to say, I like comments and articles that are not complicated and based on achievable objectives. Academic articles and literature reviews like the article in discussion, bring no tangible solutions for the problems at hand.

  • Bayan Negash

    Dear Amanuel and Awatawyan,

    You raised some excellent issues related to the overwhelming power the state has over the body of a citizen, the latter getting next to nothing in return. The conceptual models you presented can inform one’s understanding of how a state uses and disposes a citizen in the name of national sovereignty while the individual citizen’s sovereignty has no place in the very nation that he/she keeps sacrificing for three generations now.

    The immutable nature of this kind of social contract for which Eritreans never signed on but continue to pay the ultimate price for is mind numbing, to say the least. There’s gotta be one thing we can all agree on, which is to rid the regime from the body of an Eritrean who has become the site of, and victim to, the necropower and necropolitics conceptual terminologies by which we are able to clearly see now; thanks to your ability to appropriating these concepts and showing your readers their applicability to our predicament under the siege of the Asmara regime. This is why Eritreans in diaspora must see the urgency for the need of GiE, sooner than later.

    P.S. It is easy to see how hitting 3 instead of 2 could’ve occurred when you mentioned the number of prisons the regime built since it came to power. The last count I read was 361 some three years ago.

    • Abi

      Hello Bayan
      Be honest with me here.
      Did you learn something new that has never been discovered before? I haven’t except some terminologies that I seriously doubt that the people under tyranny are remotely interested in.
      What are the major recommendations that this term paper provided that I missed? Repeating the well known shortcomings in newly discovered jargons ( for the author) doesn’t amount to a reliable solution. If you read the authors response to Haile TG, the purpose of the article is to expose the regime or something like that. Really? Expose the regime? In 2021?
      Have you checked the list of the reference material? Almost all are older than Eritrea as a new country. Social science is a dynamic process.
      Anyway, tell me something new you got from this term paper style article where the student tried hard to impress the professor with jargons.
      My sophomore English ( Flen 201)professor ( ጋሼ ) ዕቁባይ ዘርኡ would say አታወሳስበው!! Make it simple!!

      • said

        AH ,He’s articulate. He explained too well. He writes perfectly for kind of intellectual crowd and for the average person . his writing about Eritrean political issue comes from so many different angles over so many years is nothing new . his writing is to register with Eritrean public at large , that they needed to tell their stories and find a way to mythologize their experiences so that people could identify with it. Essentially, it had everything to do with the Eritrean national project.

        About Fifty-four years ago, Martin Luther King, Jr., delivered his now-famous “Beyond Vietnam” sermon. For the first time in public, he expressed in vehement terms his opposition to the American war in Vietnam. he had to speak out against violence everywhere — not just in the U.S. — if he expected people to take him at his word. Dr. King warned about back in 1967 and explained that day:
        “As I have walked among the desperate, rejected, and angry young men, I have told them that Molotov cocktails and rifles would not solve their problems… But they asked, and rightly so, ‘what about Vietnam?’ They asked if our own nation wasn’t using massive doses of violence to solve its problems, to bring about the changes it wanted. Their questions hit home, and I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today my own government.

        Can you talk about your own government is doing in Tigray. mascaraing innocent lives. Ethiopia has long been consumed by civil wars and crisis.. Is time to reject a politics of death and war and embrace one of life and peace .

        • Bayan Negash

          Dear said and Abi,
          Well said, you put the onus right where it belongs to see where Abi stands when you ended your note if Abi could address the current issues that, the historical tentacles of which go to the formation of the nation Ethiopia. To reiterate or put emphasis on it, here is what your-to-the-point question:

          “Can you talk about your own government is doing in Tigray. mascaraing innocent lives. Ethiopia has long been consumed by civil wars and crisis.. Is time to reject a politics of death and war and embrace one of life and peace.”

          Abi, this time no biting humor is needed. Please give us your honest take, not politically tainted one. Only humanly tainted response deep from Abi’s mind and heart. I know you use humor to dance your way out of many issues. This time though the expectation is for you to give us Abi’s real heartfelt opinion, one that goes beyond the killil amhara, beyond Tigray, beyond the Oromialand, and beyond Isaias the savior talk. Talk to us as an Ethiopian without necessarily blaming anybody, but a way for us to help ourselves to move toward bright future of the Horn of Africa.

          • Abi

            Dearest Bayan
            You know dancing in circles is not my expertise. I leave that for the activists and politicians.
            This is my most straight answer.
            I don’t believe there is a massacre going on in Tigray. You are sold to the Tplf propaganda.
            However, if there are remnants of the late Tplf thugs who are trying to bring havoc in the country ( wherever it might be), they should be eradicated from the face of the earth.
            The government has already extended clemency for these criminal thugs to drop their guns and continue with their peaceful life. Some accepted the invitation, some continued to wreck havocs.
            I support the government’s efforts in bringing peace and normalcy in the region.
            This is my straight answer.
            There should be a serious consequence for picking up a gun against the federal army or whoever is delegated by the federal government namely, The Amhara special forces!!!!!!!

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Selam Dr Beyan,

      You are correct about the number prisons. No matter how hard we try to edit our writings, there are always misses. Thank you for bringing it to our attention.


  • መሃንድስ-ምዕባለ

    ሰላማት ፕሮፌሰር ኤማ

    ‘ዛጽሕፍቲ ምስ ኣንበብኩ
    ካልኣይ-ሳልሳይ ደገምኩ
    ሓደ ሲሶ ምሓዝ ሰኣንኩ
    ናይ ጥፉሻት ርእሰይ ሓኸኽኩ
    ሓጸልጸል ክብለኒ ምስ ጀመረ
    ክልተ ታይሎነል ኣዝለልኩ
    ክንደይ ‘ኳ ኢና ከሲርና
    ኢለ ክሓስብ ድማ ጀመርኩ

    ክንደይ ኣርካናት ኣብ ደገ ሰፊሮም
    ናይ ካልእ ሃገር ኣማዕቢሎም
    ብሕጽረት ኣርካናት ግን
    ክንደይ ደቂ ሃገር ደንቊሮም
    ብሰንኪ ሓደ ተረገም
    ሰብ ምድረ ባሕሪ-ነጋሲ

    ብውሽጣዊ ስንክልና
    ጥዑያት ንመስል ብግዳም
    ‘ንኳዕ ኣይከፍትዎ ሓንጎልና

    • Brhan

      መሃንድስ ነብሲ
      ጥ ዕና ‘ ሃበለይ!!

  • haileTG

    Selam Awatista

    Question for Guad Abi!

    Given that PMAA have been popularizing (attempting to) the notion of Medemer as a unique political motto, whatever has happened to it? As the Amhara are protesting, the Oromo protesting, the Tigrayans are deep in insurgency, could we say that PMAA was not smart in evaluating Ethiopia’s historical and current challenges properly before coming up what appears like a joke now? Was IA accurate in his last interview when he assessed PMAA to be impulsive and emotional? With respect:-)

    • Brhan

      Hello Halie TG
      Guad Abi must be relaxing after attending the DC ጉዳዮችን የማጋለጥ ዘመቻ demonstration.

      • Abi

        Real Madrid 3
        Liverpool 1

        Manchester City 2
        Dortmund 1

        Don’t miss tomorrow’s games
        PSG vs Bayern
        Chelsea vs Porto

        Next week
        Second leg games.
        As always, you are most welcome!

        • Aman Y.

          Selam Abi
          ይሄ የኩዋስ ነገር አልበገሬ አድርጎሃል፤ ለመሆኑ የማንን ስልት ነው የያዝከው ደሞስ አስሩ ይቡድኑ አባላት የታሉሳ ወይስ አንበሉ ስለሚወክላችሀው ነው ወይደሞ እንደበረኛ ችለኸው ነው? እንዲአውም ሊጉን ወክለህ ይቀረብክ ነው ምትመስለው? ጽናቱን ይስጥህ።

    • Abi

      እጅግ ለዘገየው መልስ እጅግ የላቀ ይቅርታ ይደረግልኝ::
      መደመር / medemer = to add
      መደመር/ meddemer = to be added
      Here PMAA is promoting the second one which is voluntary by nature.
      It is an open invitation for whoever is interested. That includes ( in case you missed it ) Eritrea. Just kidding.
      Now let us see መደመር in a simple mathematical process.

      B ( bracket) bringing the Oromo and Amharas together to bring the long over due change.
      D (division) dividing eprdf into pieces and voluntarily bring whoever is interested in the bracket.
      M ( multiplication)- multiply supporters inside or/and outside the bracket.
      A ( addition) Add Eritrea in the equation
      S ( subtraction) subtract or eliminate Tplf

      TR {Truth value} =Problem solved
      ኢትዮጵያ ሃዱርሲቱ!!!

      As far as I remember, you were one of the most admirers of PMAA. What happened ኃይልሽ? I remember once you said that you can listen to the PMAA all day long or something very close to it.

      • haileTG

        Hey Guad Abi,

        Thanks, that kind of clears it out:-) I think this is a tell tell sign for which I am sure you have an apt Amharic adage – tetsgbeni qicha ab meqlo kola E’felTa! is Tigrigna. With your budding Tigrigna I am sure you’ll figure it out. But, you’re right, I had high hopes for Abi – young, well spoken, a health degree of God talk in him. I have grown to doubt that he commands the necessary zeal and commitment in the form of stick to it-ness. He tends to abandon his stated goals without hesitation. Flexibility is an asset but wobbliness is liability. Otherwise, Abi would have been a fair deal for Ethiopia. IF he does as he preach though.

        • Abi

          መደመር is not a straight forward concept.
          አንዱ ለመደመር ሲያመነታ ሌላው ሲቀነስ ሲንቀዠቀዥ ጉዞውን የተወሳሰበ ያደርገዋል::

          What I understand from the previous several comments you made, you are not just doubting the young PM. You have joined the “DOWN DOWN! ABIY” team . I have spotted you on the reserve bench.

          • haileTG

            Wendime Abi,

            Down down politics is well behind for you guys. Leave that to few dictatorial outposts such as Eritrea and North Korea. Ethiopians need to work on your babystep democratic walk, strengthen institutions and human rights. PMAA kehede lela ymeTal. Thanks God you’re not dependent on personality as we are.

            Any ways, I don’t see Eritrea buying in to medemer after you guys tripped Isu to dem afasash conflict with our natural access to Ethiopia, Tigray. Ahun arfachu teqemeTu. 🙂

          • Abi

            አንተ ካዘዝክ አርፈን መቀመጥ ብቻ ሳይሆን መተንፈስም እናቆማለን::
            We are paving new and improved access to both countries.
            በሰማይ :በየብስ : በምድር
            We are demolishing walls and opening doors and windows!
            የምድሩም የሰማዩም በር ቁልፍ በእጃችን ነው:: ፀባያችሁን አሳምሩ!!

      • Reclaim Abyssinia


        I love my beer in MedMer,
        malted-barley from Gondar.
        Chilled and brewed in Asmara,
        Let’s take it down to Massawa.
        Sipping it one after another,
        Until I go down-under!!!

        ከጎንደር ወደ ምጽዋ የሚነግድ ጎንደሬ ወደ ምጸዋአ ሲሄድ አስመራላይ ኣድሮ የደረሰበት ጆክ:
        አስመራ ምግብ ቤት ገብቶ ምግብ ሊያዝ ሲል ሜኑው አልገባ ይለውና አንዱን በጣቱ ለአስተናጋጁ ይጠቁምለታል:
        ሮስት ዝኩኒ ይዞለት ይመጣል
        በጣም ኣዝኖ እሷን እየበላ ኣጠገቡ ያለው ዶሮ አሩስቶ ሲበላ ያይና ይጎመጃል፣
        ባለ ዶሮ ኣሩስቶ ሰውዬ ቢስ ይላል፣
        ኣስተናጋጁ ሌላ ይደግመዋል በፍጥነት
        ጎንደሬውም እጁን ያወጣና ቢስ ይላል
        በፍጥነት ዝኩኒ ይመጣለታል አፍሮ እሱን በልቶ ይሄዳል
        ማታ ሲኒማ ይገባል ፊልሙ ልክ ሲያልቅ ሰው ቢስ ይላል
        ጎንደሬው እኔ አላልኩም፥ እኔ አላልኩም
        ብሎ አየሮጠ ወጣ ይባላል

        The point is, there was real Medemer with economical interest with Gonder. Gonder used to produce the best ገብስ. Asmara/Massawa there was the best beer. I think instead of Medemer by referring to ethnicity, patriotism, & unity, it would have made sense if we can do that with the benefit to the locals. Gonder people are also the poorest, since Oromia farming is taking-off, logistic-wise doesn’t make sense to transport all the farm production to Addis.

        • Abi

          “ገብስ የእህል ንጉሥ” ይላል የጎንደር ገበሬ!!
          It is a very well established fact that Gonder people are poor when compared with እራታቸውን ሁለት የዶሮ አሮስቶ ከመሎቲ ቢራ ጋር ከሚያወራርዱ Eritreans.

          በነገራችን ላይ እንዴት ነው አንድ ኤርትራዊ አንድ የዶሮ አሮስቶ ስልቅጥ አድርጎ ውጦ ሌላ የሚጨምረው?
          እርግብ ነው እንዴ የምትበሉት? ጫጩት ይሆን እንዴ ? ግራ አጋባኸኝ::

          The following conversation took place at ሬስቶራንቴ አዝመሪኖ located on ጎዳና ሃርነት

          አስተናጋጅ: ” ምን ልታዘዝ ጌታዬ”
          ተስተናጋጅ: ” የዶሮ አሮስቶ”
          አስተናጋጅ: ” ስንት አሮስቶ ይሁንልዎ ጌታዬ”
          ተስተናጋጅ: ” ለጊዜው ሁለት አምጣና ካልጠገብኩ አንድ ሁለት እጨምራለሁ”
          አስተናጋጅ: ” እሺ ጌታዬ : እስከዛው ቢራዎትን አመጣለሁ”
          ተስተናጋጅ: ” መልካም: አንድ በርሜል አምጣና ካልበቃኝ እጨምራለሁ”

          ራሥ አቢ: “እዋይ!!”

          • Reclaim Abyssinia

            Hi Abi,
            At least we agree on one thing. The best ገብስ from Gonder. “ገብስ የእህል ንጉሥ”
            I thought the name of the beer was pilsner, now I know it’s መሎቲ ቢራ. The famous Eritrean Beer.
            FYI, In Asmar restaurant they serve you with quarter chicken roast butterflied, unlike western they hand you the whole chicken or in a wrap. Try it the Italian style, highly recommended. Primo, socondo and desert, etc. I only learnt in the west spaghetti as a main course. It is only used as primo in Asmara, and socondo የጥጃ ኣሩስቶ፣ የቺክን ኣሩስቶ፣ ካተሌት, etc, end with Gelati, complemented with a walk in Komishatato. If you ever get the opportunity to go to Asmara I recommend you to experience this. I think with your hard work you should be rewarded with the trip to Asmara by someone. Don’t forget the cinema as well.
            BTW, since when people from Gonder described as rich. Don’t you remember ቀበሌ እህል የሚሸከሙትን. Only the Oromo think every amahara is/was rich.

          • Abi

            I can’t wait to experience the legendary Asmara cuisine with an evening ኩቺኔታ ride on Godana Harinet.
            My trip should be sponsored by Awate University.

          • Reclaim Abyssinia

            I am sorry to have to tell you that it will be a long wait for you.
            At the moment anything with > 2wheel will be confiscated (probably until the Tigray war is over), and the driver/rider will vanish(Oromay). Then SJ gone have to make Negarit #XXX
            I don’t think Awate will want that trouble, but Abiyachin, will be happy to sponsor you, give you a hug, show you love❤️😍 & ceremonial welcome! But wait a minute, anyone that he shows love/hug 😘are vanishing too 😁i.e Johar, chief of staff.. oh no there are more. I suggest you remain in the virtual world behind the curtin, unless you are familiar with AK47, it’s not easy world there.
            Stay alive,

          • Abi

            I take your advice seriously.
            The last thing I want is appear on Negarit edition.
            We don’t need Ethiopian style “ሳይላክ የቀረ ደብዳቤ” to be narrated by the one and only…
            ከአስመራ መሎቲ የጎንደር ጠላ ይሻለኛል::

            You guys have to come with scooter style ኩቺኔታ to avoid the restrictions.

          • Berhe Y

            Hi Abi and Reclaim,

            I am enjoying your conversation. Just to add to your well thought discussion…..

            In Eritrea too, ቅጫ ጎጎ ( which I think i smade from ገብስ, is considered of a highest quality) so it’s king of as well. Not every Eritrean has the luxury of eating Aresto…in fact the most majority do not.

            ሓደ ሃገረሰብ ካብ ከባቢ (in villages which is known ሓማሲን outskirt of Asmara), who are known growing quality pumpkin (ዱባ) goes to the restaurant. He didn’t know what to order but he see people ordering Zucchini so he orders as well.

            Then when he gets his order, he was surprised and thought it was pumpkin and says…ወይ ዱባ ዱቤ ኣስማራ መጺእካ ባ ሽም ቀይርካ :: Reclaim you may have to translate.

            I know you keep making joke about my ኩቺኔታ:: You forgot the whole story, ኩቺኔታ, become popular because of the Derg. The reason being, they banned bike and there was no fuel for cars (rationed). And people start using ኩቺኔታ to transport food and other goods. We played with ኩቺኔታ, like kids do with skate boards.

            BTW, ኩቺኔታ are banned in Godena Harnet so you will never find it there.

            I suggest you learn to bike (I find most people from Addis do not know how to use cycle (most of my relatives)) and you will have the best times.

          • Reclaim Abyssinia

            Hi Berhe,
            The last time I called Asmara I asked them if they need anything because of the lockdown. Here’s the transcript

            Reclaim ፤ ሃይ ምን ልላክላቹ
            Reclaim ፤ ሎክ ዳውን እንዴት እያረጋቹ ነው
            አስመራ ፤ አረ በጣም ተቸግረናል
            Reclaim. ፤ ገንዘብ ልኪያለው
            አስመራ ፤ ገንዝብ ምን ያደርጋል ገበያ ወተህ የሚገዛ የለም ጭራሽ
            አስመራ ፤ ሽሮናምስር ነው እሱን ደግሞ መብላት ልጆቹ ተቸግረዋል
            Reclaim. ፤ በኔ ወተው ነው ?
            አስመራ ፤ ኬቻፕ ባገሩ ጠፍቶ ነው!
            Reclaim ፤ እና ምን ልላክላቹ
            አስመራ ፤ ሽሮ በኬቻፕ ለምደው አሁን ሚበሉት ኣጡ
            Reclaim. ፤ አንድ ካርቶን እልካለው
            አስመራ ፤ በኤምባሲ ላከው አለበለዚያ ይወረሳል
            Reclaim. ፤ እኔ ኤምባሲ አልሄድም ታውቃላቹ
            አስመራ ፤ በቃ ደም ብለህ ላከው እሱ ነው ደስ የሚላቸው
            Reclaim. ፤ እሺ
            translation services
            ሓደ ሃገረሰብ ካብ ከባቢ = አንድ ባላገር ከሆነ ቦታ
            ወይ ዱባ ዱቤ ኣስማራ መጺእካ ባ ሽም ቀይርካ
            = ወይ ዱባ ዱቤ ኣስማራ መተህ ስም ቀየርክ
            ትግርኛ = ኣማርኛ በጠረባ :የሚባለው እውነት ነው ባክህን

          • Abi

            ሽሮ በምን??

          • Abi

            Fun fact 1
            Saturday Weddings came to existence because of the Sunday driving restrictions during the derg days.
            Fun fact 2
            Addis is not convenient for bike riding. Too many hills in the city. Besides, people prefer their convertibles over the weekends and their SUVs on weekdays:)
            Convertible = በረባሶ ( made of used tire)
            SUV = ሸራ ጫማ
            Fun fact 3
            እኔ ወንድምህ ጡጦ የጣልኩት ብስክሌት ተገዝቶልኝ ነው:: I was two years old.
            Fun fact 4
            You have got no idea how much we use ኩቺኔታ for transporting goods. They are very useful except don’t use them for weddings like you asmarino guys do.

          • Berhe Y

            Hi Abi,

            We didn’t become known as “king of the mountains” for no reason. Asmara / Eritrea has equally the same amount if not more hills. I think, it’s more than a cultural/ appreciation of the bike and the roads are made to be shared.

            I don’t know if Abiy is reading your comment or you are writing after his speech but it seems he is on to something with his day dreaming ideas.

            1) Why we need to drive car, when we have our feet. We are fighting with God when he gave us feet, and use car instead.
            2) why do we need to make irrigation and build dams (including HiDASE) and the natural course of water.
            3) Why we need to carry umbrella when it’s sunny, as it is natural way that we need to consume the sun.

            Ti be honest I don’t know the full context of the speech but please by all means, shed some light.

            I thought the Stalin Dude was funny but this is beyond my level of understanding.


          • Abi

            I haven’t followed news last couple of days. It is all depressing. I will search for the speech.
            You know I like people who dream big. Like people dreaming about the French Riviera kind of DRAMA.

            Never heard of this “king of the mountain “ thing before.

          • Berhe Y

            Hi Abi,

            There is the whole documentary about it.

            Google it. “Faces of Africa – King of the Mountains”.

            I hope things better. I was in Addis very long time ago, and to be honest, it’s not really a place that I think about to visit as a vacation destination, may be on my way to Eritrea that I will have stop over or something. I would rather visit the other parts such as Semien mountains, Lali Bela or other historical sites.

            But the other day I saw this you tube video titled “ The Ultimate ETHIOPIAN FOOD TOUR – Street Food and Restaurants in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia!” by Mark Weins.

            All I can was wow, and I would definitely go to experience that and I would definitely take my children and experience that. I would also visit Harer as well.


          • Abi

            ድሮ ጎረምሶች ሳለን መንገድ ላይ መብላት እንጂ መንገድ ላይ መሽናት አያሳፍርም ነበር:: ዘንድሮ ተሻሽለን መንገድ ላይ መብላት አያሳፍርም::
            ” አጥር ላይ የሚሸና ውሻ ብቻ ነው” የሚል ማሳሰቢያ በየአጥሩ ላይ ማየት የተለመደ ነው::

            እቺ “face of Africa “, “ king of mountain “ የምትል ንግግር ከንክናኛለች:: ፈረንጅ እኮ baboon ሲልህ አሰማምሮ ነው:: ተሸወድክ!

            The connection flight to Asmara must be Gonder not Addis:)

          • Berhe Y

            Hi Abi,

            I will remind you when an Eritrean wins the Tour de France.

            Why should be the transit via Gonder?
            Are you assuming all transit to Asmara is via Ethiopia?

            I was talking about visiting Addis on my way to Asmara, but I would prefer direct flight home.


          • Abi

            When an Eritrean wins the Tour de France , we all celebrate together.

            Are you talking about a direct flight from Toronto to Asmara? I guess you have to wait until the legendary Eritrean Cuccineta Lines get up and rolling. In the mean time Ethiopian carries the keys to Asmara.

          • Haile S.

            Selam Abi & Berhe & all,

            በርሀ፡ እንደ ትግሬ ቁጣ ቁጣ ኣይበልህ😁 Everyone aspires to be the gate for heaven (Eritrea)! ምን ይደረግ! ይታደሉታል!

          • Abi

            “ይታደሉታል እንጂ አይታገሉትም ” አለ ቀብራራው!
            ግድየለም በርሄ የትግሬ ዘር ሳይኖርበት አይቀርም እንደ ጀበናቸው ቱግ ቱግ ይላል::

          • Berhe Y

            Hi Abi,

            What we call your kind of talk

            ዝአኽለን ጥሒነን በዓለ ማርያም ይብላ::


          • Berhe Y

            ስልም ሀይለ

            I don’t know what I have said that you consider ቁጣ::

            ስለ ምንታይ ንዐድኹም ጽቡቅ ሕልሚ ትሐልሙ እኮ ኮይኑ ናይዚአቶም ነገር::

            ናታቶም ከይ አኽለና: እዝም ናትና ከተቀባጥሩሎም ጸሐይ ዓሪቡ:😄 እሽሩሩሩሩ

          • Haile S.

            ‘ቁጣ’ መኽፈቲ ነገር እዩ ነይሩ።

            ለኣቢ እሽሩሩሩ? እንዴ! የእህታችን ባል እኮ ነው። ደግሞ እነ ኣምዴ ሲፈረጥጡ፡ እነ ሆሪዞን ሲቆጡ፡ ጥግት ብሎ ከኛ ጋ የቀረው፡ ግጦሽ ቢኖርም ባይኖርም፡ ኣብሮን የሚግጥ፡ እሱ ብቻ ኣይደል!

          • Haile S.

            ሰላም ጀታው፡

            ከጎንደር ጠላ የኣስመራው ይጣፍጣል። ኣባሻውል ቀበሌ ስለማታውቀው ነው። ጳውሎስን ጠይቅ!

            ለመሆኑ “ሳይላክ የቀረው ደብዳቤ”፡ ‘ለራስ የተጻፈው ደብዳቤ’ ይሆን? ኣላነበብኩትም!

          • Abi

            ጳውሎስን የት አግኝቼ ልጠይቀው? አንዴ የአክሱም ፅዮን ቄስ: ሲያሻው የቦስተን ዱርዬ እየሆነ መጨበጫ አጣሁለት:: እባክህ ካገኘኸው መናፈቄን ንገርልኝ::
            የአለማየሁ እሸቴን ” መራቁን ተይና ወደኔ ቅረቢ” የሚለውን ዘፈን እንደኔ ሆነህ ዝፈንለት::

            “ሳይላክ የቀረ ደብዳቤ” ታሪኩን ረስቼዋለሁ::
            It is basically about a Russian soldier during the 2nd world war who wrote a letter to his wife but failed to send it because he was shot or killed.
            I don’t want to mislead you. I have to ask people with their memories intact.

          • Haile S.


            ፓውሎሳችን የእነ ፉኮ እና ሩሶ ፍልስፍና ፈትፍቶ የዋጠ ከዩቱብ ተዋናዮች ኣታወዳድር። ሶሪ በል!

          • Abi


          • Saleh Johar

            I think the story is from Tolstoy’s War and Peace

          • Abi

            Selam Ato Saleh
            It is a translated book. I had the book when I was very young. As you know , it is impossible to find reading and Abi in the same book.
            Reading a book? Say what?!?!?!?

          • Saleh Johar

            And. Had a teacher who once said: not reading books is a crime, but admitting you don’t deserves capital punishment. It’s a bit exaggerated but he managed making us feel guilty for not reading. That’s why I read the best book of all time, “Lemma begebeya” 🙂

          • Abi

            Selam Ato Saleh
            You are always ahead of time! I stopped at Lemma betmhirt bet.
            I’m also a little bit exaggerating. Just a little.
            I prefer reading research papers and articles. I’m like a Cheetah that runs extremely fast and effective in short distances. Long distance and bulky books are not my strength unless the author is Harold Robins. ( Saay, pretend you are not here)
            When it comes to research articles, I’m like a sponge. I read them fast, I read everything, I enjoy them.
            “እከክ የሰጠ ጥፍር አይነሳም” አይደል የሚባለው?

          • Saleh Johar

            Harold Robbins? I was during my puberty years that I read The Carpet Baggers. It was not age appropriate for me, but I saw it, I had it and I read it. My world view was confused. Yet, I read a few of his books until I found Jackly Bisset, not to his level, but another confusing novelist for an innocent child growing up in a conservative town.

          • Abi

            Selam Ato Saleh
            Looks like you jumped from Agatha Christie to Harold Robins with no bridge in between.
            You read what was available in that particular time and place. In my opinion it is better to read those kind of age inappropriate books than the Amharic ላሜ ቦራ where the writer painted a stepmother with a wide and ugly brush. Only ሰይጣን knows why people write this kind garbage? I believe the reason we don’t tolerate each other is because we grew up reading such kind of books. It is full of hateful things.
            Harold, Jackie Collins? Give me a thousand of them than one ላሜ ቦራ.
            You see, Jackie Collins books mostly affect ከወገብ በታች:: ላሜ ቦራ አንጎል ነው የሚያደርቀው:: I’m not exaggerating. Talk about a confused society.

          • Saleh Johar

            Which book is the one with story of a man who laced the tail of a cow and asked the suspects to go in and tough the tail. He had told them the cow will do something when the suspect touches it. The suspects was afraid not to touch the tail and when they all returned, the man smelled their hands and found out the suspect who didn’t touch the tail. Wasn’t it Lammie Bora?

            The Lemma books were the village priest type of preaching. There was also Lemma k’Mohammed Gara. In tenth grade an Amharic translation of a book, Madam Dubonfoit( sp ?), it was compulsory reading. I will be lying if I told I remember one sentence from the 400 or so page book. Did you study that?

            What drives me nuts is the language book: Ge—Gedele, Me Mote! Talk about nurturing warped minded children.

          • Reclaim Abyssinia

            I’m glad to be such helpful friend Guad.
            I could picture you with white shirt, fully shaved, looking like feed the world advertisement, or looking like Juhar, popping out from the Ethiopian style red & Blue surrounding ribbon envelope, stamped with ‘ሳይላክ የቀረ ደብዳቤ’ Author, narrator and graphic by SJ. You crack me up man!

    • መሃንድስ-ምዕባለ

      Selamat haileTG ,
      The best way to define the mini-dictator, colonel Abi, is as a Divider.
      ዓርኪ ሰባር ነቓዕ!

      • Saleh Johar

        ኣውሒድካሉ ነዚ ምሕምዛቅ ስርሑ

        • መሃንድስ-ምዕባለ

          ‘ንዳተሰክፍና ‘ንዲና 🙂

  • Aman Y.

    Seam Ato Amanuel,

    Thank you for your thought provoking and eye opener essay. Having these kind of discussions two decades ago might have saved us a lot. But, lets say “later than never.”

    If I understood you well, ” state of exception” describes Eritrea’s last two decades with out going deep into the other terms. Once a person becomes the law, I believe he can endow himself with all the other attributes. Abiy is also making command posts at the peripheries making a partial state of exceptions and going to the center subtly.

    Under the umbrella of State of exceptions the other concepts: bio power, Biopower, Biopolitics, Necropower, Necropolitics etc. can be exercised easily.

    Question: Does moral value of a society and the dispensation play a role in creating the situation ?

    I hope your essay initiates an educational debate across the aisle. Before the G-15 were imprisoned, there was a discussion on Dehai defending each side. A lady wrote a piece defaming the G15 and my advise to her was not to be a “Biocatalyst” unless she has political ambitions. She responded back by saying that she is a married woman with two kids and no possibilities. Now she is Eritrea’s Ambassador to the UN. Having this kind of educational debates on my sides could have made a difference.


    • haileTG

      Merhaba Aman Y,

      There are certainly those who argue that the moral values of our society have something to do with having ended up with such a system in Eritrea. I see two reasons counter to that:

      1 – Such a toxic environment can be easily created in any society as long as the subjects are successfully manipulated. This happens in many big corporations with toxic work environment even here in the western world.

      2 – Eritrean society being diverse and not monolithic, no unique moral criteria can be applied across the board.

      At any rate, Eritreans are given to judging themselves too harshly, I would say rather unnecessarily at times:)

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Selam Aman Y.,

      Yes Aman, Eritrea is a “state of exception” in the last three decades, in which the “sovereign power” can dictate his subjects and decide on the subjects who could die and who could live – an absolute power with impunity.

      Second, one could hope that the public to debate on the issue I have raised, not only in this forum, but also across the political spectrum, to understand the plight of our people, especially our youth.


  • haileTG

    Selamat Awatista,

    This topic essentially revolves around attempts to understand the PFDJ regime. I believe that PFDJ “supporters” would also benefit greatly from the discussion.

    How to be a Happy PFDJ Supporter

    Life is about the pursuit of happiness. Needless to state that therefore one ought to be informed about what they sign up for to ensure that it meets this basic goal. Becoming a PFDJ supporter is no different. One needs to know what it means to be a successful PFDJ supporter, what are the do’s and don’ts of it and how to align yourself rationally and emotionally so you would not live in a state of self-inflicted misery.

    Last week, we were able to witness PFDJ supporters setting upon each other in what appeared as a dog-fight in response to what Dina Mufti said. Some supporters criticized their fellow PFDJ supporters for protesting while draped in the Ethiopian flag, others bitterly protested the fact they couldn’t freely oppose what they saw as violating Eritrea’s sovereignty through the words of the Ethiopian diplomat. They hurled insults at each other and dismissed each other as if they were not deqi hade libi!

    The Eritrean charge de affairs in the US, Ato Berhane G/Hiwot, weighed in by suggesting that social media efforts of supporters be reviewed beforehand to ensure such spectacle doesn’t happen again (adding another layer of censor to what the social media have in place already!).

    As you see, what happed was really a tragic misunderstanding. PFDJ supporters inadvertently exposing the fact that they really don’t understand what it means to be a PFDJ supporter. If a supporter doesn’t really understand the nature of the support they are signed up for, they how can they pursue happiness?

    First, let’s look at the organizational structure. Isaias Afewerki (IA) is a dictator. He chooses individuals that have absolute loyalty to him to work immediately under him (Adi Halo office). Those people do not question, do not go ahead of him. In turn, his assistants choose individuals that have absolute loyalty to them. By simple mathematical deduction if B depends on A and C depends on B then C depends on A, a simple transitive rule. If IA’s helpers are loyal to IA and the helper’s helper is loyal to their boss then the last follower is loyal to IA. Such deduction concludes that a PFDJ supporter must be loyal to IA. Must not question IA, and must not go ahead of IA. If IA doesn’t give response to Dina Mufti, then the supporter must not do so.

    What we witnessed last week was that some supporters, whom were thought to be hard core at that, had little understanding that they are not supposed to speak up ahead of the directives given by IA. Hence, they created so much commotion and conflict with each other. In other words they were unhappy campers, their friends were unhappy campers and the opposition (the rest of us) had a great laugh out of it.

    So, to be a happy PFDJ supporter, one must understand that they are not supposed to be forming opinions, making pronouncements that is not IA sanctioned, perform anything for personal ends or anything like that. Take a deep breath, check the paperwork and decide if you wish to commit to it. Once you commit to it, the pursuit of happiness only works if your heart is on what you do. Be happy to give up your individuality, be happy to give up your reasoning faculty, be happy to give up your judgements an be happy to be a complete nobody, fully subservient to the dictate of IA. There are monks who leave the world for an isolated monastic life. But the monks do get together for religious observances. Hey, pretend that you have given up your life like a monk and guard your thoughts constantly and ensure you are not ensnared by the West, Woyane, Zunbulat, KedaAt…. Keep quite, speak only when you’re told to do and what you’re told to say. Have no opinion, else you could be going ahead of IA. If you can take it, well happiness is yours.

    The opposition looks to the fall of IA not because of some hatred or obsession. We know that the house of cards (the transitive deduction above) will come tumbling down as soon as he is gone. When IA is gone, his close and chosen assistants will have no one to be loyal to, and the domino effect works all the way downwards freeing the individual supporter.

    To be a happy PFDJ supporter, therefore ‘watch the space’ is the key.

  • Ismail AA

    Selam all,

    This product is clearly a result of handy and inquisitive mind. The time and thinking invested can easily be imagined. Meshing and matching theory with applied power-to-the ruled politics in the framework of nation states is a testing endeavor. This contribution has proven that Amanuel Hidrat has a formidable talent to read and assimilate complex stuff. As I recall, this is not the first time I read him putting up such an effort.

    I am not in a state to delve deeper into the points Amanuel has reached in terms of the regime and its relationship with the people. But I would like to focus on one of key points: hegemonic ruling systems and regime leaders crafting real and imagined enemies for the sake of perpetuation of power.

    At this point, I would like to push Amanuel’s time line (1991) for the discussion regarding Eritrea’s despot though his reasoning is understandable. The despot was keen to ensure concocting an imagined enemy. Before embarking on his infamous journey, he authored an infamous manifesto whose message he addressed to the unsuspecting segment of the population about a non-existent latent and deadly enemy called ELF that was out to destroy the culture and language of the Kebessa community.

    To sell his evil intention of power building threshold, he fabricated lies about mass killings the ELF leaders allegedly committed. One of the bizarre fabrications was crime that targetted students who joined the struggle from a particular place, Addis Ababa. Since then he and his surrogates peddled a priority of eliminating the ELF: ጀብሃ ክትሓቅቅ ኣለዋ. This had served as crying call and recruitment up to 1980-82 that also had involved the Woyane which was later on the despot had replaced as deadly enemy.

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Selam Ismailo,

      Thank you for the continuous encouragement. If you haven’t a health issue, as a historian, you are in the best position by far than me to do it effortlessly. Looking retrospectively, and with the advent of new theories, your argument has some merits. Despite of that, I believe necropower and necropolitics deals with “power and governmentality” and “sovereign power and subjugation.”


    • Abi

      Selam IsmailAA
      I just learned from Ato Amanuel’s comment that you are not feeling well.
      I wish you a speedy recovery.

    • Haile S.

      Selam Ismail,

      I join Emma and Abi in wishing you a rapid recovery! To make you smile, I will link coming weekend, a classical french theatre “Dr Knock, la triomphe de la medicine” where the dialogue between the pretending sick and the Dr is hilarious. I am not saying you are pretending. It would have been hilarious if you were! Translating few lines to tigrigna gives this.

      ዶር – ከመይ ይገብረኩም
      ተሓካሚ – ሰሚዕኩም ዶቶረ፡ በዚ ኸብደይ በዚ በዚ የሕክኸኒ የሳሕየኒ
      ዶር – ኣይንሓዋውስ! የሕክኸኩም’ዶ፡ የሳሕየኩም፡
      ተሓካሚ – ሓቅኹም፡ የሕክኸኒ ይመስለኒ … ግና ኸ’ኣ የሳሕየኒ
      ዶር – የሕክኸኩም ወይ የሳሕየኩም
      ተሓካሚ – ኣወ የሕክኸኒ ……… ግና የሳሕየኒ
      ዶር – ዘሕክኸኩም ጮማ ምስበላዕኩም ሜስ ምስ ደገምኩም ዶ ይኸውን?
      ተሓካሚ – ኣይመስለንን (ርእሱ እንዳሓኸኸ)…. እወ ብሕልፊ ምስ በላዕኩ ….
      ….. the rest you will see it in french next weekend. No worries you will understand!
      ምሕረት የውርድ

    • Woldegabriel Tesfamariam

      Selam Ismael AA.
      When you weren’t around for the last couple of weeks I thought you were in the National Task Force. I wish you strength and speedy recovery with your health issues.

    • Peace!

      Hi Ismael AA,

      Hope you feel better soon.


    • said

      Selam Ismail,
      Wishing you speed recovery أسَألُ اللَّهَ العَظِيمَ، رَبَّ العَرْشِ العَظِيمِ، أنْ يَشْفِيَكَ
      Research from the University of Rochester, published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology, has found that spending time outside in nature can have a powerfully invigorating effect.” walk out in nature, they get a boost in vitality or energy,”
      just 10 minutes walk will have a rejuvenating effect for several hours.

      I made a comment 7 years ago about Nimet El-Hayat,” the “Bless of Being Alive”
      Yes, true, I have my stress moments, yet, once I look out and see beauty in everything that’s standing and everything that moves, I realize that’s too meant for me; not owning it in the narrow possessive sense of exclusive entitlement, nevertheless, lying openly before my sight, it’s too, equally mine.

      Plush greenery, the ubiquitous sunlight at the breaking of the dawn, near sunset and in the heart of the day; the vibration of a world in motion, humans people of all colors and shape wandering around, all remind me that this is, in actuality, is my world, what a wonderful world; that I am alive; that the gift of living is seeing and feeling around, feeling blessed that being in full possession of the full faculties of the sensory perception and more, I am blessed; “Je Pense; donc, Je Suis.”

      Seeing existence, suddenly dawns on our souls the secret, the joy and the deep meaning of existence: livening the moment fully wrapped up in the bless of the Within, as the Without, in all its varied expressions and manifestations is the continuum of what lies within, the beauty of the mind and the soul, the primordial custody of the Divine.
      The continuous recreation of life is living the beauty in its absolute and ubiquitous expression in the fulfillment of a Grander Purpose communicated to mortals’ in the silence of the spirit, the attuned intuition of a cleansed heart, the whispers in the majestic silence of the soul. Let me brush the cacophonies of the ego to connect with the broader universe to render us humans, ,embraced with the spirit in our utter humility as the One and Whole.
      The stars in the sky twinkle with the smiles of the promise of tomorrow; of the light of the sun of the breaking of the dawn; the enchanting melodies of the robins trotting the pinnacles of the trees; the breeze of the sea flirting with the roses, the iris and violets; are reminders: it is a wonderful world.

    • Saleh Johar

      Ahlan Ismael,
      I wish you a quick recovery my friend. One more thing, I hope the queen is giving you a lot of hot Shorba. It’s the cur all medicine. Get well soon my dear

    • Brhan

      Merhaba Ustaz Ismail AA
      شفاك الله / May Allah cure you.

    • Haile S.

      Selam Ismail,

      I hope you are doing well. As promised last time, here is the link for the early 1900s classical comical theatre Dr Knock (ክኖክ). I don’t think it needs translation more than I did then. This is a short scene of it. Enjoy!

  • Brhan

    Merhaba Professor Amanuel,

    Thank you very much for the article. We are lucky to have you at awate.com.

    Observation is the foundation of modern social science. Mbembe has observed to develop his theory: Necropolitics, which is the use of social and political power to dictate how some people may live and how some must die.

    The article is very rich and, as a result, it will let us to comment repeatedly. In the humble comment, I would like to present you the following question. The Mbembe’s tools that you illustrated relate the regime at power now as we speak. Your focus is on the current regime but if we go back, we find the 1977 Massawa war, another example of Necropolitics. Do you agree with me that EPLF’s action to send the Falool fighters to 1977 war in Massawa can be considered as tool (f) Shared violence?

    To be continued

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Selam Haw Brhan,

      Thank you brother. Your question is, if necropower and necropolitics was applicable in the liberation era. I would say yes. The “sovereign power” of the organizations decide who will be sent to high risk of military operation and who shouldn’t. Who should be sent to sacrifice by walking over mines to clear the way for the fighters to enter the garrison of an enemy, who shouldn’t. The fate of Falul wasn’t different than the examples I gave you. But there is a stark difference between the “liberation fighters” and the current “Sawa recruits”. Tefadelties were self-conscious of volunteered recruits, who were ready to be sacrificed for the cause of the struggle; while the Sawa recruits are “forced recruits” who are sent to “adventurous wars” to quench the insatiable ego of “sovereign power” who decide who should be exposed to death and who shouldn’t.


      • Brhan

        Selam Haw Amanuel,

        I have to acknowledge that I was introduced to necropower and necropolitcs by your article. After that my reading only covered its meaning, an intro to Mbembe and his works. Further readings are a must and thanks for the resources you provided.

        And now my second issue is with that differentiation of “liberation fighters” and “Sawa recruits” and precisely about the former.

        I believe there was a place for ethics in the research that led to the theory. And by that I mean ethical issues, such as “child soldiers” and “conscription”. There is a literature that indicates that these two issues happened during the liberation era. Can we say for the sake of argument we these two issues were legitimate? If we did does necropower and necropolitcs contadicts ethics.


  • kokhob selamone2

    Dear Brother Aman,

    I enjoy reading this long time waited article. Very nice article. I am searching to open my original profile. I lost it for now..


    • Abi

      እስቲ እንዲህ አድባሩን ደመቅ አድርገው::
      Making Windows on the walls is what the leaders of the two countries doing despite numerous third tier ግንበኞች trying their best building የቁልቋል ካብ::

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Hi Kokhobay,

      Glad you enjoy it.

  • Abi

    Hello Awatenation
    I couldn’t read past the image of the article. Since When Isu together with the opposition leaders appear on the Eritrean Nakfa?
    I see progress.

  • Reclaim Abyssinia

    Dear Gash Amanual,

    This article is way out of my leads, I had to refer to some of the endnotes to have some insight into the subject matter. It is a very specialised area of philosophy? You introduce me to an area that I would have never ever read if it wasn’t for this article. Thank you!🙏🏾

    I hear about children in Asmara didn’t go to school for the last two years, and they are confined in their home. How would you categorise that? “imposing a permanent condition of ‘living in pain’ ”
    No movement in the city without a permit. No public transport, no Taxi.
    Is this “A state of exception that served to separate reasons from the ‘body’ and ‘flesh’? ”

    Is this ‘biopower’ ‘Biopolitics’, ‘Biopower’ or both ‘Biopolitics and Biopower’ or Necropower & Necropolitics, ‘right to kill with impunity’ ?


    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Selam Haw Reclaim,

      The Children are hiding from going to “Sawa camp” is simple. They are afraid from the “sovereign power” who decide the life and death of its subjects. So it is part of the explanation of necropower and necropolitics. Remember, sawa recrcuites are ready to be exposed for senseless war of disposability.


      • Reclaim Abyssinia

        Thank you Amanuel, 🙏🏾

        What happens to the people of the Eritrea Assembly or/and Parliament after abolition of Eritrea’s Parliament & it’s federal status?
        We know some flee the country. We know some remained in Eritrea. We know that some of them moved to Ethiopia with the Iveco factory, creating a new race of ‘Amici’👌.

        We always hear by all Eritrean ‘liberator’ bad mouthing🤮😡 about the people who stayed in Eritrea, but in fact, we know that there was a serious division among all of the liberators inside and outside Eritrea, before & after the Eritrean parliament dissolve.

        So what do you call, the act of defamation by both EPLF &ELF about the powerful people that remained in Eritrea or moved to Ethiopia (the Amici) in the context of this article?

        Based on the Chronology below, if Eritrean was not divided both Eritrea & Ethiopia wouldn’t have suffered for this long, especially with Derg after the fall of HiM.

        Some Chronology of Eritrea
        Emperor Haile Selassie signed the Eritrean-Ethiopian Federation Act 👎🏾👎🏾on September 11, 1952,

        Eritrea formally joined the federation with Ethiopia on September 15, 1952.

        The Eritrean Assembly elected Ato Tedla Bairu as the Chief Executive on September 13, 1952.

        On September 30, 1952, Emperor Haile Selassie issued a proclamation declaring the federal Ethiopian court to be the final court of appeal in Eritrea.👻👹

        The Eritrean Assembly adopted a resolution condemning 👏“Ethiopian interference in Eritrean affairs” on May 22, 1954.
        Emperor Haile Selassie forced the resignation of Chief Executive Ato Tedla Bairu in July 1955.
        Emperor Haile Selassie appointed Asfeha Woldemichael as ChiefExecutive
        Idris Mohammed Adem as President of the Eritrean Assembly in August 1955.
        The Eritrean Liberation Movement (ELM) was established by Mohamed Said Nawud, Saleh Ahmed Iyay, Yasin el-Gade, Mohamed el-Hassan, and Said Sabr in Port Sudan in November 1958.

        Crisis Phase (July 10, 1960-August 31, 1961): The Eritrean Liberation Front (ELF) was established by Idris Mohammed Adem, Idris Osman Geladewos, and Mohammed Saleh Hamid in Cairo, Egypt on July 10, 1960.

        Eritrean refugees that had fled to Sudan beginning in March 1967. Government troops killed some 10,000 Eritreans between April 30 and May 8, 1967.
        Some 50,000 Eritreans were displaced during this period.
        Government troops killed 30 Eritreans in the villages of Eilet and Gumhot on July 11, 1967.
        Government troops killed some 172 individuals in Hazemo and surrounding villages on July 24, 1967.
        The Popular Liberation Front (PLF), a Marxist rebel group, separated from the ELF in 1970.
        The Ethiopian government declared a state-of-emergency in Eritrea on December 16, 1970.
        The Eritrean People’s Liberation Front (EPLF) was established by Issaias Afewerki in 1970,
        Some 45 Eritrean students were executed in Asmara on December 28, 1974.
        Some 500 Eritreans were killed 😭by government soldiers in Asmara and surrounding villages on February 14, 1975.

        The Ethiopian government declared martial law in Eritrea on February 15, 1975.
        The ELF and PLF formed a common front on January 16, 1975,

        ELF-PLF rebels were placed under the command of General Goitom Gebre-Ezghi on February 7, 1975.

        The Ethiopian government extended the state-of-emergency to the entire province of Eritrea on February 15, 1975.

        Several hundred Eritreans (est. 235 to 470) 😭were killed by government soldiers in the village of Hirgigo on April 17, 1975.


        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Selam Reclaim,

          Your historical chronology on the Eritrean body politics shows that you have a good grip on the history of our politics. However, I don’t see the relevance of your question with the issue at hand. But, since I don’t want to disappoint you, let me give you a short answer.

          From the get go (since the 40s) the Eritrean people had not a “United purpose” to determine their fate in history. The consequence of that failure, can be checked in the ledger book of our politics to see the extent of our loses. The division has severely paralyzed to change the prospect of our nation and its people. The worst of it is the continual denial of our reality as we speak. I hope I addressed your question.


          • Reclaim Abyssinia

            Dear Amanual,
            Thanks for your reply, I copy and paste the history with a bit of modification to align it with my agenda. I do have more than a grip on our history. Maybe that’s the reason I try to reclaim it all.😁

            Asking the right question is the hardest one, it feels like if you know the right question then you know the answer.
            My question might seem not relevant to the scientific paper you presented but I am attempting to associate the subject matter to our history, and the history of the mindset of your organisation as well as its responsibility to our people. Trying to rephrase my question/comment, to hear your thought on it.

            If I’m not mistaken there were many assassinations of Eritrean by both major parties during the fight. one of them we know that they still have no mercy on their colleagues.
            That culture is developed and justified by defaming people, i.e ‘ከዳዕ’ አድነቶች, etc

            Now I understand a bit of Nacropoltics as work of death? and sovereignty as the ‘right to kill’? But before you do the work of death, you need some groundwork for your ‘kill’ to be justified. Right?

            Going back to the beginning of history, ‘Name-calling’ of the previous Eritrean parliament members and higher authority people with a different view than EPLF and ELF was/is standard practice, and it is still practised among many if not all. Abiy seems very good at it. @disqus_OpSl7Ee8sN:disqus ?

            It gave the people of Eritrea some sort of justification to embrace the action of EPLF, and Pxxx for any Eritrean to undertake their assassination of its respected members of the community.

            We have also witnessed kidnapping activity for retribution, such as ‘Mr Kebericho’ and many others, I do not know why, but no Eritrean cared about the act of hunting down and killing its citizen.
            Now we are seeing that same practice being upgraded with the sudden death of its members, basically the practice of poisoning people. So the trend keeps going up.

            So this can raise an additional question, which can be directly related to the unfinished conversation of the GIE as well.
            Based on history, are we treating Eritrea as a trophy? Are we rushing to win it solely, as history present us?
            Since the proposed formation of GIE is based on the ELF&EPLF liberator members only. And I have issues with that, like Beyan. For example, why don’t you be inclusive of the Amici?
            Why those people who were part of the ‘work of death’ with immunity to kill us have to lead us to the next phase, without even apologising to us? Dear Amanual, I don’t think this question directed to you, rather to everyone, including your organisation officials. You see the relevance in my question, i’m using the terminology you taught us to ask you the question in your context? I hope make sense.

            Cheers, 🥂

  • iSem

    Hi Emma:

    Nice to hear from you, through this piece. Need to reread this analysis. PFDJ indeed created “Saw Camp” to shred the country to pieces. I am sure Sawa has some good meaning in the local Hidrab language, but you gave it a fitting name, albeit inadvertently. 🙂

  • haileTG

    Thank you Aman,
    Enjoyed reading this! No wonder we hear slogans putting those two, sovereignty and death, together abound! Ethiopia why mot! N’hagerey kiswaE’ye!… To my surprise, I was pleased to see this article because I was thinking about “the nature of Eritrean vis a vis PFDJ” political misconceptions that seem to be elusive. It appears that it is where a lot of confusion emerge wreaking meaningful discussions. I will say more later, but it relates to what you’re tackling here through the theories you cited.

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Selam Hailat,

      Thank you. I am glad you like it. Hopefully will generate a debate, and in the process, we will able to define the true nature of the regime and its subjects. That is the objective of the piece.