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Ethiopia: the Elephant in the Room

Suppose a patient walks into an emergency room with a big axe sticking out of his head. The medical staff is bewilderingly looking at this guy, perplexed at how on earth he is even alive.  They prepare to do something about this deadly axe and ask the victim how he is feeling. He simply states that he feels just fine except for some minor stomach ache.

“You give me some anti-acid and I am all set,” he replies.

“But what about this … thing! … sticking out of your head?”

“What thing? … Oh, you mean the axe?  Never mind that, it’s not a big deal”

When there is a glaringly obvious truth that no one wants to discuss or address, in English, the idiomatic expression “Elephant in the Room” is aptly used. It is supposed to help us imagine having a living, breathing elephant in the family room, in the kitchen, in the meeting room, doing whatever elephants do. It’s not an invisible elephant; it’s just that no one wants to acknowledge that it is there. Instead, everyone prefers to deal with other issues as if this huge thing is not even in the same space.

While I like the “axe in the head” metaphor better, it might be too gory for your taste, and perhaps it sounds something straight out of a Monty Python episode. Ok, let’s stick with “Elephant in the room” then, after all, an elephant is good national symbol for Ethiopia.  I am thinking of the “zhon” mega lottery whose advertisement use to include an elephant carrying a jackpot prize of cash (do they still have that?). Anyway, in this analogy, the elephant is Ethiopia’s policy toward regime change in Eritrea and its direct and indirect intervention in Eritrea’s opposition politics.

Misplaced Pride

This discussion is aimed at Ethiopia’s policy toward Eritrea and Eritreans. However, I know that issues of national interest vis- à -vis relations with neighboring countries can quickly devolve into issues of prejudices and ethnic identity politics, pseudo history and even hatred. When we are talking about Ethiopia and Eritrea, we are talking about two poor African countries still at the bottom of the list of countries by per capita income. Two countries whose people have a lot to gain from peaceful co-existence and collaboration instead of purposeless posturing that is often pushed downward to the people by those in position of power.

I think it is safe to say that being from either side of the Ethio-Eritrean border does not come as a result of divine intervention; it is pure accident of fate and history. There is nothing inherently better about being or having roots from a certain dot on the map. National pride should not cloud reasoning, nor should it justify injustice and unfairness.

The nation-state is indeed not something that was conceived by a super-natural being. It is a man-made phenomenon that, and for better or worse, we are destined to use it as a source of identity and to create relations based on mutual respect and fairness. However, it can also easily be used for adversarial purposes to garner unfair advantage, create instability, use it as a bargaining chip and weaken your perceived enemy.  Needless to say, the Ethio-Eritrean relationship has yet to enter the “relations based on mutual respect and fairness” period. It is till in the “adversarial” period and if we will ever move toward good neighborliness and far-sighted relationship, the architects of Ethiopia’s foreign policy toward Eritrea must keep the Eritrean people in mind. They must not mistake political emissaries and viceroys for true representation of the heartbeat of Eritreans in Eritrea and Eritreans throughout the world.

Wherever they are, be it inside Ethiopia or elsewhere, Eritreans must be allowed to decide how they will remove the regime of tyrant Isaias Afeworki, and the Eritrean people will eventually decide what kind of government to erect in its place. It would be foolish to expect Eritreans to start trusting Ethiopia’s “support” when it is actually thinly veiled interference. It is time for Ethiopia to clearly state its policy, mandate, role and scope pertaining to the democratization and/or regime change in Eritrea. Only a genuine homegrown revolt morally supported by the world community will guarantee Ethiopia a good neighbor to the north. Yes, Ethiopian authorities have the right to deal with whomever they choose to achieve whatever their ultimate goal is. The people of Eritrea also have the same right to look at the processes and maneuvers and speak-up when something awry is afoot. Hey, it’s our country, dammit!

I am confident we can stay above the fray and discuss issues of balancing state interest and creating a win-win environment. The long term good neighborly relations between the two countries rests on garnering genuine goodwill toward each other and not on hoodwinking and the political mechanizations of moving chess pieces across the board as we have witnessed for the last decade. It has been almost a taboo to criticize Ethiopia’s handling of Eritrean pro-justice movement, especially its systematic rendering of the opposition to a toothless and ineffective entity that is neither capable of bringing about regime change nor tolerant enough to alternative strategies. Yes, the Ethiopians are not entirely to blame for that, but let’s start with the axe sticking out of the head, the Elephant in the room, first and ensure Eritrea’s interest is duly considered. Naturally, when it comes to discussing the role of Ethiopia in the democratization of Eritrea, as Eritreans, our opinion may be biased toward the interest of Eritrea. No need to apologize for that. Hey, it’s our country, dammit!

In 2010, when Eritreans were gathering in Ethiopia for the first “National Conference”, many Eritreans, including myself, were hoping against hope that it could turn into a bona-fide popular movement. The vast majority (if not all) of Eritreans who went to Ethiopia then and afterwards are of course patriots; justice seeking citizens who are simply looking for a solution that will shorten the life of the dictatorship in Eritrea. This is not about questioning their motive but about the ultimate result, which can only be described as utter failure; or we can even dare say that it was designed to fail. Yes, so much passion, emotion and credibility have been invested in the “regime change with the help of Ethiopia” basket and there is nothing to stop some from wanting to continue to have faith in it. Yet, the consequence of granting Ethiopia’s policy makers a blank check in the affairs of Eritrea and shielding them left and right from the wrath of Eritrean public opinion affects us all. A change in strategy is not failure but flexibility. But of course some proud egos will be wounded at the mere suggestion that they may be failing, and may want to keep going with the musical chair game, whose rules seem to change based on whom the Ethiopians decide should win or lose.

So, where did the opposition movement go wrong when it comes to Ethiopia? Volumes can probably be said about this topic but I believe the following 4 points have been ignored by all of us though it was pretty obvious at some point they were going to grow to be, well, as big as an elephant in a room.

1) Forgetting the Masses

At the core of any movement for social change there is the notion of convincing the public. In order to stay relevant an idea must be able to move the masses; to unite them under an idea they want to rally behind.  The keyword is: convincing. So, can we say that the Eritrean people are convinced that the way to replace the despicable regime of Isaias Afeworki is by using Ethiopia’s strong arm or simply by using Ethiopia to launch a military campaign? Of course not.  No matter how much it is sugarcoated, it was a difficult idea to sell and very few have actually bought it.  More importantly, what we have seen in the last few years can not be considered as convincing or selling an idea. It was simply the systematic and sometimes brute intimidation of Eritrean activist, as the plethora of organizations based in Ethiopia compete to impress – not the Eritrean masses – but Ethiopian officials. The result speaks for itself.

2) Looking for Exclusivity

Any organization, be it political or civic, can not appeal to the masses if its aim is “purity” or “the exclusion of others”.  Instead of trying to achieve its declared mission, if all an organization does is to purge and exclude people based on sub-national or parochial sentiments, it’s bound to fail. Just like the elephant in the room, this fact has been well-known among Eritreans, and it seems to have been encouraged by the Ethiopians who use some unconvincing justifications. This is probably one of the most dangerous side-effects that should not be ignored any longer, even though these types of organizations do not have a mass appeal. By definition, exclusivity leads to narrowness and limited scope but a close study of how Somalia became Somalia should give us Eritreans a dire warning.

3) Assuming Ethiopia Wants Isaias Out

This one is a perplexing phenomenon that has confused many. Judging from the stand point of justice and fairness, and from the several signals the Ethiopians were sending, we could have been hoodwinked into thinking that the removal of Isaias Afeworki benefits Ethiopia.  Unfortunately, international relations does not have the sense and sensibility of our mother’s uqub, where what you paid forward pays you back eventually. We all know it is a little more complex than that.  From the standpoint of national interest – or at least the interest of those in power in Ethiopia – Isaias Afworki is actually serving his purpose. At best, he is a very weak neighbor who can only bargain from a point of weakness and at worst (God forbid), he is co-conspirator of whatever hidden agendas are brewing beneath the surface; hidden agendas that seem to require the waning of Eritrean nationalism and its viability as a state.

4) Underestimating Change from Inside

Until that fateful morning of January 21, 2013 when we saw a glimmer of hope on a hilltop in the heart of Asmara, those who believed change from inside is quite possible were ridiculed, and hope was mainly placed on some surgical military operation that is likely to have the Ethiopian army in front or behind it. Then came the coup attempt that came to be known as “Forto” or “nay Wedi Ali”. Surprisingly, the attempt was widely celebrated while the argument “change can not come from within” continues to rage on, not surprisingly, from those who have placed their hopes in the Ethiopia basket. The fact of the matter is, the few times that the Isaias’ dictatorial power was challenged, was from within the system; the G-15 and Forto incidents being prominent examples.  More importantly, Eritreans are quite capable of rallying behind a genuine homegrown movement aimed at removing the dictator and swiftly transitioning to constitutional governance.

In these sensitive times, Ethiopia can still play a positive role without meddling in the internal issues of Eritreans. The first of which is to continue to treat Eritrean refugees with care, respect and dignity; something that will go a long way in building goodwill and trust for generations to come. Ethiopia can also, without a drama, settle the border ruling instead of stalling its implementation and giving our dictator the ultimate ticket for justifying his rule.  However, backroom dealings that shortchange the future relations of the two downtrodden people of Eritrea and Ethiopia in general and Eritrea and Tigray in particular would be a big mistake.

The Alternative

If the “Elephant in the Room” is actually why the silent majority of Eritreans remain silent, then as Eritreans we owe it to ourselves to seek for an alternative idea of waking up the fighting spirit of our compatriots. Eritreans have a very respectable recent history of stepping up to the challenge even when the chance of winning seemed glim.  Even if the strategy to seek Ethiopia’s support was paved with good intentions, it has not worked and in fact, it is one those major reasons why we have a silent majority.  The quest for liberty, freedom, justice, lawful administration, equality and peace is honorable and decent; something that should appeal to the vast majority of Eritreans everywhere.  There is a good reason why our Second Revolution hasn’t sparked yet. It’s time to deal with that axe sticking out of our opposition movement’s head. It’s time to deal with the Elephant in the Room and usher the era of Eritrean Solutions for Eritrean Problems!

Twitter: @DanielGMikael

About Daniel G. Mikael

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  • Kaddis

    Sal – so flattered to be mentioned (at all) in the same line with those big names (‘ you had me at hello…’)..Tom Cruise’s film ..forgot the title

    Yeah, I live in Addis alright; never lived anywhere. I am not sure I can speak about the city as I used to do since its growing so fast there are neighbourhoods; not sure how to get there. I read awate and Eritrean issues a lot, even though my wife found it weird since I am typical Yaddisaba dude with Sodo Gurage family, no relation with Eri, primarily to learn about a nation ( previously a province of Eth ) which consumed the best of everything we ( Eri +Eth) had for the last 50 years. And learned on the way – after all the distraction and loss of lives – losing a port or seaside is like losing a penny compared to the amount of brain and wisdom we lost along; such as Sal, Gash Saleh, YG, Hayat, Serray, Pappilon and the likes…

    What bothers me a lot is ….how easy Awatistas, including the editors (you), make it sound easy to administer a country and try to lead it out of poverty while criticizing EPRDF, to the extent – I have read; Haile thinks Eritrea will be rich by just doing basic governance, extraction, trade, fishing etc…. Does Eritrea have anything other African countries don’t and tried to do? I heard Guinea Bissau was trying to re-negotiate a Fishing right agreement with EU from 12 mln Euro to 15 Mln per year; which evaluators say worth 200ml. Ethiopia gets less than 0.5% from the global coffee business worth + 200 bn while contributing +10 %? of the commodity. Imagine; we are around the 5 or 6th biggest exporter of coffee in the world. If we could get 1% of the global business its 2 bn dollars. But we get close to 800 mln after all the innovative ECX, three world wide brandings etc…. Eritreans forget how much the world is unfair to Africa and I feel the ‘ exceptionalism’ in your writings….maybe you feel Eritreans have not given a good attempt to govern your country yet…you will be shocked when the time comes …my advise: take out your notebook and get some lessons from EPRDF…

    EPRDF’s biggest strength is they have never lived under Dergue (they were smoking their own communism which fortunately collapsed before they became gov) on top of understanding the Eritrean issue. They have not consumed Dergue’s propaganda like the DC dwellers. So, they don’t have that mentality you guys accuse of Ethiopians, particularly Yemehal Ager elites with One Ethiopia, unitary state, Amharic only and so on. And I sense the next mainstream political position is going to look like the same as the promoters…You share the same problem as the Ethiopian oppositions. The Eth opposition is fighting one party; TPLF, while the country is being administered by a coalition; they are fighting a unitary state while a federal gov rules Eth etc….I think the oppositions are trying to make it easy for themselves..…I found the government position so different from the mainstream political ideals we historically know…. Getting clarity may help you ( Awatistas, Eri’s) in dealing with the Eth government, the ruling party and specially the new generation of Ethiopians who hardly discuss about Eritrea in any form….

    I just wanted to say few things to let you know I am around and looking forward the end of the rainy season Keremt(i)+ EnQu Letatash

    • haile

      Kaddis –

      I think you’ve got the wrong end of the stick with my argument there. First and and foremost, let’s make it clear that Eritreans will never countenance the notion that their nation is NOT VIABLE under any guise whatsoever. In my opinion, that can only serve to perpetuate and expand conflict and human misery in horn of Africa region.

      Following independence, Eritreans met a cruel twist of fortunes where a a small group have taken power and we only call it “dictatorship” for lack of better word. As it stands, there virtually no gainful employment in Eritrea, all business activities are banned, citizens can’t even receive $5 in hard currency from their family abroad else they risk a 3 year jail term. Eritrean diaspora can only pay into the regime private accounts or send containers of specific measurement of rice, sugar, cereals, oil… to their family, i.e. citizens are shut out of the economy, be it fishing, agriculture, manufacturing…

      Your country hosts close to 100,000 Eritrean youth who fled the brutality at home, the same does Sudan, 95% of Sinai victims are Eritreans, Israel is grappling with tens of thousands of Eritrean youth, the regime in Eritrea has perhaps the biggest prison networks in the world as we speak, the world is soon about to learn about, yet again, notorious crimes that Eritreans have been undergoing for a most part of the last decade and half (in far greater way as compared prior to 2001).

      I do understand the issues of fair trade and many of the arguments there. However, as I tried to explain to Asmerom few days ago, VIABILITY is the kernel of my argument in this area, and indeed we are MORE THAN viable. I can assure you that this is a main stream opinion in Eritrea, however it is sad and immoral that others would like to play the current situation as an exploit to serve their arguments which we defeated fair and square. IMO time will be the main factor, once the the regime in Eritrea falls, and we are lucky to transition to something looking a semblance of order, this whole argument will blow away.

      So, please correct that lack of fair trade issues wasn’t the case in my earlier debate.


    • Salyounis

      Selamat Kaddis:

      I think you may have misunderstood my point–I don’t blame you, sometimes I write in shorthand with the assumption that readers already agree with me on some basic points.

      Nation-building and statecraft are hard, very hard. They are so hard that in my host country (the US) the quickest way to scare somebody out of foreign entanglement is to stay the US is nation-building. (Flying drones, on the other hand, is nation-destruction and is imminently easier.)

      One of the things that makes nation building hard is people management: setting realistic expectations and working on equitable development because, for any ambitious politician, the path to power is to complain about inequitable development, unmet expectations. The point I was making is in Eritrea–9 language groups, two economic groupings (agricultural/pastoral), two major religions, 50 years of co-habitation due militarization– this is not as hard as in other countries with dozens of language groups, dozens of natural political centers, dozens of competing economic blocs, and religions with bitter memories of mutual persecution, a people that really don’t know one another are a nation only by accident of geography, and, importantly, a people that expect a lot of social services from the government.

      In any event, what we in the Diaspora speak about is to influence fellow Diaspora Eritreans (refer to Haile’s modification of Orwell’s social structure in totalitarian states**). I mean we communicate in English, for God’s sake.* As a cruel anthropologist told me over the weekend: no more than 3% of Eritreans in the Diaspora will return home; and of those who return, most will go back to their adopted homes the minute the country experiences any shock (“ab 98 rienaken ina anten hademti…“). Perhaps you should think of the “DC dwellers” the same way, but you can begin by being kinder and stop referring to them as DC dwellers: homesickness is a terrible thing. I am told by a friend (who is usually reliable about these things) that the UN classifies inflicting homesickness by denying people the right to return home as a human rights violation.


      * Part of’s target audience is the mesfafnti of Eritrea’s ruling elite.

      ** Orwell’s three layers of totalitarian states are: the Inner Party, Outer Party, and Proles. The Proles (85% of the population) are distracted by pleasures of the flesh; the outer party (13%: are the enforcers) is terrified of the inner party (2%: the ruling elite.) Here’s Haile’s description of PFDJ in Diaspora (I don’t know if this is pre or post Eri-TV because that thing messed everything for us.) Eth-TV doesn’t have that much penetration in the Ethiopian Diaspora and the Ethiopian ruling party doesn’t have that much infrastructure in the Diaspora:

      In tackling the regime in the diaspora, the opposition is faced with three layers that it needs to strategize carefully. Every diaspora constituency of the regime has an inner core (for smaller communities numbering 4-5 and bigger communities 15 – 20) of individuals who are fully fledged members of the crime syndicate. This inner layer is part and parcel of the regime itself (think of the diaspora arm). This inner core is surrounded by tens or close to 100 middle layer of individuals who are really not directly linked to the regime but dedicated to advocate for it in a highly charged, emotional and volunteering attributes. You can think of this middle layer as willfully ignorant, dismissive and kind of foolhardy. This middle layer is surrounded by hundreds or sometimes thousands outer layer who really are sold to the above three fear factors and are really there with no clue whatsoever. At best you could think of this outer (third layer) as making up the vast of the silent majority.

  • belay

    Dear Wediere,
    No disrespect,but there is a pattern you employ the same bullying technique against brilliant participants in this respectable website.i am sure you are worth more than that and i expect better than that from you.

    • Wediere


      My comment was related to Eyob message on what he thinks the Ethiopian government should do to fellow Ethiopians he calls Selafis for requesting that the government should not meddle and impose leadership on them. I don’t follow Ethiopian affair closely, but so far from what I see on the net I haven’t heard of a violent protest apart from imprisonment of the protesters. The way he discusses about Eritreans wanting to become Arabs (which is harmless talking from distance) imagine that toxic mentality in action, he could even have close friends in government position.
      I think we have seen enough of that foolishness in Eritrea, DIA dealt with different groups one at a time, every one minded their business or were supportive when it was not their turn and we are where we are now.

      Eyob is a prop of Weyane and he is being short sighted at that.


      • belay

        Dear Wediere,
        I think,Eyob cares about Eritreans in general.If he doesn’t he could have sit back and look.
        Isn’t it because you care,you are concerned about the current demo in
        Wediere,We Ethiopians are told by our parents and thought in school,that Eritreans general ar our brothers and we believe that,that is way we blame Arabs not Eritreans.But Eritrans are told and thought otherwise.(not 100%) I think that is the problem.
        No hard feelings.

        • belay

          Please read as,
          Eratreanns in general are our brothers.And we believe that.

          • Wediere

            Dear Belay,

            I think the person who thinks the two people are not related is blind. I don’t even understand the hate when it is spewed by some. The kinship should be used to maximise the benefit of the two nations.

            Sometimes you see two blood brothers fighting for lack of agreement on the inheritance due to them from their father…that is how strange life can be.

            The separation of Ethiopia and Eritrea is more about being in control of your own resource, the federal system that is created if properly managed strengthens Ethiopia and will function as a pull factor to Eritrea. The majority of Eritreans are well washers. It is the forced marriage that leads people to fear, mistrust, rebel, since they feel they no say on charting their future and that what lead to a violent break up of the federal arrangement with Eritrea in the past and I hope that the least we all learn from the 30 years of war.

            Apart from that, negative propaganda will not yield any good result, that is why I criticised Eyob. I took him as benign when commenting on Eritrean issue until I read his views on his fellow Ethiopians. My disapproval was not bullying, actually I don’t believe that he hates Eritreans, maybe you misunderstood my earlier comment, but he fears Muslims….they are his boogymen, well that is the trend of the day and it good tool for the incumbents to keep their grip to power…and he an amplifier at that.


  • Hayat Adem

    Beyan has come with something much better and bigger than I ever thought. That is how good ideas get not only bigger but actionable. Lets call this one on the making “the WaEla of Eitrean Minds”. A must present on the podium are Sal, Gadi, and YG and some more can be added and all those Sal has listed for us. But, Sal, you cannot differ your center stage seat on such places because you are one of the reasons/inspirations people are planning to meet and and coming to listen to in such a gathering. Lets not also forget Serray, my favorite quick mind and sharp penned debater, to the forefront line of the audience, at least. Beyan should be moderating this, I mean who else can do it better? Haile is very fitting to co-moderate it. Honestly, the first and the main reason why I should not be the one moderating is because I know there are people in this forum who can do it much better. But there is more, though it wouldn’t have made any difference had it not been the case. Although I would have felt much honored and flattered to be mentioning great names such as YG and Sal, one after the other in front of an audience sitting (or standing) on side of Haile (Haile- this time I would not dare to say anything else on you), I cannot because I’m away to a remote area of Africa for a work assignment. When this comes to fruition, it would be one small step of a the first scripted page of a positive history. After all, this is a month of Meskerem.

  • Eyob Medhane

    Hi Beyan Negash,

    I actually have been enjoing your posts, also. I have been coming to Awate for a bit more than couple of years and developed a good rappor with the head honchos here, Sal, and Gash Saleh. It’s a great place. I really wish there are more like it in Ethiopia and Eritrea cyber world….
    It’s a pity that you have not visited Ethiopian websites for a decade. Well, some stayed crazy as they were, some evolved and some have gone away and are now in websites cemetary. Largly the crazy ones choose to be tabloidish and say outrageous to attract hits for ad revenue, and say are actually pretty close to guessing about the toll road in Adama (Nazret) that shortened a big deal amount of time to south eastern Ethiopia. The toll will be used to pay off the loan to China, which the government borrowed to build it. Therefore, in a sense, it’s the Chinese collecting it. 🙂 And you should REALY visit the place. In terms of fine weather, Arsi is an amazing place . Chilalo Mountain (13,241 ft above sea level)and it’s surrounding area helped in producing some of the best endurance runners in the world. (Sorry, I am an athletics buff. I can’t stop, once I start talking about it.)

    • Eyob Medhane

      Sorry Beyan,

      I somehow got cut off…

      Where was I? oh yeah recommending websites,

      ehhh…Yeah..the tabloidish and outreagous ones do it for ad revenue. To get a lot of hits. Usually they know people don’t take them seriously, but visit them anyway, because of crazy stuff they say. For entertainment and to pick a new insulting and funny phrases to attack, your friend when you have a political debate. Serious once are very few, but have a lot of weight. This is what I usually go to and recommend… (Independent. (Very independent) Dawit Kebede (The editor) is an exiled journalist. He is a CPJ award winner, his workd was covered by CNN and other big media his newspaper was hugely popular in Ethiopia, and when the government arrested his assistant editor Wubshet Taye, he left the country and settled in Arizona. He converted his newspaper to a web version, and in short time, because of his balanced coverage got a huge following. An online megazine. They also have quarterly publication. It’s sort of elitist, but ok. Not very toxic.Usually it shies away from controversial political topic. Very accurate and sticks to the facts. Based in Los Angeles with a branch office in Ethiopia. Business journal. Lots of important info. about business in Ethiopia. A go to place for those who are interested and work in Ethio. It has a lot of inside sources, and at times Bloomberg and other big media buy news from it. Based in Addis and Awassa, Ethiopia. Tailored for ‘Ferenjis’ It has some political coverage, but largely focuses on business. Private. At times presents great analysis and pointers. Too close to big business people and to the government. (I think) Great video and clip archives site. You can find anything you want about Ethiopia and Eritrea. (Please don’t read the comment section under the videos. It’s filthy dirty and you may need to wash your eyes, after you read everything in there :-)Based in Dallas, TX, Addis Ababa, Washington, DC The same as, but strong supporter of the government and you can’t find any video that even slightly criticizes the government. Other than that they also have very good video selection. Based in Addis Ababa, London The oldest prvate newspaper and website, since 1993. Sometimes it is accused of cosying with the gov. but at times they are fiercly critical of the gov. They are accurate, and tend to get a lot of inside info. Nice op-ed page also. Based in Addis. Ethiopia’s alternative of the dreadful ETV. They have quality TV programming. They DO NOT cover politics. If they ever get close to cover politics it would be occasional interview of historical and political figuers. They walk a very thin line to survive. They have really good quality TV, Sport programming and professional stuff. Based in Silverspring, MD and Addis Ababa.

      These are my recommendations to you. Please come back to Ethiopian websites (We need you)…..

      I will come back with another thread to respond to the rest of your comment. This one run too long and the moderator ;-)(Sal) Is going to scream at me, if I go any further..

      • Salyounis

        Selamat Eyob/Beyan:

        The best (by far, nothing even comes close) Ethiopian journal (now sadly discontinued but it keeps the domain name alive just to tease us into thinking it is coming back) is Every word of praise you can think of can be applied: irreverent, funny, insightful, hilarious, wise-ass, smart, well-written, did I mention funny? They also had these phony feuds within the staff which remind me of National Lampoon magazine. had a magazine format, each issue had a theme and a table of contents. The prose is English with heavy doses of Amharic (a Ferenji or a Fara like Eyob will probably be lost.)

        Here’s my favorite issue: the Irony and Platitudes issue. The cover has the Starbucks-inspired logo and the caption reads: “Starbucks: Kaffa, Jimma.”

        Check it out here:

        And this is the drawing for Starbucks, Jimma.


        • Eyob Medhane


          You are right. Seleda was really high class staff. One of the six chief editors, Dibekulu Matias is a cousin of a friend of a friend of a roomate uncle’s half brother, so I will see that your demand of seleda to be brought back gets to him right away… 🙂

          • Beyan Negash


            Thank you so much for your prompt responses in helping a brother who wants to be educated on everything Ethiopian. You’ve saved me a great of deal of time. Now that that homework was done for me, all I have to do is get a feel before I settle for a couple that I can read on a regular basis as I have been doing – off-and-on – with Awate and Asmarino.


          • Salyounis

            Hey Beyan:

            My only talent is identifying talent. Don’t argue: let’s put it this way, that is what I find most rewarding, like a talent agent or an editor. Now this Eyob guy is awesome (You just saw why. He makes me feel proud to be Habesha except when he is being bigoted, which is most of the time.) He has impressed me since he and Kaddis (who is from Addis) practiced my favorite approach to anything: stride like you own the damn place or stride like you don’t give a s%^t who owns the damn place.)

            Haile is amazing: he is our John Adams: he can argue both sides of an issue and god help you if you are on the wrong side of the issue. (I mean this as compliment although in our polarized politics some consider that opportunistic.) Bring on Amde: there is a premium on brain power and original thinking. Bring on Correnti: knowledge of history has to be rewarded. Ghezae is our lyrical poet: he can move people with words. And of course YG is our Unified Field Theory (UFT) Einstein. It doesn’t matter that he is always wrong: what matters is the intellectual ambition to dream that big. Saleh Gadi is the Eritrean conscience (“annoying” comes with the territory specially when you want to shut off what Ghandi called that “small still voice.”). He will make you uncomfortable because he will talk about the dispossessed.

            Bring on Selam Kidane: just yesterday she sent me a picture of an Eritrean in Israel who was tortured by the Egyptian Bedouin (I mean disfigured horrible) even as I insisted and I begged her “I am driving, can I see it later”: I admire that kind of obsessive personality. (She has OCD, but who doesn’t?) Bring my friend Tzigereda because she is disappointed by everything and everyone: I want to see her disappointed face as we disappoint her. Bring on all the young leaders because I would like to see the polite expression on their face: the same polite expression we had on our face when listening to “old” people 🙂

            Bring them all…Eritreans AND Ethiopians. I only ask that I don’t sit with the panelists.( You will regret it if you do: I will be texting and facebooking.) I am an observer not a participant. That is to say, my participation is most effective after my observation. Man has gotta know his limitations 🙂


          • haile

            Selamt abal melmelti saay,

            Ewae…eza compliment ashegiratni eko 🙂

            Actually on the other side they call us cappuccino (neither black nor white):-)

            If you had asked me to choose between cappuccino and opportunistic, I would have chosen ‘conservative’ instead (more like don’t throw the baby with the towel) kinda thing. 🙂


          • Eyob Medhane


            Ha know how to give and take it right back, don’t you?

            In Oromo a certain tradition, there are elder people, who are called ‘gomtu’. The world basically means someone, who is learned from his old age. Authoritative in showing directions for the young and usually give blessings. (Amharic also borrows the word ‘gomtu’ for the same type of people) You know what they do to someone, who they think insignificant and not so much worthy individual, when they give give him blessings? They wish him to own plenty of land, to defeat his enemies, to be blessed with countless cattles, with tall and warrior children, gorgeous wives like hawa (Eve), and at the end of their blessing, they tell him, they know that waqa (God) would give him everything, if he stops lying, cheating, conspiring with enemies, and coveting other people’s fortunes. 🙂 They’d give him all the good blessings and they take it right back to remind the person how he is not worthy of all the things that they blessed him with. 🙂 Your compliment to me, kind of remind me of that….. 🙂

          • Salyounis

            Ha ha Eyob,

            So, they are total strangers to you but you feel close to them.

            Reminds me of an old Bereket Mengesteab song with the lyrics: “my step mother’s step mother died my tears couldn’t stop flowing…”


          • Eyob Medhane


            Oh..that is just cruel… 🙂

            You reminded me of Eri TV Ormiffa news readers, who by the way one of them now in Ethiopia working for some private radio in Addis pretending like, he never was with the ‘serving (murdering) the truth’. He’s like ‘who me? You must have been mistaken. I am ejole Oromia’. Now him you should choose that song for. Not me… 🙂

      • hagos

        I visit Awate at least once a week. I immensely enjoy most of the posts. I rarely post if ever. As an Amara I even enjoy the many snide remarks on this site. I was even more surprised to read Saleh G’s contribution to the Ethio –Ert gathering somewhere in California.
        I decided to write to comment on the recommended websites. The recommendation reflects the content of Eyob’s opinion that is probable shared by less than 10% of Ethiopians. Eyob and the TPLF think the “end of history” or politics as they have “solved” all Ethiopian problems. Ethiopians are give up their liberties in exchange for the economic development they TPLF have brought to us.
        It is a mistake to think Ethiopian politics is congruent with what Eyob tries to make it.

        • bukretsion

          mr. Amara
          saleh g and sal will solve ur amara problem after they finish what Awate started in eritrea 52 years ago. all u need to do is just wait.

        • Kaddis

          Hagos hoy,

          Eyob would have recommended ; and waltainformaton if he wanted to. I actually find them informative regardless of their pro Tigray and government positions. They are selectively reporting like any pro this and that media but do not report garbage like most opposition sites.

        • Hayat Adem

          You will the first to my knowledge to get a name like that and be an Amara. It could also your nick name. That is not a big issue- What is in a name, anyways?
          How come you didn’t send an alternative list of sites straight from yourself in stead of expressing rejection on what was recommended by others? And, you should’ve known that you’d be welcome to give us your views if you really think Eyob is NOT mirroring well the Ethiopia’s reality as you know it? No offense, but bukretsion’s response to your comment was so mean, so witty and so punchy:)

  • Tamrat Tamrat

    It seams that we have to straigten out the 3000 history of Ours before we go for ward in Our Northern part. The 30 years war seamed not to concider Our saga before Awate shoot the first bullet or to be exact cairo took the ‘privillage’ of sponsering the creation of elf. The fact on the ground shows that soon it will be 30 years since eplf took victory. Those who enjoy the victory can explaine boisteriouslly the fruit of their victory and the success they came across on the way.

    My questions would be then:
    Is it the Maximum potential that Eritrea has which brings about the Eritrea we know now? The discripancy between the primitive regime system and the Picture eritreans they have for themselves is wide open to say modestly.

    If yes, why not be happy??

    If no why dont eritrean oppostion use Sudan as a spring point to avoid the complicated eri-ethio?

    What would happen if tigray-plf cooperate With shabia like in the old days? There is no international or national Law whcih forbids it.

  • Nuredin

    Happy Awate Day!

    Happy Bahti Meskerem!

  • Kokhob Selam

    Mr. Horizon ኣረ ኣድማሱየ ና እባክህ ገላግለኝ በሳልህ እና ብእዮብ መካከል ገብቸ መጨፍለቄ ባሰብኝ:- ኣረ እንዲያው እኮ ካለፈው ዝሆን እርግጫ የከፋ ነው።
    ብግጥም እንገላግላቸው ልብል? ሌጣ ይሁን ቅኔ?

    • Horizon

      ወንድሜ ኮከብ ሰላም፣

      ሌጣ ግጥምም ሆነ ቅኔ ችሎታው ባንተ እጅ ነውና ታምር አንደምትሠራ አልጠራጠርም። ሳልህና እዮብን ግጥምህ ድልድይ ሆኖ ሊያገናኛቸው ይችል ይሆናል። በተራ አንዴ አዲስ አበባ፣ ሌላም ጊዜ አሥመራ አብረው ተቀምጠው ቡናቸውን እየጠጡ ሲያወሩ ማየቱ ምን ይመስል ይሆን። ይህም ሊሆን ይችላል፣ ምክንያቱም በዚህ አለም የማቻልና የማይሆን ነገር የለምና።

      • Kokhob Selam

        Dear Horizon,
        it seems the argument is going softer and lubricants are added in between the hard frictions.I thought of seeing more posts before posting the poem. Don’t forget to open Jebena and read anyway.

  • Eyob Medhane


    To conclude my apparent victory of our debate 😉 I want you to take some time (Please..Please I beg you) and watch this documentary. Who supplied weapons to EPLF and Isayas Afeworqi? You’ll see in this documentary that Israel and Arab reps arguing over us (You and I) and we are not even part of the debate. As bonus, you’ll also be able to see Mengistu Hailemariam speaking in English (He’s pretty good, I might add :-)) You may have seen it before. This is my first time, I was mesmerized by it…. If you think you’ll get bored with it start watching from 15.00 minute, because most of it starting that point, it sort of confirms my theory, which I have been arguing with you about. A strong Arab hand behind Eritrea’s independence….

    • Salyounis

      Selamat Eyob:

      Yes, I have seen it before because… Guess who posted it? The same Aida Kidane I have been describing as a treasure on “Eritrea books and files” (her FB group name) She lays bare to everything she gets her hand and sometimes creates content (by interviewing contemporaries of, for example, awate (the man, not the website.)) you are pretty good at researching (albeit for polemical purposes and not truth for its own sake) and you should reach out to her: on FB, YouTube (subscribe to her channel) and her website which I think is hagere nagram.

      So you have declared victory. Hmmm. You must have gotten that from the empty “enashenifalen!” boasts of Mengistu. Here’s my favorite putdown of Mengistu by Sadat (and do try to enjoy the joke without your Arab Habesha hangups. If it helps Saddat was as dark skinned as Mengistu):

      Mengistu was doing some idiotic chant: filling bottles with red fluids and crashing them. It was supposed to symbolize what Ethiopia would do to her enemies and instill fear and dread in Ethiopia’s enemies.

      Anyway, Saddat, a putdown artist who never mentioned Kaddafi by name and always called him “the crazy boy from Libya” was asked about Mengistu’s bottle crashing exercise and he waved his hand and said “Yemken yekun min Aadat we TeQalidom” (perhaps it is part of their customs and traditions)

      How’s that victory tasting now?


      • Eyob Medhane


        Both Sadat and Mengistu are mumbling fools..Wasn’t Sadat the one offering Israel to sell nile waters, which he doesn’t own? That sounds like a sleazy car salesman to me… 🙂

        You know what I was thinking?

        There is something Ethiopia. Ethiopia probably has a different God than many others, because, we just get to see a spectacular downfall of those who want us to be finished and done away with. Somalia and Siad Barre, Libia and Gaddafi, Syria and the Assads (both the father and the Son)Saddam Husein and Iraq, Mubarek and Egypt. They couldn’t manage to see their untimate goal demolished and balkinized Ethiopia…they ended up being what they wished to Ethiopia. Disintegrated or on the verge of it. Even their leaders, compared to what happened to Gaddafi and Saddam, where is Mengistu now? Chillin’ in Zimbabwe.. 🙂 (Actually, I wish Saddam’s fate for him) After all the plot, the money, bllod and trasure these leaders have wasted to distroy, Ethiopia, they are gone and we’re still standing. I hope Isayas will learn from this….. 🙂

        • Salyounis


          Ethiopia and Egypt take turns deafening the world about how old their civilizations are but all the world sees is how young their democracies are.

          I don’t know how this will end up:

          But however it ends up, we will have Eyob to explain how the EPRDF handled everything right and the Ethiopian prisons will welcome new “terrorists.”


          • Eyob Medhane


            Oh goody,

            I can tell you how it’s going to end up..

            Here it is….


            If I am allowed to advice semayawi party, I would tell them be a bit smarter. Say ‘in our culture, elders an religious leaders are respected, therefore, even though we are with in our rights to hold the demonstration, we give the priority to our elders and religious fathers to hold their demonstration, and we postponed ours for another day”…Just like they did last time. Last time, they wanted to hold their demo, during AU 50th years anniversary, but they were asked to postpone it and they did, which they managed to hold the first demo in 8 years. This time insisting to clash with another demo, makes them look like they are conspiring with the nefarious ‘demtschin Yisema” and try to instigate iolent clash, even if that was not their intention……

          • Salyounis

            Selamat Eyob,

            Like clockwork…


            Now before you tell me what I already know (there are no demonstrations allowed in Eritrea; those arrested will go to court, etc), my frustration with Ethiopia and Sudan is that they are always good propaganda tools for Isaias Afwerki. Think of a child living with abusive parents. Thats one issue. But whether his house is in a ghetto neighborhhod or a good neighborhhod also affects his life.

            Ok, now explain it away. I mean you even explain away the arrest of journalists.


          • Eyob Medhane


            All 100 detained have been released after 12 hours “detainment’. They were not taken to prison they were restrained from disrupting the other already in progress demonstration. I have a feeling that they probably will be charged. In any case. I don’t know why they chose confrontation, unless they had a deal with the salafist “dimtsachin yisema” group, while they could postpone their plan like the did, during AU anniversary. They chose to confront, twist arm and to be a bit arrogant. I don’t think that is a good politics, especially, if you have a very narrow base. People already blaming them for wanting unnecessary confrontation. Ethiopians, especially Addis Ababans have a traumatic experience of election 2005. Those, who start street riot, usually end up in European cities, after they instigate street violence and got few youth beaten, even killed. This time Fed. Police played it smart. They just detain them where they are, and let them go, when the dust is settled, without no violent disruption. Call me ‘woyane’, but I all that maturity 🙂

        • Mussie

          Eyob you have selected memory, Gaddafi had helped Ethiopian/Mengistu than any countries or organizations in the world. and the countries you mentioned Egypt, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, and Syria they all are in existence. if you are talking about its leaders, the same thing to Ethiopia. where is Haile selasie, Mengistu, and Meles they all gone by force or poison. if talking about balkanization of Ethiopia it has already predicted by international experts, so Eyob your Victory celebration is premature way before the war is over.

          • Eyob Medhane


            come on man, when was the last time, you saw a supper power with it’s friends bombing Ethiopia and pull out the leader from a rat hole (like they did to Sadam Hussein in Iraq) or doing the same thing (to Gaddafi in Lybia) or two back to back revolutions a whole lot mess with thousands getting shot at with in 24 months two leaders disgraced and sent jail (Egypt, Mubarek, Mursi) or unprecedented civil war over a 100, 000 killed in few weeks and a country in a process of collapse and under a threat rom foreign powers to be invaded (Syria), and a complete break break down of a country to the point of living in anarchy for 20 years and finally to be fallen under your mortal enemies influence and rearange your county in the liking of your former enemies (see the jubaland deal) (Somalia and Siad Barre)….Nothing of the above sort happened to Ethiopia, but to her enemies. That is what I meant. About the “well wish” of many about Ethiopian balkinization, we heard a lot their “well wish” before, and as you predicted, we heard it again. Nothing new. As we had done for centuries, we just brush it off and let it roll of our back…. 😉

        • Mussie


          If Gaddafi of Libya and Saddam Hussein of Iraq choose like Mengistu Haile Mariam of Ethiopia, cowardly abandon his armies, his country and run away with his tells between his legs they could done that. but the choose to fight the so called super power and dead in their country among their solders and their people. but Eyob Ethiopian Leaders do not wary about the wreath of the super power in the 21st century.
          1. Ethiopia is the foster child for hunger and starvation in the world as we know.
          2.The Ethiopian leaders are known for being the Super powers(Both west and East)clowns instead of serving their (Ethiopian)people interest first.
          Eyob you mentioned “about 100,000 people dead in the Egyptian civil war” what about millions of Ethiopians who dead in the civil war and thousands who perished in Haile Selassie, Mengistu, and still continues to disappears in current rulers hand. so Eyob stop braging about Ethiopian and trashing other nations, you need to look yourself and Ethiopia in the mirror and smell the good coffee of Ethiopia.

          • Eyob Medhane


            The only thing agree with you on is about Mengistu running away his tails between his legs..I even have a mental picture of it….No argument with you there..(God! I hate that guy)…

            About us being a poster child of hunger, and a foster child of the west..(I don’t know how you could be hungry and a foster child of rich people at the same time 🙂 but all I say about that is ..yeah, yeah, yeah….We’ve heard that before, too…It’s a pretty famous and tired insult and come back of Shabians. Come on, dude. Come up with something new. Be creative… 🙂

          • Mussie


            I rest my case, I will be easy on you and give you a break for now. I do’t mean to totally erode your Ethiopian pride but to remind you to respect others pride, namely ERITREANS pride.


    • Nice,
      I like your sense of humor, Eyob. Except for the occasional lip-syncing , Mengistu speaking English very well.;-) At least, he is better than dictator Issayas.

      • replace speaking with speaks. Miscusa !

    • Tamrat Tamrat

      Hi Eyob!

      Thoug there is no need more proof that both tplf and eplf have enjoyed arab and the west help, it is a good Clip how the west finzlize its rutines. The last one always is a series of interviews by on of their best journailsts who take the last wil of dictators. These we have seen in chronolical ordere from mengistu, Sadam, Gadafi etc. If they are getting tougher they would be founded guilty by having mass destrcution weapons. iasayas survived because he and his supporters make sure there would be no armed struggel inside Eritrea. Soon it would be created one and history (or the west rutine) repeat itself though the more the dictator gets help for any good or bad reason from the majoirty the sorst the civilian catastrophee would be. Be it arab or the west the civilian disaster is the last thing to worry about.

  • Dear haile all awatista
    I thank you for the intelligent input to these forum and I am one of your follower and I am learning a lot from you.
    My praise goes the same to saay and
    Eyob for their professional civilised debate. we can all learn from that
    But I have a question haile since the main target is the PFDJ there is a lack of analysing the day today activities of the regime which needs attention
    *what is the PFDJ’s thinking behind airing people grievance on Ertv shortage of water,city power etc….
    *the fashion of jumping to voa and allowing to be asked taboo issues constitution,democracy,equal representation,etc…
    If we are following them there are change of trends am I right?
    *saay be careful on what you say about ethiopia one day you may find your self as an Eritrean official in a menelik palace.

    • haile

      Selamat Dave,


      You are right that the regime has been making some push backs on several fronts as well as presenting news clips of citizens concern with the deteriorating conditions back home. I smiled when I read somewhere today that due to unpredictability of power availability in Asmara, most people are struggling to recharge their mobile phone batteries. Mobile phones are actually a lifeline to many people as there is no meaningful employment and hence people do all sorts of things to hustle a living. Hence keeping in touch is important. So, what made me smile was that there is a new phrase called “charger TeAteq, electric wezbi eyu”!

      For the sake of sharing my opinion, I would say that (borrowing from IA) we need to see the big picture or Abay SEli here:)

      The regime has hit a wall domestically, it is not CAPABLE of effecting the needed change. Similarly, the regime is not CAPABLE of meeting the external demand to break the deadlock with the intl. community. This is a dangerous period in the history of our young nation.

      Here are the bizarre assertions that the regime is making, typical of the last days of dictatorships:

      The world accuses it of unconstitutional governance;
      The regime has come up with the notion that it has implemented the constitution and only has suspended few aspects! (T Gerahtu)

      The world accuses IA of being non-elected leader;
      It has come up with the notion that he was elected in 1993 National Assembly! (OEA letter in response to a journalist of AFP recently)

      The world accuses it of indefinite national service of the youth;
      It has come up with the notion of national service had long been disbanded and all there is now is a boarding school! (Tekeste T ambassador to Israel)

      The world asks how it spends mining revenues;
      It has come up with a notion that its banking share company HCBE is initiating the project to build 1680 housing and business premises regardless of demand and only for the DIASPORA!

      The regime can’t pay domestic credit nor can increase public sector spending specially in wages. Externally, the dangerous over valuation of of its currency has thrown a spanner in the works. One credit to the regime is that it does manage the gullible in the diaspora is fed the sort of stuff that would keep it to be sleep walking to disaster. ERiTV has an altogether different Eritrea that no one recognizes in Eritrea.

      The key point is that the regime is no longer CAPABLE of addressing any of its internal or external quagmire. It is blundering to get through the last leg of its sorry journey.


      • Yes Hailat,
        You articulated it well! that’s what kind of analysis I was looking for.
        we are together then
        thank you again!

  • Hayat Adem

    You said: “My biggest fear is that the Eritrean character is now bi-polar. There is the PFDJ character of overconfidence, adventurism and empty boasts. And then there is its extreme: doubt-riddled, self-flagellating weakling.” Well, your attention has been gravitated to two peripheral outliers and you forgot to consider one huge class in the middle. Statisticians and economists have what they call the “normal curve” principle that defines almost every normal group of any population. In any group and its polarities, 2/3rd of any population group lies within a single standard deviation range from the center. Within 2 standard deviations, you get over 90% of the population included. The rest on the extreme periphery of both sides are fit to be called outliers. The empty boasters and the weaklings you mentioned are outliers. The majority of Eritreans fall, like any normal society, outside that worry of your polarities.
    I just told you “the power of influence” was why I preferred to focus on you more than on Eyob. otherwise, as much as you were saying those things on Ethiopians becuase of Eyob, Eyob saying those things on Eritreans because of you.
    I feel like I know you in person because of all those online interactions we have been making. YG has never had any conversation with me in the actual or the virtual world, so i don’t feel the same the way I feel about you, in terms of proximity.
    [there is something that always whispers to me ‘get Sal and Yg on the same boat, and see how things chnage for the better] I posted this line below earlier but I’m thinking it might have been unnoticed and buried in the reply/re-reply layered boxes, hence reproducing it here partially for your convenience:…

    “You and YG may not agree on the past, but there is a great potential of you both agreeing on solving present pressing Eritrean problems and drawing the future map. If I may think of a metaphor on that possibility, what comes to mind is the Nile. Blue Niles comes from the mountains of Ethiopia; White Nile comes from the Victoria. When they meet in Khartoum, they make an instant marriage of here&now and wouldn’t question each other about their where-froms. They flow in a melted jointness and oneness conquering the desert. BTW: Nile is the only river that defeats the vastest scorcher desert and uproars with a surge of energy when about to enter the sea”

    • Selam Hayat,

      Your last paragraph and your metaphor aptly fits to the discourse called ” common sense discourse”. Both are conscious to the needs of our people, but both are dragged to our past and recent history. They felt the pain our people are enduring and surely YG emphasize the “peasant” who paid the heavy burden back then and now. What ever the difference on their emphasis might be, both must focus on the strategy how to emancipate our people from the brutal enemy of our people. If they let history for historian, they could use their powerful pens in uniting our people around the current “people’s revolution” – Yes the origin of their ideas could be different but at the end it is against one target. It is the regime. Hence they should unite their powerful pens.

      • Ghezae Hagos

        Selam, HA, AH and all,

        I know both, Sal and YG for a decade. The cyber friendship, that is not too much different from the real world.

        I am convinced that they have much more in common. For the purposes of struggle against tyranny which is the biggest reason we are here (otherwise, we would be accessing; I don’t know what we would be doing had Eritrea been in better hands; I can’t imagine), they are in the same class. That is what matters, if you think about it really.

    • bukretsion

      asking sal and YG to come up with common ground for the future eritrea is like asking al qeada and america to work together for world peace.

      • rodab

        Who is Al Quida in this case?
        (I will figure out the other half of the equation all by myself)

      • Eyob Medhane


        A bit too much. Please, pipe it down a little.

    • Beyan Negash

      Selam Hayat, Amanuel, and Awatawyan,

      Hayat, for brevity, here is what you stated partially:

      “[there is something that always whispers to me ‘get Sal and Yg on the same boat, and see how things chnage for the better] I posted this line below earlier but I’m thinking it might have been unnoticed and buried in the reply/re-reply layered boxes, hence reproducing it here partially for your convenience:…
      “You and YG may not agree on the past, but there is a great potential of you both agreeing on solving present pressing Eritrean problems and drawing the future map. If I may think of a metaphor on that possibility, what comes to mind is the Nile. Blue Niles comes from the mountains of Ethiopia; White Nile comes from the Victoria. When they meet in Khartoum, they make an instant marriage of here&now and wouldn’t question each other about their where-froms. They flow in a melted jointness and oneness conquering the desert. BTW: Nile is the only river that defeats the vastest scorcher desert and uproars with a surge of energy when about to enter the sea”
      It is interesting that “something that always whispers to” you about Sal and YG being “on the same boat.”

      Indeed, there are many others in whose ears the same idea has been whispering. In fact, a friend of mine had asked me of the same thing over the summer if YG would be willing to get in the same podium with Saleh Gadi, dismissing Sal Younis just because he never seems to appear in public arena as the first two have done previously.

      Hayat you may be onto something big here. The paragraph above, in which you reference the Nile as a metaphor, like Amanuel, I find aptly illustrates your point of how powerful force these individuals could become if they would focus their attention on the present as we move forward to the future of Eritrea.

      In fact, I would even take it a step further and would have liked to include Eritreans from all corners of the U.S., including Canada. Imagine, Semere from Dallas, Sium Tesfaye from Atlanta, the two Salehs and YG from California, Amanuel Hidrat and Dr. Yebio with his recent “bone of contention” article, from the East Coast, and Gezae from Canada; that I tell you will send the Asmara Administration and its supporters so loud and clear of a voice, they would clamor for an emergency meeting in their “Pandemonium” to device their “devilish council;” in a fit of panic they would try to connive and persuade their-other-about-to-“fall[]-angels” to accept “a scheme of revenge toward” these real angels who want to bring to Eritreans their paradise that had been made into a topsy-turvy of hell in the last 20 years of “infernal world.”

      The Red Sea will begin to appear as it did to those fallen angels of the “Paradise Lost” as “a pitchy cloud / of locusts…that hung like night and darkened all the land of Nile.”

      That kind of meeting will be an epic in its scope akin to combining Virgil’s “Aeneid,” Homer’s “Iliad,” and Milton’s “Paradise Lost” all rolled in one. That would lift a great deal of ache and pain from those of us who wish to see the opposition fight under one umbrella, the only conceivable chance in removing the hell that is in Eritrea.

      Now, who better to moderate such an important gathering than you (Hayat), who could keep these astute minds in check if they stray and your co-moderator Haile who would do an instant fact-checking as the conversation, which I predict will go well into the wee hours of the night. I will be the first one in the audience with my strong Ethiopian coffee at hand for wegaH tbel leiti! Ok, ok, for those who have the tendency of anything Ethiopia-averse, I am willing to replace my coffee with a Yemeni one, but that’s about it. What a delight entertainment that would be.


      • Yodita

        Kbur Beyan Negash,

        Your post ‘proposing’ a meeting of all our bright minds is most commendable. I was baffled however, to read your very last sentence “What a delight entertainment that would be.” You do not need me to point out that the word entertainment, among other things, means: amusement, leisure, distraction, diversion. An activity that would send a most powerful unifying signal to Eritreans in general and a ‘blow’ to the regime at home in particular, is but a ‘delightful entertainment’? I just fail to understand the sobriety and seriousness of your otherwise commendable post proposing a sensible and much overdue gathering of our bright minds, with Hayat Adem and Haile at the Chair. I believe this topic is more essential to us than the rivers of ink and time bestowed on subjects of the past (although interesting reading). Our bread and butter lies in what can be done now to give support to those under bondage and are voiceless. I am convinced that the coagulation and meeting of our bright minds would send hope to one quarter and shivers to another.

        Having said that, when I saw the names of Dr. Assefaw Teckeste and Ato Saleh ‘Johar’ Gadi, among other diverse persons, as guest speakers at the ongoing Bologna meeting, it sparked in me a hope that maybe we will get there after all, i.e. the meeting of all our ‘stars’, notwithstanding the nuance they nurture, to discuss the business of how to shorten the life of the regime. In fact, the debate here (although lamely in my humble opinion) is addressing the issue I believe for the first time. I have to add here that reading Seyoum Tesfaye’s article at Asmarino, addressed to the Bologna meeting, seeking clarification of the slogan but concluding “Wishing the Bologna Summit a positive and constructive meeting.” to be matured and proactive.

        We ask you all our bright minds to coagulate, meet and talk about our predicament and give us a powerful signal of your convergence NOW.

        SAAY, with collaboration of your peers, you could be a key player in this. Thank you.

        • Beyan Negash

          Kbret yhabellay Haftey Yodita,

          You’re absolutely right to point out my blundering last statement, which I wouldn’t want to blame on the wee hours of the night, even if I were to wanna sound sincere. Or if I were to blame it on the September 1st blues? Or Labor Day Holiday here in the U.S. None of which could stand to the veracity, which is this: I just simply misspoke, or as it were, mis-thought as it happens sometimes when one is writing one’s thought on the fly as I did on the subject in question, whereupon seeing Hayat Adem’s thought provoking idea.

          While I am on the subject, I should add, for the record, I spoke with YG over the phone last night, and he was very welcoming of the idea as I hope our troopers who are in the forefront of political leadership would welcome such a gesture as my friend Yosief just did.

          Perhaps, after the Bologna gathering is settled we can think of venues and logistical matters if the said individuals agree to such a gathering. I would be more than glad to be in the logistical committee that could make this promising event a reality.

          In fact, the friend that thought of the same thing Hayat alluded to here, he was willing to gather people he knows from Los Angeles vicinities to offer financial facilitation. So, we already have people on the ready, the only thing we will need is the invitees would be willing to come for a waEla, that is going to be one of its kind.

          So, kberti Haftey Yodita, perhaps you can join hands as we move forward with this noble idea in whatever capacity you can. You can see I am already soliciting volunteers, as it were, putting the cart before the horse.


          • Yodita

            Hawey Beyan Negash.

            Thank you and God bless you for this prompt and positive reply. Your reply made me feel that I was a bit harsh and judgemental, all the more so considering the fact that you are taking concrete and positive steps to construct something tangible.

            Indeed, the time seems ripe for a waEla of our big ones to meet and ponder what needs to be done and to define a broad and inclusive platform to harness our scattered energies.

            Perhaps we could start with a list of suggested names (and nicks) as possible participants to such a waEla and I am convinced that the financial aspect will not be our main bottleneck.

            Needless to say, our fragmented positions are our Achilles heel and from where the regime at home draws its strength. Such a waEla could heal this wound and coagulate energies.

            Thank you and kind regards.

          • Beyan Negash

            Kbirty Yodita,

            Keeping the men of Awate on “straight and narrow” will always be needed. You know how politics for men can be and is “blood-sport” but when it comes to Eritrea the pun – intended or not – can become way too crude and too painful. So, Yodita, you were not harsh at all – you called it as you saw it and I graciously accepted my shortcoming in that regard.

            That said, Sal’s note above has given us the run-down of his version of the “Talented Tenth.” That’s a good start. Perhaps, it is time that we think – and I am thinking loudly here – about to proceed from here. My take is to have an open and transparent medium in which we can let this idea develop – democracy at its best.

            If Awate Team can give us a space in which all concerned can discuss, at least, the two crucial aspects to this: i.e., the where and the when would be great. The only way this can be assessed best is when we have some sort of a rough idea of where the ideal venue in which most audience can participate in easily and when goes hand-in-hand with that.

            My initial thought was Thanksgiving Weekend or Christmas Holiday or the New Year Holiday of this year. Again, I am just thinking loud here. What say you Yodita?


          • Salyounis

            Selam Beyan:

            Before this thing gets some legs, I guess I should give my perspective on symposiums, seminars, retreats, meetings, etc:

            1. The way Eritrean politics work, the energy devoted to boycotting events from people who feel excluded is more than the energy devoted to making them work by people who are included. Just by creating our wish list we have already made some feel unimportant and excluded.

            2. Conferences are expensive–particularly the follow-up conferences. (We already know how people are pledge-exhausted with different people and groups competing for their wallets.) Either we are interested in a one time splash or creating a global movement.

            3. The Eritrean Diaspora has a great many brainy Eritreans who are interested in sharing ideas but NOT if it means they are forced to give up their privacy and anonymity. (I don’t want to get Serray and Haile to have to give up their anonymity. But the movement for change needs them badly.)

            4. What matters most is getting strategists: people who give ideas on how to bring about change: the what, when, why, how. Big picture thinkers who are not afraid to have their ideas critiqued and scrutinized.

            What we need is a virtual group, not a physical conference. What we need is a place (virtual) where people (private and public) can share their ideas, from which volunteer groups of task forces (virtual, real) are organized. A place where people can feel comfortable enough to come and share their ideas–they can drop in and drop out depending on their schedule.

            All of this can be done via facebook. It is an excellent medium for crowd-sourcing. And, it so happens, has a page now, but we can create a group which can be organized by invitation.


          • Yodita

            Kbur Hawey Beyan Negash,

            You have rightly said “My take is to have an open and transparent medium in which we can let this idea develop – democracy at its best.”

            Ideally, it would be ‘democracy at its best’ if the idea was to be discussed in all the opposition websites in order to gauge the interest and VOLUNTARY participation of both top notch panelists and the public at large. By now, we have a critical mass of very visible men and women (potential panelists) in the Diaspora, that if they were to be seen meeting together to discuss our predicament, it in itself would be, among other things, a much needed balm to our feeling fragmented and un-energized.

            I commend and salute you for your coming forward on this and will wait and see what others think.

    • Salyounis

      Hey Hayat:

      I am aware of the normal (bell curve distribution) and the standard deviation in populations and samples. But consider this:

      When we discuss politics, and the actors in politicsal stage, I am referring to activists. This, by definition, excludes what Haile calls the “silent majority.” I refer to the vocal opposition, the vocal media (redundant?), the vocal civil society, ie those who are vying to influence opinion and being about change (deleyti fitHi) or maintaining status quo (neHna nsu).

      And it’s here where I see a stark difference in the emerging Eritrean persona. There is the brash hyper-confident braggart Eritrean (mostly in the PFDJ sphere of influence) and its opposite the one who is self-loathing and apologizes for breathing and defers everything to others.
      (exclusively in the “new opposition.”)

      As to the yg/saay summit, it’s a lot like the Malcolm x/MLK one minute meeting: the “what if” is more interesting than the “now what?” 🙂 Polemical writing generates more heat than light which is why one of the things on my to do list is to stop polemical writing. But i have enough ego to believe that i can contribute in combating the emergence of the defeated Eritrean persona. I have seen that defeated persona in Arab countries, specially Egypt, after their loss to Israel. After the fall of Isaias Afwerki, I see all the NeHna Nsu Eritreans also crushed and disoriented too, so they won’t be much help in state building as they will be in a prolonged grieving period.

      Also on my bucket list: buy a hut in Bekoji, Ethiopia and run.*


      * Eyob, how’s Internet connection in Bekoji? The coach’s name, Sintayehu, is inconceivable in any other language as it would come across as a taunt 🙂

      • Dear Saay,

        Indeed as you have said, “Polemical writing generates more heat than light.” The current debate is no better than polemical argument. Clearly all our debates is not solution oriented debates, rather most of our recognized high caliber individuals are just doing academic exercise. Diverting from the most pressing issue and important tasks, that is rescuing our people and our nation from the grip of tyranny is not worth of history making. By the way, even though it is addressed to you, it is call for all of us in the fight against the regime.

        with all respect,

      • Eyob Medhane


        Thanks to China ‘s ZTE and Hwawei, 3G network for entire country to be in effect soon. So far internet connection everywhere in Ethiopia is horrible. (horrible is a nicer word to describe it 🙂 )

        Speaking of Bekoji and Assella (home town of Haile Gebreselassie and Mohammed Aman) got so much shorter from Addis with the new toll road built by who else? China. Less than two hours to get there…. make sure, when you are there next time…. 🙂

        • Beyan Negash

          selam Eyob,

          With the kind of runners that place produces, these residents need no highways or byways – they can simply let their legs do the “driving.” Ah, but it was probably for the likes of me who would love to visit that place these are built. Eyob, it just now dawned on me, did I hear you say, “toll road?” If so, there is toll money to be paid for each trip that one makes? Now, that will be progress, indeed! I just hope the Chinese are not the ones collecting the toll money and charging in their currency? Belay or Araya (I forget), won’t be happy about that -:)

          Eyob, please allow me to air my views, however briefly, that I admire your ability to hold your own and to speak on your country’s behalf so eloquently without any of the usual arrogance that some Ethiopians show. You’ve found your perfect match in Sal. I enjoyed both of your banters immensely. This is the kind of dialogue that is sorely needed between Ethiopians and Eritreans. I hope to someday see the conversation expands and is elevated to a level of nation-on-nation.

          The fact that you grace this website with your presence speaks volumes of how open minded you are. Let me start with me here. I visited a couple of Ethiopian website during the Eri-Ethio border war, and what I read then left me in chagrin to never visit again. Perhaps, it had to do with the nature of jingoism and patriotism that run-amok on both sides, due to the border war; so that was the last time I visited any Ethiopian websites. Any good website you may suggest one that is equivalent to Awate and Asmarino that has good contributors from whom an Eritrean can learn? Any level headed discussions that ensue about the sociopolitical landscape of Ethiopia from the perspective of Diaspora is good enough for me?

          As for the gist of your and Sal’s argument about Arab/Islamic civilization versus Ethiopia’s 3000 years of Civilization, well, herein follows my unadulterated view:

          As far as I am concerned, there is nothing to admire in Arab civilization or their version of Islamic civilization, which they have been trying to perpetuate and exploit for eons now. If anything, the Arab world is doing more harm not only to its race and region, but also has hijacked an otherwise decent religion that differs very little in substance from its two Abrahamic religions, namely, Christianity and Judaism. Look at what the populations of the two latter religions have been contributing to humanity today and compare that to what Islam under the Arab banner is doing for its cohorts today?

          I don’t think Sal, the number cruncher guy that he is, can show us any remote resemblance among these religions as far contributions toward humanity today, emphasis on today, not seven thousand years back. We need to start with honestly assessing our shortcomings instead of crying wolf whenever someone calls a spade a spade; we must look within and try to find solutions to what ails us.

          Islam needs unequivocal disassociating mechanism from the yoke of the Arab. Islam must not be defined by Arabs; but for that to take place, other non-Arab Muslims must take the battered Islamic baton (as perceived by the West)out of the hands of these people who had done the religion more damage than it deserves; instead of accepting meekly as we try to defend the religion we are defending the indefensible Arabs.

          At any rate, Eyob, the fact that Ethiopia – by hook or by crook – managed to avert colonialism is one that makes me, as African, mighty proud as I likewise show similar pride toward Liberia for the same reason.

          Of course, it is a bit more complex, and someone will try to argue on technical grounds whether either of these countries was colonized at all. Ethiopia and Liberia are notable countries in Africa for their abilities to keep the colonizers at bay – that my friend is nothing to sneeze at – you should be proud!


  • rodab

    This blog is exhausted. Let’s see what’s going here:
    The author of the article is AIB (absent in blogging).
    Sal & Eyob are locked-up in a Tango dance and won’t leave the dance floor – putting every onlooker into sleep. Hayat and Yodit are doing their usual thing – hi-fiving one another. Haile is becoming a faded glory and stopped commenting on every post. Aman appears occasionally and Gezae Hagos is on a ‘dskela’ state. No one knows where the statesman Gadi is (perhaps he is plotting somehting – may be it is that time of year where Assenna and others find themselves on the receiving end :-))

    • haile

      Selam Rodab

      Haile – is always faded when the discussion is Ethiopia. As a completely and hopelessly ‘Made in Eritrea’ guy, there is virtually no sentence I can utter on the subject without being accused of “hating” Ethiopia. So, you haven’t heard me discuss the subject much before, nor would you do in the future.

      If my intelligence dpt is working well, SG is in Italy at the Bologna 2013 🙂

    • Salyounis

      Hi Rodab:

      The author, Daniel G Michael, is chair of EYSC Global and I am sure he is busy getting ready for the Bologna Summitt. As is Miriam September who wrote a brilliant but not much commented piece about the absolute necessity of self-confidence as a pre requisite to creating a movement for change. Gebey xaEda wlad adjye! (Mengedun cherq to our amce compatriots)

      Haile’s 72 is still potent: his info on the whereabouts of Saleh Gadi Johar is spot on.

      Ghezae is far (far) from absent: he is a fighting machine. He is candidate for author of The Great Eritrean Novel (short list so far: Aklilu Zere, Saleh G and Ghezae Hagos.)

      There will never be a feud with our sister websites asmarino or assenna. Only the occasional free press healthy rivalry. Tes is a friend (a good one) and I was just listening to Amanuel Iyasus editorial where he makes the point that Eritrea is a country with neither a government nor an opposition party. As Eritreans who return from visiting our country say “Hager ab Folo* iya zela.”

      The saay-Eyob dance ebbs and flows. It will run its course…


      * Eyob, Folo is Italian for shifting gear on neutral. Back in the day of manual shifts, you placed it on neutral when going downhill.

      • rodab

        Hello Sal,
        It’s good to hear all is good regarding the relationship with Assena & Asmarino.
        Say few good words about as well.

      • Ghezae Hagos

        Dear Sal,

        I think my ‘postcard’ message to Bologna meeting got the best of you:) Simply put, it was not me, it was Lincoln. The ‘we are not enemies; but friends….better angles of our nature’ epistle unearths poignant feelings that speaks to our hearts. But Russian novelists? Nah..Reading them is an honor. Great Eritrean Novel? Can’t even finish articles for my awate column….thanks again…

        • Salyounis

          Hey Ghezae:

          No escape for you: we know Lincoln and we know GHB. Lincoln is great– for 19th century writing. Now that prose is considered overwrought, too flowery.

          It’s not the length that is the measure– short stories are shorter than the average Eritrean article. It’s the muse, and whether she inspires or not. Because when she does, this is what GHB does:


          • Ghezae Hagos


            That was the days, man. I even forget you that I used to write some satires. The one you linked was one of my favorites…Anyhoo, I don’t miss them, really.

            On another note, Happy anniversary of the start of the bullet of Adal that heralded the struggle for our Independence. Happy Awate Day for Awatistas and

  • Nitricc

    I just love it, LOVE IT, when the unionist kiss each other’s rear-end TO NO SHAME. Look how they tripping at each other for nothing. Eyob is glorifying the failed state AKA Ethiopia. Sal is telling Eyob what it is, just it is. Know what want to know is, what is so break through Yodita had to say for all of you unionists to come out and bombard the poor lady with undeserving compliments? This is what she has to say. lol
    “I will never want a world with out SAAY and Eyob as they are our hope”
    Talk about a bunch crap. Can I ask who Eyob is? Who? Exactly!
    Even Haile, you know, the one with the shady character had to say something. He got to earn their acceptance. Sad!!!
    I mean the lady did not even have the back bone to take sides. All she did was dance cowardly around the Issue.
    Eyob, let me tell you something. Even the word Amara is not the name of the tribe Amharic speaking people of Showa. Amara is a religion. Have you heard when people say “Me and you Islam and Amara?” when they try to express their irreconcilable difference. Now, answer me, how long was that term “Amara” was coined and when was misused the same term to indicate Amara as ethnicity?
    When you Answer the question truthfully then and then ask Sal for an apology.

    • Eyob Medhane


      “…Can I ask who Eyob is? Who? Exactly!…”

      Eyob is short, ugly and pretty overweight, limps, eats little children for breakfast…There. That is Eyob…

      “.. Amara is a religion…”

      Now, I’ve told you, who Eyob is, I am off to church of Amara to pray, so Eyob is smited..

      • Here is Eyobay after he has lost weight.


        • Eyob Medhane


          Didn’t I tell you not to float my picture around, without me autographing it? Tsk Tsk Tsk ..

          Now you finished mowing your lawn, let me comment on what you said earlier. Yes. Here is what I don’t get from Sal and many others, who in their very charitable mood assign scant habeshannes in Eritrea, but otherwise insist Eritrea is more related to those across the red see than across Mereb. They would not mind at all to make sure, if they can everything of Ghedli, the good, the bad and the ugly of it all to be shoved down through every single Eritrean at any cost. Should someone deviates from what they dictate what Eritrea should be, they are ready to call them ‘Unionists” (as if that is a bad thing. (that’s for you, Sal 🙂 ) , Ethiophiles…Oh gosh..ask Sal, he has plenty of superlatives for them. It is an intimidation method to shut Eritreans like you, who chose to assert your habeshannes. They have already charted a way for every single Eritrean what his or her identity should be and how it should be explained to others, and by no means not in relation to Ethiopian habeshas. Or he’ll be dismissed as ‘unionist’ or one of Sal’s superlatives. God forbid, should an Eritrean say I have more in common with an Ethiopian than a Yemeni. He’ll get punched from all sides as if he is “yemariam telat”.. 🙂 Yet, should one doubts the wisdom of Ghedli or slightly quotes YG, oh boy! easily gets accused of having ‘Yorgasim’ 🙂 (Sal’s word, not mine)…So you are pretty on the markrto point out the hypocrisy of it…

          • Salyounis

            Selamat Eyob:

            This is your favorite shopping mall, I know.


            Today’s special: Strawman arguments (fallacy of extension): “attacking an exaggerated or caricatured version of your opponent’s position.”

            I don’t know anyone who says the Yemenis or even Sudanis are closer to Eritreans than the Ethiopians are to Eritreans. Prove me wrong and bring your source.

            What we have said is Eritreans who live across the border from Sudan are culturally closer to the Sudanese, for example, in the same the South Ethiopians are culturally closer to Kenyans, etc. You haranguing a Beni Amer (who is at peace with and proud of his Beja identity, at peace with subclan in Sudan who belong to Beja but speak Arabic (Halenga); you haranguing the Semhar people of the Red Sea who, like most people who live in port towns embrace and intermarry with other cultures (Turks, Arabs)… Haranguing them for turning their backs on Habeha just makes you sound so closeminded and terrified of the world. More and more you are directing your Siren calls to those u consider receptive (highland Eritreans). Hmmm, niche marketing. But then don’t complain when Hgdef does that to Ethiopians.

            Language is an important component of culture. And in Habesha culture (in Eritrea) Tigrinya development would be, I think, Habesha culture development. And in that regard, despite all the teasing I give shaebia for the Tinglish, they had and have done a masterful job of purifying it from what it was in the 1970s (a Blade Runner mishmash of Tigrinya, Amharic, Arabic, Italian) into what it is today: rich and expressive.

            Take it easy. Something that’s been around since Noah’s time (as we just learned courtesy of an Ethiopian historian)is going nowhere. The only problem in Ethiopia is that a villager who was around Noah’s time could be transported, via time machine, to 2013 and it would be pretty much how he left it. That’s the problem. That’s what should keep u up at night, not the crisis overwhelmed Arab bogeyman.


    • Yodita


      What I said was “I would never want a world without the SAAYs and Eyob Medhanies as they are part of our hope to emancipate, …” . You put this same statement in quote, distorting it as “I will never want a world with out SAAY and Eyob as they are our hope”.

      This says volumes about you. Not only will you deliberately DISTORT something to suit your purpose, which is bad enough, but you will also try to make your quote look as similar as the real one in order to CHEAT big time! It is the Hgdefite ‘clever’ modus operandi when reacting to what they don’t like.

      Right under our own eyes, the world is agitating trying to shed its older skin (of lies and bad governance) for a higher ground EVERYWHERE. Those who oppress (not to mention kill), imprison, belittle, insult, and deliberately distort realities to fit their purpose in order to divide and weaken are fast becoming ‘yesterday is dead and gone’. Only those who envision a more JUST world and work honestly and relentlessly to play a proactive role to transform it into a compassionate world will shine and find acceptance by the majority of the human race who naturally yearn, consciously or unconsciously, for a fairer and more equitable world.

      It is your ‘rational choice’ to support who is in the wrong side of history and you are free to do so, however, note that you and your bullying ways thrived in yesteryears, say at the beginning of the millennium. Now, the times are a changing real fast (it is the cyber age!) and who does not worship at the altar of transparency and good governance will be wiped out, dead and gone!

    • Tamrat Tamrat

      Hi Nitricc!
      When the revolution of tigray-tigringa won over Ethiopia with the help of the Arabs and the west we have learnt that for sitting in Power the first stape was to propagate the term amara and ethiopia interchangebly so that at the end what we Call Ethiopia is reduced to the tribes who speak amharic as their mother tangue. When a tigray-tigrinya revolutionist shoot at ethiopia or amara then it was a victory for shabia.

      So what to what to do in 1991? Must meless and isayas Call Gonder, Wollo, Gojam and Showa Ethiopia and let the rest go or shall they create a little Ethiopia with a name Amara and batptize the big ethiopia with out Eritrea the New Ethiopia?

      It was a very complicated plan for all except isayas who felt he was the presidants of presidant for the multitudes small governments between 1991 and 1998. What ever caused hindering for the tigray-tigrinya policy, concidered as amara/ethiopia and what ever pormots the tigray-tigrinya past or present conicdered as a tigray-tigrinya-ethiopia. In short isayas and meles created a New ethiopia based on purely economical and militar advantage. In short use the confuse Ethiopia as much as possible and when and if no more of no use let ethiopia does what ever She can. During the period of 1991-1998 both used amara and ethiopia interchangbly because they were too carried away by their tigray-tigrinya policy. Now both are librated in one way or the other. Concidering ethiopia as pure economical object brought about disagreement in sharing the pray (the elefant in the house). This was that they did not see coming. So boom, war! Now the tigrinya must remember all the ethnic Groups in Eritrea and tigray must do the same in Ethiopia. Tigray-tigrinya is the worrest policy ever but its effect on Eritrea was not like over ethiopia becasue the tigrinya are majority in Eritrea.

      Tigray-tigrinya is not dade yet. There are many tigrinyas who support the Uonionits for the wrong reason. Tplf are praying for the help to come. And the unionist from both sides know exactly what is the consquence of prioriterning a single ethnic Group be it majority or minority. And treating all Our ethnic Groups be it in North or South then whether we have two or more states the end reslut is the same. No ethnic Groups sacrifices for the sake of tigray-tigrinya policy.

  • Kaddis

    Amde, Hayat

    Greetings from Addis and enjoyed every post you make here.

  • Horizon

    From the comments we have been reading on this great Awate forum, one can say that two trends are conspicuous. One group that is made up of sharp minds from both sides of the divide, engaged in an eristic dialogue that unfortunately helps keep the wound open, and others, equally sharp minds, who have come to realize the importance of a reconciliatory dialogue that hopefully would have the opposite effect. I hope that these two trends would one day converge at a certain point and do a miracle. The great leap forward from this precarious first steps of an infant to the stable strides of an adult will not be far away, as long as this development is sustained.

    • Kokhob Selam

      Brother Horizon,
      You are sharp and I appreciate your participation. Be around always. One day you will celebrate the victory. And sure you will see united Eritreans against all odds. This is the mission of Awate the great hero of Eritrea. tks

    • Yodita

      Haw Horizon,
      You write ”The great leap forward from this precarious first steps of an infant to the stable strides of an adult will not be far away, as long as this development is sustained.” (italics mine). I think therein lies our predicament and the painfully slow pace the whole exercise seems to be taking. You are rightly referring to the ‘sharp minds’ on both sides when you make the comparison. Here is what some of these sharp minds affirm:
      Saay: “So Ethiopia, as you currently know it, owes its existence to slave trade— selling slaves to Arabs.”
      Eyob Medhanie: “It’s like a mortal sin to be an Eritrean without a little bit of disdain for Habesha, particularly Ethiopian Habeshas.”
      By any standards, the above two affirmations are dead wrong. I do not have the education the above two have had and/or cannot claim to be as well read (from the way they transmit how well read they are through whatever they post), but reading stuff like that makes me realize that the Isaias Afewerkis have a very long life. Ethiopia has a history, poverty notwithstanding, the pride of not only Ethiopians but the whole of Africa and beyond and the Arabs have made contributions the pride of not only Arabs, but the whole globe.

      (To Saay) It is Christian Ethiopia that gave an (elevated) shelter to persecuted Mohammedans from Arabia thus distinguishing itself as a country civilized and open. Islam owes part of its survival in its dark times to the generosity and brotherliness of the Ethiopian (state and people) of the time. This could and should be celebrated as a tangible foundation for brotherhood and respect between the two religions.

      (To Eyob M.) … that it is a mortal sin to be an Eritrean…. This is an insult to me as an Eritrean because I do not subscribe to a generalized prejudice or vice versa, i.e. do I love every Eritrean? NO! There are Eritreans who I hope to see rot in containers like they are doing to their innocent kin. Do I hate every Ethiopian? NO and NO! There are millions of them who want a better and more just world like me. I feel kinship and brotherhood with them and every human being (without any distinction of colour, race, religion, etc) who shares the dreams of a world much fairer to all.

      To squabble over who is more backward, 3000 years of Ethiopian existence or Arab culture, with the intensity these two sharp minds do (increasingly degenerating to almost insults) is not my kind of fun (it seems they want to entertain!!). I think it is a grim enough period for all to be somber and on a serious note letting bygones to be bygones but inventing ourselves to be the persons to herald a more understanding and compassionate world to our children and future generations.

      I would never want a world without the SAAYs and Eyob Medhanies as they are part of our hope to emancipate, but when they focus on the past the way they do, the things they write (although I read it through), it leaves me cold. I imagine that when people like Isaias and Monkey read them (I am convinced they do) they are hilariously entertained seeing where our sharp minds focus: on yesterday!
      I believe there are more reasons for Saay and Eyob to converge than to diverge and it sad that they need a third party to tell them so.

      • Hayat Adem


        • Yodita

          WOW! To get brilliant from Hayat Adem with three exclamation marks! I am intoxicated with pleasure. Thank you infinitely!

      • Horizon

        Dear Yodita,

        Thank you a lot for elaborating on things that have been disturbing me, and from what I see, disturbing others as well. These bright individuals have a lot to teach us, and yet they are consumed with negative arguments, that are sometimes toxic. As you rightly put it, we need their knowledge and their broad experience, and their positive comments will always be indispensible.

      • Dear Yodita,

        I am elated when you strike the two sharp mind on the opposite sides. These two bright individuals are lost in the deep past that has nothing to contribute to the well being of the present that alleviate the contemporary predicament of both brotherly people. Both cultures (the Arab and Ethiopian) have contributed to the evolution of civilization and have remarkable history of co-existence compared to other cultural relations.

        One who read the seven stages of historical changes for all civilization by prof. Quigley, surely will understand how the two cultures contribute to human progress – to the unified process of differentiation and integration in the involving increase of socio-cultural complexity. When the structural re-organization is affected through time, a new form or structure which is qualitatively different from that of the past has to be emerged. Therefore Both Saleh and Eyob must join to that effort to shape humanity and the history of humanity. I salute Yodita her effort to redirect these great minds to focus to our contemporary predicament of the great people of the horn.

      • haile

        Selamat Yodita

        Your closing paragraphs are spot on!!!!

      • Eyob Medhane


        That is a serious scorn, but I really didn’t mind taking it.


        See what you did? You got me scorned…


        The truth of that matter is the Monkeys and the Isayases be enraged, when they read Sal and I. What they want people, especially Eritreans and Ethiopians to insult one another to be angry with one another at all times and on eachother’s throats. The fact that Sal and I get along and can laugh together and can talk about even sensitive matters in our countries pasts with out having bitter animosity and fist fight drives them crazy and reminds them that their attempt poisning the water does not work on everyone.


        I know. I really do know that there are Eritreans, who do not hate Ethiopia and don’t base the Eritreannes on hating Ethiopia. However, the loud ones, those who became faces of what Eritrea is and what it represents are those the hateful ones. Unless their prominant voice is drowned out by the likes of you, the perception of many Ethiopians of Eritrea and Eritreanism is that of the culture and the attitude pumped up by the war propaganda of the 70s and the 80s. There is an interesting article on asmarino about how the “tegadelti” and a culture they brought about has never changed and prevented change to realize social progress, and evolvement of Eritrean culture form “being in war mentality”. Read it, and you’ll know why I believe that in many people in Eritrea even without knowing it think that Eritreannes means hating Ethiopia.

        About Sal and I going back and forth about 3000 years history, come on Yodita. That is totally harmless. And Sal is always wrong 🙂 Most of the time I believe that especially Kebessa Eritreans need to understand that the 3000 years history is also their history, Axum is also their achievenment, and don’t let particularly Arab cultural imperialists separete you from that. When they make you denay your own past, you come to hate and resent your current self and that is when you become a prey for those who want to make you in their own image. That is what my argument is all about, when it comes to the ‘three thousand years of history’. See when you embrace who you are, you become confident wlak straight and stand up for yourself to protect who you are. That way, no one wlak all over you, like Isayas is doing to the Eritrean youth. But, when you have a doubt about who you are, you let others to explain you away. You always let others to speak for you. Isayas Afeworki usually dismisses his own people as far as calling them spoild in their own faces, yet no one says anything. Why, the people want him to explain them away. They always say “..he knows better about me than I know about myself..”. I believe that is because, their identity and who they are. Their belief. Their culture. Their tradition that YES their three thousand years built self worth has been systematically taken away from them. They were made to hate it. To resent it. They let others to explain them and hand them out identity, impose a language on them. Have you seen, when one raises an even slight critic of EPLF PFDJ or Eritrea the country itself, when he or she is called ‘Agame’ Woyane’ ‘Ethiopian’. They immediatly switch to their defensive mode and spent the larger amount of time explaining how they are not ‘Ethiopian’, instead of continue questioning criticizing Isayas, PFDJ, Gedli, Eritrea…etc. Why is being called Ethiopian is so bad that shuts you up, and make you prefer to take all kinds of abuses than being classified under it? You see the hate I am talking about here? When Yemane Monkey, a man who is so hated by Eritrean youth, when they confronted him in New York, do you know the worst insult they have for him? “Ata Agame..” These are the youth. Not the Gehdli generation, may not even be the bademe generation, but can you see how the hate is transcendent from generation to generation no matter on which political side you fall on in Eritrea? Why is that? that is because I believe, they are trying to run away and avoid an identity that they deep inside know and feel they belong to. That is the reason many base their Eritreannes on hating Ethiopia and Ethiopians…..

        Anyway, thanks for the nudge, Yodita…

        • Eyob,

          Brilliant indeed ! This time around, you have not blamed it on your Ipod, but on Sal 😉

          • Wediere


            Something to cheer you up, a world record from an Ethiopian team.


            This hate of Ethiopia thingy, you are hanging around with too many haters or having too much dose of Eri TV. Usually those who are loud in hate have Ethiopian ancestry one or two generation in the chain, so they think it masks that in them……I wonder if your obsession is the reverse, trying to show you are more Ethiopian than others…..


          • Eyob Medhane


            Wonder no more. I don’t hate Eritrea and Eritreans. Hence I am free of the ailment you accused me off….Labeling people you don’t know, however is sort of not good, don’t you think? 😉

        • bukretsion

          thanks, but i still don’t get it why they advocate arabizm over their own culture(eritreas 9 culture)

      • Salyounis

        Selamat Yodita, Hayat, Horizon and all:

        What Eyob and I do is an African-American art form known as The Dozens (“yo mama so ugly…. yo mama so fat…”.) It may be off-putting to those not familiar with the art form: you are expressing that anxious feeling that a line will be crossed, feelings will be hurt, noses will bleed. Well don’t. Really. Because both of us write with a specific purpose; but we do it (I hope) in a way that doesn’t burden people with the weight of its seriousness. (Maybe we will banish ourselves to the Merhaba/Jebena page of awate and do our battle there.)

        Eyob’s biggest fear is the same one that has haunted generations of Abyssinians: that their civilization and their peaceful life will be undone by a horde of Arabs and Islamists (they are the same to him) who will use their money to influence, bribe, cajole, intimidate people in their island. These alien beings always use Eritrea as their gateway and while he is fairly confident that they will be rejected in Abyssinia, he is not sure that his cousins in Eritrea, confused as they are by decades of foreign subjugation, have the will and confidence to reject them. He is alarmed by the headway they have already made in Eritrea (speaking Arabic, for God’s sake, not to mention a calendar that is in sync with ferenj aqotater. ) He feels a personal responsibility to take preemptive strikes inside Eritrea to shake the Eritrean by the shoulder out of his Ghedli/Arab induced-slumber. He has Yorgasms every time Yosief writes something particularly insulting about the manufactured Eritrean ID. He used to have a tendency to want to put Eritreans on a psychiatrist sofa and diagnose them with ailments (inferiority, superiority complex) that he doesn’t…{hand on ear Jon Stewart style}: wait, I am being told by my producers that he just did that. Dammit.

        My biggest fear is that the Eritrean character is now bi-polar. There is the PFDJ character of overconfidence, adventurism and empty boasts. And then there is its extreme: doubt-riddled, self-flagellating weakling. I have no fear or concerns about the Eritrea-Ethiopia relationship: I am quite confident that a partnership for peace and development will happen much sooner than we think. The question is what kind of partner do Ethiopians want north of the Mereb River? What is the character of the people you want to partner with? It appears you don’t want the PFDJ-style (understandable) but the ones you want are the doubt-riddled, self-flaggelating weaklings. That is not in the interest of Eritrea. It goes beyond Ethiopia, actually: the character of the New Eritrean will define Eritrea’s destiny.

        Remember the Sirens in Greek mythology? Beautiful sea creatures with enchanting songs who distracted sailors to wreck their ships? That’s what the Habesha song is. It is vapor ware. Intended or not, its outcome is an Eritrean who hates his history from 1890 to present: to hate himself for allowing himself to be colonized by Italians. To hate himself for choosing the path of independence. To question himself for loving the Italian language and its architecture. To doubt his decision-making skills. To undermine his self-confidence. To see himself as small and inconsequential. To look at his 1,200 kilometer coastline across which live Arabs, and his 600 kilometer border with Sudan, on the other side of which live Arabized Sudanese and to ask himself: yeah, what’s my interest in Arabic, anyway? In short: to make him ask himself “what’s wrong with me anyway?” (btw: Hayat, nothing is wrong with me 🙂 My fear is that there is tendency by some to believe that the opposite of PFDJ’s aggressive adventurism and chauvinism is submissiveness and meekness and constant apologies.

        Now, consider. In all the exchanges I had with Eyob, the thing that outraged Hayat is my statement that Ethiopia trafficked slaves until 1902. All the offensive things Eyob said about Eritreans didn’t register high enough for a “what’s wrong with you” admonishment, but that one did. I honestly don’t understand that mind set at all–and I consider it this generation’s fight to rid the guilt, failure, remorse that is plugging the Eritrean mind. You don’t need to borrow distant mythical history for inspiration when you have a recent and tangible one. If you are going to explain away slavery in Ethiopia as a blemish and a blot, why can’t you explain excesses of our revolution as a blemish and a blot? Why does one raise your ire (accusing Menelik of financing his expansion via slave trade: by having slave-trading chiefs pledge loyalty to him and paying taxes to him) and why do you, on the other hand, cheer YG as he highlights every blemish and every blot? A blot! Haile Selasse had to name his nephew as his personal envoy to deal with the embarassment of slavery in the newly acquired peripheries that Menelik incorporated into Ethiopia. The Ethiopians did not stop being Ethiopians when they had a tyrant who shot them and charged their families for the bullets he used to kill their loved ones (Mengistu) and Eritreans can’t stop being Eritreans because their families are being exiled and their parents asked to pay for their exile (Isaias.) The point to those who listen to the Sirens is that Ethiopian history is full of blemishes and blots too and you are better off cleaning the Ghedli blots instead of disowning and running away from it. It is yours–and it is a grand achievement and the party that lost cannot give you advice on how your win was really a loss. When I mention the blots and blemishes of Habesha civilization, it is not to trash it but to show that Eritreans have a better alternative than to deny their identity because it has too many blots and blemishes. Confidence is a great thing: because I am a Habesha (through and through) I don’t have to have another Habesha tell me how a Habesha should really behave (The Four Rules of Eyob: hate Arabs, hate Italians, hate Ghedli, and refrain from any criticism of Habeshaness.) Nope, nope, nope, nope. Imbi, imbi, imbi, Eich imbley:)


        * Hailat, I don’t know who sings in the video you posted…but I know who does. He has a PhD in Math, an encyclopedic knowledge of Ghedli-era songs and he is probably off to some Mekhete now 🙂

        * Eyob, Happy Hamid Idris Awate day.

        • Eyob Medhane


          You just got me in trouble with my Eritrean Kunama friend. I thought the holiday was for all Ertitreans, and I said “Happy Hamid Idris Awate day”, he busted my head open, now I am bleeding. Was it something I said?…. (Sorry I had to take this cheap shot. It was very hard to resist.. 🙂

          • Salyounis

            Dear Eyob Senbetu*:

            Ah, Eyob, of course you had to. What you do with the Kunama issue is what you claim that you hate when higdefites do it by trying to instigate feuds among Ethiopian ethnic groups.

            Now listen to this name: Germano Nati. He is an Eritrean Kunama and I will tell you a brief story about him; then you tell me if the Kunama story is different from the Eritrean story.

            1. Arrested by Ethiopian government and imprisoned in Asmara.
            2. ELF raids the prison (and another one in Adi Quala) and frees all the political prisoners.
            3. ELF gives the political prisoners a choice: you can join/rejoin the ELF; you can jon/rejoin the EPLF; you can go back to your village/home. This choice was given to Germano Nati, Haile DeruE Weldetensae, Seyoum Ogbamichael, among others.
            4. Germano Nati (and Haile Derue) goes to the EPLF. When the ELF was routed out of Eritrea, Germano is given the responsibility of organizing the Eritrean Kunama (until the eviction of the ELF, EPLF had never been to the Gash-Setit area, which was an ELF stronghold.)
            5. Germano Nati is one of the G-15 (as is Haile Derue): they sign a document calling for reform. They get arrested. Are hauled to Eila Ero.
            6. He dies in prison (due to medical maltreatment.) The info on Haile Derue is contradictory but his health is failing.

            That’s Eritrea in 2013.

            * Listen to this song, by Orion Saleh, if you understand Tigrinya lyrics. (3.16 long.) The singer mentions a Senbetu and he tells her that some things that she is trying to advocate for “wanatat alewo”. The Eritrean Kunama grievances are part of Eritrea’s grievance. Wanatat alewo. I think you should focus on the 70 language groups, in Ethiopia, no?



        • Quick comment before I go and cut my grass.

          When you said

          When I mention the blots and blemishes of Habesha civilization, it is not to trash it but to show that Eritreans have a better alternative that to deny their identity because it has too many blots and blemishes.

          Arn’t you telling those of us who believe we are Habeshas to abandon our identity (Habesha) and adopt alien one (ghedli and/or Arab identity)?

          AS you ” don’t have to have another Habesha tell [you] how a Habesha should really behave“, many Habeshas aslo don’t want to be told to give up their identity.

          • Salyounis


            Hmmm. Assert your Habesha identity all you want; who is asking you to give it up? What I am saying is that that shouldn’t necessarily mean you trash your Eritrean identity (which includes your Ghedli) just to assert your Habesha identity.

            Quick comment before I go and cut my grass.

            I guess what I am saying is that the grass always looks greener on the other side. But it has blots, dry spots, weeds when you inspect it close up 🙂


        • Mussie

          Saleh, my hat off for you. I salute you on this true Eritreanism comment.

  • haile

    Selamat Awatista

    hmmm…I have no idea where to post this replay (Dawit, Eyob, saay (chronological!:)) or on Asmarino, in response to a certain writer who is asserting that “the problem is that they never changed”! So, may be here is a better place.

    The issue concerns the apparent “expiry” of EPLF military prowess during the loss of Badem. I believe that the above commenters (other than saay) and the Asmarino writer have hopelessly fallen to IA’s, the African Houdini, stage performance in make belief.

    The EPLF’s tegadelti were probably one of the regime’s very first targets for disintegration. If I may, let me draw a consistent pattern of eliminating challenge by IA:

    1 – When Tegadelti demonstrated against neglect early on after independence, they were first calmed down, investigated, arrested (some are still in prison), killed and the rest dispersed. The dispersal included shipping many of them to employment contracts to the middle east.

    2 – When disabled veterans demonstrated against neglect, the same happened. Those who survived the arrests and killings were dispersed to different parts of the country too.

    3 – When the Berlin 13 and G15 did the same, they were met with the same fate.

    4 – When Asmara university students did the same, similar fate befell them.

    5 – When Journalists criticized, the same fate met them.

    6 – When Forto happened, the same is under progress…

    The point that I am making is that, the IA group has been a dark evil that lurked in the shadows until September 18, 2001. It was only since then it was emboldened by the fateful acquiescence to his evil by the diaspora masses that it started to rape Eritrea openly. Hence, in the 1998-2000 war, Ethiopia never had to face EPLF proper. By then EPLF’s tegadelti had been completely thrown off balance by the enemy within and the armed forces was re-constituted in a totally different alignment. Most only re-enlisted after the start of the war, and most of the burnt was taken by the national service youth (please verify with martyrs database).

    Hence, to Dawit and Eyob, I would say that the continuity you seem to assume in your arguments about the mighty EPLF is an illusion. And, to the the asmarino writer, [samuel?], No sir, the problem was that they did change, more specifically, they were sabotaged from with in with a deadly consequences.

    To saay, I can only ask him if he knows the name of this unknown singer from the Ghedli era 🙂


    • Tamrat Tamrat

      Mastar Haile, you very funny, ha ha.

      Eplf has never a much against Ethiopian army. You will do understand this one day when you know the difference between a gorilla fighting using civiliance as a shilde. Whether the eplf demoralized or not 1998 was a war between two separate lands and you have seen the result. 1998 was not a civil war. This you have to know. If you mean the eritrean army in 1998 was less organized or mechanized than 1991, you are just trying to convince yourself. And if it Works for you, use it as sleeping tablet. Other wise as long as there is no civil war in Ethiopia, Eritrea would never be a much for ethiopian military. Onve i a while we have to og out Our dream and see the facts on the ground.

    • Haile,

      I think Sal’s debating style has sharpened mine ;-). Before I tackle your counterargument, I will ask myself: How would Salyounus form his argument to neutralize Haile’s rebuttal.; and then, go Sal on you (Courtesy of Sal) 😉

      You said,

      Hence, in the 1998-2000 war, Ethiopia never had to face EPLF proper. By then EPLF’s tegadelti had been completely thrown off balance by the enemy within and the armed forces was re-constituted in a totally different alignment. Most only re-enlisted after the start of the war, and most of the burnt was taken by the national service youth (please verify with martyrs database).
      Hence, to Dawit and Eyob, I would say that the continuity you seem to assume in your arguments about the mighty EPLF is an illusion.

      How many are those you said were inactivated from their service either due to arrest, death, old age, or other? Taking out the new recruits at the time (1998-2001) will still leave you with over 100,000 “mukurat tegadelti”. Only seven years had passed before we went to war with Ethiopia. Within the seven years time, it’s unlikely for ghedli to lose all its fighting spirit, and superior skills in war.

      Sam of Asmarino has this to say:

      “A perfect example that Shaebia* did not change (except in name) is the issue of the so called G-15. In early 2000’s, a group of government officials (the 15 being most known) decided to question the president on few issues of accountability. They were promptly disappeared. This is exactly what the Ghedli organization did in 1973-74 when some in the EPLF leadership decided to question the lack of democracy. Those who dared to question, commonly known as the Menkae, were disappeared.”

      Based on Sam’s assertion, can we say that Ethiopia did not have to face EPLF proper because EPLF liquidated “Menkae”. In addition, those tegadelties you said were arrested, killed, or made to disappeared are not only few in number in relation to the over-hundred thousand tegadelties including the architects of the war/policy of the 1998-2000 (The Sibhats and teh Monkeys), but also participated in some form or another in the war against Ethiopia. The bottom line is that Ghdli sympathizers will never admit defeat; arguments like yours will never water. Sal may come to your rescue and revamp your lame excuses for defeat 😉

      I will pose this question (which was meant for Haile) again:

      After Ethiopia had successfully defeated the Eritrean army , it forced PFDJ/EPLF back to a negotiating table. How did this happen despite the battle hardened, and tested Eritrean tegadeltis who had been touted as heroes with exceptional courage and fortituide, and who “ single handedly defeated the soviet backed, American funded, Cuban troops aided, Ethiopian military in the 30 year war. ?

      • haile

        Merhaba Dawit

        Why is it I think you still are after that illusive silsi, Nitricc ain’t coming back, that leaves you and me (the run away onion) 🙂

        By EPLF proper, I am referring to the whole cohesive and purpose-organized fighting force that was deployed against the Dergue. After the early 90’s demobilization, the numbers in the regulars was slashed down to 45000. The national service was then pulling in tens of thousands annually. A force can be considered of as a soccer team. The team need to train and prepare together, the dispersal strategy had undermined that severely.

        The “mukurat tegadeliti” were there alright. Of course, like most other legacy of the powerful EPLF, IA had retained what it needs to maintain its grip on power and dismantled or let it get ruined through deliberate neglect what he felt was a threat.

        Consider for example the Tserona battle. When I heard the 525 were heading to the battle zone soon after the start of combat (they were in the Assab front), I was certain (at the time) that the Ethiopian forces were going to be driven back even if by then they were crossing the first lines of defense. As I thought, the reinforcement (core EPLF fighting force) joined the war theater zone, and the area was turned ghastly in less than 24 hours, the full Ethiopian ground and Arial offensive completely annihilated and retreated deep into their territories. This division of EPLF is a deadly machine and I did not have a slightest of a doubt in my mind at the time, as to what the outcome would look like.

        To learn about the case in Mereb-setit front line please listen to ex-Tegadalay Biniam on simer paltalk. He was brought back from the wars in Congo to join the border war. At the time he was calling some commanders to discuss the collapse of the western front line, they were apparently sipping tea in [Barentu?] and learned it from him first time. Many national service died there. Factually, the Ethiopians identified and punctured some weak points along the defensive lines from our side. Quickly moved in huge infantry and did a pincer movement to attack our side from behind. It was hopeless and the regime was shown for its stupidity as the entire western front line collapsed in a matter of few hours. Then followed the regimes shameful strategy that resulted in tit-for-tat around Tesseney where our side was not in a position to effectively re-group but still told to attack a withdrawing columns of Ethiopian infantry. The later then took back their original positions and left again (it was childish at best, nothing like EPLF at all).

        I can’t say much about Bure/Assab front, perhaps one might assume the core of what was left of EPLF was positioned.

        Again, the issue of Menkae and other similar issues were targeted, primarily, against the political class. What I am looking at here is a disintegration that identified tegadelti as a threat and targeted them directly.

        Since Tamrat T thinks there is emotional hyperbole in my position, let me say that I am painfully aware that an act of war is a mindless orgy of death and distraction. There is nothing to be glorified about it. However, we need to appreciate that everyone doesn’t share the same sentiments about those tragic incidences of Ethio-Eritrea conflict.

        The battle of Badem is merely political and nothing big can be said about it militarily. The conflicts around Tsorona and Assab were however had the making of real showdown. Overrunning Tsorona would have brought the Ethiopian forces up to the Hazomo plains, which would put Asmara airport within their medium and short range missiles’ reach. And the Assab battle has its own self evident ramifications. In both those battles Ethiopia had to face what was left of the core of EPLF fighting force. And didn’t move an inch despite major losses.

        Another contradiction is the fact that Ethiopia says it didn’t have any effective fighting force at the time before the conflict, as it was only focusing on development and had long demobilized its TPLF fighters. So, how come you argue that the newly drafted Ethiopian army can defeat “mukurat tegadelti”? Doesn’t make combat sense at all 🙂


        • Kubur Haw Haile,

          You said,

          Another contradiction is the fact that Ethiopia says it didn’t have any effective fighting force at the time before the conflict, as it was only focusing on development and had long demobilized its TPLF fighters. So, how come you argue that the newly drafted Ethiopian army can defeat “mukurat tegadelti”? Doesn’t make combat sense at all

          I did not argue whether newly Ethiopian recruits can defeat “mukurat” and pompous “tegadelties”?

          But, it makes sense when Ethiopia said it had not been preparing for war. Before the fighting broke out, Eritrea had been preparing to go to war given the many rounds of giffas/Afesa to recruit young Eritreans into “hagerawi agelgilot”, and also given the fact that Eritrea started the war by attacking and occupying Badume (According to Eritrea-Ethiopia claims commission)

          Anyways, Eritrean and Ethiopian (both Habeshas and non-Habeshas) were destroying each other. The war was dubbed by many as a senseless war in which two bald men fought over a comb for nothing really. That’s also how it would be remembered.

          Now both Eritreans and Ethiopians need to join forces and start to combat the widespread poverty, diseases, and illiteracy.

  • belay

    As much as i respect Mr Salyounis,i have a questions?
    Dear Salyounis,
    1.The Italians came to invade us all and used us to do their dirty job.How many Eritrans died to do their job?why are you making excuses for their deafit ?After all you are Habesha black African.
    2.Same thing to the Arabs,Egyptians.I mean they came to invade us ,they are still threatening to and openly saying we will use Eritrea as if Eritrea is their own tool.Why defened them more than your own people,as we speak ,what is happening in Sinai.
    I am sorry but why?

    • Eyob Medhane


      Stop it! You gotta let Sal do his patriotic duty,

      If someone, including Basha Saleh Yunis don’t feel Eritrean, unless they mock, ridicule and stomp on Habesha and Abysinia. It’s like a mortal sin to be an Eritrean without a little bit of disdain for Habesha, particularly Ethiopian Habeshas. Or the concept of ‘Eritreanism’ would have no meaning at all. Why would you rob that from them?! Tsk, Tsk, Tsk… 🙂

      • Salyounis

        Haha Eyobai:

        Consider this. You know that Map of Abyssinia and Ethiopia and Eritrea I sent you yesterday? That entire expansion of Abyssinia to Ethiopia was finance by slave trade. Menelik (Tikur sew) selling African slaves to Arabs. So Ethiopia, as you currently know it, owes its existence to slave trade— selling slaves to Arabs. Tsk tsk tsk

        I have the next slogan for Ethiopian ministry of tourism: “Come to Ethiopia: slave-free since 1902 (against our will)”


        • bukretsion

          u r comparing apples to oranges u don’t make any sense
          every time u open ur mouth i see nothing but inferiority complex

          • Salyounis

            Selam Bukre:

            I have an inferiority complex about my superiority complex and they cancel each other out. But seriously, I don’t understand: could you elaborate further?


          • bukretsion

            ur advocacy of arabsizm instead of ur own cuiture and the hate that u have on Habesha culture is nothing but inferiority complex

          • Zegeremo


            Don’t spoil the thread as your brain doesn’t have the capacity to funderstand

        • Hayat Adem

          What is wrong with you? You seem to be carried away by your urge to subdue Eyob: “how can i make him angrier?” Otherwise, I don’t think this is you: “I have the next slogan for Ethiopian ministry of tourism: “Come to Ethiopia: slave-free since 1902 (against our will)”. Look, we’re lucky to have fair hosts like you and Gadi and (?) that we feel confident any indecent excesses from careless participants (like Asmara) will be checked. If there are excesses from the host himself (however seemingly implicit or jokingly subtle), then that is a problem- then the purity of sanity of this forum will be threatened.
          Ethiopians have so many great heritages to be known/remembered for. You could be right about the tikur sew and slave trade?* but don’t extrapolate this to make present Ethiopia and Ethiopians look like the land of taboo. I never suspected you of being that mean to anyone let alone to Ethiopians. Last time we mentioned, the 2nd millennium for Ethiopia did not standout as a continuation of the 1st millennium civilization. Rather to the contrary. But, you have YeHa, Axum, Lilebella, Gondar, Harar, etc. Why do you want to suggest little dark spots to be a tourism slogan? By the way, if it was not happening in other African places, our Eritrea included, it was because they were colonies under European powers and those powers had stopped slavery way earlier before they scrambled Africa (spare Ethiopia).
          *from my readings, slave trade was abolished earlier, it was slave ownership that continued for a while.

    • Salyounis

      Selamat Belay:

      I don’t know if you have been following my discussion with Amde (I see a Haile in the making: he is brilliant). If you didn’t I don’t blame you because it’s hard to follow threads when comments run in the hundreds. Amde counseled that the belief in some quarters that Ethiopia is a hodgepodge and nobody will rise in the cause of Ethiopia is fool-hardy and leads to war. He is absolutely right. You can count Isaias Afwerkis foolish predictions and Morsi and Company’s plotting in the accidentally televised Egyptian cabinet meeting to that list. What I retorted to Amde is that while his counsel is wise and spot on, the Ethiopian tendency to exaggerate history also leads to an Ethiopian superiority and ease of rush to war because the propaganda is that a. Ethiopian is reluctant ant to go to war 2. It always does it in defense of sovereignty and 3. It always wins. I consider this a dangerous propaganda, a balloon that had to be deflated because the reality is different.

      2. Ethiopians and Egyptians have a lot in common and their least attractive quality is their tendency to want to live on ancient glories. Trust me, when I am not criticizing Ethiopians desire to live off the meager inheritance of their ancient forefathers I am doing the same to Egyptians.

      If you are a military history buff, militarily, you are not going to be able to learn anything from Gundet, Gurae, or Adwa other than what people have known since ancient times: more soldiers, better equipped, better led, better motivated win wars. That is: Ethiopia has not contributed anything to military science. I am sorry is that sounds bad, but it’s true. If it makes u happy, neither have the Egyptians or the Italians. But those Eritreans? I think they are contenders for something. Take always all the emotions out of it and it is as simple as saying Ethiopians make for great track and field and Eritreans are great cyclists. I am doing a technical assessment: no need to be offended.


      • Eyob Medhane


        let’s take emotion out of it then. You know what would be left about the “great warriors”, the Eritreans? Soviet Union collapsed in the late 80’s, the brutal, pseudo fascist government of Ethiopia lost its bank rolling communists, as well as it’s own soldiers support. (They just refused to fight, as far as going to make a deal with their enemies to topple their own leader) and Ethiopians themselves were fighting the same army (TPLF later EPRDF) Hence, in fact, EPLF with all that petro dollar it gets from you know who, 😉 had to lift very little weight to get where it got. As we Abysinians would like to say የለመደች ጦጣ: ሁልጊዜ ሽምጠጣ, seven years later the same “great warriors” tried to “repeat” their “victory” forgetting the first one took them thirty years, got learn bravado is not actuality… 🙂

        Speaking of Ethiopians being great on track, knowing that you are an athletics lover, please watch what happened to day between Tirunesh Dibaba and Meseret Defar. While you’re at it, please listen to the commentator, who was desperate to create the aura of rivalry between the two. Do you know, who reminded me of? Some Eritreans, especially, PFDJits, who come to Ethiopian sites and try to foment feud between different Ethiopian ethnic groups, pretending to be Amhara and insult Tigryans or Pretending to be Oromo and insult Amharas. They are so easy to spot… Now watch today’s diamond league in Zurich.

        • Salyounis

          Thanks Eyob:

          It’s good to see Meseret Defar; I don’t think she participated in the Moscow runs.

          Now. You are such a buzz kill. Of course the announcers had to be excited about the competition: the two Ethiopians outpaced the rest by a good 100 meters. And Meseret overtook Tirunish in the last 1/8 lap. I don’t think the announcers excitement was manufactured. Damn, the higdefites have done a number on you:)

          Just ignore them and watch eritrean cyclist great Daniel Teklehaimanot doing his thing last month. It is the breakout thing that he does which remind some of us of (Eritrean cyclist of the 1970s)Jeganti. Eritrea has like half a dozen very young cyclists who could do to the sports what Ethiopians have done to long distance running.


          • Eyob Medhane


            About the Eritrean cyclists, now you and I found something we FULLY agree about. They are really good. In fact, they are better than really good. Natnael Berhane and a guy named Meron (Sorry I forgot his last name) along with Daniel are in the short list of cyclists to win tour de France. Considering they live under insanely anti-youth government, unless getting them carrying weapon, laboring in the fields or Marching on May 24th, their achievement should be considered a miracle… I really mean it.

            Yes, Meseret was in Moscow, and one of our gold in 5,000 was hers. She is very elegant. You don’t believe me? Watch her interview after she won 5000 in Moscow.


            As far as the commentator trying to create sense of rivalry, didn’t you hear him, at the start of the clip, saying “Tirunesh and Meseret refused to take the same flight to Zurich?”…lol

            Now don’t skirt from responding to my challenge about the non emotional description of the “greatest warriors on planet earth” the Eritreans.. 🙂

          • Salyounis

            Selamat Eyob:

            I read your explanation for why the Derg lost: because its financiers stop funding it; its fighters refused to fight; and also it had its own civil war.

            In military parlance, the opponent has a word for this long explanation: winning. Especially if the opponent had a strategy in training a fifth column, I mean, a partner; a strategy of not being vulnerable to foreign financing (not from Arabs not from Russians: well not dorectly. The strategy was to take the weapons donated by Arabs (Libya, Yemen) and Soviets to Ethiopia) and a strategy of draining the enemys will to fight by attrition.

            Eritreans are too humble to call themselves the greatest warriors on planet earth. They call Ethiopians the greatest warriors in Black Africa and then they dropped the boom: and we defeated them. Two dots, you connect them 🙂


          • Eyob Medhane


            “…a strategy of not being vulnerable to foreign financing (not from Arabs …”

            I am just rea…….ly laughing right now. “..Not from Arabs..” huh?…. Sad that all their support doesn’t even earn them a little credit and acknowledgment from you guys….tsk, tsk…

            P.S by the way your comment earlier, “…what Ethiopians are doing to long distance running…”, we are coming to conquer middle distance also, buddy. Haven’t you seen Mohammed Aman in Moscow? And Abeba Aregawi (yeah I know she’s running for Sweden, yet she was in team Ethiopia, until last year’s Olympics, and guess what? She is now demanding Sweden an apology for the way she is treated after her 1,500 win in Moscow or she is considering to return her passport to Sweden and come back to team Ethiopia again) Aman Wote, Melonnen Gebremedhin, Fantu Magiso…these are in line to conquer the middle distance…Damn it! If we only take cycling from you guys!! 🙂

          • Salyounis

            Hey Eyob:

            Yeah I saw Mohammed Aman in the 800 meter. Nick Simmonds is still shocked: use him as a windbreaker, then overtake him. Indoor, outdoors he does it all.

            But we are boring our readers. I heard at the Marine Academy of Science in New Jersey, they have a special course called Shaebia 101: nxelai bEtkun b’bretun* 🙂


            * no they don’t. Some higdefite will take that literally and use it as a way to milk donation from some unsuspecting Eritrean.

    • Tamrat Tamrat

      Hi Belay

      It seams like you try to convince a smuggler to pay tax on his on will. He knows exactly why he smuggles. The Whole eritrean mess is this conception of ‘we are unique’ because we were colonized by Italia vs the rest. Speaking italians or arabic is concidred civilization than the netive Languages. This group of Eritrea even denies the eritreans participation in the victory of adua. Instead they celebrate those who fallen defending Italia. In thier mind if italya was conitinuing its colony then by now Eritrea could have ended up like South africa.

      • bukretsion

        t t
        i don’t think the tigragn eritrean agree with salyounis analysit arab advocates

        • Tamrat Tamrat


          Ony the term ethiopia or Eritrea which confuse the understanding of Our history. Other wise the victory of Adwa is the result of both eritreans and ethiopians except the bandas. Remember there were ‘ethiopian’ bandas too. They got the most barabaric panishment. That was how bandas treated in old time. But those bandas were not like ‘bandas’ in derg time who helped derg in masacaring innocent People both in Eritrea and ethiopia. They stood for what dirty deed they had done and took the consquence while the derg time bandas escaped their punishment by saying that they were fighting from inside of derg! And continuded their malicious Works both in Eritrea and ethiopia. Now we know why People hate banda.

  • Araya

    [From moderator:Araya, you should know better. Derogatory statements against an ethic group, religion, ancestry violates our posting guidelines. (“You Tigrayans..”)you may Edit and repost]

    • Araya

      at the top i meant to say

      Dear Belay.

    • Araya

      I thought I did show self-worth and respect when I decline Ethiopian ID that could have saved me serious cash. So, you be the judge. I guess, to say TIGRYANS is dragatory, okay i deleted it MR Moda
      are trying to pretend and bleed Ethiopia. The truth is you better thank PIA, if it wasn’t for him to twist your arm and forced you to be Ethiopians, as we speak you would have been somewhere deep in Tigray ridden with poverty and scarcity. Instead thanks to Issaias, you guys are the owners of Ethiopian wealth. How about you show some respect and a little thanks to Issaias?
      Hayat Adam, what is the reason the 80 thousands young refugees are in Ethiopia? Why don’t you come out and tell us where exactly in Tigray you belong from.
      No need to defend the Ethiopian regime. I guaranteed you, there is no a free vacation any time soon. Your ideal is dead.

      I said tigryans, what is wrong with that?

      [From moderator: what’s wrong is that Tigrayan is an ethnic group and you cannot make blanket statements about an ethnic group. And you were not complimenting then were you?]

      • Araya,

        In case you miss it down in the last thread, let me reiterate: the man is passed away (RIP) but his vision is alive and thriving with his colleagues in his nation and beyond in the African continent. If you are not aware (I am sure a man who visit frequently and has some interest in Ethiopia and his parents are enjoying the freedom that isn’t available in their own country could not miss that), they have observed the first anniversary of his death in Addis and any where in their embassies. The rest and the link go down in the previous thread to get a little glimpse.Besides I could furnish you additional links how the man is absolved in the continent. Surely but slowly you will do so when your hatred begins to vanish in the air.

      • Tamrat Tamrat

        Hi Araya.

        Was that the reason isayas bombed tigray in 1998 because he ‘gave’ tigray Ethiopia but because tigray is behaving bad so isayas must take away the gift. This chronic dissease of understanding facts and realities is rampat among many eritreans. This is the part of shabians School of thought that what ever hapens after 1960 has been planned by shabia. You talk about how isayas gave ethiopia to meles and he took Eritrea for himself. And see the reslut of the war in 1998. And tell me how dumb he is. Do you thin he is that reatrded. I dont think so. If he were he couldnot lead any Group of People for more than 22 years.

  • Asmerome

    Selam Aman
    Yes I know how “trust ” of each other is important for the advancement of our cause . Trust is an essential component of human relationship and a fundamental building block of healthy societies. Trust is a state of mind that eables its possessor to be willing to make oneself vulnerable to others that is to rely on others despite a positive risk that the other will act in a way that can harm the truster. We know that trust necessarily has behavioral ramifications : trust significantly affects who we choose to deal with and how closely we monitor them in the course of our dealings . As others think no one is going to choose for anybody who to trust or not to trust I wonder how they try to twist the content and I wonder how they try to wage a struggle even without a minimum of trust within each other . I sometime doubt even if we trust oneself

  • Tamrat Tamrat

    We saw how the egypt and Ethiopia confrontation brings some eritreans and the regime super active. That is if Egypt does any move, isayas is allready is bombing Tigray. No doubt about that.

    And now the war against Syria is an avoidable. I dont know what was libia and Syria was thinking about us during the 80s and 90s but now it has been their turn. Their governments were active in engaging us in civil war. Comming to the point before Syrias bombing by the west start Ethiopia nad Eritrea must agree on the border issue. A wise Choice for eritreans now not a government change but a system change because there is no time. System change and tolerance With a heart of a giraf for eritreans internal problem. And international ones Peace talk With Djibouti as soon as pocible. And finally and a crucial one is a sea Access for Etiopia not only for port usage but also for miltary purpose. A coopration and a good heart generous coopration of Eritrea With Ethiopia reduce bringing the internation war home. Syira’s war has littel to do With Democracy.

    We have a very social and politica reason to let Ethiopia has Access to the sea. Eritreas sovernighty or wealth wont be affected at all if the two countries work in a positive thinking. As to Eritrea this solution of mine would benefit both in its defending of tis soveriegn or economical advantage 100 times better thatn now.

    • Kokhob Selam

      Dear Tamrat,”We have a very social and politica reason to let Ethiopia………times better thatn now.” This time you have said it correctly and this is what Horizon and me said.This understanding was missing from your Ex-governments.let the people free and cooperate till you even become unable to see the difference. When Ethiopians start to think that way, we found ourselve under PFDJ. now we need to work together and remove the ugly group in Asmara and sure Ethiopia will enjoy all the facilities from Eritrea and the same Eritrea will enjoy and get what it should get from Ethiopia.we will reach to the stage where you can’t think of differnces.globization is a head anyway. can’t we created united east Africa? yest we can.

  • Better late than never,first things first.
    Saleh “Gadi” Johar,

    Bravo! for an effort contributed to address the uncalled-for and unrelenting migration of our people. deserves thank you and congratulation indeed.

    Deserving praises although encouragingly part of the art of recognition, in the land of Eritrea where the dictator’s political culture is shaped by his brutally jealous nature; admiring, praising, recognizing and or idolizing an individual(s) is forbidden. Hence, by design, laudatory is considered as a taboo (newri) no matter how accomplished the individual. Imagine Albert Einstein alive as an Eritrean under Isaias Afwerki’s fiefdom:-) Ela’Ero, Sidet, Deskilu… (where are Eritrean geniuses, Eritrean wise men, Eritrean scholars, Eritrean warriors…). Again, a deliberate act by the crooked; in Eritrea praising is strictly reserved for one-man and one man only. Yes, you guessed right who-else but the narcissistic dictator Isaias Afwerki.

    There is another praise-deserving man of the hour, so, allow me kill birds with a single stone by stretching a due esteem to lighten-up da man and da house by lauding his work –hurrah salute right-on Haile:-)

    By the way, for every comment you’ve posted I’ve a rewarding AgenaE note put aside; who could catch-up with you really:-) (for your googling ability I simply preferred to call u Fihira:-) Furthermore, as for the ‘Haile is changing praise’ they weren’t listening, it’s an innocently construed remark amiss in the overall spectral analysis—that the man (Haile) was/is working hard to gravitate the core idea of ‘opposing’ to spring from-within the collective center of all Eritreaness (gain trust of the silent majority). Or with no inclination out of the Eritro-centric views is how I perceive it. Your unwavering love and respect towards Eritrea and her people glows evident thru how you defended and still continue to defend the precious history of her uniquely earned independence. Contrary to those gutless few who are trying to cheapen the audacious birthday of Eritrea. In my opinion of-course, contrary to what the weyanes seem to promote – regionalism. Again, it’s an innocently construed remark for the bystander like commenters to assume…but not for those timidly complex citizenry who are deeply involved.

    Therefore, as “valid” would win out the day; yours truly—the crouching tiger is the one who is converting his opponents – by hypnotically triggering a consistent bombardment of facts and comparisons:-) truly galvanizing and genuine debating skill with style.

    I promise I will stand corrected in the future, meanwhile, I’m compelled to imply that Admas Haile’s likability although faced with some hazy discrepancies now; his writing is prone to find praise in the coming segments– as long as the core idea of his message remains as mature and beyond the releam of sectarianism.

    Look, in-all-honesty, there’s no doubt that DEBATING is the heart and soul of democracy. Unfortunately, present day Eritrea is dumbfounded under the Resurrection of a viciously hardened Mengistu Hailemariam, a lose-face psychopath who is stack at tightening his constant aggravation in order to protect his lone crown. Again, look at the ridiculously insane economic strangulation against his “own” people.

    What a nightmare, who would’ve thought otherwise; a ruination of a country-Eritrea under-one-man-rule within twenty-two years. Therefore, let alone debating, finding oneself (living) in present day Eritrea has become the ultimate example of what deprivation really is. And then, there’s this equally regrettable disappointment within the world of Diaspora communities, while situated under democratic countries none of the communities seem to take advantage to form or establish a practical platform that could alleviate their well being. A wellbeing that could stretch and influence the politics back-home. On the contrary the dictator’s long arms robbed the diaspora’s cradle by flexing his divide and rule scheme followed by Kebero and Kirar for icing.

    Interchanging the course into…

    A long overdue visit towards to help relieve the scholars’ spirit from its forfeiting tendencies concerning the hard earned Eritrean Independence. Possibly by shoving a blunt language of truth nothing but the truth so help me Hafash (shet meAnta shet meAnta shet meAnta:-)

    Slowly but surly within the last twelve-years weyane’s expensive propaganda spread seems to have found its purpose in one of the Eritrean websites ( Yeah keep wondering outloud wedi hager! how did our beloved capital city’s name (A-s-m-e-r-a) become a dump ground for the subordinate clauses, contrary to what her name signify or stand for. Contrary to what her brave sons and daughters achieved not long ago…

    Now, I believe there’s no guilt in addressing “that web site” as the pulp section of the equation. A scholarly plowed messages against phrases such as the hade hzbi hade lbi slogan is translated into ‘nihilistic’ mechanism of social control (I am not defending the perverted mechanism of the dictator here). Mind you, accusing the dictatorial regime in Asmara is one thing, but what’s wrong when opposition groups pull together on that mantra and capitalize on that energy of unity to get to where they want to be and what they want to achieve– to implement a procedure ensure the rule of law. So, those who complain against a powerfully Unifying slogans; how else do they plan to reach their destiny, if their destiny is of course like most Eritreans, to see an autonomous Eritrea stable and strong governed under a functional (democratic) order for prosperity. If not hade libi hade hzbi, then what? ( Article dirty-nine perhaps:-) From the weyane point of view It is understandable to attack the hade lbi hade hzbi mantra, it does what it is doing now — help them succeed with the on going psychological warfare—propagating to ruin Eritrea, I might add what a successfully upholding strategy.

    Expounding the ‘hade lbi hade hzbi’ slogan needlessly:-) Allow me to explicitly address its true and simplistic meaning – more importantly elucidate its positive vibe in bringing people together, in short, for the sake of making progress they need to comprehend the ‘use of slogans’!!! how about that. Helping them scholars avoid the unscholarly scribbled subject matter. Listen scholars, you don’t have to take it literally, if you did, let alone a country with different tribes ethnic groups religions… siblings couldn’t master to ride on hade libi. What it’s is the opposition camp needs the vibrantly galvanizing ‘Hade libi hade hzbi’ slogan to help bring people come together—to jump start if you will or to solidify its base. Positive languages of such and their generatively forceful exertion is what is missing up in here in the in the circles of the opposition camp.

    Another sign of slowly but surly giving-in or falling into the trap of the weyanes art of deaf propaganda game is marked by the appreciation and ‘adoration’ of Yosief Gebrehiwet’s gutless presentation of Eritrea’s uniquely achieved Independence. Where were you then? (time of Ghedli) Is a loath Question to many of you:-) A simply brave humanistic advice; learn to differentiate, learn how to respect the long-awaited freedom of the people and what made it real. Try to walk on the footsteps of the courageous Tegadalti and their dedicated exchange–life for the liberty of others.

    Unlike most philosophers famed through their rationally calmed equanimity… YG’s sophistication is NOT. Straight-up, yg’s self-negation appears to emanate from a feud over few teasingly accusative languages towards him by some Asmarinos or was it Asmarinas calling him names (you don’t like Asmarinos, right?:-) yg faras fara eka:-) How-else would he conceptualize the utterly nonsensical drive. Sorry YG, your ‘riveting’ flow of ink is NO appeal to Eritreans as it is for the pompously supportive fun-base—southerners:-)

    We the Eritrean people will remain loyal to the facts on the ground – Ghedli is our true liberator. Thenceforth, in my understanding the above composed language is a fitting response to those emasculated adoration and to those who choose to harbor at the port-less docks:-) So, any scholars in da house care to join the gutless few? Go ahead (mengedu cherk yarglach’hu that line reminds me of of the late Meles Zenaw RIP) it is a camp of nothing but a bunch of forgetful bravados who indulge at HINDSIGHT:-)

    By the way, how many YG admirers celebrate the war of “Adwa”:-) Yeah, the mythological brag of Ethiopia’s hypocritical praise, ‘Ethiopia has never been colonized’, yet, they claim Eritrea to be theirs:-)

    In the end I wouldn’t want to close or leaveout without remarking on the following mention, ‘harping communalities’ and and ‘our forefathers lived harmoniously’ ( as nihilism); for the latter i would simply leave it as deprivation of optimism or better what’s a man with out tradition:-) As for the former it’s not far from the explicitly expounded hade libi hade hzbi mantra, and that mantra my fellow scholars is a category big and realistic enough to pullout the the whole world as-one to face the invasion of the aliens AS HADE LBI HADE HZBI of course, if any 🙂

  • Godefay

    Hi Hayat Adem,

    I love your analysis. I fully concur with your history. Unfortunately, for SAAY and his cousins (Gadi and others), uncivilized Ethiopians are not capable of fighting a modern war. Saay will never admit that an African is better than an Arab or a ferenj army.

  • belay

    Dear Araya,
    Lam alechegn beSemay wetetwa’ma alay .
    You are simply spoiled,you want every a typical example of those ,Eritrea for me only,Ethiopia for me first,then for Ethiopians.
    I mean,how is grown ups thinking like children and it is ok.
    I am suspecting now,why Isayas Afeworki is doing what he is doing and calling you,Hanqikom Endealom.
    your life is in Ethiopia for Gods sake,have respect for yourself .

  • Hayat Adem

    *eKhili lemanni, i.e., the beggar’s bag- meaning- mixed bag
    1) neCh sew/tiQur sew: the Italians are good at fabricating excuses. Following the great defeat at the battle of Adwa, an Italian general was being interviewed in Rome. An Italian Journalist: “We were told the Abyssinians were just a collection of peasants with no modern army, no military capability and modern weapons. Yet, they conclusively defeated a modern European army. How come, explain.” An Italian General: “That amazingly turned out to be their advantage. They were so disorganized and the confused us.”
    2) BTW, Sal: I thought the BoA (Battle of Adwa, not Bank of America) was one hell of a brilliant war theater well planned and executed by the African boy. I didn’t think it was a mere military victory achieved by outnumbering the enemy. The causality numbers (killed, wounded, and captured) more from the Italian side tells it all. Indeed, there were modern military skills employed: like the critical spy role played by baShai AwAlom, the surprise attack, the deceptive tactical maneuverings postured to fool the Italians that tiQur sew wouldn’t fight on Sunday/saint George day, prompting bad decision from the Italian side to attack.
    3) The Abyssinians then had a low –tech but a high concept military science that enabled them to outfox the Italians. You could have also remembered what happened in DogAli between Alula and the Italians who descended from SeHati, Sal. 500 all or mostly Italian heavily armed soldiers perished in a matter of hours.
    4) YG? “no deal”. Me, summarizing YG’s thoughts for you to refute them would not do any justice to both of you. There is a risk for YG to be misrepresented either at the level of context or emphasis; there is a risk for you to be battling a mis- or understated thoughts of YG. YG writings should be challenged as are.
    5) Nation building is different from identity building, Sal. Identities need to be asserted if need be, not built. That is the kind of political project that bothers me a lot. What is there should be let continue. Let the meTaHit identity of Eritrea shine. Let the Habesha identity of Eritrea shine. And the rest. Bulldozing and crushing these diverse eggs just to make a homogeneous omelet does not pre-necessitate the aspiration of building a new nation, nor warrant it. Do not advocate for dismantling existing identity fabrics to create a brand new one.
    6) Yes, Eritreans should be rightly bothered first and foremost, about their internal dysfunctional state. But, next to that or on a parallel side, they should worry about building a healthy fraternity and mutually benefitting relationship, with all neighbors, and more so with Ethiopia. It is the interdependence curse! If it is the independence stupid that is itching the minds and hearts of many compatriots, it is achieved and sealed (rest in peace, folks!) If there is any risk of going back, it can come only from being unable-on the part of Eritreans- to build and run a normal functional state. I don’t see any risk of relapsing from rapprochements with nations of so much common interests and shared future. My message is directed at Eritreans whose mindset is conditioned by the zero-sum-game when they think of Ethiopia. Bad things in Ethiopia are bad for Eritrea and likewise. If Ethiopia is on the right track, it will influence Eritrean situation positively. If Ethiopia grows and gets richer, it means a door of multiple economic opportunities for Eritrea is open. Peace in Ethiopia has a direct peace dividend for Eritrea …
    7) That may be why there is this thing you called- Qchew-chew of me, if it showed, Araya. If you don’t wish good things for a neighboring country that is caring our 80k youth in the refugee camps- few of those in university campuses- for a neighboring country you visit every year, where your parents live, where you vacation with your family…what kind of moral do you have?
    *a beggar has only one bag, they say, into which he puts everything he gets, ending up with mixed varieties.

    • Rahwa GT


      What another brilliant analysis! “sesni” kemakhi’s yibzuHulna de’a.

    • Salyounis

      Selamat Hayat:

      Too bad you can’t summarize what is it about YG that has impressed you so much. Don’t feel bad; you are in good company. Nobody of those who tell us how he has explained everything to them can summarize it. So, whenever you say, nobody has refuted him, feel free to add nobody can summarize what he said, either.

      I would like you to compare two B of A, both of which happened in March. Let’s call them B of A 1 and B of A 2:

      B of A 1:

      Invading Force: 17,700. 56 artillery guns. 7,000 killed. 1,500 wounded. 3,000 captured.
      Defending Force: 120,000. 100,000 of them with firearms. 40 artillery guns. Casualties: 4,000 – 5,000 dead; 8,000 wounded

      B of A 2:

      Invading Force: 20,000 – 22,000. 10,000 killed, 5,000 captured.
      Defending Force: 15,000. 2,000 killed.

      Without revealing who was fighting whom, just show the data above to any military analyst and tell us what he or she says.

      B of A 1 is Battle of Adwa. B of A 2 is Battle of Afabet. It is only the LOW expectations the world had of Africans that makes the victory in Adwa memorable–like an upset victory. That’s what a dispassionate analysis of the data shows. But there is more, which makes Eritreans less willing to jump and down with joy about the Battle of Adwa in a Pan-African koombaya. In the Battle of Adwa, the Italian prisoners of war were treated humanely. However, the CONSCRIPTED Eritreans (“Banda”) were treated savagely (chopping off one arm and one leg.) You could see some of the survivors in Eritrea when I was growing up. Battle of Adwa is commemorated yearly. Battle of Afabet, despite its recognition as a decisive war, does not even make it to the list of battles that the EPLF celebrates. And if it did, oh, the howling we would hear about how we are promoting “hate” against Ethiopia.

      I could do the same analysis on Gundet and Gura and how Emperor Yohannes mobilized tens of thousands of Ethiopians by describing the war with Egypt (with Munzinger overseeing it) as a Christian vs Muslim war* but I first want to get assurances that Eyob is not near a sharp object.


      * More than 100 years later, an admirer of Emperor Yohannes stood in front of Ethiopian MPs and said “Tornet tawjobnal! tewerenal!” and sent his army to Somalia.

      • haile

        Selamat Saay and others,

        Please continue your interesting discussions by all means. Your battle comparison reminded me of a guy who analyzes battles to make some conclusions. Here is what he wrote on Eritrea:


        PS. All complaints need to be sent to the author, don’t shoot, I am only the messenger here 🙂

      • Eyob Medhane



        There is nobody on earth you would not prefer to ‘smash’ Ethiopia, to ‘put her in her place’, don’t you?! Italians, Egyptians, Somalians, Identity crisis, hit confused Arab wanna be ELFite and EPLFites (I just threw the last one to have your eyes popped, a bit) 🙂

        To your disappointment, Italians? got their behind whoopped and sent back to the place, where they know there are people, who would be happy to be ruled by them. Egyptians? Got whooped their behind and were told to try their luck with peeps, who wouldn’t mind to emulate their language and culture and would even go to war for it….Now it’s your turn to stay away from that sharp object, sir… 🙂

        • Salyounis

          وأنا أكتب باللغة العربية بدون أي سبب على الإطلاق


          That literally translates to: “I am writing in Arabic for no reason at all.” 🙂

          Just messing with the Sasquash 🙂


      • Sal,

        You said,

        In the Battle of Adwa, the Italian prisoners of war were treated humanely. However, the CONSCRIPTED Eritreans (“Banda”) were treated savagely (chopping off one arm and one leg.)


        -Emperor Menilic signed the treaty of Wuchale on May 2, 1889.
        -The Battle of Aduwa was fought on March 01, 1896.
        -Italians occupied Keren , and Asmara on June 2, 1889 and on August 3, 1889 respectively.

        Therefore, those so called CONSCRIPTS whose limbs were chopped off must either have been Ethiopians or stateless individuals.

        On another note,

        Incidentally, after Ethiopia had successfully defeated the Eritrean army , it forced PFDJ/EPLF back to a negotiating table. How did this happen despite the battle hardened, and tested Eritrean tegadeltis who had been touted as heroes with exceptional courage and fortituide, and who “ single handedly defeated the soviet backed, American funded, Cuban troops aided, Ethiopian military in the 30 year war. ?

        • Salyounis

          Selam Dawit:

          I don’t understand your point. Whether you lived in Keren, Halib Mentel or Tunkulahas, by 1890 Eritrean polity existed when Italy made Eritrea its colony (the people in it, the land, etc)

          By 1896, these Eritreans had been Eritreans for 6 years. Not stateless. And not Ethiopians because the Ethiopian emperor forfeited them in another non final non binding agreement (the Amharic translation is different from the Italian, my iPad spellcheck isn’t working, etc) He did diddly squat to claim Eritreans as Ethiopians even when he was riding high as a victor in 1896.

          So the point is that this lion of Africa treated Italian prisoners of war with respect and savagely treated those Africans who were forced to fight against him (Eritreans)

          This savage attitude towards fellow Africans who don’t happen to speak Amharic served him well in his expansion of the Abyssinian empire which required financing for weapons (from Ferenj of course) which came from the slave trade of Africans in the South. What a proud African he was, Tikur sew! Gotta go see that Teddy Afro video right now. Eyob, got the link? 🙂


      • Hayat Adem

        Sal Hawey,
        1) On YG: “I don’t want to summarize it” is different from “I cannot summarize it” or from “it cannot be summarized”. I thought I had explained my reasons for not opting to do it.
        2) You and YG may not agree on the past, but there is a great potential of you both agreeing on solving present pressing Eritrean problems and drawing the future map. If I may think of a metaphor on that possibility, what comes to mind is the Nile. Blue Niles comes from the mountains of Ethiopia; White Nile comes from the Victoria. When they meet in Khartoum, they make an instant marriage of here&now and wouldn’t question each other about their where-froms. They flow in a melted jointness and oneness conquering the desert. BTW: Nile is the only river that defeats the vastest scorcher desert and uproars with a surge of energy when about to enter the sea.
        3) Sal Hawey, I wish you call it a day with Eyob on “Ethiopians Vs Eritreans” and let it go. Besides of unnecessarily stimulating emotions of false differences, as in “you are this, we are this”, it doesn’t add anything to the table.
        4) In any battle, there are common elements that decide victory or defeat regardless of the identity of the people in the theater: cause (just,proximate), resource (human, material), leadership (organization, inspiration). Nations can defeat other nations depending on their superiority of fixing the right chemistry of those components. So winning is not about identity, it is about conditions. Conditions don’t stay the same all the time. So you cannot be winning or losing all the time.
        5) The Adwa thing was something symbolic to talk about because of the white/black issue. otherwise comparing two sisterly nations against each other in terms of winning wars doesn’t make sense. As if the wars themselves were not unfortunate enough to have happened between these two peoples; we keep on talking and bragging about them. And trying to scoop a sense of identity and pride from them really disturbs my stomach.
        5) Can we grow beyond and dream big together? Please?

    • Dear Hayat,

      Who could be more clearer than you. If Araya is serious about the reality of our nation and could make sober soul searching, you said it all to him. Araya as a frequent visitor of Ethiopia, who also might have personal interest, should understand better regarding the need of good neighborliness and mutual relationship. His parents are enjoying the hospitality of Ethiopia as the rest of Eritreans who escape from the brutal oppression and reside in Ethiopia. Hayat Stand your ground as there is no true pathway other than you brilliantly put it the way forward. Araya’s naked hypocrisy is mind boggling.

    • amde

      Hi Hayat,

      I loved your #5 and #6 especially.

  • amde

    First off, I have to tip my hat to Saay for giving me an honorable mention more than once in his responses. You are too kind.

    I have to share with the group that I have in my possession a recently published book in Amharic titled “ye ityopya amist shi amet tarik: ke noh iske ihadeg”. So for those of you trying to do battle on a 3,000 year old civilization you might as well give it up. You have all been beat but good by about 2,000 years. 🙂

    Personally, I don’t think it is useful to discuss the age, particulars, scope, impact, success etc …. of Ethiopian civilization (or any other ones for that matter – I am with commenter Michael on this). History appears to me to be more of a cyclical thing – there will always be ups and downs. It is instructive to note that Portugal was at some point so powerful that the pope of Rome split the globe between Spain and Portugal (check out And yet today, (to use Sal’s metaphor) Portugal is a struggling “periphery” to the Franco-German “core” of the European Union.

    All this is however, a distraction that does a disservice to the intention of the author of the original article. There is this somewhat famous saying that Generals fight the last war – what presently pertains is a classic case.

    It is fair to say that Eritrean Muslims of pre-1974 revolution probably felt they did not feel respected and valued within a Christian-Shoa dominated Ethiopia where Orthodox Christianity was state religion (not just the religion of the politically dominant group). They started the independence war, which was supported by some Christians for a variety of reasons. 1974 happened and Ethiopia was no longer – at least nominally – a “Christian” state. It is fashionable today to consider the 17 years of the Derg as nothing more than wasted years of wanton killing – but I am certain history will show it was probably one of the most revolutionary periods in the history of the country (which we can agree was less than 3000, but more than 130 – yes?).

    I was just a child when this happened, so I may come across as ignorant to some, and naive to others. But the possibilities brought forth by the Ethiopian revolution were completely squandered by almost every political player in the Ethiopia of the time. Instead, everyone either started fighting or intensified fighting. EPRP/Meison degenerated into bloody Marxist arcana, the Eritrean movements actually had a large infusion of people, and inexplicably the TPLF was formed to fight against the very recently dismantled Shoa domination.

    For movements that had seen their genesis as being against the “Shoa-Christian-Feudal-Ethiopian” state (each aggrieved group interpreting this in its self-serving way), one would have thought much of the basis for their demands had just been answered. Yet, what prevailed was the fruit of inertia and momentum. Hence, much of the derg years were spent with people shooting in the present to fight enemies of the past.

    Sal, I think you said everything in this quote:
    Now the argument: because part of the genesis/base of Ethiopia has had a long and deep (historical/religious/tradition/custom) connection with a part of Eritrea (highland Eritrea), there is a come-home-to Ethiopia pull from some Ethiopians and let’s-go-to-our-base push from some Eritreans. (not physically but asserting identity.) This is dangerous since it has a domino effect for groups who don’t particularly feel the pull and will license them to seek their own center of gravity. This is not necessarily helpful to state-building which tends to emphasize common history of the citizens (residents within a defined geo-political map.)

    I get what you are saying – you are committed to the Eritrean state which represents the fruit of the struggle against Haile Sellasie. And I suspect you do so because you may be – in your way – still fighting against Haile Selassie. At least the Ethiopian State that you have conceptualized as being synonymous with the Christian-Shoa dominant Monarchy. And I can completely understand there have been many martyrs to the cause, whose death you believe should not have been in vain. But what it means is that your dedication to the Eritrean state is based on committment to a vision formed due to circumstances in a long bygone era.

    But just as you yourself have your reasons, I don’t think it is unreasonable to think that others’ conception of Ethiopia could have been formed differently, and moreover evolve with the circumstances of the present. Perhaps their expectation is driven more by utilitarian reasons (they just want to see a state that functions normally), or just as reasonably think that the community they feel a part of is based on the old “tabot christianity and plough agriculture” civilizational matrix as some writer once conceptualized it. I do not think you or I can define and answer that – each person makes this determination by themselves based on what they know, what they aspire to and what they fear.

    In any case, the Ethiopian state has been almost completely changed between the Derg and EPRDF. It’s not perfect – Shoan dominance has been replaced by Tigrayan dominance (Keep in mind that I did not say “ethnic” – there is this another popular conflationary error – Shoa does not mean Amhara.) Time, demography and economics will sort things out.

    Keep in mind also, we are in completely new territory. For the first time, large numbers of people are becoming urbanized and moving away from the “plough agriculture” way of life. This is the age of political islam – which can tap into massive financial resources and the most modern of technology to propagate Arab culture and Islam. Add protestant evangelizing and secular globalization to the mix, and the “tabot christianity” part is also therefore under stress.

    Which brings us to what the author wanted to discuss. Indeed we should discuss the elephant in the room – as it currently exists. So, what happened in 1880s or 1961 or 1991 is irrelevant about today.

    What we have are two poor states with essentially the same features – heavily populated highlands that mostly used to practise tabot christianity/plough agriculture for centuries – with less densely populated mostly muslim pastoralist lowlands. I get that there are important details that cannot be so simplified, but in essence Eritrea is geographically and demographically a smaller version of Ethiopia. On paper at least.

    I really think the main issue driver today between Eritrea and Ethio is not a big mystery. It is simply a matter between the two states (not the people) – an unfortunate result of the logic of demography and geography. Eritrea is a country with a small population, cursed by the long-coastline which it imagines is its license to wealth and power. Eritrea will always be tempted to extract maximum benefit out of it. Ethiopia is a poor landlocked country with about 20 times Eritrea’s population (which via the magic of exponential growth will be even larger in the years to come). That is a lot of hungry ambitious people. That also means a lot of paranoid people who will think Eritrea is too small not to fall under the influence of other maybe not so well-meaning friends. Remember that during both the Fascist invasion and Adua, while the land provided the launching pad, much of the Italian army were conscripts from Eritrea. History has provided tough lessons to Ethiopia that no government can ignore the coast.

    Personally, I do not foresee a “normal” relationship absent a series of very tight security, economic and maritime access agreements between the two, which in effect would be a confederation in everything but name only. Or, it is going to be some kind of studied avoidance. What EPRDF is doing is perfectly rational. They hoped to have Isayyas come to the negotiating table to hash out these agreements. He didn’t. So they are fishing for post-Isayyas partners with whom they can deal. Unfortunately for them, there aren’t any there yet. Unfortunately for Eritreans, time is not on their side.

    • Hayat Adem

      Yours is a well considered reasonable setter that points to objective analysis, free of side and advocacy.

    • Tamrat Tamrat

      Hi Amde!

      I’am positivly surprised by Your analysis. Now a days it is a customery to dipict an era completly by the leader or leaders of that particular period.

      When i try how Our socity’s contribution during the periods of be it in Minilik, Haile Silassie or Mengistu, i end up labled as an opperessor by the so called the supporters of Our New governments. This indiscrminate cursing over all what happened in the past is used as a Method to worship the current regimes or the New ones on the way to power with out any critical quesiton. And this is more Dangerous than the past.

      As you have said Ethiopia had taken the giant stape of revolution in 1974. If Democracy has any thing to do With majority then what ethiopia witnessed in 1974 was a tremendious Accept by the working majority.

      If socialism is a solution or not, it is difficult for me to evaluate. But majority of Ethiopians specailly the working class loved it. The equality of women and men, land for the farmers, irradication of illitrcay, Ethiopia first! (not the twisted Version of tplf or eplf but the one the mass understood at that time ie instead of prioretering once private needs one has to give priority to Ethiopia), Power for the workers, the celleberation of workers and womens day, etc etc was not only supported by the mass but worked hard by the mass to materilize it. To many’s dissapointments it is derg high officials who couldnt live upto the laws of socialism. In fact they were obstacle for socialism ie thye become richer and richer off course the difference was they came from the working class and they were too poor. May be they meant to represent the mass:)!

      In the so called isayas era just now the so called silent majority work day in day out to fullfill the principles stated by pfdj. Like any other government pfdj lists how to promote Eritrea as a nation. Eritreans at home they dont see any faults on the list of devlopment principles. Yes they are frustrated why the pfdj leaders invest their time and ernergy where their mouth spitting to.

      The same goes for Ethiopia. The majorit Ethiopia is working hard day in day out on the principle of eprdf. They are frutstrated why the very eprdf which took federalism as a solution and the very party gives priority for only for Tigray and tigrians.

      It is a mistrey that parties and leaders who start abusing the very prinicples they dectate us while our People both in Eritrea and ethiopia sacrificing them selves to full fill the principles which are laid by or leaders.

    • Salyounis

      Selamat Amde:

      You said

      “I get what you are saying – you are committed to the Eritrean state which represents the fruit of the struggle against Haile Sellasie. And I suspect you do so because you may be – in your way – still fighting against Haile Selassie… But what it means is that your dedication to the Eritrean state is based on committment to a vision formed due to circumstances in a long bygone era.”

      No, sir.

      If you plot on a dateline where 1961 (the year the Eritrean revolution started) falls in relationship to all the de-colonization movements in Africa, the surprise is NOT that Eritreans did, but that Ethiopians didn’t rise up in the 1960s. The issue with Haile Selasse was not that he was a Christian king but that he was a king.

      If you don’t find that credible, consider this: in the 1950s the largest communist party in Africa was in Sudan. And one of its products, a devout Eritrean communist living in Port Sudan founded the Eritrean Liberation Movement, the precursor to the Eritrean Liberation Front.

      The Eritrean case was not about secession or government overthrow, it was about resisting occupation by a foreign power. Well, says Eyob, if you hated foreign occupation so much why didn’t you resist the Italians for 70 years. Fair question. But one that is also applicable to the entire continent of Africa from the age of the scramble to the 50s and 60s. And to Ethiopia from the time of Noah to Mengistu:)


      • amde

        Hi saay,

        Well, let me just say that I find it a little hard to agree with your statement that “The issue with Haile Selasse was not that he was a Christian king but that he was a king.”

        First of all, I would bet good money that monarchy with hereditary power transfer was considered and well accepted as the natural way for societies to organize themselves. This is true not just in the Ethiopia/Eritrea of the 50s and 60s, but in most of the world as well. I would assume you mean democracy to be the counterpoint to Monarchy. I submit to you that it was a completely alien thought in mid-20th century Ethiopia/Eritrea for much of the population. We – currently living in the 21st century – talk much about democracy, but we have demonstrated that we do not yet know what it means. Now granted, there would be the educated “intellectual” group that would certainly know these things. But while they had a large megaphone, in terms of having a large number of rifle wielding men doing the work of killing the enemy, we have to assume there was voluntarism or conscription or both. Let’s assume it is voluntarism. (it is well known there was aggressive conscription but I won’t belabor the point). This leads us to point number 2.

        Second, your statement does not very well explain why the Eritrean liberation movement was birthed and nursed into strength mostly by Muslims – it was only in the 70s that Christians began joining in large numbers. They were late comers to the game, and some specifically felt so much that the pre-established movement was systematically sidelining and weakening them that it became the cause for the eventual split between the ELF and EPLF. If your claim was true, there should have been a significantly larger contribution by Christians early in the process.

        From my perspective, I cannot imagine too many people (even today) leaving their home and family for a life of insurgency over an abstract idea such as democracy or decolonization. I can however, believe and accept that Muslims might feel it is worth the fight against second-class citizenship, and systemic exclusion from the state. The atrocities committed by the Ethiopian army in the rural mostly Muslim areas, would re-inforce these feelings.

        Of course, this is a subjective argument on my part, but I think if each one of us were to ask ourselves, we might be humbled to find out honestly what we would really be willing to leave comfort and family for. It is human nature – we would fight for dignity or our family. Not for an abstarction.

        ps1. I keep trying not to be pulled into historical discussions – they are a useless waste of time.
        ps2. Read about the 1960 Ethiopian coup attempt – some Ethiopians did rise up.

        • Salyounis

          Hi Amde:

          There are two ways to find out what was motivating the founders of the Eritrean revolution: biographies and literature from the era. We don’t have a tradition of biographies, unfortunately, we only have oral histories which, I suspect, is not good enough evidence for you. This leaves literature from the era. And in that, you will be hard pressed to find anything that says that they rose up against Haile Selasse because he was a Christian king; it talked about the unjustness of his rule.

          The fact that the founders were Muslims is related to this: most Eritrean Muslims who were pursuing education were attending institutions in the Middle East (because their elementary education was in Arabic.) Haile Selasse University or institutions in Europe had little appeal to them based on their medium of instruction. (For the same reason that those who took earlier studies in Italian went to Italy.) The revolutionary zeal of the Middle East and North Africa was for liberation and decidedly against monarchs.

          Yes, there were many parochial and provincial practices and yes ther were many reform movements. Its always the case that those who decide to split exaggerate things to justify their decision to split. (It happens all the time in the Diaspora politics of Eritrea and Ethiopia.) As to the peoples readiness for change, It is the elite which lead revolutions. Whether its Cambodia, Vietnam, Cuba, it’s always the relatively well educated and upper middle class that rebel ( hard as they may try to hide this and invent humble histories to the extent of Pol Pot changing his name and mystifying his childhood.) A revolutions staying power is based on its ability to appeal to the masses, a cross-section of the masses. In the Eritrean highlands it took the radical student movement to penetrate the mystique of Janhoy, which had a hold on the people. I don’t think that by the early 70s one can deny that the Revolutions mass appeal was achieved in Eritrea.


          PS: I can’t believe I didn’t mention the great Aida Kidane, our one woman Research Library. She has a wealth of data–literature, videotapes–from/about the early years of our revolution. On Facebook, search “Eritrea books and files.”

  • Michael, B.

    Selam Amanuel
    I am disappointed but I should not be. You read psychology? but not philosophy, I assume. You do not need to ask me about how Hegel pictured the African descent and what he wrote about, in his way. His is also “difficult”. Difficult even for men like B Russell!
    You and I should translate one page each into Tigrinya and let our people know the man, by his basic ideas. You shall easily discover for yourself, which part of his theory is anathema to any of us. If you have time, start with his “philosophy of history” stuff.
    Tell me if and when you are ready, so we append the two pieces on, sure they do not object to read Tigrinya. I mean we should learn and turn writing the languages of our people. If not exclusively, once in a while!

    • Dear Michael,

      Do not be disappointed for I am still a student in this fast moving world. I read about Hegelian philosophy (surely not all his writing) his approach to dialectical materialism and historical materialism in the Ghedli era. I have the basic concept of his philosophy. So Micheal don’t drop the ball for me. You brought the Hegelian philosophy in your argument and I asked you to enlighten us something we didn’t come across it. That will put you to be a teacher for those who don’t have a hint something you mentioned in your comment. My first instinct to ask you those questions was simply to learn before to look anything to challenge. If I wouldn’t, I would have gone straight to rebuttal your argument. I am student before I attempt to share my thoughts.

      As to the translation issue if time and circumstances permits (the priority of our time) I will be glad to stand on your side and do everything within my capacity.

  • Araya

    Whenever I act out, my mom will say
    Anta Wedey Entay E’yu Qchew-chew Zebleka Zelo
    This word I heard it since I was a child and it became my favorite word in Tigrigna.
    The moral of my story is what is it Hayat Adem AKA Paplion, Amanual and Yodita, whenever Ethiopia is mentioned in a slightly negative way, Qchew-chew Chew E’yu Zeblom.
    I don’t understand it. We know why when it comes to Amanual; but what is the beef with those two ladies? Can someone shade any light on this one?

    Amanual, I see how you advocate for Asmara to be banned, if the truth to be told, they should banned you when you call Melles a democrat and a moral leader. Talk about credibility, you have none.
    Have some bones man. By the way Aman, I just came from Addis and no one cares about your moral, democrat and visionary leader. He is forgotten and gone, forever.

    • Araya,

      For god sake what tangible/substantive argument did “Asmara” share with his country men/women except hips of derogatory and demeaning words. Just mention one substantive argument..if any please. Second Melles has passed away (RIP) but his vision is alive and thriving with his colleagues in his nation and beyond in the African continent. Just for your enlightenment read the link below. If you want a link how African countries embraced his vision I could furnish you anytime.Just open your mind, very recently the Ethiopian people had observed the first anniversary of his death in Addis and everywhere in their embassies. Take it easy you will absolve him slowly.

  • Tamrat Tamrat

    How can one measure civilization? Can one borrow civiliZation? Can one impose civilization by force? Can civilization change the value of religion? Does Our civilization have its saying in the Development we are striving for?

    Eritrea and South Somalia have many Things in common. Both Asmara and moqadisho have same story and beauty inherited from italy. Though Somalia is engulfed by civil war, due to Eritreas dictatorship both countries experince a disastrous socio economic cryisis compared to their potential.

    Eritreas has exported 420,000,000 dollars while Somalia has done 750,000,000
    Eritreas has imported 420,000,000 dollars while Somalia has done 800,000,000

    Somalia and Eritrea are equally number one in producing refugees around the world.

    Fifa ranking for Eritrea is 195 while for Somalia is 200.

    Both dont have female footballers in fifa ranking.

    Both have a great potential for fast Growth if their diaspora have a posiblity to invaste without harrasment.

    • Abe z minewale

      At least Eritrea is known for its stubbornness not get aid like its me I rather die from hunger than asking masters SiLe GeBrieal

  • Michael, B.

    People of Eritrea!

    Civilization is something or the only fascinating thing in human evolution. Civilization intended as a gradual or sudden progress of the mind and spirit. It is the only thing which would alleviate the farce of life. The evolution of being between its assumed two mysterious explosive ends: birth and death.
    The immensity of the topic and the meaning of the global phenomenon cannot be lightly handled. When applied to the age of Ancient Egypt, Punt, Kush, Adulis, Adulis plus Aksum, Saba, Abyssinia, Ethiopia, it becomes absolutely chaotic. To identify the one with the other can only be a contradiction of history. Then it is not surprising if one fails to understand the whole problem.
    Naturally, one is powerfully tempted to say anything about it. And by necessity, one is coerced to have acceptable definition reached through basic and solid reasoning, yet not of the “presumptuous” Hegelian type. I need to tell why I mean the qualifier is the correct one, not because I red him enough, but he arriving so late to civilization in his own region, he adjudicated the best of all to himself, I must say. One cannot perceive his Germanic people as totally blind to exclude Africa from the glorious map of civilization in all its positive forms.
    A simple illustration would explain why my African pretension is based on facts not to be denied: the invention of alphabet, the papyrus, the architecture, sculpture, painting, the science of medicine, the irrigation technique, the religion, the habit of documentation etc. inspired subsequent civilized races Greek, Roman and practically all others, throughout history, up to now. Of course Hegel found it convenient to uproot Egypt from its continent to fit his incredibly idiotic theory.
    Is there any civilization attached to the entity of “Abyssinia”? If yes, where is Abyssinia and how and why was a civilization? Probably we have to trace the geography and distinguish its maker or makers from the others, assuming they are the Tigray and the Amhara?
    It is even unintelligible when any of the above is compared with “Arab” civilization, another incorrect characterizing when it is meant Islamic civilization. At last, it becomes intractable when one applies the parameter of literature or literacy, technique or science and technology to explain the merit of one kind and of the other and that across millennia.
    I have teacher who maintained that the German was the most scientific language, say between the great devastating wars. At that very ominous time those people devised a monstrous machine of “final solution”.
    How is one to measure civilization?

    • Selam Michael,

      What does Hegel’s theory has to do with uprooting Egypt from its continent? Which part of his theory depict and make you to argue against his thesis? Which part of Hegel’s argument is presumptuous? We need some enlightenment about your argument and then we will see how your argument has a leg to stand….and of course it may help us from which school of thought you are. Give us a little hint to see if there is a room we can engage along the different school of thoughts and relate to the topics on hand.

  • Hayat Adem

    To Sal-
    1)I’m not saying there is not a single thing to be disliked from the Ethiopian political system; nonetheless, I’ve questions for you:
    “It’s that the formula proposed by Ethiopians happens to be the most dangerous because it treats Eritrea the way it treats Ethiopia: an Abyssinian core, with an appendage.”
    What dangerous formula is exactly being proposed by Ethiopians for Eritrea? By whom and when? Who is a member of the Abyssinian core and who of the appendage, in the Ethiopian case? Assuming your fear as valid,i.e., if what you fear comes true, how and on whom does that “core/appendage” reflect in the Eritrean case?
    2) I’m not saying I don’t appreciate and admire YG for his acute and solid thoughts and brilliant ways of deploying them (in many cases i admire you, too); nonetheless, I’ve questions for you:
    ” In fact, one of my beefs with YG and his disciples (i believe you are one) is that you won’t let an Eritrean be proud of anything achieved during Ghedli.”
    Here is the issue: I was admirer of the struggle- the initiative, the execution, the hardships, the prevalence and the result. Then, what followed followed, undoing my conviction every bit of the way backwards. YG came with some sensible explanations as to why why that was. Nobody is convincingly refuting his reasoning and conclusions. I never treat, politicians, writers and thinkers, be it YG or your self, with a blank check. I treat them in piece meal manner. Come with a good meal, I’ll consume it. 2nd time, Ok, OK!, 3rd time OK, OK!, 4th time OK, OK! I go meal to meal until I become hopelessly incurious. If you come with a substandard meal even after a series of good meals, I mercilessly get off your plate. Next time, though, it is a new contract. And that’s seems how I see you interacting with participants here, except Eyob.* Look how you were getting along with Haile, until a complete harmony was finally born. That is why I still read articles from Admas Haile. Does this tell you I’m a disciple of anyone?
    *Why do you always say he treats books like a hair in his soup.

    • Salyounis

      Selamat Hayat:

      I will deal with your longer questions about Ethiopia, Eritrea, YG (the whole “pride and prejudice” portfolio) in a different post.

      Regarding Eyobs aversion to books, it dates back to an ancient discussion about Battle of Adwa, Menelik (tukur sew) and my assertion that the only thing remarkable about the Battle of Adwa was that black people prevailed over a European army (no small feat) but that militarily it was classic Ethiopian fight of overwhelming your opponent by massive numbers (same model applied at Gurae and Gundet. Ethiopians invented the Powell doctrine; Powell just copied it:) the myth of few Ethiopians with spears on horseback makes for a great story (and a Teddy Afro video) but it just ain’t true. I began citing my sources (Ethiophile historians) and Eyob dismissed books written by non-Ethiopians about Ethiopia. Subsequently he dismissed any quote, statement attributed to TPLF of the 1970s and 1980s as ancient irrelevant stuff.

      It’s difficult to have a debate when your opponent dismisses documents indiscriminately — something that YG benefits from because his theories do not have to be backed up (they are just sensible theories after all)but any refutation of his assertions MUST be. And, here’s where it gets sweeter, if YG refuses to deal with the refutations, then those who are enamored with the theories just move on to more theories. But I am getting ahead of myself. But that’s why I just have fun discussions with Eyob, comic relief mostly.


      PS: in a future era, when all suspicions are gone, and Eritrea and Ethiopia have charted paths towards peace and prosperity, Haile and Eyob will sit at a cafe in Addis and Asmara laughing about all our present feuds. One things those two have in common: an amazing capacity to research and data mine. There is another, sadly still with PFDJ, who goes by the name of Sam B or “warsay ertrawi.” Salute, y’all

    • Eyob Medhane


      Sal thinks anyone, who don’t care much about Ferenj writers, who are very famous among Eritreans for coining feel good, feel invivible and feel feel supirior phrases like “even the stones are burning” (Dan Connell) or Ferenj writers who’d call Ethiopians “Barberians” in support of Eritreans, (Michela Wrong) is anti-books. I on the other side believe, chaps like Dan Connell, are folks, who were enamored by the likes of Che Guevera in their youth and did set out to find their own Che Guevera to play with went to Eritrean bushes, and found their desired mini “Guevera” in the form of Isayas Afeworki. (Too bad he discarded them later) Dan now writes and say stuff about Eritrea here and there, these days, to sell books and somewhat to relive his youth. Therefore, I don’t find him and his like that Sal recommends to me are interesting to read. The other lady, who called me and my people “barberians” resembles Mrs. Rosenthal, the missionary, who came to Ethiopia, during Atse Tewdros. According to Berhanu Zerihun’s “Yetangut Mister”, there was nothing that Mrs. Rosenthal wouldn’t do to show the “savage” Ethiopians of her supiriority. Yet, she usually ends up being a laughing stock even among her own peers, because the weird way she acts and weird things says. That is Michela Wrong for me and I don’t read and like weirdos like that. No matter how much Sal insists, I wouldn’t read books that are written by these kind of sort of “lowly” writers. (My opinion) Yes Sal is right that I prefer Ethiopian history that is written by the owners of that history. Over the Ferenj one with their own biases and prejudice….
      Please don’t get Sal and I start about Minilik Tikur Sew. That would take a whole another two years debate, which you might call the UN to mediate for 🙂
      P.S Please forgive my spellings. ipad auto correct sucks 🙂

      • Salyounis

        Hi Eyobai:

        Haha. First of all, get your ferenji straight, “Even the Stones are Burning” was Roy Pateman not Dan Connell. Roy Pateman is mostly famous for predicting a long honeymoon period between EPLF and TPLF 🙂

        Secondly, man, the Ferenj I recommend for you are Chiw Zbelu Ethiophiles. Like Richard Pankhurst, Haggai Ehlrich and Harold G Marcus. Never heard a single Ethiopian accusing them of being biased against Ethiopia. I mean come on: these guys are Abyssinian stenographers. Marcus essentially rationalizes slavery in Ethiopia and blames the British abolition movement for pressuring Ethiopia to rush the outlawing of slavery. Reads like a confederate historian.

        Tukur Sew and Ras Alula are considered in the top 10 of Africa’s greatest generals. And they are. Which is why Eritreas Ghedli is so mind boggling: as I say often, we didn’t defeat the Costa Rican army: we defeated the mighty Ethiopian army 🙂 and the basis for the Eritrean revolution was not Arabs whispering, or a misguided search for glory and identity. Because those things do not sustain an epic 30 year fight. What drove Eritreans was the same motivator that drove tukur sew, Yohannes, Ras Alula Abba Negga in their fights: restoring dignity. Until you get that, u won’t get our Ghedli.


        PS: assuming you want to do something about your sd adeg iPad: go to Settings>>general>>keyboard>>autocorrect turn off. Bill in the mail.

        • bukretsion

          ethiopian(Habesh) army (dargi) is defeated by tplf ang eplf(Habesha).

      • lol

        How many times do you have to blame your IPod? Poor IPod! BTW: I don’t agree with your statement,” Yes Sal is right that I prefer Ethiopian history that is written by the owners of that history. Over the Ferenj one with their own biases and prejudice….

        It’s not unlikely for Ethiopian writers (as opposed to ferenji writers) of Ethiopian history to express biases in favor of Ethiopia. They would most likely add personal opinions to influence readers’ judgment (for example about the battle of Aduwa).

        • When one speaks of Eritrean history, one is essentially speaking about Ethiopian history and viceversa. Ghedli decided to have a different version of stories that pertains only to Eritrea in an effort to distance Eritreans from Ethiopians. The truth is that Eritrea and Ethiopia share common culture, history, and language.

          • Eyob Medhane

            Hey Dave,

            Damn it! you are robbing me my convenient excuse for my spellings. You got me 🙂 See, my ipod is not like Sal or you. It doesn’t rub my shortcomings on my face. 🙂

            I agree with you that in fact the majority of Ethiopian history writers mix their own opinions with facts and few of them write ‘history’ under the orders of the ruling elite. Having said that, there are selected few, who write very detailed, factual, eye witness accounts. Many of those actually are unpublished, because of fear of authorities. Aleqa Zeneb, Hiruy Woldeselassie are few of them. They managed to pass their unpublished scripts around, and some of their hand written scripts ended up in many libraries in Ethiopia, Europe and even in the library of congress in Washington, DC. Hiruy Woldeselassie’s grand daughter published his 60 years after he passed away in 2004. Aleqa Zeneb and many others hand written scripts now are scattered in ‘we-Mezeker” national library in Ethiopia, Kennedy Library in Addis Ababa University and Ethiopian studies Institute,…. From modern writers Tekletadiq Mekuria, Zewde Reta, Arefaine Hagos have pretty well documented based history books for reference.

            Wait a second…did you just say “….The truth is that Eritrea and Ethiopia share common culture, history, and language….” ? What is wrong with you?! Are you planning give Sal a heart attack? Come on, man. Friends do not do that to friends… 🙂

    • Salyounis

      Hi Hayat:

      * On whether people have tried to “convincingly refute” YG’s grand unified theory of Ghedli, I find that that is, for the most part, a wild goose chase because none of his admirers (to the best of my recollection) can write an executive summary of what you call a “sensible explanation.” For example, I could refute his claim that the leaders and intellectuals behind the Independence Bloc of the 1940s (Muslim League), the liberation movement of the 1950s (ELM) and 1960s (ELF) were people with parochial interests (religious or Arabism.) But then, after I spend all that energy, you may come back and say, “oh, I don’t think that is germane to YG’s argument.” So give me the building blocks of YG’s arguments in an executive summary form and I will show you that it is a house of cards. Deal?

      * For centuries, Ethiopia (formerly Abyssinia) was Shoa (menz), Gojjam, Begemder and Tigray. This is the core of Abyssinia (the clever Amde equates this with the US’s Virgina-Boston settlement and in respect for his argument, I will use the term “genesis/base” of Ethiopia instead of the “core.”) Then in the 19th century (relatively recently), all the other provinces of Ethiopia were, ahem, incorporated. That is what I am calling the appendage. Not in derision, not as an insult, but to make the point that the ruling elite have historically (and still are) from the genesis/base.

      Now the argument: because part of the genesis/base of Ethiopia has had a long and deep (historical/religious/tradition/custom) connection with a part of Eritrea (highland Eritrea), there is a come-home-to Ethiopia pull from some Ethiopians and let’s-go-to-our-base push from some Eritreans. (not physically but asserting identity.) This is dangerous since it has a domino effect for groups who don’t particularly feel the pull and will license them to seek their own center of gravity. This is not necessarily helpful to state-building which tends to emphasize common history of the citizens (residents within a defined geo-political map.)

      One of the most interesting developments I have seen has been that Ethiopians from the genesis/base practice the politics of multiculturalism within Ethiopia (smart: it is how you safeguard unity within a pluralistic society) but sound the dog whistle of the base when directing it to disillusioned Eritreans. Don’t get me wrong: people have every right to assert their identity; but I notice in the Eritrean Internet that those who strongly assert Habesha identity are also those who aggressively assault, insult, ridicule, mock Eritrean identity as artificial, fake, manufactured, not real, etc. In fact, there is a 100% correlation between the two. If you can find me a person who speaks highly of Habesha identity without denigrating Eritrean identity, I would be pleased.

      As to WHO in the Ethiopian government has been the fan and the fuel for these sentiments, that is an entirely different post. It is something I have never commented on and, when I do, it won’t be in a comment section.


      • Eyob Medhane


        It is your Abysinian classification that is a house of cards, actually. To make your argument, you chose only the part of Abysinians, which you believe try to impose Habesha cultures on you and left out the rest of abysinians the current Ethiopia proper and relegated them with your new born phrase “appendage”. Because the Habeshas with capital ‘H’, (the Silte’s the Gurages, the Hararis, the Argobas, the Agews) don’t fit to your border line bigoted view of Abysinians. Even among your chosen to stomp on Habeshas, you selected only ‘Menze’ and left ‘Minjar’, Yifat (largely Muslim Shewans) etc. To facilitate a complete separation of Tigrians with Kebesa, you belittled their relationship only based on cultural, linguistic commonalities. You entirely omitted the Tigre, whose language, actually is the ABYSINIAN church language Geez so you’ll be able to confine only the Kebesa has a cross border “commonality” with their souther kins. (That is actually not surprising, because the Tigre are the first targets and victims of Arab cultural imperialists, since they are forced to abandon their language in favor of Arabic, and their books has been burned to make their identity extinct. They were the chosen ones to have their identity stymied, in order to wrap Eritrea with Arab identity).

        The Kunamas, who stand very odd to the plan of Arabization and resist baptism of the imported and improvised identity, are chosen to be the punching bag of every one starting from Hamid Idris Awate to Isayas Afeworki…….

        • Salyounis

          Ere atkQoTa Eyobai:

          Brown bag. Inhale. Exhale. We good? 🙂

          But keep the bag handy because here’s an Abyssinian map from a Ferenji.


          • Eyob Medhane

            Sorry Sal,

            Actually, it’s like he’s conspiring with you, while I was typing to respond to you, my six years old son kept yelling ” no no no no” for absolutely no apparent reason, and my trail of thought was a bit distracted to tame off my ‘quta’…Now I am going to look up your link and get back with you…. 🙂

          • Salyounis

            blatta Eyob

            Chigr yelem but..
            So far, you have blamed the iPad and now a 6 year old kid?
            What’s next: Qemish adey?*


            * ask a Tigre for translation

        • Eyob ,

          I didn’t know you named your son Ipod. A cool name, modern one 😉

      • Hold on for a second. Isn’t Habesha identity a sub set of Eritrean identity ? Sal , I am talking to you 🙁

        • Which came first : Habeshan identity or Eritrean identity? Eritrean identity was conceived in the 40’s before it was manufactured and marketed in Sahl, and sold to the public in Asmara. Habeshan identity on the other hand has existed since time immemorial.

          BTW: Aren’t those people who identify with Eritrean identity who have been ridiculing those Eritreans who claim to be Habesha?

        • Salyounis

          Selamat Dawit:

          Hmmm. I think it depends on which of these sentences appeals to you:

          The Kurds are a subset of Syria, Iraq, Iran and Turkey.
          Syria, Iraq, Iran and Turkey are a subset of Kurdistan.

          Other examples available upon request:)


          • Hard to win a debate with you , Sal. Eritrean dictator, IA, uses the same tactic when challenged with difficult questions. For example, once a reporter asked the dictator as to why there were tens of thousands of prisoners detained with out trials, he answered the question by a question : “Why does the United States indefinitely detain prisoners in Guantanamo bay detention camp?”

            I will provide video clip upon request 😉

  • ” “new affluent area 100 percent owned by people of Eritrean descent.” I don’t know what he meant: I just find that ping-pong Tigrayans and Amhara ethnic groups play in taking turns ascending to power and exercising crony capitalism a bad model for Eritrea”

    Oh dear poor Salayonis, you do not know what the Ethiopian commenter meant but you still managed to bring yourself to your true opportunistic nature to try and create division between the Amhara and the Tigrians, the two major ethnic groups who in turn denied Eritrea it’s futile effort to be a major player in the region…But guise what Saay, the Amhara’s might have been bad governors who benefited neither themselves nor other ethnic groups, but rest assured, putting Tigrians against the Amhara or any other group in Ethiopia will not guaranty Eritrea’s dominance in the region neither…So my friend, perhaps the problem lies on your initial assessment of situations in the region which perhaps led Eritreans to assume hating Ethiopians will be the only way out…it seems your past calculations might have turned out to be a permanent trap..don’t you think? just a thought..

  • haile

    Selamat Asmerom,

    When someone starts to call out “false statement”, it is imperative that whoever is being accused should forward factual evidences to support their remark that is being referred to as “false”. My claim was that Eritrea is able to grow $$$ under normal circumstances. Let me list some irrefutable and incontrovertible evidences to back up my claim.

    1 – As we speak, there are commercial trawlers that fish in Eritrean waters for a license fee. We are not responsible to feeding and raring the fish.

    2 – As we speak, there is one mineral extraction company that pays royalty to the state of Eritrea. Estimates have it that about 70% of Eritrea is rich with mineral resources.

    3 – The regime has killed off tourist revenue, otherwise Eritrea is HUGE DEAL in tourism.

    4 – The regime has laid the Assab refinery, otherwise it would have been a substantial rental asset.

    5 – in the 1990’s it was estimated that Eritrean diaspora were generating close $400 million (conservative estimate, listen to Kibrom Dafla) in direct and indirect remittance. This, at the time, was equivalent to Ethiopia’s annual national revenue from coffee. All the regime had to do is stand there holding its money bag open for patriotic Eritreans to fill it up with cash, benajir and kutsha:)

    6 – Until 2005, the Yemeni were begging the regime to be interested in a 50/50 owned fisheries company where they would provide substantial infrastructure and capital to the venture. It refused.

    7 – There was an interest from Saudi Arabia for Asmara Airport to host pilgrims to Mecca while they organize arrivals and departures from their side. The regime was not interested.

    8 – In the 60’s, ships that were passing Eritrean waters were paying upto $2000 to dock for few hours en route. Eritrean waterways are one of the busiest shipping lanes globally.

    All of the above and much much more are service and resource based revenue generators that would pour in hard currency with little or no investment. When you factor in investment and hard work, it is a different story.

    Could you point me to which one’s of the above are not applicable and can’t be considered to grow $$$?

    As I said, one’s something is declared “false” only facts are admissible to the debate table from that point on. Because, reputations are at stake 🙂


    • Asmerome

      Merhaba Haile
      “Eritrea is able to grow $$$ under normal circumstance” is absolutely different from what you wrote on your previous posting and which I quoted.
      Just a reminder , you wrote “Eritrea grows $$$ with out any one having to do any work if the do wish..” and my response to this was it’ s so exaggerated that can not be achieved .Now you came up with a new version “under normal circumstances …”
      Have you ever seen or heard a nation registering growth $$$ without any participation and work of its people? Is there a nation on earth who makes a convincing growth and it’s population is required
      to do nothing ? To this unfounded and unachievable
      task I said is a false hope to our people .the fact is there is no nation on earth that its people do nothing if they wish and still registers growth.
      Now to your new version of “under normal circumstance…” What is your description of normal circumstances , can you define it ? Do you have any time table on your mind when this “normal circumstances “of yours is to be visualized ?
      You see my argument is in the past we have been
      told from our know alls in our struggle time that
      all kinds of wanders were supposed to happen
      after our independence all the promises how peaceful and prosperous we all are going to be and what a great nation we are going to build .Did we
      get any of this wonderful bread , butter and honey promises .I will leave it to you and the readers(I hope you are not to come up with so many excuses
      why it didn’t happen)
      All the points you mentioned are not grantors for
      For our growth cause each of them are dictated
      by there own requirements and our external
      Growth is interconnected by the global external
      conditions .
      What guarantee do you have that all your mentioned points are going to be the driving force of our growth? All I am trying to say is that first
      thing is first our unity trust of each other and
      determination to solve our internal problem
      With conviction to the best interest of all our
      People will be our determining factor to our growth
      and all the rest will in place accordingly
      To wish and hope and dream for a better future
      is natural but to exaggerate and take it out of
      Content with unachievable hope seems to
      to me out of line

      • selam Asmerom,

        let me quote you: “is that first thing is first” and that “our unity, trust each other and determination to solve our internal problem.” Absolutely those who debate in this forum do not admit the mutual mistrust that kept us from moving forward. I tend to incline that Haile is one of them. As a matter of fact they always tend to search foreign force for escapegoating (eg Ethiopia) as the cause of their malaise. We are still failed to realize our inability to challenge our internal problem.

      • haile

        Selamat Asmerom and Aman;

        Asmerom –

        Interpreting me word for word, yes you are right that $$$ don’t fall like manna. I think that we are capable of contextualizing statements. I wasn’t intending to change my point, I would hate to do that! However, please be mindful of the fact that you were responding to my reply to ‘witness’ who was arrogantly declaring that Eritrea has no means to survive and is fake and its independence has proved that according to him. It is perfectly normal to respond to the commenter by making it clear that under “normal circumstances” Eritrea would have beyond leftovers for others.

        Now you asked of what “normal circumstances” is without, you demanded “excuses”. Dear Asmerom, rest assured that I am fully capable of describing it without a single “excuse” right to to last penny. Unfortunately, I believe that attempting to do so amounts to an affront to the intelligence and common sense of well meaning and up right Eritreans.

        Aman –

        Trust….again hmmmm. Let me use, Aman, this occasion to make my personal take on the matter clear. There two distinctive components at the heart of the ongoing discussion on trust.

        1 – It is perfectly acceptable to affirm the importance of trust as a value to be nurtured in itself. Example: if a person seems to be struggling in settling in a relationships they keep going in and then out to the next one. You may be justified to advice them to value trust within the setting of personal relationships. Generally true, as it opens channels of communication.

        2 – It is presumptuous and risky to tell a person in a midst of challenging relationship with someone to trust that some one. That is stark and you are essentially telling the person to undertake a specified risk!

        Now, the above is meant to distinguish between stating that “trust” is valuable asset and that of telling someone to take a specific measure of trusting someone else.

        Those who are the proponents of trust factor as a key ingredient, need to specify who needs to be trusted. Assume that you are in the silent majority, who would you trust? Can I suggest for you who to trust? Can anyone do so? Such form of directed act of trust is achieved through natural progress, rather than determined effort to trust! You can’t plan and execute the act of trusting, it is a by product of the unfolding scenarios in a relationship. So, when you think Haile may not be trusting, the natural question would be trust who? Shall I trust or; shall I trust EPDP or ENDC; shall I trust Bologna or Awassa…. Shall I trust all of them or the none ethno-religious ones…I hope you agree that saying trust is a good thing is not the same as one should trust so and so. The latter can only emerge through natural course.

        Again, Eritreans have historically been through many episodes that tested their national psych vis-a-vis trust. Wuchale treaty, abrogation of fedration, Super power interventions, Ethio-Eritrea conflict, final and binding, the betrayal of the nation committed by IA and the current confused and muddied opposition movement, the decision of the silent majority to turn their backs on the well being of their nation and those who are left behind and suffering in refugee camps and hostage situations… Where does all this leave trust?

        Let’s think deeply and try to see the woods for the trees here.


  • “Those Ethiopians of Tigrian descent who “live in a new affluent area called Badime” may not agree with you.”

    As though Ethiopians need your friend’s fiction in order to figure out the deep routed hatred people like Salah have for any thing Ethiopia…we have read many other things before and we know it all..As for your bravado about Eritrea being strategically important, we thought one of your cries are ‘the west favour Ethiopia over Eritrea?…I hope you will live to realise only Ethiopia makes Eritrea strategically important, till then keep bragging since you have little to lose from your comfort zone..

    • Salyounis

      Selamat Eroro:

      You may be missing the context. A commenter who goes by the name of “Witness” called Eritrea a “poor irrelevant piece of land” and I asked if it makes him happy to say that of Eritrea despite most objective measures who would consider the land Geo-politically strategic. Do you think that is bravado?

      The quote you included was in response to “Witness” who said, for reasons known to him only, “I am currently in Addis doing business and I live in a new affluent area called Badime 100 percent owned by people of Tigrian descent.” The best assessment I have for that is that if you Eritreans had played ball you too would have had a “new affluent area 100 percent owned by people of Eritrean descent.” I don’t know what he meant: I just find that ping-pong Tigrayans and Amhara ethnic groups play in taking turns ascending to power and exercising crony capitalism a bad model for Eritrea. Whether it is good or bad for Ethiopia is for Ethiopians to decide; not my business.

      If you write a book about what the fascists did to Ethiopians when they occupied Addis, does that mean you have a “deep-rooted hatred for Italians”? You are accusing Saleh G Johar of having “deep rooted hatred for Ethiopians” because he wrote a novel (read before you judge; I can send you a complimentary copy if you promise to do a fair book review) that included a story of the massacres committed by the Haile Selasse regime in his hometown and he took extra care to narrate that this crime was committed by the regime and not the ordinary Ethiopian who saw war in Eritrea a patriotic case of protecting Ethiopian sovereignty. Does not compute. Makes as little sense as Higdefites calling him a Weyane because he was a vocal and persistent opponent of the Badme war.


  • Hayat Adem

    There is no argument the fact that Ethiopia’s 3k years of history were not all a time of civilization, glory and achievements; there is no argument the fact that Ethiopia was one of the shining spots of world civilization up to the first millennium; there is no argument the fact that the 2nd millennial journey of Ethiopia was characterized by “civilization undo”; and there is no argument the fact that Eritrea was part of these two ups and downs of Ethiopian histories. Now, the question should be: how are these two nations building their future once they parted ways in the 3rd millennium? I see Ethiopians trying hard to put a brake on their steady spiral of decline while Eritrea is even accelerating its speed to its gloom-and-doom. I always wonder what use you (Sal) see in doing so when you battle-rattle with Eyob so seriously just to deny him of the pride in Ethiopia’s past history.

    • Salyounis

      Selamat Hayat:
      I am assuming you have been following the thread– not just that u felt like jumping in?

      Besides, Eyob and I always had this special way of communicating which many mistake for hostility. While many are stuck in the your-country-did-this-to-me thing, we have moved on and we are able to laugh at the weaknesses of our countries. For example, while most Ethiopians would write the traditional “you know Islam was introduced to Africa via Ethiopia which shows Ethiopians have always been tolerant”, I would tell my friend Eyob that until the fall of Haile Selasse, Orthodox Christianity was the State religion and Ethiopian Muslims were not allowed to own land. Then, Eyob would give me the “some of Ethiopia’s best friends are Muslims” line 🙂

      But seriously, Hayat, I don’t begrudge people’s right to feel proud. In fact, one of my beefs with YG and his disciples (i believe you are one) is that you won’t let an Eritrean be proud of anything achieved during Ghedli. And the thing that troubles me is some people actually think i “hate” Ethiopia which is shocking cause i love Ethiopia and Ethiopians.

      Here’s the context: there are several models to get Eritrea out of the trap it is in. It’s that the formula proposed by Ethiopians happens to be the most dangerous because it treats Eritrea the way it treats Ethiopia: an Abyssinian core, with an appendage. If that formula works for Ethiopia because that’s how the State was formed–an Abyssinia expanding South and Southeast– then good for them. But not for Eritrea. When he does that, an occasional “physician, heal thyself” is warranted. Well, not just him, but all the exponents and exaggerators of Ethiopia’s development and those who apologize for and explain away its massive human rights abuse. That is: Ethiopia is not a good model for Eritrea. You can still say that without being accused of hate, right?

      I think one of the biggest failures of Ethiopian civilization even at its pinnacle was that literacy was not expanded. I find Eyob’s aggressive refusal to expand his knowledge beyond his comfort zone quite representative of that failure.


      • Eyob Medhane


        Of course some of Ethiopia’s best friends are muslims. I think she dated couple of them at some point, but y’know, didn’t work out… 🙂

        • Salyounis

          Selamat Eyob:

          Yeah, I know 🙂 Now Ethiopia is flirting with a new “Arab cultural imperialists” called Ahbash. Well, yeah, the doctrine of Ahbash is considered outside the mainstream of every Sunni Islam school of thought; they are branded as “sect” by most, but, hey, they have a good political position (“stay away from politics!”) and they are not affiliated with Egypt (enemies!) and Saudi Arabia (double enemies!) And, oh, the Ethiopian government had NOTHING to do with their emergence in Ethiopia. Nothing.

          Keep dating, playa!


          • Eyob Medhane


            Really? You know that I can do this all day long, right? Ahbash actually is founded and expanded by an Ethiopian scholar Abdulah Al-Harari. Hence, the name “ahbash”. So how could that be Arab cultural imperialist? Unless, you want to rob us our scholastic achievement also. 🙂

          • Salyounis

            Hi Eyob:

            Nooooooo! Ahbash are named after a Habeshi guy? You don’t say!*

            The Al-Ahbash are an Ethiopian export to Lebanon and imported back from Lebanon (with great encouragement from the Meles Zenawi government.)

            I notice that you are entirely indifferent to the fact that the Al Ahbash are considered outside the mainstream of Sunni Islamic jurisprudence. (I know you don’t do books so wikipedia them:) And that in Islamic jurisprudence the opinion of the majority of scholars carries a lot of weight. But what matters is their “we don’t do politics” mantra is music to the ears of your government, even if it means the 33.9% of your countrymen are unhappy about it because of (a) the way the government tried to sneak them in as authorities and then said “oh, our hands are clean!” and (b) some of their teachings are not within the mainstream of Islamic jurisprudence.


            * there is a “You Don’t Say!” meme for when someone states an obvious thing as if it is an earth-shaking discovery. It is the same expression I have when I read YG’s articles:) Here’s the meme (based on famed Nicholas Page face):


          • Eyob Medhane

            Oh Come on Sal,

            ወዴት ወዴት?! ተው ና ተመለስ.. 🙂 Aren’t you the one who were singing that “Abysinia civilization has been dead for hundred years?” Yet, we managed only fifty something years ago to “export” Ahbash to Lebanon. What gives? In fact we did it with the Habesha guy with the capital “H”, since he is a Hareri…. 🙂

            And one more thing. Where is your HARD evidence that Meles Zenawi has imported Al Ahbash back? I said “Hard” evidence. Not the salafist Abu Hyder and Abubaker propaganda. All I know is that an Alleged college founded and administered in Addis Ababa by those, who are believed from Ahbash school of thought. (They insist that they are Sufis, by the way) Do you know how many Saudi, Qatar and Kuwaiti funded Medrassas in Ethiopia? So what is different those allegedly Ahabash followers did than founding a college? Biased much?…. 🙂

          • Salyounis

            Selamat Eyob:

            Eyobai, Eyobai, Eyobai…this is why I can’t have a serious conversation with you, least of all about something as serious as religion:

            (They insist that they are Sufis, by the way)

            I am describing the engine in the hood and you just told me the CD in the CD drive.

            Off to the library with ya!


            PS: While at the library, help out with this list of the greatest contribution of Ethiopian civilization. See how the Romans, Greeks, Mayans, Chinese have done their thing. Study up and contribute to this list: it is your patriotic duty:


      • Worku tesfaye

        Isayas loyaluties and and some ertirean nationalis woried and concerned about hungar country ethio colonized ertirea.wy u are concerned ur countries progress late independence?u achieved freedom from ethiopian dictater not from ethiopian peoples.ur enemy were italy,haile and derg,and now isayas.dont confused.we are neighbor and share same culture.

      • Ambassador

        “…….it treats Eritrea the way it treats Ethiopia: an Abyssinian core, with an appendage.”…

        See, you raised a very important point that shames our failure to see the fallacy to the argument that “Ethiopia has a 3000-years of history”. Ethiopia, as we know it today, has no more than 150 years of history. You need proof, follow this line of argument: like all other countries in Africa, Ethiopian boarders are colonial boarders. If Kenya’s boarders are colonial, if Sudan’s, Eritrea’s, Somali’s boarders are colonial, why not Ethiopia’s. Ethiopia ain’t an isle in space. Thus, Ethiopians (who are natives to the lands within these boarders) came to become Ethiopians as a result of these colonial boarders, roughly since 150 years ago. But, Abyssinia-which is a totally different thing from Ethiopia-may have had a 3000-years of history. If so, the present day Ethiopians are then adopting the history of Abyssinia as if it is Ethiopian history. They are projecting history out of the boarders they have been left with. That would’ve been ok, had history been benign to the people it excludes. We know that history isn’t an angel though. Rather, history has the tendency to be violent against the unfavored. History appropriates heritage (in heritance) and identity. As such, this projected Abyssinian history excludes the non-Abyssinians: it strips them off their identity, heritage and even their livelihood. Because, through these projection, the historicized land called Ethiopia is now made to belong to the Abyssinians, which leaves the non-Abyssinians to live at the mercy of their “host”; like humans with no history and no land, or “like an appendage” to quote Salyounis. Thus goes to the violent adage that “Ethiopia ye christianoch deset nat” or “eslamay adi yeblu, awdi yeblu”.

        • Salyounis

          Selamat Ambassador:

          Although I was on the opposite side of his argument, I really appreciated the ingenuity of Amde’s arguments related to this subject. He compares US expansion of territories with Ethiopian expansion of territories. In case you didn’t read it, it is in Aklilu Zere’s “22 Questions” article: (link provided below)

          The US expansion westward was a much more ruthless and genocidal conquest, compared to which Menelik’s conquests were quite humane. Keep in mind the US’s ruling elite was the Eastern WASP establishment that had created a political entity from British rule in the late 1780s. The US used superior military technology to co-opt, conquer, assimilate, exile and exterminate native populations to become a two ocean continental power by the late 1800s. Yet no one questions that the US as a political entity is 240-odd years old, where territorial expansion was the dominant feature especially through the first half of its history.

          Menelik could never match the scope, breadth and human cost of the US expansion. Yet, he used superior technology to EXPAND the size of the state he took over from his competitors. How is his expansion southward different from the US expansion westward? There is a double standard here. The age of the US is counted from when its expansion started. Ethiopia’s age is counted from when its expansion stopped. There is no rational reason other than political expediency.


          • abraham

            That is why i appreciate reading u saleh. I always learn from ur arguments though i do not neccessarily subscribe to them. I have read ur argument with amde. And i genuinely believed that he has made a very strong non emotional point about the 3000 hstory which had affected my previous conception or misconception about it. Your acknowledgment of his point here made me to take off my hats in total respect.


  • Eyob Medhane

    Gash Saleh,

    I seriously doubt you’ve read my arguments. There is actually no where I insulted Islam. Please allow me to quote what I said in the above post.

    “….Islam as we used to know it in Africa and Arab culture are totally different things. Unless, you want to confirm my theory that you and many your type of school of thought believe Arab is Islam and Islam is Arab, I never attempt to confuse the two. Turkish are Muslims, but largely, they are devoid of “stone women, chop hands and heads” theory of Arab backward intepritation of Islam. Indonesia, Malesia, etc…are Islamic countries, yet they are not big on propagating imposing of certain draconian, backward, absurd, crazy “I will be ruling you with my sword or else..” typr of Islam. ….”

    In short. I’ve never nor will I EVER accept Arab cultural imperialism wrapped in the religion of Islam. Meaning those new type of Arab oriented jihadists that say “take me and my arab self and call it Islam or I’ll cut head off” is not sitting well with me or my people. As far as your “half of your people are islam” kind of off the mark with very little knowledge of the Ethiopian society statistics, we kind of got used to that. Because it doesn’t and never hold water statistics without the having an actual number usually get brushed of as just propaganda. But I have a great deal of respect for you, I will tell you this. In order to make half of the Ethiopian people Muslim, you’d have to make over half of the Amhara and Tigray people Muslims and 90% of the Oromos Muslims, and all of the largely protestant Southern people also Muslims. So spare me with that statistics, which usually is told by Arab cultural imperialism propagators. May be, after Dr. Mohammed Kehir becomes Minister of Education in Ethiopia and mandated all Ethiopian students to learn Arabic, that statistic will become real…. 🙂

    • gebre

      “Hey, it’s our country, dammit!”. YES, Eritrea belongs to Eritreans. This is the full agreement of the Ethiopian Government. No one wants to enter into your affairs. But the inability to deal with your own case should not boil down to blame others. The Ethiopian people and Government do not like to hear any thing about the situation in Eritrea. This thinking might be a hot topic in the early 1990s. But too late to argue about this idea. It is a dead idea. Please mind about your business-the case of Eritrea. That is not the business of Ethiopians. Period.


    • Tamrat Tamrat

      Hi Eyob! I agree With all Your Points except being defensive concerning the number of muslims. Who ever say half of Ethiopians muslims or not then it is ok, let it be. It is not the percentage we must worry about but the use of religion as political instruments. If sadui and the arab Emirates politician wouldnt use islam as a political instruments, we never witness any refugees of arab countries to the west. Only devils use religion as a political instruments because they know how believers have respect for their religion. A muslim Ethiopian defends ethiopia from Egypt agression if the worst comes. But the muslim Brother Hood politicians wishes ehtiopians mulims defend Egypt’s interest than Ethiopian in the name of religion.

      • Eyob Medhane


        Thank you, but usually, the inflation of Ethiopan Muslims number has a motive behind it. It’s to send a message that says “..We are the majority and about to take you over. Whether submit to our will quitely, because you are minority or the sword is coming…”. It’s an old trick. The Arab cultural imperialists have been harping on it for a long time. They never accept any census, even the last one, which is conducted by an overseer, who is a muslim. That tells you that behind what the rejection of the national census….

        • Salyounis

          Selamat Eyob:

          If inflating numbers has a political purpose (and it does), I am sure deflating numbers* also has a political purpose, no?

          It is charming how you speak of the “national census” as if it is an independent, non-political institution. This, in a country where the ruling party coalition holds, what is it, 96% of the national seats and, in Tigray Klil, the core of the ruling party coalition, TPLF, holds 100% of the seats. As for the 2007 census, do you happen to have a link to the kilil-by-kilil breakdown and would you mind sharing the data for all zones of Harar? I say this because in 2009, I was minding my own business, at an Ethiopian Muslim funeral ceremony, and they had intense discussions about their hometown and how the numbers were skewed. And not in a 1% to 5% way but the TPLF way, you know, 90 to 95% 🙂

          That said, census is a pain in the neck, and whatever numbers you report, nobody will be happy. That’s why the Lebanese stopped taking them; that’s why the PFDJ takes them like clockwork and refuses to release them.

          Your earnestness and faith in your government is beyond funny and often approaches knee-slapping territory. I would never have a cup of coffee when discussing politics with you; I would be spitting it out laughing most of the time 🙂


          * in the department of deflating numbers, nobody can approach the books written in Janhoy’s era. One book of that era had the classic “There are also Ethiopians who follow the Islamic faith” or words to that effect:) It is as if Islam in Ethiopia was the equivalent of a tiny sect.

          • Eyob Medhane


            Ooooooooooh…I can’t belive you can be that easy. What the heck? Didn’t you have your morning coffee, when you asked me to provide a detailed zone by zone census data? Here it is…


            It has Kebele by Kebele, if you want 🙂

            You got what it used to be said, during the Janhoy time to discribe Ethiopian Muslims. “There are also Ethiopians who follow the Islamic faith” is a correct way saying it, which is the current form. In Janhy’s time, I heared that it used to be said “Muslims, who live in Ethiopia”… 🙂

            P.S Tazabi, thank you very much….

          • Salyounis

            Selam Eyob:

            That’s me: easy like Sunday morning. (Mowing the lawn with a loud lawnmower:)

            Just getting warmed up buddy. Now two things will happen:

            A. You, a supporter/apologist for the EPRDF (who describes every arrested Ethiopian journalist as terrorist) will endorse this census report. You will vouch for its accuracy;

            B. I, a neutral and humble observer, will ask Ethiopians from Harar (from specific kebeles) to vouch for its accuracy. (Assuming they have not been arrested for terrorism:)

            But B can’t happen without A so do go on and tell us that you vouch for its accuracy.

            And thank u for falling for the trap, I mean, for correcting the quote attributed to Haile Selasse’s book. Remember the Eritrean revolutionaries in Egypt that, according to you, were all Arabists in the service of, what is your new phrase, Arab cultural imperialists. In light of what you admitted was Haile Selasse’s attitude towards his own subjects (they were an afterthought, squatters), do u think a more accurate description for the Eritreans in Egypt who helped launch the Eritrean revolution would be fighters for civil liberties and citizenship? 🙂 If you are having a hard time visualizing it, just imagine them without those terrorist names they had.

            Don’t strain yourself now:)


            PS: Taazabi, the link provided says that based on 2007 census, the Ethiopian Muslim population was 33.9%. You said it is 31%. Is that a rounding error or a rounded-up error (excludes people who have been rounded up and jailed 🙂

    • tazabi

      Actually there is hard evidence on the break down of the Ethiopian population. The last census in Ethiopia – 2007. According to this census the Muslim population is 30%, the Christians 60%(42% Orthodox and 18% protestant – Catholics are less than 1%). The Amharas who are often denigrated on this forum are 18% Muslims. These are the facts. Visit for full details of the data.

  • Tzigereda

    Selam Asmara,
    you wrote:

    “- Angry with Haile for posting something you felt is over the border
    – Angry with, for allowing something you felt is offensive to be posted here, directly or indirectly.
    As it is, the only thing you accomplished is the following
    – That the anger you tried to portray was simply fake, and you were simply throwing stones at “asmara” (something you been planning before) for other reasons. That would also make you guilty abusing or misusing the women card
    – That you can easily fall for anything and anybody without checking or without thinking
    – You unnecessarily and undeservedly rained you temper, and used the women card on me
    – You unnecessarily crossed my view, and blocked my shooting range. And it is not that cool shooting at women. „

    I am still missing your opinion on the quoted comment!Indegena Hisebelu!

    • asmara

      First of all, you loaded your gun and shot at asmara, because some idiot told you it was from Asmara

      Secondly , if that post was so offensive to you and to all women, as you claim it to be, then you would not want it to be posted, in your house ( or anywhere, be it directly or indirectly, right? (Assuming you are genuinely offended by the post)
      Therefore, had you been genuine, you should have shared your anger among the person who wrote it, the idiot messenger and also the house for allowing anything offensive to be posted here in your house (If is your house, that is).
      The reason I am going through this is because you mentioned “asmara” and because you mentioned “the Eritrean woman”

      Finally, at the end of every comment there is a reply button, but you seem to be learning a bad habit from the very attention seeking idiot, who dragged you in to this mess, you seem to be worming up to go in

      [From moderator: Asmara, STOP calling awate writers “idiot”, “idiots.”]

      • haile

        Let’s up the ante for ya

        I am 100% sure (with evidence ready to be posted) that Awate’s “asmara” is dehai/erigazette… Zelku_dea/Zelku dia [sometimes].

        I need to hear a clear “NO THIS IS NOT MINE!” from you before my next move, in any case you are hopelessly cased inside a tight corner. Not even a room to swing a cat:)

        Your other option is to just address the content of Tsgereda’s concern and at least agree with her that the content of that post is disturbing.

        Show us your B@lls…:-)

        • rodab

          I suppose folks have reasons for using nick-names.
          Therefore, there is no need for arguing about who is who or who wrote what or where. The content of what they write should be the focus.

        • asmara

          [From moderator: oh, all that hard work straight to the trash bin, Asmara. We mean it: observe the posting guidelines. Address your reader/readers by name and stop calling them idiot/idiots. Really, your posting is not so exceptional that exceptions to the rule would be allowed. It’s pretty mundane so shape up or ship out. ]

          • Hayat Adem

            Justice greatly served here by this little action. Thanks. Sometimes such actions are the only ways left to stop bad habits. amel mS megnez!

          • Moderator,

            It was to late to strike this abusive individual who is the product of the PFDJ culture – call this strike one. Give him to more chances to redeem himself. If not after three strikes ban him to save from polluting this forum. Good step.

          • correction: read it as “two more chances”.

          • haile

            Selamat Aman

            Dragging out “asmara” here and pulling down their mask in public isn’t achievable per se. The problem is that by doing so, I may end up getting banned by the moderator 🙂 As I understand it [in the posting guidelines] we are not supposed to “set out” merely to attack the person [or their integrity thereof] of a participant. It can happen indirectly, where the target “asmara” in this case continues to draw that sort of attention by presenting “Behavior” rather than “ideas”. Hence, the behavior [part of the person rather than the issue] becomes the subject of interest.

            What is ironic, however, it was the moderator [whom asmara keeps complaining against] that is ensuring that asmara gets treated with kid gloves:)

            The moderator must bring back the cane, the citizens demand 🙂 [we can even supply them with one:-]


        • haile


          Just testing the waters here:

          Exhibit A

          asmara [to Beyan Negash] on August 20, 2013 at 8:14 am said: (on

          “Please allow me to open with something I read somewhere (And close with it too), it goes like this:
          “….A brother or a sister inside Eritrea serving his country (alive and kicking), is a TRILLION times better than a brother or a sister dead or suffering in the deserts of Sinai………”


          Exhibit B

          zelku_Dia [in comment #5] says on March 22, 2013 at 9:33 pm [on erigazette}


          • Hailat,

            Good catch. The next effort is to know exactly who this person is. Undermining our dead brothers and sisters the worst ever heard in Eritrean politics. There is no room to play such games to play with your people….the guy has crossed so many red lines so far.

  • Kokhob Selam

    Dear Dany,
    Talking about the elephant that some have in their imagination, you let people come with other type of wild animals like lion and tiger. People went so far, they are debating about Habeshanism and others. I wish we create a pest control group to clean the insects inside our room instead of thinking about the wild animals that are not real.

  • Salyounis

    Selamat Dawit:

    You said:

    When ያገሬ ሰው see Sal’s argument , he or she would typically say: ኣዲኣ ገዲፋ ሃትናኣ ትናፍቅ

    Sorry that my Geez* font is not working on the smartphone but my country folk also have something to say of a woman who trashes her daughter-in-law instead of her own son, si? 🙂 Ethiopian history is mostly about blaming foreigners for the simple fact that a 3,000 year civilization has not advanced beyond what it was 3,000 years ago. Like the old lady who refuses to blame her wayward son and blames his “foreign” wife.


    * Somehow, my Arabic font always works. And, when it works, my Geez spells “Hatnea” with a hard “H”, ሓ, and not the way you spelled it with a soft “h”, ሃ, which is the cute amce way. It also spells tnafeq with a hard q,ቕ not ቅ. Hmmmm, dawit. Hmmm.

    • Sal,

      There is nothing of suspicious number in the letter. (susa’s allata malletka tekooinu …ayfalkan ;-)). I struggled to make the Ge’ez script work right. I blame it on my not-so-good skill in using the ge’ez script. 😉

      Plus, I may have done it on purpose to sway you and others like you into thinking that Dave is in fact Amce 😉

  • asmara

    Ane Haw Silas do!

    Anta izi wedi hamimu gidi lomis!

    Before getting engulfed and swallowed by Ethiopians and Ethio sympathizers, I can see my Toy Soldier had been doing his Tselelel the whole weekend like no other time, Imber do sirah wey nabra wey beteseb alewo iu?

    {A mental note : how hard of a task would it be to check…on a certain haile, with all the hints about himself he been recklessly throwing here, seeking for attention and all?…..just saying, but not important, and don’t think it is worth it….anyway, later}

    Now, I think I awe a reply to a certain Tsigereda….

    • haile

      Imber do sirah wey nabra wey beteseb alewo iu?

      ayy! ide dea ide – hager kbers, hizbi kbten, btsmE telegumu, tselmat tewahitu, zserhon zbel’on teharimu, sidrabet tebetinu, foqodo berekhatatn baHrn emni teterEsu, twldi kiHikeKh! sirah, nabra beteseb, saEsaEt, shenen menen, kebero haz zlelel taqeet teraEyuki/ka! Hamed dea hamed ide.

      Everyone is awake and your regime can’t hide no more. It can’t provide solutions anly write open letters to PMHD. sirah, nabra beteseb, saEsaEt, shenen menen, kebero haz zlelel taqeet teraEyuki/ka! Hamed dea hamed ide. Mahbero komat terasiyom megaberiya barbaric regime koynom; sirah, nabra beteseb, saEsaEt, shenen menen, kebero haz zlelel taqeet teraEyuki/ka! Hamed dea hamed ide.

    • yegermal

      “Now, I think I awe a reply to a certain Tsigereda”

      IMO, I think you owe a trip to dehai kindergarten where you find plenty people your size. Abzi geza mo mes abeity kitiquarakos gud teryena aleka 🙂

  • Nitricc

    I am confused!
    Just a minute, are we talking about Ethiopia, the Ethiopia we know? You know the Ethiopia the “embarrassment of Africa”? Yes, even the failed Africans labeled Ethiopia to be the shame of their continent. When Africans call you names, then, I am wondering what is left there for you to barge this much. Ethiopians, take it easy, you are the failed country with every measurement mark. You’re given the most fertile land with abundances of water. Do you know what you did; you gave it away to Indians and Saudis and to anyone highest bidder. And your people are hungry. You talk about embarrassment. Easy! If you had a micro gram of courage, dignity and of work ethic, you could have fed Africa let alone your self. In deed, Ethiopia is the embarrassment of Africa, so please chill and feed your people first.

    • bukretsion

      do u honestly believe what u saying or r u expressing your frustration, chill out don’t hurt yourself

    • Tamrat Tamrat

      Ya, that Ethiopia! isaias was so confussed like you and did not come to celebrate the contrubition of ‘the shame’ of Ethiopia for the unity of Africa. isaias rather choose to celebrate 24th of may to show the world how a hungry People can colonize Eritrea.

  • L.T

    What young Bolonga wants,Have they made a differnce?I don’t want to give more quastion.I try to imagine what they Young Dr Aseffaw Tekeste,Salih Gadi….might talking about the young current situation?If you see a distressed young soul,lend a supportive ear.Ok and ofcourse it is difficalt to find the older people now today but there is no fun in driving a car if your back hurts so it is not enjoyable if your minds is full of tensions.Life is a marathon.
    We are people not programmed devices.Where is the goels and balance with the young of Bolonga,how did i deal with it

  • Interesting discussion indeed, Eritrea’s dilemma comes from the fact that it mistook it’s long hit and run independence struggle which eventually weakened Ethiopia for a true power and invisibility beyond independence and now seems to be stuck in bitter reality..The reality that it is stuck in it’s own independence refusing to accept it’s place as a poor irrelevant piece of land witch can not negatively affect Ethiopia without risking it’s own existence..

    As for the fake border issue Eritrea is using as an excuse for it’s inability to function as a normal nation, I am currently in Addis doing business and I live in a new affluent area called Badime 100 percent owned by people of Tigrian descent and I always think of Eritreans as people who are up for a long rough ride unless they come up with better strategy to save they rear! I mean, It looks like Eritreans need a true soul searching in-order to avert the inevitable disaster.

    Talking of Addis I also visited the new Meles Zenawi library to be in Gulele Botanic garden and surprisingly came across Salah gadhi’s gift to Meles Zenawi, a seemingly unread anti-Ethiopia book since it looks too clean to have been touched, fold-marked just after acknowledgment page. but who knows, the PM might have died just as he began reading Salah’s supposed novel, but one can take comfort in the knowledge that the PM has at least read the contribution SalaYonis has made towards the fiction..just so you know..RIP!

    • L.T

      Not Badime but Badma(Kunaum’s name(have you it in Tigria,Geza Hibrti,Denbe Liban,geze Habela,denbe Dida…?)
      Eritreans have created a system in which wealth is created with hard work.Your Ethiopia is materialistic.On the other hand,don’t even have good laws in Ethiopia to prosecute corrupt,Your Weyane attacks almost every people in Ethiopia..Amhara,Muslims,Guragi,Afar….Your Ex Prime minsters was a scam,unethical,selfish,greedy,terrible Wall Street human beingRemain in power using every excuse.You colonized Ethiopia politically and economically.It is to be rich in Addis god for you.

    • Salyounis

      Selamat Witness*:

      1. Eritrea’s dilemma has nothing to do with it being “poor irrelevant piece of land” (does it make you feel good to say that despite the fact that the country is resource-rich and Geo-politically important?): Our dilemma has to do with maladministration.

      2. In a way, we are discussing how to model the new State of Eritrea. Some have been telling us to embrace our Habeshaness as a cure-all and some of us have been reluctant to do that for many reasons. You just reminded us of one more reason: “I am currently in Addis doing business and I live in a new affluent area called Badime 100 percent owned by people of Tigrian descent.” I am sure this [sarcasm/on] has nothing to do with nepotism, cronyism and corruption and I am sure it goes swimmingly with the other 70 plus Ethiopian language groups. [sarcasm/off]

      3. Please explain: how is Saleh G Johar’s Of Kings and Bandits** anti-Ethiopia? It is, granted, anti Haile Selasse regime (since it covers the period of 1961-1974). Or, are we now equating Ethiopia with Haile Selasse? Those Ethiopians of Tigrian descent who “live in a new affluent area called Badime” may not agree with you.

      4. I am, as a true Habesha, saying nothing about Meles Zenawi (for at least a year) while some of you Ethiopians and Ethiophiles are in your mourning and canonization period.


      * Of all the nicks you could choose, you chose “Witness” so I look forward to you sharing what you witnessed. You have already given us one baldonga, bring on the rest 🙂

      ** Saleh G Johar’s Of Kings and Bandits, as well as Miriam Was Here are available on Amazon (digital and print), and Smashwords, Sorry for the blatant advertising, but, hey, we are not connected to powerful people who can build us entire neighborhoods.

    • haile


      What a silly and twisted argument!

      So, because Eritreans are tied down by a home bred bestial and cannibalistic regime, you think this makes you feel so big and chest-pounding to ululate your greatness! You even go as far as making a despicable remark that our independence is fake!

      Let me break some hard facts for you. Eritrea grows $$$ without any one having to do any work if they so wish. Ships passing its busy routes would normally pay huge sums, domestic, export and sub-contracted fishery turns in millions, tourists would simply throw tonnes of $$$ to wander its streets, the airports would churn out huge sums sitting to Saudi Arabia and contracting their loads, its minerals throw up tonnes of precious metals, its refinery, its mineral salts…you name it all pour in huge money annually with doing little or no work. On top of that you can now add a hard working and industrious people. It was meant to be a nation of tremendous wealth.

      Of course, the regime has made sure we stand still and wast away, brought us to our knees and in our current form the only way we can defend the nation is through appealing to the world on the bases of our legal independence. No Eritrean is in any illusion that let alone Ethiopia with its menacing armed capability, even stabilized Somalia in a matter of few years would be in a far stronger position than Eritrea and would be able to dictate on us whatever they please.

      The reason is however, not because we ever had a FAKE existence as you claim, rather Eritreans are under the clutches of a regime that is determined to decimate them for good from the face of the earth. We never lost the war at the borders or at the turn of 1991 when we proved who we were. We lost the war right inside Eritrea, at the Asmara frontline where Eritreans were swallowed up in mass or ab ginbar asmera eritrawyan ztewahtula!

      • Asmerome

        Selam Haile
        Your argument doesn’t hold water You are so exaggerating the reality of our nation .You said “Eritrea grows $$$ without any one having to do any work if they so wish ” is out of reality and that’s not happening now there is no sign it could happen in the future
        You don’t have any clue what tomorrows Eritrea is going to be you may have (as most of us have )the best wish for our country but from our past history and from what is going on the political spectrum .Remember before our independence we where promised heaven and see what we got .I am not sure if we can boast about the future couse we have no enough knowledge what future is going to bring .We can talk what’s happening now and there is nothing that we can drag about we are in desperate need of peace and freedom.
        The thing you are talking is all in your imagination the reality is absolutely different

        • haile

          Selamat Asmerom,

          Leave aside the fact that Eritrea, merely seven years after devastating 30 year war, was in a position to fight a hugely costly border war tells you what kind of strength the nation had. Please listen to Kibrom Dafla FULLY to get another verification.

          Yes, the promise was shattered by IS’s sickening betrayal, but what is wrong with stating the resources that the nation has? Didn’t the minerals start to churn out cash? Everything else is in a lock-down so what can one expect.

          Along the line traced between two extremes: that “witness” says Eritrea was never meant to cope as independent nation and mine that says we were never meant to cope with a criminal regime, where does your “reality” appear to be closer to?

          So long as we are not released from the Eritrea jail and my claims put to test, let them stand 🙂

          You are right that the demise of the regime may have some risks, but in balance I would like to hope that rational people will rule the day.

          • Salyounis

            Selamat Hailat:

            In her article “National Self-belief and Bologna Festival”, the author, Miriam September (Dr. Harnet) says:

            Self confidence and self belief were so widely and deeply entwined in us as a nation at the time that this psycho-political factor was decisive for winning a struggle in which the opponent had a clear upper hand economically, militarily and even politically.

            This self-confidence and self-belief is now described as “arrogance” or timkiHti. It is being described as something inculcated by foreigners (Arabs, mostly. Sometimes, the psuedo-historians also go for Italy. All enemies of Ethiopia. ) And, so, the counter-narrative: Eritrea is an “artificial” country created by Italians. Eritreans have no reason to have any confidence; in fact, they should spend 50% of their time apologizing; 25% of their time begging and the other 25% thanking those whom they begged for favors. Eritreans have no heroes except those, you know, who stress Eritrea’s connection to Ethiopia (bold, truth tellers) or those who rail about its empty pride and arrogance (bold, bold men). It is an inconsequential country; barren; no resources; a historical mistake which, in prior years, would have been eligible for abortion. It is also “tiny.”

            I don’t know if you read it but the otherwise intelligent man, Yebio Woldemariam (not to be confused with Ethiopia-wey-mot ghirmay yebio), has written another assume-fetus-position, suck-your-thumb, woe-is-us article at asmarino (of course.) What I find interesting is what the editors chose to excerpt from his article as a teaser:

            “As the politics of the 1940s testify Eritrea has always been in the verge of splitting into two, thanks to Bevin-Sforza plan which advocated for its division based on religious and ethnic reality of the colony.”

            Well, no. The politics of the 1940s do not testify that at all. The politics of the 1940s show that Eritrea was divided between two blocks: those who wanted to be part of Ethiopia, and those who wanted Eritrea to be independent. THERE WAS NO MOVEMENT IN ERITREA TO HAVE PART OF ERITREA JOIN SUDAN. The foreign ministers of England (Bevin) and Italy (Sforza) proposed that Eritrea be partitioned. Bevin-Sforza was one of many short-lived proposals floated as an alternative to federation. In fact, the bloc for Eritrean independence was at the UN corridors lobbying for the defeat of the Bevin-Sforza plan. (hardly the act of someone who wants to be partitioned.) Bevin-Sforza is a proposal that ETHIOPIA accepted. It was a proposal that the Eritrean unionists accepted (of course: they accepted anything Haile Selasse did.) A proposal that the UN voted for with more yes votes (37) than nay and abstentions combined (21). A proposal that was bundled with a vote for Libya and Somalia. It was a proposal rejected by the pro-independent bloc. It was a proposal that got defeated ONLY because the Haitian representative to the UN defied the direct orders of his president and voted his conscience and VOTED NO when the issue of Somalia came up.

            The first serious document to re-cast Eritrean history as two blocs, each calling for union with a neighboring country (Sudan and Ethiopia) was Isaias Afwerki/PLF’s Nehnan Elamanan. At the time, the PLF-3 (the proto EPLF) said that because it wanted to show that it, and only it (not the Independence bloc of the 1940s; certainly not the ELF of the 1960s), was the first nationalist movement in the field. Now, in a strange 360, (talk about circular journey), the fib that PLF-3 wrote for self-serving reasons is being used to describe Eritreans as a nation made of people “on the verge of splitting into two”. More and unnecessary and false history which can only undermine Eritreans’ self-confidence and self-belief as they create a movement to dismantle tyranny. Aasha ztekhelo….


          • Dear Sal,

            I don’t think the Author said there was a movement willing to unite with the Sudan ( or advocating for unity thereof). Are you not reading what’s not there? The phrase “AS the politics of the 40’s testifies”, as I understand it, does not suggest the existence of “mhaber Andinet with Sudan”.

            The Author even predicated the phrase ” AS the politics of the 40s tesfies” on the Bevin-Sfonza plan, a plan that partially described the “political hawahu” of the time. Gotcha ! Didn’t I 😉

            You may have twisted it so that you can make your point (false attribution). Lets’ be honest.

          • Salyounis

            Selamat Dawit:

            I quoted the piece in full:

            “As the politics of the 1940s testify Eritrea has always been in the verge of splitting into two, thanks to Bevin-Sforza plan which advocated for its division based on religious and ethnic reality of the colony.”

            The politics of the 1940s do *NOT* testify that “Eritrea has *always* been in [sic] the verge of splitting into two” thanks or no thanks to Bevin-Sforza.

            I am assuming you know Bevin-Sforza Plan. I am also assuming you know what he means by “religious and ethnic reality.” You didn’t learn history at the YG Academy did you ?

            The end 🙂


          • haile

            Hi Saay,

            A great piece! Concise and precise manner of putting things into the right perspective.


          • Asmerome

            Selam Haile
            1.Yes, we hope rational people will rule the day , but we have no guarantee except to keep hope alive
            2. There is no question in my mind that Eritrea’s independence was achieved through hard struggle of our people
            My point is about your exaggeration and false hope that has no indication what so ever to be achieved in the near future .Again you said “Eritreia grows $$$ without any one having to do any work if they do wish…” This has not not been achieved by any nation on earth and it will not be achieved by Eritreia too! Why ? Because it is out of reality in every sense of it .I know that you are smart enough to understand to achieve such kind of a goal what it takes and what needs to be done and with any standard of measurements we are not there and will not be there for any foreseeable time
            On the other hand if your measurements of success of our nation is “how the nation was in a position to fight a hugely costly border war” you are absolutely wrong . You can not scientifically measure a nation by how prepared they are for any kind of war this un heard false assumption and by the way you do know as much as I do the end result of the boarder war and it’s effects.(it’s another topic )
            Exaggerating things beyond the the reality empty promises and false hopes are not going to improve the situation of our people and at last we shouldn’t forget that we are still in the third world with all kind of problems that need real democratic solutions and we are not ready to take such a huge task of empty hopes .
            Thank you

      • Tamrat Tamrat

        Were you tplf around 1991?
        The victory of the West on communism, the dawn fall of the berilin wall, the disintigraion of ethiopian military, the marchining of tplf and eplf both in addis and Asmara, the seccession of Eritrea etc was concidered as the work of the well organized Eritreans. Such a sophesticated and organized People is still brought to their knees by the most isolated government in the world is mistrium to explain.

        So the question remains what happened now? Was the eritrean victory we were told was not after all the sole work of eritreans?

        Though Eritrea has no elected government or constitution one can assume from awate forum that Eritrea has reached to a lavel that they can discuss and come to a decission to convince their dictatorial government to leave Office. Who knows if they succeed they might tell us that it is their sophesticated discussion which removed the pfdj dictator and none other.

  • haile


    Here are the ten commandments of the brutal IA regime that is holding the nation hostage. The list can easily be extended to more…

    1 – Because some businessmen have been greedy, all business licensing is banned indefinitely.

    2 – Because some people have been importing expired/outdated items into the country, all import/export is banned indefinitely.

    3 – Because some people have been exchanging hard currency in black market, citizens are banned from handling hard currency and diaspora can only send Bermil (barrels) of cereals instead indefinitely.

    4 – Because some building contractors have been working unlawfully, construction work is banned indefinitely.

    5 – Because some farmers have been creating false cereal shortages by stocking up their produce, farmers are banned indefinitely from selling their produce in the market.

    6 – Because some fishermen were doing the same as the farmers,fishermen are banned indefinitely from selling their catch in the market.

    7 – Because some Asmara University students have engaged in protests, all Eritreans are banned from attending internationally recognized higher learning institution indefinitely.

    8 – Because some people were applying for visa without completing national service (that has no completion date), all able bodied Eritreans are banned obtaining exit visa.

    9 – Because some presses violated some press law of the country all Eritreans are banned from the right to express their opinion indefinitely.

    10 – Because some people my elect the wrong groups to power, the Eritrean people are banned from electing their leaders indefinitely.

    Here is the biggest rule of all:

    Since the Central and Commercial Banks (state owned) have some inefficiencies, every single domestic and diaspora based hard currency generation MUST be deposited on to a private account in a private PFDJ bank called Housing a Commerce Bank of Eritrea Share Company!!!!

    It seems

    No war No Peace with Ethiopia
    All war no peace with Eritreans 🙂


    • Tamrat Tamrat

      If you omit the ‘because’ then you very well explain the 10 fundamental rules of communit pfdj which imposed of eritreans.

  • amde

    Interesting discussion…

    1) I don’t see the border issue getting reconciled anytime soon for two reasons.
    1.a) EPRDF is suffering from deep buyers remorse for not negotiating Ethiopia’s access to the sea during Eritrean independence, and they want another bite at this apple. It is doubly worse since they missed the opportunity during the Badme war, where they successfully converted battlefield victory into defeat at court.

    1.b) PFDJ is stuck on the original master plan and its original self-image – ensuring regional Eritrean hegemony in the economic and political spheres through its demonstrated military prowess. Unfortunately, the military prowess was shown to be rather limited – leaving an existential crisis for the state and the party (let alone the nation and its people). It has this one line which it can push – and that is to declare itself the victim because Ethiopia did not abide by the Hague ruling. Since it has seen this argument resonate within Eritreans, it won’t get off the “final and binding” horse anytime soon.

    2) With the border issue in stalemate, Eritrea chose to continue the route of acting regional hegemon. This has brought it isolation, and an economy on the verge of ruin. State collapse is quite likely.

    3) No-one can predict for sure how state collapse will manifest itself in Eritrea. However, there are a few features that would concern Ethiopia and the West.
    3.a) There appears to be no post-Issayas political consensus among Eritreans.
    3.b) There appears to be no force that can be reliably considered powerful enough to ensure a quick post-Issayas stability (forget democracy etc… think in terms of a military dictatorship for example)
    3.c) The population is armed and severely militarized, and the country awash with a lot of weapons.

    4) Given the foregoing, there is no way the post 9-11 West will allow another failed state, with hundreds of thousands of militarily trained and armed young people, sitting on the coast of the red sea, and right across from Yemen. The Ethiopian government, having had to intervene in Somalia a number of times to protect itself from the results of a failed state on its border, is not inclined to want to see the same thing on its Northern border (especially since it borders Tigray).

    So from the Ethiopian and the West’s point of view, the current situation is not ideal but it is manageable and hence sustainable. Without a demonstrated strong political consensus, and the demonstration of a viable strong organizational capability that can quickly impose order in a post-Issayas Eritrea, there is no reason to push Issayas out. In other words – better the devil you know.

    So the question is not what Ethiopia wants – like any country, it would prefer a weak pliable state on its border that can be no threat at a minimum, and can be easily controlled if possible. At minimal cost. What this means is that Ethiopia will not be an invading force, or an occupying force. The cheapest way to ensure it will have maximum leverage in the post-Issayas world is to try and influence the political process as much as possible. This is a perfectly natural expectation from any country.

    It does not help the situation that Eritrea lies on the civilizational fault-line. It does not matter how old, how effective etc each of them are. The fact remains there are significant populations that see their “civilizational” home on the opposite sides of the border. The attempt to bridge the two via a secular unionist state and ideology does not seem to be working. Instead of a celebrated consensus, it is degenerating into mutual recrimination and mistrust.

    So it boils down to what Eritreans want. How close are Eritreans to having a “believable” post-Issayas vision, and a “believable” institution/mechanism to bring that successfully into reality? In light of the absence of a credible response to this question, the current situation will most likely continue for at least a few more years yet.

    Keep in mind also, that post-Isayyas does not necessarily mean post-PFDJ. Current policies might continue as long as PFDJ retains its financial sources as well as its repressive structure and it finds the “final and binding” mantra is still a potent horse to ride. (perhaps given even more life as the vision of the martyred dear leader to be held on to)

    • haile

      Dear Amde,

      A masterfully presented opinion.

      My question is that the analysis didn’t include:

      1 – with worsening situation the Eritrean people at home my react differently.

      2 – With greater conscience and sense of awareness in the diaspora that it becoming clear that they are playing a key role in enabling the regime to annihilate the Eritrean people, may be the diaspora pull the plug and become involved in demanding change and withdrawing support.

      The above two, coupled with intl. sanctions regime and isolation of IA in the inl. stage may herald his sudden departure. I always held that regardless of the level of maturity reached by the organized opposition, the regime can fall owing its precarious situation and inability to provide anything to quell the people’s suffering.


    • asmara

      amde = YG?

      The writing style looks like that of the mad man in Asmarino?…or may be not.

  • haile


    A common fear of deposing a dictator is “what would happen after?”. Imagine in Eritrea’s case, all the ethnic minorities waving individual flags, all the Afar Eritreans running away to Ethiopia with Assab, all Moslem Eritreans chasing around their fellow Christian citizens, everyone shooting on everybody else, the CIA coming and going as they please, Ethiopians running forays into Liberation avenue, dodging bullets, to hoist Ethiopian flag in every light pole… unbelievable chaos that we may be better off to persevere with all the current disastrous ways of the regime and its colossal destruction of Everything that Eritreans fought and died for:-)

    Well, just before you make your decision, please watch this video. There is a Town in the UK where the traffic lights have been shut off throughout the entire town. Could you imagine the total chaos and all the accidents and disasters they were setting up for. Well, they decided to get rid of traffic lights and other road signs for good 🙂 weird.


    • Hameed

      Fear-mongering will just make the present status quo continue and it is for the benefit of the regime in Eritrea.

    • haile

      Please note: the above a sarcastic comment, the answer is in the video. The real message is that you can remove a dictator and things are likely going to get better because the Eritrean people are good at self regulating.


      • Hameed

        I think there is no difference between my comment and what you have called the real message. I think you need to be more refined and chocolated. Mobbish comments will bring you down.

  • Godefay

    Selamat Gadi and Yonuis,

    It’s surprising how you two get ticked off when there is a seeming a minor criticism or acknowledgement of the Arab mentality and history, be it their political, social and historic relationship vis-à-vis with other religions or ethnic groups or their sheer disdain and hatred towards other religion groups. The point is, if you really hate Isaiah politics and care for the welfare of Eritreans (both Christians and Muslims) you should also condemn and officially refute the atrocities and crimes the Arabs and Muslims are inflicting on Christian Eritrean refugees. Arabs and Muslims don’t sexually harass Muslim Eritreans, they do that to Christians. Almost 100 percent of the younger kids which are dying in Sinai desert by Bedouin mercenaries are Christians and Moslems and Moslems are the killers and facilitators of the crime.

    None of the Eritrean refugees in Christian Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda or any other Christian African or European country gets harassed just because s/he is Christians. Atrocities against Christians almost exclusively happen in Moslem countries.

    Acknowledge the fact and stop defending Arabs.

    • yegermal

      Uffff… least read the discussion before you pour out your own deeply entrenched biases!

    • Tamrat Tamrat

      It is haram to ‘sleep’ With a muslim girl except her houseband and muslim men respect this Law firmly.

      When arab sympatizer eritreans oppose pfdj, dont you ever expect that you have the same goal. They even oppose eritreans learn in their own Language. Their campain is anybody who dont speak tigrinya must speak arabic.

      If the pro-orthodox president makes Eritrea as a member of arab League With an observer staturs, Guess what the elf Version of pfdj could make Eritrea.

      Since the beginning of eritrean movement started in cairo in 1961 the Whole eritrean politics, war, exile, hunger, etc is all about creating an arabic state. And every eritrean knows there would be no arabic state without the dominance of islam.

    • abe z minewale

      miriam is here

    • gebreab

      Dear Godefay.
      “None of the Eritrean refugees in Christian Ethiopia,Kenya,Uganda or any other Christian African or European country gets harassed just because he/she is Christian”i do not want to argue with you ’cause people have different experiences what they are going through in life ;so they talk from their personal experiences.I have never been in the aforementioned countries apart from Ethiopia, to judge the people(Christians)how bad or God fearing they are.I know for sure the Ethiopians are warm-hearted and generous people if we leave politics out of the game.And the Ethiopian-Christianity the same as Eritrean is harmless.It does not destroy people systematically unlike the so-called new-evangelist-Christians sprouting from the ground in UK,USA,Canada by intimidation or forced or gimmicks and tricks and invading Africa.To cause more harm than colonization.My appreciation goes to the Eritrean government for banning these devil worshipers from entering the country…. [From moderator: rest of message deleted. Gebreab, do yourself a favor and read our posting guidelines here:]

      • gebreab

        Please read It”whatever they want call themselves”.thanks.

  • haile

    Selamat all;

    Interesting are the exchanges between Eyob+2 (belay and bukhretsion) and saay+1 (SG. So far the mediators Rodab (let the Arabs lose some face and the Habesha some years (a whooping 2200 years to be exact)), Dawit (check your pride) have all failed. And both sides, it appears, are calling for reinforcements and entrenching their respective positions.

    So, let me try to get our Eritrea away from the dangerous zone that is soon to be the scene of the greatest battle of civilizations. Habesha takes on Arab, haz teTameTem, dlo keytElo 🙂

    As far as Eritrea is concerned, we are a nation of two great religions. Our people have gone through tremendous conspiracies and betrayals to test their unity. Alas, it is 2013 and none succeeded. We will always have the competing 2.4 children home. The christian highlander is getting more, no it is the moslem lowlander now… Such would always be part and parcel of our twin identities. We will need great institutions to pacify the ever perpetual power conflict. We are blessed to have such a people who preserved the mutual respect so far and it would form an excellent asset once we are released from the open air jail called Eritrea under the brutal IA.

    Since we mentioned IA, let’s then test if monies would go where mouths are. Assume that (just assume for argument sake) that IA is essentially Saudi/Qatar sent Janjaweed that has been unleashed on the Eritrean Christian highlanders. The question is that considering that the single most potent reason that he uses to justify his acts is to claim that the border war hasn’t been finalized (although such is just a bogus pretext, such claim stirs serious emotions in a nation where 80% of the population lives on farming and have paid tremendously for the land).

    So, whose side is the Ethiopian government playing by providing the key political justification to IA, the so called Saudi/Qatari Janjaweed for this purpose, to effect what is claimed to be taking place under Eyob+2 contentions? Just look at this picture:

    How could throwing few of this be such a problem to the extent that one has to be so self-contradicting!

    We started with one Elephant, we rared more of them, and seems we ended up with three more. And when we least expected it, we get a crocodile (albeit in tears). It seems we will soon have a safari here 🙂


    • Salyounis

      Selamat Hailat:

      Not exactly. I can’t speak for Saleh G but this is MY position:

      1. The Abyssinian and the Arab Civilizations saw their best years hundreds of years ago and they have been in a state of atrophy and decline for centuries.

      2. Have fun bashing Arabs all you want but please do not appeal to Eritreans on the basis of Abyssinian identity because its just as decrepit as the Arab culture.

      3. When some Eritreans favor Arab to Abyssinian culture, it’s an acknowledgement of assessment that, in its hey day, it contributed more to world civilization than the Abyssinian culture did in its hey day.

      4. I find it ironic that Ethiopians who want to manage Ethiopian diversity play down Abyssinian civilization in favor of multiculturalism but they feel quite comfortable fishing in Eritrean waters using “Abyssinia” as a bait. The flip side of praising Abyssinia is always always always trashing Arab civilization.

      It didn’t work for Haile Selasse and Mengistu. And it won’t work for Eyob despite all the false hope the YG Academy for the Historically Illiterate provides them. Eritrea was, is, and will remain a country that acknowledges its Abyssinian and Arab influences while, at the same time, tries to rise over their limitations. And God knows both have severe limitations.


      • haile

        Merhaba saay

        Qeshi Aba Gedle Yosief have long left that department. They are are now running the baptismal and baby naming departments. I see aba gedle Yosief have settled well in that capacity too 🙂

        • Saleh “Gadi” Johar

          That is hilarious Haile… what a befitting assignment.

        • L.T

          God deported Adam bcs of Hewan.Kaeil killed his Abel and leave his body away and so he went to exile to East Eden and his first son born Henok

    • I recommend that we mix histories and cultures and then reclaim ownership.

      Arab Culture + Habesha Culture – ghedli culture = the call it ሓንፈፅ Mayan-like culture.

      Arab history + Abysinian history – ghedli history = makes a very good alternative reality/history.

      And then call it quits.

    • belay

      We are not talking in behalf of the gvt of Ethiopia.Isayas Afeworki is fighting for a land he refused to recognise as Eritrean.
      He started the war,he was found guilty now he can’t have it both ways but has to listen to others as well.If he is going to turn against his own people by his own mistake,how is Ethiopia to blame?
      The man has a lot to answer to Eritrea people and has no an ,he will never give up power any way.So blame others ?
      Any way it is easy to say it is not my problem but it is my problem.We both affected by it.No offence intended at all.

      • haile

        Selam Belay – I know you mean well 🙂

        Let me first share with you something that has been bothering me lately. Whenever I call for the lawful settlement of the border issue, the pro regime people (Eritrean) also come here asking the same thing. And guess how that make me feel? It makes me feel like having turned up to a party wearing the same shirt as someone I frown upon. Naturally, I get lost in the crowed.

        My stand is born out of the firm belief that all roads to peace pass through legal avenues. Let me list the three important international laws that need to be uphold in our case:

        1- The EEBC final and binding verdict must be honored.

        2- The UNSC, under Chapter VII, is asking our nation to open its doors for through investigation as regards serious allegations that our nation has taken part in facilitating and financing TERRORISM. The IA regime is duty bound to honor the demand and guarantee full access. Short of that the inl. community is duty bound to take all the necessary measures to bring it to comply. (this is not the same as supporting my people to be sanctioned, but Chapter VII warrants action to be taken to preserve international peace and security).

        3 – The UNSC has been disturbed by the human rights violations of the Eritrean people perpetrated by a group holding to power unlawfully. The group and senior members of its leadership are internationally accused of taking part in acts of “human trafficking”. Hence the UNSC has again asked that an independent fact finding be allowed to enter Eritrea, the regime must grant that access. Failing that the world must take action.

        No body wants to be lead by a fugitive from the law, and peace and stability as well as natural progress can only be achieved through legitimate means. Look who you get lined up with when you default on legal obligation, those running away from facing investigations of serious crimes.

        If IA is going to find another excuse or not is commonly debated here, my point has always be second shitara is never as good as the first shitara to hoodwink people. Besides, he would have to do it under tremendously difficult conditions.

        I don’t expect any ordinary Ethiopian or Eritrean to be stressed about it here, it is a matter decidedly out of their hands. But, if you think about it, Ethiopian constitution requires that the Ethiopian nation state have a clearly defined boundary that would legitimize going forward with the demarcation. Eritrea doesn’t have a constitution, at the moment the Eritrean state’s territory covers as far as the muscle of King IA can muster at any given time.

        I hope you can see that my argument comes from a different angle as opposed to the pro-regime side, i.e. honoring legal verdicts and agreements. Who started the war issue, is long closed and nothing that can be done legally to alter the long concluded matter.


  • Tzigereda

    Selam Eyob,

    May I recommend you a book written by Jim Al-Khalili, “The House of Wisdom”.

  • Saleh “Gadi” Johar

    Lej Eyob,

    Nice to see you back after a long hiatus…I gather you are having fun 🙂
    I couldn’t help but think that Ethiopia is sitting at the highest pedestal of civilization with all your bravado. Insulting others and undermining them doesn’t elevate Ethiopia to a better position. Indeed, the oppression of women is a characteristic of all backward, illiterate and underdeveloped countries. The last time I checked Ethiopia was a member of such a club unless it has sprung out magically. As far as killing is concerned, you are stepping on my toes, I am an eye-witness to Ethiopian brutalities–mind you not chopping someone’s hand in a court, however sham its proceedings, and however insignificant it is compared to all the type of atrocities committed by Muslims and non-Muslims is, but wanton extermination of villages with its people and animals. So much for that, we need a little humility. By the way, those killed by non-Muslims are many folds if you want to be fair; I can help you with understanding that if you wish. Then when you talk about Arabs and Muslims, at least please try to draw the line between bigotry and fascism…don’t present both as nicoise salad! Bashing Islam is bigotry and the Habesha thing you are obsessed with leads to fascism–that fascism was practiced for centuries by your Ethiopian ruling class. Go ahead and bash any race, you can only be branded a racist–something you accuse Eritreans of doing against Ethiopians–and I agree, racism is racism whoever it is directed at. You seem to think racism against Muslims and Arabs is alright, in fact it is the obligation of every Habesha. Wrong Eyob. The Arabs are part of the underdeveloped, backward nation. No one can argue with that. But when you compare Ethiopia with Arabs, be it in economic development, human resources, and technology (whatever was borrowed from the West) only a denier can deny the gap. For example, if you claim (which I presume you are doing) that one can get more from Ethiopian literature than Arab literature, then this would be the pinnacle of delusion. As for Islam, the Arabs are less that 20% of Muslims–half your country being Muslims, insulting them is not a good thing to do. But if you think oppression of women and disrespect of human rights are different in Africa than the Arab world, you are again off mark. But Muslim bashing has been the in thing for quite a long time, and you riding that wave is no surprise. By the way, if you check your own history, your adopted kings (you being of Eritrean ancestry) have done more than what you can imagine of heaping on anyone, be it Arabs or otherwise. Remember the Qomata, saying in Ethiopia? You can tell I don’t like fetfet wet… and Tre Sga 🙂
    take care

  • rodab

    Since Sal & Eyob have irreconciliable differences on two fronts (the backwardness of Arabs and the 3000 years of Ethio history), let me suggest a middle ground to help narraw the gab between the two fellas:
    – dear Sal, are you willing to accept the fact that many Arabs indeed act uncivilized? The way they treat women and the way they treat immigrants particularly third world immigrants can be taken as exhibit.
    – dear Eyob, are you willing to re-visit your 3000 history insistence and slush the number of years to more acceptable values? For instance, start from King Yukuno Amlak of the 12th century(courtesy of wikipedia). He was the 1st “Solomonic” king…So strt there… This will give you a whopping 800 years of history.

    • Salyounis

      Selamat Rodab:

      I am rejecting the bi-polar universe Eyob is creating. I am saying, oh, yes, many many many elements of Arab culture, customs, traditions are very backward. But so are Abyssinian culture, customs and traditions. And ( this is the one that kills Eyob because ny West civilization tegorbitu natey kiblo sle zdeli): when an Arab looks at his currently decayed and regressive culture, he can look back at a great many things Arab culture contributed to world civilization (relative to Abyssinia) When the Abyssinian looks back at his, he’s got not much more than “I locked my doors and refused to open them.*”


      PS: I got a lot of help from the West to keep my doors locked but don’t tell that to anyone 🙂

    • Dear rodab,

      You meant 11th C right.

      • I meant to say 13th C. According to the book I have here

  • belay

    Dear Awatistas,
    we know Mr Isayas Afeworki,if crossed will do proportional revenge to satisfy his pride and pride only.Now,
    He(Isayas)has had gruges with the USA because he wanted to be the main player in east Africa.
    2.He knows The Arabs want control of redsea to control Ethiopia.
    3.Isayas wants to kill two with one stone.
    4.Eritrea young is in sawa camp.I doubt it if they are maried and are making children for the countries needs in the future.
    5.The future generation made to flee the country systematically,mostly the Tigrigna.
    I hope Mr Eyob Medhane is wrong but knowing Isayas Afeworki,it sounds that is what he is After.
    What else then?

    • belay

      Please read as,
      unpropertional revenge.

    • Eyob Medhane


      I wish I was wrong also. But I don’t think so. What is really sad, however is that the many Tigrigna Eritreans are assisting their own extermination.