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Ethiopia: The Seven Sleepers Of Ephesus Are Eight

The exact number of PFDJ members who have been calcified since the end of the 1980s is not known but there are a few of them. In fact their leader has turned into a pillar of salt.

The EPRDF is in a relatively better position, because it introduced an honorable exit for many of its veterans; in fact, TPLF recognized its elders and founders in the recent 40th anniversary celebrations. The EPRDF policy of “metekakat [renewal/ replacement]” of public servants and leaders is quite visible, except in a few cases where one is reminded of the biblical story of “The Seven Sleepers of Ephesus,” and its Quraanic equivalent “ahl al kahaf [The People of The Cave]” who woke up from their sleep in a cave after many generations, to discover that the religious persecution they fled from and were hiding to avoid has long stopped.

Recently Ethiopians and Eritreans discovered the sleepers were actually eight. The eighth sleeper just woke up and his name is Abbay Woldu, the governor of the Ethiopian state of Tigray.

Happy anniversary to the people of Tigray is in order; they earned the celebration with their blood, their heavy sacrifices.

Only the dishonest denies the development and economic strides that Ethiopia under the EPRDF is making. However, would anyone expect Ethiopia to be completely out of poverty and stand at par with the developed world in a decade or two? Not at all. But the country has firmly planted its feet on the road to prosperity. With a consistent development drive and a few decades more, there is a big chance that Ethiopians would be completely out of the African pit of poverty. So far, the country has almost made sure the degrading famine of the 1980s will not be repeated and that the image of bloated children crawling behind skeletal mothers, will be confined to libraries–kept in the archived films of the Jonathan Dimblebys of the world.

Both Ethiopia and Eritrea are criticized about their governance by many, though it is relative. Very, very relative. However, a single concept of good governance and a universally agreed upon measure doesn’t exist; judgments vary depending on credible, or amateurish indexes. To determine if a country has good or bad governance, people can take a yardstick of their choice and arrive at their own conclusion. But generally one can use the yardstick of the developmental model of banks (IMF, World bank, etc,) that focuses on economic institutions and public sector management and leadership, or the model of the political institutions (UN, EU, etc,) which focuses on democracy, election, human rights, freedom of expression, etc.

The African Union seems to be interested only in stability, while the armies of NGO’s have motives and goals equaling their numbers–the worst of them are those who are primarily interested in king-making. But for the people of the Horn of Africa (and many others), good governance is measured by the degree of adherence to “The Leave Me Alone Doctrine.” That is followed by the level of all types of security, and importantly, by the degree of justice (personal and communal) that the people enjoy.

Dedebit And Sahel

There are enough pulling elements within both parties who think the best governance practices should be sourced from Dedebit and Sahel, the TPLF and PFDJ reference points respectively. There is relatively less pull factor within the TPLF towards Dedebit, but the PFDJ is firmly anchored in the Sahel mentality and refuses to spring out of it. That is why the PFDJ runs Eritrea like a garrison.

That much is enough for the purpose of this article, which is supposed to explain the mindset of the eighth sleeper in the cave. It is the most serious threat facing Eritrean justice seekers who are alerted to remain paranoid and vigilant the minute they think of looking forward.

Three days ago, the TPLF celebrated its fortieth anniversary, which was a grand event fit for the occasion. Ethiopians, particularly the people of Tigray, deserve to celebrate. Unfortunately, judging by the views and belligerence of some veteran TPLF leaders, one is hard pressed to find differences between them and the PFDJ. It seems God created them from the same batch of clay.

The people of Eritrea and Tigray are proud of their struggle-era legacy and its noble ideals: selflessness, dedication, perseverance and courage. The two parties that led the struggle had a close relationship, though occasionally it was bumpy. Internal conflicts within the two parties existed, mainly on how to move forward. While in Ethiopia the forward-looking wing triumphed, it is the brutes and violent militants who came out victorious in Eritrea. In Ethiopia, the vanquished wing licked its wounds and was forced to adopt. Those who rejected change continued to play in the margins and raise issues–covert and overt threats–mainly targeting Eritrea. Alas, they include decorated veterans of the struggle era.

In Eritrea, members of the various vanquished wings are either rotting in jails or have disappeared from the face of the earth. No one is allowed to even play in the margins; one has four choices: rot in jail, disappear, be exiled, or live like a puppy on the laps of Isaias. There are prominent personalities that any Eritrean can name in all four categories.

Eritreans consider the Ethiopian vanquished wing a risk to their country. That wing includes those who openly campaign to re-conquer Eritrea, to disintegrate it, or to perpetually humiliate it. To many, this might be considered a perfect example of paranoia that inflicts Eritreans. Sometimes it’s not.

In his speech on the fortieth anniversary of the TPLF, Governor Abbay Woldu had this to say:

“During the 17 years of popular struggle, since the sea of reactionaries was wide, there was no one who didn’t attempt to annihilate this [TPLF] democratic organization… [Derg, EPLF, EDU and a host of others are mentioned] Jebha, supported all reactionaries to annihilate us, but in the end, it fell in [the fire], was charred, and disappeared.”

Was there a need for such bitterness and grudges carried for almost four decades to be mentioned by a statesman, in a celebratory event, even if it was completely true? Forget the Eritrean “Jebha” that the TPLF interfered to liquidate in its own country, in collaboration with today’s rulers of Eritrea; wouldn’t a show of magnanimity elevate the stature of the governor of Tigrai? Isn’t it time that such speeches, that are heavy on “Cadre Vernacular,” are better left to college activism, and history is better left to scholars, research centers, and universities? Why would a statesman speak like a radical student activist heavily sprinkling his speech with bygone terminologies?

In a recent Facebook entry, an Ethiopian intellectual reminded his leaders the following: “…our attempt to bring (the values) of Dedebit to Mekele should not take Mekele back to Dedebit…

Dedebit and Sahel are the springboards that the TPLF and EPLF launched their struggle from. Both people hold those places in high esteem. However, they don’t want the environment that was prevalent in these places during the armed struggle, to intrude, or be reintroduced to their independent countries, in their civilian life.

For Eritreans, the military rule and the ruthless security apparatus of Sahel has been successfully transplanted in “independent Eritrea” though the people hoped it will be relegated to history books and museums. At least Ethiopians are talking openly about it, warning their people of over indulgence in adulating those places, fearing the risks that old wounds would be poked and made to fester, and the path to normalcy would be hampered.

The TPLF crowned its struggle with victory, and it has a lot of exhibits that shows its achievements. There is no need for cheap jabs here and there. It’s not wise, or reconciliatory, to expect Ethiopians who were part of the Derg, EPRP, EDU, or other groups, to feel ashamed forever. Does such a spiteful speech characterize a victor or a bitter loser? Magnanimity is the weapon of the wise. For justice seeking Eritreans, the way the cadre-minded governor described the incident of the early 1980s is bothersome.

If the quote above was shown to any Eritrean or Ethiopian, they will not be able to tell whether it was uttered by Isaias or Abbay Woldu! Both describe the historical events in identical ways–delivery and content. And knowing the strategic interest of Ethiopia in Eritrea, that attitude is bad. People of the region (let alone their politicians and leaders) know that the terms “Jebha” and “Sheabia” are loaded; they carry other divisive connotations, and the TPLF knows that very well. Tickling that raw nerve and arousing it is a favorite pastime of both cadres of the PFDJ and some TPLF. It is a pity the late PM Meles didn’t drill in them enough wisdom regarding the issue, but then, maybe they were so thick headed to learn!

At times like this, Eritreans, as they wish for peaceful relations with their neighbors, pose a critical question: is Abbay Woldu likely to be comfortable with an Eritrea that is governed by any other Eritrean party except the PFDJ, or its clone?

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  • Kokhob Selam

    relax man. stop writing when you feel you are emotional. you will say something you don’t mean it. this is the proof,. We want to change the culture of PFDJ, (destroying the name of great people).

    • Rahwa T

      1. “Alem shilu
      … ati Alem shilu
      gzie’mo kinkor’Alu” (song from Eritrea)

      2. Ati Shilu.. .
      shew belilu (song from Tigray)

      My understanding is that it has negative meaning

      • Kokhob Selam

        yes, so why even use it here.

        • Rahwa T

          Dear KH,
          Do you mean I shouldn’t have posted it here? sorry, My intention was to show the negative connotation of the word.

          • Kokhob Selam

            no I don’t mean that. what I mean is why we are talking about it from the beginning. I know you didn’t start it and your are explaining.

      • Saleh Johar

        Shilu is not a bad word, it is just the name of an animla…. could it be you are mixing it with a bad Amharic word, which is close to it?

        • Kokhob Selam

          ዘመናዊ መዝገበ ቓላት ትግርኛ ብተክአ ተስፋይ ሕታም ፩፱፱፱( 1999) ገጽ ፪፰፪ ( page 282) ትርጉሙ-

          ሽሉ ቅ(ቅጽል) – ንጓል ኣንስተይቲ ጥራይ ዝዝውተር – ገዛ ገዛ እት ዘውር – ዘይወረጃ – ታሰሙ : ዝዋሮ -ዝብል ትርጉም ተዋሂብዎ ኣሎ ::

          • selam

            i just read it now thanks , the man who told me was right.

        • selam

          ሽሉ ማለት ኒ ወዲ አንተ ተተኪምካሉ ለባ ፣ ወይ ካኣ ሰራቂ ማለት አዩ።
          ን ሰበይቲ ወይ ኒ ጋል ኣንስተይቲ አንተ ከንካ ካኣ ዘዋር ፣ ሚስ ዚኮነ ትዘዉር ማለት አዩ። ንዚያዳ ሃበረታ ጊና ኣብ ናይ ቲግሪና መዝገበ ቃላት ኣላትካ።

          Now it does n’t mean i am offended to the limit i want cry but i want to tell him that such prejudice should not happen because he is a man so say any thing he wants.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam, It is a word specifically used against female, and it is “ሚስ ዚኮነ ትዘዉር” or Zewarit.

          • Saleh Johar

            selam, Amanuel and Gheteb,
            I have a feeling you are all confusing it (including your translator selam) with the Amharic “Shellie.” Appologies, I have to spell it so that we stay on the same page.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Let alone to confuse “shilu” with “shellie”, I don’t even know the word “shellie” in Amahric. It is first to my ears as we speak now. It is common word, at least in the surrounding I grew up. So It is absolutely a tigrigna word.

          • Abinet

            Ato Amanuel
            If you have never heard of this word, it only shows that you really are a very decent person . I’m also absolutely sure Ato Saleh never used it . It is a word usually used by ” Sid Adegoch”
            It roughly means a working girl
            (Prostitute). It is a word used by the likes of you know …..

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Abu Saleh,

          Kokhob Selam has it exactly. It is not Amharic, it is our tigrigna vocabulary. When we were young, it was a common word we use it to insult girls. Let us avoid the word completely from this forum. It is a bad word. Kokhob you have it my friend.

        • Rahwa T

          Hi SG,

          I will accept what you said, memhir. I am from Tigray and I learnt speaking Tigrigna long before I heard the Amharic word in your mind.and so am sure I am not mixing it. May be you had never neard the 2nd song as it is not from your home country. Thank you anyway.

  • Hayat Adem

    Older people? How old are you? Not that it matters but why do you make a statement out of no-knowledge? Why do you take such a foolish risk at will?

    • Gherhi

      Well, you are right. If you don’t even know what truly shillu means, you might be very young.

      • selam

        why are you still bully any way ? what is this all about ?
        Now you are bullying us using your age .

  • Belay

    Dear Gheteb,
    Shilu is drived from the name of the Bird SHELA, a very fast flaying bird, which snaches food from kids hands, in a fast speed.That is Shela for you.
    But, if you say Shilu to a girl, it can mean, a girl seen almost every where (fast moving) so, still offensive.

  • ‘Gheteb

    ” War and Rumors Of War” in Eritrea
    Somewhere in the Bible it is said that at the end of times mankind is going to hear a lot about ‘Wars and Rumors of Wars’. Here, in this forum, foretellers of impending civil war in Eritrea abound. Even we have a “sibyl” who is confidently prognosticating that Eritrea problems could be easily solved by an Ethiopian invasion. Here we are not offered why Eritrea’s problems could be solved by Ethiopia’s military intervention. I have not seen any solid reason and convincing evidence that Ethiopia with its innumerably myriad problems is even capable to shoulder such a mammoth responsibility. A country that has not put its house in order is being called upon to solve Eritrea’s internal problems. Now, the question is why would anyone claiming to be an Eritrean would show such a yearning for a military intervention by Ethiopia? What is the rational behind such a call?? What are the ultimate results the prognosticators and the “sibyl” of War and Civil War in Eritrea that they are hopelessly pining for??? What is the ulterior motive of those spearheading such a campaign in this forum??? Simply put, why are they pitching this military intervention in Eritrea. I mean why are they incessantly trying to sell their warped idea of their “Emama Ethiopia” invading militarily a neighboring Eritrea and Eritrea’s problems would be solved just like that in a trice. One can raise innumerable ramification should an Ethio-Eritrean military confrontation is to transpire. However, this is just a reminder to those who are in mission of “measuring and gauging the barometers and thermometers of the reactions of Eritreans in this forum” about the idea of Ethiopia’s military invasion to save Eritrea from an impending civil war has the chance of gaining traction. I am here telling them that such a fatuously bankrupted idea is so whimsical that it is not only NOT gain any currency, but it doesn’t not even have the value of a “Seldi-Tilian” ( Italian coins).

  • Abinet

    Ato Kiros
    Please accept my virtual hug .
    Thank you.
    Where have you been so far?
    Please come often.

  • selam

    I am not religious and i am not a supporter of war. That does n’t make me ignorant what the military can do if we used it wisely for example in the form of stopping genocide. I am not defending IA or HGDEF either. I am 100% against them and i can take a stand in Asmara street to demand justice and change if you people can help us grow more in numbers. Until that i will do every thing at least to have one person in my side in one day against the dictator.
    Silence has its rules and some times it can be really really ugly so do not count us out yet , we will do our job in creeping this monster in Asmara.

    So lets go back to history actually recent history , may be some of you were in Eritrea at that time.
    I have protested against this tragedy not to happen. I have went far from Massachusetts to Washington raising funds to stop the war . i have told people this war will result in another bloody war. I have gone from university to university to tell every young generation this war is ugly with out any result. Of course the polls where with us and the american people was with us .The war was not first choice but after some days this unforgettable history was on the folding.

    At the time Saddam , there where so many Iraqis who oppose Saddam . So the americans framed the UN in the notion saddam will nullify millions of people with tritium.So what happens next was that all the Kurds did not fight alongside saddam army.We all know what saddam did to Kurds.Saddam was the most evil dictator we can think of , where he kill people ever were they make noise or did not listen to him. While he drinks with gold plated caps and giving millions of dollars to who ever he wants there were millions of Iraqi children get dead as the sun rise and set. Again millions of people get killed by the result of some one crazy man. Most Iraqis know for the matter of the fact that saddam does not have Nuclear arsenal. They knew for fact that saddam does not have any capability who came to power in America.The western news organization beat the drum for military action. At the time of Saddam all the Sunnis and the other groups of Iraqi were living ok even though they have their differences from the time Prophet Mohammed death. What Saddam propaganda machine did at the time of sanction was tell the Iraqis every thing bad about america for almost 10 years non stop to Iraqi people’s head. By the force of the american military complex and their hungry news organizations , Bush ring the bell for war.

    Just as the americans and UK forces enter to Iraqi most on the western news say HULA , they have got him. They show us the Iraqi people on the streets of Baghdad saying welcome to our home . Is there any one from this forum who can debate me with out taking any news from the western propaganda machine that , Iraqi people welcomed Americans with open arms ?
    I was in Massachusetts at that time and i was with my middle eatern friends , i asked them what do they think. They all said ,we will see after 1 month then we can talk. We all know what happen to the Americans and the Iraqis .

    Now i am not naive to tell people this choice and that choice, but i hope , people like all of you in this forum with out some , to advocate for at least no help from Ethiopia militarily. I would love if the Ethiopian government give money to the opposition and do their work independently ,I mean if they love the Eritrean people. I do not think they will do that though. The one who pays decides and that is true about money. If they have any good intentions about the Eritrean people , they could just withdraw from Eritrean land and after the border commission work is done , i am sure HGDEF could have been in a very tight road to dictate us. So i blame weyane for not cornering IA and his cronies.
    All ethiopian officials stated on open air that no peace no war is serving us good.

    I know i just lost my my sister’s son , her husband and uncle in the border war with Ethiopia and i do know what all my families think about that war. That feeling is the same all over Eritrea what ever their support for the war . It does not matter what you think about the legality of the war if you are fighting with your enemies . The Ethiopian people may not be wishing us bad but their government did.

    So am i talking alone in this that , any military help from ethiopia does not serve us good as far as the Eritrean people see Weyane as enemy. Do not count the 100,000 refugees in Ethiopia these people, see the Ethiopian government as angel even that can be debated. There are millions of people who does not eat three times a day in Eritrea, they still see weyane number one enemy of the Eritrean people. Once they have the open window to talk and fight they will fight to the last drop of blood even though HGDEF is their enemy number one.

    If the Eritrean people believe HGDEF is number one enemy, so they let in ethiopia t i will open to the idea of military even though it is against my deep believe.

  • selam

    Abay weldu work looks like this.


  • On Ethiopian intervention in Eritrea:

    To intervene or not to intervene? Damned if she does, and equally damned if she does not, is hanging on everybody’s mind. I have always said she would be damned if she intervenes, and I still believe it.

    With no organized opposition, and with no strong armed resistance up to
    now, more than twenty years after the dictator ascended to power on the shoulder of the Eritrean people, the regime seems to be in no hurry to do anything. With the opposition outsourcing the fighting to the Ethiopians, and with no indication what it would do itself in such a situation, the regime in Asmara does not seem to lose its sleep. With no tangible plan for the day after, and how the void would be fulfilled, and forgetting that the vacuum could suck in a vicious PFDJ that will unleash a catastrophic come back, and Eritrea might find itself in a situation of civil war; there seems to be no well-studied plan at hand on the opposition side.

    If the opposition cannot give a fight, then it cannot control the situation afterwards. With no strong opposition force fighting with the Ethiopian armed forces (in case Ethiopia moves in), Ethiopian intervention cannot
    be seen differently than an outright invasion.

    In addition, why should the regime confront the Ethiopian army more than
    necessary? It can sustain its power intact by simply retreating to Sahl and
    elsewhere, places known to it, where they had survived for thirty years, until Ethiopians and the opposition say “mission accomplished” and the Ethiopian armed forces go back to their barracks. Who is going to control the vengeful and unscathed PFDJ, when it comes back full force to reclaim power? Would not this open Pandora’s box?

    Ethiopia does not have a magic wand in her hand with which she could
    create a miracle, and everybody would then be satisfied. If Ethiopia makes the mistake and enters Eritrea, she will be in it up to the neck, and there is no other way. If she goes in and unleashes the demons, she will be forced to remain there until the dust settles, because there is no force to fill the void. It would be in a hostile environment, no different from Somalia, if not worse. Otherwise, Ethiopia would leave behind a country in turmoil, and instead of deposing a dictator, she might be creating a country immersed in a civil war. Ethiopia would have no choice short of staying there (not only for a second, but only God knows for how long), as long as she is going to create a void that cannot be filled with a strong opposition. That is indeed a quagmire, no Ethiopian wishes for their country. As things are today, proactive measures are no better than facing the real nightmare.

    We are putting the cart before the horse, when the opposition is doing
    nothing itself, and it puts the problem of dictatorship and the ensuing potential civil war on Ethiopia’s shoulders. First, the Eritrean opposition should form a strong armed resistance, and then ask for a little help from their big brothers. Outsourcing the fight to the Ethiopian army, and having no Plan B or a plan for the day after D-Day, will not solve the Eritrean
    problem, but might even create a new one.

    Therefore, let the opposition organize itself, create a strong military
    wing that is battle-worthy. Otherwise, nobody should expect Ethiopia to play with fire. Better to leave Eritrean problem to Eritreans themselves, to do it in their own way, and in their own good time. There is no reason at all for Ethiopia to sacrifice her developmental endeavors. A good-luck comes once in a lifetime, and Ethiopia is living it today.

    • Kim Hanna

      Selam Horizon,
      This is a brilliant analysis and suggestion. Our current government has demonstrated its intelligence and wisdom on many occasions. Based on this strong belief, chances are very slim that we will entertain a military involvement in Eritrea. They, ministers of Ethiopian government, understand what they mean by, you break it- you own it.

    • Amanuel Hidrat


      I like this line of saying: ” A good-luck comes once in a lifetime, and Ethiopia is living it today.” I hope the good luck of us ” Eritreans” is ahead of us.


    • selam

      Why will any one advocate for armed opposition while all the opposition are ill equipped even to have a great negotiating plan. They lack every thing , they are very far from the need of the Eritrean people.

      Why will you think any Eritrean opposition group will be in power after they kill their brothers with the help of ethiopian forces ? Any opposition groups that comes from Tigray is dead at day one.
      65% of Somalians do not support the weyane puppet and they are where they are now. That should be worry you if you know how politics play out.

      But lets make it clear for you Ethiopia has zero capacity to carry a long war . They are in more dangerous position due to Weyane evil job. At the moment over 54% Eritrean army is made of the low lands and that will never ever settle good with weyane. Ethiopian forces will die and will never go back alive . After that what is left is the unknown. Lets imagine IA is gone and the opposition will do what ? Do you think they will rule as we all wish to think ?

      We have to be realistic when we write, we can not just write our wish based on zero grounds.

      I really would vote for no Ethiopian help and Ethiopian way, because what they have in the box is not good for Eritrean people. Weyane does not want a democratic Eritrea and they are just happy as it is now.
      If weyane has the capacity to invade Eritrea they could have done it but they know, it will not be as they wish.

      We need a better solution and that is the Eritrean people , they are the one and only better to do the job.
      We do need TPLF help , they are evil and they do not wish us good.

      • Kim Hanna

        Dear selam,
        You probably didn’t intend it to mean that way, but your last sentence says it all. That is the contradiction that will play out in one form or another for generation. Don’t worry no one is coming. You are on your own.

        • selam

          KKK hi Kim

          I actually lost the not word , sorry for my left finger , what i mean is that , we do not need TPLF help . Sorry for my failure , you see in this website you can not edit ,that does not give me chance to put “NOT” . unless every thing i said , i approve this message. By selam lol , did you see the election campaign of USA what they say at the end of a campaign video.

      • There are times when you say that, it is the regime that is responsible for the predicament of the Eritrean people,
        and the regime must go. You also say, it should be done by the Eritrean people, – fair enough. However, you never tell
        us how to go about it. It is simply oxymoron when you say, if the opposition goes for an armed struggle, it is a brother killing a brother, but when Eritreans die in dungeons, at the borders by the shoot to kill order, or in the Med. Sea, the Sinai, the Sahara or elsewhere, you do not say the same thing. You do not say that the regime is responsible for these deaths by creating an inhuman living condition within the country, and this is a brother killing a brother.

        You do not want armed struggle, the only possible way to depose a self-imposed dictator; you cannot do it through the ballot box, because there is no constitution and no
        elections. Then how? Through divine revelation, epiphany? Just saying that the regime should go, but at the same time obstructing the way, is no good. It is no different from saying; do not touch the emperor.

        • ‘Gheteb

          I am not sure if you are like some of the Abessinian fundamentalists and some of their Eritrean fellow travelers in this forum who are unabashedly advocating for an Ethiopian military invasion to remove the PFDJ regime. Also, the through and through Abessinain fundamentalist, Hayat, is trying to peddle this nonsensical hokum that Eritrea is so precariously fragile that a civil war will indubitably inevitable. Hence Hayat is spearheading the campaign that calls for Ethiopian military intervention in Eritrea. Nothing new there as it is wish that is deeply and closely held to the hearts of all who subscribe to the antiquated notion of Abessinian fundamentalism. You are asking Selam as to how change is to transpire in Eritrea without an armed struggle? My friend, there are myriad of possibilities among which are: 1) a military coup 2) a popular uprising a la the Arab Spring 3) Nature taking it’s course which is the passing away of the Eritrean tyrant thereby ushering a new possibility.

          • 1) Military coup is military confrontation, which may end-up in a brother killing a brother, which selam does
            not want, although military coup can serve the purpose, 2) popular uprising is easily crushed by totalitarian regimes, and 3) Nature can get rid of a person, but not a system. Therefore, you still need an armed opposition to depose an armed dictator, if it wants to come to power, of course, without Ethiopian intervention.

            You have coined a new terminology “ Abyssinian fundamentalism”. One should put it next to “Eritrean Ultra-nationalism”, for comparison.

          • ‘Gheteb

            I haven’t coined the term Abessinian fundamentalism. My friend, google it and come back to offer your mea culpa. Neither Egypt nor Tunisia has an armed opposition to effect regime change in the very recent past, if I need to jog your memory. Popular uprising may or may not be crushed easily depending which side the armed forces take. “Eritrean Ultra-nationalism” is what those who still have a deep hankering for ‘Emama-Ethiopia” derisively call what is otherwise known by others as just Eritrean nationalism. Regarding nature taking its course in the case of the PFDJ tyrant, one has to be exquisitely in the know that it may usher a much needed change in Eritrea. I can’t say more than that on that issue.

      • Ras Alula

        Selam – I don’t know where you source your information from, but Ethiopian has more than the capacity to invade and destroy Eritrea. What Ethiopia does not have is the apetite, nor the interest to do so. Why would Ethiopia invade Eritrea? For what purpose? For Eritrea’s natural resources?? Which ones, do tell? For the ports? Why bother?? They’ve been in disuse for alomst 20 years now. With the likes of Djibouti, Tadjoura, Port Sudan, Berbera, Lamu and Mombasa offering or preparing to soon offer efficient and state-of-the-art port, transportation and communication facilities that Assab and Massawa cannot, what use are Assab and Massawa to Ethiopia? What is it that Eritrea has to offer Ethiopia that would even come close to nugding Ethiopia’s interest to give Eritrea a cursory glance much less anything else? The brilliant “No War, No Peace” policy put into place and the Ethio-US engineered military and financial sactions (only on the ruling elite) imposed by the UN Security Council have achieved all that Ethiopia needed to achieve. Eritrea has been militarily defanged, politically beheaded, and economically declawed. It is a rump state that wallows standing still. I do, however feel sorry for the helpless, hapless and suffering Eritrean people who have no say in their destiny and who did not ask for what fate had been dealt to them. I truly do.

    • Semere Andom

      Hi Horizon:
      There is no need for Ethiopia to blindly intervene, it has to weigh the dangers that PFDJ poses to its red hot development that is bearing fruit to the delight of many and to the disappointment of PFDJ, which counts on the disarray of Ethiopia for its success. But Ethiopia cannot wait idly for the chips to fall as they may, it has to be proactive in dismantling PFDJ like what she did 3 years ago with its admitted bombing. This will embolden Eritrean resistance and it cannot go unnoticed. But outright invasion without our opposition getting its acts together is dangerous, not that PFDJ would to go Sahel to fight, they will not, and even if they go no one will follow them as before and the handful old and jagged echelons will run away if they make it.
      Ethiopia’s impressive economic renaisssance is not pure luck, it is rather the intersection of their clear thinking emembed in their rebeles days, the EPRDF was a stroke of genius assembled by the victor TPLF. The way they handled dissents and their “classy” political purging is paying dividendes. The Tigrayans after suffering for a century under feudal abuse has caught up and now it is time to spread the wealth, the oozing confidence, the trust by all Ethiopians to create a truly federal government that will withstand occasional temptations of cleavage from the bigots. The danger in Africa with so much diversity is things ferment insidiously and one day people wake up and poof the country has evaporated before the blood that is shed, the EPRDP must watch such development like a hawk along its obsession with economics

      And if as prophet Nitricc is counting on,. the Amharars and Ormos will come to get the Debebitawians, in that case Tigray can split as a separate nation with confidence after proving to PFDJ that port access is not a show stopper to be a nation if you have brains. But it is in the best interest of the Tigray to have a good relationship with Eritreans and address the grievances of the 1998 abuses until it is erased by indelible good deeds from the Tigrayan people. The way it is going, it is a matter of time before we read about EHL (Eritrean Highland League) so there is a both a long term and short term for both people to collaborate to stop the fragmentation of both nations and if the fragmentation happens by forces beyond our control, then new alliance must be forged by cashing in the relations that have been fostered.

      But to the timely question of to intervene or not, depending on the how thing unfold, both not intervening and intervening mindlessly are dangerous to Ethiopia, PFDJ want to survive not necessarily under the helm of DIA, if he drops dead today, PFDJ will continue and no change will come that will alleviate our dire problems as one of alligator stooges will replace him and business will be as usual and his son could be as dangerous as him. So in its quest to survive PFDJ will do anything to destabilized Ethiopia and if it does not intervene how about PFDJ collapse one day, same issue so it is not as simple as intervening vs not

      • Dear Semere Andom,
        Nitricc and the PFDJ, who are counting on the disintegration of Ethiopia, would be disappointed, because it is like waiting for Godot, who would never come. If it has not happened in the early nineteen nineties, the chance of disintegration in the future is minimal.

        Ethiopian ethnic states are being tied together through infrastructures, social and economic interdependence and cultural importation between these groups. More democracy,
        equal economic opportunities and economic prosperity will ameliorate, if not defeat altogether in the future, narrow ethnic feelings.

        Small non-viable nations are not the way of the future. More integration and cooperation is knocking at our doors, and we should heed this fact. In addition, new alliances are not as easy as they seem to be.

        To be frank, I do not like this so-called Lowland-Highland politics, because I believe that it will be much more dangerous in the future, if given the wings to fly with, compared even to Amhara-Oromo-Tigre ethnic politics. In Ethiopia, we see signs of a movement that is directed inwards, as the result of mutual economic interests and may be robust democracy in the future, despite what is being said to the opposite, as opposed to the centrifugal movement of the second half of the 20th century. In Eritrea, on the contrary, it seems that the opposite is rather going
        to happen, if geography and especially religion, are going to play an important role in the politics of the country, due to dictatorship excluding a big chunk of the stakeholders.

      • ‘Gheteb

        Which Ethiopia are you talking about, Mr.Semere? The one that is not only heavily indebted, its budget sustained by over 80% through loans from the World Bank, IMF? Or, the Ethiopia that is the recipient of billions of aid be it famine reduction or otherwise. Ethiopia is the spoiled darling of the West alright, but don’t forget it is the SECOND poorest nation in the world. Let me ask you this question and I hope you don’t mind me for being very blunt. Do you really think that Ethiopia has the military ability to invade Eritrea and effect a regime change? Are you honest enough to tell me what has stopped Ethiopia from doing precisely that in 1998-2000? Wasn’t Ethiopia armed to the teeth with all the modern military wares including mercenary pilots from Belarus to man the sophisticated SU-27 Jets? Didn’t Ethiopia has the tacit support of the West to complete its military campaign? Even if Ethiopia is to decide to invade Eritrea to effect a regime change, do you really think that it is going to be a walk in the park, nay, a “kitfo” dinner party? Do you really think that Ethiopia is that united to pull this colossal military undertaking? Do you believe that Ethiopia is also prone to internal conflict? Are you familiar with all the armed opposition group to the EPDRF rule? Do you think the Ethiopian Air Force that has been plagued with all the defection of pilots even a Mig-35 Helicopter gunship with its crew that deserted Ethiopia is intact and powerful to see through this campaign? Are you aware of the ethnic fault lines that so pervasive in Ethiopia and the real potential for an all out ethnic conflict? Or do you have another Ethiopia in mind? Has it ever crossed your mind that the reason that Ethiopia has not taken an all out military action because its leaders know something that has not crossed your mind. Something that goes like, if war is to break out this time, unlike that of 1998-2000 all gloves will be off from the Eritrean side and Eritrea would not be defending from its border only. Let me also hasten and ask you this: Do you really understand, I mean get it from your guts, how the Eritrean psyche to manifest when the invasion from Ethiopia is in the air? Do you know what their visceral reactions is going to be? Here, of course, I am not talking about the derisory sum of those Eritreans that I call the fellow travelers of the Abessianian fundamentalists. I am talking about your prototypical Eritrean.

        • Semere Andom

          Hi Gheteb:

          You have asked many questions and good ones, very hard to address address them all in a comment with any reasonable detail and depth. I will try on the following:

          1. On Debt and aid: so what? USA has debt, debt is not an issue. Did Ethiopia made impressive strides in development as measured by independent index? Did it lift some millions out of poverty, is the confidence of its population especially the Tigrayans more exuberant that it has ever been? Answer honestly, removing your Eritrean hat, your hate hat, your smarmy confidence

          As I said again and again, many things can wrong, nothing is guaranteed, but if all things go the same way as they did for the last 24 years, in the next 24 years we will be discussing other things about Ethiopia, such as how come millions of Ethiopians do not have access to internet. But we are assuming that everything goes as it did in the last 24 years

          2. On military ability: yes Ethiopia has military capability to dismantle PFDJ in a matter of short time and the reason is twofold: first Ethiopia has bettered its military after the start of the 1998 war and also this time the Eritrean people will be watching and will not join PFDJ when it protects itself. Ethiopia was armed to its teeth, yes while PFDJ lied up to its teeth and you saw the result of humiliation PFDJ suffered. Eritrea lost that war, be honest, it is good for the us to admit that and it was when the Eri pride was intact and ready to defend, PFDJ sabotaged Eritrea and the people have figured that out. Also please stay away from the DIA/PFDJ line of “kitfo” party, cocoa drinking diaspora and so on, it is cheap, we are debating Eritrean to Eritrean, none of us owns the truth we are trying our best to reflect the reality as we perceive it as dilettante observers. But since you brought is, “kitfo” will come handy when fighting the hungry Eritrean.

          3. On the conflicts and opposition to Ethiopia: only a fool will not see the conflict, I commented several times that Ethiopia needs to move on to embrace its highly diverse country to make it an assent and not to repeat the same mistakes the HS and Dergi did for using the country as a shining rod for a couple region and repression for most of the other regions, but think of this this way, what did the military opposition so far accomplished in the last 24 years? To give you perspective, in 17 years (1961-1979) the Eritrean ghedli almost liberated most of Eritrea if it was not for our divide independence was in our reach. In 17 years the TPLF liberated Tigray, so the Ethiopian armed opposition have nothing to show for for 24 years. The only thing that will change that is if EPRDF gets retarded and does stupid thing.

          Last but not least on the next war when the gloves will be off: Maybe there will be guerrilla attack against Ethiopia but the PFDJ will be over if war starts and that is what I said, bad idea to invade Eritrea without an organized opposition, strong and intact Eritrea is good for Ethiopia, but if war starts for any stupid reason under the current situation then, it will not be a walk in the park, nothing is a walk in the park, even a real walk in the park for an unhealthy obese person is dangerous but for Ethiopia it can be a tiring walk but it more likely to get to finish line almost unscathed

          • ‘Gheteb

            1) You say “debt is not an issue”. You are so wrong, I don’t even know where to start. You are comparing the SECOND poorest country, Ethiopia with the U.S.A. No that doesn’t hold any water because the U.S.A can afford to service its debt, but the beggar nation of Ethiopia has to borrow more money to pay the interest to its existing loans. Let me give you a simple analogy that may help make this a bit clearer. Imagine in the city where you live that there two restaurants, one Ethiopian and the other Eritrean. The Ethiopian restaurant’s owner got a business loan from a bank and has upgraded his restaurant with all the bells and whistles and he seems to be doing a pretty good business wise. Whereas the Eritrean restaurant is a bareknuckle basic restaurant with nothing flashy and doing an average business activities. However, this Eritrean business has no loan from a bank or other institution. For a passer by, it may look that the Ethiopian restaurant owner may seem like he is making gobs of money. However, even if the passer by may be smitten by all that he sees superficially, the Ethiopian restaurant owner is heaving under the heavy interest he has to pay for the loan he has taken out. The owner of the ramshackle looking Eritrean restaurant, with no interest to pay, is actually making a profit/return. I think you may still say, yes Ethiopia has debt, so what? I think you got to tell to those Ethiopian lawyers who are organizing to petition all the financial institutions that have lent the TPLF led Ethiopia BILLIONS of dollars, they are making the case these loans to be considered and deemed as “ODIOUS LOANS” and thereby this and the coming Ethiopian generation do not have to pay those loans. They are asserting that the TPLF thugs have siphoned off this loan money through their patronage system of crony capitalism. The point is while you are saying “debt is not an issue” the real Ethiopians ( Professional Lawyers) are telling the world this is not so as the loan is nothing but an “odious loan”.
            2) Let me thoroughly disabuse you on the issue of the military by stating first that, Eritrea DID NOT lose the war. In military science, there is a huge difference between a battle and a war. Sure, I admit that Ethiopia won the battles in the Western Section of Eritrea when its troops reached Barentu/Areza areas. But from there it stalled right there not even making an inch. It is also true that the Ethiopian troops made headways through Tserona , but again the military campaign sputtered right there and made no headways and the whole Ethiopian military machine lost steam. Now what does Ethiopia do to salve its ego by the failure to achieve its military objective has do something to show some gains and that was an attempt to capture the port of Asseb. Well, after 19 or so attempts the Ethiopian army earned nothing but utter defeat and therefore the battle of the Asseb front was won by Eritrea. Now what was the strategic/political objectives of Ethiopia when it launched it’s massive military campaigns?? There were two objectives which were the decimation of the Eritrean forces and reducing it by 2/3 (two third) and regime change in Eritrea. These two objectives were not achieved and therefore Ethiopia DID NOT win the war. You also say there will be no support of the Eritrean people in the coming/future Ethio-Eritrean conflict will stand in the side line and pretty much will do nothing. My friend that is your subjective and personal prediction and it is simply just that. You have nothing to prove that Eritreans are going to look at the conflict with their arms folded. Even a Martian wouldn’t make such a risible statement because Eritrean nationalism is not negated by how much an Eritrean hates the PFDJ. You are also saying Ethiopia will easily win because it has “bettered” its military ability this time. Need I remind you Ethiopia never fought Eritrea alone. I mean from the Americans in Haileselasie Era to the Soviets in the Degue time and now Uncle Sam and other Western powers have been pretty much supplying The Ethiopian regime with all the support they need. So what is that you are talking about that Ethiopia has “bettered” its military ability. They are the same Ethiopians that came and invaded Eritrea and we know what their fate has been. With Ethiopian pilots defecting and expressing the morale of the Ethiopian soldiers to be low; with you not even providing how the SECOND poorest nation is going to finance its military campaign against Eritrea; with you not even having the slightest idea if the Ethiopian people who are MORE polarized than ever would support Ethiopia’s military adventure against Eritrea like they did in 1998-2000, I am convinced that all you have asserted amounts to nothing more than a wishful thinking. Let me also add this about the “Kitfo” party and the umbrage that you seem to be taking and invoking unnecessarily DIA or anyone here. Let me walk you through how I came to use it. Chairam Mao has often been quoted as to have said ” Revolution is not a dinner party”. I have modified and adapted it as “War is not a Kitffo party”. Yeah, the Kitffo is directed at those Abessinian fundamentalists and their Eritrean fellow travelers who has been beating the drums of war, It was a grim reminder and you don’t need to get worked up if you are not blowing the war trumpets. You think that this time the Ethiopian army will “get to the finish line almost unscathed”. Again, not according to those who have studied military Science at West Point and now retired Maj. Generals of the U.S Army.

          • Semere Andom

            Hi Gheteb:

            On the issue of economics: I may have employed hyperbole for saying it is not an issue, but the point is your comparison of an Eritrean small business owner with that of an Ethiopian is not true. First, am sure you know on how capitalism thrives, so if the Ethiopian business owner is making even a zero profit and surviving even with debt and if what we see is the result even if the economy is a bit inflated then it is good. It is new and again you are glossing over the issue of “if this continues as it did the last decade” it can be refined. But you’re romanticizing wishful perception about the Eritrean business owner borders to hearing voices. There is no Eritrean restaurant owner, or small business owner, we have a system where if an Eritrean hangs a shingle and PFDJ saw a crowd bustling in that business they will force the person to close and give the license to someone else, or operate it themselves to make money, so do not compare non-existent Eritrean business owner with the “debt leaden” Ethiopian restaurant operator. The restaurants, small construction track and other myriad small business owners are printing money in Ethiopia, in Eritrea eveone I know who established some infrastructure related business or any business has gone broke princely because of what PFDJ does to profitable businesses and not for lack of Eritrean ingenuity. Even if you open a bar you will not have customers as the bear will be only available in the bars owned by PFDJ affiliates

            On military invasion, I never advocated for Ethiopia to invade Eritrea, but I support Ethiopia to give military support to the Eritrean opposition to remove PFDJ. Now, are you saying that if war breaks again that the 100,000 refuges will go back to Eritrea to defend PFDJ, are you saying that the daily mass exodus will stop and suddenly the love of PFDJ will be magically resurrected and the people will say ok, we will deal with PFDJ after we take care of the Woyane like they did before or do you think that any war, no matter what kind or who starts it the beginning of the end of the PFDJ?

            The Wet Point generals also said Eritrean armed struggle will never win the war against mighty Ethiopia, they said that USA will win the battle against terrorism in weeks, they are dime a dozen and overrated if past is any indication, the reality is more accurate, the “kitfo” fed vs. the starving, the debate driven decision vs. the one man show and whimsical, the country with international support vs. the isolated leper, the sane against the insane will be the next war not just Ethiopians vs. Eritreans.

            In summary, war is carnage and distructive no matter who “wins” it, its devastating effect will be felt for generation both the physical and emotional and I hope PFDJ is removed without any bullet fired, but that is not practical and all we can hope for is very small human blood to be spilled. But dictators are crazy and our dictator may lead the country to disaster by provoking war with Ethiopia and if that happens my believe is Ethiopia, what you call the second poorest, yea that country whose 1984 image still haunts people can defeat PFDJ, and PFDJ is not Eritrea, but along the way Eritrea maybe dragged and defeated and my believe is defeated Eritrea without PFDJ has better chances of rising than Eritrea with PFDJ that thinks it is a victor

        • Gherhi

          Gheteb, I agree with Semere here but my friend you write very well. Are you related to SAAY by any chance?

          • ‘Gheteb

            Let me hasten here and disabuse you once and for all. No this is not SAAY, a nonpareil Eritrean writer by any measure. No ‘Gheteb is not SAAY. But I am proud to tell you that he is my second cousin. Seriously and for real. As agreeing with Semere on the issues raised, you are entitled to your stance. However, the fat lady hasn’t sung yet and more rebuttals and surrebuttals are coming your way pretty soon!

        • Ras Alula

          Gheteb – You are dillusional. The Ethiopian army was not stopped by Eritrean military might while it was being supported by mercenary pilots and Western Powers. It is the very same western powers that put tremendous pressure on Ethiopia to stop the campain that finally forced the Ethiopian military to stop on its tracks when it was on the outskirts of both Asmara and Assab. If Ethiopia were to enter Asmara and remove PJFD and Issayas from power, the world knew then and still knows today, that there’s no viable replacement that could take over the reigns of power and stabilize Eritrea. The Western Powers also knew that with 50% of the Eritrean popupation muslim, there was a treat of an Islamic take over of power and worse a civil war. The west was not siding with Ethiopia or Eritrea. The West was siding with itself and its own best interests. Just look at what happened to Russia after its annexation of Crimea. With all its economic, military and political clout, the Russian economy is grinding to a halt under withering sactions. Ethiopia, EASILY, has the military might to destroy Eritrea but it DOES NOT have the power to withstand economic and political sactions were it to invade and occupy a member of the U.N. THAT is what stopped Ethiopia from grabbing Assab or demolishing Eritrea… threat of Western economic and political sactions. As for the dissintegration of Ethiopia… if it did not happened when Ethiopia was weak and chaotic 25 years ago, around the time the Dergue was removed and an unstable rebel force took the helm of power, it will NEVER EVER HAPPEN!! The time for the risk of the disintegration of Ethiopia is long dead. It only lives in your demanted sick and dillusional mind.

          • Nitricc

            Ras Ulala; please; you can not even defeat rag tag army the likes of Al-Shabab with American weapons and money. Yes, Al-Shebab an army with a pick up tracks. Regarding out skirts of Assab well why don’t you ask your inferiority ridden TPLF army? Even better; why don’t you ask your chief of staff General Gebretsadqan who cried like a little girl in front of your backward Army?

          • Rahwa T

            Here is general Tsadkan speaking. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndp_4i3E2RQ.

            Show us your evidence (DIA style)

          • operation sunset

            Operation Sunset 7: http://youtu.be/FZoB7uhxVQA

          • selam

            How the coming election to play out ?

            Ethiopia Ethnic groups.
            Oromo 34.9%,
            Amhara (Amara) 27%,
            Somali (Somalie) 6.2%,
            Tigray (Tigrinya) 5.6%, ….This group has won 96% of the vote of the ethiopian people
            Sidama 4%,
            Gurage 2.5%,
            Welaita 2.3%,
            Hadiya 1.7%,
            Afar (Affar) 1.7%,
            Gamo 1.5%,
            Gedeo 1.3%,
            Silte 1.3%,
            Kefficho 1.2%,
            other 10.5%

            I really do not want to reply about other hasty points you make.

          • Abinet

            What is funny beyond believe is your detailed knowledge of ethiopians . Some years ago you knew only the man eating Amharas. Now not only you pretend to know the others but also you are their defender. Welcome to ethiopia ! A country of diverse people.

          • selam

            Ow no that was not then either. Abinet think about this , how a weyane can stay in power ?
            One by having a puppet from other ethnic groups who could care less about their people
            Two by intimidation and depressing the majorities vote

            I am sure i can not have more than you but the things about democracy in ethiopia is just a game of trolls . I have never saw the amharas man eating .

          • ‘Gheteb

            Yes, my friend I may be dillusional(sic) [DELUSIONAL] that your “mighty” Ethiopian army failed to succeed in its military adventure against Eritrea in 1998- 2000. But one thing for sure that you can say is that I don’t suffer from this acute mental affliction called ” The Alula Syndrome”. Your Ethiopian army DID NOT make to the outskirts of Asmara or Asseb. When the Ethiopian military machine lost steam, your “mighty” Ethiopian armed forces could not move even an inch from around the mountains of Areza and the Western prong of the offensive stopped right there. Yeah, you can think that the Ethiopian armed forces were in the outskirts of Asmara, when in fact they didn’t even make it to the outskirts of Mendefera. Now, if you are a person afflicted with an “Alula Syndrome”, you can DELUSIONALLY believe that the Ethiopian armed forces were in the outskirts of Asmara. But that is only to those afflicted with an “Alula Syndrome”. The same thing happened in the Asseb front as the Ethiopian offensive could not make any gains even after more than 19 attempts of organized attacks. You see, let alone for your Ethiopian forces to reach the outskirts of Asseb, they faced utter defeat and had to retreat further back. Yes, right you can say that the Western threat of sanctions is what stopped Ethiopia from “grabbing Asseb and demolishing Eritrea” ? Are you talking about the same Western power which gave Ethiopia the tacit approval to invade Eritrea or are you talking about the very same Western powers that bankrolled the Ethiopian military campaign against Eritrea? You assertion is oxymoronic, to say the least. Let me tell you exactly why your Ethiopia may have a second thought this time about invading Eritrea? No, it is not what you are thinking. The international community led by the U.S.A doesn’t give a diddly squat about Eritrea and Ethiopia can do whatever she wants regarding Ethiopia. The thing that is stopping the TPLF-led regime in Ethiopia is twofold. First, they know what has happened to the Hailesellasie and Dergue regime because of Eritrea ( they were interred for good). Second, the TPLF leaders know the utter devastation that was wrought upon the Ethiopian army by the Eritrean troops in their last military campaign against Eritrea. ( Just read the reports in the book entitled ” Ye Derasiwu Mastawesha and there you will read General Tsadqan crying his heart out after the defeat and devastation his troops suffered in Tserona front).

    • Ras Alula

      Horizon – not a SINGLE drop of Ethiopian blood will be sacrificed to save Eritrean lives. We’ve already sacrificed to much for and because of Eritrea. The status-quo is the best solution for Ethiopia. No War, No Peace. Ethiopia does not need Eritrea in any shape or form. That has been proven beyond any reasonable doubt. If Eritrea cannot get her act together, then it is on Eritreans themselves to solve their own problem. Ethiopian however can provide material and logistical support to a viable force that is dedicated to removing Issayas and his goons but NOT A SINGLE PRECIOUS ETHIOPIAN BLOOD AND NOT A SINGLE PRECIOUS ETHIOPIAN DOLLAR SHALL OR WILL BE SACRIFICED OR SPENT FOR THE SAKE OF ERITREA OR ERITREANS!!!!!

      • Gherhi

        Ras Alula, are you in any position to make such decisions? For your information, most if not all Eritreans believe that change must come from within Eritrea and most Eritreans believe that it is possible. I don’t understand the conceit and excessive pride some Ethiopians show as far as Eritrea is concerned. While I applaud Ethiopia for a good set of efforts to lift itself out of poverty, the country ranks right down the bottom with Eritrea with every index the UN and other agencies put out. You guys still have a very long way to go. Showing humility will help you go further. Even Mengistu Hailemariam used to say ‘selam enwedalen mallet tornet enferalen mallet aydelem.’

      • Fetima Dechasa

        Selam Ras Alula,

        Thank you! 30 plus years of blood shed was enough. We must focus on what’s really important, which is to better our country and keep the development momentum going.

  • Admas