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Ethiopian Officials At Congress Of Start-Up Eritrean Opposition Group

The Eritrean Movement for Democracy and Justice (EMDJ), a new political organization founded by Eritreans exiled to Ethiopian refugee camps, is convening its first congress in a camp near Shire, Ethiopia, close to the Eritrea-Ethiopia border.

The organization, which claims it has an armed wing operating inside Eritrea, was founded in April 2011.

The members of the organization are drawn from the Eritrean refugee camps in Ethiopia and they are mostly escapees from Eritrea’s forced labor and indefinite conscription.

The organization’s political programme calls for the removal of Eritrea’s ruling party, the People’s Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ) and the establishment of a “popular, democratic, federal government” which respects the rights of Eritrea’s “nations and nationalities.” One of these rights is the right to “self-autonomy without restriction.” The similarity between the name of the organization and that of the ruling party carries to slogans: EMDJ’s is “Victory to the masses—in practice!”

EMDJ came to the attention of the Eritrean opposition for the first time in November 2011 when its representatives introduced their organization to the conferees of the Eritrean National Conference for Democratic change (ENCDC) in Hawassa, Ethiopia.

In an emotionally charged evening, a few attendees celebrated the introduction of the group, seeing great hope in its newness and claims that it has sympathetic Eritrean youth throughout the world.

Major officials of the Ethiopian government who deal with the Eritrean opposition have all traveled to attend EMDJ’s congress. But unlike other congresses, none of the known Eritrean organizations, EDA or ENCDC leaders or delegates, were invited to attend the opening ceremony.

None of the EDA leadership that Gedab News contacted had any news of the planned congress other than what they heard through the grapevine.

In a related news, last week, the Ethiopian authorities briefed the Eritrean opposition leaders about the mid-March incursion that they carried out inside Eritrea. Gedab News had contacted some members of EDA leadership who had said that they had no prior knowledge of Ethiopia’s attack.


In its brief existence, EMDG has drawn scrutiny due to colorful developments it was associated with.

First was the case of Angesom, who was influential member of the organization. Angesom (no last name available) was allegedly implicated in the lucrative human trafficking racket and law-enforcement officials searching his residence at a refugee camp uncovered “huge amounts” of cash. Angesom was promptly arrested by Ethiopian authorities.

There was also the power play between “Hagerey Negash” and “Dekemhare.” Apparently, “Dekemhare” attempted a “coup” against the leader, Hagerey Negash. The latter is now presumed to be the leader, and the few supporters of “Dekemhare” have gone into hiding.

A cultural troupe which was set up by EMDJ was disbanded and its equipment sold by individuals in Ethiopian towns.

Lastly, it suffered a setback when one of its members surrendered to the Eritrean regime taking intelligence assets with him.


Negarit’s reportage on the Hawassa congress has a mention of Hagerey Negash and his presentation on his organization’s military wing. You can read it here:


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  • Selamawi

    Division is our worst enemy. The more we divide the less likely we will prevail or should I say we will prolong our suffering.

    How interesting the Ethiopian authorities came to bless a young organization faouvouring one faction over the other in the internal conflict of the natiant organization.

    I am sensing the Ethiopian authorities are not as interested in an independent, viable opposition from Eritrea as they appear to be. Let’s see how this will develop…and may it be for the benefit of the poor nation!
    Eritreans unite! Anything less than unity – both in spirit and in action- is not to our interest, it is not a victory.

    Best wishes

  • TiETiE( Shiro bubble)

    Eritrea under esayas leadership is Like using a computer system made 1990 in use 2012. By all means esayas must removed. His anger, hi laziness, his evil ego running the country.
    Who defeated Derg Army. Believe me brothers – individual fighters, ganta leaders, and Hayli leaders, and Hzbi. Beyond that Rank stop no credit.
    >These people involved in human trafficking seem uneducated – they can not see beyond 500ft. I do not think they have global thoughts. How they got into the organization leadership such type of people? still some of these people are not learned what is corruption and corruption creators. Dangerous people in hopeful organization. They need character filter.
    > After the removal of esayas eritrean need to talk and agree with tigrayan and amhara. there should be agreement. ask them what they needed from eritrean. I am not saying back to ethiopia but to install life long peace while global thing is spreading fast there must be good thing win win such as full assimilation of ecnomic, social,and education with no border control except for crime control. Eritreans win and free of ethiopian kingdom. eritrean got it no one going to reverse it. No more ethiopian kingdom and eritrean got their color identity. no threat of kingdom from ethipia. I heard some eritrean fear of weyane I think they are running narrow thoughts there is nothing secret behind the help of weyane eritrean bring down esayas ugly. These ties only helps brings peace and economic porperity. with such bright color at eritrean hand no one will snatch what eritrean accomplished from gdeli struggle. Therefore eritrean must think and plan Global thing with tigrayan and amhara. Why ethiopian especailly tigray and amhara love eritrean? there will be good hope. while keeping their identity eritrean need to be friendly with ethiopian stop the legacy of gedli it was another chapter for purposes when it is over with result open new chapter with tigray and amhara. Let these young eritrean eat, learn, relax, work, get money, marry, have family and let them see their sun rise and their sun down, no derail,no sacrifice lamb. There is Ganin in each eritrean soul. Eritrean need MayDgam to kick out the Hwtut Ganin.
    Hager and MetsaE WeloDo is stupid idea. It should be abolished. At sometime I agree with the Msla of adgi – “Bdhrey Sa’Ari aytbkola”. Why I let myself suffer for MetsaE Welodo. What you did or left behind may not do the coming welodo the eaxct of your intention you died after your suffer death. Let us not be fooled again. We learing now thee Badme war bloody tserona were for vilain. It was done by foolish people such as wuchu and esayas gangs all are DmuDmu heads. ( DmuDmu – toxic Dangerous Swa mixed of gun powder and other dangerous chemicals danger to nerve system can make a person bloody fearless to death or coldblooded killer. wuchu is suspicious of that DmuDmu effect )
    > Think that the international court awarded eirtrea its border then the American told weyane to stay to frustrate Shabiya and esayas gangs. the esayas gang with their boasting vapour they did nothing in 12 years. Because the master. I am sure they learned it. All esayas gangs are sick,hopeless of the American action they are no longer men of Hskb, Ararb, himbol who used to Hawi Hawi zchenu their cruel order- Sgumti Wsedelu. With such known thee esayas gangs supposed to be smart to know the west superiority and wheel power before they head to war or at least stop it after the brief war. But they were bloody people at the expnse of fertile eritrean mother and they did not know what is west and who was the powerful police force.Now they paying it and the big victim eritrean people paying it too.

  • Woyane is the best enemy for all civiliazed human kind in the world.He is a black hole into darkeness in both side Eritrea and Ethiopia without Tigria.
    He is in his turn way to destroy “Tenieakna” Amhara and Eritrean culuter by one stone and he is to wrong gate as always.
    This kids know nothing and well back igain to Eritrea when everything is ok.To sold Eritrea to Woyane just forget!!

    • Eyob Medhane

      “…Woyane is the best enemy for all civiliazed human kind in the world…”

      Alright!…Woyane must be the superman. I never new they have this much power! So what should we do? I mean what should all humanity do to protect ourselves from this super villain? Is there any holy book or some kind of spell that you recommend to scare them away? Please, you must save humanity from Woyane or the world will end, as we know it. Do something, man. Do something. Please save us.. 🙂

      • It is not impotrant to us if they wish to spil fm rest of Ethiopia and made Tigria to great Tigria without us and why should we care?It is not our dumm…businnes.It was a grave mistak of us to protoct Ethiopians from their devided and ruled….

        • Eyob Medhane

          Are you for real? You thought I was serious, when I ‘plead’ to you for help to protect the world from the “evil” woyane?..That’s so hilarious… 🙂

      • How about “tinbit Isaias ” ?? would that help ?

        • Yes As “Nihnana Elamanan”Nov 1971 by Isaias Afewerqi and Tewelde Iyob and Tinbit Isaias or Red book (Poliltika Timhrti Ni hafash 1978)and it helps for Jebha to deport them to Sudan.Why not now to Woyane with “Suk Mibla MertXna “1985 “with Confedrtion with Ethiopia ” Ethiopia amharik Magazine Aser 1996 “Hanti Tiyt Aynitkisn Ena”1998″Kab Badme MiwtXa Malet”1999.
          He is so smart.

  • Am I reading too much to the event of “DEKAMHARE” …not happy with Hagerey ???…..Please ,do not think .I am being sinic…..I hope dirty history does not repeat itself ,……and Dekamhare is not labeled as “narrow minded regionalist “..I hope the young people know how to handle such sensitive issues. “B´temen ztenekhses bl´Htsi tedahle” diye koyne ???

  • Gobian Garibaldi

    “In how many hills have we not farted”, said the donkey. We used to use this kind of talk to brush off some other talk. Your Eritrea pre-1991: Ama was individual and free in every man and woman while Shaebia was individual and free in one man, comrade Isaias. Whatever comes into the picture have to understand that if it is not self-made, it will die. Shaebia was self-made in Isaias and it is dying. Jebha was self-made in many and it lives in many states of health and ailment and still finding its voice of Eritrea that was made in 1977. Not much seems to be said in this page and so I let myself say like the other few. May our good human senses prevail over evil.


    • awatestaff

      Oh, Gobaian!

      “In how many hills….” An expression that awesome, that pure, that irreverent, that rebellious, you must, we insist, you must write it in its original version. The original adage in the original language.

      Thanks in advance.

      From language fans @awate

      • Gobian Garibaldi

        merHaba Awate Staff and all,

        Awate staff, thank you for finding something you like in my short note of yesterday and for the sweet note. Now, am I being asked to say: “ab kinday AaQebet e’mo zeiTeretna” belet adgi? Well, I hope my answer is in my quetion to you, comrades:-) Thank you again for being sweet!


        [From moderator: We love it, Gobian. Next assignment, get Geez unicode so we can see it in its original beauty:-)]

  • EMDJ Member

    1 EMDJ Leadership was the one to report about the human trafficer Angesom and made him arrested.
    2 -Angesom Network members ( His cousin Awet, Sham and other’s ) flew from Europe and attempted a “coup” against the leader, Hagerey Negash with the help of Dekemhare to revive the Human trafficking racket Network.
    3- His cousin Awet, Sham & Dekemkare travelled to Mekele to bailout Angesom “human trafficking racket” for ethiopian Birr of 280,000 in Mekele Court – failed.
    4 -EMDJ Military wing condemned the act and suspended All Central committee untill congress.
    5- As of Now EMDJ + Hageray + USA & Europe members are in good Shape and new EMDJ leadership is established.

    • asmerom habte

      dirty non eritrean game instigated by the so-called supporters of the eritrean opposition. final goal being to devide, devide and re-divide the eritrean arena.

  • rodab

    EDJE and EMDJ are just the latest addition to the already crowded Eri oposition planet. Countless groups poping up like popecorns here and there won’t do much service. Well, it does – to the PFDJ.

  • ahfrom habtau

    No it is clear tome that Ethiopia is the real cause of all divisions within the Eritrean opposition. All meetings or so called support is a cover up: XXXXXXXXXXX

    [Moderator: refrain from racist remarks and do not write in all caps, for today we have corrected your all upper cap comment.]

  • b’Alti W’qatto Arwe (As in a girl with a dragon tattoo).

    It looks like EMDJ is stealing the show. No kidding. Consider the above stated facts in sentences: “The power play (maybe we should read: struggle instead) between Hagerey Negash and Deqemhare”; “It suffered a set back when one of its members defected to the regime taking intelligence assets with him”. These kinds of dynamics with in the organization give a new sort of facet to the otherwise stagnant and at times rigid nature of the “old-timer” Opposition parties where the overly-used and exhausted “b’Awet Tezazimu” incantation is a complete turn off to say the least. Moreover, its pro-active orientation probably has a lot to do with its members where they are not only with in the vicinity of the Isaias regime but they are mostly young and former conscripts of the regime as well.

    The Organization’s political platform is not probably going to sit well with the ever perky ears of the Ethio-phobia inflicted folks where federal system with in the Eritrean socio-political reality is taken as a remotely controlled by Ethiopian leaders in a bid to see a replica of Ethiopia in Eritrea.

    That as it may however, what is needed of the party is not to fine tune its political programs per se rather, it should try to foster a common denominator with the other political parties for the sense of urgency is not about political platforms rather, it is to salvage Eritrea from the dire predicament she finds her self in under the Isaias regime. Of a note: The name of the leader “Hagerey” has a passionate ring to it. As the Tigrigna adage has it, “Sh’m ymerH, T’waf yeb’rH”. We never know, we are probably witnessing the making of the future president of Eritrea.

    • Irma

      I wouldn’t jump to judgment on this. I think it is better to wait and hear the full story from both sides of EMDJ.

    • EMDJ for Eritrea

      A lot of Inaccurate information! The truth will prevail….Let’s not rush to judge!

      The truth will unfold soon in front of our eyes….let’s focus on our people! EMDJ relies on you and me for support…and victory is inevitable.

      Awet niHafash -bTegbar!

    • Hameed

      Dear Arwe,

      I am very sorry to read in your comment ” As the Tigrigna adage has it, “Sh’m ymerH, T’waf yeb’rH”. We never known, we are probably witnessing the making of the future president of Eritrea.” You mean there is no hope in Eritrea for democratically elected president, our presidents should always come through power and crooked ways. A president who drops to Eritrea from the blue and impose himself upon the people of Eritrea, it is very sad to hear this from Arwe the sophisticated person. If you point to some famous personalities among Eritreans will be the future president of Eritrea will be acceptable, because the most famous and beloved person may get the majority of the votes in the election that will be held in future Eritrea. If you named for us persons who are famous among the Eritreans such as Salih Qadi, Amanuel Hidrat, etc. will the future leaders of Eritrea may be acceptable and sounds democratic and encompass us with hope, but it is sad to say that our future president will come from the unknown. I don’t accept such a president who comes from the unknown even if he/she is 100% nationalist and honest.

      • b’Alti W’qatto Arwe (As in a girl with a dragon tattoo).

        Dear Hameed,

        Please forgive me if I sound condescending but I think you’re reading too much into the writing. I was merely stating the potential in him of being the future President of Eritrea given he contests in a ballot box where the day is owned by the spirit of democracy, transparency and accountability.

        I don’t know Hagerey from Adam if you will but I sure know of him in a snap shot where he seems promising and committed to a noble cause. If as you put it Saleh Gadi and Amanuel Hidrat are shooting for the stars, I would say, they should fasten their belts for they have a serious contender to reckon with in the ballot box. If I was to vote however, I would vote for three of them till I narrow down my last choice to one.


        • Hameed

          Dear Arwe,

          Our future leaders are the nationalists who win through the ballot box. The ones who win the hearts and minds of the majority of the Eritrean people and when they win who treat all Eritreans equally either those who voted for them or those who vote to other contenders. No more it is acceptable the game of pass along secret pamphlets and meetings inside closed rooms. The future leaders of Eritrea are those who like transparency and accountability. No place in future Eritrea for those who are addicted to work in the dark.

          • b’Alti W’qatto Arwe (As in a girl with a dragon tattoo).

            Dear Hameed,

            It sounds too ideal, nevertheless I agree.

          • Hameed

            Dear Arwe,

            We have to put the best conditions to get the maximum. Of course 100% pure is impossible, but to attain 75% we have to request 100%.

          • Kokhob Selam

            you are sharp and honest Hameed.Keep it up.

      • Irma

        Hmmmmmm interesting comment, Hameed.
        Are advocating for Salih Qadi. Eritrea is a nation of heroes and brilliant scholars so no rush to call names.

        • Hameed

          Dear Irma,

          No, I am not the kind of person who advocate for individuals. You have missed my intention. I advocate our future leaders to be those who work hard among the people of Eritrea for a long time and are famous for their competence, hard work, openness and free of partiality.

          Our future leaders should pass through the hearts and minds of the Eritrean people. We don’t want parties, fronts, organizations or persons who come through coup to impose themselves upon the people of Eritrea. The gate to become a leader should be the people of Eritrea and not the party or the group you belong to, therefore those who wish to become the leaders should introduce themselves to the people of Eritrea. To be only approved and famous among your party is not enough to make you a leader in future Eritrea.

          I mentioned Salih Qadi and Amanuel Hidrat just as an example of widely known Eritrean for their hard work for the freedom of their people. There are many Eritreans who may be more educated than those we know, but education alone is not enough. We have to know that education doesn’t make free of partiality, arrogance and tyranny that leads to dictatorship. Secondly, all educated persons are not initiators, innovators and honesty.

          • Kokhob Selam

            What a lesson Hameed,

            at last not the intellectual or group should lead. at this stage of humanity, still part of every mind is affected with past and man is not perfect. only the system and procedures agreed by all should lead. if there are people who work for fame and power, they should forget and start to sleep in peace.

    • Tadewos

      b’Alti W’qatto Arwe (As in a girl with a dragon tattoo).

      Charity starts at home. You should start to reveal your name at awate.com. You got guts to ask Ali Salim to put his real name. What a joke?

      • b’Alti W’qatto Arwe (As in a girl with a dragon tattoo).


        As I stated it on a separate thread, I don’t “publish” articles. I throw comments here and there on the public forum. As such, there wouldn’t be necessity in using a given name as opposed to a pen-name. Again, if I was to write or post articles, I would definitely use my given name and last name.