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Gloomy Clouds Over the Horn of Africa

Abdella Hamdouk: Last year, the Sudanese Sovereignty Council appointed Abdella Hamdouk as a prime minister. He was sworn in on 21 August 2019. Roughly seven months later, on Monday, March 9, 2020, Hamdouk survived an assassination attempt when an explosion in Khartoum went off and damaged his car as he drove to his office. The Sudanese prosecutor stated the attack was “professionally plotted”. However, it’s widely believed the attempt was shabby and hastily planned.

Last year, a popular uprising forced the army to unseat Omar AlBashir, Sudan’s dictator since 1989. A joint military and civil administration took over and the Sovereignty council that appointed Hamdouk to lead a traditional government that recently decided to hand over Omar Al Bashir and others to the International Criminal Court to face charges over the Darfur genocide.

Facing and internal opposition entrenched politicians, some loyal to Omar Albashir and his party, Hamdok’s government has also to navigate through the region’s unstable political situation.  Last January the Sudanese security forces quelled a small armed revolt which General Salah Gosh, the ex security chief, allegedly masterminded. The General reportedly lives in Egypt and frequently travels to Eritrea.

Abiy Ahmed: Ethiopia will hold a multi-party election on August 16, 2020 amid serious security concerns. The polarized country is going through precarious situation mainly ethnic strife and sectarian conflicts. In addition, the Tigray region is under huge pressure from nationalists contemplating Secession from the Ethiopian state. If Abiy’s government continues to deny the perceived and real opposition a maneuvering space, the result could inflict a far reaching damage on the country.

Recently security forces denied permission to Abiy’s opponents to hold a rally with an excuse that campaigning date was not yet due. However, Abiy’s Prosperity Party held a rally despite  banning its rivals from doing so. Such actions are casting doubts on the country’s ability to carryout a peaceful and fair election. The rivalry is expected to be mainly between parties that want to keep the federal arrangement against Abiy’s ruling party that advocates for a unitary state.

As the election date approaches, the nervous cloud engulfing all parts of Ethiopia is getting heavier. The Tigray government is countering the pressure from Abiy’s government by making gestures towards Eritrea, its Northern neighbor. Dr. Debretsion, the Deputy President of Tigrai, “ called on the people of Eritrea to work towards peace and reconciliation” with their brethren across the Mereb river which separates Eritrea from the Tigrai region. However, the two governments have been living in a no-peace-no-war situation following the 1998-2000 bloody border war between the two countries.

The visible conflict between Tigrai region and Abiy Ahmed started soon after the latter gained power and immediately started campaigning against officials of the Tigrai region calling them “Yeqen Jiboch” (Daylight Hyenas) a negative epithet he coined to describe Tigraian officials. That campaign led to the arrest and abuse of of many Tigraians all over Ethiopia. In response, Tigraian intellectuals started to discredit his rule and are now calling the prime minister, “Colonel Abiy”, dropping the often used title of  “Dr. Abiy” from his name. Many Ethiopians doubt if Abiy ever earned a PhD.

The Dam over River Abay

The construction of GERD began in 2011 under the late prime minister Meles Zenawi who died a year later. GERD is the biggest project in the history of Ethiopia and when completed, it will be Africa’s biggest hydroelectric power plant and Egypt is worried about water supply shortage. About 85% of the Nile water is carried by the Abay River (Blue Nile) from the Ethiopian highlands and Egypt depends on the Nile for 90% of its needs. Ethiopian-Egyptian disagreements over the control of the Nile has  a long history by the current cycle escalating under President Mursi.

In 2013, Mohammed Mursi held a meeting with a selected group of influential Egyptians and discussed ways to deal with Ethiopia over the Nile Crisis. The recording was leaked and it was translated into English by awate.com at the time, and it exposed Egypt’s plans to use the Eritreans government and the Ethiopian Oromos to destabilize Ethiopia. Soon, Mursi who belonged to the Muslim Brotherhood, was overthrown by the Egyptian military under the leadership of AlSisi, with the support of both Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Now AlSisi repeatedly blames Mursi for enabling Ethiopia to go this far in constructing the dam.

The Nile water has always been an effective political rallying tool for both countries and that is exasperating the situation. At the moment, Egypt has more serious problems like unemployment, lack of freedoms, and price hikes of consumer supplies, but the Nile agitation diverts the focus of the public away from the real issues. An Ethiopian scholar said, “Colonel Abiy must have learned AlSisi’s trick of diverting public attention by using the Nile scare… we have full rights over the water that flows out of out territories.” Until recently, Prime Minister Abiy downplayed the importance of GERD, now he is “milking the crisis for his benefit, in similar ways to that of AlSisi.” More such accusations are expected as the Ethiopian election date approaches. Ethiopians are apprehensive of the failure of Abiy’s government to resolve the case surrounding the mysterious death of Engineer Simegnew Bekele, the Gerd project manager of Gerd. On July 26, 2018, he was found dead with in his car in Addis Ababa, with a shot to his head in Addis Ababa.

Filling the Thirsty Blue Nile Reservoir 

The reservoir requires over 7 billion cubic meters of water to fill.  So far, the the USA mediation between Egypt and Ethiopia, to reach an agreement over the timetable for filling the dam reservoir, has not been successful. While Ethiopia plans to fill the reservoir in four years, Egypt insisting on stretching the time to about “12 to 21 years”.   But the Ethiopian minister of Water said the filling will start in the next rainy season and start generating electricity with two turbines out of the 13 turbines that produce 6,000 megawatts of electricity. An observer said, “the controversy can be resolved only if the parties treat the filling timetable as a technical issue and stop using it for propaganda as a political rallying tool.” So far, that advise has not found ears and the leaders have escalated the differences to new political heights.

Egypt has reverted to its 2013 rhetoric and has involved the Arab League which endorsed its position by declaring it recognizes “Egypt’s rights” over the Nile water. That endorsement provoked a strong reaction from Ethiopia which rejected the Arab League resolution “in its entirety”, and also lambasted the USA of siding with Egypt. Like they did to the above advise, the two countries have also ignored a well-known wisdom: involving a third party in a difference of a bilateral nature complicates matters, particularly when technical issues are politicized to serve populist motives, which both countries are guilty of.

Target Hamdouk

Though a member of the Arab League, Sudan has complicated the matter by refusing to endorse the Arab League resolution and siding with Ethiopia. The badly (or hastily planned) attempt on the life of prime minister Hamdouk is probably an expression of disapproval of Sudan’s position, and a warning to Hamdouk to fall in line. However, it’s evident that more countries in the region are using the Nile crisis that Ethiopia and Egypt failed to resolve amicably, as a political opportunity to expand their influence and serve their interests.

Unconfirmed reports indicate that Sudan has already arrested a native of one of the countries of the region in connection with the attack on Hamdouk. According to unconfirmed reports, the person who is reportedly under custody has arrived to Khartoum a few days before the assassination attempt was carried out.

Isaias Afwerki Is Somewhere There!

It seems Ethiopia’s only loyal supporter is Sudan while Egypt is backed by the Arab League and the USA, in addition to the UAE and Saudi Arabia. Both countries have a critical financial leverage over most of the region’s countries. And this highlights the mysterious role of Isaias Afwerki, Eritrea’s dictator who has unilaterally signed a peace agreement with “Colonel Abiy”, his ally who wants to corner the Tigray regional government into submission. Isaias doesn’t have any loyalty towards Abiy Ahmed or Ethiopia but wants to destroy the TPLF, the Tigray ruling party, and he has been trying to accomplish for over two decades. The TPLF and the PFDJ (Eritrean ruling party) have been enemies for decades and Abiy jumped into the fry convinced that the removal of the TPLF will give him an opportunity to consolidate his power. That plan is going nowhere.

About Awate Team

The PENCIL is awate.com's editorial and it reflects the combined opinions of the Awate Team and not the individual opinion of team members.

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  • Selam All,

    The UN seems to have asked IA to release at least all political prisoners and prisoners of conscience due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

    • Paulos

      Selam Horizon,

      It is true that UN is appealing to Isaias to release all prisoners amid the pandemic but in the twisted world where he lives in, he will come out and say, where is the evidence that, the virus is worse in the prison population. Moreover, he will make the argument that, it is an isolated community to begin with and they are safe for they have practically no interaction with the outside world.

    • iSem

      Hu Horizon:
      It is cure fr UN, but AI cannot release those who have perished. Did they mean releases the cadaver, he may comply as IA loves to re-live the suffering he inflicted upon those he thinks “disrespected” him

      It would be good for humanity and justice to just attack DIA and any dictator who opts to put people in dungeons.

  • Simon Kaleab

    Selam all,

    After repeatedly mocking President Trump for suggesting on March 19 that hydroxychloroquine could be an effective treatment for coronavirus, the corrupt and fake news media organizations such as The New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, NBC, The New Yorker, and The Boston Globe, have now begun acknowledging that the drug — now approved for emergency use to treat coronavirus by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) — may be useful after all.

    Journalists and top Democrats have beaten a similarly hasty retreat from their previous claims that Trump’s ban on travel from China was both xenophobic and ineffective. But media outlets’ misinformation on hydroxychloroquine was unique because it involved not simply policy disagreements but also suggestive medical advice and directives that
    could have dissuaded some from seeking certain treatments.

    • Berhe Y

      Hi Simon,

      Do you think the president should leave medical advice to the experts? In the same press conference, the doctor, dr. Fauci, said the use of the drug is anecdote and he can’t recommend (as a scientist) without proof of facts because it hasn’t been thoroughly tested or if it will have negative effect.

      In desperate situations may be nothing to lose.

      I think it would be best if the president should stay quite, instead of creating distraction by his useless opinions and leave it to the experts. He is truly lacking show of leadership.

      So far, sad to say, everything he said turned out to be wrong. Sorry he can’t get out of this by simply lying.

      Berhe

      • Haile S.

        Selam Simon, Berhe and all,

        The story of chloroquine in this saga is a story of miscommunication and polemicizing. When science is used as a political baton, we become ourselves the victims and losers. Chloroquine has been on trials against many deadly viruses for many decades, viruses like rabies/lassa, HIV, polio, dengue, zika, chikunguya, Nipah, SARS etc. Its antiviral effects has been shown in in-vitro setting (when you infect cultured cells in the lab and treat them with chloroquine). However, its clinical application (treating virus infected people) has not been adequately and acceptably demonstrated.
        In these desperate times, it is normal for the scientific community to closely look into “miraculous”-science based quick remedies. And fortunately, there is chloroquine to start with. What should be done (perhaps being actively done) is a serious look at it, study the drug’s true capabilities and mechanisms in harnessing the virus and on how to supplement it with other drugs to neutralize this deadly virus. Chloroquine works by interfering in the uptake of the virus. Let me give a simple and simplified example:
        When sticky hairy weed touch us, we human beings remove it with our hands. When such microscopic hairy aggressive virus touches our cells, they don’t have a hand to remove it. They internalize it by inward folding of the cell membrane. This is not a passive process. It is an active process that involves molecular interaction that the clever virus uses to enter the cell internalized in a pocket. Chloroquine has the capacity of inhibiting some of the mechanisms that allows the pocket to form. If this pocket doesn’t form well, the virus cannot continue its way in and replicate. Look at it like our mouth. If a drug was to paralyze our pharyngeal muscles, we will not be able to internalize the bolus of food. This is an example of how antiviral drug work, but is not the only way. Scientists are actively working to find many other ways to harness deadly viruses like this. It is a long battle, but we will find one.
        However, the most important thing is to find a way for our body to specifically know and identify this virus, i.e through finding an efficient specific vaccine against it. This is also on the way. Many scientists and companies are working on it.
        Again and more importantly though is letting our body to do its natural exercise, i.e letting it develop and fortify its non-specific defense, our natural immunity, the first wall against pathogens. Current observations and epidemiological pattern suggest (no controlled studies yet) that there is a correlation between BCG (Bacillus Calmette-Guerin) vaccination and reduced morbidity and mortality with COVID-19. It appears what applies to asthma and allergic diseases apply to COVID-19 as well and we may be resorting to the famous prayer GIVE US OUR DAILY DIRT! Well we don’t want to pray for our daily dose of T.B, God-forbid*, but it is time to think on how to train our ‘non-specific defense’ through attenuated pathogens like BCG.

        * Abi, don’t count on this, I am just saying. Couldn’t find any other language. It appears Man created Gods and languages both together at the same time :-).

      • Simon Kaleab

        Selam Berhe,

        The information you have on Trump and also on hydroxychloroquine is wrong or out of date. You need to update.

        Dr. Anthony Fauci: We have a ‘hint’ of positive evidence on anti-malaria drug.

        Check the man speaking on FOX.

        • Berhe Y

          Hi Simon,

          I am not certain not am I a fool to argue about its effectiveness or not. I am commenting based on the scientific advice the president is providing and I don’t think it’s his place,

          If this can be used as a cure, all the better my friend.

          I think you are consuming too much foxnews, honestly to agree with the performance of this president. He is blaming Obama for leaving him a broken system, three years he has been in power.

          Berhe

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam Berhe,

            Do you have any credible evidence where Trump publicly contradicts the experts?

          • Berhe Y

            Hi Simon,

            Let’s leave this discussion out, not want to dwell on it
            Let’s see how things involve for the coming days.

            Berhe

          • iSem

            Hi Simon K:
            what is your definition of concrete evidence?
            You want to know what contradiction looks like, do not look further, just re-read your comments.
            You are for rule of law, against china encroachment and for evidence and then you deny evidence and the next second you are anti free press

            Trump knows nothing about medicine and the experts did not say that Chlorquine will help with corona, whatever info they had was anecdotal and Trump was touting that, that my friend is contradicting the experts.
            I do not understand why of many Eritreans infatuation with the absurd and now you. You can be a conservative but you can have your agenda implemented with a decent conservative president. Trump is bad for USA, therefore bad for the word as I love America and it is the hope. Most of the challenges we face will be solved mostly by USA (BY pay attention, the solver can be born some where ese LOL)
            So I do not understand your blind defence for Trump and channelling Fox news and calling the free press fake news. Can you share with me your love affair with Trump or explain why you are defending him and channelling his absurdities
            Oh, also Trump was saying the virus is a dem hoax, while the experts were telling him otherwise. Is it a hoax?
            I can understand when the imbeciles entertaining absurdities, but I consider you an intelligent person from many engagements but I cannot reconcile your sometimes absurd assertions and silly defence of some notions

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam Semere A.,

            Can you give a link to support your claim i.e. Trump directly arguing against an expert and contradicting? Not a second hand report from NYT, WaPo, LAT, CNN. Simple.

          • iSem

            Simon
            apologies, I forgot that CNN used AI and put words in Trump’s mouth.

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam Semere,

            So, you have no direct credible evidence.

          • iSem

            Hi Simon:
            If by direct evidence you mean my presence when he said it, NO. And even if I was there, how do you believe me.
            Your “did you hear hims say it” is not helpful
            So without helpful challenge discussions cannot be elevated
            But is sort of confusing to deny the documents lies of trump and this is not different that admiring China, which you are opposed to

          • Nitricc

            SImon; do you wanted him personally to be present? what kind of argument is that. You think you know it all and you talk with absolute certainty. please save your foolish argument.

          • Simon Kaleab

            Nitricc,

            Go sleep.

      • Selam Berhe Y.,

        Trump behaves like King Midias in ancient Greek mythology. He thinks that he has the golden touch. He has the foolishness to believe that whatever he touches turns to gold. It comes from his narcissism. He doesn’t seem have the necessary power of critical thinking, nor the needed intelligence.

        Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine have been referred to be POTENTIAL treatment modality by many scientists. When they reached Trump’s mouth they became the magic bullets. When people are dying in their hundreds and thousands before the eyes of doctors and they have no means to treat them, they are forced to give medicine that is anecdotally effective and has shown some activity against the virus in vitro. After all, these are drugs that are known over many decades, they have been proved to be effective for malaria and auto-immune disease treatment. Their side effects are also known, etc.

        Is Trump’s obsession with the NPP to the degree that he is making a fool of himself? Narcissism is a social disease. The thing that is odd is that, even then, some people have for him the adulation and admiration given to a deity, as if Trump has said and done something phenomenal.

        • Simon Kaleab

          Horizon,

          I find weak minded, muddled people tedious.

        • Paulos

          Selam Horizon,

          መፍትሄው ጸሎት እና ምህለላ ነው! Let’s all do that.

          • Selam Paulos,

            Last time you said that science has its limitations. That is a fact. When we speak of God, some people think that we are saying that we should dump science and turn to religion alone. That is not so. Religion gives hope, cures the soul, creates solidarity, etc, and has a placebo effect.
            We can’t prove the actions of a Superior Being, nor can we rule out His help. If we believe that nature is the work of a Superior Being, we can’t say that he is completely indifferent or absent. The right way is to support science with religious beliefs. In my opinion, although they may have some differences in their view point, for example, creation, etc, nevertheless, they are not completely incompatible. One can be both a religious person and a scientist at the same time.
            Science learns from nature, and nature is affected by science. Man is body and soul (mind). Science treats the body and religion treats the soul. Both are needed for the complete human being.
            Could religion have prevented the pandemic through controlling human behavior? I don’t know? Maybe it could have prevented it, if it could make human beings to care.

          • Paulos

            Selam Horizon,

            Whether by Design or by Chance, we are here in this inescapable reality we call Life. And we are the only beings fully conscious of our existence where we wrestle to figure out whether it has a meaning at all.

            Certainly, the quest for answers have not only consumed us but it has created existential angst as well where some of us rely on spirituality to escape the dread of angst and some of us rely on understanding our reality through investigation for we are convinced that, the world we live in is ruled by natural laws. But again, the tools for investigations come short more often than not and the need for other realms as in spirituality become urgent.

          • Selam Paulos,
            We learnt the hard way how much human beings are weak when they have to do with nature. Five hundred years of scientific knowledge was shown to be ineffective to save human beings from a viral pandemic. Unfortunately, there are many of them waiting in line.
            The epidemic showed that after all man is not omnipotent. Unfortunately, there are other phenomena that put human existence on this planet in grave danger. They are thermo-nuclear warfare and climate change, the results of which are irreversible once they happen. Pandemics could be horrible and yet they will spare human beings, and human species will continue to exist on this planet. The other two, well, one can imagine the result. Should human beings change before it is too late? This is the million dollar question that human being should answer in the post-coronavirus period. Many intellectuals say so.

  • መሃንድስ-ምዕባለ

    Selamat
    Things that I like Isayas over Covid-19:

    He hates his supporters more than the opposition. In fact he despises them.
    He is equal opportunity killer. He kills his supporters as much as the opposition
    He thinks his supporters are with undeveloped brains
    He believes that his supporters are with no principle
    He believes that his supporters are not really supporters but cowards

    Things that I don’t like Isayas over Covid-19:

    He killed x1000s more compare to Covid-19
    There is no hope of any kind of vaccine to cure him
    Covid-19 is as ignorant as Isayas, kills everyone around.
    Isayas is more arrogant than Covid-19
    Besides, I never liked his useless Shenkolel Hateta

    • NewDawn

      Selam mehandis, those are very strong statements. What has lead you to believe isaias views his supporters as such?

  • Nitricc

    Hi all; yesterday I was watching news and Canada adopted fines for people who don’t follow the rules in the streets and I am not sure if stay home included in the fine. It makes you wonder, where this world is going. When you can’t go to work, your kids can’t leave the house and you can’t hug your loved once, what is left? There is one winner on this situation; Mother Nature is so happy, she is thanking The Chinese. The whole world in lock down the C02 numbers are down at the label of nothing see before. When ever you feel bad, remember there is good something out of this.
    Anyway; for you who are in prison own your home, here is a good read…..just learn what science is saying about the coronavirus

    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41421-020-0156-0?fbclid=IwAR14MbIyGdFYK6CJ1cbvlZ1cTVAw68lUfrequkSoWluBUEDvbNyUpPsBdw0

    • Hashela

      Hi Nitric
      Thank you for feeding the forum with results fresh from the (science) oven, so to speak. Prayers and wikipedia knowledges is not of help.

  • Simon Kaleab

    Selam all,

    Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) urged the Chinese government to shut down wet markets that offer meat from exotic animals, which he argued transmit viruses from animals to humans, including the COVID-19/coronavirus.

    “I’m going to write a letter to the World Health Organization and to the Chinese ambassador asking them to close the Chinese wet markets,” Graham said. “These are open-air markets where they sell monkey. They sell bat. We think we — this whole thing started from a transmission from a bat to a human. About the last three or four pandemics have come from the Chinese wet markets. I don’t think this came from a Chinese military lab, but these wet markets are gross, they’re just absolutely disgusting, selling exotic animals that transmit viruses from animals to human beings. Those things need to shut down.”

    What China has done now is worse than terrorism. They should be sued by the whole world for damages. Failing that, they should be economically embargoed and the West should stop outsourcing to China.

    China has nothing to offer other than mass market, cheap labour and disease.

    • Berhe Y

      Hi Simon,

      There will be a huge backlash after this for China. What ever economic benefits the west made in shipping manufacturing to cheap labour in China, is currently erased within few weeks. The down turn (federal injecting) to the over all US economy will be predicted to be in 6 trillion by the summer.

      In Spain they are currently sedating people over 65 to free the ventilators for younger people.

      The US death toll will skyrocket partially because Trump lack of leadership in taking the correct and tough decision to tackle this when it happened.

      Even now I think the response is not adequate, I don’t understand why they can’t shutdown the country and limit travel and spread if the virus. Instead of all the states act in their own, those that are affected less can help those who haven’t, instead of preparing for their turn. I think they have a huge advantage in being a one country with resources, at the same time a disadvantage being huge and free to travel/ operate.

      They should implement the same measure like Germany did fir the entire country (for sure not the same size / constitutional arrangement) but this requires one and consistent response. It’s like the country is under attack, the federal government needs to be in charge, using any emergency measure it needs to use.

      But I think Trump is interested in the stock market performance as suppose to saving lives. It must be very, very for those involved trying to deal with him (and his ego) and what he needs to do and say, rather than dealing with the virus.

      Hope everyone is doing well and stay safe.

      Berhe

      • Simon Kaleab

        Selam Berhe,

        I agree with most of what wrote.

        One thing is clear, after tackling this made in China virus, China must face the consequences. It is better to keep themselves to themselves as in Chairman Mao’s time.

        Opting for a full shutdown or partial shutdown is a tricky balancing act. For example, partial shutdown combined with dynamic testing seems to have been successful in South Korea.

        Whatever the Trump admin does, he will be blamed. At least he is listening to the experts. Remember, he was quick to ban flights into the US from affected countries, while the corrupt, sore loser, Democrat party was busy with fabricated impeachment forever.

        • iSem

          Hi Simon:
          I agree this virus should be branded the CHINA virus to stigmatizes the wet markets. You remember (well I mean you know) the dr who discovered Ebola did not want to name it after the village to avoid stigma, how sensitive. Good thing
          But with China, this happened 5 times in the last 17 years, so even if one hates the messenger trump, I believe it was good idea to call it the china virus

        • Berhe Y

          Hi Simon,

          I am being political and based on what I observed. I think, he didn’t really understand the danger of this thing, he was trying to shrug it off. His tweets tell you the kind of mental state he was on…

          As to the travel ban, it was not out right restriction but with exception with some US citizens and their family travel back…without going through isolation period.

          Berhe

        • Nitricc

          That is not true; if Trump was a decent leader; he could have got his clue the magnitude of the problem when China built a hospital in 10 days. Instead, he was denying it all together with his Fox-news. Having said that no one will as good as him to stand up to China. For that reasons, he will get elected to the 2nd term. People are prissed with the Chinese. Italy already is contemplating about holding China responsible and asking for “ war damages” many other country will follow once the real damages are culcuand I don’t see how China is getting out of this economically. The world economy is about to collapse and I don’t see the Chinese economical bubble can withstand it.

          • Abi

            Hello General
            It is impossible or at least very dangerous to put Descent, Decency and Trump in the same sentence. They create a dangerous chemical called DDT. I believe it is a banned chemical.
            DDT dichloro di something tri something acid.
            I hope Ato Amanuel will help me with my chemistry. Ato Amanuel, I’m looking at you.

          • Nitricc

            Greetings Rad Abiy; I am rolling in lough. Interesting, Abiy! My father told me that when he was a kid, his parents pour DDT in his hair and was told to rub it against head. When I was a kid, I did knew anything wrong with the story but when I moved on and learned most chemicals and their adverse in human heath, I have no idea this man not only survived but lived to tell the story to his son. My father is very temperamental man but when he told me the story of DDT; no matter what he say and does, I never blamed him, I blamed the DDT. I have always how he and many more others survived such catastrophic chemical. I have done so much research on DDT, if the you are nice, I may share it in a from page. Time permitting!

          • Abi

            Hello General
            You know I’m the nicest awatista ever!!! I also promise to stay nice.
            You also know I like good stories and NEVER forget them.
            For example I can tell you why your writing is miserable. You told us a great story about it.
            Waiting for the story.
            Thanks

            In Ethiopia DDT was sold in a powder form in the open market. If I remember it is a white powder.
            Thinking about it gives me shivers.

          • Paulos

            Abination,

            ኣምስት የላቀላቸውና የታወቁ ሌቦች [ወያኔን ማለቴ ኣይደለም] ቤትህን ውስጥ ኣምነህ ልታስገባቸው ትፈቅዳለህ? የምታስገባቸው ኣይመስለኝም.

            DDT, ኣምስት Chlorine ኣሉት፣ Chlorine ደሞ የታወቀ ሌባ ያለ’ንብረቱ መዝረፍ የሚወድ ማጅራት መቺ ነው፣ ለዛ ነው በኣለም ፍርድ ቤት የተወገዘው።

            Here is the dry and less fun classroom part. Chlorine has seven outer electrons on its shell and it craves for one more electron to have a stable or an octet shell and hence it’s insatiable crave to steal from others including our DNA if DDT gets into our system.

          • Abi

            Thanks Mr Singh
            Mr Singh was My 12th grade chemistry teacher.
            Kind of worried about Ato Amanuel.
            He has never been absent for this long.

          • Berhe Y

            Hi Abi,

            Me too.

            After I saw your notes a couple of days ago, I reached out but was not able to reach him. I asked iSem to check on him as well and he hasn’t comeback to me as yet.

            If anyone have any means to reach him, please do so.

            Berhe

          • Abi

            Try again

          • iSem

            Hi Paul, Abi and BY

            Thanks so much Abi and BY. Sorry BY I did not get around to calling after you alerted me that he did not get back to you

            ButI had talked to him March 19/20 the first day I was home. I called my family in nYC and also called him. He was ok, he was working and we chatted briefly. Then for a couple of days he engaged me, BY and Simon and Abi here and after that I did not see him. Will call him tomorrow and report back to you.He

          • Abi

            iSem
            How about Saay7?
            Can you call him?

          • iSem

            Hi professor Paul: I have a q 🙂

            In the alphabet of chemicals, the periodic table when you go from left to right the elements become less metalic and the compounds they make less alkaline, so why is NH3 alkaline and not acidic
            chemistry was my first love, but like first loves, like most high school sweet hearts, i never got married to it, rather I ended up marrying the one I was flirting with 🙂

          • Paulos

            Selam Semerile,

            Who doesn’t love Chemistry save the Lab work which could be a pain in the b*tt! But the theoretical aspect particularly when Linus Pauling [My hero in Science and Social Activism as well] introduced Quantum Theory into Chemistry, the field took off into a world of its own.

            As you put it, Ammonia could be tricky and confusing for it seems to challenge the conventional take of Acids and Bases.

            Let’s start say with Grade 7 definition: The typical definition of an Acid goes something that tastes sour that also changes the Litmus paper Red. And Bases are defined as something that tastes bitter and that changes the Litmus Blue. If you remember, we used mnemonics B for B in order to memorize the definition of a Base—“B”ase and “B”lue.

            Then in Grade 9 or 10, the definition changed into more technical so to speak where an Acid is defined as a compound that donates or gives off a proton or a Hydrogen ion. And a Base is defined as a compound that accepts a proton or a Hydrogen ion. ሓደው ተዃባይ ሓደው ለማናይ sort of thing.

            Now, if we look at Ammonia or NH3, you would assume that, it could be an Acid for it is studded with Hydrogen ions but the trick is when it dissolves in water, it turns into Ammonium-Hydroxide–where the reactants can be written as NH4+ and OH-. As you can see, Ammonia has accepted an extra Hydrogen ion and as we said, Bases accept Hydrogen ion. That is the reason, it is taken for a Base instead.

            That said however, it’s application particularly in Medicine or Kidney physiology is more prominent as it plays for a buffer to treat Diabetic Acidosis, for instance, as it chips away the accumulated Hydrogen ions in the diseased Kidney.

          • Abi

            Paul + iSem
            Paul Great explanation. Thanks for allowing me to sit in your classes.
            iSem
            This is your chance to teach us how dangerous is NHO3 ( Nitricc Acid).
            I hate missing great chances like this one.
            Here is a good start
            As you see this acid is loaded with oxygen (3). Can we suffocate the General to make him less acidic?
            Please continue…

          • Simon Kaleab

            Nitricc,

            I do not think that you are in a position to talk about decency, because you are the one who fanatically believes in the decency of those who run the slave camp at El Dorado, aka Eritrea.

            For your information:

            Democrats’ allegation that the White House dawdled in the face of crisis came as Republicans pointed out that in January, when the Trump administration blocked travel from China and formed a coronavirus task force, Democrats were leading his impeachment hoax.

            U.S. intelligence reports in January and February warned of a likely pandemic, even the loony left Washington Post reported recently.

            According to the Post: “Intelligence agencies ‘have been warning on this since January,’ said a U.S. official who had access to intelligence reporting that was disseminated to members of Congress and their staffs as well as to officials in the Trump administration, and who, along with others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe sensitive information.”

            Despite that apparent warning, liar and crooked Schiff’s intelligence panel was focused elsewhere. Crooked Adam Schiff’s Twitter feed did not mention the virus at all until Feb. 24, 2020, and Schiff’s House Office press releases didn’t mention it until March 15, 2020. The House intelligence panel website still has no press releases at all on the topic.

            Instead, Schiff was almost exclusively focused on hiring staff to handle impeachment, bringing in roughly a dozen new employees.

            And, leftist outlet Politico reported that the Trump administration held a briefing on the coronavirus for senators, but it was “sparsely attended” in part because it “was held on the same day as a deadline for senators to submit their impeachment questions.”

            “By February, the House and Senate Intelligence Committees had been receiving updates from the intelligence community about the spread of the virus for about a month,” the outlet said.

      • sara

        Hawna berhe…
        China has sent help to the countries of the horn…we thank them..
        Let us help our people with whatever we can,..let this pass…its not time to blame and we are in the mid of a catastrophe.

        • Berhe Y

          Hi Sara,

          I think any help is good but I don’t this will make up for it.
          There is this documentary from Australia 60 minutes with regards to the Chinese and other Asian countries “wet market”, with one leading doctor from Hong Kong, who suffered from SARS few years ago.

          You can make your own decision but personally I think they need to be held responsible one way or the others.

          Berhe

          • sara

            Selamat Berhe,
            Ok but, blaming china now will not solve the problem now. That can be looked at after these crisses is over.
            Let us focus on solutions..most of all in helping our people.

          • Selam sara,
            Viruses are everywhere. Most of the time we don’t know what is the trigger that makes them more virulent than they usually are. A change in their genetic material and other things could be the reason. We have yet a lot to learn.
            Human beings are pushing into animal habitats for survival or profit. They give us their viruses and we give them our viruses. We don’t know the story on their part of the woods.
            The world powers can demand smaller powers to open their kichens to see what they are cooking. But, nobody can ask them what biological weapons they are preparing for us in their secretive laboratories. As they are polluting the planet and causing climate change, they don’t care the effect their actions will have on all sorts of life.
            The point is that human beings must try to get the message and try to create a formula of what to do, so that worse viruses and pandemics will not come in the future.
            Years ago i had seen a documentary which showed people who live underground in New York city. They would catch rats, roast them in fire and eat them. Those who are vociferously accusing the Chinese are sitting on a time bomb themselves.
            Therefore, as you very well said finding a solution is much more important at this very moment than demonizing others in order to parrot those whom they worship.

        • Nitricc

          Hey Sara; don’t thank them yet, I do believe the virus was leaked from virologist lab in Wuhan, just in the corner of the wet- market. This this, if it was the wet market, it was cleaned up but now it is open and running, why? Because that wasn’t the problem. The truth will come out but ethier way China is done economically. Done!

    • iSem

      Hi Simon:
      I hope that something good comes out of this for society. Now experts are telling the WH that this virus can be transferred through air, not just through cough droplets. So physical distancing is not safe.
      So speaking of China, I was wondering in general, what do you think the expansion of China into Africa

      • Paulos

        Selam Semerile,

        All I can say is we need to turn to God for mercy! May God get us through these trying times and bring it to an end.

        • iSem

          Hi Paul:
          This thing is getting very bad, now CDC is saying it can transfer thru breathing.
          Mercy for sure but hope this nightmare and our handling of it due to complacency in policy ushers new paradigm for policy makers for pandemic
          Think about HIV, it has been introduced to society 50 years ago and now any one can get it. Good thing is its passing MO is limited and it is weak outside the body, some say minutes. But how about if HIV decides to change its MO and it mutates it is passed thru breathing.
          You know better and you should work for Gates foundation but I think society should worry about the next pandemic with mutated viruses and hope this is a wake up call. But human being get complacent with success, so China or not, any virus that is already in society can change even if new viruses are not introduced from the wet markets. So banning wet markets is merely one arrow in the quiver

          • Paulos

            Semerile,

            There is a flip side of the dreadful story where most of us seem to overlook. Millions of people die every year particularly in Africa due to lack of basic medical care including cheap antibiotics and major cities never come to a halt! Antipathy and callous indifference.

        • Semere Tesfai

          Selam Paulosay

          “All I can say is we need to turn to God for mercy!”

          Wow!!
          Our top Scientist turned preacher? That’s scary!

          ሳይንስ ክትሰብኽ ከሪምካስ፡ ሎሚ ሞት ኣብ ኣረግቶት ብጺሓ ምስ ብሉኻ – ምህለላ!

          Semere Tesfai

          • Paulos

            ሰላም ክቡር ሓው ኣቶ ሰመረ ተስፋይ,

            I am not necessarily a religious person but I strongly believe in God. I also believe that, Science has its own limitations. More often than not, a part of us yearns for a spiritual meaning and perhaps this is one of those moments when our faith in ourselves as rulers of this otherwise strange world is turning shaky and when Science limps like a wounded animal as well. Galileo once famously said, “…Science teaches us how the heavens go and Religion teaches us how to go to the heavens….” Perhaps, there is some truth in it. Stay safe.

          • Abi

            Paul + everyone
            Where is Ato Amanuel?????
            Any possible chance you can contact him?
            How can you guys discuss communist China without the permanent representative present to defend his client?

          • Semere Tesfai

            Selam Abi

            “Where is Ato Amanuel?????”

            I hope he is ok. I think he lives in the East Coast.

            Semere Tesfai

          • Abi

            ወንድም አማች
            I hope he is well. It is unusual for him to miss class. You are here and he is not. I think he said he lives in New York or New Jersey.

          • sara

            Selam ato Abi,
            He must be at the front line dispencing medicne to those in need in his area. Let us think positive.

          • Paulos

            Sara,

            I agree. We need to think positive, that’s all we need right now.

          • Nitricc

            Hey Sara; I am sure he is busy; but I am wondering what kind of medicine is he dispensing? The are no more medication for this Chinese virus. It will get better if people stayed home. That is the key for now.

          • Semere Tesfai

            Selam Nitricc

            “It will get better if people stayed home”

            Some people can’t stay home; they are mandated to work. My two children are mandated to work on the front lines of this pandemic disease. I worry about them and call them every day.

            Semere Tesfai

          • Nitricc

            Hey Semere; I understand; my self, I got to go to work, although I am not on the front line but essential. Remember thought that is what they went school for. I Understand, as a parent it is normal for you to worry. But It is getting better now. The PPE, personal protective equipment are getting to the frontline in larger numbers. Just tell them to take care of themselves but encourage them and tell them how proud you are for the dangerous job they are doing and saving lives. You can beat that, Semere. Be proud not worried, they will be just fine.

          • Semere Tesfai

            Selam Nitricc

            Thank you

            Semere Tesfai

          • Abi

            ሰላም ወንድም አማች
            I am sure your children protect themselves every second while at the front line.
            Please say hello and pass my appreciation to them. Also, please remind them that St Paul is praying for us all.
            Be well everybody.

          • Paulos

            Abination,

            I strongly believe in the power of prayers including in the prayer for God to intervene and bring to an end to the pandemic. If you’re wondering, I confess Orthodox Christian Faith.

          • Abi

            Paul
            Just giving you hard time.

          • Paulos

            Abination,

            He is probably busy. I believe Aya Saleh has his contacts and he can check on him.

          • Semere Tesfai

            Selam Paulos

            “I am not necessarily a religious person but I strongly believe in God. I also believe that, Science has its own limitations.”

            “Galileo once famously said, “…Science teaches us how the heavens go and Religion teaches us how to go to the heavens….”

            ጸሎት፡ እልፊ ዓፋፍን ጀልፋፍን ከም’ዚ ኸማይ ዝኽእሎ እዩ። ጸሎት፡ ንዓና ሕደጎ። What is expected of you in this trying times is, educating (us) the public – as to how combat this deadly Coronavirus.

            Please don’t be distracted by this endemic disease; keep your educational comments coming/flowing.

            Thank you.

            Semere Tesfai

          • Paulos

            Selam Kbur Haw Ato Semere Tesfay,

            I am sure you’ve better understanding about the viruses than I do but typical of an Eritrean, your sense of humility is inspiring. Thank you for those kind words and thank you for the laugh—ጀልፋፍ ከምዚ’ኸማይ.

      • Simon Kaleab

        Selam Semere A.,

        How long can the virus survive in air? It has mass, it must fall on the ground. It is a living organism, without a host, it can’t live long. It is not a chemical particle or radiation.

        It is better to get the opinion of people who know such matters, such as Paulos and Fanti.

        China coming to Africa is a bad omen. They are resource hungry, and the only reason for China creeping in is to suck dry the raw materials of mother Africa. Some people say, “so what, the West did and will do the same, but Chinese prices are cheaper”.

        It is not the same because China is raw and totalitarian and soft loans and cut prices are crafty entrapment and entry methods.

        The West is evolving and mellowing. Look at the positive change that has been occurring, decade by decade. Look at the various professions, the Army, business and academia. A black man with no real life work experience was elected a president of the USA. Recently, previously married and divorced black woman got married to an English prince. Everything is relative.

        Please read below:

        A Chinese student who called for Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leader Xi Jinping to step down in a message posted to social media on Monday has gone missing. On Tuesday, reports suggested he was in police custody for his remarks.

        Zhang Wenbin, a university student in eastern Shandong province, wrote on social media on March 30 that the police had already summoned him for the post, and that he would be detained for five days. Since then, he has not made any further posts. On March 31, he was no longer accessible via social media.

        Sources said Zhang had been taken in for questioning by local police, on suspicion of “picking quarrels and stirring up trouble,” a charge reportedly used to target peaceful critics of the regime.

        On Monday, Zhang posted a video of his message, which has been viewed 175,200 times so far. In the video, Zhang says he was once a young supporter of the ruling CCP, referring to himself as a former “little pink,” a term to describe youths indoctrinated by the regime. However, after bypassing the government’s internet censorship, he discovered the truth about the CCP and its “sinister” history. In his statement, Zhang referred to his enlightenment as scaling the “Great Firewall” of CCP internetcensorship:

        “Since I scaled the Great Firewall, I gradually came to the realization that the Chinese Communist Party has extended its dragon claws into every corner of the world, including the collective farming [1950s], the Cultural Revolution [1966-1976], the Great Famine [1958-1961], the One-Child Policy, the Tiananmen massacre [1989], as well as the persecution of the Falun Gong [spiritual movement], and the peoples of Tibet, Hong Kong and Xinjiang.”

        Sources said
        Zhang had been taken in for questioning by local police, on suspicion
        of “picking quarrels and stirring up trouble,” a charge reportedly used
        to target peaceful critics of the regime.

        On Monday, Zhang posted a video of his message, which has been viewed 175,200 times so far.

        In the video, Zhang says he was once a young supporter of the ruling
        CCP, referring to himself as a former “little pink,” a term to describe
        youths indoctrinated by the regime. However, after bypassing the
        government’s internet censorship, he discovered the truth about the CCP
        and its “sinister” history. In his statement, Zhang referred to his
        enlightenment as scaling the “Great Firewall” of CCP internet
        censorship:

        Since I scaled the Great Firewall, I gradually came to
        the realization that the Chinese Communist Party has extended its dragon
        claws into every corner of the world, including the collective farming
        [1950s], the Cultural Revolution [1966-1976], the Great Famine
        [1958-1961], the One-Child Policy, the Tiananmen massacre [1989], as
        well as the persecution of the Falun Gong [spiritual movement], and the
        peoples of Tibet, Hong Kong and Xinjiang.