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He Graduated

The following is a transcription of my YouTube Channel, “Negarit 97: ሰብኣይ ተመሪቁ – the man graduated – وتخرج الرجل“. Some parts are not properly structured. Saleh Johar

When people reminisce about their neighborhood, they remember their good neighbors together with their families or relatives; they remember the neighbors they grew up calling aunties and uncles and their peers but try to forget their troublesome neighbors.

We look into some of our immediate neighbors, Eritrea has borders with the Afar and Tigrai region and through them to the rest of Ethiopia and we should have had a peaceful relation. But just like the rest of the world, for instance the Kashmir region which is divided between India and Pakistan and the unstable region straddles both countries. There is also some tension between Egypt and Sudan over the Halaib territory of Ethiopia.

For instance, if the case of Badme was settled when it started in the seventies and eighties of the last century, we wouldn’t have inherited an old case that cots us tens of thousands of lives and unimaginable loss of property and opportunities. But the Eritrean and Tigrayan leaders of the struggle area kept it unresolved. Since 1998, we have been preoccupied with Badme, border delineation and the like—something that has kept the lived of the people frozen.

During the height of the Badme conflict, I hoped the region would be turned into an education city where students from both countries, including the rest of Africa, will come to be educated and return home. I still believe that could have contributed greatly towards the development of the region instead of the youth wasting their lives unnecessarily. But the moment I made my views in an article, I was bombarded by people who insisted that every inch of the territory significant, though I never said it was insignificant.

Now we are still dealing with the destruction created by the fools that no wise person can reverse. And the fire is not extinguished; it’s lightly covered by sand.

The mutual incrimination between the two peoples didn’t appear from a vacuum, there are some truth to it.

For instance, the incriminations have their roots in our history, though the Eritrean regime is keeping them alive. Accusations of ancient times, such as the widespread belief that Tigrayans are deceitful, Dragon, Alula, personalities selectively invoked.

On the Tigrayan side, they accuse Eritreans of arrogance due to being colonized by Italy, and they add to it slurs like Banda, etc. But we know the emotional pressure that Tigrayans went through in Eritrea. However, at the time, even Eritreans were oppressed by the Ethiopian governments, but people remember their own sufferings only.

But Eritreans who lived in Ethiopia generally identified themselves as Tigre, anyone who hails from Eritrea and the Tigrai region. It’s history and we went through it. But importantly, the tens of thousands of Eritreans wrongly deported from Ethiopia due to their Eritrean ancestry has left a long-lasting scare on many and that is still a hindrance to resolving pertinent issues focusing on the future.

There are many who see this as an obstacle, and they try to see the problems rationally so that we can navigate a future of peaceful coexistence.

However, we have a bunch of fascists, similar to Mussolini’s Camicie Nere, the black shirts, who are exacerbating the problems. And as long as these forces are not properly confronted, they will keep aggravating the crisis.

Also, the Tigrayan initiative which they call ‘people to people’ get together is pursued from the wrong footing. Political and social leaders should not limit the stakeholders to the people who are either under their control or the control of the PFDJ. There are many Eritrea who are not under the control of any of them. And they are not uninterested watchers but Bonafide stakeholders.

The political leaders of Tigray, most of them, have unequivocally declared they stand with the freedom of Eritrea and respect its sovereignty. But why don’t many Eritreans question the sincerity of such declaration? I think there are some things whose rough surface needs some polishing. I think the Tigrayan leaders should look into that seriously.

If people are anxious about their national unity, they do not look outside their boundaries but are preoccupied with their internal priorities. National unity is a priority for Eritreans like any other nation. Anxious people need to be assured that the risks they face, real or imagined, are fully removed. In addition, Eritreans wish for consistency, not different gestures depending on changing situations.

On the Eritreans side, the government is leaving bad influences such as insisting on living in caves as if venturing outside it is damaging. It has been 22 years of endless repeating of Weyane slur though it is the name of the rebellion of Tigray—it’s time we dropped the demagogy. It’s not inviting and doesn’t help the pursuit of peace. In addition, activists or leaders considered opposition elements, particularly the educated class, should educate the public and influence them to stop street languages. They shouldn’t push the people to the swamps of ignorance. That way the people can think rationally and be psychologically ready for change.

But we have to recognize that we have proved to be weak. So far, we have failed in alleviating our miserable situation that allowed a bunch of useless leaders to lord over us unelected. They do not care if the people are engaged in wars and violence indefinitely as long as they secure their privileges positions.

Tigray is Ethiopian

We have to realize r=that whenever we have a conflict or a relation with Tigray, it involves Ethiopia. WE should not consider Tigray a separate country as long as it is in Ethiopia. Unless the Tigrayan people decide to succeed, their region remains an integral part of Ethiopia. It’s also important to note that the confrontation between the federal government and the regional government of Tigray does not bode well with the stability of the region. We should hope that they resolve their issues peacefully, through dialogue and serious negotiations. But as I see it, the few bravados related to the secession of Tigray are political gesture, a tactical ploy to pressure the federal government in the ultimate negotiations for normalcy.

Bir Tiran—The Yellow Mountain State

Do you know of this imaginary country? It’s a piece of land (2000 sq Kms) found between the Sudan and Egypt. Neither governments have claimed it in their maps—it’s one of the many vague borders, a legacy the British colonizers left behind.

The Sudanese-Egyptian border runs along the 22nd. Parallel with the exception of the Halaib boundary which veers north of the 22nd until it reaches the Rd Sea coast. The Bir Tiran enclave is south of the 22nd. And since Sudan claims Halaib because it says the people who live there, the Beshareen, are an extension of the Sudanese tribes though it’s located north of the straight-line border. Claiming the Bir Tiran enclave would spoil the arguments of both countries and they find it convenient for their arguments on Halaib if they ignored the Bir Tiran area. And that has created the perception that Bir Tiran is a no man’s land.

Over the years, several individuals have sneaked into the region and hoisted flags in Bir Tiran and claimed the territory. Among them were an American man, an Indian IT technician and a Russian person. But in September of 2019, a certain woman appeared on TV and baptized the territory “the Kingdom of the Yellow Mountain”. She said the kingdom has a king, a functioning cabinet, an anthem and a flag. She also said that the kingdom sells honorary titles, passports and plans to be home to the refugees and stateless people of the region.

In recent years, Egypt has ceased sovereignty of two Islands, Tiran and Senafir, to Saudi Arabia. Observers have explained the relevance of the two islands to the 2030 vision that Saudi Arabia launched a few years ago. The vision is related to a development project in Northern Saudi Arabia and centred around a proposed city named Neom. Many world leaders and investors have shown interest, or are involved, in the project including big names like Bezos and Gates, Zuckerberg and others.

I am bringing this as an example to show that there are many neutral, disputed, or unclaimed territories all over the world. And our outlook should be saving lives and resources of the country and its people. Egypt and Sudan’s have decided to leave the Halaib conflict pending while they focus their energy on other productive issues.

The Kilo-Halo Institute

Lately the kilo-Halo institute graduated its first student. But since it’s covid19 era, the graduation didn’t attract crowds and was concluded silently. This news was leaked by Kilo-Halo Leaks, named after WikiLeaks, it’s named after the Arat-Kilo palace of Addis Ababa, Abiy’s palace, and the Adi-Halo office of Isaias Afwerki.

Abiy Ahmed has been studying online due to the pandemic imposed regulation and every three-months he went to Adi-Halo for a test, and he passed every test he took. His first class was how to liquidate people who threaten your grip of power. The instructor told him to begin with those closest to him citing his own experience with his closest colleagues, like Sheriffo, Petros Solomon and Haile Deroue, who he made vanish. And that is what Abiy did arrested Berhanu Negga, Jawar, and many, many others—there is a list of about 10,000 prisoners but it’s too long to list here.

In addition, in one of the elective courses, Abiy learned how to ward off the risk that the youth might pose. The best solution is to gather all the youth in a camp which becomes like a conveyor belt, rolling over new arrivals who can be used for any labour around the vast Ethiopian lands. That was illustrated in a trip that Abiy made to Sawa where he saw thousands of school age children wasting their time marching under the scorching heat.

Intermission: Tzzegai Iyassu was a very intelligent and successful lawyer whose Ethiopian friends in Addis Ababa asked him where he was educated. He replied, abroad. Then they discovered the man was educated in Asmara and he was mainly self-made. They asked him, why do you tell us you went school abroad when you were schooled in Eritrea? The lawyer said, Eritrea is a foreign land.

Anyway, Abiy returned to Ethiopia and in a few weeks, he implemented the financial system that he learned. Now Ethiopians cannot carry more than 1.5 million Birr in cash; they have to deposit it in a bank. If Abiy goes further and implements the system he learned abroad, in Eritrea, Ethiopians will submit an application with their shopping list to get the money from the bank; 1 kilo of meat, a litre of oil, etc. Then, the bank will release the amount from their accounts. That is surely to improve the Ethiopian economy and finances, just like it improved the Eritrean economy.

Isaias’ Cults, Abiy’s cult

We have dealt with the Isaias cult for too long. Now Abiy has created a similar cult. That cult is becoming as noisy and irrational as Isaias and they have even started to abuse many people. But if one dealt with Isaias’ cult, how difficult is it going to be dealing with his student’s cult! The experience has proven to be beneficial.

Major Dawit

In 2018, Major Dawit wrote an article in which he implored (almost a reprimand) me to join Dr. Abiy’s arithmetic class. But I was not that excited about the 1+1 elementary class that I went through as a child, I needed mathematics, Algebra and the like that I was never good at. But Dawit didn’t complete two years in that class. Last week, he wrote a scathing criticism about Abiy, lambasting him together with the country he is running, as a terrorist state. See, Dawit wanted me in the class when he was not sure whether he will stay long enough. How would I feel if I was in a class and then he leaves me behind and disown the class to which he was inviting me?

But I am concerned about the Eritreans youth who are being subtracted by the PFDJ on a daily basis. They are escaping the country by the thousands, but the government considers them a source of hard currency because whatever money they transfer to their families will end up in the economy. And the PFDJ boast of self-reliance and other bravados when it’s a human trafficker pushing out its youth while denying them opportunities in the own habitat.

Finally, all of that has come to pass. Eritrea will welcome its children and will prosper. Remember that—and remember I was certain about it.

About Saleh "Gadi" Johar

Born and raised in Keren, Eritrea, now a US citizen residing in California, Mr. Saleh “Gadi” Johar is founder and publisher of Author of Miriam was Here, Of Kings and Bandits, and Simply Echoes. Saleh is acclaimed for his wealth of experience and knowledge in the history and politics of the Horn of Africa. A prominent public speaker and a researcher specializing on the Horn of Africa, he has given many distinguished lectures and participated in numerous seminars and conferences around the world. Activism was founded by Saleh “Gadi” Johar and is administered by the Awate Team and a group of volunteers who serve as the website’s advisory committee. The mission of is to provide Eritreans and friends of Eritrea with information that is hidden by the Eritrean regime and its surrogates; to provide a platform for information dissemination and opinion sharing; to inspire Eritreans, to embolden them into taking action, and finally, to lay the groundwork for reconciliation whose pillars are the truth. Miriam Was Here This book that was launched on August 16, 2013, is based on true stories; in writing it, Saleh has interviewed dozens of victims and eye-witnesses of Human trafficking, Eritrea, human rights, forced labor.and researched hundreds of pages of materials. The novel describes the ordeal of a nation, its youth, women and parents. It focuses on violation of human rights of the citizens and a country whose youth have become victims of slave labor, human trafficking, hostage taking, and human organ harvesting--all a result of bad governance. The main character of the story is Miriam, a young Eritrean woman; her father Zerom Bahta Hadgembes, a veteran of the struggle who resides in America and her childhood friend Senay who wanted to marry her but ended up being conscripted. Kings and Bandits Saleh “Gadi” Johar tells a powerful story that is never told: that many "child warriors" to whom we are asked to offer sympathies befitting helpless victims and hostages are actually premature adults who have made a conscious decision to stand up against brutality and oppression, and actually deserve our admiration. And that many of those whom we instinctively feel sympathetic towards, like the Ethiopian king Emperor Haile Sellassie, were actually world-class tyrants whose transgressions would normally be cases in the World Court. Simply Echoes A collection of romantic, political observations and travel poems; a reflection of the euphoric years that followed Eritrean Independence in 1991.

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The General’s Bad Lessons

A longtime ago in the environs of Kulentebai, the late Tesfai Tekhle, the liberation era …

  • መሃንድስ-ምዕባለ


    ኣርሓ ደርሆ ነቁዩ
    ይወግሕ ኣሎ
    ክብል ተዳህዩ
    ከመይ ‘ሉ ፈሊጡ?

    ንሱ ግን ይብል
    ይፈልጥ ኣንዳዕዲዑ
    ሽምዓኹም ኣጥፍኡ
    ማዕጾኹም ክፈቱ
    ጸገምኩም ተቐንጢጡ
    ኢሉ ክንቁ
    ሳልሕ ጆሃር ሰሚዑ


  • Nitricc

    And that is what Abiy did arrested Berhanu Negga

    Hi SG: that is incorrect. But it is a nature of power. for instance; Jawar was arrested because he went for jugular. he went for power and got arrested. After 86 people were killed by his animals, all power of Oromo came to defend Jawar as saying our hero, our son and an apple of an eye. Now he is in jail because he dared to challenge the power. the Point if you were in power you will do the same thing.

    • Saleh Johar

      For arguments sake, I will agree with you I might have arrested my opponents if i was in Abiy’s position. But still, it would have been wrong.
      Focus on an action and if it is wrong or right. even if a million people did it, it doesn’t make i right.

      • Nitricc

        Hi SG; it is not right, but it is what it is; once you test power, you will do everything to protect it. i am not saying personally you. We can say it is wrong but we never understand the behavior change that comes with power. people say money is the source of all evils but i say power does.

        • Saleh Johar

          I avoid considering people’s suffering an opportunity for studying human behaviour, there are qualified psychologists and socioliogists who do that. I react as a normal human being and avoid trivializing the obvious. That is because the people who support oppression and dictatorships, find justification for their shameful position by trivializing transgressions.

          • Nitricc

            Hey SG; we can talk and be all politically correct but the fact stays a fact. why do you think Abiy coming down in Lemema? You see, Lemma is the pave the way for Abiy to become prime mister and Abiy was calling Lemma is his boss and then look what i happened? the moral of the story, you don”t need to be psychologists and of that just be a human and pay attention and the facts are there for you. Like I have said, if they put you in power; you will detain and arrest people right and left who intend to take the power from you. FACT of life.

          • Saleh Johar

            I will try one last time Nitricc,
            There are people in Eritrea arrested because they do not agree with the government. Do you agree with the government that keeps people in jail indefinitely for political reasons… ?

            Please reply with a simple I AGREE or I DISAGREE.
            I don’t care about political correctness or other triviality, i am interested in knowing your moral compass.

          • Nitricc

            Do you agree with the government that keeps people in jail indefinitely for political reasons… ?

            I agree; government should arrest people but NOT INDEFINITELY.

          • Saleh Johar

            Good. Then stick to that view. Don’t justify anything. Follow your human instinct and let the perpetrators defend themselves for the powerful do not deserve our defense, we have to work to right the wrong.
            Thank you. I think we (I) conclude it here.

          • Nitricc

            Hi SG; so you admit that if you had power, you will arrest people to protect your power. that is my whole argument and point. thank you!

          • Saleh Johar

            It’s very clear. Don’t misconstrue my words, please.
            I will repeat, even if I had power and abused my power, you shouldn’t cheer for my wrong practices. But one thing, don’t compare apples with Akaat. Meaning, don’t compare every entity with a regime.

            By the way, I do not like to continue chewing on a topic after the juices are done. This topic has no more juice. Let’s move on. This is my last entry and don’t be offended if I do not respond. Cheers

          • Nitricc

            Hi SG the juice is you trying to be a saint by denying the very fact. The fact is every powerful person will kill, arrest and do what ever to protect his power. This is the fact and you are trying to humanizing it. I don’t like when people deny the facts just to claim high morality.

  • Haile S.

    ሰላም ሳልሕ፡

    መደረኻ ጽን እንዳበልኩ እንዳስተማቐርኩ
    ቀዳማይ ገጽ ዘሎ ስእልኻ ከተሓሳስበኒ ውዓልኩ

    ሳልሕ እንታይ ክገብር ከደ ኪሎ-ሓሎ
    ብዘይካ ትምህርቲ በልኩ እንታይ እስኪ ኣሎ
    እንታይ’ከ ረኸበ ከምዚ ጌሩ ግይጽ-ምይጽ ዘብሎ

    ኣነሲ ኢሳያስ ክስሕቕ መሰለኒ’ምበር ንስኻ ትኹሪ
    ኣበይ ሓሲበዮ ኢልካኒ ልክዕ ከም ናይ ኤሱ ስሓቕ ተፍሪ!

    ትማሊ ብጊሓቱ xxxx ምስርኣኹ ኣብ ዓወተ በዚሑ
    ካብ ሓሎ-ኪሎ ምስ ተመልሰ በልኩ ካራኡ በሊሑ
    ነዚኣ ዶ ተማሂሩ መጸ፡ ኢለ ሓምየካ፡ ረሲዑ ስርሑ

    ነዊሕ ኣይጸናሕካን ግና እታ ካራ ጎዲማ
    xxxxx ጠፍአት ሕማቕ በዚሑ ደኺማ

    በል እንቋዕ ተመለስካ ካብ ሎንድራ ካብ ሓድሽ ኣበባ
    ገዛ ከምዝገደፍካያ እያ ዘላ ተውለብልብ ሕብራዊ ዓለባ

    • Saleh Johar

      ኣንታ ሃይለ ናይ ቃል ዓለም ክምስ ኣብዚሕካለይ
      ዘይሰሕቅኩ ‘ኳ ተሰኪፈ ከም ኣመለይ
      ወላ እታ ባጀላ ውን ኣይረኸብኩን ተባኢስ ምስ ግምባረይ
      ትምህርቲ ድገም ተባሂለ: ኣየጽናዕካን ወሲኾምለይ

      • መሃንድስ-ምዕባለ


        መዓስ ባጀላ ኴኑ መጻወቲ
        ኡስ ኢልካ ዝዕደል
        ካብ ናይ ህግደፍ በዓቲ
        —–ኣይፋል ተልካ
        —–ግን ኣብ ስጅንካ
        ምስ ቢተወደድ በዓል ዓዲ ሞንጎቲ
        ሓንሳብ ምስ ኣተኻ
        ዋላ ተተናሳሕካ

        ዝዋሓስካ የለን
        ዋላ በዓል ጀለብያ
        ምስ መስቀሉ
        ካብ ከረን ዋላ ሰገነይቲ

        ምስ ደገዝማቲ
        መን ተማጓቲ
        ኴና ጥርቅም

        ምስፋይ ግደፍ

        • Saleh Johar

          ኣንታ መሃንድስ,
          ካን ተስፉ የለን!
          ልበይ ሰርካኒ ልብኻ ስብር ዳኣ ትበል
          እንታይ ከይብለኒ ገል ነገር ከም ጸብል
          ወላ መንቀሳቀሲ ወረቀት እታ ሱቅ ኢልካ ትዕደል
          እምቢ ክባሃልሲ ንወረቀት ክም ናይ ጥሮታ ኣበል
          ርእየልካ’ለኹ ሕጅስ ይኣኽለካ ስቅ ዳኣ በል

      • Haile S.

        ሓደርካ ሳልሕ

        ስእሊ ጥራይ ኣምጽእ መናገሪ
        ጽሑፍ ብዝመጸ ዓይነይ መተኮሪ

        ብመጀመርታ ንስእሊ እየ ዘንብቦ ኣነ
        ትሕዝቶ ጽሑፍ ንምምዛን እንታይ ከምዝኾነ

        ኣብዚኣ ግና ተደሚርካ ኣጋጊኻኒ
        ፍሽኽታኻ መሊሱ ኣፈይ ዓንቂፉኒ
        …. ካባይ እኽሊ’ኳ ይጓዳእ፡ ኣነ ወሪዱኒ!

        ጽባሕ ‘ውን ምስ መስፍን ተሳኢልካ ከተዛርበና
        “ሳልሕ’ውን መቐለ ከይዱ ነይሩ” ከተሕጥኣና
        ነዛ matter ትብልዋ ንእሽተይ’ያ ትኣኽለና

  • Brhan

    Ahalen Saleh,
    The Negarit episode 97 is heavy and delicouse meal.

    The YeIlow Mountain: I liked the idea of giving different perspective to solve old issues. The Yellow Mountain analogy can be achieved , but, like you said we have people who prefer to live in caves and sensetive to new perspective, moslty due to their egos.
    On Abiy, graduation from Kilo-Halo, not only did he graudate but also as a new graduate he is a placment where he can be assisted for any short cominng and that is why the dictator sent his special units to Oromo Killil to do the dirty job.
    To answer to your question why the USA is called in Amharic ያሜርካን ኣገር is simple because of the word “states”. India official name doesn’t include the word “states” thus it is called simply as India.
    On Lemlem or Shaleqa Dawit, he showed us his true face: he is die hard Neftegna!

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Selam Saleh,

    The “Kilo-Halo institute” is a nice phrase you coined to express the nature of relationship between Isu and Abiy – a relationship between a despot and a despot to be. I also saw one subject listed with the upcoming post graduate classes, and that is how to produce a prototype of “NNNN” a blind supporters to his throne. Well done Abu Salah, you made it my day.


    • መሃንድስ-ምዕባለ

      ሰላማት ሳልሕ
      ኣዝዩ መሃርን መስሓቕን!
      ኮለኔል ኣብዪ ከምዝበልካዮ ባጀላ ክረክብ ይግበኦ ‘ዩ።

      ፕሮፌሰር ኤማ
      ኣሉ ሮጓድ
      ኣሉ ቀጣን
      ድማ ወስኸላ 🙂

  • Ismail AA

    Selam Saleh and fellow forumers,

    This edition of Negarit is more of a social guidance lesson than others things it dealt with. It should be noted that social settings do have “bunch of fascists” that constitute aberrations that pollute the good name of the mainstream sectors of societies. When some sort of crisis arises, it becomes spring time for them and they sprout from under the surface here and there. They become social trends which serve as bases for fringe politicians. Some of the bunch of fascists this Negarit edition has referred to are of the same kind whether they hail from Eritrea or its neighbors.