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Home / Negarit / Negarit 103: ከፊሎም ደዊሉ ነሩ- The sponsor called- وأتصل الكفيل

Negarit 103: ከፊሎም ደዊሉ ነሩ- The sponsor called- وأتصل الكفيل

What a change! Smartly dressed PFDJ official, with a bonus. For the first time he travels alone, and he scores two full points.

The second person who comes (used to come) second to Osman Saleh was the previous information minister. The current one, I testify, used to dree sharply. But since he started to carry a camera in Africa, he went all journalist garb. Ghideon is a sharp dresser and I hope they announce his appointment as the minister of information soon. But where will they send Yemane? They might appoint Yamane Gebremeskel as the propaganda director—the position fits him well and he will get much support by the now “shadow minister.”

That aside, I read a typically overrated no-news-news on the Saudi owned Arab Times. Then I learned about some real info, but’s Gedab News denied Negarit a permission to use the copyrighted material that it promised will soon be publicly available. “No need to rush as if we are in some sort of a Breaking News competition” They told me.

But what the heck, I will lightly violate the copyright.

A few days ago, the Saudi foreign minister called the office of Osman Saleh, the foreign minister of the sponsored president. The phone rang and the secretary responded. On the other end, a man said, I am the “Kefeel” I want to talk to Osman Saleh. Immediately she connected him with Osman Saleh, and they talked about “stuff of mutual interest’ to both Eritrea and Saudi Arabia. If you want to decipher the meaning of the cliché that governments use, don’t try. Make a wild guess and that is it. But soon enough those who follow the Kefeel-Mekfool relations correctly guessed the stuff they talked about. However, it’s prudent not to take the rundown no-news=news for granted. That  is why scrutinizing anything published or aired by a pro government media, be it Saudi, Eritrean or from a government in planet Mars if there is one, is important.

But I heard has an expose about the “stuff of mutual interest” on which it has been working. It’s about some country’s intensive intelligence operation to use Eritreans inn Eastern Sudan as a leverage to advance its interest in Sudan and expand its influence in the region. Never mind what the interest in Eastern Sudan; it is not going to be much different from what the PFDJ spread after it arrested Abdalla Jabir in 2013, after the bold coup attempt by Colonel Saeed Ali Hijay. But who is handling the Eastern Sudan portfolio after him; I do not know who has taken over the Eastern Sudan portfolio after they put Abdalla Jabir in some dungeon? I heard some names, but they will certainly put someone who shares Abdalla Jabir’s identities. Otherwise, it will be difficult to accuse him of being an Islamist when eventually they arrest him. He must be someone on whom the Islamist branding can stick among their cult– whoever it is, I wish him luck.

For years Abdalla Jabir handled the eastern Sudan portfolio very effectively and helped the PFDJ gain an upper hand in in the Sudanese politics. Then he fell out of favor and when an opportunity arose in 2013, due to the ill-fated Forto operation led by Colonel Saeed Ali, they used it to arrest Abdalla Jabir. They spread rumors to justify his arrest: he had contacts with the Saudi Ambassador, he worked for Saudi Arabia, and he was an Islamist. Immediately Abdalla Jabir became an Islamist extremist. No one can be as far as Abdalla Jabir was from the ideology of the Islamist. But his name is Abdalla, a perfect name for any accusation of that nature to stick. But shame on you–do you even remember Abdalla Jabir, whom used to receive with a standing ovation and fanfare? Abdalla Jabir and Islamist! The word funny has found a new meaning.

A disclaimer. I met Abdalla Jabir for the first time in a public meeting he held during the early days on the Badme war. I pointed out to him, in a question format, that any military conflict could take unpredictable turn and submerge the region in serious bloodshed. Furthermore, it could take long to resolve, and it might linger for years. He looked at me from under his chin and said, “Ha ngesserha” (Arabic for ‘we will shorten it’); he was so sure the PFDJ was in control and it could shorten the war. I guess, in a way, the PFDJ thought it will make it a Blitzkrieg. Well, we know what happened.

Is getting in and out of a Turkish Bath the same?

There is a popular Arabic saying: دخول الحمام مش زي خروجه (getting out of a public bath is different from getting in.” I found its origin and I will tell you now.

Public baths were quite common in ancient times, particularly in old civilizations like the Greek and Roman. But the Turks kept perfected and it alive to this date—and in much of the world such public baths are known as Turkish Baths. The story goes, a man opened a new Hammam (bath). When he didn’t get enough customers, he put a sign that read “get in is free.” Customers flocked. And when they wanted to get out, they couldn’t find their clothes. They asked the owner and found out he was holding their clothes in piles away from their reach. He said they must pay for the cost of bathing before he gives them back their clothes. “But you said it was free” they protested. To which he replied, “getting in is free but getting out is not.” Thus, the saying getting in and out of a bath is not the same. I wish the PFDJ bosses and their cult realized that before they plunged into all the fiasco they created and the mess they created.


Eastern Sudan is home to many tribes that straddle the Eritrean-Sudanese border area. Several governments. Intelligence agencies and politicians have used the Eritreans there as a scarecrow to tighten the grip on them or to use them in its adventures—smuggling and spying. Every segment of Eritreans has a large presence in the refugee camps in Eastern Sudan. But the targeted are the Beni-Amer followed by the Maria and Habab.

The PFDJ considers these tribes as enemies; 30 years after independence, still. they survive in refugee camps while the government and its affiliates exploit their land.

Finally, for the last twenty years Eritreans have been living in a state of war with Ethiopia and there is no end in sight. Even the much-publicized theatrics performed by Abiy and Isaias has already lost its luster. Meanwhile, Abdalla Jabir has been in jail for the last eight years with no charges like the rest of his colleagues, some of whom in jail for the last twenty years while others have spent thirty years (since the independence of Eritrea). Trust the PFDJ at your own risk, and children should not play with the PFDJ, you must treat it like matchsticks.

NB: rough script of my Negarit 103 delivered in Tigrinya

Related Link: A sample of the campaign of defamation carried out by PFDJ affiliate websites

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.

Check Also

Negarit 148: ብሰላም ዕረፍ – Remembering a friend – ارقد في سلام

Eulogy for a departed friend, mourning in my own way and cursing the PFDJ//Saleh

  • Brhan

    ሳልሕ ወለድ ከረን ጻዕዳታ ….ኮፎ ሄለካ

    I use the proverb دخول حمام مش زي خروجه but hardly knew its origin.

    For me it is also ክብድ እናበለኒ ኣትየስ…ፍኹስ እናበለነ ወጺአ

    Disscusing with a friend also, I found it relates to Queen Shajaratu Al-Dur. She was found dead in a bathroom.

    Thanks for sharing the info.

    • Consolation

      Ayte Brhan,

      This act, I know Arabic, I can try Tigre, ergo I must be one of you is really getting tiresome. If you read detective stories, you would know that the criminal usually gives himself away by overdoing the “I’m innocent act”. If you read the book “Detection Unlimited” by Georgette Heyer, for example, I am sure you would understand what I am hinting.

    • Saleh Johar

      Shajarat addur and Abu Nawas are the most over
      -used characters in Arab tradition. Everything is attributed to them and JuHa. However, it’s mostly folklore like the Kibre Negest. Their self-aggrandizement superstitious narrations.

  • hawkeye

    Selam all.

    In other news, Isaias has met with the Somali president, Farmajo, today. Not coincidentally, I’m sure, it is the day after Farmajo attended a Sudanese peace deal in Juba.

    The event was attended by President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed of Somalia, President Sahle-Work Zewde of Ethiopia, President Ismail Omar Guelleh of Djibouti, and President Idriss Déby of Chad, Egyptian Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly and Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed Bin Abdul-Rahman Al Thani, among others.

    Obviously Isaias – the regional spoiler – was not in attendance. Not unlike the 2019 Civilian Rule Agreement and the Feb 2020 peace deal in Juba. Among all these Sudanese peace deals, Isaias is looking for a foothold with which to maintain his relevance in Sudan.