Negarit 125: The Testimony of Massawa

ባጽዕ ትመስክር – The Testimony of Massawa – فلتشهد مصوع

Colonizers and occupiers of a country influence its people and impose new ideas and languages. The Italian colonization didn’t only introduce Spaghetti to the people but also tomatoes which has now become an integral part of Eritrean cousin in the Eritrean highlands. South of the border, Ethiopians have no infatuated with tomatoes as Eritreans. The Italians also influenced our language. For instance, the gender specific ending of proper nouns–names that end in ‘a’ are feminine, masculine names end in ‘o’. Incidentally, our local languages also make gender distinctions, but I think it is more nuanced in Italian.
When I first heard the name Dina Mufti the Ethiopian official, I thought it was a woman because Dina ended with an A, but I discovered the Ethiopian Dina was a man.

“words of truth meant to serve falsehood.”
كلمة حق يراد بها باطل

This ancient saying is attributed to Ali Bib Abi Talib sensing a trickery by the forces of his foe Maawiya Bin Abu Sufyan who defeated Ali and founded the Umayyad Dynasty. Today the saying is commonly uttered when he heard words of truth intended to serve falsehood.

In our case, is someone emphatically says, “Eritrea is a poor country, and it has a population of only three million.” it is the truth. Eritrea has many problems” It is the truth. But after detailing points that depict Eritrea in a bad way, he switchs to say, “Ethiopia is endowed with ample natural resources and it is a country with a population of 100 million people.”

That is also the truth, but the intention is not. What is the intention of comparing the two in every occasion? And that is a perfect example of “words of truth meant to serve falsehood.” Only mischievous Ethiophiles advance such arguments and they never stopped undermining the will of Eritreans to be free. And it’s their weapon in the psychological warfare they never stopped waging against Eritreans—this time the unelected Eritrean dictator has openly become a proponent of that warfare.

To Me It’s Dino not Dina

Going back to Dina (sorry, I am feeling guilty so I will henceforth call him Dino that my tongue feels comfortable with) His name is Dino Mufti—I am not sure if his father is an actual Mufti or he just carries it as a proper name.

For those who don’t know, Mufti is a religious juror in Muslim communities. The last respectful Mufti Eritrea had was the late Ibrahim Mukhtar (1909-1969), but since then, government appointed Muftis have been dull personalities that few respected.

This week Dino Mufti said that May 24, the Independence Day, is insignificant to most Eritreans except those who live in foreign lands. Well, why would he make such an outrageous claim? Maybe Semere Reesom, the Eritrean ambassador in Addis told him? Maybe the Eritrean ambassador in Kenya whose name I don’t remember—the one who is accused of collaborating with the Eritrean government to have his wife, and mother of his children to go to jail when she is languishing for many years? Is it Osman Saleh, the placeholder Foreign Minister? Or Yemane Gebreab the chaperone of the foreign minister who shadows him wherever he travels? Or is it their ambassador to Japan, Estifanos Bruno, who might have told him “Anata wa-yume o-mite imasu ka? Mewosamasu!” I don’t know what that means but it sounds Japanese, and I bet it must mean something. But someone has convinced Dino of that because he couldn’t have seen it on his own because it is not true. He was so bold he even went further, “even in Degga [the Eritrean lowlands], May 24 is insignificant.”

If Dino’s father is a real Mufti, he should know about Muslim divorce (Telag, FittH). If someone declares a divorce three times, it’s considered final and binding. It’s sort of the opposite of Catholic marriage where you can never divorce, but three in Islam, you cannot get back together. So, assuming he is a son of a Mufti, he must understand that the divorce we had with his country Ethiopia is 3^6. Dino’s country needs to get married to some democratic ideals before considering remarrying Eritrea—which has enough undemocratic values it has to deal with before getting into an abusive second marriage. And what are seeing from Dino and the government for which he speaks is not promising at all.
There are two other PFDJ officials who are likely to be angry at Dino’s statement though angry for insignificant reasons. The two officials, Zemehret Yohannes and Zemede Tekle are the architects of the colorful May 24 celebration. They have perfected the art of gathering school children and parading them in the stadium in impressive formations that shame the parading skills of North Korea. But let them be annoyed a little, they opened the door to what we are suffering from and they have annoyed us enough. They must tolerate a little nuisance. How dare Dino says May 24 is insignificant!

However, the next May 24 is approaching and I am counting on my friend Ghideon Mussa to cover the celebrations nicely as always does. He will post images and reports that will keep tweeter and fakebook busy for a week. And the diaspora pseudo-patriots will be dancing their nights off for a few days while the seasonal patriots will drown in their vomit after binge drinking night—all celebrating the unfinished liberation! Ghideon might also tell us that the PFDJ found Covid19 hiding somewhere and arrested it. Finally the world might be relieved from the pandemic!

It infuriating Dino is bold enough to claim May 24 is insignificant to Eritreans—but we know the dozen or so PFDJ officials he sampled!

Dear Dino, you seem to be the minister of the landmine clearing team (Fenji regach) affairs. And out of pity I will tell you something which I hope you will listen to:

Yes, Eritreans are very afraid of your people who are not afraid of death. We don’t love death but we have always to die to preserve life. Eritreans do not adhere to the tradition of ritual death. We do not appreciate war chants that extols death “Mot ayferam, mot ayferam.” We abhor hordes who kill civilians and chant that same despicable ancient lyric of an ugly chant.

The overwhelming majority of Eritreans do not believe they totally achieved total liberation and that is why they are not into celebrations which is considered truth to serve falsehood.

The Unfinished Liberation of Eritreans

The task of liberation is not yet achieved, what was achieved was stolen for the benefit of a bunch of your new friends. Many refuse to celebrate prematurely—did your relatives ululate when you were still inside your mother’s belly? Of course not. They must have waited until you were delivered, until you let out a sharp scream. Yes, traditionally they wait for the delivery of the baby and then make sure the mother is safe before they get excited. That is how Eritreans do it. That is when they let out a sharp ululation: Elelelelellllll.
So, don’t forget Eritreans are waiting for the mother to recover because she is still suffering from the painful pangs of delivering May 24.

Mr. Dino. your aggressive pronouncements and deeds, are not good signs and do not encourage celebrating. That’s because you are fond of repeating bloody cycles, always sniffing blood, and looking for innocent blood to spill in your next cycle of violence. I hope you understand that. But I will give you a refresher, it will help you remember this which you repeated many times since. They are always at it and must repeat the violence every now and then like they are doing in Tigray.

Dear Dino, here are scenes of what your forces did to Massawa, the port by the Red Sea.

This is what you did to a country you pretended was part of you! Who wants to go back to that? And you have not changed, did you? You need mass Exorcism. All the leaders, including your allies in Eritrea, bloody bastards.

Jawar Mohammed and His Colleagues

I feel sorry I couldn’t do anything for Jawar Mohammed who is languishing in prison with his colleagues. I have not met any of them face to face, but I used to talk to Jawar until he went to Ethiopia to receive a hero’s welcome. I was happy for him then because he deserved the warm reception. But the Jawar wanted to help in building a solid foundation for the change that he played a major role in bringing about. But the fate of Mengistu Hailemariam awaited him in Ethiopia.

Mengistu and his Derg regime liquidate all the potential contenders of the time. Mengistu snatched the leadership from Atnaffu Abate, Tefferi Bante and Aman Andom. He snatched the political platform from the university students and particularly from Hailu Fida. What was your legitimacy, Dino? Betrayal of friends and people who propelled you to power?

I was cautious getting involved in Ethiopian affairs because I believed Ethiopians alone must handle their affairs on their own. However, since they crowned the 7th king, his interference in Eritrea was ‘on your face’, crude with no respect for the Eritrean people. And when Ethiopian politics endangers Eritrea, I focused on the Abiy the dictator alone. But now it’s reciprocation—a tit-for-a-tat, just like Hammurabi legislated.


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