Thursday , January 20 2022
Home / Articles / On the Cynics and on the Frustrated
Human rights lawyer vs. trained healer

On the Cynics and on the Frustrated

On the Cynics

You certainly have observed that now the time has come when the dead old demons are resurrected and its agents, seeing adventurous, optimistic Eritrea, at this time, standing amid its ruins, bewildered and confused, and although she knows perfectly well who the culprits were, she keeps bemusedly asking herself “whose fault is it?” in a sort of expression of awe and reprobation. But it took the agents of the old demons no time to misunderstand the expression and manage to have the audacity to point to the victim herself, screaming “You! It is your fault, you are responsible! ” They don’t forget, in the context, to slyly, and between the lines, to introduce themselves as the prophets to the lost world of the “Ethiopian Nirvana.”

These are charlatans and jugglers because they know that there is no question of Eritrea going back to Ethiopia now, not because of Eritrean reasons only (which are heavy and substantial), but also because of Ethiopian reasons as well, unless they are thinking of Tigrai-Tigrigna, and even that has its insurmountable ifs and buts. There is no doubt and, in fact, is clear from the get-go that there was no destination for the writings of Yosief Gebrehywet (“YG”) and his minions other than the fantastic and impossible Ethiopia. For them, the misery of Eritrea started with the revolution in 1961: only love and peace was prevailing over the land before that fateful day, they imply. They would like us believing that the 1st of September 1961 is the day in which everything began, the day of the cause of all causes, the big bang that nothing preceded. But they are lying through their teeth, claiming that. The revolution was never a cause, it was a result, and here lies the difference. It was the result of injustice, obstinacy and arrogance of the Ethiopian Empire and its collaborators whose ideology YG is championing and defending.

One can but only maintain that the contentions expressed by YG’s writings and his disciple, the power guy at Asmarino, are apologetic ideologies representing the world view of an Eritrean political class long since extinct, that theirs is the famous old wine in new bottles. The ideologues, by their own admission, are the counter revolutionary. We are not, here, speaking about the fops, the Gucci revolutionaries of the type IA is; we are speaking about a revolution which represented the aspirations of the Eritrean people, the people who rose and took up arms in defense of their hijacked fate by the Empire of Ethiopia and its Eritrean collaborating class which was holding the very same placards now risen high by YG and his disciples.

This class, which YG is defending, and whose ideology he trying to sanitize, is that same privileged political class through which the Amhara oligarchy was facilitating and imposing its rule on the rest of Eritrea. It was the class, the representatives of which misinformed, exhorted and lured the Emperor of Ethiopia into illegally dissolving the Federal arrangement between Eritrea and Ethiopia, and smash it against the advice of many well-meaning people, including that of Kennedy Trevaski of the British military administration in Eritrea, who prophetically warned in his book “Eritrea, A Colony in Transition” long before it happened, that if manipulation and exploitation of the federal arrangement by the Ethiopian crown is attempted, it will, most probably, bring about the destruction of the Ethiopian throne itself.  He was right and the Eritrean elite and its advocates then were wrong, as they are now. This was the privileged class which was imprisoning people, killing them and forcing them to flee their homes and residences. YG and his disciples must, necessarily, have heard about these atrocities and wouldn’t care to hear about them again now, not because of their sensibilities, No, that is only for fear that it might stand in the way of their business of wishy-washy in retrograde, promoting the case for those long dead demons.

That same class, moreover, was the class the Eritrean struggle (which took off in 1961) was directed against, as much as against the occupier… it, being fittingly, the collaborators’ umbrella. The inheritors and apologetics of that dead class must now, certainly, condemn the revolution that uprooted them and their master in one and the same strike and would love to avenge their defeat and undo it in retrograde if even, only, through lies and omissions. It is dishonest and hypocritical from the old demons part to pretend innocence and ignore the fact that it was the one who set in motion the multifaceted juggernaut which still is crushing and mangling all Eritreans in its path.

On the Frustrated

Paired with the above is another phenomenon, not wholly unexpected (given the frustration of long and extended years of suffocating tyranny), rearing its head and showing itself in the Diaspora communities.  I mean by this: the signs of giving in to factors of fatigue, pessimism, desperation, and fatalism. One clear instance to this is no less than Zekre Lebonna, a cool and well-versed Eritrean writer, coming with one of his articles, critical and sounding pessimistic of the dissonance displayed by Eritreans vis-à-vis their miserable conditions and the thoughtless embrace of their abuser’s cultural symbols. Zekre, further, sees it befitting that the funeral-like condition in the land be rather replaced by a defiant funeral mass song. Maybe Zekre shouldn’t be that disappointed and that pessimistic, for “a country ruled by a despot is an inverted cone” as Samuel Johnson said, and in such a world, the world of tyranny and inverted cones, dissonance is only the name of the game.

Besides, those whose attitude Zekre was wondering about, were only in their late twenties, at most.  This means that their intellectual system of reference is formed under the tyrannical fire of framing with no alternative window similar to the old waves of Eritrean refugee population enjoyed. If these young Eritreans have displayed signs of self-contradiction and dissonance, it is because they have no other ways of expressing themselves except in the only language their perceptions were formed from. Even expressing distrust and hate towards the abuser, in such circumstances, cannot be mentally represented and processed except in a language long defined in their consciences. What they need now is rehabilitation and reorientation, but their distaste for tyranny should not be doubted.

The Eritrean struggle’s requirements have now extended to a fresh additional area that of the struggle of changing this mind setting, a setting that was brought about by inconsistencies of tyranny, it is a stage and part of the struggle and it should be done.

There is a parable included in the novel “The Brothers Karamazov,” by Feodor Dostoevsky, which would accommodate Zekre’s pessimism and despondence. The title of the parable is “The Grand Inquisitor:” it is a story told by Ivan the elder brother, the intellectual atheist, to his younger mystical brother, Alexei (Alyosha). The scene is set in a dungeon, in a castle of medieval Spain, where Jesus Christ is held prisoner on the orders of the grand inquisitor for coming down to the world, at the wrong time, and mingling with the population, preaching the heresy of hope and freedom.  I leave you with the extract:

Extract from the Grand inquisitor

The Grand Inquisitor speaking to Christ: “Oh, we shall convince them that they cannot be free till they renounce their freedom in our favor and submit to us. . . . Too well, all too well, will they know the value of submission once and for all! Men will be unhappy till they grasp this . . . , however, the flock will collect again and submit once more, and then it will be forever, forever. We will give them, a quiet modest happiness, the happiness of feeble creatures such as they were created. Oh, we shall convince them at last that they have no right to be proud. . . . Yes, we will force them to work, but in their free time we will make their life like a game with songs, choruses, and innocent dances. Oh? We will even permit them to sin—for they are weak and feeble— and they will love us like children because we allow them to sin. We shall permit or forbid them to live with wives or lovers, to have or not to have children—according to whether they have been obedient or disobedient, and they will submit to us gladly and joyfully, . . . And they will all be happy, all the millions, except the hundred thousand who rule over them. For, we alone, we who guard the mystery, we alone, shall be unhappy. There will be thousands of millions of happy children and only a hundred thousand martyrs, who have taken on themselves the curse of the knowledge of good and evil.”

Burhan Ali
July 5, 2013

About Burhan Ali

Check Also

Hafeez Saaddin Mohamed Badlay: a tribute

Grief struck the Eritrean community in Melbourne following the sudden death of Hafeez Saaddin Mohamed …

  • hizbawi

    The other day I was observing what was said on Geza-Tegaru. Whenever I get the time I do that so I know what is going on the other side. One Tigraway, said,
    “For some reason, the Latin people never spoke flaunt English. They start something to say in English and they finished it with Latin”
    His point was, they start talking about something but they must conclude with the point something about Eritrea.
    Anyway, they were talking of course about Eritrea and none of them blames the TPLF and none of them criticizes the weyane despite their government is illegally occupying Eritrean land by disregarding what was agreed upon, the final and binding. When you come to the Eritrean side, none of the opposition supports the border verdict. Even worst, they blame the government of Eritrea and they side with TPLF gungs. Even in here at, most of the posters opposed Haile, because Haile stood with what is right, the Eritrean side. If you are seeking for justice and the rule of law, why can you be consistent and demand TPLF to respect the rule of law? Is not what Eritrea asking? On your absent mind if the border is demarcated then Issaias wins, i.e. oppose the demarcation. I never get it. The fastest way to bring change in Eritrea or the fastest way to get rid of PIA or the surest way for an opposition to get accepted by the majority will be demanding Ethiopia to abide by the rule of law and demarcate the border.
    can you see that?

    • asfaha

      kindi shii

  • Sabri


    It is good that you clarify. However, it is not fully clear. The organized opposition are many with different aim and solution. Among the organized opposition there are some who see the demarcation issue is important (EPDP for example). I feel your target is the organized opposition who are cooperating with Ethiopia. Correct me if I’m wrong. For me real opposition is the one who study deeply the program and plan of their antagonist and come with tangible alternative. Until this moment I didn’t see such an opposition group. All are criticizing the government of Eritrea, all are singing democracy. Just by picking up the ailments of PFDj doesn’t make you an opposition. Pointing out the wrongdoing of the government should be anchored in the guiding principle of alternative program. This is a missing point.  The one who claimed to be an opposition must be able to show alternative program. I never see sound argument presented by the opposition who really challenge the core principle of PFDJ. Please refer me if I miss it. The issue of demarcation that you addressed should be seen within the context of real alternative opposition. 


    • Hameed


      The alternative program is removing the shifta that usurped the freedom of the Eritrean peopple. In case you see such a program doesn’t deserve to call a program, then the alternative is submissive to shifatu. I think this is what you endeavor to imprint in the minds of the Eritreans.

      I hope you don’t cheat yourself by thinking your argument and ideas are fresh to the Eritrean political arena. The people of Eritrea passed the same arguments during his struggle. A revolution that started with a few men against an Empire will not succeed. You always compare a giant with whom you consider weak, but the compare the giant with the willpower of the people and they find their will is stronger than the giants. I am sure all your agument revolves around this. You are comparing climax with beginnings. You are totally engrossed in 1991 and you forgot 1961.

    • haile


      I hear ya!

      EPDP?…let me explain, neglect is what happens when you HAVE something and fail to take good care of it (or properly advocate for it in this case). I would like to examine EPDP’s tangible efforts in this regard. Have they called for a demo around the issue, have they wrote letters to intl. bodies is that regard, have they rallied friendly external sympathizers on the matter, have they even issued a belated press release to remind the world body’s continued abrogation of its duty to up hold rule of law…probably they did none of that. They probably wrot that they support EEBC onzban setarit xebxab of their merchandises. That is all.

      The other organized opposition (it is really a misnomer to call them such) are just rag tag and have no concept of what an opposition force means in the first place. They tell you ghedli is a monster that they wish nothing to do with it, while singing viva wedi-ali, while cheering woyane to stay on war footing, while shedding crocodile tears for the youth who are holding woyane back…in short..they are an interesting bunch of kiddos:)

      • Sabri

        I mentioned EPDP just an example but you make the whole issue revolve around them. I think you miss my point. Please concentrate on the core issue.

        • haile

          Sabri, I think I get it:)

          • Hailat,

            I will admit to recognize your debating skills. But the problem you have is, the facts are not on your side. When the facts are not on your side you always stumble here and there and it is understandable.The fact you are defending the indefensible still is a mystery to me. What a waste of talent!

            There is one room for hope on you, and that is, if you have a strategy to argue on the opposite side(the side you are taking now) and at the end of the debate by making an interesting and convincing “closing summary” of the opposite side, to swing the rest who were on your side of advocacy, You will win the trophy of the debate.This was the tactics of Yohannes the brain and Berhanemeskel who were doing in Adddis Ababa Univesity in the 60s. That hope still remain hanging on the air, you to play that persuasive tactic with the “small group ministries” sometime you told us. I don’t want you to be lost in the web of deception and lies of PFDJ. It will not be redemption but big conscious strategical idea for success. Haile how do you see it?

          • haile

            Aman, n’anay do belka; grim!

            Since saay is dying for a piece of great awlo, how about this edited one (2:47 min):-)


          • haile


            I hope you enjoyed the awlo! Later on I will give some of my ‘vision’ in the form of note addressed to Ghebre. Either you would see some sense in it or treat me like the gun in the awlo was treated:-) you take your pick…

          • Hailat,

            Yes “n’anay b’menghedi midhan hizbena” the road you still keep missing it. As a matter of fact, let me give an example of the “latest courage” spoken in the world stage of United Nation Yesterday. The young Pakistani girl (Malala) who was shot by the Taliban has assured the world at the world stage that the terrorist didn’t change her aims and ambitions by their reckless inhumanity act, but rather she saw the birth of new strength, power and courage in the midst of barbarism.

            Haile you heard and saw many barbaric act of the despot…and in the word of Malala one could hope to find strength, power, and courage in the midst of distress and suffering of our people. Now think of Malala’s words and the strategy of Yohannes the brain I shared early…and then you know the exit.

            The “awlo issue” is very interesting I will hold it until you come with your vision…hopefully will be promise kept.

      • Hameed


        We are not the only nation or people in this world as you like us to be. We are affected directly or indirectly by our region or the international community. The internet, TV or the car your master rides has not manufactured it the despost you advocate for. The people of Eritrea requested sister countries and the international community to assist them against their war with Ethiopia and now too request aid to remove shifatu. There is no shame in this. Don’t forget your umbrella the sky is raining freedom.

      • Haile!

        You stated:

        The other organized opposition (it is really a misnomer to call them such) are just rag tag and have no concept of what an opposition force means in the first place. They tell you ghedli is a monster that they wish nothing to do with it, while singing viva wedi-ali, while cheering woyane to stay on war footing, while shedding crocodile tears for the youth who are holding woyane back…in short..they are an interesting bunch of kiddos:)


        You said that the opposition ” have no concept what an opposition force means”. Well, you claim to be one of the silent majority (a misnomer for paper tigers). Now, can you tell us what an opposition force means? If you accuse others of having no clue regarding opposition force, you need to prepare to give a some what detailed description/explanation as to what an opposition force entails.


        Ghedli, which was conceived by juvenile and myopic young Eritreans , has later come to be a very costly and disastrous enterprise with the following by-products: “Sidet”, “dinkurina”, “himam”, “timiyet”, “chiqona”, “Barinet” W.Z.E.T. Ghedli is the worst of all the previous regimes both in magnitude and duration.

        I am looking forward to reading your “merietna biweyane” type of response 🙂

  • Hayat Adem

    When Serray is on board, i prefer my role to be reading. the interventions from Sal also add sometimes flavor, sometimes perspective. with you, haile, unlike Sal, i prefer to have my own bus that is driven mostly in parallel, rarely in tangent to yours. I don’t know how Sal manages the frequency of “now added, now dropped” state of situation:)
    questions for you, haile:
    1) where did you see serray asking for a count of proxy sacrifice? he did not say: my brother died, therefore i consider as my self bled for the country. he didn’t say my brothers are in sawa, therefore i request recognition for myself as enslaved. he only used the mention of his brothers’ situation as a very proximate example for authenticate argument. and i would see you of failing to comprehend the essence there. and i don’t want to judge for insincerity and cheap score, hence my question.
    2) where did serray, claim that his family paid more than any other family? First, i doubt whether you can support that with evidence of him actually claiming so, 2nd: how do you see yourself in light of accusing him of injecting emotion in to the argument? An extension of that question comes from the next quote: “nothing less than utter chaos and total distraction of Eritrea and decimation of its people would satisfy you. I say, with due respect, that is no way to behave.” Don’t think this is an absurdly stretched interpretation for a guy who only views that Eritrea’s system at this level needs a complete overhaul, not a minor fix. What made you see serray as person lusting for the decimation of the eritrean people? and what made you think, pressing for the idea of a big fix (such as demobilization) and regime change amounts to decimation?
    2) what is your explanation when you say freedom earned and not born into. freedom should be defended and protected, i can understand. freedom must be earned like wealth, i don’t. i believe serray is right on human freedom. it is a birth right. the only fighting justified for for freedom is upon being denied; because evil and cruel are always around and paying in defense of freedom conditioned to a situation of “you can’t deny my birth right freedom and if you do, i fight back”. in that notion, fighting and price is imposed and reactive. but other than that i don’t believe we need to pay anything for our freedom, hence the question.

    • haile

      Selam Hayat

      Two buses?…just make sure you have a licence to have the freedom to do so:)

      1) Where did you see serray asking for a count of proxy sacrifice?

      Serray said “My brother died fighting the ethiopians and thinking he was doing it to bring freedom. Tell me, how does that compare to your paying your two percent and thinking you are fulfilling your responsibility?” If serray is not talking and comparing sacrifices by proxy, could you kindly point me where he appears on his above statement?

      2) Where did serray, claim that his family paid more than any other family?

      Again part of Exhibit[A] incriminates him guilty as charged by his own words “Tell me, how does that compare to your paying your two percent and thinking you are fulfilling your responsibility?”

      3) How do you see yourself in light of accusing him of injecting emotion in to the argument?

      Far from it Hayat. I stay clear of that at all times. I am self restrained as to what I bring here, but I can assure that what serray talked about would be considered heaven if I were to run my mouth in an irresponsible fashion.

      4) What made you think, pressing for the idea of a big fix (such as demobilization) and regime change amounts to decimation?

      Serray has made one clear stand. He doesn’t what Eritrea that the over whelming Eritreans celebrate in its current (not under the PFDJ but from the popular conception) and historical origins. If that is not decimation then what is?

      5) What is your explanation when you say freedom earned and not born into?

      Hayat, the centrality of freedom to social organization does not entail the absence of duty. The question merely becomes what kind of duties do we then have? Serray has claimed it is all “paid for” as per Exhibit[A] hence he is happy to endanger that very national freedom that he is lucky to inherit and maintain by proxy, for it obviously came cheap (without the price of duty).

      • Hayat Adem

        Haile, please no kholel! i have my own bus remember, you can’t dictate the route on me.
        1.On “My brother died fighting the ethiopians and thinking he was doing it to bring freedom. Tell me, how does that compare to your paying your two percent and thinking you are fulfilling your responsibility?”- he is not comparing his own sacrifice with yours, but his brothers’ with yours. He was comparing the two different prices he knew. He knew his brothers’ from being a family and yours from your comments (including the one you evaded by ducking- what is wrong with me?- i brought it again). Thad does not make him seeker of recognition for proxy sacrifice.
        2. The above explanation can be repeated. His comparison was not between his family and the rest of Eritrean families or even your family. Again, it was the sacrifice of his family (one lost for death, the other two for ‘enslavement’) with what you 2% which you happily and willingly do, encourage others to do. The contrasting should sound perfect to me and you as you are the living objects to appreciate first hand why and how the two differ.
        3. skipped.
        4. Later.
        5.You are simply wrong on the notion of freedom. First of all, we were all talking about human freedom, not political and social rights. And that is given, not earned.
        4.Decimation simply put is annihilation. the word comes from destruction every 10th of a thing (in your case, people). Who would want that on any one let alone on his own people? Accusing some one debating on ideas with you with respectable civility makes look very agitated. And it amazes me when you grade self your manners as in the following: “I am self restrained as to what I bring here, but I can assure that what serray talked about would be considered heaven if I were to run my mouth in an irresponsible”…so we are reading all these grandiosely elevated accusations while you are most restrained??? I couldn’t imagine what the unrestrained haile could look like, but if there is one such punchy, twitchy-itchy, haile, i would like to see his aggressively agitated horns directed at the bad guy (need i spell out who the bad guy is). haile, please, don’t make our friend very busy jumping in and out of your scary bus. And now, I can confidently put money on betting that he is considering to board my bus- safer, slower, gentler and with oriented direction: past is passed, present is workable and future is shaped.

      • Serray

        Selamat Hayat and Haile,

        Hayat, you got it, that was exactly what I was trying to say when I brought the family history. As to haile, let me try again in even more stark terms.


        The price paid by my family doesn’t entitle me to anything; I brought it to show the skewed way you rearrange responsibilities so that you can end up with a lighter side of the burden. Sort of, “someone pays a limb or a life and you pay 2 percent and you are even”. If you really believe the unjust system is the way things ought to be, then honesty dictates that you share in it; pay a limb, a life or your labor for thirty years.

        Funny, though, how you handled the 2 percent; here I am complaining that the regime doesn’t have any right to demand extortion fees from me and what do you do, list the things I am NOT entitled because I ONLY pay the 2 percent and doesn’t give the regime my soul and my labor.

        Here is what I mean when I said I was born free: I wasn’t born gagged and shackles to serve a group of people with guns. The gagging and shackling of Eritreans came packaged with the regime. Most people are free to use their labor where they chose to; an eritrea has to run away from eritrea (just like you did) to do, to be, what he or she choses to be. Please reread hayat’s take on what it means to born free, it is more coherent.

        Finally, like Winston Smith of Orwell’s 1984, some of us still remember what life used be before ghedli brought the war to our doorsteps and the promises made then…before the meaning of independence/freedom was bifurcated to fit a deformed reality on the ground. If you get anything out from our discussions, please get this: all payments, all sacrifices are made to make things better; to have what we didn’t have before. Telling me now, 22 years later after what you insist is a knockdown victory, everything remains about paying sacrifices and obligations, I naturally feel cheated. We didn’t obliterate ethiopia; ethiopians (the people) seem to get the better end of the deal…their kids are not owned by their regime and everything doesn’t revolve around them owing a debt to the woyanes. What dismays me is not how bad things are and how bad things were the last 22 years but, looking at you and the rest of the romantics’ blurred view of freedom, the danger that the next ruler will be someone like you who internalize sacrifices. After fifty years of continuous hell, the only leader eritreans deserve is someone who thinks they have paid enough; that they have suffered enough, not someone who honed his skills to sucking them dry for another generation by fanning old wounds and manufacturing new enemies.

        • Araya

          wey Gud, Serray;
          He feels cheated. Wow!
          Serray, you left Eritrea to the west to grow sideways, even worst using Ethiopian passport while others were losing limbs and paying the ultimate price. How exactly are you cheated? You never paid a single thing! If, you, serray; want to believe your homeless role modal,YG’s argument, come out and say it. Don’t beat around the bushes. You have not paid anything there for no one has cheated you. How selfish are you? listen serray, please don’t insult our Intelligence. you have suffered nothing, when it mattred, you left the country; the end of the stroy. I suggest, you leave the things for those who paid everything. you have done nothing.

          • Serray


            Let me explain by what I mean when say I am cheated. I have to it to do this to pfdj types all the time.

            One of the most obscene things said about eritrea is sixty thousand people died during the struggle. This figure ignores all the people who died because the war was brought to their doorsteps. For example, the life expectancy of people displaced because of a war is half; a big chunk die the first few years because of hunger, thirst and also traveling dangerous roads. When you add all those, the figure becomes grim. But people like you count only those who had the best chance of survival, people with guns. Just as you have a deformed view of today’s eritrea, you had a deformed view of what it took so you can wear “nihan nsu” t-shirt.

            In my book, here are some of people who paid a price so you can have a vacation spot: the refugees, the orphans, those who lost friends, relatives, family members, those whose villages turned into a war zones, those who stepped on mines, those who were subjected to the abuse of both sides, those who perished in prison and so on and on. My reasoning is simple, even a child can understand it. Now repeat after me, every eritrean whose life changed to the worst during the struggle PAID a price.

        • Ghezae Hagos

          Dear Serray,

          I am deeply saddened to learn you lost your brother in the border war. My condolences to the family.

          Dear Haile,

          I believe you should have sympathized by sending your own condolences to Serray and the family. I know it is interactive, but he just told you he lost his own brother in the war in the debate.

          First let us keep our human, natural and Eritrean reaction, more importantly moral reaction. Needless to add, that is the basis of every human relationship, including citizenship… the rest falls sideways…

          with respect,


          • haile

            Selam Ghezae

            Serray said “I have two brother in the slavery project you guys call national service almost continuously since it began.”

            And you responded by saying:

            “I am deeply saddened to learn you lost your brother in the border war. My condolences to the family.”

            Where did you read that Serray’s brother died in the border war?

          • kidane Berhe

            I think Haile decried using emotive terms if we are ever to bridge the gap. Yours is a misplaced empathy. I think, the lawyer in you took over just to settle score!

          • Ghezae Hagos


            Serray wrote: “If we are really going to talk about fulfilling responsibilities, let’s talk about it in stark terms. My brother died fighting the ethiopians and thinking he was doing it to bring freedom.”

            Unless he was setting up as an example of comparing two set of circumstances; one paying with life (and its singleness) , the other cash ( 2% of his annual income.)

          • haile


            I am not sure if we are on the same page on this.

            Serray said he had a brother who was martyred in the war against Ethiopia to bring what he believed (just like most of us Eritreans do) freedom. So, I assume he was tegadalay.

            Serray also said he has two brothers currently serving in agelglot (I don’t choose to call it slavery) and short of more information on that, I assume they are alive.

            Now, you felt like offering condolences for a brother that you came to learn that serray lost on the border war. All I asked was where did you learn about that? If the first brother who thought to have been fighting for freedom, but in fact was actually fighting in the border conflict, it is confusing to me but that is entirely for serray to clarify. Because that is the first time I would be discovering that there were people who fought in the border war to bring freedom to an already free country!

            Am I missing something? Because it is not common practice to say tsnAt yhabkum to families of tegadelties more than half a century later. In fact there is a national commemorative day called Esra sene where we pay tribute to them year in year out without fail.

          • Ghezae Hagos


            I thought serray’s brother was killed in the border war; though it was in war of independence. Acknowledging hurt feelings is proper response in debates.

          • Serray

            Thanks Gezae,

            About haile expressing condolence, that is the desensitization at work…I see your one brother and I will raise you a family I know who lost everyone. It is poker game. When hayat told him my intention was not sacrifice by proxy, he kept insisting it is; hence reserving his right to raise the bet. The desensitization is goes further. Haile actually corrected someone that we don’t mourn our dead, we celebrate them. He brought a choreographed video to prove it.

      • Salyounis

        Selamat Haile:

        kzeryelka yQerareb nere because Serray is doing that thing I complained about yesterday. Instead of comparing the life of two similarly situated Eritreans–Tegadalai with Tegadalai; agelgelot with agelgelot; exiled ghedli-romantic with exiled ghedli defamer, he cheats a little and compares a Tegadalai/agelgelot with the exiled Eritrean. He once asked me if I had ever had a gun pointed at me and when I said yes, instead of comparing my experience with the average similarly-situated ghedli-defamer now romanticizing Ethiopian history, he compared me with an agelgelot guy…

        But I am just going to sit in the bus fiddling with my iPhone while Serray and Hayat take turns on you because you said that freedom is conditional on duties. Tsk tsk.

        The philosophers of the Enlightenment Era proposed that man is born with rights. This is the basis of “natural law.”* The universality of some rights is now essentially codified worldwide (UN’s Universal Declaration.) Natural law is superior to “rule of law.” Natural law says that you can’t torture a human being; “rule of law” says that if you have a law that says if somebody doesn’t pay 2% (obligations) you can torture him until 2% of his body is covered with blisters (denial of rights), you are obeying the law.

        Even the PFDJ doesn’t believe that rights are dependent on duties, according to the constitution it oversaw. The right to worship, for example, is a right that cannot be dependent on fulfilling duties–according to the PFDJ. It cannot be taken away using any pretext: war, national emergency, Weyane, failure to pay 2%. That still doesn’t stop the PFDJ from writing proclamations banning “Pente” but then again there is nobody, no institution to tell them it is unconstitutional.


        * I don’t do this usually, and I am not inviting religious debate, but it is Ramadan so here’s “natural law” as expressed in Islam and I am sure you can find something similar in all great religions: “We have bestowed dignity on the progeny of Adam … and conferred on them special favors, above a great part of Our creation.” (al-Isra’, 17:70) Notice that the dignity is bestowed ON ALL MANKIND and it is NOT conditioned on fulfilling some obligation.

        • haile

          Selamat Araya, Hayat, SAAY, Serray (Chronologically ordered…NOT free to change seats:)

          Araya: I am not sure about the “Ethiopian passport”…you guys seem to know each other.

          Hayat: It appears today is a “find a proxy” day and from reading you joyriding seems the activity people engage in to mark the day:) You see Hayat, now that the owner of those comments, serray, has come forward and to argue his case, I am towing your bus right back to the garage and off the road (saay, pleased to tell you there is only one bus serving this area as of now:)

          But let me take at one of your organic assertions above “…2% which you happily and willingly do, encourage others to do.” I will be saying more on this on serray’s section below, though for now, could you please explain to me the economics of future Eritrea that would give me the full dose of rights as a dual citizen, in exchange to NO obligations. This is to say that whether the 2% is judiciously used or not, one can’t get let off the hook (including the restrictions on certain other rights) should they chose to be a diaspora and still maintain official ties with Eritrea.

          An irresponsible future government would scrap it and remove all insentives to staying and working in the country. A responsible but timid future government may just maintain the status quo, a responsible and daring future government may consider firming up the requirements (payments & restrictions on rights) and meriet tgelbeT type of future government may only recognize full tax payment and full citizenship rights and nothing in between. Take your pick. I suppose the born free hippies would have to start a tree hugging circle of friendships and make their homes in the forest in the ranks of the wild inhabitants there.


          OK it is your turn now…switch off all devices please:) I am acutely aware of serray’s debating techniques (mehtsets). He often finds a soft target where he seamlessly substitutes one therm for another and then have you circling around the wrong center in no time. Remember when he did that with the UNSR HR report and he tip toed and removed “regime” and replaced it with “tegadelti” (the whole lot of them)! In the same fashion he has now changed the center from the political and social freedoms that we started out with; to mean “human freedom” that is the subject of many actors as: familial (arranged marriages), religious, tribal (FGM)…that span a much broader list of actors. The sixity something yearold UN’s UDHR blue print does also recognize the fact that we are duty bound to each other’s welfare and maintenance of such an environment.

          Let’s try to simplify the topic to what the subject is commonly understood to be without clutter. You want to have Eritrea, great. By the way it costs too both to own it and maintain it…r u game? This is the street wisdom on the matter.


          Now you got to help me to untangle from what you seem to woven without due care to the overall reasonableness of your argument.

          ““someone pays a limb or a life and you pay 2 percent and you are even”. If you really believe the unjust system is the way things ought to be, then honesty dictates that you share in it; pay a limb, a life or your labor for thirty years.”

          Great! that locks out pretty much everybody in the diaspora except members of PFDJ embassies and their dependents.

          Again you go on to assert that:

          “I wasn’t born gagged and shackles to serve a group of people with guns. The gagging and shackling of Eritreans came packaged with the regime. Most people are free to use their labor where they chose to…”

          Great! Now everybody is in except members of the regime’s embassy staff and (presumably) their dependents!

          serray, you can’t keep us guessing as you take us through your shrill intoxication of anything you regard as related to ghedli. My likes think that ghedli is/was a good thing over all and thank goodness that we were made the owners of ERITREA for good or worse. sheT meanta! kulu khalf eyu…we have no reason to auction off our glorious history of ghedli out of confused desperation…

          Cheers all

          • yegermal

            There is nothing more irritating than pretending to be stupid or assuming/hoping that others are! But really the problem is gross intellectual dishonesty and incurably addiction to kolel!

  • YAY

    Dear All: Is freedom “something we are all born with”?

    Serray on July 10, 2013 at 6:58 pm said:
    “You said freedom is “a privilege that one is entitled upon fulfilling their responsibility”. No, freedom is something we are all born with but is taken away from us when we happen to be born on a land run by brutes. Freedom is the default state.”

    One does not choose to be born or not to be born, from whom or where or when or with what physical or mental qualities. Others do. So, what is the freedom we are born with? We are dependent on other person(s) for some time inside or outside the womb. Dependence on others is a limitation to one’s freedom. As we grow up, we may learn some skills that may provide us with liberties and freedoms (e.g. walking, communicating, producing necessities, doing some things of personal value, etc.)from others or on our own, but we always are, to a varying degrees, under the rules of our parents, communities, or societies (including nations, States or Governments).

    That is why, I believe, that the Macedonian Greek philosopher, Aristotle, long ago suggested that a human being a “social/political animal”. Every human person is born out from a restrictive womb into a wider (by definition more space, and by implication likely freer), and at the same time into natural dependence on others and operating in liberty under the rules of God/god and/or free/restricted by the rules of already existing humans (organized as a family unit, village, religious community, country with a Government, etc.).

    So, what is that something that “we all are born with” that is known as freedom? And how are we going to enjoy that “something” in our case in Eritrea? Could there be individual rights to freedoms and liberties not limited by the rules set by a societal unit (family, organization, Church, Government, etc.) and/or duties and responsibilities to that uniting entity?

    I read/hear some people claim that we, humans, have a God/god-given rights without further elaboration. What does that mean? Every religion has a God/god, or deity, as a universal sovereign, but each person is good only if (s)he follows the Law (freedoms under the rules and regulations) of the supernatural supreme sovereign. I realize from human history that human freedoms have improved over time through struggles, education, and consensus/agreements. No human being within a social unit could have absolute or unlimited rights, liberties or freedoms by nature (since they are social/political animals), may be the lonely Robinson Crusoe, the fictional character living in an island by himself could. According to current human theoretical perception, it is only Amlakh/Allah that possesses absolute or unlimited rights, liberties or freedoms. So, what is–in our real world–the freedom, or that ” something we are all born with ” that Serray is talking about? ” Freedom is the default state”? How is that true if we have to live under given rules and our freedoms are restricted by God’s Law and/or Society’s Law?

    I also wonder what Serray really means when he says, “For me, Eritrea is fully paid for; it just needs freedom, justice, democracy and equal opportunity to keep it going. Its enemies are all manufactured, therefore, the demand for more sacrifice is to keep it in a perpetual state of confusion.” [Serray on July 10, 2013 at 3:32 pm] What part or aspect of Eritrea is “fully paid for” and for what and by whom and when? Did the people of Eritrea pay something because “Its enemies are all manufactured” or were real? If Eritrea ” just needs freedom, justice, democracy and equal opportunity to keep it going ,” is Serray suggesting that those goals could be achieved without paying any price(s) for them? Would you care to opine?

  • Michael, B.

    Dear Eritreans
    Is the topic of the coming change and post-Shaebya scenario of the nearest future and the hopefully peaceful transition to the future Nation of Eritrea done? I mean, it should go on also in some other direction, with some dose of irony, of course. Please continue the discussion. I expect also some take from other corners who would like to see the Awate topic renewed, enriched more with topic of the seemingly unexpected regime fall.
    The “economic capacity to absorb the demobilized soldiers” and “XebXab zban setarit (back of the envelope calculation)” however abstract, is not that metaphysical. It is fresh! And I do not think it is exhausted yet, perhaps it never will be. The iffs are with us in any life situation, in peace or war time, they concern us as individual citizens and as people.
    One thing of the topic of the future I missed is “the how end” of the regime. Perhaps in your measured judgment you opted to avoid ridicule for bringing too many hypothetical aspects of our predicaments to the fore. I think the future is round the corner. The dangerous and crumbling structure may collapse any time. We have to think how to prevent the worst scenarios. But how? How, without falling into some sort of dream landscape of the end of the world. What we cannot do is probably easier to imagine than what we can do before the coming eventful change.
    Among the things to add to the interesting discussion of the coming change, we should include the violent end of the regime. Let it not be a collapse! But if it is not some kind of peaceful transition to sanity and normality, what will be the continuation of the discussion of demobilizing the whole population? It is not simply the issue of the demobilizing soldiers and conscripts.
    We have to look also into the pickpockets’ pocket to redefine the makeshift budget. Don’t we? We have to take care of the supply of wedi-Aker and the other basic staples are not drained out. The equations with so many emergency variables of the emergency must be solved to get some result and as peaceful as possible.
    Is it wholly boring discussion and useless because attempted by diasporan no ones?

  • Sabri

    I’m not talking about the appropriateness of democracy this time. What I’m asking was if the government of Eritrea has economic capacity to absorb the demobilized soldiers. 

    • Salyounis

      Ahlen Sabri:

      Asking if the government of Eritrea has the “economic capacity to absorb the demobilized soldiers” is a lot like asking “how many razor blades would Santa Claus need to shave his beard?” 🙂 It is a completely theoretical question because having a large armed force is part of the very nature of the Eritrean government.

      Beyond that, since we don’t know the national budget (it is a secret), since we don’t know the mission of the armed forces–national defense or national development (a permanent post disaster reconstruction)–,and since we don’t know the priorities and commitments of the government, it is a hard to answer the question.

      Using simple math, there is a way to make it at least budget neutral. Let’s say you have 200,000 soldiers that you are paying 350 nakfas per month. (Let’s exclude the food, housing, transportation,etc, for now.) That’s 70 million nakfa per month. Now, let’s say you demobilize half and you double the salary of your professional all-volunteer army. You are still spending 70 million nakfa. You haven’t solved your economic deficit–you are still spending the same amount–but you are solving your national “bleeding” issue: wasting away of human resources. A percentage of the demobilized soldiers will be net givers to the national economy and some will be net takers. What percentage in each category? That is dependent on the government’s willingness to reform.

      So, the question is not if the government has the “economic capacity” but the “political capacity” to absorb 100,000 young and unemployed. It doesn’t–without making political reforms. But it doesn’t want to undertake political reforms (which includes reaching out to institutions who love, love, love funding demobilization schemes, which includes having a macroeconomic policy that gives room to entrepreneurs) –which takes us back to Santa Clause’s beard.


      • haile

        Selamat Saay,

        Sabri’s Q: “…if the government of Eritrea has economic capacity to absorb the demobilized soldiers.”

        Let me play devil’s advocate here:) Sabri hasn’t said which government of Eritrea! The current one or the one to be set up after the removal of the PFDJ?

        For an action oriented opposition, wouldn’t this question give an opportunity to shine by presenting its demobilization road map? It can prepare a cost benefit based on known and estimated sources of funding for an appealing package.

        Known sources: $ amounts from donor communities, 2% (or revised sum) diaspora taxation, national earnings from intl. mining companies (their data is in public domain)….

        Estimated sources: economic projects that can be implemented to fund the operation, other assets to be inherited at the time of accepting the key to the State Place…

        My earlier point to Sabri was that the opposition doesn’t avail it self to engage public opinion through mediums such as this where thousands of compatriots congregate day in day out.

        And where does that leave us, back of envelop kalkulo of 350*200000=70 million/month…assuming the name government only applies to PFDJ 🙂


        • Salyounis

          Selamat Haile (Tebeqa Diablos) 🙂

          Your XebXab zban setarit (back of the envelope calculation) is probably the sort of road map (godena karta) that the opposition could do a XaEda Wereqet (white paper) on fairly quickly. For all we know, somebody, somewhere in the Eritrean ether has posted it under the name of “Gdusat Ertrawian.” But for that to be read, evaluated, discussed and taken seriously, there is this little issue they we have to overcome: who are you and why I should listen to you? What have you done for me lately? I am not sure about its ability to hunt and hold people’s attention but, Haile, I already know your dog and pony show (mir’iet kelbin feresen)* is discussing demarcation. Emphasis on discussing, talking, announcing, declaring.

          But: the missing currency is not brainpower but credibility. How does the opposition gain credibility? Hmmmm, WWTD? You identify a problem, you say you are going to address the problem, then you solve it. That is leadership. The problem has to be real and your solution must be bold and imaginative. Emphasis on action, tangible, something that has a before and after. Something “seb zezareb.” Something that makes the people say, “I couldn’t do that; I am glad there are Eritreans who can do that.” Something that makes the people look up to the sky and say, “God, thanks for listening to our prayers.” Algrd yefham…


          * my favorite Tinglish of all time (until Semere Andom surpasses it) is what the host of Eritrean beauty pageant coined for catwalk: akayda demamu

      • Sabri

        Zikeberka Saleh,

        Nice calculation. If we see demobilization narrowly (means just demobilize the soldiers) your calculation may work. But if you see demobilization in its wider perspective it has a great impact on the current socio-economic structure of Eritrea. Take wefri warsay yikaelo. It is entirely dependent on the force of military service. demobilization will definitely end the  wefr warsay yikealo. In its place there will be a new  institution who will take over the task of building the countrie’s infrastructure. This institution no matter if it is private or government owned it has to employ all the labour force it needs to implement its task. Definitely some of the demobilized soldiers will be hired by this institution. I don’t think any private enterprise will be interested to shoulder this task because it is not profitable. The most probable scenario is  the government company (perhaps Segen) will continue to do the job. This creates huge expense for the government. Observe only on this sector you make big change. Similarly the other sectors of the government will be affected. Privatization is a must in this process. That means Eritrea will implement her macro policy fully. Another big change. To make short the list, demobilization if it done properly,  will lead to change the current socio economic structure of Eritrea. Nevertheless, there will always people who choose to leave the country illegally. You can’t reverse the flow of the current rate completely but demobilization will definitely decrease its size. All in all the process of demobilization will demand the government huge amount of money. I don’t think the government will manage to finance this huge task alone unless it borrow money from the international institution which the current government is not willing to do it. Another impact of the demobilization process is it will hasten the implementation of the constitution.  

        So, Saleh, my general assessment is the government alone has no capacity to demobilize its soldiers. You may say but we don’t know the budget of the government or you will refer to your calculation. No country categorized in a group of least developed countries (which Eritrea is) has no the capacity to demobilize such huge army alone. Since demobilization is an introduction to a real reform (as I’m trying to show above) the government will continue to resist it by waving the border card. It is here where the issue of demarcation is related with demobilization which Haile is trying to raise this question many times.  

        thank you for listening,

        • Salyounis

          Selamat Sabri:

          It all begins and ends with the national budget which, as Americans say, is not just numbers but prioritizing national values.

          Since budgets are about national values, I think one of our national values should be outlawing indentured servitude. The sort of demand that the Eritrean government is making on Eritrea’s youth can be asked on exceptional national emergency cases, but you can’t have a national emergency for 15 years. This is the one area where the Ghedli-defamers have gotten it right (yeah, i agree with the GDs on this: check the weather in hell: it may have frozen over:): it is only in the eyes of the Ghedli engineers that 15 years of involuntary service seem rational because they are comparing it with Ghedli’s 30 years of national service. The Ghedli was supposed to be a specific mission, not a lifestyle.

          I think one of the questions I asked was: what is the mission and role of the Eritrean Defense Forces (EDF)? If it is a straight-forward national defense (as its name implies), then it is a case of a country deciding not just what its defense budget should be, but what it can afford. The calibration of its foreign policy depends on its defense budget. If, on the other hand, the EDF is going to be Mao’s style People’s Army and integrated in national reconstruction/national development (as is the case in many countries), then it becomes, like you said, more complicated.

          My guess is that Isaias Afwerki has spent the last 15 years building his Regional Bad Boy (Menace II Society) credentials that if he were to hint at demobilization, the entire West’s “engagement” apparatus would stumble all over themselves to pour money before he changed his mind.

          I don’t disagree with the rest of your points other than to emphasize this: if a country cannot afford an accelerated national development/infrastructure building budget, it can do many things–including saying, “oh well, I guess I can’t go as fast as I want.” What it cannot do is enslave an entire generation as if they were on some kind of zemecha in the service of an errant king. Like, you know…


          • Sabri

            “What it cannot do is enslave an entire generation as if they were on some kind ofzemecha in the service of an errant king. ”

            I din’t think PFDJ see Zemecha (or wefri in tigringa) as enslavement of the generation. In the eyes of PFDJ, I assume, the entire nation is in a state of wefri no matter if one is in agelgelot or not. The recent speech of Yemae Gebreab in DC does indicate this. In his speech he is trying to convey military service as such doesn’t exist in Eritrea. All youth are either in education or assigned to work at different institutions except few who are guarding the country. These people get their payment monthly from the government although it is much lower than those who are outside agelgelot. Essentially, he indicated, their payment (agelgot or not) is not proportional to their expenses. What he is trying to say is the entire population of Eritrea is engaging in defending and developing the nation at the same time. The entire nation is sacrificing. 

            If this is how they see agelglot demobilization seems is  far away from the mind of PFDJ. 

          • Salyounis

            Ahlen Sabri:

            If this is how they see agelglot demobilization seems is far away from the mind of PFDJ.

            So, we really were discussing how many razor blades would Santa Claus need to shave his beard?

            If Isaias Afwerki has one hero, it is Mao Zedong. If we want to know what he will do next, let’s just read China’s history. I for one am waiting for the elimination of military ranks, as Mao did during the Cultural Revolution (or is it The Great Leap Forward? hzbi yemarer alo will be the first clue:)

            To that is a two-for-one special for Yemane. First he says the Eritrean constitution is already implemented (obviously it is not); then he says there is no National Service in Eritrea (obviously there is.) Haile, you still think that calling for demarcation/implementing demarcation will remove the government’s excuse to delay constitutionalism and democracy? Good luck with that 🙂


          • haile

            Hi saay,

            @”Haile, you still think that calling for demarcation/implementing demarcation will remove the government’s excuse to delay constitutionalism and democracy?”

            My wild guess: may be or may be not! But hey, that was never my argument nor assumption on the matter. What I hold to be most probable is that “calling for demarcation/implementing demarcation will remove the excuse for the vast majority of the people at home and the diaspora to delay confronting the regime for lack of constitutionalism and democracy?”

            When are those on the anti-demarcation group going to start to look on the other side of the equation? i.e. the people. Does all concerns and calculations has to be about the government? A sign of maturity is when one is ready to see themselves as ready to view matters that concerns them independently of their tormentor. Do you get me saay?


    • Serray

      Selamat Sabri, Sal and Haile,

      Making economic capacity of the regime (not the country?) a condition of demobilizing is like asking if a rapist can find enough girlfriends to satisfy his perverted sexual urges if he releases the three women he keeps chained in his dungeon. What if the answer is, no, he is a perverted criminal and no woman should agree to be his girlfriend. Is sabri’s response going to be, “well, in that case, we have to let him continue to keep the women he kidnapped”?

      I have never seen people as desensitized as eritreans in diaspora (Saleh Ghedi, this my personal observation). I can picture sabri sipping on a glass of a chocolate milk writing the above comment in a capitalist country with complete disregard first, to the welfare of the enslaved and second, the contradiction of wanting a corruptly greedy regime to have more economic capacity in order to set eritreans free to pursue their lives as they see fit. Only a diaspora eritrean will argue that either the border conflict be resolved or the regime that already owns all the productive human and material resources need to have more economic capacity in order to free the youth from bondage.

      Sal, the right way to answer sabri’s question was by asking him another question: what if the regime never acquired the economic capacity? You guys wonder why the young are attracted to the de-romanticized version; you are the alternative, the wardens. I picture the slaves standing, waiting, and you guys going, “let us get a pen and a paper and calculate what your freedom will cost us”. Until all three of you agree to unconditional (be it economic or border) demobilization, the enslaved will choose your opposite.

      Haile, I close my eyes and try to picture what your eritrea will look like if the woyanes are still in power….with a revised 1.97% extortion tax, the “demarcation now, demarcation tomorrow, demarcation forever” slogan in place and a nationalized mining, land and all productive resources; I can’t see a difference. Had it crossed your mind that a free eritrea is an exact opposite of pfdj, not a revised one?

      • Salyounis

        Selamat Serray:

        I think you are being unfair to Sabri because he was responding to my response wherein I said that Eritrea’s immediate priority now is finding a clot for the bleeding. What I recommended in the short term–the band aid solution–is “implement policies that promote peace and demobilization; implement policies that reverse the flow of Eritreans from refugee camps and exile to back home; implement even a rudimentary justice system that accounts for the whereabouts of Eritreans.”) This was, according to Sabri, something that “[m]ost Eritreans including some supporters of the government would agree with” and, therefore, addressing the economic capacity is the follow-up question that people, irrespective of their position–government supporters, opponents, indifferent–should ask. In short, he is asking: how can we persuade those who are supporters of the government who have given many arguments for having a large EDF that demobilization is necessary and should be done without delay. I think.

        Since you equate us with “wardens” (I presume prison wardens?) with our pens and clipboards (dude, that’s so old fashioned), I must say I am fascinated by the self-image of the truth-telling de-romantics which is (no surprise) no different from the self-image of the “patriotic” higdefites. They, like us wardens who live in the West, are just as likely to sip milk shake, to be just as removed from the daily suffering of Eritreans, just as likely to live in the West with their immediate families, but because they are extra-passionate about one issue (“Demarcation Now!” in the case of higdefites and “Demobilization Now!” in the case of the de-romantics), they pretend they are in a foxhole–one fighting Weyane, the other fighting PFDJ–and more caring and more aware of the imminent danger than we are. When debating our choices, they never compare our lives with their similarly remote and detached lives but with that of the Eritrean youth carrying a gun whose pain they feel more than us because they are more intimately aware of the ticking clock than we are: they are more reality-based (de-romantics) and more patriotic (higdefites) than we are. This is because only they have immediate family members trapped in this hell. This chicken little vision has made the hgdefites wrong in predicting the end of Weyane for the last 12 years; and it has similarly made the de-romantics wrong in predicting the imminent arrival of Eritrea’s “failed state” status for the last 12 years. The former justifies all cruelties the government inflicts as temporary necessities because, after all, the Weyane enemy is about to implode; the latter justifies everything because it is being done to save Eritrea from itself.

        Now, in this particular case, if Demobilization Now is our slogan, we have to consider the questions we will be asked and Sabri’s questions were just the tip of the iceberg. I happen to believe that the PFDJ is very unlikely to consider demobilization prior to demarcation; but, I also happen to think that persuading the PFDJ to do it has a higher chance of success than for the opposition (the entire opposition including the Ghedli de-romantics) to change the reality on the ground. Not much speculation in that: all we have to do is consider the lives of Eritreans who have lived in Sudanese refugee camps for 3 generations now.


      • Saleh “Gadi” Johar

        What made you think I would question your observation? You know my problem… I will come back to it in a while.

        Indeed, reading Sabri’s comments, I do not blame you to think that way. I don’t believe freedom is conditional and my answer would be, if they do not have the ability to manage the demobilization of the enslaved youth, then that is enough reason for them to disappear from the face of earth not only from power.

        Now to my bone of contention: You wrote, “…I have never seen people as desensitized as eritreans in diaspora.” I am sure your sense of fairness (forget justice) is not crooked as that of the PFDJ. Now pass your verdict, I belong to the Diaspora but I do not consider myself confused, never on such issues of right and wrong–forget politics. I also know many Diaspora Eritreans who have enough clarity as far as Eritrean issues are concerned. You are a Diaspora and I do not know if you consider yourself confused. That is my problem Serray, I do not expect you to use the biggest brush there is in attempt to simplify things. Would you agree with me if I told you I am disappointed you consider me confused?

        Now Serray, you have an above average intelligence though on certain principles we do not meet eye to eye–it is fine as long as we keep it that way, a difference of perception, background and value system, factors that contribute to our differences. I don’t mind it, in fact I would be worried if we were to indulge in group think.

        Please, recognize that what you know of the Diaspora Eritreans is a fraction (your immediate friends and family who live close to you) of a fraction (the Diaspora in the country that you live) of a fraction (I assume your perception is mainly influenced by the Internet debates) of a fraction (of the politicized segment) of a fraction of the 3 or 4 million Eritreans. If my math is not wrong, your perception is built on 1000 people at the most. I always humble myself when I consider those factors.

        Ramadan Kareem…

      • haile

        Selamat saay and serray

        Serray: When I talked of “revised” I wasn’t meaning 0.03% cut back. Actually, I was talking about not only increasing it to realistic 5% (2% from 1994 till end of PFDJ and 5% thereafter) to be settled in full or regular installments, as well as scrapping the consular services related extortion, but making it obligatory fee for maintaining dual citizenship.

        Surely it would amount to a “rape” scenario to try to inherit full rights where others did all the blood, money and sweat sacrifice to keep it intact. Haile can always write his vision for the nation, but would means nothing if he wants it on the back of other’s payment for it in blood and limb. Surely you are not anticipating to join on the dinner table after doing all you could to disrupt the cooking process 🙂

        You see my karta godana (as saay translated it) is a process of building legitimacy before taking a seat at the dinner table.


        …cheniquwo Diablos n’Ay tebeqa zgebr! Ba’elu alowo 🙂

        Your Credibility/action argument is really circular (I thought yg has already patented such argumentation style:) You can’t act for lack of credibility, and you can’t get credibility for lack of acting! But your hypothetical retort that ” What have you done for me lately?” inspires a way to break such a catch 22 situation. You see, today is tomorrow’s yesterday, and if the opposition does those “somethings” today, they can answer confidently such a question as ” What have you done for me lately?”

        Credibility doesn’t come cheap, it costs a hell lot of discipline, hard work, dedication and far foresightedness. Let the hard work be done by the organized opposition and we will judge if the credibility penny would naturally start to drop or not.

        Discussion about any topic is fine, some think demarcation as ushering a new era of democratic movement, some think stability as the main prerequisite, some see democratic elections and constitutional governance as priority…(others see getting off a woman being rapped as the order of the day :-)) …. But a broad based opposition organization would pull all of them by providing assurances to all stripes of opinions. The “stop the bleeding first” guy, telling the “demarcation could pave the way…” guy to shut up, is nothing more than chaotic scenario that is characteristic of a void that is lacking in responsible organized opposition.


        • Haile (Hailat)

          Two observation from your comment that needs clarification: You have said (1) “Haile can always write vision for the nation.” If you are a visionary individual why can’t share with your fellow citizen rather than the “Enkilalo border issue” which is out of your reach.(2) as part of your accusation to Serrar and Saay you have said….”after doing all you could – to disrupt the cooking process.” What was the cooking process of EPFDJ and what was the end product of the cooking? So far the public know EPFDJ cooked so many war fronts albeit to no success. You seem to be the supervisor of the cooking process if there is any other than war of adventurism. I always observe from your debate that it is easy for you to enter through the door and exit through the window what ever the circumstances it is. cheeers!!

          • haile


            “I always observe from your debate that it is easy for you to enter through the door and exit through the window what ever the circumstances it is.”

            Wow…Aman! what is the world coming to? Seriously, back a bit…

            Is this Aman who enters the Ghedli argument by the DOORS saying that they have paid the price for what they and us believed to be justified; and exists by the WINDOWS of an argument of serray that claims they were a bunch of gun toting criminals!

            You see Aman, this is the twilight period of a misguided adventure of a decade and something…in the desperate last moments of gasping breath, before the final farewell…I understand that anything would do…anything….

        • Hailat,

          Stick with your vision….probably I miss it. Bring it please and hammer your vision. Don’t tell us “the border issue” that isn’t. I promise you to bring on my side if you did for it is the only noble thing to do when our country in the brink of disintegration.Please kolel gidefo. how many of us did tell what you are doing.

    • Serray

      Selamat Sal

      Before I forget again, Ramadan Karim. I got that right reading your response to hayat (note to self: bring back the sentence “I, for one, am very happy to run away from parts of that [habesha] identity….” when he least expects it).

      Sal, somethings are, or need to be, the exact opposite of what they try to change. In situations like that, the middle ground is really the status quo. Case in point, Sawa; no 18 months, no six months. Sawa is based on a value system of people who worship sacrifices and war. The dumbest argument for it is “the israelis have it” or “the US had it”. Yes, so what?

      I followed your discussions with Sabri on this and other threads, his views on everything seems to be conditional on something; be it democracy, the border or demobilization.

      Sal, my view of life is, when facing pure evil, be the exact opposite of it. The middle ground is not a middle ground anymore, it is half way to hell. You are a warden in two senses: you support forced labor (you called it national service) if the duration of the sentence is definite and you factored something other than the freedom of the people involved into the demobilization equation.

      About purity, truth telling and foxholes, we are commenting under an article entitled “On the Cynics and on the Frustrated”, an article you said is “Excellent, well-argued. Well done!” and gave it two thumbs up; an article that is nothing more than a put down. I call this the hazard of middle ground, the warden factor.

      • Salyounis

        Selamat Serray:

        (note to self: bring back the sentence “I, for one, am very happy to run away from parts of that [habesha] identity….” when he least expects it).

        Funny! That’s part of a long book we have been writing for the last 3 years. Here’s a classic: Stewie making fun of Brian (Family Guy) about Brian’s claim that he is writing a book: “nice little narrative…biginning middle and end… friends become enemies, enemies friends and at the end the main character is richer for the experience…”. A 38 second gem:)


      • Salyounis

        Selamat Serray:

        Well, there is nothing inherently evil about national service. Things like national service should be debated in a free and fair society, not imposed from some guardian/vanguard. One side will make the argument for its merits and another for its demerits. The great thing about democracy (probably the only great thing) is that people can change their minds without losing face. This is not an option available to authoritarians: they are always terrified about losing face.

        If we call “national service” evil then that kind of hyperbole will not make us credible when we are really describing evil: youth in containers, girls being raped, men kept in underground prisons, etc.

        I called Burhan Ali’s article “excellent, well argued, well done” only because I am not a huge fan of hyperbole. Otherwise, I would have said “Fantastic! tour de force! Stunning!” 🙂


        • Serray

          Selamat Sal,

          I just saw your national service response. I was surprised that you think we need one because one, you believe ghedli was totally fought by volunteers and two, you are a pure market capitalism kind of a guy. National service is mostly one generation imposing its views on the freedom of young generation. In free eritrea, I think volunteer everything will work better; be it military or other services.

          • Salyounis

            Selam again Serray:

            I was surprised that you think we need one because one, you believe ghedli was totally fought by volunteers and two, you are a pure market capitalism kind of a guy

            Ummm, not exactly. This what I wrote in response to YG’s assertion that only “about 5 years” of our 30 year long journey were volunteer years:

            For example, when Yosief says that “the popular participation that they often talk about lasted for only about 5 years” he is employing his favorite trick of abra cadabra, which is to start counting midway. Using a very elastic definition to the simple question of “when did the revolution start and when did it end?” he erases from the dreaded Ghedli era more than a third of its existence, from 1961 until the “early 1970s” (12+ whole years), then says that there was popular participation from (presumably, if the math is to work) 1974 until the retreat of 1978 (“about 5 years”), then it was non-stop compulsory recruitment until independence, presumably from 1979 to 1991 (12 years.)

            So to support a thesis that the Eritrean struggle was supported by conscripted forces, he erases 12+ years, he accepts 5 years, then he completely overstates 14 years (where there was a mix of voluntary and involuntary recruitment.) Uno angolo Twiy, Duo angolo digim, and you end up, Dirgim, in the evidence-free zone, where fine phrases like “it is said that” precede astonishing statements like “only 10% of Eritrea’s fighting forces were voluntary in the 1980s.” I say astonishing but I should say miraculous: because up until now, the Eritrean revolution’s ability to overcome a more heavily-armed, better-fed, enemy that outnumbered it anywhere from 3 to 1 to 10 to 1 during successive offensives was explained by a simple case of motivation: the Eritreans believed in their cause, and the Ethiopians didn’t. But now they are equally unmotivated, and both in the battlefield against their will, but still, the less equipped, and less fed, and vastly outnumbered force comes out on top! Talk about Against ALL Odds.

            I support a National Service plan–but the kind that I would want MY daughter and MY son to serve in, not the deformation the PFDJ has created. My philosophy on the economy is… well, let’s just say that in a future, democratic Eritrea, my party will be a footnote registering single digit votes and I won’t be saying “we were robbed” because I know that most Eritreans have an economy philsophy that is far to the left of mine:) I will be graceful in defeat.

            Just saw your note on the Brian’s novel:) Yeah, we may, like Brian, get the “Special Literary Excellence” with emphasis on special.



    • Serray

      Selamat Saleh G.

      I knew you will say that! Let me explain, there are a few hundred thousand of us in the continent. If you add all the activists, people who go to demonstrations or contribute to anything related to the struggle (or even who comment on all website against the regime), you get less than those who came to NY to receive isaias. I am calling the silent majority desensitized. If isaias were to visit each state, the reception would have shocked you.

      You are in this struggle the longest; if I give two choices (only two) to describe the diaspora, would you chose a) active or b) desensitized? Be honest now.


      Why is freedom always mean “all the blood, money and sweat sacrifice” to you? Every time the country is mentioned, it is to milk others by pointing to “all the blood, money and sweat sacrifice”. When does that end. Remember, I am the guy who believes that isaias ignited the war to take the nation on a war footing and put himself on top indefinitely.

      For me, eritrea is fully paid for; it just needs freedom, justice, democracy and equal opportunity to keep it going. Its enemies are all manufactured, therefore, the demand for more sacrifice is to keep it in a perpetual state of confusion.

      Question for you: will eritrea be truly free? I mean, will there be a time when its government is not sucking the lives and pockets of its citizens dry?


      You know Brain did write the book and the rich father-in-law published it. It received an award for the worst book ever, had a book fun club of one and, they made a movie about it on the show. Are you saying we are that bad?

      • haile

        Hi Serray:

        Your freedom question is a good one (although not sure if it should only be directed to me:), and my understanding is that it is a privilege that one is entitled upon fulfilling their responsibility. Not a free for all by any stretch of imagination. It has always been the case that to be a US citizen, you need to cough up the IRS bills where ever you choose to be (not 2% but rather the full whack at 30%+ and costs over $1000 to prepare to file the documents in order to avoid jail term).

        Saay & SG have to read every single comment and moderate here, and you and me can choose which one’s to read and which one’s to avoid and when to do so… Would it be unfair if you are asked to settle up your 2% in retro in the future and theirs is considered settled on account of their contribution to the struggle? (here is another incentive saay&SG :-))

        What about to the price for whatever that you hope to own by way of Eritrea in the future as it compares to all those who have paid what is asked? You don’t believe in communism by any chance? National service may be a price for national development but how you handle it is another matter as saay argued.

        I am lost in the notion “it is all paid for”! how so? Don’t we need a system that rewards those who live up to their responsibility and do more than their fair share?

        We really can’t jump into Utopian society of free for all, it is a nation for those who roll their sleeves to make it one not those who roll it in the mud to bury it for good:-) just a thought!


        • Serray

          Selamat Haile,

          You did one of my least favorite things: you compared an all consuming parasitic regime to an american system. There is a species of frog in Australia that munches on its children, would you compare those to parents? Have you ever heard of “no taxation without representation”?

          You said freedom is “a privilege that one is entitled upon fulfilling their responsibility”. No, freedom is something we are all born with but is taken away from us when we happen to be born on a land run by brutes. Freedom is the default state. But regimes with huge sucking tentacles make it about paying them and serving them for nothing in return.

          If we are really going to talk about fulfilling responsibilities, let’s talk about it in stark terms. My brother died fighting the ethiopians and thinking he was doing it to bring freedom. Tell me, how does that compare to your paying your two percent and thinking you are fulfilling your responsibility? Isn’t convenient that you define responsibility according to what YOU can easily afford. How about raising the stakes and define responsibility the way the regime does on people your age? I have two brother in the slavery project you guys call national service almost continuously since it began. If what they are doing is their responsibility, how is that yours is to throw changes from thousand Kms away? My brothers will take what you think is your responsibility and beat you to death with it.

          My advice to you: if you are a sawa age who run away before or after you reached the age of pfdj ownership or if you are a ghedli generation who did egrey awtsini when the fighting was going on, don’t fxxxxxn talk about responsibility to others; the hypocrisy is suffocating.

          • haile

            Selamat Serray

            If we relate personal stories, just keep in mind that some people’s story could be worse than yours and it would be impossible to hold rational debate by erring on the emotional side.

            Freedom: your concept of freedom being birth right and not a privilege may not sit well with the age old concept of prison. You need to present us precedents of where on earth your form of free for all freedom (irrespective of duties) exist in the world.

            The Freedom fought for in Ghedli is under clearly defined term of reference to mean that the Eritrean people are given the freedom to choose independence or not. There were political programs put forth by various groups at various points in time, however the basic terms of the driving cause was that I stated above. And that much has been achieved.

            Taxation without representation/ Responsibility: is primarily valid for those who live and pay tax in Eritrea proper. As a dual citizen of 2% payer, your representation is limited to facilitating pertinent legal documentation that wouldn’t normally require you to demand anything to be funded by the government. You can’t apply for any employment with the government or government related entities without being discharged from the national service. You can’t reside in Eritrea without interruption for longer than 12 months as a 2% paying (or not) dual citizen. Any business licensing would require you go through higher hurdles as opposed to being a NS discharge or permanent resident of Eritrea. So, all in all the lesser your responsibilities the lower your entitlements (at least as it stands now).

            So please don’t inject emotive arguments as those “throwing changes” being equally entitled as those shouldering higher degree of responsibilities. You basically twisted every term of reference in the debate and unilaterally validated them for yourself and arguing them as established facts (albeit with more colorful vocabularies!).

            There is one thing you need to be clear about, what matters is what serray has done to settle his own accounts not if he did by proxy of relations and family members. There are Eritreans who have lost ALL of their children to ghedli or the border war. You would be hard pressed to find an Eritrean who hasn’t been affected to far greater degree than you present. I prefer to represent myself here. I don’t want to second guess those who are not here to speak for themselves.

            So, as far as you seem to propose, nothing less than utter chaos and total distraction of Eritrea and decimation of its people would satisfy you. I say, with due respect, that is no way to behave.

  • Hameed


    I have understood from your response that what you know about Eritrea and its people doesn’t exceed your circle. I think too, you are a new comer to In addition I think your knowledge about our region is limited. I hope if you continue visiting sure you will learn about Eritrea and its people more. I hope not to request from me to give you special lessons of history.

    Since years YG reiterates to his readers a worn opinion which the people of Eritrea consider as a history. We are not in position to rewind the past, the people wants to move forward to the future. YG has to understand present Ethiopia is different from Ethiopia of the 1940’s. The people of Ethiopia are not ready to join again the game of the bigots of andinet that ensued in the destruction of Ethiopia. Present Ethiopia manages its development in all spheres well without the inferiority complex beaten guys. YG thinks Ethiopia will repeat with him her old mistakes, but Ethiopia of today is more matured than falling in the snares of neo-andinet.

    If the people of Eritrea decided and that will not happen surely their calculation about annexation will be different. They will choose to be one of the states of the USA in the Red Sea instead of being annexed to a poor country. (miktab bi miktabu shumbash yihayish). Please, tell YG to move to the future and leave behind him (elal adey abay) to historians. I think someone has written that he is one of the philosophers of ancient Greek, so let him philosophize for us about the future.

    • Hameed


      You have to understand one thing well, zamu; it is impossible for a spiteful person whose heart full of malevolent to be one of the men of thought or philosophey. Men of thought and philosophers meet in the merit of openness and this feature makes them icons of humanity. Now compare YG with this great men. Definitely, you will find his writings full of hatered to the majority of the Eritrean people. There is no place for a free thinker in him.

  • Sabri

    Selamat Sal

    “Our short term goal is to stop the bleeding: implement policies that promote peace and demobilization; implement policies that reverse the flow of Eritreans from refugee camps and exile to back home; implement even a rudimentary justice system that accounts for the whereabouts of Eritreans.”

    Most Eritreans including some supporters of the government would agree with your statement above. Reversing the flow of eritreans is intimately related to demobilization as I see it. The question is: does the government have the economic capacity to absorb all the demobilized soldiers?

    Selamat Haile,

    There are some Eritreans who said why don’t we try the dialogue argument of Ethiopia, if we don’t see substance in it we can jump off anytime. As you know the Eritrean government stand is if we enter in dialogue we are indirectly rejecting the EEBC verdict. According to my view what is needed mostly is building trust among the two nations. North and south Korea have been always in no war no peace situation. Nevertheless they are cooperating in one industry along their border. Do you think such kind of cooperation is possible between Eritrea and Ethiopia?



    • Araya

      it is simple, stand for the border demarcation then “we” the majority will join you for whatever change you demand. After Eritrea paid all those lives and you are supporting the thugs, the weyane, well, we have nothing to do with you. The Hayats and Amanuls can side with weyane 24/7 but if a real opposition wants to attract the majority, then demand the weyane to get out of Eritrean land, simple.

    • haile

      Selamat Sabri,

      You have stated the respective position of Ethiopia and Eritrea but your position in respect to each of them has not come across conclusively (I note you mention “jumping off at any time”). I would wait for you to present a firmer position. For now I will try to address the second part, which contends:

      “North and south Korea have been always in no war no peace situation. Nevertheless they are cooperating in one industry along their border. Do you think such kind of cooperation is possible between Eritrea and Ethiopia?”

      In reality such a cooperation in some fields has been taking place. I would state two examples:

      1 – Art/Music: it is common place to see nowadays products in the music/film areas of art that reflects such scenarios. Let me invite you to enjoy wedi Haile sebari ata’ru/konjo mewded duo (the sound in the transition part wasn’t handled well!)

      There are many such types of works of art that have already become popular in the Youtube scene (kmetseki do kem auf’oy berire…is another one )

      2 – Trade: few years back I observed in Eritrea that there was a lot of taff (teff) grains for sale in the market (albeit @extortionate price). What I also noted was also that much of it made its way to Asmara from Ethiopia-Sudan-Tesenney-Asmara contraband route! So the demand in Asmara triggered a supply chain reaction from Erthiopia, albeit unregulated and haphazardly manner.

      So, to start to answer your question, yes it is possible and it has been taking place with the people themselves on the drivers seat. This is because both the regimes and oppositions are no where near dealing with the elephant in the room.

      Saay have recently gave us a preview of how many thousands of people pass through each day/week/month. Yet, when was the last time you saw that an identifiable person from position of leadership in the Eritrean opposition camp who came here to engage the debating duels that go on day and night here? Probably hardly none! Trust me. I am one of the old hands around here.

      You see, you can’t win public opinion on the back of over zealous activists who are single minded and beholden to few topics. An opposition is a different animal altogether, no issue is small issue to it, and no fight is irrelevant fight to it. If it means business that is. I have always made the point, repeatedly, that most of my border aspect of the many different debates that I engage in are more suited to those in the opposition proper and preferably in leadership positions.

      We never hear from them and only read about them in conjunction to press releases that they issue to support Ethiopian position on anything to do with Eritrea! This tells you that they staked to an act of “selling out” and are incapable of standing in their own two feet to galvanize the public.

      Ask any ordinary Eritrean off the cyber space, they would tell you “eti nay dob guday kftah alewo” (“the border issue need to be solved”). If it does, it would be much easier to block the Nile at the source, without risk of flooding, than to stop cooperation and interaction among both peoples of eth/eri. Don’t tell me it means nothing to traders in Tigray that have 60kms asphalted short cut to port massawa, don’t tell me it means nothing to business and products that would flow both ways.

      This of course to the added significance to the peace and demobilization issues that saay referred to. A dubious opposition doesn’t have the guts to face these People issue head on. No no…it has more smart and lemech (don’t know how to translate it) of abusing honest debtors and instead glee and busk in destroying the proud history of the people and fanning ethnic, religious and other sectarian sentiments. Face it, we have no opposition, yes we do have activists but this is too big a job and unfair to dump it on them. It is an issue of oppositions and government’s alike.

      You see Sabri, issues of war & peace, territories, sovereignty, national identities are powerful in the realms of national politics. No sane person in government would abandon such ground. But our so called invisible and never heard of opposition are the only one’s with such audacity and they openly go along their twisted and mendacious argument that the issue that is literally controlling every single aspect of the political landscape from atop a strategic commanding heights, is irrelevant/ not a priority.

      Well, it has always been and continues to be a make or break issue whether they like it or not. Frankly it is very draining to be talking to their shadows and one is not sure whether the real part is alive or dead!


      • Sabri


        Yes, there is natural relationship among  common people of Eritrea and Ethiopia through culture, art or music. It is good. The role the tigringa program of VOA plays in this regard is appreciated. However, my question was if there will be a kind of relationship at government level before the fulfillment of the demarcation. Personally I don’t think there will be any kind of relationship as long as the current governments of both nations are in power. But when we see what is going on at grassroots level it is encouraging. 

        You are asking my stand on the border issue. My stand is clear. Ethiopia should implement it without ifs and buts. I know some people are accusing you that you are diverting them from the main issue. The border issue is vital in the current Eritrean politics. 


        • haile

          Selam Sabri,

          “…I don’t think there will be any kind of relationship as long as the current governments of both nations are in power.” I am totally agreed. What is more is that such a vacuum would have come as a Godsend to an opposition with just enough IQ to determine that an issue of such public importance where its opponent is incapable of doing any thing about it. The oppositions would have seized it an shined in it. It would have crafted a meticulously attractive package that would give reprieve to popular apprehension and help it to emerge as the only sensible alternative. Ahh…what do they do, tell you it is a no issue, has nothing to do with them, outside of their remit. I would have bought that had the word “initiative” never appeared in dictionary before.

          What this would lead to is a situation where by the only political change in Eritrea can come from internal dynamics, at its own pace. And calls into question the wisdom of wasting so much time out of one’s life in the diaspora on something that is doomed to remain irrelevant. How would such an opposition attract new blood when it is so obvious to anyone that what they have for a package would never grow wings to fly, but someone else have to physically transport it to la la land in order to realize its dreams 🙂


          • Sabri


            With your relentless effort to address the issue of demarcation you are mostly relating the issue with the opposition. Shortly, you want the opposition acknowledge the importance of demarcation and make it as one of their main agenda, right?

            I think you raised an important issue but you need to clarify to whom you are addressing your message. What I want to ask you is who is an opposition? The organized opposition who frequently travel to Ethiopia? The youth organization? The unsatisfied who occasionally appear in an anti government demonstration? or the civic organizations? 

            I think it is better if you clarify  who the opposition are in your mind? Once you are clarifying then it will be easy to debate. Thank you.


          • haile

            Selam Sabri

            I admit you have posed a difficult question. And I would be dishonest if I claimed that I had framed my point along such specific audience. Although, now that I get view it in such a manner, I would say it is directed at the organized opposition, whether they travel to Ethiopia or not. The other entities that are slightly less than a fully fledged opposition status may rightly argue that they lack the facility to handle such a serious transnational conflict. However, IMO, an organized opposition worthy of the name is a government waiting in the wings. And perfectly capable of lying down projected policy objectives as it relates to all issues. Hence, my early reply is as stated above.


  • The very sad and sickening when YG, extremely negative condescending and disconcerting when his written is to pick and chose dark collar about Eritrean struggle and not about Ethiopian barbaric and inhuman oppression of Eritrean innocent people, regardless of his one side assertion of his ethnical ideology or who is Right or Wrong; of how things, Eritrean struggle come about, could have been handled or managed more judiciously in the past and recent political events in Eritrea is left for historian to tell us .

  • seliho

    ኣንቱም አሕዋተይ፥ እንታይ ኢና ኮይና በጃኻትኩም! ኣብዚ እዋን’ዚ ሓደ ብዘይወዓል ሕደር ኪዚረበሉ ዝግባእ ጉዳይ እንከሎስ፥ ብዛዕባ ጥቕምን ጉድኣትን ሕብረት ምስ ኢትዮጵያ ዶ ምስ ኣመሪካ እናተኻታዕኩም ጊዜኹም ኣይተባኽኑ። መጀመርያ ሰላም ዘለዋ፥ ዜጋታታ ከም’ቲ ኣብ ዋዜማ ናጽነት ፥ ካብ ርሁው መድረኽ ናጽነት ዝጽበዩዎ ዝነበሩ ጽቡቕ ሕልምታት ክረኽቡ ንስራሕ። ስድራቤታት ኣብ ሃገርና ተበታቲነን፥ ቆልዑ ብዘይ ወለዲ ተሪፎም ኣለዉ፡ ስደት ዘዝበለጸ ላህመትና ይወስድ ኣሎ፡ ስደት መለለይና ኮይኑ፥ ጉዳይ ዶብ ንኩሉ ሃገራዊ ጉዳያትና ከም መመሳመሲ ኮይኑ ጸቒጡ ሒዝዎ፡ እቲ ነዚ ኩነታት መዝሚዙ ካብ ብሕጊ ዘተሓትት መድረኽ ክሃድም ዝደሊ ወገን መሕብኢ በዓቲ ረኺቡ፥ ኣብ ስደት ንዝነብር ኤርትራዊ ድማ ኣብ ምንዋሕ ናይ ቃንዛ ህዝብና ብዝተፈላለየ መንገዲ ኢዱ ይሕውስ ኣሎ፡ ምሁራትና ኣስኪጦም፥ እሱራት ደሃዮም ሓጢሙ፥ ትምህርታዊ ብቕዓትና ትሕቲ ዜሮ ወረዱ፡ ኣብ ሎምን ጽባሕን ሃገር ክመርሕ ዝኽእል ወለዶ ዘየለ እናኾነ መጺኡ፥ ዜጋታት ይሽየጡን ይልወጡን ኣለዉ፥ ኣረጋውያን ጠዋሪ ስኢኖም ይረግሙ ኣለዉ፥ ነጋዶ ዝሓዙ ሒዞም ካልኦት ዓዲታት የማዕብሉ ኣለዉ፥ ምሁራት ውን ከምኡ፡
    ኮይኑና ዲዩ ኣብ ህዋ ኮይንና ብዛዕባ ዘብረቕርቑ ኣምራት ደሞክራሲ ኣብ ሳይበር እናተዛረብና ኪንነብር፥ ኣብ ዘለናዮ ሃገራት ኮይንና መጀምርያ ኣብ ኤርትራ ለውጢ ክመጽእ ከም ዘለዎ ንግበር፡ ሰላም ዘለዋ ኤርትራ ብዝግባእ ዓቕሚታታ ወዲባን ወዲናን ኣብ ልምዓት ምስ ተውፍር እንታይ ክትገቢር ከም ትኽእል ከይፈለጥናን ከይፈተንናን ኣብ ናይ ተስፋ ሚቅራጽ ሓሳባት ኣይትውሰዱና፡ ኩሉ ዓቕምና መጀመርያ ኣብ ምምላስ ናይዞም ኣብ ላዕሊ ዘለዉ ጉዳያት ነቕንዓዮ፡

    ዋላ ምስ መንግስቲ ኤርትራ ውን እንተኮነ ኣብ ልዝብ ንእቶ፥ ንላዘብ መንገዲ እንተሃልዩ፡ ብናተይ መረዳእታ ኒሳቶም ፥ እቶም ኣብ ስልጣን ናይቲ መንግስቲ ዘለዉ ውን አሕዋትና ዮም፡ ምናልባት ቢከምዚ ንዓና ዝራኣየና ዘሎ ዘይራኣዮም ከይህሉ እቲ ሃገራዊ ፈርከሽከሽ፡
    ልዕሊ ኩሉ ድማ እቲ አርትራዊ ሃገራውነት ብዙሕ ዝተሰርሓሉን ዋጋ ዝተኽፍለሉን ስለ ዚኮነ ፥ ከይሃስስ፥ ከምዚ ንዕዘቦ ዘለና እቲ መሰረታዊ ነገር ሃገራውነት ውን ኣብ ምልክት ሕቶ ይኣቱ ኣሎ፥ ዜጋታት ፍቕሪ ሃገር የጥፍኡ ኣለዉ፥ ብህዝቢ ደረጃ ምሕሳብ ተሪፉ። ውልቃውነት ሳዕሪሩ፡ ስለዚ መጀመርያ እታ ኤርትራና ትሃሉ፥ ኣብ ህልውቲ ኤርትራ ኢና ከም ኤርትራውያን ክንዛረብ ንኽእል፡
    እሂ ህላወን ቀጻልነትን ኤርትራውነት ኣየሰኪፈኩምን ኣሎ

  • haile

    Clarification to Horizon; If you are mentioning “Radio Rwanda” from my reference to iy in my reply to Dawit, then by “next door” I was referring to the article you commented under and not next door Ethiopia. Sorry I have to give my comment here because I find it repulsive to comment under articles purely intended to spew hate speech based on ze’rie… and ethnic fascism. So, if your reference to “some talking about Radio Rwanda..has nothing to do with my earlier comment, please ignore this entry.

  • Michael, B.

    YG talked about our Eritrea or about its gain as some “reversible” thing, in complete violation of the law of entropy, I would say, at least, in symbolic terms.
    He said that the people of Eritrea never experienced the kind of peace enjoyed during the Italian occupation! Please re-phrase for me, as I cannot have access to the Asmarino archive. When you do you will discover the meaning, the extent, the surreal condition and completely new wholly racial experience of slavery that represented the Pax
    Italian invasion and occupation was in fact the worse in terms human rights and racial laws, the war footing, the mass killing for the benefit of that inferior? Race or culture, a bloody period of incessant warfare on the Ethiopian, Sudanese, Libyan and again on the Sudanese, Somali-Ethiopian fronts. The people of Eritrea had to face turmoil, alienation and extermination the length of the occupation. The roughly estimate of 60 000 casualties on the Quarta Sponda (Libya) cannot mean some peaceful setting by any distorting prism. The man cannot be said to have read the history of Eritrea, enough to form a theory of some sort that the readers could recognise as relevant to Eritrea. Some other people already said that the Eritrean people are nostalgic of the Italian period! It is possible that they think that our people deserve apartheid so they could claim many thousand years of independence!
    He (he or they?) may write English but his analysis or discussion or treatment is flawed and anti-Eritrean. I read very little of him and yet what I try to tell here the faithful readers will surely discern. One would admire his command of the language, whatever its value, and yet question his insistent and negative or pro-Ethiopian retrograde reasoning. One would question likewise his personal integrity and identity and his formal and informal education when he claims reading Plato from cover to cover. This was his claim when someone accused him of plagiary, one must add that the accuser was without clear justification. It was enough for him, YG, to ask the accuser to present evidence.
    Some naïve people, I think, many of our web audience are young and willing to believe one misleading writer whose style is flamboyant or elliptic or indulging in useless phraseology, please find a more correct qualifier. They call him philosopher, either they do not know the meaning of philosophy or they call him that to undervalue what positive idea he might have. Perhaps, I should say that we use the term of “philosophy” with a number of nuances and with no propriety.
    They defend him, as the Italians say “a spada tratta”, that’s with the sword unsheathed, while they think of him as worthy debater. I wonder why they need to comment the commentator so blindly. He himself does not answer very many pertinent questions drawn from his writing. They try to do the job of thinking and correcting his ideas for him and are too many! It must be some esoteric topic he is dealing with needing some sort of exegesis. Why should be so? Why not prefer, as one could, plain and clean English for all to read and understand, yes easy and safe from misinterpretation?

  • haile


    Recently, there has been few comments professing to be Eritrean and denigrating the historic and fraternal relationship of the peoples of Tigray and Eritrea (Ethiopia included). What we need to understand is that the TPLF is at the heart of such twisted machinations to meet its narrow objectives.

    Take for example, the Ethiopia Eritrea border problem. And observe how the TPLF has reduced that to Eritrea Tigray border problem. According to the EEBC (Ethiopia-Eritrea Boundary Commission):

    “The demarcation process could not proceed. According to the Boundary Commission’s Report of February 2005, Ethiopia was not prepared to allow demarcation to continue in the manner laid down in the demarcation directions and in accordance with the timeline set by the Commission. It now insisted on prior dialogue, but had rejected the opportunity for such dialogue within the framework of the demarcation process. In the assessment of the Commission this was the latest in a series of obstructive actions taken since the summer of 2002, which belied the frequently professed acceptance by Ethiopia of the delimitation decision. Eritrea was not prepared to accept the proposal made by Ethiopia for the completion of demarcation in the Eastern Sector unless there was at the same time a clear assurance from Ethiopia that the rest of the boundary would also be demarcated.”

    You must bare in mind that the eastern sector is the boundary between Eritrea and other parts of Ethiopia that the TPLF was happy to demarcate. The western sector that it refused to demarcate was in fact the border between Eritrea and Tigray. Please study the following map to begin with:

    Of course, the above is the modern day map of Tigray with international borders to the west and north.

    Soon after the EEBC rendered its decision, the TPLF was merely concerned about the perceived loss of lands in Tigray and not any other part of Ethiopia.

    A report by the UN’s IRIN stated at the time “Ethiopian officials are demanding key changes to the ruling – particularly in Tigray.” Of course the so called official was the President of Tigray regional state at the time. See

    Other reports by the same UN media at the time clearly show how the TPLF was trying desperately to hide behind “Ethiopia” in what it saw as a threat to Tigray:

    Hence, the border issue and the whole conflict situation that has been set in motion over the last 13 years was the work of the TPLF. Again, TPLF is up to its old gimmicks of planting hate information to window-dress its narrow minded and unlawful acts of international violations. And nobody is falling for that.

    • haile

      …The second question is however, why did Eritrea not went along with demarcation of the eastern sector anyway? One way to look at it would have been that such action would then have invalidated the claim that the refusal by TPLF to demarcate the border is intended to take Assab. The whole argument would have been limited to issues of land plots and would have lost the political appeal that Assab carry.

      • Hayat Adem

        …and are you still there with the border demarcation?

      • Tesfamariam


        with you its always about the boarder demarcation trying to give a supportive hand to the almost dead regime. It makes someone wonder why you are so obsessed with only the boarder issue ??? Here you come with a new analyses and divide and rule theory which is dead on arrival. How can you come with an idea that it is TPLF not Ethiopia that is against the boarder demarcation ?? are you serious ? Is it your new way of spewing hate red between the people of Eritreia and Tigray ? Please come to your sense and be reasonable.

        • haile


          “with you its always about the boarder demarcation trying to give a supportive hand to the almost dead regime.”

          Let me put it bluntly, there is 0% chance of being any meaningful opposition without acknowledging and working in the border issue. Short of that, the only option is to wait on the wings in case some one, any one could use you in their designs of external conflict with the regime.

          This is the only thing I can say with 100% certainty, no border issue no relevance as an opposition. Simple as that.

      • Haile (esotericist),

        Could I refer you to the Paranormal school of ideas to study the knowledge of the hidden – “the dark matter” and “the dark energy”. The paranormal ideas are knowledge only for certain people that goes beyond pure reason and physical sciences which is inconsistent with the world as already understood through empirical observations. If you heed my advice, I am sure the negative galvanic effect to our political debate will ebb slowly. Cheers hailisha!!!!

        • haile


          Let me give you a sneak-view of the “hidden Knowledge”:)

          You have no clue how much the Eritrean people are committed to the issue of the border demarcation. Hundreds of its leaders were arrested, thousands died in the seas, more in Sinai, hundreds of thousands in arms at the front line, the overwhelming number in the diaspora thrown their weight behind the regime, sanction, report, negative media blitz on the regime completely rendered useless to even cause a dent on the regimes full control at home and the diaspora. Activists were essentially considered social outcasts throughout diaspora communities.

          Now let’s start with reason and physical science, and not a wishful thinking that somehow and somewhere you would be relevant in the ranks of a none existent constituency. You can always however stand by the ring side and jump up and down for those you think might save your day. But will never see the day to do it yourself.

          • Haile (Hailat)

            Now you decline my advice and chose to shoot from the hidden corners of Eritrean politics. But one thing to remind you – the hidden knowledge class where the dark energy always emits is few meters behind you, just make a glance on your back and walk a few steps. You will see some taking lessons about occult concepts and the state of the occult in modern philosophy – a dismal irony of a popular religiosity from the chapters of the brainwash manual.

            The sneak view of the Hidden knowledge you stated in your comments are not in themselves hidden…in fact they are reality on the ground for all to see and if possible to act and undo them. Sadly enough you are using the border issue to disintegrate our people and face the worst and cruel act of inhumanity. And yes for you and your likes that small piece of land is worth than the Eritrean lives dying everywhere in prisons, deserts, seas – inside and outside our country.

            Haile, as to whether I was on the side of the ring or inside the ring the EPFDJites will tell you with a roaring voice that I was challenging them in their meeting from the unjust constitutional process to unjust border war. I am sure as an insider and supporter to the process and the war you could spot me down from their human accounting book whether I am from the side ring or front ring. I opposed the war openly in their meeting, I welcomed the verdict and called for implementation (all in the public domain). Once you register your stand the rest is up to the governments to implement it. Amanuel or other citizens for that matter have no legitimacy or authority to implement it. Damn you know who has the authority to do it. Don’t act like Berlusconi allies cry foul when they lose the case.

          • haile


            You missed the “you always have the choice…” part of my statement. I wasn’t implying that you were on ring side, I was meaning as part of the current set up and being part of it “one has always that to look forward to…”

            In your particular case, I remember when I use to misunderstand you initially, but since (and a while a go) I had taken time to read a lot of your writings from earlier in the last decade. Regardless of agreement and/or disagreement with the substance, I have to acknowledge the fact that you have consistently argued what you believe to be right in your judgement. I have no reason to disrespect your views, because you believe in them and you hold it consistently. Of course, I don’t respect the views of flip flops, the reason being that it would be illogical to respect views that they themselves don’t (by virtue of constantly changing them).

            You say that the border issue is beyond the realms of the opposition (I agree it is so beyond individual citizens), and I hear ya loud and clear. I say that the opposition can play a part by taking risk & initiative to appeal to popular opinion. I believe you hear me loud and clear. What is more we appreciate the fact that we hold different views on the matter. And I say we can handle such on own, abshir Tonqualay fereska agalb! is not necessary:-)

            Brain washing? I doubt it. It gives far too unwarranted credit to PFDJ’s real capabilities and far too little credit to the people’s ability to see and judge for themselves.

          • haile

            please insert “…as part of the current [opposition] set up…”

          • Haile,

            Bingo! now we know our stand. Let us go beyond the border issue. Issue of saving lives – the people we love dearly. Am I right Haile. Thank you for your understanding and don’t revert us again.

    • Hayat Adem

      Selam Haile,
      How do you then explain the fact that the same TPLF admitted at will before the EEBC that some areas of Xerona and Forto Cardona belong to Eritrea? Please resist the temptation to throw clumsy punches below the belt. Starting facts: TPLF now is a dominant party within EPRDF, the Ethiopian ruling party. Its thinking board starts and ends as Ethiopia, not Tigray. The reason why they agreed to start demarcation from the East was because the border decision line runs pretty much along with the pre-war divide. It only tells that they (the Ethiopian rulers) do not have a problem to settle the border as were- contrary to the suspicion of many Eritrean fellows who still suspect them of harboring hidden interest to retake Assab. The reason why they are reluctant to do the same on the Saho/Erob and Mereb/Setit is because it has some serious implications on the start of the war itself and results in the change of hands against prewar holdings that would precipitate outrage from their constituents. You can’t read more in to it.

      • haile

        Ramadan Mubarak Hayat Adem

        My intention is far from throwing “below the belt” punch on the issue. In fact it is help Ethiopians and Eritreans to clear the deck on this issue that is shrouded in mystery for many reasons.

        I am questioning the fact TPLF’s concerns are narrow regional motives and also to question the long held view in the Eritrean side that the current stand off is a cover to re-take Assab. Both views neither serve the interests of both our peoples, which lies in cooperation and long term peace and harmony. That is the only way that such things as “Economic Integration” as you described in your previous entry can be realized on the basis of mutual trust.

        The history of the border war can’t reversed now, however charting a new era of peace and mutual understanding is a must and we need to think critically, clear the decks and pressure both governments to remove the current obstacle to moving forward. It wouldn’t help if re-set the clock and insist that one side takes all the blame regardless of the reality surrounding the issue.

        Going for arbitration is not for the faint heart, it always results in titles changing hands. If one has an issue with that, then they might as well put their own preferred markers on the ground and call it their boundary, mTrar as is known in the country side of Tigray 🙂

        • Hayat Adem

          Thanks Haile, Mubarek to you back. In any case, i was not endorsing the Ethiopian regime’s position, I was explaining it.
          Look as much I love arguing with you because of the generous holes and gaps i see that can be exploited, and as much as i hate arguing with Sal because he leaves every knot tightened:) border is not my heart bit issue right now, the issue of relationship with our neighbors and the other issues Sal and others addressed are. I am very much in to the bigger worries Aman reminds us all the time to remain focused and seized of. But, I also see the necessity of building some basic common understanding on some defining pasts and presents to enable us move together to issues that matter. We’ve enough software resources around us that can be used as a guiding light house (Sal, YG,…) but how do you bring such people together for a common dance? It is only by persuading…which is an impossible task for they have too much food from their inside and you will never be able to get them say “I see, i didn’t see it that way before…now i know). How can you use knowledge to persuade knowledgeable people to do things of much urgency? That is a rocket science problem, my dear Haile. Your border is an issue that would stay there as is for centuries and would not still make any difference. You solve it now, or you solve it after 100 years, what it needs is a simple act of good will on both sides. if the good will is not there now, wait until time for such good will comes. it is never going to be complicated worse than it has already gotten. The climax harm around the border is what has happened (the war) and the loss we suffered. Border issues are now an anti-climax matter. It helps to remember Border fixes, on the most, have never been settled with only legal provisions in the absence of goodwill. Do you know what countries do when there is no good will now to proceed to settle the lines and pillars, they leave them pending and move on. This is true regarding not only on undemarcated territories but even on undisputed territories under naked occupation. Patience is the best tool, here. How long? Until such time comes and it can be years, and generations. That should be my last comment on border/demarcation. In fact, i would have liked someone to help me get you (Haile)demarcated yourself from this border mantra.

          • haile

            Selam Hayat

            Getting YG and Saay to shake hands on Ghedli…ah, it would be a cold day in hell I guess. You see, our problems are more of the bottlenecks that hold us in a given historical fact rather than any problem with our necks to turn around and see our other urgent issues.

            YG base their grand theory of our struggle on Ghedli De-romanticizing

            Saay base their grand theory of our struggle on democracy and civil liberties

            Haile and local farmers around Ethio/Eritrea border base their grand theory of our struggle on disabling both governments from taking the people on a ride (because they both hold power and national resources) on unwarranted state of conflict.

            Now you have YG (our past is the culprit), Saay (lack of democratic and constitutional rule is the culprit), Haile (the perpetual state of transnational conflict is the culprit) and Aman (our propensity to discuss irrelevant issues are the culprit) set of theories. Each theory brings out its set of opposers and supporters.

            To yg (Ghedli romantics), to Saay (hired western/woyane gun trying to undermine popular resolve to defend the nation), to Haile (the border is antiquated and irrelevant thus not a priority sayers) and to Aman (leave us alone lets have our say on any freaking topic that takes our fancy :-))

            The choice is yours, mine and everyone else’s on how to weigh and view matters. But to think that my arguments have more holes than ayni a’arat, and mistake it for a bed and sleep like a log on it isn’t fair:-) Hiseblu

          • Salyounis

            Selamat Haile & Hayat:

            Ok, this is from the Department of Know Thine Culture 🙂

            1. Haile: for Eid, we say “Eid Mubarek”. And for Ramadan, we say “Ramadan Kareem.” Never heard “Ramadan Mubarek” but then, hey, I don’t know everything.
            2. Hayat: Never heard “Mubarek to you back.” It would be funny in an irreverent way if a Tegadalay said it (because he had no time to learn religious etiquette and what little he knew he made an effort to forget quickly :); it is weird when you hear that from Hayat who is telling us to embrace our Habesha roots. The Habesha Muslims have been saying “Ramadan Kareem” since…oops, I forgot, they don’t know Arabic because that is something that the Pan Arabists taught us in the 1960s:)

            Now back to Haile’s bus where I stand, always ready to jump out:

            You paraphrase my position as Eritrea’s problem being “lack of democratic and constitutional rule” and that those who oppose me are “hired western/woyane gun trying to undermine popular resolve to defend the nation.”

            Democracy and constitutional rule are ideal…but that is not our short term goal. Our short term goal is to stop the bleeding: implement policies that promote peace and demobilization; implement policies that reverse the flow of Eritreans from refugee camps and exile to back home; implement even a rudimentary justice system that accounts for the whereabouts of Eritreans; implement a Truth and Reconciliation system that makes people less afraid of losing power… without that, democracy (counting the counters) and constitutional rule (designing the scale of justice) will be seen as a risk and forever delayed. If your first act after implementing the constitution is to hold those who were violating the constitution accountable, what is their incentive to implement it?

            I also don’t think those who oppose me are “hired western/woyane gun…”. Those of you who think that the West/woyane is paying people are committing Type I and Type II errors. Firstly, if someone actually believes what he is saying and will say it, why would he ask to be paid for it? And, if someone actually believes what he is saying and will say it for free, why would anybody pay him for it? It is the same principle with why we lose money running this website: if somebody can read something for free, why would he pay for it. (Note to self: implement paywall around popular articles.)

            No, I think those who disagree with me are people who have a different medicine to heal Eritrea. I just disagree with their folk medicine prescription; and they disagree with mine.


          • haile

            Ramadan Mubarak Saay 🙂

            I think this time around it is my fault that you are trying to jump off the bus, because I left the door ajar:-) (actually upon re-reading of my comment I should clarify that what I said: the argument against those who argue from democracy and human rights front (I stand corrected with your views) is that they are acused of being hired guns to undermine Eritrea. This in fact is the measure body of PFDJ counter argument. Tho I didn’t meant to say that those who oppose you are “hired guns”.

            The Ramadan Mubarak is a new thing in town 🙂 Please read the “Can non-Muslims participate?” section of Ramadan 101 published in the HUFF Post a couple of days ago:


            But, politeness is a virtue and let me make it more friendly and say Ramadan Kareem as I am decidedly a layman in the topic.

            N’A bel teseqel abza tekal autobus:-)

          • Salyounis

            Selamat Haile and Sabri:

            Haile, of course you are right. You win this round: back on the bus:) Mubarek means “blessed” and kareem means “generous” and how can one argue with a blessed Ramadan. I was talking about what our people say back home. Like the way you can tell what Arab country somebody is from whether he refers to the Ministry of Labor as “Shuql” or “Amel”. But, as I warned you, I could be wrong 🙂 Still, Hayat’s “Mubarek back at ya” was only missing “… dude!” to be a Made-in-the-USA T-shirt.

            Sabri, we have debated this before (the appropriateness of democracy in developing nations.) I think the reason authoritarians resist democracy is not because it is too hard, but because it is too easy. By definition, authoritarians are heavy-handed and they just can’t believe something as complex as statecraft can be left in the hands (or legs) of chegwar danga. The challenge for Eritrea right now is reinstating basic human rights: a place where the people are not terrified of their own government.

            The problem is that authoritarians have a weird definition of human rights which includes all the things the Millenium Development Goal people love (statistical progress from shockingly bad to dismal in food security, healthcare, basic education) but excludes things like right to life, liberty, due process, information, worship and assembly–all of which are things that are minimum requirements of statehood.


    • abel

      Does this guy really think demarcation is the solution for every misery that existed?Can’t be that stupid.i am sure by now u sense no one is buying ur nonsense diatribe.Or this is the particular mission assigned to you by your master HEGDEF low level Cadres?Normally HEGDEF used the demarcation excuse to brainwash the peasantry.FYI the boarder b/n Ethiopia and the Sudan is not demarcated, same with Kenya, Somalia and I dont see any problem of your magnitude.I 100% belive you raising the demarcation conspirocy theory to intentionaly divert who ever takes you seriously or u listen to Dimtsi Hafash too much.Is badime become part of Eritrea so what? what is the miracle behind it? If u were genuine Eritrean (which I very much doubt).u would forget the useless demarcation and fight nail and tooth to break the border barriers.People would move freely and make a living.But again I know u have complexity problem,ur holier than thou attitude is rooted in ur village /origin,.u probably are from the undefined border villages and hence suffering an Identity crises.

      • WelWel

        What does the opposition have to lose in taking the same stand as PFDJ when it comes to national security? It will effectively deny Isseyas his strong card. Then we can focus on the suffering of our people and offer them a better cleaner law-abiding alternative.

  • The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to him. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”- George Bernard Shaw.

    In Eritrea truth is offensive. If you tell the truth, you are offensive. Throughout history truth tellers have suffered and court historians have prospered. It is the same today.

    When truth threatens hope it is truth we usually sacrifice, often along with those who search for it. YG have all the right to strongly advocate of the right to dissent in mattes that are purely political and what have you .By key element is thrashing out our differences and working for a common purpose and cause.
    If YG interested in truth, he should seeking out those who disagree with him. YG should invite and debated publicly with opponent and seek out and try find and look for the opposite and rival opinions, YG and his blind naive follower they might wander, may find out facts and the grounds that might engender and shake their false none fact political observation . YG might be very interesting person or much more complicated in life than the optimists, than those who rush forward with a sense of cause and purpose that is not to be deflected by what they regard as the caviling in manner of trivial objections of mean-minded bigots.

    YG tries to Claim to cherish “truth and values”. He tries to present truth of Eritrean long struggle as worthless as false promise? We should not hesitate to speak the truth as truth will free us. And not forget the desire among vast majority Eritrean for liberty still strongly exists. Eritrean are struggling in finding ways to establish the rights, justice, peace, democracy,freedom,,human right and liberty that DIA has taken from us and If YG follower overcome their Gullibility and lifelong Brainwashing and Propaganda, and their propensity to believe every lie that the YG tells them. They should Just remember Propaganda is easy to manufacture and very easy to demonise to their perceived to be your eternal Eritrean enemies.

    • zamu

      “If YG interested in truth, he should seeking out those who disagree with him. YG should invite and debated publicly with opponent and seek out and try find and look for the opposite and rival opinions, …

      I thought that is what he is doing. Are you excluding the Internet from the domain of the public debate media? His analyses are there for everyone to see. Can you challenge them? If yes, we are all eyes and ears. As to me, I have yet to see any counter argument that goes to root cause of the problem as YG does!

      • Hameed


        The Eritrean people struggle was not for nothing, you have there an Eritrean flag in the UN and all the cities of the world. It is a distorted notion or almost foolness to tell people that the Eritrean struggle was for nothing. It is a big mistake to compare our struggle to drive out occupation with our present struggle for the rule of law and justice among its people. Even nations that claim to have their independence since 6000 or 3000 years back are still struggling for the rule of law, justice and development. Many countries in our region still miss the rule of law and justice, but they are without motion to change the course. Eritreans from the liberation of Eritrea, they started to discuss about the type of governace that should rule Eritrea. They started to oppose the regime in Eritrea from day one of their independence. I think Eritreans who said no to dictatorship from day one of their independence are better than those who slept a deep sleep under monarches or dictators for 3000 years or more and still at the tail of natioins.

        YG arguement recycles around the notion that all these losses are for nothing, it is better for you to remain under the crown of Ethiopia. This is the message of YG, that is all.

        It is definite, the annexation calculation of the third millinnium will be different from that of the 1940’s calculations. If Eritreans wanted to be annexed, this time they will choose to be one of USA States in the Red Sea. This time their choice will never be a poor country that gasps for survival. Eritreans respect Ethiopia as a neighbour country, that is all. (miktab bi miktabu shumbash yihayish)

        • zamu

          I appreciate your responding. I do not agree with your premise and conclusion though. You asserted that Eritreans opposed the dictatorship from day 1 of their independence. Sorry, you seem to be confusing euphoria for opposition.

          I am not sure which people you are referring to when you said “those who slept a deep sleep under monarches or dictatorship…”, but I think you are proving YG’s argument that the struggle was not about ones own interest but hurting others’ interest and proving oneself. You see, you do not have to compare yourself with someone arbitrarily to get a fair measure of your state. There are scientific methods of choosing your “control”, so to speak. You can also compare your state over time: I was better/ worse before 10, 20 years etc. But the whole think is you pick someone arbitrarily and say oh I am better than him (if at all you are better) and feel good about yourself and move on, regardless of your status as per your own aspirations. YG’s contention is all about this mentality and the mentality of fooling oneself.

          As to your claim that YG’s argument is about annexation, I hope you do not seriously think that is sufficient response to convince someone who claims that he has not yet seen a response to YG’s cogent analysis.


          • Hameed

            YG speaks out of time and space. He revolves around one thing that our struggle against Ethiopia is mistake. Do you have other logical, scientific cogent analysis than this sole issue? Happy life with your mama Ethiopia, YG.

  • Hayat Adem

    Mixed Bag,
    Such articles are good for provoking discussions and thoughts if nothing else. I also share the arguments suggesting Eritrea as an independent nation will remain so for foreseeable time and beyond. This doesn’t discount projects of an agreed merger for mutual benefit of any level with neighboring countries of any sort, most likely, at an economic level leading to a political one. I’m not saying that it would be a must path to be pursued or avoided, but it is there as a possibility. But this is totally a different kind of marriage from the one we had during federation and after. For example, there are forward looking visions of integrating the entire region for an economic power maximization. This might not happen by bringing all countries in to one basket at the same pace and time. It might happen at a piece meal pace, like clustering first around parts of Ethiopia, Somalia, Djibouti and Ethiopia; parts of Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya and Uganda and South Sudan; parts of Sudan, Ethiopia and Eritrea…and building it from there.
    Does Eritrea want to be a slacker of regional integration and remain a black sheep suspecting any seed of relationship as continued episodes of past conspiracies and shying away from them all the time or should happily welcome and build new relationships and partnerships on a new footings? The choice seems obvious but it has to come with a conscious mindset of moving away from unrealistic hangovers and suspicions. This is not 1951 or 1961. A lot of water has passed through the bridge since then. Now Eritrea is independent and as such, at least on protocol level,she is equal in status to that of Ethiopia, USA or Djibouti. That is a reality of regional and global acknowledgement. Never was Eritrea at such level of status in history. This is the first time the entire Eritrean population decided on that (ink & blood), This is the first time in history world bodies such as the UN and AU/OAU recorded and recognized that decision. This is the first time Ethiopia accepted that decision and let it go. And interestingly, the Ethiopian interest of recollecting Eritrea at a gun point (regardless of their capability or their perception of it) is less popular for the first time in history because they tried then to keep Eritrea and failed, and because they tried now without Eritrea and they are doing OK. And look, as becoming independent and recognized is not easy (ex. Somaliland, Palestine, Kurds),it is not easy to suddenly be swallowed or vapor away from the map once you have become an accepted member of the family of nations. Nothing like that have ever happened in modern history. But nations have failed to function and exist due to , manily internal reasons. While we should be worried more about the real existential threat due to our internal dysfunction, we worry more about the non-existing external threats. How is this paranoia of Andinet, Neo-andnet, Ethiopiwinet etc sill hunging on our shoulders justified? Are (we) Eritreans the only ones who are not reading the bold reality of our independence and the only ones still doubting, second-thinking it? Are we not comfortably settled yet with it as a firmly stumped case and the independence as an irreversible achievement?
    Once independence is achieved we should have been busy of building relationships and bridges, not rivers and divides, with our neighbors. IA once said, and this is not allegation but quotation, “What separates us from our neighbors to the south is not only the physical river of Mereb but also the rivers of history.” This president has talked a lot to the absurdities and this is not by all means the worst of all but we should not subscribe to such substandard opinions. A nation is like an individual in some sense. A confident individual is not afraid of mixing and interacting. The only guiding question for him is “what is in there for me; do I gain or lose?” The timid and paranoid person, avoids any rapprochement at best and is mostly in fighting mode at the worst. Even if he has already killed his “enemy”, he is slow or at denial to recognize the new situation and he repeatedly poises and toils for overkill.
    YG and nothing in his writing suggests that Eritrea should rejoin Ethiopia at any level. He might not think that is a bad idea but he never said that in his writing. There are things YG boldly asserted, and not without explanations and solid reasoning. He said the struggle for independence was not justified. He said, the sacrifice was far beyond Eritrea’s means. He said the state in which Eritrea in now after the struggle and sacrifice is horrible. He did not say it was all well for Eritrea when it was under ITALY, British or Ethiopia. He never said that he wished Eritrea returned to Ethiopia. However, he mercilessly attacked the endless running away of Eritreans from what is theirs, their cultures and identities. He also explained well why and how we should remain rooted within our true identity. He was basically attacking the political works of rewiring the Eritrean social fabrics by deliberate projects of disassociation like the one reflected in the above quote from PIA. His main concern points to the fact that nothing works well when uprooted and disjointed from real self. The long false experimentation would take us nowhere and would only bring more and longer suffering, he believes. Sooner or later, we would realize that we have to go to the starting point if and when we learn the vicious failure of false journeys> That being the case, he advises, better sooner than later. One very simple and yet powerful example he used to show us of this scenario was the case of the mis-buttoned shirt. Once you realized that you misplaced one button at the wrong hole of your shirt, then it is easy to fix it right there than it gets with two misplaced buttons and so on. But if the entire button line was mismatched, then the only way to correct it is to unbutton the entire line and rework. Otherwise, nothing else (no short-cut) would fix the problem. You may try to cut the excess of the one side from the bottom, but that does not solve the problem. You may cover it with an overcoat from the top, but you will live feeling the improper innards.
    What I find it to be mind boggling is, YG is saying all these ideas in the interest of benefiting none other than Eritreans. Liking and disliking, dicing and slicing his thoughts are up to you. But misrepresenting and confusing them is not. And please, try as you can to challenge his ideas and arguments and do less of attacking or defaming the man. When it is about choosing between attacking an idea or a man, choose the former. If nothing else, you can learn how not to go after the message not the messengers from all YG’s write-ups.

    • Salyounis

      Selamat Hayat:

      You will notice that Burhan Ali is speaking about the YG School of Thought (which Burhan is charitably calling “cynical”*) and the Zekre Lebonna School of Thought (which Burhan is calling, rightly I think, frustrated.) So that we don’t mix up our apples and oranges, let’s focus on the “cynical.”

      The cynics said many things, some of which you summarized as follows:

      He said the struggle for independence was not justified. He said, the sacrifice was far beyond Eritrea’s means. He said the state in which Eritrea in now after the struggle and sacrifice is horrible. He did not say it was all well for Eritrea when it was under ITALY, British or Ethiopia. He never said that he wished Eritrea returned to Ethiopia. However, he mercilessly attacked the endless running away of Eritreans from what is theirs, their cultures and identities. He also explained well why and how we should remain rooted within our true identity.

      Let’s take them one at a time:

      1. Justification for struggle: The problem with YG’s “well reasoning” is that to make his case that the “struggle for independence was not justified” he misrepresents the very character of Ethiopia after World War II. It was essentially a Shoa Empire which had annexed large chunks of present day Ethiopia — much of the south and southeast– right about the time Europe was scrambling for Africa and was, after World War II, asking for the spoils of war from the defeated country, Italy, which had gotten Eritrea during the Scramble for Africa. (Menelik negotiated with Italy, England, France during the scramble for Africa as he scrambled for his share.) So, whereas those who struggled for independence gave lucid moral and legal reasons to justify their actions after world war II (treat us the way you are treating Italy’s other former colonies, Somalia and Libya), YG really has no counter-argument other than to insult the character of the initiators of the struggle.

      2. Sacrifice. Nobody disagrees that Eritrea sacrificed a lot to be an independent country. YG has two problems here: first, every moral leader in the world (including the leaders of the non-violent movement, Gandhi and Martin Luther King) considers sacrifice a pre-requisite to achieving great things. Secondly, and even more astonishingly, YG fails to face up to the fact that the reason Eritreans sacrificed so much is because Ethiopia stubbornly held on to a losing view that Eritrea can never be separated from Ethiopia.

      It is really odd. To see how odd, consider this: those who say, for example, that Isaias should never have gone to war with Ethiopia if he was going to vacate Badme by hook or by crook, blame him for not doing it before a 2-year long war and for sacrificing so many Eritrean and Ethiopian lives. (Maybe you are one of them?) But the same people do not blame Haile Selasse and Mengistu for all the Eritrean and Ethiopian blood that was shed over 30 years while they tried to forcefully hold on to Eritrea despite the fact that they were not even being asked to vacate Eritrea but to give Eritreans a chance to determine their fate in a referendum! In short, YG and his critics agree that Eritreans sacrificed a lot; whereas his critics blame the administrations of Haile Selasse and Mengistu for this (and now, even some Ethiopians have belatedly come to understand that what Haile Selasse and Mengistu did was wrong), YG blames the Ghedli and only the Ghedli leaders for the sacrifices Eritreans had to endure.

      3.”He did not say it was well for Eritrean when it was under ITALY, British or Ethiopia. He never said he wished Eritrea returned to Ethiopia.” Technically, yes, you are right, he never said he wished Eritrea returned to Ethiopia. But when (a) you reject Eritrea’s justification to seek independence from Ethiopia; (b) you emphasize the cultures/identities Eritrea shares with Ethiopia (actually, with a sub-culture of Ethiopia: the Tigrinya/Amharic culture/identities of Ethiopia) while rejecting all other identities Eritrea has that it happens not to share with Ethiopia and are the outcomes of its unique geography and post-colonial history, it is de-facto longing for Emama Ethiopia.

      4. “Our true identity”, as YG defines it, is a Habesha–small h/big H–identity. The difference is that some of us believe that our identity is Eritrean and Habesha is a subset of Eritrean identity–which also includes many non-Habesha identities, including (sorry) our Ghedli identity. Oh, by the way, we also believe that Habesha is a subset of Ethiopian identity: just because a culture is dominant doesn’t make it THE CULTURE. YG believes (and this is why his writings are sweet music to the One Ethiopia gang) that the transnational identity of Habesha is our (Eritrean) salvation.

      At some point, he or whoever can articulate his views into bite-size articles, is going to have to break down what “Habesha identity” is, and what makes it great, and how it will heal Eritrea. Otherwise, it is just tickling people’s erogenous zones.


      * I think, actually, Burhan Ali is pulling his punches a bit because he said that the people who are making the YG type of arguments, share “the world view of an Eritrean political class long since extinct, that theirs is the famous old wine in new bottles.” Hmmm. I wonder if there is a phrase that describes people who advocate viewpoints of an extinct political class, people who repackage old wine in a new bottle? I am stumped 🙂

      • Hayat Adem

        Selamat Sal, Saay Salyounis (not Saal:)
        Thanks for those very enriching additions. On the points I am not commenting, I fully or partially agree. On others, I will say the following:
        1) Just before the grand project of scramble for Africa, Eritrea didn’t have a political identity that distinctly separates it from Ethiopia. Libya has been in constant struggle to protect its independent identity from the non-ending incursions of the Turkish, the USA, to the European (old and new) powers. Somalia too was an established political identity and entity before the 1880s. Could we talk of Eritrea in similar terms predating 1880s? I don’t think so unless by implicating the shadows of oneness with Ethiopia. After the scramble actors were sent back home, it was only a default sense to re-instate the colonies to their pre-scramble identity. What was Eritrea’s identity before the 1880s that didn’t include Ethiopia? I would be glad to hear you on that.
        2) That period was not called scramble for Africa for nothing. It meant to point to the European powers race to colonize Africa. It never was meant to count Minilik (African) among the white scramblers. It would be a careless page scripted to implicate a black Africa as part of the white plotting in that history. The problem here is not about characterizing that period; it is that, if we do nobody will consider us seriously. What Minilik was doing was not any different than what any King of his time did during challenges of territorial shrinking and opportunities for expansion. Scramble was a project of an oversea origination attributable to military and economic ambitions of great global powers, which Minilik was not. I would be the last person to defend Minilik’s legacies but considering Minilik as part of the Scramble for Africa designers and doers is beyond my pay grade.
        3) H/habesha (dominant or otherwise) is a subset of Eritrean or Ethiopian identity: I agree. On this one, I don’t see any contradiction with YG’s views, nor with mine. There is no reason to run away from your identity or culture even if it is a subset one. It belongs to your people, to your country and therefore it is yours. Include the other subsets that make the entire set and embrace them all, not run away from them, from any of them, H/hbesha included.
        4) Many of us do criticize PIA for starting the war by invading Badime, escalating the war by not accepting the mediation to withdraw, only to be evicted with force and price of many lives. Even if he was able to resist and stay in Badime at lesser cost, it did not mean he would have been right. I would always prefer my president to work and solve problems with a sense of compromise and collaboration to the highest effort whenever it is possible. I believe it was possible with this one. Weyane was not in shape to risk to go to war. It did so only because PIA did not give Weyane a chance for a breezing space. That part of PIA’s history would always remain to be judged unforgivably by all coming generations.
        5) What H/silassie and Derg did on Eritrea was even worse. That too would be condemned by generations. How else can you explain a whole 30 yrs of war and devastation? And where did you get, Sal, the idea that I don’t deplore such an imposed suffering? For that matter, I’ve never come across any Eritrean who viewed favorably what Derg or Hailesilassie did. If we are talking about Ethiopians, you would not fail to find some crazy ideas as you wouldn’t with PIA supporters still justify his reckless war moves. The good news is, both these camps are shrinking. There are many now who hold PIA accountable. There are many from the Ethiopian side, what was done by the Ethiopian regimes during the struggle was insanity that crippled both countries.
        6) You forgot to address the main issue: After all this struggle and sacrifice, victory and suffering, what is the use of monsterizing Ethiopia? What do we gain now from that? There are great minds such as yourself who should really consciously guide public opinion towards positive thinking and forward looking. What good can be achieved by promoting hate against Ethiopia? I once watched a nice documentary about one American real hero soldier. His heroic quality came to light only later. First he was drafted to the army reluctantly. His aspirations showed his real inclinations towards becoming an artist. He strongly believed all kinds of wars are wrong. So he was avoiding presences in the real war theatres citing endless excuses. He later became an enviable hero but caught my attention was the justification he gave for hating to be a fighting soldier. He said, “I’ve a soft heart. I’m an artist. I can’t shoot another human being. You can’t kill some else without killing part of yourself”. Doing well is mostly for the doer and vice versa. Borrowing the expression above, you can’t hate another human without hating part of yourself. When we warn not to blanket-hate Ethiopia, it is out of minding about the interest of Eritrea and Eritreans first. But also, it is generally said that good things happen around good deeds.

        • Salyounis

          Selamat Hayat and Ramadan Karim:

          Thanks for the detailed reply. Just to clarify, I am, for the purposes of this discussion, referring to YG’s arguments as they were summarized by you.

          Items 4, 5, and 6 are related so here’s my combined answer for those three:

          First of all, and this is important: I think I take special care not to promote hatred towards Ethiopians–it is for that purpose that I refer to “Haile Selasse’s administration”, “Mengistu’s regime”, “Menlik,” “TPLF”, “EPRDF,” “Weyane”, “MLLT”, “Meles”, , etc. I don’t think you will find the word “Ethiopians” whenever I am criticizing some bad behavior that is attributed to Ethiopia: I try to put the blame on the political actors. I try to do the same in Eritrea(“Isaias”,”Isaisists”, “PFDJ”): this sometimes gets me criticized as someone who “personalizes” history but the intent is to spare the innocent. If your position is that to criticize what Mengistu did is to promote hate, I disagree: I consider it accountability.

          My biggest problem with YG is related to accountability: who is responsible for Eritrea’s sacrifices, which you and he and I agree were too much? The argument that Isaias Afwerki is responsible for the tens of thousands of lives of Eritreans and Ethiopians that were wasted in the Eritrea-Ethiopia border war (98-00) rests on the supposition that he rejected a peaceful way out and settled for something worse. This is something that many accept (notwithstanding all the nuances) without hesitation. By the same token, shouldn’t we say that Haile Selasse and Mengistu Hailemariam were responsible for the hundreds of thousands of Eritrean and Ethiopian lives that were wasted in the Eritrea-Ethiopia war (1961-1991) because they rejected all peaceful ways out and settled for something worse? Then why does YG, when he is asking us if “all the sacrifice was worth it?” blame the sacrifice only on Eritrean leaders? You are aware, I am sure, that the Eritrean fronts demand was for the people of Eritrea to be given the right to a referendum (self-determination) right? A proposition that they repeatedly offered and were rejected.,That is, they could have had Eritrean referendum while they were still occupying Eritrea (Indonesia-East Timor solution) but they got less favorable terms by pushing the war through. So when you say, “For that matter, I’ve never come across any Eritrean who viewed favorably what Derg or Hailesilassie did.”, I invite you to scour the tomes of YG and find a single sentence where he assigns responsibility to Derg and Haile Selasse for Eritrea’s sacrifices. To sell his argument that Ghedli leaders are to blame for the sacrifices, he makes the Ghedli look as if it was an Eritreans-killing-Eritreans epic journey, interrupted by minor skirmishes with Ethiopia once in a while.

          Items 1, 2 and 3:

          Your and YG’s interpretation of Eritrea and Ethiopian identity is not just wrong, it is dangerously wrong. First of all, “Ethiopia” is a very elastic term: depending on who is doing the writing–from Greek historians to present day Ethiopians–the word could refer to any black African or to a specific one. For most of Ethiopia’s recorded history it referred to the birth place and the domain of these guys. So, when you are talking about the overlapping history/identities of Eritrea and Ethiopia, you really are talking about what a subset of Ethiopia and subset of Eritrea share. And when you are talking about “not running away from our Habesha identity”, please stop romanticizing it (since the YG fans are big on de-romanticizing:) and spell out what exactly Habesha identity is and why we should embrace it. Otherwise, it is more nostalgia for a time that never was (the way YG romanticizes the pre-Ghedli era.) I, for one, am very happy to run away from parts of that identity that includes elevating one religion as of the official religion of the state; one language as the official language of the state; a land policy that celebrates medieval values of fiefdoms; people as subjects of the king; institutionalized slavery; conquest values (zemecha); forceful religious conversions; superstitions for science and medicine; women with fractional rights, and a civilization that never embraced literacy. As a Habesha*, I would be very happy to have a Renaissance Day or an Expo (once a year) to remember it (which is to say: to quickly forget it at the end of the day), but I don’t want to live it or celebrate its values and, as a person who believes in the power of the citizen and individual rights, I do not want the state or a mob to tell me to celebrate it. Moreover, what makes it dangerous is that to a plurality of Eritreans and Ethiopians, this is a culture that has little to do with theirs and, in the case of Ethiopians, this culture was used to subjugate them (neftenna). What is most ironic is that right about the time that you guys are embracing your inner Habesha, the home base (the Battlestar Galactica) is, in the name of ethnic federation, downplaying its Habeshaness and embracing its multi-ethnic roots.

          What Ethiopia does makes sense to Ethiopia because its history is one of Habesha conquering others. It can be generous and give them small h and big H habeshaness (the way the Habesha kings use to give the subjects Gulti, they can distribute Habesha identity). This is not the case for Eritrea: the entire country was conquered in one fell swoop by the Italians. No one Eritrean group can claim to have been Eritrean longer than the other and everything (including our official language) is negotiated. Elevate “habeshaness” in Eritrea and it will be an armed race for others to bring in their own whateverness which are, most likely, the same mixed-bag that Habeshaness is. In fact, between you and me, the grievances of the Afar and Kunama are directly related to this: they think the PFDJ is too Habesha–this is the same organization that you and YG think has denied its Habeshaness because it doesn’t want to use the Ethiopian calendar:)

          In the 1940s, what was important to Eritreans who were asking that Eritrea be treated no different than Italy’s former colonies was that the Ethiopia that was claiming to have had prior ownership of Eritrea before Italians came; and the Eritrea that was supposedly owned by Ethiopia before the Italians came did not exist: the modern Ethiopian map (incorporating the South and Southeast) was fixed right around the time that the Eritrean colony was created (1890) when Menelik was getting his share in the scramble for Africa. Before that, a part of Ethiopia (Abyssinia) administered a part of Eritrea (Eritrean highlands.) We won the popular argument (when the Four Powers surveyed us); we lost the post-cold-war-political-realignment argument; then we won the military argument; and then we sealed it with a popular argument (referendum). Why, oh why, do we want to re-litigate this now?

          About Menelik II and how his role during the scramble for Africa is above your pay grade, well, Hayat, it is Ramadan and I have just given you a pay increase 🙂 Go read, Harold G. Marcus’s “A History of Ethiopia.” Marcus, an Ethiophile, has written quite a few papers on Ethiopia including one that might be even more relevant: “The Life and Times of Menelik II: Ethiopia.”

          Even more relevant might be “Ethiopia and Eritrea During the Scramble for Africa: A Political Biography of Ras Alula, 1875-1897.” The author, Hagai Elrich, is a man endlessly fascinated by Ethiopia and all his books are about the rivalry between Tigray and Amara people.


          * Disclosure: I am babatem abesha benatem abesha so don’t accuse me of hating Habesha 🙂 “…Ertra and nat eske mecheresha…” But I still have one word for this guy: Desperate.

          • Saleh,

            I can’t add more than this phrase to you – very skillful debater with a substantial knowledge of history and relentless to dig the fact. Well done.

          • WelWel

            …Aye mehfer zemedu belo ember. Eta nay mahmoud zderefa gn des tbl’ya. If you are in a charitable Ramadan mood, you can say that the Ethiopian market is bigger…By 2050 their population is projected to reach 200 million.

          • Salyounis


            I wouldn’t go as far as “aye mehfer zemedu”🙂 Korchach is a risk-taking artist who has experimented with melodies (check out how his “Eta Wahazit lbey” starts before switching to Gwyla) and he has written one of the best slow-dance songs (Tsibiktey) since Osman Abdelrehim’s Aqli Xbet. He just overshot here. Missed it by THAT much:)


          • bukretsion

            hayat ,what he(s.youn} meant is ,it’s not about menlik,h.selasse,mengistu,meles or isaias it’s about the Habesha culture which stinks unless we can convert it with the ‘progressive’ culture there is no peace .

          • abraham

            You said, “I, for one, am very happy to run away from parts of that identity (habesha identity) that includes elevating one religion as of the official religion of the state; one language as the official language of the state; a land policy that celebrates medieval values of fiefdoms; people as subjects of the king; institutionalized slavery; conquest values (zemecha); forceful religious conversions; superstitions for science and medicine; women with fractional rights, and a civilization that never embraced literacy.”

            If you believe you are happy to run away from your habesha identity just because of all the reasons that u have mentioned above; and all those reason that made you run away from your habesha identity were just waiting in the corner – brought back with the ghedli identity [is there even such thing as land policy in the new identity u run to; religious domination (well still christians dominate in the new identity u seek refuge too),institutional slavery (sawa which you support by the way), women’s single right of being sex slave, conquest values (ghedli and sawa values that u promote),forceful conversion of religion (well what do u think was the reason targeting born agains, jehovas and muslims), superstition for medicine and technology (kab mhro nay ghedli temekuro), civilisation that never embraced literacy (well the only university that was opened by haileselase was closed down by atse Isayas)] then what did u run away from in the first place? Isn’t this point what YG has made a good point of in his circular journey saga? Reading your comment above i find myself asking the same questions YG has asked: What is different after all the sacrifices made for all these decades? You run away from ur habesha identity because of the perceived religious domination and u made a big mess out of that issue. thousand died, millions displaced, and the end result is the same – still religious domination. For me nothing. But if u ask further, what is different for the likes of you, Saleh?

            The only reason remaining for u (with many appologies and with a risk of sounding a bigot) to applaud ghedli and independence would only be the perceived religious equality that could come because of the rearrangements of population size when Eritrea is isolated from Ethiopia. Muslims wdnt be minority anymore. So all this hashewye is about religious domination. And that was also a point captured by YG. If you were arguing about maternal language when u talk about language domination, it wd have been a better argument. You went all these toyi toyi with words just to hide the fact that you want us to speak an alien language – a language that has no roots with us (religion is the only historical connection with arabic) rather than our own indiginous languages. According to your argument tigre and saho fare worse than arabic language when it comes to being chosen as official languages for Eritreans (and u make that argument at the absence of data as to how many percent of the muslim population let alone Eritrean population speaking arabic). If this isnt quarta (from ur own identity), then what is? Would it be fair to u, muslims, if we argue Geez should be an official langauge of eritrea (we could base both religious connection and historical roots for making that argument. we can also cite that even languages like tigre which are spoken majorly by muslims can trace their roots to Geez.) If talking about having common history, ancestory, culture and religion with Ethiopians is being uinionist in your eyes, how do u think we, unionists or de romanticisers, would think when you chose arabic language as an official langauge when you are non arab, never been arab, but habesha African. Why wdnt Iranian and somalis make arabic their official language? Muslims are majority there (almost ninety some percent). I will be frank here. The level that was given to the Eritrean revolution during Mengistu time might have been generous. Mengistu might have been a prophet of some sort forecasting exactly that the eritrean revolution was about arabanisation of Eritrea (or selling our land and people to arabs). nontheless his level was generous. i could have called u religious bigots without blinking my eyes. But that wdnt have been nice, would it?

          • Salyounis

            Selamat Abraham:

            I am in a rush, will provide a longer and reasoned response later (time permitting) but for now:

            i could have called u religious bigots without blinking my eyes. But that wdnt have been nice, would it?

            Hey, knock yourself out, it is a free country. But, ummmm, if you want to see whether you are blinking or winking, you got to turn the light on. No point in blinking in the dark. Meanwhile, bone up on this, it will feature in my argument: “Divine right of kings.” It will show you that the worst aspects of Isaias and his supporters are the worst aspects of the Habesha tradition.

            Later, Abe.


            PS: of course, as a Habesha, I reserve my right to define “later” as later today, tomorrow, or a month from now. Smile.

          • abraham

            Well Sal,

            I am bracing myself for what is to come.

            But for now some disclaimer…You have quoted the last sentence – the name calling. And you have added knock urself out to it. Well my point in going that far was to show u name calling is hurtful. I am glad that u have noticed.

            I appreciate any idea, however extreme, when they r entertained with humor or sobriety as long as they are reflected respectfully. Name calling is hurtful. I have been following you for long and you are by far one of my most favourite writers because of your mostly healthy sense of humour and the weight of ur ideas and opinions. But sometimes i have read u going too far with those jokes (which seem rather bitter) and ended up in name calling. I might have, under oath, claimed that you are by far the source of most of the names that were given to Eritrean who have different thought experience than u have. Actually, i felt like the word “de-romanticiser” was even coined by you. Also the name neo-unionist was also used first by you, giega yklealey dea embeer. And i found that somehow irritating in the otherwise perfect reads that were authored by you. That was the reason for going overboard. I remember ur ‘eseT ageba’ with gezhae regarding using the word unionist.

            with respect


          • Salyounis

            Selamat Abraham:

            Before I get to the “Habesha” issue, let me address the “name-calling” issue. The reason the awate team (and its volunteers) moderate this forum is to try to make sure that our debate is elevated and that we give our readers a civil platform, so I take that issue seriously. It is why we insist on writers addressing each other by name, which makes name-calling harder.

            Regarding the two examples you gave for name-calling ( “Ghedli de-romanticizer” and “Neo-unionist” or their variations), firstly, I honestly do not know if I was the one to use them first but I will take your word for it. The real question is: are they name calling? If somebody calls you a “Ghedli-romantic” (because he thinks you exaggerate the greatness of Ghedli) and you call him “Ghedli de-romantic” (because you think he depreciates Ghedli), is either one “name-calling”? The Neo-Andnet label: I honestly feel that it is an accurate definition of people who question the whole premise of an independent Eritrean state and romanticize Haile Selasse in the process. It is accurate because it shares two defining characteristics of the Paleo-andnet movement. But, it has become like the word “liberal” which was used to describe leftists in the US: it is accurate, but they think other luggage is associated with the word “liberal” (pinko, commie, draft-dodger 🙂 and they prefer “progressive.” So, give me some acceptable label that describes people who believe that Eritrea should never have separated from Ethiopia and are entirely silent on the DOCUMENTED crimes committed by Haile Selasse and Mengistu while they pursue every lead for crimes committed by Eritreans against Eritreans. I am all ears. But whatever it is I said, how offensive is it compared to maligning dead people and telling the living that their loved ones died for nothing?

            On the critique of Habesha culture, please note that for the purposes of this discussion, “habesha” was introduced by the artists formerly known as Neo-Andnet as a solution to post-Ghedli Eritrea. It is they who introduced it as a political football. While I could readily defend everything I said about the worst aspects of Habesha culture that you listed (which is by no means comprehensive: just thought of one: fear of foreigners); while I have no hesitation in doing so because the culture belongs to me; while I could provide a compelling argument that Isaias Afwerki displays all the characteristics associated with the average Habesha king of kings who, along with his subjects, believed God chose him to rule… I will save that for the book I am co-writing with Serray 🙂 A narrative with a beginning, middle and end, as Stewie put it.

            Our problems in Eritrea are political and my criticism of “Back-to-Habeshaness” is that it is nostalgia, not a political solution. I don’t have the burden of proof to show why it is not a solution; those who introduced it as a political solution have the burden of proof to answer this question: Is this solution directed to all Eritreans or only those who call themselves Habesha? What is it that the Habesha culture possesses that other non-Habesha Eritrean cultures don’t possess? How will it impact those who do not consider themselves Habesha?

            The other arguments you made about official languages, Arab identity, Geez, etc: I always find it funny that Eritreans are criticized for wanting to be Arabs when apparently they should, in fact, strive to be more like Turks and Malaysians:) The thing is that Isaias Afwerki agrees with you (Arebgna ab gezakum tzarebu?, as he famously asked once while lashing at a citizen, while the rest of his Habesha audience was eating it up) and instituted a de-facto Tigrinya language state. (Note to authors: more evidence that Isaias Afwerki behaves like a Habesha king) The result–20 years later–as documented by Ahmed Raji: Eritrea has a civil service class less diverse than any time during Italian, English, Ethiopian occupation. It goes beyond civil service all the way to higher education, sports and the professional field. That is the sort of hole that will require another generation to fix. Now, show me, how is embracing our Habeshaness a solution for that?


  • haile


    The reply has run out there, so here goes.

    You really have to examine and judge what I said with intellectual honesty, if there is ever going to be any value to debating the matter.

    The reference to “African nations” was qualified as “most other”. In fact, one of the main challenges in the concept of “unity in diversity” is the sufficient wholeness of one section to threaten the other. I didn’t say all of Africa but even if you take Ethiopia, the different segments are in large numbers in population sizes, clear history of oppression over centuries and one group controlling enough resources to go it alone.

    You don’t have such set-up in Eritrea. There is the nagging bickering among groups but none of them are sufficiently whole without being swallowed up like the Expansionist empire did to us. Now that we know we have the nation for sure, and eventually with good governance, we don’t want to let that go. And ethnically, you are only talking about two significant ethnic groups: Tigre and Tigrigna making up over 85% of Eritrea. Given that Tigre and Tigrigna have so intertwined lives, it is hard to see how we can think of it as being a major fault line. Equality, both in perception and reality is a must, but in a broader sense, that is an HR issue too. Yes there is huge way to go to improve the linguistic, artistic and cultural influence of the Tigre people in modern day Eritrea, but that would take a lot of creativity and hard work among scholars and elders of the Tigre section of our society. Conflict? I say don’t even think about it.

    Religiously we are stable too. Yes, religion is a transnational attribute, yet the way things are arranged geographically and socio-economically, there is no favorable internal factors. The second point is that religion cuts across the ethnic spectrum too. There was an article I once read that the first group of few Rashaida Christians were few young men who were enlisted to serve n the NS and participated in the border war. They became pente by being influenced by their fellow NS members (pente is also punishable in Sawa NS as you know). So, there are Christians across the ethnic groups and the same with Muslims too. Please study and examine the basis by which those things you seem to extrapolate from general truths into our specific case.

    The behavior of Eyob is what is intended to create confusion and mistrust among innocent peoples of Tigray and Eritrea. The same with that of Fanus and others who justify attacking a whole populations on account of the acts of temporal political organizations. So, this “we are special” bigotry accusation goes back to the utterence of Sebhat Nega’s infamous “black Jews” statement. TPLF is now lost in translation and its old halaka is is no longer valid. I hope you can hear me some what because I notice that Radio Rwanda is blazing next door:)

    • haile

      BTW when I say pente is punishable in SAWA, it means that members are persecuted more intensely within the SAWA regime than outside of it (even if they suffer similar problems outside too)

    • Kaddis

      Haile –

      Let me show you where you are wrong on your statement about current Ethiopia … “one group controlling enough resources to go it alone”
      If you happen to know Merkato in Addis – claimed to be the biggest open market in Africa ( before we discovered Lagos …) is where, according to IMF recent study, +- 60% of business cash flow circulates in Eth. IMF advised the gov, if you are serious about collecting tax – tax Mercato. That is why the gov opened more than 10 tax offices there. Again, if you happen to know who works and do business there historically, it’s the Gurages ( wild guess about 70%). The last 20 + years, there was no systematic or other attempt to push this tribe out of Merkato. In fact – I can fairly say this segment of the society is the richest and going strong.

      There is corruption, favouritism ( based on ethnic, religion, connection to party …) and all in Eth. But, I can hardly related to any political destination … For most of the commenters here – your reference of Eth is way outdated as if we are stuck in the 90s.
      Eritrea is stable – and independent and all that you claim …. But You and your likes are stuck with a fulfilled wish happened 20+ years ago. Wish for more …..

      BTW – Congrats to the Eritreans who graduated from Addis Ababa University this weekend, hope to see more graduates next year….

      • haile


        I admit my knowledge of Ethiopia and hence its individual cities is limited (possibly outdated). I do however hear stories from both sides and all doesn’t seem rosy all the time.

        My point about some sections being sufficiently large is in terms of their basic population and geographical attribute. For example, the Orome in Ethiopia would make a bigger and wealthier independent nation than many African countries, should they were to decide to go it alone. Both the Amhara and Tigray are also large enough in population size and share international borders with other countries in the region. We could have made many similar determinations about many other African countries. Eritrea doesn’t have one such group. It can only stand as a nation when all her smaller groups come together. Seven out nine of its minority ethnic groups represent between 1 – 4% of its total population and less than 15% if combine all seven groups.

        So, my arguments are to show that all the talks of ethnicity and religious strife in Eritrea is just nothing more than political machination and not supported by facts. Whereas in many other countries it is a REAL factor for instability.

        The religious sentiments as Muslim/Christian within Eritrea will always be there, however it doesn’t have much wood to set set a fire that could threaten the nation. For example, unlike the typical scenario of weak and persecuted minority Muslims narrative, the Muslims in Eritrea wield significant influence in the nation’s social, economic and political make up. They were the forerunners of its armed struggle, as the name of this website would indicate, and both the making of Eritrea and its continued existence owes it to the exacting of, from this section of its people, an incredibly high price.

        So, when EX-PMMZ was talking to Paul Henz about the Eritrean society being unlikely to remain stable along religious divides, that was really wishful thinking. I can assure you that the amount of effort and resources, that ended up wasted down the drain, but invested by outsiders to affect such division was huge. It miserably failed for lack of conducive environment.

        There are as many small fundamentalist and extremist Christian groups as there are Muslim one’s, these small groups draw their inspiration and resources from external sources that really can easily be denied a foothold in the country. That is really a minor security concern if everything else is sorted. Such as the illegal occupation of Eritrea’s internationally recognized territories. And as time moves on, trust me we are getting closer to getting the weyane kneel down and accept the fact that it wouldn’t get away without getting severely injured if it so chooses to continue on the beaten track as far as we are concerned.

        Ignore the neoandinets, they are just a noise, they were always there for so long that no one has a clue as to who hired them in the first place:)

        • dude


          Lets take what I consider are the two major decisive turns in Eritrean history, federation and independence. Along what lines were the major players in both chapters of history divided? Mind you, I am not saying Eritrea is a ticking sectarian time bomb, tolerance is one of our common intrinsic features but to deny the clear and present historical precedent is disingenuous. Unwavering integrity is key but you already knew that.

    • Haile,

      Who do you think is controlling Eritea’s economic resources today ? How about political power? Politcal power as well as economic resources is controlled by the few former elite “tegadeltis”.

      We have also seen many civilian Eritreans who have enriched themselves because they are related to, or associated with key government officials (elite tegadelties). Nepotism is so rampant that it manifests itself in the lavish life style of these Eritreans who are associated with or related to government officials. Some of them are living in many parts of African cities including Juba, and Kampala. Some have launched successful business thanks to the funds acquired illegally.

      Your statement about calling “most other” African nations as being unstable shows your reluctance to disclose Eritrea’s flaws. That’s what I was trying to convey. The general sentiment of many nationalist Eritreans is that we are “fuluyat” as though we were “martians” from outer space.

      In regards to the absence of ethnic division, religious, and regional conflict, I will say just wait until Mr. Issayas is removed. The Kunamas, the Afaris don’t think the way you think.

      • haile

        Dawit M

        Let me agree on nepotism aspect of your argument. The only difference I hold from that is that my first hand experience tells me that the name “Tegadelti” is a wrong way to describe. The ruling group that comes from Tegadelti back ground but long abandoned the tegadelti is a small and unrepresentative of the whole body of tegadelti. You really need to appreciate that tegadelti were not spared from every conceivable violation of human rights that is carried out by the regime. Most are living in destitute situation, dispersed by migration, arrested, killed and intimidated. Those “connected” to the regime happen to have no tegadali background. Please ascertain through objective analysis.

        On the Kunama and Afari threat, please be realistic. Are you seriously contemplating 3% Kunama who underwent through so much uprooting and turmoil just like every other Eritrean would be taking on 97% Eritrea? It doesn’t even make a remote sense. It even gets incredulous to think of 1% Afar doing the same against 99% Eritrea. Sorry, there are no grounds to fear!

        I also said Oromo would make for a wealthier and populous nation, does that wax Oromo are fluyat? Or it is just a taboo to be an Eritrean opposition and wish well for Eritrea and its people?

        Your Tigrawot spin to your premise is always troubling to me. You need to furnish us with FACTS that the PEOPLE (not political entities as TPLF) have done any harm to Eritrea or Eritreans at any point in history. What TPLF does is only relevant for those Tigrayans who are supportive of TPLF policies. I doubt 5 million Tigrayans hold the same view as TPLF. We share a long and historical relationship with our Tigrayan brothers and sisters. Go to the highland Eritrean countryside and you would learn how Tigrayans run churches and monasteries across Eritrean villages. Our armed struggle was also another chapter that proved how Tigrayans stood through thick and thin with us in our darkest time in history when the whole world had written us off and gave us over for slaughter. Thousands of young Tigrayans were the only true friends at the time and bled and suffered on our side in the struggle for justice.

        PFDJ uses the Tigray card to scare monger and some opposition simply engage in racist vitriolic for the heck of it. I am sorry, but the vast majority of the people of Eritrea and Tigray acknowledge the fact that our brotherhood and fraternity wi’Elu hadiru nab nbur kmles eyu. I am not bothered to the least if a Tigray origin patriotic Eritrean holds the highest office in future Eritrea. To me his/her commitment to the unyielding sense of Eritreanism is the only yardstick. Their racial ancestry is irrelevant – just makes it more colorful. We all act in an insensitive from time to time, but that doesn’t reflect our true perception of the reality that we are brothers and sisters destined for close interaction for the rest of history.

        So, i would like you to appreciate that you are in a minority on this Tigray issue as far as the Eritrean populace is concerned. Unless you have evidence otherwise.

        • haile

          ah..sorry Dawit and Dawit M…I confused your postings again! Could you please split the above post as:

          Paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 for Dawit
          Paragraphs 4, 5 and 6 for Dawit M

          Sorry for mixing you guys up again 🙂

          • haile,

            When you try to answer everything you not only mix it you lose the context of the argument.

          • haile


            That I guess is the hazard that comes with comments forum as a medium. I sometimes collect various comments from different writers and try to address them in one short reply. More often than once, such results in a “Frank Einstein’s” type monster of a comment:-)

  • yemane

    Well, If I am allowed to comment here( for I have been banned by Saleh Ghadi for being different), I would endorse YG’s analysis as I believe that is the only positive Solution Eritrea will have. If that Is not possible, let’s try the Confederation with the USA….Here, in both options, the main obstacle is on how to convince the Eritrean Muslim folks who by any means never be in a position to join a Christian dominated Nation…However, if Intellectuals Like Salh Ghadi and Saay could exhaust on teaching the Eritrean Muslims as it is better to do so, we would have a perfect peace to live in Harmony….Now,the bottom line is : Eritrea’s fate is on the Hand of our Muslim Eritrean brothers….Romadan Karim!!

    • Tamrat Tamrat

      The problem is not how to demand muslim or other religion followers live in Democracy in their own country. The problem is using the oppressed muslims to a hiden agenda. Learn from Brother Hood leaders of Egypt. The majority of muslims and chrstinas live in tolerating one another better than in many countries. The prolbem is intimidating the christians in Eritrea as they are part of eplf juntas. Fighting for the rights of muslims would never be punishing the christians. Just because isayas kissed a cross from the higest prist hand doesnt mean the christians in Eritrea are responsible for isayas and his follower crime.

      So Yemane the so called ‘intelectual’ sees only how to promote their politics. They dont give a damn how realities percieved at home.

      • yemane

        Tamrat Tamrat,
        I strongly believe that our low-level-of-consciousness is our biggest enemy…To fill this gap, societies need some intellectuals with good humor( intellect alone is not enough though). Well, a good Nomad from Emba-denden; never been to school, should be given a space to learn some thing and here is where you need the Likes of Salh Ghadi…

        • WelWel

          If you want intellect and sense of humour, then Saleh Younis is the man you’re looking for. I’m afraid Saleh Gadi has similar traits as Isseyas, great mind, but no sense of humour, sensitive and holds a grudge.

        • Tamrat Tamrat

          Ya, sure. Scholars With the Caliber of SG are superb in explaining to us why that nomad must have a tag (ethio or eri) but too ‘sophesticated’ to explain the nomad himself why he can not live on his own land or whith his own People.

    • Abe z minewale

      You talk and walk like Atsie Yowhannes you must be him

  • antonios

    is tigray fixing to become its own country? it seems like it is heading in that direction.

    • zegeremo

      I think they should..they are undesirable…no body wants them.


      • belay

        Yes,because,we are not out there for the highest bidder,and isolated.

    • Tamrat Tamrat

      Making each so called federal state self suficient is not the problem. The problem is making the other states bankrupted and use their Resource for the betterment of tigray. This was begun With tigray-tigrinya policy making only tigray and tigrinya People (mind you not all eritea People) controll both the economy and military. But the greed of isayas (thanks to millions) exeeded than that of tigray-tigrinya policy. 1997 the tigrinya amblical chord cut. Starting from 2000 the one ethnic policy is forwarded. But tplf is ready any time With any tigrnya People to continue the broken tigrya-tigrinya policy.

      • abel

        Alawki Sami Nift Yilekelikal.

  • Fanus

    I would rather see Eritrea become the 51st State of the United States or unite with Sudan than have anything to do with Ethiopia or Tigray.

    Personally, I don’t even want Eritrea to have diplomatic relations with Ethiopia or a future Republic of Tigray that is in the making today.

    I want at least another generation (20 years) to pass without diplomatic relations with Ethiopia or Tigray, especially TIGRAY.

    In my opinion, Tigray is much more dangerous to Eritrea than the rest of Ethiopia is.

    • Eyob Medhane

      Atta boy!

      That is soooooo cute….. 🙂

      • Fanus

        Dangerous because of Tigray’s inferiority complex and its hatred of all things Eritrean.

        Weyane showed it was willing to have Tigray go down in flames as long as it takes Eritrea down with it.

        In my opinion, it is a mistake to underestimate an enemy who suffers from inferiority complex and is willng to use scorched earth tactics.

        • Eyob Medhane



          Actually, I suggest Eritrea should not have diplomatic relationship with no one on this earth. No country and people is good enough for them even to stand in their presence. Their embassy should be only on the 7th heaven. That way their wings and the unicorn, which you and your likes ride would be protected from getting contaminated with all things that is earthly.

          Now I understand. Is that why there are so many Eritrean refugees in Tigray? That is a perfect plan. When Tigray is going to burn itself down, it wll be in flames with all the fleeing ‘Warsay’ in it. Damn! These Tigrawot are so cleaver. They are so obsessed with these ‘chosen race’ called Eritreans, they just keep letting them in and housing them. Because, when they burn themselves down with them, they will go to the special Eritrean heaven together. (there is of course a special paradise for Eritreans, as they are first cousins of angels and all) 🙂

          • Eyob,

            I like your statement :

            “That way their wings and the unicorn, which you and your likes ride would be protected from getting contaminated with all things that is earthly.”

            I am by default an Eritrean and I can’t believe how long some of my Eritrean brothers and sisters will preach to the world that they are “special people”. Haile , may be unknowingly, exhibited a similar attitude on another thread.

            He invoked what sounds like the usual mantra that many of us are accustomed to hearing from the nationalists (ghedli romantics): “nihina fulyat fitiret ena”.

            Haile stated:

            “ So, what I am saying is that internally we have stable center unlike most other African countries, but as far as externally imposed problems, hey we ain’t new to that “

            The conclusion one can draw from Haile’s statement is this: Mr. Haile believes that other African countries are not as stable as Eritrea. For example, South Africa, Ghana, and Tanzania are not as stable as Eritrea. The United States perhaps matches Eritrea in both political and social stability.

            Political power that favors one religion or tribe over another , and inequitable access to economic resources can easily give rise to conflicts in a society as diverse as Eritrea. Societies would compete for power as well as economic resources. Those who are related to, or associated with the government in power benefit most. That’s what we see in Eritrea and that is what perhaps we would see in future.

            Competition leads to conflict. This conflict is most often than not resolved violently in countries in which democratic institutions are absent or are undeveloped.

          • zegeremo

            Jealousy in a dream more or less indicates a bitter life. Eritrea is independent forever.


          • Petros


            People like Fanus make me cringe. Ugg. It is hopeless. May God save Eritrea.

        • abel

          Fanus, Tigray/Ethiopia see’ Kem Tub Adeka Kibetsa.

    • Historically, the United States wanted Eritrea to be part of Ethiopia. The United States still maintains its historical wish. So, Fanus , how about making Eritrea a territory of Egypt. After all, Egypt is an Arab state and making Eritrea its territory would perhaps make you more of an Arab than a habesha.

    • haile


      When you feel threatened by others, you need to think of the possibility that others may be feel threatened too. Mutual understanding is the key. I think national anthems capture the collective psych of a nation (saay I am still digesting your great piece earlier:)

      Here is the lyrics for the national anthem of Tigray (two sources), and hopefully help you see how they feel too:)

      May be as a possible solution, you and Eyob should be sent to spend a holiday together somewhere in the Bahamas and come back and tell us how you managed to see each other differently afterwards.

      • antonios


        don’t be xxxxx. do you realize that tigray is illegally occupying sovereign eritrean territory in defiance of international law for which many of our heroes gave up their lives for????

        Eritrea can crush tigray today or in the future in the event that it becomes its own country. that is not the problem. The problem is sovereign Eritrean territory is illegally occupied today.

        Do you know what an illegal occupation means haile? tell me what that is and how you feel about it?

    • sara

      note there are many of us who subscribe to such ideas and the number is growing by the day..the years you mentioned should be 40 not 20.

    • aba_chegora

      [Moderator: 1) “kkkkkkk” is childish, and 2) All Upper cap text is not allowed. Please make sure to abide.]


  • Salyounis

    Welcome back Burhan:

    Excellent, well-argued. Well done!

    Zekre Lebonna is, indeed, “a cool and well-versed Eritrean writer”, but like many Eritrean writers, he gives his readers the impression that the problems Eritrea is encountering are unique in history and the way Eritreans are reacting to their problems is also unique. It may not be his intention at all, but this emboldens those who think that Eritrea is some kind of historic deformity.

    Burhan, while your answer about Eritrean youth with a dictator’s point of reference is a good one, I think it is a case of Zekre Lebonna tegagiyu nAka agagiyuka:: He essentially misread (misrepresented?) a story and you are responding to his misreading. Please follow me:

    After writing about Jews in Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia did to cryptically send a message to the visiting Red Cross that they are being had by the Nazis (they sang “Verdi’s Requiem, a Catholic funeral mass song”), Zekre tells us:

    In contrast, the behavior of refugees from Eritrea in a restaurant in the shanty district of Tel-Aviv, as witnessed by a reporter from PBS recently, is incomprehensible. Over a loud blast from a stereo playing the national anthem of Eritrea, the journalist had to strain himself to listen to the conversation. What we observe is a clear example of dissonance.

    Well, there may be things that are incomprehensible and examples of dissonance, but Zekre picked the wrong one.

    The PBS report is a story of Eritreans in Israel who survived Sinai and the take-away message is that even in Israel: “we are free, but only to breathe” because some Israeli politicians have equated them with “cancer” and a “plague” and Eritreans live in fear of being hunted down and deported. You can read/view the story here:

    In the entire story, the reporter found one (one, as in the number next to zero) Eritrean, Haile Mengesteab, who has received a full visa. Haile was a lawyer in Eritrea, his dad a colonel, and he vows, like the rest, that “[as] soon as the dictator in my country is gone, the very next minute I won’t be standing here in Israel.” He has an organization which tries to help Eritrean asylum-seekers. He and the reporter meet at a busy Eritrean restaurant “whose stereo is [playing] Eritrean national anthem at full volume.”

    Now, really, are the two stories Zekre Lebonna narrating (Jews in Nazi Germany essentially sentenced to death and cryptically sending a message to the Red Cross, and Eritreans telling a reporter openly about their hell in Sinai and purgatory in Israel) comparable at all? Could there be a more mundane explanation for the Eritrean national anthem at the restaurant (most likely Eri-TV signing off?) while homesick Eritreans drown their sorrows in Asmara beer and hookah?

    Now, beyond that, these are debates that societies have all the time and it is the responsibility of those who have cracked a book or two (Zekre Lebonna is well read) to relate to their compatriots how other countries have dealt with their own journey to dissonance instead of presenting the Eritrean case as if it is a unique case of deformity. Maybe, to relate to Jews who call them “cancer”, they can assemble and sing “by the rivers of Babylon” an old Jewish exile song. But the so-called dissonance is not unique to Eritreans: Two quick examples from my adopted home:

    1. In the Vietnam War, protesters burned the American flag. The argument then was: how can you burn the symbol of the very freedom that gives you the right to burn the American flag? Some, for example, suggested that instead of burning the flag, protesters should wash it to indicate that it is being sullied and bloodied.

    2. In African-American literature, there is a long-standing (still unresolved) debate: Is English language the language of the oppressor? Then, is a form of resistance to refuse to speak it in the exact way the oppressor does, or is it to master it and use it as a tool against oppression. In the former camp are the advocates of Ebonics; in the latter camp were Frederick Douglas, Martin Luther King and Malcolm X.

    These are the sort of discussions we should have, not the “oh my God, what is wrong with us?” awyat.


    PS: Burhan, my fave quote from the Brothers Karamazov is: “The mystery of human existence lies not in just staying alive, but in finding something to live for.”

    • B Ali

      Merhaba Saleh,

      I think it was a blessing in disguise that Zekere misread or misrepresented the PBS material; it raised the occasion and gave me the opportunity to speak about a real issue within the Eritrean Diaspora. One needs a context even for most serious of discussions>
      I think your favorite quote is an important indicator of the existentialist flavor of the “Brothers Karamazov” as a novel. I believe this is the other complementary side of what the’ idiot’ in the novel by the same name says: “you can’t live the minutes while counting them”.
      But the gems of quotables are included in that small novel “Notes from underground”, the one I liked most was: “What is the substance of a hero? Courage, strength, morality, enduring adversity? Are these the traits that truly show and create a hero? Is the light truly the source of darkness or vice versa? Is the soul a source of hope or despair? Who are these so called heroes and where do they come from? Are their origins in obscurity or in plain sight?”
      Few days ago while sitting at a table in a public coffee house, there was a little far, in front of me a giant TV set with the sound turned mute, but the picture there wouldn’t leave you room to guess where the devastation displayed could be….it was Syria! I remembered the talkative spiteful man of Dostoevsky in his novel “Notes from the Underground” gabbling:
      “Man is stupid, you know, phenomenally stupid; or rather he is not at all stupid, but he is so ungrateful that you could not find another like him in all creation. I, for instance, would not be in the least surprised if all of a sudden, A PROPOS of nothing, in the midst of general prosperity a gentleman with an ignoble, or rather with a reactionary and ironical, countenance were to arise and, putting his arms akimbo, say to us all: “I say, gentleman, hadn’t we better kick over the whole show and scatter rationalism to the winds, simply to send these logarithms to the devil, and to enable us to live once more at own swit foolish will.” That again would not matter, but what is annoying is that he would be sure to find followers.


    Let us learn a lesson of the divided Cyprus. The southern part whose land was confiscated by Turkey and is Southern Patron Northern Cyprus continue to develop and prosper, while still doing its best to reclaim the land taken from them. Eritrea could proper if we have a legitimate government which do not dwell at Badme issue as a pretext to impose dictatorship. There is an intelligent way of making your argument heard in the international arinea rather the victimhood mentality we are familiar. That didn’t get us no where. It is allowing other ideas such as what Mr. Burhan Ali is mentioning above. I am impressed by Mr Ali knowledge and intellect


    Respected Burhan Ali,

    I asked a simple question that did not need refference but a simple summarized reply.
    I was not trying to put you on spot ,as you are terming others frustrated and cynical to explain the base of your arguement .
    But ,then as you are good in evaluating & terming other people ,instead of giving me simple answer you analyzed my simple questions.
    I do not blame you for not answering the un answerable ,you did not try to drawn as in emotioms how Ethiopians killed in Shiib or wekidiba.
    I appreciate you for that.
    But in order to know where we are going we have to know where we have been ,otherwise the compus will only show us where east – west, north – south.

    thank you for trying your best ,i will look for that book you reffered me at Amazon.

    god bless

  • T..T.

    In this weekend’s ELF/EPLF veterans Dardasha/ILAL, the discussants sought to find out if the nation building was the cause for the human rights voilation in Eritrea. One of veterans tried to explain the causal connection between nation building and human rights violation in Eritrea. Another jumped in to say that there was nothing wrong with the plan of nation building. The problem was with the timing of the nation building, the veteran further explained.

    The question is if the systematic human rights violation is market driven, then what matters to Isayas is how to maximize the profits of his companies and not the human right violation. And, if the systematic human rights violation is caused by government’s policy, then what matters to Isayas is the strengthening of his dictatorship and not the violation.

    As to timing being the problem with the nation building, the veteran explained his point by presenting the concept that water seeks to find its level. The explanation brought in the size of the military and the sixe of unemployment in Eritrea as sources for social inequalities that provide pretexts for abusing the weak and the poor in nation building. Thus, instead of waiting until the water could flow uphill, by either ferrying or pumping the water towards the nation building, Isayas chose to hasten the nation building by using human power in the same way the pyramids were built. The underpaid and the underfed express their dissatisfaction in different forms but Isayas uses force to keep them working and that is where the violation is.

    The other answer to the question of human rights violation is Isayas’s failure to put the country in the right direction of reconstruction. Such smooth reconstruction could only be achieved on priority basis with first focus being implementation of constitution enabling to resolve the problems of democracy and human rights, followed by economic reforms to secure economic growth that allows nation building.

    The plan of nation building without guaranteeing life and liberty for those involved it may fall within the grounds for committing human rights violation. Abusing the involved people in nation building always easily capture the attention of the world. Isayas was put on notice and advised to resolve the problems. However, Isayas failed to explore different ways to raise the hope of the very people involved in the nation building by reducing working hours and offering them time for education and skill development. The failure to find solution is said to have been caused by greed, power-concentration and exploitation of the whole population by one man.

  • Hagos Berhan

    Mr. Burhan Ali.
    Well done for a well written article, loved the references too.
    To Tamrat Tamrat, I firstly hope that you understood the contents of the article, if not, please do invest another 10 minutes of your valuable time and read the article again. It is no good if you jump straight into the comments section without understanding the subject matter, I believe SY referred to this particular behaviour in his comments few days ago.
    I personally, and many Eritreans that I know; would like both our countries to develop a healthy relationship that respects the wishes of both populations. The writer of these words is victim of Ethiopian cruelty that runs in 2 generations. Having said that; many of us moved on and would like you to move on too; let us to deal with our difficulties and current challenges. Whether we; Eritreans believe that Ethiopia is a backward country or not should not matter to you, and it should not affect the development of your country, Just concentrate on what is good and important to your country, and believe me there are many. In short; leave us alone.

    Dear Crocus, you really need to go to school again, a comment like that will make you a laughing stock for so many people, You need to comprehend the meaning of geography, before you bore us with such prophecies…read through your comments, before you post them.

    • Tamrat Tamrat

      Dont you get it still now? You can not build a nation by only propaganda like you are better than all ethiopians. I see teh Direct relation of the crumbling Down of Eritrea and thir attitude to Ethiopia. You produce a generation which believe that it can crush any super Power country With their ‘messagger’ ethiopians and the very thing the New generation does is masexodesing to litteraly flooding to the very super Power nations and the ‘puppet’ ethiopia. You and you SY need to let it go and come back to the reality we are confronted now.

      How can you and People like SY stopp victimizing eritreans With this grudge for ethiopian? Stopp tarnishing ethiopia for Your own failure or do the way you preach ie that you can crush ethiopia.

      If you only come to Your sens and see the only thing you do is cellebrate the Power take over of His Higness President for life honerable Isayas for the last 22 years in the name of ‘crushing’ the ‘enemy’ Ethiopia.

      According to Your propaganda you must not allow who any ethiopian which takes even a centimeter teritory of Eritrea. So if you believe in what you propagate for 22 years then what you are telling us is Badme belongs to Ethiopia other wise badme is larger than a centimeter.

      My point is move on. Cahnge Your tune. Just because you oppose isayas doesnt qualify you automaticaly what ever you say against ethiopia or ethiopians is right. SY is from old School. For him having eritreans With a horrible image of ethiopians is in his blood. I have never intended to change People in YS Caliber. Not at all. But it is quite reasnoable once in a while to Call a spade for a spade.

      • zegeremo

        Gashe Tamrat Tamrat

        Do you know one of the the most obvious way to expose your ignorance is to write a selfish comment? Nevertheless,the best way to move on is to withdraw from the occupied Eritrean territory and let the boarder demarcated, period. Other than that as Ethiopian you should be concerned about your own country as there are many issues you need to be more conscious about like: why our government is a puppet, why are we still taking Aid while our economy is booming, why the Weyane elites continue to control the private sector,and why our government is oppressing our fellow Ethiopians-Oromos,Amharas,and Muslims. The list is long, but the thing is you are already bitter.

        • Tamrat Tamrat

          You forgtt one important factor on the list ie why meles sacrificed million tigray for the seccession of Eritrea? Though it is difficult for you to learn from ‘ignorant’ People, do you know meles sacrificed more tigrians than all ethnic Groups combined in both countries for the secession of Eritrea or for the non stop civil war shemed by Egypt? I told you again and again some body’s mistake dont make you rigt automatically. The border issue is not like Your birth day party cake like the colonizers used to do it in their Office. It has some thing to do who live on and around the border. People would be asked which way they inclined, which government syste they prefered if there is a possiblity to do so fro them.

          For the time being let’s leave it where it is now.

  • bukretsion

    in regards to the future relationship between eth and eri i think there are 3 choices 1st one is the model and current relationship between eth and djibouti, the 2nd choice is like the relationship between eth and somalia(alshabaab), the 3rd one is the current relation both countries have right now. i think the right choice is the relation eth and djib have. i think agree with me because from the very beginning they have the right cause for their struggle. for those who are confused from the beginning u need to choose 1 of the 3 and waste ur time on that.

    • Tamrat Tamrat

      Ethiopia and Eritrea tried like eth-Dejibouti relation in 1991-1997. Guess what, eri started exporting coffee more than Uganda, on the port Assab ethiopians had two dictator leaders one eplf and another tplf. Eri started dictating ethiopian With the help of tplf and their leader meles. Oh that time could be called the lost opportunity for both ehtio-eritrea. The highly inflated this ‘eritrea’ won ethiopia and its supporters soviet unioun and usa false self portraite spoiled every thing for Eritrea. What a shame that eri dont have matured politician at least who could mentioned the Madness at right time and Place.

      What eritreans need is Accept the reality. Stop assuming ethiopia as back ward because it has always been better than Eritrea and eritreans in all aspects. You can not be rulled (‘collonized’) by more back ward government than Yours. When Haile Silassie reunited Eritrea With Ethiopia the politics he used can not be refered as back ward at that time at least by eritreans. Imagine what can you Call the eritrean president after 52 years in this modren time could not even do half the King of Ethiopia has done for eritreans. If you want to test the back wardness of Our king vs Yours try what eritreans had done in the king time now in Eritrea, then you know who is back ward. Remember we are comparing a king who could not defend himself now for the thing he did in the primitive era of africa long time ago.

      How was eritrean doing now under isayas compared to 53 years ago? What a shame!!!

      • bukretsion

        T.T,in regards to 91-97 relation they were playing politics and eprdf/tplf won .the assumption about ethiopia that is why they got what u see for the last 12 years

        • Tamrat Tamrat

          Ya, i got it! My point is prominent eritrean were engaged in agravitating the already hostility florished by tplf and eplf campagain for humliating the majority of Ethiopians.

          Here is one silly but real example what happened during the top love affair between tplf and eplf. Meles took a charter tour to New Yourk for the annual UN Meeting. Every body knows it is cheaper if the then president meles flew Direct to New yourk but he took a quick landing in Asmara gave a lift to isayas president for life of Eritrea. Both of them were applauded as the Young democratic african leaders (were they both puppet of us or still isayas was on the pay roll of cia, lol). When they came back the media in Ethiopia was in its best press freedom era and the x-president was asked what die he was thinking using Ethiopian Resource for the presidnet isayas. The then most beloved by tigray-tigrinya People president replied that instead of using two planes it is cheaper this way.

          Cheap to whom?

          If we concider the two Peoples as families, good neighbours, etc yes, it is cheaper for both specially the president of isayas at least pays the difference of the cost caused by the landing and the extra consumption by the crue of the president Eritrea. It is not to be so greedy but to make a point how partnership based on equality Works.

          And it goes all the ways the above mentioned priniple. You will never, ever make Eritrea based on the destruction of Ethiopia. This must be underlined. Eritrea shall not be a spring Board for the enemy of ethiopia or africa. Whether you are doing this conciously like eplf or subconciously like a layman it is time to see from ethiopian Points of view. That is why i support the idea of meles about discussion of the border issue before demarkation though i dispise the late pm for what ever he stood for.

    • bukretsion

      when i say relationship between eth and djibuti i meant mutual benefit and rule of law. i do’t see any similarity between current ethiodjibouti and 91-97 ethioeritrea relation.

      • zegeremo

        It is not a bad choice, but the problem is puppetness required.


  • If you have noticed by now, most of the writers at Awate attack personalities, where as Asmarino writers deal with ideas. Needless to say, Asmarinoes tackle big ideas like the evolution of ghedli and its impacts on culture, tradition, and way of life;while, Awate writers fight to keep ghedli free from any blemish.
    Awate writers want to get accross their points by demonizing people they disagree with.

    Moderator: I thought I didn’t like my first comment. Well, I have removed what I thought for you was offensive and reposting a sanitized comment. BTW: You’r dong a superb job censoring comments

    • zegeremo

      So What Are You Doing Here?


      • Zegeremo,

        I am throwing a jaw-dropping comment to cause you great wonder and astonishment. If it is not an awesome comment, you won’t talk about.

        • Zegeremo

          Apparently it is not an awesome comment: you are accusing writers without providing any evidence- who attacked whom?


          • Zigeremo,

            Read the article carefully again ! Some of these writers are smart cookies ; you would not be able to understand what is not written explicitly if you read the article literally. Good luck

    • Tamrat Tamrat

      The writers of asmarino and are both eritreans. The difference is awatestaff sensor what should be published on Imagine YG’s aritcle is published in It is like tplf Reporter is on sale in Asmara, lol. If elf takes Power then we know where YG’s Place if he ever comes to Eritrea.

      • I don’t understand what you realy mean by “It is like tplf Reporter is on sale in Asmara, lol. If elf takes Power then we know where YG’s Place if he ever comes to Eritrea.

        • Tamrat Tamrat

          I mean Ethiopian repoter. This News paper is the so called private media owned by tplf. It was created when tplf used to create the copy of what ever the non tigre has created. This News paper can not be sold in Asmara now.

          If elf takes Power, many could have come back to Eritrea including YG but YG ends up in one of unkown jailes in Eritrea. That was what i mean.

          • L.T

            Who is YG?Just a wondering,asking and answering

  • wediere


    Welcome back, on seeing your article I thought it was an analysis about Egypt…over time your name is associated with such analysis.

    Of recent there has been too much focus on what YG and GY are writing, if they manage to change the “too much hate” to a matching love of Ethiopia/n or Tigrayan from some Eritreans, I think it will benefit us as a nation in the long run, so long it is not at the expense of creating enemies within Eritrea.

    A joke from Washington Post that was posted on Awate fb states:

    Nasser, Sadat and Mubarak tried to get rid of the Muslim Brotherhood. Only Morsi succeeded.

    Isn’t is the case what Hailesellasie, Mengustu could not achieve Isayas has managed during his rule.

    By extension Egyptian Army could only carry out the coup when the people who stood together few years back to depose Hosni Mubarek were split, as Admas has been lamenting recently, isn’t it the case that Ethiopia is playing a game to split the Eritrean people and create an environment for reversing independence?

    These are charlatans and jugglers because they know that there is no question of Eritrea going back to Ethiopia now, not because of Eritrean reasons only (which are heavy and substantial), but also because of Ethiopian reasons as well, unless they are thinking of Tigrai-Tigrigna, and even that has its insurmountable ifs and buts.

    Sometimes the calculation does not have to make sense, you just need people with believe and sufficient followers intent on driving the mass on a collision course, another round of “circular course” that the leaders think there is “straight” to salvation.


  • Crocus

    So much rhetoric! Not a single word on how to build the country, the big elephant in the room. I know many of the Eritreans who write these articles and comments are comfortably situated elsewhere, but Eritrea. Give it 15 years, which I think will arrive flying fast, 3/4th of the gedli people will have passed away. The succeeding generation will be much less inclined to bear the torch of nationalism. The struggle for survival in a world that is increasingly getting crowded, and beset by disrupting pressures of nature will make political obsession, well, an unappealing preoccupation, specially for Eritreans born abroad. Economics will always dictate the outcome of events.

    Fancy as you may, I do not see how Eritrea, with a handicap of geography, can overcome the hurdles arrayed against it without Ethiopia. Khartoum/Sudan is a lap of a desert away, and the closed Red Sea is only a barrier. (The countries on the Red Sea are only destinations, unlike busy sea lanes, such as South China Sea, where throngs of ships will want to call.) Pity the Eritrean peasant. Isaias will be gone soon. But Lost time and lost good will is hard to make up. Believe it or not the writing is on the wall.

    • haile


      “I do not see how Eritrea, with a handicap of geography, can overcome the hurdles arrayed against it”…is the funniest joke ever!!!

      • Crocus

        Amuse yourself, by all means. Just make sure you can count on a tangible option. Isaias would not have held a whole nation hostage on the lame excuse of unsettled territorial boundary were there viable opportunities to go it alone. No one blames him for lacking boldness. The reality is he has none. (Oil “may” still be discovered. Still, it would take 2 decades to bring it to market.)

        Many nations have territorial disputes, some over a century old. But life did not stop for them. Schools did not close. And national economies did not cease to function. These nations had options. They were not bogged down by territorial disputes. I did not speak in jest when I mentioned “handicap of geography”.

    • Zegeremo

      What a bad dream you had! Do you know jealousy in a dream more or less indicates a bitter life?


  • abel

    Hey Sal,
    What happened to my Humble proposition for eritrea comment?
    did you found it inappropriate, derogatory,insulting?
    I bet too hard to swallow? I just want to know the reason.

  • abel

    Whatever the circumstance that lead us to the current quagmire might be the current status quo of Ethio/eritrea is irreversible. Brother Berhane; Ethiopia see Kem Tub Adeka Kibetsa.

  • Rahwa


    I see you are so disappointed with my Ethiopian compatriate (TamratTamrat). You have good reason this time. I might have started but never read all his comments until the end of his last paragraph. I just had to skip them.

  • Tamrat Tamrat

    War monger morsi gave little hope for eplf and elf. Elf People were celebrating a strong Brother Hood leadership in Egypt brings elf to Power and demilsh ethiopoia once and for all while eplf was dancing With the opportunity of getting Direct help from Egypt. Even awateians forgot Eritrea for a while and were planning how to poisen Abay so that Egypt punish ethiopia to Maximum. What Egypt has done in the 80s like making ethiopia the mother of all civil war, seamed a reality at least in, ie sudan, Somalia, Eritrea ready to attack. And now to the greatest of dissapointment of elf and eplf the civil war exploded in Egypt. Who is warmonger now?

    Musilim Brothers who declared to wagde war in ethiopia from in or out can be used as Egypt destablizing agent if any one interested.

    • Saleh “Gadi” Johar

      And you cannot support your allegation. Why can’t you learn to qualify your claims, at least you can find an argument? Do you still see things with the ELF/EPLF prism?

      One person brought the idea about poisoning the Nile to punish Egypt, now your forgery: you make it sound that he said let’s poison the Nile so that the Egyptians can punish Ethiopia. Did all commentators in this forum say that? Why do you implicate all of them when it is only one person who said that?

      My friend, don’t insult the intelligence of our commentators, all of them are not like you, wrestling with their self-created hallucinations and then try to stick on someone else.

      Kindly help us maintain some civility here, avoid using lies and fabrications. If you have an idea saying without wrongly accusing others or implicating them in what your wild imagination dictates to you.

  • Tamrat Tamrat

    Awateians and their comentators are like the activists of global warming and their sceintists that is they believe in global wariming and its alarming consquences but they want to enjoy life as the world it is now while expecting others sacrifice their ‘needs’ to reduce global warming.

    • Saleh “Gadi” Johar

      And how are you different?

      • Tamrat Tamrat

        You forgett qucik. You told me i am not like you.


    Respected Burhan Ali,

    Could you please explain to me ,why the Eritrean struggle started, if it is as the whole world has written that Eritrea was part & parcel of Abyssinia or was Eritrea a country on it´s own ? When did Eritrea bacome a country ,and who created Eritrea ?
    Because ,You seem to be knowing the intention & frustration of YG & Yebiyo ,but you have not brought any counter to their ¨philosophy¨.I am totally against re-unification with Ethiopia,for practical reasons , but I want to really know the reasonning behind the Eritrean question ,besides the rest of Ethiopia was cruel or uncivilized .. Please be kind to explain the main concrete points ,Eritrea leading to struggle ?
    I know what you do not support ,now tell me what your argument that justifies 100.000 martyres for… ?
    Honestly I have heard different versions reason for the struggle ,so far I find the cause by Abona Weldeab woldemariam (against Showa /Amhara domination of the Tigray people on both sides of the Mereb )..and the legitimate Rabitta Islamya question of religious right.
    I am not asking a rhetorical question ,I honestly want to develop my knowledge based on concrete knowledge of history & logic.
    I amy want chicken badly but I will not pay $1000 dollars for one.

    thank you

    • B Ali

      You seem to be suffering of a fixation on the idea that nationalism must have a historical precedent, a sort of ancestry to the idea. This is a contradiction, because in that case, where are you to locate the ancestry of the idea invented and applied for the first time by the French revolution? In the head of Robespierre, Marat, or Napoleon…, it was these and such bloodthirsty heads that the whole idea of nationalism came out from.

      Eritrea now is a nation regardless of its background. That is where you start your flights and that is where your final destination and rest is.

      Your questions are of no practical use. The practical and solid fact at hand is that there is a fact on the ground and it is called independent Eritrea, which will, for the best or the worst, stay independent, no matter we like it or not, the real question is are we going to make the best of our inevitable destiny or are we to create hell for each other until doomsday because no one element of the nation is to magically go away?

      If you want to quench your thirst for knowledge and learn about Eritrean nationalism’s history I can only refer you to a book I found most interesting, one by Prof. T. medhane :Eritrea dynamics of a national question.

      • Kim Hanna

        Mr. Burhan Ali,

        …..stay independent, no matter we like it or not, the real question is are we going to make the best of our inevitable destiny or are we to create hell for each other until doomsday because no one element of the nation is to magically go away?…

        Please explain, the above statement and what is your solution to avoid the creation of hell?


  • Dibe Kulu

    It should not amaze us what the likes of YG and Yebiyo write. They have, for all practical purposes, clearly demonstrated to us on which side of the fence they reside when it comes to whose interest they fight and advocate for!

    What is amazing is why such dedicated Ethiopians are allowed to crowd Eritrean websites with their anti Eritrea propaganda. There are a myriad number of Ethiopian websites befitting their propaganda writings. Let them post their opinions there. That way, Eritrean intellectuals like this writer(B. Ali) can spend their time on a more productive work.

    • Zegeremo


  • Wedi Ere

    [from moderator: The nickname “Wedi Ere” is already taken. Please use another name and repost.]

  • bukretsion

    i read some of (yg)ariticles it’s sweet and true but it should have been written 20 years ago not in 2013 becouse eth is’t interested to make eri part of eth now. what they need is peaceful neighborhood. u fool me once shame on u …