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“OPEN LETTER”: Eritrea Focus Response

Eritrea Focus response to concerns raised about “Building Democracy in Eritrea” conference.

The Eritrea Focus recent conference titled ‘Building Democracy in Eritrea’ aroused responses from various corners, including Awate.com; “The London Conference Stirs Controversy” dated 28 April 2019. The article makes a number of observations about the conference some of which could have been easily dealt with by an email or a phone call from Awate.com to the organisers who would have been more than happy to positively respond. The bottom line for us in Eritrea Focus and indeed for most of our fellow citizens is that we have an enemy within. The critical question then becomes how we work together to remove the enemy and as part of that process, begin to plan for post-regime change. We need and must collectively act urgently to save the very fabric of Eritrean society and ultimately the sovereignty of our country.

Eritrea Focus does not claim to represent the entire Eritrean people. But it endeavours to elevate and expose the suffering of the people by working with as many members of the diaspora and the international community as possible. We are a non-party organisation, ethnically and religiously inclusive, with a clear objective to be transparent in all that we do. In this regard, we believe the aims and objectives of Awate.com, Eritrea Focus and other opposition groups is one and the same.

The “Building Democracy in Eritrea” conference held on 24-25 April in London was organised by Eritrea Focus in partnership with the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London. The aim of the conference was to look ahead to post-Isaias rule, rather than dwell on the past whilst at the same time drawing important lessons from it. Thus, we considered and set out a series of realistic

steps towards addressing the challenges in establishing democracy in Eritrea once the dictatorship of President Isaias comes to an end. The conference sought to encourage robust and constructive discussions on the future of Eritrea, and to utilise the imagination of Eritrean and international experts, in pursuit of this goal.

The conference was forward-looking from the start, and whilst there were some discussions about recent developments on the ground, the primary focus remained marking the start of ongoing dialogue relating to democratic reforms in Eritrea. The conference programme, including details of speakers, moderators, and leaders of discussion sessions, has been published online.

Despite the positive intentions behind the conference, and the productive and enlightening discussions that it engendered, we feel some observers have chosen to make ill-informed and incorrect assumptions about what took place. It is in this light that Eritrea Focus is responding to your article titled “The London Conference Stirs Controversy”.

Firstly, we hold our hands up and regrettably admit the conference was not as inclusive as we would have wished. A perfectly inclusive conference would have been 50:50; gender, faith, age and ELF/EPLF participation. We are not perfect and clearly, we did not achieve that but I assure you it was not for lack of trying. We had a Conference Planning Working Group that met regularly for about 5 months to consider the programme, the composition of professional delegates and speakers. Of the total c. 200 delegates on the original list, about 30 percent were Muslims, slightly more than that were women and considerably fewer were youth. We monitored the numbers at each meet and proactively worked to increase participation of professional and experienced people from all sections of the Eritrean society. Despite our efforts, however, participation by Muslims, women and youth were disappointing. Our view is that there is lack of trust amongst the Eritrean diaspora – a hurdle we must overcome. Youth participation could have been improved, in our view, by holding conference over a weekend rather than weekdays when most of them would be in education or work.

We acknowledge that we still have a long way to go to be truly representative of the full breadth of Eritrean society; particularly with regards to women, faith, ethnic and age groups. Whilst every effort

was made by the Conference Planning Working Group to ensure the diversity of professional delegates and speakers, we accept that we fell short, and spoke openly about this on the second day of the conference.

It is a shame we did not have the pleasure of representation from Awate.com at the conference, despite our invitation to a former member of your leadership team who regrettably declined. That

would have perhaps given us the opportunity to discuss an inclusive participation approach for future conferences. But it is never too late and we welcome Awate.com and others guidance on how we can

improve participation in future conferences.

Secondly, let us respond to what we think are ill-informed and incorrect assertions in your article:

  1. Funding of Eritrea Focus – Eritrea Focus is largely funded by Eritrean members of its Board of Governors, while its day-to-day operations are carried out by volunteers. To supplement our limited resources, we work in partnership with a number of like-minded organisations both here in the UK and internationally.
  2. Statutory accounts – as stated in our website, Eritrea Focus is a company limited by guarantee, hence publishes its statutory accounts with the UK Companies House that ensures the accounts are publicly available.
  3. Funding for the conference – the US National Endowment for Democracy and private donors kindly provided the necessary funding for the conference. The funding sources for the conference were fully explained to delegates as part of our invitation. Once expenditure of the conference is finalised, Eritrea Focus will publish an Income and Expenditure Statement that will be circulated to all conference attendees as promised during the course of the event. The Statement will also be posted on our website for the benefit of wider public interest in line with our stated mission to be open and transparent.
  4. Papers from speakers – the conference organisers identified high calibre and world-renowned Eritrean and international speakers. The speakers were asked and provided in-depth papers, to be produced as output shortly after the conference. The speakers’ papers/output are currently being finalised and will be made available on Eritrea Focus website.
  5. Non-disclosure of delegates names – the ultimate aim of our conference, in this regard, is to increase participation, especially from those with the right skills and experience. In our view disclosure of delegate names would have been an obstacle to achieving our aim. Thus, in the interest of facilitating open discussions in a safe and secure environment for our delegates, participation in the event was by invitation only. For these same reasons, the details of individual delegates will not be disclosed.
  6. The pre-conference press release that we issued makes accurate reference to Ambassador Haile Menkerios who was one of a number of contributors to the conference. Ambassador Haile was due to attend the conference but, due to unforeseen scheduling conflicts, was unable to do so. Like all other speakers, Ambassador Haile prepared a paper for the conference specifically –not a mere ‘note of support’. The paper was read in its entirety on his behalf, and will be published along with the other papers.

The Eritrean Government’s attacks on the conference is less surprising. Their tactics involved unedifying criticism on a British politician who took no part in the conference, character assassination of prominent Eritreans and linking the conference to the TPLF. It is a shame that the conference has been the subject of this misinformed and inaccurate criticism, but Eritrea Focus is aware that challenging the criticism is unlikely to go far with Government officials. Nonetheless, a response addressing the incorrect statements has been issued on the website, and can be viewed here.

In addition to the speaker’s papers and as next steps, the conference has set out a number of strands for which it has identified expert leads to progress over the next few months and ahead of a follow-up conference later this year or early next year. The topics which we hope will form part of a transitional blueprint include: rule of law and administration of justice, rapprochement between Ethiopia and Eritrea, the national economy in an integrating region, Eritrean diaspora working together for the common good of their country, engagement with international democracies and lessons from other countries that transitioned from dictatorship to rule of law. We welcome suggestions from Awate.com and others of professional individuals who are willing and able to contribute in any of these expert groups.

Eritrea Focus is committed to transparency, and our objective to remain open and inclusive is unchanged. We are dedicated to the aims of the conference and will work to progress the commendable outcomes that it has achieved. We welcome constructive criticism.

Eritrea Focus
E: info@eritrea-focus.org
Website: www.eritrea-focus.org
Postal Address: 2 Thorpe Close, London W10 5XL, UK

About Habte Hagos

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  • Nitricc

    Hi All; I know most of you on this forum are allergic to Eritrean independence day; never the less, it is what it is! Eritrean independence day fast approaching. The scarifies that are made by our fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters is simply amazing. looking at this person’s picture, it speaks to the level of sacrifices was made to make the nation. when you need to sleep!!!

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D5_I-UNVUAAWLgq.jpg

  • Berhe Y

    Dear Dr. Habte,

    The one and mail obvious comment that I would like to make is, I think it’s gross oversight that you did not invite Saleh Gadi and Awate. I know you said former Awate member.

    The reason I say that, Awate abd Saleh have been at the center and leading the fight of dictator ship in Eritrea abd Saleh has been a pioneer in creating a healthy space to accommodate different views and bridge the gap. I think his views and opinions will benefit your forum as well as Eritrea future democracy building institution.

    Let’s face it, if it wasn’t for Awate and few dedicated souls, Isayas Afreworki would have won in silencing the people and burying the truth.

    At the same time, there has been some public controversy in the past where some of the attendee probably have some knowledge and experiences and it would have helped as learning opportunity for these and future conferences.

    In the process I think the big picture is lost in tradition and instead we spend valuable time and energy in other travail matters.

    With regards,
    Berhe

  • Yohannes Zerai

    Dear All,

    The “Open Letter” by Habte Hagos raises more questions than it provides answers. There are so many questions that can be asked and issues that can be pointed to; but, I will throw in just a few of each here (with perhaps more to follow later):

    1. The author sees the problem of lack of diversity that characterized their conference, acknowledges it, regrets it but does not seem to try to find out why it was there in the first place. As things stand, there is no guarantee that this bedeviling problem will not again rear its ugly head at the follow-up conference Mr. Habte tells us will be held a few months hereafter.

    2. The whole arrangement for the conference was immersed in an air-of-exclusivity and it is really an oxymoron to ask why participants lacked diversity. The conference was designed to have: (i) “world-renowned, Eritrean and international speakers” to set the tone for the conference and guide its deliberations, and (ii) “professional and experienced people from all sections of the Eritrean society” and specifically “those with the right skills and experience“ as participants. This is as “exclusive”and “restrictive” as gatherings come!

    ‘Eritrea Focus’ strove to assemble the crème de la crème of “Eritrean society” and then they pull their hair out trying to determine why the conference could not be made more diverse! The lack of diversity probably started right at the so-called “Conference Planning Working Group” whose composition — though, of course, not specified by Mr. Habte — is more likely to be a reflection of the quality/kind of speakers & participants that its members toiled to assemble.

    3. Many subsidiary questions flow from Item #2 above:
    a) Is it honest, or even realistic, to claim that efforts were made “to increase participation of professional and experienced people” — not to mention the particular targeting of “those with the right skills and experience“ among them — “from all sections of the Eritrean society”? Are we talking about our own Eritrea here and implying professional skills and experience abound in ALL SECTIONS of its society? Let us sober up please!
    b) Why was it necessary for ‘Eritrea Focus’ to organize such a “gathering of luminaries”? Is it because such “luminaries” were need to accomplish the task that the organization claims has been its goal, or they were need to impress the partner/sponsor (Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London) and/or the funding organization (US National Endowment for Democracy)?

    4. Given the quality of the selected/invited participants (as characterized in the Open Letter), one gets the impression that they were assembled to take up a narrowly-defined, highly-specialized and extremely important task that requires the highest skill levels — such as policy formulation (as some comments have already suggested), a critical economic issue, a major development project, etc. – rather than to do a “People’s Project” of bringing about a decent level of democratic reform to a country suffering under tyrannical dictatorship.

    5. The Open Letter repeatedly refers to the people who attended the conference as “professional delegates” and “individual delegates”. There is no indication in the letter that the attendees (i) represented groups or institutions and (ii) were elected by constituents or interest groups. So, would it not be accurate to refer to them as “participants” than to call them ”delegates”? Or was the term “delegates” chosen perhaps for its ‘grandiosity effect’ or as self-promotion!

    Thank you.

    • Haile S.

      Selam Yohannes,

      I thought the guy behind the camera that took the images of some of those familiar faces was You! :-). Then who attended? I am not asking for names. Going along your interrogations, just wondering on this sentence of Habte Hagos that says “Our view is that there is lack of trust amongst the Eritrean diaspora – a hurdle we must overcome.” May be he didn’t want to divulge the reasons given by desisters, may be some other reason. But, going forward, I agree with you, adding some transparency would help in visualizing the visibility of the upcoming meeting in making it, at least, more positive than the ‘déjà vu’ that everyone expects. And I hope Habte Hagos answers you directly on this forum.

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Selam Yohannes,

      Your argument # 5 fly in the face of the author hopefully to correct him from characterizing the “participants” as “delegates”. “Delegates” represent something (organizations or Social groups or section of a society…etc…etc) while “participants” represent themselves only. Whether he used the “term” purposely or not, he must come clean with the nature how the participants participated in the conference. Good catch, brother.

      Regards

      • Haben

        Selam Amanuel,
        I do not understand the obsession with a group that had hosted a conference in the name of change. As long as they do not claim that they are formed to represent Eritrea in the future, anyone should be encouraged to create form and discuss the future of the nation. I think we are putting the cart before the horse in this scenario. Our objective should be how to unify these different groups and accelerate the removal of the mole in ER. However, it seems that we are giving oxygen to PFDJ apologist by bringing the issue again and again.
        Thanks

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Selam Haben,

          Since we are talking politics that includes its deceitful nature as well as its art how to resolve conflicts and contradiction, I am watchful on words and concepts applied by authors in their messages. Actually, I did not comment on the open letter of “Focus Eritrea” and the nature of their conference, once they admitted the lack of inclusiveness of the conference.

          In the short comment I made for in response to Yohannes, I was acknowledging to him indirectly my failure to pick up on the inappropriate term “delegate” used by the author to describe to the nature of the participants, which they aren’t. Simply, I was appreciating Yohannes “keen eyes for detail” and reiterated the point he made. It was simple to notice my message, but you couldn’t. Keep up your inquisitive to know and to question.

          Regard

      • Ted

        Hi Aman,
        Any concerned Eritrean has the right to form any group. At this critical point in our history we should not waste our time bashing one another.

        These intellectuals have started something good. Please use your Sharp mind, vast experience and wealth of knowledge to good use by joining them.

        Hope to see you alongside them soon

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Selam Ted,

          Welcome back brother after a long hiatus from Awate forum. Good to see you back. As they have admitted the lack of inclusiveness of the conference (which I appreciate them in recognizing it), that remains still my concern. There is no sin to have a conference as a group, but I could assure you that there is no unity without big umbrella to our rainbows. I have been advocating for “big umbrella” to our rainbows for the last three decades – an umbrella for all “political persuasion” and all “social groups” of our make ups. I will strive to see it happened.

          For the purpose to our discussion, in the hope to make my point resonate in the mind of the forumers, l would like to bring as metaphor the concept of “unity developer” in the quest of our unity. Unity developer is “an umbrella term for many types of creators”. Jon Horvath identified four essential skills for unity developers (a) scoping (b) smart use of assets (c) programming (d) focusing on future.

          Now I could make a parallel argument to “our unity and our struggle” visa vis as to what our conferences should entail not only in “purpose” but also in “accommodating” our diversity to look a “whole” as united entity to extricate our people from the yoke of the tyrant. What should be the four essentials for “unity conference” in the current struggle?

          (a) scoping: to increase the scope of the political game, it demand “inclusion” and “unity” of the players in the fight.

          (b) Smart use of intellectual assets: we need a “representative” intellectual assets in our conferences that reflect our diversity and our unity. The more our intellectual and our elites divided in to groups, the more the division reflect in the entire population. Therefore their unity in “purpose and action” is a prerequisite in the current struggle.

          (c) Programming: once our intellectuals united on purposes in principle, then they can come with a a program and roadmap that unite us in the struggle.

          (d) Focusing on bright future: our unity and the potential intellectual assets of Eritrea will set the “bright future” of Eritrea.

          In conclusion, we have been so wrong in the way we do to actualize our “hopes and dreams” as people of one nation. When the “different parts” of our knowhows are not united and synchronized in a team work to extricate our people from the tyrant, it makes me sickened. I hope “Eritrea Focus” will learn from their deficiencies and correct their approach in their future projects. Admitting their shortcomings is first step. It is a good start.

          Regard

          • Ismail AA

            Salam Aman,

            Thanks for sharing essential operational ingredients for organizing and building broadly representative national framework that has eluded the Eritrean liberation movement through all phases since the beginning. It has continued into post liberation life of our people. All attempts thus far have been failures. The ENCDC has been the latest of them.

            This was very costly during the armed struggle wasting lives, resources and time. This was due to reliance on force, and negation of common sense and dialogue. The kernel driver of that ruinous approach was commitment to reaching for the throne at the citadel of power. The sitting despot was one and winner champion in that unwholesome experience of our nation. The preset national endeavor to end his despotic regime has been suffering from the same malaise. The resourceful among the elites have carried on the disease to haunt the Eritrean arena as it during the liberation war era – power stupid.

            Those who came forward to get involved pegged their commitment to the cause by quantifiable probabilities to provide their services to the nation; they wanted rewards that would places at the apex of power. Such egoistic competion unleash wars among the ambitious before showing readiness to embark on the actual work. We have been experiencing this bursting at congress venues such as in 2011 in Hawassa, Ethiopia, as well as at minor zonal gatherings. The competions, at the present, take publicity and civilian form and use of tools as opposed to the past when arms were used in which innocent fighters lost lives as cannon fodder.

            Thus, unless these two destructive human follies and propensities – sickness of power – give way to new tendencies that root themselves in genuine patriotism that transcends sectionalization of society, I am afraid the vicious circle will stay on alive and well. If this will continue, we be witnessing what we have seen in the past decades; just isolated, but sometime well orchestrated and funded, meetings that lose lust and appeal in no time grey cloud on the horizon of a hot summer day. If I may use a layman’s analogy, it is like rain falling on slopes of a terrain but scant enough not collect water to form streams to flow to a river bed, which stay dry. The scattered gathering here and there would disperse and the much aspired national collective framework will stay dry and empty.

            Hence, the point that drove me to type cursory these lines is that the four notions you have shared could be helpful if adopted in good faith and with patriotic commitment by the capable and the resourcesful among our elites, especially the younger sections among them. Perhaps, those four notions could get bountiful efforts and form streams that could feed streams that could form the national political-organizational framework in which the diverse interests be, that communal or lesser groups, coalesce and harmonize to shatter the reinforced. concrete wall of mistrust the despot has erected.

            Thanks Aman H.for sharing thought and reflection provoking notions.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Ismailo,

            In politics it is not uncommon people to find some points of difference from here and there, even if they are from the same ideological persuasion. With you my friend, I have yet to find one since we met in this virtual awate forum. I don’t know on your side. But from my side, it is pretty like “a click of a key in a lock” in the “reflection and absorption” of our ideas. It is not common, and never happened in my long political life. It sounds strange. But so far it is how I found it.

            regards

          • Ted

            Hi Aman,
            Please join these group and continue advocating for true inclusiveness. I am on your side nd we together will make it happen

        • Gerogee

          Hi TED

          You said, “This intellectuals started something good.” I really don’t know what the criteria is to become an intellectual and I really don’t care. Doesn’t it bother you that the so-called intellectuals Gathering was funded National Endowment for democracy, a CIA front? Where is their commitment. If somebody have to pay for your meeting then you really don’t care about the meeting, especially one that involves your Homeland.

          And you want unhinged , Woyane advocate, Amanuel Hidrat to join you huh. Talk about severe shortage of Common Sense.

    • Lamek

      Selam YZ:
      Please try to look at the big picture and do not munch on someone’s accusations of Eritrea Focus for not including enough individuals of a certain religion. It’s unbelievable to me that a highly intelligent person like yourself goes on accusations of any group of individuals trying to help Eritrea. You may question their mandate and what their priorities are and what’s on the top list of their agenda but to accuse them of being all men of this color that language that profession etc. is below your level. As long as anyone can bring change and that change will not continue the status quo, particularly the Ghedli mentality of slaving people for zero compensation, we should all be up for that change inducer. I sense jealousy of some individuals for not being invited. In the end, they have to be legitimized, prove their moral and legal authority if they were to be in any positions of influence in post IA Eritrea. What the group is composed of is immaterial. They are free to make any group and make their case to the Eritrean people. I advise you to do the same.

      • Yohannes Zerai

        Hello Lamek,

        Thank you for your comment and for the advice you offered. Unfortunately you seem to have read what is not written. Let us find out what exactly your beef is with my earlier comment:

        1. I never said anything about, or even mentioned the words, “color”, “religion” in my comment. Go, read my post again. What I did mention (as I opined about that general subject) is the “lack of diversity” of participants at the conference. Not only was that same phrase used by Mr. Habte Hagos himself in his Open Letter, but he acknowledged it as having been true of conference participants and he apologized for it. (Please go re-read the Open Letter). So, it is evident that you are simply trying to make an issue out of nothing on this one!

        2. Regarding other points in my comment: I certainly did not repeat or allude to anything anyone else may have said or written about the points of the Open Letter I commented upon. I simply expressed my opinions, as I am entitled to, on those points and presented my reasoning for each.

        You certainly have the right to disagree with my statements and reasoning and even to rebut them if you want. But, for some reasons, the comment I just explained did not sit well with you! God knows why! Given the above facts, it is beyond me how you can ask me in a paternalistic tone to “not munch on someone’s accusations of Eritrea Focus …”

        3. You stated in you rejoinder: “I sense jealousy of some individuals for not being invited.” If that is by any chance directed at me, rest assured that I would not for the life of me see myself being part of them; and I know that they will never ever want me to come close – all for reasons that you do not seem ready to understand!

        Thank you.

        • Lamek

          Selam YZ:
          Okay, fair enough. I stand corrected on all points. I assumed your writing was influenced by another writing but it appears like your comment was based on your own unbiased assessment of Mr. Hagos’s article and other information published by Eritrea Focus.

        • Haile S.

          Selam Yohannes,

          Please allow me this comment.
          You said “…rest assured that I would not for the life of me see myself being part of them; and I know that they will never ever want me to come close – all for reasons that you do not seem ready to understand!”. You might have said it from extreme humility, and knowing you from your writings here, wouldn’t surprise me. But your choice of words demonstrate the existence of extremely serious problems among educated Eritrean that exclude one another based on criteria that they themselves know, almost an Omerta. If this is not related to the cursed academophilia (reserved domain), provided your background is not in social sciences, why not burst the abscess instead of caressing it?

          • Ismail AA

            Selam Haile S,

            You trespassed into forbidden terrain. Yohannes may have been a victim, as many do, of the culture of sectionalism that pervades our society. Exclusivity and status seeking ego is very much evident among the elites. So, bursting “the abscess” at this time would be stepping into insulated from criticism area that can make his plight worse.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Hailat,
            Sometimes it is helpful to tell the truth as it is. We can keep insulated the past mistakes/crimes because of fear of societal division. But aren’t we already divided? Didn’t Issayas and his enablers characterized ELF a bunch of jihadist Muslims to divide the Eritrean people. Save few, but didn’t the so called Eritrean academia class were clapping for him and his agendas, until he started to go after them? Didn’t they contribute to the current problem and the predicament of our people in general? What did you want to burst?

          • Haile S.

            Selam Emma,

            You swiftly turned to your own preferred abscess, so to speak. That one is already burst. It just is not yet well cauterized. What Yohannes hinted at and Ismail alluded to appears dangerous. If I had a full grasp of it, I would burst it. But I prefer to ask for clarification than speculating.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Hailat,

            Can we agree that we don’t have good politicians who could cauterize the oozing social wounds by giving the attention needed? Can we, Hailat?

          • Haile S.

            Absolutely! ንሕምቶ ዶ ሕቶ 🙂

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Hailat,

            Then, that is why I am always against deceptive platitudinal approaches that doesn’t go to the heart of our problem. However, you never failed to critic my positions,

            Regard

          • Haile S.

            Emma,

            It is not about platitude on my part. If you are asking me to always see things with your own binocular, it is not going to happen.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Hailat,

            Actually, I am not asking to look everything with my binoculars. Not at all. I will be naive to do that having lived with Eritrean politics for decades. My critic for “platitudinal approach” in my comment was for those who tried to present “platitudinous solutions” to our problems, and wasn’t mean to you, for I haven’t seen any prescription from your side. It was a general critic for the solution seekers.

            Regards

          • Haile S.

            Emma,
            You seem to have an axe to grind. Okay next time you want to divert what I said to ELF-EPLF dichotomy and ask me what else there is under the sun, I am going to keep quite and not criticize.

          • Ismail AA

            Selam Haile S.,

            Would like to do me a favour and read my note addressed to Aman H.? Just replace his name by your own, and the content will be fine. If you do this, I will consider it a gift on this long fasting day because you helped me not to retype the same content again.

          • Haile S.

            Selam Ismail,

            What to say? Just simply thank you. The refinement is truely in you. When I read you, the exemplary way you do it, immediately your polar opposite (the legendary IA) comes to mind. Sorry for the mix-up, it is just for contrast. Where did Eritrea miss it. Where are the leaders with a Persian carpet tongue like you?
            My quarrel with Emma is out of equally deep respect that I have for him and expectation as well; my own. Sometimes I get mad on him without answering him, but doesn’t last a day. I come on him at the slightest opportunity. It is like our old game ኣደራራዕ። I will try to wear very spongy gloves full of Angora mohair next time :-).

          • Saleh Johar

            Hi Haile and Emma,
            I have the urge to interject.
            I am sure you remember the worst thing that happened to the Eritrean opposition was the split of the ELF-RC that happened in the aftermath of the meeting it held in Gondar. It’s no secrete I favored it to any other organization because I knew it inside out, I have many friends in the two sections, and it was a powerhouse of intellectual, patriotic, and resilient compatriots. In short, it had maintained its cohesion when others were dwindling in number of memberships and presence.

            Here at awate, seeing the late Ahmed Nasser and the late Seyoum Harestay in two different camps was the most painful experience. And we were so alarmed that we organized a small team to try to mend the fences to no avail. The gap created was more than our tiny team could handle. We failed in several attempts. Then we identified the most reasonable and influential people in the two camps to try to engage them in a dialogue. Ismail was one the top people identified as an intellectually astute, reasonable, and rich in experience. And my testimony is that he didn’t beat around the bush–it didn’t take him time to respond positively expressing his willingness to engage. However, for reasons I will hold for now, the attempt to reconcile the two camps didn’t go any further. And we sustained a cruel blow. The rest is history.

            So, this is a glimpse of the Ismail you are debating and anyone who reads his comments cannot reach any other conclusion but what you have reached.

            Sorry Ismail you might not like the spot I am directing at you. But sometimes such testimonies are needed so that those who do not know you can realize the who-is-who. I have an immense respect for you and the few of your caliber.

          • Ismail AA

            Hayak Allah Saleh,

            Ah! Saleh. It still pains me and could not recuperate. I spent several sleepless nights trying to persuade the then disputing camps to accept the goodwill mediation effort you led in the name of this great web site. I insisted in vain that Awate.com was not doing it not for the sake of Saleh Jowhar’s personal end, but in the interest of the opposition in the context of circumstances a that prevailed at the time. My principal interlocutor you might remember was a common friend who had our unqualified respect for his person and role in our struggle.

            Unfortunately, he happened to be the mover and shaker of his side. As you noted, we came from the congress in Gonder with clear vision of how to deal with the ramifications the border war could unleash. The leadership (I declined to be in it which I later regretted) had crystal clear mandate of how to calibrate its interest as stakeholder with the national interest as priority.

            But, we fell victims of characteristic ድርቅናን ኣጉል ኒሕን and proved myopic in discriminating the principal from marginal, and estabished ourselves loyal worhippers of misplaced egos and ambitions as elitist arrogance wanted us to do.

            In retrospect, we met, shaked hands and chatted (lamented) on our failure that by extension failed the opposition. Belated cry strains the eyes due to draught of tears. T.hat is what I do when ever my thoughts go to that sad period of my career. Thank you Saleh.

          • Ismail AA

            Selam Haile and Aman H.,

            Thanks guys; both of you quenched (spiritually) my thirst before few hours to breaking today’s fast. Haile, what a fitting expression: አድራራዕ! You reminded me of my childhood and early adolescence days when we used to play it after the bride returned to her family home. Yours and Aman’s case like mutual turns of ደራዕን ተድራዕን. I admire you for using knowledge as a means to deepen in culture extract its beauty.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Hailat,

            I have never been angry by you, even the benign one. May be my reaction to your comment sounds like that, but I assure you that I am not. Even sometimes with our differences, I enjoyed you for somehow I always have something for a take home. We don’t have to quarrel each other on our difference, for a simple reason that our difference do sharpens our minds. Take it easy my friend.

            Regards

          • Ismail AA

            Selam Aman H

            You should not mind, as I shouldn’t as well. Criticisms from compatriots like Haile are like cures and massages for the mind; they may at times be a little bitter like some good dose of medicine which should be pushed in with extra water or take them with relaxed muscles when on a table of massage parlor. When we tolerate coarse assaults from unrefined minds here in this forum, why shouldn’t we accept, and with relish and flavor, criticisms from refined minds of people like Haile. I would encourage them for more.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Ismailo & Hailat,

            Ismailo: I am not against critics . I was stating simply that Hailat is always my critic and am appreciative for doing that and for all intent and purposes to know the other side of argument.

            Hailat: I don’t have an axe to grind against your views or your critics. You are here to debate and to share your views. In the event you saw the EPLF-ELF dichotomy (which is still the case in many instances, b/c the Eritrean politics is influenced by them) and you don’t want to go in to it, it is fine with me. However, no matter how we tried to avoid that, until the young generation took the stock of our nation, it will continue to surface frequently in our debate.

            Regards

          • Alex

            Hi Ema,
            Why are we talking about ELF-EPLF in 2019. We know both front fought for liberation of Eritrea and they deserve our gratitude. But most of people in my age and younger are past that rivalry between both and looking forward for the young generation to lead the country forward.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Alex,

            I look forward our young generation to lead. To do that, young generation like “yourself” should start to stop defending the regime and its party. Until then it is what it is.

          • Gerogee

            Hi aman

            Alex, at least is defending an Eritrean entity. You are glorifying and parroting an entity that is enemy of Eritrean people, Woyane.

            Thing funny thing is you actually think are on the right side. I’m sure somebody else I’ve told you before you are the best thing that can ever happen to Eritrean government.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Gerogee,

            Your worshipping to DIA will end with the expiration of DIA. That is for fact. Since you can not live without a political altar, we will find some one to worship after him. Don’t worry Gerogee, I promise you. BTW are the same person my friend George?

            Regards

          • Gerogee

            Hi Aman

            Yes I am aware he is mortal. Thanks for stating the obvious. And yes I am the old George.

          • Yohannes Zerai

            Hello Haile S.,

            Thank you for your comment above. As you may probably have gathered from reading some of my earlier responses to others, my participation at the forum comes in discrete spurts which vary both in their duration and in the length of “dry” spells that separate them. Today was no different and much of the day was taken up by my pressing responsibilities at work, but when I finally got around to logging on and checking out the forum’s debates of the day, I discovered that I had missed a lot of good stuff.

            I figured that, given the deliberately vague statement I made in a previous comment, you seemed to be wondering what it all meant and — if I understood you correctly — suggested that I bring it out to the open if a serious problem was at the root of the statement. But initially, what concerned me most was the fact that your rejoinder to my comment had somehow triggered a sort of a ‘tit-for-tat’ argument between Amanuel and yourself. Luckily, my concern quickly dissipated as my reading advanced through the interesting three-way exchange between you, Amanuel and Ismailo.

            I soon realized that this was, in fact, a situation where “Amanuel and you sparred with each other, with Ismailo refereeing the encounter,” — and you all ended it by reaching an understanding among yourselves as rational people often do! Finally, SGJ joined in the closing with a narration of an interesting piece of history that, I presume, brought back memories for those of you who played part in that history!

            Back to the remark of mine that started it all. Admittedly, the statement has (to an extent) been burdened by inappropriate choice of words, but no malice was intended by it. The experiences that prompted the remark are too personal to be revealed here, but I can assure you they are not important enough to even come close to constituting a cause for concern vis-a-vis substantive relations/solidarity within the opposition movement. But, thank you for your concern anyways.

          • Haile S.

            Selam Yohannes,

            Thank you for your response and clarification. No worries, I completely understand the lack of time. Please continue coming to the forum, you have a lot of insight to bring into. We come to Awate parliament and pretend to be politicians (I am talking of myself and perhaps some others who are not by profession or will) because we don’t have one and we cannot elect our representatives in our homeland. Therefore, we are here to nag those of you we think are politico-social thinkers and leaders to be the ideal parliamentarians we aspire to have. If we (at least myself) ask you hard questions and reproach you, it is in this optics. Having said that I completely understand each of us have things that we better keep buried if not bringing solutions when out, especially the personal ones. Bursting the abscess is necessary when it prevents the different social muscles to moves, otherwise there are many circumstances where resorbing it (when possible) is chosen. In fact, contrary to the physiological gut that absorbs the essential nutrients and throws the useless, we need politicians and leaders with political guts that keenly absorbs the dangerous social poisons and give to the public the essential elements necessary for social harmony, isn’t it for this reason good politicians die of nasty sudden organ failures?

          • Yohannes Zerai

            Dear Haile S.,

            I thank you so much for the kind words although, honestly, I am far less deserving of them than you made me out to be. Your gesture is all the more touching having been extended with a great sense of humility.

            I also greatly appreciate the words of wisdom you offered; I am sure they will serve as a source of inspiration for me and for many others (at least here at Awate Forum, if not elsewhere). Thank you again!

      • Nitricc

        As long as anyone can bring change and that change will not continue the status quo, particularly the Ghedli mentality of slaving people for zero compensation, we should all be up for that change inducer

        Hi Lamek; what do you mean by “anyone”? please clarify.

        • Lamek

          Nitricc, I know that’s a trick question. TPLF is not included. Anyone = any Eritrean individual or group. How about those who are financed by TPLF? Count them out.

    • Ted

      Hi Jon,

      Do you have any constractive criticisim on the contents of the papers presented by the participats.
      As to the composition (religious,region.etc…) of the participats is secondary…
      This people never claim to represent anyone. It is their right to be a member of any group. If you want please organise one confrence like this and gather people you only like or think are good enough as long as they are Eritrean s. We the commen people will judge your work based on the substance not which religious group you belong to or what language you speak.

      • Yohannes Zerai

        Selam Ted,

        Thank you for your short, but subtleties-loaded comment.

        I read you loud and clear; I have pretty much figured out where you are coming from and where you are going with your comment! Okay, let me try to respond to your questions, advice and statements in the order in which you presented them in your comment:

        * – Of course I have ‘constructive criticisms’, but I thought I presented them in the comment to which you just responded. Given my limited ability and the amount of time I could devote to the task, those few ideas were all I could share. But if you have found the contents of my comment offensive and/or disappointing (or perhaps useless), I offer my apologies (and I mean it with all sincerity)! No malice was intended by my comment and I am sorry if it was perceived to the contrary.

        * – I offered my ‘constructive criticisms’ on the organization for and attendance of the London Conference based on the information that the official of ‘Eritrea Focus’ provided in his article. Needless to say, one does not need to have read the papers that were presented at the conference in order to be able to comment on how it was organized and what the attendance was like! Don’t you agree?

        * – I appreciate the two statements you made about the organizers & attendees of the London Conference, and I have no quarrel with the points you are trying to make.

        * – Thank you for your suggestion — not really sure if it is! — that I organize a conference and invite my “buddies” to it. You may not know this, but I have neither the talent nor the wherewithal to organize one myself. But I assure you that my politically like-minded compatriots will pretty soon organize a conference to which they will invite not their “buddies”, as you proposed, but Eritrean activists who are dedicated to the cause of bringing freedom, democracy and justice to their country!

        * – You ‘declared’ in your comment that you are a ‘common man’. Wow, Glad to hear; me too! So you and I, in fact, belong to the same class and we can be “buddies”! That gives me a chance to tell you a little about myself: I am as common a person — and more precisely, as common an Eritrean — as can be, and I feel great pride and tremendous delight in being so! That identity and those feelings are all I own. So please, do not try to take them away from me literally or figuratively!

        Finally, let me leave you with something to think about. There have been some commenters at this forum who showed extreme sensitivity and defensiveness (if not outright hostility) vis-a-vis others who honestly tried to express their views about the subject at hand. Those who displayed those irrational tendencies were doing so not even on their own behalf, but on behalf of ‘Eritrea Focus’ whose official projected an attitude diametrically opposed to those sentiments. In his “Open Letter”, the gentleman rightly, politely and, in my opinion, honestly invited readers to offer ‘constructive criticisms’ on his organization and its programs.

        Thank you.

  • Ismail AA

    Selam tSAtSE,

    Sorry for delayed response.

    Ambiguity is the mother of discord that feeds as malignant tumor in to a wall of mistrust. As you might have noted from my brief comment, the items envisaged to be contents for transition blueprint jumps over the core issue of the change I, as an Eritrean, aspire.

    Unless the kind of governance post regime state of Eritrea can be constructively debated at an inclusive platform, and thereby, a consensus reached, all the things the gentleman of Eritrea Focus had cited make no sense. Shunning the core issue and focusing on issues related to policy matters suggests preservation of the status quo – just some reforms and change realized kind of scenario. Once there is accord on the essential core issue of governance, other things like funding etc. can be discussed. It would be matter of choice.

  • Gerogee

    Dear Mich….lemk…

    In 1952 USA was the major force behind Ethiopian annexation of Eritrea. Since then USA has been helping Ethiopia fight Eritrea non stop. USA using it vast resources have made both overtly and covertly to overthrow the Eritrean government. The London meeting was a continuation of unrelenting an unwarranted interference by National Endowment for democracy(NED).

    As I have stated in the past NED is not NGO. It is CIA. NED main goal is overthrow any government so they can install a puppet government that benefits the global Mafia corporate. anybody who thinks this is just something to be brushed off it’s either not Eritrean, are responsible Eritrean or simply ignorant. Either way such person has no place in Eritrea politics. working with National Endowment for democracy should be considered a treason.

    if any return things that they need a regime change they need to do it themselves. If somebody has to pay for your plane tickets and hotel you’re not serious. You’re not committed enough. You are a paid agent. You’re not an organic movement. You exist at the mercy of Eritrea number one enemy.

    it is absolutely mind-boggling to think a country that spent billions of dollars in the last 60 years to destroy Eritrea turn around spend money to build democracy. This is just a common sense. if he are really committed to your cause that you don’t need anybody to pay for your ticket and meal and hotel..

    • Berhe Y

      Hi Georgee,

      This would be funny, if it’s not the way you under estimate the Eritrean people ability to think and reason.

      Do you actually think we are the ship in “animal farm” that people will believe you blindly,
      USA ..Bad,
      CIA very bad..
      NED…, very, very Bad.

      IA…Good..
      IA…very Good…
      IA ….very, very, Good.

      ከምይ ዝበልካ ሓንጎል ደርሆ ኢኻ፡፡ አንታ ናይ ንትሪክ ከፊኡና እንተበልና፡ ናይዚ ድማ ገደደና፡፡

      Every trick you have tried is failing you..you can’t get the people to sway …

      Weyane, TPLF, Sudan, Al Bashir, Qatar, Jihad, Turkey, the Catholic Church, Al Daya School, USA, CIA, NED…

      ከምይ ዝበልካ ሓንጎል ደርሆ ኢኻ፡፡ አንታ ናይ ንትሪክ ከፊኡና እንተበልና፡ ናይዚ ድማ ገደደና፡፡

      ሓንቲ ሰበይቲ፡ አደ ንእሽቶ ህጻን ነበረት፡፡ እቲ ቆልዓ ይሓምም እሞ፡ ኩሉ ነገር ትፍትን፡፡ እንዳ ሓኪም፡ አንዳ ሚኑቹፐ፣ እንዳ ሶራ፡ ጸበል ተገበረት፡ ቅዱስ ሚካኢል፡ መድሃኔ አለም ስእሎ ተሰቀለት፡ ዋላ ዝገበረት እንተገበረት ክሓዊ አይከአለን፡፡ ሽዑ ሓንቲ ጎረበታ ትብላ፡ ኩሉ ፈቲንኪ ስለ ዘይጠቀሞ፡ ናብ እንዳ ሓበሻ ዘይትፍትኒ ትብላ፡ እሞ አታ ሰበይቲ ናብ ሓደ ጠንቃላይ ትወስዶ፡፡

      እቲ ጠንቃልይ ይብላ ነዛ ሰበይቲ፡ ኩሉ ጌርኪ ክሓዊ ስለ ዘይከአለስ፡ ናይ ሸይጣን ስእሊ አብ መድቀሲኡ ስቀሉሉ ይብላ፡፡

      እዛ ሰበይቲ ደልያ ደልያ፡ ስእሊ ናይ ሸይጣን ክትረክብ አይከአለትን፡፡ ናይ ኢሰያስ አፈወርቂ ስእሊ ትረክብ እሞ፡ እዋ አነ ዘረኽቦ ዘይብለይ ኢላ፡ ናይ ኢሰያስ ስእሊ ትስቅል፡ ደይ ንሱ ካብ ሸይጣን ይገድድ ትብል ንነብሳ፡፡

      እዚ ቆልዓ ምሉእ ለይቲ ስቕ ኢሉ ይሓድር እሞ፡ ንሳ ድማ ገለ ግዲ እዚ ናይ ሓበሻ ጠቂሙዎ ኢላ ትሓስብ፡፡ ንግሆ ከይዳ ትረእዮ እሞ፡ መስኪናይ ቆልዓ ሞይቱ ይሓድር፡፡

      እዛ አደ ተልቅስ ተልቅስ እሞ፡ ደሓር እቲ ቆልዓ ምስ ተቀብረ፡ ናብቲ ጦንቃላይ ትኸይድ፡ እሞ ከምዚ ትብሎ፡፡

      አታ ከመይ ዝበሉኻ ኢኻ፡፡ ንስኻ ስእሊ ስቀሊ ኢልካኒ እነ ስእሊ እንተሰቀልኩስ ወደይ አብ ክንዲ ዝሓዊ፡ ሞይቱ ሓዲሩ ትብሎ፡፡ እቲ ጠንቃላይ ተገሪሙ፡ እዚ ኩሉ ግዜ ይሰርሕ እዩ፡፡ እስኪ እቲ ዝሰቀልክዮ ስእሊ አርእይኒ ይብላ እሞ፡ ናይ ኢሰያስ አፈውርቂ ስእሊ ተርእዮ፡፡

      እነ እኮ ናይ ሸይጣን እየ ኢለኪ እምበርይ ናይ ኢሰያስ አይበልኩኽን፡፡ እዚስ ካብ ሸይጣን እንዶ ይገድድ ትብሎ፡፡

      እቲ ጠንቃልይ ድማ፡ አወ ይገድድ፡ እዚ ካብ ዓቅኑ ንላዕሊ ስለ ዝኾነ ክጻወሮ አይከአሎን፡፡ ብኢንግሊዝ እንታይ ይበሃል መስለኪ (ኦቨር ዶስ – overdose ) ኢኪ ገርክዮ፡፡

      Berhe

      • Gerogee

        Hey Berhe

        Oh wow ….you mean to tell me CIA is not bad? TPLF is good? Thanks for telling me buddy I did not know that. I’m glad you are open about it.

        Blink pls take a note.

        • Berhe Y

          Hi Georgee,

          You have no idea what I just said right?

          Berhe

          • Gerogee

            Hi Berhe

            No no I do. I’m perfectly aware where you coming from buddy. You are my favorite person on this website you know that right

          • Berhe Y

            ፋልሶ ፡ ፋልሶ ሰልዲ ጥልያን

      • Desbele

        Hi Berhe,
        Weird creatures Fishmilk, Nitricc, Blink , George and now Gerogee are here to distract. They are completely detached from the Eritrean culture and mindset. Even their pen names are weird.
        YIAKEL is moving forward. Focus on the solution. No need to wake up every zombie who sold its soul for the devil.

        • Berhe Y

          Dear Desbele,

          I agree completely..

          Berhe

    • Mez

      Good day Gerogee,

      I recommend you to change your name to: the clever guy from Eritrean mountains–with a little bit of confused world-politics outlook, and never crossed the world of science any time in his/her life.

      Thanks

      • Gerogee

        Hi mez

        One favor deserves another. I’m also going to name you, Turtle, you post generic, Mainstream ideas, straight from the mouthpiece of the zionists control media, highly condensed and cryptic and retract your head for 3 Days. Like you are scared.

        What science are you talkin about? There is absolutely nothing that indicates you apply science. On the contrary, there’s a lot of evidence I suggest you stuck in the 80s. And you have chosen to live and make-believe world other created for you.

        • Mez

          Dear Gerogee,

          Not as simple as you think, black and white.

          Thanks

    • Ted

      Hi George

      1.Do you really believe your claim that the American government wants to change the “government ” in Eritrea?
      2. And the Mighty US army is unable to do no 1 above because the Regime in Eritrea is so strong…
      Do you really believe these…..

      • Simon Kaleab

        Selam Ted,

        The Eritrean government walks and talks like a superpower, but it knows it is not. On the other hand, its believers take every word literally as in a cult.

  • Selamat,

    The most revealing front page article in the month of April is Professor Araya Debesay’s titled Enough is Enough: What is next? It is revealing because 1. it incorporates or claims of own the Enough/YiAAkil/Kifaya grass roots movement. The article, which was a paper presented at the London Conference, chose the crying mantra single word “Enough” as a title, perhaps an effort to ride the rapid waves of the global movement. 2. It failed to generate any meaningful focused discussion on the blue print of the way forward or “what is next?”, more like what are the next necessity steps to accomplish the stated goal of the movement?
    The irony is not lost in that though the single word mantra “Enough” is an implicit full phrase expression “Enough to PFDJ!”, as in “can’t take another bleep from the PFDJ”, Dr. Debessay’s declarative manifesto, the road map to the success of the declared mission to building democracy in Eritrea, did not manage to solicit or budge many discussants from the previous, possibly record breaking commentaries, article’s thread. Inclusiveness! PFDJ will have a seat and more of PFDJ was the theme of the previous article titled Am Open Letter to Ambassador Haile Menkerios. The irony being the Enough is Enough:… by Prof. A. Debessay failed in plucking discussants onto the next stage because more of the PFDJ or enough is apparently not enough when it comes to the PFDJ as discussants of the forum remained stuck on the previous and showed very little interest to move and discuss the professors blue print of the road map.

    Enough is enough included the emphasis of giving priority to focus the ensuing battles in this declared war to be activities inside of Eritrea. There were observations and suggestions made to those overly excitable folks when it comes to the YiAAkil movement. Observations of such as the effectiveness of the movement is bound to fizzle for one reason or the other. Without the awakening and the uprising of the Eritreans in Eritrea, from across ball rooms and meeting halls in the diaspora the shouting and repetition of the mantra “YiAAkil/Kifaya/Enough” alone will not be adequate or effective for the attainment of the implicitly declared monumental task. That there exists an organized organization inside of Eritrea named Hzbawi Tegadlo Harinet Eritrea with the capability to affect real change in the very near future was announced by ATV’s Amanuel Iyyassu which was the pre game show and basis for mandate for him and his organization to be legitimate invited delegates to participate and keep the dividends in either form of material or political dividends. I am prone to think now more towards the idea of the YiAAkil movement was engineered by the learned class who would certainly receive invitations from groups such as Eritrea Focus. That in fact the YiAAkil movement is not rooted in the spontaneous challenge from Amanuel Dawa which exploded into a grass roots rapid wave movement. A calculation was made of the effectiveness of moving into indoors those street demonstrators who were not camera shy to begin with. Clustered and grouped by their residence cities or towns with anew found introspective focus of “do it yourself” rejuvenated attitude, all of which was orchestrated to give the impression that the people are united for a new path and new government.

    The charge that stands out most is the vivid disparity of representation totally favoring the EPLF former fighters than the ELF fighters. Dr. Habte Hagos tells us of the desire and effort to being a 50 percent ELF and 50 percent EPLF. His regret of the conference being nearly all former EPLF coupled with Eritrea Focus’ attitudes, as alleged by SJG, and logged activities with regards to IA’s “PFDJ” and PMAAA’s “TPLF” less Ethiopia rapprochement gives credence to several of the following things:
    1. Eritrea Focus and the London Conference willingness to include the “PFDJ” to playing a crucial role in the planned for and envisioned solution of attaining the goal of building democracy in Eritrea. Hence the total lack of reaching out to the Stockholm gathered ELF persuasion.
    2. the “An Open Letter to Ambassador Haile Menkerios” was a paper submitted at the London Conference by Mahmud Saleh.
    3. Mahmud Saleh and the Hzbawi Tegadlo Harinet Eritrea are in fact the organized group inside Eritrea poised to strike a blow and affect change in the shortest time and most effective way but are unfortunately mistaken at times to think of themselves as the continuation of the PFDJ at the year 2019 when the “PFDJ” will be removed and cease to exist despite having the knowledge that their PFDJ ceased to exist in the year 2001. Their demand from the new order to include their PFDJ can only be the respect they deserve to recognize them as the continuation or resurrection of the PFDJ from the year 2001. The irony or the paradox here is that the same TPLF that side lined the ELF nearly four decades ago was also the TPLF that was cause for the sidelining of the PFDJ nearly two decades ago.

    Back to the Enough is Enough: What is next? blue print of a road map manifesto penned by Professor Araya Debessay. The paper is consistent with my convictions of the need to prioritize and focus on increasing the awareness and raising the overt activities of the Eritreans inside Eritrea. The election or selection of Global Representatives is the argument I made to recognize the priceless experience and current highly respected global position by virtue of his career with the United Nations as an envoy to the Secretary General and the vast knowhow gained in his conflict resolution projects in the African continent. With the diplomatic global ties forged in the past two decades, if not the Ambassadors like HM to be as the first elected global representatives and such seasoned scholars from the G15/G13 Eritrean upper echelon then who?

    Well it is all incumbent on the YiAAkil movement self recognition of being the true pawns engineered without their knowledge. Or it could be that IA is finally so tired and exhausted by the lengthy and very testing journey, he and his PFDJ have appealed for assistance to build democracy in Eritrea from the very learned Eritrean class for the sake of face saving and IA and his “PFDJ” legacy building. Delegates from numerous trades persons within the PFDJ were sent to the London Conference asserting the House Painters and Bricklayers of Greater Eritrea association to sound the alarm that there is a significant shortage of painting and building materials in Eritrea today. Dire circumstances necessitated IA’s preemptive negotiations in the Eritrea Focus London Conference exactly a month ahead of the May 24th dreaded date of his facing the REAL ERITREAN MUSIC.

    Just find the words that make sense to you in the above comment. Wtf? Closing with a link to the song Arkanat would have been appropriate. Just imaging the song Arkanat blaring in Asmara stadium as the conscientious Eritrean political prisoners are lead onto the stage to interrupt IA mid speech and they take over to give an epic of a speech under guard the Hzbawi Tegadlo Harinet Eritrea. What? The proof is right under your nose and last I checked imagining happens to be a sign of health.

    “In the fall the war was always there, but we did not go to it any more.” Hemingway “In Another Country”

    tSAtSE

  • MICKIELLE

    Hi Dr. Habte,

    A more substantive criticism was that the event was tied to an NGO. The question is then, ሕልሚ ፈሪካ’ዶ ከይደቀስካ’ሕደር’ዩ? would you rather not sleep for fear of bad dream? Would we refuse to meet and devise and ways and means for a post issayas Eritrea because the venue may be sponsored by an NGO? It is obvious why some of our compatriots bulk at the idea for a principle.

    • Gerogee

      Dear mick

      If somebody have to pay you to have a meeting how about your own country then you have no cause. You’re not committed. You’re not serious. You’re not devoted. You are owned by foreign entity. You are a wholly-owned subsidiary of the NGO

  • Selamat,

    I have this theory that there are those Eritreans who are the beneficiaries of Weyane’s outsourced “no war not peace” policy by their taking the role of the subcontractors. Are we to believe and pray along with him for the turning the Delllallos into Hamukhishtii and accept the rejection of Dr. Habte Hagos’s Eritrea Focus as being a case of “got ma mind on ma money and ma money on ma mind”? WTFaulkner is Hemingway talking about after eight winters, eight springs, and eight summers have gone and come without joining the eight war that was always there in the fall? WTFitzgerald is The Great Ghadi he is saying he is F.scott Free from after sipping gin and juice or Kerkede Hajja Barda (Romodan appropriate) for eight seasons of war in the fall since January 12, 2011.

    The Negarit video thirty five minutes long yet a veiled obscure and ambiguous critique does not address the target Eritrea Focus directly by name until the thirtieth minute. That is not even a seventh of the content is regarding current allegations. The first six seventh or 30 minutes of the video is a nostalgic voyage of Keren in its hay day of the Golden Age the twenties by its Great Ghadi curator or the NGOs museum of Keren the True. Mixed signal is your all inclusive mantra driven previous four front page items authored by Menkerios, Professor Debesay, Mahmud Saleh (an attendee in the L.conference amongst the undisclosed names perhaps) followed by the Chairperson of EF Dr. Habte Hagos above.

    Is a theory, to be proved true or false, pertaining to the existence of NGIs, non governmental individuals though organized, who benefit from Weyane’s outsourced policy of “no war no peace” as they are showing traits or tell tell signs and traces of acting as the subcontractor to the scheme. Or is it Machiavelish because it asks the following question:”If every body is telling the truth, then who is lying.”

    Ahh maybe the other forsaken author will quote a great forsaken for the benefit of The Great Ghadi by WTFitzgerald, Fscott Free, NOT. Fitzgerald, Faulkner, Forsaken Free… lots of Fsss Wtf?
    “In the fall the war was always there, but we did not go to it any more.” Hemingway “In Another Country”

    Is there or is there not a war of the overt or covert kind in the fall. Yeah as in the fall of dictators? Hum your humming with Hemingway and you best believe we are cognizant of your “my way or the highway Mr. Hemingway. WTFitzgerald JFK elementary fundamentals. It ain’t a matter of lacking comprehension. It is the observing of hypocrisy and a real hinderance thus far.

    tSAtSE

    • Saleh Johar

      TsaTse,
      Thank you for the comments. Don’t worry, the Hzbawi Tegadlo Harnet Eritra you told us about here will solve all the problems.

      Stay good.

      BTW, your four-words words and N words are causing your comments to be kept pending for moderation. Avoid such words and you will be saved the delay and the moderators the extra work.

      • Ayya Saleh Johar,

        And it is because you want all the problems solved all problems will be solved by the Hzbawi Tegadlo Harinet Eritra. Right?

        “Don’t worry, the Hzbawi Tegadlo Harnet Eritra you told us about here will solve all the problems.”
        I will stay good. You do the same.

        “In the fall the war was always there, but we did not go to it any more.” Hemingway “In Another Country”

        tSAtSE

        • Saleh Johar

          TsaTse,
          Let’s have a truce, please. Stop pocking and everything will be fine… and stop blaming the moderators whenever you are in a bad mood. That is all.
          Peace out!

  • Selamat,

    “In the fall the war was always there, but we did not go to it any more.” Hemingway “In Another Country”

    WTF? WeHaTTiyo Tebelkwass Melissa (no not missessss Melisa or msss Sara the crochaing with threads FeTLI non government individual, NGI and not NGO) Melissa tgisimo. What the Fitzgerald what the Faulkner with our GG The Great Ghadi and his Negarit 41?

    tSAtSE

  • Lamek

    Selam Aya Habte:

    You stated this: “The aim of the conference was to look ahead to post-Isaias rule, rather than dwell on the past whilst at the same time drawing important lessons from it. Thus, we considered and set out a series of realistic steps towards addressing the challenges in establishing democracy in Eritrea once the dictatorship of President Isaias comes to an end.”

    Since your group is in it’s infancy, I don’t expect you to have ironed out specific tasks and mandates and so I have the following general questions:

    1. Whom did you leave or delegate the task of ending IA’s rule to?

    2. Where does your group’s moral and legal authority come from?

    3. How does participation of Eritreans within the country factor-in in establishing the institutions of democracy?

    4. Will the 1997 constitution be implemented and later amended or a new constitution will be drafted in its place? I ask this being cognizant that Dr. B.H. is one of your members.

    5. After stabilizing post IA Eritrea, what do you envision to be the first mandate of the new/transitional govt?

    6. What’s the plan for repatriating refugees specially those in eastern Sudan? It’s not hard to imagine an ensuing chaos in that region between returnees and what some call around here land grabbers. Whom does the land belong to?

    7. Where does border demarcation rank? Is it a must do before any other negotiations and deals with Ethiopia? Who do you think has the authority to demarcate international borders between Eritrea and Ethiopia, TPLF or Abiy’s feds?

    8. Does your group support Ethiopia’s federal system or do you see it as a destabilizing factor to the region as IA does? We know IA resents article 39 immensely.

    That’s all I can think of for now.

    • Blink

      Dear lamek
      I was waiting in case you may edit your number 8 , I mean how is that TPLF be given responsibility for international border unless Tigray becomes a country ? All other questions are good but I am sensing you don’t expect an answer from the guy or any one from that group .

      About the border rank thing , how on Earth you expect a group that includes Professor Bereket who openly wished to see a United old mama Ethiopia to care about border . I mean how fast can we dismiss what he said about his wish to see Eritrea United with Ethiopia before his death , that is what he wished .

      Second we would need to know who financed Bayto ? We really need that even though awatecom gave Bayto a pass as if Eritreans don’t care or as if they were simply passing a checkpoint then saw the list of names .

      • Lamek

        Dear Blink:

        You mean number 7? That question was actually a mockery to the PFDJ regime for crying foul with the border demarcation accusing TPLF of holding that process hostage.

        Border demarcation is frankly not my top concern albeit being extremely important. Safe and bloodless transition is priority number one. The reason I asked the border question is to see how concerned this group is in keeping Ethiopian expansion at bay and restoring and maintaining our territorial integrity.

        Who financed the bayto/conference? I don’t think it’s too stretched nor unethical to seek help from anyone who will donate to help organize expensive conferences as long as donors do not demand agenda items and the like.

        Ultimately, this group will need legitimacy and they need to do some ground work to gain the trust of Eritreans inside and abroad. There is lots of brainpower in the group but it’s not enough. Eritreans are stubborn people and it will take a lot for this group to make their case.

  • Ismail AA

    Selam all,

    The response Eritrea Focus has posted and the mature style used are worthy of commenadation. Admission of shortcomings in connection to undertakings that concern common interests is a positive mark and wise to do because they open the doors for further interaction. I think Eritrea Focus is very aware of this crucial matter. Its managers look forward to the future rather tha being hindered by need to defend what has already taken place in all aspects.

    Eritrea Focus has unveiled the subject matters of what it has termed a transition blueprint. It looks like it is going to be broad and ambitious. It pinpoints to important issues such as the rule of law, legal system (justice), foreign relation (Ethiopia), the economy as an auxiliary to the region’s integrated economy etc.

    But it is clear the reader misses from the list an essential subject that should indispensably provide an operational framework for those matters. I do not know whether not including it was deliberate or an innocent mistake. Otherwise, putting the issue of future goverance system at the top of the list should have been self-evident, unless the intention is going to be limited to executable policy matters within the framework of the existing order minus the despot at the helm and his entourage.

    • Gerogee

      Hi IAA

      With all due respect, you’re reply did not address a major issue that can jeopardize our sovereignty. Meaning like this meeting was funded by National Endowment for democracy, NED. An organization whose sole purpose is destabilizing other nations. it’s not something I made. It is their stated goal! National Endowment for democracy is 100% funded by US government. A government who’s been hostile to Eritrea for the last 70 years. That should concern every Eritrean. The United States government has been funding the genocide of tplf regime for the last 30 years in the hopes of destroy Eritrea. When. Doesn’t work now they’re coming through eritrea’s. if rule of law is your main concern, then you are in trouble. Because USA does not about rule of law when it comes to Eritrea. It’s about destroying Eritrea from the face of the Earth. If you don’t believe me look what happened the last 70 years. to this day that agenda is regime change. the fact that doesn’t bother you the fact that it’s not on top of your list of things to be concerned tell us a lot about you.

      • Ismail AA

        Selam Gerogee,

        You have a point in not covering much on my part. I just focused on issues they envisage to make part of the transition scheme studies and discussion. The things you mentioned are not less important though I do not concur with you in conveniently stretching them to some irrelevant issues. Some of them, among which are source of funding, deserve close scrutiny.

        • Gerogee

          Selam IAA

          I read your reply was interest. But I’m disappointed. But not surprised. Having read most of your post in the last few weeks. I’m supremely confident as I have stated before you cannot for Eritrea. If you did you would have made, a simple understandable reply to my concern to the NGO that funded the so called Eritrea concern group . Instead he gave me a lukewarm cryptic reply. Further exposing yes state of mind and your intention

  • Gerogee

    Hi all.

    Bingo! Thank you Eritrea focus for admitting what we Patriote Eritreans have been saying/known the past weeks London meeting was funded by CIA! Let me explain National Endowment for Democracy (NED) is a CIA front which is entirely funded by the federal government of America. NED was set up by Regan Administration in the 80s. It was set up because CIA name was super tarnished. Allen Weinstein said, a lot of what NED do used to be done by CIA! Look it up. This is a war against Eritreans. 60 years of unrelenting hostility from USA. There is no way the so called opposition groups can get away with this. This is satanic.

    • Berhe Y

      Hi Gerorgee,

      It doesn’t really matter who they are funded by as long as they disclose their source and their objective is clear, open and transparent.

      NED is an organization which funded by congress who are elected members that are accountable to the press and the public.

      NED funds for specific projects that it deemed help spread democracy and freedom around the world where people have no means to do it freely.

      Eritrea based on the human right abuse it’s suffering by its own government, it should be at the top list of the funds that it receives that help spread democracy and fight the abusive and dictatorial regime.

      “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” John F. Kennedy

      Berhe

      • Gerogee

        Dear berhe

        NED is CIA. Look it up. Please inform yourself before you post anything. People have told you time and again you are unable to comprehend the simplest of things. USA has been funding Ethiopia since 1952 to fight Eritrea. US Congress is assembly of the killing machine called American murderous Empire. you crack me up though, 😁. what does that got to do with Eritrea? tell that to 1 million Iraq slaughtered. Hundreds of thousands have been handicapped. Over 50,000 people have been blind.

        USA is a country built literally on the blood of Native Americans. Founded by rapist. And now you’re telling me about elected congressman? Are you really serious!

        • Berhe Y

          Hi Georgee,

          አርባዕተ እግሪ እንተ ለክን ጽባሕ ንርኤክን፡፡

          so you are saying IA is fighting USA imperialism agenda.

          And please, stop bringing US support of Ethiopia in 1952 as an excuse., for the crimes IA and his regime committing in our country.

          You remind me what the elders use to tell the kids when they do not want to go to bed.

          ሕንጉጉ ክመጸኩም እዩ፡ ሕጂ ደቁሱ

          You really crack me up..you sound desperate.

          Berhe

          • Gerogee

            Hi Berhe

            How am I desperate buddy? You can be creative and come up with the different word instead of copying mine. You are the one who is desperate. So desperate that you are parroting Assena, at website for tplf by tplf.

      • Nitricc

        It doesn’t really matter who they are funded by as long as they disclose their source and their objective is clear, open and transparent

        Hi Berhe; you were doing just fine before you regressed back to futility. Man; sometimes I wonder if you live on this earth, think, why do they give you money? When they fund you on something they expect something back. You have to serve their interest NOT yours. Why do you think all of your toothless and useless oppositions failed in every step? because they were funded by somebody. Case all the oppositions in Ethiopia; they were funded by Weyane and are told what to do whatever WEyane wanted and not only failed but died all together. There is no such free money.

        • Berhe Y

          Hi Nitricc,

          I know there is no such a thing as “free lunch”. By your logic every development aid Eritrea receives from the EU, US and others is also they get something in return. But I am sure you have no problem for IA to received this “development aid money” and spend it to fight others and no body knows where it goes.

          You see, you forget what I said in the same post. Open and Transparent…

          Are you asking me to believe you or the application paper that NED has in its website that they ask every organization to “fill” to be considered for funding.

          If the question was, why would America do this then? Well, they have an agenda and that agenda is to spread democracy and to support democratic forces in other countries. May be they think or believe if there will be democracy in Eritrea it’s in their best interest in long term.

          For example during the cold war, they use to fund “Radio Free Europe” for those countries who under the Soviet Union. Countries like Czechoslovakia, Hungry, Romania, Poland and others…

          They fund VOA including in Tigriana programs..Now BBC is doing the same thing..

          Do I have a problem with this…NO. It’s good for Eritrea..

          So I see NED in the same way…

          I wish Awate.com, Asmario.com, Assessa.com get the funds they need to run their operations better, without warring about funding.

          Let me repeat, they don’t dictate the agenda, the applicant does.

          NO problem what so ever.

          Berhe

          • Nitricc

            If the question was, why would America do this then? Well, they have an agenda and that agenda is to spread democracy and to support democratic forces in other countries

            I am speech less! I Am! What?????????????????????? They don’t give a flying hooooot about you or your stupid democracy. OH My GOD! Are you that naïve?

          • Berhe Y

            Hi Nitricc,

            You know the truth but I know your purpose, so that the opposition remains week because they do not have the means to fight the regime so he stays in power.

            30 or 40 thousands of US money will not be enough even to buy one tank. But it’s enough for Eritreans to run a website, to hold conferences, to travel and meet, to setup satellite tv to help revolutionize their public.

            But for Eritreans to do themselves, it’s pissible but it’s additional burden on already thin resources.

            FYI, IA gave ESAT 500 thousands of dollars, OWN probably gets lots of it’s funds from the US abd others. They were instrumental in fighting the EPRDF government.

            Are they accountable to the US government now or the ERITREAN government? Sure if they want to but they don’t have to.

            Berhe

          • Nitricc

            You know the truth but I know your purpose, so that the opposition remains week because they do not have the means to fight the regime so he stays in power.

            Hi Berhe; no need for that. PIA stayed and he will stay in power till he feel likes it. The man has played Eritrean politics for 50 years man? That is a long , long time. I don’t even see the worth going after him now. trying to dislodge PIA by force at this point in time; I don’t think it is worth the cost and the danger that may follow. He is done and he is old anyways.

            FYI, IA gave ESAT 500 thousands of dollars, OWN probably gets lots of it’s funds from the US abd others

            Stop gossiping! Do you even believe that? The country was suffering from shortage of hard currency, so short they can’t even maintain Hirgigo-power plant and now you are telling me PIA gave ESAT half a million dollars? Dude, get a grip. Why do you believe everything you hear and read?

          • Berhe Y

            Hi Nitricc,

            The problem is not ” Why do you believe everything you hear and read?”. The problem is why do you deny everything even where there is evidence.

            Do you actually believe IA cares, if Eritreans have electricity or not, if they have drinking water or not?

            Why shouldn’t I believe it when I heard it, in suppose to be private skype meeting ESAT had, where the Ethiopian intelligence were spying on. Member of ESAT filed a suit against the Ethiopian government because of the violation of a US citizen privacy in the United States. Is this not true?

            How about the Eritrean government hiring a law firm to lobby for it and paying 50,000 US a month. This was also aviable because of the disclosure that the firm is required to do. Is this not true?

            So what IA was in power for 50 years? It’s not because he was invisible, it’s just the people were giving him chance after chance, but it reached no limit.

            So what are we suppose to do now, feel sorry for him and wait for him until he is 100 and die peacefully. How about if he transfer power to his son, just like all dictators before him do..like N. Korea, like Asad (he was in power for 50 years), like Mubarek was planning (to hand power to his son), like Sadam and Gadaffi (were planning) like Castro transfered to his son.

            He has to go and our country needs to transfer to democracy..if we don’t do it now..who knows what he will do next. It’s not only about power any more, it’s the survival of our country.

            But off course you have already accepted that IA hands over power to his son and we should live with it.

            Berhe

        • Mez

          Hi Nitricc,

          The core idea of us (Eritrean) againest American (and the west) is inherently bogus:
          1) in the old times, there was east-west divide; we were by default in one of the two blocks at any given historical time.

          2) after the cold war Eritrea consistently and stubornly refused any transformative finance and know how flow from any part of the globe; this has nothing to do with the fight against the western influence.

          3) historically seen, the key organizational challenge in the country was and still is the existance of two mutually pernicious liberation fronts (ELF & EPLF).
          3.1) These two fronts are offshoots of the same leftist movement (with antagonistic personal cult and fine tunned leftist ideologies flavour).

          3.2) both fronts were primarily communist countries incubated.

          4) your understanding about the global (cold war and current): geopolitical, historical middleeast oilflow politics, and the likes is very modest; at least very hard to feel its depth in your writeup.

          Thanks