The Black Hole That Devoured Light (Archives)

This article by Aklilu Zere first appeared on Branna column, on Jan 14, 2010

The following are Thoughts of wisdom from Paulo Coelho in “Brida”:

In life, each person or group of people can take one of two attitudes: to build or to plant. The builders might take years over their tasks, but one day, they finish what they’re doing. Then they find they’re hemmed in by their own walls. Life loses its meaning when building stops. Then there are those who plant. They endure storms and all the many vicissitudes of the season, and they rarely rest. But, unlike a building, a garden never stops growing. And while it requires the gardener’s constant attention, it also allows life for the gardener to be a great adventure. Gardeners always recognize one another, because they know that in the history of each plant lies the growth of the whole world.

What is Nsu up to nowadays?

Well, before going into the gist of the matter I shall declare that Nsu is doing what he just repeatedly did for the last 40 years. When he gets into trouble that he himself incited, he starts with feigning victimization and then when the opportune time arrives he viciously attacks.

Nsu successfully did that to Jebha and the feigning was Christian highlanders were victims of Moslem lowlanders. Because it worked he repeated it with the Menkae. The feigning that time was a butterfly that progressed to diarrhea because he thought his dreams were slipping out of his hand rendering him immobile in the infirmary (kfli hikimna) and fortunately also kept him far from the trouble. It worked. To tell you the truth, Nsu did not wait for the Yemanawyan to organize their force and act. Instead he became proactive in annihilating them. But he repeated the feigning with the G13. The feigning was broadcasted in TV when he said he cannot participate in a boxing match against 13, meaning it was unfair. And it worked.

Now the players are outsiders and not Eritreans whom he have an enviable knowledge of their easily tricked heart. So we will see. But the feigning has already started with Woyane attacking Senafe and Forto cadorna.

We shall also see if the very tricks that brought him success also contain seeds of his failure.

Not to be confused, I have to explain what I meant by Nsu. Nsu is what the admirers, servants and followers say when referring to Isaias and especially in times of crises. And now Nsu is in deep crises. They may have their reasoning or explanations but I believe they say Nsu because they idolize him and they do not want to call his name in vain. “Nsu trah iyu zelona; Nsu hagezti si-inu imber; Nsu trah iyu be-al kumta sire:’ “Nsu trah iyu N american adi inglizn zidaferom”; “Nsu kemtom kal’ot afrikawyan merahti aykonen”..… are some of the idioms they perpetually say and whisper reverently albeit with deep seated fear, confusion and ambivalence. After all, they are humans and no one can erase their human trait.

Nsu knows all this because they are his creation. He made them the way they think and act by stripping their God given human sensibilities and he was also helped by their blind faith and self interest, real or imagined. Who wants his dream villa confiscated?

To make them think the way they think could not have been achieved through peaceful manner because humanity and all its wonderful traits strive and blossom in peaceful conditions, rendering humans to be acutely aware of their duties, responsibilities, rights and privileges as individuals and as members of society.

So Nsu have to be brutal, senseless, driven and egoistic.

And indeed he is and indeed he became.

Now Nsu is in crises and like a drowning man, he will try to drag the people of Eritrea with him: to oblivion. But the sad thing is while he is experienced swimmer, his followers and Eritreans at large are not.

Nsu had sharpened and chiseled his skills through out his life so the current crisis is not absolutely new to him. The new things are the consequences and the players.

Nsu has succeeded every time he was confronted by what he perceived to be a crisis when the players are members of his tribe: Eritreans. He did not hide (even though he was not explicit) his motives. And his motives were and are power centered and power driven. But he was explicit in his reactions once the wind started to blow on his side. He uses brute and open force that left the players dead or scared for life.

Nsu is our black hole where no light can escape.

Aggressive and inhuman cruelty is the story of his life and the proof is the following story—you can call it a history. The duration of this story, or history, is from 1973 to 1993 AD.

The reason I am writing this story, or history, is for a lesson. I know that dwelling in the past is not a good habit but if we forget the past, history will repeat itself and sometimes in more harsher and ugly fashion. The ugly fashion can be worn by people you suspect or people you respect.

That is why it is imperative that from now on, no one shall be immune from criticism if we the victims are to be free forever.

So sit down and join me by reading the ghosts of events that haunted me for a long time.

……..After two years the organization grew in leaps and bounds in every facets of its being and even attracted women. The first women to join the organization were three university graduates, the first women to graduate in geology in the history of the university in Addis Ababa. Nsu knew they would be different from the boys and men who he considered easy to handle.

Against their wishes the three women were segregated from the boys during training, and to distract them, the women were supplied with relatively superior quality of food and medical items. They were segregated because Nsu did not want the women to see the change he brought to their brothers. He knew, despite their education, those women were carbon copy of the village woman and if they witnessed abnormality in their brothers they would not hesitate to speak. If the women spoke, the brainwashed boys could recover their true self and would not hesitate to do what the women asked them to do.

Subliminally Nsu was also threatened by their education.

What he feared occurred. The women noticed the zombie like introversion of their brothers and deduced what was going on. They were direct and demanded meeting with Nsu which at first he ignored. They left their camp and joined their brothers. They were shocked by what they saw and reacted by directly accusing Nsu of inhumanity and dictatorship. They got listeners some of whom were their classmates at university. Together they taught the fighters what was happening to them and asked them to return to their true self. But they were outnumbered by the guards of revolution and members of the other splinter groups. They were all rounded, three women and eleven men, all university graduates and were put under the care of a most celebrated sadist torturer by the name kurats seitan. Except for one woman, all were shot to death after spending three cruel years in fox holes.

A woman was murdered for the first time in the history of the land and as such by the hands of her brother. But the astonishing transformation was the lack of reaction from her brothers, the boys and men who normally would have revolted en mass for revenge.

Nsu won by killing the most he feared. Symbolic victory shall be followed by real victory. Nsu eliminated the last hurdle: the woman and her core values that for generations sustained village life.

Nsu smiled for the first time in his life for there shall not be a woman, a village, a monk or a sheik that shall stand in his way.

kurats seitan, the chief interrogator in central halewa sewra, was a sadist who did not require training from Nsu. He was naturally sadist and inhuman, even calling him a beast is foolish simplification thus an aberration. In the history of the organization many like him had came and gone, but kurats seitan was the first whose name alone sent shivers to the dead and alive alike. Even his village relatives and acquaintance trembled at the mention of his name. In his cruel hand, many were beaten up and deformed; confessed to things they never committed; some were shot to death afterwards and those whose live were spared, left traumatized for life. If the base was purgatory, the men like kurats seitan who run the guard of revolution were the ruffians worse than the Spanish inquisitors. The only events missing were the Auto-Da-fes because every cruel action was conducted in total darkness with total secrecy.

Kurats seitan became so powerful he started creating his own rules. One cruelly comical but memorable rule was whoever came to the gate of the prison whether innocent, suspect or who came by mistake (lost direction) was welcomed with eighty blows to his back before inquiring as to why he came. Many innocent (all were innocents) and even those who came for business (escorting suspects) from their commanders were surprised with eighty blows to their back before being released. Their commanders were so scared of kurats seitan they did not register any complaints. kurats seitan knew too much by using too much brute force. Some were wondering whether he was addicted to beatings or the information he was getting as the result of the beatings

Nsu did not want another competitor, even in cruelty. Because he knew cruelty was an important ingredient in acquiring and preserving power. If the title for the cruelest person was taken by another, his power would be in jeopardy. He wanted the title for himself. kurats seitan was becoming the most feared and loathed person in the organization thus a competitor. But kurats seitan was only a tool whose diet and exercises consisted of human suffering and human beatings. Overtime even Nsu started to get scared of kurats seitan. The creator feared his creation and before too late he sealed kurats seitan’s fate by death sentence that was carried in total darkness like many times before and after. Many kurats seitans would come and go and the process would be repeated in years to come.

There were many lessons Nsu learned in his experimentations with Eritrean youngsters. As soon as the experiment became old he would create new one. He not only wanted to be known as the most powerful or most feared, he also wanted to be recognized as the only voice.

The first action he took towards fulfilling that new experiment was logical. He prohibited and criminalized possession of any writing tools and reading materials in the organization so nobody could write or read. He also went one step ahead. He prohibited and criminalized talk in the training camp. This rule affected newcomers to the organization. New comers were instructed not to talk with anyone for the duration of their training which was six month, when the organization started, but with time, it was shortened to three months.

How does it feel not to talk for months when you are surrounded by other humans like you? Was looking at their faces enough? How does it feel when everyone around you is not able to talk for months? Of course staring could not compensate the lack of talk. But, for how long? How could one hold the urge to talk for months? To hold the urge to talk is like holding weight that gets heavier by the minute. Could one hold weight for months? Is hearing affected when everyone is prohibited to talk? If you are prohibited to talk to others do you talk to yourself? For how long can you talk to yourself?  Does the presence of others make it different than when in solitary state? A hermit lives on his own and by his own volition. No one prohibits a hermit from talking either to himself or to nature.

Eritrean boys, rural and urban alike, were raised not to be chatty and not to stare into people’s eyes when talking (the mother was an exception). But they were also fiercely nurtured to be self reliant thus independent. Village boys, due to the nature of their surrounding, were better able to endure loneliness than urban boys. But urban boys, due to their surrounding (full of strangers), were able to see straight into other people’s eyes and faces, if necessity arose, than village boys. The same went for chattiness. Urban boys were more chattier than village boys, again due to their surrounding and the influence of schools in cities and towns. Teachers encouraged students to interact, thus encouraged chattiness in urban kids. Village boys relied on sounds for survival (sneaking fox) as urban boys relied on sights for survival (oncoming car).

The prohibition of talk created voicelessness and affected the boys according to their origin. To be denied of any talk was to be denied to hear voices. Urban boys suffered more by talk prohibition as village boys suffered more by its consequence: lack of hearing voices. When both joined the organization what they missed most was the sweet voices of their mothers they left behind, but what they got into was a bizarre world where talk and voice were completely prohibited.

Not to be chatty was very different than to be prohibited not to talk at all. Their sharp but shy eyes also became hurdle for they could not compensate sight for talk. Can sight compensate voice? Can natural noises compensate human voice? Do we humans talk because we love to talk or do we talk because we love the voice that comes out of our cord and others? Is voice life?

The boys got confused because they were denied to talk. They also started craving talk. But they also started hating the people around them who did not talk. Everyone started hating everyone. Everyone started thinking everyone around them was non human, inorganic and lifeless. Collective shame produced collective hate.

The trainers, afraid like the trainee, talked when they trained the new comers (they could not train in silence) but they avoided all interactions and communications with the trainees. Trainers became robots and training lost its meaning. One considered the other lifeless thus useless.

There were some boys who talked because they could not hold it anymore and as the consequence, they were beaten. They did not care, for they found the beating easier than holding back the talk. Beating was the price they paid for freedom to talk. Many were surprised to hear voice of one of their own. A normal voice sounded novel. The voice altered the perception they had of that person. How do you recognize a person, by his face or by his voice? Which one is stronger, the alterable face or the unmistakable voice?

Some became overwhelmed by the prohibition and opted to commit suicide but not before loudly voicing their opinion on the matter and cursing Nsu. To voice their opinion was freedom so they tasted freedom before they died. They died as free men.

Some clang to hope. Some clang to resignation. Some took it as practice and hated it or liked it depending on their personality. Some relied on their resilience to bear the suffering and equated it to the long fasting periods the village women endured. Some developed symptoms of seizure. Seizure induced by talk prohibition or voice deprivation. But no one left the camp unaffected. All left affected and infected. Afterwards even in places where one could talk (the prohibition was only in the camp) everyone became afraid of talk. Human voices sounded menacing and unnecessary.

Nsu won again. The only voice left to be heard was his. Only people with faces could have voices, so the only face that remained to be looked at was his. Only people with life have voices, so the only life that remained was his. Only people with freedom have voices, so the only free person that remained was Nsu.

Winning brought more winnings because Nsu was also the only person allowed to write. What he wrote was also the only document read. Free people could avoid reading what they do not want to read but not in Nsu’s organization. Even those whose English pocket dictionaries were confiscated read what Nsu wrote because they craved any written stuff. Those who supported and opposed him read what he wrote. Unluckily, sometimes those who oppose him were the only ones who could read in their unit so they had to read aloud the revolting writing they hated. As his devilish habit dictated he never put his name in any document because it was redundant. Who else would write?

In a very short period of time Nsu was able to achieve what he dreamt for a long time. He laid a solid foundation for himself to rule uncontested and guaranteed his eminence. But he also knew fear and intimidation could cause cracks that could be hard to mend or fill. Bricks over bricks needs cement. He needed those he was trumping to obey him numbly to fulfill his grand plan which mistakenly was also taken by them as their plan because they started believing his actions were necessary to achieve success. They misrepresented the nature of his brutality for they took it as necessary reinforcement like father disciplines his children or teachers disciplining their students. His brutality opened new venues for him but blinded the youngster’s logic. They condoned his actions and believed their collective misbehavior warranted such reinforcement.

Nsu’s greatest achievement was secrecy. His ability to stay elusive also helped. To outsiders, including the people of Eritrea, his organization was perceived as clean, progressive and democratic and him as the perfect son of the woman. Attracted by that perception most educated Eritrean avoided the original front, which Nsu succeeded to blemish its reputation, and joined Nsu’s organization but sadly they suffered the most. None of them was spared the constant attack on their class character which was defined as undesirable by Nsu and accepted as truth by the rest. They were taken as class enemies. Many committed suicide. They were all denied higher positions even in the field of education. The department of education was run and led by eight graders. Most of the educated fighters were assigned to the battle front where they were likely to be killed during fights. Due to unbearable stress many began to reborn themselves as uneducated but to no avail. Even those who believed they completed the metamorphosis to ignorance were held in suspicion for their behavior was taken as vacillation, a typical communistic interpretation for opportunism by middle class people. Many of them suffered mental illnesses. Out of two thousands fighters with university degrees only fifty returned alive but dead walking.

Like a handyman who takes care of his tools, Nsu introduced alcohol to lubricate his subjects to numbness against his brutality but acutely active towards his higher goals. They were too small for him and as a consequence Eritrea started to look very small to him. In his deranged mind he believed if he could succeed against trenched village values and the woman he could easily succeed over all Africans. His ambitions started growing proportional to his power. He encouraged manufacturing and consumption of alcohol, cruel reward for cruel punishment. Nsu did not have to invent the idea. The local beer was easy to make. What was needed was millet flour, a very cheap grain that grew like weed in neighboring Sudan and fermentation was a cake walk in that hot land. The young fighters loved it for it numbed their wounded soul but their virgin body got hooked in no time. Alcohol and battles went hand in hand. They became so fierce and fearless (many also chose death in battle than death under his barbaric rule) the largest army in Africa had no answer to them and eventually surrendered. But as predicted, all the credit went to Nsu some self claimed and some acclaimed.

The only distinction the fighters got for their submissive courage was death, disability and gray hair. Except Nsu and some of his closest cohorts, all young, and not so young, grayed. Nsu could hide his actions from mortals but was not able to hide his cruelty from nature. The fighters were natural people by nature and resilient by nurture. Nature loved her creation. So to her credit, she crowned them with gray hair so that their suffering would not go unnoticed or forgotten.

All of Nsu’s competitors lost. He succeeded installing his power on the ruins of their failure.

The ex-teacher lost due to groundless ambition. He dreamed to gain power from abroad through remote control. He was excommunicated by the very items he supplied to Nsu, money and ammunitions. The ex-teacher made the fundamental error of providing tools to overambitious person by supplying essential items that create and sustain true power. The ex-teacher was the foolish giver and Nsu the smart receiver and smart user. By using what he received Nsu was able to exercise his power over those who mattered most. The ex-teacher mattered to Nsu only as a giver. He was also one and one could be easily replaced by another one. Nsu had the people and people are irreplaceable though repressible. Nsu severed the relationship after accumulating enough supplies, monetary and armaments, and damned and condemned the ex-teacher in public and through publications by accusing him of treason. The ex-teacher was unable to defend himself from abroad. He was humiliated as he was exploited and in retaliation tried to form his own organization but failed. He did not have the grit and energy that Nsu possessed. He was also abroad and used to fine living and fine dinning. He died in Egypt sad, old, defeated and broken. To add salt to his wound his body was refused burial in his homeland Eritrea. Nsu would not allow a dead competitor as he would not allow live competitor.

The original front lost in civil war against Nsu’s organization. Nsu was modern, swift, organized and brute. The leadership of the old front was good, fair and tolerant but slow, awkward and disorganized. The defeat was total and embarrassing. Forty thousand fighters fled to the Sudan to become refugees. They still carry with them the psychology of defeat and shame.

The king lost big, like all kings who lost before him because unsustainable ambition always ended in big failures. Regalia are not guarantee for success. Showmanship was not enough to fend off human crises. He took with him his reputation and his people’s pride and wealth. People known for their stoicism and pride became instead known for their hunger. Ethiopia did not have sea access before the king annexed Eritrea and ended up the same after the king’s humiliating death.

The king was replaced by a military Junta who completely ruined everything that was left in taters and left the country bankrupt and the hungry people famish to ceaseless suffering and death.

The people of Eritrea lost and lost the biggest. In comparison the king lost something he did not have a right to own and the military Junta of Ethiopia lost because they did not have the right to exist.

Not the Eritrean people. They gained independence but lost what mattered most, the village, the woman, the monk and the sheik. They squandered their freedom for the price of an altered flag. They did not even ask why their cherished flag changed without their consent or participation. Uncommon to their tradition they bought without bargaining. In their history they were kind and proud givers but now they became beggars and receivers. They had venerable proud collective history but now they succumbed to one man made up history. Nsu started his project with the products of the village, the woman, the monk and the sheik and successfully ended by subjugating and controlling the process itself and like a potent and successful germ, he himself became the village, the woman, the monk and the sheik.

Lack of freedom altered the people’s identity, their being, their faith and their core values. They look different and sound different.

The woman is no more direct. She just kept quiet while Nsu snatched her young children again and again for forced military service and servitude. She looked the other way when Nsu deprived her children of education, the most she cherished. To the horror of the women in the bosom of the village land, she became inattentive. She does not act or react.

The monk is no more incisive. He kept quiet while Nsu defiled his faith. He closed his eyes when Nsu burned the Holy Book. He looked the other way when Nsu conscripted priests and deacons against their conscience. He forgot that to see and do nothing is an abomination.

The sheik is no more decisive. He stood in silence while Nsu usurped and pillaged his village land. He looked the other way when Nsu jailed and tortured sheiks like him.

Contrary to their faith and nature all became submissive to Nsu’s influence and eventually dismissive and defensive to redeeming ideas. They lost values they should never have lost because without their values their life lost meanings. By stripping them of what made them powerful and beautiful for generations Nsu made them meaningless thus useless. Their values were much greater than a flag but fearfully and foolishly they exchanged it for cheap and they are paying the price with their livelihood and dignity.

They were naturally free, naturally trusting, naturally happy, naturally peaceful, naturally kind, self reliant, hard working, direct and education loving people. But now they lost their natural trust, happiness, peacefulness, kindness, work ethic, resiliency and above all their free spirit and love of freedom and self independence.

Nsu did not have to invent new methods. What worked well did not need rework. His past experimentation worked well with the children of the women and what he had to do to his new project was modify and refine the process. If Dante’s purgatory in Sahel worked for the young and innocent, Dante’s inferno would work for the old and mature. He built prisons more than he built schools. He located the prisons in places where even Mother Nature repulses their existence and by comparison the purgatory in Sahel would feel like true paradise. He trained more sadists to take care of his prisons and their inhabitants. As third generation of sadists they are inventive as he expects them to be. Their new famous torture fashions are “Helicopter” and “Crucifixion” which don’t need explicit explanations.

Nsu used the altered flag to shut people’s voices so that only his voice could be heard and won. Others could not voice for it became crime to voice. Only people with life have voices so he is the only one left with life to voice in the land that became the land of the voiceless.

If some opposed, like some of the trainees did, they would first receive helicopter and crucifixion treatment before they are dumped into inferno.

He tied people’s hands so that only his hands could write and won. Others could not write for it became crime to write. Only free people could write so he is the only one free left to write in the land that became freedom less.

The people loved education in all its forms. They even fondly remembered their colonizers for the heritage they left in education. Nsu hated educated people so he hated education. He militarized the education to control young people. Only conscripts could graduate from high school, the only high school located in a training camp.

Youngsters are running away from their independent country in numbers unheard and unseen before in the history of the land and the people. At least they are winning because they are following the wisdom of the value driven woman who said “Only those who run away from trouble return safe”

The Eritrean man lost by emasculation. Nsu made him a stud only meant to breed. Long time ago the man had his premonition that such scenario would come because he knew the dangers power and powerful individuals could bring but except talk he did nothing to prevent its coming. Now he is faceless, man less and an object of derision. His sons do not respect him for they did not see him protecting them. His job as tradition dictated should have been to protect his family. His position is taken by Nsu. In the presence of Nsu all Eritrean men became place holders.

The donkey lost by its misunderstood image. It was denied its rightful recognition of its contribution to the struggle and worse it did not even get legislated protection against abuses. The donkey is sad but as always it forgets and forgives.

The Camel got recognition some say more than it deserved. Its image is prominently displayed in the currency (designed by the hands of Nsu just like the new flag) and the presidential seal. The camel might not be happy for what the seal is used for but it is consoled by the fact that it has nothing to do with it.

The dog lost by brute force long time before independence. There were no dogs in the lowlands. In the highlands the relationship between the people and the dog could best be described as not very close. Dogs were accepted as strangers or beggars and the people never harmed strangers or beggars and by extension the dogs. The kind people shared what they ate with strangers and the largesse was also extended to dogs. Some dogs were even fed with sheep milk not out of pure generosity but out of practicality. Highlander’s body was sensitive to sheep milk so rather than throw away the milk (an abomination) they gave it to the dogs. Milk fed dogs looked different than the scraggy looking bread fed dogs. Meat was available equally to both dogs for in that land there was no lack of dead animals. It was true that dogs ate more meat than the people. In tough times both the people and dogs relied on vegetables to sustain their life. The dogs kept their distance from people but especially from men and kids for they had learned that men and kids did not need plausible cause to beat dogs. A man upset by other causes could use his stick to whack an inattentive or nosy dog. Kids could practice their stone throwing skills on dogs for the dog was a perfect mobile target. The Eritrean highland dog behaved similar to the donkey by not keeping grudge. It also forgave even though it found it impossible to forget.

Like everyone and everything in that land, the dog has contributed to the struggle. It’s barking signaled danger and the strugglers took cues from it either to run away or to attack the enemy. For its contribution it was respected and liked. But as the front grew strong, the leaders erroneously assessed dog barking as potential danger to their military missions and in reversal of misfortunes condemned dogs to death by shooting. Women and kids cried for the loss of innocent and familiar strangers. Even men protested. The directive to kill dogs also signaled the imminent birth of brutality and power.

Nature also lost. Without the village, the woman, the monk and the sheik, nature looked naked and barren. Without the happy, direct and colorful dress loving woman nature looked ugly. Without the sharp eyed and mercurial monk nature looked grim. Without the loud prayer of the sheik nature sounded empty.

The maid lost by her blind faith and excessive generosity. After Nsu broke his relationship with the ex-teacher she became the back bone and sole financier to his organization. She neglected her village common sense and gave everything she had to the organization. She forgot her village family who depended on her for subsistence. She forgot the church and mosques that depended on her gifts. She forgot herself. She became a zealot. Without thinking for her future she handed all her savings, jewelry, gifts she received from her employers to the organization. She wept because she could not give more. Nsu became the brother she adored; the father she missed; the monk she admired and the sheik she respected. She was ecstatic to find all in one. With the passage of time adulation metamorphosed into idolatry. Nsu became Eritrea. The maid became the defender. Unfortunately, in her profession she got competitions from other women so she was not favored like before. For her price employers could hire a dozen others. But undaunted by her situation she continued her sacrifice to Nsu’s organization until the arrival of independence. The day after, she was forgotten. Nsu deliberately ignored her contribution for he understood the power of a giving woman. He knows she does not give without purpose. He knows she was the extension of the village woman, his ubber enemy. Now she is old so she could not be gainfully employed. She is poor because she had no savings. She could not depend on her poor relatives she ignored because they are in worse condition than her. The altered flag brought her destitution and fatal confusion. No one can recognize her.

The biggest losers were the children. They were denied normal childhood life to become child soldiers and forced laborers for Nsu. They lost big because nobody could protect them. They lost because they were surrounded by submissive people. No one could stand on their behalf, not the village; not the woman; not the monk and not the sheik. The life producing woman and the soul nourishing monk and sheik forgot their primary duties. The man became emasculated, coward and inactive. The children bore the heaviest burden during the struggle. Under Nsu’s sadistic leadership they sustained unimaginable mental, spiritual, moral and physical abuse. They were ordered to perform criminal and negligent tasks at the expense of their life and they stoically did. They were forced to become Nsu’s guinea pigs and acquired life and relationship damaging habits. Many of them became alcoholics. After independence thirty thousands of them became the sacrificial lambs to defend Nsu’s testosteral competition against the Ethiopian president for a barren land that even Mother Nature prefers to forget.

And now they are running away in droves. While running away they are taking fatal risks. They have to dodge bullets to cross the border. They have to hide to avoid arrests by the Sudanese. They are crossing the Sahara on foot with no guides and no essential supplies and their skeletal remains are the testament. They are crossing the seas with unsafe boats and many are drowning.

If they dared cross the Sahara with no aid thus risking their life, Sahara must be easier than living in their motherland. If they are crossing the seas with no swimming skills dying in sea must be preferable than living in their motherland.

The children are taking risks because they loved life. But they love life only in free lands and among free people. The genes they inherited from the village woman are still alive. Nsu can brutalize their body and torture their soul but could do nothing to extinguish the genes of the village woman. And one day the gene will triumph.

Nsu, on his dot filled journey, was able to achieve what he dreamt and planned and is ruling the country he designed in his own image under his own weight with only one enemy left to defeat: The CIA.

His battles with the CIA had already begun because one week after independence his agents in Addis Ababa tracked the handsome and intelligent family man Tesfamichael with the aid of his unsuspecting daughter who was a struggler and murdered and dismembered him with axes so that none of his body part could survive to tell any story. Nsu did not care about the daughter for she was there to be used just like every one else.

The rest is modern history and one can find it in the beautiful gardens of and, gardens well preserved by their excellent gardeners called administrators and participants.

NB: My heart goes to the people of Haiti in their suffering. We Eritreans are grateful to Haiti for it was their vote that saved us from being permanently sliced into two.


Related Posts