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The Essence of Isaiasism: Forced Labor

First of all, yes, when awate 7.0 is launched (1/1/14), we will have a blog for Haile the Great (and all our contributors) so that they can post their pieces directly and people don’t have to fish for content in the comments section.  This edition of Nahda started out as a response to his announcement–that the Eritrean regime is mobilizing members of the “People’s Army” for terracing campaigns to the outskirts of Asmara and, given the transportation challenges of the country,  many are going on foot to work 10-12 hour days for an entire week.  Upon reflection, it appears to me that the entire essence of Isaiasism–his sole ideology, his religion–is that forced labor is an indispensable ingredient for development and every resistance from Eritreans has been countered with an alternative forced labor campaign.   

1. The whole vision of PFDJ Isaias on how to leapfrog Eritrea from the third world to a developed country is based on one man’s vision: Mao Zedong. 

2. The whole basis of China’s leapfrog policy was based on one thing: FORCED LABOR.

3. Of course, the world is aware of how disastrously wrong one forced labor campaign modeled after China’s went– Cambodia’s pol pot and its decimation of a quarter of its own population.  A quarter.

4. The problem with Isaias’s vision is that the world has changed since Mao’s time: the UN has promulgated a series of conventions– that prohibit getting forced labor from children, political prisoners, and for economic exploitation (including rights for Indigenous and Tribal Peoples.)

5. Why doesn’t Isaias just ignore international law, you are asking. After all, he doesn’t seem to have much respect for rule of law.  Answer will be below, somewhere, when profiling the man.

6. Since the installation of Isaias Afwerki as president, there has been a campaign to solicit near-free labor from Eritreans.  These campaigns of terracing hills (by students), sending elderly Eritreans for “maetot” to the villages (busing women from Asmara to the countryside for annual harvests), having prisoners building luxury hotels (that YPFDJ: Young People’s Front for Democracy and Justice types would visit and admire and congratulate the prisoners for their patriotic zeal), have been going on since 1995. 

7. The 2001 University of Asmara students movement was a protest against cheap forced labor.  The argument was, essentially, this: you have received X funds, for our labor, for this particular project, from external funding; you are proposing to pay us Y; we demand that we get paid X or we are not going.  For such defiance, they were rounded up in buses and sent to the hell-hole in WiA, some to Nakura,  then asked to write apology letters for cheating the country out of the project (malaria consciousness, literacy) they should have engaged in for no money.  They were told that that they deserve long prison terms, it was only the farsightedness and kindness of their government that is sparing them that. They returned broken, to resume their studies, at a university that would soon close.

8. It is shortly after that that the “Warsay-Yekalo” initiative was launched.  This so-called “Marshall Plan for Eritrea” was supposed to get rid of the giant magnifying glass on forced labor because (a) it is violation of “national sovereignty” to intrude into how a country organizes its armed forces; (b) the world gives a lot of latitude on what countries do (internally) with their armed forces.  It appears all is allowed except having an aggressive posture.

9. The exodus of Eritrean youth is mostly a protest against cheap forced labor.

10.  Everything that has happened in Eritrea since the PFDJ/Isaias came to power is a fight between the PFDJ/Isaias imposing forced labor and the people fighting back or leaving the country. 

11. Even government officials are not spared from forced labor.  They don’t own their labor: they can’t resign, for example.  Consider: There should be no reason why a government official should “defect.”  A government official who disagrees with government policy should resign.  But when was the last time you heard that in Eritrea: a government official resigning?  They are promoted, demoted, frozen, thawed, promoted again.  The point being: they are the property of Isaias Afwerki.

12. Forced labor has its consequences including squeezing out the private sector: a PFDJ conglomerate using cheap forced labor can out-compete a businessperson trying to provide service or product using voluntary labor. The businessman goes to Uganda or Sudan, the laborer goes to Lampedusa.  Every institution is affected: Demand for cheap forced labor empties out religious institutions, compromises the quality of educational institutions, sports, tourism.  Even the institutions that are supposed to benefit from it–agriculture, mining, transportation, infrastructure-building, etc–do not because a forced laborer is not a productive laborer.

13. Speaking of mining, in its quarterly report, Nevsun management reports as a highlight (without any sense of irony), that, (a) for the quarter ended 9/30/13, it recorded 13.5 million hours at Bisha Mining (90% of the employees/contractors are Eritrean) and that its lost time injury frequency rate was 0 (nobody got injured or in an accident, a world record) and (b) it has commissioned a human rights panel to investigate allegations by human rights activists (including Amnesty International) that it is using essentially slave labor and that part of this investigative panel will be the Eritrean government, the party accused of violating human rights.  Lenin was right about capitalist fools.

14. If you look at the “People’s Army”, the militia that Isaias Afwerki assembled last year, it is not exactly an elite combat unit.  It is mostly barely-trained civilians carrying weapons and guarding nothing.  By guarding nothing, I mean there isn’t exactly a crime spree in Eritrea (the demographics aren’t there for crimes which are usually committed by young males) and there are no Fort Knox to guard.  So, given that the world doesn’t care what governments do with their militia, these folks must have been “enlisted” only so that they could be called for the occasional slave labor.  (That and to prevent the idle mind which is the workshop of the devil–plotting and such–which you won’t do if you are kept busy doing nothing.)

 15. Isaias Afwerki finds the whole idea of Britain (founded on forced labor of empire) and the US (founded on slave labor) lecturing him on forced labor annoying as hell, particularly when they have nothing critical to say about rich but abusive countries (Gulf Arab states.)  He is essentially a man who belongs to a different century and finds the “constraints” the modern world imposes on a good-old authoritarian simply offensive. And all the work-around he creates–Warsay/Yekalao, elderly ladies sweeping streets, old men fixing antique trains, elderly men terracing hills–are because he sees himself as a monarch whose intentions are good: to improve the “quality of life” of his people–50 years from now. (The Mao model of kill a million to save a billion.)

16. Eritrea is a signatory to several UN conventions on labor.  Why would Isaias Afwerki care about ILO, Child Labor Laws, etc? Now, this is where Isaias Afwerki’s personality defect is key.  I take you back to wikileaks and the analysis of a psychiatrist who has studied cult leaders: Isaias suffers from “a sense of entitlement” (refer to his interviews where he says: I have no contract with the people, nobody in this country owes anybody anything, etc), a “lack of empathy” (refer to his silence on Lampedusa), “envy of others” (refer to his griping that the US has subcontracted its Africa policy to four African “goblel” states–including archenemy Ethiopia) “or belief that others are envious of him” (refer to his claim: We are number one in Africa…Eritrea is scary to the world because its trailblazing a bad example of a good example, that is why they are plotting to empty the country of our youth…), “self-righteous indignation when others are believed to be breaking rules” (refer to his complaints on how UN/US ignoring EEBC, refer to his call for restructuring the UN and the world order.) Because the funds he receives from the “development partners” expressly demand compliance with conventions on labor, he feels he has to (“we are a civilized people.”)  But he finds this extremely annoying, a double standard from countries which do not respect labor laws and have high concentration of wealth among a tiny percentage of the population.  Thus, the rants on TV about “Washington administration”, “special interest groups”, the “occupy” movement, the Arab Spring: all of that was to overthrow the existing World Order.

17. Credit where credit is due: the person who was way ahead on this and coined “Wefri Barnet” (Slavery campaign) for Warsay-Yeka’alo is Ambassador Adhanom Gebremariam.  He wrote a 36-page series called “The Hybrid Philosophy of PFDJ”) in Tigrinya (it was posted at a website which no longer exists, so no link.) At the time, many of us (me included) thought that that was a bit hyperbolic.  But he was right. 

18. Thus, Isaiasism can be reduced to: “Development Through Cheap Forced Labor” and, in pursuit of that policy, he will enlist the young, when he can, and the old, when the young are not available.  The bet is that Eritreans–particularly the Diaspora Eritreans–will forgive everything if the China model works: from starvation to an economic giant.  But there is nothing tangible to show for this which is why there is the endless talk about Millennium Development Goals (MDG) and how Eritrea is on track–ahead!–of many of them.

19. Isaiasism relies on Eritreanism whose most defining quality is, as articulated (accurately, I think) by former US ambassador to Eritrea “to withstand suffering and deprivation with forbearance and toughness.”  Ironically, Isaias stays in power by flattering our ability to withstand suffering without complaint: here’s more suffering, I knew you could do it, bear it and grin.

20. This ability to withstand suffering with forbearance and toughness will, at some point–and every indication is that this “some point” is getting closer–will snap when people will use the same strength–ability to withstand suffering without complaint–to take a risk on the unknown.  To say that the regime is failing another MDG:  Minimum Decency Goals.

21. As a friend says, “tHuqen ala“.  The momentum is accelerating.


About Salyounis

Saleh Younis (SAAY) has been writing about Eritrea since 1994 when he published "Eritrean Exponent", a quarterly print journal. His writing has been published in several media outlets including Dehai, Eritrean Studies Review, Visafric, Asmarino and, of course, Awate where his column has appeared since the launch of the website in 2000. Focusing on political, economic, educational policies, he approaches his writing from the perspective of the individual citizens' civil liberties and how collectivist governments and overbearing organizations trample all over it in pursuit of their interests. SAAY is the president and CEO of a college with a focus in sound arts and video games and his writing often veers to music critique. He has an MBA from Golden Gate University and a BA from St Mary's College.

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  • Yodita

    Kbrti Papillon,

    “Which part of my comment is discomforting you? I am willing to elaborate.”

    Basically, I am of the opinion that we can only guess the mental, psychological and emotional anguish of people who are living under tremendous duress in our country, notwithstanding our sporadic visits and on the spot superficial assessments. We would have to be there in the same condition to own it. To theorize, immersed in comfort and freedom, is but nothing if not related to the complexity on the ground! It is like one who is standing on firm ground telling the other who is struggling on a dangerous sliding mud, come on walk straight and come out, denying his condition. We have to refrain from being judgemental, considering the complexity.

    I guess that you mean it in an idiomatic manner, but ቆምሽጢ ዝተኸድኑ “ኣሰብኡት.”, I thought was a women-denigrating statement, considering the role of young women in the struggle and adetat (domestic workers) from outside that supported ghedli with immense sacrifices. You and I were not out there in the battle field facing death and we should be humbled by the heroic roles of women-kind in Eritrea and avoid likening cowardice to women.

    I think that the defection of these three pilots using a military aircraft reverberates throughout the Eritrean people wherever they are and the message it transmits is hgdef has failed. In my view, it puts their peers in a ready mode for a concerted and decisive action to change the reality on the ground, hopefully in the most peaceful manner.

    The present generation has the sacrifice of (65,000?) fresh in its memory, followed by the sacrifice of additional thousands during the conflict with Ethiopia. These two monumental sacrifices in lives, they see for themselves, resulted in a miserable Eritrea. Do you think they will rush to their death imbued with this knowledge or would they opt for choosing life? We in diaspora my entertain the possibility of let a few thousands get sacrificed so that we can pick up the pieces and put the country on track. It is understandable if they hesitate to consider the utmost sacrifice as an option.

    As regards the selection concept, Mr. Amde has commented on it in a very sophisticated manner.

    Please correct me if I am wrong.


    • Sis Yodita,

      In reference to the defected pilots and its influence to the rest behind, you have said, “it puts their peers in a ready mode for a concerted and decisive action to change the reality on the ground.” Aside your fall to the same judgmental trap for which you criticized Papillon, I beg to differ to your assessment as to the mood of the army and their ancillary civil servicemen on the ground. This defection is not first in its kind to insinuate such prediction. We have seen many of them – three this year only, and none has contributed to your assessment. In fact in my view it is only encouraging to the rest for more defection and more refugee to our neighbor countries and beyond.

      In any circumstance of oppression,one must expect the more the oppression the more the people will revolt and reflex back to break the chain of oppression.unfortunately our Eritrean reality is the more the oppression the more the despair and submission, and eventually if you find an exit is to abandon the ground of fighting. If 250,000 Eritreans leave the country every year as I read it somewhere, where will be “the peers in a ready mode for concerted action?

      Back to the issue of “judgmental” : people will have judgments on issues based on facts and circumstantial evidences. Connecting the dots of events and the logic of the circumstances will make you to arrive at certain conclusion. That inferential conclusion, whether it is verifiable or not, is how individuals make judgments. If you don’t make judgement you wouldn’t know how to act to any consequential event. So accusing of having judgment doesn’t bode well for conducive debate at all.

      • SA

        Apart from the fact that Papillon’s comments can be viewed as sexist, I believe it is simply not conducive for a debate to start engaging in name calling. I do not believe the issue is whether it is right to pass judgements after considering the facts of an issue. I am sure you would not like it if I call Papillon an unflattering name based on what in my opinion are “facts and circumstantial evidence.” Using your logic, we can call each other names as long as we can justify our name callings. I believe some people are also taking issue with her use of the phrase ” ቆምሽጢ ዝተኸድኑ ኣሰብኡት” because perhaps instinctively they realize that it is an unfair characterization coming from an intellectual living in the safety and comfort of an average Western life. Just because she can write and make arguments that she believes are right, it does not follow that she can slander people because they did not do what she expected them to do. I get impressed by her encyclopedic knowledge about different subject matters, but she made a mistake in name calling the pilots.

        • Yodita

          Oh SA how I wish I were able to say it the way you do! Simply flawless! My compliments.

        • Selam SA,

          Actually as a matter of fact those who engage in name calling, I abhor them for it cringes my stomach.However my argument with sis Yodita was/is on her statement (a) as to how the defection of the pilots can influence the army on the ground to take action (b) on whether we should be judgmental or not ( conceptually) for without judgement we can’t make actionable moves. I wasn’t defending Papillon rather I picked Yodita’s statements to make my arguments against those statements she made. That is all. If Papillon slides to name calling, it is unbecoming to her stature. she has to apologize for her aberrations or Freudian slip.

          • SA

            Thank you Yodita for your compliments.
            Emma, thank you for your response. And yes, she was engaged in name calling because she referred to the pilots as ” ቆምሽጢ ዝተኸድኑ ኣሰብኡት”. Please read her post again about the pilots vis-a-vis what the military is supposed to do, and you will see why some people are having issues with the slander. The Warsays who are fleeing are soldiers too, so is she going to call them ” ቆምሽጢ ዝተኸድኑ ኣሰብኡት” based on her analysis what the military is supposed to do? This is a rhetorical question, of course, and thus I am not asking it for you to answer it.

          • saay

            Selamat SA, Yodita:

            I don’t know if this will help you see things in context or add more fuel to the fire but a couple of months ago Papillon was upset at LT’s ramblings and she wrote:

            Do you know what you’re? Hamayi (gossiper). Where I came from real men do not gossip. Men like you disgust me! I bet what you do all day long is sit around in coffee-shops and talk about people. Sebeytai hamayi. You disgust me. You’re not a man at all.

            A simple explanation to this is that Papillon has an image of the Ideal Eritrean Man: bold, brave, action-oriented, and a man of few words. (A black Clint Eastwood.) And when Eritrean men act in a manner that is neither bold, nor brave, and they drop-names, and engage in idle chats, she uses traditional Tigrinya expressions which associate those behaviors not with women but with effeminate behavior. An Eritrean yin-yang. For those who will inevitably say we are using double standards, we are not as this does not violate our posting guideline, although I think it would if it were written by a man.


          • Yodita

            Dear Amanuel,

            Don’t you think when the people witness such haemorrhaging the become absolutely certain of the futility of their patience and that hgdef’s lies are just that lies, year in and year out and something must be done to change the situation?

            This is what I meant when I stated: “In my view, it puts their peers in a ready mode for a concerted and decisive action to change the reality on the ground, hopefully in the most peaceful manner.”. If this does not agree with your thinking, it is fine with me.

            As regards being judgemental in the dictionary it means “too willing to criticize other people’s actions and behaviour and say that they are wrong”. Are you implying that we should take what the three pilots did lightly and be judgemental about it? It is one thing to give your judgement of actions and behaviour but quite another to be judgmental.

          • Saleh “Gadi” Johar

            Selam Yodita, your dictionary explanation for judgmental is, ““too willing to criticize other people’s actions and behaviour and say that they are wrong”. What about if we arrived to the conclusion that they are right? Let me rephrase it: ““too willing to admire other people’s actions and behavior and say that they are right” ?

            My argument is: the pilots did what they thought was right since they are acting on their own situation. But it is a big incident that we cannot ignore.

            My problem is when people say, “don’t be judgmental!” To me that is promoting neutrality. In our situation, it means and dissuading people from being engaged and encouraging them to stay behind the fence. Naturally we observe events, form opinions, and make judgements. True, free, thinking human beings are judgements though are not supposed to act like judges in courts, but they can have strong opinions (judgements). I am always judgmental.

          • SA

            Hi Saay,
            Black Clint Eastwood? That is quite an interesting term only you, “the Explainer-in-Chief” of Awate, would come up with. After reading her rant against L.T. in your post, I accept that your explantation might be the reason why she sometimes utters such derogatory words against men. But just because there is an explanation for her words, that does not make her words right. Worse, some words are wrong as well as hurtful. As I wrote in my previous post, “The Warsays who are fleeing are soldiers too, so is she going to call them ” ቆምሽጢ ዝተኸድኑ ኣሰብኡት” based on her analysis what the military is supposed to do?” I also wonder if she would have used the same derogatory phrase if one of the pilots had been her brother. I know I know ….I am probably personalizing this more than necessary as this is a forum of ideas. Still, her words stung, especially when one realizes that almost everyone in Eritrea is a victim of Isaiasism (believe me I was tempted to use PFDJ instead of Isaiasism!).

          • Merhaba, Yodita,

            This is only I can say to you: do not refrain from giving judgment as far the premises of you argument and the facts that support your argument is there, and goes hand in hand to help you sensible and and authentic judgement. We live for that and certainly myself. If we made biased judgment then goes the test of our credibility lacking authenticity of the matter at hand. My judgment is the precrusor to my action, always all the time.

          • please insert “make” to read as …to help you make sensible and authentic judgment.

          • Papillon

            ሳል ሓወይ እዝግሄር ይሃብካ. You’re our own Sh’magle sans grey hair where you step in with your wisdom as “tensions” rise to a certain degree. Hope that will settle it and move on with other prevailing issues. And I am still laughing about the “Black Client Eastwood” thing. Again, thank you.

    • Spot on , Kibirty Yodit, I guess that you mean it in an idiomatic manner, but ቆምሽጢ ዝተኸድኑ “ኣሰብኡት.”, I thought was a women-denigrating statement, considering the role of young women in the struggle and adetat (domestic workers) from outside that supported ghedli with immense sacrifices. You and I were not out there in the battle field facing death and we should be humbled by the heroic roles of women-kind in Eritrea and avoid likening cowardice to women.

      Kibirty papillon,

      Some one mentioned Freudian slip to refer to your verbal error(s). Making comments such as this-> ቆምሽጢ ዝተኸድኑ “ኣሰብኡት to illustrate a point is not only inherently sexist but also promote/reinforce negative stereotype against the role of women particularly of Eritrean women. Wouldn’t you agree ? I don’t claim to be a feminist but that ‘s how I understand it from Yodit’s, another commenter’s response. I think you have a lot of explanation to do for that 😉 If such kind of phrases came say from Haile, readers would simply shrug it off as a manifestation of exaggerated sense of masculinity usually characterized by domination of women and aggressiveness. Why shrug it off? Because many Eriteans are afflicted with such kind of machismo. We are far away from equality of the sexes in Eritrea that is.

      The military pilot who recently sought asylum in Saudi Arabia is a female captain. She would surely have strong feeling had she heard such phrases.

    • Papillon

      Dearest Yodita,

      I am a proud Eritrean woman. I can’t possibly see myself degrading the very thing that makes who I am. When I used the specific words in my comments that are obviously making you and Dawit unease is, I was thinking in Tigrinya so to speak where it can be seen in isolation from the world of “isms” as in sexism and an onslaught on feminism as well. For instance, we (we as in with in our cultural enclave) use the phrases or expressions such as እዝስ ሰብኣይ’ዶ ኢልክዬ ኢኺ ናይ ሰበይቲ ክዳን ዝተኸድነ እዩ to illustrate the temperament of a guy when he acts in a cowardly manner. Imagine translating the expression verbatim into English, not only it is an outright sexist remark but it as well becomes nonsensical at best.

      More over, as Aman put it aptly, there seems to be a pattern of taking the defection of either senior military personnel or the massive influx of ordinary people out of the country as a sign of a revolt against the regime. That certainly is having the wrong readings of the present day reality. We shouldn’t confuse utter hopelessness with a spirit of revolt. Further more, if we are to remain pragmatic and have a hard look at the unfolding events, the defection of people who had been part and parcel of the system doesn’t mean much. It may probably quench our thirst for news but again in reality that’s all about it. What makes a difference is when the irresistible urge to leave the country is channelled into standing up to the cruel and violent nature of the tyrant.


      • Yodita

        Dear Papillon and Amanuel,

        I have taken note of your comments and beg to differ and maintain mine for now. I just want to add, had half of the ministers had the courage to abandon the regime, what effects it might have had!

        Some of us (myself in primis)hide behind nicks incapable to take risks for truth’s sake and to ask others to shed their blood yet again so we can go and enjoy our country is not an option, as far as I can . We should ALL in the forefront and say NO to the regime, without guns. They cannot massacre all of us. I believe it is the only win-win way. Too many perished already and we have a mad man’s inhuman rule to show for it.

  • Serray

    Selamat Semere and Birhan,

    A purge is coming, a purge whose intention is not to punish the guilty but make an example of them. If I had the means, I would have shared the following with our people.

    Birhan, in response to papillon you wrote, “IA has a huge network of selalti all around the army and the country”. Nothing could be further from the truth. Let me explain but first I beg everyone to listen to Berhan Afro’s, mermari at adi abeyto, account on how randomly people are arrested and made to confess to crimes they didn’t commit or money they didn’t have. Here is the link Haile provided in another thread; again, please listen to it till the end. http://youtu.be/Uquew7ZTDKw

    If you count all prisoners in eritrea, I bet you you wouldn’t find anyone arrested as a result of any intelligence. The regime simply uses brute force. If you go to any part of eritrea, any part at all, and arrested 10 parents and 10 kids (unrelated) and tortured them for hours if they know anyone who escaped, anyone who spoke against the regime, anyone who knows someone who bought or sold in the black market, most of them will confess simply because they know someone. Now the regime goes and arrest the named individuals and repeats the torture and the questioning; eventually they will confess and the regime repeats the process over and over again until the country overflows with prisons. Now here is the kicker, in a country run by murderers, rapists and human traffickers, the regime gives its officials the right to arrest anyone without booking them or even subjecting them to normal interrogation (again, I beg you to listen to berhan afro and hear it from the horse’s mouth) what you have is a prison system that touches practically everyone thereby giving the illusion that the regime has ears everywhere. But all one has to do is remember the regime is corrupt, stupid, inhuman and incompetent and everybody knows that…the lack of electricity reminds them, the lack of running water reminds them, sawa reminds and the huge number of people going through the prison system reminds them that the regime is what it is. Unlucky for them, the regime knows that they know it is stupid so arresting anyone at random is a win win proposition for it.

    Gathering intelligence is a very resource and intellect intensive endeavor. Now tell me, what part of the regime shows that it has any intelligence to handle intelligence. Isaias is as smart as the regime gets and we found out how dumb he is.

    I am not saying that people shouldn’t be afraid of the regime, they should definitely be because it is run by brutes, what I am saying whether they plan to do something or not, their chances of being caught is based on pure chance. Wedi Ali proved that…the guy led a couple of hundred people with tanks through asmera all the way to MoI. None of the regime seleiti detected that and had it not being for the prick who cut the transmission, who knows, we might be listening to them today. My point is, the regime uncovers nothing using intelligence. It does using brute force and chance. If your chance of being caught is as good as any innocent person, shouldn’t you attempt to do something worthwhile than just wait for the hammer to fall?

    Haile mentioned what our slogan should be, I choose “There is no spoon”…there are no spies only brutes.

    • Papillon

      Dear Serray,

      Sure enough, to convince yourself that there is no spoon when you are in fact holding an actual spoon, it takes tremendous mental prowess and a leap of faith as well. But of course that is another story. However, if there is any moral-lesson in it, it would be the ability to transcend the human condition and overcome the unbearable lightness of trepidation or an abject dread.

      A hybrid of totalitarian and communist regimes such as the regime in Eritrea more often overestimate themselves where they sort of project on the people an aura of omnipresence in a bid to paralyze the spirit of the populace. Sure enough, one of the tools the regime employs is a psychological warfare where the people feel as if they are constantly being followed to the point of tattering on a verge of schizophrenic sphere. As such the people not only end up being trapped in their own perceived hallowing reality but get reduced into a heavily sedated beings. The sense of paranoia is lurking with in the Diaspora communities as well. If you for instance go to any given Eritrean restaurant or bar, you hardly see or hear people openly discussing the current affairs in Eritrea. There is this aberrant legitimacy of fear that is being sanctified and sanctioned pro-bono by the regime.

      What seems to be baffling is however, more often, abject hopelessness produces a sense of ካብዚ ዝኸፍእ እንታይ ከይመጻና mind set where people turn their fear into courage but as we witness, Eritreans inside the country using the courage to flee the country instead of turning it into fighting back the tyrant and his regime. It seems, it is incumbent up on us and it behooves us help them turn the sense of abject hopelessness into an up-lifted spirit and the urge to leave the country into standing up to the tyrant. There is no spoon if not at least the spoon is bending.


    • haile

      Selamat Serray

      Interesting point, here is my take. The current state of the regime (and therefore the country) is a natural stage of culmination for any such like systems based on contradictory component parts that cancel each other out. Intelligent systems, be it in security or any other field require intelligent people to run them. But intelligent people would ask questions and wouldn’t be needed in a system that intends to rule unaccountable. Hence the regime’s need to eliminate intelligent people precludes the ability to possess intelligent system in any field.

      Now if we look back to history of Ghedli, there was a time where the EPLF needed to have stored blood of each type for medical use for treatment of combatants. The problem was however the lack of the facilities needed to store, transport and supply blood to wounded tegadelti in the same instant that it is needed (even during battles). Such logistics would have cost in large sums of money to set up and maintain. Instead, the EPLF used a pen and paper to compile list of each fighter along their blood type. So, each time blood is needed, all you need to do is call up the person with the required blood type and collect the needed supply.

      Think of the type of intelligence apparatus that has stupefied Eritrean diaspora for this long in those terms. How many people do you know that have their families arrested in Eritrea purely because they opposed the regime? Or can we safely say that all people who openly oppose the regime have either all their family arrested or they have no family in Eritrea?? In fact, none is true, i.e. the do have family and they are not arrested for opposing. They may personally feel unsafe to visit but they are not doing the silence to shield anybody at home (perceived fear may sometimes be a factor though). Instead the intimidation and silencing is done here in the diaspora among each other. People are more concerned about their personal relationships with each other here to act irrationally (stay silent while your nation is disintegrating and your people going through horrendous ordeals). The regime operatives effectively work in this to create facts on the ground to polarize and paralyze the people. Do not go to their occasions, do not associate with them … have their set objectives to turn everyone to be watching everyone else with suspicion. This is the scary part where some might conclude the distraction of Eritrea had already happened because it is not easy to resurrect a stifled sense of trust without an alternative rallying cause.

      So, when the regime operatives predict that it would stay longer, they are not so much saying that the regime has smart ways of dealing with any of the problems unfolding, they are just saying that they are confident that they have paralyzed Eritrean’s sense of duty as citizens that they can mow down 50 people live on EriTV and their silent majority of paralyzed Eritreans may still turn up to a PFDJ dance night few hours later.

      You have seen it in Boston, elderly Eritrean mothers walked in to the Hotel of shame while their young compatriots were standing in vigil holding on to coffins made to symbolize the youngest victim of the Lampedusa tragedy! This shows you that the Eritren people are inflicting great harm on each other that it would be very challenging to turn back the clock.


      • saay

        Selam Haile and movie fans:

        I am confused on your assessment of the Diaspora PFDJ. There are two models and I want you to choose one. The two models are developed by two mediocre movies (plot) with sparkling dialogue. This is from Ghost Town and Men In Black and their view of individuals and mobs. Can you pick one: are you Agent K (Men in Black) or Dentist Pincus (Ghost Town) when it comes to your view of the Diaspora PFDJ? Are they dumb collectively or individually:). The relevant dialogue from the movies:

        Ghost Town

        Gwen: You don’t like crowds?
        Bertram Pincus: It’s not so much the crowd, as the individuals within the crowd.


        Men in Black:

        Agent J : Why the big secret? People are smart; they can handle it.
        Agent K: A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it.

        Bring your number 2 pencil 🙂


        • haile

          Hello Saay,

          Provided that we are all clear that we’re are not all one band and hence if one of us looks out of tune, it shouldn’t reflect on everyone in the opposition. I would go with men in black,,,, A person is smart. People are dumb 🙂

          My reasons as stated above are that intelligent systems need intelligent people and are beyond the reach of a third world dictator because intelligent people are not the crowd in which an African dictator can work with to thrive.

          Let’s explore more…

          • Serray

            Selamat Papillon and Haile,

            Both of you brought the diaspora into the equation but I left us out on purpose. One of annoying things people back home say about us is that we are their hope…people who have nothing to lose depending on cowardly people who have something to lose. The regime plays a contact sport; meaning, to win against it, you have to play contact sport,too. You can’t do it sitting in Addis, middle east, Europe or america. The regime doesn’t believe in petitions, in correcting mistakes, compromises or accommodations. It rules by fear, by brute force. Intelligence plays very little.

            The opposition (except the information based ones like asmarino, assena and awate) make things worse; first, by underachieving and then, to cover that underachievement by projecting power on the regime that it doesn’t have. We also make things worse by giving hope we can not deliver.

            I think if we can hammer FDR’s, “One thing we have to fear is fear itself” it will be very helpful. Imagine convincing our people that whether they get arrested, tortured or killed doesn’t dependent on what they do but on whose poor soul’s mind under torture they were. During dergi era, a guy I know confessed to having tanks hiding beneath his home. The brutes took him and started digging. I asked him what he was thinking while they were digging, he said, “I was praying they find a tank”. Berhane Afro, the interrogator who defected from shaebia regime, talks about a guy picked at random and tortured until he confesses to have money stashed in his mattress. Shaebia actually went to his home and, I guess, torn every mattress in his house and couldn’t find any money because there isn’t any…and so they kept tortured him. First, notice why dergi tortures and shaebia tortures; tanks and money…colonizer and liberator; second, notice how both are random.

            Sal, K’s line you got from Men in Black is about the best line in the movie…sort of Ayn Randish. My “there is no spoon” is from The Matrix…I hope they never made the other two.

          • haile


            -Saay,along your arguments in the past that it is Isaiasism and there is no PFDJ to speak of (that I find very agreeable), the “PFDJ” diaspora only have individual existance and no collective form to speak of. They meet for social, flag weaving, cadle lighting and dancing. Otherwise, they are not encouraged to meet, discuss and evaluate anything about “themselves” (plural). Actually that would be a threat because meetings raise questions and questions start revelutions. So, based on my inside knowledge, one of the key role as an individual PFDJ operative is to ensure the individual form of existance is maintained as long as possible (I am inside observer and not enforcer 🙂 )


          • saay

            Selamat Haile:

            An observer but not an enforcer? Let’s be the judge of that: are you now, or have you ever used the following words: ክምእከል ኣለዎ: ነማእክሎ: ተሰራዕ 🙂

            What we are describing is a cult. Here’s an excerpt from Cults 101:

            The group displays excessively zealous and unquestioning commitment to its leader and (whether he is alive or dead) regards his belief system, ideology, and practices as the Truth, as law.

            ‪Questioning, doubt, and dissent are discouraged or even punished.

            ‪The leadership dictates, sometimes in great detail, how members should think, act, and feel (for example, members must get permission to date, change jobs, marry—or leaders prescribe what types of clothes to wear, where to live, whether or not to have children, how to discipline children, and so forth).

            ‪The group is elitist, claiming a special, exalted status for itself, its leader(s) and members (for example, the leader is considered the Messiah, a special being, an avatar—or the group and/or the leader is on a special mission to save humanity).

            ‪The group has a polarized us-versus-them mentality, which may cause conflict with the wider society.

            ‪The leader is not accountable to any authorities (unlike, for example, teachers, military commanders or ministers, priests, monks, and rabbis of mainstream religious denominations).

            ‪The group teaches or implies that its supposedly exalted ends justify whatever means it deems necessary. This may result in members’ participating in behaviors or activities they would have considered reprehensible or unethical before joining the group (for example, lying to family or friends, or collecting money for bogus charities).

            ‪The leadership induces feelings of shame and/or guilt in order to influence and/or control members. Often, this is done through peer pressure and subtle forms of persuasion.

            ‪Subservience to the leader or group requires members to cut ties with family and friends, and radically alter the personal goals and activities they had before joining the group.

            ‪The group is preoccupied with bringing in new members.

            ‪The group is preoccupied with making money.

            ‪Members are expected to devote inordinate amounts of time to the group and group-related activities.

            ‪Members are encouraged or required to live and/or socialize only with other group members.

            ‪The most loyal members (the “true believers”) feel there can be no life outside the context of the group. They believe there is no other way to be, and often fear reprisals to themselves or others if they leave (or even consider leaving) the group.

            A chiw zbele hgdefite in northern California is watching Eri-TV and he tells his visitor, “እዚኣ ተላትካ CNN, Fox, BBC ኣየድልየካን ኢዩ፥፥ ኩሉ ሓቂ ትነግር እዚኣ ጥራይ አያ ዘላ!”


  • Papillon


    I am of the opinion that, the recent defection of three Eritrean military personnel doesn’t mean much. Really. First of all, real military men do not defect or issue rather lame series of questions as we saw yesterday (supposedly sent from Asmara from a certain Colonel) posted on a different thread. Rather, real military men either mutiny, or else shoot to kill. What we have in Eritrea is in fact ቆምሽጢ ዝተኸድኑ “ኣሰብኡት.” We shouldn’t get carried away with more inevitable facts of defections either high ranking military personnels, Ambassadors, or artists. Simply because, it doesn’t put a dent on the regime. Even say tomorrow, his son my defect including his wife but again, it doesn’t amount much. The only real difference comes when the tyrant himself either flees, put under arrest or get killed. The reason is because this kind of “leader” sees almost everybody under his watch indispensable including his own wife and children.

    • Papillon

      Please read dispensable instead.

      • Birhan

        Papillon, I respectfully disagree with everything you said. This defection today has many negative ramifications for the regime at many levels:

        Eritrea doesn’t have all that many highly trained fighter pilots and a defection of three will put a huge dent on the confidence of the regime.

        The negative publicity is huge. This goes to show that there really is a problem with the regime. You and I know that already but I can dare say that the majority of Diaspora Eritreans do not have as much of an appreciation as to the decline regime.
        The quicker they come aboard, the quicker our people’s suffering ends. Also the very few foreign support the regime has can be shaken by such defections and their publicity.

        ቆምሽጢ ዝተኸድኑ “ኣሰብኡት” – I suspect you haven’t been to Eritrea recently, neither have I. To make such a harsh statement is utterly disrespectful of the men and women in uniform in Eritrea. They are not equipped with any sort of communications like us here in the West. Every gathering they do is quickly infiltered with. IA has a huge network of selalti all around the army and the country. Nobody can trust anybody. Ask yourself one question: knowing what you know now, would you sacrifice yourself for Eritrea and Eritreans? I can guarntee you the answer to that question by every single Eritrean would be a resounding NO. So the army men and women’s desire is to leave and have a normal life. Most of them have lost a sibling, a parent, a close relative, a close friend, and their desire now is “I ain’t gonna be the next victim.” It is not for luck of jigninet or courage, they just simply do not see it as worth their life.

        I would disagree also that IA doesn’t care about his family. There is no proof to that. There is no one who hates the man more than I do, trust me on that but such an alligation is unfounded and most likely not true. Most dictators send their families abroad before their demise. Do you know of any of the Eritrean officials who have lost a son or daughter to any of the wars? Oh actually, I do agree with your despise to the colonels’ letter. If you ask me, they are the ones ቆምሽጢ ዝተኸድኑ “ኣሰብኡት” and not every Eritrean in the Army.

        We need to fight the regime prudently. If you look at the regime supporters, with the exception of Sophia and the like, the rest are incredibly low on information. The sentiment among most Eritreans now is that “okay the GoE has failed our people and our country but etom tekawemti zbahalu equa mefto’om wediom alewu.” tekawemti to an Eritrean is analogous to a liberal to a red neck.

        • Papillon

          Dear Birhan,

          Here is the deal: You said, “The negative publicity is huge. This goes to show that there really is a problem with the regime.” The regime has had problems (read: understatement) since forever where it is rendered synonyms with a pariah state. In fact, the negative publicity that has been hurled (rightfully so) at the regime has made the world at large desensitized to the extent of taking what ever is happening to Eritrea as a normal phenomenon. The fact of the matter is, the regime is not an exception neither is the defection unprecedented. Castro has been counted out myriad times since 1959 every time seemingly end-of-his regime events come to the fore but for a naught. The same can be said about other dictatorial and authoritarian regimes. But they persist. The real deal (read: trophy) can only be delivered when the head is cut out in its entirety.

          When we have a bird’s eye view of the daily political, social and economic realities in Eritrea, the military men have up-close and personal take of it. But for the reason I dare say it again, ቆምሽጢ ዝተኸድኑ “ኣሰብኡት”, they are either prostrating under the feet of the tyrant or flee the country with their tails between their legs. Military men do not do that. Military men are hard wired to pick their arms and kill the entity that is traumatizing their own people.

          Let me digress for a bit. The valour of Eritrean men (particularly the military men) seems to defy evolutionary law or mechanism. The main mechanisms of evolution are variance and selection. Where the former is random genetic recombination which gives rise to variance in phenotype, the latter selects with in generations the fittest genes that have responded to the changes of their specific environments. That is, the weak genes or those which can not survive to the changes of the environment are weeded out and go into extinction. That means, only the fittest survives with in or in between generations. That in mind, those who started out the glorious struggle for independence were equipped with valour, courage and selflessness and these genetic attributions are favourable in nature and tend to pass on to the next generation but for some weird reason, only the ones that were supposed to go into extinction seem to have survived (read: timidity, selfishness and cowardness) with in contemporary Eritrean military men.

          • Birhan

            Dear Papillon, again I couldn’t disagree more specially with your last paragraph. Natural selection doesn’t happen in a few decades. In addition, we were not left with just a handful of men in Eritrea. According to Shaebia, we lost 65000 tegadelti during the struggle for independence. If you assume all of them to be men (just so the numbers favor your argument) and that the Eritrean population to be 4,000,000, of which lets assume again, 50% are men, then we lost just over 3% of the males. So now connect the dots for your argument.

            I apologize for sounding contrarian. You and I have the same goal – to depose PFDJ by decapitating its head sooner rather than later. The rest of the generals and his cabinet (cowards as you correctly alluded to) will run for their lives.

            But we need to take into account where our people are in terms of their grasp of the reality on the ground. I was at a gathering this weekend with average Eritrean folk. Again the sentiment is that the GoE is in decline and failing but the suspicion against TEKAWEMTI is ridiculously high. Because we are generally elitist and out of touch with ordinary Eritreans who still think ‘our number one enemy is weyane by virtue of the US’s mission to nullify our independence because we are setting a bad example to the other African nations.’ We need to fight this concurrently. The more we relay our message in simple terms, the better chance we have of deposing this regime more quickly than say Castro’s decades long rule – most believing he is down and out all along. Simply put, this regime has failed our people at every level – socially, economicall, and politically. We need a transitional governement and then hold elections and live peacefully and happily thereafter. Easier said than done but no question in my mind that we stand a better chance without PFDJ and IA.

          • Papillon

            Dear Birhan,

            It was a figurative speech so to speak that I brought about the kernel of evolution not so much to assesses the unforgiving weakness of the military in the strictest term of natural selection. Having said that however, I am at a lose to see that people including the folks you had an encounter with expect some sort of comfort zone with in certain political block (read: Opposition). This kind of weak grasp of the reality tells us that, these people don’t have the sense of urgency the nation is calling on all of us at all. To be more precise, and to put it bluntly, we don’t need Opposition blocks to lead us in an effort to get rid of the tyrant. Simply because, every individual who feels the deep pain of the Eritrean-self under Isaias is an Opposition by virtue and by default. We are all Opposition. We don’t have the luxury of delegating the removal of the tyrant from the face of Eritrea to any group, that is, given the fact that the military is opting out either to tremble at the sight of the tyrant or deserting the people in their dire moments.


          • Ermias

            Dear papillon,

            We are on the same page. Thank you for taking the time to clarify.


          • amde

            Dear Pappillon,

            You said…”they are either prostrating under the feet of the tyrant or flee the country with their tails between their legs. Military men do not do that. Military men are hard wired to pick their arms and kill the entity that is traumatizing their own people.”


            “Let me digress for a bit. The valour of Eritrean men (particularly the military men) seems to defy evolutionary law or mechanism…. those who started out the glorious struggle for independence were equipped with valour, courage and selflessness and these genetic attributions are favourable in nature and tend to pass on to the next generation but for some weird reason, only the ones that were supposed to go into extinction seem to have survived (read: timidity, selfishness and cowardness) with in contemporary Eritrean military men.”

            As much as I admire you, I can’t believe you wrote these words. I will just say I forgive you in the name of a temporary lapse in judgement:-) (yes I know I am nobody to accuse or forgive you)

            1) Firstly, please please please – especially as a black person – don’t use natural selection arguments to analyze social issues. Or else it is a discussion of “The Bell Curve”. Both your terrible analogies “evolutionary mechanism defying valour”, and “the slated for extinction (read: timidity, selfishness and cowardness)” completely take the humanity out of the Eritrean manhood. I don’t know if we stumbled into some weird Freudian space about whether an Eritrean man is who he is, or he acts to be the way he imagines Eritrean woman rewards him to be…. but I digress

            2) Guerillas are very very very different from paid or conscripted soldiers within modern militaries. Fundamentally, a guerilla is a law-breaker – he is unhappy with some established law/practice/act/authority and is not unhappy to act on how he feels. The ideal professional military person will follow orders to his death if necessary. Of course each individual is a blend of these. A healthy society needs most people to be order followers most of the time, and some to be guerillas some of the time. Too much guerilla-ing is complete instability – too much order-following is stifling death.

            If we were to limit our view to the military class, I would assume the current officer corps and soldiery are very different from the volunteers that marched into Asmara in 1991. After 20+ years of independence, the soldiery are involuntary conscripts who do not see a reason why they should make a martyr out of themselves for undefined goals and dubious success. The military and defense institutions are now mostly filled with people who regard it as more or less a job they would like to retire from with a successful career.

            Success in a military bureaucracy is a lot like success in other bureaucracies. And it is a bureaucracy with specialized and sub-specialized skills. The fighter pilot is most likely as ignorant of military intelligence as a civilian like me. A platoon would die of starvation if you put a communications specialist in charge of logistics. I would imagine organizing something meaningful requires many things to come together, and a small team of people with the right complementary skill sets and trust among each other.

            3) Given the foregoing it would take a very select sub-group of military people who will have the means, the motivation, and the opportunity to take a politically meaningful action.

            4) When you think about it, every dictator who rules by the Gun is very much aware that the most immediate danger is that of the gun being pointed at himself. How to keep the fist pointed outward must be in Dictators101. Stalin, Hitler, Saddam, Mengistu, the Kim family, the Assads have figured out there is obviously a science to the nuts and bolts of how to manage that particular type of danger. This kind of skill – Issayas has had 40years of practice.

            5) I would interpret your comments to mean that the colonel would be the kind of people that would be indicated to in point (3) above. In that I would say you are partially right – however, a military skill-set is as they say a necessary but not sufficient condition.

            6) Assuming someone who dies was necessarily “better” in some way than the living does not make sense when you think about it. As I get older, I respect the fact that fate and circumstances out of ones control dictate much of life. For this reason, to me at least, constant gratitude and forgiveness are the highest values I wish to aspire to. It is easy to confuse proper appreciation of sacrifice with undue weight to the assumed opinion of the dead. But I bet the facts of the how and why the dead died and the living didn’t would be a lot more instructive. Was it bad luck? Stupidity? Poor planning? Betrayal? Choking accident? There are a thousand and one details. Please, let’s practice more of honoring the living and questioning the dead.

            7) It seems to me you wrote this because you subscribe to the school of thought that says 90% of Eritrea’s current problems begin and end with Issayas, and that a quick solution is to be had by chopping off the head. (After all – this article and the next one written by Semere are coming from the same angle) Then it is understandable that the potential head choppers (i.e. military) should make quick work of it (and so get on with it chop chop (geddit?;-)).

            I wish I could say I am convinced that is the case – but I am more inclined to believe Issayas is probably quite a prisoner of the Party and Military money and power structures and security gulag bureaucracy that have bloomed under him. I will tell you something I had heard – during one of the TPLF/EPRDF internal crisis (can’t remember if it was during the post-war TPLF split or the 2005 election) it is said senior military and political figures accused Meles of planning his own comfortable exit into the UN etc… and leaving them to face the music. Since his verbal assurances were not sufficient, he is said to have had to offer money in foreign currency to be deposited outside of the country to appease them.

            Head chopping will most likely lead to automatic civil war, or worse a free for all chaos. Not good in a country that is already severely depopulating.
            And definitely not something the US and the neighbors will be happy to see.

            8) So if no head chopping, then what? I don’t know but it seems to me that the wife (Eritrean people) has had it with the husband (Issayas), but the deal has not been made by the alternate suitor(s?) (the opposition) as to his plans for her, or for her children (PFDJ and military/security bureaucracy)


    • Yodita

      Dear Papillon,

      I found the contents of your comment very grave, to say the very least!

      እሕሕሲ ዘይተሰርነቐ ይኽእሎ።

      The noble person that I think you are, I hope you will have the courage to say your regrets.


      • Papillon

        ክብርቲ ዬዲታ ሓፍተይ,

        Which part of my comment is discomforting you? I am willing to elaborate. Please accept my apologies if you found it offensive.

  • Birhan

    Hi all.

    Let’s all take a moment and remember (in our hearts) our brothers and sisters (ዝነኣሱን ዝዓበዩን) who perished in Lampedusa last month and all who perished in the deserts and the seas before and after that. The following paragraph is courtesy of: ኤርትራዊት ቤተ ክርስቲያን ተዋሕዶ፣ መንበረ ጵጵስና ሰሜን ኣሜሪካ። 2 ሕዳር 2013 (ጥቅምቲ ፳፫, ፳፻፮ ግእዝ). The full version of the article can be found on tewahdo.org.

    እታ ዝወለደት ማህጸን፣ ቀዳማይ ዘርኢ- ምድሪ ንናጽነት ሞባእ፣ ካልኣይ ንሓጹር ምክልኻል ሃገር ወፍያ እያ። ነቲ ሳልሳይ ግን እታ ኩሉ ዝተኸፍላ መሬት ረመጽ ድጉል ሓዊ ተቐይራቶ፣ ኣብ ጎዳጉዲ፣ ኣብ ምድረ በዳን ባሕርን ብታእላው ይጠፍእ ኣሎ። እዚ መሪር ሓዘን እዚ ንወላዲት ክሳብ ክንደይ ከቢድን መሪርን ምኳኑ ንምግማቱ ዘጸግም ኣይኮነን።

    ተወሊዶም “መርዓኹም የርእየና” ተባሂሎም ዝተመረቑ መንእሰያት፣ ደምበ ገዝኦም ኣብ ክንዲ ዳስ ንሓጎስ፣ ስብሕቲ ንሕጽኖት፣ ደምበ ንዕልልታ ዝስርሓሉ፣ ብኣንጻሩ፣ ዳስ ንሓዘኖም፣ ሕሩድ ንመስሓግ፣ ደምበ ንመሕዘኒ ምቕያሩ ንሓዘንና ዝያዳ የምርሮ።

    ቆናጁ ጎራዙ መርዑትን ኣኃትና፣ ተመርዕየን ዝቑነናሉ ዝቑንጅዋሉ፣ ውላደን ዝሓቑፋሉን ዝዘምዳሉን ዕድመ ንእስነተን፣ ብኣንጻሩ ርእሰን ዝላጸያሉ፣ ዝድርመማሉ፣ ገጸን ዝማድዋሉ፣ ካብ ሰበይቲ እገለ፣ ሓያም ጓል እገለ: ናብ ዚብል ደረጃ ዝወረድናሉ ኣዝዩ ሕማቕ እዋን በጺሕና ኣሎና።

    ልቢ ዘይሰኹዑ፣ ሕቑፈ ወላዲኦም ዘይጸገቡ ኣሎ እምበር የሎን ኢሎም ዘይፈጡ ጨላቅዕ ሕፃናት፣ ካብ ድኽነትናብ ዝኽትምና ዝተሰጋገሩ ሒደት ኣይኮኑን።

  • Eyob Medhane

    Sal, Gash Saleh and everyone. Do you have a twitter account?

    Please use it to the the purpose below..


    • Saleh “Gadi” Johar


      This my account: https://twitter.com/salehjohar
      I am sick of the Saudi mobs and their discrimination. This will be one of my main projects. I have a few things there, retweet them if you can//

      • Eyob Medhane

        Gash Saleh,

        I really did have full confidence in you. You say what was needed, because you are a ‘Gomtu’, which means a learned elder man, who can say things authoritatively, and be listened to for everything he has to say. It is an Oromiffa word that is adopted also by Amharic. 🙂

        I am also very proud of Ethiopians to rally around, make their voice heard and within couple of days they manage to create impact on this. If you scroll down the twitter feed, Tedros Adhanom was forced to respond to so many urges and questions. Way to go!

        Thanks, Gash Saleh..

  • haile

    Selamat awate

    Confirmed now,

    “Three Eritrean military officers have asked for political asylum in Saudi Arabiaafter Saudi air force jets forced their aircraft to land in the southern part of the kingdom….”



    • haile

      …. IA has given his brief reaction


      • L.T

        How long will it take him to——?
        Haile,why don’t tell us about your trip Ab Edaga Hamus? I like it.

        • haile

          Lamiek shikor, nay midre dehai qenTebTeb zihl bel. Nay enda kfleserawit eya. When Tekle Tesfazgi sang the famous prophetic song fiqrey telemeni to wubanchi bishaw, Zimbabwe never been the same ever again. What I buy in Edaga Hamus is just simbir the stuff your people in awre rebu’e call cheguwara. The earliest writings have confirmed that it is Edaga Habo not Edaga Humus. Saay can append it to his Ph.D. Because Ghezae Hagos who kicked out Semere Gebremariam in violation of the Geneva convention on human to animal diplomacy comes from there. 🙂

          • Saleh “Gadi” Johar

            Wo haile, cheguaray ahmimkani cheguarakha tHmem. Beware, don’t irritate L.T. the poet, the future mayor of Edaga Hammus, (or awre rebu’e) regardless of what Ghezae (whose citizenship in that area is revoked) says. A poet for a mayor? What more can you ask?

          • L.T

            Tecle U’wur”fikrey telemeni”to Mengi’s wife?
            Ati semayawit”-“Blue blue”by Beyene free.Blue as the color of Mereb rivers and Redsea.
            “Ati Semayawit
            tefetawit b maedo
            beta abay agdo”
            Beyene the Tigro.Ero(Tigria and Eritrea)associated with sadness and melachloy,and the type of music with”Mekalih Guayla(Bereket,Enbaye Habto,Kidane Adgay,Teferi Berhane and Asmerom Habtemaraim Dimzi hafash radio)that expresseses these very feelings is called”Ati Semeyawit”the blues.

            Osman Abdelruhmna “Akli Tsbet Koynin”Osman perception of this song is thought to increase oxygen to the brain”Akkkllllli Tsssssssssbet koyninnnniiiiii”
            Yemane Baria”Asmera”
            “Be 4 fidelat
            zikomet Hawelti
            kosikisa zeabeyt
            kisab lomi antei
            aine nay Eritrea
            asmera tsibkti”Azmere chocolate

            “Ab gezane
            teqmato seb kiray.
            higis witsu
            kimesuuuu iyoum sideray”My family are very powerful and this is our kitchens.I know Osman when I was a kid by his songs.He is an elegant composition.

            “Zwdi Hftaye”by Eng Asgodom W.Micheal
            “Zewdi Haftey
            kidi kidiyeee(2)
            Keyda iloma
            kiyda iloma.
            traditionaly,have tended to be more personal…”Zwdi Haftey”It is not a color of name that provokes strong emotions,it creates the kind of atmosphere that encourages meditation and imagination.

      • Serray

        Selamat Everyone,

        I can’t help being outraged reading about this latest taking of a fighter jet for a ride.

        In 1998, I was jolted about our nature. Even in these tough times, our peoples ambivalence about the value of fighting is astounding. Compare that to the time the dictator ignited badme; I bet you few knew anything about badme and yet the outrage was unbelievable; it was as if the ethiopians took one third of the country. Mothers sent their kids to war without even asking a single question about why a country that came into existence only five years ago said nothing about leaving part of its land, part of its people (deki badme), under occupation after thirty years of struggle. The way we reacted to badme sealed our fate in the eyes of isaias.

        Fast forward to the present; a screw driver is screw driver in the hands of every handyman. A gun is a gun in the hands of every soldier except non pfdj eritreans. A fighter jet is a fighter jet in the hands of everyone except in the hands of eritrean air force – which becomes nothing more than a dinky raft good only for crossing the red sea. Couldn’t these guys load a couple of bombs and drop them where they know the murderers, the rapists and the traffickers hangout?

        If people as privileged as these have to steal a fighter jet to escape; if the regime employes outsiders to round people up because it lacks capacity; one would think it is high time to intensify the challenge. Mind you, I am not saying the population should; just the ones with guns and fighter jets, you know instead of using them for canes and rafts.

        The regime is getting ready to do house cleaning the kind of which we have never seen before. If thought crime was a punishable in the past, we will find out soon the regime has made pre-thought crime a punishable. It will start punishing people who didn’t even know they oppose it; sort of algorithmic assignment of crime…”you sat odd numbers of seats away from wedi ali at the ceremony of…”. The people seem to forget that Shaebia doesn’t punish a crime in the first place; to does either to make money or discourage insolence. And as far it is concerned, there is a lot of insolence recently: what with the outrage of lampedusa, the riots against giffa, the audacity of the victims families to hold memorial, and this, stealing fighter jets instead of hitching a ride on a raft. If the regime didn’t crackdown soon, it will be taken as weak and that is an image a gang of murderers, rapists and human traffickers can not project if they are going to survive ruling a country that exists in complete darkness.

        • Selam Serray,

          I share your feeling.What I know our people was too good to reflex back. Not any more.I can’t even find the reason behind it.

        • semere andom

          Hi Serray:
          Amid the disturbing facts you mention, there is a reason for hope from the last defections of the likes of Wedi Tukabo, the pilots and going back to Ali Abdu. These people are jumping ship, a harbinger of the final days of the dictator. The most loyal are defecting not because it finally dawned to them that Isaias’s are endangering our people to the point of extinction, but they finally clued that they are responsible and want to acquire their “menqesaqsi” before Eritrea is considered safe for political dissidence after rule of law is established on the wake of Isaias capture or death. We have to wait to hear what these new defectors will say, but one of the last pilots told Assenna that he had no intention of fleeing his country,until he was perturbed when the pilots, the elite of the society were told go “tsahayay” and our nutrition was becoming increasingly less wholesome.
          Serray, there also a disturbing and mendacious camouflaged as compliment that is creeping into our lexicon, but is actually an insult to Eritreans and it is as follows: Eritreans are hardened by the difficult life and this gives them the tenacity to endure the inhumane suffering, sort of paraphrasing Mother Theresa, who reportedly said that suffering is a gift from God, to which the late Chris Hitches retorted with MT is no friend of the poor, she is a friend of poverty. Of course Eritreans are tenacious to a fault, but their tenacity was expended for freedom, dignity and liberty and not to beget more humiliations. I remember growing up Eritreans never divulged secrets even after being brutally beaten by the Dreg, many young women gave their lives protecting their friends and comrades. All these tenacity was a testament of their yearning for freedom and dignity. But the algorithm that you say may have been embedded long time ago during the Shaebia ghedli era that now Eritrean seem to be proud to be enduring tenaciously not for freedom and liberty, but for more suffering. The re-engineering may have taken place and the house cleaning may just be just major upgrade to some cool features. The re-engineering may have taken place and the house cleaning may just be a mere upgrade to some cool features.
          But you have to believe that it is human nature that unsung heroes are lurking amongst these brutes and Hitlerites. These heroes are saving lives, protecting the weak daily and their storied heroism will be told, once the Eritrean airwaves is sanitized from the Isaias debauchery. The heroic deeds of these unsung and latent heroes will outshine the heroic deeds that the Isaiasists tells us in their “werqawi qalat” and the brutality of Mengistu against our people will pale in comparison to the brutality that the Isaiasist have unleashed on us with what seems to be some kind of vengeance.

          • saay

            Selamat Semere:

            Outside our cocoon, it is news like the one today, pilots defecting, that lets the world know that something is rotten in Asmara.In free countries,even semi-free countries, pilots are coddled and spoiled because they are considered premium asset. In free countries, pilots don’t “defect”: they resign. But not in Eritrea. Based on what you summarized from what one of the pilots said in an interview, it appears that the cause is the same: forced labor.

            Once on air, these pilots have really few choices: fly to Ethiopian airspace and risk being shot; fly to Yemen, Egypt, Sudan and risk being cuffed and returned to Eritrea. So they go to Saudi Arabia despite the fact that they know full well that their chances of getting asylum, work permit, residence permit is very low.

            The expectation some have of “why don’t they aim their weapons at the enemy” is unrealistic. Just google “pilot defects” and you will see stories of Syrian pilots defecting to Jordan, North Korean pilots defect to South Korea, etc. It is highly improbable that even elite pilots–who have no practice because we have no fuel–could hit a target (assuming there is a viable target) with precision without killing civilians. Imagine how much the regime would have milked that?


          • Papillon

            Dear Semere Andom,

            Brilliantly put!. ኣገናዕ ዝ’ሓወይ

    • saay

      Haile (the great);

      Confirmed how? One source who is in a position to know 100% of the time? Two sources who have a .80 record? Three sources with a .75? 🙂

      The Arab papers have headlines which read Ethiopian plane and news content which says Eritrean plane/pilots. I think enda Isaias will say the asylum-seekers are Ethiopians pretending to be Eritreans.


      • saay
        • Eyob Medhane

          aigaforum has exactly what my sentiment about this situation.

          Right under the news, their editor’s note reads, “how dire can the situation in Eritrea be for anyone to ask refuge in this barbaric country which has no iota of respect to the human being? ”

          True. Very true…

      • ዕትብቲ ኮኾብ ሰላም

        wait wait, may be those pilots are from US.

      • semere andom

        Yes, enda PFDJ will say they were Ethiopians and then the Pilots will do an interview with their PFDJ accent and we will know they are Eritreans 😉

        • saay

          Semere Negus Tinglish:

          There you go replacing my “enda Isaias” with “enda hgdef.” Question: what will you do if next Monday Isaias says: “due to the demands of the people (hzbi yemarer alo) I am completely dissolving the PFDJ!”? What? Oh, I hear you: what am I going to do if the PFDJ overthrows Isaias and keeps PFDJ intact? They can’t. PFDJ can’t exist without Isaias; Isaias can exist without PFDJ.


          • Saay & Semere Andom,

            Actually if you watch what the “medrek” people are doing: mobilizinge hgdf base and EPLF sympathizers to remove issayas and retain hgdf intact and continue to dominate and dictate the political life of Eritreans. (call it a prophecy). It just reminds me the words of Semere Tesfay, and to paraphrase his statement, it goes as follows: “we will rule you and you will be ruled” to remind to one section of our population. I hope I am wrong but that is how my gut tells me.

    • L.T

      Edaga Haile Humas;
      Where do you want to go?

  • Gebre

    Hi All discussing PhD,

    Here is the best Doctorate Degree Saay can offer the people of Eritrea after the dictator.

    Project: He must (Should) prepare a top English curriculum for freshman and Sophomore Students at Asmara University. Reform the high school English to an international standard.

    This project along with the oppositional task he is engaged in is, to my mind, enough and much superior than writing a dissertation which, may be, has nothing to do with present or near future reality in Eritrea.
    We in East Africa should stop thinking in terms of only the honor that the doctorate degree gives; we must also think in terms of what we can do with it. We shouldn’t ask people what degree they have; who should ask them what they have done (are doing) during their professional life. An academic degree is an economic investment and must give back some returns. Most successful people in the world have no PhDs; some even do not have the first degree. Sometimes I find it very strange and annoying when an idea is shrugged off when it is proposed by a non-PhD, while the same damn idea is enthusiastically accepted wit no questions asked what so ever when it is presented by a PhD.

    Human weakness, there is a lot of it.

  • Tamrat Tamrat

    Compared to mengistu, sadam, ghadafi, even asad’s victims we see almost nothing about isaias’ victims in the international media though eritreasn assume how they are important in the international strategy arena their country is. Though it is not always neccessary to be a rich or strategic country, it always an advantage to be exposed to the international media. And this shows the atrocity in Eritrea is not in alarmaing stage at least for the internationla media. Inside the country there is no resistance from the Public except a little incident between the youths and some ethiopian ‘mercinary’ soldiers according to some websites. This not mentioned in any known media, even in ethiopia.

    So the questions: Is that my imagination some two weeks ago that pfdj was about to disappear from the Earth or awate.com makes me to blieve so?

    Or is there a secrate force like the EDF or part of the EDF which is ready to take over?

    If that were the case how come 10,000 mercinaries stopped them? The funniest thing some were so into this unkown force exists they thought that Asmara People were digging trench to defend the regime. And when thta sounds rediculus then awate team comes up how ILO rules are undermined in Eritrea. Very funny, mistar! May be Eritrea is in the European standard. Ya that way it makes sens. Other wise from the verge of abolishing a dictatroial system some two weeks ago starting the circular Journey from 1990s, leave alon me even Ermias is getting depressed.

    • saay

      Salamat Tamrat:

      “Is that my imagination some two weeks ago that pfdj was about to disappear from the Earth or awate.com makes me to blieve so?”

      It’s your imagination. Read the news we posted slowly.

      There are four pieces to it:

      1. There is a large, well-armed, well-trained Ethiopian opposition group named DeMHT based in Eritrea. (Names of its bases in Eritrea given.)
      2. Units from this force were integrated with EDF units to round up Eritrean youth.
      3. Because of the dialect differences, they were discovered: it was quickly known that the injury (round up) was supplemented by insult (foreigners doing the round up) which resulted in altercations.
      4. Eri regime officials, worried about the effect this news would have on the population at large, had meetings at schools and the local administrations to deny that Ethiopia’s DeMHT was involved in the round up. They had a subsequent meeting to investigate not why DeMHT is involved but how its involvement was discovered.

      Now which one of the above is imaginary?

      It’s interesting how news aligns and realigns people. The three groups that are heavily vested in proving this story is false are the Ethiopians (don’t blame us!), the Ghedli defamers (don’t blame Ethiopians!) and the Isaiasists (there are no wink wink DEMHT wink wink in Eritrea! We have a 300,000 strong force loyal to Isaias!) Of the three, the group that has gone into overdrive is the Ghedli defamers: Their High Priest, Yosief Ghebrehiwet, essentially accused awate.com of either inventing or playing up the news to heighten enmity between highland Eritreans and Ethiopians in general and Tigrinya speaking Eritreans and Ethiopians specifically. For Yosief, this is a sad, but predicted (he was on that trajectory for some time), descent into the swamps.


      • Tamrat Tamrat

        Ya, now you ansered it very clearly. It was not the News or the propaganda, but this exstra side kick from awate team and supporters that i thought the end of the pfdj was drummed. By the way my favorite professor in the horne problem heats the gehdl sympatizer one more time supberbly.

  • L.T

    Salihsim inspired by Sibhatism Tigria philosophy and their common components are natural elements or “TeNaiekna”cases .But it pays no attention to the people of Eritrea becouse this is an abstract collectivity individual “Tenaiekna” behavior from no value structure of society.

  • belay

    Dear Abderahim Gime,
    I enjoyed reading your interesting comment.No offense but let me say one thing.

    How is it introducing an Alien language (English,Kiswahili etc) solve the problem,when the actual problem wasn’t the language in use (Tigrigna)?
    The problem was within the Eritrean people as a whole,which needs to be sorted out by serious discussions and education.
    It gives sense for Tigrinya to be used as national languuage as it majority language or Tigre for that matter.
    Children who speak more languages are more successfull in life,so your comment about the Tigrigna kids ahead over other kids wasn’t true.
    The solution is to isolate the problem.
    Medeja beqeyayer wet ayatafetem.(Amharic)
    There is no ingredient in Tsahlii hit self.

  • dottore

    Is it true that SAAY is ABD (all but dissertation)? If so when is saay going to become Dr. Saay? The inquiring minds wanna know.

    Because, to be called Dottore in Eritrean society is like a really big deal.

    • saay


      Mine is NND: nowhere near dissertation 🙂 it’s: SBAOO. Stopped by admissions office once 🙂


    • L.T

      How many Dotttoretat have Tigria,More than 70 yrs after its first Weyane movement?
      Dr Solomon Onkay,Tewelde G.zabher,Teodors Adhanom,Almesged Abay,Gilawidos Araya,Hagos Tocala.
      Meles Zenawi,Almseged Gebreamlak,Abebe Teklehaymont,samora Yonnus,Siye ,Asrat…..

  • haile

    selamat Awatistas,

    Any revolution needs a slogan, so do those threatened by the revolution. Are slogans necessary at all? If they are, what purpose do they serve? Perhaps to galvanize? to communicate the objective of the revolution in few words long phrase? to point to the anticipated change that would follow after the revolution? to energize? to captivate? …. the following are some used by those opposing the regime and some by the regime itself. What do you think???


    Down, Down Dictator!!



    ስመር ሕቆ ህግደፍ ክስበር!!

    No to Dictatorship!!

    ኣባይይይይ ሕጂ ናባይ!!

    The regime

    ዓወት ንሓፋሽ!!

    ኩሉ ድሕሪ ሃገር!!

    ስራሕ ክብርና፡ መኸተ ድርዕና!!

    ንኺድ ጥራይ!!

    ነጻ መስመርና፡ ዋሕስ ምዕባሌና!!

    ብሒም ዝበለ ይተሓጎም!! Just kidding 🙂

    There. Which one do you think is well framed, appealing, memorable, promising, forward looking…


    PS: Add if any are missing. Note that the regime has different slogan as opposed to regime supporters:-) the later are not included (their opinion doesn’t really matter like the first two :-))

    • haile

      ኣድድ…revs. ምልኪ ይፍረስ፡ ፍትሒ ይንገስ!!

    • semere andom

      Haile ( Al ZaEm)

      ብሒም ዝበለ ይተሓጎም:እምበር ፍትሒ ክነግስ እዩ

    • haile

      My suggestion for the revolutionaries 🙂

      ሃገር ክትከብር፡ ህዝቢ ይኽበር!!

      ሃገር ክትህልው፡ ህዝቢ ይሃልው!!

      ኣሕዋትና ኣይነግድዕን ኢና!!

      ዓገብ ንብልሹው ምሕደራ!!

      ሰላም ምስ ዓለም!!

      ደቅና ካብ ናብ ስደት ናብ ትምህርቲ ይኺዱ!!

      ሓደ ኢና፡ ወይልኡ ዝፈላልየና!!


    • ዕትብቲ ኮኾብ ሰላም

      ንኺድ ጥራይ!! is the one i love from slogans of PFDJ. that is perfect they will go.it will be materialized.

      • Yemane Johar

        We used to hear “Keguad Mengstu H. Wedefit” and now ms husur president isaias afeh’are “nkid t’ray”

      • ዕትብቲ ኮኾብ ሰላም

        and Jebana said,

        ሕድሪ ስውኣትና ካብ ትረግጹ:-
        ንናብስ ዶ ይስዕራ ኣናጹ :-
        ኪዱ እምበሪ ኪዱ ተቦቆጹ :-
        ዕርብ በሉ ናብ ገደል ህጸጹ ::

        have a cub of real Eritrean coffee.

    • Hailat,

      All we are witnessing these days is the wrath of our people and their readiness for a mass movement…..actually as I see it, it looks a spontaneous movement with no compass to direct them. Keep in mind this is a continuation to the thread we were debating. This movement needs a genuine strategy to bring this objective reality to a conclusion in a soft landing.”Shimo teshamo” to rid the evil man is not enough. To stabilize the nation and to give a meaningful direction on how to congregate to a national dialogue from the current disintegration is the role of haile and his likes the elites of the nation. You and your likes have many homework in this spontaneous movement from different directions.

  • Ermias

    The comments here have been one of the following:

    Too boring
    Too long for me to have the patience to read
    Centered among a select few self-indulgers
    The 1990’s chatroom-like
    But primarily – the have been about things that are well known and established already.

    Okay, I am going to answer your question “why am I here?” Good question. I will only read the articles and head else where and ‘watch animal football.’ I wonder if that is meant to be soccer.

    wedahankum kbrut ahatn ahwatin. awet n witsu’e hizbi ertra.

  • Abe z minewale

    When will it be mr yonus becomes dr. Yonus,what is holding it?

    • werhi ms wetset ( when the moon is out)
      Just kidding. Wait for his response.

    • saay

      Abe Z minewale,

      You will like this. It’s from a comedian I used to know in the 90s:

      Mom: son, why don’t you get your college degree?
      Son: I don’t want to! Why is it so important to you, mom?
      Mom: my friends kids all have degrees, and I just want to say, when I am with them, “my son has a college degree!”
      Son: what’s stopping you now?

      Seriously what’s stopping me from a doctorate degree is to write a dissertation. And also take all the classes required 🙂


      • Seriously what’s stopping me from a doctorate degree is to write a dissertation. And also take all the classes required

        Meaning: You have not started it yet. You are thinking about it. If you had spent all the energy and time you had wasted at Awate site on acquiring a Phd, we would have called you dottere Sal. Our respect to you would have climbed up a notch or two higher 🙂 Not too late to start, Sal.

        • saay

          Hey Daw!t:

          If I had the time to invest in formal education, I wouldn’t invest it towards a doctorate, but a masters program in a different but related subject to my studies in bus admin ( Econ, finance, game theory, stats..)


  • Mohamed Edris

    Thanks Saleh for the analysis.Masterpiece. At your permission can I translate it to Arabic and Tigrinya so that many can be benefited from it?

    • saay

      Hala y’bu Hmeid:

      Of course. And next time you don’t have to ask, as long as it is properly credited (author and website where it first appeared.) And thank you for your kind words.


  • Papillon

    Dear Dawit,

    The Bihere Tigrinya as a politically dominant with in Isaias’ enclave is an urban legend. It is a myth. It doesn’t hold water at all. Despite the disparity in political platforms, there is a pervasive uniformity with in the Opposition parties. That is, they all have a common enemy. The Isaias regime. To be more precise, the political platforms entertained by the number of Opposition parties may vary from federalism to religious bent but that doesn’t tell us that the platform is borne out of Isaias’ proclivity to a specific Biher in essence. Isaias doesn’t discriminate, that is, all the Bherat are equally oppressed and prosecuted under his regime. He could as well be more suspicious of one particular Bhier than the other but he doesn’t extend favour to a particular Biher over another. Simply because, if Isaias sees an enemy, he sees an enemy.


    • Dear Papilon,

      Well, Issayas may be an equal opportunity oppressor but that does not necessarily mean that tigrina is not dominant in proportion to the other biher/biherat. I don’t have any date nor do you (I suspect) to conclusively say that Tigrina is dominant politically as well as economically.

      Nevertheless, let’s consider the following possible Myth-busters:

      1. Even though it is said Arabic is the official language, no meetings ( at the cabinet level or any other governmental meetings) are conducted in Arabic.
      2. The seat of successive governments have been in the heart of the Kebesa within which the Bihere Tigrin has lived for many years. Consequent, government services are easily accessed, favoring tigrina over the others. Needless to say, hospitals , schools and other services are readily provided in Asmara and its environs giving the inhabitants an edge both economically as well as politically.
      3.We can expand the list… (Haile can you help;-) I am out of ideas, poor me )

      So, based on the above two important realities, one may conclude that Tigrina is most likely be the dominant Biher in many areas of life in Eritrea. In other words, economic and political power are not distributed among biherat equally.

      • When I talk about dominance, please understand that I am talking both in size and magnitude of Tigrina biher’s power.

      • Papillon

        Oh Dawit,

        You don’t sound convinced by your own pointers either. I sure don’t see any relevance between the use of Arabic language in the cabinet meetings and the dominancy of the Bihere Tigrinya. They are mutually exclusive. Again, having the government’s office in the heart of Kebessa doesn’t say much about the dominancy of Bihere Tigrinya either. Moreover, I don’t see how that would channel economic benefit to the Bihere Tigrinya over the other Bihers.

        In fact, contrary to the age old held intellectual torque where the main antagonism with in a given society is the perpetual conflict between the haves and the have-nots (read: Class conflict Marxist dogma), a new theory is gaining momentum where the main conflict with in a modern society is the conflict between the weak-ethnic majorities and powerful-ethnic minorities.

        This intellectual forte is pioneered by Amy Chua, a Yale Professor where she in her ground-breaking book “World On Fire” argues that, Chinese minorities in South East Asia including in Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia and in the Philippines dominate not only the economic sector but the political realm as well. As such the majorities remain resentful. One can also see the impact of the minority Alawites in Syria. Her thesis gains more credibility when one examines the main reasons for a social tensions in the said countries. One also wonders, if that would have been the case if ethnic tension was to arise in Ethiopia given the enormous economic success of Eritreans in Ethiopia if the regime and the Weyanes didn’t part ways because of the Badme war.


        • SA

          Dear Papillon,
          I am not sure your discussion of market-dominant ethnic minorities applies to the situation in Eritrea. It is hard to argue that Eritrea has a free market economy and has a market-doiminant class due to globalization.

        • Tamrat Tamrat

          This far one goes to defend her ethnic Group, like defending the dictator. ‘the dictator treats everybody equals’. But deep Down you know how a tigray man speakes ‘asmarinya’ could be singled out and how worse it could be when an afar who speakes tigrinya if he is found in the same situation.

      • 3..2..1

        you are out of your mind.you probably are a rookie in eritrean politics if you think power belongs to a certain group or ethnicity.The power doesnt belong to tigrinia or even hgdf.it belongs to isayas ONLY.what did the tigrinia get from being dominant?Death in Sina and medditerian seas.Who is getting kidnapped in sina?! mostly tigrinias.Not saying people from other beher arent oppresseed though.Tigrinia was dominent since the armed struggle they martred for independence,tigrinia was dominent after independence they were enslaved by isias.Do slaves have any dominance or power?People like you who are busy differenciating between bihers or religions are cancer to our society.most eritreans wont accept ur devilish ideas of hate

    • Abderahim Gime

      Dear Papillon,
      You are absolutely right about Isaias’s character as an individual leader, and so too you are right about his indiscriminate oppression of all Eritreans – Tigrinyas and none-Tigrinyas. Yet the fact remains that there is a Tigrinaya cultural and linguistic(as distinct from religious) dominance in Eritrea. It is typified by a Tigrinya-centric Eritrean public space that excludes, at least officially speaking, virtually the rest of Eritrea. That is an objective reality and such a reality is the outcome not of any subjective posturing on the part of an individual or even group of individuals. An objective reality is the expression of impersonal overarching forces beyond the control or volition of individuals and which have been at play for lengthy intervals of time. It is often argued official language (and language certainly underwrites culture in addition to opening up opportunities in other spheres)is the result of a preemptive strike carried out by the elites who find themselves (by accident or design) at the fore front of any nationalist politics. Until we have a language that does not intersect with any of the Eritrean social groups, and here Kiswahili as in the Tanzanian case comes to mind, then one or another social entity will always enjoy a head start by virtue of the preeminence of its language nationally.

      I don’t want to finish without reiterating the fact that when it comes to understanding the processes involved in the creation of any objective reality, individuals per se are not the ones to blame. Where Eritrea is concerned, those who trace their roots to the Tigrinya ethno-linguistic group are not necessarily responsible for the ascendance of Tigrinya to be Eritrea’s official language.

      Thank you

  • Michael, B.

    Yours is not meaningful or elegant sarcasm. It is negative and hopeless. It leads to no inviting strategy debate. You pile problems and talk of liabilities with no assets and no solutions or extremely difficult solutions far in the future! What is it that you want and expect Eritrea to fail, so it would be easy for you to annex it, anew? You will never make it (Eritrea) Ethiopian. It is designed to be independent by its own martyrs.
    Sarcasm, leave Eritrea for Eritreans. Work, if you can to better our Horn Africa. Pray your Ethiopia to survive the mounting challenges of the coming decades and watch out it is not a destabilizing factor in our parts of Africa. That would do you good.
    I tell you, if the same or similar or worse situation you imagine applies to Ethiopia (for your country does not have any guarantee whatsoever) you would have quite intractable scenarios and a future that is quite bleak.
    It is rather idle, but let’s say, you double the population and any problem parameter you have or would have, and the growth factor of ethnic federalism (this is rather negative factor) you would have some rough results according to the mathematical law of (x, 2x, 4x, … of the side and x2, (2x)2, (4x)2, … of the area!) Draw the comparable Ethiopian scenarios of your hypothesis, if you care.
    Eritrea has good reasons and the advantage of running discussion in the context of religion, language and politics. It can and it should begin with what is positive to attack the problem of governance, economy and other issues.
    At the present, Eritrea does not have a bayto and a parliamentary body however our cause is taken care in the public forum, at grass root level. We will get used to give and take, compromise and continue to dismantle the mafia ways, holding high and refreshing the principles, traditions, laws and the philosophia modus vivendi of the people.
    Sarcasm, I am not anti Ethiopian and wish you success.

  • Selamat Saay, Hailat & others,

    The following links are something to do with the Eritrean defense force (EDF) and their demand to the leadership. Something is shaking within the rank and files in the army. What could you make from reading it? what is the prospect


    ohttp://togoruba.org/togoruba1964/mainTogorubamap/mainMap/headingMap/2013A/1111RW3-05AT.pdff these confrontation?

    • haile

      Hi Aman,

      Wow በዓል ርእሲ ምራኽን፡ ርእሲ አኣድግን ገይርካ ድኣ… ድርቅምቅም ኣቢልካ ቀለብ ሓሰማ ምስራሕ’በር እዩ! 🙂

      Notwithstanding its veracity and authenticity,

      – They don’t understand the challenges the country is faced with. All they seem to be concerned about is their own immediate needs

      – They stated that the youth say አንታይ ገይርኩምልና ኢኹም ብታዕሊም ሞኽ ተብሉና ኢሎም ሓዲጎምኻ ባው ይብሉ. Then suggest as an agenda መንግስቲ ጠንቂ ዋሕዚ ስደት ክምርምር! Why don’t they tell it? They seem to witness the cause in the making:)

      – ሚዛን ስብእነትና ጎዲሉ 🙂 ካበይ ዝመጸ ርእሲ ፈረስ ምበልክዎ ኣነ… እባ’ድኣ ደቅና እናቖሽመደ ከም ናይ ርእሲ ምራኽ ደርቢ ክሰርሕ ደልዩ 🙂

      – These are seem a meeting between the Brazilian rainforest dwelling tribes who never had a contact with the outside world. They seem to have no clue

      ሃይለ መጋሃጫ ምራኽ 🙂

      • Hailat,

        Now you seem to be surprised when you say “They don’t understand the challenges the country is faced with. All they seem to be concerned about is their own immediate needs.” That was my argument that makes sis Tzegereda to react negatively when I say there is no safe exit strategy without the upper hand of the diasopra intellectuals.

        I am still of the opinion that things will be out of hand if the diaspora intellectuals couldn’t map out a direction to the over all strategy.

        Now hailat you have to reconsider your position as to what your expectation is from the confusion of the internal development. The help from the diaspora is indispensable as I read it. Everything is dark to them, and if it explode, it will be too late to shape the development for soft landing.

        • haile

          Hey Aman

          aspetta un attimo በለ ጣልያን 🙂 (translation: ባዓል ካሮሳ፡ ምለሳ ምለሳ 🙂

          “Notwithstanding its veracity and authenticity,..” was meant to limit the validity of conclusions. I am more of the view that there needs to be deeper relationship between the diaspora (intellectual or challenged) and our people at home. Some of the Colonels I know don’t come across in those writings ወረ ብደውካ ከይሸጡኻ ትፈርሕ (even if one is diaspora intellectual:). They do respect us regardless of their perception of the level of our ‘wisdom’ because we do represent certain interests: financial, network and access to their needs in the developed world. We also need them for the safety, security and well being of our people and nation that we consider dear.

          The above leads to mutual partnership based in mutual respect and doing our end of the deal faithfully in order to chart Eritrea’s bright future. We shouldn’t go as know it all, be it all to them and they shouldn’t come to us with dishonest account of their actions and the work they are doing to address challenges. When we say ኣብ ጎኑኹም ኣሎና it has to be quantified and specified in tangible format. Not only that they sing and we dance 🙂 Respect and humility and sense of inseparable bondage by shared duty should be the hall marks.


          • haile

            please correct “They do need us…” not ‘They do respect us…” I believe there is a sea of difference between those two 🙂

          • Hailat,

            Your response seem to address aftermath. What I am talking is the role of our intellectuals in strategizing to unseat the despot and avoid the hard landing of our politics. So try again in conceptualizing how it should be done to avoid the worst.

          • haile

            Selamat Aman

            “Intellectual driving change?” Please tell us that you’re pulling our legs :-)Do you want to give them a heart attack or what? 🙂

            Just look at the recent Lampedusa shocker, the religious leaders stood up to the calling, artists and musicians stood up to the calling, mothers and women stood up to the calling, the young stood up to the calling….hmmm 22 intellectuals wrote a letter to IA knowing fully that he can neither meet the changes in their wish list nor that they would have the guts to go to meet him should he offer them an audience in Asmara!!! The other intellectuals the Dr Gidewon went “all silent in western front” and Prof. Tesfay Aradom turned up to Boston night out!!!

            The intellectual is a useful asset, at home or diaspora, but never a king maker. It is the most risk averse section of any society. When the gloves are off to unseat IA, it is the cheguwar danga that you will see exchanging the blows and paying in blood, time and energy. The intellectual would be at the end of the line waiting to receive invitation to perform professional services.

            Yes, few may have the courage but hardly enough to effect change.

            Hisebelu Aman 🙂

        • Aman,

          You said, “I am still of the opinion that things will be out of hand if the diaspora intellectuals couldn’t map out a direction to the over all strategy.” Which intellectuals are you talking about? Did you mean the opposition parties? I am kinda confused.


          Like you said, the generals as can be understood from the reading of the two parts of the letters, are more concerned about keeping the statuesque than about the civilians. One can see the misplaced loyalties among ኣዘዝቲ ሰራዊት. They are talking about why so and so got promoted or favored over the other general. They are a bunch of criminals who are only concerned with their own individual interests than the interest of the nation.

          • Selam Dawit,

            When I say intellectuals, I mean from the whole pool of Eritrean intellectuals who are committed to salvage the nation and its people.Without them we can’t have a political and economy strategy with the prospect soft landing.

      • Serray

        Selamat Haile,

        Remember, it is the chain reaction that counts…the snowball effect. If you bend a brittle object, you are very close to snapping it in two.

        It is also worth remembering how dergi came to power; for that matter, how most military coups come to be. If true (the second link), this is basically calling the dummy you are theif.

    • semere andom

      Hi Aman:
      Thanks for links. This is typical of the weak opposition that DIA faced many times. It is kind of disturbing that these people are openly asking challenging questions to merihnet.
      You cannot reason with the dictator, in this piece, notwithstanding its accuracy, they seem to want answers. Some historical perspective: many Eritreans as we know now have sought answers from the DIA and we know what happened to them. If this is true, that is if they are raising their grievances openly, challenging the leaders, then there is a reason for pessimism because they will be crashed like a butterfly. Especially now when DIA is most vulnerable more than ever in his 40 years at the helm, he will stop at nothing. He is suicidal and rightly so. His hopes to follow in the footsteps of Mengistu and other dictators who lived comfortably in exile has been dashed since Gaddifès death, so if the rank and file are opening raising their grievances, then it is bad sign.

      Those who will succeed are those who really understand DIA intrigues and are insidiously toiling to chase him out. But at this time, when our nation and our people are drowning it is natural that we clutch to the proverbial floating straw that is at the mercy of the brutal waves itself
      I am of the opinion that if DIA was not hell bent to humiliate Eritreans, his dynasty would have ruled Eritrea unimpeded for years, all along imprisoning and killing rule of law seekers. And many of us would have succumbed to the affliction that only targets activists and justice seekers: Diabetic, coronary heart disease diseases and the age of retirement but lucky for us we face a stupid enemy and by going after the lively hood of the average Eritrea, he screwed big time. If he went after the Moslems, Jehovah witness and the reforms and had made little let-ups in the economy, he would have ruled for eternity. This is the sad part of the land of our country.
      I get it that we must discuss the post DIA epoch, but it in my opinion it bears reinforcing our past gullibility to succeed

  • I hope you will accept this one. I would like to do it my own way than other’s way. 😉

  • Daniel

    አብዚ ቅነ ስዑዲ ክም ስርዓት ኢሳያስ አይሹምካይዶ ንወፃኢታኛታት ንደቂ ዓዲ ምልክት ፍትሒ ዘይሃበት ንድካታት ስደተኛታት ባራባራዊ ግፍዒ እናካየደት ትርከብ። አብዛሓ ሀገራት’ውን ብፍላይ ጉረቤት ሃገረ ኢትዮጵያ ጊዜያዊ ቆንስላታት ብብከባቢኡ ብምስንዳው ደቆም ካብ አምባገነን ሓሰማ (ስዑዲ) ንዓዶም ንምምላስ ኣብ ምርብራብ እትርከቡ መላኪ ኢሳያስ ግን ከምቲ ግዳያት ደሴት ላምፓዱሳ ብዛዕበ እዚ ፋዕራ ኣይሃቦን። አየ ኢሳያስ ወዲ ኣፎም በላዒ ሰይጣን ክነሱስ ብ1991 ቆርበት መልኣክ ተጎልቢቡ መፀና።

    • Daniel,

      Eta ‘Abzaha’ abalashatika. Mind your business Dani. Your Ethiopean bothers are dying in Saudi and your consulate is not in their case at all. Listen VOA’s programme.

      • Daniel

        Non of your business to clarify my identity and you have no entitlement as well to deprive me the same. Of course, it is easy to observe the dictator and you his cliques are not worrying about the citizens leaving their own country in despair

  • [Moderator: we suggested to you to add 1 to your nick. You ignored us several times. Unfortunately, we will not have a duplicate dawit on the forum. It is confusing and confusion is what we try to avoid. Even this one is deleted. If you want your comments on, please add 1 to your nick. It is not a big deal unless you want to make it that.]

  • Nitricc

    Reading about the post PIA articles, I can not help it but some are good at fantasy. You guys are amazing. Can you please help with my fantasy football?
    When I proposed to let the house burn, Sal objected by saying “it is our house man” what Sal neglected to think is that fire is life. Farmers set their farm land on fire to create new life, forests catch fire to destroy old life and to create a new and better life. That was the exact analogy I am thinking when I say, let it burn.
    If PIA runs its course, we can rebuild what ever we want and we can implement what ever system we agreed upon, however, if you going to force him out, what you have mentioned will be reality. The good thing is there is no one who can force PIA out. At the end PIA and his government will run their course and they will die the natural death. I mean the guy is close to 70, why not let him die and get your country intact? Why risk all the dangers that come with forcing him out of power? PIA can not help Eritrea any more but he can destroy Eritrea.
    The problem is we have irresponsible oppositions who will do any thing to get to PIA even if it destroys the country. How exactly can you stand with these irresponsible creatures?

  • Papillon


    We will not only kill the snake and clear out the decks he has stacked with in the last twenty years but we will get to Denmark* as well. As I have stated it before on a different thread, I disagree with the notion that, the Somalization of Eritrea in the aftermath of the tyrant’s removal is in the offing. The crystal-ball prediction is not only misplaced but it is way of the mark by any sensible measurement as well. With out further ado, the social fabric that had glued the Somalian society was clan based where it became a classic fallacy of imposing exogenous “cookie-cutter-model” on otherwise no less than a tribal social settings when the nation claimed independence. As such, a military authoritarian regime tried to keep it together where its departure heralded a complete break down of the nation reduced into a rubble. In light of the tersed backdrop, one can see that, the aftermath of the tyrant’s exit is anything but Somalization.

    Moreover, we are not fighting against colonialism. We are not fighting against a dominant ethnic group. We are not fighting against a certain religious sect. We are fighting against a system, a chimera and a hybrid of Totalitarianism and Communism where it came about through contingent circumstances where it is hard to imagine being replicated not only in future Eritrea but in the entire continent as a whole as well. PFDJ is a historical aberration and an accidental anomaly to say the least.

    PFDJ, the army, urban dwelling educated class, the peasantry, the Diaspora and of course the religious institution as well make up the layers where Isaias’ Eritrea is made of. These have always been under the cruel watch dog of the party where it is incredibly difficult to see them in isolation. Thus, in the aftermath, as the party melts down, it is rather unlikely to see them claiming autonomy or independence(read: seeking for their own specific interests) but they will bounce back to the fired up sense of nationalism that has induced them (read: naively) to pledge allegiance to the party in the first place.

    Further more, as it happens, Eritrea, to be more specific, right in the aftermath, Eritrea will not face an external threat that would want to take advantage of the transient clutter and weakly centralized transition, as such, the energy and resources can only be focused on building the nation bottom up. Bottom up where a strong and capable state; a state subordinate to the rule of law, and a state accountable to all the citizens of the nation come into a balanced play.

    *As we are fired up to mobilize our material, social and intellectual resources to make Eritrea what our eternal martyrs died for, it warrants to underpin the factors that have made Denmark to what it is today. Denmark is a law abiding, democratic, prosperous and well-governed polity with some of the world’s lowest levels of political corruption. Historians and political economists trace the success of present day Denmark to the 16th century Protestant Reformation. As Lutheranism took deep roots with in the society, with in the said century, the Church emphasized in peasant literacy so that ordinary people can have a direct access to God through their ability to read the Bible. Beginning in the 16th century, the Lutheran Church began to set schools in every village in Denmark where priests taught peasants the basics of reading and writing. Yes you read me right, this was five centuries ago!!!

    The result was that, by the 18th century, the peasantry in Denmark had emerged as a relatively well-educated and increasingly well organized social class. As such, social mobilization was in effect early on way before the other major European countries. Literacy allowed peasants not only to improve their economic condition, it also helped them to communicate among themselves and organize as political agents as well. This then forms the context for the story of the emergence of the democracy in the late 19th century and social democracy in the early 20th century. What we can learn from this rather remarkable achievement is that, Ideas were critical to the Danish story, not just in terms of Lutheranism as a mobilizing ideology but in the way that Enlightenment was viewed about rights and constitutionalism as they were accepted by the layers of the society early on in the above said centuries.**

    **Pretty much most of it is taken from “The Origins Of Political Order–From Prehuman Times To The French Revolution.”

    • With all due respect Papillon,

      When you say We [All of us Eritreans] are fighting against the system and not against a dominant culture, ethnicity, religion, don’t you think you are exhibiting bias? Don’t you think you are seeing things from perhaps a Tigrina biher’s perspective?

      How do we know what would ensue after the fall of PFDJ? There may be some indications that can lead us to believe with some certainty the likely occurrence of events; but, we don’t have the crystal ball or complete information upon which to base our argument that Eritreans will be okay after Issayas because their issue is with only the system/ስርዓት.

  • L.T

    Who is your perfect reader awate?
    Who are your literary influences?
    Who would you like to be stuck in a lift with?
    The prophet Isaias.
    What are you scared of?
    When do you feel most free?
    I talk my animal football team games.It’s my favourite thing in the world to toss a ball about with them and see a game.
    Where is your favourite place in the world?
    Addis Sharaton
    Can you remember the first book you read?
    “Nihanan Ealamanan(11/1971) by Iasaias Afewrqi and Tewelde Iyob,”Aenawi minkiskas”(1973)and “Poltika tmhrti n Hafash(1978)by Isaias Afewrqi.

  • L.T

    Mao was the key architect of the great leap forward.
    When a great man emerges,the yellow rivir will run clear´mao had toured the rivir.
    “everyone a soldier”mao had proclaimed.

    “There are two winds in the world,an east and a west wind.We have a saying in china that if the east wind does not prevail over the west wind,then the west wind prevails the east wind..i think that the key point of the international situation right now is that the east wind prevails over the west wind.Mao speech to his Russian hosts.

    Mao wated no time.

    • Tamrat Tamrat

      How many millions has Mao Worki to sacrifice?

  • Sarcasm

    Even if Isaias were to be deposed within this decade and Eritrea were to survive the specter of disintegration (a highly unlikely scenario), Eritrea would need at least another two decades of good governance (again highly unlikely) to recover from the ego maniacal drunkard’s personal legacy. That is if you manage to tame the highly militarized youth, the Muslim-Christian divide, the non-existent Eritrean economic viability and the sheer out-sized dream that many Eritreans have for their country. Depressing isn’t it? Even if you manage to defy the odds and do all these things, and are led by a perfect and enlightened government, it won’t be until the end of the century that you can become a developed nation, capable of providing a prosperous future to the youth.

    By that time of course, the era of nation-states would be over and most neighboring countries will in effect be confederations- blocs of nations with citizenship having little meaning and with smaller countries being aligned with bigger ones. Knowing all this, can any Eritrean explain to me the purpose of the whole Ghedli circus?

    Yours truly,

    -baffled Ethiopian

    • You said Even if [Eritrea]you manage[s] to defy the odds and do all these things, and are led by a perfect and enlightened government, it won’t be until the end of the century that [eritrea] you can become a developed nation, capable of providing a prosperous future to the youth.. After reading your conditional statement, many Eriteans would say ኣፍካ ይስዓር. It would be quite an accomplishment to achieve the status of a developed nation with in less than a century. How long has it been since Ethiopia was known as a nation, 3,000 years? Let’s say 200 years. Is Ethiopia a developed nation, or a yet to develop (developing) nation?


    • Serray

      For the vulture everything looks like it is dying. Go feast on somalia.

  • Eyob Medhane


    Selam said “… wedi afom could destroy yamamato’s fiefdom at state department of horn affairs within seconds…”

    I love that! That is my quote of the day. In the next second, when Isu chisu destroys Yamamato’s fiefdom in the horn, All sanction will be lifted, IGAD will be forced to have Eritrea rejoin it. Lufthansa will start flying to Asmara twice a day. Ethiopia will withdraw from Bademe and Prime Minister Hailemariam, President Mulatu and all Ethiopian government officials will travel to Asmara with their ‘Yej Mensha’ to ask ‘Wodi Afom’ bestow his divine mercy on them, their country, Africa and the world. Just watch. All these will happen in the next few seconds. Ok..let me sniff a little more of ‘the good stuff’ I borrowed from Selam and will come back with more. ….

    • Eyob,

      At his death bed on counting, all to come to ask divine mercy is a hilarious joke for the Isaisists.

    • saay

      Selamat Eyobai:

      As our resident cryptologist, could you translate what Selam is trying to tell me? What does (Asst Sec State African Affairs) Yamamoto have to do with the meeting held at New York to host (UN Eritrea HR Special Rapporteur) Sheila B. Keetharuth? If the road to DC travels through Jersualem, does the road to Jerusalem travel through Asmara? And if that is the case, why didn’t kubur president Isaias tell Jerusalem to tell DC to tell UN to: stop Sheila (or Mrs Sheila as Yemane Gebremeskel calls her), stop sanctions 1, stop sanctions 2, implement EEBC? What is the Amara expression: Shower and present yourself to those who don’t know you (or your arguments:) Selamina, there is no logic to your thinking and, as the Amara say, ለማያውቀሽ ታጥበሽ ቅረቢ::

      The giveaway is the “Aye…” before Sal. I can imagine her saying yi-yeeeeeeee, shaking her head and whistling too 🙂

      anyway, translation, please.


      • Selam

        Selam Saleh,
        Trust me- you don’t need a cryptologist to discern my plain message! If it was not for PIA stubbornness, He have created a solid strategic alliance with the Jewish state rather than trying to appease the savage Arabs….that would have helped Eritrea to get those glorified secretaries like Obama and Yamamto in check….entay emo PIA is so stubborn-meshaq sherafat geruna!! That is my beef with the old man!! Locking horn with the United States didn’t advance his cause at all!! PIA will fall not because of the efforts of the disgruntled Eritrean opposition forces but his foolish fist fight with United States! Sometimes, I don’t see the rationale behind his feud with the United States as Eritrea and US have a lot in common fighting fundamentalist in the horn of Africa!!
        BTW, Saleh your article on “forced labor” triggered Asmelash to have an editorial on EriTV, I guess they follow your activities as much as you follow wedi afomlol

    • saay


      By the way, my quote of the day is better than your quote of the day (or any day, for that matter) because it is by the legend himself, LT

      “But Isaias loves you all.His arm rises,remembering when it used to be a wing. Are you all right?”

      Epic. I think somebody could just read LTs writings, harmonize it, youtube it, and it would absolutely go viral. We just need special effects of arms morphing into wings, and animals playing football.


  • said

    Some Eritrean will ask as at least mention the positive achievement, Like the mind-numbing dross carried out and daily pumped out of ERA-TV, project after project recycled, the magnificent great encomia achievement and white elephant infrastructure of no practical use, except for minor project highlighted as ‘high points’ only serve to sleep walk the Eritrean masses into believing in the great Eritrean dream. And, as is the case with the china of old Mao version, you have to close your eye and be asleep to believe it. No can point out any tiniest Part of that dream in actual and is an existing prosperous Eritrea with its burgeoning middle class except mass poverty , where as Eritrea in a imagination nation a thriving Eritrea with its recent record of high GDP growth and a powerful Eritrea straddling the world stage with its new unfound propensity for self delusion. With policy of by gone dead era the china of the failed old Mao version.
    But the ugly reality is an Eritrea broken system and pumping out escaping scam after scam project as nation oppressive suffering from internal haemorrhaging as it continues for two decades to be bled dry from both within ,but which has little to say about the 22 years of daily subjection, oppression and atrocities that constitute a terrible normality for the vast majority of Eritrean.
    The slave forced labor, the ‘nation-builders’ who like regime blind supporters all to concentrate on the infrastructure ‘achieved high points’ and who talk much about boosting national morale with some or other worthless and useless road project, while DAI and his cronies Mafioso conspiring to stab the people in the back by robbing them of, they have nothing to show for at the very least minimum decent workable healthcare system, basic education system, very minimum welfare state and infrastructure supported by feasibility study.
    Yes, the new emerging Eritrea a country that could have been a new model and aspiring shining example of social and economic development, but was totally sacrificed from inception on the altar of massive ego of DAI and his cronies Mafioso greed and highway robbery corruption for bulging into their secret accounts, for the private pockets of small of the country’s public PFDJ ‘servants’, ‘salve creators’ and the inhuman vultures who long ago stopped circling around are now fishing and swooping
    The DAI and his cronies Mafioso are rich in poor land. But their actions stem in part from an ‘EPLF mindset’ that is all too common. It’s a mindset nurtured on self-aggrandisement, and of arrogance of superiority and looking down on the population supported them as a commodity to be used as slave labour with creation of two class of set and two castes that reinforce difference and hierarchy . That are pervasive throughout all government social strata and state it is? the perceived self importance deriving from EPLF/PFDJ , the sense of entitlement due to being a liberator that come with patronage, the desire nurtured over the much of it results because too many regime supporters of DAI and his cronies Mafioso are so readily conditioned to be ignorant or hypocrite of the real facts . DAI who convince ignorant, naive people to accept or be oblivious to the destruction of the nation. As regime supporters herd like and act sheep herd mentality , the herd conditioned to be bewildered buys into the sheep herd, imported wholesale from the godless yesteryear of Mao china that no more exist. DIA Play on fear, prison, accusation, insecurities and weaknesses of innocent conditioned people.

  • Tzigereda

    Dear Amanuell,
    IA uses forced labor for “development”, we can not agree with him for sacrificing the means to reach the “goal”. Dont you think so?

    • Sis Tzigereda,

      Absolutely no. Nothing what he does is acceptable by any sane human being. Every movement he does is only for his personal ambition…..and none to the public interest from the day he joined the armed struggle until this day. I believe all my writings be it in comment or full flagged article is against his mission and ambitions.And I stood from the beginning for his removal as well as to face the court of law for all his crimes.

  • Amanuel

    Dear saay
    Forgive me for taking you back to your article. Do you believe that IA’s forced labor is for development? If that was the case we shouldn’t have big disagreement with him. The problem should have been about the means not the goal. The forced labor is nothing to do with development. It is only to do with control.Develpment is an excuse. For example right now any person between the age of 16 to 50 in side the county ( eritrean) is under his direct control whether he/ she is at Sawa, new colleges, national service or people’s millishia. This is a fact on the ground. You may ask that control to what end? I am sure you agree with me that IA has crossed the line and the only option for him is to hold the law on its hand and to continue remain in his hand he has to make sure he has absolute control.

    • saay


      In politics, as you know, perception is more important than reality. The perception of the Isaiasists is that Isaias is using forced labor for a good cause: development. To improve the people’s quality of life.

      As I told Nitricc (The Independent), Isaias is old school: the parent who believes you discipline children by beating them, the CEO who follows the X-type management (employees will cheat you so you have to watch them carefully) and as the head of state, his models are paternalistic authoritarians (Mao, Castro, Lee Kwan Yew.) Whenever he used to say that Eritrea’s greatest resource is human resource he was being literal: I have a large pool of cheap labor and I have no hesitation in using the stick to be a slave-driver.

      After the suicidal path he took in 2001, forced labor is simply an outcome of running a prison: you got to keep the inmates busy so you don’t have a riot.


  • L.T

    Things about Isaias
    Do you know he love Tigria much then you?”
    How do you know if Isaias loves Tegaru?”
    What is the meaning of Isaiasim?I don’t know,
    We “KeyHti Enbaba”learnet about Isaias before we have learned language with his Tinbite Isaias or the Red book(our holy book)
    Isaiasim means that we don’t need worry about the future and we have no personal wealth and we will be equals among equals.
    USA is the enemy of Isaiasim.
    I as Isaiasit could not remain married to an unbeliever.
    There is no soul only Isaiasim.Isaias is Allah.Isais is a battle a explosions and a gunfire in the far distance.Isaias is the world.

    How old are Iasais?
    Are he a christian or a muslim?no he is not.
    Did you see him?

    But Isaias loves you all.His arm rises,remembering when it used to be a wing.

    Are you all right?

  • Saleh “Gadi” Johar

    Hello all,
    Please give L. T. a break, he writes poetry, only most of you don’t know how to break his sentences into its poetic components 🙂 I hope Kikhob forgives me for bringing a Jebena material here. This L. Ts last poem which you all read as a comment:

    There is much truth in Salih
    “Tesfom”‘s coomments
    about the “Habesha”lyrics
    like”Tigria Adey Z’adeyee..
    lemlem saaye kiniley.ye ye”
    If Tesfom are from border
    crossing there ,
    we can find his comman
    multi-Habesh mob sense
    in Tigria and in Welqait.
    It costs.Adi Qaula are on
    the Tigrai side of the border.
    The second-hand Berbere
    and Shiro imported
    from Tigria by Tesfom.
    Without Tefom will be no more
    “Berbere and Shiro” in Ertra
    but we Ertran we would be happier
    without Bereber and Tesfom.
    Now,Tesfom cross from Ertra
    into Tigria
    in the blink of an eye,
    thanks to the Papi,Haile Edaga
    Hamus,Emma Kuda Areza
    and Meda-hanie “The Azmarino”
    compete lack of interst.
    A quick chat
    about the animal football team.

    • Semere Andom

      Ahen Saleh
      now who is the talent, the one who discovered it or the one who exhibits it:-) Let the record state The ministry of Talent Discovery is born:-)

    • Ermias

      Genius SGJ.

      On a different note, it was a total shame that I missed your book signing event yesterday for family commitments but I asked a friend to get me an autographed copy. I can’t wait to read “Miriam was here.”

    • L.T

      What’s this?
      You have this portrait of me ,but you are much more poetry,infinitely more poetry than the painting.Just compare,Sir.
      Don’t ask them Salih,they hasn’t played since they came here.they says that they plays only for the animal football,now.:-)a magnificent ball!
      HaWuka Wede’bat dehai

      • wediere


        I think it is the awate comment box that has been messing up your poetic messages….lumping all the lines together and leaving the rest to wonder. Many here have to apologise for blaming you….especially those who wanted to have some of what they assumed you were taking…to reach the poetic state that they did not recognise.

        Hopefully ver 7.0 is more user friendly than this one ;).


  • haile

    Hello Serray

    I am in total agreement that majority of Eritreans wouldn’t hesitate to give all their best to their country. In fact they did that many times and continue to do it in many ways. Thus my agreement that they will definitely play a pivotal role in the future too.

    Saying the above however, let’s look at what we are saying from real close up. Just suppose that the regime falls today 11/11/13. On or just about 30/11/13, all of the civil service, public sector workers and employees, the armed forces, police force… would be expecting this month’s pay. There are many import transactions to be closed for this month and the next (including energy and other vital supplies). There is no independently organized and financially independent diaspora community or organization (all the monies will disappear via the Housing and Commerce Bank of Eritrea with the regime). The pressing issues doesn’t give time to organize anything afresh and begin to fill the gap.

    To deal with such an anticipated problems there needs to be committed funds from country X (as bilateral loan), from institution Y (in a form of credit/grant) that would be readily released under set conditions in a specified time frame. Short of that you are looking at law and order breakdown, total chaos to secure basic essentials and a dangerous and tense atmosphere without central authority.

    I am all clear on the long term possibility and would say I am more optimistic on the potential of Eritrea and its people. The problem that can trigger the explosion of long subdued divisions, mistrust and bitterness are the minor sparks in the boxes of matches that IA’s administration has stocked inside the fuel depot (to say it analogically). Some people see this as high end economics, it isn’t really. Part of the transition plan for social and political settlement in the country needs to factor in appropriate contingencies to overcome such a potential quagmire. Most of the relevant data are accessible from third party sources and planing ahead is the job of a responsible and organized entity that needs to be set up by Eritreans abroad and those at home who see the day to day situation from close quarters.

    The regime is not responsible to what happens once it leaves the stage and also is not committed to wait until such is put in place. I would go entirely under its own objective dynamics and if Eritrean intellectuals decide to simply send a letter to IA et.al. and wait for a response, then the second possibility is that an external stabilizing forces will be pulled in to protect civilians and deliver humanitarian assistance. That is going the route of most similar countries where dictators were overthrown in the recent past.


    • saay

      Selamat Haile:

      Ok, now we have two chrons on this thread and people can’t follow what Aman, Serray or Yodita said:) ተሰራዐ ብጳይ ሃይለ 🙂

      Let’s summarize the input so we can have a coherent discussion:

      Amanuel said:

      you see Sal , we can learn Something from the failures of hgdef. The whole problem with hgdef is that the man at the helm is everything (engineer, health officer, economist, lawyer, sociologist..etc) to run the nation and bring it to the edge of a cliff or to the brink of a failed nation. So I will never attempt something that doesn’t relate to sociopolitic and socioeconomic relations. I hope I didn’t disappoint you but also I hope some economist Eritreans will pick up your questions to enlighten us. It doesn’t mean we don’t have a view to the economic packages they will come with. we will have our say eventually. When the package come upfront for a debate, my argument then will be how this/that economic plan will help to the poor Eritrean. It is at that specific point of time will see me how I will argue aggressively to my belief in relation to the poor or the economic opportunities to our minorities.

      Yodita said:

      Building from ashes (II World War) can mean people using their “ability to withstand suffering with forbearance and toughness” because in their daily endeavours they see the light at the end of the tunnel.

      I once read that a western country (now among the7 most industrialized), was reduced to such a destitute level that women were using the egg shell (crushed to flour form) to supplement the protein deficiency of the diet!!!

      We can rise up to our aspirations if the vision of political leaders and the needs of the people are one and the same. I do not think that it will be the abject reality on the ground that will impede our country to emerge, I think it will be the lack of political leaders in harmony with the people’s needs and aspirations. Incompetence kills!

      Serray said:

      Outside the time bombs shaebia leaves on purpose to destabilize and punish the country, eritrea’s other problems could be solve by hanging a sign that reads “We are open for business”. We once had a vibrant economy…before we decided we are better at firing guns.

      The other dangerous and unpredictable factor is the diaspora. If we bring our stupidity of dividing people by region and religion with us, we might make the recovery sluggish. Sal mentioned demobilizing, how difficult can that be when most of them choose death than be soldiers?

      With the goodwill of the world and, hopefully, our neighbors; with the wealth in the hands of many eritreans in diaspora; with the eritrean spirit set loose to pursue happiness, I think freedom, true freedom and not the 1991 version which gave one organization freedom to suck the life out of the nation, will do miracles in short order.

      On thing, though, the people have to make sure the snake is dead

      • saay

        Selamat awatistas:

        We are discussing post-Isaias challenges. The description that Haile (the great) gave is just dealing with Week 1. We haven’t even gotten to week 2. And I don’t think Haile was complete in his description: he didn’t include the bank runs, and the shock which will come from the realization that people’s savings are utterly worthless (because of the devaluation of Nakfa.)

        After every change of government without a transitional plan (a coup, a revolution), the most commonly heard phrases are: “empty state coffers and astronomical national debt.” This will be the case in Eritrea, despite all the chest-beating about self-reliance and despite all the advice PIA gives about the importance of saving money. The State will have no liquidity, no working capital, no reserves: nothing but debt.

        If we are lucky and get regional/international support, they will insist that we have technocrats who understand fundamentals of finance and economics. But just as most politicians are terrible at technocratic jargon, most technocrats are terrible in politics. That will create its own dynamics from people who no longer want to be told “just give us some breathing room, just wait.”

        The point is that the challenges are huge and if we just fool ourselves by saying our people are civilized and will take care of things…well, New Yorkers are civilized, what do you think happens in civilized societies when there is power outage. It really is a thin line between civilization and anarchy.

        As for the snake, well Seray (the grand), the one huge advantage the Isaiasists have over us is INFORMATION. They have the entire database of every Eritrean because their favorite question is መበቆልኩም ኣበይ አዩ፧ (where are you from?) and they have been asking that forever on every occasion. This is a trick used by every autocrat: discourage/make it a taboo to talk about “sub-regions” among the people, so you can monopolize all that information (and the power attached to it) for yourself. They use this question to create havoc among Eritreans with their whisper campaigns: this is how they infiltrate and destroy every budding organization. So, I would say that the PFDJ or any of its chieftains should be banned from political office for the next 50 years so we can all start from a level field.


        • Papillon

          Dear Sal,

          Have I ever told you that you’re good? Oh yea, you’re that good. The other day, you quoted LBJ, “I shall not seek……..” I insist, you get pushed to the realm of politics not just to atomize or micro-dissect it but to make politics for what it is–the art of possibility. And leaders do that. You’re one.


          • saay

            Selam Papillon:

            Thanks, but politics is not my gig. Never was, never will be. The great news is that we have many, many (some we know, some we don’t know yet) who will jump on the stage.

            By the way, Jebena/Merhaba has a gift for you. Check it out:)


          • Papillon

            Hey Sal,

            I can’t seem to locate the “gift” on Jebena.

          • saay

            Selamat Papillon:

            The gift is the “inevitable” scene from The Matrix.



          • Papillon

            Oh Sal you’re something. Deeply philosophical movie with top notch special effects. Red pill or blue pill? Is the thing we call life an illusion or a reflection of something beyond our ability to perceive reality? Sure I don’t want to bore you with philosophical enquires but would like to take that up with you and other Awatewian some where in Asmara in post-tyranny Eritrea. I prefer Bar Royal where I grew up getting Gelate or Gelato from including crispy right out of the oven pizza (One of the best pizzas ever).

            Thanks for the link. ሓፍትኻ

          • saay

            Hi Papillon:

            You are right, this is not the time nor the place…but, in honor of Hayat* who, something tells me, would find this subject interesting, here it goes:

            Tobias Batton, a serial entrepreneur who has started half a dozen enterprises, is a person I admire greatly. He says, and so does George Lucas (of Star Wars fame) that what all great storytelling has in common (and movies/videogames are just storytelling) is what was distilled by the philosopher Joseph Campbell in his book “The Hero With A Thousand Faces.”

            It is simply this: an unassuming common person, meets a transformative figure who becomes a mentor. The unassuming common person learns, improves, gets better and then conquers evil. Forbes magazines put this to the test and yep: Harry Potter, Bruce Wayne, Luke Skywalker, and, of course, Neo, follow the same model. You can take this to The Karate Kid. Or Kill Bill. Actually, you can even go to the reality shows–fat man goes to camp, meets a mentor, his life changes–isn’t it the same formula? You can even go to our Ghedli…oops, I will stop.

            There is also the reverse of that: an arrogant person, meets someone who saves him and gets him to question all his assumptions. The only great example I can give of that is Blade Runner (not the 12 different versions they made but The Director’s Cut, which is loyal to the sci-fi book “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep” on which it is based.)

            Then there are the existential movies–mostly French–and I can’t say I have ever started and finished a single French movie 🙂


            *Good morning/evening/night, Hayat.

        • haile

          Selamat Saay

          ወይ’ዛ መስርዕ’ዜኣ፡ ዮሴፍ ገ/ሂወት እውን ናይ ጸድፊ መስርዕ ገይሩ’ሎ ሰሚዔ’ለኹ 🙂 http://asmarino.com/images/resized/images/stories/cliff3_175_132.jpg

          One other major prohibiting factor is also that the regime has been successful at making the issue of MONEY a taboo in the minds of our people. Nobody wants to discuss it for fear of being accused of stealing it. Just observe that THE ONLY counter argument that the regime has to those who rightfully challenge it is that “They are being PAID”. By whom, for what, when, how much…is irrelevant. To be paid can only mean something bad if it ever happens!! Our people are not comfortable discussing money – ሓደ ተቀማጣይ ኩወይት ዝኾነ ዜጋ፡ ካብ ኤረ-ቴል ዝዓደጎ ብርኪ ንስድራ ስውኣት ኣወፊዎ። This is why the regime requires you to import the machineries you would need for your trade before considering your feasibility proposals. When your feasibility is rejected (or falls on deaf ears – no response) you would have to auction your tools else ንብረት ካብ ሃገር የውጽእ ኣሎ is something many can’t bare.

          ብሓጺሩ ብዛዕባ ቁጠባ ጽጹይ መጽናዕቲ ምግባር ሰናይ ነገር’ዩ። However, many in the opposition don’t discuss money because the topic has been so muddied and criminalized in modern day Eritrea, thanks to a regime that lives off fanning mistrust and conflict among Eritreans.

          Here is a < 2min video from Siad Barre with a snap shot 🙂



        • Dear Saay,

          If “most Eritrean politicians are terrible at technocratic jargon, [and] most technocrats are terrible in politics” then what is the hope of the nation? What is the prospect of the natural dynamics that will hint Eritrea to come out from the mess we are in? I will ask you to synthesize the factors that steers the vague Eritrean dynamics and the possible outcome of it by way of transforming analysis to logical synthesis of the reality.

          • saay

            Hey Aman:

            Sorry, I just saw this.

            The hope of the nation is that we will have politicians and technocrats who know (a) their own limitations and (b) potential of the nation.

            The best way to envision this is to rewind the calendar to May 24, 1991:

            1) Politician who know the potential of the nation would make it their priority to have all stakeholders buying in the process of nation building. They would conduct a massive outreach to other politicians from different camps and persuade them to come home by offering guarantees that they will have a voice in how the country is run. Their voice will be as loud or as muted as the support they get from the people, and they will have a say on how “support of the people” is gauged: they will be part of the transitional government, constitutional drafting process, electroal law draft, laws on formation of political parties.

            Then all these politicians would talk to their constituencies and appeal to them to join in the nation building. The businessman, the fisherman and the farmer to be given assurances of property rights; the student to be given assurances of quality education; the parents to be given assurances that their children are their own and no authority ever and under any condition can take them away from them; etc. EPLF/PFDJ eschewed this and used the “to the victor, go the spoils” philosophy of warriors.

            2) When these assurances are given, the technocrats will flock home. The economists, the bankers, the educators, will flock home–just as they did in 1991. Except now that there are more politicians appealing to different constituencies, they will come from all over. They will be more diverse. They will be given autonomy–but they still need to know that the politicians are boss, who serve at the discretion of the people. Well, the very system that will be designed to ensure that the politicians will serve at the discretion of the people is, for the most part, designed by technocrats: thus there will be a healthy tension between the two. And for us to know who is cheating, who is colluding, we need one indispensable piece: a FREE PRESS.

            Not exactly synthesizing, more like thinking out loud 🙂


    • Serray

      Selamat Haile and Sal,

      If we are talking about week 1 or 2, then we have to look at how the regime ends. If the regime remained internally undivided and change was strictly from outside pressure, then we will have a vacuum and the transition period becomes unpredictable. Anything is possible and I think the least of our problem under this scenario is not meeting payroll but bringing order. If order is restored, the very force that did that will have easier time untangling shaebia dark legacy. The two variables: who pulls the plug on the regime and who will step up to take its place are still unknown.

      But here is what is on our favor; the regime is a cancer. It failed on everything. There is nothing to be missed about it. The nation has hit rock bottom long time ago. Everything that could go wrong, went wrong under shaebia government. Telling the people “you are truly free” can have tremendous goodwill on the next government.

      My bet is on the regime imploding and not remaining internally consistent. The bureaucracy, as pitiful as it is, will remain in place. For example, banks will continue to function and I don’t think there will a run on them. The currency will hold even if inflation becomes transparent and the black market exchange rate sets in. Shaebia’s complete failure in terms of providing electricity, water, road repair or basic necessities will help check the population’s expectation in the very, very, short-run.

      The biggest variable is the reaction of the people; with so much arms on the street the temptation to use them there. If peace prevails, then the transition will be smooth. If not, all bets are off…

      • haile

        Hi Serray,

        I agree with your positive outlook in general. You haven’t looked at your second scenario, namely that if the regime falls through internal division – still I can fill in the gaps there.

        There has been one attempted division that has seen Abdella Jabir, Mustafa Nurhushen, Wedi Ali and others out of the regime. We don’t know if Ali Abdu’s has any relation to this ether. A recent escapee from the Jan.21 events was stating that he knew for sure 26 of the team of ordinary soldiers were killed and he wasn’t certain about the rest but knew they were in jail. We don’t and wouldn’t know the exact specifics of such events in a closed system. If an organized force takes over then the likelihood of most of the civilians returning their guns is high in my opinion. There sure is going to be some problems but may not be totally out of control.

        Short of certain knowledge as to what is going on inside however, it seems the external pressure is at a much advanced level. As the regime finds it increasingly difficult to conduct its activities outside the country (UN investigators are constantly scouring its activities) and mounting opposition from diaspora is gaining momentum. The sanction regime necessitates more repressive measures which in turn exacerbates levels of opposition, divisions and mass migrations. The UN has already (in the last sanction) partially lifted the arms embargo to allow import of arms to Eritrea in the event it is needed for peace keepers and other humanitarian mission escort duties. So, the external challenge may finally pull the plug way before Eritreans can even start to consider talking to each other with respect as citizens of a common nation.

        The arms distribution conducted by the regime is a security problem to neighboring countries too. Today you can sell an AK-47 (if you manage to smuggle it out of Asmara or other cities) in Tesseney for around 140 thousand Nakfa to Rashaida traders. There are many people with mental illness problems that are armed because they don’t have a doctor’s note verifying their condition (most people like to hide mental illness). The Rashaidas are transnational with the Sudan and the arms would be passing to third country like that. It would soon find its way to northern Ethiopia and Djibouti. So, this is not simply internal problem alone, it has regional concerns too.

        In summary, the regime most likely fall from external pressures, but that is in blind guess as to what is cooking inside. It seems to me that if an internal division that results in an organized entity is the one to pull the plug, we stand a higher chance of avoiding chaos and interference. Also the people inside may trust each other more than those in the diaspora. And this may be a good thing.


        • saay

          Selamat Haile:

          We are so sensitized to the massacre of Eritreans that even those of us who have taken an interest in news gathering sometimes get overwhelmed.

          On September 30, Sudan Tribune, quoted an Eritrean army deserter to Ethiopia as saying, ““To my knowledge 26 of the mutineers were brutally murdered by secret agents.” This happened right before Lampedusa and the story was essentially buried.


          How the Isaias regime has dealt with the mutineers of January 21 (Forto) is a page from Orwell’s 1948. First, it said that except for about half-a-dozen leaders, the ordinary soldiers are simply victims; they didn’t know where they were going to. Their propagandist, Thomas Mountain, wrote that the exhausted soldiers were dined and returned to their barracks. Then, the leaders, we were told, acknowledged their mistake and went to their units to apologize for their mistake. Then, once the news was out of the headlines, they were massacred.

          The way I see it, the Isaias regime has 3 and only 3 cards left to play:

          1) The Ethiopian Card: a deal is made; Eritrea gets Badme, Ethiopia gets something (details will be sketchy.)
          2) The Constitution Card: an announcement is made about the implementation date of a constitution, and “multi-party” (PFDJ1, PFDJ2, PFDJ3) elections. This gets all the usual suspects in the NGO and GO world all excited and they congratulate “the people and government of Eritrea” for this “encouraging development.” Engage, blah, blah, blah.
          3) The Bab el Mendeb Card: Something terrible happens in the world (a 9-11 type tragedy), priorities are shuffled, sins forgiven, new paths charted, new partners made.

          The opposition has 1 card, the same card, it always had to play: to reassure the people, the region and the international community that we are a credible alternative. This has always been a two-pronged campaign: the Isaias regime continues to deteriorate (check), the opposition goes from strength to strength (getting better)


  • Semere Andom

    Nice succinct summary of ideas to discuss
    On your point about Mesfin Hago’s lamentation regarding his part, I cannot agree more. Notwithstanding the allegations against him as a mole of PFDJ, if someone finally comes clean as many of the G-15 did, we must forgive, otherwise we will forever be dancing in the vicious “kuda” cycle that plagued us for generations. But still, I do not believe that they were duped. They saw a winner and they stuck with him literally betraying their friends and their own consciousness. They have squandered a couple opportunities after independence too, but finally they paid a heavy prices and their kids for whom they “liberated” the stones, the soil and Bisha mines are paying heavy prices as well. I remember the AT writing in one of the Pencil Editions to the effect of: a call to the remaining PFDJ leaders not to be unwilling participants of DIA’s crimes and to choose exile if they have to. In the same token these people had an option to go to Sudan or any were instead of telling us now they were duped. I hold them responsible. As you know way better than me the sad story of ELF was due to multiple conspiracy that included EPLF, Woyane and the Sudan. And now history is rhyming as they say with the TPDM debacle
    When you first coined the term “Isaiasist” to denote the lack of government and that the whole country is under the whim of unhinged dictator, it was very potent description after Gadi’s skunis term. But now the term has metaphorphised to replace PFDJ. The danger is there is a growing tendency to miniaturize the number of people who are responsible for the untold destruction in the history of a nation. Gadi is also fond of saying that all this havoc is perpetrated by about 200 people. We all know that a handful people will be unable to inflict so much damage. All the shoot to kill, rape if a girl does not consent to be your sex slave is not entirely performed by a few hundreds of people. This notion is to the extreme end of the other notions that Eritrea is a nation of cowards and self-serving opportunities.
    By the way Milkias did not say Isaias has enmity with Eritreans, he said PFDJ has enmity with Eritreansv:-)
    I am also hoping that you are being facetiously hyperbolic about what you thought of Adhanom’s “wefri barnet” 🙂


    • saay

      Selamat Semere, King of Tinglish:

      I hope you don’t mind ኣገባብ ጥየት (bullet style) response:

      1. We agree on Mesfin Hagos. It is that damn pilgrimmage they took to China that did it all. Nobody who comes back from that brainwashing camp comes back normal. But, he is (a) ready to contribute, to undo the damage and (b) live as an ordinary citizen at home.

      2. Let’s save the what happened to the ELF for another day. Everything you described–EPLF, Woyane, Sudan–is external. There were also internal issues which prevented it from assessing the size of the threat.

      3. The distinction between Isaias and PFDJ. This has real relevance. The chairman of the party is empowered to act between meetings of the executive committee (which is supposed to hold him accountable.) The executive committee is empowered to act between central committee meetings (which is supposed to hold the executive committee accountable.) And the the Congress then holds everybody accountable. Have you ever heard of a party that doesn’t hold a congress; it hasn’t had one in 19 years. A party that has no elections, a party whose bylaws were never revised, whose central and executive committee members who are no longer there were never replaced? A party that has no clear rules even for membership: is it based on attendance of meetings? Paying a membership fee? A party that has not reviewed its charter in 19 years? A party without an organizational chart because many of those in the chart (the 18-member executive committee) are missing?

      (For Selam: Actually, the one difference between Lenin and Mao was that Lenin thought the party should sit atop the power hierarchy, and Mao was very ambiguous about the role of the party–sometimes it was on top, sometimes it was superseded by youth instructed to overthrow it. Isaias appears to have chosen the Mao model: the party (PFDJ) is nothing.)

      So in this scenario, how do people mention “PFDJ”? To me, saying Isaiasist is not about assigning all blame to Isaias, but using language accurately. That Isaias is chairman of something called PFDJ is as relevant as describing what color shirt he wore on Friday: doesn’t tell you much 🙂


  • said

    A Tour D’Horizon: Whatever Happened to the Eritrean People?
    People in general, like individuals, need to be empowered in order to unleash the best in them what I often refer to as “To Unleash their Collective Creativities.” With the great sense of meaning, worthiness and security a sense of empowerment gives to the individual, it in turn influences the shape of the character of an individual. Empowerment renders an individual sane, socially responsible and very productive.
    During the Sowara era immediately after the 1961 struggle for independence, right or false, the Eritrean in general were highly empowered, highly motivated; like individuals, enjoying a sense of purpose; knowing where they were heading. They, like individuals, felt a good of themselves; felt a high self-esteem; felt proud and dignified, they felt their self-worth. Eritrea , as one progressive revaluation the leader of the African world, one was on hoping Eritrea will the rise economically, industrially; technologically and militarily; ahead of many African a new emerging country in terms of industrial production and even scientific research and technological advances
    Had DAI had a program, “Mashroo’ Nahdawi,” “An All Encompassing Developmental Project;” an “Eritrean Renaissance” plan for a new proud nation. People, in general, believed in DIA, followed him most readily and showed that they were willing to sacrifice.
    DIA’s delusional blind trust and belief in by gone slave labor of old Mao China and Mao good intentions and goodwill of the commonest and Marxist ideology , handing over all the cards to dishonest brokers, putting all the eggs in one basket, the old Mao China ideology , DAI put the nails to knell of the hope and aspiration the expected “ Renaissance project” DIA naively and simplistically closed Eritrea ’s doors ajar in what falsely termed “close-Door Economic Policy,” destroying Eritrea’s small industrial base; and agriculture. putting new all regulatory controls and leaving the field totally closed, only open to the DIA cronies parasitic and totally corrupt elements posing as legitimate PFDJ regime controlled business intermediaries and PFDJ corrupt entrepreneurs; much reminiscent of what befallen the Russian Federation of the wholesale theft of the public sector and private ; the grab of national assets by PFDJ oligarchs immediately following the independence, just like break-up of the Soviet Union; all under the prevailing false euphoria of the delusions of the bonanzas of the Free-market forces that would catapult Russia to new promising prosperities.
    Prime minster Malesa figured joining the western camp of the same forces, so-called emerging regimes, like the new china. Winning the favor of the mighty US and Western powers, would buy Ethiopia the peace and political stability beside the unconditional largess of the economically powerful Americans.
    DIA, in believing in himself as Mao re-carnation, attempted to revive Mao’s Dream, to only bring disaster to once very promising Eritrea and bring down with him the whole Eritrean population dream.

    The US continued to provide Ethiopia with unconditional economic, financial, technological, military and diplomatic support, and Eritrea as failed nation as pariah states, DIA flagrant aggression and continued flagrant violation of the International law and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. As Eritrea regime drew increasingly inward and Eritrean societies lost their once binding cohesiveness.

    • Selam

      First I must admit that I honestly admire your 24/7 following of GOE minute activities in all spheres! Sometimes, I even wonder if you also follow PIA’s Bathroom visitation frequency
      I have to concur with you that PIA’s modus operandi has always been largely influenced by Mao Zedong ideology and probably PIA could be the only African leader who boldly attempted to apply Mao’s ideology on the ground? Has he at least partly succeeded in implanting the self-reliance seed in the psychic of Eritreans? I would say yes! As numero Uno hater of PIA, I would never expect you to say anything good about Wedi-Afom’s success but I want you to respond these couple questions with utmost honesty- what are the forced laborers building? Who are the benefactors of the bridges, roads, dams, water catchers, clincs, schools and et al built by the forced laborers?

      • saay

        Selam Selam:

        Funny you should ask that, given the constant comparisons now being made between Siad Barre’s Somalia and Isaias Afwerki’s Eritrea, but, yeah, Siad Barre claimed to be a Maoist. He was persuasive enough to the Chinese who armed him in his fight with Soviet-backed Ethiopia.

        Selam, do you know the difference between Leninsm and Maoism? Not much, really. Mostly personality-driven difference: Mao went to Stalin asking for help, Stalin said no, and Maoism (“Chinese solutions for Chinese problems”) was born. And do you know that in the lands of Lenin (Russia) and Mao (China), their philosophies are largely discredited?

        The benefactors of the “bridges, roads, dams, water catchers…” are (a) the PFDJ elite who are swindling large sums of money they receive from lenders and donors by making false representations of how much they spend on labor. (b) If the microdams last a season, and if the bridges don’t get blown up by Isaias as he is being chased out of the country, the people will be the benefactors, but they won’t remember them fondly or with pride. Here’s the proof: the mosque with the longest minara in Eritrea is in Akordat, and it was built by Haile Selasse. Nobody in Aqordat remembers Haile Selasse fondly.


      • selam

        Ala Saleh,
        First thank you for taking time to respond to my questions eventhough your response was nothing but rubbish. These types of utter denials Clearly depict that you will be wasting your time yelling your lungs out well into your retirement age. Because you have achieved to appear in some platforms thanks to Yammamto’s efforts, you might think you have tilted the balance in your favore however don’t forget that the road to Washington is through Jerusalem and wedi afom could destroy yamamato’s fiefdom at state department of horn affairs within seconds.however, for now thanks to yamamoto kem sewua zeteamela mebelete awedekdek.lol

        • Papillon


          It looks like you’re going L.T. on us. You’re all over. Pull yourself together. It is perfectly normal to lose and to be on the losing side including in history. The point is, learn from it, humble yourself and join the right side of history. It ain’t too late for that. No doubt.

        • Papillon

          Former US Ambassador to Ethiopia?

  • Zahra

    Papillon, Saay, and belay,

    Isayas is not holding any grudge against the Eritrean people. His problem is that he is crime conscious and has to eliminate all the witnesses. As Jebhawi, he regrets what he did against Jebha in early 1980. He blames the Weyanes and EPLF leaders for that mistake. So, he had to eliminate all in order to shake off all the blames felt loaded on his shoulder. So now, with no Weyanes or his comrades around he feels safe. Does that make sense?

    • Zahra,

      Elimination by addition: let me add one more important element to your list of leaders who should be eliminated for Issayas to escape responsibility.

      Besides eliminating Weyane and EPLF leaders, Issayas has also been successful in eliminating C.I.A leaders. The Bushes and the Clintons are out of the political scene. They are not leaders any more, in other words. 😉

  • Sabri

    Dear Sal,

    It is good that you will start blogs for all contributors. It really needs. I have been thinking about it before.

    Reg. forced labor. You have been repeatedly saying Issayas is following Mao’s method. I doubt. If you see what he was following in the post liberation era, he was changing many times. He began with macro policy emphasizing mixed economy. Then he tried to follow the East Asian model. Lastly after he lost the last war he declared forced labor policy openly. No consistency. He is just adjusting to what is fitting to him. The latest measure he took is not a continuation of his forced labour policy. It is a desperate reaction to the current situation. It seems he is afraid people may uprise soon.


  • Tamrat Tamrat

    Since Fronto every single day seamed as an end for the pfdj and a beginning of a new day for Eritrea and east africa. It is not what is going on the ground that much encouraging but the eri-media made it seam real.

    Now is back to reality. Pfdj strongs are still intact. The mass knows what went wrong exactly. The ‘smart’ ones shifted all possibles blames from Ethiopia/woyane/agame/amara to a single man isaias. All national/international, Natural/human made governmental/private all possible problmes which happened or might happen to Eritrea blamed on isaias.

    Now all who hurts Eritrea can clean their sins just by saying to the NeXT person IT IS isaias WHO DID IT. That would do the tricks. isaias ‘soon’ shall sacrifices for Eritrea, put all your sins on him then you are free.

  • haile

    Selamat Awatista

    A committed in Italy is petitioning October 3 to be recognized as Remembrance Day of our Lampedusa victims. Please sign petition here:



  • Haqi

    Dear awate staff

    Why do you allow nitric cidi, bealege, gutter, street LAN in your website; I am for free speech but there has to be a limit. pls do something about it.

    Thank you

    • Nitricc

      Let me ask you a few and if you answer me to my satisfaction, then don’t wory about awate tean, I will leave on my own way. Now what exactly is your problem? I am sorry you had a bad day at the bingo game. I am sorry you had a bad day at the church outing and I am sorry your denture won’t fit right but what exactly is your beef?
      I promise if you convince me, you got my word, I will never ever post a single article ever.
      Now, ok am challenging you to say your case, if not I will eat you alive.

  • haile

    Selamat Saay

    ኣንታ እንታይ ደሉኻ ወዲ ሹቕ ኢኻ? 🙂 ካን ጥሪ መጸት ሓንቲ ቪላ ክህበካ’የ ኢልካ፡ ነዛ ሎኽ ኣቢለ ካብ ፈቆዳ መሮር፡ ዓዲ ዘእተኽዋ ስብርባር ዜና (breaking news) ካብዛ ኢደይ ቁማር ኢልካያ! … ኣነ’ንድየ ዘንጊዔ፡ ሴንሳ ቁማር ኢለ ክርክስ ነይሩኒ! 🙂

    ብዝኾነ ወሓለ ዝብል ኣቀራርባ ጌርካ’ኻ ተንቲንካያ። እንተ ኢሰያስ ግን ኩሉ ኣተሓሳስብኡ ናይ በረኻ እዩ። ስለ ዝኾነ ድማ’ዩ ነዛ ኹላ ሃገር በረኻ እናሰደደ ዘጽንታ ዘሎ 🙂

    I am probably going to dodge Nitricc’s shooting spree now that he wouldn’t be able to read what I wrote 🙂


    • saay

      Haha Haile:

      እንዳ እዮብ ዓርከይ digging ኢልካ ኣሰንቢድካዮም:: Actually, my Gedab News sources say the “People’s Army” are being sent to Debarwa not to dig trenches or terracing but to build yet another micro-dam which has a one year life-span. This begs the question: why do they do it? Why don’t they say, “HELL NO!” Pay attention Obama fans: it is because Isaias has created a government-dependent society. If you want your coupon to the “fair shops” (without whose subsidy you couldn’t live), you gotta say, “yes, massa” to Isaias Afwerki. In short, Eritreans are practically entirely dependent on the Isaias regime now for everything.


      • By your own admission , you are telling us that you are a right wing conservative republican. So, we should associate you with the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Ted Cruz, Sean Hannity, Sara Palin, and other tea party patriots. Many would have liked had you been a moderate republican 😉

        BTW, isn’t ርትዓዊ ድኻን almost like Obama care whose purpose it is to redistribute the nation’s wealth. That’s why many economists call such initiatives as fair and equitable (not equal) distribution of wealth.

        Tax is also another way of redistributing wealth beside its other benefits such as building infrastructure, hospitals, and armies that would not have been possible in a laissez-faire economy. If you don’t like such government arrangements, people would revolt and create many Robin Hoods. 😉

        • saay

          Selamat Dawitom:

          I don’t know what right wing, left wing means in the Eritrean contest. What I know is that the Eritrean regime has created a society that is entirely dependent on the government for everything, including basic needs of food, shelter, healthcare, right to visit their children, transportation, job, security, etc.

          This is how it is able to order men in their 60s to travel to Debarwa to patch micro dams. A 60 year old Eritrean who owned his land, who had his children at home, who has a means to support himself would tell the government to go f%#k itself. But these 60 plus year old Eritreans have to depend on their “coupons” to buy their “subsidized” food and they can’t. So they have to walk, line up in bus lines, to humiliate themselves for the next 7 days.

          Left wing right wing means nothing to me. It’s American parlance. What I know is the more dependent the citizen is on the government, the meeker and more subdued he is and the more frightened of his nanny/police government.


          • Dear Sal,

            I totally concur with your statements.

          • Serray


            Dawit gave up easily. What is happening in eritrea, just like in america, is not people becoming dependent on government but a system, an economic order, strips them first of their humanity, then turn them into slaves, impoverish them, and when they fail to to make ends meet, it offers them discount coupons without which they can not survive. You have reversed the cause and effect. People don’t go to debarwa because they are addicted to a nanny government; it is me, me, only me government creating an artificial dependency in order to exploit the citizens.

            Shaebai is not a socialist government; it is just a greedy capitalist. The same way the republicans are not a freedom party, it just an archaic party that wants to control woman’s body, keep slavery and make koch brothers rule the world.

          • Serray,

            I took Sal’s response to me as an attempt to steer clear of American politics. As far as Eritrean economy goes, I agree with what he stated. As a totalitarian government, PFDJ has made the people totally dependent upon the government. I am sure your would aslso agree with Sal, Serray.

        • haile

          Hi Dawit

          [glad to see ya back after threatening to go to the Ethio sites in protest 🙂 I was thinking to back you up during your protest to the moderator (saying hey I know him!) but remembered the time you were trying to get me cooked in Nitricc’s now defunct kitchen 🙂 well the rest is history as they say…]

          My point of reservation here is that the PFDJ rationing can’t be considered wealth ‘re’-distribution but rather simply distribution of whatever is left of the siphoned wealth. To have a re-distribution, one assumes that there are an affluent high income segment of the population! That, you wouldn’t dream in IA’s Eritrea. Affluent Eritreans and highly paid nationals live and work in other countries. IA has told us that he despises the notion of ‘private sector’, 09 controls the economy and since 09 doesn’t pay tax [there is a long story to this] you can’t really re-distribute the taxes that it doesn’t pay. The tax bracket as it stands for incorporated businesses in Eritrea is 30% over gross annual earning of 42,000 ERN. Obviously, most businesses circumvent that by some shoddy dealings linked to 09. The vast of the civil servants and other public sector workers are members of national service and receive allowances, hence there is no much tax to speak of there. As the regime had long blockaded the citizens from import/export activities, there isn’t much activity in excise tax. Fuel is mostly sold in the black market and not taxed either. The same is true with financial sectors because the Forex transfers are conducted outside of the central banks remit (behind its back). So, what could possibly be re-distributed?


          • lol Haile,

            Yes , Indeed. My attempt to blend the threat of defection with the art of diplomacy may have worked as planned: I have kept posting comments with out seeing warnings from the moderator. The moderator’s Warnings goes some what like this: you drop your nick or else I will drop you. What do you do if you don’t have a say in governing a site: you would either succumb to the moderator’s demand or use a threat but with tact and skill. 😉

          • Like you said Haile, PFDJ’s revenue mostly comes from 2% mehiweyi gibri, contraband , trafficking, and mining. Where does the revenue go, one might ask: it probably goes to the ministers, the generals, and other high level officials’ coffers. This would probably become clear after the PFDJ is dismantled. A few years after Dergue was removed, many former dergue officials were seen building new houses, and driving luxury cars. We can’t say all of them became rich overnight.

          • SA

            You wrote that the Republican Party is “just an archaic party that wants to control woman’s body, keep slavery and make koch brothers rule the world.” How is it possible to keep something (slavery) that does not exist in America? It is amusing that you believe that a major party in the US is seriously interested in wanting two very wealthy brothers to run not just the US but the whole word. And, of course, being opposed to abortion is tantamount to controlling a woman’s body. I am waiting for other conspiracies you have about the Republican Party…

  • rodab

    When we were kids we sang “hoye, hoyena hoye: hoye, aba abraham TiTu: hoye, kigoyi TeriTu: hoye, hoye zeybele: hoye, kabana yifele” Then we lit the qolqual torch and we lay it down.it is then ritual for people to cross it three times and say “Amet niAmet yedgmena”.they toss us a qirshi(birr) or two.cactus torch, qirshi. qirshi, cactus torch. iseyas, mao. mao, iseyas. the two dont seem to relate do they…and now all grwon up and have kids then middle life cirisi kiks in unnecessarily when the simple solution is “what would saleh do”…papillon Haftey Ertra entay kitkonelki tdelyi aleki..entay kigebrelki delikni papi..awate all these years editing this trimming that. you close your eyes to grap power from our hero iseyas.u closed your eyes and spread your arms to the sky in the hope when you open your eyes boom there it is power in your arms wrapped in towels. but you open your eyes and you look at your arms and there was nothing.you look down, left and right in disbelief…well my friend you have to start all over again.like the swedes say “sir, no the champagne didn’t make it and isnot on its way” so now you gonna have to do away with what little you have and happily sing the nonexisten melody “what i do now”….
    This is my personal pencil test.
    How did I do playing L.T? 🙂

    • Papillon


      If there is such a thing called an alumni of L.T. University, you sure are one. I could have sworn that it was written by L.T. himself.

  • Yodita

    Dear Saay,

    You continue to denude this false messiah bleeding our country like no other. Alewuna Alewuna (the late Poet Dr. Russom) is what comes to mind. Isaias has formidable enemies among our most learned and I believe you are one who forces him to look at himself in the mirror squarely. Your stripping him of his mask, in the knowledgeable and sophisticated manner you do, in a website read by all must negatively impact him and his cohorts and weaken them in the process, to say the least.

    Having said that, you state “Isaias Afwerki finds the whole idea of Britain (founded on forced labor of empire) and the US (founded on slave labor) lecturing him on forced labor annoying as hell, particularly when they have nothing critical to say about rich but abusive countries (Gulf Arab states.)” . If this was a principled stand of the man, I would begrudgingly feel respect. To me it appears that he only instrumentalizes any and every conceivable concept to fit his megalomaniac crave for power (in the past even beyond Eritrea). E.g. when Secretary of State Rumsfeld visited Asmara, it transpired that he winked at the US and had they played to his tune, he would have bent backwards, is my belief. They rejected him and he turned sour so now everything going wrong in Eritrea the culprit is the US. The man has no principles except his power grip and that is the most dangerous aspect of him. He does take certain stands here and there at various timings not because of principles (he has none), but because it clashes with his iron grip tenure of Eritrea. Isaias in my book has neither principles nor scruples!

    Concluding, I appreciate your brilliant synthesis that the people’s “ability to withstand suffering with forbearance and toughness” is deeply understood by Isaias and is mercilessly exploited to the point when it will snap and boomerang and smash him. This says volumes about the last decades of our history and I believe, in a nut shell, it is the real paradox (both our predicament and our salvation at the same time).

    As they say it is very dark before dawn or “tHuqen ala“. Thank you.

    • Nitricc

      Yodita baby are you 420, by any means? I see something burning 🙂
      I thought you were different but I am disappointed you are nothing but freaking conformist.
      Wake up sniff the coffee.

      • rodab

        gdef, gdef nitricc ms yodita misifay aytewaxaknya. doqisa doqisa kitgedfeka’ya niHna ayneteArqn ena. gdef tiHisheka..

        • Yodita

          Rodab Hawey

          Have mercy on your sis!

          Nitricc ቅሳነት ዝሰአነ እዩ ዝመስል። ቅልውላው የሸንፎሎ ይመስለኒ። It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to note that his camp, the system he believes in (read worships), is in turmoil and in serious doubt about its continuity and future. He reflects that and is buzzing all over manifesting his fear of drowning into oblivion as Nitricc. Will he instantly reincarnate and even try to be in the forefront of the next winner? I may be wrong, but most if not all pfdj goons strike me as such. I have serious doubts that they engage because of principles! Anything but!! I also believe that humanity is infested with these opportunists who play a crucial role in delaying and obstructing the upward journey of humans towards emancipation, freedom and justice. In the cosmic ‘dance’, they have a role to play: to make us see part of our base nature which we should aspire to overcome.

          See what you make me say, Rodab Hawey!

    • Tamrat Tamrat


      isaias dont have to cross the sea that far to learn how to exploit slave wadge because he had the whole working mannual called Eirtrea made in Italia. If it were not for those ‘fudal Ethiopians’ he could have used not only the Colonial system he uses now but the italian Language could have been handy to avoide all this tigrinya-arabic pain in the neck for him.

  • Serray

    Selamat Sal,

    In order to make sense of your article, I have to replace isaias with shaebia. It takes more than one man to create hell on earth. Shaebia is a stable organization – give or take a few dozen people in prison who refuse to play ball. Isaias is head of an organization that solely exists to create opportunities to its faithful members. God willing if isaias dies tomorrow and the people remain as docile, shaebia will try rule eritrea the same way. Anyway, time will prove that there is more to eritrea’s misery than isaias.

    The recent order seems to be what came out of the national security team meeting. The murderers, the rapists and the human traffickers, aka national security team, discussed how to handle the fallout from demhit’s fiasco and decided to have the elders self-round themselves up. When they want the young, they conduct giffa; when they want the ghedli generation, they don’t even bother rounding them up; the just give the order and the generation that credits itself for ending colonialism becomes pussy cats on cue.

    It is amazing how shaebia functions; the idea of correcting a mistake is alien to them…make one mistake then double down on it and see what happens. The response to lampedusa was the giffa by demhit, the fallout from that is to issue an order to turn the remaining non slaves to slaves. The creepy thing is, the nation owes its birth to shaebia. There are species which die after giving birth; I guess nature’s way of protecting the offspring because, maybe, before that evolutionary correction, the parents used to munch on their children. In shaebia’s case, nature blew it; it allowed them to eat the nation alive.

    By the way, what do you mean obamacare is a mess? You have to stop listening to the right-wing nut cases. The affordable care act is a good beginning; granted it didn’t go far enough (no public option) but it is still better than what we have and its two defects the nut cases harp on, the website and the dropped coverage, will be corrected soon. As Bill Maher says, everything doesn’t have to be for profit; everything doesn’t have to be a business. In another thread, Amanuel argues that intellectuals in diaspora will be indispensable after shaebai. My opinion is there should be a moratorium on diaspora in government; imagine the havoc right-wingers like you can wreak if we make you a minister other than what Semere suggested.

    • saay

      Serray (the grand):

      Feel free to replace Isaias with Shaebia. They, just like the people who supported the Isaias-led front, were duped. Have you read the interview Mesfin Hagos had with Duetche welle? Here is the take-away:

      Hagos feels he is partly responsible for the current situation. Never did he think that the people who gave everything to be independent, would have to endure a dictatorship, he says. “That is the bitterness I feel.”

      You may not believe him, Serray, you may not forgive him (and by extension everybody else in Shaebia) but I do. Those who say “we knew shaebia was up to no good” were from the ELF, or the the neo-andnet. And I have a problem with both: the ELF for their criminal negligence (of how they destroyed a vibrant organization), and the neo-andnet because their issue has nothing to do with how the Eritrean revolution should have been managed but, indeed, whether there should EVER have been an Eritrean revolution.

      The Obamacare stuff, let’s not bore our readers; lets just say I am THAT small businessman that the “right-wing nut cases” mention and Obamacare is a mortal threat to my business. Not in theory, but, as of October 1, in FACT.


      • Dear Saay,

        Oops, I was thinking that you are for the “little guy.” So you are one from those who thrives to be one of the 10% who own the richness of US. That would make us proud provided if you share it with the poor of our nation, giving them the resources, such as hospitals, college schools, and others to change the face of our nation…….at least your politics indicate that, if I am not wrong. Just kidding.

        • saay

          Ha! Aman Arkey

          Forget the US. Lets’s talk about Eritrea. Let’s talk about a post-Isaias Eritrea. You have hundreds of thousands of Eritreans who have been in “Warsay-Yekaalo” that want to be demobilized. You have tens of thousands of civil servants without a retirement plan. You have tens of thousands of Eritrean refugees in Sudan who want to return home. You have a country that is heavily in debt, and there is nothing, not a penny in the bank because enda hgdef have all their money in secret Swiss and Chinese bank accounts. You have a dead tourism industry. You have a dead justice system. You have a housing system with thousands of people holding a title to the same property. You have a mining industry that is cranking out SOME revenue.

          what do you do?


          • haile

            Hello Aman and Saay

            I also think that the looming economic meltdown is something that attracting little attention at the moment. I know our traditional expectation “dehan yfetrelna yikhewn”. However, such sever economic chaos post PFDJ would off set many social conflict that would quickly morph into political and deeply divisive problems of intractable nature. Such chaos is fertile grounds for further injustices and fragmented allegiances. Here is a topic that merits debate and assurances of transitional financing sources to see smooth transition. Yeah let’s talk Eritrea, let’s talk how you can steer a contraband economy into legit one in post IA Eritrea.


          • Merhaba Saay,

            Fist I am not from those who Like to boast Eritrea has this and that, or Eritreans who see themselves as unique that they could make our country like a Singapore, a wish that doesn’t factor in the sociopolitical base of their society, or am not like those who define Eritrea with the life circumstances of Asmarinos – the mind of a metropolitan zone. I see Eritrea in its parts and sum total of its parts (the whole) to define who we are and what we are up to – a practical outlook in its practical reality.

            Now what I comment it like a joke turn out to be something that mimic a national question that demands a “marshal plan” for a devastated nation that has nothing of resources (whether the money is stolen by hgdef or other reasons)just to launch an economic plan to our nascent nation. Every set of your question surely should be better tackled by economist or business men like you, than myself who has different educational background. But that doesn’t mean that I couldn’t see it from political-economy as to how our economy should be distributed to minimize between the haves and have not or my political input to the national economy. I am sure will share my view as to how the economic relations ought to be. But as to how the strategy be drawn (the grand plan) for our economic take off to our nation is purely belong to economists.

            You see Sal , we can learn Something from the failures of hgdef. The whole problem with hgdef is that the man at the helm is everything (engineer, health officer, economist, lawyer, sociologist..etc) to run the nation and bring it to the edge of a cliff or to the brink of a failed nation. So I will never attempt something that doesn’t relate to sociopolitic and socioeconomic relations. I hope I didn’t disappoint you but also I hope some economist Eritreans will pick up your questions to enlighten us. It doesn’t mean we don’t have a view to the economic packages they will come with. we will have our say eventually. When the package come upfront for a debate, my argument then will be how this/that economic plan will help to the poor Eritrean. It is at that specific point of time will see me how I will argue aggressively to my belief in relation to the poor or the economic opportunities to our minorities.

            with respect,
            Hawka Amanuel

          • Yodita

            Dear Saay,

            Building from ashes (II World War) can mean people using their “ability to withstand suffering with forbearance and toughness” because in their daily endeavours they see the light at the end of the tunnel.

            I once read that a western country (now among the7 most industrialized), was reduced to such a destitute level that women were using the egg shell (crushed to flour form) to supplement the protein deficiency of the diet!!!

            We can rise up to our aspirations if the vision of political leaders and the needs of the people are one and the same. I do not think that it will be the abject reality on the ground that will impede our country to emerge, I think it will be the lack of political leaders in harmony with the people’s needs and aspirations. Incompetence kills!

      • Serray

        Selam Sal,

        Eritrea is led by a living and breathing organization; an organization whose value system never changed since its founding. It spits those who question its purpose; it always has. Mesfin Hagos did the spitting himself before his turn came up. The same is true of everyone who left or run from shaebia…they serve zealously and inhumanly until their turn comes up. The organization is the only constant. Sometimes I think even the dummy is a tool; no head of state can be this stupid. Don’t get me wrong, I hope you are right and that eritrea’s problem will be solved once he left the stage. The thing is; what if doesn’t? What if the others refuse to give up? What is plan B? That is problem number one, problem number two is the creeping factor. In the absence of identifying and tackling the role of the organization while a romantic view of it still prevails, even if the organization lays low, its value system might survive. For example, accepting sawa for limited period, continue taxing the diaspora, making land and mineral wealth belong to the state, etc. As haile mentioned, there could be a mess following the fall of the regime. That gives an opportunity for shaebia to sneak in under cover of stabilizing the country.

        I think it serves all of us better if we entertain the idea that we want to replace a system in addition to the man.


        I will respond shortly but is it me or are you becoming stupider as you get older?

    • Nitricc

      At least the Isaiasits did not fled the country under Ethiopian passport to the west and lie to their teeth to get asylum. How about you gave them a credit for doing Serray have no stomach doing?
      You are so freaking hypocrit, you are sick. Dude, you are a loser, you are a runner and you are the one you neglected your generational responsibility by putting your tail between your legs.
      You have no moral or legal obligations to talk about EPLF or PFDJ. You are nothing but a loser.
      I suggest you zipped it up.

    • Serray

      Selam Haile,

      Outside the time bombs shaebia leaves on purpose to destabilize and punish the country, eritrea’s other problems could be solve by hanging a sign that reads “We are open for business”. We once had a vibrant economy…before we decided we are better at firing guns.

      The other dangerous and unpredictable factor is the diaspora. If we bring our stupidity of dividing people by region and religion with us, we might make the recovery sluggish. Sal mentioned demobilizing, how difficult can that be when most of them choose death than be soldiers?

      With the goodwill of the world and, hopefully, our neighbors; with the wealth in the hands of many eritreans in diaspora; with the eritrean spirit set loose to pursue happiness, I think freedom, true freedom and not the 1991 version which gave one organization freedom to suck the life out of the nation, will do miracles in short order.

      On thing, though, the people have to make sure the snake is dead.

      • Amen! The snake must be killed and its venom (ghedli culture) destroyed.

  • Eyob Medhane


    Please. I need help here. (Where else do I go, for such kind of assistance? 😉 ) Can you please tell me what the heck is this news is saying? I just hear “.Etoobia, Etoobia, Etoobia..”.. What is with the Arabic language and its inability to say the letter “P” anyway? 🙂


    • saay

      Ha! Eyobachn:

      Ok. First, there is no alphabet “P” in Arabic. (There wasn’t when I was growing up; now they have taken the letter “b”, which is like a “u” with two dots below it and added a third). This is why Pepsi is called bibsi and Kaddaffi was very proud of his beoble.

      Second, the news is from Al-Arabia and it is talking of the riots in Riyaadh in the ghetto neighborhood of Manfuhah. The host speaks formal Arabic until he introduces the correspondent then says, what the hell, I am just going to go native when he introduces the correspondent 🙂

      Here’s the English version: http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2013/11/10/Two-killed-in-Saudi-clashes-with-migrants-.html

      Third, in one of the rarest good news for Eritreans (sorry, Eyob, we have to take it where we get it), the Saudis have made a policy to be gentle to Eritreans but be aggressive with Ethiopians, Yemenis and Sudanese. Apparently, we Eritreans have a terrible government and we keep our money in Saudi banks. If you Ethiopians want better treatment, fly your planes to Saudi and ask for asylum. Also, yikrta iye teyQn, most of the human traffickers trafficking people from Yemen to saudi arabia are ethiopians.


      • Eyob Medhane

        Ooooooooof Sal,

        You’re killing me. That’s the hardest I laughed all day, especially with ‘bibsi” 🙂

        On the English version news, the only good line I read that Ethiopia is moving to repatriate its citizens. In June, when Tewdros Adnanom visited the prisons and made a deal that for Ethiopians to be repatriated, he was promised that there will be a consideration and “Special attention” that will be paid to Ethiopians, due to the history of “closeness” between the two countries and peoples, because of the history of first hijra…blah blah….. (I would have given you the link of that interview, but it is too long and I know you don’t like long clips. 🙂 Poor Tewdros he believed them not knowing perhaps that deception is the norm of Saudis.

        I have my own theory why they are hard on Ethiopians than Eritreans. I am going to keep it for myself for now, because I am not in the mood offending you or any other Eritrean today. But I certainly don’t think because there are Ethiopian human traffickers or Eritrea has a bad government. They have a deeper, more sinister, more evil and way uglier reason than that. Thank you so much for the translation. You’re the best…

        • saay

          Gwad Eyob:

          The problem with Bibsi is double. First, there is no “P” sound in Arabic. Second, the vowel used to created the “i” sound and “e” sound is the same. Ergo, bibsi.

          Arabs have bibsi and the Israeli leaders (exiles from Europe) struggle with the “r” sound. This is Shamir talking about his country: “Isrrrrael has the rrrright to prrrrrrrotect itself against terrrrorrrrists.” 🙂


        • saay

          Selamat Eyobai:

          Could you translate the last issue of LT. I know there are awatistas who enjoy the challenge of solving the riddle on their own. Just write “Spoiler Alert: LT unplugged” and they can skip it while we enjoy your reading of the ZaEgol.


  • Agame

    Why do you morons calls yourselves Eritrean.? You know that is a name given to you by our former masters? Everything you are proud of emanates from your colonial experience.it is like an African American proudly calling him/herself the N word.mesakeen

    • Nitricc

      You mean like stationing 200000 solders in the borders between Eritrea and Ethiopia. And do you mean your Tigryan women are getting pregnant by Zeleqe and Bekele?
      Do you mean half of your Tigryan women are HIV enfected from the Amhara and Oromo?
      Do you mean you are nothing but a pice of crab?
      I let my love Rahwa explaine the rest.
      What up baby, I love you 🙂

      • Nitric,

        Don’t be rude. Have a little decency and humanity. You are talking with adults.

  • Nitricc

    Sal can I have my Hidmoy like the old web page. Where can I say my peace with out harassment .
    I will like a space in the Jebena section similar to the old Hidmoy.
    I miss Hidmoy.

    • saay

      Hey Nitricc:

      No problem, just pick your theme:)


      • Eyob Medhane


        Is there gonna be the “Annoying Ethiopian” Section for me?

        • saay

          Hey Eyobai:

          We were actually thinking of “Cultural Attache” section for you. The annoying Ethiopians are at Ethioforum and Ethiopian Review. See what you have done, now? But ያበጠው ይፈንዳ


  • Papillon

    Dear Sal,

    If I may paraphrase Milkias’ assertion, ኢሳያስ ምስ ህዝቢ ኤሪትራ ቂም አለዎ. I say, that is a fair assessment where Mao’s otherwise good intention albeit a historic blunder in the end is a misplaced comparison to say the least. Evidently, there is a considerable distance between Mao’s “Great Leap Forward” which led to the Great Chinese Famine and Xiaoping’s Socialist Market Economy after the death of Mao which has led China through a piecemeal liberalization and foreign investment to an economic giant of the 21st Century.

    What seems rather strange and perplexing is the fact that Isaias didn’t have to start from scratch when he defeated the ancien regime and strode to Asmara. That is, first and foremost, he was graced with remarkable people who would give anything and everything for Eritrea. Second, he was incredibly popular where if he was to run an election, he would have won with out a shred of doubt with a landslide. As such, it would have been much more of a smooth ride for him to implement the basic pillars of institution in a state-building. That is, a strong and capable state; the states subordination to a rule of law; and government accountability to all citizens. When the said three pillars of state building coalesce in balance, they are the engine of not only a progressive society but a playing field for a vibrant economy as well. But again, for something that defies logic, Isaias seems to be determined to destroy anything and everything that seems to give a viability to make Eritrea a normal nation.

    As you have aptly put it, one would be desperate enough to find an answer to the prevailing question. That is, if Isaias is suffering from some sort of mental illness or psychological block. Perhaps. But in the end, what seems to be glaringly true is, ኢሳያስ ምስ ህዝቢ ኤሪትራ ቂም አለዎ.


    • saay

      Selamat Papillon:

      Of all the people who left Eritrea and had a public address, Milkias is the one who left a searing impression on me for his moral clarity. But. But, I think he is wrong on the ኢሳያስ ምስ ህዝቢ ኤሪትራ ቂም አለዎ analysis (Isaias holds enmity to Eritrea.) In my opinion, Isaias is, like all revolutionaries, unhappy with the world order. Unfortunately for him, he is president of a small country. Strategic, but small. If you have seen notes of Isaias meetings with the leaders of China and Nigeria, for example, he is just stunned that such big countries–particularly China–are not doing more to change the world order. Whether via confederation or any arrangement, he would like to have a king-maker role in Ethiopia, and from there, the Horn of Africa, and from there dictate terms to the UN/US. And when that route just wasn’t available to him, he went the radical alshabab way, and that isolated him even more because, as our Amara cousins say, የጨነቀው እርጉዝ ያገባል ስትወልድበት ገደል ይገባል::


      • belay

        Can’t get better than that,can it?
        Eritreans are still rallying behind him,at home and abroad.Even those who escape from Sawa to the west doesn’t seem to have that much hate towards him.He armed every able Eritrean (Melitia) ,basically,Every Eritrean has power to fight and over throw PIA.
        If Isayas has gruges with his people,he will disarm them,not give them Guns.His problem is his super Ego. Never give up even knowing he will not get any where.
        I think SAAY nailed it.

        • belay

          Sorry,i mean,
          Inflated ego, not Super ego.

      • crocus

        “… he is just stunned that such big countries–particularly China–are not doing more to change the world order. Whether via confederation or any arrangement, he would like to have a king-maker role in Ethiopia, and from there, the Horn of Africa, and from there dictate terms to the UN/US.”

        Most of us do not know our strengths, and we are fast undone by our weaknesses. The man has an over-inflated ego. He has no real measure of his own capacity or of the fiefdom over which he presides. I have a hard time believing he truly expected what you said of him in the quote above. If he did, then he was not even fit to safely shepherd 5 goats much less play in the big leagues. Some ego! Some delusion!

    • Selamat Papillon,

      Both Saay and Milkias are right. Saay’s descriptive argument goes beyond to indicate the end goal of Issayas’s project. But Milkias’s argument was desribing Issayas’s personality behavior that he hates everything that has to do with Eritreaness, because it is something that contradicts with his trajectory ambition. So in my view they are both complementary to each other defining the “man – his personality behavior and his ambition.” Am I right Sal?

      • saay

        ኣብታ ርእሳ: አማን!

        You said it well. Remember, right after independence, I mean within months, Isaias Afwerki was talking about co-federation with Ethiopia. Eritrea is just too small, way too small, for his ambitions.


    • Papilon,

      I just finished reading an interesting article by Daniel Tesfay at Assenna.com. The message of his wonderful pice is just like you said it ” ኢሳያስ ምስ ህዝቢ ኤሪትራ ቂም አለዎ”.

      I recommend you read his article entitled ግደ ሓቂ – ብዛዕባ ዓጋመነትን ኢሳያስን in which Eritreans see themselves as victims of vendetta being waged by Issayas and others who trace their ancestry back to Tigray.

      • Papillon


        I sure will. Thanks.

      • Yodita

        Dearest Papillon,

        I read it and did not find it too far-fetched!

        Under the influence of booze, he is reputed to have said:

        ዐጋመ ኢለናኒ?(ርእሱ እናነቕነቐ); in another episode in a bar: ብዘይ ሳእኒ ከኺደን እየ! I was shocked when I first heard this last remark (it was during the time he was making the rounds of the bars). I am not saying that I take these remarks to be true. I in fact hope they are false! Reading the article made me make the association that perhaps his main drive to impoverish the people is not because he is a single-handed fighter of western imperialism but his rancour for not being the same like his school mates when he was a child.

        አበይ እዩ ዓድኹም ዝወደይ/ዛጏለይ? was a very cardinal question in most school mates’ homes. For non-Eritrean origin children, this must have provoked a sea of emotional and psychological ‘havoc’ in as much as it denoted a sense of alienation. Different children consumed and metabolized this phenomnen in varied degrees,fair enough, but in a vindictive type personality it can be a powerful motor to take vengence.

        Having said the above, for me Isaias is as Eritrean as any, notwithstanding his roots are 100% Tigrean, because he is born and formed in Eritrea. It is the negative emotional and psychological effects that such a situation creats that may be at play in an otherwise a full-fledged Eritrean just like any body else.


    • Wediere

      The device I use does not read the Tigrigna bit, so I will comment on part of your message.
      On the failure of DIA…..
      Since the environment has much influence in shaping the person or event organizations…
      Compare TPLF vs EPLF in the early years after independence…while one had to trade carefully and learn the art of managing the demand of a nation, the latter was received with flowers and blessing to do what it wants. Talk about a disadvantage being a benefit….
      It is human nature to adopt, where life is easy we become less productive…..I don’t think we are socked if we observe a spoilt kid failing in life…at times we blame the parents for providing all that the child needed….so we have much to blame ourselves. Worse we were like those who defend their child under any circumstance as though their are always angels….(Ahmed Raji had written a good article on how many were regarded guilty before seeing their day in court….Shabia suq ila ko aytasrn iya….gele geru ykhown .yibehal neru mesleni…)

      Even though SAAY analysis gives us an insight on the state of mind of the man, his blame it all to him does not explain the condition that allowed him to be what he is…..but we are comfortable with it as it give much room for future reconciliation … DIA may be our sacrificial goat…when Nitricc can be given that role of Wardia ….. 🙂

      If we are to describe our state of being as a people, the original love, now shifted to fear is astonishing……sometimes I wonder if over analysing adds to the sense that he is an omniscent being…..we need more of those that chip in bit by bit and show he is mere mortal and present all the weakness until he is left bare……few of the low points of Sadam and Qadafi come to mind…even closer I remember Mengistu as a kid…the person was feared beyond imagination..one day that fear melting away….with his running away like a coward…..history has a way of repeating itself and men in power never learn from their predecessors. A bit convoluted, attempting to focus on our fault hope you get my drift.


  • Ahmed Saleh

    A question to saay,

    You were saying that the exodus of eritren youth are due to forced labor. Then a question? How come those youth choose to go to Norway, Sweden or Switzerland and not any other secure country?


    • saay

      Ahlen Ahmed:

      Could you give me another example of a “secure country” that Eritreans could have gone to? There are 40,000 Eritreans in Israel: although they have been told they will never get a work permit or a residence permit. There are tens of thousands in sudan. There are thousands in South Africa. Hundreds in Uganda and Kenya and South Sudan. Thousands of Eritreans putting up with abuse and neglect in Ethiopia. Thousands in Saudi Arabia–a country whose religion says any Muslim who enters my gates is a citizen but doesn’t grant citizenship or even a permanent residence. I am not asking a trick question: could you tell me where else Eritreans could have gone to prove their case is not that of forced labor?


      • Sal,

        The statement, Thousands of Eritreans putting up with abuse and neglect in Ethiopia appears to have been placed by design- to tick off your friend -Eyobai.

        The alleged abuse actually would hardly overshadow the benefits the Ethiopian government provides the tens of thousands of Eritreans.

        • Yodita

          Hell, I never thought I would completely agree with you over a point, Dawit!

  • You have been advocating “awate 7.0” for some time now, arousing our curiosity. This Awate 7.0 must meet readers’ expectation and must not be like Obamacare’s website riddled with glitches. I look forward to see your remarkable technology on January 1, 2014.

    • saay

      Selamat Dawit:

      We agree, but what have we promised so far? 🙂

      A friend says that just like Apple uses cat names for its operating system and Android uses sweets (icecream, jelly bean), we should have our own indigenous name for awate instead of 7.0. Something like awate Gabba, awate Akat… but back home, these things are sometimes used as insults (Akat Head)… maybe we will use animal names (Gemel…)

      The point of 7.0 is to build it around the taste, needs of our readers, not ours. The technology behind Obamacare had to be a mess because obamacare itself is a mess 🙂


      • Zahra


        You appear to misunderstand Obamacare. The care is focused on preventive system rather than curative system. The preventive system would require each to have health insurance so as to keep his/her health maintained until last good end. Otherwise, the unmaintained person may get ill early and live vegetative life forever at the cost of others’ share of health funds.

    • I invite all ya celebrating veteran’s day to listen to this music: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03DhO2nyvVQ