The PFDJ’s Graduation Ceremonies
The PFDJ regularly announced the graduation of doctors, nurses, and pharmacists and general medicine. It also announces the graduation of engineers, journalists, and a host of other disciplines. I will take two of those, the medical graduates, and journalists.
If Eritrea graduates such a big number of medical professionals, why is the medical services not improving?
Years ago, I remember the Sudanese were visiting Eritrea for tourism and medical care. Once I met a young Saudi in a newly opened cafeteria on a narrow street that runs from Ghennet Hotel to the Etege Menen Street–as it was named then. He said he was staying in the Axum Hotel with accompanying his parents who were in Asmara to be treated by Dr. Carta. Now, every Eritrean knows someone who went to Sudan of Ethiopia for medication. This has been going on for years… in fact, medical exit visa to Sudan is a gateway to escape the country; there are many who did that on the pretext of medical travel. Why?
One is tempted to ask: where are all the graduated medical professionals? Why do most of them leave Eritrea shortly after they graduate? Why is the world teeming with Eritrean professionals badly needed in their country?
Of course, doctors and other medical professionals need an infrastructure to serve the people; Eritrea’s medical care facilities are rudimentary, almost non-existent. Opening a private clinic business is discouraged and hindered with limitless red tape restriction. The ruling party considers them a competition to the government hospitals. Worse, medical professionals, like others, do not have freedom to excel, take business risks, or get a decent paying respectful job in the public sector. They leave the country while Eritreans trek to Sudan and Ethiopia for medication.
Eritrean healthcare is not worthy of the people who sacrificed dearly to improve their livelihood. Alas, everything in Eritrea is at the lowest standard.
Looking at those who left Eritrea now thriving in different countries illustrates how much the co0untry has lost. Even if the success of some is admirable, the fact that their own people cannot benefit from their skills is heartbreaking.
The second sad sector is that of journalism. Similar to the medical profession, hundreds of students graduate with degrees on journalism and communications. And similar to other graduates who escape the bleak prospects in Eritrea, news and information professional also flee the country. Where do they work? Maybe they are serving in Sawa indefinitely. Maybe they are carrying guns like everybody else and jumping from one battlefront to another.
No question the ruling party supporters deny anything such exposes, even when supported by evidence. But just in case, let me explain and illustrate how bad the situation is.
The Eritrean president is interviewed at least once a year, “on the occasion of the New Year.” Always, take note, always, two helpless state journalists sit in front of him and ask scripted questions. The two journalists who mimic a crowd listening to a presidential speech, Paulos Netabay and Suleiman Abbe sit smiling and nodding to Isais who replies one simple question in a long-winded speech. The setting (the president’s office) is not changed, at least for the last eight years. Google “Isaias interview” on the internet and you will find them—if not for the different clothes, you wouldn’t be able to tell one from the other—2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2023.
Recently the ministry of information released a two-part interview with Isaias—I watched the first part where he answered to three questions only that took him over an hour and half. It was a torture. he lectures them no on stop. I could say more about, but this will do.
In every interview, Isaias spells the slogan for the Year and his supporters and beneficiaries run with it. Since the end of the Badme war, the jingoist word was Weyene. It’s still at use, as an argument and as an insult to those who oppose the regime, meaning lackeys of the TPLF, the Tigrayan political party, the PFDJ’s nemesis. There were also Weyane plate lickers, CIA spies, Jihadists, and other bigoted insults. During the recent Ethiopian civil war, it the word was “Game Over”, used until now–meaning the TPLF is finished. In his last interview, Isaias brough an old term from the storage: Malelit (Marxist Part of Tigray). I feel they will resurrect the term and parrot it endlessly. for a year, now Weyane is replaced by Malelit and so they will be parroting that, as usual.
They use such empty words when they can’t make an argument but simply obey Isaias’ explanation of everything. For instance, they screamed Game Over for the whole of 2021 and 2022. ‘The Weyane is dead, buried forever’, they declared. Then in his last interview Isaias said, the Weyane was saved in Pretoria and Nairobi by the USA!Since the usual PFDJ crowd do not dare ask rational questions, I will volunteer: Is the Weyane dead or saved by the USA? Is it dead or alive? It can’t be both… except in the PFDJ mind. And that is not surprising for those who are used to the PFDJ’s double speak. The forked tongue, and the only kind of mind where contradictory realities can exist side by side.