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UN Monitoring Group Recommends “Gold-for-Food” In Eritrea

On July 13, 2013, the Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea (SEMG), which is mandated by the UN to observe and report on sanctions violations by Somalia and Eritrea, submitted its annual report to the Security Council. Even though the 500-page report on Somalia was released, a shorter 80-page report on Eritrea, recommending a “gold for food” scheme, was blocked from publication because of objections from Russia, pending further consultation.

Responding to a reporter’s question as to why the report was not released, the US head of Mission to the UN, Ambassador De Laurentis, said: “Well, there are two reports – the Somalia report and the Eritrea report. The Somalia report was released, and we remain deeply troubled by some of the Monitoring Group’s findings, and we encourage the Eritrean Government to play a productive role in the region. With respect to the other, as it remains with the Committee, it’s still a confidential document, and we’ll continue to discuss the release of it. But beyond that I’m really not able to make any further comment about it.”

The report on Eritrea, leaked to’s Gedab News by a UN diplomat, provided evidence that shows Eritrea’s continued involvement in destabilizing Somalia by threatening its international community-supported fragile government through financial support of a network of political agents and warlords with links to al-Shabab. For the last three years, the Eritrean government has been denying such links and refuses to cooperate with the UN monitoring group.

The panel expressed its concerns about the “opaque management of hundreds of millions of dollars of revenues obtained from mining production.” According to Nevsun’s financial statement, Eritrea was paid 148 and 317 million USD, in 2011 and 2012, respectively, from taxes, royalties and return on equity.

The panel could not determine how these payments were made and was unable to obtain transaction records of bank accounts from Nevsun or Eritrea. Because of the opacity of the transactions and the fungible nature of the hard currency, the panel proposed an application of due diligence measures to ensure that the proceeds will not be used in any activity that potentially violates the sanction.

Below are the three options and the panel’s recommendation.

1. Voluntary disclosures and earmarking
2. Joint Supervision
3. Mandatory disclosure

Option 1: Voluntary Disclosure and Earmarking.  This would  require the government of Eritrea’s voluntary enrollment in organizations like the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), requiring the mining companies and the Government of Eritrea to publish revenues and payments.

Option 2: Joint Supervision:  Under this option, mining companies would be required to make payments to an escrow account administered jointly by the Government of Eritrea and a designated international body.  The designated body could be appointed by the Security Council, or, in the alternative, the SC could delegate the task to the World Bank or a regional bank.  This would be similar to the model used for Liberia, the Governance and Economic Management Assistance Program (GEMAP.)

Option 3: Mandatory Disclosure:  Under this option, the Government of Eritrea would be compelled to disclose all payments related to mining revenue, making transfers of money easier to detect by the Monitoring Group.

Of the three options, the Monitoring Group is recommending Option 2 because Option 1 and Option 3 have built-in problems.  Option 1 could only work if there was a vibrant and active civil society demanding external audits in Eritrea.  Similarly, Option 3 is not practical: even if the Monitoring Group is able to follow the transfer of payments, it would face too many legal obstacles from overseas banks and money transfer agencies to conduct any meaningful monitoring.  

Thus, the Monitoring Group is recommending Option 2 (Joint Supervision) as the only viable alternative as long as it is mandated to monitor sanctions on Eritrea and Somalia. 

Eritrea Likely Candidate for HIPC

Two years of border war with Ethiopia, followed by thirteen years of a no-war no-peace environment, has resulted in a huge public debt for Eritrea, a figure that the Eritrean government does not disclose.

However, twenty years after gaining independence, when it was debt free, Eritrea along with Somalia and Sudan, is being considered for entry into Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) debt services program by the IMF and World Bank.   The IMF/World Bank estimates Eritrea’s debt to be 114 % of its GDP or USD 3.5 Billion, the 6ths highest in the world in terms percentage of debt to GDP. [see update below.]  Loss of financial support from Libya’s Gadhafi has left the regime cash-strapped and unable to import fuel.

Power outage in Asmara has become more frequent and longer in duration. With the exception of several blocks in downtown Asmara, which experiences interment outage of few hours, the entire city has been without power for the last three weeks.

The UNSC is scheduled to take action on the recommendation in its July 24 meeting.  Our diplomatic sources inform us that there are not enough votes at the UNSC to adopt any of the recommendations at this time, but there will be a strong warning against the mining companies and especially Nevsun whose predatory practice led Human Rights Watch to issue an extensive report entitled “Hear No Evil: Forced Labor and Corporate Responsibility in Eritrea’s Mining Sector.”

inform. inspire. embolden. reconcile.

Update 1: 07.22.13.  Eritrea’s debt is actually 3.7 billion, making its debt to GDP rate 123.18%.  This ranks Eritrea the 5th highest indebted country in the world, when debt is measured as percentage of GDP.  The Eritrean currency, the Nackfa, is now trading at 52 Nakfa to 1 USD.  As recently as April, it was trading at 40: 1.

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  • Lorenzo

    The writer for some reason did not finish his homework. About the Eritrean Debt/GDP, you got it totally wrong.

    -No one until you mentioned it heard of any “Gold For Food” scheme.
    -Eritrean government Debt to GDP is as low as 36% in 2013
    -In 20100 government debt to GDP was 45%- 49%.

    Where did you get this 123% debt/GDP is beyond me. If you only write what please you and finding out the truth is left for the readers what is the purpose of such media?. Isayas is a dictator, but what is waiting around the corner to replace is him is much more dangerous. No political or civil group representing Eritreans or Eritrea does not practice or believe in tolerance, honesty and the right to support or oppose any group. Democracy in Eritrea shall remain utopia.

    • Salyounis


      There are many sources for the Debt/GDP calculation.

      The one we used is an average of two institutions considered authoritative: IMF and CIA World Factbook. The IMF says the 2012 estimate for Eritrea is 123.774% and the CIA says it is 118%.

      You can read, dispute, analyze, write a protest letter here:

      As for the three options and why we equated one with a “gold for food” (like Saddam’s “oil for food”), you do know that the SEMG’s report on Eritrea is eventually going to be published. So, if you are discussing it with your friends, don’t go all Isaias.* You can believe what we reported or you can wait for the report to emerge. If we are wrong (we are not), we will apologize. If we are right (we are), then it will just be another day:)


      * “dont go all Isaias” means don’t unnecessarily paint yourself into a corner making absolute declarations you can’t support.

      • TheTruth

        Are you really using the IMF and CIA as credible sources? Are you really that daft old man?

  • Tamrat Tamrat

    The western sanction is always meant punish a government. It hurts the majority immidiatley and the middel class supporter of the government eventually and the top leaders run away With what ever they can run awy With. Poof is mengistu’s regime. A dictatorship With enermous Investment to silence the mass, stopping invasion from Siad Bare, a civil war in north blessed by the Arabs accompanied by the west sanction Etiopiance suffered Beyond recognition, starved to Death so that the country to move on to what the futur would bring. What the sanction tells us is that the west has not eonough reason to involve directly With isayas government so the People of Eritrea and the neighbours must remove the government. Isayas invited the west to involve directly aruond 2009 by his seeries of strange interview but after the first mention of the sanction he dissappeared from the media completly. Wise eritreans put all of their vices together and warn the government to follow international Law to avoid the sanction because once the sanciton in Place it would years to abolish it while its supportres who in the first Place got permision to live in the western countries by selling the story of the mass protesting the saction and curssing the western. What a lunetic Groupe of People. How do they sleep if they sleep at all.

  • Ghezae Hagos

    “Let me be frank with you. I feel what you are doing is like being someone whose home is taken over by intruders, who are in the process of beating terribly his father and brother and raping his sisters and mothers (you will see later) and this someone faithfully stands guarding the door in case that the bitter wailing of his family attracts a neighbor’s attention. And hence when the neighbor alerts the police and the latter comes to check, he can cover up and tell the officer everything is ok, and they can go back!”–Haile.

    This apt scenario replaces everything we responded to every PFDJ supporter in respect to some human right violation perpetrated by Eritrean officials. Haile parable is vivid, stark, uncompromising…as the incident itself, as the incident warrants. Rape. Rape of the family. Rape of the nation.

    Haile in few pages gave us, in my opinion, a HD resolution, deeply poignant snapshots of Eritrea in Summer 2013. Our house is at its bleakest. This is the life in streets and homes of Eritrea. I am not sure whether to thank or to condemn his ‘adversaries’, ‘Asmara’ (Ziwereda Asmara, kulu yeshken’direla) and Araya (what an example to set!)

    Haile gave us myriad examples of complete nonsensical state decisions that can’t be justified or explained away, try as one might, except to grudgingly accept that ‘this is a diabolical regime that is deliberately destroying and ruining the nation in front of our eyes.’

    Thanks, Kubur Haw.

    Ghezae Hagos

    • Lemlem

      Mr. Ghezae:

      And what does this have to do with the Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea?

    • haile

      Hi Ghezae,

      Here is a bet, what are the odds:

      1 – The Police would shrug off the lair guarding the door to his/her family home. The family saved, the criminals arrested and the lair publicly shamed for the rest of their lives.

      2 – The wretched child guarding the door would abandon their post and move inside to confront the criminals.

      3 – The police would believe the lair and go back to their station.

      4 – The police return like #3, the criminals, the family victims and the lair at the door all live happy ever after.

      5 – The police brings reinforcement for a showdown, eventually the family are rescued but the criminals and the lair put up an all round resolute rebuff till all got killed in action.

      …any other likely scenario.


      • haile

        Note “child” refers to the level of maturity and not to mean the pro regime are foolish underage kids from the block hence aythazulom qoleu edeAlom might apply:-)

        • Ghezae Hagos

          Selam Haile,

          The scenario that most likely happens is that: The police find it very strange a family member colludes in horrible crimes being committed against his own family members. The police would usually shrug, ‘fine, why should I care when you don’t’ and leave the scene….unless the criminal/s, as a matter of recidivist habit, venture out the bleak house, to the neighbourhood and start ‘disturbing the peace’ claiming ‘we are not the only one who is disturbing the peace of the region.’

          Ghezae H.

  • Lemlem

    The UN’s overwhelming bias against Eritrea and relentless assault on Eritrea’s sovereignty has now become institutionalized through annual resolutions. The UN has long been ground zero for Ethiopia’s and America’s anti-Eritrea agenda going back to the 1950s but this new obsession with demonizing and scapegoating Eritrea based on falsehoods is truly ill-advised and short-sighted. It will only serve to undermine the UN’s credibility and integrity further. Scapegoating Eritrea for Somalia’s problems without any evidence whatsoever has gotten old. Last year’s SEMG Coordinator, Matt Bryden, openly admitted he had no evidence whatsoever for any of his allegations. This year’s SEMG Coordinator, Kim Sook, got all knotted-up trying to come up with something to show the arms embargo is being violated and ended up implicating the UN itself in violating its own arms embargo. Imagine that? The UN itself violating a UN imposed arms embargo. It is time to end this circus. There is nothing there there. The UN is only harming its own reputation.

    • haile

      Now the regime doesn’t have citizens! It had long destroyed them. High raking Eritrean intellectuals serving in high political offices around the globe are torn between a sanction that hurts their people and a well earned humiliation to the regime that is destroying Eritrea for broke. Don’t worry about the UN’s reputation, the UN has no ears for that kind of crocodile tears from a despotic junta. Think of the Eritrean reputation as a daughter is raped in front of her father in Sinai.

      ….gosh how you gonna fix the UN’s reputation! I see your hands are full now!!! ab zeymentebitkn ayteEtwa edkn…

  • L.T

    It was freday evening at Bet-Girgis 1946.
    Ato Tedla Bairu”Ya’Eee Eritra Mesawetit Koyna.Lesson Ato Weldaeb you have own land and your flag and it is a crime to jump on other business”
    Ato Welaeb w.Mariam”I and you have limited funds in this country becouse I am from Axum and you are from Naigeria (Tokreret) and it feels unfair and we need to change this game and be a partner”
    And now,Ethiopia fears over her economy and her public economy are into funk.Her poltices policy package is to intervene and to stabilise “Tigria-Tigringa”in Eritrea.So it is the only way to Ethiopa to save Ethiopa to deal with good Eritrea and We say in last”We are Eritrean and you are Tigria in Ethiopia”This is adeadline to you.

  • Disgusted

    Thank God none of the three recommendations were adopted.

    The overwhelming bias against Eritrea continues at the United Nations.

    It’s just outrageous. The UN makes a mockery of international law and justice.

  • eritreaup

    Twisting the truth to fit your narrative would not change the fact that UN is a corrupt evil organization. The fact is Eritrean government is loved by most Eritreans who know the truth. No amount of lie will change our devotion to keep Eritrea a FREE country. A country that does not submit to the Evil Empire that is AMERICA. From the beginning of the Eritrean struggle for freedom the America blood sucking government has been on our case. What do you expect to happen when u have the most powerful government against you? GOE has made every effort to make a Eritrea for Eritreans. A place where Eritreans could live in peace and harmony. GOE is fundamentally good. No it is not good it is EXCELLENT! GOE is me, you and everybody wherever they are from regardless of there nationality. GOE stands for freedom. GOE has stated goal articulated by WEDI AFOM over 45 years ago. President Afeworki stated that Eritrea should be Economically independent so it can be political independent. What is so hard to understand about that? That is why the west is against Eritrea. They know if Eritrea succeed they whole Africa will rise against this evil empire who wants to keep us slaves forever. Thank you. hade libe hade hizbi.

    • Tamrat Tamrat

      I think the eritreans in America live in Peace than in Eritrea. I appriciate Your stand against the west but what eritrean government is doing against the minority ethnics is wors than the west is doing to us.

      What is GOE political independent means? Does this mean no outsider can change or influence the politics of Eritrea? As long as the definiton of politics means one thing for goe supporters and another for the rest, then politics can be changed.

  • Yemane Johar

    Power outage in Asmara has become more frequent and longer in duration. With the exception of several blocks in downtown Asmara, which experiences interment outage of few hours, the entire city has been without power for the last three weeks.” According to reliable sources the reason behind the prevalent power outage is pfdj’s failure/refusal to abide by the court ruling to pay the creditor, Kuwaiti Petroleum Company and as a result of that all members of OPEC agreed not to sell any kind of petroleum to pfdj. Pfdj while (hiding the OPEC oil embargo) is misinforming the public about the circumstance surrounding the power outage. Pfdj is now resorting to contraband and black-market via Rashaida express and the special interest groups within the pfdj are also making a big profit out of it.

    • Zegeremo

      Thank you for the info. Really sad!


    • haile

      Selam Yemane Johar

      I am sure the GoE have agreed fuel import issues with many OPEC countries near and afar in the recent past. The 2012 OPEC Summary report lists Eritrea as an active importing country. So, I hope to see evidence from you that what you claim is true. Also, the issue of the non-payment with the Kuwaiti company had long been reported as settled. So, please link us your sources of new information.

      If we are to go by your assertion, it follows that the regime had external problems to do what would have wanted to do should it had the means to. No. This is a diabolical regime that is deliberately destroying and ruining the nation in front of our eyes. And, I have a hard data to claim that it does indeed continue to import fuel (albeit in lower quantities).

      So, unless you have evidence or authority to inform the people on the matter, I advice not to do so.


      • Zegeremo


        I sensed a bit contradiction here: if you agree the Davil is real, then what is the point of asking evidence?


        • haile


          If you believe the above, then you will be lead into thinking, the regime had the intention of buying fuel, but just run into a problem.

          On this one, I think that the regime didn’t lack anything, just a diabolical agenda of rendering Eritreans powerless (electric power and political power:-))

      • amde

        “This is a diabolical regime that is DELIBERATELY destroying and ruining the nation.”

        I don’t get this fixation with “deliberately destroying” business. Why would the regime be “deliberately” destroying its own country? Yes we can agree that they may be “destroying the nation” but it is more logical to assume they are doing so due to errors, inefficiencies, mis-alignment of values, insufficient resources etc…

        PFDJ is fundamentally no different from EPLF – this is an organization that rhetorically conflates the organization’s interest with the nations, while in reality it’s interest superseded the nation’s. It’s political mission is “monopoly in the nation, hegemony in the region” That has almost always been its character. “Eritreans” are the expendable inputs for this mission. Nothing is fundamentally different.

        Now, the tragedy is Eritreans submitted to the “monopoly in the nation” part and (wink wink) endorsed the “hegemony in the region part” What has followed are all logical consequences…..

        • haile


          A very good question. Because, firstly I was doubting myself that I might have introduced, in order to expose, the DELIBERATE aspect but was discussing the results more than justifying it is actually “deliberate”. Secondly, there was the same misconception, partly due to my lacking above, by asmara who equated my argument to that of Dawit Meconen, someone with Tigray phobia. And, I was planning to clarify that point and you beat me to it.

          Now there are two ways for me to try to convince you that it is actually deliberate and not due to the shortcomings you allude to. The first would be naturally weaker because it would be based on my belief and everyone is entitled to their own belief, hence take it or leave it. The second one would be stronger because it would be based on facts and involve none of my personal opinion and you would have to EXPLAIN otherwise for us to reject them. Without further a do:

          1 – The regime had decided to hold on to power without accountability following the mass arrests and total subjugation of the people following the conclusion of the border war. The key here is HOLD ON TO POWER. The only way to achieve that, so it judged, is by rendering the people totally powerless through extreme repression at home and elaborate misinformation in the diaspora (including the use of racial sentiments and fear of loss of homeland). It succeeded in both fronts, that is those at home are reduced to begging, corruption and contraband lifestyle.

          Others are scattered to go through unspeakable horrors and tragedies across the middle east deserts and the high seas and refugee camps of neighboring countries. The regime operatives in the western world, aided by ERiTV misinformation megaphone, churn out a daily barrage of racist, abusive, degrading and dehumanizing portrayal of those who challenge the system and parade a staged media presentations by ERiTV. “SHITMELBA” “WOYANE ANATSU” “WEYANE INFECTIOUS DISEASE” “QUISLINGS”…are but some of their brutal polarization that they engage in. These are well thought out and not simply lack or deficiency in language.

          Right around the western world, there is no community of Eritreans that is run by elected regime operatives that ensure Eritreans are terrified, divided and can’t even own a single economic or social institution collectively. Despite living for decades in the west they still run a fully impoverished PFDJ controlled communities that have to rent halls and equipment for functions. All who challenged it were ejected as weyane!

          Hence Eritreans were made to believe the cruel regime is their only hope for them to call themselves Eritreans! How low can it get?

          2 – This is harder for you to argue because it is factual.

          Eritreans were stripped of their right to study for internationally recognized qualifications (UoA)

          Eritreans couldn’t obtain business license in Eritrea for many years, until all potential was killed off.

          Eritreans can’t use their marine resources. They have to catch their fish and hand it over to the regime for swift export for hard cash.

          Eritraans can’t import or export goods.

          Eritreans can’t sell agricultural produce in the market.

          Eritreans can’t have visa to exist the country, unless the old and the sick. Not even enter the premises of the Asmara airport.

          Eritreans can’t handle hard currency, else they face severe punishment.

          Eritreans can’t engage in any construction work in Asmara, not even a minor repair (only done at night)

          Eritreans can’t choose what where to study.

          Eritreans can’t move freely without menqesaqesi.

          Eritreans can’t engage in already established business unless themselves and all their workers carry guns.

          Eritreans are routinely rounded up and taken outside city limits to do digging work and walk for hours on egri gu’Ezo, and spend a whole day guarding regime establishments for free (this are the 18-70 T’aelim which is all of the population not under the national service)

          The regime refused to engage in any meaningful development where the people can seek employment to earn a living.

          No right to express views, no right to associate, no right to request pay rise…

          Now all these is the unintentional work of a regime that have intentionally chased off every Eritrean intellectual from the country or disappeared them never to be heard from again.

          Amde, this screams DELIBERATE unless you can convince us otherwise point by point.

          • amde

            Haile, I don’t disagree with you on the destroying the nation part, I just question the “deliberate” part. There are some commenters that accuse PFDJ of being in cahoots with Ethiopia to “deliberately” destroy Eritrea, going so far as to say that this was the original mission entrusted to Issayas by Ethiopia/CIA way back in the 60. Another version of this is that Issayas and those close to him are Ethiopians by blood, and thus they do what they do because their ultimate loyalty is determined by the blood running in their veins.

            I just do not believe they sit around thinking up new ways to destroy the nation. I believe instead they are simply executing “monopoly in the nation, hegemony in the region”

            To your point 1. I agree the key is the phrase “HOLD ON TO POWER”. Well, if your goal is to maintain monopoly you’d warn your “subjects” off from alternate interpretations of events, deny alternate means of organization (however innocuous)/ What better way than to create a bogeyman, and charge others of affinity for and loyalty to it? The Weyane is perfect for the bogeyman role. It speaks Tigrinya so it can be insidious. It is historically considered as being from “lesser” people (agame etc …) and it sits at the helm of an arch-enemy nation. As long as people buy the core assertion A = Weyane is the embodiment of all that is evil, then it is always easy to accuse anyone of (B) diverging from loyalty to PFDJ, as being evil themselves )C). The problem it seems to me is that people buy into A, setting themselves up for being easily accused of C.

            As far as your points in 2, again I don’t disagree about the effect of these policies – in the aggregate they hurt the nation. But I can see how individually they could be interpreted as being perfectly logical decisions for a regime intent on being true to itself. PFDJ believes it brought forth the nation as the father, and as a domineering parent it feels entirely justified to dictate how the child is to behave.

            On top of that, I believe Saleh was spot on in characterizing it as “Maoist”, where the bourgeois class is to be constantly thwarted (foreign exchange contols, frustrating the capitalist class, inserting itself between producer and consumer etc…), and intellectualism that is counter to the party is to be ruthlessly suppressed (push away educated persons, close internationally affiliated higher education institutions i.e. UoA, establish high school as an indoctrination camp (sawa)).

            If you believe you are justified in controlling the nation’s wealth, and what people think, then where they go, how they congregate, how their labor is to be used on a day by day basis become tactical decision made on a day by day basis by arbitrary and sometimes minor officials.

        • Amde,

          You have a valid argument with different line of reasoning. However both yours and Haile’s argument in effect is targeting to the ideological philosophy of the regime. While Haile is accounting the practical act of the regime on the ground (very appealing to general public), yours is more towards defining the ideological philosophy of the regime from its activities (appeal more to the erudite). At the end though both strategy attack the philosophical ideology of poverty and oppression. No difference as to the target therefore you are in the same front. Keep it.

          • haile

            Selam Aman and Amde,

            It also seems to me that there are no fundamental differences between me and Amde except the way it is characterized. In my view, making casual links with some historical or dogmatic are a recipe for protracted and intractable process of defeating the regime. Because all it would have to do is discredit the links/associations one makes and not the actual grievance that are supposed to be given redress. What needs to be done is to fundamentally alter the direction of information to flow from Eritrea to diaspora in a credible and easily verifiable manner. And let the affected people judge for themselves, because this in the end is about their immediate families regardless of whether they consider themselves pro/anti regime. As long as the act of embezzlement, corruption, exclusion and freezing of all activities are proven to exist then they would be considered what they may deliberate/characteristic of all such repressive systems. That is all OK, except that the vast majority of the diaspora has been under brutal psychological war waged by the despotic regime, to subjugate it to silence and giving up of its rights.

    • TheTruth

      Are these the same sources that informed you that PIA was dead?

    • L.T

      The last fake inforamtion(Minia fm VOA)we heard from you Johar:We will wait to read your flash new news that UN will also all water that comes from Saudi and Yemen via RedSea.
      Your black heart ugly wish are not not where.Just west your time,manoy and energy.

  • eritreaup

    Dear opposition. Let me get this,. UN, a corrupt organization, number one enemy of Eritrea, no strike that, number one enemy of humanity, convinced you that they have the truth but your government which fought freken 40 year to get you a country called Eritrea is lying. Really? come on where is the decency? Where is the respect for the truth. Why would you believe UN over GOE?

    • Kokhob Selam

      Dear eritreaup,

      “…government which fought freken 40 year to get you a country called Eritrea is lying. Really?”

      01. First there is no government in Eritrea. If you don’t agree on this, let’s describe the meaning of government and examine it. Challenge, the corrupted group in Asmara can’t run and handle even small business establishment leave alone a new country and in this very advanced era.

      02. Our national freedom is not the work of such tiny very back warded group. It is the long struggle of the entire nation. In fact time will come and you will see how much the group delayed our struggle by creating unnecessary contradictions among people. When the rule govern Eritrea the will be called for justice (dead or alive) for killing thousands of people. And their crime for working to make Eritrea a failed state is I think clear to every alive human.
      Now, yes I see also the world organizations negative side but that is just a human work which can be solved. But the crime of pfdj is so high it can’t be compared. PFDJ’s case can’t be solved by any other means except by force and this is going to happen sooner or later.
      For God sake don’t ever compare any organization with the mafia group of ours. it is like compiring an wild animal with human being when comes to knowledge and it is compiring devil with angel when comes to kindness and god serving.

    • Hameed


      The people of Eritrea who paid price of their independence. Secondly, why the opposition of your shifta government in diaspora? [Moderator: please stop this kind of posts that end with a million ?????? Keep it serious]

      • Hameed

        Dear Moderator,

        It happened only in one post and not in many posts.

    • Asmara Eritrea

      Because the so called GOE is [Moderator: careful with your language], led by brain dead shxxs who are unfit to run a corner shop let alone a government! I could xxxxxx say more but I know the message will not be posted. You xxxxxx get my blood boil.

      I am sure you are writing in the comfort of a western city much the same as I am. If my homeland was not a failed state I would not be here but again, come to think of it, you would probably be not where you are too, This is no politic but a simple common sense, bread and butter stuff. Time to wake up my fellow country man – our homeland and its people are being brutalized day in and day out. If the current level of people fleeing the country continues unabated there will be no one left there soon except for the godfather himself.

      Eritrea for ever, death to the dictator.

      [Moderator: be careful with the words, your bar-room language, don’t give us extra work.]

      • Asmara Eritrea

        To moderator – sincere apologies.

        Will be carefull going forward but hope you understand why I completely lost it this time round!

  • Araya

    I will never figure this out. the awate-team and the rest of Eritrean government heaters will tell you that the Eritrean government is the most repressive, secretive and isolated in the entire world, then they turn around they tell you numbers, not only numbers but they get in to downright percent’s. I am sorry but the truth is the report is so garbage even the members are embarrassed to publish so they held it back. Off course, the awate-team will spin it and they won’t tell you the truth but someone has to take them to the task about those numbers and figures. Where the awate-team did got those numbers?
    Regarding electric city outage, it is a common occurrence in every city of Africa, with the exception of South Africa. Ask the Ethiopians how the outage is in Addis? Off course they won’t tell you. It is bad.

    • Tamrat Tamrat

      How dare! you compare Eritrea With africa. How dare you speak Eritrea is under developed than SA. It is a blasphemi against isayas.

    • haile

      Selam Araya,

      Why, why, why, why….a million why are you saying this?

      Let me be frank with you. I feel what you are doing is like being someone whose home is taken over by intruders, who are in the process of beating terribly his father and brother and raping his sisters and mothers (you will see later) and this someone faithfully stands guarding the door in case that the bitter wailing of his family attracts a neighbor’s attention. And hence when the neighbor alerts the police and the latter comes to check, he can cover up and tell the officer everything is ok, and they can go back!

      You have a nation of tremendously kind and generous people.

      You have a nation of tremendous economic potential.

      You have a nation of most harmonious and God fearing people.

      A nation of powerful tourism attraction.

      A nation of immense natural resource.

      A nation of massive coastlines and incredible marine resources.

      A nation of great strategic significance and location.

      A nation of highly creative and industrious population.

      A nation that can only be under an enemy to suffer and starve.

      As the Ambassador of Eritrea in Israel has to day told us (through VOA Tigriyna) that [in exact translation of content]:

      1 – There has no longer been a national service in Eritrea for some time now!

      2 – The two week long hunger strike by your brothers and sisters in Israeli detention centers were made to demand that they be allowed to go to Eritrea!

      Do you not think that you are now entering the uncharted territory of being a willful accomplice in crime against your people?

      The Eritrea that boasted 497000 visitors in 1996 (Tourism Data) is today referred “hell on earth” the world over.

      The Eritrean people that brought you into this world, standing by you through thin and thick, were rounded up in asmara five days ago (under the TaElim activity). In the morning hours of around 5:30 a.m. (please call your people at home to verify) people from all walks of life: businessmen, workers, civil servants, doctors, teachers, solicitors… were marched in the areas around the vicinity of Asmara and spend the day digging what was described to be as diga (dam). Prisoners dig like that Araya.

      With all the people given arms, incessant provocations to trigger random killings abound…(how else would you describe the rife 03 murmurings being passed around that seb adidas tsegibom deqkhum seb kongo bmekina yregtswom alewu. Beluwom reshnwom! Yes rumors but who is spreading it?) Don’t have a heart Araya?

      As 41 Eritreans were pulled to safety into Italian soil three days ago from the sea, a civil servant in Asmara is selling cigarettes in the street at night, mothers and sisters line up around….ah I will never bring myself to say it! Don’t you know them Araya?

      In the cover of darkness, and giving money to corrupt officials, people scramble to finish work to repair damaged roof in their homes in Asmara because no one is allowed to do any construction maintenance to the city that is ordered to crumble and rote for years now. Don’t you remember the place Araya?

      Where during the days of the dergue, people received their visitors in dignity at Asmara Airport’s waiting places with access to restaurant and bars and flower shops. Now they will wait for you banished to the parking lot in the dark and if they wish to sit, well there is the ground! Don’t you think your family deserve basic dignity even the poorest nation afford Araya?

      Where a baker has to either make bread from contraband flour that comes from Sudan or 09 corporation or elect to be lawful and is allowed only 90Kg flour and is expected to have the bread he makes get counted and weighed to balance that he is not cheating and is then only allowed few cents profit while selling it at 3 nakfa a piece? Is this normal in Ethiopia Araya, and therefore OK?

      Where business owners were shut down briefly in Asmara for failing to send their total numbers of workers to pick up a gun from the government? Are your morals with you Araya?

      Where a farmer and fisher man risk arrest for not handing over their produce/catch to the government? Do you condemn your people to slavery Araya?

      Where every parent of a child getting to the age of 17 is so restless about getting his/her child out of the country? Isn’t the regime dangerous and the people can’t allow to witness the death of their children yet again? Would you be in their position Araya?

      The regime has told you sanction was gulbub mirqa! you know what that was meant Araya? No way they would tell you in their seminars, you act like an ignorant there without a ball to ask questions about the destruction of your people and nationhood for good. S.Tesfamariam and Ghidowon are holding soon a meeting for you in D.C. The topic of discussion: [ Human Rights as a Political Ploy to Destabilize Nations: The Case of Eritrea] You know what that really means Araya, don’t you know? It is a training on what to say to the police at the door as your family are beaten and raped inside. Good luck.

      • Hailat,

        When the facts is on your side you command the debate and you will never loose it. Since you have the ability to maneuver the facts even from the hidden areas using your GPS and powerful telescope zooming to the darkest section of our nation, you finally will make the regime stand naked in front our people. Keep and hold your ground. Finally you found your voice where it takes you home. Mercilessly, you made PFDJite’s in this forum look as wacko birds in a bobbing motion.They have nothing to defend with merits on the ground. You made them empty.

        • Kokhob Selam

          ብጻይ ኣማኑኤል thank you

      • Kokhob Selam

        dear Hailat,

        with all the differnces we had still respecting each other we have been discussing using our poems long back. do you remember?
        the last poem at that time is again attached in Jebena. enjoy it.

      • abe the MINEWALE

        writer of z year since z year is over today

      • abe the MINEWALE

        writer of the year

    • Side Liner

      So, why don’t you tell us your numbers. And how and where you get them from. Very simple, isn’t it?

      • Salyounis

        Side Liner:

        Scroll up, up, up…right there, for our answer. (Our response to Lorenzo.)

  • Tamrat Tamrat

    The ghedil saga shall be continued: the little Eritrea destroied the ‘largest’ african militray…

    Three billion dollars are nothing for a country of five millions population taking in to account of having more army than a counry With 94millions. This army which is prepared With a hope to destroy Ethiopia (the war 1998) and the different effort invested to destablize Ethiopia directly or indirectly conssume a huge amount of resoursec. 5millions People could not cover one tenth of the eritrean govenment using for ist military leave alone the other activitis which silmultiniously run.

  • spade spade

    …human rights watch,amnesty international,Western NGOs and their associates and of course the giant and corrupt UN itself have never been friends of Eritreans and they will remain our foes until we change our attitude and actions towards them,and fall down on their feet and ask for forgiveness for the crimes they have been committing on us.very strange isn’t it?it should be the other way around!As strange as it is.we are living in a strange, unjust,up-side-down world.where the winner takes all, where the big and powerfull intimidates the…it is not long time ago that the Zionists and imperialists deceived and lied the world public about Iraks WMD.
    part of the report says Eritrea is supporting the Alshabah in Somalia…what is wrong if it does.i wish the US Americans could go back to their history and examine it.weren’t the freedom fighters of that time against the British empire dubbed and called terrorists by the colonizers?so it depends…
    “we encourage the Eritrean government to play a productive role in the region”means to cooperate in every sphere without ifs and give up its independence and sovereignty.We are living in a world where winner takes all.things are becoming obvious,Zionism and Imperialism are showing their real faces.if economically,technologicaly,you are weak,is ther any other option left but to submit to their demands?never have fear for challenges and intimidations.the enemies are masters in intimidation and bullying,creating chaos,confusion…challenge can be an eye opener and catalyst to progress.have a close look at IRAN, IRAN is making progress after progress.
    concerns about running our house affairs,half of it to be run by us and the other half by them!I am really baffled and speechless cannot let in your enemy into your house in the first place,let alone you allow him run your affairs.if it is going to be imposed by force just I have few words to say to my people”TeATek MeANTa SHeT ABel”


    • haile


      “”TeATek MeANTa SHeT ABel”

      I hope you understand Amharic. Here is Mengistu Hailemariam’s last speech (only 9min) video. He lost:)

      Now, that you have thoroughly addressed international issues, please address domestic issues after the following music for our Eritrean readers in the diaspora from their brothers and sisters suffering in Israel and Sinai.

      • spade spade

        Dear Haile.

        For me it sounds pure Tigrinna.may be my tigrinna is more gravitated to Amharic and bear in mind many languages in the region have the same roots.and do you know where pure Tigrinna is spoken? in Temben.

        my heart goes out to our brothers and sisters languishing a miserable life in Israhelli prisons and in the Sinai desert in the hands of brut human traffickers,that is first,and secondly only a fools path leads to Israhell.put blame where blame is due.and please not on PIA.a big portion of that blame goes to the diasporian ERI because of their BiLCHiLICH mentality.


    • Danny

      Could you please tell us where the more than 300 million dollars from the gold rush has gone and spare us the “I am a victim” rumbling. Playing the victim card has been exposed long ago.

    • Hameed

      spade spade says:As strange as it is.we are living in a strange, unjust,up-side-down world.where the winner takes all, where the big and powerfull intimidates.”

      “We are living in a world where winner takes all.things are becoming obvious,Zionism and Imperialism are showing their real faces.if economically,technologicaly,you are weak,is ther any other option left but to submit to their demands?”

      Don’t refuse Mr.spade spade to be beaten by the same tool you use against the Eritrean people. I think you have forgotten the police state you run in Eritrea. Take this as a rule Mr. spade; whenever you use your power against the weak, there is more powerful than you who will use their power against you.

      • spade spade

        Dear Hameed.
        “I think you have forgotten the police state you run in Eritrea”I don’t think Mr.Hameed that you have any clue what a police state is?let me ask you simple questions Mr.Hameed when you were back home(if you are Eritrean),were you imprisoned, harassed,intimidated by police and authorities of Eritrea,without committing any crime against the law or other persons?And did the Eritrean police and authorities even if they didn’t arrest you,did they ever were making your life unbearable and dangerous, not every day but every time you leave your home and back?did they listen to your telefon conversation?Did they put bugging-devices in your apartment?Did they install cc-camera direct above the intrance door of your apartment or building you live in?these are the few questions I want ask you.iam sure,your answer is categorically”NO”,if you were living in Eritrea before.come to UK my friend and witness for yourself what a real police state is.

  • It is not all about regime change,sunction,or other thing.The western do not give s%#t,and do not cares about eritrean refuge,who live in israel jail they could have freed,and giving them asylem to any western countries.They have a dream of anexing asseb to ethiopia.They are trying to implement their dream of milking from a chiken.

  • L.T

    More Gold ab Emba-Derho.Is Emba-Derho are inside Tigria?

  • L.T

    Pour out a little liquor for los desapergidos magul!
    “Weyane b hilmu Dubai(Asseb) geba”
    “Enhilka abzi zereba”
    dreams of Weyane are endless.”Entay ‘Ena ‘mo kingebrom”?
    Journalist to Ato Gebru Asrat”You leave Asseb to Shabia in 1991 and now you told us to bring back Asseb to Ethiopia.Why?
    Ato Gebru”In 1991 we had have no idea about Asseb””Kul-Kul ziAfa!!
    “When I study low at Univeristy of Addis than I know now Asseb can belong to Ethiopia by international low”Ex Mejar General Abebe (Juba)with “Dahai Tigringa magazin”.They don’t even know how much important to human being woter are?

    • Tamrat Tamrat

      What Gebru is trying to say tigray-tigrinya blood is thicker than water. eplf and tplf agreed on many Things before or after 1997. So they do not give a damn about other ethnic Groups be it in Eritrea or Ethiopia. When they were together they felt secure to disect Afar into to even though both were preaching how all leaders since the creation of Earth betrayed all ethnic Groups before they came to Power in 1991. Now what Gebru is saying is that since eplf and tplf is cutting throat one another then it is better to unite afar.

      Eplf stayed in Power becasue eritreans are stil in shock as to what eplf can drag itself to stay in Power as a leader of Eritrea. Eritrea and ethiopia could have lead a better life before or after 1991 if only elf was not created to make life hell for the horn of africa.

      • L.T

        Do you mean EPLF Mr Tamerat? last time we saw ELF was 1981.Exchange idea Mr.We can offer Marsa Fatima to you and inturn you must ready to give us Axum,Lalibola,Fasilldes Gnbi,Menlik resident place Entoto,3000 yrs old your story,Dej Belay Zeleke,Ras Alula,Gondet,Zeray Deres,Tana,Bishufut Debrezeyt,Tsahafi teazaz Aklilu,Black lion,Abebe Bekila,Tilahun Gesese,Addis Sharaton,Baealu Girma,”Fiker ‘ske Mekabr,H.M Jan-Hoy,New Bole area in Addis,Meles new vision park….
        Do you Mr Temart?

        • Tamrat Tamrat

          Eplf and a good deal of oppositioners are more horrified by elf than anything else in the wrold, though the reason might be so different. That is why eritrea stuck. Do you think isayas is so powerfull if it were not who is ready to take over …

          • L.T

            Ato Asrat the father of Ato Gebru was from Gojam and were a Niftegna in Tigria.Mix mirrage is ok by roman-love but as polic was a dangare.
            EPLF are not one relgion,etnic or zone or with one politic wing in basic ground.Jebha,Shabai and Al-Wahad were come from people and when our farfather in Bahri Negsatat from Duba-Ruba to Mereb-Milsh Zaezega-Hazega were “Seb Qotsli” while Your Tobia were and still under war lord contral.
            I am not in love with Isaias but you all Ethiopians do.His age is 67 and he is in power since I born(1969).”Btemen ziteNkse,bilHtsi tedahele” and I guesse you and country men knows some secret than we have.
            When the first time Isaias come up on Ethio Tv screen in Jun 1991 in Addis all women fm Addis street was said”He no look from jungal,he look like Yemeni “Betam Yamral Gebriel Qulibi”.
            Prof Asrat said”can you rule us Ato Isaias”?Nap..And he was like 1000 books to your boss at an old gold days.
            1996 democrasia Eritrea news peper wrote one Eritrean tegdaly Ali Gedem who live in Sweden Uppsala city”Isias,be care with Weyane,USA and Israel now ofcourse you are in honaymoon with them but when the time they are tired enough of you the first stone come from them”
            Until he work to Eritrea he is in our save hand.”Nusu-Nihna,Nihana-Nusu”

        • Tamrat Tamrat

          If you Write Your last comment in tigrinya i could have understood the same.

          • L.T

            I am not here to learn or express my english on awate.Ask to Ato Sibhat Nega(Aduwa) and,Dr Alemsged Abay(London),Ato Getachw Reda(Addis Abeba)and Ato Hagos Gebru(USA)

  • Fiseha

    How about UN monitoring group do their own business and leave Eritrea alone. Eritrea is a sovereign country they have the right like any other country to use their gold money where ever they think is useful to their people.

  • They have to give up the port of asseb.The western policy must implement…..

    • you are ethiopian that is in your mind whay are talking by aseb only it is amazing all the time you are thieving and lien you your self the world is changed bout you steel

    • L.T

      Our Asseb is only to our camel.

    • haqi


      Giving up? Please buy it- it won’t cost you a lot. Just 91 million soldiers.

  • zeronine

    btw…if the GOE’s revenue/expenditures are so opaque…how exactly can anyone claim or arrive at a debt figure of 115% or 124% of gdp????

  • zeronine

    soooo let me get this straight…on the one hand…Eritrea supposedly owes over $3,500,000,000 dollars…and “can’t even pay for it’s oil imports…but then the semg claims that the GOE is funding all those rebels which would warrant an oversight…and how much is the goe funding these so called rebel groups….oh yes…the previous report which claimed Eritrea was giving $80,000 a month to members of al shabab..or $500,000 to one of those ethio opposition groups…what a joke.

    • Danny


      Your question should be directed to “GOE”, don’t you think? The financial dealings of DIA is completely pitch black. The report, in fact, was modest to call it opaque. If you disagree about the labeling of DIA’s finances, it means all is clear as mud for you; perhaps you are an insider of the Kisha office and would be kind enough to enlighten those of us who are on the outside.

  • meskerem

    The guy who was accused working with the Eritrean Govt denied that he has any involvement. Awate please be honest, you have the right to hate the govt, but it is better if you give sense to your reporting. Russia blocked it they know it was a fabrication. Last, but not least please give us where the debt came from?


  • Zegeremo

    It reminds me the oil-for-food form of sanction responsible for the lives of five-hundred thousands Iraqi children. Now, how many Eritrean children will be affected should the proposed sanction apparatus prevails?


    • Hameed

      At least part of the gold money will go to the poor Eritrean children and their families.

      • Zegeremo

        Sanctions do not lead to Regime change, at least historically.


        • L.T

          You can lead a camel to Asseb but you can’t make it to water.
          In Swedish”Du can leda en häst till vattnet men aldrig att tivanga honom att drika.
          5 millions people of Eritrea without Nile river
          90 millions people of Ethiopia without Reasea water.
          Tiff without Chow
          Asa without Berbere..
          Ms beal kebede ms beal Ghitachw
          15 amet girna kab nibahal chaw chaw!!

    • jimmy

      The Eritrean children and the youth have already been under sanctions by PFDJ for two decades. That’s why you see them fleeing from higdef-mendef by the thousands to refugee camps in Ethiopia and Sudan.

      • Zegeremo

        Agreed. But my point is it will not effectively target or affect political or military elites.


        • jimmy

          It’s better than the alternative where the PFDJ fill their bank accounts with no food for the people.

          • zegeremo


            If the objective is Regime Change,then sanction is not the right recipe.


          • L.T

            I can make you clear if we dead have proplem with world Bank that easy way we will through Madam Azieb Mesfin to reopen Horn Bank becouse our our 800 milllion Birr have still with them.Mamma Azieb is reday ti fill Ato Meles’s live wish dream.He love AdiQaual than Adi Abun Aduwa.

        • haile


          In fact there are numerous UN sponsored research findings that claimed:

          1 – Sanctions entrench and empower totalitarian regimes (e.g North Korea, Zimbabwe)

          2 – Sanctions weaken and lead to collapse of none-dictatorial regimes (e.g. South Africa’s Apartheid)

          A matter of wrong diagnosis in our case.


          • zegeremo

            Agreed! BTW how many rounds of sanction have been imposed against the Iranian people?

      • L.T

        We heard it before.

    • bukretsion

      if u are interested, watch this move it’s called u don’t want to mess with the zohan. it’s about the consequence when u mess with the powerful country(person). u might learn a lesson.

  • Haqi

    Awate staff
    First thank you for including the authors name, now I can see it on my iPhone. Second do you have any idea how the illegal regime manage to accumulate 3.5 billion debt? The illegal regime supporters boast about Eritrea being debt free unlike some other African countries. That’s a lot of money , omg

  • mhayle

    Bring evidence and then do what ever you do.Otherwise close your case.As simple as that.