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United States Policy On Eritrea: Any Prospects for Change?

The United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs held a subcommittee hearing titled ‘Eritrea: A Neglected Regional Threat’ on September 14, 2016. Participating in the hearing were a two-member panel of witnesses representing the State Department and a three-member panel of expert witnesses. Post-hearing reviews and analyses coming out of the Eritrean diaspora focused mostly on testimonies given by members of the second panel. Not surprisingly, they reflected the dichotomy of Eritrea’s contemporary political thinking: Government supporters applauded the testimony of an American researcher sympathetic to the regime, while opposition groups hailed those given by two Eritrean intellectuals on the same panel.

Lost in the ensuing political cheerleading and posturing by contending forces has been the importance of getting a handle on some critical aspects of the hearing: What motivated it? What goals had it set for itself? What dictated its timing? Obviously, evaluating panelist inputs becomes meaningful only if conducted in the context of the hearing’s objectives. After all, the value of a testimony is ultimately determined by the extent to which its contents are utilized.

This article attempts to explore possible factors that impelled Congress to hold a hearing on Eritrea. It also ventures an informed guess on what policy objectives the hearing was intended to serve.

Contextualizing the Hearing

The hearing was conducted with just the subcommittee chairman and the ranking member in attendance. A hearing that goes unattended by the convening subcommittee’s own members is unusual and cannot be high in importance in the pecking order of issues dealt with in Congress.

The low level of importance apparently assigned to the hearing, its vague title and the lack of clarity on its rationale do raise fundamental questions about the nature and ultimate fate of results expected from it.

In his opening remarks, the chairman cited “quiet contacts” made with Eritrea’s government and civil society to find ways to help tackle the problem of refugee flight from the country, and declared: “Today’s hearing will examine how such contacts have developed.” Thus, addressing “migration and human rights violations in Eritrea” seems to have been the hearing’s unstated objective although this does not answer the ‘Why now?’ question.

On the whole, subcommittee’s questions were not of the type that challenge the status quo, provoke fresh perspectives and solicit bold proposals on Eritrea’s policies and external relations. Consequently, the hearing broke no new ground in terms of opening up opportunities for fresh policy initiatives. But then again, there is no indication that such was the intent either! Indeed, the hearing ended in a subdued note with the chairman, who sounded more like a political activist than a legislator, declaring: “We will… continue pressing; I hope the new administration … [makes respect for human rights in Eritrea] a very serious foreign policy…” — No promise to take the case to the full house and push for a resolution on it! This was in stark contrast to the determined tone with which he had earlier announced: “Yesterday we introduced H.RES. 861 and we are planning a series of hearings on Ethiopia…”

Status of U.S.-Eritrea Relations Reviewed

The U.S. Administration was represented at the hearing by a panel comprising the Assistant Secretary for African Affairs and the Director, Office of East African Affairs (OEAA). The latter was brought in apparently on account of his recent, two-month stint as an interim Chargé d’affaires to Eritrea. Obviously, a serious hearing eager for the insights of a seasoned diplomat would have invited Mr. Louis Mazel who served as Chargé in Asmara for a two-year period that ended only last July. During his tenure there, Mr. Mazel was a political wheeler-dealer whose role in a range of ‘stakeholder activities’ had earned him a celebrity status.

In her testimony, the Assistant Secretary enumerated the same set of reforms that the U.S. held out for nearly a decade as a condition for improving relations with Eritrea, and which the latter has contemporaneously rejected and ignored. America’s decision not to let up in its requirements for normalization, therefore, indicates that Washington is not about to shift policy or soften position vis-à-vis Asmara anytime soon.

The Assistant Secretary frequently turned to the OEAA Director for answers to some of the subcommittee’s questions, and promised to follow up in writing with answers to a couple of others. It was particularly remarkable to watch the official repeatedly utter the name “Ethiopia” when she actually meant to say Eritrea during an exchange with the chairman – a spectacle that finally led her to exclaim in dismay at her own gaffes! This bizarre episode revealed that, even at a “hearing on Eritrea”, it was perhaps the current situation in Ethiopia – not prospects for improved relations with Eritrea – that was uppermost in her mind.

Interplay of National-interest Imperatives of States

It is public knowledge that the United States is deeply concerned about the current chaotic situation in Ethiopia. Indeed, it may already be taking steps to control and stabilize the situation so as to protect its strategic interests in the region. Such an intervention may require the U.S. to find ways of assisting the regime to introduce reforms and reassert its authority. Alternatively, it may involve pushing for an orderly political transition in favor of a more inclusive system. In either case, it would seem imperative for the U.S. to keep at bay destabilizing forces who may exploit the situation and extremist elements who may try to gain a foothold in the country.

On Eritrea’s part, there are political realities that had influenced expectations about the hearing as well as reactions to its outcome. It is no secret that Eritrea’s government, its supporters and its lobbyists – which include such Washington insiders and old hands at the diplomatic game  as former Ambassador Herman Cohen – continue to seek improved relations with the United States. As an enthusiastic apologist for the government, Ms. Bronwyn Bruton of the Atlantic Council and one of the three expert witnesses at the hearing has long been calling for U.S. engagement and improved relations with the regime.

Given these realities, it was astonishing to see the staunchly pro-regime Organization of Eritrean-Americans (OEA) vehemently opposing a congressional hearing on Eritrea. To have done so, OEA must have been tipped off by its Washington insiders about the true nature and aims of the hearing. Having possibly concluded the hearing held no potential gain for Eritrea, they understandably turned against an event they believed will only expose the regime’s transgressions.

Eritrea in the Geopolitical Dynamics of the Horn

Certainty is elusive when it comes to predicting political developments or ascribing intent to political events. Anything is possible in politics – any number of events can happen anytime in the near term to push U.S.-Eritrea relations in any imaginable direction. But looked at in totality, the nature of the recent congressional hearing and the circumstances of the countries concerned do present a clear picture of inter-state relations. That picture is dominated by American geopolitical interests that seek to retain Ethiopia as a client state with or without its current government. And Eritrea is but one piece in the jigsaw puzzle of an evolving U.S. regional strategy aimed at protecting those interests.

The hearing is therefore part of America’s broader political maneuver that views Eritrea as crucial not just in its own right, but also as a potential mitigating or complicating factor in U.S. handling of the Ethiopian crisis. Specifically, the hearing may be a political gimmick aimed at:

  1. convincing the world that the U.S. is taking a holistic and even-handed approach as it resets its strategy for the East Africa-Horn region in response to developments in Ethiopia, South Sudan, Somalia and elsewhere.
  2. dangling in front of Eritrea “hints” of U.S. engagement, development assistance and ending sanctions to secure its acquiescence in getting the new regional strategy to work. This means having Eritrea (i) refrain from political and military actions that could further destabilize Ethiopia, and (ii) restrain Ethiopian armed groups who operate out of bases in its territory.

For now, the prospect of “a congressional delegation to Eritrea” which Ms. Bruton proposed – and the chairman promised to consider seriously – gives everyone involved something to take home from the event! It affords the subcommittee a face-saving semblance of accomplishment; gives regime supporters a glimmer of hope for speedy U.S. engagement; and promises the opposition movement possible revelation of additional evils of the regime.

About Yohannes Zerai

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[Editor’s note: Reflections is Beyan Negash’s new column. He selected, edited and presents the following …

  • Semere Tesfai

    Selam tSAtSE

    I don’t think I deserve all that, but hank you tSAtSE Hawey. Thank you.

    Semere Tesfai

  • ghezaehagos

    Hello Awatistas,
    Here is a brief observation of mine in respect to the current turmoil in Ethiopia and its ramification for Eritrean opposition.
    It is hard not to fall into speculation; try as one may. Yet…all things considered if/since our main interest remains Eritrean opposition to the cruellest tyranny in the world, the Issayas Afewerki one, no matter what the result, we would still be in much better position.
    1. If EPRDF is weakened to the extent of relinquishing its claim to Badme, and allows normalization with Eritrea, that is good news too. A new reality that dispossesses the PFDJ regime of its eternal war footing and excuse for untold tyrannical rule is gone. new actors that favor the opposition will arise. An evolved opposition, with better access to inside Eritrea (our greatest, greatest weakness) will come about. The downside is possible expulsion of the current opposition from Ethiopia. Folks, it is not like we would be missing a ten-or twenty thousand strong army that is threatening the PFDJ. Given Ethiopia’s current policy of ignoring Eritrea and anything Eritrea associated, including Eritrean opposition, we would not be losing much even if we are expelled from Ethiopia; there could be some costs, mainly psychological. If we really soberly assess it, that new reality will bring new opportunities. Besides, fighting for justice will always find ways to do it. Always. After all, we are Eritreans, we are eternally creative and we strive and win against all odds…
    2. Which brings me to another scenario. If EPRDF weathers the current uprising, the de-facto policy of ignoring Eritrea and by that the Eritrean opposition would likely change. They will start to view the opposition with a new eyes. One of the most eye-opening interviews I saw was that of Molla Asgedom. What fascinated me was not his secret cells and his return to Ethiopia, but the unfettered resources and access and leverage his group received from Issayas himself and the PFDJ regime. Think this poor regime giving all these resources while the more powerful and way richer regime giving few alms to Eritrean opposition. Again as long as EPRDF doesn’t see the PFDJ as a threat (BaElu kiwedik iyu), the Eritrean opposition won’t be given serious and meaningful support. The current turmoil has the potential to bring that reality.
    3. In all likelihood, the worst thing is the statuesque. That is PFDJ perfectly knows EPRDF doesn’t really see it as a threat and won’t start give it any real trouble; hence continues to prolong the suffering the Eritrean people. The EPRDF doesn’t see the PFDJ as any threat; hence why bother to spend its resources on Eritrean opposition. We got the worst of both worlds and as long as this regional reality doesn’t change, we would be stuck there.
    4. 1890; 1941; 1952;1991 (to some extent). All brought changes in Eritrea; the regional politics always weighed heavily, especially-vis-avis Ethiopia. This is our history and we can’t deny that. It is to be seen in the future; but if history is any guide,….
    5. Opposition is always for the people; the good of opposition is the good of the people. No matter what the new reality is, one thing is certain: as long as the Issayas regime continues its tyrannical rule, its opposition abides and flourishes. And the opposition will always find ways to effect change inside Eritrea whether from Ethiopia or elsewhere. Venue matters less than the mission. Our priority is the Eritrean people and their national interest. Whether US policy or Ethiopia policy changes, they would make our struggle harder or easier; but the fundamentals don’t change. We held our noble mission dear and near. In abstract, that is the beauty of the opposition, its moral clarity makes always, always the winner. If PFDJ starts to govern itself by law and release prisoners, well “ewur entay tdeli, BERHAN”. If it continues oppressing Eritreans, we will continue to expose and oppose it. Both scenarios, we are cognizant of the unalterable historical fact: These who fight injustice will be rewarded by history. That gives us a good night’s sleep. Well-deserved one.
    Ghezae Hagos

    • Solomon

      MerHaba G.Hagos,

      1. Warm up: what is the price for the commodity happiness? You are called the Happy Purchaser, aren’t you GhezaE Hagos? And correct me if I am wrong, but I do believe you would state with out hesitation that one finds plenty of Hagos for the purchasing at Thursday’s Market. Or Edaga Hamid. Singer song writer Abrar Osman’s tSibaH tsibaH, And tdibaH is indeed Hamid.

      For a fitting segway song though, allow me to do a Remix of Abrar’s tSibaH with Legend Yemane’s melody of love with the the lyrics: Nay Qedemm koynnu tmaLii Telalyeki bEili…. … DogiHKuni Ayneyy TeAmite Kokhob kab semayy ab Qudmeyy zwedeQue.
      This remix serves for my second fun fact warm up. Remixing Yesterday and Tomorrow, intuitively one would average out the NOW value.

      2. The number 2017 is a Prime and the last year with a Prime number value was 2011, which when utilizing pre Y2K and pre Cobal coding for the data date storage, in ddmmyy format, the year 11 or better yet the date 01.11.11 appears binary. One binary date, when converted to base 10 value is the date 01.01.10 equals 22. “Ali nHafash” closed a short essay on Awate that gave clarity to the murky waters of the Ali Salim divisive strategizing and finger pointing, that seemed to make all sides rather unhappy. Why?
      Rewinding, back closer to 2000 and the Eritrean Opposition choosing Ethiopia as the base… The lost data, included with my alleged “’s data dearth”, argued against the significant strategic errors of those decisions as well as gave point blank warnings for the inevitable arrival of the conundrum of NOW. So Dear GhezaE, Catch 01.01.10 and further rewinds is what compels yours truly to challenge and demand for a clear statement of a Paradigm Shift by all Eritreans for a the cost lrss, yet priceless value purchase of happiness. Younis of U.Khartum, a.k.a. “Ali Salim” the last director through his call of a Paradigm Shift, arguing for an about face of sorts, did it. And the ELLL he landed with is the most positive affect to date in my opinion.

      Your first point and optimistic vissiualuzation by the TPLF government, I can not entertain.Reason, in my construct and challenge, I now believe the it is the Eritrean Opposition to stay put and mediate vocally and very loud for the preservation of the Ethiopian Dejen, the forever destined to prosper in neighborly partnership where justice rules. F
      Honestly speaking, the patronizing self preservation strategy, I do not believe to be a well reasoned one. It is timely, brave and breath of fresh air that gives added value asking the whereabouts of Eritrean Opposition — underseige by an overflowing Potomac or Mereb River….
      As you consider the above, I shall return to address your other points for a fair trade of Hagos at EidagaHamuss.. tSibaH, tSibaH tSibaH
      Mettann Hasan Lbina Semere ikna Habirna knzmrr. “Metann tSibaH kaHaysh kabb Lommi”

      SEMi please check me on the Boolean Algebra.


  • Solomon

    Selamat Forum,

    No no, please as you were, just ignore my presence.

    Just jotting down the following, I will call “The Gift that keeps giving.”

    I just read the YG defense preceded by its just a statement of a reasoned forecasting. The I am a YG deciple, for those smitten by the anti Eritrea Ghedli theoretician will be added to the attempt to bifurcate list of harsh obstacles by the relatively young Eritrean State. Yosief Ghebrehiwet, the smug and unethical ambush opportunist. His earliest article at Asmarino is about a fictitious Eritrean Certified Accountant in the Washington, DC area. First impressions, it is said do matter.
    And the Tig. Adal DedHri Adgi zkhede TraT lemedde, applies here.
    For now, the reader is encouraged to deduce the self defeating statement utilizing one’s own balancing of YG’s formula utilizing current values for the holding variables.
    Dear SEMi, would you care to play the TA for Boolean Algebra 101 crash course?
    LajaEen libluna dibb Hidud. I am official desperate for Wed Amber’s promised article.

  • Semere Tesfai

    Selam all

    Let’s go back to the main topic – US policy on Eritrea, and ask ourselves if there is going be any prospects of US policy change on Eritrea. Personally, I do believe there will be. And this is the logic behind my argument.

    1. – Western powers don’t go half the world away and, bleed and die to protect their national interest. They do it only, if they want to occupy the land. And in most cases they can do without – meaning money and influence will do it for them. How do they do it? They outsource it. To whom and how? Well….

    If we look Africa for example, Western Powers have divided the Continent into four regions. And in each region, they have assigned a neighborhood Sheriff – Nigeria in Western Africa, Egypt in Northern Africa, Ethiopia in Eastern Africa, and South Africa in Southern Africa. The neighborhood sheriff’s job is to lead a team of neighboring countries to do Western bidding. Again, why do Africans bleed and die protecting Western interest? Well, for a piece of beacon, for peace stability “prosperity” and security in their respective nations, to have insurance umbrella, to earn access to the ears of the powerful, and to earn a status of an ally,…. and who knows – if they did a superb job – hasn’t happened yet but even Nobel Piece Prize.

    So, as a neighborhood Sheriff, what was/is Ethiopia doing? Ethiopia was/is bleeding and dying in Somalia to protect Western interest (war on terror), it is at the forefront in South Sudan, trying to implement Western policy that is custom-tailored “democracy” for the young nation – or in layman’s language, Ethiopia is tasked to CHASE AWAY the Chinese from the rich natural resources of Somalia and South Sudan. Now, if Ethiopia is unable to do its job for domestic reasons (which is very likely), that is very big shoe to fill for any country in the region. Not Uganda, not Kenya, not Sudan, not Djibouti, not Eritrea (even if given the task) are capable of doing this kind task. Therefor, until Ethiopia resumes it role, the tasks that were assigned to Ethiopia, has to be broken into pieces and given to different countries. Example, Kenya and Uganda may lead the task in Somalia and South Sudan, but they won’t be as effective as Ethiopia.

    2. – Let’s assume there won’t be any Western policy change on Eritrea. Well, Western Powers had only one effective tool to punish Eritrea: The Woyane regime. If the Woyane regime is preoccupied with its internal problems (which it it will be), then, since the West doesn’t have another effective tool in the region to punish Eritrea, Eritrea will get a sigh of relief. And that in itself is considered to Eritrea and Eritreans – a policy change.

    3. – So, since the Western Powers are not going to punish Eritrea using Sudan’s Al-Bashir (since he is war criminal), and are not going to punish Eritrea using Saudi Arabia (as Saudi Arabia is preoccupied with Yemen), And since the PFDJ regime is willing to engage and serve, looking at the current developments in the region, it is conceivable, the West to engage with the PFDJ regime. But there is a catch….

    4. – When Western Powers want to engage you, they want you to make commitment – a commitment that put a rope on your neck. And the commitment is freedom of SPEECH, freedom of ASSOCIATION, and freedom of MOVEMENT for all. What does that mean? Basically, you’ve to allow all Western spy agents that come as journalists, visitors, doctors, military trainers, teachers, NGOs, Civic Organizations, investors, Humanitarian organizations…. and their Eritrean helpers to move wherever they want and whenever they want, befriended with whomever they want, bribe, collect data, write, agitate…..

    And that is where the problem start. For example, if the West assigns a hostile Ambassador to the PFDJ government what can the PFDJ government do? If the PFDJ government sees unauthorized meetings by some embassy staff, what would the PFDJ government do? If the PFDJ government finds excessive amount of cash in the residence of some embassy workers, what would the PFDJ government do?

    If they try to monitor, restrict and arrest people for that kind of violation – that is called tyranny, dictatorship, hostility against the West…………

    The point: not just the West, but even the PFDJ government may not be as enthusiastic to have an open relation with the West, as we might think.

    Semere Tesfai


    • Ismail AA

      Selam Semere,
      I agree with most of your points save one or two points. One is that it is inconceivable that Ethiopia would be instrumental in kicking out the Chinese from anywhere when its cooperation and investment in Ethiopia are crucial. Think about the long distances roads, metropolitan ring roads and railways China is building.
      The other point is: Who said that the regime in Eritrea is not a pawn in the chessboard of the USA and its allies? Contemplating that the EPLF could have prevailed over all the aligment of forces before 1991 or after without having had recruited itself to serving the interest of the USA and allies does not measure up with how those powers play their geopolitical games.

      • Solomon

        Dear IshmaelAA,

        I think no one. Everyone has been narrating that Eritrea has been willingly or not a Pawn of the powerful. But, I hear the tonal implications and would love to hear you elaborate further.

        (LaEbet Al MaQzel is a catchy title. I need to order my copy soon.)

        I certainly can tune to such frequency….and intend to introduce theories and hypotheticals…

        Sincerely your friend Temelso melliso mellassi:)

      • Semere Tesfai

        Selam Ismail AA

        “Who said that the regime in Eritrea is not a pawn in the chessboard of the USA and its allies? Contemplating that the EPLF could have prevailed over all the aligment of forces before 1991 or after without having had recruited itself to serving the interest of the USA and allies does not measure up with how those powers play their geopolitical games.”

        No, no, no…. I’m not suggesting or implying in any shape or form, that the PFDJ regime was not or doesn’t want-to, to be “a pawn in the chessboard of the USA and its allies” game. Believe it or not, on the above comment that I wrote yesterday, I did write about the PFDJ regime’s willingness to serve the West. But the comment became too long and I had to edited it. Anyway this is my take on that issue, so my position is very clear to you and to every Awate reader.

        From the get go (1991 and prior to that) the PFDJ regime was eager to align its policy with Ethiopia, Israel and the West. The EPLF/PFDJ leaders were so happy and so willing to be part of the Western alliance in the region, they took their relation with the West as an honor. They thought that their place in the Red Sea Horn region as an invaluable Western ally was so secured, they were badmouthing the Arab countries that stood with them (the Eritrean revolution) through thick and thin.

        And on day one, they (EPLF and TPLF leaders) understood their place and their role in the region, and they started bleeding and dying in Congo to fine tune Western policy. From the get go, they were such a good-boys, they left such a good impression in the eyes of their Western bosses, and they did such a good job – they were given a flattering complement by Western leaders: ‘The New Bread Of African Leaders’. Then things went haywire. The reason:

        The Woyanes in order to govern, they have to marry the Amaras. And the can’t marry the Amaras while in love with Eritreans. You just can’t have a good marriage if you’re still seeing you ex-wife. They tried; but every time they said, ‘letting Eritrea go was the right thing to do’, every time they said ‘Assab is sovereign Eritrean port’…….. the question that came back to them was ‘Who authorize you to decide?’ Why would you defend Eritrea and Eritrean interest, if you are not pawn of ShEbya? Why are you defending Eritrea, if you don’t have a secret agenda? Well, in order to govern, they had to end their marriage with Eritrea, in a very, very very, convincing way.

        Therefore, to prove (a) that they are committed Ethiopians who will protect Ethiopian interest at all time (b) that they are a powerful regional force (not pawn of ShaEbya) (c) and in order to govern Ethiopia smoothly – the Woyanes back-stubbed their former ally by instigating a war. And after war broke-out between Eritrea and Ethiopia, for obvious reasons, the West took the Woyane side. And as they say, the rest is history.

        That was, the part of the comment I edited out yesterday. I hope I answered your question.

        Semere Tesfai

        • Hameed Al-Arabi

          Greetings Semere Tesfai,

          “The Woyanes in order to govern Ethiopia, they have to marry the Amaras. And they can’t marry the Amaras while still in love with Eritreans.”

          This is one of the fancies of Semere Tesfai or heard them from his grandmother. The one who instigated war is your uncle that you prepare to inherit him, after his death of course. Mr. Semere, don’t try to flip things upside down. Inheritance of governance is a very old system so I advise you not to waste your time in something very difficult to achieve. All your “Shebedbed” is understood what you look for. .

      • Semere Tesfai

        Selam Ismail AA

        Sorry I forgot your first question.

        “It is inconceivable that Ethiopia would be instrumental in kicking out the Chinese from anywhere when its cooperation and investment in Ethiopia are crucial. Think about the long distances roads, metropolitan ring roads and railways China is building.”

        The West doesn’t care if China is selling finished products allover the world for a buck or two a piece. The West doesn’t care if China is building infrastructure in every corner of the world……..

        Because ask yourself: what do you need to build infrastructure and to flood the world market with consumer products? Energy. right?


        Now, if you look at every hot-spot in the world, if you look at every bloodshed in the world, if you look at every chaos in the world…… there is one common thread that connect them all: ENERGY.

        Therefore, it is safe to say, every war in the world that is being waged today is, either to ENGULF and CONTAIN Russia and China, or to control the source of energy.

        Semere Tesfai

        • Ismail AA

          Selam Semere,
          Yes, energy has strategic importance in big power competition. But as far as China is concerned, and Russia as well, that may not be a big deal because they have the economic and military clouts to keep their competitors at bay. Russia is a huge oil and gas producer and exporter, and an ally of China. We understand the leverage Russia has over the Europeans as far as energy is concerned.
          Moreover, we know China is emerging to become the greatest economic power soon. US and many other nations in the west have already huge trade inbalances in favor of China. Besides, the US is the greatest debtor to China.
          Thus, due to its economic power, China, and India also, are lucrative markets to oil and gas producing countries which they cannot jump over whatever US pressures may be. Actually, the US and others in its camp, have vested interest in opening sources of energy to China because they are aware that any economic mishap or slow down in China would have huge impact to world economy.

    • Solomon

      Dear Semere Tesfay,

      Yes the topic is USA Policy towards Eritrea. More importantly, how should Eritreans affect through their effort of this policy?

      LaEbet Al MeQzel, indeed is a fiction based on historical events and personalities.

      It an eerily feeling to feel anxious for MaHmood SaliH’s article on the Tigre Language utilizing the Poet Wed Amer.

      Saay7 reminds us that the Eritrean Refugee History and Neglect, for years since 1991 has been the Eritrean Refugees on Hidud Sudan.
      From his data, I can extrapolate, that in the year 2003, up to two hundred thousand Eritrean Refugees in the Sudan, who are believed to be mainly Eritreans from the Low Lands, either migrated to the Western World through UNHRS equitable and just FIRST And longest suffering basis.
      I ask Saay7 (Captain!) to look at the data he presented for us to agree before he we continue constructive dialogue. I think Saay7 are positioned to expand the filtered data of that sample and set our direction.

      I will add or point towards a few more data or facts from the data once my long Hattetta on hold is visible to all…now held for review by…

      Feel free to jump in with your efforts of affecting our Friends Group Dynamics.


    • Yohannes Zerai

      Selam Semere Tesfai,

      Some of the ideas you presented in your comments may have some truth in them. But many of your statements and assertions are based on your own wishes, narrow interests and biases rather than on historical records, current realities and demonstrable facts of the matter. To illustrate, I will cite just two examples:

      1. You write “Again, why do Africans bleed and die protecting Western interest? Well, for a piece of beacon, for peace stability “prosperity” and security in their respective nations, to have insurance umbrella, to earn access to the ears of the powerful, and to earn a status of an ally,…. and who knows – if they did a superb job – hasn’t happened yet – but a Nobel Peace Prize for an African leader is not far fetched.”

      – You trivialized the reasons that African (or other Third World countries) decide to play the role of a “client state” and put themselves at the service of Western powers. Although often times they have little no public support for their policies, regimes decide to play that role for reasons that are more weighty, substantive and practical than the giddy, frivolous and emotional ones you have ascribed to them in your comment. Most do it for a combination of ensuring their personal/class gains AND advancing national interests – i.e., to keep themselves in power, secure military and economic assistance, protect their national interests vis-à-vis contending neighbors, enhance their own (and the country’s) status in the region, etc.

      2. Another of your statements goes: “So, as a neighborhood Sheriff, what was/is Ethiopia doing? Ethiopia was/is bleeding and dying in Somalia to protect Western interest (war on terror), it is at the forefront in South Sudan, trying to implement Western policy that is custom-tailored “democracy” for the young nation – or in layman’s language, Ethiopia is tasked to CHASE AWAY the Chinese from the rich natural resources of Somalia and South Sudan.”

      a) Since 1960, Ethiopia has been involved in two major wars and several border clashes with Somalia in consequence of the latter’s claim on the Ogaden region of Ethiopia. So Ethiopia has its own agenda of creating a weak or even a balkanized Somalia, weakening or destroying forces it considers hostile to it and helping proxy forces to power. Ethiopia thus found it convenient to form an alliance with a U.S. government worried about expansion of Al-Shabaab – the same force that Ethiopia considers a threat to its own interests. In other words, it found a common cause of sorts with the U.S. where the latter provides economic and military assistance and Ethiopia “contributes” the lives of its troops! So yes, there is an element of Ethiopian subservience (or a role as a “client state”); but to adopt the idiotic PFDJ notion/claim that Ethiopia is a servant or “Kedami” of the U.S. is nothing more than a cheap shot that could only come from a politically bankrupt outlook.

      b) The scale of Chinese investment in Ethiopia, hence its influence on the Ethiopian economy, is simply staggering! — roads, highways, hospitals, buildings, Addis Ababa metro system, incipient domestic & international railway network, airports, military bases, planned Addis-Djibouti oil-pipeline, etc. etc.). So the U.S. would do well to first try to curb (or slow down) this unprecedented Chinese economic and military domination over its own “client state” – something that it is, of course, not doing! So, it is only in people’s imagination that the U.S. is trying to use Ethiopia to “chase China” out of its long-acquired petroleum holdings in South Sudan. One forgets – at their own peril – that as a regional power, Ethiopia has its own strategic interests South Sudan!

      c) Finally, Ethiopia was not able to prevent its oil-exploration interests being “chased out” of its own Ogaden region much less to “chase out” China from its raw-material interests in Somalia – interests that are presently non-existent in Somalia.

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Dear Yohannes,

        Well said. You should be either an economist or international relationship expert. You have a good grip on economy and on regional and geopolitical engagement. Keep up please.


  • Abraham H.

    The Eritrean tyrant didn’t even bother to attend the funeral of his dedicated servant Girma Asmerom today in Asmara. What an odd creature is this human being, probably he passed the day recovering from his binge drinking overnight in his Adi Halo huts? Who knows.

    • Yohannes Zerai

      Hi Abraham,

      Attendance at a funeral of one of your most “loyal subjects” who had served you well for years would have been a humane, dignified and honorable act that even the fraudulent Isaias would be expected to perform. That he failed to do so is indeed puzzling. Nothing that the despot had to engaged in at Adi Halo on that Sunday morning could have been more important than bidding his deceased official goodbye at his interment. The whole episode is testimony to the man’s wicked nature!

      What is equally puzzling, is his self-imposed confinement to Adi Halo – away from his family, away from the seat of government (his Presidential Office) and away from most of his ministers. Looked at from a regional or international vantage point, Isaias’ sad situation is no longer a case of the outside world trying to isolate a notorious dictator. It is a case of a mentally unstable leader running away from the world and trying to hide himself in a little dark world of his own!

  • Michael Tesfamariam

    Hi all,
    Given the fact that the US foreign policy is largely influenced by financially powerful lobbyists and think thanks in and outside the country, i don’ think the regime in Eritrea would have to worry too much about getting its business done at White House. In fact, previously, the regime has successfully managed to soothe most, the so called ‘champion of freedom and democracy’ in the west including the EU and USA, and leaving the ‘opposition camp’ in limbo, despite all this immeasurable human suffering which has been going on for more than a decade. HGDEF has never had a moment which is more comfortable and relaxing than today. Eritrean asylum seekers have been dismissed as desperate economic migrants by majority European countries, HGDEF was able to cajole most Europeans leaders into adopting a cynical ‘policy of engagement’, significant number of benighted Eritreans folks make frequent trip to home to back the regime’s claim that Eritreans do not have political problem and so forth. But why?

  • saay7

    Selamat Yohannes:

    Here’s what I know, for what it’s worth:

    1. A congressional visit to Eritrea is not the outcome of the hearing. Actually, the hearing is a result of the prospects of a congressional visit to Eritrea. To be precise: almost two years ago, the US congress (African subcommittee) was planning a visit to Eritrea and some very quiet but very hard working Eritreans vowed that it’s crucial that the congress hear from pro-Justice Eritreans before they visit Eritrea so they don’t come back, like European politicians, mouthing what the Eritrean government told them;

    2. There were various papers presented– religious liberties, civil liberties, Eritreas strategic interest to the world and why the US can’t ignore it forever. The hearings focused on all of the above but the title chosen was based on the paper presented on Eritreas strategic interested and how the US can’t afford to neglect it;

    3. The timing of the hearing had *NOTHING* to do with developments in Ethiopia. I know we Eritreans like to think that the whole world revolves around us but it doesn’t: we are a small country, and thus the barely attended session. The timing was based on the subcommittees priorities (Juba trumped Eritrea) AND the congressional calendar;

    4. The Organization of Eritrean Americans (OEA) was not complaining that a hearing was heard. They were complaining that they, and the government they serve, were not invited.

    5. The Obama administration policy—unlike that of the rest of weakly Europe–has a firm policy on Eritrea, probably because its shores are not overhwlemed by refugees: we will adjust our policy to you when you observe minimum standards of decency. That didn’t change before, during or after the hearing. Bruton did *NOT* convince the subcommittee to visit Eritrea. It was already on the agenda: against some quiet hardworking Eritreans simply insisted “if you are going to go, listen to alternative viewpoints first.”

    6. Speaking of Bruton: she is a true believer. She is not faking it. And she is not doing it because she is paid. The Gov of Eritrea puts on a good show–better than the tour guides at Universal Studios. She has no idea that she is being played by the Stalinist* gov of Eritrea. She is charmed now because she sees a developmental state of hard-working gov officials. It’s our responsibility to show her the facade.


    * Eritrean Stalinism Exhibit 789: ambassador Girma Asmerom passed away last weekend and Asmarino posted it early this week. Everybody who was close to the PFDJ knew he was fighting a losing battle with cancer. Shabait announced it today. Consider: it took until today for th PFDJistas to mourn him because first they had to get permission that it is was ok to mourn him. If shabait hadn’t mentioned his death he, like Naizghi Kflu, would have been an un-person and he would never have been mourned. Bruton will take time but will eventually understand this.

    • Ron Johnson

      Dear SAAY,

      Here we go again! sanitizing actions of the evil empire. I don’t know who you are trying to convince but the Eritrean people are way ahead of you and your likes. No move by USA is going to trick us. Whatever your so called silent group try’s, we Eritreans know that USA means no good. How we got our freedom? By deifying the evil empire. Do you think they have a hearing on Eritrea because they care for us? Really? I mean, if this was 1980, even 90s you would have gotten away with your shallow analysis. I don’t know why you are gloating about your so called silent doers. What difference does it make what the reason is behind the US congress hearing about Eritrea? Hear is the funny part, the refuge problem is exactly what US wanted because they created. Here is an solicited advice, please do your home work about the so called refuge crises. It will save you future embarrassment. From the number to who is behind it. Go ahead take your time, talk to recent so called refuges.

      Rj…aka George

    • Solomon

      Selamat Saay7,

      Has Abeba Haile “Hade Libi, Hade Hzbi” also died due to a long battle with cancer. I don’t see anyone including the PFDJite mourning her?

      With regards to the US Congressional visit to Eritrea, I think the Quite Eritrean Opposition will have their work cut out for them once the Clintons get into office.
      Dr. Bashire should have been anticipating January 2017 before blaming President Clinton for Eritrea’s current problems on possibly the next First And First Gentleman of the USA. Earlier this month I mentioned hearing him speak in SF’s Market Street where he was lecturing folks on Machiavelli’s The Prince. He asked “If every one is wrong, then who is right?”
      There is significant blind side that the “doers” are suffering from. Just think MoQadishu is to Somalia as Massawa is to Eritrea. Maybe the US Congressional visitation was not influenced by events in Ethiopia but it certainly will be. What new game plan would you be suggesting to the “quite doers” unless you are convinced that starving Eritrea out, for the sake of regiem change, and causing another instability in the region that is dangerously close to USA’s SELF INTEREST will resonate with a very possible Clinton Administration. I am quite sure as much as we Eritreans if not more, we Americans also believe also to the center of the universe. And we all are correct. Though every time we move the center of the universe does to. Self Interest was Yohness’ first lecture.
      Lately you are reminding me of my long ago Kerenite friend Ibrahim Brhann. I am quite sure you know him from the “Dead Poet’s Society” on the hills of Kesela.
      I am glad you are head of the calvary leading the charge North of the Potomac River. The Sparta kind of battles where the commander or King is in the thick of the battle with fearing not the blood and gore!” This is Sparta! This is Awate!!! 300;)

      • saay7

        Selam solomon:

        I don’t understand the point you are trying to make. Just writing to correct you on the one piece I did understand: the Abeba Haile who passed away is NOT the singer/guitarist of the “Hade hzbi Hade lbi” fame.


        • Solomon


          It’s like the timing timing timing above you speak of.

          The Amb. Died in NY. A weak to reach Asmara and to Adi X, then for the traditional climbing atop the hill Ooouuyyy aQabruna call to godobo Aditat…

          Christians, unlike Muslims are not required to bury their dead immediately.

          At times my ambiguity could be the source of misunderstanding. Unlike you, I am not rubbing elbows with politicians and political maneuvered. at times the choice of the reader determines it. There is in the oven though something that will hopefully go through the eyes of multiple proof readers. I have gathered ample data now to proceed without the necessity of a blitzkrieg on the Potomac not a self imposed cooling off period.

        • Solomon

          Selamat Saay7

          I will pullout some quotes from my second run if Dale Carnegie’s and make a specific point.
          Above there are several, including the “I will be back!” Conan the Barbarian. Wait, it is Bill Clinton The First Barbarian.
          S-DubA-Y7 leveraging home turf ala Charlie and the Vietcong, the Afghan Mujahedin, Ena ye Etitra Wonbediouch! Inashenifalenn ingn Quo MI6 007 ye Scotland Yard nachine.

    • sara

      Dear saay,
      your report closes the conflicting opinions people had about the DC show last month, thanks for
      the inside story.

    • Yohannes Zerai

      Hello SAAY,

      Thank you very much for the valuable information you provided regarding the input that Eritrean activists made to the activities you say had finally led to the convening of the congressional hearing. I was certainly not privy to the details of those activities and the new information has helped me have a better perspective on some aspects of the matter. That said however, I would like to point out that there are (i) hard facts that came out loud and clear from the hearing and (ii) considerations of logic and circumstantial evidence which do provide useful clues to some of the things that happened behind the scenes.

      1. The sequencing of (i.e., the cause-and-effect relationship between) the hearing and the congressional visit may well be as you have explained. But, if it were planned two years ago, why did it take so long to materialize? And does not the fact that it had to lie in wait for two years indicate that it was not of high importance/priority in the order of congressional matters?

      2. This is certainly useful information. But I still could not see how the word “Threat” found its way into the title, and what it had to do with the hearing if the main concern were “Eritrea’s strategic interest” (its importance to the U.S., how it has been ignored and neglected, etc.).

      3. I cannot understand how (i) suggesting that the hearing may have something to do with conditions in Ethiopia in the sense that Eritrea may be seen as a factor that can affect developments there, and (ii) noting that all 6 members of the subcommittee did not attend the hearing can be characterized as thinking “that the whole world revolves around us [Eritreans] …”

      4. The Eritrean government and supporters were well aware that no one can defend the regime in such a hearing more eloquently and effectively than Bronwyn Bruton – not even the regime’s own envoys. Just look at the accolades she received from the pro-regime camp for her performance at the hearing! So, OEA’s opposition to the hearing could not have arisen from an issue of “regime representation.” After all, OEA activists are too sophisticated – too well-connected and politically savvy folks – not to be mindful that congressional hearings are not events that foreign governments or their proxies invite themselves to!

      5. You say “Bruton did *NOT* convince the subcommittee to visit Eritrea. It was already on the agenda: ….”

      – First, I did not say Bruton had done “convincing” on anything. What I wrote is “… the prospect of ‘a congressional delegation to Eritrea’ which Ms. Bruton proposed – and the chairman promised to consider seriously – gives everyone involved…”

      – Secondly, Ms. Bruton had recommended a congressional delegation to Eritrea in her remarks. She again made that recommendation in her one-sentence closing statement and all the chairman had to say in response was “ … a trip is certainly something we will very seriously consider …..“ If it was already on the agenda as you claim, why didn’t the chairman tell her so the first time she proposed the idea or, at least, the second time around when she re-stated it as an appeal to the subcommittee?

      6. We have heard, read and learned enough of Ms. Bruton to know that her zeal to defend the regime is driven by nothing else than professional/career ambition, political conviction and money in that order of importance. To assume that she has been duped by the regime into taking the position that she does would simply be an underestimation of her intellectual capacity and an overestimation of the persuasive/diplomatic skills of the regime – an attribute that the whole world knows it lacks seriously.

      Thank you

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Ahlen Yohanness,

        Forgive me to interfer. Saay gave us the genral glimpse on the hearing issue which was part of the whole strategy of the hard working activists . He gave us many points to connect them in order to understand the overwhole strategy of the exampelry activists. Don ‘t expect from him to feed us more than he should, if doing that will hurt to the on going activities of the activists. From the justice seekers point of view we want to see more of this practical move to give hope to our people. As we have already informed about Nevusm facing the Canadian court for being implicated on slave labor in Eritrea, which is still the outcome of the hardworking of the “quiet activist” let us use their work for galvanizing the Eritrean people to fight for justice. Let them go one feed at time.

        Amanuel Hidrat

        • Yohannes Zerai

          Selam Amanuel,

          Thank you for the views you expressed in your comment. I have already acknowledged with appreciation the information that Saay shared with us while admitting that I did not have prior knowledge of it. I also NEVER stated or implied Saay should reveal more of the “behind the scenes” work that is being done by activists within the Eritrean opposition movement.

          Rather, our back-and-forth pertained to statements made (and some that were not made) at the hearing, and differences in our respective readings of the overall sentiment of the pro-regime camp regarding the recent congressional hearing and their representation therein.

          Thank you

      • saay7

        Selamat Yohannes:

        I wasn’t trying to specifically address the arguments you made; rather, my intent was to take each point and see if I can provide clarification not just to what you said, but when useful, to what others have said about the subject.

        1. Because it kept getting trumped by other priorities in Africa. Just consider the name of the sub-committee: United States House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations and then ask yourself, I wonder what was going on in Africa in 2015 and 2016.

        2. Too obvious to merit a response.

        3. I wasn’t addressing your point here but all the Eritreans who kept writing that the timing of the hearing was so that the focus could change away from Ethiopia. There is a lunatic fringe within Eritrean politics that actually believes this, and buys into every conspiracy. Even the timing of the 2009 sanctions was once described as timed to ruin Eritreans happy new year celebrations.

        4. This is what you wrote: “…it was astonishing to see the staunchly pro-regime Organization of Eritrean-Americans (OEA) vehemently opposing a congressional hearing on Eritrea.” They were not opposing a congressional hearing on Eritrea; they were opposing that in this hearing, two individuals that were not going to read from the PFDJ hymn book were going to testify. They would have preferred that they (OEA leaders) be called to testify. Failing that, that somebody else whose business model is dependent on completely denying that there were any human rights violations in Eritrea testify (Herman Cohen.) But since the congressional hearings demand a “Truth-in-testimony” form disqualifying such individuals, Bruton Bronwyn Bruton was invited and here’s her “Truth-in-testimony” form:

        Now, if you think that the OEA thinks the best voice for the Government of Eritrea is someone who concedes that massive human rights violations occur in Eritrea (she did), that Eritrea contributed to the quagmire she is in by supporting Al- Shabab (she did), you and I have a different understanding of OEA whose first principle is Deny, Deny, Deny.

        And they were “tipped off” by a mysterious source called the Internet: the agenda of the hearings was published a week earlier, the first time OEA was even aware.

        5. You are asking me “Why was a politician being a politician?” A congressional visit to Eritrea, or a Security Council visit to Eritrea is ALWAYS being considered. And it never happens because our situation doesn’t rise to the level of Congo or Central African Republic. But anything is possible and, if they DO go, the Eritrean opposition now has enough influence and connection to brief them before they go.

        6. Bronwyn Bruton is only one of a series of think-tankers, reporters who view Eritrea as a developmental state run by brutally efficient technocrats. They include Ruby Sandhu, Tonja Mueller, Mary Harper. Now: ask yourself this question, Yohannes: what do you think will happen to Mr. Bruton’s view of the Government of Eritrea if the following individuals meet the fate of many of their predecessors and are made to disappear or are imprisoned:

        Yemane Gebreab
        Yemane Gebremeskel
        Other government/party officials who have been her Eritrean tour guides?

        Same thing that happened to Dan Connell: a world-shattering experience.

        In the end, who had the better outcome from the hearings is going to be decided by what they recommended and whether their recommendations were acted on by the congress. All three recommended that the US use its influence to nudge along the stuck-condition of the EEBC ruling. Beyond that, there was a divergence: Bronwyn Bruton essentially called for the US to drop all its conditions for engagement and to initiate engagement because she believes that the Gov of Eritrea will reciprocate in kind. (It is the “Trust Me!” strategy.) She also said that “we don’t know” whether Isaias Afwerki controls any part of Eritrea except Asmara. (Yeah, that happened.) The two Eritreans called for (a) demanding more accountability from Gov of Eritrea (b) more accountability from its business partners (Nevsun), (c) treating Eritrean refugees on par with those escaping war-torn countries, (d) to stay steadfast on the conditions for engagement

        We will see what will happen next, all of which will be dependent on who will occupy the White House and congress.


        • Yohannes Zerai

          Dear Saay,

          Thank you for the additional clarifications you provided in your comments above. I believe I have learned a lot from the exchange regarding the background history of the recent congressional hearing and the work that Eritrean activists had done to make it happen and to influence its outcome. I will now wrap up by making a brief reference to two points I had raised earlier:

          1. The following is a verbatim quote of a segment of the opening remarks that the subcommittee ranking member, Ms. Karen Bass delivered at the hearing:

          “I will say that in preparing for the hearing, a number of organizations – the Organization of Eritrean-Americans and several other organizations – are concerned and upset about why we are holding this hearing; taking the opposite point of view and saying that what we claim is happening in Eritrea is not. And I don’t know if on the second panel, not with the Assistant Secretary, but may be someone can explain why there are so many people fleeing the country if what is being talked about around the world is not the case.”

          Nothing can be more obvious and straightforward than the above as to what the OEA was protesting against.

          2. I would like to reiterate a question I had asked earlier. Given the fact that, at the hearing, Ms. Bruton had twice called for a congressional trip to Eritrea: first as a recommendation and later as an appeal – why did the chairman respond to her by saying he “will seriously consider” her proposal? If the committee had already planned such a trip, could there have been anything that prevented him from responding “yes, we have already planned one” or “yes, we have been considering the possibility of doing so”?

          Thank you

          • saay7

            Selamat Yohannes:


            1. On OEA, instead of interpreting what the congresswoman (ranking member) said, you might to read the complaints they presented to VOA Tigrinya which covered the hearing in its own way, which it to say with wide latitude to PFDJ. (It did not interject the two gentlemen who gave the testimony despite the fact that that is what Journalism 101 called for; rather, it aired the views of the pro-PFDJ OEA which is what Pro-PFDJ advocacy calls for.

            2. I would only be repeating myself. The chairman said that they will consider going. It’s a polite thank you, nothing more, nothing less. We have always been considering it would have been primature as it never advanced beyond the conceptual into the logistical.



    • Kidane Amaniel

      Hi Saay, thank you for the info, and
      “we Eritreans like to think that the whole world revolves around us but it doesn’t: we are a small country, and thus the barely attended session.” I wish the Eritrean government truly knows this and stop fooling the people through his “Stalinism” media.

  • Ron Johnson

    Dear readers

    SAAY, the house analyst, and many other so called learned Eritreans wrongly believe that Ms Bruton is some how is trying to help GOE. Wrong! Ms Burton actually works for the Evil Empire, USA. She is what is known as a controlled opposition. She plays the part of a “good guy”, the one that those of us who support the government should believe. In actuality she stealthily stole the voice of Eritreans. She will say 95 percent of what is true and sneak in 5% lie. A lie that is detrimental to Eritreas image. For example, in one of her interviews she claims that GOE support to Al shababe was “minimal” when in fact Eritrea never supported Al shabab.

  • Tewelde gebremariam

    Hi Yohannes Zerai,
    The United States will very likely change its policy on Eritrea for the positive for the following reasons:
    1. The fall of woyane and the disintegration of Ethiopia is becoming inevitable, as a result of which the so called Eritrean oppositions will dissipate into the thin air, and the people Oromo and Ogaden will very quickly declare their independence. The USA will see to it that Eritrea becomes one of the stronghold of peace and security on the strategically important Red Sea.

    2. Because the USA holds the key wether the impostor isaias afewerk and his tegaru cabals are tried for Crime Against Humanity, he has no choice but to accommodate the USA demand for Democratic changes. In fact he has already knelt down as evidenced by his abandonment of Iran to become Saudi’s accomplice in Yemen conflict.

    I think the testimony given by Ms Bronwyn Burton was positive for Eritrea and may be shared by the State Department. This is a very good turn of events that all genuine patriotic Eritreans must embrace, applaud and encourage because it is truimph of the Legacy of Martyrs and the complete defeat of the impostor isaias afewerk and woyane conspiracy to decimate our country.

    • Yohannes Zerai

      Hello Tewelde gebremariam,

      What Ms. Bruton advocates regarding Eritrea’s government does not jibe with the idea you seem to be advancing on the topic. She essentially believes that the government of Isaias is a good one, and that the mistakes he made (or the wrong policies he pursues) have resulted from external threats that he faces. That is why she recommends that the U.S. government engage the regime and help it solve its problems.

      You, on the other hand, seem to loathe the “impostor isaias afewerk and his cabals” in a sense; but, at the same time, you seem to be saying that he and his government would be acceptable to you if the U.S. forces them to make ”democratic changes”. Which one is it?

      • Semere Tesfai

        Selam Yohannes Zerai

        I hate to predict, but I’m going to do it anyway. And this is my take on the US – Eritrea future relations.

        1. – Soon, the US government is going to engage with the Eritrean government for so many reasons – to monitor the war in Iraq and Syria, to monitor the free flow of trade through the Red Sea shipping lane, to monitor – the uncertainty in Yemen, the uncertainty in Ethiopia, the uncertainty in South Sudan, the uncertainty in Somalia, the aggressive presence of China in the region (Djibouti, the two Sudans, Ethiopia..)………….

        2. – The US government is going give all the assurances and all the right signals to the PFDJ government. And by doing so, US and Eritrea will normalize their relations. The US is very comfortable with PFDJ type government and Isaias Afewerki type leader in Eritrea – in fact that is what the US want.

        3. – But having said that – Isaias Afewerki won’t be claiming victory and go unpunished. No one thumbs his nose at the West and live to brag about it – at least not yet. And the West, if they threaten, it is a must for them to make good on their threat. Therefore, it is very likely, soon after the normalization of relations, Isaias would either be forced to live in exile, pushed aside, or would be dead.

        Semere Tesfai

        • Yohannes Zerai

          Dear Semere Tesfai,

          Thank you for your comments.

          1. Your prediction may well prove correct. As I said earlier, anything is possible in politics and circumstances may change drastically any moment. The only doubt I have regarding that scenario is that all the problems, needs, etc. you have listed as possible reasons for the predicted change – except the new situation in Ethiopia – have been there for years. So why a major change in U.S. policy now?

          2. “The US government is going give all the assurances and all the right signals to the PFDJ government.” Is the U.S. actually doing those things though? What we know about U.S. “signals” to Eritrea is the list of tough conditions that the U.S. Assistant Secretary detailed at the recent hearing as conditions for normalization – conditions that the Eritrean regime will not touch with a ten-foot pole! Equally telling has been the recent embarrassing restrictions that the U.S. government placed on Yemane Gebreab a week ago. Those are not “assurances” or “positive signals” by any standards.

          3. The idea you presented – “befriend him in order to get rid of him” – is a plausible and realistic possibility. But 15 acrimonious years have passed since the watershed 2001 events that put the U.S.-Eritrea relations on its continuing rocky path. U.S. rapprochement with Eritrea would certainly have to be preceded by softening of positions on the part of the U.S. and we have not been seeing such initiative being taken; on the contrary …. ! Making a sudden and total break with the past to start a whole new path – or worse making a U-turn – is a characteristic of authoritarian regimes, not of a Western superpower.

          Thank you

        • Ismail AA

          Selam Semere and Yohannes,
          First, thumps up for you, Yohannes, for the good follow-up article. Supplemented by the equally good feedbacks from others in the forum, it helps to consolidate my, and probably others’, understanding of the hearing and what revolved around it.

          As the direction the US might be engaged in developing in relation to Eritrea, I do not think monitoring the situations Semere mentioned alone would be the motivating factors because the US has already more than watching posts in the region, besides there have other partners such as Israel already in place. Moreover, there has never been in the agenda in the US and its partners to see the regime in Eritrea dislodged. Had that been the case, it would have happened long ago if the one would take into consideration the challenges the regime had been posing by way of its adventures in Somalia as well as being destabilizing agent in the region.

          In my view, the US and its allies would only consider removal of the regime if they sense that some Eritrean forces poses real threat to its existence. At that point, they would take the regime as liability and would take steps to make sure the alternative does not change the game as had been arranged right after the exit of the Derg Otherwise, expecting the US and the west would jump in solely for humanitarian and human rights reasons or probably for reasons related to the current events in Ethiopia or other spots in the region, may not measure up with how the US conducts its foreign policy and national security related matters.

          In any case, I like Semere’s the last part of item 3. It would have been more exciting if you could also predict who the replacement would be once the despot would be shown the way to exile.
          Best regards,

      • Tewelde gebremariam

        Hi Yohannes Zerai,

        Ms Burton did not condone the impostor isaias afewerk on his crime against humanity, she merely restated his false justification that the Eritrean situation turned for the worse when woyane reneged the Final and Binding decision of the EEBC, and the USA , instead of enforcing it, opted to stand with the violator of the Final and Binding decision.

        Indeed Ms Burton can be blamed for becoming an easy prey of the evil machination of the impostor; that she was easily charmed by his illusion that the prevailing Eritrean catastrophe was caused by woyane intransigence and USA reluctance to enforce the EEBC decision.

        Had she been a little stronger-minded investigator and got deeper into the past, among many others, not only would she have discovered for herself that Badme, of which the impostor is shedding his crocodile tears for being under woyane illegal occupation, had been illegally handed over to woyane by him long before, in 1985 , but also that he was convicted by the EECC of starting the 1998 Eritrean-Ethiopian war , the war he sparked on account of the very Badme he had doled away to woyane, and therefore, she would have realized that he is the architect and cause of the devastation the Eritrean people have been going through.

        However, as we say in our Tigrigna adage —Kab N’Ameta Derho Lomi Enquaqoho—- my number priority is not to hang him high and dry but to save the Legacy of our Martyrs. And since, on the one hand, his life long dream to decimate Eritrea is preempted, thanks to patriotic Eritreans and the UNHRC, and he is flashing s.o.s to pack up and leave the country in exchange for his life, and on the other, the USA , through the mouth of Ms Bruton, is indicating for drastic and positive change of policy on Eritrea possibly as a result of the civic turmoil transpiring in Ethiopia, which probably result in the disintegration of the country, I am calling on all genuine and patriotic Eritreans to encourage the USA to follow through its intention of the new policy on Eritrea, even if it means the impostor would walk away from his crime against humanity.

        • Yohannes Zerai

          Selam Tewelde gebremariam,

          Among the views you presented in your post, three claims stand out which could be paraphrased as follows:

          – Isaias Afewerki is ready “to pack up and leave the country in exchange for his life”,
          – the U.S. government is indicating that it is going to make a “drastic and positive change of policy on Eritrea”, and
          – Bronwyn Bruton is working for both the Eritrean government (defending Isaias’ position and policy) and the U.S. government (announcing/ promoting new U.S. policy on Eritrea) i.e., she is essentially a double agent of sorts!

          These allegations or assertions may well be true. But, you have not presented any evidence to prove that any one of them is true or, at least, plausible. You have not even explained the reasons, observations, logic etc. that led you to make these assertions. In the absence of all these, how do you expect us (i.e., the forumers) to believe or accept what you are telling us?

          • Tewelde gebremariam

            Hi Yohannes Zerai,

            You conviently forgot the reason the USA is turning towards Eritrea; it is the fast crumbling of woyane and Ethiopia. Remember the USA tried to build Ethiopia under woyane to be the stronghold against terrorism on East Africa and of course, Red Sea. And woyane was blackmailing the Western countries to garner their economic, military political by waving scenario of Ethiopian sliding into bantustanism. But all of their investment has gone to naugt, which compelled the USA to change its policy on Eritrea as a last resort. The scramble for the Red Sea by the Chinese, Russians, Iranians etc. Is also another reason for the USA change of policy towards Eritrea.

            The Human Right Criminal, impostor and senile isaias afewerk has already submitted to the USA demand in exchange for his life as evidenced by his abandonment of Iran to become an ally of USA puppet, Saudi Arabia. Mark My Words!!!

          • Yohannes Zerai

            Selam Tewelde gebremariam.

            You write “But all of their investment has gone to naugt, which compelled the USA to change its policy on Eritrea as a last resort.” – a statement that begs supporting evidence!

            At any rate, let’s see how events in the region unfold in the coming weeks and months.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Yohaness,

            Since most predictions are based on wishes, 90% of predictors wishes have never happened. In politics there are many known and unkown factors that decide the outcome of any political discourses. Not only “it begs his supporting evidence ” it is also unrealistic for Tewelde to make prediction, as an outside observer from far distant areas.


          • Hameed Al-Arabi

            Greetings gebremariam,

            Let’s say, America will hug Isaias, whom do you think will snuggle Ethiopia? I think such kind of thinking will not bring peace in the region. America moves according to her interests, and Isaias is a mere ignoble beggar without any benefit to America. He is an additional cost to the American budget.

          • Tewelde gebremariam

            Hi Hameed Al- Arabi,

            No, USA won’t hug the impostor isaias afewerk but Eritrea, The Land of The Brave and Legacy of our Martyrs. He will be granted a safe exit and safe site of aslyum. Subsequently, transitional government will be established from inside the country, all political prisoners will be released, the 1997 ratified Constitution will be implemented.

          • Hameed Al-Arabi

            Tewelde gebremariam,

            You have portrayed your ugly nature by saying: “the 1997 ratified constitution will be implemented. The so called Eritrean opposition will dissipate into thin air.” Isaias, Mr. Tewlde, didn’t do more than what you advocate for, he excluded the majority of our people. You and Isaias are the same face, therefor, why do your uncle Sam grant safe exit and site of asylum for Isaias. Isaias is not that easy person that will leave the political scene of Eritrea. In fact you are in “Hilmi Derho”. Secondly the constitution you claim ratified is not agreed upon by the great majority of our people. Really you hold in your bosom a hard time ahead for the Eritrean people. I think you will never enjoy what you dream about, a lot of things changed, but still you dwell in the very old kind of thinking.

            You remind me of an event I passed through in June 1991, less than one month of our liberation from Ethiopia. I met a Shabia cadre named Faroh, discussed with him about the future of our country, told him now Shabia should clasp arms with all Eritreans without exclusion, he replied to me: “Ethom Abzi dob zelowo Kinigayeyom Ena”, I replied to him: “Ane Yifarih Eti Migiyayakum Kei kisil”. Now, Mr. Twelde, you jogged for twenty-five years up to Eritrea reached to the present catastrophic condition, and still you are not tired, you want to jog another twenty-five until the horn becomes without Eritrea.

          • Yohannes Zerai

            Hi Tewelde gebremariam,

            You seem to have it all figured out, not excepting even the details – the events, the actors, the outcomes, the sequence, the timing and ….. everything else! I wish life in general, and the problems of our beloved country in particular, were as easy as you make them out to be.

          • iSem

            Hi TG:
            I say from your lips to Gods ears on your utterance of “He will be granted a safe exit and safe site of aslyum. Subsequently, transitional government will be established from inside the country, all political prisoners will be released, the 1997 ratified Constitution will be implemented.”
            But that is a long shot, the devil you know is better than the angle you do not know goes an old Tig adage, USA has history with IA, it made him from his humble beginning, they can purge him for sure, but they have no acqauinances with others to do so
            On your wishful thinking of “Ethiopia will soon be history in the like of the former Yugoslavia and Soviet Union,”. This has been said before by the imposter himself, before and after independence and if USA had to choose who to save, they would rather save Ethiopia for obvious reasons
            You have a simplistic view on Eritrea’s affairs. The diaspora opposition is as you know impotent and there is no inside opposition to dare IA and event like Forto will not happen any time soon as the betral of Wedi Ali is still raw
            What we see in Ethiopia is now the making of IA, his unfettered support for everything anti Ethiopian government from Demhit, to G-17 and several others to Esat, IA supported any fledgling opposition against Ethiopia, Ethiopia did not support any Eritrean opposition, they miscalculated. Now the 6 month emergency state will weed out all the Amhara trouble makers, Ethiopia will get it and it will invade Eritrea next year, that is the likely scenario. Finally Ethiopia will get it, they will change their policy on Eritrean opposition and will give its full weight to it, will force it to create one united army and Ethiopia will attack PFDJ.
            Any country like the needled out Ethiopia is always at risk to disintegrate and the disintegration leads to civil war and that perpetual instability that we are familiar with in Africa, but in the long term, Africa’s current state of statehood is unsustainable and some realignment to create countries that reflect the natural nationhood that in Europe is not that spooky. Problem is what is the recipe, how does Africa accomplish that, how does it go back with war or peace. Even the peaceful national like Ghana, who are multi-ethnic but peaceful are sleepers that will explode one day like Rawanda did 20 years ago.

          • Semere Tesfai

            Selam Semere Andom

            “Now the 6 month emergency state (a) will weed out all the Amhara trouble makers, (b) Ethiopia will get it, and it will invade Eritrea next year (c) Ethiopia (Woyane) will change their policy on Eritrean opposition and will give its full weight to it, will force it to create one united army (d) Ethiopia will attack PFDJ (to bring the opposition to the helm.”

            ጥንስትስ: ወዲ ሕልማ

            Mokhusi: I don’t have any problem when any person dreams. But I have a problem when a HOPELESS, DEAD-SPIRIT person who has giving-up on himself “dreams”.

            For God sake, if you’ve to wish and dream – instead of (a) dreaming the Woyanes to defeat and “weed out all the Amharas that are giving them troubles” (b) dreaming the Woyanes to preserve the power and domination they have over the rest of Ethiopian ethnics (c) dreaming the Woyanes to exert their power and influence to UNITE the Eritrean opposition (d) dreaming the Woyanes to invade Eritrea and topple the PFDJ regime (e) dreaming the Woyanes to put your opposition at the helm……… and then live happily ever after……

            Why don’t you dream about YOU YOURSELF (a) Unifying the the Eritrean opposition under one central message (b) showing us your vision and the fire in your belly by galvanizing the Eritrean people (c) lead us to a PFDJ free peaceful, stable, prosperous and democratic Eritrea. How about that for a change?

            I think I need to go to Ontario, if not to kill you, at least to claim my name. You tarnishing a beautiful Eritrean brand 🙂

            Semere Tesfai

          • Lamek

            Dear Semere Tesfai,

            I think iSem is at least partly right. TPLF has miscalculated big time. When PFDJ was supporting and cultivating ESAT and all the Amhara groups and the social media campaign, TPLF was fast asleep in the PR front – just individuals amassing thousands of dollars if not millions. Now I think they will have realized or they soon will that they have lost the war of propaganda at the hands of PFDJ. So when iSem says that the TPLF will once again face PFDJ to annihilate them forever, that is not far-fetched. This will come for sure. Once TPLF gets a handle of the situation in Ethiopia, I think they will direct all their attention towards PFDJ and destroy this cancerous organization once and for all. Disclaimer – that is also my dream and my biggest beef with TPLF is for taking so long to destroy PFDJ. How do they put the situation at a rest without being afraid of turning their backs facing north while the Oromo and the chauvinistic power hungry Amara are hot is the main question. But one way or another, the match between TPLF and PFDJ is not over and I will put my money on TPLF any day when it comes to battle one the ground but in the mind games, I think TPLF has fried its brain and ate it. They are incredibly stupid to think they will control Oromos and Amaras (27 million + 33 million) forever and in thinking PFDJ is incapable of doing evil things – they have nothing else to do because nobody is engaging them so they have to exercise their brains lest they pick Alzheimer’s disease. Something has to give because the math simply doesn’t work.

            But I have to agree that Ethiopia will change big time too because I can’t imagine the Oromos for settling for anything less than some sort of autonomy and TPLF will relinquish a big chunk of its power. But to imagine TPLF disintegrating while leaving PFDJ alive is A DREAM. That saying you quoted applies to you my friend.

          • Nitricc

            Hey Semere: what the two losers didn’t understand is, tplf will never ever will have a such control and power as once it did. The Tigryans are pulling out of all over Ethiopia’s corners; yet this two dead souls are talking about reemergence of TPLF. leaving aside about this two moran’s dream; even the big guns of TPLF are disappearing from the big stages. when was last time you heard from Aboy Sibhat? when was you heard from Bereket, Abay Tsahaye, Zehatsion and the rest of the thugs after the massacre of Bishoftu? When i saw Dr. Birhanu Nega on Tigray TV giving speech on concluding events on TPDM 2nd congress; that is all she wrote for TPLF. but to the likes of Semere Andom, well what do you expect. in the meantime; let me say this…
            Wetru AwetNhafash;
            Long live PIA;
            Eritrea shall live for ever and ever!

          • MS

            Selam Semere

            Asking ” Where is the Eritrean spirit with ‘I can do it attitude” is the right question. However, I’m afraid you are looking the answer to that quintessential question in the wrong place.

          • Solomon

            Selamat Mo “The Best” Mo,

            With iSEM, henceforth SEMi, with his self declared alliegence to grim and dark forces and the utilization of the means to end his stated object of hatred:

            1. The recognized by all, whom the reputable amongst reputable have vouched for him to be a man with ample resources, is perhaps frustrated with the hyped and powerful munitions he is said to possess, has not to date yielded the results worth the very lofty expectations by the believers of The Semere, Hassab Libi Eritrea zeSmrre.

            Despite, all available resources of his big head cerebral knowledge, the haunting deep fear of his “igri Kbrit” debilitating insecurities of impotent performance on the field, real practical theater, has indeed betrayed rather prematurly the bravado and all the jazz.

            It is possible, his sole against the grain venture and his adaptation of the genre of Horror and nightmarish paintings of a near future Eritrea, is perhaps a last desperate attempt at heroism. Through his willing self sacrifice, he maybe attempting a feeble guidance to his Eritrean people. His hope could be d loathing for him to develop and running towards the opposite of navigation results. His personal knowledge and hope if delayed exaltation by the populas his reward.

            This as a consequence of his frustrations or possibly a very dark and synical well calculated methodology, the collusions perhaps if evil geniuses…

            2. The brother SEMi is in dire need of a Free Agent mid season trade, sort to speak , by those with dispointment with him turning out less than their expectations of the iconic i-SEM “The Franchise”. American culture pseudo psychoanalysts may point to examples of the macho Red Sports Car driving tell of certain complexes.

            3. Signs if personal depression?

            And the gravity of his extreme liberties and similar followings will not go unchallenged by the Enigmatic Bravo Company Front.

            The construct…

            Dear NaHmood SaliH, any progress report on Wed Amer, Tigre Land and … Excerpts could serve as vital tools of….


          • iSem

            Hi MS:
            And where should Sem Tesfay ask his “quintessential” question, then. We are in Eritrean website, talking to quintessentially Eritrean person “AKA” Semere Andom in the case of this exchange

            Where else should tegadalai Semere Tes ask his quintessential question, if not in the most quintessential Eritrean website

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Semere T.

            I don’t agree most if the time with your opinion because of your support of the oppressive PFDJ government.

            ISem I agree with you almost all the time.

            But today I am afraid, I really support ST on this.

            You can’t expect justice from a government denying justice to its own people.

            There is no half way, quarter way, 90 percent way but only 100% justice.

            Shooting, killing innocent people raising their hands is all this start in case people are forgetting.


          • iSem

            HI BY:
            “You can’t expect justice from a government denying justice to its own people: How true!
            But I am not saying that, I was referring to TG’s comments on his wishful thinking of Ethiopia future of disintegration.
            And I believe most of the problems that Ethio has is the doing of PFDJ’, IA’s unfettered full support to Esat and all the opposition in material, in propaganda and that emboldened them. So I reasoned, When they pick all the trouble makers Ethiopia will get it, from intelligence , from interviews how IA was pulling the string to bring the government to the brink of chaos , so they will do the same, change their policy to FULL support of the Eri opposition and invade Eri. I did not say they will bring justice, I do not even know the Eri opposition will bring justice, yes they are fighting injustice, but I am not sure if they will bring justice, the same the Ghedli was fighting against injustice and did not bring justice
            So, in a nutshell, T.G dream will not come to pass, the likely scenario is Ethiopia will prevail this time at least and then they will attack PFDJ and that is not bad thing, because Semere T’s dream of PFDJ ushering is peaceful transition will not pass by safe guarding our security. The only chance of a country built on the cadavers of its children killed on cold blood, feeding on its own as they say has only one path to redemption and that is to burn into ashes and if it indeed has the promise to rise from the ashes, like the Phoenix.
            The justice from Ethiopia is Semere’s own wishful interpretation of my comments cannot find any single comment of mine along those lines

          • Berhe Y

            Hi Sem,

            Sorry if I misunderstood you. In short what I was saying is, ESAT, Oromo, Amhara and many more politicians, journalists, opposition groups were kept out of their country and could not opperate freely and the reason they went shopping even to their enemy to bring what ever change they believe was denied.

            If you think the current problem are as a result of PFDJ, ESAT or what ever, you really are underestimating the capability of the Ethiopian people. Are you not repeating the same line from PFDJ when they accuse the opposition that, they are weyane agents and Eritrea has no opposition.

            Sure weyane can invade Eritrea and divert attention but that doesn’t mean they will solve their internal problems, they just delay it.

            That’s what the Syrian government was saying when people were demonstrating, they are algaida, Saudi supported, Kurdish, turkey supported etc. And instead of solving the problem peacefully they immersed the country into civil war and destroyed it.

            Whose fault is it? The opposition or the government which was in power for 60 years. Ethiopia can also face the same problem if the government doesn’t do the right thing, then the bad actors will have a crack to reck havoc.


          • Hameed Al-Arabi

            Greetings Semere Tesfai,

            I think the very people who tarnished the beautiful Eritrean brand are the militias and their leader in Asmara. By now Eritreans are on alert to put the criminals against humanity behind bars. Whatever cream you utilize to beautify yourselves you are done. You have been issued a certificate by an international committee that verifies your identities, CRIMINALS AGAINST HUMANITY. You have reached top in tarnishing the beautiful Eritrean brand. Really, you are demons, you don’t resemble Eritreans.

          • Tewelde gebremariam

            Hi iSem,
            I know all along you are not an Eritrean but an Ethiopia, probably tigraway from Enticho, maliciously impersonating Eritrean opposition. I would not be surprised too if you were born and raised in Eritrea ; we have many of your kinds embedded within us and leaving no stone unturned to drive wedges between us, of course in vain.

            You said……… during the six month State of Emergency, woyane will round up all Amharu activists and invade Eritrea ………. But this does not equate with the evolving crisis woyane is facing as exemplified by the death of its Military General, Asbaha Asgedom, commander of Harar and Deredawa region, shot dead by Oromo soldier this week.

            Needless to say, this highlights the minority tyrant woyane is not only being pounded by the civilians but also by it’s own army. Your State of Emergency, therefore, will only expedite it’s own demise by adding gasoline to the already exploding situation, albeit you cannot grasp it.

          • iSem

            Really Twelde G;
            If I was Tigraway, why would I want to be in the company of T.G, Nitricc, and Ted and other Kebessa bigots. And if I was Tigraway, my sibling will not be in slave labor, they will be studying at MIT and If I was Tigraway, my siblings will not be in the several refugee camps. Before you accused me of being non Tigriniga when I wrote about some stuff you had no clue about in the Tigrniga culture, like men invokging wedi Slas and wedi Elenni and men calling each other Sandai
            I said it before and I say it again, Ethiopia is not immune of splitting, any African coutry is prone to this including Eritrea, yes even Eritrea, look around you.
            Also stop saying Woyane, Woyane, they are ruling you and I worry more about the Woyane ruling in Asmara than the those ruling in Addis. But your predication of the Yugsalvia in Ethiopia will not come to pass buy the current crisis

          • Nitricc

            Semere, you are naked for all to see, why not shut the hell up? you are not only Tigray but the dumb one. all you can do shut your stupid mouth and no one will respond to you. You don’t even have the sense to understand with what is going on your beloved TPLF thugs and your country Tigray. god have mercy.

          • Tewelde gebremariam

            Hi iSem,
            Unfortunately for you , I can smell woyane rats like yourself very easily, and in whatever medium at that. I am extremely intuitively gifted guy. So now, you know to refrain from self-destructing yourself.

          • iSem

            Hi TG:
            The gifts you have are that of being a mole of PFDJ amid the opposition, your hankering on only IA as the imposter and not the entire PFDJ and its roots is telling.
            So you smelled woyane on me now and before you smelled non-Tigriniga, a mulism who trashes the Eri Tig culture you once said, paraphrasing

          • Hameed Al-Arabi

            Greetings TG,

            You said, “I am extremely intuitively gifted guy.” There is an Arabic adage which is applicable in such cases, “Shakar Nafsu Eblis”, which means “who shows gratitude of himself is a demon.”

            Mr. Tewelde G., you just hate your uncle who refused to allow you share the cake with him. But you don’t mind inheriting his entire legacy, then please tell us what is the difference between you and your uncle? This leads us to conclude that all justice seekers are not in one boat, some seek it for all the people of Eritrea, some seek it for their Tig ethnic group only and some seek justice for personal benefits that has no relevance with the cause of our people.

            The people of Eritrea are required to fight both the militias in Asmara and their satellites at diaspora who struggle to remove Isaias only and leave the system as it is at present.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Hameed,

            The take home adage saying from your comment is “one who shows gratitude of himself is a demon “. Though it escaped from my memory, there is similar to that effect in the bible. Anyway spot on to the subject.


          • Hi T.G.,

            This uprising will succeed only if its aim is democracy, the rule of law and equality. Any other reason to the contrary, for example, an anti-Ethiopian uprising that aims to fragment the country, does not have the remotest chance to succeed. It will bring together all patriotic ethiopian forces to defend the unity and territorial integrity of the country. All ethiopians except the few who stand shoulder to shoulder with the enemies of country, will change their stand for the sake of the unity of the nation. They will not betray their country, simply because they oppose tplf/woyane, for ethiopia is much bigger than tplf/woyane or any other organization. Remember 1998, if ethiopia is in danger, ethiopians are ready to come together and form solidarity. In 1998, many hated tplf and yet they stood side by side with it, when the country faced pfdj aggression. If the unity of ethiopia is to be compromised, ethiopians are ready to do the same thing again, wherever the enemy might come from.

            The big disappointment for those who hate ethiopia will be that their nemesis (tplf/woyane) might come out of this crisis a survivor by undertaking some compromises. ETHIOPIA WILL NEVER BE YUGOSLAVIA.

          • Tewelde gebremariam

            Hi Horizon,

            Neither did the Russians ever dream that the Soviet Union would ever disintegrate but the rest of the oppressed people did not hesitate for a second to secede once the opportunity came up. The same will soon unravel in Ethiopia despite the self-serving hypocrites.

          • Hi T.G.,

            The soviet union and yugoslavia were the product of a conglomeration of sovereign countries that were forced into union mainly after wwii, and they can not be compared with either ethiopia or eritrea. The only sovereign country that existed before the italians came to the region was the state of abyssinia. Ethiopia and Eritrea have the same chance to disintigrate, if we are talking of disintigration. The hadi libi and hadi hizbi myth and tigrignazation of eritrea is not going to prevent afars, kunamas and others from demanding to have their fate in their hands. Moreover, the highland – lowland and christian – muslim divide, all these, should have made you feel that you are living in a glass house, and you should not throw stones, or wish bad for others.

  • Brhan

    Hello Yohannes,
    I believe that we have to see US policy towards Africa as a whole in order to understand US policy towards Eritrea. And I am here not conceptualize and analyze the policy with theories but suffice to say that experiences showed us not only the why but also the what was the result behind the policy. Of course it was for US interest above all, and the Kagnew station is legendary and the result, we know it all. But let us look to recent US engagement in the region : US supported Meles and Isayas -who had different visions in politics- with all, including weapons and the result, we have the Bademe war. It supported southern Sudan and to the US the southerner were all the same , that was wrong, they are different in a way they have deep rooted problems on land, cattle and agriculture, and this was missed by US and was put in the account of its foreign policy staff .
    The US policy towards other parts of the world is different : in Iraq and Syria its know who is Shia, Suni and Kurdi and it tailors its policy accordingly. But when it comes to Ethiopia, the grivance of the Oromos are not heard by the US who seems not want to open the Ethiopian can of warms. But in the Sudan, it does and Darfur is another example. Unless the US must for cherry picking in its policy towards Africa other wise the continent will see more turmoils.

  • Ron Johnson

    Dear readers,

    I think the most important thing to remember is that USA is not friend of Eritrea. They have never been I don’t think they will ever be unless we sold our sole to the devil that is United Satan. We, Eritreans have to remember that whether you support the government or you are against the government. Have we forgotten that it is USA with its massive influence at UN that got us here? Have we forgotten that it is US that financed the backward Ethiopian leaders? And let us not forget currently USA has and in the process of destroying Iraq, libya and Syria. Now, I am fully aware that in politics there are no permanent friend or enemy. Having said that I think trying to analyze what the intention of hearing at the US congress is pointless. It does not matter. What matters is what we Eritreans do to make Eritrea great.

    • Solomon

      Selam Mr. Ron Johnson,
      And a very well warm welcome to you Sir.

      Mr. Mahr on his political commentary show on KQED, in a less than sixty seconds promotional ad is says something to this effect: Politics is not what the politicians and government does, rather it is what we the people do.

      I beg to differ with your USA description as the great Satan, which I believe is not only regressive but as an American Citizen with hoped and aspirations for my own seed is a narration of apathy and chaos not beneficial to its citizens from the Native Buffalo Hunter Nations, to the “Native Sons” of African, European, Assians and the numerous subcontinent’s and islands of the Pacific, Caribbean etc that will continue to migrate due to USA’s sacred creed that is always progressing. Migration however is cyclic for the benefit and destiny of man kind. The American Citizen is as free to migrate and innovate anywhere on this globe and beyond.
      This is to say, in agreement with you some what, that USA is indeed the land of “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly”
      I am personally thankful to God for blessing me with all of my experiences of the American Land, including the hardships which is from God who will also provide with a way out.
      I do agree with your FUBU suggestions to us readers.

      I look forward to your further input as I await fresh and progressive and effective dialogue from this forum’s Veterans.

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Dear Yohanness,

    A very interesting assessment. Your piece tries to weigh in to the possible outcome of the hearing and gives insight to the possible purpose of the hearing in which the objective of it wasn’t known or understood by the public at large, at least from your side point of view. I will slightly differ from you as to the objective of the hearing. Even though it wasn’t stated either by the penalists or the hearing body at the hearing time, from the point of view of the Eritrean experts who present the case, there are these subtle underling objectives (a) to explain the driving force of Eritrean migrants (b) to garner congressional support to the COI report on the human right issue in Eritrea (c) to open the door for Eritrean activists to present their cases on the predicament of the Eritrean people inside to the US congress periodically in the future. So we can have these subtle objectives to make our assessment to weigh in as to how our two experts have done in their presentation to the hearing.

    Amanuel Hidrat