PM Meles Zenawi, also commander in-chief of the national defense forces, stressed that his army is militarily capable of smashing down any foreign invaders to safe guard country; however he said that the Ethiopian government has preferred to pass to a number of hostilities by Eritrea.
"The Ethiopian government and our defense forces have refrained from retaliating to Eritrea’s repeated aggressions." Zenawi said adding "That is because we abide by international laws and due the determination we prioritize for peace".
"However, Eritrea or others shouldn’t draw a false conclusion to the over-patience we are tolerating," he said.
"But the aggressors, especially the Eritrean government must know that our patience does not mean that it doesn’t have a limit to break," he underscored.Read more...
Into the pitch dankness she lit a lonely candle
And declared; there shall be peace
She started humming that determined rhythm
Into her barely lit world
A low persistent voice… that didn’t ring
A quiet hum…
That didn’t condemn
Yet… without noise…
Without an actual song
Or a dance
She declared that there shall be peace
Eyob, who took his position as head of the camp's ten guards a month before the round up, said there were 35 inmates in 2001 but 15 have died ever since, including five journalists.
"One of the journalists had committed suicide, while the rest all died of illness," he said.
Swedish media and rights groups demonstrated Monday demanding the release of Swedish-Eritrean journalist Dawit Isaak, who is one of the inmates.
The groups called on the European Union to halt aid to Eritrea until his release as well as the closure of the "death camps".Read more...
These appalling and ruinous conditions in Eritrea should not continue indefinitely and the trend and extent of oppression is being intensified by the progress of the day. Eritrea is not only being drifted to incommunicado with the community of nation because of the regime’s consistent and deliberate action of contravening international law, but much worse it is heading to collapse, which could perpetrate societal disintegration and dismemberment of the nation. No person, group or community with human conscience could ignore while the state of Eritrea is on the verge of falling down.It is therefore against this lamentable, destructive and disgraceful background, briefly mentioned above that would initiate the concern for organizing a national conference.
Here is another jaw dropping statement taken from Ali Salim’s book. Mr. Hidrat bends backward to tell the world what members the EPDP is comprised of as if that has to do anything with the national conference. He says the party represents the three Highland provinces only. That is: EPP = Seraye, EDP = Hamasien, and EPM = Akeleguzay. He says with a bald face that EPDP members are all Highlanders. In that case let me use his own logic and ask him a straightforward question. If the three Highland provinces were shut out from the selection of the preparatory committee, not to mention the everyday hurdles put on its way by EDA, why is he accusing the party for speaking up for the rights of “kebesa” so to speak? I want him to have the nerve and declare that kebesans have no rights. Evidently, this is his way of labeling EPDP as a Christian party just to conform to the prevalent campaign of the day.Read more...
And now I can’t hear excuses no more
A call has reached my shore
Of a thousand more plights
And I refuse to look the other way
For what good is my voice
If it doesn’t roar against injustice?
What good are my dreams
If they don’t make a difference?
And what good is a life
In this valley of death
If I refuse to hear the dejected...?
Their call has reached my shore
And woe unto me if I look the other way walk off
"The EU's aid to Eritrea must gradually be halted," the Swedish chapters of rights groups like Reporters Without Borders and PEN, and journalist and publishing associations, said on World Press Freedom Day.
It should be stopped "until the Eraeiro death camp is closed, its prisoners are given medical care ... and released or given an open trial on the 'crimes' they are suspected of," they wrote in an opinion piece in the Dagens Nyheter daily.
According to the piece, the EU's total aid package to Eritrea in coming years totals 312 million euros (413 million dollars).
Eritrea, which RSF ranks as the worst abuser of media freedom in the world, permits no independent media and the state-run newspapers and television network do not allow stories that challenge the nation's leadership or its policies.
The government has described a free press as "incompatible" with Eritrean culture and last year President Isaias said no Eritrean should want or need to attack their own country.
"Around 30 journalists are currently held in its 314 prison camps and detention centres. Four of them have died as a result of the extremely cruel conditions in these prisons. Others have just disappeared," RSF said in a statement.Read more...
Eritrea has the distinction of being Africa’s youngest republic and at the same governed by its most ruthless dictator. A former rebel chief and hero of Eritrea’s war of liberation, he makes no bones about his totalitarian tendencies. He believes a price must be paid for Eritrea’s independence. Basic freedoms were officially “suspended” in 2001 after ruling party dissidents started pressing for more democracy. Any hint of opposition is seen as a threat to “national security.” The privately-owned media no longer exist. There are just state media whose content is worthy of the Soviet era.
Ruled with an iron hand by a small ultra-nationalist clique centred on Afeworki, this Red Sea country has been transformed in just a few years into a vast open prison, Africa’s biggest prison for the media. Around 30 journalists are currently held in its 314 prison camps and detention centres. Four of them have died as a result of the extremely cruel conditions in these prisons. Others have just disappeared. But when President Afeworki is asked about the imprisoned journalists, as he was by Al Jazeera in May 2008, he replies: “There were never any. There aren’t any. You have been misinformed.”
One bullet you are dead in a hurry
Would be a gift in the land of the furry.
You rise at 5:00 am for interrogation
Tied on a tree, beaten to bleed with no justification.
Thrown back into the cell for the tears to dry
Though there is no energy left to vent and cry.
At 8:00 am we are herded to the field
Unable to walk for my feet are full of wound.
Gets pushed and shoved by the frustrated guard
Hurry! He shouts and beats me hard.
Israel’s 1954 Prevention of Infiltration Law was enacted to criminalize fedayeen freedom fighters, deny Palestinians their right of return, and deport them if they came. Now there’s a new proposal to replace the old law, the Infiltration Prevention Law, one the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) calls “one of the most dangerous bills ever presented in the Knesset.” If passed, Israel’s international law obligations will end under proposed provisions to imprison refugees for up to 20 years, even if they committed no crime, or summarily deport them to potential death in home countries. In addition, human rights organizations and activists helping them may also be criminally prosecuted.
Besides mocking democratic freedoms (including for Jews) and international laws, this bill takes Israel one step closer to fascist rule, an accelerating track fast with each new policy.Read more...
CPE had believed that a sustainable and just peace cannot be achieved by efforts of governments alone. Many other actors and stakeholders-civil society organisations, national and international humanitarian and human rights groups and individuals need to play an active role in the promotion of peace and reconciliation. This requires that Eritreans undertake internal peace-fostering activities as well as dialogue with each other. The CPE conference was envisioned as a first step in such a process. The London Peace Conference has just reclaimed the right to take the initiative which was denied to people in Eritrea.Read more...
After trying to fight off accusations on supporting terrorist organizations in Somalia, the Eritrean government is now facing accusations over involvement in a bomb attack that took place in Ethiopia. While at first sight the bomb attack may seem like an unlikely act of Eritrea, some deeper investigation connects the bomb attack to recent military actions taken by Eritrean rebel groups against Eritrean military bases. The bombing turns out to be a potential retaliation for the attacks these rebel groups may have staged from Ethiopian territory. This news draws attention to the continuing struggle of Eritrean opposition movements to end the ruthless regime of President Isaias Afewerki and install a democratic government in the country.Read more...
This word-corrupting practice has another damaging effect too. Like all totalitarian and millenarian type of movements, our domestic types have also cunningly used this old word to confer some nobleness for all the innocents who died harnessed to their successive wars. After having kept the death of the tens of the thousands of fighters, ghedli finally decided to make it public: couched in the name of martyrdom. The disingenuous use of this term minimized the magnitude of the slaughter and, consequently, the grief of the public. Contemptuous of the public, the regime that deemed the Badme war “stupid” does not hesitate to call the canon fodders: martyrs. But the bigger tragedy is the wide acceptance and diffusion of the word martyrdom by the public.Read more...
The Eritrean regime has been slandering, bad mouthing and accusing the USA for allegedly instigating the UNSC sanctions against Eritrea. In essence, the Eritrean regime has implied that all members of the UNSC including Russia and China toe the line of the USA, at least when it comes to the case of Eritrea. In addition, the Eritrean president accused the USA for setting off the Eritrean-Ethiopian border war and for all intents and purposes has branded the USA as an archenemy of Eritrea.
The question is how will the USA take such accusations? Will it ignore all the tantrums and stick to what the UNSC sanctions on the Eritrean regime call upon or will the USA go beyond what the minimum requirements stipulate when it issues its implementation plan of the UNSC Resolution 1907?
The time of reckoning has approached. It is April 23, 2010.Read more...
When it comes to the question of which local companies to subcontract, for the mining companies it is not even an option. As pointed above, since the PFDJ-owned companies have already bankrupted and forced almost every private company in its field out of the market and in the process monopolized the whole economy, the mining companies will have no other alternative than to hire these government-owned companies; and that is exactly what they are doing. Much of the work that doesn’t require very specialized tasks like transportation, construction, providing food for the local workers and any other menial jobs will be done by local companies. Still, that doesn’t mean all the government-owned companies are involved in non-specialized tasks only; a case in point is Eri-Drilling, owned by Eritrea and South Africa, subcontracted to do drilling. There is no doubt then that the overwhelming majority of the workers in the mining projects are those “hired” by the subcontracted government-owned companies. And that is where the link to slave labor exists at its strongest.Read more...
Yemane Ghebreab is the Head of the Political Affairs of People's Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ), the ruling party in Eritrea. The PFDJ is a well known terrorist organization, famous for sponsoring terrorism throughout the region. Given that it is the source for all kinds of destabilization in all the neighboring nations, by arming, training and financiering all kinds of insurgent groups, it is no less terrorist than Hizbul Al Islam or Al Shaaab.Read more...
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During the 27 years that he was in jail he became the source of inspiration and example. Thousands and thousands of Africans joined the nationalist movement for freedom forcing the white rulers to give up apartheid and release their beloved leader which they captured in 1990. In the first free election that followed in 1994 ANC under Nelson Mandela won the election and he was chosen to lead the country as its First Black African President.
... Advancing the theory of “trans-national” mobilization in the different phases of the armed struggle history and in the making of a nation-state such as Eritrea may seem implausible and incomprehensible. Proposing the concept of revanchist or irredentist politics in Eritrea without a revanchist state for a proof is understandably an arduous task too. Etched in the history of the war for a separate nation-hood, however, had always been present the collusion with the rebels across the Mereb in order to defeat either an internal rival as the ELF or the Derg. More broadly then, the defeat of Derg and the independence of Eritrea was disproportionately the handmaiden of the Mereb children. That is what makes Eritrea, “exceptional”.
(Photo:Kunama warriors)Read more...
The girl in the picture was a child (according to Sophia, she was only nine years old). Her age of political innocence would have been adequate to explain the circumstance in the picture; an innocuous act practiced in all countries, that every Christian highlander of the times would have been proud to have his children do the same. She is as guiltless as the little girls that present flowers or bread nowadays to her idol Isaias. We often describe the regime supporters as having a compartmentalized mind; we forget we are in the same morass.Read more...
The said article’s anger is directed at the twenty two Eritreans, whose hearts happen to be in the right place. But as Zekere puts it, the appeal “… made by the twenty-two intellectuals from the diaspora is the most scandalous” compared to other appeals before it. YG chimes in accusing the “22 muhuran” of “… enabling [the regime] to stretch its life beyond necessity”.Read more...
The problem is, dear reader, the two Tigrigna-speaking peoples across the Mereb River are the mirror image of one another. The only distinction between them is that whereas the Tigrawot beyond the Mereb River say “mewesawesi”, the Tigrignas on the Eritrean side of the Mereb River say “menkasakesi”, both words referring to the identity of the person as documented officially on paper. What is more, given that the very foundation of the Eritrean nation itself was based on this vital distinction between menkesakesi and mewesawesi, they felt that if this distinction evaporates into thin air, so would the nation. [Please refer to the book written jointly by Isaias Afwerki and Abdella Idris, Hager Bizey Mewesawesi on the origin and importance of this distinction to Eritrean nationalism ...]Read more...
Pfdj on the other hand have discovered tears and candles do a few tricks and so they have ordered both in great mass and couldn’t quiet see why that wouldn’t stop their people from not reverting to their docility…. You could almost hear the chief monkeys screaming: ‘what more do you want?? What do you mean CHANGE We cancelled not one event but a whole tour of guaila! We even pitched up in Lampedusa and tried to look sad…Read more...
We can all be an educator (let others know what's going on),diplomat (balanced approach),community activist(talk to everyone who'll listen), political strategist(talk with elected representative), fist-shaker, mountain-hollerer, and foot stomper. It starts with releasing the ego. You see the ego says "I don't want to get involved" it says " the people I know aren't interested in this issue." The ego says "there is too much to do and I don't have the time"Read more...
In spite of that the Eritrean for liberation in Europe played a pivotal role in promoting and supporting the just cause of the Eritrean struggle.
Right from its inception the objective of Bologna Congress was to build a strong revolutionary organisation as a vehicle to win political and material support from the international community and provide essential man power and funds to the EPLF. The annual congresses were meant to asses and evaluate achievements and shortages and come out with a work plan and strategies to be put to practice. It was time also to elect leaders.
The elites have identified the National Service as the main policy that is wreaking havoc in the society, shy of asking for its complete revocation. They have asked for the separation of the boot camps masquerading as colleges from independent and autonomous educational institutions, short of asking for their disbandment. The absence of rule of law, freedom of press etc. were also pointed out in the letter as impediments to the normal functioning of the society in Eritrea, refusing to see the evident collapse of the society. The addressee in the letter is none other than the totalitarian state!Read more...
When we ask our shocked selves what indeed happened in the Lampedusa tragedy, the obvious response would be that a ship, with 365 Eritrean refugees still boarded on it, sank in the Mediterranean Sea on the shores of Lampedusa. But the symbolism of this goes far beyond this specific incident to signify the sinking of the nation-state Eritrea itself. After all, all those who perished in this incident did so in the very process of jumping off the sinking ship called “Eritrea”. The literal jumping off the sinking ship on the shores of Lampedusa happens to be just a small detail within that overarching national tragedy. ...Read more...
This article makes a short observation on the economic and political landmarks, as well as related geopolitical circumstances in regard to Eritrea and Ethiopia. The intention and attitudes of our leaders towards close relationships between our sisterly nations is being included in my writing. It has been so important to address our peoples with awareness over the facts and prospects prevailing around their nationhood. In other words, searching with patience into the realities that influence and impact our common destiny is essential. As such, Ethiopians and Eritreans together have to analyze the situation of both countries and exchange their concerns to bring peace. Those are the main potential factors to recognize and facilitate for bilateral needs and subsequent integration.Read more...
In the same manner, Eritrean cyber writers have been lately outraged not by the policy per se, but by the enforcers, who are allegedly people from the Tigray. The illegitimacy of the regime and its Sawa conscription unchallenged, the frenzy about a skirmish with the regime’s proxy army has dominated the cyber world. A few have even compared it to colonization, a poorly understood concept which has been responsible for causing mayhem in the past. This lukewarm opposition has “forced” the regime to state: our army was the enforcer, and the only enforcer! The farce of Eritrean politics has no boundaries. We witness once again the phenomenon of zombification as robust and alive: illicit relationship and sharing the same house is well entrenched in the land.1Read more...
After swimming for 3 hours I turned and saw that my brother had fallen behind. He said, Go on, Zerit, get to land, call home. He said, ‘Bye Zerit. And I was on the point of fainting in the sea, I couldn't swim for the two of us, I thought ‘it would be terrible for my mother to lose two sons in the same night - and I left my brother behind. I called ‘Bye Samuel. I, Zerit, am alive because my brother is dead.
(Photo: Zerit Gebray)Read more...
Lionel Cliffe’s contribution to Eritrean was outstanding. For several years he made several visits to the liberated area of Eritrea studying emergency aid and development needs/projects. Such assessments were essential for funding from International NGOs. It has to be remembered that Eritrean Relief Association had the reputation of being the darling of humanitarian organisation for its extensive network all over the world and its efficiency as the donor agencies see the aids are implemented to the full.Read more...
Eritrea is at a historical juncture. If the present course is not averted, Eritrea can fall into the abyss of failed states, The human tragedy will be more severe than that witnessed in Somalia because ethnic-religious cleavages in Eritrea are much deeper and the abundance of arms and militarization of the society at large is much greater. If Eritrea falls, the fragile neighboring states of the Sudan and Ethiopia would follow because the restive cores of these three countries have deep ties to each other.Read more...
I send my angels to comfort Aster and my prayers for her freedom. I wear a bracelet that I made in her honor. As I take it off at night, and put it back on each morning, I send her my love. I know that one day we will again sit together on a beautiful outdoor patio and share our hearts over a cup of coffee. And when we get to the third round, the blessing round, we will pause and be grateful for the blessing of true friendship.Read more...
Stepping on thorns of sand
Breathless; for songs yet unsung
Ballads of untold sorrow; so bad
For that cursed land
Crippled memories rose; burning
For lives still floating
For the drowned and the freezing
With hearts broken; still bleeding
The Return FlightRead more...
Uncle first and now dad’s gone
How much could you really take
Please don’t cry for father’s sake
You know he had no other choice
He always wanted to have a voice
His body, they say, was recovered from sea
Their boat caught fire and he tried to flee
It was the day the aroma and the taste of our homemade tea changed - forever.
Our mother (bless her) would wake up every morning to make tea for the whole family. No one knew how but somehow, it was that tea that kept everything in order. It was served three times a day and whenever a guest arrives.
A damaged teapot that looked like it had gone through so many battles is still sitting somewhere. If it is misplaced, it could easily trigger a civil war inside our home. It is always there in the background, almost ignored, and yet never failed to provide the tea that held the home spirit together.
My little sister’s
It was still on her body
The other one floated away all on its own
You don’t like that colour?
She didn’t either!
It was a present
when declared war & hostility sub-merges
trapped in the mind set of vengeance
compassion & care, things of the past
live for the moment, with the legacy of hate
when the world seems to give up on us
nothing is more comforting to witness
caring voices, knocking on every doors
the Elsas, The Selams & the Merons
the virtues of common good
carved on a stone & written in blood
their commitment on every occasion
unflinching support to the nation
Just a territory on a map
From Dumera to Ras Kasar
Unknown to the majority; a nation state
Lies idle beside a coastline; frozen in liquid state
Flanked by a landscape on the side; under extreme heat
Crossed by three seasons in a day
Still oblivious; to the outside world
Deeply immersed in its own; on blindfold
The people; like aliens in disguise
In scattered cultures and customs
Displaced within their land; spread across the globe
Identify themselves as Eritreans; under probe
Like dead souls crossing the sea
For an idea to die for eternity
Swallowing the young; the misguided
Crying alongside the living; the wretched
The state he is in
If only; you can imagine
You might; can even try
The mirror; right in front
Will tell you why
You still think it was about you
Do you… now?
Eritrea is just a stage
a platform from here to there
a land where no one knows
who is who and where
You can upstage a state anytime
without all that jazz
change the scenery
straight from frozen liquid to gas
And the menacing threats to skin me alive
That played in my head
In my solitary cell
Were also unreal
My mother’s prayers to the saints are always real
They won’t save me but may wipe her tears
This noose around my neck is real
You…who sit watching
Are you for real?
Like swords; the lines are drawn
As the ink hesitates to let itself; drop
The hand; on the other hand
Waits to make up its mind
In the meantime; a blank page
Like a wild dog; is barking in rage
Write me; or put me down
the roots; would you believe
say; from up on air
sound like twigs; planted upside down
the young are wasted
as the old wither
in a land laid bare; abandoned
Blessed I go
to sign a golden record
of a vote that carries a note.
Incredibly the first to me
to the most it may not be.
My vote that has a note came from remote
crossing through deserts and seas
where ideas flow and winds blow
with no compass nor a boat
leaving a trail of wishes and ashes
of the original source and direction.