"Its dictatorial ruling regime, which is in urgent need of dollars from mining, has also awarded exploration licences to eight new foreign companies eager to prospect close to Africa’s Red Sea coast."
War and government economic controls have limited the Eritrean private sector’s ability to generate foreign currency income and the country is one of the last unexplored frontiers in African mining.
In a break from its credo of self-reliance, the regime of President Isaias Afewerki has turned to foreign companies for capital and expertise to develop its gold, zinc and copper deposits.Read more...
I made four failed attempts to cross the border, three times to Ethiopia and once to the Sudan. But I never gave up and succeeded with the fifth one. After six days of exhausting walk, I managed to get in to the Sudan on the 17th of November 2007 via Sawa military training camp, along two other colleagues. It was very risky and at times life threatening journey. Had it not been for one Sudanese nomad to rescue our life, we could all have vanished without trace in the deserts of eastern Sudan. The nomad named Mr. Hamid told us that just two week before our arrival, they had buried the body of two young Warsay Ykealo school students, who were presumably died as a result of water thirsty. Our fate could have not been different either, but we were so lucky to escape from that imminent danger.
Once we reached Sudan no one of us ever expected to face with such kind of agonising danger, but the nomad, who was in his mid eighties became our hero. He had to walk along with his two camels with us, in an effort to save our life. He was on foot while three of us turn by turn had to ride on the back of the camel. And it took us three days to reach a village called Girgir, 20km north from the city of Kessela. With all the difficulties of Arabic language I had at that time, but one of Mr. Hamids breathtaking expression was something that I hardly forget ‘’ Esaias ke’ab’’ meaning Esaias is a trouble maker. He also asked ‘’what have the Eritrean people done to deserve all these misery.’’ Frankly I never expected those sympathetic words to come out from such an old nomad who happens to witness the tragedy and suffering of Eritreans first hand on a daily bases.Read more...
Now you dare to snatch
My sisters and brothers
Hannibal’s distant cousins
Desert defying voyagers
Sworn enemies of tyranny
Beacons of liberty
Not easy to digest
Break or Silence
You stole their body
Not their spirit or soul
As they rise to the heavens
They spit on you
Europe’s New Berlin Wall
We looked in, in horror for a moment…
And for a brief moment we all seemed fully human…
Not half beast as we seem to be the rest of the time
…Seventy-five dead, five near dead… thousands waiting to die
... And no one was mourning…
In the stark light of the brief limelight…
The dead were like a magnet that held us all there…
…All together for once…
The East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project (EHAHRDP), along with Human Rights Concern Eritrea (HRC-Eritrea), and Human Rights Watch (HRW) will mark the anniversary of the 2001 clampdown by organising a roundtable on Eritrea to speak out against the on-going human rights crisis in the country and to highlight the need for the EU, as one of the main donors, to place human rights at the top of its agenda in Eritrea.Read more...
In today’s international network, countries of the world have increasingly grown dependent on one another. The influences of geographical, economic, military and social relations are increasing across the globe more than ever. They are much more engaged in cross-border trading. More exporting of resources is in place to acquire the established hard currencies or other international valuable exchanges, which is quite unattainable for many countries. Reciprocity matters to maintain mutual interest. Therefore, most foreign policies are designed to suit international economic situations, ideologies and various strategic factors in order to gain interest from many sources.Read more...
In Eritrea Geez lost its medium of communication across the Habeshas (Semitic origin) and Tigrigna plays the role of Geez in most highland Eritrea. In lowland Eritrea Arabic plays the role as a medium of communication across cultures. Irrespective of how Arabic prevailed in the Eritrean reality, whether it is through religion or through previous invaders, it does solve the problem of medium of communication across our lowland area diverse cultures. A language does not have to be a native tongue or mother language to be recognized as a medium of communication. It has to win the acceptance of the people and the cross-cultural ability to solve the communication problem of one’s country or a nation. English is not a native language of some West African and some Asian countries, but still is the language of medium of communication and so does French. The point here is not of matter of pride or being degraded, but better communication, which leads to better understanding and development.Read more...
Needles to state, English is the language of the Internet and the business world. It is the language of learning. Its prominence is even going to be more pronounced in the future with the rapid advancement of the Internet. All the libraries of the great universities of the world will be (or are) available in the Internet. Making English the working language of Eritrea will equalize all Eritrean nationalities on the language question. This should not be taken as a national pride issue. Nor should one be accused of possessing a colonized mind for suggesting a foreign language to be the working language of Eritrea. We need to weigh all its costs and benefits before we close our mind. Many proud nations such as Scotland (home of the birth of the Scottish enlightenment that was the foundation for the ideas of the American revolution and American constitution and thinkers like: Adam Smith, David Hume, James Maxwell, and etc.), Ireland, Singapore and I hope I am not mistaken India, use English as their working language. English has given these nations a tremendous advantage in the world economy over others who do not use English.Read more...
In my opinion, having a 'sectarian polity' within a secular government framework is not viable for Eritrea. Religious sentiments are hard to compromise and mixing up religious sentiments with political aspirations often is a precursor for civil strife and disorder. Eritrea needs to fine tune its priorities and avoid sailing in uncharted waters. In the 1950's Eritrea had enjoyed a brief period of democratic environment. As Herui Tedla keeps on reminding us, we have a social fabric that has been keeping our communities together in peace and harmony for centuries. All we have to do is to go back and reflect on how our ancestors succeeded to maintain peace and order. The separation of religion and state has been a long recognized imperative in our society.Read more...
No regular fireworks would do.
Instead, entire Kunama villages
had to be set ablaze in a great bonfire
to let the whole world know
the birth of the Eritrean revolution.
The first shot at Tegorba
By looking at the hole in the roof
nobody can tell if the shot was fired
by a patriot, a shifta or an outright fool.
But it sure has been leaking like hell ever since,
now pouring down in torrent.
Sept 1, 1961: day of infamy
It unfurled itself backwards and forwards
to claim the bloody past
with its victims’ cries still echoing
and to usher a sectarian future
under whose shadow we are still living.
so loud; from on high
wired in words
fenced by inner silence
on tripe and boiled tongues
only to land; on frozen ears
as for the eyes
the witness; off the scene
is now-here to be seen
but still on guard; for more lies
The Military Balance report by the International Institute for Strategic studies (IISS) for 2009 was released in terms of numbers of soldiers per million of population. It has released the five most heavily defended states of the world.Read more...
During the election for American presidency the rap-star Jay-Z supported Obama throughout his presidential campaign, giving a series of fundraising concerts. Addressing the young black voters hitherto uninterested in elections he would go,
“Rosa Parks sat so Martin Luther King could walk. Martin Luther King walked so Obama could run. Obama is running so we all can fly.”
Drawing an analogy with Saleh’s triangle theory, we find the American Civil rights movement expressed in three stages like that of Younus analysing Eritrea. The spark was the day the legendary Idris Awate shot the first shot in Adal. The spark in civil rights movement was a black woman, Rosa Park, who refused to sit at the back of the bus because she was black ...Read more...
The Colombo based magazine Lankadweep said in recent reports that Sri Lankan army found 12 fighter planes belonging to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ezham at the airport located in Eritrea.
With crucial information blurted out by the LTTE leader Selvarasa Pathmanathan alias KP, Sri Lanka has managed to find the fight planes landed in Eritrea airport with the help of the government. The legitimate body of Eritrea continued their patronage to the Liberation Tigers since many years and assisted them in maintaining the air and sea based attack vehicles.Read more...
Contrary to some claims, the EU is not swamped with refugees. The UN's refugee agency (UNHCR) last year requested help with resettling over 120,000 people. Only 7,000 of these refugees were accepted in EU countries. It is this lack of compassion that must be tackled if Europe is to have a fair system of asylum, rather than one that treats victims as criminals.Read more...
Malta avrà pure le sue colpe, ma forse l’arcipelago del Mediterraneo non è il vero problema. Per i disperati che arrivano dall’Eritrea governata da una dittatura rigidissima, le cause del loro dramma si chiamano violenza e repressione. Le galere eritree sono piene di dissidenti, di intellettuali, di giornalisti. Non importa se siano stati eroi della lotta di liberazione contro l’Etiopia, durata trent’anni. Il dittatore Isayas Afeworki non ha risparmiato né combattenti di prima linea, né strateghi della lotta armata. Soprattutto ha voluto zittire i cervelli più fini e più creativi della rivoluzione.Read more...
On average from 50 up to 70 Eritreans are arriving to the Shegerab refugee camp on a daily bases, according to a Senior Sudanese government official in Eastern Sudan, http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article25615. Hence, with this high influx, the number of Eritrean refugees registered as of July 2004 alone exceeded 50,000. This figure does not include those who evade registration in the refugee camp, according to some estimates their number could be in thousands.
On top of that, there are 148,000 Eritrean refugees living in protracted camps of Sita wo’ishrin, Wedisherifey and Shegerab, since pre-independence period. Nevertheless, with all the short comings, the government and people of Sudan deserve acknowledgement for their generosity and hospitality in embracing these refugees for several decades.Read more...
In an effort to address the aforementioned challenges, particularly of organizing youths to stand for their rights and that of their people, an organization named Eritrean Global Youth Movement came into being on the 20th of June, 2009. Through such initiative Eritrean youths will be able identify their challenges and priorities. Such initiatives would also enable them to establish a country with democracy and respect for basic human rights of individuals without any distinction. Needless to say, initiative of this nature cannot be a reality without the participation of each and every one of us. With the participation of all, the initiative intends to restore the faith and hopes of all Eritreans.
The Eritrean Global Youth Movement cordially extends its invitation to all youths wherever they are to be part of the change the Eritrean people desperately need. It is up to the youth to get rid of tyranny once and for all.
Place Eritrea on the list of state sponsors of terrorism. This will follow through on Mrs. Clinton's statements that Eritrea must end its assistance to al Shabaab, a designated Somali terrorist group.
Al Shabaab recruits young Americans to become suicide bombers. It also has turned Somalia into a haven for mujahedeen fighters from Pakistan and Afghanistan. The al Qaeda East Africa cell is based in Somalia and was responsible for the bombing of U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998. Mrs. Clinton laid a wreath in Kenya to commemorate the embassy bombing. She can help prevent a future attack on our diplomatic missions and citizens in the Horn and East Africa by taking direct action against Eritrea today.Read more...
This is the third report issued by the Suwera Centre for Human Rights (SCHR). The first report was published in 2005 reviewing developments in the implementation of human rights in Eritrea since its liberation. The second report, covering the situation of human rights in Eritrea during 2006, was issued in April 2007. The third report for the year 2007 could not appear in 2008 due to reasons beyond the capacity of the Centre to be resolved. Nevertheless, this report, which monitors the situation of human rights in the 2008, includes also the most important human rights developments and events of the year 2007.Read more...
Page 51 of 59
I believe the Eritrean people expect Eritrean scholars to objectively and critically assess the ills of the nation and offer bold and constructive suggestions for the good of their country and the Eritrean people. Eritrean scholars should assume this responsibility as their national duty and indeed as their obligation.
I also believe Eritrean scholars should not give a deaf ear and a blind eye to the suffering of their people. They should have the moral courage and intellectual integrity to speak on behalf of the voiceless and the oppressed.Read more...
Imagine a canvass of a family gathered together in the typical small rooms in Asmera or other small towns soon after the independence of Eritrea. The family and the neighbors are serenading the surviving male fighters and the occasional guerrilla sister, both completely indifferent to their sister who “chose” to remain a spinster throughout the ghedli era. ...
In the crowd, almost everybody remembers and talks about the “martyrs” who fell in the war, but none of her prodigal siblings offer an apology for her sacrificed womb, which she has keened for untold years. None of her prodigal siblings offered their appreciation for the long and difficult years of care she bestowed on their already dead or aging parents with little means of the war economy. ...
... In all of these conceptions of the nation, the guarantee of citizenship relies on participation within the space of a family, a community, or an institution. Within the liberation struggles of Eritrea and Zimbabwe, the interaction of these three spaces redefined the gender roles of women in the guerrilla camps and in post-war society. To explore the various ways in which gender was constructed and reconstructed in these societies, this paper primarily draws on interviews with women fighters, images, film, primary literature, as well as journal articles and longer works of research.Read more...
The Bologna congress turned into festival was more than a festival. It is a mass assertion of the Eritreans in Diaspora to commit themselves to the struggle for justice and freedom.
They provided manpower, material and diplomatic support to the liberation movements. At the same time they represented the voices of the people exposing Ethiopian atrocities to the outside world. To mention some is the massacres of Ona in Keren, Sheeb in Sahel and the bombardment of civilians by internationally forbidden weapons such as napalm and cluster bombs. The list of crime is long.Read more...
... It is in this sense then that the Somalization of the nation and of the individual keep feeding on one another to bring the demise of both. If so, what doesn’t bode well for the Eritrean nation state is the frame of mind of the escaping youth: despite their nationalistic rhetoric, the youth happen to be the least believers in the Eritrean nation state itself. My advice is: do not believe what they say with their mouth, but with their feet.
When the youth are stampeding out of the nation in their hundreds of thousands, they are not simply reflecting the failed state of the nation state, but they are also affirming with their feet that this is a nation not worth fighting for. ...Read more...
Let us compare the Souk Bederete of bubble gums with that of Unity , as well as their buyers. Blowing bubbles was fun, not to mention the competitive spirit of outdoing the others' bubbles. The clever kids blew comparatively smaller bubbles and avoided gums sticking to their face and hair. Modesty was the key. Most of our Unity Souks' shoppers have the competitive spirit (less the fun) of outnumbering the other Unity souks' shoppers. A few who enjoy numbers/crowds, may be modest about it and try to concentrate on what they are chewing (in this case, the issue on hand - namely, method proposed to remove higdef), while some others' spirit of competitiveness is so high (to the point that they get filled with negative energy) that they lose focus. ....Read more...
Zayd introduced herself as the mother of Samsom and asked Yemane Dimu about her son. Yemane Dimu answered her reluctantly, “You are the mother of that lazy rotten Samsom? He can’t even gather fire wood. He is buried under the tree, go find him.”
And that is how Zayd was told of her only son’s death. A vain and undignified death.Read more...
If I had half the impudence I am often accused of having… this piece would be called: ‘MedreK a dialogue forum minus the dialogue’…ughhhh…I guess there is still a bit of a crowd-pleaser left in me…
… surely the purpose of all our meetings, conferences and dialogues is to turn this into a game of two halves… pfdj on one end the rest of us on the other side…so the effect of the most recent bursts of activities can only be measured in relation to their success in creating that configuration… anything else would simply amount to taking us for a bumpy ride…Read more...
Political discussions in countries ruled by dictatorial governments are marked by arrogance and noisiness—persons the poem Desiderata advises us to “Avoid” in its first stanza. Such arrogance is even extreme when the government is a totalitarian one. ...
Sadly the legacy of oppressive governments is not only in the deeds they do to their citizens but the evil they imprint on the political culture of the country. Many African countries, and my country in particular, are case in point.Read more...
The sad part is that it did this knowing that the rest of the world would not care on how it treats these refugees. For some reason, it has been given immunity in all shapes and forms. The rest world as always is afraid to tell this state “enough”. Only one world body, the UNHCR, criticized Israel on the mistreatment of our refugees and it got flak from the state and the Israeli PR machine. Alas, the struggle to ease the plight of these Africans could not garner any world support.Read more...
The regime that emerged out of it kept its old policy of treating the masses of Eritrea of like draught animals, who are kept in the worst treatment. ... A particular young man belonging to the National Service was doing his unhappy duty in the inhospitable desert of Bada, Eritrea ... Chopping wood for his unit, a wood splinter lodged itself in his neck, suffocating and leaving him dead; choked in his own blood. ...
... darkness reigned in the ghedli times. Passion and outrage for the victim were largely absent among the crowd used to frequent cruel and abhorrent environment in the hands of their tegadelti officers. In other words, the arid ghedli political landscape was devoid of any humane values. Weapons had more values than the fighters in their possession. ...Read more...
The open-ended national service, contrary to what some would have us believe, is, therefore, not a result of the national security emergency the country finds itself in. It is, rather, the result of the very foundational character of the PFDJ regime, and ending the indefinite national service would signal the demise of the economic enterprises owned by it. The regime can hardly allow economic competition and forgo the free access to the labour of the conscripts its firms enjoy. Not only this, but normalizing the national service would also threaten the PFDJ’s grip on political power as it would unleash the conscripts ...Read more...
The political and social onslaught on the refugees is undeterred. For more than a year, the extreme right wing factions of the Israeli government (and of the society) have characterized the refugees as obstacle to maintaining a Jewish state. The vast majority of the refugees are good-hearted, law abiding people whose only desire is to find a temporary home (emphasis on temporary). Nonetheless, we have seen them being racially taunted, their shops, homes and daycare facilities being burned, being deposed of their livelihood and being physically abused. Just a few days ago a 16 month baby girl was critically stabbed on head. ...Read more...
However, the personal stories and background of these people are not of interest to Israel, who is a signatory state on the 1951 Refugee Convention and 1967 Protocol. It seems like signing conventions is one thing, but actually following through with the obligations that come with it, is another. You see, Israel is a small country, a Jewish country; “if we accept them, tomorrow we will have the whole African continent on our border”. These are some of the arguments that the Israeli government uses to rid themselves of their responsibilities.Read more...
The MPs of Israel were expected to go over these key issues before they pass any resolution and/or label against asylum seekers and refugees from Africa using racist and discriminatory terms. To say, “WE WILL SEND ALL AFRICAN MIGRANTS OUT” by its very message and tone is “discriminatory, racist and xenophobic “especially in reference to Black Africans.Read more...
broadcasting so heavy a shadow
a shield standing in front
in the wild
in the dark
light years away
a body mass of no weightRead more...
she hands her child
to a woman sitting beside
raise her as your own; she begs
soon after she saw the men; hands-on machetes
she became a statistic; number game ...
a faceless victim; a dead torch among many
... a warning
for a genocide in the makingRead more...
That September we both left Eritrea
Seventeen hours later you were here
I was shot at on the border
Was sold, bought and resold
The map of that trip is scored on my back
Do you want to see? No I didn’t think you would
My best friend was maimed
The other one died in a cellRead more...
Gravitating to unregistered awareness
In fractured identities
In sleeping sickness
In morbid madness
Rising with eyes frozen; dead blank
Despite all signs of life; yet unborn
Just swimming; in the womb of the twilight zone
Like the River that passes through
I have no place to call my own
I stop where life wills ...
To let them take what they want ...
And dump what they willl ...
... Then on I will linger ...
Changing names along the way
V. Honor your appointed officials, that your days may be peaceful in the land.
VI. You shall not murder. Aim shots below the knee.
VII. You shall not commit adultery. Lest you compete with your colonels and officials.
VIII. You shall not steal. The land and its fruits are consecrated to government.
IX. You shall not bear false witness. Why prolong your torture.Read more...
Full circle once again
it's a depletion of life sources
Dead wrapped in seaweed
instead of a casket with roses
Abandoned in the desert sand
ripped of dignity and organs
Do you hear the cries
of the motherless children?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