One doesn’t fight to create a national identity; one fights to keep an identity one already has. The whole Eritrean tragedy comes as result of reversing this natural order. Eritreans don’t realize that the unity they have been fighting for is at the root of all their problems. If there are “unionists” to be blamed for the Eritrean malaise, it would be these unionists.
Related Article: (I) Eritrean Independence: Is It Worth All the Sacrifice?
Written by Rose Foran
Eritrea’s famine has devastated nearly half its population and is steadily worsening due to the government’s refusal to cooperate with NGOs.
According to an Amnesty International report, about half of Eritrea’s population is undernourished as a result of the widespread drought affecting the country. Famine has plagued the country for nearly seven years, when the first major drought in 2002 bled the country’s food resources dry.
However, Eritrea’s stringent policies against NGO presence in the country severely limit relief organizations from providing much needed food and medical supplies.Read more...
In the outset I would like to humbly tell you what one American educator said when he taught us how to be effective teachers; '' That a teacher should bring himself to the level of the students''. I also always hear some politicians claiming to ''come to political talks or negotiations from the position of strength'', forgetting keeping mutual interests at the forefront as the key to ultimate success. Some use sheer threats to subdue their enemies. Some also use appeasements; guarantee of survival, economic benefits, fraternity, fame etc. as a political weapon. It also surprises many as some politicians approach is not based on the ''win-win or I win and you win principle'' that can solve any problem in the world. As such they never bring any change in any conflict. Why? Because they forget that time tested principles like honesty, patience, generosity or self sacrifice, fairness, respect, openness etc. are good instruments to bring in peace anywhere.Read more...
Update on the Famine Crisis in Eritrea: the Landless and Beggars
III) Eritrea, a Nation in Overall Crisis: Coping Strategies in Hard Times
(II) Land Expropriation
(I) NGOs and food aid
This is an area where we can learn from the mistakes of other regions of the world. It took Europe some fifty years to create the European Union (EU). They did it in stages. In 1968, they established the European Economic Community (EEC), under the Treaty of Rome. The original signatories of the Treaty of Rome (France, West Germany, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg), agreed to form a customs union, adopt a common external tariff, and harmonise their domestic economic policies.Read more...
Delmonaco, who visited Eritrea in July, told CNS about the poor conditions existing in villages, orphanages and schools. The famine is particularly devastating to those living in remote villages where agriculture is the primary source of survival, he said.
During a visit to one village, Delmonaco was invited into a mother's hut, where he saw firsthand the extent to which children were suffering.
"The children were too weak to talk, too weak to walk and so weak they could not even swat the flies flying around them," he said.
An Eritrean mother who lost her two sons in East Africa’s border bloodbath between Eritrea and Ethiopia said with tears rolling down, “I sacrificed almost everything to raise and send to school my only two sons and looked forward to their good future but war took them away from me. I will never see them again and I now feel worthless and confused.”
Another mother from Ethiopia said, “It is like we mothers are raising our dearest children to be given to war and death at young age. When will this cycle of destruction end?”
Angry Eritrean youths jeered and booed Professor Gideon Abay in Oakland on Sunday in which he had nothing except praise for government policies in a country which has been described as a “giant prison” by human rights advocates and democratic nations worldwide.
The youngsters were infuriated by the professor’s description that Eritreans fleeing the country were merely lured by better standards of living in the West. Prof Gideon, who has served as mathematics professor in the US for 20 years, was responding to a question from the audience about why so many Eritreans were risking their precious lives crossing forbidding and forbidden African deserts and deadly high seas seeking protection and refuge in unknown lands.Read more...
Mr. Artaa is Central Committee member of the Eritrean People’s Party (EPP). He was speaking in connection with the recent merger between his party and the Eritrean Democratic Resistance Movement of Gash Setit (EDRMGS).Read more...
Make no mistake: history is on the side of these brave Africans, and not with those who use coups or change Constitutions to stay in power. Africa doesn't need strongmen, it needs strong institutions.
America will not seek to impose any system of government on any other nation - the essential truth of democracy is that each nation determines its own destiny. What we will do is increase assistance for responsible individuals and institutions, with a focus on supporting good governance - on parliaments, which check abuses of power and ensure that opposition voices are heard; on the rule of law, which ensures the equal administration of justice; on civic participation, so that young people get involved; and on concrete solutions to corruption like forensic accounting, automating services, strengthening hotlines, and protecting whistle-blowers to advance transparency and accountability.Read more...
Examining war begins with very general questions: What is war? How can it be defined? And what causes war? Moreover, what are the relationships between Eritrea and war?
Let’s look at the definition of war first: Cicero defines war broadly as "a contention by force"; others say that war is the continuation of politics by violent means … in other words, when politics fails then war ensues. And the Oxford Dictionary expands the definition to include "any active hostility or struggle between living beings; a conflict between opposing forces or principles."
Eritrea has lived under wartime conditions for decades. I think that sort of life has changed the predisposition of our people. I am sure that applies to our neighboring countries as well. Anyway, it seems our attitudes towards matters of war and peace is somewhat different, perhaps worrying. First of all, Eritrea has never known real peace except during the 1991-1998 time frame. Now, considering the absence of peace, that is to say, the extended exposure to decades of war, do you think that has given rise to a shift in the ways our people think of war? Well, hold the thought. We will come back to this subject, but first let’s listen to the News.Read more...
Articles published in Eritrea's now-banned private newspapers are at the center of a mock political trial being filmed as an educational documentary this week at Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at Arizona State University. Inside a courtroom on the sprawling Tempe, Ariz., campus, a judge of the High Court of Eritrea presides dispassionately, international observers lean into translation headphones, and defense lawyers challenge prosecutors to detail the vague antistate charges against 11 political dissidents. It's a trial that the real defendants were never afforded when they jailed nearly eight years ago.Read more...
Reporter Michael Abraha got hold of Seyoum Tesfaye - chairman of the Eritrean Global Solidarity to discuss the outcome of the recent pro-democracy events in Washington D.C. Michael first asked him if expectations have been met.
"Our struggle to transition Eritrea to Constitutional Democratic State by now should have been a full-blown dynamic popular movement. The June 18-21 activities measured by our urgent national responsibility are still not enough. That said for an organization that is only 18 months old the effort was a daring undertaking. We wanted to challenge established standards by combining four major projects under one package. Not trying to do something would have been a total failure. Doing something and learning in the process was a golden opportunity we could not miss. Strictly judged by EGS’ cursory “evaluation” of the events we undertook we think we have fared well. We are not wasting time congratulating ourselves. We have launched a thorough evaluation internally to make sure we do not avoid facing our shortcomings. We are going to dissect the agenda, the time line, the tasks, actions, team work, skill, time management , process flow, publicity, dissemination of information, diversity, cost, subject matter etc. in order to learn from our experience and do better next time. We have come out of this experience more united and determined to strengthen and expand the civic society. " Read more...
Tesfaldet A. Meharenna owner of Asmarino .com received an award in recognition of his outstanding achievement and excellent services at the recent Eritrean Global Solidarity symposium in Washington D.C. When the award was presented by a distinguished professor and one of Africa’s few constitutional scholars, Dr Bereket Habteselassie, there was jubilation and ululation from the audience and everyone celebrated with tears, screams of joy and finally they rocked the house with “Wesede Ayay Wesed, Wesede Tes Beal Sere” The aura of jubilation left Tes speechless, he tried to utter some words, he looked around, up and down and no words; he was totally over whelmed with joy.Read more...
The majority of Eritrean web based press owners, resistance group media outlets and other publication journalists are men of good standing with utmost desire for betterment of Eritrea and Eritreans. But some times, and in some cases most of the times, they are participants in the act of censorship and knowingly or unknowingly contribute to the stifling of not only the free press and media, but to the very idea of freedom and democracy and liberty itself. Almost all opposition groups and resistance movements had enshrined the notion of freedom of expression in their charters, constitutions, principles, etc. But in practice there are problems and if the issue of censorship or self-censorship is not tackled at this stage, I am afraid it will be ingrained in our political culture and thinking and the role of the free press will be severely limited and curtailed in future democratic Eritrea. Freedom of the press doesn’t mean one has to agree with one’s idea or one has to conform to one political party’s agenda or philosophy. Freedom of expression doesn’t mean one’s writing has to please one webmaster’s tastes and feelings. Freedom of expression means the unalienable right to agree or disagree, to support or to oppose, to express your feeling with out fear or any kind of prejudice or harm.Read more...
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The Eritrean government propaganda are so outrageous that even the hardcore government supporters have to tune-down government propaganda in an effort to make the claims seem less stupid.
Even critics often moderate many of the government’s claims just to make them reasonable enough to be critiqued (for the claims are silly beyond that possible to criticize).Read more...
Such opposite views are prevalent in today’s Eritrea. For those focusing on negatives (camp A), partial truths are exaggerated to conclude Eritrea’s independence was a mistake. For camp A Eritrea was dead on arrival. It is a helpless (I can’t do anything) and hopeless (it can’t be done) mindset that simply stands by waiting for an “I told you so” moment.
The things camp A lists to reach its pessimistic conclusions may well be true. But it is definitely not the whole truth because Eritrea is more than its highland component. Ignoring Eritrea is more than its Muslim component, there is also camp A’s other half that wants to Arabize Eritrea. Fortunately, these two faces of camp A, although very vocal, are not representative of their respective communities. And that is why I still believe there is hope for Eritrea.Read more...
Top-down attempts of unity and alliances were undergoing for the last decade and half with little or no results. Politico-military culture, fragmentation and top-down approaches have been hindering the resistance from achieving the desired unity for democratic change. Using people centered, citizen owned and civic driven effective bottom-up approach of uniting and organizing Eritrean democratic and civic resistance is urgently needed. The bottom-up approach with its civic and democratic tenets and practices will help transform the outdated politico-military culture into civic and democratic culture by building civic capacity of Eritrean citizens and their institutions.Read more...
Dr Sarah has explained the difficulties of researching in Eritrea. She said the University lacked an academic environment where research can be done freely. She summarised her presentation as follows, “Western writers and scholars failed to see the undemocratic culture of the Fronts. Eritrean Elites were blinded by nationalism and did not consider what post EPLF Eritrea will be. Research is highly controlled by the Government especially if it is policy related to development and welfare. Data is inaccessible in most cases. Some scholars who support the Government externalize Eritrean problems and claim Ethiopia poses existential threat. ....Read more...
A nation is being literally killed without bullets fired - mass execution of the third kind. I am not being an alarmist: the facts at hand clearly are cataclysmic. When a nation with one of the smallest populations in Africa ends generating more boat people in the Mediterranean than a war ravaged and totally destroyed Syria with a much larger population, then one needs to sit down and ask the question, “What gives?” ... So you tell me my Eritrean folk, shouldn't we be all alarmed? Are we all Ok while watching Eritrea’s “painless” death? Or am I just fear mongering.Read more...
The Eritrean armed struggle squandered the chance for economic take-off that Walter Rostow wrote so much about in the middle of the last century – an opportunity for industrialization that other nations such as South Korea, Singapore and Thailand used. Having missed the industrialization period during its ghedli sojourn, leaving itself with obsolete technology and uncompetitive products, it had to force itself into Ethiopia’s economy using the means of pressure and contraband, forgetting that they were fiercely opposed to the symbiotic relationship with the same entity in the past.
(Picture: Barattelo double-decked buses transporting workers in Asmara)Read more...
By now, maybe you are expecting to read an April fool. Not at all, the Eritrean politics and quantum mechanics have common denominator. In both cases, the problems to be treated are very small but the frameworks of their solutions are sophisticated mathematics, due to their incompatible property concerning the classical natural law. Sometimes they function, but for sure, nobody understands why and how they function. The last but not the least, they function by chance. ...
The primary challenge that is faced by the Eritrean people is how to bring about the required regime change. While the actual change will come by the popular uprising from inside there is need for input from Eritreans in Diaspora. There is need for organized grass roots movement in communities in Diaspora. The UNITY of all the opposition forces outside the country is very essential to effectively support the forces of change inside the country. The outside force has the resources and the higher magnitude of communication skills that is required by the forces inside country. It has also the higher ability of mobilizing support from the International community. ...Read more...
Here is a fact that the nationalists would undoubtedly have a hard time to swallow: the Golden Age of Asmara happens to be neither in the Italian era nor in the Independence era; those golden years happen to fall exactly on the reign of Haile Selassie, starting to build up in the 50s to reach its apex in the 60s, only to abruptly end in the early 70s when ghedli showed up at the doorsteps of Asmara in full force. What then explains this riddle, since it doesn’t fit at all with the narrative that the nationalists have been telling the masses? This question has special relevance because the ghedli generation’s concept of modernity was entirely shaped from the impressions that this colonial city had left on them. In fact, it was with the saving of “Asmara civilization” in their mind that they went through hell for 50 years. ...Read more...
Is positive change from within still possible in Eritrea?
…Yes it is and it might be the only viable way forward in Eritrea… there are one or two pragmatic up there in the inner circle…in Eritrea – people who do recognise that Eritrea is better off without the dictator, but they also know opposing the dictator can prove to be too costly (they have seen far too many purges) and are hence looking for a way out… an easy way out to get rid of the dictator… if anyone can bring about any viable reform that would provide us some form of a launching pad to make things in Eritrea right again it can only be under the auspices of some pragmatic official… whether we like it or otherwise (and I am very much otherwise!)… such is the trouble with reality…Read more...
The Horn of Africa is the most conflict ridden region in the world. The people and the land are devastated by endless wars. The de facto no war no peace policy that has persisted between Ethiopia and Eritrea for the last 13 years affects the lives of millions in both countries and the stability of the whole region. Bringing this conflict to a peaceful resolution is of paramount importance.
The devastating 1998 - 2000 war between Ethiopia and Eritrea cost billions of dollars in infrastructure damage, missed investment opportunities and lost aid, claimed about 100,000 lives, and dislocated millions of people. Instead of the end of the war bringing peace, for the last fourteen years the policy of both countries has been “no war no peace.” As bad as open war is, an endless no war no peace situation is insufferable.Read more...
My overall impression of this paper is that I am disappointed. Almost every significant statement is followed by a sentence that ‘moderate’ it to a point that the statement loses its punch-line. The paper then takes off without notice of the challenge it has just presented to its statement.
In fact, after reading the first half of the paper, I had a strong suspicion that the manuscript has been edited to barely meet the requirement of the reviewers. If my suspicion is right then the first half of the paper is a battle ground between the author and the reviewers, where the author dodges the reviewers’ assault left and right.Read more...
I would like to express my thanks to the organisers Justice Africa, African Studies and the University of London for organising “Talking Eritrea”. A series of events at the University of London- School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS).
The people of Eritrea are honoured by these extraordinary and well organised events. Having a Government that has subjected the people of Eritrea to gross human rights violations and is mobilising some Diaspora supporters to defend its inhuman actions and intimidate all those who advocate for justice I thought our African brothers in the United Kingdom particularly Justice Africa have abandoned the people of Eritrea.Read more...
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. ...
We are standing still; on our own
and there you are; so close
yet; so far away
farewell; to a journey in the unknown
The time has come
as it always does; for no one
but for us to join; in peace
in loving memoryRead more...
Well, He seems to
have decided to let hurricanes blow
new winds to penetrate
new routes, new waves
hailstorms hit pavements
the seas grow hot
and volcanoes boil
their sweat is carried
to the Red Sea home.Read more...
The small cramped quarters
A lone light bulb dangling above
A baby was born
Her bright intelligent eyes wide openRead more...
So self-righteous she was
She put everything right; in the wrong way
So obsessed with truth; he was
He had nothing left to say
Along the river Nile, I met the Flame Tree
its long limbs stretching to the sky
the blue hues along with clouds
became the canvas for its drawing
Its red-hot flames poked out from the greens
yellow flicker of burning sunshine
telling me that fire burns otherwise
soft petals glowing with colorRead 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