(I) The Conveyor Belt of Death in Eritrea
One bloody day, more than 50 young men get massacred at Adi-Abeyto; another bloody day, more than 160 get massacred in a similar fashion at Wia’; another dark day, 28 Kunamas get poisoned and mass buried at Mai Dima; another shameful day, many youngsters are led to Ghirmaika and summarily executed; another horrible day, 4 teenagers trying to cross the border at Mereb are summarily executed after they surrender; and yet another horrible day, many more teenagers are sadistically paraded in Adi-Quala and immediately thereafter mass executed. It goes on and on, with no end in sight to this bloodletting. And this is only the tip of the iceberg; most of the killings are taking place in the ever-proliferating prisons and concentration camps scattered all over the land, away from the public eye. Eritrea is indeed turning into a huge killing field. What the hell is going on?
When Shaebia built a shida (sandals) monument in the capital to symbolize the years of struggle in the fields, no Eritrean dared contest it. Zekere Lebona, a teghadalay eye witness and a great chronicler of Shaebia atrocities in its formative years, thinks otherwise. He believes that another ubiquitous ghedli item has an equal legitimacy to claim that era’s symbolism: the plastic rope, with which the guerrilla fighters used to tie the sheet of blanket (netsela) they used to carry on their backs. But when he invokes such a symbol, he has a less flattering image in mind: as in the case of the piano cord used by a’fagn killing squads in the Asmara of the early 70’s, the plastic rope was used to strangle many teghadelti to death in the valleys of Sahel by equally ruthless h’alewa sewra death squads around the same time (early 70’s):
“… But it [the plastic rope] was also a terror weapon used for the same purpose that the Khmer Rouge was using it. Disarmed victims were tied behind their backs with this rope before being led to execution grounds. It was also used to garrote the victims. The me’seri netsela was a gruesome ‘self-reliance’ weapon, one which spared the use of scarce bullets. This happened mostly on the riverbanks of the Waddis in the Tegih, Tebih, Arag, Ela Saed, and Alegena areas. Dry riverbeds, easy to dig mass graves…” (“The Plastic Rope: Memories of a Foot Soldier”, Dec 26, 2003 – awate.com)
But what gives this account of this already-gory event an even more macabre context is the way another ubiquitous ghedli phenomenon, “guaila”, was effectively put in juxtaposition to it to provide it a sanitary cover. Whenever such executions were taking place in the valleys, the units camped close to the execution grounds were made to play guaila to screen out any piercing cries of death that might reach the ears of unsuspecting fellow teghadelti. Here is how he describes one such incident he witnessed:
“… Asmerom Ghebreegziabher, a member of the five-man leadership then, arrived with a large sized cassette player. Meanwhile, I saw a column of unarmed fighters being stealthily led to the riverbed in the proximity, at Tegih [to be executed]. An ‘impromptu’ guaila (dance) followed accompanied by the loud blare for a couple of hours. It reminds me now of the violins that were being played in the Nazi death camps.” (“The Dirty War in the Dejen”, Feb 02, 2004 – awate.com)
Such a violin, in the form of sanitary images of “fiercely independent”, “self reliant”, “industrious” and “crime-free” Eritrea, is now being played by the propaganda machine of the regime as the nation is literally bleeding to death. If one looks at EriTv (or listens to the seasonal Diaspora tourists), nothing in Eritrea seems to be going wrong. The masses are either vigorously building their nation or happily dancing and singing in one festival after another. Either they are selflessly constructing roads, bridges, micro-dams, schools and clinics, euphorically commemorating one national festival after another or gratefully praising their Dear and Beloved Leader for one miraculous task accomplished after another. We see either lash farms yielding an abundance of harvest, a fishing boat hauling a cornucopia of marine yield or a brand-new factory churning out one product after another. Nothing of the horrors of torture and death in the ever-proliferating concentration camps of the nation and at border crossings, of the mass exodus of the youth that is empting the nation of its most productive force at an alarming rate or of the mass starvation that has taken grip all over the land as never before is even remotely discernible from the EriTv’s sumptuous pictures and the Diaspora Highdefites’ tall tales.
In this posting, it is both the nature of these massacres and the sanitary façade that provides the regime with the cover it needs to undertake them that we will examine, with a special emphasis on the Kunama massacre – one that is unique in its level of depravity.
The conveyor belt of death
When the World War II ended, most Germans claimed ignorance of the horrors that took place in the concentration camps. The meticulous clinical “neatness” and “orderliness” with which the genocide of many “undesirables” – Jews, Gypsies, Slavs and others – was conducted gave the population ample cover to claim that they were kept in the dark of what was going on. The Nazis had, first, succeeded in “smoking out” all their victims; then, isolated them in stop-over, overcrowded ghettos; next, transported them to huge, completely sealed concentration camps; and, last, put them in factory-size gas ovens soon after they were rendered useless. Along this conveyor belt of death, everything imaginable was done to extract all that was deemed “useful for the Aryan nation” from the victims before they were brought to their terminal ends: they were worked to death, with the old, the young and the weak to go to the oven first; all kinds of medical experimentations were conducted on them for the benefit of the Aryan race; all valuables were confiscated – even gold teeth were pulled out from the dead before they were thrown to the ovens.
Only a mind familiar with the modern system of mass production could come up with such an efficient machine of death and destruction. In such meticulously planned massacres of millions, no traces of blood were left on the streets; no mass burial grounds were dug; no unruly mobs wielding machetes were allowed to roam the cities and towns (as in the case of the Tutsi genocide); no public executions with cheering crowds were conducted; and no public announcements of such gory events were ever made. Such are the horrors of modernity, where a concept meant to be applied to an assembly line in a factory can be easily made to work on human beings themselves!
Such a conveyor belt of death is now at work in the killing fields of Eritrea. An archaic organization, that has no inkling of the liberating aspects of modernity, is now using all the amenities that modernity can provide – the internet, television, telephone, radio, newspapers, bureaucracy, police, army, up-to-date armaments, a modern security apparatus, transportation, etc. – to impose its totalitarian grip all over the nation. And, as in the Nazi case, when, one day, the extent of the death and destruction will be known to the public, most Eritreans will be claiming that they had no idea that so many killings were taking place. They will use that very sanitary cover that is now used by the PFDJ to torture, maim and kill to exculpate themselves. But the tell-tale signs are everywhere to see for those who really want to see.
Shaebia was adept at building an efficient conveyor belt of death long before it showed up in Asmara. Then, as it is now, such a conveyor belt of death had the same structure: (a) a killing machine that does its job with a thorough efficiency that leaves nothing to chance; (b) a propaganda machine that creates an Orwellian realty for its public, a humane façade that provides a cover for the gruesome killings that go behind it; and (c) a deleting machine that wipes out any evidence that might potentially mar that manufactured “realty”. In Sahel, thousands perished as they were constantly fed into Shaebia’s efficient conveyor belt of death. A testimony to the efficiency of its propaganda and deleting machines is that few talked about it and almost no one wanted to listen until very recently. And now, this same machinery is at a work at a dizzying speed doing what it had been doing in the fields.
(1) The killing machine: from round-ups to death camps
These stories start in villages, towns and cities across Eritrea, where the modern-day Gestapo unexpectedly show up at a house, mostly at an ungodly hour, to fetch a dissenter (real or perceived), a young man or woman (an army deserter or conscription evader), a parent (whose son or daughter has escaped from the clutches of Shaebia), an Evangelical Christian (whose religion has been outlawed), or a minority (whose ethnic group has come under special scrutiny). The prisoners are then unceremoniously carted off to the nearest prison (often, a provincial one) for “questioning” or to be kept in h’idri (atsnh’aley), where they are literally forgotten for months or years on end. Then they are moved to ominously larger and specialized prisons such as that of Adi-Abeyto, where they get categorized, serialized and their fates sealed without seeing a day in court. And last, they are moved to the most notorious concentration camps located in the middle of the desert, such as Wia’, Met’er or E’rae’ro, where tens of thousands are made to languish under medieval-like conditions of torture, disease, starvation, toil and death.
As in the Nazi case, the first step that the Isaias regime does to feed its conveyor belt of death is create an environment where its victims have no place to hide – this is where the smoking out process is done. Since most of its victims are army deserters and draft evaders, it has created an elaborate mlti-layered system that is designed to capture them in the next layer if they escape from one layer below it. Various methods are used to this effect: giffa, sudden round-ups that are meant to trap victims unaware; an elaborate spying network where neighbors are made to spy on neighbors; severe penalties against families with one or more escapees; countless roadblocks where adults are repeatedly asked for their pass permits; shoot-at-sight policies at border crossings; etc. One of the main reasons for the mass exodus, even as it has become lethal at border crossings, is that there is nowhere to hide inside Eritrea.
One story, meticulously documented by Mussie Hadgu in “Testimonies of Untold Atrocities and Suffering in Eritrea” (asmarino.com), gives us a glimpse of what the conveyor belt of death in Eritrea looks like. The picture that the writer draws for us includes: that of children as young as 11 years old trapped in the concentration camp for “crimes” conducted by older family members who managed to escape; of mothers confined in prison cells with their toddlers; of the underage making up a huge portion of the prison population; of desperate prisoners killed in attempt to escape, with some ending up committing suicide; of the weak and sick worked to death, some through medieval-type torture systems; of the mentally unstable brought to the camp multiple times because they cannot carry their identification papers with them; of parents serving sentences for the “sins” of their adult sons and daughters who had successfully escaped from the clutches of Shaebia.
One particular scene remains etched in my mind for its graphic depiction of a medieval-like scene of hard labor, torture and death. Thousands of prisoners were made to march many miles in the outskirts of the concentration camp to fetch stones and wood, with armed soldiers on both sides of the lines, in front and behind every group (one group consisted of about 180 prisoners). Beatings were frequent as a means of making them work harder. The weak ones, who often collapsed under this harsh condition and an unforgiving desert sun, were suspected of deliberate sabotage and subjected to further penalties. There were those who died after days of agony when subjected to the cruelest form of torture such as the “helicopter”. And all of this was taking place on the nicer part of the concentration camp where most were undergoing “reeducation” before they got rehabilitated into the army; the witness was unable to see what was going on the cordoned off part of the concentration camp, where the most condemned prisoners were kept in underground dungeons under the worst possible conditions.
The all-out assault on the Kunama people follows this course of the well-oiled conveyor belt of death. It starts in the most fertile corridor of Gash, where the most populated Kunama villages are to be found. According to Shaebia, this corridor has to be “pacified” by any means necessary, not only because its rear end touches Tigray but also because its opposite end touches the land of the Baria ethnic group, where the Bisha mining area is found. We know that thousands of Kunamas have crossed to Tigray since the war to escape Shaebia’s wrath. Ever since, there has been a festering armed resistance in that area. Shaebia’s fear is that this corridor will serve as a conduit of armed sabotage that could potentially derail the mining prospects at Bisha. For Shaebia, an organization that cannot live with any uncertainty, it is essential that it drains the sea to catch the fish; hence its collective punishment that doesn’t discriminate between men, women and children or between the guilty and innocent. In this particular round-up (one of many), many families that had a member that had joined the Kunama movement was targeted indiscriminately. Hundreds of them were rounded up and detained.
Menghisteab Girmay’ account provides us with a synopsis of the all out assault against the Kunamas: Children as young as 9 to 13 years were separated from their families and sentenced to six-months in a rehabilitation camp far away from their villages where it is impossible for family members to visit them. And those “adult” enough to deserve Adi-Quala prison included: 13 to 18 years olds sentenced 1 to 4 years of life in prison; mothers with children as young as one year olds and hundreds of adults sentenced 1 to 20 years of life in prison. And among the adult men that were imprisoned in Adi-Quala, 28 were killed, 26 of whom were mass-buried in one hole that they were made to dig in the Mai Dima prison compound after being poisoned to death. And all this is just one incident as told by one man. We also happen to know many more have been taken away from their villages before and since the massacre, and their whereabouts is unknown; no one knows whether they are alive or dead. It is with justification then that the Kunamas feel their very survival as a people is at stake.
Death in concentration camps
The only time we come to know how Shaebia’s machine of death works is when it momentarily breaks down and its inner workings are revealed to the public. This could take place anywhere in the three parts mentioned above. For instance, the recent massacres around Adi-Quala were done away from this conveyor belt of death because they were intended to terrorize the public: Shaebia wanted to make an example of the massacred so that others won’t venture towards the border. Similarly, we have come to know about the massacres of Adi-Abeyto because it took place at a time and place that Shaebia could not control. And then there are cases where the secrecy essential for the conveyor belt of death to work efficiently gets momentarily broken because someone from the inside breaks the silence. The case of the Kunama massacre would be a good example of the latter. Had it not been for Menghisteab Girmay, the man who had witnessed the whole process as a trusted member of the security apparatus, we would probably have never come to know about it this soon. All of which leads us to this question: if we have come to know about these massacres when the conveyor belt of death momentarily malfunctions, how many more deaths take place when it works well under the cover of darkness? We could only guess.
Due to the formidable inaccessibility of the hundreds of prisons and concentration camps scattered all over Eritrea and the extreme secrecy with which this paranoid organization of former guerrilla fighters works, it has been difficult to come up with an estimate of how many of those tens of thousands imprisoned are already dead. The government never announces – even to family members – the death of prisoners; it buries them in unmarked graves that are kept in utmost secrecy. Yet, we could get a rough idea of what has been going on behind that veil of secrecy if we examine the few cases we have been able to keep track of.
If we take a look at the case of imprisoned journalists, we now know that, at minimum, a fourth of them have already been presumed dead in captivity, and these were fairly young men compared to other prisoners. Besides, since these were relatively known figures, it was less likely that the regime had used extreme forms of torture or hard labor to punish them or break them down. If so, one can imagine the death toll among those frequently beaten and tortured (“helicopter”, “otto”, “Jesus Christ” “Almaz”, etc.), made to toil under hard labor from sunrise to sunset, given little or no medical attention for endemic diseases (malaria, HIV, tuberculosis, bodily harm, etc), mass-starved to a point of severe malnutrition and outright executed. There are also the weak, the underage, mothers with their children and the old who are least able to resist the harsh conditions of the prison camps. Then there are those routine executions conducted at crossings, be it of concentration camps, military camps, training camps (such as Sawa) or national borders as the victims attempt to escape.
Given all of the above, even if we take a conservative estimate, it would still amount to a sizable number. So, the well-oiled conveyor belt of death of Shaebia is currently doing its work all over Eritrea; it is only that the clinical “neatness” and “orderliness” with which it is run is providing enough cover for all those who want to stick their heads in sand and feign ignorance of all the atrocities that are going on around them. And, yet, this is just the beginning.
Currently, the famishing of a whole nation, in a scale and scope never seen before since independence, is underway. It has to be noted that most of the large scale killings in totalitarian regimes took place in self-induced famines, invariably caused by misguided agrarian revolutions, often under that deceptive cover of “self-reliance”. Similarly, Shaebia’s “self-reliance” policy has come to a spectacular failure: its land policy, where it has been depriving peasants and pastoralists of their prime farm and grazing lands; its market policy, where it has systematically killed the private sector; and its food policy, where it is now forcing the peasants to “sell” their food supply directly to the government; its national service policy, where all the productive force of the nation is tied up; its aid policy, where it has categorically refused to receive food aid from international donors. As result, the food condition in Eritrea has now deteriorated to such an extent that if food aid doesn’t flow into the country soon enough, there is no doubt that the conveyor belt of death will be put on a fast track.
(2) The propaganda machine: Potemkin Eritrea
It is not by coincidence that totalitarian leaders are obsessed with parades. The public adulation of their Dear and Beloved Leader, the lining up of the most talented musicians, the choreographed display of orderliness and beauty, the extravagant showoff of all kinds of “might” and “progress” and the beaming faces of the “benevolent leaders” are all meant to hide the ugly reality that the masses live on daily basis. It is not by chance then that it is the most repressive governments on earth that happen to pull off the most dazzling parades: the Soviet Union, Mao’s China, North Korea, etc. So has it been with Isaias’ Eritrea, which has been putting one huge display after another every year since independence, even as the nation has been living at the edge of mass starvation and under the threat of war for most of those years.
If there is one phrase that would describe the kind of sanitized Eritrea that EriTv depicts, it would be: “Potemkin Eritrea”. The phrase “Potemkin village” is named after a Russian general who built impressive, fake villages along sides of a river that Catherine the Great was touring by boat. When Russia captured the Crimea in the 18th century, Potemkin built those fake villages to create the impression upon the Empress of a prosperous and sophisticated colony that the general had conquered for her. From her boat, all that the Empress was made to see were these one-dimensional front facades of non-existing buildings, the likes of which we nowadays meet in Hollywood movies only. Now, the phrase “Potemkin village” has morphed to mean “an impressive facade or display that hides an undesirable fact or state; a false front” or “something that appears elaborate and impressive but in actual fact lacks substance” (Both dictionary definitions).
The Isaias regime has been building crude Potemkin villages, deprived of their three-dimensional human relevance, to hide all the horrendous blunders and crimes it has been committing. The image EriTv wants to convey to the outside world is that of “self-reliant Eritrea”, even as its people are literally starving to death; of “crime-free Eritrea”, even as the regime has turned into a Mafia organization and taken monopoly over all the crimes committed in the country; of a “farsighted leader”, even as he displays his stupidity and recklessness every time he opens his filthy mouth; of “beautiful Asmara”, even as it is turning into a ghost city, eerily emptied of its most productive population, and now stalked by famine; of “economic miracle” as best exemplified in “Warsai-Yikealo campaign”, even as tens of thousands of youth are voting with their feet to escape the horrors of slave labor; and so on.
But the inner working of Shaebia’s propaganda machine, as one of the three essentials of the conveyor belt of death, is best seen when a theatrical façade is created to hide a particular crime. Let’s do that by looking at the role EriTv played in the massacre of Kunamas.
The mask of death at EriTv
In early 2007, in EriTv, 12 Kunamas were shown confessing the crimes they committed against the nation: as part of their subversive job as “Woyanie agents”, that they were the ones who had been planting landmines in the Gash-Barka region. And as an incontrovertible proof to that, they led the authorities, with pin-pointed precision, to those locations where they had those mines planted. And not to leave the slightest bit of doubt in the minds of the public, the land mines planted by these “terrorists” were dug up for everyone to see. What the Eritrean public didn’t know then was that this was an elaborate drama staged by the Ministry of Information for propaganda purposes: to demonize the Ethiopian Government in the eyes of the Eritrean public. As the unsuspecting public watched this drama unfold in EriTv, Shaebia officials were concurrently plotting of how to eliminate the very actors involved in the drama. But first, let’s see how this drama came to be, for the meticulous and elaborate way it was staged is by itself nothing short of amazing; it shows the extent to which this organization is willing to go to get what it wants.
The Isaias regime needs a sanitary image most at a time when it involves itself in horrendous crimes against its own people. Ali Abdu, the Minister of Information, is the hit man of Isaias Afewerki that comes up with all kinds of propaganda to cover such crimes. In the Kunama massacre, the elaborate fictional drama (the Potemkin village) that he staged in EriTv has all the making of a movie (all the quoted parts are from the testimonies of Menghisteab as translated in “GENOCIDE 2008” – awate.com.):
First, you have those at the top who cold-bloodedly planned this drama to its minutest details: “… To accomplish the project, the regime (PFDJ) has come up with a new dramatized fiction. The authors (writers of the fiction) were first, major General Omer Tewil, the commander of the third operational zone, Major Tekleberhan Hagos (weddi ayney) and the Minister of information, Mr. Ali Abdu.”
Then the “actors” had to be selected, using these criteria: they have to be Kunamas, adult males, already in detention and fluent in the Tigrigna language, the determining criterion being the last one: “The prime motive was to look for Kunama individuals who are well articulated in Tigrinya language so that they can easily deceive Eritreans through mass media or propaganda.”
As in all cases of acting, the actors had to be pampered (if you will, “well-paid”) so that they remain well-motivated throughout the staging: “In order to make the mission successful, those prisoners were treated well in all conditions by stuffing them with food, clothing, cigarettes etc.” “They were told by the mission organizers that they will be free once they accomplished the given task.”
There were also the mundane rehearsals that every actor has to go through: “Hereafter, they were taken to the sites where mines were blasted to rehearse and took lessons on how to plant a mine...” “… The prisoners were well advised, taught and trained to say they were stooges sponsored by the government of Ethiopia and planted mines, etc. On the other hand, they were also told to praise and thank the PFDJ regime for the good handlings, albeit to their wrong doings.”
And last, of course, the setting, the equipment, the cameraman and all the rest of cinematic arsenal had to be provided to bring the task to final fruition: “Later, completing the first phase of the fictitious operation, Ali Abdu sent Girmay Debesay as a journalist, Mohamed as a cameraman and Alem as a driver with all the needed media equipments to report and record the drama in Boshoka.” Ali Abdu made sure to send his best cameraman for this mission. And as for the role of the journalist: “Amazingly enough, the contribution of Girmay Debessay – the journalist – in organizing that drama was marvelous. What else can he do if ordered from Ali Abdu?”
Once edited and finalized, the drama was shown to the Eritrean people in EriTv, with many goals in mind. First, Shaebia wanted to demonize the Ethiopian government in the eyes of the masses that have been swallowing anything that the government utters in the name of “sovereignty of the nation”. Second, it hoped to showcase the vigilance of its security apparatus, a fact it has been hard-pressed to prove since the day the Ethiopian army entered deep into Eritrean territory. And, third, it wanted to convey how magnanimous and merciful it was to its prisoners, a legend it had fostered since its days in the field.
[For those who are worried of the fraying of the Muslim-Christian relation, please take heart. You can see from the above names, how they joined hands in unholy alliance to wipe out the Kunamas.]
(3) The deleting machine: wiping out incriminating evidence
Why were the 12 Kunamas, who did everything that they were told to do and were promised immediate release for their roles, so brutally massacred? For an answer, one need to look at the two ends of the perverted logic that necessitated this massacre: at its recruiting and incriminating ends, both of which have nothing to do with the “crime” they had supposedly committed against the nation. There were two incidental reasons for the massacre of these Kunamas: that they were able to speak fluent Tigrigna and that they were eye-witnesses to this theatrical façade they were made to participate.
It is of utmost importance to note that this was not a case of criminals made to play roles of their crimes in public, even though that alone would have been enough to render it a horrendous act. The 12 Kunamas were selected to play this role not because of their involvement in the Kunama uprising as sympathizers, collaborators or active members of the Kunama movement – be it real or perceived – but because they fulfilled a single essential requirement without which this drama would have never been conducted: their fluency in the Tigrigna language! The whole theatrics was staged solely for public consumption; and hence the need for it to be conducted in Tigrigna. One can easily imagine many other “equally guilty” Kunamas in detention spared of execution simply because they didn’t speak Tigrigna and hence were bypassed in the selection. That is to say, the 12 Kunamas’ incidental knowledge of the Tigrigna language turned out to be their sure ticket to death! When such an incidental attribute – at the recruiting end of this tragedy – becomes the reason for execution, the depravity level of the executioners has reached the lowest possible, one that could only be perfected under a totalitarian system that believes the end justifies the means.
We have seen how this deceptive game didn’t simply end in the show of theatrics in EriTv, that by itself horrible as it might have been; the logic that necessitated this show also demanded, as a “sacrifice” to be paid, the massacre of those 12 Kunamas involved in the theatrics. For the “fact” staged in EriTv to remain a fact long after that in the people’s memories, this perverse logic demanded that the witnesses who had seen the inner workings of Shaebia’s propaganda machine at its best should never be let to see another daylight to tell about it; any evidence that would mar the image of Shaebia in the future should be wiped off meticulously, with no trace left behind. The only way Shaebia could do that was by quickly eliminating those “actors” that doubled as witnesses to their very own acts. Consequently, as soon as their acting days were over, the Kunamas were mass poisoned to death and buried in holes that they were made to dig at a prison compound in Mai Dima. Call it the logic at the incriminating end.
To reiterate the main point: the Kunamas were killed not for the roles they supposedly played in the Kunama uprising but for the roles they played in the script that Shaebia provided them! Shaebia was simply playing it safe, but this playing-it-safe phenomenon is unusual in its human depravity, where human beings are rendered dispensable items that could be manipulated to serve Shaebia’s perverse goal. For the tyrant, nothing in his domain is beyond manipulation; all of his subjects are simply dispensable variables that he could freely manipulate in the equation to get the desired result in his overall scheme of political survival. Isaias is not interested whether the massacred Kunamas were guilty of the crimes that they were made to publicly confess, or whether they deserve the kind of death they were met with even if they were to be found guilty. To him, this kind of reasoning misses the whole point, that being whether their death has served the desired propagandistic goal. After all, it was Ali Abdu himself that provides us with the only plausible rationale for this macabre act: he thought this was a great opportunity to demonize the Ethiopian government in the eyes of Eritreans! In Shaebia’s perverted logic, if 28 innocent Kunamas are sacrificed for this higher purpose, it is well deserved! It is as simple as that!
[In the second part of this article, I will focus on five different parties – both of the PFDJ and opposition mold – that inadvertently or deliberately keep feeding this conveyor belt of death, and hence are either actively or indirectly involved in the demise of the Kunamas: (a) the Shaebia apologists who whitewash any crime committed by the PFDJ; (b) those who equalize pain in the name of “national unity”; (c) those who have become wary of attributing too many crimes to Shaebia for fear of demonizing ghedli; (d) the masses who have so far given the PFDJ a receptive ear whenever it invokes “national sovereignty”; (e) the mining companies that have become the main incentive for the hard line the PFDJ is taking against the Kunama.]