As long as the definition of the word ‘enemy’ continues to be something like: “one that is antagonistic to another; especially : one seeking to injure, overthrow, or confound an opponent” (Merriam-Webster dictionary) then the totalitarian government back home is my enemy. And an enemy to all those it has deliberately and systematically been antagonistic to and has injured.
My title reads “Eritrea my enemy” precisely because the government is my enemy. It has declared war on me when I was minding my own business. They wanted to make me a slave, and actually did make me one–for over four years. The threat of disobeying was arrest, torture and to many, death.
Get this through your, dear reader, any one who refuse to serve for extended, indefinite number of years without pay is threatened with years in torture camps and death! Am I telling you something you already didn’t know?
So unless one is mentally challenged, the illegitimate government of Eritrea has declared war on its citizens. In simpler language, the administration is your enemy. Surprise, surprise, right. The sad thing is I see many sophisticated people who have not come to understand this simple fact, don’t get me wrong they understand the facts, but they miss the conclusion. And hence don’t feel the emotion that is associated with this fact, and don’t have the attitude when approaching this fact.
So what is ones’ response to be to one’s enemy? Regardless of how you choose to respond, that does not affect the fact that they are your enemies.
The late Woldeab Woldemariam concurs with me in his choice of the word ‘enemy’ in a newspaper article he wrote in 1951, “I am an enemy to any kind of slavery, in all its shapes and colors” (This was before 2001 which means the independent news papers were still printing in Eritrea).
The system in Eritrea is my enemy. And regardless of which strategy you choose, you should treat them as enemies, intent on harming you and destroying you.
These are the words of Eritrea’s President Isaias Afewerki responding to the question “Why are people leaving the country?” A question put to him in an interview with al Jazeera’s Jane Dutton.
His response pretty much sums up the government policy accurately.
The Lampedusa disaster of October 3rd, where a migrant boat carrying about 500 Eritreans sunk just off the island of Lampedusa (Italy) drowned about 360 of the Eritrean asylum seekers would-be. This event helped highlight the plight of Eritreans and the risks they are willing to take to leave their country.
The Eritrean government still refuses to acknowledge they were refugees fleeing Eritrea being smuggled to Italy, and instead continues to call them “victims of Human Trafficking” The government has continued to emphasize that they are not genuine asylum seekers or refugees in every press release it has made to so far.
Now, a group of twenty-two Eritrean intellectuals living abroad and former students of Eritrea’s University of Asmara, have voiced their concern and called the government to care.
They have made the letter they sent to Eritrean officials public (in Tigrinya language) and have asked people to also sign the petition at this website below:
ተቐማጦ ከተማ ኣስመራ ነቲ ዴሞክራሲያዊ ምንቅስቓስ ህዝቢ ትግራይ (ዴምህት) ንንጥፈታት ሓይልታት ምክልኻል ኤርትራ ንምድንፋዕ ዝገበሮ ሓገዝ ኣመልኪቶም: ምስጋናኦም ገሊጾም:: ከምዝዝከር ዝሓለፈ ቅንያት: ወተሃደራት ዴ.ም.ህ.ት ን ሓይልታት ምክልኻል ኤርትራ ወኪሎም ምስ ጸጥታ ከተማ ዝተሓሓዝ ዕውት ኣገልግሎት ክህቡ ቀንዮምዮም::
ተቐማጢ ከባቢ ማይተመናይ ዝኾኑ ኣቶ. ገራህቱ “እዚ ሎሚ ኣባላት ዴ.ም.ህ.ት ዘርኣይዎ ምትሕብባር ነቲ አብ መንጎ ክልቲኡ ህዝብታት (ህዝቢ ትግራይን ህዝቢ ኤርትራን) ዘሎ ምሕዝነት ዘዘካኽር’ዩ” ክብሉ ሓጎሶም ገሊጾም:: ተቐማቲት ጸጸራት ዝኾና ወ/ሮ ዝፋን ብ ወገነን: ዴ.ም.ህ.ት ዝገበርዎ ምትሕብባር “ነቲ ስርዓት ወያነ ክፈጥሮ ዝፈተነ ጽልኢ ዘፍሽል’ዩ” ክብላ ገሊጸንኦ::
ወተሃደራት ዴ.ም.ህ.ት ብወገኖም ኣብ መጻኢ ንተመሳሳሊ ዕዮ ዘለዎም ድልውነት ብምግላጽ: ነቲ ብ ተቐማጦ ኣስመራ ዝተገብረሎም ምቕሉል አቀባብላን ምትሕብባርን ኣሞጊሶም::
ብዛዕባ ዴ.ም.ህ.ት ዝያዳ ንምፍላጥ: ኣብ ዌብ-ሳይቶም ወይ ውን ብ ቁ.ሳጹን 11653-ኣስመራ ደብዳበ ልኢኽኩም ምውካስ ይክኣል::
*no affiliation to The Onion