Our attitude determines the destination: an Eritrean cry

By Desale Okubamichael
dessu81 (AT) gmail (DOT) com

The euphoria

During our long and tortuous history, our attitude made us win, and it made us lose. We feel both the successes and the losses deep in our hearts.

The achievement of independence in 1991 was a miracle. All the heroism and determination that went into winning caused an awesome feeling. The joy and the celebration are printed in my memory. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Most Eritreans had great hope for the future at that time. We trusted the EPLF fighters as our gods. I thought they would turn Eritrea into a peaceful and prosperous country. I thought Eritreans would be equally rich.

But I had no understanding of democracy, diplomatic relationships, or economic policies — I had no clue about the external world. I thought everybody was an enemy of Eritrea and everyone was either a past or a potential coloniser. The one thing I was sure of was that Eritrea’s time had come and Eritreans would be free forever and own their future.

The fighters were so exciting to watch: wearing simple shorts and shirts, strapping on their web belts, cleaning their guns with skill, and dutifully following instructions from their commanders. Members from all of Eritrea’s nine ethnic groups looked the same in those uniforms and seemed to be in harmony with each other: men, women, Muslims, Christians, the educated and the uneducated ready to give their best and die for their people if needed. The freedom feeling and the song “Wesede Ayay B’al Sere” are still fresh in my memory.

What could go wrong under these fighters and their leadership? Continue reading

ዐሰርቱ ትእዛዛት ሻዕብያ

  1. ካብ መግዛእቲ ዘውጻእኩኻ፡ ኣነ ኣምላኽካ እየ። ኣብ ቅድመይ ካልኦት ኣማልኽቲ ኣይሀልዉኻ።
  2. ፓርቲ ዘበለን ንርእስኻ ኣይትግበር። ብዝኾነ ምኽንያት ኣይትጠርነፍ፡ ኣይትተኣከብ።
  3. ስም ስውኣት ብኸንቱ ኣይተልዕል።
  4. ሃገራዊ ብዓላት ንኸተብዕል ሐልወን። ሰለስተን-ስሳን-ሰለስተን መዓልቲ ዕየ፣ ብዘይ ደሞዝ፣ ንሃገራዊ ብዓላት ግና ብሓጎስን ብጭፈራን ዘክረን።
  5. ኣብታ ምድሪ ዕድሜኻ ምእንቲ ኺነውሕ፡ ንሹማምንቲኻ ኣኽብር።
  6. ኣይትቕተል። እንተድልዩ ትሕቲ ብርኪ ተኩስ።
  7. ኣይትዘሙ። በዓል ስልጣን ኣይኮንካን።
  8. ኣይትስረቕ። ኩሉ ሃብቲን እታ መርየትን ንመንግስቲ እተቐደሰ’ዩ።
  9. ብሓሶት ኣይትመስክር። ናይ መርመራ ግዜ ከይናውሓካ።
  10. ዘይናትካ ዕረፍትን ሰላምን ኣይትመነ። ትምኒት ናይ ስግረዶብ ሓሳብ ትዘርእ እያ።

333

ተጋዳላይ–ሲቪል:- ናይ ኤርትራ ኣፓርታይድ

ኣብ ኤርትራ ተጋደልቲ ናይ በይኖም ዓሌት ኣይኮኑን። ከምኡ ድማ ንሕና ሲቪል ዜጋታት ዓሌት ኣይኮንናን። ይኹን ደኣ እምበር ብመንጽር መንግስቲ ኤርትራ ተጋዳላይን ሲቪልን ክልተ ዝተፈላልዩ ደረጃታት ዜግነት እዮም። ነዚ ኣብ ሃገርና ንቡር ኮይኑ ዘሎ ኣፋላላይ ቀው ኢልና ምስ እነስተውዕሎ፣ ብብዙሕ መዳያቱ ምስ ስርዓት ኣፓርታይድ ይመሳሰል’ዩ።

ብዘመነ ኣፓርታይድ: ኣብ ደቡብ-ኣፍሪቃ: ጸዕዳ ምዃን ምንም ገበን የብሉን። ገበነኛስ እቲ ንጸዕዳ ደቡብ-ኣፍሪቃዊ ልዕሊ ጸሊም ደቡብ-ኣፍሪቃዊ ጌሩ ዝቖጽር ፈላላዩ ሕገ መንግስቲ እዩ።

ብዘመነ ኣፓርታይድ: ጸዕዳ ደቡብ-ኣፍሪቃዊ ምዃን ዓወትን ሃብትን፣ ወይ ድማ ካብ መንግስቲ ፍሉይ ክብረት፣ ፍሉይ ምትሕብባርን ሓገዝን ግድን የውህበካ ማለት ኣይኮነን። አረ ብዙሓት መደንገጽ ጸዓዱ ደቡብ-ኣፍሪቃውያን ነይሮምዮም። ብዙሓት ድኻታት ጸዓዱ ኔሮም: ብዙሓት ውጹዓት ጸዓዱ ኔሮም። እዚ ማለት ግን ኣፓርታይድ ኣይነበረን፣ ወይውን እቲ ስርዓት ኣፓርታይድ ድኹም’ዩ ኔሩ ማለት ኣትይኮነን።

ብተመሳሳሊ ኣብ ሃገርና ሎሚ: ብዙሓት ዘይጠዓሞም፣ መደንገጽ፣ ተጋደልቲ ኣለዉና። ኩሎም ተጋደልቲ ኣብ ስልጣን ዘይምህላዎም፣ ወይ ውን ኩሎም ተጋደልቲ ጥዒምዎም ዘይምህላዉ ምልክት ድኽመት “ኣፓርታይድ” ኣብ ኤርትራ ክኸውን ኣይክእልንዩ።

ብመንጽሩ ግና: ሓደኳ ሲቪል በዓል ስልጣን ዘይምህላዉ ንህላወ “ኣፓርታይድ” ኣብ ኤርትራ የርእየና። ኣብ ኤርትራ: ኩሉ ዝርኤ ስልጣናት (ከምኒ ኣመሓዳሪ፣ ሚኒስተር፣ ኣምባሳደር)፣ ከምኡ’ውን ኩሉ ‘ዘይርኤ’ ስልጣናት (ብድሕረ መድረክ ኣብ’ቲ ውልቀ-ምልኪ ጽልዋ ዘለዎም፣ ወይ ከኣ ዘተግብሩ) ብ ተጋደልቲ እዩ። እዚ “ኣፓርታይድ” ወለዶ ውን ይሰግርን እናሰገረን እዩ። ንኣብነት ነቲ መንግስቲ ልዕል ዝበለ ተኣማንነንት (loyalty) የድልዮ ንዝበሎ ናይ ወተሃደር-ነፋሪት ምብራር (ፓይሎት) ናይ ትምህርቲ ዕድል ንሲቪል መንእሰይ በጭራሽ ኣይወሃብን።

ከምቲ ኣቀዲመ ዝበልክዎ: ብዘመነ ኣፓርታይድ: ኣብ ደቡብ-ኣፍሪቃ ጸዕዳ ምዃን ምንም ገበን የብሉን። ግናኸ ጸዕዳ ደቡብ-ኣፍሪቃዊ ኮንካ ብኣካይዳ ኣፓርታይድ ዘይምጉሃይ፣ ዘይ-ጸዓዱ ዜጋታት ክግፉዑ ርኢኻ “ዓገብ” ዘይምባል፣ ብፍላይ ይብደሉ ምህላዎም ዘይምእማን፣ ወዘተ. ተኻፋሊ ወይውን ተጠቃሚ ግፍዒ ኣፓርታይድ ይገብረካ እዩ።

ተጋዳላይ፣ ወዲ-ተጋዳላይ ወይ ውን ዕባይ ቤት-ትምህርቲ-ሰውራ ምዃን ገበን የብሉን። የግዳስ ብግብርካ ወይ ውን ብዘይ ምግባርካ: ብ ስቕታኻ: ተኻፋሊ “ኣፓርታይድ”፣ ወይ ከኣ ተጠቃሚ ግፍዒ “ኣፓርታይድ” ኣብ ኤርትራ ክትከውን ኣዝዩ ዝከኣልዩ።

 

Eritrean president and  high ranking officials at Independence Day celebration in Asmara May 24, 2007.

Eritrean president and high ranking officials at Independence Day celebration in Asmara May 24, 2007. All high ranking government officials are former soldiers of the EPLF group.

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ነዚ ኣብ ሃገርና ንቡር ዝኾነ ተጋዳላይ–ሲቪል ምፍልላይ ዜጋታት: “ኣፓርታይድ” ክትብሎ: ቃልብቓሉ ቅኑዕ ኣጸዋውዓ ኣይከውንን። ኣፓርታይድ (Apartheid) ዝብል ቃል ቀንዲ መቦቆሉ ካብቲ ኣብ ኣብ ደቡብ-ኣፍሪቃ ካብ 1948 ክሳዕ 1990 ዝነበረ: ማዕርነት ጸዓዱን ጸለምትን ዜጋታት ዘየኽብር ሕገ መንግስቲ እዩ። ካብዚ ዝነቐለ ድማ ሎሚ ሓደ ምምሕዳር ኣብ መንጎ ዜጋታት ሃገሩ: ዓሌታዊ ኣፈላላይ ምስ ዝገብር “ኣፓርታይድ” ብዝብል ንገልጾ።

List of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Eritrean prisons: 20 years in prison without being charged or sentenced

Take the pledge to show your support and solidarity with the persecuted Jehovah’s witnesses in Eritrea.

Click image to show your solidarity.

Click image to show your solidarity.

List of Jehovah’s Witnesses currently in prison in Eritrea

(None have been charged or sentenced. Data retrieved from JW.org on September 2014. Download list in PDF here: List of JW in Eritrea.) Continue reading

“Where is your brother?” -God

Cain answered,  “I don’t know…Am I my brother’s keeper? (Genesis 4:9).

A translation of the full Pastoral Letter of the Catholic Bishops of Eritrea is found here.
መልእኽቲ ካቶሊካውያን ጳጳሳት ኤርትራ ንምንባብ ኣብዚ ጠውቕ
ንባብ መልእኽቲ ንምስማዕ ድማ ኣብዚ ጠውቕ

Message-Tig

Click to access high quality image.

Click to access high quality image.

Click to access high quality image.

Sophia’s interview with Australian radio vs. common sense

SBS with Sofiti - Copy

Sofia Tesfamariam at SBS’s studio

In a recent interview with Australian SBS radio,Sophia Tesfamariam introduced herself as the Director of US foundation for the Horn of Africa, a non governmental organization based in the US. But if you are curious about her political affiliation, I strongly suggest a visit to her personal blog (at stesfamariam.com) and search for “pedophile“. Read a couple of paragraph of the search result for an insight on the Director’s opinions about those of us not very enthusiastic about Eritrean government.

The interview focused on issues close to every Eritreans’ heart: Eritrean politics, human rights, 2% diaspora ‘tax’ and the Eritrean refugee crisis.

In my recent article titled “the Authorized version of events” I had given examples of  typical Eritrean government responses to events in Eritrea. In that regard, Sophia Tesfamariam was not a disappointment.

STesfamariam.com

STesfamariam.com

The Covert Government

Ms Sophia Tesfamariam is an unofficial-official representative of the Eritrean government. Asked if she came to Australia on official capacity representing the Eritrean government, she explained… It happens she’s been declining invitations by the Australian-Eritrean community year after year, this time she could make it so she’s here. The program host seemed satisfied with her response. He did not press the issue further.

Even though she’s not officially a government representative, she carries her self as such.

Such is a typical standard operating procedure of the Eritrean regime. The Eritrean regime is very “organic”. The overt administration structure is just for show (even in the army). The real structure is underground. It is filled with people that represent the government one way, that is, the government works through them and everyone knows it but the government is not accountable for their actions.

Eritrean government structure is better understood by treating it like an urban gang structure. There are no official guidelines or official posts but every body in the gang (and the neighborhood) knows everything. Everyone knows who calls the shots, who does what, who is whose rival, what actions have what consequences…–very much like Eritrean society.

___________________
(Minor edits 9/17/2014)

ይገርመናሎ፦ ኣብ ደገ ዝቕመጡ ኤርትራውያን ይግረሙ::

ፕረዚደንት ኢሳይያስ አፈወርቂ ብዛዕባ ምሕደራ ኤርትራ አመልኪቱ ብዝሃቦ ርእይቶ ብዙሓት ግዱሳት ኤርትራውያን ይግረሙ፦ “ዴሞክራሲ ዘይ-ዴሞክራሲ: ብዙሕነት ናይ ሰልፍታት:… ከምኡታት ዝበሃል ምህውታት አብዛ ሃገር ክመጽእ’ዩ ኢሉ ዝሓስብ እንተልዩ አብ ካልእ ዓለም: ወይ ድማ [ከም ኣማራጺ] አብ ወርሒ ሰፊሩ ክሓስብ አለዎ:”
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እዚ ከምዚ ዝበለ ርእይቶ፣ ኣተሓሳስባ ናይቲ ዘብረዮ ዘይብሉ ን ልዕሊ 23 ዓመታት ኣብ ስልጣን ዘሎ ፕረዚደንት ምዃኑ ሃንደበት ዝኾኖም ዜጋታት ብዙሕ ይግረሙ:: “አብዚ ሃገር ካልእ ሰልፍታት ክህልዉ አይነፍቅድን ዘስምዕ ዘረባ ተዛሪቡ ምስ በሉኒ: መጀመርያ ሓሶት’ዩ መሲሉኒ:” ይብል ሓደ ካብቶም ዝተገረሙ ዜጋታት: “ሕጂ ውን ‘ተኾነ… ከቢድ’ዩ::” ንምግራሙ መግለጺ ዝኾኖ ቃላት ስለ ዝሰኣነ: ናይ ዓቅሊጽበት: ርእሱ የማነ ጸጋም እንዳበለ::

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“ዴሞክራሲ ዘይ-ዴሞክራሲ: ብዙሕነት ናይ ሰልፍታት:… ከምኡታት ዝበሃል ምህውታት አብዛ ሃገር ክመጽእ’ዩ ኢሉ ዝሓስብ እንተልዩ አብ ካልእ ዓለም: ወይ ድማ አብ ወርሒ ኮይኑ ክሓስብ አለዎ::”

“I’m surprised!” ትብል ካብቶም ዘዘራረብናዮም ሓንቲ ቅድሚ ሽዱሽተ ወርሒ ብትምህርቲ ናብ ካናዳ ዝመጸት ኤርትራዊት መንእሰይ፣ ብምቕጻል: “I’m surprised! ካብ ኣፉ ክሳዕ ዝሰምዖ: ናይ መንግስቲ ኤርትራ መርገጺ ከምዚ ምኳኑ … you know… wow..” ብምባል ምግራማ ገሊጻ::

ሓደ ካብቶም ንመንግስቲ ኤርትራ ብትሪ ዝቃወሙ መንእሰይ ብወገኑ: “Now we have the proof!” ኢሉና: ገጹ ብታሕጓስ ብርህ እሉ:: የማናይ ኢዱ አብቲ ጣውላ አሞርኪሱ: ነቲ ጣውላ ብአመልካቲቶ አጻብዕቱ ደጋጊሙ ከም ደርሆ ትኹብ ትኹብ እናበለ: “ኣብ ኤርትራ ዴሞክራሲ ከምዘየለ: መንግስቲ ጨቋኒ ምኳኑ: ሕጂ ኣሉ ዘይትበሃላ መርትዖ ረኺብና::” ነቲ ጣውላ ምምርኳስ ገዲፉ: አብ ሰድይኡ እንደገና ንድሕሪት ቅንዕ እንዳበለ: “now we have proof!” ኢሉ ብታሕጓስ::

ብ፦ ብኹላቶም ዝተገረመ ተዓዛቢ

They too have their story–Desiderata

Political discussions in countries ruled by oppressive 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.

In Eritrea, where I am from, we have a saying which I translate as “It is better they do evil deeds to you, than they imprint on you to do evil” (ካብ ክፉእ ዝገብሩኻስ ክፉእ ዝምህሩኻ).

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.

The arrogance, the intolerance and noisiness of the government is mirrored in those change-seeking groups (all in exile or in Eritrean prisons, by the way). Once learned, it is difficult to un-learn something (and we all thought learning was hard). The damage of such a political culture becomes more painful when you see such arrogance become the cause of weakening whatever few pro-justice or pro-human rights groups these countries have; there by prolonging the life of the evil oppressors.

Before advising that we avoid loud and aggressive persons (vexations to the spirit, indeed!), the poem advises us to listen to others, and even to the dull and ignorant (I am thinking government sympathizers); they too have their story.

This timeless piece by Max Ehrmann has a lot to teach us. May God give us the wisdom and the strength to un-learn the arrogance and to speak our truths quietly and clearly.

Desiderata first stanza (click to be directed to the entire poem)

Desiderata first stanza (click to be directed to the entire poem)

መራሕቲ ሃይማኖት ኤርትራ ብዝዕባ መንእሰያት ኤርትራ::

ዝኽሪ ነቶም አብ ሓደጋ ላምፐዱሳን አብ ተመሳሳሊ ሓደጋ ባሕሪ ኢጣልያን ዝሃለቑ ግዳያት ስነስርዓት ዝኽሪ አብ ዝተፈላልየ ከተማታት (ብጀካ ኣብ ኤርትራ ማለት’ዩ) ክካየድ ቀንዩ:: እዚ ዝስዕብ አብ ማንቸስተር ብ ምትሕብባር ሕብረት EYSNS.G ዝተገረ ስነስርዓት ዝኽሪ እዩ::

መንግስቲ ኤርትራ ን ሃይማኖታት ኤርትራ (ብኣጸዋውዓ መንግስትና “ሃይማኖታዊ ትካላት”) አፍ ክዓብስ ካብ ዝብል ነዊሕ ኮይኑ’ዩ:: ንኹሉ ተግባራት መንግስቲ “ፓለቲካ” ብምባል ሃይማኖታውያን መራሕትና አብ መሰረታዊ ጉዳያት ሕብረተሰብ ከይተረፈ ናይ ምስታፍ መሰል ክኽልክል ጸኒሑን ክሳዕ ሕጂ ብዓወት ተሳትፎ ሃይማኖታውያን መራሕቲ አብ ሕብረተሰብና ይኽልክልን አሎ (ብዛዕባዚ አስፍሕ አቢለ ጽሒፈ ኔረ):: ናይዚ ብመንግስቲ ኤርትራ ዝግበር ዘሎ ገበን ሓደ መርኣያ እቶም ነንመዓልቱ ዝኣስሮም ዘሎ መራሕቲ ሃይማኖት እዮም::

ገለ ሒደት ካብቶም ብእምነቶም መንግስቲ ኤርትራ ዝኣሰሮም እሱራት:-

ገለ ካብ እሱራት ኤርትራ

ገለ ካብ እሱራት ኤርትራ

እዚ ዝርዝር ብኸፊል ናይቶም ልእሊ 3,000 ብእምነቶም ጥራይ ዝተኣስሩ እሱራት’ዩ:: ንዝያዳ ሓበሪታ Eritrean Human Rights Electronic Archive ምውካስ ይከኣል::

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እዚ ከምዚ’ሉ ኸሎ: እቲ ኩሉ ነገር ዝሕድሶም ደገፍቲ መንግስቲ ኤርትራ መራሕቲ ሃይማኖት አብ ስነስርዓት ዝኽሪ ግዳያት ላምፐዱዛ ብዝገበሮ “ዓገብ ንበሎም” ዝሕመረቱ ዘረባ ተቖጢዖም “ሃይማኖት ግዳይ ፕለቲካ” ብምባል ይግረሙ ይርከቡ::

"ንምንታይ መንእሰያት ካብ ዓዶም ይሃድሙ ዝብል ሕቶ ጉዳይ መራሕቲ ሃይማኖት አይኮነን: ብመራሕቲ ሃይማኖት ክለዓል 'ውን የብሉን!!" (ድኹም ኣተሓሳስባ መንግስቲ ኤርትራን ደገፍቱን)

“ንምንታይ መንእሰያት ካብ ዓዶም ይሃድሙ ዝብል ሕቶ ጉዳይ መራሕቲ ሃይማኖት አይኮነን: ብመራሕቲ ሃይማኖት ክለዓል ‘ውን የብሉን!!” (ድኹም ኣተሓሳስባ መንግስቲ ኤርትራን ደገፍቱን)

መሳኪን ደገፍቲ መንግስቲ: ምናልባት ከምቲ ቲቨ-ኤረ ብዛዕባ ግዳያት ላምፐዱዛ ዝበለቶ “ዘይሕጋውያን ስደተኛታት” ስለዘይበሎም’ዶ ይኸውን? ዋላስ ብልቦም ተስደሚሞም ይኾኑ?

ምንፋር ጥራይ እኹል መርትዖ ክኸውን ኣይክእልን’ዩ:: (ሓተታ-Part 1)

ሓተታ

ሓተታ

ገለ ዘደናግርዎ እንተረኸቡ ኢሎም: “አይፋል: ጸላም ጤል አይኮነትን:: ርግቢት እያ::” ነዚ ምስ ኣጣል ዝዓበየ ህዝብስ ያኢ ብዛዕባ ጤል ክምህርዎ:: ጅግና ህዝብና: ንሱ-ንሕና: ንሕና-ንሱ ኩሉ ግዜ አብ ጎንና’ዩ::

ህዝብና: ስለ ዝበረረት ጥራይ መርገጺኡ ዝቕይር: ተወላዋሊ መሲልዎም: “በሪራ በል እነሀት! ሕጂኸ እንታይ ትብል?” እናበሉ እንክሓቱዎ:: እቲ ንቑሕ ህዝብና ግን ኣየድሃበሎምን:: ለባም ህዝብና ስራሕ እምበር ሞጎት አይፈቱን’ዩ:: ተባዕ ህዝብና: ብትብዓት ይምእዘዝ እምበር ንሓለፍቱ ኣይነቅፍን’ዩ:: መን’ሞ ከምዚ ህዝቢ::

ብመሰረቱ ዋላ ትንፈር ብዘየገድስ: “ጤል እያ” ወይውን “ርግቢት እያ” ኢልካ ብታህዋኽ ምድምዳም ምዕቡል ባህሊ አይኮነን:: እትነፍር ጤል ርኢኻ አይትፈልጥን ትኸውን: እዚ ተሞክሮኻ ንበይኑ ግን: ጤል አይኮነትን ንኽትብል መሰል አየውሕሰካን እዩ::

እቶም አይጤልን’ያ ክብሉ ዝፍትኑ: ብዘይካ ምንፋር ካልእ እንታይ ህዝቢ ዘይፈልጦ ዝፈለጥዎ ነገር ስለዘሎ’ዩ? ዋላስ ዝኾነ ነገር እንተደኣ ነፊሩ አኺልዎ ጤል ክኸውን አይክእልንዩ? በዚ ጸቢብ አተሓሳስባ እንተደኣ ተመሪሕና ደኣ: ኩሉ ዝነፍር ዘበለ ጤል አይኮነን ክንብል ኢና ማለት ድዩ? ኣይፋል:: ዋላ ትንፈር ደኣምበር ጤል’ያ:: ምንፋር ጥራይ ንበይኑ: እኹል መርትዖ ክኸውን ስለዘይክእል::
ሚኒስትሪ ዜና:: ታሕሳስ 25: 2012:: ኣስመራ::