Monday, October 29, 2012

Why is Mr. Bereket Simon Terrified by “Shabia’s slogan of Hade Libi Hade Hzbi”?

Why is Mr. Bereket Simon Terrified by “Shabia’s slogan of Hade Libi Hade Hzbi”? 
The Failed Political Intrigue of Weyane is Here Again 
Mebrahtu Asfaha 

Ethiopian’s Head of Government Communication Office Mr. Bereket Simon, in his recent paltalk discussion with Eritrean opposition, and Semrr Youth group characterized the linguistic and practical significance of the Eritrean notion of Hade Libi Hade Hzbi as “Shaebia’s propaganda”. 
In the spirit of fairness, before him, incomparably better and more thorough is the attempt by former United States ambassador to Eritrea, Mr. Ronald K. McMullen, to write the political culture of Eritrea embodied in the wikileaks documents. 
Thus, the stirring opening lines of the wikileaks –“Engaging Eritrean Diaspora” -came into being. The ambassador described the Eritrean mobilization process in the most beautiful prose anyone had ever heard that transcends poetry. He stated that 
            “Eritreans tend to form tight-knit communities abroad. … Many ex-fighters believe Eritrea to be a shining example of heroism and accomplishment. … Political exiles have either lost credibility by being associated with Ethiopia or have faded into the background. … The youth are the most vocal group. They dominate discussions on social media networking sites; they build websites, establish magazines, and form student groups at universities. While many diaspora youth see themselves as American, British, German, Australian, and so forth, they also don an "ultra Eritrean" persona when necessary. Diaspora youth are very protective of Eritrea and, while they are only in Eritrea for a few weeks at a time, will vehemently defend the country against criticism. . As this is the case, it is diaspora youth that are the best hope for outreach efforts geared towards promoting dialogue on Eritrean politics and society. Whether for or against the GSE, diaspora youth across the board are ready to speak their minds and should be a top priority when funding NGOs and programs focused on engaging the diaspora. End Summary.”1 
Scarcely 5 years have elapsed (most of Wikileaks about Eritrea is written in 2007-2010) since ambassador McMullen’s pronouncement of engaging, and smuggling Eritrean youth than Mr. Bereket Simon’s desperate attempt to engaging the Eritrean Youth. Thus, it is a continuation of, and a fulfillment for the detailed instruction given by the Ambassador of dividing the cohesive Eritrean community. 
Mr. Bereket thus works into McMullen’s plan a quantity of material drawn from the wikileaks evil design of dividing the people, enticing violence, and reorganizing the youth. Mr. Bereket Simon’s strategy is simple – follow Ambassador McMullen’s instruction as follows: 
“Post recommends three ways for NGOs applying for DRL or other USG funds to successfully engage the diaspora and encourage critical analysis of the GSE: 
Focus on non-political groups. Direct engagement with Eritrean opposition groups, such as the EDA, will likely be dismissed by moderate diaspora Eritreans as an attempt to overthrow a peaceful government. Working with non-political groups, such as Eritrean student associations, will provide credibility and will not immediately be dismissed as having a political motive. 
- Let Eritreans lead the discussion. A panel discussion on religious freedom in Eritrea should be led by Eritreans and not by outside analysts. While it is difficult to find Eritreans willing to talk about these issues, it is well worth the search. A discussion devoid of Eritreans will, again, be dismissed by the diaspora. 
- Give the youth an alternate voice. As of now, the YPFDJ is the primary outlet for young Eritreans in the diaspora to express pride in their culture. Currently, there is no non-EDA aligned counter to the YPFDJ. Encouraging young Eritreans to create their own group and providing them opportunities to promote Eritrean culture and dialogue will ultimately increase the space for discussion”. 2 
They Failed to Engage the Eritrean Youth. 
Although they failed to engage the Eritrean youth, for now, however, the question which has so much exercised the minds of men is why Eritrean political opponents (whether internal or external) are so powerfully, and incomprehensibly terrified by the manifestation of Hade Libi Hade Hizbi in the Eritrean polity. 
The simple answer, the concept of Hade Libi Hade Hizbi, is the highest idea conceived and actually realized in the Eritrean political cultural. Moreover, Hade Hizbi Hade Libi, is not only a slogan, it conceals a penetrating insight. It is not only a direct outcome of the preaching and political instruction of Shabia as they want us to believe; not merely a teaching put into practice, but more, much more, no one has apprehended so powerfully its mystic idea than the Eritrean enemies themselves. 
What Is It Then? 
The slogan is the imaginative conception of Eritrea cultural expression that brings peace and harmony. The slogan is also a sword that shreds into pieces the evil Weyane’s design of divide et impera. Furthermore, the slogan is also a magnificent political tool to foil political intrigues, to repel illegal sanctions, and overcome economic underdevelopment. 
The slogan is nothing, but simple political strategy that Eritreans use all over the world to restore the country’s dignity, not through food aid or other forms of western alms, but through their own thoughts and strengths. The slogan is a dream conceived not laid on the shores of the Red sea in sleep (although that is our inalienable right that we have earned through our struggle), but awake in the mountains of Sahel by our own sweat and blood. In short, the formation of such a slogan and the arising of the idea that Hade Libi Hade Hizbi as a political strategy to defend our country are not two different things. They are one and the same thing, they coincide and synchronize; the slogan is the imaginative conception of the Eritrean people, the first movement of our revolution, and the cultural expression of our experience. 
The Disappointment 
Mr. Bereket Simon and Ambassador McMullen exhausting work would have led one to expect a success in their intrigue, but they failed miserably. Consequently, Ambassador McMullen complained 
‘Eritrean youth as being an "ultra Eritrean", that the “diaspora youth are very protective of Eritrea”, and “their unwavering dedication likely stems … from the ever-present hand of the Young People´s Front for Democracy and Justice (YPFDJ) to enforce a "proudly Eritrean" identity. The YPFDJ bills itself as a movement to build "strong, conscious, and patriotic Eritrean youth." The sub-goal is to strengthen support abroad for the PFDJ and the GSE. The YPFDJ website,, is littered with editorials aligned with GSE viewpoints, such as "NGOs and the Victim Industry." Social networking sites abound with YPFDJ groups (37 groups on Facebook and a newly formed Twitter account as of October). Although many YPFDJ gatherings are merely cultural exhibitions or parties, the youth involved are indoctrinated early on in pro-GSE propaganda, thus further fueling many diaspora youth´s overt infatuation with Eritrea and vehement defense of the GSE”. 3 
Therefore, It must be extremely disappointing for the political novices such as Mr. Bereket Simon and ambassador McMullen (in comparison to Eritrean experience) to observe their attempt to engage the Eritrean youth fail miserably through this simple political strategy of Hade Libi Hade Hizbi. The shaft, which they have driven into Eritrea people as a psychological war, broke down in front of them, and destroyed their dream for, and the possibility of influencing Eritrean politics and dividing the most cohesive Eritrean people. 
No sooner is a great idea of destruction and division dead by the sword of this slogan than Eritrean enemies busy conceiving another idea. Although Eritrean enemies could occupy themselves in perpetuity in designing new strategy to undermine the country, Eritrea has only one simple tool – Hade Libi Hade Hizbi. 
The failure of their evil design is due to intense hatred and the shallowness with which they grasp Eritrean political culture, and that they have become blind to history by examining it too microscopically. Thus, for Eritreans these individuals are mere ignorant about the Eritrean political culture. Remember when ambassador McMullen was talking about high officials not attending president Isaias Afewerki’s birthday. Similarly, Mr. Bereket Simon gives advice to Eritrean youth instead of dying crossing the Sinai Desert would be honorable dying fighting. This is exactly to what is referred as examining it too microscopically without understanding the socio-cultural environment, and political culture of the people. Eritreans will never fight their own people. Although, this kind of political analysis is common occurrence among political novices, however, it is less expected from seasoned politicians. 
Nevertheless, the fits of failure to which they are subject, and the need to implement their grand evil design of dividing Eritrean people and fomenting conflict is so great that it has become an obsession for them to create and organise meetings and conferences everywhere. In the past, we have seen a meeting organized in Awasha for the youth, in Addis Ababa for the intellectuals, and in Mekelle for civil societies and political parties; and flatter themselves that they have succeeded and found a solution to the Eritrean problem. Thus, Mr. Bereket Simon attempts to recruit at the refugee camp and his subsequent failure is similar to what ambassador McMullen experienced when he complained, “Refugees wish to flee indefinite national service or GSE persecution, but are often unwilling to speak out against the GSE”. 4 In short, the response from the refugees is simple that they do not want to be recruited against their own country. 
The Time is Past for Pronouncing Judgment 
It is unfortunately that in this controversy the highly important political figure in Ethiopia, Mr. Bereket Simon, has failed to discuss important issues of peace, and the implementation of border. The impulse in the direction of progress of peace, which might have been given top treatment, failed to take effect in his discussion. Instead Mr. Bereket emphasised support for political oppositions that the ambassador characterised as “political exiles that have either lost credibility by being associated with Ethiopia or have faded into the background”. 
Now the time is past for pronouncing judgment upon the criticism of our slogan. For us the criticism of these men is irrelevant because Weyane’s political intrigue, and United States opposition and hostility naturally would have caused any country in the Horn of Africa to be fragmented, as is the case in Somalia and the Sudan, but not in Eritrea. The reason is the slogan is our creation. The formation of such a slogan and the arising of the idea that Hade Libi Hade Hizbi as a political strategy and as modus vivendi are not two different things, they are the same thing, and they coincide and synchronize. The idea is the imaginative conception of the Eritrean people, the first movement of our revolution, and the cultural and political expression of our experience. In addition, Eritreans will fling this slogan to the world as a gift as imaginative conception of our cultural and political expression that will bring peace and harmony to humanity. 
1. Engaging Eritrean Diaspora. 
Classified By: Ambassador Ronald K. McMullen for reason 1.4(d). 
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION01 OF 03 ASMARA 000426 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/13/2019TAGS: PREL, PREF, PHUM, PGOV, SOCI, ER 
2. Ibid. Engaging the Diaspora. 11 (C) 
3. Ibid. The Youth. Section 9 (C) 
4. Ibid. 1 (SBU) 

who is Nighisti Semret?

by SAM B.
27 October 2012
The plague of yellow journalism that has infiltrated into every facet of media, information gathering and delivery systems, as a result of commercialization and commodification of these systems, has blurred the boundary between information, misinformation and entertainment.  In every news item it is increasingly difficult to identify where the real information, entertainment and/or propaganda begins or ends. Nothing is spared. Not even the dignity of victims of brutal murders.
A brutal stabbing and killing of an African woman, Nighisti Semret, in the streets of Toronto, Canada, is by the hour shaping up to be another fodder for insensitive profit-driven sensationalist reporters and news agencies.
The story of Nighisti Semret is in fact intriguing in what it reveals about the weakness, the flaws and deliberate abuse of Canadian Immigration policy and systems, by none other than Canadian Immigration agents and United Nations refugee organizations.
Despite the larger issues this murder inadvertently uncovers, the murder of this poor victim is being manipulated for other sinister motives, as Joe Warmington’s two back to back stories for the Toronto Sun, filed on October 25 and 26 , reveal. Fundamental facts and evidences are been ignored in order to fashion a fiction out of this tragedy.
Joe Warmington on his October 26 report writes:
“Could that motive have stemmed from a scam from her former country where refugees are shaken down and threatened to pay a special tax back to their homeland or face retribution?”
Like most, I learned of this incident on the Internet. An email was not long in coming soliciting for funds to send her body to Eritrea to be buried, and to help her kids in Eritrea – as is customary in our community. Moved by her story I called the Embassy in Toronto. Where I was informed “it will not be possible to send her body to Eritrea”. Naturally, I asked why? The gentle voice replied: “well, she has nobody in Eritrea”. Puzzled, I enquired more. The voice interrupted me to say: “look the poor soul is not Eritrean, she is Ethiopian”.
In retrospect, naively, I added, ‘but all the papers said she is Eritrean’. I assumed that the issue was the usual confusion; Eritrean and Ethiopians are very much alike after all. I was summarily disabused of that notion. The poor lady’s story is in fact far more complicated than a simple confusion. I was again told by the embassy personal that the police have contacted them and the police have been notified of her identity, the same goes also for the newspapers and reporters.
Further enquiry revealed that Nighisti Semret is in fact an Ethiopians who falsely claimed to be Eritrean when applying for asylum in Canada. The is common with Ethiopian asylum claimants as Canada gives easier entry to Eritreans. Canadian authorities are very familiar with this problem. The Eritrean community in Winnipeg, Manitoba has brought it to their attention when the community was surprised to receive Ethiopians claiming to be Eritreans when Canada allowed a group of refugees (Nighisti Semret may have been one of), some years back. Since then the government of Canada, UNHCR and others have made claims of improving the system to identify false asylum applicants. Still, there is no saying how many infiltrators, not only Ethiopians (including criminals and terrorist), may have utilized similar methods to enter Canada? Nobody should blame Nighisti Semret or anyone for trying to escape the hellhole life is in Ethiopia (or other parts of East Africa), and the constant deprivation and famine this place is plagued by.
However, a real reporter would have recognized the larger story and its potential impact to Canada, or the human tragedy this is. But Joe Warmington after initially reporting, appropriately, of a “suspect robbing older women just before this horrible incident in the same area”, changed gears and attempted to pin the murder on the government of Eritrea, without the smallest connection or evidence on pure speculation, by implying a frivolous tax collection issue (on a non citizen of Eritrea, an Ethiopian to boot, to whom the taxes could not apply), is beyond ridiculous. It is beyond the usual sensationalism and is the crassest of yellow journalism there is. The contrived connection Joe’s article attempts to make is just simply a poor attempt at manufacturing cheap propaganda.
Even for the tabloid the Toronto Sun is, a minimum decorum, even if credibility is out of question, demands for one to attempt to appear at least to be fair and balanced. These newspapers ought to have reported with minimal sensationalism and should have regard for facts and details. Most importantly respect this human tragedy for what it is than manipulate it for their political end.
To their credit the leaders of the Eritrean Community with the full knowledge of Nighisti Semret’s identity did not interfere in the prayer or vigil held for her. They in fact fully supported it. As one community leader put it; “she has no one, Ethiopian or otherwise, she is our sister, too.” RIP.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

 ንኺድ ድኣ ንኺድ ጥራይ!

ድምቀትና፡ ከም ድጕሒ ኣዒንቲ
እንተኸድና’ንድዮም ነቢሖም ብለይቲ
ጉዕዞና’ንድዩ ኣቕኒእዎም፡ ብቐትሪ።
ንኺድ ድኣ ንኺድ፡ ዝኸደ’ዩ ዚበጽሕ
ንድመቕ ድኣ ድምቀትና ኪመርሕ
ሓድነት እኳ’ዩ፡ ብርሃን ዘብርሕ
ጽንዓትና’ዩ ጸላኢ ዘብሕርር።
ጻዕርና፡ ጥዕና ከምዚኸልእ
ሰጉምና’ንድዩ ዓይኖም ደም ዝመልእ
ንኺድ ንጽዓር ድኣ፡ ዚጸበበ ይጽበቦ
ካብ ኢድና’ዩ ሕፍኒ፡ ካብ ኢድና’ዩ ካዕቦ።
ጽዋእ ርትዒ፡ ጎረሮ ክምዝሓርድ
ሓቕና’ንድዩ፡ ዘብሎም ስግድግድ
ተነሲሓ፡ ምስ ቆርበት ዓለም
ንበል ድኣ ቅልናን ሕድርናን’ዩ እቲ ቐለም።
ውህደት ረምታና፡ ኣብ ትኽሎን ኣብ ንቕሎን
ስምረት ቃልና ኣብ ‘ንገብሮን ‘ንብሎን
ጥምረትና ‘ንድዮም ዝስእንሉ ድቃስ
ማእዶና ዚምሑስ፡ ኣይነፈሰን ንፋስ።
ወግሐ-ጸብሐ ኣልመት ቀዪርካዩ ጽላሎት
ፍሕሶ ቅሑር ልቢ ናይ ቅንኢ ጻዕረ-ሞት
እንተሳጸና’ንድዩ ‘ዚ ኩሉ ሕንጣጦ
መንግስትና ኣሚና፡ ዓቐብ ይኹን ቁልቁል ብሓባር ክንወጾ
ተመስገን ልዕሌና መን’ሞ ከይፈልጦ።

ተ.ት. (ኣስመራ)

Thursday, October 4, 2012


On 29 August, the Secretary-General reissued the report on Eritrea (S/2012/412) initially circulated to Council members on 8 June.
In resolution 2023 of 5 December 2011 (which condemned Eritrean violations of resolutions 18441862 and 1907 and imposed new measures to prevent Eritrea from using the diaspora tax or revenues from its mining sector to commit further violations), the Council had requested the Secretary-General to report on Eritrea’s compliance with the provisions of that as well as previous relevant resolutions.
While it is not uncommon for the Secretary-General toreissue reports for “technical reasons” (usually followed by an asterisk ‘*’ at the end of the document symbol), in this case the new version had been significantly revised, replacing the 8 June report altogether with no indication in the new document that it was reissued.  The withdrawal and later revision of the original report seem to be surrounded by some controversy and further analysis may be of interest.
As reported in our July Monthly Forecast, soon after receiving the Secretary-General’s report on Eritrea on 8 June, Council members were informed in a letter that it had been withdrawn. The official explanation was that it needed to be revised because of some omissions in the first version and that it would be reissued later in the month.
The withdrawal of the report seems to have caused some consternation among Council members. Most members seemed to agree that the report did not offer much added value (it was seen as providing a summary of already known facts), but they were not satisfied with the explanation offered for the withdrawal even after it was discussed with the Secretariat in informal consultations under other matters. The Secretariat apparently alluded to the fact that the report had not met Council members’ expectations.
While the matter was not openly discussed, it seemed widely understood that these complaintscame from the US and that the Secretariat had been under pressure to withdraw the 8 June report. In particular, it appears the US argued that any reference to the lack of progress in the implementation of the decision of the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission (EEBC) would be outside the Secretary-General’s reporting mandate. (It should be noted that it was apparently the US that initially pushed for resolution 2023 to include the request for a report, whereas other members were less convinced about the usefulness of asking the Secretary-General to report on something that was essentially one of the main tasks of the MonitoringGroup on Somalia and Eritrea.)
When comparing the two versions of the report (both can be found on our website, one of the differences is indeed that the 29 August reportcontains no reference to the unresolved border dispute between Ethiopia and Eritrea as a relevant issue, whereas the 8 June report in paragraph 44 states that
“The lack of progress in the implementation of the decision of the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission continues to negatively affect the multifaceted and complex regional dynamics in the Horn of Africa and the normalization of relations between the two countries. A comprehensive approach should be adopted by states in the region, IGAD [the Intergovernmental Authority on Development], the African Union and the United Nations to address the broader aspects of the conflict in the region, including the long-standing border stalemate.”
Apart from this, a main difference is that the 29 August report is considerably shorter than the first report (four pages instead of eight). The descriptive part is shorter and has been updated to reflect the conclusions of the report of the Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea, which came out on 13 July (S/2012/545). Both versions emphasise that the Secretariat “does not have independent means of assessing Eritrea’s compliance with the provisions of resolution 2023.”  The 29 August version also notes that “the report of the Somalia and Eritrea Monitoring Group provides authoritative information on Eritrea’s record of compliance with the provisions in resolution 2023.
Among Council members there was clearly some unease about the procedural aspects of the handling of the report, with some describing it as unprecedented. There was also concern aboutthe future impact of perceptions that the Secretariat had given in to outside pressure. At this point, however, there does not seem to be any interest in pursuing these issues further.  Also from a more substantive point of view, Council members seem to agree that the report does not merit further consideration. As is clear from its conclusions, the report adds little to the analysis already presented by the Monitoring Group, whose report was thoroughly discussed in July by the 751 and 1907 Sanctions Committee on Somalia and Eritrea.
The Monitoring Group reported that it found no evidence that Eritrea was directly supporting the terrorist group Al-Shabaab but that in all other respects Eritrea had failed to comply with Council resolutions and remained a destabilising force in the region. Following these discussions, the US proposed six additional sanctions listings for approval by the Sanctions Committee, including two Eritrean nationals: Tewolde Habte Negash and Abraham Goitom. (The same individuals were designated for sanctions by the US Department of Treasury on 5 July.)
So far, Council members have agreed to designate only two of the six that were proposed. There is a hold by some members on the other four, including the two Eritreans, and it seems unlikely that the hold on the latter will be lifted any time soon.  Also, it appears there are some differences in the Committee over the Monitoring Group’s recommendation to send a letter to Eritrea to request information on Djiboutian prisoners of war, with Russia having refused to agreeto a draft letter proposed by India in its capacity as Committee chair.