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Reaction to President Isaias Afwerki’s interview

By Amanuel Biedemariam

In the past I have expressed my view about the process Ethiopians will go through to accept Eritrea’s independence and called it “Stages of Grief”. I opined Ethiopians will go through the stages of grief as explained by Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in her book, Death and Dying: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. After the events of the last 18 years, it is easy to see the process may have played-out and culminated. Initially, Ethiopians rejected and denied Eritrean independence saying; they will be back to rejoin their “mother-land” Ethiopia when they come to their senses. During the wars in 1998-2000, the repressed anger exposed itself in the streets of Addis, in the media and particularly on the Internet. That was followed by consistent call to bargain for Eritrea, and if not, to fulfill the dream of acquiring the port of Assab. However, the process was expedited post 2005 elections because Ethiopians uncovered the true nature of Weyane thugs for the killers, criminals and liars that they are. That created a sense of helplessness and depression amongst Ethiopians. Consequently, Ethiopians begun to reexamine their position and views on Eritrea and many visited Eritrea as a result. The interview Ethiopian Review conducted with President Isaias Afewerki affirms a new stage of relations between the good people of Eritrea and Ethiopia has been reached; a stage of acceptance and a willingness to learn from the past and move on.

The fact that Ethiopian Review went to Eritrea and interviewed President Isaias is a major step and an example of willingness to engage. Moreover, the overwhelming positive reaction the interview received signals the beginning of a new era; direction and a new way of looking at that relationship.

For years and particularly over the last decade, suspicions and rift between Eritreans and Ethiopians widened in large part as a result of deliberate instigations by Weyane and the wars that took thousands of lives in both sides. Weyane used fear and wedge issues to divide because that is the only environment it can thrive in. The threat Weyane poses is real and deliberate. It is an imposed threat that created tremendous loss of life, wealth, displacement, fear and instability. However, as time went on the tactics revealed them-selves and exposed the real nature of the Weyane thugs. As a result, Ethiopians begun to open up to Eritrea realizing Weyane is the true cancer, and its removal will be a major step towards creating a peaceful and stable neighborhood based on mutual understanding and respect.

However, years of mistrust have given-way to misconceptions and misguided feelings in both countries. Ethiopians believed Eritreans want a frail and fragmented Ethiopia that is less of a threat. And based on that assumption, many Ethiopians concluded that Eritrea’s cooperation and support of Ethiopian groups fighting Weyane is to use them as tools to that end. Conversely, the Assab obsession and insistence by some Ethiopians that Eritrea belongs to Ethiopia served as a reminder to the existential threat Eritrea faced constantly. To sum it, the threat is real, existential and created a cycle of intractable division based on suspicion and history.

President Isaias busted myth after myth by exposing the wrong understanding people in both sides have regarding Eritrean views in relation to Ethiopia. The interview provided a vivid insight into the thinking process of the Eritrean government, a point of view, a foundation for a constructive dialogue and opened doors for a genuine trust amongst the people of both countries. The interviewers asked questions from a list of two hundred questions compiled over three months from Ethiopians every where. It was the most frank exchange between a leader and journalists I personally have ever witnessed.

The interview covered the gamut. It touched on all the sensitive issue including some that have nothing to do with the Eritrean Ethiopian issues like election and democracy in Eritrea. It addressed Assab, border demarcation, dialogue, Somalia, Djibouti and other related issues. It is hard to think of a subject matter that was not covered. He was even asked about future federation possibilities for Eritrea and Ethiopia. However, President Isaias candidly, honestly and meticulous addressed the issues to educate and inform Ethiopians and Eritreans by giving detailed analysis and the genesis of the issues. He did it in a way that made sense, by allaying concerns logically, by providing historic evidence and facts. One can argue about the merits and even disagree with the President on issues, but no one can deny the genuine exchange and its impact!

The point of this paper is not to restate the four hour interview. It is an attempt to look on what it achieved and opportunity to asses what was stated, and use it to further the cause for PEACE in the region. In addition, it is an attempt to build-on the fast paced momentum that is building-up engulfing the Ethiopian political seen in particular and its implication to Eritrea as well as the region. What did it achieve?

Established credibility

For the past 18 years, President Isaias was probably one of the most hated figures around Ethiopian circles. He was not trusted, his motives were always questioned and he was blamed for many problems in Ethiopia. In fact, Elias Kifle asked the president if he holds secret consultations with Meles Zenawi.

That changed overnight! Because for the first time, President Isaias was able to speak to Ethiopians unfiltered, directly and genuinely. He addressed their concerns, questions, fears, suspicions and wishes in the most respectful way he can frankly, clearly, and to their satisfaction.

Clarified Eritrean positions

For 18 years, Eritreans and Ethiopians were unable to communicate openly and effectively because they lacked a foundation and mutual understanding. That in large part is due to the fact there was juxtaposition. Ethiopians believed Eritrea is in a much weaker position and to keep the conflict going will better their chances of acquiring Assab. However, in the backdrop, the political seen in Ethiopia deteriorated from bad to worse leading to giving up on Weyane altogether. That forced Ethiopians to look at every avenue to fight Weyane. Eritrea is a viable option and opportunity. However, for a long time Eritrea was perceived to be enemy number one and to go to Eritrea was considered unpatriotic and those who went were chastised as traitors and the Weyane clique sold it very well to their advantage.

The president clarified that the Weyane clique is in Menelik Palace because of Eritrea. However, ones in power, instead of working for greater good, they interrupted the dream of a peaceful, powerful and stable region for their own gains, and at the expense of the people in the region. The Somalis, Eritreans and Ethiopians were directly impacted. “The last 18 years have been a dream interrupted”. The president assured Ethiopians, if Eritrea wanted to divide Ethiopia all Eritrea needed to do was support article-39 which gives every ethnic region in Ethiopia the right to secede, thus fulfilling Weyane’s agenda!

President Isaias stated Eritrea’s principled stand guided Eritrea to fight for the long term interest of all, avoiding any temptations to betray Ethiopians for a short term gain even at the risk of potentially hurting Eritrea! In reverse, Weyane placed Eritreans, the people of Tigray, Somalis, Somaliland, Puntland, Oromo, Ogaden, and all Ethnic groups in the region for sale and in serious jeopardy. The President noted, Weyane put the people of Tigray, in particular, at a greater risk of isolation and harm because Weyane committed hateful crimes claiming to represent the people of Tigray.

The President elaborated Eritrea is not threatened by a strong and united Ethiopia because instability in the region will impact Eritrea negatively. Therefore, Eritrea will give Ethiopians all the means at her disposal to strengthen the position of Ethiopians. The President assured Ethiopians, this is not a stand taken for political expediency, rather it is a principled long standing policy because Eritrea can not live in a vacuum.

Empowered Ethiopians

For the last 18 years, and particularly over the last eight, Ethiopian mainstream agenda was dictated by Weyane. They controlled and manipulated the issues to suit their needs and U.S. interests with the help of some staunch supporters like Dr. Jandayi Frazer. They essentially controlled Washington with a strong PR and lobbying force led by former Congressman Dick Army and the War-of-Terror as a cover. All Diaspora Ethiopians could do was react to Weyane’s actions. The duplicitous Weyane clique paraded Democracy, DIALOGUE, War-of Terror and peace-keeping in an effort to gain a political upper-hand.

The interview Ethiopian Review conducted changed all that. For the first time, Ethiopians are dictating their own agenda bypassing the clique and addressing each other directly. That means Ethiopians are in charge of their own destiny for the first time. President Isaias accommodated and spoke directly to Ethiopians every where. When asked about Diaspora Ethiopians talking to Eritreans; it was a resounding yes. He stated, even if you don’t agree you have to sit down and hash it out. Ethiopians have an open arm and mind to talk amongst themselves openly and honestly in Eritrea as well as with Eritreans everywhere. The President expressed Eritrea’s desire and readiness to work with Ethiopians regarding security, economy, ports and all matters of bilateral concerns after he dismissed Weyane by telling Ethiopians, there will be no dialogue with Weyane.

Obviously it worked because the clique is out saying anything in an effort to change the subject and retake the agenda. Seyoum Mesfun is mumbling about returning Eritrean properties he stole from Eritreans to change the subject. However, while Seyoum tries to appease Eritreans, in contradiction and in what is probably the most vivid example of desperation, the morally bankrupt Aboy Sebhat Nega said, “It is not Isayas Afeworki that is “sick” but the Eritrean people who have been hypnotized to believe whatever Isayas told them who they were and are!”

This is a THUG they call Aboy (father) spewing venom. He is one amongst the many thugs in charge with absolutely nothing good to do but sell hate. The people of Tigray deserve better. They don’t need to call Aboy (father) to a morally bankrupt criminal who is using their name to stay in power at any cost. This is a good example why Ethiopians and Eritreans are ready to start fresh with the spirit to cooperate and good will for the sake of peace and prosperity while making a clean break from these thugs!

Freed Ethiopians

In May of 2000, the devious Weyane found opportune time to hold elections while the world focused on the war, and sailed through it. Emboldened, they continued the trend to the 2005 elections. However, they were rejected by all Ethiopians! And surprised, the clique became belligerent and put all opposing leaders in jail exposing their criminal nature. Ethiopians were at a loss because the world and particularly the Bush administration made a mockery of justice and Ethiopian politics. Ethiopians were let down by the West and particularly the US. Ethiopians didn’t have any where or any one to turn to but to their brothers in Eritrea. However, misconceptions and misinformation held them back.

The interview gave all involved a relief by clearing the misconceptions and misinformation. President Isaias explained the best interest of the people in the region is served by peace and unity, while conflict and division served the interest of Weyane. This is what should give all interested parties the freedom to partner with Eritrea in order to achieve bigger and better things for the suffering people in the region. Most importantly, by opening a dialogue at the highest level, President Isaias gave a viable opportunity for the people of Eritrea and Ethiopia to begin the healing process by urging all not to be held hostage to history.

And combing through the reactions in the comments section of the interview in EthiopianReview.com, I stumbled over a commentary that can serve as example to that effect:

I am an Amhara. I lost my beloved brother in Dekemehari, Eritrea, during the Derg regime. I used to picture Isayas Afeworki as a cruel man and an inventor of Woyane and always behind Woyane to destroy Ethiopia. But this interview washed away everything. I am sorry about the innocent Ethiopians who are kept hostage by the woyanes. Who doesn’t want to learn from this genius person? He is the living witness for all the past and present mess of the Ethiopian/Eritrean politics. He knows Ethiopia better than the narrow-minded woyanes. After I listened to the interview, I have found another point to hate Derg. They should have created peace agreement with Isayas/Eritrea and this parasite Woyanes should have been left out. Today, we would have enjoyed United Democratic Ethiopia, which would be a proud home of Tigres, Amharas, Oromos, Gurages, Benshanguls, Somalis…

The Core

The question one must ask is why did President Isaias reach out? The President did that to present Ethiopians with accurate and genuine picture, to open a dialogue in order to help put the past in the right perspective, and to help establish a foundation for future relations that are based on respect, trust, mutual interests and to expedite the ouster of the Weyane thugs from Menelik Palace!

Why now? Eritreans have gone through many thorny hurdles placed in front of them and sailed through them united. It was difficult to reach out to Ethiopians for a while because there was a filter, history, wounds and unmet expectations. That was a major obstacle. In addition, there is urgent need for Ethiopians to come together quickly in order to plan their future.

Conclusion

“There is no army without a doctrine!” That statement says it all. There have been many credible reports in some Ethiopian websites on how the minority ethnic group is dominating and mishandling the Ethiopian army. Ethiopia has been and remains at crossroads. This is by far the most crucial moment in the history of Ethiopia because it will certainly determine the future of the country. What President Isaias did is underscore the urgency. He told Ethiopians in many ways, and openly, the fall of the Weyane clique is inevitable and approaching fast. He told them there is no army but a security apparatus that protects the clique. It has become impossible for the clique to promote leaders from other Ethnic groups because that poses a major threat to their survival.

Ethiopians have an opportunity to come together to address their issues in order to chart their future freely without interference from Weyane and Western meddlers. They have the welcoming hands of the people in Eritrea! And there is one inescapable fact that Ethiopians and Eritreans must come to terms with sooner or later; in order to live peaceful and successful coexistence as neighbors, they must find the middle ground based on mutual understanding, respect and the rule of law! What President Isaias did is exercise his leadership and jump-started the process in order to plant a seed for future generations.

In addition, I would like to extend my praise to Elias Kifle and Sileshi Tilahun for initiating the process and following through professionally. Kudos for a great job! They have played a great role by adding on to the momentum to put the Weyane thugs where they belong, in jail and dirt-bin of history!

(The writer can be reached at awetnayu@hotmail.com)

38 thoughts on “Reaction to President Isaias Afwerki’s interview

  1. Well said. This pIA interview is as great as ADWA victory against fascists. A turning point in our history, a jump start we needed after our denial….grief… and acceptance. The time is ripe, and the sky is the limit. This man is one for the book. He showed us the light beyond TPLF, beyond himself but to generations to come.His job is done, it will be up to us from now on to materlize it!!! I am not worried Ethiopia being strong, he said,
    “Therefore, Eritrea will give Ethiopians all the means at her disposal to strengthen the position of Ethiopians. The President assured Ethiopians, this is not a stand taken for political expediency, rather it is a principled long standing policy because Eritrea can not live in a vacuum.”
    He knows, as visionary he is, strong Ethiopia is a good friend to have next door for his people in-trust up on.
    Go Ginbot 7, think Asmara, kill TPLF!!!
    Regards!!!

  2. Thank you for the article. You said it all. We must look forward. Ethiopians and Eritreans are one people. We must take the wonderful opportunity given to us by our brother President Afeworki. Thsi is the first time we heard from him and I am begining to believe in him. He is honest and a man of principle.

    Long live people of Ethiopia and Eritrea!

  3. Keep up the Good work. there is time for every thing, the time is now to unite Ethiopians for one goal. that goal is freedom. God bless Ethiopia and true Ethiopians where ever they may be fighting for mama Ethiopia.

  4. Well said, Amanuel.
    As an Eritrean, I too was overwhelmed with joy to see Ethiopians and Eritreans engaging in constructive discussion, thus paving the way for a healthy relationship between the two people. A relationship based on mutual respect and mutal benefit. I know that such a noble gesture is already giving the TPLF Thugs a headache and sleepless nights. That’s why they’re bringing up the Asab issue in a futile attempt to divert people’s attention from the core source of the problem – The ethnocentrist, tribalist policy of the Weyane regime that brought pain and misery to Ethiopia in particular and the whole East African people in general. And, from what I can deduce based on the commentaries I’ve read from most Ethiopians is that the Woyane propagana machine that has been churning lies after lies for almost two decades to serve the interest of a few will soon cease to exist for the people came out of the darkness and have finally chosen to listen to the voices of truth. The truth which had been hidden from them by the Weyane Junta. Peace and Rain to both the Peoples of Eritrea and Ethiopia!!!

  5. A very good summery! Indeed, the interview has enabled me to have a totally different and optimistic view on the future of the two people. We are there to live in peace, repect under rule of law together forever. We can’t just care less to one another.
    The count down for the days of Woyane has started.

    My Eritrean brothers and sisters, please know that we Ethiopians love you so much and care about you.

    I am already dreaming about the day when I will be landning at Asmara intn’l airport to visit my brothers and sisters and my history in the north.

    Cheeeers,

  6. Now we have a very clear idea of all the past and the present. It is high time to see the future. How do we coordinate our actions? For sure we don’t want to wait another 18 years to liberate our selves from the ethno-fascist junta. It is time to TEGBAR

    Always with EPPF

  7. Eritreans, thanks to its selfless & visionary leadership, have shown true grit & determination of unwavering stance against not only the weyane chiefs but also its foreign masters who finance, prop up & give diplomatic cover/license to terrorise its own people & the wider region causing mayhem.
    Ethiopians have now need to unite including with the millions of forgotten poor tigrayans, and reciprocate.

    God bless Africa & its people.

  8. This article has given us ‘food for thought’ and it shows the level of maturation and growth in Isayas’s personality. of course, the courage and the initial thinking entering into this dialogue admires Elias Kifle and others who went to Eritrea and interviewed the president. I agree with Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’s ‘stages of grief’ as it helps us to think about the loss and separation as well. Even if, let’s assume, we reach to repairing the damage, there is always loss; the would, the scar on both sides shall remain. things can never be the same again, trust, relationship of any kind. However, this stage of acceptance and reparation, I would say, should be in a very mature way and develop to the capacity to explore all the good and bad.

  9. I believe we had to go through division, killing one another and mistrust before soul searching on the extent of damages we inflicted against one another and start to listen, learn and open the heart for love and compassion. Eritreans and Ethiopians deserve to live in peace and to help one another. One can not do it without the other. We need to accept eachother as we are and to feel each other’s pains in order to heal the terrible emotional wounds of the past because of misunderstanding the real thing that stood between us. The time is here for good intentions but it is upto us to seize the opportunity and take advantage of it. I think Eritrean ports are unreachable for the haters who want to snatch but at the finger tips for those who love.

  10. We have been victims of pride so far. We wanted it our way. We did not care about the other and here we are at the bottom of the planet at the end of the day. It was all about ego brothers and sisters that we lost too much together as Eritreans and Ethiopians. Bad as it was, the worse is to continue through the same destructive path. Time to check out the ego and be down to earth for the sake of humanity. This bliss should however be inclussive in order to work. Love can not be founded on the grounds of hate. Watch out your move. Make no mistake mistaking the Tigreans for today’s leaders of Ethiopia. Make no mistake taking the weyane rank and files for their mischevious leaders, for the Tigreans are also as wounded as the rest.

  11. I watched all 5 part interview of the Eritrean president Issias Afewerk with an Ethiopian media with tears rolling down my face; tears of joy. During the entire time all I could think was about my best friends, whom I grew up with, loved and cared for as my own blood brothers and sisters, and although they were born and raised in Ethiopia from Eritrean parents, they were rounded up and forcibly deported to Eritrea by the racist weyane junta. The grief of a sudden loss of my best friends had never left me for the past 8 years, and I prayed to see a day when I could see them again. The events unfolding in front of our eyes seem to confirm to me that day is near. There was much injustice and crimes against humanity committed by the weyanes, and I hope to see them face justice and pay for their crimes. We Ethiopians and Eritreans are more than able to co-exist in peace and harmony as good neighbors and I’m seeing the evidence of that in recent developments between the two people.
    I would like to thank Elias and Sileshi for their patriotism and commitment in creating an opportunity for Ethiopians and Eritreans to enter to a new era of lasting peace, stability, mutual respect, cooperation, and facing our common enemy weyane together. Weyane finds itself with one leg in the grave and another on a banana peel, and the interview with President Issias Afewerk has put the last nail in wyane’s coffin.

    R.I.P. weyane !

    Peace, love and prosperity for both Ethiopans and Eritreans.

    Signing off…

  12. I studied in Asmara University. I know the people very well. Believe me! Eritreans are very humble, honest and nice people. DO NOT MESS WITH THEM AND EVERYTHING RUNS SMOOTH. I like the people very much. Those four years I spent in Eritrea are the best of times I ever had so far. I now live in the USA but nothing beats Asmara & Addis Ababa. After hearing the interview with President Esayas, I am getting prepared to visit my love [Asmara] after 23 years. As soon as I hit Sembel [Air Port], I am heading to Villagio, Aba-Shawel, Compeshtato, etc. I hope I would meet those friends and people I met some 23 years ago. Hope all those kiosks are still there. I can not wait. Anyone there who knows W/O Korem in Villagio; the “Tella Bet” or “Sewa Bet”? I can not wait to have a sip with the Minilik Tasa like I used to. Anyway, I am glad that my dream started to take shape in real life. I have always wandered why Esayas Afeworki did not jump on the opportunity of governing the whole Ethiopia in 1991. Anyway, I have two points:
    1st = if he allows us [Ethiopians] to use Eritrea as a base to exterminate the lice in 4-Kilo [he promised that], then we do not mind to be ruled by him forever.
    2nd = nobody cares who is the ruler of Ethiopia so long as we stay UNITED IN PEACE. It is not a time to long for Democracy. It can be achieved through time. Our stability and unity comes first. LET US ETHIOPIANS PUSH President Esyas TO START TO FIGHT FOR UNITED ETHIOPIA.

  13. I totally agree with the writer. I am an Amhara and I 1000% support Mr. Esayas’ presidency in 4 Kilo. I will fight [literally] for that to happen if President Esayas declares that more openly to the people of Ethiopia who live in Ethiopia.

  14. I totally agree with Daniel and, above all, with the writer Amanuel Biedemariam.
    Getting rid of THE-LOCUST-IN-ADDIS is not the big point. It is the unity of Eritreans and Ethiopians [if possible Somalia] which is at stake here. At this point in history, President Esayas would definitely agree to bring these together in federation or so. IT WON’T TAKE HIM ANOTHER 40 YEARS TO DO THAT. PLEASE LET US BUG HIM TO UNIFY US UNDER THE HORN. Unlike the woyane propaganda, Conditions are way better for him and time is to his advantage to do that. HE CAN MAKE HISTORY. I agree with the idea that he should not have let the woyane take power in 1991 where he could have been to be a leader of the whole Ethiopia. That would have helped to work towards a peaceful Somalia and better yet unifying it with Ethiopia and Eritrea. May Allah [God] open his heart towards this blessed objective.

  15. President Esaias is a great leader who can bring harmony and peace not only between Ethiopia and Eritrea but also to the whole region aswell. I hope his dream transformes in to reality soon. We Ethiopians like one muscian had said it for a while ‘We had stringed and restring our inistruments, but the music we intend to sing had remained unsung. Now our tune got heard so is our music.Woyanes would get off with disgrace.

  16. Hi Amanuel, I always read your articles and learn a lot, and this one is a a masterpiece. Eritrea is lucky and blessed to have sons and daughters like you and thank you for your service to your beloved people, and humanity at large. Now i want to challenge our Ethiopian intellectuals to come up with similar articles that will educate and bring both peoples together. As for brothers Elias and Sileshi, thanks a million and next time when we meet in Asmara the beer is on me. Peace and love for Ethiopians and Eritreans.

  17. Well-written analysis! Elias Kifle’s visit to Asmara is as historic and ground breaking as Nixon’s visit to China, which put the two countries on the path of peace and cooperation for decades to come.

  18. Amanuel has expressed his point of view very eloquently. I could not have said it better myself. I fully agree with his comments. This is a new begging, let us open our minds and hearts. We must listen to each other narrow our differences to make the future better for our children and the generations to come. His excellency President Isais Afwerki is a visionary as well as selfless leader. Under his guidance the vision will come to fruition. I am fully confident, if we continue on the path of common goal and understanding we will have the people of Ethiopia and Eritrea live in peace and unity.

    God Bless!!!

    Mengis
    Washington, DC

  19. PIA has delivered a strong message which change the status qua between the two brother people but it is a coffin to the nail for the woyane.There has never been a strong message than the interview which cover everything , and able to change the attitude, feeling , anger , desperation between the two groups but also become a unifying message to all parties except headache for Woyane. Woyane seems to stand alone right now and naked, after the interview.

    TPLF is trying every thing to create animosity between the two nations by spreading venom through its channels, and officers. The recent symptom is that aboy sebhat is baffling about bringing back asseb, but he was telling us he was the defender of eritrean independence and wants to become a pope more than the priest.

    The aiga forum is lamenting and telling us how PIA works to destroy ethiopia and writing everything which could tarnish the name of eritrea. Now no one is interested to listen to their endless lies, and flip and flop.

    The other dangerous venom is being spread through the ‘Reporter’ , discrediting the returning of the eritrean property , claiming that those eritreans are going to channel money back to their country, and disputing that there are some ethiopians who are looted their property.

    Unlike the now golden people most of Eritreans got their wealth,through hard work, they put their sweat as a result not only benefited but also contributed to the development of the country. Many eritreans has serve ethiopia selflessly there are a lot to mention like Abrham deboche and moges asgedom, in addis, zerai, derse in Rome, Aman Andom, in somalia, you will find many officers in navy, airforce, and also contributed a lot in most technical expertise due to their experience with Italians, they have also served in different minstrial level and advisors during derg and hailselasie, but in both regime the eritreans are treated equally as ethiopians, except leaving some sentiment, as a result the opportunity in ethiopia and hard work the eritreans have moderate wealth compared to most people but their wealth is not in millions like today golden people, mainly in the field of construction, automechanic, machine shop and some business, so eritreans deserve their wealth returned but the reason why the woyane decree the return of property to the eritreans is not because they are willing but they want to create some hatred between eritreans and ethiopians, and try to attract many Eritreans so that to deplete the human resource in Eritrea.

    Many cadres of the tplf are not happy because they are the one who control most of the properties of eritreans, houses ,builidngs , factories, and garages.Reporter has been used as a mouth piece of TPLF to instigate animosity between people by claiming ethiopian property, in this case the eritrean government has did a good job in letting all business owners of ethiopians in Eritrea to sell their property by giving amble time.

    But the eritreans are not fool any more they may collect what is left of their property but are not interested in investing, because now there are a lot of ethiopians who can do the investment so give them a chance for its citizens and no one is fool to trust woyane, because they can decree any law similar to terrorism law the one they used to incriminate the opposition party.It is not the property that matter for the eritreans,but the feeling of deported, separated from their families, and all the emotional attachment has created a lot of damage, some of the deportee in fact suffered a lot of damage due to anger and frustrations even some of them passed away due to this the majority become again successful by investing in Eritrea , uganda, kenya, sudan, and south africa,so there is no need to invest again in ethiopia. But it is

    Now woyane has been in full fear, i am not surprised Meles wet his pant, because he went crazy ginbot 7, opposition , bertukan , PIA etc, their deed is going to haunt them.

    Even this is a good example for the supporters of the Junat, and cadres, they amassed the property of eritreans but now even in the presence of their regime is going to lose and it is not far for every TPLF to be in court for their deed.

    Any body can see the effect of the interview in meles click so PIA keep on doing what you have started

  20. My admiration first goes to Elias Kifle and Sileshi Tilahun and now to Amanuel Biedemariam. President Isaias Afwerki has set the stage for us. It’s up to us, both Ethiopians and Eritreans, to pave the way to a peaceful destiny, and live together peacefully.
    God bless both people!

  21. The people of Eritrea are lucky to have a man of integrity and honest president. President Isayus reminds me of our historical visionary leaders such as Aste Tewdros and Aste Yohanes.

    I hope to see president Afeworki to unite the Habesha peole under one country and take the new united Ethiopia into new era.

    Thank you President Afeworki. You are brave and great visionary leader.

  22. What an article!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I will save this article and the interview for my yet-to-come son/daughter so that they know some time in history a leader from Eritria came to our rescue and touched my heart in the process.

    God blees the President and the writers/journalists who paved the way to his Palace.

    I have never been to Eritra but one day I will go there, drink tella, dance with thier sweet music and talk to their beautiful ladies!!!!!!!!!!! with peace, love and respect!!!!!!!!!!

  23. First and foremost I would like to thank my boyhood friend Amanuel for his excellent analysis. I am encouraged by the honest responses to his article.

    Now starts the hard work, every patriotic Ethiopian in the diaspora has to roll up his/her sleeves and start working to realize this vision of shared future for our people.

    People may ask, how can I contribute to realize this vision? First people should start talking to each other, organize meetings, set realistic agenda in those meetings and always remember those of us living in the diaspora have a lot to contribute but also understand our role in this upcoming struggle to end the nightmarish Woyanne regime.

    There are already Patriotic Ethiopians fighting Woyanne tooth and nail in every conrner of Ethiopia, the Ethiopians in the diaspora can play a big role in helping these patriotic organization coordinate their efforts to craft a clear political program to confront the Woyanne evil.

    Yes there will also be impatient individuals who would want instant results, that is a recipe for disappointment, waging a coordinated struggle against Woyanne is not as easy as it seems. Inside Ethiopia they have the resources they need to scuttle a disorganized opposition, thanks to the huge support they get from their sponsors. No matter how much support they get from their sponsors, the Woyanne clique can’t stand in the face of an organized and disciplined opposition.

    Woyanne’s main tool for survival is division among their opposition, they know how to manipulate weaknesses and disorganize the opposition, so unity of purpose is a must. Ethiopians in the diaspora should stand firmly with the Patriotic Ethiopians who are paying the sacrifices and do their part within the principles of the Patriotic Ethiopians in Ethiopia proper.

    This is the kind of unity of purpose that will spell the demise of this nightmarish regime and the dawn of freedom and shared prosperity of the Ethiopian people. President Isayas has opened the door and now it is up to the rest of us to make this vision a reality.

  24. The main thing is let us respect each other and work for our common good. Take it out the mentality “if I do not have Assab I do not agree” Think how can I use Asseb. Own it or not at the end how you going to use it. If I can get it peacefully I do not have to go to war. Let all be civil to each other and what got gave us is plenty if we know how to use it.

  25. I disagree. While I fully support the peaceful approach of all people to live together in peace and harmony, I am so surprised that the comments given by all of you is one and the same.Glory to Isaias the great, and how Eritreans knew better while we Ethiopian idiots were so stupid not to realise the importance of living in peace together. Give me a break, who will oppose to have peace and prosperity? Who understand better that, than the Ethiopian and the Eritrean people who suffer so much under tyrants like Mengistu,Meles and Isaias?. Who can speak better than us about Ethio-Eritrean solidarity in times of hardship? We don`t need your interview to understand that. Of all people,Isaias has no moral authority to give us a lecture about any subject, let alone about peace and democracy.The war monger Isaias is no better than Meles. He better shut his mouth.And you guys,think twice.There should be a diversity of opinions in any given idea. That is what
    enriches a healthy and productive dialogue. One guy says something,and all of you agree with him and heap him with admiration and support.
    Long live Ethiopian and Eritrean people. To hell with Meles and Isaias.We don`t need those dictators who are on our back since almost 2O years now. We deserve better.

  26. Glad we are talking:
    Just like the others who expressed their happiness with Elias and Shileshi, I am happy that we are talking too. It took us 18 years to mature but at 18 – we are ready to think what is needed to be done. We know hate is not the answer and we also know that we cannot live with our neighbors as enemies. We are attached at our hips and we like it or not we have to dance together even when we do not even like our neighbor’s music. But if we decide to talk, then we can have a music that we both like and dance to the tune for a long time to come.
    As an Eritrean who was born and raised in Ethiopia, I am always challenged by my Ethiopian friends how I can claim to be called Eritrean. I have tried my best to express to them that becoming an Eritrean does not mean hating Ethiopia. But they hardly accept that argument. Thinking of it, I may have the same feeling if I am an Ethiopian. But, I always wondered if we had a chance to switch positions and if I become an Ethiopian would have I accepted my friends as Eritrean at all? I also wondered, would my friend love or hate Ethiopia? It is a question I always ask my friends – but since they are Ethiopian – they cannot picture themselves been Eritrean at all – and their answer is always the same. I do love my friends and I also want to give them a credit for accepting me for who I chose to be. In fact – as much as they argue with me regarding been Eritrean – it also surprises them that I stuck to my identity and they seems to admire that. In fact – they always wondered how we all Eritrean think the same way – or they talk how they loved their Eritrean neighbors and so on. They also tell me that they never knew the difference between Eritrean and Tigrian before – but now they know who is who. You open your mouth and they tell you who you are.
    Well – it took as 18 years to tell each other that we care for one another and it should not take another 18 years to show it. The PIA interview was long but right on the dime and I should give him the credit for starting this new movement. I always told my friends on of the reasons why some Eritrean don’t like the PIA is because he tells you straight up whether he like you or not, he is not good in diplomacy, and he does not like to bend for the west. I am sure now my friends have a firsthand experience what I was talking when they heard him unedited interview he made with Elias and Shileshi. He talked from his hart and he meant it. In contrast, Ethiopian leaders base their diplomacy to fit the international diplomacy and that way of communication was accepted by the Ethiopian silent majority but it seems it is over now. Eritreans are not war mongers but peace loving people who inspire to control their own destiny not prescribed to them.
    Over years we heard a lot and i have some to refresh our memories. Lies we were told and the truth we refused to hear are as follows.
    To mention few:
    1. Derge told us Eritrean war was an Arab war – and we believed them
    2. Derge told us “Shaebia” had one month left to be destroyed – and we believed them again
    3. Derge told us – they will fight till one man is left on Ethiopia – and we taught Mengistu was a hero
    4. Derge told us – that if Eritrea is to become independent – Ethiopia will be dead – and we taught so
    5. Weyane told us – Badme is Ethiopian – and we trusted them
    6. Weyane told us – Eritrea is an aggressor – and we agreed with them
    7. Weyane told us – Ethiopia won the war – and we celebrated it
    8. Weyane told us – the court gave Ethiopia Badme – and people went out dancing
    Now Weyane is telling us the war was not about Badme and they want to sit down and talk!!!!! WHAT?

    In Contrast:
    1. Issayas told US that the war was not about Badme and we did not believe him
    2. Issayas told us that this issue will be resolved in court in 1998 – and he did not make any sense to us THEN
    3. PIA also told us Weyane will never accept the court ruling way before verdict – and we taught he was up to something
    4. PIA also told us to be self reliant is the best policy and we laughed at him
    5. PIA also told us that going to Somalia was not good idea and we marched to death
    PIA is not god and he will pass away just like any one of us. But comparing to Weyane, I have more respect to him even though I don’t agree with everything he does. And hope, he will change and wish that he hands over power to the new generation peacefully and willingly. We want to see Eritrea beyond him.
    What I want to illustrate above is how we were taken by Weyane’s PR statements, news briefs and so on to the point that we were hostage to what is going to happen in Eritrean. How the “no war no peace” will break Eritrean army and government, and how Weyane will be the regional superpower. Superpower made Rumsfeld and Cheney.

    Pentagon War Device:
    Not to get you bored – I will take you to another topic that fascinates me and I always wonder if this device is still working. Few years ago there was an interesting program developed by Pentagon for 10 million dollars and this program was supposed to predict where the next war will occur. If this was done to make the right choice for US military and other government agencies, that would have been great. But – this program was created for the ordinary people to gamble just like a horse race. If your prediction is correct then you will be able to make good money. I am bringing this issue to light to reflect that our destiny is captured by few individuals, multi national organization, and intelligence organizations to make sure their personal “Interest” supersede our – “Eritrean-Ethiopian” interest. Can you imagine if this program was released for a commercial purpose, what would be the consequence? I can picture a gambler doing everything to make sure that a specific country goes into war at a specific period of time. Or just like the stock, the gambler would have been allowed to sell short and rip the benefits. I am glad that it was stopped by the US congress but it still bothers me how one could think of such a device that will bring the world into becoming a hell. I am still wondering if the people who created it are still using it behind the scene. Can you imagine a person can feed the desired variables in the program and create a buzz that a specific country will go to war and before it happens the US military will be in action? Can you imagine? I am not able to find a link on this – and if anyone could please post it.

    Minority Report:
    This also reminds me of Tom Cruise movie “Minority Report”. On it, the state uses physics to predict and identify a criminal before the crime is committed. I am talking about the criminal does not even know that he/she will commit the crime but the state physics could detect the specific person will commit a crime and the state punishes the “future criminal” ahead of time. It was an entertaining movie and I enjoyed watching it. But think of a device that could predict a war way before it happen. Who controls the variables and who contributes to the variables to begin with? Interesting!!!!
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0181689/plotsummary
    This brings me to another question “who really created the 1998-2000 war”? Was this war made by Eritrean and Ethiopian leaders who love to get their people get killed, or did the war have hands of the masters of war makers? I am puzzled by it. When I heard both countries went to war – I almost died out of surprise. I had to defend Eritrea by all means but it never crossed my mind that I hated Ethiopia. Yes the war was between two loving people but I knew then that the war was not made by the people against the people – it was cooked and boiled inside an embassy but used a cover of Badme to start it. It also reminds me of Ethiopian election and how the opposition was fooled to believing the embassies to represent them? The opposition taught since they stand for democracy – the embassies in Addis will support them. They got it wrong. American foreign policy was straight with no ambiguity and it states like this. American does not have friends but interest. No more explanation is needed. If you trust them – you are most likely to be burn cause 99% of the time our interest is not in the best interest of the respective country.

    A quote:
    It is said that the former US ambassador to the UN Jeane Jordan Kirkpatrick has once said that she prefers “a dictator that will allow her to exploit the country natural resources that a nationalist who will not allow her”. And for me PIA is the nationalist and Meles is the dictator.

    Hope and light at the end of the tunnel:
    I am hopeful that we will overcome this period of time and live a life where we Eritrean and Ethiopian march hand to hand to eradicate poverty, bring peace and stability to our region and fight our enemies who tirelessly create divisions among us. We will be able to share knowledge and share resources because we are brothers and sisters and a family of GEEZE and if we look back we have a lot in common than a difference.
    MAY GOD BLESS THESE TWO NATIONs
    BRING HAPPINESS TO ALL OF US
    DREAM LIFE AT HOME AND NOT BEEN REFUGEE

  27. Wawoo! If realy Ethiopians realized the position of Eritrea and engaged in a positive way then things will be settled soon. We do not need to warry about the Weyane any more. The ppl of Ethio will swallwo the eveil instantly for weyanes are few in number. My fellow Ethiopians you need to do now some thing. Get organized support your rebels know them and let them know you too. Hellp them moraly and finantialy so that weyane can be brought to justice. Above all have a tangeble fueture relations with all neigbors. Promiss your ppl and write in your constitution that Ethiopia will never invade any nation be it Eritrea or Somalia. Promiss not to fool again by foriegners make your neighbors your friends first and the west second as long as they respect your friendship with your African brothers. It seems to me you gusy are in very good start let God help all of us to end all kind of atrocities.

  28. hello dear comenters

    I am an eritrean follower of this beloved web site. I am really more than happy to see eritreans and ethiopians to be engaged in this constructive step foreward, thanks to the here journalists who brock the bridge and managed to go on the clean roads of asmara, enter to eritrean governmental palace and interviewed the president. It was really wonderfull, amazing and exposed all the truth that ethipians were not aware of that. We as eritreans may not love isayas, but for other reason which is our local issue., but we appriciate him as far as the ethio-eritrean issue, ethiopian unity and ethioian-eritrean bilateral benefits are concerd. Thanks you ethiopian heros for making the tention to be improved by asking and exposing how isayas really look ethiopia and exposed the weakness of his parasites woyane when the exact time comes. but I did not understan why isayas was too late to tell ethiopians who exactly are the woyane…. if it were in such manner ethiopians may be able to rid off from woyane before all this destruction happened and we all loss…. even now thanks dear heros…..thanks

  29. wow, i am lost for ward. jusst too happy to see some progress between the two brotherly people since 1998. As an Eritrean, i am already starting to feel as though the wounds are beginning to heal, regardless of wayeens intervantion if the people of eritrea and the people of ethiopea come together and discused about our problems we will cometo a metual understanding that will benefit as both.

    May God bless the two brothely countries with peace and harmony.

  30. hi bros,
    It’s really an interesting interview for those Ethiopians who have bad view on Eritrea. Because they were the hostages of distorted history which meles and the tigray ethnic groups deliberateley did to shift their concentration to stay for along time in power.Now the the secret is unveiled, make your mind, see which one is the right way.

    I appreciate the initiation took by the brothers to interview president Isaias.

    Good relation for Eritrea and Ethiopia.

  31. Thank you Amanuel.

    As I continue to read more comments from both Eritreans and Ethiopians (they all sound Amahar), my hopes are growing by the day. The day has come for all of us to live in peace and all the hatred and mistrust is behind us.

    One thing I have not seen so far is though – reaction from our bothers and sisters from Tigrai. This should worry us. I hope am wrong, but it appears that the woyane click has sucesseded in convincing the Tigrians that their survival depends on Woyan’s stay in power.

    Dear brothers and sisters from Tigrai,

    The border war has created bitter hostility and mistrust between you (more than any other Ethiopian) and those of us in Eritrea. We both need to move forward and let the healing start. Like many Eritreans, part of my family are currently living in Mekele and Adigrat. I have not seen them for over 10 years and I miss them so much. I know for a fact they have no hatred for any Eritrean and they are sad by the fact that they can no longer visit the said of the family in Asmera.

    This is a personal appeal to those brother and sisters from Tigrai to reach out and be part of this crucial moment and a turning point in our joint sad and painful history. Don’t let the experience from the bitter border war hold you back – we suffered, paid heavy price and lost our loved ones. Despite the horrible memories we have and the pain that was inflicted on our people for the last 11 years now, we Eritreans are prepared to move on and you should join us.

    It is time to let go – let us not be hostages to our history and damage the chance of the future generation to live in peace.

    Peace to everyone

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