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President Isaias Afwerki gives interview to Ethiopian Review

President Isaias Afwerki and Ato Mekuria Woldu, an official of the Ministry of Information, holding a private meeting with Elias Kifle of Ethiopian Review and Ato Sileshi Tilahun of EPPF before an interview

ASMARA — President Isaias Afwerki of Eritrea gave a 4-hour interview on Friday afternoon to, the official website of Ethiopian People’s Patriotic Front (EPPF), and Ethiopian Review.

The interview was conducted by Elias Kifle of Ethiopian Review and Ato Sileshi Tilahun, head of EPPF International Committee’s organizational affairs and

Before the interview, President Isaias and Ato Mekuria Woldu, an official of the Ministry of Information, held a 40-minute private discussion with both Elias Kifle and Sileshi Tilahun.

Elias Kifle of Ethiopian Review and Sileshi Tilahun of EPPF interview President Isaias Afwerki of Eritrea, May 15, 2009

Video of this historic interview will be available shortly. More details and photos will also be posted later.

189 thoughts on “President Isaias Afwerki gives interview to Ethiopian Review

  1. By now a could be retired professor once told us:

    “In the beginning of 1960s, then young Issayas was living in Addis. He was just a handsome young habesha from next door. I know him very well. We used to walk, talk, eat, drink and play together. When I heard he became part of ELF and then TPLF, I still was thinking he will be always one of us no matter what. Because we knew, he has our habsesha mind and heart.

    I believe it was in 1988; he being agreed to discuss the Issue between Eritrea and Ethiopia in a peaceful and benefit to both ways, indicates that still he is one of us. I’m sure; Ethiopians can make a long lasting and useful deal with Issayas than any one from TPLF. TPLF are… And the story continued…”
    And we were very interested to hear.

    I’m sure, if he is genuine and wants a long lasting solution to Ethiopia and Eritrea for real, President issayas can do a lot about it. Instead of dividing Ethiopians in Eritrea the way the meles criminal game is doing in Ethiopia based on Ethnicity, he could bring them all united under one Ethiopian flag to confront woyane. But the story we are hearing about how Ethiopians in Eritrea are treated based on Ethnicities, gives Ethiopians very big reservation about the Eritrean govt. Instead it is telling us that President Issayas does support the woyane stile of destroying Ethiopia with Ethnicity and kilil. .

    The eritrean govt must act differently than the woyane criminals are doing against Ethiopia, which is divide and weaken to rule them as slaves. The Eritrea govt has power and possibilities to bring all Ethiopians together under one flag to confront woyane with united stick and determination. Those refused to unite under one Ethiopian people agenda need to be stopped their activity based on Ethnicity. The day we see this happening, will be the day all Ethiopians will embrace president Issyas with heart and mind.
    I’m sure if he wants to do really the real job, all is in his hand and very simple to do so and achieve the goal. Other than that, it is just a joke and game for nothing. We have to stop playing games while we know what is for real and what is just for game. We have to be genuine and consistent.
    What president Issayas has to understand is that no matter what, the Eritrean issue will be solved only when the Ethiopian issue is solved. Remember: 80.000 Illegally and inhumanly deported Ethiopian by woyane because of their Eritrean origin are still Ethiopians and they have 100% right to be Ethiopians including their children. Their issue also must be one of the main agendas. President issayas and other Eritreans have to understand also that Ethiopians have more feeling, trust and togetherness with him and other Eritreans than the criminal and anti Ethiopia and Eritrea woyanes that are consuming to death while committing crimes against the innocents.
    The Assab issue is/and will not be the case to disrupt. Who is benefiting from it right now? No one. Instead Ethiopia is paying hundreds of millions of Dollars to Djibouti for port service. If we both as one Habesha people know how to be smart for our benefit, that money will be for Eritrea and Ethiopia benefit based on agreements. Eritreans could live, work and make a good life in Ethiopia all over the country. Be smart. The Assab issue is not a problem but a solution bringing us together to benefit together all sectors; not only the port. No matter what, Ethiopians will remain the closest family to all Eritreans. You have to see the seen and act that way. You are the one keeping woyane on power for 18 years as you were the one brought them to the palace. Back then they were behaving as animals more the domestic once. Right now they are behaving like wild animals all over the country killing, eating and destroying everything. They are living a restless and fearful life, if they call it life. To me they are living in hell with dead soul.

  2. Elias, you’re a trailblazer, one of a kind, you’re starting a whole new relationsship between the two brother peoples. Gosh, yene wondim!

    It is wailing that I’m hearing from the woyane camp of misfits?

  3. Lijam,

    Did you really say the following, or you and the keyboard did not agree?

    “I wish there were more Elias Kifles in the last 50 years of Ethio-Eritrean endless wars”

    If this is what your wish is, then you wouldn’t have lived the good 50 years you already lived. Please make a better wish!

  4. Great job Ethiopian review.

    As an Eritrean, I commend you for having a courage to do what you just did and many readers may agree or disagree but from my point of view, what distinguishes President Isaias from others is, the Courage he has, the integrity, the decisiveness, his vision to his country and to his people and the whole Africa and East Africa in particular needless to say that the president telling the world as it is not as what they want to hear can only be achieved if someone has the guts to do so.

    What Elias just did and has is the Courage and decisiveness to travel to Eritrea and conduct an open interview with President Isaias Afwerki of Eritrea. Excellent Job Elias and all I can say is, this is a professional journalism. Some people may think Ethiopian Review was able to conduct an interview because of their past history Naming President Isaias a man of the Year but believe me any Ethiopian ordinary citizen can travel to Asmara and meet the president.

    I hope to see Free Ethiopia and the demise of the Evil Weyanes so that Eritrean and Ethiopian people can live in peace and harmony.


  5. Elias, u are really my hero. u did a great job. As far as we need to remove Woyanne, the key is with President Isaias

    Looking forward to the content of the interview

  6. Congra yagere ljoch, Thanks a lot for Elias and Sileshi.
    Bertu yagere lijoch. This interview will for sure expose the real behavior of this cancer regime of woyane and their agenda, We already know for the past 17 years about this regime. Elias you are a man God bless u, now this regime get heart attack, as we know when they hear Eritrean president, for them it is a nightmare.

    Long live Ethiopia with out this minorty regime of woyane.
    Thanks again ethiopian review and eppf.


    Thank you for everything that Elias Kifle and Ato Sileshi Tilahun have done. I want to dedicate this video for the illegally arrested TEDDY AFRO. There is nobody who can explain better the situation about this regime than the President of Eritrea. They have harmed our country and killed our peaceful protesters and have arrested a lot more. This regime must be dismantled and we need to do everything to achieve this. This interview will help us to better understand the relationship between our country and Eritrea and also the hidden agenda of the woyane regime. I am eagre to watch this video and hope it can enlighten us.

    Down with the woyane regime. Long live Ethiopia.

  8. As I have declared more than once before, the National question in Ethiopia has been duly answered. The people of Eritrea rose arms long time ago to take back what was unlawfully snatched from them and they have won that war in a fair fight. They are a sovereign state now since 1993 and we should all respect and accept that. All other residual issues such as access to sea lanes should be negotiated with this sovereign state on equality bases. Any past relationships should be used only as a reference not as a past territory or property. I know that there are quite a few Ethiopians who are not willing to accept this reality and who took it as a very bitter pill to swallow. Some of you may even try to tell me that Mr. Isaias and his followers were getting a lot of both material and diplomatic support from other nations. All I can say is good for those that did just that. But it shows how intelligently he used all his resources to sustain the battle against all odds for more than 30 years and gained independence. I don’t give any much weight to the contributions of ‘Ted Bundy’ from Adwa given to the Eritrean fighters in the 70’s, 80’s and up to May 1991. EPLF were already in full control of more than 90% of Eritrea even before 1990. I still have copies of Time Magazine and other Western news papers from the 1980’s and 90’s that showed EPLF in control of Massawa and other large towns in Eritrea not let alone the countryside. They had grasped their realities very well from the outset and used all their meager resources very well. ‘Ted Bundy’s march into Addis in May 1991 was only the ice on the cake for Mr. Isaias and his troops. So some of you fools must learn how to accept defeat and accept Eritrea as a full-fledged sovereign state. And then deal with it accordingly. I think that is what Mr. Elias exactly doing. He seems to understand and accept the fact that Eritrea is a sovereign state recognized by the entire world and stands in clear and steadfast opposition to Ted Bundy from Adwa. Way to go Mr. Elias!!! God Bless!!!!

  9. If he believe in one Ethiopia, that is good. Other than that, it is just a joke and game for nothing. We have to stop playing games while we know what is for real and what is just for game. We have to be genuine and consistent.
    What president Issayas has to understand is that no matter what, the Eritrean issue will be solved only when the Ethiopian issue is solved. I totally agree with this statement.

  10. I am touched by the above comments. we People (eritreans/ethiopians) could live in peace and unity, and one day (only time will tell) we can unit and become boarderless.
    Dear Ethiopians, I assure you PIA and Eritreans would like to see united Ethiopia, not only Ethiopia, but Sudan and Somalia, too. This is the stand of the Government of the State of Eritrea. We prosper with peaceful neighbourhood.
    Ethiopians should see this historic interview as stepping stone for further co-operations and fight to overthrow woyanne.
    Long live Ethio-Eritrean relationship.

  11. Hey guys,
    I fully understand your eagerness to see the video. But, please be patient. Elias is visiting many places like Massawa. As you can imagine the red carpet has been rolled to him. I am just as eager as you guys are to hear the interview, because if what I read in is any indication, I believe all the Weyane instilled fears in us will soon vanish for good. I really believe President Isaias what ever he says. He is an honest and honorable man who is being demonized by the Western media for refusing to be another African leader at the service of the neo colonialists. If this interview would bring the two peoples together for mutual benefit [win-win situation] and without any animosity, then the trip would have been all worth it! Long live the inseparable friendship of the Ethiopian and Eritrean people. Nobody can make us enemy. We are our worst enemy. Time to stop that nonsense!

  12. Dear Elias, as you are wellcomed to our country, all Ethiopians are also invited to Eritrean as we are not only neighbours but brothers ans sisters. What ever happens in the political high above the clouds, who ever comes in power in both countries, we are two nations living side by side in respect and honest. The regime in Addis has to know this and cant not play gimmics agains both people.
    The presidet of Eritrea has been targeted by the regime in Addis together with his masters elsewhere. Eritrea is a some in size but big in moral and dignity. Ethiopia is big and rich in natural resources and will be bigger and proud if not for the bloodsucker and anti unity TPLF regime.

  13. Democracy, good gevenance, multi-party system. free movement, free economy, geometricaly dividen of regions,, no tribal region as imposible in reality real, free pres/tv-radio,free court, free military/police etc can be ACHIEVED ONLY IF WE DEFFIT WOYANE AND WE ERTERIAN AND ETHIOPIAN CREAT A UNITED TRANSITIONAL GOVERNMENT CHAIRED BY ISAIAS AFEWERKI.WITH DYNAMIC PARTY PROGRAM AN ERITRIAN CAN BE PRESIDENT OR LEADER ….OBAMA FROM AFRICAN 50% BLOOD IS RULING USA. Elias there is no a heroic and good history of Ethiopia with out the work of her son Eriterian ,,,Zeray Deres,,Moges asgedom ,, Abraham Deboch, Aman Andom etc

    WE be united under democracy and build our country from cost to cost,,, We save our economy etc,,,,

  14. The twisted- minded,evil Woyanes expelled Eritreans and told the Ethiopian people that they were the enemies,and the gullible Ethiopians went along with them and cheered such cruel act of Meles and Co.and encouraged to unleash
    the most senseless war betweem the brotherly people of Eritrea and Ethiopia. After all said and done, Eritrea
    was vindicated through an international court and was awarded the land Woyane used as scapegoat to invade Eritrea. While Woyane refuses to respect the verdict the atrocities continued on the poor masses of Ethiopians. Meles’ bogus “democracy” election and vote went awry as he massacred over 193 people in day light in Addis Ababa because people dared to question his honesty. As we embark into an era where Ethiopians finally seem to recognize the difference between Shaebia and Woyane, they find an open invitation from the Peace seeking and far-sighted leadership of Eritrea. Woyanes days of lies and pretentions seem to be nearing an end as they are being enclosed from all directions. Gone are the days where woyane would use Eritrea as a scapegoat to create war and hostility between the two peoples inorder to rally support for his criminal leadership. Woyanes fears are being realized now, that the common enemy here is not Eritrea but Woyane himself. The united voice of ethiopians and Eritreans in the world stage should now be loud and clear against the anti-Peace lying evil Woyane who is only good for creating divisions and conflicts and using false pretexts inorder to fulfill his selfish evil agenda.

    It is good to see Ethiopians finally come to such realization. Elias Kifle’s close encounter with the President of Eritrea and Eritrea herself would channel
    the truth to the rest of truth seeking Ethiopians and the world that Eritrea is a Peace loving, Peace seeking country.

    As we wait for the interview, I admire Elias Kifle for this unprecedented event. Long live the peace loving peoples of Eritrea and Ethiopia! Down with the Evil Woyane!

  15. Wellcome ye Agere ligeElias and Sileesh to wonderful land Eritrea .I born and raise in Ethiopia and I would like this two land be one some day.

  16. Wow, I am astonished by all those good comments. I always thought the Ethiopians hate and mistrusted Eritreans. During the Eritrean Army struggle I remember as a young fighter when we capture soldiers we used to give them food that we ourselves can’t afford to eat, and treat their wounded appropriately. I used to say, what is this? Those people came to kill us but instead we feeding them our week portion (Mesharf)? My Battalion leader, may God bless his soul, used to tell me “menjus, ezAn dea mesaken entay gerem, dey tegediden tsmeta eyen, mizian tsili yeblnan, tsibah nigho meriat netsa miskonet eko yehwat ena”. Roughly translating, “Those haven’t done any, they came here forcefully, we have no animosity toward those poor solders. After independent those will be our brothers.” Yet I did not buy his excuse at that time. Perhaps I was too young to understand the EPLF leadership’s broad vision. When the war started again in 1998, all I said was. Thanks for the brotherly; I completely dismissed what my battalion leader said then. Because through my own experience I have never met any Eritrean that have ill wish toward Ethiopia and Ethiopians, yet I have seen some Ethiopian still want war with Eritrea, and keep talking about Assab. The sad part of it is that they don’t know Assab was almost free of charge to Ethiopian until the TPLF abundant it and gave to the Ethiopian people an empty promise of capturing Assab. But I guess most Ethiopians learn their lesson that the TPLF said all those things to prolong it’s stay in power. Eritrea separated from Ethiopian doesn’t mean Ethiopia lost access to the sea, it will always have Assab and massawa to us it for import and export with mutual understanding and good brotherly friendship. Finally my admiration and gratitude goes to Mr. Elias Kifle and Mr Silesh Tilahun for taking this historical initiative and clarify things among the brotherly countries. It is no one, absolutely no one to tell to the Ethiopia peopole about Eritreans stand point in regard to the Ethiopia than the Ethiopian journalist themselves. I strongly believe that the president will be candid about his position and beliefs in regards to Ethiopian. I am sure the TPLF are in state of panic at this time. It shouldn’t surprise anyone if they come up with fairy-tale

  17. I was waiting to see the interview. Where is it then? Please post it. ‘Yemin Lib Manteltel New?’
    We waited too long. Please post it.

  18. This is truly a historical moment of our life time where an Eritrean President and Ethiopian Journalists seat together in a room to discuss about the common interest of the TWO countries. I think the GOOD LORD must have said already enough is enough of killing each other and LOVE and peace must prevail over this region, where as outside forces must be silenced from here on forward so that the TWO nations can feed their hungry children. It is time to put down our weapons and start using our mind and pens to allow our people to learn, think, develop, and create what others have created to have a better life for the coming generation. It is time to build hospitals, roads, bridges, schools and so forth so that we can fill our belly our selves. Enough to begging and start to instill self respect in to the mind of our coming generation and stop the flood of migration where one loses his or her self worth and self respect.

  19. Elias, My hat is off to you! and I am proud of you to go that extra mile to find the answers to what? who? where? how? and why?
    I can’t wait to here the interview brothers!

  20. Selam all:

    What Elias and colleagues are doing is a big contribution in the re-establishing of the process of building a true relationship between the two nations.

    In this regard,to declare that “The Sky is the limit” as PIA has said, is only possible when the TPLF regime and its tentacles( useful tools of foreign neo-colonialists) are totally uprooted from Ethiopia and the Horn region.

    Those who love to talk about history have to live by it now in words and deeds. Then it is possible to make REAL history of lasting cooperation among peoples.

  21. Thank you for your efforts and we hope this will open a new chapter for Eritrea and Ethiopia. In this unprecedented action, you have made us realize that there is still hope for us all to leave in peace.

    It is refreshing to read the posting from both Eritreans and Ethiopians and one can see except for few, people have realized that our destinies are enter twined and we gain nothing from war.

    I hope President Isaias has managed to respond to all questions as it is important for Ethiopians to understand that Eritrea and its people are not enemies of the Ethiopian people.

    With regard to the Asab issues, few yet representative messages on the important of the sea outlet for Ethiopia. In peace, there is nothing we cannot achieve. All that is needed is mutual respect and the genuine desire to live in peace.

    Our real and common enemy is POVERTY!


  22. Dear Elias,

    Could you please tell us when you’ll be posting this interview? we’re waiting and checking every second in vain.
    thank you for all your commendable work!

  23. we really appreciate the interview by ethiopian review as this is one step forward in re-constructing the bond between this historically bound people. Due to the conflict between the two governments, not the people, we are separated, but the president really outlined all the situation. we as Eritreans criticize Isaias on many issues, but we also appreciate him on some issues like this. so feel proud ethiopians and eritrean on what elias did.

  24. thanks der elias you are the best of all web. may be woyanne members know that their end is coming. I am waiting to see the interview video.

    From Germany

  25. This is truly refreshing to C the TWO nations discussing about issues that would allow them to start develop the same system of government and in return would allow the people of the two nations to start the NATION BUILDING PROCESS. It is time to say the outside forces enough of the system of perpetual poverty that was going on for the last 50 years and time to make the people of the TWO nations aware of the injustice that was being carried out for the 50 years. Nation building will require leaders that are self less enough to lead a country to where the people of Eritrea and Ethiopa can no longer depend on any outside forces to feed their people. Yes the time has come for the WEAYNE to step down and allow the people of Ethiopia start the work of building their roads, bridges, hospitals, schools, and all others by them selves. Yes Ethiopoa has the sons and daughters with great potential that can do many more if only a leader brave enough and self-less a rises TODAY to lead the people.

  26. Elias crossing the Atlantic ocean and Mediterranean sea to interview H.E Isaias Afwerki , is simply refreshing!!!

    Courageous and patriotic people do go the distance to bring an everlasting peace and justice to their people, and now i just want to thank you for NOT BEING just another “journalist” who rather blame all the problems of horn Africa on Eritrea rather than thoroughly studying the issue.Thank you for taking the first step to bring an end to the blood shed between the two people and i hope your efforts bring Eritrean and Ethiopians closer.

    And also i wanted to thank you for the beautiful video clip you’ve posted about Asmara!!

    I hope to see the interview soon.And for those of us who don’t understand amharic, i hope you’ll have it in English.

    God bless Eritrea and Ethiopia


  27. I have observed the interview given by the Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki.
    There is nothing wrong with the ethiopin review as some critics say.
    It is very good chance to listen to Isaias and evaluate his opinion on different issues. Whether it is genuine or not, time will tell.
    One thing is for sure. Isaias looks more innocent than Melese Zenawi. The arrogancy of Melese Zenawi itself closes the door for right observation. Melese is the” I know everything man”.He has a very serious attitude problem let alone his policy.
    thanks for Ethiopin review web

  28. Hi Elias Anbesaw,

    Hope you and all your families are doing well my brother,

    One question for you sir,

    Is there a way of collecting information on all the Supporters of the regime in Addis, who are actually helping it to launder all the looted money. How about responsibility wise, in relation to murder either mass or anything along that line? will we be able to collcet all this or archive all this for the judgement day. The current Woyane gov have put it in their legislation that they do not recognize or participate in any form with ICC, is there a way to put all this people or whatever they are on the ICC list. I am really worried that they might get away with this,that’s why I am raising these questions.
    And finally, I do believe if any harm get to the Eritrean leader Issayas Afeworki, Ethiopia will be in the greatest danger. I know for a fact that Tigrayans who were born in Eritrea and who are pro woyane have been told few years a ago that they should remain Eritreans as that is their country and should never say or accept their Ethiopian roots. Do you think Meles is planning for Eritreans to be rulled by a rouge leader who is controlled by woyane remotely from Addis.

    May God be with and your families at all times as we need you more than ever.

    Yantew Wondem
    ke London.

  29. This interview should be put on . I couldn’t even find one part of it on other websites. It was a little bit dificult to google it. I thank you much and much for the effort made by “Ethiopian review” to make a hostoric interview happen. Cher ygtem, lemiketlew tarik!

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