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PIA: 'Now face the truth, admit and make the way free; and this not vengeance but justice' Dr.Alazar Gebre-Yesus
An Independent Observer and Concerned Eritrean, London, 19.09.01

Your Excellency President Isaias Afeworki (PIA),

"Human freedom is absolute only in the sense that people have a right to choose a certain course of action in their own domain". That is why I have decided to address my case via the public way to make it audible. The purpose of this piece of writing 'not vengeance but justice' is to demonstrate my protest while you are going against the will of our people and not abiding by the rule of law. Without law there is no liberty. Law should therefore be above politics. This is reflected in the principle of the rule of law: the idea that law rules. But this bedrock principle applied in civilised societies has become invalid in Eritrea. Hence, there is a range of evidence for my protest.

First: Mr. President, from the very beginning, you are not elected democratically by the people and for the people in Eritrea. However, you have been seen as a President of the Provisional and Transitional Government of The State of Eritrea. But the fact is that legally or illegally, you are only elected and accepted by your own party, the PFDJ. However the EPLF / PFDJ takes over the Government, it does not mean it represents every Eritrean. The world recognised Eritrea's independence as a 'de facto' State since 1991. But, despite the Constitution of the Provisional Government of Eritrea as well as the rules and regulations of the EPLF / PFDJ, the power has always been in one man, that is you. This has resulted as if you have all the duty to take all measures. You have been acting differently beyond the Law in which the given 'Constitution' does not allow you to do.

This has the consequence to raise fundamental issues of concerns for our people. In the following statement, I endeavour to demonstrate to you, the whole fundamental issues in one. "When a right is maintained, human society is preserved, but when it is neglected, society is corrupted". This comment describes the current situation in our country. Eritrea is in this stage at the centre of political, managerial / administrative, economical, educational, cultural and social corruption. This is due to your inability to run a Government, and your inability to prepare the right conditions for its people to happen. This inability of one-man rule is visible, tangible and explainable alone at the example of your failure of conflict solution. Your one-hand regime led to a political miscalculation and mismanagement of the 'senseless' war with Woyane, Ethiopia, the result of which left a devastating effect on the Eritrean soil, Eritrean people, Eritrean politics and economy. No one, today, could possibly question the reason. There is a high degree of agreement across media revealing the internal and external weaknesses of your leadership. Even the words of Carol Bellamy (Executive Director, UNICEF, May 2000) is one of the many examples of your inability when she spoke on behalf of the Eritreans - the victims of war. She said: "It is the innocent civilians - including a quarter of a million children under the age of five - who have their backs against the wall". 700,000 Eritreans left their homes and in their places came the enemy to occupy the Eritrean sovereign territory. The re-building of these homeless Eritreans is estimated US$300 Million. Should these Eritreans deserve to go through suffering instead of pleasure? This was the disaster your leadership caused to the innocent Eritrean people. Further, that proves that you have not learned from our prolonged struggle (30-year war) for independence in which 750,000 Eritrean refugees have been living in desert camps in the Sudan and over 100,000 in other countries of the world for more than three decades. You were unable to catch sight of these old economical, social, educational and political problems of our refugees as one of the Government priorities. So what is to happen next? - similar to Afghanistan, Algeria, Congo, East Timor, Haiti, Lebanon, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, or Yugoslavia?

Second: You are not yet ready or willing to accept the responsibility for all the consequences of your leadership from the past up to the present. With your silence, you are trying to blame others. The highlight is your smear campaign on vilification and abhor by twisting real events and canvassing people to vote for you. Mr. President, your smear campaign has never been new: Menka-e members, Leftists, Rightists, Jasus (Spy agents for CIA etc.), Homosexuals (Tegadelti, 1975; Priests, 1978 etc.), Fifth Party, Jihad (Islamic Fundamentalists) and now Reformers, Pro-Woyane etc.. In such old tactics, how will you go further in this modern time? Human rights could not be a matter for opinion poll. I refer this to what you, Mr. President, said recently to 'The London Arabic Daily - Alhayat': "It is better to wait patiently till the people comment on it". Now, I question you: When you said that did you mean that the Eritrean people have a say and a share in your power, or did you say that by mistake? Or is it a cover-up statement for your moral of double standard? Every Eritrean knows that you have never accepted the maturity of your own people to take their own destiny and responsibility, because you do not believe in democracy. If you believe in democracy, why do you then wait for a further adversity? The answer is clear, you are buying time to comfort yourself and to come in another guise in order to strengthen your legacy. In other words, the reason behind the curtain of your silence, I imagine, is that you would like first to ensure your 're-election as a president' and then to crackdown all your opponents so that you sit on the horse saddle for a further ride. But you can't and won't win the war against your people. On the contrary, you are preparing your own graveyard, as you said it and happened to the 'Derge', the Military Junta in Ethiopia.

Therefore, today, my concern is that in Eritrea a political turmoil is surfacing. This view is expressed not only by Eritreans, but Europeans. The current crisis is not coming out of the blue sky. I believe, it has a cause rooted in your personality and leadership. It is a personality of a leader whose qualities are far from performing ones duties and obligations in our modern world, the 21st Century. It is the quality of a leader who is far from incorporating the right moral, ethical, legal, educational and political responsibilities with the right accountability. It is a quality of a statesman who cannot ensure the safety and integrity of the Eritrean nation. It is a quality of a statesman who cannot cope with constructive criticism. It is a quality of a person who cannot differentiate what was said yesterday and today. It is about a statesman who is fishing in illusion to bring more destruction than construction. It is about a self-centred personality. It is about an authoritarian leader whose authority does not recognise a boundary. It is about a leader who does not realise his own strengths and weaknesses. In brief, it is about to describe your behaviour as a sell-out when you do not listen to and betray the trust of your own comrades and people. It is about your behaviour when you run out of principles in order to gain an advantage of your own existence. That is to say: 'me first - an egoism'. An egoism is a behaviour and attitude which show that you believe that you are more important than other people. This shows that you have lost a vision of 'putting people first'. In this sense, our people must fight for their rights and have to defend for a common good that our country cannot and must not be left in the hands of a wrong politician.

Third: Mr. President, you have ambition like everybody else. But your ambition seems to be immeasurable and puzzling for many Eritreans and not only for your comrades (all Tegadelti). You are not in the position to differentiate the importance between 'human needs' and human desires'. A need is something that someone must have, e.g., physiological / biological needs of human beings. A desire is wanting of something but not must. But your needs and desires are endless and unique. This is noticeable, for example, by your limitless interferences in all aspects of your Governmental Administration at all levels. This makes you controversial. Therefore, let Eritrea be saved from administrative and economical paralysis derived from the command control of one man. Remember, the health of a nation depends on the health of its politics. Again, the health of a nation depends on the health of its economy and its administrative policies. Because it is so, the current crisis of your unhealthy politics will damage Eritrea and its people deeper and further in every dimension. The question is: are you now thinking what has to be learned from this?

Fourth: As a result of this puzzle and uncertainty of your behaviour and lack of wisdom and common sense, you have ruled out either a one-to-one or collective communication with your own Senior Officials. You have preferred to blank them. That is why, at this stage, your hardliners of the past are taking their distance from you, who have been part of your body and soul for the last 30 - 40 years. Their distance is factual and reasonable from what is heard, observed and experienced. However you consider their talking and cases utter rubbish. Your answer to them is your 'tolerance'. In your own words, you said: "I do not want to go into its falls and baseless content and say anything, because I have chosen to be tolerant, I will patiently avoid any invitation to an argument" (29.03.01, N.I.: A290301.RTF). But, Mr. President, how long is your tolerance? Let me assume that one of your Officials can or may be wrong, however, I cannot assume that all DG-15 are wrong. In my judgement, you are wrong when you assume yourself that you are right and your Senior Officials are wrong. It is your duty to argue with them, and talk to each other with same courtesy as we all do in our normal lives. If you have run out of ideas, I recommend that you use the conflict solution formula of cooling, clarifying and constructing. In the cooling phase, you let your Officials (whoever the critics are) voice their fears and feelings and you only need to listen to them. In the second stage, you clarify to what is listened to and ask them how they see the problem(s), situation(s) etc. and sort out with them any kind of misconceptions. In the final stage, you construct a solution together and not alone. This is a must for a statesman. I have to say, this is a disgrace. Your 'Policy of No Listening, No Advice, No Consultation, No Discussion': such an approach can never bring a solution. You ought to be ashamed for your misleading, false and non-factual prejudice. Silence is a defeat and expression is a victory. As this case is not a private but a national issue, i.e. a political and a social issue. When you do not show any kind of effort to establish the right peace and democracy for our people, then, Mr. President, you are proving yourself, directly and indirectly to be guided by a dogmatic belief: "I'm the only god. Do what I think and say, and not do what I do". This can be interpreted, 'my Eritrean people do not do what you think and say, but only follow every command of your 'god', the President'. This has become your lesson to the public. In theory and practice, you are exploiting this 'national crisis' as a means of your old 'divide and rule system'. Do you think this is right? How can you justify it?

Fifth: Mr. President, you have another negative record. That is again your manner in the Eritrean struggle leadership and the systematic tactics of CIA and Maffia-type killings and imprisonments of many Eritrean comrades in prison (Halewa Sewra) conspired with you to amplify your sense of grandeur. But great beauty, magnificence and pleasure on the cost of human lives can never be a true human beauty and pleasure. To that end, I just mention few examples of those Eritreans with democratic vision who lost their lives in brutality in Sahel. Those Democratic Activists were 1) Mussie Tesfamichael (Saganeite /Adi-Fini'E, Akele-Guzai), 2) Yohannes Sebhatu (Gura'E, Akele-Guzai), 3) Debessai Gebreselassie (Seraye), 4) Tareke Yehdego (Dembe-Zan, Hamasien), 5) Afeworki Teclu /Afeworki Amharai/ (Zagir, Karneshim, Hamasien), 6) Aberash Melke (Decamere, Akele-Guzai), 7) Dehab Tesfazion (Decamere / Keyih-Kor, Akele-Guzai), 8) Michael Habteselassie ( ? ), 9) Habteselassie Ghebremedhin (Halibo, Akele-Guzai), 10) Tewolde Eyob (Sessah, Akele-Guzai). Their 'Democratic Movement' has been tainted and known as 'Menka-e'. The First EPLF Convention at Suduh Ella in 1977 passed a resolution of these Activists' execution. But the fact was that many of the above named Activists for Democracy were already executed in August 1975 before the inception of the First EPLF Convention. The announcement of execution on behalf of the First EPLF Convention was deliberately done for the purpose of cover up of your personal responsibility. This was a political game that still needs a judicial investigation, clarification and resolution. A further death aftermath of the First Convention at the hand of Isaias' Regime was, for example, the killing of Betszai Goite-om Berhe (Akele-Guzai), accused of being Menka-e. He was a law graduate from the Haile Sellassie University Addis Ababa, and one who contributed a lot to the development of the EPLF by translating foreign literature of political philosophies into Tigrigna language. One of his translations was 'Zente Mogot' from which Sheabia learned a lot. Further he introduced and taught the Philosophy of Comradeship: Who is a comrade? (Men Eyu Betszai? Men Eyu Sewrawi?)

All the above crimes committed on Menka-e and others are still kept secret for our Eritrean people at home and abroad. On the contrary, all the Veteran Fighters (Gedaim Tegadelt) I know this hidden secret because of their participation and support for that democratic movement, but they are told and intimidated by your dictatorship not to talk about it among the 'Tegadelti' and to the 'public'. Today, the eye-witnesses of the past are the prominent Senior Officials themselves, for example, Petros Solomon (signatory to the G-15), Mahmud Ahmad Sherifo (signatory to the G-15), Sebhat Ephrem (PFDJ), Romodan Awlia (PFDJ), Romodan Mohammad Nur (Ex-General Secretary of the EPLF), Ali Sayed (PFDJ) etc. Because more than 90% of Sheabia's Tegadelti were imprisoned, punished and brainwashed by you and your clique in the year of 1977. That is why, by the end of 1977, the EPLF (Sheabia) declared the defeat of 'Menka-e' (A'e-Nawi Menke-sechas: Zegemawi / Huluf Zegamawi) and that the Movement as such did not exist any more. For any movement that came to exist after that within Sheabia, could no longer be named Menka-e. Therefore, another name had to be given, and that was 'Yemanawi / Huluf Yemanawi Menke-sechas' (Right / Extrem Right Movement). To this new name of political movement belonged the serial killings of, for example, 1) Solomon Woldemariam (Adi-Techlai / Zaada-Emba, Hamasien), 2) Haile Jebha (Techela, Seraye), 3) Dr. Medhanie (Adi Abieto, Hamasien), 4) Dr. Makonnen Haile (saganeiti, Akale-Guzai), 5) Dr. Tekeste ( ? ), 6) Dr. Eyob ( ? ), 7) Mehari /Political Commissioner in Military Training/ ( ? ) and many others. Another mystery of Isaias' crime was also the killings of: 1) Abraham Tewolde (Saganeiti, Akele-Guzai) who was a leader of the 5th Divison of the ELF in the 1960s and under whom you yourself was a political commissioner; 2) Ibrahim Affa /Wodi Affa/ (Hirgigo, Semhar); 3) Mohammad Ali Kley (Dankalia); 4) Wolde Michael Haile /Wodi Haile/ (Saganeiti, Akele-Guzai); 5) Tesfamichael Georgo /Wodi Georgo/ (Ackrur, Akele-Guzai) on April 13 1992 in Addis Ababa; 6) Colonel Teclezghi Gulbet ( ? ) in December 1996; 7) Abdurahman Ahmed ( ? ), a former ELF fighter and a Syrian trained fighter pilot as well as a member of the post-independence Eritrean Air Force arrested in January 1999, and many others that I haven't quoted their names. Therefore, time will question you for such an evil act, and many Eritreans are impatient to see the end of this evil act inside and outside 'Halewa Sewra'.

Sixth: Mr. President, not only that is the end of your crime, but also the past civil war in Eritrea counts to your negative record. That is back to the history, you have driven the ELF, your brothers and sisters being supported by the Woyane your former 'friends on cards' and today your enemies and political masters on the Horn of Africa. I hope you would regret it today for letting down your brothers and sisters in the ELF. Perhaps, the issue of 'Bade'me' and the war with 'Woyane' would not have come into effect, if ELF and EPLF were in harmony. However, the time had not healed the wounds neither with ELF nor with the Woyane. It is still far from the point and far from over. I ask you, do you think the Eritrean people have forgotten for your past crime of civil war? You may have forgotten, but not the Eritreans. To this effect, an Amharic proverb helps to simplify the sense: "Ye'wouga be'ressa, Ye'te-wouga eires-sam".

Seventh: Considering the past and present track of your leadership despite your self-commitment to ups and downs in the struggle, I have doubts about your personal identity and nationality of whether you are: i) a true Eritrean or ii) a CIA agent. This statement is based on the following facts:

a) Historically, the political philosophy of the EPLF was against Emperialism and Zionism. However, many Eritreans were victims of your political belief and slogan in the last 30 years of struggle. You called them Menka-e, 'jasus' (spy agent) of CIA, Israel, West Germany, Ethiopia, Keyada Al-Ama (Jebha) etc. As a result, many Eritrean civilians and Tegadelti were imprisoned and tortured in Halewa Sewra and many paid with their lives. Many of these victims (e.g. Teclemariam Rashaida, Betszai Goite-om Berhe as mentioned before) were used as objects of demonstration for their wrong missions. They were forced to stand and speak out their wrong doings in front of the new Eritrean Trainees in Bele-Kat, Mah-Mi-met etc. (Military Training Campuses) as well as in front of the gathered battalion (companies, contingents) (Tegadelti of Ganta-tat and Haile-tat of a Battalion), for example at Deg-At Abai, Deg-At Ne-Ush in Sahel in the years of 1975 - 1977. At the end of the speech of their forced confession, the victims were asking the audience for forgiveness, no one knows till this day whether the allegations were true. How shameful and painful was that for them to say that? How long yet is the Menka'e story for Democracy to be unexposed to the public? How would you answer the questions of the parents, families and friends of those Tegadelti whom you punished with the death penalty?

b) Having forgotten your political philosophy and what you inflicted on the innocent and democratic Eritreans, you Mr. President went to Israel (the Home of Zionism) without shame, to save your life as you were ill with cerebral malaria in January 1993. The USA organised your flight. This turning point of politics caused trouble with our good Arab-world supporters, those who stood on our side in our struggle. This was a political suicide in the name of all Eritreans including the victims of your torture for being blamed to be Zionist and CIA agents. Why were the Eritreans segregated and punished unjustly? Mr. President, how do you feel the difference is today? Will you ask the Eritrean people for apology? Or are you suffering from Alzheimer's disease? That means you have no memory of yesterday.

c) Short after the Eritrean Referendum in May 1993, you spoke out your political concept of 'confederation with Ethiopia' as an option for the future. The following dispatch of an interview extract in the box displays your own words. The interview was translated into a German Language and conducted by one of the many German National Newspapers, called Frankfurter Rundschau (FR). Having said that publicly, you were confronted with foreign journalists for that expression. Their confrontation was logical and understandable. This raised questions: why did Eritrea fight 30 years against Ethioipa if your plan was to re-unite it? Why must 65,000 Eritreans be martyrs? Where and what was the sense of revolution, i.e. the struggle for independence? Why was then a National Referendum held as necessary? Why was then the third option, i.e. 'confederation with Ethiopia' of the Referendum choice cancelled? Needless to say, your remark of confederation with Ethiopia was already confirmed by many other International News Agencies. The following examples made the case no secret: i) Reuters (Die Welt: Eritrea erwägt Konföderation mit Äthiopien. Monday 26 April 1993, page 4); ii) Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) (von Stefan Klein: Noch vor Ende des Referendums - Eritreer feiern Unabhängigkeit. Regierungschef: Konföderation mit Äthiopien möglich. SZ, Nr. 95, Monday, 26 April 1993, page 7); iii) Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) (von Günther Krabbe: Konföderation mit Äthiopien erwogen. Überraschendes von der eritreischen Führung. FAZ, Nr. 96, Monday 26 April 1993, page 8).

Question - FR: Herr Afewerki, Sie haben eine Konföderation zwischen Eritrea und Äthiopien nicht ausgeschlossen.

Answer - Issaias Afewrki: Ich habe gesagt, wir sind offen für eine solche Lösung. Aber die Form ist nicht das entscheidende. Wir müssen ein gemeinsames Programm für den Wiederaufbau ausarbeiten und erfolgreich absolvieren. Dies muß die Basis für unsere Beziehung sein. Wir können einen änlichen Ansatz wählen wie die EG: Die wirtschaftliche Integration ist die Grundlage jeder politischen Integration. Die Integration ist ein dynamischer Prozess. Aber wir sind grundsaetzlich bereit, auch über Konföderation zu redden.

Von Walter Michler: Frankfurter Rundschau - Interview: Die Unabhängigkeit ist nicht das Ende der Gemeinsamkeit. Ein Gespräch mit den Staatschefs Eritreas und Äthiopiens, Issaias Afewerki und Meles Zenawi, über die Zukunft. Mittwoch, 26.Mai 1993, Nr. 120. S/R/D, Seite (page) 7

d) In addition to that concept of 'confederation' with Ethiopia, your attitude towards 'Tigrai-Tigrini union' was on your political agenda. The 'Tigrai-Tigrini concept of the 1940s and 1950s' was more strengthened mainly in the 1970s and 1980s as EPLF and ELF were rivals and the civil war between them intensified and continued. This was visible in the political lessons of Sheabia delivered to Tegadelti. The political propaganda created more hatred against the ELF. The EPLF condemned the ELF as not Eritrean. On the contrary, the EPLF was giving military support to the non-Eritrean party, the TPLF (Tigrai People's Liberation Front) theoretically and practically. Further the relationship developed in the 1990s but based on a profit strategy. In the course of the post-independence of Eritrea, the strategy on profit did not last long and turned into a war in May 1998. The main cause of the war is yet unknown to our people. It will be revealed in due course. Back to the history, the first relationship of the EPLF was not with TPLF but with the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Party (EPRP). However, that relationship was ended in 1975 because the 'Eritrean claim of colonisation by Ethiopia', was not endorsed by the EPRP. By that time, that is before the diplomacy with the EPRP was cut off, the political attitude of the EPLF was negative towards the TPLF. Because the TPLF's link with the ELF was positive. Then the EPLF changed its face to the Tigrians' Movement. But the equal status of the ELF as a party has always been denied. The EPLF opposed the existence and growth of the ELF on the Eritrean soil. This was no better than to repeat the same wrong thought as the ELF (Abai Jebha) did in the past. Such a political design has been against the encouragement of the Eritrean integration of its people and their culture. Furthermore, that ill ideology of the EPLF already spoke for itself as a clear symptom of disbelief in democracy.

e) Again, back to the history of the struggle for independence, Sheabia (EPLF) exploited and developed the means of the divide and rule system. That culture began with day one of the entry of every Eritrean for military training who voluntarily came to sacrifice herself / himself for Eritrea. The Security Organ of Sheabia (Halewa Sewra) interrogated and investigated the new comers individually and separately. Some of the main interrogative questions were: 1) What is your name? (Five names: First name? Father's name? Grandfather's name? Mother's name? Grandmother's name?) 2) Where were you born? 3) Father's place of birth? 4) Mother's place of birth? 5) Where do you live? 6) What drives you to join the EPLF? 7) What is your profession? 8) What is your education? 9) Is there anybody whom you know from the EPLF - Tegadelti? 10) Who is he / she? 11) How do you know him or her? In a true sense, all these questions were legitimate. However, the Questions 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 in particular served other hidden purposes. The first example of the hidden purposes was that the segregation of the elites and non-elites under the cover-up of detecting spies, whom Sheabia called 'jasus' for security reasons. There started the classification of the Tegadelti, naming one che-guar danga, meaning the uneducated / uncultivated. In other terms, as weeds grow on the fields, the hairs grow on the legs. In Tigrigna expression, it was meant that someone is perceived as wild, unclean and of limited thinking that can easily be manipulated. In another expression, it was meant that someone who belongs to the class of Peasants (Acqwua-yin / Harestai-yin) and Workers (Shekalai-yin). The other class was branded as educated but opportunist, middle-class bourgeoisie (Ne'us-Birjua). The che-guar danga classification was welcomed and always seen with green light and rewarded with military leadership at all levels within the EPLF rank and file of its leaders. By contrast, the elite classification was always under red light that was by monitoring and controlling all her / his activities. The most common post given to the elites (opportunists' class) was a political commissioner but under the full control of the che-guar danga leadership of the military. For clarification, the terms 'che-guar danga and Elites as such were not official languages of the EPLF. However, they were practised informally in an oral expression of jokes. But the terms Peasant (Achwai), Worker (Shekalai), Bourgeoisie and Middle-class Bourgeoisie (Ne-us Birjua) were formal and official languages. Of course, many Eritreans started to perceive the feeling of such social classification by the questions asked at the interview, but they could not talk about it. In later stages of their life experiences and observations, many others understood the effect of the questions. The second example of the hidden agenda was to identify people from Tigrai origin or elsewhere outside Eritrea so that they will be the future backbones of you, Mr. President, as we see it today. The third example of the hidden agenda of segregation and investigation was that whether the new elite and non-elite comers could have any kind of impact upon the Menka-e Movement due to their tendencies or relationships to the Democratic Activists. The fourth example of the hidden agenda was that to avoid the concentration of elites in one group or area that may be seen as a threat or opposition to the EPLF leadership. As a result, there was an on-going process of mixing up the fighters (Tegadelti) physically, psychologically and socially, what the EPLF called it 'Tech-lit' (Arabic meaning mixing up / re-grouping: Meti-hene-fatsz). The 'Tech-lit' is of two types. This has been within the circles of: i) the initial military training of the new trainees and ii) the fighters in the Front (Gedaim Tegadelti / the Veterans). The Techlit of the new trainees depends on the length of military training programme. Every 6 - 8 weeks the new trains were re-grouped. This was mostly the case for the six months of training. Within six months, therefore, the Tech-Lit occurs three times. By every Tech-lit, the new trainee meets another new trainee. The point is that, if two, or three, four, .. Ten, .. twenty Eritreans, .. etc. came together to the field and joined the EPLF, they never form a close contact. Some never see each other again. The second type of Tech-lit includes all Tegadelti in the Front (companies, contingents etc. / Tegadelti nai Bottolonitat: Haile-tat, Ganta-tat, Mesri-at) and the graduate trainees. The Tegadelti in the Front are all called up to Sahel for that purpose and takes 3 - 5 days to re-group them. This Techlit of all Tegadelti happens once every year. With the Tech-lit, the old relationship of the Tegadelti disappears as happens to the new trainees during their training. This has been the life of our beloved Tegadelti. All these dirty intrigues were played without the knowledge of Tegadelti, resulting from the fear of losing power. That is why the Policy of No Trust has been honoured and the value of trust has been lost. Not only is the Policy of Divide and Rule System within the EPLF promoted, its contradiction to the democratic principles and its violation of human rights; when our brothers and sisters are discriminated against and not equally seen and respected, irrespective of their differences in skills, experiences and knowledge.

f) The document collection highlights the fact that you, Mr. President and Meles, the Ethiopian Prime Minister have been serving USA's interest rather than your own people. The Times (1998) has described both of you as "the solid centrepiece of American Policy in Africa and that America has relied on you, the new leaders". Further, the New African (1998) confirms that the "USA sees the two leaders as part of the new breed of African democratic leadership" and that the "USA sees them as a bulwark of their regional policy against Sudanese Islamic Fundamentalism". To make matters worse, the Clinton Administration during the 1990s and until the War with the Woyane broke out in May 1998, had been paying the Government of Ethiopia US$20 Million a year to fight Sudan (The East African, 1997). Irrespective of all these plights, Ethiopia's ploy to maintain political, economical and social relations still goes on and on, except that it had accused Sudan of being behind an attempt on Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's life in Addis Ababa in June of 1995. Unlike Ethiopia, Eritrea broke off diplomatic relations with Sudan in December 1994, charging it with backing fundamentalist rebels, what you called the 'Jihad Movement' on the Horn of Africa. It was unwise of your political ability to cut off diplomacy. It must have been a shame to you Mr. President, when a foreign journalist in your face at the interview suggested to you that you were too hot-headed in your confrontation with Sudan by breaking off diplomatic relations, suspending direct flights between Khartoum and Asmara …(New African, 1996)". Firstly, this in itself characterises not only your (Isaias's) weak points in common sense, wisdom and ability (forget politics), but as one of many reasons, that sharpened and produced a further dispute with the Sudan and other Arab countries on the effect of religion and other social and political factors. Secondly, such politics influenced and directed by foreign policies, helped only to create a gap between the two cultures within Eritrea: Islam and Christianity, instead of the promotion of the principle 'learning to live together'. Nevertheless, the cause for such a problem was not only to rest on the shoulder of the US politics, but also on the part of the Eritrean leadership. You, Mr. President was travelling at breakneck speed of loudly speaking out to the public media as well as in conferences that you had the military capabilities and possibilities to throw away the Government of General Omer Hassan Al-Bashir of the Sudan from power, because you underestimated the Government of the Sudan. You were competing to destroy each other, as the case with Ethiopia, rather than supplement one another in enhancing what is mutually good for our region. The New African (1996) revealed your open plot: "He (President Isaias Afeworki) is determined to bring down the fundamentalist regime (of Sudan) one way or another with the help of the neighbouring states". Further, the New African (1996) discloses your own words in an interview in Asmara saying: "It is only a short road to the end of the regime in Sudan"; "We are no longer prepared to play Tom and Jerry games with Khartoum. The stability of the region depends on the regime's defeat. There is no room for diplomacy, and no compromise". Furthermore, the Opponents of the Sudanese Government were holding their meetings in Asmara in an open atmosphere. But later, regardless of all these examples, you knocked on the door of the Sudanese Government for re-conciliation through the mediation of the Qatar Government (Emir of Qatar) as well as the efforts of Colonel Muammar Al-Gaddafi of Libya, because you were trapped by the war with the Woyane. Similarly in the Year 2000, you did a dirty politics with the Government of Djibouti. You described the Government of Djibouti as a Province of Tigrai. Believing that you would win the War with Woyane, you greeted the Government of Djibouti to re-install the lost relationship. In one message, all these show that you have neither stable and healthy principles nor stable politics. And a quick fix has no endurance to lasting peace. In light of the conflict between Eritrea and Sudan, how could you deny now your involvement in the American Foreign Policy in being a CIA-Representative when you fight Islamic religion, not only Sudanese but Eritrean culture? Own culture can never be fought but taught.

g) One of the worst in our living memory of our Eritreas' post independence was that the liquidation of the war-veteran handicapped fighters (Akale Godollo Gedaiem Tegadelti) in 1995 whose democratic claims were denied. Those heroic, beloved war-wounded 'Tegadelti', who risked their lives during the liberation, are now again handicapped physically and mentally. Firstly, they were forced to leave Asmara for Mai - Habar. That action and its purpose was for them a social isolation. Secondly, they had claims and they wanted to demonstrate for their rights. Instead, they paid the price with their lives. Because you, Mr. President, had them gunned down. This happened in Mai-Habar in August 11 1995. The public and the remaining 'Tegadelti' are the witnesses for that brutality and atrocity. For them (the dead), this was a double martyrdom. For the rest of them (those living), it is and was a double-wound. But for you, Mr. President, it is and was a personal jubilation, an extension and a demonstration of power in order to safeguard your autocratic rule and your clique. How could you do that? What differentiates your action from fascism?

h) Equally worse was that of your plan and order of withdrawal from the port of Assab. This was more or less an indirect handover of our territory to the Woyane. To make the point, the bone of contention of the prolonged war with Ethiopia was the strategic importance of an access to the Red Sea. Our people fought 30 years to liberate Assab from an illegal occupation. Their vow not to give even a centimetre of our land that does not belong to Ethiopia was their legal right. Having put this reality aside, you had ordered the Eritrean Defence Army in the Front Line and the Assab inhabitants to withdraw and evacuate the areas. Consequently, the great majority of the inhabitants were evacuated for an unknown destiny. The Front Line fighters rejected the withdrawal order more than that agreed pledge with the mediators (OAU, UN etc.) and showed their determination to fight the invading Ethiopian Army until the last drop of their blood. Our resistant, brave and heroic fighters hammered the enemy utterly and put the rest in disarray in its repeatedly attempted battles in the Assab Front from June 09 to 11 2000. The Eritrean Defence Army won the battle and made a new chapter in Eritrean history. Their rejection to withdrawal proved the reverse and scored a high credit in a golden book. From your decision, our territory of Assab and its surrounding of 75 km up to the boundary with Ethiopia was already lost in the hands of the Woyane. Such a decision was not only a discouragement to the Eritrean Defence Army in every Front of the battle zones but also a betrayal to our entire people and liberators those who sacrificed themselves to free Assab and the rest of Eritrea in 1991. Your mentality of that unthinkable thinking to happen was a pure loss of senses and mind. This appears incomprehensible to almost everyone living in and outside Eritrea, even today. Clearly, this proves the admittance of Xanana (East Timor's Independence hero Jose Alexandre) that "guerrilla commanders don't necessarily make good political leaders" (Sergio Vieira de Melo, United Nations, 2001). Mr. President, would you agree with the Xanana' admittance? If so, would you ask for an apology?

i) Your belief on the Policy of Exclusion of a member of Government is more important than the Policy of Inclusion. Such a vice-versa policy is dangerous. As a result, your own insiders (G-13, DG-15 and others) have become outsiders because they have now been openly critical of your leadership. Mr. President, why don't you believe in inclusion and not exclusion? Once these critics revealed the inner secret of your leadership liability, you as a State President could not stand them. Are you aware that you are blocking a gateway to peace? What is the deterrent to you and your gang? Mr. President, don't you think of the consequences? Or is it a wait-and-see policy that is an opportunist policy? In today's more managerial climate, what is needed is a collective leadership with clear accountability and responsibility if the flower of democracy is to flourish and if the values of our people are to be materialised.

j) Further, you, Mr. President, dismissed the Head of the Eritrean High Court (Teame Beyene) from his office, again, because of his critical view. However, the fact remains that the judiciary is always independent from the interferences of any kind of democratic Governments. But the case in Eritrea is vice-versa. Because the 'Eritrean Constitution: Article 49: The Supreme Court' ratified in May 1997 clearly says: 1) The Supreme Court shall be the last resort; and shall be presided by the Chief Justice. 2) The Supreme Court shall have the power of: a) sole jurisdiction of interpreting the Constitution and the constitutionality of any law enacted or any measure undertaken by Government; b) sole jurisdiction of hearing and adjudicating upon charges against a President who has been impeached by the National Assembly pursuant to the provisions of Article 41: Election and Term of Office of the President, Sub-Article 6: The President may be removed from Office by two thirds majority vote of all members of the National Assembly for the following reasons: a) Violation of the Constitution or grave violation of the Law; b) Conducting himself in a manner which brings the authority or honour of the Office of the President into ridicule, contempt and disrepute; and c) Being incapable of performing the functions of his Office by reason of physical and mental incapability. With that you break the Eritrean Democratic Constitution and display yourself apparently to be above the Rule of Law. This shows again that you neither capture the public imagination nor you think that Eritrea needs large-minded people those who can see beyond their patch.

k) Most recently, you ordered to remove 2000 University students of Asmara from Asmara to the remote area of Wi'a where the temperature (45-50 Centigrade) there is not suitable for human beings. These students have never been in such an area in their whole lives. You take them as prisoners and put them in isolation. As a result of the unbearable climate and treatment of harassment, two students (Yemane Tekie and Yirga Yosief) already lost their lives, and how many more yet to come is a question. All this is because they oppose your plan. Further, their demand to release their Chairman of the Students' Union (Semere Kesete whom you let to be put behind the bars since July 31 2001) has got deaf ears. The decision and action you, as a University Chancellor and Head of Government taken jointly with Dr. Woldeab Isaack, the President of the University of Asmara is completely wrong, inhuman and irresponsible. This act is not only a violation of human rights but also an insult to the University status and an insult to the Eritrean people, including the martyrs in the Struggle for Liberation and during the war against Woyane (65,000 + 19,000 = 84,000) and war-wounded Tegadelti (50,000 + 15,000 = 65,000). In fact, a University is the centre of 'a nation - building / state-building'. A University is a backbone and an industry of knowledge for human development. A University is the main resource centre for every kind of development a nation needs. Therefore, the future of a nation is within the machine of a University where this machine is bestowed and dignified with autonomy to administrate itself. The only Eritrea's highest education icon made to be a university a place of teaching, learning and research is now hard to better. Furthermore, in the past, you made a similar wrong decision, and that was your dismissal of University lecturers (35) because they had demands for the beneficiary of the development of the University of Asmara. That disturbing picture is not yet erased from the minds of our people. Today, you turn your clock of tyranny 360 degree further. The questions to be asked now are: how long can the Eritrean people including Tegadelti tolerate this situation? Has the 30-year war struggle for independence turned into slavery overnight? All this testifies that you act against the 'Eritrean Constitution: Article 16: Right to Human Dignity' in which it says: 1. The dignity of all persons shall be inviolable. 2) No person shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. 3) No person shall be held in slavery or servitude nor shall any person be required to perform forced labour not authorised by Law.

l) Finally and currently, the emergence of a heart-breaking news on September 18, 2001 from Asmara from two sources: the BBC Reporter, Alex Last and Radio Dimstzi Hafash as well as a third report form Asmarino, California, USA, although expected, is a shock. Firstly, the news is that the arrest of your comrades-in-arms those who are co-founders of the EPLF and PFDJ, Eritrea's veteran liberators of a 30-year war and post-independence ministers and generals as well as members of the 15 Decent Group (DG-15) of Reformers, and native Eritreans, namely:
1) Mahmud Ahmad Sherifo (former Minister for Local Government), 2) Haile Wolde-Tensae /DuruE/ (former Minister for Trade and Industry, Minister for Foreign Affairs), 3) Petros Solomon (former Minister for Maritime Resources), 4) General Ogbe Abraha (former Chief of Staff and Minister for Labour and Human Resources), 5) Brid-General Berhane Ghebre-Egziabher (former Infantry Commander), 6) Beraki Ghebre-Selasie (former Minister for Culture and Information and Ambassdor to the Federal Republic of Germany), 7) Brig-General Estifanos Seyoum ( ? ), 8) Aster Feseha-Zion (former Member of the Ruling Party Central Committee), 9) Saleh Kekia(former Minister for Transport and Communication), 10) (Hamid Hamed (former Head of Arab Desk of the Foreign Ministry), 11) Germano Nati (former Member of the Ruling Party Central Committee) and many unknown. Secondly, the terrifying news is that eight private-owned (independent) newspapers in Eritrea are shut down. This act of information closure is to equate with the closure of ears, eyes and throats of all Eritreans alive. The fourth tragic news is the closure of the University of Asmara. In an open way and in an inconvenient period in which the World Community has not finished yet in dealing with the grievance resulted from terrorism occurring in USA, UK etc., you Mr. President have re-vitalised a continuity of spreading a 'terror act' in the whole Eritrean communities. Every Eritrean understands such a tactful exploitation and selection of time. But, can terror, aggression, killing, arrest etc. be a solution? Certainly, not. Even the 'Ethiopian Military Junta (Derg)' was not successful in terrorism. This is again a violation of human rights and unlawful act. Mr. President, ask your conscience - what will happen to you tomorrow? Therefore, before everything is too late, let your comrades-in-arms and the students and other political prisoners be released from your jail unconditionally.

Taking all these examples into account and openly speaking, my doubt, as I raised it earlier, is that your own personal identity and nationality that must be scanned and put under a microscope. Because the history of your life in the pre- and post-independence describes you uniquely as a lover of power and authority rather than a lover and maker of the peace, justice, democracy, development and prosperity of one's country. Your leadership is a torment to our people, because you prepare them, constantly and continuously, for war, division and disintegration, for the sake of your own power and authority possession. In a nutshell, your perception of these two words is equating them with ownership and private property of one single individual. This manifests a dictatorship seizing a complete power. To this end, your vision, in simple English, is: 'I don't care if I'm not there, in the power'. This means in Tigrigna: 'Be'de'hrei Essi Wol'la Sa'ari Ai'teb'qoula'. Then with such evil act behaviour, you are persona non grata for Eritrea. Eritrea needs someone with a sound mind in a sound body. Therefore, the consequence to be learned is that someone like you, who is half Eritrean, or half Tigrian, or half Ethiopian must not be allowed to come to power to rule Eritrea. To be governed by a pure Eritrean who cares for Eritrea, must be an Eritrean law. The question of what constitutes 'what and who' is 'a pure Eritrean by generation', is another issue that needs a study.

To come to conclusion, I underline that the heart of the matter in my message is that of the loss of democracy and leadership in Eritrea and that there is no collective leadership, but a one-man leadership. This had always been made explicit in the criticism of the Movements in the 1970s and 1990s. The same is now followed in this new era of 21st Century. That is the criticism of the G-13, DG-15 and a lot of other individual Eritreans. Furthermore, foreign observers, journalists and authors confirm this from their own evidence. But this is not the question or issue I want to address to you, the reader or every Eritrean and a friend of the Eritrean people. My concern is that of the future of Eritrea and the fate of its people. It seems to me unpredictable. This needs an urgent solution through the participation of all Eritreans, no matter where. That is why I say that there is no other alternative option for you, the Eritrean President, Isaias Afeworki, than to face the truth for this critic, and admit your mistakes and make the way free. My contents of writing may be considered as a torrent of speech, but there is no one in your place more than you to blame.

Therefore, under no circumstance do I approve your leadership to continue. I kindly request you to work for the transformation of Government in the quickest possible way. Because, all the above arguments, explanations, descriptions and examples of your behaviour do reinforce my belief that you are not right for the future of my country Eritrea, and that you are not willing to give up the power voluntarily. As a result, I have made up my mind to call for your resignation and ask you to transform power to the other able civilian Eritreans. The reasons and arguments for your resignation, in brief, are your:
  1. Misconduct, negligence and abuse of power: This evidence in the face of:

    a) the sacking of your ministers and generals by your own decision without the consultation of either the Eritrean National Council / Central Committee or the Eritrean Parliament;
    b) the rejection of the demands and critics of your senior officials: DG-15;
    c) putting out of practice the agreements, rules and regulations in the Constitution and Laws of the Government of Eritrea;
    d) rejecting the demands and critics of the Berlin Manifesto of the G-13;
    e) rejection of the demands and criticisms of many other individual Eritreans.

  2. Violation of the Elements of Human Rights: A variety of examples describe this:

    a) detaining your comrades-in-arms (ministers, generals),
    b) detaining professional journalists at different times,
    c) detaining university students, those who are the future of Eritrea,
    d) detaining 'tegadelti' (fighters) and civilians without justice, and charging them by turning down the truth,
    e) treating prisoners under inhuman conditions,
    f) closing publishing private newspapers and human right institution,
    g) discriminating many Eritreans, including your Senior Officials and Tegadelti, when they want to deliver their views to your main organ of news, that is the newspaper 'Haddas Eritrea';

  3. Conspiracy in killings and imprisonments of many democratic Eritreans from the 1970s up to the 1990s. To mention some of the incidents were: i) the Democratic activists of the unfounded name 'Menka'e Movement of the 1972 - 1977'; ii) the 'Democratic activists of the 1993'; and iii) the 'Democratic Activists of the 1995'. In particular, your crime was against the brutal killings of the heroic war disabled fighters (Akale Senkulat Tegadelti) in 1995. This is your evidence of a lack of respect to the people of Eritrea, including the martyrs and the living war handicaps.

  4. Divide and rule system by taking sides, one or the other. This is to illustrate with examples. Example One: The new geographical changes of boundaries within Eritrea without undertaking any kind of 'National Referendum' of its necessity or not, is not in the interest of the Eritrean people. This is because, a boundary is a matter of culture and culture is an identity. Remember, Italy as a coloniser made our boundary that is our political geography and history, and this has been our identity for centuries. Because of its importance and the loss of boundary, our people fought 30 years to regain that lost culture and political identity against Ethiopia. The same problem took place again with the 'Woyane' in the name of Ethiopia. Let me ask you two questions of a simple common sense: How can someone from Zala-Ambessa go to Mendefera or vice-versa to see a court? What is wrong with the old traditional boundaries in the Eritrean society? Example Two: This is your divide and rule system by creating cliques for the purpose of power exploitation within:

    a) your party formerly EPLF, today PFDJ at home and abroad;
    b) the Eritrean society / communities at home and abroad.

  5. Possession of the 'Eritrean People's Army' as your 'Private Army' to protect you.

  6. Disagreement with the formation of 'Political Parties' in Eritrea forgetting that the world today open societies. Diversity and democracy run hand in hand. To live with contradiction is to accept opposition and a natural law. And that is life in democracy.

  7. Plan for 'Election' for December 2001, is at this stage unacceptable, because:

    1. a) the 'Constitution' is NOT yet implemented in practice;
      b) this 'Constitution' has STILL a lot of shortcomings;
      c) this 'Constitution' is NOT discussed and digested
      by all Eritreans inland and outland;

    2. the 'Political Parties' are NOT yet formed, and we have NO candidates available for election.

    3. the different issues of problems and misunderstandings with your 'Senior Officials', fighters and the rest of the people of Eritrea are not yet solved and settled.

    4. the issue of 'a boundary demarcation' with Ethiopia is NOT yet done. In such circumstances, how on earth can you think about 'election' in a vacuum?


  8. Establishing of 'Special Court' to use them as an apparatus of your 'legacy. Firstly, it is not in the concept of the Eritrean Constitution. Secondly, those who work in your 'Special Court' are neither academic nor professional and experienced. Thirdly, they are appointed by you. Fourthly, the main purpose of this Court is, primarily, to safeguard you at the cost of others.

  9. Halewa Sewra, the Secret Prison Centre / Security Organ: This has never been to the benefit of the Eritrean people, but it is to safeguard your life of presidency and your followers. Eritreans are impatient to see its end.

  10. Causes and handlings with the war with the 'Woyanes' and its negative consequences from A - Z. This includes the disappearance of the Eritrean POWs from the public eyes after being freed from the 'Woyane' and returned to their homeland, Eritrea.

  11. Lack of transparency, knowledge, responsibility and accountability when a nation falls apart. You are not recipient to new ideas and advice. You have failed militarily, politically, economically and socially because your policies have been intellectually shallow and offered no real alternative. This is evident by the fact of the conflicts and wars with Sudan, Djibouti, Yemen and Ethiopia. Another simple evidence was that your dismissal of 35 Eritrean intellectuals (lecturers) from the only University of Asmara in 1994 calling them unqualified.

  12. Stagnation and paralysis of the Eritrean economy and administration due to the long outstanding conflicts within the Government. Almost all social indicators, in areas like health and education, show a marked deterioration.

  13. Contribution to the creation of disorder and disintegration of the whole Eritrean people inside and outside including your Senior Officials. That is, firstly, your spreading of distorted information to the People's Army as well as to the public through your cadres, security agents and your mass-medias (Radio Dimtsi Hafash, Haddas Eritrea and other internal magazines etc.). For example, your response to the G-13 (scholars and professionals): "They do not know what they are talking about. … These are completely detached people from reality who have never been here. …". This is part of the untrue response you have given to the V.O.A. Interview and distributed to the world. Secondly, since recently, the same falls propaganda has been running against the DG-15, Senior Officials, by yourself and members of your clique. Thirdly, history tells us that you have a dark chapter of allegations made against the so called Menka-e Movement in the 1970s within the EPLF. Fourthly, your contribution to change the reputation of Eritrea and its people from a positive to a negative model in the opinion of the World Community. The good names of Eritrea and Eritreans were: the African Switzerland, the African Israelis, the Prussian in Africa, Eritrea - the Wonder on the Horn of Africa etc. Today, we are described as war-liking people as a result of your undemocratic leadership. So why should the world understand us wrongly because of you.

In a phrase, this is the stage in which the Eritrean people are. Our people, now, are on their way to establish unity to get rid of you. It is a firm belief and expectation of every Eritrean, I suppose, to avoid the occurrence of further bloodshed of fellow brothers and sisters of one nation and one heart. The past is enough to teach us. It is time to use our mind rather than brutal force to achieve the goals of our common good. Let us take South Africa as an example. South Africa was liberated by the power of a pen (mind) and not by a gun.

Therefore, I ask every Eritrean to agree for their unity. I consider this as 'a third liberation' for our nation, Eritrea, from the agonies of the rule of: firstly, Emperor Haile Sellassie followed by Lieut. Col. Mengistu Haile Mariam; secondly, the Woyane, and now thirdly, President Isaias Afeworki. Bear in mind, in this crucial period in our country no one afford to be silent. Because keeping silence means to support Dictatorship and Autocracy as opposed to Democracy and Justice directly and indirectly. Hence, Let us speak out and demonstrate together. United we stand, divided we fall. Therefore, "when we think, let us think we build for the future". Let us think anew.

Victory to the Mass!

Allah Wo'Ak-bar Bless Eritrea / The All Mighty God Bless Eritrea.

Dr. Alalazar Gebre-Yesus, An Independent Observer & Concerned Eritrean, London

Note: Sorry for the few blank spaces marked with question marks. They will be answered soon.

Dr. Alazar Gebre-Yesus,contributed and has sole responsibility for the content on this page. Comments about this article you can contact the writer by e-mail: Dr. Alazar Gebre-Yesus

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