Dictator’s Effect: Poverty at its Peak

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Eritrea as a country  has existed since 1890. Since then, it has seen colonial system, federatal system, invader’s rule, short lived liberator’s highdays and since 2001 pure dictatorial regime.

When Italy colonized Eritrea by defining the trritory, Italians built the country like their home country. Cities with modern infrastructures were developed. Asmara, the then chosen to be capital city was built in exact copy of Rome’s architectural buildings. Modern transporation system, sanitary network, communication and administrative systems were introduced.

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Architecrual buildings of Asmara, source: google

By the end of  mid 1970s, there were about 75,000 Italians living in Eritrea, predominantly in Asmara. During those days, Asmara was considered “Small Rome”. The late Ethiopian dictatorial regime, Derg, has played its role to ruin Eritrea.

Despite Derg’s destructive rule, Eritrea is ruining like no other time under the current dictatorial regime of PFDJ.

Asmara Ruining like ‘No Other Time’ for the last 17 years.

Staring 2000, PFDJ has introduced a marshal plan with a sole purpose of nationalizing everything, the people and the resources. Since then, Asmara has registered unprecedented poverty and destruction. It is hard to imagine how much the effect is but recent eye-witness photos leaking from the country are testifying the immense destruction happening.

Here is what Elizabeth Chyrum (A Human Right’s Concern-Eritrean Director ) has put in her facebook page.

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Transportation Crises in Eritrea

The transportation and communication sector is one of the public services that is clearly and directly affected by the maladministration of the authoritarian regime in Asmara.

The majority of the Eritrean people use land transport services hence the importance of sufficient public bus services is indisputable. There were public transport buses owned by different individuals and associations but they are now out of business, owing to government action. The authorities deliberately denied bus companies access to fuel and banned the import of spare parts. The regime also conscripted bus drivers into the military service. It also forced the owners to pay huge tariffs and taxes. The implementation of these anti- business policies, deliberately intended to undermine the private sector, has resulted in the transport services being engulfed in a huge crisis.

Once the privately-owned bus companies were put out of business, the bus transportation service was replaced by buses administered through government’s own economic institution, the PFDJ. These new buses were imported duty free. They are administered by Harat Company – an economic arm of the PFDJ. The problem with these buses is that they remain unable to meet the demands of public transportation. Principally, there are far too few buses in total number and like any other sector of the economy administered by the government or PFDJ, the service is embroiled in a high level of maladministration and corruption. As a result, commuters are forced to stand waiting for a bus day and night at every bus station. Some people report that, just to get a bus from Asmara to Tesseney, they wait at the bus station for three days and night to no avail.

Some of the photos she shared are disturbing. Even I can not imagine how fast life is deteriorating in Eritrea. I left Eritrea in 2012. By then, I was disappointed how life became bitter and poorer. But to tell you frankly, it was much better than today. It is paradoxical to witness 2012, even 2000, was better than 2017.

Photo footage of current Transportation condition in Eritrea, (source, Elizabeth Chyrum facebook page)

Water has become a very scarce commodity in Asmara. Once a well developed water distribution network, now Asmara dwellers are struggling to get water for daily use. Water is distributed on a ration base through water tank loaded vehicles. To get water, each family has to spend the whole day lining.

Some of the video shared are:

Water Distribution system of Eritrea

Ruining sewage structures

Spying Network and Diaspora Community Control Network

It is not a secret that the dictatorial regime muscles are deeply extended in the diaspora community. Every Eritrean is controlled directly or indirectly by the regime. A whole building and office facilities are dedicated on this mission. A recent photo leaked from Asmara(thanks to Elizabeth for sharing) reveals this evil agenda of the PFDJ regime.

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Those who might not understand Tigrigna, this list is the room number of each office that works for the Foreign Mission Control Officers. There are 16 offices. The offices are categorized into 6 main branches. Each one is a controling mechanism of Diaspora according to the will of the regime.

  1. Foreign Mission Officer
  2. Tax Collection (2%) and Finance
  3. Reception of Guests
  4. Dosiers Verification Center
  5. ID Card, Passport and Visa Services
  6. Communication Center(Control of Message received by fax and e-mails).

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